Tweets by The Wise Sloth: Sept 2016-Feb 2017

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  • Whenever I fail at something, I imagine myself as a young Babe Ruth striking out.
  • Everyone has hurt someone. So we may as well either preemptively hate everyone or forgive everyone.
  • It defeats the purpose of getting/having/keeping someone in your life if you have to go out of your way to live up to their expectations.
  • Everytime you feel you’ve won an argument, there’s a 50/50 chance you just dogmatically defended your completely wrong self-serving delusion.
  • When you’re ready for meaningful change to happen in the world, stop watching meaningless, petty movies, TV shows and Youtube channels.
  • Just once I’d like to hear an American president address the fact that Americans live in constant fear of their own police force.
  • Instead of having a Republican and Democratic party, how about a Male and Female, or Young and Old, or Employer and Employee, or anything else?
  • White people aren’t the source of the world’s historical or modern systemic problems. Capitalists are. The problem is greed, not race.
  • When I hear people say, “I’m tired of hearing people talk about Trump,” I think, “Not talking about politics is how we ended up with Trump.”
  • Trump had the same effect on Americans talking about politics that J.K. Rowling had on kids reading books.
  • Why don’t liberals like Trump? They’re either biased or they see the same objective reasons the rest of the entire fucking world does.
  • I bet we could reduce the number of panic attacks in America by at least 80% by not requiring everyone to live in almost constant debt.
  • When men don’t get pussy, they turn into werewolves. When women don’t get dick, they turn into banshees.
  • I’m starting to suspect Trump has been on a coke bender since he got elected and hasn’t slept the whole time he’s been in office.
  • Join me on Patreon 
  • With everything wrong in the world today, you’ll explode if you don’t master the art of being mad without feeling mad.
  • Our culture is a patriarchy designed to oppress and degrade women, said no florist on Valentine’s Day ever.
  • Failure = practice.
  • It’s not male politicians holding women’s liberation back. It’s religious politicians.
  • When I hear how much it cost to make a movie, I wonder how many farms and homeless shelters humanity could have built instead.
  • You are not the sum of the way people have treated you.
  • Feminism had me at gender equality but lost me at kill all the white men.
  • Most Americans are more intensly and frequently afraid of seeing an American cop or doctor than a foreign terrorist.
  • Most Americans haven’t been to Europe, Africa or the Middle East, but most of them have been to their local police station.

  • I want my tax dollars to be spent paying a group of writers to write a book titled, “Survival Guide to Life.”
  • Relationships are mazes, not train tracks. There’s no backtracking in a maze. There’s only moving forward with what you’ve learned.
  • Every year on Super Bowl Sunday I celebrate sanity by not watching the Super Bowl.
  • Masturbating is like cooking. You can prepare a fine meal or grab a burger to go. Call me crazy, but I prefer Thanksgiving over fast food.
  • The psychology of why 94 deaths from terrorism are scarier than 301,797 deaths from guns 
  • We should start calling social justice warriors, “The Alt-Left.”
  • If America must spend billions of dollars giving stuff away for free, medical texts books should be near the top of the list.
  • It defeats the purpose of ingesting something if it has zero calories.
  • The Chain of Obedience


  • “Experience has taught me that you only have two options in life:
    1. Kick life in the balls.
    2. Get kicked in the balls by life.”
  • I’m going to start periodically posting “words of the day” that are good to know. Today’s word is,”splinternet.”
  • The simplest and most perfect explanation of privilege I have ever seen
  • Women obsess over men pleasing them emotionally, and men obsess over pleasing women physically. #oops
  • It’s worth noting that, while Trump got sworn in as president, thousands of Americans were reading my blog about how to go down on a girl.
  • My blog, “How to go down on a girl” got 100k views today. If you haven’t read it, you’re missing out.

  • The rich fear bankruptcy more than bullets. If you want to motivate a rich person, then “speak their language.”
  • If only allowing current high school honor students to serve in Congress would seriously make America better, then why not seriously do it?
  • Raising taxes on addictive substances works every time… at making addicts poorer and/or turning to cheaper, more dangerous substitutes.
  • Getting mad at people when you don’t get what you want usually indicates you’re the selfish bad guy, and your enemy is the real victim.
  • Your character is reflected and created by what you talk about. This applies to your social media posts too. Share genius or be foolish.
  • People only argue semantics when they don’t have a real argument.
  • Everyone could eliminate at least half their problems by just shutting their mouth and not bitching and complaining about bullshit.
  • Science is just drawing conclusions from evidence. The only time people hate evidence-ology is when they’re refusing to admit they’re wrong.
  • We have 50 names for sexual orientations, but if you put anyone alone on an island for the rest of their life with anything, they’ll fuck it.
  • Nowadays, every time I drink milk I wonder what percentage of the bouquet of flavors I’ve come to know and love is the taste of udder pus.
  • We’re going to feel real sheepish if it turns out life was never anything more than just a birthday present from God.
  • This is an actual book you can buy on Amazon: President Domald Loch Ness Tromp Pounds America’s Butt
  • If you don’t think happy thoughts when things suck, then life is just pretty much always going to suck.

  • The fastest, easiest, best shortcut to climbing a mountain, still usually involves climbing a mountain.
  • To the extent I’m disappointed in America voting for Trump, I’m proud of them for not voting for Clinton.
  • If you’re going to boycott companies associated with Trump, boycott the RNC and DNC. Don’t keep paying the people who got us here.

  • Would someone please invent a website that exports my Twitter, Reddit, Facebook and Medium feeds into one scrolling wall?
  • Blind faith is more likely to lead you over a cliff than to the promised land.
  • Trump isn’t the problem. He’s a symptom of capitalism. Even if liberal Democrats could “beat” him, capitalism will send us more like him.
  • Instead of using school time to teach kids how to celebrate nonsensical holidays, let’s teach them how to solve problems during that time.
  • Learning how to overcome fear is more important than learning the quadratic equation. Yet schools are more likely to teach the latter.
  • Obama acting nonchalant about the first black president handing over power to a mentally unstable bigot, demonstrates his mastery of lying.
  • Hillary Clinton telling all Americans to just go with Donald Trump’s flow proves she couldn’t care less about the American people.
  • Trumps promises in his acceptance speech would have been more reassuring if he didn’t speak like a confused, semi-literate child.
  • The smile on Hillary Clinton’s face during her concession speech demonstrates her mastery of the art of lying in public with a straight face.
  • Trump’s plan to make America great again may as well have been to start a civil war, because it looks like that’s what he’ll do.
  • If you don’t like America, then leave. Oh, wait. You can’t, because America’s oppressive economy keeps you living paycheck to paycheck.
  • Right now I’m more proud to have a permanent residency visa to New Zealand than I am to be an American citizen.
  • I told friends jokingly I would prefer a Trump presidency over Clinton because he’ll bring a quicker apocalypse. The joke isn’t as funny now America elected a joke for president. Now the joke is on the American people.
  • Nobody who is laughing today will be laughing 4 years from now.
  • I’ve been saying for a year Hillary would win because of corruption. Turns out the system is less corrupt and more stupid than I thought.

