No End in Sight: Why We Need to Boycott the 2018 World Cup

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania Putin fifa

For those who aren’t wallowing in Kremlin propaganda, the culprits of the downing of MH17 had always been known. Four years later, thanks to a joint investigation team which includes Dutch, Australian, Belgium and Malaysian authorities, it has now been definitely established that the missile that shot down the airplane, which killed all 283 passengers and 15 crew members inside, originated from a military unit in Kursk. The evidence is convincing enough to be used in court, according to the Joint Investigation team. Through sophisticated intelligence, even a possible suspect has been named by the name of Oleg Ivannikov. As to be expected, Kremlin denied any culpability and soon enough, the Russian state media was flooded with anti-Ukrainian propaganda. In Putin’s Russia, reality can consist of many worlds but none are definitive.

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Putin being interviewed on RT – Russia Today- arguably the most internationally influential of Russia State Propaganda. 

For the family members, the downing of MH17 will be a constant reminder of Europe’s inability to fight injustice in the complicated geo-political sphere between Russia and the European Union. The way it looks now, it seems more than likely that evil will get away with it and there’s not much that anybody can (and is willing) to do about it. At the same time it has been disheartening to see many in the Holland’s far right, such as the up-and-coming Forum of Democracy and Party of Freedom led by alt-right superstar Geert Wilders, spread doubt about the investigations legitimacy. On the viewpoints section of the Forum of Democracy’s website, there is emphasis on the need for positive relations between Holland and Russia, to normalize its economic and diplomatic ties and to seize Holland’s involvement in the Ukraine-European Union’s Association Agreement. Curiously, when the House of Representatives discussed possible judicial action for the culprits of MH17, Thierry Baudet, main party-figure of the Forum of Democracy was nowhere to be seen. Geert Wilders’ less sophisticated position on Russia, were apparent when he visited the country from 24th of February to 2nd of March and even made a speech in the Duma parliament, which he did with a grotesque Holland-Russia friendship pin on his jacket. He tweeted that it was time for ‘realpolitik’ and not ‘’Russiaphobia’’, that Holland could ‘’learn something from Russia sense of patriotism’’ and that Russia should be involved in the MH17 investigation. Family members of the victims have illustrated the point that Wilders has been relatively silent about MH17 and demanded an apology for wearing the Russia-friendship pin with pride, something he has refused to do. Both parties have shared antiUkrainian conspiracy theory and propaganda through twitter. While most Dutch voters are aware about Putin’s post-modern spins on reality, the popularity of both these parties illustrative that Russian propaganda and fake news is becoming increasingly and disturbingly mainstream.

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Geert Wilders, the face of Holland’s populist Party of Freedom, at the Russian parlement. 

Perhaps it’s simply monetary reasons for Russia support in the far-right, such as with when Marine Le Pen, head of the Front National Party received a sizeable loan in the six digits from a Kremlin linked bank. Similar cases of monetary gain can be seen in many former political leaders, such as Silvio Berlusconi and Gerhard Schroeder. Naturally, the case could also be made for current American president Donald Trump, whose financial roots in Russian money will hopefully soon be uncovered. Though we have no clear evidence that Kremlin money has been passed to far-right parties in Holland, the fact that Wilders was personally invited by the Kremlin does mean that Russia sees value in his influence and knowing how successful Russia has been in transferring and hiding money to their desired subjects, it’s certainly in the realm of possibilities. Kremlin money can buy a lot of cheap souls.

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Marine Le Pen and Putin- what Kremlin money can buy. 

The false narrative of the Russian media consists of the usual imagined victimhood of Authoritarian regimes: ‘no it’s not us! It’s the dark forces that are conspiring against us! Those who aim to divide us and who are willing to kill their own allies in order spread their lies!’ Similar narratives were used in the assassinations of Political dissidents and journalists. But still, there is ample support in Western countries for Putin’s Russia. Despite everything we know about its poor record of human rights- in the rights of women, LGBT communities and political dissidents- and with such a farcical democracy, many fringe voters have been enticed by Russia’s standing in the world and are willing to believe them over established journalists, historians and human rights workers.

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Things we lost in the fire- wreckage of MH17. 

