CLINTON/SANDERS ’16

MANY DEMOCRATIC VOTERS, SIX MONTHS AGO:

“No matter what happens, guys, whoever gets nominated, we have to support them. Bashing Democrats is not productive. We shouldn’t make personal attacks on either Hillary or Bernie, and especially not on their supporters. If we do that, it pretty much guarantees that a Republican will get elected.”

 

MANY DEMOCRATIC VOTERS TODAY:

“I don’t trust Hillary! She’s in bed with Wall Street and big business!”

“Bernie is out of his mind! Look at him! That ‘wealth redistribution’ nonsense sounds good on paper, but he’s delusional if he thinks it’ll actually work!”

“Hillary is a hypocrite! She talks a good game about criminal justice reform, but her husband’s escalation of the ‘War On Drugs’ is a big reason why we need criminal justice reform in the first place! A person would have to be STUPID to think she’s changed her mind on any of that stuff!”

“Bernie simply does not have the experience to run for President. Hillary is WAY more experienced with international politics, and only an IDIOT would want Bernie Sanders representing our nation abroad!”

“HILLARY SUCKS!”

“BERNIE SUCKS!”

“HILLARY SUPPORTERS ARE PLAYING ‘IDENTITY POLITICS’!”

“BERNIE SUPPORTERS ARE BIGOTS!”

Etc., etc., etc.

 

MICHAEL NATHAN WALKER, SIX MONTHS AGO:

“It’s probably not gonna happen, but I would like to see Hillary and Bernie on the same ticket. They do have quite a few views that are pretty far apart from each other, but that sort of ideological tension would be good for the office of President and for our country in general. The GOP is obsolete, in terms of actual constructive policies, and they should be treated as such. Hillary and Bernie have differences, and they butt heads over these differences, but at least the issues they butt heads over are important issues, not like the personal attacks and reactionary nonsense the GOP butts heads with itself over.

Let’s argue over this stuff after they’re both in the White House, guys.

CLINTON/SANDERS ’16!”

 

MICHAEL NATHAN WALKER TODAY:

“It’s probably not gonna happen, but I would like to see Hillary and Bernie on the same ticket. They do have quite a few views that are pretty far apart from each other, but that sort of ideological tension would be good for the office of President and for our country in general. The GOP is obsolete, in terms of actual constructive policies, and they should be treated as such. Hillary and Bernie have differences, and they butt heads over these differences, but at least the issues they butt heads over are important issues, not like the personal attacks and reactionary nonsense the GOP butts heads with itself over.

Let’s argue over this stuff after they’re both in the White House, guys.

CLINTON/SANDERS ’16!”

SPORTS ANALOGY FOR POLITICS IN THE USA

(Here is the final Facebook “note” I am copy/pasting to my blog. It was written in November 2014. It’s still pretty much applicable, in my opinion. — MNW)

Hey guys…before you get yer panties in a bunch, let me state for the record that this is meant to be mildly humorous. But at the same time, hopefully, it will more or less ring true. Anyways, all comments are welcome, as usual.

Without any further ado, I will attempt to answer this burning question:

IF THE TWO MAINSTREAM POLITICAL PARTIES IN THE USA WERE PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL TEAMS, WHAT WOULD HOME GAMES BE LIKE?

Let’s start with the Democrats, shall we? Ok, great:

AT THE DEM STADIUM:

Basic tickets cost a little more than the ones at the GOP stadium. This extra money is put towards stadium maintenance and basic amenities for fans, such as complimentary rain parkas.

Sky boxes and other high-end seating are open to anyone with the money to pay for them. These seats are significantly more expensive than similar ones at the GOP stadium.

No guns are allowed in or around the stadium.

The stadium and surrounding areas are policed by a light security team who only intervenes when it is absolutely necessary. Use of force is discouraged.

