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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Jacob Wohl, and Should We Be Talking About Him?

Has anyone else read about the Jacob Wohl story?

This is the guy who tried to fake accusations against Robert Mueller, but was found out due to the most inept faked-conspiracy theory in recent memory. He made hundreds of fake social media profiles, that he used to attempt to corroborate information relayed from his fake “consultancy firm”. Only, most of the profile photos were registered models, and one was actor Christopher Mintz-Plasse.

I know Superbad was a long time ago, but people don’t forget the Mintz-Plasse. Not with a name like Mintz-Plasse, and a face like McLovin.

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Wohl’s new head of PR

Yesterday he (Jacob Wohl, not McLovin) held a press conference, before which he said he would pay any woman $20,000 to come forward with information about Robert Mueller in regards to sexual assault. Obviously, nobody came forward. It appears as though women won’t just come forward about sexual assault in exchange for money and fame, as some Republicans seem to believe.

Turns out they’re people who’ve been through harrowing experiences seeking to tell the truth, who would have guessed?

His conspiracy and fake network started to unravel when one of his “associates” office phones lead back to his own mother’s cell phone voicemail! I kid you not, HBO will have a TV movie about this guy out by next summer. Probably starring Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Jacob Wohl, for no reason other than the delicious irony.

Wohl’s associate/maybe lawyer, Jack Burkman, even co-led the entire press conference with his fly down. That’s not as relevant, but it really ads to the colour of the situation. I think it might be a metaphor for the entire attempt at fraud that, in a just world, would land Wohl with a couple of years in prison.

Wohl, who looks like a seventy-year-old man who made a deal with the devil to be young again, has been on the fringes of the far-right movement for the last two years. He has been a vocal Trump supporter who peddles the grossest of conspiracy theories, hoping that the President will one day recognise him as a reputable news source.

Which in 2018, that’s the most obvious symptom of unresolved daddy-issues.

Just yesterday he tweeted that Beto O’Rourke is financially supporting the migrant caravan. He made this claim without a source and just threw it out into the world in the form of a selectively edited video. Most of us know this to be ridiculous, but some will buy into it, as we’ve seen with other conspiracy theories in recent years.

At aged twenty, he has already been blacklisted from almost all financial institutions in New York, for lying and claiming to be a hedge-fund manager. He still claims to be a businessman, but the only business he is currently in is misinformation. One that, unfortunately, in 2018 is rather lucrative.

He’s sort-of a cross between Steve Bannon now and Donald Trump at age twenty. He’s a living example of the Trump effect on young people, and surprise surprise it’s in the form of an upper-class brat with delusions of grandeur.

The way he delivered his press conference was even in the style of the Trump administration’s upper rank. He pushed questions away like Sanders, had all the slime-ball anti-charm of a Trump Jr, and the train-of-thought arrogance of the satsuma God-King himself.

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The Trump Presidency has given people like Wohl a platform of legitimacy, because even though we’re laughing at him, we’re still talking about him.

And that’s the recurring problem, isn’t it? Many people argue that left-wing and centrist media continually covering the Trump campaign is what ultimately lead to his victory in 2016, and it’s a perfectly valid argument.

Even though we, the public majority, were stood on the sidelines and laughing at the ridiculous claims of “build that wall” and “lock her up”, we helped to perpetuate these slogans by participating in the mocking. Which, in turn, made his supporters double-down, because they didn’t like being laughed at.

So should the media even be talking about Wohl? Should I even be writing these words? Does it do him more good than it does harm? And is the old adage of “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” actually true?

These are a lot of big questions considering the fact that I’ll only be writing for another three-hundred words. And perhaps I’ve done that intentionally, because it’s a complex issue with no correct answer.

Good journalism, true journalism, will try to best inform citizens on the current events of the world. Their job is to present the facts, the data, and to let the crazy speak for itself. I think if these things (Trump campaign, conspiracy theories) are going to happen, then the people need to be made aware of them. It would be even more terrifying if they operated in the dark, and if we couldn’t explain how or why Trump happened.

