YIIK: A Postmodern RPG and the Perfect Diamond in the Rough

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The Archetypes are strong with this one. Individuation: it’s amazing.

Recently, YIIK (pronounced like Y2K) went on sale on the Nintendo Switch shop, so I finally picked it up. I had looked forward to the debut of the game for a while but ended up not buying it for some reason when it initially released. Pretty sure I was playing other video games at the time.

I enjoyed the game so much that I wrote AcckStudios and told them, and I got an email in response in mere hours! Very cool people. They also included a survey about what things could be added and improved, so I think all the things you’re reading in this entry were mentioned.

This game has so many influences, the more obvious ones being Earthbound/Mother 2, the Persona series, and Neon Genesis Evangelion.

My review, in a nutshell: that YIIK is overall an amazing game with some serious need of polishing. Another way of putting it: the game feels like the world’s most romantic love-letter written directly to my soul, but then someone dropped it in mud, and now my love-letter is all stained.

But even with the stains, the love-letter of a game is personally meaningful. That YIIK was able to knock Earthbound out as my favorite video of all time says something.

Let’s move on.

The main issues in the game, the frustrating parts, were these three:

Battles

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Tip: Turn on the Help Mode so you have Infinite Time Energy

The battles had a unique set-up where you play mini-games to attack. Some aspects (like the Time Energy Meter) never seemed to be explained, or if they were, I missed them.

Playing mini-games every single time to attack, defend, and run became tedious, especially against enemies that had high HP.

Sometimes an enemy would attack, the attack would hit every person in my party, and that meant I had to play a mini-game four times in a row.

Possible solution: for a turned-based RPG, make the mini-games an optional power-booster but not required.

Better solution: YIIK has the makings for an action-RPG. I would’ve preferred to have Alex running around, throwing records in real-time, or have Vella smashing her Keytar over the enemies.

Dungeons

Okay, some of the dungeons made me so incredibly angry because the puzzles weren’t obvious; solving the dungeon became a matter of trial and error. There aren’t a lot of helpful guides online. I had to watch a video to figure out a part of one of the dungeons, but in retrospect, that player and myself were probably doing things out of order all because one other part to obtain a necessary item had a bizarre solution.

Possible solution: add more hints.

Better solution: clarify some of the puzzles and simplify others.

Leveling Up

Leveling up takes places in the Mind Dungeon. The Mind Dungeon is a great idea (and has excellent music), but it moves so slowly. First, you have to set your attributes in doors, then you have to go in the doors, and then you obtain the items. The text boxes in particular seem to load slowly here, and I’m not sure why.  There are some bizarre and intriguing cut-scenes that pop up on certain levels of the Mind Dungeon, but I don’t remember them overall tying into the story.

Possible solution: remove the Mind Dungeon and let leveling up be automatic.

Better solution: streamline the Mind Dungeon; make it more useful. Make it faster. Make it into a hub-world. Alex’s Mind Dungeon would be a perfect place to use for fast-travel to all the previously-visited locations.

We’ve finally ended the critique.

Everything else about the game- the characters, the tone, the atmosphere, the art direction, the music, and especially the story, become an obsession for me.

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From left to right, Michael, Alex, and Vella face something spooky (that is, the end of the world). Some of the other characters are in the back but can’t be seen clearly.

For instance, Michael is easily my favorite character (especially toward the end of the game), and Chondra is easily my favorite character design. Alex is, of course, a douchebag, but he gradually comes to realize that.

This game’s had a bit of controversy surrounding it, but with the way the Online Outrage machine works, that’s unsurprising. There’s a difference between genuinely not enjoying a game that you’re playing and jumping on a bandwagon of anger over “what someone else said on the internet.” Click here for an article talking about YIIK and the weird controversy surrounding it.

It’s also unsurprising because the main character is something of a hipster, so there are people who immediately see that and assume what the game is or isn’t, but Alex, as a character, is fairly well-designed, has a well-constructed personality (we know he’s pretentious and hipster-ish), and has a lot of character development (going from being kind of pretentious douche to valuing what matters, like friends and family).

Some people really read some awful things into this game that just aren’t there and could only be there if they traveled the Soul Space into another world where those things are there. (This a joke for the people who played the game).

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Surreal and beautiful, this is one of the more tame scenes in the game.

If you aren’t a fan of surrealism, if you aren’t a fan of Carl Jung and depth psychology, if you aren’t interested in mysticism, the occult, the supernatural, and so on, you’re probably not going to enjoy this game as much.

