Microsoft contributes to propaganda with Newsguard: they have no qualifications to judge, but decree partisan propaganda is news.

Microsoft’s propaganda continues with making unqualified ratings with NewsGuard.

They have decreed that Left-wing and partisan legacy presses are “news”, even though they have no empirical standards nor qualifications to do so.

We also know nothing whether the “approved” outlets have lobbied or paid for the fake seal of approval.

News coverage regarding Microsoft is radioactive. It cannot be trusted.

This is corporate propaganda, no different than arbitrary “Comic Code Authority” — and it is mere advertising, nothing more…

Toronto Star in denial about obvious recession...the Reality Deniers strike again.

It seems that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn’t campaigning against anyone except Doug Ford, the premier of Ontario.

I find Jive Turkey’s fear of Ford to be utterly fascinating.

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The Grits, contrary to trash talk, are more worried about Jagmeet Singh than they let on.

But Ford is the true spoiler to the Liberal plans. They fear him because he is uninhibited and unpredictable. They may paint him as some sort of rube oaf, but he isn’t. He took advantage of the Patrick Brown Circus, barrelled over Caroline Mulroney and Christine Elliott, and not only won the leadership race, he won a majority in the Ontario election, and then pushed through whatever he wanted, upstaging and outfoxing the Left who seem to think they own and control the government as their divine right.

This does not bode well for the federal Grits — they are elitist and arrogant, honestly believing they are smarter and more cunning because their daddies got them their jobs.

But the Star — the propaganda arm of the federal Liberal machine — is trying to lie outright by denying this whole recession thing won’t happen and that Ford is “blowing smoke”. His background is in running a business, and he knows the signs. Others are also pointing out that are there, and this time, the US isn’t having one.

But we are already in recession. People have too much debt, and that is evidence that we were in one all along, but covered it up through borrowing money we don’t have, making things worse in the long run.

Postponing the inevitable is not an economic strategy.

But the Star has a vested interest in all of this ridiculous spinning. If the Tories take over, goodbye to the newspaper slush fund. It’s gone. The Star, which has been using its own product to openly and relentlessly lobby the feds for money in lieu of improving their product, has a horse invested in this race.

Meaning their conflict of interest is blaring. This is a cardinal sin that makes their product utterly useless.

What this means is simple: you cannot trust the Star. Every assessment is suspect and self-serving. That means you also have no barometer of measuring anything positive or negative. When you have spin and propaganda, you truly have no way of knowing who or what to believe. You cannot just dismiss criticism as a knee-jerk reaction, but you cannot believe it, either.

These kind of games infect an information stream, and it is not a minor problem. We are in a recession. When you have too many people who are $200 away from insolvency, you have a crisis. A

And with oblivious people demanding Basic Income when that in itself can trigger a depression, you have no sensible electorate: just a childish and greedy one. A Zero-Risk Society in an neo-Victorian Age of Propaganda? Temper tantrums and death threats on the Troll Scroll as if you can have an ounce of respect for tyrannical and uninformed slacker divas who morally masturbate and issue royal decrees.

The Gimme-Gimme mantra comes from the super-rich to the super-poor with not a single one bothering to mention what active things they are doing to help society. Everyone is just sitting around with their wish lists, thinking some They owe them something.

And then flat-out lie in order to justify their tantrums.

The Star hasn’t made the changes to justify getting a dime from Canadians. People exercised their free will, and then they used the Federal Regime to steal money and then work as a propaganda arm of their sugar-daddy.

That is not democracy.

That is the definition of tyranny.

And that is a serious problem for a country already stumbling around in the dark moving in the wrong direction…

A canned event gets canned...people are upset. Get your information fresh from scratch, please.

Conde Nast is now putting up paywalls on all of their snazzy and sophistry-filled rags.

There is nothing worth paying for in them. If you want patriarchal propaganda that promotes nepotism, elitism, and never bothered to tell you about the ugly side of the so-called Beautiful People, you’ll have to pay for it. It won’t generate the revenue needed for it to survive, however.

But that’s another shrug in a dead industry.

What is getting reporters in a tizzy is that their canned event, the daily White House press briefing is being shelved.

No, it is not a blow for democracy, and there are some who admit it. It is a blow to optic propaganda. That is a canned event, nothing more. It is a way to make journalists looks busy as they pretend to do their jobs. They vogue and mug for the camera as they cultivate their image. They should have been shelved a long time ago so that those who proclaim to be reporters be forced to find their information fresh form scratch…

Another journalist caught making stuff up...

At least 27 stories were found to be riddled with fibs in one Netherlands magazine.

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Peter Blasic was a very naughty boy.

Western Europe has been asleep at the wheel, but it is not just a European problem.

It looks like my first book Don’t Believe It!: How lies become news is as relevant in 2019 as it was in 2005.

Fake news!

Soul squatters, antlers and a bundle of sticks.

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Sometimes the best lessons you learn about life happens in your childhood. Children aren’t rehearsed and are more overt about their motives.

I remember being in grade school and bringing my long skipping rope to school to play at recess with my friends and other kids my age. We would take turns turning the rope, and then jumping rope, calling each other to join in as we sang.

Then one day some of the older girls asked if they could join. Foolishly, I said sure, why not?

All of a sudden, they were calling their friends to join in, and neither I nor any of the regulars got to jump rope.

I was not happy. I didn’t bring that rope for others to enjoy it at my expense. You don’t invite other people to use someone else’s property. I earned it with my own money, I dragged it to school, and it was mine.

I was fuming, but I realized it was my doing, and I was too easygoing.

I was not going to make the same mistake again.

So the next day, I bring my rope, the same older girls came again — not asking if it was okay, and I said, forget it. They were pissed at me, but I didn’t care. They pissed me off first. They thought they found a sap who’d be the idiot to bring things for other people to exploit. Not happening.

But then some of my friends thought I was being too harsh — at least those older girls were having things to do with us.

Then bring your own rope to school and have them play with it, I said, I’m not a doormat.

And then the next day I brought my shorter rope and exercised by myself. There was always tag and hopscotch.

I was a social kid. I had lots of friends.

But I was not the kind of kid who wished to bribe people to have things to do with me. Take me or leave me, and I don’t care if you leave. You know where the exit is.

People have tried to manipulate me and shame me for saying, “Bye now!” I don’t care. The more you insult me and blame me, the happier I am for choosing not to have things to do with you. The end.

If I am as defective as you claim, then I am doing the both of us a favour. Ciao, baby!

But later on, I read Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose by Dr. Seus. The same message that if you too accommodating and nice, people take advantage of you right before they make demands of you.

They are, to be blunt, soul squatters.

But there was another message in the saga of poor Thidwick: sometimes you have to abandon what has been hijacked and start anew.

And watch what happens when the squatters get what they want — but not the way that they want it, complete with a living servant.

It all falls apart.

The capable can start again and learn as they regenerate. The squatters collapse when they have no one left to exploit. Their ingenuity is strictly on how to bypass and overtake healthy hosts because it is a competition with them.

This is a very bad habit. We have yet to learn about having a balance of mutually-beneficial dynamics. You either have exploitative hosts or exploitative guests. Everyone always thinks they are justified when they rarely, if ever are.

We forget that people are people.

We need to be kept in check and be teachable.

I remember my skipping rope to this day because I learned that I can be nice, but other people do not see the niceness, only that I am exploitable.

They made a value judgement that I was desperate for friends. I wasn’t. I thought I would be polite and friendly and not a jerk who was mean by arbitrarily saying yes or no.

And then it blew up in my face. I was lucky they didn’t break my rope just because they could.

Or steal it.

But I learned my lesson.

And then I got into Aesop’s fables and read the Bundle of Sticks where a dying father shows his sons the importance of unity: he takes a bundle of sticks that are tied and asks them to break it, and they cannot. He then unties the bundle, and then the sons easily break each one.

And it reminded me of the second day. When one outsider came along, the rhythm of the old dynamic shattered. A new habit was formed, and then even though none of my other friends got to skip rope when the horde came in and were relegated to turning the rope, they thought maybe that’s what was supposed to happen.

Maybe we were supposed to be submissive servants to a groups of older girls who thought nothing of exploiting the younger ones on a whim.

