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.
September 28, 2016 § Leave a comment
I watched the presidential debate last night. Now I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep because the whole world is senseless and it has gone beyond my actual area of belief. It’s so bad that I can’t even begin to explain it so that my readers may understand – because they are part of it. I can’t sleep!
I had never actually watched any long excerpts of Trump’s speeches, or even watched Hillary talk at all. I only knew what I had been reading up on alternative news sources and actual journalists and scholars (rather than, say, the state-funded RT, government-owned BBC, or any American news outlet) such as Stephen Cohen, Justin Raimondo, or Peter Hitchens. I watched Mediastan, a documentary by the WikiLeaks team that shows the extent of the media’s corruption, from the Middle East to the US itself. For example, no news outlet, from AsiaPlus in insignificant Tadjikistan to the NY Times in the great old US of A, will dare to publish any story that shows the American establishment in an incriminating light. With all the information we have thanks to the marvel that is WikiLeaks we should plainly be able to see and appreciate the full force of our nations’ control, fearmongering, and utter fabrication in its media.
I say “its” media – because that’s what it is. While we carry on reading scary articles about Russia and its government-controlled propaganda in the Russian media (getting a Cold War vibe, anyone?), our own news companies and the ones that we influence internationally blatantly report to some mysterious Headquarters before deciding what material they may or may not publish. Sound like a conspiracy theory? It has been made to sound like anyone who dares to dissent is a mad conspiracy theorist. Through the magic of biased, one-sided media – both right- and left-wing. Liberal democrats? My polished derrière. We’ve learned enough about them through their warmongering efforts in the East, through Obama’s hypocrisy, through WikiLeaks’ revelations. I couldn’t stomach the nauseating, bittersweet patriotism oozing out of the countless speeches at the DNC. But their side is now beating out the remaining dregs of its dignity by slandering the opposition with a fury not unlike that of the cuckolded spouse: any juicy little “fact” the media can find or invent to ridicule or destroy the reputation of the Establishment’s antagonists will be used against them.
I put “fact” in quotation marks, and then use the word invent, because yes, you read it right, scandals are distractions. They are distracting the public with accusations of rape here, antisemitism there, with some “treason” sprinkled in between. The brave few who dared to expose the government’s dirty secrets: Snowden, Manning, Assange – all blindly accused and defaced by the media that is believed by almost every person I know, and even those I respect. Promptly removed from the circulation, expatriated (or in Manning’s case, cruelly sentenced to prison), these heroes of the free press are submitted to slander and their actual contributions forgotten, left in the dust.
Coming back to the original subject: yesterday’s debate, or where I finally saw Trump and Clinton present themselves and listened to their words entirely in context (unlike almost every news piece about Trump that takes one sentence out of a 2-hour speech to “prove” that he is definitely a racist, guys, and by the way did you see his hair?). Yesterday’s debate, where even the clearly biased mediator took it upon himself to address Trump most sarcastically, where most of the little pop-up blurbs were anti-Trump in some way, bringing up past stories about him that were entirely irrelevant to the subject at hand. Hmm…nice reporting there, very neutral. I am not surprised when I hear Hillary feeding these blurbs and Twitter feeds with rabid attacks on Trump’s person in response to any of his actual arguments against the Democratic government and its effectiveness. When he spoke of murder rates in inner-city Chicago, she threw at him a story from 1973 about his hotel company allegedly not letting black people stay in their rooms, thus proving that Trump is probably definitely a racist and not worth listening to, and thus completely deflecting the matter from actual issues to Trump, Trump, Trump and his unsavory past.
This is all everyone has been doing the past few months, I now realize. Stories about his wife, his tax returns, his life – anything to make him look bad and deflect from what he’s actually saying, more or less eloquently. He talks very articulately about the mess America made in the Middle East – she brings up an old news story from 2001 that quoted him as supporting the Iraq war. To that I flatly said: what? HOW IS THAT EVEN REMOTELY RELEVANT? What a transparent tactic of – oh, wait, I think Hillary’s got the words: “I think you’ve just seen another example of bait and switch here. For 40 years, everyone running for president has release[d] their tax returns,” says Clinton, showing herself to be the absolute queen of bait and switch throughout the entire debate. Who is it who starts talking about Trump’s shortcomings and making the whole discussion a sarcastic face-off? Her, with her nasty little fake laughter and mockery in response to him trying to actually talk about issues in the current government.
