People or Political Pawns?

At what point does a person stop becoming a person? That’s a dark sentence right there — One that could lead in a number of directions. I’ll keep you hanging for one more sentence though, just for dramatic effect.

I’m thinking about this in regards to the migrants who have been trying to cross the US/Mexico border in recent days. The women and children who have had tear gas thrown at them by border security because they were “very dangerous”.

So I wonder, as far as some are concerned, when do people stop being people?

I understand that border security and immigration is a tough subject, and not one that can be answered swiftly in a blog — No matter what some far-right websites claim.

Despite what the majority of the media would have you think, immigration isn’t a simple black and white issue. Some people want to lock a country down entirely, others want controlled immigration, some want open gates, and others want somewhere in between all of these.

Some people are okay with the use of violence, some are okay with the use of tear gas on children, and others are not.

What the Trump administration has going on at the border right now is a flex, and all on the tax-payers dime. For decades the Democrats have been (rightly) accused of vanity spending in order to prove a point, and well, old Donald has taken a page right out of their blue book.

The events that are taking place at the US/Mexico border right now are happening because of the following chain of events:

  1. Donald Trump flippantly says he will build a wall
  2. Followers begin chanting it as a mantra
  3. Trump makes it policy during his campaign
  4. Trump says Mexico will pay for wall
  5. Trump becomes president (eyes collectively roll)
  6. Mexico say they will not pay for wall
  7. Trump demands wall be made
  8. Republican congress says they will have to tax Americans to build wall
  9. Advisors say that higher taxes won’t get him re-elected
  10. Trump in a pickle
  11. Makes anti-immigrant display with money available
  12. Defends the tear gassing of children

Twelve easy steps that explain why children were blinded and thought they were going to die. Of course, they’re innocents who’ve been running through Mexico from violent gangs, so unfortunately an attack by the US probably wasn’t their first brush with violence.

What we’re seeing at the border right now is “the wall”, or the closest we’ll ever get to it anyway.

He’ll never build a giant wall, and it certainly won’t begin construction before people go to the polls in 2020, and yet he’ll win a second term because God has apparently decided to skip this season of “Earth”, in his great binge-watch of all known existence.

Putting some barbed wire and some extra soldiers at the border is the closest he can get to showing a display of power that’s tough on immigrants, without taxing the poor even higher, and it’ll be enough for many of his followers.

Many will forget that he was supposed to build a wall in the first place, and when they go to vote in 2020, they’ll remember images of women and children being tear-gassed and they’ll smile and vote for their orange king.

teargaschildren

Wait…what?

See, that’s why I ask, and wonder — When does a person stop becoming a person?

As I stated, immigration is complex, and not everyone who wants a hard-line on movement wants violence to be used against the people trying to enter the country illegally.

If we tar everyone with the same brush then the whole world burns. And that goes all ways.

But there’s a huge portion of Trump supporters who do lust for the violence, and given that Trump himself defended the use of tear gas just this morning, I’d say that he personally salivates over the idea that he’s currently causing a visceral chaos thousands of miles away, all because he can’t fulfil a campaign promise.

As always, the people who stand by Trump, even though they don’t want violence to be used against immigrants, are going to have to ask themselves a few questions — How long do I stand by this man? What does he have to do to lose my support? How far is too far, and are these people, people?

We’re all the same, at our core. Before you throw on the pressures, expectations and self-made constructs of whichever society we come from, we’re all just fleshy sacks of meat who’re trying to stay alive.

We’re intelligent animals who want the best for ourselves and the people we care about, and if any one of us were born into some of the horrors that are prevalent in less fortunate countries, well, we’d all be running for that border.

It’s a political power play in a vicious game, but one that uses real humans as the pawns. People aren’t pieces in a game, they’re individuals whose right to life should be respected.

What’s my solution then? Because I’m writing as though the current way isn’t the answer and so I better have a solution.

Well, I guess I’ve never understood why we don’t send immigration case workers to the border to process people fairly. If someone is denied, then it can be explained what it is they need to do to be accepted, and if someone is accepted then they’re in America legally and so what’s the issue?

People are more likely to respond to love than hate — I think I have to believe that.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted this yesterday:

If you’re wondering why she’s getting so much attention lately it’s because the left-leaning youth of America finally have a leader who is saying the things we’ve been thinking. Oh, and also because she’s a woman who wears clothes — At least that’s why Fox News-Entertainment have been paying attention to her.

