The 2023 Festivus Airing of the Grievances


It’s time once again for the Airing of the Grievances. In the immortal words of Mr. Costanza, “I got a lot of problems with you people, and now you’re gonna hear about it.”

This year tried to kill me. But guess what bitches? I’M STILL ALIVE AND KICKING AND IT’S TIME TO UNLOAD THAT WHICH OPPRESSES MY SPIRIT. So grab some cocoa or whatever shit you like to drink and buckle up. I’m not even trying to be nice right now.

Ye Which Hath Harshed My Mellow in 2023:

1. The balkanization of literally every industry and it’s subsequent cognitive load

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…five apps to make online payments, six apps to watch tv, four apps for food delivery, seventeen apps for shopping and eighteen BILLION accounts to have a profile on every fucking website I have to visit. This shit is nickling and diming me to death – and not just economically. I’m being charged for shit I can’t even remember signing up for, AND I have to worry about updating passwords and 2FA for all of them. They’re making money off of how little time I have to audit all this bullshit and I hate it.

2. People Who Trust Power (and get mad when you don’t)

Guys, come on. We’ve been around for several hundred thousand years. Has there EVER been a time (outside your imagination) when power-holders weren’t abusing their power? THERE HAS NOT. It doesn’t matter WHO is holding the power, what religion, race, ethnicity or gender they are. So can we stop defending powerful people, governments and institutions when it comes out they are doing terrible shit? Your defense of these assholes and their playgrounds of power makes you appear naive, and worse, enables bad people to keep doing bad things.

3. The general lack of interest in public transportation

If there’s ONE THING that could IMMEDIATELY improve the lives of billions of people AND the condition of our environment it’s global investment in public transportation systems. Also – in case you haven’t figure it out yet: Traffic is fucking STUPID.

4. Gen X Erasure aka “Give a little respect, tooo-ooo-ooooo meeeee”

No but really. Boomers have never really be interested in us, so it’s not like we don’t have thick skins. Mostly we prefer to fly under the radar anyway. But also you claim we’re culturally irrelevant, and your definition of relevance is keeping up with Britney as she spirals and sparring with Jordan Peterson stans on Twitter. So. Yeah. You can’t be trusted to define anything culturally. Pass me the Camus and my clove cigs, thanks. p.s. We’re not going anywhere for a while, fuckers. Happy to remind you as often as needed (and as rudely as possible) that we’re here.

5. AI and Its Deluded Champions (see also: Techno-Optimism)

I’m not a luddite (yet) but I’ve been around long enough to have seen techno-optimism crash and burn our social, economic and political order more than once. I don’t trust any of those DMT-infused Silicon Valley ideologues as far as I can throw them. New technology is great. You know what’s NOT great? Adopting new technologies en masse before we’ve assessed the long-term advantages and risks as a society. This isn’t speculation. We have a fucking track record.

6. Creative and Artistic Gatekeeping

Fuck Big Media, Big Publishing, Academia Inc., Hollywood, and any other industry (and their annoyingly self-congratulatory tastemakers) that exists to dictate which narratives are worth listening to. I can make those decisions myself. And so can you. It’s not like there’s a guarantee of better quality coming from The Creative Establishment. By now it’s clear the only two criteria that matters to these people is that it makes money and doesn’t upset the wrong people (from point #2).

7. Using Your Device Audio Without Headphones in Public

If you do this, you should know that you are a bad person and everyone within a twenty foot radius knows it.

8. Fast Fashion

Entire industries like this exist because people who are not rich want to feel like they have money and can afford new, trendy things. So we buy shitty replicas of designer clothes that end up at the Goodwill or in a landfill, or worse, “donated.” Fast fashion is notoriously poorly made. It doesn’t stand up to more than a couple wears, nor does it fit well – no one actually believes you bought that Shein on Rodeo Drive, I promise. But the worst part is that *because* this stuff is made to be garbage it’s not actually a savings. So yeah, poor people getting screwed by consumerism AGAIN.

9. Raisins

Get these motherfuckin’ raisins off this motherfuckin’ plane.

10. Fake Qs

Why are the worst, creepiest people trying to use the letter “Q”? Look, I get that it sounds cool and mysterious and kind of cosmic. It’s my favorite letter, so of course it’s rad. But that doesn’t mean you can appropriate it for your weird conspiracy cult, or your stupid AI program, or whatever. Leave The Q alone, or I will curse you and you’ll have no one but yourself to blame.

11. People who think everyone else is the problem.

Have you ever met a person who tells you all about the terrible people that have plagued them their entire lives, and you’re like, WOW, you’ve had it hard. But then after a while you start to realize that maybe this person is just an entitled narcissist who can’t cope with reality and/or take personal responsibility, and they need to blame anything and everything but themselves? Yeah. That.

12. People who fuck with libraries

Goddamned cretins.

13. People who move through the world completely oblivious to the other people around them


14. Destroying real relationships over support of political leaders who would (and you are a goddamn fool if you think otherwise) sell you out in an instant if it suited their agenda. Not just one party. All of them.

15. Digital/Social Media ads

30-40% of the content I see on corporate-owned social media sites are ads. It’s out of hand. It’s fucking INSULTING.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. In reality, I have a lot to be thankful for this year, not the least of which are friends and family who helped me overcome some enormous obstacles in 2023. This is a kind reminder to all that the state of the world is a reflection of our inner state, and the quality of our relationships with other humans. You want a better world? Fix yourself, then find ways to strengthen bonds with the other humans around you.

See you next year!

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