Do No Harm: Why Televised Rehab Isn’t

Most people have never been famous, but nearly everyone has suffered psychological discomfort, or knows someone who has. In an attempt to explain the iatrogenic effects of televised therapy, I’m going to ask you to empathize with a subset of patients most people envy: celebrities.

Inherent in all psychological trauma is the belief that nobody understands you and no one can help you. Seeking treatment is a brave step as it requires you to reach beyond traditional support systems (family, friends, church), whom you believe to have failed you, in order to share your darkest fears with a professional stranger.

The comfort and safety of confidentiality and privacy are the cornerstone of all therapeutic interactions. Whether you’re seeing your doctor for a suspicious lump, a substance abuse counselor for meth addiction, AA to overcome alcohol, or even a peer crisis counselor, your expectation of privacy and safe space are so integral to successful treatment that it is codified into pretty much every government, corporate, & non-profit regulatory structure. It is drummed into practitioners in med school and psychology classes. It is a condition of joining a 12 step program. It is sworn to uphold before certification for peer counseling. It is punishable by law when violated in the United States via HIPAA and state licensing boards.

Of course, in the United States we also have release of liability forms. You know, just in case someone who is replacing love with fame needs to up their exposure on national television.

Confidentiality is integral to seeking & sticking with successful treatment. Few people would visit the doctor if they had to announce they had rectal bleeding to the waiting room. No one wants to admit they have scary thoughts or were sexually assaulted in the public square. Even people who choose to share their stories on Oprah usually have gone through a successful course of treatment. They are well now & can consent to speaking publicly about their troubles & recovery without interfering with their health.

This changes when we ask people who are barely able to function outside of a live-in treatment facility to sign a waiver allowing cameras to follow their recovery. The “celebrities” who join such programs not only have issues with addiction to substances or feelings; they also are desperate to get back in the public eye. They are in need of work as they’re low on funds. Many would sell their soul to get back on TV. Does this sound like a healthy, fully informed decision to you?

Much of the reason these people are no longer working is their substance addiction, but while lack of jobs and money may make it difficult to obtain anything that will make them feel better, it does not decrease the drive. For the fame addict, being back on TV is part of the high. Putting them back on TV is as bad as giving them more booze, more speed, more food, more meaningless sex.

Fame is a poor substitute for stable, loving relationships. For many of these people, stable loving relationships are as alien as paparazzi & red carpets are to us. How are they to overcome all their addictions (& the issues addiction masks) if one of those addictions is being fed? How are they to learn normal human interaction if their every move, tear, & breakdown is being filmed?

It is not possible to give informed consent to camera coverage when you are not well. It is not responsible therapeutic technique to take confidentiality, privacy, & safe spaces away. Dr. Drew Pinsky (among others) either doesn’t understand this, or does & chooses to ignore it.

Either way, would you trust him to help you?

Female + Twitter = Dodgy DMs

I’ve not done any investigative reporting for Pundit League or any other site in re: WeinerGate for one simple reason:

I’m a girl. I’ve been on Twitter over two years. I know exactly what happened.

If you are female & on Twitter & follow back at least 3 men, you have received a naughty DM whether you provoked it or not. I follow back over 900 people, so do the math. The reason I do not follow back all 1948 people who follow me is because, at some point in the past year, I learned that some people are freaking psychopaths. Folk have to earn my trust now before I allow them to DM me. It’s a sad & simple fact.

Of the 900+ I continue to follow back, I’ve received some very, very naughty DMs. Some were harmless joke flirting from friends who know my sense of humor like the inside of their own right palm. Some were drunken mistakes that I forgave (or continue to forgive). Some were over the top and pretty vile, & those folks got unfollowed or blocked.

Once or twice, I’ve received photos, & reminded those gentlemen that no DMd photo is private. They show up in your Twitpic or Yfrog public stream & then BOOM, they’re on teh interwebs forever. These days if a drunk lonely friend is DMing me some nasties, I try to stave off the inevitable photo post by reminding him before he does it.

If I’m close enough w/ someone, they can always text me. I’m only *that* close to one (maybe two?) folks on Twitter. I have also willfully participated in truly filthy DMing w/ a select group of those, like, two people. So I’m not here to proclaim victimhood. DMing with boys can be fun.

On more than one occasion, a gentleman has been DMing me for hours only to accidentally post extremely personal information to his public timeline by accident. This has been anything from incidentals about his genitalia to his phone number. It happens. I once accidentally posted a really cryptic but worrying piece of information to my public timeline that caused a really bizarre flurry of speculation amongst fans. One of things I love about Twitter for iPhone is that it makes accidentally sending DM to the public timeline almost impossible.

Congressmen Weiner is doing the exact same song & dance one of my DMers did after he was found out. My DMer just happened to not be a public figure. But he *was*, it turns out, married.

If Nicole Gennette *was* the intended recipient, she did the same classy thing all we DMd women do…let it go. Sadly, Rep. Weiner did not. What’s worse than a married congressman DMing his schlong to a young woman on a lonely night?

Lying about it. A lot. Making things worse for her.

No theories here, folks. I didn’t even have to use clairsentience to sort this one out. Pure experience, listening, & seeing.

So no, guys, I won’t be outing any of you for your dirty DMs. But if you fuck one up & drag my name into the news doing it, I will not protect your dumb ass. Ok, I probably would. Never mind.

Your Fifteen Minutes of Lame

So it appears that the Library of Congress is going to gank the Twitter archive & there ain’t a thing we can do about it. As some of you have been saying to me all day on Twitter, who cares? Why are you, Right Wing Loon, annoyed by this? Why did you create the apparently non-functioning hashtag #StickTHATInYourLibraryOfCongress?

Ok kids, here’s a run down of the process I went through regarding this announcement, in order from Right Wing Loon Anger to Compassion For Future Generations. It gets funnier as you go, so turn off your outrage that I don’t think everything ever is wonderful and just try to follow the process. Comments are welcome, especially if you bring something new that I haven’t considered.

