Sweet Lovely Death

Content Warning:  Suicide.  Death stuff.  But I end on a positive note, I swear.

“Sweet lovely Death, I’m just waiting for your breath.  Come sweet Death, one last caress.”  That’s Glenn Danzig lyrics in the Misfits song “Last Caress” – at least, it’s every lyric that isn’t an admission to terrible crimes committed in pursuit of a violent end.  I’m no music expert, but there’s something exultant in the sound, the way it’s sung, that just makes me want to sing.  Is it in a major chord, contrasting with the descending punk rock ghost vocal style?  Some scholar could easily explain it, I’m sure.

But besides the music, there’s the message.  Singing of death as a thing of desire, like the central theme of Grave Pleasures / Beastmilk‘s oeuvre.  “Death is beautiful, death is the meaning of life.”  What do I find appealing in this?  I suspect it’s the blasphemy.

Blasphemy is one of my earliest passions.  Christianity got my motherfucken goat at a very young age, and as soon as I discovered hollywood-flavored satanisms at a later age (early double digits, and think it was the Tom Hanks Dragnet movie), I fell in love with it.  To insult god and jesus, this is my highest sacrament.  See that?  I just heresied in my blasphemy.  Fantastic.

The appeal there is complex and multi-layered.  There’s iconoclasm – the joy of hating on something other people love, which is the primary appeal of Neil Cicieraga hits like Baby.  There’s taboo – violating boundaries that others have set as “sacred.”  But those are all negative and I don’t think my joy in blasphemy comes from a purely negative place.  There’s something positive in staking out a place for godlessness in the oppressive atmosphere created by ameriKKKan xtianity.  Blasphemy is absolutely as important to me as prayer is to jeezis people.  I need it.

Back to the thesis, blasphemy is to xtianity as death is to life.  There’s an obvious difference between jeezyism and life itself.  One has intrinsic value and desirability, the other is an abject waste.  So why would it feel pleasing to blaspheme against something that is actually good?  Life has its downsides and they are pretty egregious.  Danzig has another song from his solo career called “When I’m Tired of Being Alive.”  That’s a thing that can happen.  Everybody who is born will experience pain, suffering, disability, and a bitter end.  Better to have never been born in the first place, for many of us.

But antinatalism – the rejection of procreation – can rouse jumped-up fearful reactions, even from otherwise reasonable people.  It’s an ethically perfect proposition – create no humans, create no human suffering – but logic flies out the window when people are confronted with it.  For the record, I don’t agree with antinatalism, because I don’t think logic should dictate everything we do, and I have a fanciful dream of the human species living and loving its way into some kind of golden future (after the millennia of unimaginable horror capitalism has guaranteed to us).  But I can’t argue against its logic, and I understand that its most heartfelt proponents are people who have experienced far worse things than I have in life.

People have a similar reaction when somebody commits suicide.  The rejection of the gift of life is personally terrifying.  Some react with anger.  I think that was part of my own process when Kurt Cobain did himself in.  I was young.  Suicide is sad, but to take it as a personal offense, or some kind of harrowing existential experience for yourself as a bystander?  It’s irrational nonsense.  It’s letting the fear of death make a fool of you.

Unlike crustyannity, life has great self-evident value, to the point one could argue it is truly sacred.  When something is sacred, part of me just wants to thumb my nose at it.  I’m not suicidal.  I love being alive.  But in a moment of embarrassment or humiliation, you may catch me saying “kill me fam” or similar things.  In times of prolonged stress and difficulty, I may long for some kind of annihilation of the self, perhaps through drugs, or just getting knocked into a coma.  But those are passing fancies, nothing in the face of my lust for life.  Still, there’s something in it.  A grain of a death urge.

There is a black hole at the center of the galaxy.  There is a spinning cosmic abyss promising the end of everything, dragging us with invisible arms thousands of light years long.  Step inside, lose all thought and all pain.  It is inarguably cool, like a skeleton on a motorcycle with a sword in its teeth.  Die.  It’s fun and easy.

When you see people defending morbid interests, like true crime buffs, they sometimes invoke another idea – that looking upon death unvarnished can give you a greater appreciation for life.  Maybe it’s something like that.  Howling at the moon.  I don’t know, but it does feel good.

At least until I’m looking at the real thing.  I’m not one of those murderpedia/faces of death -type motherfuckers, or even a true crime bitch, because this shit only works at the level of the aesthetic.  I’m an enemy of death in any way I can be, at the end of the day.  It’s rather impertinent of me – death will ultimately take away everything that ever bothered me about life, and I should be more grateful.  But I’m not.

