Now, I don’t like debate, because most things become clear if you can momentarily reflect on them and see how they fit in the real scheme of things.
I get a kick out of one of my liberal friends who is qick to jump in and often will introduce extraneous material into the dialog while my natural inclination is to keep things simple and to point. It’s something I leaned as a journalist: You can’t be a reporter until you can be a good “summarizer.” And to be a good summarizer there is a simple technique that will help drain the emotions from any polarizing story and will get down to the gist of things in a rational way.
The way I go around this is to “flip the roles” on stories to see if they make sense if the parties that are making the claims and tossed in the blender and the “other side” is plugged in.
Here’s an example, just to get you started on the concept:
Hmmm, let’s see here: We have a conservative female, white, tossing barbs at protesters, who disrupted a white fellow running for President.
How could the story look if it were flipped around?
“Al Sharpton slams “punk-a$$” protesters who disrupt Hillary Clinton events.” (Or disrupt what’s her name’s).
Of course, there has been no disruption of Clinton, but I think you get the point.
When I read either version of the story, it doesn’t do much for me one way or the other, but since I have a sense of how the other side would be scripted, should the shoe have been on the other foot, I get a sense of serenity about the story. If a conservative white female can do one then, then a liberal black male taking the opposite side is neither surprising or unexpected.
As far as I know, Sharpton has said no such thing, but he’s definitely in the Clinton camp as it is reported…“Al Sharpton: Bernie Sanders ‘has not resonated’ with black voters.”
A flip-side story would be one where (Fill in the name conservative Christian leader says) Marco Rubio ‘has not resonated with white voters.” Which would also be true, but that to me offer very little news value. It’s more like the “packing” in an Amazon box. Yet, it fills up the thing (and gives news media marketing departments something to sell, but it’s hardly the kind of thing that really changes the world.
The BIAS OF THE MEDIA becomes clear when we see a big story crossing the line Monday like “Putin Orders Start of Syria Withdrawal, Saying Goals Are Achieved.”
The “flip-side” of this story would be for the USA to see a headline like “Obama orders start of Syria support withdrawal, says Goals are Achieved.”
Except that we do not see a headline like that because (and this is complicated) the neocons never were and still are not conservatives (and sham on the Bush family for being so dim-witted about it) and the not only screwed up Iraq, but Afghanistan, and Syria, and with Hillary’s help, Libya.
Still, it would be nice if the West could be a little more conscious of how this “Wearing of the other man’s shoes” does help us see things.
If the U.S.,, for example, started to build islands in the middle of any of the world’s oceans, like, oh, offshore Mexico, for example, or off Honduras, what would the world make of it?
When analyzing things around here, I will often pause and think through not only what is the “headline value” of a story, along with “Does anyone really have skin in this, or is this just hype shuck and jive to sell advertising and drive lambs to advertising (slaughter)?
A note from warhammer is instructive because he’s very good at “seeing both sides now” (with an apology to Judy Collins):
American Laurette Mark Twain famous noted that “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” Such is the topic of this Financial Times article this morning:
The article’s comparison of 1930s British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain with sitting U.S. President Barack Obama is accurate on multiple fronts. Most importantly, both leaders wished to lead their nations out of troubling economic times and cutting military spending was one way to pump funds into social programs and more civilized endeavors, all while hell was boiling over around them.
In 1938, Hitler annexed the Czech Sudetenland unopposed. In this decade, Russia annexed the Crimea and E. Ukraine and solidified its military position in Syria, also unopposed, propping up Iran friendly Syrian president Assad in the process. One might think of Shi’ite Iran as Putin’s version of a Middle Eastern SS, funding anti-Israeli terror groups such as Hezbollah and decimating Sunni Arab populations.
I’m not implying that America should eternally serve as the world’s police force, however, without a viable deterrent military alliance to oppose them, history warns that authoritarian regimes will surely sprout like spring dandelions. With the U.S. election cycle causing much domestic gnashing of teeth and orchestrated social turmoil, one can expect the more nefarious actors on the world stage to move quickly and take advantage of America’s current inward focus.
I’m interested in where the money funding the well-organized European and American political protests originates. Ure readers should pay very close attention to the behind the scenes actions of these shadowy, deep pocketed special interest entities. They are the ones attempting to steer us all in one particular direction, much akin to a rancher tending to their herd of cattle. The question is, are we being driven to the pasture, or to our collective ideological and/or financial slaughter?
We live in interesting times. By all appearances, they’re about to get a lot more interesting.
Some things to think about…and flipping your perspective and plugging in the other side of things does help one remained centered.
Now, Onto Hollywood
When I see stories out of Hollywood, the generalization goes further. Example:
In my head, I am rewriting this as “Woman I don’t know with large breasts who uses sexuality to gain attention has nude selfie but nowhere near here.” Well, that’s nice.
