The Real Participation Trophy Complex

A month or two ago I could not escape this video on social media, so I’m guessing you’ve already seen it. It’s the one where Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why and motivational speaker, lets everybody know just what’s wrong with Millennials (‘those born 1984 and after’).

We’ve all heard some iteration of his complaint, but Sinek’s is, perhaps, the most Continue reading “The Real Participation Trophy Complex”


Don’t Let Anyone Tell You How to Vote (for Pizza)

Hey, it’s so good to see you.  I’m so glad that the nine of us could finally get together.  We never seem to be able to find the time, but now that we’re here I have no doubt that this will turn into another epic party.  But here’s the thing: we’ve really got to figure out what kind of pizza we’re going to order.  We know we want to get one of those LargeHugeTM pizzas over at Slorpy’s, which should feed all of us, so we’re only going to order one single pie.

Odd that we’ve found ourselves in such a specific predicament, but there it is. Nothing a little democracy can’t solve. Continue reading “Don’t Let Anyone Tell You How to Vote (for Pizza)”

The Process of Dismediation 0.9

I’ve been struggling to come up with a way to visualize how the media works in a neo-authoritarian government.  One expects the authoritarian to have complete control or almost complete control over the press; active suppression of dissent.  Turns out you don’t need to do that at all.  If you feed people lies consistently enough, many won’t believe them, but many will, and many more will turn away from any media, which allows the authoritarian to do what they’d like.

Below is a working infographic representing the phenomenon:


Download or View in Full Resolution

The next version will include pinpointed attributions, but for anyone wishing to know more about the modern method of misinformation, read or watch the below:

A message to my doomed colleagues in the American media

When the Truth Falls Apart

What We Mean When We Say Not Normal

Since Trump’s win on November 6th, I’ve seen a lot of stories casting Trump as an authoritarian, an autocrat, a fascist.  Most of what’s been written is intended for an audience that’s accepted the premise: what to do, how to take action.  Those of us who think this way remind each other to fight normalization with the phrase, ‘This is not normal.’  I can only imagine how that must sound to someone who doesn’t buy in.  ‘This is not normal’ makes sense to me, but isn’t terribly specific.  So, what exactly do we mean when we say it?  Given that quite a lot of people consider what’s taking place as perfectly normal, it’s a question worth answering.  I had trouble answering it.  As such, I can’t find a lot of fault with people who aren’t on board.

But if I had to choose one thing, it would be the press conference of the President Elect on the 11th of January.  This was my major not normal moment, and it came fairly late in the game.  Prior to this, I was unhappy with the results, but generally resigned to endure it.  After this, I was truly worried.  So, to you, my hypothetical citizen who thinks that they are watching a perfectly normal presidency unfold, I say the following: Continue reading “What We Mean When We Say Not Normal”

The Captain’s Maneuver

We’ve all seen or heard about Meryl Streep’s speech at the golden globes:

In it, she criticizes Trump for mocking a disabled reporter in late 2015.  Afterward, we got the usual accusations of Streep being an ‘out of touch hollywood liberal’ along with responses that Trump never actually mocked anyone.  More interesting is the response from PJ Media (and who knows how many other conservative outlets).  They chose to bring up President Obama’s comments comparing his own inadequate bowling skills to that of special olympians during a late night talk show in 2009.  This was to expose “liberals” as “having an immense double standard.”  Why is this important?  It isn’t, other than to demonstrate a common pattern.

Here’s what it looks like:   Continue reading “The Captain’s Maneuver”