Revered Disney Chief Officer Bob Iger made a simple statement this afternoon about his decision to cancel the new Roseanne series reboot on ABC based on her posting a rather racist comment on Twitter about former Obama White House advisor Valerie Jarret (weird, right?), saying “It took us about 2 hours to discuss the details. No time at all. Obviously a lot of people are going to lose their jobs because of Roseanne’s behavior and that’s never a good thing. But no, there’s no debate when it comes to doing what is morally right, at least not for us.”
It’s bold to stay committed to respect, basic human decency and the pursuit of noble goals in a society gone mad. So kudos to Mr. Iger. Was it fair? Well, that’s a debate that will probably rage on for years to come. But as long as the United States is still a capitalist democracy, hell yes it’s fair. Roseanne worked for Disney. Disney works for their shareholders, and they clearly know what said shareholders expect from them. Racism is not one of those things. In fact, one would be hard pressed to find anyone who delights in racism except for fringe elements of society. And though yes even their rights to free speech are protected, it doesn’t mean we have to hire them or even associate with them. Thank God for free market capitalism and democracy. If your check says Disney or ABC (one of its many subsidiaries) on it, then they have a right to fire you just as much as they do to hire you. Govern yourself accordingly.
What occurred to me at first was a little bit of shock — Roseanne just recently returned to mainstream relevance after two decades of being largely ignored. I’m personally not a fan. But couldn’t help but be happy for her. But now this…? Always controversial, her comment today wasn’t a funny joke as much as just a dumb jab. Albeit a peculiar and random one (Valerie Jarret? Really?) with an overtly racist tone. But then again modern American comedy is filled with offensive and shocking vulgarity and racism. Its rampant. And literally unwatchable if you have more refined tastes. So what’s the difference here? The platform? Twitter versus Comedy Central? more “Disney Pulls the Plug on Roseanne for Racist Tweet — Fair?”
I remember it. Be. Do. Have. One of the multitude of platitudes I heard on the path to enlightenment pre-avatar course. Pitched as an easy path to create the life of your dreams. I was intrigued by the vibe. Also felt that like a Zen koan in that it could be interpreted in a variety of different ways.
I remember reading an article in the avatar journal when I was still young, but keenly chasing the path to awakening, by a man named Keith Varnum, who as fate would have it would years later turn out to be my masters master. In the article he explained why affirmations and pretending and even prayers don’t usually work that great for reality creation. Because you’re trying to install new beliefs (software) smack dab on top of older beliefs (an older OS). You have to get in there and dislodge the previous program before you can install new software. You have to discreate prior created beliefs before you go trying to create new ones if they directly oppose each other. Logical.
I was in my teens at the time. It would be a few more years before I took the Avatar Course. But what he said made perfect sense to me at the time. It helped me understand why affirmations and prayers and “be do have” didn’t work that well, and inspired me to take the avatar course as soon as I was able to. The ability to not just control what is happening to us, but to create and discreate the underlying beliefs. This was a revolutionary idea back then. Still is to most people. Sounds like voodoo. But after 20+ years of practicing using the knowledge and tools and countless courses, I can attest that it’s very real. In reality we change our beliefs all the time in the real world. Perhaps not deliberately, but we do. It’s not that mind blowing. more “Be Do Have? Not So Much”
CBS News revealed today that under Trump’s watch, the U.S. national debt tops $21 trillion for first time ever. Click here to read.
Twenty-one TRILLION dollars. That’s $21,000,000,000,000. A lot of zeros. The largest national debt in the history of human civilization.
To be fair, this has very little to do with Donald Trump. That’s just CBS playing politics as usual for clickbait. Trump hasn’t been POTUS long enough. Though some might argue that the historic tax break legislation that he and the republican led congress just passed helped contribute to this staggering imbalance (and will add even more to it down the road). But many will also jump out of their SUVs to blame Obama for it. And still others will point to the fact that the George W. Bush administration and their endless “wars on terror” are what really ramped up this new trend in American over-spending. All would be right.
Not that anyone likes thinking about this topic, but what I tend to contemplate a lot regarding the mind boggling National Debt figure above and its ramifications is that statistically we know that once a country’s debt reaches 60% of its GDP, that country historically plunges into a deep depression or even falls apart into panic and chaos, unless it institutes extremely painful “austerity” measures (think cutting back on spending for the most basic of people’s everyday necessities…). Which often leads to bloody revolts and revolutions.
(People generally don’t like starving. And more apt, humanity has reached a new era where many believe that they have a right to being taken care of by very big governments and they have deliberately voted in governments who do just that. (Think Socialism or Communism). And some might even point to modern day America as well. What are commonly referred to as “Entitlements” or “social welfare spending” has reached an epic sixty-some percent of the annual budget in the U.S. It didn’t always used to be this way. It doubles how much is spent on defense, for reference. (Although the U.S. still also manages to spend more on defense (think weapons of war and Intelligence) annually than all other nations on earth combined.)
Even when a country enforces strict austerity measures on its people for years at a time in order to try to pay down its debt, it still often presents numerous challenges to ever escape the clutches of the growing interest payments, it’s currency turns near worthless and it finds itself unable to end the death cycle. more “Does the National Debt Even Matter in the Age of American Empire?”
A new survey released today seems to imply that a majority of Americans are completely unaware of the criminal activities uncovered thus far by the Robert Mueller investigation of their 2016 presidential election. See the full story here.
