This was a message to someone in particular at first. I will not say his name. I have no ill will, and though syntax may be personal, I realized he was just an avatar, and that I don’t hate him. But, it almost became an open letter or manifesto or even a diatribe to all neurotypicals (or normals). Call it my third Essay on living with ADD and Depression and Anxiety… I had the most respect for these people. Not asking for a handout, just mutual support and understanding – and as always – laughing at the farce and foibles of life as you never can. I wouldn’t be here if I couldn’t laugh at myself, so why do others take yourselves so seriously?

My once sort of erstwhile quasi-semi-friend-of-a-friend-I-went-to-High-School-with, ya know, sigh [do you say that? Maybe a Denver Broncos thing?! I’m kidding. Weed is legal in WA, CO, and even AZ – it’s okay to laugh, and I do, – ya know, friend? Lulz and stuff bruh].

I’m not reading that last message he sent me. The first few lines sounded harsh and far from where my growth is now – though as the karma police officer I don’t blame him (pssst, I don’t bite… not hard anyway – there’s my silly humor already again). I know y’all are trying tough love and your own version of compassion (military family? emotionally distant family?), I was trying my own version of relating to you and have tried apologizing many times. In turn opening up my own dusty diagnostic manual (one turn deserves another, eh?).

A few months before our mutual friend who I love as a brother called the police on me after I had a breakdown and I realized, shaking and looking ill, as the three burly officers told me: that I should call my parents and my doctor again. I’d apparently not been taking my anti-depressants for a year. It wasn’t because I’m against taking them (I’m not a $cientologist or anti-vax, or anti-science), I just sort of got out of the habit of thinking I was okay (you know? I never thought I’d be one of those people).

And for that EGREGIOUS mortal sin I’m trying to make amends to past friends and reach out and make new friends and repair past relationships… well, I can lose my shit and I’m really trying to calm the fuck down and work on it. But, can you understand how it feels to be abandoned when you need friends and support the most? Do hemos (I think that’s what people with hemophilia call themselves – sorry if it’s like the N-word, or me calling myself crazy – like only cool between the community?) have a sense of stigma? Do people recoil from you or anyone with another physical condition other than AIDS or a pandemic? Perhaps. I’m sure you’ve heard the inbreeding joke, if not, I’ve got some Hapsburg zingers.

I don’t think you are bad coming from a large family any more than I hate Steve Martin for being in Cheaper by the Dozen – I teased trying to relate, all I got is a sister that disowned me and my folks recently. Maybe it’s good for some people [the winners and fittest! The Stiflers!]. I just always happened to be friends with the black sheep of large families and they had a different perspective – had they been listened to? Do you wonder about that? Weird normals seem to often have thinner skins than us certified weirdos? Almost as if some cognitive guilt might surface seeing through another person’s eyes rather than winning all the time for the first time shaking off the scales of hierarchical conditioning and generational wealth and privilege?

Again, what do I know? I was white and middle class and lucky to get a High School Diploma… barely – I didn’t always submit and play nice. Of course, there were teachers that were good to me that I will never forget, as well (they were few but I give respect when it is given). Being the son of two parents with Masters in Education (I think my dad didn’t get a doctorate because at the time why when you’re going into primary and not looking for tenure or being an administrator – it’s weird when your friend’s brother has your dad as a teacher and my dad has his first heart attack – Vancouver [as always, the FIRST Vancouver] is not that small as in the Portland [not Maine, but the post-apocalyptic capital of Antifa on FOX] metro area – my mom double majored with English – and before finding baggies of weed in the laundry would find notes [people used to do that in the olden times – even used cursive]) – and while super personal and embarrassing, like the teacher she was, and daughter of a teacher mom of her own in real old school dustbowl times, would simply criticize my grammar and spelling and penmanship – knowing and implying the rest.

Sorry, I’m too familiar, I don’t mean to be that passive aggressive myself – I’m normally aloof. Stuff makes sense in my head and doesn’t translate well half the time – depends on the reader – some miraculously get me! I’m very self-effacing, ironic, – and if you’re more linear and literal, I could prolly come off as mean; when, in tone, I’m more ‘taking the piss’ as the British say. It means I like you. If I really hated you, you would know (I hate 99% of people and want nothing to do with them, you are the elect, but not everyone appreciates my distinction, just as some conscientiously reject knighthoods and other honours so prestigious as my friendship – I’m sure you have your shallow or profound reasons – or just don’t give a shit about me – which is completely fine and an adequate decision if it suits you).