Trump and other right-wing leaders conjure up images of exclusively male migrants who are forcing their way across the border. The reality of the situation is they’re families who’re seeking asylum from dangerous homes.

They come to make a legal case, but are met with a barrage of barbed wire and tear gas. All because old Donald doesn’t have the stones to tax his base in order to build a giant wall.

Which, in turn, is all because his father never said he loved him.


Today is Tuesday, November 27th and misinformation scares the hell out of me.

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Reignited and It Feels So Good

I’d say that approximately 9% of my childhood was spent playing Spyro the Dragon games on my Playstation. This past week I beat that record by 91%, by playing Spyro the Dragon games on my Playstation.

The Spyro Reignited Trilogy has finally arrived, after a full year of teasers, trailers and delays. This three-in-one remake is a remaster of the original Spyro trilogy, and sees one of the most innovative 3D platform characters take to the skies once more.

This game has been eagerly anticipated by myself and many since the release of the Crash Bandicoot collection last year — A cartoonish remaster that delivered on graphics, but one where some of the movement mechanics failed to register with the old-school feel.

Spyro does not suffer from these gameplay issues, as this HD purple dragon handles and feels like his limited polygon 90s counterpart. If that’s because the studio, Toys for Bob, decided not to mess with anything beyond the graphics, then they definitely made the right decision.

I began with the first game, as I imagine most players did, and my childhood muscle-memory immediately kicked in. I raced that dragon through levels at lightning speed, before slowing down to take-in some of the upgraded scenery.

Each level has the exact same skeleton and tone as it originally did. The colours are even more vibrant than before and everything has been fleshed-out. Details and props adorn walls, hillsides and backdrops — But none feel out of place. Whoever was in charge of adding textures and more colour to these worlds has done a great job of staying true to the original vision of the games.

The enemies and fodder have been rendered cuter and I’m mad about this, in a good way. I genuinely felt remorse when toasting or charging certain gnorcs, dogs and sheep.

Some of the enemies didn’t feel like enemies, and I started questioning who the good guys were in this narrative. Sure, Gnasty Gnorc has incased all of the other dragons in crystal, but Spyro then goes on a Gnorc massacre, whereas not a single dragon dies. I’m sure there is some allegory for the Israeli—Palestinian conflict hidden in the subtext here. I’m absolutely certain of it.

The first game flew by fast, as there are fewer individual challenges compared to other instalments. It’s all about treasure hunting and dragon collecting.

Speaking of treasure hunting — The gem collection system is as enjoyable as ever. Touching bright colours and watching digits increase to a satisfying, round number was my favourite pastime as a seven year-old, and now apparently is again at twenty-five.

My non-gaming wife and partner in crime picked up the controller to play the first Spyro game and took to it in no time. She found all the treasure in every world she has played so far, so I’d highly recommend this game to parents with younger children looking to play a decent platformer that harkens back to an older generation of gaming.

That’s both a compliment and a burn on my partner and I’m okay with it — “Non-gaming” is the operative word there.

spyroreig2

The second game played even better than the first, as colourful characters and even brighter worlds emerged. This game has more challenging moments, with Spyro having to carry out specific tasks to earn Orbs. I had no “trouble with the trolley, eh?” this time around, but some spark-plug thieves and an angry oxen gave me a run for my money.

They have turned Elora (a fawn, you dork!) and Hunter the Cheetah into complete furry fantasies. But I think it’s probably impossible to design a cartoon anthropomorphic animal these days without adding curves, muscle definition and no pants.

I mean, I bet they could try, but statistics show that furries make up 69% of gaming consumers, so they’re not a demographic you really want to alienate.

Each world in Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer (I refuse to call it Ripto’s Rage, as an EU original) feels like it has its own identity. This is helped by individual characters who aid you in each of the worlds.

Highlights of these characters include the Breeze-Builders and the Land-Blubbers — Two sides who can’t find common ground despite sharing many ideologies. They’ve been at war for longer than they can remember and…damn they’ve done it again haven’t they? Another allegory for the conflict in the middle-east. Spyro with the hot-button issues over here.

I’ve just started playing the third instalment, and I’m curious to see what they’ve done with the secondary playable characters — Especially my boy, Agent-9. Already they’ve nailed the colour palette of this third game, which to me always felt like a vibrant celebration of the Year of the Dragon.

