Reed Faster's End of Year Round Up, and a Plea for Sanity

 It's a brand new year and we survived the holidays! Since I took a break at the end of the year to celebrate found family and friends, I figured I would give you a roundup on what I read and what games I played while I was away. 

First, what I read:

  • The Inconsolables by Michael Wehunt, illustrations by Trevor Henderson - A book of short stories that are horror themed. I loved the style, and the illustrations really pulled the whole thing together. You can find this book here
  • The Night House by Jo Nesbø - What is reality? Where is the line between a physical manifestation of a ghost and psychosis? The questionable and unreliable narrator is one of my favorite tropes. 
  • All the Living and the Dead by Hayley Campbell - One of the few nonfiction books I read for pleasure this past year. Campbell explores the business of death through the lens of demystifying the process of handling what we leave behind. This book can be found here.
  • The Good House by Tananarive Due - This is an older novel by a seasoned horror writer and afficionado. I discovered Due because of The Boulet Brothers' Dragula. I really enjoy reading horror that has come from BIPOC, because it gives me a different perspective on life that I may have missed due to the privilege afforded to me by my skin color. You can find the book here
What I played:
  • Cyberpunk 2077 - Yes, I finally bought it. After the hullabaloo over it's disastrous initial launch, the improvements that have been made since have actually made this a decent game. I'm not very far into it, but I really dig Keanu Reeves as Johnny Silverhand. 
  • Coral Island - I played this game in early access and I bought it as soon as possible on Steam to play on my Steam Deck. This is a very chill life sim, with all the cozy features that made Stardew Valley popular. 
  • Darkest Dungeon 2 - This is a total pivot from the previous game I mentioned. Dark, difficult, and filled with blood and guts, this sees you revisiting some of your favorite characters from the first game who are trying to bring hope to the world. I love it!

And now, one of the most important things that happens at the first of the year: New Year's Resolutions!

Here are mine: 
  1. Go on at least one outing a month with friends. I'm starting tomorrow with trivia, which is one of my favorite activities outside of reading and playing video games. 
  2. Read 100 books this year - including comics, manga, and audiobooks. 
  3. Get in drag at least once a month. 
  4. Survive the upcoming election.
Now, if you are someone who doesn't want to think about politics, the rest of this post might not be for you. I would, however, appreciate it if you took the time to read it. It's important to me to put this out there, as a plea to the rest of my fellow Americans, and for people in the rest of the world who are affected by the right wing rhetoric that is currently plaguing all of us. 

As a completely queer person living in a very conservative area, the upcoming election is hugely important and stressful in ways that I can't even begin to articulate. I've spent the past few months avoiding the news for my own mental health, attempting to prepare myself for the furor that is coming. I try to stay optimistic, but just a peek at the cesspool Twitter (I refuse to call it by it's new name), at all the wars happening around the world, and my heart just sinks. 

I am a Jewish, pansexual, genderfluid person. There are several politicians, especially in my own state, attempting to both intimidate and eradicate people like me. They've succeeded in some small ways, because the news can't keep up with all the ill that is going on. We can't keep up with all the horrors, so we just become numb. I remember, growing up, when we celebrated our differences, honored the ways we were similar. Even then, that was mostly a pleasant lie, covering up the rot that was slowly settling in. 

We all saw the fruits of the rot when a certain Orange Ketchup Latte was elected. We saw even the most moderate of people suddenly become angry and disillusioned, fed lies by the media, becoming hate-filled and loud in their protests. They stood against anyone who was  different, anyone who might have more than they did or the jobs they wanted. And those hated people had to find ways to cope with the hate, had to hide. 

We saw some of the the worst abuses of the authority, with innocent men and women being suffocated or shot just because of the color of their skin. We still haven't really done much to address this, other than to become more vigilant and less trustful of the people meant to protect us. 

We saw the consequences of that misuse of power, even with someone with a slightly better head on their shoulders in office. Abortions are no longer protected by federal law, and corruption is in some of the highest offices. 

This year, we will be given a choice. I don't like current politics, because we are so locked into a two party system that no longer really serves the people. I don't like how much money corporations are allowed to put into politics. I don't like a lot of things, but all I can do is use the platforms available to me to do something about that. All I can do is let my voice be heard. 

So, I implore you. Remember your friends. Remember the people who will be affected the most if you continue to vote along party lines, instead of recognizing the rot. Vote for the person least likely to try and erase entire groups of people just to fit some ideal that's been cherry picked from a book that's been written and re-written by people who didn't necessarily have everyone's best interests at heart.

It's hard to make a right choice, when none of the choices are that great. The worst ones, though, have shown their hand. It's time to believe them. 

If you are looking for a good perspective on both modern politics and how political history relates to it, I highly recommend following Heather Cox Richardson (her Facebook page is here. You can also purchase her latest book here. I highly advise doing your own research, and looking outside your normal sources as well. Read the experts, the historians, the political theorists. 

And now, remember, my dears, that when the last page is turned and the final chapter is read, I will be here, should you need me.