Donald Trump and American hate

For some reason, America keeps getting the presidents it deserves.

The other day I was reminded of how powerless some people feel.  And for some, when they experience a little power (especially social power) they just stomp the hell out of someone new or newly powerless to feel what they always imagined power to be like.

I’ll be the first to admit an American History X curb stomp feels great, and I get it.  Finally feeling heard, acknowledged, and strong by kicking the crap out of someone (verbally, physically, or especially by crushing their social standing) is mesmerizing.  You finally matter!  They can’t control you anymore.  I guess.  Going out on a limb here, but there’s probably a lot of mental illness involved.

But why is he still wearing the same underwear from prison?  Holy crap, that’s a solid metaphor.

Each time Donald Trump ran for president, it was a goofy marketing ploy and we all enjoyed it as such.  But The Donald has the blood sense of a shark, and he understood rather early that a lot of people felt like they were bleeding.  They couldn’t get over the hump, finish paying off credit cards, or the plant was in the middle of more layoffs.  I won’t try to speak for everyone, but let’s remember this is America and you’re probably white.  Is it truly that bad?

Here’s where marketing, from Trump or anyone, comes in.  Marketing hasn’t truly sold us anything for a long time, and I suppose it’s Don Draper’s fault.  The ad changed.  It’s no longer selling product, it’s driving aspiration.  Apple is like Don Draper on meth–it so completely sold us identities we can’t afford, not having the newest iPhone became a point of hidden shame.  Years ago in college, I marveled at those broadcasting identity (via those lighted Apple-logo Macs) even in the coffee shops where we poor kids usually congregate.

We need to keep up the identity we took a second mortgage on.  But we can’t.  We’re mad and we’re certain we deserve better.

Oh, FYI, I’m talking about Democrats, liberals, and the anti-Trump brigade here.  The ones who feel the most passion about Donald Trump.  You know the person–they think Jon Stewart was an important thought leader, or that lunches should be Instagrammed.  They probably think they understand the plights of African Americans, LGBT, or Syrian refugees better than those people themselves.  At least they hash-tag all the right things.  “I like listening to PBS and TED Talks!”  Oh for God’s sake…  They’re like alcoholics, but they consume outrage porn and give birth to exclusion.  Thought crime is now worse than crime.  Kick a puppy?  That’s bad, but it’s nothing like having the wrong opinion about refugees in Germany.

Do you see?  A not insignificant portion of the Schadenfreude that Trump voters experience is sticking it to the kind of person they know is profoundly hateable.  I’m not sure when this started, but I remember the last time is happened so broadly:  when Obama won his first term.  All the wrong people joined with some sincere people and just rubbed everyone else’s faces in it.  It was so comically common it became a meme on South Park.

*

Ever read the speeches that Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln delivered as they debated and campaigned for a Senate seat from Illinois in 1858?  Those things are electrifying.  I fully understand how simply and thoroughly animal hatred works in an election, but… damn, at one point I feel like we did things a little better.  At least in public.

Donald Trump is popular because hate sells so awesomely.  You’re a producer or editor or probably an intern for CNN/WashPo/Fox News, what do you lead with?  John Kasich, saying generally smart things in a calm, controlled manner?  Bernie Sanders, the most hilariously typical candidate ever supported by the right kind of white people?  Dude.  You know you’re leading with Trump every time, even if all he said new that day is some quip about his penis.  What’s worrisome is no matter who you are, you feel a very strong emotion about what he said.

It’s a perfect storm of re-Tweets, Nielsen ratings, and newspaper sales.  Trump is the candidate of the disaffected, the media, and the fuck-you crowd.  He has the hatred of people who hate for a living, er, I mean, provide free advertising.  #NeverTrump.

Very much like Obama in 2008, the celebrations when Trump wins are gonna be vicious, and perfect for making Vines with.  What about the others?  Hillary is a scolding meanie who doesn’t like you at all.  You probably had to Google how to properly pronounce Kasich’s name.  Even Ted Cruz’s coworkers don’t like him.

When Obama pushed his way past Hillary, despite having some of the worst ideas for a president in my lifetime, I realized America was simply getting the president it deserved.  If Trump wins, it’ll be more of the same.  Do we really hate Donald Trump, or have we made him our fetish?

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Lazarus, or, the curse of being The Boy Who Lived

The most unrealistic part of the Harry Potter books was Ron and Hermione.

Your friends finally warned you.  If you don’t stop, we can’t be friends.

They say that we fear abandonment and loneliness among all social terrors.  Whoever they are, they must not be flipping through the same Netflix queue again on a Friday night.  I don’t know, what do you want to watch?  Wait, there’s still no one else here?  Fine.

Check Instagram.  Anything new on your Facebook newsfeed?  OMFG, the Kardashian sisters have the dumbest tweets!  Wait, which girls did The Bachelor vote off the island this week?  I’m so glad I’m not like some people.

