Friday, April 16, 2010

Existential Crises in TwitterLand, v3

please be advised: if your sense of humor is on hiatus, best pass on to another post. The Castafiore wishes your visit to Marlinspike Hall to be of the pleasant, liltingly-laughtered sort.

This post will be universally condemned by its target audience, the core group of Dr. Phil fans who mainly gather under the rubric of his online Depression Board, but also show signs of life in the wider internet. Both a support group and a loose social network, it has the usual I-am-not-your-leader Leader and a squadron of four or five souls who cluck-and-bleat faithfully in her wake. They weather the odd storm and really believe that Phil McGraw is "a great man" who has the power, if only he would wield it, to change their lives.

That's an odd motif found in all McGraw's online forums -- odd because the guy repeatedly asserts that taking charge of one's life and inherent responsibilities, "owning" behavior and outcomes, is key to productive change and good mental health.

Faithful Readers {waving:waving} -- you know that I use inflammatory language from time to time, or daily, a communicative tool that's useful in our culture of SMS and information overload. We demand access to all things and people; Failing that, we flirt with a growing sensation of exile and isolation.

We wanna dance at the prom; We wanna be invited to the party. We have the red stilettos that will pull that outfit together, nicely.

We have the technology. We have Big Science.

McGraw's group of Sad Sacks decided, at some point, to follow the entertainer over to Twitter and Facebook, believing he would take note, I guess, and be proud that they were distancing their souls from the muddy puddle of luddite dystopia.

All the world is a country-fried support group for delusional depressives!

Not that I am fundamentally any different: I used to be a steady, daily contributor to the online group at the Dr. Phil homestead organized for people with "chronic pain." Yadda, and then, more yadda -- I left due to the machinations of a woman whose Bucket List is ordered around a vanity press version of the DSM.

Part of keeping a wary eye on her evolved into keeping an eye on the goings-on and busy doings of this "small fish" support group as it made its maiden fishy voyage into the big pond of the social networking world. It's fascinating to watch, as there is a whole-hearted attempt to maintain group-think and group-speak, and to keep the "rules" of the DPDB even when not posting there. What are the rules? Well, there is the Golden Rule, and then there is anything that Dr. Phil, his anointed spouses and offspring, as well as his producers and moderators... would approve. It's a vague and very evangelical Christian set of guidelines. Unfortunately, they smack of right-wing conservatism, as well. You know, like how God don't make no junk.... [except for you, and you, and you...]

There is a strong America, Love it or Leave it aroma, a stench of xenophobia, sure to be seen anytime there is an environmental or financial disaster elsewhere in the world. The wail goes up: How dare the world help them and not me?

On my worst days, I read them and hear: How dare any of you have anything, from spare change to cable TV and a functional baseline?

The DPDB, as the gang calls itself, is clueless about why I "follow" them, and Machiavelli Woman is adept at deflecting inquiries about her obsessive conduct -- as she continues her steady diet of disrupting relationships and courting one crisis after another. Should things calm to the point where the best activity might be some sober self-analysis and maybe something in a navy-blue, lighthearted banter, you can set your watch by her tweets of despair.

Indeed, one of the reasons I so enjoyed the Chronic Pain Message Board was its capacity for happiness, the courage to thumb the nose at severe physical pain with laughter. You're not going to find much of that when there is an insistance that the support space be used for "our problems," and not our life lived beyond and in spite of our problems. Anyway...

The femelle in question remains delusional (I have come to prefer *that* notion over other, more dire options), maintaining that we were "best friends" and "confidantes." Of course, that waxes and wanes with my being the devil incarnate, which is infinitely more apt.

[The truth? The beginning of this post has been completely rewritten because, in the wake of its initial publication, she waxed disturbingly poetic, yet again, about our deep and abiding friendship... and I was reminded that convoitise can turn as rancid as a fine olive oil in its thirteenth month. Also, I want to anachronistically urge you not to miss the comments to this post, as I found them to be illustrative.]

