Parent Triggered

One of the things that I learned throughout my 30’s is to metaphorically not keep score with so many things in life.  Because life is not as fair as we’d all like it to be, and so very rarely is a perfect 50/50 balance, no matter how logical and equal people think they should be.

For example, say I meet up with a friend, and I pick up the check for a $40 dinner, and the next time we get together, they pay for a $20 lunch at Willy’s.  I could be a prick and mentally ledger that they still need to pay out another $20 for us to be even, or I can just appreciate the sheer reciprocity and be content that I’m getting one of my favorite foods for free.  Frankly, I’d rather do the latter than try to keep score.

My mom and I were talking about Korean politics way back when, back when Moon Jae-In had successfully reached through to the insane neighbors up north and made some massive ground in diplomacy.  Naturally, we were both dubious that anything was really going to progress beyond some monumental photographs, but her stance was that there was no way that the north was going to play nice enough for anything substantial to happen because there was no way that they were going to give anywhere close to equal what the south would have to give.

I explained that this was an instance where expecting fairness was never going to amount to anything, and that this was a prime example of where a 50/50 split just wasn’t plausible.  There are just some times in life where it might have to be 55/45 or even 65/35 in order for progress to be made, and sure it’s not fair, it’s not equal, but sometimes it takes one party to be bigger in order for progress to happen.

It’s like playing any variant of Civilization, like whenever India comes knocking on the door and you have Gandhi asking you for a king’s ransom’s worth of knowledge and technology, and refusing him results in him literally declaring nuclear war.  It’s not fair and it’s not equal that he’s asking for a 70/30 relationship, but when that 30 is the survival of your civilization, you still come out of the agreement knowing you made the right call.

You just can’t expect to live life thinking that everything is always going to equal out and everything is going to be fair, because it most certainly never will be, and thinking that will, only leads to frustration, angst and heartache.

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Everyone on the internet is a Colin Robinson until proven otherwise

Since my daughter’s been born, mythical wife and I haven’t watched a tremendous amount of television. I may have mentioned it before, but ultimately we’re hoping to avoid exposing our child to too much screen time until she’s around two years old, because we’d prefer to be parents who can stimulate their child’s brain without having to resort to plopping them in front of a television and hoping to let digital technology raise her. Needless to say, since having a kid, we’ve watched maybe a handful of things, mostly bullshit like 90 Day Fiancé or My 600 Lb. Life.

In addition to TLC’s greatest hits, one show in particular we’ve actually worked our way through has been FX’s What We Do In the Shadows, which has been great because the episodes are short, and the plot is funny in the mockumentary style of format. The cast is outstanding and the general plot is so ridiculous and quick-paced that it’s an easy show where we can watch one or two episodes, step away from viewing for a few days or a week, and then pick right back up without much difficulty.

After blowing through the two available seasons, I’d have to say that the one character that I enjoyed the most was Colin Robinson, the energy vampire. Mostly treated as a tertiary character, his whole spiel is that he’s not one of the traditional blood-sucking vampires, but rather one who feeds off of the energy of others, including the ability to drain from other vampires. He’s basically the troll among trolls in Nandor’s house, and in my opinion, he’s the funniest character among the entire cast.

There’s one episode in particular where he’s expanding on his powers to drain energy from victims by utilizing the internet, and then it occurred to me that Colin Robinson is basically the living embodiment of every internet troll on the planet. We re-watched the first episode recently, and there’s a line he mentions during the initial character introductions where “you probably know an energy vampire,” and then it hit me like a ton of bricks that he couldn’t be any more accurate that basically we all do.

Every anonymous internet troll, asshole whom you don’t know who chimes in on a social media conversation, is a Colin Robinson. An energy vampire who’s deliberately trying to deliberately trying to get under your skin and get you to tilt, so that they can drain your energy, even from afar. Once this connection is bought in, it’s actually quite amusing to envision the face on the other end of the keyboards in any sort of internet confrontation, probably looking like Colin Robinson, a bald, middle aged Dilbert looking guy. And as much as the Colin Robinsons probably got their rocks off on feeding on your energy, there’s something empowering to know that such a dorky looking dweeb is probably the one on the other end of the interwebs from any sort of online debate.

Revisionist history culture is concerning

Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it

-Winston Churchill

[2020 note: I basically made this exact same post three years ago, starting in a similar manner]

Not long ago, I saw that Community was available on Netflix, which was pleasing to me.  Community was one of those shows in which I’d only seen sporadic episodes in no particular order, depending on whichever group of friends I’d hang out with and happen to catch an episode or two at their point of watching through the series.  However, crushing on Alison Brie withstanding, I liked the show, and I always thought it would be a good idea to binge the series in order if the opportunity ever presented itself.

