A Study in Classroom Violence

School has taught me well. Thanks to my teachers, I now know how to think.

How much nicer would being locked up in the peace, quiet, and safety of solitary confinement be than remaining stuck in this hellish classroom? I’m not a psychopath, unfortunately, so killing my fellow students would cost me significant remorse to get there.

The incessant noise bothers me in ways I’m not allowed to be bothered. The resonance of all the individual voices harmonizes into whispers buzzing in my head. I can barely make out what the crowd of my thoughts are saying, but a word or phrase here or there tells me I’m having trouble controlling how upset I’ve become. A little bit of heat, I can tolerate, but the games, insinuations, gossip, and plain old insults are like being submerged in filthy oil set to boil. I want to turn them off like a room full of TVs all set to commercials.

None of them deserve to die, but if a bully were gotten rid of, my remorse would be much less. Many would benefit after the initial shock. The question is whether the expected relief of being locked away and sparing the bully’s lifetime of victims would offset the trouble of having to kill someone and endure a trial. It’s a simple equation.

A courtroom seems like all the hatefulness of school distilled to its bitterest essence of boredom, forced seriousness, inscrutable rules, and jumbled evidence and opinions presented slowly enough to obscure the bigger picture. Also, it would traumatize the entire school for there to be a murder, which would be harder to live with than the loss of a bully or two. I’d be pretty upset if someone murdered someone on me.

Then again, isn’t there already a culture of fearfulness? Aren’t we already being punished into our futures as if it were normal and expected that we be miserable, and blamed for our lack of resilience in becoming depressed, and anxious? Of course we’d be violent to each other. It’s the only expression of contempt against our daily abuse we can get away with. Whether our lives feel safe or livable has never mattered compared to preparing us to waste them working jobs made for us to despise. Must I really take responsibility for terrorizing my school when there’s an army of civil servants decidedly ignoring how people like me feel?

Of course, I don’t have the means to kill anyone. I’m too weak. The part where I fight back is where the cornered mouse bites the cat. Even if I had it all planned out, I’d freeze at the decisive moment, cry, and get pounded to the ground like a thawing slab of meat. Maybe someone will kill me, instead.

There’s always suicide. Cost-benefit analysis consistently demonstrates that suicide is the optimal solution, as the expected misery of living my life is quite a bit worse than enduring a self-inflicted injury capable of ending it. Delusional what-if scenarios don’t enter into it. The cheapening of my life is a matter of economic exchange. My life won’t be worth anything until someone gives me something to live for.

-Crown of Blonde Hair

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Amorous Report from the Floodzone

We who love love, always flood floods. On May 2nd 2019 the Ottawa river peaked in a flood that beat records set in the last major flood in the spring of 2017. Accordingly, SH, PP, JA and L of the Ottawa surrealist group assembled at the flooded zone on Britannia beach and continued our tradition of flood investigations (see here for some intimations of what was discovered in 2017). Wandering the waterline, we dreamed collectively at the strange formations and detritus we found at our feet.

group portrait with flood and glove
group portrait with hung glove and flood
Highlights of the excursion included:
  • The detection of a flood astronomy—the reversion of ground to sky and the flooded concordances with well known stars and constellations (sagitarius, cancer, gemini, the dog star…)
  • Flood erotica—an orgy of sandbags, condoms, heaps of ooze, the live copulation of a pair of gulls
  • The methodological nivellation of different species of golems; the creation of slime and shrubs and gulls, as low level homunculi; that white sandbags might be brought to life as gulls
  • The discovery of the grey lantern and indications of a visit from the Hermit card, Arcanum 9
  • A visitation from a pink shark, heretofore unseen in the Ottawa river
  • A puzzling witch trial for heretical trees indicated by heaps of wood for a burning at the stake
  • Paranoiac driftwood, including a burnt foot, a Lovecraftian entity, an eagle, and a few formless masses of exquisite beauty
We then assembled in the lobby of the not-entirely-flooded Kolbus Community Centre to write an impromptu collective poem on our subjective experiences of the flood phenomena. Here is an extract:

Each ripple constricts and squeezes out a duck. Brambleberg and soggy bones, and the whole scene a whisper that says the reflection is all wrong.

As the grey lantern cast its rays of anti-light it rained and melted the eyeless golems of the cloud homunculus.

Call me Ishmael, afloat on a melted jellyfish, I sing of snows sent to Grecian graves that never see a seagull’s handwriting.

I lost the way to the footbridge of shadow.

My own cause is swept up in lightning’s gloss river.

A goose demon howls for myopia’s end.

The more detailed insights and data, along with a lot of unpublished interpretations from the 2017 flood, may one day be assembled, analyzed and made available in a future issue of /kaɪˈmɪərə/.
group portrait - orgy of sandbags.JPG
group portrait with orgy of sandbag golems

Infantilism Night

On March 21, 2019 the Ottawa Surrealist Group had its first official “infantilism night”. L, SH, PP and JA convened at a dessert shop, where a whole evening was dedicated to pursuing the spectre of childhood, its irrationalisms, holdovers, dreams, obsessions, and potential mobilization against the banalities of everyday life. All while eating sweets.

infantlilism drawing 5 JA PP L SH

Crayons, children’s books, precious stuffed animals and drawings were ritually arranged and played with in order to invoke regressive mental states.

