April 12, 2015

The Sinking of the Dominator Model

The Sinking of the Dominator Model: A Real Life Study of Arrogance and the Looming Iceberg

John Batchelor, thank you for having gifted author Frances Wilson on The John Batchelor Show last night to speak about her fascinating book, How To Survive the Titanic: The Sinking of J. Bruce Ismay. She spoke, when she had the chance, so eloquently. I felt you cut her off way too much, narrated far too much the story detailed in her own book, which she clearly researched exhaustively and wrote brilliantly. I’m sorry I didn’t hear you asking her to talk more about her insights and how she reached them. I mostly heard you sharing your own, and narrating the story yourself. Your guest was literally gasping for breath near the end of this, because you had sucked all the air out of the process and gave her so little room. I don’t see why it had to be this way.

I have heard your less apt, less intelligent guests make some extraordinarily inept comments however, that you did not see fit to challenge. In the aftermath of the heartbreaking and senseless killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, a guest on your program made the assertion, “What we need in Ferguson is education.” You asked for no clarification. Your guest failed to explain how he proposed to educate racist, cowardly, murderous cops, or how education would address the officials of a county that practices full out predation on the poor via a parasitic police force and court system. That county in Missouri makes the bulk of their money via citations on the poor, by the way. You rhapsodize on how you admire Ronald Reagan, but about this poor county in Missouri, you perhaps don’t know much. A corrections officer was indicted in Ferguson in 2013 for rape; a black woman was arrested because the name on her driver’s license did not match that of the registration, and while in jail, the officer exploited her for sex, then committed full out rape. She was pregnant. The legal complaint against this officer is extant. This is the kind of predation that characterizes the full out war on the poor we are witnessing in America. It is an immoral, cowardly descent into the worst kind of predation by the state, and monetary exploitation of the people who can afford it least. This turns out to be shockingly prevalent in Missouri. It’s been well documented by reporters who have the courage and integrity to do so. Your guest didn’t mention this either. He made it clear: those ignorant blacks just need education.

Recently I heard another guest of yours say, “Forget energy independence, I want energy dominance!” Again, you did nothing to challenge this astonishingly moronic ejaculation of Western imperialist arrogance. Nor was he honest about the realities of war profiteering, imperialist atrocity, the heartbreak of mothers and children, deployment of horrific chemicals and munitions, murder and destruction attendant to the kind of energy dominance he craves. He said nothing about the cost, because he doesn’t feel it. The dominator model is lethal and toxic for the entire planet and every vulnerable species on it, not just ourselves. I find it puzzling that men like yourself wear bow ties and display real erudition, yet favor the most savage, brutal policies reflecting the lowest levels of neanderthal consciousness. You people seem very segmented to me: very dishonest. You don’t see or carry out that savagery; you just enjoy the results.

Yet last night with Ms. Wilson, who’s book and its implications not just for history but for our own lives and human psychology is so fascinating and well worth the time, you seemed keen to dominate the discourse, and do most of the talking for her. It seemed lost on you that the kind of arrogant male surety that sank that ship and left so many people without lifeboats mirrors the savage primate policies you favor on your program, and characterized your dominance of the conversation.

This is the first I’m hearing of Frances Wilson, so I thank you for that. She was such a valuable guest. I appreciate your interest in history, and authors who detail it so well. I felt cheated by your bullish, ungraceful approach to this interview. I hope you can have her on again sometime, and correct this sexist and narcissistic mistake. I won’t hold my breath. The dominator model you clutch to so dearly Mr. Batchelor, is a ship you perhaps regard as unsinkable. It isn’t.

Tristan L Sullivan
Amherst, Massachusetts

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November 1, 2014

Response to Senator Ed Markey: Hydro Fracking

Dear Mr. Markey:

Thank you for writing, sir. I’m surprised you started your response with a full paragraph of explanation on what fracking is; citizens who write to you on the topic will likely be well versed in it.

Peer reviewed scientific studies have linked flammable water (yes, an absurd and shocking phrase to read in an age when water is increasingly scarce, and we’ve likely reached peak water already) to hydo fracking and its inevitable methane migration. Based on that alone, I cannot believe government fails to shut this practice down for good. You also didn’t mention that fracking uses millions of gallons of water in this process: that in itself is an obscenity and an extremely poor use of this most important resource. Nothing new, here in the US. Numerous and extremely egregious health risks are associated with the byproducts of hydro fracking and the chemicals employed in this odious practice of greed and environmental atrocity. Methane gas and toxic chemicals leach into the groundwater as a result of hydro fracturing. You mentioned nothing of this. Why? No one in their right mind thinks this will ever be contained or stopped; it can’t be. The process itself, even if it was discrete, is abusive and destructive to the Earth. The migration of chemicals and methane makes it a crime against the Earth and against our population.

