The man who caused the 2016 election and potentially 2020.

Ever read a run on sentence? Like a really bad one? Like a really, really bad one.

Like imagine if you had a twelve year old tabby cat that is rather spry for its age and when you were not looking at about eleven after five the cat went outside and you couldn’t find it and you ran into your neighbors and they said they didn’t see it they did want to ask you if you had seen that really interesting show on television about how their cousin Brian Williams from Albany, New York was going to be part of the US Bobsled team but was actually or at least nearly dropped because he didn’t use the proper sanitary box for his November 5th urine sample and so you decided to go get a beer with them at that new place, you know the one with the red umbrellas that overlooks the Inner Harbour around the corner from where they are still cleaning up the harbour from what use to be a paint factory and everyone is up in arms about because the contractor involved in it which is called Big Beaver Construction that seriously makes everyone laugh anyway…

You get the idea. Hard to remember it was actually about a cat.

That is part of the plan set up by Steven Bannon when he met Donald Trump at a function long before what would be Trump’s second run for office. They were going to do the media equivalent of a run on sentence and now we are all living it.

It’s why when you talk about what “he did” a week ago or what “he tweeted” feels like a different era.

It was planned.

Taken directly from Bannon’s Wikipedia page…

Bannon told journalist Michael Lewis in February 2018, “We got elected on Drain the Swamp, Lock Her Up, Build a Wall. This was pure anger. Anger and fear is what gets people to the polls.” He added, “The Democrats don’t matter. The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit

So essentially, for the base he created straight forward simple talking points that they could get behind. For the media he instructed Donald to keep the media hopping with one specific thing after another specific thing, causing everyone to run defense.

Remember the mallet game at any Chunk E Cheese? It’s like that.

On multiple occasions Bannon made reference to The Camp of the Saints which is a novel published in 1973 by author and explorer Jean Raspail. Not sure what you explore in 73 but that’s from Wiki.

Not only is this book more blatantly racist than Mein Kempf (and becoming frighteningly popular) but it also anti immigration to say the least as it speaks of the western world being swarmed by “Indians” who kill, rape and worse until the last white person is gone.

As such the idea that this former editor of Brietbart Magazine, which Bannon proudly calls alt-right, would be the source of ideas like “the wall” and “fake news” shouldn’t surprise anyone.

The constant stream of one thing after another is a perfect deflection game, on top of the anti Clinton deflection which they knew they would get supporters to then join in on, a strategy that still continues just as voraciously now despite Hillary Clinton being out of political life entirely since December of 2016.

The influence of Steven Bannon on the current administration, despite him being physically gone can not be overstated.

The character of Sir Humphrey Appleby from the BBC comedy series “Yes, Minister” explain it perfectly…

“No government will change the apparatus that put them in power”

As such the far more effective thing is counter intuitive. I mean, you’re reading from the guy who slammed social media and is now here after more pushed reactions.

Oh yeah, I was counter-tweeting and liking my side this morning too. I’ve had times when I’ve made a point to not engage as it sets me off and kills my own productivity.

Sound familiar? This is it…it’s hard to do anything like that.

We have to, myself included, get to the point when we know that it’s all about getting your reaction. It’s interesting when you read our news or BBC because you start finding about the other news out there in the world you never heard about because it isn’t the 1900 Pennsylvania Avenue Soap Opera.

So my advice is to make your own point, ignoring completely the Bannon-built apparatus. Make decisions about how you “can do for your country” and go straight there. If you are running (a) holy cow! Thank you for reading and (b) drop the anyone but Trump thing. Tell us what you are going to do. Say what your plan is in your manifesto. It comes down to that one hard as he’ll thing. Ignore Trump. As Stephen Fry said “he becomes bigger as we talk about him…he fades away as we don’t. ”

Just that. Leave Camp of the Saints, Bannon and Brietbart where they belong…

Forgotten.

Cheers,

Tom

Update….More than happy that he is now arrested and facing legal trouble for fraud. Interesting how this is happening within eighty days of the 2020 election. One can only hope this wrapping up of how it started is a precursor to how it ends.

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It’s really all so very small.

peter-jackson-young

There’s a few people who would be good examples of this that I could have chose but Peter Jackson was my most recent biography find so it’s still the freshest in my head.¬† I could have also mentioned Peter Hook of Joy Division for this one, the man who literally grabbed a bass and joined the band.

Peter, the one pictured that is, was inspired by film at a very young age.  Only in his teens he was trying to make his Super 8 go as far as it could until he finally discovered a slightly better camera and began messing around with other little films.  Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit was a long way off from those first initial attempts.

Being a singing bass player Sting is another huge inspiration that naturally springs to mind.¬† Sting played gig after gig for years in a variety of bands (including a cruise ship gig) before he ever met a drummer named Stewart Copeland who already had this idea for a band called “The Police”.

The work these three gentlemen have created is indeed timeless, and they are only three examples of probably hundred of artists I could name.¬† The connection to me is those early years of the work and the creative approach.¬† During a tour of American colleges, Sting explained to music students “We’re not building cathedrals, we’re building sheds.”¬† This is an insight that I think is worth keeping in mind when approaching anything creative, and possibly other things in life that don’t fall under that category.

It doesn’t have to be great.¬† It doesn’t have to even be good.¬† If you think of the early Beatle’s cuts from¬†the beginning of their career they genuinely did not know what¬†they were doing.¬† Most bands (using music as an example) evolve slowly over a period of¬†years and that’s the stuff we hear.¬† The same goes for writers, visual artists,¬†and film makers.¬† Defy the white page and it’s patronizing nature.¬† Make it all messy in spite of it because the odds are that it¬†probably isn’t a big deal anyways.¬† You’re just mucking around with it.¬† I do this with Twitter and Instagram and I fully admit that.¬† I just kind of go “Hey, what about this?”, usually said out loud because I admit I do in fact talk to myself.¬† That’s me.¬† I’ll be talking one way or the other and someone else may or may not hear it.