They definitely need to shift their approach, however. I was impressed by the level of questioning directed at Jacob Wohl at his “press conference”, as they asked about his credentials, his experience as either an investigator or prosecutor (the roles he’s attempting to take on), as well as calling into question the credibility of his claims.

One reporter closed the conference by asking if Wohl and Burkman were ready for federal prison. Which may seem like a flippant question, but fraud and attempting to defame using self-created conspiracy, well, that can land you some serious jail time. You know, if you weren’t a rich white man from New York.

If reporters managed to ask these questions to Sarah Sanders, and if they demanded that she back up the President’s claims with data, facts and statistics, then maybe it wouldn’t be an us vs them shouting match that serves no purpose beyond fuelling Trump’s long-held media mandate.

Maybe it’s because I grew up on him, but I always refer to documentarian Louis Theroux when it comes to getting the truth of a situation from someone. Point a camera, let the crazy speak for itself, spend time with the crazy to show the motives, and then ask questions that reveal just how deep the crazy goes.

I don’t think a continued mocking coverage of situations like Wohl, or the Trump administration are the right answer, but to not cover them at all would also be a mistake. Insects work best when they’re under a rock, and nobody is shining a spotlight on them. Although lately, these cockroaches have appeared immune to rays of truth.


Today is Friday, November 2nd and I’d love to talk, in person, to the sorts of people who blindly believe the words of people like Wohl. I bet they need a hug.

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Rogan/Musk

It’s our generation’s Frost/Nixon. Brilliant…

One of the major talking points of last week was an appearance by real-life cartoon billionaire, Elon Musk, on the Joe Rogan Experience. The image of Musk smoking weed went viral, and within hours he became the face of the American mid-life crisis. His “on-air” pot-smoking caught the attention of media outlets, who appeared to vilify him for his recreational actions.

Musk has made a lot of terrible humanitarian decisions and said some fairly awful things, smoking some weed is the very least of his public “crimes”. Tesla shareholders are likely ecstatic that the media spent last week talking about him smoking legal marijuana on a video podcast, and not his unfounded accusations against cave-divers, his dictatorial anti-union stance or his mistreatment of foreign workers in the name of progress.

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I watched the full interview between the two, because largely I’m curious about the subjects Musk discusses and despite my opinions on Joe Rogan as a person, his interview style is genuinely one of the best out there.

Rogan lets his guests talk for hours on end and he looks for honest conversation with no agenda beyond letting the guest speak for themselves. He doesn’t ask probing questions, because he’s not a journalist, and he gets the guests he does for such extended periods of time because they know he’s not going to push them on difficult areas.

Think of that what you will, but a by-product of his style is his guests end up saying some things that they would never say to a journalist. If you read between the friendly dynamic between him and his guest, and don’t fall for the opinion that Rogan himself wants you to have of his guest (Alex Jones being a prime example), then his interviews are a fascinating incite into the mind of his subject.

Rogan himself is a people-pleaser, he may not think that, but he absolutely is. He bends over backwards to the ideology of his interviewee (unless discussing marijuana) — and if this is a designed style then it’s borderline genius. However, the way he knowingly discusses topics he doesn’t understand the first thing about, shows that he’s not as smart as he thinks he is.

Unless, of course, that is also by design. He’s a complex figure, who I think has been influenced too much by his “good-friend” Alex Jones, and so is attempting to play a character but falling short of the mark. He’s smart enough to think he’s smart, but not smart enough to realise he’s not.

You shouldn’t form your opinion on someone from the opinions of others, but the comment sections of his YouTube videos are an absolute state. I’ve noticed that Rogan gets a lot of dislikes and negative comments (on older videos) whenever he’s critical of conspiracy theories or far-right ideologies. Being the people-pleaser he is, my concern is that he’s less critical of these stances (in newer videos) in order to increase the happiness of his followers. Thankfully, he’s stood his ground when it comes to flat-earth conspiracies.

