Thursday, August 26, 2004

What to say when there's nothing to say.

I used to be able to write all the time. I would write silly stream of consciousness ramblings, poems that generally ended in comical deaths, and essays on life and everything in between.

I can't write anymore.

Maybe you have to be depressed to have something to say. I used to be depressed, and I used to have a lot to say. I'm much happier now in my life than I have been for quite some time. I'm obviously very pleased with this new-found happiness, but somehow it is slightly unsettling. It seems that in giving up my depression, I've given up my creativity.

I think that's where the dreams come in.

Lately, I have been very tired. It is not because I don't go to bed: I do. I go to bed excruciatingly early, always between 9:30 and 10:30 PM. I wake up, and I'm tired. This is because I have been having way more dreams than I can handle. Very seldom do I remember their specific content, but when I wake up each morning I am aware that they were present the entire night. Sometimes I remember bits and pieces...for example, last night I know that I had a dream about Andy Kempen (who I went to high school with and haven't seen or thought about since) baking me and Sherry and Ben muffins. We wanted to dye the muffins green, and Andy was very opposed to this idea. He tried to take the muffins back, but we made off with them in a mad dash out of the trailer we were staying in. These are the things I dream about. Stupid, nonsensical, psychadelic and often frightening things.

An old dream has come back again.

When I was younger, I used to dream frequently that I was in a bathroom with toilets all around the room. There was never a hint of privacy in this fantasy bathroom...it had no walls between the toilets, and no stalls to speak of. I was always forced to use the toilet in front of whoever was in the room. This was a very very frightening dream to me as a child...I think it always made me anticipate the impending doom that would inevitably be showering in gym class. As it turns out, my mom was full of it and they don't make people shower in gym class anymore. I made it out of that one alive. Anyway, I had the dream again last night. Only this time, in the same public bathroom, Sherry and Ben were watching me and would not leave. I struggled to go to the bathroom, but I couldn't with them watching. They smiled and watched intently. They wouldn't leave. Sherry and Ben...I ask you to stop invading my dreams. Thanks.

It doesn't matter, does it?

According to modern psychology, excessive dreaming is a sign of depression. I do not feel depressed anymore. I feel as close to normal as I will probably ever be. So why the dreams? I think that maybe I have learned how to control my fears and apprehensions...unfortunately, since I do not immediately solve them with creative gestures like writing or drawing any longer, I am forced to do it creatively through dreams.

Dreaming is hard work.

It tires out my brain. This wouldn't matter if I were able to remember the dreams when I wake up. Then I could write them down, and have a wealth of creativity again. I would no longer scrap for ideas, or write worthless posts like the one you are reading. Sucks to be me, though, because my dreams are nonsense. Even if I try to recall them, the imagery is too strange for words. I could write craptastic art-novels based on the stuff of my dreams, but I could never tell it the way I know it needs to be told. As it seems, the over-abundance of dreams I have to face every night is worthless to me.

I wonder if they'll go away?

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Lithium for EVERYONE!

I was listening to Wisconsin Public Radio this morning, as I do every morning, and the subject was whether the media should have opinions or not. A caller called up and was commenting about why the media doesn't make a bigger deal out of the Patriot Act and the president's new act that would make every citizen subject to a mental health screening. Upon hearing this, I chalked it up to an internet hoax or a rumor, but I didn't discredit her. I decided to do a little research on this subject on ye olde internet, and was terrified to find an abundance of information available.

As it turns out, she was correct.

President Bush, in another one of his brilliantly titled schemes, has founded the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. At the surface, this would appear to be another program aimed at making sure people with disabilities receive fair treatment. If you look into it further, you will see that most of the research and funding has been provided by the world's largest drug companies that we all know and love, such as GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, and many others. Upon digging deeper, you will see that the ultimate goal of this "commission" is to have every man, woman, and child screened for mental illness. It's not difficult to see that with the lax new standards we have in the US for "mental illness", this will mean big bucks for the already mega-rich drug companies. The government, with little refutation from the school sytems, has already found a way to corner the children's market: diagnose children with ADHD! Kids are hyper. That's a given. But doesn't it seem strange that SO many more children are being diagnosed with a hyperactivity disorder than ever before? Isn't it a little odd that parents can be punished for refusing to give their kids unnecessary drugs? Since that market is covered, I guess the adult population is next on the list.

