Kitty Cat Family Profiles

INTRODUCTION
For some people, a cat is just a cat. It’s something they “have,” much in the same way that they have a car, or have children. That is, it’s a being or entity in their presence that is NOT necessarily an intimate part of their lives. It’s like the dog chained to a dog house in the back corner of the yard, who gets some food and water dumped into bowls every morning, before it is summarily abandoned and forgotten.

A cat in this situation typically lives outdoors. They end up killing lots of smaller animals that they don’t necessarily need for sustenance. They get injured or killed in the wild outdoors. And when they die or otherwise cannot be found, they’ll talk about “getting another cat.”

It’s highly impersonal and not very caring. As a result, these cats are viewed as not caring about the family that “owns” them. Of course they don’t care, because why should they care about people who don’t care about them?

But for people like me, a cat is a being who becomes a member of the family, and who is welcomed and conditioned to participate in the household. They not only have names, but respond to their names. They will develop routines. They learn how to ask for things they want, including going for a walk. They sleep on the bed at night.

In other words, there’s more interaction, which indicates an actual relationship.

For me, I don’t consider myself an “owner,” so much as a father.

Today, I present to you the profiles of the cats who are current members of my family.


TIBO BAT PROFILE
Tibo Bat is a half-tabby/half-Maine Coon cat who was born on September 9, 2019. He was born of a cat who lived with someone who worked at the nearby animal clinic.

As a kitten, he was a violent whirlwind of sharp pin-like claws and teeth, with unbound destructive energy. Leather gloves were required to play with him. Over time, he learned how to play nice, or even play rough without causing serious damage.

His passions include playing tug-o-war with a dog toy and playing with wadded-up paper bags, batting them around like a ball and carrying them to where he wants them with his mouth. He also enjoys squeezing himself underneath the couch so that he can get up inside the body.

He has a blue handtowel that he considered to be his “blankie.” He is not afraid of the Shark vacuum cleaner, but has only recently started getting over the sound made by plastic trash bags.

For these reasons, and more, we wish to bestow upon Tibo Bat the distinguished honor of Goodest Good Boy.


RASCAL T. BRAT
Rascal T. Brat was born on March 10, 2007, and was the runt of the litter. He was adopted after being found on MySpace, right after I wrote, “Dibs on the orange one,” in the Married But Flirting chatroom on MySpace. I didn’t even know there was an orange one available. Luckily, there was.

June 19, 2007: Rascal T. Brat, as a kitten, with his mentor, LP.

His caretakers asked if I wanted him to be a lap cat. They also referred to him by name once we named him.

He was delivered to us less than two months after he was born. He became the buddy to my cat at the time, LP [2002-2019]. LP took Rascal beneath his wing and taught him well. He learned the art of snack time and when that occurred. He learned basic home etiquette.

Rascal was LP’s buddy and little brother for 12 years, until LP passed away on President’s Day 2019. Of course, I cannot write this without saying that LP was a master of human emotion in a way that is rare in cats. For example, I could talk to him on my phone through the home security camera, and he knew it was me talking to him. He’d look at the camera as if he were looking me in the eye, something he often did that is also unique.

This was shot about 5 weeks before he passed. I don’t say a word and only move the camera.
Based on his past experience, he knew it was me and makes eye contact.

Rascal probably would have been content being the only cat in the house. We got Tibo Bat because we thought Rascal might be lonely, but this was far from the truth. Rascal was not happy having to deal with the unchained energy of a young Tibo Bat.

As a side note, if you have an older cat, don’t get them a kitten as a friend. LP got Rascal when he was 4-5 years old, which is fine. Any older than that, and the older cat will experience some age-related challenges. The only reason this worked out is because I am here all of the time and was constantly running interference to make sure they weren’t fighting or getting into trouble.

Showing that an old cat can learn new tricks, Rascal took on the challenge of being a Maine Coon Tamer. He taught Tibo how to do snack time, how to play rough without causing harm, how to relax when getting nails clipped, and how to not be afraid of the Shark vacuum cleaner.

Rascal T. Brat used to love to play a great deal. These days, when he’s not sleeping, he’s laying around. Sometimes he watches TV. Most of the time, he will want to sit on my lap, as he was trained when he was young. When he wants to be alone, he will go sleep in the closet. Tibo Bat used to join in him this, but he later learned about boundaries, and also came to appreciate his own space.

Today, they are best buddies and get along great.

The end. hehe

What Marching Band Taught Me About the World

INTRODUCTION
In 1979, I finally made the transition into high school band. It was something I’d been looking forward to, ever since I transitioned from trumpet to drums in sixth grade. I went in and auditioned for the leader of the drum line; a guy named Roger, aka “Hefty.” After my audition, I was ceremoniously welcomed into The Hefty Patrol.

The left arrow is me, standing next to Roger, aka “Hefty.”

It felt like I had joined a club, and it would be the last time I would have that sensation in my life. The handful of guys in the drum line were respectable.

What I didn’t yet know was that things were about to change in a major way. Most of the drum line graduated, leaving only a few of us behind. Then, two guys decided that they were going to quit band. After all, sticking around looked like a losing proposition.

It ended up being just me and two other people. The band was VERY small, and taking the color guard into account, the band had approximately 23 people when we went to march at the Indiana State Fair in the summer of 1980.

Summer 1980: Me [Left] with my younger brother on Turmpet.
It’s weird to think that we made up 8% of the entire band, including color guard.

Of course, it was too late to find other students who would want to march. To the Band Director’s credit, he found someone to march with the bass drum, and another person to march with cymbals.

It was a 3-person drum line.

At around 3:38, I can be seen at the front of the 3-person drum line [in the middle] driving the drum break. This was my first time marching at the Indiana State Fair, in front of 14,000 people. No pressure.

THE INDIANA STATE FAIR MARCHING BAND COMPETITION
This is a competition that occurs every single year at the Indiana State Fair. Bands from all over the state sign up to march in competition. The bands then march during the daytime in competition.

