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On the Sliding Scale Of Cynicism Vs. Idealism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon, Ko-Fi.)

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Unplugged: deliberate ignorance is anti-bliss · 6:29pm Jun 2nd, 2020

I know what's happening in America right now. It's the reason I can't write 'United States', at least not without bitterly laughing.

I could summarize my emotional state. Personal feelings about the whole situation. The sense of near-premonition that we are exactly one idiot's trigger finger away from repeating Kent State on a national scale. And I could offer this blog as a place to vent and scream. It wouldn't exactly be the first time, and y'all are welcome to do so.

But... during the time when all of this has been happening...

People are being tear-gassed. Shot with rubber bullets. You could say reporters are being targeted and I'd have a hard time arguing. Hey, let's toxic-fume a church in order to clear it for a photo op! And the only way I can stay at some percentage of sane is to...

...turn it off.

I know what's happening. I can't exactly forget. But if I leave the news feed on all the time... I can't think. I can't write. All I can do is feel a helpless rage building, with nowhere to aim it. I already live in a state of near-constant stress, where I feel like I'm not so much pre-coronary as pre-everything. Under lockdown, I can't readily leave the apartment and as a caregiver, the same applies. I tried going out today, because I transferred my Patreon funds late last night and so I had to do some banking. It's going to be a rough month, because June 23rd is Laser Vagina II: The Relasering. COZ: Cash On Zapping.

(Yes, I signed up for the discount sequel: the Ko-Fi goal was adjusted accordingly -- although I do have the funds assembled, as I've been saving up for this one: I just won't argue with anything which defrays a portion. She did have less bladder infections over the nearly-a-year since the procedure was completed. If that's coincidence, then it's an expensive one. But as infections are one of the things which drive her dementia through the roof and she's so prone to urinary tract problems... roll the dice again. She still hasn't committed to Vibro-Bladder.)

But I transferred the funds very late last night: close to midnight, because Patreon was slow. Nothing had reached my bank. So I turned around, went home, and in the short time I was out of the apartment, she'd decided to try moving a 70lb air conditioner out of the closet.

With a bad back. With her leg getting worse by the week, because the epidural is pretty much completely out of her system and no one was doing elective procedures. Not for months. I got the first time slot I could: June 18th. But I still have to get her there, she's been using a kitchen stool for support while refusing the walker because, y'know, dementia. Which is also why she was trying to move the air conditioner. I was gone for a few minutes and...

...yeah. So why is she doing this? Because she saw the ten-day forecast and I didn't. Heat index may be close to 90F. Okay: the AC has to go in. I've been putting that off because electric bill and I usually wind up hurting myself, but dehydration also makes dementia worse and that heat index means it's time. Only I don't have enough duct tape to seal all the gaps on the window units and I need that, because do you know how you figure out the real cost of a window unit? Every ray of sunlight you can see working through a gap, in terms of price for extra cooling due to air leakage, is $5 per month. So based on that math and figured across the summer, her bedroom unit is a $128,395 air conditioner.

She wants white duct tape. I don't know why. Turns out it's available. Of course, I have to leave the apartment to get it. Also, white duct tape has trouble with this one thing which normal duct tape does. Oh, what's the word -- oh, right: stick. It doesn't stick. Minor flaw in the system.

Also, while I'm on the road, the phone rings. It's the epidural office. I am expecting a cancellation, because I had one yesterday. That was pulmonary. I found out about that one by taking her into the office, trying to check in, and being told we weren't supposed to be there. I showed them the appointment in her Email and the fact that I'd checked in online. They told me they'd called my phone to cancel on the 28th. I didn't find the call until I got home and my phone never showed me a Missed Call screen. So there's that. Took her to the hospital's adjunct building and the high-risk environment for nothing. Unlike last week, where I took her in for thrush. She has thrush. Yay.

But it's not a cancellation. It's a requirement. They can't do the epidural unless she has a covid test within 96 hours of the injections.

...okay, thank you for letting me know. Unfortunately, my area is only allowing tests for those showing symptoms, so I won't be able to get that done. Looking forward to seeing her lose the ability to walk --

-- no, they have a contract with an urgent care center, next to one of their more remote offices: the regulations are different there. I can just take her in and ask. They'll send the scrip there.

...right. An urgent care center. Gee, wonder where all the coronavirus cases are winding up...

