Ahhh, the PCP story. Not my finest moment but funny none-the-less.
I’ve always been socially withdrawn and fairly misanthropic. Just the tedium and monotony of partying, people constantly trying to get laid and then doing it all over again bored the hell out of me. I socialized but with the group of friends I knew. I was a classic wallflower but I wasn’t before that. I was a serious consumer of all things alcohol and plenty of other illicit substances and when I woke up naked in a bathtub in some person’s house that I didn’t know…for the second time, I started to get tired of it. And then, one night in a pool hall, when I was 15, someone gave me a joint. I, of course, took it, but…didn’t know it was laced with PCP.
It was just after midnight and I was behind the Neon Palace, in the dumpster lane, with trash and red solo cups and shit just everywhere, pants around my ankles in my boxers, no idea where my shirt and jacket were. I was screaming bloody murder and doing this duck waddle/run back and forth begging for someone to let me in because it was going to kill me. It was a 20 foot tall polar bear, blood dripping out of his mouth, I thought one of my arms was amputated and he was right on top of me.
My deadbeat friends were at the doorway laughing like it was the funniest damn thing anyone had ever said or done. They dragged me in and I blacked out. Next afternoon I woke up with a massive headache and the first thing I did was check for my arm, which was obviously still there. Later they explained that I wasn’t screaming about a polar bear at all but that I was Batman and that I was stuck in my batsuit and I had wrecked batmobile behind the Walmart in Baltimore. I wasn’t in Baltimore, I was in Redding, CA. I’ve never even been to Baltimore but I was totally freaking out because Willie Nelson and Forrest Gump were on their way to the FBI to tell them I was Batman and I was panicking, trying to get my batsuit off before they could find me, so, I’m screaming at them about getting this armored rubber suit off but in reality I was just getting naked.
Then I was trying to climb into the big green dumpster to hide from Forrest Gump but I couldn’t get in because my pants and boxer shorts were around my ankles. But, what was actually going through my warped little brain was this massive polar bear that was trying to murder me and despite pleading with my friends to help, they were just laughing at me.
I have no recollection of how I got home or who brought me home. The most embarrassing part? Having to explain to my Mother why I was sleeping naked with my sneakers on.
15 years old and it just fucked me up and I stopped drinking and smoking stuff. Until the next year when one of my friend’s talked me into speed and scotch and I got busted for burglary. I don’t remember any of it but served several months. When I got out, I withdrew from it all. Then it turned really dark and really gruesome. Our center, our core, the friend we all turned to for love and laughter and comfort killed himself on Christmas Eve. A year later, another of us overdosed on heroin.
And just like that…it was…over.
Never do PCP! You’re gonna have a bad time. I can’t fathom why people intentionally do it!
So, when I turned 20, I started playing games on a website for shits and giggles. I began talking to a woman on there and things escalated pretty quickly. Now, my first red flag should have been that she lied about her age and was twice as old as I was but that didn’t matter to me because here was this older, beautiful woman who was totally interested in me and heaping all of this attention on me and so when I turned 21 we began planning a trip to meet up with each other.
Both of us flew to Orlando to meet before going to Ormond Beach where she had a condo. So we meet up, grab a bag of liquor and head out. The first night we were just tired and slept but the next day the weather was okay, overcast and rainy but we were sloshed and wanted to go swimming. It was windy and grey but we did our swimming thing for a while until she wanted to come out and sit for awhile.
I stayed in the water. It was at this point that I noticed I was in water so deep I couldn’t touch the bottom. So, I’m floating on my back and she’s just a little dot when behind me, this splattering rang out. I started treading and turned around. About a foot away were all of these small fish. Some were medium sized mullet breaching the water. It was kind of cool watching them but they were getting closer and closer until they were jumping all around me, some of them hitting me in the chest and face but then they just moved on and I started floating again.
A minute goes by and I hear this splash behind me. Harder than the little fish, bigger. I turned and saw nothing but when I turned around to face the shore a huge splash happened to my left and in front of me cruised a dorsal fin, about 9-10 inches tall with a black tip. I froze and it went under to my right as it curved around me.
