Shithouse rat

I'm a bipolar writer in the Naked City. I'm not playing with a full deck. I don't have all my dots on the dice. My cheese is sliding off my cracker. I don't have both oars in the water. I'm a bubble off plum. In other words, I'm crazier than a shithouse rat. These are my stories. Comments--short or long, nasty or nice--always welcome!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Hey babe, take a walk on the paranoid side

you are under suveillance
Originally uploaded by found_drama.
In the past, I've suffered some horrifying bouts of depression with psychotic features, as they like to say in the psychiatric business. These involved, among other things, episodes of delusional paranoia. By delusional, of course, I mean they were unfounded; not supported by objective fact.

BG, likewise, sometimes suffers from this malady, and one of his various psychiatric labels over the years has been paranoid schizophrenia. In my opinion, some of these paranoid tendencies are ingrained in his personality, and passed down from a family traditon of seeing threats where none actually exist. For example, during the Nixon administration, BG's dad threw away any photos of BG with long hair. BG hadn't kept any as he moved from place to place, and now I'll never have the satisfaction of seeing what BG the hippie looked like back in the day.

The way I see it, one of the features of delusional paranoia is based on the erronious assumption that anyone gives enough of a shit about you to persecute you. Major mental illness can produce this effect, in part because in your psychosis you perceive things only from your own self-centered viewpont. I'm not talking here about garden-variety egotism, but a symptom that can bring untold distress to the sufferer.

However, as they say, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that someone isn't out to get you.

In my last post, I mentioned that I was having a bit of blogger's block. Though some of it was due to my habitual attempt to make my posts as coherent and succinct as possible, I think that finding out about Blogger's deletion of certain blogs without warning or explanation actually made me hesitate to post the piece at all. The fact that affected bloggers also found it difficult, if not impossible, to reach a real person at Blogger to try to get the situation straighened out distressed me even more. To make matters worse, on the evening in question I'd watched a TV program about the horrifyingly repressive North Korean regime that chilled me to the bone.

My potential post involved a tongue in cheek exploration of how bloggers try to generate more hits, or visits. I was going to discuss provocative technorati tags and linking to high traffic sites. But I put that aside in part because I realized that banned blogs may have been mistakenly labeled as splogs (spam blogs)--perhaps via some automated scanning software. I admit this is quite a stretch, but now I find that I am, for the first time, second guessing myself on my own blog.

In addition, I'd been coming across examples of internet censorship virtually from the moment I began blogging. The one characteristic that disturbed me the most was that websites could literally disappear overnight without a trace--much in the same way any individual seen as a threat to a repressive government can vanish in the night.

In conclusion, I don't know if I will post on blog censorship or not. I don't know if I will do my little sardonic post on tags and linkage or not.

Perhaps I am being ridiculous here, and you are free to mock me or tell me to up my meds. But the fact that I feel it necessary to think twice about posting on any topic is, perhaps, the most disturbing thing of all.


At 7:33 AM, Blogger !ce said...

I say do it and worry about the consequences later. If it makes you feel better, I have a homie who feels that capitalist societies will collapse in our lifetime. Fo' real, G.

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

I wish you would write about the tags...interested here in that too. I have a blogger friend where her site was hijacked by an online casino-advertising, that was pretty shocking. The way I understand WHAT LITTLE I have heard is usually the blogs vulnerable are ones that do not post regularly. Maybe I heard wrong?

On being paranoid, I remember the era you spoke of...I use to be like that to a degree. I kept a post office box, never signed up for grocery store cards...(so no one could monitor what I bought for profiling)etc. etc. Even would use different signatures...practiced that often...even signing other names to contracts sometimes. (LOL) Nowadays, I just don't care. (smiling)

At 1:41 PM, Blogger NewYorkMoments said...

I've heard of people saying that their blogs just disappear. Are these blogs about random stuff or political topics?

At 3:34 PM, Blogger Swifty said...

My late brother was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic, and I've noticed a slight disposition in myself to feel overly persecuted, especially when under stress. So I have some sympathy with your plight, even though I suspect, as you do, it's complete bollocks.