Yes, it is a merry band of folk, the DPDB. Mostly fine and good people struggling with the usual outrages of life. Mostly, they fight the good fight, and do it, mostly, well. Unfortunately, a few insist on smothering any emergent sign of autonomy in favor of waiting for Their Hero (or any other available and sympathetic Famous Person With Means) to save them. And, one can't help but conclude, do it on television, while tweeting.

So -- again, The DPDB Twitter Subset is not going to like this blog post. But I am feeling all Edith-Piaf-y and je ne regrette rien. The shame is that I am not a good enough writer to present the rotten core without tainting implications of the healthier surrounding flesh. I trust my readers understand, and should one of you need support in the midst of a transient depression, well... FOR GOD'S SAKE, STAY AWAY FROM ANY INCARNATION OF DR. PHIL!

No, seriously. I mean, if those of us who wrote under the aegis of the "chronic pain board" expected him to do anything for our pain, you'd think we were crackers, wouldn't you? How in heck is a television personality supposed to Take Care of (Your) Business? I actually saw, I kid you not, a tweet to the President of the United States bemoaning the fact that, despite asking Dr. Phil for seven years to provide her health care, said health care had not come about! Holy Toledo, Batman!

Now, I prefer to find that hilarious, as opposed to... anything else. This Good Lady remains undaunted, by the way, tweeting with alacrity, finding no disconnect in expecting Dr. Phil to address her physical ailments and complaining to POTUS about a lack of response from LA-LA Land.

[What baby? What bathwater?]

Don't worry, even as I set myself up as an easy target? I have girded my lefty loins...

[Okay, I will give you a minute to settle down. Yes, I used the L-word. We're all adults here.

Of course, Fred still falls to the floor in hysterics whenever the intro plays to Law and Order: SVU. You know how it goes:

"In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous."

No, it is not that, in my home, we laugh at sexually based offenses -- not at all. No, Fred simply finds the word "heinous" to be close to "heinie," and therefore, hilarious.

Sigh. The man I love lives in Wayne's World and thinks
heinous* is a clever combination of hideous and anus.]
Where was I?

Ah, yes: My goins are lurded. Also, my loins are girded. What is the epithet of condemnation I most fear from this Gaggle of Depressed Tweeters?

What's that? You think me paranoid? {We'll skip the usual rebuttals} There is as much cohesion chez these Stalwarts as you are likely to find in any burgeoning militia, so yes, I have, if not actual fear, at least a healthy respect for their capabilities. Especially since they cannot view me, or appreciate what I write, through a legitimizing lens -- my "best friend" and "confidante" sees to that.

Oops. You almost caught me acting like I care.

And so, with that bizarre and unerring rectitude of dysthmics everywhere, they usually can be counted on to tag me as the Denizen and Maven of a "hate-filled blog." And, of course, as they pay close attention to all things Dr. Phil, so I am a Bully. {sniff}

elle est belle la seine la seine elle est belle -- hate-filled? I think not! The Castafiore, a Bully? Well, I have been known to overcompensate, but overall? No way! Mostly, they misconstrue anything that doesn't have the Celebrity Stamp of Approval as an attack on their efforts to persevere in their own being. [Tucked in the lower left corner of my medicine cabinet mirror is the famous Spinoza pronouncement: The striving by which each thing endeavors to persevere in its being is nothing other than the actual essence of the thing.]

Survivors of Various and Sundry Traumas are constantly told "to honor the way in which you survived." Unfortunately, that has tended to morph into advice encouraging the continuation of behaviors that are now maladaptive. You persevere in your being with alacrity, as I persevere in mine -- hopefully our perseverence won't take the form of the same crap over and over and over. Again. Too, and also.

So let the nabobs of negativism natter on; Now that lurded goins are in place, I can take it.