You mention several times that the corporations associated with this destructive practice and petroleum in general (BP and its oil spill in the Gulf) failed to institute or observe safe and sensible practices “suggested” by you and your committee. For God’s sakes sir, surely you are not this obtuse. Of course they fail to observe those things, and will never do other than that which brings the greatest short term gains for them, or are compelled to by strict law and close monitoring. You people are fine with our towns becoming a police state with armored tanks shipped out by the pentagon, and nationwide reports of innocents getting gunned down by abusive police in the name of “law enforcement” (a baby just suffered permanent damage to his face when his nose was blown off by a stun grenade in an unwarranted and botched drug raid. The child will be permanently disfigured; no charges have been brought against the officers. The hospital bill is already over 800,000. dollars. http://forcechange.com/133847/demand-justice-for-child-disfigured-in-botched-drug-raid/comment-page-1/#comment-2888429). Pretty harsh punishment for an infant, I would say; but when it comes to these billion dollar profiteering companies, you “suggest” important safety practices, and then use adjectives like “unfortunate” when they don’t follow them. Sir, do you actually believe this stuff? Sometimes I fear even well meaning legislators get stuck in a personality loop of calcified thinking, cultural denial and avoidance of obvious and glaring dangers. It’s no coincidence that billion dollar interests are involved.

Nothing justifies this toxic poisoning and destruction, and only profit drives it. Please do not kid yourself about “energy needs”. There are alternatives, and with human ingenuity and a will to do so, we could never poison the Earth and our families again. Did you know that Germany obtains more than half of its electricity demands from photovoltaic (solar) power? That’s hardly a tropical region, as you may know, and yet they’ve managed to do this with the free energy of the sun. The German government has stated their goal of 100% solar energy by the year 2050. Many other countries in the UK are following suit. France has pledged a billion dollars to Greenpeace, as part of their commitment to the environment and to addressing climate change. Any thinking person would look at sentences like “long term we need an energy policy that promotes renewable energy…” and not know whether to laugh or cry. It’s just meaningless rhetoric, and obviously insincere. You people live in such denial and tell yourself such half truths and lies. If the US wanted to make an actual commitment to anything other than brutal exploitation of the planet and humanity for the short term gain of a few, we would do it. I find it disturbing how many imperialist, profiteering, rape-the-Earth-and-all-of-humanity creeps operate here in the US, and that our politicians seem unable or unwilling to recognize this insanity and stop them. Please take a look at the whole story sir; not just the narrowly sanctioned slice prescribed for you buy a sociopathic industry and culture of legislators that’s been bought and paid for by that same industry. I believe you’re one of the smarter ones.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Tristan L Sullivan
Amherst, Massachusetts

Senator Markey’s email:

On Oct 3, 2014, at 12:15 PM, U.S. Senator Markey wrote:
EDWARD J. MARKEY
MASSACHUSETTS

218 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING
WASHINGTON, DC 20510
(202) 224-2742

United States Senate

October 3, 2014

Dear Mr. Sullivan:

Thank you for writing me about hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” It was good to hear from you.
Fracking is a process used to extract oil or natural gas. The process involves drilling a well and then pumping a mixture of water, sand and other chemicals down the well under high pressure, creating fractures in the geologic formation that allow oil or natural gas to be collected at the surface.
Natural gas holds the potential to enhance America’s energy independence and reduce our reliance on more carbon-intensive sources of energy. However, we have to ensure that any oil and natural gas drilling, including hydraulic fracturing, is done with the highest safety and environmental standards. I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that this technology is closely monitored and work to make sure that the highest possible standards are put in place to protect our drinking water supplies and the environment from drilling contamination.

Before I was elected to the United States Senate, I was the Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee and a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, putting me in the middle of the debate over our country’s energy policy and the oversight of hydraulic fracturing. In February 2012, I released the findings of an investigation to into oil and natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing on taxpayer-owned public lands that I initiated. Unfortunately, my report showed that oil and natural gas companies operating on federal lands were consistently violating safety laws and regulations. I urged the Interior Department (DOI) to increase fines on companies in violation of the law and to provide further oversight on oil and natural gas operations on public lands.