She hasn't been hospitalized since January 13th, and that was just for the colonoscopy. That's a victory, and her paid Medicare rehabilitation days have recharged. Do you know what else that means? It means that between quarantine lockdown and nothing where she needs a hospital stay, I haven't had a night off since January 13th, because hospital stays are the only times I get to sleep in. Every time I go out, I risk her doing something which the dementia would have told her was a good idea, and I also risk bringing back the virus. Local cases have been dropping: we've had several days of single digits for new infections, but... my luck, and hers. Plus there seems to be a curfew going up, so don't walk during insomnia hours. You will be stopped. Profiled. Possibly shot.

It feels like the country is falling apart. No retreat points, no way to get a single minute away from the screams. And as always during such situations... here's the keyboard. People are waiting on that next story. Go be funny.

So I haven't been watching the news much. Or checking major sites. Or peeking at Twitter. Because empathy means feeling the pain of others and when there's so much of it, you start to lose yourself. I can't reach the point where I'm not functional because the stress just goes that high.

I think about George Floyd. I think about the times I've had angry police officers in my face, looking for an excuse. I think about peaceful protests which go wrong, and ones where people just show up for a chance at looting, and all the groups trying to plant false flags. I read the excuses for doing all of it. Justification. People lying to themselves about why their actions are just. And somewhere on the deep levels, I wonder why no one's tried to loot a Tesla showroom because dear gawds, if you're going to risk your life, never steal anything small.

But I also wait for the shooting to start. Resume, really.

And in between all that, I need to think about medical appointments and tests and keeping things from burning down around me and the car's yearly inspection last month meant new brake rotors, the world is falling apart and...

...here's the keyboard.
Go be funny.

I haven't been watching the news as much as I could.
I haven't been part of the protests. I can't leave the apartment for that long, and if something goes wrong and I wind up in a holding cell or hospital bed, no one's managing her medication.
I sit on the sidelines, feeling useless. And stressed. It's about 40/60 most of the time.

It's been this bad before. It has the potential to become worse. We live through history, and if we reach the other side, if those who weren't there ask what we did... some of us will have our stories from what can feel so very much like the edge of war.

What would I say?

I counted out pills. I taped up some leaks. I tried to think about a next chapter for Cerea.

Because I can't be in someone else's shoes at every second. I can't bleed for everyone or I'll run out of blood entirely. I need to tell myself the lie.

That things can get better.
That some form of sanity will prevail.
That the world will fall apart with or without me.

...well, that one is true.

But here's the keyboard.
And maybe people want to think about something which isn't all of this.
So what can I do?
Turn it off. As much as I can. For a little while.

...the scene has to open in the palace smithy. That means it's time to introduce Barding, because nearly all of that scene is going to be his POV as the smithy gets invaded by a centaur who can't possibly have any idea what it's doing...

For as long as I can.

Yes, I hurt myself getting the air conditioners into the windows. Band-Aid plus... well, it would be nice to take headache medicine...

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Comments ( 38 )

I wish to help you man. I truly do. Please let me know if I can DO something for you.

I stopped actively listening to the news long, long before all this started, because I was spending my day in a rage-state all the time at stupidty and incompetance and greed. Just from normal operations (before Brexit, before the current adminidtarive of either of our sides of the pond...) My parents (my mother in particular) seems to have the news on constantly at the moment, though so i's not like I'm unaware of what's going on right now; but not looking at the news (more than necessary, if you don't have someone who does to report stuff) generally means I can actually function better, so I do rather recommend it.

All I can say is that America... isn't as great as it's made out to be. I feel it hasn't been for a long time.

It's a pitiful state of affairs, really. :applejackunsure:

What did you do?

The very best you could. Never be ashamed of that.

People are being tear-gassed. Shot with rubber bullets.

People are *rioting and being dispersed with the methods available.

The sense of near-premonition that we are exactly one idiot's trigger finger away from repeating Kent State on a national scale.

So uh...what about the person who shot at police from the crowd the other night and hit 7 people?

Life is easier when you don't care. I stopped caring after I got teargassed in an OWS demonstration because antifa showed up and threw rocks and bottles at the cops.

