Category Archives: Pop Culture

My theory on just about every conspiracy theory

Aliens


The universe is too large for there to not be other life forms. However, it’s also too large for aliens to receive radio transmission from Earth, let alone visit us without spaceships capable of faster than light travel. The chances of aliens knowing Earth exists is slim but not impossible. Until we have more definitive proof, there’s no reason to believe aliens have been near Earth.

I’m 99.9% certain aliens have never set foot on our planet, because if they had, we all would have died from the space flu, and they would have died from the human flu. For this reason, I expect we’ll never be allowed to land on other planets inhabited by intelligent life, and they will never want to land on ours.

UFOs


There’s a good chance alien spacecraft have flown by Earth. I want to believe they’ve been captured on film, and I’ve seen some pretty crazy videos of UFOs, but until aliens make contact with us, the simplest explanation of UFOs is, they’re man-made.

Consider that the SR-71 Blackbird was invented in 1964 and wasn’t declassified until 1980. The F-117 Nighthawk was invented in 1975 and wasn’t declassified until 1989. So for decades, sky watchers could see strange shaped aircraft traveling faster than any aircraft known to the public.

It’s fair to assume that in any given year, the U.S. Air Force currently has classified aircraft technology 20 years ahead of what the public knows about. If I were in charge of keeping these aircraft secret, I would spread rumors they’re alien spacecraft to deflect attention from the truth.

Area 51


Area 51 is a real Air Force base located in a remote, deserted part of Nevada. Many strange aircraft have been seen in the skies nearby, and there are widespread rumors that it does, or did, contain the wreckage of an alien spacecraft and the bodies of its extraterrestrial passengers.

Some locals living near Aviano Air Force Base, Italy also believe the Air Force is hiding the body of a dead alien in an underground bunker there too. I was stationed at Aviano for two years with a top secret security clearance. I can assure you, life on base is normal and mundane. My guess is that a work day in Area 51 is closer to my experiences than the way Hollywood portrays it.

Since we know man-made aircraft, 20 years more technologically advanced than commercial airplanes, like the SR-71 Blackbird, are tested at Area 51, there’s a common sense explanation for why people keep seeing UFOs around there. I’m sure whatever is in Area 51 is mind blowing, but I doubt it has anything to do with aliens.

The Illuminati


The Illuminati was a real secret society in Germany during the 17th century that included royalty and other celebrities of the time. Their goal was to, “oppose superstition, obscurantism, religious influence over public life and abuses of state power.” Basically, they were humanitarian intellectuals committed to promoting truth and empowering the masses.

Conspiracy theorists believe this group still exists, but now they want to take over the world and oppress everyone. There’s no evidence this is true. So it would be stupid to take it seriously.

The Freemasons


The Masonic Lodge was originally a fraternal brotherhood in Europe dating back to the 14th century. It was partly a social club and partly a union for mason workers. It spread to America in the 17th century, where its members included many famous politicians and leaders of industry.

Conspiracy theorists believe it still has members at the highest level of government who worship Satan and want to control and oppress the world. You can still find Masonic Lodges operating all over America today, but they’re just a slightly more cultish version of the Rotary Club or Kiwanis Club. They’re basically Cub Scouts for grown-ups. You can join their silly meet-up group and climb the ranks, but you won’t find a secret conspiracy at the top of the pyramid. You’ll just find a bunch of suburban Christians having boring meetings.

Reptilians


Former sports broadcaster, turned professional conspiracy theorist, David Icke, popularized the idea that the world is controlled by shape-shifting aliens called Reptilians. There’s no evidence of this, and anyone who believes in Reptilians either needs to go back to school to learn logic or see a therapist.

If you believe in Reptilians, you’re a gullible, weak-minded fool who will believe anything. The Reptilian conspiracy theory is like Pizzagate. It’s a story invented by a professional liar who has to keep selling stories to keep getting paid.

American secret societies


America has a number of known secret fraternities like the Skull and Bones club, Bilderberg Group and Bohemian Grove, that include many politicians and leaders of industry. Conspiracy theorists believe these semi-secret organizations control the world or are plotting to.

The truth is, these are just groups of rich people who want to help each other get richer. They have a lot of power since they have a lot of money, but the world is bigger than them. China, India, and other world superpowers undoubtedly have their own little clubs for rich assholes, but none of them control the entire world, and it’s doubtful any of them want to.

All they want is for their businesses to make more money. They’ve undoubtedly done some shady things like fighting unions and environmental regulations and keeping the minimum wage at poverty levels. They probably congratulate themselves for ruling the world, but they don’t, nor do they need to.

The moon landing was faked
NASA faked some pictures and video of astronauts on the moon, but they did it because they didn’t have enough real footage to satisfy the public’s interest. Neil Degrasse Tyson does a better job than I could of explaining why it would be easier to go to the moon than to fake all the footage.

JFK


It’s possible there was more than one shooter involved in the JFK assassination, but nobody knows why JFK got shot. It’s doubtful any more evidence will come to light. So we’re just going to have to accept the fact that we’ll never know the whole truth.

Moon bases


In 2001, I was enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Aviano Air Force Base, Italy. There, I met a man who claimed to have met a man whose job was to airbrush details out of government photos before the invention of Photoshop. This person claimed to have airbrushed bases out of pictures taken on the dark side of the moon. This story is proof of nothing, but it sure sounds cool. Frankly, I’d be disappointed in aliens and our government if there aren’t any permanent structures on the moon, but there’s no reason to believe there are until we have any real evidence.

The September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks 


On September 11, 2001, members of the terrorist organization, Al-Qaeda, hijacked several commercial airliners and flew them into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon in a coordinated terrorist attack. Conspiracy theorists claim this was really an inside job, created by the American government as a false flag attack to justify war in the Middle East.

It’s not crazy to believe the American government is capable of this, because they used a false flag attack in the Gulf of Tonkin to justify starting the Vietnam War. It also drew up plans for Operation Northwoods, in which the CIA would commit a false flag attack on American civilians so the Department of Defense could justify going to war with Cuba. The plan was never enacted, but its real evidence of how low the American Government’s moral standards are. Given that the American government also invented false evidence and lied about its justification to go to war with Iraq, there’s no reason to trust anything the American government says.

Having said that, at best, we have evidence a crime was committed, and the American government had the means and motive to do it, but if the government were put on trial, there wouldn’t be enough evidence to convict them. If anything shady happened on September 11th, we’ll probably never know the whole truth. So we shouldn’t act like we do.

 

HAARP


In 1993, the American military built a ridiculously huge and expensive array of antennas in Alaska called the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Project, or HAARP. Officially, their primary goal was to see if they could use the atmosphere as a giant radar or communication device. Eventually, the program was shut down and sold to a college. Conspiracy theorists believe the American military was using HAARP to weaponize the weather.

It’s not crazy to believe the American military would try to weaponize the weather. They weaponized dolphins and tried to weaponize psychics. The people running the Department of Defense would weaponize their mothers if they could. The fact that they defunded HAARP and sold the equipment to a college, means they couldn’t find a way to do anything with the atmosphere… for now.