At first, I was very sad that it happened.

And then I realized it was a very good lesson in leadership.

When I began to teach, I remembered that a classroom was a bundle of sticks.

I would agonize before every new semester how I would approach my mandate. I was the shepherd and I had a flock to take across from the side of ignorance to the side of knowledge.

And I had to keep the flock together because there would be countless predators looking to untie that string, from meddlesome parents who had no clue about education or the career their grown child had chosen to very toxic boyfriends and girlfriends who would actively try to sabotage the student they were dating.

My job wasn’t to meddle. I never pried, but my mandate was to keep the group motivated and focussed, and I did.

It was my gift to them. I created a haven of knowledge that was an unpredictable ride. I paid attention to feedback. I learned and refined every time.

I gave. I wasn’t trying to take things. I was imparting knowledge. That was my duty.

It was very different than those who take.

I learned there is one question above all others: what is your contribution? What do you have to offer?

And that question applies to every single person on the planet. All 7.4 billion.

When everyone is asked the same question, what you have achieved is equality. There is no game of deflection with a diatribe what you are owed.

No, what do you owe humanity? What is your contribution?

Who are you? What are you going to do for others?

What are your responsibilities?

How will you achieve this goal?

For all 7.4 billion people, including yourself.

And there is no excuse for not contributing. No war or chaos. No doctor’s note. No sob story.

What are you doing for humanity? When you die, what is your legacy? What did you leave for the future?

Because that will determine what you get back. No investment, no return.

And no, you cannot use other people’s resources to do it.

It has to be you. Not your servants. Not your employees. Not taxpayer’s money. Not mommy or daddy. Not some They. You.

No soul squatting. No fear-mongering. No propaganda. No excuses.

None.

And no paper crowns or applause, either. No awards or recognition.

It should be mundane.

I learned a lot from a skipping rope.

But when your heart is open to learn, you find a million lessons about life, from a rope, to antlers, to even a bundle of sticks…

The Cult of the Enterprising Chicken Littles want to scare you away from your bank account. Yes, just another doomsday cult.

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My grandmother survived both a war and a genocide at the same time. She was a wonderful woman who didn’t hold grudges or held childish vendettas.

She put modern Western society to absolute shame.

She lived her life to the fullest. Her only regret in life was that she couldn’t exercise to Billy Blanks; so I would exercise when she was there just because she thought he was divine.

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There were three men that you never slagged in her presence. He was one. Wayne Brady was second. Michael Jackson was number one.

I am pretty sure if there was diversity in her time and place, I’d be biracial. I’m cool with that.

Because my grandmother was a very brave and perky woman.

And way ahead of her time. Her thinking back then was radical. Had she had a normal chance, she’d be celebrated as a polymath.

She was a genius. She built her own boat all by herself. She built much of her house. She could cook a feast, was artistic, a polyglot, and could wire a house. She could make clothes that were haute couture.

And her thinking was way ahead of what we have now.

She was brave. She was tough.

Nothing phased her.

The only thing she could not do was swim.

But she was on a boat fishing.

I grew up with a radical thinker and genius who was not classified as such.

Yet she was open and accepting. She wasn’t afraid.

And yet in 2019, we have people with multiple degrees and unprecedented freedom do nothing but cower in a corner convinced that the sky is falling.

They are truly tempting fate.

They look for security in numbers. They want other people to do things to solve their non-existent problems as they let their real problems go ignored. They want others that they blame to pay for their demands.

It is sanctioned insanity.

My grandmother survived cancer — in the early 1970s and was given months to live.

She laughed it off and got cured.

I learned a lot from her.

And in a comparison of grandma and those bitching on the Troll Scroll in 2019, guess who wins?

Grandma. She puts everyone to shame.

She fought to live. She loved life. She didn’t look for other people to sponge off. She arrived to Canada in the evening. She was working at a job the next morning.

She wasn’t a chicken little.

And when you have a generation who were grateful for being alive, and then slowly decay into having a cult of chicken littles who want others to live their lives for them, you lose respect for the new defective batch.

Political parties are exploiting these whiners, but none are really getting very far because a passive crowd doesn’t do anything: they’d swipe an app to get some other people to march in the streets for them.

There is absolutely no satisfying the chicken little cult. They will always want more. It is never enough.

Not enough people are applauded and enabled. Not enough money is being spent and not enough things are getting funded. They are a living bottomless pit that turns into a beast that always wants to be fed on someone else’s dime.

They sucker you in with narratives — pity and fear-mongering along with woe and morality. It is a pity scam.

And then come the demands.

There is always a crisis. There are always meanies who say “no” to those never-ending demands.

The cult always makes threats. The cult throws temper tantrums as they declare that saying no will spell the end of the world.

This is where society is right now. In the throes of an epic bullshit story.

This game cannot last forever. Sooner or later, a real crisis does something to break the spell.

That is where society is headed, and when all the screaming and virtue-signalling backfire, the gig is up.

There is much talk about civil war — those secret threats.

The winds of war speak to me, but I don’t fear its fury.

It’s manufactured.

There are other winds of war — the ones other people are ignoring — and the ones that will wallop the West because when you have a family that in-fights, what they fail to grasp is that outsiders don’t see them as divided with one side being superior to the other.

The see them as a weak entity that is to be taken down, humiliated, and devoured.

And then all the petty quibbling is exposed as the self-imposed misdirection it was all along…

The New Yorker spews sophistry about journalism...as usual, they are oblivious to reality.

Ramble, babble, spew:

Does Journalism Have a Future?

In an era of social media and fake news, journalists who have survived the print plunge have new foes to face.

No, journalism doesn’t have a future when you are puking sophistry and think you have an article.

This is pretentious bullshit. I could write a book about why journalism collapsed.

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Wait a minute! I did write a book about it!

Go me!

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Notice in Jill Lepore’s long and tedious wallow-fest that she doesn’t look at what is archaic and wrong with journalism?

It is everybody else’s fault!

Let’s blame Craig’s List! And Chartbeat! And our Aunt Gertrude for not subscribing to more than one newspaper!

If only the world would stop progressing!

Journalists are the enfant stupide of the modern world. Bête would also be an appropriate word to describe them.

Journalists are like the student who does very well for a few years, but then gets in his head that is too smart to study and that he already knows everything.

And then doesn’t pay attention in class, doesn’t read notes, study, or do any real homework.

And then is shocked that he is starting to fail.

It can’t be! Didn’t he get great grades before?

As an educator, I have had real students pull this stunt. You can try to tell them that they cannot wing it, or merely use the stuff they learned before. You are learning new things and need different knowledge, facts, and skill sets.

And when you ask these students what is the problem, they have a list all good and ready, but nowhere on this list is their obliviousness and laziness.

Then they gripe to other students how “unfair” it is, only to find out they are bellyaching to those who study and work hard, and are getting sterling grades.

Journalism doesn’t have a future.

It has a past.

But an alternative does have a future because we need information, and the old guard think they are too good to change…

Playing the Theremin...

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I picked this up a while ago, and was just starting to learn how to play when that whole cancer thing came along. It was put on hiatus, but now, I am starting it up again.

My beginner’s Theremin is quite primitive, but once I master this one, I’ll get an upgrade.

I played other instruments before. Acoustic guitar. Tuba. Violin.

But I love the Theremin.

The only instrument you play without touching it.

Jimmy Page is probably the highest profile Theremin player.

It’s not the reason I like it.

The sound is fun. The concept of how you play it is even more fun.

And it is a joy to play it.

It’s all about frequency.

It suits me…

Why individuality is under assault in an Age of Propaganda.

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Ms. Isabel is an equal moron, of course. Typical Middle Class shallow spewer.

Marching doesn’t provide results. That’s typical folksy logic and bullshit stories you see in Hollywood movies to placate the jittery Middle Class to assure them that they matter.

How did women get the vote?

It wasn’t the demonstrating or marching in the streets.

It was the behind the scenes lobbying. Usually, some well-heeled women from wealthy families starting to want something, and then it trickles down to the Middle Class in some diffusion version of it.

Because the Middle Class never want anything until they are told it is sanctioned as acceptable and not in anyway passé, nerdy, or weird.