Might I make a suggestion for venting? (I'm going to anyway)

In the Continuum, I suspect Cheese Sandwich may be having much the same thoughts. It is said that comedians can be the most miserable people in the world. So here he is, coming back to Ponyville where the most extraordinary mare lives, somepony who is actually *happy* all the time, and who showed him how to channel his inner angst into making others laugh... and he's terrified that she will pull back the curtain and reveal the stallion inside. And then he finds out how much she is like him. Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside.

I've recently heard about this (literally this morning) and I'm actually starting to look into it. Really sad. I hope things work out better for you and everyone else in America soon, Estee.

Pretty much my current state of affairs in terms of following the dumpster fire. Good luck out there, Estee.

I already don't deliberately consume news, because it's always about stuff like this. Bad things I can't do anything about. That was true long before COVID and will continue being true until civilization collapses and nobody can report news anymore. I know I'm basically just repeating what 5274170 said but green and red thumbs don't have the same effect as actual comments. Tossing him one anyways, for whatever it's worth.

I think of my son and wonder what kind of world we've brought him into. Obviously every generation thinks that, but... Things are getting crazier every day with no real signs of slowing down. Rioting and looting and violence in the streets, a worldwide pandemic that could have been stopped before it even got going, but the Chinese government decided its image was more important than hundreds of thousands of lives, politics that get nastier every election, distrust and just... everything seems to be dry tinder. Are we headed toward another major war? I don't know. All I know is that... something is coming. Something huge. Something much worse than COVID. Something that changes the course of human history. A 9/11 or assassination of Franz Ferdinand or invasion of Poland- type thing. We may be on our way to another Cold War. Whatever it is, I can see China and the US being on opposite sides.

Maybe I'm being paranoid. Maybe I'm totally wrong. Maybe the news is focusing so much on the bad stuff that we forget the good stuff (imagine that) but... I don't know.

Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part.

I think about George Floyd. I think about the times I've had angry police officers in my face, looking for an excuse.

I'm old. One of the reasons that I've LIVED to be old is:
I NEVER, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ARGUE WITH PEOPLE WITH GUNS. How stupid do you have to be NOT to figure that out?

You want money? Here you go. See some ID (never mind that, legally, they can't insist). Here you are officer.

I was smart ass kid & still love snark. Not when I'm talking with someone I KNOW has a gun.


Some of those being targeted were rioting. Some were not. I was on the feeds long enough to see children hit with pepper spray. I suppose the officer in question treated that as an educational opportunity.

However, I did also get to see the trio of idiots who decided to racially profile an FBI agent. That did not end well for them.

As for the shots fired at officers: as said, I have been deliberately trying to avoid being on the news sites full time. I don't doubt that it happened, but this is the first I've heard of it. I can only hope those hit are okay and that the party responsible is caught.

But right now, we're dealing with the battle cry which Terry Pratchett summed up perfectly. "Remember the atrocity committed against us the last time, which will excuse the atrocity we're about to commit!" And it doesn't end until everyone stops chanting.

Tips about keeping cool. Put aluminum foil in all window, ESPECIALLY any west-facing windows. Stop the dishwasher BEFORE it enters the dry cycle. Use the clothes dryer at night & if possible a clothesline instead. Insulate the attic & the hot water heater (if it's in your apartment).

In the show, Cheese Sandwich is introduced in Pinkie Pride (S4 E12). In the Triptych Continuum, anything after Magical Mystery Cure (S3 finale) is non canon.

So, IF Cheese Sandwich exists, he hasn't been to Ponyville yet & doesn't know Pinkie. But, his Cheesy Sense could lead him & Boneless there.

So I just got the daily mayoral phone call update on coronavirus cases.

Five among general citizens: ten for nursing home residents. Plus a hundred and fifty-one.

If you're saying any version of '...what?', then welcome to the club. Turns out the state had accidentally classified one town in the area as being part of another district. They just caught that yesterday, and so we picked up all of those cases. This puts my area at roughly 1,800 cases for 100,000 people.

I don't have a current fatality total, but I think the last number provided was around 150: that has yet to be adjusted for picking up that extra zone. So the local mortality rate for those catching it is high -- but my area had a huge outbreak in an assisted living facility: I think that accounts for around 40% of the deaths. General population is lower, but there's been no traceable pattern for infections.

