My Legs Hurt

Unless I’ve actually strained them in some exercise-related way (hah!) this means one of two things: either it’s raining or I’m hung over. I don’t know why, but without fail it always happens. Today it rained and I was hung over, so I’ve been doubly sore and ambling in a geriatric way around my workplace, trying to inconspicuously massage my knees at every opportunity. This has been, and probably will be, the most interesting part of my day, and this day itself will be abnormally interesting compared to most other days.

For the past couple months I’ve been sequestering myself with either a good book or a good video game, as a way to avoid being crushed by the sheer weight of my own mediocrity. Pretty soon I will have read most of the books I should have read in high school. I just finished the Great Gatsby, and it’s weird trying to talk to people about it because everybody except me has already read it. Like 10 years ago. Thus, however profound, intriguing, or evocative someone might have found the book, they got over it a long time ago, making meaningful discussion about the book a bit hard to come by anywhere outside a high school English class.

In addition to catching up on the classics, I’ve spent a lot of time shepherding a virtual civilization towards greatness by way of a game called Civilization 5. As opposed to the real world, where there is poverty, ignorance, and war which an individual can do little about, Civ 5 gives you a virtual world where you can do things differently; you can do right where historically we have gone wrong. So I start a game and I try to build an ideal civilization, one that values peace, prosperity, tolerance, and scientific progress; through diplomacy, mediation, and others following my shining example, I hope to lead my fellow virtual civilizations into a glorious golden age for all mankind. Once that’s done, I can trick myself into thinking that, having done it in a game, I could help fix the world (should I ever come to any position of power).

However, after about 5000 years pursuing my glorious vision, the entire world hates me. Perceiving my enlightened philosophy as a sign of weakness, every nation I met declared war almost immediately. Every principle my virtual civilization once stood for was violated to ensure its survival. It looks like I’d be lucky to finish the game with just one nuclear war. The game designers did a very, very good job at making their virtual world resemble the corporeal. So unless I suddenly find inviting the prospect of repeating the depressing mistakes of world history in a virtual arena whose theoretical purpose is to be fun, my virtual escape has been effectively thwarted.

I’d like to say that I’m actively trying to find things more interesting to do than play computer games, but that would be lying. I’m glad Obamacare passed, and at one point in my life I would probably spend a lot of time arguing its merits with complete strangers online; I would have thought that these people, many having a virulent personal hatred for Obama that’s beyond ridiculous, could be swayed by reason. Now, experience has taught me that these people can only be mocked, relentlessly, and even then the satisfaction and feeling of self-righteousness one gets in doing so is fleeting and often accompanied by the realization that you could be doing better things with your time. Still, for me, going on an arch-conservative forum and pretending to be the ghost of Reagan is always good for a chuckle every now and then 😉

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