This past Sunday was my birthday! Unfortunately, it was not quite as notable as last years, which was a lot of fun, but it was still a great time overall.
Like last year, I started my day with a coffee and checking the racing news. I’m looking forward to seeing what George Russel can do with Mercedes; I really warmed up to that kid last season. Then I loaded up Animal Crossing. Yes, I still play Animal Crossing. Multiple times a week, even! What cool things did my villagers have to say to me this year?
So, before I get into all the IRL fun I had, I do have to bring up a bitter pill. A former Twitter mutual decided that, of all the fucking days to start some shit, it needed to be my fucking birthday. I say “former” because this is one of those tedious “tenderqueers” you hear so much about; the kind that thinks any trans person who creates a piece of art more hard-hitting than Steven Universe holding hands with Wheeler from Captain Planet is actually a secret rapist pedophile who totally deserves all the harassment and doxxing they may receive. Also calling me an “opportunist” for bringing up the irrefutable fact that even leftists will use places like Kiwi Farms as a source for taking mouthy queers down a peg. Jerk. Anyways, yes, this fucking asshole brought their tired ass “relatively notable trans person is totally doing a rape on me by defending the developers of a TV game being harassed for stupid reasons” gimmick to my metaphorical house on a day where I want to deal with people’s shit even less than I normally do.
I had honestly planned saving this rant for the end of the year, as part of my 2021 wrap-up, but fuck it, I’ll do it now before I get back to the fun shit.
I want to talk some shit about this whole “wholesome” thing that’s been going around these last few years. Now, I do not have any issue with things that are bright, cheery, or lacking in challenge, both in the design and thematic sense. I mean, hell, I literally just posted Animal Crossing screenshots. Besides that, bro, have you ever seen Slimegirl? There’s nothing inherently wrong with the concept of media that you can chill out to. The problem comes from its surrounding culture. You know, that whole thing where a bunch of She-Ra avatars who got their queer theory from a Tumblr fandom blog from nine years ago fill an artists’ inbox with “kill urself fag” because they had the audacity to create something heavier than, again, Steven Universe holding hands with Wheeler from Captain Planet. Anything that isn’t the most non-threatening, saccharine piece of art is considered evil. What happened to Isabel Fall was only a year ago. How about that young woman who drew a short comic about shoplifting? People with ACAB and “Be Gay, Do Crimes” in their bios mass reported her until her Paypal got shut down. This may sound radical, but I have a firm belief that artists, especially queer ones, doubly especially the trans ones, should be able to make something that challenges the established norms of society without also getting harassed into a mental breakdown or financial debt.
Queer artists who are anti-establishment are looked at as sinister. Sex workers are looked down upon, even if someone in the wholesome scene does or makes something sexual themselves. Hate to it break it to you, but showing off half a nipple on your OnlyFans page makes you just as much of a whore as the rest of us. My particular sex work is getting phone calls at weird hours, and having to spend anywhere from five minutes to an hour listening to middle aged men masturbating and telling me how badly they want to be my stepdad. This does not make me better or worse than anyone else in my field; stripper, lewd furry artist, camgirl, dominatrix, porn star, full-on escort, there is no moralistic hierarchy to making money on the concept of being horny. I also strongly resent this whole narrative that we’re all part of some cabal of barely reformed *chan (where the * is any number from 2 through 8) posters that want the freedom to yell out racial slurs and sexualize minors, and that our anti-wholesome stance comes from unchecked bigotry, rather than being tired of yet more blows being rained down upon some of society’s easiest punching bags. That’s bull shit. We should have the right to make dark, potentially problematic work, in addition to cute stuff with lots of primary colors. In this time of all types of queer shit getting the boot from several platforms (see: Tumblr, PayPal, Patreon, even OnlyFans) for being “too sexual,” and small indie creators specifically being put on blast during the Apple vs Epic lawsuit, the last thing we need are a bunch of “pick me” idiots who will accuse us of being nazis simply for being born in 1988 throwing us under the bus to prolong the amount of time they have before the digital censorship train makes it to their platform. Art should not be a war fought on multiple fronts, yet here we are.
So yeah, fuck “Wholesome.” That shit gave us Nick Robinson, the McElroys, Blaseball, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, among other things that trigger a spike in my blood pressure when I see them. The most cowardly shit. The commodification of art into a cynical marketing gimmick sucks. Give me something cute, but not holier-than-thou “I’m not like those people” garbage.
Let’s get back to business.
Once again, I went out on a ＭＡＬＬ ＡＤＶＥＮＴＵＲＥ. Of course, more or less transitioning over to PC gaming and buying obscure indie/retro shit that doesn’t have physical releases that don’t cost like a million bucks, I didn’t buy any games like I did with the Tony Hawk remasters last year. I did however get some shirts on clearance for a grand total of about twenty bucks:
I know, it’s not particularly exciting. I am an old curmudgeon with low standards, shirts will do it for me. Probably doesn’t hurt that I also got myself some pizza, a chocolate cake, and some root beer to go along with all that.
That all doesn’t really matter. The real plan for Sunday night was getting together with some of my closest friends, and watching AEW All Out. Doing pay-per-views on my birthday is a good way of ensuring that I will buy at least one of your shows every year.
Fuck me, this show rules. All Out kicked all of the asses. The return of a guy that I thought was done with wrestling, was just going to live the rest of life never getting back into the ring, coming back after so long. That’s right, Paul Wight taking on QT Marshall!!
…okay, maybe not.
But seriously, despite me writing an entire article two years ago about not giving a fuck about CM Punk anymore, and hoping that he did stay out of the ring, after showing up on some WWE-branded talk show in the cringiest of ways, I bought into the hype of his return. I was so fucking excited to see him take on Darby Allin, and those two did not disappoint. Other than that, the Young Bucks/Lucha Brothers cage match is up there for my personal Match of the Year with the Britt Baker/Thunder Rosa Lights Out match back on St Patrick’s Day. All Out was just banger after banger of great wrestling, to the point that some of my friends, who have never watched a wrestling show in their lives, got hyped up about it. That was fucking awesome to see. Of course, I can’t forget about the debut of HOLY FUCKING SHIT IT’S BRYAN GODDAMN DANIELSON!!!!!!!!!!! Dirk Fucking Dickbutt in AEW! You gotta love it!
That was pretty much my night. Other than some asshole bringing me down for a few minutes, leading into me pasting and slightly updating a few paragraphs that have been sitting in my drafts since like June, I had a great time. Great show, great friends, and because Jungle Boy showed up multiple times, great music.
It was cool. I got to watch a great show with friends, some of whom were meeting each other for the first time. Admittedly, I was a little worried about how everyone would get along; not that I thought they would all try to kill each other, but rather everything being awkward and nobody knowing what to say. I didn’t want anyone to feel left out. Thankfully, nobody was. We all had a fun night. And I think that’s something I need to keep in mind is that, no matter what is going on in the world, or how unbearably shitty the first half of 2021 was for me: overall, my life is pretty fucking great at the moment. I’m not a millionaire, but I am rich where it counts. It feels good to have a little support in your life, and to not feel so dang alone all the time.
I’m glad I got all these people in my life. I’m glad people are reading this site every week, as well. I’ll look forward to seeing you all again here next year.