Oh, Twitter

– banned this morning.

First it was me calling someone a “shizo,” and fair enough, my bad, removed. So it’s restricted features – but the best ones, I’m talking to friend in DMs when suddenly I’m gone again.

Same message, some restricted features, DMs with your friends, except no, they are not letting me in at all. Sorry, Sue! Find me here if you want, I guess!

All I can imagine is somebody finally heard something I said, I guess!

I expect I’ve been targeted by some evil army of cat lovers or some militant quilting group or other.

I suppose I’ll sign in again for three minutes in the ten hours or so they say they’re giving me until they do it again. I feel seen!

Finally.

 

Jeff

Sept. 25th., 2019

Gettin’ Me Wrong, or I Love You

I’m a nice fellow.

I know, I rant, I’m angry and frustrated, and I complain and I got justifications and explanations but that doesn’t make it nicer to be around, but I swear, like everyone, no doubt, it started from a good place, albeit a long time ago. I must have been asked the central question of morality as a child when I was complaining like I do, because that’s what it’s all been about for me. Me, a child moral philosopher, must have said to someone, “be good!” and gotten the answer so many navel gazing fools like me have spent their lives trying to answer – “Why?”

I’ve spent my life trying to come up with a convincing answer, despite pretty much admitting straight off that I all had for it was my and other folks’ simple comfort (pain avoidance, I would say today, trading in some early Christian language for more scientific stuff). That’s the usual content of my writing, that quixotic rational attempt, a long run at improving upon the ‘comfort’ answer – and that’s actually going rather well, in a test tube, so to speak, but I didn’t expect anything and I got something. Mostly just that, my life’s work in this paragraph: comfort isn’t nothing, because the reverse, pain, isn’t nothing.

The way pain isn’t nothing, scientifically and causatively in our lives, that’s pretty much every other entry in this blog, so trying not to today.

Pain that I for some reason am placing in other people’s songs these days. I’ve been watching Burns’ Country Music documentary and I’m obsessing about I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, I’m trying to write city lyrics to evoke the same stuff. I’m stuck on a bit of pain around that song that Hank was their – our! My own hillbilliness is becoming clear this week – Shakespeare was and is so loved, because despite being a man, despite being an American, he, while gripped by intense emotion, could cry. I think we all believed the man really had the actual capability, and damned if he isn’t just too good for this ol’ world, then, Amen.

Hyperbole, I know. I know the fellow cried puh-lenty, and publicly. We know he could! So hats off to the Ubermensch! Of course, my version of his story there is about us. I don’t know where or when to say it, so here and now, I guess: the man was rarely alone, and never for long. He was feeling that either in the minutes before bed on the road or he was feeling that all day long, surrounded by human beings. But pain is pain, really, I accept his expressions, boy, don’t we all.

So this morning I woke up having rewritten a verse of Dylan in my sleep, although to be completely truthful, I think of it as a John Daly song now, ha.

Ma, take these victims offa me

I can’t take it anymore

Don’t need live-in enemies

I feel I’m knockin’ on Heaven’s door

Don’t get me wrong, again, that critique was for us, not for Hank. I am one of them, I love and worship the man – in fact what is AST, what is my whole inner life, what are the last two million words of my blog if not a long, far less interesting and emotional exposition of Cold, Cold Heart, past pain and hard feelings, minds that are not free?

A thousand of me can type on a thousand typewriters for a thousand years and never write something like that.

(OK, there’s something. Same as “why?,” I can try to mesh artistic truths like these with the rational side of our lives. That’s the plan.) Which brings us to the brain, with its two sides.

Someone else is invading my too-open mind this week, this Iain McGilchrist chap with his brain hemisphere business, I watched his Divided Brain show on a bit of a loop last night. I’m not overly taken by the larger idea, the increasingly left-brained world, although I don’t feel a need to disagree – I saw in the show, that’s many of we left-brained idiots’ reaction, ha – but it resonated personally that I have been sort of shooting all around this idea myself, getting parallel ideas.

I have written and talked about the way I first perceived it as a “two sorts of people” sort of thing, lined up with two takes on science, on religion, on politics, two ways of seeing the world, and my take wasn’t completely backwards from his, I was seeing a one mindset that saw more things as alive and changing, and saw processes and change, as opposed to another sort of paradigm that sees a million facts, names everything and memorizes all the names and places for them, so to speak, but static, frozen in time.

