I want to talk about some specific things in the Netflix show called The Society that stood out to me. One thing I felt very strongly about, was about the character named Campbell. When we the viewers first see Campbell interact with a character named Elle, I could tell that something was really off about him. And then as the show goes on, we get to a point where Campbell tries to kill Elle by pretending to have her drown in the bath tub at one of their homes. But not surprisingly, Campbell tries to convince Elle that he didn’t actually mean her any harm in doing that. She believes him; but then as the show continues, one of the kids tells Elle that if she wants to prevent Campbell from hurting anyone else, she (Elle) would have to murder him. And interestingly, Sam (who’s Campbell’s brother) also tells Elle and other kids that he (Sam) has known for years that Campbell is a danger to himself and others. And so, what actually ends up happening to Campbell, is that Elle tries to kill him, just as she’d been told to do by one of the kids. I can’t remember who it was that told her that helpful tip, though. All I know for sure, is that Elle made Campbell’s favorite kinda pie which she’d intentionally poisoned. And she’d planned for him to be the only one who would eat that pie; but instead, what happens is that Campbell insists that he and Elle take the pie to the place where most of the kids usually hang out with one another. She does her best to discourage the two of them from doing that, but things don’t go her way. In fact, many of the kids eat her pie, as does she…and everyone of course gets deathly ill. And as more kids are getting sick from the poison, Elle realizes that she’s in over her head with this situation. So she then confesses to Allie (who is essentially the leader of all the kids). Elle tells Allie that she (Elle) doesn’t deserve to stay with everyone, because of having poisoned the pie that she’d intentionally made to murder Campbell. But Elle also tells Allie that she (Elle) truly didn’t want anyone besides Campbell to get sick from the poisonous pie. But TBH, after all this happens, things are quite different between all of the kids. Like, no one seems to know who to trust anymore, no one knows why there are kids just randomly dying and no one seems to want to rat anyone out for being the perpatrator of the murders that happen throughout the show. And that’s literally where the first season of this show ends, with us the viewers being left on a cliffhanger about lots of unanswered things.
But once I’d finished watching The Society in full, I Googled something like “deaf character in The Society actually deaf.” Because when I’ve watched some shows in the past, I later learned that said shows didn’t actually have disabled actors in them…even when disabled characters were actually a part of the show. And that deeply troubled me, as people with disabilities deserve to be seen in mainstream media, just like anyone else is. So I was elated to discover that the deaf character in the show The Society, was indeed played by a person who’s deaf in their real life. And honestly, in reflecting about that now, I think who better to play disabled characters than actual disabled people!! I used to say that for myself, I’d hate it if I were type casted. However I’d honestly much rather be type casted than not, as non-disabled actors playing disabled characters is wrong for a few reasons, one of which is because non-disabled actors have no fucking clue what it’s like to live in the world as a disabled person. This makes such folks unfit for these kinds of roles, unless they’re able to talk extensively and work extensively with disabled people, to learn how to best portray their role of a disabled character. But even then, I don’t think that having able-bodied people play disabled characters should ever happen intentionally; another reason I think this is because having able-bodied folks play disabled folks gives society the wrong message of “it doesn’t really matter to the directors to type cast folks, as actors are actors.” But the thing is, the roles won’t necessarily look real or believable if the actors don’t have any lived experiences to pull from that makes those roles done better than well.
In an episode of the TED Radio Hour podcast, the new host whose name I don’t know how to correctly spell yet, talked to us the listeners about a few different ideas that people have about how to make the world a better place. In the first story, the host of the show talks with a couple folks who live in China, about how the Chinese government differs from the United States government. And the main point within this particular story, is that China as a whole has a community-oriented mind-set, whereas the US has an individualized mind-set. The main person who talks in this story though, openly shares how both America and China, think that the way the other country handles things, is poorly done. In the second story though, a woman talks about how in America, it’s actually more valuable to take care of people within minority groups, especially being that folks in minority groups are rarely thought of as valuable human beings who deserve to live functional, happy lives. But the next person that had something to say on this episode of TED Radio Hour, was my favorite guy EVER…NOT, Peter Singer.
