Sunday, April 23, 2017

13 Reasons Why The Octopus Diary Will Be Taking Submissions

FREDS,

After learning from a friend about its evocative 80s soundtrack, I went ahead and watched a show called ’13 Reasons Why’ (out on Netflix now). The show is set in the present & I couldn’t wait to see what kind of drama would play out to the very songs that accompanied me through my own troubled youth.

I had no idea what I was getting into. The show was captivating right from the start—all character driven & narrated (on cassette tape!) by a girl who had recently killed herself. As compelling as it was, I kept expecting this all-too-human storyline to morph into something with vampires or zombies or cannibals or some idiotic supernatural (angels? fairies, maybe?) premise which would ruin the believable intensity. I absolutely hate the vampirization/zombification/superheroicazation of every fucking thing these days.

But this story did not turn into vampires & zombies, oh my.

It stuck to being uncomfortably human to the point where I was thinking—Okay, they can bring in the angels any time.



*******WHY THE SHOW WAS EFFECTIVE******

The show was effective for several reasons. The writing was honest. It wasn’t trying to impress by being too clipped & cool & “whatevs.” A lot of things written for the young adult gaze are just so, you know, Tumblr-y. Social networking was hinted at here, but it was a background character, lurking ominously behind real life. As it should in the televisionary medium.

It didn’t underestimate the intelligence of young people, or diminish the complexity of their emotions. Or gloss over what it’s really like to interact w/ the vampiric hormones & uncooked frontal lobes that swarm through high school hallways.

The haunting quality of the dead girl’s voice-over really gets under your skin, into your psyche, no matter what your age, gender, or level of disenchantment with the world. It’s one of those shows that makes you feel rather than think. Which is unusual these days.

Not too long ago, I wrote extensively about my formative years right here in this Octopus Diary. When I did, I was writing from a safe distance, a detached narration, here’s what happened to me…blah, blah, blah…I didn’t let myself get too involved in my own feelings about what had happened, I was just telling it, to myself and to you, my witnesses.

But this show, with its brutal, accusatory narration, really transported me back to my Senior year in high school in a way that writing about it did not.

[Brief recap: my senior year was riddled with very adult situations that were way out of my league. I found myself in a very controlling, abusive relationship that I couldn’t get myself out of, and I didn’t know how to ask for help. I was hit, punched, burned w/ cigarettes, stabbed with scissors, drugged (not with roofies, but LSD), sexually assaulted, and finally held at gunpoint for hours when I tried to break up with this troubled boy; this boy I had wanted to be an ally to, this boy I had wanted to help, this boy I had looked up to.

My reputation was slandered, my social skills suffered, I was basically traumatized for years afterward, and became “that weird person no one likes”  (and I sometimes still slip into that role, even now.)]

Watching this show brought the devastation of all that back to me on a visceral level. Watching other kids go through a modern day version of that was actually re-traumatizing. I mean, I laugh at trigger warnings, because, really? But I could’ve used a trigger warning before this show!

So this is not something to just let your teens or young adults look at without discussion. And for my friends with kids that age, just know that this stuff happens, can happen right under your nose without you having a clue. My parents had no idea that many of my injuries & problems were stemming from a mad, crazy relationship just like the kids in this show carried on & tried to handle their own drama without seeking adult intervention.

Until it was too late.



*******WHY THE SHOW WAS PROBLEMATIC*********

Okay, so it was well-written, haunting, honest and realistic on one level, but I could hear all you social justice warriors in my head too.

This show probably wouldn’t have worked so effectively if the narrator had not been a beautiful white girl.

There were plenty of other characters getting “beat up” by life, and by each other. One girl, of mixed race, was raped while she was passed out at a party. 
One girl, black, gets into serious legal trouble when she runs over a stop sign after a night of partying, and another student is killed as a result. 
Another girl, Asian, was outed as a lesbian after the white girl’s stalker caught them kissing experimentally with his intrusive camera—

—why do movies & shows always need cameras & peeping Toms to give us that 3rd party angle?—

Any of those scenarios would be enough to make one suicidal, but would we care as much if our protagonist were black or Asian or Muslim or a transgirl? Why not?

