Thursday, December 23, 2004
The wicca used to do Tarot cards professionally and was into this new found sprituality so that I was seeing myself becoming a convert or really just a doubting Thomas...I have had a taste of this supernatural and I want more so I see an advertisement for tarot readings and decided to call "Erica" up. She had an attitude on the phone like some pushy con women get that are almost as agressively rude as Carney's. She was a young semi-attractive Latino (others might call her pretty but she appeared to have some thing stuck up her but to me) with a little child and had an attitude right from the start.
"I'm only gonna answer a few questions!"
"What is this? 10 bucks a question.?"
Out loud, I replied,
"You told me that you would give a tarot reading for 30$."
She was angry that she discounted me 5$ on top of the 10$ coupon in the paper when I had called her up on the phone.
"The bitch is gonna be stingy with the answers if she's stingy with the questions!
This is going to be a lousy reading. I can walk away from what will be a very poor and uncomfortable look into the future. If I'm face the future, I would like to be comfortable and not to be made unwelcome.
"I'll just leave," I said,
even though I drove about 20 miles out of the way for someone that only learned "English" maybe 10 years ago and has even more of an attitude than the middle school delinquents that I tried to help. I am proud of myself in my old age that I'm finally learning to assert myself with things that I have control of.
Folks ripping me off and disrespecting me. I can walk away from a situation where obviously both things would happen.
Do I sound racist or angry? I am not racist, but just proud of the way I can use my anger productively and write it down. I am learning to stand up for myself and minorities that think they push "whiteys" or "gringos" around.
Actually I might sound a little redneck but it is time when to say something back to others that have an attitude like they can walk all over you and still be angry and disrespectful.
We as a country can say FU to the government when they tell us what to do and tell us to F ourselves. We do not have to take it and can say no to them or anything.
We have that freedom but we have to fight for it or people will take advantage of you.
Probably none of this is true, but I can't help myself. Her thick auburn eyebrows and flared nostrils and top-front-teeth-gap and freckled cleavage are the exact features my dreamwoman would have. Her high forehead and total lack of make-up are clear evidence that she's an earthy idealist with a massive IQ. Gorgeous sphinx with a prankster heart; part-Italian, part-Ethiopian, part-Irish, part-Czech, and part-extraterrestrial. Definitely not raised as a Catholic. Her loose-limbed body language says she loves sex and treats herself with joyous respect.
True, the purple baseball hat and purple windbreaker are a little strange -- they're accessories favored by redneck babes-but on the other hand the logo on the front of the hat is a double-headed ax, which is a notorious code, at least in bohemian Santa Cruz, for feisty feminism (having been an important symbol in ancient Crete, among the world's last-known matriarchal cultures). Maybe she's the star shortstop of an all-woman team sponsored by a pagan coven. Hell, maybe she's the high priestess of the coven herself. I picture her skyclad in an oak grove, holding a carved willow-wood thyrsus as she leads a circle of worshipers in a bacchanalian dance under a full moon.
Sorry. I'll stop now. I silently apologize for sculpting her out of my private raw materials. In real life, she's probably a single mother scratching out a living through a combination of welfare payments and a typical Santa Cruz under-the-table job like scraping barnacles off boats down at the yacht harbor. Of course this is also weirdly attractive to the part of me that yearns to save the world by erotically nurturing all the world's most psychically wounded (yet physically beautiful) women. In the interests of objectively reporting on the current state of my lust, though, that's not the specific version of the divine feminine I'm in the mood to lose myself in today.
I command myself to take a tantric breath of fire. It's amazing how profoundly my imagination can blind me. As the first flush of my testosterone-fueled fantasy subsides, I realize I've encountered this siren on at least three previous occasions, each time in circumstances where my receptivity to her charms did not fully combust due to my preoccupation with making a spectacle of myself. The first meeting was the night she jumped on stage during one of my band's shows here at the Catalyst. I was histrionically imitating a homeless person and screaming out the paranoid lyrics to "Get Out of My Head."
Get outta my head Leave me alone I wanna think my own thoughts now Get outta my head I'm never alone My brain feels like a radio
But as I yanked on a long shank of my hair, which was secured in a topknot by a white sweat sock, this wacko babe wearing a baseball uniform-the same voluptuary who now stands before me in the women's bathroom-grabbed the guitar player's microphone and tried to outshout me, chanting, "Brainwash yourself before somebody nasty beats you to it" until one of the bouncers ushered her off.
I also remember seeing her at a performance art ritual, "A Happy Birthday for Death," which a friend of mine staged for about sixty pagan hipsters in a cemetery at dawn a couple months ago. As the sun rose, I caught a glimpse of Gorgeous Sphinx doing a dance on top of a sepulcher to the accompaniment of harp, tabla, and didgeridoo. Even if I'd wanted to, I couldn't stop and stare because I had a major role in the proceedings. I was playing the goat god Pan, complete with furry leggings and horns strapped on my head. My job was to dance obscenely and blow my panpipes and offer everyone sips of wine from my goatskin and in general stir up an orgiastic mood.
The third time I saw her was a month ago, at a party thrown by a local newspaper that carries the stories I write now and then. I was entertaining a gaggle of yuppie drunks with a rap about how I was a dream doctor; that if they prayed to me before they went to sleep, I would make a house call to their dreams and surgically remove the demons from their nightmares. Absolutely free! No further obligation!
Suddenly a green-eyed woman with stunning auburn hair elbowed her way through the champagne-swillers. Though I had never talked with her before in my life, she announced, "You said in my dream last night that I should not under any circumstances play soccer in bunny slippers at dawn in a supermarket parking lot with a gang of sadomasochistic stockbrokers who've promised to teach me the Balinese monkey chant. I'm extremely grateful for that advice, and I wanted to do something for you in return. Please accept this talisman. I made it myself."
Former President George W. Bush Dead at 72
by Greil Marcus
Policy Review, October 5, 2018--George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, died today at Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. He was 72. The cause of death was announced as heart failure.
Mr. Bush's always controversial presidency left behind a changed nation and a changed world. Taking office in 2001 after a disputed election settled only by a 5-4 decision by a bitterly divided Supreme Court, and decisively reelected in 2004, President Bush led the United States into four wars, oversaw the dismantling of Social Security and Medicare, and enforced a drastic shrinking of elementary, secondary, and collegiate education. He spearheaded the transformation of President Bill Clinton's budget surpluses of 1999 and 2000 into permanent deficits of more than a trillion dollars a year, thus profoundly reducing the amount of capital available to address the needs of the vast majority of citizens and inhibiting the creation of new jobs with any promise of advancement or financial security, while at the same time pursuing tax reductions that increased the differences between the income and assets of, in his own terminology, "owners" and "pre-owners" of "the American ownership society" to extremes almost beyond measure. When he left office, taxation of personal and corporate incomes, while still legally extant, had been effectively replaced by a new payroll tax, so that almost all investment, inheritance, and interest income was left tax-free. "Those with the greatest stake in America," President Bush often said throughout his second term, "have the greatest stake in defending it. Thus we as a nation must do all that we can to ensure that the commitment of those with the greatest stake to the rest of us, a commitment on which our freedom and security rests, only grows greater."
Adding to Mr. Bush's statutory and administrative economic policies were a series of decisions by the "Bush Court," as the Supreme Court was known after 2005, when in that year Mr. Bush replaced three retiring members with very conservative justices (a fourth was replaced in 2006), depriving government regulation of corporations and the environment of any legal basis--decisions which many analysts considered more significant than the repudiation by the Bush Court of previous decisions upholding a woman's right to privacy in the matter of abortion and certain applications of affirmative action. Even with the Bush Court seated, however, the Republican-controlled Congress that Mr. Bush enjoyed throughout his presidency repeatedly passed legislation removing issue after issue from the purview of the state and federal courts, including questions of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to assemble, and the right to trial by jury. Despite these prohibitions of judicial review, the government, under Mr. Bush, did not press for any legislation curtailing what had previously been referred to as "First Amendment freedoms," but simply refrained from challenging such legislation passed by many states, rather filing supportive briefs before the Supreme Court when such measures were contested. Ultimately the reversal of the series of 20th-century Supreme Court decisions subjecting the states to the Bill of Rights, long-sought by certain conservatives, was achieved not de jure but de facto. "The press is legally free," the former New York Times columnist Frank Rich put it in 2007, writing in his online journal Thatsrichbrother.com. "It merely refrains from practicing freedom." Some said the same of the nation as a whole; others said the country was freer than it had ever been.
