Thursday, January 5, 2023

2023 is Here!

Welcome to the New Year! I hope you are ready to start this one off strong. For some reason, I am much more inspired at the beginning of this year than I have in previous years. I couldn't quite tell you why, but we have a good opportunity to make this year count, especially as it feels like lockdown world (God willing) is finally becoming a thing of the past. New avenues are opening up.

I already told you my main plan this year in regards to writing, but that is just what I'm planning on putting out. Behind the scenes, there's other stuff happening. I'm not even certain if there won't be more, or unexpected diversions, but that's life.

Aside from that, I also feel as if we'll be wrapping up Cannon Cruisers this year, since we're quickly nearing the end of the list in regards to movies we can cover. After that, I have ideas for what we might do next, but I'll still have to talk to my compadre about it. Nonetheless, it will be nice after over half a decade to close a long-running project off. It's been a good time, and things have changed a lot since we started. I wrote about it at the end of last year here. Hopefully, you will continue to join us until the end. It's been fun.

The blog will also keep trucking along through 2023. I don't have three entire books to write, edit, design, and release, this year, so I won't be as distracted from it, though I can't say things still won't come up. You really can't plan around life, after all. But I will continue to do what I can when I can do it.

Aside from that, I'm still considering new avenues to expand into with writing. I've done novels, short stories, novellas, novelettes, and standalones (as well as a previously written series I'm getting out this year), on top of the previous year allowing me to reach new ground with releases like our free Generation Y book, The Last Fanatics, and Y Signal, all of which are much different from what I did before. While I'm putting out work, I'm also working on other things behind the scenes that will take even longer to come out. for instance, I've had a series I've been working on for years in the background, but I've never been able to give it proper focus. This year, however, I want to really shake things up.

One thing I am hoping is that this is the year our general defeatism at the way things are finally fades and we begin excitedly aiming for higher things once again. We're about due for a proper mindset shift. Not just in our art and entertainment, but in attitude. It feels as if we are finally escaping the grip of the 2010s, on the cusp of something new, something better, and we really need to fight for it. Staying stuck in this stagnant repetitive thought trap just isn't going to cut it anymore, regardless of what those in charge think.

The mainstream's obsession with reboots and subversive relaunches has more or less run out of gas. Trying to pretend the newest Ferngully remake is going to have any sort of cultural impact today when it didn't over a decade ago is a cope to the fact that the old era is already over. The wider culture has moved past that era, even if those in charge want to continue to pretend it hasn't. We are in the position to build something new, and a lot of us are doing just that, but the overall energy is shifting. I can't say if it'll be this year, if 2023 is finally going to be the year it starts, but I feel like we are on the cusp of something really breaking out big to shake up the status quo. A lot of things were put to bed in 2022, the 25th anniversary of Cultural Ground Zero, and new avenues are opening up ahead of us. There is an excitement building, pointing us in new directions.

For too long we've put up with and excused blandness and emptiness because wanting more is considered novelty or childish, but that has never been true no matter how much it has been asserted or pushed in the media that has long since turned against us. It isn't silly to want a chain restaurant to look good because it's a corporate product, everything should look its best, especially when customers are involved. Why should you put up with less just because a corporation made it? That is silly. We should want to live in a society where trying to be good needs several qualifiers and asterisks beside them, not one that excuses decay.

I suppose I should expand on the above example. You've probably seen more than a few jokes centered around how anyone thinking that chain restaurants like Pizza Hut or McDonalds should look good are silly or something, but that misses the point of the complaint. Why shouldn't they look their best? Why shouldn't everything? The fact is that if things can be better than they are, then they should be better. Why should you, why should anyone, be trained into wanting less? Why should you be made to expect less because it is easier for a corporation to not bother? It isn't about the things themselves, but about the lack of any ambition at all.

You've certainly seen some variation of the below meme before, whether serious or ironic, the message is very obvious.



Whether you think the above image is silly or not is irrelevant to the fact that you can't deny the below is objectively worse than the above. Knowing this, even as minor as it is, why should one think it a good thing? Why should one accept it? Who benefits from you accepting it? This might not be a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but why does that make it okay? Why should you have no standards at all, because it is easier for billionaires for you not to have them?

It is normal to want to look at interesting or creative things, no matter how silly or minimal. It is not normal to want to look at bland nothing emptiness, no matter how it has been advertised to you for the last 25 years to prefer it over all.

And it feels as if most people understand this by now. The bare minimum of effort is not only not respectful to yourself or others, but it's also boring. The biggest problem to come from Cultural Ground Zero was how everything melted into a pile of bland goo and no one appeared to care if they even noticed in the first place. You can look at photos from 2006 and then from 2018 and you won't find much different between them, even though you'll also never find anyone who thinks what was produced during that time being ideal either. Now, however? It's not enough anymore. People have decided they deserve more, even as those in charge decided they should have nothing instead. We are hitting a low, even as we are beginning to aim high.

