Posts Tagged ‘fear

02
Sep
19

I’ve got somethin’ to say…

For those of you who are old farts like me, you may recognize that line as coming from a song. “Last Caress” was (as far as I know, though I could be wrong) originally done by The Misfits, and has had covers by both Danzig (which isn’t really a cover so much as a rebranding, sorta like when Phil Collins performs a Genesis song or Annie Lennox covers the Eurythmics) and Metallica. It’s an interesting song, and one that’s would probably not be considered okay at all by today’s standards. But as the song says, “doesn’t matter much to me.”

What does matter to me is the fear that anything you say can and will be used against you. So while I do have things to say, I feel I can’t say them out of fear. I’m told I’m not allowed to say them due to who I am. I’m told I’m wrong, because “reasons.” I’m told it’s good that I’m afraid, because I am inherently the enemy and I should be running scared.

I’m told my writing can’t even have a whiff of those things, regardless of who says it or why it’s there, for the same reasons. I can’t have a black character because I’m not black (but by the same token, I can’t not have a black character, because then I’m racist.) I can’t have a character who’s homophobic, because that means I’m homophobic. I can’t have someone who’s violent, uses drugs (including caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol) or holds controversial opinions because somehow that’s going to encourage people to do those things in real life. Can’t bring up self-harm, suicide, depression, anxiety or schizophrenia, because that might upset someone who suffers from such things (despite being a self-harming, depressed schizophreniac who has attempted suicide) and might make their condition worse. Can’t have police characters who are genuinely trying to help and do their job, because that’s a lie and triggers all the “blue man bad” types, and can’t have one who’s dirty or vile because that gives people PTSD flashbacks of all their bad experiences with the police.

All I hear any more is about the things I can’t do, that I shouldn’t do, that will get me “cancelled,” or that will summon the high overlord Twitterati to haunt me if I do them.

And it works. I gnaw my nails, I fret over every word I type or say or Tweet. I have to break my brain into the most bizarre logic channels possible to contemplate how someone could take offense at any of it, and even then there’s liable to be some bizarre contortion or cherry-picking that will still make it hate speech. It may take years, and it might require the invention of some new gender, racial description, sexuality or social class, but it’ll happen eventually. And because I happen to be a white, cishet, male, any infraction, regardless of the attitudes of the time, regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the context, regardless of how long ago, regardless of it being fiction or fact, hell, regardless if it actually happened or not, will call the horde and render me guilty before I even have time to blink.

I’ve got somethin’ to say, but it doesn’t matter much to me, and I might as well be dead. That’s what it feels like.

When I was younger and had the chicken pox, my parents resorted to the method of duct-taping my hands shut and bathing me in caladryl to keep me from scratching. That’s what it feels like, only instead of scratching, it’s to stop me from typing. Some folks would probably consider that a win. After all, by my very nature, I’m the enemy. As noted above, I’m white, cishet, and male. I also used to be a heavy smoker, am a LaVeyan Satanist, and before the dream was crushed and my body started to fail, wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement. I like things that go “boom” and “bang,” even though I do think some better regulations should be instituted (regulations that would, in all likelihood, prevent me from owning anything that goes “boom” and “bang,” but that’s fair. I wouldn’t trust me with a gun, either.) I think slippery slopes are a real concern, that diversity and identity politics have gone off the rails, that not every abuse accusation is true, not every cop is your enemy, and that rules and laws should apply equally to everyone. I am almost quite literally Satan to a lot of these folks, dripping with privilege and conservatism so caustic that breathing the same air as me is liable to cause strokes, kill puppies, and rot nearby plant life.

Ironically, I used to be pretty liberal, very live and let live, very much in favor of “let’s talk about it.” I don’t think I’ve changed all that much. I think the people I used to identify with did. Thinking or saying that is a great way to be branded as an alt-right Nazi, though. It happens often enough; I was told I’m an alt-right Satanist today, which is apparently something worse than either of those things on their own, and got back “if you have to ask” when I asked what the hell that actually meant.

