The Airing of the Grievances – 2022
Well, friends, another year is rapidly coming to an end – a year filled with annoyances, frustrations and irritations over which I have valiantly attempted to avoid spreading negativity by limiting my public gripes. However! In the grand tradition of Festivus, the time has come to air my grievances for 2022.
This year I’m giving you twenty-two of my top grievances: some large, some small, all legitimate as far as I’m concerned.
Consider this an invitation to air your own grievances, here in the comments, on social media, or anywhere you can find a sympathetic ear, for The Airing of the Festivus Grievances is about catharsis. It’s a chance to get some shit off your chest and go forth into a new year having unloaded hard truths upon the people who have cramped your style.
*~*~*~ Please note: if you find yourself disagreeing with me about any of my grievances, you should know I have no interest in hearing about it.
And now, without further ado…
The Arrogant Hubris of American Journalists
Listen. I’m a huge 1A advocate and a believer in the essential value of a free press in a democratic society. But Jesus H. Christ on a stack of old newspapers, y’all. You are taking up way too much air time on social media. In fact, I think you may have missed the memo that online communities are not your God-given broadcasting channels and you aren’t owed attention, audience, or authority there. The fact that so many of y’all are out there demanding things from platforms as if they exist to help you do your job is preposterous to the point of embarrassing. Especially on platforms like Mastodon that have been built by communities themselves. Shut up. Pay attention. Report on what’s happening. Offer your commentary and if it’s good, we’ll pick it up and carry it all the way down the field for you. But this bullshit attention whoring and self-aggrandizing has got to go.
This one is fresh in my mind because I just went to the mall in a city far from home, desperately seeking a last-minute gift for someone I’m visiting over the holidays. The mall is a homogenized hellscape of mediocrity, crass consumerism, overpowering, artificial smells and germs galore. I try my best to not go there, but every time I do I end up regretting it. The last time the mall was any good I was 14-years-old, there was an Orange Julius, and I didn’t know any better. Fuck the mall.
Ah, my perennial gripe! Raisins can go to hell. I do not want them in a cake, or a cookie. I do not want them in cereal or salad. I do not want them anywhere near me. Take your raisins far away. Give them to people you hate.
If you know me, you know I hate celebrity culture and distrust powerful people. So when you take politicians and treat them like celebrities, it revolts me on a visceral level. Politicians don’t need your defense. They don’t need your adoration. They do need your votes, but if you don’t even have the ability to vote for them what the actual fuck are you doing hyping them up like they’re anything more than a human being with a particularly strong ego working every day in a dreadfully corrupt system? Also. This is very much why fucking celebrities think they can just switch careers and become politicians once they are played out in their industry. It’s so gross. Cut it out.
Elitism Masquerading as Meritocracy
Here’s the deal. I came up from poverty. A product of grimy, unwashed, uneducated “trash people” who came from Europe and have managed to creep our way up to the middle class with each subsequent generation. I never had the opportunity to go to college. I’ve worked multiple jobs since I was seventeen, many of which were flat-out manual labor. So when I see over-educated and “well-placed” people steeped in elitist thinking looking down their noses on those of us who are ‘uneducated’ – assigning stupidity, illiteracy, and ignorance to millions of their fellow Americans who haven’t had the same opportunities – I want to shove your arrogant fucking neck in a guillotine and let ‘er rip. The best part about this is that the same people with this attitude almost always have a superiority complex and think they are championing the impoverished and needy. Get over yourselves you self-important douchebags.
Forget the fact that modern monarchy is just another flavor of celebrity culture. Monarchy is, and always has been, the LITERAL belief that some people are born better and more deserving of wealth and power than others. I am *aghast* at how many people – including good, liberal, progressive folks – get starry eyed over this grotesque system that goes against everything they claim they stand for. UGH.
“Everything is Politics”
No. No it fucking IS NOT. If I see someone having a heart attack on the street, I don’t ask them to fill out a questionnaire about their political positions before trying to save them. Same with homeless people, trafficked/enslaved people, suicidal people, or really, anyone from any place who I see struggling and in need of kindness. Politics is important, yes. But some things in life and society – and I will argue the most important things – transcend politics. If you can’t see this, I can’t trust you. And you shouldn’t trust yourself. Because you’ve lost your humanity.
Advertising-Fueled Social Media
Can this period in our cultural history just be over? Can we all agree that giving up our privacy and allowing ourselves to be commodified and manipulated is just bad for us, bad for America, and bad for humanity in general? CAN WE?
The Mental Health System (or really, lack thereof)
There are millions of people who are desperately in need of mental health services in this country. Many are a danger to themselves and others. They are often subjected to violence and exploitation, and even incarcerated because they are in crisis and have no way to manage their situation. Their families cannot control what they do. They cannot control themselves. They are not bad people. They are in need of specialized medical and psychological attention. Which takes resources. At what point do we collectively decide to do something about this? It’s not going away.
This man is a jackass supreme, and an egomaniacal jerk-wad. I would like him to go away now, please.
