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tacocat  ·  134 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Bob Woodward’s new book reveals a ‘nervous breakdown’ of Trump’s presidency

More like the L. Ron Hubbard

thenewgreen  ·  280 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 11, 2018

    It's not a contest for most quintessential Hubski post!
No, because if it were it would be this post: ...... (just spent 10 minutes searching for the post where you say you'll never get married) Dammit! Couldn't find it.
kleinbl00  ·  421 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 22, 2017

    it's primarily that he gets his ideology from memes. Not kidding. His Facebook history is full of fucking memes - and I've got to reference Dawkins here for the literal and original meaning of meme, because the sourced knowledge this guy has on politics is insidiously hard to pin down. His news feed is full ubiquitous, pint-sized ideas and fact-checking every meme he's ever come across and internalized is a herculean effort.

This is insightful. I've experienced it. I have not put my finger on it before but you have the most of it.

I work with a couple die hard conservatives. They are lonely people in Hollywood; there's a contingent to be sure and they're insular as fuck but the overwhelming majority of Hollywood liberals are in fact liberals.

One of the things I've noticed in discussions with them (careful, respectful, well-bounded discussions) is that the conversation is not built around ideas. It's built around factoids. It's built around totems. It's built around memes.

These ideas are not, in and of themselves, coherent components of a greater philosophy. They are not arguments. They are touchstones. They are bookmarks in an internet search of alienation, secret handshakes of cultural identity.

A funny thing happened when Trump won: they got cranky. Keep in mind: I know people who worked with Trump. a lot. Had I gotten here a few years earlier I totally would have been crew on The Apprentice. He's a known quantity around here and yeah - it's a right-wing conservative orgazmotron. But at the same time, with Republicans owning the house, the senate, the executive and the judicial, the world should be perfect, right? But they knew - they knew - it'd be a long way from perfect. Theirs is a philosophy of opposition, particularly here in liberal Hollywood, and it wasn't so much that they were right, it's that everyone else was wrong.


We don't drag him along, we live our lives and do the right thing. We don't assail his ideas hoping that eventually something sticks. It's an oppositional mentality and so long as he wants to oppose, it really doesn't matter what he's opposing. They're a tribe that want everyone else to lose. They don't really know what that looks like, but they want it really badly.

This is the way cognitive dissonance works: it starts by feeling uncomfortable so you ignore the sources that assail your worldview. Then it pushes you into an insular place because you're retreating from information. Then you lose sight of reality because you're working so hard to keep up your microcosm. Then one day it snaps - and it snaps hard. And now you're a disillusioned searcher.

Trump and the modern conservative universe is about the purest form of cognitive dissonance challenge you could ask for. He's not a conservative by any stretch. He's leading the party towards the reductio ad absurdum place the liberals always joked about - Trump literally defended Nazis. And they have nothing to build on, and their efforts to tear down are failing.

There's going to be a reckoning. There's going to be soul-searching. And we'll need to welcome them back.

but not yet, goddamn it

Devac  ·  765 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A Patriot Game Theory

📰🇷🇺🏆, 😨👊

someguyfromcanada  ·  785 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 23, 2016

The highlight of my week (so far!) was on Monday when I attended an event for the #SickNotWeak mental health awareness campaign and a local youth suicide awareness group.

SickNotWeak is a campaign initiated by "famous" Canadian sportscaster Michael Landsberg to destigmatize mental illness, with an emphasis on depression because that is what he suffers from. A lot of the publicity for the campaign comes from sports figures who are willing to honest about their struggles. This was a dinner and speaking event with several very known well athletes who all have connections with mental illness.

Clint Malarchuk and Hayley Wickenheiser were the opening speakers.