What this means in terms of reopening is that we ain't there yet -- and some of the businesses which didn't lock their doors are now closing early in an attempt to prevent looting. And that's without having had major protests -- or anything else -- in this immediate area. But the police are patrolling in heavy numbers, and it doesn't feel like they're happy to see anyone out at night.

Summary: no hair care available.

We could use the gossip.

Don’t push those brake rotors too far. The whole rest of the car can be a pile of rust, but the steering and brakes really need to be maintained.

I like to think of myself as patriotic. I grew up in a conservative home, watched John Wayne movies and played with GI Joe action figures. But I also love history, and my favorite weekend activity was to hit the library and borrow as many biographies and history books as they'd allow. I'd like to think this has lifted the rosy glasses and allowed me to see current events with a greater clarity.

At this point, I've come to accept I'm not loyal to a government or a nation, but to an Idea. The Idea of a constitutional republic, where people of all races, religions or ideologies can come together and build a life that rewards each according to their abilities and efforts. I look around and this nation where I live, it's a constant battle between the Idea and those who work to make it reality, and those who want to pervert it to fit their own agenda. I don't know, I wish I was better at getting my point across. I guess all I'm trying to say is I pray the Idea can be made into reality, while sadly understanding it may never happen, not truly. It's a sad, messed up world we live in, and all I can do is my best to live up to Idea.


I took care of it during the inspection. I'd had some concerns about the brake shoes and rotors and it was a state vehicle inspection, which means:

A. They will find something.
B. You need to pay for it right there.

They did. I did.

Basically, I went up with X in a 'I am about to get punched repeatedly in the face' budget and hoped not to go over. I went back home with the inspection sticker and a little change. The true luck was in having inspection stations open at all. Some states are postponing renewal and as it turned out, this wasn't one of them.

I have also been avoiding news for the sake of my own mental state. And then my very trump supporting co workers decide to talk loudly about in the office. joy.

I've....had thoughts like that, tbh, and I don't like that I'm having them :facehoof: I just keep hearing this whisper in the back of my mind, 'Something's gotta give' and it fills me with dread. I honest to God hope that nothing bad happens, that all this fracas will be cleared up sooner as opposed to later, that Estee will pull through this and so will everyone else I care about.

I'm looking up every funny video that I can to stave off the doom and gloom the news brings, but it's starting to feel hollow.

Please hang in there, Estee ;-;

Author Interviewer

If they ask what you did, you'll point them to all the well-written blogs about how much you spent to care for your mother, and no one will have a problem with it.

One of my friends is involved in organizing protests in her area. She messaged me, we got into an argument, I did research and came back with informing her that rioting broke out before her group was dispersed, that people threw things at police and destroyed a police vehicle.

Also I will never say that it does not happen ever, but the majority of cited cases were legally justifiable usages of force. The atmosphere that these people rioting want to create is a case a few years back where a white female officer was beaten nearly to death by a black male criminal because she was afraid of losing her job and seeing her name on CNN if she did anything. That the color of a person's skin should give them a free pass to break the law. I'm tired of watching people lose their homes and businesses because people want to riot over people getting stupid prizes for playing stupid games.
I'm tired of seeing anarchists destroy peaceful but misguided protests and not catching any consequences from anyone. I'm tired of watching people getting teargassed and blaming the cops dispersing crowds of rioters for threatening their safety and defending the people who assaulted officers and threw firebombs that caused the retaliation in the first place.

Mostly I'm just sick and tired of how monumentally stupid the human race is.

I'm an international student studying in the US, and back in March (when Covid-19 was still ramping up), my parents decided to pool their funds and airlift me out of there. Over the past few days I've been absolutely glued to the screens in my house- the news, twitter, reddit, anything that could tell me about the people I've left behind. My friends are in the middle of warzones, my cousin almost had her apartment burned down... and it's nothing compared to what you and other people in the states are going through because you guys are actively there weathering the storm and I'm just a kid who's scared despite being two oceans away. There isn't really a point to this, I guess, just that this trend of everything going wrong all at once is just something I can empathize with. My dad crashed his car recently (thank you drunk driver) and we couldn't get it fixed for a month due to the lockdown, his hospital isn't paying him because of budget shortfalls so he's had to take up another job, I've been worrying because my parents are paying out of their asses with money they don't have for my university education and it's entirely possible that the second this recession hits my degree will be worthless...

Stay strong, I guess. We'll all have to. And good luck.

