Warning: This Blog Just Might Scare The Shit out of You

This blog is not for everyone and reactions to it vary widely. Some seem to love it, which makes me happy, but some seem to hate it, which, in fact, also makes me kind of happy.

Hey, you can’t please everyone, right? If you’re a writer and nobody hates your writing, then you’re doing something wrong.

But at least a few people have felt deeply disturbed and even frightened by what they’ve read here, and if you are, or eventually turn out to be such a person I would like to offer you this by way of reassurance:

Among other things, at the very least this blog for me is a creative outlet. Although definitely not a work of fiction, my writing is best viewed as an artistic interpretation of whatever I happen to be writing about. For better or worse I use a lot of imagery and metaphor, sometimes I make mistakes, and in some cases — especially for the sake of a laugh, but also to achieve other kinds of reader experience — I take what we might call “bold artistic liberties”, by which I mean that I lie outright, and so it’s important to realize that absolutely nothing in this blog is meant to be taken too seriously, which you are definitely doing if you feel in any way deeply disturbed or frightened by anything you read here.

While reading my blog you should definitely read critically and with a measure of skepticism — good practice when you read anything, really, and especially anything you read on the Internet. If I tell you something that appears to be factual and you need to be sure that it is, then definitely don’t just assume that it is: don’t be afraid to fact-check me, and especially if you ever find anything that seems like an error, please tell me about it in a comment or via my contact page.

Most importantly: nothing in this blog is meant to be used as evidence in a court of law. When I set out to write a post, although I do generally strive to tell the truth, I definitely do not “solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”.

It’s a blog, for crying out loud, not a sworn affidavit.

On the other hand, if you merely dislike, find annoying, or perhaps even hate my blog, then, well, like I said, I think that’s a good thing.

Hey, what can I say? You can’t please everybody.

The Morally Mature, Civic-Minded, Grown-Up Thing to Do: Yet, Another Open Letter to the Mysterious Mr. Phicks

Dear Mr. Phicks,

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Oh, come now, Mr. Phicks, don’t be that way. Really, there’s nothing to be afraid of!

I know you asked me not to contact you again, but I also know that your request arose from a state of ignorance and cowardly panic. You didn’t have all the facts and mistook your fear as evidence of actual danger. You saw that I got arrested for something, jumped erroneously to the conclusion that I was therefore guilty of something, subsequently forgot that you were an adult, and chose to flee and hide like a frightened child.

Hey, I get it. It happens. Behaving like a morally mature, civic-minded grown-up is often a challenge. But that was a few weeks ago, and you and your client have had a chance to breathe, cool down, come to your senses, get your bearings, pull yourselves together, think things through.

Perhaps by now you’ve recognized that innocent people do get arrested sometimes. Perhaps you’ve taken a closer look at why I got arrested, and why I committed the alleged “crime” (they’re calling it “misdemeanor breaking or entering”). Perhaps you’ve come to see, as I do, that what I actually did was really just what any morally mature, civic-minded grown-up would do in the situation I was in at that time, which is to say:

Perform some alarming (and of course non-violent) gesture in order to draw attention to, and warn the public about The MetLife Meat Grinder

…which is to say, MetLife’s systematic, for-profit exploitation of people with psychiatric disabilities.

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MetLife wants to crush me like an egg for exposing their cruel, for-profit exploitation of people with psychiatric disabilities.

Mr. Phicks, make no mistake: MetLife will stop at nothing to guard the secret of this corrupt and diabolical revenue stream. No doubt the company wishes to crush me like an egg for trying to expose it. If I am successful in doing so, MetLife could face tremendous losses due to litigation, not to mention the effort it will take to revisit millions of previously denied disability claims, and of course all of the benefit payments MetLife will eventually have to disburse as many of those previously denied disability claims are finally approved. Who knows how long MetLife has been cheating and shenanigizing the psychiatrically vulnerable in this way?