Check the liquor cabinet–or as you used to call it, the entire freezer.  It’s empty again.  That’s right, you quit your addictions.  Sure felt like there were more people around back in those darker days, though.  What happened to that comradery?  At least if my hair’s on fire, people will talk to me and tell me to put the fire out.

Remember how you used to scream at your mom when she beat you so you could barely walk?  At least getting attention that way always worked.  You could never make her love you, but at least you got her full, viciously undivided focus.

We all know that, in a choice between love and rage, rage is so addictive.

In fact, wasn’t it because of your addictive behavior and unwillingness to positively change your life that your friends said they’d leave you?  It doesn’t make sense.  You made amazing life changes.  You’re happier now than every before.  You can converse happily with Mom.

Somehow everyone didn’t get the memo.  It’s like they kept warning you that you’re dying from cancer, but then… you got better.

Your friends had no clue about how to deal with The Boy Who Lived.

They tried to be nice and show interest:  “What was it like to be dead for a little while?  Did you see the white light?”

You:  Uh… there is no white light.  There is no God.  Being dead was the best thing I ever felt.  Then the nurse’s alarms went off, scramble and CLEAR, and I was somehow back in the hospital again.  Sorry, but it’s not like what you think.  Or hope for.  It’s just relief.

*

Long-ish term illness changes everyone except for those afflicted.  We all define ourselves around immovable objects, whether it’s grandpa’s cancer or young Janie’s horrific meth problem or Mom’s insistence we take a group photo.  The entire social group is affected by it, learns to fight it or operate around it, and deals with it.

It’s especially cruel when God/luck then suddenly heals the sick and raises the dead.  Remember Jesus bringing Lazarus back to life?  The dead guy was nonplussed; his sisters freaked the fuck out.

“I thought you were dead” really means “I counted on you being dead.”

You emptied the bottle.  You started getting into shape.  Got a better job.  You beat the illness.  You made true, genuine, progress.  You are happy.

But your wife, your friends, you parents, your co-workers… they aren’t.  “Didn’t we pick out a nice tomb and bury him already??”  Lazarus’ sisters whispered.  They were most angry because Jesus could have saved Lazarus via WiFi, but instead derped around until they paid for the whole damn funeral.

That’s the terrible true life story of being The Boy Who Lived.  People had already accepted your death.  They came to terms.  They grew as human beings.  They maybe even made poignant speeches about never forgetting you.  They had closure, goddamn it!

Then you got better and their lives got worse.  They couldn’t bear to live with a miracle.  You practically sweated water from the fountain of youth.  You had a peace that comes only from spending time dead, and then snapping back to reality.  Oops, there goes gravity.

Actual thing a guy told me recently that shattered me: “Some people can’t stand to see more than a certain amount of healing.”  I can’t say I did it for the marriage, then.  That’s not the freedom talking.

I did it for me.

*

The angel of death looks like a little boy without eyes, all of her the color of liquid black.  She waited hours until I knew I’d win the fight.  I could never hate her.

From this, I emerged a trifle thinner, a great deal wiser, and an ocean sadder.

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Peter and the wolf: why it’s always Peter’s fault (part 2)

Bet you didn’t know even a wolf can face-palm.

“I won’t hear any arguments, no matter how foolish you think you job this week is,” Mother said as she sorted her prized gourds.

Peter sat heavily on a bag of barley in the corner of their tiny house.  “It’s not that I think it’s foolish, it’s just that I’m needed helping raise the Tchialsky’s roof this week.  Any of the young kids can watch the sheep and goats.”

Mother’s eyes sparkled when she found an especially plump gourd.  “Must tell Lana about this one–it’s easily bigger than her stupid little squash from last week.”

Peter reclined on the grain bag.

“Peter, dear, I think we all know why are are taking the chore of watching the flock this week.”

“And why is that, mother?”

“Because of your airs.  The priest saw you climbing to the top of the cross beam once, hooting like a Jew caught in the money jar.”  She picked out another decent gourd.  “Likely trying to get the girls to look at you again.”

“I am strong.  That’s why I hold the damn crossbeam in place!”

“No such puffing-up language or vain glory in this house.  Do you want to tempt the evil eye with such exaggeration?”

Peter stood.  “No chance.  All the evil eyes seem stuck in the faces of the Rashikov sisters!” He then ran, knowing his mother could fling a less-prized gourd at him immediately.

That night, terror struck the sheep’ and goats’ pens near Peter’s tiny watch hovel.  Silver and black wolves had obviously scouted the place for days while youngsters watched the flocks.  Despite the presence of a much older young man, Peter, they attacked.

Peter felt as though he’d been rooted to the ground for half an hour, but it was really only a few seconds before the wolves carried off the last of the bleating animals.