Clint was incredibly emotional talking about his ups and downs and admitted he still has the bullet in his head from when he tried to kill himself, which is not something that was public knowledge before I do not think. He always had OCD and was a goalie who suffered a slit throat from a skate and was only saved by a team doctor who stuck his fingers into his neck to pinch off the loose carotid artery ends. He never watched the footage but when he saw a similar accident happen several years later he developed PTSD and was prescribed anti-psychotics so he could continue playing, but that was the end of his career. Big tough guy that could not handle seeing a bit of blood. But that was not something you talked about back then. He began boozing and drugging and only sought help after his 2nd suicide attempt.

Hayley is the greatest female hockey player of all-time. A household name in Canada. She went into a deep depression after losing the Olympic gold medal game at age 19. She was always the best and all of a sudden was a big failure. Even though it is standard procedure now, that was not a phenomenon that sports psychologists managed at that time. She also had very bad post-partum and had a NHL friend that ODed. She probably had the best laugh line of the night when she said (about the time that the US just missed an empty netter that you have never seen a bunch of women so happy about 2 inches.

Theo Fleury, an NHL superstar, was the headline speaker and it would be an understatement to say that he was an incredible speaker. He grew up in a household with 2 addicts as parents, was always told that he was too small to play in the NHL and so had "not good enough" syndrome, was mentored by a coach that promised him it would happen then raped him hundreds of times, ended up drinking a case of vodka and snorting $3,500 of coke a week, would take the Trump helicopter to Atlantic City after games and, after gambling and screwing hookers all night, would get back to NYC for morning practice. He got kicked out of the NHL and after buying a gun and sticking it in his mouth decided he needed to talk.

Theo had a very good point at the end of his talk. As someone standing on a stage with a mike in front of a big audience, most people want to hear laughter or clapping and whatnot. But he likes it the best when there is absolute silence since that means people are thinking. There was a lot of clapping and laughing, but also a lot of silence. And he was masterful in utilizing those moments.

I can't stress how much he was an amazing speaker. That is what he does now full time. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, please do so. We were the event sponsor so he sat at my table and was quite chatty during the 4 hour event.

Other hockey guys with local connections were there as well: Steve Larmer, Cory Stillman, Jody Hull, etc. Luke Richardson talked briefly about the foundation he started after his 14 year old daughter committed suicide. His 14 year old daughter.

I have never asked for a picture like this before but but here is a pic of me and a rather dapper Theo Fleury:

am_Unition  ·  974 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Welcome to Happiness: Trailer

I took ref's route and googled my way to success, just printed out a .pdf for two adult tickets. The Texas Theatre webpage is nothing short of terrible - there is still no mention of Welcome to Happiness.

I'll report back. Shoot, I might even try to rope my parents into this if someone who's seen it already can verify that it won't irritate a couple of Southern Baptists.

user-inactivated  ·  1121 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 1950s U.S. Nuclear Target List Offers Chilling Insight

So here's a fun story from the annals of the Cold War.

I flew with a lot of C-130 guys in the Air Force. Some of these pilots were getting old and were even pilots in the 80s when Mother Russia was one serious incident away from turning our country into a fiery mushroom farm. In particular I was astonished to learn that C-130s, which are propeller driven and generally considered slow in comparison to a B-52 for instance, were completely capable of dropping nuclear ordinance, but not capable of a speedy enough departure to outrun the blast effects. This was a last resort scenario, and these were considered 100% loss scenarios for the crew.

But imagine this, a C-130 with four parachute-deployed nuclear weapons inside the cargo area. As you approach the target, the cargo bays open and the drogue chute pulls the first bomb out from the airplane where it drops to its deployment altitude and detonates. The plane will be a few miles away at this point, but not far enough for the pilots to keep their eye sight, which they might be expected to use to fly the plane. But that's why they had four bombs, because between the pilot and the co-pilot, they had four eyes and could hit four targets. So in order to keep the plane flying (possibly during anti-aircraft firing and performing maneuvers which the pilot would have to be able to see) the pilots had blackout glasses. Each one was a simple lead-lensed eye patch and there were three on the plane. The co-pilot would drop the first bomb, lose an eye, and then the pilot would lose an eye at the next bomb. Then the co drops and loses his other eye, and the final bomb drops to destroy the pilot's remaining sight. Then the plane crashes and the world is ever fucked.

