Posts Tagged ‘rnadom musings



Everyone’s in a constant battle for visibility these days. Frequently that battle seems to be waged on the field of social media, where Likes, Retweets, Shares, and Reactions serve to gauge if anyone is paying attention to you.

Probably not healthy, but it’s how things go these days.

There are some surefire ways to generate that; if you’re an attractive woman and throw up a pic of you gnawing on a PS4 controller, you’ll probably do well. If you’re a weird looking dude, you may do well, though not necessarily how you want to; being memed to death is perhaps not the best way to gain recognition, but hey, it worked. If you can come up with a fun, clickbaity thumbnail, you’ll do well… even if the content has nothing to do with it, because the numbers will look good even if the actual engagement or care isn’t there. If you can get the right popular person to retweet you, you’ll do well, because there’s always a legion of folks who will like and share anything their senpai says, regardless of context.

But if you’re a generic-looking individual, aren’t connected to the right people, don’t enjoy the clickbait thing and are no good at making memes, you likely feel invisible. If you don’t have many real-life friends and contacts who also follow you, it gets worse. You live in a little bubble of nothing.

I’m not trying to complain. I’m not pointing any fingers. Just noticing it.

I’ve always felt invisible. Part of that is my depression, I’m sure. Part of it is an… interesting childhood. But it also feels like when I call, leave voice messages, send e-mails, drop a Tweet, pick your poison… they go into a black hole. I’m getting a lot of this dealing with the disability people; I left four voice mails for my employer’s disability case manager not that long ago, spoke directly to her supervisor once and her underling twice, e-mailed paperwork to her, her supervisor, my manager and one of her underlings (said underling actually e-mailing me back to say “got it, thanks”) only for all of them to say they never got the message or the paperwork.

People say they’ll call back, they don’t. Ever. I have to call my shrink ten times, leave a voice mail each time, and finally hit that magic moment where he picks up the phone himself to schedule an appointment. Which will frequently be three months out, and twice when I showed up I was greeted with “Oh, he’s out of town today; we cancelled all his appointments. We must have forgotten to call you.”

I ask for input, for beta readers, for commentary, for any sort of interaction, and even the crickets leave the building. Most days, if I get a reaction at all, it’s to insult me – usually with the bog-standard “alt-right Nazi racist homophobic transphobe” or “ur ugly,” which is its own special disappointment… I wasn’t even interesting enough to come up with a good insult – and I’m hitting a point where “bad attention is better than no attention” is starting to make sense.

I make a Tweet, and despite having around 350 followers, the views and interactions are in the single digits. Make a blog post, and 9 views is a big deal. Not that I’m not happy – someone is reading it, at least – but it’s still kind of saddening. What makes it worse is that if I reblog something or retweet something, they have ridiculous numbers in comparison. I don’t know if that’s because it counts views and interactions from the original or not – I don’t think so, but I’m dumb when it comes to how all these statistics work – but my brain tells me the problem is something else.

I’m just that boring. I’m so boring that I create a massive black hole around me, and anything I say just falls into it. It’s a fascinating concept – and probably wrong – but perversely amusing all the same. “I suck so much, I’ve created a gravitational warp, that only other people’s words can escape!”

“Aha,” says I. “I know the answer!” Silly me, it’s not trying to figure out what makes good content – mainly because I apparently don’t know what that is, and can’t catch anyone’s attention to tell me what I’m doing wrong – but rather, to make as much garbage content as possible! If I cram that magic black hole so full of crap it can’t take anymore, the spillover should be noticed!

Right? Right?!

Don’t mind me. I’m just crazy, out of my meds, and still trying to get the damned shrink to refill them. Back to trying to scribble on “Dr. Gale.”

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What’s Haunting You?

There’s a portion at the beginning of Stephen King’s mass of felled trees, IT, where Mike Hanlon, our tour guide to the troubled town of Derry through much of that novel, goes over several definitions of the word haunt. It’s an interesting bit, and his ruminations on how each of the definitions applies to Derry and Pennywise (and even the Loser’s Club itself) are fascinating and well done.


But it got me thinking about hauntings and the things we believe, and the things we endure because of those beliefs.

I don’t hide the fact that I absolutely believe in spooks. I try not to be one of those wild-eyed lunatics who insist that every bit of unexplained sound, movement, or sensation means the Other Side is trying to reach out to us, but neither am I a completely hard-headed cynic who assumes such things cannot happen. When I’ve reached a certain point, I do assume that supernatural events have occurred, and my general explanation is spirits – whether formerly human or not – have done the deed.

Call me crazy if you like. I’m used to it.

But I don’t accept that as the only possible explanation. It’s merely the one that makes sense to me, here and now. I accept there could be other explanations. When someone proves carbon monoxide or infrasound can account for most paranormal situations, I’m willing to listen. If the aliens show up and tell us it was them all along, I’m willing to shift my beliefs. If they find a chemical cocktail that proves I was crazy all along and science can fix it, well, hey, sounds good to me.

But spooks, spirits, and alien visitations aren’t the only ways someone or something can be haunted. It can be troubled by memories that either don’t fade or have faded too much; regrets over past actions or anxiety regarding upcoming ones. A lot of things can gnaw at you in the wee hours of the morning.

For me it’s people. People I’ve known, and people I no longer know. Ghosts of those yet living, if you will. Where they are, what’s happened since I saw them last, what things could have changed or been prevented.

Sometimes I’m even haunted by myself. By the “mes” that could have been, the ones without this scar or that memory. I picture what their lives are like and what they might be doing, and if they’d even be alive right now. The answers aren’t always pretty.

But what haunts those of you out there? What about spooks, do you think they’re real or merely brought on by some other explanation? Let us know down below!

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