That’s just a theory of course — As I say he’s simultaneously a complex yet simplistic figure. Like, how can a person who openly uses psychedelics still have such an ego? The man’s a paradox.

His Jon Ronson and Louis Theroux interviews are great though.

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So that’s our Frost — but what about our Nixon?

Elon Musk came across as thoughtful, insightful, terrified, disconnected and fatalistic. He appears to care far less about individual people than the average person, but far more about our species as a whole than anyone I’ve met. It’s why he doesn’t want his workers having any basic rights to unionise, and he doesn’t seem fussed by the alarmingly low wages of his foreign employees. Those are issues that effect the individual. If a worker can’t feed their family, that’s not the concern of Elon R. Musk.

However, he becomes very disheartened and shows genuine emotion when discussing the fate of our species. The first hour of the podcast is spent talking about the dangers of AI and how far companies are going in order to be the leader of the market, all without thinking about the consequences.

I haven’t smoked weed in over three months, but I felt as though I needed something after the weight of his discussion.

Musk talks like a smart child who’s never been told no — he does things when he wants, because he feels like it. So the fact that he’s curbing his own AI usage and advocating that other companies and governments do the same is kind of remarkable. In short, he should be far more evil than he actually is.

I don’t like him as a person, due to our fundamental disagreement on human rights, but if we absolutely have to have billionaires, then I’d rather they were all more like Elon Musk.

That’s so difficult for me to type because I think the world would be happier if he launched himself into the sun, but we do live in a world of rampant, toxic capitalism, where men like Musk race to the top of the wealth tree without remembering to kick some acorns down for the rest of us. We’re in a new-age of the industrial Robber Baron, which if Musk was a little more aware, he’d realise that this is the truly damaging aspect of our species and give his excess wealth to charitable causes.

However — What about the 99% of billionaires who don’t make the headlines? What about the billionaires who aren’t wearing their (robotic) hearts on their sleeves, as musk is.

EVERY billionaire is mistreating their workers, that’s how you become a billionaire in the first place. I’d just rather they were open and honest about it, as Musk is. I’m truly anxious about the billionaires who don’t do three-hour podcast interviews, who don’t go on 2am Twitter rants to reveal exactly who they are as a person. If Musk is the way he is, but he’s out in the open, how are the ones living under rocks behaving?

To summarise — Musk is a shit, but he’s the cleanest and most palatable shit on a pile of even bigger and worse shits. Oh shit.


Today is Tuesday, September 11th and never forget the innocent lives lost in a terrorist attack on this day, but also remember the innocent daughters, sons, sisters, brothers and children killed by the US in retaliation. We’re all messed up.

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Violence From the Winning Side

A man has been arrested by the FBI for threatening journalists at the Boston Globe. Robert Chain called the newsroom of the Globe and threatened to shoot staff members in the head, as he repeated phrases such as “enemy of the people” and “fake news”.

The Boston Globe has an excellent reputation on factual reporting, according to numerous independent studies and polls, as well as only holding a slightly left-leaning bias on political issues. This man was willing to kill other people, who’re just trying to report the news and inform their country to the best of their ability.

Something, or someone, radicalised this man to the point of wanting to commit a domestic terrorist attack. I know that people will have their opinions on news outlets, but I think we can all agree that acts of violence like this aren’t the answer.

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At the start of the week, host of NBC’s The Apprentice and President of the United States Donald J. Trump, gathered evangelical leaders into a meeting to discuss the upcoming midterm elections.

I’m going to avoid using the term ‘Christian’ to describe this group of people — and simply refer to them as evangelicals — as these religious leaders enable and glorify a man who stands against the pillars of the teachings of Jesus. You know, love, respect, peace, sharing, caring for others? Just the big things he seemed to be about.

In this meeting Trump called upon them to get “their people” to vote for Republicans come November. He asked religious leaders to preach a message of Republican ideology to their congregations. He makes them feel important, and like they’re being heard by someone, and in exchange they sell their souls to him by campaigning on his behalf to thousands of people.

