Friday, March 30, 2007

R.I.P. Mr. Bond

"Do you expect me to talk?"
"No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!"

On the playground, when it came to picking teams, he was picked first. When a Decision had to be made, they all looked to him. He was a leader but had no gang. No one resented his straight A's because he was no teacher's pet. A natural outlaw who made his own rules, he lived in a different world than his peers.

The Coolest Kid in School often had scrapes with the small-minded Authorities, who felt him a natural threat. But as water seeks its own level, so sought he. A master criminal was certainly one path open to him but he needed more, a sense of well-being. The decision was his own: a servant he would be.

The further he went down that path, the more obvious it became he had made the right decision. To use his talents and skills for merely his own ends would have destroyed him. But even though having chosen to serve, in the end, he would do nothing he himself did not agree with.

In the circles of the elite, agent 007 was at home. He often saw himself in others - had he taken a less noble road. That is what gave him his edge. He swam among the sharks not looking for smaller fish to devour as they did, but to devour the sharks themselves. It was a life most could not even imagine. As he passed through this world those who came in contact with him saw a glimpse into a fantasy life of who was in their eyes a superman.

But now Bond is dead, crucified on the altar of self-loathing. We didn't like the way he made us feel, that somehow we were inadequate. So he's been reborn as a bad-ass, cut down to size, and many are applauding the new turn towards "reality". Self-assurance has been replaced with self-doubt, cockiness with mean-spiritedness, sauveness to dourness. The loser as a winner. No wonder so many hail this film.

One thing the Bond films have always been is a flag in the wind of the times. In that sense, this new film is right on the money. It's the hate-radio version of Bond. No one wants to be seen as a wussy Good Guy, we want a terrorist fighting for us. A thug in a tux for a hero. How appealing it is to think your evil can be useful instead of a hindrance. Even the massive cynicism the film was made with is a reflection of these self-annihilating times, where fun is replaced with a good dose of cruelty for your own good. Thanks, but I'm already way over my "cruel reality" quotient - assholes.

And trust me, it's a poor bet wagering the terrorists will win. The only way they can win is for us to become them.

"Loose Change" - A Fable Is Born

There has been much local wringing of hands and breathless consternation over Mark Cuban's decision to distribute a documentary film called "Loose Change", which has the tag line: "An exploration of the viewpoint that the September 11, 2001 attacks were planned by the United States government." Funny, huh? Oops! Sorry, not supposed to laugh. This is Serious Business.

To all my brain-dead friends with their panties in a wad over this: chill. This is the moral equivalent of a "world is flat" film. The makers of such a film may think they are disproving and maybe even disparaging the "world is round" believers but what is in actuality happening? Such filmmakers brand themselves morons and would never again be able to make any sort of claim of credibility outside of possibly Fox news. People think Cuban is aiding and abetting the makers of "Loose Change". Truth is, he's mocking them.

More accurately, his position is to let these directors make their own bed and then lie in it. Praise or ridicule - the choice is yours, he says. Mark Cuban may be the Jed Clampett of the internet but he's smart enough not to claim to be the Arbiter of Truth (outside of NBA foul calls). However, there is no shortage of those will gladly take that title. And they are fools. Who do you trust to censor what you see?

One movie that influenced me for a lifetime was that of the Nazi march in Skokie, Illinois that was defended by the ACLU. And the lawyer who defended their right was Jewish. I will die a supporter of the ACLU, they who understand the importance of free speech as a cornerstone of liberty. The irony is that those who opposed the march were the true fascists.

But what is truly fascinating here is witnessing the birth of an urban legend, a modern fable. The Good Book says the truth is within us, so on some level we all know what’s going on, even if we are not always completely honest with ourselves – or others. While there have been many assertions of our “honorable intentions” in engaging the Iraqi war and of how a President of the United States would never do anything as dishonorable as leading us falsely into harm’s way, no one truly believes we’ve been told the truth. And nature abhors a vacuum.

