Posts Tagged ‘activism’

By R.C. Seely

NEXT MONTH IS the midterm elections, the chance to feel you are important and being heard. We are told the patriotic thing to do is “go vote” if we don’t; you are deplorable, hate this country and all is lost… It’s the END OF ALL CIVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT! Easy there, this is never the case. That’s how duopoly politicians and supporters want you to see the world. There’s only two options and in some way the opposition is evil. Truth is both right and wrong policy choices, and there are other options.

Despite all their propaganda, this is not the fall of the United States. It survived, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, it will survive the Talking Cheeto AKA Donald Trump.

The Democrats have been apoplectic since his election, going on pretty much every tangent–no matter how flimsy the evidence to support the claim. And if they can’t win with their “Russian collision” they are currently trying with their luck with the Saudi Arabia debacle.

Since that hasn’t–and probably will continue not to work–they will more than likely be turning back to the duopoly’s other major tactic, obstruction. They are been attempting this in pretty much every policy and with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. None of which has really been effective, even with the Twitter calls of action by Taylor Swift or protests by Alyssa Milano.

Despite all this, the Democratic Party has stood tall in their declaration that a “blue wave is coming” and it’s the “end of the GOP.” Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Heard this before from both sides, it hasn’t happened yet. Could it happen? Maybe, if so it would more than likely be that both parties are abandoned.

Here is the major obstacles for the duopoly:

Diminish the opposition support. That’s more difficult to do when the opposition is in power. And with the controversial manner they handled the Kavanaugh nomination, the Republican base is at a fever pitch. They are extremely angry and that will surely carry over to the midterm elections.

Excite their own base. That’s difficult when your party are mostly activists. They have a habit of not following their protests with actions. Due to their unreliability, they pose a serious problem for the “blue wave.”

Enlist the Third Party and independent voters. This is actually problem the biggest obstacle for either duopoly party. Neither one is particularly effective at reaching out to the independent voter. They are an enigma to them and what’s more they don’t seem to listen to them. Both are accustomed to telling their base to get out and vote, or else. An independent voter will simply ask them, “or else what?” When they clearly can’t answer, that’s when they lose them.

The Democratic Party had an opportunity to be the bigger man, they chose not. If they want to grow their party with independent voters they are going about it all wrong. They have to actually listen and be genuinely engaged in a discussion with an independent voter. No shallow sound bites or doomsday hyperbole. Offer real solutions and answer questions, give the independent voter security that you are sincere and at least heard them out. And this all goes to the Republicans as well.

There are a few that understand this and can reach out, Rand Paul is one them. Polls taken after the presidential election showed he could have taken out Hillary Clinton, with a gathering of Republicans, Democrats and independents. If his campaign had the funding of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and Trump and the Republican elite hadn’t pushed him out, he probably would be our president now. But then we wouldn’t have the entertainment of another pop culture president or the call for blue wave, that appears to by nothing but a light rain.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture, with an upcoming new book Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible in the works.

By R.C. Seely

IS BURGER KING THE king of burgers? Hard to say since the Burger industry has so many choices. And the king has decided to go social activists rather than focus on their product.

Starting with a misleading video on Net Neutrality, the chain now introduced an anti-bullying PSA.

Now what’s wrong with that? You might be asking. It could be nothing, but it gives the impression that they care more about social justice than their customers.

Take the new ad, they have teen actors pretend to bully another teen and send their customers “bullied” burgers, and record the reactions. Will the customers be more upset about the burgers or the bullied? If it were me, I’d be furious that they care more about catering to activists than to paying customers.

I don’t go to Burger King often, so losing my business would be imperceptible to their bottom line but that they value their customers, so little is troubling. Especially when the market has so many options and burgers, are not their only competition. Fast food and restaurants are a demonstration of the success possible in the free market.

If examined, there are probably already signs of distress within the company because this. Keep in mind this merely speculation on my part.

