Well, another year has come and gone, and while there were some ups and downs, strikes and gutters, it was a good year overall (for me). It was a year of positive thinking and new experiences, but that isn’t to say there aren’t some things that pissed me off. I haven’t ranted about much lately, so consider this an end of the year purge, sectioned appropriately.
Big Issue Stuff
The democratic system that put Trump in power: Yes, that thing we have that makes us all so proud is the same thing that brought that orange faced butt-nugget into power. I think it was Winston Churchill who said: ‘The best case against democracy is a five minute conversation with average voter’ and while I think that’s fairly true, I’d say the best case against democracy is Donald Trump. I haven’t said much about Trump this year, because I honestly haven’t been able to figure him out. I’ve been utterly fascinated, appalled, angered and afraid since he took power, but I finally think I have it sorted out.
Donald Trump is like one of those kids who just desperately wants to be cool. He’s wanted it his entire life. He is like one of those guys you knew in high school who had all the money and status, but just never understood what ‘cool’ really was, so he attacks people who can’t fight back and acts misogynistic because he thinks that’s what cool guys do. He starts fights wherever he can to prove how ‘awesome’ he is.
But that’s only what guys who are trying to be cool do. The guys that are really cool are the ones who are respectful and kind to the less fortunate. They don’t bully people or constantly crave attention. It’s easy to make fun of those less fortunate than you. Anyone can do that. And that’s why being cool isn’t something easy. It’s difficult.
And I think this is why Trump loves celebrity so much – he figures celebrity equals cool, too. But as we’re finding out from Spacey, Hoffman, and others, celebrity does not equal cool at all.
So, if this democratic system has put this orange faced, butt-nugget in power, maybe we should revisit this system. Plato wasn’t a fan and maybe he was onto something there. Maybe we need a modern Republic, one where poets and women are valued as much as warriors and philosophers. Or maybe we just need the average voter to be a little more informed.
Facebook algorithms. I think we have been getting too comfortable with putting a muzzle on those we don’t agree with. Instead of crafting strong, logical arguments against illogical and offensive opinions, the trend has been to mute them instead. What happened to the art of debating? John Stuart Mill (who was one smart dude) argued that we must tolerate all opinions in order to progress as a society, that hearing offensive points of view helps strengthen our moral and ethical viewpoints. In other words, it keeps us on the right track by reminding us why we should value the things we do. It’s important to keep us progressing and moving forward.
It really worries me that Facebook is coming up with algorithms that streamline our newsfeed with ‘stories’(I hate that term) that are in line with our views. We are seeing contradictory viewpoints less frequently, and that is a scary thing for a healthy society. We are slowly being wrapped in bubble tape. When we see offensive, disgusting or distasteful comments, we can speak up against them to remind ourselves why they should be rejected. Then hopefully, if enough people pick up the debate, the most logical side will win resulting in a stronger society. It’s dialectics. It’s important.
The end of Net Neutrality. I haven’t purchased cable for over ten years. The current state of the Internet in Canada makes it easy. There is so much amazing content that can easily be accessed. But I also hate bundles. I hate paying for fifty channels when all I want it is three (partly because I’ll watch all the damn things and never leave my house).
No, I love the worldwide web as it is right now: open and free, but I guess that’s coming to an end…possibly. It is in the USA, and it’s being proposed here in Canada by our friendly monopolists (no, not the Beer Store), Bell Canada. Bell, along with others like Rogers (who haven’t committed to anything yet), wants control of who gets access to the web. They can increase speed to sites they approve of and slow down speed to other sites (who decides?). They will also, most likely, put together bundles just like cable, so possibly a Facebook/Netflix/CNN package or a Youtube/Twitter/CBC deal. After years of avoiding cable for just this exact reason, it seems my darling Internet is heading in this direction and I don’t like it one bit.
But more importantly, what it could mean for small sites like Rrampt is that we may not be able to exist in the future (sad face/angry face). Many sites will be shut down, and many will just not be able to exist. In the end, this affects all of us (man). But is there anything we can do? Tell Bell and Rogers we don’t want this in Canada. It’s not too late. Appeal to Rogers. Rogers is the key.
Less important rants
Music sites in 2017. They all seem obsessed with reminding us how old classic albums are (I’m looking at you Stereogum). I don’t want to be reminded that Weezer’s Blue Album is 25 years old today or that Chumbawumba’s Tubthumping is celebrating its 20th birthday. First of all, it makes me feel old and second of all, there’s so much great music coming out right now that I’d rather read about instead. Don’t get me wrong, Chumbawumba produced, arguably, the greatest song of all time, but let’s let it celebrate it’s big 2-0 without a big fucking party. Let them take a whiskey drink/vodka drink/cider drink without getting me involved. Spend some more time talking about the new music being released and less reminding me that my youth has come and gone (sigh).
Passwords are getting out of control. I can’t keep track of these damn things anymore and I think they’ve ruined whole afternoons for me. I’ve gone down that rabbit hole of trying to request a new password that is sent to my old hotmail account that I lost the password to so it’s sent to my old phone number and on and on until I’ve spent two hours and I finally get to reset the damn thing and I find out that they won’t accept a previous one and they also require one symbol, a capital letter, a number, an emoticon, and uploaded picture of me as a child. It’s getting ridiculous. I’m all out of ideas. Just put that fucking chip in my arm or let me scan my eyeball. You win Internet. I can’t keep track anymore.
CBC Radio 2 is going to shit. I used to drive an hour to work in the morning and actually looked forward to it so I could ease into the day with some relaxing tunes on CBC Radio 2 from 8-9. Then Tom Powers moved to Q and the music selection in the morning turned from ‘hey great tune!’ to ‘oh, another annoying pop song, I wonder what they’re playing on Mix106…ah fuck it – I’ll just play that CD that’s in my player again for the 700th time’. I love how CBC in the morning tries to disguise classic rock tunes by playing the ‘morning sing along’ or distant cousins game. I love classic rock as much as the next guy, but that’s what every radio station plays all day. There are other genres of music beside classic rock and pop. And I’m losing faith in Rich Trefy, as well. Yup, I said it.
Rants of minor consequence
People calling me bud, who are not my buds. It’s the same level of irritation as people calling me hun who are not old women. If you’re my age or younger, don’t call me hun unless you want to ruin my day. And if you’re a not, in fact, my friend, don’t call me bud.
And finally – Father John Misty. He can just fuck off already.
Written by Jesse Wilkinson