Matriarchal Storytelling builds on the personal.

I

3.jpg

II

IMG_0343.JPG

III

052.jpg

IV

The first two pictures are of me when I was sixteen and seventeen, several months apart. Glamour shots were all the rage and that second picture was my birthday present. I had colour and black and white, and truth be told, I prefer my black and white pictures.

adwsi.JPG

That era of my life I represent in my fiction writing with my Sparrow: Dream Detective stories.

The Sparrow is a little older than that — she is about nineteen when she gave away her birthdays, and she stays at the age when people do fall in love and feel strongly about true love and soulmates. Much of the logic for those surrealist stories comes from what was popping in my head way back then.

And I was an active fiction writer even back then. I just discovered Salvador Dali and was an avid reader of Agatha Christie and Dick Francis. When I started to write The World’s Most Dangerous Woman, there was no Sparrow, Doyenne Assassin, or Women of Orchid.

There was a Phil Lipton and Marigold Wesley kicking around because I had written an unpublished book that I was never happy with. It was clever, outrageous, and witty, but it was too harsh. I abandoned it, but re-read it because I could never figure out how to fix it. Sometimes the story actually works, but you know it’s not your best because while it is polished, the core isn’t what you want it to be.

Magnus is a character I have had kicking around a lot longer. In a way, since my teenage years. She originally was a concept for a superhero, except her name was Francesca Magnus Lyme. You didn’t mess with her, but I eventually dropped the idea. I had sketches of the character — with a black turtleneck top, but while I liked the look of her, she was too harsh.

Eventually, Magnus was reborn as Magnus Demeter Lyme, and I had a book called Chaser — she had her friends, but she was a smart-ass. I wrote one manuscript, it didn’t thrill me. I wrote another in the present tense — the mystery was great, but she wasn’t.

I scrapped that, too.

Then she appeared in a short story that did get published in 2008 in my short story anthology from bluechrome. She came off as a cunning jerk, but as she wasn’t the main character and the story was told from the perspective of a rival, it is up for interpretation.

Then I wrote a new manuscript with her — but while I was trying to soften her, she still wasn’t working out for me.

But I remembered Phil and Marigold, and it was time I revisited the characters with the same base, but with Phil and Magnus being former colleagues. Phil transmuted, became kinder and more secure, and I had fun with the character, not worrying about snark and crafting an immaculate plot.

Suddenly, Phil worked out, but Magnus didn’t; however, I started developing the characters of Queen’s Heights, including Holly Lake — her mysteries were a story-within-a-story, and the purpose was to give Magnus perspective — and each chapter was a self-contained story of her cases.

And then I scrapped it.

But not entirely.

Parts worked, but the mysteries were perfect for Phil and Marigold, so I tweaked them.

Magnus would go through a final transformation.

And then I found my Magnus.

The prim and proper punk.

The World’s Most Dangerous Woman.

I wrote two short stories that were published in an online literary journal. The Queen’s Heights angle was expanded and kept. So were Phil and Marigold. The short story angle was also kept.

But Magnus was still ahead of her time. No publisher wanted to touch her because she wasn’t slutty, nor was she insecure. That was the feedback I got. One publisher didn’t like the fact that she didn’t fall for one of the cabals and got burned.

That was in 2011 or so.

But it was just as well.

I suddenly wanted to tell stories of other characters, and I couldn’t do it with a traditional publisher.

So came A Dangerous Woman Story Studio.

So why didn’t Magnus work for about twenty years?

Simple: she wasn’t personal. She was my idea of what I thought a tough female character would be, but she wasn’t me.

She wasn’t personal.

As soon as I started to open up and base her on my essence, it was easier to explore the character. There was no mask or fortress between my character and me — or one between me and the audience.

Then suddenly, it wasn’t just Magnus, but a world of characters with a Matriarchal structure. The third picture was taken right after I finished my magnum opus Dr. Verity Lake’s Journey of a Thousand Revelations. It clocks in at almost 1600 pages. I have had people who read it tell me they didn’t think they could endure a book that big, but had no problem doing so because it feels like four books, not one.

That I could write 1600 pages in a few short months during a very trying time in my life happened strictly because what I was writing was personal.

Because Matriarchal builds on the personal. It is intimate in its design. You cannot nurture from a distance. It is up close to the heart or it is nothing.

I could write about characters from different times and places. Once you connect with one character, the spread of activation happens, and you become connected to them all.

What part do I wish to explore today? That’s the joy of the Matriarchal. You are putting your cards on the table. Not everyone will appreciate it, and there will be people who will do everything to try to silence you, but that’s not your problem.

I solved that problem, and now I am thinking how to take A Dangerous Woman on a different platform. I don’t know what, however.

But whatever it is, it will be personal…

Propaganda Chains: Leaking by proxy to hack reporters is an old game.

I

Screen Shot 2019-01-18 at 10.13.59 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-01-18 at 10.00.18 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-01-18 at 9.59.36 PM.png

II

News feels like a re-run with BuzzFeed’s latest foray into getting used and they pretending they have a scoop. Many outlets are reporting this as if this were absolute fact without so much as attribution.

BuzzFeed is an easy target. It’s pure garbage. They are desperate, and it is easy to put out feelers and play games. You leak garbage in the trash can, and then back away from it.

And with Robert Mueller’s office denying it, we can see that this game is a common ruse, and why news outlets are hotbeds for political propaganda and war games.

The news is classic bait that is the brick that gets thrown to get a jade: watch the reaction and the counter-strategy, and that’s how you find out where to strike.

I have had opportunities in my career to play the game. I always begged off. For the record, none of the “leaks” were true or in the right context. There was always an angle.

Because most of journalism is cringeworthy and in the realm of yokel. Watching a local newscast has over seven minutes of news about how cold it is going to be tomorrow. There is snow! In the winter! Be careful when you shovel! With two reporters reporting on making sure you shovel your fire hydrants!

I worked in that business. I had more than one editor think that bridesmaid dresses would be a fun thing for me to write about. That’s not what I was there for nor was I using my job for my own marital aspirations — considering I am going to be 46 and never had a spouse, you can be sure the topic wasn’t making me giddy.

And when it comes to political or corporate propaganda, it is easy for a reporter to get sucked in — they get spoon-fed “serious” stories, and their pseudo-source gets to pollute the information stream. Defence attorneys often use the press to make their client look innocent. Executives battling for control spill gossip. Even America’s fading A-list stars will engage in it when they are getting divorced and want to grab or keep as much cash as they can.

Most of it isn’t news, however. Nor it is even true. You can tell a lot more of reality by working backwards from the story: who has the most to gain by presenting the narrative and why? Leaking by proxy who then leaks to a hack reporter is a propaganda chain: the person who has something to gain hopes other media outlets report the story because what is reported first sets the narrative and in the pre-Internet days, would be believed without opposition.

However, when someone has to build a Propaganda Chain is actually bluffing. They are in a position of weakness, but hoping throwing the grenade with shatter the stronger opponent and control the narrative and the optics. It is manipulation, nothing more.

If you want to know the truth, move back link by link, ask the hard questions, as you expose each link, and that’s where the real story lies…

Method Research, Part Five: How Yes, Inc. destroyed journalism.

I

giphy.gif

II

The late nineties and early Aughts was devastating for journalism. So many publications were folding, and some of them folded as I was writing articles for them. Canadian tech magazine Shift was one, and it folded one month before my article for them was slated to appear, and I found out about it while reading Romenesko.

I had it published in another magazine, but not every article could be re-housed. The biggest and most complex of these was an article I wrote for Vent, that was supposed to be a cover story, but that magazine folded one issue away from the one I was slated to appear.

It was a shame. It was an article about the most interesting places to work and how to get a job there. I interviewed someone in Human Resources and someone who was hired six months or less. I enjoyed writing it. Even though I was still paid in full, I was devastated that all the work went down the drain.

But not exactly.

I was doing my Method Research, and in that I still had not wasted my time. That the magazine folded was important for my research. It was a newsstand magazine that was well done. It targeted the right demographic, and did all the right things, but so did Shift.

That demo just wasn’t interested in print publications — but they weren’t flocking to the online versions, either. When those magazines folded, their online presence vanished with them.

It was an interesting void.

But the Vent article was very instructive. There was one human resources manager I interviewed for USA Today, and she was sharp as a whip, and told me something that made me think why journalism was tanking.

Because you didn’t have enough people like her in it.

I asked her about one job interview she conducted that stood out to her, and she told me there once was a fellow who came in and during the interview, outlined his critique of the newspaper. At first, she said, she was offended, Who are you to say what’s wrong with the newspaper?

And then, she had a revelation: he wasn’t saying it because he disliked the newspaper. He obviously cared enough to want it to succeed. It meant he read it regularly and did his homework. He was rooting for it.

She hired him.

He wasn’t a Yes Man.

If journalism had more of those kinds of people: those who see the problems as well as those who see the value of hiring those who are honest, truthful, and brave, we’d be in a better place.

But she was a rarity.

But Yes Men and Yes Women are the dead weight of any group — be it a company, family, industry, or nation. They are disloyal and treacherous, allowing rot to go on as they use the misdirection of cheerleading to seem devoted.

They just want to ensure they get pull out all the resources as they put nothing into it. They are the leeches who look for other people’s hard work, steal it as they nod deferentially, and then spin a narrative that those who are pointing out the rot are the traitors.

Raging egos always seek those from Yes, Inc. as they attack those whose perceptions are aligned with reality.

Journalism was destroyed by the infestation. Canada is being seriously weakened because of them.

When I was doing my own Method Research, I was doing it in hopes for finding an antidote to cure what ailed journalism. It now is way beyond saving. It needs a replacement with the structure that repels the Yes, Inc. assholes from gaining traction in the first place.

Glass-movie-characters.jpg

Journalism became overrun with people who sucked the last drop of blood from the profession, attracting asset-squeezers who see there is nothing left but to grab the few prized-assets left. The profession became enraged — partly because no one wants to hear their party is over and now they have to find some other, less glamorous industry to suck dry, but that their charade was more transparent than they thought it was.

The temper tantrums from Yes, Inc. merely exposes their true motives for being in the business. Quality and calling have nothing to do with it. It was a mask of convenience to them where they could kiss up to power brokers and get things all while pretending to love their profession.

Nice try.

I saw those players. I covered those players. Certain professions attract leeches, and journalism was one of them.

The good guys of journalism were squeezed out a long time ago.

And yes, there were some very good people. I remember them fondly. Not all of them were journalists.

Some were behind the scenes, trudging in human resources.

