Shutdown (Reprise)

We’re on the brink of a government shutdown and it’s all because The Actual President of the Actual United States of America can’t secure money for his giant wall on the Mexican border.

The House has passed a bill with a budget for the border wall, but it’s expected to fail to get through the senate today.

To briefly recap to anyone out of the loop — Back in 2015 Trump promised his band of exploited and disenfranchised followers a giant wall to help keep illegal immigrants out. He promised that Mexico would be the ones to pay for the wall. He has spent the last twelve months trying to get US taxpayers to pay for the wall.

Trump and his usual group of petrified yes-men in congress are the only people in government who actually want the wall. All Democrats, and a surprising portion of Republicans recognise it as either amoral, unethical or simply a waste of money.

It’s an entirely symbolic solution, and not one that contains a remote amount of practicality.

Many estimates have been put forward over the last three years in regards to the cost of the wall. With experts claiming anywhere between $15billion and $70billion in construction, and $150million and $750million in annual upkeep.

Not to mention the fact that all of the money America currently spends on border security — Armed patrols, officers, detention centres, concentration camps — They will still need funding on top of these new wall budgets.

You can’t just put up a 30ft high wall and then leave it alone, people will still try to climb and cross as they do now. So to feel safe, the American people will still need all of the existing security as well as the wall itself.

Even if we take the lowest estimates, of which I can only find FOX as a source for. But even if we just take those figures, that’s still a lot of money the American people will have to fork out in order to fulfil the dreams of an insane man.

“I’m going to build a wall, it will be 30ft high and Mexico will pay for it!”

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So the government is set to go into shutdown if this funding can’t be secured, with certain departments and branches closing as early as Friday night.

Both sides will blame each other, as is tradition, and both will have a legitimate reason to do so. You see, strangely, this shutdown isn’t entirely Donald Trump’s fault, even though he’s the one making the ridiculous demands in regards to immigration.

Do you remember how Democrats complained that Republicans stopped them from passing legitimate healthcare reform? And now (some) Republicans are complaining that Democrats are stopping them from building a wall.

Neither of these things are bad, it’s just democracy doing its thing. As much as I want Universal Healthcare for America, I can’t be too mad about Obama’s failure to pass strong and decent reform, because it failed in a democratic process.

So the wall needs to fail. Not because this liberal, snowflake cuck says so, but because the majority of elected officials do. As well as the majority of Americans themselves. So this isn’t really anyone’s fault (or it’s everyones), democracy is just doing its thing and Trump will have to concede that America does not want this wall.

If, by some evil miracle from the dark lord himself, funding is secured for the wall and construction starts before 2020, I think it’ll help Trump with his original core base of voters, and Trump knows this.

Even if it’s paid for by taxpayers and costs drastically more than Trump has estimated, and also doesn’t solve any legitimate immigration issues, his core followers will see that he promised a wall, and a wall is what they’re getting.

Imagine you’re promised a free meal by your boss, to say thank you for all the hard work you’ve done this year. Except after you arrived at the restaurant, and ordered your meal, your boss announces that you’re now paying for the meal.

You shrug and think, “Oh well, I guess that’s okay, I only ordered a pasta salad.” But then the boss says you have to pay for his meal as well — A real vanity plate of wealth, with lobster, caviar and golden truffles.

You’re pretty angry at this point, but you feel as though you can’t say anything because he’s your boss, and he’s fired people in the past.

You pay the extortionate bill at the end, nervously wondering how you’re going to pay for Christmas for your family this year. But hey, at least you’ve been fed, you’ve had a meal out with the boss and he likes you.

Then, he slaps you on the arse and says in an excited voice, “Come on, let’s go puke it all up onto a homeless dude while you thank me over and over for a wonderful dinner!”

As you push two fingers down your throat, you squeak out little “Thank-yous”, before sicking up onto your own shoes. That’s them ruined.

I think the analogy ran away from me a little there, but the point is that this grand plan isn’t what was originally promised, and while his followers should continue to support him on his other policies (name one?), this is one they should fight back on.

If I were a MAGA-head, I’d be so mad that Mexico wasn’t paying for the wall that I also wouldn’t want this bill to pass. If I were a MAGA-head, I wouldn’t want to be puking on my own shoes.

I suppose the one good thing about the wall potentially being built, is that when we crawl out of this facist-lite hole most of our species are currently in, we can collectively bring down the wall as an act of unity and Make Earth Great Again.

