March Madnesses

It’s going to be another long day in our prequel dystopia. My wife goes off to work at 5AM and today won’t be back until maybe around 8PM if things go well. The kids are in online high school and that is the way it should stay for the foreseeable future. They have spring break next week, and can look forward to doing absolutely nothing other than probably visiting their Grandma, who thankfully is now vaccinated. I’m struggling to work on writing while I charge up the MP3 player and headphones for my workout later. I’ve got two scripts to finalize, one for a contest and one for something else. When I’m not working on those or the endless mundane chores that we all have to do (unless we have people who do those things for us), I’m working on rewrites of parts of a novel, and plotting out several other projects. Only one of those will see the light of day anytime soon, but they are all good things to be working on.

I keep coming to the realization in different ways and in interactions with various people, that what we all knew as “normal” was not all that great to begin with. I completely understand why so many of us are so eager to return to normal–several of the projects I want to make happen simply won’t until we have some semblance of normalcy–but at some point we have to face facts. We could–and should–be doing so much better. This morning I noticed that two states here in the US are lifting Covid19 restrictions, and once again celebrating prematurely. That news and the news of the two countries that are once again shutting down, were just two headlines in my news feed. They didn’t just pass in the night, they seem to literally be trying to live in two different worlds.

There is an amusing account on Twitter called “Accidentally Left Wing” which takes examples of right wing people who have gone so far off the deep end of their usual rhetoric that they wind up falling over the edge of their flat earth arguments and circumnavigating the factual globe (philosophically speaking) to the point that they are making left wing people’s points for them. Statements like “we need to return the ownership of these huge corporations to everyday folks, the people who do the work. It’s the only way to stop their socialist agenda.” Which was an actual post by an actual person somewhere that doesn’t understand anything.

This is the kind of thing I think about when people cry “censorship!” online. You would expect that anyone arguing to nationalize social media companies to formalize their place as a new virtual town square and enforce absolute laissez-faire freedom of speech for all would be on the left side of the spectrum, as they tend to like centralization and regulation, but no…the only ones trying to equalize the speech of the Covid Hoaxers or the Anti Vaxxers and all their lies and delusions and put their insane viewpoints right next to actual scientist’s statements as if the two deserve equal time, are all on the right wing. They seriously seem to want to tell private companies what they can and can’t do with their platforms. If a store can enforce a “no shirt, no shoes, no service” policy, then social media can enforce any similar policy. A “no facts, no sanity, no service” notice seems perfectly reasonable to me. Like this blog is my personal space on the interwebs, and I’m not required to give equal time to any Karen. My domain, my rules. Now, if I broke a policy of my web hosting provider and they cancel me…I wouldn’t expect to be able to change that without legal action. Which I wouldn’t take, because it’s expensive. And also because I’m not a grandstanding snowflake. I’d just go somewhere else.

I keep feeling like we are reaching a tipping point, and then the cycle continues. I deleted Facebook years ago, so if anyone besides the few people in my peer groups that I saw finally question some of their beliefs towards the end of my time there has seen any kind of light, I don’t know about it. Nobody has said anything to me. But, if any of them attempts to defend the idiots that have been “de-platformed” for their noxious views, I will show them no mercy. Those are the people that called Sandy Hook a false flag operation. They are the ones who called Covid a hoax. Many of them made their businesses on peddling conspiracy theories that kept getting bigger and crazier, and eventually “the Storm” wound up being a tidal of wave of delusional dipshits that attempted an insurrection. There were no mass arrests of traitors to the republic within the so called “Deep State”, because we don’t have one. We only have a Ghost State that was never properly exorcised.

I imagine that we will see many more of what I’m going to call “zeitgeist extinction events” in the next few years. The world is changing and some of our people can’t adapt. That is not just their problem, either. In the information age, your crazy uncle isn’t just some drunk ranting at the end of the bar. His rants can echo well past the grapevine of the old days and your immediate vicinity. Whatever nonsense he’s on about now could get amplified and distorted and embellished by thousands of other disingenuous malcontents until a breaking point is reached. Your snarkiest quip can now be weaponized, perhaps into something you never foresaw and produce an actual result in the real world that you may come to regret. There are people out there right now that are facing charges because they followed some people shitposting online. It’s an Orwellian wonderland.

When even some far right networks have to stop and read some disclaimers on-air about how they don’t agree with the electoral fraud claims of your favorite disgraced ex president just so that they can avoid being sued you know it’s getting REAL. Once this whole pandemic ordeal is finally behind us, it seems pretty obvious that the wrongful death lawsuits alone are going to blot out the sun. People’s lies, people’s propaganda…killed over half a million souls in the U.S. alone. (So far)

It would be one thing if the people that wanted to play Russian Roulette with the virus could do so without actually hurting anyone else. I’d discourage anyone from it, because I lost a childhood friend in just that way (not a virus…it was actual drunken Russian Roulette) and you can’t get anyone back once they’re gone. But things don’t work that way in the real world outside the childish memes that have come to epitomize the shallow depths of understanding of at least 74 million people here. If they get it, I can get it from them, and one of us may die. None of us know who it will be, because even college age athletes with no known comorbidities have passed away from complications of the first strain of Covid. Now there are more. An in-law died of the virus not long ago and his family still doesn’t grasp how wrong they were about the situation we all find ourselves in. It is beyond tragic.

I’ve had to come back to this draft several times today while multi-tasking. At this point, the day is done, my wife is still at work, and while progress was made on various projects, it still only feels like we’re just surviving. Just barely.

Next time: updates on ePubs, subsequent proposed moviefilms, and other less horrifying content.

Stay safe out there.