2.16

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I’m writing just to write.  Maybe that isn’t great, but I feel like I need to write.  I have a couple half baked ideas that I need to do more research on (Politics in Sports, Why Sean Waltman (X-Pac) is the most underappreciated wrestler of his era, Losing yourself in outer space and its limitless potential), but nothing that I feel comfortable putting pen to paper (heh) on right now.

Mostly I’m in this bizarre place every time I look at where this country and the Trump presidency are.  I always make the mistake of hitting the trending hashtag on Twitter and it brings up an unfiltered view of what EVERYONE thinks.  Because that is who speaks up on Twitter.  Everyone.  Maybe that’s a good thing, maybe it’s a terrible thing.  It’s certainly giving people a place to feel like they are being heard.

That’s why I’m struggling.  Normally on Twitter, I’m in my own little bubbles (comedy, video games and baseball on my main account; wrestling on my other), seeing viewpoints that I agree with or people who’s opinions I trust (hence the reason I’m following them on Twitter in the first place).  But when I do the deep dive and click on trending hashtags, especially about politics, I see how the other half sees it.

Example: Today, Donald Trump said some really dumb things, made more baseless accusations about the media and blew off a really serious issue regarding Russia.  My normal twitter feed got a little angrier, had a few laughs and reassured my views on everything.  But when I see how the other half sees it, it’s jarring.  They think he scored a big victory on us stupid liberals, our ideals and our attack of their beloved president.  Normally, in a normal administration, that would be fine.  Yeah, the Bushes and Reagans of the world did stuff we didn’t like and we got upset about it, but I could at least see why the other half liked what they did.  I can’t quite comprehend why people today are so happy with the way things are going.  I suppose he is doing exactly what he promised them (at least when it comes to the really abhorrent stuff, like the wall, the ban and repealing all the “bad” stuff Obama did), and that’s what they want.  Maybe they can gloss over the bad because of all the “good, or they believe Trump’s story when he tells them it’s fake news?  I don’t know.  But maybe I want to know.

Here is the biggest problem with where we are headed: there is no happy resolution.

The powers that be, on both sides, have spent the last 20 or so years villainizing the other half.  So now that we are dug into our trenches on either side, we can’t see things how the other half does.  A lot of that is the information people are receiving, or lack thereof.  I can understand quite a few reasons why people would vote Republican.  I can even find myself agreeing with quite a few of them (fewer taxes would be dope, if unrealistic).  But because we have demonized each other for so long (and more aggressively over the last handful of years), you seemingly can’t have a conversation with the other side without it ending in someone getting called a Fascist or a Cuck.

So how do we bridge that gap?  I have no idea.  I’d like to get all pie-in-the-sky and say “have an open and mature conversation with a friend or family member with the differing viewpoint”, but is that really enough?  If we confirm with our friends why we feel the way we do, why they feel the way they do and then we are right back where we started and you are just left to quietly steam over how much you fucking hate that person for their viewpoint.  But hey, at least no one got called any names!

I don’t believe the internet is really the place to find it either.  There is a certain bravado that the shield of anonymity of the internet provides, and that won’t get you any real answers.  But do you really want to seek out Joe Random on the street and ask him why he feels the way he does about immigration, healthcare or media bias?  Does he care to tell you?  Will he be honest?

I do truly believe good will win out, and the rampant racism, sexism and all other hatred will fade to the background again.  But once it does, will we be able to look at the other half the same way ever again?

To lighten the mood a bit at the end here, I did find a twitter profile who’s header was this hilarious drawing of Jesus helping Trump sign a bill.  I shit you not.

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Josh’s America in 2017

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So it’s been a while.  But I’ve got a gimmick to live up to.  I literally can’t blog.

I’m not sure why I’m writing this, or if I’ll even tell anyone this is here, but the six weeks of 2017 have been some of the strangest of my entire life.  With what’s going on in the world, where my tastes lie and whats actually been happening to me personally, 2017 is shaping up to be… well, an odd 30th year.

I’m writing this from work waiting for a show to start.  I’m now a full year into my first “full time” grown-up job.  That’s actually been one of the better constants I’ve got going.  Sure, occasionally it will have some stress or a busy day, but for the most part, it affords me the opportunity (in time) to write stuff like this, or catch up on TV, or just zone out on Reddit.  It also affords me (in money) the ability to move to a bigger place, spend money on dumb shit like virtual packs of cards or Lego.  I could see myself here for the next few years pretty easily.  So I’ve got this going for me, which is nice.

