Category Archives: distractions

Weird Dream

When I have dreams, some stick in my mind until morning and some don’t. I know I dream every night but my dreams have changed in my *ahem ahem* years. Instead of action dreams where someone or something is chasing me or I’m going someplace or fighting some battle, I’m having Emotion Dreams. I’m not a fan of emotions. They are difficult to interpret and hard to control. There are times when I yearn for Vulcan philosophy or for a chip I could turn off like Data’s. They’re messy and complicate things that should be simple.

What do I mean? Well, yesterday, for instance, I was working on a project and the Things I Used To Do that were simple and straight-forward were now multi-step processes. I was writing a workbook and after rewriting it and editing it, I saved it. I needed to retrieve it for my meeting, and went to click it and it says, “Cannot find this file, did you rename it or delete it?” And THERE, RIGHT THERE, I was looking at 4 different copies. I clicked on all of them and got the same message. It was getting down to the wire and I was getting mad. I did a search for the thing and nothing came up. I had sent copies of this workbook to everyone in the meeting, including me (which showed amazing foresight on my part), and clicked on that link and it popped right up. After I taught that night’s session, I wanted to go back into my directory and eliminate all the false leads. I couldn’t just click a box and hit the delete button. It was like Mickey Mouse and the brooms in Fantasia. I’d click on it, get the “did you change this?” message, and then it added itself to my already over-populated directory. So I went to the help section and looked up how to delete a file.

The instructions came with a video, but of course, clicking on the video just started the video and it was 2″ by 3″ so I couldn’t actually see anything. And the instructions included those dreadful words: You simply… If it were simple, would I be in the help section? You SIMPLY go to the dashboard, select the file, and hit delete. It will go to your recycle bin. My dashboard doesn’t look anything like their dashboard. So No, I haven’t figured out how to clean up my list of amazing tomes.

I want something unimproved that doesn’t “help” me by doing stuff I know how to do. I want to push a button and have stuff happen, and not have messages saying that what I’m doing could be done quicker and easier by adding another 21 steps! I was mad and frustrated. I wanted to throw things. I scrolled through FaceBook for another hour and then crawled into bed.

So, my dream:

I go to the bathroom and I notice the roll of toilet paper not mounted on the dispenser. I take a good look at it and discover that it has been dropped in the toilet and quickly retrieved. I also deduce that the toilet water was not unspoiled as the paper is discolored and has a slight odor. (EWWWW) By fishing out the roll and putting it back on the dispenser without mounting it, I now have a puddle on the floor and a streak where the water (and other stuff) dripped down the wall. I feel Mad and Confused. I cannot fathom the logic of someone thinking you could use partially wet, definitely soiled toilet paper. I’m upset because it’s a mess I dread cleaning up as it makes me gag to even think of it.

The previous day, I had watched episodes of Dexter, the 1st 2 episodes of Game of Thrones, Forged in Steel and Forged in Fire episodes showing wicked swords and daggers, and finally the latest episode of Supernatural. You’d think I’d be dreaming of solving crimes, running a D&D scenario, catching Dexter (and surviving), and rewriting all the Sam and Dean stories without the “We have to kill God and his Sister” themes. But no, I dream of dirty toilet paper.

Worst Song EVER!

Think about it. What is the worst song you’ve ever heard? What were the qualities that made it awful? Was it the chord progressions? The idiotic lyrics? The ridiculous premise? The bad singing? The elementary solos that a 4th grader could do? Now think about this: If this song was so awful, how did you ever hear it? How did it get on the radio? Why would anyone listen to it twice?

I submit it was because the writer or the band leader sold his soul to the devil, and devil said, “Sure! Now I can torture hundreds of thousands at the SAME TIME! AND, bonus, I get your soul.” Granted, his soul was probably really tiny and would go for pennies on the dollar at the discount store, but a soul is a soul.

My Nomination for WORST SONG EVER is “The Joker” by the Steve Miller Band.

Some people call me the space cowboy, yeah
Some call me the gangster of love
Some people call me Maurice
‘Cause I speak of the pompatus of love

Space cowboy? More like space cadet. The gangster of love? He can’t afford to buy it so he steals it. Some people call him Maurice? His name is Steve and he’s so forgettable that people call him the wrong name! Pompatus? OMG He just made up that word. His vocabulary is so limited he needed a 3-syllable word that described love and couldn’t think of any! USE A FREAKIN’ THESAURUS YOU DOOF!

