Bad Decisions

This post is inspired by this comic here.  The last panel in particular.

We’ve all made bad decisions.  Unless you’re a saint, and if that’s the case, then you probably shouldn’t be tooling around reading blogs on the Internet.  But like I was saying, yeah, we’ve all done things we regret.  Things we maybe shouldn’t have done.  Things that seemed like a good idea at the time.  You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?  Yeah, you do.  Hopefully I’ve brought back some painful memories.  I like the idea in this comic.  Keep a list of your bad decisions.  It could end up being pretty damn useful.  Learn from your past mistakes and all that.  Oh, it might be painful and bring up memories of bad times?  Bawwww.  It’d be worth it and you know it.  After all, learning from our bad choices is what makes them bearable.

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Disease

I quite frankly couldn’t think of a good title for this post.  Shush.

So, here’s what I was thinking about yesterday: how many kids diagnosed with ADD/ADHD/Asberger’s actually have it?  Before the shitstorm begins, yes I do acknowledge that they are real diseases.  Part of the problem is that the symptoms are hard to track, particularly with Asberger’s. 

  • Not pick up on social cues and lack inborn social skills, such as being able to read others’ body language, start or maintain a conversation, and take turns talking.
  • Avoid eye contact.
  • Talk a lot, usually about a favorite subject. One-sided conversations are common. Internal thoughts are often verbalized. (www.webmd.com)
  • Hoshi- that sounds like half the teenagers I know!  Call a doctor, they must have something wrong with them!

    Although I admit, the teenager thing is much more rampant with diagnosing ADD.  The symptoms are so common in people, that really diagnosing it is hard.

    • Procrastination; difficulty getting started on projects
    • Excessive disorganization and messiness
    • Inability to prioritize tasks
    • Underestimating the time needed to finish a task
    • Easily bored
    • Low tolerance for frustration and stress
    • Unstable, unpredictable moods
    • Quick temper
    • Constant worrying (www.helpguide.org)

    Hmm, does that sound like a teenager you know?  Does it sound like all the teenagers you know?  Yes.  Yes it does, and you know it.  That’s why we’ve seen an increase in ADD diagnoses over the last few years.  “The results: a 500% increase in the number of children labeled and medicated with Ritalin for ADD-ADHD from 1990-1995.” (www.add-adhd.org)  Why does it seem unlikely to me that even a majority of those cases were authentic?

    Part of the problem is that parents nowadays are pushing for their kids to be medicated when anything happens.  “My kid’s moody because I grounded them?  They must be bipolar!  They need medication!”  “Oh no, little Johnny’s grade went down from an A to a B?  He must have ADD!  Give him drugs!”  Et cetera.  That needs to stop.  Like, now.  Medicating your teenager will not solve all their problems, and may in fact make them worse.  Just because they don’t conform to your idea of “your perfect angel son/daughter” doesn’t mean they need drugs shoved down their throats.  Oftentimes, the drugs A) don’t work.  B) do more harm than good.  C) aren’t proven in people under the age of 18.

    Look at Prozac, for example.  They’ve proven that it doesn’t work.  It has no more power than a placebo effect.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/feb/26/mentalhealth.medicalresearch  It’s used by more than 40 million people around the world, and it doesn’t work on the majority of them.  That’s what I call an enforced placebo.  We’re told it works by people we trust, and we naturally assume it does.  But they were told the same thing.  So we think it works, and we feel our symptoms going away.  Well, it may not be the best thing for depression, but it works inadvertently at least.  Placebos can be better than nothing.

    Another factor is that among teenagers, it’s become “fashionable” to have certain disorders, in order to get pity and attention.  Depression, bipolar, Asberger’s, Tourette’s, and the like.  It kind of disgusts me, quite frankly.  Not only are they lying/attention-whoring/uneducated twats, but they don’t actually know what it’s like to have said diseases.  It gets to the point where it’s hard to tell who’s telling the truth and who isn’t.  the only really good indicator I’ve found is that those who genuinely have it, won’t brag about it.  Those who don’t, will never shut up about it so they can form a massive hugbox for themselves.

    Another possibility (although it’s more likely with difficult to diagnose physical diseases as opposed to mental ones) is the idea of a socially contagious disease.  http://www.slate.com/id/2171214/  Here’s a news article that addresses it pretty well.  The theory is hard for me to explain in my own words, but there’s a good example in So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld (one of these days I’ll stop quoting him and put things in my own words, but not today).

    “There was a garment factory in South America back in 1962.  One Friday one of the workers there got sick and said she’d been bitten by bugs while handling cloth from England.  Then two more workers had to be hospitalized with fainting and hives.  By the next Wednesday, it was an epidemic.  Sixty workers on the morning shift fell ill, and the federal government sent in a team of doctors and bug specialists.  They discovered the following:

    1. There were no poisonous bugs, from England or anywhere else.

    2. The workers’ various symptoms matched no known illness.

    3. The sickness hadn’t affected everyone on the morning shift, only workers who knew each other personally.  It spread through social groups rather than among people who had worked with the suspect cloth.

    It looked like a scam, but the victims weren’t faking.  The disease was sociogenic, the result of a panic.  As the rumors of illness spread, people thought they felt bugs biting them, then a few hours later they developed symptoms.  It really works.  Watch this: Bugs on your leg…bugs on your back…bugs crawling through your hair…bugs, bugs, bugs.  Okay, do you feel the bugs now?”