And let’s not forget the boys here—the boys were being bullied & physically beat up, fighting each other, bleeding from their faces at a much higher rate, but hey, they’re boys and they can handle it, right? That’s just what boys do, right?

The boyfriend of the passed-out drunk girl was bullied and pushed to the floor by his big rich jock friend, who said “what’s mine is yours” as he proceeded to rape her. The smaller boy looked distraught that he could not protect her, or stop his friend’s selfish, criminal actions.

Another boy, a close friend of the dead narrator’s, ends up taking his own life a few weeks after she does. I think this was meant to show that ‘suicide begets suicide.’ That kids will follow one another to the grave if the grief is too much to bear. Which is true. But his death was glossed over compared to all the fanfare given the beautiful girl no one suspected was suffering.

Not to mention the boy who died in the car accident after the STOP sign was knocked over! He was just brushed under the rug like a one-dimensional prop. He was not a main character, but his death seemed to have such little impact on the school, and on the story itself. So wrong.

I had mixed feelings about the indicting tone on those cassette tapes too. First I was like—Yeah! You tell’em, girl!  But then as I saw how much shit was going on in everyone else’s life I just thought…

damn girl, you’re just not …a survivor. You’re one of the ones who didn’t make it.

Okay…I think that’s all I will say about ’13 Reasons Why.’  I’m still a little disconcerted & it’s been over a week since I watched it. I will repeat this though—parents of teens, please know that all this can go on without a lot of obvious signs. Dig deep, keep your eyes wide, don’t be in denial & think ‘It can’t happen to my kid because s/he is a good student, or I raised him/her better than that.’ Kids are kids are humans are capable of just about anything…



*********13 Reasons Why The Octopus Diary Will Be Taking Submissions************

1. Because it’s the dawning of the Age of Aquarium

2.  Because Russia is waiting

3. Because the sky could turn orange any day

4. Because your brain is a microwave (it is—look into it)

5. Because words speak louder than actions

6. Because all tired old platitudes must be rewritten

7. Because I need the experience

8. Because you need the experience

9. Because 9 tentacles are not better than 8

10. Because this is the place to be seen & heard (scene & herd)

11. Because it’s for a good cause—Polycythemia Awareness & Prevention

12. Because all proceeds go to post nuclear clean-up and dandelion farming

13. Because I need you to be creative while I go through an Era of Seriousness


TaTa for now. I’ll have submission guidelines and new art—actually new versions of Tiptree art—for you next time. Be well, Fred.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Valentine Tremens: The Octuple Life of Zin Hitman

Friends,

What was it like to be trapped in the gender binary in the 1930s? I don’t even want to think about it.

But I did think about it when I read the biography of sci-fi author James Tiptree, aka Alice Bradley Sheldon. As a young girl—the only child of two wealthy socialites—Alice accompanied her parents on adventures all around the world, but they spent most of their time deep in the heart of Africa, where few American children dreamed of going. They explored and hunted in regions barely accessible by foot; they spent time in a cannibal village in the Congo; they slept in hammocks in the mouths of volcanoes.

Mary & Alice in Africa


Alice was always guarded like a rare jewel in Africa. She had big Congolese bodyguards, and was often left in their care while her parents hunted big game and did research on the tribal cultures. It was a dangerous place for a 6-yr-old white girl whose survival skills were pared in Chicago’s elite social circles. It was a unique set of environments that left young Alice feeling like some kind of valuable object—just another of her parents’ collectibles.

Alice knew her father would’ve rather had a son (like every father in America!). But her parents did the best they could for her. She went to good schools. She had several exciting careers. She joined the Army in the 30s and worked at the Pentagon during The War. She had an almost creepy-close relationship with her mother, but had difficulty connecting w/ other people her age. She was especially confused about men, women and dating.

Her life was not that of a “typical girl.” Even among the privileged debutantes of Chicago, Alice’s life resume was packed with hijinx so uncommon for a young woman, it was hard for her to find a man she felt was her equal. (She was also super-intelligent, like CIA-intelligent, a brilliant artist & writer, and very ambitious career-wise). She felt stifled playing the role of “the pretty & helpless object” which was the only role for women within the bounds of 1930s heteronormativity. 