The fact that the 2018 World cup is about to commence in Russia complicates things even farther in its geopolitical ethics. Leaving aside that the inception of the event itself is seeded in corruption- through large pay-offs and contracts given to Putin’s loyal flock. Leaving aside that we must again ignore the many human rights abuses that are apparently natural to the creation of such an excessive sporting event- most notably in the exploitation of construction workers and the imprisonment and repression of journalists trying to uncover this. Even leaving aside Russia’s illegal invasion of Crimea and their collective atrocities with Bashar-All Assad in Syria, the idea that Holland and the European Union are just going to gleefully participate in games hosted by the country that is guilty of murdering so many of their countrymen without any judicial reprieve is tragic. None of this means that the Wests reaction should be swift and callous. It’s an incredibly complicated situation with high stakes in geo-political relationships and the appropriate response should be measured appropriately. But it should come with conviction for justice and democratic values- everything Putin’s government stands against. This does not mean outright war but it does mean hitting Russia where it’s hurts: by boycotting The 2018 World Cup, a prospect Putin has invested a lot of time and money in. If the whole of the European Nation refuses to do, then the absence of Holland or any of the nations afflicted by this tragedy would be enough to darken this supposedly patriotic spectacle. It would shame the Russian nation and therefore damage Putin’s longstanding dream of the Motherland becoming a respectable and mighty empire again. Though the sanctions do have an effect on Putin and his cronies, it’s not enough, especially after everything the Kremlin has done. A new precedent is needed when it comes to Russia. When it comes to the authoritarianism, we should never bargain, we should set the right example. If we don’t, it would just prove to Putin time again that no matter how many democracies are hacked or political dissidents are killed overseas, he can do whatever the hell he wants. While a judicial process against the culprits will officially commence in Den Hague, it still seems unlikely that the victims will ever find closure.

White chairs and a placard are set up by relatives of crash victims of flight MH17 as a silent protest in front of the Russian embassy in The Hague in the Netherlands, 8 May 2018
On the 8th of june, 298 empy chairs were placed near the lawn of the Russian embassy in Den Hague, as a protest call for justice. Each empty chair repressents a life needlessly taken away. 

The families have issued a beautiful and humble open letter in Russia’s dissident newspaper Novaya Gazeta which you can read here.
These are words filled with graceful grief, from family members who have come to understand that they are forced to live in a world where they will never know why their loved ones had to die. About eighty of those passengers were children and they all became casualties in Putin’s callous and immoral military operation. I’m sure he will sleep soundly tonight, as men without conscience often do. I’m sure he will read the open letter without a feeling a shred of sentiment. But one hopes that there is some sort of reckoning for men like this. Some sort of nightmare in the middle of the night: a slippery void, with no end in sight. It seems like it goes on forever and when he wakes up, basked in sweat, he knows he will have the endless dream the next day. Something, all we want is something… I’d highly recommend reading the letter itself, but one passage stuck out to me most of all: ‘’we are not the same people we were before. The world we live in is darker and less hopeful. We have struggled to maintain faith in human goodness. It may be that some of us will find some sense of purpose and happiness again. But we will always be marked by the brutal and sudden death of those we love.’’ As stated in the letter, any joy to be found in the 2018 World Cup will forever be lost to them. All they want is for Putin to do the right thing. But it seems unlikely that he will. It seems far more likely that most of the world will smile and cheer alongside Putin during the
2018 World Cup. We will have to close our eyes, ignore the cries for justice and pretend we’re only watching a soccer match.

It's been three years since Evie Maslin, Otis Maslin and Mo Maslin were among those killed when Malaysian Airlines MH17 was shot down.
Beautiful Evie, Otis and Mo Maslin- all three were needlessly killed in the downing of MH17.

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There’s No Meaning to Any of It: the Rise of the Gangster-Capitalist 1


This short series will examine the rising nihilism of American culture- alongside the rise of president Donald Trump, his crew and his misguided defenders. There’s so much madness to consider, it’s hard to know where to start.
-Song I listened to while writing this piece: ‘This Patch of Sky’ by White shores. 

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania The comedian watchmen

”American Love- like coke in green glass Bottles… They don’t make it anymore.”
Alan Moore, Watchmen 

Introduction: The Comedian Never dies

Before the Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) plunges to his death, he can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of it all, ”it’s a joke,” he croaks as the assassin faces him, ”it’s all a joke.”
Finally there’s the awareness of impending void: ”mother forgive me.” A spatter of blood falls down from his battered face. It trickles down on his signature yellow smiley badge stuck to the lapel of his robe. The joke never ends when the superhuman assassin slams the Comedian’s face against the kitchen table for good measure, afterwards lifting him up and throwing through a glass window. The button follows the descending comedian. It’s still smiling when it hits the pavement right next to the comedian’s corpse.