I can see why so many people are put-off by the story; it isn’t for everyone. It just isn’t, and you can’t expect it to be. The creators even wrote to me that sometimes they think they made the game too niche, but then, that’s what I like about it- I’m that niche!

This isn’t the sort of game that just anyone will pick up, play, and enjoy. There are a few sub-plots that get resolved in milquetoast ways, some that don’t seem to get resolved at all, and…

…I think maybe more (not all) of that was intentional than people realize.

I think there also may be a tendency for us to assume that plots and subplots that don’t resolve in ways we feel are absolutely satisfying are necessarily done so because of weak writing or laziness, but that isn’t necessarily the case. However, in this case, I can’t be sure.

With YIIK, I think the story itself is meant to be surreal; it follows a sort of dream-like logic, one thing bleeding into another. Dreams are like that: things that make perfect sense in a dream won’t make any sense at all in waking life, and we scoff at it all.

My stance is that, for me, YIIK made sense from an archeypal perspective. The entire thing echoes the process of individuation.

Without spoiling it, if you pay attention, there are some points where the story specifically explains why things don’t make sense.

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A creepy but strangely beautiful scene.

One thing the game left me wondering was how much the creators are into all these things; how much of the metaphysics of the backstory inform the creators’ own world views? The idea of multiple realities and simultaneously living multiple lives isn’t new, exactly, but they really drove the point home here.

The soundtrack is also excellent: instead of each battle having the exact same track, there were a number of different soundtracks (like in Earthbound!) that did bring fresh air to the game.

So, I can’t recommend this game for everyone, but then, I don’t think it was ever meant to be something for everyone. It’s its own weird archetypal, individuation journey.

And not everyone is ready for that.

This also strikes me as the sort of game that people will praise in the years to come; for a game named after Y2K, it’s way ahead of its time.

I’m hoping for YIIK: Deluxe Edition in the future.

 

 

January is the Weirdest Month

My perspective as an offering to the reader: January is a weird month, possibly the weirdest.

At other times of the year, we have so much going on: we look forward to the autumn, especially in a place as hot as Florida, and then we have a barrage of holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and then…

…nothing.

(We’ve already decorated our apartment for Mardi Gras, but Mardi Gras hasn’t quite caught on in the same way as the other holidays.)

January, how shall I describe you? You’re as blank as paper, as flat as the plains; there’s a distinct atmosphere for “blah” in the air as people return to their normal way of doing things, as children return to school, as decorations come down.

“Life is what you make it” would be a great quote if we weren’t connected by the Collective Unconscious, if we we weren’t somehow interwoven with the fabric of reality and each other, if we weren’t, in essence, subject to the whims and flows of what happens on deeper levels of awareness.

But then maybe there’s something to this: maybe January (so-named for the god Janus, the god of the gateway in Rome) is truly the liminal month. Maybe January is the month of transition, and maybe that’s why the “blah” feeling appears.

Or maybe this point in January refers to something even more curious: we’ve just passed the point of the Resolution, a pastime where we resolve to do things in the New Year, succeed in do those things for about a week, and then quickly collapse back into our old habits.

One of my resolutions last year was to eat healthier and exercise more. That didn’t really happen, largely because I was plunged into a hell of dental work.

This year, I’ve kind of moved in that direction, having made a discovery of adding rice vinegar to broccoli slaw and how delicious and nutritious the combination is and making sure I drink more V8. V8 isn’t a perfect solution, but it’s better to drink a couple of cups of V8 and get that much vegetable matter into my body than to, say, eat a Twinkie.

Speaking of which, several years ago, I read an article about a man who went on a “Twinkie diet” and lost weight from it. The gist is simple: he ate only junk food but controlled his calories.

Naturally, this upset some people in the health nut community because a lot of the health nut community isn’t genuinely about health but is more concerned with winning the award for Most SufferingMost Suffering is an incredibly bizarre but highly coveted award that many people in many different demographics seem to seek for reasons unbeknownst to me, but as a Buddhist, I’m somewhat concerned with (read: very oriented toward) ending suffering.

I can barely recall January of 2019; there was dental work, then more dental work, and then more dental work. I think I was watching The View a lot, and hoo, boy, let me tell you, that was a mistake.

But I’m really sticking well to staying away from social media.

Yes, I do have moments when I think of Facebook and want to post something, and then…I think better of it. I realize that people can email me or message me or follow my Instagram.