  • I suspected Donald Trump was nominated to scare people into voting for Hillary Clinton, but what if it was the other way around?
  • @TheSafestSpace: Cultural appropriation destroys cultures by sharing their best ideas with other cultures…
  • Americans, don’t forget to exercise your right to vote on rigged elections today… if you’re into that sort of thing.
  • I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that life is just a reality TV show that God and angels have been binge-watching on celestial televisions.
  • You can tell an economy is broken if it costs a month’s wages to fulfill annual responsibilities like car repair and dental work.
  • It wouldn’t be so important to “get your shit together” as young as possible, if the system wasn’t designed to set you up for failure.
  • The sentence, “I like my ice crushed, but he likes his cubed,” isn’t interesting at all… unless an identical twin says it.
  • Christianity would benefit from churches paying taxes, because it would reduce con artists’ incentive to open churches and preach bullshit.
  • Life is more about what you are than what you have.
  • You go on vacation to find relief, only to find more of the same extortionate price gouging that was stressing you out in your home town.
  • Corporations won’t let politicians give us election day off. Why should they lose a day of our labor to vote on what they already decided?
  • Election day should be a national holiday almost as much as elections shouldn’t be rigged.
  • I wish Fitbit could make a device that, instead of measuring your heart rate, measures what a entitled, whiney, unrelenting asshole you are.
  • The more non-violent protesters cops arrest, the more they make violence inevitable by proving non-violence is not an option.
  • Soldiers giveth freedom, and police taketh away.
  • Every social justice warrior’s posts on social media are made on devices invented by men, assembled by slaves, bought from capitalists.
  • American style freedom: In New Orleans, you can walk down the street drinking a beer, but can’t buy it without an ID, even if you’re elderly.
  • I bet God dies inside a little every time humans pave over more nature to build more strip malls and suburbs.
  • Americans dress like other cultures on Halloween because consumerism is America’s culture.
  • There’s a fine line between courage and stupidity.
  • Bourbon Street in New Orleans looks like a dream at night. It looks like a broken dream in the day light.
  • Anytime you send food back at a restaurant, assume whatever you get back has spit in it, even if your complaint was valid.
  • Doing things that improve your life = worldly success. Succeeding at the expense of other people’s quality of life = existential failure.
  • Those who entertain the most ideas without evidence see farthest. Those who believe the most ideas without evidence, see shortest.
  • Expect a man to do recurring yard work and nobody bats an eye. Expect a woman to do recurring housework and everybody loses their mind.
  • When you speak angrily to your lover, you may get what you want, but they’ll walk away feeling like your enemy or victim.
  • The dullest pencil has a better memory than the sharpest mind.
  • If any religion has instructions on killing, it’d be foolish to say, “As long as nobody gets hurt, who cares what religion people believe?”
  • The popularity of click-and-wait smart phone games proves if humans don’t have stress in our life, we’ll create it.
  • It really illustrates who the government works for when cops arrest people protesting big businesses siezing and building on their land.
  • Dangerous adults aren’t created when society fails to censor kids from bad ethics, but when society fails to teach kids functional ethics.
  • Demanding that the 1% pay reparations to the poor would be more accurate than demanding white men pay reparations to everyone.
  • I don’t want a white history month, but if we’re going to have a double standard, let’s admit it officially with a white bashing month.

  • Lucky for me, living in the ghetto shelters me from meeting anyone pretentious enough to tell a complete stranger to check their priviledge.
  • This is your brain on religion.
  • Few politicians still support Trump. Less support fixing how/why the candidate selection process is designed to nominate deplorable people.
  • It’s not an election if there are only two choices, both bad, but one so bad it would be insane to vote for them.That’s a bait and switch.
  • American CEOs and investors tend to profit far more than American workers each time America goes to war.
  • Politicians shouldn’t brag about lowering unemployment by creating new minimum wage jobs, because they’re bragging about expanding slavery.
  • If you knew which subcultures distrust/defame cops most, you could surely predict which ones cops are least likely to trust.
  • Radio DJs play commercials and vapid pop music. So their job is to spread intellectual dystopia in the minds of the public. #NotYourFriends
  • Police didn’t invent the stereotype that blacks are dangerous. Black gangsters spread that until it created the need for #BlackLivesMatters.
  • The more breaks you take from life’s problems to watch mindless TV, the more you put off solving the problems hurting you and humanity.
  • Morality police criminalize breaking archaic, harmless taboos in TV but don’t criminalize commercials, which teach harmful irresponsibility.
  • When everything costs $, $ is the means to freedom and empowerment. When businesses extort customers and employees, profits become oppression.
  • Employers and politicians that create poverty, deny people hope and self worth, which is unnatural, unnecessary and a step below murder.
  • News agencies still acting like the presidential election is legitimate and free, and aren’t demanding new candidates, are part of the problem.
  • You rarely hear people who eat right and exercise regularly, complain about chronic fatigue.
  • Exercising makes you sweat. Sweat removes toxins from your body. Not exercising keeps toxins in your body affecting mood, energy and health.