 

AT THE GOP STADIUM:

Regular tickets are a little cheaper than those at the Democratic stadium. However, a ticket does not entitle its holder entry to the stadium. A ticket entitles the holder to enter the parking lot/tailgating area, where purchase of a temporary, non-refundable tailgating permit is required.

Rain parkas are available from vendors, but are in limited supply. Regulations restrict vendors from buying enough parkas for all the fans, the theory behind this being something to do with supply and demand and the free market. Prices fluctuate, but tend to average somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 per parka. Bringing your own parka from home is strictly prohibited and can result in felony convictions.

Sky boxes and other high-end seating comprise 99% of the stadium’s seats. These seats (and all amenities entitled thereto) are financed through a quasi-legal series of transactions and are rarely paid for by the people sitting in them. The remaining 1% of actual in-stadium seating is given out via lottery. Winners are repeatedly told how lucky they are throughout the game, but are only allowed to actually sit and watch the game after they are certain the high-end ticket holders have plenty of refreshments.

All ticket holders are required to carry firearms.

Stadium and surrounding areas are heavily policed, and guards are encouraged to use deadly force as they see fit. An unwritten rule states that no fewer than one and no more than seven fans should be beaten and/or tasered to death on any given game day. This rule is widely held to be a useful deterrent against mischief, despite studies that suggest otherwise.

Pre-game prayer is mandatory. Prayer is led by one of the Duck Dynasty guys. Anyone caught without his or her head bowed during the prayer gets publicly flogged; failure to audibly say “amen” at the correct moment can result in a prison sentence of up to five years.

 

“IDENTITY POLITICS” — A TRAGICOMEDY COMING SOON TO AN ECHO CHAMBER NEAR YOU

IDENTITY POLITICS

________________________

                            A play in one act

                            by

                            Michael Nathan Walker

 

 

 

Copyright © 2016, by Michael Nathan Walker

 

 

 

DRAMATIS PERSONAE
 

Kris Anyoneson:                             A Person
Pat Quicumque:                              A Person

 

 

 

Scene
Literally anywhere in the world.

Time
The present.

 

 

ACT I
 

Scene 1
 

SETTING: The setting of this brief tragicomedy is not static; this aspect of the production is left entirely up to the director and/or production designer. Mise-en-scène and costume design are intended to reflect the local customs of wherever the play is being performed in a noncommittal, generic sort of way. Literally any place where two persons might speak to each other is acceptable, and creativity in this regard is encouraged.

AT RISE: KRIS ANYONESON and PAT QUICUMQUE are both at center stage, perhaps waiting for a bus, perhaps sitting on a bench, perhaps standing, perhaps sitting at a table in a restaurant facing each other, perhaps sitting at a table in one of their homes facing each other, perhaps standing and facing each other, perhaps sitting on a couch next to each other; this aspect of the production is also left entirely up to the director and/or production designer, and creativity in this regard is encouraged.

KRIS
So, have you given much thought to the upcoming election?

PAT
Yes, I have.

KRIS
Me, too. I think I am going to vote for H. Sapienza. Sapienza’s policies are agreeable to me personally, and they reflect the worldview I have developed for myself. I think my worldview is a pretty reasonable one, and therefore I want to vote for someone who reflects my own worldview and promotes the ideas I believe in.

PAT
You poor deluded fool! Your political opinion is incredibly self-centered. I don’t mean to be condescending, but your choice of candidate reflects very poorly on you as a human being.

KRIS
Luckily for you, I am not the type of person who takes offense easily, Pat. You may not have intended to sound condescending with your previous statement, nonetheless it could easily be interpreted by a reasonable person as not only condescending but downright insulting. But being that we are friends, I will refrain from responding in kind and ask you to clarify your position.

PAT
I apologize, Kris! I did not mean to come across the way I apparently came across! It’s just that matters such as these are important, and I feel compelled to speak of them in terms which reflect this importance! Please accept my apology!

KRIS
Apology accepted. Now please, explain your position.

