Notes on the Journey

Posts tagged ‘anticorporate activism’

STUFF

Climate Change And The Cassandra Complex

Here is a definition of the term “Cassandra Complex” from Wikipedia:

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The Cassandra metaphor (variously labelled the Cassandra ‘syndrome’, ‘complex’, ‘phenomenon’, ‘predicament’, ‘dilemma’, or ‘curse’) occurs when valid warnings or concerns are dismissed or disbelieved.

The term originates in Greek mythology. Cassandra was a daughter of Priam, the King of Troy. Struck by her beauty, Apollo provided her with the gift of prophecy, but when Cassandra refused Apollo’s romantic advances, he placed a curse ensuring that nobody would believe her warnings. Cassandra was left with the knowledge of future events, but could neither alter these events nor convince others of the validity of her predictions.

One of my earliest memories is a of a dream I had about nuclear war. It was nighttime and I was standing in the middle of Niagara Falls Boulevard in Buffalo, NY. Everyone had died in the bomb blast except for me. This anime clip gives a sense of the creeping horror of that dream:

That was bad enough, but my sense of isolation from humanity was already well established by the fact of my sexual victimization by my father, which had begun when I was less than a year old. My mother kept finding him en flagrante and he kept saying he would stop and she kept believing him. Eventually, by the time I was three years old, she placed the blame squarely on me. That was easier than giving up her meal ticket. The fifties were a tough time to be a single mother.

I believed that I was the only person on Earth that this sexual abuse was happening to. When I was old enough to read I discovered that the medical authorities also said it was very rare and that little girls WANTED to fuck their dads and they lied about being abused to get attention and to manipulate adults.

The oddest thing is that although the sexual abuse of children is far from rare, nobody ever speaks of it. The topic is smothered in silence. Except for what the paternalistic docs have to say.

In any case, this particular socialization process has had the effect of making me feel as if I am fundamentally different from other human beings. I developed an idiosyncratic way of being in the world and I tend to see things that other people completely miss.

And now I notice the same process is underway with respect to the topic of climate change and the mass die-off of species that is well underway on this planet. Nobody is allowed to speak of it in mixed company. When I bring up the topic folks get a look on their face, like, Who  Farted? and they quickly change the topic.

DETOXING

Something most people don’t know about me is that I got myself off of the cocktails of psychiatric chemicals (that I was prescribed for complaining about my incest history) because of Climate Change. I have always been a student of natural history and ecology and I had been reading books and articles in science mags about the changes that are taking place in the Earth’s climate and ecosystems throughout my life.

In 2003 I began to become psychotic as a result of the chemical cocktails that I was taking. Whenever I complained to the docs that the drugs weren’t working their response was to add more drugs and raise the dosages. In 2003 I was taking 80 mgs of the antidepressant paxil,  the “safe” dose of which is supposed to be 20 mgs.  I began to have visions. In one vision I had the sense that I was in a hive and the bees were buzzing all around me. Then, they suddenly went silent. It became very difficult for me to ignore what was happening to the trees, animals, insects and plants all around me. And there was the fact that the poles were melting and the Earth’s temperature was rising faster and faster as the carbon gases kept accumulating.

I had something of an epiphany where I had the sense that, because of my innate leadership skills, I had to get off of the chemicals and get myself strong and healthy in order to guide people through the coming ecological holocaust. So I went through 5 years of hell detoxing slowly and carefully from the chemical cosh.

I no longer have any illusions about being any kind of leader. I am old, female, disabled and nobody pays any attention to my raving about coming catastrophe. But, I do have all of this evidence and I want to get it out in front of people’s faces just in case somebody somewhere might be paying attention.

Here is a list of articles and videos from such mainstream venues as National Geographic and PBS that you can view that deal with the various signals that we are in the process of calamitous changes:

The Sixth Great Extinction WaPo article

National Geographic article on ocean fish extinction

PBS Nature The Silence of the Bees

PBS Extreme Ice, the melting of the poles

PBS The Extinction of Amphibians, The Thin Green Line.

This is a film preview about the death of the ocean:

This is a video about the Exponential Factor and humans inability to appreciate the implications of infinite growth on a finite planet:

This is a video featuring George Marshall, author of the book, Don’t Even Think About It; Why Our Brains Are Wired To Ignore Climate Change:

Yesterday began as a bright, clear deep blue sky day. Then the planes began their back and forth weaving overhead, and the plumes of mist hung in the sky and spread and the entire sky became white with haze. This morning there is a low stratocirrus cloud cover and there is a fine silvery photo-reactive haze in the air at ground level. The ground level haze is very weird, because there is also a brisk breeze blowing, which would carry off normal water vapor fog. Why does no-one notice the weather, notice what is happening right above their heads. No-one ever looks up. Everyone has their eyes on their smartphones. I feel like I am the only awake person on the planet and it’s bloody fucking lonely.