I’m sure quite a few folks who’ve made it this far in the post have already unsubscribed, or are Tweeting “what an asshole this guy is” to their echo chambers. That’s fine. I’m getting kind of tired of being fearful. I have a lot of other problems to worry about, and the potential to be “canceled” or have some Antifa wannabe hucking rocks at my window, my truck, or my person is starting to take a back burner to my lungs and heart rotting away while I bankrupt myself and my girlfriend trying to get a final, conclusive diagnosis so someone can do something or I can claim the disability benefits that I’ve been paying for since I was 13 and got my first job. Being paranoid is only another stressor that raises my heart rate, increases my nicotine and caffeine consumption, and makes it harder to do anything that might actually help with my depression symptoms.

So I’m gonna stop doing it. Screw ’em. I’m going to do what I want, and say what I want, and write what I want to. Because it doesn’t matter; honestly, I’m not liable to last a whole lot longer anyway. I may not live long enough to be shipped off to a gulag, banned from Twitter, have my books burned or be drowned in false accusations from folks I’ve never met. Sad that such thinking is positive, but that’s what things have come to.

Before I drop my final line, I’d like to remind anyone who’s still reading and hasn’t decided I need to die already that I have a Patreon, where you can chip in if you think I say or write or play anything that interests you, and a GoFundMe for trying to get the surgery the doctors say might prolong my existence for a while longer. If you want to click or contribute, great; if not, it’s okay. No hard feelings.

So I’ll leave you with this: The actual line from that song up there:

“I’ve got something to say. I killed your baby today. It doesn’t matter much to me, as long as it’s dead.”

Told you it was offensive, and wouldn’t fly today. Like a lot of the music from my youth, really. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go work on Lune de Amant, because I no longer care if it’s racist, cultural appropriation, or some other stupid thing. Marie Laveaux has a trio of cranky werewolves to deal with, and she’s going to, goddamn it.

KA Spiral no signature

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03
Jul
19

Why I Haven’t Written

It’s been a while. Some of you may have thought I finally died. Contrary to belief, I haven’t… though it’s been close a few times.

My health problems aren’t getting any better; now they say I need surgery. If you want the full lowdown, or are in a position to help, you can stop by my GoFundMe. Anything helps, and it’s really down to the wire, here.

But that’s not why I’ve been in submarine mode. It’s fear. I mentioned this before, but it seems to be getting worse. Now it’s not just about fiction; now it’s about literally anything you say, anywhere.

In the last week, I’ve been accused of being alt-right four times. I’ve had dozens of people comment bomb my YouTube channel. I’ve been locked out of one social media website and warned of it on another. What is the root of these issues? Questions and opinions. Not of the type that one might once have branded as racist, misogynist, transphobic or fascist, mind.

One was earned by commenting on how odd I found San Francisco’s recent vape policy changes. Apparently thinking SF loosening up on marijuana while banning vape devices – including potentially fining citizens who import them from elsewhere or have them shipped in, if some reports are to be believed – means I am a racist fascist.

Another was earned when I commented on a video showing what are known as “sovereign citizens.” If you haven’t read up on these idiots or seen their antics, I encourage you to do so; they are a fine example of how dangerous a little stupidity can be. My comments questioning why these individuals feel the law does not apply to them, but how they also believe the law must protect them and serve their interests when they have been “wronged” lead to an individual commenting back about how rights are constantly taken away from us, and in particular how he isn’t allowed to own a gun. I responded, asking him to cite what rights he was referring to, and why he was not allowed to own a gun, pointing out that the primary reason that would be forbidden to him is if he is a felon, which led to him name-calling and starting the comment bombing, rounding up his couple hundred subscribers to start downvoting my videos, flag me for hateful content, and leaving such charming statements as “holy shor r u an ugly slob and weirdo,” for one that is actually printable.

Managed to earn a banning from Whisper because I made the mistake of responding to one that stated “Dear cishet people: fuck you, you should die.” I asked them why they felt that way, to which they responded “Because of alt-right transphobic faggots like you.” I then – stupidly, I admit – said “Okay. So what if I said ‘Dear transpan people: fuck you, you should die’ because of alt-left nonbinary attack helicopters like you?” I got no response, but was informed my ability to access Whisper was terminated shortly thereafter.

