Webtacular World Issue # 350, December 21, 2020

Greetings Webtaculators – sorry for the delay. Yesterday was my 36th birthday, or as I like to call it, my double 18th, so I was too busy spending the day cooking delicious food for myself to pay attention to the goings on in the world. I have some extra revelations to share now that I have complete my second set of eighteen years around the sun.

Eighteen years seems like a good marker for a human life. The average human gets just over four of them. Eighteen years represent enough time where a lot can change, but also not enough so that you can’t easily identify the similarities between those timeframes. It’s not too long, like, let’s say, thirty years, where differences may make someone unrecognizable. If you were to put a me from my 18th birthday to next to me now, there would be a clear line of understandable development, whereas if you stick newborn me next to current me, you’d probably say something like “what travesty happened to that adorable baby?”

Eighteen years signifies the start of adulthood in modern American culture – you can vote, buy porn, get tattoos, sign loans, get drafted into the army, get thrown in real jail… you know, all the adult things. But it’s also sort of a limbo time – you can’t be President, rent a car, legally smoke or drink, and you can still be declared dependent for tax and health care purposes. You also aren’t really expected to be an adult by societal standards at that point either – many people are still in school. You are not expected to be married or have children. You still have some leeway to make mistakes without fully upending your life.

Double eighteen is a different story. I am expected to have my shit generally together – and, on paper, I seem to. I have a wife and a child, a career, mortgage, and a car loan, grey in my beard and a receding hairline, a collection of hobbies, and a terrible coffee habit supported by a way too expensive coffee grinder. I am much more “adult” than I was when I first became one. I also no longer have the same amount of “infinite possibilities” that I did after the first eighteen. I have made a series of decisions, both on purpose and not, that have led to who I am at this point. The questions that once unknown answers (where I lived, what I was going to do, who I was going to be with) have now been answered. I am more or less on my path, and and I get to spend the next part of my life seeing where that ends up.

At the same time, I still have a strong connection to that eighteen-year-old version of myself. I can directly trace the beginning of many of my convictions, the emergence of a more social self, and a full embrace of a lacking patience for doing things conventionally, especially if those conventions were self determined to be a waste of time (sorry to anyone who has had to deal with this). In other words, I still feel identifiably “me,” although I don’t know for how much longer. My convictions probably won’t change, but I know my social meter gets drained much faster than it used to, and I also find it utterly exhausting to push back against systems that I may or may not disagree with. I imagine some of that self identification will change by the time my third 18th rolls around, but I don’t really know what that entails. Hopefully, I can let you all know when I get there.

On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Some Relief
Why: Because Congress is finally giving people something – $600 dollars to be exact. Yes, the specifics mean some people will be getting more help, but a $600 one time payout is basically an insult. $600 is not enough money to come close to the amount of economic harm that has been caused by the US’ specific inability to treat COVID like a real thing. McConnell and the rest of the Republicans have purposefully done as little as possible to help people. America remains broken.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Less Than A Trickle
Why: Because the one of the dumbest economic theories that continues to be put into practice (see above) is proven not to work. Giving wealthy people more money is not the answer.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Bye Barr
Why: Because the worst AG in history decided he wants to try to flee the sinking ship again. The amount of damage he has accumulatively caused to the rule of law in the United States cannot be overstated.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Cosmic Harmony
Why: Because Saturn and Jupiter will be crossing the same visual plane tonight. This only happens every 20 years, and this time around they will look especially close together. Space is neat.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. reads)
What: Necessary Changes
Why: Because the Cleveland Baseball Team is also getting rid of its racist name. Also, the MLB is finally recognizing the Negro Leagues as major league baseball.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. reads)
What: Fun At Home
Why: Because Wonder Woman and Soul are two capital M MOVIES that will be coming straight to your nearest streaming services.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Redemption
Why: Because The Mandalorian is the best Star Wars made in my lifetime. I highly suggest watching Gallery, which demonstrates just how much care and thought the creators put into this show.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. watch)
What: As You’ve Never Seen Them
Why: Because Peter Jackson is teasing footage from his newest Beatles movie.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. look)
What: SPAAAACE
Why: Because planets.

POST OFFICE THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Letters To Santa
Why: Because the sports blog that refuses to write about sports has one of the most soul crushing reads about how this year has impacted people as told from their letters to the North Pole.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Playing With Kindness
Why: Because Shigeru Miyomoto, creator of things like Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong, has only wants one thing from games – a nicer world.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Hanukkah With Haim; Blobpera; COVID From The Future, Part 4
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN AMERICA OF THE WEEK
What: $600 is not enough. Americans should not be punished for their leaders’ failure to act. Although I have been financially impacted due to furloughs and pay cuts this year, my family and I are still OK. That is why I will be donating whatever stimulus funds I end up getting back to Americans actually in need. I highly suggest you do the same, if you can afford to. If you need help, please reach out. The only way we can get through this is by helping each other.
Why: Because Brian Americans deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™

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