Apparently 2020 has done something to me, because I’ve spaced my posting day so many times this year it’s not funny. So, yet again, sorry.
That said, I honestly don’t know what to talk about. I’ve been hermiting so hard and having so much trouble braining of late that there doesn’t seem to be much there. Sure, I can ramble on about anything and everything, but it feels to me like I’ve been doing way too much of that this year.
For that matter, this year hasn’t been good for anyone except the wannabe tyrants and those who watch said wannabe tyrants for evidence and world-building material. Even though stories have to make sense where reality doesn’t, it’s harder to argue that something wouldn’t ever happen when you can point to recent history and say that yeah, it did happen.
Of course, if you’re going to do that, it helps story-wise to make the wannabe tyrants outright evil. It seems to be a human failing that we want the people who do bad things to be bad people all around. We have a hard time accepting that sometimes people who do bad things are well meaning idiots (frequently) or short sighted, or even just see the facts differently.
The Evil Overlord can be – and historically has been – a complete softy for small fluffy cute animals. Or can gift the rest of us with a genuinely good set of laws – it’s those laws only applying to the ‘right’ people that makes the overlord and evil one after all. Or – and this isn’t a rare thing – the laws existing only on the books and not actually being applied in practice.
On the flip side of the coin, the well-meaning can completely strangle a people with well-intentioned and impossible to comply with laws that equally well-meaning law enforcement agencies try to follow. When you have a legal code that takes its own library without the many, many volumes of commentary and interpretations, you have a problem. Not because of any actual malevolence but because that many laws guarantee that there will be any number of contradictions and no-win situations.
And as soon as there are contradictory laws and situations where no matter what happens it’s illegal, you have a de facto police state where it’s only a matter of who decides what to enforce when that keeps most people from being penalized. It’s a good thing that most of the places where this happens are high-trust societies.
Except, of course, that certain idiots seem to be doing everything in their power to erode the level of trust the people in those societies have in their legal and governing institutions. I rather suspect that we are living in Interesting Times, and I would much prefer that we were in boring ones, no matter how much story-fodder Interesting Times can provide.