Note: I make generous and unabashed use of the word “crazy” in this essay, in part because it describes so well what my brain feels like on the really bad days. Also, I have extensive and complicated thoughts about how we decide which words should and shouldn’t be used to talk about mental health which I won’t go into here.
Today, I unlocked a major adulting accomplishment. After at least three years of anxiously procrastinating and saying that I’m going to do it, really really really this time, I made an appointment with a psychiatrist. In 2018 and 2019, I had a therapist, but I haven’t been with anyone who could really monitor my antidepressants and change them for at least 10 years. I don’t just want to deal with my ever-present depression; I’ve become more and more certain that my wandering, unfocused brain is at least in part because of ADHD. I want to make that official and see what can be done about it.
The result is…… something horrible. And yet, strangely beautiful. That kind of beauty that makes you stay up at night, squirming. In this case, someone combined Warhammer 40K and Thomas the Tank Engine. The result was:
Thomas the Chaos Engine
I take a particular kind of delight in this because I always kinda hated the Thomas books and TV series. Admittedly, I was entering into teenage angst and horniness when the TV series first hit, but even in my younger days, the books seemed obnoxiously cloying and bland. I can’t even imagine why these fucking things have been around since the mid-40s.
Now Thomas the Chaos Engine, that I’d watch.
And frankly, I’ve never been a huge Warhammer 40K fan, either. Too much of a focus on militarism and strategy, and not enough on character-building. So, it’s kind of a fusion of two things that I really don’t give a shit about into something that’s way cooler than either of them.
In the picture above, Thomas has been rendered as a Daemon Engine:
A Daemon Engine is a nightmarish artificial construct used by the Forces of Chaos that is a fusion of a realspace vehicle or combat walker with a possessing daemonic spirit of the Warp. Daemon Engines are gigantic war machines that prowl on mighty piston-driven limbs.
Jutting from their armoured torsos are gargoyle-muzzled cannons and heavy weapon-arms that end in murderous tools of war. To compare a Daemon Engine to an ordinary vehicle is folly, for each of these beasts possesses its own malevolent sentience rather than a crew.
Warhammer 40K Wiki
From what little I know of Thomas (and Friends) there always seemed to be a little bit of quiet horror lurking in the bland, happy setting of Sodor Island, so the idea of Thomas going from a happy, passive little worker to a nightmarish hell-machine sounds easily plausible to me.
Sponsored posts on Facebook often make me sigh in frustration or roll my eyes, but all I could say when this one popped up was — what the ever-loving actual fuck?
Unlike working in Silicon Valley, women in STEM at NSA enjoy the kind of work-life balance that only comes with the Intelligence Community. That’s because you literally can’t take your work home with you (it’s classified). Learn more…
Facebook, November 2, 2019
Maybe someone at the NSA has a sense of humor or something, but is there actually anyone who thinks that the solution to misogynist techbro harassment is — to become a spy? To go into the intelligence business, <sarcasm>well-known for its embrace of feminism and queer rights? </sarcasm>
I’m undecided about whether this counts as Ultra-Peak White Feminism or not, because it seems unlikely that it came from an actual feminist. On the other hand, we have groups like New Wave Feminists grabbing the handle as a way to make anti-choice politics “hip” again, so you never know. In the age of Trump, every day makes me feel like I’m on a really bad acid trip.
I get my joy and hope where I can, these days. It’s hard with Trump parading around the White House as everyone pretends that he’s President. Hannah Arendt put her finger on something important when she coined the phrase “The Banality of evil,” in Eichmann in Jerusalem. Trump shows us something else, though: The pettiness of evil. He’s far too flamboyant to be banal; most of the time, he seems to be trying to act out a classic supervillain who cackles and boasts to the hero about his evil plans. But everything Trump says or does is driven by a pettiness of mind, spirit, and imagination that you just don’t get from Doctor Doom or a Bond villain.
On this, the first Monday in Pride Month 2018, I woke up to find out that the Supreme Court had flipped the bird to queer communites by ruling in favor of the Christian bakery that refused a gay couple. I spent yesterday going back and forth from the bathroom while dealing with a massive upset stomach, and the Supremes’ decision makes that look like the highlight of my week.
What I really find upsetting is not the decision itself, but the way that people in my social media feeds are responding to it. A lot of the reactions amount to queers and progressives throwing up their hands and going, “Welp, we’re doomed. This is the beginning of Gilead.”
Things like this ruling shouldn’t be an excuse to surrender; they should be seen as a call to action, especially at the beginning of Pride Month. This is a month when we commemorate transgender women and sex workers throwing bricks at the cops, even if we sometimes forget that as we watch Budweiser floats with muscled cis-boys in their twenties roll by.
I had an idea the other day: Let’s turn “incel” into a verb. Not just a verb, but an insulting curse to wish bad luck on people who just can’t help being assholes. Instead of saying “Fuck you!” now we’ll say “Incel you!”
David Smalley just published a blog post over on Patheos that is so pompous, so hackneyed, so insufferably wrapped in ego and bad argument that I almost feel inspired to start a Social Justice Nonfiction version of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest in order to pay tribute.
Point number one: Fuck you, Trevor Noah . The line “vegan ISIS” might have sounded very, very clever in your writers room, but it has fuck-all to do with reality.
There’s a lot of potential, legitimate discussion to be had about the tactics of antifa groups and black blocs. Not a single one starts with the assumption that protesters who oppose fascism and white supremacy are moral equals to the cheap-suit Klanners who marched at Charlottesville and attempted to do the same in San Francisco and Berkeley just last week.