A surrealist inquiry into childhood and infantile behaviour was held.

Highlights include:

  • Childhood rituals, sacred objects, the blocking out of nocturnal whispers with fingers in ears…
  • Childhood aversions, including aversions to cucumbers, shrimp, African creamed corn, telephones;
  • Childhood worship; maternal gifts of snowglobes, or sacred utopian cities visited by adults on business trips (Edmonton?)
  • The revelation of a childhood identification of one member with spiders, to the point where they would eat flies;
  • The elaboration of several childhood dreams involving nightmarish lights, erectile multifunctions, and of course parental monsters (whether nude, tandem-bicycling over perilous heights, mind-reading, or robotic…)
  • The tick-tock-tick-tocking of the grandparent’s grandfather clock, resonating in the mind…
  • The exploration of childhood obsessions with real and virtual portals, hidden pirate kingdoms, clambering around waterfall edges for secret caves, tornadoes in school bathroom vents, potential that existed in the imagination but pressured real life pursuits…

We created childlike collective windows onto secret worlds…

homunculi

…found some contemporary children’s dino-art at a junk shop, calling out for dino-surrealist Vittoria Lion, a childhood friend met in adulthood…

Found dino art

…and used some children’s books as a medium for surrealist games, delirium, poetry…

masturbation machinework1
I am gentle.
I am white.
I say “Baa.”
I am a tractor.
*
I am brave.
I roar.
I have a mane.
I am a bucket.
*
I am proud.
I can sing.
I have two legs.
I am a tilapia.
eyesproclaiming the rodent king
For those interested in more specific details from the game night, inquiry responses, or to send us thoughts on your own infantile experiences, please contact chimera.ipa@gmail.com

 

Theory on a Spectrum of Voice Hearing

tlaIris

While grumpily riding the bus to a dentist appointment to fix a tooth that has been broken for weeks now, I found myself thinking through the “what if scenario” of having to argue with someone who demands my spot in the priority seating section. What struck me was that I was not intentionally imagining the jerk I found myself arguing with, although everything they said had all the verisimilitude of such a person. They were distinctly not me, for my own voice, also somewhat automatic, was preoccupied with having to make answer to their unreasonable badgering.

At once the scenario dissipated as I began to consciously wonder, “How does this scenario relate to a schizophrenic’s hearing voices?” It occurred to me that, even if the voice was the unbidden representation of a person that did not exist, I at least had the awareness that it was internally generated, and not truly a phenomenon outside myself. Perhaps we can call it an interactive, ideative construction of my unconscious based on my current emotional state.

Later in the day I spent some time fine tuning this concept with my wife. The scenario we most contrast with that of hearing voices is the idea of ourselves talking with other people. There is a clear separation between our own social identity, and the identity of other people.

When we start thinking to ourselves alone, however, that boundary weakens in that we are both speaker and audience, self and other. This sort of conversational reflexive is very important to thought because it allows us to detect implications or contradictions in previously presented information free of outside manipulation.

On the other hand, the lack of an outside perspective diminished one’s capacity to calibrate their reality against the information provided by other, trusted sources. People who are too often alone, often become weird. Perhaps this is why we also sometimes intentionally imagine ourselves talking to people we know well, such as best friends, spouses, and parents – we know them well enough that even if we don’t think as they do, we feel we can anticipate what they would say, which might be sufficient to provide a reality check.

We might also intentionally imagine ourselves talking with non-specific people, such as invented bullies, authority figures, people in need of help, desired romantic partners, or people we want to like us. Usually we do this to anticipate or rehearse a kind of general conversation script that would allow us to respond effectively to a scenario which some goal of ours is contingent upon – a job interview, or a date, say. The fact that we are effectively engaging with model people, perhaps even stereo-types, however, leads us to a place where we are increasingly dealing with what we think we know about people instead of who they are.

What we think about specific people is only the meaning we attach to the consistencies and variations we observe in all the social and intimate situations where we are aware of their interactions. There is a lot about how we think, feel, and behave that no one else gets to experience even if we try to explain it, because we have more thoughts than we can or would want to say out loud. The same is true of what we see in our intimate companions.

But then again, there’s a lot about our own selves we don’t know – our entire subconscious is filled with half-formed, contradictory, tentative thoughts and feelings that effect our cognition, but we only slowly come to realize them, if we ever do. The net effect of many unconscious half ideas, if they have similar momentum in a direction, can have a powerful effect on our worldview, even if we have no way to name, or conceptualize them – such as when we hate something but can’t explain why even when we try to.

