No one is more expendable than a person in power.

Those paper crowns come with a string attached to the bottom of a bus.

Power and control are hypothetical constructs — illusions. People higher up the food chain are more expendable than the ones below.

Jody Wilson-Raybould tried to exert some control, and lost her place, and then got slagged by the PM who should be very careful of the example he is making. He still has his minions melodramatically trying to deflect criticism by crying witch hunt, but the ship has holes and it is slowly sinking.

Power? What is power? Maclean’s had a list in 2014 about powerful people in Canada — and some on that list are no longer powerful, such as Kathleen Wynne or Stephen Harper.

And Kathleen Wynne’s power was not only taken away — but many of the policies she pushed through were thrown under the bus right along with her.

The illusion of power tempts the wrong kind of people who think it is all about lording over people with impunity, and then destroying them into oblivion should they stand their ground.

And then, they are shown that they are expendable just like the rest.

World leaders are expendable. So are billionaires. Both more so than average citizens because both are dependent on average citizens for their very survival.

Five ethics inquiries? Trudeau’s regime has been sent to the principal’s office a lot. Two wins, two losses. He is starting to look like a schoolyard bully.

The US President marketed himself as the bad boy maverick, and his base expects no less. Trudeau did not, and that is a problem for him. He cannot live up to his own book of rules, and his miscalculations are giving his detractors an Alinskian advantage.

And worst of all, he is throwing allies under the bus — John McCallum and now Jody Wilson-Raybould. He is getting a little too close to the bus, and should be careful before he ends up having done to him what he is doing to others in his own inner circle…

We don't need politics. We need empathy, respect, and compassion. You know, the things that count.

I

His ignorance was as remarkable as his knowledge. Of contemporary literature, philosophy and politics he appeared to know next to nothing. Upon my quoting Thomas Carlyle, he inquired in the naïvest way who he might be and what he had done. My surprise reached a climax, however, when I found incidentally that he was ignorant of the Copernican Theory and of the composition of the Solar System. That any civilized human being in this nineteenth century should not be aware that the earth travelled round the sun appeared to me to be such an extraordinary fact that I could hardly realize it.

“You appear to be astonished,” he said, smiling at my expression of surprise. “Now that I do know it I shall do my best to forget it.”

“To forget it!”

“You see,” he explained, “I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”

“But the Solar System!” I protested.

“What the deuce is it to me?” he interrupted impatiently: “you say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.”

—Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in A Study in Scarlet.

II

I am not pretentious, but I am not stupid. I know details, and get nuances and catch on to Shibboleths. I don’t shop in Manhattan, but Secaucus, New Jersey where there are those fabulous outlet malls, for instance. I have ever since I was a teenager. I prefer the complexities of Bénédictine over most other liqueurs. Armani for the wife, Versace for the mistress, but Moschino for Alexandra.

I am not some yokel. If I don’t know something, don’t assume I wanted to know it. I heard it, determined it to not be all that, and promptly forgot it.

Such as whatever script someone spews at me. Brag all you want. In one ear, out the other.

What interests me is human motivation and strategies. Who are you as a person matters, not some bullshit story you are telling me to impress me or make me jealous.

Because I am not obsessed with keeping up with the Joneses, people think that I am going to be impressed and feel inadequate. Don’t be silly. What Alexandra wants, she gets, one way or another.

And Alexandra gets what she wants and needs all by herself.

I am choosy and I am fussy.

I love to learn. I just signed up for this Oxford short course. I love to write books, and that’s what I am doing.

I don’t have to take the course, but I like to expand certain areas of my mind, and bring them up to code.

I have three more pieces of unfinished business. Right before January, it was a dozen. None were minor.

After those are taken care of, it is the next level upwards and forwards.

But I never forget my roots.

I don’t look down on people who didn’t have the same opportunities. I respect and admire them greatly, and not in some precious, condescending way. People survived wars, slavery, incest, abuse, terrorism, illness, poverty, and victimization. They didn’t “bring it on” themselves. I am genuinely outraged that my country treats First Nations people like they were disposable, for instance, while we have grifters who live it up on the taxpayer dime.

The US Democrats act like the Catholic church — they talk a good talk about liberties, preach to tell you that you are inferior and need them to guide you, use Doomsday scenarios with their environmental policy, and yet keep begging for donations as they ride around in limos.

And like the church they emulate, they are the ones who get caught doing really infuriating things that prove they are hypocrites, making the New York Post very giddy.

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What is with this whole blackface thing, anyway? I mean, it happened in my junior high during class, and even then as a tween in the 1980s, I thought it was downright racist.

I can believe in forgiveness as a general concept, but it isn’t my place to forgive. I’m a white Canadian. I take my cue from the people who were wronged.

I remember The New York Times having this priggish Op-Ed piece when Megyn Kelly said kids did it in her time, and the opinionist got all snooty, claiming it wasn’t happening in his time and he was a couple of years older than Kelly.

Bullshit.

It happens now, but as we know, it happened then, too. I smell pants roasting.

So here is one group of people who branded themselves as a morally superior party having a cemetery of skeletons jumping out of their closets proving that it really doesn’t matter who you vote for — they aren’t authentic. The labels of these political sects is just a front for conniver who wants to wear a paper crown and will tell you whatever you want to hear.

III

Canada has the same problem right now. The federal Liberals are equally troublesome. While Postmedia owns both the Toronto Sun and the National Post, getting to play both sides of things, I found this National Post column interesting:

The other jab in this combination of punches is their regular mentions of Justin Trudeau’s “family fortune” — a phrase the prime minister himself used inadvisedly in a press conference.

“That amount ($5,000) is peanuts for a prime minister who inherited a great family fortune,” said Conservative Rosemarie Falk, by way of example.

…But there is good reason why the Conservatives are adopting such deceptive tactics: they are working.

What deception? That the Prime Minister has no empathy or ability to adjust his perspective? His policies are not for the poor. They aren’t good for the Middle Class. They cater exclusively to limousine liberals: people with money who do not want to be inconvenienced economically nor personally.