An entire winter’s worth of milk, cheese, and in some cases, needed fur.  Every goat and lamb vanished.

Stunned, Peter started his deep night’s slog back toward the village.  When he finally arrived, he knocked on the Mayor’s house.

His wife answered the door.  She turned ashen at Peter’s face.  “Ma’am, I’m so sorry, it happened so fast—but wolves took both the flocks.”

There was a heart-beat, then a great peal of laughter erupted from the woman.  “Oh dear boy, you had me going there for a moment!  Herbert, wake up, Peter’s got something to say!”

Peter couldn’t believe his ears.  They didn’t believe him.  They thought he was just playing for attention like a child.  He backed away toward the snowy city square.

“WOLVES!” he bellowed.  “Wolves took the flocks!”

Oh Christ, it’s always that Peter, always trying to draw attention to himself, the people thought.  It was hardly wolf season to begin with anyway.  One silly boy trying to get others’ attention is quite enough for this night.

His mother never even stirred.

Peter tried to bang on other houses; he tried screaming again in the city square.

Herbert, the mayor, listened to his wife’s story and peeked out the window: “Young folks will do anything for stupid attention these days.  They’re all so selfish.  You know what I’ll do: as punishment, I’m going to make Peter watch the animal flocks next week, too.”

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Peter and the wolf: Two versions of that particular horror story (part 1)

https://i0.wp.com/s.hswstatic.com/gif/the-boy-who-cried-wolf-story-5.jpg

Wait, did we approve the wrong resume for this job?  Whatever, let HR handle it.  I’m not gonna stick my neck out.

Version one:  Winter is coming

Everyone knew.  Surely wolves would flood to the countryside as food became scarce in the forest.  Winter made everyone hungry, the village elders told each other with knowing nods.

No one wanted to deal with the problem.  Nights remained mostly quiet; only rarely did the villagers hear howls.

A handful of the elders created the village’s duty roster each week–balancing labor and skills with jobs was a key part of the village’s survival.  Children must be trained to eventually do adult jobs, and adults must become skilled in things like tanning, the curing of meat, and construction.

The elders picked Peter to look after the village’s sheep and goats.  Peter was a known fool and often a comical liar–really more of a story-teller who enjoyed a group’s attention.  When the elders read the duty roster for that week, Peter’s mother laughed.

Peter was nearly 13 and often did a man’s job.  Mother thought watching sheep was a punishment, as did Peter and his few friends.  The village’s flock was remarkably important, but remarkably boring work.  Unless there were wolves–then no one wanted to deal with it.

The elders sent Peter to his work that night, saying little.  The first night was clear and shimmering with starlight.  Peter staved off boredom by building and keeping a fire.  The sheep envied the fire from their wooden pen.

The second night, Peter barely caught a glance of flashing silver fur before the wolf had already nearly bitten and worried a lamb in half.  He grabbed his bell and dashed down the short path to the village, ringing a crazy din.

No one believed him.  “Peter yelling about a wolf?  Already?  Bit early in the evening to play that particular joke, isn’t it?  Who wants to check?  I haven’t even heard a howl.”

Peter realized that wolves do not howl when they hunt.  “Idiots!  We’ve already lost at least a lamb!”

His mother slapped him.  “We can at least check in the morning,” she said.  “Liars lie.”

No one checked that morning.  No one wanted to deal with such a silly “problem.”  When Peter returned to his post later that evening, he practically prayed for wolves.  That would show them.  He could not abide that his mother had slapped him publicly.

Two different wolves answered his prayer and took two goats from the pen that night, and Peter gleefully refused to ring the alarm.  In the morning, he sauntered toward a village elder and asked:  “Would anyone like to check the sheep and goats?”

The elder rolled his eyes.  “Stop being a fool, Peter.  Go back to your child’s work tonight.  No one wants to deal with you or sheep.”

The last night, many wolves came to the sheep and goats of the foolish village.  After their feast, the people barely survived the winter, but learned a moral*.

Children should not lie…

… or…

If the adults never trusted Peter to begin with, why did they leave him with their vital sheep and goats?

*Only true children take no responsibility.

(With all knowledge that I’ve extensively borrowed the point of one of TLP’s best posts of all time.)

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Learned helplessness: why your new abuser wants you to remain a permanent victim

index

I don’t get personal on this blog, but this one hits close to home.

Your parents hit you.  Maybe they called it “spanking.”  Your dad essentially forced you into a house-wife or else mindset.  Your mom punished you by making you wear your sister’s clothing.  You recently decided you are a feminist and against “the patriarchy” or perhaps “fundamentalism.”  Your husband wouldn’t let you do stuff.  Your wife never has sex with you.  Your boss is just fucking stupid and mean.

You are… owed something.