An example that Peter Singer gave of his moral beliefs, was to say that he believes that it’s better to allocate money towards curing blindness for numerous people, than to give one person funding to get a guide dog. Another thing he said, was that he’s totally behind human beings allowing themselves to be put in contact with people who have Covid19…so that these volunteers can get said virus themselves…and them have themselves be test subjects as to whether vaccines for Covid19 will actually work to get rid of it. And with both of these examples, my thing is, who the hell does Peter Singer think he is, to spew such venom in the world? Who the fuck died and made him King Peter, decider of every individual’s moral compass!!! I know I’ve said this about him before, but he needs to exit stage left and at the snap of a finger, he needs to disappear from view…and never again be able to display what a monster he is.
The last person who’s a guest on this episode of TED Radio Hour, was a man who discussed that in order for the world to change what’s happening in it, people ought to rewrite the stories that we as a society tell ourselves. And that’s something I can relate to, as that’s been a huge part of the work I’ve done on myself these last few years: allowing myself to unlearn harmful thoughts and behaviors of mine…and then start/continue learn ing how I can become an even better version of myself than I’d ever imagined possible. And so, as this particular subject matter relates to what this guest on TED Radio Hour says about people of color (POC) is that he tells people of color that they too, have the right to make their individual and collective stories be what they (POC) want them to be…rather than POC feeling powerless to create the changes in the world that they desperately want to see and be a part of. And again, even though I myself am not a person of color, I do share people of color’s vision in terms of feeling hopeful that our tomorrows, that other people’s tomorrows, will be made up of no more police brutality, no more racism, no more homophobia and on and on and on. I personally have to keep feeling hopeful, as hope is one thing that keeps me going.
A recent episode of the Multiamory podcast talked with the day’s guest about how for some of us, a lot of our struggles in our lives come from religiously-oriented trauma that we’ve experienced. In addition to that though, shame follows closely behind the religiously-oriented trauma for me. A powerful example of shame in my own life stemmed from the fact that I was constantly told by people in society that I was the one who was totally responsible for the fact that I didn’t have a good relationship with my bio mom. But even though I was a child through much of this kinda talk, I had no earthly idea what a healthy relationship was even supposed to look like. I mean, even into my late 20s, I let the majority of society pressure me into keeping my bio mom around because I felt like it was better to have her around than to not have anyone in my life. But the thing is, what hindsight has taught me, is that I wouldn’t have been alone, even if I’d gotten numerous toxic people out of my life back then. That belief of mine was just a fear that my mind probably created, simply because I had a strong fear that literally everyone I knew would abandon me, at some point…all because my bio mom was never there for me in a meaningful way.
But that being said, it’s only been within these last few years that I’ve learned how to create and maintain healthy relationships with others…not including my bio mom and other family of origin folks. And it’s honestly been through reframing the way I think about forgiveness, that’s allowed me to forgive myself. Because the sad thing is, no one even told me that I ought to forgive myself, until fall 2017 when I started going to therapy. I know that’s probably hard to imagine for some folks, but it’s true nonetheless. And honestly, it’s ashame that most people are quick to blame the adult child for him or her not having a healthy relationship with their bio mom, instead of looking at the bio mom in question. But now that I think about it, it shouldn’t surprise me too much, as most people victim blame folks for getting raped or otherwise beaten up/abused. But that kinda shit needs to fucking stop, across the board, like, yesterday!! And what needs to happen, is that people ought to believe the folks who say that they’ve been assaulted. People ought to stop telling folks things like “well, you dressed like a slut, so how would you expect people to respond to that?” People ought to quit telling people to get over grief, sexual assault and other traumatic events that they’ve gone through. Because starting from a place of belief rather than mistrust, is the right step forward.
But in addition to what I’ve already mentioned in the previous paragraphs, I felt internalized shame growing up. And I know that that internalized shame was also brought on by much of society’s putting all the blame/responsibility on me to figure out how to fix my bio mom’s and my lack of a relationship with each other. But put another way, no one ever told me that my bio mom herself could also make different choices about how she treated me. As I’ve said above though, I had to hear that particular truth from several therapists as well as from friends of mine who I trusted, in order to actually believe in that truth myself. But nowadays, I feel like I’ve come full circle: I’m now the one who’s telling people that they don’t have to keep toxic family of origin around, just because the majority of society tells them that they should. I do what I can to empower people, as feeling empowered wasn’t something I had access to growing up.
