Hello, New Year

Hi, 2021.

I have little faith in you. 2020 was promised to be a fantastic year, and look how that turned out! I know that it is unfair to blame a man-constructed unit of time for all the failings that we experienced, but 2020 was kind of amazing. To do a rundown of all the not-goodness would take way too long, so I will just leave the note as “last year sucked” and move on from there.

Really, what we saw was mankind falling suddenly and harshly. Minus the earth quakes, everything can be easily traced back to something we did as a species. Even if it wasn’t species related directly, we saw large portions of our population for who they really are. It turns out that a large portion of us are racist, and even more are blind of fascism and hate.

There were some amazing things that came from the year, and they are easy to forget. We saw unprecedented speeds in developing a vaccine for the worst pandemic that we have seen since the Spanish Flu, though I am not saying their impact was one-for-one. We have done some amazing research into the things in our immediate biom, and continue to make massive leaps in space travel.

We have lost some amazing talent in the acting sphere. Some due to pandemic-related stuff, some not. We have seen a host of ironic deaths where the people were convinced (publicly, anyway) that they were invulnerable to the plague, then succumbed to its apathetic hands.

It is hard to do a retrospective on the year without spending a majority of time on COVID: it truly had defined the year. If it was a person, it would be very proud with the impact that it has garnered. It ALMOST over shadows the immensely important and (unfortunately, still) necessary message of black lives matter (BLM) that shook society to its core this year. We (whites) didn’t know that it needed to happen, but a large majority of us are so happy that it. brought so much to the forefront.

So, what should we expect from 2021? Are we going to be barraged by the same stuff, or will the next year actually be better?

I am taking a lesson from this year: next year will just be another in a long line of years. Do I think society will collapse, that we will finally see racial and sexual freedom on a grand scale, or environmental reform? I wish I could say we will. I do think some things will get better. I think we will start to see the impacts of the change that needed to happen. I think that the arts are fucked for the next few years, and I think the environment has passed the point-of-no-return.

Overall, I feel pretty uneasy. I would love to be proven wrong.

Please, let me be wrong.

2020 in review

I am writing this restraining myself from just writing “HAHAHA YOU ARE ALMOST DONE” and leaving it at that.

In fact, I would argue that this year is one of the most important years in my life.

Yes, it was brought on by pain, but the BLM movement coupled with the worst pandemic in a very long time showed us the human strength. We saw an attempt of the rise of fascism* thwarted. We found a vaccine for the aforementioned pandemic developed in record times, though the long-term effects are still to be discovered.
*THIS IS MY OPINION

The main places that are going to be effected are the arts. There have been mass permanent closures of music venues, theaters are closing doors, and museums are vanishing (kind of). It is almost like an artistic reset. Some would argue that it was needed: the reset will force a change in industries that have dominated and destroyed avenues, resulting in a stifling of change. Most would agree that we will not see the change take hold until the future.

As of the time of writing this (December 17th), schools have been allowed to reopen in Ontario. I will not voice opinions on the matter: you can ask me directly on my FaceBook page if you are curious. Ontario has seen a spike in cases not seen since the first cases were identified on Western borders. Again, I will keep speculation out of this.

CyberPunk finally got released! I, personally, am not upset in regards to its performance on previous gen consoles, nor am I offended that we are still seeing issues almost a decade after its first announcement. The game is massive, complicated, and ground-breaking: issues should not be a surprise, and I have faith that CD Projekt Red will fix it eventually. Call me “the eternal optimist”, but fixing something as broken as it’s been reported would look amazing on them. Especially if they can do so without putting their employees through the dreaded “crunch” to complete it.

I did not explore many new releases this year, so I am not even going to pretend to do a rundown on new music that came out this year. I don’t even have a worthy opinion on new shows that came out, though I will probably release some sort of opinion regarding the new Archer season in the coming weeks.

Anyway, I will close with a “FUCK YOU, 2020!” because, even though I consider it a very important year, it still sucked. Here’s to the hope that 2021 is less abusive.

Politics and Why I am So Sorry

I recently posted the most egregious thing on FaceBook with no explanation. I simply set my status to “I give up” and turned off notifications from my phone.

I am sorry. That statement was less of a depressed admittance, and more of an angry and exhaustive representation of me throwing my keyboard to the ground in a moment of grief.

I know that I have kept my blog out of politics pretty well, with a couple of notable exceptions. This is because I know my own ineptitude, and I try not to share around opinions for fear of corrupting possible movements (as if I have enough clout to wield any power great enough to hamper a movement). I will, however, use this platform to point out my least favourite “argument” that seems to plague the current world of discourse.