The upshot here is that my success will entail an epic financial disaster for MetLife, and I expect the company will spare no expense in order to avert that disaster. Heck, really no one should be shocked or surprised if I die mysteriously or disappear suddenly in the coming weeks or months. At the very least MetLife will try to discredit me, make me look like a criminal, and send me to prison for as long as possible.

I need help here, Mr. Phicks, and by “help” I mean corporate sponsorship. If I am to see this project through to success then I need a corporate ally to have my back on this: one who can match MetLife’s financial muscle. I need at least one major corporation (the more the merrier, really) who can fund my legal defense: a company like your client, I believe, is exactly what I need right now.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there’s no middle ground here, Mr. Phicks. Last year when MetLife did what they did to me and my family, it was like the company drew a line in the sand and shoved me on one side and themselves on the other, and now absolutely everybody else on Earth must choose a side, including your client. Unfortunately, your client’s expressed wish to “not participate”

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There’s no middle ground here because MetLife captured it from all of us. They invaded it, took it over, built office buildings and parking lots on it, leaving the rest of us with precisely two places to stand: MetLife’s side or mine. Ugh! What a sucky situation!

is simply not an available option. Especially since they have also exploited my psychiatric disability for profit, then to my view they definitely do not have the option of not participating. Of course, your client is definitely not obligated to choose my side, but with just two sides available in this situation, if they refuse to sponsor me in some way in this fight, then by default they ally themselves with MetLife.

Please, Mr. Phicks, perhaps millions of psychiatrically vulnerable people are counting on you and your client to step up and do the right thing here. Please do not turn your back on us like the effete, privilege-bloated cowards who run MetLife. This is your opportunity to do some good for a great many people. I implore you: embrace this opportunity to act like the morally mature, civic-minded, grown-up we both know you can become!

I believe in you Mr. Phicks! You can do it!

Sincerely,

Daniel L. Scholten, a.k.a. “The Walrus”


Image Credit: (mysterious businessman skulking away in the night) Pixabay

No Fence-sitting Allowed, Part 2: A Second Open Letter to the Mysterious Mr. Phicks

[Note: For background and context, please read No Fence-sitting Allowed, Part 1: A Second Open Letter to the Mysterious Mr. Phicks.]

Hello Mr. Phicks,

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I don’t know if Mr. Phicks is a master of disguise, but if he is, I bet he can make himself look like this dapper fellow. Image Credit: Shutterstock

…In order to understand the point I wish to make in this letter, I first should tell you that this rift that exists between me and the roughly dozen or so folks who colluded to fire me last year has much in common with a gang war.

I’m not even sure that’s a metaphor, actually. Although I personally have no history of violence and will keep it that way, the other gang is now in a position to send me to jail, which is arguably a potential act of aggression they might make against both my person and my family. Also, last year my wife fell quite ill from the intense stress that followed from the psychologically cruel machinations involved in the other gang’s underhanded tactics (I call it the “MetLife Meat Grinder”). Finally, although my daughter has survived it all just fine so far, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been so (autistically) obsessed about this rift that I’ve forgotten to give her her anti-seizure medication. Every time I forget to give her her medication I increase her risk of seizure, and seizures are dangerous — they can cause brain damage or even death.

So, although I certainly don’t expect to be shot or stabbed or have my car blown to smithereens by anyone in the other gang, my family and I do seem to be quite at risk of having to endure even more physical and/or psychological hardship (e.g. jail!) following from decisions the other gang will make.

Although the dozen or so members of this gang all have jobs — most work for MetLife, one is a law partner of Seyfarth Shaw, LLP, and three work for Donald Trump’s now corrupted and worthless “Equal” Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) — for me this really is less about the organizations they work for than it is about the  particular gang members themselves. In fact, my only beef with any of these organizations is that they seem hell-bent on defending the actions of these corporate thugs. To the extent that they do so, I really have little choice but to consider them members of the hostile gang.

Which brings us to your client.

