Given that my male parental unit still lives, and that trips to commercial areas of Queensland have not resulted in me either murdering people or begging others to murder me, I like to think of myself as a rather patient person. When you pick your jaw up off the floor, try to remember that just as with everything else that comes out of my mouth, there is a reason I said that.
I consider conversations to be a little like either chess or the tabletop strategy games I played for a period. You move here or there, I respond by moving there or here, and the process continues like this until one of us reaches a conclusion or accomplishes some sort of goal. This is not exactly what I imagine psychologists or sociologists imagine as driving language or communications that use it as a tool, but it is how I have pictured it since I was a teenager. Part of the blame for that can be placed upon videogames such as Law Of The West or It Came From The Desert, in which players read lines from the characters that they were interacting with, and then chose from a list of possible responses. In fact, the twenty-fifth anniversary videogame based on Star Trek offered one choices of what Captain Kirk could say to a given person that they interacted with. Around the time that I first encountered this game, one of my uncles would even read a potential statement from Kirk and say “yeah, that sounds like something Captain Kirk would say”. (The irony here is that if one did behave in a manner that many consider to be commensurate with Kirk, the evaluation at the game’s completion would be, shall we say, less than satisfactory.)
But there are people I converse with from time to time about subjects like using my writing or similar linguistic skills to escape from the situation I have found myself in for some time. Although the conversation I am thinking of is fairly recent and the other participant therein not that well-acquainted with me, I am still in a headspin about the conversation, generally speaking.
There are several rules of engaging me in conversation that I wish some people would remember. Talking down to me like I am five years old is definitely not on, and I suspect that one of the people I get this from keeps thinking “oh shit, why did I just speak to Dean like this?” whenever the words leave their mouth. But since this kind of conversational mishap is generally rare nowadays, I am able to keep my cool in spite of how irritating it manages to be. But guess one of the reasons why my recent problems with getting a cancer in the side of my face attended to properly has made be decide that I have had it up to the proverbial and back with Queensland?
But to get back to where I was at, when I do get a response to the last thing that I have said, I do consider it kind of fair or even polite to try and make one’s reponse bear at least some relationship with what I have just said. Changing the subject in a meaningful, logical manner, such as “I cannot really help with that now, but we will get to that later, in the meanwhile…”, is more than acceptable. The first clause in that statement at least gives the impression that one has read or heard what I have said, thought about it, and concluded that they are not quite able to address the meat of the words offered. Not an optimal way to respond, but certainly an improvement on what I am edging my way towards.
Have you ever said to anyone “I would like some help finding my way to Oxford Town” (this is just a neutralised example), and have them respond with “the plains in the Fraser Coast are populated entirely with boy-lovers?” (again, a neutralised example). Well, that is a hypothesised example based on parts from a couple of conversations that I have had recently. Worse still is when people respond to requests for further explanation or clarification of the options in a given situation by repeating the exact same statement that prompted the request, word for word. Over the telephone, it makes me want to reach down the line, have my arm pop out of their ‘phone’s earpiece, and throttle them whilst telling them thank you, you have made that point already, I am trying to move the discussion in a direction other than nowhere.
Cadaveria might have sung that she loves people who make things and conversations, but truthfully, conversations with people who are not at least acquainted with the intellectual elite (let us set the cut-off point at an estimated IQ of 110 since 120 is the absolute top end of the normal range) can be painful at times. Although I often despair of the demonstrated cognitive-creative abilities demonstrated by the people who have common strands of DNA with me, I highly doubt that you are ever going to find one with sub-normal intelligence. Which is just as well, because although I never got that closely acquainted with any of them, I do not believe I could really stand to be near them for too long.
So I went online and searched for images that related either to people doing stupid things in general, or doing stupid things with language. In the case of the first image attached to this writing, that is an actual photo of members of the Hitler Youth playing a game that involves leaping over a somewhat less powerfully-ignited fire. These three lads are obviously the result of years of work to indoctrinate them into the belief that promotion of the interests of the outer group, in this case the State, comes before all else including basic self-preservation. Whilst this may be excusable conduct in educating soldiers, I think our current era’s indulgence in this practise along with confusion between the State and the richest bastards therein makes images like this seem eerily applicable to now.
