Let’s Backtrack: “Dragonslayer” at 40

Yes, more frivolous stuff.

The film “Dragonslayer” was released on June 26, 1981, forty years ago.  A box office failure at the time, it has gone on to be a cult classic. Its titular dragon, Vermithrax Pejorative, is considered one of the greatest dragons in film history, all done with practical effects.  The film scores highly on Rotten Tomatoes.

The movie raised eyebrows in 1981 for its partial nudity because this was a Disney co-production, alongside Paramount. It stars Peter MacNicol (Ally McBeal, Numbers) as Galen, a sorcerer’s apprentice; Caitlin Clarke, a widely regarded stage actress; and Ralph Richardson, one of the three giants of British stage theatre (along with John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier). MacNicol actually hates the movie, and doesn’t list it on his CV. But many in hollywood love the film, especially for its special effects and believable fictional medieval setting.

A review found on wikipedia says:

Dragonslayer is a compelling and often brilliant fantasy film; it is also, however, a movie which is at odds with the normal internal structure of the typical “hero myth”. It first tries hard to evoke a certain time and place and then tries just as hard to reject the necessary, and expected, limitations its particular setting and historical era impose. To put it bluntly, Dragonslayer is not content to conform to the strictures of the genre and to tell a rousing good story; it seeks, as well, to impose modern sensibilities on its medieval characters and plot—twentieth-century political, sociological, and religious sensibilities which only serve to dilute its particular strengths.

– Von Gunden, Kenneth Flights of Fancy: The Great Fantasy Films, McFarland, 1989

I disagree.  As allegory, it makes brilliant political and social commentary of today without breaking the fourth wall.  The willingness to challenge the audience and make them think without relying on tropes is a breath of fresh air.  Why should movies set in fictional lands (especially fantasy tales) follow real-life medieval history?  This was a far more interesting and better made film than most “swords and sorcery” films of the era (e.g. Conan, Krull, Clash Of The Titans).

This was one of the film’s trailers.

The full film in was uploaded (illegally) to youtube, in widescreen format:

It Never Ends: Canadian government racism, again

FACE?  Farce would be more like it, because it’s an absolute joke.  Individuals and entities like FACE do this because they were permitted to do impose their personal bigotry and racism upon Black Canadians.

Yes, permitted, because the government didn’t explicitly instruct, train, threaten, and warn them not to do it.  When people are left unsupervised without accountability, they can and will impose their own personal bigotries where they have no right to put them.


Black business owners raise concerns about government loan fund

Community members claim lack of transparency, intrusive questions and lack of government oversight

Some Black business people say a new government program meant to bolster Black entrepreneurship is hard to access, offers unclear repayment terms and asks invasive questions about applicants’ sexuality.

[. . .]

The government contract to administer the fund was awarded to the Federation of African Canadian Economics (FACE), a non-profit incorporated in late January. The newly formed organization is headquartered in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Montreal riding of Papineau and is an umbrella organization for five black community based groups.

[. . .]

Toronto-based clothing designer Julz Ossom, who also applied for funding, said he was shocked when the online application form asked him to state his sexual orientation.

“Whether you are gay, whether you are bi, heterosexual, I’m like, am I coming for money?” he said. “Because the established banks, RBC, TD, Scotia, don’t ask you these questions.”

Talent agency owner John Campbell said he was also alarmed by the question about sexual orientation. “We found many of the questions infringed upon the Canadian Human Rights Act, for example, sexual orientation and preference,” Campbell wrote in an open letter to FACE he shared with CBC News.

“The purpose of the loan was to help the community; however, the process is negatively impacting mental health.”

Privacy Died: It’s called ‘digitization’ because their fingers are into everything

The Canadian government is intent on eliminating paper currency, forcing everyone to use electronic cards without choice.  There is only one potential benefit of government issued banking cards, but only IF it’s part of the plan: the end of user fees.  Currently, people and businesses are charged fees to use electronic payments.  You have to pay money in order to pay money.

Cash is free and anonymous, unlike card payments.  Making electronic money mandatory and still charging fees is worse than the current situation.  (Never mind the vulnerabilities of an insecure, flawed and unwieldy system that almost inevitably will be hacked.)

