Original Piety

As opposed to original sin, I mean. It’s not about piousness.

Fight or flight is an important choice, clearly important enough to find a central place and a lot of real estate in the decision-making organ.

It occurred to me today, that whatever decision we make when faced with this choice, we hope we are clever and make the smart choice, the right choice, and when we have made it through the crisis, then we know that we indeed have – I mean in a biological conversation. Perhaps if we find ourselves alive after a battle but regret perhaps having killed many folks to insure it, perhaps we suspect moral issues, but if our grandchildren are discussing it, at least they know we made the “right” choice, or this conversation doesn’t happen.

For good or ill, there is a lot of wiggle room when you’re talking about binary judgments like good and bad, right and wrong, all four of those words can mean almost anything. Goose VS Gander, Us VS Them, Friends not Food . . . indeed these value words can mean their own very opposites and we know that and we don’t even blink; we navigate, somehow. That’s exactly where I see trouble, and exactly what I am hoping clear up a little.

OK.

A creature that more often hangs back, or runs, we call cautious.

One that more often fights, we call aggressive.

This was today’s idea: a cautious creature values caution as wisdom, and if you ask an aggressive creature what constitutes wisdom or intelligence, he will tell you, “aggression.” I’ve said it elsewhere, as creatures, we exist in the second category.

I am, however, no determinist!

Behaviour is not a gene, and aggression, I repeat, is a choice, and we choose to encourage aggression, we are that aggressive creature who says that, “aggression is the smart choice.” The best defense is a good offense, right? Wait!

This is not a purely Nurture argument.

We encourage it in Nature, in our hardware.

Punishments, pain, deprivations, inequalities of stress and work . . . these sorts of abuse are not Nurture, not “just talk,” just data, none of that. They operates on our bodies and on our genomes. I’m saying, even as they find genes “strongly correlated” with aggression, that these alleles are not as God created them six thousand years ago, there is no hardware aside from behaviour and choice, “Nurture” changes our Natures.

We have some leverage on our Natures.

Maybe I can guess your loudest objection: there is no damned Nurture. Right? Nurture  all you like, our nasty Natures remain as they are, right?

Fine.

There isn’t in the positive way that modern liberal types might like, I’ll give you that. But let’s back up a step – I like doing that, it costs one a sense of progress, but it seems diligent, feels like building a solid base – and ask one more time, what is Nurture? For today’s talk I think it’s an attempt to direct – redirect, or misdirect, perhaps – our Natures. Is that fair? An attempt to teach something we’re doing, that perhaps isn’t simply in line with our Natures? Something we choose to add to our toolkit and our lives? Stuff we’re not born knowing?

Ooh, I feel really close to something.

I think that stuff is the mean and ugly and nasty and all those kinds of things, I think that is the stuff we’re not born knowing. For evidence, if not proof, I offer that Nurture exists just fine if you simply stop insisting that it must be something positive. If you doubt the power of Nurture, abuse some children and see how many are unaffected along a vector of mean and nasty and all that.

That makes for an aggressive creature.

Now this is all fun theory and all, I love to live thinking I’m negotiating with God about Life and figuring out what we are and what we’re up to, what could seem more important? I think this conversation is where the action is, and I pray that if I affect the world in any way that it is in this conversation right here. Having said that . . .

The Nurture I describe, this antisocialization, this negative Nurturing, this isn’t theoretical at all. This is the world, look around you. And so, this mean, nasty, ugly thing is not our Nature, but what is produced through the power of Nurturing, which has been defined as consisting of exactly that which is not in our Natures.

This is not us.

This is something we think we need to be, and evolution says that at some point, we really did need to be this, so we became it – but evolution and everything else says we need to be something different now. And we absolutely can, because as I’ve just shown, this is not our Natures, this mean, ugly, nasty father-raper is not us. Morally, it’s worse, of course! That we work so hard to become him, apparently by choice . . . morally, we are not looking good in my paradigm here.

But there is nothing determined about it; we never could have gotten here in a deterministic world, and that is where the most realistic hope for us and this world I have been able to find seems to be.

It’s all upside-down and backwards to everything we usually say on the subject, but human beings are upside-down and backwards and we require that sort of an explanation.

So there it is.

 

Jeff

Dec. 9th., 2018

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Safety and Security and Nature Metaphors

Sure, in that order, too.

Safety, I want to say is a state of not having to worry. Safety would be the certainty that one could fall asleep out of doors and wake up intact, so, in a time and a place where unreasoning predators have been banished, and the human beings around you practice a live and let live attitude and have enough to eat that you are not seen as a resource they must exploit. Some lucky few in the history of our species have enjoyed this state, mostly the wealthy and well guarded, to be sure. I think this is my vision of the liberal utopia, and while it’s mostly been a privilege item, I believe this is the liberal vision that we hope to extend to all people.

Something like that. I want to define safety as again, not even having to worry, because all who can touch you are friendly or at least reasonable.

Security is best stated as the proposition that it’s a good life if you don’t weaken, meaning that the only measure of safety available in the world doesn’t rise to my definition above, because any safety requires the ability to fight. Security I define as détente, as deterrent, a peace only possible because we can damn well war as good as they can, a peace and safety where we’re afraid of our own, our fathers, our leaders, because their first priority becomes antisocialization, making sure we can fight. True safety under this arrangement of deterrents is only possible when all your enemies are dead, and so that is always the extreme dream at the far end of thought for those whose livelihoods depend on keeping us “secure.” I’m sure all involved are conscious of the self-perpetuating nature of this game, that our defenders are their attackers and vice versa, but what way is there to get off of this wheel?

One way to view the many nature metaphors we hear, capitalist and anti-capitalist imaging about wolves and sheep being almost all that come to mind, it’s so prevalent – might be as a form of nostalgia, meaning we often look to nature or to the past for solutions, it being very good and Earthy wisdom that there is nothing new under the sun, that things weren’t always so strange and bad as they are today, and things were “better back then.”