Initial Reaction 1. Why the hell do we need a government archive of stuff that is already archived by a privately run company? Why indeed? What else does the government get to archive for important historical purposes? If they need, for some reason, every tweet about Justin Beiber and the #threewordsaftersex, why not just start recording the conversation you’re having in a streetside cafe? That’s public domain. Why not indeed?

“You’re a big paranoid right wing loon!” you cry. “Go have a tea party with Sarah Palin!” Why, that would be lovely. If she invited me, you betcha I’d go. But if you don’t understand why it’s dodgy that the government wants a copy of something already available for research purposes, it would be very hard to help you understand. Also, I don’t want to ever sound like my father, who grew up under Communism but is also nuts, so I won’t go into that. On some things, the man is right. This would be one of them. My grandfather was imprisoned for the things he wrote in the newspaper during the Communist take over of Czechoslovakia, and since some of you are so quick to compare Twitter to other published works, that ought to make you slightly itchy. Deny it or not, the socialism of today comes creeping in, softly, without fanfare, and in tiny bites so you shrug it off & don’t even notice it.

(Except for healthcare. Apparently the insurance companies needed a huge boost to their stock prices RIGHT NOW. So that was just pushed through. The subtlety is starting to dip. So many of you are willing to accept the changes, the government’s getting a little more brazen every month.)

But that’s not really about the Library of Congress and Twitter, is it? So…say that it’s totally legitimate, maybe even fun, for a government entity to have copies of something already publically available by a private company. Because it’s HISTORY, right? We’re all a part of history!

Reaction 2 (after discussion w/ thoughtful friend). Some of you think it’s neat. And I get that. If you, like me, are a fan of Ken Burns’ documentaries, you love the bits with the lilting bluegrass music and Sam Waterston’s pleasant voice saying “Dearest Mary, I fear the South may win this thing, and before the capital is stormed, I hope to plunge my cock into you one last time. I fear the pleasing white mound of your buttocks might never be viewed by these misty eyes again. All my heart and soul, Abe.” You love seeing snippets of people’s lives through their private letters. I assure you if those folk had those letters archived for posterity while they were alive, they would scream bloody blue murder.

Although I am sure there are 1% of tweets out there worthy of permanency in a government archive, the vast majority of Twitter, and I say this with love, are cat photos and sandwich reports. Also what has bacon. My roommate, who is a law student & is always thinking about such things, argued that the Library of Congress is making it so we can research various vital topics better. I responded, “Research WHAT? The mystery of who can haz cheeseburger?”

The overwhelming majority of us are just not fucking important, folks. We are morons, and we tweet moronic things. I know you have better things to do than read that my cat is not getting along with another cat. I tweet it because for some reason, the 714 people who follow me occasionally find me amusing. I don’t expect it to go beyond there, because it’s NOT IN ANY WAY IMPORTANT. History doesn’t care what you think of Hurley. History doesn’t care what candy has bacon in it. History doesn’t care that #punkbitchesbetrippin. History isn’t going to give a diarrhea-soaked dump in hell what Justin Beiber did or who he was. History really could give a flying fuck about Megapirhana, manbearpig, #tcot or whether or not you were a cheater.

We are meaningless specks in terabytes of worthlessness. It’s NOT HISTORY. It’s not research. The only value at all in the Library of Congress saving our muck for posterity will be a ton of links to actual blogs & articles that any idiot could get if they searched on Google. Why Twitter? Why not Facebook? Why not MySpace? Why not bulletin boards? Why not every blog ever?

What’s next, Library of Congress? What total idiot spouting nonsense will you need to archive for posterity next? Why do you need to archive total idiots talking about nothing all day? If I don’t read 95% of the tweets in my stream, why the hell do YOU want them?

Reaction 3 (after discussion w/ snarky friend). But…but…people in 2095 might learn something from me. Someone actually said this to me. In 140 characters, someone in 2095 might glean some nugget of brilliance from your bacon-fixated brain? Ok. Sure. And why do you believe this, exactly? I blame reality television.

Reality television and social networking kind of blossomed at the same time. For some reason, many of us believe that people actually give a crap what we think, that we’re important, and we deserve to be famous and, dare you say it, even influential. This cultural narcisism has evolved to the point where we actually think that people in 2095 will remember that we were a Real Housewife of Van Nuys or that we once met a guy at Subway who looked kinda like the guy from Human Target.  SERIOUSLY?

Trending Topics is where love for humanity goes to die. Don’t ever look there. If you do, pray before, during, & after for the strength of Jesus to forgive your fellow man for existing. Then ask yourself “Does this belong in the Library of Congress?” Give an honest answer. Yes, freedom of speech. But we say lots of stupid crap to each other daily that is not archive-worthy. Why? Because we’re not as awesome as we think we are. We’re just people, living our lives. That’s ok. It’s ok to be a normal person. None of us has to be an influence on society, and many people who already are shouldn’t be. Hello, Kardashians.

Reaction 4. Social networking. We microblog to meet other microbloggers. Will the Library of Congress start showing up to Singles Wine Tasting Night at Whole Foods and record those influential and life affirming exchanges for posterity? Will the Ken Burns of 2095 have an audio snippet that goes something like “Dude, this pinot is fruitier than the rest. So what do you do? Oh yeah? I’m in synergy. What do you do to relax? Yeah, bikram is my favourite, too.” Will the Ken Burns of 2095 have some sincere and velvet voiced actor read “Avatar was amazing. You should see it in 3D at least twice, holy crap”?

Reaction 5. People from all over the world use Twitter. What are their rights in regards to the American Library of Congress? Does anybody know? If so, please comment. My overseas friends are most eager to know.

