The original version of Deonandan.com went live in 1993, transitioning to a regular blog format (called a “bulletin” back then) in 1999. So depending on how to you measure these things, this year marks either the 20th or 26th anniversary of this site. I think that makes it one of the oldest continuous personal websites still in existence.
For many years now, I have reserved the first post of each year for a shmaltzy personal reflection on the things that are important to me. And I will get to that. But why not make at least a cursory attempt to make this post interesting to people other than me, my girlfriend, and the dog?
So let’s start with some general observations about 2018:
- Is there anything more emblematic of 2018 than one of the last stories on CNN? That Donald Trump’s use of the term “witch hunt” is…. offensive to witches?
- I have always held that stand-up comedians are the most important transgressive voices in any society. With the current trend toward proper people increasingly calling for the silencing and censuring of comics, my assertion is doubly confirmed. The more offensive the routine, the more I value it. Call me an ogre if you must, but regardless of political pole, any attempt to silence a humourist is a sure sign of social tyranny. I’ve been personally offended by jokes in the past (*ahem* Andrew Dice Clay *ahem*), but recognized that that was the point. I will always take the side of the humourist, however unfunny, so long as there is a genuine attempt to make people laugh.
- The wisest thing I did all year was to mostly retreat from Facebook. I’m still stuck on Twitter; but self-removal from the marination of opinionation has shown me how pathological that existence truly was. I recommend it.
- The second wisest thing I did was to go from mostly vegetarian to full-on vegan (with a monthly egg allowance). No I won’t preach to you just yet. Not… yet.
- Virtue signalling is a real thing, despite overuse of the term by right wing trolls. Look for it. On both sides of the political spectrum.
- Language policing used to be the domain of right wing assholes. Now it’s the go-to pastime of left wing assholes. Latest on the chopping block are the words “sassy” and “tirade.” But right wing assholes are still bigger and stinkier assholes (probably because of all the dietary meat).
- Dogs are better than people in every measurable way. Every. Measurable. Way. I will fight you if you disagree.
- The most important lesson learned this past year, though obvious, is something we all need to remember. It’s that people are complicated and imperfect. It’s possible to appreciate a person’s position and thoughts on a given topic, while simultaneously being disgusted by their positions and thoughts on another topic. I think it is not useful to dismiss the totality of an individual’s brief solely because we find some of their thoughts unpalatable. I won’t offer any specifics on this. But I will repeat an old saying that we all seem to have forgotten: perfect is the enemy of good. Don’t dismiss well meaning allies simply because they don’t share all of your beliefs
- Having said that, people are the worst. The fucking worst.(If that depresses you, this will help.)
- 2019 has begun much like 2016, with many of my old media heroes suddenly perishing. Bob Einstein, Daryl Dragon, Gene Okurland… all dead at age 76; all nostalgic figures of my 1970s youth.
- Just when I think Asia is about to dominate the world, I see something like this and rethink my position. (There is more here.)
- PBS Space Time and Red Letter Media are now my two favourite Youtube channels.
- I love mixed martial arts. And I used to love professional wrestling. The Japanese have found just the right mix between the two, especially when reflected in MMA fighters’ cinematic entrances. The best one this year was by Andy Nguyen at Rizin 13:
- I have heard many people this year agonizing over the “the crap we’re in”, “how the world has turned to shit”, “everything is bad and getting worse,” etc. Donald Trump in the USA and Doug Ford here in Ontario are examples of how shitty everything is. People… people… these are transient bumps on the road of progress. Look around you: poverty is at an all time low; equality is at an all time high; access to services, necessities and luxuries is now the greatest is has ever been to more people in more places than ever before in human history; there is less crime and war now than any time in my lifetime, and likely in all of human history. While we still have suffering, and while tragedy might always be right around the corner, there is measurably mostly progress in the world. Focusing on the shitty is a choice. You can choose otherwise.
- The Blonde One and her sister have, over their lives, developed their own weird sibling language. Rice is “du riz” (because, you know, French). I forget the rest of the words, but they’re all equally as foolish. So I suggested that “onions” should be “bunions”. She got very serious and said, “No. In my family, bunions are serious business.” That’s going on a t-shirt.
