Bisbee, AZ

We arrived in Bisbee late in the day. There was about an hour of daylight left and so the first stop was, naturally, a great hole in the Earth. A former copper mine and current museum mark the outskirts of the town — Although only one is responsible for the cavernous hole.

The Copper Queen Mine is the reason that Bisbee exists today. Without it spewing out its bountiful greens and blues, there would’ve been no need for a town like this on the edge of the Arizona desert.

After a quick look at the hole, and a comparison to the size of the Grand Canyon (GC is four times deeper at its deepest point), we made for the town itself.

Rows of arcades, cobblestone streets and shopfronts that are all rich in history and deservingly proud of it. The cobblestones were justifiably arrogant.

We were perhaps the youngest people in town that day, which became clear after reading that Bisbee is a popular retirement destination.

When you think of retirement locations, you think of housing communities and golf courses in Florida, and not tiny towns on the border. Then you realise that one day too, if the universe allows, you will become old. And it hits you that you wouldn’t want to live in a community devoid of culture, and that a place like Bisbee would be an idilic backdrop in which to play out your twilight.

A vintage clothing store had at least fifteen coats I would’ve bought, were I not a struggling writer. I’ll sell a novel, I said, and then come back to buy all the coats in Bisbee.

“That’s what they all say,” said the warm-faced shopkeeper, whose coat I also wanted.

Every artist community in rural Arizona is represented in the form of a storefront. Similar styles were grouped together at the very least, or perhaps simply curated by the semi-retirees who have a good eye.

We weren’t about to blow a stack of green (a term Americans have never used but one I’m trying to perpetuate) on some fine art, not in our socioeconomic position. But we did buy a handmade Christmas tree ornament — The Millennial budget equivalent of displayable creativity.

Yes, we’ll be hanging it year-round on a house plant in order to acquire its full value.

The streets in Bisbee remind me of old English towns in the middle of the countryside. Only with the added proud individuality of the, admittedly mythical, American dream. Each building is trying to declare who it is as a non-sentient being, instead of attempting to blend-in as discreetly as possible.

There are locals who’re jolly, and those who just want to get about town without seeing another bloody tourist. Either way, it shows a love for the place they call home.

Most of the homes in Bisbee are on the sides of streets that wind their way up hillsides. With some being built against some of the steeper ridges on the outskirts of the town.

The shops close and a wood-panelled bar draws us in. It looks more like an English pub than an American watering hole, and so I am home.

We sit at the bar, where pints and gin happen, depending on who you are in the group. I people-listen to the table beside us. One that begins with two friends, but slowly more join them over the course of the evening.

They all look retired, and sound merry — A tight-nit group of six, plus a dog. They bitch about the President, politics and the current state of things, in the same way that myself and my friends do now. There’s forty years between us and we are still each other. We are human.

Of course, you can’t just say these sorts of words to strangers, and so I listen to them laughing together. One of them touts that they photoshopped an image of George HW Bush’s dog taking a dump on Trump’s head.

Rebels to the end. It’s a blatant and tasteless satire, but who’s critiquing at their age. All that matters is that they’re still at the game of punching up at those who deserve it.

At night, the town is something from an indie postcard. Hotels light up, and Christmas illuminations become apparent. This is a town that’s looking after itself, or at least trying to.

We bump into a local man, who strikes up a conversation with us. After bonding over time spent in Colorado, he tells us we should really visit the mining museum. Maybe next time, or every day after I move here.

He left us by saying, “Someone said something to me when I first arrived in town, and that’s that everyone in Bisbee holds an opinion, but nobody holds a prejudice.”

I could’ve change that quote — To be first-hand from the stranger himself — But I liked that it was handed down, and that perhaps the person who spoke to him of the town in that way, wasn’t even the original source.

I saw no sign of prejudice, I saw retirees from all kinds of backgrounds living in harmony. If it all changes when the tourists leave for the day, then fair enough. But they do a very good job of keeping up the act if that is the case.