She had an attraction to other girls in high school and college, but if she had trouble finding a man who was her equal, she was surely bored to tears by the way girls’ thinking was limited to love, marriage, babies, home. She would always try to rouse the wildness she knew must exist inside these poor unenlightened girls, but they never took the bait. They were content to have boyfriends, marry, & make babies.

After Tiptree's short story "The Girl Who Was Plugged In"


Much of her adult life was spent in the male dominated military, where she was well-respected and received lots of male attention (oh yeah, she was also good looking. Imagine that.) But she always resented having to pretend to “be less” so that her dates wouldn’t be intimidated.

Even in her childhood in Africa, Alice lamented being a girl. She knew that if she’d been a boy she would’ve been given her own gun & taken out on the hunts. Later, she knew that she would have a much higher rank in the military if she were a man. By age 30, she was pretty ate up about how being a woman had cost her things that would’ve been within reach if she had been born in a different body.

She spent a lot of time thinking & writing about bodies. Women’s bodies and the sovereignty that eludes them. She was very much like me in that she hated being a woman but fought hard for women to obtain the basic status of “human being.”

There were many times while I was reading this book that I reached for my phone because I wanted to call this person I was reading about who was so much like me (minus the trips to Africa & the wealthiness). Who felt as much like I did that her body was a loathesome birth defect that kept her from living up to her full potential.

Alice struggled with dating & relationships, with being considered an inferior version of an Army officer. With the question of motherhood—could she? should she? why did she feel nothing for children?

She was 36 (ancient in those days) when she finally met a man who was at least her intellectual equal, and they actually carved out a nice life. They retired and bought a chicken farm in New England. Her husband, Ting, stayed on at the CIA and Alice stayed home with the chickens and started writing. At first she wrote articles for magazines, like her mother did, but Alice wasn’t as successful as her mother at writing about “lady things.”

Because of course, that’s what the magazines wanted from her. LADY STUFF!!! Gardening. marriage advice. Blah blah blah. After several years, Alice began writing short stories. Speculaltive fiction, aka sci-fi.

Again, not many magazines wanted to publish fantastic stories by a …lady.  So one day at the grocery store, after seeing the name “Tiptree” on a jar of jam, Alice came up with a pseudonym. James Tiptree Jr was born in aisle 3.

We got to be bunny-parents for 3 days in March


Writing under a pseudonym gave Alice all the confidence she had lacked in her writing before. She submitted some of her new stories and they were immediately published. And not only that—everyone loved them. All the budding sci fi authors of the 1950s & 60s really loved Tiptree. All the publishers loved “him.”

Alice, like many housewives in that day, took dexedrine to keep her peppy & productive around the house. Dexedrine was also a great drug for writing crazy speculative space-age shit. Lots of writiers used it too. Writing on dexedrine was jet fuel to their synapses.

By the time she harnessed her identity as James Tiptree and had a reputation as a force in the sci fi world, Alice was about 50 years old. But this close-knit community had no idea, and everyone thought “he” was some young, hip author who had just materialized out of nowhere. A savant of sorts.

This was fine with Alice. She was thrilled with living this double life where she could be who she wanted and no one could “see” her and diminish her importance as a wordsmith. She struck up elaborate friendships with all the other sci fi authors of the time—Ellison, Dick, LeGuin, Heinlein, et al—they all corresponded by mail like we do now on Snapchat.

After several years of publishing works under her pseudonym, people started to wonder about Tiptree’s identity. They all had met at writer’s conferences, sci fi conventions, Nebula award ceremonies. Of course, Tiptree was always invited to these events but he always declined. Year after year after year. Even the year “he” won the Nebula, he avoided the ceremony & they mailed it to him.

It got to the point where people were trying to find him. Stalking him. Trying to put a face to the name. He had become such a compelling & mysterious figure. Rumors started that he had some highly classified government job — that’s actually how Tiptree kept his followers at a distance, told them his career wouldn’t allow for much socializing. And at one point young Harlan Ellison got wind of Alice’s parents’ address in Chicago, from some careless comment Tiptree made in his correspondence. 