  • It seems convenient that an unpalatable presidential nominee, who is depending on the female vote, is running against a cartoon mysoginist.
  • Everyone loves freedom until you do something they wouldn’t. Then freedom is offensive and frightening.
  • How I Figured Out Christianity is Not Real
  • The more crappy TV you watch, the crappier your thoughts will tend to be.
  • Soldiers protect you from terrorists. Cops protect you from criminals, and Congress protects big business’s profit margins from you.
  • Politicians call people who kill Americans, cowards. If that’s true, it’s more cowardly when they sell corporations the power to write laws.
  • On a long enough time scale, everyone is an immigrant. But in basically every country and culture in the world it’s popular to hate immigrants.
  • Imagine you were given the freedom to vote between a gorilla and the mean cheerleader for senior class president #2016election #notarealvote
  • Hero + need + opportunity + condition + plan + decision.. drives hero to fulfill condition requirements to get that which satisfies the need.
  • Everyone should accept everyone wearing whatever they want. Nobody should accept anyone forcing anyone to wear something they don’t want to.
  • What some people call, “depravity,” other people call, “thinking outside the box.”
  • It’s possible to cope with everything being overpriced, but not when everything gets more overpriced the more of a necessity it is.
  • Unicorns are mentioned 9 times in the Bible. How many times does it need to be before it raises reasonable suspicion the Bible is mythology?
  • Writer’s block is just anxiety and panic attacks. To master the art of getting through writer’s block, Google “steps to overcoming anxiety.”
  • I hope one day I get to see a Broadway show titled, “Poverty: The Musical.”
  • If Facebook has taught us anything, it’s that the first person to make a movie called “Cats VS Babies” is going to make a lot of money.
  • How many redundant studies do we need to reconfirm the known fact that porn doesn’t cause psychological harm before we stop policing it?
  • You might think it says something good about society that we look at more cats on the internet than porn, but I worry about our cat fetish.
  • I loved the Ninja Turtles as a kid. Less after I realized if they came to my house, we’d probably never get the smell of sewer shit out.
  • When I watched the Matrix I was like, robots can build virtual reality biomass battery farms but not a tall pole to put solar panels on?
  • Every time I watch a movie where humans fight aliens, the whole time I’m like, both sides would have died immediately from the other’s germs.
  • Think of humans as wind-up chimps on autopilot who don’t realize they’re on autopilot. Everything everyone does will make much more sense.
  • If equally hurtful when banks fine you for having $0 in your bank account, as it is when loan officers and credit card companies do it.
  • Psychological classical conditioning changes human behavior, which builds neural pathways we pass onto children, conditioning their behavior
  • There’s a legal limit to the amount of rodent and insect parts allowed to be present in food sold in stores where, you know, vegetarians shop.
  • “Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you’re right. More likely it means you’ve been wrong a long time.” Keith Wagner
  • RT @elisadoucette: Drinking game for tonite’s debate is to chug a bottle when it starts and try to mask the reality that we actually let it happen.
  • The prouder you are of the company you work for, the more evidence there is you have Stockholm Syndrome.
  • Every writer should tweet to gain experience condensing sentences to the bare essentials.
  • Suburbia sentences you to perpetual debt, which sentences you to perpetual fear and work, resulting in permanent loss of hope and freedom.
  • Living in suburbia requires you to perpetually buy/replace/repair expensive stuff you must work to pay for. It’s like living in a labor camp.
  • If you’re the only person in the world you care about, then why should anyone care about you? #parasite #karma

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Excerpts from my upcoming book about film script plot templates

I’m currently working on a book that explains the standard film script plot structure used in all those Hollywood movies that seem to have the same plot. I’ve still got a few months of work to do before it’s finished because the formula contains a surprising amount of detail and a lot of subtle variations. Plus I’m also busy creating an autistically detailed break down of the plot to Avatar.

While I’ve been working on these projects I’ve had a couple of people E-mail me through my About page asking for advice on story plotting, which reminded me there are a lot of people looking for this information right now. So I’m going to go ahead and share a few useful excerpts from the book:


  • 1. The hero accepts the quest. 2. The hero trains to fulfill the final condition. 3. The hero attempts to fulfill the final condition and fails. 4. The hero fulfills the final condition. 5. Denouement.
  • 1. The hero fails to fulfill the goal that would yield the incentive, resulting in creating a new condition. 2. The hero identifies the new condition of obtaining the incentive. 3. The hero acquires a resource he needs to fulfill the final condition. 4. The hero fulfills the condition. 5. Denouement.
  • 1. The hero identifies the incentive and its three successively dependent conditions. 2. The hero completes the first condition. 3. The hero completes the second condition. 4. The hero completes the final condition. 5. Denouement.
  • 1. The hero accepts the quest. 2. The hero attempts to complete the final condition and fails, creating a new condition. 3. The hero attempts to complete the new condition and fails, creating a new condition. 4. The hero completes the final condition. 5. Denouement.
  • 1. The hero accepts the quest. 2. The hero gathers a team. 3. The team accomplishes the first condition of obtaining the incentive. 3. The team plans and prepares to fulfill the final condition. 4. The team succeeds at neutralizing the final condition. 5. Denouement.
  • 1. The hero survives an apocalypse that creates a deficiency in his need. 2. The hero creates a plan to survive. 3. The hero fulfills the first condition of survival. 4. The hero fulfills the final condition of survival. 5. Denouement.
  • 1. The hero accepts a job that will fulfill his highest need and in-processes into the new job. 2. The hero trains at his new job. 3. The hero applies his training on his assigned task and fails. 4. The hero applies what he learned from failing to the task and completes it. 5. Denouement.


Act 1


Suggested number of beats: 7

Suggested beats: 1-3, 7-10

The A-story in Act 1 introduces the hero, his ultimate external goal, a problem that stands between him and his goal. He attempts to achieve his goal but either fails at the end of the Act or accepts an opportunity to progress towards his goal. Either way, he crosses a threshold he can’t return from.


Suggested number of beats: 3-4

Suggested beats: 4-7

The B-story in Act 1 introduces the hero’s ultimate internal-oriented goal, conditions and the stakes. You can foreshadow future conditions and complications in Act 1 or wait to introduce them in Act 2.


Suggested number of beats: 1

Suggested beats: 7-8

The C-story in Act 1 introduces the hero’s third goal, stakes and possibly foreshadow its conditions and complications. Since crossing the threshold in Beat 10 creates the problem, he won’t be able to create a plan until Act 2.

Any additional storylines should also be introduced in Act 1. The C-story can impact the hero’s quest when it’s introduced, but it doesn’t have to.

Act 2


Suggested number of beats: 7

Suggested beats: 11-13, 17-20

Act 2 reboots the hero’s problem solving steps in the A-storyline, because after crossing the threshold in Beat 10, there is a new problem standing between him and his ultimate goal. So he must have experiences that walk him through the process of defining the problem, the conditions of success and the stakes. Then he must create a plan and enact it. He will complete the plan in Beat 20, but he will learn in Beat 21 that his success has backfired, creating a new condition he will spend Act 3 attempting to fulfill.