    It happened again with a well-known episode of Pokemon.  I think you know what I’m talking about.  The episode that happened to hit the right sequence of flashing lights and colors to cause seizures.  The first time the episode was showed, only a few kids actually had seizures.  Of course, the next day, they told all their friends on the playground about what happened, so when they saw the clip on the evening news, they had seizures as well.  A sociogenic epidemic.

    Have I given you enough to think about yet?  Nope, I don’t think I have.

    Do you know why it was almost all children that were affected by the show?  Yes, it was a children’s show.  But there were a lot of parents watching right alongside their kids.  It’s because the younger the mind is, the more easily rewired it is.  Some people retain this, oh…rewireability throughout their lives.  Paka-paka, as the sequence of colors that causes the seizures is called, has a much higher chance of working on minds that aren’t fully developed yet.  So therefore, more children were affected by the show.  I think I’ve mentioned before that it doesn’t take a hell of a lot to rewire me.  I’m hoping it stays that way.  It’s a good thing.

    Romantic Underground

    The Romantic Underground. Y’ever hear of it? I’ve only heard it mentioned before, never explained. Even then, I only heard it mentioned once, on one of the most epic monologues ever.

    I am the Leviathan of pop culture.

    My strides encompass vast territories; my footsteps shaping the landscape. My thoughts will be their obsessions; my whims their rapacious desires.

    I will be relentless. I will be ruthless. I will be strong. I will be unstoppable. Not because it is the option I choose, but because there is no other option.

    I am of the Romantic Underground, and we cannot be stopped, because we do not acknowledge the rules of those who wish to stop us. They have no power, no authority, no influence which we do not wish them to have.

    We are of a lineage that includes more than writers and artists accustomed to being beaten down, marginalized, and humiliated. We are of the lineage of Ozymandias and Alexander, and we will take everything that can be hurled at us, shrug it off, move ahead, and claim the territory that belongs to those willing to pay the price to claim it.

    We’re not IN publishing. We’re at war. And I don’t intend to lose.”

    -James A. Owen

    Like I said, epic monologue. But I never knew what the Romantic Underground was. Even through the wonder that is Google, I was only able to find one website that really shed light on the subject, if somewhat skeptically. http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/romanticunderground.htm It’s a bit long-winded, but if you cut past the crap, it’s informative. Put simply, it’s an alleged organization of writers who favor the surreal. Most people in it deny association. I say alleged because there’s no evidence of existance other than what we’re told by the authors who do admit to being in it, such as James A. Owen, featured above.

    I’ve always been interested in underground or secretive societies like this one. From the Freemasons to the Mafia, I find them fascinating. And we already know I like cultural shifts and movements. This has both of them, to a much lesser extent. It’s almost like Dada meets the Bohemian Trio. Cool, no? Also, never talk about fight club. Never talk about fight club.

    Finally some travel

    I went on a mini-roadtrip with my mom today to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  I got to meet some of the people my mom works with.  There were some…interesting characters.  Let’s just say they wouldn’t have been out of place at my lunch table in school.

    It was just a minor day trip, but it got me out of the house for a while, which is nice.  Now, I think I’ll keep this entry short.  I have sleep madness, and I should stop writing before I start rambling about wombats like I was earlier.

    Words, words, words

    Maximum Ride: The Final Warning came out last month, as I mentioned before.  I finally got around to buying it, but I still haven’t read it.  Last week, Septimus Heap: Queste came out as well.  I had somehow managed to completely forget about it until I checked the Releases page today.  And today is the release of The Atlantis Prophecy.  It’s been a while since I read the first book so I’ll have to see about that sometime.  Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague comes out next week.  That’s definitely going to be good.

    This Thursday is Poem in Your Pocket Day!  Choose your favorite poem, print it out or write it down, carry it with you all day and show it to at least one other person.  Do it, do it, do it!

    Is there a revolutionary in the house?

    Yesterday, I watched Moulin Rouge! and it got me thinking.  In the late 1800s, we had there was the Bohemian Revolution.  People were heavily involved in the arts, willingly lived in poverty, and were never afraid to speak their minds.  In the 1950s, there were the beatniks, who encouraged spontaneity and openness.  Eventually, they gave way to the Counterculture Revolution of the 60s, more commonly known as the hippies, who wanted nothing more than peace and personal freedom.

    But what do we have nowadays?  This is a time where incredible things are being made possible.  Where are the revolutionaries to jump at every opportunity?  Some argue that the punk subculture is the modern-day equivalent, but I have to disagree.  Have you ever met the people who classify themselves as punks?  They’re far from being the rebellious spirits necessary.

    Some truly Internet-savvy minds could say that Anonymous is gaining power to the point where it could be a revolution.  After all, they’ve already staged protests against Scientology.  They’ve gone from being a purely Internet entity to organizing and unifying in real life.  I don’t know if Anonymous has the power to truly become a driving force, but the track it’s on right now could definitely take them in that direction.  Odds are, however, that they’ll stay nothing more than a group in the realm of computers.  If this has your mind completely boggled, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anonymous_%28group%29 here’s the Wikipedia article about Anonymous, and here’s the (likely more useful, but also more…uh, racy) Encyclopedia Dramatica article http://www.encyclopediadramatica.com/Anonymous  If you decide to explore more of ED, I am not responsible for any mental scarring you may endure.