The year in writing post, circa 2017

As is often times the case when it comes to life, 2017 had its ups and 2017 had its downs. As much as people bemoaned just how tragic and shitty 2016 was, I honestly cannot say that I personally felt that 2017 was tremendously better.  As I said, the year had its up and there were some most certainly good things that occurred during the last calendar year, but 2017 had no shortage of bad things that happened to people in general, people close to me, and people directly in my own life.

There may not have been as many notable celebrity deaths that have sent the internet abuzz with fake sympathy, bogus empathy and all the hollow fuck thoughts and prayers on the planet that were often the root of the angst towards 2016, but there was still no doubt that a lot of crappy things occurred regardless.  At least with death, it’s definitive and final, and the repercussions are only as impactful to mostly immediate families and occasional organizational legacies.  But take for example shit like the white supremacist uprising that plagued Charlottesville earlier in the year; this is very real, scary shit that’s easily hidden behind the façades of normal society, and can rise and hide on a moment’s notice.

Psychos who open fire on open-air concerts doesn’t change the frightfully abundant amounts of assault weaponry in the United States, and people still can’t stop arguing over conduct during the National Anthem and whether we have rights, or the rights to practice rights and other redundant arguments that just feed into the flames of people being miserable.

Frankly, given the direction that the world is headed, I couldn’t imagine death sounds like a terrible thing to more nihilistic types, dreading what the world is turning into as time passes.  I don’t imagine I’m the only one who thinks that society is most certainly not going in the right direction and that things probably are not going to be any better in five years, in line with that old Jimmy Carter speech.

But that’s a shitty thing for me to say, because death is most certainly no laughing matter, and the world has seen its share of it this year, as it does every single year.  Whether it’s numerous lives decimated by natural disasters like the hurricanes that ravaged Texas and Puerto Rico to the massacres by the hands of terrorists, domestic and foreign alike.  Or the casualties of the unfortunate hands that life deals out to unlucky people who are taken from the world by cancer or other indiscriminate ailments.

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Oh, Curbed

Honestly, I don’t even know why I still bother visiting Curbed Atlanta these days.  In the past, I used to look at it, because they actually talked about real estate, and it was kind of cool to see what properties in other neighborhoods throughout the metro area looked like, and I was on the verge of hitting the market.  But now I’ve got a new home, yet I still find myself visiting the site with some regularity.

I could write a bunch of bullshit reasons about how it’s still a local community website discussing things pertaining to Atlanta, but those would all be, bullshit.  Really, I think the most intriguing part about it is the robust comments sections of every article, featuring the same insufferable hipsters, NIMBYs and ITP snobs constantly repeating how great East Atlanta and Old Fourth Ward are, and how everything not those neighborhoods aren’t really Atlanta, and if it were remotely possible, they’d declare them not even a part of the United States as well.  It’s these people butting heads with those who foolishly choose to engage them, and the ensuing internet fights that happen every single day, is why I tend to visit somewhat regularly.

Like the year prior, Curbed has decided to do this silly arbitrary tournament, deciding the “best neighborhood” of Atlanta. Much like the year prior, a bunch of neighborhoods that are not really a part of the metro Atlanta proper and/or crime-ridden cesspools have populated the bracket.  And much like the year prior, inexplicably, College Park, Georgia not only makes the dance, but dances their way into the final four.

I could simply state that the inclusion of College Park in this silly competition is what immediately invalidates it from the onset and call it a day, but then we lose out on all the fun of criticizing everything about it.

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Uh.. happy holidays!

Look, I could curate what I decide to post when, in accordance to the holidays, or I can talk about relevant and current happenings when they’re fresh and breaking.  That’s what life is, unflinching and unforgiving in the face of capitalistic traditions like holidays and seasons, and shit happens no matter what time of the year is.

So when bodies are being found in the trunks of abandoned cars outside of Waffle Houses right before the Christmas weekend is under way, it’s worth mentioning, even if it’s kind of a wet blanket in the goodness and joy of an impending holiday.

Especially since it happened at a particular Waffle House that was not only not that far from where I used to live, it was one of the Waffle Houses that I’d been to several times the mornings after a bender of earlier years.

I say it often, that not a day goes by that I’m thankful to have gotten from my previous home; I’ll always miss the experience and memories accumulated by living there, but I will never, ever miss the degradation of the area and the steep downhill direction South Fulton county was headed.  When I moved out, I was concerned over the escalating petty crimes, the break-ins and bad driving behavior; through the magic ear of NextDoor, I’ve been able to know that it’s been going further downhill with loitering and gunshots entering the fold.

I never thought, but I guess I should have expected, that eventually some fatalities would come into play, and dead bodies being found in the parking lots of Waffle House?  Yeah, I think that’s one of the nails in the coffin of relief that I truly feeling having gotten away from the area.

Jesus Christ, that was something you don’t really expect to hear happening in your neighborhoods, much less your former ones that you’re glad to have gotten away from.  But either way, given the direction that South Fulton is headed, I can’t say that I’m the least bit surprised.

Whatever though, it’s unfortunate that it happened, but as callous as it sounds, better them over there, than anyone over where I am now.  The holidays are supposed to be a time of relative peace and happiness, but clearly some people haven’t gotten the memo. 

Regardless, to all of my now, zero readers, Happy Kwanzaa.

God bless rednecks, sometimes

Bumper Pool has decided to commit to the University of Arkansas.  In other news, there is a person whose name is “Bumper Pool.”