People talk about me, baby
Say I’m doin’ you wrong, doin’ you wrong
Well, don’t you worry, baby, don’t worry
‘Cause I’m right here, right here, right here, right here at home

If they’re talking about him, it’s because they realize he’s a loser. He IS doing you wrong…He’s at home while you’re out working? Chillin’ in front of Jerry Springer and Reality TV because he has no life other than sitting in your living room waiting to pounce on you when you get home.

‘Cause I’m a picker, I’m a grinner
I’m a lover, and I’m a sinner
I play my music in the sun
I’m a joker, I’m a smoker
I’m a midnight toker
I sure don’t want to hurt no one
.

THAT’S Pickin’ and Grinnin’

He wouldn’t pass the audition to get onto Hee Haw…He does No picking and he grins like a 2-year-old that just filled his pants. My guess is that he is no lover because he has no idea what it means to love. He’s definitely a sinner, because so far, he’s exhibited nothing but narcissism and sociopathic behavior. He does what he wants, when he wants, which, in and of itself, isn’t bad unless it interferes with those people around him. He is trying to interfere with this girl… He plays his music in the sun. 1st of all, he only knows 3 chords. He plays outside where others can be inflicted by his lack of melodic sense and innovation. The song is repetitive and mostly focuses on himself. Nobody cares about that! A joker? He’s as funny as Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck. He Smokes! So again, ew. A midnight toker? It means he pretends he’s one thing during the day and sneaks around at night for a buzz. It’s why your couch smells so funky in the morning and all those burn holes in the upholstery. Since he doesn’t want to hurt no one, grammatically speaking, he wants to hurt everyone. I’m not sure that he thought these lyrics out. Or, they came to him sometime after midnight…Draw your own conclusion.

You’re the cutest thing that I ever did see
I really love your peaches, want to shake your tree
Lovey-dovey, lovey-dovey, lovey-dovey all the time
Ooh-wee baby, I’ll sure show you good time

Cutest thing…OMG. Look at puppy and kitten pictures. He loves her peaches? Does he realize that when he “shakes her tree” her peaches will fall off? I’m not sure I’d want to engage with someone if I knew that my boobs would fall off. Lovey-dovey… flashbacks of Thurston Howell on Gilligan’s island. So when this girl is at home, he intends to occupy all her time by shaking her peaches off. That sounds really stupid. Now if he were going to show her a good time, he’d take her to a concert or a movie or dinner or something first.

‘Cause I’m a picker, I’m a grinner
I’m a lover, and I’m a sinner
I play my music in the sun
I’m a joker, I’m a smoker
I’m a midnight toker
I get my lovin’ on the run.

Wait, check out that last line! So he’s there with this cute girl, hanging around all day, playing his 3 chords, smelling up her couch at midnight, shaking her peaches off, and he’s doing it ON THE RUN? People say he’s doing her wrong and he says “No, because I’m right here at home…” except when he goes on the road again and finds another cute peach girl. What a JERK!

The song continues for another 2 1/2 min and he has absolutely nothing else to say, so he repeats the 1st part of the song. He does change Ooh-wee baby to C’mon baby. He’s still trying to convince her she should make out with him. About this time, she should have called her brothers to beat the snot out of him.

The Chord progression he uses is G, C, D, C and a base run to G again. Over and over and over again. The melody is simple, repetitive, almost but not quite pentatonic so you can’t sing a wrong note and the way he’s got it harmonized is unimaginative. And yet… the oldies station we listen to in the morning will play that at least once between 5:45 and 6:45 AM EVERY FREAKIN’ DAY. How in the Hell did it even get a second playing? How the hell did it get on a “Best” list at all?

This is from Wikipedia:

The Joker” is a song by the Steve Miller Band from their 1973 album The Joker. It is one of two Steve Miller Band songs that feature the nonce word “pompatus“. The song topped the US Billboard Hot 100 in early 1974.[1]

More than 16 years later, in September 1990, it reached number one in the UK Singles Chart for two weeks[2] after being used in “Great Deal”, a Hugh Johnson-directed television advertisement for Levi’s, thus holding the record for the longest gap between transatlantic chart-toppers. This reissue of “The Joker” also topped the Irish Singles Chart,[3] the New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart,[4] the Dutch Nationale Top 100[5] and the Dutch Top 40.

My question is: WHY? It has absolutely no value! I’m going to stick to my premise: He sold his soul and Now WE have to pay the interest on it.

