Trending

How About a Dose of Reality?

Cancel culture and feigned outrage need to face the facts...

SPONSORED / PAID FOR BY DTC (DEFEND THE COMICS) 
SPECIES: HOMO SAPIEN
TAXONOMY: a.1.43.Luke.19.1971.OT.
TYPE: 1ST PERSON EXPERIENTIAL

INDICATIONS AND MEDICAL DISCLOSURE:

Trigger Warning

ZEITFRO® (alkaline antifreeze [ALF]) [dosage/instructions: taken after scone and artisanal Cappucino--read below-- 2x per day or otherwise directed by a medical doctor; limit: three doses per day]

INDICATIONS AND DOSAGE: ONE READING HAS BEEN CLINICALLY PROVEN TO SHOW SIGNS OF HELPING TO HELP, OR POTENTIALLY TRYING TO HELP BUT FAILING OR RECEIVING A PARTICIPATION BADGE FOR TRYING, ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOR INCLUDING HATING AS DISPLACEMENT OF SELF-LOATHING OR SELF-LOVE (AKA SCHADENFREUDE), SYMPTOMS CAUSED BY EXCESSIVE NARCISSISM, ENNUI, ANGER MANAGEMENT DISORDER, AND NTDWYTFOCS [also known as ATW (ACUTE TIME WASTING) SYNDROME, OFTEN LINKED TO CHILDHOOD CRUELTY TO SMALL ANIMALS AND LIFE-LONG PATTERNS OF SOCIOPATHIC BEHAVIOR].

PARENTAL WARNING: UNCENSORED THOUGHTS CONTAINED BELOW, SOME OF WHICH MIGHT CAUSE SEIZURES, 'HOT DOG' FINGERS, ACUTE RESPIRATORY FAILURE INCLUDING POPCORN LUNGS, PINPRICK MACROECONOMIC BUBBLE BURSTING, THE ABANDONMENT OF ALLIES OF CONVENIENCE AKA 'MILD GENOCIDAL SYNDROME' (MGS and gluten-free), CARDIAC EPISODES, PANIC ATTACKS AND HALLUCINATIONS FEATURING CAMEOS BY BILL COSBY, RON HOWARD, GLORIA ESTEFAN, KEVIN SPACEY, HEART (the WHOLE band), R. KELLY AND ALL THE CATHOLIC PRIESTS OF YOUR YOUTH. ANYONE WHO HAS DIABETES OR ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION SHOULD CONSULT A DOCTOR BEFORE READING THIS ARTICLE. THOSE WITH GENDER APHASIA OR WHO WANT TO CHANGE GENDER ARE ALSO ADVISED TO WEAR 3-D GLASSES BEFORE READING BELOW THIS LINE OF TEXT. FURTHERMORE, FWIW FOR ALL WHO HAVE THE FOBLO VARIANT OF COVID. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME WITHOUT A 'SPOTTER.'

How about this comment from my mom's friend sitting next to me, a half-Jewish woman who I worried about offending by clicking "play" on Netflix on the now-infamous Chappelle special?

"I don't understand what the controversy is about..."

Well, yeah - that was the best outcome I could've hoped for when I pressured two aging hippies, activists who pushed for the Gloria Steinem / Helen Ready phase of feminism. But they also participated in the stuff that led MLK and Rosa Parks to fight hard for their place at the front of the bus. Full disclosure - one is my mother. The other is a woman I'll just call Bob (challenge parenthetical: use Hitchhiker's Guide to grok the Bob reference) so that nobody cancels this blue-haired beauty. Bob danced with Mama Cass and performed with the Rockettes. She is half-Jewish.

Archie Bunker is top of my mind as I write these words, and I know that Norman Lear knew what he was doing with that comedy. But he's a Space Jew (jk… duh).

What did Bob say to me when Chappelle's confessional comedy canon-fire finished with a punchline about sucking dick?

"I don't understand what the controversy is about..." -- Bob

Who'll be the hero of the inevitable swing of the pendulum towards some kind of true north -- fucking David Chappelle. I won't use that N-word here, because I'm not allowed. I don't want to be aborted before the fetus becomes human, and I'm not brown like Chappelle. Actually, I will use it - he's a Bad-ass N - as in Nostradamus. A hard one who tells the truth. And we can all learn from his truth.

