February 25, 2013
Dear Amanda Palmer,

Hello! I have recently started reading your blog and I am really
enjoying it and also your perspective contained therein. I did not
realize who you were at first. I asked a friend to recommend some
blogs to me. The first post I read was about your husband’s dog
passing away, and I found it very moving (I have 2 dogs and 5-6 cats
as well as a bird, and I have not seen any of them in over a year). I
read a few more entries and wondered who you were, and then I think
maybe I recognized your name suddenly and guessed, but either way, it
was quickly confirmed to me, earlier today when I read the post about
your write-up in the Boston Globe. And I thought it was pretty neat
and amazing when I realized what I was reading, and I thought about it
some more, and here I am now, writing you, even though I haven’t even
bothered yet to find out whether you have a publicly-available email
address or not. Hopefully you do.

There is the tiniest chance I am confusing you with the other Dresden
Doll, but I doubt it, because I thought I recognized your name, and I
have no idea what the other person’s name is. Which means you are
married to Neil Gaiman, unless I am very mistaken. And that is neat.

I haven’t really read any of your husband’s comic books or graphic
novels or books, except I have read STARDUST. And I haven’t listened
to any of your music. But, all the same, I know who you both are. I
think I’ve heard an interview with your husband. And my girl has
mentioned you to me. I downloaded one of your husband’s books on
Audible, but I haven’t listened to it yet, because I want to listen to
with my girl but she’s not around right now :~(

I don’t know how significant this is, but since I am being exhaustive,
I’ll also mention, I bought a tribute album “Where is Neil Gaiman when
you need him?” because a band I like has a song on it, and while that
is still my favorite track on the CD (the first track, “Coraline”), I
have found it to be an interesting and worthy addition to my sonic
life experience. Because I am not very familiar with his work, I don’t
really know the relevance of most of the music, but it definitely has
a neat ambiance to it, which I think is pretty cool. I’ve seen the
movie Coraline. I enjoyed the “making of” special features.
“Stop-motion animator” is my fall-back career plan :~)

But really, it’s STARDUST that has semi-profoundly touched me. I
honestly don’t even remember the story that well, and I’ve only read
it once. But it provoked a very strong feeling in me, and during kind
of an otherwise fucked-up time in my life.

I saw the movie first. I had heard mixed reviews about it. And I’m not
sure it’s among the greatest films ever made. But I definitely liked
watching it A LOT, and "filmmaker," that is my first career plan. And
sometimes a film doesn’t have to be that great to have an impact on
you. Sometimes it has more to do with the subject matter, or the
circumstances under which you are seeing it, or who you are seeing it
with. (SPAWN is the only movie that has ever bored me to near tears. I
generally enjoy even bad movies, because a lot is the experience you
bring to the viewing, and even bad movies can provoke a response,
although I prefer to watch a bad movie in the company of others while
a good movie will generally hold its own in more variable audience
scenarios.)

I was driving around my hometown, thinking about this, STARDUST, and
reconstructing the memory of my experience when I decided to come here
to the library and type you all about it. And this is what I recall.
My girl and I and our then-5 pets moved to Montana in 2007. She was
enrolled in graduate school there, poised to study Science and Natural
History Filmmaking, neat stuff. But tragedy put those plans on hold. I
could draw this story out endlessly, but I will tell you a short
version. Her mother had been diagnosed with cancer in 2005. 2 years
later, the cancer was in remission and she was doing a lot better. It
was a difficult decision to leave her behind to go to Montana, but we
considered it carefully and talked to all her doctors, and decided it
was the right thing to do. We have no regrets about it. But, one month
after our arrival, her mom’s health took a sudden and drastic turn for
the worse. My girl quickly got on an airplane and returned to be with
her mom at the hospital. They only had one decent conversation before
her mom forever lost the capacity for speech. I stayed behind to pack
up our belongings and drive everything including our pets 2,000 miles
east, back to New York where we are from and her mom lived and was
hospitalized. It was the only time in 11 years that my girl and I
spent a night apart. Even in college when we lived in a dorm, I had a
double but no roommate, and she would spend the night with me, every
single night.