It goes a little like this…

I have been watching artists doing live performances from their homes. They have to introduce their songs themselves, naturally, and they say, “I’m going to play this favorite of mine, Danny Boy, and it sounds something like this:”

Wait.

What is he comparing it to? It’s like saying, “It sounds something like Mozart,” and then playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  Well? It sounds EXACTLY like that. Is he comparing it to something he hears in his head? Then how would we know that is not exactly what it sounds like in his head? We wouldn’t. So why would he tell us? Extraneous information.

Now a sculptor could finish a piece, and say, “It looks something like David of David and Goliath.” And it would if David was in his 20s and not Jewish. You could say that this image you have created is something from your own imagination and not a factual representation since you never met David or even saw him from a distance. In the same way, a composer has an aural image of his music and recreates it on the instruments of his choice. But if, as a composer, it’s in your head, why wouldn’t you reproduce it the way you hear it?

Why not say instead, “This is a song I wrote called ‘My Hideaway’ and I hope you like it.” You could jazz it up and say, “This song, ‘My Hideaway’ was originally conceived with a totally different instrumentation, but I’m going to play it on solo piano for you. I like this version very much! See what you think.”

And if what you’re going to play is only a little like how you wrote it, why not give it a different name? It’s like that gag in Monty Python…and now for something completely different. “Tonight, I’m going to play a variation on ‘My Hideaway’ that I call ‘Her Hideaway’ and though it has some common elements, it’s so far removed from the original that I changed the name.”

It sounds a little like this…” and “It sounds something like this…” are cliches we’ve had for ages, and if you take a cold, hard look at them, they make NO sense. Learn some new introductions guys!

 

The More you know

The More you know, the less you don’t know.

The More you know, the more you know what you don’t know.

The More you know, the less smart your friends look.

The More you know, the more you want to know.

The More you No, the less you Yes.

Oops, that last one slipped in there.

The More you know, the less stupid you feel.

The More you know, seems like a good idea, right? Do you ache to find out where you saw that actor in the show? I saw Sean Murray in a JAG episode who was a ne’er-do-well kid whose mom pleaded with the judge to have him remanded into her custody. The JAG asked the judge to remand him to the custody of the Navy! All he needed was discipline. Sean’s final line was that he might go into the Judge Advocate General program. Well, he goes to John Hopkins and MIT and gets into NCIS… Oh wait, we’re not supposed to know that.

So maybe that doesn’t make you curious. I have a student that is taking Arabic lessons. I’d love to learn Arabic! I have another student that raises sheep, and I’d love to spin my own yarn. I have a friend that could teach me. I have another student that loves history and we were talking about the 1st American War…the Revolutionary War. It wasn’t.

In colonial New England, King Philip’s War began when a band of Wampanoag warriors raided the border settlement of Swansea, Massachusetts, and massacred the English colonists there. King Philip was the Chief of the Wampanoag. The article cited there gives the whole story. How do I know that? I had a relative that was wounded there. So this happened 100 years before the Revolutionary War. So, no, the Pilgrims and the Natives were not in blissful peace until the French and Indian War 80 years later and 10 years before the Revolutionary War.

I’m beginning to see a pattern. But was it because they didn’t know more? If I post this will more people know more?

Yet we tend to denigrate those curious people, those smart people, those founts of information. Egg-heads, Geeks, Idiot-Savants… It’s not good to be smart in America. We need to change that. Because THE MORE YOU KNOW…

The Plot thickens!

If you wanted to undermine a society, what types of things would you have to curtail?

First of all, you’d have to disrupt communication. That doesn’t mean closing news stations and banning magazines and newspapers. That would be too obvious. But if the news doesn’t agree across the board, then you have several different VERSIONS of the news. We’re not talking editorializing as part of the news, we’re talking presenting completely differing facts.

You introduce a plague that disrupts communication by shifting the main method from verbal face-to-face to virtual. The phone is not a major means of discussion, it’s social media, and that provides anonymity. Why rant into a phone or on a Zoom platform when you can hit all your 1000s of followers on social media at once? Anonymity provides courage for some people to express things they would never say in a physical venue. There is no “sarcasm” button when you’re posting something. That’s the outbound communication.

