2016 the worst year? Nonsense.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Boreas, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Everywhere on the internet I see hashtags and memes about how 2016 has been the worst year ever. Why? Because so many celebrities have died.

    It seems to me that every time some famous person dies these days, people who probably hardly cared for them, or likely didn't even know their music properly or what have you, just come out with this strange outpouring of grief through hashtags and memes and act as if their favourite person in the whole world has died. I sometimes doubt they'd care this much for the deaths of their own grandparents.

    This celebrity culture sickens me. These twats have no sense of perspective. 2016 the worst year ever? They can't wait until 2017 starts? Sure, no more deaths in 2017. Fucking morons.

    If you're living in Aleppo, then yeah, I understand. If you're living in any of those parts of the world afflicted with mass hunger, then yes, it's been a terrible year. But most of these people complain on the internet if their new, expensive Galaxy smartphone that they got as a present isn't exactly the colour they wanted. Or if they got a Playstation 3 instead of 4.

    Celebrity culture and its partner, social media, have completely disenfranchised these people from real concerns and values. They're obsessed with superficialities and perceptions. And bloody celebrities. So, yeah, I've always loved Star Wars since I was a child, but I really don't care that Carrie Fisher has died.

    2016 has been an average year. Even a good year. The west is waking up to the curse of relativism and multiculturalism propounded by certain ideologues for the last 60-70 years. Living standards are higher than they have ever been all around the world. Even the Panda population is growing.

    Rant over.
  2. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Mind traps: "victim" and "martyr" are two common ones. Highly contagious!
    ¡Que vivan los Pandas! :)
  3. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    You mean the "pity me, pay attention to me, I deserve privileges and constant handouts because I'm a victim of something or the other, and, by the way, you're a racist for suggesting otherwise" card? Yeah, it's a virulent mental illness for sure.
  4. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

  5. bzipitidoo

    bzipitidoo Regular Member

    What makes 2016 a bad year? Donald Trump became President-elect. Notice I didn't say that he won the election. The fear mongering, anti-intellectual crowd is now in charge, and they can hardly conceal their eagerness to go to war somewhere, blame all their troubles on some external enemy and hoke up reasons to fight. Let us fervently hope the rest of the US can keep a tight grip on their leashes. With nuclear weapons now available, civilization, humanity, and life itself are in peril. Now we can't afford to just stand aside, or run, can't just watch the realities of war eventually deliver them their comeuppance and hand out Darwin Awards afterwards.

    The Nazis and every warmongering aggressor nation before them could run amok and not destroy life, as no one had the power to do that then. Then, entire nations could walk off a cliff without taking the rest of us with them. But now... If we are alone in the universe, is this why? Every intelligent life form eventually discovers nuclear power and blows themselves up?
  6. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Well-Known Member

    Politicking is against the rules, please refrain, this isn't Facebook, I don't want to see your views whether I agree or disagree.
  7. bzipitidoo

    bzipitidoo Regular Member

    I see no such rule against politicking. Nor does that make sense. Would totally Bowdlerize the forum. It's hardly possible for any writing not to have positions on issues. Nuclear apocalypse is a big subject in SF.
  8. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah we're a bit more lackadaisical about these sorts of things over here @Bierschneeman .. more so than at BFB in any case ...

    Saying that, we have lost some members due to their, let's say, inability to sympathise with other member's opinions.

    So there is a line to cross, it's just a case of finding it!
  9. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Well-Known Member

    That would be my fault then, I wouldn't expects two arms of the same entity be so wildly different on policy. The rule on BFB Is in part why I've been there for 5 years.

    To be fair you weren't talking about a SF book so your argument falls apart.

    I have no issue with politics in fiction (which parallel political situations, regardless of brand new or ancient, it's part of scifi) or discussions about politics from 20 years ago (random number) it is inherent in Sci-fi. But current events not in a book, filled with emotional statements rather than arguments. I can get that anywhere.
  10. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Well-Known Member

    But since politicking is allowed I'll react.

    My major exception on why I don't like current political discussions on non political forums is that most people watch filtered news and react to what ever they tell them too (no American news company isn't filtered and extremely biased) rather than reading the law for themselves.

    This love of blinders is why we had the two worst candidates since ww2. People are so focused on how bad the other guy is they forget to look into how bad their guy is. So then there's a devoted religious loyalty to a candidate. I think if the election went the other way, we would be in just as bad a shape.