When I arrived east, her mom, Cathy, was really not doing well. She
passed away roughly a week later. We moved into her house, which my
girl had thus inherited. Within 2 weeks of her mom’s passing, our
first dog, a little terrier that looked just like Toto from THE WIZARD
OF OZ, also passed away. (Strangely, our dog, Dora, was also
terminally ill. She was diagnosed with a congenital liver disease on
the same day in 2005 that we learned of Cathy’s diagnosis. That was a
bad day.)

I relate all this so that you will understand why this was such a
fucked-up time in our life. We returned to Montana the next fall and
my girl re-enrolled in the film program there. But we spent the year
prior in Ithaca, NY, living in her mom’s house, and dealing with the
estate, assimilating some possessions into our household, selling or
boxing others, renovating the house (with her mom’s life insurance
money) so that it would be suitable for renting to tenants while we
were away studying in Montana, trying to make peace among our now-8
pets, Cathy’s 3 that would be joining our family, and a new puppy we’d
named Freya. And it was obviously a difficult year for us. My girl had
been very close to her mom. She was an only child, and her parents
were divorced. She and her mom moved together from Texas to Ithaca
when she was 15 years old, where I met her a year later. She’s been
on-again-off-again estranged from her dad the entire time I’ve known
her. So losing her mom was a tremendously big deal (surely it always
is!). And then, to lose her dog also! I think we did a really great
job, holding together, doing what had to be done, moving on with life
without breezing through it. But it wasn’t easy. We wanted to be in
Montana; we wanted to be living life. We didn’t want to be burying and
grieving her mom!

And it was during this year (I used to call it our “lost year”) that
we watched the movie STARDUST.

When Cathy passed away, we inherited not only her possessions and
pets, but also her unsmoked cache of weed, and this was some small
consolation, considering we no longer had any connections of this kind
in the Ithaca area (in fact, her mom was one of our main connections
before departing for Montana). And we were grieving. So, we smoked
that, in her dead mom’s bong, until it was gone, and then we had
difficulty finding a new connection until returning to Montana the
next fall.

It was after we’d run out of weed that we’d rented and watched STARDUST,
which is too bad, because I bet it would have been pretty fun high.
But, life goes on, you know. This is relevant because I remember the
night so vividly, and this is an important detail. We were bored and
anxious, stuck in Ithaca as we were. I grew up in Ithaca, and she
moved there midway through high school. After high school, most of our
friends left town to go off to college, but me & my girl stayed in
town, in part because of her lonely mom, and did our undergraduate
degrees locally, at Cornell University. And each of us had taken time
off during college and graduated in 5 years, so by the time we were
planning to leave for Montana, we were pretty anxious to be finally
getting out of town! So to have her mom get sick and die one month
after we’d left was terrible for this reason on top of so many others,
because it felt like we were getting pulled back just when we were
finally leaving to get away. It felt like we couldn’t get away. It
felt like we were never going to be starting life. It was fairly
miserable. And then we ran out of weed. Freya the puppy was our sole
comfort and distraction. Otherwise, it was miserable. Our lost year.

So, we rented STARDUST and decided to drink because we couldn’t smoke.
We learned to be much better drinkers in Montana, because that is the
culture there, but we weren’t extremely experienced at this time, it
was definitely not our preferred vice. I think we’d sold most of the
furniture out of her living room, although we’d made a puppy pen with
the dilapidated couches. I honestly don’t remember Freya being there,
whether she was or not, so this might have been in the month before we
went to pick her up, the week of Christmas 2007. We were sleeping on
an air mattress in the living room. We still had her mom’s giant
(standard definition!) television. I distinctly remember preparing
“mushroom bites” from the freezer. That is an important part of the
memory for me. I think I *may* have chopped raw broccoli also. What I
remember is watching STARDUST, drinking, eating mushroom bites, and
feeling an extremely intense love for my girl. Intense, like the time
we did Ecstasy together. This is why I am writing you, at least, the
first reason. Because something about watching STARDUST really, really
moved me that night. It is hard to describe. But we were so miserable,
her mom was gone, our dog was gone, we were living in her dead mom’s
house, everything was sold or packed away including what we’d brought
back with us from Montana, there were no decorations, we had no
purpose, there was lots to do but we didn’t have proper, fulfilling
jobs, we weren’t studying anything for the first time in memory, we
didn’t even have weed to smoke, but watching STARDUST together, I felt
like, no matter how miserable we were, we had each other, and we were
together, and something in that story made me feel warm and alive
inside, when everything else seemed so dead and lost. And I wished
that feeling could have lasted forever.