Ugh… I’ll try to avoid memes the rest of the way.

But while I don’t have the work stress that say, my lovely wife does… it doesn’t mean I’m without stresses.  Mostly those stresses are in things that don’t matter, like producing my wife and sisters’ wrestling podcast (and the pending expansion of that podcast and all the unknown challenges that the opportunity presents), balancing my time at home between my wife and my friends, and trying to be happy to be out doing stuff when I’d much rather be at home 2 hours into a session of Overwatch or 3 episodes deep into a run of Parks and Recreation.

What stresses me out most, though, is where we are as a country and a people.  I can’t say there have been many things that have come out of Donald Trump’s mouth that I agree with since he started his campaign in 2015, but even when you don’t agree with the President, you can at least mostly ignore what they are doing because it doesn’t truly effect your day-to-day life 99% of the time.  Unfortunately, when your president is hoping to set back society as a whole back 60 years to a time where you could oppress those less fortunate than yourself and businesses could do harm to their customers with little regard for anything but the bottom line.  Oh, and apparently racism is cool again now?

Honestly, as a middle-class white guy, if anything, a Trump presidency would only benefit me personally.  He might lower taxes for those of us above the poverty line… and I’m of no threat to be deported, harassed or otherwise have my life impacted.  Unfortunately, I don’t really care about any of that if those around me are being deported, harassed and having their lives ruined by a simple stroke of a pen (or ego).  What’s happened in the last three weeks has not only been historically significant (which as a US President aficionado has been really interesting to see), but also incredibly depressing.  Until the Muslim travel ban (which I could write another 500 words on how completely pointless that is), at least the worst things weren’t coming from the white house, but the staggering 50% of the country who wanted this shit to happen.  Muslims, Blacks, Gays and all others being harassed by a shitty, petty and sad group of people who now feel empowered by “one of theirs” being elected president.

I miss the days where the worst things a president did was sleep with an intern or two.

Really what sets this era apart from any other is how vocal both sides are, and the pure disdain they show for each other.  We are all still people.  Please treat each other that way, even if you disagree with what they stand for.  Also, shut the fuck up about your politics for 10 god damn minutes.  I live a dual life on Twitter, and even on my mostly-wrestling Twitter account, it’s all that ever pops up on my timeline.  Part of me wants to see it. I want to be informed. I want to know whats happening.  I want to know what I can do to change things.  But I also don’t need to see C-List Celebrity #3 tell me how Trump is an idiot for the third time that day, or how we shouldn’t be so hard on DeVos.  I’m not sure what I want, but I don’t like where things are now.

The way I want to consume media (or entertainment, or whatever buzzword you want to use) is rapidly changing as I near my 30th birthday.  Part of that is the way media is presented.  I can get more out of a 12 minute YouTube video where two bozos try and predict the next WWE PPV, or watching an insane Canadian play FIFA 17 on Twitch for a couple hours, than I do sitting down to watch the newest episode of whatever television is trying to tell me is good these days.  I get it.  Mr. Robot is probably phenomenal.  I should probably go see Rogue One or John Wick 2.  But honestly, I just don’t care.

I don’t care about movies at all anymore.  I saw exactly one movie in theaters in 2016.  Disney’s Moana.  It was adorable.  I don’t feel like my life is missing anything by not having seen Deadpool or La La Land or Rogue One.  I’m sure if I actually forced myself to sit down and watch any of these things, I’d enjoy them, but I don’t ever WANT to.  I don’t know what that is.  I know it’s my weird brain, but I just don’t care.

Television is a little different.  I’m much more likely to get drawn into a series that either gives me hours upon hours of enjoyment, even on repeat viewings (like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia or Bob’s Burgers), or losing myself in a fantasy world that keeps me enthralled and guessing week after week (like Westworld).  But I’m still unlikely to pick up something like Mr. Robot or Breaking Bad (in the case of BB, picking it back up.  I’ve seen the first season and a half.  It’s great, but I’m just not looking for that, I guess), or something with heavier tones.  I made an exception for a while on The Walking Dead, but aside from a charming new villain, that show hasn’t done anything for about three seasons.  I just don’t need the true-to-life depression, violence or eerily similar themes of oppression and greed.