For me, the third game is the best game, as it takes the best features of the first two and cuts away some of the issues from both. It’s also the most challenging, in terms of time and difficulty, so I’m curious to see how I handle some of the skateboarding and speedway races.

I’m also curious to find out how they’ve represented Israel and Palestine in this game, seeing as how it’s obviously a thing now. Probably something to do with Sgt. Bird, that warmongering shit.

I can’t recommend this game enough, as it’s more than just a nostalgia trip. If this were released for the first time today, it wouldn’t sell as well, but I’d hope it would still receive critical praise as a platform game.

Parents! Are you sick of your kids asking you for another loot box so they can find that MEGA TIT CANNON in Fortnite? Well, listen to that nonsense no more, by buying them the Spyro Reignited Trilogy this Holiday season.

All of the colours of Fortnite, with none of the additional expenses! Wholesome gameplay that’s fun for the whole family. No longer will you hear your seven-year-old yell that he’s going to plow someone else’s mother, as he’ll be too busy chasing the dragon.

Wait…not that!

Spyro for President! 9/10 — Only loses a point for not being an original game.


Today is Monday, November 26th and I ate my weight in mashed potatoes this Thanksgiving weekend.

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So…Lock Her Up…?

One of the more bizarre battlecry’s from the 2016 Presidential campaign was “Lock her up!” The chant was championed by various Republican personalities, and used at Trump rallies. The ‘her’, in the ever-so witty chant, referred to Hillary Clinton. Her crime? Using a personal email to conduct government business.

It was revealed yesterday that Ivanka Trump has spent the last year doing the exact same thing, in what is only the ninth biggest act of hypocrisy from the Trump presidency so far.

I always go on about how difficult it is to talk politics with a die-hard Trump supporter. I can always get beyond the hate to address the person behind the opinions, because as awful as it is, there’s usually a reason why they’ve started thinking about people that way, and it’s usually not entirely their fault. I do struggle with the logical inconsistencies though.

Hillary using a private email for government business was the epitome of the “swamp” that Trump talked about during his campaign. You know, the one he wanted to drain, but instead he has offloaded a quagmire of corruption into American politics. The swamp, now 45% more swampy.

To Trump and his merry band of bigots, Hillary was the epitome of a corrupt swamp politician, and one who needed to go.

So let’s assume those opinions are true for a minute, because there is something a little off about using an account that can’t be documented when working for the public. My opinion at the time was that she shouldn’t have done that, but compared to Trump’s crimes it was a drop in the ocean.

I never have and never will be a supporter of Hillary Clinton. She was simply the lesser of two evils in a horrible campaign, one filled with all the elements of a corrupt and poisoned democracy.

But Trump supporters died on the hill of sending Hillary to jail because of her emails. And so therefore, for them to remain principled and hold-true to the beliefs of their established political perspectives, they should also demand that Ivanka be locked up.

The timing of this Tweet made yesterday is unbelievable. “Quick, I need to help incarcerated women right now, in case I end up in there with them!”

Now, I’m not calling to lock Ivanka up, at least not for this anyway. She made a shady mistake, but it’s one that politicians have made for the last couple of decades — People in power have done worse things.

It’s Trump supporters who should be calling for Ivanka to appear behind bars. I would certainly have a lot more respect for them if they did. As it would prove that they aren’t just about following a populist figure to the bitter end.

It would prove that Trump genuinely spoke to them in 2016 about the issues they were concerned with, but that they’re smart enough to recognise when one of their own breaches that trust.

I don’t want any jokes about that not being likely, and that I shouldn’t hold by breath. We need to put more faith in them to do the right thing, because I still believe that they can.

Not all of them, some are too far gone of course. But most were caught up in a wave of populism, and found themselves having to defend their party, despite who it offered up as its leader.

Some will have to realise, especially in the dying days of this first term, that none of the promises made were kept. I mean, thank God we don’t have an inhumane wall, or we haven’t started locking people up for no reason (well, unless you’re a minority, but that was happening long before Trump).

But really, the Trumps are no different to your average, highly corrupt politician. They’re Nixon, but with all the folds tucked away and stapled into the skin. Ivanka’s email incident is proof that they’re still the swamp-folk who they claimed they wanted to cull.

The cries and shouts of “lock her up” didn’t come from Trump himself, they originally came from men like Steve Bannon and Roger Stone. Trump simply applied them to his brand, because he liked how much support and power it gave him.

