Yale DKE Fraternity Members in the 1980s
I am a sexual assault survivor. When I was a little over five years old, I was attacked in the foster home farm by two boys at least ten years older than I. Rape was a nearly nightly occurrence for months. I can’t say for how long, but like Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, I remember trivial things: the bunk bed, the room, the window, the clothes dresser, the teddy bear who was silent witness to my terror, the crew cuts of two teenagers and their threat that if I talked they would gut me like a chicken. Like many who are abused by the older and more powerful, I erased from my conscious mind the incidents for 46 years. The intervening years I spent in anger at society and self-destructive behavior. The root cause of my self-hatred and distrust of authority was unknown to me.
The trolley clanks up the San Francisco hill toward Alamo Square. I am on my way back after work to the halfway house for drunks and addicts thinking about my screwed-up past when the vivid memories surface. I am lying in my lower bunk bed in the small room with one other bunk bed. All four beds are occupied by boys of a similar age. A window looks out to the chicken coop, where I have the task of feeding the chickens daily. The grimy view separates the two bunks that face each other across a space of maybe five feet. We boys have to keep this space clean. No toys or clothes can litter the floor, or the fat old woman running the home would yell at us. All belongings are required to be kept in two drawers of the two four-drawer dressers placed at the ends of the two bunks. Only my beloved teddy bear shares my bunk. Teddy sits propped up against the wall next to my pillow, and I whisper and cry to him every night.
I didn’t remember any of this until a burst of recollections on the trolley. I was 51 years old. My grandparents drag me kicking and screaming to this place outside Rochester, New York. Grandmother tells the big woman they can’t deal with me. I must stay at the farm until my father can take me after his divorce and remarriage. Standing among a dozen boys, the big lady tells me I will like the farm with its chickens, goats, cows, and the white horse. The farm is a fun place. The two biggest boys with crewcuts, wearing blue jeans and white tee shirts, stand on either side of the lady with white hair piled up on the top of her head in her print dress. They look at me with crooked smiles. One remarks, “What’s with the long hair? You look like a girl.” “Hush up,” the lady admonishes to the boys she then apologizes to my grandparents. Grandma and Grandpa depart, and I am led to the bunk bed room, where I cry all night for my mother.
The next night, the door to my room cracks opens. The two big boys slip in and close the door behind them. All four young boys turn to look at them. The crew cuts put their index fingers to their mouths and stare at three of the scared boys. The three turn their heads away and pull the sheets over their heads. They turn to me. One rips the blanket and sheet off and jumps on my back, pinning my arms to the bed, while the other grabs my legs tugging my lower body off the bed. They smell of beer and manure. I try to scream, but the first boy pushes my face into the mattress. The second boy pulls down my pajama pants and spreads my legs. “Nice ass,” he says, “just like a girl’s. Now you are going to be a girl.” He steps between my legs and forces his erect penis into my rectum. It hurts, but I can’t yell. All I can do is twist and shake. “Good,” the rapist declares, “I like it when the pig wriggles.” Pumping furiously, Two finally stops and pulls his penis out. Number one leans down over my back and whispers in my ear, “Tomorrow night is my turn,” and lets me go. As they open the door and sneak out. Number One, warns me, “if you squeal on us, we will hurt you bad.”
The rapes went on for several months. Not every night; but every night I lived in terror, until my father came and took me away. I never said anything to anyone. My father never knew; nor did my stepmother. As the years went by I hated my parents for allowing this to happen to me, and my grandparents for causing this to happen, and an uncaring society. The anger stayed; the memory faded. Sex I saw as an ugly experience. Society, I believed, was corrupt and full of liars. Alcohol was a way of avoiding conscious feeling. I went to Yale and found many others who masked their emotions in booze. I disliked myself and most of the arrogant and privileged students. In my junior year I attempted suicide. I left the prestigious university, spent a year away, where I grew up and able to see the good in life instead of seeing only the bad. Coming back to Yale, I finally experienced the wonderful aspects of the university — the intellectual challenges, the cultural exposure, and the students, who were creative, not all full of themselves, and didn’t all aspire to be inducted into the elite that separated themselves in the tombs of secret societies.
