So, this annoying and embarrassing thing has been happening to me lately while I watch movies, particularly action movies. 

Now, there is a certain subset of the action genre that requires you to ignore the sociopolitical implications to enjoy.  Mostly the type where a super elite team of badasses goes into a foreign country and smashes everything to bits trying to save someone or kill someone.  But, either way, they’re going to kill a hell of a lot of people.  They’ll explode anything in their way, have shootouts in the middle of the city, and blow the hell out of buildings and cars, with zero regard for the people living there.  Insane collateral damage is pretty much par for the course in this type of action movie.  Imagine if some dude dressed in black fatigues dives through your window, trades shots with people outside, blows up a wall to escape and just jams, leaving you with PTSD and a broken house. 

You have to ignore all that to enjoy the movie, and that’s okay.  But, I just watched a movie called Hurricane Heist.  It’s about, as you can probably guess, a robbery that takes place during a huge storm.  A group of dudes take over a facility that is used to shred cash that the government is taking out of circulation.  They do it completely non-lethally, because they don’t want to hurt anyone.  It’s just a dude who has worked in the public sector for ages and about to retire.  So, he figures, just take all this junk cash that the federal government is going to destroy anyway, and live off that. 

But then some chick who was transporting the money decides that this is EVIL and starts killing them.  The bad guys who, at this point, have not killed a person and are only interested in the cash that the government is throwing away. Like, it’s just trash.  It’s not even stealing money from people, bank, or any other such entity!  It’s refuse!

And then the action starts, and it’s pretty standard stuff, car chases, explosions, gun fights, a few punches, hub caps hurled like ninja stars. The heisters are slowly picked off in varying manners, including being sucked up into a hurricane and having a truck dropped on them.

But, I kept going back to the idea that these people are killing and dying for not-even property.  That the bad guys deserve to die as punishment for daring to try to have some joy in their twilight years.  That these scraps are something that this chick needs to fight and kill to protect.  So that she can then destroy it.  Why?  I don’t buy that this a crime worthy of capital punishment.  Heck, I’m not even so sure that this is a moral crime.

I dunno, man, maybe there’s some element that I’m missing or maybe this is super elementary stuff for critics and journalists, but it’s kind of been a thing that I’ve been dwelling on.  

It’s naught but trash.

Currently reading: Eon by Greg Bear
Currently watching: Filthy Rich & Catflap
Currently feeling: thoughtful
Posted by Narzack on January 9, 2021 at 08:56 PM | Add a comment

So, here we are.  We made it to 2021, having survived the worst year in my living memory.  And we lost a lot along the way, both people and any idealism about this country we had left.  It was a really bad year.  First, it was my stepdad.  Then a few months later, Haley’s dad.  After that her grandfather, and then finally, on Thanksgiving, our very dear friend Matt.  That last one might be the hardest to process.  I mean, each death hurts and burns in its unique way, but with Matt, it was so unexpected and so. . . unjust.  We’re still reeling from it.  He wasn’t sick, he wasn’t in poor health, he wasn’t depressed.  Just one day he was here, and the next, he was gone.

Receiving the news was like a kick to the gut.  Over a month on, and I still can’t wrap my head around it.  It’s so wretched and horrible.  Like, 2020, the horror shit year that it is, doesn’t deserve to take him.  He is better than 2020, heck, he’s better than any of us.  He can’t just be another name in the endless litany of people who died in 2020.  Just so shitty.

Fortunately, though, nothing was really unsaid between all of us.  We’re very open and honest with our feelings in the SWARM, and he knew how much we loved him and we know how much he valued us.  And, in the group, it kind of made it even more important for us to never leave anything unsaid.  And, really, because of the pandemic, the SWARM has actually spent a lot of time together.  Marc lived near him and they spent a lot of time together, and they all played games like Warzone and hung out in discord voice chat, so, really, we’ve gotten even closer than most years.  The only shit of it is that we haven’t been able to meet in person this year.

In addition to losing friends, family, and hope, Haley ended up shattering her ankle and having surgery.  She’s still not completely well, but, she’s begun physical therapy, so hopefully it gets better.  But’s she’s had a really hard time of it, and Max doesn’t respect physical limits- shocking, I know.

Other than the heart-rending misery of the year, a few good things have happened.  We finally got out of Florida, which I have been trying to do for years.  We actually moved back up to the area I grew up, near my family. And I managed to score a travel gig for a few months which was perfect timing for us.  Also, Haley and Max got their first real white Christmas, which is AWESOME.  Max, I don’t think quite understands, but we know he is a lot happier up here.  And believe it or not, our dog Pax kinda likes the snow!  We were sure he would be terrified of it, as he is most things, but he bounded and rolled in it and had a great time.

So, yeah, this year has been trying. 

Currently reading: Ancestor by Scott Sigler
Currently watching: Toast of London Season 2
Currently feeling: optimistic
Posted by Narzack on January 3, 2021 at 07:01 PM | Add a comment
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