Excessive neuronal learning is also hypothesized to rapidly lock down the individual into a small repertoire of secure behavioral routines that are obsessively repeated. interesting thought that aspies learn too much, too quickly, and that's why they freak out and shut down.
“Well, everything’s fucked.” John Butler slipped off a
roll of notes and bunged them between the boobs of his wife, a ritual that had
been going for several years now. Both parties benefitted from this deal, for
Alysha Butler found herself wet even now. It was the way he shoved it in there,
the total lack of politeness or decorum. Post-coitus indifference was
ironically what kept her coming back for more. John slipped a hand beneath the
blankets, and began his usual monologue. “Seems that people can’t seem to
fathom that everything’s fucked, either - that’s the most fucked thing. They’re
all too busy being happy and enjoying the fruits of the Industrial Revolution’s
labour. Enjoying the fruits of two world wars. Enjoying the fruits of half the
world’s poverty. Enjoying the fruits of our own doom.”
“The fruits of our own doom?” Alysha said, frowning, even
as she savoured the usual comfortable sensations.
“Yes. Technology and such, creating global warming,
causing our doom. Our doom is to be given to us in five billions years anyway
by the death of the sun. If somehow we have managed to build ships that can
transport us outside this Solar System (highly unlikely, seeing as we’re
wasting so many resources) then we’ll eventually succumb to the heat death of
the universe. So, basically, we’re in thrall to entropy, to nothingness. Times
like these I wish there was a God. But if there was one, I’d ask him who
created Him, and He would tell me that He created himself, and I would be
infinitely disappointed. Oh. What phrase got you off?”
“I think it was ‘in thrall to entropy’.”
She shrugged, reaching for a cigarette. “Something about
the image of sucking entropy’s cock. Well, that’s not what you said, but
suddenly I had the image of being forced to bargain with entropy by doing
something debasing. And losing anyway. That’s the hottest thing. Losing anyway.
Being humiliated at the hands of entropy and knowing I’m completely powerless
to do anything about it.”
Alysha considered the wall opposite. Needed painting.
Everything needed painting. But then, was there any point in painting?
Everything flaked and peeled in the end, anyway. In a hundred years this
building probably wouldn’t exist anymore. Even in ten years they could both
possibly be dead; or worse, insane. What would be the point of cleanliness then?
This constant brushing of teeth. This constant going to work. This constant
keeping of manners. This constant building of smiles. Why do it?
“I need to fuck you again,” she said. “The paint on the
walls are starting to peel.”
John sighed. “I’m tired. Got work tomorrow. Go to sleep.
You’re safe with me here. I’m not going anywhere.”
“How do you know?” She turned over and looked at him
urgently. He did not move but continued to stare restfully at the television. Even
turned off, it still had presence, like the grave of a statesman. “You might
“I might, yes.”
“But you think I
should sleep anyway.”
“We’re all fucked - but we go on nonetheless. The West is
coming down. The end is nigh - the end of what, we can’t tell, but it doesn’t
look good. The nineties were over many years ago - its illusions came apart and
are now flying in the wind. The post 9/11 world is not about 9/11 anymore. That’s
the joke. It’s about factions. Beliefs. Clashing of ancient empires.
Nation-states versus Caliphates. Hey, that rhymes. I should write a song about
that. But I won’t. There’s no time to do anything anymore. No time to think,
only react. No individual voices left because the phrase is a contradiction.
His breathing had deepened and slowed. Alysha looked at
him flatly, hoping she could get to sleep before he started snoring. Why did
she put up with his snoring? Why didn’t she ask him to go sleep on the sofa
each night? Why, in fact, did she even stay with him?
Because, in the end, solitude was insanity. Solitude was
where dreams began - dreams of solipsistic indigo universes of infinite colours,
merging into blackness. Imagination - a weapon to sicken those who wielded it
too often. She had not been able to write since she got together with John.
Formerly, worlds spurted forth from her fingers, hot melted wax upon a placid
page. She would read back, wondering who had created such nonsense. Was she
talented? Who cared - it was the creation itself that was her fight against the
But now the fight was between that side of her and the
other side - the one her mother had been. A vow aged twenty never to be like
her mother came unravelled day after day, bit by bit. No real independence.