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The Comedian’s infamous badge found by Batman from the current Doomsday Clock series. 

The comedian has always been one of my favorite characters of Alan Moore’s comic book and Zack Snyder’s much maligned comic book adaptation- which I consider personally as being severely underrated. On all accounts the character is a miserable human being: a murderer, a rapist and a war criminal to boot- not to mention that he’s the illusive Grassy Knoll shooter as well as having covered up the Watergate conspiracy for tricky Dick. But there’s more to his character than the horrors he’s afflicted; there’s the notion that he comprehends the madness of this world, the cosmic joke that is being played on all of us.
Like Sisyphus he’s just rolling with the punches, smiling as he does so. Unlike his fellow superhero compatriots he’s long lost any shred of idealism. Now he’s part of the system, a mercenary for the government. Back in the good old days he was just like the rest of them; just another bleeding heart who wanted to make a difference. This was before the human animal created the capacity to destroy all life on earth, before there was a superhuman deity serving America which frightened those pesky Ruskies. Back in the days when good and evil were simple concepts. You do good and you punch evil in the face- that’s what superheroes are supposed to do. But somewhere along the line, after witnessed so much ugliness within the system and human nature, he lost his way- or become enlightened in the worst possible manner.

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Sisyphus’ daily struggle. The only struggle that makes sense to him. 

First he was fighting crime, now he’s committing them- but it’s approved by the state so therefore it’s legal. Before the Vietnam war, there was The War to End All Wars, well that didn’t last long did it? If you secretly taped the conversations within the oval office you’d hear the callous manner in which they dealt with the loss of human life, the senseless manner in which they continued the war. In this universe, one of the most putrid examples of the presidency would remain in office for a fifth term- it’s hinted that he would be replaced by a buffoonish actor turned president, a man representing America’s final descent into Corporate-cosmology, named Ronald Reagan.
Don’t you see? It’s a joke, it’s all a joke. Once you realize this, being the Comedian is the only thing that makes sense…

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The Comedian in Incendiary comic book form- from Before Watchmen: Comedian issue 5 by Brian Azzarello and J.G. Jones.

This understanding that none of it really matters, that the human animal is just locked in their own particular illusions- fostered by either group identity, religion or some misguided pursuit of happiness- is something that I can, in my own limited education and life-experience, understand, perhaps, in a strange way identify with. I don’t mean to imply that I see the world for what it is, because like everyone else, I have my own personal biases and live through my own divested illusions. But sometimes you can’t help but feel like the only sane person as the world invests their intellect and time into all these meaningless things. All of it will fade away like the rest of us. You see people get outraged about the smallest and dumbest things and you’d just want to slap them on the head, hoping to wake them up, to remind them: ”we’re all in this hopeless void together. Why can’t we just play around with each other and move on!”
Same as how I, as with many others, adored the character of Rust Cohle in True Detective season 1- someone who dares to face the ugly truth, reveling in the darkness instead of hiding in the manufactured light like so many others. Everyone had of us probably had those thoughts and I’m sure that even those who dismiss them, occasionally have this little pang of uncertainty, telling them: perhaps there is no meaning to any of this. Perhaps when the lights go out, they stay out.
But something keeps dragging me into the light….
There’s something there, something truthful too. It’s not all dark out there. I can feel this. Perhaps I’m just telling myself this to sleep better- but I don’t see no reason to fight this, especially when things are going so much better with me.

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Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) staring right inside your soul in True Detective Season one.

Unlike the Comedian, I do have a moral center and I can’t smile at the savagery of the human animal, it makes me uncomfortable, depending on my courage I will either look away or do something about it. Even though politics can seriously depress me, I keep myself invested in current events. I have faith in democratic institutions, I believe in strengthening them against the gangsters who want to abuse them for their own profit. There will always be equality in this world, wherever you go, it cannot be avoid. But with the right hearts and minds we can create a compassionate regime that is able to help and prosper the lives of our poorest and least privileged countrymen. I am passionate about exposing human rights violations of governmental institutions, in the power of journalism to speak the truth about ever increasing authoritarianism. I’ve fallen in love for about three years now and planning to stay that way.