All this is to say - Chappelle is a good lad, for real. He's not just a comedic genius. He's a man who fought against all odds, a scrapper (like my mom and her friend) looking to break the chain of privileged control of wealth and do his mfg thing. He knows his people and his history - and not just the black part of it all. And he is funny as fuck.

Here's the thing about it: I personally believe that America is *UN - FUCKING - AMERICAN*right now, and Chappelle fired a giant warning flare into the sky, an S.O.S. We need to talk, laugh, discuss things. We should not look for "gotcha" moments and reasons for hating one another.

We don't all need to be homogenous robots praying at the altar of some sort of C culture of silliness. Why work if you can whine? Nah. People want to work. We need to be human. Humans are tribal and we will have bias. And then there's this -- stereotypes contain both truth and danger. Not forever-truth but truth that comes from history, from epigenetic behavior that crosses culture and art and charisma and bloodlines stretching back to Africa. That's why I want to say this: Chappelle is our Nostradamus. If we look back years from now and identify a cultural inflection point, we will need a person in charge of that moment. That's kind of the way we catalog history.

Excerpt from new Rasmussen poll Excerpt from new Rasmussen poll rasmussenreports.com

If you can't beat them, join 'em. Check out this newly published poll. These polls are super corrupt, I know. Just do the math. I mean - who wants jury duty or has time for this b.s.? Well-and-so, Facebook including Instagram - might be the altar to pray at for popular opinion. But… err… why is everyone on Facebook talking about what they had for breakfast and trolling for self-confidence from busted-up spaghetti code companies run by self-loathing geeks? I mean, who died and made Zuckerberg the foremost expert on how to be social? Sheesh - he comes across as the kind of dude who not only got shoved in the locker at high school but actually deserved it.

On a serious (not 'suck my dick'... tsk-tsk) note, I will also say this about Mr. Chappelle: he's worthy of comparison to the great comics who came before - everyone from Groucho to Gleeson to Lenny Bruce, Pryor, Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, Rock, Tina Fey, and we cannot forget Carlin. But here's the thing that might be more important - he really feels. He's not out to judge, but to connect with everyone from trans people to the waiter at the fancy places he frequents. He's an empath - and not in some kind of bullshit X-Files way.

He's someone who keeps score according to a personal moral code that he cannot ignore and which informs his craft. That makes him a full-blown creator of literature and art who will be remembered for a long time to come. He's a storyteller and social commentator on par with some of the world's greatest - Oscar Wilde, James Baldwin, Dick Gregory, Lou Reed, Michael Lewis, Malcolm Gladwell, David Sedaris, Jay-Z, Regina King, Kendrick Lamar - writers and thinkers.

His (he / him / his) comedy is part of the new literature we need to consume because by doing so, we learn.

Thanks, Chappelle, for the S.O.S. We've got to save this fucking ship.

GOAT. Rising.

Dave Chappelle Photo by By Gemunu Amarasinghe (AP/Shutterstock)

Some songs as a p.s. [warning: internet connection and decent speakers required]:

True to Myself - Ziggy Marley

What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong

Thousands are Sailing - The Pogues

Same Love - Macklemore

Street Fighting Man - Rolling Stones

Daydream Believer - The Monkees

Why Are You On Facebook - Van Morrison

Dirty Boulevard - Lou Reed

Girls - Beastie Boys

Je T'aime, Serge Gainsbourg/Charlotte Gainsbourg

Democracy - Lumineers

Rain Street - Pogues

Angel of Harlem - U2

Black Boys on Mopeds - Sinead O'Connor

Lonely Teardrops - Jackie Wilson

River - Leon Bridges

What does freedom really mean?

The meaning of freedom can vary from person to person, so what does it mean for all?

Freedom is a fundamental element of liberty; it's a concept, a value, and a feeling.

Keep reading...Show less

The POTUS Is Fictional: Best US Presidents in Film

Here's the best conspiracy theory you'll hear all day (among the many coming out of the White House): None of this is happening.

