R.I.P. 2016-2020: None of that was normal.
In the past I always thought of the year 2020 as very futuristic. Essentially it was 2015 from Back to the Future Part II.
Pretty interesting year, 2020.. We’ll look back on it and say things like, “That was the year that was much different than the rest” and, “Everything changed after 2020”. Many years have been like this, each in their own way. It’s hard to deny the climactic personality of this year, though. My one hope is that the ability for humans to understand each other more, myself included. Growing as a person without bias and at least a little bit disconnected from ego all the time is an important resolution to hold, I think. Happy New Year, and here’s to an even more interesting 2021. *Cheers* =)
I feel right now that life in its most productive state is a constant influx of change; Improvement, refining, learning. Stuff like that.
With what I have been working on lately (Linux systems + network architecture) I have felt the feeling that breeds “MORE”. I am obsessed with efficiency. I drool at a shell script that is perfect. I think and breathe inter-system communication, redundancy and power. Bandwidth. Security. Potential. It’s what drives me.
I feel like we’re all playing a game of survival.
I used to play “war” with my friend John Ortiz in 2nd grade. We would walk around the school’s field at recess, pretending to shoot bad guys, and occasionally get blown up by a grenade. I guess you could call it a survival game.
Fortunately we had “do-it-yourself surgery kits” back then when I was 7.. which, well, …you get it. :) “My stomach is blown up by a grenade! I’ll get my do-it-yourself surgery kit. Ok, I’m better, AH! Another bad guy! *machine gun sounds*”
There are many more dimensions to the modern game of survival. Personal beliefs of whether or not COVID-19 is “just a flu”, political affiliation (and degree of said affiliation which determines your level of sanity or insanity), whether you root your beliefs in science and fact.. well, you get it.
Darwinism used to be “Survival of the fittest”. Now it seems it’s “Survival of the smartest”. When taking a few steps back from the situation, it seems as though the ones who think they know better than the experts are getting systematically wiped out.
Stay safe. Use common sense. Masks work. Science and medicine is real. The Earth is round.
You get it.
When I was young I (mostly) followed what my dad taught me about people – that many of them are shallow and greedy. In the area I grew up, there was a big gap between the ones who made a LOT of money and the ones who didn’t. We weren’t one of the wealthy ones, and that was ok.
As I grew older I found qualities of people and situations that fit that same mental construct that was hammered into me – that I was different – and ‘everyone else’ around was just looking to get a house on the hill. To get rich, have social and financial status to gloat with, to fulfill their role as the ‘yuppies’ that were despised by people like me.
As I matured I wanted to start giving people the benefit of the doubt. I was meeting so many new people of so many different backgrounds with many different social, cultural and economic qualities. Everyone should get a chance to prove themselves, right?
A contrasting point lingers in my memory of my first girlfriend who lived in a trailer park. My mom was opposite of my dad – seeking social and financial status among her “peers”, choosing to create a facade of class in lieu of honesty. She seemed to know all about the kind of person Lillian was though she had never met her. This set me off on a road of rebellion. I knew who she was and she wasn’t trash. Honestly speaking she was a very confident person and I think my mom took that as a threat (we won’t mention that I was forbidden to date until age 16, and I was just turning 15, though she was bringing men in and out of our house at the time that made me feel like I was living in a motel).
The dynamics of my upbringing and parental influence on how to judge people were a bit accusatory and conflicting, to say the least. I feel like I had to forge my own path regarding how to treat people, of the ethics of human relationships and social constructs.
As I grow even older than that, I find (and to an extent, resist) the possible realization that when you reduce people to their lowest common denominator, there really are common qualities that you can assume people have. But what is this anyway, but stereotypes that form half-baked assumptions about individuals? Do we really go down that path of reckless thought patterns as we get older? One that divides, that assumes we know it all about everyone else? Isn’t that just lazy?
I don’t want to be someone who thinks they know it all, that knows someone before they get to know them. I want to hold onto the ideals of my young adulthood by acknowledging that everyone is different – nobody should be generalized. Once you forget about the things that make us individuals, you cease to maintain being one yourself.