It was Ellison who did the detective work that led him to the home of Alice & Ting Sheldon one day, about 10 years in to Tiptree’s masquerade. Ellison and his friend rang the doorbell & Alice answered and when they asked for Tiptree she pretended she had no idea what they were talking about. But the word was out. The rumors were spreading that James Tiptree was a 50-year-old housewife on a New England chicken farm.

Bunny Farm w spider


Being found out was devastating to Alice. She loved her secret identity—the authority and relevance that never would’ve been been granted to an “Alice Sheldon.” She had a difficult “coming out” to all her sci fi pen pals, and though they all claimed it didn’t matter, that she would always be Tiptree to them—it did matter. The love & respect dwindled away slowly, the letters between them stopped, Alice could not be Alice with the people for whom she had been Tiptree.

And therefore she decided that she simply…couldn’t be. It wasn’t immediately after the Tiptree leak, but a few years later, depressed and robbed of all sense of belonging to the group that once held her in such high esteem, she proposed a murder/suicide pact to her husband. Ting was not in favor if the plan, but he was quite a bit older, losing his sight and becoming feeble. So—tragically—Alice carried out the plan without his consent. 

One night as he slept, she shot him in the head, then called a friend and told him to come right over, that he would find both of them dead, and she shot herself.  A terrible end to a brilliant mind, no matter how tormented by its own dysphoric perceptions.

******************

The story of Tiptree stuck with me for weeks, months after I read it. Shit, it’s still sticking to me. Another person who felt just as I felt, was damaged so hard by the gender binary that exists to box us in, to keep us separate & unequal, to define us as breeding machines, to label us “superior” & “inferior.”  

Most people don’t think about their gender anymore than they do about the color of the sky. Oh, it’s blue? Okay. That’s what it is. No need to question why the sky isn’t chartreuse. Most people don’t question the gender they’re “assigned” or the “role” that goes with it.

And that was always disappointing to me—I couldn’t relate to girls who were giggly & happy & cared so much about being pretty & having long hair & fingernails & which boy was cute. I was always like, let’s overthrow the regime!! And they were like, not now I’m playing with my little ponies!

I guess the 70s & 80s were not much better than the 30s & 40s. Anyway, I’ve always been terrible at communicating my issues with gender—

I’m too emotionally attached to the dilemma. I rant & spit upon myself like garbage. It scares people. But Alice at least came from a loving family who did everything to support her in her ambitions. And I think in those days, it was such a silent epidemic, absolutely nowhere to seek advice for gender dysphoria. Only destructive Freudian platitudes to turn to. It wasn’t as if she had any other way to communicate it except through sci fi, where all things are possible.

**************

“Women never seem to be zesty connoisseurs—Life not there for my savoring. But if women don’t sit around talking about wine, whiskey, cars or horses, What do they deal in? Are they alive?”  ~ Alice Sheldon (1972)

“Funny about that thrill; finally realized what it comes from: Subconsciously, a conviction that the really good writers aren’t human. That the works are messages in bottles from the writer’s world. You know? So when Sturgeon or Bunch or somebody turns out to be an actual Terran primate using—of all things—the U.S. mails, with zip number for god’s sake—I get about the same kick the Ozma people would if one of the pulsars began to rap out binary Yeats.”  
~ James Tiptree, to Phillip Dick after receiving complimentary correspondence from him (1969)

“The distasteful proof that my sexuality is bound up with masochistic fantasies of helplessness depressed me profoundly. I am not a man, I am not the do-er, the penetrator. And Tiptree was “magical” manhood, his pen my prick. I had through him all the power & prestige of masculinity. I was—though an aging intellectual—of those who own the world. How I loathe being a woman. Wanting to be done to…?
Tiptree’s “death” has made me face what I never really went into with Bob Harper—my self-hate as a woman. And my view of the world as structured by raw power… I want power. I want to be listened to. And I’ll never have it. I’m stuck with this perverse second-rate body; my life.”  ~ Alice’s journal entry in response to a report of child sexual abuse in the newspaper (1977)

*******************

Your old pals Cody & Hillary from Singlewood. We watched a show called '13 Reasons Why' this weekend. It was disturbing and PROBLEMATIC and I may write about it here…in the Octopus Diary


I hope you enjoy the Tiptree Art. It’s hard for me to be creative these days. I feel worried & anxious much of the time. But I am going to do something different—

I’m going to keep painting the same thing over & over. I will paint the African landscape & the girl who was plugged in many times over the year. And we’ll see what subtle variations (or not so subtle) arise…


ARISE!!!!!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Now Is Not The Time For Psychobabble

Oh, but it is!  And here’s why:

1) Everybody’s doing it. Get on board or be left behind.