The American government is spying on you


It used to be a joke that people who believe the government is spying on them are tinfoil hat-wearing, paranoid lunatics. In 2013, Edward Snowden, one of the government employees who spied on Americans, leaked conclusive evidence that the government is spying on everyone and constantly trying to get better at it. It’s no longer a conspiracy theory that the American government is spying on you. At this point, it’s crazier to trust the American government than to distrust it.

The Communist agenda


Karl Marx said that Communism must be spread by the sword, because everyone deserves to be free, and if they’re not, it’s a moral imperative to overthrow their oppressors. This was part of America’s justification for going to war with Vietnam and for putting an embargo on Cuba for decades. The more countries that became Communist, the bigger of an alliance they could form. If enough countries got together, they could overthrow America, which again, their mission statement says they’re obligated to do.

Communist aggression is a thing of the past though, and it only ever really existed in the Russian revolution. Once Lenin and Stalin got in power, they ran Russia as a dictatorship and called it Communism, which is the same thing that happened in China, Vietnam, Cuba and every other country that ever called itself Communist. Communism has never actually been tried, and nobody is even attempting to try anymore. “Communist” China is the sweatshop capital of the world. That’s as Capitalist as it gets, and the farthest thing from Communism.

American conservatives will scream about how Communists want to take over America, but most American Communists are the kind of suburban mall rats who would pay $20 for a Che Guevara T-shirt printed in a Chinese sweat shop. They don’t have much of a clue what Communism is or how to implement it. The Communist spirit is dead, and anyone worried about it has had smoke blown up their butt by a fear mongering shock jocks who probably doesn’t know what Communism is either, other than a trigger word that excites conservatives.

The Socialist agenda


Socialism means shared ownership of the means of production. Co-op stores that are owned and operated by their employees are Socialist businesses. If a government takes ownership of a business, like Venezuela has done with its oil industry, that would be Socialist if Hugo Chavez paid every citizen an equal share of the profits.

Taking government control of a business and then putting the profits into the government’s coffers is Nationalizing the business, not Socializing it. If any of that money goes into politicians’ pockets, or to pay for their pet projects, then that would constitute a dictatorship.

“Socialized medicine” like Britain’s National Health System, is a misnomer. It’s Nationalized health care, not Socialized. The people don’t own the hospitals or make a profit from them. They just pay taxes for a service. Getting access to things like roads, schools or welfare, in exchange for paying taxes, isn’t Socialism.

A welfare state isn’t a Socialist state. It’s just a poorly run economy that fails to address the reason people are poor, which is that they’re underpaid by their employers. Socialism would actually fix the problems inherent in a welfare state, which is probably why rich people starting calling welfare, Socialism. This way, employees will demonize the solution to the problem their employers created.

Whenever you hear a conservative scream about the Socialist agenda to take over America and turn it into a welfare state, you’re hearing one economically illiterate fool echoing economically illiterate bullshit he heard a pro-capitalist, fear mongering shock jock say on TV. The only real Socialist agenda you’ll find in America is the Co-op movement, which can and does exist harmoniously with Capitalism.

Obama is a Muslim Socialist and illegal immigrant


If you ever believed Obama was a Muslim, Socialist or illegal immigrant, you need to stop watching whatever TV shows you’ve been watching, because you’ve been duped by a fear mongering shock jocks who will tell you whatever trigger words will get you to keep watching their show.

If Obama were a Muslim or a Socialist, he’s the worst one ever. His illegal wars have killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims and set the Muslim world back decades. His economic policies were pro-Capitalist. He even went as far as allowing the Occupy Wall Street protests to be illegally and violently shut down.

Obama’s sin is that he was a professional campaigner who worked for rich lobbyists. He’s a Capitalist’s wet dream and millionaire himself. Furthermore, Obamacare wasn’t Socialist. He didn’t give people ownership of health insurance companies. He forced the public to pay private companies for a shitty product. That’s Capitalism operating at its most predatory extreme.

The liberal agenda


Conservative Americans often complain about the “liberal agenda” to destroy America by turning it into a gay-loving, anti-Christian welfare state. If you believe this, you’ve been duped again by fear mongering shock jocks who make meaningless statements to scare viewers into watching more television.

Liberals don’t want to destroy America. It’s crazy that there are actually people who believe legions of faceless liberals are meeting up and conspiring to destroy America for no other reason than, they’re evil. Reread that last sentence, and replace “liberals” with “Jews,” and “America” with “Germany.” People who believe liberals are evil worry me, and the people who keep telling them liberals are a threat to their survival and deserve to be hated, terrify me.

The conservative agenda


The majority of American conservatives get most of their news from Fox News, which claims to be fair and balanced, but is bombastically pro-conservative, pro-Republican, pro-Capitalism and pro-American. It’s equally anti-liberal, anti-Democrat, anti-economic equality, anti-science and anti-immigrants.

Fox’s news segments contain slander, logical fallacies, misdirection, false-flag scares, emotional hype, misdirection and lies. This doesn’t happen because Fox is full of amateur journalists. Bullshit is the product Fox sells, and it has bullshit broken down to a science.

Fox news is so consistent in its agenda and dishonesty, it looks like there’ s a conspiracy among its leaders to create a civil war between conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats. It makes you wonder what’s really going on, and what’s the mastermind’s end game? The truth is easy to deduce if you look at the history of its founders Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes.

Rupert Murdoch was born in Australia in 1931. He inherited a fortune from his father and spent the 1950’s and 60’s buying up tabloid newspapers in Australia, which he consolidated under a parent company, News Corp. In the early 70’s, he bought up the major tabloids in Britain and the United States, adding them to News Corp. roster of sensationalist, fake news magazines. News Corp. was convicted of criminal charges for corruption, hacking and stealing in all three countries.

Roger Ailes was born in America in 1940. He started as a production assistant at a local news station in Ohio, where he was promoted several times, earning him the credentials to produce a daytime television talk show. In 1968, Ailes became a professional political campaign manager. He managed Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaigns, and he advised George H. Bush, George W. Bush and Donald Trump.

So Fox News was founded by an international tabloid kingpin, who sells lies for a living, and the public relations manager of the Republican Party. When you put them together, you get sensationalist Republican propaganda with the journalistic integrity of a tabloid.

Basically, these two men pulled off a plan to create a television network that indoctrinates its viewers into basing their identity and beliefs on the Republican Party’s political agenda. This is corruption and treason at the highest level. It created a fake culture war that real people have died in. It’s driving the country to the brink of civil war. It orchestrated the launch of the longest war in America’s history. It’s the source of the war on science, which could destroy humanity. And it got Donald Trump elected president.