This is nothing new, of course, every Republican President digs in with the evangelicals. There’s clearly something about a group of people who believe what someone at the front of the room says, without consulting the facts of their ideology on a regular basis, that appeals to Republicans. I can’t think what that might be…

In the meeting on Monday night, Trump also warned of “violence from the left” if the Republicans don’t hold onto the house in November, citing Antifa as a source for this violence.

Now, as usual with Trump, there’s a lot wrong with this statement.

First of all, there’s the logic. Violence typically occurs from an ideological group when they don’t get what they want. If there’s a blue-wave in November, violence won’t come from people who got the outcome they wanted, but from those who didn’t. For example, Robert Chain threatened the Boston Globe because he perceived that they were reporting bias stories — he didn’t threaten to kill journalists because they were saying what he wanted them to say. The tragic shooting in Florida this week didn’t happen because that kid won a Madden tournament.

Trump’s victory was the biggest win for right-wing politics in America since Reagan, so if we were to see violence from the left, it would’ve happened in the last eighteen months. However, the only violence we’ve seen from Antifa, has been when they’ve attacked people who’ve been attacking others.

This is your weekly reminder that Antifa stands for anti-fascist, a principle that we should all be able to get behind. Nobody likes fascists, they’re the ones who put people in concentration camps and march through the streets carrying torches as they yell racial slurs at the top of their voices.

Did I just describe Nazi Germany, or the active voice of the modern Republican party?

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The second problematic element of Trump’s statement is that it normalises the idea of using violence when something doesn’t go your way. Now, I know that these suit-wearing, million-dollar, mega-church, prosperity-gospel, evangelicals wouldn’t turn violent overnight — but some of the people they preach to may do just that.

See, that’s the thing about ideological language — the same words can mean one thing to you and an entirely different thing to someone else. Reagan thought that “Born in the USA” was a pro-America song, when in reality it was anti-war. The evangelical leader might preach “treat others as you would want to be treated”, but some of the congregation might hear “I don’t want to be a liberal, and I’d kill myself if I were liberal, so I’m going to kill a liberal”.

My worry is that we’re seeing violence from Trump supporters now, at the highest possible peak of his success. What’re they going to be like when he leaves office, or when Republican’s lose the house? With the Mueller report coming together, who knows how they’re going to react when revelations come out — denial, sure, but hopefully no violence.

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I’ll close with some anecdotal evidence on a Trump supporter. My definition of a Trump supporter is not just someone who voted for him, but someone who would attend rallies for him and fly a MAGA flag — a real fanboy for the guy.

There’s only one car in the parking lot of our apartment complex with *Trump* and MAGA bumper-stickers, and that car belongs to our upstairs neighbour.

The rest of our neighbours are polite people, mostly young couples or young families — but he’s something else. He’s the guy who I wrote about a couple of months ago, who stabbed a raccoon to death and laughed whilst doing it. He’s the guy who screams at his presumed girlfriend and kicks her out of the apartment at 2am whilst throwing her belongings off the balcony. He’s the guy who shoots at squirrels with his BB gun. He’s also the only open and avid Trump supporter in the building.

Now, I’m not saying he’s going to turn violent on the general public when Trump loses power. I’m just saying that people who behave like that don’t usually get behind a political candidate the way they have with Trump. We’ve seen it with the alt-right and we saw it with Robert Chain yesterday — Domestic terrorists are being groomed under the MAGA ideology.

I know this post was a bit of a ramble, connecting a few political events from the week, (in truth, I’m eager to rush through this warmup and finish my novel) but as an eternally anxious individual, I’m concerned about the sorts of people who’re being radicalised by this administration. And even more concerned by how violent they are when they’re in a winning position.


Today is Friday, August 31st and I’ve now lived in Colorado for a whole year!