Now, sure, Trump is no angel. I’m not saying he could competently face the issues he brings up, or fully understands the implications of, say, stop-and-frisk policing methods or his strict immigration policies. The whole birther scandal was a right joke; he responds sometimes clumsily to Clinton’s provocations; his immigration policy and nationalism are controversial. His past blunders are not completely fabricated and show him to be a pretty nasty character. Most of his supporters seem braindead and do not follow him for the right reasons, far from it. I still wouldn’t be surprised if he turned out to be Andy Kaufman in the end, back from the “dead”.
I know that writing this could ostracize me as a nice-girl-turned-raving-Trump-loving-redneck-lunatic. And that is precisely what incites me to write it! The fact that his name has been so artfully disgraced by Hillary’s relentless tactics and the media’s fearmongering (new Hitler! Fascist dictator-to-be! Bad hair!) is exactly the reason I write this today, and why I am suddenly so scared of the world I’m living in.
You could say I’m a nice-girl-turned-political-activist. I am pissed off that people I respect, as well as people on my facebook wall, are reposting videos of Trump’s awful supporters, tittering about his latest faux-pas, spreading actual messages of hate and judgement. Such empty, baseless judgements, fueled by our lovely media. Left-wing people who like to consider themselves the most open-minded, accepting, judgement-free sect(ion) of the population, shitting all over someone who has been misrepresented from the very beginning. They will criticize, and may I crudely repeat this, his hair before anything else. They’ll quote half a sentence he said that one time in that one interview, knowing full well that reporters often misquote people. They’ll lap up everything the media gives them to mock because it’s so satisfying having a clown to rip on, an easy target who speaks rashly and attracts outspoken moron followers.
Meanwhile Hillary and the DNC are desperately trying to cover up a scandalous leak exposing their dirty tactics and lies (and somehow gets nearly full support in the media?), incriminating Wikileaks as well as the Russians, oh, got to get Putin in there, god knows you haven’t mentioned him and his alleged evil dictatorship yet. Completely unfounded rumors of Russian hackers, seriously, read up on it, there is no proof, and yet she blatantly says these words as if they were truth. Warmongering with every fiber of her being, claiming that international peace is a priority BUT “[w]e need to respond to evolving threats, from states like Russia, China, Iran and North Korea”! Gosh, folks, there’s evidence for you! “You’ve seen reports — Russia has hacked into a lot of things, China has hacked into a lot of things — Russia even hacked into the Democratic National Committee!” Oh my god! She’s part of the Committee that was just exposed as a bunch of conspiring liars! She must be right about that extremely provocative accusation! And, what’s that, did Trump dare say that maybe these aren’t proven facts and that we may need to negotiate and make peace with other world powers instead of exerting and increasing military pressure on them? Putin’s puppet, clearly. For shame, what a danger to our country, he’s gonna turn us all into communists or whatever, I don’t know, he has bad hair and he talks a bit funny. (Didn’t mother teach anyone to not make fun of people for the way they talk, but for what they’re actually saying?)
Tell me something concrete. Give me a good reason to hate Trump as much as I hate Clinton. I would never use the needlessly intense word “hate” under normal circumstances, but now I’m pissed off. I’d only ever read about the presidential candidates and assumed the anti-Trump mania had some semblance of reason – but seeing them argue, and reading the recaps of the debate with titles such as “The presidential debate that revealed Donald Trump’s limitations”and “A win for Hillary Clinton: The first presidential debate”, content such as:
Hillary Clinton dominated a final series of debate exchanges with Donald J. Trump about national security and gender, telling voters they could not trust her opponent with nuclear weapons and warning that he does not respect women,
has just confirmed my view that this issue is so much more twisted than it is made to appear. So twisted that a dissenter will likely be shot down with shocked looks and maybe even shunned by their friends. In fact, when I posted this article on facebook, I got a private message from a friend saying that they had never thought so poorly of me, for even contemplating that Trump may have something to say that’s worth listening to. There is no need to argue about one’s hatred of him, it’s just a given nowadays, everyone is revelling in their shared loathing of one man who may have what it takes to rock the war ship a little bit. That’s how powerful the media is, that’s how powerful Hillary and the DNC are.
