Politics, Protests, and Sports

The introduction of political protests in sports for many Americans began when San Fransisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was seen sitting during the National Anthem on August 26, 2016. When pressed on this decision, Kaepernick said “I am not going to stand for the anthem of a flag for a nation that oppresses people of color.” His decision to sit and kneel during the Anthem, as well as Kaepernick’s decision to wear socks depicting police officers as pigs, were two means of the quarterback’s stance against police brutality against African-Americans.

Despite his absence, more players joined Kaepernick’s symbolic protest during the 2017-18 NFL season, with the hash tag #TakeAKnee trending during certain games. The backlash was swift and harsh on the league, but no one can deny the effective nature of this political protest.

Now the NBA’s players and coaches are getting in on the action by speaking out against the current administration’s position on immigration. Basketball hasn’t felt the economic pressure football’s seen, but time will tell if this new protest carries negative repercussions.

What can’t be denied is that in both cases, athletes were using their positions of prominence to speak on issues they considered important. Even more crucial is that any athlete who chooses to speak on an issue or engage in a protest has the absolute right to do so thanks to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

A reality many Americans seem to overlook is athletes using their prominence to speak on passionate causes is arguably as old as the nation itself. A cursory Google search shows Roman Gladiators using their status to make a case for causes they found passionate.

I would delve into more history, but unfortunately I’m not a sports historian or expert.

Luckily, Southern Fried Radio has someone who brings that value to the network. And I’m delighted to announce a collaboration with Michael Shibley, host of “Man in the Arena,” where we’ll discuss sports, protests, how athletes use their positions of influence to discuss issues they find important, why their speech is protected by the First Amendment, and the social consequences of their protests.

The major domo of Southern Fried Radio will serve as moderator for this discussion to keep Michael and I on track.

I can’t stress how excited I am for this broadcast. It’s one time where the Sit Down puts aside the conservatarian perspective and actively works to make listeners smarter.

Stay tuned for details on when you can hear this highly topical discussion. 

Book Review: MAGA Mindset by Mike Cernovich

Mike Cernovich’s latest book, “MAGA Mindset: Making YOU and America Great Again” dropped last night on Amazon Kindle. His “Trump book,” as Mike’s detractors will probably refer to it, is far more than just a study on Donald Trump. It is an insight into the human condition and the forces that brought Donald Trump the Republican nomination for President. It is a takedown of the dishonest media that tells us what to think, who to believe, and lies to us the entire time. It gives the reader personal strategies and techniques on how to approach life when everything seems hopeless. Even if the name “Donald Trump” makes you shake in disgust, you’re going to learn something from “MAGA Mindset” that benefits you.

Part one of Mike’s book discusses the cultural forces that brought us to the point where even if Donald Trump doesn’t win the Presidency in November, a revolution is in place that won’t go away anytime soon. This includes details on the continued war on men, repeated attacks on free speech, the continued push to keep American society a “globalist” one as opposed to a “nationalist” one, and the systemic oppression of one group people long to deny are oppressed: white men.

This section is where Mike discusses the phenomenon of “cuckservatives,” or people who call themselves conservative but love to betray their own party and ideas to pander at the altars of the Left and Social Justice. He spells out for the culturally blind why “cuckservatives” are rejected by their voter base, and why stronger figures like Donald Trump continue to rise in popularity.

Part two of the book is devoted to the media. If you’ve been following Mike Cernovich’s latest work you know by now he’s scalping media figures left and right these days, and he lays bare to the world just how the media is bought and paid for in this section. Cernovich shows you who’s pulling the strings at the institutions you used to trust, how they’re funded, and how they manipulate you in the modern news cycle. He also discusses how social media has influenced the way traditional news operates, and how one person with enough questions devoted to digging at the truth can obliterate the media’s chosen narrative.

As an aside, you can tell Mike’s studied persuasion heavily if you know where to look. In his film “Un/Convention,” he pre-framed the question of “Who pays for the media’s message? In “MAGA Mindset, he hammers the persuasion home by showing you just how the grand old “fourth estate” has devolved into a machine of paid bloggers.

Part three, “Mindset,” is Mike’s bread and butter. Taking clues from Donald Trump’s prior written and spoken word, and attaching them to concepts in his best-selling book “Gorilla Mindset,” Mike shows you how to use concepts like positive self-talk, thinking big, affirmations, re-framing, and more to elevate yourself to a level where you can succeed in an era where most of your friends on social media are telling you all is lost.