I haven’t pondered the conservatism of that attitude, the details of why we think it so much, that the past was better – but that’s where I want to stop the world and get off of that train of thought and onto a new one.

I think morality, a better life, the possibility of getting off of the security hamster wheel, these things aren’t in our past, and I don’t see as the other critters that walk, swim, crawl, etc., have a roadmap to them either. It’s something I say in nearly every blog, I think, but I’m trying to dedicate this one to just this proposition: we need to invent this good stuff. No, we didn’t just have it a minute or a few centuries or millennia ago, and no, the chimpanzees aren’t going to teach us what “altruism” is. This stuff only exists in our heads; if we want to see it in real life, we have to invent it, we have to envision it, plan it, build it, make it all happen.

The utopia, nobody’s utopia is going to be found in our animal past. It’s not hiding somewhere to be uncovered, it’s waiting to be built. The search for the “roots of altruism” is driving me spare. To explain it with costs and benefits is to explain the very opposite: altruism is doing something for someone else, by definition, and all these definitions alter the experiment, like quantum stuff. The choice to do something for someone else is invisible, just in someone’s head, a fleeting thought that comes into existence and fades out without a trace, as thoughts do. Steven Pinker said as much somewhere, that much of what humans do they do with this free-floating “thinking module” that can apparently be applied to any sort of problem, including hypothetical and future situations that no particular evolutionary past might explain. Surely this module of the brain evolved for material purposes, but it’s what does math and all sorts of abstract stuff that isn’t all mission critical for every human, and this is the part that we must use to create our moral world, any utopia at all, ever.

Now, I know there’s a lot of thinking, a lot of philosophy says we can’t.

I also certainly understand that asking seven and a half billion people to simply do better is no answer at all. I’m not arguing against people not knowing everything and making mistakes and screwing up their lives and maybe the lives of many others before they learn more about things, that is clearly as inevitable for us as it is for all else that walks, swims and crawls through the muck. I think I’m in the big game, in the conversation, and I’m arguing that at least our educators and public figures could stop with forever siding with our baser selves, could stop with forever with this nature nostalgia, with this myth that we ever did figure out how to live and just forgot or something. With this myth that somehow whatever we’re already doing and have forever until yesterday is somehow supposed to change things for the better. A return to a natural state is not the goal, it can’t be, Elon Musk wants to go to Mars, for one thing, and if I had to guess who was going to get their way, him or me, well.

If we try to build a moral world, a rational world, the most good for the most people and the least evil, it ain’t back in the garden.

I think we’ve proven that we can destroy this place, so it seems less impossible that we could manage it, doesn’t it? No-one would have dreamed we could accomplish that a few centuries ago, and look at us and our bad selves, now right at the precipice! We could if we understood enough to want to, if we understood that this nasty ape “following his heart” is really what got us here, that being “social,” and reinforcing one another’s natural evolved feelings is not the path to the utopia but the eternal path to war.

It is my personal stance that the “unreal,” invisible world of our thoughts is where some rationality may be found, and that morality will require rationality, but that we must learn to separate the social from the cerebral. One example of such would be not ever saying things like “my country, right or wrong.” It’s the right or wrong part we need to start focussing on. Not so much the “my” bit, the social part. Being social is what makes us secure, of course it is.

But it doesn’t make us safe.

 

Jeff

Nov. 28th., 2018

Kissing Up to Bob

I lived, partially educated, happily deciding for myself how things worked, and then some alt-Right internet swine put me on to a couple of biology sorts of books and my mind exploded, I had an insight and a meltdown. A part of my dabbling in biology was that I learned that I was in interesting company for having had that experience, and maybe there’s a syndrome, but the person I heard it about and from was Robert Trivers. Of course nothing about me compares, except maybe the meltdown. I learned about him during that period, and not altogether in my right mind, I learned the great man had an email address, like a person.

That is Dr. Trivers, by all accounts, and I can corroborate: the most human of humans. He teased me a little, or at least gave me the leeway to tease myself, the first time I approached him it was late evening here on the west coast, so it was early morning on the other coast and he sounded a little intrigued by my idea, so I started talking to him, sending him updates and asking him questions, like I couldn’t figure out that there were a hundred tiers of learning between him and I. I sort of failed to notice he only answered the once. I should have moved on with my own learning and writing and just prayed for a chance to one day say to him, “Hey, I emailed you that one time, remember?”

But I was not well, I was manic and it seemed as though my dreams were coming true with his positive first hint. I forget how many things I sent him, blogs, partial blogs, looking for some feedback, somehow imagining his fan mail doesn’t arrive in truckloads, maybe half a dozen, maybe a dozen? Finally it was enough, he either felt the need to fend me off, or he saw my need, that’s more how he spoke, and he phoned me. He gave me solid, untheoretical advice on dealing with my mental struggles, and I did feel some real connection with that. He dismissed my insight in seven syllables, “Seems kinda wacky to me,” and if you’re talking to some nobody, that’s not saying anything, but when Bob says “to me,” then that’s a trip or several to the library. He’s already said it.

It’s not that I didn’t have the data, so much, it’s the usual, I just wasn’t processing it, and frankly, I’m a youngest, I may have a unique point of view, but I’m very much in the habit of asking for and getting help, if someone else knows, why don’t I just ask them and why don’t they just tell me? Again, I got grade twelve equivalency, and I’m going straight to the top, and the top can tell me, but I won’t get it, will I? I think I get it at the most basic level now. My theory is humans abuse their kids on purpose, that being a tough, capable troop defender is the very same thing as being as being a crazy, violent, asshole criminal, but I was talking about parents and children.