I have read about 2 books that weren’t assigned for class since the
end of high school. That is not a tremendous exaggeration (although a
little bit of one). It’s obviously not that I don’t like books! But,
especially since 2005, I have suffered from “time poverty” such that I
never played guitar and I never read. Not books, not blogs. This was
my choice. I could have read. But I was in school, we had a lot of
pets (over the years we’ve kept rats, bunnies, cats, dogs, fish,
spiders, other arachnids, a turtle, a bird, never more than 5 at once
until we inherited 3 more and then in more recent years...), my girl
was close to her mom but didn’t really get a lot of support from her,
her mom was more like a responsibility than support much of the time,
so I was my girl’s support, and I spent a lot of time planning for the
future, planning to be a filmmaker, as well as thinking about my
situation and my girl’s situation, and problem-solving whatever I
could pertaining to our existence. I spent a lot of time hanging out
with my girl, talking with her, watching movies with her, etc., but
when I was on my own, I didn’t read (although I listened to a lot of
radio and music, driving in the car or while working at other tasks).
I always assumed I would resume reading again someday when we’d
transitioned from school to a more settled life. But, in the
meanwhile, I would make do. But my girl saw how much I enjoyed
STARDUST and so she gave me the book, and I did read that. It was one
of the 2 books I’ve read...

I don’t remember exactly when I read it. But it wasn’t in Montana,
which means if I read it any time between October 2007 and the
present, while in Ithaca, then it had to be during a period of
upheaval. And that’s what I remember. It was a beautiful edition, and
a very sweet present from her. I read it immediately, and I had a very
similar feeling as having watched the film. A little more muted, I
guess because I was reading it alone, not sharing the experience with
my girl. But she was there, sitting next to me in bed, while I read.
And I was conscious of the fact, here I was, reading a book again :~)
It felt hopeful. It was like having watched the film in this way.
Things felt fucked-up, but I felt hopeful. We’d worked so hard. We’d
been through so much together. Eventually the upheaval would end.
Eventually we would be living the life we deserved. Smart,
hard-working, foresightful, caring, creative people that we were.

Is STARDUST about you, I’ve wondered! :~)

I’ve gone into a lot of detail about this period in my life, when I
watched the film STARDUST with my girl, our “lost year,” so I don’t
want to explain everything since in the same detail. But I still need
to explain more. If that was our “lost year,” then it’s gotten
oh-so-much-worse since then. At least we had each other then. And it
was only a year. Her mom was dead, but she’s still dead today. And now
I am mired in a period that has lasted years, not months, and we have
been systematically separated in a sick conspiracy that completely
replaces Meaningful Existence, not just inhibits it.

I feel like it’s no secret. Just no one talks about it, at least, not
to me. I assume you have some guess at what I am going through. I feel
like 80% of pop culture and so much literature is about this, and you
are no doubt familiar with both! Maybe you have songs about it.
STARDUST has a village named “Wall” in it. So, I doubt I need to
describe exactly what I am going through, although I am forced to
assume, everyone is different and that an institution such as this,
which is so intrusive and uncompromising, would be expected to affect
every individual and every relationship differently. From the lens of
my experience, it is so hard to see why anyone would want this for
themselves or for another, but I can imagine like possibly it makes
sense to some people in some circumstances. But that ain’t me. And I
am much more perceptive of the great body of culture that seems to
line up in opposition to this institution, at least, to having it
inflicted upon lives involuntarily. It seems like an elaborate system
designed to get around consent. It seems designed to isolate my girl
and to exploit her in order to exploit us both. I can only assume this
is what Pink Floyd is responding to when they sing, “We don’t need no
education, we don’t need no thought control,” or when Bob Marley
sings, “Don’t let them fool you, or even try to school you.”