I highly recommend this book, even if you support Queen Meemaw, Gary Johnson, or any other political candidate. MAGA Mindset is about more than Donald Trump, it’s a framework by which you can understand America today, how to survive in a toxic climate of hatred, and rise above it all to be the success you want to be in life.

You can buy the book here. It’s been out less than a day and Amazon already has it listed as a “Best Seller.” And it’s done better sales in less than 24 hours than Hillary Clinton’s latest book. Maybe that serves as enough of an endorsement.

Cast a Vote, Lose a Friend

Early voting begins in Tennessee today. I’m headed to the local polling station as they open, because I’m not interested in long lines and waiting on a work day. I won’t reveal who I’m voting for, as I’ve learned this election cycle it’s best to keep your personal political preferences to yourself. However, last night I wanted to conduct an experiment. Would people cut ties with me if I voted for someone they didn’t like as a candidate?

The people closest to me use Facebook as their social media platform of choice, so I asked the simple question: “If I voted for a candidate you didn’t like, would you cut ties with me?” Out of those who chose to respond, the resounding majority said “no.” Two indicated they would laugh at me if I voted for a candidate with whom they disagreed. That’s fine. Their validation has no bearing on my self-worth.

This is good news in some respects, as people have called this campaign the most politically divisive in their lifetimes. We’ve seen a major party candidate have support pulled from his own party. Locally, friends and families cut ties with each other over political support for one candidate or another. Behind a keyboard, individual people with some prominence have said things very similar to the following.

If you’re a Trump supporter, I hate you. Go kill yourself. I hope you die horribly, because you deserve it.

If you stand with this candidate you stand against me and my family.

If you think Donald Trump should be President, then get out of my life. Unfriend me. Unfollow me. You mean nothing to me.

Those are incredibly strong words from people claiming publicly to be “tolerant,” “inclusive,” and “respectful.” Those quotes represent a cross-section of America right now with hatred in their hearts for others just because their political beliefs may be different from their own. That’s a strong indicator of what folks really believe, as opposed to what they profess to believe. It says they really plan to follow a path of hatred, fear, and anger with those closest to them over simply shrugging and saying “it’s all politics.”

It’s too early to see if people will follow through with their threats to sever ties with friends and family. And one can’t really get in the head of a person to see if they’d truly like to watch someone commit suicide over an election. It is clear, however, this election’s produced a level of intense anger most are afraid to admit ever existed.

Someone recently firebombed a North Carolina GOP office. They also spray painted a swastika and the words “Nazi Republicans Leave Town” on the side of the building. It was comforting to see politicians on both sides of the aisle condemn this act of sheer hatred. In a lovely display, a Democratic group got together and started a fundraiser to help rebuild that GOP office. Good intentions aside, it’s hard to tell if this was an example of virtue signaling or sincere support. This is what happens when a major political candidate tells her support base half of the other guy’s supporters are “deplorables.” When you link a major political party to a racist movement, and then tell people their candidate is dangerous for supporting someone who won’t explicitly disavow someone in a racist movement, it’s natural to expect violence as a result.

Who I vote for will remain with me. Before he passed from this earth, my grandfather told me “Keep your political preferences to yourself, kid. You’ll keep more business partners and friends that way.” I like my friends and those with whom I do business, so in this case I choose to remain silent.


Coronation Of A Salesman

That guy’s a racist asshole!  Did you hear what he said about Mexicans? Simply indefensible! 

It started with a balance between two areas: Freedom and Equality.  Both are concepts everyone loves. It’s natural to want freedom, just as it’s natural to want equality. What happens when the two collide?  Is there a specific area you choose?

Some will pick freedom over equality. That may sound taboo to those who can’t handle nuanced discourse. Reality dictates none of us will be equal in our lifetimes.  We are all different, and that’s what makes us awesome. Each of us has different experiences, different lives, and different values that make us who we are, and that’s perfect.

I will never know what it’s like to give birth to a child.  I will never know what it’s like to have a living human being grow inside me and bring it into the world. That doesn’t make me any less of a human being. It just means I’m different. I won’t know what conducting surgical procedures are like either. I won’t know what it’s like to bring a patient back from the brink of death.  Again, that doesn’t make me less of a human being.  I’m just different.

Difference isn’t enough for our society. Modern discourse demands we seek “diversity,” “inclusion,” “tolerance,” and “equality.” All of those concepts at facial value are great. Everyone loves to be tolerant. We all want to be included. And equality? That’s a concept we’ve been fighting for since arguably the birth of America.