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Vermont Yankee Protest

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The Enchantment Model Of Addiction

Support Groups PicI stopped in at a Al-Anon meeting at Thanksgiving, hoping it would help to listen to other people talk about their family pain, but first thing they hit me with the proselytization and the disease model. I just can’t ignore it long enough to sit and listen, that’s my defect I suppose. I felt pressure to read the steps and recite prayers, did not feel safe to refuse, and that is crap.

I know now that AA softened me up for harvest by the psychopharmaceutical cartel. I first attended AA when I was 28 and planning another baby. I’d had a few drinks during of my last pregnancy and felt guilty about that, didn’t want to do it again, and in general, drinking made me sick and depressed altho I enjoyed the painkilling effects. I went to women’s meetings for the first year. It was clear to me that I drank to kill the aftereffects of being raped on a daily basis by my father for the first 12 years of my life, and that’s what I wanted to work on and it felt safer to be in a women-only group.

pillsBack then nobody was taking psych drugs, but we were all being sold on the medical model brain disease/genetic defect theory. So sadly, I was easy pickinz when my GP offered chemicals to fix my congenital brain abnormality. I looked tired because I was engaged in  a lawsuit against my rapist parent and raising two toddlers by myself and I was having trouble sleeping. The doctor, John Matthews of Plainfield, VT, said I was biologically depressed and the drugs were like insulin for diabetes. Then once on the drugs there is the spellbinding effect along with all the other subtle and not-so-subtle coercions I was subjected to. In 2007, when I decided to begin tapering the drugs (after reading Mad In America) AA was a hindrance because just about everyone was on the (safe, non-addictive) drugs and we were not allowed to question the holy doctors. I got a lot of hostility from people who were threatened by my withdrawal, and nobody had any support for me or had information about safe withdrawal.

godthe fatherFor me personally, the whole Protestant religious moral model of the twelve step model is a big problem. For one thing, it is emblazoned upon the deepest reaches of my consciousness that GOD IS MY FATHER, for another, it is a victim-blaming philosophy that totally separates the individual from the violent, addiction-generating culture. So I have to do the mindsplitting thing to be able to sit in a 12-step meeting and I am not up to it anymore. I joined an online group for people who are tapering from behavior-control chemicals. At first, as it was forming, it was a good support but then the admins started in with the 12-step liturgy and dogma. I tried to point out the heterosexism and christian values and got shut down.

The way I see it now is that we are ALL addicts. The word, addiction, literally means: to be spoken over to slavery. It comes out of the Roman court system, where captives were legally made into slaves. Western culture has made us all into slaves to oil, if nothing else. No-one escapes modern slavery. But, some of us run into bigger trouble faster, with whatever we are doing to kill our pain and distract our attention, that is the difference. It’s a continuum. And absolutely, without question, everyone I know who struggles with destructive addiction is a survivor of trauma, usually the good old interpersonal violence kind. I also saw this as a member of a support group for the psychiatrically labeled in Montpelier, VT. Every woman, at least, who was diagnosed and labeled as a psych case was a survivor of childhood rape. I kept telling the staff of the MH center about this, I wrote about it in The Counterpoint, a psych survivor rag in VT, and went before the state legislature to talk to them about it as they made policy on MH services. But nobody really listened. They are not listening now.

The only way that addiction could possibly be considered a medical/physical disease is by thinking of it as a reaction to BEING INJURED. It is a maladaptive attempt to heal an injury. Once we start to damage organs with whatever we use to kill pain THEN it becomes a medical issue.

earAs I have been struggling to understand what addiction has done to me and the people I have been close to, it has occurred to me that since the medical model is such a destructive metaphor, that maybe a good way to characterize what is going on is that it is a kind of enchantment. It is like being under an evil spell. (Certainly being on the psychiatric chemicals felt like this to me. I lost my power to choose and I believed things that were not true. I was trapped, I was a prisoner, a slave.)  How does this enchantment come about? Well, I’m not sure, and prolly there is no one answer, no bogeyman to blame, no witches in the hedges casting spells, BUT, in my case I can trace the enchantment right back to the ugly things that ignorant and cruel adults kept chanting into my ear, all the insidious messages about my lack of human worth that surrounded the incest drama and the simple fact of my having a female body in a patriarchal, misogynistic culture.

One Billion Rising

These are videos of the One Billion Rising phenomenon. One in three women has survived sexual assault. One sixth of the entire human race.

 

This one is very disturbing and very powerful:

 

This is the official video of the flashmob dance, Break The Chain:

 

And this is a video that I shot in St. Johnsbury, Vermont on Valentine’s Day 2013:

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Portland Homeless Camp

 

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Harpy With A Sharpie!

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