The Lone Snare Drummer, getting ready to carry the band for the 1980 Indiana State Fair Marching Band competition.

Out of the bands, the judges will select 16 bands to advance. They are known as “The Sweet 16.” They march in the evening, and then the judges make a decision on the winner.

We worked hard to deliver a great performance. It seemed that no matter how hard we worked, we were not even close to winning.

There were a few times where we marched “exhibition.” In this situation, we got to march in the evening with the Sweet 16, but we were not in the running to win. It was a case of the judges thinking that we did good enough to be there, but not really good enough to be considered.

Or so I thought.


FRUSTRATION BRINGS THE TRUTH
To say that I was frustrated by our lack of wins would be an understatement. I expressed my frustration, in no uncertain terms, to anyone who would listen. I did not understand why we were not ever making it to the Sweet 16. Because at this point, I would have even accepted that.

I don’t want to say precisely WHO told me what I am about to write, because the purpose of this is not to generate drama, but to share a life lesson that I learned from my experience with marching band.

Summer 1981: Rockin’ it during the break-down for the song “Light Up” by Styx.
This is how the photo was published in the paper. In the yearbook, they cropped out the bass player’s finger gesture.

Someone I shared my frustrations with asked me to meet with them in the Band Room office. We went in there, closed the door, and had a talk. It wasn’t really a discussion, so much as the person telling me how things go in this situation.

We will not EVER win the Indiana State Fair marching band competition. When a marching band registers with the State Fair to join the competition, they have to pay a PER-PERSON ENTRY FEE for the privilege of marching.

He continued.

Our band is very small, so the total we pay is not that much. Meanwhile, there are other bands that have 300-400 people marching in the band. The total they pay is significantly higher than what we will ever pay.

Then, the death punch.

Now, what do you think would happen if a band with 400 members got beat by a band with 40-50 members? Will they get upset? Yes. Might they refuse to march in subsequent competitions? Yes. So, politically speaking, we cannot EVER be allowed to win, because another organization that pays more money might withdraw, and it would harm the State Fair.

It’s NOT personal. It’s not even musuical. It’s political and financial.

THE AFTERMATH
I got precisely what was being told to me. It would not ever matter how hard we worked. The idea of it being an honest competition, with a winner being chosen based on performance, was NEVER the plot in the first place.

The lessons that I took from this were harsh, especially for a teenager.

It doesn’t matter how hard you work.

It doesn’t matter how good you are.

The ONLY things that matter are money and politics.

So much for the Meritocracy and the virtue of hard work. Still, I put forth my best effort every single time.

THE STATE FAIR BAND COMMITTEE WAS AFRAID
I also learned that the State Fair Band Committee had learned a lesson the hard way, and they wanted to avoid another screw-up.

The two biggest bands there were Anderson and Highland. My dad went to Anderson, and mom went to Highland.

Anyway, one year Anderson won the Indiana State Fair. In their repertoir, they performed the school theme song from Highland. Talk about insult to injury!

When this happened, Highland decided that they would NOT ever return to the Indiana State Fair. This cost the SF Band Committee thousand and thousands of dollars in lost registration revenue.

After that, they were extra cautious, to the point that they would NEVER let a small band win.

It’s corruption. It’s also a perfect representation of the evils of Capitalism. But I digress.


IN THE END
I learned that talent and hard work are meaningless when it comes to achieving in the real world. Politics and money take precedent over everything else.

I learned that it is possible to work hard, do a great job, and still get nowhere. THIS is the story of my life.

Indiana State Fair, Summer 1984: That’s me in the yellow shirt, directing. After my first year of college, I returned to the high school band to go to band camp as a counselor, and to lead the drum line toward success.

Although I learned early on that we would NEVER win, I still stuck around. I still worked hard. I still put my best forward. I stayed for four years, marched after graduation, and returned after my first year of college to guide the drum line toward a path of fun and success.

The average person does not realize that you can be very talented, work hard, and get absolutely nowhere. I have seen HUNDREDS of cases of this, in the form of great bands in LA that will never, ever get a major record deal. They will NEVER have a ton of fans. And they’re incredible!

With all of that said, I still work as hard as I want to get as good as I want, so that I can make the music that I want. And in that regard, I was successful.

Summer 1984: This is the face of a man who knows that he’s going to lose, but also knows that his work is about to kick major ass.

As for marching band, I stayed for my four years of high school. I could have quit right after graduation in 1983, but instead I stayed and marched. Not only that, but I marched with the drum I liked the least: bass drum.

And after my first year of college, I returned as a Camp Counselor, guiding the drum line to success and handing the keys over to a drummer who studied under me.

It could be said in a fair way that my high school marching band was born to lose. We were GUARANTEED to lose. But that did NOTHING to stop ANY of us from working hard, putting on a great show, and having a ton of fun in the process.

I don’t work hard for your corporate interests. Hell, I don’t even work hard for money. This is where most people will assume laziness, with the false assumption that money is the sole motivator.

I work hard for MYSELF.

At the end of the day, I am the one who must feel good about my performance. I am the one who has to live with how the gig went, or how the song turned out, or anything else.

If I happen to get money or win a prize, then it is a bonus, but it is FAR FROM THE MAIN POINT.

I have to live with myself, AND I have to look in the mirror and be able to honestly tell myself that I did my best.

I certainly did.


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A Weird Brand of Insult

Consider the fact that the person levying the insult against me knows my entire background.

They know that I started in computer rentals in 1987. In this role, I would configure, test, and repair customized computer systems. From here, I would teach software packages to professionals in 1989.

I got online in 1992, and I would write my own bots to pull information I was seeking from multiple sources, before things like Google were available and efficient.

Flashing forward to more recent and bigger highlights: I worked at MySpace from 2005-2008, when the website saw unprecedented growth and was, at the time, THE biggest website in the entire world.