Suggested number of beats: 3-5

Suggested beats: 14-19

When the B-story is appears in Act 2, it will collide with the A-storyline, usually because the hero uses one of his signature flaws to solve a problem. The B-story will conflict with the A-story. In Act 2, the hero can either be aware or unaware of the fact that completing the B-storyline goal is a condition of completing his A-storyline goal, but it usually creates more tension if the character is aware of the fact.

The B-storyline goal, condition/s, stakes and primary obstacle must be stated by the end of Act 2.

If the condition of the A-story and B-story goal require the hero to complete the same task, such as in “Avatar,” where Jake Sully must infiltrate the Na’vi in order to fulfill his commitment to both his military boss and his scientific/humanitarian boss, then the hero can spend Act 2 on one quest in which every beat is technically both A and B-story.


Suggested number of beats: 1

Suggested beats: 15-17

In Act 2, the C-story reveals how crossing the threshold in Beat 10 created a problem with a condition the hero must fulfill in order to complete the C-storyline. The hero can also create a plan and enact it, but he shouldn’t fulfill the goal until the latter half of Act 5.

Act 3


Suggested number of beats: 7

Suggested beats: 20-27

Act 3 begins with the hero finding out his success at the end of Act 2 didn’t fulfill the condition/s of his ultimate goal. Instead, it resulted in a worst-case setback in the A-storyline, B-storyline or both. Now the hero must create a new plan to meet the new condition of the new complication. It’s usually the most dramatic if the hero fails every step of the way, forcing him to adapt and try again until he fails completely at the end of Act 3. However, if it makes sense for the story, he can win a few rounds.

The hero’s false victory at the end of Act 2 can create a worst-case setback in the hero’s quest to accomplish his A-story goal without affecting the B-story in any other way than, it would be futile or impossible to complete the A-storyline goal without fulfilling the condition of his B-storyline goal first. If this is the case, you can devote all 7 beats in Act 3 to the A-story.


Suggested number of beats: 0-7

Suggested beats: 21-27 or 24-27

The hero’s false victory at the end of Act 2 can create a worst-case setback in the hero’s quest to accomplish his B-story goal without affecting the A-story in any other way other than the hero can’t fulfill the major condition of his A-storyline goal without fulfilling the condition of his B-storyline goal. If this is the case, you can devote all 7 beats in Act 3 to the B-story.

You can devote some of the beats in Act 3 to the A-story and the B-story, but at the end of Act 3, the hero will can fail to complete at least whichever quest takes up the most beats in Act 3. You can also have the A and B story collide in a way that causes him to fail one or both of his quests.

C-story (0-1 Beats)

Suggested number of beats: 2

Suggested beats: 2-23, 29

The hero will continue enacting his C-storyline plan in Act 3 and fail. This storyline still doesn’t have to be impacted by, or have an impact on, the A or B storylines.

Act 3 Finale


Suggested number of beats: 0-3

Suggested beats: 28-30 or 28, 30

If the hero failure at the end of Act 3, the repercussions of his failure will put him in a worst-case scenario. All of his options will be eliminated, and he is tempted to give up. However, he restates the stakes of failure and decides he must press on.

If Act 4 is the last 3 beats of Act 3, the hero will make his final attempt to meet one of his storyline’s major conditions under the most dire circumstances.

B-story (1-3 Beats)

Suggested number of beats: 0-3

Suggested beats: 28-30 or 29

The hero uses a lesson he’s learned in the B-storyline to solve the A-storyline obstacle in front of him. Since the B-storyline is an internal conflict, completing the B-story quest means he fixes an internal flaw, creating a new virtue inside him. He then applies that virtue to the problem in front of him and overcomes it.


Suggested number of beats: 0-1

Suggested beats: 29-30

The C-story doesn’t need to appear in Act 4 since there’s so little time to cram it in. However, you can have the hero apply a lesson he’s learned or resource he’s gained in the C-story quest to fulfill the condition of the A or B storyline.

Act 4


Suggested number of beats: 5-7

Suggested beats: 31-37

If the major condition of the B-storyline was resolved in Act 4, then all 7 Beats in Act 5 will be A-storyline. In the last beat of Act 5 the hero will fulfill the major condition of the A-storyline, neutralizing the antagonistic force that has a conflict of interest with him achieving his ultimate goal.


Suggested number of beats: 0-2

Suggested beats: 31, 34-36

If the major B-storyline condition hasn’t been met yet, then the hero can use a lesson or resource gained from the B storyline to fix his internal flaw and turn it into a new virtue when he is “dug in” halfway through Act 5.


Suggested number of beats: 0-2

Suggested beats: 31-32, 38

The hero will attempt to solve the C-story one last time. The audience can see the hero succeed or find out in Act 6 that his actions fulfilled the condition of completing the C-story quest. The effects of completing the C-story quest can impact the hero’s ability to complete his A-story goal or not.

Act 5


Suggested number of beats: 1

Suggested beat: 38

The hero gets the A-story prize.


Suggested number of beats: 1

Suggested beat: 39

The hero gets the B-story prize.


Suggested number of beats: 1

Suggested beat: 40

The hero gets the C-story prize.


Once you’ve defined your hero’s need, the rest of the plotting process is just stating the steps he takes to get from Point A to Point B. In order for his thoughts and actions to appear human, you must show the following 12 events in this order:

  1. State the hero’s need.

In order for a hero’s actions to be logical, they must be done in pursuit of obtaining an incentive that will satisfy an unfulfilled need. So the first step is to state or illustrate the hero’s need.

  1. State the stakes of completing/failing to fulfill the need.

If a hero has a goal but no reason to accomplish the goal, then his actions will only be half-logical. The more clearly the audience understands the hero’s motive, the more reason they have to care if he accomplishes his goal. The less they understand his motive, the more distracted they’ll be trying to figure out why the hero is doing anything. The more poignant the hero’s motive, the more poignant the story will be to the audience. The less poignant the hero’s motive, the less reason the audience will have to finish watching or reading the hero’s story.