My roommate suggested something brilliant. We should have the option PER TWEET to make a post private to your followers or public. That way, if you have something loaded with historical significance to share, you can make it public. If you’re just tweeting lines from Mighty Boosh, well, that’s up to you. I think this is a brilliant option, and it will probably make the Library of Congress happier, as well as future historians. What say you, Twitter?

Apparently the government is going to do whatever it likes, but in the meantime, do your part to spare the future our trite bullshit. Some poor 19 year old digging around for reactions to the first black president in history will bless you in his prayers at night. Don’t hate on that kid; Twitter. Give us the public/private per tweet option.

What Are Words For?

When no one listens, there’s no use talking at all. –Missing Persons

So judging by the histrionics I have been witness to as of late, everybody is fricken’ racist, including people who are not traditionally accused by liberals of being racists, such as black people. Also my iPhone is racist, according to @ChrisMorris528, as it translated “Kegels” into “Negroes”.  However, @MeMo07’s iPhone is racist against white folk, as it translated “white” into “whore”. Obviously if you type the words in correctly, they come up correctly, but one typo, man, the iPhone goes straight to Racial Country.

All kidding aside, racism is not funny. Racism is the baseless founding of negative characteristics upon people based on their skin colour or other genetic physical characteristics. Some would argue it is the baseless founding of positive characteristics upon people based on their skin colour, too, such as “Black folk are good at sports” and “Asian folk are good at math.” Well, people of all races are good at sports and math, just as people of all races are assholes. Me calling a black person or an Asian person who is being an asshole an asshole doesn’t make me a racist. It makes me observant.

Sometimes, a newspaper or a blog or a person will say “So-&-So is an idiot,” and this is, remarkably, fodder for another newspaper or blog or person to cry “Racist!” if that idiot happens to be another race than the speaker.  They don’t bother to see if the speaker only ever calls people of that race an idiot, they just hear what they want to hear. Why would anybody want to hear racism?

Well, some people are conditioned to hear racism. Most of these people, in my experience, are white. I admit it; I was one of them. I was indoctrinated with the notion that people of other races & nationalities were an endangered species, and we ought to protect them by conducting our behaviour around them with such paranoia that ultimately, our politically correct behaviour was more racist than racism. Think about it. Are you one the many white folk who is terrified to say certain things in a room full of black people? Mexicans? Jews? What do you think will happen to you if you accidentally drop certain words or assumptions? Do you think something bad will happen to you? Do you think you will irrevocably damage that group’s psyche?

You’re a racist! If you think a group of people is going to beat you up, heckle you, otherwise deride you, or suffer psychological damage because of your words, you must think very, very poorly of that race. You, my pasty friend, are a racist.

Oh snap! Yeah, it sucks when your realize that, huh? All your carefully constructed behaviour, based on rules for certain groups of people, each different than the next, is not actual empathy or caring. It’s discrimination. Don’t talk about money in front of Jews, don’t talk about sports or dance in front of black people, don’t talk immigration in front of Mexicans…discrimination. You’d tsk tsk over immigration with Jews or black people, wouldn’t you? But not Mexicans.

“But they’re not all Mexicans! You should say Latinos!” you cry.

True story: I asked a friend if she preferred Latina or Chicana. “What?! I’m Mexican,” she laughed at me. You know what you should ask instead? “Where’re your folks from?” If it ever comes up. Which, you know, if you actually sit down & talk to somebody long enough, it probably will.

We don’t need terms like Latina if we get to know people. The irony in liberal squishy cuddlyism is that giving people politically correct names means you never, ever need bother to get to know anyone. Lump ’em all into a safe compartment. Heaven forbid you find out someone is Guatemalan. Or that many Korean folks don’t like Japanese folks. So “Asian-American” is not really doing anybody any favours.

You will not like this, & you probably won’t believe this, Whitey McLiberalArtsSchool, but the most racist-sounding people on Twitter? My tweeps in the hip-hop industry. “They get to use the N word,” you protest, “as they are taking it back.” Right. That would be a weak argument even if it had anything to do with what I was going to say next. Which is this: today I witnessed a barrage of tweets about how you should never hire any kind of lawyer except a Jewish lawyer, how Mexicans always carry knives, how N-words in the club dress like preachers, how white folks always snitch…the race of this person, if his avatar is correct, is black.

You may have noticed that hip-hop has utterly no interest whatsoever in political correctness.

Instead, hip-hop espouses a number of right wing ideals. Let’s do a quicky analysis based off stuff I’ve listened to this weekend, shall we?

Free enterprise:

“With my mind on my money and my money on my mind.” –‘Gin & Juice’, Snoop Dogg

“Makes sense, don’t it? Now make dollars.” –‘Watch Me’, Jay-Z w/ Dr. Dre

“I sold kilos of coke so I figured I could sell CDs.” –‘Diamonds of Sierra Leone’, Kanye West w/ Jay-Z

Free speech (including the offensive):

“This ain’t politically correct. This might offend my political connex.” -‘D.O.A.’, Jay-Z

“Told the rab get off the rag,” -‘Welcome to the Terrordome’, Public Enemy

Numerous times women are called bitches & hos, copious use of the N-word

Freedom of religion:

“Farrakhan’s a prophet who I think you oughta listen to. What he can say to you, what you oughta do…” -‘Bring The Noise’, Public Enemy

“There’s only one true judge, and that’s God, so chill, & let my Father do His job.” -‘None of Your Business’, Salt-n-Pepa

The Right to Bear Arms:

“Talkin’ ’bout guns like I ain’t got none, what, you think I sold them all?” -‘Forgot About Dre’, Dr. Dre w/ Eminem

“Click click, who the fuck wanna feel this?” -“Can’t Deny It’, Fabolous & Nate Dogg

Family values, plus free enterprise, employment…heck, Reaganomics:

“Love to see young blacks get money, spend time out the hood, take their moms out the hood, hit my boys off with jobs, no more livin’ hard. Barbecues every day, driving fancy cars.” –“Still D.R.E.”, Dr. Dre

Safe sex/no abortion:

“I got a pocket full of rubbers and my home boys do too. So turn off the lights & close the doors, but, but what? We don’t love them hos.” –‘Gin n’ Juice”, Snoop Dogg. Ok, so this one is kind of a stretch.