(I'm using Professional Grade Loin Girder with Asbestos, a special blend. It has low to mid-GodAwful odor during and after application. It's available in 1 quart size and 5 quart size, so it's important to do a proper loin measurement. If you mix 1 quart with 10 gallons of water, it will treat 25 linear feet of loin and last about 5years, which is about as long as you want to have a loin girded. More than that and you risk a nasty case of AssPout. If you mix 1 quart with 20 gallons of water it will treat 50 linear feet of loin and last 2-3 years. The decision whether to value Size of Loin over Length of Loin Coverage is a difficult and personal one. Most use of the 5 quart containers will be industrial: mixed with 50 gallons of water, that much Girder will handily treat 125 linear feet of loin, and will last about 5 years. Now that's an impressive amount of loin. If mixed with 100 gallons of water, Professional Grade Loin Girder with Asbestos will treat 250 linear feet and the treatment will last 2-3 years. Remember that this stuff must always be used in conjunction with good ventilation or you risk an accidental Lip Girding and Permanent Nostril Flare.)

I know these technical details can be difficult to absorb, at first, but if you'll just keep an open mind and cheerful disposition, you and your loins will thank me.

Beyond calling my writing hateful, and my blog hate-filled, the remaining forms of attack generally include at least two of the following observations and preferred chastisements:

* I am not following Dr. Phil's Rules. [Don't ask me what they mean by that. But apparently, McGraw has replaced Emily Post as Icon of Etiquette. These folks will admonish one another with Extreme Victorian Primininity, saying smarmy stuff like: Now, now, Dr. Phil would be very disappointed with that kind of language. You represent The Bald Fraud and our Board of Depressives wherever you go, so behave!]

* How dare I use Dr. Phil's name in vain. [I don't. I am rarely talking about Dr. Phil, I am talking about his Rabid Acolytes. Guffaw!]

* I am not an American. I am, somehow, Australian and have severe dental issues and brittle, frizzy hair. To quote: I am a "yellow toothed foul mouthed crazy broad from Austarilia." In her defense, this particular Rabid Acolyte is, at least, dyslexic.

I am hoping to cull some new insults this go 'round. Maybe something folksy, involving farm implements... or shades of hound dogs and people being forcibly ejected from the back of Turnip Trucks.

Honest to God, it has been years since I was last "downright tickled." If you are from the southeastern United States, or have visited That Land, you know that to be tickled is distinctly different than, say, to laugh at, or to find amusing.

Downright tickled is what makes the pews shake during silent meditation and high holiness in any given synagogue, mosque, or christian church.

Downright tickled is when you can no longer control bodily functions because Mirth has completely taken over.

Downright tickled is irrepressible and rivals sexual orgasm but, unlike orgasm, is simply impossible to fake.

The Merry Band of Depressed DrPhiloPhiles spend an inordinate amount of time seeking the help, approval, and simple notice of Dr. Phil, his producers, his wife, his children, his dog, his sons' dogs, and every possible spin off thereof (i.e. The Doctors, Oprah, etc.). Oh, and now they've the added sentimental ammunition of the First Grandchild. They've begun to address the man as Paw Paw McGraw.

Tweets, emails, and messages go out to The Big Bald Guy, almost nonstop, asking for money, health, happiness, cars, homes, fabulous dentistry -- asking for almost any favor or hand out you can imagine. My favorite posts start appearing around the time the boobtube celebrities announce the dates for their "holiday giveaway shows."

So, as you can well imagine, it is of utmost importance that the lines of communication be kept primed and open, so as to transmit the various requests/demands in a timely and effective fashion.

It's crucial, really.

Approximately every 9 1/2 days, there is a Modest Crisis of Faith, and someone will break ranks, lamenting that all this labor is for naught, as "help never comes," "Dr. Phil/Oprah/Keith Olbermann doesn't care/is ignoring us," etcetera, etcetera. This is often an ideal point for the insertion of xenophobic rants against foreign people who steal American Resources, so there is some subtle teabaggery going on in the communal subtext of these Communards! The roleplaying faithless promptly undergo 8-minute cures of reeducation and repatriation, and are busy begging pardon before nightfall. It's a neat trick. On the 11th day of the cycle, roughly 18 hours after the initial moans of the Modest Crisis of Faith, a Designated Anointed makes vague suicidal threats in a virtuoso performance that is the very embodiment of Advanced Emotional Blackmail. The Group Leader cries "Scene!" ...and the sinewy dance begins anew.

