Bobby and the Aversion Therapist

Bobby carries a unique sense of self that functions independently of the rest of me.

His job was to figure out how to survive into adulthood.

To survive, Bobby had to hide his intellect.

He adopted a thick geechie accent.

He was tough and not afraid of his Mother.

His goal was to get away from her and his first strategy was to force a psychiatrist to commit him.

He decided that he would use the systems lies about “queers” to his advantage.

But he wasn’t prepared for how the ‘system’ treated ‘queers’ in
1967.

Bobby writes:

“One day I found a book called, “By Reason of Insanity.

It was all about this guy who goes crazy and kills his wife.

He is sent to the loony bin so he can go sane and stand trial for murder.

Most of the book was about the people he meets in the hospital.

Some of the people scream and see things that ain’t there.

But the hospital also had food and schools.

I thought hell, check it out!

I got Grandma to convince Momma to take me to see a shrink.

I said I had a “Three Faces of Eve” thing goin’ on, an at that time, I thought I was telling a lie.

Grandma called Momma right away an Momma jumped.

The psychiatrist Momma took me to was scrawny.

He looked like Mr. Spock from “Star Trek”: “Is there anything  you’d like to tell me about yourself, bobby.”

“Yeh–I think I’m queer.”

“Why do you think that?”

“Well–” I looked up at him and blushed, “I think about boys when I-you know.”

And that got me sent up.

The shrink told Momma that I needed to go to the state hospital for “observation.”

I got all excited since that seemed almost as good as going to New York.

***

The hospital had a place for kids.

It was a tall red brick building with locks on every door.

When Momma an’ me got there, Momma suddenly got very polite, and she  gave me permission to smoke.

When the doctor came to meet us, she acted all scared, like she was talking to Grandma.

“Ya’all treat my baby good!” she cried.

Then she called me darling, and left.

***

This hospital was nothing like the one in my book.

It was all shiny inside and Muzac played all day long through little loudspeakers in the ceiling.

Everyone looked numb.

I made friends with this other queer who was a year older than me.

He was a rich kid who went on and on about how he hoped the doctors could turn him straight.

Here I was, fifteen and already out.

I thought this kid was crazy and said so!

“Listen!” I said, “That ain’t never gonna happen. So get over it!”

Well he hauled off and slapped me!

Then he got so upset about slapping me he started to cry.

A nurse came over to give him some pills.

She gave me an evil look.

Like I had picked up that boy’s hand and slapped myself!

I thought she’d like me better if she had to give me some pills, so I asked for some.

“Why do you think you need medication, Bobby?”

“I think I’m seein’ people that ain’t really there.”

“Be sure you tell that to your doctor.”

***

“Tell me a little something about your childhood.” the doctor said.

“Well it ain’t over yet!” I said.

“True enough.” he smiled. “Why do you think you’re here?”

“I guess ’cause I’m queer.” I answered. “Howcum you ain’t got no people screamin’ around here?”

He smiled again. “Do you feel like screaming?”

***

That shrink really thought I was crazy.

Now I knew I wasn’t, but I reminded myself that for these folks, queer was the same thing.

When Momma came to visit she always put on the good behavior that she wore for Grandma.

I said, “Momma! These people gonna do some kinda shock treatment on me!”

“They’ll do what they can to make you better.” she said. “I hope you’re smokin’ like I said you could.”

I was in deep water for screwing that rich kid.

A month passed.

“Whut if yew had relations with a man an’ caught the clap in yore mouth?” The social worker asked me one day, like I already had it.

“You can get that from eatin’ pussy!” I said,  “Why don’t you people calm down an’ let me go home?”

That rich kid told me all about the therapy the doctors was doing on him.

“First, they strap you inna chair with your weenie hanging out. Then they put glue on it and stick wires to it. Then they show you pictures of hot dudes an’ shock the piss outta you if you so much as sigh!”

Now, Momma had to understand how bad that was!

“Lissen up!” I said at her next visit. “These shrinks is gonna “lectrocute me!”