The Interior Department is currently going through the process of issuing new regulations to govern hydraulic fracturing on public lands. This is the first update of these regulations in more than 30 years and comes at a time when this technique is being employed in an estimated 90 percent of all new wells drilled on public lands onshore. I believed the initial draft rule issued by the Interior Department last year did not go far enough to ensure that fracking activities on public lands are being done properly and safely. I led a letter with other Members of the House Natural Resources Committee urging the Secretary of Interior to strengthen the hydraulic fracturing rule by requiring the disclosure of the chemicals used in fracking, creating a system for easy public access to this information on government websites and setting strict standards for well design and construction in the wake of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, where corners were cut in drilling the well safely. Unfortunately, the revised draft rule issued earlier this year by the Interior Department continues to fail to incorporate many of the safety reforms that I and others have suggested to protect public health and the environment. I will continue to push the Department to issue strong final regulations so that hydraulic fracturing can be conducted with the highest level of safety on public lands. And of course there are some places that are too special to ever drill. That’s why I’ve spent my career working to permanently protect places like Georges Bank, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other priceless public lands.
In the longer term, we need an energy policy that promotes the development of renewable energy, reduces global warming pollution and protects public health, safety and our environment. I will continue to fight for these policies in the U.S. Senate.
Thank you again for contacting me about this issue. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. To sign up for my newsletter, visit http://www.markey.senate.gov/newsletter. You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Sincerely,


Edward J. Markey
United States Senator

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February 27, 2014

An open letter to Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, President Barack Obama, Secretary Chuck Hagel and the US Joint Chiefs of Staff:

The United States Navy has proposed high frequency underwater sound testing in Hawaii, California and Atlantic coasts, and the Gulf of Mexico starting 2014. According to the Navy’s own estimates this testing will deafen 15,900 whales and dolphins and kill 1,800 more over the next five years. Strandings and deaths of cetaceans have already been attributed to the US Navy’s use of high frequency sonar.

The Navy also wants to practice shooting high powered explosives that fatally injure the lungs and other organs of marine mammals. The use of spent munitions and depleted uranium in our oceans and elsewhere is an environmental holocaust, one that international judiciary bodies have already warned against due to cancer clusters in soldiers, animals and civilians in countries where we have used these munitions.

The Navy plans to detonate in a testing exercise more than 50,000 explosives underwater up and down the US coastline, as well as more than 10,000 hours of high intensity sonar so forceful it can explode the internal organs of whales and other sea creatures. Dolphins, whales and other gentle, innocent sea creatures will die for this, or be made deaf, their lives disrupted and destroyed. The predicted ecological devastation is staggering.

The US Navy’s slogan is “A global force for good.” That slogan will be a grotesque parody if you commit this atrocity against our marine ecosystems and against gentle, innocent ocean mammals. It is the proposition of a sociopath and a coward. A military with anything resembling honor would protect the innocent and vulnerable, not cause such pointless heartbreak and destruction.

The United States does nothing to protect anyone’s freedom with this kind of unfeeling brutality. We show the world that we are sick, out of control and deviant. What you’ve proposed is an appalling squander of our soldiers’ efforts and our nation’s resources. No “global force for good” would do anything like it; and no government that served its people would allow it. Nature has an exquisite intelligence, balance, and harmony. The official sanction to commit a senseless crime like this has nothing to do with the right; you have no right. If you do so, you will reveal yourselves as some of the most mindless, destructive thugs in history.

Tell me, have Al Qaeda fighters built a fleet of submarines and launched it from their caves in Afghanistan? Obviously, this is appallingly stupid. Even if they did, you would have squandered munitions, capital, wasted effort and energy with this proposed atrocity. When you prepare for war all day and see the world in terms of conflict, you eventually want to start blasting your weapons off, destroying innocents and ecosystem as collateral damage, even in the absence of any threat on our shores. It justifies your siege mentality and the massive expenditures on these toxic weapons. The US Navy’s proposal is a sad and predictable symptom of this illness. In truth, this kind of abuse makes less safe. What are we safe from, if we kill precious cetaceans in our own fragile oceans in a testing exercise? If this is the kind of nation we’re going to be, we will not be worth saving or protecting anyway. You apparently fail to understand it, but doing this itself compromises our national security, along with our integrity, and humanity.

I am not a pacifist. I just recognize, as most do, how nightmarish and pointless your proposal is. More than 500,000 Americans have already signed a petition calling for a halt to it. I don’t know how you have become so toxic and so perverse, but you are no “Global force for good” with this senseless cruelty, which costs far more than it could ever gain. This is the proposal of a bully and a psychopath. What do you do exactly, besides protect shipping lanes for big oil (thus billing taxpayers for an extremely lucrative private industry), murder sentient mammals with sonar and explosives, and dock in Southeastern Asia for sex with the third world population? I doubt most citizens have any idea how toxic and corrupt you have become. You are no antidote to hostility; you are the purveyors of it. Mr. Obama you are Commander In Chief. Please, show some courage and stop this sociopathic proposal.

