Make your life a mockery

I cannot imagine the horror Peter Rodgers and his ex-wife went through last Friday night.  The killer’s mother found his video and his 141 page manifesto online, called her ex-husband and they jumped in the car and raced to Santa Barbara.  They heard on the radio about the rampage going on in Isla Vista.  I cannot imagine.  I’m sure they knew the moment they heard.  The shock that went through their bodies.  They had that kid in therapy every day of his life since he was 8 years old and it didn’t stop the carnage.  They called the police on April 30th and the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s office sent six cops out there, but never looked at the youtube videos.  I don’t know if that would have given the probable cause to search his place or not, but the parents did all they could.  They knew he was dangerous.  They tried.  A lot more than most people would.  They aren’t the only family out there going through this kind of hell with a mentally ill child.

First off, let me invoke the Unibomer rule here.  Rule: If you have a manifesto you get to use the insanity defense.  Period.  Addendum:  If it goes on for 141 pages detailing every time you burped or farted over the last 22 years, it’s rubber stamped insanity defense.

There is a ton of chatter out there about how it’s somebody’s fault because our society is misogynist.  OK, fair enough.  It’s Rupert Murdock’s fault.  Happy?  He’s the sorry sonofabitch that has been advancing all of this propaganda in this country for the last almost 20 years.  Blame Reagan for repealing the Fairness Doctrine.  Blame Rush Limbaugh.  These propagandameisters are brainwashing America.  And misogyny is part of their agenda.  Blame the vast Right-Wing Conspiracy because it is real.

And if you’re really bored, blame this idiot.  Her doctorate was apparently mailed to her by a cereal manufacturer in the Caribbean.

Another Fox shill.

So let’s just play some Rammstein.  Nothing misogynist about rock and roll.


The pen is mightier than the sword but no match for a gun

Nothing is simple.

Another young man goes on a shooting rampage.  This country wrings it’s hands.  The gun whack jobs will say that if the other students had been armed he could have been stopped.  I’m just not sure how they can all be so sure that it would end like that.

When it comes to extreme stress situations and emergencies, you never know how someone is going to react.  Unless they have been trained, they don’t know.    Who knows how much bravado dies because they froze.  Studies have found that some possess an ability to rise to the occasion while others are destine to be victims even if they have the opportunity to save themselves, they won’t.  They won’t leave a burning airplane.  They say that’s the difference between the ones that survive things like plane crashes and train or bus crashes.  If they aren’t killed in the initial incident, they have the ability to get out and many times lead others out.  A lot like the World Trade Center.  Others freeze.  They don’t make it.  I find that fascinating.  I’m pretty certain I would be the one to survive, if I had a moment to make a split second decision.

I used to live on Sabado Tarde.  The Brother lived in Isla Vista at one point too.  We both know where all of this took place.  Isla Vista is cut off from the rest of the world.  It’s a series of mostly 1950 and 1960’s era apartments each jam packed with students trying to stretch their funds.  Del Playa is the beach.  Back in the 60’s there were plenty of demonstrations there including the famous burning of the Bank of America.    We could have used the Class of 1970 in 2008.

I am getting more and more fascinated in what makes people tick.  What makes them do what they do.  Why they say what they say.  Why they can’t just say what they want.

This particular young man was afflicted with Asparger’s Syndrome.  Highly functioning until Saturday night.  He had been putting up a series of youtube videos that were becoming more and more disturbed.  His family was concerned and called the Sheriff who did a welfare check.  Here is the thing, you can’t just haul somebody off to a mental hospital any more.  This guy was 22.  His parents couldn’t do anything more than ask for a welfare check.  If the patient doesn’t want help, we are all screwed.  He didn’t want help and did not appear to be in a state where the sheriff could haul him off on a 5150 or a 5250.

Now you could get all up in arms about the injustice of that, before you do that let me remind you that in California it was the work of both Jerry Brown and Ronald Reagan that got us to this point.  And I don’t know that it is a bad thing.  I don’t know what the solution is either.

Whenever I think of this subject, I think of Rosemary Kennedy.  At 23 years old her father Joseph Kennedy authorized a lobotomy for her “irritable and difficult” behavior.  She spent the next 53 years of her life institutionalized.  Rosemary is a perfect example of why the laws had to be changed.  In those early IQ tests, Rosemary Kennedy tested very low, in the 60’s and 70’s.  As the story goes, when she was born, the nurse would not deliver her until the Doctor arrived.   The delay resulted in a lack of oxygen and her intellectual disability.  She was functioning until the lobotomy.   What’s interesting is that lobotomies were outlawed in the USSR in 1950 but to this day not in the US, although several states have banned them.