The problem is when those concepts are weaponized and used for an attack. If an institution doesn’t follow certain “civility codes,” they don’t promote “inclusivity” and “equality.” If you express anything other than the popular opinion, you are an “intolerant bigot.” Go far enough beyond the Overton Window and you become an “ist.” You’re racist, sexist, ableist, or  transmophobic. Without as much as asking for further discourse, those weaponized concepts shut down communication.

You silence those who might otherwise be open to hearing you out. And that silence breeds contempt. And that contempt breeds anger.

Oh my goodness! Did you hear what he said about a woman’s menstrual cycle? Did you hear about his position on breastfeeding in the workplace? He’s a disgusting misogynist pig!

I referenced a concept earlier: the Overton Window. This is rather loosely defined as the spectrum of what is acceptable in modern discourse. The current state of the Overton Window is incredibly narrow, far more than to which society has ever seen. Put the wrong name on a test and you’re sent to “reeducation training” after a complaint is lodged with a “bias response team.” Internet provocateur and Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopolous once posited a theory of a second window: the Underton Window, or that which is considered unacceptable in modern discourse. Milo theorized during his presentation of the “Underton Window” that if society reached a point where it became larger than the Overton Window, society was in trouble.

The signs were coming a long time ago. We should have seen them, and reacted. When the scolds, the nannies, and the language police started telling the world “You can’t say that” or began name calling, the Underton Window grew. Every “racist” or “misogynist” accusation hurled widened that window even further. Publication of articles with titles like “As a Straight White Man, I’m Surprised More Women Aren’t Tweeting The Hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen.” Every time a person lost a job over a tweet, lost friends because people can’t discern the difference between reality and the Internet.

The window kept growing, and no one paid attention.

I can’t believe it! Now he’s gone after Muslims! What the hell is this whole “Let’s ban immigration until we sort the whole thing out” about! No one can take this guy seriously!

The problem with taking the side of the nannies, scolds, and thought police is inevitably you become the target. All it takes is one improper pronoun use and you are anathema to the Church of Social Justice. Fail to correctly identify the latest trend in intersectional third wave neofeminism and you’re excommunicated. The best and the brightest in society are subject to silencing by the new moral majority normalizing every aspect of behavior.

And when you push someone away, it fosters resentment. Turn your back on those with meaningful contributions to society, even if in the form of words, and you create space for absolute chaos.

Now he’s done it! Can’t you see this guy is dangerous? He wants to bomb our allies! He thinks war is a good thing! He admires the heads of state that are our enemies! Completely unfit!

With every hurl of an insult, every “If you disagree with me, disconnect with me,” those among the silenced, the outcasts, those who are deemed “a basket full of deplorables” grow stronger. They are connected by a shared trait, being disaffected. They seek someone who can speak for them. They desperately search for someone who can give them even a slim glimpse of hope that a massive pushback will occur and society will change for the better.

Even if it’s a salesman.

That’s an insult if I’ve ever heard one. “I love the poorly educated?” What a jerk! He’s clearly insulting people! Why can’t they see that?

When that salesman came, people embraced him. They chose him as their national spokesperson. They said “So what” when people tried to convince them he was completely unfit. Every new insult was met with another round of attacks, jeers, “fuck yous,” and more. He was the chosen one for those who wanted the cultural pushback.

Let’s put America First Again?? That’s the same kind of talk that came out of Hitler’s mouth! Don’t people see this? He’s Literally Hitler reincarnated! If you elect him we’ll turn into another version of Nazi Germany! Hell, even white supremacists that talk with green frog cartoons and mention a dead gorilla like a deity support him!

A well established rule of the Internet is Godwin’s Law. This, again loosely explained, states any online discussion will eventually spiral into mentions of Hitler, Nazis, Nazism, or the Holocaust. No inside pundit could expect Godwin’s Law to cross into a Presidential election cycle, and yet this time it has.

His campaign is dead now. He’s fat-shamed Miss Universe, starred in a sex tape, and described sexual assault against women! No one can possibly vote for him! His career is tanked!

The newest round of discussion revolves on his alleged treatment of women yet again. This coming after discussions of a 900 million dollar loss on a tax return twenty years ago. There’s fear at work here, even if the big dogs barking the loudest won’t admit it. When you start down the path of repeating the same insults over and over again, and every new “leak” of information confirms what you already thought about the Salesman, you’re fighting a losing battle.

