Who did it?
Who sat there waiting with a snare
And urged the girl to dare
Her island grows slowly
While the coffers stall,
And for each mistake
They trade a wife.
While the trumpets wail,
Fear flames on the hate.
The words “perform and obey,”
And to parade
Her final years of strife?
Who persuades darkly markered men,
And their complicit-drawn women?
Who’s turning tides to fight?
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Who did it?
Inspiration for me comes in waves, it crashes against my hull and creates such disturbance that it simply must be acted upon – in whichever manner it must – lest I go mad, continually being thrown starboard to port and back again.
One of the things I hope to do with this blog is relay some of the experiences I’ve had in the past several years both in Real Life and Online. Not to hurt anyone, but rather, to inform – or share things that may be useful to my readers. It was a true journey – learning the trials and tribulations of being online; adopting a variety of personas in a virtual space; coming to terms with my perceptions of how it affected my real life; and truly learning “who I am” in doing so.
Sometimes I purge. I think it’s good, and necessary, and I refuse to punish myself for it – or let anyone else do so. But because I am kind of a neurotic person, I tend to think “how did I cause this” before thinking “who did this to me.” And thus, when I purge, I promise what I post here won’t be much in detail– or blame, but more a bubbling of perceptions that I’m compelled to organize before truly moving on to storymaking. So you’ll see it all here – first draft to final – I hope you enjoy my process. I’ve come to.
Yes. That is the word – “poo.”
One of the double-edged swords of online gaming is continually forgetting that there is a real person behind the avatar you are chatting with. I forget this all the time. Sometimes I think I’m mumbling to a computer, or robot – an entity without feeling or regard of the Universal balance we call ’cause and effect.’ So when I tell you that I developed a case of “late stage” paranoia that my real life and my virtual life were merging – this is why. When I’m inworld, I don’t use the fancy gadgets that other avatars use, I could care less that the group of avatars I’m talking to might actually be just one person. (Kudos to them and all the energy they have, if that’s the case.) I was there to chat, satiate my curiosity with some adventures, go shopping on the cheap, and generally get away from the real world for awhile.
It’s also why I didn’t think twice about sharing my poo stories.
One night folks were sharing their “extreme partying” stories. I didn’t really have much to tell at the time, but I did have a funny story that had just happened to me – on my way to a Friday Night Happy Hour.
I had been trying to lose weight for some time. Working full time, going to school, taking care of a family, keeping up a house…well… you get the idea. It amounted to a significant weight gain. However, I had gotten it into my head that I could look like my avatar. I’m not talking about surgery or anything, but I think having an avatar inspired me to look better, as they’re all so very perfect. I’m sure there’s some “research” on the topic somewhere and I’ll remind myself to go look it up one day (heh).
At the same time there were commercials on the air that “My Ally” had FINALLY gotten FDA approval and would be released to the public. Yes! I will take the fat decreasing shortcut, please…and will soon be melting pounds away like Butter Flavored Crisco! (MyAlly users should already know where I’m going with this.)
I was particularly proud of my results so far, Spring had arrived and I was very excited to wear my WHITE CAPRIS.
And then I sneezed.
Oh God. That didn’t just happen. (Yes, LG, it did.) You just made number two in your capris.
So I did what any other Happy Hour Hungry Hippo working in a medical facility would do…. I snuck into Resusci Annie’s storage closet, ripped the pants right off her and was on my merry in no time.
(The avatars were rolling in their imaginary chairs, I just knew it.) But I couldn’t stop there….newwwwwww. I had to be the funny one, the one coming from left-field – irreverent and quirky – so high on the moment that I type “…well at least my dog didn’t bring my underwear back this time.”
Oh God. That didn’t just happen.
I type too fast sometimes. They don’t have a recall button in world like Outlook has. So now, I HAVE to go on and tell the related story, of being a girl…barely 8 or so… getting into her parents chocolate-flavored ExLax. Ridden with shame, she expels her bloomers into the nearby woods. Only to have the retriever “bring ’em back” to her Pa.
Oh the lesson she learned.
