Wrong Place, Wrong Time

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Wrong place, wrong time. Words so often used they’ve become cliche. We don’t think about them very much when we hear them on a TV broadcast, or read them in some random article in a newspaper or on a website. All we know when encountering them is that something bad happened to someone. A freak accident. A fatal encounter. Whatever.

It wasn’t until David was murdered that it came to me that they are probably four of the most horrific words ever. Four words used to describe a life snipped short, in some fashion, usually thanks to a horrific confluence of circumstances. And to the rest of the world, thats the summation of a life: wrong place, wrong time. The person becomes subsumed into the event that ended their life, meaning their life, in some ways, becomes lost in the mix.

David was out on his usual Sunday evening walk. Where he lived was the type of place you’d expect that you could walk in safety from anything that could possibly fall under “wrong place, wrong time.” But that night, he crossed paths with a kid named Byron. A kid who decided he wanted to rob David of his cell phone.  And so Byron decided to try and take David’s cell phone.

According to the police, David successfully fended off Byron. And, for the briefest of moments, that may have been it. But, David used that same phone to call the police, while Byron was still in his general vicinity. That’s when Byron pulled out a gun and shot David once, in the chest. And that was that.

Snitches get stitches, don’t you see.

The man who I had grown to love and cherish as a friend, bleeding out on a cold Seattle street. The man who had married my friend Kim and loved her to death, who had raised her son as his own, left to die like a fucking animal all because a punk ass fucking kid decided to throw a tantrum.

There’s something else hidden in those four words: wrong place, wrong time. This hidden aspect is the acknowledgement of the monstrous randomness of this universe. Shit happens, there’s no rhyme or reason, other than the simple fact that entropy is the law of the universe.

But we just forget that, all too often.

I was no stranger to death before David was murdered. It started when I was a teenager, and the man I admired the most, who I looked up to with something approaching reverence, my uncle, committed suicide while he sat in a bathtub in his house in Palm Springs. He attempted to shoot himself in the head, but it appeared that instead he either jerked when he pulled the trigger or the recoil from the gun made him essentially miss.  Rick suffered a glancing shot to his head that left him unconscious. He slipped forward into the water and drowned.

My lasting memory of my first encounter with death and horrible randomness is sun shining off snow, a blindingly bright day on which to first have my life stained by the shadow of death.

From there, I lost grandparents to cancer and alzheimers and old age. That kind of death is painful, but manageable, able to easily be comprehended, at least. Even my Uncle’s suicide could be understood, to some extent.

But then, beautiful Ruby was killed by a drunk driver on an icy Alaskan road. One of the sweetest souls I ever knew taken at 28, and her killer served only 90 days in jail. Alaska doesn’t have a vehicular manslaughter law, so the most she could be charged with was DUI.

This fuckin world.

Ruby was followed a couple of years later by my friend Patrick and cousin Randi. Both were wiped out by OD’s, Pat by a heroin overdose, Randi by a mix of opiates and xanax knock-offs. Pat’s junkie friends dumped him on the curb in front of a hospital like a fucking garbage bag, but it was too late. Fucking pussies.

Randi was found in time, and was kept alive on a respirator for a few days. But there was no coming back for her and my aunt and uncle had to make the most tragic of all decisions.

All this is to say Death and I are old friends, and I thought he had served me with almost every possible variety. I knew how to deal with death, how to accept it in what I thought was a wide spectrum of circumstances. But David’s death…I couldn’t cope. My mind could not, can not, wrap itself around the fact that my friend was fucking murdered for something as trivial as a cell phone.

My friend, essentially dissolved into an ocean of crime statistics. Reduced to a number in an official record somewhere at police headquarters. One of the however many that would make up some police bureaucrat’s PowerPoint presentation to a city council meeting, someday.

Speaking of statistics, David’s death was an outlier in every respect. Fatal interpersonal violence that crosses racial lines is on the far edges of the distribution curve..Taleb’s Black Swan event. Monstrous randomness.

Wrong place, wrong time. Four little words that encompass an incredible series of events dating back for however long you want to take it, to bring about things that shatter human lives, scattering those lives like so many leaves in the wind.

What does one do in the face of such monstrous randomness?