Don’t worry.  We have an app for that.  We also have a book club, a bunch of blogs, enabling therapists, some promotional t-shirts, a nicely sexist Tumblr, and even an awareness month.  We have a brand.

*

I get it.  Really, I do.  It’s so awesomely convenient to blame white heterosexual men, or Democrats, or your parents, or minorities and reverse discrimination, for why you aren’t as rich as you thought you’d be as a teen.  You have panic attacks.  You take medication because you have A Problem.

Take a pill.  “Will this heal me?”  Nope, but the point is to feel nothing, not to feel at peace.  There’s a reason a cure to cancer will never exist.

Why do painful physical therapy when a Vicodin martini works every time?  What they never tell you is that soon your alcohol or Facebook status will HAVE to work every time.  Last week’s “likes” just aren’t enough; gotta have a few more.  Addiction via brain chemistry–it’s all on Wikipedia.  It’s also a basic tenant of many long-term corporate strategy plans.

I’ll speak to web entities alone (to say nothing of pharmaceutical or alcohol companies):

Gawker Media, Salon.com, Facebook, Twitter, Huffington Post, Return of Kings, Breitbart, Free Jinger… all these things exist because of MASSIVE markets for them.  A ton of disillusioned victims narcissists who aren’t going to take it anymore.  But they also fiercely resist healing or embracing positive self improvement.  Imagine a stadium full of people jerking each other off.  It’s both disgusting yet oddly familiar, right?  FYI: one of Reddit’s most revered unique terms is “circle jerk.”

It’s disheartening.  Stuff like, say, “feminism” used to mean things like equal rights, or equal treatment under the law.  Now it’s a work–it’s a gimmick to get you to buy things, to click things, and to give marketing data away for free.  Outrage porn costs money to make, you damn well better buy it.  I mean, who seriously thinks sites like Feministing are helping women?  Or that the NFL sincerely cares about breast cancer?

“You son of a bitch, this is all victim-blaming!”  Sort of, in a weird long-term space-time continuum way.

The victim is future you.  It’s your possibilities and potential success tomorrow.  That person is the victim.  That person is being robbed; that person is truly owed something.

You are abusing your future self.

*

You cannot change what your husband/wife/dad/mom/boss/government did.  Ever heard the term “learned helplessness?”  It’s awesome.  I got it from Tommy Lee. (Yep, the incredibly intuitive drummer for Motley Crue.)  I’m not saying you have to become a Buddhist or whatever.  But at least “Kick-start [your] heart!” as Tommy and Vince sang.

All this dumb horseshit you’re doing, the bigoted Tumblr posts you create–it’s not going to help.  You’re medicating.  You’ve stopped believing you can recover.  Learned helplessness.

You’ll figure this out eventually.  When you are your future self, you’ll stop blaming others and focus on improving yourself.  You’ll stop the resistance to positive change.  Maybe you’ll even stop drinking.

Wait, did I say drinking?  I meant re-Tweeting things like: “Boys are stupid! Throw rocks at them!”  You aren’t being empowered by clicking on fucktard stuff.  You’re just providing marketing data to a big corporation, that is (not surprisingly) run by the rich white sex-negative men you claim to hate.  Bonus points if you used your new iPhone do it.

Let’s try something different:  instead of buying a ribbon that indicates you’re “aware” of child abuse, why don’t you adopt a kid and save his/her life?  Or at least pay for a young person to escape those circumstances.  “But will people still click ‘like’ on my status update?”  Sigh.  Exactly.

“Fuck you, I have to have my pills to even begin to deal with my past.”  Look, this isn’t about pills or drinking or Facebook likes.  This is about what you have done today to stop abusing yourself and perpetuating the actual abuse done to you in the past.  Have you taken even one step to stop your addiction to abuse?  At least stop reading outrage porn.

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If you still don’t get this post’s title, no worries: My point is that the system wants you to remain a perma-victim because you fit a marvelously valuable demo that way.  You’re, you know, marketable.  #EndAbuseButRemainVictims  #TheMatrixHasYouNeo

“You sound insanely bitter in this post, dude.  You’re so angry.”  I am, because this post is about me.  I told you this one was personal.

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Mixed metaphors: you were victimized; now we need to sell you a lot of stuff

Yes, I know this post is too short, but this money quote from The Last Psychiatrist is worth your spending another 10 seconds avoiding your job today.  I know it purports to be about post postmodern “feminism,” but it’s really about selling things.

Sites like Jezebel and Feministing are much, much worse than pornography, every article they write sets women back a week, do the math, they do such a disservice to women because they take their narcissism and repackage it as gender issues, and you’re locked into it…. My point isn’t that women don’t have legitimate gripes with the system, or that there isn’t sexism still around, my point is that most of what you think is “feminism” is really a work, a gimmick, a marketing scheme. It is straight up consumerism, repackaged as a gender issue.

