On October 27th, my 20's will officially end, and while I'm not at all sad about hitting 30 (especially since I still look young enough to where I'm always asked for ID whenever I buy liquor), it got me to reflect on the "halfway point" of my life until now, which is when I hit my 15th birthday (2002).
Back in 2002, I was a radically different person from how I am now, and looking back, the various opinions and beliefs I held back then were cringe-inducing to say the least. Just so it's not a rambling mess, I divided up the opinions I had into their own categories.
Back then, I considered Rage Against the Machine the best band in the world and thought their political stances were totally insightful and profound. What little I knew about legit heavy metal bands and niches I dismissed as "noisy garbage" (other than Black Sabbath, which is a band I'll be a huge fan of until I croak). Aside from that, there were only a handful of genres and artists I would ever listen to besides Rage'.
Now, I've been a dyed-in-the-wool metalhead for the last 12 years (with my favorite niche being the Tampa death metal scene in the late 80's/early 90's). After diving headfirst into the metal genre in the last years of my teens, the mainstream political bands like Rage', System of a Down etc. would be entirely phased out because other than Rage's first album and live shows from '92 and '93, I find music from such bands to be severely lacking, not to mention that I find such bands horribly hypocritical for bashing capitalism and other aspects of America while they're living high off the hog thanks to American capitalism. Even though heavy metal is my life blood pertaining to music (along with my wardrobe being pretty dedicated to the genre), I've grown to appreciate way more genres of music since my teens, with my favorite "non metal" forms of music being videogame soundtracks for various 8 and 16-bit games and jazz-fusion (and I'll even listen to a great pop song if I ever come across it, such as Paula Abdul's "Straight Up").
Even though I've been into animation since I was 2-3 years-old, back then, I was a rabid anime fan at the time and held this ridiculous belief that anime was better than western animation because it had more titles made for adults in mind and had "prettier" art styles. Now, I hold the opposite opinion because after having a fallout with the anime genre a few years ago for numerous reasons. The main ones are due to the severe decline in quality with a good chunk of anime titles past the year 2000 and learning about the universal qualities to good storytelling, which I've come to find in plenty of western cartoons (everything from the Max Fleischer Popeye cartoons up to The Loud House).
Back then, after learning about the more unsavory aspects of American history (mainly the bloody conquest of the Native American tribes in centuries past, the persecution of Muslim Americans in the wake of 9/11, and especially the horrible treatment of black Americans in decades and centuries past), I became really disillusioned with Americana and took up really far left stances in various social and political views. Hell, I was so far left back then I thought the Soviet Union had a pretty good thing going and was willing to write off Stalin's atrocities under his rule as "mistakes" but viscerally condemned the Holocaust (this wasn't helped that I had a stupid red shirt with the hammer and sickle with "SSSR" written in Cyrillic). Along with that laughable stance I had, I also genuinely believed Michael Moore was fighting for the working man, though the US and Europe should be multicultural, loved the idea of big government, thought "culturally enriched" cities like Chicago, Seattle, and LA were way better than rural areas and the American suburbs, and had a good deal of white guilt due to the aforementioned unsavory aspects of western history.
Now, I'm almost the exact opposite of who I was politically 15 years ago. The shift in politics started gradually around 2009, but ever since 2014, after discovering Sargon of Akkad on YouTube (which then lead to me being a fan of other "red pill/anti-SJW" YouTube channels like DoctorRandomercam, Styxhexenhammer666, Steven Crowder, Bearing etc.), the transition sped up astronomically. Now when I say the opposite in terms of politics, I still strongly believe that a nation's citizens should be treated equally under the law regardless of their race, sex, religion, and so fourth. I'm also an adamant supporter of free speech and the right to self-preservation. The radical changes in my political views mainly pertain to my stances on immigration, multiculturalism, city live versus suburb life, big government, feminism, family structures, gender roles, white guilt, and my stances on socialism and communism.
I'm in favor of extremely limited and selective immigration into the US and Europe based on the values they hold and what skills they have (along with severe punishments for immigrants to come illegally), stemming multiculturalism because some cultures just don't mesh with the cultures of western nations (just look at the Muslim immigrant communities in Europe to see how horrible a failure multiculturalism can be), and pushing for cultural changes (NOT legal force) in encouraging our youth to embrace taking up the "traditional" nuclear family and gender roles when they reach adulthood and enter the workforce. As someone living in a suburban farm town in a very gun-friendly state in the Great Lakes Region, I'm totally happy living where I am and you couldn't pay me to live in a city like Seattle or Chicago because despite being an atheist who loves death metal and NSFW artwork, I feel way more welcome where I live now than the "progressive utopia" cities in the US. As a working class white man with my own struggles in life and who had no hand whatsoever in the ugly aspects of US history, I don't have a shred of white guilt whatsoever, and will blow a gasket on any purple-haired trust fund baby majoring in gender studies telling me to check my "white male privilege." Thanks to Sargon and others on YouTube, I've learned just how tyrannical the EU is, and this has driven me to loathe big government because all big government wants out of people is absolute control (and in many respects, the Democratic Party in the US is like the EU). Socialism and communism...oh boy. After spending more time with my paternal grandpa in the last 6-7 years, I learned more about my Slovak heritage (my grandpa's family immigrated from Czechoslovakia to the US in 1937), and this lead to me detesting socialism and communism even more than Nazism after this inspired me to do more research on communism. Communism killed over 100 million people in the 20th century and has done enormous damage to cultures around the world (if they weren't outright destroyed), not to mention that communism ALWAYS results in people getting all of their rights taken away and made slaves to the government. Given that my ancestral homeland was under the grizzly oppression of both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, my disgust for Nazism and communism can't be understated, but given how communism has killed far more people than Nazism, I find the hammer and sickle a more loathsome symbol than the swastika.
Back then, I wanted to work in the animation industry and be the next Katsuhiro Otomo (the man who created the Akira manga and anime). Now, I'm a Teamster working stiff slaving away for a giant shipping company doing two different jobs there who might possibly land their "dream job" within that company very soon. The radical change in job goals was due to the job market in the creative sector being totally ruthless, and when I graduated from college nearly four and a half years ago with my intent in breaking in to that industry, I got sick of the lack of success and shifted gears to get out of the fast food job I held while I was in college and couldn't tolerate any longer.
That basically sums it all up. Goodnight everyone.
Listening to: Styxhexenhammer666
Drinking: Jack Daniel's