That's how crazy nuclear war was already planned to be.

steve  ·  1219 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 16, 2015


A fat middle aged man walks into a busy sandwich shop and approaches handsome young college student eating alone at table

   steve: "yo Samurai! Hubski Meet up YAH!"

   you: "WTF dude - Who are you? Pups Ski? What? I have no idea what you're talking about.  CAN'T A MAN EAT IN PEACE?!"

   steve: "but... you're the only person of color in Boulder county right now. you have to be you"

   you: "eat shit you racist weirdo"

   steve: "but... hubskina... and... insom... and kb... and... tng... and.... stickers?"

   you: "you're weird dude. go home"

fat middle aged man cries into his BLT and quietly slaps a sticker on the window as he leaves


user-inactivated  ·  1422 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 25, 2015x 4

Girl in my class thought my animation was good enough to give me her number few days ago and we have hit it off pretty well since (and also since she's ssuper hot).

This is such an outlandish sequence of events that I can't even make it up. If I get laid tonight somebody better badge the fuck out of this post because I did the impossible, reserved for indie movies about sensitive artsy guys.

I mean shit it wasn't even that good but whatever I'M NOT COMPLAINNIG

Until then lookielookie I'm in the process of migrating my blog. Come read about how much I hated the Last of Us because it fucking sucked so much oh my God.

If it seems like I'm sleep deprived, I am

kleinbl00  ·  1567 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Article That Made Me Understand Why Some People Don't Like Charter Schools

Interesting. I, on the other hand, read this article and was left more confused than I had been in the past, and that's saying something, because I get charter schools. I get charter schools because I worked on Davis Guggenheim's Waiting for Superman and because I read Elizabeth Warren's The Two Income Trap.

Here's the situation: Charter schools are a shitty solution to a shittier problem.


The United States, for reasons of craven capitalism, funds its schools with property taxes. This means that rich kids get a better education than poor kids no matter what. Property taxes are also regressive, which means the crazy rich can afford to throw down massive moneybombs and only gripe a little, while the guys in the projects are crushed by every nickel per $1000 that the taxes are raised. End result: if you don't really need a public education because you can afford a rippin' private school, chances are good your public school is rippin'. On the other hand, if you're bright but poor you're pretty much fucked. Chances are good there aren't even any decent private schools anywhere near you.


Take some of that money and fuck with it. Say you're the LAUSD, for example. You're so goddamn big you've got your own PBS station. Your school district encompasses Beverly Hills, La Canada Flintridge, Brentwood, etc. It also encompasses Compton. It encompasses Westchester. It encompasses shitholes like Lawndale. And while local property taxes go to local schools, they also go to the USD.

So let's throw some sops to the proles. Let's open a "charter school" that will allow two or three of those benighted 2000 in Compton to go to a school that does more than raise convicts. And since even if we make it merit-based there will be ten times as many applicants as slots, let's throw it all in a "lottery" straight out of the Hunger Games. That way we give the proles "hope" and since they're barely paying attention, will take the lions' share of the money out of their funding instead of Beverly Hills'.


No Child Left Behind is abject bullshit and every educator you talk to will tell you so. Teaching to the tests has crippled education, has crippled faculty management, has essentially destroyed innovation in teaching.


As a sop to the liberals, charter schools aren't necessarily bound to NCLB. This way they can use all sorts of funkalicious teaching methods to create bright-eyed, sensitive poets such as _refugee._ It also means that they can fuck off with most of the money and leave kids who barely know how to read because well-read NPR liberals aren't much checking up on, say, the charter school across the street from me, which has a 90% non-white student population within bussing distance of Compton. And which still has to pay its bills through twice-yearly bake sales and carnivals.


Shitty schools are the #1 annihilator of property values. As mentioned before, we've tied our education system to our shelter and a great neighborhood near a shitty school quickly becomes a shitty neighborhood.