Exactly.  And the only reason to dupe women is because (at this point in time) they are the nation’s most reliable and free-spending consumer group.  To sum up:  rich white men are still in control and they just sharpened their marketing pitch.  Remember Playboy’s Hugh Hefner and his vociferous support of feminist causes?  You know that wasn’t to benefit women as a gender, right?

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There are only three reasons your wife/GF ever leaves you, Robin Thicke, so don’t go deaf/blind to the signals

C’mon now, who do you think all those P.T. Barnum ads about low testosterone are for?

One of my favorite music videos of all time (after the White Stripes’ Lego version of “Fell in Love with a Girl”) is Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”  And yes, I mean the version where the three girls are 99% naked.  That last 1% of coverage might not be much, but it makes all the difference.  In fact, that’s enough of an excuse to watch it again.  (Sadly, embedding does not work.)

You may have heard that Thicke’s wife, Paula Patton (pictured with him, above) planned to divorce him because of his wicked ways with women.  If anything, “Blurred Lines” at the surface seems like a pretty risque video for a married guy to do.  I know you won’t believe me, but Paula and Robin’s separation has nothing to do with blazing hot genetic impossibility Emily Ratajkowski.

(But seriously, just type in “Emily” to Google, which will often helpfully and immediately offer Ms. Ratajkowski as your first item.)

Yes, Robin Thicke’s wife approved of his heavy PG-13 video, perky tits and all.  In fact, it’s not crazy to think that Paula Patton was right there on set—she’s an actress herself (currently appearing in the film “adaptation” of World of Warcraft, for some reason).  The “Blurred Lines” video was produced more than a year ago, in fact—and their possibly pending divorce came up only a few weeks ago.  What happened between now and then?  Your hint is that what happened was the most-tweeted event in history.

That foam finger was scarred for life.

“I don’t get it, Miley wore more clothes at the VMAs than Emily did in the music video.”  Right, that’s how a heterosexual male would look at it.  There’s no question that millions of people saw both the “Blurred Lines” music video and the VMAs, so it’s not like Ms. Patton was embarrassed by tons of people seeing her husband mack another woman.

If anything, women crowd-source the value of their men.  Another girl or two flirts with your man?  You may get jealous, but it’s also a confirmation that you chose a good product.  How does your man handle it?  Does he turn into a beta supplicator?  Does he rush to ensure you of his pure motives?  Or is he cocky and funny toward the other women?  A woman will be happiest if her man accurately values himself in regard to women and the world—especially if he accurately values both her and the other women, and remains loyal to her.

Paula Patton is beautiful and likely quite aware of all this (though she probably will not be able to explain it).  Something was okay with Robin Thicke’s adventures with the topless models that was not okay with Miley Cyrus.  And there is the heart of their potential divorce.

*

From a man, a woman desires three things:

  1. The best sperm she can obtain without threatening the next two items, below.
  2. The best and most consistent provision she can reasonably obtain.
  3. Relatively increased social status (i.e., relative to other women).

In the case of Paula Patton, can you tell which of the three was threatened?  Of course, it was #3: social status.  Emily Ratajkowski is a sweet-natured self-content super model, while Miley Cyrus is the slutty dumbass offspring of white trash parents.  The “Blurred Lines” music video was a fairly sophisticated and humorous ode to the control women exert over sexuality while Miley Cyrus is a dumpster fire.  By cavorting through a doofy dance number in front of millions, Robin Thicke quite publicly displayed lower status.

It was bad enough that Paula said she wanted to leave him.  That’s pretty horrifically bad.  Mr. Thicke has been in beta comfort mode for a while now, very publicly asking to return to her good graces.  He performs songs written about her, and has returned to being a classy R&B star—partying with Mr. Classy himself, Leonardo DiCaprio, instead of someone like Ke$ha or Miley Cyrus.

Ms. Patton’s ire has subsided.  No divorce was initiated; she didn’t even consult a lawyer.

*

Of course you likely now understand that low-testosterone ads are aimed at women.  While it’s much more healthy to control and increase testosterone naturally, the low-testosterone ad taps deeply into one of the three reasons a woman will upend her universe and leave her man.  Men, don’t make hormone replacement therapy your first solution.  Lift weights, eat meat, do something competitive, and above all, fuck your woman senseless.

*

UPDATED 4/3/2015:  Apparently Robin’s beta comfort efforts did not have his intended effect.  As of a couple of weeks ago, Paula insisted via TMZ that their divorce is a “done deal.”  Robin’s showing emotional weakness in the face of his stupidity with Miley did not work.  Pushing emotional romance and attempting to negotiate desire, in the middle of a woman’s visceral/biological disgust for you, will never work.

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Duke porn starlet stands for nothing, maintains the status quo for each of her audiences; Internet just says LOL

(Let’s just get this out of the way now so you can clear your head.  You can find Miriam Weeks’ porn on number of sites, so just Google it if you need to.  I’m fond of xhamster.com.)