The reason the hero wants to accomplish his goal is because there are stakes at risk. If he succeeds, something good will happen. If he fails, something bad will happen. Since there are foreseeable good and bad consequences, the hero could literally write down the cost/benefit analysis of trying to accomplish his goal and come to the logical conclusion that he must take action. It could be patronizing to the audience to have the hero spell out his motives so explicitly, but the audience does need to know the consequences of both success and failure to fully understand the hero’s behavior.

When brainstorming the stakes in your story, bear in mind that the stakes will define the hero’s character. Whether the author intends it or not, the fact that the hero cares about the stakes, says something about his internal character. If you use the most exciting stakes you can brainstorm, it will make the hero seem like an exciting person. The more you personalize the stakes to the hero, the more depth the hero’s character, and his relationship to the story, will have.

  1. State the condition of fulfilling the need.

The fact that the hero has an unfulfilled need, implies that he must do something to satisfy it. If he didn’t have to do anything, then that would imply it’s already satisfied, unimportant or absurd.

The thing the hero must do to get the incentive is the condition (aka, goal). One condition/goal can have multiple conditions. The hero can learn all the conditions at the beginning of the story or along the way. If/when the hero doesn’t know his goal’s conditions, his immediate goal can be to learn them.

  1. State the hero’s decision to fulfill the conditions.

If the audience doesn’t witness the hero consciously decide to engage in his quest, then his behavior will appear random. When the hero chooses to commit to accomplishing a goal, he takes ownership of his quest. Plus, when he states what he’s about to do and why, the audience can follow the story.

  1. State the hero’s plan to achieve his ultimate goal.

After the hero has stated his goal and the condition to complete it, but before he takes action, he must decide what action to take. He must have a plan. The more clearly the plan is stated, the easier it is to follow the story.

Children’s stories state the hero’s plan almost every step of the way so children don’t get confused, but adults find this patronizing . They can easily follow the plot if the hero’s plans are implied.

The hero should state his plan for his major goals, but the audience doesn’t always have to know what the hero intends to do before he does it, especially when he’s completing minor goals. If the plan isn’t stated, as long as his behavior is within his character, the audience will accept the hero’s unexplained behavior as natural.

  1. The hero enacts his plan to meet the condition.

Once the hero knows what he wants to do, the next step is to do it. If he does anything between the time he formulates his plan and acts on it, he’s wandering around aimlessly. He might have an interesting adventure, but the story won’t move forward until he gets back to his plan, and a tightly written story is always moving forward.

  1. The hero encounters an obstacle or complication.

Technically, it would make a logical, coherent story if the hero decides to do something, does it and succeeds. Psychologically, though, that’s not very interesting. An enthralling story needs tension, and tension comes from the fear the hero won’t succeed.

So, the hero must encounter something at odds with him achieving his goal. Since a hero is measured by the quality of his opponents, the hero should encounter poignant ones that are tailored to reflect and draw out his character.

Whatever stands between the hero and his goal must have a logical reason to be there. Surprises are great, but the less relevant they are to the story, the more absurd your story will be.

The obstacle must have a conflict of interest with the hero achieving his goal. If the problem is a person, they will have a reason why they would benefit from the hero failing and lose something they value if the hero succeeds.

If the obstacle is inanimate, then its existence is the worst-case scenario God or the universe could put in front of the hero to prevent him from achieving his goal.  It helps to imagine that “God” is the antagonist, and God has a conflict of interest with the hero achieving his goal. So God keeps putting worst-case scenario obstacles and complications in the hero’s path.

  1. The hero reacts and adapts to the obstacle or complication

The obstacle will require the hero to perform an action to neutralize it. The hero can use one of his signature moves and neutralize minor opponents directly and immediately, but his major goals will need more eloquent problems and solutions.

  1. The hero fulfills the condition of the need.

Ultimately, the hero will either succeed or fail to fulfill the condition/s of his ultimate need. The only question is how many conditional steps he has to accomplish along the way.

  1. The hero attains the incentive.

The act of the hero accomplishing his goal is the catalyst of a cause/effect reaction that manifests the incentive that will satisfy his need. In other words, he gets the prize.

  1. The repercussion

The premise of the whole story is that something good would happen if the hero satisfies his need, and something bad would happen if he didn’t. Whenever a hero accomplishes a minor goal, the repercussions of that accomplishment will determine what he does next. In the second to last scene of the movie, the audience sees the repercussions of the hero fulfilling his ultimate need.

  1. The sunset

After the hero fulfills his need and experiences the repercussions, the story still begs the question, what does the future hold for the hero? What’s the hero’s next goal? The beginning of each beat is the sunset of the previous beat, and the last scene is the final sunset of the story.

Technically, a story doesn’t have to include steps 10-12 at the end of the story, but the whole story has been a stick and carrot leading up to this point. The author practically promised it, and the audience will be insulted and let down if they don’t get what they expected. You’re really not being clever by ending a story abruptly.


My definition of a “beat” is, everything that happens between the time the hero enacts a plan to achieve an immediate goal and fails or succeeds to accomplish it.

Beats tend to be 1-3 minutes long and last 1-5 scenes, though most beats are only 1 scene long. This way, each scene opens to a new action sequence and ends with the hero succeeding or failing to accomplish a goal.

Every beat follows the same 9 steps, which are listed below:

  1. Opening image:

Each beat begins with the hero approaching a problem he needs to solve in order to accomplish a goal that will help him achieve his ultimate goal. This establishes where the camera will start rolling. So it needs to include the location and what the protagonist is doing when the director shouts, “Action.” Describe how the hero arrives or is found at the scene. The most common opening image is the hero walking through a door into a room where needs to do something.

  1. Hero’s opening action:

Once the hero’s presence is established on the scene, he needs to do what he came there to do. He already has a goal and a plan in mind. This is the first thing he does to engage the environment in pursuit of his goal.

  1. Opponent with a conflict of interest or opportunity:

There is always something standing between the hero and his immediate goal. It’s usually a person who has a conflict of interest with the hero. However, the “opponent” can be an ally of the hero, and the opponent’s ultimate goals can align with the hero’s. There still needs to be a source of conflict standing between them. In those cases, the conflict is the hero doesn’t want to the opportunity.

  1. Hero’s response:

After the hero encounters his opponent, he must logically react to it. The hero can only act in his character. The only way the audience can know the hero’s character is by watching him demonstrate his values and skills, of which he has 5-10 he reuses in every beat.

  1. Opponent’s response:

After the hero responds to the conflict in character, the opponent will counteract the hero’s action. Their action is usually a worst-case scenario that minimizes the hero’s chance of success. If the opponent has been seen before, they will use responses that were introduced in their first one or two appearances.