Charter schools can be built damn near anywhere since their students are generally bussed from far and wide. As such, property developers looking to make a killing will often buy up a bunch of properties in a wretched neighborhood and then go about building a charter school. Elizabeth Warren catalogs a neighborhood in Baltimore where the threat of an impending charter school raised real estate selling prices by 300% in the space of nine months.

Market-savvy real estate developers are the ones making money on this, by the way, not NPR liberals. NPR liberals are far too idealistic about charter schools.


Our education system isn't geared towards teaching students, it's geared towards warehousing youth. As such, the warehouses are paid for by local property taxes, creating a system that wouldn't be unfamiliar to Edwardian England.

THE ACTUAL SOLUTION: too sweeping to ever happen, and it smells like socialism. That said, school needs to be paid for and administered at the federal level. You wanna reduce poverty? Have Beverly Hills pay for some of the education in rural Appalachia. You wanna increase equality? Let NoLA go to school on Manhattan money. You wanna advance education? Take the decisions away from these chuckleheads.

I went to school in New Mexico. At the time, it was ranked #49 out of 50 for worst schools in the USA (it's currently #46). But I went to school in Los Alamos, New Mexico - home of the Atom Bomb, the Human Genome Project, BEAM robotics and a whole bunch of classified shit. And all these Nobel-winning scientists and their wives weren't about to throw their kids in the 49th best schools in the United States, so in order to make the schools better, the Department of Energy doubled the funding from property taxes (which was already high). That made my high school one of the best public high schools in the United States. It was like growing up in an embassy from a foreign country - we had a few friends that went to school elsewhere and holy shit, it was like they stopped learning in 5th grade. It wasn't even funny.

Unfortunately, it'll never happen. So in the meantime, "charter schools" will still get a bye from liberals because "sensitive poet" and a bye from conservatives because "killing on property speculation." The lack of oversight also means corruption will always find a way; as with nearly every entitlement program, the people who really need it will never get it and the people who would do just fine otherwise are given free access.

So now you know.

user-inactivated  ·  1568 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski IRC Trivia Night

I wanna win so I can have everyone badge that ':D' comment that b_b posted yesterday.

am_Unition  ·  1578 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: U.S. Ramping Up Major Renewal in Nuclear Arms
Rossignol  ·  1581 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Scotland Votes No With 55% of the Votes

I feel I represent a completely polar opposite political opinion to b_b. I got an hour's sleep last night so I could follow the coverage and results as they came in. I'm Scottish but unfortunately couldn't vote as one of the criterion was residency, and I'm based in England. My family voted No, and when the result came in at 6:10 this morning, I was very pleased but maintain that it's early days. I'll be following where things lead from here.

My greatest concern was the Yes vote. I'd encourage everyone to watch Gordon Brown's speech for the No campaign. Fundamental issues were not been addressed by the Scottish National Party. The Royal Bank of Scotland were not going to support a fully independent Scotland, a pound sterling union was out of the question, and EU membership - whilst a practical certainty, in my opinion - was unconfirmed and the waiting time was anyone's guess. Unless the plan was to barter in Irn Brus and virgin daughters, there was little foresight into basic economic concerns such as what currency would be used. I respect b_b's opinion, but would have been disgraced as a Scotsman knowing that an entire country could be enthralled by such romantic images and experimental notions. You don't have to go back too far to see what happened with assignats

