Fuccing Breakthru Cases

I have an online acquaintance I don’t know very well.  She’s been bitching about shitty family risking covid constantly – including a lady whose children have no father because of it.  My acquaintance got vaccinated and… currently has covid, surely from one of those family members.  Meeting at my workplace a week ago.  Guy says “I know three people fully vaxxed still that got covid,” boss says, “I keep hearing that at these meetings.”

Any luck and my acquaintance won’t so much as lose her sense of taste, though she’s about as old as me and it makes her more likely than the babes to come off of this scathed.  I told her I wouldn’t blame her for pistolwhipping a family member’s teeth out.  Motherfuckers got to know their limitations.

How are your vaxxed up people doing?

Pondering the Future of Life


It’s possible that humans, at the far end of this hellride (maybe a hundred years off), will have eradicated all life on this planet except the most intense extremophile bacteria and archaea.  I think even from where we stand now, assured of calamitous devastation, surfing the edge of an extinction event in progress, that does not seem likely.  The way that would happen is if the completely runaway global warming that is already too late to stop snowballs into temperatures that rival the Hadean Eon.  I don’t know how possible that is.

But it is surely probable for this heat to become globally devastating in a way we’ve never seen before.  It’s a pretty safe bet that all large mammals will go extinct outside of enclosed environments, and 90% of what else is living beyond the artificial spaces will go extinct as well.  That’s enough to make a nature lover miserably sad and some of us fit to suicide bomb a petrol exec or politician.  Looking forward to more of that happening, because this stuff does have me miserably sad, and I’d love to see the fuckers eat shit and die.  Zero qualifications regrets or backtracking on those words.  If you’re petrol or a political enabler, please, set yourself on fire on live TV for me.

But this post is about none of that.  I am inclined in this random moment to think about the life that will survive global warming.  Because unless we successfully turn Earth into Venus, this warmed world will settle into some kind of equilibrium eventually.  Birds and reptiles are much better at surviving heat compared to mammals, and despite the insect apocalypse going on at the moment?  You know those lil bastards will bounce back.  Again, huge numbers of species will be gone forever, but those that remain?  Will ultimately repopulate to exploit the niches that remain.

I know less about plants.  Obviously if they don’t make it through, the rest of life is in a bad way.  Goodbye to all tetrapod life if that happens, probably – no lizards no birds no rats.  But I suspect there are plants that will do well enough, even in a world that reaches a hundred sixty in the summer, choking in fire every year until the last scrap of tinder is mingled in deserts of ash.  The poles will not be quite that hardcore, some cool weeds will probably stick around and wait for a chance to spring back.  That will give a foothold for some insects and some kind of tetrapods.

If humans are lucky in all that, we’ll be living in tightly controlled environments with smaller populations.  Maybe underground.  We’ll be living off of vat-farmed algae and recycled garbage.  But what I’m most curious about in this moment of detachment is this – what animals will be the best survivors?  Who will be the lizards and bugs and weirdos that scrap back, diversify and repopulate the Earth?  If we’re lucky enough to still have dinosaurs, who will they be?  Ducks and chickens pulled off this feat once before, I bet they could do it again.

For the comments, I’d like to see people placing their bets on what animals survive this mess.  I, for one, believe that humans will be one of those animals – for good or ill.  But aside from eyebrow lice and gut flora, who will we be sharing the world with?

Eating Genesis Pi

Genesis 3:14:  And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.

Injustice that calls itself justice, hatred that calls itself love, is foundational to the abrahamic faiths.  The serpent in the garden was a cartoon villain with no motivation but the joy of evil itself, taking the text at face value, but any cursory examination of the events of the stories as written exonerates all villains save god himself.  Of course he made the serpent to love evil, made men and women to be curious, and so on.

And as abrahamic faiths are foundational to western civilization, the injustice is baked into who we are and how we do.  Poor people deserve to suffer because whatever people have or lack in life is according to his will, is “just” by divine fiat.  We must have done something wrong to deserve this.

I am put in mind of all this because today my ramen noodles smelled and tasted like cigarette ash.  Having smelled that, why did I proceed to eat them (with a lot of butter and salt added)?  I didn’t want the ramen to go to waste and I’d already added the packet by the time I smelled it.  I thought about why I’m eating cigarette ramen.