Mr. Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on July 6, 1946, and raised in Houston and Midland, Texas, where his father, the former President George H. W. Bush, began his careers in oil and politics. Mr. Bush attended Andover Academy and graduated from Yale University in 1968. During the Vietnam War he was a member of the Texas Air National Guard, known at the time as a safe haven from combat duty; whether Mr. Bush did in fact fulfill his military obligations became a subject of dispute during his second election campaign. In 1975 Mr. Bush graduated from Harvard Business School and began careers in oil and politics in Texas; neither flourished. Though he married the former Laura Welch in 1977 and fathered twin daughters Jenna (named for Mrs. Bush's mother) and Barbara (named for Mr. Bush's mother) in 1981, Mr. Bush's life through his early 40s was characterized by business failures, accusations of insider trading, reports of silent bailouts, and self-confessed "drinking." (Mr. Bush claimed to have renounced drinking--the word alcoholism was never used--the day after his 40th birthday, as the result of divine intervention and an act of will.) He became a public figure in 1989 when, through a questioned investment, he became part of the consortium that bought the Texas Rangers baseball franchise; his title as managing partner produced an impression of competence and good humor. In 1994 Mr. Bush ran for governor of Texas and proved himself a first-rate campaigner. When he was elected, Texas was a bipartisan state; as Mr. Bush's advisor Karl Rove once said, "He charmed Democrats into riding on his strong back as he forded the river of discord." When Mr. Bush left office as president, the Texas government was all Republican.
Mr. Bush was a politician opponents underestimated at their peril, and throughout his career his opponents did just that. He cultivated an aura of know-nothingness, of "a fine disregard" of inconvenient facts or opinions, but he was devastating on the attack, able to present himself as an ordinary man outraged by the self-superiority of whoever might be opposing him at any time and on any issue. Even as president, before the al Qaeda terrorist attacks on Washington, D.C., and New York City, in 2001, he was not always taken seriously by political commentators or the public at large; after that event he became a heroic figure, standing in defense of the United States as if that historic responsibility were his alone.
He launched an assault against Afghanistan, where al Qaeda had its headquarters and training grounds, weeks after the 2001 attacks, leading to the immediate fall of the totalitarian Islamic regime of the Taliban, which had given al Qaeda sanctuary. Though Osama bin Laden, the leader of the worldwide Islamist movement, escaped capture, his forces were severely weakened and scattered; during Mr. Bush's first term there was, against all expectations and predictions, no further terrorist attack on American soil. Arguing that Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq was a center of terrorist plotting and a repository of terrorist weaponry, from what turned out to be nonexistent chemical and biological arms to equally chimerical nuclear technology, Mr. Bush in 2003 led a limited international coalition into Iraq and replaced Mr. Hussein with an occupying force, which over the next year was pushed back into consistently shrinking enclaves in the face of a fierce insurgency. Following his reelection in 2004, Mr. Bush ordered the destruction of the cities where the insurgents were thought to be concentrated; though the cities were destroyed, the insurgency continued. Mr. Bush then pressed on to Iran and North Korea, which he had identified as "rogue states."
With U.S. Armed Forces tied down in Iraq, Mr. Bush turned to what critics called a "private army subject to no law and operating at the whim of a single individual"--that is, to large numbers of private contractors employed by U. S., Serbian, Nigerian, and Saudi corporations--to launch land, sea, and air attacks meant to destroy nuclear facilities in both Iran and North Korea. While the Afghan and Iraqi armies and governments had collapsed almost at the first sign of American assault, the Iranian and North Korean invasions were beaten back by sustained resistance and, in North Korea, the use of explosives that Mr. Bush denounced as "tactical nuclear weapons," though this was later proved not to be the case. Nonetheless Mr. Bush then ordered what he described as "pinpoint" nuclear attacks on the nuclear sites in Iran and North Korea, which, while achieving their goals, also led to the One-Day War, a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan that left Bombay and Karachi in ruins and led to the fall of the governments of both countries, and to the withdrawal of the American-led coalition forces from Iraq. The result was the series of still-continuing civil wars throughout the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent that, while involving no unconventional weapons since 2006 have, according to the United Nations, caused the deaths of 12 million people and the displacement of millions more. Mr. Bush's claim in action if not in words that the United States retained an international monopoly on the legitimate use of force left allies such as Great Britain and alliances such as NATO crippled; it also left the United States at least formally unchallenged.
It was often said, during Mr. Bush's first term, that he saw himself as a messianic figure, ordained by God to carry the flag of freedom ("God's gift," in Mr. Bush's words, "to every individual") to the corners of the earth, and that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, at least, were part of a crusade of transcendent significance. After Mr. Bush's reelection, it was increasingly argued that his wars were a diversionary and obfuscatory tactic meant to raise Mr. Bush's standing, and the power of the Republican Party both in Congress and in the states, solely for the benefit of Mr. Bush's domestic agenda, and that, as the poet Donald Hall wrote, "it was the United States itself that was the true object of conquest." While that is a matter for history to settle (when, as Mr. Bush himself once put it, "we'll all be dead"), few would dispute that Mr. Bush left the United States if not conquered then irrevocably changed--and, according to the American novelist Philip Roth, who in 2008, cited by the Swedish Academy as "the voice of a lost republic," was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, "less a nation governed by its citizenry, where each of us has one vote, than a stock exchange owned by its shareholders, according to the number of their shares."
Mr. Bush's Republican Party had, during his time in office, so effectively marginalized the opposition Democratic Party that it all but ceased to function in many states. After the suspension of the filibuster rule in the U.S. Senate, the remaining 45 Democratic senators were unable to block any of Mr. Bush's appointments to the federal courts or the executive branch of government. The Republicans had so successfully supported Mr. Bush as an infallible and irreplaceable leader that he came to seem, in fact, irreplaceable. There was no figure in the party who did not appear diminished as soon as his or her name was mentioned alongside of his, and the notion of any ordinary Republican actually succeeding Mr. Bush became, in the words of William Kristol, editor of the conservative journal the Daily Standard, "unthinkable." Thus was the strategy devised to introduce a constitutional amendment to remove the requirement in Article 1 that no one could be elected president were he or she not native born, supposedly to permit the presidential candidacy of the native-born Austrian Arnold Schwarzenegger, the enormously popular and skillful governor of California and the one Republican other than Mr. Bush who did sometimes appear larger than life. It later transpired that the amendment was a ruse: When Democrats attempted to "poison" the amendment by proposing that all restrictions on who might become president be removed (the requirement that a president be at least 35 years old, the two-term limit), the Republicans immediately acquiesced, and as a result of the passage of the 28th Amendment in 2006 and its ratification by the states the next year, in 2008 Mr. Bush announced his candidacy for a third term. He was overwhelmingly defeated that November by former President Bill Clinton.
Mr. Bush's life after his presidency was marked by misfortune. He soon lost interest in his status as the standard-bearer of his party and its chief fundraiser; many believed he had again begun drinking, and in any case he seemed to spend most of his time at private clubs in Houston, where he established residence in 2010 after selling his property in Crawford, Texas. ("At least I won't have to cut that f--- brush again," Mr. Bush was heard to say after his last election.) Then on May 1, 2011, Jenna and Barbara Bush were killed in a drunken driving accident in New York City, an incident that also took the lives of seven other people, four of them friends of the Bush daughters. Rumors that a Bush family friend attempted to bribe the police to report that a person other than Jenna or Barbara Bush was driving (the body of Barbara Bush was in the driver's seat) were never confirmed. Four years later, in 2015, Laura Bush, like her father, died of Parkinson's disease; she was 68. After a period of mourning, Mr. Bush announced that, to find his way back into "productive service" and "do God's will," he would welcome the opportunity to act as commissioner of baseball. But while Commissioner Bud Selig said that he would be honored to yield the position to Mr. Bush, he cautioned that the exigencies of the job would probably require him to remain in office "for another year, or maybe two," and the question was not raised again.
Mr. Bush was preceded in death by his sister Robin Bush, his brothers John "Jeb" Bush, the former governor of Florida, Neil Bush, and Marvin Bush, and his sister Dorothy Bush Koch. He is survived by his parents.
Greil Marcus is with Sean Wilentz co-editor of just published The Rose & the Briar: Death, Love and Liberty in the American Ballad (Norton); his book Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads will be published next May by PublicAffairs. He is working on a book about prophecy and American identity.
"SUNNYVALE, CA - Telling reporters and critics to 'stick to the issues that matter', Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush declined to answer questions Monday concerning his alleged involvement in a 1984 Brownsville, TX, mass murder, in which 17 people were ritualistically murdered and skinned.
'I will not stoop to discussing that,' said Bush during a campaign stop at a Bay Area software-packaging plant. 'We've got people across this country without health care, a broken educational system, taxes that are way too high, and all you want to talk about is something THAT MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE HAPPENED 16 years ago? I'm sorry, but I find that offensive.' " (Emphasis added).