That is pretty much what they are saying about the brain in this show, left does fine work, detail, and the right does bigger picture stuff – except it’s just unfortunate that the right side of the brain is what does the “left” side of politics and vice versa, the left, detail side dominates the political right, lists of things: white people, black people, dollars, jobs. The “logic” of nationalism and war. No processes, only things: no evolution, no change: the world as God created it. Dogmatic religion is politically right and left-brain dominant.

Why would God give me a brain that’s a straight up database if everything was just going to be changing all the time?

Maybe it will take hold, the two-brain idea. It does answer my strawman’s question, He gave you two! Why the other one if you don’t employ it?

Hmmm . . . it occurs, must be a thing for Iain, that while the left brain deals in details and important realities, maybe there’s room in the right side for all the different interpretations of those realities, and so it’s powerful – but somewhat less beholding to veracity. That other meme around his idea, that it either conquers the world or disappears, that’s rubbish. This flexibility is a focus for Trivers, the deception stuff, and my whole thing is a huge one of such phenomena. I don’t think any of this is going away.

Not that it matters, I’m mostly just running in place with my hands over my ears going “La la la” really loud trying not to hear the victims in that verse above this morning, but what am I on about today again? Oh yes. I’m a nice guy.

See, the thing is . . . I love you.

I’m stealing that, a movie line, “Five Corners,” Tim Robbins to John Turturro, I think, good guy to bad guy in that one, and feels right, seems applicable.

That’s my answer, that’s “why.”

That’s why I’m frustrated, that’s why I’m angry, that’s why I yell at you, because I am trying to help you because I love you – us, I love us – same rap as everyone who abuses you, right?

That works, for a minute. That shuts me up, it resonates, I feel guilty, I’m making you sad, you’re right, I’ll shut up, you win . . . and now I’ve shut up and you’ve won and now no-one got hurt, right? Well, there was the small matter of me, my feelings, my dreams of helping you, that personal crap . . . then the matter of the original problem I’m trying alone to solve, our comfort, human (not only human!) pain, etc., but sure, words are weapons, they hurt, no kidding.

First, I never touched you – anyone. I’ve never laid a finger on anyone.

I understand, Mike Tyson yells at you, that’s scary, abuse, even, depending you feel trapped also or something. Of course Mike should be allowed to talk and feel, like anyone, but I’m saying, I understand that a person with a history of violence shouting at you is a threat, straight up. I also understand that an unknown person shouting at you is the same threat, guy could be some Mike Tyson type, for God’s sake, LOL – sorry, Mike. I don’t think you’re like that anymore, and my whole thing is I love you, I don’t think you ever wanted to be that, I mean, that those desires were not your invention or any baby’s intention. Ever see “Five Corners?” Not many did, I don’t think. This was my reaction when I read the very first thing about Mike, by the way, his here comes Mikey article – fear and sympathy, instantly, for some reason. He’s a bit of a psycho –  a charismatic, I mean, same thing. He seemed important, immediately, somehow, a poster child for human pain.

But somehow no history of violence doesn’t matter. I’m suffering, and no-one is getting physical on me, either, so I can’t argue the point, words hurt, ideas hurt. It hurts, what I’m thinking. It would be nicer of me to just shut up. That would have been easier in a different age, when getting along socially meant getting along socially with a world that wasn’t turning Nazi on me,  though. Empathy, getting along socially is bad news, really bad stuff. Tell everyone they’re all supposed to agree about things and then inject some evil ideas and boom – Nineteen Eighty-Four.

I love you. Your empathy is evil walking the streets, in charge.

No, shut up! Not today! Don’t you know all they respond to is compassion, agreement? I thought you loved them!

I sympathize. That’s my love. Empathy is just conformity. If you loved me, you wouldn’t depend on the feeling to take you, to just happen, you’d try to feel me, not override any possibility for variation with some empathic-sounding projection of some feeling we’re all supposed to have. That’s what you get, I love you, but you’re wrong. I love you, but your feelings are all messed up.

Come on. You know it’s not really your true friends who agree with you all the time, don’t you? You know a friend that doesn’t ever try to teach you anything probably isn’t working for your interests? Our “friends’” empathy is what sends our children off to die for Big Oil. Is that how friends treat one another?