Last night, however, there was a wild break out, a revolutionary prise-de-conscience among the Twitter subgroup.

Understand, there is a rigid schedule adhered to by all -- by which a taxing pas-de-deux -- which pairs well with prise-de-conscience and other French phrases in hyphenated italics -- ensues.

Ha! Parse that, mon ami, parse that!

In short, while they keep their respective Twitter accounts fairly blistering with bons mots, these hyperactive hypomanics also must make at least three visits to the Dr. Phil Depression Depot, leaving sad but hopeful posts at the end of two of those trips. Further, points are accrued by yucking-it-up in the comment section of his blog, with extra credit for every Facebook comment logged. These are some plugged-in people!

At roughly 2000 Zulu, the thought occurred to one of the group that the reason for the lack of help forthcoming from the aforementioned Oft Beseeched Celebs was clearly that the group's tweets were... invisible.

In other words, how in the world could Dr. Phil possibly respond to the demands for instant weight loss, emotional maturity, and enough money for Spring Break in Cancun... when he hasn't even had the chance to see those appeals?

Again, because they are invisible.

Yes, suddenly all understanding of the TweetFeed and the laws of electronic communication vanished. I, at least, benefitted from this existential angst, for I happened upon this conversation, faithfully transcribed below, and I laughed the laugh of the carefree for the first time in weeks.

Of course, this person is tweeting to a specified interlocuteur but we'll not reproduce the conversation as an entire whole for fear that we will be threatened with Law Enforcement Bubbas peering around the tree trunks here on Manor Lands. Captain Haddock was absolutely pissed the last time we were under investigation, and threatened us with eviction.

We will risk providing a few of the candid retorts, for purposes of cohesion, mind, that's all. Please don't send the Internet Police to hound us!

The opening salvo finds our anonymous hero suddenly falling prey to a fit of paranoia, then deciding to put her understanding of the Scientific Method to astute use:

As seen on NEWS : All tweets on twitter R downloaded to the Library of congress???? Big Brother truly is watching us!!!!!

@JOWLS Testing testing can U see me?

{are you here?}

@JOWLS Tweet something be4 U start following me again that is NOT areply to me. then I will reply to that!




{i am tweeting}

@JOWLS Now un follow to see if this reply to UR tweet is still there!

{@RealScottBaio doing a test, can you see this tweet???}

@JOWLS The only way he can see this tweet is IF UR lucky enough to have him click on UR picture as on of his 20,000 followers!

{I think this needs further testing, I think if you do an @ whoever you want to tweet they can see it if you follow them}


{@DrPhil Doing a test: can you see this tweet???}

{testing 123}

{SO we are tweeting for help for nothing, no one can see them???}


{How come I can see their tweets if they arent following me??? }

@JOWLS Because U R following them!

{Dr Phil definitely ain't following me and I got a response from him before.}

@JOWLS 4 them to see UR tweets they must be following U!

@JOWLS If U click on UR followers someone U R not following U can send them a message!

@JOWLS Dr Phil has THOUSANDS of followers. IF he happens to click on UR user ID he can respond, BUT what R the ODDS?

{odds must be pretty good, he has responded to me, and others.}

{let me go see}

{no its not on his page}

@JOWLS I also got a response from Robin about her cookie recipe. She just happened to click on my picture to see the question. LOTM!

{wow they really cant see our tweets}

@SMART1 No I don't think UR lying. I know it was the LUCK OF THE MOUSE. DO U want to try the test?

@SMART1 Just un follow me and see if my reply to to UR tweet shows up on UR page. It wont until U follow me again.

@JOWLS Okay here's what U do now. Click on Dr Phils picture U will go to his page. Do U see UR tweet where U asked if he could see it?

@JOWLS U might see it because U replied. I'll go see if it's there on my end.