Those of you who know me, make your judgement on that. You know me, and I’m defending Trump. Is it more likely that I’ve gone mad stupid, or that you’ve been fed exaggerations, distractions, and lies? Have a look at that debate; I don’t know how anyone could stand Clinton’s simpering laughter aimed at her opponent, the mediator’s attitude, the painfully clear bias against one clearly-defined party: Donald Trump (and “his friends” the Russians); but somehow, to my immense bewilderment, mainstream media interpreted that as a winning attitude. When has one-sidedness ever proved the right way of thinking? Read all sorts of alternative news sources. Look up WikiLeaks, read up on the case against Putin; you’ll see it’s not as clear-cut as Clinton and her cronies make it out to be. I couldn’t even believe it, listening to Rush Limbaugh cover the debate had me biting my nails in self-doubt: why, I thought he was a total dick with nothing clever to say! Am I some sort of awful conservative at heart? Turned out I was agreeing with him on this point: Trump is not meant to be judged on his political know-how, because he is not a politician. That is exactly why people like him. Now try listening to him as a normal person, without fact-checking every little insignificant utterance.
You know what I’m beginning to understand? Political leanings are just that: leanings. Not iron barriers. Every side has something interesting to say. God knows many left-wingers in my life had brainwashed me into thinking conservatives were basically 70% homophobic old-money monocle-wearing pigs and 30% their brainless lucky children… but now it transpires more and more that it’s just not so god damn simple.
September 11, 2016 § Leave a comment
Why must my fancy be so obvious?
I have no self-control. A sight that drives me out of mind is likely to be shared… among the majority of the neighboring community. I see this artful image of a man and I stumble, tremulous. I take no pride in my fancy – I have little control over it. It blossoms at the sight of ripples in water and reaches its peak at the feeling of slight sexual excitement over a visual object. So in this case, said object happens to be a Hugh Laurie lookalike. And so Hugh is overbearingly handsome and I must work at the bar and observe him as he gets deliciously drunk and…ever so possibly willing… and not express my lust? It is too much for me to take as one woman. The reluctance of others to share the burden with me is truly a difficult obstacle to overcome. On the rare occasion someone does sympathize, it is pleasurable to share my pain with them. It is Simon who cooperates and laughs gently at me. It is Jessie who reprimands me for my behavior and claims that I know not how to act around the men I fancy. Jessie, what you see of me is but the tip of the iceberg.
You may think I’m practically hopeless at getting the man I want, with my boorish methods. I once spent years visibly obsessing over a male friend, virtually laying myself at his feet every time we’d meet with the usual group. It became a running gag even though he was always “taken”… “taken”… a word I never took too seriously, if one is to look back at my lustful past. Every man belongs to himself, and women the same. And if I wish someone to belong to me for one night, this can be accomplished regardless of domestic status. Men are easy, so easy. And they’re certainly confused when a woman acts like they themselves might; too forward or lustful. Some are put off by a direct approach, and this one apparently was, until that memorable evening where we were all hanging out at my studio apartment, then they all left… and he came back up unannounced. Men. They never let an opportunity, er, slide.
Confused, yes… put off, not for long… confusion is my favorite technique, along with the usual flirtations: eyes, light touches, playful advances. I say and say it: any moderately good-looking woman who “can’t” pull a man is tragically unaware of her powers.
Keeping one is a different story… though frankly more could be said about wanting to keep one.
September 8, 2016 § Leave a comment
An elegant bird in a pond of glory.
September 8, 2016 § Leave a comment
What an odd, confusing life for us first world babies. There I was, studying away, exams and assessments and grades oh my, for eighteen years of my life, no less. Here I am, waiting to get my bachelor’s degree in the mail, and suddenly, sans obligations. There is nothing I need to do apart from earn a decent living, which I can do by getting a manager’s job in the pub.
And this is where my studies come into play, for the little that they have taught me. They have taught me to apply myself at least minimally to something, to try and achieve something and not give up halfway through. The only reason I ever finished projects was that I could simply not allow myself to miss a deadline. And so however monumental the project seemed to me, I always did, and always passed. I never imagined myself programming a piece of music, or writing more than three songs and their charts, performing them on a stage… but however shabbily I may have done it, I freaking did it. So now that I’m floating around in the bottomless pit of adult life, I can be marginally less frightened of failure in the long run, because I’ve always managed to do what I had to do, however shoddily or last-minute.
Only worry now is… where are my deadlines? What is “last-minute”… now?