Bank of Canada: The road to digital money

We’re looking ahead to imagine how we’ll pay for things in the future.

Do you use cash?

How often does the cashier just hand over the debit machine when you pay for your morning coffee? Some even seem surprised if you give them cash.

Last year in Canada, people used cash for only 1 in 3 transactions. That’s down from more than half just 10 years ago. And Canada’s not alone. In many countries, people use cash less often.

It’s hard to imagine this trend reversing—especially since cash isn’t an option when people shop online.

There is no privacy when your money can be tracked to every purchase.  Everything you buy, every company you do business with, everywhere you go and what time you were there will be tracked and that information stored.  And likely, collected and distributed without your consent.

Why is this a concern?  Because governments can use data mining to monitor citizens and their actions.

Protesters: People who travel and partake in protests against the G7 and other events could be tracked.  Imagine job loss due to false charges, false arrests, harassment by the RCMP.  Governments already film and photograph protesters to identify them at rallies.  Imagine being able to match purchases and locations with people already “suspected” of supporting human rights (e.g. gas stations, plane travel, restaurants, hotels, etc.).  Spooks and cops wouldn’t have to show up and mingle in crowds anymore.

False assertions and damage to reputations: Trans people buy clothes that don’t match the assigned gender at birth.  Some adults buy sex toys for private enjoyment.  Would a right wing government false equate these these people with pedophilia and enter them into criminal databases?  Of course they would.  And once you’re in such databases, you’re permanently assumed guilty even if you’re exonerated, never charged or convicted of a crime.

Predictive policing: And what about governments connecting dots that are unrelated?  Imagine a sports trainer buying cold packs or a farmer buying fertilizer, things which contain nitrates, and these people own diesel vehicles.  They could be falsely assumed to be making and ANFO bomb, especially if they’re muslim.  “Predictive policing” is an abysmal failure and a violation of human rights made even worse when it’s not “crime” cops and governments target but human rights, free speech, “other religions” and vulnerable minorities.

Collaboration with foreign governments: What if Ottawa decides to “share” information to foreign countries?  If foreign nationals temporarily within Canadian borders buying things that the other country deems “illegal” (e.g. alcohol)?  For example, South Korea will criminally charge their citizens if they test positive for marijuana, even if it was legal in the country where it was smoked.  Or what about an LGBTQIA foreigner living openly in Canada who returns home to a regime that will imprison, torture or kill them based on data they were given?



Would the Canadian government sell out people’s privacy to foreign governments?  It already does, part of the “Five Eyes” spy network.  What’s one more as part of a trade deal?  Trudeau has done nothing to get Raif Badawi out of Saudi Arabia and end his torture; if the regime asked for data on his wife or others as a condition of an oil trade, do you think they wouldn’t?  With a database of people, they could easily sell what other countries want.

When money and “national interests” are involved, the human rights of individuals go out the window.  “The human rights of a few dozen people is part of the cost of doing business” isn’t far from the truth.  That’s how China operates now.



If I were back in Canada now and had significant wealth, I would seriously consider getting C$10,000 to C$20,000 in cash.  I expect a grey and black market to form, with people storing currency and trade cash for things they want to buy without trace.  Paper currency won’t disappear overnight as India’s incompetent government did a few years ago with its banknote demonetization.

Ottawa would likely phase out bills and coins over several years, so it will still be traded.  Pennies were permanently phased out a few years ago, but can still be deposited as cash at banks right now and into the future.  So once paper is completely eliminated from “legal” trade, I don’t expect it to disappear.  It could become the new Crappy Tire money, still accepted by many on those grey and black markets.

Selectively Enforced: Canada’s new hate speech law

Bill C-36 is allegedly an anti-hate speech law.  But given the history of Dustbin Trudeau and his regime (trying to criminalize criticism of Israel, criminalize BDS or labelling it an apartheid state), one should expect it to be misused and applied to those the government disapproves of.

Canada didn’t need a new hate speech law. It needed the existing one to be enforced.