So into the void steps one and all with a spin job to sell. Some more crazy than others. Point is, there is an emotional truth here – a feeling we have not been told all the facts. The Da Vinci Code was the same thing. Give us a good story to fill the gaps and we’ll eat it up. What we are really saying when we buy into such things is that we are not satisfied with the explanations we have been given, which is what gives these wacky theories their staying power. But the seduction is that these Appealing Lies used to fill the void are far easier to take than the actual truth - and that's always a loss.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Debby's Song

You, Debby, are true greatness. You know dreams others will only call myth. In some ways, I hold more respect for you than anyone else I've ever met. Yes, I know you don't think I hold you in high regard, but I do. It's your choices I despise, the way you've decided to treat yourself.

When you die, there will be much talk of what a gracious person you were. "Debby was such a good girl!" How you always did what was expected of you. The wife, the mother, the dutiful church-goer, ah yes, that Debby was perfect! It's the thought of disapproval that rules your life. Because you don’t have your own approval. That is your cross to overcome but never will. They will sing your praises but they don't know you like I do.

I know your secret dreams - and your secret lies. Yours will be a life unlived but only you will know it. And over the years as your soul dies and you become all the things you hate but end up defending, you will have no one to turn to. No one you can tell your problems because that would admit you're living a lie. So remember this in your moment of despair, it was your choice. Your mocking words come back to haunt you: "Life is what you make it."

You didn't hurt me with the things you said. Most of that was me manipulating you in my delusional thinking. No, the time you hurt me was long ago when you said, "I do". You just couldn't resist the bribe. And even though it was not what you had dreamed you found a perverse thrill in the acceptance. "Who am I to ask for more? What makes me so deserving of dreams? After all, I'm just a girl." Through your self-martyrdom, your humiliation became institutionalized and therefore made holy. How exciting.

Each dawn of dishonesty brings a new low. "Success" deepens the despair. You finally got things just the way you wanted: to be yourself is a "sin", is to lose everything. So the Holy Lie must be kept - for the kid's sake, for God's sake, for your sake. May no one knock on your door? Is your heart closed forever? Yes, Debby, you do deserve more. Will you accept it? Can I?

People smile and tell me I'm the lucky one,
And we've only just begun.
Think I'm gonna have a son.
He will be like she and me, as free as a dove,
Conceived in love.
Sun is gonna shine above.

And even though we ain't got money,
I'm so in love with you, honey,
And everything will bring a chain of love.
And in the morning, when I rise,
You bring a tear of joy to my eyes
And tell me everything is gonna be alright.

Seems as though, a month ago, I was Beta-Chi,
Never got high.
Oh, I was a sorry guy.
And now, I smile and face the girl that shares my name.
Now I'm through with the game.
This boy will never be the same.


Pisces, Virgo rising is a very good sign,
Strong and kind,
And the little boy is mine.
Now I see a family where the once was none.
Now we've just begun.
Yeah, we're gonna fly to the sun.


Love the girl who holds the world in a paper cup.
Drink it up.
Love her and she'll bring you luck.
And if you find she helps your mind, better take her home.
Don't you live alone.
Try to earn what lovers own.

And even though we ain't got money,
I'm so in love with you, honey,
And everything will bring a chain of love.
And in the morning, when I rise,
You bring a tear of joy to my eyes
And tell me everything is gonna be alright.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Alpha Centauri Outpost, a Planet Possessed

After returning from my visit to the human's destroyed and decayed Alpha Centauri outpost, I was intrigued to learn more. I came across these photos in the archives. Shot during the planet's decline, you can already see the ever-present clouds of industrial waste that had been churned into the sky. The clouds had not yet reached the final stage of the murky, gurgling brown they were to become but one can feel the ominous doom they portend.

The discarded plant pictured here was typical of what would one day cover the entire landscape. Once the resources had been used up in a particular area, the parasitic humans moved on to another and then another until finally nothing was left. In their wake they left a trail of rust and rot, the polluters never looking back. Once deemed useless, the machinery was abandoned as testament to their disdain of a place no longer valued. Little did they realize they too would share the same fate.

I tried to imagine myself in there during the days of its operations, walking through dusty hallways and vapor filled rooms. I can see the metal frame desks coated in industrial ash, encased in surroundings with only the bare minimum of creature comforts. The mentality was one of disposability and expediency. What a feeling it must have been for these vampires of nature. Declaring themselves gods and riding the wave of a delusional claim of divinity. They must have thought they had triumphed over Nature itself.