And, in our case, we tried to protect ourselves legally. But it is
flagrantly ignored. I think it is amazingly sick and disgusting. It
could have been a fairytale. But these assholes are stupid and
uncompromising! It’s a bullshit-waste of time. We have been
systematically kept apart for over 13 months now, 13 months of total
separation, while our other connections (mental, emotional) were
systematically attacked and severed going back 2.5 years! (After
choosing to spend every day and every night together for 11 years;
only her dying mom could separate us for even a night.) We waited
patiently to get back to life when Cathy died, waited for a year. We
were sad, but we didn’t complain. Bad and unexpected things happen in
life, you deal with that. But this is completely unnecessary! And it
could be stopped overnight! Except people refuse. Worthless fucking
assholes refuse. They refuse. They refuse. Literally, I try to hire
lawyers, and they refuse to do their job! My family and friends refuse
to help. We live in a hippie town, Ithaca, NY. A few years ago a
progressive magazine named us “the most enlightened city in America.”
We sent six buses of protesters to Washington, D.C. in March 2003 to
protest in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq (me & my girl & her mom
& my sister were on one of those buses). But a very significant
portion of Ithaca, NY knows what is going on, and they refuse to do
anything meaningful to help. I have no idea how many, because no one
will admit to it openly. But it is clear to me. The hippies reject
Peace & Love. Now they have Hate & Antagonism coursing through their
veins. It is so hard for me to comprehend. I understand how everyone
is duped. But I don’t understand why they all remain so willfully
ignorant. I used to call it “Theater,” and then I started calling it
“Bad Theater,” and now it’s gotten to the point that I call it “Hate
Theater.” And I’ve begun to label it a “Hate Religion” also, somewhat
reluctantly, but to label it that nonetheless, because it is
antagonistic to Love, uncompromising, and will hear no appeal to Love
or Reason.

Do you know the band X-Ray Spex? I love their album. She sings, “It
seems a bit elusive, the time that is supported by mechanical
resources.” I think it seems like bullshit. And I think “suppressed”
would be more accurate than “supported.” John Lennon sings, “Love is
touch, touch is love,” as well as “Love is free, free is love.” But I
think if you look up “Love” in the Hate Theater Newspeak Dictionary,
it defines it as “submission to the Hitler Computer.” I cannot,
cannot, cannot, cannot comprehend why everyone clings so stubbornly to
it, why not a single person will step out of line. It’s one thing to
experiment. But why is everyone so zealously loyal to it? It is
insane! Even if it ended tomorrow, it has gone on so long, I barely
know that I want to live among the people who have done this to us. I
don’t know that I can bear the shame of what we’ve been through, of
what has been done to us. Three summers gone and three winters gone!
Our “lost year” seems like nothing now, but not in a good, empowered
way. I wrote, almost two years ago, “it is like drowning in shit in
slow-motion.” That was mid-2011. 2012 was even worse. :~(

About 7 months ago, I wrote a girl, a friend of my girl’s, a letter,
appealing for her help. She appeared to be a “victim” of the Bad
Theater, but she seemed both reluctant and caring, as well as
well-situated to help out, so I put a lot of energy into reaching out
to her. I wrote her a series of letters, sometimes illustrated, made
her a set of thoughtfully-assembled tapes to listen to in her truck,
etc. She was always very encouraging, despite seeming in the grips of
Bad Theater. I tried reaching out to many other people, but I will
confess, I put the most passion into these attempts. They culminated
in July 2012, when I made this final appeal, a 36-page handwritten
letter, fully 50% illustrations. I hand-delivered it to her, in front of the
“green homewares” store where she and my girl both work, and she
accepted it, but told me “she could not read it” and that “I could not
come here” --to the store-- “anymore.” She stopped returning emails. I
still think about her a lot, and I’ve tried a few other far-fetched
attempts to get through to her, but to no avail. I want to share the
beginning of that letter with you, the first couple pages, because it
has to do with fairies.