Maybe somebody rich is adulterating ramen with literal garbage just for spite.  Or maybe some poor filipino working in a ramen factory, knowing he’s gonna die in economic hell and unable to do anything else, tipped an ash tray into the flavor packets, knowing it would find decadent western mouths, and fuck those guys.  I won’t blame the worker, as shit a thing as that is to do.  I blame the global system built on exploitation, making us poor folks as cruel as what the rich have given us.

And capitalism, as much as it runs contrary to the hippy shit young jeezy preached, is a perfect piece with the justice that runs through most of the bible.  I’m a serpent, I’m gonna eat my dust all the days of my life.  Or maybe I’ll rise to the middle class, where I can eat chaff instead, and rain dust upon my lessers with a sense of righteousness.  All is as it should be on god’s earth.

EDIT to add:  I’m living on my belly as well – more crippled this week than I’ve ever been in my life from throwing my back out.  Had to miss 3 days of work.  I turn 45 in a few days, so I probably got another 45 years of this worsening to look forward to.  It’s OK tho, I’m cool.

Ending Quarantine, Bound by a Death Cult

Past a certain point in the USA, holdout businesses and agencies are going to need to end their quarantines, even in places with low vaccination rates, where it will result in contagion and death.  A certain amount of americans have chosen ignorance and the risk of death – to themselves and others – that it carries.  We’re stuck together in this country.  Most of us do not have the means to emigrate, would not be allowed into many other countries due to our national antivax rep, nor allowed to stay due to local xenophobic policies that mirror our own.

We’re stuck together and that means we’re really over a barrel.  There are some things we cannot force on other people, any more than the US could force itself on Vietnam or Afghanistan.  If fashy freaks don’t want to participate in a public health project even to save the lives of them and their own, we cannot make them.  We cannot try to protect them from themselves forever.  It’s just not feasible.

At some point, we must embrace the horrible status quo.  Sufficient numbers of people want their grandparents, parents, husband and wives, themselves offered up as a plague sacrifice to their orange god, and they can make it happen.  Just like they can make getting a simple ID practically impossible in the pursuit of vote suppression, they can make vax carding illegal, or make enforcement unfeasible.  We cannot control them, cannot control this, and some crucial public services cannot remain limited like they are now.

It’s time to reopen the government offices (yes, many are still closed right now, even in texas), wear masks all day long if we have to, get used to this reality.  Trump-style virtue-signalling won’t die until the last trumpist dies, probably around the time coral goes extinct and the US midwest is the new Sahara desert.  Many of us will be alive to see that.  Looking forward to the death of qanon-type shit, not looking forward to the time that will drive in those coffin nails.

I Hate Nature

Remember that mother’s day when I saw crows killing a baby pigeon and had to feel all creeped out about it?  Tonight was crow’s turn for pain.  Fuckin’ middle of the night going for a walk there’s a crow skipping along the ground looking all skinny.  There’s an interested cat nearby.  A great deal of a crow’s bulk is provided by its wings.  Was it skinny because it already had a wing torn off?  Or just lost a lot of feathers during some torment?  I kept walking, hurt in my heart.

I know that’s how it’s gotta be, but it would be nice to never ever see it.  For me, at least.  I know some of you are cool with doing the dirty work of making animals into food.  I respect that.  But woof.  Not for me.

The Privilege They Believe – Class Privilege

People hear the word privilege and assume it means what most of us have used it for over the previous hundred years – class privilege. Then they think, I’m not rich, and their brain shuts down. That’s fine, I’m not here to convince them. But I’d like to discuss class privilege for a minute because, like many shrieking status quo warrior jackoffs, I am lacking in class privilege – and it has genuinely caused me harm.

This is something we don’t discuss much in the USA compared to the UK, with its more formalized class distinctions. It has been said many times that we need more class awareness here and I’d say that’s true. Social justice discourse could use a little more focus on it, where it won’t derail another important issue. Indeed, a huge problem for black people in the USA is the intersection of race and class oppression. Not all black people are poor, but those that are? Intersectional problems multiply.

Because we have so little focus on class oppression, its effects are seldom laid out. That is why it’s taken me a very very long time to realize what that damage is in myself. First off, from about age ten onward this undefined despair interfered with my schooling. I reached some kind of developmental plateau at that age – maybe something to do with self awareness, or considering the future – which caused me to go from straight As to nearly straight Fs. I never graduated high school.

It was strange because I did have oodles of white, and male, and mental and physical health privilege making me feel like I’m some kind of cool genius, that I’d wake up one day and the world would recognize me and I’d get whatever I wanted. In Fight Club when Tyler Durden said we all thought we’d grow up to be rock stars or astronauts, many people found that unrelatable or absurd. Palahniuk wasn’t talking about you – he was talking about people like me.