There is a swirl of plastic bottles and junk in the Pacific ocean as large as Texas. Why would you even think of worsening our problems, when we have that to clean up? Vicious thugs practice shark finning: they slice these animals’ fins off for quick profit and leave them to slowly die. Does this not offend you, the great warrior? Do you really want to join them? There are roaming gangs of criminals who board ships on the open ocean, terrorize and murder innocent people for plunder. You could put our considerable resources and our earnest and capable sailors to work actually solving these problems and preventing these atrocities instead of creating new ones. A sane or honorable military and its government would focus on these real violations of law and human values, first, and would not think of adding to them by creating such senseless pain and loss. If it goes forward, this proposal which will destroy dolphins, whales and other marine life in numbers so staggering even by your own estimates will show you to be sadistic morons and thugs. Many of you claim to believe in God and follow the teachings of Christ. You clearly know nothing of this if you are capable of this kind of perversion and cruelty. Your consciousness is so polluted, stupefied and toxic, that you can actually entertain and carry out such a senseless act of brutality. Still, I pray you will come to your senses and instead of defending your proposal in court, another pointless waste of time, abandon this sadistic and inhuman plan.

Sincerely,

Tristan L. Sullivan
Amherst, Massachusetts


Please sign.

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September 5, 2013

Break Windows For This

Woman Launches Attack on Shopper With Dog in Hot Car

I appreciate this story, but I wonder if the world is getting a little too worked up about the dog in a hot car thing: yelling at the owner, breaking the glass, etc. I think maybe we sense the horrifying, unthinkable suffering of animals just beneath the surface of our culture, via the meat industry, and divert this pain we don’t want to face into our love and compassion for pets. To break a window to save an animal’s life I fully agree with and would do in a second, but let’s keep perspective: that grocery store is packed to the ceiling with products made from animals as sentient, hopeful and loving as any dog in any car (who lives a life so heavenly in comparison it’s ridiculous to attempt it), sentient creatures who suffer worse terror, pain and confinement than we can stand to think of until they are, often, ground up or boiled alive for consumption. As such, if I’m in the grocery to buy bacon and hamburger meat, I should probably step back and think before I yell at the lady who’s poodle is panting in a hot car. Time to reevaluate my priorities, so to speak.

I know it plays well when cops break windows and citizens take action on this; but while the toxic sociopaths and legislators behind this industry have hidden the facts, it is sentient mammals in factory farms who’s horrible daily suffering we should be concerned with. It is for these feeling creatures we should break windows and stage heroic rescues. Their suffering is the most urgent of all.

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August 10, 2012

This Is How You Love Dolphins

bdolphin_150
The US Navy has proposed high frequency underwater sound testing in Hawaii, California and Atlantic coasts, and the Gulf of Mexico starting 2014. According to the Navy’s own estimates this testing will deafen 15,900 whales and dolphins and kill 1,800 more over the next five years. Strandings and deaths of cetaceans have already been attributed to the US Navy’s use of high frequency sonar. These are feeling, sentient, highly intelligent mammals who feel love, pain, fear and suffering just as we do. They are truly gentle beings with a capacity for compassion, generosity and love at least equal to ours.

The Navy also wants to practice shooting high powered explosives that fatally injure the lungs and other organs of marine mammals. This is horrifying and insane. The use of spent munitions and depleted uranium in our oceans and elsewhere is an environmental holocaust, one that international judiciary bodies have already warned against due to cancer clusters in soldiers, animals and civilians in countries where we have used these munitions.

This bears repeating, folks: the United States Navy plans to detonate in a testing exercise more than 50,000 explosives underwater up and down the US coastline, as well as more than 10,000 hours of high intensity sonar that is so forceful it can explode the internal organs of whales and other sea creatures. Dolphins, whales and other innocent sea creatures will die for this, or be made deaf, their lives disrupted and destroyed. For nothing. No threat, no war, nothing. Just a sick, perverse, irretrievably stupid military force completely out of control and insane with arrogance, hostility and blood lust. Do you believe your Navy and Secretary of Defense protect you? From this senseless plan, it’s clear they themselves are the threat, as cruel, out of control, toxic and dangerous as any in history. This does nothing for national security; in fact it weakens it. Clearly, our government is run by hostile, sick, out of control psychopaths and we need to wake up to this fact, now. Now, if you have children or you’re a teacher will have the courage to tell them the truth? This is what your government and military does: this exercise in cruel, senseless atrocity. This is what it is: sick, pointless, out of control, destructive moral cowards who eviscerate precious innocent marine mammals for nothing. I have a friend who told me a story about someone he knew in the military. He and his buddies were sitting around bored one day, took some sheep they had at the base, and put them in an old abandoned tank. They shot the tank with a depleted uranium weapon, just to see what would happen. The sheep did not suffer the way these poor dolphins and whales will; they were killed instantly, liquified. This, however, is the same mentality driving the Navy’s proposal. Men with these kinds of toys eventually want to shoot them off. In the absence of any real threat, our Navy just wants to shoot its weapons off. What a truly atrocious, tragic, cowardly thing for them to do in our oceans, with those beautiful, innocent creatures, along with an entire marine ecosystem the victims. We have so much painful destruction of innocents and of the Earth already; that our officials could approve something like this, and that the Navy would even propose it, is proof that our own government and military is an out of control psychopath. No “Global force for good” would do anything like this, folks. No government that served its people or its nation would allow it. These policies are as uncivilized and as anti-human as anyone can imagine, as much as the Third Reich, as much as any horrifyingly toxic regime in history, and the only response is outrage and immediate call to action for each and all of us to stop these toxic sociopaths.