The thing is, we cannot apply our morals and our thought processes to the mentally ill, because they are mentally ill.  Their head doesn’t work like ours, that’s why they are ill.   And there is a plethora of illnesses and afflictions.  Manic depression, now called bi-polar, schizophrenia, depression, PTSD, autism spectrum, unless we are in the middle of it, we don’t understand it.  Our rules, our morals don’t apply.  An autistic child doesn’t function like we do.  We have no idea what goes on in there.  Until something bad happens.  Parents trying to do the right thing struggle mightily.

I’m not a mental health professional.  I’m a Realtor.  I’m lucky some days to get my pants on before a walk out the front door, but that’s just because I can be a little absent minded.   Jenny McCarthy, also not a mental health professional thinks autism is caused by vaccines.  I think it makes more sense that it’s caused by the bastardization of our food supply.  When we are mutating our vegetables by adding Round-up to the seeds, we are screwing around with something we shouldn’t be.  Kind of like lobotomies.  But I’m not a scientist either.  I never dissected a frog.  The idea of taking apart a little animal was never interesting to me.  I am still a little damaged by the little lizard that ran under my bike yesterday and I killed.  It was about 4 inches long.  Frogs have always been off the table.  Which is also why veganism is easy for me.  I just don’t like killing animals and it has never set well with me.  But I digress.

We don’t know what causes any of it.  We’d like to think we can fix things with a pill but we can’t.  And a lot of pills make a lot of mental patients feel awful and the don’t like that which is why they go off of their meds.  Sometimes horrific things happen like last Saturday night in Isla Vista.  You can’t take the horror out of that situation.  The 10 families that are now going to bury their college students who they sent to idyllic Santa Barbara where nothing should have gone wrong.   The 7 injured who will never be the same.  The other thousands who are indelibly damaged by what just happened at their school, in their neighborhood.

Bottom line, there is only a couple of ways in and out of Isla Vista.  One of the is the ocean.  The Alpha Phi sorority had a chance to live or die and they made the right decision and did not open the door or this would have been much worse than it was.  And it is awful.  And I have know idea what the solution might be.


One day you’re a diamond and then you’re a stone

The last two weeks have been ridiculous.  The Brother got himself some nasty ass shit that kicked his ass pretty badly.  People die from what he had…but he beat it.  But he was super super sick.  I’m used to his never ending stream of respiratory bullshit but this took things to a whole new level.

One of my good friends found out her husband, a guy in his 40’s has a mass on his bladder.  Another lost a member of her inner circle to cancer of the freaking everything.  I think she didn’t have it in her stomach and that was it.   I saw this woman two months ago and she was in remission and doing just fine.  Then it roared back.  She went into the hospital on Tuesday, hospice on Friday and was gone the following Monday.  Whiskey.  Tango.  Foxtrot.  There are seriously three or four other people in my life who are dealing with similar serious serious shit right now.  Whiskey.  Tango.  Foxtrot.

Another situation has resolved itself.  My friends in San Marcos returned to their home yesterday.  I really didn’t think I would be writing that sentence two days ago.  This is their home at 30 seconds in, with the fire tornado in the background and the fire truck in her driveway. The audio is about a different house in a different neighborhood. The fire fighters are walking around in her backyard in some of the other video.

And on a much more minor note, I strained the holy hell out of my hamstring two weeks ago and it still hasn’t resolved.  I was going to put some gas in the truck and then go see Cousin Jeanne at the Clayton Art and Wine Festival.  I loaded Bill up in the truck and headed down to the gas station.  Well, the truck had other ideas and took a powder at the pump.  The battery was dead.  It was 10am two Sundays ago.  I called AAA to all that bitch back home and I think they ordered a tow from Reno.  It took over an hour to get there.  Funny, they never sent me a “How did we do” survey on that tow.  The driver was great, AAA dropped the ball.


Well, the gas station guy wants me to push the truck away from the pumps even though it’s Sunday morning the business is light.  Like an asshole I agree.  I should have told him I buy hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gas from him and deal with it or I’ll go to the guy next door who has the same prices.  Hindsight.  We push the truck away from the pump.  I have to door open so I can reach in and steer it.  Then comes time to hop up in the truck and brake because we are now in the driveway which is sloped towards the street.  And the truck is rolling a little faster.

Did I mention I rode 90 miles the day before?  Over Mt. Diablo?  Yeah, that matters in this story.  I didn’t have any “hop” in my legs and missed.  I caught my right heel and got stuck.  And the truck kept rolling.  And I could feel the tearing in my hamstring.  First thought “drop out”.  Then I would be run over by my own pick up truck.  Even stupider than the situation I was in.  I pulled hard to see if I could pull myself up with my arms as the hamstring tore more.  Finally I took a hop with the leg that was down and shoved my shoulder into the truck and stopped it.  Did I mention Bill was sitting up in the truck the whole time?  I’m still badly hurt two weeks later in spite of some really great ART work but my truck isn’t wrecked and my dog did not go rolling or running out into traffic and get killed so I’m calling it a win.