I can imagine visiting someone I once knew, in this town — An old, forgotten friend who has taken up residence in a discrete two-bedroom on a hill. I have been here before, and yet I have not.

The roads are familiar, and the people are this pleasant combination of all who I’ve ever met, and all who I’ve ever dreamt-up in stories. This is a town that has always been in the back of my mind, that has now revealed itself to me at the edge of Arizona.

I begin to wonder if I am the forgotten friend who is supposed to take up residence here, and that in my later years I can greet someone who has travelled thousands of miles to see what’s happening in the town beside a massive hole.

We are each a line of mirrors — One for every year of our existence. At first glance we can only see our own, present self, reflected back at us. But if you tilt the glass, and find the angle, you can see where you were, or where you will be.

I can see the town of Bisbee in one of my mirrors.


Today is Tuesday, December 11th and a talented friend did a thing.

Tip My Jar?

If you like what I write and can spare a dollar, then it’d be a greatly appreciated act of kindness! If you like what I write and can’t spare a dollar then I greatly appreciate you! If you hate what I write and also can’t spare a dollar, then why are you still reading this?

$1.00

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.

Tip My Jar?

If you like what I write and can spare a dollar, then it’d be a greatly appreciated act of kindness! If you like what I write and can’t spare a dollar then I greatly appreciate you! If you hate what I write and also can’t spare a dollar, then why are you still reading this?

$1.00

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.

Tip My Jar?

If you like what I write and can spare a dollar, then it’d be a greatly appreciated act of kindness! If you like what I write and can’t spare a dollar then I greatly appreciate you! If you hate what I write and also can’t spare a dollar, then why are you still reading this?

$1.00

Did Jim Acosta?

Like, “accost her” — As in to approach someone aggressively, but also because his surname is Acosta. I know all the tabloids are probably running with that gag, but I read grown-up news (mostly), so I haven’t seen it yet. It’s early, give me a break.

This is the news that the White House has suspended the press pass of CNN’s Jim Acosta, due to how he manhandled a white house intern. Live, HD footage shows that he didn’t and that he danced his arm around her to try and avoid unnecessary physical contact. Doctored, pixelated video shows him force his hand down on her arm.

It’s suspected that this footage was created by far-right blogger and Infowars editor-in-chief, Paul Joseph Watson, and shared on his channels. This is typical behaviour from him, a man who makes a living on conspiracy, and who thinks that smoking in a profile picture will make him look like a right, proper badass.

But, get this, the White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, then shared the video as evidence in support of the removal of Jim Acosta’s press pass.

There’s a lot of Orwellian nightmare to unpack here, but first I want to clear something up about Jim Acosta and CNN. I don’t watch CNN, I don’t consider it to be an outstanding news source. It’s better than some but worse than others.

My main gripe with them is that they’re too easily baited by Trump, and the interactions between Trump and Acosta that lead to the microphone being taken from his hand by an intern are a prime example of this.

Acosta asked his question and got an answer that was damning for the President, it exposed that he was only really using the migrant caravans as bait for the midterms and now it’s in the past (so we won’t hear anything about them from Mr Trump going forward). Now, if Acosta had left it at that one question, and handed the microphone to the next reporter (who also had a question that exposed the President), then he wouldn’t have found himself in that situation.

<> on November 7, 2018 in Washington, DC.

In an open-forum press conference, the best way to create an accurate view of who Mr Trump is, is for each network to ask a question, and maybe one follow-up if the answer demands it. Acosta was onto his fourth question before the White House intern attempted to remove his microphone, and quite frankly we needed to hear from other news networks.

Despite what he says, Trump loves CNN. They gave him so much air-time during his 2016 campaign, and their outright negative portrayal of him certainly helped to fire-up his diehard supporters. He loves them because “no publicity is bad publicity”.

Covering Trump is obviously an uncharted minefield, but to the majority who can see through his charade of prejudice and projection, all we need is one perfectly worded question to be reminded of who he really is. Sure, with CNN constantly berating him, we see that he’s a bully, but we know he’s a bully — It’s the one established truth about him that even Republican voters have agreed with me on.

