Welcome to Wilderland

Welcome to Wilderland

Adventure has been on my mind, as of late. It seems to me that the narratives that have gripped our collective consciousness, especially in 2020 and in early 2021, have largely been built from stories of quests. The quest to reelect Trump, the quest to elect Biden, the quest to expose conspiracies in the QAnon movement, the quest to discredit Q in turn. The quest to simply find clarity as to what is happening right now.

Champions of each of these narratives were in each corner across social media. They could tell you all about how things were unfolding now, and how they would unfold in a week, a month, or even a year. They laid the plans out, step-by-step, and called people forward to take up the quest. And so they did, like Bilbo Baggins of the Hobbit; we were swept through our front doors towards an adventure, with companions and with a plan, and we set off for Wilderland.

While we received assurance on these thoroughly prepared plans, we also remarked: “It’s awfully foggy out here.” It was, and it still is. “No matter”, we said. “All shall soon be clear. We shall get out of this mist soon enough, and then our objective shall be in sight. Trust the plan!”. It was not only the QAnoners who were telling themselves that.

Facing the Wall

And so, we marched through the mists, following our paths best as we could, towards the promise of a New World, of adventure. And then one day, out of the mists it loomed: a great wall, tall and strong, standing in our way. Atop it stood many men, armed and ready to detain any who attempt to pass into Wilderland. A voice from above shouts down to you, “Go home! It’s over. You have lost! Your quest is at an end. You were wrong.”

Depending on what quest you thought yourself to be on, perhaps the moment you encountered the wall was on one day or another, but encounter it you did. We all did, eventually. Then, perhaps, you turned to look behind you, to search for your companions, your quest’s Champion. But behind you are only unfamiliar faces, as despairing in the face of this wall as you are. And, confronted with such wall, what can you do? Tall, dark, and ominous, who would not cower before it?

This is folly of too scrupulously following the plan. Eventually, you can follow it no further. All the knowledge and insight you have will serve you no longer. Your creativity in the face of the obstacle fails you. You can think of no answer to the question “what do I do now?” Your fellowship of companions will break without a unifying direction, and in our case we have lost track of them already. The quest is doomed to fail.

Born in the Wilds

Or, it will, if circumstances do not intervene. Overhead an engine roars, and we look to the sky. Through the mists a plane is dragging a banner that says “BUY $GME, AND WELCOME TO WILDERLAND” with diamond hands and rocket emojis.

Absolute pandemonium breaks loose. People are asking what $GME and short squeezes are, and speculating about what the price will rise to. Others are cursing out Robinhood and Wall Street. Others still are talking about how people buying in now are only going to lose money. News of how much early investors into GME have made circulates rapidly. “Where is all of this happening?” Someone asks. “In Wilderland,” and “On the other side of the wall” come the answers. And, what curious answers they are.

Questions about where Wilderland really is, and how WallStreetBets got over the wall, compete with each other to dominate the conversation. If the GME short squeezers found a way to get into Wilderland, or to get over the wall, or both, then so can the rest of us. But then again, there was that plane banner, welcoming us to Wilderland. Personally, I wonder if perhaps we’re not already there. And if that’s the case, then what’s to stop us from going on an adventure? Perhaps it is not the one we anticipated, but then again, the true nature of a quest often does not reveal itself until you are already in the thick of it, and maybe not even then.

So, I say seek your adventure, but don’t plan too far. You set out to do one thing, but now we may be finding ourselves in an unknown land, and there are opportunities everywhere. There is gold to find, dragons to slay, rockets to build and planets to explore. And, if you are worried you’re not in Wilderland yet, well, getting there is an adventure of its own. Set out! You are not alone. There are many who are setting forth now, too, everyone who has seen what happened in the GME short squeeze. Those who did not see it will see our efforts to get through, and they shall be inspired too.

Let’s push through the mist and find a way past the wall and see what we can find out here in Wilderland, whatever it may be.

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