Merry Christmas!

WOW, my first Christmas themed morning blog post. Okay — What should I write about?

Maybe something about Santa being a socialist and yet the sanctity of 20th century, capitalistic Christmas is most upheld by staunch conservative institutions.

Or perhaps I should highlight the inequalities and injustices around America at the moment, and calculate just how many families of government workers will be worse off this year (and in early 2019) thanks to Trump’s shutdown.

Oh, I know! I can retell a popular Christmas story, but hide an allegory for climate change in the subtext. Yeah, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is wearing swim shorts in the middle of Alaska, and he’s not even cold!

…Or not.

We might be more divided as a species than we have been for a few decades, but that happens every generation — It too shall pass.

I think we can all agree that the holidays mean something to each of us. Whether that’s time spent with lots of family, some family, friends or just some quality time for yourself.

We might all share different beliefs, opinions and ideologies, but (for the most part) we all want a lot more peace between ourselves and our fellow humans.

So let’s agree to be less combative in 2019. To start fixing problems through dialogue, data, and kindness, and definitely not by yelling insults at each other.

Thanks for reading these words, I hope you have a Merry Christmas and that you spread some of that peace to your own, personal worlds.

If Christmas isn’t for you, then screw Christmas! What a colourful, arrogant prick. But still consider a thick slice of peace this Holiday Season, you’ll feel all the better for it.

As for me? Well I’ll be spending the day with our little family below the mountains. I must leave now, for our cat has taken ornaments from the tree again.


Today is Monday, December 24th and I hope you’ve watched Muppets by now, but don’t worry there’s still time!

Shutdown (Reprise)

We’re on the brink of a government shutdown and it’s all because The Actual President of the Actual United States of America can’t secure money for his giant wall on the Mexican border.

The House has passed a bill with a budget for the border wall, but it’s expected to fail to get through the senate today.

To briefly recap to anyone out of the loop — Back in 2015 Trump promised his band of exploited and disenfranchised followers a giant wall to help keep illegal immigrants out. He promised that Mexico would be the ones to pay for the wall. He has spent the last twelve months trying to get US taxpayers to pay for the wall.

Trump and his usual group of petrified yes-men in congress are the only people in government who actually want the wall. All Democrats, and a surprising portion of Republicans recognise it as either amoral, unethical or simply a waste of money.

It’s an entirely symbolic solution, and not one that contains a remote amount of practicality.

Many estimates have been put forward over the last three years in regards to the cost of the wall. With experts claiming anywhere between $15billion and $70billion in construction, and $150million and $750million in annual upkeep.

Not to mention the fact that all of the money America currently spends on border security — Armed patrols, officers, detention centres, concentration camps — They will still need funding on top of these new wall budgets.

You can’t just put up a 30ft high wall and then leave it alone, people will still try to climb and cross as they do now. So to feel safe, the American people will still need all of the existing security as well as the wall itself.

Even if we take the lowest estimates, of which I can only find FOX as a source for. But even if we just take those figures, that’s still a lot of money the American people will have to fork out in order to fulfil the dreams of an insane man.

“I’m going to build a wall, it will be 30ft high and Mexico will pay for it!”

areyousure.gif

So the government is set to go into shutdown if this funding can’t be secured, with certain departments and branches closing as early as Friday night.

Both sides will blame each other, as is tradition, and both will have a legitimate reason to do so. You see, strangely, this shutdown isn’t entirely Donald Trump’s fault, even though he’s the one making the ridiculous demands in regards to immigration.

Do you remember how Democrats complained that Republicans stopped them from passing legitimate healthcare reform? And now (some) Republicans are complaining that Democrats are stopping them from building a wall.

Neither of these things are bad, it’s just democracy doing its thing. As much as I want Universal Healthcare for America, I can’t be too mad about Obama’s failure to pass strong and decent reform, because it failed in a democratic process.

So the wall needs to fail. Not because this liberal, snowflake cuck says so, but because the majority of elected officials do. As well as the majority of Americans themselves. So this isn’t really anyone’s fault (or it’s everyones), democracy is just doing its thing and Trump will have to concede that America does not want this wall.

