So, been a while. This will be the last post ever on this user account, and probably the last ever from this human on the internet. I'm done with the Internet. But there are a few people here that are worth saying farewell towards, so I will give you an update on the last year.
Last summer, I was not in a good space. My job was terrible, my personal life was not well either. On a whim I applied for a travel and residency visa to go to Ireland with the goal of living there long enough to die and be buried in the homeland's dirt. With my family history and my intent to emigrate, my visa was denied. I drove to a consulate to plead in person, and had a great talk with the people there. But terrorist, freedom fighter, patriot are words that don't have meaning any more after Good Friday. Everyone wants freedom, few will fight for it. An Uncle was caught up in Operation Demetrius; as far as I can tell he is still alive in hiding and wanted by the Brittish. A close family friend was a hunger striker. A not-distant cousin is a convicted terrorist that died in jail. The Grandparents where friends with parents of a kid that was killed in Derry. Even though the last time I talked to any of the family that was in Ireland before 1998 was some 40 years ago, I guess they thought my pansy ass was a risk. I even started to relearn Gaelic hoping to increase my chances, but no luck.
There was really nowhere else I really wanted to go, and leaving America was going to be a one-way venture. This whole process put me in a worse mood. Then a post mentioning that there are not that many of us old farts left in online communities made me realize that it does not matter all that much what I do with the brief time I have left. I did a hard look at my finances, and realized I don't need to work any more. So, why? I spent time selling anything that did not have direct sentimental value, threw away a dumpster full of things I could not sell, sold the house, bought a truck and trailer, and left. Because I lack creativity, I went to five of the last Slayer concerts and followed them for about a month. I wanted to go to the last concert but you could not sacrifice a goat and get into that show; the second to last I made it, enjoyed the mosh pit, had fun. Then I went home for Thanksgiving.
It went poorly. Retirement, coupled with television and social media have destroyed my family. Media does not make you a shit human being. What it does do is find the parts of your psyche that can be exploited, those small nuggets of terrible, and feeds that part of a person, weaponizing itself to make people into angry useless garbage good for nothing but ad revenue. The people whom raised me are gone and something sinister and terrible took their place. I'd rather remember the people whom raised me, not the empty bitter shells they are now.
I wandered for about a month . I ended up in a forgotten corner of the country, a county larger than several US states but with a population of under 10K. I found a plot of land with no utilities, talked to the realtor and found out that I could get power to the property and there were no water covenants. Due to communication and other problems, the property finally closed in February. I was able to winter on the land in a 20' tow behind, enjoying -20° temps and multiple foot snows. I felt more alive and content than I had in two decades. The only real downside is the two hour drive to "town" to stock up on food, pick up mail and an interesting off road adventure down a mountain. The property does not have a physical address so arrangements had to be made with the post office to forward everything to a post office box. I made arrangements for an insulated mobile home to be constructed and delivered, then went to enjoy the late winter at 8500 feet.
I came down off the hill in April to find the whole world went to shit. And felt, nothing. I called the family to tell them I was alive, gave them the P.O.Box, worked on arrangements to get the house delivered, and deal with my retirement money. I pulled everything out of all the various work accounts in late February, the checks made it to me in early April, when they were reinvested. So thanks, everyone, for the 80% increase in net worth this year.
I come down the hill once a month or so, or when the post office calls me to pick stuff up. I can only get internet at a coffee shop and library in "the big city" further down the mountain as I barely have Edge connectivity at the property. I get caught up on news, watching protestant churches fueled by social media monetization spreading death and what none dare call treason. Who would have thought that the KKK would make a come back, eh? Megachurches? Prosperity Gospel? Congressmen advocating open Treason? We don't get tourists much here; nobody is wearing masks. I avoid people. I drive three hours to a Costco and stock up, the survival meals and prepper garbage is not bad if you have limited power and water, so thanks Mormons for being your own special crazy.
I am convinced that a free, open, liberal, civil democracy cannot exist if social media and unregulated 'news' are allowed to exist. This is an evil we needed to stop twenty years ago before we can begin having a conversation on how evangelical religion is anti-Western Civilization and how the only export the Chinese offer is fascism. Every interaction with Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Reddit, and any large commercialized platform allowing user uploaded content supported by ads is killing our society. Companies want maximized revenue and how do you do that under an attention economy model? Wrap people up in a bubble and make them angry so they keep hate-clicking to generate ad delivery. This is how you get President Trump, and yes, I am saying it is partially Facebook's fault. The Democrats all but abandoned half the states, and Clinton ran a terrible campaign, true, but no Facebook and Reddit, no Trump. As soon as Hubski gets big enough to need ads? Hubski will be part of the same problem. The saving grace here is that there are only 30 or so users, the way Hubski is built it is harder to be a narcissistic attention seeker but not impossible and those style of people always seem to win in the end. If you think it won't happen here, you do not understand your part of the bigger problem. The only saving grace is if MK gets too busy to support the site, or bored with it, and kills it before it can metastasize.
But the worst thing this new media landscape is doing is destroying the concept of the individual. You, the person that is you, no longer matter. The boxes you check are all that matter. Catholic, Protestant, Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative, old, young, male, female. We are no longer human beings, we are marketing demographics. The person you are and your life experiences are only to be farmed for likes and retweets wrapped in propaganda disguised as ads funded by foreign governments to sow discontent. Or Wish ads, you choose what the worst fate is.
I reflect on this quite a bit lately. When you are not bombarded buy TV and internet and "news" you get to really figure out what you are inside and what you values are. My daughter would have been 30 last year. Long story made short is that life is not fair, and I don't talk about it. Her life was brief and full of pain; that sorrow for years is all I remembered of her. Yet, for the first time in ages, I'm glad that history and fate took a shit turn and I don't have to raise a kid in this rotting corpse of a country. Why never talk about it? Nobody cares; the few people who say they do only see men's sorrows as weapons to be used against us. Get sad or angry in the wrong place? Go to jail, or worse. I had to learn that lesson far to young. There was a point that I blamed my head space on this anniversary, but being free to be myself again made me realize that all pain has a blessing if you reflect properly.
The human behind this username will now cease to exist on the internet. The user name I picked while in a Seminary studying to be a Jesuit will now fade as others start using it. There are a couple of people in Italy that keep trying to break into my account, there is a twitter loser in Quebec using this username, and some Trump idiot in Washington with a Voat account of the same name. So the "me" behind this name will be continuously polluted and fade.
This is my farewell to the sewer that is the Internet.
To those few people of decency and character left for whom I respect and had good interactions over the last 8 or so years on Hubski? Good luck and peace to all you. You are going to need it.