What To Really Expect On Dooms-Day

There’s an almost giddy excitement going on in preparation for… I don’t know what exactly. Between a coronavirus resurgence and inauguration woes, I think people everywhere are paying close attention to the news. Some are prepping.

For my immediate universe, I’m not concerned. All of us the world over did apocalypse planning last year when coronavirus incubated in some unwitting American travelers on their way back from Egyptian cruises with their hieroglyph postcards and went pop pop pop in metro areas across the United States. We had our rice and beans for days. We did okay.

And even before that, we did some localized apocalypse planning in 2017 when hurricane Harvey dumped 30 inches of rain onto the Houston inner loop and sent 18 inches right into my living room.

In short, dooms-day planning feels old hat right now.

And what have I learned from all this bugging out? Well, if things are really going to happen, like really, by the time you are aware of it, the best you can do hope you don’t live in a major metro area. That’s it! Coronavirus versus natural disaster versus social upheaval versus World War Z Zombie apocalypse, these all call for a completely different bug-out kit.

And anyway, if something were really going down, we’d probably act like earthlings in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when the alien craft arrived.

It’s difficult to say exactly what the people on the surface of the planet were doing now, because they didn’t really know what they were doing themselves. None of it made a lot of sense— running into houses, running out of houses, howling noiselessly at the noise. All around the world city streets exploded with people, cars skidded into each other as the noise fell on them and then rolled off like a tidal wave over hills and valleys, deserts and oceans, seeming to flatten everythign it hit.

Douglas Adams
Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

In the meantime, there is football. And gin. And Florida sunshine.

How The Narrative Fallacy is Screwing Us

It’s a little chilly at soccer practice tonight. I’m glad to be here and out of the house for a little bit. We usually listen to music on the drive, and since I was in the mood for only something funny and light, we listened to Tiko’s Fishy Song and other Fortnite inspired Diss tracks.

I’m going to try to explain what’s happened in Washington D.C. tonight.

At this point it looks like 13 people have been arrested, five weapons have been confiscated, and one woman has been fatally shot. The mayor of D.C. has issued a curfew, and Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have all removed posts from President Trump from earlier today.

A three-act-play of sorts has been brewing since the first presidential debate in which President Trump mentioned the possibility of election fraud. In storytelling, this is called laying the pipe for a planned narrative to unfold.

Act One:

Inciting Incident: President Trump loses to Joe Biden.

Act Two:

Middle Build: Far-right conservative media build upon the groundwork from the first presidential debate and gain momentum for the Stolen Election narrative.

Act Three:

Resolution: A group of people (which appears to be small at this point) protest at the capital, offering on a silver platter the sound bites, symbols of nationalism, and images necessary to present a perverse version of American patriotism.

Hopefully that’s as far as it goes. But some damage has been done. Manipulators on the left will take full advantage.

Ryan Holiday and others have warned about the dangers of the media machine the internet has created, not because the internet is bad but because people, outlets, and blogs on both political sides have become VERY good at manipulating a story for the sake of page views.

As a culture, we are all responsible. We all need to be discerning and rational as we consume information. It’s the only way to guard against manipulation and falling prey to the narrative fallacy.

What One Australian Professor Says About Idealogy and Women’s Issues in America

We just finished watching the Fortnite item shop video on YouTube. It’s a nightly review of everything new available for purchase on Fortnite.

That Fortnite is a free game is a moot point. Because for all the “skins” (avatars) and “emotes” (dances) to buy, Fortnite is the most expensive game we could be into right now.

This afternoon I listened to an interview on Coursera about women’s health and human rights. The lady talking on the video was Helen Stacy, a Stanford professor.

There is a treaty called (brace for it) the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Or CEDAW.

A bunch of nations are signatories to the treaty. The United States is not one of them. One reason is sovereignty, which means that the United States is VERY particular about who gets to tell us what to do. Which we would say, is nobody.

Then Ms. Helen Stacy (who is Australian) goes on to say the following.

I’m not making a political comment. Nor do I disagree. All I’m saying is it’s fascinating to hear what an Australian academic has to say about American culture when it comes to family norms, women’s issues, and our politics.

What I Didn’t Love About Wonder Woman 1984

Today has been a textbook Lazy Saturday. We intentionally did not plan any outings this weekend because everyone in this house has Monday morning already in mind. Well, not my kids. They don’t start school until Tuesday.

I, for one, am looking forward to getting back to reality. The state of everyone at home over the holidays gives me whiplash from the early days of Covid quarantine. I remember when I received the first text message from the school district announcing that all children would go on spring break but would not return to school until March 30th. I was at my son’s baseball game. It was crushing news to me and the parents all around me. Little did we know…

But! This holiday was nothing like those long days last spring. We have had an epic time camping and going to theme parks, despite not getting the extended family together. There have also been movies.

Screenshot scene from Winter Soldier. Credit: https://youtu.be/k7gyO7onbn8

Last week, my family did what many families with an HBO Max subscription did: we gathered around the TV set and watched Wonder Woman 1984. I did not like it for several reasons. My mom and I discussed it at length over breakfast the next morning. I waxed philosophical over plot holes and story inconsistencies. Then, mom stated the obvious.

“I don’t understand why they had to present her as being so glamorous. She looked great, but?”

Husband agreed. He made the point that Captain America and Black Widow don’t trek around town in high fashion when they’re not wearing superhero tights.

In all DC’s efforts to present Diana Prince as the singular female superhero icon, they got something wrong: they made Gal Gadot’s beauty central to Wonder Woman, to the point of being distracting. How about some jeans next time? A hoodie? Or maybe a leather jacket if she must. We don’t need another aspirationally hot female role model who makes me question my lack of silk pajamas.

Why Your ‘Self-Care’ Might Be Self-Centered

Wikipedia says self-care refers to “the care and cultivation of the self in a comprehensive sense, focusing in particular on the soul and knowledge of the self.”

Knowledge of the self is a tall order. It’s hard. Cultivation of the self, even more so. As a result, self-care has become a shorthand for making comfort based decisions. For staying the same. For avoiding a stretch. 

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’ve decided that I’m not going to put more on myself,” or, “I’m not going to put myself through that”? On its face, this seems smart. It seems like this person is practicing self-care. He is saying no. He is avoiding activities that create anxiety and stress.

But there’s another way. What if that thing that caused him stress just didn’t? What if he grew? What if he could learn to rise above and handle it?

Self-care does not involve avoiding things that cause anxiety or discomfort. Self-care means leaning in, little by little, so you cultivate but don’t break.