Bush, the son of a billioniare, was strangely living in the most impoverished place in America, Brownsville; living nearby to and also inside the headquarters of a Satanic Cult of which he was a member. Bush disappeared for three days during which ALL of the other of his fellow Cult Members were slaughtered. After he reappeared he could not explain where he had been. The local prosecutor continued to pursue Bush, sole Cult survivor, on mass murder charges for six months thereafter, heavily pressured by Daddy Bush to stop the investigation. For asking these questions the reporters were threatened with reprisals later by Bush and thereafter have feared for their life. Currently, as to 2004, Bush and Kerry have long been members of a Satanic Cult, Skull & Bones (Yale).
Following the attempted assassination of President Ronald W. Reagan, ahortly after his inauguration, 1981, George Herbert Walker Bush, as Vice President, on a day to day basis, until the end of Reagan's second term, 1988, actually ran the White House. In 1988, Daddy Bush was himself elected President, actually Bush's third term.
In so doing, the elder Bush was violating the U.S. Constitution, 22nd Amendment, restricting the President to two terms.
During that time, and even before, Daddy Bush and son George W. Bush, had financial and satantic cult links with the drug trafficking from Colombia through the Brownsville/Matamoros area. Brownsville is in the U.S. right smack on the Mexican border above Matamoros, Mexico.
At one time Daddy Bush owned Texas Commerce Bank implicated in the drug traffic through their branch in Venezuela. That unit, starting about 1979, was run by Jeb Bush living in Venezuela with his latino wife. They laundered the drug proceeds from Colombia and from there, through Mexico to the U.S. The Bush Crime Family has for many years been business partners with the co-founder of the Medelin, Colombia drug cartel, Carlos Lehder. [See, the website series, www.skolnicksreport.com "The Chandra Levy Affair".]
This was convenient to Daddy Bush having been with the CIA since 1959, through their adjunct, principally owned by the Bushies, Zapata Petroleum, later called Zapata Offshore, still later their interests joined with Pennzoil which by an induced bankruptcy took over Texaco. [See, "Oil & Honor---The Texaco-Pennzoil Wars" by Thomas Petzinger, Jr., 1987, G.P. Putnam's Sons.]
The satanic cult mass-murders revolved around in the Brownsville/Matamoros area. Among those involved were El Padrino Cult; and located outside Matamoros, Rancho Santa Elena, having human sacrifice chambers; and the satanic ritual sacrifices and mind control conducted by Aldolfo De Jesus Costanzo with others. The Bush Crime Family with their dope trafficking, Colombia through Matamoros, Mexico/Brownsville, Texas, were interlocked with these situations.
The ranch was reportedly involved in snuffing out dozens and dozens of primarily latinos useful as "mules" in the drug trade and controlled through sexual satanic rituals and mind-control.
In the 1980s, Daddy Bush, actually running the White House, and former head of the American secret political police, was in perfect position to be part of the drug trafficking. The elder Bush was the head of the South Florida Anti-Drug Project, supposedly clamping down on drug trafficking from Colombia to Mexico.
During the 1980s, U.S. drug enforcement was near totally compromised and corrupted. A huge, heavy opus, mentioned in a moment, tells how the top people in the elite units of U.S. drug enforcement actually worked the other side. From time to time, they went to parties at palacial estates in Mexico and elsewhere owned and operated by the major druglords. The drug police rubbed elbows there with movie stars and bigshots from Hollywood, users as well as traffickers with dope. [In recent years. George W. Bush, William Rockefeller Clinton, and Mexico President Vicente Fox have visited and stayed at the estates of Mexico's major druglords.]
For naive, poorly informed persons to risk their neck reporting druglords to the drug police is both tragic and laughable. [See that very thick book about the top drug enforcers, being for sale and totally corrupt, "The Underground Empire---Where Crime and Government Embrace", by James Mills, Doubleday, N.Y., 1986.]
One of those convicted of the satantic cult mass murders in the Brownsville/Matamoros region and elsewhere was a fellow named Lucas. When George W. Bush was Governor of Texas, he mysteriously granted clemency to this mass-murderer. Yet, there was no basis in law or fact for the Governor to so favor Lucas, other than the Bush Crime Family was in business with him in respect to the drug trafficking and satanic cult operations of the Brownsville/Matamoros region.
With terrible-to-look-at pictures, the horrors of the one or more satanic cults so operating in the Brownsville/Matamoros region are detailed in a little-known, hard to locate book, "Hell Ranch" by Clifford Linedecker.
By 1999, some reporters had attempted to question George W. Bush as to some of the foregoing, while Bush was planning to run for President in the U.S. 2000 Election. As the head of an investigative group and Founder/Chairman, since 1963 of the Citizen's Committee to Clean Up the Courts, Skolnick began relating, on various radio talk shows, the problems the reporters were having in confronting George W. Bush with his apparent complicity in the satanic cult mass murders in the Brownsville, Texas area.
Quite some time thereafter, several websites did acts in some ways relating to all this. They palmed off as apparent jokes and parodies, purported stories about the Brownsville/Matamoros horrors. Whether their purpose was reputed damage control for the Bush Crime Family or to simply somehow make jokes about the satanic mass murders, remains for such website handlers and operators to explain.
These websites apparently gave the impression to poorly-informed, naive people that the whole series of events in the Brownsville/Matamoros region were purely imaginary, and never occurred and there was no complicity of the Bushies including George W. Bush.
Obviously to detail all the persons and entities involved with the satanic cultists, human sacrifice locations, and drug-traffickers and mind-control dictators, in the Matamoros/Brownsville region would and could fill a series of encyclopedias on the dope business, satanic cults, corrupted dope enforcers, and related topics.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
"It was almost like an alien was inside of me moving around my tummy.'
You should have had the medium cooked burger that you ordered. It was probably sitting out forever while these cooks are trying to entertain us with xmas carols instead of watching out for ufos waiting to infest these innocent pieces of ground meat. I ordered the well done one but they put the grilled onions on the well done burger which you ate. It's your fault!"
She admonished Garvald.
"I will never eat at the Westport Flea Market again."
Garvald was happy that he had won a brilliant chess match while Muffy watched while the alien hatched inside of her while both of them enjoyed the burgers.
His holeopathic medicine of green tea , ginger and local honey helped her kick the alien's ass out of her body! Earlier she was heaving the alien microbes from the bowels of her digestive tract having her whole life pass before her eyes and the bowl of the toilet.
Today has been fun with a kick ass game of scrabble with Marcy challenging his word, "feint". She was not aware of that spelling. He wanted her to challenge him teasing her into questioning his credibility. Garvald did the Jimmy Connors dance after the challenge and telling her who the word meister is. He also had a bunch of triple word scores!
We were all the hippies of past present and future feeling this same energy ...
the same energy you feel when you are so in touch with your lover that you can read her thoughts...
Muff wakes me up,
"WHO FUCKIN CARES. WHAT'S THE POINT?"
Garvald prints it and it's ripped up before it even exits the printer...it's thrown in his face...the end of what he thought was a beautiful day. They saw Leigh Ann and Eric and bought them food/ They went down to the chess club and he saw his friends of intellect...he realized how much he missed Westport. Everyone seemed friendly and the air was filled with good spirits and a great chess game.....He could let it spoil the rest of the night and wonder if this is another moment in the up and down cycle from one moment to the next...
Is it weed that makes him want to speak or write so much that makes her tired of his "sophistries" or does it only make her make her angry...Maybe they both ought to lay off the stuff if it only causes problems....
He realized how lucky that he had such a brief time with Alene and how much she really loved him...
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
When I was seventeen I was first asked to write this book on my personal experiences of suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). I did not give the idea a second thought. The answer was a plain and simple—“No!” I did not want to talk about it. I didn’t even want to think about my personal experiences with ADD.
Why I did not want to write this book was that I was sick and tired of always being looked upon as that “crazy little child” who seemed to be a burden on everyone. My school life was hell, not just for me, but for my parents as well. Not to mention the teachers who I challenged every day in the classroom. I hated the fact that I was different and at times even hated myself for who I was and what I was doing.
When gathering my research material from the many schools where I was a student, I was embarrassed by a lot of the terrible things I had done. But at the time I did not know what I was doing. I was often confused, not understanding what I was doing. This caused a lot of depression in my early school days. As I got older it became a lot easier to deal with my problem. I overcame it in a number of ways including medication and self-taught techniques that I will discuss in greater detail in later chapters.
Looking back on my short life at the age of nineteen now, it all 1seems like a far away story when I recall these things in my life. I still have no idea why I did these things that normal society sees as abnormal. If you or your child has ADD you will understand what I mean when I say abnormal behavior—those fits of anger and impulsive behavior that are unleashed on family members and which seem to have no reason or specific purpose. It must be very hard for parents to deal with and understand why their child is behaving in this abnormal manner. This book, I hope, will help you understand why your child acts in this uncontrolled way.
