Hangover Archives: 2020–12
Santa Isn’t Real and Jesus Never Happened
Ah, the soft, snowy times of the holiday seasons. By snowy, I mean rainy, and by soft, I mean nonattributable to any physical forme due to holidays being a machination of the human mind rather than anything which exists in any material sense. The irony is that the holidays are incredibly materialistic, where we were once upon a time unable to see our friends and family due to lack of travel opportunities and them having been killed off by various plagues. Nowadays we get to visit them through the public healthcare system and indulge in shopping extravaganzas with hordes of fellow men before the workers enact another general strike for the holidays and die shortly thereafter. The true spirit of Christmas, or your Mexican non-union equivalent celebration, is not in the giving. It’s the receiving, specifically the 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease, under which we all huddle under the warm glow of the neon hospital lights. Thank you, China. Thank you for infecting us with this holiday spirit.
It seems to me the festive celebrations this year have been phoned-in more than usual. Either I’ve deliberately segregated myself and my media consumption to the point where I only ever view what I decree will meet my eyeballs out of the ever-decreasing list of properties which meet my curiously specific approval for consumption, or the marketers have gotten lazy. I’ve only experienced a fraction of the Christmas propaganda I’ve received in prior years. With the death of television comes the death of viewing any content we would rather not be shown to us, where in prior decades we were forced to see whatever television networks declared we would see — including all the cloying holiday advertisements and snow-themed network bumpers they would pay for once every twenty years. Nowadays if we want propaganda, we have to seek it out like the good little consoomers we are. Oh, Christmas Specials Wiki. I salute you for your autistic devotion to a topic that only matters four weeks out of the year. Now let us put on the funny dog cartoon, and pretend I’m no longer the human being who has once seen 3000 pornographic images of her in a single day.
Part of the wisdom imbued to me by my father is that, as you get older, every day is the same as every other. Holidays, birthdays, the day you get out of prison for 43,718 counts of tax fraud… these events become less and less important to you as you lose your naïve childhood ideas of these celebrations having meaning, and realise how artificial they are when media culture is designed to make us celebrate them in a way that is profitable to corporations. There’s little genuine feeling for the yuletide season, and what petty nostalgia we have for them is merely a reflection of our less mature selves, where we were too young to understand how our feelings were manipulated by marketers for the sake of consumption. Even the art related to the holiday, the movies and television specials and all the other Happy H. Christmas gubbins, were all designed to keep us tuning in, with our minds tuning out, bumping up viewership as we willingly receive notions of products it sure would be nice to have.
Perhaps I’m being too woke for a holiday which evokes memories of fireside sleepytimes and friends which no longer exist to you. If we only exist as collections of memories, then is growing up the realisation that our present will never be as good as the past we envision? Do we reject holiday spirit as a rebellion against the passage of time, choosing to live each day the same as the day before that for the sake of creating a continuum in which we never have to feel discomfort for a period of time that will never again come back? Are holidays then treacherous, because the joy they bring is traitorous, absent of the understanding the happiness we feel is always fleeting in the face of a life which has no intrinsic meaning beyond what we declare it to have? Or is it just that living for myself reminds me that there’s nobody else to share my joy with beyond myself? Primal desires for positive emotions lead to post-joy depression, and schizoid notions of creature comfort fall apart in a culture which expects you to be loved.
I’ll confront this problem like I do with all of my problems: ignore it, repress it, then complain about it on a blog whose black-and-white colours are reminiscent of moonlight falling on a concrete landscape, absent of the typical snow that graces the rest of my true north country, strong and free. Where I once experienced things out of inertia, I now choose to do out of my own volition, and this freedom to do as I please has stolen the mindless conformity I experienced when I was younger, even if they manifest as holiday celebrations of historical events so warped of their original intentions they have become devoid of spiritual meaning. The choice to indulge in Christmas cheer is mine alone. Now I get to choose which conformity I indulge in: the conformity of living the regular ennui of my mediocre life, or the conformity of falling into a cultural event which I have no relation to besides ideas that it may recapture a childhood I would rather forget.
