Posts Tagged ‘Childhood’

Dear God, I prayed, if you’ll keep me from getting my pants paddled off in the principals’s office, I’ll never, ever, ever choke my chicken again. If God had a nickel for every time a little boy struck up that deal, there’d no longer be any point in being God. Retirement would ensue and someone, anyone, any number of anyones could be paid to fill in. Cause that’s a lot of nickels. I’m just one guy with one chicken, after all, and I bet I’m worth at least a buck in that context…

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“Early masturbation prevention.”

Any thirteen year old boy recognizes the sacrifice that giving up moose milking amounts to and those bargains are never struck lightly. A kid promising an end to fireman time implies either some serious business with Santa or the prospect of a man sized dose of judiciously applied corporal punishment. It’s a hell of a thing to give up, and if you’re still keeping up your end of the deal seven out of ten little boys made in childhood, then my hat’s off to you and I submit you are the better man. While it’s easy to understand the value which both adults and children assess in such activities, it sure is funny how we seem to think Jesus and Santa Claus place a comparable value on our abstinence.

The idea, as silly as it may seem, is not based in the naive foolishness of childhood although it’s logic is indeed most foolishly childish in nature. This system of logic, somehow, managed to provide us with such cultural gems as circumcision, cold breakfast cereal and that little thing we refer to as the Jewish holocaust.

As long as the proverbial dolphins have been swimming and squalking, man has been doing his damnedest to flog them into oblivion. In ancient pagan societies, both man and god were frequently depicted with fistfuls of frankfurters and handfuls of hair pie. All this changed, however, when the Jewish rabbis started to get jiggy with their interpretations of the Tanakh.

Genesis 38 tells the story of Onan, son of Judah and brother of Er. When Er was killed before procreating an heir, tribal law dictated Onan must impregnate the widow Tamar. Onan, Er’s current heir, didn’t like the idea of competition for his brothers estate and saw his insemination of Tamar as little more than pissing in his own nest. So at the last minute, he yanked his rabbit out of the hair hat and “spilled his seed on the ground.” And God killed him for it.

Onan’s responsibility to Er’s widow is known as a leverite marriage and was common during the times when tribes did not marry outsiders and the gene pool was constrained. His neglect of this responsibility would have had greater implications for their community and was most certainly an outrageous act, hence God’s wrath against him. Somehow, someone along the line interpreted this paradigm as being inclusive of the leaving of cream cookies anywhere save the fertile cookie jar of one’s wife. My personal theory is that early Catholics recognized the potential for profit in their Pennies for Penance campaign and began taking confession from the St. Peter Beaters and the Rosary Rubbers, along with cash settlements.

It’d be interesting to know how much they’ve made through the centuries, but that’s just me and I’m a goon for figures and statistics.

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“Modern Masturbation Prevention”

Fast forwarding to Victorian England, things hadn’t changed much. Pickle tickling and nub rubbing were still considered mortal sins, but it certainly didn’t stop people. Laws emerged equating the act with sodomy, some as silly as those preventing women from the traditional method of horse riding. Ever wonder where the side saddle originated? Well now you know. When the Puritans first sought solace from societal evils like Christmas by coming to the New World, they brought this retarded-assed way of thinking with them. And smallpox. But that’s another story.

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“Ellen White, the face of sexual abstinence.”

America was indeed founded upon a tradition of preachers railing against slippery clown punching while people went right on ahead and did it anyway, albeit with a serious sense of post punch guilt. No American religious sect has been so influential in its history of pud pounder persecution as the Seventh Day Adventists. The Adventists, who derived a good bit of their dogma from the hallucinations of a woman named Ellen White espoused clean living free of meat, alcohol, caffeine and, of course, any sort of battling of the bald bishop.

At the time, however, most bishops weren’t really bald and no one knew what the hell a fireman was. Dudes were still sporting anteaters, except for the Jews, who’ve been mutilating their children’s dingalings for centuries. In America, it all sort of began with Ellen White and her husband. And John Kellogg. As in Corn Flakes.