Why the hell would two men do that? Are they trying to destroy the world? No. They’re just businessmen doing what they do. Rupert Murdoch wanted to sell newspapers and TV shows, and Roger Ailes wanted to produce TV shows. By teaming up with the Republican Party, Murdoch and Ailes got loyal customers, and the Republican Party got loyal voters. They all got a lot richer, and that’s what it’s all about.
Chemtrails


Some conspiracy theorists believe the government is putting chemicals into airplanes and crop dusting the world in an attempt to kill civilians or make them stupid. There’s no evidence of it, and worrying about it wastes time you could be worrying about all the poisonous chemicals that are in practically every product you buy at your local grocery store. Even those are only part of a conspiracy to sell the cheapest product at the highest price to make the companies selling them richer.

Fluoride


Governments have been putting fluoride in drinking water for decades to help strengthen people’s teeth. While fluoride is good for your teeth, consuming it will harm your brain and make you stupid. Guards at Soviet gulags intentionally put fluoride in the water to make the prisoners less sharp and more docile.

Are American politicians putting fluoride in drinking water to make the population stupid or because they’re stupid? This is one of those conspiracy theories that is probably best solved using Hanlon’s Razor, which states, “Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to incompetence.”

You shouldn’t drink tap water anyway. Every piece of equipment involved in getting that water to your house was built by the lowest bidder. It contains toxins from a hundred different sources, due to a hundred different people’s bad decisions.

The War on Drugs isn’t about drugs. It’s a war on people.


There’s a popular rumor, especially in the African-American community, that the government introduced hard drugs into the ghetto and set high prison sentences for drug users as a way to oppress the black community.

John Ehrlichman, a former aide to Richard Nixon, confirmed this when he confessed, “We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

The war on drugs has always been a war on people. If it’s a war on African Americans specifically, the perpetrators have an unlimited tolerance for collateral damage. The War on Drugs causes suffering to people of every color, and it had done as much harm to Colombia as it has to Chicago. Even if African Americans were singled out, it wasn’t because of the color of their skin. If the majority of African Americans were die-hard Republicans who supported Nixon’s agendas, he would have pandered to them instead of attacking them.

The war on drugs may have been invented by racists, but Barack Obama had 8 years to end it. He held that torch tight and passed it dutifully. The only reason he did, was because he accepted campaign donations and promises from war dogs, many of whom were children in 1971, when Nixon basically used a false flag attack to declare war on Democrats and liberals. At this point, the war on drugs is just a pork barrel project that got too fat to kill. That’s as deep as the conspiracy goes.

Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster and other local legends
Scientists discover new species every year. It’s possible we’ll find an unbelievably large stealthy creature, but until we capture one, there’s no reason to say they exist. That’s how sanity works.

The Holocaust never happened


Some conspiracy theorists believe the Holocaust never happened, and the story was invented by Jews to help justify invading Palestine and creating the modern nation of Israel. Much like faking the moon landing, it would be easier to kill 6 million people than to create a fake story which nobody involved ever leaked the truth about.

We already have cures for most diseases
Some conspiracy theorists believe the shadow government that rules the world already has the cure for AIDS, cancer and most other diseases. There’s no need to bring shadow governments into this. We know for a fact drug companies are withholding medicine, or at least over-pricing them, to force people to keep buying their product. That’s how Capitalism works.

Every business owner decides independently to do whatever it takes to sell their product to as many people as possible, as often as possible, for as much profit as possible. So, yes. There is a conspiracy to withhold medicine, but there’s no central mastermind behind it. There’s just a bunch of rich sociopaths like Martin Shkreli, who have no problem screwing the poor and sick to make a lot of money.

This concept also applies to the conspiracy theory that the government is suppressing technology that would give us unlimited energy so that we remain dependent on oil. I’m sure big oil companies have covered up new technologies. They’ve lobbied heavily against solar and wind power. The politicians they make campaign contributions to have colluded to help them keep the world dependent on their product, but that’s not unique to the fossil fuel industry. Every industry bribes politicians to give them an advantage over their competition. Politicians aren’t colluding in this because it’s all part of their master plan. It’s just that their priorities are up for public auction.

The war on Islam


America has been waging war in the Middle East for decades, and it often kills with disregard for collateral damage. This has led many Muslims to the conclusion America is at war with Islam. Muslim terrorist cults like Al-Queda and ISIS help spread this rumor to recruit gullible, poor, ignorant, disenfranchised young people.

It’s ironic that some American conservatives believe Barack Obama is a Muslim, since he’s responsible for the deaths of enough Muslims to convince the Islamic world that America is at war with their religion. Obama isn’t a Muslim, and the American military isn’t waging a holy war. America just has an industrial war complex that’s wagging the dog.

Boeing and Lockheed Martin can’t sell more weapons to the government if America’s not at war. The Middle East is the most convenient place to wage perpetual war since it’s full of weak, unlikable political leaders and radical sectarian death cults, who nobody minds getting shot. The fact that they’re Muslim is irrelevant to the weapons industry. They’d declare war on mothers and say it’s for freedom if it would convince the American government to buy more bullets.

America is an aggressive empire bent on world domination

Americans don’t think of their country as an evil empire, but there is a popular belief in many countries that America is an empire bent on world domination. As proof, they point to the fact that America toppled their government by force or by subterfuge, took their natural resources and outsourced sweatshops to their country.

Technically, America behaves like an evil empire, but what is America? Who is making all the evil decisions, and why? There is no evil genius or central committee. Remember, American politics is an auction house. America’s actions are for sale to the highest bidder. That doesn’t mean the richest person controls it. That means every rich person in the world can pay to play America like a video game. America is controlled by a bunch of monkeys paying to slap the country’s steering wheel. All these monkeys want the same thing: money.

America could do a much better job of taking over the world by military force if its government was well organized and focused. But there is no focus. The American military is a headless robot being taken on a joy ride by a line of rich guys. Those guys aren’t trying to take over the world. They just want to make the world more friendly to their profit margin. Their company is the empire they’re building. If America looks like an empire, it’s because there are a bunch of imperial companies wearing America like a glove.
Tools of the global elite

The World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are international organizations ostensibly devoted to economic prosperity. In reality, they cripple third world countries with tariffs, loans and bureaucracy. Technically, this constitutes a global conspiracy to control the world. However, there’s no evil genius at the top of the pyramid twirling his mustache. There’s just a gang of rich countries holding down poor countries, which is how the world has always worked.

Zionism


In order to understand Zionism, you need to know a little Jewish history. Thousands of years ago, the nation of Israel was conquered by Assyria, Babylonia and Rome, in that order. Each time the Jews were exiled, they picked themselves up by the bootstraps, got organized and retook their homeland.

Rome sent the Jews into exile around 70AD, and they lived in immigrant communities around the world until the 19th century, when a bunch of Jews got together and decided they were going to re-establish a Jewish state. They called the dream of returning to their homeland and reestablishing a Jewish state, Zionism.

The goal of Zionism was accomplished in 1948, when the well-organized Zionists gathered millions of dollars in donations from other Jews around the world, created an army and lobbied the world’s super powers to recognize the new Jewish government and not defend Palestine when Israel invaded the country, toppled the old government, committed ethnic cleansing on the Palestinian population and put the survivors in concentration camps.

Some anti-Semites believe that was really just the first step of Zionism, and the real goal is total world domination. That sounds sinister and unbelievable until you realize that every country wants to rule the world. However, most ordinary citizens just want to survive and take care of their family.