But what we have were is a Follower: this propaganda poster was produced by a partisan outfit called…

The Other 98%.

Oh, I see. The people who are incapable of standing alone. They need big numbers to huddle in.

That has been the game partisans play: they think that the more people who march lockstep with you, the more correct you are.

Nazis went with that idea.

When everyone thinks alike, no one thinks at all.

But individuality is frowned upon in an Age of Propaganda.

Mobs are rarely right. They are just thugs, hoping to fly under the radar and reap the benefits of hedging their bets on the winning side.

But mobs, cults, and Ponzi schemes have one thing in common: they both need numbers to keep the con going.

That’s why bots and fake followers are employed in social media warfare.

But when someone is a true individual who can stand alone without a mob drooling over her, that’s dangerous.

That’s the world’s most dangerous person of them all.

Because she can’t be bribed, blackmailed, browbeaten, bought, or bullied.

No mob can sway her. No mob can move her. No mob can stop her.

No mob can control her.

She doesn’t care if you applaud her. Mobs kill. Mobs oppress.

And mobs do it in the name of morality.

They always tell that fib first.

We may be in the Infinite, but all it takes is One to unleash it.

Because propaganda always thrives on clustering. Humans become shields and fortresses. Just bricks in a wall. It is how the weak prey upon the strong.

And that’s not my style.

It never was, and it isn’t, and it never will be…

The Millennial Early Onset Midlife Crisis: It is just a phase. Wait until their Middle Class thinking drops the other shoe.

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The federal Liberals in Canada seem hellbent on building ghettos and keeping the poor even poorer by bribing them with borrowed money.

Unfortunately, Jagmeet Singh, the NDP leader, has some very good ideas that are going to get lost in the shuffle. It would be far wiser to subsidize rent, but that would mean that the poor could live in a better area instead of being forced into monolithic stagnation, but Singh has other problems that people will look at instead of the message.

Canada has always been a Nanny State with people just assuming that the government will take care of it to their specifications without them having to do work, thinking, or sacrifice. The whining over Basic Income being axed is a case in point: the government doesn’t owe you a pay check, especially if you are a person who can work. We all have aches and pains. It would be wiser for the government to crack down on companies that do not hire people with physical issues than to just enable people into staying in place.

We all need money. Billionaires sue their own relatives over money. It is never enough.

That’s why human beings were made to work: you have to earn your keep. That is a biological reality. We are wired to work for our reward and survival. We are wired to be independent.

It is not natural for men not to work. It is not natural for women not to work. It is not natural for men not to be rewarded for their work. It is not natural for women not be rewarded for their work.

That’s why I believe children should be introduced to work. They should have a job — not a full-time job, but through the educational system from day one. Children should earn a pay check, and then have expenses they need to pay as part of their education. No exceptions.

They need to learn how economies thrive and how the collapse. No relying on debt, hoarding, or being nannied. Here are the needs, here are the wants, here are the conflicts, here are the problems, here are the unexpected expenses, and here are the goals to improve the situation.

When you have children learning from an early age that self-sufficiency is the greatest liberator of them all, they can still have their dreams, but have a better plan to make them a reality. They learn that they have to test their theories and modify them. They have negotiate with people who are not just going to go away or put up with being demonized for not playing the game.

By high school, students should have apprenticeships in every kind of job: from medicine to retail to corporate to industrial. Yes, from cleaning toilets to stocking sheets at the morgue.

I worked as a kid in my mother’s driving school: I marked papers, scheduled appointments, and whatever else a ten-year-old could do. In high school, I volunteered at the hospital, from the psychiatric ward to the gift shop to the MRI clinic. I worked, studied, and volunteered, and I was hardly the only one in my generation to perform that hat trick.

But now, you have had a generation with a peculiar kind of parental meddling that has sparked an early onset midlife crisis for Millennials. They want pensions now. They don’t want other people to be wealthy. They are trying to control and meddle in order to rig the board to justify their narrative the same way their parents meddled and controlled their children’s education.

When I first taught in college, I was surprised at how many parents did so: they would quibble with failing marks, and as their grown children were adults, privacy prevented me from discussing any of it — but it wasn’t just trying to turn a failing grade into an A. They would call to make excuses why their sons weren’t coming to class, and even go so far as do the assignments and then try to pass it off as their kids’.

This was a constant occurrence. The meddling helped no one. These were not stupid students, but they were sheltered and spoiled. It was hard to tell these parents that I had severely disabled students in my class who never did anything less than a stellar job of every assignment on their own.

I had young women in my class who worked as strippers or even escorts to pay their way because they came from extreme poverty, and yet nothing stopped them. To me, it was a horrifying reality that we had brilliant minds have to make deals with the devil to crawl out of poverty. If these students didn’t have those stresses, their grade point average would have been good enough to get a scholarship.

It was the reason I always talked to my students so I would know their circumstances, and if there was any way I could ease their burden while helping them maintain their independence and self-sufficiency, I would.

I didn’t meddle or pry. I assessed, and then guided. I was happy to do so, and it was part of my job as an educator.

What wasn’t part of my job was enabling passivity and laziness from grifters who were always quick with an excuse and sob story, but would have been better off using those resources to study and work.

But while I could reason with students, their parents were a different matter. What didn’t seem to compute is that their kid was mundane, had to work just like everyone else, and needed to fail in order to learn.

Because failure is feedback. You tests the limits, and you discover your own limitations in reality. Work is nothing to be ashamed of doing.

I made my students work and work hard, but in return, I ensured that they learned what is essential and current. I did my research and focussed on what skills and knowledge were crucial in their chosen field. I did this every semester, regardless if I taught that course before.

And I did all of these as I worked as a journalist, and helped my mother with her own career.

In other words, I worked and worked hard. I always joked that I never met I job I didn’t like.

My mother worked for Lego at the time as she was also teaching jewlery-making and metalworking at various colleges. If she needed an able-bodied person to help her re-set a plan-o-gram at three o’clock in the morning, I was there. If she needed someone to drag her supplies to her class, I dragged.

Not too many children can say their managed their parent’s career. I did.

So to hear people bellyache that Basic Income is going away is mystifying to me.

You really want to rely on scam artists to save you? That’s your plan?

Then you are truly an idiot. The end.

But no one said people going through a midlife crisis were thinking with their brains.

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Cortez is a moron who is telling propaganda to bigger dummies.

The fear-mongering is old. The world will end?

Doomsday cult-talk. Not original.

Demonizing the wealthy? Nazis did that and that’s why so many Jews and Serbs were slaughtered by both the Nazis and the Ustashi who stole their goods.

Fascism did start as a Left-wing ideology that pandered to spoiled boys whose mommies sheltered them.

But do not buy the narrative that young America is turning socialist. This is the their midlife crisis fling.

They are too stupid to know they have had an early onset midlife crisis, something I have written about before here, here, and. here.

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That is a propaganda poster spewed by a historically illiterate moron pandering to even bigger dummies.

Socialism is a Euro-centric white man invention. The end.

It is patriarchal, sexist, controlling, and confining.

And that trick never works because while it panders to poor people’s version of greed, it goes against human nature.

So what is the deal with those old fogey Millennials? Why are they so defeatist — and why is this socialist fling not an actual thing?

Go back ten years when social media and Big Tech bullshitted those arrogant little twerps.

Big Tech became super-rich by means of a greed scam: hey, kids, you are all specialI And destined for greatness!

And all you have to do is plaster your ugly mug on one of our platforms and you will become rich and famous. Fuck the middleman! Screw the gate-keepers of legacy media! They are all just jealous of you!

Wiggle your ass! Make fishy faces! We really are looking at you and not the grunge in your bathroom!

And Millennials, who always lacked life experience because they are both conniving and cowardly, bought into it.

They filled up YouTube with their obnoxious warbling. They posed with their lattes on Instagram. They issued their royal decrees on Twitter. They issued their press releases on Facebook.

And…nothing.

They lived like rock stars as they sank their lives on their smartphones because their laptops and tablets were no longer good enough. Maybe this app will do it. No, maybe this over-priced smartphone. They flocked to Etsy to see their goods as they flocked to Twitter for free promotion as they shilled on Kickstarter to get seed money.