PAT
But of course. When people base their voting decisions upon their personal worldview, they are harming society as a whole. They are putting their own personal interests above and beyond the greater good.

KRIS
The greater good, you say?

PAT
Yes, my friend, the greater good. That which benefits everyone, that which rises above the petty concerns of individuals and benefits society as a whole.

KRIS
Interesting.

PAT
Oh, it’s much more than interesting, my friend, it’s essential! We must stop thinking of ourselves as individuals, and start thinking collectively! We must make sacrifices in order to benefit everyone equally!

KRIS
That certainly sounds reasonable.

PAT
Reasonable, indeed! Now do you see the folly of your worldview, you poor, deluded soul?

KRIS
Well, no. No, I don’t. And honestly, I am having a hard time believing that you are not trying to sound condescending.

PAT
Again, I apologize! But as I mentioned before, these matters are too important to act blasé about them! We shouldn’t sink to the level of the animal and base our decisions on creature comforts alone…

KRIS
Alright, that’s enough of that. I have listened to your point of view, the least you can do is listen to mine.

PAT
No need to be rude about it, my friend. Please, state your case.

KRIS
Well, Pat, I didn’t just wake up one morning with my own personal worldview. It’s something I have developed over many years, through many long hours of study and personal reflection. And frankly, I resent your implication that this worldview is somehow shallow and deluded.

PAT
I didn’t mean to be insulting, Kris.

KRIS
Right. You keep saying that, so you obviously believe it to be true.

PAT
Obviously. I just think you should be less self-centered when it comes to your political views.

KRIS
OK.

PAT
You should think of the greater good, what is best for the most people, when you choose a candidate.

KRIS
I suppose it’s hard to argue with that.

PAT
Indeed it is, my friend, indeed it is.

KRIS
Indeed. I just have one question for you, Pat. Who gets to decide what constitutes the greater good? Where should I go to find out what the greater good actually consists of? Who should advise me on how to act on behalf of the greater good?

PAT
Well, Kris, I’ll tell you what I think:

 

(CURTAIN)

ECHO CHAMBERS (AND HOW TO BREAK OUT OF THEM)

SOMEWHERE ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

A: “Hi everyone. I am a member of (minority group). I would like to talk about my experiences as a member of (minority group). I would like to hear about the experiences of other members of (minority group).”

B: “Hi, A. I am B. I am also a member of (minority group). My experience has been [etc].”

C: “Hey guys, I am also a member of (minority group). My experience has been [etc].”

D: “I am not a member of (minority group), but I can tell you: you guys have got it all wrong!”

A: “Excuse me, D, um, you’re not really adding anything to this conversation. You don’t really know what it’s like to be a member of (minority group), so don’t pretend like you do. If you’d like to listen to us, that’s fine. We encourage that, actually, but please refrain from making comments that don’t further the discussion.”

D: “OMG you are racist! You hate (majority group)! I can’t believe you are treating me this way! I was just trying to say that people in (minority group) and people in (majority group) are exactly the same, and so are their experiences! There is no difference! My experience of life is exactly like everyone else’s, even people who are different than me!”

A: “Maybe if you’d just shut up and listen to us, you’d see that there are in fact differences in the experiences of people from (minority group) and people from (majority group). I agree, people are all basically the same, but our experiences aren’t.”

D: “I can’t believe how terribly you’re treating me! How dare you have a conversation where I am not the center of attention! You are a racist! I am appalled!”

B: “A, please block this person, so we can continue our conversation.”

C: “Yeah, as long as D is here, we’re not getting anywhere.”

D: “I am being discriminated against because I am a member of (majority group)! OMG I can’t believe you guys! You are such hypocrites!”

A: “…and blocked.”

B: “Good.”

C: “Great.”

 

D, enraged and genuinely offended, takes his imagined mistreatment to his own forum:

D: “OMG you guys! Seriously! (Minority group) is racist! They wouldn’t let me in their discussion about what it’s like to be a member of (minority group), and I was totally trying to contribute to the conversation you guys!”