The back and forth between Trump and CNN is not healthy, and they share the blame equally. Despite what Trump says, their ratings are strong, and that’s because they cover Trump. Which, again, he loves.

Now, onto the “fake news”, a term that often means “thing I don’t agree with”, especially when it comes from the mouth of Trump. Whatever your definition of this terrifying phenomenon is, we can agree that doctored video would be an example of misinformation.

Well, that means the White House have shared Fake News, all to justify a decision they made. The edited video speeds up a few frames, to make the contact between Acosta and the intern look violent, and they also cut the audio where he says the words “pardon me m’am”.

Sarah Sanders sharing this video means one of two things; Either she knowingly did it, and was aware that this was edited footage, or she had no idea. The second option is, honestly, perfectly reasonable given how many people are falling for it online without viewing the original broadcast.

If she logged on to Twitter after the conference and saw a video that supported her administration’s decision, then of course she’s going to share it — Because it justifies her worldview, it’s evidence that backs-up the words of her and her colleagues.

sarahsanders.jpeg

And this is the real danger of misinformation, and spreading it so readily, because many of us like being right, we like it when things go our way. This will only become more dangerous as technology advances and we inevitably reach a point where video editing doesn’t look so obvious.

I read websites like the BBC, The Guardian, AP and NPR — Not just because they largely report in ways that I consider ethical and are supported by multiple sources before they run a story, but also because people on both extremes of the spectrum accuse them of being “too liberal/too conservative”. If people are saying both of these things about your news network, then you’re doing your job.

It terrifies me that some people see a doctored video on Twitter, from a non-credible news source (Not even Infowars, just the personal Twitter account of a conspiracy theorist who works there!) and take it as the absolute truth that they’re willing to bet their morals on.

Please, if you’re reading these words — Use multiple and neutral sources for your news. Personal blogs (like this one) are not news sources, and Infowars is just a personal blog with financial backing, presented as the truth.

If you believe the words of people like Paul Joseph Watson, I’d love to have a one on one conversation with you, in order to understand you better. The only way we’re going to reduce the divide in this nation, is by understanding the perspectives of one another.

You’ve read my words, I don’t like Trump or CNN and I think on balance they were both in the wrong, and that the real enemy is misinformation — So now I want to hear from you.

This is all a dangerous situation, and while I don’t agree with the way Jim Acosta handled his allotted time for questioning, he certainly didn’t assault a White House intern. Although maybe he does deserve a time-out from his press-pass for another reason; Simply for being a below-par reporter in an age where we need precise and vigilant journalists who won’t fall for Trump’s Us vs Them bait.


Today is Friday, November 9th and while it has some of the best individual tracks, The White Album shouldn’t be considered as The Beatles’ best offering — It has a lot of guff.

Tip My Jar?

If you like what I write and can spare a dollar, then it’d be a greatly appreciated act of kindness! If you like what I write and can’t spare a dollar then I greatly appreciate you! If you hate what I write and also can’t spare a dollar, then why are you still reading this?

$1.00

Election Day Hangover

I ended up watching a stream of the BBC election night coverage. I gave the American channels a go, but they were either too loud or too dumbed-down. Election night is supposed to be a mix of complex issues, tight races and bright colours, and the BBC provides all of that.

Don’t give me any grief about illegally streaming the BBC News Channel. I paid my licence fee as a student, where many others did not, and so I feel like I’m owed the occasional broadcast in my life overseas.

Don’t worry Tony Hall, I’m not illegally watching your precious Bodyguard. I bet you can’t believe your luck, can you? That the hot-guy-generic-plot formula has worked for you yet again.

bodyguard

I’m feeling sort-of neutral about the mid-terms, because everything happened as expected. You’ll hear both sides claiming victory, and they’re right to do so. Neither party did anything unexpected, but Democrats had to take the House and Republicans had to hold on to the Senate.

Trump is seeing this as a personal victory, due to the fact that the “blue wave” was a mere blue ripple. Only getting covered in a little bit of bird shit is not a victory, it’s just not quite as bad as falling head-first into a cart full of manure.