Roger Stone has always followed the Nixon MO of “accuse your opponents of the crimes you commit”. I mean, Nixon wasn’t the first to do that, but Stone has a massive tattoo of him on his back, so I’m going to go ahead and assume he’s the inspiration here.

nixonstone

This incident likely won’t be the straw that breaks the camels back. Because migrant children in cages, mass-shootings by known Trump supporters and stripping freedom from the press wasn’t enough.

So why on Earth would it be the emails? Matt, you absolute simpleton, you didn’t think this through!

I just thought I’d try and make the argument, because it was an issue that they’d previously rallied against. People love it when you point out their hypocrisies, right?

Wrong. I guess I just have to hope that every time the Trump administration does something they originally accused opponents of, another person falls away from the deep red crowd.

I have to hope because I have to believe that people can be better, if we don’t have that then we’re not going to get very far as a species.

The way I see it, Trump supporters have three ways of reacting to this situation:

  1. Admit they were wrong when calling for Hillary to be locked up, that she didn’t commit a crime, but Roger Stone and Steve Bannon should be blamed for the rhetoric. Lock them up?

  2. Condemn Ivanka as they condemned Hillary, because this is their principal and they’re sticking to it.

  3. FAKE NEWS, Ivanka did not use a personal email to conduct government business, despite hard evidence from several independent sources.

Options one and two take a big person, and would earn them a lot of respect from non-Trump supporters. Option three is why we’re slowly and collectively walking into the scalding surface of the sun as a democracy.

I know what you think, but like I said, I have to believe that people can be better. I really do.


Today is Tuesday, November 20th and The Sunset Tree is a terrific album.

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A List of Lists

Writing clickbait is something I can never bring myself to do. In the age of attention, we should only devote precious online energy to those who have taken the time to pique and hold our interest. These come in the form of YouTube channels, well-written blogs (not this one), news outlets who’re still fighting the good fight, podcasts and dedicated personalities.

Something that shouldn’t grab our attention, are headlines such as:

8 WAYS TO GET BOYS TO LIKE YOU, NUMBER SIX WILL MAKE YOU CRY TEARS OF LIQUID DIAMONDS

You see, why display one number numerically and the other as a word? Why promote a topic that prays on the anxieties of being a teenager? And why promise tears made of liquid diamonds when we all know that emeralds are the most precious stone one can squeeze from tear ducts?

These list articles are usually the digital equivalent of woman-hating, women’s magazines. The sort that say you’re hideous just because Chris Hemsworth wouldn’t date you, and so you should buy these specific beauty products in order to bag yourself a Marvel superhero.

They’re exactly the same because adverts relating to the topic they’re talking about are often strewed around the page, or even hidden in plain sight within the article itself.

These lists are the most basic-form of CONSUME-based advertising, and don’t deserve our attention. They make young people hate themselves, even more than they already do, and peddle cheaply made products as a solution to all of your problems. A more honest clickbait headline on these websites would be — 8 Things You Should Buy or Our Shareholders Will Throw Sacks of Diamonds at Our Heads Until Death

Why are they always going on about diamonds in these list titles?

TOP 50 STAR WARS MOVIES, RANKED!!! YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT WE HAVE AT NUMBER ONE!

It’s Empire Strikes Back. It’s always Empire Strikes Back. These lists would genuinely be more interesting if they went with something like The Phantom Menace or Dexter Jettster: The Animated Adventures.

Media is subjective, one person’s Fantastic Four is another person’s Thor: Ragnarok. Nothing is gained by one individual ranking 25+ media products in a list, with a single sentence following each entry.

Opinions of reviewers and critics do matter, as they can help judge if we should spend time/money/energy on something.

However, if you’re deciding whether or not to watch something based off of one line in a list of RANKED media texts, then you should just consumer all of them. You don’t care about how good something is, clearly, so you should guzzle them all down like a greedy little media goblin.

That sounds mean, maybe I deserve some backlash for that comment. Like 10 Times Matt Went Too Far With His Words: RANKED, or something — A real sick burn.

I’m only being mean because you deserve better. Find a reviewer you like, or even better, find several. Find someone who will at least analyse the film in a 10+ minute YouTube video, or have the decency to write a 1,000 word review.

Sure, it takes time, but far less time than you’ll spend endlessly scrolling through a timeline that’s 50% advertisements and 50% Becky complaining that her fourth engagement has been called off. Maybe it’s not them Becky, maybe it’s not them.