Everything since the 2016 presidential election is just B-roll for a parody movie about the American presidency. Our actual president is dancing with Annette Bening at a state dinner. Our president is balancing the federal budget with common sense. Our American president is kicking ass on Air Force One.

Keep reading...Show less

We Can't Have Joe Biden's "Unity" Without Accountability

Biden, Obama, Bush, and Clinton were the four horsemen of the 2021 Inauguration.

Well, Trump is out.

Joe Biden's Inauguration into Presidential office unfolded in a spectacle of patriotism with a slight undercurrent of fear following the white supremacist insurrection at the Capitol in early January.

Keep reading...Show less

Black Voters Won Georgia. Now It’s Time for Democrats to Listen

For too long we've been told that "Black" politics would scare away moderates

First thing's first: I need white people to stop treating Stacey Abrams like their savior.

Deification, a form of dehumanization, strips a person of their humanity and turns them into a symbol. By overhyping Stacey Abrams, white people assert their goodness on the back of a Black woman, trying to be woke by association.

While Abrams deserves much praise, we cannot continue to place superhuman expectations upon her. We also cannot act like she was solely responsible for discovering a secret to turning Georgia blue. The reality is that Stacey Abrams worked tirelessly alongside other dedicated organizers to address the voter suppression Black people have been fighting in Georgia for decades.

Keep reading...Show less

When Will We Know the Results of the 2020 Presidential Election?

Here's everything you need to know about Election Day 2020.

For many of us, it's been a very long, divisive four years. Finally, the end (for better or for worse) is in sight.

Today, November 3rd 2020, all remaining votes for the president of the United States of America will be cast. Most years we know who will be the next president by the end of election night, but like many things in 2020, this election will likely be different.

Keep reading...Show less

Who Are the Proud Boys, the Extremist Group Trump Told to "Stand By?"

The far-right group has links with the 2017 Unite the Right Rally and recent alt-right rallies in Portland, Oregon.

In case you were blissfully unaware, last night marked the first presidential debate between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

In what has been called "maybe the worst presidential debate in American history," Trump's constant interruptions of both Biden and moderator Chris Wallace did very little to expand his appeal beyond his existing fervent fan base. The president also repeatedly tried to associate Biden with the radical left—a statement that is simply not true. And while Biden kept a relatively calm composure, he missed a few key talking points, his most memorable quote being "Will you shut up, man?"

Keep reading...Show less

It's Time to Stop Gamifying Politics

Game of Thrones remains a guilty pleasure, despite the show's pathetic death with a whimper in Season 8. The great moments still serve as vignettes about human nature and the forces that drive people towards good, ill will, or mere survival. Some of those great moments share a particular phrase: "I wish you good fortune in the wars to come." There's an otherworldly aspect to that phrase. A character about to explode into violence or face his own doom wishing his enemy "good fortune" strikes me as honorable. It's a clear-eyed assessment of what destruction lay in store.

I fear that we now face our own game of thrones in America. What has been an awful year only looks worse as we descend into a foul mood in advance of the 2020 election. We stand on the brink of dangerous things and very dark times. I think of Spain in the 1930s. That civil war had antecedents comparable to our own situation: social divides along rigid dichotomies, including the rural versus urban, religion versus secularism, capitalism versus socialism, and law versus anarchy. At the end of the day, there were no "good guys," as mass killings of political enemies occurred on both sides. Prosperity and freedom were casualties, alongside hundreds of thousands of lives.

I actually doubt that such a quick devolution lies in store for us. Rather, I suspect we face a less dramatic and more prolonged devolution, unless we can resolve the philosophical–rather than political–gaps in our own society.

Were our differences only "political," we could understand each other. But we now find that the "political" has become the "philosophical."

In 2020 America we live in basic disagreement about the country itself. On the one hand, those subscribing to the philosophy of the 1619 Project and the BLM movement strongly believe that our country lives a racist lie. On the other hand, those subscribing to the philosophy of American exceptionalism strongly believe that our nation remains a city on the hill and a beacon of freedom for people everywhere. Objectively, we are a house divided, with little ability to compromise.

And now comes the election with high stakes of one basic philosophy crushing the other. Is it even possible to find peace?