From there, I worked in Tech as a freelance QA Engineer, performing mobile testing, as well as website testing. I also worked at lynda.com for FIVE years, and the last year of that had me also working at Linkedin.

To add even MORE context to it all, the offending person also knows that I have a type of OCD with regard to my email. As I write this, there is nothing in my Inbox, there is nothing in my Spam folder, and nothing in the Trash. My Spam folder is CONSTANTLY being checked and cleaned out. I see EVERY single email heading before I clean it out.

So consider my position when corresponding with a person who knows me this well, and when I let them know that I did NOT receive their email, their reply to me — with a straight face, no less — involves the following statement:

“Maybe it ended up in your Spam folder. Did you check that?”

Watching the 1/6 Hearings

I have been watching the 1/6 Committee hearings since the first one aired late last week. As someone who lives in America, I am very concerned about the future of the country and I want to see those who have violated our country to pay for what they have done.

For me, it’s NOT a case of tribalism. I have NO loyalty to any group of humans. Being Autistic, I stand alone in most aspects of my life, and I have never felt represented by either party at any time in my life, ever.

Sure, there are people who make it tribal. Most of them are Republicans. They engage in most of the “othering” of humans, from the poor to Democrats. They veiw the poor as being criminals, because they want being poor to be a crime. They view Democrats as Satan-worshipping pedos who eat and fk babies.

They believe this because this is what they are told. Being Christian, they believe it without questioning it. And they will NEVER question any of it because they have been primed to believe that questioning equals not believing, or not having faith, or going against the tribe.

Obviously, I disagree with the Republicans who either have their heads in the sand or are aggressively being wilfully ignorant.

I also disagree with Liberals who may believe that, finally, the Republicans wil see the errors of their ways and become sane adults who will follow the rules. WRONG! They are in the minority and cannot win an election without redlining, or utilizing the electoral college. Remember that ex-government employee Donald LOST the popular vote BOTH TIMES, but was made president by the electoral college.

Liberals MUST understand that they know what they are doing, and they do not care. They will do whatever they think is necessary to acquire and hold power, because they believe a god is on their side.

Superstitious tribalism is literally KILLING America.

I want to keep this short, so it doesn’t turn into a rant, and I don’t want my points to get lost in it all.

With regard to the voters who supported or continue to support ex-government employee Donald, I find their behaviors to be strange. It’s bad enough that they find it acceptable to receive “owning the libs” as a fair trade in exchange for the taxes they pay. Maybe they don’t pay taxes, but it’s weird when using the fair assumption that they pay taxes.

Expect MORE for your tax dollars! And do NOT fear making the roads better [and other infrastructure needs]. I suspect they don’t want anything to get fixed for the same reason they don’t want ANYTHING done that helps the American people. It’s because they’re afraid that a non-white, non-straight, or non-Christian might accidentally benefit from any of it. So they’ll drive in potholes to make sure those “others” have to suffer.

Most strange of all, I find it very curious that ex-government employee Donald told his voting base – to their faces! – that he “loves the poorly educated,” and in response to this they cheered, they voted for him, and they are sending him money.

They have clearly forgotten that he promised them during his campaign that he would never ask them for money because, as he put it, “I’m really rich.”

We might be talking about your savings, or retirement, or disabililty, or the last of your money here, but if you are sending money to a self-declared billionaire because he’s telling you scary things that you can’t even bothered to check out and find to be untrue, then you have a serious problem.

Fortunately, this problem brings actual PAIN to those who go along with it.

With regard to the future of ex-government employee Donald, he is in a real pickle now. He may try to declare ignorance; that he didn’t know what was going on. This won’t work for him, as he talked about his intelligence, linking it to his self-declared “good genes.” He even said, “I have a very big… uh, brain.”

He also bragged online about his IQ.

The biggest reason why it won’t work is because his ego is too big and fragile. Remember that Narcissism is a serious affliction, and NOT something to be admired or worshipped. And while his Narcissism has worked for him in the past, it will not work for him in this situation, where honesty and being humble are important qualities. Those are qualities that he does not have.

IN CLOSING, AS A NOTE TO DONALD SUPPORTERS, I write NONE OF THIS in an effort to mock those who voted or otherwise support ex-government employee Donald. Unlike those on the Right, I refuse to laugh when a FELLOW AMERICAN is distressed. I refuse to mock, or laugh, or declare that I told you so.

He lied to you about so many things that it is impossible to determine where to start. He lied about not ever asking you for money. He lied about being as richi as he is, because he has spent so much energy hiding his numbers. He lied about being a Christian. He lies about being a Republican, as he has voted Democrat his entire life AND donated to Hillary Clinton campaigns TWICE.

He lies about open borders. He lies about America being under attack by the others. He lied about the election being stolen. He lied about “illegals” being brought here to vote. He lied about large-scale voter fraud. He lied about everything.

He lied about everything.

He lied about everything.

He lied about everything.

Everything.

It’s okay to admit that you were wrong. It is essential to your mental health and future to admit this. I won’t be laughing when you do. What I WILL be doing is hoping that you’ve learned something from this, and that the country can move forward in a more healthy direction.

Oh, and if your fellow America is upset about something, DO NOT laugh at them. Do not take joy in it. Do not believe that you’ve “owned” them. Be compassionate and ask them why they’re upset.

Stop being childish. There is too much at stake.


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Why “DrumWild,” and Where Are the Drums?

INTRODUCTION
One Friday afternoon, when I was lamenting certain aspects of my life in a therapy discussion, my therapist chimed in.

“Well, at least you can play your drums in your apartment all day, right?”

Eh, no. That’s not how things work. What felt really weird to me was that I had to explain to another adult why I actually cannot play drums in my apartment, at all, at any time, ever, forever and ever, never.