I….I got angry. I got angry every time I’d hear the break in Kim’s voice when she would talk about David afterwards. I got angry every time she’d mention him in the present tense still, knowing it meant she was hurting so fucking badly because her mind simply couldn’t comprehend what had happened to the love of her life.

I got angry every time I remembered the feel of Kim’s body next to mine, the feel of her hand, the first time we saw Byron walk into the courtroom. Her hand crushing mine, her whole body shaking violently, almost uncontrollably.

I got angry every time I remembered the late night text Kim sent me with a recording of David’s last voicemail to her. My friend, her husband, reduced to a few brief seconds of audio, becoming a ghost in a machine, thanks to the horrible, terrifying randomness of this plane of existence.

I got angry at this filthy, decadent world that barely noticed the death of a good man. I would burn it all down, just for the chance, the fucking chance, to give David back to Kim. And I got even angrier because I knew I never could.

I got angry because I could see the smallest of smirks on Byron’s face sometimes when we’d see him in his so far interminable court hearings. I got angry that it seemed as though the few extra officers from the prison would accompany him to the courtroom, and set themselves up around him, fucking seemingly protecting him.

I got angry that I knew my daydreams of rushing forward suddenly and bashing his head into the table, and then trying to gouge his eyes out, would accomplish very little. And besides, like I just said, they were fucking protecting the scumbag.

I got angry that I had to watch Kim try and rebuild her life at a time where she and David were meant to be sailing towards the final part of their happily ever after. I got angry as I had to watch her frantically search for any man who could match the man David was, a particularly difficult thing in this vacuous and decadent time.

I got angry because suddenly I became a horrible person to people I have known and loved for half my life, if not more, at this point. I got angry that my friend was dead, his widow barely holding on, and I was somehow the asshole for talking loudly about what our sampling of the universe tells us about who kills whom most often.

I couldn’t help it. The shock to my concsiousness brought about by my encounter with monstrous randomness and its particular vehicle as far as David’s death was concerned was as strong as any LSD you could take. It felt like cold water had been poured over every ounce of my being, my perception altered to see everything in hard, sharp, glittering lines. The world was now full of constant threat, and my mind had shifted itself to perceive things in terms of friend, foe or neutral.

There are predators and prey, and if you try and pretty it up any other way, well then, you’re just deceiving yourself and increasing the risk to yourself all in one go. And like I said earlier, I got angry that somehow I was the asshole for talking about who was most often the predator and the prey anymore, at least here in these good ole United States of America.

Wrong place, wrong time. We hear these words all the time, but rarely think about what they truly represent: the monstrous randomness which governs our lives, no matter how much we might like to think otherwise. Able to strike with devastating and deadly effectiveness. And there’s not a fucking thing we can do about it.

Anyways.

She misses you desperately, David.

We all do.

Staring Into a Murderer’s Eyes


It’s been nearly a year since David was murdered, and six months since we were all in court for his killers first court appearance. And so it was with a bit of trepidation that we all headed to court last month for some random legal wrangling between the prosecutors and defense attorneys.

This time was a bit different than the last time we were all in court. For one, there was no glass wall separating the gallery from the actual courtroom itself. The temptation to reach out and punch David’s killer, an 18-year-old black piece of shit named Byron White, was very powerful. Especially after he and I locked eyes for a few brief seconds.

We took our seats on the left side of the courtroom, not knowing that meant we’d have a clear line of sight for White when he entered the courtroom. We waited tensely for a number of minutes until he finally appeared. He entered through a side door, escorted by a jail officer. In that moment, my eyes met his and I finally had the chance to look my friend’s murderer in the eyes.

I’m not sure what I thought I might find there. Considering he was 17 when he murdered David, and 18 now, I thought there might be the slimmest chance that I’d glimpse some sort of humanity in him, some indication that he was a kid who was scared out of his mind. That was not the case, however.

Instead, all I saw was emptiness. The blank stare of a shark or a bear, of a predator. Strangely enough, this was vaguely relieving to me. It confirmed for me what he is, and what many from his group are: lawless, reckless, barely civilized creatures, who use violence to get what they want, and feel little to no remorse for their violence.