Basic social theory, social relatedness theory, has it that the person a child need fear the least is their parent, gene interest and all. Parents, in theory, would not threaten the lives of their own for conformity or such, that we all want our genes to survive and thrive. So I’m pestering Bob, ignorantly trying to refute his first theories, the ones that made him who he is, and who TF am I? (I wasn’t, I’m not refuting social relatedness theory, of course not. That just seemed to be blocking my refutation of child discipline and punishment in general.)

For one thing, I’m the same grandiose idiot I was two years ago, and also, not completely over my meltdown. So I think I have an answer!

My answer is, humans have “socialized” their child-rearing, child education.

We farm that shit out.

To less related adults in the modern world, or to less related children in the more aboriginal children’s group, thus working around social theory. Surely some later Trivers ideas are also involved, evolved deception and self-deception.

I’m not going to be looking Bob up again, I hear he’s out from Rutgers, where I had found him before, and I made a point of losing his phone number from when he called me, I didn’t want to have it if I was just going to keep getting crazier. I don’t think I am, and I’ve learned my lesson, but just in case . . . if anybody out there talks to him, maybe this response will be of interest . . . of course anyone else, perhaps from some tier between Trivers and my homegrown, daydreaming self, who would like to chime in, maybe correct me, maybe help me work this out . . .

 

Jeff

Oct. 31st., 2018

Why Hate?

It’s an organizing principle, war, as stated by Sutherland’s character in JFK. It’s something for us to do, something for us to dream about, plan, strive, measure our relative usefulness regarding. Without an out group, there is no in group. And I’m not going to say it’s “built in,” because we are always still under construction, but it’s our tendency, isn’t it?

What hate and war are not is something new, or an accident. It was not some crap started by your father, what I’m saying is it’s not something you were “told;” not something taught to us by our parents because of something they learned or misunderstood within their lifetimes. We have evolved this way. We can change, because we have before, that’s what “evolve” means, and although there is plenty of room for discussion as to whether any of this evolution is self-directed or what portion of it might be, change is possible. Our parents didn’t decide that humans should live this way, the humans who made these decisions and got this ball rolling are long gone, and we aren’t really privy to their thought processes about it. We’ve forgotten why we chose to be this way, is what I’m saying.

So after that, starting at the bottom, it’s game “theory” and evolutionary psychology, on up to biology and on to philosophy and art, all human endeavors to remember who we are, rebuild the knowledge, understand why we are like this.

I don’t think “aggression” is a gene; I think it’s a choice.

The choice, really, right? The first one, or the last one, depending: fight as opposed to flight. I think the humans, or near-humans who made that decision are long gone, and our world is one where everyone knows the best defense is a good offense.

Fight or flight, that’s a choice, but it’s a choice we are presented with in such a way that any time we spend choosing hurts our case, deadly enemy or predator right up in our face – it’s best to make a policy, a default choice, and we call an animal “aggressive” when its default choice is “fight.” One can always change one’s mind, decide to run if you’re losing a fight, or decide to fight if you’re losing the race, but in either case, it’s best you’re doing one or the other rather than standing still and thinking about it, so we have our policies in place. I imagine as a general thing, the more tightly one is bound to a particular location, the more one chooses to fight rather than fly. This policy may have been developed as we made the shift from nomadic day-nest builders like the gorillas to more permanent homes or some such move.

This idea doesn’t clash with an idea I can’t shake, that no matter how aggressively we act, that it somehow begins with fear and defense. A goal I’ve been keeping from you all and perhaps even myself in all this jaw flapping is that I am trying to act as the War Ape’s defense lawyer, trying to get us off the hook for the charge of aggression, trying very hard to make a case that it’s really a form of self defense, that we might choose another way if we could. Not that I approve! The War Ape needs to go to prison, absolutely, I’m not making excuses for him so that he should run free and carry on his violent lifestyle, but you can’t fight him and expect him to soften, you can’t fight aggression, it exists to fight back, so I’m concentrating on the underlying issues, or the excuse. The War Ape needs to know that he’s safe, that he’ll be OK if he doesn’t spend his life proactively looking for an enemy and a fight. That’s me plan.

Me plan is impossible of course.

In my marriage, I was unable to convince one single human she was safe and didn’t need to always be fighting me or fearing me, so the threatened hominid doesn’t even credit one speaking for himself, let alone I can’t make promises for the other several billion of us.

Apologies for the intrusion of the personal, I leave it in as full disclosure. Is it just my hard feelings, or is the logic still there? How to stop everyone from feeling threatened by everyone and so all aren’t always feeling the fly or fight ultimatum and too many choosing to fight, so that all feel threatened by everyone and so . . . etc.? It is what it is because it is what it is and breaking out of this cycle is a little like deciding it is not what it is – again, the goal, because it in fact, is.

Sorry, that was too much fun not to do to you.

You can’t lose it and keep it at the same time, is what I’m getting at, so, thus far, we’ve just kept it. Our security, I mean, and the violence it requires. I know I’ve said this before, but it’s next anyway: the idea that we present antisocially to the out-group and prosocially to the in-group is a lovely idea, hate to make room for love – but it flies in the face of everything we know about abuse, dominance, and war, that these things form and inform personalities and aggression levels all around. The idea that the most warlike folks abroad are the most peaceful at home is an insult to modern intelligence and education. If you saw this before, you saw the waiver – I’m refuting a book from the beginning of the Great Depression. It is my dearest wish, as well as the high percentage bet that I’m doing so redundantly, but it seems important, better said a thousand times than not at all, so I’m just going to keep talking.