See, that even spells MEGA — An actual word!

In the age of austerity, it’s probably only fitting that tattered walls are the new golden statues built to the sky to glorify one man.


Today is Friday, December 21st and it’s always better to try something and fail than to never try at all. That whole thing Yoda said is American Dream BS.

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Youthquake

I was reminded of the word “Youthquake” on a podcast this week. It was a word used to describe the young voter turnout during the UK General Election in 2017. Whether young people are better represented or not is up for debate, but something that’s clear to me in the dying days of 2018, is that we badly need a youth movement in politics.

I’m sat watching highlights from a discussion in the Oval Office between Trump, Pence, Pelosi and Schumer and I’m embarrassed for a generation that has refused to hand over power to people in their forties and fifties, let alone my generation.

I’m sorry, I just checked — Mike Pence is 59 years old. Although given the fact that he just sat there like a barely sentient showroom dummy, I don’t think he’s doing any favours for the fifty-somethings of America.

The squabble, and it was a squabble, was over the approaching government shutdown. This shutdown is due to happen because Trump can’t secure funds for his wall on the border between the US and Mexico.

Trump was the least surprising of the group, given that he was just his usual self. His sort of wound-tight ego never changes — And why would he? It got him to the highest office in the land.

He’ll be at the end of all things and still be bragging about something he just did.

“I do the most solid s**ts — Nobody has seen s**ts as solid as mine. The nursing staff love dealing with my s**t!”

— Trump, aged 76

Pelosi and Schumer are still playing the game that Trump beat in 2016. They might be closer to my political stance than others in the room, but they’re still from that old-guard of politician.

The sort that see it all as one big game, complete with addressing the TV camera instead of your colleague because that’s how you best reach the people; The illusion of a strong democratic discussion.

They’re ill-prepared, with a lack of facts, statistics and case studies. Instead of explaining coldly, calmly and concisely why a border wall is a populist idea that’s designed to secure the votes of extremists and tear lives apart in the process — And that we see through it. We instead get…

“Your wall bad, you cause shutdown.”

“No I don’t, build wall.”

“Won’t build wall.”

“Then shutdown.”

“Your wall bad, you cause shutdown.”

And so on.

Those aren’t their exact words, I should point that out. Although the gaps between each of those lines could be the words of Mike Pence, because he said absolutely jack all in that entire meeting.

The older guard, the Pelosi’s and Schumer’s of the world, don’t want to challenge the status-quo of politics. They want to keep everything as a points-scoring system, so that they can read about how they won in the morning papers.

Trump claimed to play a different game in the 2016 election, and to an extent he did, but he’s still a part of the swamp he promised to drain. He parades around as though public service is a birthright and not a civil duty. And he still watches the morning news to see if he won.

For better or worse, the public can hear your political opinion and “winning” viewpoint via social media. What we want during official meetings is progress, otherwise cracks start to form in this whole illusion of power thing you have going on.

Can’t make progress by agreeing? Then have gritty, intellectual discussions and see who comes out on top then. These one-liners and childlike arguments are getting tiresome.

When the young elected officials are saying more in 280 characters than the four of you can in a televised discussion, then something is wrong with the way you’re doing things.

I just realised that I started talking to them directly, even though they’re not here. That’s how fired up this makes me.

Yes, we have members of congress and the house who will be in their early thirties when they begin serving the public. This is an excellent start, and probably also the point in the piece that I should use the term “youthquake” again.

I know it’s tempting to single-out specific names, because some are living up to the job description of elected representative of the people extremely well. But the way we change the game is to empower the ideas over the individuals.

If we want this whole social-democracy to work, in which people receive fair representation and treatment by the government, we can’t put individuals on too high a pedestal.

But what we can say, with confidence, is that one of these images looks more like modern American society than the other.

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Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 08.55.41These are the new members of the house of representatives for the Democrats and Republicans. I’ll leave it to you to decide who best represents America.

And to all the fragile caucasian men out there, we still make up the equal-biggest demographic in the top image.

Politicians should represent the views and will of the people. And while you don’t have to belong to the same specific demographic as someone else to represent their views, a democracy is healthy when people from all backgrounds are represented.

Now, back to the whole age thing. Youthquake and all that.

After watching four baby boomers squabble like point-scoring children whilst sat in the highest office in the land, I couldn’t help but see that four members of the same generation currently represent the entire county.