Universities like to have this myth or idea built around them that one needs a certain high-level IQ in order to successfully complete their programs. There is a certain element of truth to that. Other people than the related individuals I mention have given me the impression that if cognitive capacity were computer power, they would be running on a 7.14 MHz XT. But the thing is, money and power can always bridge the gaps unless you are so exceedingly stupid that even the complexities of operating a cash register give you trouble. I will revisit that point in a moment. The reason I mention tertiary education and university in particular at this point is because I was searching for images that reflected Human stupidity at its worst (hence the earlier photo of Hitler Youth members doing a fiery leap), and found this article on a WordPress journal called Genderculture. Genderculture appears to be a project of an educational institution, designed mainly to educate the students on presenting cultural-political issues online. The image came about because sixteen women attending a class titled Women In The Public Sphere wanted to present a challenge to common misconceptions about feminism. The man in the photo, whom I have no idea of the identity of, is one of several dozen people who were asked by participants in the project to write a reason they need feminism on a board, hold it up, and have their picture taken with it.
I, for one, am all about it. The third image that I loaded when I went to their Fudgebook page and found the appropriate photo album has the statement “I need feminism because my mother gave up her dreams for a family”. Spot on, person I do not know from Adam who made this statement. Whilst I have no way of knowing the contents of my mother’s dreams or aspirations, I cannot imagine that being the mother of a man who lives in poverty and can no longer tell the difference between friend or foe (partly because of the potential friends’/foes’ behaviour, but that is another matter) did not figure into them in any way. But the one that really stood out to me is the one I have pasted with this paragraph as an example. I am glad I am not the only male who feels that other males who make a game or “joke” of sexually assaulting women have no place in an institution that is meant to be a beacon both of society and its advancement. No, that is not what he is directly saying, but I doubt he would dispute that his words carry that implication.
I am going to let you all in on a little secret. I love my mother, in spite of all appearances to the contrary, and it makes me feel so sick inside all of the time to think about how much I must disappoint her. Even when the woman in question is only months past her twenty-first birthday, I like to believe that all of the good or decent women of the world hold their newborn child, look at them, and start to think about how they go about making the world that this child will reach twenty-one years in a better place. I am not kidding now when I say that if I could go back in time and undo my birth, not just warn my parents that by allowing me to be born they may be unleashing great pain and fear upon the world as in The Peculiar Visitor, I would do so with no more contemplation than it normally takes me to buy milk. I do not know if she reads the shit I post in this craphole (I sure hope not, given some of the content), but I most sincerely believe after seeing the manner in which the need for feminism has been phrased on the aforementioned sites that she deserved better than this. Not just from me, mind you, but from the society around her that still thinks that just ignoring a problem can make it go away. So whilst I am not going to put up my own image of this theme (yet), I am going to say this much: I need feminism because women like my mother and my sister deserve better than a child who resembles me.
Now, people have read me pissing and moaning about online culture, or more specifically the “everything HAS to be online and only online” culture (which are two different things) for some time. I am not backing down from that at all. I believe that this belief that every little scrap of information we get has to be filtered through a pipe that, when compared to the amount of information offered by lossless audio compression and high definition video, compares disfavourably with the girth of my penis, is a massive step backward. I also find the catchphrase “democratised media” more than a little disgusting. Democracy does not mean everyone just throws their shit at a wall and sees what sticks, but apparently that is what qualifies as making media “democratic” to these people. Now, having said all of that, do you want to know a little secret about how you really “democratise” media? Here it goes: see that picture above I just posted of the tall-looking man holding up a sign that explains we need more feminism because there are some peers where he is studying who think sexual assault is excusable? Get public broadcasting and government regulation in to fund and distribute projects like that. We need more feminism because projects of such a nature are only dreamed up and executed on universities. Granted, a question like that is best suited for the intellectual elite of the country to answer, and universities tend to be the best place to look for that, but even perpetual dropouts like myself occasionally have things to contribute to such a question.
(And probably, the people I complain of having communication problems with will just tell you that I said we need more feminism because it is “a good thing”. Queenslanders are everywhere.)
So, in summation, I would just like to assure the audience that whilst I am unwell and in crisis, I am not going away. I owe too much to people like my mother for that.