Although, if you’d been told by the media for months that you are to expect a head-first dive into a steaming pile of horse dung, and all that happens is a seagull craps on your left shoulder — Then I guess you’d be celebrating.

“We have the best, American-made seagulls, okay? I welcome the white substance that is now upon my person. This creamy puddle of waste even says it’ll vote for me! Sean Hannity, get up here and talk to the people!”

Trump says that the candidates who kept to his party-line were re-elected and those who didn’t are now gone. That’s not strictly true, as most Floridian candidates distanced themselves from Trump on issues such as climate change and immigration, and many Republicans found re-election there.

A huge positive for America as a whole is the higher-than-usual voter turnout. It’ll be some time before we see the official figures, but most are predicting that they’re extremely high for midterm elections. A higher voter turnout means a stronger Democracy, and while 50-60% is far from perfect, it’s better than the usual 40%.

There were still huge pockets of eligible voters who didn’t cast a vote this time around, and that’s okay. We have two years to convince them otherwise. Especially as those who support nationalism (he said it, he called himself a nationalist) are already casting their votes.

In theory those who remain are the apathetic middle, who’re sick of the back and forth of American politics — Which is a fair viewpoint to have. What I would say to those people is that you can make all of that go away by voting against the party who is currently trying to divide America in ways we haven’t seen for decades.

betobeto.jpeg

Beto O’Rourke didn’t win in Texas, but he fought the incumbent Ted Cruz to within 250,000 votes. Texas is officially purple. Either that or they recognise that Beto is a good human being regardless of his party affiliation. He had an uphill battle, like most Democratic senate races this time around, but fought respectfully to serve the people of his state.

This certainly won’t be the last we’ll hear of Beto. If you can nearly turn Texas blue in a senate race, then you’ll be making a presidential campaign bid in the future, perhaps as early as 2020.

I wouldn’t be mad at this, what the Democratic party needs more than anything else right now is youth. Every time I hear Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden speak, I can feel how out of touch they are. Their hearts are in the right place, but their time has been and gone. I probably shouldn’t be saying that about the future speaker of the house but, for me, it’s the truth.

Bernie Sanders is about the only member of the old-guard who still sounds like an idealistic thirty-year-old, albeit with the surly undertones of a hippy grandfather who has been through some serious political battles.

I want Bernie to act as the Professor-X to a whole team of young Democrats who’re all under the age of fifty. They can call them the B-Men, or the S-Men, or maybe a more gender-neutral term. Even though I’m fairly certain the term ‘X-Men’ is gender neutral because many of them are women.

Young people voted somewhat this time around, but many still dread the idea of casting a vote for some old guy who doesn’t inspire them. Get Beto on stage with his bass guitar and have him finger-away for seven-minutes straight and I guarantee that’ll get young people to the polls. He might have to stream Fortnight on Twitch for a few weeks to gain some extra credibility, but I’m sure that’s a sacrifice he’s willing to make.

sinemaarizona.png

Arizona’s senate race is still officially too close to call, but either way Arizona will be sending their first female senator to DC, and that’s a huge step towards equality. It was a battle billed as activist vs veteran, with the Republicans spending millions on vicious attack-ads against Kyrsten Sinema.

The truth of the race is that both women are ideologically strong, and both are good choices for the state of Arizona. I just always side with the candidate who isn’t launching attack-ads, and is instead stating what they stand for. It’s not my fault they usually happen to be Democrats.

In a way, these midterms have kept everything business as usual. Democrats were expected to take the house and Republicans were expected to hold the senate. These events are typical of the first elections following a new President.

I know many were hoping for a blue wave, but personally all I hoped for was Democratic control of the house. For what it’s worth I read a lot of blogs from people on both sides of the aisle, and it has only been right-wing blogs who have been touting the “laughable idea of a blue wave”, whereas liberal bloggers have remained quietly optimistic at most.

