Silence V Misguiding

I was going to record another Vlog today. It was going to be in regards to the found bodies of indigenous children in residential schools across Canada. Like most, I am disgusted. Embarrassed, even. The very fact that my country could even be associated with such atrocities is hard, and I’m the last person to show any national pride.

So, if I feel so strong, why didn’t I record the condemnation that I have in my head?

There are a few different reasons why I didn’t. The first, and most important, is that I am not qualified in the slightest to say anything. I have nothing new to bring to the table, and my addition to the conversation would be little more than noise in a cacophony of voices. The last thing I would even want to be mildly responsible for is being louder than someone who matters more.I haven’t done the necessary research, and I get way too angry to be objective with any information I do find.

The second is that I have started to cultivate a reputation as someone focused more on the arts. Bad excuse, I am well aware. Hell, between the podcast and the youtube page, I have accumulated a bit over 500 plays of my ramblings. There is FAR from enough information to actually state that I have garnered a “reputation”.

The third is that I feel like I have nothing substantial to add. Even in writing this, I feel like I am downplaying the importance and gravity of the situation in Canada. I refuse to use any tags that could take away from more important articles, and I am using this as more of a damnation of this country.

The end point is that I have no idea what to do. I have no clues on how to make this all better. I am upset. I am disgusted. Fucking own up to your BS. Fuck this country. Fuck Christianity. Go find (and share) links to Indigenous works of art; whether they be music, film, or stage.

Argue better.

Yeah, I’m going to continue on with me bitching about how people talk to each other.

I was having a conversation with my friend Roxanne, and we got discussing the “whataboutism” in regards to the government refuting allegations of systematic racism in our past. He compares us directly to the United States, then refers to how we are not as bad as them.

In making such a ridiculous argument, he basically says that racism is okay if there is someone MORE racist than you. (one of many articles.)

It got me watching an old Idea Channel video (link.), which I highly recommend. In the video, the presenter outlines several examples of argumentative fallacies that are common, especially on the internet.

I am not, like the presenter makes clear that he is not, stating these are intentionally done. God knows, I am notorious for presenting rebuttals in similar ways, noting the “Strawman” in particular. It is, however, important that we notice these in our arguments and try to avoid them.

The only functional way to avoid making these stupid, stupid arguments that I have come up with is to take your point stand-alone. Consider if it can be refuted. Also, consider if you want to have a discussion, or just harpoon the whole conversation.

Having arguments, like the ones detailed in the video, do NOT win arguments. They do NOT change minds. They do, however, stop the argument from spiralling into a pissing match. They can also cause a pissing match that functionally ends the conversation.

Roxanne and I had quite the excellent conversation surrounding the topics of censorship, gender politics, and company responsibility. I am still deconstructing bits of it, but I am sure that I have enough material in that conversation for at LEAST one more blog post.

Roxanne: I am not sorry.

It’s not a competition

Okay, this is a tricky post, but I find myself needing to say something.

There are people who will compare their situation to yours. I am not saying that is OBJECTIVELY a bad thing, but I am saying that there are some situations where you need to just nod a smile.

Now that people have stopped reading a decided that I am just pissing in the wind, allow me to elabourate.

Life is not a competition. If someone is having a bad day, they really do not need to hear about how your day is worse.

COUNTERPOINT: You may have opened the floodgates to someone who just really needs to talk. Maybe they aren’t trying to compete, but they don’t have an avenue to release their pent-up anger.

My point is: there is no winner if you are trying to out-“I have it worse” each other. We’re all in horrible situations all the time. This century has not been kind to a majority of people, and the future is terrifying to anyone who is looking forward. Everyday, there seems to be a study explaining how you are going to die and the blame falls on you OR on someone that you know won’t change anything for your sake.

Somehow, blame and change have become political. It has been proven in the past few weeks regarding Canada’s failure to accept blame for their part in the residential schools across the country. I am not a professional, and I have not done enough reading to feel comfortable pinpointing where to get the most accurate reading material on the topic, but a quick search on the ol’ internet will give you so many hits.

Okay, I need to get off the political soapbox that I have constructed yet stumbled over.

My point still stands, however. Life sucks, so there is no point in competing to have it harder. Maybe, just an idea, instead of putting a fuck-tonne of burden on someone ranting, give them a heads-up that you have a relating issue that you need to talk about. Maybe, give a warning before unloading about something else.

There is always the risk that they will listen.

I cannot be alone…

I had a troubling thought: am I the only one who thinks so harshly about me?

WOW! I dived right in there. Let me start again.

I have been dealing with self-loathing a lot as of late; however, in truth, I have been dealing with it all my life on some level. I am my example of the worst someone can be. I over analyze ever decision I make, almost to the point of paralysis. I will ignore obvious good ideas because they will hurt someone else. I put off doing things for as long as I can because I don’t want to deal with the fallout today.

Let’s go back to that first line. I am not talking thinking harshly about me. I am asking if anyone thinks harshly about themselves. As in, is self-loathing normal? I am not talking on a “I don’t go a moment without hating myself” kind of way, more of a “I am the worst example of human” kind of way. A more general concept.

