Thursday, 20 July 2017
Alexander Gordon Jahans
I walked through a graveyard today. A grave where one of my own relatives is buried, the only funeral I ever witnessed. I felt nothing. There were complicating factors of course. I was having to plaster on a smile as I walked with a living family member whose anger could give the hulk a run for his money. The walk itself clouded my head with all sorts of distracting stimuli, aching feet, uncomfortable heat and bitter musings on the route taken. Yet I still felt the unease at being near the church.
See hypocrisy is fundamental to my character, I am the atheist who went to a C of E primary school. The rituals and mythology of the Church of England are indelibly marked upon my soul as the foundations of my personality, even as I dismiss the notion of a god and miracles. I am fast realising that I am in many ways an anti-theist C of E Christian. C of E Christianity is arguably one of the more harmless and positive forms of religion but the hatred at having it forcibly absorbed into who I am has created a quiet simmering rage. It is a rage that is not content with the red heat of violence and lashing out. It is a rage that burns cold. A rage that seeks nothing more or less than the complete and total destruction of religion as an active force in the world.
Something you should understand about me, that even I am only just beginning to understand, through my fiction, is that if I go dark side I don’t do it loudly. See I have been writing a lot of truly abhorrent dystopian organisations lately in my fiction and I can’t help noticing that they lack the chaotic bluster and loud violence of real life monsters.
It’s like a friend asked me today if the Valeyard could come back as Toxic Masculinity because they saw it as a buzzphrase amongst the douchebros. Here’s the Irony, Toxic Masculinity is almost exactly what the douchebros criticise black men as being. Toxic Masculinity is an obsession with wealth, displaying said wealth, bragging about sexual exploits and collecting anecdotes about sexual exploits like someone filling a pokedex. Toxic Masculinity is the performative aspects of masculinity - fast cars, cool tech, nice suits, pretty girls and alcohol - taken to a dangerous extreme. That is not the Valeyard.
The Valeyard is a quiet calm calculating viscious predator. If Toxic Masculinity is a riot or James Bond bringing an entire base down because he had orders or someone wronged him, the Valeyard is the quiet man in the corner who nobody notices but just passively accepts and subtley but surely brings about your end and topples entire empires because the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and you have been selected for destruction.
I have rules to counter my anger but there is another aspect of myself which I am only beginning to understand and is if anything far more ugly and dangerous. I’m not Toxic Masculinity, I am much more like the Valeyard. I am the man who just quietly decides I hate something then starts plotting to undermine or change it. Sometimes even I am not fully aware of plots I’m working.
I’ve mentioned before that as an autistic person I can get too close to something or someone. I remember everything, it’s stored as a sequence, or story, whenever I’m doing something associated with that activity. I can’t reread books or rewatch films because every passing moment refreshes the experience of the prior experience through my brain. People are the same and of course my social skills are conscious so I shape myself to better respond to the person I’m with. I can even make myself temporarily believe things contrary to my character if it suits the social ettiquette.
This causes problems when my natural personality comes unstuck and reasserts itself. It’s the social equivalent of your computer rebooting mid session and suddenly that hackintosh has reverted back to windows 7. Except I’m the computer. The whiplash for me and the person I’m with can be astonishing. You repeat a lie often enough and I will believe it until one day when the truth reasserts itself.
This is why I can have plans even I don’t know about. I said before that I was lurching in the dark from one disaster to another. Not entirely true. Indeed I recently snapped back to full awareness after months in a kind of cognitive hibernation where I left more basic logic and emotions in charge. There has been a very pronounced period of whiplash. The cognitive hibernation was necessary for a reason. It does not do for a mind that solves problems to stare too long into a shit hole where there is no quick or satisfying solution. So for months I have lived for the moment, focused on the things that make me feel good and distracted myself from the present.
There have very definitely been plans that I have been passively working on, even while the part of me that makes such plans was offline. Not evil plans you understand. I have rules. These rules incidentally are why people on the left hate me. Because I need my rules to be action based not context or reason based because I know I can come up with whatever damned context or reason to justify to myself.