But you cannot wear a mask of the past and then pretend that is the state of the present. One has nothing to do with the other.

I saw the shifts and conducted my own experiments and observations. It was a very stressing thing to witness.

I learned my lessons well, however.

And I am applying what I know so that the future has no semblance to the Dark Ages we call the Woke Generation.

Because the name in no way fits the goods. Yes, Inc. is the mindset going into 2019. People want validation when they have earned nothing less than a hard kick in the shins. All the games Yes People play: virtue-signalling, shaming — it’s all there.

But not all of us are fooled or will sit around and let it go unchallenged…

Building antidotes to war games, Part Five.

I

one-punch.jpg

II

Propaganda works best when it hits people with one punch.

People rise up and bitch, but then you wallop them with something that overrides their whining and they are primed to be obedient to you.

That’s chess.

But there is also Go, and we can see how the Internet manipulates people from both the Left and the Right.

Equally.

The agitation surrounds people.

Gray_Man_005.jpg

And uses their own thinking against them.

Saul Alinsky’s rule dictates that you make people live up to their rules, thereby placing them in a corner.

And it is a funny thing: people can admit they are wrong in private, but when they broadcast their bullshit on the social media, they won’t back down.

Social media has, in essence, created a new propaganda playbook that incorporates both Alinsky and Go.

The good news there is a cure for it.

It is called sensibility.

I have been studying propaganda for decades now. I never tire of building antidotes for it. It gives me superpowers.

And I will continue to build them because the world doesn’t need another lie or another propaganda campaign…

Method Research, Part Four: Welcome to Yugoslavia, 1989.

I

Watership_Down_cover.jpg

II

statlerwaldorf.jpg

III

image.jpg

IV

Memo to Maclean’s: Canada is in a recession. Figures can’t lie, but liars can figure. Ontario is cutting and squeezing, and this province alone lives and dies by public service jobs.

Nontraditional cities now have beggars out on the street. Stores are closing. Rental prices are more than what people can comfortably afford. All the signs are there, but when housing sales plummet almost 18% in one year, and the propaganda press keep trying to assure the little people there is no recession, they are mimicking Communist-style propaganda.

How many seniors are remortgaging their homes, for instance? How many seniors have to get jobs?

We can play games and lie, but people know that GM closing its plant is not a good thing. Alberta growing angry is not a good thing. While Alberta, like Quebec, have always made rumblings about separating from the rest of Canada, it is interesting the West’s musings are being a little louder than before.

And the federal government is bailing various industries. If there was no recession, it wouldn’t be necessary for the country to borrow money to keep the charade going. Household debt is out of control.

Canada, 2019 is Yugoslavia, 1989.

Everyone knew the country was beyond repair. The government-sponsored propaganda called the news certainly was cheery. Recession, what recession? Discontent, what discontent?

I was in high school at the time, and for my history project I did a presentation on how Yugoslavia was in trouble and would break apart, but my history teacher didn’t believe it. He thought I was being a drama queen.

And yet all the media reports were wrong. My teacher was wrong.

How could a high school kid be right?

Simple: some people can face and confront the signs, and others cannot.

Fiver, the strange little bunny from Watership Down had no supernatural powers. He could see a change in a routine and surroundings, and knew it wasn’t a good thing. Other rabbits shrugged it off. Fiver up and went as far away as he and his brother and friends could.

If people are fretting about the economy, it means that they know official reports are not aligned with reality.

They can feel the recession, even if the measurements used do not detect it.

We have been losing well-paying full-time jobs that are offset by poorly-paid part-time jobs. No benefits, nor security.

It is beyond obvious there is a recession in Canada, and increasing anger. It may not have hit wealthy folks, but it is hitting everyone else one way or another.

But critics are being dismissed as being silly, but there is a serious problem out there.

Yugoslavia was held together by Josip Broz — Tito. He could play the US against the USSR and fund his version of champagne socialism that all the kids want these days.

The problem is it doesn’t work. After all the rich people lost their wealth, the government burned through the money in five minutes.

And then there wasn’t any rich folks to fleece. Go figure, I wonder why.

So where to get the money to bribe the populace?

Play coy in the Cold War. Let the US and the USSR give money to keep the more ambiguous socialist country on their side.

Then Tito kicked the bucket, and the Cold War was, like, over.

Ronald Reagan saved his country lots of money that way.

And Yugoslavia had to borrow to fund their country, but had no way of paying it back.

Then the breakaway republics said, fuck this shit, we’re out of here.

And then all hell broke loose.

Canada has pissed off the US and China, and even Saudi Arabia.

They have made a huge tactical error in arrogance.

It is a country that is used to build a nest by weaving a spider’s web, and now the web broke.

There will be safety nets that we once took for granted that will suddenly no longer be there, or be there, but modified and rigged.

I don’t think Canada will fall apart by splitting up, but it is in for a very rough ride.

When I saw that I could read small signs to see the big picture, I started to be more calculated and methodical in my approach.

So when I began my Method Research, I did the same thing, and could easily see the collapse of journalism coming, even though there was nothing but denial and positive spin.

But Method Research was the way the break though those fortresses to see the rot underneath.

It is easy to see critics are caricatures and dismiss them by calling them names, such as bitter or cruel, but what they are feeling is the state of affairs.

Canada could have easily avoided these problems if it had a more savvy and competent leadership. What they have are arrogant connivers. There is a huge difference. They remind me of a cocky middle-class kid who lies to mom and dad who are too busy getting drunk and having affairs to parent, and pretend to believe the lies their kid is telling them — and then give them some money to go away.

The kid thinks he is a fucking genius: he lies and is not only believed, but is rewarded by his own evil genius.

Fucker, you are an irritant.

But when mom and dad finally divorced and stepparents enter the picture, they don’t buy the bullshit stories, and call it out.

Canada and journalism have that in common: they got neglectful dotage for decades, and now think they are entitled and clever.

But now it’s gone, and they are struggling.

Strangely enough, neither had to be in this bad position.

Method Research exposes those problems because you experience them and see them.

But you also test and explore them.

You don’t need an expert to tell you if there is a recession or not — you can see it and feel yourself.

Human beings are an absolute marvel of being a multi-purpose measuring tool. When you feel happy, sad, scared, and angry, you are learning about the condition of your environment.

And yet we run to electronics and not people to do the measuring for us.

People are the superior measurement device — we are the ultimate measuring and testing device.

But only if you allow yourself to feel.

And immerse yourself as you are willing to go against the grain as you go with the flow…

Method Research, Part Three: Journalist, Expose Thyself.

I

II

III

Both those prints hang on my walls in my home. Catwoman is a sentimental favourite heroine of mine. She has nine lives, is a survivor, but does it all so very glamourously.

The second one reminds me of a character I created years ago named Magnus Lyme, aka, The World’s Most Dangerous Woman.

When she wears her red dress, watch out.

When people come to my house, they usually say that you can tell an artist lives here.

It’s true. You can tell a lot about me from my house. I am not a secretive person. I am an open book.

My fiction also represents me in different ways.

When I did Chaser the first time, I was open. There were things that pissed me off no end. I put my cards on the table, and that was the reason I used playing cards as an allegory for the website.

Particularly the Queen of Hearts. Particularly the rigged game of Find the Lady.

I talked about magic tricks. There was a reason.

There were many reasons for it. If you are going to chronicle reality, you have to face it first.

And the best way to face the failings of a profession is by working in it.

When you have things on the line and your future invested in it, you have a completely different mindset.

Because when you are walking among those you are studying, it is a completely different experience than merely looking on the outside.

There is an interesting story about a doctor who had cancer:

As A Doctor, I Thought I Knew Cancer Inside And Out. Then I Found Out I Had It.

And he discovered he didn’t know as much as he thought.

He went into a version of Method Version, a post-hoc version, but he was trained to know it as a scientist.

I did the same thing with journalism (and if any moron gets offended by me comparing myself to him, fuck you. I had cancer while looking after a mother who had it at the same time. Read the memo, asshole).

When you compare your understanding before the event and after, you cannot believe how clueless and naive you were. You cannot compare.

That’s why journalism turned into a garbage pile. There is no method to the research.

And we now have a sterilized generation who think they are cunning by not doing anything and living in a bubble: you cannot be an armchair opinionist. You have to get dirty, beat up, make mistakes, and live through it — but when you go in with a plan of study, you are not wasting the ass-kicking you get: you go back and learn. Eventually, you kick-ass yourself as you gain mastery.

You see how the problems really operate. You don’t take educated guesses because it is on your own skin that you feel it as you immerse yourself in it.

Journalism has no transparency.

DxHNCMDVYAAGHLo-1.jpg

For example, what PR firm or lobbyist is behind this cover? What generous benefactor hijacked or co-opted coverage? What friends in high places are waging war through the media? Positive and negative coverage has those who benefit, and yet we keep pretending the work is objective or accurate.

I worked as a journalist. I heard the cheerleading and the demonizations in equal measure. I have heard reporters who bragged about their own drug use condemn newsmakers for having substance abuse issues in their reports.

Psychoanalysts have to undergo psychotherapy before practicing their trade. Journalists should be made to do the same as well as their overlords. You would not get the cocky propaganda being spewed now.

I saw how twisted the logic became in the profession. I saw the justifications and sophistry used to make excuses for rot.

That is the reason I have always been an open book. Unless you have torn yourself to shreds, you have no business tearing other people to shreds. Journalists are assholes, plain and simple, and they should be torn into a million little pieces.

And that’s what I have done as a Method Researcher.

I tore that profession to shreds, examining every atom. I examined it as I broke through façades to see how that industry was dysfunctional.

And bigoted, misogynistic, and ignorant.

It is hard to imagine that in 2019, people don’t make demands.

And call for a replacement.

I have the blueprints because I know how that garbage was left to fester.

Because I am a Method Researcher…

Method Research, Part Two: Who told you that?

I

II

the-jabberwocky-illustration-by-john-tenniel.jpg

III

It is very hard to be a true visionary and creative force and be successful. You have to focus your energies on creating, experimenting, revising, researching, solving, and the like, meaning that is less time, energy, resources, and focus on selling and cultivating your product and your image.

Going to parties, schmoozing, and networking? That takes a different skill set and practice.

Which means your will languish while thought thieves and plagiarists are free to rip you off because you are obscure, save time and energy on the product, and have all the time to schmooze, network, and sell their image using someone else’s hard work.