So we come to my late-stage paranoia. After telling the stories and being teased mercilessly online, I log off and go to bed. But I can’t sleep. Who was I talking to? In real life? What if they knew who I was? In real life? NO ONE CAN KNOW ABOUT THE POO! I AM A TEACHER FOR CHRISSAKES!
I didn’t sleep the whole night.
The next few weeks, I kept deriving meaning from every communication I had. Not the silly meaning making that confounds you on occasion, like… telling your boss you want to do a ropes course at the YMCA, and having him think it’s akin to the knot tying badge he earned in Eagle Scout’s. No, MY ropes course is about teambuilding, not tying knots, DUH!
It stayed on my mind like this for weeks. I was suspicious of everyone. One night my family started joking about diarreah at the dinner table (which is gross anyway) – and so I squinted at my husband.
My friend bought me a Cadbury chocolate bar as an Easter Gift, it looked suspiciously like an Ex-lax block. I squinted at her.
The TV began airing “Regularity” commercials. I squinted at it.
A stranger in the elevator mentioned “you have something on the back of your pants” and so while brushing of the lint…I squinted at her too.
At some point, I got over it. But not before quietly quizzing everyone I knew, under the radar, if they had any knowledge, whatsoever, about my poo.
P.S. Yes, I did give Annie her pants back.
9/6/12 5:14 pm
I felt 12 years old today. Sitting in the back seat of my parents car, after they picked me up from work. I am 45.
Traffic is especially heavy this hour, semi-trucks barrel past, their brakes and muffler engage, discharge, engage…keeping pace with our car. I barely notice the sirens or the cars whizzing past to cut in front of us. My “mom ears” are on – a colloquialism my daughter offered when I was busy online or on my phone, compartmentalizing and blocking out any input. It became a bad habit.
I’m happy to not be driving for once, happy to be driven. My step-dad is sitting in the passenger seat directly in front – I don’t recognize him anymore…at least from the back seat. He’s looking decidedly older, his birthday was today, and at 67, I realize he probably won’t change much. So set in his ways and means of decision-making. His life…oh God – it was rough. Mine, was tough, but with so much potential….his was rough and during the 50s and 60s. Despite our history, and our most recent falling out – I begin to wonder if maybe he’s open to seeing some things a bit differently…
Dad’s your typical Republican; economically conservative, a former cop of 35 years – completely biased and successful in suppressing outward bigotry for the past 10 or so. Lately, he’s been under the impression that I’m..I dunno … stealing from them? I would laugh if it weren’t so pathetic.
How can you steal from “nothing?”
He’s pretty much lost everything due to his bad choices, and bad luck: his license, his car, his job … basically his freedom. The financial toll is wearing on him and my step-mom. They bicker a lot more. Our house (his house), though seemingly well-maintained on the outside, is in utter disarray on the inside. Gutting it would feel more homey. Maybe a bit of paint? I asked him once, he’s far too disillusioned…even to do that.
I’m not sure that’s the word for it, but I’ll think on it and get back to you. So. Yeah. He’s conservative. I’m not. He wants to keep guns legal, of course; wants less government, tax breaks for the companies will bring more jobs; wants people to “find their moral center” and “get back to basics.”
Right now he’s living pretty fucking basic.
He blames crime and poverty on the lazy immigrants. I think, to him, our black population is all immigrant-based. Ugh. He couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get a job. Any. Job. “You’re a smart girl, why don’t you walk up to Cub Foods and fill out an application?”
“It doesn’t work like that anymore Dad, everything’s online now.”
“Aren’t you a computer-saavy person?”
“Yup, believe me, Dad, I’m trying.”
So. After our last passive aggressive bout of “I’m going to eat all your food and then what will you do with no money coming in yet, Lazy-Child-O-Mine?” I told him a little story…
Slowly at first. Talking about this was hard for me and I had to be very careful so he would understand. Plus, talking about politics with him was usually taboo. But let’s start with jobs. We begin talking about business and about how immigrants are coming into this country “taking away our jobs.”
Well I agree to a certain extent, but not how he thinks it’s happening. So I say “Well, Dad, you know big business is kinda shipping them out of our country too…overseas.”