Justice as a contextual understanding of power structures and dynamics sounds very good in theory. In practise man can come up with an excuse to justify horrendous barbarism. Indeed if Trump were a smarter man he could even use feminism as part of his arsenal to oppress the people and pervert American democracy. Justice may have firm logical foundations but in practise it is a story used to justify hate and horror. The white supremacists committing acts of terrorism believe they are enacting justice after all. Yet our perennial problem as a species is we so often fail to recognise our own flaws and hypocrisy.
If I thought like a radical feminist? If I allowed myself to make such stories to justify amoral actions? Then I would be the Valeyard. Consider this. I know of two instances where my rage has burned cold and I have calmly done things I would otherwise never have done. When I walked away from school for the last time and when I tried to make my abusive father leave. Both times I broke my own rules. Both times I did so calmly and calculatedly. I have already shown myself to be problematic but more than that I am a proud supporter of true regulated capitalism (not this neoliberal horseshit). These rules that make me hold back from relentlessly pursuing those I disagree with, the ones that are anti the thought police, are much the same as stop me from say making plans to save capitalism.
I mention all of this, the plans, the morality and how I can believe a lie, to explain why I have of late become more spiritual and religious, why churches still bring me great unease. You see I’ve been listening to the Kurt Vonneguys podcast and in many ways it feels like Kurt Vonnegurt writes like me but that he is ahead of the curve. You see that podcast put into words what I have been grappling with for a while. You can know something is horseshit, it can be completely and utterly false and inaccurate but what matters is that it brings you meaning and solace.
It’s like I know Doctor Who is fiction. Hell I’ve shook the hands of the people whoo made my favourite bits of it up. Yet it still matters in a very fundamental way to me. There are better shows and better characters. Farscape, Babylon 5, Blakes 7, the Culture novels, the Watch books. Doctor Who is poorly paced, campy, broody, manufactured, artificial, monster of the week, poorly serialised garbage. It is also a show that defines my identity and if you aren’t willing to give it the time of day or at least bite your tongue when I mention it then we cannot be friends or associate with each other because Doctor Who matters to me. You accept that or you get to fuck. No discussions, no debates, no fucks given.
Which is where capitalism comes into things. Capitalism fundamentally is the science of desire and incentive. I think Paul Mason best summed up why capitalism matters and works with my brain where in one passage he mused on how a post scarcity society might simulate the effects of Nike not investing so much money into the Nike swoosh of rates of young male depression. The brutal reality is brands matter. Advertising matters. It’s just that brands and advertising are not as rigidly defined as people think.
Feminism is a brand, Christianity is a brand, Communism is a brand. Advertising works both ways. You stick pretty girls in adverts to sell products to boys and men then you reinforce those standards of beauty in women by associating them with all the cool products. What was it Daniel Craig said about Apple products? Bond only takes the best? So what message do you think it sends that Bond only fucks skinny young white women?
Here’s the truth: Capitalism works. Advertising works. Brands matter. Advertising matters. Truth is secondary to a compelling narrative. The problem with the system is always those other evil people and their evil ways because evil is innately subjective. Something both the left and the right hate as an idea because rallying behind hatred is a lot easier than agreeing on actual solutions.
I walked through the graveyard and while felt the weight of all that belief I also just saw buried rotting meat. Empty flesh. I know that graveyards help the living mourn the dead. I know that rituals are important. I have small rituals in my own life that help me work and exercise. I’m not talking about pentagrams or incense or anything like that. Just reassuring patterns of behaviour to ease transition into a different head state. Music on at a precise volume, writing gown on, then to work.
It is odd. I feel like I’m looking at the world like an alien slightly removed, commenting on my observations. I am noticing how ritual matters even in matters of sex. Through ritual, through Doctor Who, I am coming to understand the usefulness of religion and so the last great fire of my life starts to simmer down.
I am still lost, in a kind of cognitive hibernation again. I can’t take the life I currently lead, not full blast, not with full thought. I can hibernate until it changes, if it changes, but I can’t live in the middle of such a shit hole and think to the best of my ability. I need a change of location, a lock that abusive monster does not have a key to, a house he has no right to enter. I can’t work while so imperilled.