2) For me, it’s just pre-sense. It may not mean anything right now, but it will next year, or next century. You just wait!

3) Instead of calling it psychobabble, let’s just call it poetry & see where it takes us…

FRIENSKIS,

How are you? I am doing better & better. I had a couple of rough months. Somehow I managed to be jolly & positive through Dec/Jan, but Feb/Mar were a little aftershocky.

Don’t worry. That is going to happen here. It’s okay to have feelings. Even BIG ones. Even irrational ones. Irrational feelings are often intuitive timebombs going off prematurely, kind of like psychobabble may just be memories from the future.

I’ve been googling Sen. Duckworth (D-IL) regularly, and I fact check everything that comes out of the great American blowhole. And as soon as I can walk again, I start my “chosen activity” on the frontlines…

…oh did I tell you I broke my foot about 3 weeks ago? I’m so bummed because I had my mile down to 8 minutes, and had wanted to do a 5K in Apr/May. I’m trying to enjoy this convalescence, but …I feel like now’s not the time to be side-lined.

But maybe it is. And here’s why:

1) I did all the hard work already

2) Now is the time to gather strength

3) I’m still in a “period of transition”

*************** A PERIOD OF TRANSITION**********

So, VT, how is your transition going? I hear everyone ask me all the time.

Not. 

No one asks. No one wants to know about it. But I’m going to tell you about it anyway, because that’s how generous I am w/ my experiences on this planet.

Toy Village 2003


The truth is—I haven’t changed much. If you had told me on 12/7/15, the day of my first shot, that I would still look pretty much the same 16 months later…

I would’ve been really disappointed. Once I made the decision to start T, and waited 5 months to get in to see the Endo, and imagined myself as a guy for the first time since I was 19 & almost died because i was really a girl in the world’s eyes…

I was so looking forward to this wonderful transformative journey (which I expected would take about a year). I was anticipating (& fearing) being unrecognizable in the mirror. I was anticipating (& fearing) the loss of my mezzo-soprano singing range. But the excitement was definitely greater than the fear.

Being an older trans guy (46 at time of 1st shot), I’m on a lower dose of T than the average 18 year-old would be. I was in that hormone range where i wasn’t making much estrogen anymore so I was okay w/ the lower dose. Plus I had to think of Moonchild’s comfort level too…

Even though he understood gender dysphoria from living w/ me for years, he was not looking forward to having a husband instead of a wife. I was okay with transitioning slowly if it would help him acclimatize.

Of course, I told you all that from the moment I made my appointment up until the start of this year the “Ma’am bombs” began—

the world called me ma’am so many times, just so I’d never forget : ))

Baby Eloise—she's sitting in the windowsill chattering at birds now 14 yrs old


But I do want to forget. And the world doesn’t call me ma’am so much anymore, but I don’t exactly pass as male either. I think since I had top surgery I’m read first as “teenage boy” but people figure out pretty quickly that I’m older & that means I must be female…

My moustache is trying so hard to be more than a soup shadow. But it just hasn’t progressed much. Even on my lower dose, the doctor thought I should have more facial hair by now.

My voice also hasn’t really changed all the way. Sometimes it is deeper, sometimes it’s just scratchy, and sometimes I feel like I sound just like my old lady-self…

I don’t think people even remember that I’m trans & some of my friends who were so good at trying to use my name and pronouns have just gone back to she-ing and I feel like I might have to come out all over again…

I had been waiting on the changes that would make it easier for my friends to switch pronouns. I know it feels delusional to call someone ‘he’ when they still look like ‘she.’

So...in Feb/Mar I was lamenting my slower paced changes (I’m used to being around younger guys who have goatees & Jim Morrison vocal ranges in like 6 months) and feeling left out, and wondering what should I do about this??