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Midterms Preview: Arizona

Congresswoman Martha McSally has won Arizona’s Republican primary, in a campaign not unlike Trump’s 2016 outing. It appears as though the Republican party will be doubling down on the sorts of candidates that won them the presidency this time around, which may very well prove to be incredibly short-sighted.

Having said that, she was a better choice for Republicans than two other popular candidates in Arizona.

One moral-lacking individual came in the form of Kelli Ward, who days ago accused John McCain of dying when he did, in order to personally interrupt her campaign. She finally made an apology that read like, “I’m sorry you were offended by my comments.” The other potential candidate was Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who you may recognise as the man who Trump pardoned last year. Arpaio ran a self-proclaimed “concentration camp” (his words, but also mine) in the form of a place called Tent City.

I may not agree with the policies and the campaign being ran by McSally, but she’s not someone who thinks that an individual would use their own death just to spite her, or a sheriff who was prosecuted for forming an illegal posse to physically attack immigrants.

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Kyrsten Sinema (left), Martha McSally (right) — both in this image and in their political alignment.

McSally will be up against Democratic candidate Kyrsten Sinema, who has been given a nonsensical nickname by the Republican candidate, as is now mandatory under the reign of the second-coming of orange Christ.

This election is expected to be one of the closest come November, despite the fact that Arizona hasn’t fronted a Democrat in over 30 years. The reason for this close race is thought to be twofold.

The first being that nobody knows if Trump’s base will stick with him after a disturbing opening two years in office. While his opinion polls are dropping across America as a whole, they remain steady with those who originally voted for him. However, left-leaning voters have had a fire lit beneath them, so there’s expected to be less voter apathy this time around, and more Democrats showing up on election day.

The second is that both candidates are legitimately strong when it comes to appealing to their demographic. McSally is a former airforce pilot, and the first female pilot to have flown in combat. She retired from the airforce in 2010, after a 22-year career, and became a state representative in 2014. Sinema had a career as a social worker, and came from an impoverished background herself, where her family lived off of food stamps. She’s known to have attend anti-war protests, and to have been socially engaged her whole life.

Both candidates appeal to their core-base almost too perfectly. McSally has a military history of serving her country, and Sinema has an altruistic history of serving her community.

But as (presumably) John Highlander said in the movie Highlander, “Look folks, there can only be one of us, yeah?”

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In her victory speech, McSally hit out at her opponent by referencing an attack advertisement campaign that’s already underway. In these commercials, Arizona has been treated to pictures of McSally in military uniform and images of Sinema at peaceful protests against the Iraq war. McSally and her base mocked Sinema for protesting, as she asked “How did you guys like those side by side outfits?” Which was met with laughs.

McSally is someone who was considered to be a moderate Republican until this election, but has since gone “full-blown Trump”, with the use of nicknames for her opponent, and opting for the politics of insult over the politics of policy.

I can’t deny that its worked before.

In her own campaign announcement video at that start of the year, some of her language shifted to be in-line with the current administration’s way of thinking. With lines such as “I’m tired of PC politicians,” and “After taking on terrorists in combat, the liberals in the senate won’t scare me one bit.”

PC (Political Correctness) has been a catch-all term for most of my life, that seems to rile up people on the right, despite the fact that they’re the only people who seem to use it. It’s the Boomer/Gen-X equivalent of SJW (Social Justice Warrior), a meaningless acronym that the people who believe in common decency and social equality have moved beyond.

Being “anti-PC” is a term that’s historically been used by the right to excuse discriminatory behaviour. When someone says they’re anti-PC, I challenge you to (politely) ask them what they mean by that. Answers I’ve received in the past have included “I can’t say X racist word anymore” or “They’re letting the gays get married”.

As far as McSally’s comment about liberals in the senate goes — They’re not meant to scare you boss, they’re supposed to intelligently put together tough legislation that best represents the people they’re elected to serve. Perhaps McSally should consider doing the same thing; This is a democracy and not a war-zone.

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My personal view is that McSally’s pro-Trump shift will be her downfall, and even if she wins it’ll be by a much smaller margin than it should be in Republican-safe Arizona. But my analysis doesn’t count for anything, and even I’m using these midterms as a measuring-stick for the modern Republican party.