Instagram is owned by Facebook, but the entire feel is different- it’s entirely oriented toward the visual, so I can scroll and see pictures of cute dogs, art lessons, Tamagotchis, Korean food, Buddha statues, and hamsters, all within a minute.

In other words, I’m not in the realm of the 24/7 Perpetual Outrage Fest.

And if Instagram ever becomes like that, I’ll be gone.

Sometimes, we have to adjust our understanding. Sometimes, it takes stepping back, taking a deep breath, and composing ourselves.

Sometimes, it’s a matter of seeing things clearly.

So, as a liminal space, January is the time for Resting and Resetting. January isn’t the time to be doing huge projects or even starting them; this is the time to recover from 2019 and allow myself to arrive at the Present, in 2020.

Back to the year: other parts of the year that are of interest include looking forward to Spring around the time February hits, and then, in Spring, looking forward to Summer, and then, in Summer, looking forward to Autumn.

Who really looks forward to January beyond the first few days? Maybe some people, and I’ll cheer them on even I don’t quite get it.

The Cursèd Pickle of the Infinite Scroll

Continuing from Part 1, let’s talk about how social media is designed to draw you in and keep you scrolling. Don’t be fooled: the people running these sites didn’t create arbitrary designs and mechanisms that somehow became addictive. On the contrary, seeing the little red alerts does something to our brain, becomes a promise of NEW, NEW, NEW.

A lot of the drama on social media is created exactly because people can only view headlines and react to them.

A lot of drama created by headlines is because many media outlets are incentivized to create drama and draw in people clicking on their articles so they can gain revenue from advertisement.

A subset of the drama is created by people who react to attention as its own form of currency. For some people, any attention, including notoriety, is enough.

One of my friends expressed concern to me the other day about the developing situation in Iran and other places. I explained to her that of course, we hear about the military strikes; we hear about the scary situations and the politician involved, but we don’t hear about the diplomats who work together, we don’t hear about various officials inside other governments as well as that of the USA who try with all their might to create civil solutions and prevent bloodshed and war.

Because those people are the competent ones, the people whose names we won’t hear except in extraordinary cases of, say, Impeachment Inquiries against the President of the United States.

Again: the outrage on social media is incentivized. By expressing outrage, one also displays a sort of moral stance, or at least that’s the impression that people like to put out.

My husband talks about this sometimes: he finds it particularly ridiculous and annoying that there’s a subset of people online who constantly complain about politics, the choice of political candidates, the condition of the nation and that of the world, and then don’t even bother to go to the polls to vote.

But it isn’t that these are people actively engaged in other ways that might be even more profound or meaningfully impactful to the world; we’re talking about people who literally just sit online and regurgitate political rhetoric without ever engaging or even (dare I say?) offering us some new point of view or way of thinking.

What I discovered in my time online is that always being anxious and angry isn’t a way to live life.

That doesn’t mean I’m not concerned. But it does lead us to the next point.

Whether through the creative process of a universe-generating intelligence or through a haphazard series of events in a probablistic universe or through some mechanism yet undiscovered, here we are, with our particular “design” as human beings.

We aren’t meant to have a constant barrage of information hitting us. We don’t have the capacity to thoroughly psychologically process the rate at which the internet sends new information our way.

Psychological processing takes time. When you’ve learned one bad thing only to be hit within ten more not within the next week but within the next few minutes or seconds, you won’t have had time to process the first bad thing, and it all clumps together.

This constantly pushes on our sense of “THREAT, THREAT, THREAT.” Without the proper psychological processing, we can’t assess the degree to which the threat is 1) genuinely a threat, 2) the degree to which the threat is even realistic, 3) the degree to which anything is actively mitigating the threat, and 4) who may be benefitting from making us think there’s a threat.

Realizing all of these things, just before Thanksgiving, I backed away from Facebook.

This was FAR EASIER than I ever imagined.

Not being on Facebook hasn’t left me with any lasting psychological damage or a sense of disconnection. On the contrary, I feel quite the opposite!

Notable things that happened to me after simply no longer checking Facebook include an improved mood (reduced anxiety and stress in general), a general ability to focus more, and, probably most importantly, a sudden ability to think clearly and for myself.

Also, I don’t have to deal with the so-called “friends” that I’ve realized are extreme victims of the Dunning-Kruger effect. Social Media is unfortuantely replete with literal incarnations of the Dunning-Kruger effect, certainly enough to make anyone snatch themselves bald.