But now I’m feeling a lot better about my failure-to-trans. I feel so much better on T than I did my whole life as an estrogen monster. That alone makes the leg-stabbing worth it. Plus the changes that may not be so noticeable to a casual observer—muscle mass, “downstairs growth”—are enough to ease dysphoria to functional levels.

I have some of the changes I wanted, and none of the ones Moonchild didn’t want—so it’s a win-win! I just have to keep it in perspective, and stay on my own path. Any time I dare to compare myself to the younger guys I come away feeling quite hopeless.

I don't know what this is—2015


And yes, it’s true that I pee in a cup in the car. It’s actually a coffee thermos. I am not a fired-up trans activist, and I don’t want any bathroom drama.** So I practice avoidance. I know some people would say this makes me “not a trans ally.” 

But to me it just means I’m used to being self-protective over confrontational. I recognize that the world has trans compassion fatigue and I’m trying not to push any buttons.

Just reading the room as they say…

*******************READING ROOM: AS THEY SAY************

I read a book a few months ago that I want to delve into in one of my serious Octopus Diary entries. It was the biography of Sci Fi author James Tiptree (who was really a woman named Alice Sheldon). I had never heard of Tiptree before reading the book, but a friend thought I needed to read about him and sent the book to my mailbox.

This was way more than a story about a sci-fi author with a pseudonym. It was very misogynist-feminist/trans-masculine. Not to mention Alice Sheldon, the person, lived a jaw-droppingly privileged & introspective life***, in which she managed to do great things before ending it all in a murder-suicide. 

Unfortunately I finished the book right around the time of the election and it got shoved aside in the sideshowery that ensued. But I’ll write more about Tiptree when I have some art to go with it! Yes! I want to do some Tiptree-inspired watercolors to go with the article. 

Today, you’ll have to recycle this used art with your purple irises.


************   ** & *** ********************

**although I almost had car drama when we were up in Ybor City—I was peeing in my coffee cup & some guy banged on the window. He was the paid parking attendant and I don’t think he saw what I was doing but it was a close call.

***speaking of introspective lives, in response to my FB post about “utopian societies of the future” someone asked, VT, what do you think a utopian society IS
And I said, A society that’s more introverted. 
More on that serious topic
Later

In the Octopus Diary

I don't know what this is either but I made it during my nervous breakdown 2014

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

REVENGE OF EGGKIND

OH HELLO FRIENDS!!!

How are you? 
I am feeling much better, thanks.

I’ll tell you all that I’m much better at handling the noise-of-the-world than I was before.

But the world has become noisy in a different way.

It’s a visual noise, a spider-eye lens crudely smeared w/ Vaseline.

For a moment, following Trump’s teleprompted speech which prompted such praise from the likes of the enemy-media, and which was followed by the publicity tour of one folksy little war criminal named George W Bush…

I felt like I was back in that dystopian world I entered as a sentient toddler—

an ugly place. 

I let fear and anger build up, and because I have no zippers in my skin it had nowhere to go. It burned like a 4th degree mushroom cloud, obscuring all libido, consuming all creative resources…



So I sought some spiritual counsel. I won’t go into detail, because goddammit, that’s private. But I got good news.

I’ve been wondering and planning and strategizing about what I can do to help the vulnerable demos I see losing support & protection all around me. And I finally have a plan of action [that is also private]. 

But the good news is—I don’t really have to do much!! I’ve already done the hard work—and just as I suspected, the work I did was on such a deep level it looked to all of you like I was doing NOTHING. And just as I suspected, I was …doing A LOT.

Aside from the one action I’ve chosen to do, I’ve been counseled to just stay in my cozy Pisces bubble & use words & pictures to activate others; to document the shitstorm as our systems come crashing…

…oh, that’s another thing. We are on the brink of systemic collapse. And this neo-nazi formation may be the catalyst, may be the first domino flicked, but it is not the end result. We are fully cruising in the Aquarian Age and headed for that promised utopian society where things actually make sense. Where class systems have been replaced by social altruism…

…and things are as EQUAL as they can be on a planet of BILLIONS…

But the bad news is—it won’t happen in our lifetime. It will be a bit of a mess until we get it figured out and it will be the social and civil structures that take the longest to phase out. 