The only reason each new revelation comes is because they’re afraid he might win.

Few legitimately think the Salesman fit for the Presidency. I think even fewer find him fit for the Commissioner spot on Monday Night Raw. And yet, despite all this, he continues to grow in support. His numbers stay the same. Each new accusation falls on deaf ears for his support base. Their minds are set. It’s a month to the General Election, but in their minds the ballots are already cast.

After the Salesman became The Candiate, Jon Stewart took to his former colleague Stephen Colbert’s show in an attempt to denounce the Salesman’s supporters. He told them they just didn’t “get it.” He told them America “wasn’t theirs.” He told them it wasn’t their time, their people, and their place. As his angry rant bordered on violating FCC regulations, a look crossed his face only those who look for what’s not there could see.

It was fear.

What the scolds, the progressives, and the thought police don’t get is they created the Salesman. They gave him a voice. They gave him a base. Many might “park” their vote elsewhere. Many might stay with the Smiler to avoid losing loved ones or with someone in a third party. When November is over, and the final die cast, one thing will be certain.

Those who gave this Salesman a voice will either learn the lesson of silencing dissent, or they won’t.

Convention: Prologue

Day one is in the books, and people are already talking.  Depending on who you ask, The Convention is either the biggest political event until November or a dumpster fire burning brightly.  Cleveland is rocking hard with all manner of lunacy the likes of which haven’t been seen since Drew Carey had that damn song playing in my head.

You can’t keep an eye on the press for this one, you understand.  You have to go to the people on the ground and find the things they’re seeing, watch what they’re viewing through their own varied, distorted filters.   It’s not that hard, really.  Journalism as we knew it is dead.  Anyone with an iPhone and access to Periscope can show you what’s really happening, and what’s happening in Cleveland at the Convention is incredibly moving in the same sense a reality TV show is moving.

On the floor, chaos erupted when the last minute #NeverBeast voters attempted to pull some sort of political stunt.  They thought they had enough votes to force a “roll call” vote, which from my understanding of the process would have technically unbound every pledged delegate and allowed all to vote as they believed necessary, conscience or otherwise.  This was their last ditch effort to defeat the Beast’s campaign, and the “NEVER” crowd gave it the good old college try.  They even made the mistake of trying to catch the media’s attention on the matter too.

That was the problem.  The media saw the “revolution” and wanted in on the shining moment when the American people were told their votes didn’t matter, that the delegates were going to spoon feed them some vanilla candidate that wanted nothing more than to pander to the delicate sensibilities of the GOP’s mighty elite.  Cameras and audio rolled in as the throng of angry, butthurt, Beast opponents cried “ROLL CALL! ROLL CALL!” over and over again, shouting down every speaker that took the Convention floor.

The people who wanted to vote their conscience, it turns out, had a different strategy in mind.  They were ready to vote their “conscience” by embarrassing those who were Anti-Beast publicly, in the eyes of the world.  The Roll Call Vote was rejected.  People were embarrassed by their friends and loved ones.  It got so hot inside the Convention hall Colorado walked.  Hard to say why Colorado’s delegates decided to walk on the first day of Convention.  I guess they longed for their non-genetically modified weed, and didn’t remember to bring enough from home.

You know what Colorado forgot?  When you ask people to vote between their conscience and self-interest, people are always going to crank the lever that reads “self-interest.”  That’s human nature, bound into the scripture that is our genetic code.  Any time you tell a person to act a certain way for the “common good” and that “common good” doesn’t jibe with their self-interest, they’re going to  vote the exact polar opposite of what you think is the “common good.”  Every other delegate got it.  Those who kept screaming in the HASHTAG NEVER movement didn’t understand the Beast represents their self-interests.

Once the stupid left, we got the pageantry.  Bad movie star and daytime TV actors telling us building border walls were the same as building walls to keep your neighbors off your lawn, searching for Pikachus or whatever virtual animal Nintendo places around your property lines.  The Beast apparently pandered to those who in the eyes of some were racist, others simply ill-informed or not well spoken.  Point is he let the crazy out and had their say right from the get-go, so the main-event level squad was saved for the rest of Convention.

The last speaker of the night?  The wife of the Beast, here to tell us all why her husband would live up to his promises and Make America Great Again, but not before the Beast entered in all his resplendent glory.  People shat all over his appearance.  Some called his use of Queen’s “We are the Champions” cultural appropriation, of that I’m pretty sure.  Others said his use of backlighting and fog machines equated to a WWE-style entrance.  None of that mattered.  He appeared before his adoring throngs, and gave his blessing before his wife’s speech.

