Bearing Accurate Witness
The Imperfect Drama of an Atypical Character
Jive Talking and All That Jazz

Tyrannosari and Barsoom Tork


I am atypical. Sui generis. I have Atypical Syndrome (AS).

There probably are others like me, but we're pretty few and far between. At least for much of the time, we are typically alone, in a class by ourselves — segregated, marginalized, excluded, alienated. Every now and then, one of us tries to re-enter the social milieu of the more typical population. It rarely lasts for long. That's the recurring story of my life as an AS in an otherwise typical world.

This time it was a new record. Mebbe only a coupla weeks, this time. It's hard to figure these things out, because I have a tendency to lose track of the story. Episodic Memory is not my best subject. I have trouble remembering anecdotes, and I have trouble giving a coherent account of biographical episodes where emotions run high.

That's why I like encounters in online forums. There, the forum software solves the problem of maintaining an accurate account of what really happened in the sequence of events, so that it becomes possible to go back, reread, and figure out what went wrong in these dreadful recurring dramas of systemic dysfunction, unjust treatment, breakdown of due process, and all that jazz.

But there is a problem. Sometimes the forum manager summarily erases the traffic, thereby throwing me back into the problem of not having the affordance of an accurate record of the sequence of exchanges. Actually, that happens a lot. You would think that, by now, I'd learn to save copies of everything in my own computer, as a defense against losing the record. Alas, I seem to be a slow learner in that regard.

But this time I did manage to save at least the most critical traffic, just before the final breakdown and ejection. And boy was it critical. My primary critic was a person whom I shall call Tyrannosari here (not her real name). She was quite the critic. Like to freak me out, she did. But I stood my ground and defended myself from her predations and affronts. That only seemed to egg her on. But the more she attacked, and the better I defended, the more she attacked. It was like a pathological feedback loop. I'm guessing (long after the fact) that the pathology was swirling around Fear of Imperfection. One of the most haunting lyrics in my favorite song ("Swimming to the Other Side" by Pat Humphries) is "Imperfection it be my crime." There was no shortage of imperfection here. It was nonstop nitpicking all the way home. Whew.

And therein lies the drama, entitled Jive Talking and All That Jazz.

So, without further ado, here is what I was able to save and salvage from this latest episode of the Imperfect Drama of Atypical Syndrome...


This is from the DESERT board on Delphi...

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From:         BarsoomTork          Jan-17 10:08 pm 
To:         1dads3 unread          (10 of 14) 
         15340.10 in reply to 15340.1 

> However, I am wondering what others think about the idea that
autistic children will learn if they can be taught to play and copy. Are
these just "monkey tricks" that don't generalize into deeper
understanding? Does learning these skills provide lifelong benefit that
expands real understanding? <

Most people (notably including NTs) learn through Mimesis, which is just a
fancy word for learning by imitating others (copycatting).

If your AS child had trouble learning by Mimesis, count your blessings.

Your kid may end up saving the world.

The reason is because Mimesis causes a lot of erroneous beliefs and
contra-indicated practices to be propagated, generation after generation,
without anyone noticing for a long time that it's a mistake.

In the worst case, the deleterious effects grow slowly over the ages,
until things get really bad. Mimesis is great if there are no bugs in the
system. But it Xeroxes the bugs as well as the good stuff.

And there are some pretty toxic bugs in the system. As it happens, these
bugs are also the stressors that cause all that hand-flapping and
head-banging and nail-biting, too. The reason the AS kids are so stressed
out is because they are neither copying the bugs via Mimesis nor coming up
with a fix for them. They are stuck. They are frustrated and perplexed.
Nor (in most cases) can they articulate the problem in any kind of English
that most NTs can understand.

After 60 years, I've stumbled onto a few of these system bugs. And lemme
tellya, they are doozies. They do have solutions. But no one knows how to
introduce the bug fixes, because the Mimetic Xerox Machine is reproducing
new copies of the bug faster than a few AS debuggers can do anything about
it.

So the toxic effects will just accumulate.

The best we can do for the AS kids is to let them know they are not crazy,
even though the bugs in the system are driving them crazy.
 