That's all true. But what's also true is that there's a difference between the looters and the protesters. There's video (8:56) of protesters protecting business and police officers from the insane.

One ray of hope is that every time a major figure in the military speaks up about this, it's to condemn the orange shitgibbon for pulling this crap. So, in the event that we have soldiers marching down the streets, things probably won't get all war-crimy.

Ok, that ray of hope sounded shinier in my head, but it's something.

Leave me to my pyramids and crocodiles.

And yet, out of destruction, creation happens. Let's hope it happens again.

Do you have real duct tape? You could use real duct tape and then cover it with the white duct tape. I realize this probably occurred to you, but maybe it didn't.

There's one piece of good news that's been sticking in the back of my head: kpop stans have been flooding police and propaganda channels with their usual fancam nonsense, helping to jam snitch networks, drown out the cops' attempts to organize, and disrupt the usual flow of public lies and attempts to astroturf support for future massacres. These kids probably aren't old enough to smoke and they're already fighting the good fight. I see people here worrying about the next generations, but to me the little dorks look like they'll be all right.

(Why the hell is it always fancams? Do they listen to the music, or is it just the cams? Do they enjoy watching these cams or is posting them the good part? And they appear to "stan" some of the dancing butt people. Who is Stan, and what can he tell us about all this?)

Anyway, happy Pride.

Dealing with all this isn't always easy. I live an hour away from the Twin Cities. Thankfully the protests here haven't been very bad, but it's just been one thing after another. I work at the Mayo Clinic, where everyone who enters one of our buildings must be masked. Unless you're the Vice President of the US. THAT was a bit of a shit show. I've been dealing with COVID news, policy changes, employment uncertainty, and all the other crap for what feels like forever. I have an older brother who is definitely high risk, and I get so angry at people who don't take COVID seriously enough. And now I'm mad because of what happened last week, what has continued to unfold, the battle lines, the confusion turned into more anger. Sometimes it feels like too much, and I personally don't even have it that bad. It's just, getting bombarded by this shit that's hard to escape from because I'm so close to the fires of two separate disasters. It takes its toll. Sometimes it feels like I'm being petty to feel that way.
Also, window AC's are the worst and I somehow only managed to get a cut on my wrist handling 3 of the fuckers. Why do they have so many random pieces of metal poking out of everywhere?

...Your life, Estee...
You're amazing, for dealing with... everything, there.
Good luck; it feels like that's not much to say, but, well, you could really do with as much as you can get...

(And I see now reason you should feel bad about turning the news off. Remember, most of the modern American "news" industry only actually informs you as a side effect, and sometimes an unwanted one; making you feel things are terrible is a desired result, because, so the thinking goes, then you're more likely to keep watching the ads.
...Looking at the comments, I see I'm not the first here to take this sort of tack, either.)

Are you familiar with the history podcasts of Dan Carlin? I think you might like them. Unfortunately, the one I've heard that I think might be best to link you (this one) has by now passed out of the count of those recently enough released to still be available from him for free.

you are doing the best that you can. that is enough. be safe and good luck

It's all that's left to DO

EDIT: I hope everything's gonna be alright, for ALL of us


And somewhere on the deep levels, I wonder why no one's tried to loot a Tesla showroom because dear gawds, if you're going to risk your life, never steal anything small.

Hilariously enough, they were busy stealing all the OTHER cars

And somewhere on the deep levels, I wonder why no one's tried to loot a Tesla showroom because dear gawds, if you're going to risk your life, never steal anything small.

Unless it's Lego Millenium Falcon. Though it's not exactly a small set.

This issue is insane, I know for sure. But we're going to make it. I have faith that justice will be brought.

That's the set that made the LEGO Kessel Run in about a tenth-parsec, right?

Given the scale, I'd say so.

While he doesn't, strictly speaking, know her yet (especially not in the Biblical sense he eventually does (don't try to argue, they canonically have a foal in the epilogue episode)), they canonically met long before the show.

It's been a number of years since I saw the episode, but IIRC, it was a Pinkie Party that inspired Cheese Sandwich to become a party pony. So, Cheese knows OF her (Not sure if they actually met or not) but Pinkie doesn't seem to know Cheese from a hole in the wall. (Old expression.)

& like I said, anything post season three is noncanon to the Triptych Continuum.

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