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My favorite quote of the series. 

But it’s hard to not be cynical nowadays. As a liberal, I’m disheartened by the particular nefarious brand of progressive-liberalism of today where anyone who questions certain core believes and practices are shunned or insidiously misrepresented. I’ve found myself quite at home with renegade intellectuals, closer to conservatism at times but at least they are speaking out at this aggressive and hateful strand of liberal-progressivism. At the same time, my greatest worry goes to the ever increasing hold of Authoritarian disinformation, whether it comes from Russia, Turkey, China, America, wherever. I’m worried about the loss of objective truth in journalism, about the way we accept the obvious villains of democracy, letting them go about their business as they continue to infringe on our human rights.
And sometimes it just seems so hopeless, like a painful joke. I want to laugh at it, like the Comedian but it’s not as funny for me. Perhaps in time it will be.
In one of my favorite scenes of Watchmen, the naive Nite Owl (Patrick Wilson) asks The Comedian after witnessing him beating down several violent protesters: ”what happened to the American dream?”
The comedian answers: ”what happened to the American Dream? It came true. You’re looking at it.”
I don’t believe in the American dream. But I believe in fighting for it.

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It’s so Easy to Get Lost in There: The Disgraceful Treatment of Roseanne Barr

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania Roseanne Barr

Liberal media-figures and celebrities are having a field day with the cancellation of Roseanne and the public shaming of its main-star Roseanne Barr who instigated the show’s demise via her racist tweet about Valerie Jarett.
When it was announced that eponymous character would return to TV as a Trump supporter, many liberals already fiercely condemned it without even seeing it. It didn’t help that Barr herself has portrayed the basest characteristics of your typical Trump Supporter- meaning inflammatory rhetoric and conspiracy theory. In most cases, they weren’t unfair about Roseanne. We aren’t talking about subversive figures like Sam Harris or even provocateurs like Jordan Peterson; the contrarians who are often misunderstood and sometimes insidiously misrepresented by liberal media forces. Roseanne’s twitter history is full of misguided, borderline racist humour, 9/11 Conspiracy theory, Jewish conspiracy theory (Israel is apparently a Nazi state), Islamophobia and with her support for Donald Trump came the inevitable tirades against Hilary Clinton.

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One of Roseanne Barr’s typical insane tweets. 

In short, one can make the safe assumption that she isn’t all that stable. One can conclude that sometimes she likes to darkly satirize or joke about issues but in most of these cases she’s absolutely genuine about her political views. She always enjoyed rocking the boat. Her star turn in Roseanne was about a blue-collar woman who didn’t take any shit and would call out bullshit when necessary. In its early inception, before Roseanne’s fragile ego enveloped the show, Roseanne was about the plight and dignity of the working class. It wasn’t about the glamour of making it in America, it was about accepting your place and being there for each other.
The ninth season of Roseanne betrayed this with her character winning the lottery and going into madcap crazy adventures. In its final episode, the show tried to reclaim its authentic blue-collar glory by revealing that everything that preceded it was merely a literary concoction of Roseanne Conner as a way to deal with her husband’s untimely death. Needless to say it didn’t work and it wasn’t until its revival in March 27 that we were blessed in seeing these beloved characters again in the way it was always intended: struggling to make ends meet as they head onto an uncertain future. With age comes different struggles; the inability to pay for the proper medicine, coping with regret and never having achieved certain dreams and the awareness that death is always around the corner.

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Arguably one of the greatest sitcom couples. 

The show’s final ended with dignity but were it not for Roseanne’s tweet, we would have enjoyed another thirteen episodes in 2019. The media storm that followed came with of sacrilegious preaching against Roseanne’s hidden racism and when that subject lost its steam, it led to long prepared monologues of America’s systemic racism which was ultimately politicized as being part of Trump’s brand of Americana- it didn’t help that Trump turned the whole debacle about himself, as he wondered why ABC’s CEO Bob Igor, who apologized to Valerie Jarett about Roseanne’s tweet, didn’t apologize to him for the horrible comments made about him on his network. This was shortly after it was announced that Kim Kardashian came to the white House to discuss prison reform to Donald Trump- and its moment like these that makes you question your own sanity.

