My Age of Intolerance

On Saturday, I got to meet up with some old friends that I hadn’t seen in forever: Tamara, Kalen, and Tim. The last time we saw each other was last summer, when we met for our first time since the COVID pandemic began. This was only our second. (We’ve resolved to do more.)

The conversation went as the conversations often do: just about everywhere. Thankfully, we’re like-minded, so we didn’t have to worry about ruffling feathers over free-dumbs (say it aloud), politics (we have a collective hatred for our current overlords), or even programming languages (because, in the end, they all suck, so we just deal with what we got).

But on the topic of free-dumbs and politics, one thought came to mind that I had … well, worried about. I’ve worried about it in private because it’s one of those things that make me feel older than I care to believe, a particular important fact as I’m turning 50(!!) this year.

So in a strange form of confessional, I brought up the fact that I’m having difficulty with accepting the way things (currently) are because I’m becoming too old and too tired to deal with the constant barrage of bullshit. In short, I’ve become intolerant.

I’ve had this fear for a while: would I become more conservative and hate everything around me, the classic “this is the way things were back then and that’s how we liked it!” (I suggest applying Grandpa Simpson’s voice to that, I find it works well for me.)

I’ve prided myself in more recent years for being open-minded, attentive, even a bit actionable if I felt injustice was coming into play. I’m happy to see that my children (well, Monkey, specifically) becoming more of an activist and willing to champion difficult causes. And I’ve completely feared at losing all of that because I’ve become too … old.

I try to look to my inlaws for inspiration. Allen, for example, strives to be open-minded and seeks justice at every turn, to the point where he was actively trying to get arrested for protesting the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. (Although I’m not quite that civic-minded, I absolutely respect the attempts.) My mother-in-law, Janice, would see the good in truly horrible people and her candle of hope will never go out.

But I’m also not raised religious, I’m not educated religious (both of my in-laws are), so I lack that strong community basis present in religious organizations. Mine tends to come from those that weather the storms of corporations, where surplus people are tossed aside like so much confetti.

And then something magical happened. I heard: “Me too.” And: “Yeah, I have the same problem.” Followed with a sober: “Ditto.” I wasn’t alone. Given, I’m the oldest (by a not small margin) amongst the group, but they understood what I was getting at. We’re all becoming increasing tired of the same crap.

The crap, of course, is our modern society: media drumming up terrible news to sell a few click ads on websites. Social media platforms all claiming to be for the people, but letting the minority ruin them with vile messages. (I’ve all but abandoned social media as a result.) Policitians able to say whatever they want without consequence because the apathy of the voting population has become so prevalent that less than a third of the population show up, voting in the person who did the best job of pretending to be the right person.

So, really, I’m not old, I just can’t handle The Stupid anymore: Stupid ideas, Stupid people, Stupid governments, Stupid cars, Stupid ads, Stupid websites, Stupid blog entries that whine about getting older…


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