I stopped drinking, not because I had insight into its destructive results, but because I witnessed my stepmother become a disabled alcoholic. I discovered another way to avoid reality. I became a pot head and a cocaine junkie. After a stint at the Betty Ford Center and the time up in the San Francisco, when the realization occurred that I had been sexually assaulted, I began to heal. Restoration took a long time. It began after I stepped off the trolley, and staggered up the mound of Alamo Square. Sitting on a bench looking out over the city of San Francisco, I wept for hours as I recalled the room of the rapes, how I had gotten there, and the terror I had felt. My delayed return to the halfway house that day got me into a lot of trouble. This catharsis was the first event that lead to my eventual ejection from the halfway house.
Many relapses occurred after I was thrown out. I thought I was doomed in the negative hateful mental place I inhabited. Only later did I realize that my recovery required allowing horrid memories to surface, accepting their reality, and forgiving myself. I finally become free of most of the resentments and all of the resultant addictions that were ruining my life. I still seethe with anger sometimes, especially when I see women and men who have been victims of unthinking egoism that makes it OK to abuse others. “Boys will be boys,” isn’t an adequate excuse for demeaning others because you are rich, white, and bright. The Forgotten F * * kers do not get a free pass for bad behavior. They need to express the truth, to accept their weaknesses as part of abused humanity, to accept their responsibility for abusing other people, and to forgive themselves. Then I will forgive them, as I have forgiven myself for my failures to be decent.
A great pile of aluminum foil-wrapped sandwiches surrounds the manic mother who stands at her kitchen counter atop a pyramid of playing cards in beautiful suburbia. Bipolar I Disorder could topple her reality, perhaps smothering her in ham sandwiches, but there is a solution in Vraylar, a drug from Forest Laboratories Holdings Ltd, an Allergan affiliate. In a second video, a woman in her office on top of a similar stack of playing cards, madly posts “Post It Notes” to a window wall. Vraylar will calm her down. Bipolar Disorder is endemic in 21st Century America. If you’re going to have a mental health issue, this is a good one to have.
Celebrities have admitted to being bipolar, and “Silver Linings Playbook” portrays a bipolar man who falls in love with a depressed woman. Jennifer Lawrence, who plays the woman in this offbeat romantic comedy, won the Academy Award for Best Female Actor in 2013. The entertaining attention and the Vraylar commercials trivialize a serious mental condition. They make Bipolar I Disorder an attractive alternative if you are going to be crazy. Patients eager to improve their perceived or diagnosed screwed-up lives can ask their doctor to give them Vraylar. No more sandwich marathons. No more blizzards of “Post It Notes.” You can live happily ever after with the help of a pharmaceutical.
The trouble is that Bipolar I Disorder is a serious mental condition. Many afflicted with Bipolar Disorder commit suicide. Many engage in behavior that is extremely dangerous. Illegal drug use, extreme risk taking, violent irritability, and a grandiose sense of self can lead to living on the edge of disaster. The thrills of these behaviors are far more problematical than excessive “Post It Notes,” and creating too many sandwiches. The person who loves to be besieged with ideas or gets off in marathon lunch-making is but a tip of the iceberg. Bipolar Disorder people love the up of mania. They want to go even higher, which can lead to psychotic behavior and dangerous actions. Still they love the up. Unfortunately, I know. I have been there. The illness came close to destroying my life. The ups are followed by severe downs that are characterized by severe depression, isolation, and morbid thoughts of death. I call this the “Bipolar Coaster.” Once I attempted suicide but was saved in a hospital where my stomach was pumped. Many times, I have been close to killing myself. A particularly close encounter was the thought of jumping off a bridge into on-coming freeway traffic. Standing on the bridge, I decided I couldn’t risk someone’s else life by my body falling on or in front of their car. The Vraylar commercials fail to portray this other side of manic/depressive illness. The iceberg crushes the unwary.
