Season Review: NC Autumn

Lots of people can do a movie review, or a book review, or some stupid gadget review, but I wanted to do a review of one of the seasons, since this was my first year in NC, and Fall is starting to give way to winter, I thought it only fitting that I review a North Carolina autumn for you.

Now, if you’ve read my book (which sales figures show you probably haven’t) or read enough of my blog posts, you might know, that I hate fall/autumn.  Hate it.  So why bother reviewing it?  Because, I found something different about it this year.

I moved from Uxbridge MA (adjacent to East Bumfuck) to a small town just outside of Raleigh NC, and things are a bit different in the world of weather.

First off, I get seasonal affect disorder, which some asshole decided to call SAD (probably the same person who named the condition of stuttering “a stutter” or lisping “a lisp.”  Just a real sick kinda person.)  A big portion of this condition is not getting enough light due to shortening days.  Well, here in North Carolina, the sun goes down about 40 minutes later on most days than it did up north, which so far has meant that I’m at least leaving work in the sunlight.  This does wonders for me.

Last weekend, the foliage was in peak color, which makes me think that perhaps the season is just delayed down here, but we’re now less than a month away from the days getting longer again, so I tend to think that perhaps, this is just a better fall as far as light and mild weather are concerned.

I’m not sure it’s accurate to say this is the best autumn of my life, that I feel the best I ever have, but certainly it’s the best of the 20 years (more than half my life).  I’ve felt only the slightest twinges of sadness and depression the last couple of months, and they’ve barely made a blip on my depression-o-meter (if you suffer from depression, I strongly suggest getting a depression-o-meter, they’re a real life saver.)

Now, if I’m being totally honest, I think that there may be other reasons, why this year autumn has been so awesome.  First, my son is at an age where he is incredibly fun to hang out with, and things like Halloween are fun again, watching him waddle around as Yoda.  Second factor, I’ve felt like I’m really making headway towards my goals, I’ve been writing a ton of articles over at World’s Best Media, I started a second paying gig as an assistant editor at a book publisher, I’ve had some smaller successes with articles and things I’ve written, and honestly, it’s just starting to feel like it’s coming together.  Third factor, I’m enjoying my time; all of those things I mentioned before are fun and rewarding, but I’m also spending time with my wife, and with our son, we drive around this new state of ours, and explore.  My wife seems a little worried because I’m more tired than I used to be, but it’s because I’m living more than I used to be, and I can’t do it without her (and frankly I don’t want to try).

So maybe the weather doesn’t deserve credit, maybe my recent happiness, is just a convergence of factors, but at least the weather isn’t dampening it.  At least I don’t feel like a fucking mole person in my day job, going into work in the dark, and being released back into the dark.  Honestly, even with the all of the other factors, that mole-man mentality can really ruin shit, and I’m thankful that I’m not doing it.

I give NC Autumn: B+ (Because after all, it’s still the 4th best season.)

Something in Me Might Be Broken

I’m a strange guy, and I have a lot of strange thoughts, and viewpoints, but I want to talk about a few things that I think, which I think are abnormal in a special kind of way.  I think some of my thoughts go against the survival instinct.

Have you seen Doomsday Preppers? Or met anyone who talks about survival readiness?  I am not one of those people, but deliberately so.  I don’t want to survive the apocalypse.  I don’t mean that like “I don’t care if I survive,” but exactly as I said, I don’t want to survive it.  If something wipes out the majority of humanity, including my family, what is there left for me?  I don’t have any grand delusions that I’d be Mad Max, I know I’d at best be a blood bag.

If my wife and son survived, I would want to survive to help them, but the second they’re gone I’m fucking out.  I’m not driving (or walking depending on which post-apocalyptic future we get) across a hellscape in search of food, and life.  I don’t want a harem, or anything.  It’s time to die.

I’m afraid of death, and I don’t want to die, but I certainly don’t want to live in the world as it shuts down and kills off the last of humanity.  As much as the idea of nothingness scares me, I know that once it happens, I’ll feel no fear, no pain, nothing, and that sounds a lot better than loneliness that we’ve romanticized about being the ‘last man.’

Here’s a second thing that I think which is strange about me.  I don’t think we should definitely fight for the future of the human race.  This probably isn’t clear.  I want everyone alive to live long fulfilled lives, and obviously I just had a kid, so there is some progress forward, but when it comes time for humans to ‘figure out’ how to survive like in so many sci-fi movies, whether that means terraforming Mars, or finding a perfectly inhabitable planet, why?  We had our chance, if we screw it up, it’s nature’s way of taking care of the problem (us).

Imagine it’s 1000 years after the last human has died here on Earth, the Earth has done some repair work on itself, the animal kingdom is more balanced.  What is missing that we contribute?  Essentially everything we contribute is to ourselves, or in order to counteract something we deteriorate.  That’s fine, but ultimately why are we needed?

I don’t mean that to sound like humans are evil, but to an extent we’ve removed ourselves from the natural cycle, and in other ways we’ve augmented that cycle, and there really isn’t anything else we contribute to the Earth that isn’t specifically in our own favor.  Will nature thriving and evolving again at a natural pace be less successful or impressive, or important without humans contributing literature, art, war, politics?