Everyone had a vanity project.

Blogs came and went. Forums came and went.

And still, they were just mundane people who did not become rich and famous.

And the Big Tech titans grew super-rich. Super-rich! How dare they?

Not only did that generation become too old, they were made fools.

And that is in a short ten year cycle.

Now, they want someone to pay for their own nincompoopity. It is no one’s fault but their own.

If you don’t know a scam in 2019, that is because you don’t want to know.

The problem is socialism is not going to fly. It is manipulating the suckers who already fell once for a big scam, but it will not have ten years because who it is targeting is too old: those people want a champagne lifestyle and they want it now.

And it is not coming.

A midlife crisis is marked by seeking sweeping quick fixes to undo all of the opportunities lost. People marry for conniving reasons, see that they made a gross error in judgment that they endured, and then go on to have affairs, buy a sports car, have plastic surgery…

Except you are still the conniving screw-up that you always were. Those shallow cosmetic changes don’t touch the core.

And no, yoga and meditation aren’t going to enlighten you, and neither is backpacking in India.

That’s just a trip.

You can have fun, but you are not validating your flaws if you are in this corner of the world, or in some other corner.

The problem is you.

And Millennials are now wanting pensions. They are defeatist. They gave up.

All while have a premature midlife crisis.

But a real midlife crisis is still in the cards.

That’s the reality of having a Middle Class mindset: you can only make guesses about how the other half lives or how they became rich and famous.

And mostly you get your demented ideas by watching television and movies.

When socialism — despite its propagandistic methods — fails to solve all of the problems, those followers will turn on it more ferociously than they turned on social media.

Because all of these followers were huge capitalists and wannabe “entrepreneurs” until reality proved otherwise.

And they merely swung the opposite direction using the Default Delusion as the looked for The One Rule That Explains Everything.

And socialism is a disastrous recipe that still has rich and powerful people controlling the masses.

Disillusioned people looking for a Nanny They always outsmart themselves — but when their shallow thinking implodes, they want to stomp evidence of their failings to the ground.

2019 is the year of global humbling. People looking for quick fixes and quicker power grabs don’t see they are in uncharted waters created by the Internet that altered thinking.

It will be ugly.

But only for those looking for someone to save them.

For people who make their own way with their own original ideas and ideology, their time has finally arrived…and there is nothing to fear…

Memo to the Conversation: The Gillette ad is not a sign of a "cultural shift". It is a sign that corporate pandering is as deceptive as ever.

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Boy, are some people gullible rubes.

You can fool all of the people some of the time, but it is the ones who can fool all of the time who can babble and puke sophistry thinking they know something.

Look at this piece of propaganda from the Conversation:

Gillette’s #MeToo-inspired Super Bowl ad represents a cultural shift

No, it doesn’t. It represents patriarchal misogyny repackaged to appease pseudo-feminist followers of the Middle Class who want hasty solutions to inconveniences by having some They do all the work to sweep it under the rug, and that has been going on for decades.

The Middle Class love to fly under the radar. They detest work, independent though, or real change. Just give the crib notes of what is acceptable thinking and cocktail party chatter and they will take those marching orders and march straight off a cliff.

The Gillette ad is pure bullshit and typical corporate propaganda. It doesn’t actually do anything but co-opt palatable feminism. Their sales were declining, mostly thanks to lazy men ditching shaving or basic hygiene because that is too hard compared to app swiping. Those men aren’t thinking about the women; they are thinking about their own lethargic asses and then trying to spin a narrative of individuality and self-expression by doing what everyone else is doing.

So Gillette is trying to sweet talk women into buying their junk.

The end.

No cultural shift. The difference is before their ads were targeting men and now they are targeting women to buy a product by providing their dream men who puke what these women want to hear.

No cultural shift. This is how advertising rolls.

The core message hasn’t deviated. It reminds me of a Han Hoogerbrugge print I have hanging in my bedroom called Hey Boy Hey Girl.

I love that picture, but apparently, I am in the minority. My mother always curses and make horrid comments when I had it in my office. People look at it and wonder what the hell do I see in it.

Simple: A satiric take on typical Western thinking.

The girl is just the guy wearing a girly wig. If you watch the animation on his old site NAILS, it is animation #12. Click the “girl”, then the “boy”, then click the boy again to get the girl’s giggling.

This is how Western thinking is built: everything is patriarchal and male-centred, even when it purports to be enlightened by more feminist thinking.

It is an epic bullshit story.

It is no different than when when a kids asks dad for money and he rejects the request, and then the kid remembers there is mom and then goes appeals to her, hoping she’ll oblige.

Acting like a kid is not a cultural shift. That is knocking on doors until someone lets you in.

Gillette’s problem isn’t that men have gotten more “sensitive”: they (a) have more artisan options so they can be snooty and express their specialness with the brand of razor they use, and (b) have a more rugged option that trumps Gillette’s schtick by chucking their razors in the first place.

Whoop di do.

This isn’t a watershed moment.

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So don’t overthink the corporate press release…

Canada's Saudi Trauma: This isn't a playground, kids or running for Students' Council.

The federal Liberal regime are a shallow bunch, and not bright, either.

They are making the spat with China into some sort of demented popularity contest and reminds me of nerdy kids who then try to make friends just to get back at the popular kids who shunned their dweebery the first time.

You are not impressing China wasting time on an old PR stunt — and one I covered in my first book. Once upon a time Hill and Knowlton Canada were silly enough to put on their web site standard tricks for crisis communications — and one of the feints was to get proxies to be your mouthpiece.

This ruse is what we are seeing know. It doesn’t work. China has had Canada in their sights for a long time, and now the game is just beginning.

China is not Canada. It is not indoctrinated in Western group-think. They don’t have to listen to a country whose population is thirty-seven notches below their own. Their economy may be slowing, but ours is garbage, and they know it.

China has citizens who can afford gold toilets. People here sell their dinky family rings to pay for utilities. People in Canada are $200 away from bankruptcy.

Our government officials can live it up, but the average citizen is not in such a good place.

We have a tone deaf regime worry about image. This is the sum total of what it means to be in Jive Turkey’s clubhouse. In Canada, you can tweak people’s noses as you drag your feet, most people give up and you get your way.

China doesn’t forgive or forget.

They will release whoever they have when they are good and ready. The whitebreads up in Ottawa are still looking down on China, and have taken the wrong lesson home from the global silence regarding Saudi Arabia: it is not having other people fight our battles for us that was what humiliated Canada, it was the fact that Canada has a serious attitude problem when dealing with people who are higher up the food chain.

Jive Turkey can get away with his entitled disposition in Canada. You pull that garbage on other people, they will stomp on you.

If anyone needed some serious Debrett’s training, it is the Billy No-Mates up in Ottawa.

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And this is the new “red book” this ridiculous regime needs in 2019…

Appealing to Authority: What you do when you are too lazy to use common sense.

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Experts in Western society have been highly misinterpreted and misused. Journalists — when they don’t like a reality that flies in the face of their own narratives, will whip out someone resembling an “expert” and then quote them as if this opinion will “shut down” debate and provide the definitive rebuttal to settle the matter once and for all for eternity.

That is the way of childish thinking.

This is a misunderstanding of what an expert can tell you.

A politician makes a claim that a certain tax will trigger a recession. One group of economists disagree.

Who’s right?

Neither.

Because no one can say if it will or won’t, given all of the other problems Canada is facing, such as strained relations with nations who can decimate our economy, the debt load, expensive housing, factory closing and job losses, a poor free trade agreement, and so on.

That Canada is already in a secret recession…well, the signs are everywhere. I see stores closing. I see homeless people in Burlington, Oakville, Dundas, and other places where you never saw it before.

Hamilton didn’t have the homeless wandering about all that long ago, but in the last few years, you see it everywhere. The Shoppers Drug Mart by my old house on Main Street had numerous panhandlers. So did the Centre Mall, Queenston Mall, and several grocery stores where children were begging for donut and soda money.

Now you have people in the early twenties camping out in traditionally economically healthier places.