Inbound communication, where we get our information, is relegated to outside news sources. When the pandemic hit, we knew about it in China. We took no action specifically to combat an epidemic that would affect our country. We never actually got facts, we got opinions of the facts. We needed to curtail exposure to the dread disease so we had to self isolate. If everyone had done that immediately, the threat would have extinguished itself within about 4 weeks. But it didn’t happen. Because the symptoms don’t show up until 4 days after you have contracted the disease, and is contagious before symptoms show up, you don’t know to whom the disease has been spread. So, are you sick? You don’t know. If you get it, there’s a 10-15% chance you could die from it.

How did we respond? We bought every single roll of toilet paper in every store.

“You need masks,” so all the masks disappeared off the shelves.

“You need hand sanitizer,” so all of THAT disappeared off the shelves.

“You need to stay home,”

“What? Then how do I get masks and hand sanitizer and toilet paper? I have to leave the house because I have an essential job! I work at a fast-food restaurant. I stock the shelves with toilet paper. I’m the janitor at the hospital. Life will grind to a halt if I don’t deliver products with my truck!” And they’re all correct. WE CANNOT stop everything for a month. But we have greatly curtailed the people going to work and shifted the work environment from a cube farm to a house. We have closed restaurants so people are buying more groceries and cooking at home. We have closed all the entertainment venues and canceled graduations and sports events.

This was the first chink in the armor. We didn’t know which “facts” to believe about the virus. We had no definitive action to take. We didn’t have an acknowledged expert to give us direction. We were adrift and having to cobble together something that would work. All of the misinformation and missed information made these workarounds temporary at best. We distrusted the news, we distrusted the experts because they gave us conflicting information. We distrusted our government. We increased the distrust we already had in the disparity between classes. We had now reached the first level of confusion and loss of confidence in everything we had previously trusted. We’ve accomplished the objective of isolating the citizens from each other.

What is the second step? Increase violence to further isolate the population.

Let’s take the George Floyd incident. If both had been white, or both had been black, would it have made the news?  It might have. It was the murder of a subdued subject by a cop. No, more than that… It was the murder of a subdued subject by a cop, on camera, with other cops and bystanders that should have intervened. Did you know that both the victim and the cop knew each other? That they worked together? If you take the uniforms out of the equation, do you end up with a completely different outcome? The guy with the uniform, gun, and badge obviously has institutional power over the civilian. The victim had no choice but to submit to the person in the uniform and allow himself to be cuffed. This is obviously a huge disadvantage! The point of getting a person into the facedown position with the knee to the upper back (Not the neck you doofus!) is to position the man’s hands to be cuffed. It doesn’t take that long to cuff a person. After the person is cuffed, it is very difficult for him to resist arrest. Why, then, was the victim held in this position for over 5 minutes? over 3 minutes? Why was he held on the ground at all if the man was already cuffed when he went down? This was a personal assault and one of the people just happened to be a cop.

What happens when the assault and subsequent murder hit the news? We don’t trust the institution of the police who are supposed to protect and serve. We don’t trust people who are a different race than we are because they’re obviously violent. There are statistics at the Bureau of Justice that can give you insight into this behavior. We don’t trust the news because it’s not just facts, it’s a political agenda driven by money and power.

When you disrupt communication and cause distrust in what was once considered the most trustworthy of institutions, both the news and the police, you upset people’s support network. Who can they trust now? Just the conspiracy theorists on  FaceBook? Cousin Bob’s wife’s hairdresser’s best friend’s neighbor knows the true story behind events. Why not just take the short cut and ask Kevin Bacon directly? You have effectively isolated the whole population.

But you can’t keep a good mob down. No, they showed up in droves to protest their masks and the self-quarantines and of course, the COVID 19 cases shot up proportionately. Then they showed up in droves to protest

  1. actions of someone who didn’t represent the cops in their town
  2. the general attributions of a whole class of people (all cops are racist and all blacks are criminals)
  3. being locked up in their houses and not knowing whether to leave with a gun or a mask or both

Riots in Omaha, San Antonio, and all across the country, ended up destroying businesses and causing injuries or death and did not promote a change in behavior for the parties they were purporting to support. Did it panic people? Yes. Did it get people off the street? Law-abiding, passive, fearful people stayed home. Incensed, mad, frustrated people went out to protest this injustice. Where was I? Safe at home posting angry comments. I know my actions will not change the behavior of those responsible for this injustice, but I also know breaking windows and attacking bystanders won’t either. The protesters weren’t out to burn down the cities, there were instigators onsite. Looters and anarchists were there to cause damage unrelated to the protests. So they hid in plain sight among the protesters and did what they do: destroy and obscure the purpose of the protest. And of course, since we cannot discern between well-crafted narrative and true events, the facts are obscured and we only get a version of the truth. Sooo, with incomplete information and a skewed sense of what is true and what isn’t, the bottom line is that we will have MORE violence and MORE cases of the virus. The problem isn’t getting solved, it is getting inflamed.