So when you say the right wing is racist, shouldn’t you actually be saying that hip hop is fascist? Since you erroneously believe the right wing to be fascist, right?

Come on!

I have seen people I know for a fact are not racist be accused of racism without any evidence, no chance to defend themselves (were they inclined to dignify such rubbish with a response)…summarily judged based on–well, I don’t know!

I was accused of racism once…by a white girl, of course.

It was by someone who knows better, because I relayed to her that I spent much of my junior semester of college playing Uno with my black friends, eating chicken wings & drinking 40s. It didn’t even occur to me that this could be construed as a racial stereotype; it was simply a fact. I lived on the Quiet Floor, for allegedly studious people with 3.5s or higher. We were not so quiet. However, most of the girls on my floor were black. Seeing as how I shared a bathroom with them and we were all nerds, we met quickly and got on great. Our singular most uttered phrase that semester was “Bitch, you ain’t got Uno!” That includes myself. The local pizza joint had a special on a bucket of wings, and we liked beer. So we played Uno, ate wings, and drank 40s.

I told this story in tears because there were a lot of funny instances that whole semester, including nearly getting busted by Reno PD for witchcraft (long story), myself being discriminated against & told I was a stupid white person who should die of cancer, someone almost getting arrested for check fraud, Kato Kaelin, the leprechaun guy, and the time Pam thought I was having a seizure (but I was actually just laughing).

When I got done, the person listening to me said, in a big fat sarcastic Valley tone, “Wow, that wasn’t racist or anything.”

Um…what part of “My best friends that year were all the black girls on my floor” did you not understand?! But because we frequently participated in activities that were stereotypical, and I failed to relay them with shame or self-hatred, I’m racist?? She totally ignored the part where we Mystery Science Theatred Forrest Gump, where one girl had a crush on the guy I was schtupping, where they all wanted to see Brooks & Dunn and I bailed. She heard the racist stuff because she is conditioned to hear racism when white people talk about black people.

Intriguingly, she has no black friends. Or didn’t at the time. I don’t know what her situation is now, as I haven’t talked to her in a while.  Black people, you see, have to be in protected areas. You can’t actually befriend them, lest you offend them. This seems to be the impetus for such shunning, anyhow. I’d like to think it’s not because they actively dislike people of other races…

Hmmm.

James O’Keefe was recently accused of being racist because he wore a pimp costume (or didn’t…the accuser wasn’t terribly clear on that point). So…is the accuser saying that a pimp costume denotes black people? Is that not inherently racist? Aren’t most pimps these days Italian anyway? I kid, I kid!

I also lurve when a liberal comes into a conservative chat room & accuses all of us of being racist, much to the amusement of the black people in there. Those liberals assume there are no black people in conservative chat rooms. That’s racist.

What do you think? Have you ever been accused of being racist? Was it by someone of that race, or someone of your own race? Tabin, I know who accused you of being racist but if you want to relay that story again, knock yourself out.

Here is my favourite “Racist Saying He’s Not Racist” story. I will not say who the speaker is. But it went like this:

Me: “You’re racist.”

Racist: “No I’m not.”

Me: “Shyeeah! You are the most racist person I’ve ever met!”

Racist: “I treat all people equally!”

Me: “Ok, yes, you do. But you don’t talk about them the same. It’s disgusting.”

Racist: “What? What do I say?”

Me: “Hah! I dare you to say something nice about Jews!”

Racist: “Uh…the Jews are good at taking your money.”

Me: “WOW. Uh, say something nice about black people.”

Racist: “Oh, they are good at sports & music.”

Me: *eyeroll* “Oh, here’s a good one. Say something good about the Irish!”

Racist: “Oh, that’s easy! The Irish are good at killing people!”

And scene.

Except that was a real conversation. Yeah. *sigh*

Superfreak

I am, without intent or desire, kinda weird.

I know this; you know this. It’s not news, or a secret, or even probably of remote interest to most folks. The problem is, the more normal I try to get, the weirder people seem to think I am.

This brings me to the subject at hand: deviancy. Inspired by today’s compelled readings (ok so fine, my arm remains untwisted), eager to shoot back at them and then of course to also concede some points on further thought, I realized that my whole life has been about fighting deviancy. Not just in college, but since, kind of, birth.

I don’t mean overblown neodeviancy where we’ve decided that anybody who thinks anything outside of the accepted 18 – 45 Year Old Demo Think is the corporate devil. I mean actual deviancy, actual devil.

This could get kinda heavy, but it also will be as funny as I can possibly make rape, abuse, & politics be. Er. Yeah.

When I was in college, I studied psychology with the intent to treat persons who were adult survivors of sexual assault.  I mostly wanted to deal with persons suffering from PTSD or borderline personality disorder who were abused as children. This brings me to the following link  http://www.aei.org/speech/17965 which in part asserts that survivor memories are actually suggested by psychologists. Well, unfortunately that is sometimes true, but not always.

But sometimes, yes.

“My God!” you are all screaming at me. “How can you say such a thing? First of all, this horrible article decries the concept of date rape & then it also says that people who spontaneously remember abuse are full of crap!” Well, it doesn’t actually say either of those things, so simmer down.

Let me share with you a wacky experience, both academic and personal.

My senior year, I was part of a research team headed by an amazing man who had a master’s degree in epistemology and a doctorate in psychology. He specifically helped people prosecute sexual assault. He had an incredibly dark sense of nonchalant humour, as one must in that line of business. And the team working under him were ok…

Here’s the thing. We were trying to develop a way to teach college age males that coerced sex is wrong. We were researching what methods worked. Getting them to feel empathy for the victim did not. Giving them facts about the physical costs of rape did not. Getting them to understand what would happen to their lives if they got caught seemed most effective, in our research.

