The Benzobuddies Chronicles

For three and a half years, I wrote updates on my recovery and posted them on the website Benzobuddies.org, mostly in the “Birthdays and Celebrations” sub-forum, but a few times in the “Exercise Support Group”. I was out of my mind a great deal of the time, but there was some beautiful writing that came out of it. It’s reproduced here, lightly edited.

First Post

October 22, 2014

Hello. 

Been reading this forum since I stared tapering off 4mg Klonopin (since 2003/2004, I think) a day in March/April of 2014. Last 1/4th of a 5mg of Diazepam was July 2nd and have been in Withdrawal Syndrome since then. I guess it’s been a almost four months and three weeks now. Over the time, everyone here has given me a great deal of strength and helpful information, so thank you all for that.

Most of the I’m Losing My Marbles Help Me feeling is down to a somewhat manageable level, so I hope I won’t be a huge burden. I suppose I want to help, if I can. I guess I’m one of the types of people who are strongest for themselves when I feel I’m helping someone else.

Thank you for your time.


A Short Story

October 22, 2014

So, I wrote a little bit today a bit of a Halloween story I wanted to write because I thought of how scary what I’ve been though (and still am going through) is and I thought I’d share with my Buddies. Like every good Halloween story it’s a little bit scary and a little bit funny. Hopefully just scary enough to give one goosebumps. Hopefully the funny parts are actually funny. Anyhow, not finished. Also, super first-drafty. While the spelling is as impeccable as modern computer technology can assure, please forgive the errors both in syntax and in judgment.

“A Mouse In The House”

A mouse ran into my apartment, twice.

Early evening, August, dank and rainy. One of those nights that makes people disbelieve global climate change. It should just be miserable. Instead, it’s miserable and wet and cold. 

This gives me the perfect opportunity to splay myself in the beanbag. To read. Perhaps have an apple later. The Honeycrisps are on sale and I have a fridge full of them. Four of them, but they’re very large. And sweet. So sweet. Each bite is a melted liquor mouthful of cotton candy; the kind that comes in the paper foil bag, always slightly stale and firm but almost painfully sugary.

On the radio — except it’s not a radio, it’s digital, delivered over the internet instead of the airwaves, though in one of those ironic twists that spice up daily life, the internet is delivered through radio waves now — through the speakers of my ancient, analog stereo system that once complained of being overdriven to distortion in the neighbor-disturbing amplification of Paradise Theatre or possibly The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars painstakingly distorted clicks and bleeps tumble out into the room, clip about like ponies in a clover field, then reassemble about the beanbag with smirks on their faces to assure me they mean business and what would I think if they clawed about the labyrinth for a while and upset some grocery carts and possibly put the compost in with the recycling. How would I feel about that?

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The Politics of Tom Clancy’s: The Division 2

The author as a rough man; sleep well, sweet dreams. White House for scale.

© 2019 Jonnie Wilder

“People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf” — Richard Grenier paraphrasing George Orwell

In the fictional near-future, I’m standing overwatch on the wall of the Haunted House Control Point near the present-day Octagon Museum, about two blocks from the White House, watching a group of men burn to death in a fire I set with a portable flame-thrower turret. It’s a beautiful sight. 

Some of them drop their weapons and I walk in to take them for myself as the fire dies out, then I roll behind a jersey barrier and fire off a few rounds of suppressive fire toward a heavily-armored man weilding a chainsaw. He’s barely phased by the bullets that pancake on his ballistic armor and he revs the chainsaw menacingly as he runs at me.

I’m rebuilding society in the shadow of a biological terror attack, making America great again. I’m playing Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, a video game about killing people who kill people and take their stuff, and then taking their stuff so you can kill even more-well-armed people and take their stuff too. I kill people to show that killing people is wrong.

Much has been written about the ham-handed politics of violent video games and simultaneously, the timidity of game publishers to take what might be seen as political stances in their video games

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Farewell, Worthy Adversary

© 2019 Jonnie Wilder

Seattle Weekly’s last print issue hits the streets today. It’s another exclamation point at the end of a string of exclamation points that signal the exasperation of excitable writers witnessing the end of an era that began in the mid 1970s with the rise of alternative weekly newspapers.

Alt Weeklies, as they were called, were the counterculture’s attempt to take back the media narratives that were at one time controlled by daily newspapers. Dailies were the CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC of their day, respected and read by everyone who wanted to know what opinions they’d have at the clubhouse after a round of golf.

The alternative was newspapers like the Chicago Reader, Village Voice, and the L.A. Weekly who reported weekly on the culture beneath the dominant culture with a loud and proud voice that told it like it was. The mid-to-late seventies were a time of cultural upheaval, and the rebels wanted their own balladeers to properly sing their praises. The upstart young poets would weave epic tales worth rhyming, and the hearts of the broken-down cities of the ‘70s were bleeding to the beat of a different drummer.

The birthplace of great writers such as Susan Orlean, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Matt Groening — where television personalities Chris Hayes and Jake Tapper got their journalistic start — alt weeklies were the WNBA of the literary sport: the place you’d go to see the game the way it was meant to be played, without the oversized egos and the steep ticket prices.

After Woodward and Bernstein’s investigative journalism had just brought down a President, what else was it capable of doing for the public good? This was the ‘70s on a stage set in the aftermath of the assassination of Dr. King, the riots at the Stonewall Inn, and the fight for an Equal Rights Amendment. Great social change was ongoing, and it was in this chapter of Journalism’s greatest story ever told, the Seattle Weekly proudly proclaimed themselves the alternative to the alternative weekly.

What the hell, Seattle Weekly?

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