As I prepare to do issue 176 it seemed appropriate to write a piece regarding some things I wanted to clarify and add nuance
to as well as just some thoughts on it in general. Double issues do take a lot out of you when putting them together - and
this is no exception. While I'm proud of the finished project I'm also aware that both this issue and last summer's double
issue was done as a way not to fall off track as the pandemic inevitably led to a lack of motivation at times. Both times
were successful but they also were ways to keep things in the stream rather than a slight derailing I'd have to catch up on.
I admit that, after doing the summer theme issue for this time of year a number of times over the past eight or so years,
that it can be a challenge to keep things fresh. Yes, the season is a time when a sense of adventure and a laid back feel
seems to be the norm. When doing something on par with our summer themed issues one ends up racking the brain trying not to
repeat themselves. In some cases the mix of the mundane and the memorable adds to the journey (as did the story regarding
being stuck on the Octopus ride at World's of Fun) but trying to keep things fresh can be exhausting when doing something
Ultiamtely though what inspired a need to provide some nuance was the piece regarding family members falling for the QAnon
malarkey and having to remove them from my life. I know some readers may desire to ask why I had them as friends on social
media for so long? That was a question that stuck in my mind as well.
Before my sister's life saving surgery a couple of years ago I had to keep them around as, when one reaches the top of
the transplant list those around the potential recipient get their roles unofficially assigned as the date nears (all the
while not knowing when it will be). My job was both to make sure her dog was taken care of as well as using social media
to let the relatives know the details (my parents, for the most part, refuse to go on social media so that part was left to
Looking back I should've un-followed them when their views began to piss me off before then, followed them during the
time needed to keep them in the loop for family reasons and then un-followed them again when necessary but that didn't occur
to me then. Instead I was still trying to follow the bullshit about how the bigger people keep the dialog open regardless
of the multiple bad faith arguments you suspect are happening (for example the repeated sharing of memes claiming those who
knelt during the national anthem are doing ti to hate the military even after they're informed of the real reason they're
doing it as a protest against police brutality) as well as the usual pressure that can come from extended relatives when cutting
them loose. Instead I chose battles and tried to use questions and humor to hopefully prick their increasingly far right hardened
balloons. After the unrest of last year it increasingly got to the point where i realized that most of them were getting way
to close to embracing fascist or fascist adjacent beliefs (and when called on it trying to paint it as something we should
agree to disagree on) for me to follow so I cut them loose. Then came the QAnon posts from an aunt I felt sorry for and I
knew she had to go as well.
I feel sorry for said aunt. I don't necessarily want anything bad to happen to her. However, I also know that her continuing
to share that garbage makes her very close to embracing fascism and that I have to view her as the enemy. It's sad but I know
having her in my life would make a mockery of actual human ethics and would be waste of time.
Some people have pointed out that it's important o have dialog with people who may disagree with you on big picture issues?
As I said in the article in the print issue I agree with that. However, all involved have to be using not just good faith
arguments but their best faith arguments. Constantly using discredited information that may have been shared in bad faith
before they found it even when given facts makes such a dialog impossible - as does living way too far away for a dialogue
to work when those around said person can undo it with their bullshit.
That's it for commentary regarding the Pandemic Summer 2 issue. Join us down the road when we might have commentary and
nuance regarding a future issue as we put a print issue in focus.