“Modern Republican Party” — That’s something that the young are really going to remember after Trump has served his term(s)/impeachment. There are Republicans out there who’ve not backed Trump, and I think they’ll be able to hold a moral high-ground in the years to come.

However, those who flipped overnight into Trump supporters, like Martha McSally, shouldn’t be allowed to escape association in the future. Just like the fictional “Deatheaters” and their association with a fictional dark lord.

It’s a gamble for Republicans, it really is. If 2018 is just as strong for Trump as 2016 was, then candidates like McSally will have made the right call — and once again insult politics will have defeated those who seek to serve their community through policy, compassion and legislation.  However, if we see a blue wave in November then I have no doubt that people on the red side of the isle will start to question their all-mighty satsuma-God.

No matter what happens I’ll be watching Arizona carefully, as we sneak ever-closer to the mid-terms. If politics really has become an entertainment sideshow and not a public service, then can somebody at least pass the popcorn.


Today is Wednesday, August 29th and the last part of my book is so tough to write — lots of action and emotion.

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On McCain

It’s been a few days now since John McCain died. I’ve held off on expressing my thoughts because they were complex and conflicting. I needed to ruminate for a while, something I find myself doing more and more in the wake of deaths that effect the social consciousness.

Like most people in their twenties, my first exposure to Senator McCain was in the 2008 Presidential election. I had the benefit of watching this election as a fifteen year-old in England, so I could enjoy the excitement of new candidates whilst remaining distant and unaffected by the outcome.

I knew enough about politics to follow along, but not so much that I was aware of international implications. America was just a big, exciting country that I romanticised — and it was about to elect a new king.

I can’t objectively look back on anything I thought about John McCain at age fifteen. Partly because I can’t remember my exact opinions, and also because I know I’d have been caught up in the hype of the emerging favourite in Barak Obama.

Obama stood for a lot of the things that I still stand for, so it’s likely that I didn’t form a well-rounded opinion of McCain. It was probably just a lot of “Republican? Boooo!” You know, the levels of political analysis that should be reserved for teenagers, but unfortunately isn’t.

That video, from the 2008 campaigns, has gone viral over the last week. I don’t remember this moment from ten years ago, as I likely dismissed the idea of paying any attention to a candidate that wasn’t the one I ideologically supported. Again, I was fifteen, and my only access to US politics was watching illegal streams of The Daily Show with John Stewart.

McCain respectfully shutting down nonsense accusations about his direct opponent seem like an impossible memory when compared to Trump in 2016. Not just in reactions, but also the fact that Trump’s team (Roger Stone, Alex Jones, Steve Bannon) were creating these accusations and circulating them for political gain. A lot changed for the Republican party in eight years.

McCain puts it perfectly at the end of the video, “He’s a decent family man, citizen, than I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign is all about.” That’s the sort of politics I miss, where candidates could still hold a respect for one another whilst debating policy.

The two people who ask questions in that video are just waiting for a candidate like Trump to come about — the woman in the video has even already bought into one of Trump’s conspiracy theories. The current presidency simply saw a gap in the voter market, in the form of people who will fall for anything if it means keeping the people out of power whom they don’t ideologically agree with.

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Looking back on the proposed policy of McCain’s 2008 campaign, and how he voted in key senate decisions — the man was a classic post-Reagan Republican. His policies would’ve served the rich and ignored those on the breadline, and he wanted to wage war at every turn in order to gain political favour at home.

He was also pro-life, a position I fully respect as an individual belief, but against birth-control and sex education — two policies that are proven to reduce the numbers on pre-marital sex and abortions carried out in the US; Aka, my favourite right-wing logical inconsistency.

Despite the fact that I opposed him on nearly every political issue, McCain carried himself with respect. If the Trump presidency has taught me one thing, it’s that I’ve learned to find respect and common ground with those who I disagree with ideologically, who also treat my opinions with equal respect.