So, yeah, there are times I’ve crossed the line, but it’s only because I felt really hurt that I was completely misinterpreted. I’ll take a note, that you don’t have my dry sense of humor and can read tone wrong. I’m never mean or malicious (if I haven’t poisoned you yet, I like you – but never meant to poison the well). It’s with a twinkling wink (not a twink.…sorry, my inappropriate humor again – I need to censor myself, but – severe ADD + a few drinks and wacky tobacky and I can come off awful if I think about it from your square perspective – especially if you don’t have a sense of humor or are nowhere near on my level. And I don’t have anything against twinks or twins that are thin two by two twaddling around by my chinny chin chin forsooth.)

I respect you, and just wanted a little in return. I understand you have your own circle and I’m just paranoid most likely – but almost think (in my sick head) – that you look down upon me, and don’t respect me even in passing. The tone of the first few sentences of your “concern” for me reaffirmed that so-called sentiment with the usual tropes for me to “get help” etc. Whereas; flippantly, I just wanted for you to: get a sense of humor? Has anyone told you that? You could be dryer than Norm Macdonald and Stephen Fry if they had a mutant child quoting Cicero — and I don’t know. Shot in the dark making a wild assumption. I’m dryer than a Californian fire, cheesier than Wisconsin, and more dramatic than Bollywood and a Telenovela with a love hexagon cubed.

But, you could be more sardonic than me, you just sound dismissively cruel and cold in a very masculine way. I get it, you have a hot wife, children and are totally winning. I like to think the best of people, and that you’re teasing me back? Not that you have the alpha-male a malanky bit? That you aren’t more insecure and overdosing on testosterone the more you are offended by innocent comments even slightly questioning? That’s not Trumpist, but it’s low-grade cultish.

Take an example. It’s also a long-standing trope about Marvel that even Martin Scorcese called out about the comic book movie mill (I prefer The Crow and Sandman to the contrived Sunni/Shi’a Marvel/DC rivalry – though Batman – I side with DC for as much as the creator was a Libertarian asshole – gun to my head with a binary choice, I’ll take Gal Gadot [I know that wasn’t the choice, just saying]). Call me Ibadi. Though, I would also take Scarjo from Ghost World. Just saying. I think it’s all ridiculous. The Crow is the best graphic novel, movie, and soundtrack bar none. The only other movie I have memorized is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Just saying, shove the next Avengers up your ass.

One of my favorite movies ever is Clerks [and if you never worked retail – it’s God’s Gospel Truth and Randal Graves is our Prophet, Ramen – I could always tell who worked retail and service, and in turn try to always be the customer I always wanted (it’s called sympathy or something and not being a Karen – though Men are worse, maybe like Carls from Aqua Teen but worse than that)]. And, the director, Kevin Smith had a friggin’ comic book store in New Jersey and makes references all the time to Star Wars more than John Waters does to Baltimore.)

When I’m critiquing the swag-fueled merchandise phenomenon and grift I’m not saying you can’t make and profit from swag or like just a fun movie – I like myself some trash sometimes. I just think it’s toxic to the culture not from the creative side or even the commercial (Mad Men I have the complete set) – I’m poking fun at the moribund and cynically onanistic industry it’s become (who doesn’t love a good superhero movie? But, it’s diminishing returns in spirit even if it keeps making money for now – you can only chase the dragon so long [which would be could fantasy allegory to fit in a movie]).

When I make fun of Star Wars, it’s because I’ve read the works of Joseph Campbell, whom George Lucas consulted with on Skywalker Ranch, and even they described it as a Dualistic Western in Space (I don’t look down on it because it’s not “true” Science Fiction like Star Trek is – the only thing in common is they both take place in space in the far-far past or far future). If anything Firefly was straight in the vein of Star Wars space opera, and Farscape and Galactica straddled it and I end up with the LEXX. I’m testing you. And if we fight you might convince me and I’ll turn around and love it. When did we stop talking? I’m the most pansy-ass poetic soy boy, but don’t leave me with a talking point in rage just because I ask you why you like something and I didn’t get it. Tell me why it speaks to you. Maybe I won’t give it a chance, maybe seven years later I’ll come across it and be like, that person was right!

