• Member Since 20th Feb, 2014
  • offline last seen Yesterday

Grau


Three things make Equestria great; friendship, harmony, and confetti powder.

More Blog Posts7

  • 5 weeks
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  • 10 weeks
    The Troubles of Our Times

    Disclaimer: This blog is exceptional lengthy and deals in matters which may/are considered controversial and/or disturbing for certain readers.

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    1 comments · 54 views
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  • 59 weeks
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  • 60 weeks
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    So, a friend of mine very recently re-opened his art for commission work. He is a fairly small artist, doesn't have a large following at all. I decided to try and lend him a hand by posting his portfolio and price range here (below). All prices are in USD (United States dollars).

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Jun
1st
2020

The Troubles of Our Times · 10:37am June 1st

Disclaimer: This blog is exceptional lengthy and deals in matters which may/are considered controversial and/or disturbing for certain readers.

2020 has been a tumultuous year, for a lot of people but especially so for those within the Millennials and Generation Z bracket. It is said, that adversity breeds strength. And while some part of that maxim rings true for the soldier in me, I cannot help but feel some forms of adversity are too severe or unwarranted regardless of their lessons. In my musings, I recently happened upon some clarity, which after some though, I decided to share with to you, dear reader. Perhaps my insight may be useful, or maybe not? It is not fair for me to objectively say. Rather, I'll let you decide with the information I have provided. Below are just four of the more prominent tragedies (for lack of a better word) which I have picked up upon, all observed during this rather, eventful year.

The Plague of the 21st Century, the Novel Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic was reportedly discovered as far back as December last year, in ground zero. Many countries at that time were blissfully unaware of the danger such an insidious virus could pose or how adversely it could affect the entire world. Many folk chose to ignore this hidden threat, going on with their lives as an unseen danger crept its way into our homes, seeding itself in practically every country within the span of roughly four months. Businesses were affected and forced to closed down, global tourism and sales plummeted, as people became scared and desperate. Panic buying like the kind one would see in zombie apocalypse films/fiction were becoming scarily true. And the short period of memes relating to a chronic lack of toilet paper was happily gallivanting around the 'Net. But the worst to come out of the pandemic, was the immediate retrenching once things started going into the red - global unemployment rose by the hundreds and thousands to millions everyday. Some countries report rates unseen since over two decades ago.

A lot of us younger folk are still taking our first steps into the world, still testing the waters of the fabled economy we've been trained and raised to work towards. The working prime, as I'm told. Since 20s-ish adults are the most impressionable and energetic. We are just into fray, but already we're surrounded by fire. Reading stories of students being stranded abroad, unable to return home is one thing. Knowing that some of them have had to squander away their life's savings just to afford sustenance is another.

There I won't get into the politics of it here, as it has time and time again proven to be a very divisive topic for our species. But the overall handling of the virus could've gone better. The various governments were divided in response - some were far too busy playing their political games, others too uncertain or indecisive, thus allowing the virus to permeate itself into the public with relative ease. There was no unity, no real desire to come together and stop the spread before it was too late. Information was misinterpreted, mishandled, resulting in additional confusion - precious time and resources which could've been used to contain the virus while in its infancy.

Our lives will be changed because of this, if not forever, then for the long foreseeable future. Our habits will have to be changed, to reduce the likelihood of catching the dreaded virus. Despite heroic efforts, clusters still crop up every now and then, because it is just so easy to be careless. A moment's lapse of caution, and the whole thing will spread again. So please, be careful. Be wary and remain vigilant. Wash your hands, your groceries, even your phones (with utmost care). Wear mask, not because it will protect you, but because it protects others. And by protecting others, you protect your community and yourself as a whole.

A World Aflame - Australia's Raging Bushfires

Before Covid-19 had begun to rear its nasty head, Australia was already dealing with a terrible catastrophe of its own. Bushfires, which some have been burning since June the previous year, began to spread across the eastern territories of the island continent. Locals called it "Black Summer", and looking over the reports concerning CO2 and ash residue left by the flames, it is a darkly apt name. It was regarded as one of the largest bushfires to date, costing the Australian government over AUD 4.4 billion (almost USD 3 billion) in damages.

While the fires drew global attention, very touchingly our community (being the brony fandom in this case) came together and organised various fundraisers and campaigns, alongside other more prominent initiatives, to raise money for the disaster relief efforts undertaken to aid those livelihoods affected by the massive fire.