It was not until I turned nineteen that I seriously considered the challenge of writing this book. After watching a story on children with ADD on the Channel 9 program Sixty Minutes, I felt that I had to write this book to help other people suffering what I have endured throughout my life. However, again I put it off! One day it will happen, I thought to myself. I didn’t have the time, I had study at university and I was going out all the time. But it was really just an excuse. I just didn’t care enough, I guess.
A young boy down the road has ADD. For the past couple of years my mother has been saying, “Why don’t you go talk to the boy’s mother?” I usually brushed it aside with, “Yeah, maybe later.” Then one day I decided to talk to the mother and she was pretty upset with her son’s progress at school because he was behind in reading and math, etc. This was a shock to me. I did not understand what she was worried about because I could not read a short sentence until I was in Grade Five. I told her this, along with other personal experiences.
It always seems to surprise people when I tell them things about my life at school and home. They often look at me with amazement and even confusion. I believe this is because now I do not act like a freak, as my sister called me. However, I can understand where this confusion comes from. If you’d said to my parents when I was ten, “Your son will pass Year Twelve and pass it well,” they would probably have bet their house that this would not happen, or that their child would go on to university and write a book—they would have probably bet their lives on that not happening. Well, it did and this book will tell you about the remarkable turnaround in my life and I hope it will help your child achieve the best results possible.
I have no accredited medical knowledge of ADD. However, I do not understand how so-called medical experts develop theories and strategies for parents with children with ADD. Their advice is often very useful. But how can they really understand it without actually living with someone who has ADD or having it themselves? I am not knocking the medical experts because my doctor is an excellent one and does understand ADD in great depth. The strategies that I
developed were invaluable in my remarkable turnaround from very possibly ending up in a child detention center to making it to university.
However, I have skimmed through many books on this topic and at times it makes me very angry because these books are often filled with medical mumbo-jumbo that really does not help with the treatment of your child with ADD. They do help partly in understanding what ADD is, in a medical sense, which is always a good start for parents. But techniques and strategies are often not found in these books. I searched in many libraries and on the Internet to find a book by a young person who has ADD, and I could not find one. The closest I found was a book written by an American author which included personal experiences written by college students. This was a surprise to me. I could not believe that someone had not written a book on their experiences and how they overcame their problems in everyday situations. Well now someone has and I guess it’s about time!
This book will not give the answer to all the problems you will come across in managing your child’s condition, but it will help. Many parents feel isolated. They feel depression, confusion, and a sense of blame—and of course anger and frustration. My parents have lost a number of friends throughout my life as a result of my behavior. People would not invite my parents to parties and gatherings because I would cause too many problems. Along with this, my parents would cut themselves off from people because they were embarrassed by my behavior. My dad told me that they were invited to a lot of gatherings, but only once! Narrow-minded people who did not understand would often make comments such as, “Leave him with me and I will give him a good belting and pull
him in line.” My parents were often accused of being bad parents who could not control their son. This was not true, because I have a sister two years older than me. She is the most polite and nicest person you could ever meet. In my younger years my parents took me to see a number of psychiatrists who said it was my parents’ fault and that there was nothing wrong with me. How wrong they were!
Now, getting back to the little boy I am tutoring. After offering my services to the mother with his schoolwork I was quite worried the first time I went to their house. I did not know what to expect. I thought I might have bitten off more than I could chew. Well, the first day I went over there the mother showed me his schoolwork, which was simple word games to promote word recognition. It often took the mother over an hour to get him to do it. This hour was mostly taken up with erratic behavior including swearing, yelling—basically everything except doing his homework. The first time I went over to their house it took me only fifteen minutes. I had promised to play a game of Nintendo with him afterwards. He had done his work and he knew it and was playing his Nintendo. The mother told him to get up and do his homework. I told her that he had done it and done it twice. This was accomplished without medication through techniques I have developed while suffering from this condition. I get great pleasure out of helping people with this problem. I enjoy it more because I know how isolated these children feel at school and at home. These techniques and strategies will be discussed in greater detail in later chapters.
I will discuss a number of issues in this book, including picking the right school for your child, and the teacher, if possible. This is of great concern to me because I went to six schools and I know what works and what doesn’t. I will talk about other areas: parenting techniques, including anger management; homework, which can be basically impossible for some parents; discipline, what works and what will never work. I know my parents tried everything: medication, which is always a hot topic in the ADD network; relationships between parents and siblings and the child with ADD. These are just a couple of issues that I will discuss. I hope that you will find this book as useful in the management of your child as I believe you will. I would just like to add that this book will be most useful only if you are prepared to put in lots of tiring and frustrating hours of work with your child!
I wish you and your child the greatest success in overcoming this problem.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
ADD In Adult Relationships
From Eileen Bailey,
Your Guide to Attention Deficit Disorder.
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ADD in adult relationships can be rewarding and exciting.
In researching for this article, I spoke with several partners in a relationship where one of the spouses had ADD. I also took the time to read thousands of posts on different forums relating to this subject to gain a wide perspective of the problems and issues that result from such a union.
Over and over I heard the same thing: Although ADD is many times blamed for the downfall and difficulties within a ADD/NonADD Partnership, it is not really the ADD at all that causes the problem but how the couple chooses to deal or not deal with the diagnosis of ADD.
Many times, the Non ADD spouse feels put upon, being the main organizer, cleaner, cooker, bill payer and much more. The stress that these responsibilities, when held by only one partner tend to create annoyance at least and irreconcilable differences at most.
Often in relationships with my parents and especially Alene, I was passive surfing the waves of life letting others handle many of the responsibilities but then being impulsive enough to go a thousand miles away to Houston as a logging geologist after doing college on the 7 year plan (hey I'm special ed). I would love for all of them to get together with me just being a fly on the wall to hear them all talk about my frailties and then smile at the little things that made them love me or fall in love with me. I wonder how many of them still think of me in bittersweet sadness. I often thought that I would make my folks happy and it hasn't happened yet (Willie Shatner, "Has been" song ). Then he sings about how maybe you die or think why did I waste it ? Johnny Cash, Joey Ramone, etc. I want to commiserate with others.... that I'm still trying for relationships in the past, present and future....for the kids that I've never had.... or for the kids that might still bear my legacy along with my father and his grandfathers.''''Pegasus , Grecian Urn....So much to learn...together...(putting all of this with music).
How will I build a book,(uh oh the kids have arrived...They snuck up on me. They remind me so much of how devious middle school kids that can be like the Children of the Corn Cheerleaders from Chickasha that loved to get the teacher in trouble when they played pranks on them. The guest of Muffy's daughter was about to walk off with my keys when her mother was picking them up almost acting like they were her own. It was weird. They would have laughed with Muffy and I looking all over the house for the keys. All my important keys were on it. I would have been lost without them and had to have a locksmith come out and make a new set. Hopefully those kids aren't that malicious. Maybe they would mysteriously show up in the couch like the remote. Muffy would be mad at me because I'm absentminded and lose keys and remotes all the time! o
For couples that have stayed together for a long time, these differences seemed to have worked their way out, with each partner contributing to the marriage with their strengths. For example, one couple wrote down every household chore that could be thought of and from there decided which of the partners best fit that responsibility. The lines of social norms were ignored and the wife went out and cut the grass while the husband did the ironing (much too boring of a task for an ADD Woman.) Every task on the list was placed in one of three categories: His, Hers or Together. For the past forty years they have successfully used this system, creating a sense of well being for both partners and allowing each to use their own personalities to contribute to the household. (Although the wife was not diagnosed with ADD until a few years ago, they had the foresight and love to have learned to work out their system many years prior.)
Now it's the 7th day of Scroogemass. Muffy doesn't think that's funny but now we finally have the house to ourselves. It's finally some quality time for us to spend some time together. I will do a chore outside that doesn't require much in organizational skills, getting and chopping firewood. It was so nice last night to start a fire and her friend Marie brought a water foot massager that does foot reflexology that helps with all the pain and headaches she's been having lately. She doesn't have major medical just like I don't. It costs a few hundred dollars often just to visit a specialist! Ron says that should be the first priority otherwise medical costs could bankrupt you!
Ron finally reached me on my cell phone so happy that he finally found my number. The cards were sent to Oklahoma so I'll have his card and his beautiful children's card will be in the mail. I am looking forward to writing back to them! It's getting close to Xmas so I need to send it off! They are the best behaved children that I have met and so proud that they are in my family! :)
Couples in which one spouse assumed that the other has ADD, yet the partner refuses treatment and lives in denial are by far the most difficult. This situation deserves an article of it’s own and will be addressed in a future newsletter.
For those couples that are working to find coping mechanisms for creating a harmonious life together, there are a few steps that can be taken:
1) Be sure your diagnosis is accurate. Be sure that there are no physical causes and check for co-existing conditions that might be present. This will allow you to make sure that you receive the proper treatment. Discuss whether you will consider medication, therapy, both or alternative means.
