Year 2021 featured image

It goes without saying that I want the virus gone, I want Trump gone, I want Johnson and Brexit gone, I want all the rubbish parts of 2020 gone for ever. 

I want the leaders throughout the whole world to come together and decide what kind of post-pandemic world they want to build for everyone’s benefit, and not just short-term, but for our children, grandchildren, and beyond.

Realistically, the only one of the above likely to happen is Trump gone, and even that is heavily debateable.

So, my just one thing that I want to happen this year is, in a good old plain selfish manner………..

Spectators to return to top level sport.

Take football, for example. Back in normal times, every stadium would be rocking with noise and atmosphere, without which the sport becomes a flat, barren, pointless waste of time and energy.

Football is supposed to be the people’s game, and without people it is nothing. At this time, where every Premiership stadium is closed to spectators, every match just seems like a placid training exercise; it’s so lacking the vibrancy, and the tribalistic passion that in normal times makes for such an exhilarating spectacle.

Some TV companies, realising that most supporters are turned off by the stunning silence that greets every moment of the game, have introduced fake crowd noises. It’s appalling. It doesn’t work because it’s not people reacting to what they are seeing at that moment. It’s a recording of some other moment. It’s meaningless, delusional, and a complete waste of time. Rather like the matches themselves.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not advocating spreading the virus even more by allowing huge crowds back – I’m saying what’s the point of football without the people? If there can be no crowds, there shouldn‘t be any football. 

Roger Bara

Once it’s safe to return, then we can have our precious old game back, just like it used to be. Just this one thing, please.

2021: just one thing

Before starting to write this blog, I was thinking about many things I would’ve changed in the coming 2021. Too many issues, a very long list. It looked weird because it was way too long… 

Then I suddenly realized that some things that I wanted to change in 2010 I have no impact on at all. Such as some political things, even major ones. This is how I decided to forget about all this stuff. 

I virtually came back to January 2020 when everything was bad to me, even before the COVID came down. I replayed the situation, what I was doing and how. Month by month. I remember how it’s been getting worse or it was just no go in my life, in almost every aspect of it. I was, basically, scratching to stay alive, trying to believe in better days… Psychologically these things really brought me down and I might feel its consequences. 

Then, in September matters had begun to rectify, very slowly. And then faster. It looked like the Universe had finally turned its face to me. 

What happened then? 

I was trying to remind myself of this very moment: I sent an SMS to a friend of mine on a business issue that in another, more favorable situation, I wouldn’t have sent. 

In fact, I showed initiative. Some courage. Yep, literally I left my comfort zone and went three-dimensional, not plain. Overcame my own resistance and went further and wider. Something like this.  

The thing I changed then was myself, to make a long story short. It turned things around. 

Now, getting back to present time. 

The only thing I want to change in 2021 is myself. It would then kickstart changing things around. Nothing else matters (yeah, ©Metallica). 

Our Rusuk Blog writer Sergey

Once it’s safe to return, then we can have our precious old game back, just like it used to be. Just this one thing, please.

Just keep on changing. 

We know what you guys think of us… but Americans are not completely insane. “Excuse me, mate, if you need help finding your way out of this loo, let me know. By the way, see the silver handle on that stall door, just turn it this way when you’re ready, you can get out any time, eh.”

So the one single thing I would change about 2021 will confirm your suspicions: we really are all completely nuts. I, Dean Lewis, would change the Google Ranking Algorithm. Yeah, not peace for man or even food for all but the Google search engine results page (SERPs). And yes, I fully understand how crazy that sounds but hear me out.

The pandemic has changed the way we shop; we now work and shop online and many, many people are no longer going into town to buy needed items. The dream of major multinationals is to have a human drone load a package on a real drone and fly your merchandise to you. 

Walmart had to actually open huge stores in small towns to destroy downtown (high-street) shopping. Amazon will not have to bother with such formalities. They can carpet bomb neighborhoods with orders placed by the toaster or refrigerator. These giant corporations will remove the local shop keeper and the customer from the equation. The transaction will be between toaster and drone.

May I remind you that Jeff Bezos thinks it’s rude for his human drones to ask for mask or social distancing in his warehouses. If these 3/5 of a human drones have the temerity to complain, they are fired. This, dear reader, is your future.

Now, back to Google; The way the ranking system its set-up, major corporations have a huge advantage over small, family owned businesses. The big players have websites with hundreds of pages and thousands of high-quality backlinks. They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to perfect their ranking signals in search. It’s called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.

Think I exaggerate? Test me! Search for a hotel. Get very specific: small, locally owned, on the beach, romantic; get silly with how specific your search is. The number one return: a multinational corporation. Try as many times as you want, Google doesn’t care. They don’t care which beach town you enter of what kind of hotel you want, you will get the exact same answer. This is true across thousands of search categories. Google will return a corporation over a local store, every, last, time.

So, we work and shop from home, we search for what we need online, and we get the same results no matter what we search for in a given category. The shopping area in your town is not going to get over this virus. Google, et al are about to destroy small businesses across the planet while pretending they don’t know what’s happening.

Photograph of Dean Lewis