News outlets today already blare of more “cultural appropriation” or “plagiarism” of the speech heard round the world.  It doesn’t matter.  None of it matters.  The truth is that if most of you cared about that bullshit you would have stopped this garbage a long time ago.  The words that blare from your sewers about “cultural appropriation” and “plagiarism” and “racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist” all lost their meaning the more you used them to silence the voices you didn’t care for.

Today we’ll no doubt have more shenanigans, riotous acts from simpering fools sitting outside the Convention hall, and whines of grief when the Beast is nominated.  And there’s nothing you can do about it. Don’t like where we are right now?  Tough.  This is the fruits of your labor in making our society more “tolerant,” “inclusive,” and “just.”  Your fight for “equality” in everything made the Beast rear its head.  Your continued cries of “OMG LOL REALITY STAR WTF” made him gain wings.  Your continued free press, mocking of the “poorly educated,” and ignorance of his specially tailored soundbites, brought you to this point.

Bask in it.  Drink it all in.  There’s nothing we can do but sit back and watch at this point.

Transmet, Journalism, and Modern Media

“Journalism is just a gun.  It’s only got one bullet in it, but if you aim right, that’s all you need.  Aim it right, and you can blow a kneecap off the world.” –Spider Jerusalem, Transmetropolitan #3 (November 1997)

Transmetropolitan (what I will refer to from this point on as “Transmet”) was a central point in getting me back into comic books.  The bleak, sci-fi series by Warren Ellis featured a deranged Hunter S. Thompson like writer named Spider Jerusalem who found himself focused on the Truth, no matter how painful or ugly it was for people.  Throughout the wildly popular series, a central theme that kept running was the power of the media, the power of authority, and the constant need to expose corruption and lies through the truth.

Warren Ellis wrote those words almost two decades ago, speaking to the power of journalism.  Spider’s work was different from that of his colleagues in that he focused exclusively on the Truth, rather than the comfortable pabulum most of those in The City wanted to hear or the talking points politicians needed.  His relentless obsession with the truth meant Spider took beatings from police, attacks from hitmen, and his own work censored by the President.

It never mattered to Spider.  No matter the attack, he never backed down.  He destroyed his foes through the power of the Truth and his ability to influence his readers through a unique, special take, and in the process toppled a corrupt government.  By the end of Transmet’s run, the world is a better place for Spider’s work, and his “filthy assistants” are set to carry on his life’s mission: the pursuit and exposure of the truth.

Why don’t we have a Spider Jerusalem in our midst today?  Why does the media stick to narratives instead of fact-checking and doing honest reporting?  Why do they bow and scrape to the establishment rather than muckrake like a motherfucker, question everything authoritarians say, and then raise hell?  Has the media lost its spine or has it simply just lost a Spider ready and poised to strike with venom?

I ask these questions because right now in the aftermath of an Orlando shooting by an Islamic terrorist claiming allegiance to ISIS, American media is taking great care to make sure no one hears anything other than “Not all Muslims” and “Islam is a religion of peace” and “There was an assault rifle involved!  Oh my goodness, let’s ban all the guns!”  When a Presidential candidate’s Twitter account signals being correct on Radical Islam being a threat to the United States, he’s dismissed as “shameful.”  Meanwhile, when the other presumptive candidate issues a “woman card” for sale on her website featuring the bathroom stall image of a woman, no one raises hell over that.

I ask these questions because when a Presidential Candidate erupts into a frenzy over the qualifications of a judge to hear a case against him, the media vilifies him as a “racist” and continues to frame the discussion over and over again, with Jake Tapper at CNN even being lauded for continuing to press the issue in front of that candidate.  Yet no one seems to be questioning the other candidate’s questionable past of hiding her husband’s continued sexual assaults by calling them “sluts” and “bimbos” and then playing to her alleged strengths by being “pro women” this election cycle.

I ask these questions because when a rally is shut down because of “peaceful protests” that later turn out to be the work of an organized criminal gang the media falsely reports on it.  I ask these questions because when an alleged assault is revealed a hoax the story quietly goes away without full and fair apologies.  I ask, especially, when a story goes from “Dad kills son for being gay” within 24 hours to “More to this death than we originally thought” just due to a bit of fact checking and hell raising by people like you and me.