2) Look for the positive. Find out how ADD adds excitement, spontaneity, and fun to your life together and make a list of the great things about your relationship that you can contribute to having one spouse ADD. Keep these in mind as you go along so that you don’t lose site of why you are together.
3) Determine which behaviors are causing strife. This is certainly not a reason to go hog-wild and bash the partner with ADD (it is so important to complete step 2 first). Look at both the behaviors and the current reactions to them. Place in order of importance for improving your relationship.
4) Choose one or two behaviors to begin working on and brainstorm for strategies for overcoming or compensating for the behavior. Each couple is unique and the strategies must be worked out for your situation.
5) Decide on a method of communication. If you are having a difficult time with communication right now, you might consider some of the methods used by other couples:
One couple uses the phone. The husband is ADHD and tends to talk incessantly during conversations, but dislikes the telephone, so he is much quieter and this gives the wife an opportunity for him to listen to her for a few minutes.
One couple uses email to discuss issues. It works for them by allowing the emotional part of an argument to be removed so that they can work on the real issue.
Another couple uses a kitchen timer to make sure that each partner receives time during the conversation to talk without being interrupted.
6) Keep up your communication and work with each other to not only change unwanted behaviors but also to change unwanted reactions.
All marriages require work from both partners to continue a loving relationship. Marriages with one spouse with ADD can be even more difficult and trying, but can also be rewarding, loving relationships as long as both partners value and respect the other person and the strengths they bring to the relationship.
Other relationships in the past have not done well because of my own lack of organization. When the "future" mother in law comes down to visit, she see's what an idiot I am with practical skills and helps the daughter realize how could this man be a father when he doesn't even know how to fix a toilet.
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10 Things Adults with ADD Would Like Their Partners To Know
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Friday, December 17, 2004
It is such a gorgeous day and I feel like driving around KC today. Muffy has to work so I will do my best to not become bored and make the most of the Holy days after my release from being incubated in Mom's womb and the celebration of Jesus's birthday (when it's really the beginning of the winter soltice and a substitute for that pagan festival) Maybe she and I will discover some pagan festival and join them in their discussion with the Gods. (I'm kidding, ok!)
I am trying my best to keep my sense of humor yet not get on Muffy's nerves with the silly jokes. i.e. I was buying brekkie for my hypoglycemic love interest.
"Keep the Change"
I said to the Schlotsky window man when there was only one penny change thinking of Tom Hanks in the movie "Terminal".
She yelled at me and said that was an insult and wanted to give him all my car change that I leave for the toll takers. I told her that I was just trying to be funny or maybe it would have been more appropriate to say,
"Hey mate, no worries about the change"
But then it would not have been as funny. It's all about timing. Not making that can save countless hours of labor from minimum wages workers and CO poisoning from being way too long breathing car exhausts in a drive thru! Cashiers have to break open 50 cent rolls so they can make pointless change! Pennies have not been in existence for several years in Australia!
Wow. She will be rolling her eyes and tell me to smoke weed or I will say things that are not funny and make a fool of myself in front of strangers or insecure little bartenders.
The libraries in Kc give you 2 hours of internet but I just want to drive around the country on this gorgeous day and maybe find a friendly pub to partake in the happy hour rather than stay depressed?? I also need a swim at the Y but feel too lazy too exercise or if there was an extra pair of goggles??
Well now it's the next day and I'm so absentminded that I did not put the stash in the right place (the stuff was with my photos and I stupidly left the photos in the restroom. Now the photos were there but the elvidence has mysteriously disappeared. My absentmindedness puts me into real predicaments. In some respects I used to recheck and recheck to make sure that I had not forgotten anything often taking me a few hours to finally have everything that I think I need and I still forget stuff. I plan on making out a list and then missplace the list. I don't think and plan ahead about situations or especially with middle school age kids. I think where I try to do good, it only seems to backfire on me. Muffy was seeming to get tired of me yesterday when I was buying her schlotsky's sandwich. I came all the way to KC for two days to get away from shit and shit's gonna be everywhere you walk sometimes so do you eventually learn to save it for fertilizer?? Maybe something will blossom out of the turds. Are the only places that you can avoid anger and hate are far away from humanity or they only in Schwagatopia?? I don't even want to go into the details realizing that so many see this site and it will only give them ammunition to say that I shouldn't be teaching. I suppose all of this would not be a big deal if the weed was made legal. Well, maybe I have a purpose??
I decided to do something productive today and Muffy wanted me to at least check my brakes but it's the tie rod ends that need work. With my life time brakes warranty at Firestone, they'll at least check them and try to help muffle the screaching sound (often louder than an angry redneck!)....
I walked a mile to the library to to say hello to everybody and just be brutally honest with my own frailties and shortcomings. It was nice that Muffy finally was able to talk to Dad in Australia telling him how honest and upfront I was with her about my short and long comings. Maybe my brother and his wife have already read the site and that's why Ron didn't call for my birthday as he always has in the past. (oh well :(
It doesn't really even bother me that she wanted me to go. It seems that I often just chalk my failures as "another one bites the dust" and maybe eventually learn but I am so stupid and such a slow learner. How will I survive into old age gracefully when my own absent mindedness and disorganization gets me in trouble.
I do things to save money, like buying postal scales just to make sure that I won't get ripped off and the one time my vehicle is searched, there they are and so the cops want to say that I'm a pusher when I have never sold any and had about a 1/16th of an ounce. If I survive all this and organize it all it might be funny enough to sell a few copies. We looked at camcorders the other day and a really nice one with tripod and everything is selling for $440. I become hesitant and worry about the money but for a moment I am feeling good with myself and about to buy it. I chicken out on my impulsive mood and put off doing something that will be good for myself.
A documentary of either my downward spiral or how many hard kicks in my ass will it take for me to get my shit together.
I was almost too embarassed to mention the loss to Muffy fearing that it would only widen the schism between me and her daughter. I do not want to go into how far children will go to mess with you if they don't like you and will generally always succeed in making the man look stupid or evil to the mother. I look like an idiot to her and seeing her and other friend just sniggering or laughing at me when I walked in last night waiting for Muff to get off work. If the kids don't like you, you should realize that the relationship won't last. If the mother doesn't like you there isn't much chance either. So you think what is the point of even pursuing a relationship when you only want a friendship without any point of commitment when the relative (s) will do anything to sabotage the relationship if they don't like you.
When I saw the stuff gone from the Walgreen envelope, I thought that this will blow up if I mention it and I'm generally psychic when I feel like shit is gonna happen. (someone out there will say that I need therapy...duh.) So I mention it and it brings it all out into the open and it only brings out a can of worms and more confrontation. I can't sleep and Muffy would just prefer if I crashed on the leather couch.
Now the daughter was angry and confrontational with me for the first time. I just said that it was in the envelope and now it's gone from that envelope that I was stupid enough to leave in the restroom. Another one of my blunders. How would my ancestors with my problems have survived when they kept forgetting things? They wouldn't and I would have been so myopic without glasses. Cavemen didn't have glasses let alone laser surgery!
(I will be so happy when it's legalized, even if I have to wait until I'm 90, I will be writing letters to congressman about how it is far less harmfull than even a couple of beers. The last 2 presidents and I even think Jimmy Carter smoked it. Most likely Ronald Reagan or Gerald Ford didn't have any. So what's the big deal?)
Well at least I beat Muffy in scrabble last night probably I wasn't smoking. She even had a 50 point bonus for using up all her letters but I caught up using up all my letters and getting some triple word scores! Maybe that was her birthday present before she kicked me out after her daughter's insistence and her disrespect for me being lazy and not making a serious effort to go back to work. I think what is the point of going to work when you will get fired or forced to resign because your female bosses don't like you and get on a vendetta until you submit to them. Last year the psychologist would come into my room and spy for the principal and the emotionally disturbed director (all females). They decided to pick on my IEPs and lesson plans when the other special ed teachers were not keeping their IEPs and lesson plans up to snuff either. They even docked my pay for 2 days so I could observe other teachers that were not under the same scrutiny that I was. Their IEPs were far from perfect and did not have to have Kansas benchmarks for every item of the lesson! (Some other time, I will really get into that).
I realize that there is no real hope of a long term relationship when there is too much anger for me to want to stay in it.
WHY DOES SO MUCH ANGER SEEM TO PARK ITSELF RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO ME? I KNOW. IT'S NOT YOU. IT'S ME.
Maybe I should have just stayed home and not even ventured out in my car. I could have bought a little cake and a candle and just hibernate. Wow! How pathetic.