That feels wrong, and it sounds wrong when you listen to them. The vast majority of people born before 1961 are now retired, and they should have their views represented by a proportionate number of people.

Instead, most of the people in office are representing them and playing their old game on their behalf.

I don’t know, maybe a Youthquake is coming and everything will be fine. The point is that it should’ve happened already. The last four Presidents have been Baby Boomers — Let that one sink in as well.

It’s not that we don’t love you baby-boomers (I really do), it’s just that it’s time other generations had a crack.

We also need to find a better word than Youthquake. It was tedious to type out, and on top of that I’m probably going to make it the title of this flimsy and disjointed morning jumble of words.


Today is Wednesday, December 12th and my 2018 Spotify playlist has more new music than 2017 did.

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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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Crown Jewel: A Night to Forget

I wrote these words (not these ones, but the next one-thousand or so) during the live broadcast of the Crown Jewel PPV in Saudi Arabia. I bit the bullet for you guys. You’re welcome.

When WWE signed a deal with Saudi Arabia to perform exclusive shows over the next decade, they didn’t anticipate that they’d be at the centre of one of the biggest controversies of the year. These shows are to be a part of ‘Saudi Vision 2030’, a campaign by the new royal family to bring their country into the 21st century — A promise we all know that they’re absolutely sticking to…

Recent events called for WWE to pull out of the deal, but last week chairman Vince McMahon decided to go ahead with the show ‘Crown Jewel’ — Choosing millions of dirty dollars and potentially catastrophic PR over the majority of public opinion. On top of all of this, they’ve added Hulk Hogan to the show, a controversial figure in his own right, who (rightfully) hasn’t been in good-graces since he repeatedly used a racial slur on tape.

It should be noted that as far as the match-card is concerned, it’s bizarre even by wrestling standards. Shawn Michaels is coming out of an eight-year retirement to wrestle a legends tag-team match; Ruining what is regarded by fans as the most satisfying ending to a career in wrestling history.

Obviously, none of the women are wrestling. Women are only just able to drive in Saudi Arabia, putting on tights and pretending to fight would be too much of a stretch for 2018.

The former Universal Champion, Roman Reigns, had to pull out of the main event due to a legitimate Leukemia diagnosis, and top stars John Cena and Daniel Bryan have refused to attend the show from a moral standpoint. In the case of John Cena, it’s perhaps to save his blossoming Hollywood career.

As well as all of this, the majority of the show will be a “world-cup” tournament that’s made-up of eight Americans. So the winning country will be America, no matter who wins — A sentence that’s so typically American.

The pre-show match finishes with the line of commentary, “Retained the US title in controversial fashion,” and so before the main show even begins, we’ve heard the C-word from the company themselves. Welcome to the most tone-deaf show in entertainment history, welcome to WWE Crown Jewel.

Hulk Hogan starts the show, and comes out to more cheers than he’d receive in the US in 2018. I start playing a game with myself — Who will accidentally mention the words Saudi Arabia first. Hogan says a few sentences before his music plays once more, my hope is that American audiences won’t forget what he said, and that the world has outgrown men with opinions like his.

We cut to the crown-prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, at ringside. He receives fewer cheers than Hulk Hogan. His expression isn’t as jubilant as it was back in April, during their first visit to his country, so he’s likely well-aware of the controversies. It feels wrong to show him in a positive light on American programming, but here we are.

During their April show, The Greatest Royal Rumble, WWE aired plenty of propaganda packages, encouraging people to visit the “progressive” Saudi Arabia. There’s none of that this time around. It’s as though both WWE and Saudi Arabia are just trying to get through this show, hoping that everything will have blown over six months from now.

In the opening four matches, Rey Mysterio, The Miz, Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler advance in the tournament. It’s during these matches that I start to notice the fans. Seeing all of the children in the crowd getting excited whilst witnessing their favourite WWE Superstars makes me loathe the royal family even more.

Most citizens of Saudi Arabia are just trying to enjoy mindless entertainment like the rest of us, on this shared home we call Earth, and a smile on the face of a five-year-old in a John Cena t-shirt makes that clear.

Popular tag-team The New Day ride down to the ring on a mechanical magic carpet for their match, with the commentary team mentioning magical blue genies. WWE has always been about stereotypes, but maybe it would’ve been for the best to avoid them at a show like this. I guess when you’ve already got Hulk Hogan appearing in Saudi Arabia, nothing seems too controversial.