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Is this a picture of the mysterious Mr. Phicks? Nah, it’s just Sherlock Holmes. But if Mr. Phicks is a master of disguise, I bet he can make himself look like Sherlock Holmes, which would be cool! Image Credit: Shutterstock

I hope you can appreciate that for me, at least, this is a highly polarized situation. Again, I’m not even sure that gang war is a really just a metaphor for what’s going on. The whole thing may in fact be an actual gang war, to the extent that one accepts “sending a person to jail” as a true act of aggression against that person. On the other hand, a proper metaphor for this situation is that when Seyfarth Shaw Partner Frederick “Fritz” T. Smith and his MetLife/EEOC Innappropriate Behavior Police did to me what they did to me (and indirectly to my family — my children!), they effectively “drew a line in the sand” (metaphorically speaking), shoved me on one side, stationed themselves on the other, and now everybody  else must pick a side.[1]

I’ll say that again: everybody must pick a side. That’s everybody in the whole world. And the choosing process is really quite simple — most of it actually happens up in my own head and is based mostly on my own perception of the world. The rule is as follows: pretty much everyone on Earth is first assumed by me to be on MetLife’s side of that line, which is to say not my side. That’s the default assumption that I make about everybody. And this includes my own friends and family, of course — everyone (you too).  You are all on MetLife’s side, by assumption, at least at first.

Then, anybody who doesn’t like that for some reason (perhaps because he or she cares about me, our relationship, whatever, and thinks that it sucks that I’m all alone against every human being on all of Planet Earth) — anyone who wishes to come over to my side of the line may, if he or she so wishes to, prove to me his or her loyalty.

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I’m usually a real middle-ground kind of guy, but in this case the middle ground has been completely overtaken by the MetLife/Seyfarth Shaw/EEOC folks who made me a victim of their collusive violation of Federal Statute Title 18 USC Section 241. Image Credit: Shutterstock

The point here is that there’s no middle ground, no neutral territory, no “fence” to sit on, so to speak. The dozen or so people who did this to me and my family captured that hypothetical middle ground, invaded it, turned it into a battlefield (so to speak). Because of what that dozen or so people did, now absolutely everybody is either on my side or theirs.

Yes, it sucks, I know. Tell me about it. And to be clear: it is not my fault. I want to be clear on this point because I’ve met quite a few people who seem to think that I am somehow responsible for causing or perhaps maintaining this rift between us, but that’s not the way I see it. To my view: this mess is entirely on them, not me. I am still and have been all along merely defending myself against their relentless aggression. Believe me, I’m almost always a middle-ground kind of guy. I wish there were a middle-ground in this situation — a nice fence we could all sit on. But there is not.

Now, here’s what happened last Thursday morning when we spoke before my MetLife (so to speak) shooting rampage. First of all, I really enjoyed our conversation, and was quite happy with the topics we discussed, but there was one thing in particular that you told me and which I found quite troubling, and this was that your client — the people who fired me for the second time in a year for being autistic (after MetLife) — you told me that they “didn’t want to participate” in, well, what in the end equates to a situation in which we must all participate.

Like I said: Everybody must choose a side now, including your client.

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No fence-sitting allowed with respect to my gang war with the “Batman” and his “Justice League Gang”. Image Credit: Shutterstock

To “not participate”, as you described it, is simply not an available option. To “not participate” is what you call a “middle-ground” option, and like I said, MetLife destroyed the middle ground. I know it sucks. Please offer them my sympathies.

Please offer them my sympathies, along with a good-faith second chance to re-think what they want to do. MetLife has practically infinite resources and doesn’t need their help. My own allies in this gang war and I could definitely use your client’s help, and would greatly appreciate it.

If they do wish to help,  I think the most cost effective way for them to do so is simply to reinstate me to the job they took from me a couple of months ago now. From my perspective, that would give them and me the most benefit for the least expenditure. But I’m open to other possibilities.

Please let me know soon what they decide, or I will assume they’ve chosen MetLife’s side of this, and treat them accordingly.