From the CBC:

Ottawa outlines new legislation to define and crack down on online hate speech

The Trudeau government is proposing legal changes intended to curb online hate speech and make it easier for the victims of hate speech to launch complaints.

The proposed Bill C-36 includes an addition to the Canadian Human Rights Act that the government says will clarify the definition of online hate speech and list it as a form of discrimination.

“These changes are designed to target the most egregious and clear forms of hate speech that can lead to discrimination and violence,” said Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti at a Wednesday evening news conference.

“They do not target simple expressions of dislike or disdain that pepper everyday discourse, especially online.”

The amended act would define hate speech as “content that expresses detestation or vilification of a person or group,” including over the internet.

The new definition is said not to include offensive language more broadly. It also excludes content that hurts, humiliates or expresses dislike or disdain. Private communications are also exempt.

How likely will this be used against environmentalists criticizing corporations?  Against First Nations people criticizing the catholic cult and its mass murder of children?


The Ups And Downs Continue: What’s happening locally

The Ups: Taiwan’s dire water shortage has levelled off, though it could happen again.

I’ve mentioned Taiwan’s drought before and its effect on the semiconductor industry.  Without rain, chip supplies worldwide would have ground to a halt.  Thankfully, the Plum Rains and a minor typhoon have passed over and refilled our reservoirs.  But have the government and industry learnt their lesson, accepted climate change, and the need for producing Taiwan’s water instead of depending on rain?

With a few exceptions, all the major reservoirs in Taiwan are now at 40% capacity or higher, most of them well over 60% or better.  Some of those now full were at less than 20% at the start of May, most notable Sun Moon Lake which had turned into a mud flat.  Unfortunately, the largest reservoir at the south, Agongdian, serves Kaohsiung, the second largest city.  It is currently at 0.3%.  That’s not a typo.

And predictably, some people are whining about all the rain.  Fer crying out loud, we’re under lockdown and nobody can go anywhere, so why complain?  Speaking of lockdown. . .

The Up: Taiwan’s COVID-19 numbers have vastly improved.

A month ago, new cases were numbering 500 and deaths as high as 34 every day.  Because of many closures and limited movement, the numbers have improved to the point where schools and businesses could fully reopen by September 1 or earlier.

Unfortunately, there are selfish and arrogant people still around.  A massage parlour (read: hand job parlour) was operating illegally, and fined NT$300,000.  The owner refused to pay and to his dismay, the banks obliged the government by turning over the money from his multiple accounts.

Gambling dens have also been operating, with large numbers of bettors present.  Normally the police turn a blind eye to gang related activity such as this, but the spread of COVID-19 has made them willing to crack down where (for reasons I won’t say aloud) they otherwise wouldn’t.

There are still a number of selfish people causing minor outbreaks, but most get the message.  One of the biggest problems is what to do with the homeless because many have tested positive but the government can’t justify simply locking them up without having committed a crime.

Millions of vaccines doses have landed in Taiwan over the last few weeks, enough that half the population should be inoculated by the start of the school year.  The locally produced Medigen vaccine is also awaiting approval and could be available within a month.

The Down: Financial hardships are hitting many people.

Taiwan has finished its sixth week of lockdown thanks to selfish individuals (pilots, lions’ club members, a hotel that did not follow health protocols) who believed they were exempt from rules that others have to follow.  I really hope they get prison sentences, not just fines.

The closure of many service businesses has left people without income.  Some financial assistance is being offered to people, enough to last a month.  Either the government expects this to be under control soon or doesn’t want people see this as lasting months.

The government’s first priority is, of course, Taiwanese citizens and businesses.  That was expected, so was their priority of those with permanent residency permits.  What wasn’t expected was the complete abandonment of all other labour.  It is only after much uproar amongst foreigners that assistance is finally being extended to them.

Another issue causing outrage is the treatment of factory labourers and other blue collar workers, many of whom come from the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc.  They are not allowed the same freedom of movement as white collar workers from wealthier countries, being labelled a form of apartheid, and I agree with that label.  These people are being locked into their dorms and homes when not working, barely given any time to shop for food let alone move about the way I or other white collar workers can.