Crypto Bros, and especially the king of Crypto Bros, SBF
Ok, all this crypto shit was kind of cute in the beginning, but now it’s a malignant tumor on our economy. And SBF is a fucking criminal. Why American media is treating this guy like some poor misguided teen instead of the goddamned sociopath that he is makes me question the integrity of every media outlet that has failed to call him on the carpet.
“Everything is Terrible”
I know it’s kind of ironic to add this to my list of grievances, but to be fair, my grievances are a once-a-year thing. Not a constant stream of fatalistic self-pity from people living in the richest country in the world. Everything? IS NOT TERRIBLE. There are people all over this planet with a fraction of your income and in far more economically and politically unstable places who find joy and meaning in their lives. These people have the courage to live and die without turning everything into a grand tragedy and acting like they are being subjected to unfathomable misery no one should be expected to bear. Get a goddamned grip, already.
Homophobes, Transphobes, and People Who Fear Drag Queens
It is the year 2022 AD. Can you PLEASE get the actual fuck over yourselves and accept that the Ozzie and Harriet family life NEVER ACTUALLY EXISTED and and there are millions of amazing, beautiful, loving and creative people that don’t fit into your stupid heterosexual fantasy world? THANKS.
Poor and Non-Existent Public Transportation
This pisses me off because it just doesn’t make sense. It’s illogical to have billions of people each using a separate mode of transportation that they have to pay to maintain and fuel, all while adding pollution to the planet and creating needly daily traffic drama. Why do I *need* to have a car to function in this society? Why do any of us? It’s stupid. Now, look. I don’t have anything against cars as a rule – but not everyone wants or needs them. Hell, even if you have one, maybe you don’t want to have to drive it everywhere all the time and deal with traffic and parking? Cars are expensive. They’re a pain to keep up. Is there any good reason why I shouldn’t be able to traverse my city on a daily basis without having to take on that extra burden? If you’re a politician, just… unclamp your lips from the oil companies’ collective dick for five minutes and think about it.
Oh. My. GOD. Pick up your motherfucking garbage and put it in a motherfucking trash receptacle. And if there isn’t one, take it with you and put it in one later. How – HOW – are we still having this conversation?
American Politics as a Team Sport
The moment I see someone with #VoteBlueNoMatterWho or #RedWave or any other such political team nonsense in their social media profile I mute or block them. Political affiliation is not like being a football fan. Democracy is not a zero sum game. It’s not a personality, or a tribal affiliation. And it’s certainly not a reason for me to give you any of my increasingly diminishing stores of attention. Fact is, I know just as many goddamned idiots who vote for Democrats as I do Republicans. What you have on your voter registration has very little to do with whether or not what you say and do has value for me.
Unaffordable College Tuition
That we saddle young people who haven’t even started their lives with what amounts to indentured servitude in the form of incomprehensibly high student loans, and/or use a system of higher education to keep ‘undesirables’ out of the circles of influence where the children of privilege build the foundations of their lives and careers is nothing short of immoral. We should be ashamed.
Stuff and More Stuff
I realized this year that I am sick of all the stuff. Trying to keep more junk from entering my house feels like holding back the tide. And it’s not even just the junk itself – it’s the packaging all that junk comes in. Listen, I love beautiful things and I enjoy procuring them for myself and others. But I’m ready for a ‘less is more’ lifestyle, already. Thing is, even when I resolve not to buy shit it still starts to accumulate. It finds its way into my house, piles up in my garage. It’s suffocating. Have you been to the Goodwill lately? It’s a testament to our collective addiction to consumerism. Thinking about all the crap that ends up in landfills and on beaches makes me itchy. It hasn’t always been this way. We need to get a handle on it.
Why in the *actual* fuck is pot still illegal anywhere? If you’re one of those fools who thinks decriminalizing marijuana is somehow going to destroy society, please come see me. We’ll smoke a fatty and I’ll talk some sense into your weird, puritanical ass.
Sanctimoniously Hating on Just One Corporate Social Media Platform
They’re all the same. Facebook is not worse than Twitter. Twitter is not worse that TikTok. Arbitrarily hating on a social media platform because you’re convinced it’s uniquely evil tells me that you know nothing about social media or the many companies profiting from it.
Leaving the Bathroom Light On
My husband and my son love to walk into my room when I’m watching television, turn on the bathroom light adjacent to my room, and then leave without turning it back off again. AND THEN, they get huffy when I have the audacity to tell them ONCE AGAIN to come back and turn it off. Dudes. Cut it OUT.
Process Over People
I’m going to tell you a secret. Systemic abuse and injustice isn’t going to be solved by another system. The problems that plague humanity are inside all of us. Giving money to a homeless shelter, or raising taxes to address any other social problem isn’t going to actually fix anything. It will make us feel better without us having to actually change what’s wrong within ourselves, individually and collectively. This is not to say we shouldn’t do our best to contribute to effective systems – but how many systems are really effective? How many of these programs, organizations, products and services are eliminating the social ills they claim to address? Let’s be honest with ourselves for once, shall we?
See you next year, friends.
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