What started as a Toronto thing made its way to Hamilton, but then when Dundas had pan handlers in front of their Starbucks, people were shocked. "We don’t have beggars in Dundas!” was a common enough refrain within the last year.

This isn’t Chicago where you have your regulars who make their living that way. Spend a day around Michigan Avenue and you know who’s who.

You do not need an expert to see that suddenly, people with nice coats are without shelter, and eventually, those nice coats don’t look nice for long.

Articles have been very misleading in that regard: journalists want to discredit Ford, but they are discrediting themselves and they experts they quote.

You don’t drive an Uber or Lyft because you are doing well. You are not selling your gold, either. You don’t have payday lenders all over the place because it is the land of opportunity. Reverse mortgages don’t say a lot of positive things about the economy.

Housing crashed in Canada. The CPP clawback is going to push a lot of people over the edge.

So by itself, the carbon tax wouldn’t make things worse because it is one of a myriad of bad things happening right now.

I remember a few years ago when Target blew into Canada along with other big box stores building in the Golden Horse. I saw them everyday from Niagara Fall to Toronto, but then there were news reports that said seriously that there was an “unexpected” jump in jobs…but they were mostly retail.

You don’t say!

Do you idiots look outside?

You need an economist to tell you that there will be retails jobs as retail outlets are being built everywhere?

I am not an economist, and I knew what would be happening within the following months.

And I knew Target wouldn’t last here, either.

We need experts under two conditions, (a) to have a set of trained eyes in the places where it is hard for others to see, and (b) when we are too lazy to look ourselves. An educated and healthy society aims for the former, while a slacker and passive one goes for the latter.

Experts can be wrong, over-reach, have vested interests, and have clashing ideas. You do not quote an '“expert” and then think you have made a definitive argument that proves anything.

Only the future will confirm or refute it — not the expert…

The Divine They: When people complain about the status quo, notice they never think of lifting a finger or looking at their own actions.

You have seen them on the Troll Scroll: endless tweets how some They, be it the government or corporations should do something — or should stop doing them. The decree that They ought to do something — or be harmed because what they are doing isn’t “right”, “moral”, whatever.

It is always some divine “They”: there is never anything the complainer does to try to change the course of things other than bitch and whine. No one thinks to get up off their ass and do something.

What this is an act of self-absolution: you’re not to blame, you have nothing to do with it, and let someone else be active.

Because it has nothing to do with you.

No, you too.

What are you doing about it, as it real action?

A poor citizen just tweets. A poor citizens marches in the streets or just goes and vote.

That’s lazy.

That’s passive.

What are you building? What are you creating? What are you fixing? What are you doing?

Making propaganda memes? Passing along some PR firms’s paid tweet?

Action counts.

The flaming out of the Mob Decrees is here.

The reason is simple: there is no Divine They.

There is only the mortal Us.

And life is too short for passivity…

Watching local newscasts...talking stupid reaching new lows...

How stupid are people?

Seven minutes talking down to people, telling them how to dress in the cold.

This is a conversational you have with children.

You have real things happening in your cities. People are getting robbed, raped, murdered. Jobs are being lost. People are in debt.

And some places allow bigotry to be mundane, and a rite of passage.

And you really think what you are spewing is…news?

Don’t whine about how no one watches you anymore…

In a neo-Victorian world, priorities are based on lies.

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We are in an Age of Propaganda. Up is presented as down and down as up. We keep everything and everyone at arm’s length, and it is the reason we have people mistake apathy and ignorance with expertise and objectivity.

And the ignorance is on the outside, but also the inside. Ask the opinionists about the deepest layers of a single grain of an issue, and they think they can fake it with a show a big, melodramatic tirade.

And they can’t.

But almost no one really sees it.

Take The Hill with this silly article, for example:

Only a matter of time before the social media mob comes for you

And what happens? The world ends? The sun is too scared to rise up tomorrow?

Who are these automaton mobs on the Troll Scroll? Paid agitators and PR flunkies? Political operatives? Bots? In that sea of offended assholes, we have no standards: they could be liars who like to be shit-disturbers. There are psychopaths, schizophrenics, stoned people, followers, ignorants, and people with vested interests. Rapists, child molesters, and murderers could be raging in that toxic stew along with the people they harmed along the way. We don’t actually know the qualifications of those mobs. They could harbour prejudice or puke misplaced rage to something safer.

Among people with legitimate beefs are people who just spew. What do these people know? Their qualifications? Their understanding of the issue?

Do they pay your bills? Do they worry if you stray out too far for too long?

Have they made up their opinions regardless of the facts?

The Troll Scroll is the great tool of political misdirection of the modern age.

The priority to care what social media decrees is a sink of life, time, emotion, resources, money, and everything else.

We have more important problems that a few discontent yelpers.

Canada is in a secret recession, but we have people deny it, yet

46% of Canadians on the brink of insolvency as rates rise: Survey

I am willing to bet the number is much higher than 46%. If our tools of measurement of economic health does not factor debt (net versus gross), then there is a problem. If something happened where just enough people would have to file for bankruptcy, what would happen?

And judging by the number of homeless people around the Golden Horseshoe, that’s actually happening.

They just aren’t being factored in.

But in a neo-Victorian world, we just don’t talk about that.

We focus on trivialities because dealing with the serious structural problems are too terrifying to contemplate.

Because it goes against the narrative.

Open-mindedness gets lost when everyone cribs from pre-set scripts. Virtue-signalling isn’t actual virtue. Troll Scroll is a playground where the bullies do what bullies to best.

And problems get worse because they get ignored.

People don’t have control over their deteriorating circumstances, but they can browbeat strangers to modify they behaviour — or ruin their lives by demonizing them in a public forum.

If people allow that sort of b-mod.

But if people still live their lives, and stand their ground, they gain power over mob mentalities.

And when more and more people say, “You don’t know me; you do not understand, and you do not have my best interests at heart,” the mob groups’ power dwindles.

Then the balance of focus shifts, and when the howling problems begin to demand attention, and mob-rule doesn’t work, what we have is a new wrinkle society is not accustomed to — and it is coming.

And then a new era begins…one where propaganda is no protection to that enigmatic force known to all as reality…

To the ditzes of the National Post: You can't solve your own stupidity. Your "solution" to Canada's spat with Saudi Arabia is just...moronic.

I would the simplistic and fragmented world of the National Post: no man is a rapist, and no woman ever tells the truth.

But when it comes to their political solutions to big problems, heaven help us all.

Like this piece of childish tripe:

How Canada can really hurt Saudi Arabia (Hint: export our oil)

Shutting down Canadian oil does not reduce global oil consumption — it only increases the Saudis' market share

Go ahead, and the Saudis just flood the market and give it away. For pennies. That will do wonders for our oil industry, wouldn’t it?

Think, dummy. The Saudis have nothing to fear from Canada.

And you are stuck on the same planet as people who do not like you. This petty and vindictive nonsense is puerile. The Saudis have a staple the world currently cannot live without. That includes you.

Instead of looking for ways to tweak the noses of other countries, we would be better off using our brains and understanding that the point of a government is to govern. Not to swagger like a hick buffoon.

Because unfortunately, we have a jive turkey buffoon as Prime Minister. The elitist prime minister trying to pass off the Tories as being “elites” is jut plain stupid.

He wants to use political propaganda to ignore that fuckery his brand of petty and vindictive nose-tweaking his regime has cost this country in the last year alone. Let’s pretend we didn’t get screwed over with USMCA, by the Saudis, and by China. Now, there’s a hat trick.

And to egg on the arrogance by deluding people that Canada has cards to play? We don’t.

Do you know why Canada is knee-deep in cow shit?

Because we have morons who want to retaliate and settle petty scores instead of think, plan, and get right down to business as they keep an eye to the bottom line and the future.

You start a petty spat, you hurt no one but yourself. You come off as some snot-nosed five year-old who keeps death grudges because baby sister got one more jelly bean than you did.

Grow up, children. This isn’t WWE where you cheer and boo on cue. We are losing liberties and have a pseudo-leadership who is telling their members to sweep it under the rug and pretend as if it hasn’t happened.

Because Canada doesn’t have a history of going up against veterans alone. Saudi Arabia is no pushover.