Personally, I could last without work until November or December, then I’d have to think about leaving.  (I’d like to ask for a handout, but that would just be a debt I’d have to repay.)  Many of my friends and people I know are reaching the breaking point. Without immediate income in the next few weeks, they and probably thousands of others will have to pack up and leave.  This is a brain drain that will place the cost of replacing skilled workers on employers instead of keeping them here at much lower cost.

One more positive: My employer has submitted the paperwork for me to be vaccinated.  Now I wait for the call.  Most foreigners are supposed to do it themselves, but for those who cannot speak the language and the registration system is online only, getting on the list is difficult.

Let’s Backtrack: Steve McQueen’s film “Le Mans” turns 50

In a week of appalling news everywhere, I feel guilty for talking about something superficial, but. . . .

“Le Mans” was released on June 23, 1971, and (depending on whom you ask) is the greatest motorsports film ever made.  It was McQueen’s pet project, a film that almost drove him into personal bankruptcy to produce.  His dialogue in the trailer is legendary:

This isn’t just a thousand to one shot. This is a professional bloodsport. And it can happen to you. And then it can happen to you again.

[. . .]

A lot of people go through life doing things badly. Racing’s important to men who do it well. When you’re racing, it’s life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.


McQueen plays Michael Delaney, driving for the Porsche team, under orders to ensure one of the team’s cars wins, whether his or another.  After a crash in which his car is destroyed, Delaney takes over for a driver in another team Porsche (which in real life would not be permitted) and continues the race.

The film is remarkable for how it was filmed: during the 1970 Le Mans race as well as post race filming.  McQueen, a competitive driver who finished second at the 12 Hours of Sebring in spring 1970, was a registered entrant at the 1970 Le Mans race in a Porsche 917K.  Much of the film used in the movie came from this and other cars.  Other scenes (crashes, head to head competition against his rival) were filmed at other locations using mock-up cars similar to Le Mans entrants.  The racing and practical effects crashes are some of the best ever filmed and have aged well.

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They Can Wait: Let’s get our priorities in order

In British Columbia during the last week, four catholic churches imposed on First Nations land have been burnt down, two of them on Monday or Tuesday, and two more on Saturday.  This, after the doors of a catholic cathedral in Saskatchewan were painted with hands and the words “WE WERE CHILDREN”.

I won’t condone or condemn the arsons or “vandalism” in Saskastchewan.  But I have no patience for anyone who views “property damage” as a priority for investigation.  I have no patience for anyone who views a victimless “crimes” as more important than the identification and naming of a thousand dead (and probably murdered) children.  Buried in mass graves, the families were likely never told that their children died, let alone when or false claims of how.

Worse yet, the catholic cult committed a crime by removing the headstones of the graves, to prevent identification.  They wanted not only to cover up their crimes but to take away those children’s names and make them unidentifiable.

From The Guardian, June 22:

Two Catholic churches destroyed by fire on First Nations reserves in Canada

Two Catholic churches on First Nations reserves in western Canada have been destroyed by overnight fires that investigators are treating as suspicious.

Early Monday morning, fires consumed both the Sacred Heart church, on territory of the Penticton Indian Band and the St Gregory’s church, on the territory of the Osoyoos Indian Band. Both churches, constructed largely of wood, were more than a century old.

The fires, which occurred hours apart, happened on National Indigenous Peoples Day – and come nearly a month after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation found what they believe are the remains of 215 children in unmarked graves at the site of a former residential school.

From CBC, June 26:

2 more Catholic churches burned down in B.C.’s Interior

Two more Catholic churches on reserves in British Columbia’s southern Interior burned down Saturday morning.

Lower Similkameen Indian Band Chief Keith Crow says he received a call at about 4 a.m. PT that the Chopaka church was on fire. By time he arrived about 30 minutes later, it had burned to the ground.

[. . .]

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, previously told CBC News there are “mixed emotions” about the Catholic Church among Penticton Indian Band members.

Phillip said some members of the community have “an intense hatred for the Catholic Church in regard to the residential school experience.”

