Now that the Democratic Party's autopsy of the 2016 debacle is well underway, along with the campaign to amend the Constitution to abolish the electoral college and establish direct popular vote — what's that? Oh.
Neither is happening, is it?
Must be because everyone is too busy protesting something or other that is, on some level, aimed at expressing displeasure at Donald Trump's election, or someone he has appointed, or something he has signed.
This is not a rehash of what you've been reading for the week and a half of the new administration.
This is a prognostication of what's ahead, based on what's happening now. And it, too, is NOT like what you've been reading. Because we are not giving praise, bestowing hero status, or issuing a free pass to anybody, no matter how many protests they have attended on some cold day or freezing night street of some city in the "Clinton Archipelago."
If somebody's sensitivities are offended by reading that? In the big, wide real world, it doesn't matter. Getting a grasp on the totality of what's happening does matter, and the likely outcome, including the unanticipated outcomes, the "externalities," of all of it matters even more. Snowflakes better read this in front of the freezer with the door open. Offended by that? Then you are most especially among those who should read this.
Does cringeworthy precede pathetic, or is it the other way around? Either way, repeated exposure to those things will produce groans of "not again" from the intended audience, as it heads for the exits. If you accept that observation, what happens when I tell you it is not intended for who you think it is.
Middle America is rapidly developing visceral disgust over the drifts of "snowflakes" blocking traffic, and they're looking for the salt truck.
The current paradigm of perpetual protest is bringing much of America to that point. Not in disgust and shared agreement over some increasingly elusive "point" of any given protest. A protest by some-group-or-other that doesn't really have, nor feel it even needs, a specific point to make in expressing their unhappiness. Middle America is rapidly developing visceral disgust over the drifts of "snowflakes" blocking traffic, and they're looking for the salt truck. Moreover, they are mystified that you, as well as everyone else in your world, didn't turn against the protesters who kept you from getting to the airport in time to use your nonrefundable preprinted boarding pass.
They can't understand why you aren't dismissing the snowflakes. Who are "they"-? For starters, the ones who didn't block streets when McCain or Romney lost. It's not simply that they can't understand you for supporting those who are publicly expressing themselves because Hillary lost. "They" resent you for being such zealots and crybabies in behalf of your widely reviled defeated candidate, when they know many of you held your nose to vote for her, and when they held their noses to vote for their widely reviled winning candidate.
You can accept that or not about "them." It's offered as background to broaden some perspectives.
The next point is where things start to get important for what you hold dear. This is about the inevitable effects of the current protests. We'll start with what's based on human nature.
You can sustain passion for achieving something, whether that's training for the Olympics or a neighborhood 5K run. But you cannot sustain much of anything based on obstructionist intransigence that goes against the essential nature of your progressive ideology, with its activist admonition and myriad need to DO SOMETHING to make things better. Neither you, nor most people, can sustain much of anything that's dependant on negative emotions. In fact, that's called psychosis. Which is why long-term depression so often leads to murder or, more commonly, suicide.
Surely that last line, in this context, just offended someone. And that's part of the point, as well. Too damn many people are getting offended. But it doesn't stop there. Too many expect everyone else must do something about their being offended in penance for the offense. In all the ways, overt and subtle, that society sees or senses expressions of that, the legions of the offended are making themselves clichés. They are social and other media's versions of clay pigeons, angst ridden pillow biters, temper-throwing toddlers, snowflakes, or whatever comprises the latest objet du jour of ridicule.
Bill Clinton saying, "I feel your pain" brought him derision, long before anyone had the ready ability to reshow it over and over. Now, the "hoot-hoot-hoot" of back-up horns is a procession of dump trucks unloading daily fodder for social media and small screen popular culture.
Take one example: the term "snowflake" to describe coddled people. That one goes to Chuck Palahniuk, author of the novel, Fight Club, which spawned a cult classic film by the same name. He says his book and the subsequent film are responsible for popularizing the term.
"It does come from Fight Club," Palahniuk recently told the Evening Standard. Quoting his book and the screenplay, he said, "There is a line, ‘You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.'"
"Snowflake" became a gimme adopted by conservative commentators to describe the contingent of whiny, self-absorbed millennials whose easily offended sensibilities produced, according to that radio genres' interpretation, "a war on free speech on university campuses that became a cause célèbre, thanks to a disproportionate amount of media attention."
If there were no truth in it, it would never have taken hold. Now its application has been broadened, across the culture, to describe perpetually protesting post-election Hillbots as snowflakes.
The radio commentators are missing their chance to cite all the enabling factors, like the participation trophies the oversensitive snowflakes got along the way.
