That’s one way to approach the overpopulation problem

Not sure how they’re going to make this work but ok: China, the country, has decreed that those under the age of 18 years are now forbidden from playing more than three hours of video games a week; an hour a day only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 8-9 pm local time

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that within those who will have to deal with transition, the suicide rate just might go up.  Considering the country is already facing an overpopulation crisis, this might not actually be the worst thing in the world to happen.  Clear way for a newer, fresher generation of Chinese, who weren’t raised and became video game-obsessed, mouth-breathing troglodytes.

All seriousness though, I’m very curious to know just how the entire country is going to enforce this mandate.  When it comes to online games and mobile games, I can kind of take some wild swings, mostly on account of a nation that’s extremely big brother-ey in the first place and can probably try to implement shit to try and prevent their minors from unauthorized gaming.  I’ve already heard things about how some games will require cameras in order to play so that facial recognition can be implemented, but I’m sure that’ll lead to legions of masked gamers to try and circumvent the measure.

But what about offline games, like consoles, arcade cabinets and shit like PSPs or 3DSs that can be played without an internet connection?  I’d have to take a guess that the console business is about to start doing very well in the near future if kids will be relegated to playing offline games by themselves or with their siblings, neighbors or with actual other human beings in the room.  There’s no way offline gaming can actually be enforced, and I’m going to guess most parents will be so desperate for their kids to get out of their hair that they’re not going to enforce this rule in the privacy of their own homes.

And then we get to China’s rich eSports culture, to where they’re always among the world’s best when it comes to all sorts of competitive gaming.  But as I’ve learned from my years of following the pro League of Legends scene, pro players often times are starting their careers as young as 16, which means they’ve been practicing and developing since they were way younger than that.  Sure, I’m sure there’ll be all sorts of exceptions for those in careers and professionals in gaming, but with an entire country now limited to just three hours a week, the well of future players is about to get very, very shallow real quick, and I’m curious to know what the future of eSports in China is going to be with this mandate in place.

Of course, another potential blowback to this law is that there’s absolutely nothing that says a guy can’t become a video game-obsessed cretin after they hit 18 and beyond, with the only difference is now that they’re adults and can act like dicks as adults as opposed to being shithead pre-teens and teenagers.  All of the educating and social graces they are believed to have developed from having their gaming being limited, all go flying out the window when 18-year old Xin Peng realizes the handcuffs are off, and then spends the next five years of his life glued to League of Legends, getting dominated by 14-16 year olds in Korea, Denmark, Russia and even maybe Americans.

In the end though, I don’t think much is going to be made from this.  If it doesn’t blow up in their faces from the onset, it’ll probably be a law that’s so loosely enforced that it might as well not exist at all.  And even if it is something that is enforced seriously, China is also one of the greatest cheating cultures on the planet, and no serious gamer would be above cheating over their own country’s laws in order to have a nice marathon session of Counterstrike, whether it’s manipulating their IP, wearing a mask to circumvent facial recognition, or any sort of measure in order to get around the law.  After all, this is a country where teenagers go to tremendous lengths to cheat during high school entrance exams, for something they don’t even want to do, so imagine just how far they’ll go when it comes to gaining something they do?

Anyway, it’s stories like this that kind of make me scratch my head and wonder why China is actually seen as this threat to the world when it comes to economics, business and general population.  They can barely keep their own population in check so much being a threat to other countries in the world outside of building Chinatowns all over the world.  But I could be wrong, and this could be a game-changer of a law that ushers in a generation of better adjusted, more mature and intelligent and successful Chinese citizens that are better than everyone else in the world that were raised on video games and other brain-rotting content.

Wouldn’t take that bet though.  I’ll keep my eyes on suicide rates among minors in China for the next year instead.

This just makes me want to see it more

Funny how things work out: segment of internet looking-for-things-to-get-mad-about-people decide to get mad over Awkwafina’s “blaccent,” citing cultural appropriation, racism, hypocrisy or all of the above; and declare a boycott to Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

I’ve actually never heard of the property Shang-Chi ever, until news of an actual Marvel film featuring Asian people began to emerge.  I have zero clue to the property, whether it features mutants, or supers based on myth, magic or cosmic, or if Shang-Chi ever crossed paths with any X-property, the Avengers, or even had a run-in with Juggernaut since it seems like at some point, everyone has a run in with Juggernaut.