  1. Hero’s escalated response:

After the hero is hit with the opponent’s response, he will counteract the opponent’s move. This move will be more dramatic than his first response.

  1. Opponent’s escalated response:

The opponent will get at least one more chance to counter the hero. If the hero is destined to lose the conflict, this will be the deciding blow that neutralizes the hero and prevents him from achieving his goal. If the hero is destined to win the conflict, he would get another chance to respond with action after the opponent’s turn is over.

The beat can go on longer by having the hero respond again, and the opponent can respond again after that. In an action movie where the hero is physically fighting an enemy, the tit-for-tat can go on for five minutes in a single beat. Most conflicts are conversations where two people parse words briefly and then reap the consequences.

  1. Final outcome:

The final outcome is whether or not the hero won or lost the conflict.

  1. Hero’s closing image:

The closing image is what the camera sees right before the director shouts, “Cut.” This shows the immediate aftermath of the encounter and either implies or states how the outcome affects the hero’s progress towards his ultimate goal. If the hero wins, he may be doing a victory dance. If the hero loses, he may be laying in a gutter bleeding.

If you would like to see the current rough draft, you can download it by clicking here. As long as you give attribution credit, I don’t care if you steal it because I’m publishing it under creative common license.

Below are links to my earlier work on story plotting:

Formula plot templates:

Choose your own adventure story templates


Why won’t people just give Trump a chance?

I’m going to explain why people won’t just give Trump a chance by using an analogy:

Once upon a time, there was an old woman named Amy who ran an orphanage. Amy had the best of intentions for the children under her ward, but she had a bad habit of dating terrible men and allowing them to meddle in the affairs of the orphanage. Inevitably, every one of her boyfriends would come in, abuse the children, steal money and sell the furniture, plumbing, decorations and anything else that wasn’t bolted down.

Of all the children who lived at the orphanage, the two most outspoken were Connie and Libby, both of whom were fed up with Amy’s boyfriends. One day Amy brought home a smooth talking black man who Connie hated immediately, but Libby loved him. Amy dated the black man for eight months, and Connie threw an epic tantrum the entire time. Every day she would scream about how he was going to destroy the orphanage. All the children grew so weary of hearing Connie call him a nigger and accuse him of being an illegal immigrant that eventually they just stopped paying any attention to her.

While this was going on, starry-eyed Libby defended Amy’s boyfriend despite the fact that he acted exactly like all the rest of them- abusing children, stealing money and going as far as selling the children’s medicine to friends he owed favors to.

Eventually he left, and Amy started courting again. After sifting through the dating pool, she narrowed her love interests down to two people: a bitter old woman with crooked eyes and a racist philandering old man with orange hair. Both of them were professional con artists who made a living stealing from children and exploiting orphanages.

The woman walked around the orphanage with a tape measure, taking inventory of everything she planned to sell while talking to her business partners on her cell phone in a hushed voice. The man was even worse. He grabbed the girls by their pussies and openly bragged about how he was going to kick out the Mexican and Muslim children and not allow any more into the orphanage. For some reason Libby loved the woman with crooked eyes and hated the man with orange hair. Connie loved the man but hated the woman.

In the end, Amy decided to go steady with the man and end her courtship with the woman. Libby was heartbroken. For weeks she cried and yelled at Amy, “How could you let another con artist into the orphanage? Can’t you see he’s obviously a greedy, creepy, racist lunatic!?”

Indignant, Connie defended Amy by shouting at Libby, “You’re so closed minded and delusional! Why do you keep saying he’s sexist just because he grabs our pussy? Why do you keep saying he’s racist just because he keeps bragging about kicking out minorities? It’s not fair. I want him to be here, which means we all want him to be here. We all owe it to him to give him a chance.”

All of the other children in the orphanage got tired of hearing Connie and Libby arguing before the man even moved in. On the day he finally did, Libby threw a massive tantrum and ran all around the building shouting and breaking things. Connie watched Libby’s tantrum with a mixture of gloating and disgust. When the tantrum was over, Connie said to Libby, “Why can’t you just respect Amy’s decision? This man is practically our father now. So you better grow up and start showing him some respect.”

At that moment, the quietest child, Marjorie, stood up and screamed in Connie’s face, “What are you talking about!? You threw an eight month tantrum the entire time her last boyfriend was here. You don’t get to play the ‘give him a chance’ card after the way you’ve been acting. And he’s not our dad. We don’t owe him anything. He’s just the latest fox Amy let into the hen house. It blows everyone’s mind you and Libby can’t see how all of Amy’s lovers are completely corrupt.”

Seething with self-righteous anger, Connie sneered at Marjorie, “If you don’t like it, why don’t you just leave?”

Marjorie threw her hands in the air and shouted, “We can’t! We’re penniless orphans! Nobody will take us. We’re trapped. We’re not lucky to be here. We’re prisoners. Sure, Amy does some nice things for us when she’s not snooping through our stuff and running the orphanage into the ground. But she makes us do chores until our hands bleed to earn our keep. We’re getting the short end of the stick. So fuck that slave driver and all her shitty boyfriends, especially this one who is the worst of them all.”

Connie stuck her nose up in the air and sauntered back to her dilapidated cot to gloat. Over her shoulder she said, “You’ll see. He’ll make the orphanage great again.”

Marjorie shook her head in disbelief and muttered, “Whatever. You’ll see, but I have a feeling you won’t admit it when he turns out to be just like all the rest.”

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How to Survive the Trumpocalypse

how to survive the trumpocalypse

I compiled a collection of blogs I’ve written into an E-book entitled “How to Survive the Trumpocalypse,” which is available on Amazon. Below is the introduction and links to all of the blogs:


This book is a collection of essays I posted my blog,, between 2010 and 2016. The tagline of the website is, “Enlightenment for the masses,” and its mission statement is, “to provide editorial, philosophical, instructional, inspirational and satirical posts in the form of essays, lists, comics, and fiction, which tend to be irreverent, humorous and controversial.”

I choose the topics I write about by asking myself, “What are the most important questions people need answers to?” So I’ve spent years writing about the root causes of people’s biggest problems, which often boil down to politics and economics.