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From:       Tyrannosari          Jan-17 10:24 pm 
To:         BarsoomTork          (11 of 14) 
         15340.11 in reply to 15340.10 

> And there are some pretty toxic bugs in the system. As it happens,
these bugs are also the stressors that cause all that hand-flapping and
head-banging and nail-biting, too. The reason the AS kids are so stressed
out is because they are neither copying the bugs via Mimesis nor coming up
with a fix for them. They are stuck. They are frustrated and perplexed.
Nor (in most cases) can they articulate the problem in any kind of English
that most NTs can understand. <

Barsoom,

I am trying really hard to ignore your posts, even though much of what
they contain is not supported by actual research done by experts in the
field of autism and it's related disorders. Children with AS and with ASDs
*may* (note the emphasis; may means sometimes, not all or even most of the
time) engage in self-stimulatory behaviors in response to social issues
(what you term "bugs in the system"). More commonly they may stim in
response to non-human environmental factors like the changes in air
pressure which accompany storm fronts, sensory overload, and internal
factors (waking up in a foul mood or with non-specific anxiety). They may
also stim simply because they *like* stimming; it feels good.

I had a brother who was a champion head-banger from the time he could sit
up. He still has a callous on his forehead thirty-some years later. A
friend's son has given himself concussions when headbanging and also
self-injures. He may have headaches or migraines; his behavior worsens
during allergy season (nature's toxicity, not man's). Many people on the
spectrum have food allergies, poor digestion, and idiosyncratic reactions
to certain sensations. My daughter experiences light touch as pain; my son
could not tolerate certain odors, colors, or sounds. While it is
convenient to blame society for their issues, the data do not support your
theory.

Sorry.

Tyrannosari
 
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From:         BarsoomTork          Jan-17 10:47 pm 
To:         Tyrannosari          (12 of 14) 
         15340.12 in reply to 15340.11 

Tyrannosari, I am really trying hard not to bang my head, grind my teeth, or go
into cardiac arrest every time I read one of your attacks on my thesis.

I would be grateful if you would do me the kindness of ignoring my posts
if you cannot discipline yourself from leveling personal attacks, as I
have not yet discovered a solution to the problem you present me.
 
---------------------------------------------------------------

From:       Tyrannosari          Jan-17 11:18 pm 
To:         BarsoomTork          (13 of 14) 
         15340.13 in reply to 15340.12 

Your thesis is incorrect. Do more research and you'll see that.
 
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From:         BarsoomTork          Jan-17 11:47 pm 
To:         Tyrannosari unread          (14 of 14) 
         15340.14 in reply to 15340.13 

Tyrannosari, you either misapprehend my thesis, or you are intentionally engaging
in a manipulative practice. I hope it's the former.

But if it's the latter, then your practice confirms my thesis, namely that
erroneous beliefs and contra-indicated practices are learned through
mimesis.

You may recall that previously I took exception to your practice of
presenting distorted and erroneous models of my fears, issues, and needs,
for the express purpose of discrediting me. That's a manipulative practice,
Tyrannosari, which I admit you are very good at. Whoever you learned it
from must have been very good at it too. And I would be willing to bet you
learned it by mimetic imitation.

But my thesis is that mimetic imitation passes down through the culture
both accurate and inaccurate beliefs and both functional and unwise
practices, without distinction. My thesis is that inaccurate beliefs and
unwise practices (such as manipulation) constitute bugs in the system, and
that these bugs vex and perplex people like me, who gnash their teeth and
bang their heads in vain trying to discover a way to attenuate, arrest,
and eradicate such bugs from the system.
 
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From:         BarsoomTork          1:10 am 
To:         Tyrannosari          (18 of 19) 
         15340.18 in reply to 15340.11 

> While it is convenient to blame society for their issues, the data do
not support your theory. <

It is neither convenient nor my intention to place blame. I am a scientist
who searches for cause and effect relationships. The concept of blame is
Hammurabic. I disbelieve in that concept and practice.

However, I think I understand your objection.

It appears you believe I am attributing all instances of self-stim
behavior to bugs in the system. I am not. I am attributing some responses
to bugs in the system which have persisted and propagated by way of
mimesis.

