Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Self-Help and Abductions

There isn’t a self-help group for self-help groups. I think, in this quest for Variety, I have discovered the only niche self-help has yet to try and fill. Tired? Depressed? Too happy? There’s a self-help group for all your worries, fears, closets of anxiety and everything else out there. The sheer proliferation should explain half the problem, since if they actually worked, there would just be one of them. The Self-Help Book.
      It would probably start by saying there was nothing wrong with being normal. And that you can actually like yourself, and maybe other people in the bargain. Then it would just be “shit happens” followed by “get over it and yourself”.
      And it would probably get banned faster than anything else ever written, but I’ve spent too many nights drinking bad coffee and listening to sob stories over stale food from people whose lives, on the whole, would improve immensely by bathing more often. And gaining hope. That’s really all it takes to be a romantic, and being a romantic (in all senses of the word) is probably the end goal of most self-help advice.
      But I didn’t get paid to spit out vague wisdom I’ll forget after this paycheque and a few stiff drinks. I got paid to find strange self-help groups and report about them, to you, because I can. And because, if I had to suffer through it, so do you.

Self-help for alien abductees

No, you didn’t read that one wrong. They offer help if you’d been abducted, or someone you love has been abducted. they offer counselling for abductees who people try and convince were not really abducted by aliens at all. There is, apparently, a large subset of the psychiatric profession dealing with this, and the instructors compared it to ex-gay ‘therapy’ and the like and said abductees weren’t hiding their true natures and so forth.
      They even offered a 12-step plan for coming to terms with having been abducted, ways to stand up to an abductor and that the aliens were as confused and lonely as we are. How that translated into cattle prods up the anus apparently involved not standing up to bullies or aliens having confused notions about human greetings based on porn movies. (It depended on the group, and their instructor.)
      The latter, naturally, had people re-enact their abductions. Graphically. I imagine videos are floating around youtube by now, along with the “I Was Abducted By Aliens” T-shirts some of them claim the aliens gave them as proof. While this sounds very far-fetched, an alien UFO with a gift shop is probably preferable to cattle prods. And far healthier.
      More to come later, after a few drinks.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fun headline found today

"Hobbit" Humans Were Diseased Cretins, Study Suggests

Apparently the debate over a 'new' human species gets quite heated. But, on the plus side, they provide fun interactive maps.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Communication in the future

I'm currently in the process of world building for a sci fi novel, which leads to lots of research. Among them is this video by Kevin Warwick. I'd been making a far future where everything was recorded on camera.

It occurs to me now that I was thinking too small: if we do more than ID chips, it could be possibly to record all our thoughts as well. Which leads to uploading our 'selves' to the internet and questions of whether anyone would actually die, baring corrupt files and such. And also leads into questions of how people communicate and why.

Communication is generally considered to be 90% body language. So if you have what amounts to cybernetic telepathy, you can ignore than 90%. It can be purely mind to mind. Downsides of this include trying to get the signal from the noise (we'd still filter, even mind-to-mind) and the fact that everyone has weird thoughts/ideas they'd never want anyone else to know, entirely non-logical wants, needs, fears, and so forth.

Ignoring any 'we'd lose what makes us human' since what makes us human is pretty much up for debate/modification, I'm curious as to any thoughts on the subject of what is lost from communication vs. what would be gained.


Everything went wrong when
drunk on His saliva, the messiah
sent two of them to where people go
before they are born.

"Works like that too?" He said,
worried, wondering when he
would be called back as well,
sotto voiced, but all heard.

For every action taken, there is, also,
an opposite and equal one.
This is as true for messiahs as men.

After, He swore the others to an oath:
"I only ever had ten disciples, just ten."
And they feared too much to disagree.

Friday, March 14, 2008


I never thought of bodies as smorgasboards until I met you. A corpse was just a body, a client, something to be measured and quantified, to ignore jokes about 23 grams and look for causes of death in the hollowness of flesh. There were no secrets from me; dead men tell tales their vacated owners would wish they were silent about, from love to sex to drugs.

I thought I knew them all, or at least of them, until you. When you first touched me, cold and clammy, my scream the only warmth between us as your teeth came down, raw and broken, tearing into placid flesh like waking from a dream of falling.

Two of my fingers remain missing. It makes some things difficult, like doorknobs and peeling maggots off you for snacks. But I do not mind because I love you, because you love me, because we can complete each other when our flesh sides together to create a new odour as chemicals and meat. Our love is a poem without words, sharing the choice bits of brains, tug-of-war over a liver with the loser always winning the next time.