The more I write, the more insidious this sounds. I may have to continue this tomorrow!

ADHD or Autistic

Isn’t it strange that every little kid in elementary school is on drugs to BECOME autistic? No, the teachers don’t want to teach autistic kids. That would be really hard! But if the 5-year-old can’t sit at his desk and quietly do his school work for 6 hours a day, he needs drugs. If your kid is daydreaming, we need to get him on drugs. If he’s laser-focused and suddenly starts rocking back and forth and jumps when someone touches him, he needs drugs.

All the genius detectives out there are slightly autistic or OCD or Sociopaths. If there are as many genius villains out there, YOU WILL NEVER CATCH THEM! They’re all smarter than you are! And yet…since we don’t want ADHD kids or Autistic kids in school, we try to drug the ADHD kids to focus more and the Autistic kids to focus less. They’re the anomalies. But remember how I once said that there is no normal? Where do you draw the line? Well, in the Normal Curve, 68.27% of people should be considered normal, about 14% are above normal and below normal, and the tiniest sliver (2%) are genius-level and way below normal. Kids are expected to act autistic and not be autistic, and Autistic kids have to learn to act ADHD to keep from being ostracized by “normal” people.

According to APA (American Psychiatric Association) the number of kids who are ADHD is in the 5% range, but the CDC puts it at 11%. The number of geniuses is about 1-2%, but they don’t know for sure because geniuses are ostracized and bullied and ignored by teachers because nobody knows what to do with them. There should be about 6 million geniuses in the US. How many do we know about?

I have had to work with a variety of students…from painfully shy and withdrawn to bouncing off the walls, from IQs of 60 to IQs of 140, from painfully dull to technicolor imaginations. Everyone learns differently, and yet, I haven’t run into a single person that couldn’t be taught.

I’m teaching 2 brothers. One is 8 and has been taking lessons for 4 years, and his little brother is almost 5 and just starting. The older one has a laser focus but only for a short time. But he didn’t use to be able to finish a song during his lessons. He would stop in the middle and ask me if all the planets were round. He’d stop on the next to the last note of the song and have to tell me what he learned in his history lesson. He plays Beethoven now. The younger one believes that any note that he plays with his thumb is a C. Each note in his book has a weird-looking alien that represents it. The green alien is C, the Blue is B, the Red is F. He remembers all their names but not the names of the notes on the page. He doesn’t focus on position, he focuses on color and facial expressions. Do I teach him using the alien method? No, but he will remember the aliens long after I’ve finished teaching him in 20 years. He will learn auditorially faster than visually. His ability to focus will get better and he will be able to focus for longer periods of time.

I have another student that will sit down to practice 15 min every day, and find that 2 hours have gone by. He’s always surprised that he’s lost time. See? I am glad I have these students on a one on one basis rather than sitting like little dolls on boxes. We don’t want to teach them to be JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER LITTLE KID. Because there is no “normal” type of behavior. We don’t want them medicated to act like “normal” kids because that is impossible. Enjoy them just the way they are. Why? Because that kid you bully may be the next serial killer, and he’s coming after you first.

Well that didn’t go as planned

You wake up and think, I haven’t worn that green outfit for a while. I have just the necklace and rings for it. Oh and these shoes! Yup. That’s what I’ll wear to work today.

You get to work and do your on-air make-up and the cameraman says, “Well this ought to be interesting…” The director says nothing. You review the latest data and check the monitors. You run a cursory practice on the motions for your part. The music starts. Camera 1 is showing anchor 1, Camera 2 is on anchor 2, Camera 1 picks up the Sports reporter. Camera 2 shifts to you, and you hear an involuntary snicker from the camera crew.

“It’s five minutes after the hour. In today’s weather, we can expect sunny skies and temperatures hovering around the 70-degree mark. More in our forecast later.”

“In the top of the news…” Anchor 1 describes the horror and the violence on the screen and you un-mike and go to your chair. The director motions you over.

“Ahem, you’re wearing a green dress.”

“? Nice of you to notice.”

