John Scalzi blames writing problems on Donald Trump

Hugo award-winning writer John Scalzi shared in a blog post that he has a bit of writer’s block. He is currently working on Head On, a novel coming out next year. He’s having a hard time getting the words out. Luckily, he’s figured out the problem: Donald Trump.

From his post:

I’m not trying to be mysterious about what it is about 2017 that is different. The answer is obvious: Trump is president, and he’s a peevish bigoted incompetent surrounded by the same, and he’s wreaking havoc on large stretches of the American experience, both in his own person and by the chaos he invites.

Donald Trump is an incompetent ignoramus

I agree Trump is incompetent. For me, that’s his best characteristic. No matter what he tries to accomplish as president, he fails. If Trump wasn’t such an ignoramus, he’d be able to change things. Becuase he’s failed over and over again to change anything, life under Trump doesn’t feel any different than it did under Obama.

John Scalzi continued:

Here’s one way to put it: Twelve years ago, when Hurricane Katrina hit and the US Government flubbed its response and hundreds died, I was so angry and upset that I almost vomited in sadness and anger. It’s not an exaggeration, by the way — I literally felt like throwing up for a couple days straight. I eventually had to write “Being Poor” because it was either do that or go crazy. That was a week of feeling generally awful, and it wrecked me for another week after that. It took two weeks for me to get back on track with the novel I was writing at the time.

Got it? Okay, listen: 2017 has been me feeling like I felt when Katrina hit every single fucking month of this year.

Nothing compares to Hurricane Katrina

That’s just not rational. Hurricane Katrina was a terrible, horrible thing. To say that every month in 2017 has felt like Hurricane Katrina trivializes Hurricane Katrina. Comparing anything to a disaster that cost over  1,200 of our fellow Americans their lives dishonors those lives.

John Scalzi continued:

Because, well. Pick a month, guys. Every month of 2017 has been a treat. Travel bans, white supremacists marching, awful health care repeals that just wouldn’t die, and not one, not two, but three historically massive hurricanes and the scouring of Puerto Rico. Russia. Fucking Russia, man. Not to mention Spicer, Scaramucci, Flynn, Price, Bannon, Gorka and the rest of that ridiculous cast. Any one of those is enough to get me (and not just me, lots of people) spun up and distracted. And it’s not just any one of these things. It’s that all of these things keep on happening. When you’re already spun up, it doesn’t take all that much more energy to stay spun up and distracted.

How does banning foreigners from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen from traveling to the United States negatively affect John Scalzi’s life? If he allows something like this to spin him up and distract him, that’s on him.

If white supremacists march and nobody is there to hear them, do they make a sound?

The same applies to white supremacists marching. Big deal. These people make up a micro-fraction of our society. If John Scalzi allows himself to get worked up because they march in public holding tiki torches, then that’s on him.

We live in a free society where people have a right to speech. That includes speech most people find reprehensible and icky. With that said, just because someone has a right to say something doesn’t mean I have to listen to it. That’s what I do with speech I don’t like or speech I know I’m not going to like, I don’t listen to it. It works for me.

Did I mention Donald Trump is incompetent?

Why does John Scalzi allow the fact that Trump has gone through so many cabinet members to spin him up and distract him? Trump is incompetent. He has a problem surrounding himself with competent people. Each time someone in the Trump administration resigns or is fired, the ability to replace that person with a competent individual gets even harder. Why would any competent, capable person want to work for Donald Trump? My advice to John Scalzi is to get used to this. This revolving door of advisors and cabinet members will continue as long as Trump is president.

John Scalzi, you need help

My final piece of advice to John Scalzi is this: seek mental health help. The way you’re processing things is not normal. It’s not rational. You should have sought help after Katrina, but what’s done is done. You need help brother. There’s nothing wrong with seeking mental health help. I recommend finding a psychiatrist and a therapist. A psychiatrist can prescribe medication, something I think you need. I’m currently taking antidepressants and antianxiety medication. I listen to a lot of Enya music. This seems to be helping me. It would probably help you too.

A therapist can talk you through your feelings and emotions and try to help you find more productive ways of processing them. Finding a good psychiatrist is fairly easy, finding a good therapist, not so much. The sooner you work at finding a therapist, the sooner you’ll find a good one.

Why not start now?

Uber made $6.5 billion in profit last year

Uber released last year’s profit and loss statement to Bloomberg News. It shows that they grossed $20 billion in fares for the year. Considering that Uber drivers, working as independent contractors, take 75% of fares, that would mean Uber should have netted $5 billion in profits based on fares last year. Instead, Uber made $6.5 billion in profit last year.

How can that be? Because Uber doesn’t split fares with drivers 75/25. Not really.

As an Uber driver in the Hagerstown area of Maryland, I make the following:

  • $1.50 in a base fare
  • $.15 a minute
  • $1.10 per mile

Uber then slices 25% off that total and then gives me the other 75%. But that’s not all of what Uber makes. They also charge the passenger a booking fee. That booking fee is not split with the driver. What is a booking fee? From Uber’s website:

The booking fee is a separate flat fee added to every trip that helps support safety initiatives for riders and drivers as well as other operational costs. Previously known as the safe rides fee, your booking fee will appear in your trip receipt.

As a driver, I cannot wait for those safety initiatives to kick in. It should be exciting to see what they are. I feel safer just thinking about it. I feel like someone put a helmet on my head, a mint flavored mouth piece in my mouth, and wrapped me in bubble wrap.

The booking fee in Hagerstown, Maryland is $2. It doesn’t matter how long the ride is, each rider pays a flat two bucks to be picked up in the Hagerstown area.

Hurry up and wait

I was online with Uber for two hours and one minute on Wednesday. I got only one (1) ride request, and that was at the beginning of my shift. I took home $7.06 for the nine minute ride. According to the Uber’s fare calculator, the rider paid anywhere from $10 to $14. For most of the two hours and one minute, I was sitting in the Target parking lot reading the new John Scalzi novel on my Kindle. I had the windows down and there was a nice breeze going on. The book, The Collapsing Empire, is quite good. At least the first one hour and 45 minutes of it.

I like driving for Uber

I actually enjoy driving for Uber. Most of the time that is. I just wish I spent more time driving and less time reading on my Kindle. I feel like Uber tries to saturate markets with new drivers.  Instead of trying to retain the drivers it has, it’s always trying to sign new drivers. That’s why they are always offering new driver bonuses. On one hand, I can see why they do it. Uber never knows when it will have any number of drivers ready to pickup Uber riders. It’s not like we have shifts.

We work when we want to.

Buy The Collapsing Empire on Amazon