When sight fails we have scents. When that, sounds. And always touch. The first sense and the last, crawling over each other to explore rats and mice and insects as they burrow deep and we tug them out, playing guessing games for colour and taste.

But there is truth behind it, even though we eat them. I do not want to share you with anyone, not of any who burrow or rot or live. When the men comes with fire and guns I will defend you. When creatures in the ocean try and eat you, I will be there. fingers are nothing to what else I'd lose for you, in sickness and health, for edible or inedible, til undeath do we part.

I never knew how much I loved you until it was too late, the first time you bit me and truly meant it. now I cannot get enough of me when we lie enfolded together and I let my fingers speak my longing and what is left of your tongue responds.

In the end, all we have is each other.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Things I cannot find on google

This could be an ongoing series, or something.

But the internet lacks "jar jar binks slash"

There is now a void that must be filled.

I refuse to do it.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Finding Losses

It starts - it starts with mirrors. I think maybe it's how everything begins, the way all things began, but we all do that -- I'm just like everyone else, trying to assume my experiences are yours, to make what happened to me be the same as what happens to the world. We only see through our eyes, and everything we see is a reflection of ourselves.

I'm sorry. I didn't mean to sound like that. Life's not a poem. But it's true (for a certain value of true): if we are something, we assume everyone else is. It's hard, to think someone wouldn't lie if you would in their situation. Little things like that. I don't even know what I did, to be honest. I just woke up one day and looked into the mirror and I wasn't looking back out.

Things are funny, that way. We can't actually see ourselves. We never even really see how others see us. But we look at our reflection, at some imagine in a mirror, and we assume that's us. Even if we change, we keep assuming the reflection is real, that it matters. Even when the best of mirrors always reflects left to right, we somehow think it's showing us a real thing.

But it wasn't.

Rebecca had left me, for some other guy. John - John something. I never got his full name, never asked. A plumber or something; said she was tired of business suits and the mentality that went with them. The day after I woke up and stared into the mirror and someone else stared back, unshaven and hollow-eyed, with a look like a man one turn of the rack from madness.

And it wasn't me. I wasn't certain of many things, but I knew that couldn't be me. I had a 401K stock plan, a brand new Toyota, and a condo that was entirely paid off. I had two grown kids I loved, an ex-wife I pretended had died of ebola, and had - until recently - Rebecca in my life. It might not be the best life in the world, but it hadn't been the worst of them.

And yet this stranger stared at me as if looking out from the depths of Hell, or somewhere in Jersey.

What did I do? Well, I waved my hand, and he waved his. I shaved, but he didn't look any better. If anything, trying to cover it up seemed to make it worse. I went to work anyway, and no one commented. Not a single person noticed a thing. I stared at a dead man in a water cooler on break, wondering what everyone else saw in their mirrors, but I never found the courage to ask.

I've been passed over for two promotions in the past five years, you know. Or don't, but still: I think that's what it is. Just a hallucination because of my lack of courage, fortitude, all things like that. But it's not like things that that matter anymore, you know? You don't get ahead in the real world if you cling to honour and decency. That's practically business 101.

Christ, I don't even know why I'm telling you this. I guess because your reflection looked -- needy -- in the napkin dispenser. And you remind me of someone I can't remember. Me, maybe. If I was a woman, I mean; I don't even know what I mean. I think I lost something, though, or mortgaged it away, and I'd like it back. And I think you could help me, even if words can't explain why.

I could pay you for the sex, if that would help. We could screw our way to a better world instead of screwing up this one some more? Come on, don't be like that. I'm trying to be honest, even if it hurts you. We could fix our reflections, if we try hard enough. I think you can fill the emptiness inside me; I can't love myself enough to do it right now.

Please? I said I'd pay you. I wasn't lying. I'll make sure to wear a condom. I just don't think - I don't think I can wake up to those eyes in a mirror again. I mean it! It's you or the bridge. We make love or I die, and you can have that staring at you from a mirror some day. This is your chance to save someone, my chance to be saved.

So what do you say?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

What was lost

after the dream had failed
piss-poor under the driving rain
(the wish, too, wished away)

the car skidded left, sliding
through black ice, car frosted
with indrawn breath, car voices
moved from silence to silence

but you recovered, even
without a seat belt, kept on living
despite desperate prayer

laughing at death, at your face
in reflection, you turned back to us
said we were going to see mom
in the hospital, all together

said: "Let's make sure we all
have our stories straight"
("this time" unvoiced, voice
fresh bruise enough for us)

and I hated you and loved you
and wished - so hard! - but you
didn't - wouldn't - die