{that does no good, just because we can see what we tweeted doesnt mean he sees them, they are not on his page.}

@JOWLS See? It's the luck of the Mouse. If UR lucky he'll stop on UR picture maybe once or twice.

{I already knew that they probably wouldnt respond, I did however think they could see the tweets.}

@JOWLS I'm not trying to hurt UR feelings or yours either SMART1 but the fact is the odds R against them ever seeing ur requests.

@JOWLS Or mine either! If ur following someone with just a few followers UR chances R much better.

I care about ALL my friends. I see them getting depressed & feeling hopeless because their pleas are not heard. I just wanted them 2 know Y.

I hear someone who I am not following Is tweeting me right now! Telling us how to see the tweets.

I can't see her reply because I am not following her because I can't FIND her! I don't think she is following me either.

O, the humanity! I *mean* it: O! The humanity! Isn't it beautiful?

Addendum 17 April 2010: Even at a distance of days, the dialogue above continues to make me laugh and appreciate those times when we are just flat out overwhelmed but doggedly continue our efforts to make sense out of a sometimes nonsensical world. It's a classic, really -- très Abbott and Costello, don't you think?

Who's On First?

Abbott: Well Costello, I’m going to New York with you. You know, Bucky Harris, the Yank’s manager gave me a job as coach for as long as you’re on the team.

Costello: Look Abbott, if you’re the coach, you must know all the players.

Abbott: Right, certainly do.

Costello: Well, I never met the guys, so you’ll have to tell me their names, and then I’ll know who’s playing on the team.

Abbott: Oh, I’ll tell you their names, but you know strange as it may seem, they give these ball players now a days, very peculiar names.

Costello: You mean funny names?

Abbott: Strange names, pet names. Like, Dizzy Dean, and…

Costello: His brother Daffy?

Abbott: Daffy Dean.

Costello: And their French cousin.

Abbott: French?

Costello: Goofe’.

Abbott: Goofe’ Dean, oh I see! Well let’s see, we have on the bags, we have Who’s on first, What’s on second, and I Don’t Know is on third.

Costello: That’s what I want to find out.

Abbott: I say, Who’s on first, What’s on second, and I Don’t Know’s on third.

Costello: Are you the manager?

Abbott: Yes.

Costello: You going to be the coach too?

Abbott: Yes.

Costello: And you don’t know the fellow’s names?

Abbott: Well I should.

Costello: Well then who is on first?

Abbott: Yes... [and so on, and so forth!]

*etymology of heinous: late 14c., from O.Fr. haineus (Fr. haineux), from haine "hatred," from hair "to hate," from Frankish *hatjan (cf. O.S. haton, O.E. hatian "to hate").

**I am inclined to give Spinoza the Final Word, as interpreted by Michael A. Rosenthal in his Tolerance as a Virtue in Spinoza's Ethics:

"There is widespread agreement that tolerance is a mainstay of modern liberalism. There is less agreement about what justifies it. As a starting point I want to offer the definition of toleration as 'the refusal, where one has the power to do so, to prohibit or seriously interfere with conduct that one finds objectionable.'

If we include the expression of ideas through speech or other media as part of 'conduct' then this will serve us adequately. It captures the central tension between disapproving some conduct and yet allowing it to continue that we find in the etymology of the word itself, which comes from the Latin tolerare, which means to bear or endure. This tension, however, produces a variety of conceptual puzzles and difficulties that bear on the justification and maintenance of the practice itself. Some of the problems are meta-ethical and arise from questions about the status of normativity itself. For example, one common justification of tolerance is based on skepticism about the good. If there is no objective idea of the good then enforcement of some subjective concept of it would be unjustified."

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Haft Made of Dudgeon

Just when I was calming down!

In large part, the deescalation in my gastric acid production is attributable to not reading or listening to the rhetoric of the extreme right, the crazed element of the conservative movement. I think they're well represented as assorted PacMan Blinkies, chowing down on whatever gets in the way.