And then Trudeau opens his mouth and proves it, as the Toronto Sun gleefully pointed out:

“We see proof that the conservatives simply don’t understand that low income families don’t benefit from tax breaks because they don’t pay taxes,” said Justin Trudeau.

It is Trudeau who doesn’t even know the basic reality of his own poor. Poor people do have to pay income tax even if they make less than $12,000 a year.

They also pay HST on goods and services. There is no tax exemption when you buy basics.

The left-leaning press kept their mouths shut on this one, as usual, hoping not to draw attention and censoring unflattering nincompoopity from the Jive Turkey because they know if the Tories win, there is no goodie fund for them.

What you have is a prime minister completely incapable of genuine compassion and empathy:

“While we continue to stay focused on Canadians, Conservatives continue to stay focused on how I grew up,” Trudeau shot back.

Yes, because you never grew up. The Grits focus on themselves, no one else. When you keep the poorest at arm’s length, you have no idea who they are, what they need, or how they came to be poor.

Method Research would go a long way to understanding what needs to be done.

For one, I would force any candidate running for prime minister to be forced to live for two years among the poorest of his or her nation with no help. All funds would be cut off, and they would be monitored.

You are going to live in a shitty little shack. You are going to have to get a joe job. You are going to have to pay the bills with whatever you earn.

Two years.

No limos. No colorful culturally-appropriate costumes. No designer clothing or children’s socks.

And, for giggles, you’d be sent up to the remote location where everything is more expensive.

Then you would be grow up, put on your big boy pants, and have a fresh perspective.

It would be good if everyone was healthy, happy, and prosperous.

This isn’t reality.

And ignoring it isn’t actually working for the Left. People aren’t blind or numb to their own whispering problems.

With Trudeau, it is shallow gestures and empathy phrases with no core to it, He apologizes for other people’s actions of the past, thinking that means something.

Not if those injustices are still alive and well in the present and you don’t see them.

Anyone with drama training can shed a few crocodile tears. So can people clocked for speeding and bawl to the nice police officer not to give them a ticket.

Kids in toy stores can do it, too.

That doesn’t prove you have empathy, respect, or compassion.

I am still haunted by my grandmother’s agonizing death. She chose to live because she didn’t want to be away from her family. To her, she did not want to abandon us and sacrificed everything to look out for us. She worried about how much sleep I got and agonized about my derailed career. She gave me pep talks and advice as she lay dying.

I looked after her 24/7. I had been so focussed on her that I abandoned myself in the bargain. My mother did the same.

And then my mother was diagnosed with cancer and then I was, too a few short weeks later.

We looked after each other. I had to trudge in the snow to walk a long way to the hospital to see my mother after her surgery three weeks after have surgery to remove my left ovary.

They gutted me. My stomach muscle was split in two. I was oozing and in absolute agony. I didn’t take the morphine I was given. I didn’t even pick it up because I could not be under any influence because I had to drive and look after my mother.

And I can barely walk, but I make the trip twice a day to the hospital where my mother lost a lot of blood and had a hard time keeping awake because of it. I had to look after her as I am terrified that my cancer has spread.

But I march to the hospital every day like a soldier. I would go to Fortinos to buy my mother something with flavour to eat as I also would bring her coffee, and try to cheer her up, and I can barely sit in the hospital chair, still in shock that asymptomatic me had motherfucking ovarian cancer.

And then she comes home, and a few weeks later, she has to have another surgery because she had something so rare that the doctor who had to operate never seen it before.

It is a never-ending siege of trauma.

And I know there are people who not only had it as bad, they have it even worse.

They have children with incurable degenerative conditions.

I have a bracelet a student made for me in jewelry summer camp that I taught one year. She was the sweetest, cutest, kindest little girl who took the class so she could make things to raise money for the fatal disease she has.

But she gave me a present because even though she is ill, she wants me to know that she likes me.

And it moves me. If I had the power, I would make her problems disappear.

But I don’t, and it bothers me.

I have known people who are going through extraordinary lengths for their terminally ill children, fighting a brawl with the heavens to extract every extra second at the expense of everything.

And we have a deluded prime minister who has his panties in a knot because his rivals have his number and keep dialling it.

We have never had a prime minister — on the left or right, who put children first.

And no, photo ops of you reading to them doesn’t count. Fuck you.

Neither is giving people money per child — it encourages the wrong kind of people to keep having them for the free money. I used to sit in the solarium and watch outside my old house on Main Street East in Hamilton and see Stroller Row.

We have children in battered women’s shelters. We have children who are sex slaves being passed around and videotaped.

The Grits give money to newspapers who fucked up their own worthless profession — but completely ignore children’s services.

This is vile and disgusting.

I like my art. I like my surrealist paintings, my books, my theremin, my Kintsugi, my Alexander Katsulin pottery, Turkish coffee, and antique furniture.

I like Sherlock Holmes, Han Hoogerbrugge, the Hives, and the Blue Beetle.

I am self-indulgent and eccentric, and if you don’t like it, go fuck yourself.

You aren’t paying my bills. You don’t care that I had cancer. Go to hell. I don’t have respect for your negging.

Because it is all meaningless if you don’t have a moral compass.

And politics isn’t the place you’ll ever find it.

Neither is this neo-Victorian façade. It’s not genuine.

A kinder world comes from empathy and compassion.

That requires vulnerability and connect, not cheap acting stunts and empty words…

Actrivism, Part Five: A long and complicated journey into Mindwild.

I

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II

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III

I was extremely fortunate that I was photographed by Villiam Hrubovcak and the picture is one of several from that photoshoot. He has shot everyone from Bjork, Elvis Costello, Billy Idol, to John Waters, and if I recall correctly, Ollie North.

I have this one he shot of me hanging in my living room.

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It is still my favourite photograph of me.