What has interested me is the difficult task of ordering some kind of demographic information on who voted Yes and who voted No. Everyone in Britain was expecting a close call overall - and 55 majority, whilst statistically significant in a referendum is going to be bitterly close for people in both camps. What I expected however was much larger disparities within the 32 council districts themselves. My expectation was to be able to divide it on geographical lines. I did not expect a district like Inverclyde, so close to the major Yes bastion of Glasgow, to have an approximately 1 petcent difference in votes (0.8% IIRC); neither did I expect the Shetland and Orkney islands to be so mild in their rejections, nor Edinburgh to exert seemingly so little influence on Fife. These are just three examples. This morning, as the Fife vote was pending, the BBC predicted that Fife's vote would not be like Edinburgh's because of a larger portion of economically deprived people. This is certainly true and Edinburgh is an affluent city, but I also feel that the class explanation is too simplistic. It's well known that Scotland is a very left-leaning country (and I know many people who were very concerned about the Conservatives assuming total parliamentary power in the UK with an independent Scotland. I won't really go into this but I'd recommend people look into the huge Labour vote turnout in Scotland and the West Lothian Problem if they're more interested in the political relationship between Scotland and England). The values of equality and social justice are very highly valued by people across the board. To turn this into a them vs. us situation on the basis of wealth seems to me ignorant of sociopoltical values held throughout Scotland. My natural conclusion would be that this was ubiquitously a HIGHLY personal vote that defies easy categorisation on geographical / class / ethnic bases, but am extremely interested in some kind of psephological analysis in the future.

If my interpretation is even close to the truth, I am somewhat worried about how entrenched this makes any animosity between the two sides. The referendum has been celebrated for its pacifism, turnout, and fair democratic proceeding, but there will be tensions. And without an easy distinction as to where to focus campaigning and political education, that may continue.

Another interesting facet to this is Cameron's involvement. There is some speculation as to his confidence in the No vote. Some believed that he allowed the referendum to take place because he felt that few people would support an independent country that, as I have briefly noted, failed to take important considerations such as the currency, consitution, debt, and so on. In the final days of the run-up with polls become increasingly uncertain, the stress on Cameron was obvious.

But if we assume that at some point he had deeply believed in a No vote, he has succeeded today and the interactions between the SNP and Conservatives - as the right parties representing North and South - will be intriguing. Already Salmond has said that he is STEPPING DOWN as the leader of the SNP. With many more people believing that much of the Yes vote was a vote for Salmond in lieu of the Independent Scotland - as an ideology, state, way of life - this is a prime opportunity for Cameron to utterly sideline one party on his side of the spectrum, something that will be a smart move when the threat from UKIP is a new concern. Another political event that will be worth watching out for is the potential rise of Gordon Brown, like a particularly corpulent Phoenix from the ashes of his unpopular Prime Ministership. His rousing comments preceding the referendum may give him new life as a left-wing figure in Scottish politics.

However, talks in Westminister will begin soon about further concessions to the Scottish Parliament. This autonomy may include the right to modify major things such income and inheritance taxes. I withhold any opinions on these issues and feel they need to be dealt with pragmatically as they arise.

At an international level, I echo BLOB_CASTLE's sentiment. Foreign governments must and will react to this precedent. I reject the more frequent comparisons to Catalonia and the Basque regions in Spain and France. The nature of these movements has been more vitriolic than Scotland's national movements. Closer to home, Wales, Northern Ireland, Cornwall, and even metropolitan areas such as Manchester may not see total independence, but are hopeful for more federalist measures in the wake of Cameron's commitment to them (based on his speech in the early hours of the morning). Nascent movements such as that of the Frieseland in the Netherlands, which has seen some nationalist representation in the Dutch Paliament may also take note, but I don't clAim to be an expert in this matter.

Finally, and despite my weariness about the entire Yes campaign, I have the utmost respect for Salmond for acknowledging the precautions in the Edinburgh Agreement, for a binding and honest result in this referendum on Scottish independence. I can't say that if my own 'side' had been defeated in such a controversial matter today that I'd have been able to show the same level of grace.

user-inactivated  ·  1653 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: This is what happened when I drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps - The Washington Postx 3


To answer your questions: I was between the ages of 8 and 14 when all of this happened. Yes, I worked as soon as I could to try and take stress away from my mother. At one point when we were up for eviction, three months behind rent, I called on a friend to help us, and she paid all three months' rent because she admired myself and my mother. That person was my Business & Accounting teacher, who has also become a close friend in the years since.