Imaging the scenario, where the police knock on my door at 3:00am. I answer the door and say, “I don’t know why you’re knocking on my door at this hour. If I hadn’t been up playing my drums, I would have been pissed!”

I should not have to explain why you cannot play drums in an apartment, to anyone. This is a perfect example of my Autistic experience.


DRUMMERS HAVE ONE BIG PROBLEM
We drummers actually have lots of problems, such as which girl to choose after the show, or the weight of responsibility that comes with being that hero your guitarist looks up to.

On a serious note, there are issues like lugging a large amount of heavy gear around. Sure, all of these problems are important, but I have one huge problem.

I have no place to rehearse.

If I owned a home, then I would have a place. But home ownership has always NOT been in the cards for me, because I’m the kind of person who had to work for a living and did not inherit any major money or property.

I was set up in the garage for a little while, but not too long.

In the apartment where I live now, the landlord lied to me and said that I could play my drums in the garage. The garages are not attached to apartments, but they are close enough that people can hear the sound. All soundproofing efforts failed.

Plus, I think there is a guy living in the garage next to mine. He complained a lot.

There is NO electricity in the garage, except for the lights.

And things get dirty WAY too fast out there. After the big fires in September 2020, I had a 1-foot tall pile of ash on the INSIDE of the garage near the door.

I care about my gear, which is why it’s kept indoors, away from the elements.


WHY DRUMWILD?
People have asked me this, especially if they only know of my guitar or bass playing. The truth is that I started out as a drummer, and had every intention of being a working, performing, recording drummer.

As life happens, I ended up playing keyboard with my first band, and would end up on other instruments. With Noodle Muffin, when the band gave up on performance and spent time recording, I ended up playing a variety of instruments.

IN 1998, after I was done writing and recording the Ruby Cassidy project, producer and drummer Jimmy Hunter found me on Yahoo chat. My username at the time was BassManDan98, as I had a goal of finding a band that needed a bass player.

He didn’t like that handle, and he let me know why. He felt the “98” part made it temporary. He continued, “You’re all about drums, and you’re a wild man! Your handle should be DrumWild.”

And so it goes. In 1999, I started this website, and the rest is history.

There is one main reason why I keep it, and that’s the fact that it’s my brand. It’s how people know me.


DRUMMER LIMITATIONS
My main limitation these days are that I do not have a place to play my drums.

What would it take to GO to a place?

I’d have to lug ALL of my drums downstairs and load the car. Then I’d have to drive 15 miles to the nearest rehearsal space. There, I’d have to pay $15 per hour to use the space, but those 3 hours would include set-up and tear-down, limiting my actual playing time to more like 2 hours. Then tear everything down, load up the car, drive back home, and carry all of it up the stairs into the apartment.

Why?

I did this all the time in LA when I was drumming in 3 bands at the same time. But the difference is that I had actual bands and goals, as well as money to pay for rehearsal space [and we’d all split the cost].

Today, I’d be drumming exclusively for myself, and I cannot afford that.

For a while, I spent lots of time playing guitar, as I had a guitar that I loved and it encouraged me to play. Actually, I had 25 guitars that I loved to play. Thanks to the pandemic, I had to sell all of them, keeping only a $100 CORT for myself. It doesn’t inspire me to play, so I don’t play so much.

So these days, I’ve been focusing more on playing the bass. I have an Ibanez GWB35 5-string fretless bass that is a true joy to play.


WORKING WITH IN THESE LIMITATIONS
As a musician who is primarily a drummer, the limitation of having a place to rehearse has always dogged me. In the late 70s, I skipped attending my paternal grandfather’s funeral because everyone else would be there, leaving me some free time to play drums without any complainers around.

This situation can be frustrating, and I do have my moments where I am upset or depressed about it.

But a few years before I left California, I met a guitar player named Ben Woods. Long ago, he had moved to California with the dream of becoming a metal guitar player.

One day, he woke up to find tha this roommate had stolen his guitar and amplifier!!! As he lamented this situation, he noted that there was just one thing the roommate did not steal.

That was a classical guitar with nylon strings.

So he worked with that and pressed on. Today, he is known for playing metal and rock music on classical guitar, with a Flamenco twist. He also plays more classic flamenco.

The point is, he was faced with a limitation and decided to run with it.


IN THE END
My current situation is such that I cannot play my drums. All the same, I won’t let that keep me from doing other things, including picking up a guitar or bass. And right now, the bass is pulling a bit harder than the guitar.

Sometimes limitations can lead us somewhere. Sometimes, that somewhere can be good. Only time will tell.


If you like what I write, then please consider sending a one-time donation to me via PayPal. Please use the following link and click SEND to donate, and thank you for reading! https://paypal.me/drumwild

Facebook Still Sucks, and an AI Music Video

For those who are regular readers, you know my story. For those who are new, long story short, I quit Facebook back in mid-2014, returned in mid-2019, then quit and re-joined a few more times after that. I most recently got back on maybe two months ago.

My struggles with staying on Facebook are many. The big points include the horrible political garbage, the misinformation, and how mean people can be.

Plus, for a social networking website, it’s not really all that social at all.

The Update: By now, I have amassed a whopping 19 whole friends. These are people I knew in the past. I added a few of them; those being the ones with whom I had an actual, real friendship. The rest, however, had to send ME a friend request.

This was because I didn’t want to be the one inviting myself into a connection that is worthless. Too many people out there amass hundreds of “friends,” maybe interact with a dozen, and mostly get ignored.

So I’ve posted a few things here and there. My goal is to share my own creations and/or start up conversations. I got one decent conversation about beer. Outside of that, I am mostly ignored, as is the case with everyone else.

Posting too much will look like I am in need of attention. I’d much prefer a conversation with an actual friend over attention.

I did have one decent conversation with an old friend. Not just any friend, but the guy who taught me how to play guitar in fifth grade. We met playing trumpet together in grade school band. I had a captive audience, since he’s got COVID… again.

