Siege Diaries 8/6/2021

Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt: What small progress can I make today?

This morning, I’m thinking of the Canadian women’s soccer team. They finished 8th in 2008. In 2012 and 2016, they won bronze. These were the years of the overwhelming dominance of the US team, which they hadn’t beaten since 2000 (with 2012’s match in the Olympics being both controversial and heartbreaking). But this year–with the goal in mind to upgrade their medal to a different colour–they finally beat the US in the semi-finals to advance to the gold medal game. Their opponent: Sweden, which had also beat the US early on and who had knocked Canada out of the World Cup in 2019. Sweden had been a bit more dominant in the round robin stages, and indeed, while watching the game, especially early on, they looked like they would take it, scoring the first goal. But then Canada managed to tie. The deadlock persisted through extra time and into penalty kicks. Canada fell behind, but on a crucial kick that could have won it for Sweden, the ball went wide, and then Canada put in their kick to tie up the shootout and and sent it to sudden death. Sweden failed to get the ball in the net, but Canada had to score in order to win–which is exactly what they did.

This process took 13 years, and it included some setbacks (e.g. the World Cup disappointment in 2019) I am so happy that Christine Sinclair, who leads all (both men and women) in international goals scored, was able to finally win that elusive gold. There are others on the team who have been there for many of those years as well, including their goalie, Stephanie Labbe, who for many years was a backup–and who, all through the shootout, had a big, disarming grin on her face. And the first non-binary/transgender athlete to win a medal is Quinn, who in the best Brazilian tradition goes by a single name.

Small progress adds up.

Finally, vacation time.

Prepping for the first thing resembling an SCA event in 17 months. We’re meeting in a park, and it won’t be more than 20 of us, but it’s a thing. Since it’s in the Niagara Falls area, we’ll pick up some Betty’s while we’re down there.

Reservation also made and paid for for Coronation. That’s 4 weeks from now.

The two chicks are progressing rapidly. We may just see them out of the nest before we go away.


There’s an acquaintance out there I’ve never friended on FB–call it a gut feeling that they don’t particularly like me, and honestly, it’s mutual, although I’ve tried. I politely keep my distance.

I’m understanding a little of why I’ve had that gut reaction. This person seems completely incapable of truly caring about anyone outside their personal circle. The fate of the world? Not their problem. “Personal responsibility” — or “freedom”– is the mantra, and Ayn Rand is their prophet. In their ideal world, it would be every person for themselves. Can’t afford medical care? Sucks to be you. Taken in by online conspiracy theorists? Sucks to be you. Got a debilitating disease? Not my problem. And government? They shouldn’t care, either.

So: ICUs overwhelmed in Florida? Too bad. They made bad choices. Not my problem.

I’m starting to understand why these folks are happily promoting disinformation campaigns: It eliminates the surplus population, as Scrooge might have put it. If you’re not astute enough to recognize BS–BS that they might be supporting– even if they’re ostensibly your ally, too bad. You deserve what you get.

These folks often point fingers at progressives who are frustrated with vaccine hesitancy. “You’re calling them stupid!” is the cry.

The problem is here is that they’re fundamentally elitists. If you have ever read Rand, you will be familiar with the contempt expressed for ordinary people–those who aren’t geniuses or captains of industry. They’re happy to have people who are “stupid.” Not their problem. Fewer people the government will have to vaccinate, thereby saving money. More people who will happily continue to work and consume, again, saving governments—and them—money. If some get sick, big deal. Since there’s no universal health care, the government is not on the hook for paying for it.

These people are likely mostly vaccinated, and they mostly likely have access to private health care. They’re more concerned about using the pandemic to score political points than in the overall welfare of their nation. ICUs being overwhelmed doesn’t impact them.

At least not yet.