One episode in particular that made me think “whoa, this show is really clever” was the episode that most widely seems to be known as “the D&D episode.”  Not giving anything away, but the Community gang plays a game of Dungeons & Dragons for a particular motive.  However, if there’s one scene in the episode that really sticks with most viewers, it’s of Ken Jeong’s character, Chang, completely painted black and wearing a white wig, because he wants in on the game, and assumes LARPing as a dark elf would get the job done (spoiler: it doesn’t).

But it’s a little bit of a jaw-dropping scene because in all technicality, it’s still Ken Jeong in complete black face (and hands and presumably all other flesh).  But the thing is, he’s not trying to imitate or ridicule black people, he’s just trying to get in character as a dark elf.

Well, I just learned that that episode of Community won’t be available on Netflix anymore.  In fact, any episode of any show, and presumably any movie, that features any non-black character painting their skin tone as to appear darker, has been scrubbed from Netflix’s library, in light of the rampant racism problem, running roughshod in America currently.

Blackface, has suddenly shot up the charts as a hot button, and all throughout the world of media, there’s a whole lot of retroactive scrubbing being done, to eradicate all proof of any show, person, entity or whatever, partaking in blackface at any point in history.

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New Father Brogging, #012

This is a portable apnea monitor.  As my daughter was premature, we were not given a choice on that she was required to have one in order to be discharged from the NICU.  Understandable initially, as she, like many premature babies had shown the tendency to have episodes of bradycardia (low heart rate), and it was nice to have a safety net at home to know if something were going wrong at any point.

How it worked was that our baby had two nodes strapped to her chest, that fed into an eight-foot cord, which was hooked into the monitor itself, which gave real time pulsing green lights indicative of her heart rate.  At any point if the baby registered more than 20 seconds of a slow heart rate, elevated heart rate, or shallow breathing, a piercing beep would emit from the monitor, along with the illumination of a red light next to whatever icon indicated the event.

The beep was soul-piercing to hear, and the red light was looking at the eye of Sauron.

At first, we’d experience events a few times a day, as we learned as parents on how to be parents and how to hold our child, feed our child and generally handle our kid in the optimum manner to avoid putting her in situations where she’d be at higher risk of triggers.  But as babies tend to do, she began growing rapidly, as mythical wife and I started to gain experience with handling her, and eventually the number of events began reducing to nearly nothing.

As time passed, the necessity of carrying around a box the size and weight of a school textbook and the long, tangly cable that ran with it began to grow increasingly frustrating, especially to me, as we as new parents, wished to expose our child to more of the world, and not just keep her in bassinets or the Mamaroo, but it began to feel like a literal ball and chain.  The number of events were next to nothing, and I was eager to find out when we could be without it.

During a visit to the pediatrician, we were told that two months no events, and then we’re good to go. 

Two months??  I was pretty livid.

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New Father Brogging, #011

Throughout this week, mythical wife and I have introduced a baby monitor, so that we can put her down at a scheduled time, and still be able to keep eyes and ears on her from elsewhere in the house, while we try to reclaim a little bit of time for ourselves.  At first, it felt almost alien, having some free time back, and initially I used them only to do chores and tasks that tend to fall to the backburner on most days, but then when I’d finish those, I realized that it wasn’t yet 11 pm, and I actually had some free time back on my hands.  It was kind of nice.

Today, my daughter let out the most high-pitched shrieks I’ve ever heard come from her.  Worse off, we heard them first through the baby monitor, so they occurred with neither parent in sight.  I tore up the stairs and into the bedroom to get to my child as fast as possible, and hearing them in person was the most soul-piercing sounds I’d heard in my entire life.  I picked her up out of the bassinet and held her to my chest immediately.  Moments later I was in the most tears I’d been in since her birth, because no parent should want to hear such horrific sounds emanating from their baby.

Fortunately, everything seemed to be fine; maybe she was having a bad dream, or maybe it was the fear of awakening without the use of her arms, since we have her sleep swaddled.  Maybe a combination of both, or maybe she was overheated, since the bedroom tends to warm up throughout the day.  But either way, because nobody can speak baby, we’ll never truly know to why she was in such a frenzied panic, but all I do know is that it was one of the most frightening experiences for me in recent memory, and I’m still admittedly a little shaken up by it, regardless of if everything is fine.