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NINE TIPS FOR GETTING MORE LIKES ON YOUR INSTAGRAM: HOW TO BE RELEVANT IN 9 EASY STEPS

These are the preaching to the choir advice lists. The blind leading the blind in a race to the bottom of the attention tree.

While there’s nothing wrong with a blog being about blogging tips and advice, you should always be adding something new to the conversation, and not just the same regurgitated methods that are second-nature at this point. 

Follow people, like things, engage, interact, make yourself famous by sheer distant connection kid, and you’ll go far in this digital playground.

So many blogs I see are about blogging, and made entirely of lists about how to blog and use social media. Surely they’re just a network of people who’re following and liking each other’s content, even though it’s virtually identical.

If you want genuine advice, you should find successful blogs and see what it is you like about them, what it is they do well and what can be improved on. It’s the whole “do as I do, not as I say” thing.

Very few people will give you decent blogging advice, because it’s all been said before. You should check out popular, focused bloggers, as they’ll be leading by example.

This is not a popular or focused blog.

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FOUR THINGS EVERY SELF-RESPECTING INTERNET USER SHOULD HATE

Finally there’s the hate-filled, holier-than-thou lists. The people who think they’re so smart because they’ve figured out the structure of a successful format and yet fail to fully capitalise on the medium. They tell themselves it’s because they’re principled, when in reality they know very little about pop culture, and so can’t write a list worthy enough of attention.

I’m talking about the people who will write lists about lists because they think they’re being “meta” or “edgy” by pointing out what everyone already knows anyway — The facts of the internet that people choose to ignore so they don’t go completely crazy with modern, digital living.

He’s probably sat somewhere right now, typing out another one of these so-called “lists”. I bet he’s getting pretty close to the end as well, and is trying to think of a big finish that strikes a balance between humerous and poignant.

He’s probably worrying if Chris Hemsworth was a good example of a popular attractive male, because he doesn’t have a clue what people like or want.

He’s now thinking that he can’t finish with something like that, because a simple call-back doesn’t cut it anymore and every single reader has already figured out that he’s talking about himself, so the twist has been and gone.

I suppose I could just end it by saying that writing clickbait is hard, and even though there are far better ways to spend our time, the people who write it are probably just like you, only without the plague of neurosis.

Yeah, that’ll do.


Today is Monday, November 19th and don’t you dare give that yellow-haired, ex-wrestler the time of day.

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Brexit, Democratic Socialism and Ocasio-Cortez

So, it has been twenty-four hours and I still don’t fully understand the ramifications of the Brexit deal proposal. Many top Torys have resigned, but others have stood by Theresa May. Some are calling for her to quit, others are saying that she’s the one to see this through to the end.

I wonder if the Brexitiers who’re unhappy with the proposal also bought their own BS in regards to the leave campaign. It all seems okay to me, given the circumstances of the situation.

You don’t buy a ticket to the Museum of Human Shit, and then wonder why there’s shit everywhere. You deal with all the shit, because you bought the ticket in the first place. You should only be outraged if a curator starts flinging fist-fulls of faeces at your face. But so far, at most, Britain is simply throwing itself head-first into the museum’s prize exhibit — Bullshit Mountain.

I’m aware that actual bull waste wouldn’t be found in the “Museum of Human Shit”, but Bullshit Mountain is made up entirely of kind donations from longtime museum patron, Nigel Farage.

I’m sure everything will become clear by March — A statement I’m making with the same blind optimism the British government currently has.

What I actually want to write about this morning is Democratic Socialism and Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I’ve already blown two-hundred words on Brexit, and another thirty-five writing this sloppy segue, but here we are.

The other day I saw the headline, “Ocasio-Cortez Puts DC On-Blast with Her Instagram Stories.” I knew from that moment that Millennials had arrived in government.

She’s been doing things like making Mac n Cheese whilst streaming live and complaining about the government, which is so accurate to the experiences of a modern twenty-something.

Ocasio-Cortez beat out a long-serving Democrat in her primary, where she was funded entirely on small donations. She’s also a self-described Democratic-socialist — A political ideology that without the spin from various media outlets, most people would want.

It’s all about looking after everyone in society. Democratic socialism asserts that rampant capitalism is incompatible with a Democracy. Toxic, unregulated capitalism serves those at the very top extremely well, but not so much for everyone else.

Large institutions become publicly owned, everyone has a stake and a say in the world around them. Taxes increase, but fewer general bills exist. Universal Healthcare for all would mean paying more tax, but developing something en-masse for the people costs less than several private companies competing to offer you the “most competitive” price.