But to be honest, hearing this episode of Multiamory brought up how much of my life has actually been spent battling internalized shame or shame that’s been done to me by others. And it was nice to hear that I’m not alone, as that particular truth can be hard to remember sometimes. And not just that, but I don’t think about this sort of thing often, as I don’t believe that it’s good to constantly think about the past. But I do feel like I say this a ton in my offline life, but the world would become a much better and brighter place if people always felt safe to share everything with one another. But unfortunately, I think that we still have a long way to go, where progress as it relates to this sort of thing is concerned. Hell, I don’t think we’ll make near the amount of progress as we should in my lifetime…but I hope to be proven wrong.
Now, I’ve gotten myself into thinking about what the world would be like if instead of abstinence-only education, adults told children the truth about sex being a normal and fun part of life for everyone who chooses to have it. If people gave children the honest truth about the different kinds of birth control that are available to folks, telling children that we grownups are fully aware that many of them will want to be sexually active…and that we’d be OK with them being sexually active, as we want them to have pleasureable experiences. If teachers told little boys as well as teenage boys, that they are never entitled to women’s bodies, just as women/other gendered folks are never entitled to anyone’s anything, that would be such a positive flip for our culture. If children as a whole were taught that consent does not just happen once a day, and that they should constantly be checking in with their sexual partners…and that their partners should constantly be checking in with them, there would likely be a lot less communication mishaps. If people felt safe enough all of the time, to ask people close to them if they’ve ever had experiences where they’ve consented to anything under pressure, that gesture alone would likely help people heal in a huge way. I know that for me, it’s been empowering to realize that I have a lot more power in my own life than I used to think I did.
In an episode of the Love Someone podcast, the host Delilah talked with a woman who’s trying to start an organization called Operation Happy Nurse. This particular organization would help nurses with creative things that they (nurses) can do to help themselves unwind after having worked long hours. Some of these things that this nurse has already talked about that will likely be powerful, are starting a book club, using adult coloring books and even having message boards where nurses can go to be heard by other folks who are nurses that are going through similar things as one another. I think it’s great that the woman who created this nonprofit organization, is willing to do what it takes to help others in need. Aside from the fact that she’s a nurse herself, I think that now more than ever, we as a society need to find and create more ways to be compassionate towards others…and ourselves. Because as I’ve said on my blog before, uniting with one another is what will make the world better than it was before we were a part of it. We don’t have to like the way republicans believe the world works, to accept that republicans and democrats fundamentally see the world differently than one another. But we also don’t have to let folks walk all over us, either. And I think more people could stand to hear these truths spoken out loud.
In an episode of the This American Life podcast, the show’s host Ira Glass and coworkers of his first told a story about a firefighter who was very vocal in sharing his opinion that firefighters as a whole should change the way they operate. This vocal man realized that there was a lot of things that were wrong within the fire department such as racism and sexism. And being that he was a non-conformist, he did what he’d thought was the right thing: spoke up about his non-traditional beliefs and fought hard for the changes that he wanted to see fire departments make. He had some supporters behind him, but mostly, people were pissed off at him rocking the boat so to speak. But in reflecting about this choice of his at a later time, he acknowledged that maybe he had unreasonable expectations, in that he wanted to see positive results happen at the snap of a finger. And of course, life doesn’t actually work that way. And ultimately, what ended up happening to this guy, was that he was fired from his fire department. That news honestly made me sad because I very much identified with his mission. But also, I wish more people had taken the time to try and understand where he was coming from, rather than seeing him as the bad apple that they needed to get rid of, just because they didn’t understand him/why he had the particular point of view about the fire department culture that he did.