Aggression levels within the society and within the home rise and fall with those outside and at the borders, because we are talking about the same people, the same person, and your deadliest warrior is not usually your most loving babysitter. We have a romantic image of this, I don’t know why, that the perfect man can do it all. OK, yes, the perfect man could, that doesn’t make the two things compatible, just because one theoretical superman can do it. These things are at odds in the real world, you make your choices, and you live with the downsides. If war is how we and our neighbors have decided it must be, then things at home could look a lot nicer, love and support are probably in short supply, because that’s not what makes you a soldier.

This romantic image, the “real man” is something I’ve been having some online discussion about, and it seems to me to show something I’m after, that even when we’re being “good,” we love strength; our strength is good, our strength is never the problem – as though we ourselves aren’t a problem, can’t be a problem. (If you think this meme isn’t a reality, listen to the American president for two minutes. He states it overtly, and often.) I’m saying, a “protector” is a fighter. All the nice, innocent ladies who want a “protector” want a fighter, and this is sexual selection for violence – right out in the open, in broad daylight. All we have to do is call it defense.

Now, if I say women are keeping us “strong” in this way, am I blaming women for war? First, perhaps the war crowd will happily thank women for their part, this can be seen as all good for those who are all in on the idea that it’s a good life if you don’t weaken and war is the best way to any form of peace at all. I don’t mean to assign the blame, but I am suggesting that if half of humanity was really trying for peace, we’d have peace half the time. But we’re really trying for this traditional security I’m describing, where you’re not safe in the world unless you can fight. If I say this is unconscious, a mimic meme that fools us into thinking the “protector” is a world better than the attacker, am I calling women stupid or instinctual? Again, I don’t mean to, and men still have the larger share in all of it, stupidity and unconsciousness as much or more than any trait. Men believe in the “good” of their strength even without the excuse of defense much of the time. If I say, “women make this error,” don’t imagine that the male of our species impresses me. Grandad was a paedophile and I haven’t seen much to change my opinion for the better.

It is these sorts of things though, that I feel the need to discover and expose, mimic memes, ideas that we use to fool ourselves, and they are mostly, it appears to me, to be something along the lines of moral reversals, and I have begun to see that many of our troubles as a species, many of the things we think are bad, are in fact things we support under other names, as “good,” and so we struggle against bad things with confusion and futility – like this strength thing. Strength is “good” because the “bad” people are also strong – this is . . . what’s the name of the fallacy? The conclusion given is the reverse of the product of the arguments?

Logically, if “bad” people are strong, and if they get stronger, they’re getting worse, then “strong” is bad.

A mimic meme is a reversal of moral logic.

I’m saying, as have many before, when we get “stronger,” we get worse too, because strength is not good. This is a version of the political divide, some folks in western nations think their nations are getting “stronger” presently, while more people simply see the rise of violence and think that’s “bad.”

So I’ve tried to identify a mimic meme about protectors and strength, that when we prioritize and select for these traits, we are simply selecting for violence and the direction the violence appears to be pointed changes the selection not at all. We all select for protectors, and we are all selecting for one another’s attackers, not only personally and sexually, but when we vote.

The first such mimic meme I found was related to “strength,” it was discipline, punishment, in child-rearing mostly, and it is also a moral reversal, we have been beating children to make them “good” forever, and a hundred years of psychology has shown this “good” produced to be all sorts of bad, a long list of poorer outcomes, that only become good when we flush all of one of these people’s hope and dreams down the toilet, put a rifle in their hands and send them off to war, to do “good” “protecting” us all from the other guys’ protectors.

I think of this as moral philosophy – am I wrong?

A great deal of what is called “religious morality” seems backwards to my modern, fractionally educated mind, and much of what many people call “morality,” just isn’t, or doesn’t seem to be to me, I feel much of it falls into the mimic meme category and much Bible morality just sounds like world domination schemes and totalitarianism – or even worse, more basic. Sometimes it seems that all the bible supports is that bible-person sperm meet egg at any cost, and that is nothing but the morality of rape, no morality at all. We are not going to find morality in nature, folks. We have to create it.

Are the goals really endless breeding and war?

No?

Then how about we try to find a morality that actually helps people, rather than one that “just feels right” to a violent ape such as ourselves? It’s not going to be found in your biology, your biology is about a fight, not morality. If your morality is about the fight, or a fuck, I think you’ve missed it. We need a modern, human morality, and I suspect it might sound less like “freedom,” and more like wildlife management, but I think we can plan for a morality that doesn’t require the constant human sacrifice of war and strife, one that tries to make things the most good for the most people. It’s a big change, though. It’s probably not the same game at all, because I’m asking for a “morality” that doesn’t identify half the world as an enemy, and again, that might be something new, something we have to build from scratch.

Where the rubber meets the asphalt in this conversation, is, for things to change, some of the “good” things that aren’t need to be outed and reconsidered, some of the “good” things we love, we need to learn to hate, some of our favourite things we will need to deny ourselves. We are not going to be able to “follow our gut” out of these problems when it was our gut got us here in the first place. A huge portion of our emotional system concerns itself with group dynamics, in-group and out-group feelings, we feel these things, so we think we’re supposed to follow those feelings, but you are not the first one who ever thought of that, and I’m sorry if I’m the first one to tell you, but that isn’t working out, feeling isn’t working out.

I know that statement puts me at odds with basically all of humanity. Most folks think the security provided by war-capable nations is what keeps them safe, and they’re OK with it, and some think we all need to follow our nice feelings a little more, and I will say that is another mimic meme. If we decide to trust our nice feelings, we will also trust our fears and such, war feelings, and so, things do not improve, world without end.

Again, the good things that must go, that we need to be able to criticize, they are strength and discipline, these things only appear “good” because the “bad” guys love them too. Otherwise, no-one would want them.

