The Right to Mock without Judgement

I’m a Scrooge. I admit it. I have a deep-seeded hatred of most holidays aside from Halloween. I don’t believe in a War on Christmas because I believe that some people just want Christmas to stay in it’s lane. I believe that when I’m shopping for Halloween stuff in September, I shouldn’t have a Christmas tree hitting me in the face. I believe in celebrating one of the crappy holidays that society tells me I have to celebrate at that time. Christmas doesn’t come before Halloween; it comes after Thanksgiving.

I want a break between these holidays I’m forced to smile my way through. I want to worry about not overcooking my food on Thanksgiving, not whether or not my Christmas tree still lights up or my ornaments are broken. I want to take some time without worrying about affording what my kids want for Christmas when I’m trying to Trick or Treat. I want to worry about the holidays when I’m supposed to, not because people want to call me a Scrooge or grump because I think it’s ridiculous that other holidays are supposed to be celebrated during their own time.

That doesn’t mean I don’t think you should. I will mock you for it, but I won’t judge you for it. You do what makes you happy. If celebrating for Christmas in early October is your thing, than own that. I’ll make jokes about it, but I don’t mean them as an insult to you. I’ll make a joke, but I am not there to insult you for how you live your life as much as I don’t think I should be insulted for thinking holidays need to stay in their own time without encroaching upon other holidays that rightfully deserve their time. As excited as I am about Halloween, I still wait until October to decorate for it.

The point is people should do what makes them happy without society telling them that they are asses for not wanting to do it or because they are drinking peppermint mocha lattes when November hits or pumpkin spice in August. I don’t particularly like the label of Scrooge just because I hate the holidays anymore than someone likes to be called crazy for their obsession with any given holiday. The world is terrible enough without taking the joy out of other people’s lives when it doesn’t affect you.

So I will post memes about Christmas’ intrusion where I don’t think it belongs because I find it funny. I will make comments about how holidays deserve their due respect because I believe that. I’m not doing these things to target people because I honestly don’t care what other people do. There is the capacity to believe something without having to put those beliefs on other people.

The Blizzcon Weekend Wrap Up

There was nothing on the schedule for Blizzcon that gave you that hyped up experience you wanted. They didn’t have any real panels listed. It was hard to get into the spirit of things this year, especially when the digital ticket loot was lacking this year. There was the excitement of potentially seeing some interesting protests, and of course the Overwatch World Cup. When the schedule was finally announced after the opening ceremony, there was still so much secrecy around the closing act(s). Then when it was announced, the digital ticket holders got frozen out of the only decent closing act playing. That was a slap in the face to digital ticket holders, who were able to enjoy much bigger acts in the past with our ticket. Aside from that complaint, let’s see what there was to talk about.

The biggest event was what happened with Overwatch for me. The announcement of Overwatch 2, with PVE was really exciting for me. I’m a huge fan of the lore and story of Overwatch. The PVE modes were some of the coolest things in Overwatch. To have a game primarily centered around these story modes? I’m pretty excited about that. It seems so early in production though to really know exactly how cool this will be. Hopefully next year there will be a beta to get into. On the competitive side of Overwatch, the World Cup was a really exciting event this year. I like that Team Korea had competition this year. I especially like that they didn’t take home the title again this year. Even more exciting than the fact that Team USA took home the gold was how exciting these matches were. Team China deserved their spot and they were insane. Just not as insane as Team USA.

Then, there was the World of Warcraft announcement: a new expansion called “Shadowlands”. I wasn’t too hyped about it, until watching the cinematic. Blizzard knows how to do a good cinematic and this was no exception. Watching it was exciting, but would the xpac live up to the hype? Judging by the Deep Dive panel, I think so. Going back to certain things that players missed, such as being a shadow priest but able to actually heal yourself with something more than the disappointing shadowmend. The storyline seems like it could be really amazing. Then again, so did “Battle for Azeroth” and we know how that ended up. I like the idea of Covenants and the new zones look stunning. I can’t wait to learn more about it at next Blizzcon. Or getting into the beta. Either way works for me.

The other exciting thing was the new Diablo announcement. Diablo 4 looks pretty awesome, but I was really disappointed with Diablo before and I don’t want to get burned again. Sure, it’s fun to play on the Switch when you’re bored, but it’s not something I actively go for when I want to game. I like the changes, the visuals are beautiful, and the new customization features could be awesome. It will be interesting to see how this game turns out.

There were some really great things out of Blizzcon this year, but I feel as a digital ticket holder the whole thing was disappointing. I hope that next year they bring it back up to the awesome level it was last year.