In every country, there are people want to build an empire, and there are those who don’t. Israel can’t even figure out a final solution to the Palestinian problem. Israel is never going to take over the world, and I’m sure most Jews know this, if they ever even thought about it at all. At this point, America is the world’s superpower, and Israel is one of America’s allies. So they got the next best thing. I believe most Jews are content with this.

The Jews run Hollywood


Many people have noticed there are a lot of Jewish names in Hollywood movie credits, which has led some to jump to the conclusion the Jews run Hollywood and are using movies to brainwash the world. There may be a lot of Jews in Hollywood, but that probably only means there’s a conspiracy among Jews to enter profitable industries, which is what everyone in the world wants. Judging by the low quality of movies coming out of Hollywood, I’d say the only conspiracy among them is to make cheap products that appeal to gullible consumers with low intellectual standards, which is what every business owner in the world wants.

Antisemitism


Some Jewish conspiracy theorists believe there’s a worldwide movement to oppress the Jews, and anyone who criticizes any Jew or the Israeli government is prejudice. The reality is, everyone is a little racist, but most people are too busy worrying about themselves to worry about other groups. Jews may be disappointed to learn how little anyone really thinks about them.

There are a lot of religions and ethnic groups around the world who have victim complexes and pull the prejudice card so often it never gets put back in the deck. Sometimes they really are being victimized, like when Nazis put Jews in concentration camps, but sometimes ethnic groups play the victim card to deflect valid criticisms.

For example, I’ve liked every Jew I’ve ever met, but I don’t like the fact that the Jewish government in Israel is putting Palestinians in concentration camps. That’s not me be being anti-Semitic. That’s me pointing out a cut-and-dry violation of the Geneva Convention and the Declaration of Human Rights. If there’s a conspiracy here, it’s not that anti-Semitism is epidemic, it’s that political spin, bullshit excuses and lack of accountability are epidemic.
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Basic training is brainwashing


At some point in your life, someone has told you basic training is brainwashing. If you’ve never read a book on brainwashing or been through basic training, you probably thought to yourself, “I guess I could see how that kind of makes sense.” Then you never really thought about it again. If you did go through basic training, and someone told you it’s brainwashing, you probably told them they’re an idiot.

Most civilians and veterans haven’t read any books on brainwashing. Since neither side knows what brainwashing is, neither can prove their case, even if they’ve been through basic training. The only way to settle this argument is to go through basic training and take a checklist of brainwashing techniques with you. Then see if you find any of the red flags and check them off the list.

If you do that, you’ll check off every single criterion. Basic training is the perfection of brainwashing. To make matters creepier, if you take a checklist of a cult and walk around a military base looking for its red flags, you’ll check off every criterion on that list as well.

Basic training is the indoctrination process of a tax payer-funded death cult. This isn’t an opinion or a theory. Basic training literally fits the definition of brainwashing, and the military’s behaviors fit the definition of a cult. This fact isn’t controversial due to lack of evidence. It’s controversial because it civilians can’t accept they’re funding a death cult that commits human right violations on their heroes, and military members can’t accept it for the same reasons Scientologists can’t admit they belong to a cult.

Global warming and the war on science


Lobbyists from the fossil fuel industry legally bribed Republican politicians to repeal environmental protection laws, because they made producing energy more expensive and thus less profitable. But those politicians couldn’t legalize pollution, because that would look evil, and they would lose voters.

The most important thing in the world to a professional campaigner is their image. So they called up the guy they pay to manage their image, Roger Ailes and told him they need their voters to oppose environmental protection laws. Ailes told his business partner, Rupert Murdoch, who owns Fox News. They used all Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid tricks to convince half of America to believe in a strawman argument about climate change so they’d support Republicans passing laws that help fossil fuel companies make more money by not having to spend it cleaning and reducing the pollution they create.

We shouldn’t even be arguing about climate change. The term was invented by employees of Murdoch and Ailes to trick people into not saying “global warming,” because “climate change” doesn’t sound deadly. But even “global warming” is a distraction from the real issue, which is pollution.

Pollution is poison. The more poison there is in the environment, the more things will die from it. The less poison there is, the fewer things will die from it. That’s true regardless of whether or not climate change is real, and there’s too much poison in our environment already.

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This Was Your Life: Two Social Justice Warriors

This is the 30th episode in an ongoing series in which Loki and his supernatural friends taunt the recently deceased at the gate to the afterlife.  

sjw small

See who else Loki and his friends have taunted:


What should minorities do about Trump?

Before you listen to anything I have to say, you may be wondering what right a blonde haired, blue eyed, white descendant of slave owners has to give minorities advice on anything. In which case, I’m glad you theoretically asked.

Think about this. The truth of my words aren’t dependent on the color of any of my physical features. They would be just as true if Neil deGrasse Tyson said them.

If you don’t buy that because you’ve already judged me, the problem is you need to acknowledge that I didn’t ask for the colors of any of my body parts. The lottery of fate just shat me out looking the way I do. If you’re going to hold people accountable for the crimes of their bloodlines, you’d be more justified hating the actors in the video below for exterminating the Moriori than blaming me for oppressing American minorities.

The closest thing to slave owners in my family tree were French aristocrats who fled to America penniless during the French Revolution to escape getting beheaded by the poor, angry white people they exploited. All of my American-born ancestors were poor, just like me.

I grew up in barrios and ghettos where I couldn’t walk the streets at night because I’d get jumped for being white. Since graduating high school I’ve lived with at least seven African American housemates. Every single one has explained to me in detail how their culture views white people as the enemy, and I can corroborate their testimony by pulling up Youtube videos all day of minorities advocating killing white people.

Anything I say to convince people not to revenge-kill me over crimes I had nothing to do with is warranted, but that point pales in comparison to the following facts: We’re all human. We’re all family, and I have more in common with poor minorities than white people like Donald Trump. I might not get terrorized by cops quite as much as my darker friends, but that hardly makes me privileged if I work my ass off and still can’t afford rent because I can’t afford my car repair bills because I can’t afford my dental bills because I don’t qualify for the same financial assistance as other races.

I’m not a plantation owner telling you how to live your life. I’m a fellow wage slave pontificating on how we can solve our mutual problem.

End of disclaimer

Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election by energizing disenfranchised white voters with a year’s worth of hate speeches against minorities. The results of the election surprised and terrified me, but my terror wasn’t mixed with surprise when I saw protesters rioting across America while Mexican Americans and Muslims posted blogs questioning if it’s safe for them to stay in America.

The circumstances behind Trump’s victory almost make me believe there’s a conspiracy to start a race war. At the same time as the Black Lives Matter movement has been burning cars and inspiring murder, the American government nominated a racist to run against the most famously corrupt and unlikable politician in America. Then the mainstream media legitimized him, and the Electoral College system determined him the winner before he lost the popular vote.

