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Saturday, 18 June 2016

The Off Switch

The Off Switch

By

Alexander Gordon Jahans

It is a very weird thing to listen to a futurism podcast discussing the right to die, not just in terms of the incurably suffering but also the otherwise sane and healthy, on the same day as having had a phone conversation regarding your own mental health and your own past inclinations towards death. 

I do not want to die, now my biology is better I feel fundamentally happier and improved, even if the current circumstances are less than ideal. That said, if there were a hibernate option, a kind of totally safe voluntary coma that could be entered into. I would take that. 

My laptop is dying, my desktop is dead. I have friends who can fix them for me but it willl take time. 3 weeks or more. 3 weeks or more with only a tablet my mum got for free to keep me sane. This is not going to be fun. Indeed this is a dangerous time. My mind needs distractions or it tortures me. Granted I`m gettting counselling now, that`s what the phone call was about, but hibernation would be safer in the short term.

You see yesterday a 41 year old woman by the name of Joe Cox who was an MP for the Labour Party was shot and killed by a man at least inspired by the far right group Britain First. I made a video giving my brief rough thoughts about it and naturally my hatebase is still somehow blaming foreigners, praising guns and saying I don`t deserve to live. The brutal honesty is I don`t know and I don`t care what the truth is just now. The news destroyed me. I don`t feel safe anymore. I feel angry that something like that could happen in England, that the right and the left are using it to escalate tensions. It feels like Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand has just been shot and the tremors of the war machines are spreading outwards...

I don`t wanna be right now. I want to live, I don`t want to die but oh how I wish I could hibernate past this dangerous time of dark thoughts and just a tablet pc to distract me. I fear for my country, I fear for our peace and our sanity.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Addressing Criticisms Of My Gun Control Stance

Feelings About My Sexuality

Feelings About My Sexuality

By
Alexander Gordon Jahans

So a homophobic terrorist attack in Orlando killed 50 people and I didn't give a shit. You can't turn back time, focus on preventing the same thing happening again. Yes, people are gonna mourn and it's a very sad thing that anyone dies but at this point I have seen mass shooting after mass shooting and I know the bodies are just gonna keep dropping. Not my country, not my problem, I don't need this weight on my soul,.

Except I'm bisexual. Which has never mattered before. It is a very weird feeling to find yourself re-addressing your sexuality because think you should feel personally aggrieved and affected with others of your demographic when you just don't. I am angry and bitter that gun control isn't being implemented in America. I struggle to take interest in the fact that 1 person in 320,000,000 killed 50 with a gun in a land with mass shooting happen every single day.

Here's the thing though, I get why the LGBTQA+ community is so upset and reacting in uproar. I get how it must feel for people who have fought hard against oppression to find themselves the target of a terrorist attack. This is the worst targeted attack against gay people since the second world war.

I just don't feel it.

I am bisexual, I like guys as well as women but there's a smaller spectrum of guys that I find cute or sexy. I grew up straight and by the the time I came out it was 2014 and civil partnerships for gay people were possible, Also if I had any angst about coming out it was overshadowed by my dissertation, my parents separating and finding out my genetics are fucked so I naturally have less testosterone than the average woman.

I still feel straight, still feel part of that community and leaping to the defence of heterosexual men. I mean I do feel sexually attracted to guys and my last date was with a guy but I don't feel any different. The only person who showed the slightest hesitation when I came out was my dad and I think that was more a case where the man who sucks with emotion feels it's his duty to be there for his son at what can be a difficult time when for me it was just like "So this is who I am now, get used to it because I don't care what you think."

The thing is, nothing feels different. I still fantasize about women a lot, as my writing can attest. I still find myself almost subconsciously leaping to the defence of heterosexual men (I mentioned that twice, can you tell it's been weighing on my mind?). I still live my life the way I always do.

Are there homosexual slurs used against me? Yes, but there were when I was straight too.

I'm not denying that homophobia is still a problem because it blatantly fucking is.

The thing is though I've always been an outsider. I have always exuded victim, different, weirdo. People see me or hear me and they instinctually hate me. Best friend after best friend has betrayed me. I have been beaten, chased, threatened with rape, had more death threats than I can remember and so many plees that I kill myself. And all that happened while I was straight,

And now I'm 6foot and I have a year of shit that I was certain was gonna kill me. Granted I couldn't do much against an assault rifle but then I live in Britain, a country with sane gun control regulations. I am not scared any more.

I don't give a shit. I still feel the privilege of the straight man. The privilege of size, a sharp wit and a childhood of cycling, football and walking.

Except it's not just about me is it?