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Georgia pushing real hard to take the title from Florida

In news that just about anyone probably could have seen coming, Bubba Kemp went ahead and lifted the shelter-in-place order for Georgia, save for the obvious exceptions of people with any sort of immunocompromised circumstances (or the morbidly obese, for some reason).  I’m actually amazed that Bubba has (or more realistically, someone in his office has) enough common sense to have any exceptions at all, since he’s doing his very best to kill as many Georgians as possible, it seems.

In spite of the fact that coronavirus is going absolutely nowhere, hasn’t slowed one bit, and has statistically reached the point where more Americans have died from coronavirus, than Americans killed in the Vietnam War (over 50,000).  Also in spite of the fact that his lord, savior and god-king, the Baked Potato in Charge has publicly lambasted him numerous times by name at this point, I’m getting the sense that Bubba’s good ol’ boy pride is kicking in at this point, and despite the fact that he has no dignity to begin with based on how much teat-suckling he’s done to the Potato administration, I think he’s making a gamble to demonstrate what little cojones he’s got by continuing to double and triple down on his choices to kill Georgians.

The latter is actually very amusing to me, and I love the optics of Bubba acting like a kid who’s mom is pissed at him, and trying so hard to drag in straw men arguments and deflect as much criticism as he possibly can.  All while the Baked Potato in Charge continues to rain haymakers on him from Washington, continuously using his full name to draw emphasis in front of cameras of national networks, deliberately making sure that everyone knows who the country’s biggest clown is right now and how it’s not himself.

I have this escalating fantasy that this pathetic feud is actually making Georgia Republicans disenchanted, or at least very confused on whom to support, between the head cheese of the state, or their god-king in the Baked Potato, and it’s going to be like a lion in a herd of gazelle, where they don’t know who to throw their allegiances to in future elections, become overwhelmed, and then don’t act at all, allowing all the gazelle to escape safely, which in this analogy means defeat for the clowns.  But politics is anything but prone to fantasy, so even in spite of this, I can’t imagine racist Beckys and Trents still won’t vote red just because they don’t know how to do anything else.

Anyway, in news that kind of came out nowhere on the other hand, Bubba Kemp’s office has decided that it’s no longer necessary for teenagers to take road tests anymore in order to acquire their drivers licenses.  Obviously, this is a frightening decision, that further feeds the narrative that Bubba is really trying his best to kill Georgians, because the last thing the state needs on top of coronavirus, are 15 and 16-year olds being given drivers licenses without formal testing, and hitting the roads.

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The KBO should really just tell ESPN to fuck off

It’s no shock that in the midst of a global pandemic, ESPN is getting starved out when it comes to having live content.  They can’t broadcast NBA, they can’t broadcast MLB.  They can’t even broadcast minor league variants of either.  No hockey, no spring football scrimmages, there’s not even any collegiate soccer, baseball or even fucking ultimate frisbee or Quiddich to show.

And with no sports to talk about, their excessive lineup of talking head shows have no real reason to air, although they’re still managing to squeeze out a regular schedule of circle-jerking/talking about the NFL, justifying my nickname for ESPN being NFL Network Ocho.

In fact, ESPN has gotten so desperate for content, that they’ve even resulted in broadcasting basically YouTube clips of things such as competitive Tetris, among other eSports, mixed in between a cavalcade of “classic” games, in an attempt to draw any sort of ratings. 

It goes without saying that no matter how much original content ESPN can produce, they’re still nothing without there being any actual sports to broadcast or at least talk about.  Once The Last Dance airs its last episode, there’s really going to be nothing left for anyone to have any reason to tune into ESPN afterward.

Luckily for them, there are actual great countries out there in the world, like Korea and Taiwan, who have withstood their own coronavirus onslaughts and are way more on the mend and road to recovery than America is.  And among the things returning to normalcy for them is live baseball, with the Korean Baseball Organization and the Chinese Professional Baseball League both announcing that they are going to be starting their baseball seasons in May; granted, they’re going to be empty stadiums at first, but it stands to believe that as things improve, fans will eventually be allowed in.  But it’s certainly more progress than suggesting all MLB personnel go into a bio-dome in Phoenix and play a condensed season in one city over four months.

So over the last few weeks, there’s been intermittent news about how ESPN has reached out to both the KBO and the CBPL, and testing the waters to see there was any interest in making arrangements to have Korean and/or Taiwanese baseball broadcast globally (really just America).  To no surprise, both are definitely interested, why wouldn’t they want to have their product draw interest overseas, and perhaps earn some respect that’s typically reserved for glorious Nippon-anything because America is full of filthy weeaboos.

However, a massive speed bump in negotiations has basically been the fact that ESPN doesn’t want to pay anything for the rights to internationally broadcast KBO, claiming that they should really just be grateful that they’re being given the opportunity to gain exposure outside of their native country.

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