This absurd series of events seems too convenient to have happened by chance, until you look at the American government’s track record of screwing up everything it does. The chaos surrounding the 2016 election conclusively proves one thing. Americans can’t count on their government to do anything for them except make their problems worse. If the government keeps solving problems at its current success rate, it’s only a matter of time before the consequences of its failures spark more race riots.

I could be overly optimistic. The fact that rich business owners manipulated black and whites into hating each other by institutionalizing slavery 250+ years ago sets a historical precedent for the financial elite orchestrating racial tension among the common people. However, this just makes it all the more tragically ironic that some minorities are interpreting Trump’s popularity as more proof that all white people are evil and complicit in a grand conspiracy to oppress other races.

Black and white racists are unwittingly blaming each other for the exact same problems. Both sides are embroiled in a witch hunt for scapegoats that’s distracting them from uniting against their common enemy. Neither side sees what they’re doing, because they’ve been living in relative cultural isolation. If they weren’t too poor to travel, and could extract themselves from the trees to see the forest, they’d see the financial elite are oppressing every race.

Trump may be white, but his actions aren’t motivated by skin color. When he looks at poor people, all he sees are suckers to be exploited, and he has black, Hispanic and Asian friends in the 1% who view the working class with the same green tinted glasses.

The current president-elect is neither the first, nor the only color of, rich political candidate to pander to extremists for the guaranteed support they’ll receive. It doesn’t take a psychic to predict he won’t be the last.

Listed below are steps minorities could take to fight poverty directly in lieu of voting on the next rich asshole who represents the lesser of two evils:

Stop hating white people.

The best hope minorities have of breaking the chains holding them below the poverty line is to end the cold war they’re waging against their broke white neighbors and unite with them. Even without joining forces, this would free minorities from wasting their lives hating innocent scapegoats and empower them to focus their attention on the real culprits responsible for their suffering.

Protest in the 1%’s neighborhoods.

In March 2016 a rapper and Black Lives Matter advocate named Tef Poe, tweeted, “Dear white people if Trump wins young niggas such as myself are fully hell bent on inciting riots everywhere we go. Just so you know.”

Attacking people will only justify martial law, which will only lead to more suffering. The only affect it will have on the poverty creators is giving them something fun to watch on television. If you must protest and riot, don’t attack local business and ethnic diversity. Take your grievances to America’s richest neighborhoods, and protest there.

Show them the problems they’re creating won’t stay safely tucked away in the ghetto. Leave notes on their doors saying they can have their peace and quiet back as soon as they raise wages and lower prices at the business they’re sucking up the nation’s wealth through. This will probably get the National Guard called on you, but at least it will send a message to the right people.

Boycott economic oppressors.

Black and white businessmen and women have made fortunes convincing poor people to buy their overpriced brands. Instead of wearing gold chains, gangsters should wear nooses around their necks, because the rich are metaphorically selling them the rope to hang themselves with. Boycotting the rope-sellers will save poor people money they desperately need and force billionaires to switch to selling products that actually benefit their customers.

Every street corner in the ghetto has a liquor store, gun store and payday loan office, all of which bring nothing to the community except poverty. The government won’t stop the flow of economic oppression into the ghetto, but the people can by boycotting these businesses.

Convert gangs into legitimate business networks.

The reason gun violence is epidemic in ghettos is because resources are scarce. Gangs resort to selling drugs on the black market because it’s usually the most lucrative (if not the only) job available to young adults. To the individual, the risk analysis of selling drugs adds up, but the cost to the community outweighs the benefit. In the end, you’re selling overpriced poison to people with a crippling medical condition who are trying to ease the pain of living in poverty and numb the fear of being caught in the crossfire between you and your competitors battling to the death over market share.

So the only reason gangs exist, is because scarce resources drove street kids to earn money by joining illegal businesses, which sell products that are in high demand. This puts gangs in the perfect position to solve the problem that created them. All they have to do is sell their customers the things they need most instead of the thing they need least.

For example, if pizza restaurants won’t deliver to the ghetto, gangs could make a profit by filling the untapped pizza delivery market. Their slogan could be, “We sell food, not fear.” They could also provide a service like “Uber” to help shuttle people without cars to jobs outside the ghetto. It might not be as lucrative as selling crack, but you can make a living without worrying about earning a place in Hall.

Gangs could take this business model to the next level by purchasing crack houses, fixing them up and providing low income housing that keeps rent money in the community. In addition, gangs could build farms and sell fresh produce to customers who would otherwise have to pay extortionate markups for food at “convenience stores.”

If gangs don’t fill these needs, churches could. If clergymen won’t, then congregations should start their own churches that invest all their donations to providing members with the necessities of life instead of providing its leaders with expensive suits, cars and houses.

Improve education locally.

The biggest hurdle to escaping poverty is lack of education. It’s almost impossible for students to receive a quality education at dangerous, underfunded public schools, but gangs, churches and community organizations could solve this by providing security for students on and/or off campus.

Alternately, they could cut out the middleman by proving home schooling services right in the projects.

The cost of a higher education is so inflated, it would be impossible to give every street kid grants to attend college, but it’s not too expensive to send high school graduates to trade schools, especially if students have the opportunity to pay back their benefactors by working for them, providing plumbing, HVAC and other skills to customers in low income areas.

Source representation locally.

In 2016, African American voters had the “opportunity” to choose between two white presidential candidates who have never lived in a ghetto and are committed to increasing the profits of the ruling class. Neither candidate would have represented the will of the poor any more than Barack Obama, Herman Cain or Ben Carson.

Latino Americans had the “opportunity” to vote in the 2016 presidential primaries for Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, neither of whom represented anyone’s interests but their own, and who achieved what little popularity they had by channeling their archaic interpretation of Christianity into hate speech on par with Donald Trump’s.

 It should be obvious at this point that it’s futile to elect ethnically diverse members of the 1%. If minorities hope to be represented in government, they need to find, endorse and support the best and brightest minds from the streets.

Congress would be more representative of the people if seats were assigned according to race instead of state. That would also guarantee them minority representation, but they would have more representation than the current system that staffs the government with rich people who are good at pandering to the people they’ve made their fortunes exploiting.

Without solid leaders, race-based movements like Black Lives Matter, won’t accomplish anything other than inflaming racial tensions. So more than anything else, the call to action raised by the 2016 presidential election, should be for racial minorities to source their own leaders to challenge the status quo.

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Why did Americans vote for Trump?

On November 9th, 2016, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States of America. Now the rest of the world is wondering how it happened, what it means for the future and what the public should do now.

Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama both urged Americans to unite behind Trump and support his policies, but that advice is profoundly controversial, which is perfectly illustrated by footage of conservatives celebrating Trump’s victory in bars and auditoriums while liberals protested and rioted in the streets, shouting slogans like, “Not my president.”

Although 60 million people trusted Trump enough to vote for him, the stock market dropped the moment the election results came out as investors panicked. Around the world, non-Americans reacted with extreme degrees of fear, joy and confusion. How can so many people see the same man so differently? And what does it say about Americans that the majority voted for him?

