The broken

by Jon Sullivan - 2021-06-26

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The Montana trip was supposed to be about healing. It went off script pretty quickly. But while we came broken, I choose to believe we left renewed with hope.

In World of Warcraft "The Broken" are a race of ancient space travelers who have been deformed and twisted by the attacks of a remorseless enemy who has pursued them across the galaxy for millennia. At this year's Solstice gathering "The Broken" was just us old farts, scarred by time and disease, seeking a more lasting solace. Some thoughts.

1) There was Cioppino. Maybe this is becoming a regular Solstice gathering thing. Maybe it should be a tribal dish with everyone bringing something special for the pot. Live crabs from Oregon, local lobsters from San Diego, wild trout and ramps and onions from Montana, wine from Utah. I wonder if we can find some great sourdough to bring along. For my sister and I it's a dish that has followed us and sustained us, body and soul, through our entire lives. As simple as it is, I don't think there is a more special dish I could cook for people.

2) There was death. I'm tired of death. I'm cried out over death. I'm mad at death. But death doesn't care. Death keeps coming, a slow relentless beast, that will eventually catch us all. Catch us and merge us with nothingness, and we will remain only as a memory that itself fades away. I choose to believe we live on in the myths of our tribes, told around the fires with strong drinks. But still, it's death for all of us sooner or later. We try not to think about it coming for us, as we watch each other die one by one.

3) There were white people. Only white people. It was rather shocking to end my year and a half long Covid lockdown by stepping off a plane and entering a small town devoid of culture or diversity. One reason I live in the City is for the diversity. There is no way I could live in Bozeman again without a constant urge to not live there. Everything is just so fucking Caucasian. So..... plain, boring, empty, sanitized for your convenience. I don't say this as someone who is ashamed of my ethnicity. I'm not. I say it as someone who sees more value in a painting than in a forever blank canvas. Not a canvas ready to be painted in endless variety. Rather a canvas forever kept blank, because people like it that way. Blank because color is scary, and anything new is dangerous.

4) There were no masks. If even one person in Bozeman gets Covid, a lot of people will die. Ending lockdown means the vaccine can make it safe, so get vaccinated and don't wear a mask. It means the vaccinated will get Covid with no symptoms and spread it quickly to anyone not vaccinated. It doesn't mean less Covid, it means more Covid. Ending mask wearing and lockdown means we tried to keep you safe, you refused, and now we give up on your safety.

5) There was much shooing of people off the lawn. We're old. We all remember being young and surrounded by people this old. They seemed out of touch and puritanical. Is that what we are now? Do the youth of today need to fix all the crap we did wrong? Are we the old farts gumming up the gears in the machinery of progress? Of course not. Twitch streamers aren't making anything better. Monetizing boobies and game chat doesn't shock or offend me. I just know it's an economic trap. It's just a more efficient circle jerk. It's only innovative if you think of it as a better ponzi scheme.

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