When you prepare for war all day and see the world in terms of conflict, eventually you want to practice shooting your weapons off. The Navy’s position is a sad and predictable symptom of this illness. In truth, this kind of abuse makes us less safe. What are we safe from, if we kill our own precious cetaceans in our own oceans in a testing exercise? If that is the kind of nation we’re going to be, we won’t be worth saving or protecting anyway.

I am no pacifist. I believe that of the warrior is a legitimate avocation, an honorable one even; but this proposal, and this kind of atrocity, is one of the pitiful coward. There is no honor in this whatsoever, nor the US Navy, nor its commander or Commander In Chief Barack Obama if this pointless, horrific slaughter of innocents and destruction of our fragile ocean mammals goes through. It is obvious to anyone paying attention that a brutal thug mentality infects much of our culture, and from all sides. Don’t kid yourself that it’s only street criminals. It is obvious that the US Navy, with a proposal like this, will be as low as any street thug involved in dog fighting, any violent drug dealer. They will be worse, perhaps, since this comes with the stamp of officialdom, and since these are individuals charged with the role of protector. This proposal, is for the act of a thug and a coward.

We do nothing to protect anyone’s freedom with this unfeeling brutality; we show the world that we are sick, addicted, out of control and deviant.

The US Navy’s slogan is “A global force for good.” This will be a sad, ugly comedy if they commit this atrocity against these innocent, feeling mammals. A great warrior would not do this; it is the proposition and the behavior of a brutal coward. I don’t have a problem with war, when it’s appropriate. A true warrior would protect the innocent and vulnerable, not attack them. In a proposal like this one, the United States has become the bully, become the coward, become the out of control, asshole aggressor. No one in their right mind can support this. This is an atrocity in the making that needs to be stopped. Now.

Nearly 500,000 Americans have already signed a petition to prevent this horror. You have the power to speak up and stop this, and I urge you to take action. This link will give you the name and email of your legislators in the US. I have written to and called my Senators and congressman on many issues, and find they encourage and make this process easy. Please call or write. I welcome and invite you to copy in my text above; you are also perfectly free to alter it or write your own. Thank you.

Tristan Luke Sullivan

Please sign

further reading:

http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/zsmith/this_week_in_whales_join_the_h.html

http://www.orcanetwork.org/news/shoup.html

http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2012/06/take-actionthe-navys-testing-far-reaching-sonar-explosives-threaten-whales-dophins-oth

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August 1, 2011

Welcome

Welcome to Imagine Weblog.


Music
Broken Arrow
25 Things or Less About Me

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July 9, 2011

Heathers, Hikers, and Homophobia: A New Adventure on Old Cape Cod

I should be careful what I watch or think about. Lately, the turn around has been fast, less than a day in some cases. Last year I spent the winter and early spring on the Cape with my friend Liz and her two girls. I was on an 80s movie kick in between cooking and watching out for the kids, and early springtime I called up Heathers on my laptop. I loved the counter cultural thread running through it, and I thought Christian Slater’s dad was just outrageous. I was about to get a taste, however, of one of the more unsavory aspects of the narrative.

I walked in the woods almost every day on Cape Cod. It’s a habit I’ve been in for years, and the closest place I could find to where I was staying was Dennis Pond Conservation Area in Yarmouth. Easter Sunday’s walk was sunny, and the perfect temperature. I circled around a secluded pond and saw geese, ducks, seagulls. I passed an older couple who smiled and wished me a Happy Easter.

I found my way out an hour or so later. I would have stayed longer but I needed sustenance and had my mind on the peanut butter and raisin sandwich I’d packed earlier that day. I had parked on a back road called Summer Street in Yarmouth, right next to this conservation area with water and forested trails. There was an ample shoulder off this very rural street for parking, an SUV parked in front of me where I’d landed.