At the very least,we can ratchet down the rhetoric. We can agree to refrain from language that demonizes the other side. Simple disagreement, particularly on a philosophical matter, does not require personal animus. But we talk in the most suspicious terms about the intentions of others. We talk about "voting as if our lives depend upon it," which wouldn't be the case if we all refrained from threats, lack of incivility, and actual violence. Demonizing "the other side" with demeaning language and threats only begs for retaliation. It's no wonder that people fear destruction.

We do not hold our politicians accountable for this situation, because those politicians encourage us to continue the cycle so they can ingratiate themselves with supporters

When confronted about civil unrest, politicians blame each other for irresponsible statements and dangerous escalations. They jockey for position as to "who started it" like children in the playground. But, in the end, they do not step back, and they do not de-escalate. Rather, they seem hellbent on inflaming things further in the pursuit of political power.

It's time we stop gamifying politics. Right now, each side sees a zero-sum game, such that one side has the chance to win at the others' total expense, based on how well democracy can be gamed by any means. We no longer trust each other, we no longer extend goodwill, and we no longer want to play by rules, unless those rules are certain to benefit us in the outcome. No one can even agree on the process of voting itself, with grave concerns over the mail-in voting process for 2020.

As de Maistre said, "Every nation gets the government it deserves." The chaos and dysfunction in our politics reflects the chaos and dysfunction in our own polity. We have to decide whether winning at all costs is really the goal. I urge us all to take it down a notch.

I urge us all to focus on processes that unite, as opposed to trying to set up rules that allow us to win. I urge us all to stop with the threats and to extend some good will to the other side. I urge more grace in victory and less malice in defeat.

Otherwise, I wish us good fortune in the wars to come.

Margaret Caliente is a professional athlete turned internet entrepreneur and Manhattan-based journalist.

What's Going On with the USPS?

#SaveTheUSPS? Budget cuts and reforms have made it difficult for the Post Office, a beloved American institution to do its job.

The United States Post Office is under attack.

Direct attacks from the president, COVID-19, government failure to provide aid, and a radical new postmaster general have all contributed to what's shaping up to be a veritable disaster for American mail—one that might have consequences for the upcoming November election.

The Postal Service's Opponents: COVID-19, Trump, DeJoy, and Money

2020 has been extremely difficult for most people and businesses, and the USPS, which reported a $3 billion loss in the last three months, is no difference. Democrats proposed giving the postal service $25 billion in aid as part of their latest coronavirus stimulus package, which stalled to a standstill in Congress due to partisan divides. Without significant aid, the USPS has suffered intensely during the COVID-19 pandemic—and so have its customers.

Keep reading...Show less

Inside ALEC: the Secretive Council that Funds Prisons and Climate Change

ALEC puts people in for-profit jails, prevents gun laws, and stops action against climate change—all from inside locked hotel conference rooms.

In the "corporate bill mill" where corporate leaders and politicians meet, schmooze, and decide the future of the planet, evil is at work.

Georgia Senator Nan Orrick, a former ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) member, describes back rooms in Vegas resorts and behind-closed-doors legislative sessions where corporations not only vote on bills—they write them.

ALEC brands itself as an educational charity, she says, but hefty donations (memberships can cost $25,000 a year) fund "education efforts" for legislators, according to a local 11 Alive broadcast—educational efforts led by multi-billion dollar corporations with specific agendas.

The Investigators: ALEC - The Backroom Where Laws Are Bornwww.youtube.com

In the end, Orrick left ALEC because it was just a bunch of "angry white men," she said.

But these "angry white men" have arguably guided America towards the state it's currently in, making some sort of revolution inevitable.

From the Prison Industrial Complex to Stand Your Ground: ALEC's History of Oppression and Harm

ALEC was partly responsible for the massive spike in prison populations over the last few decades—a 500% increase over the last 40 years, to be exact. In 1995, ALEC's "Truth Sentencing Act" was signed in 25 states. ALEC also pushed for mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders. And ALEC helped privatize the bail bond industry and has worked to pass laws to create for-profit prisons, catalyzing what we now know as the Prison Industrial Complex.

Unsurprisingly, two of ALEC's major sponsors include the Corrections Corporation of America and the Geo Group (formerly Wackenhut Corrections).

