I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up.
Blogging, I mean.
In a few days, I turn 40. All that talk about staying “forever young” is naive bullshit. Even if you live an exceptionally healthy life, as you get older, your energy falls and you have to make decisions about how and where you’re going to apply it.
I’ve been blogging for over six years now. In January 2010, I read of a gastroenterologist named Andrew Wakefield, who had been found guilty of gross misconduct in a hearing held by the United Kingdom’s General Medical Council. As I learnt more about the case and about antivaccine views in general, I felt I could no longer remain silent, so in May 2010 I set up my first blog on South Africa’s iBlog website. It was called African Jungle. Several people had problems viewing iBlog as some areas appear to block South African websites, so in November 2010 I set up a sister blog on WordPress named Autism Jungle (the African Jungle name was for some reason unavailable on the WordPress domain). Currently, African Jungle is one of the most popular blogs on iBlog, and consistently features in the “Most Popular” list. Quite often, it is the top blog. Thank you dear readers.
Over the last six and a half years, answering antivaccine commentators around the ‘Net has become tedious and repetitious. They have precious few talking points, all of which I’ve seen and seen disproven multiple times. In fact, I’ve written a page (P.R.A.T.T.s) listing and refuting their most common claims.
I might just be feeling this way because 2016 has been a bad year for me generally. In July, Neotel started having problems with their Network. Data rates were terrible. On numerous occasions, I would open a page, it would start loading, and then bomb out because Neotel’s network failed to transmit any data. As someone who uses the internet for entertainment a lot, this stressed me out. The issue persisted until quite recently. Eventually, I tweeted about it (I tweet at @AfricJungle, if you’re interested). Neotel responded and asked for more information. I sent them proof of their shocking data speeds. To their credit, Neotel appears to have fixed the issue, but I’m monitoring things.
I lost my job. By a sheer stroke of amazing good luck, I was able to get another and spent a grand total of one weekend unemployed. I’m financially secure, but any change in job is stressful, and right now I am feeling very stressed.
I’m also very worried for the future. In November, Donald Trump won the election and will become the next President of the United States of America. Trump treats women as little more than living sex toys, has said the most astonishingly racist things about various ethnicities, and holds mindblowingly ignorant views on global warming and vaccines causing autism. I fear that he will disrupt plans to tackle global warming, with disastrous effects for all humanity.
In South Africa, it appears that the plan to build Nuclear Reactors will be going ahead no matter what. This is in the face of evidence from the Government’s own Council for Scientific and Industrial Research that electricity from renewables and gas will be far cheaper and will adequately fulfill all our needs, including baseload and off-peak. It is abundantly clear that the Nuclear Build is being pushed because of the potential for bribery. The build will cost over R1,000,000,000,000 and take years, even decades, to come on line. If the corrupt succeed in pushing this through, South Africa will go bankrupt.
Two voices in the blogging community I like have gone silent. Matt of “Dude, I’m an Aspie” last posted in January. Krebiozen regularly commented at Respectful Insolence but his last comment was on February 28, and nothing since then. I hope that for both the reason they are silent is that they’re too busy, but few people go silent for that long without saying goodbye unless something bad has happened to them.
Maybe I’m just having a bad time. I believe that the second wisest words ever said were “and this too shall pass”. Good times don’t last forever, but neither do the bad.
If I decide to stop blogging, I will put up a farewell post.