I have written about this problem before, and journalism is full of people who rip off ideas from others and then take credit without acknowledging where they got their idea or words from in the first place.

mfttobttt.JPG

But it also has a cumulative effect: when too many thought thieves make up a profession, they have no ideas of their own, nor do they have an actual understanding or feel for the ideas that they are stealing; so they always miss their mark as the well dries up. If you want to know why journalism never rebounded, it is because no true visionary or creative force is in that business. Who you have left are leeches with no blood to suck.

I have, for example, discussed something obscure on this site, but something that I have expertise on. There wasn’t any recent articles or news stories on it, and looking through old databases, you can find a smattering over the decades. It is almost nonexistent. Over the years, I pitched the topic to editors, who all turned it down because it was obscure and too exotic.

I mention it on my website, and lo and behold — two recent articles on the topic. And, as this site clocks certain information, I can pinpoint the who, where, and when.

That’s the nature of journalism. Before, it would be hard to prove the connection. These days, people can deny it, but you have the roadmap generated for you.

When you have an industry copy one another as they crib from others, there is no substance and no core. There is no fresh air or innovation. You mimic and follow a script because any deviation will reveal just how unoriginal and sketchy the players in the profession happen to be.

We see that kind of cribbing with governments. Journalism used to get way with it because there was no comparison, nor could people who were wronged be able to broadcast what happened. They would be portrayed as loons, and dismissed. When the Jabberwocky called the Internet arrived, it gave people an out, but as journalism was always about copying and not creating, they kept playing the same games, but their shoddiness became transparent. People could see what was happening, and the misalignment was blaring and off-putting.

And yet the profession keeps issuing decrees as if it were some sort of authority. They are not only not an authority, but they have no empirical way of measuring credibility, let alone, reliability, validity, and utility.

When I conducted my own Method Research into the workings of journalism, I saw that unoriginality unfold in different ways. It is ingrained into the profession: suggest a new idea, and it gets shot down. You see your own ideas get stolen and frequently. You see reporters crib from press releases and then snootily declare they did primary research.

Nothing can change because if one thing changes, the entire system collapses, exposing just how dependent on intellectual theft journalists are. No wonder they are openly partisan: you need someone to feed you ideas and narrative, and then you take a gamble and stick to that game no matter how much your spin is misaligned with reality.

If I were an outsider studying journalism, I would have missed all of these nuances, nor would I be able to guess the reasons why.

Working on the front lines gives you a front-row seats to the dysfunction. You can see subtext and nuance. You can follow the provenance of ideas. You see the base assumptions and the things people in an environment take for granted and believe is benign and static reality. It is the unspoken things and the things people become blind to that often explain why a problem persists.

There are unwritten rules and Shibboleths that outsiders interpret one way, but, in fact, mean something else to the in-group.

The façade is meant to keep prying eyes from seeing the red flags that the workings on the inside have flaws.

The Internet blew everything wide open, and the industry collapsed. I watched it erode and then disintegrate. I saw how circulation definitions were tweaked in order to hide the extent of the collapse.

Working on the inside with the mandate to observe and measure to hidden factors gave me a perspective that was far more detailed than if I just was an outside observer.

Mind you, traditional academia would benefit greatly if they had that kind of inside gatherers. I wouldn’t dismiss academic research, but put the two together, and new universes open up.

Journalism could have also benefitted that kind of work, but when you make a career out of ripping people off and not giving credit where credit is due, your motives are off, and hence, your solutions blow up in your face, too.

And when you spend your career cribbing, you develop no feel for anything, and are perpetually getting suckered and conned by people who see what you’re doing, and play you like a violin.

Method Research ensures that you don’t rely on someone’s say-so: you see it yourself as you live through it.

And when you feel the data and evidence, you understand just how significant it truly is — as you become innately in tune with the world you choose to explore…

Method Research, Part One: What is it?

I

MalcolmX.jpg

II

The Calgary Sun is in a tizzy as one of their own has been leaking leaking one columnist’s pieces to City Hall before publication. CBS News is also in a tizzy because there is an ongoing investigation and employees know squat about it.

Serbs lost the image war to Western journalists, and that defeat would plant very wicked and poisonous seeds in that profession: Serbs flailed and then retreated, and then journalists thought they were smart, in power, and cunning.

And then their arrogance spiralled out of control just as the Internet came swooping into town.

Journalists thought they had control and power. They thought they were brilliant and essential. They had no idea that just because they could bully Serbs that they could do it with everyone.

And now, look at the manure pile that makes up the Castle of Journalism.

And it stinks.

But it is interesting how unaware the profession is about their fortunes. Absolutely stupid and clueless.

Once upon a time they could puke out propaganda and people would believe them the way little kids believe that you got their nose.

download.gif

The stagnate air restricted how much people heard in terms of facts and perspectives. It is like being raised on pork and beans and nothing else.

And then the Internet brought an epic buffet, and the rest is history.

And yet, journalists keep trying to reclaim their glory when they could control the flow of information and narrative.

How does this happen?

How do you study how this happened?

In that regard, we had two ways of studying it: hiring a consultant, or having academic researchers study the profession.

Consultants are hired to improve a particular workplace or financial health. In that regard, the consultants failed and did not stem the losses or reinvent the profession.

So much for that.

Then there is academia.

But they haven’t exactly done anything, either.

It is sort of right, unless you start thinking about certain things, and then realize it is completely oblivious.

It is sort of in the ballpark, but consistently off.

Yet, it is not as if researchers in an academic sphere are wrong as a matter of recourse. Far from it.

When I was an undergrad, I was a psych student, and in order to memorize everything I was learning I used to do two things: (a) rewrite my notes in a colourful quasi-comic book style, and (b) test run what I learned conducting my own form of amateur experiments in the real world.

So, for example, if it was true that the words “crash” and collide” produce different estimates of speed for the same car accident in a lab, then I would apply it in various settings and record my results.

At first, it was informal. I found that some times, the results could be replicated in the real world under any condition. Sometimes there were exceptions. And there were times when the results would not replicate. They may happen in a lab under unnatural clinical conditions, but take that out of the lab, and everything would fall apart.

As time progressed, I practiced and refined what I was doing, learning to create natural experiments. After all, psychology is the study of living beings in the real world. I also learned how to analyze that kind of data and interpret it. By the time I was writing my undergraduate thesis, doing that sort of thing was second nature to me. I literally could devise an experiment on the drop of a hat, meaning I could take advantage of opportunities, learning all sorts of things, and I learned to observe human behaviour with an eagle eye.

It wasn’t as if people were guinea pigs or lab rats. Quite the opposite. I was the subject as well as the experimenter. I was deceiving or manipulating. It is not different than changing the way you behave when you are approaching a boss for a raise or someone you like to ask them out.

The difference was I was analyzing the feedback in an empirical way, and most other people blindly go through the motions.

And people aren’t very self-aware: that is the very reason we have experimental psychology in the first place. People aren’t even vaguely aware of what they are doing or why. They don’t think a single word alters their perceptions of reality. They don’t think their cowardice, greed, and jealousy is making them create fortresses and defence mechanisms.

People don’t think they can be brainwashed by a cult or be fleeced by a grifter who romances them. They don’t think they can have false memories implanted in a heartbeat, or that they can be tricked into hearing or seeing things that aren’t there.

Experimental psychology is mostly about how average people think and behave in their everyday lives. It is as much about the science of the mundane as much as the extraordinary…

And yet people romantically pursue people that they do not like, or feel jealous over someone else’s lies, having no clue that they have been bamboozled and manipulated.

To paraphrase one astute comedian, some people know which buttons to push because they were the ones who installed them.

As time went on, I got very proficient. I would see dysfunctional dynamics, and would quietly stymie the manipulator. Watching an exploiter or emotional abuser lose their power and control was fascinating. They would keep going back to the same behaviour, but be more forceful and persistent. I found you could break spells just by quietly putting up roadblocks.

Sometimes the manipulator would come up with a new method. I would go back to the stymieing.

One thing that I noticed was that people who were the subservient dupes were not only not aware of abuse, always using a narrative to spin it into a positive thing, but they wouldn’t take advantage of a break. Their habits made the victims, and why predators saw their ways and took advantage of it.

Sometimes the victims actually thought they were the savvy predators, thinking they were getting something out of a bad deal.

I was mastering what I was learning at the time, nothing more. I was sifting through my course work, refining and exploring various lessons, discovering that not all experiments were created equal, and many theories never applied to the real world.

So here was this teenaged girl from Canada who was tinkering with her knowledge. I turned the world into my laboratory as well as my stage to the point where I was writing essays testing my own theories instead of merely regurgitating someone else’s. I had my own theory about why war propaganda works. I had my own theory and computer model on phobia acquisition. I incorporated my own theory of reality perception in my undergraduate thesis.

And then I had my fill of the West’s anti-Serb propaganda. There is no doubt or question of the extent of deceptions. I have chronicled a fraction of it here and in my books.

But how do I find out what is really going on in journalism? It is one thing criticize and know something bad is happening, but it is another thing to see the actual core of the problem.

I wrote letters asking journalists what were they doing. They were appealing to authority or other media reports, which was a real knee-slapper because I was an undergraduate who would get in trouble if I used a media report in an essay because that was considered junk.

That I always found interesting.

Journalists were making excuses, such as telling me that the first casualty of war was truth and that a journalist’s knowledge was thirty miles wide, but only one inch deep.

Then there was the “so what” and even the outright lies they were telling me. They would actually omit or just lie about what was written or broadcast even though I had a copy of what they just spewed in front of me.

I had the UN reports, and those were misrepresented an awfully lot. They mislabelled graves. They told narratives that were directly contradicted on their own footage.

That’s the ticket.

Yeah…yeah!

Nor are they admitting to me that they are cribbing from press releases form PR firms hired to puke propaganda.

And I know this to be a fact because (a) I got my mitts on those same press releases, and (b) I seen those press releases in the newsrooms, and (c) those same companies registered with FARA because that’s the law in the US.

But what is happening here? How do I find out?

None of the books or academic articles explained it because they just didn’t do that research. The research they had was based on faulty assumptions, and so, was worthless. I am poring over databases day and night as well as reading any and every journal article I can find, and I am not netting a single thing. Nothing. It’s useless.

And then eventually, as I have recounted elsewhere, inspiration struck: I could find out what is going on by becoming a journalist.

I could work as a journalist. That’s actually a very easy job.

However, there is no point of becoming one if I am just going through the motions. I am not picking up anything because I am not focussing on the scaffolding of it.

But I knew how to create experiments in the real world. I was doing it for the last four years full-time.

I could devise and conduct experiments — natural experiments that would net me testable data that I could compare and contrast (and as I would eventually concurrently work as a college professor who is relaying information to an audience, that would serve as my comparison) and see under what circumstances certain things happened.