I immediately start swimming toward shore when this massive splash happens in front of me and this time I saw its body all the way back to the caudal fin. It was definitely a shark and probably about 7-8 feet long too. I stop swimming as fiercely and start creeping forward.
And that’s when I felt the huge thud into my left thigh. It was rough like sandpaper as it slid across my leg. I then surfaced and circled me again but I didn’t panic. I slowly went back to floating on my back and started stroking forward to the shore. As I got to where I could stand, the water was still up to my neck and the shark surfaced again. Now I started to move with urgency because the shark was tracking me. It was stalking me. Getting closer to me, inch by inch at first. Inches became feet.
As I got to shoulder level water, my legs were swept from under me by a rip current. I tumbled in a cartwheel and I knew to just ride it out but I was being pummeled with a shark nearby. The rip current dragged me all the way to the shore and I came to rest right by a Horseshoe Crab. I was pissed at the current so I stood and yelled “Fuck you!!” at the ocean just as a huge wave crashed into me, breaking my nose. I had been swept a quarter of a mile down the beach by the current and had to stagger all the way back to her and she had no clue that I had just gotten really lucky. Although, in retrospect, the river of blood pouring out of my nose was probably more jarring and alarming.
So, after I went back home, I was watching the news and they were doing helicopter fly-overs that showed thousands, and I mean thousands of sharks swimming right where I had been swimming. In fact, experts named that summer the “Summer of the Shark” because of all of the attacks. And, to top it all off, there was a major tropical storm to the southeast of us at the time.
My own personal Perfect Storm.
I had a friend who was a Marine Biologist and she said the only reason that shark didn’t bite and tear me apart was because I was too drunk and they apparently don’t like the smell of alcohol and so it moved on.
This is the only time in my life where being drunk actually saved my ass.
I’ve noticed something during the COVID-19 Pandemic. I’ve notice just how many brilliant and talented Nurses, Scientists and Doctors here in America are from Mexico, Asia, India and myriad Middle Eastern countries, as well as numerous other regions.
And a thought burst in my head…
This country is full of hatred, vitriol and rage right now. Especially toward immigrants, namely those of LatinX and Middle Eastern ethnicities. Now, it’s fine if you want to waste your days on this neon globe filled with hatred of other humans because their square on the paint swatch doesn’t match yours but what if??
What if you need life-saving surgery one day and when you come out of anesthesia, the name of your Surgeon or Doctor or Nurse is Almasi or Said or Haddad? What if their last name is Nguyen or Furukawa or Xiong? What if their last names is Bhavsar or Chakrabarti or Ramanathan? What if their last name is Altamirano or Landaverde or Sepulveda?
This Surgeon/Doctor/Nurse just A) kept you alive, B) saved your life and C) helped you heal.
Are you going to seriously hate them then? And, if so, how can you hate a person that cared enough about you to spend their time, energy and emotions, someone who bled, poured sweat and maybe even cried to keep your hateful carcass alive and breathing?
There are plenty of things to hate Dear Dreadful Sir or Madam. Deforestation. Koalas burning alive. Black people having their homes raided and then murdered for it. Black people having their necks crushed for a bad check. Allowing half a million people to die because you were born with your umbilical cord wrapped around your orange neck.
Hating a person because of their skin color…I’m going to say it. It’s fucking retarded. It’s something someone with only one lobe of their brain working would do. Ignorance is not a virtue. Judge a person not for being a different color, not for being LGBTQ, not for contemplating or even having an abortion, no, judge them for the character behind their actions. Judge them for the words they say.
The online purge of far-right figures and platforms that followed last week’s Capitol insurrection looks to be driving radicalized users into darker corners of the internet.
What’s happening: Downloads have surged for messaging apps that are securely encrypted or designed to cater specifically to the ultra-conservative user.
Why it matters: Monitoring and curbing chatter that can spark real-world violence is even harder on private and ephemeral platforms than in more public forums.
Driving the news: After Twitter and Facebook shut down Trump’s accounts, many other services and providers pulled the plug on organizations and forums that supported or served as organizing centers for the Capitol attack.
The closing of far-right-friendly social network Parler after Apple, Google and Amazon withdrew service drove some users to look for alternatives that commit to not policing right-wing content.