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Dolph Ziggler and The Miz qualify for the finals of the World Cup. Interestingly, both of these men are from Ohio. So not only is this “global tournament” limited to one nation, but now it has all come down to who is the best from the Buckeye State.

Samoa Joe, who is a last-minute replacement for Daniel Bryan, faces AJ Styles for the WWE Championship next. I’m two hours into the show and it’s important to point out that nobody has mentioned the words ‘Saudi’ or ‘Arabia’. Crown Jewel is a ‘Global Event’ that constantly has the feeling of Simpsons-esq, worried collar-pulling.

Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar fight for the vacant Universal championship. As much as WWE would like to sweep this show under the rug, this is the one match they’ll have to reference in the future, as a new champion has to be crowned. It’s heartwarming to see half the crowd watching the show via the camera app on their phones, just like we do in the West; We’d all be the same if it weren’t for our respective murderous oppressors.

Paige, the Smackdown General Manager, can’t be here tonight due to her status as a woman. So Shane McMahon steps in to play the role of authority figure on behalf of the blue brand. It’s time for the World Cup final. Smackdown vs Raw. Blue vs Red. Cleveland, Ohio vs just outside of Cleveland, Ohio.

Miz is fake-injured and carried away to the back. So Shane McMahon steps in and takes his place. This is stupid, so therefore this is wrestling. For the first time at Crown Jewel I forget that the controversy exists, because it’s over-the-top storytelling without any offense intended.

Shane McMahon wins the tournament, which legitimises how bizarre and nonsensical this entire show has been. Perhaps Vince McMahon took some nepaitistc advice from the Saudi royal family, and decided that this was the best direction to take the story of Crown Jewel.

It’s time for your main event, DX vs The Brothers of Destruction — Four men who have a combined age of two-hundred and six. This match is disheartening to watch, as one man’s legacy is tarnished in exchange for a large paycheck.

The realisation that this whole show is meaningless happens, as the Saudi royal family film Shawn Michaels’ return to the ring through their cell phones, in a match they’ve paid millions of dollars to be shot professionally in their own country. They don’t care about legacy, they care about looking progressive. And apparently the way to do that is to pay fifty-year-olds to choreograph a fight.

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After decades of trying to push professional wrestling out of the dirty bingo halls and into mainstream entertainment, Vince McMahon has surely set his company back a few years by performing in Saudi Arabia today. However, it’s hard to believe that anything can topple the giant that dwarves any company within its niche industry.

WWE will walk away with a lot of dirty money, but at least Crown Jewel wasn’t the propaganda-fest that Greatest Royal Rumble was. Although it’s a little alarming that the crown prince was still shown live on air in a featured moment, in behaviour akin to any other alarming dictator.

Commentator Michael Cole closes the show by describing the main event performance as one that “we will never, ever forget.” Cole, I think it’s in everyone’s best interests that we do.


Today is Monday, November 5th and America should set off fireworks today as well as July 4th, because it’s actually dark on an evening.

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Let the Crazy Speak for Itself

Some reality TV star held a rally last night, presumably to advertise the new season of The Apprentice or something. Oh no, that’s right — He’s the 45th President of the United States of America.

He’s like a 60s captain of the USS Enterprise; He’s overweight, orange, on the verge of cancellation despite a cult following, and he’s going to take a lot of people in red down with him.

One of William Shitners key talking points was voter fraud, and how that’s definitely a big issue that’s effecting America today. It’s crazy that a Republican is still spinning this yarn in 2018, when there have been countless documentaries and investigative journalist pieces on how the myth of voter fraud is used to try and limit minority groups from voting in elections. Minority groups that typically vote Democrat.

Here’s a piece on the subject from Last Week Tonight. It’s from early 2016 (a simpler time), so it’s without an anti-Trump rhetoric.

It wouldn’t have been a Trump rally without him showing off his “supreme intelligence” and “very high IQ”, when he said that Americans need an ID to buy groceries.

“You know, if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card, you need ID.”

I can criticise him for trying to normalise the idea of having to present your ID in every situation of modern living — which by the way is very “socialist police state” of him — so that his base considers it normal and common sense to present a legal form of ID when voting. Even if that person has registered to vote, is an American citizen and owns property in that state, they may be turned away because they don’t have a form of ID.

I think that the financial backers behind Trump are happy that he peddled their policy so accurately, and probably enjoyed his little mistake, due to it normalising constant ID use. But there’s a part of me that thinks Trump was telling the truth here — I genuinely believe that he thinks you need ID to buy groceries.