It’s because I love you that I call you a stupid violent ape and beg you to change your ways, because if you do, then maybe your son doesn’t have to go off to the middle east and not come back or come back as a living, massively suffering poster for why you never should have let him go. Whereas your “friends” agree with you about those worthless bastards in the middle east and your kid can go to literal Hell, thank you for your service. I love you. You need new friends, oh my God.

 

Ma, get my friends outta here

Tell ‘em, take their tools of war

This battle’s end is growing near

And I feel I’m knockin’ on Heaven’s door

 

See, here’s the thing . . . I love you. I’m not trying to hurt you. I guess it looks the same, maybe that’s all there ever has been, so of course that’s what it’s going to be again. But it’s not. It’s old, I mean, it’s Hank Williams, but it’s new. I know, you probably don’t believe that either, but it is.

It’s love, and it’s . . . new.

 

Jeff

Sept. 23rd., 2019

Carrying on . . .

I’m not trying to hurt you. I’ve never laid a finger on anyone that way, and here’s the thing – I never will, I’m never ever going to. I’m frustrated that doesn’t matter, I want to ask, in a hundred years when I am safely dead, gone, and forgotten – then will you stop being too afraid of me to listen to me?

Then, when it’s a matter of record, this man never touched anyone in a violent way, then will someone consider the possibility that I want to help the world and not hurt it? Frustrated, and that’s my cry from my roof, but I just sort of woke up to a cold universe about it.

We don’t do that.

We don’t have the capability to react to non-violence. Why would we?

That isn’t exactly survival critical, is it?

I am sort of blown away at the moment, it’s like that when you realize what you’ve had completely backwards all your life, I’m . . . bloody Hell, really? Me?

Speechless. Somewhere in the dark night of my soul I can a hear a soft, lonely and terrifying echo . . .

I think it’s Bill Shatner, saying, “ . . . then what?”

 

Jeff

September 25th., 2019

Human Contact

I have a bad attitude, sure. There’s the waiver, and if you think that means I must be wrong, then move along, we’re not going to be able to actually communicate across that gulf. We live in different worlds.

You know I basically think it about those of you who stay, too. Sorry, Canadian “Aloha,” or “Shalom.” I am sorry, my sorry butt apologizes. If it helps, this one’s about me falling for positive nonsense too, most of the time. And I’m at the computer because I’m ready to fight back, I think I’ve got an answer, and yes, it’s sort of automatic at this point, much of this I don’t have to sit down and work through like arithmetic, it’s compulsive and these answers grab me when I’m pouring a cup of tea, or planning something else and they send me here in a hurry, like some sort of textual IBS.

(But then I get lost in the usual ten years and first page of preamble and often forget the insight and it’s back again next week. I don’t want to work myself out of a job, I guess.)

It’s all the same principle, but I seem to believe it and I’m engaged in an ongoing audit of what I used to think, what you all apparently think now, and this Murphy’s Law of Nature/Antisocialization Theory is slowly replacing everything it touches, like evolution audited and continues to audit the life sciences.

The pressure for positivity is constant.

I’ve always felt it, always sort of railed against it – but don’t listen to me, I have “depression.” It used to mean sad for no reason, pathological, and I railed against it then. These days it means sad when you have to go to work, no matter what the reason. Imagine how much I like that sort of talk now. OK, on with it, sort of.

You know, my whole focus, my “theory,” basically to talk about stuff everyone knows and no-one considers worth talking about, it’s all about us messing with one another, about us hurting one another, reinforcing one another’s anger and madness, basically being bad influences upon each other, much of it done for reasons, good, inescapable reasons, if you believe what humans say on the subject, and Good Lord, see paragraph one.

When I first cracked Trivers’ book on deception and self deception, I was beyond excited, I was scared, not kidding. My inner life is my life, yours isn’t? How are you supposed to think about self-deception, like with your own brain? Learning about learning, thinking about thinking, that’s taking the editor to you operating code, isn’t it? OK, it isn’t, or maybe not for everyone, but it sounded like it. When he opened with his self-effacing story about his own thieving left hand apparently operating autonomously, that didn’t exactly put me at ease. I almost went to “what kind of monster thinks he can write this book?”

But mostly I just thought how is it possible?

I didn’t assume he’d miss it and it would suck. I suppose it could be “positivity,” and I try to shoot my own sacred cows if I see them, but the idea that Bob is smarter than me is one such cow I have not yet considered shooting, that and death. Taxes, well that’s a political lie. Of course some folks escape taxes.