It’s difficult to find useful answers to these questions, especially for anyone living outside of the USA. As an American who spent over 10 years living overseas, and who doesn’t identify with Trump, Clinton, Republicans, Democrats, conservatives or liberals, I can offer an insider’s explanation of American culture to outsiders, that isn’t clouded by reverence for the left or right.

The first thing non-Americans need to understand, before they jump to any conclusions about the American people based on Trump’s victory, is that he had the lowest approval rating of any presidential candidates in modern history, second only to Hillary Clinton, and he won with only 60 million votes in a country of over 300 million people.

Most Americans didn’t vote. So if you’re going to negatively stereotype Americans based on how they vote, then you can label about 20% of them as poor, rural, gun-clinging, Christian conservatives. About 20%, privileged, liberal, neo-hippie, social justice warriors. 10%, conspiracy theorists, anarchists and other reactionary idealists. The other half of America is made up of people who either didn’t have the freedom to take off work on election day, weren’t allowed to vote, or don’t give a shit about voting, because they have no faith left in the system. Based on that, if you must stereotype Americans, then label them oppressed and dejected.

Of those who did vote for Trump, most of them were older, white men who say they voted for Trump because he’s anti-establishment, and they’re tired of being marginalized by big government and naive liberal do-gooders. These statements may be true, but they’re not the whole truth.

It’s no secret that many people voted for Trump simply because he’s not Hillary Clinton, who has earned herself a reputation for lying, corruption, incompetency and malevolence for decades. If you only read American conservative news sources, you might get the impression America is divided into Trump supporters and Clinton supporters, but the percentage of Americans who voted for Clinton says otherwise. The paradoxical fact that Hillary lost to the least popular presidential candidate in modern history, just goes to show how much the rest of America dislikes her.

Some liberals fear her so much, they voted for Trump as the lesser of two evils, just to prevent the inevitable 4-8 years of standardized corruption she would bring to the White House. Why would they vote for someone they didn’t want? Because from their point of view, it was their patriotic duty. It’s a mainstream belief in America that voting for the lesser of two evils is less evil than not voting.

On a similar note, it’s fair to say that a major reason why some conservatives voted for Trump, is because he was the Republican party’s candidate, and not the Democrat’s. To be fair, Democrats are guilty of this too. Loyal Clinton and Obama supporters dismissed, ignored and made excuses for just as many of their leaders’ flaws as Trump and George Bush Jr.’s followers. Not all Americans are so closed minded, but this mentality is mainstream, because America’s two party political system has indoctrinated Americans to view political affiliation in terms of “us versus them.

In order to understand the conservative American mindset, you have to understand that the main source conservatives get their news from is Fox News and its echo chambers, which couldn’t exist before 1987, when the FCC repealed the Fairness Doctrine, which required media broadcasters to present fair and balanced political editorial. Despite Fox News’s claim to be “fair and balanced,” their journalism is patently subjective, one-sided, sensationalized, fear mongering and dubious. To be fair, all American news companies have become entertainment-centric, but Fox News is the only one whose CEO and reporters have openly admitted it.

Ironically, Americans still rank Fox as their most trusted news source. The inevitable result is that Fox’s most loyal followers trust anything Republican and vilify anything Democratic with intensity proportional to the sensationalism of the “news” they watch. This is why they defended Bush while he was doing everything they want Trump to fix, and why they smeared Obama for 8 years, even though none of their apocalyptic predictions about him came true. If Trump had run as a Democrat, or if Obama had done any of the questionable things Trump has done, conservatives would have run either of them out of town.

Blind faith in the conservative/Republican identity blinded many voters to Trump’s character, which partly explains why people who believe in family values support a misogynist who has been accused of sexual assault. People who believe in less government support a fascist who has repeatedly advocated oppressing minorities. People who want money out of politics support a billionaire who has admitted to bribing politicians. People who want a strong businessman support a CEO who has bankrupted multiple businesses, exploited legal loopholes and swindled his customers remorselessly. People who feel disenfranchised support a political opportunist who made a name for himself by disenfranchising minorities.

Not every Trump supporter has looked at these issues straight on and used logical fallacies to reverse engineer excuses for them. I’ve personally asked Trump supporters what they think about Trump’s failings, and they expressed surprise and disbelief, because it was the first time they’d heard of them. Some of these individuals were ignorant of this information because they’d never done any research, and others had done plenty of research, but they never looked at any sources outside of the conservative echo chamber.

The same can be said about many Clinton supporters, who only watch CNN or MSNBC, as well as foreigners who are trying to understand Trump and his followers by watching their local news stations.

Watching Trump’s hate speech and seeing Americans respond to it euphorically, it’s easy to stereotype Americans, or at least Trump supporters, as ignorant, racist, misogynistic, homophobic xenophobes who voted for a man who represents their bigotry.

I personally know people who voted for Trump and are none of those things. However, the internet is full of evidence that many bigots did vote for Trump because they were inspired by the racist, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic things he’s said and done. You can find other conservatives claiming to be egalitarian and peace loving, while praising Trump’s divisive policies using thinly veiled hate speech.

To say the conservative base doesn’t have a racism problem requires ignoring eight years of prejudice against Barack Obama. Not every conservative called him a nigger, but he got called that every day for the past 8 years.

It’s crucial to understand that conservative American racism is just a symptom of a bigger issue that was of paramount importance in this election. In the past 20 years, America has become increasingly more politically correct and tolerant of diversity. In the past 8 years, America got its first black president, legalized gay marriage, partially legalized marijuana, created laws protecting transgender people, embraced atheist celebrities, flirted with socialism and rejected American exceptionalism.

These are all signs that conservative Christians have lost their choke hold on American culture, and with it, the political power to force their values on everyone else. They view this as a sign that they’re being persecuted and America’s moral fiber is decaying, and Trump’s promise to “make America great again” is a euphemism for returning America to its conservative Christian roots. So when some people voted for Trump, they were voting to save their culture, and were so desperate for hope, they put their faith in Trump’s hands.

Given all the different types of people who voted for Trump, and all their nuanced reasons, if you’re not a little confused, you’re probably not looking at all the information. There are two things everyone who voted for Trump have in common though. They either ignored information that contradicted their preconceived conclusion, or they didn’t have all the information. Many people will take offense to that accusation, but based on the evidence, it’s frankly impossible to come to the conclusion that Donald Trump is the best man to lead America, especially conservative Christians.

This isn’t to say Hillary Clinton was preferable. The problem isn’t that Americans voted for the wrong candidate. The problem is America’s two party system is so flawed and corrupt, it weeds out politicians who aren’t corrupt sociopaths. The solution to a broken system isn’t to vote for the lesser of two evils. The solution is political reform. Americans shouldn’t have voted at all in 2016. Instead, they should have been protesting outside the White House for the right to choose their own candidates instead of waiting to see who the DNC and RNC let them vote between.

There are millions of other potential candidates who conservatives would have voted for over Trump if they were given the opportunity, and there are millions of candidates who liberals would have voted for en mass to defeat Trump, if they were given opportunity.