Spider’s biggest concern was that he’d reveal the truth and people wouldn’t listen or wouldn’t care.  Unfortunately that nightmare is occurring in real time, right before our very eyes.  We can mute those on Twitter who don’t share our worldview.  Facebook is worse; the almighty Algorithm only shows you that which you want to see.  There is no more room for Spider’s brand of truth in the 21st Century.  There’s only room for shared delusions of “fact.”

We need a Spider Jerusalem right now, more than ever.  This year, our election cycle mimics that shown by Transmet in the Beast and the Smiler.   I won’t reveal too much, but if you do a bit of digging and think a little bit you’ll be able to figure out which candidate I find the Beast and which I find the Smiler.  And with both parties needed a massive revival, it’s time the media gets a good thrashing from the Angry Chair Leg of Truth by someone unafraid, almost bulletproof to take on the mainstream media.

One issue of Transmet contains a quote from a favorite writer of mine, H.L. Mencken.  I leave you with this here.

The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos.  Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it.  And even if he is not romantic personally his is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.

Is there a romantic among us?

Will the real Spider Jerusalem please stand up? 

Choose the Form of Your Destructor

“Choose the form of your destructor.” That’s a line from Ghostbusters, where Gozer the Gozarian baited our lovable spectre-battling quartet into a manifestation of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.  Right now, America is in a position to choose the form of its destructor, and hopefully seeing that we’re in that moment will stop people from choosing anger and choose peace instead.

Sometimes life can imitate art.  I just didn’t think that art would be Ghostbusters.

Scott Greenfield does a great job of expressing my stance on this issue, but I’ve got to take a different tack than him when I approach this.  I’m going “conflict free,” because that’s what Mediation is Dead means, but in order to get to “conflict free,” you have to put yourself in the other party’s shoes.

Prologue: Any writing about political candidates engenders a reaction in the intellectually challenged that if you don’t condemn the candidate they hate, you support him or her. I don’t support any of the candidates running for president. I’m appalled that in this nation, these are the best we can manage.

Whew.  Now that’s out of the way, we can talk about the Destructor, and what form that will take.  Either side has its Destructor, and it’s time to discuss the root cause of both Destructors in modern America.  Anger, deep, seething white-hot intense anger.

There is deep anger in America directed toward politicians, political parties and the dysfunction of government. And the fact that the other Republican candidates, despite their rhetoric now, have sworn to support [REDACTED] if he wins the nomination is as cynical as it gets, and demonstrates exactly what people hate about politicians and parties. (ed. note: I redacted the Destructor’s name.  SHG did not.)

That anger, and the sneers from the other side of the fence, have us picking our destructors.

To your Left, you have a white-haired demon who used to keep pictures of Marx and Lenin on his walls.  To the Right, you have the epitome of He Who Must Not Be Named, because he’s a sociopath and enjoys all of the attention.  This is where it’s gotten.  That anger has everyone ready to burn it all down in an attempt to get something close to resembling what America once was back in the picture.

This is the anger that has us choosing the Destructor.  For at least twenty years there’s been a sense we, the people have been lied to by those that seek and attain power in the highest branches of our government.  No matter what, we were told to remain loyal.  No matter what, the people were told to OBEY, LISTEN, and BELIEVE, and magical concepts like HOPE and CHANGE would magically occur.

Because when you see a lie, and you believe a lie, and you continue to have it reinforced in your head, when the lie hits a breaking point, there’s only one thing left to do.  Burn it all down and start over.  Where does that anger come from, though?  Most of the populace has been complicit for over two decades.  Why do we get angry now?

We are angry as a public because we know we’ve been told who to hate, how to hate them, and that we’re an “ist” if you don’t hate properly.  

The first moment we began forming our destructors came with the rise of that wonderful person once known as a “social justice warrior,” and now called “crybully.” These “noble” activists, armed with keyboards and Twitter accounts, made it their purpose in life to run around like a toddler in the middle of a tantrum at every single perceived slight.  If someone caught wind of an offense, then you had to apologize, because usually “you” were a person who had a position of power the crybully wanted.  The apology didn’t matter once they got started.  The crybullys would attack further, until you were gone.

This leads to people not speaking.  When you don’t speak because you know there’s the potential of having your life ruined the moment you say the Wrong Thing, then anger sets in.  Someone else controls you, and you really “can’t say that.”