Adulthood was the discovery that she had become her mother and any thoughts that
she could be any different were speckles of dust in a granulated world.
Sometimes it seemed that only the orgasm mattered. The
material pleasures seemed a counter-balance to the spiritual void, a maw of
silence that could never be filled but only temporarily blocked, like a clogged
drain. During those fleeting moments of divine sensation, of chemical
equilibrium, she could stop thinking and concentrate only on achieving
empirical nirvana. Perhaps that was all that mattered. Satiation of dopamine
neurosis, dependence on external stimuli. But she was no lab rat. There was
also the spiritual to consider. And the spiritual was a more fickle master.
Gazing at John’s face, with its pock-marks and stubble,
Alysha wondered why she had ever kidded herself that she loved him. Then she
wondered whether she was kidding herself that she no longer loved him. Hard to
tell what she felt anymore. Half an hour before she had loved him a little.
That was the material, coercing her into that emotional state to warrant her
sticking with him. A trick, now seen through... or was this present emotional
lull the trick? Which emotion was real, which state was divine? Love was the
expression of genes’ need to reproduce and finding an appropriate moment to
unleash dopamine based on a reward system and call it emotion. This was
humanity’s mistake: assuming the material was the spiritual. James Joyce’s love
letters were masterpieces of horniness gone astray. Or... was Joyce right, and
Alysha alone misread everything? Was she the only alone in the world who felt
this jaded disassociation with emotion? Time for a cigarette in front of the
The view of the decrepit town outside assured Alysha
there was no God, only stars. A conclusion reached by millions before her, but
something about this time of the night led her conscious mind to slip away for
a while and allow a more open-minded, listening part of her in. A more
child-like part of her, perhaps - certainly more vulnerable and raw. When the
ego was stripped away, it was almost a nightly ache, a nightly agony, to be
reduced to nothingness, to go so deep that it felt as though she would never be
able to come out again. There would be no tomorrow, not this time. The sun
would rise, but not for her. The void inside would prevail and tomorrow she
would have forgotten everything. Why did she always forget everything? Why did
she only remember now? It was as though her mind was a skipping stone over a
river, and right now she was back on the surface.
Perhaps, she thought, as she lit the cigarette, tonight
would be the last night she would spend in this room. Tomorrow night would be
the funny farm. A damp breeze gasped from the open window, dispersing the ash
onto the floor and negating the point of the exercise. Nonetheless, it offered
cool sanctuary, sitting upon the windowsill large enough to accommodate an
adult-sized body. This cool hive. Hug from a cage. Retreat into the cave - only
difference being the material. Perhaps on this very spot a caveman dwelt upon
the same issues, having just been wanked off by his cave-wife.
Best not to think about people from that long ago having
this level of intelligence. Best to think that humanity was getting cleverer
and cleverer at an exponential rate. That way, it would definitely be possible
to escape Earth. And then what? She clutched hands to her temples. A headache
coming on, but a mental headache. Where would we escape to that could possibly
offer anything but a hellish, godless world? Because once we have abandoned
Earth, then the messages of religion would all be false, because there would be
“Holy shit,” she whispered, realising the implications of
her discovery. She bounded over to the bed, cigarette in mouth, and shook John.
“John, wake up.”
“No, but - ”
“Go to sleep.”
“If we leave Earth in spaceships, religion will be
“This is great. This is amazing,” she continued,
re-lighting her cigarette and scampering to the small wooden desk in the corner
which housed the laptop. It wheezed as it started, a dust-filled scream.
What a good man he is, she thought, and he doesn’t even
realise it. I’m sitting here typing things noisily and he doesn’t even
complain. I need him - yes, I need him. Does he need me? Does he need anyone?