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“Battle Creek Sanitarium, early 1900’s.”

In the late 1800’s, the Whites operated a convalescent home for Adventists in Battle Creek, Michigan. Over the years, they had cultivated a relationship with a young Kellogg and upon his graduation from medical school, invited him to supervise the revitalization of their ailing facility. Kellogg took the bull by the horns, renamed it the Battle Creek Sanitarium (coining the term sanitarium) and began to diversify its activities. Previously focusing on popular water cure therapy, Kellogg began to include all sorts of cutting edge alternative therapies and even invented a few of his own.

Considered a highly competent surgeon and an ardent anti masturbation advocate, Kellogg encouraged and helped largely to normalize the practice of circumcision, a procedure which he claimed was “almost always successful [as a preventative method] in small boys.” Circumcision obviously doesn’t prevent masturbation, but his motivation was corrective and he suggested its application as a punitive measure against older children and to be administered without anesthetic. While the cultural practice eventually found its way into hospitals and is now performed humanely, we still mutilate our children’s penises because some dumbass and his hallucinating benefactor said it was a good idea.

It’s barbaric, that’s what it is, and those people are assholes.

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“John Kellogg’s old stuffy ass in a scholar costume. His medical degree took two years.”

When John Kellogg wasn’t fighting the good fight against one-eyed wonder weasel wrangling by sewing foreskins closed and sprinkling carbolic acid on clitorises, he was devising new and ingenious ways to make people’s intake of bland, whole grain based diets simple and efficient. Simply put, he was trying to make a kibble for people to eat. Corn Flakes happened by accident, when some dough Kellogg and his brother made was erroneously allowed to mold. Lacking in funding, they rolled and processed the dough anyway and after toasting it, finally produced the desired result.

John Kellogg began shoveling it into his patients just as fast as he could bake it, the younger brother, Will, had different ideas. He formed the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flakes Company, later changed to Kellogg’s, and began to mass market the product. He realized, intuitively, that the product tasted like the moldy corn dough that it was and therefore required a little more incentive to make it palatable to mainstream consumers. So in the same manner John Kellogg was selling it to his patients with a line of bullshit, Will included a booklet called Funny Jungleland Moving Pictures, which sounds suspiciously racist.image

It wouldn’t surprise me, given the older brother’s views on race and segregation. While Kellogg raised a considerable number of orphan children during his sexless marriage and a number of them happened to be black, his opinions on segregation and breeding between the races intensified as the 1900’s began.

Kellogg was a big proponent of the theories that clean living resulted in good health, both physical and mental, and that feeble mindedness and the like resulted from character flaws related to immoral practices like shucking your own corn. He started to rethink this as a result of experiences with his adopted son George. Even after stapling the boys foreskin closed with a bit of silver wire, the boy remained weird and sort of retarded. Eventually, it dawned on Kellogg that the boy’s having been found eating garbage next to his dead prostitute mother likely had some effect on his behavior.

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“This is a real thing. Run, quick, tell David Carradine before it’s too late!”

This revelation ultimately led to Kellogg’s establishment of the Race Betterment Foundation. Always one to push a bad idea to it’s fullest extent, Kellogg began to suggest, and in fact insist, that the white genetic code mustn’t be polluted by the likes of idiots, blacks and other such immigrants. He joined ideological forces with biologist Charles Davenport, another founder of the eugenics movement, and began to form the “scientific” framework of the movement itself. This ideology unfortunately mainstreamed into common practice and American society began to take upon itself the responsibility of deeming who was fit to reproduce and who wasn’t. Those deemed unfit were summarily sterilized, often without their consent.