Well, he didn’t completely turn his whole brain inside out, not permanently, or mine either, thank goodness. It was the Nurture Assumption did that! And for opposite reasons. That one was a right-wing lie, a status quo tome marketed as a revolution. From my POV now, it exposed a deep human truth as a foundationless lie we all live with for no apparent reason. It gave me my insight though, inspiringly offensive, that was! I loved her voice, she’s a real pro writer, and it doesn’t seem malicious – just misguided. Her guide, on the other hand, he seems to not mind being associated with the wrong sorts of people.

The Folly of Fools, on the other hand, is a level up in one’s understanding, a maturation all around.

Nothing to fear but fear itself! It’s all just electrons moving around in the end, same as the computer, right? Happiness is resilience, I do better when I think I’m learning, even if it’s nasty old nature stuff.

Man, I wasn’t kidding! What was today’s topic again?

(Scrolling up . . . ah yes! That’s why the hurry. Sometimes if I pick a meaningful title and get it down fast, that helps.)

Human contact, social connections – first, on a personal note, that’s YOU for me. YOU could interact a little, just saying. I don’t think it’s a coincidence I am left alone to my thoughts and feelings so utterly and then when I try to talk, I call you all dumb, violent apes. Chicken or egg deal, but I wasn’t always alone, I’ve been thoroughly dumped, so I’m going with “egg.”(I do anyway in that riddle, for real. Evolution means that the first chicken egg did indeed not issue from a chicken, but from some ancestor because there weren’t always chickens because there wasn’t always everything just as God made it, world without beginning or end. Because that. Riddles show your paradigm to be past its usefulness.) OK, to business, you trapped and used and wishing for better dumb, violent apes with dreams!

Any better? I said I was sorry.

You need your human contact, everyone says it, and frankly, we are not such an agreeable species that consensuses like these should not be viewed with the utmost cynicism. Everybody always says things that are clearly true all day long, right, because we all somehow intuit that only we can see this obvious truth? Truths that everyone knows and agree with always require constant vocalization and support, right? Call me paranoid; it doesn’t matter. I know you’re one of them, ha.

To repeat, my whole idea is that humans spend a whole lot of time bashing each other into line and brutalizing one another’s feelings in endless cycles of abuse that add up to any other nation would be insane to invade us, because we are wild, crazy, uncontrollable armed  . . . I am trying not to swear. Have I already? No? Good for me! Armed . . . good ol’ boys, then, I guess. This is my narrative, my EP, which I set against the world of illusion story about how this abusive control of one another has made us good, kind, cooperative, empathetic – sorry to repeat a recent blog, but, this sure is a lovely list of words, isn’t it?

This, from punishment, which, I am going to swear, I am going to scream, which shut up and don’t argue, I’m sorry, this is why no-one engages, I know, good, civilized punishment and discipline are composed mostly of abuse, it’s the obvious major component. You’ve told me a million times, everyone always, and again messaging you can never escape must be true, right, but tell me how, tell me why that’s supposed to be “good” for you?

So you’re lying about even believing that the bad, illegal stuff is actually “bad” for you with this line of reasoning? This one hundred percent pure alcohol is poison, but this ninety present stuff will restore your health? I’m saying, if you drink the ninety percent stuff, you don’t really believe it’s good for you. If you drink the ninety percent stuff, you know every morning that the truth is the other way around.

OK, I have been beating that drum forever now, websites have been born and died while I screamed that same, seems to me simple bit of logic. Humour me for a moment, assume it’s true yourself, just a little thought experiment:

If it’s true, how is this other meme true, we all need social connections, we die without them? Isn’t it just saying again, what humans have for you, that’s good for you, like no matter what the . . oops, no matter what that may be? Again, blanket statements everyone is compelled to make at one another all day long, I don’t think Bob spent a lot of time on that, but that’s what I got out of it – of course those must be true!

I was in a very bad way when I first began my new life alone, and I bought in, I had had a breakdown, I was alone for the first time, I was terrified, and Facebook over that first Christmas was torture. Remember folks, while you’re celebrating, to reach out to those less fortunate, some folks in your life are having a hard time, people need people, it’s hormones, science . . .

I’ve been dumped, I’m alone and what am I doing, that’s dangerous, you fool! You need those connections, you are at risk!