So therefore you’d pay less overall, for the same coverage. And if you don’t get sick that year, your tax has gone to help save people’s lives. Or it’s building up for when you’re old and you need more medical care. Whichever way you prefer to think of it.

Does Democratic socialism have weaknesses? Yes, absolutely. The idea of a perfect political ideology, a utopia for us to strive towards, is a fools dream.

It’s as open to corruption as any other political movement. Just as capitalism has been corrupted by the 0.1% at the top of the food chain, Democratic socialism can easily be taken advantage of.

The Right like to point to Venezuela as an example as to why socialism doesn’t work. Whilst making flimsy “what-about?” comparisons in an attempt to form an argument is sort of their MO, Venezuela is not the United States.

A first-world, rich country that decides to start looking after its people, where votes are still (mostly) democratic and the economy is stable, is entirely different to tyrants capitalising on an impoverished nation by preaching a brand of populism in order to gain power.

Now that I mention it, if socialism is “un-American”, then so is the entire Trump presidency, for the same reasons! Lady America, if you can skew this far right, then you can also bend back to the left a little.

The way to avoid corruption in Democratic socialism is to appropriately champion multiple leaders from an early stage. If one person came around preaching ego and authority in the name of the ideology, then I’d be suspicious. But so far we have a Representative who is making Mac n Cheese in her studio apartment.

I believe that Ocasio-Cortez has a bright future in American politics, but her greatest achievement will be this first victory. Other, likeminded people from humble backgrounds and strong communities, will now have the courage to run for office in the next decade.

Ocasio-Cortez said recently that she can’t afford to move to DC until her salary kicks in, unlike the majority of her colleagues. And she says that’s one of the key problems in government today — That those who rule us have more wealth than us.

I’m not saying politicians shouldn’t be paid well, because they should. But the fact that so many of them are from wealthy backgrounds, when the majority of America is lower middle-class, well, it’s absurd. They’re supposed to represent us.

A reporter attacked Ocasio-Cortez for wearing a dress after claiming she had no money, to which she responded with:

That’s the calm and measured response of a leader, and one that I hope many Democrats will look to as an example on how to answer hate.

Only rich people could think that owning some nice clothes means you’re as rich as they are. Ocasio-Cortez isn’t claiming to be impoverished, just from a lower middle-class background, like most of us. We can all afford a few decent dresses, just not, you know, a house.

I hope she serves the people of her district well, and lives by example, as those are the kind of leaders America needs right now — Public servants who spent their college years watching Parks and Recreation. Inspired to serve and not to rule.

Given the support she has from left-leaning young people, I’m certain that her future is bright. She’s still too young to be President, and I’d like Gen-X to have someone in the White House before all is said and done.

The last four Presidents have been Baby Boomers. That’s twenty-six years of rule for a generation that should only be in charge for twenty. I think it’s time for the generational hand-over to take place. 

I mean, it was time about five years ago, but now it’s really time. Beto is Gen-X, just throwing that fact out there for the people.

Anyway, generational studies is an entirely new topic and I’m out of time. The morals of the story are — Don’t believe what one news outlet says about socialist principles, keep your leaders in check as pubic servants, Ocasio-Cortez is a great leader and Brexit is an absolute shambles.


Today is Friday, November 16th and look after each other.

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Say No to Michael Avenatti

Brexit may finally be happening, as a draft deal now appears to be on the table. People are resigning, defending, attacking and the general public still feels uneasy about the whole thing.

I could attempt to unpack all of that today, but I feel as though I need one more loop of the twenty-four hour news cycle before I remotely understand it myself. So instead I’m going to write about something else that makes me feel uneasy — Or rather, someone…

Michael Avenatti is a lawyer. Most notably he’s the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, the porn actress who signed an NDA with the President before 2016, that she’s now trying to get out of. He also claimed to represent women who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, although to me, his gas-blowing in that situation only muddied the waters of a clear and personal testimony from Dr Ford.

You may also know Avenatti from Twitter, where he regularly roasts and “triggers” the President of the United States. He claims to be able to get under Trump’s skin because he’s not afraid to talk at his level. Is it hot down there Michael?

Whenever a major news story breaks in America, Avenatti isn’t far behind. You can usually find him becoming legally involved with someone who is a part of that story. Which tells me that the similarities between Avenatti and Trump ring-true in at least one way; They both chase fame no matter the cost.