The moment passed as he turned his back to us to take his seat with his lawyers. We all noted that he was much larger than when we last saw him, and figured it’s due to the fact that he’s been in fear of his life for almost the entire time he’s been in jail. The threats on his life were credible enough that he’s been removed from general population and now spends his time in segregated confinement, which is actually closer to solitary confinement than you might think. To be honest, it brought a bit of joy to my heart to know this.

I stared into the eyes of my friends murderer, and came away realizing he’s closer to sub-human than human. And he will hopefully spend the majority of his life in a place that treats him as such.

Til next time.

Some Interesting Maps


Oh visualized data, what wonders you can weave… (Maps of where ethnic groups live found here.)

US-Murder-Rtae-map

 

underage1whoarenonwhite

US-Counties-by-Race-Latino-685x458

Where Latinos live in the United States

 

Where African Americans live in the US

Where African Americans live in the US

 

Where Asians live in the US

Where Asians live in the US

where Whites live in the US

where Whites live in the US

 

Curious how violent crime and various groups seem to track together. But what do I know? I’m just some privileged white male asshole.

 

Impressions of My Friend’s Murderer


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I didn’t know what I’d feel, seeing my friend David’s murderer up close and in person. All I knew is that it would likely suck. And it did.

For whatever reason, two things kept running through my head: jesus christ, he’s tiny and skinny. He has that triangular thing that skinny young dudes often have. Wide-ish shoulders narrowing down to a waist that seems impossibly narrow.  I could probably pick him up and break him if I wanted.

And the second part was just trying to process his age: 17. He looks it all the way. My mind reeled a bit, just contemplating that this piece of human garbage has only had 17 years on this world. If not for him, my friend would still be here.

A hot rush of anger and grief swelled through my body. I wanted to reach through that glass and just end him. An eye for an eye.

Anyways, my mind is blank now, and all I feel is pain in my heart.

And it’s all because of this tiny, fucking piece of trash 17-year-old.

…..

The Horror of the Left


As Colonel Kurtz so famously said...The horror...The horror!

As Colonel Kurtz so famously said…The horror…The horror!

 

I have had the distinct pleasure, in the last few days, to discover Radish Magazine. Like all of it’s Dark Enlightenment/Neoreaction counterparts, Radish delivers some searing critique of modernity and the lies that we’ve all been sold to justify, well, the horror that modernity has consistently unleashed upon the world for the better part of two centuries. Radish has a helpful tab titled “Where Do I Start”, which lead me to the issue “Slavery Reconsidered.” It’s an interesting account of what we assume the reality of slavery to have been in the United States, and what the *actual* reality probably was. (Turns out, most everyone was fairly contented with the situation, except for a bunch of people who lived a long ways away).

Regardless, that issue had some of the most horrifying words I’ve ever read, ever, from anyone on the Left.

They belong to Amanda Kijera, who is apparently about as true as a true leftist can get. Anyways, I realize the post these words are coming from are four years old, but again, they are perhaps the most horrifying thing I’ve ever read from the Left. Kijera, you see, went to Haiti shortly after the devastating earthquake in that country in 2010, in an attempt to dispel myths about the rampant violence being committed against women in Haiti, post-earthquake:

Two weeks ago, on a Monday morning, I started to write what I thought was a very clever editorial about violence against women in Haiti. The case, I believed, was being overstated by women’s organizations in need of additional resources. Ever committed to preserving the dignity of Black [sic] men in a world which constantly stereotypes them as violent savages, I viewed this writing as yet one more opportunity to fight “the man” on behalf of my brothers. That night, before I could finish the piece, I was held on a rooftop in Haiti and raped repeatedly by one of the very men who I had spent the bulk of my life advocating for.

It hurt. The experience was almost more than I could bear. I begged him to stop. Afraid he would kill me, I pleaded with him to honor my commitment to Haiti, to him as a brother in the mutual struggle for an end to our common oppression, but to no avail. He didn’t care that I was a Malcolm X scholar. He told me to shut up, and then slapped me in the face. Overpowered, I gave up fighting halfway through the night.

[…]

Black men have every right to the anger they feel in response to their position in the global hierarchy, but their anger is misdirected.

Women are not the source of their oppression; oppressive policies and the as-yet unaddressed white [sic] patriarchy which still dominates the global stage are. Because women—and particularly women of color—are forced to bear the brunt of the Black male response to the Black male plight, the international community and those nations who have benefitted from the oppression of colonized peoples have a responsibility to provide women with the protection that they need.