Big Business. Lots of Lobbyists.
Anyway, I nod and start to talk from a different angle. Well, you know how I’ve been on this human-trafficking kick, how I’m researching different programs I could become involved in, programs that assist victims of human trafficking. It’s really exploded due to the increase in online gaming and social networking.
Then I told him about my cousin, and how I think she’s living in L.A. as a webcam sex worker – nobody knowing how she got there, and highlighted the rest of our family’s plight – especially the women.
Then I said…”you know, I had a stalker too, probably still do. Really tried to get me to do some weird stuff.”
I let him stew for a bit. A couple days later, we played another game called “hide the sunglasses.”
And so this morning on the way to work, I started talking to him and my step-mom about my situation. He asked how I could tell I was being stalked. “Well, I know enough about technology, to know bad stuff is happening to me, dad.”
“Do you guys remember about 20 years ago, when Bush announced they were planning a ‘New World Order’ or some such? Well, so what if a bunch of other countries took offense…you know if they weren’t already offended by the States.”
So many countries seem to hate us, are we already a foregone conclusion?
I continued to ask them if they remember hearing about that Kony 2012 campaign.
No….oh wait, maybe… wasn’t that a hoax?
Nope. Joseph Kony is this African Warlord who kidnaps children then tortures and brainwashes them to do his bidding, including going back and destroying their own homes and families. I’m not sure how active he is now – but my theory is that Kony saw that “New World Order” peace and decided to take action. And maybe there are lots of Kony’s. And maybe there are lots of countries being destroyed.
I had an online course with someone from one of the countries near there, and he took a shine to me. So it seems. Hacked my email, my phone, my skype, my computer, figured out my gaming accounts, downloaded key loggers, the whole bit. Then he would “appear” at very opportune moments or happen to mention things I had been emailing other people about, or start talking about a course or a job, etc etc. I thought we had so much in common. And then he wanted assistance with a project that he was working on with our professor. Telling me he was planning on building a school back in Africa and would love it if I wanted to be a part of it. Asked me to go to conventions with him, etc. etc. All very subtle, but seemingly on the level.
And then I moved in with a girl. And joined a Buddhist organization. I’m such a risk-taker.
And he got more assertive…started talking more contrived, about how my Buddhist organization was growing in Africa and China. Mentioning they had a “cure” for lesbians in his country, talking about the number of wives the men could have. Then he talked about how he knew important people back home and how he was hosting a V.I.P. from Uganda – “Connie” – in his home in the Cloud.
It got weirder after that. And I got scared, and I still am…but I’ll never let it decide my fate.
Tribal Warfare is all about targeting and destroying from the inside out. I used to be able to see it online, but I can’t find it too much anymore. It starts with targeting and stalking individuals – or following other groups that are doing this and then piggybacking onto their efforts. Making individuals weaker and more vulnerable than they already are. Creating situations in which they make or are forced to make poor choices. Preying on their secrets and insecurities. They isolate targets, brainwash them into thinking they’re crazy or less than, and once they have ‘nothing left’ they use whatever means they can to get those individuals to join together and do it to someone else. Maybe it’s for money, or power, or sex – maybe it’s under the guise of righteousness or justice, or because they’re being blackmailed. They prey on values, morals and beauacracy. Ruin an individual, then the family, then the community…and then they come in and institute their own policies (going back to basics, redacting women’s rights) take what they want from whoever they want. And if they can traffic a few white blonde girls in the meantime, all the more better.
“So, maybe this is all about ‘Right Here Right Now’, Dad. Maybe he’s the man for this job, right now. You KNOW all this didn’t just start 4 years ago.”
And I squeezed his shoulder and said quietly, “Happy Birthday, Dad. I love you.”
He couldn’t look at me the rest of the night, but I swear I heard the Democratic Convention coming from his room later on. Maybe my dad is more “misaligned” than he is “disillusioned.”
Everyone wants to be part of the solution…I get it. However….
IMO, the solution is deceptively simple, but oh so utterly hard to do:
- Just stop. Stop blaming, hating and “contributing” to anyone else’s misery.
