An Essay on Darkness
Goddammit, She's Changed the Title Again!

Thank you, Kacie.

You may have saved my life.

I do not know how many others' you are saving. But you have at least one on your list.

No matter what you're calling your site today, no matter how often you switch servers, and no matter how depressed you get, you have convinced me that there is one soul out there who is at least as crazy as I am.

And, from what the kids used to say in middle school, that was damned hard to do. Damned hard....(and, no, bitch, I'll never forget that comment, and you're outlined in as a nasty, nasty character in my "Sheila novels" for that one heartless phrase....)

Crazy enough to change the look of your site constantly. Crazy enough to care about what other people think.

And crazy enough to feel the exact same way (okay, okay, you're wearing out the "Titanic" seats and it was "Star Wars" for me) I did when I was that age.

No, you assholes, I am not crazy! Eat it! (Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah...I have waited for years to say that!) was the Asheville City Schools whose halls I wandered down a couple of decades ago, feeling absolutely like nobody understood me, being consistently simultaneously overpraised and underestimated by 99% of the teachers I had, being completely worked over by the kids, and being utterly ignored by my parents (oh, thank God for the cat..couldn't even stand that damn yuppie dog...). All I know about Kacie is that she is (at last check) 14 and she is somewhere on the East Coast. But is that Cougar maroon (not red, children, maroon -- did they give up trying to find an athletic-clothing supplier who would match the shade?) on the ragged gypsy sweatshirt? May as well be. Go look at her stuff. I'm 20 years older than she is. Except for a slight difference in writing style, that could be me. A more courageous me who knew she had a place to speak. A me who didn't have to hold it in.

Until I was on an all-night Net cruise looking for links for an earlier version of this site (all the changes this site has been through, from, what was it, the initial deep pewter background to the fractal lightning-ball background I had to maneuver the text color around so tightly, to whatever other tiled background I was using at the moment, to that ultimate shade of Renaissance royal purple, to the various shades of Tripod QuickPage quick-plug-in colors I resorted to at one point, to the wildness of every-page-is-different handcoloring, to the stable black-and-Moyra look I'm using now) anyhow, I was on this all-night Net cruise looking for links for the site (it used to be this horrendous linkfest, rather than just straight text and a few links -- I didn't believe in my writing ability as much back then) when I went ring-cruising and stumbled on this site. sullengirl, it was. Somewhere in the wilds of GeoCities, it was buried in. Then it moved....sometime later it hopped to Xoom...she's always doing this. Anyhow. I read that site. I was drawn to it. And I remember experiencing, at maybe 3:30 in the morning, the power of my own emotions. Nobody had ever told me it was all right to have them. The too-popular girl up north of the Lake (all right, all right, so I lived in Grove Park, but my parents and I always seemed to be voted out of the neighborhood, no matter how much money Mom got for that mausoleum when she sold it) who lived in the funky weird house (and let that be enough identification -- I still hate the bitch, just for what she stood for) but who could always walk in, pop that wan get-along smile, and just fit matter what social faux pas she pulled off (oh, you mean, you weren't watching? Talk about awkward, but apparently in her case it was okay), with no real socially redeeming merits to buy it off, just by being XXXX YYYYY, she could be as popular as the morning sun and not do a damned thing to earn it. I didn't even like really, was she that pretty? But it was always that wan get-along smile and that at least sort-of willingness to dress the way everybody else was and say all the right things at the right was okay for her to have emotions, if she bothered once every five years or so. Girl managed to stay in Gifted and Talented classes (that's what they were called back then, but I'm sorry, Academically Gifted still means From The Right Neighborhood and Looking Cute) just on that damn smile, sitting proper in her seat, and doing cute report covers (I still remember that damn A++) when somebody else had come up with the idea of cute report covers to begin with (gotcha, bitch....) (the stories still live -- that is part of, in somewhat rewritten form, why I work so hard on the Sheila's a way of getting it out). Oh yeah. I think you're getting the idea.

It is not okay for the talented ones, the different ones, to have ideas and feelings and such. Those are almost automatically squashed by sixth grade. (Any of my more experienced readers hear a Diana rant coming on? You're damn right....) But THEM. The popular ones. The fitting-in ones. The ones with society's official stamp of approval on them. Can act any way they want to, throw any damn tantrum they want to, and nobody cares. I remember so many days sitting on deathly, lethal, this-really-needs-to-be-attended-to emotions in favor of some kid who was just whining about the wrong flavor lollipop. Apparently we're not important in this society.

And don't hand me that garbage about it wasn't that bad, and I should have more perspective. Perspective my ass. This is all the perspective you're getting.

Anyhow. Go Kacie. She's saying it. Finally there is a way to get it out in some form that does not have to be approved of by our sweet society. Our sweet, stifling, culture-killing, talent-strangling society.