Best,

Daniel L. Scholten, a.k.a. “The Walrus”

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Image Credit: Pixabay


[1]To drop all the colorful metaphors for a moment, what they did literally was to commit against my person a violation of the Federal “Conspiracy-against-Rights Statute”, Title 18 USC Section 241.

No Fence-sitting Allowed, Part 1: A Second Open Letter to the Mysterious Mr. Phicks

Hello Mr. Phicks,

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SMOKING IS NOT COOL, and this is not a picture of the mysterious Mr. Phicks smoking. I really hope the guy doesn’t smoke. Really, nobody should smoke. It’s a filthy habit that kills people and makes their breath stink. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me last Thursday morning. Shortly after we hung up, I went on a crazy shooting rampage over at the new MetLife GTO Campus in Cary, NC.

Of course, not literally, right? Goodness, I’m autistic, for crying out loud, not a murderous psychopath. As I went to great lengths to explain in my recent 6-part series Mockery Not Glockery: Why I Must Become A Lone-Wolf Terrorist, I’m merely a SO TO SPEAK lone-wolf terrorist, by which I mean an utterly harmless, but perhaps intensely frustrating (some times, and for some people, at least) Frustration Artist.

It’s a metaphor, for crying out loud. Like when I say that I got gang-raped by a bunch of my former colleagues at MetLife, along with their slimy and unscrupulous Seyfarth Shaw attorney, and three employees of the EEOC. Of course nobody literally gang raped me. In street-talk I would just say that these people “fucked me over”. When one says that “so-and-so really fucked me over” one is not suggesting that so-and-so made sweet, tender love to me. No. One is saying that “so-and-so raped me” — you know, “figuratively speaking”, whatever.

Similarly, and to be absolutely clear: I’m using the term shooting rampage here strictly as a metaphor. Absolutely no guns were involved, no blood was shed, and nobody got hurt. To put it less figuratively, I only mean that I quietly and politely walked around “shooting” lots and lots of MetLife employees with my GoPro Hero5 Black action camera.

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This is a black-and-white photograph of my GoPro Hero5 Black action camera sitting on black velvet. It’s kind of hard to see. For a better image click here. Image Credit: There’s no actual image to credit, it’s just a picture of blackness.

It was a harmless “photo-shoot” (video-shoot, really), as they say. None of the people I videographed even knew that I was doing it. I’d show you some of the footage here now, but I actually got arrested the following morning (Friday) for committing this victimless “crime” and I’m thinking I should probably speak with my public defender before I release any of the video I “shot”.

I’ve been officially charged with misdemeanor Breaking and Entering, although I broke absolutely nothing and really just entered the MetLife buildings by “tailgating”, which is when you walk in through an open door behind the person who opened it. Anybody who works there can tell you how easy it is to do. MetLife currently has a worthless “no tailgating” building-security policy that burdens its thousands of employees with the task of checking badges of anyone who tries to tailgate. During the two years that I worked there I only ever witnessed one person who actually tried to follow that policy, and he eventually stopped trying because after annoying half-a-dozen of his MetLife colleagues that he just didn’t recognize because he was new, he realized nobody else was stopping tailgaiters and wound up feeling terribly foolish.

Of course, that terribly foolish-feeling person was me!

Hey, what can I say? I’m autistic. If one knows anything useful about autism, one knows that we autistic types like our rules. I was trying to follow MetLife’s “no tailgating” rule, and the way I see it, “no tailgating” means NO TAILGATING!!!

Except with MetLife (and companies like it) “no tailgating” seems to mean “tailgating is actually just fine”.

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I don’t really like to see people as being stupid, but sometimes we do stupid things (there’s a difference). For example, MetLife’s “no tailgating” building-security policy is a stupid rule that just confuses people like me while accomplishing nothing of value. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Is there a better word for that than stupid? Is there some politically correct euphemism that isn’t dangerously misleading? One that doesn’t foolishly suggest that a “no tailgating” building-security policy is perfectly fine in some circumstances? It’s like telling people “please set the building on fire” when what you really mean is “please do not set the building on fire.”