And then I think, that there is hope in the world and to go ahead and start this travel through Jesusland and the United States of Canada instead of just being holed up in a nowhere situation. In 11 years, I'll be 60 which might be too old to be teaching emotionally disturbed adolescents. I will definitely to old then to still be looking for my magical schwagmaiden that apreciates for exactly who I am and all my longcomings. I think sometimes I am so passive in relationships that it is easier for someone else to finally say it's over and then I am momentarily happy that I am free, but then I get depressed about being alone (boohoo! Get out the violin)
It will be fun to interview folks and write on my laptop. I have less than 2 weeks before the new year to really decide. I will make an intinerary of my travels and interview folks about everything from George Bush to why or why not Marijuana should be legalized. I can stay in touch with my lawyer on the cell phone. Maybe I could even write a letter to Rolling Stones Magazine and tell them about this trip and documentary. It will actually fun to let others see this stream of conciousness as you discover the country and the world (at least Australia) for other to see. It will be great to meet other Australian aborigines with my same last Scottish name. (Scottish was the word Muff used when she used all of her seven letters!) My greatgrandfather left Scotland and managed a station (sheep farm) for at least 10 years. We always believed that there were Aborigines with our name until we finally saw the evidence when there was a photo of him in the front page of an Australian paper fighting for Aboriginal Rights. They said they he hung himself in prison. I wonder! It would be so fantastic to go try to find out where they live and interview them and what they might remember about their own ancestry going back over 120 years. I would love to write about the history of our family too when one Scot escapes to Australia and his brother goes to the States to fight against slavery. He was shot while trying to escape Andersonville. Dad is much more interested in finding more about him than going on a wild goose chase in the "outback" looking for Aborigine relatives.
Hey isn't this far more interesting to write about than missing bud and girl problems?
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
""The Human Race!"
Somedays you feel a positive energy that is definitely accentuated by "no news is good news" from the lawyer. The preliminary court date is set for the 21st and when he was talking with the prosecutor, there was still no news of any other charges, so that gives me a little more peace of mind and talking with the lawyer about the false charges from a very judgemental field sobrietry test.
I told him that I had asked the cop how I failed after I blew .000 on the test and questioned the validity of the field test. He said that I put my foot down after counting to 10 Mississippi's! My lawyer laughed. Then I said how they might have an illegal search when I had failed an invalid test. My feelings are that the cop might have been too embarassed about the situation and threw away the other evidence rather than pursue it. The short fat balding inexperienced(one year)policeman seemed to be almost apologetic I was leaving the station with my friends (who would fit the hippy profile).
The date will be reset for the middle of January and then I can schedule my journey south relaxed for at least a few months. That is enough time to really enjoy my last year before this half century of my life is over!
Charles and I went for a nice walk. There was litte relative wind compared to the cold biting wind of yesterday. I am looking forward to renting it out to someone that I can trust rather than an unstable tent with an obsession for guns and axes.
We saw his old grey Japanese car drive by not checking to see if he was in it, but I keep seeing his car every other day at the wierdest spots and times. I know it sounds paranoid, but you never know with some folks. They rob from you, walk off without paying the bills and then still want some sort of revenge. They remind you of the quiet type of people that go on murderous rampages. No matter what you do those folks will be on some sort of vendetta wanting to make your life uncomfortable.
I try my best to understand hate and what motivates folks to do "evil". They are misunderstood and often rationalize evil behavior such as the Murrah building bombing
by folks obsessed with guns and TNT. Michael Moore interviewed Terry Nichols on "Bowling for Columbine". It is interesting to see what goes on in the mind of someone that does not care about human lives.
Maybe I should come back after a few days in case anything happens to my place again. My friend Charles says that they wouldn't do it especially since I will call the police. I'm not so concerned about the social chairman as I am by someone else that is filled with hate and it can be easily directed to someone that they hate.
I wish that all of this never happened but we don't have crystal balls to tell the future. You bend over backward to help someone and then they justify doing evil.
It so much seems a small scale of the way the world is.
Our government helped out Saddam and Ben Laden. We helped them become the monsters that they are. We endorsed Hussein's behavior because he was fighting against our mutual enemy, Iran. We gave money and guns to Ben Laden and the Afghanis to fight our common enemy, the Soviets. We gave Afghanistan no more help after the Russians were gone. This only helped rationalize their new directives to the other major power after the USSR, the United States.
It's now a couple of hours later after a couple of 25 ounce beers for only 3.00!
As long as we stay consumed with hate we will eventually destroy ourselves. Folks filled with hate and obsessed with weapons will eventually use nuclear weapons and help finish off our own species.
Littleton and Beyond; Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" Explores America's Obsession With Guns and Violence
by David Sterritt and Mikita Brottman
"Bowling for Columbine," the latest film from director Michael Moore, pictured, will be back in the spotlight this week when in is released on DVD. Image courtesty United Artists.
[Editor's Note: indieWIRE originally published this review in May 2002 as part of our Cannes coverage. The film is is being released this week on DVD.]
"Bowling for Columbine" explores more profound problems than "Roger & Me," the 1989 documentary that put Michael Moore on the filmmaking map. The question he tackled there -- why would a fat-cat corporation ruin a city with shutdowns and layoffs? -- had an easy answer: greed. This time he takes on America's penchant for violence and guns, a wide-ranging issue that eludes the clear explanation he'd like to find.
Moore bases "Bowling for Columbine" on a series of paradoxes. Firearms and mayhem are ingrained parts of the American scene, often traced to a legacy of violence predating the Revolutionary War, and to a love affair with weapons going back just as far. Yet countries like Germany and Britain have equally violent histories, and Canada couples a low murder rate with gun-ownership figures similar to those of the United States.
In his effort to discover why America dotes so much on guns, Moore talks to all sorts of weapon-toting patriots, from camouflage-clad members of the Michigan Militia to a brother of Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols and a napalm-happy suburbanite who tests homemade bomb recipes from "The Anarchist's Cookbook."
Moore also spends time in Littleton, Colo., where he persuades survivors of the Columbine high-school shooting to confront representatives from Kmart, which sold the bullets still embedded in their bodies. Farther north, he chats with Canadians about their country's low level of violence and barges into people's houses through the front doors they cheerfully leave unlocked.
Moore hasn't lost his knack for digging out oddballs from the sticks, with special interest in poker-faced PR people and small-time authority figures who don't know how to parry his sardonic questions -- like a state trooper who soberly considers whether a rifle-carrying canine might be culpable in an accidental shooting.
Such mordant vox-pop footage is juxtaposed with more sobering montage sequences, including tapes from security cameras in the Columbine cafeteria and news coverage of American military interventions over the past 50 years. In case you didn't notice, the most savage U.S. bombing in Kosovo took place the same day as the Columbine massacre.
The film's strongest argument is that most American violence is either legally sanctioned -- police actions, military operations, and the like -- or committed by citizens saturated with media-generated paranoia. Exhibit A is the hugely popular cable show "Cops," followed by nightly news programs with their "if it bleeds it leads" mentality, often permeated with a barely disguised racist subtext.
Moore uses a mosaic of TV news headlines to demonstrate media obsession with disasters du jour, from gang warfare to "Africanized" killer bees -- despite the fact that most of urban America is safe and even dull, as he shows by taking an uneventful stroll through much-maligned South Central Los Angeles. The real causes of crime, according to "Bowling for Columbine," are rarely dramatic and seldom newsworthy: social inequities, cultural anxieties, and welfare policies that force poor single mothers into minimum-wage jobs that separate them from their kids.
These are a far cry from out-of-control gangs, kill-crazy video games, and other scapegoats lurking "out there" in the mythical boiler-room of American culture. In one of the film's most striking scenes, goth rocker and veteran scapegoat Marilyn Manson argues that fear is a major fuel for modern capitalism, as people frantically consume to allay the anxiety fostered by media rumor-panics and other scare-mongering propaganda.
"Bowling for Columbine" would be more powerful if such insightful moments were delivered with fewer digressions, and if some of its arguments didn't seem so sketchy. American history is far too recent and idiosyncratic to be compared with that of England or Germany, for instance, let alone reduced to the oversimplifications of a "South Park"-style history lesson Moore injects into the movie. He doesn't ask why American news is driven so constantly by urban violence, or why shows like "Cops" draw such enormous audiences.
"Bowling for Columbine" also contains too much of Moore himself, morphing from indefatigable populist to grandstanding scenery-chewer as he commiserates with sobbing schoolteachers, waves around pictures of murdered children, and congratulates himself for getting Kmart to stop selling bullets. He pushes the envelope in the final sequence, where he tracks down National Rifle Association honcho Charlton Heston in his Beverly Hills home and badgers the bewildered star until he throws up his hands and totters out of the room.
It's a quintessential Moore moment: The mighty Moses of the NRA turns out to be a courteous old fool who can hardly comprehend the accusations thrown at him, much less answer them. But it's also a reminder that Moore didn't become a culture hero -- or a movie star -- by being Mr. Nice Guy, and that this friend of the common man can still pack a nasty punch when the time is right and the camera is pointed his way.
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You couldn't be more wrong POSTED Mon Mar 15 [11:48 AM] BY jayn1
I do not know whether or not Michael Moore has made any money on this film, I think that it is irrelavant - if you ever have the chance to watch this movie I think you should.