So, I enjoy life more by not being on Facebook.

I think I may have posted once or twice since Thanksgiving, if even that much. A few people added me for some reason.

The funniest part?

After a while, Facebook runs out of things to put in the alerts, so silly alerts like “so-and-so posted a new status” (specifically referring to someone that I DON’T FOLLOW on Facebook) and “so-and-so posted a new profile picture!”

So, yes, there’s a strange feedback loop built in the algorithm that’s been broken.

Yes, I still use the Messenger, but that doesn’t require one to actively go on Facebook.

Thinking for myself as opposed to having to toe some invisible party line among liberal/progressive people is great. Whether people realize it, those lines do exist, and social media reinforces it.

Before I rebooted this blog, I had written several entries about noticeably terrible trends emerging among progressives. It’s been happening for years. Now some of those trends are even being addressed in nearly 2-hour videos by certain YouTubers (like Natalie Wynn of ContraPoints).  If you have the time, watch her video on Canceling.

Other points that I want to address in other blogs have to do with the shelf-life of useful terminology and the weaponization of demographic status.
An important thing in Canceling is that Natalie breaks down how the spiral of unreflectie social media outrage works- the specific progression from “accusation to abstraction to essentialism.” If for no other reason, watch it for that.

Anyway, I’ve yet to escape the infinite scroll of Instagram, though I’m getting better at that. I don’t scroll too far on YouTube because I invariably am subscribed to people from whom I want to hear and watch informative videos on a variety of topics.

Reorienting myself from the social media has been tough in certain ways. There’s still a nagging feeling at times that I’m avoiding some kind of responsibility, but again, that’s how it works. Ever tried to delete Facebook? You get sappy pictures of friends saying that they’ll miss you and your posts and other such nonsense.

But honestly, my life is interesting enough on its own without dragging the lives of 150+ people (most of whom I know personally) into it on a daily basis. Good fences make good neighbors. I can still see over the fence, talk to people, but they don’t have to be up in yard and especially not my house.

The Cursèd Pickle of the Infinite Scroll, Part 1

Here we are in the future!

Welcome, friends, to 2020.

Several months ago, I took note of the number of times I reached for my iPhone, the number of times that I passively picked it up and checked it, and the number of times I picked up my iPhone to search for something like a definition, only to find myself caught in…

…the Infinite Scroll of Facebook.

If any of my readers use social media regularly, you’ll probably have had at least one relatable experience.

Sometimes, I suddenly realized I was scrolling Facebook and how to mentally re-trace the steps to how and when I got there. The fact that I was doing this at all disgusted me, and I knew that I had to make a change.

Then, while having dinner with some friends from our former church, one of them, a formerly avid Twitter-user, told us she had deleted her Twitter account.

Well, friends, that was my sign as well- it was time to unplug.

I opted to not delete my Facebook entirely- somewhere, I’m still afraid to let go completely, and there is great utility in keeping up with friends and family over long distance.

Facebook didn’t always operate in the way it does now, with the stream-lined status updates; previously, it was like having one’s own webpage, though a very limited and focused webpage; it was and is less customizable than MySpace was in its day (and MySpace is where I started out with social media), but the more minimal design and layout became its strength over MySpace.

I left MySpace almost ten years ago. I returned two or three times, briefly, only to quickly delete the accounts. It was a graveyard, a shell, a relic from an older and possibly more innocent era to which we can’t return.

MySpace had drama. Don’t get me wrong; it’s just that the speed of the internet and the format slowed down the drama.

And for me, MySpace functioned mainly as a blog-writing outlet. That’s what I did- I went on MySpace, I blogged.

Facebook had, at one time, a blog feature called Notes, but I’m not sure that even still exists or where to find it if it does, nor do I care.

Facebook sped up as the internet sped up- people’s comments began appearing in real time. You didn’t just post something to have a comment pop up hours later and the person be off doing whatever; you knew that person was there, right then, commenting, looking at your post.

Maybe that immediacy is part of the problem: when people’s posts are done in the past, we fool ourselves into thinking that maybe they didn’t mean it or were in a bad mood or something, but seeing the updates in real time?

You get to see how terrible so many people are, how badly informed and unreflective their worldview is.

Twitter moves even faster than Facebook and is probably the most unpalatable social media platform out there. It’s a 24/7 outrage fest consisting of largely morons. They even drove someone like myself off the platform; I made the mistake of asking a rabbi whom I greatly admired at the time (but no longer admire) about whether or not non-Jewish people should go with their Jewish friends to eat Chinese food on Christmas Day.