You may have heard that yesterday he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. He has denied these allegations. If they turn out to be true, then I can see why he compares himself to the Orange God-King on Earth.

Avenatti invites these comparisons because he wants to position himself as an anti-Trump. A person who plays his game but fights for the “good guys”. He’ll insult and intimidate, but don’t worry folks, this bully is in our side!

Yeah, I don’t think so.

There have been strong rumours that he will run as a Democrat in the 2020 Presidential election primaries. All to capitalise on the position he has carved out for himself over the last few years. This is nothing but terrifying to me, and is worse than the rumour that Hilary is planning on running again. 

The remedy to Trump politics isn’t more Trump politics.

It’s clear, given the laughing-stock that America has become to the global community, that a President should have at least a small amount of political experience. They shouldn’t just be famous lawyers or businessmen who fancy a gander at glory.

The ideal politician has worked in education, healthcare, the armed forces or the public sector for a decade or two, before they transition into a different public-servant role. I’m aware they can’t all have those credentials, as most decent people from those backgrounds are smart/humble enough to not run for office.

We can do better than Trump and Avenatti though, I think — I mean, I have to hope. Otherwise I’m living in a room with upturned furniture and pretending everything is fine by sitting on the back of the sofa and watching TV upside-down, all whilst trying not to drip marinara sauce onto my stupid face.

In 2018 America, we are all that burning “this is fine” dog.

Maybe the rumours of Avenatti running in 2020 are just meant to scare Trump — He’s drumming-up hot-air to intimidate the President because that’s what Trump did to politicians for decades. Except, Trump eventually ended up running, and he won. So I can’t disregard these threats to run for office anymore.

Democrats don’t need Avenatti, and I want to warn people now to not fall for his Trump-esq anti-charm.

His proclamation of beliefs and ideologies are basic for left-leaning people in 2018, but that’s all they are. Of course we all want women to have equal rights, for children to not die at school, and for EVERYONE to have access to healthcare. Those are the standard beliefs of any social-minded individual.

But what makes you stand out to the point you should represent us en-masse? What have you done for the communities you’ve lived in? When have you put those ideologies into practice? Because even if that accusation of domestic violence is proven false, you still have it swirling around you.

The remedy to Trump politics isn’t more Trump politics.

He might be able to throw insults, and make the Orange Big Boy turn a deeper shade of red, but that doesn’t mean we should take politics in that direction. There should be as little insult and bullying as possible, and the only hard words in a strong democracy should come from the press, as they push for answers that accurately inform the people.

If we side with Avenatti in 2020, we sink to a Republican level. I would rather win the race the right way in 2024, than win the wrong way in 2020.

Despite the narrative that’s sang by many, liberals are currently in the passenger seat, and we’re riding shotgun to a maniac driver in the losing lane. The only thing we have left is the moral high ground, and if we back someone like Avenatti just because they have the stones to go toe to toe on insults with Trump, well, we’ll fall from that too.

Avenatti 2020 would be like reaching for the wheel of the car and swerving us into a tree at ninety miles per hour. It’d be terrifying and interesting for all of about twenty seconds, before everything explodes in our face, and our spinal cord launches itself through our eye-sockets.

Sure, we might have to sit Bernie or Biden in the losing seat, and endure another four years of being driven around by the maniac. But that means by 2024 we’ll have a star driver, some young hotshot with experience beyond their years because of the climate they had to endure.

Someone ready to take the wheel from the maniac, pull the car over, get out and go to work, because this is politics and not motor racing.

Once more, with feeling — The remedy to Trump politics isn’t more Trump politics.


Today is Thursday, November 15th and the British government is being shaken-up as I type.

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Is Nia Jax Dangerous?

Becky Lynch vs Ronda Rousey was to be, for many WWE fans, the main event of Survivor Series. Ronda is the shiny new toy, who is improving every week, and Becky is on a hot-streak we haven’t seen since Daniel Bryan’s 2014 run. Becky was going to be Ronda’s first legitimate challenger, in a battle of the arm bars — The two strongest characters in modern women’s wrestling.

Yeah, it’s not happening.

During a brawl between the Smackdown and Raw locker rooms on Monday, Becky received a stiff (real) forearm to the face that shattered her nose into a bloody pulp. According to WWE, Becky has a “broken face” (which always makes me think of that Pixies song) and won’t be able to compete on Sunday.