E: “Typical. They talk about ‘discrimination’ and then discriminate against us. Hypocrites!”

F: “Hurr durr shoulda gave a trigger warning!”

G: “You invaded their ‘safe space’, huh huh.”

D: “[South Park clip]”

G: “Hahahahaha that is so sweet!”

H: “Um, guys, I read that conversation, and D was kinda, well, being a dick. D just kinda butted in with something that didn’t have anything to do with what they were talking about, then wouldn’t shut up when they asked him to. I eavesdropped on the conversation, and I learned some new insights about what it’s like to be a member of (minority group.)”

E: “But they wouldn’t let you in the conversation?”

H: “I didn’t really have anything to add. I just wanted to listen.”

D: “OMG you are such a pussbag you stupid pussbag! I was totally making a good point about how racist they are, and you come in here all ‘look at me, I am sooo tolerant of others and politically correct, ooh, I’m so nice to everybody’. Pussbag!”

G: “Huh, huh, regressive leftist, huh, huh.”

D: “[South Park clip]”

E: “This is a common occurrence among those individuals whose misguided notions about ‘equality’ lead them to self-loathing practices such as the one so pitifully illustrated here. It is obvious to anyone with any sort of moral sense that all conversations should be open to everyone, and that reason demands that all discussions remain open to all people, no matter how offensive their point of view may be. Forsooth, ’tis a sad day indeed when the so-called ‘liberals’ and ‘intellectuals’ in our grand society forsake their own will in a futile attempt to crawl across the desert of ‘political correctness’ to reach the elusive and illusory oasis of ‘multiculturalism,’ which everyone knows is a false idol only fools seek.”

F: “That is soooo deep, dude.”

E: “Thanks.”

G: “[Meme]”

H: “I kinda think you guys are blowing this out of proportion.”

D: “[South Park clip]”

G: “TRIGGER WARNING! Hahahahaha!”

E: “You are so misguided, H. Those people in (minority group) are all pathetic. They create an echo chamber where only their own views are allowed. They exclude all other viewpoints. And you are pathetic for your idiotic pandering to their blatant assault on freedom of speech.”

H: “Well, they were talking about something we as members of (majority group) don’t have any experience with. I mean, come on. None of us are professional baseball players. If a group of professional baseball players were talking about their experiences as professional baseball players, would any of us have anything to contribute to the conversation?”

G: “But there are professional baseball players from (minority group) and (majority group).”

H. “…yeah, but that isn’t really the point.”

D: “[South Park clip]”

E: “But you have to work very hard to become a professional baseball player. You don’t have to do anything but be born to be a member of (minority group).”

H: “That isn’t the point, either.”

F: “[Meme]”

H: “Look. All I am trying to say is that different people have different life experiences. And personally, I find it enriches my own life to learn about what life is like for people who are different than me.”

E: “You have done nothing but allowed yet another anti-intellectual echo chamber to flourish. This is why ISIS exists.”

H: “What?”

F: “Regressive leftists are the real terrorists.”

D: “[South Park clip]”

G: “Echo chambers are bad, mmmkay?”

D: “Hahahahaha”

E: “Echo chambers do not produce anything of value to a rational society. They are the antithesis of rational discourse, and they contribute to a society where everyone must be pampered and treated as if they were special little snowflakes whose opinions are priceless gems that adorn the tiara of that syphilitic whore called ‘liberalism.’”

F: “Dude, that is sooooo deep.”

E: “Thanks.”

H: “Guys, speaking of ‘echo chambers,’ has anyone else noticed that I am the only dissenting opinion here?”

