This was the decade the Internet ruined discourse but hey look kittens

The internet has transformed society in the last 10 years and cast everything in a more savage light. But this is just one cynical view. I argue this internet age has given us a portal into new discourses and, most importantly, cute animals.

People might have been disappointing, but at least the animals were consistently adorable

Kittens are the opiate of the digital masses. (Joelle Seal/CBC)

Many would say this decade could be defined by division and anger, and that these emotions have been driven by an obsession with our electronic devices.  

Perhaps we've forgotten how to make personal connections beyond all-caps arguments over what Baby Yoda tastes like (Live Wire Mountain Dew, obviously).

The point is, the internet has transformed society in the last 10 years and cast everything in a more savage light. But this is just one cynical view. I argue this internet age has given us a portal into new discourses and, most importantly, cute animals. 

Consider this: Our devices save us from making eye contact with that one awkward person from high school you see approaching in the produce section of Superstore. I can simply look at my phone and sell my soul to dogs on Instagram.

Some older folks like to say our phones are a problem, that we're becoming antisocial weirdos. To those people I say, "Please don't look me in the eyes. I will hiss at you like an angry goose with stress indigestion."

Sure, this technology has been amazing at giving more people access, reach and education, but I'm looking forward to 10 years from now. I predict we'll hunch so hard looking down at our devices, we'll finally collapse in on ourselves and revert from bipedal walking to crawling like disoriented beasts — like a Calgarian during happy hour at Stampede.

Speaking of social media, it has replaced nearly every form of communication in the last 10 years, greatly simplifying the human experience. There are now only two emotions: blinding rage and "hey look, kittens!" 

Rage we know. It's been around forever. Around the fifth century BCE, Buddha said, "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." When Mark Zuckerberg added the comment section to Facebook, I believe he said, "Yummy yummy yummy, rage poison in your tummy."

Before anyone could stop Zuck, he flipped the switch and "hey look, kittens!" The constant stream of kitten content is the only reason we're not devouring our neighbours' flesh right now.

I believe our biggest accomplishments as a province also involved animals. For instance, we successfully defended Moose Jaw's title by having the bigger moose statue compared to Norway. This level of petty triumph was on-brand for the province.

You might also remember when a guy in Saskatoon threw a snake inside of a Tim Hortons in 2015. I don't condone animal throwing, but that snake is relatable. We're all the snake, confused and propelled by caffeine-related fury. 

Saskatchewan rescued dear Gainer the Gopher from becoming haunted taxidermy during his tragic redesign. This was an inspiring saga showing what we can accomplish through mutual hatred of change. 

Rascal, the former 'World's Ugliest Dog' title holder, visited Saskatchewan in 2013. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

I also want to give a special nomination to when Prince Albert was visited by royalty in 2013 when Rascal, the "world's ugliest dog," came all the way from California. This was easily one of the most important political and diplomatic relations stories of the decade. 

Similarly, when Regina Cat Rescue named a bunch of kittens after political party leaders in 2015, it was maybe the only time ever we could all agree "Justin" could do no wrong. 

Some might point to Saskatoon's new art gallery or Regina's new stadium as monumental accomplishments. Others will say the 2013 Grey Cup win for the Roughriders defined a moment in time. I say, as the future makes us more connected, it's important for us to embrace our wild side and never forget where we came from.

We're all a bunch of animals. And before you get mad at me for this silly year-end summary and pandering to your emotions with cute critters … hey look, kittens!

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About the Author

Devin Pacholik writes very important comedy journalism in Regina. You can follow him on Twitter at @DevinPatches.


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