More neutral communication platforms like chat app Telegram and encrypted messaging platform Signal are also seeing a major spike in downloads and usage.
Between the lines: Other factors also drove Telegram and Signal’s numbers.
But experts say far-right users are undeniably flocking to those platforms, where they can in some cases communicate in total secrecy.
“It’s absolutely concerning,” said Dipayan Ghosh, a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. “And it was only to be expected that extremists pushed off of the mainstream social media platforms would move to end-to-end encrypted messaging platforms.”
By the numbers … According to Apptopia data provided to Axios:
Downloads of Rumble, the right’s answer to YouTube, more than doubled in the last week.
MeWe, something of a conservative Facebook, more than tripled.
CloutHub, which resembles a combination of Facebook and Twitter, more than quintupled.
Downloads of Telegram, meanwhile, more than doubled, while Signal downloads by Jan. 10 were nearly 8x what they were on Jan. 5.
And Telegram channels dedicated to far-right causes are filling up. One notable QAnon group had 35,000 members by the morning of Jan. 11, a sharp increase from just a few weeks ago, said Marc-André Argentino, a researcher who studies QAnon and other extremist movements.
Be smart: Platforms dedicated to serving the far right pose tough challenges for those seeking to stem the tide of misinformation and violence-inciting rhetoric.
The firms behind them reject even the spotty commitment that mainstream platforms showed to combating harmful content.
Law enforcement was already ill prepared to respond to the rhetoric that circulated openly online ahead of the Capitol siege. A far more factionalized social media landscape would further hamper their efforts.
Yes, but: Mainstream messaging platforms like Signal and Telegram could be the bigger problem, for two key reasons:
1. They’re more sophisticated compared with the bootstrap platforms that serve the far-right audience.
Gab, a right-wing social network, groaned under the increased traffic that followed Parler’s disappearance and spent the following days mostly failing to load.
Parler users unwittingly exposed identifying data in content that they’d uploaded to the site and that was easily accessed and downloaded en masse before Parler went down.
Telegram and Signal are far more stable and secure and could prove more enduring homes and recruitment stations for far-right groups.
2. They can become radicalization pipelines, with groups pushing people to further extremes away from the public eye.
On Telegram, Argentino says, open channels serve as a recruiting ground for violent extremists to target new recruits, then shift to more private avenues.
What’s next: Despite its troubles, Parler is already showing signs of new life.
It switched its domain registration Monday to Epik, a provider that has in the past revived other digital havens of the far right, including Gab, 8chan and neo-Nazi site the Daily Stormer.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to add a reference to recent WhatsApp policy changes.
I was alerted to this product your store has for sale by a dear friend of mine. She is Jewish. Her Parents are Jewish and her Grandparents are Jewish. Her Grandfather spent almost three years in a forced labor internment camp during the Holocaust. Both of his Brothers, his Uncle and his 11 year old Sister were murdered by the Nazis during those three years. His 11 year old sister was beaten with iron rods and pistol whipped as well as raped repeatedly before dying of starvation. Her Grandfather’s Brothers were forced to dig graves while sick with pneumonia before being shot in the backs of their heads. His Uncle was thrown into an incinerator alive.
The Allied Forces arrived just days before her Grandfather would have died of illness. They rescued the remaining prisoners, nursed them back to health and brought them to America.
I’m not Jewish but I have spent hours listening to the horrific stories told by her Grandparents and selling a shirt like this is not only cruel, inhumane and sadistic, it advocates genocide and it disgusts me. Now, I don’t run your business but I will never buy anything from you. Selling an item like this is not a mistake, it doesn’t just slip by quality control. Someone chose to manufacture and sell this hateful garment that isn’t worthy of wiping one’s ass.
I’m not going to urge you to pull it or stop selling it because you made the choice to do so in the first place and that speaks louder than any copy and paste form-letter faux-outrage response pulling it would evoke from you.
Others will bash you, call you names and insult you but anyone who chooses to profit off of the horrendously vile deaths of innocent humans, well, I wouldn’t be able to insult you better than Mother Nature already has. I hope the money you’ve made will soothe what conscience you clearly have so very little of.