[…]

I went to Haiti after the earthquake to empower Haitians to self-sufficiency. […] Not once did I envision myself becoming a receptacle [!] for a Black man’s rage at the white world, but that is what I became. While I take issue with my brother’s behavior, I’m grateful for the experience.

This literally is one of the most tragic, and as stated already, terrifying things I’ve ever read coming from the Left. What have you wrought, leftists?

What have you wrought, leftists, when this young woman, so blind with the Cause, was completely unprepared for the attack that occurred to her because your twisted vision of reality made it so? What have you wrought leftists, when this young woman WRITES SHE IS GRATEFUL FOR BEING RAPED. What have you wrought, leftists, that this young woman doesn’t see the perpetrator of her crime as the problem, but rather some mythical white oppression as being the cause?

What have you wrought, leftists, when, as Radish points out, Haiti had gone from a jewel of a colony to the place we know now, the poorest country in a hemisphere? A place where rape was rampant in the wake of a natural disaster, and your true believer wandered into that time and place thinking that *couldn’t* be true, because it must be The Patriarchy, or that White Oppression making people report something awful was happening, rather than it just being a reflection of reality? When the left meets the results of the left. Good times y’all!

As the father of a daughter, I can’t even imagine trying to wrap the idea of my daughter being raped, and learning my daughter  WAS GRATEFUL because of your retarded leftist ideals of the “noble savage” or some ridiculous bullshit.

This is why, more and more, dear leftists, you find people scoffing in your face when you tell them they’re the evil, ignorant, hateful, insensitive, yadda yadda yadda ones anymore. Because more and more, people realize, either from a study of history, or hell, even just paying attention to the currents of thought, like Ms Kijera’s above, that your system is insane. Insane to start with, insane in implementation, and insane in it’s repercussions.

The horror!….The horror!

 

Endless Iterations of Absurdity


ouroboros

 

Bryce Laliberte had a really interesting post last week, “The Structured Ignorance of Progress.” In it, Laliberte points out how the modern structure and it’s keepers are now having to engage in an endless attempt to keep up with the deep inconsistencies that underpin their whole worldview. As Laliberte writes:

What is it to “structure ignorance?” It is to be engaged in the task of endlessly adding epicycles and ad hoc stipulations in order to save the theory from any actual and potential instance of falsification.

The orthodox feminist model, for instance, has an abundance of epicycles required  to save the theory from falsification by available evidence. Whenever a systematic difference in outcome occurs that women happen to be disadvantaged by, the explanation becomes a wieldy narrative about how sexism magically separates the men from the women on the basis of nothing but a simplistic association of skill between sex, and disallows the explanation may have something to do with innate advantages/disadvantages and preferences.

In short, as more heretics come into being against modernity, the keepers of modernity have to stretch even further to maintain a) their ideological dominance and a closely related maintenance b) their ability to position themselves “on the side of the angels” against the forces of evil, as Thomas Sowell likes to put it. As Steve Sailer nicely put it, the forces of the left have had to move from “World War G” (the gay marriage crusade) to “World War T” (the plight of anyone who has a conceptual self identity that begins with “trans”, at least in my mind.)

In this post over at Taki’s Mag, Sailer sums it up succinctly when he writes:  “The problem from a political-correctness standpoint is that the worst abuses of homosexuals in the world today take place in black Africa or the Muslim Middle East. So it would be racist or Islamophobic to go global at the moment.” In short, the left is having to nibble at more and more extremes in order to continue their eternal quest for “social justice”, ie, as the image in this photo conveys, the Left has become an ouroboros, slowly but surely devouring itself.

I call this process “endless iterations of absurdity.” Too many abound on any given day, but I did see something go flashing through my Twitter timeline regarding Jared Leto’s shoutout to the protestors/peoples of Ukraine and Venezuela. A worthy sentiment, as people die in their streets, and, as especially with the Ukraine, developments continue to run apace that have many fearing armed conflict that will expand beyond just a regional tussle.

