Storypost | 2021.09.09

Mass Effect 2 Shepard Grunt first Normandy conversation pistol

Huh, no posts about covid in months.
90-something weeks later

Covid meme stay at home programmer humor mask IP address
Let me start with a lighthearted, nerdy may-may.

Now I'll bang out a quick synopsis since I'm going to look on this ten years from now and chuckle/cry.

United States covid 19 deaths through September 2021

Vague timeline:
Abbott stopped being funny without Costello.
I like their classic bit about "World Health Organization on first".

The hot spots seem to be Florida, Texas, and Poway.

Reddit covid PTA meeting masks irate parent

The story of covid could have been a story of humanity overcoming a natural disaster, or overcoming the mad scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (jury is still out on that one. Instead of prevailing, we seem to have tripped over our own... what are those pointy things viruses use to latch? We've tripped over those. We somehow managed to make a controversy out of our fight against an inanimate thing that has killed 650,000 people in 18 months.

So that's where things stand at the moment.

The controversy has three major focal points:
There isn't much to do at this point except spectate. So let's check out some of the great stuff that the country has cooked up in its fight against returning to normalcy (while screaming "no new normal").

Don't tell me what to do!

Facebook meme Lion King covid sheep lions

Mandatory vaccines haven't happened, but Biden is working the edges - today they became largely required by OSHA. Perhaps at the behest of industry, the government is trying to make being unvaccinated super inconvenient. But since mask mandates have come and gone, so there isn't a lot of truth to the slippery slope complaints.

The vaccines aren't tested! They recode your DNA!

I'm not sure anyone's actually making this argument honestly. Rather, it's convenient way to avoid getting the shot phrased in a way that seems like a sensible concern. Beyond the mRNA/gene therapy nonsense, I'm not entirely sure most people making this argument could adequately explain the difference in testing between emergency authorization and full FDA approval.

Well, just as long as they don't use any other products in ways not approved by the FDA.

I also imagine there's some overlap between the "not approved" crowd and the "invisible hand of the free market" crowd. Why wait for unnecessary government approval when industry giants are staking their business on this product?

I trust my immune system/creator. I'm young.

Meme covid DeAnna Lorraine Picard guns masks

I can't imagine there being inconsistencies with this viewpoint! The 'young and low death rate' argument is far more sound, at least if you're unconcerned with the wellbeing of others.

I trust my immune system a bit, and will use Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine and zinc and vitamin D to help.

Ivermectin meme tide pods republicans change my mind

The 'horse paste' thing has really given the delta variant its meme energy. Before Ivermectin, Delta was just an annoying mutation with a much higher viral load (or whatever that Fauci guy calls it). Somebody followed the hydroxychloroquine thing and found another great anti-parasitic to use against a virus.

Ivermectin Amazon review Marcus Aurelius

Since convincing your doctor to prescribe Ivermectin isn't super easy, people have been trading notes on how to use the livestock-grade stuff. There was a dedicated subreddit with lots of instructionals and anecdotal results. Then it was taken over by people making fun of the Ivermectin users. The invasion is still going strong but it decided to cross into Rule 34 territory (major content warning if you don't know what Rule 34 is).

Microchips, robots, etc.

And then there's the real fringe stuff. I guess somehow people think that while Elon can barely read brain signals with finger-size electrodes, the federal government has managed to perfect mind control using microchips or whatever.

Probably stealth microchips, since there are a lot of microscopes floating around these days.

Covid vaccination GOP Michael Jordan meme Reddit Sevoco

Anyway, so here we are. Still living with covid even though there's a free innoculation. At least the antiva memes are pretty entertaining. They're not dank or anything, but I dig how loud and dramatic they are. Not having the facebook, I have to rely on the posts aggregated on /r/HermanCainAward. While any individual one could be a high-effort fake, the volume and similarity to stories Jes tells gives me some confidence.
How did it get this bad?

Right? There's cognitive dissonance everywhere. When people talk about state-guaranteed health care, we have the greatest system in the world that should not be dismantled. But if that system comprehensively recommends a very simple preventative treatment, "I'll do my own (YouTube) research!"

I'm not about to launch into some tired diatribe about science in education or how prescient Idiocracy was, but the PUBG squad captured part of this in a completely unrelated discussion:

I actually am not happy with the state of internet communities right now because the shift away from forums means it's impossible to search or have long form discussions on one particular subject.
Never got over the death of ignboards. Cattle
Or Yahoo Answers.

The vaccine nonsense mentioned above seems to thrive in two places:
You'd think podcasts would be a good place for real discussion - and that's probably the case for many. I'm not a podcast listener, but I imagine some follow the Crossfire model and others have hosts that won't ask critical questions (e.g. Joe Rogan). I also don't know much about most social media and just lurk on Reddit, but screencaps seem to indicate that there is very little support for 'long form discussions'.

But I'm struggling to imagine how any of the aforementioned ideological inconsistencies or conspiracy theories could stand up to even a fairly brief discussion. I may never know, since I can't seem to find any trusted sources who have tried to have such a conversation.

Strange days.

