TBD on Ning

Hey everyone. So by now I guess you’ve all heard that the old Tough Questions and Answers group moderated by George R. has closed, and that’s too bad. I thought there were two or three threads going over there that tended to support my delusional view of the world, ha-ha! But now there is a new one opened up with the same title, moderated by Pacis Dream; you should be able to find it on the front page of the groups listing and if not just drop a note here and I’m sure someone will paste a link for it. Just don’t ask me to do it will ya? I’ve got better things to do. Ha-ha.

So yeah, there were, there were some interesting threads on that old group. Steve Macon and Mari had both made comments supporting my theory that we’ve gone from exploring the elasticity of personality to the elasticity of thought and definition surrounding what is socially acceptable behavior.

Say, I don’t suppose Steve would like to pop in and repost his description of torturing one of his co-workers at an auto dealer back in the late ‘70s . . . Steve, you out there? I promise to avoid the hyperbole this time around, it’s ok. Honest. Ha-ha. Maybe. Ha-ha! EeYeah.

Seriously, I thought it was an interesting description of behavioral changes induced using nothing more than language in an organized process of harassment and intimidation. Seriously. I’m sure some of you have seen something like it, but his description was small scale and tied the direct physiological effects in a very nice little package.

I suppose a word of caution is in order here. I mean, if you happened to have seen his description then I should probably tell you that you really don’t want to try to replicate the process that he so clearly described. Ha-ha. No, no you don’t. You do know why, don’t you? Yes? No? Because. You might be creating the next Timothy McViegh. Ha-ha. And you know that’s true, don’t cha. Yes you do.

So anyway, maybe he’ll be by and repost that description. Maybe. Not that I’m suggesting anyone should encourage him . . . ha-ha. No No. Not like THAT. Ha-ha! EeYeah.

Anyway. So yeah, most of you have heard I guess, I’m an angry white man. You’ve all heard that haven’t you? Well, it’s true. It is, it’s true. But I want you all to know right now I wasn’t always like this. Ha-ha! No, no I wasn’t. So now you are probably wondering “Well what happened?” Ha-ha! You don’t want to know. Ha-ha. No, you don’t. Because if I tell ya then someone will have to be punished, and it probably won’t be you or me, right? Ha-ha. Right. Maybe. I dunno. It’s all so ambiguous . . .

So anyway. Yeah, it’s true, I’m an angry white guy. I have my moods, you know? Ha-ha. EeYeah. MOODs. Ha-ha.

In fact I had one just the other day. Thursday. Yeah, I did. I was driving down the road, and someone came up really fast behind me. Kind of like they were afraid I might get away or something. Ha-ha. EeYeah. So yeah, I got a little rash. EeYeah I did. I hit the brake. Hard. Ha-ha. The kid behind me just missed me, going about 60. That’s not funny is it. No, I guess not. But the lane to the right was clear, and he managed to get into it before connecting with my rear bumper, so it came out alright. No harm no foul, isn’t that what they say? Ha-ha. EeYeah, I’ve heard that. So I wonder if the kid has taken up smoking yet . . .

Ha-ha. EeYeah. I wonder . . .

Anyway, if you’ve been clued in to at least some of how it all works then of course you have this expectation that I couldn’t possibly get away with that kind of behavior, could I? I mean, if you’ve been in real deep then of course you expect to hear that two minutes later my truck got totaled, right? And you know it’s only because there were way too many people watching to just let it slide, right?

Ha-ha. EeYeah. Of course. Well, see, that’s where it begins to get interesting, because that didn’t exactly happen. Ha-ha. No, it didn’t. And do you know why? Ha-ha! NO? That’s ok. I don’t either. Ha-ha! EeYeah. No I don’t. Not really.

Must be some form of denial. That’s what it is.

You know what I mean, don’t you? I mean how sometimes it seems you do something that maybe, just maybe, may have consequences - ha-ha! EeYeah, consequences . . . well, something like that . . . Here’s an example, kind of --

Have you read my poem The Tongue? The end of the poem goes like this:

Plumb the depths of madness screaming . . .