No no no. Leto’s show of support for people dying in their streets wasn’t good enough, according to The Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead, because Leto didn’t take the time to talk about the plight of “transpeople.” (I’m assuming she felt this criticism was necessary because Leto played a transperson in one of the night’s big winners, Dallas Buyers Club). So there we have it though. An actor giving his support to people *ACTUALLY DYING IN THE STREETS* was *NOT* sufficient. Instead, he should have taken the time to address the concerns and problems of a tiny minority of people whom most of the world’s population will never interact with, affect, or be affected by.

In Winnstead’s own words:

“The movie that he just won the Oscar for, if you talk about an invisible community that needs an advocate, the trans community is there,” Winstead observed. “I wish that he would have taken that time.”

“Not that the Ukraine isn’t awful,” she continued. She added, however, that a more powerful statement from Leto would have been one centered exclusively on the plight of transgendered individuals.

“That, to me, would have been a really awesome moment instead of, ‘I know Ukraine is happening,’” Winstead critiqued.

As I said, endless iterations of absurdity.

 

What Exactly Have We Created Here


My friend David was murdered. The five hardest words I’ve ever had to confront in my life.

My. Friend. Was. Murdered.

Details were sketchy at first, although it was pretty well established those who killed him were a trio, two young black men and a white woman. According to information provided by Seattle Police, authorities believed the trio had been on a robbery spree that night, including other attempted robberies and at least one successful robbery of a restaurant in the area. And then they came upon David, decided they wanted his cell-phone, and that was that.

More information has come out regarding those responsible, with David’s likely killer being a SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD KID. The enormous absurdity of ALL of this has left all of us who knew our friend reeling.

And me, in my weird, nerdish way, I’ve been thinking about what exactly David’s story is indicative of, in regards to society and the type of people that are being produced by our modern society. There are two absurdities in a society that produces these outcomes: a) that a FUCKING CHILD has so little respect for life and property that some random murder isn’t too far off his choice horizon, especially, when it’s for a fucking ubiquitous gadget like a cellphone. and b.) That occurrences like these are so close to being common place that most people are just inured to their commonality.

I mean, at least for me, this is a fundamentally re-thinking everything issue for me. We’re told we’re better, we’re superior, that so and so group is better off than they were before thanks to modernity and it’s incestuous relationship with education and the law. But the question is rarely asked: Are we?

My friend is dead and gone because a child wanted something he had, and he wouldn’t give it to him, so BAM! My friend is dead. Other’s children are so adrift in this nihilistic, YOLO inspired culture that, for a decent sized portion of them, outright destruction of their physical self through suicide becomes more and more of a common occurrence. For those children who don’t take that fatal step, we end up with pathologies like cutting, oversexualization and drug addiction.

What exactly have we created here? The one more thinks about it, the more preposterous it becomes to think that the current order and current way of doing things is working in any meaningful way. A polarized society moving faster and faster towards its own destruction, consuming it’s own energy until finally there’s nothing but emptiness and blackness.

My friend is gone, and it physically sickens me to think that this is essentially an acceptable outcome to our greater society, in some odd way.

*homesteads a deserted island in the South Pacific*

 

 

 

 

Remembering @PracticeTheory


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We laid to rest a dear friend on Saturday, David Peterson, known as @practicetheory to his Twitter family and friends. During the service at Washelli Cemetery in Seattle, the priest/pastor overseeing the ceremony asked us to think of a single word that would describe David, and that if we felt so inclined, to share that word at a later time in the ceremony when the priest/pastor opened it up to those gathered to see David off.

And while I didn’t share my word on Saturday, I feel like sharing it now. That word was “animated”.

Politics and culture are what brought David and I, along with his wife Kim, and our other Twitter friends, together. We made it a regular occurrence to get together to have some drinks and just bullshit about life, politics, and Twitter. Hell, we were in the midst of organizing our next get together when what happened…happened. Anyways, I chose “animated” as my favorite way of remembering David. For anyone who ever had a chance to have  discussion with him about, well, anything, his enthusiasm for exploring the ideas/controversies of the day was never dulled.

His eyes would light up, and he’d gesture widely, sharing his thoughts on whatever the topic of discussion was. Sometimes, it could be a bit tough to get a word in edgewise, but even then, David was self-aware enough to put his foot on the brake a bit so you could also be part of the conversation. There was a pure joy that emanated from him when he knew the possibility of substantive debate was in the air.