I had a date in town with a very sweet autistic guy who can't process the emotions on the face of the person he's talking to, never mind keep a weather eye on whether the locals are gonna start shit.

I may not care. I may not see the hate for myself but others are not so lucky and if I am gonna be with them I have to bare this in mind. The dreadful algebra of will homophobes try to hurt the people I care about because we display affection in public?

This has been a wake up call.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Legacy

Legacy

By
Alexander Gordon Jahans

My first date since secondary school and the fucker dumps me the same day. I walk away from him and bump into the first girl I ever dated. She's got a kid now and is in a relationship that makes my parents look peaceful and loving. There's something almost poetic about that symmetry. 

I swore blind I'd cut my ex off entirely if he dumped me but my heart disagreed so now I'm his friend and trying to help him hook up with someone near him. Life is weird  

My life currently is bingeing the Game Of Thrones tv series, working on my own videos, my own shit fiction, doing volunteering, getting my mental health in order and getting my teeth looked at. I am in short, living, successfully. Quite the achievement for a weird fuckerv with tits, fucked up genetics and the year I've just had.

Except I can do surviving now. it's like that bit in minecraft where you finally get food sorted and you've got your strip mine set up and you're like "What next?"

I mean get a job so I can have money and move out but then what? What is there to reach for? To strive for? Oh I'll keep finding podcasts to binge, stories to write, games to play. I'll live. I'll satisfy my curiosity but to what purpose? What's the point?

No, seriously? What is the point of life? To be happy? I could be happy now or soon enough. Low bar for happiness. 

Okay, stupidly ridiculously unbelievably happy? Lets aim for directed a sharkploitation feature film, written for the BBC, written a Doctor Who, produced my own scifi video series and to cap it off have found a pretty submissive blonde woman who wants to spend the rest of her life with me. Then what?

There are tons of shit sharkploitation films, that's very doable. Writing for the BBC is harder but not impossible given my qualifications, contacts and technological know how. Writing a Doctor Who is piss easy when you realise I count fan productions among that. I already have a youtube channel for scripted productions and cg is getting cheaper and easier with every passing year. The last one is pretty much impossible I'll grant you, I mean submissive blonde women are like unicorns. Submissive blonde women who want to spend the rest of their lives with a tiny dicked freak are like unicorns who died came back as vampires developed space travel and ai, transcended the singularity then developed time travel. They don't happen. Still, who cares? People age. My wank fantasies are ever in their prime.

Blimey, you can tell I've been watching Game of Thrones a lot can't you?

The point is that my ex can't do something if he can't understand it, I can't see the point in doing something if it doesn't excite me and the moment I could do it if I just put the effort in it becomes boring. I need a challenge, to feel intimidated, out of my depth. It's what I know, it's what I am.

And now living is becoming boring but it's okay because sooner or later I'll be working so I won't have time to think about how boring it is and what is the point of that? What is the point of working to live if life itself is meaningless?

Now I did fill out a referral to a counselling unit today because fuck it why not? It's time to clear out my head and gain peace. But then what? Why? 

Why?

What do I want?

One might expect a political answer but if the past year has taught me anything it's that I am an idiot and we live in a time of change?

How about some grand popcultural answer? Well Zisteau's already doing the best minecraft series ever, we're getting a new star trek and at this point a female doctor is all but a certainty given enough time. 

A vain sexual answer has already been addressed and dismissed.

I don't want to be happy. Well not just happy. I don't want to chase avarice or popculture or political power. I want legacy.

The writing, the youtube channel, the facebook group and part of the reason having low testosterone sucks is because I care about legacy.

Everybody dies alone, everybody has bad days and everybody is a prick at some point but legacy is unique.

You know fuckers tell me in comments on my channel sometimes angrily that my youtube channel is one of the top rating when searching for my name? As if that isn't exactly what I want? Let the right piss on my grave. pissing them off beyond my death would be a fine thing indeed. 

In all seriousness though what legacy do I have? The autist with tits? The microdicked transphobe? Maybe the misogynist who aspired to feminism and failed badly? Or if we're feeling charitable, that poor strange wanker?

I am a nobody. A nothing.

I can't have kids and wouldn't know what to do with one if I could.

I don't have an empire or a brand or company.

I don't do anything important, I don't know anything important and I don't have any important plans. 

I wake. I eat. I wank. I record. I write. I work. I enjoy fiction. I sleep. Then I die.

That's it. My autobiography, my whole life, in that line. 

Pointless. 

Meaningless.