Do I need anyone? Does anyone need anyone? No - already ascertained. We go on
anyway. Religion propels us, but when we leave Earth we leave religion. Some
books will not be taken on board. I would take no more books because the
paradigm for which those books were written would no longer be relevant... or
maybe their messages would still be important - actually remember everything
would be stored digitally, I mean wow, by then the history of all written
civilisation would probably be stored on computers and represent less than one
percent of their total capacity. What’s the point? The point is that perhaps,
shaking free the shackles of religion, this new humanity would finally be free.
How could there be religion on board a spaceship?
Alysha thought she was typing these words, but was simply
sitting there staring into the computer screen, bound by her racing thoughts and ideas.
“Am I being loud?”
“No. But that’s not I want to say.”
“You’ve seen Battlestar Galactica, right?”
“Yes, of course.”
“You know you don’t need to write all this?”
“No, I do. I need to get it down.”
“You can come to bed.”
“No, I can’t come to bed.”
She paused for a moment.
“Because you are a figment of my imagination.”
“Okay,” he said. “Keep typing.”
“Thanks. Tell me if it gets annoying.”
“Will do. How’s that whisky bottle looking?”
She picked it up. “Half-full.”
“That’s good. Night.”
She would wake up tomorrow having forgotten the events of
the previous night.
Authenti City glowed neon orange, its edges softened by the
corrosion of days. Torpid motions of sand-based karma flew their essences back
and around and under the naked eye. Not a good day to wear a vest. Too many
dominatrices around the Quay Bridge: 45% were banned, whilst the others were
left to continue their street trade upon any willing to pay for the service
offered to them; namely, being whipped silly. Several paid for the privilege - mostly
lonely men, who wore necks devised of ambition, over-reaching themselves and
turning gawky, like sycophantic turkeys.
Sex, a long-forgotten sleep aid, sat waiting its turn to be
punished. Kissing, its distant cousin, was already being scrutinised by those
who had deemed it worthy of adjudication. Some branches of police didn’t notice
it. These were the more liberal ones such as The Troop0rs, who risked their own
collective existences. Others clamped down upon incorrectly delivered kisses. The
branch of police called Le Academie Baiser utilised their forces for aesthetic
purposes, scattering them far and wide to pick out any kisses that did not
adhere to the rules. Sloppy kisses would result in thirty days’ arrest;
smacking noises would result in a years’ detention; spit-bridges would result
in three years of soft labour; the worst, however, was the punishment handed
out to exposed tongues - ten years’ hard labour in Electric City.
Authenti City Central 7 thrummed, the muscles beneath its
streets firing wave after wave of supply for the demand. Lights above lolling gazebo-based
stalls highlighted exotic fruits and spices, like make-up mirrors flattering
the egos gazing at their own visage. Opal fruits sat glazed in the limelight.
Limes sat invisible in the limelight. Porous strawberries throbbed with
potential. Bananas sat being camp. Apples tried their best to be anything but
apples, and inevitably failed. Oranges appealed for clemency. Paper brown bags were
thrust forward at a rate of thirty a second. This street, the hub of commerce,
was Sary Road, famed through the Seven Kingdoms of Authenti City Central 7 for
its vibrant daylife and non-existent nightlife.
This day teemed with mosquitoes, burping out gases of
AdBlood from those who had sprayed the AntiAd chemical upon themselves. Two
years hence, Simon Authenti had passed the Ad Law, allowing for the legal
manufacture of AntiAdWear, a holistic approach to the enroaching approach of
AdWasps, which incorporated a whole new realm of devices designed to ward off
the enticing temptations of modern-day commerce-driven marketing. Two years had
passed, and the company making most profit in anti-adwear was NeuroSolutions,
whose patented AntiMonopoly Technology had the function of spreading cluster
waves of advert dispersal amongst dozens of civilians, ensuring that no one
company could hijack the advertising waves (with NeuroSolutions being the
exception). Needless to say, the numerous other groundbreaking technologies
brought to a grateful populace enabled NeuroSolutions to outsell its nearest competitor,
Oily Enterprise Guilt, by two units to one in every sector and domain.