Here are some funny images. (Because I have to keep them somewhere). Let’s begin with some advice for how to make your medical appointments more memorable:
Because I find the original French postmodernists to be a bunch of intellectual charlatans, I give you this:
Because everyone needs a self-help book from the second worst man in the world:
For those of us who live in Ottawa. (This will mean nothing to anyone else):
Another of the wise things I did this year was to use my phone as little as possible. No, really. I take it to the toilet, and I look at it on the train. But I leave it in my pocket when socializing, and I see it now as a tool, not a platform for entertainment. I cannot recommend this enough.
This animation is tens of thousands of years old. Think on that, son:
(This one is also pretty old.)
And here is dire warning for our technological future:
Want some more? Sure you do!
Ah? Ah? Get it? Here’s another:
You want another? Sure you do….
And how about something uncharacteristically clean?
You knew this was coming. Shut up and deal with it. Again, there is a reason for this, which I will reveal in good time.
Dec 7, 2018 – Veggie burger and a baked potato… I don’t remember from where.
Dec 8, 2018 – Falafel platter, eaten in the rooftop solarium of my condo as a team of cleaners scrubs my home in preparation for the arrival of my tenant.
Dec 9, 2018 – Vegan pizza and lentil salad.
Dec 10, 2018 – Whatever I could scrounge from the office AGM.
Dec 11, 2018 – Thai tofu curry with one of those cranberry breakfast roll thingies.
Dec 12, 2018 – Channa and saag curry.
Dec 13, 2018 – Harvey’s veggie burger and vegan gravy.
Dec 14, 2018 – Fruit salad and raisin bagel.
Dec 15, 2018 – Fruit & bean salad and a couple of bagels.
Dec 16, 2018 – Bean salad, black bean guacamole, an avocado, and a bagel.
Dec 17, 2018 – Same as above, plus some fried plantains.
Dec 18, 2018 – Mixed bean salad, cinnamon raisin bagel, and something the Blonde Girl made…. peanut butter and plum sauce…. soup?
Dec 19, 2018 – Mixed bean salad.
Dec 20, 2018 – Another mixed bean salad.
Dec 21, 2018 – A mixed bean salad, a bowl of baked beans, and a bagel.
Dec 22, 2018 – Bean & nut salad, toast, baked beans, and a mango.
Dec 23, 2018 – Bean & nut salad, toast, and a pomegranate.
Dec 24, 2018 – Cereal with fruits and almond milk, toast, and Danish thingy.
Dec 25, 2018 – Xmas brunch prepared by the Blonde One’s mother: tempeh bacon, poached eggs, and a delicious selection of breads.
Dec 26, 2018 – Boxing Day brunch prepared by my friends Ed & Meiling (mostly the latter): banana-stuffed French toast, salad, avocado, and a butt load of fruit.
Dec 27, 2018 – Danishes and bean & nut salad.
Dec 28, 2018 – Corn flakes with apple, beans & nuts, corn bread.
Dec 29, 2018 – My famous veggie chili, and a sweet potato and apple mushy thingy.
Dec 30, 2018 – Corn bread and a bowl of corn flakes with apple and phosphatidylcholine.
Dec 31, 2018 – Veggie chili, sweet potato & apple thingy, and a dal puri.
Jan 1, 2019 – Veggie tacos (from the place down the street), and a selection of my mother’s Guyanese “bara” (chick pea-based fried dough fritter thingies).
Jan 2, 2019 – My veggie chili, my mother’s leftover channa curry, and her Guyanese “bara“.
Jan 3, 2019 – My mother’s Guyanese “pholourie“, and the Blonde One’s mother’s vegan Italian wedding soup.
Jan 4, 2019 – Same as above, but with the Blonde One’s banana bread with peanut butter, an apple, and an avocado.
Things I Am Thankful For
All right. As is my tradition, here are the things I am thankful for at the start of 2019…
(1) My parents are now both in their 80s. A wise man once told me that the only people who truly love you are your parents. Spouses and children are fine, but only your parents deeply, thoroughly love you. So to have both of mine so late in my life is a gift indeed.
(2) I don’t have kids (that I (a) know about and/or (b) acknowledge). But I do have this little guy. I love him so much it hurts:
(4) I think three things are enough. Any more and I’m bragging. But my life is great. When you have love, family, shelter, employment, and something resembling good health, what the frack do you have to complain about?
2019 is going to be a very different year for me. All good, I think. I hope. But definitely some interesting changes are afoot. Hope it’s good year for you, too.