No, what I need is junk food for my brain in the form of Professional Wrestling.  I don’t care how I get it.  New or old, foreign or domestic, good or bad.  I’m really feeling wrestling right now.  Even more so than when I was 3 and adored Hulk Hogan, and way more so than when I was 12 and adored Stone Cold Steve Austin.  I want to consume as much wrestling as I can.  I want wrestling opinions from everyone.  I want to talk to people about what I think is going to happen and what I want to happen.  It’s like pro sports without the stress.  I still watch and follow pro sports (and I’m beyond excited to lose myself in 3-4 three hour baseball games a week again), but when your favorite wrestler loses, it doesn’t devastate you quite as hard as when the Ducks lose at home in Game 7 again, or the Angels best pitcher goes down for the season and you can kiss the playoffs goodbye.  You know that the story needed him or her to lose, and they will get back on the horse next week and beat up some jobber.

That’s kinda where I’m at in 2017.  Video games are still a huge part of my free time, but going over all that would take another entry all together (which if new games still disappoint me to the extent that 2017’s offerings have, I might have to).  My only other constant (besides my job, weirdly) is my wonderful wife.  I know things have been hard for her at work recently, and she puts up with a lot of my awful hobbies, usually at the same time, but I’d be nowhere without her… except maybe under a freeway, living in a box.

I’m 30 years old and my idea of a good day is really simple.  Some combination of Lego, Wrestling, Video Games and Netflix, all with my wife by my side and a bacon cheeseburger (or a Naked Chicken Chalupa) in my belly.  Ideally, I’d be out there, marching against the bullshit happening to our country, but I don’t know what I’d want to say.  I’d want to come from a place where the “other side” (you know, more human beings) understands me and where I’m coming from…but I don’t know if that place exists.  Maybe we’ve let politics, corporations and all the other powers that be separate us so much, it’s impossible for us to come back together on anything anymore.  I don’t feel like I need to change peoples minds anymore, that was 20-year-old Josh.  30-year-old Josh just wants everyone to understand where everyone else is coming from and respect each others ideals.  Unless those ideals are legitimate racism, sexism or hated of other people.  In which case, I hear Argentina is lovely this time of year.

*Insert Cheesy Welcome Post Pun Here*

Hello to the four friends and family members I have tricked into visiting the site this early on.  Since you are here, you probably know why I started this place, but in case our fifth reader wants to know why the hell I’m mixing TV reviews with opinions on Wrestling and World Series recaps, this might be a good place to find out why.

I enjoy writing.  Despite how often I don’t do it, I enjoy it quite a bit.  What I’m not too fond of is sticking to something I’ve started.  I don’t know why, but I apparently hate it.  I wish I didn’t.  I wish my first blog site (Angels Nation) had more than 4 posts a year, but sometimes, I want to write and I don’t want it to be about The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  I wish my video game website (Day One DLC, in partnership with Alex Gormley) was still going strong with reviews and opinion pieces to this day, but lives are crazy things and Video Games sadly don’t always have a strong presence in them.  It’s not that I don’t continue to love Baseball, or Video Games, or any of the other plethora of things I’ve set out to write about on a daily or weekly basis… it’s that only writing about those things on a day-to-day basis can be draining.  Especially when the Angels are average (I’ll say it 100 more times before I die: Writing about a bad team is fun, writing about a good team is fun, but writing about a .500 team is DREADFUL) or there aren’t Video Games coming out (January-February and May-August, I’m looking at you!).

So my plan with Josh Can’t Blog (which has been an idea for a long time, hence the change in Twitter handle about a year ago, but I’m a really good procrastinator too) is to write every day, or at least nearly every day, on whatever is striking my fancy that day.  I might review a movie/tv show/album I just enjoyed (or didn’t enjoy), I might make a list of the top 10 best fast food hamburgers (Spoiler Alert: In N Out’s Double Double is #1), I might rant and rave about a move that one of my sports teams made (for future reference: Angels, Ducks, NY Jets, Seattle Sounders, Southampton), or it could be a random piece on a miscellaneous topic that came to me while I was in the shower.

Best case scenario, I turn this writing thing into a career and become the next Bill Simmons or Nate Silver (minus the Math).

Worst case scenario, I do what I do with everything and give up in two weeks and this was an exhilarating 13 day experiment.