 

 

Jeff,

Oct. 28th., 2018

Who I Am

I’m a regular guy. I’m a middle-aged, recently retired white working guy in a stolen white country, like so many white folks in places outside of Europe. I got most of a basic public education, worked, married, had a couple of kids . . . and then lost my mind. You know the story . . . I became disillusioned, started spending a lot of time online, withdrew from social things. I became dependent on drugs, to the exclusion of all else. When my family tried to intervene, I chose the drugs and abandoned them.

I was abused as a child, so although it’s disappointing, it’s no surprise.

It was only a matter of time. It’s a good thing we parted ways when we did, because when a man unravels, bad things happen. I was going to put them all on the six o’clock news, and frankly, while the intensity of the original split has lessened, on some vector time and frustration only increase the pressure for guys like me to do something decisive and violent. It seems likely as not that when women push an escalating man away, it’s only a deferment, and some awful timer has been started.

True to form, I won’t get help, either. No-one thinks they are big and powerful and dangerous, or rather, the men that do feel in charge are even worse than guys like me, guys that don’t think they are. Of course, I think I’m the victim. Of course I think it’s everybody else that’s wrong, and if you think that, no-one can help you. Clearly, I do not want to be helped. So now my family is down a salary and dealing with the damage, while I’m online still, spreading my toxic message with the rest of the crazy boys, talking game theory. God knows the world needs more of guys like me, right?

This is me, apparently, the me that world can see, the me that the world will acknowledge, this is the me I must be if I wish to be seen.

 

Jeff,

Oct. 28th., 2018

Comedy and I are Just Plain Mean

OK, I haven’t been able to be helped. I can’t hear anyone, and they can’t hear me; what I intend when I speak, and what I think my carefully chosen words are supposed to convey are not getting through. I know you have to consider the source, but honestly, the folks in my life don’t even know or care what it may be that I am supposed to be the source of. It would be awesome, relatively, to be understood and rejected consciously for once. At least then we’d be speaking the same language.

I’ve never raised a hand to anyone, man woman or child since my youth, and hardly then, and never at all with the people in my life here, this last marriage and pair of children. All these women, however and more as well, have judged me “angry,” and it must be for the way I talk, because all I did with any of those women is talk to them.

I have anger, of course I do.

I’ve had a life, troubles, enemies, frustrations . . . it’s largely a cliché, the social justice warrior that starts by wanting to make things better and ends by him stomping around pissed off his whole life, no fun at all. Plus I have my own issues, I feel misunderstood. What I do not have is some huge reservoir of misogynist rage that anyone should fear.

I must look like I do, though, or smell like it.

 

. . . missing link in here . . .

 

I see an analogue in comedy, male rage and “just talk,” and that idea I find uncomfortable, so it may be personal, the same sort of stuff I do.

I’m starting to tweet cryptic stuff like this –

Replying to @jefferiesshow

I so want to love this guy – but I kinda loved Louie, and now I don’t know if I can ever truly love again, but Holy Crap is Jim funny. If I outlive him and there’s nothing awful in the biographies, then I can love him, I guess . . . fuck you, Louie CK, on a personal level.

I feel Louie CK personally embarrassed me, I’d been lauding him, praising his fucking bravery or something, and so his exposure is my exposure, if he’s a scumbag then I am a lover of scumbags, and I don’t like to think of myself in those terms, I want to say ‘obviously,’ but maybe not so much. There’s a surprise in a joke, that’s what makes it a joke, and shock is maybe 50% surprise, but if that’s the proportion, shock is also 50% aggression, and I have lived my life trying to be “edgy” like that too.

I  wasn’t trying to hurt anyone, at least not consciously, or so I thought.

I’ve heard a handful of things from comedy and comics since Louie’s disgrace that have unsettled me terribly about comedy generally and comedians somewhat less generally – of course I mean about me. These things wouldn’t be upsetting if there weren’t a string in me vibrating in harmony, would they? I tend to globalize but globalizing is just over-synthesizing, when you go from making new connections to identifying a larger concept to explain them. Turning that upside-down might make it clearer, if it can’t be globalized, it’s either not fundamental, or it’s just not true. What I’m afraid I am presently synthesizing is this odd list here:

 