I’ve been watching that Superman & Lois Lane TV show, and this season is about Lois Lane having cancer.  Perhaps because I’m watching it in the middle of the night when my emotional defenses are worn down, I have gotten close to tears a few times.  Why?  Last year I had stage one colon cancer.  Picked up several new abdominal scars, but never had to do chemo.  Just had the followup colonoscopy and no new polyps.  Fantastic.  But I got to look at that motorcycle skeleton, and the real thing was not so fun.

Like Michael Hutchence said in New Sensation, “there’s nothing better we can do, than live forever.”  Live forever, kids.  And in the meantime, if you wanna howl in a graveyard at midnight from time to time, I won’t tell.

Affirmative Action

Ah, affirmative action.  I’d forgotten about it.  It just doesn’t come up much in my life.  There are some institutions private and public with policies of inclusion that set a minimum amount of hiring or selection of women or people of color, or other traditionally oppressed or marginalized peoples.  It’s a classique bogeyman of racists, to the extent you can hear it called “affirmative blaction” (get it?) by the wrong uncles.

Anyway, somebody remembered it exists and acquired a raft of assholes to sign on a statement against it, posing as an academic paper.  The beef, as usual, is that there may be talented cishetwhitebros who are being excluded from these institutions and privileges because a lower-scoring person who met certain demographic requirements was forced into place by critical race theory jewish social marxists or whatever they’re called.

It’s hardly worth arguing about, but it occurred to me, in looking at this trash fire, that I would rather have a person with a significant cognitive impairment in charge of a scientific endeavor than any of the people who signed to that paper – if the cognitively impaired person was capable of honest inquiry, of accounting for their own biases in their work.  Why is that such a rare quality in this world?  At least among those privileged to be holding the bullhorn.

Very tiring.  I take a nap now.

Phantom Birding

Heard about the possible ivory-billed woodpecker trailcam footage?  It’s the best hope anyone’s had in a long time of showing the extinct bird to have some kind of continued existence.  Or is it?  My money’s on fuck no, rufk?  This bird is the USA’s thylacine – a thing of dreams whose sad reality is well understood by the knowledgeable.

But there are ways of confirming this, besides repeated sightings or capturing a specimen.  Ivory-billed are not very closely related to pileated woodpeckers, despite appearances.  They are likely another case of the recently documented phenomenon of look-alike woodpeckers around the world.  And without a close relative in the neighborhood, some kind of trace environmental DNA (eDNA) could be a smoking gun.

In my own neck of the world, I am not interested in hunting ghosts, but I am discovering the magic of invisible birdies.  There’s a birding app that identifies bird calls.  Just recently started using it, and discovered there at least several species living in my neighborhood that I’ve never seen, or only glimpsed long ago.  If I practiced my ear enough, I could experience them all the time – at least as long as they’re singing.

So if you live in my suburb, about halfway between Seattle and Tacoma, you would see crows, seagulls, pigeons, starlings, and dark-eyed juncos every day.  Very often you’ll see chickadees, robins, mallards, and canada geese – which may include cackling geese, I’m ill-practiced at telling the difference.  Less often you’ll see great blue-herons, coots, steller’s jays, white-crowned sparrows, spotted towhees, northern flickers, red-breasted nuthatches, bushtits, red-winged blackbirds, red-tailed hawks, house finches (&/or purple finches, I can’t tell the diff), or – downtown – house sparrows.  Less often still, goldfinches, about four species of woodpecker, a few types of swallows and swifts, cedar waxwings, killdeer, and a few species of owls, bald eagles, ospreys, and cormorants.  I have very rarely seen a western tanager or belted kingfisher.

But apparently golden-crowned kinglets are still doing well for themselves.  The app got their number.  I haven’t seen one in several years, but there are little flocks hiding in the trees.  A type of tree-trunk-crawling weirdo called the brown creeper is also getting along very well, in areas of thicker forest.  Bewick’s wrens are everywhere, marsh wrens in any given stretch of wetland.  There’s a bird so common in town it must have numbers to rival the much more visible guys – song sparrows are making noise everywhere.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen one.

More surprising to me are the black-headed grosbeaks.  Never seen anything like them, and apparently, they’re common here, especially where there are more trees.  Also the warblers.  Black-throated gray warblers and wilson’s warblers are in any forested spot, usually completely unnoticed by me.  This is where I stop recounting boring lists of birds and start recounting my sins.

You’re not supposed to play bird songs on your phone to summon birds.  This is a thing you can do, but it’s rude to the birds, and can waste their precious survival resources.  I played back the song of wilson’s warbler just to hear it, and one came out of the forest to find out who the fuck I am.  Sorry little bro, I am not a wilson’s warbler.  But it was so cute I’m sorely tempted to do this again.