He did say that he valued our friendship and hoped that it continues. That was a cool moment.

That said, Facebook fking sucks. I question every single thing that I consider posting. So I’ve decided to not post anymore, and instead just check in once in a blue moon. I have other things to do.

Tibo Bat, sleeping with his eyes open. He sleeps on his back to air out his hyper-fluffy tum-tum.

There’s no good way to end this one. Instead of it being just a short complaint about something that everyone already knows by now, I’m adding this video that was generated by Artificial Intelligence. The music and video combo are stellar and I can’t stop watching and listening.

So enjoy, and I’ll see you next time.


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“Buying Stuff” by Hot Dad: Fretless 5-String Bass Treatment

It was a rainy day today, so I got a major bug in my brow and decided to test out my “new” set-up with regard to making videos. By “new,” I mean a different configuration of existing gear, but without the powerful desktop computer.


GEAR USED
Samsung Note 9 [VIDEO]
Ibanez GWB35 Gary Willis Signature Fretless 5-String Bass
BOSS WL-T Wireless
BOSS GT-3 Tuner
Fender Rumble 40 Bass Amp
BOSS BR-800 Digital 8-Track [AUDIO]
Dell Inspiron 7706 2n1
CyberLink PowerDirector 365 [VIDEO PRODUCTION]

Basically, I used my phone to shoot the video. The bass was recorded into the BR-800, and yea, that’s it.

This is my first time editing using this particular style. It can only get better from here. But enough of this. Please enjoy. This was actually fun!

EDIT: I forgot that I’ve done this type of editing before, but it was long ago on the video titled “Bass Study: “Invincible” breakdown by Pat Benatar,” from December 4, 2019, back when we all lived in a completely different world.

Thank you for watching, and for following my mess of a blog. It has been a journey.

If you like what I write, then please consider sending a one-time donation to me via PayPal. Please use the following link and click SEND to donate, and thank you for reading! https://paypal.me/drumwild

The Depp/Heard Trial, and Those Who Are Watching

This is a short addendum to my previous post, but it can stand alone if you haevn’t yet read that.

As I write this, I am watching an attorney [Emily D. Baker] live-streaming along with the live trial stream, adding commentary and asking questions. There are LOTS of people live-streaming, making clips, commentary, and even memes.

There was concern expressed by some, where it is suggested that a good portion of people are watching this as a form of entertainment.

Yes, there are some who are watching this for entertainment, and on the surface I am not comfortable with that. I am also not comfortable with people cheering on Johnny Depp simply because they are star-struck.

The above things DO happen! There is no doubt on my mind.

As disgusting as those things may be, the thing that gives me comfort is the fact that people will also experience the process and the outcome.

My prediction is that Johnny Depp will win. At the same time, his team will still have to press past the favorable female bias that exists in the law and society.

The hard truth is that innocent men rarely win these types of cases.

It is time for our society to turn things around and focus on the facts and details, instead of defaulting to male guilt and female innocence.

The Johnny Depp / Amber Heard Trial: A Turning Point?

INTRODUCTION
I have been watching the Johnny Depp defamation suit that he filed against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, for more than a few weeks now. Before that, I was following the story.

This entry will NOT be about the memes, or jokes, or bashing, or any other type of presentation that hairless apes tend to enjoy. Rather, I want to take a very serious approach to my commentary. Because, in my experience, there is absolutely NOTHING funny about any of this.

More about that later.


BACKGROUND AND BIASES
In situations like this, I suspect that everyone has a bias. Everyone! I am no exception. Before I started watching, I make sure to be aware of my biases.

My bias comes from the fact that I was a vicitm of domestic violence, throughout the majority of the 1990s. My experience was nothing like what is going on right now.

911 operators would laugh at me when I’d call to report my wife beating me up. The one time that I called for help, I was arrested because the policy was to arrest men, by default, in all DV calls.

This is thanks to a horrible thing called The Duluth Model. This is something upon which the Violence Against Women Act [VAWA], courtesy of 1990s Joe Biden, was constructed. It has NO formal psychological background, and instead is a document which received contributions from 25-30 women who were either determined to be victims in court, OR they labeled themselves as victims.

The policy under VAWA was to arrest men by default, put them in jail with $50,000 bond, then reduce to a misdemeanor after three days and release. They called this a “cooling-off period.”

During this time, the police gave me horrible advice. When I asked them what I should do if she lunges at me with a knife, the replied, “Just put your hands in your pockets and yell for help. If you try to defend yourself and cause her any injury in the process, we will be forced to arrest you.”

Circa 1998: I was drumming in the band “Sun On Skin.” The lead singer, Karin Mansson [wearing animal print], drove out to pick me up and get me out of my apartment on December 19, 1998, after I was threatened with more violence. She literally saved my life that day, and I cannot ever thank her enough.

One cop even whispered in my ear, “You can thank OJ Simpson for this.”

Trying to get a restraining order was impossible for me. The clerk got indignant the one time I went in, saying, “What kind of a MAN gets a restraining order against the mother of his child?”

The answer: A man who is getting beaten by his wife, who also issues death threats. That’s who.

The police didn’t care. The legal professionals didn’t care. The District Attorney didn’t care. Commissioner Bobbi Tillmon, who presided over my divorce hearing, would reference me as “Mr. Wife Beater,” even though there was NO evidence that I ever laid a finger on her. That’s because I didn’t.

At thet time, there were 19 Domestic Violence [DV] shelters in Los Angeles. Only ONE of them would accept men, and it was a 3-hour drive from where I worked.

And the “Men’s Rights” groups, as few as there were in the late 90s, were of NO help to me, at all. One had a website, where they claimed to offer various benefits for a fee of $300. When I wrote and asked what I’d get for my $300, I was told, “Pay the $300 and find out.” Long story short, the guy thought I was a woman trying to get info on their group.

