Weekly Wonderings – May 23rd, 2021

My wife has the week off from work, so we spent part of the day making some dents in posting items for sale. I never realized how much framed art we had up in the house until we were packing the prints and pieces. We’re selling the frames through some local channels, and we have so many of them. I love having art up, and we have a mix of manufactured prints and some original pieces. My wife has had a few things commissioned on various websites, mainly after Lily passed away. I think it’s terrible how collecting art and displaying it in your home has been so co-opted by the wealthy and that many working people don’t think about decorating their home in such a way. The collecting and display of art should transcend class and be something everyone participates in to showcase their personalities and help out artists who are working in the craft.

I realized I forgot my Spotify playlist for May 17th’s Weekly Wonderings, so I updated that post with music. Here is this week’s mini-collection.

Of all the games I own on Steam, none has gotten as much playtime as The Binding of Isaac. I have logged 850 hours on that game since I bought it in 2015. There was a recent update, Repentance, which is the third DLC for the game. It feels like a complete sequel with so many changes to the base game and totally renewed my interest in playing. It’s hard as hell too, but I love roguelike games for that dopamine they deliver through incremental progress. I started to feel conflicted about spending a significant amount of time on video games a few years ago. I always think about the time being spent reading or working on my writing, and I feel guilty. As a result, I try to limit my playtime because I can easily slip down that rabbit hole and lose a whole day if the game is addictive enough.

This week marks the graduation of one of the classes I was closest to while teaching. I taught them in 3rd & 4th grade, getting to loop, which is a rare thing. As a result, we bonded very closely, and I knew what the kids needed and how best to help them on day one. The summer after that 4th-grade year, before they headed off to middle school, my wife and I had a few of them come along for weekly trips to the downtown library. That was a fantastic summer, and it bonded me closer to those kids. We’d take them to exciting spots around the city like the farmer’s market, state history museum, etc. It is one of those things that seems so long ago but also like it just happened yesterday. Hard to believe they are all 18 and adults now.

I am terrified for their future, though. I’ve mentioned before that the immediate climate forecast from the NOAA for the next decade is grim. The polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate, and the ocean temperatures are rising steadily, leading to more volatile hurricane seasons. My wife and her family are from Puerto Rico, so when Hurricane Maria struck, it was extremely difficult for us because there’s nothing you can do when climate collapse is wreaking havoc. Communications with the island would come and go, and without power, cell phone charges were precious there. People in the United States will be protected much better than people outside from climate change, but that is by design. The Global South always bears the brunt of the destructive actions of the U.S. These other countries are over-extracted and left to fend for themselves against the climate collapse the Western world has led the way in creating. I wonder what things will be like ten years, twenty years from now. No one in a leadership position seems to a sense of urgency, probably because they are all 90 years old and are lucky if they make it to tomorrow.

With the news last week that Biden has dropped a budget proposal that does not include student loan debt forgiveness of any kind, prescription drug reform, or any movement towards public option health care. These were all part of his campaign promises but prove that APAB (All Presidents Are Bastards). He has decided to just focus on infrastructure. Anyone who is being honest knows even that will get watered down between do-nothing Republicans and right-wing Democrats. Apparently, Joe Manchin is the actual president and can just shoot down legislation single-handedly. My dream is that by the 2022 mid-terms, I’m not even living in this country, but for those of you who will be, you do know this means a Red Wave is going to sweep, right? The Democrats took this control of the executive and legislative branches and did precisely what I predicted, flushed it straight down the toilet. Trump’s wall is going to be finished per the Biden White House. Children are still in cages. Wages are still horrible. In my opinion, this is a twilight nation. Fascism is coming on the horizon, and Trump was just a test run. By 2024, it will be perilous to be in this country. Look at January 6th and the lack of any tangible consequences for an all-out terrorist attack on the capital. Those on the far right see in real-time that a well-organized assault on the next election could be fruitful as the “opposition” doesn’t really want to oppose them. It’s time to get out of here while the getting is good.

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