The Fix Is In

In a bizarre twist, the thing I’ve missed most about British TV has been the prolific amount of panel shows on the air. I understand that their rise has seen a drop-off in scripted comedy, but in recent years the genre has championed young and alternative comics, and I miss that.

America’s first real panel show is now live on Netflix — The Fix is hosted by panel show veteran Jimmy Carr, and captained by Katherine Ryan and D.L Hughley. The premise is that they discuss a major issue effecting society today, and offer comedic solutions, or “fixes”, to the problem at hand.

Jimmy Carr’s monologue at the top of the show is familiar, as it’s in the same style as his 8 Out of 10 Cats openers. Even the delivery of the questions posed, and the back and forth between captains feels the same — To the point where I’m wondering if they brought a few of the writers Stateside along with the on-screen talent.

There are two elements that give this panel show its unique hook. The first is the to-camera arguments made by the team captains each week. They’re pre-written in an almost Daily Show correspondent-esq way. With the use of on-screen graphics and over the top arguments for ridiculous, tongue-in-cheek solutions.

These segments play into the strengths of D.L Hughley, and has him competing for most laughs with panel show experts like Jimmy and Katherine.

The second hook, and perhaps best part of the show, is the inclusion of Mona Chalabi in a statistics segment each episode.

My concern when reading the premise of The Fix was that it would be an irresponsible, lighthearted, almost dangerously flippant discussion of serious modern issues that effect real people in very real ways.

And it sort of is that, in a way. It definitely would be without the inclusion of Mona, who adds legitimacy to the topic of the week by providing raw data, and her excellent brand of easily digestible, graphics-based presentation.

Check out her credentials and career history, she’s doing great things and is a welcome inclusion on The Fix — And perhaps even the crux of its potential long-term success.

monachalibi

The guest comics have been a mixed-bag in the four episodes I’ve watched so far, but that’s to be expected of the panel show format. Some people have looked nervous, while others have displayed confidence and competence.

The key thing about the guest choices, whether they landed or not, is that they’re all stand-up comics. When panel shows work well they champion the current stand-up scene and act as a format for promoting new and touring comics.

And who knows, maybe some American comics just need to get used to the format, and they’ll be much more comfortable on a second appearance. Ron Funches, Al Madrigal and Nikki Glaser were the names who felt at home in this new environment.

The Fix also doesn’t shy away from dark, self-aware jokes that would make some of the great “shock” comics of the past blush. It’s clear that both Carr and Ryan haven’t been toned-down in any way. With Jimmy playing the WASP patsy to many jokes, and Katherine playing her usual role of privileged white-woman who’s very aware of that fact.

Netflix has done an excellent job of booking comics from different backgrounds, and I think that’s the only reason they can get away with some of the jokes being made.

With a diverse cast of comics all poking fun at issues surrounding race, sexuality and immigration, it sticks two middle-fingers to all those who say that “You can’t make jokes about anything anymore, everything is so PC and nanny-state.”

No, it turns out if you invite everyone to the table and not just middle-aged white guys, you can pretty much still make jokes about anything.

The Fix might not end up being the greatest panel show of all time, or even the best one produced in America when all is said and done (and by “all” I mean the human race in 2046). But the key thing is that Netflix have put their best possible foot forward in establishing the genre to American audiences.

By taking experienced panel show performers, not straying too far from the British structure, and using (almost exclusively) American comics, Netflix has hopefully secured the first successful show of the genre.

If you’re a fan of panel shows then you won’t be disappointed with The Fix. If you’re new to panel shows then try to watch as much QI and Would I Lie To You? as possible. Cats Does Countdown is also great for championing alternative comics, although I sometimes think it’s too bizarre a premise for a starting point.

I give The Fix, 5/7 or 7/9, but not 8/10. Maybe like a 7.5. I haven’t settled on a ratings scale yet. Just watch the show for an easy, and surprisingly responsible, bit of tele.


Today is Monday, December 17th and women’s wrestling is currently better than men’s wrestling.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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On Climate Change

I couldn’t scientifically or accurately explain the exact cause of climate change. I could give a basic understanding and overview, but I’d miss out some specific detail that would only prove the climate change deniers right. I put my trust in scientists, 97.8% of the world’s scientists to be exact, as consensus separates your Einsteins from your Frankensteins.

Actually I suppose fiction separates those two, but you get my point.

The President of the United States is a climate change denier. Or is he? In an interview with CBS yesterday he seemed to accept that perhaps the world is getting hotter.

