Oscars crowd mixing with the commoners

This is probably more a sign of my own cynicism than anything else.

I’ve never particularly cared for awards shows, Oscars included. It isn’t because of some intellectual reason, such as how it’s insufferable navel-gaving, or the show costing enough money to feed an entire lower-class neighbourhood. Nor was it something as benign as simply finding it boring.

I just never really cared. I would see it on television, regard it for a moment, take in the sight of dazzling lights, attractive people and back-slapping laughter, before returning outside to ride my BMX around the yard.

Because I read the news for reasons that still utterly bewilder me, I understood that there was a moment in the Oscar’s ceremony in where the gathering of actors allowed some commoners in the room so that they could be surprised by being blessed with the company of actors.

My cynicism would suggest that this might be a case of them being damned if they do/don’t. I mean, I might have criticised the Oscars for being a room full of rich people detached from the plight of the real world. But now that they’ve done this little stunt, here I am criticising them for being rich people letting real people into their little world – even if for about five minutes.

To look at this stunt superficially, you’d surmise that this is just Jimmy Kimmel being Jimmy Kimmel, and that he was treating the Oscars as an extension of his late night show. Perhaps.

To be a cynic like me, you’d see Hollywood actors realising that their detachment with common people has resulted in regular people rejecting them and their opinions. It was this rejection that cost Hillary the election, after she trotted out celebrity endorsement after celebrity endorsement. This stunt was an attempt to show that actors and Hollywood still have the “common touch”.

Ockham’s Razor would suggest that the former explanation would be the most likely. But if you look at the name of this blog, you’d see that I’d tend to the latter. People who have usually held large amounts of power tend to always want to keep it, and those people have realised that their pandering to their followers resulted in them losing.

This gesture was an attempt to make Hollywood more relateable.

I don’t buy it.

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The Folly of Partisan Headlines

As the media flounders around, trying to get a bead on their audience, in order to maintain their sphere of influence – and a source of income – I figured I would impart my own opinion on where exactly it is they’re going wrong.

Take this headline, for example.

“Late-night hosts on Trump’s disastrous press conference”

Or follow up with the headlines following the Uber Troll’s appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher.

“Bill Maher’s Shameful Mainstreaming of Yiannopoulos’ Hate”

The media seems intent on telling the audience how to think, rather than presenting everything without emotion and letting the audience make up their own mind. Take, for instance, the latter example above. Milo Yiannopoulos’ message has typically centred around open discussion and exchange of ideas, but anyone who listens to him fire off his self-congratulatory words and his incendiary comments on Islam would hardly feel welcome in having such an open discussion with him.

I wouldn’t be interested in debating Yiannopoulos, not because of his supposed Nazism, but because I don’t believe he is being honest. He goes straight for the provocative, and then feeds from the reaction. I don’t believe this is open and honest debate.

However considering how rebuttals to Yiannopoulos seem to revolve around variations of deploying the word “Fuck”, I can see how we got here. But, to my original point – and it relays back to a previous post I’ve made – the media needs to stop this kind of headlining. As I distrust the media as much as anyone else, I’ll break down my thought process when I see a baity headline. Let’s go through it step-by-step:

  1. I see headline
  2. I see headline is clearly slanted against a person
  3. I get impression that article will be unbalanced, and therefore only wants to present a skewed version of events
  4. I go elsewhere to find a more balanced take on the event, or at least a counter viewpoint.
  5. I find counter viewpoint with comparatively benign headline. That viewpoint seems far more rational, but promotes a Right-wing idea.
  6. Trust the latter source more

I’m not saying that this is how others would think. I’m just saying that this is how I think, and that I’m just an average Joe. I am not unique. So, this could be why the trust in the media is as low as it is.

I’m uneducated, but I know when someone is speaking to me like an idiot. The media, as I said before, needs to give me reason to trust them again, and the attempts to mock, deride and yell over someone with wrong ideas only turns me against them.

I hate that this is what the Left has become. We were the side of peace, understanding and free thought. I don’t see that anymore.

But believe me, if I see the Right doing the exact thing I question above, you bet your ass I’ll treat them with the same skepticism.

