October 21, 2016 § 4 Comments
Here is what democratic politicians are best at doing.
They give you the facts in watered down form, assuming (correctly) that most city people will lap it up like sweet, sweet milk if it comes out of these powerful, “intellectual”-appealing mouths. They’ll admit their own faults to a certain extent, just the pardonable ones, so you’ll cut ’em some slack – sure, they’re a bit corrupt, but hey, who isn’t? Fair enough. At least they’re, you know, fighting for minorities’ and women’s rights and all the usual buzz words that are being thrown around like candy on Halloween (that is my preferred analogy).
They’ll then distract you with superficial issues that are nonetheless issues, so no one can pick on them for being delusional liars. Sure, the media is focused on entertainment more than actual news; sure, everyone’s handcuffed to their smartphone like it’s their illicit lover; sure, the DNC was a bit sneaky and careless, and Bernie Sanders was really a great candidate; now that he’s out of the way, that is. Oh, did you know he’s endorsing Clinton now? I guess they got over their catastrophic, compromising, illicit, double-crossing differences, so he’s totally behind the lib-dems now. Don’t worry about it, progressive voters. He’s on our side, promise. Promise Clinton will be just as good as he would have been. Sure, she’s a bit corrupt and hypocritical but cor, we all have to do our job somehow, don’t we?
Once they’ve softened you with some nice progressive talk about how modern technology is slowly devouring our brains and how minorities deserve rights, too, and how tragically poor people are because of “the wealth gap” and all our society’s usual well-known, perpetual problems; oh, and throw some vague mention of media bias in there for good measure so no one can possibly say a word about their integrity. They then unashamedly display their own bias with subtle jabs at the opposing candidate and not-so-subtle jabs at Putin – whom we’ll soon be at war with if this bullshit continues, by the way – and expect no one to see through it ’cause they’ve covered the bullshit angle already, blaming everyone else for it: the media, the republicans, Trump, the People… but not them so much, god no, not them. I mean, you know, maybe a little, as much as is reasonable. If you mention the whole e-mail fiasco, maybe they were careless, that’s all. Moving on!
I went to a university lecture given by Carolyn Curiel, former president Bill Clinton’s speechwriter as well as US Ambassor to Belize, influential writer and editor and finally professor. A prolific, intelligent woman speaking, basically, on behalf of the DNC and the American Establishment. Not once during her presentation did she hint at any of the Democrats’ gaffes and war crimes, their questionable yet somehow unreported policies and actions, or the pure evilness and mental illness of their candidate The Hillary.
Well that certainly makes me look biased and completely unworthy of consideration, right? If you picked up on that anti-DNC sentiment right there, well done; I take it back, at least the name-calling part.
Pure evil is not a thing and also I don’t think she’s got a mental illness, or Parkinson’s or whatever. None of this is the issue here. I’m sure if we were to research it really well, we could dig up as much dirt on Clinton as they have done on Trump, like for example the way she treats her inferiors.
In fact, Jesus Christ, the dirt has been dug up in past months and of course, unfailingly pushed back down, the culprits tackled with rape allegations and expatriated, the story hushed up and the blame laid on… hello, Russians! Not only that, but dirt such as Hillary Clinton’s private speech to her friends and donors the banks, where she readily and almost boastingly admits that it is a top priority of hers that they should continue to prosper, that her policies will keep the public from knowing too much about Wall Street’s mistakes that, for example, may have led to the recession in 2007-09. She also stated that “successful people” are commonly misunderstood and lead complicated lives. The poor, poor top 1%, right? Funny how she doesn’t promise any prosperity to the plebs, just empty fucking words. Anyway, watch this video, it really should kill her in anyone’s eyes, but of course we’re all distracted by that thing Trump said that one time, not by official “private” speeches by dangerous politicians or anything.
Anyway, she started out OK, aside from pointless photos of herself with her university students, a few cutesy anecdotes about Bill Clinton being hilarious (not his hardcore right-wing policies so much though, eh Carolyn? but there was no time to talk about that), ten minutes on how attached everyone is to their smartphone, and an unfair comparison between Clinton and Trump: “we have a choice between a man accused of misogyny who comes from a multi-billionaire family and … a woman, running for the presidency.” I waited and waited for a jab at Clinton to counter the countless “subtle” ones at Trump, but it never came. She put up a funny picture of her, sure, she acknowledged that TRUMP calls her crooked and corrupt. That sure makes the allegations a bit lighter in the eyes of all the pseudo-intellectuals watching you, Carolyn. If he says it, it’s instantly discredited; like anything rational he says, by the way. Which brings me to my next, final, shocking and eye-opening point.
At the end of the lecture, there were of course questions. I was brimming with questions but I had a terrible gut feeling that for all her sugary comical side, she would get dangerous and humiliate me in front of the whole room if I were to stammer out a compromising question. I waited in vain for someone else to ask something meaningful. Of course they didn’t; it was “thank you” this, “your lecture was amazing” that, “do you think that the media calling Trump names just makes him more popular” and things along those lines. Duh-doyyy, guys, she knew you wouldn’t challenge her. She knew all the intellectuals, the university students and staff members bloody love the Democrats and their slick ways with words and their blistering gossip about anyone who doesn’t agree with them. Bitchy, vapid, pandering academic morons is mostly what I saw in that room – the professor in the corner practically bursting with pride at having this important lady here, in his school! Thank you, Carolyn, for such a thought-provoking and compelling presentation, because it really helped to confirm what I’ve been taught by the “serious” media already, but also putting it in a so-called neutral form so I don’t feel so biased anymore! Trump definitely is the dangerous person here, and the former White House employee (who worked for a Clinton) just confirmed it to me. Yay!! Compelling! Thought-provoking!