"An In These Times investigation last summer revealed that ALEC arranged secret meetings between Arizona's state legislators and CCA to draft what became SB 1070, Arizona's notorious immigration law, to keep CCA prisons flush with immigrant detainees," write Mike Elk and Bob Sloan in The Nation. "ALEC has proven expertly capable of devising endless ways to help private corporations benefit from the country's massive prison population."

In Ava DuVernay's documentary 13th, which tells the story of Black oppression in America from the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865 until today, she dives into ALEC and how—building on momentum from the War on Drugs—it resulted in the mass criminalization of Black people, leading to a system of punishment that Michelle Alexander calls "The New Jim Crow."

13TH | FULL FEATURE | Netflixwww.youtube.com

ALEC has a long track record of creating racist policies that disenfranchise vulnerable populations. For example, they were an origin point of voter ID laws that successfully prevented many voters from participating in elections. In 2011, the civil rights organization Color of Change launched an investigation into ALEC's political actions in 2011, and reported that for years, "the right wing has been trying to stop Black people, other people of color, young people, and the elderly from voting for partisan gain—and now some of America's biggest companies are helping them do it."

ALEC was also responsible for creating the "Stand Your Ground Laws," which helped George Zimmerman go home free after he shot Trayvon Martin.

Once people began connecting the dots and investigating this law across states, they realized that the bill looked almost identical from state to state—and were able to trace its origins back to ALEC.

A Foundation Built on Disregard For Human Life

Destruction is in ALEC's lifeblood. Two of ALEC's early founders were the Koch brothers, both of whom played a significant role in destroying early government action against climate change. Over recent years, ALEC has doubled down on its efforts to defend fracking and to fight against protestors and whistleblowers, passing bills that threaten to fine and imprison anyone who attempts to vandalize pipelines, and beyond.

Business InsiderKoch Brothers

Other current corporate sponsors include the tobacco industry, the giant pharmaceutical company Pfizer, the National Rifle Association, Wal-Mart, ExxonMobil, and hundreds of other corporations. That means that these major corporations have a say in what bills are passed where.

ALEC has faced some resistance. After whistleblowers published a database called ALEC Exposed in Wikipedia, corporate sponsors began to face pressure to leave the shadowy lawmaking organization. Coca-Cola, Kraft, Intuit, the Gates Foundation, Google, and other companies pulled out. Hundreds of legislators have cut ties—but ALEC continues to meet year after year.

ALEC Is Still Alive and Well—and Was Fighting to Reopen in Mid-May

ALEC is still alive and well today, if quiet (or very good at diverting attention from it). According to the ALEC Exposed Wikipedia page, ALEC has been "Leading Right-Wing Campaign to Reopen the Economy Despite COVID-19" this May.

The suffering that some of ALEC's bills have caused is literally unimaginable–and genuinely apocalyptic in scale. The number of lives ruined from big pharma, gun violence, climate change, and mass incarceration is absolutely uncountable. Bills like the "No Sanctuary Cities for Illegal Immigrants Act," the "Consistency of Firearm Regulation" Act (which prevents local areas from restricting firearm possession), and many others have each had brutal lived consequences on people's lives—and each was created in an unjust, secretive way.

Yet ALEC still insists that it's a legal organization and that its nay-sayers are simply delusional leftists.

But if ALEC really were a legal organization, wouldn't they open their doors to the media instead of forcibly removing the reporters who try to enter at its annual policy summit?

Of course the fact that corporations are running the show nowadays isn't exactly a surprise, and ALEC is just one of the many corporate lobbyist groups that are "ghostwriting the government," as one Harvard Political Review report put it. The best of these groups are probably so secretive that no one knows exactly what they're called or where they are. Certainly, ALEC is growing alongside the times, figuring out how to further its agenda as more politicians refuse corporate donations, and who knows: It may disappear completely, reforming itself as another slick corporate group in some other identical hotel ballroom, ruining lives with the flick of a few keystrokes.

But at least the people are beginning to wise up to the fact that many of our lawmakers have pledged allegiance not to the people but to corporations.

United States of ALEC: A Follow-Upwww.youtube.com