It’s a men’s issue (addendum)

This is a verbatim comment I wrote on the TEDx talk by Jackson Katz (I posted the talk and some thoughts on my previous blog post, similarly-titled):

I wondering: do his clients listen to what he says? Getting men to listen when their minds have been programmed to regard this as garbage has got to be difficult. Some of the comments on this talk seem to represent that kind of blowback. So what if Katz is promoting himself and making money at what he does if he’s good at it? The world could use a lot more male emotional health. It’s only parents from my generation who I’ve personally seen allow their sons to feel emotions in healthy ways and don’t instruct (by word or act) them to bury their emotions. It’s my opinion that the burial of emotions can easily lead to violence, particularly with regard to men. It’s no accident that the sex that commits the most crimes and the most mass shootings and bombings is male. Men are still socialized to suck it up and deal and not be emotional and that, when they are emotional and hugging male friends, they somehow feel the need to write #nohomo. Nationally, globally, the majority of men are insecure about themselves and uncomfortable with emotions. Personally I think it’d be great if men hugged each other regularly and shared personal stories/conflicts as women do, and didn’t feel bad about it.

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It’s a men’s issue.

“What about all those boys? What about the young men and boys who have been traumatized by adult men’s violence? You know what? The same system that produces men who abuse women produces men who abuse other men.”
–Jackson Katz, in the TEDx talk posted below

This, obviously, can easily and justly be applied to the mass shootings and bombings all over the earth. And since men are far and away the ones committing these atrocities (as well as the everyday sexist behavior), it greatly behooves us as a nation (as a world, really) to help see that men aren’t abusing other men. Men’s emotional health (or lack thereof) affects everyone, and Mr Katz is correct in that a new culture of normalcy where saying/doing sexist and violent acts is not right. Since men do in fact rule much of the world, their emotional health is extremely important; if we’re still producing men who abuse other men, the cycle will necessarily continue.

Mr Katz helps me feel better about calling out those who engage in sexist (or racist, bigoted, etc) behavior/speech. I do think that if I speak up I might get attacked, but at least I will have spoken up. My own sense of fear is greatly exaggerated in general, but perhaps not in this case. I don’t know.

I have no idea how what Mr Katz is saying will ever come to fruition (particularly on the national level from men in power), but if we don’t speak up it *certainly* won’t come to fruition.

Portmanteau de toilette

I’m discovering the portmanteaus I’m coming up with don’t seem to translate to prose anywhere near as well as to lyrics. Kinda sad.  I’ve got to find a way to integrate great ones like “entropath” and “socioderangement”.

I wonder if I could publish the ton of lyrics/unmetered words I have without doing prose. I’ve done about a page of a novel (but have some great outlines) and am creating a character and setting that is interesting to me, but I’m so unused to writing prose fiction that it feels restrictive.

For example, if I were going to render Burroughs’ “No, this is not a good town for psychedelic drugs. Reality itself is too twisted” into a form I more enjoyed, I’d write something like this (sans context; I’m writing what I’d take and extrapolate/embellish from imagination.  It helps that I don’t remember a lot of Fear and Loathing):

so vulgar
so banal
the predation is palpable
Dilapidus and Drudge
the apatheosic assailantry
But a flick of the vein
and blessed ascendant reminders
draw feral landscapes and ambrosial paths
And I follow their alluring torpor
as the deities fade impassively
They know others
shall soon yield in thralldom.

You’re free to hate me now.

Im reminded of George Carlin’s rant about how the rich (or, my take, the government) keep us fighting among ourselves so they can run off with all the money.

Right now, people are fighting among themselves and being extremely territorial and sensitive about it. I’m the first person to admit I’m very sensitive. But a ton of people are hurting. A lot. It is the emotional responses, usually to written words (lack of inflection, eye contact, tone of voice, etc), that can be problematic.