This is not to say Vraylar is useless. I discussed Vraylar with my psychiatrist not to use, but to understand the effectiveness of the drug. She prescribes the drug for patients who have a combination of anxiety and depression. For these people, Vraylar has a calming effect. However, like all psychiatric prescriptions, one size does not fit all. What works for one person doesn’t for another, and could create conditions of undesirable side effects. I know because it took a long time for me, working with my doctor, to find the right drugs that worked long term and did not make me gain excessive weight or increase my manic behavior. Taking one of the first drugs prescribed for me, my weight escalated by 60 pounds. The Vraylar commercial doesn’t reveal that the use could be ineffective, or counter-effective.
The side effects of Vraylar can be catastrophic like: stroke in elderly patients with dementia, tardive dyskinesia, a condition in which the patient experiences uncontrolled movements of the body and face, muscle stiffness, or feelings of restlessness that can become permanent, problems with metabolism, Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) (a potentially fatal condition in which high fever; stiff muscles; confusion; changes in pulse, heart rate, or blood pressure; or sweating that can lead to death. Per government regulation these side effects and more common ones are verbalized in the commercial, but they are quickly passed through as the benefits are extolled and visualized.
There is the question of cost. Vraylar is very expensive. A month’s supply is over $1,000. Contrast this with Lamotrigine, which costs about $7 a month with insurance. The high cost of Vraylar would force most health insurance companies to try to demand the patient take a drug of lower cost. Unless you have a good plan or are rich, Vraylar will set you back more than $14-1/2 grand a year.
Then there is the issue of “Big Pharma,” which may or may not be a problem for you.
It is for me. Allergan, the company marketing Vraylar, is the world’s 20th largest pharmaceutical company with revenue at $15.9 billion in 2017, an operating income of $5.9 billion, and a net income of $4.4 billion a year. This translates into 27.6% profit per year. Pharmaceutical Companies are very profitable. Allergan’s most important drug now is Botox, the beauty treatment popular from Hollywood to Bollywood. Sales were $3.2 billion, and Botox’s market share is 70%, but the drug is under pressure. A new competing drug is coming to market, and its effects last longer. The treatment, called RT002, lasts six months compared to three or four months for Botox. Thus, Allergan is seeking new money makers.
Vraylar is one of the new money makers. Vraylar’s net revenues grew 72.2% in the second quarter of 2018 to a $114.2 million increase from the prior year’s second quarter. Allergan, an Irish-headquartered corporation, with its affiliate Forest Laboratories, licensed Vraylar from Gedeon Richter PLC, who developed Cariprazine for the treatment of schizophrenia. Allergan, renaming the drug, is looking to expand the use and develop a large American market, of which the television advertisements are an important part. However, the corporation’s reputation is not very good.
Allergan ranks in the middle of the twenty best and worst pharmaceutical companies according to the Reputation Institute. Its Rept Trak score is 71.8. Its affiliate Forest Laboratories, headquartered in New York, was sued for systematic gender unfairness. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York found Forest Laboratories guilty, after six years of litigation, of discrimination against its female employees. This is the court in which Michael Cohen (Trump’s lawyer) pleaded guilty. I guess his pockets were not deep enough to sustain six years of lawyers’ fees. In 2018, Allergan, along with several other drug manufacturers and distributors, was sued by several municipalities and states in the U.S. owing to the company’s manufacture of opioids. After Trump’s tax cut, Allergan’s Board of Directors authorized repurchase of its stock. No benefits were given to its employees. Allergan is driven to strong growth, i.e. profit. Vraylar patients beware.
