I should have figured it out back then:

Typical scenario ca. 1990s:

For various reasons, I was basically stranded, living in my Mom’s basement.

After “dad” split (1989/90) and my “mother” allowed my idiot, heroin-addict half-brother to move back in, the first thing he did was “accidentally” destroy a significant amount of amateur radio gear, by kicking/throwing hte boxes own the stairs.  My ‘stupid shit” was in his way, and the drug-addled  subanimal was incapable of any other response.

At any rate: around that time was when I met Tom, Dan and Dale.

I’m not going to get into their back-story, but suffice to say: Tom and Dan both lived in Palmyra (to the west of where I lived at the time).  Dale lived in Lebanon (to the East).  I don’t drive.  I hate to admit it (especially in light of his later antics), but having dale pick me up on his way over to Tom’s place actually made some (limited) kind of sense — until 1995, when Cleason (who ALSO lived East of me) joined the group.

If I’m honest, Dale was ALWAYS the weakest link:

  1. He has no sense of timing whatsoever
  2. He was chronically late to both rehearsals and gigs
  3. He would “forget” to wear the correct outfit to gigs
  4. Often, when he bothered to show up at all, he was drunk (both to rehearsals and gigs)
  5. He explicitly attempted to “pick up” on women at gigs (many of which took place in churches)
  6. The incessant “sibling rivalry” between him and Dan (his brother) tended to erupt at weird intervals, to the point where he would frequently storm out of rehearsals.
  7. Often, his first activity (if he actually showed up before the start of the gig) would be to frantically rifle through the book, re-working the “set list” that Tom and Dan had worked out at the previous rehearsal.

Nonetheless, he was never asked to:

  1. Quit the group
  2. Actually come to gigs/rehearsals in a timely fashion
  3. Not bring his bar-slut du jour to rehearsals/gigs
  4. Not blow us off (unanounced) to go deer-hunting

On some level I can understand why the other guys in the group didn’t really give a shit:

Tom (the rythmn guitarist) was actually pretty well-set financially what with his Marine corps. pension, and the fact that he was involved with computers at a local college (to the point of even teaching courses, for several years).

Dan was a shift-supervisor with Union pay.  The bottom line on that is: when he and his wife stopped by a few years ago, he was bitching and whining because he “only” had just over 1 million dollars in savings (not counting the hefty retirement package the company had given him as an incentive to retire, or whatever Social security income both he and his wife were going to get.)

For his part, Cleason wasn’t confrontational, and (as he later admitted) could have gladly quit the group in a heartbeat, if anything more interesting came along.

Realistically, the other 3 members never regarded the group (or the various albums we produced and locally-distributed) as anything other than something “fun” to do on the weekends.

If they had, they would have held Dale to some sort of meaningful standard with regard to such things as: attendance, punctuality, not randomly re-working the set-list, etc.

But they didn’t.

As I said: I should have realized their priorities back then — but I didn’t.

This is one reason (among many) I have no interest whatsoever of EVER joining/starting another group.

I refuse to allow myself to be defined exclusively by what I have now recognized as a particularly shitty defense mechanism left over from a lonely/friendless youth.

 

 

“ADHD” = junk (mis)diagnosis

I am an ADHD skeptic.

Several reasons:

  1. It’s basically a “throwaway” diagnosis which serves to give those in “authority” an excuse to ignore the REAL issues, and/or cover them over by means of FORCED DRUGGING

For example: my case was actually pretty typical:

  1. I was bullied quite a lot during my childhood/teens.
  2. For various reasons (some of which explicitly relate to ROP — “retinopathy of prematurity”, and some of which are most likely neurological — I find overhead flourescent lighting to be extremely unpleasant under certain conditions.  For example, failing flourescent lights — that damnable flickering, when they start to fail.
  3. Intermittent Tinnitus (probably also related to — slight — high-frequency hearing loss, most likley stemming from chronic respiratory problems during childhood.
  4. I already exhibited “college”-level reading comrehension by the beginning of first grade.
  5. My “family” situation was — well, the best thing I can say about it is: neglect is better than (physical) abuse.

So, yeah: all of the above made it difficult for me to become the docile little puppet those in “authority” wanted me to be.

Their “solution”: forced drugging (ritalin).

Result?  THEY didn’t have to bother with addressing any of the above issues.

So, no:  I don’t buy the notion of “ADHD”.  The quesiton is: why is your child/teen failing to be the compliant little puppet you want him/her to be?

Is the classwork insufficiently challenging?

Is there bullying?

Same goes for “dyslexia”.  The quesiton is NOT whether a specific person is having difficulty reading: the only legitimate question is WHY?