751 dead is likely a fraction of the real number.  The catholic cult held sway and controlled not just the “residential schools” but also the entire public school system in some provinces.

Dustbin Trudeau is issuing mealy mouthed apologies to avoid any meaningful action on this (e.g. raiding the cult’s offices, seizing documents, properties and bank accounts)The cult has previously stolen money intended for victims of its abuses.  And it was Dustbin’s previous majority government that intentionally (it wasn’t an “error” or “misstep”) let the catholic cult off from ever paying reparations to First Nations people.

Legal misstep lets Catholic Church off hook for residential schools compensation

The landmark settlement agreement required 50 Catholic groups that ran the schools, known in court documents as the Catholic entities, to pay a combined $79-million for their role in the abuse.

Of that, $29-million was to be paid in cash, most of which was to flow to a now-closed Aboriginal Healing Foundation. Another $25-million was to be donated in unspecified “in kind” services. And an additional $25-million was to be raised for healing programs through the “best efforts” that the entities could make at fundraising.

In an attempt to make the Catholic Church pay the full amount of the $29-million cash settlement, the government inadvertently released it from any obligation it might have had to continue with a dismal fundraising campaign.

“When you have a deal, it needs to be implemented,” said Bill Erasmus, the National Chief of the Dene Nation who handles the residential schools file for the Assembly of First Nations. “So the Church should be paying up. The church agreed there were harms. That’s why people were to be compensated.”

But, as of last summer, the Catholic entities were legally off the hook.

In a March 19 letter to Ron Kidd, a concerned citizen from British Columbia who has been following this case, Andrew Saranchuk, an assistant deputy minister within the Indigenous Affairs department, explained that a court settlement reached on July 16, 2015 “released the Catholic entities from all three of their financial obligations under the settlement agreement, including the ‘best efforts’ fundraising campaign, in exchange for a repayment of $1.2-million in administrative fees.”

This wasn’t incompetence, it was complicity.  Dustbin Trudeau is a catholic cultist himself.

At Least One Good Thing Happened Recently

Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison for murdering George Floyd, a man he knew personally and had conflicted with in the past.  They were not strangers, it was a personal vendetta.  That sentence is insufficient, but it’s better than nothing, which is what cops usually get despite committing murders far more egregious.  Other charges against Chauvin are still pending, and if those judges want to send a message, make them consecutive sentences.

Chauvin deserves the worst possible detention.  Put him in a SHU cell, solitary confinement with no human contact except for guards, lawyers, and doctors.  I doubt he’ll get family visits after his 40%er wife left, but ok.  Make sure it’s a suicide proof cell, don’t give him an easy out like Ariel Castro.  Sadly, Minnesota has banned the serving of nutraloaf, or I’d recomment that as his diet.

“Cruel”?  Hardly.  He took Floyd’s life out of personal revenge and believed he could get away with it.  His prison sentence is more life than he allowed George Floyd.

Deny, Lie And Decry: Cue the blame shifting and gaslighting

Another thought on the thousand First Nations children found mass murdered and buried by the catholic church at “residential schools” in the last few months:

I have no doubt some will ignorantly and dismissively ask, “why didn’t the parents say something or call the cops if their children were missing?”

Their children were kidnapped at gunpoint by the Canadian government, by the Racist Corrupt Misogynistic Pricks (RCMP) and forcibly placed into those rape camps…I’m sorry, “residential schools” against the will of the children and parents.  Any parents who resisted would be arrested and sent to jail, their children taken anyway. Who, exactly, were they going to appeal to for help?

What do you think would happen if the parents of the missing children asked for their return, asked to contact or visit them?  They would have been denied, the uncivil servants at best ignoring them and at worst using the violence of the system to silence the parents and families.  As if they would ever get an honest answer from the provincial and federal governments which kidnapped children.

And that’s assuming they didn’t try. Unless I hear otherwise, I will assume and believe that they DID try to get answers but were ignored.  They are human beings who cared about their children, they wouldn’t abandon them if they went missing.  They asked for investigations, asked where their children were, and were never given an answer.

