Suppose you found out that there was a, shall we say ‘regrettable’, movie loose of a part of your past that you would rather forget.
What would you do?
I was in that situation, as have been several other people.
One such person, Tyler Clementi, jumped off a bridge to his death (the George Washington Bridge between Manhattan and New Jersey).
Another person, a woman sued the fraternity who had secretly filmed her and won a million dollars.
But what did I do about it?
I ran away. Specifically, I ran from Boston, where the movie first was shown. I’m not totally clear on the original motive for showing it, but I had been threatened by a very angry girlfriend.
A few years later, I went to work in New Haven, a town about 140 miles from Boston. It was also a student town (Yale, SCSU, New Haven Tech, etc) and the movie eventually hit. I was jeered at, called names, and so forth.
I realized the movie was not going away, and went on a publicity rampage of my own, trying to defend myself against the movie by distributing flyers, tape cassettes, etc.
By this time, you might realize that I’m not a normal person.
Assuming the movie was real, no normal person would react that way.
But then again, a movie that would attract this kind of attention would not be made of a normal person.
But wait a minute – how could I possibly know there was a movie? Did anyone give me a copy? The answer to that is NO.
I did encounter hostility, amusement, disgust, and people said things to each other such as “Its terrible what they did to him – but he was SO disgusting!” and other people did mention a movie in sentences such as “she saw the movie, and she says he is messed up for life!” (I substituted tamer words for the expletives here).
I was called “subhuman”, “Hebe”, and heard jokes about “bondage” and was told I was “so gay!” and a “faggot” (I am not homosexual) and so forth. One woman accurately described me as a “slob” and another woman said “after seeing him, now I understand the Holocaust!”
So how does a person defend himself against something like this? I remember my behavior of the movie-period vaguely, (I suppress the memory to some extent, because it is painful) and I know that it is VERY hard to fight graphic and sickening pictures with mere words.
So in my message-campaign I said that I had heard of all sorts of shenanigans going on in society that didn’t arouse this kind of universal disgust but should get at least as much attention as I was getting. And that was true. I did not have to go far afield for examples. For example, the police chief of New Haven was found to have been patronizing a prostitute, (his wife divorced him after he gave an interview to the local paper trying to limit the damage). Also a work colleague told me that at his former job, some of his colleagues visited “ladies of the night”, or perhaps “ladies of the lunch break”. And in a flyer, I mentioned the State University of New Paltz, NY, where a visiting troupe of feminists made a scandalous show for the students.
So my punchline was – “why don’t you folks care at all about this other stuff! Why just me!”
In retrospect, I think the best argument I could have made was not given, which was, that the movie wasn’t exactly what it looked like (but how do explain a bizarre desire to dance weirdly in front of your mirror?), and I had a prior history of compulsions, depression, eating disorders, extreme stress, and so forth. I was not the typical “Hebe”, any more than I was the typical Caucasian, though I have never seen such conviction as when people uttered that word (Hebe) at me. And, I could have pointed out that most of my life had been decent enough.
But now that I have set up the situation here, lets assume that I am currently a normal person, trying to lead a normal life, but with this unfortunate past grafted onto me.
What happens next?
Evil is what happens.
First of all, the movie spread. It spread from sea to shining sea. It spread to other countries, and I would meet foreign students who would make comments, in one case in a foreign language that I understood (Hebrew).
Then the Mafia struck.
I call it the Mafia, but that is because it is an organization that uses illegal methods to target people. From their point of view, they may have been partially a vigilante organization, taking their own form of justice against “the Hebe”, or against someone who symbolized everything they didn’t like.
I didn’t know I was being attacked at first. I was feeling sick, and most strangely, my “reproductive urges” were increasing, going up, and up, and up. I didn’t like this at all. But I didn’t give in to the urges. I had a history that made me even more determined than the usual person not to sink into the slime, and I held onto the cliff of decency by my fingernails.
This continued for a year. Then I had an idea.
The idea was to change my lifestyle.
It started with not eating at home.
This was not because I suspected anything. I just remembered my bicycling days, when I would eat only twice a day, on long multi-day jaunts through the American countryside. So now, when work was over, I’d cycle back, out of New Haven, into the hills of Woodbridge, and buy something to eat on the way.
The “urges” went away. The sick feeling went away. I was reviving.
