People have been asking me if I have a Goodreads literally for over ten years, and the answer is finally yes. Feel free to friend or follow me or whatever here. Let’s get a little more of Amazon’s remorseless surveillance in our lives!
It’s a misconception that popular people in high school are all sociopaths. In general people who are popular in high school are popular because they are friendly and kind; the common stereotype only persists because a certain type of person writes the culture, and that type of person always requires a revenge narrative, an arc that ends with them rising above their previously-reviled station, even if that revulsion is largely imagined. (Indifference, now, that’s a genuine quantity.)
But to the degree that the popular are cruel, it is important to realize: it is never the queen bee in high school who is the cruelest. That is maybe the biggest misconception of all. The queen bee is actually often quite magnanimous, and for the reason a lot of people are magnanimous: because they can, because it costs them nothing. No, it’s not the queen bee who is cruel. It’s the lieutenant bees, the seconds in command, the other cool girls who have ascended to a high station but can only dream of being the queen bee herself. It is through them, typically unconsciously on the part of the queen bee, that the cruelty is meted out. No one is more threatened by the possibility of someone else climbing up the totem pole than the ones whose grasp on it is still precarious. Meanwhile the one on top can gaze down with equanimity and grace. This is the way of queen bees.
Remember that as you go about your day today.
Hey friends, I’m happy to say that after a solid two weeks or so of illness I have felt near 100% the last two days. The fever is gone and the cough is now rare. I’m not sure if I had Covid-19 but whatever I had I seem to have beaten.
Here’s why I don’t know if I had it. Earlier this week I called the Covid hotline for NYS and was finally able to get an appointment for a test, this morning. The lady said to be sure to write out my appointment number on a piece of paper and bring my ID. I show up this morning to the parking lot of an old Sears and flash the ID number to the state cops. But they say “no walk-ins.” And I said no, I’m not a walk-in, I have an appointment. And the fucking guy says “you need a car. It’s a drive-in test.”
Setting aside the fact that the lady on the hotline said not one word of this, WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE WHO DON’T HAVE CARS IN FUCKING NEW YORK CITY.
I’m on day 6 of a persistent fever I can’t shake. It’s quite mild feeling – I have no idea what the temperature is because I don’t have a thermometer and I’m not about to go to Target to get one. I have a very occasional and sporadic cough but generally I take DayQuil/NyQuil and feel fine. I also have a weird taste in my mouth but what I read says the virus makes you have no taste. I should really call and check but as I understand it they don’t think mild symptoms need treatment and it’s supposedly really hard to get a test in the city right now.
I’ve already been pretty religious about social distancing and I’m being extra careful now. I’ve switched to delivery groceries. The only trouble is getting my creaky old dog out to pee and back four times a day. Keeping the six feet distance isn’t so hard on the street even in Brooklyn, but avoiding neighbors in the building is harder.
Who knows! It could easily be any other kind of bug. I feel shitty when I wake up in the morning and I take some medicine and feel fine. This strange season gets a little bit stranger.
On Amazon. I’m sorry release is so far away but it’s out of my hands.
On August 18th 2017 I lied and accused Malcolm Harris of rape and sexual harassment of women, particularly of women he works with. These allegations were completely untrue, Malcolm in no way deserved them, and if anyone held a shred of doubt, let him be fully exonerated. Crucially, despite my mental state at the time, I knew when I sent those tweets that they were untrue. I am responsible for having made those false allegations, and that makes me a liar, it makes me guilty of slander, and it makes me someone who undermined the profound seriousness of rape allegations.
I have bipolar disorder. I have been dealing with it since I was 21. For most of that time I have hidden my condition and resisted treatment, only telling my siblings more than a decade after my first manic episode.
When I first moved to New York I arranged to see a psychiatrist and was medicated for a few months. However my relationship with her was not good and getting to appointments was difficult and so, as has happened many times, I let my treatment lapse. In early 2017 I descended gradually into mania. My cycles are quite slow which can make it difficult to realize when my condition is falling out of my control. By late summer I was a danger to myself and others because of the extreme paranoid delusions that are common to my episodes. It was in that context that I made these accusations, but I again stress that I was responsible for my actions and that I have to be accountable for them.
I am ashamed of myself and have been ever since. I think about it every day.
I would like to be able to say that the incident with Malcolm – my accusations, my digging in on those accusations despite their obvious lack of credibility, my subsequent deletion of my Twitter account – inspired me to get help, but that wouldn’t be true. I only went to the hospital under threat of legal trouble – from someone other than Malcolm, who has been to his considerable credit explicit and adamant that he would not be pursuing a legal option. (Let me additionally say that I am not publishing this apology because of Malcolm pressuring me or in any other way putting me up to this.) That weekend I accused someone who was once quite close to me of conspiring against me, and threatened to harm them in revenge. They told me that either I went to get help the next day or they would have me arrested. I called my brother for help and sought treatment the next day at Richmond University Medical Center.
In terms of making amends, I can point to major changes that I have made and stuck with since I went to the hospital. I have now been on meds consistently for the longest period of my life. I have finally relented and accepted the fact that I must be on antipsychotic medication long-term, resistance to which has long proven a serious barrier to care. I have abandoned all social media permanently. I have stopped freelance writing. I have in general tried to permanently remove myself from online life and from the world of political writing in which Malcolm resides and I once resided. These changes are not attempts to make up for what I’ve done, really; they are just matters of self-preservation as I try to build a life where I do not cause harm to people anymore. I have fully committed to constant treatment, and I have fully committed to going away. I am so profoundly sorry.