Not one to be bested by the American competition, Adolph Hitler found that the eugenic principles fit nicely within his own ideas regarding ethnic purity and frequently praised the efforts of the westerners. American eugenicists accepted the pre-holocaust Nazi leader warmly and contributed significantly to the poorer nation’s research programs. Hitler, in the spirit of Dr. Kellogg, took an awful plan to the extreme.

While the sterilization of “useless eaters” prevented the perceived drain on resources for future generations, it did nothing for Germany’s current state of cash strapped-ness. In the years leading up to World War II, Hitler’s Nazis surreptitiously rounded up those they deemed unfit and began to quietly euthanize them. Feeble minded children were whisked away to “special schools” where they were never heard from again. Most of these children were strapped to beds and perished from starvation and exposure through windows opened to the harsh winter elements.

Before a Nazi ever touched a Jew, several hundred thousand people had been murdered, primarily the developmentally disabled, but also including homosexuals and members of ethnic gypsy minorities. In pre-war Germany, if you were eating and not paying taxes or breeding in an approved manner, you had to go. And eventually, the tax on being Jewish was raised to…everything. Make no mistake, the holocaust was about economics just as much as it was about racism.

By 1924, thirty American states had passed legislation rendering compulsory the spaying and neutering of those deemed feeble minded and unfit for genetic citizenship. Carrie Bell was the first to be singled out in ’24. She was regarded, essentially, as white trash with too damn many kids as it was, and ordered sterilized. Her 1927 appeal to the Supreme Court was a failure and a history of 60,000+ sterilizations began. The 1927 Buck vs. Bell decision has never been formally struck down, although as recently as last year, North Carolina was still paying out settlements to citizens sterilized without consent as late as the 1970’s.

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“The new Hallmark thank-you card for our parents.”

So in the present, while we’re no longer force neutering any of our citizens, mothers still make a culturally acceptable choice to sexually mutilate their sons based upon ideology perpetuated by a hallucinating religious zealot suffering from a traumatic brain injury and a “doctor” who taught supreme health was obtained through abstinence from turtle tugging, frequent enemas and a diet rich in heavily processed moldy corn.

In the long run, America and the rest of the world would likely have experienced a different track of history had they rejected the path Darwin’s ideas lead them down and settled for accepting his ideas on a more basic level. Whether man came from monkeys or not, lots of people would have been better off if they’d just appreciated the similarities between the species and followed the example of the pathologically bologna bopping Bonobo monkeys. At least they don’t butcher each other and if they do, they do it one handed.

Think I’m bullshitting you? Look it up.

And enjoy your fuckin’ Corn Flakes.

“I have to stop in and see the principal this afternoon,” my friend told me yesterday.

“You been looking up skirts under the bleachers again,” I joked.

“Not this time,” he laughed. “It’s a bully.”

His fourth grade son’s friend had told him in confidence. Two dreadful little shit asses were stealing the little fellows lunch on a daily basis. My suggestion of planting chocolate Ex-lax in his lunch bag was a fine idea but wouldn’t have worked. The rotten bastards were dumping it out and grinding it into the floor with their Nikes.

I had a bully once. His name was Chris Haggart. I was in the seventh grade and the first time it happened I was wearing my Rude Dog and the Dweebs t-shirt. Chris leaned back, during class, and backhanded me in the side of the head.

While it didn’t hurt all that bad, I was in shock that it had happened. I was pretty quiet and stayed off most people’s radars…Chris was my first experience in being bullied. He didn’t want my lunch, my milk money or my sneakers. He just wanted a victim. A bully lacks self esteem and seeks out others whom he may rob of theirs.

It’s quite an unfair exchange. The bully is raised badly, possibly even abused , and comes to see himself poorly. The difference between a bully and any other abused child is the bully’s capacity to revisit this treatment upon others. The public assault and subsequent humiliation isn’t personal, mind you, but it is certainly the only way the bully sees to make himself feel strong. It’s a false boost of ego, but it’s a boost nonetheless and it’s damn sure better than nothing.