But it seems to be increasing, and for the same advertising-driven reasons as useless political content. Here’s another one:
This one is easy to generalize, too: “Woman who I don’t know with large breasts who uses sexuality to gain attention says she is a bigger star than another woman I don’t know with large breasts, as she sits down for radio show on a station I’ve never heard and and can’t receive. That’s freakin’ peachy.
Fortunately, I am already married to a woman I do know (and you can fill in the blanks) so at 67 and still not needing Viagra, my sense is that “A bird in the hand is worth six in the press.”
And the unabashed silliness of it comes out with:
‘Don’t apologize for your past!’: Khloe Kardashian posts lengthy Instagram note about loving yourself as she recovers from James Harden split…”
Whoa-boy. This generalized to “Yet another woman with large breasts, who I don’t know, posted on a service I don’t use about “loving yourself” as she recovers from a presumed buffo male who I also don’t know. I suppose it’s nice to know she loves herself. A bunch.
And we’re supposed to spending our waking hours falling this shit?
This is going to come as a terrible shock to readers, but I place a lot more emphasis on brain-size and heart-size. Near as I can figure it, none of these self-congratulatory people in Hollywood have done much more than wear make up and do “repeat after me” as the coaching director works them through a scene.
Sure, maybe one of them can troubleshoot a problem down at the COM layer developing in ASP or fixing an APK compiling issue but, gee, I sort of doubt it.
It’s yet another Ure axiom: Brain size and Heart size before bra size.
Why I Can’t be a TV Writer
No one in Hollywood has called me about making a move of my book DreamOver, yet.
I put out a really good script for a series I titled The Whitelist. It’s a story about an fellow named Raymond Addington who has a secret list of unpublished ingredients being put in ultra- processed food to keep America in a stupor. Stars the FDA. Easy to produce: Nothing happens in Season 1.
I also submitted the following:
Blonde Spot. A woman emerges from bag, naked, in the middle of New York and is found to be covered in a paint-by-numbers drawing. The show moves slowly but people seem drawn to it.
Botch The story of a single auto mechanic who wanders around beating up parts runners who show up late.
Sleepy Follows This is a tale about what happens when the hero takes a date-rape pill. The series is very easy to produce. You get 1-minute of first-person dialog, then the screen goes blank until next episode.
East Wing This the series where we learn that the Clampetts secretly bought the US government back in the days of black and white television and now secretly live at the White House with the Obamas. They do the gardening, too, when Michelle isn’t looking.
The W Files This is what happened before the X Files.
Eat Wings A Colonel goes to Washington and opens a chicken joint near the centers of power. In the pilot, Foghorn Leghorn runs for Congress. He wins in a landslide.
Surrey A collection of weird tales from before they added the Fringe.
Code Puce This fast-paced heart-stopper is about the stomach pump specialist on full moon and welfare check weekends in the E.R.
Jump Suits Which is about how a lawyer, who actually did go to Harvard but quickly turns into a drug dealer once he gets sent up the river.
Limited The catchy story of a man who takes an experimental drug and goes to work for the federal government. In the series, the effects of super-drug NZS become evidenced as the man dumbs down to Neanderthal and fits in perfectly.
The Talking Dead A reality series based on politicians running for office. Special emphasis on the Gang of 8. In the exciting season finale, the republican party is buried.
Bachelor with Pair of Dice True adventures of a single man who can’t crap out.
565 Monkeys Science fiction set in Washington D,C,. Eventually one or two make sense, but they are quickly murdered.
The Man in the High Condo A former Deutsche bank trader follows Angela Merkel after her political career is ended by removing fluoride from water in Germany.
Agents of S.H.I.T. Learn all the secrets of better GoPro movies from the team at Super-Hot Industrial Television. After this series, you really will know S.H.I.T!
Packers This scraggly group of rowdies offer to take on the Vikings in season 51.
The Flush In this play on Joe the Plumber, things move quickly but the acting is watered down.
Person of Pinterest A blogger’s rise to fame and fortune writing a survival and prepping blog loosely based on www.backdoorsurvival.com.
Transplanet Arriving on a new planet, the aliens have no idea what sexual identify is so they wing it with hilarious results.
Better Call Mordecai Shot in Albuquerque, this take off on an early epic (Breaking Wind) skips right from the courthouse to the back alleys where the real “deals” are hammered out.
Last Month Tonight with John Oliver Only in America can news be recycled – and right in your own living room! (Follows 962 Hours)
Sally Slut The other side of Jane the Virgin’s family.
Cargo An out of work longshore union man makes his way along the docks and wharves of Minot, North Dakota.
Where’s my agent? He was here a Minot ago… I got hot this idea for a new one called Mist Busters…