    Remember that meme where there's a bunch of images of how various people think of the subject, then shows what they really are like or do in the final image? There was one of Obama, the most poigiant was the final image, of Bush. It was so true (until he passed Obama care and repealed the patriot act (fyi clinton campaigned to pass the patriot act, and then defended it regularly when people didn't like it)) Obama's majority of policies started out just reiterating the same policies bush had that the left hated and the right loved, but now that Obama was passing it , those reactions were reversed. Anyway, I'm waiting for that meme to surface again with Trump, and that final image be an image of obama.

    I love and hate blinders, they allow me to laugh at people when they state things like how peaceful Obama was despite how he is the record holder for most military conflicts under a single administration in US history (unless you count ww2 and 1 as series of separate conflicts) or at people who actually believe trumps going to "make America great again" despite evidence to the contrary.

    Again I don't care if I agree or disagree with politicking someone does, it irks me. I find more repulsive than finding degrading porn on a parent's phone.

    I'm more likely to disagree too, because here I stand in the middle yelling at both sides " YOU'RE BOTH MORONS!! THE SOONER YOU STOP WHINING ABOUT EACH OTHER DOING THE EXACT SAME STUFF YOU DO THE SOONER WE CAN STOP RUINING THE COUNTRY"

    but no one will listen.
  11. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Well-Known Member

    Does this mean proselytizing is acceptable on here too? (You know, before I misinform someone again) because I find it's really just the same thing as politics.
  12. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    The admin hasn't specified any rules for this forum yet, it being so small and him being busy lately.

    Science fiction is the most overtly political genre of fiction there is, so it does seem strange to ban topics that dip into politics or other sensitive issues like religion. That said, I think it would be better to refrain from getting into current politics. I naively broached the issue of Brexit the day before the vote, and one member was offended enough to leave the forum, and two other members who were posting regularly have not come back, although I'm not sure what their reasons were exactly. It's strange, because in all those discussions, theirs was the majority opinion in any case.

    I personally think that tangents into politics once in a while is fine, especially if the discussion is civil and being conducted without spiraling into flaring tempers or ad hominem arguments and attacks, but it might be better to approach it from a more general perspective - say, the philosophical groundings rather than specific issues that are of current interest.

    After that previous incident, another member did leave a link that contained content directly related to current US politics and Trump, in particular, and I deleted the link.

    This particular thread I started was not supposed to be about politics per se. I was just venting on the topic of social media and the 'worst year ever' memes/hashtags because of celebrity deaths.

    So, informally: it's better to keep political and religious discussions within the context of novels and stories. Obama/Trump discussions are most definitely a danger zone and might not be appreciated, and they might lead to moderator intervention if participants can't extricate themselves from a seemingly devolving discussion in a timely manner of their own accord. Other, current political issues might be valid if they relate directly to a science fiction novel or film, e.g. the spurious white-washing debate for the live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. So, there's no hard and fast rule. At the moment, without there being any specific prohibition, it's up to you if you very specifically want to discuss a politically topical issue, but please do think about potential consequences of where such discussions might lead.

    This is my personal opinion.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  13. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Well-Known Member

    Thank you @Boreas . I agree with your opinion, but dealt with it not as elegantly as you.

    Sorry for derailing your thread by erroneously stating rules that apply to BFB, but not here.
    Sorry again for further derailing by reacting to the other post, I still stand by it. I come here to escape that crap.

    I feel obligated to respond to your thread. I don't agree that 2016 was a horrible year for celebrities, I think the publicity has been getting bigger and bigger for minor celebs and nobodies, that before social media, would recieve a single line obituary if that. 2016 is to me a sign that news agencies decided to cash in on celebrity deaths in a bigger way than previously possible.

    The majority of the 2016 deaths were... old, drug users, and people who I was shocked didn't die years ago. They also mostly made their stamp in the 60s and 70s. So their death appeals (in a morbid way) to people growing up on that social atmosphere. Case in point my niece is mostly saying "who?" . In 30 years she'll start freaking out that her celebrities are dying. It's part of growing old.

    I'm sure our fathers and grandfathers all did the same thing, but only for major celebs still in the news. Minor costars and (guys you've never heard of but held a camera for that famous movie you love) weren't even noticed when they died. Now they get full page stories..