  • And old one, I couldn’t bear Seinfeld, and the Jason Alexander character in particular, it felt too embarrassing to watch, so I’m afraid that’s me or something. Again, this was an old feeling that has morphed. Now I just see Seinfeld as negative, as normalizing bad behaviour, and I think I’m on the other side of this one, I think that only I found Seinfeld . . . traumatic. As far as I know, at least. I’m the victim, at least as far as Seinfeld is concerned.
  • Louie CK, mentioned above. It was exactly his treatment of “taboo sex subjects” that I was impressed with, and then it turned out he really meant it and now the theory seems corrupted by the practice and I want to turn conservative! Don’t talk about that stuff! Suddenly, the “edge” is not cool.
  • Something Bobcat Goldthwaite said on Norm MacDonald, about how women say they like a funny guy, but that comedians’ girlfriends aren’t prepared for the guy who’s in the bathroom crying and masturbating at the same time . . . “we’re not fun, we’re sick” was pretty much the message.
  • I’m sorry, the Gilbert Gottfried movie, and so very sorry, Gilbert himself. I loved him too for the bravery, the wildness – the masturbation bit at the Oscars, was it? “Your puny weapons can’t hurt me!!”? I loved him, and what he went through after he went over the edge about the tsunami was awful, and one thing the movie did was let me know we did it to him, I did it to him, teased him to the edge with money and such and then watched him go over it and shunned him. That may have been what the film was about and it worked, but for me, in tandem with all this other stuff and dark worries about my own complicity in awful jokes, what came on slow and isn’t going away is that Gilbert went over the edge and apparently never knew it, that there was no calculation, that he himself cannot tell the difference between the sort of pain laughter applies to and the sort it doesn’t, or shouldn’t. I don’t want to elaborate, don’t want to theorize or talk shit. I simply found it disquieting and dark. Not fun, sick, was the impression that stayed.
  • Norm MacDonald and his podcast figure in a general way, the show is very adult and usually very male, I watched a bunch of it last year, and it added to this growing concern. I went over the edge, repeating a paedophile joke I heard on there, that added greatly. I’ve stopped watching since this idea took hold. That entire story is coming up soon.
  • I didn’t know he was dying, and I know he was famously combative, and no, there is nothing untoward in Barry Crimmins’ comedy. He only gets into this for the combativeness, for the alpha-dog attitude. I foolishly picked up an easy roast he’d left lying there on Twitter, before I understood that Barry Crimmins could leave himself wide open to Jeff Ross and the entire roasting world and no fool would touch it if he wanted to live! He bit my head off, as he does so well, he was a lion, I am not complaining about Barry, I worship him still. What I learned in that encounter was my own aggression. I went after him with that joke, as I do, as I did in my nuclear family, around the dinner table! Who the fuck did I think I was, was his point, and now it’s mine too, but not only why did I think I belonged in that room, but why did I want to be in that room? For a laugh, I’m insulting someone like that, someone worth a hundred of me, someone I personally appreciate? (He said something about being a better person, and I jumped in with some shit about at least a better comic. I didn’t mean it about him, he was plenty good, I thought it was a joke . . . but it was very direct, wasn’t it, a straight up attack on the guy’s livelihood, on his skills. Just now, I realize, it would have been the same joke if I had said at least a better driver or something, a better anything.) Why did I go straight for the jugular and expect him to enjoy it? This is me, pleased to meet you, and I’m sorry. What it adds to my sense here, is that comedy is aggressive. Even when I do it.
  • Black comics, race comedy, for some probably racist reason, I love that stuff. I thought Karlous Miller on Roast Battle Two was sublime. Chris Rock’s “Black man have to fly to get where a white man can walk” was a perfect joke, truth and surprise . . . but I am seeing hints that perhaps I have chosen another flawed hero there . . . and no doubt, because that seems to be my taste. If anyone hears any awful shit about Dave Chappelle or Neal Brennan, please don’t tell me. I just watched Eddie Griffin: Undeniable and I loved it, but it challenged me, challenged my self-image as not racist a bit. He based a joke on his having children all over, and the raw biology of it shocked me. I don’t think it was true, but the premise was so . . . raw, made me gulp. I can imagine the critics, you can’t deny his power, dude is awesome. Maybe the strongest show I’ve seen.

 

 

I have said some awful shit, repeated some horrible shit.

This may as well be a confession all the way through. I was born in 1960, I saw all the stuff about the Manson murders, watched the movie, read Bugliosi’s book in my teens . . . I’ve been “edgily” quoting Manson, that one about you beat a man with a whip, he likes a whip, maybe other ones. In my defense, Helter Skelter portrayed it as a one-off hippie phenomenon. Honestly, I somehow blocked out the sight of the swastikas in my youth, until we started seeing them again recently. I probably used that line within the last two years, and never thought about what sort of a man beats what sort of a man with a whip. My focus has been about the beating, and the whip, not who the men were, but I am an asshole, and I’m sorry.

I’m gonna shift gears again.

I have been punishing my sister with shocking, awful sexual jokes forever, and I haven’t known why, it was this intrusion from my unconscious, and a horrible trait I share with my father, a family villain. It’s been unconscious, never planned, and an awful mystery to me, until I realized that I have been getting nothing from her my whole life, that I have been unable to see that to her, I’ve always only been some male and always the problem in her mind, and that this has been my revenge, my fighting back to her inconsideration of me. She never saw me as having believed her and grown up feminist, she only saw Dad or something. We were sixty before I ever experienced her considering my feelings at all, and when she finally did, I finally saw what I’d been missing. That’s been hurting, so I’ve been hitting back.

I’ve been trying to hurt her, to make her see she’s been hurting me, unconsciously. Once she allowed my feelings once, I saw it, and I could apply my conscious response to it – shunning, at least so far. I’ve got to figure some shit out before I walk back into that lifelong trauma.

I think this may be the primary case of me trying to shock people, I think when I’ve done it to others, it was always this, always me fighting my sister.

I mean, a case can always be made for a joke, there is usually a way to explain it and make it sound sort of moral. Case in point, a tweet I loved and slapped my sister with in a moment of unconscious sibling bullshit –

“I saw Mommy sucking Santa’s whole damn dick!”

The argument can be made that it’s all surprise, that it’s Mom and Dad, and Mom sucking Dad’s dick is perfectly fine, except maybe to the young kid seeing it and putting it to music, a childhood trauma that maybe shouldn’t be, primates do that sort of stuff . . . but telling that “perfectly fine” joke to someone for whom the idea of Dad’s dick is perhaps personal and traumatic . . . not cool. This is why we’re supposed to try to make the unconscious conscious. I’m the family holdout for that, but therapy and such has been my sister’s life for decades and she didn’t realize she’s been treating me like a guilty little clone of Dad’s all her life either.

I’m under some pressure. She doesn’t deserve any punitive shunning, she’s a had a hard-enough time, I don’t want to be the source of any more pain for her . . . but I couldn’t afford it these last few years, before this realization, when she froze me out after everyone shunned me. I can’t go back there now. I got nuthin’ on the positive side of the ledger, and Lord, I can’t go home thisaway.

The clue, when I realized comedy could be a weapon, was an episode of Norm MacDonald, where comics go to tell us they’ve grown up and mellowed and Norm rubs their nose in some awful, non-PC sexual jokes. It was Bob Saget, and Norm forced this paedophile joke on him, trigger warnings, paedo joke (paraphrased):

Pervert’s driving around town in his ice cream truck, looking for kids, but no-one lets their kids outside anymore, he’s not seeing any and he’s practically downtown, about to turn around when he sees a welding helmet pop up out of a dumpster. Turns out it’s a kid playing in there, so the perv pulls over, talks to the kid and gets him into the truck, letting the kid drive. Young kid, driving, he’s having a great time and the perv starts asking him,

“Hey, you wanna suck my fat juicy cock?”