It even fits into most creative theory with the fact that the first part of creativity is simply getting it out of you and the second part is editing that mush for the little bits of gold in there.¬† Also if something isn’t working, or you find it boring, try some other thing.¬† Considering the expanse of possibility and remix culture out there¬†you can always switch gears¬†and bear in mind that you never have any massive thing expected (and should share that same expectation to others).

Even my biggest projects typically have roots that started little bits at a time, little bit each day at a time.  You just relax and let those small things pile up.

So go ahead and mess it up all messy now.¬† I’ll try to not sound like a motivational speaker now.

Cheers,

Tom

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Anything for love

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Valentine’s day is long past but the prompt was discussing the idea of the essence of love across all forms so I also ask what do they share?  You have the obvious romantic love, obvious because it has the greatest story potential and mystique.  There is brotherly love and parental love.  Then there is more simple loves of places and things that can go all the way down to “I love these new socks”.  What is shared across the board here?

There is the simple existence of joy which is shared or perhaps not in the case of the socks.  I feel a little like early Depeche with this song…

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The Meaning of Love

There is the treasuring side of love where you keep something close to you and by that young Martin Gore’s lyric “like wanting a scar” is somewhat poinant.  I think that within that is possibly one part of the heart of love.  We risk our own tragic presence of heartbreak and put our emotions on the line with how we cherish.  It’s the one thing that made the idea of getting a pet to me for the longest time something I wouldn’t do.  As you open your heart to a being, especially in the case of a pet that can not last much past fifteen years, you are inevitably opening yourself to the potential of hurt.  You are willing to take the hurt for the being you love.  That could also come all the way up to the grander forms.  Again you are willing to suffer yourself to be connected.  Being alone is safe and secure but it is cold and removed.  Being connected to that other person has warmth but that potential for all kinds of damage.  Not only do you open yourself up to them, trading your heart for theirs but you also put your needs behind their’s.

Powerful stuff indeed!  With the title I fell to thinking of two songs.  Gordon Lightfoot’s and Meatloaf’s.  You know Mr. Loaf’s so here is a link to a great song by Gord backed by David Foster.
Anything for love

Have a lovely week!

Tom

Created by TomPogson.com

Skyline photo project

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Victoria Harbour

Funny how this shot was taken on a day that I initially didn’t want to go out.¬† I have one of those lingering coughs that won’t go away and it was high thee to the drug store.¬† I think that’s how that’s spelled anyways.

Once I was outside I didn’t really notice the cough and I had just read one of those lists of blog challenges that asked for a skyline.¬† I had only heard that the top of Yates St. Parkade was good for that.¬† I had never actually been up there before.

Something about places like that take things away.¬† I feel a bit silly saying that because it’s also rumored to be a rough spot at night.¬† It’s the reality of our town like I want to explore with the Quiet City project.¬† We have the oldest street in Western Canada just below where the photos were taken.¬† That street was once lined with Saloons and peopled by newcomers from all over the world seeking riches in the gold fields along with the local Native communities who were already in residence.¬† We may believe in multiculturalism but getting everyone to understand that is another thing.¬† We also have a financial mix right across the board.¬† It is not cheap to live here and we have the wealthiest, street people and everyone in between still in the same mix as they were over a hundred years ago

You only way out is inside.¬† You can go outside and find some secluded place but it may not stay that way.¬† You pay off one bill and another one looms.¬† You add more work but it just loads more complications that drop your immunity through the floor. I don’t want to come off as negative but there are challenges for working class writers here. I just got a text threatening my phone to be cut off after bills already finished off my pay yesterday except for what i had for cold meds and juice. As i was outside uploading this (writing this in post) I just had to stop a street person from walking off with my bag. He apologized for that and it was awkward but still scary as it shakes you up because I know the desperation and therefore the unpredictability. It’s there under the same sunny skies as Beacon Hill Parks amphitheater. All you can do is roll with it. We’re a beautiful small city but a city nonetheless.

Find peace in the moment and live simply.¬† That’s what’s there for each of us city folk. Enjoy those little spots and good friends under the sun and blue horizon.

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Created by TomPogson.com

My problem with cultural appropriation.

One of our rules in the Ollie and Emma project is that we leave the issue aside and just have fun with the opportunity to bring people together.  That aside I think their should be some ground rules.  Being the white half of a comedy team writing a multicultural project knowing where the line between funny and too far is only too apparent.  It all comes down to simply respecting someone else and looking past the stereotypes which need to be finally dropped.
The problem I have with Halloween headdresses, sport teams names and so on is that it treats Native culture like it’s something of the past.¬† We call the University of Victoria sports teams the Vikes (Vikings).¬† We don’t call them the UVic Norwegians.¬† There is another team I’m sure is called the Pilgrims (I will admit…I’m not especially a sports person.  Apologies to those who are.).¬† The folks who are referred to as Braves are still very much alive and active as well as the use of real ceremonial garments (and unless your entire sports team is First Nations, which would have the name make more sense).  The best way to think of this is consider something that is important or sacred to yourself and ask yourself if you would want it used like a gimmick.  Yeah, First Nations people don’t love that either.

This is one of the things about working with my cowriter Cheri Jacobs that I think has it’s own influence on the Ollie and Emma project.  Our two cultures can work together with common respect and have lots of fun doing it.  All the people who I have met have been very welcoming and free of judgement. 

Community is possible.

Cheers,
Tom

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