Logic, my friends. No narrative fantasy of Reality Deniers. A solid education in mathematics would have developed that part of the brain for you. You really got to get yourselves beyond Piaget’s Stage Two.

Seriously. This is why journalism collapsed. No logic, and no sense priorities, strategy, or reality…

From the Dangerous Woman Vault: The Whimsy's Monster Show!

The Whimsy’s Monster Show

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When your lucky socks are under your bed,

But the monsters there scare you right out of your head;

Don’t scream, don’t faint, and you better not run

Because your fun has only just begun!

Invite those monsters to chase you ‘round your room,

And you’ll make them your friends as you chase away the gloom!

Get ready, kids, because the laughter is near

Because the Whimsy’s here to bring new cheer!

So hey diddle diddle, here is our cat with her fiddle

To tell you the story as she works out her riddle!

Let’s begin our tale so you’ll all be in the know

Because it’s time for the Whimsy’s Monster Show!

II

Katriel Pepper was the perkiest and hardest working person he ever met, thought Theodore Nathaniel as he sat back in his office chair. As kids, she literally was the girl next door, with her bedroom window directly facing his own and they would talk all night to each other in the summer when they were supposed to be asleep. They would play catch that way, too, even after he once fumbled a water balloon and accidentally beaned his dolled up mother with it square on her head. They were fourteen years old at the time and both got what for over it.

The only downside was Kat played the violin and practiced it as much as she could – and she was horrible at it. She was the best worst violin player Theo had ever heard in his life, and many of his boyhood memories consisted of trying to study amid a stream of tears as Kat tortured her violin with her diligence. She would make amends by buying him Double Crown Candy from the Candy Shoppe and throwing him a bag over from her bedroom window so he wouldn’t act like such a big baby as she was trying to attain her dream of becoming a professional violinist.

Unfortunately, she never could learn to play, but she did become a first-rate carpenter. She was spry and tiny, but full of sunny energy and did her job well. Theo had a brain for technology like his famous descendent Dr. Darda Hoffding, but he also had a knack for business and founded Dreaminate computers which quickly became a multi-billion dollar phenomenon, though he never left his town of Queen’s Heights and remained close friends with Kat. When he tired of the rigors of keeping his company on the cutting edge, she encouraged him to sell and he took his hefty profits and bought the town’s entertainment district called Carnivalia, shocking everyone who ever knew him.

It would prove to be a fortuitous move for him and Kat when she confided in him that carpentry bored her and she wanted to go on a different track. They talked about old times at the Greatest Show Diner over coffee one rainy spring night and recalled her abysmal violin playing. She cracked a joke that she not only terrified Theo and her pet cats, but all of the monsters that hid from children under her bed and they both realized Kat had the makings of a boffo new children’s show for Carnivalia.

They brainstormed until morning when the Whimsy’s Monster Show was born. Kat left her old job and her live children’s show became Carnivalia’s biggest attraction for kids.

The show kept changing, but the premise was simple: Kat played the Whimsy, a kitten who practiced her violin in her room as she pondered a problem in her life, but her scratchy and squealing sounds would scare a monster from under her bed. The monster would chase her until she turned the tables and caught the monster, who would reveal monsters hid under the bed because they had an uncontrollable fear of children. After the Whimsy consoled the monster, it would reveal he or she had another problem that needed solving – one very similar to the one the Whimsy was pondering. The two would join forces and think up a solution and would become friends with the monster dancing as the Whimsy played her violin or both agreeing to have a tea party in celebration of their new friendship. Children would interact with the show, shouting comments and questions which both the monster and the Whimsy answered and incorporated into the act.

The Monster Show was a monster hit, filling the theatre to full capacity with every performance. It didn’t hurt that Kat was cute, agile, comedic, and insisted the show didn’t use a script. She had the gift of improvisation, making each show personalized to each crowd. Kids all wanted Whimsy cat-ear hats and whiskers, ensuring word of mouth kept Carnivalia a must-see destination for tourists from around the world.

Theo looked at the time from his laptop and then got up from his office chair in the former haunted house that now served as Carnivalia’s headquarters. He had a lunch date with Kat and he never liked to keep a lady waiting – and the lunch date was in the house she built for herself on her own – in a tree.

III

“Theo!” Kat said as she gave her oldest and dearest friend a big, warm hug as he left the elevator to reach her living room. Theo picked up his petite companion and twirled her around as she giggled. As he placed her back down, she grabbed him by the arm and brought him to the living room where lunch was ready.

“Redley’s Garden Café?” he asked as he sat down.

“I’m not like you – you’re the one who knows how to cook like a chef.”

“I’m all right…”

“You are not allowed to fake modesty in that department, Theo. You can cook, you can dance, you can make a truckload of money, and you can build anything you can think up and there isn’t very much you can’t think up.”

“You are wasting your time as a children’s performer. You ought to be writing up my press releases or set me up on a blind date.”

“You don’t need any help in that department.”

“I don’t know. I can’t seem to find the right one.”

“I know what you mean.”

“What about Brad Stoney? You seem to like him.”

“I think he already has a girlfriend.”

“Only one?” guffawed Theo boyishly as Kat playfully slapped his shoulder.

“Yeah, I think he said he is going out with Magnus Lyme.”

“Annie’s friend? Doesn’t she travel all over the world as a consultant or something?”

“You think they aren’t serious?”

“How would I know? I only see him around preparing for his debut at the Magician’s Roar. It’s a guess since you said you only think they are dating.”

“He sometimes subs in as one of my monsters when one of the regulars can’t make it. He always fills out that monster suit so nicely,” sighed Kat dreamily as she poured the salad for her and Theo.

“Then ask him out.”

“I can’t do that – he talks about Magnus. Besides, I have a strict rule never to date a co-worker.”

“So he just talks about her, besides, he is not a co-worker, he is a colleague. I know you like him – you get all blushy when he talks.”

“I do? Oh no! I don’t want to get all blushy! I can’t get all blushy! Maybe he talks about Magnus because I’m making him uncomfortable with my blushing!”

“I’m sure a guy that attractive and rugged is used to a certain degree of blushy – he used to be a television journalist, you know. He would have to be used it, and if he is like any red-blooded guy, he would have to like it.”

“But I still don’t want to be blushy!”

“Why? What’s wrong with that?”

“You don’t want someone to know you get blushy!”

“But how else would they know you genuinely like them unless you do? Don’t you think it’s rude when someone thinks you are attractive and nice to be around and they keep it to themselves?”

“Is that why you are always so forward?”

“I’m not that forward, but if I like a woman, I let her know. I like to take the guesswork out of romance. I figure if she knows how I feel about her, she can decide if she feels the same way about me. I ask her out, if she likes me, she’ll say yes and we go from there, and if she says no, I know where I stand and then I can move on. She sees I’m blushy and then the next move is up to her, but then she can’t say I didn’t let her know what I feel.”

Kat rolled her eyes. “You were always completely silly.”

“It’s what I’m made of, Kat. We’re all kind of silly when we’re being perfectly honest.”

“I like that,” mused Kat as she smirked.

“A monster act?”

“Oh yeah. The fun never ends when you get my creative juices flowing.”

IV

After the theme song played, the tiny roars and cheers from the pint-sized crowd signalled that the star of the show was about to walk across the stage. She turned to the audience and curtsied before telling the children she wanted to go to the school’s cool cat dance, but could not ask the tom cat she liked to come along as her date. The Whimsy sighed, then jumped and hopped on cue with her violin in hand, noting to the audience that she had ate her supper and did all her science homework and now it was time to practice her violin.

“Yay!” cheered the children as the Whimsy made her instrument screech in a completely horrible, yet comical manner. After a few seconds of the unnatural sound, a monster popped out from under the Whimsy’s bed and screamed, “Grrrr! I will eat you up, you noisy, no-good kitten!”

“Don’t eat the Whimsy!” screamed countless voices who yelled in protest, although they laughed and clapped their hands.

“Watch out, Whimsy!” other children shouted, some even telling the Whimsy where to hide. She ran around the room as she dropped her bow and violin, jumping on top of her bed, and then leaping to her dresser.

“Meow! That is cat for ‘enough’!” she shouted as she turned around and chased the large monster, leaping on him, before tackling him to the ground and then started chewing on his ear.

