Post 364

Long Time No See:
Reflections on the Summer of 2021

Tell me, how was your summer?
Were you sad because so many things were closed or cancelled?
Did you get vaccinated?
Are you working from home again?
How about church?

You’re so quiet.

I need to carry this conversation, it seems.

The other day I watched the Seinfeld stand-up routine where he says everything sucks. (And it was before the pandemic.) It was posted on YouTube in 2020. He says, “Your life sucks — my life sucks, too,” and then there’s a slight pause, and he says, “perhaps not. quite. as. much.” which of course is funny because everyone knows that he’s wealthy and famous. The idea is that his life is probably better because of those things, but I know that’s not how things work. Happiness doesn’t come from fame or wealth.

That feeling of happiness comes and goes throughout the day. It’s the same with sadness or anger, with laughing and tears. Human emotions are very variable, kind of like the weather.

I can’t remember exactly what I was going to say about Seinfeld, but I guess I thought of it because when I think about my summer, I think to myself that my summer was very good, and when I tell you about it, you’ll be thinking that I am saying my summer was perhaps. better. than. yours. But that’s not really what I want to say. I just want to say hello and tell you what I’ve been up to — because obviously I wasn’t blogging.

Around when I wrote my last post in late 2020, I had started playing chess online. I joined and played against people around the world. It’s a good pandemic activity. It’s strangely addictive, and I feel that I got quite good quite quickly, but the scary thing is that you get rusty quite fast too. I’m already rusty because the next thing I found was K-dramas. Netflix has quite a few of them with English subtitles. I watched “Rookie Historian” and lived the experience of binge-watching. My longest session was 6-hours straight, I think. Boy, those Koreans know how to tell a story. I’ve heard that they begin airing the episodes even before filming is done, and the writers adjust the plot lines based on viewer feedback. I think that’s clever, and I’m sure the shows would have benefitted from viewer feedback. I never did watch any of Game of Thrones, but my understanding with that is that the writers purposely went against what the viewers wanted at the end. What did they do? Didn’t they make a good character behave immorally? Hmm. Let me just look this up on Wikipedia. One moment.

Okay, I’m back. The final season, season 8, was very disappointing for the viewers. According to Rotten Tomatoes, all of the other seasons were rated 93% or higher, but the final season was rated 55%. People were very unhappy with how they ended the series. From, I found this: “the shocking twist was when Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) descended into madness.” Someone named Turner was angry that 1.7 million fans signed a petition asking for the final season to be re-written. “Turner says that it shouldn’t have been ‘such a negative thing’ for audiences at home. ‘It’s a shock for sure, but I think it’s just because it hasn’t gone their way,’ she stated.” Hmm. Let me disagree with that. If Daenerys Targaryen was a well-loved character, then the audience wants to see a victory for her; that would be satisfying. The K-drama makers know that normal people want a happy ending. Having her go nuts is not a happy ending.

I’m curious about her character. Another moment, please.

Alright. I see basically what they did. Daenerys Targaryen struggled a lot and stood for a lot of good, and then at the end she is responsible for the death of a lot of innocent civilians. Yeah, that’s lame on the part of the writers. It’s realistic, in the sense that in real life, many people are not what they seem, but the problem here is that so many viewers were led, step by step, line by line, season by season, to cheer for her and empathize with her. When she became very immoral at the end, those fans lost the character they loved and even identified with. Yeah, I can see why people would be upset. I think the writers of television show deliberately and maliciously mismanaged that. I can be as bold to say that it was malicious because these things don’t happen by accident. They chose an ending that they knew would disappoint. There are a lot of ways to end a story in a satisfying way, so why not give that to the fans who have given success to the series and everyone associated with it? Too often writers don’t think they’re being clever enough if things turn out well in the end. They think that a dark ending is more ‘sophisticated.’ That’s just pride.

I hear the writer of the original story has still not finished writing his version (the television series went beyond the book version), and there are hints that he will do better. It seems he couldn’t really do worse.

But back to me, after “Rookie Historian,” I watched another K-drama called “Crash Landing on You,” and that was also thoroughly enjoyable while also showing the sorrowful separation between North and South Korea. After that, I watched “Start Up,” and that was great too. Not all K-dramas are as good as those; there were some that I didn’t watch more than one episode of.

I also went to the Heritage Days festival. I love it and attended all three days of it. To me, heaven would be something like that, except the food would be free.

I gardened.

I reorganized my wardrobe and bought new things. I really like Coach purses when they are 8 inches long and 5 inches tall and have the little brass turn-lock closure. When I take a chance and buy a Coach purse that’s an inch wider, I think to myself, “Why did they make it so huge?” And when it’s smaller, I think, “Man, this is just not right!” But this size, and with the golden coloured turn-lock — well, it’s the closest I come to being a collector.

I got vaccinated, twice, but still support those who don’t want to get vaccinated. The vaccine should be available to those who want it, but those who don’t want it should not be unduly pushed into it. As I’ve said before, distrust of the government and the billion-dollar health industry is a valid reason to not get it. (Some who are opposed don’t even call it a ‘vaccine.’) In addition, fear of needles or medical situations is also a valid reason. Yes, the hospitals may be overwhelmed, and yes, some of the unvaccinated people may become ill and may even die, but we must not vilify or bully a group of people in the name of health or economy. It’s outrageous how far all the establishments and people in power will go to pressure the unvaccinated. Only those who are willing to say that people have a right not to get vaccinated really know what it is to believe in human rights.

I have gone to church, but not as much as before. It’s been more difficult and the obligation is currently suspended.

So the weeks all blur together without being separated by Sunday Eucharist.