“You’re wearing a GREEN dress…”

“? And? *beat, beat* Oh crap!”

“You have anything else?”

“Nope.”

“No scarf? a table cloth toga perhaps?”

“Let me check my purse…Nope”

“Don’t get smart with me.”

“I’m the weather girl, isn’t that impossible?”

“We will be the laughing stock because of this. What are you going to do about this?”

Improvise…

Anchor 2 is talking about cute puppies and school science fairs. She hates her stories. She wants to be Anchor 1. She has a journalism degree, but she’s not pretty enough to sit in the Anchor 1 chair. She hates that Anchor 1 has more hairspray in his hair than she does. She despises him because he can’t pronounce the names of the countries or their leaders without help. She shudders at his condescending smile when he finishes the hard news and passes the baton to her. She finishes her stories and Anchor 1 lets everyone know what’s coming up after the break. She looks at you and she sees what’s going to happen, and starts grinning. Anchor 1 hasn’t picked up on it yet. She motions you to come over and you do.

“You could go viral with this. You could tell the dirtiest jokes you could think of and now they’d be hilarious because you’d be invisible!”

You start to smile. You know exactly what to do.

You go to the snack table and take the fruit tray. You empty the fruit onto plates and carry it surreptitiously to your station. Anchor 2 is trying not to laugh.

“Welcome back,” says Anchor 1 showing his best side and gleaming teeth. “What do we have in store for us over the weekend, Brandy?”

You hold the tray up just under your chin. It looks like you’re a talking head on a platter. “It’s Mandy…and I thought I would give you a heads up about the storm coming in.”

Anchor 2 giggles.

Anchor 1 is confused. He’s not looking at the monitor. The sound man mutes the mikes. “What’s going on?” he says under his breath. Anchor 2 giggles again.

You float your head over to the national map. But you stoop so you seem lower. Leaving the tray in the same place, you stand up so it looks like your head is flying up into the air. “The temperatures here in the Florida region are going to soar when that low front comes in.” Your hand magically appears in the middle of the country. “But this high front will be coming in soon indicating storms and possibly some twisters.” You do a pirouette that makes your head look like it’s spinning. You move to the middle of the map facing the Pacific. “We have a big storm building up behind the Rockies” (coinciding where your boobs would be if anyone could see them) “and that could impact the Appalachian area in 3-4 days,” you say facing the Atlantic and the corresponding mountains strategically placed. The cameramen are almost crying. Anchor 1 is now staring in disbelief at the monitor. Camera 1 briefly cuts to Anchor 1 for his reaction and catches him with the dumbest look on his face. Back to Camera 2.

Your head looks down. “Meanwhile, down in the gulf…” Howls of laughter from the camera crew. The director has tears in his eyes and though he’s motioning wildly to go to commercial, no one is paying attention. “Warm, moist air is coming into the lower regions of the country bringing some possibilities of earth-shaking activity.” You close your eyes and bounce on your toes. You clear your throat and continue. “So if you hear lots of noise to your south, don’t lose your heads. Back to you!”

Camera 1 on Anchor 1:  Stunned silence

Camera 1 switches to Anchor 2: Her head is buried in her hands as she laughs uncontrollably.

Camera 1 switches to Anchor 1: Still stunned silence

Cut to commercial.

 

 

 

Is it just me?

Monk, Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Reid, Dr. Brennan. All crime show detectives. All brilliant.

Penelope Garcia, Abby Sciuto, Felicity Smoak, Skye. All FEMALE Computer hackers. All brilliant.

Now. Find something normal about them.

Do you see? You cannot be brilliant and have a normal social life. You cannot be brilliant and not be a bit autistic or OCD or borderline Schizophrenic. All these common traits in brilliant people on TV and in Movies are exaggerated in order to make normal people feel better about themselves? Whatever for?

Why are we still doing Mad Scientists?

Why can’t brilliant people be charming and suave and debonaire? Why can’t child prodigies have a normal social life?

Ever since Mary Shelly wrote Frankenstein’s Monster, the mad scientist has been codified.

  • Every brilliant person is quirky
  • No brilliant person can make friends
  • No brilliant person ever works as hard as the rest of us
  • Every brilliant person is a braggart
  • Every brilliant person has a huge vocabulary and no emotions
  • Every brilliant person is socially awkward
  • Every brilliant person knows they’re the smartest person in the room
  • Every brilliant person listens to nothing but classical music

They are emotionally immature. They are not empathetic. They prefer to be alone.