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Two great intellects…. Yes this really happened. 

Political pundits, commentators and comedians quickly jumped on whatever network would have them to condemn Roseanne and make some liberal progressive points. Countless articles came out, pointing out the cultural significance of her particular slur and the current hard line against it. It’s a celebrity, a Trump Supporter, referring a prominent black woman as an ape- payday couldn’t be easier for them.
In all fairness Roseanne’s actions after the cancellation only made it worse. It seemed like she was begging to be roasted mercilessly. She should have just apologized but instead she quickly went on a mental tirade, calling out her co-stars for not defending her. She also stated that she was under the influence of sleep drug Ambien when she wrote that grossly offensive tweet. She also told Joe Rogan that she had no idea that Valerie was Jewish- this despite the fact that she had referred to a Black person being like an ape five years before in a tweet against Susanne Rice, stating that she was ‘’a man with big swinging ape balls.’’
The company of Safoni tweeted as a response to her: ‘’while all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication. Ouch.

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Zing!

Her volatile behaviour makes it very easy to mock and deride her. In some ways I can fully understand and when one argues she’s asking for it, I can understand that too. Yet I also feel that the kind of vitriol against her is morosely excessive. It’s not just that it feels cheap and easy, to me it also overlooks one particular pressing subject of the human condition: living with a mental illness. Roseanne Barr, besides being a talented stand-up comedian and actress (you might disagree with me but I’ve felt she’s shown both great comic timing an emotional depth in her titular show), she’s also deeply mentally unstable. The origins of her personal demons are hard to uncover as Roseanne has a tendency for hyperbole and the unnecessary polemical. For instance she has claimed that she was sexually abused by her parents, something that was vehemently denied by both the parents and her two sisters Geraldine and Stephanie. On the Oprah show Roseanne regretted making those accusations and that she wasn’t in the right state of mind when she made them. During the time she made these accusations she was a heavy drug user, which along with her own prescription pills at the time, caused her to lose her grip on any semblance of reality. She however didn’t retract the accusations but did regretted the use of the word ‘’incest’’ which seemed to her to be the only word to describe it.
Her volatile marriage with Tom Arnold, who reasonably came to the limelight to also make the case for her mental instability, was one of enabling drug abuse. When she left him, she claimed that she thought Arnold was trying to kill her.

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Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold, a particularly unhinged celebrity couple. 

There’s also the case of a car accident she endured when she was sixteen which resulted in a traumatic brain injury. The damage to her brain caused a rapid change of her personality and her parents weren’t able to deal with her anymore. Eight months after the incident she was institutionalized and during that time she also became pregnant and the resulting child was put up for adoption. She later stated that she was diagnosed with dissociative-identity disorder which in her case, meant that she had seven different personalities running around in her mind, all with varying degrees of extreme emotions. If that wasn’t enough, she also stated that she has ADHD and bipolar tendencies, and from the looks of her actions, it’s hard to dispute the validity of these statements.

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Her life in the limelights and the question of whether this exacerbated her internal frailty.  

Looking at these harsh facts of life, it’s easy to see how increasing fame and media attention, with the sudden boost of narcissism that comes with it, can cause disarray to an already fragile mind. Cue the inevitable fall of her celebrity- and the rise and fall that has happened recently- and you have yourself a perfect example of a celebrity mental case. Some people just can’t handle celebrity fame, their ego’s and insecurities taking them to strange places- Prince isolated himself and become a devoted Jehovah’s Witness, Nicolas Cage’s eccentric tendencies are heightened and Justin Bieber acts like a wannabee thug. It’s not a normal life and though it’s easy to make fun of them- as I more than often do- it’s also good to understand that if we were in their particular shoes, we might not be as cool as we imagine ourselves to be. When your life is dissected and judged by strangers, it’s easy to lose grip of who you are.
Especially if by the time of your infamy, you didn’t even know what you yourself wanted from this life. And even if you receive what you had always dreamed to receive, it might not be enough. The high ends and you’re back to square one. Perhaps you needed something else but now, as you’re lost in the shimmering lights of flash-photography, you don’t know where to look.
You’re lost. It’s so easy to get lost out there.