That being said, I kind of wasn’t really that interested in seeing it, because in spite of the equity that the Marvel Studio sand the MCU had built, it was beginning to feel a little bit like a checkbox situation where kind of like how Black Panther lit a fire under the black community, and based on how Crazy Rich Asians performed at the box office, Disney and Marvel decided to take a stab at tapping into the Asian community with a Marvel film, with an Asian-based story.

I wasn’t interested in seeing what I thought was going to be the affirmative action of the MCU, even if it had the legendary Tony Leung in it, making me wonder just how many times if at all, showed up in American film.

But as is often the case, when news like this hits, and I see people on the internet acting like buffoons, all it really serves is to make me want to defy them and see their stupid efforts fail, and therefore go see Shang-Chi.  Not quite to the point where I want to risk my health and go out into a theater, but I definitely have some intention to watch this now, for sure.

I mean seriously, people getting upset over the way Awkwafina speaks?  Because she occasionally uses a black affect when speaking, as if the terms wiggers and chiggers haven’t been a thing for the last 25 years, but is only taboo when a celebrity does it? 

Would Eminem have a career at all, if he showed up in this generation?  He’s white and therefore should not be rapping, because that might be considered cultural appropriation since apparently only black people are allowed to rap and speak in a certain manner.

Anyway, my favorite part of the article was when they cited that this isn’t the first time people had wanted to boycott Awkwafina:

It is worth noting that similar accusations of culture appropriate were lobbied against the Asian American actress when she voiced the dragon Raya in Raya and the Last Dragon, currently available on Disney+ and made 122.7 million USD at the Box Office 

So the SJWs didn’t learn their lesson from Raya and they think they’ll fare much better with Shang-Chi?  Yeah, I look forward to seeing just how much money Shang-Chi is going to bulldoze in when it drops, and see just how effective these so called boycotts are actually going to be.

Let’s not even discuss the thousands of people out in the world that aren’t Asian, but have some sort of Asian text tattooed onto themselves.  I’d wager there’s a substantial overlap of non-Asians with Asian characters tattooed on themselves with those who are pretending to be outraged and claim they’re going to boycott.

It’s okay though.  The internet doesn’t need to find out when these peoples’ friends talk about how decent of a film it might actually be, and whether it’s peer pressure, hypocrisy, or just being full of shit, they’ll still watch it anyway, all the same.

2 Under 2: It’s okay to get pissed (occasionally) (#061)

As I write a lot of these daddy brog posts, I try to weed out through a lot of the irrational and hope to ultimately be able to sift out important knowledge and bullet points that I’d hope to be able to impart and share with other like-minded fathers in the future.  Nobody’s ever come to me for advice or opinions, and I’m not about to just willy-nilly give them out unsolicited, but in the event anyone ever does, I’d want to actually be able to have some useful suggestions and opinions to share.

Anyway, for this particular post, this is actually kind of funny: obviously at this current juncture, I rarely have the luxury to be able to write at the very moment the words are formulating in my head.  But I’m so determined to write about particular things that I’ll take down notes or jot down a blurb of what it is I’m intending on writing about when I do have the time, ignoring the very important factor that my emotional state might not even be in the same stratosphere when that time actually comes.

Like this post, where I’m as calm as a hindu cow now, as opposed to the mental state I was in when the idea for this post came to be.  I mean, look at the blurb I wrote:

8/22 – dad brog – it’s okay to be pissed off and upset with a difficult baby.  it doesn’t mean i love my children any less, but holy fucking shit do i get sick and tired of their bullshit when they’re screaming all the fucking time.  i know this is the time to be savoring and enjoying all the moments of their rapidly moving newborn stage, but i’d be lying if i couldn’t wait for the colic, the fussing, shit sleep habits and the endless screaming to be grown out of.  i get absolutely dick done on a daily basis because while my wife is on maternity leave, i work my ass off doing double duty parenting while not pissing people off at work by being afk so much, and when i’m on paternity leave, i’ll just be doing double duty parenting work then too.  i get no fucking time off ever, and it’s hard to keep my mental state above water sometimes.

As the kids would say, he mad.  But as I often believe, things said in the heat of frustration are often the most honest, and even looking back at that wall of text rambling, I don’t disagree with any of it.  And that’s one of the things that I would probably impart onto other future dads, and even moms because frustration doesn’t really have a gender associated to it.

That being said, what I would definitely tell all new parents, is that it’s okay to get pissed off, occasionally.  Because raising kids is hard, often frustrating, and sometimes, all the mantras to remind ourselves to be patient just won’t cut it, and we just need to let ourselves get pissed off and blow off some steam in order to bring ourselves back to level.  I imagine we all want to believe that our children are nothing short of perfection and they do nothing wrong, but that’s all bullshit, they’re going to do things that annoy us and piss us off and that it’s okay to acknowledge such behavior as bullshit and it’s okay to be tired of it, because we get tired of the bullshit of adults, why shouldn’t the same apply to babies?