In papers found among the corpses, it is recorded they were covered with rows and rows of numbers. Strangely, there were “good” numbers and “bad” numbers, things they labeled “profits” and “losses” respectively. But these were not profits and losses of the minerals they mined, but of this imaginary concept called “money”. I myself have studied this greatly but I’m still not sure I fully grasp the idea. I’ll see if I can explain.

Apparently, money was some sort of rating system of the items on the planet. It was like some inscrutable game to gain the most items with the highest ratings. The ratings would fluctuate according to desirability and scarcity. So real was this game to them they would murder one another to achieve the highest rating and even passed laws stating no one could live without a money rating. Sheer insanity. None of this imaginary money ever gave them one more bite to eat or one more gasp of air.

I’m not sure we will ever know what possessed the humans to go off on such a tangent – other than the fact they themselves must have been possessed. What drove them to invent the money game and so cruelly enforce its worship, enslaving themselves to an illusion they called savior? What source of unhappiness had caused such a self-destructive streak conflagrating into total annihilation? I shudder to imagine the final days of madness in the ever-increasing agony of serving their money god. Truly, a planet possessed.

Read the diary written during the outpost's final days

Friday, March 16, 2007

Good Bloggie

Homeless Man Farts and Is Slapped by College Girl

In less entertaining news...

Today, I'll be good a blogger. One who "engages his readers in a debate" because my readers "don't know the truth" and it is for me to enlighten them. At least, that's what some moron from BlogCritics proposed to me. He was just oh so market savvy and his belief was that making people think or having them draw their own conclusions is a fatal flaw. I contend the truth is the opposite. Think the earth is flat? Fine by me. I don't give a fuck what you think. You will reap the benefits or sorrows of your beliefs. I know I sure as fucking hell have.

The biggest problem in America is the obvious one: our faith in greed. Oh, I know you're probably moaning and saying it can't be that, that's so yesterday to blame everything on greed. "Yeah", you say, "greed's a problem but there's just so many more pressing problems." Well, let my love open the door. I propose all our more "pressing problems" are the results of our trust in greed. Our poverty, our rampant violence, the dissolution of the family, the lovely war in Iraq - all fruits of our faith. Life becomes intolerable when your society is based upon a lie.

I hear complaints about eroding morals - from those whose morals are eroding. So is religion the answer? Religion, in effect, is your faith in that which you believe will save you. Which makes capitalism the most prevelant religion in America. Who the hell ever says Love will save us in a practical way? Religion means whatever you want it to mean. Don't blame religion on God.

This war is a war of selfishness, thus believers in it claim it to be one of faith. They will tell you their faith is in God, what they won't tell you is that their god is greed. They will tell you, "I got mine. Go get yours." And that is their idea of responsibility. That attitude not only gives them the "right" to tell you to fuck off but it also nicely makes the claim they have done well and been righteous.

Some general came out with his impassioned public cry that homosexuality is immoral and wrong. Let's follow the logic here. So if two guys (or two girls) decide to go off in the back room and boink each other it's a mortal sin. But if heterosexual guys go on a terrorist crusade, take a giant knife and rip a hole in the Middle East unleashing chaos and death on women and children, rip the fabric of civilization and destabilize the world, now that's moral. Just ask him.

The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.
-Thomas Jefferson

As I've said before, most people are for this war. Support is low because we are losing. Were we getting our way, we'd be all for it. Greed sells. But it would still be just as immoral and devastating for us in the long run. Newspapers bring us facts but rarely the truth. One can be "well-read", recite all the news, repeat all the opinions and still know nothing. The only way to know the truth is to read the human heart.

So what do I see in our alleged President?

I see a proud loser, someone who lies to himself, is wildly delusional and self-corrupted, someone so eaten up with insecurities it fuels a desperate lust for power. God sent us this agent of evil to test us. Try reading that in a newspaper. "I only see the good in others," you nobly declare in a fit of willful ignorance. Who gives a fuck what you would "like" to believe? If you don't see the truth of others how can you ever help them?

So if you want to debate me, go ahead. I'm going to go do something more meaningful, like masturbate.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Guilty Man

As he lay back on the psychiatric couch, he let out the usual sigh. Yes, it was pointless, but no, you just can’t do nothing. “Much gnashing of teeth,’ – that’s what the Bible said was in store for those who live in limbo. The commitment-less, the fence sitters waiting for a never-to-appear sign, the desperate runners from reality. It was they who populated the void called limbo. The inhabitants of this inhospitable space took solace in their freedom from hell and yet wailed at the lack of heaven. Unspoken was the knowledge the time would come for eviction.