It’s true, the news of Duke porn starlet Miriam Weeks (aka Belle Knox, aka Lauren, aka Aurora) is no longer a breaking revelation.  It never was, of course; if you went to college and claim to have never met a sex worker, then you are lying about an experience that probably ended up way more embarrassing than you planned on.

No videos or pictures in this post, but not because Miriam Weeks and/or Belle Knox does not make decent porn.  She does, although her early work was pretty rough—not in the production values sense, but in the choking and slapping sense.  I’m all about some pretty rough sex (as are most women), but violence that leaves marks is legal evidence, dumbass.

In case you missed it or are a good person, here is the gist:  a few weeks ago, a nice 18-year-old Jewish girl (majoring in sociology and women’s studies, because obviously) at Duke University was “outed” as a freshly-minted porn actress.

As noted, her early work is viciously cringe-worthy, and for some reason derpy college students looked unkindly on her film debut.  Not necessarily in the “we’re better than that slut” shaming or the “holy shit bro, I’d tap dat ass!” sort of stuff, but more like how the internet reacts to anyone taking him/herself too seriously:  the internet said LOLOLOL.

*

The rest of the Matrix said exactly what it was supposed to:

Miriam Weeks / Belle Knox herself:

The threat I pose to the patriarchy is enormous. That a woman could be intelligent, educated and CHOOSE to be a sex worker is almost unfathomable… To the anti-pornography feminists out there: … Consider that when you demean women for participating in sex work, you are demeaning THEM, and consequently, YOU become the problem.”

Jesus.  Just… Jesus.  If this is her threatening “the Patriarchy,” then I’d hate to see her pandering to it. 

On the other hand, Miriam, you should be grateful to feminism—it’s enabled the Patriarchy to have WAY more fun than it ever did before and gave you this opportunity.  I’m not sure if it’s patriarchy or feminism that is slapping your face with one hand and forcing you to deep-throat with the other.

Eric Owens, Daily Caller education editor:

The sex-worker student doesn’t want her real name revealed — or even her adorably slutty porn name revealed — despite the fact that she has now done at least two interviews, written a monologue about herself and been invited to speak in various Duke classes on the topic of sex work.

It took me one second to find all the information about Miriam/Belle that exists, including her real name and the fact that her dad is a doctor who is not doing badly for himself.  Mr. Owens continues, cheekily quoting the Duke Chronicle’s calculation of her yearly earnings on a fairly doable schedule of sex acts.  It’s somewhat disappointing—even a skinny, long-haired girl who’s down for degradation might only hit around $84k per year (unless you constantly do double penetration, which is more dangerous and disease-prone).  Even James Deen tops out around $240k annually in my back of the condom package estimate.

Zak Stone, occasional Playboy contributor and hilarious white knight, was one of several writers who posted incredibly one-sided missives championing everything about Ms. Weeks:

PLAYBOY: You wrote that one of the main reasons you did porn was to pay for school and not be saddled with large student loans once you graduated. Would you be doing porn if Duke were free?

KNOX: No. If Duke had given me the proper financial resources, I wouldn’t have done porn. They have nobody to blame for the scandal but themselves.

PLAYBOY: Is that what this is really about for you—the skyrocketing cost of higher education in America?

KNOX: Absolutely. My story is a testament to how fucking expensive school is.

This was seriously written in a serious tone in a generally serious magazine (well, on a related website).  It was Duke’s fault that an already upper-middle-class white girl pursuing a sociology/women’s studies degree can’t go to school for free.

I mean… for god’s sake, you guys do realize that Hugh Hefner was a huge force behind pushing feminism in decades past?  You know why he wanted all that sexual liberation, right?

Obviously:  it’s because of how fucking expensive school is.

*

Sunshine Thiry, who is a good person, kindly wrote:  “Listen to this girl speak; she is very, very young and very, very broken. She needs help and prayer, not bullying.”  It’s true—a little over a year ago, and Miriam’s porn would have been illegal to make, distribute, or consume.

Additional comments on the religious side of the aisle:  Ms. Weeks is the world’s most insane rationalizer, she fears righteous judgment, bitches be crazy, etc.  All a round-about way to say that Miriam Weeks is a godawful narcissist raised by parents who belong to the Dumbest Generation of Narcissists in the History of the World.

I know, I know, there I go blaming parents again.  But did you end up reading that entire xoJane piece she wrote?  Never have I read a more singular and desperate cry for personal validation.  Honey, your parents loved you enough to arrange a life in which  you could get into Duke University!  You are in the top 1% of white women.

But she even attempts to shame feminists into validating her life choice: the empowerment of pornography.  I mean, holy shit, were the study abroad opportunities all full?  You couldn’t join the Student Senate like the rest of the Gen Y narcissists?  You seriously had no other options to do something empowering?