I, Carlton Morris Davis Jr, have a White Anglo-Saxton Protestant (WASP) name given to me by my family, who were very proud of their white heritage and where creative naming isn’t in the genes. I got to be a junior (Jr.). Nicknames are given to distinguish the progeny. Biff, and Buffy are common. I, however, am a bit of an anomaly. My mother was an Irish Catholic night club singer. She definitely came from the wrong side of the tracks as the old admonition identified those of lower status. Lynn Quinn married Carlton senior, who was a stud. They had a rocky marriage that ended in a scandalous divorce. They produced a daughter and a son, Carlton Junior, me. Not cause generational confusion; I was given a nickname: Chinky or Chink, the slightly abbreviated version. I detested this name, which I was given because I had a slightly drooped right eyelid, making me look Chinese. No family members ever mentioned that Chink is a pejorative term for Chinese people. In school I was ridiculed. If other kids found out my nickname, I was branded: Chinky the Chinaman, Stinky Chinky, and Commie Chink. Two results came of this unfortunate name. I came to dislike WASPS, believing I was only half an upper class white. Otherwise I was a Mick, the derogatory term for the Irish. I came to loathe all racism, whether it was against: Coons, Gooks, Kikes, Ragheads, Redskins, Polocks, Wetbacks, or Wops. These labels not heard today very often, but in my youth they were common. Today the racism is more subtle, but just as deadly. My stance was and remains with all the people who came from shithole countries. As I have grown wiser, I had to abandon this negativity. Because there are WASPs I admire: William Sloane Coffin, Robert Lowell, and Walker Evans, to name a few. They stood for principals and ideas that transcending bigotry. Because of that name I received many privileges in a society with a long racist history that made my life easier than any other ethnic tribe. I can’t profoundly feel the evil done to an African-Americans, the Chinese, the Mexicans, or Native Americans. I can only empathiise. Because to discriminate, and deny is counter productive. But I can drive out my own hate. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that, “ Martin Luther King Jr. There are great juniors.
Acre, India, 2015
I am not an economist, nor a philosopher. I am an observer seeking a way to understand what I see in the world around me. Everywhere I look I see evidence of the penetration of some form of electrical system in everyday life. The newest and fastest growing is the cell phone. No one can take a picture in any part of the world where people are gathered to do things, discuss things, or record things, where you won’t find humans with cell phones to their ears, in their hands looking at its screen, or raised to their heads to record an image. They populate the pictures you are about to take yourself. This fact, I believe, surpasses the technology becoming the seminal marker of the lived reality. The world lives in Electricalism and is steeped in its ethos, which shapes its economics, culture, government, and human interactions. The saturation is so complete we don’t see it; and we don’t understand the degree to which it has changed how the world works.
Perhaps humans are rediscovering their alignment with the universe’s fundamental truth. The stars we see are light rays penetrating through the dark. The light that heats and allows life on earth is an electrical pulse emanating from the sun. The earth itself is an electrical force field, where currents flow here and there through it ground and out into its ionosphere. This force is wireless, and humans exist in a cavity filled with electricity. We have traveled time from a place where Electricalism was a mystical reality that could only be defined as lightning or God. Think of Benjamin Franklin and his kite. Today we inhabit a planet enriched by Electricalism’s benefits, warped by its human utilization, and badly damaged by its results.
Electricalism, I posit, began primitively with Thomas Edison’s creation of a commercially reproducible light bulb in 1879. This first stage of electricalism lasted nearly 100 years, when Motorola made the first cell phones. The physical reality of electric technology altered the world. Think of electric lamps, electric motors, illuminated signs, movie projectors, televisions, computers, power plants, and transmission lines. Electricalism at this stage is Proto-electricalism. The prefix “proto” denotes fossil in Greek, and so I name it thus because this era has been powered by fossil fuels and uses physical forms. There is an ironic sense to my use of the term. The fossil era created as many negative results as positive outcomes.
Today’s phone is still an object powered by hidden batteries that get their charge through a connection to the grid. Nonetheless we have moved into a new age. The cell phone morphed into the smartphone, and it’s wireless interconnections swept over the world. Wireless power is not new. Nicola Tesla, the mystical engineer and inventor of the alternating current system that became the world’s standard, was able to create balls of light without form. Not long after Edison’s creation of the light bulb, Tesla proposed the development of wireless electrical power, but his financial backer, J.P. Morgan, wouldn’t fund the idea. No one was able to recreate Tesla’s “Q balls” again. Wireless telephone communication awaited the cell phone. Humans stepped into new era of Electricalism, which I call Anthro-electricalism. The prefix “anthro” represents human in Greek. This age has barely begun. Its fruition could mean a whole new relationship to the earth and its occupants. Understanding the physical record of Proto–electricalism provides insight into what happened and what could come next.