Before I sign-off for the day, I want to warn my fellow filthy lefties about the right-wing controlling our narrative. They think we want communism and so they brand us as communists.

In reality we want someone left of centre who makes most people happy and tries their best, so we can all go back to talking about the politics of Game of Thrones, instead of this impossible Game of Trumps everyone seems to be playing with our lives right now.


Today is Wednesday, November 7th and if anyone rats me out over the licence fee thing I’ll be livid.

Tip My Jar?

If you like what I write and can spare a dollar, then it’d be a greatly appreciated act of kindness! If you like what I write and can’t spare a dollar then I greatly appreciate you! If you hate what I write and also can’t spare a dollar, then why are you still reading this?

$1.00

Election Day Anxieties

I’m writing this on the morning of the US midterms, so if you’re reading these words after the results have already been announced, then please excuse my current, probably inaccurate, demeanour. Although I’m always anxious, so there’s probably no change.

I’m a realist, or at least that’s what I’ve come to accept, so I think that Democrats will take the house and Republicans will hang on to the senate. This is fine. Taking back some control from the Republicans is all that matters here, as America is never healthy when one party holds all the cards. Government should be purple.

There’s no senate seat up for grabs in my home state of Colorado, so nothing overly exciting has been happening locally. We’ve had our fair share of attack ads though — I still can’t believe those exist in a country that claims to be a great democracy.

Our Democratic candidate for Governor is Jared Polis, who is a rich (I’m talking two-hundred million dollar rich), white, career politician. Although he is openly gay, so no, he didn’t run for the wrong party by mistake. Currently LGBT people, who make up 5% of American citizens, hold around 1% of elected positions.

I wish I could say that Jared Polis would be helping to balance that figure out, but he is currently an elected member of the house of representatives, so it’s more like he’s moving from one end of the 1% to another.

That’s funny, as a gay man in government and a multi-millionaire, he’s a member of two 1% clubs. Both are depressing for completely different reasons. So good luck Jared, and try to do something ethical and humanitarian with all of that unnecessary wealth you’ve acquired.

It has been interesting to watch the Beto vs Cruz senate race. It’s perhaps the most high-profile election in these mid-terms, due to Cruz’s high-profile status. From an outsider’s perspective it looks like a no-brainer. Beto supports the right to own a firearm, but wants a ban on assault rifles. He wants to encourage business and support entrepreneurs, but still protect the social rights of Texas citizens.

Meanwhile Ted Cruz is…well…Ted Cruz. A man who decided to start saying the word “y’all” as a way to appeal to voters in Texas. How patronising. Here is the data, displayed in a wonderful graph by reddit user mvoviri.

cruzyall

Also, Beto was a bassist in a punk rock band in the early 90s, which means you can trust him with just about everything, except your girlfriend.

Trump has been holding even more rallies, despite the fact that his name isn’t on the ballot. It makes sense from the Republican perspective, as his was the brand that won them the presidency. The hope from them is that the people who suddenly became Republicans for Trump, will also vote for their candidates if he backs them.

His backing has been the kiss of death in several special elections in the last two years, with many stating that the mid-terms will be seen as a vote of confidence on the walking embarrassment to both America, and our species.

Last night he had Fox “News” host Shaun Hannity appear live on stage and rally for Trump and his candidates. Not that they had any to begin with, but this should eliminate any and all credibility from Fox as a news outlet. Not that it’s really a news outlet, as it isn’t eligible for journalism awards, or recognised as one by anyone other than its viewers. That, my beautiful friends, is propaganda.

Just to be clear, a “journalist” endorsing a political candidate nullifies that persons status as a journalist. They can privately support whoever they want, but if they’re campaigning on behalf of a party then they can no longer accurately perform to the ethical standards of their job description.

Not that Hannity ever had standards, or ethics. You know what, this was actually very on-brand behaviour from the frontman for the ham-faced disenfranchised middle-classes. And no, that wasn’t the name of Beto’s punk band.

seanhannity.jpg

Automated racist messages have been left on the answering machines of voters in Florida and Georgia. They use slurs in an attempt to undermine candidates and drum-up support from the rising nationalist-core of America.

