A lot has happened since my last blog post, including Western Australia’s hard border coming down so maybe I’ll come sign your copies of my book soon. 😉 But I’ve also been doing plenty of thinking. About how the world has changed over the past couple of years. And how I’ve changed.
Recently, I was chatting to a friend in America who asked me what my current passions were.
“That’s a good question actually,” I said.
Before the pandemic, going out for me usually involved live music. (That part is one of the more autobiographical aspects of Black and Blue.) But the thing about live music is that it often takes place at a venue where alcoholic drinks are flowing and people have no concept of personal space.
So I’ve always had to weigh up on a case-by-case basis whether I want to see the band more than I loathe the unwanted touching and germy bathrooms. Now I also consider the risk of spreading illnesses to someone who might not be as healthy and okay as I am.
But as my American pal and I talked about the state of the world, the loss of two years, work-related stress, not being able to see friends and family or go to events… we realised that one of the saddest parts for us might be seeing the worst in people we used to like and respect. The casual ableism… the conspiracy theories and spreading of misinformation… comparing their self-inflicted plight to the Holocaust… etc.
I brought this up with another dear friend of mine, who I’ve known since we were six years old.
“Not gonna lie,” they said, “As a queer, disabled person, I’m no longer surprised when someone I liked turns out to be garbage.”
Anyway, all that reflection also got me thinking about my 15-year love-hate relationship with Facebook, which has gradually become a Rolodex spanning my entire existence on this planet. At this point in my life, I’d rather keep things focused on family and friends I have an actual emotional connection with. (And managing Facebook pages, which is the main reason I can’t just delete/deactivate my profile).
So far I’ve culled about 200 people from my friends list and I’m sure everyone will survive without an annual meaningless birthday message from me.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of other social media platforms and apps that anyone can use to keep in touch or keep tabs on me… some of which are owned by Facebook’s parent company, so those zuckers still have their claws in me regardless. 😛
PS. If you’re up for 10 minutes of awesomeness, here’s the music video for “Estranged” by Guns N’ Roses, which happens to be the song I lifted this blog title from.