People or Political Pawns?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

teargaschildren

Wait…what?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted this yesterday:

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

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

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

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


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

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So…Lock Her Up…?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

nixonstone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Say No to Michael Avenatti

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah, I don’t think so.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Did Jim Acosta?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sarahsanders.jpeg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Election Day Anxieties

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

cruzyall

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

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

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

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

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

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

seanhannity.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Discussion w/ Ben Eckstein About His Movie, Zero Fucks

It’s not often you read about a movie that features a talking, anthropomorphic cat, who also happens to be a certain presidential psychopath. In this independently made, post-apocalyptic satirical film you will see just that, and more. Much more!

In my search for all things Twin Peaks, an addiction I’ll never quite shake, I stumbled upon an article about Zero Fucks. After silently rooting for this movie from the sidelines for a week or two, I received an unexpected message from director Ben Eckstein and was fortunate enough to have a quick chat with him about his creation.

I’m a big supporter of independent cinema, original and surreal concepts, and healthy helpings of political satire — All elements that makeup Ben’s production. He has made this film with a fantastic team of people, and has now launched a crowdfunding campaign to secure its future.

I wish I had some cool story and location of exactly where Ben and myself met. You know, like in the proper articles by proper people. Alas, we simply conversed online, like the digital children we are. But it was a wonderful chat, and if I hadn’t said anything a couple of sentences ago, then you (the reader) could’ve imagined that we’d met in person.

Actually, for the purposes of establishing a “mood”, can you just pretend we had this conversation in an LA cafe or something? You’d be doing all of us a favour.

image

In your words, could you briefly explain the premise of this film?

Zero Fucks is a dark, subversive, post-apocalyptic political satire exploring what might be the motivations of a mad man pursuing power and what might happen if he actually got it…

Personally, I’m incredibly interested in the film’s blend of surrealism with satire — What made you combine these two genres?

I’ve been involved in theatre most of my life and always fascinated by the works of Antonin Artaud, Samuel Beckett, Bertolt Brecht, Eugene Ionesco and other surrealist playwrights. I really couldn’t get enough, and probably read close to everything these men ever wrote. It just seemed to fit with how my brain works and they felt more realistic than surrealistic to me. Satire is a natural side effect of seeing things from a different point of view, and it comes across as satire to the audience, but as the writer, I’m dead serious.

Do you have an active interest in politics? Are you trying to make a statement with this movie?

Yes. I’ve been an political activist throughout my life and seen whole movements crumble into nothing and got my ideological heart broken many times. I don’t carry signs in front of town halls anymore, but use story as a vehicle for change instead. If we think differently we act differently. I’m tired of arguing, I want to inspire. So this movie is not about slipping on a banana, it is still funny, but at the end I hope you’ll feel a little fear and you won’t know how you got there, but the that feeling will be possessive and hopefully it will motivate people into action.

What do you think the real Donald Trump would say if he saw this movie?

It’s going to be his favorite movie and he’ll watch it all the time…but he’ll never admit it.

I loved Twin Peaks: The Return, in which John Pirruccello played the detestable Chad. Now he’s playing Donald Trump as a cat, so I have to ask — Is Mr Pirruccello a nice person in real life?

John Pirruccello is the nicest man you’ll ever meet. He is sensitive, intelligent and superbly talented. John has given a nuanced and irresistible performance as Donald Pump, the trash talking cat. I can’t wait to share it with the world- if there is justice in these things- he should clean up come award season.

Thanks for chatting with me Ben! Before you go, could you tell anyone reading why they should support this movie?

There is so much goodwill and interest surrounding this project, but we simply can’t self-fund the final step of post production. If you believe in bold, original, independent stories- this is your chance to stand up for one that hopes to make a difference and add something to the conversation about our future. Come join the Zero Fucks movement and make this movie with us! Go to our crowdfunding page at zerofsmovie.com to donate now!

I just want to echo Ben’s closing statement and encourage you to support this movie. It’s so clear to see that he and his team are passionate about this project, and we always need more content that shines a spotlight on the underbelly of the establishment.

There are a multitude of reasons to support this movie, but if you only back it for the sole reason that Donald Trump might one day be aware of this film, and hate-watch it out of fear of the destruction of his fragile ego — Well, then I’m sure Ben and his team will respect you just the same. I know I will.

Support independent film!


Today is Monday, October 29th and I finished the latest draft of my dystopian novel and I cannot wait to share this world with you.


I normally put a tip jar at the bottom of this page, but you should check out zerofsmovie.com instead! Have a great week everyone, look after yourself and each other.

Predicting Trump

At a rally in Montana last night, Trump praised congressman Greg Gianforte for his body-slamming of a reporter in 2017. Given the current climate of state-sponsored assassinations of journalists, maybe a joke about violence towards the free press wasn’t the best call.