Think about it, this man, who was born into extreme wealth and luxury, has likely never once stepped foot inside of a grocery store. As far as he knows you do have to present ID to purchase a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread. So I don’t think this was a mistake on the presidents part. He’s wrong, of course, he’s absolutely wrong, but I really don’t think that this one is his fault.

I mean, come on, he’s a “man of the people” remember? You can’t expect a man of the people to know what happens inside of a grocery store! Men of the people fly around in private jets and slurp caviar from the stomachs of Russian prostitutes.

How dumb are you, yes you, to think that a “working class hero” like Donald Trump would know how to buy groceries. The working classes don’t buy groceries!! Are you mad!? The working classes dine out at the finest restaurants, where you can slap the seventeen year-old waitress on the ass without some liberal cuck filming it on their cell phone.

I’ve always understood why the upper middle classes vote Republican, because that’s who they truly serve. I know the reasoning, but I will never understand why anyone who makes less than six figures would vote for (and then vocally support) such an out of touch man, who believes you need to show ID to buy vegetables.

trumphouse

Another interesting moment from the rally happened immediately after it ended, and people were filing out of the building. I need to make it clear that not every Trump supporter did this, just the die-hard base who stuck around after the orange saviour finished speaking. Here are some clips of what reporters faced. Obscenities are yelled so NSFW:

Even before he was president, Donald Trump would regularly attack any media outlet that didn’t present his version of reality. It’s probably what made him a stand-out candidate for the GOP, and certainly why he was always going to be the favourite of Fox News Entertainment.

I’ll admit that CNN has a slightly anti-Trump rhetoric. Most stories I see from them, they present the facts as they happened, but occasionally I’ll see a piece with an anti-Trump sway that makes me roll my eyes just as much as any Fox story does. CNN is not one of my personal sources for news because of this. So when I defend them, it’s not because I’m defending my “bias”.

I’ll defend them because they’re still journalists with decent integrity, at least by modern standards anyway. Even the fact that they’re at these rallies instead of completely ignoring them (as a left-wing bias news source would), is proof that they’re at least attempting balanced journalism.

A good journalist wants to present the truth as accurately as possible. It’s why on-the-ground war correspondents are considered some of the greatest journalists, as they risk their lives to collect footage of what’s really happening, in order to present events to the masses without bias.

Many news outlets are showing the footage of these Trump supporters without any kind of commentary or rhetoric over the top, because they are living proof of the reality of the situation in America right now.

One man in the crowd screams “Tell the truth, stop lying!” as he’s filmed and broadcast around the world. You, sir, are the truth. CNN doesn’t need to put any kind of spin on these videos, they don’t need to spend an hour talking about how they’re under attack from Trump supporters. They may well do that, but they’d be wrong to do so. All they have to do is show this footage. This footage itself is on-the-ground journalism that proves the dangerous anti-journalistic rhetoric that the modern GOP has whipped up.

Trump rallies are an insane truth that must be seen to be believed. I didn’t even get into the fact that several attendees were open followers of the ‘QAnon’ conspiracy movement. Google that phrase if you want to laugh, then cry, and then be terrified for America.


Today is Wednesday, August 1st and Tommy Robinson being released on bail is surely some kind of terrible omen for what this month is going to be like.

Writing: A New History Timeline

One of the more exciting aspects of writing my dystopian, YA fiction WIP has been creating a timeline for over two-hundred years of American history. It’s been my book of law that I’ve constantly referred back to during the writing process.

As I’m only on my first draft, the timeline can be malleable if necessary, but for the most part I have the core events down — with minor events being added as I go.

My story is set in 2219, after a major population crisis in the middle of the 22nd century. Nobody can really remember how it was solved, as the majority of people to live through it are now dead, and the authoritarian regime (The White Wall) have done everything in their absolute power to keep information from the people.

Most events between 1776 and 2001 remain exactly the same — it’s only in the 21st century that things start to change a little for my dystopian America, which eventually becomes known as the People’s Democracy of America; It’s all about branding.

I started with my end-point — what I wanted my dystopian country to look like — and then thought about what historical events would need to happen for a society to look like this. Everything from the mid-2150s to “present day” was pretty easy, because as far as the people are concerned, society is in a new dark-age. This is because The White Wall are attempting to preserve their vision of what they want society to look like.