Authenti City was proud of its standing as the home of
NeuroSolutions. Any users entering Authenti City from the pillars would be
greeted by a NeuroSolutions sponsored message stating that Authenti City was
the home of NeuroSolutions. Someone for a while scribbled the graffito “also
the home of John Lud” until it was removed and John Lud was exiled to Hunger
Building 22 shone solidly upon the street below - solidly
being the operative word, for the building’s curved glass design had
accidentally turned it into a giant magnifying glass, ensuring that any beings
who strayed into the Path of Light Destruction would have one minute before the
rays frazzled their circuitry, whether carbon or silicon.
Teaching training activity - the guy set a task for us to imagine a spaceship from Earth crashing on a planet exactly like Earth. On the ship there is one person who specialises in one thing only. One teacher, one builder, etc.
How should you write the curriculum for future generations?
Ideas that came to me and which I babbled to everyone, presumably getting them to think I was bonkers:
1. We'd have to create an elite of 'new monks' whose only task was to write and record and maybe even create new paradigms and religious ideas.
2. Democracy wasn't good enough. Feudalism, the creation of authority figures, and unfair hierarchies would be necessary. I even mentioned the need for slaves to have no thought and simply to build without question.
3. My combining of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Bloom's Taxonomy was seized upon by the guy running the activity as a good move. Pity then that when it came to presenting it I ended up talking crap. "Combining Remembering with Survival creates the majority; the luxury of creation is part of the need to make culture."
4. The curriculum, we eventually agreed, was divided into three parts: three years of survival skills, three years of specialist skills, and three years of knowledge storage.I realised quickly and problematically that actually, the third facet should be either an option, or only available to those who pass the first two stages quickly, or even simply the preserve of a privileged few. In the end, the only people who wrote back in the medieval times were monks. So teaching basic literacy to everyone was really kind of pointless if their only job was to remember how to sow oats and milk cows. I ended up having an almost argument with the woman who I realise I don't like much; I said, "why bother teaching literacy to the farmers at all?"
"We've done it now," she said. "I'm not changing it."
I was at that agitated, excited point where I just come across as a socially inept weirdo.
5. In short, I advocated stupidity and serfdom amongst the vast majority of the populace to preserve humanity's survival on the new Earth.
6. Someone in my group (the annoying one mentioned above as well as the person mentioned a blog or two back) said "the builders can teach building, the gardeners can teach gardening." I said that shutting away knowledge like that and making it all specialised would create wars amongst those who gained the most advantageous skills.
I find this woman to be stupid and yet extremely sure of herself, pretty much like my sister. An Un-Johnson.
ok i can't sleep because of reasons - if i don't write these down and get them out i'll never sleep
so obviously right now main reason i can't sleep is because i can't sleep. if that makes sense. i know i'll wake up exhausted tomorrow and barely able to function and everyone will think i'm weird which i think they do anyway. i don't like it there - there's something off about it. it's like they had a tight-knit team and suddenly for them now there are four new people and it must be weird for them - but really, in my old work place downstairs, everyone was nice, and are still nice, and welcoming, and chilled, and happy...
fuuuck i miss the old place - it's mocking me, saying "say olly, why aren't you still working in this bit?"
and literally in the case of my old boss, who saw me today, and said "i really want you to come back here" but doesn't have the leverage to convince his boss, who is now coincidentally my bosss
the kid i helped (or tried to help) last year would do that ^^^ when asked to start writing something in english - now i feel like i understand why. he literally had a tight ball of pure anxiety within him - or rather, it was just an abstract BAD FEELING that had to be expelled - he, like me, couldn't quite find out what it was or come to terms with it
so yeah i'm afraid of looking weird, of failing to be an interesting person... of being so sleepy that people think i'm lazy and wonder whether i'm not up to it... and i have a strong and painful gut feeling that i'm not, i'm not... my fear (and subconscious need) of failure right now exudes from me and others can see it
subconscious need for failure caused by primary wish to go back to my old workplace - in denial that it's not going to happen, for whatever reason.
Ok. I'm actually... angry?
I'm in a job I don't really want, about to deal with kids I don't actually think I'm good enough to deal with, talking to new staff members who will only know me for a month... my head's in a bad place, and that's OK. How could it not be? It's actually a fucking meagre deal.