Anyway, I have been me, you have been you and the writing progresses well.
Monday, 17 July 2017
The Ugly Truth
Alexander Gordon Jahans
I’ve changed a lot in just the last two years. I have hope now. We have a female Doctor (not that I’ll believe it until the episode actually airs) and a socialist is so close to power that the demons of the world look vulnerable.
Hope is a marvellous thing. A beautiful thing. A heartbreakingly tragic thing.
I have hope now. I have a dream to fight for. I have an idea of how to get there. I want to believe I can get there. I want to believe I can commit, that I can make it work. Things you don’t know, things you can’t. Ultimately though hope is not victory. Hope can keep you going, can keep you fighting but hope does not put food on the table, a roof over your head or a partner in your bed.
My generation is fucked. The economy is fucked. The planet is fucked. There is hope now but hope is not victory, not yet.
I’m tired. I’m tired, I’m in pain and I genuinely don’t know how much longer I can do this. It’s why this writing project is so important to me. The move could destroy what is left of me. The final hurdle I can vault being passed might be what ultimately kills me. I’m like the woman believing a female Doctor or Prime Minister will do anything. It hurts and it’s frustrating but it’s a realistic dream to pin your strength to. So what happens when you get your wish and nothing changes? We’ve had a black president and black kids are still being shot dead for stupid reasons while white rapists are given light sentences.
And I know, I’m comparing a fucking move to representation for the genuinely oppressed on the world’s stage. I’m a melodramatic fool okay.
I just feel so fragile and so aware that so much of the world keeps forcing themselves against me. My head is a mess and I am so done with everything. Yet still I must be strong. I don’t know how long I can do this. I keep telling myself I can pick a side. That I can solve things. I can’t. I just can’t. I live, that’s about all I can promise and even that’s a risky promise to make.
I’m going to get this story written. I’m going to try for the move. I can’t promise anything else and even those feel like promises that I might very easily break.
I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry. I feel so shit about this, so guilty. I just don’t know if I can be strong forever.
Sunday, 16 July 2017
Alexander Gordon Jahans
Suffocating, muscles aching, under ice.
Left fist makes contact.
Right fist makes contact.
So tired, can’t breath, much pain.
Raise your head up. Take breath.
So tired, muscles aching...
Raise your hand up, slap it down on the ice.
Raise your other hand up, slap it down.
So tired, such pain...
Scrabble up the ice.
So tired, much pain...
Roll over, look at the sun, smile.
So tired, such pain...
Roll over, scrabble forward.
So cold, get to dry land, get to a beach.
Such pain, so tired.
Reach beach, dry land, safe.
Scramble to your feet lurch against a tree.
“Need food... Need shelter... Need heat... Need a way off this damned rock...”
You don’t give in. You don’t stop. Your body aches. Your body screams. It pleads and it pleads. Rest. Sleep. Die. End the pain. End the tired.
You don’t give in. You don’t stop. It hurts and it hurts and part of your screams for death but you don’t stop. You will survive. You will live. One day you will be happy. One day you will rest.
Today you survive.
Monday, 10 July 2017
Ignorance Is Bliss
Not Safe For Work
Content Warnings Everywhere
Alexander Gordon Jahans
So my mind is a problem solving device and one that works without conscience, morality or direction. Those are decisions to be applied once the solution is presented. This is the part where I hold up my hands stand up before the firing squad and say. “It’s okay, I forgive you, I’m a monster.”
Because a very central part of sylph lore was very clearly misunderstood as something it very clearly wasn’t and that planted a dangerous seed in my mind.
I say now with clarity and forethought. Trans people deserve, love and respect. Their gender identity must be respected and they must be given all the medical, psychological and cultural aid as they deem necessary. My opinion does not matter.
I was accused of coming up with the cure for trans gender identities so I came up with the cure for trans gender identities. Well, a technology that could be so applied by someone so evil. Spoilers. There is someone so evil in the latest novel I am working on.