I remember in the early 2000’s when YouTube was just starting out and there was a channel called “Hometown Baghdad”. This was in the midst of the Iraq war, as well as the Internet revolution. A group of young adults living in Baghdad created a YouTube channel and posted videos of their views on the world from their vantage point. “I love hubbly-bubbly” was one of my favorite videos posted, a funny and charming video in homage to their favorite hookah. Another video explained the reality of their lives – in the quote I remember, as the young men were explaining their views on life, reality, as part of the vlogger movement – “Everyone just wants to be heard”.
In November 2016 I was feeling pretty bummed, betrayed and worried about the next 4 years. I was at my Mom’s (an avid Trump supporter) house and she told me, “Don’t worry. You’ll see, in 4 years the world is going to be in such a better place than it is now, just trust me. Trump is going to run the country like the business it is.”
I was talking with my dad (also a Trump supporter) about a week ago and he was fuming at the fact that Joe Biden won the election. He insisted that the country is headed for Socialism and we’re all “fucked”. His support of Trump is based on the fact that the stock market is ‘doing so great’.
I feel like I’ve been living in a 4 year long episode of “Gas Light“. The gaslight is out, but even now, so many people still believe it’s as bright as ever.
“What does that do to our democracy as we play out this process? What does it do to the belief in the system when 70 million people think the election was stolen,” Tolson said, referring to the popular vote total for Trump. “To me that’s the danger of this narrative, that’s the danger of this litigation.“ –University of Southern California (USC) law professor Franita Tolson
Let me say first – I haven’t trusted most proprietary brands of electronic voting systems/machines for the past 5 elections, since I started studying them as an I.T. security professional.
That being said!… if there is no evidence, there is no case. You can’t just go around screaming that there was widespread, mass fraud when you have no evidence to back it up. It just makes you look like a sore loser.
What’s more concerning to me, related to the above quote, is that what the current administration is doing is damaging the trust a people have in their election process.
On the one hand, I am actually very glad that there are people poking around and making sure all votes are legitimate. This kind of hardening is necessary for EVERY election.
On the other hand, the current president has had 4 years to “fix” the election process he claimed was rigged since the 2016 election — with legislation. He’s the guy – he has had the power for the entirety of his role as POTUS. Yet, he did nothing.
And now he’s screaming “FRAUD!”
Some quotes from r/conservative…
“Even if he has in fact lost, letting the recounts and the challenges proceed is vital to fair elections and should be done. The voting process(es) is(are) broken and should be nationalized.
Whether it’s systemic, prevalent, or isolated to one or two unique circumstances, it’s quite obvious that voter fraud happens. Everything from mass ballot harvesting, guided voting, and ballot stuffing to computerized “glitches” and inconsistencies in how votes are tallied, and accounted for.“
“Of course he has the right [to question the votes]. That’s not the point. What made people rightfully angry is that trump is already claiming that he won and that the election was most definitely a fraud even before real evidence came out.
He’s not questioning anything. He’s already made up his mind.“
(Taken from here – things Trump has done as president that disgraces U.S. Troops + Vets)
removed POW/MIA flag from White House
said “My generals are a bunch of pussies”
says Americans who died in war are “losers” and “suckers.”
“Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers,”
called John McCain “a fucking loser” when asked to lower flags to half staff.
called President George H.W. Bush a loser for being shot down during WWII.
said “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?” To Gen. John Kelly — while visiting Kelly’s son’s grave at Arlington.
“That guy is smart. Why did he join the military?” re: Joint Chiefs of Staff, he said asked his staff to not include wounded veterans in events because amputees make him uncomfortable.
Trump defended Russia from arming the Taliban against US Troops, saying the US did that once
Trump knew since Mar 2020 that Russia paid bounties to kill American troops, yet he has done nothing. he was briefed on options such as sanctions yet his admin has taken no action against russia for paying bounties for killing American and NATO troops.
In May 2020, the White House was planning to end National Guard deployments one day before they could claim benefits, but after the massive public outcry, they backtracked and let Guard members continue on their orders.
The Trump admin seized 5 million masks intended for VA hospitals. Kushner distributes these masks to private entities for a fee, who then sells the masks to the government
Trump’s admin fired the captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt after he warned superiors that COVID19 was spreading among his crew. The virus subsequently spread amongst the crew.