Stupid! MetLife has at least one stupid building-security policy. If my MetLife Shooting Rampage last Thursday afternoon accomplished anything useful, at the very least it proved to the company that their “no tailgating” building-security policy is stupid — and it did so without hurting anybody. Now they will fix it. If they don’t, I’ll just come back one day and remind them again.

Now, in case you’re wondering what all of this has to do with our conversation earlier Thursday morning, it was all partly a spontaneous response to something you had said to me during our conversation, and which I found a lot more disturbing than you may realize. Please note that I said “partly a spontaneous response”, because really I’d spent several months thinking about and planning this utterly harmless little stunt. But before we spoke on Thursday morning, I still had no clear intention to go through with it yet. I hadn’t decided  in advance to do it that particular day, and I certainly had no idea I would be doing it until shortly after we hung up.

 

This post continues with No Fence-sitting Allowed, Part 2: A Second Open Letter to the Mysterious Mr. Phicks.

 

Busted: I Got Arrested Yesterday!

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I spent all day yesterday (Friday) at the Wake County Detention Center in Cary, NC getting booked and charged with misdemeanor B&E. Image Credit: Cornerstone Detention

I have a lot more I want to tell you about this, but for now suffice it to say that I actually got arrested yesterday and spent the whole day in the Wake County (NC) Detention Center getting booked and charged with misdemeanor Breaking and Entering.

The charge is greatly exaggerated, really. Although I definitely did enter MetLife’s new Global Tech & Ops center in Cary, NC (where I used to work before the company fired me for being autistic), there was really no “breaking” involved. The company’s security system there is just so awful that all I had to do was politely “tail gate” my way in behind a couple of MetLife employees who chose blithely to ignore the company’s doomed and ridiculous “no tailgating” policy. There’s nothing at all unusual about the fact that these employees chose not to ask me to produce an ID badge. All MetLife employees at the Cary facility refuse to follow this policy. It’s a total joke of a rule, and in fact, the whole “no tailgating” approach to building security is a fine case study in bad behavioral economics just waiting for some clever innovator to come up with a good nudge to replace it.

[Note: If you actually do consistently follow your own company’s “no tailgating” policy, please let me know in a comment below.]

I have much more I want to tell you about this whole experience, and to show you too because I recorded every minute of what I actually did in the MetLife buildings on my GoPro Hero5 Black action camera. But for now I’ll leave you with this brief video in which Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison gives a nice virtual tour of the Wake County Detention Center where I spent yesterday. In particular, I definitely feel I personally witnessed the kind and compassionate characteristics of the detention officers working there, as Sheriff Harrison describes starting at minute 1:48:

“…It takes a unique person to be a detention officer because you’re dealing with people that’s made mistakes. Some of the people that they see they only see one time, they made a mistake and wound up coming to jail,…but then again there’s people that they see on a regular basis….it takes an officer that’s got to be professional, got to know the policy and procedure, do his job, do it professionally, do it humanely, and treat the person knowing that he is a human being….just like anybody else…..” Donnie Harrison, Sheriff, Wake County, NC (min 1:48)


Image Credit: (Daniel L. Scholten) Busted Newspaper

Mockery Not Glockery: Why I Must Become A Lone-Wolf Terrorist, Part 6 (Conclusion)

In His Viciously Deceitful ‘Position Statement’ to the EEOC…

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Attorney Frederick “Fritz” T. Smith, Partner Seyfarth Shaw, LLP

Frederick “Fritz” T. Smith (a.k.a. “Batman“, left) actually did make a number of mostly true statements. For example, on page 4 he wrote:

“On May 17, 2017, Mr. Scholten sent an e-mail to an unknown number of recipients which he titled, ‘Humiliation is Not A Performance Enhancer (ASD Lesson #1) [sic]… In his message, Mr. Scholten announced his dissatisfaction with the Company’s handling of his medical condition. He then provided examples of how ASD manifests, identifying other individuals with autism, including Adam Lanza, whom Mr. Scholten identified as the person responsible for the massacre of elementary school students at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Although Mr. Scholten declared in his e-mail that he is not like Adam Lanza, he stated that, when he is provoked, he has ‘a personal arsenal of highly-automated (knee-jerk) defense mechanisms.’… He also described his mind having ‘been trapped in a whirling neurological firestorm of autistic obsession’ due to a recent dispute with a Company director, presumably Mr. Xxxxxxxx… The Company later determined that Mr. Scholten sent the message to Mr. Xxxxxxxx and 62 other MetLife employees.”

Yup. That sounds about right. Although Fritz deceptively omitted some highly relevant facts[1], he was otherwise reasonably accurate in his basic description of the email itself, and especially the comparison I truly did make between Adam Lanza and me — a comparison on which I have greatly elaborated in Part 1, Part 2Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 of this post.

pinnochio_long_nose_210x280But then he wrote this libelous bullshit:

  • “…Employees noted that Mr. Scholten’s message was not only inappropriate but potentially threatening, with employees stating they now worried about their safety when working at the Yyyyyyyy [MetLife] facility….”
  • “…Following the May 18th e-mail, the Company [MetLife] received further complaints from employees that Mr. Scholten’s e-mails made them feel uncomfortable or unsafe, with at least one employee forwarding the message directly to the Company’s Corporate Security office….”

[Emphasis added.]

I call this libelous bullshit because:

  1. Had anybody seriously felt threatened they would have called 911, not Corporate Security. Nobody called 911 — not even Corporate Security!
  2. Also, somebody would have called my wife, but that never happened either.
  3. Also, had anybody seriously felt threatened, I would not have been fired; rather, I would have been committed to a psychiatric hospital and heavily medicated. Of course, then MetLife would have had to pay for the short-term disability coverage, which the company is loathe to do.
  4. Even if someone had felt afraid, fear is a highly unreliable indicator of actual danger. Nothing is more common than an irrational fear. People can be afraid of all manner of utterly harmless critters — spiders, dogs, autistic people. For crying out loud, many people are terrified of cats. Cats!
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Many people are terrified of kitties. Kitties! Image Credit: Pixabay

No, I didn’t get fired for safety concerns. I got fired illegally for being autistic. What really happened, basically, is that roughly a dozen MetLife employees felt frustrated by Autism, so somebody pretended to feel afraid so they could cite safety-concerns as part of their cover for firing me illegally.

Now, in Part 5 I referred to what is probably the best reason I have for becoming a “lone-wolf terrorist”, but then I didn’t actually tell you what it was. Instead I left you hanging on the question: What should I do about the fact that I suck at persuasion?  The idea here is that once you understand what I’ve decided to do about my chronic persuasion-failure, this “best reason” for becoming a frustration artist will be much easier to understand.

[Note: for the complete background and context to this post, please see Part 1, Part 2Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5. In particular, in Part 1 I explain that when I use the phrase lone-wolf terrorist, I don’t literally mean an actual lone-wolf terrorist, but am rather using this expression as a metaphor for what I’m calling a frustration artist, which is basically someone who strives to make some sort of Art out of frustration, and this for the general purpose of educating and improving Humanity, in general, but in particular the individual(s) who had to endure the feelings of frustration.]

3be8196a-ecee-4ede-aa5c-abc9968808b6To summarize thus far…

…the reasons I have so far revealed for why I must become a frustration artist are as follows:

  1. Because I am autistic, it is inevitable that I will frustrate at least some people.
  2. Because I don’t want to be an asshole, I feel obliged to offer some sort of benefit to at least the people I frustrate, but preferably to everyone — Humanity at large. For my part, the term Frustration Art is a good label to use for this benefit, whatever else it may work out to be in the details.