Jimmy Kimmel recently came to a slight defence of Rosanne: rightfully condemning her remarks but also calling for compassion on her side.  The obvious response was:  mental illness does not cause racism. Stating this means you are missing the point. Mental illness means losing your grip on reality and yourself. It means that you are able to unreasonable things, sometimes even dangerous things to yourself and others.
Consider Roseanne’s life before the infamous tweet: her health problems, the return of media exposure, the pressure of her work-schedule and let’s face it: her tendency to abuse chemicals, all of this can lead to a warped perception- such as thinking that such a racist tweet is ‘’humorous.’’

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Kudos for Jimmy Kimmel coming to her defense. The negative response might be partly an awareness that perhaps Roseanne isn’t just the racist demon they perceive her to be. 

It’s not an excuse and rightfully it was condemned by all respectable media forces- even some of the less respectable ones like the alt-right hack Tomi Lahren tweeted that her tweet was simply ‘’wrong.’’ Unfortunately, the current political climate of the progressive left is unforgiving, especially when it comes to any perpetrators of racism or sexism. Every day bloggers and journalists fill their sites or papers with solitary examples of racisms just to get the juices of social-justice warriors flowing. People love to smack down these racist and sexist evildoers and that’s perfectly understandable- and a lot of fun too. Perhaps this is also partly as a sign of resentment against the current buffoon in chief. But it has also become such an obsession that sometimes, the bigger picture is missed.
It’s certainly true that there is still is intense bigotry among the American populace that needs to examined and clarified but it’s not the only demon lurking in its culture. While victims of racism and sexism are almost fetishized daily on every newsfeed, the roots of some of these isolated moments of bigotry never seems important. It’s just people being racist or sexist, just white men ruining it for the rest of us.
But it’s rarely that simple. I’m certainly not stating that mental illness is the root cause of all racists. Some people are just bigoted. But trying to understand why people are saying such things instead of pushing them in a corner, especially when this very person might be suffering from mental illness should not be the right answer. Sometimes it’s just culture, influences of misguided parenting, traumatic events or being under the spell of populism. Undoubtedly Trump has fuelled racism in America, creating a frightening universe for some white men where their identity and culture are under attack by either Muslims or liberal-progressives. At the same time, Trump has also spouted simplistic and insidious conspiracy theories, something that attracts the paranoid mind to no end. Numerous studies have looked into how mental illness and conspiracy theories are often linked. We’ve all seen footage of Trump-supporters recalling the most ludicrous anti-Hilary theories on camera. The Russia state media thrives on fuelling identity politics and conspiracy theories into the fringe voters of Russians (or whatever country they are trying to influence).
The symptoms are there with many and it’s easy to make fun of them but in these divisive times, it’s especially necessary to try to understand them. It’s not easy but her sin is not ours to forgive. We’ve forgiven many other celebrities for greater transgressions while we’ve demanded the disappearance of others. Rarely is there any consistency. Is Jim Carrey’s endorsement of anti-vaccine’s propaganda not offensive and even dangerous? We’ve accepted Mel Gibson back in the Hollywood flock despite his history of domestic abuse. What about celebrities who were horrible and selfish parents? Doesn’t that cause immense suffering on the subjects? The outrage culture is selective in its anger and we should have the mental capacity to challenge it. We don’t all have to follow the stream of hate because if we don’t, we might channel our anger towards someone who might equally deserve our understanding.

Looking at Roseanne’s history of conflicting and contrarian politics- a socialist in the golden days of her Rosanne fame who fervently stood up for LGBT rights to becoming a deranged Trump supporter- one sees that we are not just looking at some simple right-wing ideologue. Being prone to conspiratorial fantasies, either one fostered by George Bush, a Jewish cabal or George Soros, reveals a deeply paranoid woman who is eager to fight the power. Like many misguided activists, she considers herself to be enlightened about the insidious mind-games being played on the voters. She doesn’t realize she’s trapped in her own mind-games or ones devised by the real villains of American politics.

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The false profit and his flock. 