After Iran’s retaliatory strike, 109 US troops suffered brain injuries. Trump dismissed these as “headaches” https://apnews.com/eabf6766d717a2dd518a3c6319bb2430
Pardoned multiple war criminals, which stomped on long standing military values, discipline, and command. Trump has no military experience (May&Nov, 2019)
Trump mocked Lt. Col. Vindman for his rank and uniform. He threatened said purple heart officer, resulting in the Army providing him protection. Sent opposition research to the Pentagon to derail Lt. Col. Vindman’s promotion
Trump’s Chief of Staff worked—in secret—to deny comprehensive health coverage to Vietnam Vets who suffered from Agent Orange.
There is a facility in Tijuana for US veterans that Trump deported. Wounded war vet, Sen Duckworth (D) marked Veterans Day 2019 by visiting this facility
Russia took control of the main U.S. military facility in Syria abandoned on Trump’s orders. Russia now owns the airstrip we built
On Oct 7, 2019, Trump abruptly withdrew support from America’s allies in Syria after a phone call with Turkey’s president (Erdogan). Turkey subsequently bombed US Special Forces.
In Sept 2019, he made an Air Force cargo crew, flying from the U.S. to Kuwait stop in Scotland (where there’s no U.S. base) to refuel at a commercial airport (where it costs more), so they could stay overnight at a Trump property (which isn’t close to the airport). Trump’s golf courses are losing money, so he’s forcing the military to pay for 5-star nights there.
In Sept, 2019, Pentagon pulled funds for military schools, military housing funds, and daycare to pay for Trump’s border wall.
In Aug, 2019, emails revealed that three of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago pals, who are now running Veterans Affairs, are rampant with meddling. “They had no experience in veterans affairs (none of them even served in the military) nor underwent any kind of approval process to serve as de facto managers. Yet, with Trump’s approval, they directed actions and criticized operations without any oversight. They wasted valuable staff time in hundreds of pages of communications and meetings, emails show. Emails reveal disdainful attitudes within the department to the trio’s meddling.”
Trump instructed aides to seize private property some of which contain military service member remains.
Trump told officials he would pardon them if they break the law by illegally seizing property.
Story: Dude on Reddit wanted a bass track for his song so I made one.
That’s about it =p
Do you think, for one solitary moment, that a leader OF ANY CALIBER being so recklessly irresponsible is somehow excusable? That one who SUPPOSEDLY understands how powerful their actions and words are, yet continues, day after day, to deconstruct the foundation of a people — should be allowed at ANY CAPACITY?
Countless sacred and foundational laws have been broken, bent and twisted to achieve the goals of an insurgent and their cronies. Because of those who stand by and allow this, countless lives have been lost, and countless more altered forever. And through it all, this leader has been allowed to continue doing what they do – deconstruct.
There was a point in my younger life when I wished my country would have a wrench thrown in its spokes, so to speak. To halt the atrocities and cause people to pause for a moment to see what recklessness has been done to their livelihoods, and how much better things *could* be if they simply looked at themselves closer, if they simply listened to their conscience without the filter of ego.
I’ve heard people say the same thing recently, people who support the current leadership. I’ve always supported the RATM approach (after all, that’s how this country was founded). The choice of this particular leader is obviously a huge mistake, because they are not doing what they promised – they are simply morphed politicians now, who care not about the people but only themselves.
Narcissists supported by other narcissists, running rampant, believing wholeheartedly that they are ‘fighting the good fight’, not realizing that what they are doing is digging their own paths to Hell.
What happens to the helpers? The good, the holy? Are we really all on a one-way train ride here? Are we all destined for the gas chamber? And for what, standing up for ourselves, having a different viewpoint that focuses on goodwill toward all people? That focuses on justice, equality and mutual respect? That focuses on sound, peer reviewed science? That believes facts proven beyond the shadow of a doubt? That cares about the health of a planet that has allowed us as a species to live and thrive, that gives us food to eat and water to drink? How do the deconstructors not see that they are cutting off their noses to spite their faces? That they aren’t only ending their “opponents'” futures but their own families’? Do they even fucking care?
Maybe the helpers need to ditch their upbringings and fight fire with fire. Maybe it’s been proven that it’s too late to go high. What dignity do we have left when every foundational human right is being stripped out from under us by means of constitutional, psychological and now biological warfare? They do realize that that’s what’s going on, right? It’s not a conspiracy theory when the boiling frog has already died, when the pig’s lipstick has melted and is running down its chin like blood from a slit to the throat.