If I can manage to email this to you, I’ll attach the illustrated
version of these pages. But I’ll transcribe them here, so that they
can be included in the body of this letter.

Beginning excerpt---

July 2012
Once again, ______, I write to implore you for some simple action on
behalf of my love.
It has been nearly 6 MONTHS since I’ve seen my love for more than a
moment, since we have been allowed to be together. (It pains me to
write this.)

Kept apart in our youth, months & even years
This is imposed on us both (whatever you’ve been told) and yet life
goes on around us
while she & I languish in our youth.

______’s mother Cathy was fairly disdainful of Christendom and raised her
with a modest Hippie spiritualism, so far as I am aware. So it would
not be a stretch to say ______’s childhood encounter with a fairy in her
garden was likely the most religious experience of her formative
years; now, in this time of estrangement, I turn to fairy lore to
understand what I feel in my heart & what I’ve seen in her soul

Banality is corrosive, toxic to the fairy soul
This is known.   Measures must be taken---

look what mermaids go through to walk on land! And ______, a haunted
girl, on top of this, prone to supernatural dangers. We worked hard &
sacrificed to be together and self-determined, to understand our
situation and resist the corrosion of our souls, living in
consumer-capitalist America, of all place. Before, even, I knew so
much more.

Before I renounced Western Civilization and _________________.

I know from our discussions you are aware of my painful circumstances,
& in my recent letter in verse, I let you look into this HELL PIT
THE FIRES THAT ROAST ME
WHAT MAY BE MOST PAINFUL IS HOW WE WERE MANIPULATED & BETRAYED TO END UP HERE.

---concludes excerpt.

That was 7 months ago. My parents pretend they are helpless. My sister
won’t even meet with me to hear me out. I call the girl I wrote to “____________.”
I don’t know what’s become of ____________ or what my girl does all day. I
post every day to facebook but no one is willing to provide any
meaningful help. No one will meet me in person. My old shrinks, the
ones who facilitated this shit upon our lifetimes, won’t meet with me
or answer my emails. Everyone, it seems, would prefer to see us rot.

I doubt this is any surprise to you. J.K. Rowling calls it “Azkaban.”
Bob Marley calls it “a bottomless pit.” There are a million other
names for it. I’ve gotten attached to the term “POSITIVELY 4TH
STREETING” because of the Bob Dylan song. “You’ve got a lot of nerve,
to say you are my friend, when I was down you just stood there
grinning, you’ve got a lot of nerve, to say you are my friend, you
just want to be on the side that’s winning.”

I am not willing to simply stomach it, to wait it out. I think that
would be forsaking Love. My heart will not allow it. Instead I am a
tormented soul. If me & my girl are refused our rights, then what the
hell is the point of anything? :~(
My guess is that some portion of people get over this, or even find
something positive to glean from the experience, or feel like it is an
appropriate “price” or whatever
But it also seems like a lot of us never do.
And it’s not right either way!
Did it kill black people to sit in the back of the bus or to use
separate drinking fountains? No, but it still wasn’t right! It still
should never have been asked of them.

I don’t know really why I am writing you. Because I realized who you
are, after having started reading your blog, and I wanted to tell you
about my experience with STARDUST (and I really did wonder, if it’s
about you! later on, I wondered this). I think my girl might read/have
read your blog also, I’m not sure. She definitely told me who you are.

I am so sad.

This is how we are set up.

My girl has an order of protection against me. She committed perjury
to get it. But it’s enforced. I tested that, exactly once, when she
wrote to tell me she’d spent the night in the ER & had questions for
me. I showed up and was arrested. So it’s a real-life order of
protection. And it is the worst thing that has ever happened to me in
my life. She wrote me emails in the days before my arrest, pleading
with me to see her one more time before I would be arrested. Because
she knew I would be arrested. But I did not, until I was.