Would you agree that feelings play a major part in what we think of as 'knowledge'? I'm thinking especially of occasional dreams I've had over the years, when in my dream-state I've become aware of an 'absolute truth' - I know it, with the utmost conviction. Of course, when I'm awake, the 'feeling' or 'knowledge' dissipates, but for the duration of the dream, it was certain knowledge. It's for this reason, I don't come down too hard on Christians whose belief is based on the absolute certainty of God's existence via a feeling. Only when they try to argue for it rationally do I bite. Real paranoia must be scary.

Regarding your fear of Blog-attack, just make sure all of your posts are archived somewhere safe. Starting another blog is easy, as I've found, having recented deleted one, and started again, retaining the original url; but you can't get back your posts unless you've saved them. So, did you know there is a facility in Blogger to have each post, as you publish, emailed to the account of your choice? Ideally, especially in your case, as your posts tend to be lengthy, it needs to be a decent size. If you're interested, I can invite you to have a Google mail account, if you haven't already got one. This will give you a massive 2 gigabyte storage space. Be my guest.

By the way, I wouldn't be paranoid if the fuckers would stop talking about me!

At 9:21 PM, Blogger Timothy said...

Big Brother is watching!

All of us are being “monitored” in our internet activities. Some say it is just spamers and hackers, other believe it is our government. It is actually all 3.

My father believes that "they" are out to get him. Not really sure who "they" are, but it might be in his words, "big business." In his mind, through out my life anyway, he has believed that "they" have been the source of everything wrong not only in his life, but the entire World. He worked for Safeway for 30 plus years. They wanted to install tinny video cameras in the bathrooms and the backrooms of the stores. Safeway’s contention was to stop shop-lifters. My father was against it, but a large majority of theft comes from employees.

At 2:34 AM, Blogger Walker said...

I hold nothing back.
I say what I want to say and if they want to shut me up Let Them Try
I will speak my mind and thats tyhat.
I even removed the falg tags at the top of the screen HA HA HA
Say what you want to say because even though there may be those who don't want to hear it there are 1000 times that many that do. We pride ourselves on freedom of speech and its the foundation of democracy.

At 10:31 AM, Blogger jessie said...

there is too much censorship going on. people have the choice to read or not, watch or not and listen or not. why censor someone because some idiot dunno how to hit the next button? if we censored these fools for their genuine idiocy they would be complaining but it'd make our lives better!
if you want a ribbon icon for stop internet censorship visit my blog and click on the button, it'll take you to the site to grab a code for yours! i also have a button on there called spam poison which when the spammers scan blogs it scrambles the info so they cant spam your blog or email! you can grab that too.

At 1:18 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

I think I'll back up my posts first. I know I'm being silly, but one of my biggest fears is losing everything on my blog for whatever reason.

I kinda doubt that there's going to be a withering away of the state anytime soon, unless heaven forbid we get taken over by the Islamic extremists. And the oil barons are some of the richest people in the world anyway.

At 1:24 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


What you mentioned just sounds like comment spam. Now that Blogger gives the option of word verification, I think that prob has been licked. But if you don't have it turned on, I think you're right. I've seen sites like that which have been inactive for awhile that are loaded with the stuff.

As far as the tags, I've started using Technorati tags so if people are looking for a post on a certain topic, I'll be listed there. I'm sure some people can abuse this too, though I don't know if you'd get banished for it. For example, you might put tags in like "naked wild sex party" to gain traffic. In the interest of fairness, the tags should really have relevance to the post at hand.

But the thing is that it looks like some blogs may have been mistakenly deleted as splogs, but it may be a fine line with some of them. If you have several blogs and you post links back and forth to each of them, I guess they may consider that as spamming. I'm checking out any info I can find out, but there's not much so far.

The thing that worries me is that Blogger may itself be using some sort of automated anti-spam software, which is kind of the inverse of automated spam. Ironic, isn't it?

At 1:27 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


Well, I've heard of some websites (I think they were not Blogger sites) that were cut off. One of them was an anti-AA site; one was an anti-Scientology site, if I'm not mistaken.

I think the others were either deleted in error, or were identified--correctly or incorrectly--as splogs (spam blogs.)