While the people all around make merry, laughing . . .
Corpses leering, lined in rows
do not intrude upon these gay undead
. . . . . . . . . for this is not allowed
and there is nothing left that one may say . . .

. . . . . . Welcome to Hell.

So I think I posted that the very day I wrote it, and I’m sure that was a Saturday, earlier this summer. I think it was later that night on the evening news, but it could have been Sunday, there was a spot about a road sign in Milton, not far from here. The sign was one of those construction signs with the lights that light up to make a cautionary statement, like “lane closed ahead” or “Construction next three miles” or something, you know. Programmable. Yeah. Well. Seems someone interacted with the sign, to make it read:

Turn Back Now Zombies Ahead

Ha-ha. EeYeah. Turn Back Now Zombies Ahead. Well.

All I can say is, welcome to my world.

So yeah, they can, when they want to, they can react fairly quickly in real time can’t they? Ha-ha. Of course they can. They. The infamous they . . . Well who are they you want to know? Well I dunno, but maybe I’ll get a camera and take a few pictures . . . Ha-ha! EeYeah.

That’s it, lets sell everyone cameras! Probably ought to put a walkman on the list too, because everyone wants a walkman today don’t they? I mean really, you just can’t go out in public these days without adequate ear protection now can you . . . ha-ha! NO you can’t. I know, I know, it really isn’t funny and you are just laughing because the whole thing makes you so dayum nervous. Well that’s the whole point, isn’t it? Ultimately, to make us all nervous, and make sure we all behave?

So that leads all of you to a question, doesn’t it. And that is: so what’s your problem? Ha-ha! I know I know. You see, it just isn’t in me. I’ve never been able to behave. Ha-ha. And you know that’s true too, don’t you. Yes it is.

So anywayz, yeah, I did my brake dance on Thursday, and they got back to me on that last night, which was Saturday now, because this is Sunday afternoon. I’ve got that right, sure. Let me just double check the calendar . . . ha-ha I’m just kidding. Honest. No, they did, they got back to me on that last night. It was kind of interesting. I dunno. Let me tell you what happened and you can tell me what you think.

You do know this is going to sound a bit crazy, right? I mean, I know it, and I’m sure by now if you’ve been following along then you know it too. And that’s why people who have played don’t really talk about it but I think we have to, and the reason is that you and I both know we are all slowly going bat shit, right? We are, we’re all slowly going bat shit and that’s true, it is, it’s true. Except maybe for the slowly part, ha-ha. EeYeah.

Well, you know, some of us are just ahead of the curve, that’s all . . . ha-ha.

Sure. So I’ll go ahead and tell you all about it, and then you will have no doubt, either I really am absolutely, certifiably insane, or just way ahead of the curve, and the beauty is that either way it should increase the probability that the fuckers will leave me alone, right? Sure. Maybe. Because lets face it, I’m not going to live this way forever. It’s true. I’m not. No, I’m not, and I’ll be looking up directions for thermite and fertilizer bombs so I can share them with you and, you know, maybe you won’t have to live this way either. Ha-ha. Maybe.

I guess before I do give you the description you will of course need to keep in mind that it’s kind of like describing a roller coaster ride, isn’t it? You can put language to it, and yet the experience itself remains elusive. I know I won’t quite do it justice and that has an unfortunate and unintended consequence, which is that it tends to downplay what precisely is wrong here. Just tuck that in the back of your mind, and maybe it’ll come up later during the test. Ha-ha. EeYeah. What, you didn’t know there will be a test later? Ha-ha. Bolt in! Ha-ha.

So lets see . . . on the way in town some kid stopped his car in traffic, put on his emergency flashers. A line formed up behind him on a four lane, I was in the second lane, and the car immediately behind the kid half pulled out into my lane. Kind of left me wondering if he was going to go or not, but, you know, nothing happened. I got by and noticed in my rear view that the kid was turning into Burger King or something, and traffic began to flow again. So, you know, I thought that was interesting. Of course had it been a Friday afternoon and not a Saturday afternoon, then all of the drivers backed up behind the kid would have felt a tremendous amount of pressure to get somewhere, wouldn’t they? Of course they would. But it was Saturday, and so that did tend to increase the odds in my favor. So, I don’t know. What do you think? Coincidence? Just a small warning? You are wondering Well who cares? right? Ha-ha. I know. Wait, just wait, there’s more . . .