Actors get into character through Method Acting. I was doing the Method, but I wasn’t acting.

I was researching.

And so, Method Research was born.

Being an experimenter who is both a subject and experimenter who walks in the real-world lab, conducting actual experiments and tests to explain a facet of reality.

In my case, I was researching journalism. From rejection letters to interviewing sources, everything was fair game.

And I wasn’t a pretend reporter. That was my job. That was my label. That was how I paid my bills. That was my life.

I employed the Scientific Method. I saw how lax and lazy the structure was, and how oblivious the profession was to the tidal wave called the Internet.

I was a journalist who had the bonus of writing about the business of journalism. I was aware of what was happening. Sometimes my theories were bang on. Sometimes they were off. Sometimes they were wrong.

But unlike the academic books and papers that had no clue about that world, I knew it intimately.

When they say, “You had to be there,” it’s true. You do.

You may think you know what it’s like to have cancer, for instance, but until you have it, you don’t.

You may believe you have empathy, but empathy doesn’t take you all the way. You cannot anticipate things or your reactions.

I remember when my grandmother was dropped by paramedics and mom and I had to look after her round the clock. Mom slept on a sofa in grandma’s room and had to turn her over every fifteen minutes in order for her not to develop bed sores. She couldn’t feed herself between the broken teeth and her inability to use her arms, she was helpless, but still coherent and completely aware of what was happening.

This was a horror movie existence. Her stump could not be sewn and the leg had to be open.

It was a horrific sight. We set up her room in such a way that everyone who came in asked if we were a nursing home. We had the hospital bed, the Hoyer lift, shelves of supplies, you name it. If you are not changing diapers, you are tending a traumatic wound. We had to keep a watch to the slightest change in skin colour, urine, bowel movements, nails, breath, eyes, you name it.

And then I’d talk about what my family was going through, and almost every single time, people would have the nerve to say, “Oh, I know what you’re going through. My grandma died of cancer".” Or mother, father, spouse.

Did you look after them in your house?

Well, no.

How many diapers did you change?

Eww, none.

How many wounds did you dress?

How many times did you feed this person or bathe them?

Well, the nursing home/hospital/hospice did that.

So how do you know what I went through?

Having a sick relative is not the same as having one who was catastrophically disabled.

You don’t know. You were hands off, and now you are indulging in an offensive ruse of conversational narcissism. You are being selfish, heartless, unsympathetic, vulgar, and rude.

But every once in a while, I would come across someone who had a terminally ill child or relative, and they did go through something that horrific or were going through it.

It is a completely different conversation. The institutional indignities are real and shocking. People say heartless things to you that are vile.

I remember overhearing one recent amputee talking to the nurse who told this man that he could order groceries to be delivered to his door. She was all proud of herself even though he kept telling her that he lived alone, was on a fixed budget and couldn’t afford it, and would not be able to get into his apartment because there were stairs.

(And while I am here, let me tell all of you reading this article that if you have one step in front of your house, it is like having a mountain for someone who has mobility issues. The end. But I digress.)

You are so focussed on the war of giving someone the gift of one more day of life, that you put yourself last. You are focussed on grains. You are not babbling about “me time”. That’s not an actual thing.

Because that’s an hour away from someone who is completely dependent on you for survival, and you can have all the “me time” in the world — but once someone you love dies, there is no more “us time.”

And when that “day at the spa” cost someone their life, then what?

You don’t know what it is like to be in a war just because you were involved in a drunken bar brawl.

You don’t know what it is like to be kept a hostage just because you have to be at home for Thanksgiving.

The problem usually is when we are in those situations, we panic, and are wired for baser survivalist strategies. We don’t know how to assess things in an empirical way — we get thrown in and all our attention has to be elsewhere.

But Method Research is the way of collecting data in the real world with a plan in mind — and at heart.

It is very easy to use sophistry, over-think, and believe you can see things strictly from an intellectual standpoint.

You are missing the heart of everything, and without a heart, there is only a corpse.

So Method Research is also the method of empirical study with a balance of emotional literacy. You are not in a clinical lab.

You are out in the real world. You see truths because you face reality.

So, for example, I can conduct a study on how people behave when they have a tight deadline. I can have students sign up in my experiment, sit in a room, and I can have a loud clock ticking, and pressure them.

I will get results.

But as there is no one in the room who will have a history with the person or trigger certain emotional responses, my conclusions are shallow at best.

Now, if I conduct the experiment in a newsroom where there is an sexist editor who is sexually harassing some employees, giving his university chums a free pass, and playing mind games with those he is in competition with — and I run the same experiment, I am going to get very deep, different, and real results.

But I can go even deeper than that.

I can be one of those reporters working in that toxic stew. I can tell you exactly what is happening.

Now, if I am that reporter, I may be too panicked or focussed on revenge to see what is happening to others or to me. I will too busy declaring myself a victim or hero and demonizing other people.

But if I am a Method Researcher, I can observe dynamics. I know what i am thinking — but also feeling.

It is very easy for a psychologist to label faceless strangers. It is very different to label yourself or people who get to know around you.

And that is the difference.

That kind of intimate research forces you to be accountable to it. Who do you know better — the person you read about in news articles, or the person you live with and talk to everyday?

You can make guesses about the person you don’t know, but you don’t actually know if your fantasies have anything to do with reality.

That’s the reason I can now see the troubles of journalism, know why they happened, and predict their future — I was in that hell hole.

I can tell you that CBS employees are clueless about their workplace. I can tell you that a newspaper is falling apart, and it is more frequent than you can imagine. There have been activists, operatives, and other partisan people who can go in and manipulate a newsroom with ease.

There are no mechanisms in place, not even in national outlets.

And if there isn’t any mechanisms now — there wasn’t any back then, either.

It should have never gotten this far. There were numerous options and countless opportunities.

But when you have people who are not self-aware, they have no idea what they are doing or why.

They only think they know.

But their results say otherwise.

Method Research, Preface.

I

about_face.jpg

II

marmorni7.jpg

III

IMG_1969.JPG

IV

ak951up6.png

V

16952086sy3.jpg

VI

Each one of those pictures represents a milestone in my life. The first is my first profile on me when I was operating Chaser. The second was my undergrad photo where I was on the cusp of creating something called Method Research. The third was at the height of said Method Research. The fourth was taken on my first day in j-school when I was in my first year of Method Research. The fifth was taken when I won the Arch Award at McMaster University where it all began and it came full circle less than a year before my two books of my results of Method Research would be published by Disinfo.

Those were taken years ago, and I thought my work was done.

But sometimes there is a new picture, and a new revelation that brings old ideas into a new light…

alexandra.jpg

The Labellers: Creating false narratives with ridicule and fear-mongering.

I

Spectreredesign.jpg

II

I have had an interesting couple of days where I have had different threads and unexpected comments and messages that are worth mentioning, so here it goes.

I get messages from people, and someone made an interesting indirect comment reminding me how insular and incestuous Canadian journalism happens to be. It’s true, and I remember when I was a Canadian correspondent for Presstime magazine in the late 1990s’/early aughts, and I was at a industry function where someone who was the head of a Canadian journalism organization made the comment that he was surprised that I got to write for NAA’s publication, when you would “expect” some Canadian editor or publisher to hold that lofty title.

Why would they? There is absolutely nothing inherent about the position that would have required that because other people who wrote articles for Presstime were journalists the same way journalists write for every other publication.

But that’s not what he meant. I wasn’t there because of nepotism or cronyism. I wasn’t part of an incestuous network of the usual gang of idiots; so how the hell did I get a job that, in Canada, would have absolutely been reserved for someone who was part of that stagnate clique?

Answer: because I have talent and the ingenuity to put my resume in to a US publication where that degree of cronyism didn’t exist; thereby bypassing the xenophobic structure of the journalism back in my own country.

Most of my credentials rest with US publications, and when it comes to my books, my publishers have either been from the US or the UK. Aside from the fact that Canadian publications and publishers don’t pay anywhere near what the other two nations pay their writers, the truth is that if you are going to hedge your bets and put in the most effort with the best pay-off, do it with publications with a bigger audience, better pay, and more merit-based filters. It’s not as if I have never written for Canadian outfits, but the traditional “harder markets” were just easier to deal with in my case.

There are rigs in place because the structure of thought dictates that these rigs are normal.

And that happens to be the Canadian way.

Just look at Canadian politics.

Rachel Notley is the premier of Alberta. Her was was Grant Notley.

Doug Ford is the premier of Ontario. His father Doug Ford Senior was an Ontario MPP. Doug Junior ran against Caroline Mulroney whose father was a prime minister and Christine Elliott, whose husband was a prominent federal cabinet minister.

Even our prime minister’s daddy was a prime minister.

I liken it to people looking for established names as if they were luxury brand items, but people are not shoes or cars. The one after it is not a replica of the one before it.

People in Canada have a Zero Risk mindset, and the heuristics are based upon this kind of rule of thumb-thinking, always looking for a “sure thing.”

III

But I would in no way say Canada is proof that there is a conspiracy afoot. We have nepotism and cronyism not because of some vast and diabolical conspiracy, but because citizens make no demands, and look for “sure things”, consistently confusing provenance and quality goods with human behaviour.

I remember when the Jive Turkey was running for prime minister, and people who decided to vote for him had a narrative set. When I asked about his profound lack of experience, the answer I always got was since he “grew up” with a politician father, he, by some miracle of intellectual osmosis would have to be up to code.

I would nod and ask would they feel comfortable if their surgeon or criminal lawyer assigned to them didn’t bother with a degree, license, or experience, but had a mom or dad who were surgeons and lawyers. Usually, an alarmed, “No!” told me everything I needed to know about their thinking. In their drive for Zero Risk, they will take a 100% gamble, yet don’t see it unless you place their own logic in a proper context.

Throw in Appeal to Authority and the Confirmation Bias, and what you have is the recipe for cronyism to flourish.

There is no conspiracy. Cronies stick together, yes, but if outsiders put their foot down and give resistance, then the clique no longer exists. Fresh blood comes in, circulating and creating a flexible structure, and people who thrive through rigs and stagnation can’t build walls and fences, keeping out people who have new ideas, better talent, and different approaches. If you want true diversity, then you have to stop taking gambles, and learn how to take risks.

But for those who thrive in rigs and cronyism, they are terrified at the prospect, so they do what all lesser talents do: try to villainize outsiders and label them in order to discredit them from the get-go.