I know I’m supposed to be examining how I failed the poor white uneducated population of this country by educating myself and embracing scientific advances and valuing people over profit…

…but it’s not my job to empathize with them and wonder what I did wrong. I didn’t do anything wrong. And my only job is to keep creating the wold I would like to live in. That’s what most of us do anyway, without putting too much thought into it. That is another thing that’s changing…

…people are living with more mindfulness & insight. Which sounds kind of …artificial. But we are creating a new way of being, of communicating with each other. We have way more information at our finger tips and we’ve been observing our human behaviour online as we’ve never been able to observe ourselves before. We know ourselves well enough to become an actual Collective of consciousness.

That both excites & scares me, for I’m an older model humanoid who doesn’t necessarily want to mindmeld w/ your precious grandchildren. But I’m willing to try it if that’s what we’re doing…

…mostly I’ll just write about it though…


SO YEAH. I’m feeling better—not all the way good, but far from bad. MY LIFE, as always, is great. I work hard, I play hard, I still believe in the power of the Humanities to get us through the darkness.

But what do i know, I’m just a tranny pervert who pees in a cup in my car because I’m afraid I might hurt your feelings if I use the public restroom. Or that you might kill me.




*******************************WRITING UPDATE

Contrary to what youre thinking, I do not have writer’s block. I’ve been submitting lots of work. Still getting mostly rejections, but those rejections are coming with more constructive feedback, more compliments from editorial staff, even for my long rambling coma-inducing opera-poems.

I’m so excited that poetry is enjoying a moment in the spotlight. A pretty long moment, too. I always dreamed of being a part of a poetry revolution. I was waiting many years as a lonely poet on the internet—asking Where all the poets is?  

And suddenly there they all were! So many of them, so very, very many! And I read dozens of poems everyday from all around the world. Dozens. Some brilliant, some dull as dry turds. 

But I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to read so many minds in this particular format.

I’ll be sharing more poetry, streams of consciousness, and ART here in the Octopus Diary. Soon, and more frequently. I just had to be serious for a moment. I’m going to try to be more serious, as well as comedic. I found a bunch of serious blogs I wrote in 2015 & never posted, and guess what?

I should’ve posted them. I always chickened out & posted some creative writing instead. Because I thought that’s all you wanted. But I know you need the serious stuff too. You’re hungry for it.

And I don’t mind regurgitating it right into your eyeball sockets.





Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Sunday Morning Funnies Just Landed On Your Doorstep

FRIENDS & ENTROPIES,

I really don’t care who you are, just listen to my protracted demagogic blog-personality voice:

I am a hypersensitive WATER SIGN so I will get all emotional here in the Octopus Diary. It’s okay, you can handle it, I think. I like to think you all understand where I’m coming from when I share my thoughts & words w/ you. But I know that’s an unrealistic expectation, and that some people just won’t understand, don’t have the Iron Age tools of understanding.

At their direct disposal (crematory of consciousness) garbolic sanitation demolition project. Hero.

HELLO

Let me start again by saying: I know I got all emotional and sassy and made broad sweeping generalizations which are a NO in this hyper-woke post-Aquarian tectonic New World Disorder shift of consciousness Age.

And like I said, that’s going to keep happening. In my proven empirical fact-checked zodiac chart there is only: WATER & FIRE.

Zero zilch nada EARTH or AIR.

So, with me you’ll get a lot of this: EMOTIONAL/INTUITIVE/PASSIONATE

And none of this: COOL/CALM/COLLECTED

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen.

Since I got all emotional on you last time, I was actually going to do something a fair & logical AIR SIGN would do:

Write an Adventure in Reality

And, friends, I did start writing an adventure. But then I did something I’ve never done before—I bailed on it! I got halfway into it (or more, 2/3 maybe) and I said ‘I can’t do it anymore!’

The Adventure was, in a nut shell, the tale of Trump & Putin’s romance leading to WW3. It was plenty ridiculous & action packed, but…I just didn’t find it funny. It’s hard for me to joke about all this. Putin is a really scary guy (even though he looks just like my step dad). 

And though Trump will always be a bozo, his henchmen are like sentient fungi come to life, spreading grayly w/ broken capillaries all over my comfort zone.  