So, to make it clear, the “Men’s Rights” groups are nowhere near-and-dear to my heart. Not in the slightest. They might be good now, but I cannot say. What I can say was that they were utter shit back then.

But there is something about this trial that makes it fit most closely to my own experience.


MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS
Based on professional testimony, it seems that Amber Heard is dealing with things like Borderline Personality Disorder or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

My ex-wife was diagnosed with the same, but add Adult Child of an Alcoholic [ACA] and Incest Survivor to the mix.

When these issues go unchecked, as is often the case in America, it can result in devastation for everyone involved.


COURTROOM BEHAVIOR
Watching Amber Heard on the stand is upsetting to me. She stumbles and flails as she seemingly tries to make up a story on-the-spot

She fake cries. No tears are present. Even worse is when she brings a tissue up to her nose. It looks like she’s snorting. After that, instead of using the tissue, she drags her finger and hand across the bottom of her nose.

The fake crying is most obvious when she’s in the middle of a sob story and there is an Objection! declared.

The fake ugly cry faces aren’t helping matters, either. There really isn’t much more to say about this. The behavior speaks for itself.


STORIES DO NOT MATCH UP
Amber told a story of her sister [Whitney] standing at the top of the stairs, Johnny attempting to hit her sister, and then Amber putting herself between the two.

But when Whitney took the stand, she changed the story, so that Johnny was running UP THE STAIRS, completely destroying that manufactured story.

Their stories do not match up. Jesus does a great job here, with graphs that clearly illustrate the difference between Amber and Whitney’s stories.

HORRIFIC AUDIO EVIDENCE
There were a few audio pieces in particular that were highly triggering for me, as someone who survived DV.

Johnny is trying to leave, but she won’t let him leave.

This hits close to home, as it represents the first time I tried to do something healthy. We were in couples counseling in an attempt to deal with our situation. I took it seriously. But she did not. She would call to cancel the day of an appointment, citing that things are “going well.” Then, she’d call the therapist’s office at 2:00am to declare “a bit emergency,” and that we’d need to be seen right away.

One of the tools the therapist gave both of us was a Time Out. When someone feels unsafe, or things seem to get too heated, the person on the receiving end can take a time out.

A time out involves leaving the home for ONE HOUR, and then returning.

The problem, of course, is that people who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder [BPD] have a STRONG sense of abandonment. She didn’t want to let me leave for the time out and blocked the door with her body.

Trying to be a victim, but she cannot hide her contempt.

This is precisely the same thing that Johnny Depp is going through. He’s trying to leave, and she won’t let him. He can’t even be in the bathroom with a closed door, because Ms. Heard will feel that overwhelming sense of abandonment.

My ex-wife would call employers and threaten suicide if they didn’t let me come home right away. As a result, it was nearly impossible for me to keep a job. Even going to the grocery store was a seemingly impossible task that would require a miracle.

But this clip is terrifying to me because Johnny is trying to leave, and his abuser won’t let him leave. He’s trying everything in his power, and even suggestes he will be back in 2 hours.

This brand of taunting mockery is button pushing.

Does Ms. Heard sound like a victim of anything in this clip? Of course not.

This brand of taunting mockery is button pushing. She’s laughing and talking in that way in an effort to attempt to get a rise out of him.

I can’t talk about this one too much, as it’s so upsetting.

She tells Johnny that people won’t believe his claim. Disgusting!

To a big degree, Ms. Heard is correct. At least, she would have been correct 30 years ago.

The reason why men are not believed to be victims of DV is mostly due to physical size and strength. However, they completely dismiss the fact that a man simply has NO APPROVED METHOD OF SELF-DEFENSE in dealing with women like this.

None.

Ms. Heard, as the PERPETRATOR, mocks the victim while telling him that nobody will believe him. This is what gives her full license to be as crazy and abusive as she wants.

30 years ago, she would see NO repercussions as a result of this.


PATTERNS
Patterns of behavior are important in the case. There was one story told by Ellen Barkin, about how Johnny threw a wine bottle. However, he threw it in a general direction, and not at anyone in particular.

It’s not a good thing, healthy thing, or correct thing to do. In fact, it’s not good at all. But neither this nor his slamming of the kitchen cabinet doors is proof of DV.

Coversely, Ms. Heard has as DV past with her previous wife.


CHARACTER WITNESSES
These are so very important, and they must be allowed to speak. Johnny has a number of ex-girlfriends and ex-wives. He was with Kate Moss for roughly 4 years, and everyone says that she had a positive experience with Johnny. She may even speak today. [EDIT: She spoke! See near the end.]

In my situation, my ex-wife asserts that I’m abusive. However, my girlfriend of 20 years, and dear friend for the past 3 years [we still live together] can say that I have never yelled at her or hit her, EVER.


MY HOPE FOR THIS
With audio evidence and proper legal counsel, my hope is that Johnny Depp gets his reputation restored. It feels like he’s heading that direction, which is promising.

He has no interest in actually gaining $50 million from Ms. Heard, not only because he knows she doesn’t have it, but also because his restored reputation would be far more valuable than that amount of money.

I also hope that Ms. Heard has to pay, in a legal sense, for what she has done to him. After that, I hope that she can get proper help with her mental health. However, I am not so hopeful. With my ex-wife, her attitude was that I was the one who was a problem, and she was just fine.

I also hope that Ms. Heard is forced to pay $3.5 million to the ACLU and $3.5 million to Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. She pledged her divorce settlement to them. She claimed that she didn’t pay it because Johnny was suing her, but she had that money for 13 months before he brought this case, so she’s lying about her excuse.

Amber Heard is a liar, and I hope that she can get help for that, too.

If a person cannot recognize and acknowledge their own flaws, then they cannot improve upon them.

So chances are good that she’ll do this again and again. When it comes to Domestic Violence, women have been given carte blanche to do whatever they want, claim whatever they want, point a finger at whomever they want, and they typically get away with it.