Fantasy football avatar plague rats covid ivermectin rogan masks

I tried to capture the zeitgeist with my Medieval Gridiron team. I mean, what's more medieval than a plague rat? The image started with a social media post I found using that text and the snarling wolf meme template . Not much of the original image remains after I ratted it up and added as much flair as possible.

(Click through for full team screenshot).

I got Josh Allen and Derrick Henry so I'll probably find myself shouting, "Bring out yer dead!"

Covid-20 became The Omega Men for this season of my second-longest-running league. Feeling a lot better than my B report card.

I kept my name for the Dominicas. Kyler and Najee and Kelce again. Maybe having Dalvin in a bunch of leagues last year convinced me to go boom or bust.

We have a new work league with just ten teams. I decided to sit on as many running backs as possible. Bench points FTW.
The draft den/covid fortress/game spot

Danielle got to hang out with Ellie for a day. I bought some legit wire rope/cable cutters with ratcheting action. And I blasted through the second roof section of the veranda.

Steel cable wire rope cutting tool Text chat
Dying Light: The Following completion

Dying Light zombie flying low gravity tower Harran

J and me finished up the Dying Light DLC and got to have some fun with low gravity mode. I guess Techland is still doing events and updates.

Dying Light The Following Mother mask
Don't unmask. Really.
Nioh 2

At long last we've embarked on our Nioh 2 journey. We're not super far in, but here are some initial thoughts with a small gallery:
thumbnail Nioh 2 character creation underwear tattoos thumbnail Nioh 2 starting point hut thumbnail Nioh 2 horse demon yokai Mezuki
thumbnail Nioh 2 Mezuki
thumbnail Nioh 2 Geralt character thumbnail Nioh 2 protagonist posing thumbnail Nioh 2 Tokichiro cherry blossoms
thumbnail Nioh 2 samurai skill tree thumbnail Nioh 2 benevolent grave Dimendo00 thumbnail Nioh 2 ninja zombie
Loyalty missions

Mass Effect 2 Legendary Garrus Mordin rocket cover firefight

Still getting the occasional ME2:LE session in. Recruitment is complete, I'm working on the numerous loyalty missions and N7 tasks before doing the DLC and seeing if I can trade Samara for Morinth.

Mass Effect 2 Legendary Illium skyline

Illium continues the series's exploration of fringe sociopolitical systems that Noveria started. Illium is a place where hard drugs and indentured servitude are legal so long as it's conducted aboveboard (while ironically looking like Space Singapore). It also adds another page of the puzzling Asari codex - galactic elders, go-go dancers, spiritualists, anarcho-capitalists. The writers tackle the contradictions head-on, but I can't help but feel the original game designers put themselves in a corner with character models or hastily-approved storyboards. Then again, it (intentionally or not) avoids the 'Star Trek racism' where Klingons are all warriors and Romulans are all Nazi librarians.

However you judge the execution, it's neat (though slightly contrived) to see locations have distinct political and economic backstories. The Eternity bartender conversation tree is one of the game's best.

Mass Effect 2 Legendary Illium skyscraper Samara

Exploring the few non-combat areas of the city kind of feels like a child's diorama of Paris or something; there's an impressive backdrop that makes the playable area seem much less impressive than if the horizon were barren. That said, a sprawling map is a dangerous game to play (@Skyrim, @Firewatch).

Mass Effect 2 Legendary Collectors combat

I forgot that the Collectors- nevermind, it's nice that that playing the game a decade later means I've forgotten some of the plot.

Mass Effect 2 Legendary praetorian Cain cover lasers

I've very much enjoyed that the enemy swarms and bosses aren't immune to a good nuke. The ammo is limited enough that it's not OP, but I can reliably oneshot anything with the Cain.

I might have missed some of these ten years ago; pretty much everyone from the first game comes back (if they survived/like Shepard) and has a quest or just says hi.

Mass Effect 2 Legendary Jacob loyalty mission Garrus

Jacob's loyalty quest feels like a Star Trek episode. Starship crash lands, eating the local flora and fauna causes the survivors' brains to regress. Some of the survivors hoard the ship's untainted rations.

thumbnail Mass Effect 2 asari eclipse commando biotics shields shotgun thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Tuchanka Garrus in cover sniper rifle thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Shepard cover rocket thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Mordin pistol ramp wreckage
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Garrus rifle thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Shepard nuke scaffolding thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Garrus Grunt dropship cerberus grass
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Tuchanka Shepard cover sniper thumbnail Mass Effect 2 collector Grunt Garrus combat
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Jack Normandy conversation
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Garrus tech drone cover blue suns thumbnail Mass Effect 2 asari conversation thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Liara office Illium thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Jack rifle Illium
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Garrus Jacob android lift
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Garrus cover combat explosion thumbnail Mass Effect 2 asari lifted Illium thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Illium Normandy SR2
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Shepard Illium city backdrop cover
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Illium police line Shepard Thane thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Shepard cover Miranda thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Grunt collectors combat
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Samara biotics thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Collector ship Garrus Shepard thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Thank flashback conversation

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