When major events happen in the world, readers will E-mail me to ask for my perspective, and during the 2016 presidential primaries, I received several requests to explain the candidates and the election in general. In response I wrote three essays and three comics analyzing the candidates and the political process. In them I predicted Hillary Clinton would be America’s next president, and I only planned on writing one blog about her victory, because I didn’t have anything to say about her that I hadn’t already said about Barack Obama.

I’d never considered writing a blog about Trump’s presidency, because he was just a bad joke that got taken too far. Then, all of a sudden the joke turned real and wasn’t funny anymore. The internet buzzed for days after the election with people asking what it means that Trump won. How did it happen? What will he do next? What do we do next? Nobody had any idea, myself included. I needed answers to these questions for my own closure.

Initially, I assumed I’d be able to cover the topic in two or three posts, but the end of the rabbit hole turned out to be ten blogs deep. The first four attempted to explain what it means that Trump is president. The last six answered the question, “What should we do about Trump?”

By the time I finished, I realized I had enough content on an important enough topic to make a short book, but after compiling the blogs, I felt the finished product raised more questions than it answered, such as, “How did this happen? What are the stakes? What would happen if we did nothing? Why was I wrong about Hillary Clinton? How far can we question the government? What else can we do?” Since I had already written dozens of posts over the years addressing those questions, I went back and added them to complete the narrative.

The blogs aren’t listed in the chronological order they were written, but each chapter heading includes the date it was originally posted on The Wise Sloth and how many days that was before or after November 9th, 2016, the day of the Trumpocalypse.

Since the essays were originally written to stand alone, some of the information in them is repeated, but it’s presented from different angles in different contexts, which shows how it fits in the bigger picture.

“How to Survive the Trumpocalypse” is divided into seven sections: “Obama’s legacy,” “The root of America’s problem, “What poverty looks and feels like,” “Problems in American culture,” “The Trumpocalypse,” “The moral imperative of civil disobedience” and “What do we do now?”

The book begins with three essays written about/during, Obama’s presidency, because I want to establish immediately that Trump is just a symptom of a bigger problem, which is that America has taken capitalism to its most predatory extreme. All of the essays in the next three sections illustrate how, for the poorest of the poor, life in America has been apocalyptic since 1776.

The “Trumpocalypse” section, which includes all the essays I wrote about/during the 2016 presidential election, leads to the conclusion the reason November 9th, 2016 is such a significant date, is because it was the day America’s economic/political system reached its inevitable conclusion by crowning a corrupt, unqualified, mentally unstable billionaire as its supreme leader. In other words, the system officially endorsed the root of the problem to be the solution.

The government crossed a line allowing Trump to become president. Worst case scenario, the Trumpocalypse was an official declaration of war on the poor. Best case scenario, it was a confession of failure. Either way, now more than ever, every American needs to reassess their perception of reality and start thinking and acting differently, which is why I included the section about civil disobedience.

The solutions I propose in the final section are far-fetched, but I didn’t set the bar so high because I’m naïve. I did it because America has a drastic problem that requires drastic solutions, and lowering the bar isn’t one of them.

My goal isn’t to convince you to believe everything I say. I just want to educate and inspire you. I use a conversational tone and try to inject humor and wit while discussing big topics so you’ll be more likely to read the entire book, think about America’s problems differently and look for solutions nobody has thought of yet.


 Obama’s Legacy 

1. Americans, You’re Not Represented In The 2012 Presidential Election
2. What Four More Years Of Obama Means
3. Why Obamacare Made Me Facepalm

The root of America’s problem

4. The Fundamental Problem With The Economy
5. The Cost/Benefit Analysis of Economic Oppression
6. The Downside of Economic Growth
7. Poverty Is The Root Of The World’s Biggest Problems, And Predatory Capitalism Is the Root Of Poverty
8. What’s Wrong With America’s Tax System
9. The Legacy Of A Billionaire
10. Seven Steps To Becoming A Billionaire

What poverty looks and feels like

11. Why Are Americans So Violent And Unhappy?
12. Life Is Hard Because The System Is Inhumane, Not Because We’re Weak
13. You Might Be Depressed Because The System Sucks, Not Because You Suck
14. What It’s Like To Be Poor
15. The Lottery Is A Microcosm of America
16. Advice For Young Workers
17. How To Escape Poverty
18. Is It Lazy To Not Want To Work?
19. How Predatory Capitalism Warps The Way We Define Maturity
20. This Is How We Live Now: Part 1
21. This Is How We Live Now: Part 2
22. This Is How We Live Now: Part 3

Problems in American culture

23. It’s Time To Stop Guilt Tripping Poor People Into Saving The Environment
24. How Pop Culture Warps Our Perception of Reality
25. You’re Delusional If You Still Believe America Is The Land Of The Free
26. Americans Need To Learn The Difference Between Socialism, Communism And Capitalism
27. The Issue of Race In The Occupy Wall Street Movement
28. A White Man Explains The Context Of The Black Lives Matter Movement
29. It’s Time To Stop Guilt Tripping White People
30. American Cops Are Delusional If They Can’t Understand Why Civilians Hate Them
31. An Intervention With The Police
32. We Need To Talk About Ordering Cops To Beat Up Protesters
33. My Experience With The TSA
34. Is It Moral For Police To Enforce Laws They Believe Are Unjust?

The Trumpocalypse

35. Right Wing Entertainment News Is Making America Worse
36. What I Think Of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton And Bernie Sanders
37. Why It’s Delusional To Vote In America’s 2016 Presidential Primaries
38. Why The 2016 Presidential Primaries Should Make Us All Sad And Scared
39. Why Did Americans Vote For Trump?
40. What Will Trump Do Now That He’s President?
41. Why I’m Glad Trump Won
42. Why Americans Shouldn’t Accept Trump As President
43. How Donald Trump changed my understanding of American politics

The moral imperative of civil disobedience

44. Patriotism Is Not A Virtue
45. Why You Should Not Have Faith In Your Government
46. Why And When You Should Have A Problem With Authority
47. Self-Subjugation Is Not A Virtue

What do we do now?