But now I would like to present the final and what is arguably also the best reason, and which follows directly from the fact that I suck at persuasion:

It Just Makes Sense to Me

Before I clarify this, let me assure you that I have spent most of my life trying and failing to do the obvious: improve my persuasion skills.

Yes, yes, of course that’s what a “normal” person would do — should do — in response to discovering that he or she sucks at persuasion. And back when I believed that I was such a “normal” person, I absolutely tried to do that. Believe me, I tried earnestly to get better at persuasion, and maybe all that effort was not without benefit. But what I’ve come to see — especially since learning that I’m actually autistic — is that my capacity for improvement in that area is quite limited. Sure, maybe I can improve — even more than I already have — but at this point in my life this just seems like a lot of wishful thinking.

Although I probably won’t give up completely my efforts to improve my ability to persuade, it has become quite clear to me finally — and in no small measure thanks to what Fritz and his impromptu inappropriate behavior police did to me and my family last year — the so-called “gang rape” I endured (yes, yes, figuratively speaking) — it has become clear to me that I need to stop wasting energy on that whole persuasion-improvement project altogether. I need to try to accept the fact that there will always just be some things that I cannot explain to others, no matter how hard I try; that once I’ve made a reasonable effort to clarify for others my thinking, my emotions, my motives, etc. with respect to some event, experience, or course of action I may undertake, that once that’s done then anything else is just a waste, and so it’s time for me to stop, and to brace myself to endure the fact that I will be misunderstood.

To help myself cope with these inevitable moments of persuasion-failure, I’ve developed a kind of catch-phrase that I can use — a kind of go-to, last-ditch, for-better-or-worse, all-purpose explanation for why I think, feel, or behave in some way that seems otherwise inexplicable to another or others:

I’m sorry I can’t explain it better than I have, but somehow it just makes sense to me.

And this is where I think we are with this very long blog post. At this point I’m truly hoping that you now understand why I must become a “lone-wolf terrorist”, by which I mean a frustration artist. If there’s any residual or unresolved questions you may have, please pose them in a comment below and I will do my best to answer them, but when all is said and done, at some point I’ll just have to leave you with this:

I’m truly sorry that I can’t explain it better than I have, but somehow it all just makes sense to me.

Thanks for reading, and thanks again to the Cocks Not Glocks protesters for inspiring the title!


[1]For example, he deceptively omits the fact that the first time I sent the email was on Friday, May 12, and that I had sent it to just 3 recipients: my manager, my former manager, and an HR Director. Mr. Smith also fails to point out that these 3 individuals had more than 4 days to discourage me from sending it to the 62 recipients, but that none did so, and in fact one of them (my manager) actually encouraged me to send the email by telling me that it was “well-written” and that it was my “right” to send it to whomever I wanted.

Mockery Not Glockery: Why I Must Become A Lone-Wolf Terrorist, Part 5

For background and context, please see Part 1, Part 2Part 3, and Part 4Part 1 is especially important because that’s where I explain that I’m not literally going to become a “lone wolf terrorist”, but am rather using this expression as a figure of speech. It’s a metaphor, for better or worse, by which I mean a literary representation of something else, which is to say, something that is not at all literally a “lone wolf terrorist”, but which in this case (as explained in Part 1) is something I’m calling a frustration artist: essentially anyone who deliberately and artfully attempts to elicit an experience of frustration in another human being (or possibly several) for the general purpose of improving things for all of us, especially the frustrated person(s).

Why I Must Become a Frustration Artist

Unshorn and unshaven young guy with piercings on his face opening his mouth and screaming on gray background.