These people were powerless to do anything, confronted, blocked and threatened by a racist system of racist cops, racist governments, and racist, rapist and mass murdering catholic cultists.  Argentina had “death flights”, Chile and Spain had the “disappeared”, and Canada had children at residential schools.

It’s times like this I wished I believed in a hell.

Don’t Even Try: You can be sure to hear misplaced ‘outrage’

A recent picture of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan:

Cue the religious fanatics and their faux outrage, calling this “vandalism” and saying “we must address this before dealing with a thousand dead First Nations children”.

Imagine how quickly the federal government would be responding if a thousand dead white children were found on or around First Nations lands in the span of three months. Probably with guns, pepper spray and nightsticks in hand, as they did in 2020 when the Wet’suwet’en people protested against the Coastal GasLink pipeline project.

Instead all we’ve heard from Dustbin Trudeau is a pathetic “please apologize” to the catholic cult, the same cult he let off the hook in 2016 from ever having to pay reparations.


IPSOS polls: When LGBTQIA meets Moore’s Law

Gordon Moore said in 1965 (Moore’s Law) that the number of transistors per silicon chip doubles every year.  I wonder if that applies to transitions, too.

IPSOS released a poll on Wednesday, June 9 (a PDF is available), showing the generational increase in people who identify as LGBTQIA and their attitudes towards marriage equality, how it nearly doubles from boomers to Gen X to Millennials and Gen Z.  But I suspect “identify” more accurately means willing to say it openly, rather than be LGBTQIA.  We have always been here, it was societal bigotry that prevented people from living openly.

Younger people are more informed about LGBTQIA rights and issues, ipso facto (ha, ha) they are more likely to be accepting and respectful of LGBTQIA people.  From the IPSOS website:

Also surveyed was the attitude towards marriage equality. Of the countries surveyed (which is not the entire world), 54% support full marital rights and another 16% some form of legal partnership, or 70% in total of those two.  Twenty five of the 27 countries are (combined) at least 50% in favour of full marital rights and legal partnership.  That includes South Korea, a country awash in and tainted by christianity, and Poland and Hungary, where the regimes are attempting to criminalize LGBTQIA people.  When even a socially conservative country like China is ahead of you (yeah, you, Russia, Turkey and Malaysia), you know you’re on the wrong side of history.

And these results are from the entire survey of all ages, not just among younger people.  The bigots in those governments are clearly out of step with their citizens.

I object to the term “same sex marriage”.  It should be marriage equality.  If I find and marry a man, it will be a heterosexual marriage, not “gay” or “same sex”.  And the same goes for Non-Binary, Agender, Gender Fluid and other people, let them define their own term for their marriages.

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Rainbow Capitalism Sucks

Rainbow capitalism sucks.  It’s sickening to watch corporations wrap themselves in flags and pretend to “care” just to make a profit.  Some of them don’t even donate to LGBTQIA causes, they’re just pretending, slapping flags on their products in order to make money.

There are many companies that are frauds, openly giving millions to politicians who support hate and laws that deny rights to LGBTQIA people.  A fair number of companies that pretend to support LGBTQIA people in public actively discriminate against their employees.  The bigotry of scum like chick-fil-a and hobby lobby is akin to overt racists.  But at least you know what they are, they aren’t pretending to be something they’re not.



Because of this, sometimes humour is the best way to respond to it.



There are more pictures below the fold.

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A Pandemic Subsided: It has been forty years since HIV was first reported

On June 5, 1981, the first reported cases were announced of a disease spreading amongst gay men in the US and elsewhere.  Originally defined by other names such as homophobic “GRID” (gay-related immune deficiency), it came to be defined as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in more advanced cases.

HIV.gov’s “A Timeline of HIV and AIDS” is a site run by U.S. Department of Health & Human Services describing the history of the disease.  Avert.org is an HIV and AIDS charity based in the UK and has another timeline and history of HIV/AIDS, from its origins to milestone events to today.

The history of HIV/AIDS is infuriating, the worst being the similar attitudes of the wealthy today who are willing to let the poor die of COVID-19.  In the 1980s, cisheterobinary people, white people, christians and other religious fanatics and rightwing ideologues saw HIV/AIDS first as a gay male disease, then also as a drug users’ disease.  Governments worldwide saw these people as “undesirables” and were willing (wanted) to let the disease run rampant and kill them.