I believe it’s important to not bottle things in, because little good can come from holding our emotions in for too long, lest we eventually blow up, and then have a word vomit like the blurb above, worse off if it were something in the physical world.  Obviously, little is done in front of my kids as far as my frustrations go, often times I just walk out of the room or tag out to mythical wife, and then I go throw a tantrum in another room or outside of the view of my kids.

As far as my lack of time goes, hopefully that is something that eventually rectifies itself as my newborn grows and settles into a routine, most importantly a structure sleeping schedule.  Because it does get frustrating and does get mentally challenging, when I don’t have the capabilities to turn dad mode off, even for just an hour or so.

But until then, I just want to tell myself and all other new parents, that it’s okay to occasionally get pissed off.  It’s going to happen to the best of us, whether or not we want to admit to it, but it’s human nature, and it’s completely okay.

Oh, Atlanta #655

TL;DR: Atlanta rapper Young Thug is gifted 100 acres of land, decides to build a city on it

First off, I have to give credit where credit is due: the first time I ever heard of Young Thug, my first thoughts were one, relieved that he actually spelled it “Young” and not “Yung” and possibly be mistaken as someone with some Asian heritage in them.  And two, that there was no way Young Thug would be anything more than a flash in the pan Atlanta rapper who is white hot for two seconds, but is completely gone and forgotten in a month, and would soon be at the gas station at the corner of Boulevard and Memorial, trying to sell people his CD.

But here we are, five years past the first time I ever brogged about this guy, and he’s still making the news, even if it it’s for shit that sound stupider than billionaires trying to race to see who can get into outer space first.

I don’t particularly think ol’ Thug realizes how little land 100 acres is in the grand spectrum of things, when it comes to trying to start up a city, especially when from the looks of things, maybe 50 of it is a big ass lake.  He obviously has more money than I’ll ever sniff in my lifetime because if he’s been able to stay alive in the rap industry for 5+ years, he’s definitely got some coin by now, but probably not enough to landfill up an entire lake and then build a fucking city on top of it.

Sure, I know the story backtracks and resigns itself to being more like a subdivision, but even still, that shit doesn’t build itself for free.

And doing a little digging, I found out that the parcel of land is really way the fuck out west, practically in Douglasville, and as successful as Thug might be, it’s a hard sell to get anyone who isn’t a Trump-loving white supremacist to want to go the fuck all way out to Douglasville, from Atlanta.

Whatever though.  Good on Young Thug for being successful to the point where people literally want to give him land as gifts, and when the day is over, I’m probably just envious of his general success and wealth, and all I can really do is keyboard warrior it from my brog out in the suburbs, wishing I had a fraction of the money he probably has.  Not quite the Oh Atlanta edition I thought it would be, but stranger writing swerves have occurred over the last 20 years of brogging.

2 Under 2: Critical mass (#060)

This is my general schedule:

  • wake up at 7:20 so I can have ten minutes to let the dog out, feed the dog, take a piss, and get #1’s milk ready
  • Get #1 out of bed and pray to god (1) she hasn’t leaked out of her overnight diaper because she sleeps face down and butt up and no diaper company has figured out how to solve gravity
  • If she hasn’t wet herself and I don’t have to strip sheets, change outfits and give her a comprehensive wipe down, I bring her down to start her day
  • Between 7:30-9:00 I hang out with my kid and pray to god (2) she’s not in a cranky mood and going to whine and fuss all morning like she is at the time I’m writing this down. On weekdays, I’m also technically on the clock as of 8:30, so I low-key act like I’m active at work but I’m just monitoring work on my work phone, and praying to god (3) that nothing substantial happens, but if it does then I have to actually work while placating a toddler for until our nanny shows up or my wife relieves me
  • On weekdays, by like 8:50 I’m in my office so that I can prepare for my workday for a job I’ve completely soured on and want out of. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I have 9 am meetings where often times I’m the one driving them because in spite of the technical competency everyone is required to have in order to have their jobs, I’m the one most capable of actually utilizing WebEx, Acrobat and Outlook. All other days, I may actually have a few minutes to breathe and compose myself on company time, but those are few and far between as I am often playing catch-up on the work that doesn’t get done because I’m often playing dad throughout the workday (despite having a hard paid nanny and wife home on maternity leave).
  • Throughout most workdays despite being on the clock, I’m pulled away multiple times to assist with #2, which are usually burps and diaper changes because mythical wife is doing her duty of pumping so that #2 can eat. However this often puts me behind on my workflow and has a trickle down effect to where I have to make up the time somewhere
  • At some point during workdays as well as weekends, I try and spend some time to begin cleaning the numerous bottles and pump parts we go through in order to feed and provide for #2. If we didn’t have two sterilizers, I would literally never be able to catch up ever
  • At noon every day, #1 goes down for her nap. This is a 2.5 hr window where only one child has to be cared for, provided her frequent screaming and crying doesn’t wake #1 up, to which I pray to god (4) daily does not happen
  • By 2:30, #1 is awakened and it’s back to 2 under 2 time, except now the nanny is clocked out, and it’s my wife and I dealing with things with me back to low-key pretending to have full undivided attention to work for the next three hours and praying to god (5) that my bosses who have no respect for core hours or late afternoon meeting etiquette don’t drop a 4 or 4:30 meeting on my head
  • 5:30 is when I’m officially off the clock, but often times due to my juggling acts there’s always a few somethings that need to be resolved, and I might have to punch in an extra 30-45 minutes to settle things down, provided my children will cooperate
  • 6:30(ish) is #1’s bath time, followed by wind down for a 7 pm bedtime. Mythical wife and I have been having to divide and conquer between two kids here and she’s often caring for a screaming #2 while I’m taking care of #1
  • By around 7:15, we’re back down to one kid, but #2 is still too early to have any routine since she’s more or less in survival mode, of eat, sleep, scream bloody murder, and any order of those three activities. It’s at this time mythical wife and I talk about how starved we are, indecisions about dinner, and how most of the local restaurants we like seem to close at 8 and we’re too late to put in a takeout order because I probably won’t get there by 8, so we eat Chick Fil-A or Zaxby’s all the time if we don’t have any palatable leftovers in the fridge
  • From dinner to bedtime, mythical wife and I play hot potato with #2 because this is the time she’s been getting colic-ky and screaming bloody murder and I’m praying to god (6) she won’t wake up #1, but the majority of the physical caring falls on me since she still has to pump a few more times to keep up with #2’s increasing eating
  • Anywhere from 11-midnight, we migrate up to the bedroom which usually feels like a meat locker now that our HVAC has been replaced, and wind #2 for the night with final feeds and diaper changes and praying to god (7) that there’s no colic or stomach aches and she’ll actually go to sleep before 1 am
  • Once #2 is down for the night, it’s typically far too late and I’m usually so gassed that I’m not even in the mood to hate-stay up late just so I can feel a shred of having two seconds for myself to not be in dad mode, and then go to bed anxious at not getting to have any me-time to unwind and feeling fried because I’m 6-7 hours from starting all this over again while also knowing there will usually be one mid-sleep wake up to feed and change #2, and I pray to god (8) that it’s just one time

If you’ve read this far and have been keeping count, you might notice that there are usually at least eight prayers to god and fewer minutes in the day where I don’t have to be a dad.

I’m sure that last part sounds selfish and gives off the impression that I don’t want to be a dad, which couldn’t be any further from the truth. However, one of the pieces of advice I was given going into parenthood was the importance of not losing one’s identity to it, to which I definitely agree that there’s definitely a balance to try and maintain when it comes to being a parent and being ourselves.

I’m in a stretch where I’ve been incapable of having the time at all to be able to switch off being dad, and having any time at all for myself to be myself. I haven’t run in over a month now, I barely have the capacity to watch any television; only really getting to when stacked on top of less effort baby activities, and most importantly to me, I have next to no time at all to write.

In fact that only reason why this post even exists is that I’ve composed it entirely in a note on my phone, while #1 was literally strapped to my head because she’s having one of those days where if dad’s not carrying her, she’s going ballistic, and I’m up to her current height off the ground at how over her bullshit I am right now, well at critical mass at how fried I am at being in dad mode for so long, and so I just strapped her in and began writing on my phone while monotonously walking in circles. At least she’s not wailing anymore.

Like most topics I write about that sound like they suck balls and might deter other bros from thinking about having kids, this would go into the category of “someday we’ll look back and laugh at this,” but in my case I look forward to the days when I can tell my kids how much they made my life pretty insufferable when they were babies.