I found my way back, got in my truck, ate, drank from my water bottle. There was a house right across the street, with two healthy German Shepherds running around a fenced in yard. I had actually chatted with a lady already on previous walks past their house. She had reached out and said hello, chatted about their dogs, Cape Cod versus Western Mass, the forest versus ocean.

image summer st
I noticed a car pulling out of their driveway, a man of about twenty-five driving. He stopped in the road next to me and motioned for me to roll my window down. I pressed the power window button but it didn’t work; the keys were on the passenger seat. I motioned for him to wait, took my time putting the key in, rolled the window down and smiled. I assumed he was going to ask for directions and I was ready to say “Sorry, I don’t know anything here.”

“What are you doing across from my parents’ house!?” he demanded. His tone was not pleasant.

“Ahh… finishing up a walk, eating a sandwich,” I offered.
What are you doing?” he said.
“A walk in the woods,” I tried again. Perhaps he hadn’t understood me the first time.

He got out of his car. His manner was abrupt and aggressive.

“In these woods,” he said, pointing beyond me, to my right. “I know what you’re doing here. I know what goes on in those woods. Fags go in these woods!”
I wondered why he was sharing this information with me.

“What are you doin’ out here across from my parent’s house!?” he demanded, his tone more aggressive. “I know what’s going on here. Fags go in those woods.”

Apparently, this man thought the woods in Yarmouth Port were reserved only for straight people. He also appeared to have made several incorrect assumptions about me: one about my sexual orientation, the other about where I’d come from, as I’d actually been in the much larger patch of forest down the street, none of which his parents owned. That’s one quality you’ll find in the arrogant: they often extend their own boundaries and become quite hostile about this mistaken territory.

The mom came over. That’s when I learned his name was Jerry. I hoped his mom would help me, but took one look in her eyes and saw that wasn’t going to happen.

“Jerry, watch your language,” she said.
He was aggressive and profane, threatening in his tone. I was not afraid of Jerry. I was blindsided by his completely uncalled for hostility though, and concerned there was going to be some kind of scene. I hate encountering this kind of hostility, especially when it’s so completely unnecessary. It truly feels awful.

I looked at Jerry’s mom. “He really has the wrong idea,” I told her.
“What’s your license plate number?” he demanded. That was a pretty inept question on Jerry’s part. I was sitting in my truck, with the plates right there on the front and back of the vehicle.

I didn’t point out to this guy that I’m straight, and have nothing to do with the assumptions he made. It was not relevant and wasn’t his business. One interesting detail here is that Jerry twice pointed to me and said to his mom, “He said he was going into the woods to meet someone,” something I had definitely not said. Why would I have? He literally imagined this to fit the scenario he’d already decided on. This, right here, is the most astonishing and telling part of Jerry’s performance, and it bears repeating. Jerry literally inserted words into his memory that had nothing to do with me, words that fit the bizarre scenario he had imagined. It’s clear Jerry has very strong homosexual fantasies. I just wish he could have kept them to himself.

The worst thing about this incident was that for a few minutes I felt isolated and guilty, as if I had done something wrong. I can see how a situation like this could escalate in a predatory way. It’s called projection. I had, in fact, done nothing wrong. There certainly appeared to be parking on this quiet, forested side street; I parked in the shoulder behind another vehicle. I hadn’t even been in the woods he was pointing to and as for what he was referring to, that was a projection of Jerry’s own inner fantasy; it had nothing to do with me. It’s clear no one has confronted Jerry about his own unhealed emotions, and how rather than turning inward and facing them, he projects them outward in an extremely unprovoked, mistaken and essentially violent manner. His mother does nothing but support this. Apparently, it doesn’t occur to Jerry’s mother that Jerry’s hatred and fear of gays represents a deep fear and hatred of femininity, and thus her own gender. It is troubling to me that there is such illness in the world, and worse than that, that rather than face whatever painful or hideous emotions such people have, they attack others.

Jerry swore again and ordered me out while I drove away, as if he could have commanded me to leave.

It’s clear that if Jerry had actually thought through his bizarre homosexual fantasy, he would have had to realize he believed I was going to walk back to my truck after having parked it for more than an hour and a half on a sunny Easter day, sit quietly on that secluded country road and eat half a peanut butter and raisin sandwich, while secretly planning some kind of covert exchange with an as yet absent partner in the woods across the way. This doesn’t seem very plausible to me, but I can’t speak for Jerry’s mental acuity, or stability.

I think the hardest part of this ordeal was looking in Jerry’s mother’s eyes hoping for a semblance of humanity and compassion, just a little of the sanity so needed in this situation, and finding none. She did nothing to curb her adult son’s pathological behavior and completely mistaken assumptions. If confronted with how horribly mistaken he was, I suspect Jerry would mutter some lame apology, and mumble about how they’ve had issues in such and such woods, etc, but I don’t buy it: I think Jerry is so submerged in his own shadow issues, and so unwilling to deal with them, that his penchant for projection makes him a predator.