48. What Should Foreigners Do About Trump?
49. What Should Republicans And Democrats Do About Trump?
50. What Should Racists Do About Trump?
51. What Should Cultural Isolationists Do About Trump?
52. What Should Minorities Do About Trump?
53. What Should Rich People Do About Trump?
54. The Cost/Benefit Analysis of Terrorism
55. Three Things That Won’t Change America, And Six That Will
56. Ten Solutions To Most Of America’s Problems
57. Collapse Is The Product of Unsustainability. Sustainability Is The Product Of Sustainability
58. Why I’m Not Sure We Need Another Occupy Wall Street Style Protest
59. Our Political Model Won’t Change Until Our Economic Model Changes
60. The Quality Of Our Leaders Reflects The Quality Of Our Higher Education System
61. It’s Time To Stop Oppressing The Academically Disinclined
62. A Novel Approach To Taxing The Rich
63. If You Want Everyone To Vote, Then Make Voting Work For Everyone
64. The World Won’t Get Better Until You Stop Being A Consumer Whore
65. The World Won’t Get Better Until You Stop Being A Vidiot
66. Why The World Sucks And How To Save It
67. We Need To Talk About Utopia
68. Conservative Americans, You Don’t Need To Overthrow Your Government To Make The World A Better Place
69. An Open Letter To Generation X
70. My One Point Solution To The World’s Problems

How Donald Trump changed my understanding of American politics

For years I’ve been growing more and more convinced America doesn’t have fair and free presidential elections. I believed Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 presidential election since 2012. So Donald Trump’s victory made me reconsider all my assumptions about how America’s government works. It also inspired people who don’t follow politics to ask themselves, what the hell is going on in Washington? I’ll offer my new theory, but first I need to explain my original one and how I came to it.

The only president in American history who wasn’t a member of the two-party political system was George Washington, because they designed the election system to favor them by creating the Electoral College, Gerrymandering, superdelegates, voter registration laws, campaign finance laws, nomination requirements and mutually-beneficial agreements with the major media outlets.

The end result is career politicians have to play ball with the RNC and DNC in order to become president. Since all these deals happen behind closed doors, the public doesn’t know who exactly politicians have to impress, or what they have to do, to earn the presidential nomination.

I don’t know the answers to those questions, but I do know Hillary Clinton moved to New York in 2001 to become a senator to set herself up to run for president. In 2012 she lost to Barack Obama in the DNC presidential primaries, and John McCain ran such a poor campaign, it looked like he threw the race. Then Hillary got promoted to Secretary of State until she ran for president again in 2016. She got caught cheating in the primaries while she was under investigation by the FBI, who let her off the hook way too easy.

Everything pointed to the conclusion she was being set up to win. I didn’t think the RNC and DNC were even going to count the votes in the 2016 presidential election. They were just going to announce some numbers and tell us who their preconceived winner was.

I understand this is a huge conspiracy theory, and I feel guilty for putting so much stock in it, because I’m an extremely skeptical person. That’s why I’ve never blamed any specific individuals for leading this shadow government that seems to be pulling the strings.

I’ve researched and considered all the popular conspiracy theories about who’s running the world: The Bilderberg Group, Bohemian Grove, Illuminati, Free Masons, Reptilians, etc. Millions of people believe in these theories, because they’re based on grains of truth, but the blanks are filled in with speculation and falsehoods. Plus, they still leave unanswered questions.

There are thousands of years of historical records proving various groups of powerful people have been influencing the world’s most powerful governments, and that’s not crazy. It’s just how society works. People get together and do stuff.

Someone is the most powerful person in the world. That would be true no matter what. Likewise, there’s one good old boy network with the most influence, but each of the world’s super powers have their own networks, and many parts of the world are power vacuums.

The world is not one single ship with one captain. It’s an ocean full of ships, and America just happens to be the largest right now. We know there are various semi-secret societies wielding power in America’s government, but the fact that there are multiple good old boy networks slapping the steering wheel, points to the conclusion there isn’t one supreme ruler.

Occam’s Razor says, “The simplest solution is usually the correct one,” and the easiest way to explain American politics would be to blame a single entity for running everything. However, Hanzlon’s Razor says, “Never attribute to evil, that which can be attributed to stupidity.”

The war in Iraq led me to suspect Hanzlon’s Razor may be more useful than Occam’s in explaining America’s behavior. It was obviously orchestrated. So there must have been some kind of plan behind it, but the entire fiasco was so disorganized and short-sighted, it couldn’t possibly be part of a solid master plan created by geniuses.

The only thing the war accomplished was making companies with lobbyists richer. It was a smash and grab for American taxpayer dollars and Iraqi oil. That’s not a master plan. It’s just a bunch of greedy monkeys slapping a steering wheel.

If you look at how the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Education, Food and Drug Administration, and every other major organization in the American government have sold out the American people, it looks like there’s a master plan to screw the population, but every piece of legislation that whittled away the integrity of these agencies was signed by politicians who received money from companies who benefited from them. There are a million money trails, all leading to rich people in different business sectors. This isn’t a centrally orchestrated strategy. It’s a public auction.

If Hillary Clinton would have won the 2016 presidential election, I would have taken that as confirmation there really is a group with god-like control over the system, because the FBI and DNC were obviously working together to pave the way for her. I would be more confused why she lost, except James Comey, the head of the FBI, and the person who publicly absolved her of breaking the law during the primaries, stabbed her in the back right before the general election by reopening her case and announcing the FBI would endorse Trump, which the FBI doesn’t do. Obviously, Trump compromised Comey somehow, which means Comey isn’t part of a grand conspiracy. He’s just for sale like the rest of the government, and Trump outbid Clinton.

I can believe a master genius would choose Hillary to be his puppet, but not Trump. You could even see the sadness in the faces of every politician at Trump’s acceptance speech; they were just as shell shocked as the rest of the world. The fact that he won means the general election wasn’t rigged, even if the DNC primaries were.

The only explanation for Trump’s victory, is the system is a rudderless cluster fuck. Since Trump is such a wealthy cluster fuck of a human being, the system was practically designed to let people like him sidestep through the cracks into office.

As depressing as that is, it gives me more hope than the alternative. There’s a popular saying in the U.S. military, “You can’t fix stupid,” but ISIS has taught us it’s more impossible to fix evil. At least this scenario gives Americans something we can resolve without a violent revolution, and it tells us exactly what we need to demand. If the root of the problem is money in politics, then all we need to demand is corruption reform.

Americans have known for years that money in politics is a major problem, but Donald Trump conclusively proved it’s the entirety of the problem. Hopefully, the worse Trump makes America, the more people will focus their protests, riots, letters to politicians and internet chatter on taking money out of politics. We just need to find a better strategy than the Occupy Wall Street movement.

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