Don't get me wrong, I want to live. I quite like eating and wanking and writing. The problem is that I won't remember that when I die. There is no achievement counter on death. no tally of ejaculations had, pizzas eaten and tasks procrastinated. There is not  even a void. just poof! And everything I am is gone.

I don't want to die but if there is no point to life, no legacy to build, no future to remember me, then why strive? Why work and toil? Why kill myself overworking if all life is is wanking and eating and writing and enjoying popular entertainment?

That's my issue. I am a capitalist. I am not motivated by fear, I am motivated by greed and right now i feel like the richest man in the world so why fucking bother?

I need to find a legacy to devote my life to making or I might as well pack it all in and go on the dole until the tories kill me as well.

I will not allow myself to fall to illusions. I need purpose, I need legacy. I need to be remembered.

Monday, 6 June 2016

PSA Make sure the distance is okay before you ask someone out

A Reminder Of How Utilitarian Morality Works

A Reminder Of How Utilitarian Morality Works

By
Alexander Gordon Jahans

Utilitarian Morality is in its fundamental understanding the Greatest Good For The Greatest Majority.

Under Utilitarian Morality all sapient lives are fundamentally the same. What matters is the actions those lives perform. In an evenly split decision pick the action that is more convenient/liable to make you happiest, sure. In any other situation Utilitarian Morality is mathematical.

Taking a purely hypothetical example plucked from thin air, lets say a group has a certain amount of stored fund raising potential. It could use that limited potential to feed say 30 homeless people for a month, or it could fund a transperson to get full SRS. (Please note I am pulling this out of my arse, this probably isn't an accurate price comparison.) Under that simple scenario the more moral action is to feed the homeless. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. 

Except while all sapient lives are fundamentally the same they do not have the same capacity for affecting the world. A popular journalist who acts as an advocate/representative of the transgender community acts as a kind of force multiplier for moral good. Their potential to create greater good makes their life worth more than another trans individual or so many homeless people. Thus under utilitarian morality making them less likely to die/better able to deal with stress is the more moral thing to do 

This is a positive example so lets look at a negative example. Again pulled entirely from the air. Lets say there is a politician, a reviled politician backed by an unpopular demographic that is in the minority within a country. Denying that politician a platform means a minority do not get their views vindicated in mainstream media and lets their cause wither and die without unduly affecting the majority. That would be the more moral action. 

Except under this political system there is some kind of hybrid morality dictating that the unpopular politician should get a platform and now they could get into power. If they get into power they and their supporters will act as a powerful negative modifier, drastically reducing the quality of life for many, if not outright causing the deaths of many. In that situation should you remove their platform or even take them out? In this entirely hypothetical example this unpopular politician stands to unleash mass torment upon a population surely one life is worth the lives of so many others? No. 

If you try to silence the unpopular politician at such a late juncture but before their ideas can truly be tested all you are doing is fostering negativity and encouraging the problematic minority to keep supporting the silenced politician as they can now believe they were cheated from victory. If you do not believe this would be problematic then you forget one of the key reasons Hitler gained so much support, the belief that the first world war of all things was snatched unfairly from them because not enough of their brave men were killed to make the defeat feel final enough. If you silence the hypothetical unpopular politician or are stupid enough to kill him then you will be unleashing an angry dangerous demographic who now feel they were unfairly robbed of an even chance. Thus this is not a moral option.

So assuming the unpopular politician and their problematic minority of supporters are not going to be silenced due to the morality of the situation, what do you do about the larger counter minority that is now beying for blood? These are the people the unpopular politician is going to cause to suffer or die. Surely they have a moral right to defend themselves? No. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Their cause may be more nobly motivated but if they rouse the unpopular politician's supporters into violence there will be death and suffering that more than outweighs the death and suffering the unpopular politician could cause.

It is incredibly easy to look at an agitator for harm and judge them as worthy as dying then look at an someone trying to defend themselves and say they have a right to but utilitarian morality is about the larger picture. If good people must be sacrificed to bad to prevent a larger amount of deaths then that is the only true moral action under utilitarian morality.

This is a cold conclusion and I will never begrudge someone trying to defend themselves or their loved ones from suffering but if they advocate violence when doing so would unleash great devastation then they are amoral fools.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Understanding And Overcoming Adversity

Understanding And Overcoming Adversity

By
Alexander Gordon Jahans

So I met someone, or to be more precise they met me, they found me. I am not going to say much about them partly because it isn't my place to say, partly because I don't want to set a problematic precedent and partly because it's not fucking relevant. I will say this though they are male, fiercely intelligent, ridiculously sweet and endearing and more autistic than me.