It is the single worst thing that has ever happened to me in my entire
existence. I wish we had never come back from Montana. I will never
forgive the people who have done this to us. I say, “how dare you send
my girl to Hate School!” Among so many other things I say.

So, I cannot visit her, I cannot write her, I cannot call her. And I
know, even if I tried, she has “rules” against reading what I write,
she has “scabs” in her life who will tell her to ignore what she’s
heard, and so forth. I simply cannot reach out to her myself. I’m not
allowed to, and it won’t work. That’s why I was reaching out to
____________. That’s why I’ve reached out to my sister. I need someone to
help me. But no one will. EVERYONE REFUSES. Because they are all
obedient to the Hitler Computer. I call it, “Simon Shitler says.” It
makes NO SENSE. But it’s what is happening. I call it “excuses to be
hateful.” Because that’s what it is. People pretend like there is good
reason, but really it is just excuses. I used to be a cool, happy
person. Now I feel like my soul has been scraped down.

Even before I was arrested, my girl was convinced to reluctantly
participate in Hate Theater. I don’t think she wanted to, but she felt
like she didn’t have a choice, and she was told, in secret, that it
would be worth it, I guess, that it was an honor or whatever the fuck
bullshit she was told, in secret, so that I couldn’t poke holes in all
of it. But I did anyway, even without being told what was going on. I
fought it anyway, and I got her to turn to me, but never long enough,
because I didn’t realize until later just how massive a conspiracy
this would turn out to be, that literally civil society would FUCK US
rather than uphold our legal protections. I’ve asked, what good are
friends or legal protections if they aren’t there for you when you
need them? What is the point of a legal protection that only protects
you when you don’t need it? My girl and I went down to the lawyer’s
office in 2008, shortly after her mom passed away, and we had 8
documents drawn up with both our names on them, we asked the lawyer
for every document we could have, and we signed all 8 documents, but
they are apparently worth less than toilet paper. I went back to that
lawyer in 2012 and he pretended to be helpless, just like everyone
else.

So, my girl was convinced to participate, and this meant that she was
systematically prevented from hearing any dissent to what was
happening. She would kick me out of the house whenever I raised any
dissent. And everyone else is too stupid, hateful, or weak to dissent,
not to her face. No one was willing to oppose “scab rule” except me.
But I was systematically isolated. So “scab rule” it was.

And still, no one will help me. I am more miserable than I know how to
express. When I tell people honestly how I feel, I am thrown into the
mental ward and evaluated to see if I am a danger to myself, they tell
me I should go on antipsychotic medication. Because apparently “Love”
and “Devotion” and “Loyalty” are symptoms of psychosis. Because
standing up for your legal and spiritual rights is a symptom of
psychosis. One doctor told me I should go on medication because I was
‘obsessive.’ I don’t remember how I phrased it, but I told him to his
face that it was like he was telling Muslims they are obsessive
because they pray to Allah 5 times a day, like he was calling Muslims
mentally ill and telling them they shouldn’t be praying to Allah so
much because it is obsessive of them. I stick up for myself, when
these doctors try this kind of shit on me, but at the same time, I
don’t want to get thrown into the mental ward against my will, I
don’t want to go on meds. And so I have to self-censor somewhat. I
can’t tell people exactly how I feel. I try my best. But it is hard.
It is hard to express how miserable I am. And it is spiritual pain,
not emotional pain or psychological pain. It burns me at my soul. I
cannot fathom why people insist on doing this to us. J.K. Rowling
implies that other people consider it an honor. But J.K.’s Harry does
not. I think it is forcing us to live in hypocrisy and apart for all
our best years of life. I do not think it is compatible with Love as I
understand it. I think it is nothing short of the theft of our youth
(I could explain this assertion if I had to). I think it is literally
ruining our one life. I doubt anyone likes this, but I don’t know that
everyone would say it is ruining their one life. But that’s what it’s
doing to ours, and I could explain better if I had to. But, oh my
goodness, why should I even have to? Are Christians required to prove
that Jesus did this or that or performed one miracle or another 2000
years ago? Or are they allowed to practice their religion,
respectfully of others, because it’s what they believe? I want the
Hitler Computer to tell us once and for all, are Muslims right about
not eating pork or are Hindus right about not eating beef? The Hitler
Computer should have no problem with that one! It should be able to
figure that one out in an afternoon. And then we’d all know, it would
be decided. I don’t see why there should be a burden of proof, that
this isn’t OK, necessary, nor desirable in our specific circumstance. I
shouldn’t have to be smart and everything else that I am. This isn’t
OK! It should stop! It should be enough that I think this. I’m not the
one who is breaking the law! I ain’t the one being a shithead! But it
isn’t enough. I don’t understand why. I wrote a stupid song in the
bathtub that goes, “I thought I’d brought you to a haven, on the long
road home we paid many tolls, but now that we are here the folks are
craven, seems they’re set on damning their own souls.”* Oh fuck me! I
have no idea why! Why are people damning their own souls??!! It’s like
a fucking game to them! But to me, it’s real life! Surely, if you know
anything about what I am writing about, you know the Bob Marley song
Hammer. “They keep teasing me, and you know they play like they don’t
know, provoking me, but this is all I know!”