You don’t speak because you’re afraid of being labeled an “ist.”  It doesn’t matter what.  “Racist,” “Sexist,” “Ableist” or otherwise.  You actually care.  You aren’t those things, and you know it.  None of the “ists” mean anything to the crybully.  They just use those words as leverage to control you.

We are angry as a public because we’ve been told who to believe and what to do when it comes to keeping people in office.

This year was to be the year dynasties were established in the United States.  One political dynasty versus another political dynasty.  Either way, the two would work together to keep things “business as usual.”

This was the second manifestation of the Destructor.  It gave the Destructor legs.  When the Destructor, be it on the Left or Right, began their respective ascents to power, the Destructor was jeered.  They’d never get anywhere.  One was a TV star!  The other one’s a Socialist!  You can’t put either Destructor in a position of political power like that, can you?

Turns out you most certainly can, and that’s why the Destructors have so much attention.

We are mad as hell and you don’t get that we’re not going to take it anymore.  The Destructor feeds off this.

The key moment in the ascendance of the Destructor came when people tried to say “We get that you’re angry.”
Do you really?  Now, after all the name calling, and jeering, and mishmash thrown our way, you “get” we’re angry?  That’s the most disingenuous horse shit you could expect us to eat.  If you “got” how angry we were the Destructor wouldn’t even manifest.  It wouldn’t have power.  If you “got” how angry we were then we wouldn’t even get here.

The Destructor doesn’t care about our anger.  We know that in our heart of hearts.  The Destructor feeds off that anger to gain power.  We’re so damn mad right now that it’s time to burn it all down.

You tell us our guns don’t matter, because we have a government that can bomb and kill us at any moment.  Okay, that’s fine.  We’ll do something royally stupid to make sure you understand WE hold the power through the ballot box.  Not you.

It’s escalated to the point where even the crybullies can’t tell the divisive rhetoric on either side is cannibalizing their own.

Marc Randazza’s latest CNN column about giving one Destructor free speech came out recently.  I agree with Marc, but it’s because I know what’s at stake if violence controls the narrative.  I shared in on Facebook, which is something I rarely do.  Three people immediately attacked Marc and labeled him a Destructor supporter.  Then I got attacked for being a Destructor supporter.  Marc is about as hardcore anti-Destructor as you can get.  He’s also done more for the First Amendment than most will do in their lives.

Two of these three people were stand-up comedians.  Professions where speech is their trade.  The third is a professional troll, so he COULD benefit from Marc’s ideas.  Marc said it best. “They’re too stupid to read my material.”

Hate has made us choose the Form of the Destructor.  The question is whether we opt-in to that choice. 

You’ll notice now that I’ve never mentioned once either Destructor by name.  That’s because both feed like leeches off the attention they receive, and I will give no power to either.  The Destructor wants me to make a choice.

I choose “fuck it.” I choose peace. 

I did some work for a client this weekend.  The client gave me a pen.  It had the word “PEACE” written in big block letters above my client’s name.

“What’s the deal with this?” I asked.  This is a guy I’ve known for more years than I care to admit.

“Well at one point I worked for a bomb plant.  I was having pens made, and I wanted to have my business name and my name on the pens.  The plant told me that I couldn’t have a business name of any kind on the pens, so I said “hell, I’m going to have fun with this.”  Now, after leaving that place, every time I think about it, I know there’s at least a thousand pens with the word “PEACE” in circulation in a bomb plant.  “Peace pens” are being used in a place that makes weapons of war.  If that’s not funny to you then you have no sense of humor.”

This is the very epitome of the “Wrongless Approach” to life.

Some will choose war.  Some will choose the Destructor.  I choose peace.

Make that decision today.  Will you choose the form of your Destructor, or will you choose peace?

Choosing peace is the MiD life in action. 

If you want to support a documentary about free speech that’s going to be no-bullshit, you can go here.

Fault Lines on Monday has my newest piece, where I managed to get in references about Phillip K. Dick, The Terminator, and Avengers: Age of Ultron while discussing something very stupid done by college kids.  While you’re there, subscribe to our newsletter.  We took the hard work out of coming to us.  You just have to subscribe.  No bullshit, no gimmicks, just 100% the best legal analysis from anywhere you’ll find.


On Trump, Politics, and The Art of the Promo

Mike Cernovich tweeted the following point worthy of discussion.

Politics makes total sense if you watched 80s pro wrestling. You think Hulk Hogan and the Russians hated each other once lights were out?

