Sunday night.

Today was relatively fun: I finally drove out to the High Park that I’ve been hearing about ever since I moved to Toronto. (When it takes close to an hour each way to drive from the suburbs, parks aren’t a high priority.) It was a chilly 22F (-6C for all y’all fellow Canucks) and there wasn’t much to see in terms of nature, but it was nice. I think that was the most walking I’ve done since my big trip to see Ontario’s abandoned mines. Toronto’s High Park is a lot like New York City’s Central Park, so the place was jammed. (I’m guessing I wasn’t the only one with the bright idea to enjoy the outdoors when everything else is closed.) It was a nice workout for myself, for my car battery (gotta turn it on at least once a week), and a fun flashback to the pre-pandemic times when it took 10 minutes to find parking on adjacent streets.

I doubt I got any vitamin D through my exposed forehead, but hey – variety. Took some pictures with my good old DSLR but all the squirrels were too skittish to get a good shot. Looks like I finally have a good reason to install that zoom lens I got back in August… I’m curious how the park will change and blossom as the year goes on. I’ve never been much of a nature person, and the only time you’d catch me in a park was if I had to kill some time between meet-ups, so this is quite a huge change for me, eh.

Things are getting strange in the US: as per Washington Post, feds are debating whether or not to charge all the domestic terrorists who stormed the Capitol just 18 days ago. It’s been less than three weeks but they’re sweeping it under the rug at a record-setting pace. The official reasoning is that they don’t want to overwhelm the court system. Unofficially, most of the domestic terrorists were white… If, say, Black Lives Matter had done the same thing, they would have been massacred on the spot, and the survivors would have been prosecuted to the full extent of the law. If this bizarre de facto amnesty really happens, that’ll be the best evidence that there are, indeed, two separate justice systems in the United States.

On a more positive note, I’m downright giddy to see what the Reddit army (all two million of the r/wallstreetbets folks) will do with the Gamestop stock tomorrow. As short squeezes go, this is pretty much unprecedented. If you’re reading this in the future, you have the benefit of foresight in this, as in everything else. Will the Powers That Be prevail and drive the stock price back down? Will it be more of a push-and-pull? How high up will it go during this last week of January, and in the months to come? This is pretty ridiculous, but there is a world where it might, in fact, hit the snarky $420.69 price target that the Reddit folks are after. (They’re smart; doesn’t mean they’re mature, eh.)

What’s happening with that stock is truly remarkable because it’s the fundamental shift in the generational balance of power: from Baby Boomers and their old money to the relatively broke Millennials and Zoomers, who don’t have the big media on their side but who do have the sheer numbers. In hindsight, something like that was inevitable: screw over an entire generation time and again, leave them no money or opportunities, but give them the Internet access – and they’ll find a way to get even. It’s the same way with Russian hackers: when you have just as much raw potential as your western counterparts but you have no money or opportunities (there’s no MIT in the former Soviet block) but you have Internet access and know how to code… Asymmetrical warfare becomes the only logical outlet.

There will be more events like this, more short squeezes on stocks where institutional traders had gotten too greedy with their short-selling. This is just another strange phenomenon to come out of this pandemic. (Incidentally, sea shanties with group singalongs on TikTok became huge earlier this month. That’s equal parts bizarre and amazing and beautiful. What other art forms will we resurrect before this is all over?..) And if the Powers That Be throw the book at those they identify as the ringleaders… well, that’ll be funny if they also let domestic terrorists go with a warning at the same time. Justice may be blind but she sure wiggles her eyebrows an awful lot.

In covid news, there are disturbing news stories coming out of Brazil and Mexico. Their respective official covid death tolls so far are 216,000 and 149,000. Brazil is only second to the US with its 419,000 covid deaths – and that’s before you account for excess deaths… It sounds like pure chaos over there. Both Brazil and Mexico are running low on oxygen tanks, that most basic component of a functional ICU. Their leadership failed them, just like in so many other countries. Their so-called leaders aren’t going anywhere, either, so things are liable to get worse before they get better.

Hang in there, y’all – this year may be a wash but next year… The roaring 20s will be back, eh.