Through the years many voters have learned to distrust the media and politicians so much, that only the colourful words of populists seem to make any sense anymore. People don’t know what’s real anymore and they fear being fooled- as they have been, time and again. When somebody speaks to them without complicated political jargon, who tells them honestly that they have been robbed and lied to, why wouldn’t they listen to him? If you believe his version of reality, the world seems less complicated: you know who the bad guys and the answers of society’s ills are suddenly so simple.
Roseanne, like many of her kin, was always sensitive to unravelling the hidden machinery of the elites. She grew up in a time when the American dream was constantly proven to be fraudulent, whether this is due to the ever increasing popularity of John F. Kennedy’s assassination theories, the Watergate scandal, sheer gory pointlessness of the Vietnam war, the illusionary weapons of mass destruction of Saddam Hussein or the great financial crisis of 2008, where the dream of laissez-faire capitalism truly died. All these peddlers of the American dream turn out to be simply filling their pockets. The revelations of hidden money just made her mad, as it did to anybody who wants to rally against injustice. Roseanne, just like a near poignant half of American voters, became increasingly sensitive to the whims of a populist.
All she wants, just like the majority of Trump voters, was the corruption to stop.
But unfortunately the corruption has only festered. Though the American system still continues to be democratic, the institutions are continuously weakened and our supposed guardians have sold their idealism for self-preservation.

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The giant swamp of corruption that is Trump Land. 

If Roseanne could see this, she would have been an essential ally for liberals but she can’t. And judging by her mental instability, I don’t think we shouldn’t judge her too harshly for it.
Many of her outlandish actions are almost bipolar or borderline-personality in nature. They seemed impulsive and she seemed unable to grasp the potential consequences of them. Nothing makes what she said or does right. But speaking from personal experiences, good people can say stupid or cruel things when they are not in the right frame of mind. I’ve been around people who suffered from all manner of mental illnesses and deep down all of them were loving individuals- it’s just that sometimes you couldn’t see it when they were lost in their particular neurotic mania.
If you consider yourself a social-justice warrior and want to fight for the rights for minorities, understand that Mental illness transcends race or gender. This is why I’m often annoyed with the constant mention of ‘’white privilege’’, as if white people cannot suffer equally or sometimes more horribly than other races or gender. They might not suffer in similar ways but if they happen to suffer from severe mental or emotional instability, their supposed privileges are not going to matter. It will feel to them that life has become a living hell.

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Both Roseanne and I are not fans of Bill Clinton, but he’s certainly right on this issue…

And it’s not easy to understand them. But it’s easier to understand them than it is to suffer from their specific or multiple disorders. Roseanne Barr has made hundreds of inane tweets after the cancellation and her state of mind cannot be good right now. The response to this was the same cruelty and dismissiveness as before. As Tom Arnold stated in an interview: ‘’somebody should put a stop to this.’’
Jimmy Kimmel stated in his defense of Roseanne that ‘angrily attacking a woman who is obviously not well does no good to anyone. Mental health issues are real. The real Roseanne I know could use some compassion right now.’’ Kimmel received a lot of criticism for this and all of them reveal painful ignorance about what it means to be living with mental illness. And to me, the cruelty of the media and supposed compassionate social justice warriors is disheartening. Dismissing her as being ‘’a racist idiot’’ like John Legend does is not helping any of us. You might think racism or sexism are the most pressing issues right now, but mental-illness belongs to be their equally. With America’s treatment of mental illness of late- especially with the pharmaceutical companies taking advantage of people’s weaknesses- you’d think that more people would stand up for her. But instead media figures are just scoring cheap points as they degrade and debase her as their fan base cheers and hollers.
The real Roseanne Barr, the one who suffered enough as it is, deserved better than this.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania Roseanne better days
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Elegy for the Conner Family: Why I’m Going to Miss Them and Why the Cancellation Might Not Have Been the Right Response

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania Roseanne revival pictureWhen it became apparent that Roseanne Conner, sitcom’s blue collar heroine, would return after twenty-years as a Trump supporter, the revival show was already on the hit-list of media liberals. To have a respectable ABC show humanize a Trump supporter was apparently too controversial and when it was released, numerous clickbait articles demonized the show to no end. You’d be excused in thinking that Roseanne became a propaganda vessel of Roseanne Barr’s own vigilant support for Trump. If you’d actually watch it, you’d see that the show was fairly innocuous: it poked light fun at the current political division of America. At no point did we get a swaying speech from Roseanne about why Trump was the only reasonable choice in the maddening 2016 election. At the same time, the show called for tolerance and understanding against Muslims and people who have a different gender than the one they are assigned to.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania dan alive roseanne
Dan holding the manuscript that was the basis of Roseanne’s ninth lackluster season.  