I love Doctor Who but holy crap, do you not think Whovians can’t tear apart narrative arcs and consistency in that Universe (I would almost recommend the spinoff Torchwood for you as it’s more action-oriented, linear in narrative arcs, and doesn’t require knowing the over half-century of canon lore – it can be intimidating to the initiate)? When I made fun of Marvel I posted a gif of Jessica Jones (Kyrsten Ritter) from the Netflix series rolling her eyes. In that, in my mind, I knew that David Tennant was the main antagonist and also the Tenth Doctor (and also Scottish, and in Harry Potter, Broadchurch, and even Scrooge McDuck – Disney). It’s almost as if I’ve thought more about this? Is that it? That a bumkin like me is maybe smarter than you, or you just don’t get the references? Or that I overthink everything? Is that my crime?

I also inappropriately inserted me saying none of the above with a list of bands that we wish we could see again. I’d seen the meme a few times before and just wanted to add my personal “SPIN!” On it with my own suggestions, not like I didn’t know and like all the suggestions (although it did include Bob Marley and that shit annoys me – or at least the white people into faux-Rastafari culture do – I get Eric Cartman on Hippies). I’m not going to ever fit in, and if you think the Emporer of Ethiopia was the second coming of Christ the Jesus of Nazareth, don’t be insulted by the fact I just don’t think the music was interesting on any level. I don’t care what you think about the Jesus thing, I’m more insulted by the music – prove me wrong, to quote Coldfeet Crowder. I don’t want to fit in. Between A and B I will always say that I chose a letter in Avestan. When I was asked my favorite color in preschool I said clead and when I asked to make a sound of an animal I made the sound of a giraffe. Even in preschool, I despised people. Especially when I was the dumb one for not giving a prepared response.

Which brings me to Disney. I grew up with it like everyone else that wasn’t Amish or sheltered on a white nationalist compound in northern Idaho. It was always my favorite highlight when summer came around and we drove from Vancouver, Washington down to Anaheim, California as a kid almost every other summer. I’m self-conscious I can’t afford it as an adult, and am also completely serious when I say I’d rather visit Pyongyang.

Because, I’ve seen Disneyland, but, I’m single and don’t have children (because I’m doing the world a favor – not because I hate kids [the Rammstein clip I sent was me telling you how I was bullied in school – I think Till actually has children – take off your literal cap with me – you took French, which with a limited and regulated vocabulary still has incredible flexibility and nuance not always to be taken like reading a formula – unless maybe Satre – and then only literally to realize all is pointless and people will never understand].

I had a relatively messed up childhood, and for me, I’d be more fulfilled and in turn fulfill the world seeing the world unvarnished and authentic, stripped from its phony façade and stilted appurtenances – especially the most off-the-beat places without being in an active war-zone (although…). It’s not always a sanitized Wonderful World Out There, and there’s a magic to the grit and an alchemy of suffering and the real to something much more divine than deluding ourselves with First World Problems and indulgent fetishes. Might I recommend LSD? And then taking me to Disneyland? I mean, hell yeah! Now I’m interested!

I follow these YouTube channels with people trying to visit every country – and I wish I had the means, agency, and moxie (in other words, I’m more into discovering and searching than I’m repulsed with PTSD by tanning in the sun by the pool or on the beach as a ginger – I’ll risk getting lung cancer rather than skin cancer thank you very much – short of being a hostage in a jungle, although at least guerillas have shade and the same politics and I can learn Spanish).

I grew up in a family, I know family destinations aren’t completely superficial – it just doesn’t offer anything for me – Iran is my top to-do [and I have a full list if nobody is interested nevertheless organized on a tier bucket list and considering viability with a dash of fairy dust and hope, like a free trip to a holiday destination, fine, but I’d rather go to Iceland or India first], just wish I didn’t have an American Passport, because pretty much any other passport is cool other than the British [with Iran and the region]. in any case, they’re lunatics and there’s no history involved [/sarcasm, it’s my thing]). 