This is not the whole story, but this is much of the story:


My father and I no longer have a relationship. We have the same name, but he was extremely manipulative, and often used that ability to get me to be malicious towards my mother (he at one point persuaded me to steal her wedding rings after the split, which he immediately pawned for drug money). Eventually after living with him for a while, because I was young and stupid and didn't realize he was evil, we came home to changed locks. After I snapped out of whatever brainwashing shit happened, I was filled with nothing but rage. I put him in prison after he left me with grandparents and broke his parole to escape to Florida, and made the mistake of calling me. I used a reverse phone lookup and Google Earth to tell me where he was, and two weeks later, he was extradited to Illinois. It's one of the things I'm most proud of in life. I was 8 when it started, by the time I put my dad in prison, it was the summer of my 8th grade year, I think, so I would have been 13 or 14. All of those years blend together in my head.

I spent those years in between being tossed around, manipulated. About halfway through is when I started to realize what was going on, and I started reading books on facial expressions and manipulation, and trained myself to see lies, for the singular reason that I wanted to know if my dad was lying to me. Despite this, and despite washing dishes with paraphernalia on them at my dad's house, I was young and I wanted to believe I could fix everything and get my family back together.

My parents were always violent, there was constant fighting. My dad would beat down doors, my mom would lock herself in her room to cry, and my young sister and I were left to our own devices. I had to finish dinner more than once: I didn't know how to read a measuring cup, so macaroni was always runny. The split came when my dad was fired for embezzlement the first time, he somehow got off with only rehab. My dad had made my mother stay at home, she wasn't allowed to have a job or friends, so when she had to take over in the later years, she didn't have a lot of work experience outside of a factory (she had me when she was 20, dad's 8 years older). So she went back to that factory that she'd worked at on and off whenever we needed money.

Despite all of that, I was determined to live with my dad. He had convinced me that everything was my mom's fault. Even though I was 8-12 years old during these years, I still feel guilty about it. When my dad was fired and went to rehab, my mom finally kicked him out. She became a fierce woman, unlike anyone I've ever seen. But she couldn't afford to keep the big house and the animals or to sustain the lifestyle we'd had, so when we moved to a shitty little apartment in a neighboring town, I resented her. I would later meet people in that town and in that school that I owe my life to, so I'm a lot happier that it happened then.

But, I resented her at the time. So I would run away, and yell and scream at her, telling her she was shit and that I wanted to live with my dad. Eventually, I got what I wanted, but only because I wore her down. Living with my dad should have opened my eyes. We went from basement to basement of houses in East St. Louis and Granite City (I'm from a small town in Southern Illinois). There were drugs, prostitutes, and very bad things going on. But, he bought me video games, big TVs, and I didn't have to go to school. Eventually his AA sponsor let him rent a house in Belleville, a really nice place. We moved in, and it went to shit pretty quickly. One night, a prostitute came downstairs. She had the same name as my mom, and she told me she'd try to fill her shoes. It took every ounce of restraint my ten year old self had to not beat her to death with the Xbox controller, I was playing Mass Effect at the time.

A lot of other stuff happened too, I literally wrote a book about all of this last year (and more recent stuff). But, eventually, the locks changed. He'd been embezzling again. In the long car ride home, it finally snapped in my head that my dad was a piece of shit. I heard him blame his AA sponsor, saying "YOU should have seen the signs!" He refused to take responsibility for his actions. I'm ashamed that it took me losing my material possessions to get me to snap out of it. I should have cared more about my mother, but I didn't. I was a little kid, and I grew up in that moment. I became nothing but pure rage.