In response, I was dog-piled by the poorly-named “woke” crowd (who are very much asleep, if anyone ever was) and accused of cultural appropriation (another term that’s been weaponized by the largely clueless).

The fact that the most alerts I ever got on Twitter literally had to do with people attacking me says something about the platform.

If you ever feel the need to feel bad about yourself for no reason, go on Twitter. People will make you feel bad for basically anything.

So Twitter was out, and Facebook remained.

Our red-flag with Facebook should have been when the categories “Top News” and “Most Recent Posts” were divided. These are both based on algorithms that largely fail; I rarely see anything in the “Top News” section that I care about, and “Most Recent Posts” have, at times, begun with posts from 3 or more days ago, which is certainly in no way the “Most Recent.”

There’s no way to exhaust the Facebook scroll for the most part unless you account is brand new and you don’t have many friends on there. Otherwise, Facebook seems to keep pulling up posts, things that may or may not be of interest to you.

But the fact that you can’t even get a clear Timeline with the chronological order of posts should be incredibly bothersome.

Anyway, the infinite scroll, always looking for the next post, always wanting to see the updates and check them- all of that is a huge waste of time. Huge.

For those of us who are introverted and have dealt with loneliness and depression and desperately desire connection, social media is a whole new level of dangerous. At first, the internet and speaking to people offered us safety. We could be ourselves, we could communicate when we wanted to, and then we could unplug, walk away.

I can still remember an era where I had a smartphone that wasn’t really capable of going online, and I can remember the sense of what it was to leave my home and not have the internet with me.

But with the proliferation of smart devices, the internet is with us almost all the time. It’s difficult to escape.

Disconnecting, not connecting, has become the issue.

And the downside is that everyone, including the most annoying and hateful among us, is given a voice that can present itself as equally valid despite not being informed or reflective at all.

Part 2 will follow.

Making the Case, or the Backfiring of a Point You Thought You Made

In 2008 or 2009, one of my friends living in Japan and I did a series of blog entires on MySpace about differences in culture and compared the holidays of the USA and Japan. One startling fact was learning that Japan’s New Year was the biggest holiday, whereas all holidays in the USA pale in comparison to Christmas.

But from that year on, I took a special interest in the New Year, which had been celebrated rather poorly as a kind of after-thought to Christmas. In the South, in my house, the dishes of poorly cooked greens, black-eyed peas, and terribly made cornbread were the only real points of “celebration” on New Year’s Day proper.

I decided I would start eating foods that meant something to me, and if I could find them, I would eat foods eaten in Japan. New Year’s hasn’t always carried special meaning, but the last decade has certianly seen me more thoughtful about it.

Then there’s the issue of Christmas. Several years since I met my husband, I’ve had the experience of being “Christmased Out” around this time of year. The city in which we used to live put up Christmas decorations on the 6th of October in 2015, leaving me absolutely furious. There’s something to be said about Christmas increasingly encroaching upon the territory of other holidays and seasons, but that in particular was an overreach.

Other years, we went to so many Christmas events that long before the day arrived, I was ready for it to be over. I’m unlike Charlie Brown (from A Charlie Brown Christmas) in this regard: I don’t mind the commercial aspect of Christmas or uphold the religious aspect as inherently superior (or in the opposite sense, something for us to rid ourselves of), but I do mind the intensity with which Christmas is shoved down my throat.

The religious aspect can cause problems for some people. People advocate for everything from “Christmas is inherently Pagan and shouldn’t be celebrated”¹ to “the commercial aspect of Christmas is exactly what Jesus wants for us”² and all kinds of variations in-between.³⁴

That isn’t the point of this blog, though.

The point of this blog is state that sometimes, people attempt satire but end up making some fairly good points.

Such is the case of the gentleman who submitted this piece to a local newspaper in favor of changing the names of all the holidays; you can read it here: While we’re at it, let’s change all the holidays

Written by one Mr. John Pokoski, he makes a sarcastic plea with increasingly ridiculous examples that we should simply rename almost every holidays for the sake of appeasing “political correctness,” and I suppose he thought that in his sarcasm, he said something profound and proved a fair point.

He did, but not the point he thought he made. See below.

Before I continue, allow me to find common ground with Mr. Pokoski: it’s entirely possible to make ridiculous changes in the name of inclusion and attempting to not be offensive. Many people’s hearts are definitely in the right place, but their decisions aren’t terrible reflective.