It is a documentary - movie, that looks into the right to own a gun in america. The film makes a pretty normal assumption in saying that the law which dictates that every american has the right to own a gun - also is the law that causes so many murders every day in America.
When you can by ammunition in your nearby wallmarth and the media blows the fear of criminals way out of proportions, is it then strange that the murder rate in US is 10 times that of the country with the second highest murder rate ?
Cause and effect.
Great movie !
I live in Denmark and it gave me a new perspective on the american system as a whole. Glad I don't live there.
POSTED Fri Sep 5 [1:36 PM] BY kyounshi
i think its great to finally have a voice, a small one, but a voice come out, but in the form of relatively widely spread art. besides, i dont think people choose to make movies for the money. especially not michael moore, in his most recent book, he writes that he will not make another film. with all the ink and attention hes gotten, i think this proves he doesnt want money above all, and even less from others' pain.
Why Teenagers Turn to Violence
3. These are deeply troubled, tragic teenagers
Anyone who kills is a troubled person. But teenagers who ruthlessly take the lives of fellow students in mass murders are generally even more psychologically disturbed than an adult who kills a person in a fit of passion or during a crime. These teenagers have such distorted emotional lives and thinking processes that they lack some of the very most basic ingredients of a normal person. At the core, they have a very deep inability to love or connect emotionally in any meaningful way with another human being. They neither feel loved, nor are they able to love. They are tragic, lost souls seeking to find a place in life. Lacking almost any deep human connectedness, life becomes a game, and killing someone evokes no more remorse than shooting a tin can or a target at the county fair. One of the shooters in Colorado , for example, is reported to have been laughing as he murdered his fellow students. Such callous disregard for human life has to reflect a deep, deep absence of the normal human capacity to love and care for others.
Some of these emotionally disturbed individuals have psychotic features; that is, they have serious distortions in their thought processes and their capacity to judge reality. Others have a long-standing failure to form deep emotional ties, a severe lack of guilt or remorse, and a tendency toward impulsive or uncontrolled actions.
Most of these disturbed adolescents have a horrible self-concept. Whether that is because of long years on the receiving end of parental neglect, hostility, or abuse, or for other unknown causes, these teenagers fundamentally do not like themselves. They hate others because they hate themselves and believe others have it better than they do so they envy them.
When children see parents fight and argue
and blame everyone else for their problems,
they learn to handle problems the same way.
When the Colorado killers focused much of their rage on athletes, they apparently envied the athlete's success or stature and felt they could not live up to their abilities or status. Feeling inferior, less privileged or less gifted, they decided the best way to even the score was to strike out at someone they envied. And when they targeted minorities they were saying, "We disdain or despise you. We are better than you!" In both instances they were attempting to level the playing field in their own minds. They wanted to lift themselves up in their own distorted thinking by tearing others down-even to the point of death.
Nearly all violent teenagers come from violent homes or homes where there are serious emotional and relational problems, even if they are not apparent to those outside the family. When children see parents fight and argue and blame everyone else for their problems, they learn to handle problems the same way. In other families, there are silent battles, or emotionally uninvolved parents, or serious mental confusion. It is not uncommon to read that the parent of a teenager who murdered others says, "He didn't mean to hurt anyone."
Understandably, parents of these children would be horrified and devastated and have difficulty accepting what their child has done. But one cannot help but wonder what kind of thinking and relating was going on in a home where, after a teenager has murdered five people and wounded ten others, the parent says, "He didn't mean to hurt anyone." When parents are this incredibly unaware or naive or prone to make excuses for their children, is it any wonder the children feel confused? And how can a child learn to be a responsible, mature person in this environment?
4. Many violent teenagers are seeking to feel powerful, important, admired, or big
They have vivid fantasy lives and dream of proving how powerful and potent they can be. Since they feel so alienated, unloved, and different, they try to silence their distressing feelings by turning to illusions of power and importance. They don't realize, of course, that their presumed strength is actually incredible weakness. Instead of having the strength and courage to face their hurts, admit their needs, and seek help from God and others, they turn to a pseudo strength-the pseudo-strength of violence.
This search for power is apparent in the military-type uniforms some members of fringe groups wear. It can be seen in Nazi dress, obsession with guns, identifying with angry music, or in the angry friends and fantasies that potentially violent adolescents harbor in their minds. In a perverse sort of way, violent teenagers also imagine that others will admire them. They believe their plans are incredibly brilliant and that they will demonstrate their exceptional intelligence, superiority, cunning, and power by showing that they can outsmart others and commit horrible murders. Since they idealize destructive men like Hitler, or devious, malicious men, they assume that others will admire their imagined "strength," "cunning," "intelligence," or "power."
5. Some acting-out teenagers are suffering from neurological problems or attention deficit hyperactivity disorders
While such physiologically based problems do not excuse hateful, destructive acts (since most people with these difficulties do not commit murder), the physical difficulties can help us understand why some teenagers act the way they do. To live maturely, we need to feel at least reasonably good about ourselves and others, and we need to learn to control our impulses and our negative emotions.
Children with neurological difficulties that make it hard for them to learn, or to concentrate and pay attention, can have great difficulties feeling good about themselves in our competitive world. They also often have trouble controlling their thoughts, feelings and responses.
When most of us become upset, we try to calm ourselves so that we don't do anything irresponsible. But when hyperactive children and those with attention deficits become upset, they tend to act without thinking. Recent research actually shows neurological differences in the brains of many criminals who impulsively act out crimes of violence. The combination of feeling negatively about themselves, being angry, and being impulsive, increases the likelihood that they will engage in various kinds of antisocial activities.
They have grandiose and
bizarre fantasies of being
superior to everyone else.
6. Adolescents who turn to violence are also spiritually confused or lost
Most have no real relationship with God at all. In fact, their weird clubs or odd choices of friends typically substitute for a relationship, not only with healthy people but also with God. Lacking any spiritual purpose and direction, they attempt to create meaning in life by building their own view of how the world should be. They decide who the bad people are-"sinners" who are different from them. They decide who the good people are-the underdogs or inferior feeling people like them. And then they decide to even the score. In essence, they have created their own mini-religious worldview. They have become their own omnipotent gods, deciding who should live and who should die. They may not be psychotic like mentally ill people who believe they are Jesus Christ. But they do have grandiose and bizarre fantasies of being superior to everyone else. They have an arrogant pride in their own devious plans. And they have their own completely distorted way of understanding the world.
Once in a while, these disturbed individuals actually have faith in God and may even be born-again Christians. When they are, however, their Christian experience is extremely distorted by their mental confusion and their emotional pain. Even if they are active in a church or other spiritual activities, they are not personally and emotionally connected to God and others in a healthy way. They may even wrench a few verses of Scripture out of context to justify their distorted theories.
Monday, December 13, 2004
By Gary Mussell
Three years ago, the last of the nude beaches near Los Angeles was lost. After a tradition that had lasted over thirty years, county sheriffs started issuing tickets en masse at Bates Beach following complaints from a few local homeowners, who didn’t like “those people on our beach.” Within months, the ticketing campaign had its desired effect, and those who had enjoyed the surf, sand, and weekly volleyball games sans clothing at Bates were all gone. This was not the first time it had happened in Southern California, indeed the pattern of complacency followed by sudden sweeps of ticket-issuing police, followed by a frantic but failed effort to negotiate some compromise had occurred several times during the preceding decade at other local beaches. In retrospect, nudists should have seen it coming and prepared by making friends in the community with local homeowners and officials while things were going well, but nobody wanted to believe it could actually happen until it was too late.
People from other parts of the country are always surprised to learn how few nude beaches there are along the Southern California coast. Traveling north from Black’s in San Diego, one finds San Onofre about 40 miles farther up the coast, but then it is another 200 miles before one can find another at More Mesa, north of Santa Barbara. An attempt to make Venice Beach clothing optional during the late 1970’s failed and the Los Angeles City Council and County Supervisors responded with legislation that effectively killed any chance after that for a nude beach in the Los Angeles county. During the 1980’s the two remaining nude beaches near Los Angeles, at Smuggler’s Cove, near Palos Verdes, and Dume Cove beach near Malibu both were shut down when sheriff deputies swept in and starting handing out citations. To the north in Santa Barbara, another favorite nude beach, Summerland, was also repeatedly swept clear of bathers without proper swimwear, although there remains a stubborn small group of nudists there to this day who continuously challenge the “No Nudity” signage. That brings us to Bates Beach, located about 10 miles south of Summerland at the boundary of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, about 50 miles north of Los Angeles.