IV

Conspiracies happen and frequently, and people often go to jail because of them. These conspiracies aren’t from a Bond movie, however. Conspiracy to commit murder is common enough. Also common is conspiracy to commit fraud, especially when it comes to fleecing the elderly. Less common is conspiracy to commit forgery. Price fixing is also an example of a conspiracy, and in Canada, we saw bread being at the centre of such an accusation. We have anti-trust laws for a reason.

But “conspiracy” is also a trigger word and a propagandistic one. When someone wants to dismiss someone’s accusations of collusion, or even disagreement, suddenly, the person is painted as a loon and a “conspiracy theorist.”

I just across such a case on Wikipedia where someone with multiple Ivy League degrees was labelled a “conspiracy theorist” without a shred of proof. The person isn’t making wild accusations about Illuminati groups —they are disagreeing with a mainstream patriarchal narrative that I happen to know is wrong. That isn’t a “conspiracy theorist.”

I have written to Wikipedia to ask about it, and got a long, but not an entirely satisfactory reply, and it is something that I am pursuing, and will write more about it later. There have been many radio personalities and authors who exploit the persona of a conspiracy theorist, but the term itself is a real form of propaganda.

Whenever a certain Establishment group want to deflect attention away from their inbred incompetency, they slap the label of “conspiracy theorist”, and then hope the little Middle Class people will brainlessly parrot the label.

Most times, the Labellers banks on mass laziness and complacency to keep a status quo — usually a label that creates both a false role and a false narrative that constricts thinking, stigmatizes and belittles the target with both ridicule and fear.

This is a monster out to make trouble! They are ignorant, and insane! Don’t believe them!

The Catholic church successfully played that gambit on children for decades. You had little boys and girls who were repeated molested and raped by the clergy, and instead of being believed by their own parents, police, and courts, they were labelled as liars and troublemakers.

And as we know now, those young children weren’t conspiracy theorists. They were victims.

Labellers are a very wicked form of propagandist: they try to cut criticism off at the pass, spinning a narrative that questioning them is an act of insanity, bitterness, and evil.

Labellers take advantage of the accuser’s emotionality, which is a normal and healthy reaction to being consistently constricted or even harmed. The problem with their argument is that emotionality isn’t irrationality — but the lack of emotions is a red flag that the person may have an Anti-Social Personality Disorder.

Or at least is overplaying their hand with a mask.

That’s why we always need facts.

Labellers try to hide facts at all costs. They will use other phrases other than “conspiracy theorist.” There is always “disgruntled employee”. Well, yes, employees often become disgruntled if you fuck them over. It is akin to calling a rape victim a “hysterical female” after she’s been assaulted and using that distressed state as “proof” that she isn’t a reliable source.

And yes, “hysterical female” is also pet insult of Labellers. Women, who are often discriminated against are rightfully upset that they are being screwed and denied — the agitated state is often evidence of the claim’s veracity.

Whenever we are presented with neatly prepackaged labels, the point isn’t to accept them, but to question them. We don’t accept or dismiss, but then start asking questions. Often, just challenging the label as we ask for verifiable evidence for its usage is enough to prove the label is nothing more than a propagandistic ruse used to hide anything from incompetence to illegal rigs.

Labellers bank on people’s fear and aversion to risk to dismiss inconvenient information that may negatively impact their home sales or promotions. It works until there is one too many “conspiracy theorist”, and then a scandal erupts. Or one too many “hysterical females” come forward and we have #MeToo.

Then all hell breaks loose with those some Zero Risk people howling, how could it happen?

Easy. It wasn’t conspiracy, but complacency. We avoid challenges, confrontations, and debates. We try to stifle diverse points of views and new and untested commodities or ideas. When we fear change or challenge, we allow stagnate and inbred methods to infest society, creating the perfect environment for bad and corrupt practices.

The solution is to keep asking questions as we demand real and concrete answers.

It is the reason why journalism failed: they stopped asking hard questions. They stopped answering hard questions of themselves. The end result is that we are living in a factual void right now.

It won’t last. We have had spells where propaganda dominated because those who were supposed to ask questions became Labellers. As problems mount, they infest and then destroy those comfy “space spaces” and the monsters that we hid under the bed and swept under the rug come to life to terrorize us.

It's never a foregone conclusion. We can’t blame “conspiracies” for our own failings and fears. That’s on us — not on some Them or make believe Bond baddie.

In other words, we are the heroes, victims, or villains of our own story — it all depends on how much risk we take — and how much we gamble…

MV5BMDI5ZWJhOWItYTlhOC00YWNhLTlkNzctNDU5YTI1M2E1MWZhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTIzOTk5ODM@._V1_.jpg

Mutus Praestrigio: finding the silent feints that manipulate narratives.

In my early days in journalism, I was listening to a group of reporters who were praising one young newsmaker excessively. As in, off camera and heaping on praise for this person, which isn’t something you would expect. It was truly uncritical, and me being me, a person without a filter, said, “I wonder who his parents are.”

The conversation ended right there. I know that no poor newsmaker is going to get that kind of praise. Somehow, this person had to have had some serious doors opened because not only would this individual — had it truly been some regular Joe — not get national players to heap on praise, getting any coverage, even local, would not happen. There are a lot of people who fell into that category, and to get attention of that magnitude would require some serious strings because it wasn’t actually newsworthy.

As my grandmother used to say, “Nothing special.”

Maybe it wasn’t the parents who were the ones with clout. Perhaps it was the grandparents or uncle and aunt, but behind every “accidental” newsmaker, there is a first-degree relative who has the money and the connections to choreograph the spectacle.

I was watching some bullshit story on television this evening that got me asking the same questions, but in a very different angle. The story was presented in a certain way, but key details of the newsmaker were left out: how did this person get such a lucrative position? When things went south, how come they received resources that average people in the same situation never do?

Who’s your daddy?

Sometimes the question isn’t that, but What did your wife really do to ensure that you became the Great Man?

Wired finally got around to asking that question — only after the façade of one alleged Great Man was exposed to be a gross exaggeration. Only when things are revealed does the press acknowledge it. Not one second before. It is always downplayed or completely ignored.

The subtext of that kind of article simple: Yeah, we were lying to you all along.

Journalism’s silent swindle always involves manipulating facts to support a false narrative. From the special ingenue with star quality to the Titan of Industry, every journalistic profile fudges the facts one way or another. Grifters such as Bernie Ebbers and Kenneth Lay were praised in national publications. It still happens.

Only when bad things get leaked out that we start hearing about all the facts not in evidence in the court of public opinion.

We often forget to ask about the things not mentioned in a news story, and often asking questions destroys the narrative just enough for the reality to show itself and go against the lies that make news…

Building antidotes to war games, Part Three.

I

000008_Sherlock_1.jpg

II

maxresdefault-2.jpg

III

Ever since I was a kid, I had some innate talent that made me look like Sherlock Holmes or Patrick Jane from the Mentalist.

I could hear strange details, and immediately riddle out what was really happening. People who were cunning old foxes could not bullshit me. Professional manipulators could not bullshit me.

My ability came on full forces in my late teens and early twenties; so much so that I had banked on being a jury psychologist. It was acute, vivid, and it became increasingly overwhelming for me, and very disheartening.

And then it sort of waned for a few years because my focus was heavily divided in my late twenties and early thirties. And then it came back with a vengeance. It went from Sherlock straight to Mycroft.

2018 marked an interesting turning point: the trick transmuted. I was too busy to really give a single flying fuck to people bullshitting. You want to lie, fine, let’s first stick a Goober label on your miserable forehead first, and be done wit it.

But then I get all of the knack was simmering on the back burner, and it shifted into something else entirely.

And it is something that I am still exploring and having to adjust the rest of my thinking with.

I have very little to say about it right now. It is not something I ever thought about, but I will.

Because I have spent my entire adult life breaking down lies as I studied perceptions, reality, and truth, I have trained myself to look at certain things, and discard others.

I would like to practice with it, experiment, modify and refine it, and do something constructive with it before I go any further. It is the reason my writing here is shifting. It’s not just the new book that’s on a different topic and requires a different skill set.

But when I do discuss it, it will not be in print form — more likely podcast or video.

We’ll see where it goes…

Building antidotes to war games, Part Two.

I

Screen Shot 2019-01-11 at 4.13.24 PM.png

II

Screen Shot 2019-01-11 at 4.13.40 PM.png

III

Journalists are now having bricks in their pants right now.

Hedging their bets on the Left for the most part, they have proven they cheering goobers that they absolutely know are no different than the ones on the other side.

And now some are lock-stepping in a different direction, hoping to spin themselves out of the box they built themselves into.

But even their seeming about face is just as manipulative: you do not admit flaw as you state that neither side is trustworthy, but suddenly, your unchanged methods are to be trusted?

Nice try.

It is a way to pivot and bridge by means of misdirection, and it’s not working.

Once upon a time, however, it did work.

In 1996, for example, the Toronto Star won an award for their reportage on a con woman who lied about being mugged in order to get drugs.

The problem is that they were the ones who first reported her yarn as fact. Only after people recognized the anonymous woman’s shadow and called in to the paper that they suddenly change what they were reporting.

The Star should not have won any award. They should have been fined for public mischief: the people who recognized the woman and called the newspaper should have gotten the award.

This was before Facebook and Twitter where people could expose hucksters without a middleman to get the credit and the glory.

My goal has always been to create manuals of combatting deception by various means. Much of how we are raised in rote memorization of rigs, rules, and roles that isn’t education, but indoctrination. Specifically, into accepting patriarchal structures as reality.

Question things as a radical centrist, and that isn’t something you can fake, wing, steal, or make up.

I have done my research and thoroughly so, but I have respect for my labour and my talent. I demand credit where credit is due. Online, I give nudges, here and elsewhere. You may be trying to throw a brick to get a jade, but that’s not going to work with someone who builds manuals.

In book form, I spell it out with sources and plenty of them. There is a huge difference.

But journalism tries to hedge their bets. I like this passage from Ann Coulter very much:

What viewers don't understand is how lazy media personalities are. They are merely quoting what someone told them. They don't know. Their expertise consists of memorizing a set of talking points, like ABBA memorizing the syllables to English words without knowing what they meant. 

If journalists allowed follow-up questions and you could ask, "How do you know that?" The answer would be, "I heard it from a guy at Vox." 

The media go to extremely biased sources; they know nothing, so they're not in a position to challenge them; and even if they were, they wouldn't, because they're on the same team. 

Yes, but I would add they also steal ideas from people and then appropriate them as their own.

And this happens because journalism was never an empirical social science or science.