*

To be serious, the only real lie that Miriam Weeks is living is that porn is a means to an end, i.e., paying for a college degree.  Maybe for a few people.  For her, porn is the end; her college career is a means toward porn.

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“Mom, the Smith family made Billy a genetically perfect child, and I’m really mad I’m not like him.”

Because the Matrix has you, Bloomberg News let you know that soon you may be able to buy that expensive new life accessory you’ve always wanted:  a genetically modified designer baby.

“You’re altering the genome of an unborn child, someone who can’t make a judgment about whether they want to be genetically modified,” Krimsky said by telephone. “What will be next, once you allow this?”

What will be next?  Lots of generational angst, because now you can even more awesomely blame failure on your parents.

In years past, we tittered and gasped because Heather had two mommies; now, Heather has two mommies and a daddy and no chance of cancer or diabetes ever.  Maybe Heather will also do well at violin, her SATs, and get into a great college.  “Let’s look at the pricing for this baby-making grocery list, I think there’s an app for that.  Oh look honey, great financing is available!”

I’m going to go way out on a limb here and assume that a custom, guaranteed-disease free baby is not going to be cheap.  “Hey, this isn’t Elysium you son of a bitch!  Poor people deserve to have healthy babies, too!”

Whoa there, who told you that you weren’t in Elysium?  “Well, I think I saw it on TV or something.”  Sounds like a snake in the grass.  “Whatever, ObamaCare better cover this!”  Yep, I’m sure that’s the intent.

Of course that’s the first responder’s thought—everything’s gonna go all Gattaca on us, you can’t play God, “My kids deserve the best!” etc., all the mental masturbation you can handle.  Trouble is, if you read Bloomberg’s story’ beyond the god-awful headline (I know, I know, headlines aren’t written by reporters), you realize it’s not about Gattaca-level baby engineering at all.  It’s about slight changes to mitochondrial DNA (duh, not the genes that might affect athletic ability, intelligence, or eye color) to reduce risk of a mitochondrial disease.

You don’t know anyone with a mitochondrial disease, and if you did, only about 15% of such diseases can be affected by mitochondrial DNA.  Which is great, because I’m tired of typing “mitochondrial.”  So no rich people engineering designer babies, perfect little life accessories?  Silly mainstream media; all this panic sounds similar to how they report on diet soda, doesn’t it?

However, ethicists (but mainly the internet comments) are in an uproar, I guess.  Rich people can make better and better children, even clearer class divisions, who knows what genetic monsters wait a few generations down the road.  I sense some awesome lawsuits ahead.  Of course, the comments under this story are all about how “the gays” will be the ones having better children and be able to make them gay genetically, illegal aliens dun took ur jerbs, we need to free America from the psycho Christian right-wingers, etc.  Wow, Jesus, even on Bloomberg?  Seriously: you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

So the story is serving its purpose—people are reading the headline, skipping the hard biology and genetics, and immediately reverting back to the soundbites assigned by the Matrix.  Everything is working correctly: all defenses against change remain rooted in place.  When the response to a stimulus from the media is to immediately use it to to anti-identify yourself (“Goddamn it, I hate this, it’s not me at all!”) no matter your political orientation, then you know you’re being played.  You don’t read propaganda because someone’s trying to con you, you read it because you need it to defend yourself against critical thinking.

“No way buddy, I see right through the mainstream media and I hate it, it’s not me at all.”  Yep.  Exactly.  Have you ever thought the mainstream media thinks precisely the same thing about you?  I mean, you do realize that if God and Rush Limbaugh and the Huffington Post didn’t exist, someone would absolutely have invented them?

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Today, the “American Dream” means clinging fiercely to your role as a battery in the Matrix

This is what happens when people are mad as hell and utterly determined to continue taking it.

Before continuing to a piece from Peggy Noonan from last summer in the Wall Street Journal, let’s define what we mean by the metaphor “the Matrix.”  No doubt we could fill the comments section with minutia and hair splitting, but I’m talking a very high-level definition.  Some talk about red pill vs. blue pill thinking and actions; I might mention buying hard into “the system,” such Leif Erikson buying into Being a Nice Boy, or Hannah Horvath’s parents buying into Narcissism as Helicopter Parenting.

Those are each mere tactics, i.e., methods to reach a desired destination.  Leif wants comfortable lazy bear life with sex on demand, Hannah’s parents want a life accessory they can #humblebrag to their friends about.  Buying into a system means: pull the lever and get a cookie.  But what state do we seek to attain?  Here’s a hint:  what do you do with a cookie?

You consume it.  Let’s skip to the thesis:  the Matrix is consumption as a state of being.  The Matrix = consumption.