Woman called Helen in my department who I met today and chatted to - about my age, she's the one who I mentioned in the last post. Anyway I told her I was only there for a month, and then my Boss walked in
"Is it true Olly's only here for a month? You're breaking my heart!"
"That's the nature of supply" he replied
I was confused by her seemingly nice words but they were TOO nice somehow. Like... why would you be SO bothered by something like that when you've only just met someone? Who wasn't even in a very good mood because HE SPENT THE WHOLE DAY TRYING NOT TO FUCKING FALL ASLEEP FUCK AND I'M GOING TO BE EVEN WORSE TOMORROW
this stupid thing isn't working. I know
in my heart
Because fuck being nice, looking proper, acting smiley and happy when actually, my sinuses are totally fucked, I can't sleep, I'll pass the cold I have onto everyone anyway... I'm running out of excuses, but that's the nature of being a man...
I also don't like the fact that the teacher whose tutor group I'm in happens to be the head of the department... confusing isn't it...
There is Horizon. Without the Horizon section there are two different sections: Aqua and Ignis. I was in Aqua before, and now I'm in Ignis. They are on different floors.
Julian is the boss of Horizon. The whole thing. He's the one who was all like "that's the nature of supply." He's a prick, but an honest prick. Derek, who was my manager in Aqua, does mostly with Julian tells him. Derek, however, was gloriously weak in other respects; for example, I literally was late every single day from March to July and he never once told me off for it. Right now, however, Laura is my new boss (in Ignis) and she is clearly far, far more organised and brutal
she, and a teacher in the department, are both younger than me
and that's it. Fear of looking lazy in front of people younger than you coupled with the already prominent inferiority complex means I feel like I'm doomed to feel shit about this placement. And I do. I do whenever I see their confident, organised serious faces and realise I shall never be like them. Sure, she's pleasant on the surface, but I know exactly what she'll be like when I don't do my job properly. She'll be perfectly assertive. Absolutely right all the time. Flawless.
Like in Riddlesdown when the flawless teachers younger than me gave me their feedback on my shit lessons.
Some people are robots. I am not a robot. I am a flawed, fucked-up kidult who needs those flaws, and you know what - fucking likes those flaws - because they help make me into an artistic creative, mad soul who may or may not end up offering anything to the world but nonetheless will have a good time trying.
What I do tomorrow does not matter in the long-term. I will wake up, and presumably feel shit and exhausted, and I will have to make a choice then.
Part of me is saying... "dude. being absent on your second day of your new job? doesn't look very good, does it?"
And another part is like "but... but... i feel ill. and stressed. and rough."
and then the reply is "summer's over, buddy. get used to it. everyone's tired. you have nothing more than a cold."
to which i reply "fuck you. it's 3 in the morning, i can't sleep and i feel fucked."
which prompts the reply "you know exactly why you can't sleep. you had a lot of coffee in the day, wondering all the while why it wasn't having an effect - well, it is now."
to which i say "no - because i've had coffee before going to bed and i can still sleep. it's not normal, shutting your eyes and having racing thoughts made out of pure anxiety. no wonder poor donna has such a hard time."
poor lovely donna. i just want to sit in a nice house with her and watch T.V.
see fuck I am exhausted. my eyes just shut and my head feels heavy. palms are sweaty. mom's spaghetti. i hate that line. spaghetti was forever ruined by round the twist.
see, why the fuck am i thinking about round the twist at 3 on a monday night???! fffffffffffffffffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucccccccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk
my brain refuses to sleep. i can actually feel it resisting. it thinks there is danger ahead and it knows that if it relaxes and sleeps, then the danger will arrive.
Ok. Brain - I'm going to be absent tomorrow.
Brain: no, you're not going to be. You're just saying that to trick me.
Me: No - I have to wait until tomorrow morning to make the call to the school and the agency.
Brain: Sure.... although you could probably make the calls now.
Me: No, that would be insane.
Brain: No - insanity is having to make an absence call in the morning at all. Why can't you call the night before like any normal human being? Working in a school is terrible!