Bates sits on the north side of Rincon Point. At the Point is a small, gated community of multi-million dollar homes and a group of very organized homeowners. To the south of the Point, on the Ventura County side, is the traditional clothed beach that the locals refer as Rincon. It is about a mile long, and it has some of the best surfing waves in Southern California. On any given weekend the water is populated with dozens of surfers and boogie-borders. To the north of the Point is another beach, also about a mile long, referred to by the locals as Bates Beach. It is in Santa Barbara County. It has a separate inclined path from the parking lot to the sand, with its textile beach to the left and the nude beach to the right, starting up the sand about 1000 yards. Because Bates is a county beach – not a state beach – the Cahill Policy that gives some protection to California nudists does not apply. Still, a “live-and-let-live” tradition had allowed the beach to remain nude for years without incident.
At its peak during the late 1990’s, an average of 300-500 nudists per day used to populate the northern end of the beach. On holidays that number often quadrupled. The beach attracted nudists of all ages, both families and singles, but especially those who enjoyed playing volleyball. The weekend games often ran continuously for hours at a time, and participants remember it as pure joy to play and to watch.
Each day ended with a BBQ. One person brought down a car battery and a mixer so the group could mix Margaritas. Those who came to he beach every weekend brought down a large 30-gallon drum in which they stored the BBQ, mixer, and their volleyball equipment so that they didn’t have to carry it up and down the hill on each visit. Nothing was every stolen from the drum.
One of the local nudists, Marc, recalled the story of the Amtrak train engineer who used to frequent the beach on his days off, and who drove his train on the main track beside the beach on his twice-weekly run between LA and San Francisco. On the day the engineer retired and was making his last trip, the entire group stood along the tracks and mooned the train.
Others had similar stories.
Kim met his future wife at Bates a few years ago. He said he used to be a Summerland person before the ticketing began there. “I just moved to a different beach, found new friends, and stayed for the volleyball.”
In 1979, Bob and Julie also met on Bates and eventually married. Bob had been a regular at Black’s but when he moved to Ventura County he soon discovered Bates. They have two daughters and brought them to the beach often.
Wayne remembers coming to Bates beach as a kid in the late 1950’s. Like Kim, he preferred Summerland, but moved down the coast when the police began cracking down there in the early 80’s.He enjoyed the volleyball every weekend, but said, “ I especially like the feel of swimming nude in the ocean.”
Frank discovered nudity while vacationing at a secluded beach near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in 1970. He also was a regular at Black’s Beach in San Diego, then started going to Bates when he moved to Ventura in the mid-1980’s. Frank, however, found a way to earn a living off the beach: “On weekends I sold drinks on the beach: Fruit drinks and beer. None of it licensed of course, I just bought a load at the market and resold it on the beach. Made a nice profit for my efforts.”
During the summer of 1999, some new residents moved into the homes at the Point who began complaining about the nudity as they took their daily walks along the beach. The nudists generally ignored them. Soon thereafter, a single county sheriff would come down the beach once a day. A few nudists recalled that he never told them to get dressed, and the group became quite friendly with him.
Early the following summer, things suddenly went terribly wrong. One of the Point residents who walked the beach daily began calling the Sheriff daily to complain about the nudity. By law, the deputies had to come down to the beach, and this time they began insisting that people get dressed. At the same time, the Homeowner Association at the Point voted to raise funds for their own pair of deputies to focus “their beach” and enforce the no nudity law. The first large-scale busts for nudity began over Independence Day weekend of 2000.
The nudists responded by placing lookouts at the top of the ramp with a walkie-talkie to alert the beach group when the deputies were coming. The deputies responded by placing a spotter of their own on the cliff above the beach, equipped with binoculars and walkie-talkie so he could direct the deputies on the beach to the persons who had been nude but who had gotten dress as the law was approaching down the sand.
Tickets were $70 each for the first offense and gradually rose on a sliding scale to nearly $300 after the third ticket, plus the threat of being registered as a sex offender. Most people did not want the ticket on their record, and those who defiantly fought the ban found that soon the accumulative effect of the fines was more than they could continue to afford to pay.
Marc and some of the other nudists tried to speak to the local homeowners, but it was too late. By that time it was too late. The homeowners wanted no dialog. The Sheriff’s office was more sympathetic to the nudist leaders, stating they had no problem with the nudity itself, but by law they had to act upon a complaint. And the homeowners made sure a complaint was made on a daily basis.
“We tried everything,” said Marc. “We tried the homeowners, the local Sheriff’s office, even the local County Supervisor. Nobody would listen to our side of the story.”
The ticketing sweeps continued every weekend during the rest of the summer and by September; even those who wanted to fight the law found they were economically unable to handle the fines. The 30-year tradition of nudity at Bates was over.
Many of those who preferred the nudity, more so than the beach, moved on to Elysium, the closest resort about 50 miles to the south. The volleyball games continued there for another year, until Elysium closed in the Fall of 2001.
Since the nudists abandoned the beach three years the number of clothed beachgoers has also dwindled. Yes, some of them used to take walks down the beach just to “take a look”, but many of them didn’t come down at all and most exhibited a live-and-let-live attitude.
Ironically after the nudists left, that part of the beach became quite cluttered with trash and became a center for sexual and drug activity. Ironically, these degrading factors seem to have driven the textiles off their part of the beach also, and at times the entire beach no longer feels safe. Ironic the residents got the nudists off their beach but now they have a beach even they don’t want to be on!
Those who preferred the beach came back occasionally – clothed – but not in great numbers. Those who do return say they love the sand and water more than the nudity and so they obey the law and remain covered up. They play volleyball occasionally, dressed. Deputies still walk the beach daily, but the heavy enforcement ended soon after the summer of 2000 when the majority of nudists were chased away. The beach remains posted with a “No Nudity Allowed” sign at the top of the ramp leading to the sand.
On April 24, 2004 About 25 of these nudists-in-exile returned to their favorite beach to help cleanup the trash and symbolically reclaim their stretch of sand. SCNA joined these Friends of Bates Beach as an Earth Day activity to clean up the glass, paper, and other garbage, collecting several bags worth. A traditional volleyball game followed. It was the first time many of the former nudists had returned to their favorite beach. The activity was promoted in the local paper as a way to alert the local residents that someone besides themselves cared about the beach’s fate.
“What we want to do here is reclaim the beach back from those who are destroying the neighborhood,” said a Friends of Bates spokesperson. “Our very presence there – whether nude or not – will discourage these others from coming back. Our long term goal is to hope the neighbors realize they have more to gain by having us back.” Some of these participants wanted to talk more about their nudist experiences during the 2000 crackdown, and their feelings about losing the beach: Kim was of the opinion that the goodwill gesture was futile. “I understand that The state budget crunch may mean there will be fewer deputies available to patrol the beach. On the other hand, as long as those homeowners live there, it may not make a difference. We may have wait until those people at Rincon Point either die or move away. “It’s terrible. I hope (the nude beach) will come back some day.”
One Nudist who wanted to be identified only as “Errol Flynn” said “I never got a ticket. I heard they were giving them out so I just stopped coming down. There was no use in fighting it.” That summed up the feelings of many on the beach. Wayne said he didn’t really mind the $70 tickets because “They’re cheaper than spending a weekend at a nudist resort in Palm Springs.” He said he continues to visit Bates regularly, and that he continues to be nude when possible, “quietly sitting under my umbrella, and nobody bothers me. I am just sad I cannot get up and move around or go down to the water anymore.”
Lee missed the weekly volleyball games. “I still come back occasionally but it isn’t the same wearing clothes.”
Frank said “I am more angry at the sheriff for chasing away my customers than I am for losing the nudity. Basically, I’m a beach person more than a nudist. I love Bates and if it means I have to remain dressed to be here, then I guess I will be dressed. I still come to the beach almost every weekend. I don’t go nude unless I am the only one here.” Bob and Julie are raising their children in a clothing optional home. “We bought a boat and go sailing often out to the Channel Islands and we are nude on the boat.”
Dianne said “I love that beach! However I am not willing to risk a fine or jail time to keep it (nudist). If you can get the Sheriff and locals to agree to our return, I will be happy to be there on weekends.”
A small group of Bates refugees said they have been going to More Mesa, about 20 miles to the north, where the local nudists and homeowners actually did talk to each other several years ago and reached a compromise so that half the beach could remain clothing-optional. “It is smaller that Bates and a more rugged climb down to the sand from the cliffs, but the good news is there are very few “lookie loos” because it is so hard to get to.”
At the end of the day, as the sun was getting much lower in the sky and the clothed beach-goers had all left the area, we noticed a few of the Friends were again textile-free, if just to regain the beach for a few minutes. A few even ran down to the water and dipped themselves in the cool Pacific.
The lesson here is obvious: we can never take our nude beaches for granted. Strive to make and keep friends in the local community. Keep a constant vigil for problems with developers of property nearby, and strive to isolate those self-appointed vigilantes whose agenda is the extinction of our chosen lifestyle. We have lost this battle too many times recently and so we serve as a warning to the rest of you.
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