Now add to that the fact that smart people are mistrusted, avoided, and ridiculed for their entire time in school. Then, to make things worse, the abuse doesn’t stop after school. They are called names, and patronized, and categorized as “other-than-normal”.

I understand why you’re more likely to find an EVIL genius than an ANGELIC genius. The tree in Eden was called the Tree of Knowledge…but it was the knowledge of good and evil and people never add that last part. Wouldn’t you, if you had been treated as an anomaly, as a freak, as some sort of alien all your life, want some sweet revenge? Use technology beyond mortal understanding! Be the master of the ultra-long con! And yet the evil geniuses that became serial killers preyed on women and girls mostly. They didn’t take over the world, did they?

Who did? CEOs, Judges, Senators (?!), Members of the House of Representatives, and the rich (read billionaires, not millionaires). The extremely smart represent 1% of the population. If the population was evenly represented, 1% of the homeless would be extremely smart, 1% of the blue-collar workers, 1% of the athletes…you see? But this is not the case. If it were, then 1% of the CEOs would be at the 130-140 level and that is a shocking 38% instead. 1% of billionaires would be brilliant, and yet 45% of them are. The Senate has 41% brilliant members, and the House–20%. How can this be? They don’t fit into the category of geniuses and brilliant people. Those types are supposed to be geeky, autistic, OCD, quirky people. How could they make friends? How could they possibly get elected? Shouldn’t the people in power be the alpha dogs? The emotionally intelligent, type A personalities with tons of charisma and 1000s of FaceBook friends? They’re not.

I was always told that “A” students work for “C” students. Not in 38% of the cases… If the brightest people only make up 1% of the population, why are there 38 times more CEOs in the 1% than there are supposed to be? We’d have to do some regression analysis, but I’d say that there’s a significant correlation between intelligence and the CEO position. It’s the same for Judges. I challenge you to find a judge or a CEO that acts like Sherlock or Monk or Reid or Brennan. 

Quit putting brilliant people into the “weird” box. Quit assuming that brilliant people have no social skills. Quit bullying them because you know what? When your case comes up in front of THAT judge, you’re going to go down. If you want the best lawyer, you’d better remember if he’s the one you stole lunch money from. When you’re having that heart attack, remember how you treated your surgeon in 6th grade. Remember that Senator or Representative you made fun of in high school may not actually represent YOU. That dorky kid in the business class may become your boss in 10 years. That computer geek may be running your portfolio for your retirement.

The rest of us? The ones with IQs of 95-105? You’re more likely to find a serial killer in the 85-95 range than one in the upper levels, although they do happen. Less than 1% of the serial killers are above 130. So if you make fun of the slow guy in the class, you may find yourself in a dark alley with Tim Curry holding a garrote.

Prince of Darkness (Criminal Minds) | Villains Wiki | Fandom

A whole new world?

You have that song in your head now, don’t you! It screams adventure and excitement! Something new and amazing. What if, after this scare, you come out to a whole different, older world?

Think about it for a second.

When I first started working at Primerica, I was anxious to succeed. I knew that I would be able to help people by changing their perceptions of money and give them power over things that most people assume are beyond their control. They could choose their futures. All they needed were tools that would be simple enough to use and flexible enough to react to any circumstance. I saw the differences in my clients’ outlook on their futures. I saw the difference these tools made in my life. Enthusiastic? YES!

But…

The environment was completely different. There was the pounding football-rally-like music. There were high fives and all these people grinning like idiots. I was really uncomfortable. I would come home from training exhausted and drained. We had 2-day builder’s schools with an emotional element and an intellectual element…sales and products. The hardest part of the business was the team-building. You had to attract good team members because there were so many hopeless people that needed our help. These were people in pain. They were confined to a job that paid them just enough to keep them and not enough for them to realize their dreams. Their perceptions were grim: work until you die. You worked to live, and you had no life. There was no time for family, for travel, for education and experiences. There was not enough money to satisfy all the needs of the family: the weddings, the funerals, the vacations, the home of their dreams. We gave people those options that they couldn’t get anywhere else. They were surrounded by people that criticized them, who abused them, who sucked the joy right out of them. So when these people came to these meetings, they wanted joy and camaraderie. They wanted to think they could grab that brass ring. They needed hope. These meetings and builder’s schools provided that. After going to these things for years, I gradually became immune to “hug and high-five” cooties.

