And if Michael Brown was not angelic, I was practically demonic. I had my first drink when I was 11. I once brawled in the cafeteria after getting hit in the head with a steel trash can. In my junior year I failed five out of seven classes. By the time I graduated from high school, I had been arrested for assaulting a teacher and been kicked out of school (twice.) And yet no one who knew me thought I had the least bit of thug in me. That is because I also read a lot of books, loved my Commodore 64, and ghostwrote love notes for my friends. In other words, I was a human being. A large number of American teenagers live exactly like Michael Brown. Very few of them are shot in the head and left to bake on the pavement.
The “angelic” standard was not one created by the reporter. It was created by a society that cannot face itself, and thus must employ a dubious “morality” to hide its sins. It is reinforced by people who have embraced the notion of “twice as good” while avoiding the circumstances which gave that notion birth. Consider how easily living in a community “with rough patches” becomes part of a list of ostensible sins. Consider how easily “black-on-black crime” becomes not a marker of a shameful legacy of segregation but a moral failing.
I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone.
A white college student from a private college goes into a poor neighborhood and volunteers four hours a week and that’s considered exemplary. [Whereas] a poor kid who lives in that community and takes care of all the kids in that neighborhood four hours every day is not seen as a volunteer.
I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race - that rarely do I ever simply estimate it.
Abled people complain about disabled people needing accommodations, because “in the real world there are no accommodations”.
But abled people receive accommodations all the time. Cars are an accommodation for those who can’t run a steady speed of 60 mph. Stairs are an accommodation for those who can’t jump from one story to the next. Phones are an accommodation for those who can’t communicate telepathically. Calculators are an accommodation for those who can’t do large math problems in their head. Lights are an accommodation for those who can’t see in the dark. Stoves are an accommodation for those who can’t heat things with their eyes. Clocks are an accommodation for those who can’t tell what time it is just by the position of the sun. Jackets are an accommodation for those who are susceptible to frostbite when it’s cold.
Abled people receive accommodations all the time, but since it’s considered socially acceptable to need those accommodations, they’re not considered accommodations. But imagine if you lived in a world where you needed those accommodations but most people didn’t. That’s what it feels like to be disabled.
This is an incredibly important post. As one of my favourite professors said, “Technology is not innocent." As in, all technology had to be designed by a human being. And chances are, if that human being had any biases or assumptions that could be translated into the technology they created, they probably wound up in there. Practically everything is designed specifically for abled people. Think about cars, for example. Could you drive a car one-handed? Well, yeah, very likely, but since most people have two hands, they designed the cars to use both hands. Two hands to grip the steering wheel, buttons and levers on both sides of said wheel, etc. There is nothing that says cars are better when you design them for one specific degree of physical wellness, but yet that is exactly how they’re designed. This extends to virtually everything human-made you see. I do mean everything.
So for the love of heaven, please don’t whine and complain when you see disabled people of any variety getting “special accommodations.” All technological design is purposeful. Every piece of technology you see was designed to accommodate someone. If you’re lucky enough to be accommodated by something’s most common design, don’t be an ass to people who would be better served by an alternate version.
The Edge Speech - Hunter S. Thompson
Months later, when I rarely saw the Angels, I still had the legacy of the big machine—four hundred pounds of chrome and deep red noise to take out on the Coast highway and cut loose at three in the morning, when all the cops were lurking over on the 101. My first crash had wrecked the bike completely and it took several months to have it rebuilt. After that I decided to ride it differently: I would stop pushing my luck on curves, always wear a helmet and try to keep within range of the nearest speed limit…my insurance had already been canceled and my driver’s license was hanging by a thread.
So it was always at night, like a werewolf, that I would take the thing out for an honest run down the coast. I would start in Golden Gate park, thinking only to run a few long curves to clear my head…but in a matter of minutes I’d be out at the beach with the sound of the engine in my ears, the surf booming up on the sea wall and a fine empty road stretching all the way down to Santa Cruz…not even a gas station in the whole seventy miles; the only public light along the way is an all-night diner down around Rockaway Beach.
There was no helmet on those nights, no speed limit, and no cooling it down on the curves. the momentary freedom of the park was like one unlucky drink that shoves a wavering alcoholic off the wagon. I would come out of the park near the soccer field and pause for a moment at the stop sign, wondering if I knew anyone parked out there on the midnight humping strip.
The into first gear, forgetting the cars and letting the beast wind out…thirty-five, forty-five… then into second and wailing through the light at Lincoln Way, not worried about green or red signals, but only some other werewolf loony who might be pulling out, too slowly, to start his own run. not many of these … and with three lanes on a wide curve, a bike coming hard has plenty of room to get around almost anything … then into third, the boomer gear, pushing seventy-five and the beginning of a windscream in the ears, a pressure on the eyeballs like diving into water off a high board.