Was it Really about a Boo?

Criticizing presidents and politicians is the American way. It is our right as the people who these people are supposed to be working for. It’s our right as Americans to be able to express ourselves in a peaceful manner. We were given those rights in the constitution and we should be very thankful to have those rights, especially when you take a look at how people are being silenced across the globe. We shouldn’t take this for granted because I fear we may not have these freedoms for long.

When President Trump got booed at the Nationals game, it became a topic of discussion about how people should respect the office. I respect the office even if I may not respect the man holding it. But I don’t think that people should mistake blind loyalty as respect. There’s nothing respectful about blind loyalty. This is usually based on fear or ignorance, not respect. I get how an audience booing at a sitting president can be seen as disrespectful. I can see how chants of “Lock Him Up” can be disrespectful. But it’s not really about respect, is it?

When Obama got booed in public, conservative sites praised this. These were the American people using their God-given right to express themselves. These were true patriots. Now that Trump gets booed, these same people rant about the disrespect this president has received. The other side is just as guilty here because they have also flipped the script from taking one incident as disrespectful and the other as a proud moment for Americans. Make up your mind: is it disrespectful to boo a president or not?

It isn’t the act that is appalling; it’s the fact that these groups can’t get their story straight and the majority of people don’t seem to care. Would I boo a sitting president to their face? Probably not. But does that mean I don’t think other people should? I’m not entirely sure I like the idea of toeing that line of freedom of speech and disrespect. If it went to a side of violence or downright bullying, then I think there’s an argument for disrespect. Booing is something entirely different. You boo when you’re at a performance if you don’t like what you see; isn’t that all this president is? He performs on a daily basis, giving fodder to everyone around him through his unleashed Twitter account.

Now, what about the “Lock him up” chant? Was that disrespectful? I would argue “no”. I would argue that this is a precedent that he created himself when he did the same to Clinton as his political rival. This encouraged his followers to do the same. I’m all for the “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” approach. If it wasn’t disrespectful that way, then it isn’t disrespectful when it comes back to you. If it was good enough to say to another person, it’s good enough to be said to you. The point is, when you open that floodgate, you should accept it. Just like people who “applauded” Clinton’s deplorable statement about Trump supporters should accept the “scumbag” label from Trump. I think both people should be ashamed of themselves for this insulting approach because I think these terms help to further divide the country. We need to start working together, not growing further apart.

The problem is as long as people rationalize and blindly follow, things won’t change. The world doesn’t need followers right now; they need leaders. They need to know that disrespect doesn’t change because of what party someone follows. They need to know that if they say something awful that they should suck it up when it’s used back in their face. The people should stop rationalizing those grown-ass adults who are supposed to be running our country when they sling insults at each other. They should stop applauding something as “so powerful” on one side, but slamming it when it happens to “your side”. There shouldn’t be “sides”. There should only be “Americans”. United we stand… divided we fall…

New Season, New Team?

This seems to be the model for many teams in the Overwatch League during this off-season. While the Uprising taking the time to completely implode their team into oblivion wasn’t shocking (the blasé trade for cash did sting a little.. but not shocking), other teams have decided to scrap 90% of their team and staff. I will take some time to talk about some of these interesting moves, my focus is primarily going to be on the Uprising. (Though, please Spitfire, you’d be dumb not to keep Fury. Please keep him, he’s the only reason I started following your team.)

There have been some changes already, some of which was already leaked during the infamous Sideshow accidental stream from last week. Kariv is now a member of the Defiant (though no announcement on Agilities yet. The theory is because they want to film some great teaser with him and Kariv. Maybe this didn’t happen yet due to World Cup scrims?) Space is now a Gladiator. Things are starting to fall as the “Sideshow” leaks said they would.

But what about the Uprising, a team that is more known for its cutting/trading their entire team at the end of every season? Most of us Uprising fans when into this time of year and get rid of everyone. At least we had the comfort of knowing that blasé, Colourhex, Axxiom, and Fusions would be around next year. Until the surprise announcement that they had traded blasé for “cash considerations”. At first when the trade was announced, I wondered what we got from it. Did we pick up the talented and chill Danteh? Seemed like a long shot considering the “No I don’t play for Boston” joke, but it would’ve been a good trade for us. Nope. It was cash. We just sold our most flexible and standout player. It wasn’t too shocking, but it did hurt almost as much as the NotE/Gamsu departures.