The last story on this episode of This American Life, was about a girl who was starved of her mom’s attention. This girl talked about how her mom preferred to play an online game where she (the mom) could create the family that she’d wanted. And the girl named Katie whose story this was, also discussed how in this online game that her mom was playing, the Katie person didn’t look like Katie looked in real life. And in Katie’s real life, she (Katie) became so disturbed by this online gaming habit of her mom’s, that she (Katie) decided to take matters into her own hands. One day while her mom was sleeping, Katie totally did away with her mom’s online family creation. She accomplished this by literally making this family’s online house burst into flames. And once that had happened, Katie was literally the only one in this online family who was left. And while she (Katie) knew that taking this particular action would be risky, she hoped that doing this would make her mom wake up to how harmful this online family creation of hers (the mom’s) had become for her family in real life, including her (the mom) even though she (the mom) didn’t realize it. And honestly, this story resonated with me, as for many years, I tried to win my own bio mom over. But literally nothing I ever did, accomplished that goal of mine. But thankfully, I eventually realized and accepted the truth: that my bio mom would never see me as the light that I truly am. And honestly, my life has been much better since then. Like, a huge weight has seriously been lifted off of my shoulders since I’ve accepted that.
I’ve recently started reading another book that’s by Greta Christina (one of my favorite authors). This book is called COMING OUT ATHEIST: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why. For any blind readers who might find this particular detail interesting, the entire phrase in the title “coming out atheist” is written in all caps. I’m guessing that it’s done this way for emphasis; but also along those same lines, one of the first things that Greta Christina mentions in this book that stands out to me, is that some people who are atheist intentionally don’t capitalize words like “god” or “he” or “him” when these words are referring to the specific higher power known as God. I bring this particular thing up because it’s something that I honestly hadn’t thought about questioning within myself. And yet something else in this book that I hadn’t thought about much in awhile, is the reason behind why I don’t usually proclaim my atheism much in my offline life. And one of the first things that Christina correctly hits on, is that some of us atheists think to ourselves “the last thing I want to do, is to be just like Jesus-freak Christians who constantly shove the message of God down our throats. Because if I were to openly discuss my atheism, doing that would be no different from the kinda Christians I’ve just mentioned.” And I’ve honestly been one of these people who hasn’t spoken out about these beliefs of mine in my offline life very much for this exact reason. But that being said, Greta Christina does have a valid point in this book though, in suggesting that folks who are atheists be unapologetic about that truth…even if they rarely engage others in deep discussions about this truth. I could totally see how this suggestion of hers really could and does make a huge difference in the world, though.
Within the past week, I logged into the MyChart app because I wanted to delete the messages that I no longer needed to keep. So I’d put VoiceOver’s cursor on one message at a time and then I’d swiped down with one finger. And once I heard VoiceOver say “delete,” I tried to delete said message. But upon doing that, MyChart brought up a message on its screen that said something like “it isn’t possible to delete messages that you haven’t read yet.” So I had to go through all of the messages that I’d received; this process was not quite as bad as I thought it would be. But I’m hopeful that either MyChart comes up with an option that allows people to select multiple messages to delete at once…or that MyChart will allow people to swipe down on each message and delete each one individually whether those messages have been read or not.
Also within the past week, I had a dream that I was a student at the college I want to go to, after I get as much community college out of the way as I can. And in this dream, I vividly remember being at this big university, hanging out with people and enjoying the environment as a whole. And honestly, it makes sense that I’d dream something of this nature because I’ve been thinking about this particular dream of mine a lot lately. Because given how things are currently so uncertain in the world, I feel like this big life goal of mine, someday making it to an actual university, might not ever happen. And I hate that, as I truly want to continue furthering my education.
Also recently, I had my caretaker create a custom-made phone case for me. This particular discussion came up between him and I because I was thinking of more ways that I could be creative in terms of how I outwardly express myself. And so, one of the things I immediately thought to do, was to create a phone case that I felt represented who I am. So I took some time to think about how I’d like to design said phone case and I ultimately came up with a design that I liked: the words “I’m gay,” with a mostly clear phone case. I wanted to have the mostly clear case because I wanted people to still be able to see my yellow iPhone. What I didn’t learn until I actually received this phone case though, was that the lettering on the case was done in black. And also upon receiving this phone case, I noticed that this case is thinner than my other phone case is. The thinness of this new one took me a bit of time to get used to…but over all, I love it!!