Besides the willingness to dismiss their customers, the causes they are advancing, and the marketing campaigns are baffling. So far, Net Neutrality and bullying are their causes. And both campaigns have issues; the Net Neutrality one is blatantly wrong in their analogy and the bullying one is inviting a lawsuit.

Either they don’t understand Net Neutrality, or they are on the wrong side. To do their concept accurately it would have to be, the customers getting more than the asked for. Net Neutrality using their burger analogy would be the customer orders a a burger and they are served the burger and a chicken sandwich, fries, a chocolate shake, a dessert and everything else off the menu. Or they never get the burger at all and only get everything else that you don’t want.

As for the other ad, I’m confused exactly what they were expecting the customers in their establishment to do. Verbally confront the “bullies?” But what if the patrons turned violent on the actors? That’s not even all that unlikely given how passionately people have gotten on the issue. Or worse what if one of the patrons were armed? Is the little impromptu theater worth the life of one of these actors? It’s not the patrons’ responsibility to make and keep a safe environment, it’s the business owners.

However you look at it, this idea by Burger King management is asking for trouble, starting with that it appears both ads are online only. The chain could have put these ads online and on TV, a plan that would make more sense. Maybe it’s just my skeptical nature, but when things don’t add up, it generally is because of the worst case scenario. In this case, I suspect they are trying to reach a specific demographic, the youth. Those passionate youth, that will cause “the next social revolution” and won’t question these causes. Can we just get the fries and hold the social justice, please?

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books on pop culture and has an upcoming new release–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible.

By R.C. Seely

AS PERPLEXED AS I GET from Democrats who vehemently hate Trump or the Hollywood Republicans that continually dismiss his faltering there is a group that confuses me more than both combined. The Hollywood Republicans who hate Trump. Most of them seem confused on the Republican part.

The two most noteworthy are Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Both are confused about guns in the party platform. Stallone calling for an all-out ban that makes Michael Moore sound reasonable. He adopted this attitude shortly after the death of Phil Hartman. Arnold’s not much better but has a far less benevolent justification saying he’s a “peace loving kind of guy.” If that’s true, then start by leaving us gun owners alone.

This is not the only issue the “Terminator” is confused on, he’s also a hard-core environmentalist. And he’s eager to take on the oil companies with full force. He charges that the oil companies are intentionally and without regards “killing people all over the world” by providing manipulated data on environmental change, and he’s determined to take them to court currently meeting with private law firms.

From The Hill:

“Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is planning to sue oil companies, alleging they are ‘knowingly killing people all over the world.’

‘This is no different from the smoking issue. The tobacco industry knew for years and years and years and decades that smoking would kill people, would harm people and create cancer, and were hiding that fact from the people and denied it. Then eventually they were taken to court and had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars because of that,’ Schwarzenegger, a global environmental activist, said.

‘The oil companies knew from 1959 on, they did their own study that there would be global warming happening because of fossil fuels, and on top of it that it would be risky for people’s lives, that it would kill.’

Schwarzenegger accused oil companies of being irresponsible and vowed to go after them.

‘It’s absolutely irresponsible to know that your product is killing people and not have a warning label on it, like tobacco,’ he said.

‘Every gas station on it, every car should have a warning label on it, every product that has fossil fuels should have a warning label on it.’

He said he hopes to spread awareness about the harmful effects of fossil fuels.

‘I don’t think there’s any difference: If you walk into a room and you know you’re going to kill someone, it’s first-degree murder,’ he said during the interview.

‘I think it’s the same thing with the oil companies.’ “

I don’t put stake on the opinions of celebrities when it comes to the issues anyways but this idea of “labeling all fossil fuel” consuming products and taking out companies is particularly absurd. That will cost them massive amounts of money in a pointless Kabuki theater for egotistical means.

Schwarzenegger may believe what he claims or he’s simply trying to get attention, I don’t really care his goals, I do care that if he succeeds this will cost the consumer at the gas pumps. I care that he’s not using his influence to privatize the energy market, giving the consumer better access to alternative fuels. Getting rid of the federal subsidies on energy would force them to listen to the consumer and start manufacturing products that are more environmental friendly. Because that’s what the consumer demands.