My own remark sometimes is that, in the name of inclusion, a lot of liberals have managed to get us to rename “Christmas” to “Holiday.” What I mean is that a lot of offices and schools have “holiday parties” that are definitely modern-day Christmas-themed; they aren’t themed after, say, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Bodhi Day, Yalda, or other potential December-esque holidays.  (Yule isn’t mentioned here because some of our modern-day Christmas traditions are related to Yule).

A few years ago, a salespaper I opened listed the Christmas tree as “holiday tree.” Christmas lights had become “holiday lights.” While I’m not Jewish, and while Jewish people are not of a singular mind about Christmas, I can guess rather safely that no Jewish person who would have a concern about putting up a Christmas tree looks at the renamed “holiday trees” and says, “Oh, yes, this is totally fine now.”

The above points to where my own views align with Mr. Pokoski: there is something ridiculous going on, but I iterate: it isn’t that something is being renamed or reframed; it’s that it’s sometimes being renamed and reframed poorly.

Continuing, in several cases, Mr. Pokoski didn’t prove how ridiculous the renaming of holidays is; instead, he demonstrated that renaming something like “Valentine’s Day” to “Love Day” not only hits directly at the underlying concept of the holiday but removes any kind of particular barrier that might be considered objectionable on religious grounds. “Spring Fest” instead of “Easter” is also a great idea- not everyone is Christian, but everyone can appreciate the return of the Springtime.

Mr. Pokoski missed a fairly great opportunity concerning the Mother’s Day and Father’s Day scenario: we could instead combine them into Parents’ Day⁵ (celebrated in places like Korea) and leave the other day as Children’s Day (celebrated in many countries).

In some cases, like Labor Day, Mr. Pokoski unfortunately demonstrated a measure of ignorance- Labor Day celebrates the American Labor Movement, not just the idea of working; Labor Day celebrates things like unions, workers’ rights, fair payment and compensation for one’s time spent in labor, and so on. It’s a fine example where there’s no reason to rename the day, and Mr. Pokoski’s words collapse into a bunch of blather.

Yet the case is still made: we should rename it to “Labor Movement Day” for clarification.

His example about Thanksgiving is bizarre as Thanksgiving has a greater relationship to English harvest festivals than the myth about completely harmonious indulgence of Pilgrims and American Indians that we’ve retroactively imposed upon it. Beyond that, in essence, Thanksgiving is in the name- it’s a day of gratitude. (Jurafsky 88).

Personally, after learning about how the New Year is celebrated in many countries and about how how many people celebrate the New Year in the way that we Americans do Christmas⁷, I think in general it makes more sense to move our Christmas traditions of feasting and giving gifts back to the New Year.

If I were to rename Christmas, I would be more inclined to refer to Christmas as something like “Yule” which is still used as the name in many Scandinavian countries and by many members of the modern-day Pagan movement. However, I don’t have a true preference here, for people will always find a reason to celebrate and have a good time. Even if we eliminated all the holidays, new holidays would begin to develop; that’s just how humans are.

I would ask people such as Mr. Pokoski to really consider what they’re trying to say when they write such opinion pieces; their criticism is ultimately invalid only because it’s misguided to the wrong aspect of the issue or a blatant projection of their own distortion of what they think is going on (or a demonstration of their own ignorance about the origins of various holidays).

In summary, renaming many of our holidays sounds like an awesome idea, and I fully support renaming them in so far as we do so with deep reflection and come up with something that’s tasteful, meaningful, and celebrates the underlying spirit and concept while allowing and encouraging people of different backgrounds to celebrate their traditions regarding those holidays.

¹Why Don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses Celebrate Christmas? 

² I’m Saving Christmas from Kirk Cameron

³Christmas Traditions: Christmas or Pagan?

Britannica Entry on Christmas

Celebrating and Understanding Korean Parents’ Day

Children’s Day

Gift Tradition at the New Year

Jurafsky, Dan. The Language of Food: A Linguistic Reads the Menu. New York, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2014

 

Coming Soon!

This blog post will be deleted, as have all the other blog posts.

2020 seems like a good numeric point to do a serious “reboot” of my online blog and life.

From now on, I’m going to do my best to only post well-thought, reflective entries with commentary about life, culture, society, and in general, my own thoughts.

I’ll do my best to not get angry or go on rants and stick solely to the facts.

Steve