Over a year ago, I think two actually (how the good times fly), I handled being kinda kidnapped in a Phoenix ghetto staying at a motel, and other than getting my car stolen and smoking heroin for the first time thought it was an interesting experience. “There’s nothing so dangerous, as a man with nothing to live for, …nothing to lose, said Dead Can Dance’s Brendan Perry. It’s as if they were confused (they were all black – six of them, but made clear to me they were not a gang, just “n*****s” – that’s not racist, they called themselves that, I never said it, I was suicidal, but not that suicidal.) They were more bewildered about what to do with my upper-middle-class and quizically charming caucasian ass than I was scared. All my life I’ve been an outcast.

I got them to fight among themselves – the alphas clashed, found an ally who helped me out because I promised shit I couldn’t (he tried to screw over later, which I’d anticipated), and bonded with others who felt guilty or were so junked out that they thought I was a cop after smoking heroin and them feeding me a fifth of tequila. They didn’t realize, even though it was prolly their plan, liquor doesn’t put me to sleep and most of them passed out from heroin and I stayed up all night. It was also curious, that I straight up told them when they asked about my prescription bottles on the bedside and I said one was Zoloft and the other was Ritalin.

No response. That was fascinating. Like they weren’t meth heads, but I don’t actually think they knew what Ritalin is in larger doses? I’m like an accidental anthropologist. I was definitely taking notes for later. I hate it when people cry for me, I’m not a fascist like Eva Perón. Eventually, my parents helped me out of it, but it wasn’t the worst time ever, either? I wasn’t bored and trapped in beige suburban purgatory at least. At least they weren’t trying to fix me, just trying to give me a fix.

Other than being robbed and threatened with a knife and scaring the shit out of my parents, I thought it was exciting and a thrill – that’s my ride. I suppose that makes me psycho – but I just lost it on my mom and just wanted to disappear anywhere – initially headed wherever the highway took me (I joked Pocatello with a Brandy bottle) – but getting stuck in the worst neighborhood of Phoenix by mine own star-crossed providence and cursèd chance? That wasn’t a plan – as if I can plan two days ahead.

That’s all I mean by wanting to go to Tashkent and not Orlando. You do you. I’m not punching down at all – I may want to make a dad joke with your pleated khakis and Hawaiian shirts – but I’m just teasing – and I don’t always estimate boundaries. The ADD spectrum is like the opposite of the Autism one – like way more “right-brained” [I know the hemispheric idea of the brain is an outdated theory on par with phrenology, but I use it for color – though lefties like me do tend to at least anecdotally think more in pictures and such – so I cling to it as a stereotypical metaphor – and I’m Left in other ways though being in my right mind]. 

It is; however a fact, that I’m sure you’re annoyed to hear me criticize Disney because you probably know more than me that there are concerning labor practices within the Disney Corporation and that Walt Disney may not have been anti-Semitic or frozen his head like in Futurama; and, Song of the South and homophobia was consistent with the times. But, also, like Stan Lee, as a creative myself – he committed (allegedly) the worst sin to me personally. He passed off others’ ideas as his own and profited from them while playing the whole saccharine Leave it to Beaver Main Street family man (Ray Croc, Wall Street, etc rope-a-dope).

That does not mean we can’t enjoy Disney content, any more than Apple products which I am writing this on, and their not intellectual property (I think Microsoft stole Windows from Mac, in fact – don’t get me started on Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Bezos and others comparing dick sizes in space) – but the sourcing of minerals, and of course third world slavery in factories and sweatshops. I mean, you’re just talking about having a damn family vacation and talking smiles and rainbows and here I am being Debbie Downer, Eeyore and insufferable soi-disant know-it-all wrapped in the miasma of his own cliché despair and self-righteous individuality and armchair activism trying to virtue signal or something. I’m irritating as fuck and that’s part of the point and my own twisted logic of agitation – I’m definitely not getting pussy.