“They say they only use a lil’ “lectricity, darlin’.”

“And how would you like it if every time you sat onna barstool some one zapped you off?”

Momma got that dark look she always got when she wanted to hit me.

“Have a little respect for your Momma!” She said in a tight but polite tone of voice.

***

“Do you want Bobby to be a hama-sect-ual?” The shrink asked Momma at the treatment meeting.

“He was always a tad girlish, but I have always maintained that it is important for men to be men.

“Let em fry my dick off, ” I said, “see what kind of man I’ll be then!”

“The shrink ignored me.

“I think that Bobby can be cured. These deviant behaviors are not set until adulthood.”

“But I don’t wanna get cured!” I said. “I ain’t got nothin’ to cure!

I glared at Momma.

She sat there like the best little girl in the world.

Then I knew what I had to do.

“Momma! You let this fool shock me an’ I’ll call Grandma and tell her all about you. Every. Thing.”

Momma blushed.

She looked down and twisted her wedding ring.

Then she looked up at the doctor with such wide, innocent looking brown eyes:

“I do want what’s best for Bobby. But it’s such a big decision! I think I should consult with his Father first.”

***

(c) Rob Goldstein 1985-2018

Jazz Age Wednesdays 29 ― Hullaba Lulu 4

This weeks episode of Hullaba Lulu

Teagan's Books

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hey, Sheiks and Shebas.  Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays

My “partner in crime” (Rob Goldstein) did the video above.  I’m using as a review of last week’s episode.  I’m happy to be able to feature more of the artwork of Rob Goldstein

Update:  Here’s a fun related post that Rob did over at his blog, “10 Everyday Items Invented in the 1920s* — click over and enjoy.

Today we have Chapter 4 of the Roaring Twenties fantasy series, Hullaba Lulu.  The “dieselpunk*” aspect of the story is beginning to show in this episode.  The “three things” Rob sent for this chapter were downright educational.  Some of the “things” take a bit more writing for me to work into the story than others.  So please bear with me for this somewhat longer episode.

 If you need to review…

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10 Everyday Items invented in the 1920’s

Frozen Food

Clarence Birdseye worked as a fur trader in Canada. He saw that fish caught during the winter froze almost immediately after being pulled from the water. Birdseye soon realized that he could leave the fish frozen for up to a month while retaining the flavor. Read more

The Television

The television was invented in 1925 by John Logie Baird. The first experimental Television broadcast in the US. was in 1928. Read more

Black-and-white photographs Date: 1934 Topic: Television
Zworykin Kinescope, 1929

Traffic lights

The traffic light was invented by William Potts in 1920 as a way to direct traffic at 4 way stops. Read more

The Pop-up Toaster

Charles Perkins Strite invented the pop-up bread toaster in 1919, and received a patent for it on October 18, 1920.  Read more

Kool Aid

Edwin Perkins in Nebraska invented Kool Aid in 1927.
Read more

Cotton Swabs

The cotton swab was invented by Leo Gerstenzang in 1923. He sold
his invention under the name of “Baby Gays.” Read more

Bubble Gum

Walter E. Dieme invented bubble gum in 1928.  Read more

Penicillin

Alexander Fleming accidentally discovered penicillin in 1928.
Read more

Vitamin E

Herbert McLean Evans and Katherine Scott Bishop discovered Vitamin E
in 1922.  Read more

Sunglasses

Sam Foster invents sunglasses in 1920.  Read more

Now get your glad rags on and head over to Teagan’s Books for episode 4 Hullaba Lulu!

VR photograph of avatars waiting in a virtual train station to illustrate the story Hullaba Lulu by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
Lulu, Gramps, Rose, and Valentino wait for the train

Is someone gonna be Left holding the bag?

Check it out.

I gotta go see a man about a dog


Graphics (c) Rob Goldstein 2018

“Nothin’s gonna be the same.”

At 8:45 AM I was in class to help my teacher get the classroom ready
for the day; I was seven and it was my turn to help with morning chores.