The point is that I have had this technology rattling around as a concept for some time. It’s called mind bounding. In the same way that a body can be bound to remain in a shape the idea is to conceptually bind a mind into a particular position. I mean to be fair to me the story is actually far more complex than that and no trans people are actually harmed (within the fiction of the story anyway) but the technology is still used in part.
It’s like the whole Logicular Replication thing. The idea that it might be possible to save scum a moment of consent by printing off innumerable duplicates of a person just after they have consented because it’s arguable that philosophically the clones are the same person. Except you save scum within the moment, face to face as part of an ongoing process. Convince someone to accept a little lie for a moment or be more open about something they disagree with then bind their mind in position and take another step. It’s utterly and ridiculously evil and manipulative. More than just a mind rape, it’s full on on going mind abuse.
Except that’s fine. Monsters can be monstrous. Especially when you already have a reputation as a transphobic misogynist. However this is isn’t another piece angsting about how hard it is to be problematic. I wanted you to understand the horrific thought process and that I know how this hypothetical technology could be misused.
Then I wrote this distraction fic about a pretty submissive girl who eventually gets shrunk and kept as a pet. It occurred to me then that mind bounding might work then. Not to make someone think differently but just to keep an innocent from growing. Obviously there are massive ways this could be exploited and men who think it would be hot to mind bound their girlfriends or other female associates in this manner are clearly massive creeps. (Though keeping them shrunken and in a cage probably crosses that threshold already.) Yet to the woman or other individual there might not seem to be anything wrong with that. I mean they’d still gain new memories they just wouldn’t even be aware of any cognitive dissonance from growing up. Like how I have always not eaten lamb and fish for moral reasons and it wasn’t until I tried and failed to become a vegetarian that I accepted my hypocrisy was even a thing.
So then you take it further. Ironically inspired by a podcast pointing out the creepy misogynistic moments of Kurt Vonnegurt specifically the idea that it might be nice that a woman is mute. Not an entirely insane idea once you’ve taken the huge leap of shrinking a consenting adult. To be clear I am fully aware that microphilia as a fetish is totally misogynistic. It’s literally a fetish about callous, intimidating or seemingly powerful women literally becoming play or pet objects at best given the rights and respect of a hamster or a dog. But hey, it’s fun to pretend. So once you’ve crossed so far and taken the intimidating woman as your pet hamster, it makes sense (from an evil misogynistic perspective) that you’d want to reduce their intelligence until they literally just squeaked like hamsters.
I would like to reassure people that shrinking is literally impossible, mind bounding in the manner I describe is literally impossible and regardless of my fantasies/fictional ideas, in real life I have morals and always aim to avoid being a dick so far as possible. (unless it’s conservatives or nazis)
So anyway I have been playing around with this idea for a time, contemplating its usefulness hypothetically in committing acts of evil. (I half wonder how many people are now convinced I actually own a functioning shrink ray and mind bounding technology?) At the same time I’ve been listening to podcasts bringing closure/reminding me of the year before I went to college and during my second year at university.
I have been reminded of who I used to be. I really gave a shit you know. I wore suits and I enjoyed thinking about solving problems and multitasking. Now I just masturbate to submissive women and write stories about submissive women then listen to left wing podcasts and desperately try to convince myself I’m a feminist. So I pulled my shit together, I got woke bruh, and I saw the light.
The problem was the light of knowledge had me staring down the barrel of just how fucking shitty my life is and just how objectively I should be dead and I want to be dead but I am all about morality so I’m not because I think just barely people, at least a few people, might feel temporarily worse if I died. So... yeah... I basically woke up, saw the light, then realized/remembered, why I keep the curtains closed and went right the fuck back to sleep.
I can’t die. I will not allow myself to die because I am somewhast convinced of the idea that it would be immoral to do so. So right now I would early love to be mind bound. I mean that’s basically what all this stuff is about and why I can’t stop masturbating and writing fetish fic. I can’t ever allow myself to try be sane and smart. I must always be insane, stupid and in a giddy sexual daze of uselessness.