He had fast become one of my favorite people to talk about everything to in the two years I had known him. His openness, and his enthusiasm for always learning something new, and learning about a different perspective, were infectious, and, if you weren’t careful, you’d find yourself reversing your own opinion if he was on an especially good roll.

We miss you terribly David. I don’t want you to worry about Kim, those of us still here will take care of her forever, and don’t doubt it. I love you both to death, and I wish there was more I could do.

And even though I’m not Catholic, this benediction in Latin has always been strangely soothing to me, so I will close with this:

Réquiem ætérnam dona eis, Dómine, et lux perpétua lúceat eis. Requiéscant in pace. Amen.

Carrying Casket

All the Things We’ll Never Do


I never wanted to write these words down for you
with the pages of phrases of all the things we’ll never do…

—Temple of the Dog, “Say Hello 2 Heaven”

You’ve been gone a year Patrick. It still feels weird if I think too hardly about the fact you’re gone. The tears come far too easily if I do.

I know this probably isn’t healthy, but it’s how I do it. I still have the last text message I received from you. I still have the last few voicemails you left on my phone too. I can’t bring myself to open either though, especially the voicemails. Because I know if I listen again, the pain I’ll feel for my missing friend will be too much. The guilt, I think will be unbearable. I knew. I knew. I knew. All the things you used to do, you were doing again. The distracted conversation when we did talk. The singing voicemails at 1 a.m.

I miss you so much. I still can’t form very cogent thoughts about you, as you can tell from the disjointed nature of this post so far.

I have a beautiful daughter now. Bubba is so happy to be her big brother. I wish, more than anything in this life, that I could have given you the peace and stability I had found. So that you would have had something more to live for than just the next high. I wanted so badly for you to be Uncle Pat, Daddy’s crazy friend from college. When the kids got older, especially Bubba, I looked forward to us being able to bullshit about all the crazy things we did when we were younger.

Instead, I’m left with writing about all the things we’ll never do.

I miss you.

I love you, brother.

Wish you were here.

MemoryNet


Like so many things, MemoryNet started with good intentions.
Initially developed in 2017 by a team of Swedish and British researchers as a possible form of treatment for Alzheimer’s, MemoryNet was hailed as the greatest creation of the 21st century. This brilliant group of scientists was the first to bridge the gap, to truly create a workable “wetware” system. It was astonishing. They integrated hard technology with human biology, a complex and unique system where computers and the human brain directly interacted for the first time.
With their first few subjects, the scientists were able to record every memory of every subject. A complete download of human experience into a computer network. While astonishing, it soon became clear that it was not the solution for the disease of Alzheimer’s. They could record the person’s memories, and sometimes, by having the person interface with those memories on a daily basis, help them keep their identity for a short while. But the disease would always continue to progress, slowly eating away at the subject’s brain, until, like so many others, they were just a shell of a human. Dead, but alive, a walking ghost.
Like so many other creative, original ideas, MemoryNet was co-opted by the government. With the never ending war on terror still being waged, top government minds decided MemoryNet would be the perfect tool to stop attacks. After the L.A attacks in 2020, the cry arose to use MemoryNet as a preventative measure. The reasoning: Capture possible terrorist operatives and force a download of their memory and prevent further attacks.
And they met with success. One of the most complete and utter terrorist plans that was ever developed, a combination of attacks set for Seattle, Minneapolis and Boston, was foiled when CIA operatives captured a member of a sleeper cell and forced the download of his memory. On the planned day of the attacks, the terrorists were met by CIA, FBI and Black Ops agents and effectively foiled.
After that “rousing success”, MemoryNet’s applications were broadened even further. No one’s quite sure how, but eventually the system was hacked and made available to the public.
It was the next big digital sensation, even bigger than the initial explosion of the Internet, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. People could interface with the program, and delve into other people’s memories with full tactile sensation and response.
That threesome you always dreamed of having? Available on John Smith’s MemoryNet profile. Ever wondered what shooting heroin felt like? That memory was available through another profile.
So, this is where I come in. A MemoryNet junkie, lost in the past, numb to the present, dead to the future.
These are my stories, my memories. For better or worse.

 

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