I hugged my kids and my husband and my parents. The first time I hugged my brothers was probably at my mom’s funeral in 1990, and I wasn’t in the company then. I wouldn’t hug friends. I didn’t have all that many. Then, when I started as a rep for the company,  I submitted to all the hugs and high-fives biweekly. It was really uncomfortable at first. There were a few of us that did the Spock high-five: it’s where you hold your hand in the traditional Vulcan greeting but DON’T TOUCH! You could do that across the room! Ahhh! Loophole! Before quarantine, I got to be OK with this touching after working with the company since 2001. 19 years it took me to get used to hugging and high-fiving. 19 years to be able to see and understand the pain of the people I worked with. 19 years caring and wanting to help people and grasping the emotional side of the tools I offered.

I am a Toastmaster and we shake hands multiple times during the meetings, and that didn’t feel weird. I am in Bible Study Fellowship and we hug each other and pray for each other, but that didn’t seem weird. I had arrived! And it was all due to this business I was in.

But now…

I still hug my husband and son. I don’t have access to my other kids or my grandkids. I don’t see my friends except in zoom meetings. Toastmasters has online meetings. Bible study and church are online.  I’ve become more comfortable in my isolation. I don’t have to have physical contact to “feel close” to those people anymore. Even Primerica is having virtual meetings.

What if it takes me another 20 years to get used to the physical touch again? I actually had to suppress shivers at first when I hugged someone. I wouldn’t get into crowded places if I could avoid it. I preferred sitting in my room with a book, or watching TV, or writing on the computer. Most people’s personal space is about 1 foot. Mine is about a mile. I hated talking with people that felt they had to touch you to talk to you. Joe Biden would drive me absolutely insane. I had one friend who was rather round, and when he talked to you sometimes he spat, and he was always bumping you with his big belly. His personal space was about 3 inches. I dreaded talking to him at church.

I know that this seems a bit frivolous, and you might even be laughing now. I am not. I guess it doesn’t make sense to project my future behavior. Many others may be reluctant to get as physically close as we used to because we’ve trained ourselves in fear for this time. It’s just a niggling thing in the back of my mind that I don’t have to worry about right now as the quarantine doesn’t look like it will be lifted any time soon. However…I hope my brand new world will be less intimidating than the world I enjoy now–isolation, quiet, freedom to be myself in all my weirdness.

Not as hard as I thought

Yup…I gave up Face Book for Lent. *Pats self on back*

It was so easy! I had no desire to scroll for 4 hours like I was doing just last week. I just didn’t log on. What kind of sacrifice is that? I nailed it!  I’m so awesome.

Then, *dat dat DAHHHHH* my Daughter sent pictures of my grandson running around, and my Son sent pictures of “leap day” where his kids leaped on him.  Ok, I looked at the Face Book and then got off. Just a minor infraction. Then I was notified that a friend of mine needed some advice regarding money. I never turn those down! The evil thing kept drawing me back into its warm embrace. Like the warm embrace of a boa constrictor.

I also gave up phone games for Lent. I had introduced this word stack game to my husband and though I was technically not playing, I was giving him hints on his puzzle. That doesn’t count does it?

That’s the thing with temptations. You don’t suddenly find a knife in your hand and a victim with a target on his chest. It’s a gradual move. One step at a time.

I was watching NCIS and Gibbs and McGee were being held captive. The only thing the captor wanted was Gibbs’ birthday. He was not asking for state secrets. He wasn’t asking him to bomb the pentagon or assassinate some head of state. He just wanted Gibbs’ birthday. In fact, he didn’t even want the truth, he just wanted Gibbs to talk to him and give him some information and get him used to doing that. If Gibbs refused, he’d beat him or waterboard him. For a birth date?! Yup. But all Gibbs had to do was take that one minuscule step and gradually, he’d be drawn into the traitors camp.

There was a story about a guy held captive and was beaten and tortured and starved to get information and he didn’t give it up. He was in bad shape. Then the new officer came in, cleaned him up and played chess with him and asked him nothing. They just talked. He then came in and asked advice, “What would you do if the Russians did this?” Not long after that, the captive realized he’d just given a master class on US tactics to his enemy.

On a good note, my phone usage is down 89% since last week. Games went from 60% of my usage to 4%. Social networking went from 20% to 2%. It’s hard not to grab it when I’m not engaging with someone.

So yeah, it’s harder than I thought because it’s sneakier than I thought.