My teacher was in a dither because ‘colored kids’ were coming to school
that day.

Mrs. Sullivan furiously scrubbed the blackboard and muttered under her
breath about ‘niggers’.

I’d never seen any colored kids but heard lots of them lived in
Charleston.

Mrs. Sullivan and I opened the windows so we could clap chalk out the
erasers when through a haze of white dust we saw the first colored kids
arrive at my school.

I smiled and raised my hand to wave but Mrs. Sullivan grabbed my wrist.

Below us, a crowd of white parents formed a barricade with their
kids in front of the entrance; all of them had stones.

The black kids looked scared and paused on the playground, their
parents behind them.

A white man shouted, ‘Go home niggers!’

Then all the parents shouted and threw stones.

A big stone hit a little black girl in the face.

She fell backward and cried.

I felt sad.

I didn’t understand.

White folks said colored people liked their lives.

They said people get along best when they know
their place.

They said colored people want to know their place.

The little black girl’s mother scooped her up and carried her away.

Mrs. Sullivan had tears in her eyes so I asked her why and here is
what she said:

“Nothin’s gonna be the same.”

Rob Goldstein (C) 2018

Rob Goldstein (C) 2018

After the Storm

This has been a difficult
week, so this post is for
my partner.

Thanks for being here.

Affirmations for the Resistance #8

Carrie Underwood – The Champion ft. Ludacris

They say that every champion is all about his principles

A quote from Alexander Hamilton: If it were to be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of security in a Republic? the answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws—the first growing out of the last. It is by this, in a great degree, that the rich and powerful are to be restrained from enterprises against the common liberty—operated upon by the influence of a general sentiment, by their interest in the principle, and by the obstacles which the habit it produces erects against innovation and encroachment. It is by this, in a still greater degree, that caballers, intriguers, and demagogues are prevented from climbing on the shoulders of faction to the tempting seats of usurpation and tyranny.
Be champions of the Constitution and the Rule of Law.

“If it were to be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws—the first growing out of the last.  It is by this, in a great degree, that the rich and powerful are to be restrained from enterprises against the common liberty—operated upon by the influence of a general sentiment, by their interest in the principle, and by the obstacles which the habit it produces erects against innovation and encroachment. It is by this, in a still greater degree, that caballers, intriguers, and demagogues are prevented from climbing on the shoulders of faction to the tempting seats of usurpation and tyranny.”

To the People of the United States

 

Be champions of the Constitution and the Rule of Law

 

 

 

I Feel a Song Coming On…

I confess. I like Musicals.

Well Camelot and West Side Story and maybe The Sound of Music;
of the three, my favorite is West Side Story.

Everything about West Side Story is great.

The Hollywood Reporter said in its 1961 review:

West Side Story is a magnificent show, a milestone in movie musicals, a box-office smash. It is so good that superlatives are superfluous. Let it be noted that the film musical, the one dramatic form that is purely American and purely Hollywood, has never been done better.

Here is my favorite dance sequence from what I consider the most brilliant musical ever filmed.

 

Bright red cover art for West Side Story: The Original Sound Track Recording by Leonard Bernstein; Stephen Sondheim
West Side Story: The Original Sound Track Recording
by Leonard Bernstein; Stephen Sondheim

Cover art found on the Internet Archives and presented here for educational purposes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother, You Need Shoes

I would not have noticed her had the subway car not cleared
of people at Lexington Avenue.

She removed a tattered stocking cap and stuffed it
into a grimy army jacket.

She held a smudged white bag between her legs.

She reached into it and pulled out half a doughnut.

That was when I noticed her shoes.

The uppers had split from the soles; she wrapped
her feet in newspaper and rags.

I thought, Mother,  you need shoes.

I wondered if forty dollars would do.

I looked up and watched her untangle a lock of
matted grey hair.

She reached into her bag and found a bobby pin.

She styled the lock of hair into a bun

I had forty dollars.

It was for vitamins; specifically, anti-oxidants.

My body was rusting faster than a wet Ford.