I’d have that attitude at a conscious level, but also felt this hopelessness about escaping family strife and poverty, like it was unimaginable. So the weird grandiose expectation on one hand, despair on the other, gave me a kind of license to put off work, throw myself into escapism. I’d doodle and dream and play shoplifted RPGs all day, let school slide completely, because I felt like all I had to do is show my talent to the right person, the right moment, the right way, and opportunity would lift me out of the sewer. It was a little fiction I used to excuse myself from responsibility.

Those responsibilities included hygiene. Ever wonder why some poor people are stanky goblins? When home is a filthy mess where people alternate between sulking and screaming for most of your life, there’s a definite sense of why fucking bother. I was thoroughly disgusting for a pretty long time. Quarantine has me backsliding, unfortunately. Something to watch out for.

After school I spent my entire 20s in fast food and other chump jobs, never learned to drive, never had a car, never could afford a place of my own. I had a few sympathetic friends’ families that let me rent a basement or attic space for a few hundred a month. I was healing from the damage of poverty youth. I got into a scammy art school around thirty, racked up a student debt that makes the remaining FtB legal debt look like chump change, on the promise of getting a good-paying job in the video game or entertainment animation industries. Little did I know the amount of money those jobs pay rocketed into a black hole over the years and I was better off as a security guard by the time I graduated – still without enough money to dream of ever repaying what I owed.

How did I let myself get snowed by my alma mater when all I’d have to do to know the job promises were smoke and mirrors was to google some job listings? Because that combination of despair and grandiosity again. Of course there’s opportunities for me, I’m awesome, right? And bothering to do any work above the bare minimum in life? Too emotionally draining. I have dreams to dream. I probably sound like a huge asshole by now, haha. That is accurate enough.

All those years though, there was a much bigger aspect of my class damage I never noticed in myself. I felt like a criminal (years after I stopped doing crimes), like I don’t belong wherever the “good people” are. This KILLS me in job interviews. I fucking suuuuuuck at job interviews because in some weird way I don’t feel like I belong where the money is. I feel like a permanent member of the underclass, only allowed to have jobs on my feet, busting my hump.

What allowed me to realize this was that finally, at about the age of 43, I landed my first white collar job. It’s nothing fancy, but I work in an office (presently from home), I earn something close to the median income of my region, and I’m not falling to pieces from physical labor. But I came close to losing that opportunity, felt my face flush with stress, stuttered and flubbed for reasons I didn’t initially understand.

Now I get it. I never felt like I belonged there, in the office. I felt like I was going to get caught, get bounced at any moment, for any little thing. (If my employer was worse, I probably would have been.) I felt like I was trespassing because the building itself was too clean. Like I’m not fit to touch the hem of prosperity’s garment.

If you’ve been poor, how do you think that affected you? I’d really like to hear what people have to say about this, because I hear it so rarely. I’ll even take comments from regressive scumfuckers, if they are insightful and not full of poison. This is what you think “privilege” means, the kind of privilege you might believe exists. Talk about it.

Why that Moral Arc Idea Convinces

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” That quote popularized by MLK Jr and originated in a different form by an abolitionist preacher in the 1800s has appeal for a lot of people, not just to our sense of optimism but also to our sense of reason and observation. We see injustice spark resistance, we see how some great injustices of the past were defeated, or at least greatly diminished by long struggle. It makes sense that given enough time, all injustices will fall, right?

With more recent history we can see resurgence, re-empowerment, and expansion of old injustices, which is a really useful reality check for those naturally inclined to optimism like (believe it or not) myself. And while outside of the worst environments for these prejudices (such as being trans in the UK) it can still be easy to see the resistance and feel optimistic they will overcome again, what would that mean long-term, if anything?

I’m not going to say that this process is perfect equilibrium, with history swinging between justice and injustice in equal measure. There does seem to be some staying power in some of the successes justice has achieved. People aren’t willing to lose the freedoms they earn with blood. But the arc idea is too simple to describe how the world works. A more accurate way to look at this fight, I think, is that there is an ecosystem of ideas in which selection plays a role.