Undiagnosed visual problems?  A failure to understand the underlying syllabic structure of multisyllable words  (IE: PHONICS)?

The underlying premise which makes written language make sense is: written language is a method whereby specific aural SOUNDS are “mapped” to specific visual symbols — either singly or in combination with one another.

For example: in most accents, “F” and “PH” both “map” to the same sound.

Once you grasp the above principle, reading is trivial — even for polysyllabic words.

But, yeah: “ADHD” = “a flimsy excuse for drugging children into submission.”

 

The worst mistake I ever made:

Quite frankly, I should never have bought that guitar at that yard-sale, back when I was 12 years old:

Quite frankly, that specific impulse buy has done infinitely more harm than good, in terms of how my life turned out:

Some examples:

  1. First, it gave those “closest” to me (my “relatives”, for exmaple) yet another  way to demean me, by turning me into a “human interest” story.  The fact that I survived infancy (due to Western medical knowledge and the technological infrastructure which makes things like the NICU — neonatal intensive-care unit — possible) has been used against me at every turn:

First, as an excuse to “underestimate” me (by claiming that some anonymous “they” said I wouldn’t be able to read, or would be some sort of window-licking sub-moron, or some shit.)

THEN (when that turned out not to be the case) it became an excuse to brag about the fact that I wasn’t a window-licking sub-moron.  (My “mother” exhibited all of the classic symptoms of  a low-grade version of “Munchausen syndrome by proxy”, in that she really “got off” on milking the “sympathy” of others, at the fact that she had been burdened with a sub-normal child.  She relentlessly milked this at every opportunity  — going so far as to to essentially bribe a friend of hers into producing a series of extremely cloying and “glurge”-inducing puff-pieces for the local newspaper, wherein I was portrayed as a “miracle baby’ — the purported “miracle” being the fact that I wasn’t some sort of window-licking imbecile.

The worst part of it was: the “miracle baby” bullshit was systematically invoked as a means of diminishing my actual accomplishments (such as the fact that I possessed “college-level” reading comprehension at the age of 6, for example).

I was never allowed the luxury of viewing the visual impairment as something to be corrected (to whatever extent possible), BUT OTHERWISE IGNORED.  No — instead, it was shoved in my face 24/7, whether by the school-bullies with their snotty bullshit about “coke-bottle glasses”, or by my own “mother”, re-telling the story about the fact that I spent time in an NICU — WHILE CONVENIENTLY LEAVING OUT THE PART ABOUT HOW HER ANTICS — CHAINSMOKING — WHILE PREGNANT WERE DIRECTLY CORRELATED BOTH WITH PREMATURE BIRTHS *AND* WITH LOWER BIRTHWEIGHT IN “TERM” INFANTS.

So, yeah.  My “parents” did everything they possibly could to ignore my real “gifts” (the fact that I have always been a voracious reader with an “autodidactic” streak, for example), in favor of the fact that — as a result of a particularly friendless, insular adolescence, I was able to become semi-competent on a few stringed-instruments.

Actually, that’s not entirely true:  it’s worse than that.  Primarily, my “parents” attempted to ignore and/or thwart my attempts to become involved with music until they figured out that such involvement could be (mis)used to generate cloying human-interest stories about the pathetic little half-blind kid with a guitar.

Don’t mention the college-level reading comprehension.  Just continue making the (unsubstantiated) claim that some anonymous “They” had “predicted”  a future of window-licking idiocy, and make it seem “miraculous” that I didn’t have to wear diapers to my guitar-lessons.

If I’m honest with myself, I cannot help but recognize the fact that my “musical passion” was nothing but a spectacularly-unsuccessful “coping strategy” — an attempt to “ignore” my useless, drunken failure of a “father”, my idiot, heroin-addict half-rbother andHIS useless/dangerous junkie “friends”, or my emotionally-abusive, manipulative shrew of a “mother” — the woman whose “passive-agressive” manipulation and “enabling” ALLOWED all of it to continue happening.

My “best friends” during my 20+ years of “active” involvement with music were either pervasively ignorance of it all, or actively disinterested.  The Mennonite family with whome I “hung out” explicitly regarded me as merely someone who happened to be relatively skilled at various musical instruments, and conspiculously ‘available” at short (or no) notice.

As for the other members of the music group I co-founded, and for whom I was lead-guitarist from 1991-2010?  My “best friend” later admitted that he and the other members had all mis-read me as GAY, to the point where they were genuinely surprised when I became engaged to my wife.

That really says something: my “best friends” for 20+ years — with whom I was in regular contact — knew NOTHING about me, other than the fact that I happened to be a (semi)competent guitarist, who could be “milked”, at whim.