Now, with a few weeks left until the November 15th deadline to have 8 players signed, we have 3 players. Potentially 4 if the leaks are true that the Uprising picked up a solid flex support in Myunbong. That’s only half a roster. Boston has a reputation for being a “farm team” or “moneyballing” but how accurate is that? This could be smart on his behalf, considering some teams are rumored to have money problems due to overspending in previous seasons. This is partially due to the new investments in homestands and traveling, something that was a goal for this league from the beginning. Maybe everyone else had poor planning and HuK actually knew what he was doing after all. (Yes, this pained me to say.) Now he has the money to spend on talent and on travel, while still working to get a discount whenever possible. That’s the Kraft way.

Tonight, HuK is doing another Q&A which surprisingly didn’t go so terribly last time. In fact, I did find that he was as candid as he could be without A) bad mouthing a player outright or B) other secret constraints such as contracts being finalized. He promised us to be more transparent and this 2nd Q&A shows that he’s trying to keep that promise. There will be some interesting questions, like why trade blasé when he was easily the most reliable player on the team? What about everyone else? Do we have new signings that you are going to announce? What about a venue for the homestands? I personally haven’t bought tickets yet for two reasons. One, I don’t know where it’s going to be and I don’t want to suffer at an awful venue. Two, I don’t want to pay money to support a team that I don’t know will exist.

It’s hard to be an Uprising fan and I wonder how long they can keep up this business model of imploding their team every year. No one will buy named jerseys if a player is barely going to last the year there let alone the off-season. They might buy jerseys or you might piss them off enough that they go for another team with more stability. As a lifelong Patriots fan, I accept that this is the way things go for the team. But it’s a rough life, especially when you go from one of the top teams to one of the worst teams in the league. We got them to stop laughing only to become a joke again, and the fans aren’t laughing. Hopefully this Q&A can revitalize the fans into being the avid supporters again.

The Leaks of the Overwatch League

The big talk this weekend on Reddit was the “Leaks Heard Round the World”. Full disclosure: I’m a huge fan of Sideshow. Not only is he incredibly entertaining, he also definitely knows his stuff. His insights are generally spot on, even if like Monte you want to get mad at what he says. The leak video that spread like wildfire on reddit disappeared as it was deemed against policy may or may not be true. But it brings up some interesting discussions if it is.

The video in question appears to have Sideshow, neptuNo, and Custa talking about trades in the works until they realize that they were accidentally streaming the conversation. The internet doesn’t forget and you can probably very easily find this video if you want to. Some of the important gems of this rumored trade includes reuniting former Boston tank duo and great friends NotE and Gamsu, with Gamsu reportedly being signed to the Dallas Fuel for an insane amount of money. OGE goes to LA Gladiators. Brothers in OW Kariv and Agilities are reportedly going to the Toronto Defiant together, along with Surefour. (Solidifying dreams of Toronto signing Canadian talent.) And SPACE jumped to the other LA team, making the Gladiators the winners of the off-season “Battle for the LAs”? The other big mention was that neptuNo said Defiant refused to trial him due to his reputation for toxicity.

Is this video truly releasing the juice or is it just a joke? Are these just rumors? Insiders seem to admit that these are all true leaks. But then the question was argued: What should the punishments be? Well, I don’t think anything should happen. Leaks can actually be good for a sport, especially in the offseason and especially when the eSports industry is constantly growing with more official Leagues. By having these leaks out there, Overwatch League is remaining relevant. Even with the World Cup coming up, after that we won’t see these players up on the stage until February. Things have become irrelevant in shorter time. Leaks up the hype, keep people talking about the league. It may not be good for the individual players and teams, but it is definitely still publicity they can milk to keep everyone talking about them.

Was it an accident? Of course. The teams might be upset over it, but the League probably isn’t that broken up about it. Because again, free publicity. The posts on reddit about these leaks are probably up in the 500s as far as comments go and this will only get higher. They should absolutely not let Sideshow go because of it because not only does he have a solid fanbase, he knows what he’s talking about. He’s amazing at his job. It would be the biggest mistake the league did. Especially after removing easily their best analyst when they pulled Reinforce off the desk.

So the moral of this story is that yes, leaks can be bad but this raises the hype for fans who are dying for news. There are teams that haven’t said anything about key players. Was Dante signed to Houston or is he heading to LA Gladiators? What about anything from Boston aside from Persia saying “Not LFT”? (Side note: Please not Boston.) The fans want to know about what’s going on with their favorite players and this gives them something to salivate over and debate about until official announcements happen.