As a sidenote, I’m glad that Trump outed himself as a nationalist, because now nobody can call me ridiculous for comparing his version of the Republican party to the rise of populist nationalism in 1930s Europe. Nazi is such a reductive term though, so 20th century. I think Trumpist, MAGA-head or Nu-Republican make more sense for our times.

I’m hoping that nobody is influenced by these messages, and they’re seen by all as pathetic attempts at trolling the electorate. It’s typical of racists to hide behind an automated answering machine message, instead of owning their beliefs and values.

Even with a self-proclaimed nationalist in the White House, you still can’t own your backwards opinions? You spineless, snowflake, safe-space, (Gab, Gab is your safe-space, you literally have your own branded safe-space) sycophantic, small-minded shits.

I feel as though I’m going to puke, and I’ll probably feel like this until we get a real sense for how the election has gone. I’m prepared for all eventualities. Especially as during the eight years of my active political participation, the world has taken a gradual shift towards right-wing politics.

America has the opportunity to draw a line in the sand today, to show the world that we don’t have to bend to nationalistic populism anymore. That it’ll take another several years, especially considering who Brazil have just elected, but we can start to fight back from this position.

Rational, free-thinking, empathy-filled citizens are currently being pushed off a cliff by a barrage of vitriolic hatred, backed up by lies and misinformation — And I’m going to level with you, I’m starting to get the sense that our fleshy bodies won’t survive the visceral splatter onto the jagged rocks below.

But what if we all link arms? Just as they did in 1970s Coca-Cola commercials, like the filthy progressives we are. What if we did that, dug or heels in and started to push back against the tide?

We do that by voting, by encouraging others to vote, and by informing each other as best we can. Democracy is beautiful, but only when we all participate.

Look after yourselves and each other. You do that today by voting for the people who will look after the most vulnerable citizens. It’s not my fault they’re usually Democrats.


Today is Tuesday, November 6th and I can’t cope. I’m emotionally crippled by the unknown.

Tip My Jar?

If you like what I write and can spare a dollar, then it’d be a greatly appreciated act of kindness! If you like what I write and can’t spare a dollar then I greatly appreciate you! If you hate what I write and also can’t spare a dollar, then why are you still reading this?

$1.00

Attacks Ads and Jared Polis

It’s just five days until the most significant US midterm elections in forty years, and the hate-filled rhetoric is really starting to boil over. Attack ads, baseless accusations and off-the-cuff claims seem to be the Republican strategy, and this appears to be more alarming to me than any Americans I spend time with.

Attack ads are not normal in the UK, it’s not seen as the “done thing”. Maybe that’s why Americans think British people are “polite, but also a little stuck-up”. They’re not wrong.

Around two months ago they started airing on YouTube, on social media and on the occasional TV broadcast I’d watch, and nobody else in the room seemed surprised by their presence. A typical, local attack ad has been along the lines of…

Because my only exposure to attack ads that are base-level personality jibes (not about policy) has been Parks and Recreation, I thought at first that they were comedic shorts put between programming. Until they started to use names I recognised from signs around town.

The most alarming attack ads were the five second clips on YouTube that play before a video. I’ve only seen anti-Democratic ads on this platform, so my analysis here is a little partisan. If someone can find equal anti-Republican attack ads to send to me, I’d genuinely love to see them.

In the space of five seconds, with flashing, brightly coloured text a woman rapidly reads “LIBERAL JARED POLIS WANTS TO TAKE AWAY YOUR TAX DOLLARS AND SPEND IT ON HEALTHCARE, COLORADO CAN’T AFFORD LIBERAL JARED POLIS.”

I thought subliminal messaging had been outlawed, but apparently not in America. I could only find a different, twenty-second ad on YouTube, but it’s paid for by the same company, “Republican Governors Association”, and uses a similar tone, albeit a little less rapid.