Early on there was limited or no testing of blood, especially by blood collection agencies, which spread the disease through surgeries and blood distribution.  The people running the Canadian Red Cross walked away without any punishment despite their incompetence which spread it to 30,000 people, killing at least 8,000.  Similar stories happened in other countries.

HIV/AIDS was still viewed as a “gay disease”, and many people who contracted it, including celebrities, tried to conceal their disagnoses (and some their later deaths) from the disease such as Isaac Asimov, Tom Cassidy, Roy Cohn, Jerry Smith, Greg Louganis, among many others.  The stigma led some to discriminate against some, differentiating between “victims” (e.g. Ryan White, Arthur Ashe) and people “who caused their own problems” (e.g. those who used drugs, active in non-cishetero sex)People with HIV/AIDS are patients and human beings, no matter how they contracted it, an attitude which most of society holds now.

Attitudes only changed when HIV/AIDS spread to the mainstream in two ways.  First, it began to spread amongst cisgender heterosexual people who were not drug users nor amongst any high risk groups.  Second, people paid attention when high profile celebrities announced they had HIV or died from it.

More below.

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A New Term I Learnt: Betrayal Trauma

In 2008, Dr. Jennifer J. Freyd, PhD (Professor Emerit of Psychology, University of Oregon) coined the term Betrayal Trauma, defining it as a kind of trauma independent of the reaction to the trauma.  Betrayal trauma occurs when the people or institutions on which a person depends for survival significantly violate that person’s trust or well-being.  Originally it referred only to institutions (cops, courts, hospitals, doctors, social workers, etc.) which failed to do their jobs, abdicated their responsibilities and abandoned the victims of physical, mental, and emotional abuse, whether general violence or sexual violence.  But Betrayal Trauma can easily be perpetrated by family, parents, friends, partners, employers, coworkers and others (e.g. children who report sexual abuse and are dismissed as “lying”).

Betrayal Trauma is such an accurate descriptor for what it means (and how often it happens) that you have to wonder why it’s not in the common vernacular.

What is Betrayal Trauma Theory?

Jennifer J. Freyd, PhD

Professor of Psychology, University of Oregon

Faculty Affiliate of the VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab at Stanford University

Short Definitions

Betrayal Trauma: The phrase “betrayal trauma” can be used to refer to a kind of trauma independent of the reaction to the trauma. From Freyd (2008): Betrayal trauma occurs when the people or institutions on which a person depends for survival significantly violate that person’ s trust or well-being: Childhood physical, emotional, or sexual abuse perpetrated by a caregiver are examples of betrayal trauma.

Betrayal Trauma Theory: From Sivers, Schooler, & Freyd (2002): A theory that predicts that the degree to which a negative event represents a betrayal by a trusted needed other will influence the way in which that events is processed and remembered.

Betrayal Blindness and Institutional Betrayal: Betrayal blindness is the unawareness, not-knowing, and forgetting exhibited by people towards betrayal. The term “betrayal blindness” was introduced by Freyd (1996), and expanded in Freyd (1999) and Freyd and Birrell (2013) in the context of Betrayal Trauma Theory. This blindness may extend to betrayals that are not traditionally considered “traumas,” such as adultery, inequities in the workplace and society, etc. Victims, perpetrators, and witnesses may display betrayal blindness in order to preserve relationships, institutions, and social systems upon which they depend.

In other words, related to the last paragraph, individual people may knowingly turn their backs on victims in order to preserve their own personal relationships.  They would rather protect their selfish social interests than do what they know is morally right.  I’ve met people in my life who have said they would cover up for someone’s crime because “they’re my family/friend!”.  I personally know performative feminists who would rather maintain their friendships with sexual predators than make them come forward and admit guilt in order to protect their social lives, who say things like “Believe women” and “Hold your friends accountable” but fail to live up to them.

Be glad David Kaczynski never took that attitude.

More below the fold.

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