*- The chorus goes, “you listen to all the right music, you’ve gone
and read all the right books, you listen to all the right music but
you listen to all the wrong folks.”

Amanda, do you know how to make it stop? I would do anything to make
it stop. There is a lot of discussion, in your blog and elsewhere,
about bullying. My advice to people being bullied would be to find a
friend or, even better, a girlfriend or a boyfriend. And hold them
close. Hold them close and love them. Find comfort and protection in
Love. Fuck the rest of the world, they can go to Hell. Travel to
Narnia together. I think people go homicidal when they lack meaningful
relationships and go suicidal when they lack meaningful
responsibilities. Both forms of alienation from society. But, I was
thinking about this as I walked up the driveway the other day, in the
case of a kid who is bullied to the point of suicide, it is somewhat
different. This is a child who commits suicide because he or she is
tormented. She just wants the torment to end, but it won’t. She is
driven to suicide by external forces that overwhelm her
self-preservation instinct and will to live. In my simple typology, it
is more like going homicidal on yourself. Because you lack the
meaningful, functional relationships to stop you from killing. And so
my advice would be to find a friend. Or even a pet, that’s a
meaningful relationship and responsibility rolled up into one, if you
can learn to love an animal. But a girlfriend or boyfriend is
admittedly even better.

But I can’t. No one will let me be with my love :~(

And my family are being shits to me. I am learning to hate them. I’m
not even sure I have friends.

I just want to be with my girl :~(
I miss my girl so much
I miss my life so much
I am not willing to wait this out. I am not willing to ride “the slow
train to Auschwitz.” I don’t want my girl on that train. I feel like
we are slaves who have been sold to separate plantations. And Secret
Oppressive Master is a fucking coward. I feel like it is Nazi Germany,
but the Nazis are fucking cowards who won’t even “heil Hitler” openly.
I don’t feel this way because Jews are being slaughtered, not exactly,
but we the Jews *are* being treated a lot like Jews were treated
pre-Final Solution. We are even humiliated. But it’s more about them,
less about us. These Nazis are being hateful and obedient like the
Nazis of yor. *That* is why I call it “the Hitler Computer” and “Simon
Shitler says.”