If, by some evil miracle from the dark lord himself, funding is secured for the wall and construction starts before 2020, I think it’ll help Trump with his original core base of voters, and Trump knows this.

Even if it’s paid for by taxpayers and costs drastically more than Trump has estimated, and also doesn’t solve any legitimate immigration issues, his core followers will see that he promised a wall, and a wall is what they’re getting.

Imagine you’re promised a free meal by your boss, to say thank you for all the hard work you’ve done this year. Except after you arrived at the restaurant, and ordered your meal, your boss announces that you’re now paying for the meal.

You shrug and think, “Oh well, I guess that’s okay, I only ordered a pasta salad.” But then the boss says you have to pay for his meal as well — A real vanity plate of wealth, with lobster, caviar and golden truffles.

You’re pretty angry at this point, but you feel as though you can’t say anything because he’s your boss, and he’s fired people in the past.

You pay the extortionate bill at the end, nervously wondering how you’re going to pay for Christmas for your family this year. But hey, at least you’ve been fed, you’ve had a meal out with the boss and he likes you.

Then, he slaps you on the arse and says in an excited voice, “Come on, let’s go puke it all up onto a homeless dude while you thank me over and over for a wonderful dinner!”

As you push two fingers down your throat, you squeak out little “Thank-yous”, before sicking up onto your own shoes. That’s them ruined.

I think the analogy ran away from me a little there, but the point is that this grand plan isn’t what was originally promised, and while his followers should continue to support him on his other policies (name one?), this is one they should fight back on.

If I were a MAGA-head, I’d be so mad that Mexico wasn’t paying for the wall that I also wouldn’t want this bill to pass. If I were a MAGA-head, I wouldn’t want to be puking on my own shoes.

I suppose the one good thing about the wall potentially being built, is that when we crawl out of this facist-lite hole most of our species are currently in, we can collectively bring down the wall as an act of unity and Make Earth Great Again.

See, that even spells MEGA — An actual word!

In the age of austerity, it’s probably only fitting that tattered walls are the new golden statues built to the sky to glorify one man.


Today is Friday, December 21st and it’s always better to try something and fail than to never try at all. That whole thing Yoda said is American Dream BS.

Drinkipedia — Episode Two

Episode two of Drinkipedia is live, and now you can listen to us on iTunes! Just search for ‘Drinkipedia’ and you’ll find us.

In this weeks episode, my good self gets tipsy and I try to explain real life vampires and 4th generation video games consoles. Highlights include — Things I learned from a genuine vampire lord, 1990s VR and Mr Nutz.

We’re super excited about this podcast — Audra, Jason and I — and we have many more episodes lined up for you.

We’ve put a lot of hours into developing, making and recording Drinkipedia and we’d love for it to find its way into people’s ear holes.

That sounded far more disgusting than was intended, but this text is live so there’s no going back…

If you’re reading these words, please give us a try. Drinkipedia will be free every Thursday, with bonus content every Monday.

If you like what you hear then why not subscribe and rate us 5*. I know it’s boring admin stuff, but it really helps with visibility and we’d all appreciate you greatly.

If it’s not your thing but you like supporting original content, why not recommend it to someone who might like it? Or subscribe/rate us anyway and just mute our feed, we won’t be offended.

You can follow us on Twitter — @drinkipediapod — and that would help a lot too.

I promise to stop going on about this podcast as soon as everyone subscribes.

How does that sound? Still too pushy? Oh well, live text, can’t change it now.

https://drinkipedia.podbean.com/e/drinkipedia-02-real-life-vampires4th-gen-games-consoles/


Today is Thursday, December 20th and we produced a new product in the depressing winter months so we can basically do anything.

Scattered Thoughts

If a song on my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist has a post-punk guitar/drums opening, I’ll favourite it before listening to the rest of the song. The combination of a dancing beat and melancholic lyrics is my happy place.

It’s absolutely fine to agonise over the mundanity of it all — Sometimes just simply existing is enough, especially on those hard to reach days.

Savour the moment between turning the water off and wrapping yourself in a towel, it might be the most alive you feel today.

There will be 2-D remakes of all the 3-D Disney remakes and we’ll continue in that loop forever. The same twenty stories for children, for adults, and then for children again.