Because I usually do not pose that way. I like my face in front, but he suggested it to show off my distinctive nose; so I did, never thinking that would have been the photograph I would have selected after. I like to break my own rules, decrees, truisms, routines, and theories, but in this case, someone made the suggestion.

I do take advise. I do take chances.

Because I am not afraid to question things or people, including myself.

I test my own theories, but every once in a while, someone shows you a place where you didn’t think of testing your own rules.

But when you are intellectually uninhibited, you can question everything and eventually figure out that’s how you find the facts of reality to find the truth.

IV

Percentage-wise, Twitter brings me very little traffic to this site. I can easily deactivate my account, and my numbers would remain untouched. I have a modest, but steadily-increasing international base here, if I believe what the analytics are saying to me.

Wordpress wasn’t as accurate, and there were strange things happening. For long stretches, it would claim I had no traffic from Google searches, which I did not believe, and tested it myself on my other devices, and lo and behold, those didn’t register, either. Nice try. I cannot say the same for my current host Squarespace. So far, I am very happy with them. They are helpful, prompt, thorough, and I have never been left frustrated or have something I could not figure out on my own unresolved. I wish I came aboard sooner.

But I cannot say the same for Twitter. Is there shadow-banning of me? I don’t know why there would be, but it wouldn’t surprise me, either.

I have been on Twitter for years, and I have been hover at 1790 followers for as long as I can remember, according to them, which is low. I am also on Ello, a smaller social media site, and though I have not been there as long and don’t post as often, my followers have increased steadily to over 3600, more than double what the Twit nets me.

And I do not make the first move to gain followers. People come to me first. So that’s quite a difference where the pool in one site is far greater than the other. By mere chance alone, I should have more than double on Twitter than I do on Ello.

Maybe the difference is that I don’t trust Twitter. There is no proof that any organized groundswell of reaction is organic, spontaneous, or genuine, and I doubt that it is any of the above. It is way too easy to game the system. It has become social propaganda for various advertisers and political groups that is intermingled with naive people who are followers by design, and believe everything they see on the Troll Scroll.

There is no respect for people. They don’t call it Twitter for nothing.

And there is nothing more deceptive than that Blue Checkmark. It does not signal what is being said is true. It does guarantee that the person writing that tweet is actually there person, it could and most likely is an assistant or PR firm.

Nor does it guarantee that the person isn’t being paid by an outside party to shill.

It doesn’t have any safeguards. The same can be said of Wikipedia, and I do not see it as a credible source of information, either.

And often who gets the blue checkmark mystifies me. They aren’t actually well-known. You can do a basic search on them and virtually come up empty-handed. They are not always people of note, let alone “social influencers.”

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Google has my verified profile, however.

My Twitter profile is there, even though I am an author of several books and do not have the little blue checkmark. I didn’t put my Twitter account there. People do look me up by name because Google’s own analytics let me know.

So across various platforms, there is a real inconsistency. Google has me verified, and directs people to my Twitter feed, yet Twitter will not give me the verified status, even though I worked as a journalist, and have several books under my belt. I had one late last year, and one coming out next year.

By all accounts, that should be more than enough, especially considering how low the bar is.

But it is hard to justify lobbying for something that I know is rigged and filled with propaganda spewed from behind a curtain.

It is more than fake news. It is fake followers. It is just fake.

It is not an informational portal. It is an advertising vehicle to push ideologies just as Facebook is amateur press release.

And whenever you challenge something on that platform, the vipers come out to intimidate with insults.

Don’t give me lip.

Give me proof.

But when you cannot verify who is writing the tweet is who they say they are, nor whether or not they are being paid to say it, you won’t find any proof there at all.

V

Twitter wasn’t build to prove. It was built to bully. It was built to foster groupthink. It was made to prime, groom, and deliver audiences with the right mindset to build clusters of thought.

The word count is too low for anything rational to transpire. At least Facebook talks about connections as “friends” and LinkedIn uses the word “connection.” Twitter was the one who used the trigger word “follower.”

It is brazen enough. They might as well use a pigeon over the Mountain Bluebird they have as their logo.

But it gives the illusion of control and genuine interaction. You think you know what you see, and that is its strength. You don’t know what’s on the other side of that missive or the motive for it being there.

It makes it a prime breeding ground for manipulation.

But it also weakens and devalues words and opinion. There is too much clutter.

Because everything is virtual, the impact is not as great as it appears. The turnover is fast for anything to take root and grow. People let off steam with slacktivism. People try to one-up others. There is petty rivalry, but few real tangible results that hit their targets.

For example, #MeToo. It seemed as if it did its job, but what did the faceless movement actually net?

It took down a lot of men on the Left because they could not live up to the book of rules. They were done in by a misfiring of Alinksy’s Gun.

But that’s not who that gun was meant to shoot: it was men on the Right who were supposed to crumble and fall.

Brent Kavanaugh was supposed to have fallen. While the damsels-in-distress marched in their cosplay red robes, he ultimately got issued a Supreme Court black robe.

Twitter is not a precise weapon. So far, Donald Trump seems to have known how to use it.

Digital media doesn’t know how to use it. They crashed. Traditional media also was clueless and collapsed.

For a social media site that is all about communications, it doesn’t actually work the way people think it does.

Just one septuagenarian. This quadragenarian has no use for it.

Because Twitter is like a bad psychic: you can see the rigs a mile away.

It’s that transparent.

And the motives for people’s continued gullibility when using it.

It doesn’t interest me.

I prefer a more instructive challenge.

Which brings me to Mindwild.

VI

I always thrived with a challenge. I like puzzles. I like when things are not obvious to me.

I when I can challenge my own rules, turn them over, see them break, and then find the atom of truth.

Knowledge is flexible, not static. It evolves, changes, and grows, and why I like to revisit past knowledge and update what I know.

So when I decided to go into journalism to study it, I had to think about a lot of things very carefully.

I had to define what I was doing, and if I didn’t reach certain milestones, or things didn’t go to plan, I needed plans and counter-plans.