The Dream

Yes, everyone dreams. This is not a revelation to me. I am well aware, though I rarely remember them, I do dream every night.

As mentioned, I rarely remember my dreams. In the initial release of my book, I made it seem like I had fantastical dreams that were all-encompassing: I used them to explain my mental state at that moment. They were a great way for me to illustrate the disconnect between where I was and where I thought I should be.

I jettisoned them in the re-release because I felt like the short stories I included better demonstrated the emotion that I was trying to create.

My point that I am trying to get as is that dreams play very little in my day-to-day. I have a very pragmatic look at them, and I cannot accept that they have any greater importance than just “your” brain trying to grapple with the occurences of the day.

Last night, I had a very realistic dream where I was walking around.

I have to state it that way to drive home the fact that it was nothing more than “I was walking.” I wasn’t walking anywhere, in particular. I wasn’t walking in some grandiose fashion, there wasn’t a really cool soundtrack in the background, and there wasn’t even fanfare. I was just walking.

In my dream, I remember that it was a big deal. I remember looking at my wife and gesturing that I was doing it on my own. It wasn’t far, just down a hall. I stopped when the dream ended, and there was no follow up. I just had to tell “you” because I had to tell someone.

Thank you for joining me on this adventure, I guess?

An update on the site

I just updated the PodCast page.

Nothing too exciting, just amended a note on the frequency of updates. I initially put that I was going to do an update on the first of every month, but I have found it difficult to stick to that schedule. Not that it’s too frequency, but instead I am recording them with fervor. I find myself in situations where I am thinking of things that I would rather say in person as opposed to in text.

I am still uploading them as podcast’s on top of the “vlog” styles, because I know there are a few people who prefer that.

I have kind of(?) changed direction. I do them more as a life update, as opposed to my initial plan to stick to the arts. They are still heavily focused on the arts, however. Have I pointed out how important the arts are lately? Seriously: they are important.

I have also been considering dedicating a page to epilepsy and how to deal with. I am woefully underqualified, but I have come across some “important” notes that I feel I need to address: like how you should never put something in the mouth of someone having a seizure. I will leave that to the masses as to whether I write something like that or not. I would need to outsource parts (see aforementioned unqualified), but I feel like I should compile the resources I have. At the very least, I could help save some teeth.

Too Many Ideas

I have been bouncing stories that I wrote to a friend of mine.

The takeaway from the “exercise” is that I need to accept that 2000 words is not long enough, and that I have great ideas that act like an explosion: really cool, but end far to quickly.

I have this tendency to write vignettes: short tales that have a very defined beginning, middle and end that can all be explored in the aforementioned 2000 words. It is not an intentional thing. I never start writing and think “I’m just going to do a short thing today.” I go into a project with the full intention of writing something substantial, but I also refuse to pad things out with bullshit. Nothing kills the pace of a book I am reading more than twenty pages of bullshit bookended by three or four pages of amazing.

I know: I am shooting myself in the foot. If I even wish to be published, I need to flush out the worlds and accept that bullshit is necessary.

In sending my friend parts and pieces of my collection, I came across Elane, which is published in my book.

More on Epilepsy

I don’t know why I research this topic. I am always overcome with a feeling of dread as I scroll through diagnoses and side-effects.

On that note: YAY LIVING IN CANADA AND HAVING PRIVILEGE!

ahem… I promise that I will not speak of privilege again.

The fact that Epilepsy is considered a disease according to the WHO is strange. It makes sense when you consider that some epileptics get a viral infection that readjusts the chemistry of the brain. Everyone I have met with epilepsy, however, has had physical brain damage. Maybe it’s just me, but calling that a disease is like saying someone with an amputation has a disease. Disease, to me, is acute.

So, as I was writing the “disease is acute” line, I started trying to define ‘acute’ in my head. Part of me doing that was identifying an acute disease. I noticed quickly how my definition was crap, but I still stand by my statement that epilepsy should be viewed less as a disease and more of a physical impairment.

I’m on a fucking role, I NOW HATE THE TERM PHYSICAL IMPAIRMENT.

You know what I’m getting at.

Anyway, The thing that I really wanted to point out is that epilepsy goes hand-in-hand with a plethora of mental disabilities, including depression and anxiety. I know that I have noticed an uptick in depressive episodes since my first diagnosed seizure. I am using that as a marker because that is when I started tracking. I’m not saying that is when my depression set in, and I am well aware that I might just be depressed because I’m looking for signs of depression.

My point that I was trying to get to, is that over 50 million people worldwide suffer from some form of epilepsy. The article I was reading pointed out how 70% of people cannot get treatment, but I choose to look at the fact that only 30% of people have access to treatment. I, myself, have gone a very long time without a conscious seizure, probably due to the medications that I am on. I don’t even take the largest dose, and I have gone two consecutive days not taking it because I’m an idiot and forgot.