navigating a world which feels like gravity is working in reverse

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    What we fear
    Is so much worse than we can worry

    O Coronavirus
    Crown of RNA
    Jesus in reverse
    Iran can’t get the medication
    so their citizens die
    while pleading to a god that can’t listen
    because everything is locked behind free will
    Chaos has been set free
    the world lives or dies by our whims
    and in some ways they’re greater than God’s
    in other ways less

    never read news alone

    give us our daily bread
    doesn’t help much
    when you already ate all of today’s bread

    courage often works like a credit card, not a bank
    you just act
    and the courage comes after the fact

    the Bible makes more sense
    in a world that is becoming more like it was then
    where plague and pestilence stalk unimpeded
    and governments don’t even fake caring
    about the will of the people

    when people tune in to the news
    they are looking for a dove with a leaf in its mouth
    but the way things are now
    they just get a draught of salt water

    a crisis brings people together
    but a tragedy tears them apart

    my faith has been a jack in the box, not a music box
    the music only plays while I’m winding
    I let go and it stops

    the more complex a scientific instrument
    the more data it needs to store
    the more active a mind
    the more baggage it accrues
    and the more expensive a therapist it requires

    i’m not one of the elect,
    my brain is read-only
    so it can’t get saved

    you are a bird
    the materials you gather in this life
    determine the nest you lay in in your next

    the further a rocket needs to go
    the more correct its trajectory must be
    the goodness of a society only really gets tested
    when things go horribly bad

    the flower that blooms in adversity
    is usually fake

    what you think are rays of hope
    can sometimes be gamma rays
    that fry you through and through

    I swear to God serotonin is the elixir of life
    I am burned out and fresh out of it

    only those who feign strength survive
    because so few really are strong!

    COVID-19 is like a terrorist
    who sets off bombs in the market
    and at the funeral of those killed in the market
    (in its case just keeping the funerals themselves
    from happening)

    in a tragedy only the strong survive
    because the strong are fed the weak

    where God is once the devil is twice
    where the devil is twice God is once

    being mentally ill during a pandemic is strange
    for the first time the things in the wider world
    resemble the things in our head

    goodness in people is like the stars
    only in great darkness do they shine brightly

    the only good that comes out of suffering
    is the good brought into it

    those of us whose lives are already a tragedy
    can’t handle a crisis

  • Suffering Being For The Good?

    Christians are no doubt revving their engines to romanticize suffering as America approaches one of its darkest hours. I have the view that suffering is unequivocally bad and take offense at those trying to find silver linings in my clouds. That being said the reason I believe suffering to be bad is because it has not been redemptive for me. Basically my life pattern is my visual impairment disability produced pain which, along with abuse, produced mental illness and those put together kept me from being a net gain for society. What I have suffered has also been incredibly isolating and people have dropped out of my life like flies as time has worn on.

    I think the only good that comes out of suffering is the good you and those around you bring into it. If your are surrounded by assholes suffering will destroy you like it did me in my first psychotic break (which gave me a lifetime of bipolar 1). But if you are in a good environment (which Christians romanticizing suffering jump the gun and assume) and you pull together and meet trials with the courage required to be beat them, you will be wounded but not destroyed. Suffering is generally redeemed communally or not at all because courage doesn’t happen in a vacuum and when people act courageously they need to lean on the supports of others around them.

    Suffering can give the individual things like enhanced empathy but not really anything that could be “cashed out” in this society where you are seen as little more than commodity. But the things successfully getting to the other side of suffering give you will help you function in a close knit group.

  • Data: Our Best Defense

    As COVID-19 continues to progress we are going to have to utilize the data already being collected about all of us by Google, Facebook, and other internet companies. This is understandably going to raise some privacy concerns but in these times we are going to have to sacrifice some privacy for our security and especially for the sake of those more medically vulnerable to succumbing to COVID-19.

    As soon as someone finds out they’re infected we could have a system that flags them as so in the various internet companies’ databases. Then their past tracked movements could be reconstructed and appropriate people could be warned. Obviously, it would be impractical to warn everyone someone came into contact with, but these contact points could still be used in a data model that could be mined to spot patterns of spread. If testing were to get precise enough to detect a timeframe of infection this could also be fed into the model.