Later, down on Church Street, that shopping mecca of Vermont, I heard a question phrased two different ways. Now, before you go thinking, well what’s he doing listening to other people’s conversations anyway? just let me say, I don’t like head phones. Ha-ha. No, no I don’t. And if you don’t get the joke, then just take a second and be grateful, will ya?

Ha-ha. EeYeah. I know. Not funny. Sorry. What can I say . . .

So yeah, there was, it was just a question, phrased two different ways, and the second time I heard it there were a pair of college girls talking and one said “so after all of the bad things of the past couple of weeks how do you feel?” And I didn’t say anything, but you know, what I thought was really several things at once . . .

“Couple of weeks? You really mean the last fucking decade, don’t cha?”

“What, did my brake dance somehow leave you clueless?”

And finally it made me absolutely convinced that even though they asked, the truth is, they “really don’t want to know . . .”

Ha-ha! NO, no they don’t. Not really. And the reason why is because if they did want to know they would know already and so of course they wouldn’t bother asking. Ha-ha. I mean, that’s true isn’t it? Sure.

The first time I heard the question was just a bit different, and much more interesting, I’m sure I can’t recall each detail because I didn’t make notes at the time, but it was, it was interesting, and because there was a lot to it I thought I would pass it along second even though it did, it happened first in this sequence of events.

So I sat on a bench having my coffee, and I could hear music from the bar next door. “He’s always right.” Ha-ha. Well I’m sure that’s not true, but anywayz . . . and then along came this middle aged guy with two college aged kids with him, and he said something like “fuggedaboutit. Ya wanna whine? Go ahead and whine . . .” something like that, with a distinct New York City accent. One of the kids with him had what I would call city shoes, and he wasn’t wearing socks. So you know, they aren’t college kids by the fashion statement, Ha-ha. NO, by the shirt and the shoes they must have been up here on vacation or something. Unless, I dunno, maybe they were in costume? Ha-ha! EeYeah. Could be, could be actors, who knows.

So, you know, I had to respond, not real loud, you know, but loud enough so that if he was paying attention he might get it. Maybe. I said, “well jeez, maybe I like it . . .

Ha-ha. EeYeah. I did, I said that. So after milling about a few minutes they disappeared. And there was a gang of old folks - - Ha-ha. Yeah. A gang of old folks. “He’ll be alright . . .” And they milled about and then left, and as they were leaving one said “Just walk away . . .” which is just what they were all doing, but you know, a gang of old folks? They aren’t really all that convincing, are they? Ha-ha. No, perhaps not.

There was a bit more to this little segment of guerrilla theater but I’ve gotten a bit long winded already, haven’t I? And I’m not even sure you guys are still paying attention so I probably ought to hurry this along and get to the most interesting part of the whole thing, which occurred on the drive home.

Traffic was typically light, and by that I mean more or less normal in terms of it’s over all volume, but it seemed to flow a little more smoothly than usual, and that was fine, until it stopped flowing. Ha-ha. EeYeah. It did, it stopped flowing. I came to a Y in the road, and in Vermont you can typically turn right on red – - after stopping to look of course - - but that didn’t happen in this case and so when I got to the intersection there were already four cars waiting at the light. And the light took a bit longer than usual. So, you know, I started to get a bit antsy. Ha-ha. I did, and at that point the light turned green, and everyone started to move, at about three miles an hour under the speed limit. Ha-ha. EeYeah. A few intersections later I arrived at a place known as Taft’s Corners, it’s a big intersection these days, but it wasn’t always. On the right of the intersection a patrol car had another vehicle pulled over, blue lights flashing; and at that point the radio put on a commercial. It’s one they’ve been playing a bit from time to time lately, and it goes something like this:

Yeah, Taft’s Corners tends to make us crazy on the weekends too . . .

Ha-ha. EeYeah.