I called it Method Research. I was taking my laboratory into the real world. It was like a scientist placing herself into an atom to study it.

My job? Being an actrivist — being actively inside the world I was studying.

These terms were my shorthand to remind me what I was doing. It is very easy to get lost in the moment and forget what to do. It’s like sparring with someone in the boxing ring and then forgetting to keep your guard up.

And what about the experiments I was conducting?

I dubbed those Mindwild. The point was not to think I was confined. I was out in the wild. I was part cavewoman fighting for survival naturally, and part android, carefully analyzing the natural elements to process information empirically.

And my experiments had to reflect these two extremes, bringing them to the radical centre: don’t take sides. Take notes. Take facts.

That meant my experiments could be as wild as I come up, but my analysis had to be as disciplined as they could be. Chaos and order at the same time.

I was methodical but took advantage of any opportunity presented to me.

It was all about taking snapshots of reality, all while remembering who I was and what I was doing. It is not as if there was a roadmap.

I was the cartographer, and I wasn’t just mapping out the profession, but who I was in it because as much as I was an experimenter, I was also the test subject.

And I learn a lot about journalism, myself, how to conduct experiments, and also the nature of truth, reality, perception, and interpretation.

For example, I learned how we define out terms confines the outcomes of what we reap from its definition. The more ill-defined it is, the less we get out of it.

And journalism is a profession with no desire to define any of its terms.

How do you define “fact-check”, for instance? It is doublespeak and a nonsense word that is suppose to give false reassurance to the believers and shut down and psych out detractors.

How can you even have an imprecise and folksy term for something that dictates specialization and precision?

It’s a scam. Worse, it is a patronizing scam.

It’s no different than saying someone is a doctor: what kind of doctor? What is their area of expertise? An oncologist or internist? And even then, they have their specialized area.

Or lawyer. What kind of lawyer? Criminal? Divorce? Real Estate? Corporate?

So the word “fact-check” is pure bullshit.

It’s just an arrogant bunch who use the word to snow people who don’t know the industry.

But that doesn’t work on people who know because they worked in the business, never falling for its alleged prestige and bragging rights.

While society moves towards AI and conducting research with cold arbitrary logic, they are losing the wild part of the equation.

The part the develops instincts. You can teach someone to box with a textbook, but put them in the ring, and they will lose to the person who had to fight in real life for their survival without a trainer.

But, have someone fight in the real world for their survival as they have a trainer and a textbook and war manual, and they understand the theory and the practice.

That’s what I called Mindwild.

I didn’t just use it working as a journalist. I still use it to this day. I can look at something, and see the rigid thinking and assumptions its structure and content is based on.

And it can do a lot to your thinking.

I became a political atheist.

I believe in peace. I believe in progress. Neither can be found using an antiquated model of governance or journalism.

I also became a radical feminist, but not in the traditional sloppy definition of it.

But that means that (a) you do not expect an Establishment will change because you shamed them, and (b) you have to have active strategies to building new systems and not rely on old patriarchal models.

Most importantly, I learned as much about myself as I did about the world around me.

The world chose to stagnate and to old on to toxic security blankets.

I chose to flourish and grow without worrying about myself because I know who I am.

Someone who doesn’t worry about memorizing a script.

Because I don’t hide behind a script, I have allowed myself to mature and blossom, and I know who I am.

And it’s not any established role someone else has rigged up to keep people from succeeding.

I have learned to challenge the rules of anarchy and enigmas because I become both, and broke more barriers because I knew that even anarchy masks something beyond it.

And that means there are new frontiers we haven’t even seen yet.

The world is never a bore — there is always some new thrilling truth to learn, and yet people still cling on to the same old boring lies.

The world is beautiful. The future is exciting.

But you’ll never know it until you explore it, study it, nurture it, love it, listen to it, and unleash yourself in it.

That’s Method Research.

That’s Actrivism.

And that’s Mindwild.

Every atom is an omniverse of excitement and thrills just ready to be unleashed itself.

If only you are brave enough, loving enough, and truth enough to open it…

The Art of War, 2019.

I

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II

I feel sympathy for John McCallum. When I was a kid, we had a class trip to watch a play of Robin Hood, and the evil Sheriff of Nottingham told the audience he was going to trap Robin by putting a note on the tree, and when he read the note, he’d catch him.

I took this so very seriously.

So when the actor who played Robin went to read the notes, I screamed, “Don’t read the note, Robin!” from the top of my little lungs.

And then so did the other kids.

I am sure the actor was used to it and was either amused or annoyed, but he was a good sport, pretending he couldn’t hear us — and the play went by the script, pissing me off no end, and after that, I just didn’t care what happened to Robin. You don’t take advise, you deserve to be caught by the bad guy. So there.

I am certain McCallum, who is an accomplished politician and academic, is not a stupid man. Watching the political buffoonery must be maddening. I feel the same way about journalism.

So here is a former cabinet minister, professor, economist who is privy to far more of the current federal regime than most people are, and he had become unleashed for a reason.

He wouldn’t risk it just because he is a silly man. He managed to have a long and impressive career all on his own with incident. That is not something to ignore or dismiss to fit a narrative. Something else is going on to the point where a seasoned politician makes an assessment and lobs two grenades in a guerrilla attack.

Welcome to the new Art of War, 2019.

III

The Art of War is an interesting text that has held up so well because people who fight wars tend to follow scripts. It works because we have relied on patriarchal structures and have never once truly challenged them — and even when critics think they are, they always present another patriarchal structure with the lone difference that is it s rigged to their own favour.

Like how the American Left have been pretending to be enlightened with their “socialism” to go up against capitalism on the account that it is rigged to favour the privileged white boys…except socialism was created by privileged white boys, too.

If you want equality, then you better provide tangible evidence that you, too, can come up with your own model to replace the Gold Standard. Otherwise, shut up and go back to the drawing board — this time without cribbing from the very people you condemn.