If you have to show how you have come to your conclusions, and can have your work replicated, you are going to take a very different approach. You are not going to steal from other people because all eyes are on you. Journalism is one of those professions where personalities dominate and hog the attention, but their actual methods and practices fly under the radar.

My work has been to spotlight those practices and methods. Left, Right, Centrist, it is all the same game.

Radical centrism is a different perspective. You are not sitting on the fence. You travel in all directions while finding and maintaining yourself in the core.

Not the middle, but the core.

Journalism could have been a powerhouse academic discipline for a general audience.

It chose laziness and ego, and there is no place in the information stream for that kind of pollution…

Alexandra Kitty's Peculiar Academic Escapades: An Odyssey in Adlibture.

I

a8e48653aeb08c650c8bc71c7a04ab09.jpg

II

0319c93e-2.jpg

III

18879883_10155328260042387_82251192459077414_o.jpg

IV

facebook_1530820748316.jpg

V

Watchmen-Rorschach-art-by-Dave-Gibbons.jpg

VI

ello-optimized-466e4a47.jpg

VII

IMG_1875.JPG

VIII

4550036-nite_owl.jpg

IX

I believe in truth and honesty. I do not buy into “fake it until you make it”, but “wing it until you make it.” In psychology, there is a concept of Spread of Activation: one idea triggers similar ideas. You are more likely to think of the word “spoon” if I say “fork” than if I say “rose.”

It means we are primed to be active thinkers: stop following a script and try different things to stimulate your mind: sooner or later the answer will arrive so you can deliver.

Journalism became stuck in a vortex. There is no spread of activation. Democrats obsessed over Donald Trump and they have no ability to have another thought in their empty heads.

No wonder the US government has shut down and journalism collapsed: their passive adherence to scripts — the faking it part — brought inertia, and they can no longer make anything or make it anywhere.

If these knuckle-draggers tried different things, they’d find new combinations that would trigger new ideas and innovations.

The items do not have to be related or have any logical thread: everything is connected.

But we have a society that is disconnected. There is no spread of activation if all you do is think about one person.

As I am writing my latest book, I have had to think about a new topic front and centre. It’s about ancient art of a foreign origin.

And suddenly, the focus has me thinking about new and different things.

For example, with A Dangerous Woman Story Studio, stories are interconnected, and I have a map for generations of characters, but there is one juncture where I have three possibilities for the flagship character Magnus Lyme. I don’t know which way I will go as I have a rough sketch for those three outcomes.

Because there is one problematic character that works well, but it would be hard to make one of the possibilities work unless I do something terrible to the character, which would not be true to a character, nor give me a chance as an author to explore that character.

And then, I thought about something else, and then it all came together. The impasse is broken, and while this doesn’t guarantee that one line wins out over the other two, that character has possibilities regardless of where I take the story, making other threads make sense and have more meaning.

I never liked the character until I work out a glitch, and now the possibilities are endless. It doesn’t contradict the canon or seem odd or off. It is smooth, flows, and is aligned with the personality of the character.

I call my type of work an adlibture. Not a scripture, but going where I feel I should explore, and being open-minded to admit that I don’t know all the answers.

It is the reason why I can see where journalism went wrong: it mimics the emotionless ways of psychopaths.

It has no emotional literacy, and no concept of adlibture. It is all by an outdated and unrealistic script.

When I focussed on adlibture, I could see why I never liked the character: it was one who stuck by a script that brought ruin to many.

How do you nudge a character and do them justice?

Not follow those scripts, and suddenly, the character becomes vibrant and makes more sense.

It is the reason journalism doesn’t work: it is so restricted by patriarchal narrative that it choked itself to death.

Politics are the same. Western society is a timid and oppressive one. It looks for safe, fears the unknown, hates risk, and encourages people to make bold statements with no facts or evidence.

It breeds individual and collective ignorance and arrogance, taking away the element of surprise and of learning new things.

That’s why things are going nowhere.

They are intimidated if what they see isn’t packaged for them or spelled out.

As a side note, my writing here will be sparse for a little while. My book is pulling me away from this kind of writing. I have to think in a new way, and my focus will be elsewhere.

I am actively writing A Dangerous Woman stories — but in bits and pieces, meaning new stories won’t be completed. The way I have to write them is if I have a new wrinkle in a story — I have to find all of the blanks where that is canon and then insert those parts in them.

I was working on the Secret Issue of A Dangerous Woman magazine, and with my new twists — I am laying the groundwork for the 2019 Sampler, with two stories being interconnected. I will introduce two new series in that one: The Matriarch, which is an Otherworldly line focussing on the afterlife of Jane Carrington, and Mindwild — the psychological escapades of Dr. Nikki Oxley — her daughter The World’s Most Dangerous Woman is a supporting player in this one — and there will be some serious shocks in that one.

I will have an update sometime next week about where things stand. The book has my focus and devotion, and it is having a major impact on me focussing on various forms of strategy.

I am doing a lot of research and in this case, I am translating.

I am happy to report I got my final week’s result of my course, and although I am making an educated guess on my final mark, it is about 98% if I am calculating things correctly. I need to focus on that, too.

So if I do write here, the nature of what I write and the style is going to have a major shift. My guess it will be more positive because I am clearly out of realm of the hamster wheel.

Stay tuned…

Building antidotes to war games, Part One.

I

dont_believe_the_liberal_media_sign_mrc_photo_30.jpg

II

th.jpeg

III

That protest sign looks like the cover of my first book, but just as I had nothing to do with creating that cover, I had nothing to do with the placard.

But the book cover captures the spirit of my book, and I am very fond of it — so much so that I had that image blown up and it is framed and hanging on my wall, although I have people asking me to this day why the anchor has no face.

Ask the illustrator, but honestly, it is appropriate.

But that book was the first of my counter-manuals for not falling for war games, and the biggest game is of course misinformation and propaganda.

So far, I have three manuals and counting. I have two more I would still like to do. Both go to an atomic level of deciphering propaganda.

I do a rough sketch on this website, but there is much more to it than meets the eye.

But for me, my focus is on exposing and removing rigs in order to see reality to find the truth.

It takes as much emotional intelligence as it does intellectual intelligence.

For example, if you consistently think people who do not believe what you believe are idiots, the problem isn’t them. It’s your arrogant filters. You are no less vulnerable to propaganda than those you disagree with.

My odyssey is a rewarding one, even when I see the co-opting of concepts I created. I am still going strong, and still have a lot to say about how those lies become news in the first place…

The foxes, the rabbits, and the toads.

I

a-cute-fox-with-almost-closed-eyes.jpg

II

20181014_230331.jpg

III

Labels. It is a form of societal currency, and a valuable one at that, even though it is counterfeit currency.

Screen Shot 2019-01-06 at 11.31.41 AM.png

Here is a woman who was a world leader for a few months. She was unelected, brought the ruling party into oblivion, losing all but two seats of its majority. She is making a decree about another world leader who was democratically voted into power by millions of people, and she is siding with a low-rung politician who obviously doesn’t know how her own country’s political system works, but is merely banking on mob mentality in elected positions. Even the New York Post points out the obvious: if it weren’t for sticking a label on the US President, the Left actually do not have a real platform.

So why do a bunch of yokel goobers get any play at all?

Someone stuck a label of “Prime Minister” or “Congresswoman” on them, and that’s all it takes. Their intelligence, competency, productiveness, and morality have nothing to do with it.

I understood this game when I was in the second grade, and it would be a lesson that burned into my mind, as the fires that impressed them on me showed me the way.

IV

I was a very smart little girl.

20180711_151716.jpg

I was a polyglot. I read Shakespeare. I read all of my mother’s psychology books, and she didn’t buy the trendy pop culture stuff, but the academic texts that I still have on my shelves. She had quite a few on educational psychology. I read them. I was also a girl scientist who not only made things, but also made things explode, like a television set. I took apart a stereo and put it back together.

I got great marks in school, and I would eventually go on to skip grades, but let’s get back to the Second Grade.

Red Hill no longer exists, but it was a typical middle class school. I am still in touch with many of those who went. The second grade was like any other in the late 1970s/early 1980s in Canada. Back then, the classrooms were open concept. There was no wall between my grade two class and the other one.

And yet, no kid wandered from one class to the other.

Like WKRP’s Les Nessman, the walls were there even when they weren’t.

You didn’t need a wall to have a wall.

One side of the room had an invisible label as did the other one.

And in my class, there would be three other labels that would divide us further: The Foxes, The Rabbits, and The Toads.

V

It was a case of brazen social engineering. The cover story was the designation was based on our reading ability. The students who excelled were in the group called The Foxes. The average readers were called The Rabbits. The ones who needed help and were behind were called The Toads.

The fewest students were the Foxes. They got the most attention, and also were given the hardest books to read and study. When it was reading time, The Foxes were called away to another part of the class first, got their instruction, and then the largest group, The Rabbits, got their time, but not as much per student because there were more of them than the Foxes. Their books were what people would expect a typical second grade student to read. The last came The Toads, and they weren’t as plentiful as the Rabbits, but there were more of them than the Foxes. They got the least challenging books to read.

I was a Fox. I was not surprised in the least that I got in that group. I was always asked to read to the class because not only was I most the literate and advanced, I understood nuances and could read texts with feeling. My teacher always made the comment about it to me, the entire class, other teachers, and my mother.

When we first got our group designation, I got into the group I knew I would get into. I was smart. Foxes were smart. I was not a Rabbit because I was usually helping that group before the Great Divide.

But there was one nice girl in the class who looked like a pixie. She was cute and dainty and had a very sweet and gentle disposition.

And she got designated a Toad.

I will never forget the look of distress on her face. “I’m a Toad!” she shouted to me repeatedly. I didn’t know how to console her. I was distressed about it, too. She knew what it meant, and so did I.

That’s when the label of Fox made me sad. For a Fox to be a lofty label, you needed other labels that were less attractive.

Who wants to be called a Toad by authorities?

They might as well have called the groups The Smart, The Mediocre, and The Dumb.

It was the absolute equivalent. They could have easily gone with neutral titles such as The Reds, The Blues, and The Yellows.

Colours are meant to mix together in order to form new colours.

But not animals.

And a little light went off in my head. If one group was a demeaning label, who is to say the other two weren’t?

The Rabbits were prey.

But Foxes were predators.

And Foxes usually were devious in fables.

They were usually villains, and were often too clever for their own good.

While other kids who were Foxes suddenly got cocky, I started to think about those labels very hard, and wondered why we were given them in the first place.