Who’s the real resistance?

Another day, another celebrity proclaiming politics. At what point does this kind of behaviour turn from actual political activism into blatant marketing? It is becoming difficult to tell who exactly is genuinely looking to protest, and who is hitching their wagon to the hate machine.

Today saw witness to the unholy ritual of hedonistic navel gazing that is the Grammy’s, and Katy Perry made no secret of her stance – for any of us who might have missed her declaration of allegiance during the campaign trail. Her uniform for today’s sermon is viewable as thus:

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A white pantsuit with armband emblazoned with the word “Resist”. I am sure many would attempt to mock the costume for its lack of subtlety, however I would ask those people to review pop culture for the past decade and ask exactly how a lack of subtlety is surprising today.

The ginormous question mark I have regarding this statement from Perry relates to whom exactly is the resistance?

Because, I really don’t know anymore.

Those who would vote Clinton would consider themselves the resistance to a boorish, contemptuous man who embodies everything distasteful you can find in a human being. However, those who would vote Trump would consider themselves the resistance to a corrupt establishment who embodies everything distasteful you can find in politics.

One has been in power for nearly a decade and has enriched their contemporaries and chums. One has been in power for nearly three weeks and is an enriched billionaire who probably has already-rich contemporaries and chums.

I detest labels, but if i must affix one to myself, I might as well do it in a manner that properly positions myself on the political spectrum. Yes, I consider myself a moderate, which is probably the most heinous thing one can be in this world of extremes.

So, now that I’ve pissed off anyone who might have mistakenly fallen in here, I might as well say it; Perry’s side isn’t actually the resistance.

I have difficulty believing that someone as prominent, wealthy and connected as Katy Perry being part of a “resistance”. This is not some grassroots movement, but big money trying to get everyone’s eyes on the “correct” people. Look, I don’t doubt that Perry believes she’s part of something special. I genuinely think she believes in this. But I think she fails to realise that she is just another tool of the ruling class, and like Meryl Streep before her, is simply preaching to the already converted.

The resistance, I think, would be the working class people across the United States who took the only thing they had that resembled power, and utilised it against big money. The resistance are the poor who wanted to say “enough” and send a message that they too mattered.

I can only really see the conga-line of braying celebrities as an enormous meltdown because they didn’t get their way. That is not a resistance. They pushed so hard during the campaign, and they desperately wanted to “make history” again in electing the first woman President (to follow the first black President), but to have that snatched away by a man who embodies everything they hate has made them snap. I have trouble believing in a resistance lead by ultra rich people who never have to worry about a single monetary problem in their entire lives.

This is how big money throws a tantrum.

By pretending it’s something its not.

Celebrity delusion and detachment

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I think there is something that prominent people and celebrities need to realise, and realise fast. However, I do understand that they may find it difficult to make this realisation as the position they now find themselves is new and alien. But now it has been smashed upon them with the haste of a bowling ball hurtling down the alley.

For the rest of us, though, the writing was on the wall.

This is because we have been expressing our distaste to the thoughts and concerns of the wealthy celebrity class, and typically it has gone unheard. The wealthy celebrity class would not know of any kind of dissent with the commoners, as we all were still buying movie tickets, music and other forms of entertainment. For the most part, we were still on-board with our alliance to the “correct” people and our distaste for the “bad” people (who were typically conservative). Those who denigrated the work of these artists were just trolls who weren’t to be taken seriously.

So, all was good while we watched the movies, listened to the music and elected the correct people into the White House.

But suddenly it turned.

Peoples’ wealth was decimated in the crash of 2008. Jobs vanished, and the worth of our pile of bricks on land dropped through the floor. Everyone tightened their belts and tried to do their best to stay sheltered and fed. The Global Financial Crisis was pointed squarely at Republican excesses and deception, and as a result the people voted for change. They voted for Obama.

Cut to 2016, and the much promised change didn’t eventuate. In fact, if anything, there was a very clear impression that (with the wealth gap growing) it was only the poor people who had to shoulder the burden of Bad Times. So, while everyday Jill’s and Joe’s were searching behind the couch cusions for candle money, this kinda shit was going on.