The Innocent Have Nothing to Hide

I live on the basic principle of “The innocent have nothing to hide”. Sure, it makes me a bit paranoid but this believe has served me very well in all my years. It helped me pick out the cheaters or weed out the friends that shouldn’t be trusted. This is probably what would make me a terrible juror as I would just assume that anyone lying or refusing to answer questions would be guilty. Though, we’re all guilty of something.

When the Clinton Email scandal happened, I said “The innocent have nothing to hide”. I didn’t trust her. I thought she was guilty of something. That’s why I didn’t vote for her. When Trump refused to release his tax returns as is customary, though not required, I thought this again. That’s one of many reasons why I didn’t vote for him. (#3rdPartyLife?)

Even today with subpoenas being ignored and other things that may be viewed as obstruction, all I can think is that innocent people have nothing to hide. It reminds me of something that I always say to the kids when they lie to cover up a misdeed: “The coverup is always worse than the crime”. I don’t care if you broke a plate but if you lie about it to my face after I stepped on the leftover glass shard that was missed during the cleanup, I’ll probably be really pissed and in pain.

While this is a much more important situation, the standard still applies. The coverup will always be worse than the crime. It wasn’t the fact that Clinton had the affair; it’s the cover up and blatant disregard of how betrayed others felt. He wasn’t impeached because he had relations with his intern; he was impeached because he lied about it and tried to cover it up.

Why would Trump hide his tax returns? Does he not want people to see what loopholes he used that all of the other businessmen use to keep more money in their pocket? Did he not make as much money as he bragged about and doesn’t want his poor ego shattered? Or did he do something shady? I think people would be less angry about using loopholes or that he isn’t a billionaire like he claims than if he committed fraud.

That’s really what this is about. Own up or stop complaining when people lose their trust in you. If you didn’t do anything wrong, then there’s nothing that needs to be hidden from the public. I don’t believe in blindly following anyone. I don’t believe in just trusting someone. Just because the Democrats say he’s guilty, doesn’t mean he is. Just because the Republicans call this a witch hunt, doesn’t mean it is. It just means politicians are more concerned about protecting their party than protecting the American people.

Eventually, the truth always comes out. That’s why it’s easier not to lie about it. Eventually someone will slip up or someone will blurt something out. But lies rarely stay hidden forever.

The Best Marriages Appreciate the Little Things

I always get that look of pity or a lecture about prioritizing my relationship when I make a comment about how my husband and I only go out maybe once or twice a year for a “date night”. They assume its a backhanded comment about my husband refusing to take me out. They assume our marriage is broken somehow. That relationship can’t be that strong if you don’t go out to some fancy dinner where you blow $100 on food that lasts for 20 minutes in a crowded restaurant that is often either too loud you can barely hear each other or too quiet to want to bother the silence with a conversation. The thing is that this scenario isn’t fun for me. I don’t find it appealing. I’m awkward enough without putting myself in this position of feeling even more awkward.

The thing is that I enjoy being at home in sweatpants, curled up with my forever partner. We’re not “go out for romantic dates” people. We sit at home and eat trash food together while playing a board game with the kids or catching up on Netflix when the kids go to sleep or even playing video games together. That’s our perfect date night. We don’t need to doll up and pretend we are something that we aren’t to be considered normal. The whole point of marriage is to love your partner for who they are, not turn them into who you want them to be.

Every couple is different, but I think that the one thing that people need to remember is that it isn’t how much your spouse spent on your ring or how massive the diamond is. Rings break, they get too small/too big; it’s about making sure the marriage doesn’t break. I barely wear my wedding jewelry. I’m not a huge jewelry person, though I do have a weakness for bracelets. What does matter is how my husband just knows when I’ve had a long day or how he knows that I’m exhausted and brings me a coffee made exactly how I like it. How if I’m sick, he steps up and makes my life as easy as he can. Those are the things that are going to last. Jewelry will tarnish, but the person I chose as a partner should be as reliable as ever.

Marriage isn’t about the shinies or the parties. It’s about being in the trenches for even the most difficult times. It’s not about how many times you go out on dates. It’s about standing by each other’s side as your children undergo surgeries or dealing with their “quirks” as a team. It’s about having their back, even when you think they are wrong. It’s about fighting even harder when you know they’re right. They aren’t your spouse; they’re your partner. It doesn’t matter if you argue 1000 times as long as you resolve it and move on. No relationship will be perfect to the outside world; it only matters what’s perfect to you and makes you happy. Because if you aren’t happy, then what’s the point?