This is also a memorial to all the incredibly talented newspaper writers and editors and photographers who have had to live with the Diana phenomenon and are now being castigated for being at least somewhat honest about the effect The Bimbo had on them. Sequins and handshakes are not okay. Not when you are capable of being photographed with your hand on your 14-year-old (and not real stable at that point to begin with) child's rear end. I've said it before. I'll say it again. I'd've slapped the bitch's hand off, I don't care how many cameras were around. Does none of you freak Diana lovers (Gwynne, take it as a compliment that I now judge you strong enough to re-unleash the full power of my invective) give a shit as to what your blonde Barbie doll may have done in her spare time? God Almighty. I don't care what the conventional opinion is. I don't care how much personal ego y'all have invested in maintaining the image of the Perfect Diana Phenomenon with an occasional bow to "she wasn't perfect." Kid looked abused to me.

Flat out emotionally abused. Bad enough, from what I can see, that it would have been worth at least a government investigation. And possibly yanking those children out of the hussy's custody.

One more time, ladies and gentlemen. I am about to say some very hard words. But we need to think about them. (Somebody either hold William's ears or take the mouse away. I'm about to upset his little official feelings again. You know, the ones we're all supposed to be so careful of?) Okay. Let's ponder some possibilities. And don't hand me that unholy crap about how the children would have been taken away....y'all aren't living on the same goddamn planet I am. Just go's probably happening two doors down from you...yes, those awesomely perfect parents whose children will have horror stories in ten years...assuming they live that long...

Anyhow. Let's keep going. We at least need to consider this. Just the fact that we made the poor kid and his poor little bratty brother (yes, I am now breaking official new ground and calling Harry bratty as well -- hell, he deserves a title too) do that cute little stroll down the middle of Tea-And-Crumpets Main Street for our viewing and whining pleasure the week after Mommy Got Crunched (and if that kid didn't pop at least one fist into the air during the first 24 hours after he got the horrible, bloody news, I'm not as good a judge of character as I think I am, but that's neither here nor there) demands that we consider some of the possibilities that Blondie Boy and Redheaded Child there just may have had other emotions stirring in them besides, "Oh my God, Mommy's Dead!" Just for the sake of considering some other options....shall we be fair to what we have absolutely no idea happened? I am not Royal security. I do not live in the Palaces. I am eyeballing this from afar. But let's think about it.

Could Miss Perfect have sexually abused the boy?

Could Our Miss Bimbo Momma To the World have slapped him around?

Could Diana Darling have possibly intentionally neglected that child?

Could even worse things have happened? (And if you don't believe even worse things have happened, check your passport -- how long you been on this planet? Or have you been Living in Sitcom Heaven?)

At the very least, I'm calling emotional abuse on the part of the mother. Or at least a very great deal of it on the part of the mother. You look long enough into pictures, with no willingness to let your own conventional opinions blind you, and you do enough background reading to back it up, you learn to spot a hurt kid. And I don't just mean by the cameras. One buttflip, one (even when he was a 10-year-old apprentice bratling) ducked head to a camera, would have taken care of that.

I'm talking Momma.

She looked nasty enough to not care what she was doing to a child as long as she could maintain her public image and get away with it. And what was William going to say? He'd learned the value of keeping his damn mouth shut. (Thanks, Mom.) The kid was in a no-win position. I'm betting either Granny noticed or he was stuck.

Bitch could have gotten away with anything.

Get over it.

One more time.

Bitch could have gotten away with anything.

Because the Diana mystique was more important.

Either vote that boy tax-free status for life on the basis of that one ceremonial walk or I will lose all faith in the British government and people.

Get over it.

She hurt the kid.

She really did.

And if you can't see it, you're lying to yourself at a level so deep I refuse to contemplate it any longer.

Oh, this is a good day. I'm finally having the nerve to say it.

Kid may actually have a chance to breathe now that Mommy's got her own little moat and virtual castle and everything up north way. Go kid!

I just remember that walk....we all owe that child something.

Wonder he didn't flat kick the coffin into the gutter, and I'd've been there screaming if he had.

Go kid!

And no, I am not so screwed up that I am projecting my own poor, unresolved emotions into this situation. I would not do that to a public figure. Kid's been abused enough already. You would have heard it by now months ago on this site.

I have more caring than that. And more insight.

Fuck off.....take that as your last warning....just fuck off.

Sometimes kids get hurt. And sometimes it is the responsibility of the adults to say something.

Unless they're too absorbed in the tabloids.

What else can I say?

Anyhow. Welcome to the real world of kids. No, it's not all wonderful sitcoms. There is a real life out there, and for most of these kids, it's worse than we want to admit.

That is a bold statement. I'm getting good at them.

Go listen to the kids.

I will do my best to maintain some links to some of the best teen pages.

Who have to say it to each other because the adults will never understand.

I don't have a hell of a lot of hope for the vast majority of you, but some of you may at least get the point.

Here they are.

(I of course plan to add more. I of course plan to do a hell of a lot more to a lot of areas on this site. Meow.)

Sapphiric Acid
the gray eyed girl
....But For Seven Years, also a Kacie site. She seems to like polymorphousness to the point, dare we say, of seeming sometimes perversity? (Now if that wasn't a Kacie line, I don't know what is....)

Just go read them. Read somebody besides me. I'm not the only one doing this....don't you realize that?