The crows feet around my eyes whispered: erase us; your
happiness demands our absence.

I examined the old woman’s cracked and broken shoes;
they were useless for January in New York.

She closed her eyes, as if ready to savor a long warm ride.

Maybe she lives in the subway, I thought, like those people
in the documentary,  Dark Days.

If she never leaves the subway she doesn’t need new shoes!

My crow’s-feet said, ’Yes!’

But that can’t be right, I thought; an old woman, alone, with
nothing but a stale doughnut for dinner.

I saw myself stand, and watched as I took two twenties out
of my wallet.

Then I knelt and said, “Mother, you need shoes.”

She opened her eyes and smiled at me and
nodded in agreement.

“Will forty dollars do?”

“Yes,” she said, “God bless you.”

I gave her the money and returned to my seat, and
listened as my crow’s-feet maliciously threatened
to deepen and spread.

 

Rob Goldstein (c) 2014-2018 All Rights Reserved
First published 5/29/16
Revised 4/7/18

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

HIS

His obvious filthy macho

His wandering gaze above the crowd

His arms are long,  he rocks his son

His legs are lean and smooth

His trench coat is long

His shredded jeans–

He stubs out his cigarette

and boards the train.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015

 

Save

Save

Save

Lie, Prevaricate, Equivocate, Palter, Fib, Falsehood, White Lies, Liars

“If you don’t lie you don’t have
to keep your story straight.”

Grandma

A portrait of my Grandmother cropped from a snapshot
Grandma

Oh, God

Oh, God. Let’s you
an’ me duke it out
mano a mano; or I
can just lose; whatever
 you want

(c) Rob Goldstein 2018

Jazz Age Wednesdays 26 ― Hullaba Lulu

This is the project I’ve been working on with Teagan. She’s done a great job with the story!

Teagan's Books

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  As much as I love Pip and her friends, I was in the mood for a change of pace.  Today is the premier of a new mini-series.  It is not in the “Pip-verse” but it still takes place during the Roaring Twenties.  I hope my “voice” is different enough to distinguish this story from the ones featuring Pip. 

A while back Rob Goldstein offered to do some 1920s images for me, when one of my tales reminded him of stories his grandmother told him.  He mentioned a song his grandmother sang to him called “Don’t Bring Lulu.”  Right away I wanted to do a story related to it.  

Don’t Bring Lulu

For several weeks, Rob and I have had a great time playing with ideas for this story.  He quickly sent me several images for potential “Lulus,” and he created additional…

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As Mary Was Here for God

Something in the way he moves, his grace, the
way he struts his stuff.

This I know, I want him, I want him in the worst
way; but my love for the Woman keeps me from
taking my man.

The Woman is here for me, as Mary was here for
God.

I shall descend upon her tonight in a glittering
display of astral affection and leave her with
an ancient mystery;

I am the holy trinity in search of a womb.

  Image and Poem Rob Goldstein 1984-2018

 

 

 

The Bicyclist

I ride my bike past your office

because

you say the secretary thinks
I’m cute,

you say it makes you smile.

I stop and wave and she opens
the door and winks and says with
hard Rs, “Ya gonna give it to me
when ya go straight, right?’

I wink back and smile as I ride off,

“Sure thing!”

That night we made love and slept
in each other’s arms: safe in the
childhood
of our 20’s.

Image and poem (c) Rob Goldstein 1985-2018  

 


The Case Against Alex Jones

from Jill Dennison

Filosofa's Word

Well, well, well … well, well.  All I can say is it’s about time.  Well past time, if you ask me, that ol’ Alex Jones of Fox News’ InfoWars is heading off to court.  In December 2016, I considered Alex for an Idiot of the Week post, but I didn’t do that post.  Today, curious as to why I hadn’t, I found in my notes that I considered him simply too evil for an IOTW post.  A brief bit of background …

On December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  As first responders arrived at the scene, Lanza committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.  President Obama, as well as leaders from many countries and organizations throughout the world also offered their condolences through the…

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