The White Wall itself is a physical building in NYC, built in the late 21st century in the place where Central Park used to be. It’s a colossal structure that’s more like a city within a city. It covers the entire area of the old park, and is fifty-some stories high. It was built by order of the 0.1%, in order to help the general population feel more comfortable with the idea of there no longer being a government, or presidency. That’s why the building has a pure-white limestone face on all walls, to make it appear as the White House used to.

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The entire structure only took seven years to build, due to mass unemployment at the time of its construction. People were killing each other just to land a job working the White Wall construction site for six months. By the time it was finished, in the year 2101, all “government” as we know it today had shifted into the hands of the bankers, investors and financiers.

They had accounted for almost everything, and in a scheme that lasted three generations (plans began around 2014), they had taken full control of America — profiting from its people on a whole new level. The people — they didn’t account for the sheer number of people. By 2120, the population of the PDA is close to 1.5billion due to:

  • Mass immigration from climate change — The USA (then PDA) stop funding research into climate change prevention efforts. This makes them very rich for many decades, but it comes back to bite them when Canada, Central America and parts of South America become inhospitable.
  • An explosive “baby boom”, if you can call it that — All forms of birth control are made illegal in 2076, in what’s called “Americas Rebirth”. It’s a greedy attempt by the capitalists to increase the population by just enough for them to profit from more citizens. It backfires.
  • Increased life expectancy — Until the scales tip and society crumbles, many medical advancements are made. People regularly live healthy lives until age 80, and age 100 is not uncommon.

Infrastructure has not grown fast enough to accommodate this level of population growth. The scales tip, and mass-poverty breaks out. The only people who remain affluent and unharmed, are those residing within the White Wall.

Now, I won’t reveal what they did to fix the crisis, or anything that’s happened since. As they’re all key things that my protagonist must uncover in her education. I also haven’t revealed anything here about the premise, or the VR school programs which high-schoolers in the PDA attend — Maybe another time.

Most of the history I’ve written down here won’t even feature in my (planned) four book series. Certainly not in the first book anyway. That’s the point, that it’s more of a guide. It’s a constant reminder that this is the world my characters exist in, and so they will behave and react in certain ways. The timeline of my world grounds the entire series.

The older generation of citizens are very paranoid, because they’ve been told stories by their grandparents about what happened during the population crisis. Whereas my protagonists are all 14/15, so they’re fresh-faced and ready to question the structure of the world around them. They’re still scared (and they absolutely should be), but they’re at least willing to attempt change, to find out what happened to all of those people, and to eventually expose the corruption and evils of the White Wall; Which are far greater than anyone could possibly have imagined.

It’s been so much fun writing my own timeline for the world I’ve created. World-building can be extremely complicated and precise during edits, but those initial ideas for how things should be is a lot of fun. I’ll recommend Scrivener as a writing program if you’re not already using it, as the document template just seemed to mould itself to my every need.

As I planned my novel I thought about the different things I’d need for my world; a timeline; a roster of AI teachers; an education manifesto, etc. With Scrivener I managed to put all of these together in one place, and they’re all formatted in a way that’s exactly how I imagined them.

This wasn’t just one long advert for Scrivener, you can world-build anywhere, I promise. If your novel idea has scope, and is more than just a character-driven story, then I recommend you come up with your own timeline or “book of law” to go along with your writing. In my case it’s making for a swift first-draft, as there’s something solid for me to refer back to.


Today is Sunday, July 29th and here’s where you can get a 30 day free trial of Scrivener. It’s such a stress-free tool.

Jacob Rees-Mogg Doesn’t Cry

I’m not sure why I was scrolling through and watching Jacob Rees-Mogg interview videos on YouTube, but I was.

I think it was perhaps because I wanted to see if he was more than a caricature of what 17th century peasants thought their land-owners looked like; Barely, is the answer to that musing.

I’m used to Tory politicians looking like evil cartoon characters from the Beano. In fact, it appears as though the more cartoonish you look, the more success you find within the Conservative party.

Growing up, I have vague memories of William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard, all of whom looked like generic geography teachers. Generic geography teachers who you really think your female classmate from back in the day should come forward about, because we now know that was assault — but generic nonetheless.

Then along came David Cameron, a much younger leader. I’m sure many tory housewives up and down the country considered him to be handsome. They were wrong, of course, as they were just blinded by a twenty-year loveless marriage. One that started off strong, but after six months they realised that marrying a guy who manages a team of people who sell insurance to antique wardrobe connoisseurs, might not be the life they wanted — and that perhaps they shouldn’t have broken up with that poet back at Oxford.