I’ve decided not to write about that specifically this morning, as I’m sick of writing about the latest demented thing Trump has said. So instead I want to predict some of the insane things that Trump will say (either in interviews or at rallies) in the next couple of years. Then, in 2020 (or 2024), when this weird blip in the American timeline is over, we can look back on this list to see how many I got right. You can all buy me a drink or something, I really don’t mind.

They won’t be anything obvious, like an impeachment reaction — Just little things that will get him in trouble with 60% of America and the rest of the world, but have the 40% double-down on him for some reason. Roll clickbait title…

Four Things Trump Will Say in the Next Two Years, But Also He Might Not Because This Isn’t Science

1. Proud “Cradle Robber”

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The current frontrunners to win the Democratic primaries are Joe Biden (75) and Bernie Sanders (77). With Donald Trump (72) being the spring-chicken of the bunch, age will likely be a topic in 2019 and 2020.

The Democratic party needs a prominent young voice, and they have several potential future candidates waiting in the wings, but none will have enough experience by 2020. So maybe the Democrats learn their lesson and nominate Sanders, but it’ll be one election too late, as Bernie would be knocking-on eighty by the time of his inauguration.

Trump will mention this during the primaries, despite his poorer mental and physical health. During a campaign rally speech he’ll brag about how much younger he is than Sanders, commenting that he still plays golf on a regular basis and spends a lot of time with Kanye West. However, he will also let slip that he currently sleeps with young women, forgetting to use the past-tense in his verbiage.

Prediction: Trump will say “I even have sex with beautiful young women” and the media will take that to mean currently, Trump will be referring to the porn-stars he paid off in the past, and the White House will have to spin it as — “He meant Melania… and also not plural.”

2. The Saudi Arabian Accent

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This one won’t sound as bad as it’s intended, as we know that Trump can’t do accents or impressions. Every time he attempts to impersonate someone, they just sound like Donald Trump. I won’t overanalyse that one.

The West is in a difficult situation with Saudi Arabia at the moment. SA are like that terrible partner you had — the one who says they’re going to be better, do less terrible things and try to spend more time with your friends — but they haven’t shown signs of improvement, and occasionally do something worse than ever before. The problem is, you can’t leave them, because of their lucrative billion-dollar business-deals and oil supplies. I sort of killed the relationship analogy there, but it’s fine, we’re here now.

Trump will eventually have to take a hard public stance on SA, even if he continues to deal with them in the dark (everyone else will be, this isn’t a Trump specific thing). And so I think he’ll use a mocking tone when repeating the words of a Saudi Prince or official.

Prediction: Trump will do an offensive accent, but we’ll only know it was intended as such because he does a weird thing with his face/arms/body — The voice will sound 90% like Donald Trump.

3. House of Representatives? House of Shmepreshmentatives.

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Democrats taking the senate seems like a big stretch, although it would send a message to America that would also slowly save the morality of the Republican party. However, most are predicting that the Democrats will take the house. This is an absolute must for America. The Presidency, the house, the senate and the supreme court would make for a violent and terrifying two years. If we thought white supremacists marching in public and children in cages were bad, wait until you see what the Good Old Boys do with a stacked deck.

If Trump’s Republican army loses the House, he will try to claim that it doesn’t really matter anyway. After touting that every seat is important in recent rallies, he’ll brush it all under the rug and focus on the senate and supreme court victories.

This would be Trump’s first real defeat since taking office, and he has a track record of not responding well to failure. The last couple of times he bankrupted himself, went millions of dollars into debt and released Trump Steaks.

Prediction: Trump will act like the midterms were no big deal. He’ll start talking about his success with Kavanaugh and that he beat Hillary in 2016 immediately after the mid-term results.

4. The Kushner Rant

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Trump is very family-oriented when it comes to his own blood. As the Mueller investigation gets closer to Trump’s family, in the form on Don Jr and his meetings with Russian diplomats, the President will deny all allegations towards his son to the bitter-end. However, we also know that Trump is a yuge fan of divorce, and so I think he’ll throw Jared Kushner under the bus to protect his “baby-girl” Ivanka (36, not even his youngest daughter).

I listened to a podcast series recently about the Nixon Presidency — Watergate, the tapes, the trials and impeachments. That all took several years to come about, and Mueller is using a similar, careful process as he works from the outer-circle, inwards. The evidence is increasingly alarming, albeit slow. Kushner, his international dealings and his tax-evasions, will all be big topics in 2019 (I think).

And so, to distance himself from his greasy son-in-law, Donald will go on a rather extended rant about “cheating” Jared Kushner. He’ll start bringing-up things that reporters don’t even know about, in order to besmirch Kushner’s character. I’m talking dinner-table stories and personal details. “Ivanka told me he can’t even get it up sometimes, I have no problems there honey, let me tell ya.”

Prediction: Trump will turn on, and subsequently rant about, Jared Kushner when he’s brought down for tax evasion and possibly treason. All to take the focus away from himself.


Today is Friday, October 19th and it’s all just a bit of fun really, isn’t it?

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