2018: A NEW HOPE

As years go, 2018 didn’t seem to have an identity of its own, just a mere continuation of 2017. I discovered the classic series, Columbo and Breaking Bad. I got really into the card games Star Realms and Splendor. After a trip to the Farm Show, I binged the farming sim Stardew Valley and created my own real life garden full of many varieties of basil, tomato, and peppers, to some success. E3’s Cyberpunk 2077 announcement had me searching for anything Cyberpunk including Blade Runner 2049, Android Netrunner (RIP), Shadowrun Returns, even Strange Days and William Shatner’s terrible TekWar series.

On the entertainment front, I completed a few video games: Firewatch, Telltale’s (RIP) Wolf Among Us, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, and teenage girl simulator, Life Is Strange. I did get to enjoy a few new releases, namely Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu (My first Pokemon game since Yellow, 20 years ago) and Smash Bros Ultimate. While I didn’t see too many current release movies, I did enjoy Solo: A Star Wars Story, Ready Player One, and Deadpool 2. However, I would say the most enjoyable movie I saw this year was 2017’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard. I really didn’t watch much current TV, although I would say that I was pleasantly surprised by The Orville, moderately disappointed by the return of Harvey Birdman, and very disappointed by Star Trek Discovery.

Another year, another group of great people we have to say goodbye to. A little piece of my childhood died with the passing of Toys R Us. One of the best minds of our time left our planet, Stephen Hawking. Sci-Fi legend Harlan Ellison passed beyond the veil. Microsoft’s better half, Paul Allen and Hal-9000 voice, Douglas Rain blue screened. Stan Lee returned to the Watchers. Robin Leach went to the afterlife of champagne wishes and caviar dreams. Art Bell got taken by the saucers. Harry Anderson performed his final trick. Burt Reynolds realized he was too cool for this planet. We lost an entire generation of Bushes. We gave a final salute to the Gunny, R. Lee Ermy. We also said farewell to David Ogden Stiers, Neil Simon, and Aretha Franklin.

As I said, this was a year without an identity. There was an election, but seeing as the election cycle is damn near perpetual at this point, that means very little. The culture war that seems to be going on is merely a continuation of the fire that’s been burning for years. I can assume that the coming year will be little different. All will be more of the same as this year just as the year before. I can only hope that we as a society can try making inroads to become less divided and less polarized but that will take hard work and compromise, something that people seem averse to. However, with the results of the election, there is a glimmer of hope that maybe there can be a return to normalcy sometime in the future.

It was the end of the Earth year 2018, and the war had paused, suddenly and unexpectedly. All around us, it was as if the universe were holding its breath… waiting. All of life can be broken down into moments of transition or moments of revelation. This had the feeling of both. G’Quon wrote, ‘There is a greater darkness than the one we fight. It is the darkness of the soul that has lost its way.’ The war we fight is not against powers and principalities – it is against chaos and despair. Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope, the death of dreams. Against this peril we can never surrender. The future is all around us, waiting in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future, or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain.

Citizen G’Kar, Babylon 5 (Paraphrased)

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