(December 2005) This report of federal marshalls shooting a bipolar air traveler really disturbs me. I keep picturing my mother off her meds and running in terror from the marshalls, and I know exactly how his poor wife must have felt as she ran behind her husband, trying desperately to calm him down.
Barbria’s bipolar father was in a similar situation. Before 9/11, she got a call from Miami letting her know that he had barricaded himself in a hotel room, where he set his pillow on fire and was screaming that he had a bomb and would blow the whole freakin’ town up.
The cops somehow figured out that he was mentally ill and needed his meds though, and they managed to cart him off to an asylum instead of killing him.
It still amazes us both that they didn’t just shoot him.
And I know that the federal marshalls were probably following routine post-9/11 protocol, but this story really breaks my heart.
And now I’ll end this depressing observation with a quote from the dead man’s 11-year-old niece, who describes her uncle this way:
If I caught lizards and accidentally killed one, he would almost be kind of sad. He would say, ‘What if that happened to you?”
Meanwhile, Christina Hopkinson’s debut novel IZOBEL BRANNIGAN.COM is about a woman who Googles herself and discovers that someone created a website about her that depicts her as leading a fabulous, extraordinary life.
As a joke, my ex Mud once created an alter ego for her best friend, who bought the prank for a while and e-mailed all of her friends in fascination. Her alter ego was a kindergarten teacher in rural Ohio who collected Precious Memory trinkets and glass unicorns and taught Sunday School at a Methodist church and read Harlequin romances in her spare time. Her favorite TV shows were Wheel of Fortune, General Hospital, Little House on the Prairie, and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and she had an extensive collection of Broadway musical LPs that she liked to sing along to as she washed the dinner dishes.
(We had so much fun creating that composite.)
In a similar vein, my pal Tuscaloosa created an Internet alter-ego named The Scourge of the Piedmont. She’s incredibly witty and Scourge was famous in local dyke chat rooms for a while. In fact, we were once chatting at a party and a woman referred to some witty tidbit that Scourge had said online that very morning.
Mud spent most of her spare time participating in live-action role-playing (LARP) games in which she created characters who have specific traits and specific flaws. The LARPers weave an imaginary world and their characters behave in accordance with the attributes they choose for them.
These virtual worlds have specific norms and customs that LARPers also create for each game . . . and boy do they have some elaborate costumes!
Then there’s always the Sims.
Those kinds of games bore me really fast (although the sociological implications are fascinating). I am also fascinated by the notion of creating yourself whole cloth and wonder if keeping a blog somehow satisfies that urge in me.
It certainly gives me a place to contemplate and vent and process and ponder my failings and be at least occasionally creative, but I nevertheless choose what I do and do not reveal here; I present myself in a very particular kind of light.
Plus, you never know, I could be a 350-pound straight man who lives in his mother’s basement with 22 lab rats and a extensive medieval sword collection and I might just get off fantasizing about lesbians. Stranger things have been known to happen.
(I’m not him though. I'm just little ol’ dyketastic me.)
BEST OF SPAM: You need this wall (thanks but I’ve got too damn many of my own already erected).