The kid’s like, “ . . no, driving’s cool” and the perv’s

“Well, how about I suck your cock?”

The kid’s “No . .  .”

The perv’s “How about my juicy cock up your ass?”

Finally, the kid figures something out, the penny drops.

“I see what’s happened here,” He says to the perv, “I’m not REALLY  a welder . . .”

Now, of course, a case can be made, we think the kid is a clueless victim, knows nothing, and in the end, he knows EVERYTHING, including some hilarious fictional stereotype about welders all being gay. That’s what I think I liked about it. But Saget took it like a beating. He had his hands up as if to ward off blows, he was shrinking in his chair, couldn’t wait for it to be over . . . not sure you’re hearing me: SAGET reacted like this, and if all you know is Full House, Bob was really the opposite of that. And if he reacted like that, then the conclusion became sort of inescapable to me. These jokes are brutal, not just metaphorically. Again, it is not zero people who have been in the fucking ice cream truck, Jeff, is it?

I want to apologize for my whole life.

I’ve touched on “women in comedy” elsewhere, in my less personal blogs, but it bears repeating. If comedy were all wit and cleverness, the women would outnumber the men. The fact that men have been ruling this proves that there is more mean than smart to it. I should have been here fifty years ago, if I had a brain, Heinlein took us all halfway there, we laugh because it hurts, that means we tell jokes to hurt people. Michelle Wolf: “I am not a nice lady!”

I hear you, Ms. Wolf. I don’t want to agree with it about you, but I’m a fan and I am a nasty little prick, maybe that reflects back on you. You said it, not me!

I know this is far from done, but I’m not so far from it, and I’m hoping, as often happens, that publishing prematurely will put me under the required pressure to fix it. Failing that, this, and I will be a work in progress.

Apologies and thanks,

 

Jeff,

Oct. 20th., 2018

Porn is Gay, or Gay is Straight

I mean, if it’s supposed to be for men, anyways. It’s all members and seed, isn’t it? You’d think, if women were visual, all of those impressive dicks and loads must be for them, straight women, no? But no, women “aren’t visual” about dicks, dudes are.

Put it another way – how often do we see the most heterosexual act, breeding? How often do we know that the seed has found its mark, and actual heterosexual functioning has occurred? It was evil, female sabotage in Boogie Nights, remember? Gay AF, I’m telling you. A third way – does it give one the impression that the folks making the films actually like women? Or do we see the expressions “cock worship” juxtaposed with some version of “pussy destroying?”

It’s almost as though “straight” has a whole lot less to do with breeding and a whole lot more to do with dominance or something, because pleasuring those women straight guys are supposed to love seems to be a rather low priority in the films. It’s mostly about making dicks happy, and that’s only half of straight sex. Porn would seem to concern itself with dicks in male gay proportions, way more than half.

Misogyny is gay, is that where this goes?

I’ve said elsewhere that we confuse violence or aggression with intelligence, maleness with intelligence, and maybe again, do we also confuse heterosexuality with those things? Must I formulate my conclusions as questions, always?

 

 

Jeff,

Aug. 25th., 2018

Darkest Before the Dawn

I must think that old saw is true, because I think that’s my plan. I’m turning over all the ugliest rocks, looking for the very darkest place apparently, because it must be my core belief that there is no dawn except just beyond it.

This blog, this train of thought is at a standstill at the moment. I’m researching, reading that nasty old textbook “The Evolution of War,” and the good news is I give it fifty-fifty that that the ultimate darkness I’m looking for is in there. As dark as I find my own inner life, I am forever an adorable child: Chapter Five is Cannibalism and War. I really hope it gets better after that. That was tough. I wanna tell you about it, but I need to process, finish the book, maybe restart.

That’s my inner life, a huge part of it, and so it’s personal. On a more personal level, though, maybe the darkest bit of that is here too. Perhaps you’ve seen me trying to understand my life, relitigating specific traumatic arguments from my recent life, trying to interpret it in terms of feminism, or my own gender liberation . . . in the most recent personal blogs, maybe smarter folks than me have already seen it . . .

I’ve been to the doctor’s, something going on, I exercise and feel awful, I’m napping all the time . . . bloodwork and all, doctor’s found nothing, wants to treat my depression. I think the realization has been coming, I think this fatigue settled in when I began to see it, and a few weeks ago, an online friend helped me find the word for it. I have no powerful psychopath in my story, no single, sick clever manipulator . . .

. . . that’s why it’s taken so long to put it together that I am a victim of narcissistic abuse.

I’ll be processing that for a while.

No one bad guy, a team effort of sorts, but I’ve been doing what a victim does, leaving all the power in the hands of the abuser, trying to find a solution within myself, or begging the abuser to understand and save me instead of what they are engaged in. Plus of course, probably ignoring the abuser’s other victims. The narcissistic abuser requires all of everyone’s attention.

Those squeaky wheels will get no more grease from me for the time being.

The fatigue is first and foremost mental, intellectual. I can barely read, let alone write. My apologies if anyone is waiting, I got nothing cooking.

Take care, everyone, and thanks for reading

 

Jeff

Aug. 6th.,  2018

Hate is Filthy, or These Swine are Upsetting my Sexually Repressed Self

Sexism, racism, these things are . . . physical, grossly biological.

Try a shock, here’s the ol’ glass ceiling – “Well, Pat, sounds you meet all the academic requirements. Show us your cock and we’ll start your paperwork!”

That’s what it means, right?