The last was for mentioning that Antifa is much closer to a terrorist, fascist organization than seemingly anyone they claim to oppose. While that sentiment has been festering for some time, the most recent situation in Portland just drove it further home. I live an hour away from this crap… and this is not the first time this particular band of jackals has gone berserk. Questioning them, finding their tactics deplorable, wanting actual police or legal action taken against them, or pointing out that they seem far more ready to use violence and underhanded tactics against those they claim to oppose – while spouting or supporting rhetoric about tolerance, equality, and peace – is enough to earn you some stern warnings from Twitter (even though the discussion was occuring on YouTube), some charming DMs informing me that “the alt-right cesspoll (SIC) would be a lot cleaner without u, kys” and a few more comment bombs on my YouTube.

I don’t have it that bad, in this respect. Others have had it far worse. There have been more than a few folks who have lost their internet presence entirely, who have been physically assaulted, have had their bank accounts closed, have been doxxed, fired, or swatted, or some combination of any or all of the above… and all for the crime of wrong think, mind crime, speaking their mind, or asking questions.

Of course, let us not forget that individuals such as Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian have gone to the U.N. to stop the evil internet bullies, such as those I’ve earned the enmity of lately… of course, that only counts if you’re a woman, or a person of color, or of a sexuality other than straight.

That’s not a cry for attention; it’s just my general sardonic amusement at how things work, now.

Still, it’s a scary time. Plenty of people will be quick to inform me that I’m right to be scared. I’m an evil oppressor, after all, and I’m sure I’ve done plenty that could be construed as a hate crime… or will be branded as one in days to come, as that particular goal post keeps getting shifted, and as we all know, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done today when it comes time to burn a cross. It matters what you’ve done, ever, in any situation – because context is also irrelevant. Others will leap to tell me “Good. Now you’ll know how it feels,” because they’ve been so oppressed in their sub-30 years on Earth that punishing everyone else for things that are often centuries dead arguments somehow makes sense to them.

I’m not well; that’s well known. Physically I’m falling apart, and I have numerous mental issues that aren’t helped by that. But want to know what really aggravates my depression, and makes me wonder how schizophrenic I actually am, instead of being legitimately paranoid? The idea that I have to tiptoe around everywhere and everyone, carefully evaluating every single word I say or type, every image I upload, every game I choose to stream for fear that every carefully laid brick of my corner of the internet or my books – or even my bank accounts, freedom or life – will be torn down because I pissed off the wrong person or group, or someone called me a name in reference to it – earned or not – and someone else decided to take action.

I may be paranoid… but that doesn’t mean people aren’t out to get you, as some sage or another once said. Some may accuse me of hyperbole. To those people, I suggest you try putting the phrase “conservatives banned from” into Google and just follow the suggested links. Look at people jailed for false rape accusations, or for things that are considered “rape” these days. Look at people losing access to education, to community or government services. Look at people having their careers decimated. Look at people being doxxed and swatted. Look at people being assaulted. How long before it escalates to murder, whether due to intent or because one of their coshings does more damage than initially assumed or intended?

The really funny – if you can consider any of this a laughing matter – part about all of this, is that I am not even close to being right-wing. I think the only marker I have from that camp is the belief that laws should be followed, endorsing and enforcing those laws is important, and that they apply unilaterally. Otherwise, I could care less. On most issues I’m a lot more liberal. Let people call themselves whatever they want, have sex with whatever or whoever they want (within reason; pedos and zoophiles steer clear, please), profess to whatever higher, lower, or interstellar power they please (or none at all), dress how you want, do as you please. I’m a LaVeyan Satanist with a strong Thelemic stripe; “If it harms none, do as thou wilt.” I’m just apparently not left enough (or maybe not self-hating enough) for some folks’ taste.

So yeah, I’m afraid. Afraid my lungs are going to shut down, afraid I’m going to be evicted, afraid that no matter how many meds I take or nice, calm doctors I speak to my depression is going to push me over the edge. But all of those pale in comparison to the fear that one wrong word at the wrong time is going to destroy my life, and some so-called journalist will be sure to tell the world I had it coming and want a parade for the “heroes” who finally ended me. It’s a shitty way to live, but I don’t know what else to do with things what they are, and I feel like they’re only going to get worse.

