Out of touch

by Jon Sullivan - 2023-07-31 - Opinion

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It's possible one of the reasons I'm so happy these days is that I avoid news. Call it a copout, but I choose to not wade in filth.

I avoid reading the news. At some point a few years ago it all just got too much for me. I realized we'd reached peak insanity, no one was going to do anything about it, and half the USA was cheering in the streets over the resurgence of stupidity as a virtue. The war on science and education. The president defending literal Nazis, and asking scientists to look into injecting people with bleach. Laws trying to somehow eliminate trans folks. The Supreme Court forcing women into back alley abortions. In 2023, as mass shootings occur daily, the ONLY proposed solution is to give more people guns. As climate change slowly makes the planet uninhabitable, the GOP tries to make doing anything about it illegal. A third of the country believes the last election was "stolen" only because the liar who lost it said so.

The USA has become a joke. And the best way to understand that is simply to watch the news. Which I stopped doing, because it enrages me, with zero upside.

I choose a different input. I spend my days and nights out on adventures, taking happy photos, dancing with beautiful people, cooking yummy food, listening to great music, playing fun video games, watching funny online clips, following interesting streamers, feeding my beloved hummingbirds, turning over the works of humanity's great thinkers, writing happy blog posts that people seem to enjoy, singing cool songs, organizing my virtues, spreading kindness and good vibes, watching people play in the park, drinking in the harmony I feel with the universe.

Rather than the news, I seek out joy. Joy on tap.

But..... I'm a straight white male with plenty of money. I have the privilege of being able to pretend all the ugliness and hatred in this country doesn't affect me. Because straight white men in America don't get laws passed to penalize them for just being who they are. Etc etc. And, I'll admit, I'm probably being part of the problem if I decide to just ignore it and rest on my privilege. Oh well. I'm old now. I marched in the streets when I was younger. You kids can take your turn. Or, like me, you can just give up on this failed country. I wouldn't blame you.

Not to say I'm morally lazy. My parents taught me right. Judge people only by their words and deeds. Never by the color of their skin. Never for their sexual orientation. Never for their appearance or genetics. Never for their religion, or lack of it. I was taught people aren't good or bad based on the circumstances of their birth. I was taught that all of us are created equal. I was taught all of us were born without sin. I was taught that was the whole point of America - Equality.

Since I was raised properly, LGBT rights has always been important to me. Obviously I can never fully understand the challenges and horrors LGBT folk have to live with. But I think it's safe to assume 2023 small town America isn't a joyful place for anyone to reasonably deal with any issues of gender identity or sexual preference. But I was raised right. I know love is love. And I've worked with, partied with, and befriended enough LGBT folks to know that how they identify is not important at all. Some are wonderful, some are unpleasant, just like everyone. I've had and still have enough close LGBT friends that it makes me weep to see the country I used to love trying to demonize them. Over the decades I've contributed money to many causes, but mostly LGBT advocacy and rights, and that won't ever change.

Let me get to the point..... I watch a lot of YouTube and Twitch. Other media like TV or Netflix are pretty much dead to me. They have rushed to the bottom most common denominator and have let advertiser comfort drive out creativity. They are sanitized for the righteous few. At least on YouTube and Twitch I can find a whole world of independent creators churning out more great content than I'll ever need. Things like this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this. Happy making, and educating, and beautiful, and good.

And this one. < < < < < That one. < < < < < Right there. I'm sure you'll find plenty of cool stuff in the others. But please, actually please, at least try to watch that one. It's from a gamer I've followed for years who just found a girlfriend. Simple as that. I think you'll find it as adorable and heart warming and pure as I did. Even though...... it's a love story involving two young LGBT people.

When you demonize LGBT folk, you demonize that. You demonize love. You demonize two good people who will never do anything wrong to you. You demonize the very concept of being an individual with rights and dreams and all normal life things. Let them be. Just fucking let them be. Let them be who they are. Let them love who they love.

I avoid the news these days, in this broken county with it's fucked up idea of "United". But when you try to outlaw being LGBT, I'm watching and judging you.

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