It was at this point when I realized that I had been used against my mother. I was 10 or 11 (I'm trying hard to get ages right, but as I said, all of these years blend together), but I felt ancient. I felt... I can't describe how I felt. I was full of rage, but I wasn't angry. I was cold. I wanted him to suffer for what he'd done, and I knew that to do that, I'd have to wait, and do it right. I hated him, immediately and completely. I wanted to kill him, but I thought that he deserved worse. I was ashamed for everything I'd done, and I was determined to make him pay for it. I was born with my mother's stubbornness and determination, and my father's ability to lie and manipulate. I put them to use.

After a few weeks of living with him in my grandpa's trailer, he finally took me to a school, one I hated even more than the others I'd been to. When I got home, he'd just left. He'd gotten on a motorcycle and vanished. No one would tell me where he went, but I was a smart kid. I knew he had to be running from cops, and that meant breaking the parole he was still under from his first embezzlement run-in. So I started to pay attention to things. My grandpa would check the weather in Florida, but wouldn't explain why. My dad got weak, and started to call the phone. I would write down all of those numbers. His mistake was in thinking that I was still under his spell, like my mother had been for the many years she lived with him.

But I wasn't. I was watching. And when those numbers stayed the same for a few weeks straight, I fed them into a reverse-phone-number lookup, and found they were to a hotel in Daytona Beach. This matched his story, he'd told me he was working for rent at a motel. I was actually shocked that he'd said something truthful.

A few weeks went by as I considered. I moved back in with my mom, and things were very tense. I hadn't told her anything, because I didn't think she'd love me anymore after what I'd done. I was convinced that I was alone in it, but I still wanted to make him suffer. I dug through my mom's desk and found the phone number of the Detective that was investigating his embezzlement in Belleville, and I called him up. We spoke for a while, and I gave him the exact address of the hotel, along with it's name and phone number. Two weeks later, he was extradited. A little while later, sentenced to five years in prison.

No one had told him what I'd done, and that was fine with me. It meant I got to torture him in my own way. My dad's big thing was writing letters, long ones. He'd write to me, and I'd ignore him. I responded once or twice to letters I found ridiculous (in one, he said all sin was equal, and in another I responded purely to call him a coward for running). I owe it to my dad that I became such a talented writer (which is probably not evidenced in this post), I learned to write for emotional effect in that time. I was in 8th grade at this point, no one else knew what was going on.

I got tired of getting letters, so I made sure he couldn't send them to my home address (I lived with my mom). So he'd send them through my great-grandmother. I stopped his ability to send letters to her. Eventually, I had cut him off from anyone who wouldn't pick up the phone or come and visit him. I made sure he felt alone.

Fathers day rolled around, it was the summer between my 8th grade and freshman year. He wrote a letter to the editor, "From a father." The letter infuriated everyone around me, including his own family. Within it, he played the classic game: to take responsibility, and in the same breath, pass it to everyone else. He made himself out to be a discouraged man, to be a victim, to make people feel sorry for him. No one fell for it, but I saw an opportunity to put an end to everything.

I wrote a letter for next week's paper. Within it, I shared my stories. I was young, and I was just learning to write, but it is the second finest collection of words I've ever put to paper. I could be embarassed about grammar or flow or little errors, but I'm not. It was strong. I told the story which was fresh in my mind, much as I have here. I documented everything that happened, and how I responded. I made it visual, I made it relatable, and I chose my words as carefully as I could. I ended the letter by directly responding to my father's. "From a son." was the title, and this is the last paragraph:

"People make their own decisions, dark powers do not make them for you. If you are one of those fathers out there in a situation like that of the one above, take responsibility for yourself. Be a man, and acknowledge what you've done, my father is a coward, he will be for the rest of his life. Do not cry and regret what you've done, there is nothing you can do about it now, own up to it, and do what you can to reverse it. What is a father? Sometimes I really wish I knew."

I didn't allow anyone to read this letter before I sent it in, so the first time anyone had heard of it, it was already in the paper. I saw my mother read it, and even though we'd grown close, it helped to settle things. But the most powerful reaction was that of my grandfather on my mother's side. He hadn't been involved in much of anything on my side, I'd never discussed anything with him. But, sitting at my kitchen table, I saw him read that letter and break down crying. It was at that moment that I knew I had to write for a living. I wanted to write for effect, to change things. I wanted to use my words to change the world, even though I had no idea what my beliefs even were at that point. I just knew that I had to write, and I've never stopped since.