And that caused much gnashing of teeth.

He had picked a female psychiatrist just to have the company of a woman. “Paul,” she lamented, “you look even more emaciated today. It’s distressing to see.”

“Get off my back, will ya.” When he wanted to, his blue eyes were piercing and bore holes into any but the most solid of souls. His therapist received such a glare now.

“It’s your life, Paul.” It was Stock Reply Number 5, best she could do with those laser-like eyes drilling into her. “Live it as you wish.” The lasers turned away but moments like these left her feeling a complete fraud. Paul gave her those pauses more than any other patient and thus she dreaded him. But if on the other hand she could conquer him, it would legitimize her life to new heights.

Stymied once more, she gazed upon this enigma who seemed to slouch even while lying down. “You must understand, Paul,” – repeat the name, people love to hear their name even if it’s forced – “how upsetting it is for others to see anyone waste away. Now I’m not saying you should live your life for other people but no one wants to see you dead.”

“Fat lot you know.” Her constant use of his name grated on him. Later, he would think: why can’t I just tell her that? The answer: because then she would know something that really bothered him – and that would give her power.

“Do you know that today marks exactly one year since you’ve been coming here?” Wait for the no reply. “And I can’t see we’ve made much progress.” He wanted to snap back that perhaps the reason for that was because she sucks as a therapist, but he wasn’t ready to break away just yet. Endure the abuse. “It’s frustrating to see you never keep on weight. You said it started when you inherited the millions of dollars from your father but we’ve determined it’s not the money stopping you from eating. You said the feeling started as a small child when you decided you hated your father but should never tell him. You said keeping quiet was for the greater good. You said you had special abilities and didn’t have the needs of ordinary people, that you could “make sacrifices others could not.” Yet you also say it was a death trip, cutting you off from a normal life of friends and relationships.”

Paul too wanted to get to the bottom of the mystery. The Starving Millionaire who felt too guilty to eat. He would sit at the table like a prisoner behind bars with his food on the other side. Eat it and be branded a criminal. Ignore it and die. He oscillated between the two like a perpetual motion pendulum. Alternately he binged on food, gained weight and was hailed by his therapist, but that was like holding his breath and in his inevitable gasping for air he would free fall back to weightlessness. It had to stop. It had to not stop.

And that caused much gnashing of teeth.

Seeing no challenge, his therapist continued. “You said it just didn’t “feel right”, you eating like that when others had nothing. What right had you to something that others did not-“

“That’s right, lady, what makes me so goddam special??”

She didn’t look up, feeling his eyes already. “- and yet you also say you know your death would serve no purpose, and a purpose is what you seek-”

“If I do what I want, I’m a fucking criminal!”

She reiterated her analysis: ”Guilt drives you, guilt driven from a life not lived. Your death trip was in reality an ego trip to place you above others. Now you feel that in order to make any claim to morality you have to keep on making the sacrifices you always have. That if you ever used your abilities for yourself, you were some sort of selfish monster who deserved nothing – not even to eat.”

“I guess that about sums it up,” he snapped. She gave space for his torment. “I can know in my head it’s OK to do what I want, but I just can’t. I can’t defend it or explain it. I’m paralyzed by guilt for a crime I do not know. It’s a complete mind fuck!” He snorted in disgust and pride. “You know what I did? I play this anonymous little game on the computer called Reversi to kill time. I ran into this one guy about the same skill level as me - and I’m very good. I beat him two games in row 33-31, close as you can get without tying.” He looked over to see if she was paying attention. She actually was. “So I could just feel this guy on the other end saying, “I know I can beat him, he’s just getting lucky.” You could sense the frustration so I had this idea. For the third game I used a bot – a program that shows where to move. It was beautiful. The bot didn’t make any obviously great moves into the mid-game, they looked very average and he had to be thinking he was still in the game. But when we got to the end game, the horror became clear and he got wiped out. That’s when I left.”