When Trump cut the funding for social services–Meals on Wheels and after school programs–Schwarzenegger stepped up and started his own charity program to aid them, I applaud him for that. But why not do that for other issues he feels passionately about?

Instead he would rather side with the environmental activists and Trump haters. Parroting the “Russians make him say certain things” and condemning his failure to call out racists after the Charlottesville shooting.

Trump and Schwarzenegger have been having a very public feud for quite a while now on Twitter. It’s covered both men’s shortcomings, and both have had bruised egos. It makes sense that Schwarzenegger is holding a grudge but get over it and start researching.

He derides Trump if he wants to bring back more coal mines that it would be detrimental to the since it’s “dirty energy.” Actually, it’s not, and majority of our energy is coal. Our energy sector is based on a system that utilizes fossil fuels, changing that takes time and money, a cost that taxpayers shouldn’t have to burden. Environmental activists are the ones concerned, they should be the ones to take the burden. The “warning signs” of environmental calamity have been going off for hundreds of years, there’s no excuse for letting it reach critical.

The Republican Party is supposed to be about limiting government, not limiting personal choices. While the party has a history of faltering on that, the stances these two Hollywood “Republicans” have taken are even worse. They don’t understand the consequences of what they propose. What they want will hurt people and leave them less safe. It hurts those that haven’t done anything wrong, takes away their choices and makes them further subservient to federal government.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books on pop culture and has a new upcoming release–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible.

By R.C. Seely

WE HAVE TO DO IT, IT’S “for the kids.” We have to continue the War on Drugs, “for the kids.” We have to pass gun control, “for the kids.” We have to enforce EPA regulations, “for the kids.” We have to go to war, “for the kids.” We have stop internet porn, “for the kids.” We have to empower NAMBLA, “for the kids.”… Okay that last one could be a little far-fetched, but I think you see my point. We have to pass all these laws and give up all our rights, “for the kids.” This could be some of the most disturbing and gross manipulative emotional and psychological tactics utilized by activists. And clearly, it’s used by moralists on both sides, Republican and Democrats alike.

The worst I’ve seen is the rampant manipulation of the children prior to the Parkland shooting, especially of David Hogg. I don’t know if the shooting is his only intention or not, and it doesn’t really matter. Either way, Hogg is being used by the gun control activists. He’s still a minor and easily swayed by emotional arguments rather than logical–as we all are when we are younger.

This is not to say he doesn’t have arguments that should be ignored, he has an opinion and he’s entitled to it and to speak freely. It doesn’t mean action should be done because of it. He’s scared and believes stricter gun control is the right course, I doubt he’s read up on the information that discredits that. Before a few months ago, he probably didn’t read anything other than his textbooks. And his biggest concerns were his acne and the girl (or maybe boy) in the row in front of him.

Another activist, Emma Gonzalez, is a different matter, even before the shooting she was an activist for gay rights and started the Never Again movement in response to the shooting. Just what the world needs, another emotional activist, getting her ego fed. I’ll bet these two loved their kudos from Oprah. Yea! You’re a winner!

The mantra during this has been there’s an “epidemic of gun violence” in the US. An epidemic! The numbers reported killed by guns–even if you include the leading cause, which are suicides, according to the CDC study–are in the low thousands. The population of the US is 300 million–what epidemic? How can you possibly be so heartless as to belittle these children? They suffered such a tragedy and are scared? It’s not only gun control activists that are scared after a shooting, it’s gun owners and gun rights activists that are and rightly so.

For that short period after a tragedy, activists will use anything and anyone for their agenda. Children become emotional pawns in the game because they act before they think. It makes them perfect spokesmen for political action. Calls for gun control, for example, are at an all time high after a shooting but return to normal a couple of months later, that leaves a short window for gun grabbers. Having the children out campaigning for it makes it all the more difficult to say no.

The children activists are basically the political version of the temper tantrums at the grocery store for not getting their favorite cereal. It’s okay to tell them no.