I get why people abandon The Walking Dead

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I’ve been churning my way through two and a half seasons of The Walking Dead to try and catch up.  Naturally, as I’m nearing the finish line, unbeknownst to me, I was days away from the premiere of season 11, and just as I’d be finishing up, there’s already more fucking TWD available to me.

But fuck that.  After finishing season 10, I’m fucking done for a little bit with TWD, and I need a god damn break from TWD.  I fully understand and get why the show, regardless of its actual ratings, seems to feel like it’s being abandoned by those in my peer groups and those people I communicate with.

Because it’s basically a live-action version of Dragon Ball Z, in the sense that the cadence of the show is basically the very definition of the meme shown above of most shonen anime.  The residents of planet Rick come across some shitty people bent on killing them, they band together and overcome them, and without missing a beat, the next episode, and sometimes in the very same episode as the penultimate finale, the next big bad shows up and the whole cycle starts all over again.

Over the span of ten seasons of TWD, we’ve had the Governor, twice actually threaten the cast and be repelled.  Then they traveled north and ran into Negan.  Then came Alpha and the Whisperers.  And not even one episode after them, they introduce the seeds of some new groups of bads, with the people hunting Maggie’s crew and the people in West Virginia.

It doesn’t take a genius to know that season 11 is just going to be more of the same, except that it’s branching off into separate storylines, like it were a season of Game of Thrones.  It’s like the sacred timeline has been deviated from because the group has branched out, but either way it’s going to be basically two sets of the meme up above, until the paths of the characters eventually reunite, only to take on the next greatest evil ever.

Either way, the last few episodes of season 10 were a definite weird way to end a season, and by doing so, they really did put a stamp on the cadence of the show to where I have no qualms with taking a fucking break from TWD, crossing it off my list, and moving onto some other show(s) to watch in my very limited time of television.  I’ll let the episode queue build back up, so I can marathon it, because frankly I couldn’t imagine watching TWD episode by episode again anymore, after running through as much of it as I have over the last few months.

2 Under 2: Up there with teething – colic (#059)

While raising my first child, I determined that of all the rigors that babies and parents go through, was teething.  The times in which the tiny chompers of our offspring are boring their way up through the gums and into the world, to help them level up in terms of foods they can eat and sensations they can experience.  It’s obviously painful and frequent, given that the average child has around 20 total teeth, and every time it seemed apparent that #1 was going through some teething, the days were full of lots of crying, lots of drool, occasional vomiting, and struggles to sleep, leading to some very exasperated parents and one definitely fried dad.

Well, with #2 a little over a month old now, I think mythical wife and I are experiencing yet another new thing: colic.  Basically periods of time when the baby goes completely apeshit ballistic nuclear and is screaming their heads off for an inconveniently long duration, and there doesn’t seem to be an explanation for it.  I mean seriously:

Unfortunately, there is no definite explanation for why this happens. Most often, colic means simply that the child is unusually sensitive to stimulation or cannot “self-console” or regulate his nervous system. (Also known as an immature nervous system.) As she matures, this inability to self-console—marked by constant crying—will improve. Generally this “colicky crying” will stop by three to four months, but it can last until six months of age.

I read shit like this, and my thoughts usually go in the direction of, how long as the human race been in existence, as well as existing in the age of modern medicine and diagnosis, and nobody’s still been able to figure this shit out?

Needless to say, it’s evident that #2 has occasional colic, and when it starts, it’s basically the worst scenario in the world.  Seriously, I’ve never had suicidal thoughts in my life before sitting there with an inconsolable newborn screaming their lungs out and there being seemingly absolutely nothing in the world that can bring them down.  Blowing my head off, or jumping off a cliff seems like a preferable alternative to trying and failing to calm a colic-ky baby back to earth.

And as often times the case during this second go-around, I’m ashamed to admit just how often I lose my cool and let it get to me.  It’s like I know that parenting is excruciatingly difficult, and I did sign up for this, but to me, and by no fault of anyone much less my precious #1, we have comparisons we’re capable of making, and when didn’t go through it so badly the first time around, but are going through it horrifically the second, it creates that space for their to be additional frustration.

All the same, good or bad, these kinds of posts exist to be the real life truth to how parenting really is going for someone like me, and I do want to remember the things that I can hopefully look forward to in the future as talking points to remind my children of in the future when they’re older, wiser, and can comprehend words in the event that they find this shit on their own. 

The daunting reality is additionally the fact that we’re still so early on that teething hasn’t even yet come into play, but considering how #2 has been so far, I can only make an educated guess that I’ll go back to thinking teething is the biggest cancer on the planet again in 4-6 months.