Both negative and positive can be surmised from looking at the picture of smartphone users in Acre, India. Phones can now connect everyone to everything — the world’s knowledge, the world’s materials, and the world’s groups. Conversely the phone isolates its users. In the midst of a business thoroughfare, the operators are not fully present in the immediate environment. The Acre man with the phone to his ear is dangerously close to the passing tourist bus. He is in another elsewhere. Users become separated individuals. They are susceptible to the influence of the seductive forces connecting them through the wireless. The consumers can be become addicts of the manipulators. Power that could be vested in anyone’s grasp is given away. The unwired force, like the force of Yoda in Star Wars, can be deflected and dissipate into nothing. Some science fiction devotees call it the “Q” force. I call it the “Q balls,” after Tesla, and imagine his wireless light orbs forming and disappearing from his hands. We need this energy back and to evolve into a fully realized positive Anthro-electricalism. The evidence needed for change is printed on the world around us. The “Q balls” can be in our hands.
Tesla’s “Q balls”
This is the Opening Statement for the essays:
Sick America’s Electricalism Infection and Inoculation
Avatar of Avarice
America is sick. The land is infected with malicious segregation into racial, economic, religious, and geographical clusters of poisons. These poisons are attributable to the growing isolation created by and manipulated for the requirements of Electricalism, which has arrived at it full flowering and control with the digital age. President Trump is the Electric Epidemic’s Embodiment. The cult of celebrity defines its prophets and false messiahs. Has he not said that as a star, a celebrity, “when you’re a star, they let you do it, you can do anything… grab them by the pussy?”
Stars are electrical light sources, impulses emerging out of the darkness of the universe. Einstein was the first and perhaps the greatest celebrity of Electricalism. He formulated its first truth: energy equals mass times the speed of light squared. Thus began the information age. More fallout continued. Space curved; mass warped it; hellish weapons blasted it; computers saturated it. Political celebrities defined its first century; the greatest of these was Adolf Hitler. Truth became relative. Now in the 21st Century, we now have: the reality show, apprentice president. The stars are klieg lights. The orange coiffed hair mouths the sermons of electronic capricious capitalism, the heir to all previous economic philosophies: communism, socialism, and free market capitalism. Electricalism, like electricity has two poles. Proto-electricalism is the negative. Anthro-electricalism is the positive. Proper balance creates magnetism; imbalance creates rejection. America is severely imbalanced causing social and physical disease.
The second celebrity president of the United States, Trump, more than Reagan, a product of film and factory age, believes as the all-emerging electricalists do, that he can do no wrong. He is all-powerful. He is the winner. Winning is the meaning of life. Money is the marker of success. Nonetheless a celebrity is only a public avatar for the real masters: the financiers, the venture capitalists, the investors, the hedge-fund managers, and inherited wealth aristocrats, who like to hover in the shadows. Trump draws the moths to the diode flame obscuring those who actually control the digitally manipulated society. Their truth is what the Electricalists say it is. Otherwise, “You’re fired!” They lie, but they are very good at it. The battle to cure the earth will be long and difficult, but try we must, or else this common tabernacle will wither and die. It will become the Las Vegas of 2049, portrayed as a yellow hazed empty place in “Blade Runner.”
I declare myself an Earth Citizen. One Planet, One People, Seven Principles.
- Freedom of Travel, Trade, Location, & Assembly
- Dissolve All International Borders
- Equality of Every Human Being
- Preservation of the PLANET
- Respect for Each Religion
- Universal Human Rights
- WAR ABOLISHED
I am not a nationalist. I do not believe in obliterating other people. The world has seen enough of this kind of thinking. Share with others. Come join me in Citizenship. I have given myself citizen number 1001.