Current ideological warfare has been reduced to an infantile joke: the point is not to take money from other people to fund your fantasies. Fight for the opportunity to make your own on your own terms.

And I practice what I preach: I created my own writing structures. I created A Dangerous Woman that is nothing like what’s out there. I was influenced and inspired by others because I do not believe everyone before me is horrible, but when I started to write, I did my own thing.

And when I started Chaser News before that, guess what? I took an epistolary style. No other journalism outfit was doing it, and they still don’t get it.

I have come up with an alternative to journalism — F.R.E.E.D. defies conventions of the old guard.

That is what true equality means: having a diversity of visionaries and creators who create something different. We have people howling about “cultural appropriation” even if their own culture appropriated it from someone else — but have no trouble ideologically or structurally appropriating things from others.

So in 2019, the Art of War is not about just deception, but a specific kind of deception: hypocrisy.

This is the reason everything is upside down. You have Right-leaning publications decrying sexual harassment and Establishment meddling in ways they never did before. You have Leftist politicians cribbing from those on the Right, except the Left miss the nuances that will ultimately trip them.

Because in this new ideological war, the misdirection is Left-Right. They are both the same. One is not superior to the other in any way, shape, or form.

And both are hypocrites.

War is hypocrisy. War is preventing your opponent from doing the very things that you do or want to do. Never in modern history has Saul Alinsky been more critical.

Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.

That’s the starting point to this current ideological war. Both sides are now forced to present a narrative that they are, in fact, doing it, when they, in fact, are not.

This is their fatal weakness, and this is the precise place where it will all break loose. Both the Left and the Right have the same problem that compels them to have the same strategy. They cancel each other out.

Because they are cribbing from each other, but as they are in the Zero-Risk Society, they have to be careful how they do it.

You see it in Canada. The Liberals won in the last election with a leader who is a bland and unremarkable middle manager; so the other two parties got their own version of a bland and unremarkable middle manager. It’s as if these three parties are begging for a minority government and a three-way tie.

The battleground now has a single rule: fight with Zero-Risk, but that is inversely proportional to the amount you gamble.

So here we are in a Zero-Risk War Zone, meaning it is a 100%-Gamble Zone. There are huge differences.

A risk is when you plan, research, practice, and test before trying something different in a trying circumstance, with a back-up plan if the first try fails to produce the desired results. You are confident in your abilities, but realistic as you rely on facts, logic and emotional literacy.

A gamble is when you do not plan, research, practice, or test but have an idea and go into something unprepared with no strategy or expectation of something going wrong. You are overconfident in your luck, and rely on gossip, sophistry and fantasy.

That is the war being waged right now. We have people who think opinion-shaming will force people to surrender.

No, that just makes your enemies look closer at you and see that you aren’t living to your own rulebook.

Because the Internet took away that one rig.

And is turning the Art of War on its head…

Building antidotes to war games, Part Five.

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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.

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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…

When you have a Jealous Generation, learn to appreciate its comedy.

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It’s my Christmas today. I am Eastern Orthodox and it is Serbian Christmas.

Христос се роди. Ваистину се роди.

But you already knew that…

Or not.

Perhaps you know how to make Toronto a bad city.

Maybe you know how to make France an angry country.

Maybe you don’t know how to stand up to babble puke mobs on Twitter and think a piece of paper will make your troubles go away.

Or maybe you know that you are doing sketchy things and then having to deny them.

Unlike the other Christmas that ends the year where it is all about showing off and getting things, the one that starts the year isn’t about getting gifts. It is about reflecting on your own self.

But while Western thought is me-centre, it never looks at the core.

Because if it did, it would realize it has a problem: that it is very jealous and the green-eyed monster is out of control. That is the real reason the Left hate Trump. They are jealous.

They are not just jealous of him, but he represents living life to the fullest on his own terms.

But as per Alinsky’s rule #4:

"Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules."

The Left cannot admit flaw or that they themselves are not living up to their own book of rules.

And hence, we got an Age of Propaganda and an neo-Victorian Era.

All used to hide the fact we have jealous people who are just jealous.

They are not moral, intelligent, smart, compassionate.

Just jealous.

People liked the self-indulgent once upon a time when they weren’t so jealous.

They watched shows with characters who said and did outrageous things who made no apologies.

All before the Internet made promises that with no effort, they would be stars.

But for a generation who actually were dumb enough to buy that bullshit story, they never learned to struggle, or understand the importance of failure and self-correction.

Let alone self-reflection.

Or knowing their place.

Sometimes your place is not at the top.

Because life is not a pecking order.

Their jealousy got out of control, and they began to spin their jealousy as morality.

And it is not. It is just a green-eyed monster.

When you realize that everything is a sham because people are jealous of everything and everyone one, you see they are constantly conniving and scheming to find ways of ensuring no one ever gets to live their lives to the fullest.

And it is pure bullshit.

When you are someone who doesn’t get jealous or envious, it is beyond easy to see it.

The only factor is whether you see it as a comedy — which is the way you are supposed to see it — or a tragedy.

After getting pummelled in 2018 like nobody’s business, I could see the comedy, but not feel it.

2019 is a different story.

I can’t stop laughing.

You have jealous politicians. You have jealous CEOs. You have a jealous press. You have an extremely jealous Middle Class.

When you can look at yourself and reflect maturely and not competitively, you can easily live your own life on your own terms.

But when you are always wasting time on jealous games, you can’t see why your ways are the real cause of your own misery.

If I have one wish for the world in 2019, it is for people to own up to their own jealousy, and see it for the farce that it is.

You are not fooling all of the people all of the time. Face it. Face the fact that you have become a petty shit.

And get over yourself.

If I can have a year where I faced ovarian cancer as I was looking after a mother with her own cancer, and come out of it ready to take on the world without becoming conniving or bitter, then what’s your excuse?

How is it that I am not jealous or self-pitying?

If you are going keep comparing yourself to others, start with someone who isn’t jealous, and is having a very good laugh from the heart.