Can we agree that some responses are caused by the presence of erroneous
beliefs and contra-indicated practices, and some are caused by other
factors?

And can we agree that erroneous beliefs and contra-indicated practices
are, at least in some cases propagated by mimetic imitation?

------------------------------------------------------------------------         

From:       Tyrannosari          1:10 am 
To:         BarsoomTork          (19 of 20) 
         15340.19 in reply to 15340.14 

Barsoom,

Let me be very clear. When you say that something is always caused by
something else and the data do not support your contention, you are wrong.
That is not manipulation. It is disagreement. Period.

All individuals make mistakes. That would include you. I would hate to see
new parents access this board and then base decisions for their children
on erroneous information. Show us data to support your contention, data by
reputable experts on autism spectrum disorders.

You can't, which makes what you said opinion and nothing more.

Tyrannosari
 
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From:         BarsoomTork          1:42 am 
To:         Tyrannosari unread          (20 of 20) 
         15340.20 in reply to 15340.19 

> When you say that something is always caused by something else and
the data do not support your contention, you are wrong. <

Aha! You did interpret my thesis as if I had claimed that 100% of the
instances were caused by a particular factor. I regret that you did
misapprehend my thesis, as I had hoped was the case. But that is not my
claim. It would be silly to claim that 100% of the cases were caused any
particular factor.

> That is not manipulation. It is disagreement. Period. <

Well, we do disagree on what the words meant, that's clear.

I wish you had asked me to clarify if I meant 100% of the instances, if
you thought that's what I was claiming. That would have saved us a lot of
tsuris.

> All individuals make mistakes. That would include you. <

What's your point?

> I would hate to see new parents access this board and then base
decisions for their children on erroneous information. <

We agree on that. 100%

> Show us data to support your contention, data by reputable experts on
autism spectrum disorders. <

If you are a reputable expert on autism spectrum disorders, then you just
gave me the very data you seek. Did I not report to you my own emotional
reaction to your propagation of an erroneous belief?

> You can't, which makes what you said opinion and nothing more. <

Huh? But I just did. I just pointed to the data you gave me.

I don't understand what's wrong with that data. Is it not authoritative?
It came from you.

Are you saying that the evidence you just gave me is opinion and nothing
more?

Now I'm really confused.

But I still make the same claim. The responses I manifest are, at least in
some demonstrated cases, caused by the propagation of erroneous beliefs
and associated contra-indicated practices.

QED.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Revision to the above post...

         
From:         BarsoomTork          1:42 am 
To:         Tyrannosari unread          (20 of 20) 
         15340.20 in reply to 15340.19 

> When you say that something is always caused by something else and
the data do not support your contention, you are wrong. <

Aha! You did interpret my thesis as if I had claimed that 100% of the
instances were caused by a particular factor. I regret that you did
misapprehend my thesis, as I had hoped was the case. But that is not my
claim. It would be silly to claim that 100% of the cases were caused any
particular factor.

> That is not manipulation. It is disagreement. Period. <

Well, we do disagree on what the words meant, that's clear.

I least I hope we can agree on that. Semicolon.

I wish you had asked me to clarify if I meant 100% of the instances, if
you thought that's what I was claiming. That would have saved us a lot of
tsuris.

> All individuals make mistakes. That would include you. <

What's your point? Are you agreeing or disagreeing with my point that
mistaken beliefs cause distress?

> I would hate to see new parents access this board and then base
decisions for their children on erroneous information. <

We agree on that. 100%

> Show us data to support your contention, data by reputable experts on
autism spectrum disorders. <

If you are a reputable expert on autism spectrum disorders, then you just
gave me the very data you seek. Did I not report to you my own emotional
reaction to your propagation of an erroneous belief?

> You can't, which makes what you said opinion and nothing more. <

Huh? But I just did. I just pointed to the data you gave me.

I don't understand what's wrong with that data. Is it not authoritative?
It came from you.

Are you saying that the evidence you just gave me is opinion and nothing
more?

Now I'm really confused.

What is a new scientific thesis, after all, but an informed opinion in the
process of being demonstrated or disproved?

Obviously any thesis or theory I put forth is my opinion and belief.

