Thank Grog It’s Firday!
The wonderful thing about blogging about a game like TSTO, is that most of our “reality” is not real at all. It’s mostly just reacting to the latest far-fetched plot that the writer(s) have come up with to drive the events in the game. These plot twists are about the only thing about the game that offer anything different from the day-to-day “same old” that the programmer(s) offer from EA.
If it weren’t for the insanely weird (and getting weirder) plot lines, we would be left with nothing more than an unending, mundane, series of “Acts” giving us an unending series of items and characters, to fill the very finite expanses of our Springfields.
Imagining a REAL year, in our REAL LIVES, that made even the most outrageous TSTO plot-line look boring in comparison, and you would be describing the year 2020. Let’s take a look back at the events that made this year the insane dumpster fire that is was…and try to salvage some positive out of it.
On second thought, no...let’s not.
Do any of us really have to try and make sense of what has transpired in the past year? No. No, we do not.
If you are reading this, you are a survivor. A bit worse for wear, and clearly numb after trying to absorb the relentless series of body blows that 2020 threw at us…but still standing…or at least sitting quietly in your bunker, eating MRE’s and hording toilet paper.
As much as we’d like to think that turning the calendars to 2021 last night was a magic solution to ending the nightmare of 2020, anyone with a brain knows better. There are still a handful of suspenseful, un-erasable dates, with huge question marks hovering over them on the upcoming calendar. There are even bigger question marks hovering over dates, for which we don’t even know which questions to ask. We know there is stuff that needs to happen…and eventually will happen…but, there is no real way to know when what/if is going to happen.
And that’s really what 2020 has taught us; planning for anything with any real solid belief that it will happen, is a fool’s game. It’s why even the most old-fashioned types never write anything on the calendar in pen. In fact, most just use a post-it note these days, so they don’t have to be bothered with erasing an entry in pencil. You never really completely erase something…and who wants to see the ghost of a plan trying to come up through the middle of the revised plan as some subtle reminder of what could have been?
Events. Man…if anything has suffered this past year, it is knowing that an event is “set in stone,” and you can plan on it. It seems weirdly fitting that a large segment of our immediate family rang in 2020 in New Orleans…in a week-long festival of drunken revelry that made us happy to be alive, with so many prospects for the coming year.
Deb and I, celebrating New Year’s Eve in NOLA…2020
Our crew on a “haunted cemetery tour” in NOLA!
Of course, everything changed in the world just before New Orleans stubbornly held Marci Gras events, in February that turned the entire city into one big “Super Spreader Event.”
So by the time TSTO seemingly mocked our reality with the “All That Jazz” event in September, even going so far as to give us a replica of the “Spotted Cat,” my absolutely favorite French Quarter music spot, our real-time celebration in January, felt like decades ago, rather than a handful of months.
But whether the events in TSTO were a repetitive “Meh-Fest” or not…they kept coming. Like clockwork. Like an alarm on our collective cell phones set to repeat every few weeks…they just kept coming.
Through impeachments, pandemic, a never-ending election, delayed and half-assed attempts at sports seasons, death, mayhem, protests, division, and constant reminders that retail, dining, movies and entertainment may never again be the same…TSTO just kept coming.
And for that, I am weirdly grateful. We buried parents and friends in 2020. We became closer to one another, while staying apart, through the very social media tools that are threatening to tear the very fabric of our society apart.
And no matter how outlandish the plots of our event-scripts, it seems that the common sense, order, and structure have given way to conspiracies, new-found beliefs, and paranoia that make even the most outrageous plots (like the one we are currently playing with Moses, God, and Baby Jesus), seem tame and believable in comparison.
If you believe polls and surveys (and if you do, you haven’t been paying attention to how inaccurate they seem to be turning out these days), a large percentage of our population have come unhinged by trusting rumors, Reddit-threads and tweets, more than facts. Perhaps it comes from so few truly trusted sources of real news. Or that it takes time and effort to actually figure out what is real, between the sensational headlines of cable news and “alter-net” feeds.
But, this is nuts. While 55% of those polled don’t know what QAnon is…17%-35% of those polled (depending on the poll, and the sample size, or the specific demographic/psychographic makeup of those polled) believe that anyone who voted for or against their candidate of choice, is a baby-eating, lizard person, who wants to inject chips into unsuspecting vaccine recipients, so Bill Gates can control them with 5G technology.
And you thought Moses being mind-melded into the Movementarians was a stretch???
Here’s the thing folks… 2020 has proven one thing. We need less tech…less screen time…a hell of a lot less time “doom scrolling,” and more time doing simple things, outside, away from “the news.”
I am cautiously optimistic about the future. Not, “Write it in pen” optimistic; but optimistic enough to know that there will be a conclusion to any “hangover” that tries to prevail in the beginning of the year. I plan on spending my birthday (which falls on New Year’s Day), looking toward the year with a long “to do” list that does NOT include sitting in my house, waiting for the zombie apocalypse. I honestly don’t think that things are as bad as they seem. But then again, nobody has asked me to participate in a poll…so I may be wrong.
We will figure this out. Or it will be figured out for us. But, the fact is, I sincerely hope that we never, ever, ever, ever, have another year like 2020.
And yes…I will continue to look forward to new updates and events in TSTO…the game that ignored it all, and just kept tappin’ along.