If you can do that, you’ve given yourself the best present you could possibly get.

Merry Christmas..

Rules for Radicals: the war manual for poor people. Not limousine liberals. Not champagne socialists. Just poor.

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Saul Alinsky was a forerunner to Method Research. He tested out his theories in the real world by walking among his subjects, but his was a post-hoc version of it, yet his results ended up being a book called Rules for Radicals.

His rules?

  1. "Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have."

  2. "Never go outside the expertise of your people."

  3. "Whenever possible go outside the expertise of the enemy."

  4. "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules."

  5. "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon."

  6. "A good tactic is one your people enjoy."

  7. "A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag."

  8. "Keep the pressure on."

  9. "The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself."

  10. "The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition."

  11. "If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside."

  12. "The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative."

  13. "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."

Simple. Effective. Elegant.

But they are not universal.

They work, but they are highly misapplied these days and misunderstood.

The Right hate Alinsky. The Left think they own those rules.

Both are silly and hopelessly wrong.

Alinsky’s rules were not partisan-based. They were class-based. They had failsafes to prevent rich motherfuckers from using them against poor people as it gave poor people a chance to crawl out of the hole the wealthy dug to kick their competition in to bury them.

Alinsky was very careful. He didn’t call his book a war manual or a guide for the poor. He wanted to energize this broken demographic, realign their perceptions, and give them a narrative to give them the power and incentive to push forward. It is not called “Rules for Poor People” after all, but “Rules for Radicals.”

They are very effective in many ways, but the Left ideologically appropriated them.

To understand how badly the Left fucked this war manual up, let’s look at another movement that was short lived, but extremely effective: Art Nouveau, or Jugenstil.

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Art Nouveau lasted about twenty years, and for an art movement, it was very short.

It began when a bunch of young European male artists couldn’t break through from the Establishment artists.

They wrote manifestos, and all but declared war on those rich bastards.

They had a plan: they made art of mundane objects, from furniture to posters to jewelry to lamps to buildings. They found a new market and niche, and were daring.

Eventually, those swaggering turks broke through, and abandoned the movement.

Why?

Mission accomplished. They went on with their careers and lives. The end.

Those in the movement understood the purpose of their movement, the ultimate goal, and that once they broke through, the movement was to be discarded because it no longer applied to them.

You mature. You go on to the next level of success that requires different strategies from the ones you needed once you arrived and delivered.

The American Left have never gotten this memo.

In the 1960s and 1970s, they used the rules and broke through.

But then kept using the rules they ideologically appropriated with diminishing returns.

These rules are not Left going after Right. In fact, if rich Left people go after poor Right people, the rules turn on them.

Every single one of these rules are for the Davids in the David and Goliath battles. Plug in the variables and do the math yourself. A rich person ridiculing poor people? Do the optics play well?

Of course not.

How does a rich person demand a poor person live up to their own rules when they are too busy surviving and protecting their children from a life of destitution?

Easy for a rich asshole to do things with a staff looking after their brats. That’s the reason Alinsky said for the poor to force the hands of the rich: show they are hypocrites even though they have no excuse in the world to be hypocrites, and you break the spell of perfection.

And if the rich use their resources to trample the poor? You become a global pariah.

These rules are not meant for the rich because they make them look like psychopaths.

But the same standards don’t apply when you are poor because someone who is rich is keeping you back and down.

So when rich Leftist Hillary Clinton called poor people who wanted to vote for her rival a basket of deplorables, she was using Alinsky logic, forgetting that she was not poor and they were.

She radicalized the poor Right the way Alinsky radicalized the poor Left — the difference being she didn’t intend to do that, and Alinsky did. That is her legacy and she alone owns it. For someone whose undergraduate thesis was on Alinsky, she has no feel for it.

The wealthy Left keep using Alinsky and it is increasingly backfiring. They couldn’t stop Donald Trump with it. They aimed lower and then couldn’t stop Brett Kavanaugh from becoming a Supreme Court judge.

They failed to sink Fox News because the FNC targets poorer people on the Right — giving them all sorts of scapegoats why their lives went off the rails. I recounted this in my second book OutFoxed in detail.

The limousine liberals and champagne socialists are stuck in a time warp where they think they are the fringe outsider rebels and radicals.

Don’t fucking delude yourselves, assholes.

You are the Establishment.

If you have an Oscar, Emmy, Tony, Grammy, or Golden Globe somewhere in your house, you are the Man.

If you have graced a cover of a national or international magazine, you are the Man.

If you are a politician, actor, singer, media owner, fashion designer, current or former cast member of Saturday Night Live, or corporate executive, motherfucker, you are the Man.

Fuck you.

Don’t try to use the Rules for Radicals when you are the Man.

You are a rich bastard. You can retire the war manual. Saul Alinsky called from Eden and he says to put the book away, and stop using it on poor people because you are not poor.

Stop using the rules against poor Right people. Stop using the rules to exploit and co-opt the poor Left people.

It is time for someone to finally use those rules on you.

Experience has made you rich, to paraphrase a song.

And now they are after you…

The State of War, 2018.

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The target this year was Facebook. Journalists and media owners finally realized that they could not exploit it to resurrect their profession. Politicians realized they couldn’t control the message of billions, and grains brought together say things that are just as powerful as a single entity that holds all the cards. Corporations couldn’t compete with the guerilla tactics of amateur feeds. Facebook is chaos and when Establishment types cannot impose their rigged order, they try to trick people into relinquishing their power in some sort of Luciferian bargain: if you give us your power, we will look after you. Yeah, you’ll take care of us, all right.

Facebook was ill-prepared. It bought its own hype. The problem was Mark Zuckerberg was Pavlovian conditioned in his early twenties, and his mindset is frozen there. He got away with shit, and thought he was cunning. Smiling for the cameras made it seem that he got away with things, and for years, he did.