I have also made the choice to write 28,000 words about 4chan. You can help pacify the hell that is my nihilistic existence by giving me validation and increasing my view count. Failing that, make some porn of the dog cartoon. Born to kill, live to coom.
Froge’s Shitty Solstice Celebration!
Happy holidays, my Solstice Scrunguses, Scrungettes, and Scrung-nonbinary individuals — also known as Scrunbys. Yes, it’s finally time for everybody’s favourite terminally-unpopular atheistic Christmas equivalent that doesn’t involve a stripper pole. Another passing of the year has come and gone, and despite the slight hiccup of 70,000,000 confirmed cases of a deadly and debilitating disease with no known cure, the potential for indefinite cognitive and physiological damage, an upper bound of 780,000,000 people potentially infected, and the worst global economic shutdown since the Great Depression caused by a virus that happens to be mutating, it’s all been gucci, man. For the first time in the life of comfy NEETs everywhere, it’s been socially-acceptable to hang out at home and watch anime for months on end while mooching off the government’s dime. Even better, all the normies who defied lockdown orders are suffering from the worst disease discovered this century, killing off all the boomers and making the survivors as misanthropic and paranoid of humans as us nerds have been for the whole of our lives. It’s a weeaboo’s dream come true. The normies are finally punished for having relationships, while the schizoids laugh from the comfort of their basements, shovelling popcorn chicken into their mouths and catching up on their ever-increasing collection of furry pornography.
In prior years, my celebrations for this event were more extravagant. In 2019, I published “The 2019 Solstice Recollection!”, in which I air out all my failures as a writer, human being, and organism in general. As I have gotten over myself slightly, I have little to show you this year, and my continued masturbatory obsession over my own work is less the considered curation of an artistic lineage, and more so an attempt to explain to myself in public why I bother to make anything at all. It’s obviously desperate and absent the confidence I would prefer to express, and I will not create anything similar this year. The article after that was “The 2019 Frogesay Still Arbitrary Game Awards!”, which was also masturbatory but allowed me to complain about video games. I’ll continue on this tradition by releasing an article which lets me complain about things that aren’t video games, which will surely be a Frogesay first!
I also made some significantly worse works before 2019, including “The Kratzen Winter Solstice Wealth Redistribution Celebration!”, where I gave games developers money for the first and only time in some naïve belief this has any effect on any world culture whatsoever. This was followed by “The 2017 Kratzen Arbitrary Game Awards!”, where I showcased almost every game I reviewed on Kratzen up to that point and gave them neat little arbitrary awards in the same way Zero Punctuation did once upon a time, which was abandoned by Yahtzee “Kill The Whores” Croshaw in favour of a top, bottom, and somewhere-in-the-middle-like-a-bisexual-switch five games of the year. I abandoned the idea for the Frogesay awards because coming up with categories is less fun when it pertains to games I have never talked about before, where much of the criticism of them have already been set in stone by other critics and I would prefer to offer a slightly more sober take on them in order to adequately express why I rate them the way I do, which I didn’t need to do so on Kratzen because every game I talked about already had an associated review. Also because “Tales of Game’s Presents Chef Boyardee’s Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa” would win “The Kratzen Super Star Ultra Omega Best Super Mario Odyssey 2 Game Of All Time Über Alpha Extreme XXX Mega Top Dog It’s Better Than Undertale And Basically You’re A Fucking Idiot If You Think This Shit Didn’t Come Out In 2017 Electric Boogaloo Deluxe Remastered Rewritten Reloaded Also Fuck Gamma Bros Award Baybeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” award twice in a row, which ruins the dramatic tension of this very serious awards show.
Ultimately, as I expressed in my last hangover, these celebrations are just acknowledgements of the limited time we have alive, distractions from the inanity of everyday work in order to pretend our lives have meaning when they really don’t. We perform these rituals out of habit, and if they make us happier, it’s only because we get a government-mandated escape from labour of little value and personal affairs which we choose to inflict on ourselves. When you’re living the comfy life through ten months of quarantine, every day is an atheist holiday. We celebrate through living a lifestyle which causes us the least stress for having lived at all, only suffering when we choose, and this personal society we enact for ourselves, greater than one we are born into, is nobler for attending to our needs greater than one which demands we attend to its.