The victim gets fucked over double in the process. Not only does the abuse come externally, but the victims personal identity changes. A seventh grade boy assumes the other kids think he’s a pussy when he doesn’t go out like Chuck Norris, jumping up and roundhouse kicking Chris in the face. That’s what we’re taught by our culture and the popular media. A real man stands up and defends himself at all costs. Right?

Chris had fifty pounds on me easy. He was two grades behind. Hell, he was smoking already. And I didn’t know how to roundhouse kick.

What was I to do? We’re taught, these days, to tell. Report it to the teacher, the principal, the police. Report it, seek protection and ultimately defer our self esteem and safety to the benevolence of other people who are placed, through circumstance, into places of power in our lives.

Our power is taken. Go ahead and roundhouse kick the bully. You’ll get suspended too. That was the nineties, these days, they call the law. Either way, I didn’t want to get in trouble at all. Trouble at school is bigger trouble at home.

It happened twice more before I asked my dad what to do. He didn’t explain how bullies operate. Instead, he taught me to apply terror.

“Catch him somewhere private, get the drop on him and hurt him so bad he never does it again.”

I was in shock. Really?

He began to elaborate. People, like animals, follow patterns and within these patterns, lie our vulnerabilities. He reminded me how we often exploited the predictable feeding patterns of deer and squirrels in order to kill and eat them. He said Chris was like a bear. He was big and scary and formidable, but he was a food source nonetheless and the plan was to take him down.

I began to watch Chris at school. I stalked him. Within a week I’d found a hole in his pattern I could exploit. Two weeks, a dry run, and two failed attempts later I got him. He was on his way out to smoke behind the building.

You need the right tool to hunt a bear, dad said. I shouldn’t leave any marks on Chris, so this hunt would require a special weapon. I ended up in the school library, checking out a big assed book about the ocean. It was so big it wouldn’t fit in my backpack and I had to carry under my arm. I bet it was an inch thick. When I swung it I had to use two hands. And I practiced. My dad said a book wouldn’t leave a mark. It would cause the same injury as falling onto the floor.

Or down the stairs.

It was after lunch. It was my third attempt. No one else came into the stairwell. Chris had no idea I was around. It was correctly timed. It was correctly executed. Jeez, I’d been planning it for three weeks. My book was nearly due to be returned.

The stairwell was optimal. Getting behind him as we descended the stairs gave me as much height on him as I needed. Think about the way a deer hunter uses a tree stand…

Chris was two steps from the bottom when I hit him. It was a solid hit to the back right corner of his skull. My dad said a blunt head attack would confuse and partially blind him. I would have what is referred to, strategically, as the initiative.

The book made a loud thump when it hit him and he stumbled down the stairs, falling face first into the red steel door at the bottom. I hit him again.

My first instinct was to run. My dad said not to. He said that beating up the bully was not enough. This was not to be a hit and run. This was a conquest of an enemy and the enemy needed to know his place.

As Chris went down to the floor and I hit him for the second time, I spoke to him in the most menacing way I could imagine and I made sure he knew it was me. I also tried to make a scary face. He was done hitting me, I told him. He wasn’t to speak to or look at me unless I spoke to him. Next time I’d use an aluminum bat.

“I could kill you right now,” I said as I turned to leave. “And no one would know.”

At that moment, I felt strong again, more even than before Chris had begun to tear me down. Hell, at that moment, I was strong.

My retaliation against Chris marked a transformation of my identity. I was no longer a victim and at that moment, it was all that mattered. It didn’t matter that I had become a predator and a terrorist. Sometimes, in life, a man has to be willing to go a step further, to worsen himself in order to better himself.

The reality is that we are taught conflicting ideas. Culturally we’re taught the Chuck Norris method but socially we’re taught to defer our defense to others. As I see it, the framework of our society necessitated my admittedly excessive actions in order that my developing self esteem be preserved.