Anyway. That’s enough from me for now. I’ll try to be more regular, to do more. I want to, and it might help with the depression. Or it might make it worse, amping up the fear. Who knows? We’ll see.

If any of you out there want to help out, to keep me breathing until the men in the white coats drag me away or the men in the black hoodies and bandanas clock me with a bike lock or shut me up permanently, it’s certainly appreciated. You can drop a dime in the bucket on Patreon, or contribute to the surgery fund on GoFundMe. Even if you can’t, consider giving either or both a share; everything helps. If you want to stalk me, you can find me playing bad games on Twitch, and a follow there helps, too.

If you’re still with me, thanks for reading. It means a lot to think that someone out there may actually read my words and not immediately inform me to kill myself, that what I type isn’t completely falling into an empty void. Stay safe out there, folks.

10
Jan
19

What I’m Afraid Of

I call myself a writer. When pressed as to what type, I typically fall back to “horror,” mainly because I have a tendency to throw in all kinds of oogity-boogities. Just my nature.

But that doesn’t scare me. I may believe in spooks, and there may be times when I hear a noise in the night and suffer a brief flash of worry. There may be games, books, or movies that make me a trifle anxious or give me a “nuh uh, not going in there” mentality. But that’s not real fear.

Sometimes I worry that my asthma will get the better of me and I’ll just drop dead at some point, having been unable to get to my aspirator in time. Or that I’ll go to sleep and just not wake up, a fit of apnea doing me in quietly with no fuss, muss, or bother. But that’s not really fear, either.

Instead I fear judgement, the judgement that seems unique to the last few years. I am paranoid about every word I write and say, and most of those I think, because at any moment it feels like one wrong word can summon the mobs to crucify me and leave me with nothing, a very special kind of nothing that clings to you for years, decades, potentially the rest of your life, and all for the crime of voicing an opinion that ran counter to the current “acceptable” ones.

But that’s not all. I fear that I may have said, done, Tweeted, blogged or commented somewhere years or decades ago, and something in that might be considered offensive and worthy of assault for mindcrime or wrongthink. Even if it was off-hand, written in anger, an opinion I no longer hold, humor – pathetic attempt or otherwise – or just baiting someone.

I fear that what is acceptable today will become unacceptable tomorrow, and some screengrab of something that was totally okay and unoffensive when I said it will turn into criminal evidence a decade later.

Result of that fear? Complete mind-freeze. A couple of my projects have gone into the trash drawer, not because I don’t like them or because they stalled, but because I was informed that I didn’t have a right to write about certain things. Once upon a time I would have told someone saying that to me to go fuck themselves, but now doing that is a great way to get blacklisted.

It seems like a ridiculous situation, especially given that the apparent thought police who have created this situation are frequently claiming to be on the side of free speech, free expression, anti-fascism, diversity, and inclusion.

I don’t get it. I don’t know what to do about it. Do I throw Lune de Amant away because it’s apparently criminal to include Marie Laveau in a book set in Louisiana during the 19th century with werewolves and ghosts about? According to a pair of e-mails I have received, yes, yes I must. Removing Ms. Laveau and inserting some fictionalized version isn’t allowed, either; I’m culturally appropriating voudoun at that point. Make them a generic white sorcerer of Hermetic traditions? Now I’m whitewashing. Given that one needs a wizard character, and one really likes the late 19th century New Orleans vibe, there doesn’t seem to be a way to do it that isn’t sending the trigger police out in droves. So into the trash my darling goes.

There’s other examples. I choose not to speak about it right now, because honestly, I think I’ve probably said too much as it is. I’m not going to be surprised if even posting this gets me a target of some kind, or leads to being referred to as regressive, a Nazi, a racist, or god knows what else. It doesn’t seem to take a lot. But I had to get it off my chest.

What about you out there? Are there subjects, characters, concepts or stories you’d like to write about but can’t, either due to fear or the reactions of potential readers? Do you think the way social media and the public trial of any opinion currently operate is good or bad for artistic pursuits and creativity, or society at large? Let us know down below.




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