I joked & satirized & surrealized & subverted myself all through the Bush years, because I had a firm grasp of what those bozos were about to do next. I have no firm grasp on this slippery executive guano…

…my skullbones once fused together so nicely

now pulled apart & struggling to contain all this new shit

It’s a shell game

So many new things to know

It’s not that I thought I was done knowing new things,

but these aren’t new things & I don’t want to know them again

[Yeah, like remember in the 70s & 80s how ugly we were to gay people, minorities, immigrants, fat people? I’m glad I can’t remember any farther back than that… we’ve come forward a little ways, but now we’re lashing back like a whip…snap]

They’ve been trotting out old George Monkey Bush—the enemy-media has. Look at him! Don’t we miss this little eek-eek good-ole boy chimp w/ his acrylic on canvas atonement oeuvre?

HE LOOKS LIKE A BEADY EYED HAMSTER WHOSE CAGE WAS FLUNG OPEN AND ALL HE WANTS TO DO IS SCAMPER TO THE FARTHEST CORNER AND HUNKER DOWN. HE LOOKS LIKE HE HAS BLOOD ON HIS HANDS NO TURPENTINE WILL EVER REMOVE. SHAME ON YOU (and you, Ellen De Generes for having him on your show) GEORGE W. BUSH FOR NOT EVEN BEING A CHIMPANZEE BUT A LESSER DEMON, A TRINKET ON A PUPPET ON A WIRE IN YOUR VICELORD’s ARTIFICIAL HEARTCHAMBER!!

I HAVE NOT FORGIVEN YOU YET. Our common hatred for clowns does not make us friends. And so my enemy, since I can’t make the adventure any less real I share w/ my friends again—


SHELTER CAT & TRUST FUND BABY












Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Shelter Cat & Trust Fund Baby Go For A Walk

HEY GUYS (this includes you too, girls),

Welcome to the Blog everyone pretends they don’t read, even though they do!

Sorry I had to post a long winded, lecturey piece in response to the ignorance I saw online last week. I know it seems like I love doing that, but I don’t. I don’t enjoy repeating myself or explaining WHY it’s okay to be who I am to people who don’t CARE to understand.

But I also can’t stay silent about it. And I don’t have a talk show, so I plop it right down here in the Octofish Chumbarrel. AND YOU FUCKING LOVE IT. Don’t pretend you don’t….

SO, in addendum to my previous rant, I want to say that most of the Trans Folks I know are MILLENNIALS. And millennial trans folks seem to have a much better grasp on their mental health than the trans folks from my [X] generation.

I actually don’t know many trans Gen Xers. [Yay! I’m always alone in whatever demographic I occupy!] But I do know quite a few trans Baby Boomers, whose narratives more closely resemble mine.

There was no trans positivity in the 70s 80s or 90s. We were perverts & sickos & we were to be shoved even further back into the closet than the gays, the minorities, or the fat women.

I know that sounds harsh & very un-PC but this is Trump’s America & I’m getting on board (with certain aspects of it.) Not really, but…. you know…

Anyway—I think my trans millennials would appreciate me vouching for their mental health after I was so brutally honest about my own not-so-great mental health. Every TRANS person has their own narrative, just as every PERSON has theirs.

And I’m actually quite jealous of how trans-positive the millennials are able to be.

I just took my dad’s, my brother’s & society’s misogyny and internalized the FUCK out of it, That was the 70s & 80s for you, and if you were lucky enough to arrive on this planet at a later date—hurray for you!

Don’t judge me for being born too soon (or late?) I can’t decide.

***********STATE OF THE YOU & YAWN***********

I really, really HATE the glorification of war, especially by someone who was never in the military. 

War, patriotism, militarism. Those are not good, positive, heroic things. But here we go, padding the military industrial complex for a round of WW3. 

Also think this V.O.I.C.E. registry is a horrific idea, and reeks of a naziism that’s not-so-subtle.

God help us. And I don’t even believe in God.

ALL RIGHT. That’s enough serious shit for now. Here’s what you’ve been waiting for: 


*******SHELTER CAT & TRUST FUND BABY*********(good luck reading it)











Me being masculine (& old)