People are still making new things, and thanks to the amount of remakes, they seem even more vibrant, original and pure than they ever would have done in the 20th century.

I am a guilty consumer of that which I loathe.

I think older people are turning on facts and statistics because they can be extremely alarming and depressing — You don’t want those emotions in your retirement after decades of hard work. Younger generations must shoulder the burdens of those who caused these statistics, but those yet born will suffer the most.

I sometimes wonder what opinions of mine will be considered “right-wing” in thirty years time. Or what our generation will turn on in our retirement years.

Millennials and Baby Boomers are more similar than any of us would like to admit. So we should all gang up on Gen X or Gen Z or something.

Most professional sports have a scripted element to them. If it’s broadcast on TV in exchange for massive amounts of sponsorship, then there’s some kind of narrative control.

The outcomes aren’t predetermined, but it’s in the best interests of all involved to have certain “powerhouse franchises”. These can change over time, but you always need your giants. Not, the Giants though, they suck.

Even though we’ve driven many to extinction and exploited many more for food, most animals will outlast us and that’s a consolation at least.

I think that people hating on West Coast hipsters has nothing to do with their lifestyle choices and everything to do with them engaging in poverty tourism before going back to their parents mansions on the East Coast for the summer.

If we can balance society in regards to race, gender and sexuality, we’ll still have to deal with the crippling fact that some of us have money and some of us don’t.

I’ll never be a working class hero because I’ve always been lower middle class. Apart from a few weeks in the autumn of 2015 and the first ten years of my life, but I was ill-equipped to be a hero back then. I still am, but I can hide behind a bigger excuse now.

I wish people thought about things differently, but I don’t like to control how anyone thinks.

Pay attention to me, leave me alone.

Applying rules and laws to social media for the betterment of society is absolutely fine. As long as we can still project our thoughts to the world, we still have more freedom of speech than our forefathers.

Misinformation will kill us faster than the bombs.

Think about the steps we’ve taken as a society, then remember that your grandparents and parents lived mostly before those steps were taken. It’s okay if they struggle with some things, only condemn them if they flat-out refuse compassion.

There’s still a lot to fix, but it takes time and pressure. Hold your hand to the wound, lock eyes with the problem and show sincere empathy.

Be it theism, spirituality, humanism or a lack of belief — Your worldview is only wrong if you don’t show empathy for the struggles of others. As long as you have that, you’re doing great.

These aren’t in the best possible narrative order, but they’re in the natural order in which they fell out of me.

If someone shrugs and says “I don’t really like animals,” then they’re fine. If someone says “Oh I hate animals!” Then you should run away as fast as you can, because they’re probably a psychopath.

You haven’t even listened to the best possible music for your soul, because it’s made by someone with a similar experience to you who has 6,000 Spotify streams.

Don’t be surprised when it’s revealed that they can make an accurate AI of our entire generation based off of thirty years of spending habits. Just try and make friends with your AI fast, so it doesn’t kill you first.

If I have thin skin then why does it feel so fleshy and malleable?

It’s okay to keep your guard up in a lot of situations, but allow yourself to be vulnerable around those who truly love you.

I wonder how it’s all going to look at the end. Here we are, witnessing everyday miracles that the great, historical minds of our species couldn’t have dreamt up, and we’re still not even at the end. I hope humanity doesn’t jump the shark.

This will pass, all things do.

None of this is remotely anywhere close to wisdom, apart from that bit at the start about getting out of the shower. Go about your day as though you didn’t read any of it. There are wiser, better, stronger people to listen to.


Today is Wednesday, December 19th and I’m exactly who I was at the beginning + any changes that happened along the way.

Monday Night Raw #1

It’s been a while since I wrote anything about pro-wrestling. I just haven’t felt compelled to spew out thoughts on the meta-textual, physical performance art that airs weekly on network television. I either say that or “hot people pretending to fight” — You know, I really haven’t settled on a way of describing it yet.

Last night on RAW, the entire McMahon family came out and addressed the WWE fans. They tend to do this once every few years when TV ratings have hit a low, and they need a way of rebooting themselves.