I’m not as sinister as Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Kingsman: The Secret Service, but we’re the virus, and when the Earth is ready it will eradicate the virus, and honestly, that’s what should happen, so don’t hold on to it.  That being said, I don’t think we should have a seven billion person suicide pact, so my suggestion is, that we do our best to quell the ‘fever’ and keep the Earth healthy, so we can all enjoy the time we have left.

Trump’s Long Game, and: How It Will Benefit the Whole Planet

(This piece was an op-ed story I wrote for a website that felt it wasn’t right for their website, but I still think the points I make are valid.  Let me know what you think.)

What would you say, if I told you that world peace was within your grasp?  You have to admit it, that sounds pretty good doesn’t it?  Well, it can be a reality.  In order to achieve world peace—pretty much making the dreams of every pageant contest come true— all we have to do, and it is pretty simple, is let Donald Trump continue to be President.

You’re skeptical right?  Hear me out.  We cannot impeach him, and in 2020 we need to reelect, President Trump.

He hasn’t even been President for 150 days yet, and people are freaking out.  That’s because you’re all short-term thinkers, but President Trump is basically a Chess Grandmaster (or as he pronounces it ‘Grand Wizard’) because he’s playing the long game, and he’s so many moves ahead. That’s why he’s able to fire off tweets at 3 A.M. so deftly, because he’s planning ahead. If President Trump is unencumbered for the next seven and a half years, he is going to give us the best world peace that money can buy.

Do I finally have you on board with the premise?  Now you want to know how right?

Keeping Trump as President is going to continue to piss off pretty much everyone, there’s not stopping that. What we need him to do is lean into it even harder.  As he’s pissing off literally every person and nation, North Korea is testing nukes, and working on how to get them to the US.  Meanwhile, Trump keeps things going with ISIS, and giving bills to Germany, and frenemy-ing Russia, keeping those pots at a nice simmer.  Finally North Korea manages to nuke Guam—this may be pretty soon— and that’s when Trump’s plan takes effect.  After the first conflict nuke is launched, Trump goes responds in typical Trump fashion with the biggest greatest nukes. 

Now we’re in full blown nuclear war, and you’re thinking “what about mutually assured destruction?”  Well, in order to make this world peace omelet, President Trump is prepared to crack all of the eggs—other than those of him and his family, who are now all White House Staff members (except for Eric and the second girl one) who get to go into the underground bunkers with them.

When the radioactive dust settles, there in the midst of a barren wasteland will be world peace.  Trump will emerge (years of over tanning have made him impervious to radiation) and declare that the Earth shall be renamed Trump World.

Is the plan perfect?  No, but the goal will be accomplished.  It’s all outlined in the Art of the Deal, people just didn’t bother to look for President Trump’s subtext.

Listening and a Little Common Sense

I was raised in a pretty conservative family, and I am currently the liberal black sheep of the family—it’s a role I’m ok with, and mostly politics don’t get in between our relationships.  The first thing that I remember vocalizing in descent was about climate change.  The truth is at that point, I began hearing from family members, “oh you believe Al Gore.”

Unfortunately because An Inconvenient Truth was made by Al Gore, in many people’s minds the message itself was tainted.  For a long time I heard that dismissal of climate change as a concept—more importantly as an overwhelming scientific consensus— because they didn’t like the person who presented it to the public.

Eventually the dismissal shifted slightly, to “well, Al Gore flies around in a private jet.” I’ll admit, I never bothered to fact check this, I assumed it was accurate.  He’s a former Vice President with a staff, and I just assume that anyone at that level uses private jets, whether it’s necessary or not.  I don’t know if he should or shouldn’t be using it, and frankly I don’t care, at least in the sense that it doesn’t change the facts surrounding climate change.

In politics, where they were less likely to dismiss Al Gore, they turned to a much more sophisticated form of dismissal, bringing in snowballs, and pretending like any cold weather negated the concept of ‘global warming.’  In some of their cases, I think there was genuine misunderstanding, but more often than not, I think it was a deliberate play at the ignorance surrounding the topic among a large portion of the citizens.

The last dismissal that I’ve heard is biblical.  The basic idea that I’ve heard is that it is “supremely arrogant to think that man can ruin what God has created.”  For those who believe in God, there is some truth in this statement, but there is again a fundamental misunderstanding.  First—in my understanding—climate change will not destroy the Earth, it may however make it uninhabitable, thus killing us off, before it is able to repair itself.  Secondly, there are numerous Bible verses in which we are referred to as ‘shepherds of the Earth,’ and basically stating that if God gave us this planet he wants us to take care of it.

I bring up these dismissals, because I think that there is a fundamental issue at play here; people want to believe the opposite of what makes sense.  Many people seem determined to deny science, deny logic, because of ridiculous bias.  I used to use the example that if President Obama said pizza was awesome, that a significant amount of the population would be boycotting pizza.  I know it’s an exaggeration but the point stands, and Al Gore and climate change are the best real world example.

Today, I heard that there is going to be a sequel to An Inconvenient Truth, and I’m while it looks as if we NEED the information in it, I do worry that it is going to turn off those who are starting to come around.

So if you are reading this, and do not believe in climate change, or don’t believe that humans are significantly contributing to it (probably the most recent dismissal), please consider this:

If climate change isn’t real, but we behave as if it is, and try to fix it, what do we lose?  Conversely, if climate change is real, and we act as if it isn’t, what do we lose?

Please let me know what you think in the comments.