If it pleases you to believe or disbelieve a particular theory, or to
reserve judgment pending more evidence, who am I to deny you your right to
construct whatever belief system brings you emotional comfort?

But I still make the same claim. The emotional and behavioral responses I
manifest are, at least in some demonstrated cases, caused by the propagation
of erroneous beliefs and associated contra-indicated practices.

QED.

Finally, as an AS adult, I may be atypical, but let it not be said that I am
atopical. Has the play which Tyrannosari and I just completed here successfully
demonstrated the topic thesis that we can indeed learn from play?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

From:         Tyrannosari          10:17 am 
To:         BarsoomTork          (23 of 28) 
         15340.23 in reply to 15340.20 

You said:

> And there are some pretty toxic bugs in the system. As it
happens, these bugs are also the stressors that cause all that
hand-flapping and head-banging and nail-biting, too. <

The word *all* in your sentence says, unless English has changed a lot
overnight, that 100% of these behaviors are caused by (from earlier in
your post) toxic societal practices. You have clearly done no research on
autism, on the sensory integration issues which accompany autism, or on
the myriad intervention techniques available at this time. We know that
you've done no research because you do not cite any of the experts in the
field (or even those who write about autism and are not recognized
experts). Instead you are trying to squash a neurological disorder into
your idiosyncratic societal paradigm.

It is not my job to do anything more than steer you in the direction of
the experts. It is your job, should you desire the knowledge, to do the
research yourself. The list was posted and you seem to have ignored it.
Barabas' website also contains a comprehensive list of literature in the
field.

Be well,

Tyrannosari
 
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From:         Lwaney          10:24 am 
To:         Tyrannosari          (24 of 28) 
         15340.24 in reply to 15340.23 

I believe "all that" in this connection is more of a phrase, as in "all
that stuff my wife buys is not needed" or "all we ever want..."
 
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From:         Tyrannosari          10:29 am 
To:         Lwaney          (25 of 28) 
         15340.25 in reply to 15340.24 

I wish you were right, but that would be inconsistent with the rest of the
post and with previous posts. The scientific method dictates that when one
has an hypothesis, one must adjust the hypothesis to fit the data, not the
other way around.

Tyrannosari

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From:         BarsoomTork          10:52 am 
To:         Tyrannosari          (26 of 28) 
         15340.26 in reply to 15340.23 

>> The word *all* in your sentence says, unless English has changed a
lot overnight, that 100% of these behaviors are caused by (from earlier in
your post) toxic societal practices. <<

English hasn't changed much at all. Consider this English proverb:

All that glitters is not gold.

Does it mean that 100% of glittery objects are non-gold?

By such a literal interpretation of the idiom 'all that', one would indeed
misapprehend the obvious meaning of the common English idiom 'all that'.

But everybody knows that the idiom 'all that' doesn't mean 100% of
instances.

But wait... Does everybody know that 'everybody knows' is also an
idiomatic expression, too?

When Leonard Cohen sings his famous song "Everybody Knows" does everybody
know he is diagnosing the social ills that almost nobody ever wants to
openly admit or talk about?

> You have clearly done no research on autism, on the sensory
integration issues which accompany autism, or on the myriad intervention
techniques available at this time. <

:glowers at Tyrannosari for asserting personal opinions of a negative nature,
evidently intended as personal attacks and character assassination.

> We know that you've done no research because you do not cite any of
the experts in the field (or even those who write about autism and are not
recognized experts). <

:rolls his eyes at Tyrannosari for inappropriately asserting knowledge on behalf
of others for whom she is not the authorized spokesperson.

> Instead you are trying to squash a neurological disorder into your
idiosyncratic societal paradigm. <

:gives Tyrannosari the hairy eyeball for presenting an unfair, distorted, and
unflattering characterization of another person's goals.

> It is not my job to do anything more than steer you in the direction
of the experts. <

I would be grateful if you would take your hands off my steering wheel, as
I do not trust your intentions regarding the ultimate destination of my
vehicle.

> It is your job, should you desire the knowledge, to do the research
yourself. <

You may be delighted to learn, then, that I have been doing the research
almost entirely on my own.