I plan on using this long PacMan video as a point de repère for mindful meditation -- now that my Palm has died a good, but lingering, death and I no longer have recourse to Crazy Daisy. You see, it wasn't under warranty; It had no recourse, no place to go. I was awesome at Crazy Daisy and on endless mode, it kept me calm and distracted (but way zen-focused) even when in intense pain.

So, uncentered and bereft of handheld technology, I decided to follow some demented Twitter feed... and ran smack dab into this:

Nobody likes a racist…
Nobody likes a race hustler either.

On Saturday March 20th the leftist media reported what they described as a horrible story from their sources at the anti-military Jew-hating conservative-hating Huffington Post. The media claimed that members of the Congressional Black Caucus were called n*ggers and spat on by tea party protesters as they walked from the Longworth office building to the Rayburn office building. At least one report said that it was “a chorus” of racist hatred. Another report said the Congressional members heard the n-word at least 15 times. Reporters from ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX News, (including Bill O’Reilly), MSNBC, and so on, repeated this horrible story.

Unfortunately, it was a fake. The media had no evidence… Nothing. As the story was a complete fabrication. It was totally made up.
Last Wednesday, video was released that confirmed the spitting incident was bogus, too.

Dan Riehl reported:

There’s some higher resolution video... I hadn’t seen before. Unlike what was claimed during recent Tea Party protests in Washington, DC, it would appear Cleaver was simply walking close by in front of a protester. The protester’s hands were cupped as he was shouting. While it appears Cleaver may have experienced a spraying of sorts as a result of the yelling, it does not support a conclusion that he was intentionally spat upon, as claimed.

Again. Another liberal lie.

On Thursday of last week Andrew Breitbart* at
Big Government offered $10,000 to any of the reported victims for proof of a racial attack. No one will! And, in this economy you know someone would if they could. No one came forward. Nothing happened.

It was all a lie.

It’s time for these race hustlers to apologize to the tea party movement and the American people for this horrible racist lie.

We demand that these Black Caucus members apologize for their fabricated hate story.

It is tough to know what tags to apply to such virulent, yellow pus -- particularly as the tag situation chez this blog is abominable -- but it seemed right to pair political rhetoric with noise pollution, as well as with a PopThatZit video.

How would you tag this?

*Andrew Breitbart:
As I have said over and over and over, the left has one trick that it will use again and again when its back is in the corner: shout ‘racist’ in a crowded country.

On Saturday, during the peaceful and patriotic tea party protest at the Capitol, the Democrats staged a series of symbolic acts meant to manipulate the media to do its bidding. The Congressional Black Caucus pulled the Selma card and chose to walk through the crowd in the hopes of creating a YouTube incident.
It’s time for the allegedly pristine character of Rep. John Lewis to put up or shut up. Therefore, I am offering $10,000 of my own money to provide hard evidence that the N- word was hurled at him not 15 times, as his colleague reported, but just once. Surely one of those two cameras wielded by members of his entourage will prove his point.

And surely if those cameras did not capture such abhorrence, then someone from the mainstream media — those who printed and broadcast his assertions without any reasonable questioning or investigation — must themselves surely have it on camera. Of course we already know they don’t. If they did, you’d have seen it by now.


Rep. Lewis, if you can’t do that, I’ll give him a backup plan: a lie detector test. If you provide verifiable video evidence showing that a single racist epithet was hurled as you walked among the tea partiers, or you pass a simple lie detector test, I will provide a $10K check to the United Negro College Fund.

They used to make me laugh. Then they made me mad. Now? Now, they have succeeded in planting fear in my heart. Okay, that's a bit of a stretch. Mostly, they provoke tears of angry laughter.

The tactic of planting the lie, then repeating the lie in feigned high dudgeon, manufacturing "unbiased" support, and putting the attacked on the defensive? It's low brow propaganda.