Regardless of which side of the partisan fence one might reside in (even if one identifies as being firmly in the middle), these recent poll results regarding the Mueller investigation are compelling. One might conclude preliminarily that the “reality star” effect of the Trump presidency may be more powerful than anything fundamentally true, real or factual.
And that could be a trend we would surely not prefer when it comes to our government or governmental employees like Mr. Trump.
This would seemingly, and hopefully, apply despite how much one approves or disapproves of the president, his policies or his performance over the last year and a half. Pomp, bluster, controversy and noise should never outweigh a people’s ability to see and measure reality. In a perfect world at least. Though that’s certainly never seemed to sway us in the past in regards to political figures.
The question is, have we crossed over a new threshold this time? Has our national obsession with celebrity (over substance?) eclipsed our more adult senses of reason and rational judgment? And to be clear (and fair) one recognizes that Trump is not America’s first experimental “celebrity as president” or “president turned celebrity”. Think Obama or Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan or even JFK.
But with that said, is there something inherently unique or different about the cult of The Donald in terms of the office of American president? A blindness to something glaringly irrational and unreasonable that only a few can see? Or is it business as usual? That’s not a question that’s easy to answer if one stretches beyond the scope of partisan leanings or bias. more “Does Noise Trump Truth In Present Day America? (And Other Revelations from the Mueller Investigation)”
Hey John. Yep, me too. I heard yanny at first as well. But I never doubted that fact. I knew I heard what i heard and honestly didn’t give it a second thought until a few hours later when I heard laurel (just as clearly) played a few times on TV. I assume (perhaps naievly? Not totally sure on that…) that most musicians felt the same way about not doubting what they believe they heard. So at first I just dismissed the whole debate as typical internet clickbait crap, as one does with 99% of the stuff that we see or hear about post-internet age.
But then I heard the exact same thing being discussed at (of all places) the daily congressional press briefing. Weird. And Paul Ryan not only addresses the thing, but gets seriously hot and bothered about how insane it is that everyone is NOT hearing laurel. What?!?! What link did HE click on? Laurel? That doesn’t even make sense I thought.
So from the get go I started to suspect that there was some trickery at play. Sociologically this simple slight of hand, despite how innocently it may or may not have begun, could end up becoming an ingenious experiment in human behavior, revealing how vulnerable most still are to the myriad phenomena associated with the internet’s ability to generate or spread “fake news”. We are after all still reeling and drenched in much of the drama associated with this new phenomenon at present, with every other word coming out of the White House having something to do with “fake news”. It’s still very much “a thing”. (Judicial investigations into “Russian meddling” in the presidential elections of the United States..? Seriously? Yes… Seriously. It sounds nuts. But it’s very real. Though in reality very few people actually talk about it unless they’re heavily leaning in one direction or the other politically. And honestly I’m not 100% sure that’s necessarily a “good thing”…) more “Yanny or Laurel — A Landmark Moment in the Era of Fake News?”
Just finished WILD WILD COUNTRY (documentary on Netflix). Suggested by more than a few trusted friends. Wow. I didn’t know anything about that event or those people. Had never heard of any of it. So i was just KAPOW like eyes wide open mind blown from the first minute onward. It’s a thoroughly intense and engaging exploration of humanity at its best and worst.
A lot of mixed emotions. First impressed and inspired. In awe of that raw rugged endless near blind ambition that springs from human idealism when the spark of enlightenment is first lit. Then shock. Anger. Disappointment. Then tears.
Such an amalgamated human stew, just every aspect of humanity thrown into this cauldron all at once… And widened back, with the advantage of having not been there, having no bias, and much time having passed now, it’s easy to feel empathy and compassion for everyone involved.
That was clearly a very different time. We hadn’t connected yet technologically — which gave us all the ability to find our rightful tribes and tribal mates, more than any other single event in the Age of Personal Expression was an event (Tribalism through technology) that led to one of the greatest quantum leaps in our evolution as a species. Back then, a mere thirty-five years ago, people were still very fragmented and cut off due to geography, a burden that many of us no longer have to endure.
I choose to believe that human consciousness has evolved a lot since then, that if the same grand idealistic communal experiment came together in today’s world that it would attract less fear aggression and prejudice from average Americans on the outside; and that hopefully better decisions would be made on the inside as well. more “America The Wild Wild Country”
Today we learned that the GIBSON Guitar Company has filed for bankruptcy. Like Bourbon or baseball, hamburgers or Ford Mustangs, Gibson is one of those living breathing American landmark institutions whose products are so beloved by people from all over the world that it would last forever. They’re adored and worshiped, bought, sold and traded above ground and underground and coveted like gold, classic paintings or vintage cars. The older they get the more valuable they become.
As a longtime Gibson sponsored artist and avid fan, I admit that this news still seems more than anything else just surreal at the moment, but not necessarily a complete surprise. It’s a cold wake up call for sure. Gibson guitars are expensive. Hell, all musical instruments are expensive when you can’t pay the rent, which is the unfortunate situation that most professional musicians and music artists have found themselves in over the last 15 years — especially the ones who have refused to give up or turn it into a hobby or attempt to start a new career.
Yesterday I posted an important piece about some proposed legislation that has the potential to significantly help increase the royalty rates that music artists are paid in this struggling new world of music streaming. The drastic reduction in artist compensation from all potential revenue streams happened so quickly and drastically that most people are still trying to just catch up and learn about it…. It’s hard to take all the data in and fathom just how bad it’s gotten for the musicians and songwriters that each of us chooses to love and follow. more “RIP Gibson Guitar Company? Probably Not. But a Notable Sign of a Serious Problem”