But I suspected nothing.
Then one day, I purchased a bottle of spring water. I drank some of it. I put the rest of the refrigerator. I went to sleep.
That night, someone entered my apartment. Someone bad. He headed straight for the water in the refrigerator. I did not see this person.
The next morning, I got up, eager to go to work, where my neural net project was picking up steam. But first, I drank the water.
This was a mistake.
In a few seconds, the sex urges came back. They came back like a ton of bricks. I felt like punching the walls. It was truly unbelievable.
Finally, I understood.
I staggered down Whalley avenue (historical note: Edward Whalley hid in 1661 in a cave on top of West Rock in New Haven – he had signed the death warrant for Charles I, right under Oliver Cromwell’s signature). But here I was, 333 years later than Edward the regicide, and I was in my own predicament saturated with some new kind of drug that was latching on with ferocity to receptors in my brain that had to do with reproduction. In wonderment, I noticed how ordinary middle-aged women on the avenue looked like sexually alluring seductresses.
Now lets stop here, the story is way too long for this blog, but we can speculate on a few things.
First of all, let us assume that I’m not deranged, or a liar, and that I’m reporting to you something new and ugly in your environment.
What kind of people would develop (and use) drugs such as these?
Why would I be targeted? Was I being targeted for my “holier than thou” attitude? For my accusations of “hypocrisy” to the society at large, in my pamphlets and handouts and cassettes? Was I being targeted for my behavior in the movie? And if I was targeted for all three, why would people who were disgusted at my behavior then try to plunge me even deeper into the slime?
If it makes no sense to you, it also made no sense to policemen, private detectives, and others who I told the story to.
Since then, I’ve been drugged and sexually assaulted. More than once.
In true Mafia fashion, a message was given. A dead bird was dropped on my porch, right under my mailbox.
The Mafia is known to dump dead animals on target porches, but to me, this message had something to do with clipping my wings.
When I would go cycling, strange things would happen. I would start a cycle trip and a beautiful dead red bird would be in my path, and when I returned, a beautiful (dead) blue bird would be in my path. I would go into an isolated tavern in the countryside for directions, come out, and find out that sticky goo had been smeared on my handle bars. I would wipe my hands clean, but they had absorbed the chemical, and my heart would suddenly start pounding as if it were going to explode, and I would have to lie down for an hour on the grass and then force myself to get back on the bike.
On one trip, I cycled with my water bottle, but did not drink it, for reasons I cannot explain. I finally reached my destination, drank the bottle, and within seconds it felt as if a barrage of pins had penetrated my heart. The next few days I could barely walk.
Note however, that none of this could be proven.
You might ask -me well, if there was really was a movie, wouldn’t someone tell you about it? And if there really was a Mafia, wouldn’t a disgruntled member defect and tell all to the police? And even Mafiosi must have better things to do that follow you around the landscape just to make you “feel bad”. And as for “dead birds” – well, haven’t you heard of “roadkill”? And sure, if you bike a lot you will get heart pains. And if there was a movie – wouldn’t it be on the internet? How come I haven’t heard of this movie? And why would people care about such a movie – they would just think of you as pathetic and leave you alone. And finally – you say you had urges? Well, men are pigs.
I lack room here to refute any of this, and in some cases I don’t know the answer. But I will say this. The movie came full circle. All of a sudden, I was trying to warn my fellow citizens that there was a powerful, extensive threat to their liberties, of a nature they had never encountered or conceived. They could be knocked out with a whiff of a drug, perhaps sprayed at them in a train seat, or even from a car.
Once knocked out, their keys could be copied, their possessions stolen.
Their very urges could be amplified and perhaps even their behavior changed.
They could be made sick at a time they had to be strong, they could be disoriented when they had to be vigilant and they would have no clue that a malicious organization was behind it. They could have their secrets stolen, their personal, local, and national defenses penetrated.
Knowing all this, you would think I should be debriefed by the FBI, police, and so forth.
I tried. I really tried to get the message out. For various reasons, I failed.
I’ll leave this post with the lyrics of a new song by Carrie Underwood:
He said, “I’ve been where you’ve been before.
Down every hallway’s a slamming door.
No way out, no one to come and save me.
Wasting a life that the Good Lord gave me.
There must’ve been something in the water
Oh, there must’ve been something in the water