Bent forward, far back on the seat, and a rigid grip on the handlebars as the bike starts jumping and wavering int he wind. Taillights far up ahead coming closer, faster and suddenly—zaaapppp—going up past and leaning down for a curve near the zoo, where the road swings out to sea.
the dunes are flatter here, and on windy days sand blows across the highway, piling up in thick drifts as deadly as any oilslick … instant loss of control, a crashing, cartwheeling slide and maybe one of those two-inch notices in the paper the next day: “An unidentified motorcyclist was killed last night when he failed to negotiate a turn on highway I.”
Indeed… but no sand this time, so the lever goes up into fourth, and now there’s no sound except wind. Screw it all the way over, reach through the handlebars to raise the headlight beam, the needle leans down on a hundred, and the wind-burned eyeballs strain to see down the center line, trying to provide a margin for the reflexes.
But the throttle screwed on there is only the barest margin, and no room at all for mistakes. It has to be done right … and that’s when the strange music starts, when you stretch your luck so far that fear becomes exhilaration and vibrates along your arms. You cane barely see at a hundred; the tears blow back so fast that they vaporize before they get to your ears. the only sounds are the wind and a dull roar floating back from the mufflers. You watch the white line and try to lean with it … howling through a turn to the right, then to the left, and down the long hill to Pacifica… letting off now, watching for cops, but only until the next dark stretch and another few seconds on the edge…the Edge… there is no honest way to explain it because people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. the other—the living—are those who pushed their control as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later.
But the edge is still Out there. Or maybe it’s In. The association of motorcycles with LSD is no accident of publicity. They are both a means to an end, to the place of definitions.
- (269-271) Hell’s Angels, a Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs-
Hello Friend, it’s 2014
Hmm, hello, it’s been a while. I didn’t mean for that to happen, I just haven’t really been in a ‘write an essay’ type of mood. I mean, I started my birthday essay but only finished about half of it, the longer half as far as halves are concerned, and I just haven’t been in the mood to finish it. I meant to write a year end essay to remember what I did for 2013 but that was mostly lay in bed, be kind of depressed, and be in moderate to massive amounts of pain over the year. And at some point move back to Reston and regress into more of a useless lump of flesh and bones.
Being a depressing piece of shit aside, I wanted to have something a bit newer to greet people with. I’ve been drawing a little, I started a daily sketch book and corresponding tumblr. New link in the too. I’ve also been drawing a bit more than I was at the end of last year, click here and check out some things. i’ve made all type of big plans that I haven’t followed through on because there’s drive missing from my life. I read about this actually, not having anything more pressing to do is bad when you want to do things. I mean, I have no reason to realy create. I want to, but I have nothing driving me. I’m bad at this and it’s all my fault. I’ve barely even finished reading a comic other than scans of manga I’ve read before. I’m mad about it because I’m in the middl of about 10 trades and there are about 5 or so new trades I want to buy, plus the books I bought months ago and haven’t watched. I also need to hop on watching the DVD collection my brother gave me for Christmas, 20 Warner Oscar nominated films. The type of thing I love, and I’ve just been laying about all the time, barely leaving the house. Sometimes seeing friends.
I’ve written in the past that Reston is toxic to my existence, and my inability and non-desire to do anything right now is proof of that.Right now it’s too easy for me to not do anything and to not be responsible, and I don’t have it in me to be able to get up and give my days real meaning, and that sucks. I want to do things that make me a better person, a better artist and someone to be put on ‘artists to look out for’ lists, but I can’t do that here and it’s something that not everyone around me understands. Reston is not a bad place, and I don’t think I’ve ever said that. It’s a bit boring and a bit sleepy at times but it’s not a bad place. It’s also not somewhere I can thrive or even exist, it’s missing something for me to feed off of to be able to move on. I can be sleepy anywhere, but I’d rather be able to use my home as a respite from an energetic world than trying to make my home energetic, that’s not the type of person i am. I’m introverted enough to be fine alone, but I need outside stimuli to remind me that there’s something worth anything in life.
God, and this was supposed to be cheery. Fuck. okay. The other day I posted an okay Adventure Time sketch on intstagram and Thuop van Orman gave it a like. That was pretty cool. Back in November I participated in an Improve Everywhere MP3 experiment, still waiting on them to edit that video and post it. And a preview from my hella belated birthday essay, I met Dean Haspiel at the Brooklyn Comic art Festival and he remembered me from when we met at SPX in 2012 and was excited when I offered him my mini.
There, something positive.
…Technology is not 100% evil, but neither is it always good. It’s just a tool that allows humans to continue being humans in a different way.