Frankly, I would never have come across this story if not for the fact that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has basically turned into an auxiliary SEC football website.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of college football as much as the average Georgian male is, but shit Tyrone, can we have a flagship newspaper whose website actually covers, the news?  Instead of endless articles about college football?  And not just exclusive to football in the state Georgia, or to the SEC, we’re getting fucking articles about Arkansas football too?

Not going to lie, I’m green with envy when I think about all the major markets in the United States that have large, reputable newspaper companies that actually cover major, relevant local news.  The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times; and even sources like the Boston Herald or the Miami Herald have more credibility than the fucking AJC.

But I’m sidetracking here (shocker), because if not for the fact that the AJC can’t stop talking about college football, I would never have found a story like this to write about in the first place – a kid named “Bumper Pool.”

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lol MARTA #189

Wrong for so long, it’s pretty much been forgotten: Oakland City MARTA station still does not have an elevator, 33 years later

33 years??  I’m 35 years old.  This is practically something being promised to me when I was born, and still not delivered after over three decades.  It’s no secret to how inept MARTA is, but for something to not be solved in 33 years, that could very well be among its longest-lasting fuck ups in organizational history.

I mean Keith Parker went gangbusters on MARTA improvements; it’s hard to imagine that something like installing a single elevator could actually slip under his radar.  But given the fact that Parker himself is somewhere in his 40s, I’d guess it’s not difficult to miss something that’s been a problem when it was already neglected into being the norm when he was still in high school.

Regardless, this story is still ironically hilarious in only the manner in which MARTA could make ineptitude funny.  I think the best part is the fact that they don’t have an elevator, but they have space saved for one, and the shaft already ready for the installation of one.  It’s just the fact that over the last three decades, MARTA has just failed to actually put an elevator into the space, alienating the handicapped and those with strollers and/or luggage from being able to traverse from one floor to the next.

It’s like a car person buying a car to restore from the ground up, meticulously constructing and putting it together, but then not installing an engine into it, and then letting it sit for 33 years.

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lol South Fulton Renaissance

Because nobody on the planet but me is interested: Renaissance, Georgia has their new name vetoed by mayor; cityhood reverts back to the City of South Fulton

Well slap me around and call me Susan – I would never have imagined that this was actually going to happen.  I also have zero idea of how the political system works, because last time I counted, the name was officially voted on and in both cases, Renaissance won out, regardless of how much opposition it got from the contingent who didn’t believe their opinions weren’t represented.  So despite all the voting, it ultimately still was shot down by a singular person: the mayor of Renaissance/South Fulton, who decided that the naming of the city was basically unimportant in comparison to other priorities, like creating a police force and infrastructure.

So it’s back to the City of South Fulton, which sounds as ghetto now as it did a month ago when it was phased out for Renaissance.  The people who were very pro-Renaissance are probably very disappointed, and those who weren’t so much fans of “the City of South Fulton” as much as they didn’t like the name Renaissance, well they’re probably very satisfied with themselves, in getting what they want.

Personally, I think the whole thing is an ironic joke which was a microcosm of just how much of a dead end the south part of the metropolitan Atlanta area actually is, and the perpetual spinning of wheels being done in the area I used to live in, which are always reminders of just how fortunate I am to have left when I did.  Basically, the City of South Fulton just wasted the better part of the last six weeks trying to get a name change, succeeded for a hot second, but then ended up with no change at all.  God only knows how much money was flushed down the toilet in this exercise in futility in wasted effort and labor towards a sinking ship.

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Netflix’s Castlevania: the teasers of teasers

Blink, and you just might miss it; that’s how I felt after the fourth episode of Netflix’s animated Castlevania’s credits started rolling, and instead of the next episode in 3..2..1.. prompt, it was a preview for something else, signifying the end of the series.  Right there, it became abundantly clear that just four episodes were ordered with the intent to gauge interest and test the waters before a more comprehensive commitment would be made.  Which is kind of ironic in itself, since Netflix and online streaming services are typically the platforms in which longform series tend to get their chance to let viewers, and now they’re pulling the network-like process of short test runs to see if something is worth it.

But for what it’s worth, I liked it, and I was pleased to discover that more episodes have already been ordered.  Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse was always one of my favorites in the series, and based on the fact that Netflix’s series revolve around Trevor Belmont, Sypha Belnades and introduce Alucard, it’s pretty clear where the source material is coming from, which lit my fanboy’s enthusiasm upon realization.

It is interesting to see something based on a storyline from my childhood, but fleshed out and explained to me as an adult; the Castlevania canon tends to get a little convoluted, and I admit that I stopped playing the series outright in the midst of Symphony of the Night, because when I realized that I had to basically play the entire game over again in an upside-down castle I was like naw, fuck that, and haven’t really looked back at the games since.  But Castlevania III is a property that I was all too familiar with, so it was really easy to get into the Netflix show.

Back when I was a kid, there wasn’t much thought to the plot: Dracula is ruining shit, and Trevor Belmont shows up to fight against it.  The Netflix Castlevania fills in the gaps in the plot that an old NES cartridge either fails to deliver and/or nine-year olds simply can’t comprehend, and it’s way more compelling than when I was sitting on my ass plotting on how to avoid hits and whether or not I was going to take Grant on this journey or try to finish the game with Sypha (never took Alucard, because he sucked).  But I never thought to why Dracula is waging war on humanity in the first place, and why Trevor Belmont was needed to come save the day in the first place.

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