While the focus of this writing has been on gun control, this despicable tactic has been effectively used to advance many other goals, many noted at the beginning paragraph. It’s effective in getting prohibitions passed because we have an innate primordial instinct to protect children, even they are not related to us in any way. That makes it an evolutionary Achilles heel, but if you want to protect the children, protect their rights not attempt to protect them from their rights.

The world isn’t perfect and complete security is an unobtainable utopian dream, things happen, some good some tragic, but making your children safe won’t be accomplished by giving into fear or emotional blackmail. That’s the best thing you can do “for the kids.”

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books on pop culture and has new upcoming book–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible–soon to be released.

By R.C. Seely

COLIN KAEPERNICK CREATED a sense of notoriety for himself when he decided that he wouldn’t stand for the national anthem. Since then, the NFL and many of the owners have sanctioned the idea and made it the new policy.

Besides the original protests, Kaepernick joined with the Native American “Unthanksgiving” movement. There has been enough discussion on this matter, so I won’t further engage in it (besides at this point I find it simply boring). Critics of Kaepernick and the other players have called him ungrateful, which got me thinking about gratitude … What is it? How does it affect us?

Author Melody Beattie, has this to say:

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” 

    

As appealing as that literary declaration is, does it have anything more substantial to back it? According to a Forbes article by Amy Morin on the subject, yes it does. Here’s a sample:

… In fact, gratitude may be one of the most overlooked tools [for improving health] that we all have access to every day. Cultivating gratitude doesnt cost any money and it certainly doesnt take much time, but the benefits are enormous. Research reveals gratitude can have these seven benefits: 

1. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. Not only does sayingthank youconstitute good manners, but showing appreciation can help you win new friends, according to a 2104 study published in Emotion

2. Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Not surprisingly, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular checkups with their doctors, which is likely to contribute to further longevity.

3. Gratitude improves psychological healthGratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and wellbeing. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression

4. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggressionGrateful people are more likely to behave in a prosocial manner, even when others behave less kind, according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky

5. Grateful people sleep better. Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and WellBeing

6. Gratitude improves selfesteemA 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased athletes selfesteem, which is an essential component to optimal performance

7. Gratitude increases mental strengthFor years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma…”


     Kaepernick and the rest of the NFL need to learn a lesson about gratitude, being grateful for their audience. That’s what the major issue has been. Other celebrities have done their protesting at inappropriate times, on the audiences time, and paid the price for it as well. Linda Ronstadt did an anti-bush tirade during a performance in Las Vegas and was booed. That’s not giving gratitude to those who came to hear you sing. Then there are bands like Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold, who can get away with it, but why? It’s more acceptable because both have social and political activism built into their songs. It’s a part of the show that the audience paid for.

    More specifically to the NFL, they not only disrespected the audience, but demonstrated they’re out of touch with them. Many sports enthusiasts are conservative patriots, who view such actions as intolerable. Yes, the players have a right to free speech but at times expressing your views does have consequences. 

    If the NFL wants to gain back the support of their audience they will have to demonstrate they are willing to listen them and the sponsors. Others wise it appears they don’t appreciate them and aren’t dependent on them–which they are! For starters, publicly apologize and don’t let the players protest before the games, save that for their own time.

    As for the issue they are protesting, this is not an effective way to reach people; when a group of rich athletes do a stunt like that they appear out of touch. If they want to demonstrate they truly care, they have to donate their money and time to make those areas of economic turmoil better. Or use your assets to fight against the laws that keep those who live in squalor out of modern slavery–policies such as, the “War on Poverty,” government run Indian reservations or the social welfare programs. 

    I don’t know if Kaepernick, or any of the NFL protestors for that matter, are doing this for themselves or to help others. Fighting against police brutality is an admirable cause but not if you alienate those around you. If you don’t see what you have to be appreciative, you can’t see clearly how fix problems in your life, let alone the world. Gratitude clears your mind and body, making everything better. If Kaepernick had been more grateful he wouldn’t have dropped the ball in his career or his activism.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.