Less reliable sources have reported a potential concussion, and WWE are known to keep those below the media radar where possible, so those rumours could be truemours.

The perpetrator was Nia Jax, a wrestler with three and a half years experience who is cousin to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. She struck Becky with a real forearm smash, not at all pulling her strike.

“Don’t really hurt your opponent” is one of the basics of professional wrestling — Everyone else is your dancing partner, and without people to dance with, you’re just an insane person swinging your fists in front of 10,000 people.

Nia has developed somewhat of a reputation over the last few years, as the list of people she has legitimate injured mounts up. While she’s a grown woman, who is as capable of learning a craft as much as her colleagues, I’m not entirely sure it’s all her fault.

You see, Vince McMahon has an obsession with big things. He likes them big. Big men, big women; The bigger the better.

Due to this size fetish, he tends to put larger people on his live TV shows before they’ve completed training or gained enough experience. This happened with Big Show and Mark Henry, two super-heavyweights who debuted on WWE television the moment they were signed.

After a terrible couple of years for both men, they were sent back to one of WWE’s developmental territories, which in modern terms is their performance-center brand, NXT. They came back competent workers, and each found their own success, with Big Show becoming the most iconic giant for an entire generation.

Nia’s career has been rushed in a similar fashion, and she’s making the same mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes hurt people, which subsequently hurts the story. But sometimes they’re just basic errors that take audiences out of the body on body narrative that’s being told.

On occasion, a bigger wrestler can have very little training and learn on the job. Braun Strowman is an example of McMahon’s “big guy on TV now” rule working out. He learned fast and improved with each week, to the point where he’s almost unrecognisable when compared to his debut, three years ago.

Given that Nia was promoted a year after Strowman’s rapid rise, we can see why Vince thought he could do the same for the women’s division. He was looking to create a powerhouse, who would provide some depth and variety to his bantamweight-esq division.

It’s clear that Nia isn’t a Strowman, but that’s okay, she might be a Big Show — Someone who needs to revisit their training in order to be the best they can be for themselves and the company.

The list of women she has injured is alarming, given that Charlotte, Alexa and Becky are women WWE have pushed who have been injured by Nia during a hot-streak. These injuries all appear to have been written up as accidents by management, as Nia continues to receive storyline opportunities.

To be clear, I do think they are accidents, I don’t think Nia is trying to hurt these women on purpose in some Hulk Hogan-level politicking antics. Although, they do both use the leg-drop as a finishing move…

But accidents can happen too frequently in the world of wrestling, and WWE needs to ask themselves how many more storylines are worth ruining for the sake of having a heavyweight in the women’s division.

Nia is about to enter into another feud with Ronda Rousey, the chief active ticket-seller of the company right now, besides Brock Lesnar. If Nia hurts their money-maker, then WWE may take a serious look at her competencies, but until then I imagine they’ll continue to bury their billionaire heads in the sand.

Becky Lynch is on the hottest streak of her career, and of the entire year for the company at large. The most anticipated match of her run has been postponed, and maybe it’ll now be at WrestleMania, and it’ll all work out for the best.

It’s hard not to be mad at Nia for making a basic, rookie-level mistake, especially one that effects a wrestler so close to everyone’s hearts at the moment. I’ve suppressed my anger at the situation, but I’ve also seen vicious personal attacks aimed at Nia via social media.

These, obviously, aren’t warranted. You can criticise her performance as a professional in the public sphere, and analyse her effect on the industry, but the personal attacks are entirely uncalled for.

She may not be at the same skill level as her colleagues, but personal attacks only devalue the argument that she’s an unsafe worker who needs more training.

Nia got into the business at the age of 32, so it wasn’t her first-love as it is for many of the performers. However, there should be no shame in going back to training at age 36, especially when you started so late in life.

Six months at the Performance Center can only be a positive for everyone involved. It gives audiences a break from her character, and 90% of the audience would give her a second chance if she returned after a known period of training. She’ll hopefully no longer be injuring top stars, meaning that company-wide storylines won’t be effected either.

Mistakes happen in wrestling, absolutely, but trends and patterns also form. Wrestling is a learned, performed skill and even veterans with 20+ years experience can make mistakes. It could be that this is all a coincidence, but isn’t it better to help someone who clearly needs it, regardless of blame? Instead of just hoping that it won’t happen again.

I suppose with WWE, ignorance is Bliss.


Today is Wednesday, November 14th and WordPress has a Medium-like layout now and that’s cool.