No wonder I keep writing story after story of submissive getting preyed upon. At this point this is my happy ending. A fucked up part of me sincerely wants to be martyred by my stalkers because at least then I wouldn’t have to bare the guilt of the grief my death would cause. Although knowing my luck it would be deemed that victim blaming is okay in my case because I’m a cis white male and blatantly misogynistic.
So yeah just as I would take the sylph cure to reset my body to human male basic, so I would accept mind bounding to be alive and happy. Ignorance is bliss. Now the fucking nazis have removed my ability to scream as well through their predatory attentiveness.
I can’t allow myself to die, I certainly can’t allow myself to ever admit to such considerations but I can desire for ignorance at least just this once. Let me be thick like the neurotypical. Let me go about the world as an optimistic fool in a perpetually sexually escapist daze.
I think now that if Trump just blurted out that the world has been part of the United Civilisations for ages that I would first write a strongly worded essay against the ownership of sylphs then go sign up to become one, because fuck it, give me stability, give my ignorance, give me freedom from the responsibility of thought and actions. Heck if they only take women, I’ll take the sylph cure and fucking lump it. I’m done with all the bullshit of the world.
Now if you’ll excuse me I have a podcast on Kurt Vonnegurt to finish listening to and then I’m going for a walk into town. Also I’m quite seriously tempted by the works of Gor, because fuck it if I must survive through ignorance and sexual escapism and I am already a misogynistic transphobe doomed to be first against the wall; when the revolution comes why not let myself entertain the notion of a world where women are just naturally subservient, instead of convinced be so through cultural indoctrination. Even if I actually think it’s cooler and more interesting how we’ve managing to convince so many people that women are submissive when they literally control the survival of the species. It’s like the battle of Orgreave all over again, I will never not believe it was a hideously deliberate act because it’s just so much cooler and more interesting in a very evil way to consider my nominal side forcing this massive defeat upon another demographic.
Yep. I’m evil. If hell exists I totally deserve to go there and I think I’d probably accept that as a fine fate compared to this purgatory because if you’ve getting tortured horrifically every day and you know there is no escape you also know you can’t fall any further and can just let go.
I should not write drunk.
Saturday, 8 July 2017
You Can Be More
Alexander Gordon Jahans
So I’ve been in this kind of holding pattern, just finding ways to stay sane and keep surviving amid torrents of bullshit. Ways to keep my mind active and busy despite the fact that I am going nowhere. The problem is that my mind needs problems to solve, conflict to resolve. I grew up being bullied 5 days a week during term time. I need a certain amount of background bullshit to keep my mind stable. Except that creates a problem. And not the one people expect.
I am trapped in the middle of fucking nowhere with goddamned no one. I am used to a wide but shallow range of connections. Instead I have one or two people delivering deep bullshit. I have these vast stretches of time and nothing of import to do with it. I’m like a tiger kept in a tiny enclosure. I need to move. I need to be able to begin again, to make long term plans and I can’t do that in this purgatory of schrodinger’s house sale. And yeah I’ve been through a lot of shit and it hurts. So I get low and it upsets people.
The problem is that these people don’t understand me and they don’t listen. They are seemingly pathologically capable of understanding that I think differently and have a different approach and different needs and priorities. So when the very real problems affecting me reach the point of upsetting these people they do a kind of triage whereby they cut back all the things distracting me from the unrelenting shit I can’t do a damned thing about.
I used to be more. I used to wear suits, I used to care about class as more than a political subject and I used to use my fucking brain. But no. Don’t think. Can’t think. Drug myself up. Fuck about with a fucking diet and shitting exercise regime, masturbate myself into a bliss coma and tell myself this is an improvement. I need to care again. I need to put myself on the line again and I need to use my mind to do something important. Fuck money. Fuck life. Fuck fucking family and all the bullshit excuses for cowering away and shutting myself off from the things that make me feel alive. I am not just a survivor. I am not just outlasting purgatory. I have a mind. I need to use it.