Facebook’s business model is unworkable. How does it make its money when it gives everyone their own website for free? When it became a publicly-traded company a few years ago, it was struggling because a lot of investors couldn’t see it and didn’t like the odds.

It bounced back, but the truth is Facebook makes money by selling data from its users to people who are willing to pay for it. As an intelligence-gathering tool, it is personal, commercial, detailed, current, and extremely effective.

Media owners would benefit from the level of detail and signed up, but it didn’t actually work for them because their product really stinks. You can know every thought and movement: if I don’t want your product, I don’t want your product. It is out-of-touch and incompatible with today’s technology.

So Facebook got pummelled with a leader who made it far, but was sheltered from the real world. Anyone will make it far if they are fawned over and protected because they have something everyone wants. Once those guardians realized they couldn’t exploit Facebook for their own ends, they turned on the lamb who always thought he was some sort of wolf.

Facebook didn’t know where to turn because it got kicked into unfamiliar territory. It was linked to Russians because the Left were livid that their propaganda failed to secured dud candidate Hillary Clinton a presidency.

Julian Assange knows that one.

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The problem is that in this War of 2018, it is not Left at war with the Right, or even Left at war with Trump.

The Left is targeting itself. Zuckerberg is on the Left. So was Harvey Weinstein.

This is the reason why #MeToo was so effective for so long: it was people who hedged their bets and went with the Leftist cabal. They thought they were safe.

When they Left went after Brett Kavanaugh, their winning streak came screeching to a halt. The Right were prepared for this battle in advanced, and they fended off the siege. Weinstein didn’t think his own fellow soldiers would turn on him, and neither did Zuckerberg who was floating around the idea of running for president not that long ago.

This is a war of in-fighting.

The Left will continue to cannibalize itself in 2019. The Alinsky playbook is working against them for a single reason: that manual was meant for poor people fighting against the rich. Not rich versus rich, or rich against poor. It is poor against rich. The end.

It was not meant to be effective for limousine liberals and champagne socialists. It backfires, and deliberately so. Alinsky didn’t want rich and powerful people to use it. It is rigged against it. It is a situational manual, and crafted for that very purpose.

So Facebook was the target of 2018, and it got blindsided by the ambush of its own side. I wouldn’t count out the company nor its founder. Some behind the scenes deals can always be made if they are of use. It won’t have the same power or clout, if even if does. The old guard want something they can no longer achieve because digital is the present and has been for the last twenty years. Brains are wired differently, and the old playbooks don’t apply.

2019 will bring in a different war, and I’ll be covering it right here…

The Chaser Dilemma, Part Nine: Where has all the fun and funny gone?

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I think Saul Alinsky would not be happy seeing the rot in the world. He would see that no one is living up to their own rules — not the Right, and certainly not the Left. Much of his theories were blown to bits by Twitter. There can be no rule about ridicule anymore because everyone is trying to prevent everyone else from laughing.

I had a laughing fit today thinking about something silly my grandmother once did: mom called her once and she said angrily, “Who is this?” before her own daughter ever had a chance to say hello. I was in stitches, but my mother seemed to steam at the episode to even be able to crack a smirk.

My grandmother was both intentionally funny — and funny without even trying. Her logic was eccentric to say the least. I miss her.

But I can still heartily laugh.

When I did Chaser News the first time, I was unrepentantly silly.

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I used the now-defunct Meez animations of myself constantly.

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Those were ones that had a life on that platform. I change my hair constantly; so it was always a reflection of my current look, or one from the past.

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They were meant to poke fun at the world as much as myself.

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They were popular enough that people who read the site went to get their own Meez, but I had a lot of people use mine because of the silly things I thought up.

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I was often surprised where I stumbled upon them. They eventually got spun off in another even more eccentric venture of mine, developed into characters, and then while the animations were gone, they became central to A Dangerous Woman Story Studio.

But even though they took a life of their own, they were cryptic messages. They were fun and funny, but they were secret code for other things.

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These days, people get too offended that someone is fun and funny. They want everyone to be as angry and miserable as they are.

They put every word under the microscope and make up bullshit why this joke is wrong.

No, you’re just not self-actualized.

But I am self-actualized. I was self-actualized back then because I could poke fun at myself with ease.

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But I still had serious and important things to say.

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And still do. More so, even.

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I don’t need the Meez, even though I bring the ladies back every once in a while here.

Because watching empires fall is an interesting thing to observe.

Everyone talks about the diminishing clout of the US, but the dirty little secret is that all empires are falling. China, Germany, UK, all of them.

And it isn’t just countries. Big Tech is falling. Legacy journalism fell already. Hollywood is falling. Companies are falling. Political parties are falling.

And that should get you thinking. Where are the resources? Why is everything teetering?

The era of the empire is falling.

Socialism, communism, fascism, none of those fake alternatives are coming into play because they need traction they do not actually have.

Something strange is happening. There is a huge black hole, and no one sees it; let alone venture inside to see what has happened to things, from wealth, power, resources, fun, and funny.

The question is do I want to venture into another vortex?

Or do I want to create something else that blows it away without having to bother with it in the first place…?

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Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules: Alinsky, Jugendstil, and the Oranje Machine. How the Left rests on their laurels at their own risk.

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Saul Alinsky was a very interesting man. He was the bane of Republican existence because he was an Intrepid of sorts, breaking the code that kept many people and groups in poverty for far too long.

Alinsky was clever and observant, and his book Rules for Radicals became the war manual for the American Left.

You can see the faithful adherence to Alinsky in much of political discourse, and you see much of it used in publications such as the New York Times. The structure of thought is unmistakable. Saturday Night Live lives by #5.

Alinsky tested his own rules in his lifetime, but once he passed, no one really bothered to refine his rules. There is a blind adherence to them, and after decades, the cracks are more than just beginning to show: the cracks are revealing a lot of rot from those applying those rules.

In my book, I outline how Rule #5 backfired on the Left.

But it is not the only rule that no longer works because it has serious limitations if mishandled:

4. "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules."