A lot of negative criticism was leveled against the conservative government, which has been noted to be inactive in its efforts to reduce the adverse impacts of climate change, which was cited as one of the causes for the bushfire. At the time of this, Australia was also undergoing a drought, also inflicted because of our negligence. The government's response was far from satisfactory for its people, instead playing the blame game to misdirect the public's attention, as well as constant misinformation to keep inquiries in the dark.

In a way, the fire itself, while entirely destructive, may have hid a very small silver lining. Australia was still prepared the alert, the adrenaline of surviving a crisis still fresh on the minds of its people before Covid-19 struck the Land Down Under. Perhaps, in some way, this has helped them weather the storm better than most? Here's to hoping something can be done before another episode were to occur. Before the damage is too great for the nation to bear.

Hong Kong's Fight for Rights

The Hong Kong protests are sadly, also not a new trouble. The whole series of events have been going on for over a full year now, starting in as far back as March 2019 last year. It all began when the government of Hong Kong attempted to push the infamous Extradition Bill, which allowed the transfer of fugitives by order from the Chief Executive, to China. This was, as we've all seen, met with fierce resistance from the island's pro-democracy residents.

The Extradition Bill might have been a death sentence, what with all the shadowy rumours of dissidents disappearing once they were brought onto CCP-held territory. People, especially the youth, felt betrayed as this was an infringement of Hong Kong's Basic Law, the constitution of the island nation.

Most of the western world condemned the brutal nature in which Hong Kong police attempted to suppress to protestors, which eventually resulted in counter-aggressive tactics. Pictures of protestors daringly neutralising spewing tear gas grenades with bottles of water and street cones, handing umbrellas, masks, and helmets to on-site journalists, and even the somber sight of "final will" letters being worn began to circulate the web. Despite the challenges, they fought on.

Supposedly, Hong Kong is to remain an autonomous entity from China for a period of 50 years, by right of the conditions stipulated in the Handover agreement between the United Kingdom and China. Reading this, one can understand that those Hong Kongers who joined the protest's ranks, were doing so because they felt their very rights as citizens to their homeland being violated.

Most of the world has lost interest in the happenings of the financial hub now, however, too preoccupied with their more current problems. But even without the former attention and support, the underwhelmed and under-equipped people continue their efforts to this very day. A lesson in perseverance, but sometimes I do wonder, is history merely repeating itself?

The George Floyd Incident

Now, I do realise this is by far, the most sensitive topic I am about to go over, especially for an American citizen, or person who relates to the idea of racial discrimination. I won't recite the details here, since I am certain you are already familiar with the unfortunate passing of the American George Floyd at the hands of a police officer.

While Mr. Floyd does deserve justice, it does not seem morally right in the reverse that protests against the unfairness of racial segregation faced by minorities, which has been a part of American history for so long, have devolved into violent, opportunistic rioting. People's livelihood are being destroyed, and store owners and bystanders are assaulted in the streets by the more violent of rioters. Even the homeless are not spared in some cities, having what little they already own taken away from them in a mad orgy of senseless destruction.

And what of the protestors? Those who had genuinely wished to see some form of social change or punitive justice served. Are they going to achieve their goals after all the burning and looting is said and done? No. They will be forgotten, or worst, mislabeled. Whatever good they were striving for, dash to pieces and ruined because of others too drunk on the excess of twisted pleasure wrought by destroying that which belongs to others.

Waking up today, I was startled to see protests flaring up in various major cities in the world. Montreal. Ottawa. London. Berlin. Tokyo. All of which shared one thing in common - racial discrimination faced by minorities. Why do we allow ourselves to remain divided like this, is my question. Are we not able to see past a simple physical trait like skin colour, choosing instead to forego what makes us a human? Aren't we not capable of higher functioning thought processes?

While the issue of police brutality isn't a simple matter, nor is it solely limited to the United States, those who wish to change the system must also be held accountable for their actions. There is a consequence to everything we do. Our actions must be tempered with reason and knowledge, so as to prevent us from simply acting on pure instinct alone. If all that we know is violence, then violence is all we will ever achieve.


At the end of it all, the historian and philosopher in me cannot help but feel a lot of these could have been overcome sooner and better if only we had been more aware of our lessons. While some may argue the study of history is unnecessary for it merely delves in matters past, the truth is quite the opposite. Without properly understanding the events which have occurred before, we never learn our lessons to progress. If we cannot see our failings, how can we hope to begin to even fix it?

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