Me: Yes, but it's not boring.
Brain: I'd rather be in a boring job. At least you don't get insomnia.
Me: I've been in a boring job. It sucked the life out of me for eight hours.
Brain: Yes, whereas this job sucks the life out of you for eight months of the year. And that's not even THIS job I'm talking about. THIS job is going to be even more stressful. You're going to be hearing those kids' voices as you try to sleep, mocking you, telling you they'll be here again soon enough... and all you need to do is close your eyes and surrender to somnambulism...
Me: Leave me alone. I was happy enough a month ago. Now summer holidays have gone and ruined me because I forgot how to people.
Brain: Sure, right. Go ahead, sleep. Operate on four - no, wait - three and a half hours sleep (remember in this new job, you're in half an hour earlier!)
Me: Three and a half hours.
Brain: You're not even going to get to sleep at this rate. Not even for one measly hour. And what'll you do then? Call in? Try to sound ill? You're a PHONEY. You're a FAKE.
need to take time out.
Brain: You've had time out for the last fucking month, what's wrong with you? You think you're special?
no, i'm just ill.
Brain: You think having a cold is -
no i mean... i'm ill. in the head. too anxious. always have been, but it's worse now than it ever was. should have seen me at matt and abby's. could barely speak to anyone. funny how once i'm in a routine i can pretend i'm more normal than ever, but if i'm not... if i'm not, then my world shakes and tumbles and spins and i get dizzy and it's like nausea, pure nausea... if i told people i felt sick all day today they'd send me home, but if i told them i felt depressed, terrified and numb all at the same time, they'd tell me to shut the fuck up because they don't know me from Adam and why did they employ me?
why did they employ me there?
that said... the teacher's shit as well. why did they employ her? you've seen her teach normal kids, she can barely get through to them. she said it today. "I don't know what I'm doing."
take solace in that. you might be off for a day, but it's only a month. and anyway tomorrow there are no kids. better to be done with that tomorrow than another day.
yeah but the boss laura she's all peppy and mean and on it and hard-hitting and won't take prisoners and she's younger than me
dude, so what? if she was older, would you give as much of a shit?
well, if she was older and as efficient and job at her job as laura... yes. yes, i would.
so eager to please, aren't you? like a dancing puppy.
dude, that cough's not getting any better, is it?
is that you, brain?
Brain: Yes, it's me. That cough's not sounding good, bro.
Me: Thank you! Fuck.
Brain: Ring in tomorrow morning, bro. Relax yourself. They're doing team teaching stuff. It's training. It's nothing that you can't catch up on. If you can't catch up, then fuck it. Get fired. Get another LSA job. There are plenty out there.Get one in Rochester.
Me: So you're suggesting me not going in tomorrow will mean I end up moving to Rochester?
Brain: If it gets you to stop fucking writing and go to sleep, then yes.
Me: Fine. Although I'm also terrified at the prospect of moving to -
Brain: Seriously. Shut the fuck up and just get an hour at least. You'll wake up feeling shitter, and sounding shitter, and therefore will sound more convincing on the phone.
Today a teacher at work had her laptop with her and had a wallpaper on it depicting her daughter in a foreign location. Next to her sat another LSA. I sat down and said
"Is that Angkor Wat?"
to which the LSA said "Look at you, being all knowledgeable of exotic locations."
It was Angkor Wat.
The teacher then said "I can't get the wallpaper to move onto the next one. It usually goes by now."
I said, "Just right click and then do next background."
to which the LSA said "Look at you, being all good with computers."
Kind of reassuring knowing that she either
a) felt embarrassed that she'd repeated herself
b) didn't feel embarrassed and was therefore another person I know who's more stupid than I am
I think the issue I have with myself at the moment is that painful awareness that I'm far better educated than pretty much every LSA I've met, and yet when I tried being a teacher I wasn't quite good enough - partly due to lack of subject knowledge - so as a result I'm caught in between thinking I'm punching above my weight, or punching below the belt. Or something.
tl;dr purgatory is a weird a state to be in because it's not quite depressing enough to make you want to change yourself