I’m not bitter or jealous otherwise, just wanted to straighten things out. Having a family sounds awful to me. Like, chain me in a dungeon with rats eating my testicles first. But that’s just me. If it works for you and makes you happy and you raise the next generation better than in the past then how can I be against that? Seriously? Do you seriously miss my points? It’s like once everyone becomes a parent they shut every non-reproducing person out and I don’t know how to talk to you anymore. How is that fair? And don’t even preach how hard it is and that I wouldn’t understand. Maybe I paid attention during health class and do understand and you made that decision. It doesn’t make you better than me anymore than I’m better than you. You can still be a good decent person with or without children.

So I’m sorry my humor does not come through, and that I’m an anarcho-syndicalist orthodox agnostic with my head in the clouds rather than changing diapers in an ivory tower of conformity and self-satisfaction winning at ‘the game’. That was never my plan and I’m trying my best to always improve myself having been in therapy off and on since age twelve – when I first started having excessive guilt, suicidal ideation, and then started cutting myself at 13 or 14 I internalized maybe my genes aren’t the best to pass on.

I can talk about it matter-of-factly (in a removed clinical matter – coping strategy). But still, you just recoiled a bit I imagine inside – I know people do when they see my scars which I embrace triumphantly as evidence of overcoming a personal battle. Does anybody recoil in horror when you say you have hemophilia? I mean, I might, but that’s because I ironically have a vasovagal synoptic response to even the thought of blood and my imagination runs wild – which is paradoxical because I’m a recovered cutter (haven’t self-harmed since my mid-twenties after a lot of specialized therapy). I know myself more than anyone.

My therapists (social workers, clinical therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, a stint or two in the padded walls [not a literal thing but locked up for weeks for psychiatric care in a hospital ward and sandals – no shoelaces allowed!]) encouraged me to stop with ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) and the hamster wheel of despondency that is the rabbit hole of Severe Clinical Depression. So, it does me no service to point out my faults for me – I’ve heard them all my life from people – some more well-meaning and sincere than others. I can desiccate myself better than your lazy asses. I think you’re trying your best – I can’t fault you for the effort as much as it – I know you mean well and aren’t trying to sound canned – you just don’t understand and it’s stale.

Yes, there is a Narcissism in focusing on yourself so much, but in the Greek Myth of Narcissus, he drowned himself. And I love the metaphor. Love the abstract. Your writing still is so precise and deliberate, I wonder – even though you took French – if I could not understand Rimbaud better even though I took German. But, maybe you do, as well. Call it my intuition you don’t have intuition. You’ve ascribed a lot of suppositions upon me – some of which, I can’t honestly contest. And likewise, I don’t mean to judge you either. I never mean to be so serious as that.

So at the end of all this. We may well not understand one another. But, I reject that I am the mean one – nor do I think you are. Without having a complete victim complex, and being facetious saying I’m a misunderstood genius – I do have a bit of a chip on my shoulder and fits of rage when I feel condescended to (which, I’ve been told I can be as well, but realize not everyone is going to understand philosophy or geopolitics or know every flag in the world like me, just as I failed pre-algebra a couple of times whilst in Honors English, and you shouldn’t judge me for sucking at math). Difference being, I envy those good at math and science.

TDLR version, I kinda think you don’t mean to be mean, but when I’m a proverbial Vercingetorix the Gaul before Caesar prostrating myself, – I find it uncouth and not chivalric for the Conquerer to take the praise and humility of the vanquished and prostrate and chastise my weakness. To me, that is the bad character. Gandhi said to judge people in how they treat the least of these…. Or maybe some Jew from Galilee said that, or maybe every compassionate person said that.

When I saw your wife went off without you on vacation with your children I immediately thought the worst and wanted to contact you to see if you wanted to talk, just as you’d offered to talk to me (I’ve dealt with worse, but I tend to be friends with the other “dregs” of society so – apparently when you say you’re happy, you’re happy – it’s a different worldview for me – I meant no harm; quite the opposite). I don’t know if I’ve changed or you have, but I don’t recognize you on the empathy register. I must have really said something awful or been in a mood. Just… never talk down to me. And that might not even have ever been your intention but a result of my chronic low self-esteem (helped immensely by friends banishing me, but of course). I’m sorry I embarrass you. Maybe I don’t need my own private Idaho but a private Molokai where I and all the social lepers can be quarantined from infecting the good mentally and socially pure people like you. I’m sorry. I wouldn’t want to taint your reputation or career just by being me.