Recently I said I wanted facts about that photo. You all probably know the one. When the photo was first shared, there was no context except that it was taken very recently in Baton Rouge. Other than that, no context. I made the “mistake” of stating that I wanted facts instead of assumptions (the cops could’ve been removing the cuffs? Unlikely, but I wanted more information. Turns out they weren’t, but at the time all I had was a still photo.) I stated that, without context, the photo was essentially worthless. Journalists do this all the time: take quotes out of context to serve themselves.

Now that I have context, it’s not worthless at all. But people jumped all over me nonetheless. Somehow I’m the bad guy for distrusting the media and wanting more information.

Even now as I write this, I’m expecting to get flak. But here’s my overall point: we’re all, still, fighting amongst ourselves. Instead of attempting to understand and communicate.

I’ve lost so many friends due to misinterpretations, and even when I apologize if I offended someone I get silence or insults in return. I now therefore have zero close friends, and it’s a lonely fricking world.

Can people learn when they are in their emotion minds and acting from that instead of “wise” mind? Yes. Will they? I’m losing faith that most people will even try.  A lot of people I see are more interested in winning an argument than the communication and understanding that can come from the argument.  A lot of people see life as a pissing contest.

To take it a little further personally, what’s the point in being myself if people don’t like who I am? I have so much empathy, I love hugs (and desperately need them from someone I feel safe with, whoever that is), I’m very self-aware though I reassess this all the time…but what does it matter? There’s entirely too much sugar-coating running rampant in this country.  Am I blunt sometimes? Yes. Do I go out of my way to try to allay others’ fears at times anyway? Yes.

Do I need to love myself? Yes. Do I know how? I’ve studied it, tried tons of different things, but keep reverting to depression and self-denigration. I trust so little that I think people are going to leave me if I let them in.  I’ve had a few close friends before, and I let them in, only to be told after years “I’m sick of your bullshit” and been written countless passive-aggressive comments (which I’d ask about, via PM, if I’d done something wrong…only to get silence).

So, in short, I’m lonely, hurting, people are leaving/have left me, and the world is hurting so much that we’re fucking ourselves.

Collateral Neurupture

Perhaps they succeeded

right under my very nose

They did it right

Since I am wrong

Cost me a piece of myself

Only the shilling left

as evidence I exist

Neck subsides

Eyes fall

Focus minimal

<Crimson flash intercess>

Face turns up and pleads

Who am I,

if I cannot love?

Who am I,

if I cannot comfort me?

Who am I,

if

His countenance

turneth away from me

His fists

for her cries, yes

and for the ripping screams

from lungs that might be mine

if I knew who I was

The raw red flesh

only a single hallmark

one negligible evident

in the merciless domain

of the pathology phantasm

 

They did kill me

So masterful, so insidiously indeed

that I am unaware

I am already dead.

Healing 101

Who knows.  If this continues we might actually start to build a sense of positive community in this country.  Call me crazy.

The importance of meeting someone where they’re at cannot be overstated.

"I'm tired." "Me too." #natashahowell

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I do not want this.

There was a black dude at the gym this morning. I kept wanting to ask him how he was coping with this. I didn’t know if I’d be interloping though. I just don’t know how many black people go through their lives, have families, having to cope with the real possibility that they will be shot by those who are sworn to protect.

So then several people murder cops in Dallas. I have no idea if they were black or white or beige or whatever (I can’t bring myself to look at it, and the media are a bunch of liars anyway). I do know this: now people will be all the more scared to protest, even peacefully. If I were to protest, I’d likely not be a target, but I really don’t want to witness murders and shootings. I’ve seen some truly tragic things in my life and I don’t want to add to the trauma I deal with every day.

And now I’m crying all over again.

I was going to say “wait a minute, this isn’t about me”. In one sense, that’s true–I’m not black, and I don’t know what it’s like to be black in this country. On the other hand, it is absolutely about me, because I am a citizen of the US and I don’t want to stand by and do nothing while this country destroys itself. I don’t want a country where black people are targeted. I don’t want a country where people retaliate and murder cops.

I do not want this.