It is disconcerting to confront the ignorance and loathing loose in this world. It is truly uncomfortable to feel the vibe change to one of fear and hatred so quickly. I’m sure it’s the same fear and hatred that’s gotten people dragged to their deaths behind pickup trucks, or strung up from a tree and hanged to death. None of this happened to me. Homophobia, however, appears to be a particularly virulent kind of bigotry. I suppose my gay friends are used to it, but I found it shocking. Jerry’s behavior was more than abrasive; it was a kind of assault. Jerry certainly has a sense of right and wrong and a willingness to act on it, but that’s not really helpful to this world when he’s a hostile, out of control moron. It is equally important to be able to recognize when you’re mistaken, step back, and humbly apologize.

One detail that I can’t forget here is that when I’d had a casual conversation with Jerry’s mom after coming back from a similar hike a few weeks before, she had mentioned her son was in law school. Very serious, she had indicated, his dedication. I find it worrisome that a man as sick as Jerry may be entering our legal system.

I think that when you’re broadsided like I was with Jerry, you don’t need to internalize. You don’t need to analyze and think too much about what you might have done differently to keep this person from attacking you, and so on. That’s victim mentality, and you don’t need it. There are people like this in the world. I see no harm in being prepared, or being aware they exist, but their toxicity does not belong to you. Defend yourself if you need to, but then move on. I think that because I’m an introvert, a person as pathological and delusional as Jerry can project all kinds of bizarre things onto me. My quiet openness makes me a kind of screen, or, more accurately, a mirror. It’s clear Jerry’s thoughts are on gay sex; he’s at war with himself on the topic. One thing is for sure, it had nothing to do with me. With Jerry’s ability to imagine and then project the most bizarre kinds of guilt, it seems plausible that the worst case and most likely scenario if he did pass a bar exam, would be district attorney. One thing I’ve found, the psychopaths and narcissists of this world cannot stand your happiness. They will make up any bizarre reason to attack; and thus they are drawn to positions of false authority, where they can really ruin someone’s day. I don’t see how a person as dangerously pathological as this could serve any community.

But let me end this story on a positive note. The day before this saga, a Saturday, I had several quite pleasant encounters in those same woods, one with a lady and her three dogs, another with a nice couple and their two canines, each of whom smiled and chatted as if they’d been expecting me. We talked, laughed about dogs and their antics, and I got expert advice on some good spots to hike on the Cape. In each case, these people treated me as if they recognized an old friend, and I was pleasantly surprised by the relaxed, easy way they fell into kind conversation. The good guys won.

-Tristan L. Sullivan


Tristan Luke


Music


Comments 2 Comments | Categories: Imagine | Autor: Tristan




June 11, 2011

25 Things or Less About Me

by Tristan Luke

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-Once, when I was a kid at summer camp, I waited in line to climb a rickety wooden ladder onto a small platform off of which kids jumped into the murky lake the camp was built on. I got to the top and panicked. “I have to go back,” I told the counselor, the hot sun glinting in our eyes. There were campers lined up on the ladder and more on the ground, waiting their turn. The lifeguard was probably all of nineteen, but he was savvy. “Just go,” he said. “If you jump, you’ll be back up here three times today.” No, I said. I couldn’t do it, had to go back. “Okay,” he said. “Then you can’t have lunch.” I jumped. I got back in line three times. He never said I told you so.

-My band used to go swimming with a small group of friends at the Dalton town reservoir after gigs. It was outrageously fun. We scaled the pump house, eighteen feet off the water, jumped off and crashed around in the dark until early morning hours. Again and again, we jumped. Thank God no one fell off the other side of that little cement shed; it was a drop of about eighty feet onto rock and cement. Once I’d gotten enough of the raucous craziness I used to let myself float away from the others out to the center of the channel, satisfied and elated from a long night of playing music, the cries and splashes muffled, my whole world filtered through the in utero sound of gently splashing liquid.

-When I was four my friend and I used to color in just the pirates in our Peter Pan coloring books. Then our moms would have to buy us more coloring books.

-For some reason I am easy to talk to, a good listener, and good at getting people back on track in this life. If we become friends, I guarantee you’ll tell me I am helpful in this way. It’s happened so many times now, often with complete strangers. “I don’t know why I’m telling you this,” they say. However, one of the things I do lately is look for others who can do the same. I find myself more and more interested in those who can reciprocate.