Anyway — Cameron was often called a lizard-man in a lizard-skin, as a joke by the left, due to his rounded race and oily flesh. Nowadays if that happened, we’d have an entire 100,000 follower Twitter-feed dedicated to proving that he was in fact a lizard, and an internet radio show that claimed to prove it on a nightly basis, whilst selling you protein shakes and kitchen knives — for the “lizard-man invasion”.

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Finally, along came Theresa May, who despite looking like the wicked witch of the South by South East, had nothing on the twisted, bile-filled features of Margaret Thatcher — who I can only assume is currently receiving oral sex from Satan himself (as I type these words, there’s an image for you), due to the sheer number of people who died at the hands of her policy.

So for a while, I gave May a pass. She was a regular villain, and not a horrifically cartoonish one. Then she opened her mouth to say words about herself, and she revealed that she’s perhaps more cartoonish than the rest of them.

The naughtiest thing she’s ever done, she claims, is skipping through fields of wheat as a young girl. Whereas I’d say that the naughtiest thing she’s ever done is either voting against hunting bans, or voting against making it illegal to discriminate against people in the workplace. One of those two.

If May manages to cling onto power until Brexit officially happens in March 2019, then no doubt a serious leadership challenge will come soon after. Obviously it’s been Alexander Johnson’s dream to run the country since he was a tiny hairpiece, and I think a good portion of the country would let him. If Trump can happen in America, then Alex can happen in the UK.

Elites and upper middle-classes would think that voting for Alexander would be a hilarious joke, as two million lower middle-class and working class people are tricked (via Facebook ads) into voting for a man who went to Eton and who uses the bodies of Northerners to warm the halls of his country home. Which isn’t true, but everything else in this piece absolutely is.

Or there’s Jacob Rees-Mogg, an even more out-of-touch, cartoonish posho than Alex Johnson, who when asked about leadership goals has always says, “Absolutely not, I support the prime-minster,” while salivating and rubbing his palms together.

I’m not going to dive into the prejudices and presumed policy of Rees-Mogg here, as they can all be summed up by the fact that he hides behind the Catholic church on many issues. He says he agrees that people should marry whomever they want, but that the Catholic church opposes same-sex marriage and so he must too. Basically, if an outlandish Papal decree happens, it would become British law under Rees-Mogg.

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In an interview conducted by Owen Jones, which I expected to be more explosive than it actually ended up being, Rees-Mogg admitted that he hadn’t cried since he was a boy, and scoffed at the idea of a grown man crying or expressing emotion.

I’m going to put it to you now, dear reader, that this single example sums up everything that’s wrong with the modern Tory party.

Suicide is the biggest killer in men under the age of 45, bigger than cancer. 75% of people who commit suicide in the UK are men, and this is often attributed to a culture of men being told they have to stay strong and not talk about their feelings. The fact that Rees-Mogg can mock the idea of men outwardly displaying human emotion, when encouraging men to open up can literally save lives, is reprehensible.

Sidenote: If you’re someone who reads my blog who is worried about “men’s rights”, then you should be encouraging men to open up about their feelings, which will help to combat the epidemic of male suicide rates.

Imagine being one of the people running the UK, as Rees-Mogg is, and seeing that a portion of citizens have to use food banks on a regular basis and not cry. Imagine knowing the exact statistics of migrant children sent back to war-torn landscapes and then not cry. Imagine being in office during absolute tragedies like Grenfell Tower or the Manchester Arena bombing, and not absolutely weeping for needless loss of life.

Nobody is saying you have to have lived through those things Jacob, we’re all born into different places in this society, and we ultimately can’t control that. But it’s called empathy, and a good leader has it in spades.

I’d worry for the UK if someone like him became leader, but then again I worry for the UK under most conservative politicians. This is due to the obvious and apparent lack of the leadership quality I value the most, partially due to my Christian upbringing, and that’s empathy. Because, Rees-Mogg, Jesus wept.

I know that I let real-world events get to me more than I should, but if I didn’t cry whilst looking at the inequalities in this world or after major tragedies like school-shootings or terror attacks, then I’d eventually myself be a statistic. Or even worse, I’d be Jacob Rees-Mogg.


Today is Saturday, July 28th and my cat just landed a diving cross-body on me.