I long ago accepted that I would very probably die cold and alone and that hasn't changed even knowing that I am for the moment not alone. Something will happen, somehow, it always does. Until then I hope to make my partner as happy as he makes me and I hope to make him better able to live life on his own so that when inevitably something does happen he is better able to handle things.

Losing people you care about, no matter how important they are, no matter how you lose them, always sucks. That is an unfortunate irrefutable fact for a great many individuals even if you can harden to the losses over time. I for example can be incredibly cold hearted when I need to be. Autism however is a variable that most people don't have to deal with that can make the situation so much worse and I want to help my partner overcome its more severe elements.

You don't realise how minor your autism is and how infuriating it must be for people without autism to know you until you encounter someone with autism that is that much farther along the spectrum than you. My partner does not really sit far along the autism spectrum. He can talk well enough, he's smart enough to run his own business and provided it is framed the right way he can deal with conflict. Yet at the same time he is house bound by anxiety, lives on toast and milk and freezes up like a broken computer at the most minor of criticisms from someone not sufficiently otherised and unable to cause harm.

He is someone who thinks entirely differently than me yet he can learn and recall at amazing speed. Certain things may be hard wired limitations of his brain, for example the fact that if he thinks of something he absolutely must say it and have it heard in order to clear it from his mental buffer. Hell I think I have some minor version of that as my blog, youtube channel and facebook are proof. 

I have a theory, one that does not currently have much data to go on, my theory says that the mind of an autistic person can learn social cues and how to fit into society. I mean it's what I have done and I now thank the almighty Zarquon that I wasn't put in with the special kids but forced to stick it out through school as I learned to not give a shit about bullies. I learned their patterns of behaviour, I learned how to attract them and how to make them leave you alone. I was forced to walk to school, forced, to swim, encouraged to cycle, I was given so many opportunities to try new foods. Now look at me, walking for fun, eating vege burgers with rice, drinking tea, cycling on my mini bike, making money from youtube and so used to socialising I'm annoyed that money is preventing me from doing so.

My partner embraced his gilded cage because his eccentricities were tolerated. That isn't helping autistic children, that is trapping them within ignorant coccoons of their own devising. Toleration without education encourages ignorance and dickishness. I look back on my school days and on that anger with shame while my partner wistfully describes anecdote after anecdote of how he fucked with his school and received no consequences because his school expected no better from him.

Don't get me wrong my partner is not the cocksure prick he describes in his youth. He is now a very sweet moral man. My criticisms are not of him but of the way authority responded to his autism. I followed the rules and I tried to serve out my sentence until I could leave. He read the rules very carefully, reasoned what the quickest way out was and went about enacting that plan. Do you address the underlying concerns of an unruly autistic child? I would have thought so. These fuckers didn't.

So now my partner is a milk drinker who lives on toast and can't stand being outside. I have a lot of work to do. 

Fear and anxiety can be overcome. Do you think men and women head into battle without fear and anxiety. Do you think emergency paramedics and the doctors and nurses who work in accident and emergency never feel fear and anxiety? Do you think the police never feel fear or anxiety? I'm not saying that fear and anxiety can't be crippling, I've felt it, I feel it but it can be overcome and it is regularly.

I know that fussy eaters can be encouraged to broaden their tastes, that the lazy and inactive can start slow and easy and build up to a half decent level of fitness. I know because I've done it.

I want to help my partner when I see him crying and upset and I know that I can. It is possible. Social skills and awareness and knowledge that can be taught like physics or computers. maybe not perfectly, maybe never to extravert levels but good enough to function in society. It will take time and it will be hard as I know that when you are smart and are used to being smarter than everybody else in the room you can be an obstinate stubborn git. I can't make him do anything he doesn't want to do and I wouldn't want to but I will help him slowly make progress through the things he is willing to try.

Social skills can be taught and they should be. What is the fucking point of having special classes for autistic children if you aren't going to teach them social skills? Micro expressions can be learned by rote, tones of voice can be identified, appropriate conflict management and basic psychology can be taught.

I am going to teach my man so that he does not fear leaving the house and I am fucking furious with every idiot who thought tolerance without education is a good idea as you have stranded the man I care for and many others without the skills to navigate the world. Fuck algebra, geometry, physics, music and goddamned French, where's socialising on the curriculum? Where is the key element to navigating this fucked up world? 

Oh but you're tolerant? Well bully for fucking you, nobody else is. Tolerance means jack fucking shit without relevant education. Make threats against me, insult me, brand me a bigoted bastard bellend, I really don't fucking care but this man has bought me such joy and warmth that I have never ever deserved and he was let down by do gooders that meant well but didn't actually do anything to help him.

Fuck tolerance, education is what matters.