In retrospect — if I allow myself an honest appraisal of the fact — I have come to realize something:  far from actually “enjoying” any of it, the various “jam sessions” and “gigs” etc. were MERELY a (momentary and not entirely successful) escape from having to recognize how abysmally shitty my life and “family” were, at the time.

The strongest indication that the whole thing was a mistake from square one: I don’t miss doing it  If anything, the mere idea of getting sucked back into that bullshit quagmire fills me with a mix of revulsion and rage, rage and regret — revulsion at the prospect itself, RACE at the fact that my “closest friendships” turned out to be so damnably empty and shallow, and REGRET at having squandered so much of that specific 20+ year period in activities which turend out to be less useful/profitable/fulfilling than if I had merely made a rubber-band ball:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubber_band_ball

 

 

 

What happens when the “cult of personality” surrounding a shitty, schlock novelist attempts to “change the world?”:

I do not think that the Ayn Rand Institute can be saved. Peikoff’s control of Ayn Rand’s name and copyrights gives him such pervasive influence—by way of the Ayn Rand Archives, among other programs—that the Institute’s leadership cannot refuse his demands or officially repudiate his actions. Yet they cannot endorse his e-mail, either. And to stay silent—the position they have adopted by default—is an abdication of their responsibility. In my view, the Institute would nevertheless have been better off breaking its relationship with Peikoff—and even changing its name, if necessary—rather than accepting the rule of intellectual conformity. But on the other hand, as I have documented, these demands for conformity have been building for more than a decade, and those who remain in positions of leadership are those who have already made some kind of accommodation with this system.

Anthemgate

TL;DR: ARI = a glorified marketing-stunt designed to sell more of Rand’s novels/pseudo-intellectual schlock, and — in so doing — funnel more (unearled) “Royalties” into Peikoff’s pockets.

This is why I ALWAYS take advantage of the “first-sale doctrine” in regard to Rand/Peikoff’s books: Leonard Peikoff has spent decades “milking” Ayn Rand’s shitty schlock, and wallowing in Nathaniel Branden’s “sloppy seconds”.  He has never earned (let alone deserved) ANY of it.

 

Even the “Better” Objectivists can’t seem to refrain from Randroid boot-licking:

The problem was compounded, I suspect, by Ayn Rand’s unique role. As the creator of Objectivism, she had a legitimate authority to say what was in it and what wasn’t, and so the original structure of the Objectivist movement did—by necessity—revolve around a single philosopher who held a unique authority.

Bullshit — on EVERY count:

As the bitch-goddess herself put the point:

What is a theory? It is a set of abstract principles purporting to be either a correct description of reality or a set of guidelines for man’s actions. Correspondence to reality is the standard of value by which one estimates a theory. If a theory is inapplicable to reality, by what standard can it be estimated as “good”? If one were to accept that notion, it would mean: a. that the activity of man’s mind is unrelated to reality; b. that the purpose of thinking is neither to acquire knowledge nor to guide man’s actions. (The purpose of that catch phrase is to invalidate man’s conceptual faculty.)

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/theory-practice_dichotomy.html

The above point applies to PHILOSOPHIES, as well.

What is a philosophy?  Consider the 5 “primary” branches mentioned by Objectivists:

  1. Metaphysics
  2. Epistemology
  3. Ethnics
  4. Politics
  5. Aesthetics

Fundamentally, ANY philosophical system HAS TO BE “a set of abstract principles purporting to be either a correct description of reality or a set of guidelines for man’s actions.”    Thus, “Correspondence to reality is the standard of value by which one estimates a theory.”

In other words: IF any of  Objectivism is “true” – then it has nothing to do with Ayn Rand except inasmuch as she managed NOT TO BE WRONG about something.

IF, however Objectivsim = “whatever Ayn Rand pulled out of her ass, the ‘facts of reality’ notwithstanding’, then “Objectivism”  is worse than a bad joke.

So yeah:  Ayn Rand was a shitty, schlock novelist with a pseudo-intellectual streak, a penchant for chainsmoking, and a desperate desire to be power-fucked by her notion of an “ideal man”.  Jacqueline Susann was ininitely superior to Ayn Rand, in that SHE didn’t pretend to be leading a “Second renaiisance” of “new intellectuals”.

 

 

 

Leonard Peikoff is a doddering, deluded wreck:

This confirms conclusively that Leonard Peikoff is a doddering half-wit:

Q: I am writing to inquire about your sentiments on the current state of America and the world.

A: I now read only the front page of the New York Times, dropping each story when it is necessary to turn the page. That way, what is happening does not become too real to me.