The graduate students in the team were also working on an unbiased sexual abuse assessment for child molestation cases. As I’m sure some of you know, there have been horrific miscarriages of justice that, instead of protecting children, traumatize them further, and these are perpetrated by social workers & psychologists. One of the films I watched during my time with this group showed a social worker asking a child repeatedly “Did he touch you there?” Something like 37 times, no joke. The child kept saying no, but eventually said, exasperated, “If I say yes, will you stop asking me that question?” The social worker triumphantly wrote that down in her notes as positive identification of molestation!

The unbiased sexual assessment tool was supposed to ask questions in a way that was not repetitious, leading, or traumatizing. I thought it was a great project, and I respected the guys who were putting it together.

However, one of them did something to me I will never forget & barely understood until today, when I read the link.

I had been relaying to him my weekend. To me, it seemed pretty typical KJ fare. See, in college, and here’s where some of *my* deviance shows, I would choose sexual partners sometimes based on how great of a story it would make later, and by “great” I mean “funny”. I would get myself, however, into really stupid situations, mostly because I was hammered, had a best friend who was emotionally crippled & also hammered, and God protected my idiot arse for some reason during all of this. Technically, I should be dead in the desert somewhere, or in a Russian brothel.

The weekend went as follows: I got very, very inebriated. I met up with a friend and his friends. We thought it would be a great idea to go drink some more, so I got in a Jeep with a bunch of strange men 8 times my size & we drove out to some hick bar, had 4 more pitchers of beer,  & I shot some of the best pool in my life (I have to admit, I’m kind of a shark). We then drove around some more. By the time we reached his place, I had no idea where I was. He said I could stay as nobody was sober enough at this point to drive me home, wherever that was, and I stayed with him. You can guess what happened next. When I woke up the next morning, I had a lovely chat with the boys in the house, watched my sexual partner beat the crap out of his room mate with a hockey stick (all in good fun), and then realized, “Oh. I am one block from my dorm.” I thought I had told the boys where I lived, but I guess not? They wanted me to go to lunch with them, but I had to get back to study or something, so I walked home.

So anyhow, I relayed this to my grad student friend in the same tone I relay all such stories, which is the tone whereby I stop every ten seconds because I am laughing too hard. When I was done, I noticed that he had a horrified look on his face. It then melted into what I took to be compassionate lines of concern.

“Oh my God, you poor thing,” he said. “You, Kellie Jane, were date raped!”

Say WHAT?! I must have cocked my head to the side. That’s what I do. I also make a kind of twisty face.

He got down to my level (he was sitting on the table, I was in a chair) & looked me in the eye (to his credit, he didn’t touch me). “You’ve been researching & assisting this group all this time & you don’t even realize you’ve been raped? Oh, Kellie Jane.”

In retrospect, I see this as intellectual condescension.

He explained to me that I had been coerced with alcohol and the disorientation of being driven around. Was I sure the other boys hadn’t enjoyed me? Yes, I was quite certain, considering one of them was a relatively famous boxer & I think I would have felt the after effects of someone that large. Also the discussion I had with one of the other guys in the house in the morning seemed pretty indicative of him not getting a shot at me. I was not so drunk I couldn’t remember being gang raped.

I had only had sex with the one goofy frat guy. Of that I was certain.

Oh, but he had date raped me for sure, the grad student explained. By keeping me awake (I did admit that I finally had sex with the guy because he was whining so much I couldn’t sleep), he was further disorienting and coercing me. Did he at least use a condom? My GOD, yes. I don’t let anybody near me without!

The graduate student tut tutted. “That in an of itself does not prevent it from being date rape.” I said that was true; rapists use condoms to prevent evidence from, er, escaping on to/into the victim. “But I wasn’t raped,” I repeated.

Oh, but I WAS. He actually argued with me!

No, I wasn’t. See, I had a point of comparison. I had previously actually been sexually assaulted, and that was an entirely different experience. That had nothing to do with choices I had made, with accepting a certain amount of personal responsibility for my reckless behaviour, because when I was really sexually assaulted, I was a child. I explained this to him.

Even more pity showed up on his face. “Oh of course you don’t know what non-coercive sex is like, you poor thing! You’ve been programmed to accept that you are simply a vessel to be acted upon!”

Oh BROTHER.

Well, he has a point. Despite my rather, er, dominant personality, I am actually a relatively submissive mate. I won’t get into that too much. Suffice to say, despite having been a Passion Parties rep & someone who has taken several sexuality classes due to my college studies, I am pretty vanilla. There, I said it. I like being the girl. I’m a passionate vanilla, you know, the kind you scrape out of the pod, but vanilla nonetheless.

It wasn’t always that way, though. In response to my real rape, I was the way flexible, highly skilled aggressor for quite some time. I was also very callous. I assumed it meant as little to them as it did to me. I was surprised and horrified by the hurt feelings of men who felt I didn’t care about them enough. I was in fact quite disgusted by such mewling squishy boys. Sex was a game. You took what you could & bragged about it later.

Did I enjoy any of that? Good lord, no! None of that sex was even remotely satisfying. It was, however, very empowering. I felt profoundly in control, despite clearly being out of control. This is typical sex assault survivor behaviour, by the way (some of you are saying “Duh”). You either go virginal (which I did at first), or swing the other way.

Being virginal was not empowering. For a while, in high school, it was gratifying to always be right. Yes, that’s how much of an ass I was about my virginity. I was always right; everyone else was disgusting. Well, being a virgin wasn’t giving me any power at all. I was a shapely girl with an impish little face, and withholding all that from the male masses seemed to only make them annoyed with me. I guess that, plus alcohol and my incredibly messed up older friend, gave me permission to be a relatively bad girl in college.