Chris was ok, by the way. No one ever said a word and he never bothered me again. It probably helped that I changed schools a month later.

My friend spoke to the principal. The principal said he would put a stop to it.

Problem solved?

When I was three years old, I tried to burn a kitten alive in a red hot wood stove. Maybe I was four…it doesn’t matter…I remember it quite clearly though. My grandmother had stirred the fire up and then stepped out the back door to fetch a load of firewood. With the stove door ajar, oxygen had poured in and the coals were glowing bright orange. Now I can’t say why I did it…I have no idea…but I laid hands on that Siamese kitten and shuffled over to that wood stove and chunked her in like a stick of kindling.

Now apparently, there is an art to properly incinerating a small animal and as a small child, of course, I didn’t understand this. Actually getting the animal into the fire was the hard part and although I was successful initially, I completely dropped the ball when it came to closing the door and finishing the job. Although a simple step in the process, it is key and this is why:

If the door is not closed, the cat escapes and cats escape danger like no other creature on this planet. That kitten launched out of that stove like a Roman candle, a smoking sparking streak of singed fur and utter terror, straight across my shoulder, bounced off the wall and disappeared behind the sofa. I remember small wisps of smoke trailing up until she stopped simmering.

Besides being the only way to keep the cat in the fire, closing the door also removes trace evidence. Even a little boy can embrace the Deny Everything principle. Who knows…the cat could have just left. But I didn’t close the door, remember?

My grandma stepped back in after a few moments and, well, she didn’t have to be Columbo to smell burnt cat all over the living room. I was busted. There was no denying it. No getting away. The proverbial stove door closed on me as she cornered me and beat my little ass,

My little ass was still hurting a half hour later when she snatched me up and beat it again. I had no idea that heaving a kitten longways into a bed of hot coals would be such a big deal.

Maybe if I had I would have closed the door.

I never got around to perfecting the art of live cat cremation, not yet at least, but I have closed a stove door or two in my day…that part I did get down.

It’s important, you know, for a guy like me. Evidence is never a good thing, after all, unless you’re a special federal prosecutor or a theoretical physicist and last time I checked, I am neither.

What I am, is a high functioning, primarily non-violent sociopath. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is what I call it, for lack of a better way to place myself somewhere on the human behavioral spectrum and to avoid using words like sociopath or psychopath.

I won’t refer to the terminology again…because I don’t like any of it and it isn’t the truth. I don’t think of myself in psychological terms, but as an individual, just like everyone else.

Just like everyone else…ha.

I don’t process fear the way you do. An abnormal functioning in my brain limits my fear response significantly and virtually obscures any level of your fear from my perspective. For example, it didn’t occur to me that the cat was in fear or pain when I shoved it into the fire, I was only curious about what would happen. It’s not willful disregard of the cats suffering-the suffering never exists in the thought process in the first place. And as for my fear…if I gave a shit about getting caught for trying to barbecue my grandmother’s cat in her living room I’d have closed the fucking stove door.

The reason I don’t process the fear you may feel is because I lack empathy and it’s the same reason I don’t easily pick up on any other emotions you happen to be expressing. It’s not that I don’t care how you feel, I just don’t notice.

I’m not a bad guy, I promise. I have close friends and family, living pets and the best fiancĂ© ever. I have to work for these things, mind you, and success at interpersonal relationships is a constant struggle of trial and error as I try to make my life work around and amongst other people.

It’s hard, after all, for a selfish prick like me to leggo half his eggo to anyone.
Flame broiling a kitty like a Whopper is much friendlier business but fortunately for my cat, my grandma nipped that little problem in the bud with a piece of hickory kindling. Twice.

I did threaten to toss my cat in the wood stove last week. She just gave me the “I-double-dare-you-to-try-motherfucker-look” and pretended to cover the cat sausage she just fired out in the floor next to the litter box with some sort of pretend cat sand.

Maybe I deserve a cat like Bunny.