But I won’t.  Pinky swear.

ChatGPT, Creativity, and The Boring

I know a guy who uses AI tools to aid his imagination.  For example, he’ll think of a subject to put into a story and then discuss it at length with the chat bot, see if any other cool ideas emerge from that discussion.  I gave this a try with a novel I’d begun a few years ago but never finished.  I had some broad notions but hadn’t drilled down the specifics for a lot of the story, and didn’t remember what the hell some of the notes in my outline were talking about.

Anyway, I mention a character and a few details, then asked ChatGPT to come up with some more information about them, and it was always the most bland, obvious, and generic ideas possible.  A modern person with life-themed magic working as a medical professional, a death-themed magic user living in a cemetery.  Need a little pathos in backstory?  Mourning loss of a spouse.  Ooh.  I’m not using it the same way as my home boy who was having more success.  This probably isn’t the best use for it, but it’s kinda funny to see.  Not only is the bot bland and inoffensive with its language choices in normal discourse, the ideas it generates are also as safe and tap water as possible.

Like others have said, any writer that’s even a little offbeat, a little wacky, is not about to be threatened by bots.  It might be interesting to behold what the first gen of formulaic genre fiction bots shit out.  Or will it?  The very way in which this technology works might be incompatible with making interesting happen.  The funny thing is that the less creative writers out there are very much the same.

So many people on the internet are yakking with so little individuality that they may as well be bots, and sprinkled among them are indeed a lot of bots.  Aside from the deceptive aspect of skewing perception of how many people hold this or that belief, of spreading advertising or propaganda, does it really matter whether or not those people are bots?

My boyfriend was writing a book where the coterie of villains were culled from archetypes of internet creeps – various ‘gaters, incels, terfs, nazis, etc.  In his research he attempted to understand each of these types of shitlords as human beings, and the one he could never get a handle on was incels.  They speak in memes and catchphrases so much that – in addition to repeating each other endlessly – it was impossible to detect a core personality or reasoning.  They dehumanized themselves before we even had a chance to do the same.

Bots, boring people, they’re indistinguishable from each other, and I don’t think that really matters.  We have to moderate both categories in much the same ways.  This is our lives now, in the cyberpunk dystopia.

Another Bad Creation

Look upon my works ye donors and despair, for reaching the stretch goal on this fundraiser was rather like losing a bet…

EDIT to add:  The lyrics so you can sing along, or see where I fucked up, or see where I used the word you paid for:

I’m not even trans so ~ Don’t genocide me bro
Ever since it was the ’80s ~ I wanted to be one of those rap ladies
Roxanne Shante, The Lady of Rage ~ Or Igloo Australia up on my white page
I need an umbilical Hernia sewed up ~ Time to get lyrical, My people showed up
I offered to rhyme one Word per donation ~ But some don’t care for My rap oration
Cutty Snark and Monkat Offered well wishes ~ Which implies my rap Can sleep with the fishes
Meanwhile Trixie Gave in her quiet way ~ And left not a single word For me to rhymesay
At least other donors gave Words to make use of ~ So now I commence against English abusove
I’m not even trans so ~ Don’t genocide me bro
Ever since it was the ’80s ~ I wanted to be one of those rap ladies
Rhyming like this re-Quires some strategy ~ You can play it safe and Avoid a tragedy
But then my bro asked for Salpingooophrectomy ~ That son of a bltch thinks That shlt will get to me
Someone asked me To make a rhyme for orange ~ This they tasked me To make it oh so cringe
Shlt could make my Brains tapioca ~ Ricky my Martins ’til This vida goes loca
I rap so wack I Say whoopsadaisy ~ So I’ll just slack then Be ghost like Swayze

Cat-egory Errors Explained?

You may recall I have occasionally treated my boyfriend like a cat, in moments of unconscious error.  Today I almost put cat food on my own plate.  Perhaps, rather than seeing my boyfriend as a simple animal, I see all humans as socially interchangeable with beasts – myself included.

OK, that doesn’t explain why, but at least it looks less like I’m demoting my lovin’ man to domestic creachur status.

Corvide continues.  Paxlovid NyQuil and DayQuil are surely helping.  Science suggests the vaxxing helped, and as bad as it’s been I have to imagine I’d be dead as fried chicken if not for that.  Still, no alternate universe view of me being foolish enough to antivax for comparison, so I admit room for error.

I spilled pop on my computer so this was made on a phone, slowly and painfully.  I won’t post much til I get that resolved.  Also not answering comments much, but thanks for the support, really.