I could tell you stories. Most of them are funny.

But here’s what’s not funny. After this discussion, I started backing away from the research group. See, it was to be my job to go to the frat houses to recruit the boys to come in for the study. I was also to approach the various sport teams. I started to get nervous about this, and by the time I was to actually do it, I was so paralyzed with fear I stopped showing up to meetings. The grad student who helped me “see the light” gladly took over that arduous task for me, since he “understood“.

I started having panic attacks. I ended up having to take Norvasc to calm me down.

That son of a bitch.

In retrospect, this was idiotic. However, because the comparison had been drawn between my actual sexual assault and this supposed date rape, I had a flood of flashbacky unhappiness. The rest of that semester was hell. I had no flashbacks at all of my alleged date rape, but I had plenty of the actual. I have, to this day, not even the weirdest of feelings about the “date rape”.

This grad student took my power away from me. He defined the deviancy of my experience UP. I had taken responsibility for my silly actions, and I was fine with that. He tried to make me into a victim.

Well, as I’ve said since I was 13, I’m a survivor, not a victim. Victims are in the ground.

The grad student also, in a way, defined the deviancy of my real assault DOWN. Mine was a typical middle class story. I was a classic victim. I was statistically normal. Really? It’s ok, what happened to me, because it happens to so many little girls? No, of course it’s not ok, but it’s not as special as I think.
I was actually given a book by one therapist, and it’s pretty good except that it really insists that everything that is wrong with you stems from your childhood sexual assault experiences. Every personality flaw can be explained away by your survivor trauma. It also makes a point of telling us that we are not special. It actually says that feeling special is bad. I can kind of see the point; a lot of us feel “marked”, like we deserve sexual assault, like we were born to be used. The book defines this as “specialness”, and how we are not special because fully one half of all women are sexually assaulted as children.

Bears repeating.

Fully one half of all women, according this book, are sexually assaulted as children.

Really? Because the extremely few people on the planet who know fully what has happened to me are always horrified and shocked. They don’t nod & say “Oh, yes, when that happened to me, I…” No. None of that. One half?

The author of the book bases her “fact” on the idea that so much sexual assault of children goes unreported. Well, that’s true, but one half? With no actual data to back that up, that’s a hell of a statement to make.

I feel I have a pretty goddamned special perspective on life, and particularly on sex.  I know I believe things & accept things other women most certainly do not. In fact, I have a hard time making friends with women because of my views about sexuality. This is changing, but the fact is, I am not entirely typical.

I see my new found submissiveness as a step in the right direction, because you can bet your sweet ass I am not going to get involved with anyone who is going to hurt me. I don’t crave sex anywhere near as much as affection, which is pretty hard for a bad ass like me to admit. And now we come to the other reason I am apparently deviant…

I’m becoming moral. Yep. No kidding.

I’ve always been kind of moral. I remember with horror the day that two doctors, both female, both pregnant, said I should have a baby too. To their credit, I was already in my 30s.  “I’m not married,” I pointed out. To me, that was the only logical response. Both of them said, “Oh please, that’s not necessary any more. Every woman is capable of raising a child by herself. Men are superfluous.”

I sorta coughed. “I know I can’t raise a child by myself. I will not have one until I am married.”

Another doctor, male, happened to walk into the room at the same time & he said to me, “Well, your way is the way you’re supposed to do it, kid.” The other two doctors glared at him. I smiled.

I want to be married. I do. Eventually. I also have, shockingly, no trouble being a trophy wife, which means I have to be in better shape. This horrifies most of my female friends & of course my enlightened male friends. They assume wives are powerless pawns of a dominant male. I assert that wives and mothers are the rulers of households, the most dominant influence in a child’s life, and hence the primary engine of the future.

I technically should NOT have this view considering my childhood, but I see in normal, stable households that this is the case more often than not. People who come from such homes seem pretty darned well adjusted and pleasant to me. I can haz well adjusted??

Single moms do the best they can, and in situations where the husband is degrading everyone, abusing mom and kids, it’s certainly better to get the hell out. However, by definition they are doing it alone and cannot be the most dominant influence in a child’s life. They aren’t there. Mom or dad, nobody is home for most of the day. And even if mom & dad both work, if it’s just mom, it’s twice as hard to get a parent home if the kid needs it.

I used to pine after tortured musiciany boys in high school. No more.  Now I yearn for stability. I guess I’m aging. I guess I am sick of wasting my time with men who expect me to do fricken’ everything. I want to be able to trust someone to not hurt me, to not screw up my house, to not hurt any children in our lives. I want to be adored for being good and kind and amusing and helpful. That’s what I’m best at. Well.

No, this isn’t new or right wing of me. I was like this as a kid (well, I was extremely right wing as kid, too, so you have a point). When I was 7, I announced to my family in the car on the way to Disneyworld that when I was 16, I was going to marry a prince. My father laughed & said the only way I was getting married at 16 was to a rich Texan. I was furious. I was going to be a princess, dammit. Oh yes, since I was 3 I had wanted to act & sing & dance and, when I was 5, I added writing to that list. But I was also perfectly willing to give it up, just like Princess Grace, to be, well, somebody’s princess.

Today, we call this a “trophy wife”. Have you noticed that most chicks on trophies have tiaras? Let’s call it what it really is. Princess. And if Disney has taught us anything, princesses sing and cook, plus they keep a tidy household. They also have fabulous wardrobes. It’s only fair with all the work they do.

I’m sick of cynically hating the whole Prince Charming concept. So what? Some guys actually don’t suck. Don’t you deserve to hold out for a non-sucky guy? Why settle for some condescending intellectual nitwit who wants to empower you by arguing with you daily about who does more housework? (Hint: it’s ALWAYS you, ladies. There is no such thing as an equal house. Nobody is programmed for that). Why settle for some enlightened equality-spouting thinky guy who insists you learn weirder and more, frankly, degrading sexual tricks to gain his intellectual interest while he‘s so busy thinking away? Because clearly, you aren’t interesting enough, all things being “equal”. Please note that he learns *nothing* & wants to turn over all the work to you, & possibly also an open minded girlfriend.