We all know we can trust some religious, pious ideologue to be the first one to say, “Hold on there you – what have you got in your underwear?” In any given social situation, that’s something like irony, a religious education always winds up in someone else’s pants.

But race, too. Think of the Nazis wanting to know who your grandmother exchanged fluids with. Think of how one black ancestor makes you black in the States, that’s the same question – who was your grandma fuckin’? I suppose a sexually liberated racist would ask about your grandad too.

But it’s disgusting, carnal. Talk about privacy issues. Now we can test your genes and prove whose fluids made their way into your grandma – I’m sorry, but that’s what it means, and if someone doesn’t like who your grandma was getting off with (or raped by either, I guess), then those are the sorts of images they like to exploit. The point is, that’s what the racists and sexists of the world care about, your personal junk, your fluids, and it’s disgusting, perverted, a major overstep in privacy and decency.

It’s grossing me out, is what I’m saying. Of course, that’s not the only purely physiological concern they have either. Obviously skin tone and everything else that can be a racial identifier . . . it’s all obvious, physical, no part of the world of thought and ideas. You try, as a lady, for the promotion with decades of knowledge, one of these pigs says “show us your cock.” You rise to some public prominence for some talent or good work, one of them says “he’s Jewish.” Vast, historical social arguments battle gross physiological details of your personal life over which no-one has any control. Born with a vagina? Too bad. Born from ethnic parents? Sucks to be you!

Like you’re trying to talk to a person, and in their mind they have you in fine slices on the spectrograph or some shit, checking out your genes. I’m running out of words for disgusting. It’s filthy and loathsome.

I’m not offended by religion, as such, holy books are books at least, and suggest the presence of invisible constructs like morality and justice and such . . . I’m offended by the complete cynical lack of all those good, invisible things in what they seem to obsess about, all this filthy biology they all seem to spend their time on.

So the racists, the Nazis, they’re gross on paper, in their constructs. Of course their solution is gross too, swimming in thick, red, filthy biology, with their minds forever in the gutter.

 

Jeff

July 23rd., 2018

White Women, Amirite?

I’m no misogynist, but . . . LOL. Wait for it, I got a better “but” than most.

– white women killed me.

I’m no misogynist, no woman hater. I wish I could tell you some other demographic destroyed me, I don’t want to be hurting the feminist cause. I hope I’m a rare friendly fire incident, but that’s who’s killed me. Don’t deny my truth.

Stupid, blind, white women, the same sort as more than half of which voted for Trump in America and bloody Harper here at home. Same bunch of “I feel safer six feet off the ground in my SUV” soccer moms that don’t want to think about Big Oil conspiracies or poorer people in their little economy cars who can’t see around them and feel less safe every time another one comes onto the road. They said I shouldn’t worry abut politics and Trump, and how related are “don’t worry about the monster” and voting for him? World-blind white women don’t seem to give a shit about anything beyond their own fence, do they?

Or for some of the things within their fences too, like I used to be.

The authoritarian aspects don’t end there, either.

I’m an odd little fellow, and I need to see everything differently, and I didn’t like the childrearing practised on my and my generation, so I determined, about the time of the arrival of my first daughter into the world, that we would be a no punishment household. That seemed to work out, seemed amazing, we seemed to have almost no issues of authority, no bad behaviour. About the time the younger one graduated high school, I got in trouble, a midlife crisis –

– and those white women reverted to punishment with me.

Ultimatums and consequences, shunning for disobedience . . . everything I had disavowed for them, every sort of coercion my daughters were never subjected to. These white women trumped up charges like they were afraid of me, like they had no choice but to punish me for their safety, so they could abandon me in the very middle of my crisis and mark me as an abuser or something, just to make sure no-one else could ever love me again. My white women. Just like the white crowd of both sexes, threat is all they see. I am non-violent, always have been, I write about it all day long, and I fought my ex to raise my girls with none of it, twenty some years – but this is not my record, not an achievement or a statement of who I am, no. To these terrified white idiots, all they see is I haven’t beaten them for twenty years, so they think they have twenty years’ worth coming or something. They assume I have twenty years of rage built up. Well, they also assume something in my childhood, so really, it’s fifty-some years of my rage they’re afraid of.

Just imagine if I had lived a hundred years of non-violence and preaching about it. Then I’d be twice as dangerous again, and deserve my shunning doubly, right?

That’s why they had to abandon, accuse, and shun me in the middle of a breakdown, that’s why I see no way forward now or ever and do not expect to survive for long and that’s just too fucking bad, so sad, because some white women have guilt and irrational fears. Haven’t I learned yet, and will I never, that my feelings, all the way to suicide and beyond will never matter if some white woman is having any feeling at all? Men rule this world, so fuck your feelings, Jeff.

Fifty-seven years so far of that.

Especially if I’d had abuse in my early years, right? Then I’m sure to be a time bomb and deserve whatever is necessary, as a precaution, of course. This is psychology to me now: if anything happened to you before, then this is you, making it happen again. You can’t tell me I’m neglecting you now, because your mother did it first. This is psychology in the hands of someone looking for an excuse, someone just looking for a way out of the conversation.

And, yes, that’s all I wanted, a conversation.

White women did this to me so they wouldn’t have to talk to me. Still today, these are my crimes, you SAID this you said THAT, why would you say THAT?

Because I thought you were my friends, my loved ones. I need to talk. It all went away when you all stopped talking to me, and when I complained, no-one is talking to me, you dropped me. Shut up or get out, old time authoritarian bullshit from my own women. I disavow loyalty, I think loyalty is the opposite of morality, so I don’t like to use the word “betrayal.” Maybe if I can make a distinction, that it’s not a betrayal of my person, but of my strivings, my goals, only of everything that matters to me.

White women, in my experience, are miserable authoritarians.

 

Jeff

July 11th., 2018