> The list was posted and you seem to have ignored it. <

:clenches his teeth and glares at Tyrannosari for reprising the unhelpful practice
of leveling negative evaluations.

> Be well <

:disbelieves the sincerity of Tyrannosari's expressed desire for his genuine
well-being.

:would feel better if he were not so unpeaced by the need to respond to so
many of these tiresome, unwanted, unhelpful, disingenuous, distracting,
and disruptive stimuli.

Edited 1/18/2005 10:58 am ET by BarsoomTork
 
-----------------------------------------------------------------
 
From:         BarsoomTork          10:53 am 
To:         Lwaney unread          (27 of 28) 
         15340.27 in reply to 15340.24 

> I believe "all that" in this connection is more of a phrase, as in
"all that stuff my wife buys is not needed" or "all we ever want..." <

Your belief is an accurate theory and a correct interpretation of my use
of idiomatic English.
 
-----------------------------------------------------------------
         
From:         BarsoomTork          10:54 am 
To:         Tyrannosari          (28 of 28) 
         15340.28 in reply to 15340.25 

> I wish you were right ... <

Your wish has been granted.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

From:         Tyrannosari          11:32 am 
To:         BarsoomTork          (31 of 32) 
         15340.31 in reply to 15340.26 

Let's try this again, Barsoom. You write as one would in a dissertation.
Would your assertion hold up when scrutinized by a dissertation board? If
the discussion is data based, then the answer would be "no".

Try sticking to the facts.

Tyrannosari

--------------------------------------------------------------

From:         BarsoomTork          12:09 pm 
To:         Tyrannosari unread          (32 of 32) 
         15340.32 in reply to 15340.31 

I write in many styles and voices, including technical prose, journalistic
essays, opinion pieces, flights of fancy, allegories, dialogues, and idle
chit-chat.

Were I writing for a dissertation board (which this board is not), I would
use a lot more mathematical modeling and a lot more editing to convert
conversational English into technical prose.

The one time I did write a short post here, using highly technical
analytical terminology, the person I wrote it for indicated she couldn't
decode it ("Say what?"), another person laughed and took a crack at
translating it back to conversational English, and Barabas either erased it
or moved it somewhere else, because it's now gone from the thread.

> Try sticking to the facts. <

I wish you'd make up your mind. First you exhort me on how to write
opinions, then you switch to advice on dissertation writing, now you
direct me to limit myself to facts.

The fact is, I am irritated by your jejune manipulative practices, and
annoyed by the fact that you haven't yet apprehended my fervent desire
that you model your own peripatetic advice.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

From:         Tyrannosari          12:34 pm 
To:         BarsoomTork          (33 of 34) 
         15340.33 in reply to 15340.32 

Barsoom,

Ditch the thesaurus and speak in common, everyday English. Stick with
common meanings and avoid the obscure. And don't hide behind idiomatic
usage when you were clearly not using an idiom. You posited no additional
resons for stimming but toxic society. The "all" stands.

Tyrannosari
 
---------------------------------------------------------------
         
From:         BarsoomTork          12:51 pm 
To:         Tyrannosari unread          (34 of 34) 
         15340.34 in reply to 15340.33 

Good grief, Tyrannosari. Don't you ever give up?

Do this. Don't do that. Do something else. Try this instead. Stand over
here. Stand over there. Stand somewhere else. Sit down. Shut up. Use this
word instead of that word. Write this way. Write that way.

Tyrannosari, I hate to be the one to break the news to you, but I am not your
obedient servant.

So get over it already. I do not consider you to be a reliable or
trustworthy source of beneficial guidance.
 
------------------------------------------------------------------

Last posting to Tyrannosari, sent only via E-Mail, as my access on the 
Delphi DESERT Forum was blocked at this point (without notice,
without due process, and without appeal)...

------------------------------------------------------------------

> I should clarify. <

Definitely.  Because I become progressively more confused, trying to
construct a coherent model of your issues.

> non-data based advice <

Specifically, I am grounding my analysis in models.  I am using
model-based reasoning.  The models were extracted from observations and by
knitting together sub-models from multiple sources.