There was a Republican debate last night, and I’m rather upset that I missed it.  I haven’t watched professional wrestling in a good bit, and I need a good promo fix on occasion.

An in-character interview or monologue.[1] Often includes either an “in-ring interview” or (on television) a skit by wrestlers and other performers to advance a storyline or feud.[1] The act of performing a promo is referred to as “cutting”, as in “cutting a promo.” When the promo is aimed at a specific opponent (which can be an individual, team, or stable), it is said to be cut “on” the target.

Apparently, the Candidates spent the entire debate cutting promos on one another.

Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, fighting for their political lives, relentlessly demeaned and baited Donald J. Trump at Thursday’s debate, all but pleading with Republicans to abandon a candidate with a long history of business failures, deep ties to the Democratic Party and a taste for personal insults.

Bad move, guys.  Bad move, especially if you’re going after Trump.

At times, the face-off in Detroit also deteriorated into the kind of junior high school taunts that have startled many Republican elders but have done little to dent Mr. Trump’s broad appeal. As Mr. Trump and Mr. Rubio traded insults over their manhood, Mr. Trump recalled Mr. Rubio’s innuendo that Mr. Trump’s “small hands” correlated with another part of his anatomy.

Mr. Trump, who has boasted about his sexual exploits, insisted that nothing was small about him. “I guarantee you,” he continued with little subtlety, “there’s no problem. I guarantee you.”

You can’t cut a promo on a guy who literally learned how to cut pro wrestling promos.  He’s going to beat you every single time.

You know who taught Trump how to cut a promo for this election cycle?  This guy.

courtesy Online World of Wrestling

courtesy Online World of Wrestling

That’s Vince McMahon, for those of you who reading who don’t follow pro wrestling.  He and Trump have done business together on multiple occasions.  Trump Plaza hosted Wrestlemania IV and V, and in 2007, Donald Trump actually faced Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania 23 in the “Battle of the Billionaires.”

They didn’t actually wrestle, but they did get numerous chances to “cut promos” on each other leading to their selected proxies actually fighting at the biggest event in pro wrestling each year.

Trump “won” the debate last night because he spent active time with the biggest professional wrestling promotion in the world, and actually practiced “cutting promos” on people before getting into the Presidential race.  

His speech patterns are absolutely fantastic to analyze, although some say his language patterns are on a fourth grade level.

You can’t get under the skin of a guy who took time to observe and learn how to speak about his opponents in a manner that gets himself over and make the other guy look weak.  That’s what Trump did nine years ago when he sat at the McMahon Family Learning Tree.

If Trump gets the nod from the GOP, or “goes into business for himself,” his opponents are going to need a “promo coach.”

“going into business for yourself”(exp.) — making yourself look good at the expense of your opponent, or changing the scripted outcome of a match on the fly to work in your favor.)

My suggestion would be James E. Cornette, the semi-retired manager of the Midnight Express, Heavenly Bodies, and other pro wrestling talent.  He has a podcast every week where he blasts anything and everything, especially in recent weeks Republicans.  He’s an unabashed Sanders fan and can’t stand Republicans, so I think he’d be up for the job.

“On a personal note to Hulk Hogan, you are a household word, but so is garbage, and it stinks when it gets old too” is a line that’s stuck in my head ever since I saw that back in the nineties.

I had a chance to meet Cornette when he was in Knoxville at a comic book convention, long before Mediation is Dead got started.  We had a mutual friend who made the introduction while my son was in the NICU holding on for his life. He signed a tennis racket that sits in my office.  I couldn’t help but ask him about that particular promo, since it was cut right around the time talent stopped getting talking points and started getting handed scripts.  He was kind enough to tell me the backstory.

Apparently it had started on an internet show WWF had called “Byte This,” and Cornette was told he could say whatever he wanted because practically no one listened and it’d pay him $500.  That last line caught his boss’s attention.  They ran everything by McMahon family attorney Jerry McDevitt, and then flew Cornette to RAW, where his words were typed up and he read them off a teleprompter.  Corny sped up at the end and sounded more irritating because the teleprompter was moving a little too fast for his liking, but he got the last bit out.

Donald Trump has his promo coach a phone call away.

Maybe someone in the Democratic Party should start looking for Jim Cornette’s number.

Regardless, in politics once the lights are out and the heels and faces go home, they all still smile, nod and appreciate “working” the audience.

You can buy the book that gave me the brain reboot to start Mediation is Dead here.

My latest podcast is here.