Some people comfort themselves with salty, fried things, others with sweets. I turn to etymology, my private puff pastry. Okay, and low fat plain yogurt hit with a good measure of excellent vanilla extract.

dudgeon: Middle English dogeon, from Anglo-French digeon, dogeon
Date: 15th century
1 obsolete : a wood used especially for dagger hilts
2 archaic : a dagger with a handle of dudgeon; obsolete : a haft made of dudgeon

SNL: The Sarah Palin Network

Tina Fey is simply uncanny as Palin. If only we could make the switch -- but that would surely violate some obscure human rights legislation.

My other source of angst-relief over the vice-presidential "silver medal winner"? @Tweetin4Palin on Twitter. One of the latest?

"Hello @Jesus I am watchin' SNL and havin' faith that U will smite Tina Fey."

"You know those long dark nights where all you can do is lie awake and question everything? What are they like?"

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Le dimanche. Jour dédié à la lecture, à l'effort de se préparer, un peu, pour l'arrivée de la semaine.

Pick of the Day: Un article, dit "témoignage," tiré du journal Rue89 -- un endroit, un lieu, une publication que j'aime beaucoup.

Parmi les FAQ: Pourquoi ce nom de "Rue89"?

La rue, parce qu'elle est synonyme de circulation, de rencontre, de vie, de terrasses de café. "89" pour évoquer la révolution, celle de l'Internet et de l'information. Certains d'entre nous pensent que c'est un beau chiffre dans lequel chacun peut mettre ce qu'il veut : la liberté (référence à la Révolution française), les "murs qui tombent" (Berlin) ou l'invention du Web (1989).

L'article suivant, c'est une sorte de réponse à une tentative interactive du [?] Le corps handicapé, vivre après l'accident -- un "récit" dans lequel le corps brisé est encore plus divisé en corps perdu, épuisé, éprouvé, réveillé, espéré.

En tant que Gimp [personne handicapée], je m'y intéresse beaucoup. Pour moi, comme pour ces gens-là, il s'agit d'un deuil continuel -- une perte que l'on doit survivre, oublier, et refuser -- autant que possible.

Et quelquefois, quand ce n'est pas du tout possible? On est censé se taire.

Ignore me -- I have a well-documented bad attitude. Eh bien, voici le récit de Chloé Leprince, journaliste chez Rue89.

Le vient de mettre en ligne « Le corps handicapé, vivre après l'accident », un récit multimédia. Depuis l'hôpital de Garches, quatre patients racontent avec des mots simples la vie d'après. Je ne connais pas Garches, je n'y ai pas été hospitalisée. Mais tout m'est familier dans ces images simples, immédiates. Même si eux sont tétraplégiques ou paraplégiques et moi, pas.

Lorsque l'aventure de Rue89 a commencé, quelque temps avant mai 2007, j'étais à l'hôpital depuis plus de six mois. J'y suis restée dix au total, avec des périodes d'hôpital de jour. Ça veut dire : dormir à l'extérieur. J'ai fait envoyer mes premiers articles de là-bas, sur clé USB et sous morphine. Gonzojournalisme au pays du MoDem.

Je viens d'un milieu médical. En tant que journaliste, il m'était arrivé d'écrire sur le handicap avant mon accident. Je ne savais rien. Le jour de mes 28 ans, j'ai suivi quelqu'un sur un scooter, on a fait 500 mètres, il a grillé une priorité. Banalité absolue. En faisant un bond de plusieurs mètres après la collision, j'ai atterri sur une autre planète en même temps que je faisais un saut au fond de moi-même.

C'est depuis cette planète que nous parlent les gens rencontrés par le Ce qui frappe, quand on les découvre, c'est qu'ils sont tout le monde. Ce qui m'avait saisie, quand j'étais à leur place, c'est que je n'étais plus personne.

Le dernier endroit où tous les mondes se croisent

Sortie des soins intensifs, je me souviens que l'hôpital m'était apparu comme le dernier endroit où tous les mondes se croisent -comme on le disait du service militaire. Au fil du turnover du séjour des autres, j'ai partagé ma table de cantine avec une femme qui travaillait en abattoirs, une caissière chez Super U, un navigateur, et beaucoup de retraités.