It’s quite obvious what is happening right now and anybody who dares defend ANY of what’s going on is going to have to answer to their respective Creators when their time comes. I’d hate to think that witnessing that may be the only retribution from the absolute madness that continues to cripple the spiritual progression and light that would otherwise be shining brightly in this world.
“Will you shut up, man”
Mahatma Gandhi said:
“A small body of determined spirits fired by
an unquenchable faith in their mission
can alter the course of history.”
Bring me down
Far below the surface
Where there is…
“Today’s fiction becomes tomorrow’s reality.” –Me
Take a look at someone who had a couple of drinks and woke up with 1,000 nerds.
“….exposure to Windows causes brain damage and that its use in the corporate workplace should be considered an OSHA violation.”
“Art should not be subject to political pressure.”
— Ethiopian singer Hachalu Hundessa
Sync the Chi.
I compiled this audio clip in 2004.
The eerie background noise is sound from the planet Saturn that NASA had captured.
The clicking sound is RF frequency bleed-over from my (then current) cellphone into my bass guitar pickups, sounding over my amp.
Everything else was my mind trying to cope with the after-effects of 9/11. I had an idea of creating an audio compilation of things that concerned me about what was happening in the United States after 9/11/2001. This was the result, and I’d say it’s artistically accurate representation of what was stirring around in my brain for so long. Every voice, every sound means something to me regarding the slow and steady erosion of what my country was supposed to stand for.
Looking back 19 years, I remember it all. Waking up to a friend knocking on my bedroom door, telling me, “Dude, America is under attack”. My eyes still hazy, something jarred inside myself that never quite let go.
All the rest is what we’ve all experienced together.
The world changed, for the worse, in some ways we predicted and others we did not.
I remember not too long ago reading a question on r/AskReddit – something to the effect of, “Why are all young people so depressed?” and the top answer was: ‘9/11 happened and nothing got any better.’
In a lot of ways I concur with that sentiment. Though I was 21 years old in 2001, I can only imagine what kind of long term effect watching planes hit, and the twin towers collapse, over…and over… on the news, in a seemingly endless fucking loop… had on those younger than me at the time. Trauma is like mold; it just keeps growing unless you know how to get rid of it.
Unfortunately I can’t say that overall, things have gotten better
What I do know is that I have tried to stop obsessing over things that are largely out of my control. Not to say that I cannot make a difference, but it’s too difficult to hold that kind of weight on your shoulders, especially when I had nothing to do with it. I was an innocent bystander. The best thing for me to do is ensure my life is the happiest, productive and fruitful as possible – with my *own* endeavors, not the endeavors of those in power who wish to use the innocent people of the world as pawns in their sick game of chess.
“You’ve got to start somewhere or you’ll never get anywhere.” –Me
“It’s not a personal choice. Your choice impacts the people you interact with. What you’re really saying is your choice should override their safety. That’s not a declaration of your liberty, it’s a declaration of war on those around you, that somehow you’re more important, and that your personal choice overrides their rights.“
You stand and look so
When you fall
We will rule this
Don’t forget her
She’s so much better
You turn and she’s still
One day you know
They’ll put you below
And no one will even
Love’s all you need
Love’s all you need
Love’s all you need to
You think that you’re the
When you fall
They’ll be glad that it is
Don’t forget her
She’s so much better
You turn and she’ll be
One day you’ll see
It’s all so easy
And you’re the one who’s
Reap what you sow, you
Reap what you sow
Reap what you sow, you’ll
Stay but they will
There are too many fingers pointing at too many discriminations.
We cannot play Whac-a-Mole any longer.
It’s time for people to understand that all of the injustices we are fighting to abolish have a common root: Hate.
We need to abolish hate. If we cut this poisonous weed off at the root we will kill all of the branches it is sprouting.
How do we do this? Emphasize love instead.
Is that so far-fetched in today’s world?
What if when people die, they are able to “read” or somehow “teleport” into others’ minds that are still alive? Influence their decisions, give them little “clues” or whatever… I know, sounds like Schizophrenia, right? But seriously. What if?