See y’all later!

The Covid has Landed

Diarrhea starting last Thursday, sore throat Sunday, cough starting today at around five AM.  My workplace has been making us come in one day a week and I forgot my N95 at home for that one lousy day last week.  I held my hand over my mouth until I could double-mask with the freebies they have on the bus, switched to an N95 at work.  The complimentary ones are a defective batch which some geniuses stapled so the straps have to go around your entire head instead of the ear.  I had to modify the straps with scissors to make it fit.

Or maybe I got it from the person my boyfriend’s mom works with, who came in to work with a cough last week.  Who can say?  All I know is this – I haven’t coughed in years now, and since I started coughing again, that shit is mightily unpleasant.  I will never ever be without an N95 in public again.  I also have to reschedule my surgery and other procedures, but the donations will still help – I’ll have to take off the same amount of time whenever I get these things done.  Thanks to those who contributed.

Covid Inbound

Stretch goal reached!
Look for my rap video, most likely before the end of the month.


Somebody in my household just blew hot for the Creepin Crud.  The Corvide.  The 2019 Gift That Keeps on Giving.

There are three of us.  One is fortyish and too disabled to have a day job, one is 65 and  works in an office five days a week, and there’s me in the middle at forty-six, working in a mostly empty office one day a week and telecommuting another three.  Our resident senior citizen, unfortunately, had the largest exposure, works with covidiots plague rats (forgot my policy), and brought that stuff right home to us, breathing in our grits relentlessly until the hot test less than a half hour ago.

So we’re pretty much gonna get it, and I’m probably going to have to reschedule the procedures I have scheduled for the 25th and 27th of this month.  Vexatious.  Tempted to be pretty fucken mad at our senior citizen because she is a lot less conscious about keeping her mask on than we are, but she can’t help being a dingus, and she does mask more than most people in the USA right now.

I’m hella PO’d tho.  As ever, motherfuck the United SnaKKKes for treating the pandemic as a chance to practice capitalist medicine on the rest of the (more) civilized world, squatting over the medicines like dragons on gold, guaranteeing this will go on forever and ever.  I never stopped masking.  I surely never will.  But will that keep me from getting covid?

Fucking of course not.  Still worth it to lower viral load and minimize long-term symptoms, but yet another reminder you can do everything in the world to take care of yourself and your people and still get taken the fuck out by the scumbaggery of others.

WLW Rep and the Triple Six Mafia

I don’t read current science fiction & fantasy / SFF books, didn’t read much of ’em back in my day either.  But I am around some amateur authors inspired by and working in that genre, and sometimes for yuks I watch video essays about stuff I’m not actually interested in.  So I found out about these books by Piper CJ pitched with bi representation, that – aside from their other issues –  are just utterly failing to make the lady love happen.  Those links go to long video essays so skip ’em if you don’t have the time.  The point is that very hetero’d-out scenarios get the word count and lady love is some abstract distant thing that is there in theme but almost never on the page.

And with the young authors I know that try to make women-loving-women / WLW content in their own stories, be it bi or les, they often seem reticent or shy or perhaps just asexual about it.  That’s valid, but bi women and lesbians should get to have stories where the ladies are allowed to kiss more than once per five hundred pages, if that’s something they’re into.

Most of this music video by Triple Six Mafia is just bros posing in the cloughb, but there are a few bits with ladies touching each other affectionately.  Unlike much lesbian porn made for men, they don’t look at the camera in the middle of their scenes, to tell you this is for the benefit of men.  They’re just, hey, let’s look at each other with longing, let’s caress, and let’s do this weird drug out of baby bottles.  In so doing, this video has more affection between ladies than some entire books sold on the back of that premise.

This got me thinking about the gender-reversed scenario.  What if “fujoshis” (weird geek girls horny on the concept of gay dudes) went mainstream and made rap like this.  You’d see stocky women in polo shirts and khakis acting tough while gentle-eyed mans get all touchy-feely in slow motion.  I wonder if anybody has made that music video yet.

EDIT TO ADD:  Reminder, still doing my fundraiser up through April 21st (stopping early if I reach stretch goal ahead of then).  Make at least a three dollar donation and I’ll rhyme a word of your choice in a rap.  While I appreciate the contributions of people who have given generously,-I’d like to see more and smaller donations.  So far I only have four words to rhyme.  If I don’t make the goal, this rap will remain a text poem.  If I reach $500 I will record myself rapping.  If I reach $600 I will do a short video.  Help cover the wages I’ll be losing from this medical situation, thanks! –goal met, fundraiser closed.