ME TOO AND BELIEVE ALL WOMEN
The Me Too Movement has been raging for quite some time now. The biggest flaw in this movement is their slogans.

Listen and believe!

Believe all women!

Engaging in either of these things is a fool’s errand. In the name of EQUALITY, I am here to suggest that both men and women are equally capable when it comes to cheating, lying, stealing, or even killing.

Men are NOT the evil perpetrators, by default.

Women are NOT the helpless victims, by default.

It’s time to give women FULL EQUALITY, and that means accepting that they have equal ability.

The inequity, up until now, was that women were NOT equal and therefore could make claims, tell lies, and get away with all of it. Indeed, with regard to Domestic Violence in court, women were VERY unequal and had the upper hand the entire time.

Add this to the previous segment, but my other hope is that we can have equality in court when it comes to DV. As I said earlier, women are just as capable, AND they know that the law and society will be on their side.

The tide is turning.


BIASED NEWS OUTLETS
I’ve read stories published from various outlets, where they suggest that Amber Heard won’t get a fair trial because Johnny Depp is more famous. Some have even gone so far as to declare that the internet “memeing” Ms. Heard, “is violence, in and of itself.”

These are cases of new outlets exposing their own bias against men. They want to keep the narrative alive, that men are evil and violent beasts, and women are helpless little flowers who can do no wrong, and who can’t POSSIBLY defend themselves.

Essentially, they are asserting that Ms. Heard is innocent of any DV charges, merely because she’s a woman.

I’m hoping that this relic of a notion is seen through by society and the law.


IN THE END
As I type this, Kate Moss is taking the stand via video to talk about her relationship with Johnny Depp. From 1994 to 1998, they had a romantic relationship.

Feels like I am live-blogging right now.

She is saying that the story of Johnny throwing her down the stairs is not true. She says that Johnny went downstairs first, and she slipped and fell.

And just like that, Kate Moss’ declaration was that there was no DV in their relationship.

The bottom line for me is that people should not be hitting each other. The hard truth is that men hit women, women hit men, men hit men, and women hit women. NONE of it is acceptable or excusable.

I noted the slogans of the ME TOO movement earlier, and I noted that those slogans are very irresponsible and destructive. With that, I have a far better slogan that is more realistic, as well as inclusive of men.

LISTEN, TAKE SERIOUSLY, AND INVESTIGATE

Whenever a man OR woman reaches out for help because of abuse, those who are tasked with helping them MUST listen to them, regardless of sex. They don’t have to believe ANY of it, but they must take it seriously. That means taking a report. After that, it is essential to investigate and figure out who is who in the situation, instead of defaulting to men as perpetrators and women as victims.

I do hope that the ME TOO movement goes away, and that we can have more serious discussions about DV, the victims, and the acknolwedgement that the victim AND perpetrator can both be either male or female.

There is no excuse.


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The Nightmare of Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissism

INTRODUCTION
I have been watching the Johnny Depp / Amber Heard trial in its entirety, live as it streams. It’s a horrifying thing to watch, from my perspective, and you’ll learn why after reading this.

There were two incidents in particular that triggered panick in my gut that I hadn’t felt since 1998. I’m going to share those clips and write about them as briefly as possible, with the hope that people will have a better understanding of what is going on in these situations.

This is not a comprehensive document on Borderline Personality Disorder, or any other mental health issue. These are just two of the many things that jumped out at me, causing me to be sick to my stomach.


ABANDONMENT
People who suffer from BPD have minds and thoughts that are NOT rooted in anything resembling reality. One of those issues for which they hold a highly unreasonable fear is abandonment.

They will fear abandonment even if you do something like drive to the store and return 30 minutes later. Walking out the door is something that they simply CANNOT allow you to do!

He’s trying to leave for TWO HOURS, and she’s having a major panick attack because of it.

In my situation, there was a fight, followed by my attempt to leave to take a “time out,” which was recommended by our couples counselor.

The fight came about because of a gift that I had gotten for her. She would always watch Martin Yan’s cooking show, Yan Can Cook. It was a cooking show, combined with an infomercial on his cooking utensils and cookbook, in a set that was not cheap.

I had the idiot idea of surprising her with a gift of this Martin Yan package.

As I watched and hoped that she’d love her gift and be happy, instead she started throwing it and yelling. “You got me KITCHEN SHIT as a gift? Why not go all the way and give me a vacuum cleaner, too!!!”

I was NOT expecting that.

She was in the kitchen messing with all of this stuff, sometimes loudly damaging the wok, when I had gotten a call about a job. As I was talking to the person, I heard a loud scream. She was lunging at me with the big knife from the gift!!

I dodged and forced the knife to be plunged into the couch. After that, I tried to leave for a time out. She blocked the door, screaming and crying, and wanted to know where I was going. Sometimes she’d ask who I was going to go see, as if I had a plan to cheat on her.

My frustration levels were growing [thanks, Autism!], and I knew that I needed to get out of there before she pushed something bad into reality. I did yell at her at one point, “Please let me go!”

She refused, so I decided to squeeze past her by pushing my body against her arm, which was blocking the door.

While I was taking my time out, she decided that it would be a good idea to dial 911 and have the police come over. They showed up while I was not there and took a report. This report caused me years of legal trouble, which has all since been exponged.

The officer on the scene got very creative with his descrption of the situation. I will never forget what he wrote.

“Assailant verbally assaulted victim and fled.”

Of course, I wasn’t an assailant. My yelling for her to let me go was NOT a verbal assault. She was NOT a victim of anything. And I did NOT flee; rather, I took my time out.


ANOTHER BOUT WITH ABANDONMENT
This happened when I was off to my first day at a new job. She wasn’t really working, so my income was HIGHLY important.

I made the mistake of telling her where I was working.

My office phone rings, and everyone looks over because it’s my first day and I should never be getting any phone calls. It was her.