Palahniuk zeros-in on the phenomena that finds the word so useful. "There is a kind of new Victorianism," he said. "Every generation gets offended by different things, but my friends who teach in high school tell me... their students are very easily offended."
Whether that's an anecdotal report or his own editorializing isn't especially important. It's now in the culture, either way.
On multiple levels, media, well beyond radio, has culpability in all this.
Never underestimate the ability of popular culture to characterize anything to its detriment, simply based on mining it for comedy. Combine that with TV and years of reruns and you've got a case of a musically unaware, overpaid record company exec, wanting "more cowbell."
The late Gilda Radner's Roseanne Roseannadanna character was famous for relating complex and improbable tales that always ended with, "It just goes to show you. It's always something."
The line always continued, hilariously blending some specific citation from the tale just told.
If TV is a wasteland, it holds a valuable pick-your-part junkyard where shattered pomposity of society's entitled lies smoldering from laser-like disassembly by comics, from George Carlin to Lewis Black, from Jon Stewart and John Oliver to Lee Camp.
In the latest iteration, social media's immediacy puts comedians in the back seat. Get a meme that's insightful or inciteful, you forward or repost in an eyeblink. A seriously angst-ridden, over-the-top email arrives begging for money to undo some evil, you react with, "Oh, come on, puh-lease," so you tag it with a note of ridicule and share it.
None of which sustains passionate resolve. But it all joins the windblown movement of the sand, one grain at a time.
Until it's overwhelming, and the sand blocking your window gets tossed away by the shovelful. Shovel wielding describes the latest thing: the endless procession of daily and nightly emails asking every recipient to oppose every appointee of the new administration, and to take to the streets every day and every night to complain about everything in general. One of those emails seems alarming as hell. All of them together are begging for that punch line: It's always something.
So now it's Trump's Supreme Court nominee. "Eleven million people watched the address live on Facebook," said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer in his February 1 briefing.
No one in that roomful of corporate mainstream media reporters would touch that line. That number dwarfs the cable and broadcast channel audience for Tuesday night's announcement of the Supreme Court nominee. Mention Spicer's claim and you contribute to those who know the fact, and moreover, discern the cultural sense, that nobody watches corporate mainstream media. Which invites the other shoe to drop, that if anyone still does watch, they shouldn't believe its commentary or careful navigation of the facts, because no one else does.
Of course, the moguls and gnomes alike of megagiant media are laughably feckless in defending themselves, since the only effective response would be no defense at all. Everyone knows what they need is a housecleaning of their one-hour-at-a-time, cult-of-personality silliness masquerading as news, and an honest commitment to inclusively presenting real news, warts and all, regardless of whose gold sandals or clay feet get stepped-on.
They don't and they won't. The megagiant globalist corporate monster requires every wholly-owned subsidiary, including its news division, to carry water for the parent operation. And as long as that prevails, they cannot be inclusive and, justifiably, are not believed.
Therein you have the first loose thread for why mainstream media intentionally excludes so much from their reporting.
But some decks can't be stacked. Since nature abhors a vacuum, "current events" that don't quite ring true in most angst-filled corporate mainstream media coverage get revealed elsewhere. Increasingly, things that are spun go on to receive scathing comedic treatments with the power to educate. Like this must-see short that has well over a million views in just a few days. It's the latest in a series by Paul Joseph Watson.
We could link you to any of a great many similar things. Even as NBC's nominally political "Saturday Night Live" segments have deteriorated into unfunny, narrowly focused specific message orientations, others elsewhere have more than filled the need. If you're thinking, "No, I don't watch fake news," note that satire is specifically exempt, and the recommended short is real reportage presented scathingly and comically.
We previously offered a complete definition for fake news, when the term was being misapplied by mainstream media to condemn everything that didn't originate with them. It remains valuable and is still available.
Within the genre of educational comedic / satirical news that "outs" corporate mainstream media? We also recommend the weekly half-hour of "Redacted Tonight." Its entire archive of segments and complete shows are on YouTube.
We specifically chose the Paul Joseph Watson short because, better than most anything so far, it epitomizes exactly why we are sounding the call to the politically passionate to quit marching in the Soros High School Hillbot Memorial Marching Band.
Because it isn't just elections that have consequences. Actions have consequences, often harsh and profound unintended consequences. With ripples that hit the far shore and come back to the one who throws the rocks in the pond.
With all that in mind, tomorrow's concluding part two brings our assessment of what's coming as a very direct cause-and-effect result in this new era of endless protest and implied welcoming of a coup.
Please join us tomorrow for "20 Things to Expect from Endlessly Protesting the Trump Presidency."