So I dunno. I think it’s all just wrong. I mean, in this case it’s all kind of funny and kind of cute, and you could even say I kind of deserved it, after my brake dance on Thursday, and maybe you could even say I’m actually kind of lucky - - ha-ha. EeYeah. Maybe. Maybe you could say that. I mean, if you consider the alternatives . . . ha-ha. EeYeah.

Maybe you could say I’m lucky. Maybe. You could also make a case stipulating that I’m absolutely insane. Not only that, but potentially a danger to self and others. Sure. You could, couldn’t you? Sure you could. But can you make it stick?

So I dunno, but I plan to look up home made bombs later this week, and we’ll find out. I mean, why not? There really are only two basic alternatives, aren’t there? I think so, the first being that I’m simply right out of my head and ready for a rubber room; and the second is that, you know, some shit just ain’t right and I’m a believer.

Either way, one thing should be abundantly clear, shouldn’t it? Yeah-ya. We have a problem.

Ha-ha! Crazy! That’s what it is! Just plain Cr4zY!

© D. Winter
September 14, 2009

Views: 26

Tags: american, dissent


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Comment by ZenDog on September 16, 2009 at 12:38pm
Gary Freeman's blog: Have You Ever Been a Victim of Mobbing in the Workplace?

Comment by ZenDog on September 16, 2009 at 12:36pm
Gary Freeman has a blog on a very similar topic. It's on what he calls work place mobbing and fits the first comment by Steve Macon exactly.

What I'm writing about is the exact same thing, basically, except it's a little more involved.
Comment by caseyjo on September 16, 2009 at 12:15pm
Maybe it was longer than a year, I can't remember, but the point is clear I think.
Comment by caseyjo on September 16, 2009 at 11:24am
I had a friend who thought she couldn't breathe...It was mental, but she would get to thinking about her breathing and she would hyperventilate, and swear she needed 911 . I would try to help her, but being around and listening to her so much, I started to think about my own breathing too much. I had to back off the situation realizing how tender the mind can be. ..

OK, I just thought of a (I think it was a twilight zone, or outer limits). I cant remember exactly how it went, but I remember a man being in a dark place and a voice was telling him he gave him some kind of drink that was going to turn him into a slug. I can't remember all the methods he used to push the man over the edge, but he talked to him through a microphone and threw slimy stuff on the floor etc. etc. I think the man committed suicide, and when they went to tell him it was all a big joke , he was dead.

I remember another.....A man told another man if he would stay silent for a year he would give him lots of money, so he stayed behind a glass partition in a room where he could be watched for a whole year. At the end of the year he thought he had won, but the guy told him sorry, he lost all his money in the stock market or some such thing and the guy went insane. He had cut off his own tongue for the money...insanity came easy after spending all that time in the small room with no tongue. I think the guy was trying to silence him from telling his secret and I think he knew the guy would cut off his own tongue for the money and go quite insane when he found out there was none.
Comment by caseyjo on September 16, 2009 at 10:39am
I cant get those sites to come up, but I can get other sites on the list to come up...weird. It's OK. I think Wikipedia has something on it. I found it, but haven't had time to read it. My Dog was sick, but we got him to the vet w/ take home meds. He should be better within the week. I shall read the info later...Thanks ZenDog.
Comment by ZenDog on September 16, 2009 at 7:18am
the insanity part I mean. I offer no pretensions or judgements on class . . .
Comment by ZenDog on September 16, 2009 at 7:07am
That's my whole point, yes.
Comment by blondie 11 on September 15, 2009 at 9:28pm
This is first class insanity.
Comment by ZenDog on September 14, 2009 at 9:31pm

I didn't intend for you to have to copy/paste, and we can't edit blog comments . . . why is that?
Comment by ZenDog on September 14, 2009 at 9:30pm
You could watch the movie with Michael Douglas. You might also consider that the game as I have seen it is basically designed to undermine your belief in self and in the world around you if you don't want to cooperate. It kills people.

I'm sure you've heard of someone who went off screaming they are out to get me before killing themselves and those around them . . . they lost. You might say, they never even really got to play.

Google Marty Hopkins, Tina Davis, Nebraska, 1997

Robert "Woody" Woodward, Unitarian Church, Brattleboro, Vt

James Quarells

and you could try the ACLU




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