If Hillary Clinton hadn’t committed voter fraud, and if the DNC hadn’t conspired to help her defeat Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination, Americans probably would have voted overwhelmingly for him against Donald Trump. So if you’re going to praise or blame anyone for Trump’s victory, the people who deserve it most are the leaders of the DNC and RNC, who designed and manage the presidential primaries.

Those second most responsible for Trump’s victory are all the major news companies in America who gave him more air time than any other candidate, allowed the DNC and RNC to dictate how they covered the election, sensationalized their editorials and led Americans to believe the whole charade was completely normal and legit by going along with it and never questioning the rotten fundamentals that led to two of the worst Americans alive competing for the most powerful political position in the world.

The third group that tipped the scale in Trump’s favor is the far left: radical feminists, social justice warriors and all of Hillary Clinton’s supporters who refused to look at her flaws objectively. They were so concerned with getting a woman in the White House, they refused to acknowledge how deplorable the person attached to the vagina was. Their heart was in a good place, but their short-sightedness caused them to nominate the one candidate in America who could lose to Donald Trump. If Donald Trump had a vagina, they would have followed him to the grave too and smugly taken the rest of America with them.

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In my next blog post, I’ll discuss what Trump’s presidency means for the future of American, the rest of the world, and how that will affect the chances of Americans fixing their political system.

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Two Feminist Ladies #3

I’m not a chauvinist or misogynist, and I’m not against feminism. I am against radical feminism, which teaches negative stereotypes of men, especially white men, to use them as a scapegoat for the world’s problems. The comics below satirize common talking points expressed by radical feminist social justice warriors on social media.

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Tips on conversation: Part 1

Talking isn’t a competition. It’s an opportunity.

Humans have a tendency to approach conversations like a competition where the winner is whoever proves themselves the coolest, smartest, most successful, or most charming. But life isn’t a competition for social status. It’s nice when people like you, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. Nor are you under any obligation to like or impress anyone else. Think about it. How many times as someone completely changed your life after you impressed them in a conversation? Unless you’re married, probably never.

Trying to impress everybody is futile, because you’re completely incompatible with at least half of the people you meet. So you were never going to be friends anyway, and most of the people you do get to know will be gone from your life in a few years, rendering their opinion of you meaningless eventually.

There are more enjoyable and useful kinds of conversations  you can have than dick waving competitions. Use conversation as an opportunity to learn, have fun and connect with others. That’s what they’re for.

Nobody is out to judge you.

Nobody who cares about you will judge you, and nobody else cares enough about you to judge you. Ultimately, you’re just another face in the crowd who isn’t going to be around in a few years. Everyone is obsessed with themselves. When they talk to you, they’re only paying half attention to what you’re saying. The rest of their mind is busy thinking about their own needs and insecurities.

In fact, strangers are more likely to want to give you the benefit of the doubt, because we all want to believe we live in a good world, full of good people. When you meet someone new, don’t you hope they turn out to be nice and enjoyable? When you introduce yourself to someone, they’re most likely crossing their fingers, thinking, “Please, let this person be one of the good guys.” They don’t want you to impress them. They mostly just want you to not make their life harder.

It’s true, there are people out there who will judge you, but those people usually judge everyone. Habitually judging others is dysfunctional behavior that has more of a negative impact on the perpetrator’s life than the victims’. That kind of behavior fits the definition of a mental disorder. It’s not a sign of evil. It’s a condition that requires treatment. So when a judge-aholic looks down on you, don’t take it any more personally or seriously than you would someone with an eating disorder judging the size of your meal.

Nobody sees the real you. 

If society’s dress code required everyone to wear masks all the time, we would all be more confident. Hiding our faces makes us feel safer, because nobody can see the real “us.” The more anonymous we feel, the more permission we give ourselves to act as bold in real life as we would on an internet message board. This is ironic, because nobody will ever see anyone for who they really are. Everyone has a completely unique universe in their mind that only sound can escape. Trying to understand who a person is by talking to them, is like an astronomer trying to study the night sky using an ear horn.

Our internal universes are so unique and inaccessible, it’s impossible for us to accurately imagine what reality is like from anyone else’s perspective. Since we can’t see people for who they are, we fill in the blanks with patterns from our own universe. So no matter what you do or say, when anyone looks at you, they mostly see themselves. The way they treat you usually has more to do with how they treat themselves, than how you deserve to be treated. So take advantage of your anonymity to act outside your comfort zone, and don’t worry about what people say to a mirror.

The scarier talking to people is, the more you should seek help.

Talking to people isn’t war. Nobody wants your worst-case fears to come true. They don’t even want to think about it. They just want to feel good. Even if conversations do go bad, in the long run it doesn’t matter. Stressing out about failing in conversations is an irrational fear. That’s the definition of a “phobia,” specifically, social anxiety disorder.

Social anxiety exists only in your mind. You can turn it off like a light by thinking about anything else. If that doesn’t work, read some books on coping with social anxiety disorder and insecurity. If that doesn’t work, go see a mental health professional. Relief will only come as quickly as you pursue it.

The more you look at things from other people’s point of view, the less lost you’ll be. 

I learned some of the advice in this list from books, but I picked most of it up from watching people and trying to imagine life from their point of view. It’s easy, fun and enlightening. The more you understand where people are coming from, the better you can communicate with them. The less you understand them, the more lost you’ll be. If you don’t make a conscious decision to habitually look at conversations from other people’s point of view, you’ll always be lost.

Relax. We’re all apes here.

Some of my advice may seem contradictory, pessimistic or arrogant, but there’s a logical, impartial explanation for all of this. For example, I say people are unique, unknowable universes, but you can figure them out by watching them. I say people deserve love, but we’re all obsessed with ourselves. I say people are lost, ignorant and selfish, which raises the question, why don’t I live alone in the woods if everyone is so intolerably dumber than me?

Relax. I never said I was better than anyone else. The truth is, we’re all basically apes. We’re really clever apes, but our thought processes and motives are primitive enough to be predictable.

Apes are going to ape. That’s no reason to hate them. We may be goofy creatures, but we’re also cosmic miracles. The fact that we exist at all is reason enough to love us.

No matter how much better anyone thinks they are than anyone else, we’re all apes at the end of the day. There’s no reason to feel superior or inferior to anyone else. Nor is there any reason to stress over winning the approval of other apes. If someone ever throws shit at you, take it as personally as you would an ape throwing shit at you. If someone treats you divinely, cherish it. In the meantime, relax.

People would rather hear what they have to say than what you have to say.

When people talk to you, it’s like you’re standing behind an opaque mirror, and they’re talking to a reflection of themselves superimposed over a hazy outline of you. They’ve been talking to themselves their entire life, because they’re all they know of the universe. Being the only thing in their universe, their lives revolve around themselves, and they’re the most important thing in their universe.

People want to talk about what’s most important to them, which means anyone without social anxiety disorder probably wants to talk about themselves. Usually, they don’t even want to have a two-way conversation. They just want to talk about themselves and have you listen, smile, nod and compliment them.