So happy Solstice, happy alternative winter-and-or-summertime celebration, and happy everything to anything which brings you peace. And a happy Solstice to Santa Claus, who was unfortunately stabbed outside a Walmart last night at 03:45, with his sack full of toys revealed to be a sack of marijuana dime bags and twenty-seven copies of Hustler. Seriously, who buys porno these days?
The Great Christmas Heist
Since you cunts didn’t get it three days ago, let me burn it into your skulls. HAPPY FUCKING HOLIDAYS. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW. IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY YOU WILL BE SENT TO THE HAPPINESS CAMPS. NO I’M NOT MAD I’M JUST DISAPPOINTED.
Yes, it’s that nice square number signalling the start of everyone’s favourite deliberately-irreligious celebration: Grav-Mass! Isaac Newton was born on this day, and all his accomplishments sure are impressive for someone less than a day old. Shilled by Richard Stallman and languishing in obscurity due to being shilled by nobody else but Richard Stallman, adherents to the lack-of-faith celebrate the accomplishments of learned men by sending each other cards with “reason’s greetings” and decorating their rapidly-dying Grav-Mass trees — legally distinct from Jesus Christ’s registered trademarks — with rapidly-dying apples, in reference to the allegory of Newton discovering the nature of gravity after a fruit fell on his head. This obviously-bullshit story suggests we are revelling under ignorance rather than the carefully collected reason Mr. Stallman is famous for, such as defending Jeffrey Epstein and getting booted from MIT and the Free Software Foundation. I’m sure Epstein is rocking around the Devil’s own Grav-Mass tree right about now as his living admirers flock to his virtual island while he does the sex abuse shuffle with that sassy gay spider and all the other friends down at Hazbin Hotel. Which I have not watched, because I hate homosexuals.
I called someone up to wish them happy holidays. They corrected my language, assuring me that December 25 was not in fact a “happy holiday”, but was in fact a “merry Christmas”, which suggests that happiness and merriness are two different concepts and Christmas is in fact not a holiday. There appears to be a small segment of the human population who deliberately chooses to get offended over incredibly trivial subject matter and drag down otherwise uninterested people to their infantile level. At the small scale these people operate on, any tiny issue is massive compared to their stature, where tiny men attempt to compensate for their unimportance by raising their voices and attempting to give importance to the meaningless. Some people have such little sense of perspective that using the wrong two words to wish you well suddenly becomes an issue worth commenting on, as opposed to any other commentary you could be having on any other subject. It’s pitiful to see someone’s insecurities come out in such a banal fashion.
This form of complaint comes from a small, but vocal segment of the Western world who feel personally threatened whenever an individual expresses a sentiment that does not cater solely to their worldview — in this case, the supposed erosion of traditional Christmas values in favour of being inclusive of a few of the 8,000,000,000 human beings in this world do not want to associate with the holiday for whatever reason. If two words were too far, then an even more far-gone group of people get offended over one word, in this case the word “inclusive”. It appears intuitive the world is better when we are accommodating for all who live in it, but some folks are so obsessed with their own view of things that even alluding to the existence of festivities outside Christmas is like a personal insult to them, which is especially baffling when such expressions like “happy holidays” have nothing to do with them whatsoever.
According to RationalWiki, the “War on Christmas” is a manufactured controversy originally popularised by White nationalist extremists in order to discredit multiculturalism, which was then spread by Fox News in the early 2000s in a watered-down format acceptable for mainstream consumption. This obvious attempt at concern trolling for views was then picked up by a small segment of mostly-Christian reactionaries who now spend each December making little baby noises about the existence of people who aren’t Christian — or those who are Christian and don’t care what non-Christians do with their goddamn lives. This fake controversy came to a head in November 2015, when one Joshua Feuerstein, a violent extremist and professional troll, posted a Facebook video denouncing Starbucks for changing the design of their coffee cups from bright-red with trees to plain bright-red, which somehow means they’re bigoted against Christians. He also accused Starbucks of putting aborted fetuses in their coffee. That isn’t a joke.
