Well, now that the consequences of the UK voting to leave the EU have had some time to sink in, it is both fascinating and disturbing to see just what a lot of people thought they were voting for. Much has been made of the reports that a lot of people in the UK were googling terms like “what is the EU?” the day after the vote. I am not sure whether or not that data is accurate, and apparently there are other people who feel the same way. Still, it does seem that a significant number of people in the UK are acting as if the “stay” or “leave” question was not based on the UK leaving the EU, but on whether or not non-white and/or non-British people should “stay” in the UK or “leave”. And in the minds of many of these people, that answer is pretty clear.
Frankly, I am just stunned that the voters of the United Kingdom decided to leave the EU. Obviously I am not British, and I can’t pretend I understand all of the issues going on there that might motivate people to vote that way. But I do know that many of the consequences predicted were not good. And I also know that many of the people who voted to leave are in the parts of the UK that depend on the EU the most, like Cornwall. The government of Cornwall is now insisting that the UK government make up for the 60 million pounds a year of EU funding that will be lost by Brexit. To quote from Cornwall directly:
Prior to the referendum we were reassured by the ‘leave’ campaign that a decision to leave the EU would not affect the EU funding which has already been allocated to Cornwall and that Cornwall would not be worse off in terms of the investment we receive. We are seeking urgent confirmation from Ministers that this is the case.
Suddenly Cornwall is like some teenage kid who seriously pisses off his parents, and then suddenly doesn’t understand why they aren’t going to pay his college tuition anymore. You guys really didn’t think this through, did you? And you believed everything that the Leave Campaign told you?
You know, that would be comical if it wasn’t so damn tragic, because there are going to be real consequences now, which will affect a lot of people’s lives.
Kelly and I have both been shocked, horrified, and angry over what happened in Orlando. Truly, it is stunning to me that such a thing could happen, and even more stunning that we as a society could keep allowing these events to happen over and over and over again.
Kelly vented a lot of anger in her earlier post, and there’s nothing more I can say about how we feel about this. But I want to be a little specific about some of the intellectually dishonest arguments being made by people around the country trying to explain all this away. I also want to talk about two people who were there, and who did everything they could to save people’s lives, and still couldn’t save everyone. They are still heroes, even if they themselves probably don’t feel that way, and probably wouldn’t use that word.
OK guys, I get it. George just hasn’t been able to crank out the books fast enough, and now the TV show has caught up to the books, more or less. So now you no longer have all that juicy source material to work from, you just have whatever tidbits GRRM has given you about where the story is going. That’s fine.
But guys? I’m worried. Frankly, you are starting to scare me a little bit. Not having Book Six or Book Seven to work from does not mean that you should suddenly become nihilists. It’s not a race to see who can kill more characters. Moving the story forward does not mean taking a large metaphorical dump on the hopes and dreams of the fans, ok?
I don’t like to talk about politics too much on our blog, because frankly I need more positivity in my life, and these days it is really difficult to find anything whatsoever in politics that gives me cause for optimism. Still, I am a historian, and I can’t help but think that we are currently experiencing one of those watershed Presidential elections, like the election of 1860 or the election of 1932 or the election of 1968, in which those of us who experience it will talk about in terms of what things were like before, and what they were like after.
Well, one of the things that happens when you don’t do a lot of blog posting is that you fall WAY behind on your GoT/ASOIAF commentaries. My bad. Our friend and fellow GRRM fan Patrick is way ahead of me on all things Season Six, and frankly he has helped motivate me a bit (thanks man!).
So, now that life seems to be getting a bit more under control, it’s time for me to start catching up on all that. After all, Season Six starts six weeks from this Sunday. And there is all sorts of stuff to talk about.
Anyone who knows me well knows that when it comes to football, I am decidedly… meh. I just never got into the sport the way that so many other people (like Kelly) have. Baseball is another story. I love it. Even hockey and soccer are sports I care WAY more about than football. But still, I look forward to whenever the Pats go the Superbowl, because that inevitably means people I know will be throwing great parties with lots of beer, wings, and general awesomeness.
So this year the upcoming
wingstravaganza Superbowl party seems to be dominated by talk about this mess regarding the slight under-inflation of footballs. And frankly, I am a bit puzzled by the whole thing.