A “Whataboutism” is more of a derailment method as opposed to an argument. It is used in place of a proper rebuttal to distract from the point being made in favour of outrage at an opposing (yet, strangely similar) point. The example that I was faced with was when I posted THIS article with little context, and the only reply I received in response was “Yeah, but Trudeau supported the Chinese regime.”. I was completely floored. Their comment had no additional context or room for debate, they completely undermined my attempt to raise a point in the overarching debate that is my feed currently, and now anyone who has anything to say on what I posted is divided between talking about the first article or the second point.

Let me be clear: I was not supporting what Trudeau said about China. It was not even really on the table. My point, and ONLY point, was the article discussing T*mp in North Korea a year ago. My reason for highlighting it was to illustrate some comparison between his tactics and his public statements. I was not saying that it was fair, I was just looking for some opinion. That is when someone derailed everything I was trying to set up and pushed my argument down to the bowels of argument Hell where it was to be ignored for fear of stirring up clearly unimportant points.

My official response to what Trudeau said in regards to China: that is definitely something we should keep in memory IF it ever comes into question. How that relates to what my point was? It doesn’t. T*mp is treating his presidency in one of the most questionable ways in recent decades, and the purpose of me sharing that article was to raise questions if he might be using tactics to gain an upper hand.

Yes. I am Canadian. No. American politics should not cause me to rubberneck like someone passing a horrible car accident. I would argue, however, that this is not only Canada’s neighbour, but also one of the biggest and most powerful countries in the world. So, yes, any argument from a Canadian is valid. In this case, any argument is valid regardless of what country you are from.

If you would like a more thorough explanation of improper arguments, I recommend this old video from Idea Channel on YouTube. I use that video to discuss improper arguments in general, but “Whataboutisnm” was defined beautifully by a video from Last Week Tonight.

Oh: you may have noticed me using an asterisk whenever I spell the standing President’s name. That is so, when you do a search on a search engine, this article doesn’t come up. This is so less hits can be made when searching his name.

ONTO WHY I AM SORRY.

My statement was not well divulged as to what I was giving up on. I was disheartened by the constant barrage of political statements (from all sides) not being well thought out then fought over with assumed authority. I cannot promise that this will be my last wade into the waters of political discourse, but I do promise to consider every side with equal weight, even if I vehemently disagree with you. We are all capable of respect.

Your Caring is Showing

I have been keeping quiet with all of the political turmoil going on. Not because I disagree with it, or am worried that someone will not like my point of view, but because I am woefully uninformed and do not wish to spread false information. Some of my friend would say that saying nothing is as bad as being on the wrong side, but I disagree.

To spread propaganda or hate based on ignorance is unacceptable. I have been making efforts to learn as much as I can over the last few weeks simply so I don’t spread false claims and sweeping allegations. Unfortunately, there have been so many reports of events as of late, the knowledge I gain is outdated before I finish learning it.

It got me thinking about sympathy v. empathy. Sympathy is feeling a way about someones situation. Emphathy is more understanding the feelings. So, in the case of the #blacklivesmatter movement, I sympathise greatly. As a disabled adult, I kind of empathise, but I will not pretend that is entirely true. To truly empathise, I would need to go through all the things that are being protested about for a similar, if not the same, length of time.

I have not been able to make it to a rally, though I would love to. I hate that I have seen this bubbling for the last two decades, but the police (especially in some cities in America) have clearly been over-funded. That is a selfish Canadian boy looking through his computer screen making that observation. We are talking about a country that monetized and glorified it’s police tactics by making a reality TV show based on exploits taken.

Personal confounded moment: why are there still so many racists? On that topic, if you’re going to say or do something racist, why not own it? We all see, we all hear, we all feel. There is a difference between accidental racism (saying something out of honest ignorance while having the best of intentions) and just being completely in the wrong. Have you learned NOTHING from WWII?

I get why they say there is no point in fighting irrational hate. I have sat with my keyboard in my lap trying to come up with a second paragraph on my previous point. I have thought about the scientific discoveries and debunking of the past 50 years, I have started mapping out charts and graphs showing how ‘X’ does NOT equal ‘Y’ in this instance. I gave up when I realized that this information is VERY available and far from news. It literally takes IGNORING facts to carry down that road.

Know what? I find it sad that it took the destruction of the world to realize just how wrong we have been about everything for everything to be considered being fixed.