Because some people will always find me frustrating, I see it as my responsibility to do what I can to make it all worth it — to them, at least, but to all of us, if possible. The process of doing so — deliberately, artfully — is what I call Frustration Art.  Image Credit: Adobe Stock

To put it as simply as I can: I must become a frustration artist because, and for starters, autism can be a real pain-in-the-ass, at times, and not just for autistic people. I doubt I’m the only autistic person who can see that his (or her) autistic neurology can be intensely frustrating for at least some others on at least some occasions. I know this is true in my own case. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I know I can really frustrate the shit out of at least some people some of the time. That much is a given. There’s really nothing I can do about that basic fact. It appears to be a natural consequence of the fact that I live in a very different world both conceptually and perceptually. Yes, yes, of course, if I am very careful — if I’m extremely polite and pay close attention to the words I choose, which, as a rule, should always be few and preferably muttered below ear-shot  — then it seems that I can minimize the frustration I cause others, but such vigilance is exhausting and ultimately impossible to sustain. Sooner or later and somehow or another — no matter how hard I try — I am doomed to slip up eventually and make at least someone feel a good deal more frustrated in some situation than in which they probably ever imagined they’d feel frustrated.

And because I do care about people and really don’t want to be an insensitive asshole, it seems to me that I therefore must try to find some way to make all of this inevitable frustration worth it — worth it for all of us, if possible of course, but especially worth it for the particular people I frustrate. I have to find some way to make it beneficial for them — if not immediately so, then at least in the long run. I think the expression “to turn lemons into lemonade”

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Image Credit: Adobe Stock

captures this idea fairly well, except in my case maybe the lemons are kind of rotten. The gist here is that I’m hoping to re-conceptualize (re-purpose, upcycle, etc.) all of this inevitable frustration as some sort of a resource — as something that might be useful, and the term Frustration Art is essentially a label I’ve chosen for that, whatever “that” turns out to be. As an alternative, I suppose I might also call it something like Frustration Engineering, which would make me a frustration engineer, but I’ve only just now thought of doing this, so I’ll leave that one aside for a future blog post.

But there’s another reason, too, and it’s perhaps the most important. But in order to understand it, you’ll need to know this:

I Suck at Persuasion

Last year when my Civil Rights were violated by Frederick “Fritz” T. Smith of Seyfarth Shaw working in illegal collusion with roughly a dozen MetLife employees and at least 3 employees of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) — an experience I have described here and elsewhere in all seriousness as a form of gang rape (yes, yes, figuratively speaking, whatever) — I was consequently forced to embrace a terrible fact: I suck at persuasion.

Of course, there’s a sense in which we all do. Because each of us has a unique and highly personalized perspective on everything that is or that happens, then to the extent that any two given people are unable to find common ground between their respective unique and highly personalized perspectives, they are predictably going to disagree with each other on any manner of topics.

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This guy looks like I’ve been trying to persuade him of something, and he’s just not having any of it. Image Credit: Pixabay

But as a matter of observable fact, and no doubt due to my autistic brain, I’m rather convinced that I tend to find myself in a good deal more of these kinds of disagreements with others.

Now, I have been struggling with my lousy persuasion skills for my whole life — butting heads with people is a more direct way to say it — but it was only about 15 years ago that it began to dawn on me that I’m simply not as good at persuasion as I tended to believe myself to be. But even though I’ve been gradually getting my head around this characteristic of myself for more than a decade, it was really my “so to speak” gang rape last year at the hands of Frederick “Fritz” T. Smith and the others — and especially my subsequent utter and relentless failure to convince anybody of its significance — that has finally forced me to face and eventually embrace completely this characteristic of myself. Here it is again:

I suck at persuasion.

And whereas I’m sure everybody has moments where they could say something similar,  it seems clear to me now that in my case such incidents of persuasion-failure are much, much more frequent and problematic. I don’t just suck at persuasion in the way that we all do. Rather, I suck exuberantly at persuasion — passionately, enthusiastically, magnificently, pathologically. I suck to the max at persuasion.

Which raises the question of what to do about it. Now that I know this about myself, what next? Surely it’s a problem that I suck at persuasion. But then, what’s the solution? How does one accommodate such a personal weakness?

The answer to that question will make it easy to understand what’s probably the best reason I could give for why I must become a frustration artist.

To be continued…

Continue with Mockery Not Glockery: Why I Must Become A Lone-Wolf Terrorist, Part 6 (Conclusion)