Injustice species Misogyny rex rules the land unopposed, king of ideas. But wait, opposition appears. Justice species Feminism ceratops evolves defenses so effective that M rex dies out. But a subset of M rex mutated bigger teeth that can overcome F ceratops defenses, and do so well against them that F ceratops goes extinct. But lo, there were a few survivors of F ceratops and they evolve into the next progressive resistance.

In this model, injustices in their existing forms do go extinct – the phenomenon that makes the moral arc model seem convincing – but something always seems to evolve to replace them. What replaces them isn’t always equally bad, so it is still useful to keep fighting. But without the absolute destruction of these injustices, some form of them always survives and has a chance to grow again.

And now, from my reality-checked place of diminished optimism, I feel like even if every ounce of racism misogyny homophobia transphobia ableism antisemitism islamophobia colonialism etc. were magically extirpated from the minds of our species, some new injustice would arise de novo, due to the angling of the power hungry.

The arc of the natural universe is long, but it bends toward everything going extinct in ways ranging from miserable to horrible. Humans have time and again shown ourselves collectively unable to overcome our animal nature. As much as hippies like to separate man from animals to say industrialism is unnatural, it is not. Human decimation of the biosphere is the natural result of a species becoming too fucking successful – something we’ve seen many many times before in nature. The difference between freshly evolved plants causing a mass extinction and what we’re doing now are mostly cosmetic.

My only hope is in the unnatural. Not Elon Musk pipe dreams of technology saving us. More like Gene Roddenberry pipe dreams – the idea we can somehow overcome human nature to create a lasting utopia. And where I said the difference was mostly cosmetic? There’s a fundamental difference that might offer a sliver of hope. The tool of our decimation is a social construct, and we have the power to change those within the space of a single generation sometimes – if rarely. Whether that happens or not, praise for all of the warriors for justice, whatever your part of the struggle. Power on.

A Love Life – Emotional Bookkeeping

Randomly meeting people from your past, people that you had some kind of big feelings about, there’s a tendency to see that as significant, a chance to rekindle something or make up for whatever.  That is a mistake.  It means nothing.  I’ve randomly come across people I loved several times in my life.  In a region with millions of people, up to a hundred miles afield of where you met them, it feels unlikely.

But how unlikely is it?  I only knew those people in the first place because we have lives that are similar in some way or another.  The same forces that sent me down certain paths would send them down similar.  For example, I have always been a poor child of neglect, so I never could afford a car and never learned to drive one when I was young.  A boy I knew had those things in common with me, we’ve randomly crossed paths at bus stations.  I always romanticized gothy weirdos, I ended up dating one again, and while out on those dates at some obscure gothy movies, I randomly ran into the first goth girl I crushed on.

Not all that unexpected, but it felt shocking or significant to me anyways.  And years after those moments happened, I find myself thinking about them in the middle of the night when I should be going to sleep.

These things hang in the mind – loves lost.  Romance says love is big and important, that it should never be forgotten, and programmed with that shit, I will never forget these people.  But not being able to let a love die out completely, that leads people to all sorts of terrible crimes.  It’s a failing of our sometimes hard-earned emotional maturity.  Every relationship I’ve had was bad on some level, but they taught me lessons that made the ones that follow better, until I got with my current guy fifteen years ago.  We’re good – our travails aren’t because of flaws in our relationship, just global misfortune.  So I’d like to be able to kick the others out of my heart.

I’m just going to put some thoughts into writing and see if it helps exorcise them from my head.  I’ve heard PTSD is associated with sense memory, and that turning traumatic experiences into verbal memory weakens their power.  Then again, repetition of a verbal idea can turn it into a mantra, give it a type of reality that is hard to shake.  What’s the best way to go about this?  Exorcism feels right.  I continue.

The first person I ever confessed my love to was a boy.  I was deep in the thrall of homophobia at that time, and so I assumed that my surprising uncontrolled outburst was platonic in nature.  Looking back, nuh, I’m a fucking jackass.  I recall telling that boy he was good looking more than once as well.  I’m not sure how I missed myself on that whole situation.  What’s worse is that as time went by I had two more random encounters and a phone call from him that would have been good opportunities to find out if we could be lovers.  During the first random encounter there were pretty heavy hints he was into dudes but I was still waxing homophobic.  Some time after that, the phone call was a confession of love from him, and I was feeling so remote from our childhood at that time, chasing ladies like Don Quixote, and said some bullshit about how time faded my feelings.