Even though the McMahon’s are still in character, as the real owners of the company they like to come out and tell us that they “haven’t been listening to fans, but we are now” or “you’ve had your intelligence insulted.”

Don’t tell me whose intelligence is being insulted! I watch a show every week without fail that I only enjoy maybe 25% of the time — I know exactly where my intelligence stands, thank you very much…

These announcements are sort-of storyline breaking, but then quickly settle back into the show by transferring all of the potential heat (negative backlash) to one of the on-screen villainous wrestlers.

It’s like when the director of a school play runs out onto stage to deliver lines for the kid who is puking in the dressing room. Everyone stops to look at the teacher, confused as all hell. But as soon as the lines are spoken the teacher looks to one of the other on-stage students and claps enthusiastically, as they slowly back off to the side of stage.

Everyone is pulled out of the story for five minutes, but then we’re back in it with the same old same old.

And that’s the problem with pro-wrestling, especially WWE — You can only rebrand it so much.

Sure, you can add some new faces and change a few rules — But ultimately it’s still larger than life personalities fighting each other in choreographed performances.

It’s like when your friend says they’re “rebranding” and they show up for coffee the next day in a new hat. But they’re still complaining about the exact same things and still said that one word that you’re fairly certain is an offensive slur, but you don’t want to be caught googling it in public.

But hey, at least they have a new hat.

newhat

They opened the show by punishing and humiliating the former on-screen authority figure. The irony of the McMahon’s punishing a guy who is essentially an actor for all of the creative decisions they’ve actually made over the last three months is laughable.

But still, I’m going crazy because Kurt Angle is there, and Heath Slater is getting some justice too. Ah, wrestling.

The commentators then tell us we’ll be seeing a lot of new faces around on Raw and Smackdown in the coming weeks, and the wife and I immediately start fantasy-promoting people from the NXT (development) roster.

Instead, we get video packages for the floundering NXT mid-carders who haven’t really found a place on the “college league” brand, and also Nikki Cross.

I’m being harsh, EC3 and Lars Sullivan are two guys whom I’ve always said are better suited to the bright lights of the main roster. Lacy Evans and Heavy Machinery however, are talents who could never really find a place in NXT, but who also still have a lot to learn.

Who knows though, because I felt the same way about Liv Morgan and Elias and they’ve both proven me to be the incorrect fan I am.

wrongcox

During a discussion with the former tag-team champions, Shane McMahon established a new and interesting rule. Or rather, he abolished a long-standing one — There will no longer be mandatory rematches for championships.

This is interesting, and definitely the most positive take from the soft rebrand of Raw. For years we’ve had to watch boring, zero-heat feuds go on for longer than they need to due to the “rematch clause” rule.

I’m assuming that if a feud is hot, then we’ll still get some kind of rematch. For example, we all want to see Asuka vs Becky Lynch at some point soon, but we don’t want to see Seth vs Dean agai… oh this no-heat feud for a title is still happening? Okay. Business as usual then.

However despite all of this, the episode did fill the final hour with an eight-woman gauntlet match to crown the number one contender for Ronda Rousey’s championship.

It had some slow spots, sure, but ultimately it was a well-paced match that managed to get most of the competitors over. Natalya was booked like 2009 John Cena and people (including me) went crazy for it.

The only thing this new show was missing was some storyline hook — Some twist in the ongoing narrative that would get people to tune in next week.

I thought for sure it was going to be a Ronda Rousey heel-turn at the end of the night, as she hugged and celebrated with her friend and future opponent. Alas, it did not happen, and it left me feeling that same sense of disappointment I’ve felt for the last three months of Raw.

If Vince McMahon really wanted to shake things up, he would’ve retired on-screen as the chairman, and handed the reigns over to his daughter and son-in-law. Even if he didn’t do it in real life for a few more years, just that on-screen change would’ve given the fans a transitional period, before Triple H takes over for good.

I’ll keep watching, because it’s me, but Smackdown and NXT remain the two brands I would show to first-time viewers. Raw is at best a distraction (last night) and at worst a chore (the last three months), and that’s not something I should be able to say about a brand’s flagship TV show.


Today is Tuesday, December 18th and I can’t believe it’s a week until Christmas. Fill me with cookies and wrap me in bacon.