Rarely did she see him look over to her for approval. It’s an opening, she thought, a chance to conquer. “So what did you hope to accomplish with that?”

“A mind fuck! I made him doubt his skills. I made him question his reality. I made him wonder just who the fuck he is!”

The words hung in the air like a prosecutor’s accusation. He had damned himself. She looked away in silent victory. Amusingly, she mused over replying “And just who the fuck are you?” Never did she curse and it would shock him. Secretly she thought he used such words in the hopes of annoying her. It did, but that could never be admitted – it would give him power.

“Perhaps,” she seemingly ventured, “we should ask that question of you?” No reply, of course, he was trapped. “Maybe all this death trip, ego talk is a cover up. Maybe you just don’t want to face your true self so you can keep on believing you’ve got all these “special abilities”, this Hidden Talent I keep hearing you talk about. Maybe that’s the source of all your guilt.”

The patient no longer slouched into the couch but sunk into it. What had he ever done that was special – except for maybe the extraordinary way in which he had screwed up his life. Yeah, he truly had nothing to offer. Just a big bag of wind. What kind of person is too guilty to even eat?? Maybe that was it all along. He had merely been clinging to the one thing that gave him value: self denial. Admit you’re a schmuck and get on with your life at last.

The Broken Man stood up slouching greater than ever. The Conqueror was soothing and gracious now that she had victory. At last she had proved herself a healer as she had to so many other patients. Broken Man noticed her extra kindness and dutifully acknowledged it. As he stopped at the front desk to pay, he was almost too ashamed to face the receptionist. I’m a Liar and a Fraud – that had to be written on his forehead.

But the girl was blessedly unwitting as she confirmed his next appointment. “OK, I gotcha down: 2 o’clock, next Tuesday for Mr. Paul Newman.”

And he exited with much gnashing of teeth.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Random Thoughts While Sitting On Campus And Listening To The Radio

"Why??" the man pleads. "Why can't I just keep doing what I did before? I don't understand." "Because, moron, you spent all your money. There's none left. You can't sit on your ass anymore. You have to work now or you'll starve!" "But I never had to before! If I didn't have to before, I don't have to now. And that's all the thinking I'm going to do!"

You thought my writing was racist. Well, OK, I am a racist. And a sexist and an age-ist and a hate-ist and a love-ist and a war-ist and a peace-ist and a reeses pieces-ist. I'm all the 'ists'. So now what? Fucker.

"My love for you's just not the same
And my heart, and my heart
And my heart can't stand the strain
And my love, and my love
And my love won't stand the pain"

I love that song. I picture Queen Padme singing it and dancing to Vader who stoically stands unmoved. Maybe a whole Broadway musical on their relationship. The intellectual basis is there, despite Lucas' execution of it.

Remember that sign on the highway. God, I was out in the boonies that time! It was afternoon and sunny. "Cooper Lake Cooper" it read. "Cooper Cooper!" I laughed. I imagined a character named Cooper Cooper, first and last names both the same. And it so scarred him he felt he always had to get it out of the way any time he met someone. "Cooper Cooper's the name! My friends call me...Cooper!" For some reason I gave him an Australian accent. And since he's forced so hard to sell himself all the time he becomes a salesman. But doesn't really want to be.

Check out that chick. Jesus Christ she's smokin' hot! Never known anything but luxury her whole life. Her feet ain't ever gonna touch the ground. God I wish I had the nerve to go over and sit next to her. Then I'd ask: "Mind if I fart?"

I don't know which is worse: them thinking I'm dumb or them finding out I'm smart. How many more times am I going to have that thought in my lifetime?

Man, the feel of the campus is getting to me. I can feel its vibrancy and hopes and fears and energy. What a world. Debby knew all this, not me. I wonder what it was like for her. I miss her to my core.

"Well, I keep on thinkin' 'bout you, Sister Golden Hair surprise
And I just can't live without you; can't you see it in my eyes?
I been one poor correspondent, and I been too, too hard to find
But it doesn't mean you ain't been on my mind"

Christ, what timing. I'm getting goose bumps and my eyes are tearing. Put your head down and casually wipe your eyes. No one's looking. God I hate it when my childhood feelings come rushing back. There's no time for life.

Oh, good. They're arguing politics. Parroting politics is more like it, there's no thought in their words. But you can see the roots of what they'll become. Don't take my greed away, he says.

