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All I Want For Christmas Are These “Unrealistic” Things

All I Want For Christmas Are These “Unrealistic” Things

Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The things on my Christmas wish list each year are pretty boring.

When it comes to giving gifts, I like to present thoughtful, personal things to my loved ones. When it comes to receiving gifts, though, I’m that ultra-practical person who sends links to the exact things I’d like to have. This way, nobody is spending extra money on stuff that won’t be used.

As I was making my list this year, I thought it would be fun to think about the things that would be amazing to have, if only they were, um, physically possible. For example, one thing I’ve always wanted to have was for eating and sleeping to be optional for human beings. Imagine all of the things we could accomplish if we gained an entire 8-12 hours per day. For one, I would never have to feel guilty about staying up past my allotted bedtime of 10:30 PM. [1]

Hey, a person can dream ?

The items on this list range from frivolous to serious things that could really benefit society as a whole. I don’t think that any of these are actually outside the realm of possibility … there are just significant barriers to success for most of them. I wrote this for shits and giggles, but I’d love it if everything below could be attainable in the near-ish future.

Selfish things I want in order to improve my own life

Sunny, 80-degree weather year round in San Francisco

San Francisco is one of my favorite cities in the world; it’s the only place that has truly felt like home to me. The classic Victorian houses, the innovative culture, the fact that it’s totally possible to engage in deep, intellectual conversation with random strangers … it’s a really good fit for me, and I’m glad I moved here.

I would love San Francisco to have warm, sundress-ready weather year round. I’m a big fan of blue skies and sunny days; I wish that Karl the Fog didn’t come to visit so often.

Being able to take high quality pictures of myself, by myself

This is semi-accomplished by Christopher, my trusty tripod, but a tripod’s range is limited and usually not allowed in some of the cooler places, like inside museums. The same goes for drones. When I shoot with people, I set up the composition and then quickly run into the shot … but I’m very particular about my camera angles, which can sometimes make me a pain in the ass to shoot with.

If only I could clone myself so that I could always get that perfect shot. No more tripod hijinks, no more setting up angles, no more coordinating times to shoot.

A chronological Instagram feed

A few years ago, Instagram stopped showing posts chronologically, and started displaying them to users based on an algorithm. I’m not a fan — as an influencer, my posts are only shown to a handful of followers (the ones who the Instagram algorithm thinks want to see my content), which results in low overall engagement. As a regular user, I see the same stuff over and over again every time I open the app, even though people I follow are posting new content all the time. This makes for a boring user experience.

Twitter brought back the chronological timeline in September 2018. I use Instagram way more than I use Twitter — so it would be really cool if Instagram could follow in Twitter’s footsteps and make their feed chronological again, too.

To be able to turn my perfectionism on and off like a light switch

I go back and forth a lot about whether my perfectionism is a good thing. Like a lot of things I’m in-between about, the real answer is nuanced and basically a form of “it depends”. Perfectionism is good when you’re working on something important; not as much when you just need to get shit done.

I’m working on being able to only be a perfectionist when the situation calls for it. If only I didn’t have to work at it, though!

Things that could actually benefit humanity

Total and complete elimination of the kyriarchy

The kyriarchy (with a long I as in “Kyle”, not a short I as in “Kira”) is defined as “the social system that keeps all intersecting oppressions in place.” [2] It takes into consideration all forms of identity — gender, race, age, socioeconomic status, ability, and so forth. Under the kyriarchy, people can be oppressed and privileged at the same time.

As of right now (December 2018), I’ve only really talked about the gender aspect of the kyriarchy here on Fake and Basic. However, I believe in equal opportunity for everyone (and not the cheap, bullshitty, put-rainbow-motif-on-everything, looks-good-to-social-justice-warriors, lip-service kind of “equal opportunity”, either). Total elimination of the kyriarchy would mean true opportunity for everyone based on their merit and character.

The kyriarchy is by definition nuanced, and eliminating it is lifelong work. What I wouldn’t give to see that happen in my lifetime.

The ability to download knowledge directly into your head

I’ve never believed in osmosis — you know, the whole putting-the-book-under-your-pillow-to-absorb-knowledge-over-the-night thing that teachers used to joke about when I was little — but damn, it would be so useful to be able to download knowledge directly into your head, like Neo does in The Matrix. How much time would that save? How much faster would society develop?

For teleportation to be real

Who needs planes and trains and cars and boats, anyway? Not only would it be really cool to teleport places instead of spending all of that time and money on travel, but think of all the benefits that eliminating vehicles would have on the environment.

For parents to stop passing on shitty beliefs to their children

I do not like or want to have children, but it’s scary how much of our limiting beliefs and base insecurities were passed on to us by our parents, who got them from their parents, and so forth. Everybody’s fucked up in one way or another; it all comes from somewhere.

This isn’t anybody’s fault — parents are usually trying their very best. [3] I’m not insinuating that all of our shitty aspects were passed down, but a lot of the beliefs that caused us to form these aspects were taught to us. For example, I was raised believing that it was wrong to want to be a boy when I was born a girl, and spent a good part of my life pushing certain aspects of myself down while promoting a really toxic form of masculinity. It wasn’t my parents’ fault for passing this belief down to me; the culture they were raised in was so different that they really didn’t know how to deal with me when I was younger.

“Parenting doesn’t come with a manual”, the saying goes. If only that manual existed.

Effective communication amongst all humans

I believe that the majority of our problems on all scales (from dating to career to global diplomacy) could be solved/eased with better communication — and that doesn’t just mean making ourselves heard. Effective communication is being able to enter the other party’s world, completely see where they’re coming from, and get your own point across in a way that would be completely understood.

To communicate effectively is extremely difficult (I still have trouble doing it myself), so imagine how different the world would be if everybody were able to do so.

In conclusion

What great gifts these would be to get under my Christmas tree this year! In reality, I asked for some photography equipment and donations to my Dressember fundraiser.

I will personally be working towards eliminating the kyriarchy and gaining better communication skills in the coming year … but hey, Santa, if you’re listening, I really wouldn’t mind having some balmy Bay Area weather, or to never have to travel by plane again. ♚


[1] Yes, I do realize that “eating and sleeping being optional for human beings” sounds like a great plotline for a dystopian sci-fi novel, which is why it’s not actually on this list. Something that gave humans this ability would make for a great high-end luxury item, though.[2] This article is a great read on what the kyriarchy is, and how people can be both privileged and oppressed at the same time.

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© 2019 by Marty Noel Chenyao. All rights reserved. | @fake.and.basic

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