I bought in, scared me more, it’s science, right? Who am I to argue?

Well, therein lies another joke, another upside-down thing in the world: who is this particular would be writer if I don’t? That’s pretty much my gender and my identity. Sorry. You’re reading me online, so you know. Some things can’t be unseen. Even unseen things, oddly enough.

I know, complain about Facebook, fine, but that’s actual science, from folks I am still impressed by, too, Trivers, Sapolsky. Not to forget Alice Miller and psychology either, I know, so there is truth, we need the eggs. All I’m saying is that that truth will have to coexist with AST, with me and Murphy’s Law of Nature. It’s true, sure it’s true – but it’s a social lie that it carries along with it that it’s the only thing that’s true.

And that is clearly not the case.

The ubiquity of the message, that everyone gives it, that it leaves no room for anything else . . . a fourth time, these are not the hallmarks of veracity.

If it were even the majority truth, that human contact is good for you, then we would get more and more passive with population pressure, wouldn’t we? Your kid would slowly get nicer at school and if human contact makes us better, then what monsters were we when we were born to have been molded and nurtured by all this healthy contact for twenty years and turn out as a standard, no frills, twenty-year-old man?

Do I need to spell that out?

All that nice psychology and science on Facebook (and everywhere else, of course) supports the warrior society status quo, of course, if you know me, of course that’s what’s going on, what the ladies call “the patriarchy,” and honestly, that’s close enough for me, it’s a world closer than the stupid origin story the boys tell about war and civilization. It hasn’t been easy for me to separate this patriarchy talk, to stop defending my own penis, but this is the truth, we are close, Ladies, two orders of magnitude closer to one another than I am to the boys in this conversation. I would hand you the world right now; it couldn’t hurt. Hoit, I mean. Sorry, Bugs, I don’t mean to steal without citation.

Basically, this society’s consensus when you’re alone is you need to get up and back into the battle, some battle. That’s why a testosterone supplement gets as much respect as therapy. And maybe it’s all true, God forbid, but I’m too dumb to be afraid to ask the question: what if that’s true, what if I need the contact, the oxytocin or whatever and if I have to join the war, well, soldiers really do make big, important social connections, right, brothers in arms? It’s possible that is also a description of what Facebook and Sapolsky are telling us, isn’t it?

(Gawd, he must be a sad one. He’s been thirty years ahead of me on this, he’s been here forever, poor bastard, to put it in Hunter S. Thompson terms.)

Well, that’s the part of the story I wanted to make sure you don’t escape anyway. We will be, I’m tired of this meme, subject to our unconscious biology forever if we can only think that single step ahead, like “you need social connections,” like, your social connections are problematic.

We have to grow up and start to ask, sure human contact, but to what end?

What is it they do when they get together?

OK, that was almost an ending, but I should try to make a case, maybe a personal one. I reacted badly, I admit it, and honestly, I did so, almost consciously, or at least I’m believing my own “I meant to do that” story now. I reacted badly to my ousting and divorce, and I can’t imagine how I wouldn’t have chosen the same again if I could have again. It was high time for me to react, period, somehow, to something, and maybe a good reaction wouldn’t have satisfied.

This has felt like trauma happening to me from external sources, but I know I’m the one making the following choices, even if I still think there weren’t other options: once I lost my ladies, I shed everyone else too, and I have failed to make new friends, some online folks being the exceptions. But at least some I cannot regret.

One fellow was a real bro type, a Trumpie type, a soldier. I parted with him over Roy Moore and him calling Moore’s accusers “fake.” This fellow’s best friend half his life was exactly a Roy Moore type, and everyone knew it, forever. Must be fake, right?

One was a cocaine addict who would call having fronted to get high and needed money to keep him out of the harbour. Those were my last two male friends within a thousand miles, Trumpie misogynist and an addict with enforcers in tow – do I need those connections? What if I’m a believer, I think I need connections, and that’s all that’s available?

Then Facebook and science and the whole world is advising me, it’s a matter of life and death!

To be fair, none of them say “even when they’re this bad,” but they don’t not say it either. Aren’t we all sinners, deserve a chance and need the connections – even guys with guy problems like that? That’s the message and it works for the never-ending warrior society. I felt the pressure.

But I’m feeling much better now, ha.

 

Jeff,

Sept. 21st., 2019

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