“Mercy!” shouted the monster. “I am afraid of children! Mercy!”

The Whimsy jumped up. “Is that why all you monsters hide under the bed?”

“Yes! We can never get away from those scary creatures! It is bad enough I have a bigger problem, already!”

“What problem?”

“There is a monster dance coming up next week, and I cannot ask the girl of my dreams out!”

“Why not?”

“She has the prettiest monster drool I have ever seen and all the other monsters think she is the most wonderful monster ever! Every monster will ask her out to the dance and I don’t have a chance. And, oh! When she growls, her eyes light up such a scary shade of red – you just want to run away with her to terrorize the whole neighbourhood!”

“Does she terrorize this neighbourhood?” asked the Whimsy. “I’ve never seen her and I walk on the fence every day!”

“Well no,” conceded the monster. “She would rather study or read a book at the library than scare little children. She wants to be a fang and claw doctor when she grows up to help sick monsters in need.”

“Do you like science, too?”

“I like to scare scientists because what they do always seems so scary! I like giving them a taste of their own medicine!”

The Whimsy took out her science textbook and gave it to the monster. “Maybe you think what they do is scary because you haven’t been studying your science. If you understood science, maybe scientists wouldn’t be so scary to you, either.”

“It’s hard to read anything under your bed when it is dark and you keep all your toy mice under there.” The monster sat down and read the book. “Wow, I never knew all these things! I ought to ask Redzilla to come to the library with me first so we can take out some science books and read them together! Maybe if we are friends first, she will start to like me more.”

After more silly antics on stage, the Whimsy and the monster had their tea party amid more cheers and applause from the crowd. When the curtain fell, the monster took off his mask as the Whimsy took off her cat ears.

“Thanks for the assist, Brad,” said Kat as they walked off the stage.

“No, thank you, Kat,” said Brad as he began to remove the rest of his costume. “I really need to practice my improv skills. Thanks for letting me do this more regularly with you.”

“No prob,” blushed Kat as she smiled. “Considering your ancestor Asa Quigley was a theatre actress and a school teacher, you’re a natural. Besides, it’s always a pleasure to have you around.”

From the Dangerous Woman Vault: The Sparrow: Dream Detective.

The Sparrow: Dream Detective

“…And my company’s profits have been in slow decline over the last year and I cannot figure out why. I heard you were one of the best detectives in the world and I want to hire you to find out whether someone is sabotaging my shoe repair empire and if they are, to stop it.”

The detective looked deep in thought, making the man rephrase his last sentence.

“Well, Sparrow, do you think you can take my case?” asked the burly man with the animated unibrow as he looked intensely at the tall, voluptuous doe-eyed blonde sitting in a chair beside his bed as he straightened his lucky pajama top. It was his lucky one because he was not sure if he would be free of his woes without it.

“In your dreams, yes,” Lexine Lark said with the chipper air of a confident heroine. “I can look into your case, but you must promise not to try to kiss me while I have a look about in your dreams or I will be forced to slap you awake from the inside of your head and that is even less pleasant than it sounds.”

The man frowned sadly. “But you do look like such a beautiful dream girl.”

“Woman,” she corrected politely. “I am not as young as I look. I merely gave my birthdays away to a greedy little boy over two hundred years ago who thought more birthdays meant more presents and I have not aged a day since. Now, do you need me to read you a bedtime story or will you fall asleep on your own?”

“What sort of bedtime stories do you have?”

“I can read you one about a benevolent and dainty tyrannosaurus rex who is best friends with a tough and brave beetle or a story about a Queen of Hearts who became God because the magician who kept that card close to his chest wished it so.”

“But won’t those stories give me strange dreams?”

“The stranger the dream, the better I can help solve your mystery.”

“Read me the one about the dinosaur lest I get a lusty dream from the other story and then get slapped from the inside of my head whilst trying to give you a kiss.”

“A wise choice, sir.” The Sparrow obliged and soon after, her client fell fast asleep. At the moment he began to dream, the Sparrow fluttered into his mind and began to walk inside the very essence of his soul, which was mostly intact save for one small piece he had sold in exchange for a television set that would make his obnoxious elder brother green with envy.

This was her first telling clue since it meant her client was not all there to begin with.

The Sparrow then entered the dream where her client was in his childhood home that, in fact, had been merged with his current home, taking the most traumatic parts of both. The living room looked harsh for it was the place where he had been bullied in front of a mirror and it was bigger and colder than either place had been in the waking world.

The man’s childhood fears had come out to torment him tonight to give strength to the fears he had harbored as a lonely adult. This was a house with no love for him and even the empty sofa made his loveless status known.

Yet it was the man’s wailing that was the loudest of all the belligerent cacophony: he was holding a shoe as he was pleading to a beautiful, but conceited woman standing angrily before him.

“Gunda!” said the Sparrow’s client to the cold woman in the long black gown. “Gunda, I would fix a thousand broken shoes in a dungeon just to spend a night with you!”

But Gunda snorted haughtily. “You are so repulsive, that my toes and heels quiver with disgust! You couldn’t even repair my favorite pair of shoes!” The man then crumpled to the floor and began to cry into the broken black stiletto shoe he was clutching.

“Ah!” said the Sparrow as she approached the woman who suddenly looked afraid. “I can see by your vibrant and detailed features that you have been living in his head for about a year! Around the same time my client’s company started to stumble!”

“Get away from me!” yelled Gunda. “I heard about you! You’re the Sparrow! You can make trouble for figments!”

“I am the Sparrow, but it is only the naughty figments that have something to fear. Now, why are you vexing this desperate man?”

Gunda vanished without a trace and the Sparrow looked around the room for some clue, but could find none.

“The trail cannot be this cold if this were a case of true love! My client’s self-deception may be a clue, but it makes my job so difficult!”

“Maybe I can help!” a cheery female voice said. The Sparrow turned around and saw a statuesque Spanish beauty she knew well who was known to those in their realm as the Heart Collector. The Heart Collector smiled and waved to her friend. “Yoo hoo! Lexy! Fancy meeting you here!”

“Madreselva! What a pleasant surprise! What are you doing here?”

“I am processing a return.”

“You only deal with pieces of hearts that people give to another. You either give them to an intended recipient or return them to the sender.”

“That’s right. Last night I had a backlog of deliveries and tonight I have a backlog of returns.”

“Oh, dear. May I see that package, please?”

“Of course. You always ask very nicely.”

“Thank you.” The Sparrow took the tiny package from the Heart Collector and opened it to reveal a single dancing grain of light. It was a piece of her client’s heart that he had given to Gunda. There was also a note from Gunda so ill-mannered and crass regarding what her client could do with that piece of his heart that the Sparrow blushed as she placed both the note and the grain back in the box and returned it to her good friend.

“Is that a clue?” asked the Heart Collector.

“Yes, a very vital one. I know Gunda’s ego grew stronger with the idea of being seen as desirable, but she was not the one who encouraged my client to pursue her, meaning someone else caused my client’s distractions and planted the idea that he loved this despicable woman in his head.”

“I wrote my dissertation on such cases when I was studying to be a Heart Collector. It is very, very sad, and very, very silly all at the same time. So many people are very promiscuous when it comes to giving pieces of their hearts to the undeserving. They think they have infinite love to give, not realizing that the rest of the heart becomes so distressed for that one missing piece that the whole heart goes to pieces!”

“I have seen it too many times in too many nightmares. Pity, if you weren’t so busy, I would invite you on this adventure.”

“I would love to join you, but tonight are the vehement returns so I must deliver these horrid and nasty rejections as quickly and gently as I can. Next week I will invite you over to my house and we will have a lovely lunch on my terrace.”

“Oh, Maddie, how thoughtful! The view of Eden from there is just breath-taking! I will accept your gracious invitation and let you get back to work.”

The Heart Collector then gave the package to the weeping man who was so distressed that he did not see her or the Sparrow. The Detective then took another look around the house and began to separate the client’s current residence from his boyhood home and examined each piece very carefully until she came to the mirror.

“I see this mirror distorts the truth!” she said excitedly. “And I think I know who made this mirror and why!”