My mom says that I looked exhausted through those years, and I'm sure I did. Insomnia and I started a love affair that's still faithful to this day.

I'm only 19 now, but it feels like a century since that happened, I refer to it as the "Schism." My mother and I are close, even though she was the last person I told that I was gay (I told the guy I'd fallen in love with before I told her, and I fully expected him to hate me, but he's still a good friend that I care about a lot). My mom and I stay up late sometimes and tell "war stories" of when we lived with my dad, and when we fought him, separate at the time. I feel old, and when I got depressed a few years ago about being in love (figuring out the gay thing at the same time), that made everything worse. I didn't trust anyone because of what my father did, I barely had friends, and I didn't believe that anyone could want to be my friend. I got suicidal (I wanted to do it, but I never attempted, for various reasons), but my best friend listened to me, a lot more than he should have had to (and he still listens to me, because I'm still a lunatic). I owe ironpotato, my best friend (and who's e-mail I ignored the other day because I was moody), my life. If it hadn't been for him, two teachers, another friend named Liz, a lot of people who said a lot of little things without knowing what I was going through, and a very... Unexpected person named John, I wouldn't be here.

I wouldn't change anything that's happened to me: I'm grateful for all of it. Because of my father's actions, I've become a much more determined individual. I'm less likely to be manipulated, and while I wish I could trust the people I love, it's probably worth not doing so. It's built me in a way that I don't think much of anything aside the death of a loved one would knock me down. I am the most stubborn person I know, and while sometimes I'm an asshole, and sometimes I belittle people, I really do want the best for others. My father's actions have given me the skills to make things happen. Because of everything, I found the best friends I've ever had, I fell in love, not quite fruitlessly: I discovered parts of myself I may otherwise wouldn't have. I developed the skills to write for emotional effect, and I developed a passion for reading and research. Now a days, I do a lot of research into LGBT youth, and youth suicide. Right now I'm working on a screenplay; I finished my first book last year. I had to build myself because my parents were preoccupied, but it happened in the hardest way, and sometimes that's for the best.


So, I've told that story here now. I've told it before many times, especially in High School. It's a shame you can't hear it in person, because I'm a good storyteller, otherwise there'd be very little reason for anyone to listen to me. I realize you only asked how old I was when this happened, but it happened over many years. I did feel the need to work and help my mother out. I got my first job at a small newspaper when I shamelessly padded my hours, then got a real job at a nearby place, and got my best friend his first job there so I had someone there. Right now it's between terms at University, and I'm in debt, no job, and I can't even afford to register for classes right now due to a fuckup over summer classes that I need to sort out. But, if there's anything my life has taught me so far, there is no situation that's impossible, and I've had two things I've said over and over again, they've become my personal mottos: "So it goes," and "I'll figure it out."


user-inactivated  ·  1670 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The dangers of being too racially sensitive

Oop, never mind, that uncomfortable feeling I had is long gone now.

mike  ·  1672 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Give me some "SPAM"

A pentagram is a five pointed star with crossing lines, the kind every kids learns to draw. A pentacle is a pentagram inside of a circle and has a rich history, which includes usages in various kinds of "magick". A pentagram inscribed in a pentagon is the symbol of the Pythagoreans and is a kickass mathematical shape.

Here's a handy guide I made to help show the difference:

ecib  ·  1672 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: COMBOPOST || Wille Nelson singing Yesterday's Wine + The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

    Being forcibly raised in what is, essentially, the Church of England (even the American iteration of it), one develops a huge superiority complex over the mainland Europe religions

No, no man. That's cool. You have a huge superiority complex informed by and projected towards various ethos, none of which you subscribe to. I get it :)