VI

I wondered if the labels were meant to separate the students in other ways. I didn’t have the empirically-based scaffolding or intellectual maturity back then to test it, but I could see the label did begin to alter behaviour even back then, all the way to adulthood. Some of the "Foxes” became competitive with each other in later grades and were not as nice as they were before the label. Many of the “Rabbits” tried to overcompensate in adulthood trying achieve big things and crashed and burned horrifically. Oddly enough, I have no idea what happened to a single Toad. Somehow, the paths just stopped crossing. I don’t have an Up Series to keep track, either.

I was a smart kid, but somehow I knew none of the labels were nice ones to have: there was a rig and catch that would lure us into some sort of trap where we were to be primed, groomed, and educated to live up to the label.

Even though the label lasted for less than one year, I was always seen as a smart Fox, all through grade school and junior high.

Then my family moved to a different area, and the high school I went to had different ideas about me.

VII

I lived in a nice neighbourhood as a kid, and we moved up, both figuratively and literally. The high school was waspy and upper middle class. Sherwood at the time had a vastly different demographic and I would feel it almost immediately.

Not from my fellow students who were just fine, but the teachers that had their labels and narrative ready on a moment’s notice.

The short answer is that what was going on at the time in the late 1980s was racial, ethnic, and gender profiling. A guidance counsellor said it to me in an exacerbated exchange with me because I wasn’t following what an Eastern European teenaged girl from a single-parent family should have been behaving. Apparently, I was supposed to be a dumb, boy-crazy ditz who did poorly in school, but as I had known many Eastern European teenaged girls of that era, most of them also did well in school. I was hardly some sort of anomaly, but the authority at the joint were hellbent on making me think that I was wrong for being ambitious and working hard for good grades.

VIII

I first suspected trouble in the ninth grade. I knew no one at the school, but ran for Grade Nine rep for Students’ Council knowing I would lose, but as my platform was that I was running to make new friends, I did extremely well. Students got to know me, and I got to know them. I had fun. Some kids got upset that I didn’t win, but the high point for me was the day I saw students wearing pins to vote for me — and I never saw them or made them. A few other kids did it for me without telling me — and they were really cool and colourful. That meant more to me than the actual election where I still got more votes that I thought a newbie could possibly get. Second place.

After that, I never felt like the new girl or outsider.

But I did feel something was off with some of the teachers.

More specifically, the science teachers. They were all white and male.

It didn’t happen right away, however. My first quarter I had great marks, and got into the school’s gifted program, that was run by the science department. The teacher in charge made it a point to tell me that somehow, that I barely got into it, which was odd as my average was hardly low. I didn’t know the program existed and didn’t apply for it. I found out shortly after that contrary to the teacher’s claim I somehow squeaked by, I did not have anywhere near the lowest grades of the group.

So, there was no need to make that sort of jab: I didn’t lobby for something I did not know existed. My grades were well within the range of those in the group. My mother didn’t bug the school to place me in it — and, in fact, always put a kibosh on it in earlier grades when the offer was made to me. She saw no academic advantage to it, and knew I was more than resourceful enough to find intellectual stimulation by myself.

I continued to do well as A students do, but the gifted program would always be a problem. For one, we were allowed to pick projects we wanted to do, and every time I did, the goalposts would be moved by the teacher. I would research on my own time as this wasn’t a program where you got credits, and there would be a lot of nitpicking to the point where I realized this game would keep going on.

Then came the accusations that I never finished what I started. It didn’t just come from the teacher who ran the program, but the science department.

Unbeknownst to any of them, I took a different approach. I did a couple of years research for various projects, and then incubated them so that I could use them in my courses where I would get marked and get a credit. It was in my senior year when I was told the same thing right before I took out every one of my graded projects, pointed out from the teacher’s sheet that far from me not abandoning them, I finished them, got A’s on them all and had not abandoned a single project. I asked about other students in the program and their batting average, and was promptly ignored.

I was labelled as — to my face — an overachiever who was “too ambitious” and even “too accurate.” I was doomed to fail because I just wasn’t smart enough — or a genius — as my guidance counsellor kept saying to me — all based on an intelligence test I took that even though showed I had a high IQ, they deemed was lower than average. I saw the results, and was getting increasingly angry at all the extra energy I was forced to spend on unnecessary battles.

I was also the youngest in my classes and was fast-tracking, meaning I was skipping a year to get to university early. I was getting flack for that, too, being accused of over-reaching, not having friends, you name it. The fact that I was social, in various committees, and achieving stellar marks wasn’t good enough.

It was not as if every teacher was doing this to me — far from it.

This is just the first three report cards I grabbed at random, for instance.

R1.jpg
R2.jpg
R3.jpg

It would be incredibly deceptive and unfair on my part to say that high school was bad or I had nothing but horrible teachers. Far from it, but there was a group that said it to my face that they were going to make it very hard for me.

At first, this group tried to sell me a narrative that I was, in fact, a toad and not a fox. I pointed to my report cards and the fact that I already skipped a grade, and called it bullshit.

Then came a shift: well, I was a fox in some classes, and a toad in others, and the net effect was that I was just a rabbit. I called it bullshit, and then went a step more: if you are trying to sell me as as rabbit, perhaps the other students who got that label are foxes, and I will happily show them how to finish school a year early, too. And I did. My self-esteem is large enough that I do not have to be the only person in the world who accomplishes something.

I had no idea at the time that I was having a full-scale war with the science department.

IX

All this time I was a busy kid. I was in the math contest team, yearbook where I would be editor, in a social activist group fighting for racial equality, did a literary journal on my own, and I even was on Students’ Council in my final year. I was winning awards and dressing outrageously, and my social activism even made the local rock station and newspaper.

And I was doing my own thing.

But the war was escalating. I wasn’t buying the fact that I was a toad or a rabbit; so then those handful of teachers decided to change the narrative that I was my mother’s puppet because she was some sort of academic stage mother who was forcing me to want to do the very best I could as an academic adventurer.

To say that this was a bullshit story of epic proportions is the understatement of the century. She had no idea who would write or call me. Sometimes it was a politician. Sometimes in was a major US magazine editor. I would write letters to all sorts of people, either submitting ideas, complaining, or praising them because I saw them as heroes.

This was all on my own doing, and even she thought I was eccentric, but she was supportive. I had big ideas, and loved learning.

At one point one of the science teachers told me at the beginning of the year what my Physics mark would be, and that was all I was capable of doing. My mother literally hired a nuclear physicist to tutor me, and he had me doing very advanced stuff and I was killing it. I told him that my mark would be nowhere near it because the teacher would rig my mark and make up shit. He was upset when my mark was precisely what I was told it would be. The point was to humble me so that I would understand that I wasn’t smart, and that I should accept this decree as divine fact.

I promptly had a blowout fight with that teacher, and he walked away — without sending me to the office.

I told him that I would make it in spite of him, and not because of him. As an aside, decades later, I discovered this teacher was just as awful to other students. It wasn’t just me.

But pissing on my mother was still going strong. I was told she was the one who was “corrupting” me.

I refused to budge.

Then in the final year in the final semester, those science teachers with whom I had a four-year war called my mother in for an emergency meeting — without me.

What they said shocked her, but vindicated me.

Can’t you stop her? they asked my mother. They did not want me to finish high school a year early, and flat out begged her to step in.

She said it was entirely up to me.

When she relayed the events, I nodded and then went back to them, pointing out that if they thought she was a stage mother — they would not have asked whether she could “stop me”, meaning they knew all along that I had my own mind.

So they were full of shit. They would have said other things, but they knew she wasn’t a puppet-master.

I skipped two grades. I was warned that I would fail the first year of university. Not only did that never happen, I graduated Summa Cum Laude, and unlike high school, university allowed me to become intellectually unleashed. I did all sorts of exciting and eccentric things.

It also allowed me to study something that had bothered me since second grade: those labels.

X

Experimental psychology was a subject I knew well even before I entered university. My mother’s amateur interest became my degree, and I was reading those complex books as a kid.

I was a Fox, after all. Read the label.

Of course, I never cared for labels, but I wondered about the psychology of them.

I took a course in Personality and another in Psychological Testing, and learned a lot about them. I saw them as rigs to confine people, and yet people always got comfort in getting them.

We had to partake in some of those classic tests, such as Draw a Person, House, and Tree.

I still have mine somewhere, and I had grown very label-savvy after my four-year war.

When I came time to do the exercise before the days where I could go online and cheat, I drew one that was rigged itself.

I figured out early that every answer had some negative spin to it. You couldn’t win at this exercise.

Or could you?

I quickly broke the code and drew mine in such a way that exactly one half the drawing contradicted and nullified the other half.

Later on when we got the answer key of sorts, I saw how bang on I was. I figured it out because one of my interests was in the psychology of sticking labels on people.

Anyone who could interpret the picture was always confused. You couldn’t actually read me from it.

I figured out labels were a form of propaganda. The connotations of labels are interesting: for every shallow praise, there is subversive insult. You are meant to agree with the positive, not realizing you will also have to own the negative. The narrative is fixed. You cannot win because it will not validate you.

So don’t play. That’s the only way you maintain your independence, individuality, and freedom.

And then I decided to become a journalist in order to study it.

And it is a profession that does very little else except label people.

But by then, I not only knew what I was doing, I learned how to win a war by not fighting in it in the first place. Do not be a player. Do not be a pawn. Pawns get labelled. So do players.

And then you are saddled with someone else’s rules, rigs, and narrative.

And your life and soul are no longer your own.

I am a person. A human being. I am someone who loves and cherishes foxes, rabbits, and toads.

Life is too short to waste on trying to label people or keep them down and back. Life is about exploring the deepest truths of the omniverse and all of the greatest loving essences it nurtures.

So, if you are stuck running on a hamster wheel because your teacher told you that you were a toad, you are not a label. You are thoughts, feelings, ideas, dreams, hopes, visions, and whatever other grains bring you to life.

Let go of the label and you are no longer anyone’s pawn.

And it is amazing how liberating a single act of quiet defiance can be…

of.jpg

A Change of Pace.

I

giphy.gif

II

I can officially say that I am settled into my new place. I do need a rest, however.

But not of writing. I should have a Gospel According to Belle Eve story done by tomorrow, but I want to write about other things for a short spell, too.

20180822_202156-1.jpg

I have things to say that are related, but in a different style and pace.

ello-optimized-a7ea3686.jpg

I am going to start with an essay about my school days called The Foxes, the Rabbits, and the Toads, and then a Belle Eve short story.

I am starting my new manuscript, and I will be doing Chaser, but there are other surprises up ahead.

The pace will be leisurely, and more relaxed.