She returned to her weeping client and whispered in his ear. He stopped crying, perked up and nodded. She took a pen and a form which he eagerly signed before leaving the house to find something more pleasant to dream about.

The Sparrow then returned to the mirror and shook it until a tiny seed fell out of it and then suddenly turned into an angry man who seemed shocked that he was discovered so quickly.

“Ah, there is the culprit! A wicked seed of my client’s obnoxious elder brother! You have been sabotaging his company!”

“How dare you interfere with my plans? I want to be the favorite brother! I have rights! I wanted to be an only child and my parents had him!”

“You should have gotten over your jealousy by now – you are a sixty year old man with grandchildren of your own.”

“My parents were fools! I am the cute one! They should have put all their resources with my dreams! I could have been a famous opera singer if they had more money to give me the proper schooling!”

“But your brother proved to be the successful one and now you must destroy his self-confidence to prove he was not worthy of any attention.”

“I own his mind! You’ll see! I am a weed and a weed is nearly impossible to destroy! Every move he ever makes is controlled by me!”

The Sparrow took out the signed paper from her pocket and handed it over to the surly brother. “But he has signed this form, giving me permission to get rid of you.”

The man snatched the paper and read it. “What? You cannot do this to me!”

“Yes, I can and will. It is against the rules to invade another person’s dreams for the express purpose of causing them psychic harm.”

“It cannot be!”

“That paper is an eviction notice. Your brother finally realizes you are not worth the trouble you are causing him. He told me he would rather dream of dinosaurs who are friendly to bugs than be plagued by your naughtiness. Now that I have found your root, you will have to go back to the rest of you and sulk.”

“But his bumbling caused the floundering of his own company!”

“But you pushed him into believing he is in love with a woman he does not even like, but since you also manipulated him into selling a piece of his soul for a television set, he is blind to this fact. Since you made the trouble, you have to leave so that he has a clear mind and heart to clean up this mess.”

The brother cursed before disappearing with a loud bang, causing the Sparrow’s client to awaken from his dream, gasping for air. “Is it over? My troubles, I mean.”

“Yes, you are free of your delusions of unrequited love and now have that piece of your heart that my friend the Heart Collector returned to you. Next time, be careful where you throw pieces of your heart and do not fantasize about Gunda anymore because I will help a client only once.”

“But how did you know about Gunda when I kept my feelings about her hidden from even myself?”

“Because you avoided the story of the Queen of Hearts because you were afraid of love, opting for a story you thought was just about friendship, when it was also a love story. The bedtime story you avoid is the one that is the key to unlocking the mystery, but the one you choose helps your heart heal.”

“So I will be able to save my company?”

“Yes, but only if you give your fancy television to your older brother and then find yourself before finding love once more. A real love, this time, not the fake kind because fake love is really hate in a clever disguise.”

“Do you think a burly man with a unibrow can find true love, gentle Sparrow?”

“He already found the fake kind. If he looks in the opposite direction, he will find a lady who finds his ways heart-warming.”

“But giving away my television set to my rotten brother? Will that cure my ills?”

“Yes, don’t try to make him jealous and you will be able to save your shoe repair empire and your love life. Now I must be going. I have to visit a client in Antwerp who is frozen in fear because he suspects his girlfriend and his best friend are having a torrid affair as they laugh behind his back and I must find out if it is all in his head. Good night and pleasant dreams.”

The Sparrow got up from the chair, opened the window and leaped out before the man could say goodbye. He was saddened that he could not thank her, but now knew his dreams would be sweeter and his soul would feel whole again once more. He rested his head on the pillow, hoping to meet that lovely dinosaur he had chatted with in his dreams for she was such a nice and gracious tyrannosaurus who knew many good jokes that made him laugh. Before he fell back asleep he truly wondered if all dinosaurs were so kind back in the day or was she the only one who saw something that all the others like her missed all those years ago.

 

The Benevolent and Dainty Tyrannosaurus Rex and her Best Friend the Tough and Brave Beetle

There once was a vast garden of paradise and inside the paradise lived its ruler, a very dainty dinosaur named Ansuz the Adventurer.

Ansuz was no ordinary Tyrannosaurus Rex for she had battled even larger dinosaurs than she and won with her strength and agility.

She won them all fair and square and she won them alone. It did not matter if its size was larger, its numbers were greater, or its strength surpassed her own, somehow, she would see the job through for her job was to rid the world of its evil so that the seeds of goodness could flourish unimpeded.

But there came a day where she looked up in the sky and saw a star dancing about and though she knew nothing about it, she was moved by its gentle light and decided to become a friend and protector to all the good things in the world.

So she found a tiny and lonely tree where a single scrawny flower struggled to grow and made the tree her home.

One day, as Ansuz sat pondering about all the good and right things in the world, a tiny beetle fluttered to her nose and began to chortle, remarking that her nostril was so big, he could make a home inside of it.

The remark stunned the tree and the flower, who thought the mighty dinosaur would eat the beetle or crush it with her breath.

But the dinosaur giggled girlishly, making the beetle blush. The flower and tree thought the beetle was brave to face the gravest of danger with laughter, but the dinosaur thought the beetle cute and charming and asked him to tell her more silly musings he had gleaned on his many travels.

The beetle had nearly fainted for no one had ever asked him about his musings on anything, let alone a dinosaur as mighty as Ansuz.

So the beetle told the dinosaur stories, but since she had never lived life as a beetle, Ansuz was at first confused, but was polite enough to decide she would do her best to see the world as a beetle, and the beetle, who realized the dinosaur was too large to understand him, was determined to retell his fables in such a way even a mighty and dainty dinosaur could follow his beetle logic.

At this first sign of friendship, the flower became inspired and told the tree its many fables of wisdom, causing both the tree and the flower to grow stronger, all while a beetle and a dinosaur forged a powerful friendship as the dinosaur learned to listen and understand the ways of the beetle and the beetle learned to become an equal to a mighty dinosaur.

 

The Queen of Hearts who Became God Because the Magician Who Kept that Card Close to His Chest Wished It So

There once was a magician who performed card tricks with an ordinary deck of cards. He was no better nor worse than any other magician who did so, but he had a single magic trick he loved the most – a mundane trick called Find the Lady.

He would take the Queen of Hearts, throw her to the bottom of his deck, but at the end of the trick, she would appear at the top of the deck for she was always an ambitious card, and then when the show was over, he would put the deck back into his breast pocket, always taking care that the Queen of Hearts was the card closest to his chest.

One day, the magician became bored of the tricks and the stage, and angrily threw all of his cards at the audience, save for one card.

The Queen of Hearts.

He loved this card above the rest for while all his friends and family had left him, she was the only one who stayed by him no matter if the crowd cheered or jeered at him.

He kept the card and gave it a kiss, wishing she were a person rather than a card for whenever he looked at her face, she seemed as if she looked at him with kindness and understanding, unlike any of the other cards he dealt with over the years.

The magician retired from performing, becoming lonely and broken, but he always kept his favorite card close to his chest, even placing her under his pillow when he went to bed at night.

As time went on, he began to feel helpless for she was his one constant companion, yet he felt he had failed her for he wanted her to be the real star of his show, yet his shows were failures and he never managed to do the one thing he wished in his heart he could do for her.

If he could only bring her to life, perhaps she would be free from being a mere card in a deck.

Worse, he knew she was the quiet and understanding sort who only wished for him to be happy.

She may have been only a silly little card, but she was one who was all heart.

Then one late summer day he felt it was his time to go, but before he did, he made one final wish – that his favourite card, who never left his side, be given a worthy gift, even if it meant she reached a higher plane than he.

When he reached Heaven, he was shocked to see the Queen of Hearts waiting with a smile and bowed roaring, “Ta da!”

Because of his wish, she became God for even God could not refuse such a benevolent wish.

And Her first act as God was to give the magician a kiss and a hug and then gave him the gift of a mighty stage where he would finally learn all the tricks of a true magician and when it was his time to start a new act, he would take the world by storm and by calm.

Only this time, his favourite card would be more than just a card he kept close to his chest – but a loving companion who brought magic with a single, loving look as She made a new world of wonder for every good and gentle magician to play.