> lambasted  <

Aha.  The Basted Lamb.  Now we are getting somewhere.  This brings us to
the Scapegoat Model, which hadn't yet made an appearance in this Passion
Play.

Well, you're off the hook (or off the cross), Tyrannosari, because I also
disbelieve in the Scapegoating Mechanism, and the corresponding Scapegoat
Script that goes with it.  So if you are feeling strung up, stigmatized,
hung out to dry, twisting slowly slowly in the wind, let me be the first
to assure you that we are now beyond that silly model, that quaint
practice, that bizarre script.  It's ancient history.

I reject, eschew, and discard it as a dysfunctional process.

> Barsoom made a value judgement that was flat wrong and criticized a
parent for pursuing a course of course of action that clearly benefited
her child. <

Baloney.  I said that if it were up to me, I would refuse to take him to
that museum.  

I, inhabiting my body (not yours), would decline to take any child to such
a museum, period.  

What you do with your child is your business.  I told you what I would do
if a child (any child) asked me to take him to a museum celebrating
military hardware.

My value judgment about what I would do is not 'flat wrong'.  It's my
personal value, which governs what I elect, of my own free will, to do
with my body.  Period.

What you elect to do, with your body, is your business.

Personal values are not right or wrong.  They are personal values,
personal choices, and they define my character.

My character is different from your character, because my values -- my
preferences, my desires and dreads, my valued-driven practices -- are mine
to construct, of my own free will.  I have a God-given right to construct
and enflesh my own personal system of values.

And so do you.

> Anyway, it would be nice if we could stick to the topic at hand and
offer practical advice that will benefit the individual. <

My practical advice, grounded in model-based reasoning, is to use your
brain to run your body, let me use my brain to run my body, and similarly
to let each person use his or her own brain to run his or her own body.

Do you have a problem with that?

----------------------------------------------------------------------

So, there you have it, folks. Bearing accurate witness, as best I can, to the recurring saga. The life and times of a schmeggegy character muddling his way through life with Atypical Syndrome.

The DESERT board has as its express charter to help solve the problems faced by people on the spectrum. It's there to solve the kind of problem created by the Tyrannosaris of the world.

And on that board, Tyrannosari's dreadful practices are iatrogenic -- they cause the very problems they are supposed to cure. She is a Traitor to the Cause on that board, because the Cause is to help people on the AS Spectrum, not harm them. But Tyrannosari's dreadful practices clearly cause the very unwanted traits that people (like myself) on the AS spectrum manifest. That's what makes her presence so toxic and iatrogenic. She is literally a Traitor to the Cause -- her dreadful practices Cause the unwanted Traits.

And that was my thesis. It was my thesis then, and it's my thesis now. The very episode demonstrates the dramatic (and traumatic) portrayal of my thesis.

QED.

Postscript: The day this happened, I came down with a splitting migraine headache that lasted two days. I haven't had migraine headaches like that in ages. I also heaved buckets of stomach acid six times. Every once in a while I do get GERD, but this was an all-time record. The sixth time I didn't make it to the commode in time and hurled all over the walls and floor. I can't remember the last time I hurled and heaved so frequently, so urgently, and so violently. Another odd symptom was that I lost my appetite. I almost never lose my appetite. But I did yesterday. And of course I was also clenching my teeth, which is normal for me. And there was a painful tightness in the muscles around the back of my neck, far worse than anything I was used to experiencing. And to top it all off, yesterday was my 60th birthday.

The good news is that my best friends in town invited me over to celebrate, with leg of lamb and mint jelly -- one of my all time favorite dishes. Alas, I had no appetite, and barely touched my food. But they were kind enough to go over this document with me and help me do a post-mortem analysis of it. And for that I am grateful beyond words.



          Up Against the RockWall | Salt Peanut Envy
          ----------------------- = ----------------

             Hempathy Dempathy Sat on a Rock

                Hempathy Dempathy Sucked on a Sock

             Hempathy Dempathy Ate a Salt Peanut

                Hempathy Dempathy Jazzed Up Again


Jive Talking and All That Jazz CopyLeft 2005, Tyrannosari and Barsoom Tork Dissociates, in dysfunction with Zazen-Migraine Enterprises, all wrongs reversed.