And people *ARE* killing themselves. My iPod just played me a Nick
Drake song. The lead singer of INXS hanged himself in a hotel in the
mid-90s. He was rich and famous and dated beautiful movie actresses.
But this does not make for happiness. New Hampshire says “Live free or
die.” Oh my goodness, this is mainstream shit! So why is this still
happening? Most of us don’t commit suicide, most of us wear out our
systems, coping with drugs and alcohol. But I don’t think the solution
is to abstain from drugs and alcohol. I think the solution is to
fucking stop harassing us! Stop tormenting us to self-destruction! Let
us be free! In Tolkien, hobbits just want to be let be. That’s us.
Giants are adults. Listless ents are grown-up hobbits. Hobbits just
want to be let be. But instead we are hobbled. “Hobbled, like a
hobbit, like a halfling, like forced-estranged, like where did all the
Entwives go?”

Amanda, do you know how to make it stop? I would do ANYTHING to make
this stop :~(

OH MY HELL. I just went to your webpage to try to email this.

YOU are ALSO the “Theater is Evil” girl??!! Who was at Bard College
not so long ago??!!

OH MY HELL.

I’ll listen to your music sometime :~) it’s hard for me right now
my credit card doesn’t work online
there aren’t any good record stores left in my town
i don’t have home internet or a computer that can run iTunes
etc.
but I will find a way

i am going to email this to both “letters” and “art” because it is both
my “twitter ID” is @flyingsquid
i would be surprised if you picked me “art of the day” but if you do,
kindly omit the large blocks of text if possible, definitely
____________’s real name, I don’t care as much about the text but I don’t
want ____________’s real name revealed.

i emailed you a while back. let’s see... it was late August 2012,
about one month after I finished the illustrated letter. I received back an
auto-reply that said you’d get back to me in 7 months, as I recall. I
guess that is next month.

I need people to burn their calendars.

Otherwise ‘theater’ wins.

Maybe you could set a good example? :~(

Reviewing the auto-reply... ah, it says “everything gets read.” I like
to see that. I’m sorry I abuse your generosity. But 2 messages in
almost 7 months ain’t so bad. And the 1st one is short. If i’d
realized who you were, I would have definitely come back for the show.
But I just thought you were some nobody who hated “Bad Theater” also.
I was willing to come back and see your show, if you’d written me
back. But I have a policy against seeing shows, in addition to
avoiding movies and not reading books, during “Forced Estrangement” (I
started re-reading MRS. FRISBY AND THE RATS OF NIHM, that is the book
I am currently reading, and I am about 25 pages in and I haven’t
touched it in 6 months or something, oh fuck, how the time shits away
and every week it is worse)

If you are forbidden from contacting me or prevented technologically,
that is a violation of our Freedom of Speech and our right to free
association. I never signed any blank contract with the Devil. And I
never failed to assert my rights. Nobody owns me, I ain’t a slave, and
my girl can’t “sign away” my rights from me, that is completely
insane.

We have a Constitutional right to free speech, you and me.

The Supreme Court has affirmed the right of free association. They
said, people cannot speak freely if they cannot associate freely. You
can’t just invent a poll tax or a poll test to try to thwart people’s
Constitutional right to free speech. The Supreme Court has ruled, that
to thwart free association, is to thwart Free Speech and that is
unconstitutional.

So, if you want to contact me, but you are thwarted, hire a civil
rights lawyer. Because I ain’t agree to this. Is it “bad nondisclosure
law”? Nondisclosure agreements are meant to protect trade secrets. Not
to keep people locked in Azkaban. Not to enforce “cruel and unusual
punishments” on people who haven’t even done anything wrong or
received “due process.” This is sick and insane. It seems like treason
to me. Whatever happened to the Rosenbergs? They seemed like a sweet
couple. Amanda, what is the point of a Constitutional protection if it
only protects you when you don’t need it? In fact, there is a quote
about free speech, about how no one ever tries to censor a book about
baking cakes. It’s only potentially objectionable speech that ever
gets censored. “Freedom of speech” is meant to protect potentially
objectionable speech. It is supposed to protect you when you need it,
not when you don’t need it, not when you are trying to publish a book
on baking cakes.

Sincerely,
David

Disclaimer: This letter is entirely truthful, except the drug references have
been added for dramatic effect.

BELOW---The attached illustrated letter pages (click to enlarge):

Page 1

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