I couldn’t hold my tongue for long. The little woman was talking in the corner to some very eager students, so respectful, so trusting; looking at her with awe, asking her for a photo together. “Oh my god, guys, we met the coolest, most important lady the other day, I am so involved in politics guys.” I walked over with my (free refreshments!!!) red wine and my plate of canapés, and I asked her some stuff. Now I started out with a bit of light humor, saying I would have asked in the room but I wimped out. That didn’t lighten the mood at all. She looked at me, and as I inquired about the clear bias against Russia in American media and Clinton’s content, the woman’s face turned to scary, powdery stone. First, she “didn’t understand” what I was saying. Then she said, “you mean Putin. It’s Putin we’re against, not the Russians! In fact, there is a large integrated community of Russians in America who fled Russia,” she had the gall to say, unaware that I was the daughter of some of these Russian-Americans. She started walking away from me early on in our thiry-second encounter. I pushed a little bit to say, fine, Putin then. She reminded me of the rumors that he shot down a passenger plane from the sky. I reminded her that America could hardly talk, in light of all its recent war crimes in the Middle East. With a face as stony as Hillary Clinton’s heart, she vaguely acknowledged that. She also said that any candidate taking Putin’s side would be in a bad position. I quickly pushed on last question in, “but don’t you think maybe the only reasonable thing Trump has said is that we must negotiate with Russia, as opposed to Clinton’s warmongering?”
“Well,” she said, uncomfortably smug, “that’s if you trust the Russians.”
And we parted ways, not only because she was clearly making a beeline for the refreshment tables and away from myself, but because my beating heart simply couldn’t take the strain of talking to such a scary tool of government and media power and trying to make a point. It felt almost scary; sure, I’ll kick up a fuss with any old leftie on my facebook friend’s list to spread awareness, but when you are talking against the actual Establishment itself, it’s a whole different feeling. She did not like being asked difficult questions. Funny, for a professor. They should be open to any interpretations, shouldn’t they? Eager for alternative information, happy to share knowledge and open their minds. Hah, not much of a professor, this one. More like a gentle pusher of neo-liberal “values” onto her poor students in Illinois. If anyone were to mention the dirty truths, she would probably look-at-the-time! them or dismiss it as Russian propaganda. I’m willing to bet that that is what she would do. Alternative news sources, schmalternative schmews schmources. We’ve got all we need with C-SPAN, MSNBC, NY Times (where she was a member of the editorial board) and the couple of other outlets that all work in the name of our government.
How very dare anybody question that?
My bike ride home in the autumnal London darkness was a nauseating one full of heavy breathing and wide, lit-up eyes of bewilderment and anger. I had necked the wine after speaking to her and it was giving me stomach pain – it and her evil witchy self, I assumed at the time. This was last week.
When I fully calm down and come to my senses, I always allow myself room for self-doubt. I am but a passionate twenty-something rookie with no accomplishments to my name, no real education apart from what I’ve been teaching myself with some edgy news websites these past few months. Maybe I’m exaggerating? Maybe she really believes what she says and isn’t trying to hide anything? Many older people tell me to relax, see it as movie or a play, because there’s nothing I or anyone can do to affect the movement of the Establishment cogs. I still think Trump is in the best position at the moment to do just that. A shame that it must be him, but at the same time quite beautiful. It is like putting a mirror to America’s face. This man is what your government allows and encourages to thrive by whatever means necessary. And this man is out to fuck your government up, ’cause he’s already done his money-making bit, and he knows the system inside-out, and he can expose them, and he can destroy the party system as we know it, because no one Up There is happy about him.
I gave myself a week to think about it, to cool down. Frankly, I’m still not cool with it. So I wrote this. Think of it what you will.
PS: I know Trump is still a bloody pro-life, pro-gun republican. I’m sure he is, and let me assure you that puts me off considerably. I’ve been frankly convinced that voting 3rd party would be the only way forward. No one’s gonna do it, though. I still believe he outweighs the Clinton risk because he won’t have the time in four years to fuck up our progressive values – and also because foreign policy at this time is more important than ever, and somehow we may not want someone who has a record of starting ridiculous wars and condoning the secrecy of war crimes. But to be perfectly honest, I hardly know what to think anymore.
October 10, 2016 § 2 Comments
One of my favorite things to look at, admire, touch, and of course take photos of has always been water. You may say I’m a bit of a water fanatic. A fanaquatic?
Of course I have hundreds of photos of bodies of water, and its incredible texture, but that was too obvious, I felt. Here are some of my experimentations with H2O in photo composition or abstract styles.
October 9, 2016 § Leave a comment
When you’re debating with someone about a very sensitive and/or political topic, it is good to have some factual backing for your arguments. If you know you are right, however, the need for fact-based arguments diminishes considerably, and you can basically relax into dignified smugness and repetitive, evasive responses. You know the other is just a victim of brainwashing, or maybe he’s bigoted. Either way, clearly not someone to listen to. And if your adversary plays by the same rules, you may have a chance of winning via cigarette break or introduction of an unrelated third party into the conversation – but there are few other options. If your opponent is more flexible and open-minded than you, you may get a few points across, but you must keep your inner shield strong to avoid persuasion or manipulation that may sway you to regard their obviously wrong ideas as worthy of consideration.