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Yes, throughout all these hard times, sales boomed for cars that cost three times as much as a modest house.

The message, whether intentional or not, was clear: economic recovery wasn’t for the poor people.

Of course, celebrities are acting with shock and incredulity that the commoners dare to not follow their instructions on how to vote. They act outraged that Trump seems to follow through on his campaign promises (which is very un-politicianlike), yet they still decide to not honour their promise (which is very politicianlike) to move to Canada in the event of Trump’s victory. Yet they continue to stand at lecterns and repeat their sermons in the hope that they can set the flock straight again.

But what this all boils down to is something simple: Celebrity opinions have been rejected.

The people aren’t listening anymore. If anything the people are quite willing to move against a celebrity’s voice. Heck, those celebrities who threatened to move to Canada in the event of Trump’s win didn’t realise that what they offered the people wasn’t a threat, but actually an incentive to vote for Trump. Celebrities, I feel, are over estimating their value.

Lena Dunham said she’ll move to Canada? So did Jon Stewart? Well, shit, if that isn’t an excuse to troll them and send them away, I don’t know what is.

People, I have learned, typically tend to know when they’re being preached to, and they resist dogma. This can only be highlighted by Shia Labeouf’s art project, in where people trolled it, recognising and mocking the lunacy of celebrity excess.

Merryl Streep can challenge Trump all she likes – she is welcome to – but I think her and her ilk fail to understand that all they are doing is preaching to the already converted, galvanising their opposition, and doing precisely zero to convince people in the middle that they shouldn’t vote Trump again.

What the fuck is this?

I just want to make sure that I am clear here, because I would hate for anyone reading this to think I am being cute, or that I am somehow trying to comedically be incredulous as to the bullshittery I have witnessed here.

But what the everloving fuck is this, Guardian?

Trump possessing a bathrobe is not fucking news. Trump watching TV in his bathrobe is not fucking news. The Press Secretary denied him having a bathrobe, but there’s photos of him in one? It’s still not fucking news. Let alone Political news.

I loathe the internet’s insistence that rebutting someone’s arguments must involve insulting them, but for fuck’s sake, Guardian, help me out here.

It’s exactly this kind of bullshit that got him elected, you know? The attempts to smear his character only made people think he wasn’t getting a fair go, and also made them think they were being manipulated into disliking him.

If you didn’t get the memo from November 8, 2016, it didn’t fucking work back then, and it’s not gonna fucking work now. The people rejected that shit.

Look at this clip from, of all places, CNN.

LOOK AT IT.

The guy is clearly telling the media to stop with the attempts at taking Trump down, and the anchor is still trying to justify their actions.

It’s not fucking funny anymore, okay? God, I hate that we’ve gotten here, but I am livid. Do you guys honestly want 8 years of Trump? Because this is how you fucking get 8 years of Trump. Hell, the way we’re going with all the violence in the streets, all Trump needs to do is set fire to the White House to get justification to suspend all civil rights while he tries to “fix the problem of Communists trying to usurp the Government“.

Going back to that CNN clip, the anchor seems completely oblivious to what he’s being told, and still tries to sell the idea that the media is somehow on some righteous path. No. Even if the media was, they have long lost the trust of the audience. Loooooooooong lost it. Now he insists on telling his ever-dwindling viewership that the media is in the right, when instead he should be saying that he will be trying to earn that trust back. Let me be clear on this point. I’m going to bold it for emphasis.

Don’t tell people to trust the media. Show them reason to trust the media.

Because you know why I’m fearful? It’s not because I don’t want Trump out of power. It’s because the media’s continued efforts to take him out are potentially going to result in conflict on the streets. When those who voted for Trump see that their elected President ousted (whether or not you think it was a legitimate victory or not) they are going to revolt. Trump’s support base believes there is a hidden establishment that is against them, and the act of ousting Trump will only confirm their biases.

And they’re not going to fucking like it.

And they’re the ones who champion the second amendment.

They’re the ones with assault weapons.

You fucking idiots.