    China is turning the tide on COVID-19 no doubt due to their heavy reliance on digital surveillance and data mining. We don’t have to go to the extremes of China but we must do more than we are doing now. The police in America are already using Google location data to pinpoint bystanders who may have been witnesses to shootings. Because so much data is being collected about us this could be rolled out retroactively when there was enough political will for it to be implemented.

    There is no cure for COVID-19 so for now data is our best defense.

  • On Verbal Abuse

    Verbal abuse hurts the most when it is accurate.  People fed a diet of modern psychology wish to write off all abusive communications because the ill will of the person dishing out said abuse.  But the more wrong you have with you the more likely verbal abuse flung at you is going to be accurate.  For example I had a best friend years ago that called me pathetic.  Had I made something of my self that abuse would not have hurt so much.  Another girl on cutting me off said I was painfully awkward.  Also accurate.

    Pastors and psychologists generally have enough of their lives together not to have the verbal abuse slung at them be accurate.  But those of us lower down this is not the case.  And the cognitive tricks and platitudes helping professionals parrot don’t help us.

  • Forgiveness and Experience

    People get forgiveness wrong.  In a wrong strong enough not to forgive generally the person wronged has people not forgiving them for the fallout of said wrong.  I’ve had people wrong me in the past that have precipitated the destruction of my mental health.  I can pretend to forgive them but I know it’s bull shit.  To me forgiveness is like two plus two equals banana.  You can play cognitive tricks and smoke and mirror a poker face and be cordial but at the end of the day when nobody will forgive you for the fallout of the wrong (treating you like shit because you’re mentally ill) you can’t forgive them unless “God” enables you to (which for me would just mean I’d have to be constantly manic).


    There is a sense to which experiences are more meaningful when they happen communally.  For example in the 2016 election experiencing the hope and ultimate despair of people at the All Access open mic made the whole experience more real.  I don’t have that open mic anymore so no matter what happens in 2020 there won’t be that hope or shoulder to cry on.  I will be experiencing everything as an an atomized individual so whatever happens the joy or the sorrow will be more empty.

  • Sound Sensitivity: What Would Help

    Sarah did a great post on shopping sound sensitivity at Meijer.  I am very sound sensitive as I was born blind so have had to use my ears to make up for my poorer vision.  Plus I’m likely on the spectrum so have sound sensitivity due to that.  Here are some tips on how people can improve the lives of people like us:

    Produce speakers with directional sound.  Right now the technology is in its infancy and I only ever experienced it at a video game demo display at Best Buy but boy was it glorious.   You could hear the ad for the game but then if you walked a foot away you couldn’t hear it any more.  Imagine if TV sound bars had this technology to point the sound only at the people actually watching.  This would particularly help in small houses like I’ve lived in for the past 20 years where the living area is open plan so sound coming from one place fills up the entire floor.

    Provide better options for sound proofing windows.  Many of us sensitive to sound are bothered by the whine of neighbors’ heating and central air unit.  They have heavy curtains and other things but I don’t see a solution that could really block off the sound well.

    Make equipment produce gentler trouble tones.  This is actually a hard one because the beeps machines make when they alert you come from simple cheap sound hardware and for them to produce gentler tones they would have to upgrade said hardware.  It’s like how the default beep tone on the Super Nintendo was gentler than the one on the original Nintendo (because the Super Nintendo had better hardware).

  • Competitive Praying

    One thing they left out of the Book of Common Prayer is that in order for many of your prayers to work they have to be uncommon, they have to beat out all the others’ prayers for the same thing.  For example if you are vying for that good house or that job with a living wage, you are competing with many other people.  Your prayer needs to work better than theirs.  Obviously this gets left out in religious literature since religion was created by people on the top who would win at anything they competed for by virtue of being on top.

  • Pleasantry Delusions

    One of the things I dislike the most about Christianity is that it says the pleasantry delusions are actually real.  Everybody knows pleasantry delusions are just delusions or noble lies, nothing more.  For example people don’t have innate worth (as those of us on the spectrum experience daily as we are on the bottom).  Or the idea that virtue is more important than power.  People on the spectrum don’t have the social acumen to see through these pleasantry delusions, particularly when raised Christian where they were told these were actual truths.  It makes figuring out the way the world works that much harder.