Now, I don’t want to talk about the political ideology of Jared Polis here, I don’t know enough about him to vocally endorse him. But, after reading about him for just five minutes (on non-partisan website balotpedia) I learned that he’s not a “far-left” politician, he’s a classic centrist (rich, entrepreneurial business-orientated, supported Hillary Clinton). He’s a multi-millionaire, who has some basic humanitarian ideas, such as universal healthcare.

In fact, healthcare a small part of his policy, his main focus seems to be on business. He’s a “self made millionaire”, just like their man in the White House, so Republicans should love Jared Polis and his policies.

His centrist politics of family values, business investment and job creation are what won Donald the White House. But because of attack-ads like this one, they won’t vote for him because the TV said so, and probably because he has a (D) next to his name.

I wouldn’t support Jared Polis, because I don’t see how a multi-millionaire can have the best interests of constituents in their hearts or minds. You can be rich and serve the people, don’t get me wrong, but Polis is worth nearly two-hundred million dollars. It’s not Trump money, but it’s pretty damn close. Nobody should have that much wealth, especially not people who claim to serve others.

So I identify more with the Democratic party on a lot of issues, and after five minutes of unbiased critical analysis I can see that Polis isn’t for me, and that traditional Republicans would be better off in their daily lives if they voted for him.

Remember that in local elections, you should ignore the (R) and the (D), and look at the people as individuals. Look at their records, their history, and how they’ve voted on key issues so far.

The sad part is that some people will view that attack-ad and not vote for Jared Polis, even though it would be in their best interest to do so. They won’t think to do some research for themselves, even though it takes no time at all in the grand scheme of absolutely everything.

Attack ads like this one are simplistic acts of cowardice, that play into our worst, base human emotion; Fear. The Republican Governors Association are worried that if they tell you the cold-hard facts about Polis, you’d actually want to vote for him, and so they make you scared of him. They use quotes from sources that just aren’t reputable. It would be like a pro-Polis ad using a sentence from this very blog post as evidence that you should vote for him — Please don’t do that.

Attack ads like this play into the double-standards of Republican voters, and they’re assuming that from the outset. To put it simply, they think you’re idiots.

Personally, I think Republican voters are misinformed by a bunch of people who want nothing more than to control others, but that they’re individuals who genuinely want the best for their family and country. And so, because of their commendable sincerity on the beliefs and issues they hold true to, billionaires make them scared that their way of life is under attack, in exchange for unquestionable support.

thenewsroom.gif

Dear Republicans, I’m a filthy liberal, and I would never insult your intelligence, but your own leaders are counting on you to not do your own research and therefore fall into the traps of hypocrisy.

For example, this attack ad claims that Jared Polis has not paid tax in five years. Which may well be true, despite the fact that the source is a local article from ten years ago, with two disparate connecting quotes, of which I can find no evidence of online after a frustrating half-hour search.

But let’s assume, for a second, that it’s true. Republicans supported Donald Trump, and as much as they can claim that the media makes up a lot of things about him (they don’t have to, but let’s assume), it’s generally accepted that Trump has avoided tax for his entire life. He won’t show his tax returns, and there has to be a reason for that.

So this Republican-funded ad attacks Polis for doing the very same thing that the President of the United States has done all of his life. And they’re assuming that Republican voters won’t even notice that.

Attack ads are new and strange to me, I’d laugh at them if I didn’t think that some people were taking them seriously. Personally, I don’t care who you vote for, because that’s the beauty of a strong democracy. However, a strong democracy also doesn’t expect its voters to make an important decision based on twenty-seconds of footage. America is better than that. America can be better than that.

With election day just around the corner, and reports of premature success from both sides of the aisle, my only advice to anyone on either side of the political spectrum would be to stay accurately informed, and vote.


Today is Thursday, November 1st and would any Americans like to celebrate Bonfire Night with me? I miss November 5th.

Tip My Jar?

If you like what I write and can spare a dollar, then it’d be a greatly appreciated act of kindness! If you like what I write and can’t spare a dollar then I greatly appreciate you! If you hate what I write and also can’t spare a dollar, then why are you still reading this?

$1.00