From the Island of Misfit Toys

Hail Satan, because at least he’s not a douchebag, and I’m almost 42 — the answer to everything

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I really appreciate how you examine difficult truths in your life with a sardonic yet self-aware sense of humor (insert wry nod here). Also, combining that with references to Disney, comic book movies, Doctor Who and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was just the cocktail I needed today.

First off, your terrifying (at least it would have been to me) experience being carjacked, mugged and kidnapped is pretty shocking to hear, especially told in such a zen-like, casual way. It sounds like you handled it at the time very smartly and pragmatically. As matter-of-fact as you may be about how you cleverly engaged with them and turned them against each other, that was rather brilliant. And your perspective on it all is impressive.

On families, they can be as hard to solve as peace in the Middle East (though more brutal at times). There are many families where it all works out relatively well and comparably effortlessly but not so much among most people I’ve known. Conflicts with parents and siblings often continue on in some form in adulthood. It’s so unnecessary, if only everyone in a family was insightful enough to see how short life is in the end and that admitting some responsibility for conflicts and pushing the reset button would make everyone’s life more rewarding. But if everyone was that insightful, they wouldn’t be in conflict in the first place. The old joke about parents and kids, “How do parents know how to push your buttons? Because they’re the ones who wired them in.” Some families do eventually try to hit the reset after so many years go by or the reality of old age and death approach. It’s just too bad that’s what it takes and all the years they’ve missed sharing together will never come back.

As to other issues, I was a big comic book fan as a kid, mainly DC but I liked all the Marvel heroes. The “dream” for many kids like me back then was that one day they might make movies of them. But with the inundation and exploitation of these characters, it’s turned into a smothering annoyance. For me, comic book heroes were about outcasts persevering in the face of unusually terrible trauma and conflict and emerging as dedicated to protecting others from suffering the tragedies they did. And there are real-life heroes among us who’ve done exactly that with their lives. They’re who I’m a loyal fan of nowadays.

There was humanity behind superhero myths and a gratifying feeling that the bad in people and the world can be confronted and defeated as long as people are determined and dedicated to doing the right thing.

These are valuable principles for children to learn and adopt. But like anything that becomes mainstream and very financially successful, it’s been corrupted into simplistic moneymaking. Superhero movies from Marvel are so cookie-cutter now. The beats are so redundant, the same things happen in each movie, it’s like putting the same Barbie doll in different outfits and claiming each time, it’s a new doll.

Comic books were and are modern-day Greek Mythology which also was a vehicle for examining the remarkable nobilities and the petty, self-destructive flaws of human beings and human nature. You can see many straight lines connected between the two, Hercules and Superman, Hera and Wonder Woman, Poseiden and Aquaman, etc. In fact, Wonder Woman incorporates the Greek Gods as part of that mythos. So stories about widely-known characters that are a reference point for many in a society, something they share in common, who overcome difficulties to become empowered and care about humanity have historically contributed to society in a positive way.

This theme does compliment your companion theme about being different and having others seek to make one feel less-than because of it.

The plain truth is that even though there is an unfair stigma projected upon those with mental health issues that impact their lives, that learned behavior of seeing mental health as different from physical health issues (which can be very intertwined) is ironic because the percentage of Americans who have mental health issues is pretty substantial but not well known. Johns Hopkins puts the number at 25% of the population but since there is a stigma to admitting or addressing it, I think it’s a lot higher.

We’ve seen many different instances of people who have been incredibly successful in their careers and personal lives because of how they deal with their mental health issues and at the other end of the spectrum, we’ve seen people capable of horrible things as well. And most are all kinds of in-between.

When one considers the nature of being an organic computer that uses chemicals, organic electrical impulses, and a biological organ as a data storage device, it is astounding to think about how our brains work as well as they do. And the exact combination of these things is different in each of us. Our brains are formed like the rest of our bodies, uniquely and prone to imperfections.

Just as the operation of other organs and physical processes vary from person to person, brain chemistry and brain processes vary from person to person. The majority of people function similarly in general but we’re far from identical, on the outside or inside.

Then comes the influence of “nurture” and environment which are also different in their influence, through different circumstances and how they are perceived by each individual (even siblings in the same household can view their experience of their parents and childhood very differently…and may be treated differently by parents as well).