E: “Yes, but D, in his infinite wisdom and patience and respect for rational discourse, in the hopes that true freedom of speech will not perish from our illustrious  society, allows wildly deluded people like you to comment here as well. I salute D in his continuing use of intentionally offensive words, despite the fact that he knows better ones, and furthermore if I want to tell a member of (minority group) or (minority group) or even (minority group) that we are all human and that my experiences are exactly like theirs and if they don’t think so they are stupid then I’m gonna, and if I want to make fun of trigger warnings traumatized people ask for I’m gonna, because while I am not a licensed psychiatrist I know that what is best for me is best for everyone.”

D: “I agree with E. We are right. I was totally not doing what you said I was doing to those racists who excluded me from their conversation you guys.”

G: “I am sorry you had to go through that, D.”

F: “You’re all wet, H.”

E: “Guys, don’t be too hard on H. One day, he will see that we are correct in our arguments, for we, my friends, are guided by Reason. Reason is the only thing that guides us, not these piddling self-interested petty little discussions conducted in echo chambers by pathetic fools who cling to antiquated notions of identity politics and rape rational discourse with the foolhardy and bittersweet poison they call ‘political correctness.’”

F: “You are the smartest person alive.”

E: “Thanks.”

 

H, tired of being berated, returns to the previous discussion, reading silently.

A: “…well, that was a nice discussion, guys.”

C: “Yeah, after we got D out of here.”

B: “I don’t understand why people like that have to butt in all the time.”

A: “People like what? You mean members of (majority group)?”

B: “No, not all members of (majority group) are like that. But some of them are, and man are they annoying.”

H: “Hey guys, I am a member of (majority group), and I have been following this conversation. I hope you guys don’t mind. I learned some things today that I would not have learned otherwise, and my worldview is now a little wider. Thank you for that.”

A: “That’s cool, H. You’re welcome!”

C: “Glad to have you.”

B: “Nice to meet you!”


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (that has as much basis in reality as all the other ones)

Osama Bin Laden was, in the early 1980s, an obsessive Wham! fan. When Wham! broke up in 1986, Bin Laden became deeply disillusioned with the world, particularly the western world. Despite his being a member of a very wealthy Saudi family, the breakup of Wham! solidified Bin Laden’s latent convictions that the west was evil, selfish, and who did they think they were, anyway, leaving the best dance-pop group ever to pursue a solo career?

Osama Bin Laden, following his post-Wham! breakup disillusionment, turned to religion, specifically an anti-west brand of radical Islam. Somewhat coincidentally — it is unclear whether Bin Laden ever sent fan mail or other correspondence to either Andrew Ridgeley or George Michael prior to 1990 — George Michael’s debut album “Faith” was released in 1987, one year before Bin Laden’s “faith” prompted him to form Al-Qaeda.

George W. Bush was widely criticized by many following his simplistic public statement following 9/11, that “the terrorists hate our freedom.” This was considered a grossly oversimplified explanation for Al-Qaeda’s motivation for the attack by many, namely those people who understand that the Middle East is not just one big country, but what these smarty-pants libtards failed to realize is that Dubya was quoting Osama Bin Laden almost directly in that statement. It was just a fairly dated quote:

In 1990, following the release of George Michael’s second album, “Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1”, Bin Laden — who had hoped that such a “lame” and “dumb” album as “Faith” would prompt George Michael to ditch his “stupid” solo career and rejoin Andrew Ridgeley in Wham! — wrote an angry letter to George Michael which contained the sentence “I HATE YOUR FREEDOM” in all caps. This letter was intercepted by the government, as by this time Bin Laden was making a name for himself as a radical Islamist, and for reasons unknown, the connection was only made over a decade later that Bin Laden had been talking about the song “Freedom ’90” from the aforementioned album, and not “freedom” in general. This was discovered after the rest of the letter was reread: Bin Laden had mentioned in the letter that he felt the lyric “all we have to see/is that I don’t belong to you, and you don’t belong to me” went against his radical interpretation of Islam, which says that wives are in fact the property of their husbands.

Also, none of this is true. I am making fun of conspiracy theorists.

Hopefully you realized that from the outset.