More specifically,:

 If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.

Which is all well and good...so long as your enemy does not see through your ruse, and then make you live up to all of your rules.

Because the rule has a built in assumption that you are living up to all of your rules as well. Credibility is not in a vacuum: if one hypocrite points out the sins of another, you are at a stalemate at best, but at worst, you become the bigger hypocrite, trying to deflect attention away from your own sins by pretending that you have the moral authority to pick on someone who isn't applauding you. 

Alinsky's rules were not universal: they were designed to help a very specific demographic. Not Left-wing people, but poor people who had no resources. The book was the slingshots for Davids who were up against Goliaths. One Goliath fighting another changes the dynamics; and hence, the rules begin to fall apart.

All rules have their limits. People who look for hacks and shortcuts think there is such a thing as TORTEE, and then believe mindlessly following the rule to the letter is the key to winning at life.

Alinsky tested his rules with a very specific group of people fighting another very specific group of people: two uneven groups with different experiences and resources.

You cannot be a rich and educated white collar type who thinks they can pass as a poor and dispossessed person and the rule will still work.

Because all someone has to do is use Rule #4 on you, and the rest of the other rules become neutralized.

This is not weakness in Alinsky's rules. It is merely the failure of those who blindly followed them without foresight or empiricism.

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In the late 1800s, the Vienna Secession was a fascinating art movement where you had young artists rebel against their Establishment counterparts. They broke away, and were part of the Art Nouveau style, known over there as  Jugendstil. 

Youth style.

The movement did not last too long for a reason: the architects of the movement, which includes Gustav Klimt, used the movement to establish themselves as serious artists, and then no longer needed the rebellion. They could not break through to express their own style and advances over the previous generation; so they made their own movement, labelled it as such, did things differently, got noticed, and then no longer needed to use an outsider's handbook once they were insiders.

It did its job. The end. Move on.

But somehow, the Left are still clinging on to Alinsky, not questioning why the rules have remained static, or whether another set of strategies may be in order.

The rules are starting to backfire. We have lots of chest-thumping, but all things considered, the returns have become increasingly disappointing.

That's why you cannot always stick to the old rules. While we have old texts such as The Art of War, The Prince, and The 36 Stratagems of War, that are still being used, even these "rules for war-mongers" have serious limitations. For example, one of the 36 Stratagems is this one:

聲東擊西/声东击西

Or, make a sound in the east, then strike in the west.

This often is a good ruse or deception: make an enemy believe that you are focussed in one place, but are planning to strike them from a place where they do not expect you to hit.

But should the enemy have foresight and see your pattern of thought, they can easily force your hand to make a sound east, because they want you to try to strike them in the west.

If they have lured, primed, and groomed you, they can make it seem as if it was your idea to deflect their attention.

If you adhere too blindly to the rules, they become your prison walls and you become too afraid and untrained to be able to know when to deviate from them or abandon them completely.

Sports is often a very good analogy for combat: it is like watching a living chess board of plays and strategies. Boxing is a fantastic sport that makes various strategies intuitive, but football (i.e., soccer), is also a very good live action version of strategy.

Here, rules can work for a while, until someone cracks the code, and then neutralize the rules.

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Oranje Machine used to be The Netherlands' seemingly unstoppable football team, usually making it into the final four of World Cup soccer. They had the winning strategy -- until, of course, other teams started studying it and then beating them to the point that they weren't in this year's World Cup at all.

They keep sticking to the rules that now work against them.

Spain and Germany have also seen their old methods lose out to newer plays. It worked for you once, or even fifty times, but some Intrepid can still crack your code and find a way to beat you at your old game.

Alinsky's rules are suffering in much the same way: they were meant to be applied and refined, not memorized and then used as part of a ritual or habit.

The rules were not some sort of answer key used to now cheat on every test, thinking you never have to study ever again. Alinsky did not just make up the rules from whole cloth: it took a lot of trial and error, and these were the best strategies for the completely powerless to use during the days when there were media gate-keepers who held all the cards.

In 2018, having A-list actors play the same gambits from their limos as they disparage poor working-class people for not voting the way they were told by Hollywood is a gross misapplication of Alinsky.

Because Alinsky's rules were entirely situational: the rules play out differently when you are poor, than when you are rich, and are not based on political affiliation. They do not work well for the wealthy Left against the poor Right because if you are expecting poor people to live up to their book of rules when their financial hardships make it impossible, that is more than a little insensitive.

That is as immoral as you can get.

Alinksy's rules need an update. They did for the last thirty plus years. Like journalism, those who follow those rules never gave their own personal evolution a second thought, and thus, neglected to modernize their methods.

Art Nouveau did not last long for a genre, but it was the personal success of those who pushed for their own professional breakthrough that made it unnecessary. They were educated and exposed in the old ways, and when they tried to modernize their profession, were met with resistance.

And then they broke away, writing their own manifestos and opened up a new market for younger patrons by making art accessible and a more personal experience. Once they built up their new audience, they moved on away from their movement.

Somehow, modern thought is stuck in a vortex and is stagnating.

Because we are still following the old rules that no longer apply...

Building an alternative to journalism requires a sense of levity, even in darkness.

Humour is often misused to put down people, as well as ridicule their beliefs and shame them for their actions.

It was one of Saul Alinky's Rules for Radicals, and everything from The Daily Show to Saturday Night Live to even late night talk shows do nothing but use humour as a weapon.

False humour has a thread of arrogance: it makes assumptions that the comedian knows everything and can make decrees of what is acceptable and what is not.

It is pure patriarchal.

F.R.E.E.D. uses constructive levity to show facts and building a map of solutions -- and more than one.

There is no sink or swim fallacy. There is no forced choice. There is no fear-mongering or shaming.

It is about bringing rationality without the arrogant pecking order assumptions to it.

It is not a comedy routine. It is not about trivializing serious issues.

But it is about opening paths to reveal new facts, and giving enough time and space for rational and emotionally literate reflection...