-When I’m inspired on a song or story idea, I can get a little intense. If I leave the room for water or something, I probably look like a total madman. However, inspiration is the most ephemeral human emotion there is. A window opens, the angels smile and offer you an idea, and you have to get it down as fast as you can or it will fly through you and find another host.

-I am a loyal friend. For life. I might not always take you up on your offer to meet for coffee, but if you need me, I will be there.

-For some reason, I’m certain the girl I will marry is a Pisces. That or she works with dolphins, or was a mermaid in a past life, or her dad runs a boat rental place… something like this!

-I like the way women talk when they’re from the South. Georgia, for example, with Spanish Moss hanging from the haunted old trees in her backyard.

-One time when I was still just a kid, a friend of my sister’s had an exchange student sleep over at our house. I came home full of energy after a night of playing music and was intentionally loud, and poured a bowl of water under her door. I truly didn’t mean to upset this person; I was just in a raucous, playful mood. She seemed fine the next morning but I feel terrible about this, send her love and well wishes, and I hope one day I can meet her again and make up for it.

-I have scars on my face from a childhood dog attack. They show up under fluorescent lights, and I’m self-conscious about them. Predictably, I’m not crazy about these lights.

-I’m here to do my small part to help heal the world as much as possible in whatever time I have left, put the pedal to the floor until something beautiful pours in and we transform the fear based consciousness of competition, war and exploitation to one of love, compassion and creativity. I truly just want to be a spark that brings people back into their own creativity, inspiration and self-respect. I don’t want to carve another name in the cluttered wall of culture; I want to burn it down, dissolve corrupted social systems, let the rain come and watch beautiful new life grow in its place.

-I do yoga, exercise, meditate, drink green smoothies, living spring water, and snack on superfoods daily. Life is much better this way, believe me!

-A blind girl once told me I was beautiful. I thought that was a nice compliment.

-If I met St. Peter at the gates, the thing I would like for him to do most would be to point back the way I came and say, “Go on, kid. Jump back in.” Because I love it here. I know for certain that Earth is Paradise. We just need to evolve our consciousness, that’s all. Why would we need to ascend on a physical level? I suspect this was invented by people who are so unhappy with the life they’re living and so unwilling to take responsibility for the destruction they cause, they believe heaven must be “up there” somewhere, far away from the mess they’ve made on this planet. What could be better than a blissful, ecstatic life here on Earth, in the forest or by the ocean with the ones you love? I believe we ascend in our consciousness, through the body, here and now.

-When things are at their best, I laugh all day. The whole world is hilarious to me. I laugh at myself most of all, and that’s how I know when things are good.

-I recently held a nine day old puma kitten, and helped feed and care for her at my favorite wildlife sanctuary. I also got to visit a full grown, one hundred and eighty pound female cougar. I walked into her cage slowly, my hand out, my heart beating fast. She purred like she had a motor in her chest, and rubbed her soft gray head against my hand.

-The saddest day of my life was when I put my childhood dog to sleep. She died in my arms. It still hurts.

-I believe in you.

-I will never give up.


Music
Broken Arrow


Comments 2 Comments | Categories: Imagine | Autor: Tristan




February 25, 2011

Your Dreams

People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

On the subject of governments, authority, and world affairs, I feel cynicism is appropriate and essential. Actually, more appropriate would be moral outrage and vigilant suspicion. In our personal lives however, cynicism is a lie. Many people can’t wait to show you how tough they are. How they can play hardball. This is pathetic. If the world’s made you tough… no kidding. That means you lose. If you can face this life and remain kind-hearted, merciful, compassionate and generous, that is an accomplishment, and takes real character and real strength.

Like the raging authoritarian who is actually just a scared little boy on the inside, frightened and hurt because something isn’t going his way, cynicism masquerades as something it is not. The cynic pretends he or she doesn’t care, when in fact they secretly do. What the cynic is really saying is: I’m a hurt little boy or a hurt little girl, secretly wishing I could have the love I want, but rather than invest in hope I choose faux sophistication and negativity. Then, results justify that point of view. Sometimes I think pessimism in western culture is a kind of laziness. They remind me of the Chinese proverb:
He who says it cannot be done should take care not to interrupt the one doing it.

Since the future is not set, and since our expectations have real influence on the world, optimism takes real courage. Cynicism is the consolation prize; you get it for trading in your dreams. One of the most amazing and beautiful qualities we can have then, in my opinion, is vulnerability.


Tristan Luke



Music
Broken Arrow
25 Things or Less About Me
What Does God Sound Like? Part II

Comments 2 Comments | Categories: Imagine | Autor: Tristan




September 24, 2010

Welcome

Welcome to Imagine Weblog.

Paradise

Broken Arrow

What Does God Sound Like?

Comments Comments | Categories: Imagine | Autor: Tristan




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