Putting together the imperfect nature of being an organic computer with the most powerful and influential experiences from growing up and having the prism of emotions color both how we perceive and engage, is a pretty damn complex system that many people don’t even think about (with their organic PC of course).

But one constant in human society throughout history is the fear of and the need to feel superior to and apart from “the other”. Whatever makes someone different than the “norm” is a reason for some to attack them or denigrate them because they threaten the fragile security of those types who are emotionally dependant on being part of the group and that group being defined as including only “normal” people like them.

So that conformist mentality is of course messed up and IMO, reflects personal issues that such people have and should be dealing with.

Another aspect of being a unique human being with a unique organic personal computer in our heads is that we don’t all process the same data the same way. Some people don’t get humor or are prone to misunderstanding it. Some people don’t understand that they don’t understand things. One person’s brain could use a programming language that doesn’t produce the same results in another’s. So misunderstandings are common but when it comes to emotionally potent matters, they can be profound.

One last thought on this is that our own perceptions of ourselves and the thoughts of others are necessarily subjective and personalized. It goes to the old question, are we who we perceive ourselves to be or are we who others perceive us to be? I think about the idea that even the most evil people in history have seen themselves as good people and righteous while some of the greatest people in history never saw themselves as being great.

I think that the way a person is best defined is by the choices they make. This can be a very objective way of trying to view the truth of one’s identity as long as one doesn’t try to rationalize away choices that were wrong, destructive or hurtful.

Under this principle, someone who chooses to be dismissive or insulting towards someone else purely because they are dealing with a health issue, mental or physical, is defining themselves negatively, not the person they assail or disrespect. And odds are, that person has his/her own issues that, unlike the person they’re dissing, they’re not dealing with.

As for the family and parent thing, it is absolutely a personal choice and there is no right side. I have friends including couples who didn’t want kids and never had them. And of course, having a child, I was around more people who do have kids. There are those who are judgemental about needing everyone to conform to the way they live, some parents do look down on people who don’t have or want kids. But to be fair, I’ve known many people, especially in my 20s and 30s who were very dismissive and derogatory of people who had children.

The most powerful influences each of us has about family comes from our personal experiences as a child with our parents. This is our primary frame of reference for what a family truly is (as opposed to ideal tv families that some believe are attainable). But here again, the reactions to one’s family life can differ. A childhood with strict, principled parents could result in a responsible, conscientious adult, or that same child could rebel and be unprincipled and inconsiderate of others. Many children who have gone through difficult traumas in their youth, have acted like heroes (as similarly referenced above) and risen above it, vowing to be a better person and parent and committed to giving their child a happier childhood. Other children adopt the hurtful behavior they’ve been subjected to and inflict it on others, including their children. Families can be a comfort or a minefield in one’s life.

I will end with a few notes on the most important topics in your post.

1. It was just announced today that Russell T. Davies, who revived Doctor Who with Christopher Eccleston then David Tennant, is returning as the showrunner to Doctor Who in time for the 60th Anniversary next year. To Whovians, this is a dream come true. Also, I would’ve gotten your Jessica Jones/David Tennant joke and appreciated it.

2. I like The Crow, I think The Avengers movies were mostly much ado about nothing, and while I was big on Superman as a kid, I have to go with Batman as being the most compelling superhero. Stan Lee did steal the work of others and take credit for it. Marvel also stole and copied many heroes and villains from DC but did tackle racism and prejudice remarkably well with the analogy of the X-Men. Walt Disney was anti-Semitic and Disney hides behind its family image to be one of the greediest and most cynical entertainment companies in the world.

3. Disneyland is mainly aimed at families and children especially so it’s not unusual at all not to pine for going there again (though there are some adults literally obsessed with Disney parks and films, I was at a young couple’s apartment once, they dedicated an entire room as their “Disney Room” with a collection of all kinds of Disney merchandise). My daughter preferred Six Flags and insane rollercoasters and that worked for me. When I think of traveling somewhere nowadays, I too don’t think of going to attractions, I think of going to a region of the country or world that I want to experience, explore and enjoy.

4. The answer to life, the universe and everything is indeed 42. Or a well-mixed Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.