We also have, besides the self we identity, a great deal of selves that we do much less so. We see this most often when people cover their mistakes by saying something like, “what wasn’t me,” or “that wasn’t the person I want to be.” We also know we act differently in different situations – at a wild party versus a somber, thoughtful occasion, though we might not think of these as our general personality.

Getting closer to the subconscious mind, we sometimes find ourselves unintentionally imagining or daydreaming that we are conversing with people we know, or invented model people. This automatism allows us to explore ideas less filtered by conscious logic, but the freer association of ideas can lead to deeper insights by allowing us to make random connections. If we never considered things simply because they don’t seem to be related, we would discover very little. But then, this random noise can also reinforce biases by stumbling upon and reinforcing weak or tenuous connections between them – such as when we come to loath someone based on daydreaming about arguing with them.

Below even subconscious I believe there is a state where what we are imagining automatically, becomes strong enough to play along with, or act out as if it were real. This is probably what a method actor does. I would also argue that symptoms like mania exhibit tendencies in this direction, as we find people over-enthusiastic about pipe-dream projects they labor away at as if their completion or success was realistic. This is the usual threshold to psychosis. Here the boundaries between reality and mental construct become permeable enough that fact-checking can be impaired in ways that are serious.

Finally, we arrive at actual psychosis, characterized by outright delusions and hallucinations. Here, significant features of one’s perception of the world diverge significantly from those other people agree are obvious and important. Of course, culture plays an obvious role here. Perhaps we may make a further distinction between an episode of psychosis, and a worldview which has been permanently colored by it.

We may speculate, furthermore, that various kinds of psychiatric disorders live at each level of this spectrum. Near to conversation, for instance, we have personality disorders. At the level of internal conversation, we have mood disorders. Then, at last, we have thought, and finally psychotic disorders.

Perhaps it can be observed that our spectrum corresponds best to a convention-creativity axis . I would argue that people are placed on this axis not at a point between the poles, but as a spectrometer representing the amount of activity at every point on the axis.

I think it is the role of movements like Surrealism to defend creativity where it is so often assaulted and dominated by convention. While we depend on interactions between every level of the spectrum to create knowledge, we too often privilege the areas approaching pure convention because of their association with received science, math, and logic.

The recognition of the value of creativity as a permanent aspect of people’s personality is crucial to the emancipation of those who might otherwise be consigned a repressed place in society as the mentally ill. There is no mental illness, only neuro-diversity, and the privileging of certain people’s contribution to our collective epistemology over others. We must also reinforce that while each person’s internal spectrogram is unique, we are all necessarily capable of activity at any of its levels. This knowledge must be used, not to insist that people use it to compensate from some deviancy from a privileged norm, but so that people of all varieties can realize their full potential how they decide.

A recap of the spectrum as it applies to hearing voices

Conversation Partner’s Voice – Internal Monologue – Internal Dialogue – Automatism – Hearing Voices

A more general breakdown

Consensus reality – Personal Identity – Models of Reality – Fantasy –Psychosis

–Lake

PatPro – Space Energy

PatPro practices a special kind of prophecy, one tied to both science fiction  and at the same time a kind of anti-neurotypical black mysticism. A possible label might be “schizofuturism”. Here we encounter the stark and categorical imperatives of the overmind, the proxy, the zoid, characteristics and characters, and simultaneously, mental states with mechanized and biomorphic underpinnings. It is a reflexive world, where the the constant swallowing of the dream resets, at precise intervals, the coordinates of reality and memory. Revelation comes in the form of disorienting tropes, tropes which lose themselves quickly in the void of linguistic play. PatPro is a geometry of what will be, from the point of view of its own shadow.

-Jason Abdelhadi

*

img_4735-1

Space energy:

Slaves slaves you are all slaves you and I mean we are slaves cannot loose ourselves from that which is a Certainty in which we all Define that we can’t control our minds because the evil controls this part of sub reality a parody of laughter for the gods really really help free me!!! Bring me through to the over-minded… And tell me tell me tell me please just tell me what space are you from are you ready for my fury mwhahaha…

Droid:

Our ship has come to attention of our new space anomaly a sub dimensional craft in our vicinity, we must prepare to boarded by unknown species but somehow the above the air locks has over rid our real time energy Flux security systems that is all I can do. Sorry captain we are now being boarded…

Proxy:

Activate the defense drones and you should take careful countermeasures do not have the intent to kill just sedate and a restrain only…We want to obtain as much information from these entities if possible let’s find out what they’re made of and why they’re from this other dimension…

Entity:

Kill me kill me now kill me soon kill me a quick kill me when it’s been calling me to kill

Proxy

Goes to the ship entrance to meet up with the entity

It as a strange orange ball of yarn like energy that possibly radiating within itself, it seems impossible that this would be alive somehow but it was indeed conscient… and it seemed to be yearning to die..

The entity floated in front of my face, Too much energy too much misery please take my energy take it..

img_4736

Patpro.ca

Watch out for his upcoming sci-fi novel

And send inquiries to

proxyzoids@gmail.com