  14. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Apologies are unnecessary. There's not much to derail. And it's reasonable to assume that explicit discussion of politics is not the norm in most SF&F fan-based discussion fora (I've not seen this clearly stated - except for some Facebook groups - it seems to be more of a tacit understanding). And doubly reasonable to assume that rules from BFB might apply here. I think this place is just too small to have any strict rules.

    As for the whole 2016 being a terrible year...well, I agree with you that social media has galvanised mob sympathy for every two-bit, has-been, C-list celebrity that exists. And now every one of them that passes away is somehow transformed into an individual of great talent and, suddenly, everyone's an expert on their life and works. Gimme a break.

    Even A-list celebrities. I love the music of Leonard Cohen (esp. his first three albums, wasn't as into his 80's synthesizer period, but he was in top form and expressing himself beautifully with the advent of his final years in his 2012 album Old Ideas) and his passing was, in some ways, the beginning of the end of an era for me. In more ways than just music-wise. Luckily, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits are still alive - when they pass, I feel that chapter will end. But am I devastated at his passing? No. He lived to a ripe old age. And I saw him in 2014, so that's one goal achieved. Bob Dylan, check. Leonard Cohen, check. Now I just have to catch Tom Waits at some point before he croaks. Then the trinity will be complete.

    Lemmy passing (although hardly A-list)? Who gives a shit except for hardcore Motörhead fans? I grew up watching Star Wars since the age of 4 or 5. Do I care Carrie Fisher is dead? No. I liked David Bowie (not his music, but I liked him because I found him to be thoughtful and considered with his opinions in some interviews). Do I care he's dead? No.

    I think the only celebrity passing that affected me, and I only found this out after the fact, because I hadn't gotten involved with various online discussion groups at the time, so never heard his public announcement that he was doing poorly...was the premature death of author Iain Banks due to cancer. That was a shock.

    Ah, one of the possibilities of the Fermi Paradox. Although, for story-telling purposes, I like the possibility that the universe is a dangerous place and any intelligent life drawing attention to itself is snuffed out. That's one of the key themes of Alastair Reynolds' dark and baroque Revelation Space trilogy.
  15. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Well-Known Member

    I am fortunate enough to see Bob Dylan play last year. He even played guitar (That's a big deal, it wasn't but 20 years ago he said he wasn't going to anymore because his hands hurt)

    And it was in a historic theatre, the Louisiana hayride ran there, this show invited his idol (elvis presley) to play, when no one would play his first single. After that night phones exploded with people requesting the song be played.

    (A lot of musicians owe that theatre their careers,)

    Bucket list item done.

    (I also was able to see BOC, David Bowie, and king crimson. All bucket list items)

    I wonder when I'm old enough my heroes start dying off more often, will I notice or will everyone I cared about be dead already
  16. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    This brings me back once again to The Forge of God. I so love that book!

    “We've been sitting in our tree chirping like foolish birds for over a century now, wondering why no other birds answered. The galactic skies are full of hawks, that's why. Planetisms that don't know enough to keep quiet, get eaten.”
  17. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Other people clearly feel the same way about the passing of artists such as Bowie and Cohen as you did about Banks, though. Whilst you don't give a fuck about them croaking, a multitude of other people obviously do, so in this respect maybe there is some weight to the whole feeling of 2016 being a bad year. Whether a death is premature or not is not really the issue, it's the fact that people have lived their lives idolising these 'celebrities', and there will inevitably be outpourings of emotion at their passing.

    I'm a realist, I'm not precious about discussions about death. I've lived my whole adult life talking to my parents about death/inheritance, and what they want to happen after they die. But despite being the only certainty in life, it's still something which affects people in an emotional sense, more than anything else, so I can't begrudge public outpourings of emotion at the deaths of public figures. Whether I care or not about the death of 'Mr X', I fully appreciate there are countless others that do care. Whether it's 'their time' or not, it's still sad to multitudes of people.
  18. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    It's a fair point. I was insensitive in saying that I don't care, especially if it came out as callous. In general, it's sad to hear of anyone passing, I don't take pleasure in it. But my point was that social media has desensitised me to basically any celebrity's passing. I actually doubt I would feel strongly if Banks passed away now (at the time I was not really using social media). And it's every single person being placed on a pedestal of some sort and being heralded as some genius or great talent that it blurs distinction. I was absolutely sick of being innundated by 2016 worst year hashtags and memes purely based on celebrities. Social media has taken celebrity culture to a whole new level where it's almost impossible to escape its ubiquitous presence unless you log off from the internet completely. Hence the rant.

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