Through some magic, a large enough segment of the United States population decided to spend their holiday season listening to this bollocks instead of being with their family or catching up on their DVD box set of Friends. The controversy became so loud that presidential candidate Donald Trump halfheartedly suggested a Starbucks boycott, saying “I don’t know. Seriously, I don’t care” at a campaign rally, demonstrating one of his very rare moments of clarity. This article by Vox, titled “Starbucks’s red cup controversy, explained”, describes the affair succinctly: “Americans fighting over what is printed on a coffee cup designed by a billion-dollar company to promote conformity sounds like cold German satire: While the world rages on and problems like starvation, a massive refugee crisis, and homelessness remain unfixed, people in America — including an American presidential candidate — are arguing over a red beverage container”. Ain’t that the truth?
I shouldn’t think too much about the over-the-phone pity I received. Human beings in general are addicted to outrage. I’m not exaggerating; my theory is that we are biologically wired to deliberately seek out stimulus which makes us physically outraged and derive catharsis from arguing with other people, giving the addicts motivational salience — dopamine — and encouraging a positive feedback loop of continuing to involve themselves in controversy. When someone complains about saying “happy holidays”, complains about Starbucks using a red cup, or complains about the fetus coffee not tasting as fresh as it used to, they’re not engaging in a reasoned discussion on equal terms where both parties are willing to concede points to the other. They’re addicts. They’re getting their next hit, and they’re dragging you down to their level as an unpaid pusher man.
The 24-hour cycle of outrage media designed to trigger the limbic system of the bored and despondent have permanently damaged our public discourse and gave platforms to manufactured controversies which would otherwise fizzle out instantly because of how fringe they are. We’ve grown up in an environment where we equate toxicity with rhetoric and one-sided expressions of hate as valid as any argument, and this poisonous perception of the information given to us has allowed us to accept any opinion which agrees with our worldview as true and valid regardless of the quality of its source, and this theft of our headspace — the quiet peace we allow ourselves in those rare moments where we disconnect from other human beings — is simultaneously the most mundane and mentally-damaging misapplication of communications technology ever devised by Man. It’s the Great Christmas Heist, and this war on Christmas wasn’t won with bombs and bullets, but with propaganda, disinformation, and consent to intrude what little sanctity we still have inside our heads.
Happy holidays to all you loyal Froge fans. And if two little words give you a big bother, then my gift to you is this: a copypasta. It’s about 4chan and the reductive nature of its existence, but it’s of such unnecessary insight that it applies to all of social media, and the picture it paints is so bleak and matter-of-fact that I’m reproducing it here so it never gets lost. And if you want my advice? Leave Twitter. Leave Facebook. Just leave social media. Do anything else.
“I don’t know why, but I’ll tell you this.
“This site has nothing to offer anybody. There is no quality content here you cannot get more quickly and efficiently elsewhere. This is an addiction which reduces your productivity, attention span, and free time. You are becoming more bitter, narrow minded, haughty, and old. Leave now and block this site. There is nothing here but slow, lonely suicide.
“People do not have arguments here. Posters do not engage one another on key points, they nitpick with greentext and mock each other. Nobody is interested in the truth; people are battling for fleeting moments of superiority. Active commenters are loud jackasses who tumble into one internet fight after another, anxiously keeping ten tabs open to ensure they keep the last word in all of them. An insightful post is one in ten thousand, and no matter how hard you filter this place you are still searching for diamonds in a garbage dump.
“This place is not making you happy. You are not having fun. You are not gathering stories to tell, learning, or growing as a person. Instead you chuckle every thirty minutes and are occasionally spurred to masturbation by libidinal posts or pictures. You are addicted to readily available information and pressure free social interaction. This place is slowly poisoning you with misogyny, narcissism, a false dichotomy surrounding normalfags, and insecurity.
“I’m not telling you to b urself. I’m not telling you to go outside. I’m not even telling you to make new friends. Just leave 4chan. Do anything else.”