“I think something’s happening. Something’s changing and it’ll change back again. I don’t think it’s a hoax. I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s manmade. I will say this: I don’t want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t want to lose millions and millions of jobs.”

There’s a lot to unpack there, but before I do, remember that the leader of the free world said that. It doesn’t matter what side of the political spectrum you’re on, those aren’t the words of a well-informed leader. After living here for a year I’ve met good people in this country and they all deserve better than him.

So Trump doesn’t think it’s a hoax, but he also doesn’t think that climate change is manmade. Given that the entire stance from scientists on climate change is that it’s the whole “manmade” part that’s dangerous; We’re in no stronger a position than we were before Trump gave this interview.

To disagree with 97.8% of scientists and STILL have your followers believe what you say is astounding. How high does that number have to go before people start doubting other known truths? 99.9% of scientists accept that gravity exists, but if Trump said that he’s held to the ground at all times by six invisible golden space-monkeys, would they still buy it?

Denying climate change is almost that ridiculous. Hey, I said almost.

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It’s actually those last couple of sentences that have his followers believing his every word — He relates the problem back to issues that will effect them. And that’s a pretty smart thing to be doing Donald, well done. He says that he doesn’t want to spend America’s money and lose-out on millions of jobs — Which is fair, those are two assets that the leader of a country should be protecting.

It would be very leader-like, were it the truth. Recently, renewable energy industries have passed their fossil-fuel counterparts in the number of jobs created and held by Americans.

Some sources will include those employed by gas-stations (850,000) in the “two-million” employed by fossil-fuels numbers. But as 48 states have self-serving gas-pumps, I assume they’re referring to those who work the convenience store. Even if everyone drives electric, people will still need a booth to buy melted cheese and scratch-cards from while their car charges-up. In fact, people will have to wait longer (but drive further), and so therefore spend more than they would at a regular gas station. The economy.

As the fossil-fuel industry shrinks, the renewable-energy industry grows. So when Trump talks about losing millions of jobs (1.1million to be exact), he should actually be discussing the redistribution of the workforce, as that’s the reality. Just over a million jobs would be lost (slowly, over time), but even more (or at least the same) would need to be created.

What about the whole “spending trillions and trillions” part? He’s referring to deals such as the Paris Climate Agreement, which he pulled-out of in record time — something Trump is somewhat of an expert at.

Deals like this are to help combat the effects of climate change, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. They’re also weighted in favour of countries who currently produce very little in emissions. America is the second biggest polluter of the environment, behind only China, so it would make sense why their bill would be so high.

You don’t take a massive dump on the restaurant floor and then act surprised when you’re charged for your food and the carpet cleaning. You’re not banned from the restaurant though, because you’re America and you’re the life of the party. Everyone secretly hates you, but they all want to be you. America is that terrible friend, it’s an arsehole, but it’s your arsehole.

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There’s one thing I don’t understand about Republican refusal to accept climate change, and that’s the main side-effect of increasing the global temperature — Mass immigration.

Most of the United States are in a cosy, sweet-spot that won’t be too badly effected by climate change for the remaining years of the century. Florida will be gone by then, but there’s more land to the North — Other states to inhabit. However, Canada and Mexico, as well as huge parts of South America, Africa and the Middle East will become uninhabitable.

America will have tens of millions of people crossing its boarders, and not for a chance at a better life, but because the alternative would be guaranteed death.

Now, Republicans hate immigration — We know this. Despite the fact that the majority of immigration is legal (such as mine), they still believe that the majority is illegal (such as not-mine). Even the word immigrant puts them a little on-edge. So, surely, to stop the future mass-migration from happening, Republicans should be in support of climate change agreements?

I’m not talking about Republican politicians — They’re going to protect the oil industry until they die, otherwise they won’t get their pocket-money. I’m talking about Republican voters.

Despite popular opinion, I love you guys. A world with only left-wing people wouldn’t actually work. We need the balance, the debate, the back and forth. I’m letting you know that helping to combat climate change, by voting for those who understand it’s a genuine threat (and yes, there are some Republicans who understand that it is), is actually in the best interests of your anti-immigration viewpoint.

Climate change is happening and it is man-made. It’s a cause that should have out universal backing. Instead, politicians (on both sides) are treating it as a partisan issue to gain votes and support. They’re using it to divide us, when it should be the one issue that unites us.

And please, ignore the President on this subject — He’s not well.


Today is Monday, October 15th and I hope you have a productive week, look after yourself.

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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?

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