I suppose these days, these ideas make me a freak. Oh well. I’m a freak. You can call me Your Freakish Highness.

You Want To Believe

If you’re not an X-Files fan…wtf are you reading my blog for? Get lost, you fricken’ heathen!

Er…wait, no, I promised I was going to stop starting my posts by alienating 90% of my readers. So…yah.

Eh hem. I shall start over.

If you’re not an X-Files fan, you don’t “get” the title, so I shall explain. Mulder, the FBI agent played by David Duchovny (God, I feel like I’m talking to an immigrant who lived under a 40 ton slab of rubble for the past 20 years) believed in space aliens for reasons that would spoil the whole series for you, so Netflix it. He believed in “little green men”, & he had a now infamous poster in his office that said “I want to believe.”

You want to believe, sweet & scrummy reader, in big green climate crisis, as is evidenced by the wigfest occuring online at the moment regarding what I really enjoy calling Climatequiddick. In case you’ve been living under a 40 ton slab of rubble for the past couple of weeks, some scaliwag hacked into a big central database thingy full of cooked climate books & interesting back-&-forths between climate scientists. What’s now generally believed by everybody who’s even had a passing glance at these puppies is that a lot of what has been sold to us as pressing & tragic is actually very much a numbers game & attempt to package a concept in such a way as to inspire ardor, fear, & acceptance of massive government encroachment on kinda like…everything.

But you want to believe! My friends & the bloggers I follow who dare post the links to the scandalous documents get lambasted. It is very reminscent, to my mind, of the Spanish Inquisition. People who dare question the validity of anthropomorphic climate warming science are, without any evidence, but lots of invectives, slammed in the manner of “Heretic! Heretic! Confess!” It’s kinda religious, peeps. Just a little bit. Kinda a lotta bit, actually.

*I’m so tempted to type “aksh” but that’s SO valley.*

Anyhow. Here’s my thing. It’s clear we’ve done things to our environment, much as a beaver gnaws away a ton of trees & dumps it in a river & kind of messes everything up for the fish below. Unless you are that tribe from The Simpsons, the beaver is not your enemy. However, you hate us. We made plastic & cars & we plow down rain forests. Yeah, we’ve been kind of lackadaisical with God’s green Earth & that was a bit silly & pretty jerkypants. We obviously need to do some replanting & we certainly need to stop tossing things out the car window. That’s just ick.

However, there is a good chance that we are not doing much of anything to the temperature, and then we get evidence that temperature decline is being actively concealed. You would think people would want to look into that for their own selves, but they don’t. Instead, they kinda want to freak. Nowhere is this more apparent than on Twitter right now, because Adam Baldwin is on Twitter. I follow him, as do over 9,500 other people, many of whom I also follow. Since people are only just starting to sort out that he’s a little on the conservative side (heh heh), many superlefties are still following him, & I get to see their comments to him. Rather than post counter arguments & counter studies, they just…yell. Or make condescending sad face remarks. This is something I’ve noticed liberals do when they get butt hurt period, actually, but that’s beside the point.

What strikes me over & over is the ‘religious’ fervour of the mockery & derisiveness. This is the same fervour, remember, that atheists also reserve for those of us who believe in God (or any higher being). Oh yeah, if an atheist ever gets in your face stating that you are wrong for believing in God because that makes you prone to proseletyzing, you make sure you laugh good & long, ok?

So anyhow, today our friend Mr. Baldwin posted a blog on this very topic, with facts & everything! http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/abaldwin/2009/11/30/climategate-good-news-world-a-crisis-of-faith-is-ended/ & I posted a response (which apparently needs to be approved, even though I didn’t use any swear words or anything, really!):

“I just had a thought. Don’t laugh; it’s not nice. Ok, a little is understandable.

So we’re getting all secular & it makes it easier to feel smart & sciency & progressive, right? But we have this big gaping hole in our mealy little souls & we want to fill it, but it’s got to be filled with smart & sciency facts, right? So…is that why AGW is the new religion? The responses you’ve gotten on Twitter from some are very “A witch! Burn him!” so I’m kinda thinking religion, as you’ve put forth before with the Crichton videos.

But we can’t just take up any old religion, no. The religion has to be real. We have to see it. There must be empirical, sensible evidence (kinda). We can see smog. We can note the dearth of rain forest (as compared to before). We tut tut every time we see a plastic shopping bag go floating across the highway. These are all modern day anti-miracles, & they are proof that we’ve done something awfully wrong to the Lord Our God, who is…a giant thing we live on & will kill us all if we don’t treat it right. This is all very Old Testament, secular smartipantses!

And there will even be a *FLOOD* if we don’t repent!

I have more wild analogies, but I’ll go take them to my blog. No sense cluttering up yours.”

So. More wild analogies.

In the beginning, God created the Heaven & the Earth. They were good. They were pristine. Utterly loaded with bugs, so not pristine in a way any of us really likes. But that’s what nature is, loaded with bugs (read PJ O’Roarke’s Holidays in Hell). Then we came, took from the forbidden apple tree, processed the apples with high fructose corn syrup, plowed half the garden to build a factory, & mass produced Fruity Apple Like Product. We got fat, developed diabetes, and then God smote us with vascular disease.

We really want God to love us again. We will do anything to make God love us again. And God had a prophet called Al. He came with an Oscar winning film, even! And although things said in that film & also said by him subsequently turned out to be iffy & sometimes downright crazy talk (the Earth’s core is NOT millions of degrees), we are totally into this prophet. He’s offering us a way, many ways to make God happy, stop the flood. The government will even foist ways to make God happy upon us, so we don’t even have to think about it. YAYZ!