Stay tuned…

How cult-think destroyed a profession. Hint: don't pay the minions very much, but tell them how important they are...

I

Screen Shot 2019-01-05 at 1.57.32 PM.png

II

III

Screen Shot 2019-01-05 at 2.09.01 PM.png

IV

Toronto Star severance packages accepted by 166

The Canadian Press · Posted: Dec 10, 2009 8:32 AM

V

Torstar cutting 160 jobs to save $12M a year


The Canadian Press 
Published Thursday, April 17, 2008 1:32PM EDT 

VI

Torstar cuts jobs amid ad slump 

PUBLISHED APRIL 18, 2008

VII

Torstar posts $211.2M Q4 loss on media property writedowns, Prichard out as CEO By: DAVID FRIEND, Canadian Press, The, Feb 26, 2009

VIII

Torstar posts loss amid advertising dip By: Lisa Wright, Toronto Star (Canada), 03190781, May 01, 2008

IX

TORSTAR REPORTS $21.4-MILLION LOSS IN FIRST QUARTER AFTER RESTRUCTURING By: N.A., Guelph Mercury (ON), May 07, 2009

X

HONDERICH BACK AT STAR AMID HUGE LOSSES By: Sandro Contenta, Hamilton Spectator, The (ON), Feb 27, 2009

XI

Journalism never paid well. As in, they do not pay a truly livable wage. Reading a Facebook group when someone asked why journalism doesn’t pay well, some deluded troll went on how the Star paid well a decade ago, but a decade ago the Star was slashing jobs, and their wage back then wasn’t all that at all. I knew people from that era and their salaries were a pittance in a big city then, too — and as I had been a reporter writing about the Canadian newspaper industry, I knew their paywalls back then, and it was a shitty wage back then, too.

It helps that journalists have no memories, lie through their teeth, and have too many birds on their antennae.

It is journalism’s dirty little secret: the wages of the profession sucked. That is the reason so many moonlight as teachers, freelances, PR hacks, and the like. Some got in trouble when their moonlighting turned out to be a conflict of interest.

The US national broadcast anchors don’t represent the whole — less than one percent if we are generous. It is no different than acting as a job: you have a smattering of players who make enviable salaries, but even then, it doesn’t last long.

Business reporting seems to be lucrative, but it is a sketchiest of beats.

Screen Shot 2019-01-05 at 2.14.16 PM.png

It is more advertising than journalism, with companies often paying reporters under the table to shill their shit, or worse, which I have recounted in two of my books. Graft and junkets ensure favourable coverage, and it is the reason why so many fraudulent companies and their huckster executives get away with so much in the first place.

When the industry thought they could get something out of Facebook, they bent over backwards sucking up to Mark Zuckerberg with their obnoxious propaganda.

Zuck_cover_sm.jpg
ef397c2bb248bdeaf9d301c88f66f42d.jpg

When their fortunes fell despite their propagandistic fellating, their coverage changed.

This isn’t a minor conflict of interest: this is misusing the profession for personal gain.

But journalism’s relationship with money has always been a shady one. The Pre-Penny Press Era was brazenly partisan for that reason.

Yet it doesn’t answer the question of why are journalists given such poor pay.

It is a form of control. You will not have those in the profession openly admit to it, and the dissonance makes them easier to control. You want to brag, and it was once a career with prestige. Your job is a public one. You seem to have control and clout…

And yet, the pay check is shockingly low. Keep your pawns just out of reach of the prize, and you tether them, and they begin to shift their focus away from what matters.

They will obsess over celebrity. They will defer to authority. They will lobby for patronage appointments. They will worry more about keeping up appearances and a façade than re-invent the profession.

It is a form of manipulation, and it is also a form of cognitive dissonance. It is the way to break members the way a cult does: you want to move up the ranks, and you want to be superior to those unenlightened beings on the outside who aren’t in the little club. You will deny mistreatment. You will make excuses about why you are actually there. You will defend the in-group.

You will buy into your own propaganda before you spread it elsewhere because the first person a liar must deceive is himself.

13.JPG

It is a sucker’s game, and your suckers will take abuse of all sorts as they preach to the world.

And it is the reason the profession has an aversion to change or admit flaw.

It is the reason why journalism needs an alternative: you need fresh ideas, fresh air, and a fresh and healthy perspective that is free of cult-think, and is open to seeing the world as it is: a place that needs facts and not martyrs…

Propaganda and the Jealous Generation: the Right had their Tea Party. Now the Left have their Pity Party.

I

II

I am a Kintsugi artist who has taught it to others, and I have people who send me articles about it. I have done it for years as well as Picassiette. I have a fascination with refurbishing the broken to re-invent to be better and more valuable than it was before.

It is not the way of Western thinking. I am someone who can either land on my feet, swim across the shore dig through, or soar. I owe no one a thing, and I expect nothing from others. They cannot take credit for my successes, nor can they dictate the terms of what I can have and how. I am a rare and true independent free spirit. I create opportunities where there are none, and I can read the signs much quicker than most others I have met.

I am not a jealous person, and I am certain part of that reason is that I was an only child. No competition. No sibling rivalry. No unresolved issues.

Being an only child had another influence on me: it made me hyper-aware of the jealousy of people who felt they should have gotten all of their parents’ attention all of the time. Jealousy is an extreme form of selfishness, and it is something I always found very off-putting. I had all of my mom’s and grandmom’s attention, and yet I can easily share attention, a spotlight, and accept that others can do things better than I can. I have my own specialties and talents, but I am not athletic, for instance, and yet I have never begrudged people who were. I have no interest in cooking, and yet I can marvel at those who are extremely good at it. I don’t go around making up lies that people who cook are losers and athletes are just a bunch of stuck-up jerks.

Why would I?

And yet, there are no shortage of people who hate people who are thinner than they are, richer, or more talented in some significant way.

Get over yourself.

You cannot always win. People who do win should be congratulated, not destroyed. People who win and have different ideological ideas than you are also to be congratulated and not called stupid. Don’t be a petty shit.

But the US is in a very jealous vortex and has been for a very long time where we have two jealous and petty squabbling siblings called Left and Right. They are horrid siblings, a gruesome twosome who hate each other because they are terrified one just might Win Forever and Forever Win.

We see traditional media jealously spinning new media negatively because Baby Brother is now the people’s favourite, but it is not just journalists who are petty and vindictive, it’s politicians, too.

III

When Barack Obama won two elections for president, he should have been congratulated, and people should have gotten on with their lives because a president’s power over the personal is in fact, very limited. You can’t blame the president for the majority of your personal failings. That’s on you. You cannot memorize a little rule and hope the world is static and never evolves. You do have to think and be resourceful.

But the Right during the Obama regime became very jealous of the Left. The Tea Party was the movement where the ignorant and the jealous were sold a bill of goods that everything would be perfect and paradise if that no-goodnik Barack Obama just went away.

Eventually, that movement fizzled because life still sucked even though Obama was no longer the president.

The Left thought they were so cunning and naturally superior that they honestly thought they would be in power forever, except Hillary Clinton was Jeanie to Donald Trump’s Ferris Bueller, they reacted in the same way: they threw epic temper tantrums because they were not really superior or special at all.

And that tantrum behaved no differently than the Tea Party: except you can call it the Pity Party.

IV

The Pity Party are, in essence, Left-wing hicks and hillbillies of the North. They are not cultured in reality, but in jealousy. That’s their space on the ideological plane. The spin is about morals, but it doesn’t wash. It is all about hissies because Billy is mommy’s favourite, and he gets away with making farting noises.

The problem is the Internet makes the Cycles of Discontent that much faster and that much more fierce. When the empty promises collapse faster than you can swipe a smartphone, people will turn on the Pity Party.

We have one knucklehead of the Pity Party promising to impeach the president as if it was a simple affair. How old is she? Five? And how old are the people buying her bullshit story? Two?

And we have the other knucklehead promising to tax the rick 70%. Yeah, good luck with that, motherfucker. If you are historically illiterate here’s the memo: the rich are rich because they can think. They are not going to fund your goobery. They scram for a new place that will be more than happy to have them. You lose all the money that you will burn in five seconds, and you don’t have a host country who will fund you.

And when the two-year-olds throws fits demanding champagne socialism, and you’ve got negative shit to give them, they’ll gladly take it out on you.

Because this is the Jealous Generation: the ones who thought the Internet would make them Forever Rich, Famous, and Right to rub the noses of everyone else of their self-imagined superiority.

It didn’t happen, and now, let’s all feel sorry for ourselves for having to have a fucking job and earn our keep.

People who are members of the Pity Party elevated the hucksters who fed them a bullshit story how everything would be paradise if they made them billionaires.

And they got burned because they are impossible people with no sensibility.

Jealousy does that to your brain.

But they are falling for the same bullshit again, and like before, they will get burned even worse.

Any asshole who buys what the Pity Party is selling so gloriously earns their comeuppance.

For those of us who are not jealous by nature, we make our way through life on our own as we push through those barriers, and make our own path to paradise without falling for the propagandists and war-mongers who make empty promises to the empty heads who are always looking for shortcuts and the promise they are better than those who create their own worlds in their own ways…

Journalism's lack of cohesion is a ruse in itself.

I

1546542984611892676899.jpg

II

Journalism was never a profession with actual discipline. Not in their academic halls nor in their professional affairs. They were never up to code, which had benefits, and they got away with it for decades because they were the only game in town.

And even now, when they try to think up reasons why people believe false information, their lack of discipline shows. It is a nebulous profession that does all sorts of behind-the-scenes skulduggery to financially benefit themselves.

Because they are hidden and elusive, despite their half-assed stunts to prove transparency, it becomes to be an accurate critic. People take guesses, but it is easy for them to dismiss.

I realized that very early on as a teenager when I wrote letters of complaint. The haughty and arrogant replies told me that the cloak was a ruse in itself. You can swat away criticism because the critics don’t know what is going on, let alone what to look for.

Eventually, I figured out the solution: you want to be a media critic, you had better become one of their number.

And so, I did.

I went in with a plan and a series of experiments. I was a journalist whose beat was writing about the various aspects of journalism.

I took years to do it. I wasn’t in any hurry. How long it took, I would do it properly and thoroughly.

And break the code.

The lack of precision was part of the act. So was the feigned martyrdom. They drag their feet, attack someone as a villain as a misdirection, and then hope things turn around and they find a saviour.

It’s not working anymore.

It is the reason why their feints and ruses have become transparent: using an old script that no longer aligns with reality.

But it is an instructive time to see how forced narratives work — and how they backfire…