“You need to come home RIGHT NOW, or I will kill myself.”

I attempted to give her a calm answer and hang up. That solved nothing. It eventually turned into a thing where she called me 30 times. Each time, I’d try to discretely lift the receiver and put it back down.

Then I heard other phones ring at other desks. She figured out how to increment the last number by 1, thereby getting different desks. Before long, everyone had gotten a call from her, including the company owner.

He called me in for a “chat.” “You have probably figured out by now that everyone in the office got a phone call from your wife. I got a call, too, and it sounds very serious. We are a family-oriented company. It is for this reason that we are going to give you all the free time that you could ever possibly need. You really should go home now, and do not come back.”

Yay. Great first impressions.

While I knew why she didn’t want me to go to work, it took me a long time to figure out why she had no problem with ruining my job, and thus our income.

My ex-wife is a Mexican woman, and I am a white man. She finally told me that she wasn’t worried about money concerns because, as she put it, “white men just have money.” It’s a weird, magical, racist idea that she maintained in her head.


TAUNTING AND BUTTON-PUSHING
This audio clip felt so familiar, as if it were a recording from inside my own home three decades ago.

This is a unique brand of Hell.

This brought back lots of nightmares. But there is one in particular that stands out for me.

We had been going to a couples counselor for a while. The ex would mess up the schedule most times, by calling the day of the appointment to cancel because “everything is fine now,” which is NOT how this works. This would be followed by a panicked urgent message left with the therapist at 2:00am, declaring that something bad as happened, we’re in an emergency state, and we need to get in and be seen FIRST THING in the morning.

Sound nuts to you? It is.

The therapy sessions were not working out all that well, mainly because of her behaviors. Of all the sessions, one stands out.

I had decided before the session started that I wasn’t going to talk at all, because my ex would always talk over me and it would cause me a great deal of anxiety. Thanks again, Autism!

We were nearing the end of the session, when the therapist noted that I was being quiet, and asked me if I had anything to say.

So I started, “The main thing that I’d like to mention is…”

She would talk over me and interrupt. She did this 6 more times, interrupting me at the same place.

I felt comfortable losing my cool in front of a therapist, so I let it go. I picked up the box of tissues, threw them on the ground, kicked them across the room, and yelled about how she needs to be quiet because it’s MY turn to talk.

I sat down and cried, right there. The entire world felt hopeless, and I felt trapped.

The therapist called her out. “Did you see what just happened? Dan’s a big man, and he could potentially cause harm. Why did you do this?”

My ex looked at her, shrugged, and with a crazy laugh declared, “I don’t know [giggle].”


THE GOAL OF THE BUTTON-PUSHER
So why did Amber Heard and my ex do this? When they see an emotional soft spot or place of vulnerability they work to attack that.

She knew that being interrupted caused me great anxiety and stress. Once you allow yourself to be vulnerable in front of a BPD person, they will hang onto that for the rest of their lives.

The goal of the button-pusher is to elicit reactions of aggravation, stress, anxiety, and confusion. They want to push their victim into a place where they can no longer contain themselves and end up lashing out in a violent manner.

Should this happen, they will then change their tone, declare themselves a victim, and go on the attack. They become an abuser who is abusing someone whom they claim to be an abuser.


A WARNING FROM A THERAPIST
The day after this incident, the couples counselor called me. She first asked me if it was safe to talk, because she knows that my ex would be triggered if she knew I was on a call. I told her it was safe, as I was at the office, and thanked her for asking before carrying on.

For all she knew, my ex could have been at work with me, staring over my shoulder and listening in.

She then told me that I needed to get away from her, “as if your life depends on it, because it does. The way she behaves, she will push until you are either dead or in jail.”

Dead, or in jail. Those are the only two options you have if you stick aroundf with a woman with BPD.


IN THE END
Based on my experience, I have some predictions about how the consequences of the Depp Heard trial will manifest and impact society.

As I write this in 2022, we are still in the METOO Movement. This movement included a few rather terrifying slogans:

  • “Listen and believe.”
  • “Believe all women.”

It’s pretty much the same thing, with one being more gender specific, in case there is any confusion. I think that people are starting to realize that believing all women is a mistake and a fool’s errand.

Those who wake up to this realization will note that, in the name of equality, women are just as capable as men when it comes to lying, cheating, stealing, or even killing.

This is because… ^and I know this will sound like a stretch^… women are human.

Yes, they are humans. Humans are what they are, and it’s not all good.

This will hopefully kill off the destructive narrative that men are always the perpetrators, and that women are always the helpless victims who can’t defend themselves.

Sugar, spice, and everything nice is what little girls are made of? VERY far from it! I think that little things like this instill bad values in children. It’s what I heard growing up. What were boys made of? Snips, snails, and puppydog tails.

This effectively puts boys and girls, or men and women, into two distinctly different boxes. It causes damage to BOTH sides.

Ultimately, my hope is that our American culture can finally recognize, accept, and realize that men are human beings who have feelings. Our culture has the attitude that men must be tough at all times and protect the women, who are little dainty flowers.

Frankly, it’s sexist against both men AND women. This has been working for women over at least the past two decades. When something works in a person’s favor, they are not so likely to want that apple cart tipped over.

To be clear, yes I do believe that Amber Heard is the abuser in this situation. I base this on experiences that I’ve had that are VERY similar to his. Plus she mocked him, telling him how embarrassing it will be if he, Johnny Depp, a man, tells the world that he is a victim of domestic violence, with “little girl” implied.

She didn’t think he would want that, but he wanted that. When you are in a situation like this, you’ll do anything to get out. That includes making the statement, which is embarrassing for men.

I am a man, and I am a victim of domestic violence.”

This case may very well change the narrative of some Feminists, but more than likely society in general. Maybe after this, the METOO Movement will adopt a slogan that I have come up with, which is inclusive of men, women, and everyone else.

“Listen, take seriously, and investigate.”


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