You know what?

Just don’t be stupid. Really. I mean, how hard is that? Don’t live like a jerk.

That’s how you make God, whatever your God is, happy. You don’t need the government telling you how to make God happy. You do your own thang, child. The market is currently catering to your religion, so go for it! Invest in your future. Your beliefs are trendy, and therefore, you can worship fashionably, stimulate the economy, and be a big fat selfish American at the same time without having to let on that you really enjoy it. Because a religion through which you can buy salvation really is about ease & comfort & not a whole heck of a lot of sacrifice.

That would require effort. Real faith. And true belief.

 

Common Sense Ain’t

What do 19 year olds, little teapots, & doctors have in common? The ability to make me go *headdesk* ALL DAY.

Sorry, that was redundant. Many 19 year olds and doctors ARE little teapots. “When I get all steamed up, hear me shout!”

New Rule: You don’t get to argue with me about ANYthing unless you A. think and B. know what the fuck you’re talking about. Also, if you suspect for even 3 seconds that I do not know what I am talking about, you need to call me on it. Deal?

By “call me on it”, I do not mean “You’re mean!” and “I like you better when you’re cute & girly!” I mean you have to say something constructive, like, “My dear, I believe you are mistaken, because…” You don’t even have to put in the “my dear”, it’s just what I tend to get from some of you of whom I’m more fond.

Recent knock down drag out with an MD boiled down to: “My claims must not be getting paid because of something you’ve done wrong,” and then “I have to explain why a patient is having a repeat procedure done every time they’re having it done?! But I mentioned why the first time they came in!”

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!! *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

Thanks to Medicare, every time you visit a doctor, you’ve bought a product that gets its own ICN (individual claim number). That ICN represents one encounter note out of your medical record. To Medicare, & hence to all private insurance, that’s the product it’s buying on your behalf. So yeah, you might be coming in for treatment of the same thing over & over, but Medicare doesn’t care about that. They want to know what they’re buying today. So yes, doctor, you have to take an extra seven seconds to say, “Patient returns for continued treatment of her whateverosis.” Which, DUH, is good record keeping.

The next person who comes to an argument with a machete & sweeps it across the necks of all participating with a giant emotional, hand wringing accusation of “The world is unfair!” gets shot down. Never bring a machete to a gun fight, babes.

I love yall, but some of you really want the the world to be fair. I have news for you. It ain’t. It will never be, so you have to make the most with what you’ve got. Also, your version of fair & right is not everybody’s, so forcing it upon other people is NOT cool.

People get very emotional & hand wringy about health care. I do, in a more “clubbing baby seals over the head” way. I’m sick of it. I’ve been doing this for 19 years and I’m over it. No matter what the government does, they make it worse as is evidenced by how poorly they are handling “new” (10 year old) procedures we are now doing for patients. Baby seals are cute & cuddlesome, but not if you flood the waters with them so that they are choking out the ecosystem. The health care plan I was excited about, the change I tried to believe in, is a 2000 page partisan document of redundancy document that makes the Federal Register look positively brief by comparison (the Federal Register, for those who won’t google it, is NOT brief). But I’m not just bitching. I have alternate ideas.

Scrap it all; let charity sort it out!

I have an idea, and like most of my ideas, I have the name before I have it fully fleshed out (as I’m good at brainstorming, but not planning). It’s called Passport, and anybody better than me at planning is free to steal it. Passport would be a nationwide health care charity, but it would not be applied for by patients. Herein lies disaster, because patients do not have the time, energy, or knowledge to take care of this crap (yet Medicare & Medicaid expect them to, sometimes with the help of underpaid, overloaded social workers).

Passport would be very simple. If a doctor had a patient that wasn’t paying their bills, for ANY reason, they would just submit the HCFA (CMS1500 to you newbies) to Passport. The doctor would determine if the patient was truly unable to take care of the claim, because the doctor & his/her staff see the patient every day, & have access to the patient’s information. The doctor’s staff can smell that the patient is homeless. That way, nobody is working the system. Doctors who erroneously or falsely submit claims to Passport would get in trouble, NOT the patient. The onus would be on the professional, not the sick person.

AND because there’d be no federal fee schedule, RVUs would stop being so ridiculously low & doctors could universally lower their charges, even out the rates, & actually cover their costs! My God, common sense! (Assuming the private plans followed suit, that is.)

Peeps donating to Passport would get fatty tax breaks. Super fatty.

Hmm? Hmm?

Also, those of you clamouring for free health care, let me let you in on a little secret: it already exists.

Exhibit A: If you show up to the ER, you cannot be turned away if you are truly sick. Most ERs won’t turn you away even if you are kinda sick.

Exhibit B: If you can’t pay your bill, no law enforcement officer is going to come after you. Your hospital or doctor will try to get you state or federal aid. If you don’t qualify, & you still can’t pay, your doctor will have to jump through hoops to get your bill written off if he/she participates with Medicare, because if you take Medicare patients, IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO GIVE FREE CARE. What?! Yes, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DOESN’T LET US GIVE FREE CARE because of kick back laws. Because it’s caring like that. Innerestin’, huh? Hospitals also have to prove it with tons of paperwork, but unlike doctors, they have armies of staff to do this paperwork.

Exhibit C: If you still can’t be written off for some reason, you will just be sent to collections. Sure, your credit score will go down, but you can always file for medical bankruptcy and be good as gold in 7 years. If you think a person cannot live or function in collections AND get continuous, uninterrupted, high quality health care, boy do I have proof to the contrary (that I can’t share because of HIPAA).

America already HAS free health care. It is not perfect, it is not equally applied, but that is due to misinterpretation of confusing laws. It is not due to cruelty or greed.

You can watch all the soppy TV & listen to all the politicians you like. You won’t know the truth until you talk to human beings in the field, read things your government publishes. Or, y’know, just listen to crazy bitches rant.