Quite frankly, there is only one word for what Peikoff admits to doing here:

EVASION:

Thinking is man’s only basic virtue, from which all the others proceed. And his basic vice, the source of all his evils, is that nameless act which all of you practice, but struggle never to admit: the act of blanking out, the willful suspension of one’s consciousness, the refusal to think—not blindness, but the refusal to see; not ignorance, but the refusal to know. It is the act of unfocusing your mind and inducing an inner fog to escape the responsibility of judgment—on the unstated premise that a thing will not exist if only you refuse to identify it, that A will not be A so long as you do not pronounce the verdict “It is.” Non-thinking is an act of annihilation, a wish to negate existence, an attempt to wipe out reality. But existence exists; reality is not to be wiped out, it will merely wipe out the wiper. By refusing to say “It is,” you are refusing to say “I am.” By suspending your judgment, you are negating your person. When a man declares: “Who am I to know?” he is declaring: “Who am I to live?”

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/evasion.html

Now, let’s be honest: Leonard Peikoff is a shit-clown (at best).  By his own admission, he barely managed to write “The Ominous Parallels” at all.  Moreover, he deliberately refrains from actually reading the newspaper specifically so that its contents won’t “become too real for him”.

(“La-la-la!  I can’t hear you!”)

Pathetic.    The only thing worse is: this is the feculent little sub-mediocrity  Ayn Rand scrounged up to “replace” Nathaniel Branden.

It would be amusing, if it wasn’t so infuriating.

 

Self-inflicted harm is surprisingly easy:

One of the things I could never figure out about Karl (my former “friend” I mentioned in a previous post) was his tendency to brag about the vast morass of E-scrap which he had acquired over the decades.

To be clear: I am not one of your typical “throwaway society”-types who is solely motivated by advertising and “pop”-culture.  My objection has NEVER been (for example) to the fact that he “collected” 8-bit computers (TRS-80 Color Computers, etc.).

My perplexity has always centered around his: tendency to (unthinkingly) qcquire MORE — unsorted — stuff before he had even attempted to sort what he already had.

This has always struck me as utterly irrational, for the following reasons:

First: if you haven’t bothered to figure out what you already have on-hand, how do you know what you need/want to acquire?  Moreover, what exactly do you plan to do with it all?

For example: let’s say you’ve just acquired a box of “free” stuff from a hamfest (which is actually fairly easy to do, given the fact that people often don’t want to bother loading the stuff back into their vehicles, which they didn’t manage to sell or discard during the ‘fest itself.)

What’s your play for it?   What (if anything) gets stripped for parts?   What (if anything) gets repaired?  Have you bothered to check whether there are “alka-leaks” left in the battery compartments?

A perfect example of this was the most genius move Karl told me about recently:

Mr. Pseudo-prepper managed to leave alkaline batteries in one of his Yaesu VX-7s which he then managed to “misplace” among the hoard of (unsorted) E-waste cluttering up his parents’ basement and garage.

Then *I* got to hear him bitch and whine about having done so.

Quite frankly, that bespeaks nothing but total ineptitude and carelessness.

I can’t bring myself to take him seriously, after that — especially since he has made it abundantly clear that that is the sort of thing he expects “stupid people” (Non-Hams/Non-geeks, etc.) to do.

Exactly how difficult is it to actually give enough of a shit about what you’re doing, to at least attempt not to “misplace” stuff?

Quite frankly: if you don’t have the space required to organize, catalog or use the stuff, you probably shouldn’t be acquiring more un-sorted boxes of random what-not from Hamfests.

Likewise: if the stuff has been in a storage-unit for more than a decade, you’re wasting the money used to pay for that storage-unit.

AT LEAST catalog the stuff as you put it INTO the storage-unit.  Same goes for the (sadly typical) tendency of the unthinking to clutter up their own attic/garage/basement with  random boxes of “whatnot” — with no attempt to catalog or sift the stuff.

Another genius indication of how much Karl sucks at “organizing” was when he discovered that his tube-tester  had become rusty and/or corroded, probably past the point of usable repair, due to a roof-leak having saturated several stacks of boxes and “whatnot”, over the course of — most likely — at least a decade.

His “solution” to the problem is equally inane: instead of sifting through the boxes and “streamlining” things, he has merely chucked vast numbers of them into YET MORE storage units (after cramming his trailer floor-to-ceiling with them, to the point where he can’t actually get to the refrigerator in his own kitchen.

To summarize:

  1. He has spent the past several decades acquiring mind-boggling amounts of random “what-not” which he hasn’t bothered to catalog in any meaningful fashion.
  2. As a result, he has never had any clear idea of what his “collection” contains.
  3. His (self-inflicted) failure/inability to store the stuff correctly has resulted in a significant proportion of it becoming: rusty/corroded/covered in rodent feces, etc.
  4. He is a pretentious imbecile.