If Trump was as polite as McCain, I wouldn’t be as concerned for the future of America. It would just be a business-as-usual Republican presidency — one where we can complain but not have to listen to racist, sexist and insulting rants. Trump’s policy can be fought against, repealed/upheld and voted for in democratic process. His opinions and personality are there for the world to see, and America is one big joke right now.

In recent years McCain started to turn his back on emerging dominant ideologies of his party, particularly after Trump attacked him during an interview in 2015. Trump stated that McCain wasn’t a war hero because he was captured and served five years in a POW camp. This coming from the man who dodged the draft.

Personally, I know I’m not brave enough to be put into situations where I’d have to kill other human’s for my country — but I’d never disrespect anyone who was put into that situation (often through no choice of their own).

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McCain became known as something of a maverick in his final years, voting against Trump on most issues. This included blocking the repeal of certain healthcare reforms put in place by the Obama administration, a policy that McCain disagreed with.

Some would argue that he was letting his hatred for Trump get in the way of his own, personal beliefs — but I would argue that he was defending one of his long-held principals, which is how anti-insult politics he was.

I don’t want a democracy that’s filled with millions of people who agree with each other on absolutely everything. I want debate, discussion and open dialogue. I’d rather America had a four or five party system, for better, more proportional representation — but the two-party race doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

McCain may have been many things, and a man who held many beliefs and opinions that I disagree with — but it appears as though he would’ve respected my right to disagree with him, and not insult me for it. I’ll take an opposition party filled with people like McCain over the current, twisted alternative — Any day.

If McCain is to have a legacy, it should be his defence of the respectful democratic process and a representation of the fact that the “swamp” wasn’t entirely a swamp. Some lifelong public servants were proud to represent the people who brought them to the dance — and I believe John McCain was one of them.


Today is Tuesday, August 28th and Great British Bake Off starts again this evening — the only show that makes my American friends mimmic my accent.

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Logan Paul Getting Punched in the Face For Money

Last night I fell asleep reading an article about a boxing match between British YouTuber KSI and infamous suicide mocker Logan Paul. I assumed it was a dream. You know, in those final few moments before drifting off — where reality blurs with the subconscious to make something that’s not quite as lucid as either.

It’s not too far-fetched to think that my subconscious would want to see Logan Paul punched in the face repeatedly. Especially as my waking-mind wills it to happen on a regular basis.

So this morning, when I was reading through news, I was surprised to learn that my dream was actually happening — and that it hadn’t been a dream at all. Today, KSI will be boxing Logan Paul and KSI’s younger brother (???) will be boxing Jake Paul in an event that’s being marketed as “the most watched in history”.

It’s being streamed on YouTube for $10 a view and is being considered a fairly important event in online streaming. If this show does well, then other companies will seriously look into running PPV events on YouTube.

YouTube is in a bit of a slump at the moment. They’ve had bad press from the likes of the Paul brothers, and many of their long-time content creators are leaving for other platforms and ventures, due to mass demonetisation and changes in policy that result in the creator making less money.

YouTube is still a huge platform, but it’s no longer the democratic video service for the people that it was ten years ago. A content creator can still get noticed, but they’re only likely to “make it” if they’re then signed to a talent agency. Basically, YouTube is now no different to any entertainment industry of the last one-hundred years. You can change the platform, but the game is still the same.

The fight caught my attention because it was the first time I’d heard Logan Paul’s name in a while. I live outside of the YouTube bubble, so unless it crosses over to the mainstream then I’m basically clueless.

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Like most people over the age of twelve, I first heard of Logan Paul at the end of 2017, when he uploaded his infamous “tour of Japan” blogs. In these videos he:

  • Ran around in the kinds of Japanese outfits you’d see in the 17th century or old Disney cartoons.
  • Yelled in a Japanese accent at the top of his voice in the middle of a crowded market.
  • “Tokyo is like a real-life cartoon!”
  • Bought a Gameboy Colour, smashed it on the floor and tried to return it to the vendor by saying “mucho brokeno!”
  • Ran around in a Pikachu costume throwing Pokéballs at everything and everyone, including the police.
  • Bought raw fish to shove in the faces of the public.