So what exactly will the legacy of the 2020s be? From what we've seen so far, it appears to be a transitional era between the death of modernity, Cultural Ground Zero, and the first step towards something grander to come later. We are on the precipice of change, but what that change will be is still up in the air. Where it'll all end up is anyone's guess, but those paying attention have seen attitudes shift, especially over the last three years, desiring more than the bare minimum and reaching out to higher places. Ambition is what they want to see again. I think we all do.

That said, I still believe the 2020s are going to be rocky time overall, especially as we decide exactly where we want to go. There will be much in the way of growing pains and a loss of good things as the decay of the 20th century is power-washed away. How things will look in the future is anyone's guess, but it will eventually shape up into an era we won't be able to recognize. Think about how people in 1880 would have seen the year 1980. They would not have conceived of the amount of change that occurred.

Things never stay the same.

The difference between past change and modern change, however, comes in with the fact that it will now no longer hinge on technological advancement as the sole marker of progress. That era is over. Material progress has brought about all the social change it can, especially in the positive, now we will have to learn to work around it going forward, which probably means a lot of it will be voluntarily cast aside out of necessity. Future change will have to come internally, before it can come externally. That will be tough when we've been told to avoid spiritual development for over a century now. We are going to have to make a lot of hard decisions on how to progress beyond this point.

In other words, there won't be a lot of wisdom or advice to be gained from looking back at the 20th century as a signpost. If anything, it will only be looked at as the polar opposite of what to do. We'll be subject to a lot of overcorrection in the years to come. We more or less are now, especially from those who know there is a problem and refuse to consider alternatives to fix it.

Much of the pushback that occurred on The Last Fanatics came from some readers drawing conclusions out of events spelled out for them. Fandom, people who have shown themselves less than admirable, made decisions in that past that we were never allowed to question before, because . . . well, there isn't any reason. Anti-social misfits wanted a club, constructed one by mutating someone else's genre, then others came in to back them up because they don't want to interact or live in the same world as normal people. This isn't even an argument, everyone knows this is what happened. So why would it make someone upset to have it spelled out for them?

Even as that world dies, proving it was never built on solid ground to begin with, why do we continue to pretend as if they discovered any kind of truth? They did not, and the following century was spent building off anti-social behavior that led to a bunch of warriors of justice screaming about how evil America is while they hold a conference outside concentration camps in China. All to stick to those mean normies that didn't listen to the smart set!

This has always been a scam. It's just a shame that they were allowed to operate unopposed for so long. Not like it matters now, as they slide into irrelevancy, replaced by the next set of useful idiots to be used against normal folk instead.

There are a lot of buried truths being dug up right now that we will have to reapply to continue forward. There are certain things in modern society you are endlessly allowed to criticize because mass media says you can, but question the tenets they built their entire house of cards on (a house that crumbled long ago but we are told to pretend it has not) and you hit a sore spot and become a target for destruction.

That pathway ran out of road long ago. It is time for better ways. It is time to build on better roads left abandoned long ago. We can't stay on this dead end street forever. The last quarter century has proved that it is fruitless to try. They're already falling apart.

Regardless of what happens next, we should be aiming higher anyways. The old world is passing away, but that doesn't mean we have to forget all we learned from it. In fact, unless we take from it going forward we will be doomed to fall into this pit again. We're always going to make mistakes getting it right, but at some point we'll have to make new ones, or at least the old ones in different ways. We can't keep up the same farce forever, pretending things not getting better is preferable to decline. You can't stop decline that way, you just make it take longer to play out.

When I say it is time for better ways, I mean it. We can't afford to keep up the failures of the 20th century. It's time to start aiming higher again.

So what's stopping you? If you've been reading here for years then you know just how much things in the outside world have changed in subtle ways. Many things we took for granted are gone, many ideas, fads, and notions, all fell by the wayside. What remains? The simple fact that doing your best is still the best avenue for getting something done. Nothing is stopping you from doing what you can, aside from you.

Don't let the dying mainstream drag you down with it. We're going to need someone to rebuild when it collapses in on itself, after all. We can't let the same mistakes be repeated forever.

Here is hoping that 2023 will finally be the year it all changes, or at least shows willingness to move in a different, better direction. Regardless, we can still give it the shove needed. We're on the cusp of better days, might as well begin pushing for it.

As always, don't let the winter blues get you down so early in the year! Let's start it off strong and keeping pushing. It's the only way to move forward.

Happy New Years, and welcome to 2023! Let's make it count!


  1. Thanks for the message; we need all the motivation we can get

    1. You are very welcome. We need to keep those spirits up!