Man, if I do make it - if I ever did get out of here alive - I'll break the backs of every single one of them, I swear to God. these are some of the things that run through your mind waiting on the goddam truck to pick you up stranded at a university construction's like sitting on a hotplate and I can say nothing to no's times like this I feel the shame and emptiness the most...please dear God, don't let Debby see this

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Perfect Spy

Rain never depresses me. The night is cool and moonless and I hear the midnight whistle of the train. The whistle is lonely and filled with sorrow. I wonder what sins it has committed. But this is a good moment for me. When the world shuts itself in, I come out. Yes, dear world, you have me in your invisible prison but even you need rest from your wicked labors.

Debby has seen me naked but none else. But for her to expose me she would have to also expose herself. I am anonymity itself; unknowable. When people see you in my position - when things are plainly dire – they always want to know why. What are the pitfalls to avoid? But I have given up trying to explain. Mostly because I don’t understand myself.

“Even when you tell the truth, you lie…you are the perfect spy.” This was said to Magnus Pym in John Le Carre’s “A Perfect Spy”. Pym had been a role player all his life, never himself; a rootless feather in the wind. So naturally he was drawn to the “secret world” where meaning would be given to his Disingenuousness. But as his talents are used, he also uses them – a double agent to the world. Aching for a morality a liar can never have, he finds he has betrayed himself with no way out. For the true cause of his life was to be himself – as it is with every life…

The rain has stopped. Damn. I can barely hear the train now as it wails into the night. My friends have left - my identity changes. Now I’m the outcast loner, abandoned on a doomed planet. Standing outside of it all, I spy on you. You never hear my voice but I hear you respond to my accusations. TV, radio, the village square – everywhere. Constantly protesting your innocence, claiming victory in your life and assuming God’s blessing. These are the things you see when you’re a spy.

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Magic War

(To the tune of The Who's "Magic Bus")


Every day I'm clapping my hands (Cheer for the Magic War)
We'll save the world in Iraqi sands (Thank you, Magic War)
Good guys will kill all the evil men (Pray for the Magic War)
'Cause if you win it's never a sin (God loves the Magic War)

No casualties will you ever see (It's safe, the Magic War)
Our valiant troops march happily (It's fun, the Magic War)
Only a traitor would cause a fuss (Lie about the Magic War)
Vilely demanding, "Listen to us!" (Blind to the Magic War)


Not a cent we'll have to pay (It's free, the Magic War)
Spreading freedom brings oil our way (Dollars from the Magic War)

I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it ... (Let's vote to have it!)
Making us safer every day
Sorry if you're in our way
Children's bodies so unsightly
But we know freedom's untidy

Magic War, Magic War, Magic War...

I say, now we've got our Magic War (Yeehaw! A Magic War)
Send more troops to settle the score (Bombs away! Magic War)
We get to keep our way of life (A comfy Magic War)
Worshipping God's holy knife (Die for the Magic War)

I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it ...

Every day we feed our lust (Loot for the Magic War)
What we liberate, we turn to dust (Whore for the Magic War)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Writing Letters Never Meaning to Send

I've seen the end of mankind and can tell no one. It interrupts too many people's plans. So what is one to do? Whistle past the graveyard like the rest of my fellow inmates? Vigorously blog against it? Get rich and say, "Fuck the world!"? I know not the answer.

The question defeats me. How does one rejoice on a sinking Titanic? I see the point of nothing. Futility is one hell of a de-motivator. Should I blog or beer? Increasingly the answer is beer. I find myself just sitting, staring at the early evening shadows, my entire life an historical lie, an event that never happened. I just thought I existed.

I could stay in this moment forever, suspended between heaven and hell - all the world an historical lie, a place that never existed. I would be alone to commune with God and my Maker would speak freely to me. "This world gives me nothing," I would say. "It's hard to build a bridge that no one will cross." God said he would love to cross it. And I cried.

Nowhere Man sits in blind sorrow. "Who have I made things good for?" I can't let them in the door. Here, let me show you my world. I've destroyed it so that I may live in meaningless despair and humiliation. And then they say, "Prove it!" in order to hide their own sins. Madness all. May God destroy all those who bring debate to the truth. I just want to be held.