No, of course time didn’t fade my feelings, or I wouldn’t be writing this.  It might have felt true while I was on the phone, but from where I sit now I can’t help but think my life could have been profoundly different if I’d had my shit right in that moment.  He joined the navy after that.  The more recent time I met him, he was in functional alcoholic mode working toward cirrhosis and there were no pictures of cocks on his wall.  I can’t help but wonder if I sent him that direction.  A morbid form of self-aggrandizement, or self-awareness?  I just think about my relationship with him and it haunts me like a motherfucker.  Did I fuck up somebody’s life?  He was always a very dark person emotionally – too dark for me, we probably would have been a bad match.  But again, could I have done something about that?  It’s disturbing.

I objectified women.  On one level, there’s the obvious aspect of that – sexual commodification.  I felt like they were something to be chosen from, something to be had.  Their inner lives as humans had no emotional reality for me.  What made that hard to see was that on a rational, conscious level, I didn’t feel like that at all.  I was well aware that they are real humans with their own rights and prerogatives and such.  But in my heart I didn’t feel it, and I didn’t notice that about myself.

So there was this that goth girl I used to love.  I spent a lot of hours of my life courting her, talking to her, going in circles around her.  I heard about her interests but I didn’t partake of them, didn’t come to understand them.  Why not?  Years later while courting another goth I finally, very belatedly, got into Twin Peaks and The Cure and such.  Then it clicked.  When I was lavishing attention on that young lady, she thought I was paying real attention to her.  I thought I was too, but it was utterly superficial.

What that looks like:  I can see that she likes Twin Peaks and The Cure and Crispin Glover’s weird art shit, I can see that she has razor blades in her purse for art reasons, but this is all just details of her appearance – like her velvet coat or her patent leather shoes.  If I’d wanted to genuinely understand her mind, I’d have bothered to look into that art, see what it is she likes about it.  I thought I wanted her body and soul, but I was utterly blind to the reality of women’s souls.  Fucking bizarre, in retrospect.

So she thought I could be a close friend, when I had a huge barrier to ever achieving that, and I wanted quite badly for her to be my lover.  She couldn’t love me physically and I couldn’t *genuinely* love her mentally, so we wasted each other’s time for years.  And that was mostly my fault, my pursuit.

Much later, I saw her in movie theaters, Jan Svankmajer and Kiyoshi Kurosawa movies.  I came in with my date in a timely fashion, she had a seat saved for her by a friend and came in at the last minute.  Both times, she ended up one row in front of me and a few seats to the right.  Weird coincidence, that.  But it means nothing.  Any excuses my rational mind comes up with for reaching out to her are just sublimated vestiges of that romance that never dies, some ludicrous fantasy that there could be a relationship there, where there was never anything but bullshit in the first place.

I don’t want that.  I don’t want relationships with either of these people.  Even if I tried to be friends with them, my past would fuck that up.  I want them to be well and I want their lives to go well.  And I want myself to be well and my life to go well – and my best relationship ever to continue for the rest of my life, as it likely will.  But Romance.  You’re not allowed to forget, just like you’re not allowed to forget any given moment of embarrassment from ages three to thirty.

You Couldn’t Pay Me

Watching the debate?  Paying any attention whatsoever to the shitshow that is US politics, outside of the bare-ass minimum it takes to vote?  You couldn’t pay me to do it.  Not a fucking chance.  Not happening.  It’s all too upsetting and vile and fucked up.  But you know, maybe that’s an exaggeration.  Maybe somebody could pay me to do it.  Let me figure out how much…

I would have to quit work in order to make mental bandwidth for it, so you have to pay enough to cover my expenses for two years in case it takes a while to get rehired.  I make about $30,000 per year, so $60,000 is the price floor.  But exposing myself to this would make me less emotionally available to my family, so you gotta pick up the therapy bills for them.  Assuming two hours a night at $90 an hour from now through mid November (assuming this isn’t gonna go smooth), another $8,100.  And that’s just getting by, if I want compensation to make it feel like I came out ahead in the deal, how much will I charge to feel like it was worth it?

$100,000.  Anybody want me to cover the election, or even look upon the faces of our rock ’em sock ’em wannabe lich kings?  Full payment in advance, or you get nothing.  Thank you for your understanding.

Edit to Add:  I forgot about the cost of healthcare in the US – going out of pocket for health insurance.  $400 a month for that Obamacare, $9600 more.  Assuming some medical expenses actually will come up, even with insurance I’m currently paying a few thousand a year for dental and such.  Let’s bump this up to $125,000, just for incidentals I haven’t planned for.