Chaque matin, j'ai pataugé dans un bassin de deux mètres par trois avec un sexagénaire parfaitement raciste qui n'avait pas dû voir beaucoup de Noirs dans sa vie. Dans cette eau chaude comme dans les bacs d'eau glacée censés juguler la fibrose qui paralysait ma jambe droite, je me souviens avoir eu l'impression de me dissoudre. Vous êtes en maillot de bain, une botte de caoutchouc au pied droit à cause d'un escarre qui ne cicatrisera jamais vraiment, et votre vie vous échappe.

Les gens qui se sont confiés au journaliste du parlent posément. Ils n'ont pas l'air en guerre. Si l'on m'avait tendu un micro il y a trois ans, j'imagine que j'aurais refusé -les journalistes qui disent « je » me laissaient alors si mal à l'aise. En me laissant convaincre, je crois que j'aurais hurlé.

D'ailleurs, j'ai hurlé. Sur les médecins au pouvoir immense qui voulaient interrompre les soins parce qu'il n'y avait « plus d'espoir » de motricité. (aujourd'hui, je marche pourtant sans canne). Sur cette assistante sociale qui tenait tant à m'envoyer à l'AFPA me chercher un autre métier. Sur mes proches, à qui je crachais cette dépendance tellement aliénante.

Quand vous êtes handicapé, une petite voix lancinante vous raconte que vous devez pardonner le mal que l'on vous fait, que vous ne pouvez plus vous fâcher comme bon vous semble. Parce que les gens vous offrent du temps, qu'ils poussent votre fauteuil, et qu'après tout, c'est déjà bien d'être entouré. Cette dépendance obère pour longtemps vos rapports avec le monde de dehors. Elle enferme.

Cette dette immense, je la paye toujours. On m'a dit récemment que j'avais bien de la chance que Rue89 ait eu envie de travailler avec moi « malgré tout ». Je fais pourtant mon métier.

J'ai croisé un jour chez un homme avec qui j'avais un rapport intime un regard qui ressemblait à une faveur. Ce regard ne gifle pas. Il vous pousse sous les roues une seconde fois, avec ce corps aux abdos évanouis et le bruit de l'impact qui siffle encore entre vos oreilles.

Le sexe dont personne ne veut entendre parler
Cette femme qui se confie au parle de libido qui s'envole, d'insensibilité, et puis de caresses, de frissons légers. Je ne suis pas tétraplégique, j'ai quitté mon fauteuil depuis bien longtemps, et les jours sans claudication, rien ne laisse deviner, à moins de déshabiller mes cicatrices.

Mais je sais le service qu'elle se rend à parler du sexe qu'on n'a pas, ou plus pareil. Car le monde hospitalier ne parle pas de ça. Alors que vous, vous en crevez de ne plus vous imaginer baiser normalement. Evidemment, ça revient. Evidemment, c'est bon aussi. Mais en attendant, c'est un vide immense dont personne ne veut entendre parler.

« Le corps handicapé » égraine les épithètes de la vie d'après : « dépendant », « écroulé », « sale », « comparé ». J'ignore quel effet ces mots exercent sur quelqu'un d'étranger à cette planète-là. Peut-être une impression très clinique. Une des dernières séquences raconte les rêves que fait un des patients, la nuit. Il rêve qu'il marche. Au réveil, il dit qu'il faut « revenir sur terre ». La norme a changé de planète : dans son monde à lui, on ne marche plus.

J'ai pu réapprendre à marcher. Je me souviens comme si c'était hier du jour où il a fallu inventer une nouvelle démarche. Avec plus personne pour se rappeler de quoi j'avais l'air avant, lorsque je mettais simplement un pied devant l'autre.

Ceux que le a rencontrés n'en diront pas autant. Je me demande ce qu'ils pourront penser de cette communauté de destin un peu aberrante qui semble se dessiner à travers ce que je raconte. Peut-être m'aurait-elle semblé profondément absurde à l'époque. A leur place.