Trump, Bannon, and DO YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENS?

It is now over a week after the election, and we have not woken up from the horrorshow that Trump is now President. I don’t write that as a liberal or a Democrat or a social democrat, I write that as a person with a functional brain. The man who is the hero of shysters, racists, anti-semites, and sexists everywhere is now President of the United States. For a while, there, my Facebook feed was filled with two camps of the left-leaning: One camp was filled with pretty much nothing but horror and the second was filled with the rhetoric that would become the rhetoric of the Democratic leadership following the results: One of reconciliation, rhetoric that stated that it was possible that Trump was tapping into darkness to get re-elected, and, now that he was facing office, would heavily moderate his views, and we just had to give him a chance.

Well, he went and gave Fucking Bannon the post of Chief Strategist. This is a man who does not deserve a first name, this Fucking Bannon. As chief of Breitbart, he’s given the world headline gems like:

  • Would you rather your child had feminism or cancer?
  • Bill Kristol, Republican spoiler, renegade Jew
  • Hoist it high and proud: The Confederate flag proclaims a glorious heritage
  • There’s no hiring bias against women in tech, they just suck at interviews

There are more, of course, but it’s quite early in the morning and I’d rather not poison my day too much.

So, my question to you folks is: At what point do you face up to the fact that Trump’s Presidency is the literal embodiment of an Alex Jones radio show – he has, in fact, gone on Alex Jones’s show and praised the crazy person for his rhetoric and help in getting as far as he has in the election. Trump is, in fact, a big fan of that particular crazy person. People, it’s like that crazy person you have in your family who gets drunk on holidays became elected President, is what I’m saying.

Anyway, the question that’s been populating the web for the last week is how did we get here? Well, I think the answer is simple: The left doesn’t vote enough. I’m not talking just this election, I’m talking historically. And you can point to Presidential elections all you want, but as I wrote about back in October 2015 after looking at a couple of elections in a couple of Tennessee counties, people don’t vote downballot nearly enough. But what is “downballot?” Good question! It’s basically any office in the bottom half of the ballot. Depending on the election, that could be something like your local Sheriff or your state representative, or an initiative to raise money for outdoor schools. (Or, in Oregon’s case, a hefty tax on corporations that failed.)

People tend to focus on the President and nothing else – at least the national rhetoric does. The damaging thing about this is that the really effective policies are decided at state legislative levels. Don’t believe me? Consider the fact that Republicans in most legislatures have been able to twist districts, set voting laws, set local laws, and so much more to their hearts’ content of the past, what, four elections, and there has been zero hard evidence that the DNC has been able to stop them. That speaks to a failure of leadership within the DNC, yes, but it also speaks to something severely disturbing within the left: If you can’t have been bothered to turn out and vote locally in all elections starting from years ago, then why should anyone think you’ll do any different in the future?

Take a gander at this article about the recent protests in Portland and how many of those protesters voted during the election. KGW’s reporting states that over half of the protesters arrested following the election didn’t vote, and then they quote one of the protesters who says that the Electoral College is the only thing that matters, completely missing the point that there is more to an election than the fucking Presidency.

Now, look, the point in all of this is that the left has to seriously wake up and realize that the elections outside the Presidency really fucking matter and that you can point to the election results for voters between 18-35 all you want and say, “The future is blue,” but that does not change the fact that unless those voters also turn out during off-year elections (and finish their goddamn ballots, did I mention that?), then the Presidency doesn’t matter at all.

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A Brief Guide to Dealing with the Curmudgeon in Your Life

Hi Internet!

Since about 75% of the people I know have, in the last month, decided, en masse, to call me a curmudgeon at every opportunity, I’ve decided to write up a small guide detailing how you, someone who has optimism that has not yet been crushed by the world, can care for (read: bear to be around and/or kind of but not really understand) the curmudgeon in your life.

Jobs

Remember that your curmudgeon probably had hopes and dreams at one point. Yes, much like yourself, your curmudgeon once aspired to make his or her living by working full time in the arts, but, upon realizing that doing so would take either an inordinate amount of luck or a willingness to live with parents, decided that just getting a job and pursuing art outside of that would be easier. The curmudgeon is a sort who has wired him or herself to look at the world not through rose-tinted glasses, but through extremely dark sunglasses. Doing so allows the curmudgeon to function in a way that sort of mimics normal human behavior, but also still mine day-to-day life for ideas to fuel their art. When discussing jobs with your curmudgeon, be prepared for cynicism brought on by endless reading about labor exploitation, the increasing wage gap, decrease in middle-class jobs, increase in workplace automation, and any number of other topics that are constantly bouncing around in your curmudgeon’s brain. Above all else, don’t respond with exasperation, because that will just lead to another rant about how no one’s bothering to pay attention to the economic collapse that’s surely coming.

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The Witcher 3: Not That Great

Every couple of years, there’s some game that comes out that becomes the milestone against which all other games of the genre are gauged. For strategy enthusiasts, it’s something like Crusader Kings 2. For FPS fans it [should have been] Wolfenstein: The New Order. For the RPG, this year’s choice has become The Witcher 3. If you spend more time on the Internet than you should, like I do, you’ll see dozens of articles and hundreds of comments about the game, extolling its virtues as the pinnacle of open-world RPGs; they’ll talk about how Geralt’s actions have consequences, how the characters’ relationships are true-to-life; how the motivations are real; how you can avoid violence all the time. They’ll go on for hundreds of words, salivating and making sure that you know that they know The Truth: True RPG gamers should be playing The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt.

It is my humble contention that that assertion is bullshit. This is now What I’m Going to Write Today. It’s either this or another thinkpiece, this time about how Bernie Sanders still probably won’t win the nomination because he doesn’t have support among African-American Democrats. I’ll talk about my creds as a not-entirely-enthusiastic RPG gamer, my experience so far with The Witcher, my (much better) experience with Fallout 4, my super-great experience with Dragon Age: Inquisition, and, my super-super great experience with another, surprise game.

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