But here’s where we understand only half of it, because when you consume (you are in the Matrix) then the Matrix is also in you.  Yeah, kind of a co-dependence I guess, except while you may care deeply and individually for all the life-giving the Matrix seems to have for you, the Matrix does not care about you so much as it cares about Everyone.  We all need the Matrix to live, and so we all need Everyone to shut the fuck up and keep on producing/consuming.  Thus the new American Dream!

Go back to sleep, Neo.

Incidentally, unless you’re firing up some child pornography or pirating a song, Google, Apple and the NSA don’t give half of one shit about what you do online.  Google doesn’t care about what you do as much as it cares about what Everyone does.  Capitalism in a Big Data age.

“Dude, I’m 100% Occupy Wall Street and I’m against these goddamn capitalists and bankers and bailouts!”  I can totally tell you are, because you typed that on the iPhone your parents still pay for, using a cellular network built by filthy capitalists and bankers.  I won’t bother mentioning the Chinese peasants who built your iPhone for you.

I know Neo sees the Matrix as slimy people-batteries in pods, but I look at the Matrix like this (also the tagline for this blog):

Oar-rowing slaves in a Roman galley.  “We keep you alive to serve this ship.  So row well, and live.”  If you are unfamiliar with the novel and film Ben-Hur, it follows a Jewish prince just during the times of Christ who was unjustly accused and then condemned to live the remainder of life his as a galley slave.  He subsides on the life/sustenance provided by his jailors and in turn helps power their ship.  If you think life for you/Neo in that other version of the Matrix is any better, then sweet mother of Jesus will the red pill hurt your stomach when it goes down.

(Eventually Judah Ben-Hur happens to save the life of the centurion in the film, and the centurion recognizes him as a strong/worthy man, frees him, and adopts him as a son.)

That’s all nice, but where does the American Dream, Peggy Noonan, and the Matrix as consumerism come into this?

Obvious first point we left out for a reason so far:  the American Dream used to mean self improvement, doing better and making more money than the previous generation.  Greater success upon greater success.  Parents working toward an even better life for their kids.  Instead, today, we have an ultra-consumerist Dumbest Generation of Narcissists in the History of the World that will soon finish raising the much-maligned Generation Y, the Millennials.

Making a better life for their children became children as life accessories, i.e., something I do for just for me.  Their kids are discovering what less fortunate people (middle/lower class, many non-whites, basically everyone except for upper-middle class white liberals) have been mucking around in for years now (back to Peggy Noonan):

“I am sick and tired of giving bailouts to the folks at the top and handouts to the folks at the bottom. I’m going to fire people [politicians] until my life gets better.”

That is as succinct a summation as I’ve seen of how the American middle class has been thinking the past few years: The guys at the top and the bottom are taken care of while I get squeezed.

(Here’s the link to Peggy Noonan’s piece, but it’s behind the subscriber wall.  It’s actually mostly about how Obama still somehow managed to convince the middle-class guy from the quote above that, hey, at least Obama wasn’t as rich as that bastard Romney!  “Yeah, screw him!  And he’s Mormon and stuff!”  If you don’t think that many people voted with that in mind, then I’m not sure how you found this blog.)

Yep, the middle-class guy’s sentiment is indeed frustrating, and I feel you, brother.  But there our agreement ends, because I think this system exists because we need it to exist—it’s the Matrix.  The Matrix needs rich people and Everyone to consume and be consumed.  Saving money is only for people who already spend a lot as it is, e.g., rich people.  The Matrix demands complete obedience toward everyone consuming as much as possible, otherwise there will be riots in the streets.  Don’t believe me?  Remember what happened in Greece when the government started limiting the Greek equivalent of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?

You see the problem already.  We absolutely want as much consumption as possible, but not everyone is willing to work (have viable employment) toward that end.  What’s the ultimate answer (at least to keep people from rioting)?  We just mentioned them in the previous paragraph–Social Security, SSI, SSDI, WIC, food stamps, TANF, years of unemployment income… it’s a long list, folks.  If you won’t/can’t work, at least take this so you can consume at some level.  In environments where there are no poor people or non-white people, like say Cambridge, Mass., nice white upper-middle class liberals call this “universal income.”

I call it today’s American Dream.

“WTF, you are such mean creep, would you rather those people starve and just go without the basics until they die??”  No, jackass, I don’t want to change a goddamn thing—I don’t want my leisurely Starbucks run marred by poor people rioting.

But rather than feed them to the Matrix, why can’t we permit them to hope for something better?  Instead, we keep them alive to serve this ship.  So row well, and live.  “Hey, wait, are you implying I’m the Romans in this analogy, and I’m keeping the poor slaves there powering my lifestyle?”

I am definitely implying that, and if we all want to be feudal lords (rich, or at least not work hard or make difficult life changes) then we will need to use up a lot of peasants.  Thank God for all those Chinese workers, am I right?

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