For those in the West who struggle with the ideas of casual racism and negative stereotypes, how would you feel if you lived in Florida, USA and someone:

  • Ran around in cowboy outfits from 50s westerns, holding plastic pistols and challenging people to duels.
  • Yelled “Yeehaw!” and other things in a mock, old-timey American accent whilst running around a Target.
  • “America is full of stupid people!”
  • Bought a gun, broke the inner-parts (???) and tried to return it to the gun-shop owner by saying “it broke dude, your bad!”
  • Ran around in a Homer Simpson costume throwing doughnuts a cops.
  • Bought fried chicken to shove in the faces of the public.

I bet you’d punch them. I’m not usually someone who bets — but I bet you’d punch them.

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This wasn’t even the worst of it, he made headlines for venturing into a Aokiagahara, a Japanese forrest known as a one of the world’s most prevalent suicide sites. In this particular vlog, “team Logang” do their usual schtick of grinning and acting goofy upon finding a body. Then, Logan and his gang of chuckleheads get serious for a moment and stumble through some ill-chosen words about depression and suicide. Minutes later, he’s back to laughing, grinning and milking a man’s tragic death for personal gain.

With this video — that he and his team filmed, edited and uploaded — we got a glimpse into what Logan Paul considers to be acceptable behaviour. It was only after the mainstream backlash that he pulled the video and apologised.

This is worse than making an off-the-cuff tweet, Logan Paul had time to think about this as it was being edited and uploaded.

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So now, eight months later, evil Draco Malfoy is back in the YouTube mainstream and in a matter of hours is going to fight one of the UK’s biggest YouTubers in a boxing match. Very few people are discussing his actions in Japan anymore, and for that reason, Logan Paul has already won the fight.

Shame on KSI for working with this guy, in a bout that’s nothing more than a PR cash-grab. In an attempt to save the Logan Paul brand, he’s taking part in something that’s so ridiculous, people will start to remember him as the guy who got beat up by KSI and not the moron who mocked suicide for personal gain.

“But Matt, in this world of constant surveillance, where the spotlight is on our lives 24/7 — shouldn’t we eventually forgive those who make mistakes and allow them to continue their careers?”

Great question!

No, no we shouldn’t.

I’m not asking for Logan Paul to be charged with committing a crime, I’m just asking that he no longer gets to make a living doing what he does. He can go out and get a job in a different vocation, I have no issue with that.

There are millions of content creators the world over who deserve to make a career on YouTube. Half of them are genuinely talented, and all of them have never found a dead body and laughed at suicide.

In a world where we’re all seeking our own personal slice of celebrity — Be it more friends on Facebook, more followers on Twitter or a successful Instagram — Those who deserve it are the people that reflect the best aspects of our societies.

Even the most introverted of us get a little kick out of life when a few more people are paying attention from afar. It’s an attention culture; A war for the most pairs of eyes.

Throughout history we’ve put the best artists and the worst people on pedestals, but with the internet age we have the chance to vote with our attention. We should continue to champion the best artists, but also the best and kindest people.

I say all this, but it’s entirely idealistic, especially considering one of the worst celebrities of the last fifty years is the current President of the United States.

The more likely outcome from all of this is that the 4 Billion Subscribed, 3x Boxing Champion, 2x Academy Award Winner and one time child of all the worst aspects of our species — Logan Paul — becomes President in the year 2044 by an absolute landslide. In what will be described by future-historians as “the second worst Republican presidency in history.”

The reactionist in me hopes that Logan Paul is punched square in the face several times tonight, but the cynical realist tells me that he’ll make a million dollars for each one he takes.


Today is Saturday, August 25th and if you follow me on Twitter @mattwwriter, I’ll follow you back — so we can connect and share in each other’s attention.

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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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