At 1:31 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


Yes, I believe feelings pay a huge part in what we perceive as knowledge. Basically, perception for each of us IS reality.

In the case of someone with bipolar disorder, in a depressive state one can believe that everyone hates you, that you are worthless, that you should kill yourself, etc. etc. and really believe it wholeheartedly.

Conversely in a manic/hypomanic state, you may feel you are brilliant, invincible, full of theories and ideas that you think the world should appreciate and subscribe to, etc . etc. This, too, seems absolutely real at the time.

Religious faith is a personal matter. I just don't believe in imposing it on others.

Thanks for the e-mail tip--that sounds like a good option.

At 1:40 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


Yes, Big Brother is watching. I know that using the internet automatically means that you have indelible traceable links to everything you leave, including e-mails, even if you delete them. Technology can be a blessing, but some of the side effects can be a curse.

Perhaps your dad's concerns are excessive, but I don't know. I can see his point of view pretty readily.

At 1:47 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

As far as freedom of speech--it is very precious to me also, but I don't know if we can take it for granted that it will also be fully enforced. Check out this link re: the claim that Yahoo helped the Chinese authorities jail a blogger by turning over his e-mails. This is in addition to the bowlderized search engines (ours) that are operating in China now as a compromise (and of course, China is a huge potential market).

At 1:49 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


Wow! You are the blogger tech queen! Thanks for the tip--I may just do that.

At 11:59 PM, Blogger digibrill said...

Let's hear it about a meritocracy and self-censorship. Yes, I believe there are certain things, like bomb-making instructions and Al Qaeda Web sites, that should be regulated, but I think we can censor ourselves and others who bother us. Specifically on the second category and meritocratic methods, all idiots will eventually be banned through kill files and filters. Only the best will survive.

At 7:25 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Oy vey...I messed up on my commentiquette big time here and didn't address some of you by name on my responses! Ice, Walker--so sorry!

At 7:28 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


Interesting, but I don't see the internet/blogging as being a potential meritocracy. On the contrary, it seems like one of the most democratic--or it is socialist?--forms of media we've come up with so far. But it's true--if a site is really shitty, either the blogger will give up eventually and/or get no feedback. Although some people do get feedback even though they're assholes.

At 11:04 PM, Blogger Marianne Clouser said...

I have severe depression and after taking prozac for seven years straight the drug turned on me and I became paranoid. I did not enjoy the paranoid trip at all. I was convinced fully that certain people were out to get me Oh Yuk! so they gave me an antipsychotic drug witch turned me into a fat zombie I wasn't paranoid I was just fat and depressed. I have that all straightened out now the right meds no paranoia. But I do think we are too monitored in our society and are freedom to be Anonymous is long gone. President Bush likes to watch and monitor all sorts of things.Oh no I'm disappearing

At 11:45 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


Yep, the side effects from meds can suck. I often wonder if I need them all--the meds, I mean-- but I don't ever want to be in that horrible psychotic depression again.

This week brought another Bush revelation about American citizens being monitored for "terrorist threats" without proper authorization (I think I've got that right) and of course the usual brouhaha has erupted. It doesn't shock me in the least though.

At 7:47 AM, Blogger Lord Boinkingham said...

I had this phase for about a month when I was 8 years old where my dreams had become so vivid, I was never really sure if I was awake or dreaming. So, I would go to the bathroom very hesitantly, fearing I'd wake up moments later in a puddle.

At 1:30 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Lord Buckingham:

I've had that thing with the dream peeing and then going to the bathroom and being afraid you're still asleep and you'll wet yourself thing. Only problem was, I was 40 at the time.

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Lord Boinkingham said...

So, FMI, how old ARE you? I haven't seen any pics or anything, but I wouldn't have guessed ya a day over 23. Except for, ya know, the fact that you were conscious in the early 70s.

And, FYI, the whole Lord Buckingham thing is a nickname a friend in NYC gave me based of my real last name. I thought about going to the UK for a while. Who needs a passport when you've got a name like this?

At 7:29 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Lord Buckingham:

Ahem. I'm...40 something, m'kay?

So your name's in the palace?


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