I have seen therapists and I have been diagnosed with multiple mental illnesses. I live with that, and I find ways to make sure it doesn't interfere with my daily life. I used to wish that I had been prescribed drugs, but I don't anymore. I am eternally grateful that I wasn't put on those drugs, because at least now I'm able to see the harm that they cause. They make you suicidal, less importantly they make you gain weight, and some destroy your liver. You know what? I can live with a little depression: at least I'll be ALIVE! These drugs are not safe, and they have not been tested thoroughly enough by parties that have no reason for bias.

If this sort of atrocity is able to be implemented, it's going to be straight out of Cold War science fiction novels. We ARE going to be a bunch of zombies led by the government elite...we will be fed bogus news to keep us "informed", and mysteriously go "missing" if we know too much. It's going to happen, if we don't stay on top of things. It's ALREADY happening right in front of us, every day of our lives. For God's sake, please don't let it!

Isn't it just like our government to go after something so vague as mental illness? You'd think that if they really cared about people, they would try to find the root of the problem. You can prescribe all the drugs in the world, but it isn't going to solve anything. If the government cared, they would realize that issues like the environment and the chemicals that pollute it are very much to blame for the problem. Of course they're not the whole problem, but certainly they play an important role. The collapse of the nuclear family offers a huge contribution to adolescent depression, but who would want to work on that? Let's worry about gays instead. THEY'RE the problem! Give me a break. Teen pregnancy? ABSTINENCE. That's the ticket! Birth control is for whores and heathens. We all just need to wait until we're married; that will solve EVERYTHING! There are so many societal factors contributing to the onset of "mental illness" that it is not even funny. People, collectively speaking, need to work on the issues that make their standard of living less than perfect. If it's something that the government needs to work on, then we need to make it known to them that we won't just sit back while they try to drug us into oblivion. Somewhere along the line, we forgot that the goverment is supposed to be of the poeple and for the people. It seems now that it's of a few very rich people, for a few very rich people, and against the rest of the people.

How the hell did we let this happen?


Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Oda a las Naranjas

Darling Clementines
Sweet and bursting with juices
So easy to peel.
No words can really describe the wonders that are Darling Clementine oranges. Today,whilst eating my sad, workplace lunch, I have rekindled my love for these tiny, delicate fruits. What is a Clementine you might say? I would reply, "It's an orange, dumbass." Then I would kindly hand you one of my many Clementine oranges that I purchased at Copp's Food Center yesterday evening. You would inevitably marvel at its small, squatty shape and the bright orange rind that encompasses the wonders within. You would then begin to peel the little darling, only to find that it peels easier than any orange you have ever peeled. Upon completion of the peeling process, you would note the perfect segments that are just the right size; very reminiscent of mandarin orange segments, you might add. The first segment you separate from the orange you will hardly believe...the flavor and juices are intense...the flesh is so tender....and the, the SEED is so LARGE! You will then ask "What is with these massive seeds???" I will reply, "How else do you expect it to reproduce?" You will likely nod in understanding and continue on your journey into flavor country. Now that you've realized there are massive seeds within, you will try to squeeze them from each tiny segment before eating; this will lead to a pulpy mass in your hand that no longer resembles the perfect half-moon segment you once held. You will learn to master the art of seed removal. It is at this time that you will be at peace with the Clementine Orange. You will undoubtedly tell others about them, and probably write a stupid blog piece describing how you will turn others on to your favorite fruit. You might just give a bag or crate of them to a friend as a gift. That friend will look at you with a look of astonished confusion, but soon that friend will also pass on a crate of lil darlings to someone else. In time, everyone the world over will know and love the candy-sweet dandies from South Africa known as Darling Clementine's, and world peace will duely result. In the meantime: Bananas, grapes, and kumquats beware! There's a new kid on the block who is ready to dethrone you. He might be small, but he packs quite a punch. Clementine's 4 EVA!