The more you talk about yourself, the less they’re going to feel like they’re getting out of the conversation. After a few minutes they’re going to lose interest and spend the rest of the conversation impatiently waiting for their turn to talk or for the conversation to be over. Impressing people in conversation requires almost no talking at all. The only thing you have to do is find out what aspect of their life they want to talk about and ask them about it. The harder you try to blow their mind with what you have to say, the more likely you’ll convince them you’re an arrogant bore.

Flattery will get you everywhere.

People may be unique and unknowable universes, but making them feel good is simple. Just make them feel good about themselves. Give them the approval they so desperately yearn for. Flatter them.

Look at their wardrobe and how they present themselves. Find whatever they put the most thought and energy into and compliment it. Part of them doesn’t even care if you’re sincere or smooth about it. They just want positive reinforcement.

It looks desperate if you constantly praise people, but they won’t hate you for it. More likely, they’ll feel bad for you that you feel the need to impress your equals. However, you can stealthily give them subtle positive reinforcement by smiling, looking them in the eye, laughing and agreeing with them.

This doesn’t mean you should act like a Stepford Wife. If you’re talking to a violent racist, you shouldn’t be laughing and agreeing with what they say. But as a general rule, if you want people to approve of you, then approve of them. They wish you would.

Your name is the sweetest sound you can hear in any language.

Everyone is existentially lost in an incomprehensible universe waiting to die an unexplainable death. We don’t even know if we really exist or if this is just a simulation in a dream. Even living in a city, surrounded by people, you can feel utterly meaningless if nobody ever says your name.

Hearing someone say your name verifies your existence, and connects you to society. It makes you feel popular, important, and worth knowing. When you hear your name, for that moment, the attention is on you. You’re the belle of the ball. We all want to feel that, and we rarely do.

Saying someone’s name is more than just existential flattery. It’s the difference between a stranger and an acquaintance. The more you hear someone say your name, the more a part of their life you’ll be. To build a long lasting relationship with someone, you have to say their name.

Don’t constantly tell people your life story.

Very few people really want to know your life story. It bores everyone else. It also eliminates your mystery and anonymity. The less people know about you, the more they have to fill in the blanks with speculation. We tend to assume people are more perfect than they are. The less we know about them, the more we build them up. This is why teenage girls get so obsessed with boy bands. Since she’ll never meet the boy in person to find out what he’s really like, she falls in love with a mental construction of her ideal boyfriend. To far lesser degrees, everyone you know has done the same thing to you. The more they know about you, the more they see you as a regular, flawed person.

I’m not saying you should strive to be fake or aloof. You should have at least one confidant who knows your entire life story and all your secrets, and you should share your stories freely with the people you want to build life bonds with. But in casual conversation with acquaintances and strangers, you have more to lose than you have to gain by constantly spilling all your beans and cramming them down people’s throats.

Don’t constantly tell people your traumas, dramas and dark secrets. 

Nobody wants to hear about the best vacation you ever took. They really don’t want to hear about the worst things that have happened, are happening, or might happen in your life. All they want, is to feel good.

Hearing your horrible stories will force them to visualize unpleasant things. Then they’ll feel sad for you and guilty that they can’t save you. Then they’ll feel anxious as they try to come up with a solution to your problem. Then they’ll feel frustrated when you don’t take their advice. Then they’ll feel afraid you’re going to ask them for something. When the conversation is over, they’ll feel relief that you’re not battering their psyche like an emotional tornado. After they leave your company, they’ll continue feeling bad. If this happens enough times, they’ll avoid you.

Nobody wants to feel your pain. They want to feel your joy. If you can’t make people laugh, the least you could do is not go out of your way to burden them with your problems. If you need to talk about your problems, you should talk to a therapist.

Don’t constantly bitch about anything. 

Your life might be great, but there’s something else wrong in the world that pisses you off, like your government, immigrants, your lover, your boss, the opposite sex, young people, etc. Nobody wants to hear about it. Nobody cares that you’re upset. They care about making it through the day as happily as possible.

When you bitch about anything, you put a rain cloud over your audience’s head. You may be right about what you’re saying, and it may be important, but depressing the people you hang out with isn’t going to fix the world’s problems. It’s just going to earn you a reputation as an emotionally draining whiner.

Nobody wants to hear you brag.

You can impress people by bragging for a few minutes. The longer you try after that, the more it’ll have the opposite effect. You’d think people’s admiration of you would be proportional to how awesome of a life you’ve lived. But the more amazing your life is than theirs, the more your success highlights the shortcomings in their life. That makes them feel unfulfilled, which makes them feel guilty. Then they resent you for rubbing it in. Then they dismiss their emotional pain by blaming you and labeling you an arrogant brat who thinks life is a dick waving competition and always hogs the conversation telling your life story that nobody wanted to hear in the first place.

If you do have some really great stories that are genuinely interesting, wait until the most poignant time to share them, preferably when someone asks. Your stories will be far more impressive and digestible if you save them. Then people will be amazed you lived a more interesting life than they thought. Then they’ll fill in the rest of the blanks in your life with more positive speculation.

Don’t one-up people’s stories.

It’s painful enough to hear someone deliver a monologue about how much better they are than you. It’s even worse when they try to trump all of your stories. This is the fastest way to convince people you’re not worth talking to.

Be vigilant not to constantly auto-contradict people.

Having anything you say shot down is annoying. Yet many people’s default manner of speaking is to contradict everything anyone says. They believe they’re being smart by finding exceptions and holes in other people’s statements, but their efforts accomplish nothing. They don’t learn, teach or stand for anything, and it shows. Even if you’re right, your audience probably wouldn’t listen. The only thing they’re going to learn is that you’re impossible to talk to.

Don’t play the devil’s advocate.

Some people don’t realize they’re stuck on auto-contradict. Others make it a point to say things they don’t even believe because they’re on a mission to poke holes in people’s conversation. If you call them out on it, they may say they want to help stupid people correct their ignorance, which may be true, but their deeper motivations are sadism, self-centeredness and insecurity.

If your audience really is ignorant, then taunting them is like belittling a child because he hasn’t gone to college yet. Even if they’re too stupid to see what a misguided fraud you are, your actions still prove you’re a bad person in the greater scheme of life.

If your audience is smarter than you think, which they probably are, they’ll see through your shallow game. Even if they don’t, they’re going to remember how you made them feel. If you didn’t make them feel good, they’re not going to try to be a positive force in your life.

Don’t gossip or bitch about other people behind their backs.

It’s common knowledge that anyone who gossips to you, will also gossip about you. Every time you gossip, you’re convincing your audience you’re not trustworthy. And, obviously, you can only talk about other people so many times before it gets back to one of them. On the other hand, if you never do wrong by people, then that’s what people are going to say about you, and respect is going to come back to you.

Constantly bringing up negative information doesn’t help you or your audience achieve happiness. Sure, gossiping is a guilty pleasure, but it pales in comparison to the good feeling you get from talking about the positives in life. There are enough that focusing on the negative is like going to a rose garden and looking for dog shit to sniff.

 If you liked this post, you may like these:

Tips on conversation: Part 2

Advice on relationships

Advice on living


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