- Talk about stuff.
- Know you’re loved, love yourself..feel it in your bones. People have got some weird shit in their closet, 99% of us are no different than you.
- Keep your family close, no matter what.
- Sing… and Dance.
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: But it ain’t all buttons and charts, little albatross. You know what the first rule of flying is? Well, I suppose you do, since you already know what I’m about to say.
River Tam: I do. But I like to hear you say it.
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: Love. You can learn all the math in the ‘Verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don’t love, she’ll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells you she’s hurtin’ ‘fore she keens. Makes her a home.
River Tam: Storm’s getting worse.
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: We’ll pass through it soon enough.
I forgot to add douchebags. We blame douchebags too. And alcohol. Douchebags and their alcohol.
Is that everyone? Did I miss ANYONE? If I did, please tweet it here: @iBlameEveryone – and I will surely add your woe-generators to this one-way conversation.
More on “My Problems are Your Problems” tonight. In fact, let’s just tell silly LiteralGrrl stories until election day…
I truly believe everyone wants to help, be a part of the solution and not the problem. I truly believe this about people. I trust them, and I worked hard to do so…until recently. (Hang with me, here – I won’t stay this sappy.) Each time you have a life hurdle, you test this trust – and I think most of us spring back rather easily. I had gotten good at it, I think. But this last time, these past – three years – ugh, almost to the day…I broke. No…shattered. And I hadn’t a clue how it happened. Or why.
Still, I keep coming back to the inherent good in people – yet…how can we be blissfully happy one moment, and the next….have it shattered to pieces? And this, I understand, happens over and over to some people.
Until they wake up.
Everyone is trying to do their part. I get this. But for whom? And to what end? Our country needs to change…hell the whole planet needs to change…and I know this is what we’re moving toward: a global unity. I get it. And we must prepare. I get it. But I also think that if preparation means widening the gap between the rich and poor, ignoring climate change, redacting human (women’s) rights, shelving sustainability, becoming religious monotheists, and INSIGHTING MORE WAR – we’ll only reach consensus together in our graves.
We can blame so many entities, can’t we? Exploding technology as distraction and vulnerability; elitist academics or bible thumping creationists making up our histories; them gays covering for their bearded bros, them kinksters, them punks, or them other weirdos-in-general – or, hey – them politicians (both sides) or them greedy stockbrokers or them power hungry lobbyists; the war-mongers, the administrators, the immigrants. We blame the guns and the music, and God Damn them pretty girls (They’re weighting down the branches of the tree). We blame the teachers. The parents. The kids. Oh didn’t you hear? The kids are now the reason pedophiles act out, they beguile them with their prepubescent breast tissue and hairless genitals; they eye fuck them with their manipulative, sex-starved brains. I couldn’t fucking believe that one.
But I digress.
The fact is we’re in the middle of the biggest shift this country, nay this Earth, has ever seen – and EVERYONE is standing on their own little power platform. Economy over here! Hey Hey climate change over here! Bring God Back to the Classroom! No.. No.. Equal Marriage rights over here! And FINALLY someone, with the biggest balls I have never seen, decided to raise a hand and say – um, well what about women’s rights? Or basic human rights? See, over here, they’re trying to take our rights away…over here….Anyone? When was that? Like just a year ago..? Just a month ago? Yesterday?? Anyhow, the point is we’ve reached a boiling point. A tipping point…no, a fucking frenzy…and in my opinion, we’re all being duped. But by whom? And to what end?
And why is no one looking to blame themselves?
It’s easy, really. I do it all the time. I think I was trained to. It’s from the Ophelia complex or PTSD or wounded animal, or whatever n the fuck happens to you when men begin chasing you at the tender age of eight. (I stopped going to Psychologists after 10 years of therapy. They didn’t have much more to teach me and didn’t do it any better than me anyhow. ) And so I learned how to fix myself – by jumping into situations with both feet and trying things out. By not being afraid. By being open. By being curious. By looking shit up. By asking questions. By allowing myself to have fun. By exploring my passions…..By forgiving.