What we did get was a faithful return of the Conner family, whose final season appearance 1997 was embarrassing to say the least.  Much of the failure of season 9 of Roseanne was due to Roseanne Barr’s own troublesome character, something that ironically also destroyed the show from receiving an eleventh season. Season 9 was hampered down by Roseanne’s continuous bloating ego and her demand for rewrites- like many celebrities, fame was something the talented comedian and actress simply couldn’t handle.
The chance to see the Conner family again next year, was destroyed by Roseanne’s grotesque tweet about Valerie Jarrett about her being black and born in Iran which went: ‘’Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby’’ yeah, hilarious Roseanne. Naturally in this current political climate, this supposed joke didn’t fly and it quickly caused division among its own producers with Wanda Sykes, long-time friend of Roseanne, leaving the show. Co-star Sarah Gilbert tweeted her disappointment with Roseanne’s comments. The tweet caused countless condemnation of celebrities and media figures, some of them jumping on the opportunity to bash Roseanne, deploring the revival show’s mere existence. Re-run episodes were quickly pulled from the air and add revenue went down in oblivion. Disney CEO Bob Iger even called Valerie to apologize for Roseanne’s abhorrent tweet and announced that the show would be cancelled. All of this despite the incredible high ratings of the show and sufficed to say, Roseanne’s tweet caused ABC a lot of money.
Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania Roseanne tweet valerie
Roseanne’s fatal tweet. 

Roseanne apologized profusely and stated that she wrote the tweet on Ambien. It was my suspicion that some chemical imbalance causes her weird twitter outburst- some profusely filled with demented conspiracy theory. Even so, it wasn’t enough to safe the show.
As a fan of the show it caused me great annoyance for the show to become so annoying politicized. People condemned the show before it even came out, citing Roseanne’s moronic political beliefs. As a liberal who absolutely loathes Trump, I couldn’t care less about Roseanne’s personal political beliefs and it’s hypocritical for others to do so. It would be easy to name numerous performers from Cinema and TV we give a pass too, but apparently being a Trump supporter is going too far. As usual, someone was outraged so cue: the attention seeking tweets and clickbait articles. Soon enough you will have tribalism with with Trump supporters all standing by Roseanne- all of this despite the fact that the show is not political propaganda but a touching and humorous look at blue-collar Americana.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania anti roseanne
Sarah Gilbert, Roseanne Barr and John Goodman reading the countless clickbait articles about why nobody should watch Roseanne. 

It didn’t help that Trump apparantly called Roseanne to congratulate her on the show’s huge premiere ratings. Numerous pundits and writers would condemn the show for its (imagined) racism. If Barr herself wasn’t a Trump supporter, perhaps the show would have been left alone, but the show even called out for being slightly dangerous for normalizing Trump supporters. The show was simply on the hit-list by many liberals. It became an issue of partisan politics and wasn’t looked at objectively. With the show being cancelled, numerous pundits and celebrities are supporting this decision, some even revelling this as a great sign or progression.
Being a fan and a liberal myself, I understand the decision to cancel the show, even if I don’t wholly support it. A dumb and drug-induced comment by the main star should not immediately result in the cancellation of a huge show- and with it, the jobs of all those performers who worked on the show. As someone suffering from mental-illness, I also feel for Roseanne Barr who suffered from her own bouts of neurosis and perhaps we should be more sympathetic and forgiving for her stupid and cruel joke. If we really want to have diversity among the humanities, it shouldn’t be just about race or gender, it should also be about the state of our mental-health. But race is such a sensitive subject in America that a calm and measured response I simply not in the cards. I’m not defending Roseanne’s comments but I wonder whether this response was right. The self-righteousness of many liberals seems overblown. This piece of news was used to make a political statement and perhaps it should have been used to make a higher and more humanizing statement. What Roseanne said about Valerie Jarrett was cruel and inhumane and should be condemned. But at the same time, as many right-wing pundits point out, numerous insensitive comments are made about Trump supporters or white people and apparantly that’s accepted, even encouraged. White people are often the butt of many jokes in TV shows and comedians.  White people are lumped together in ways that would be offensive if it were to be done with black people. The common excuse being that white people have certain privileges that make it necessary for them to conform themselves to the sensitivities of minorities (or is more often the case) and sensitive liberals.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania jackie roseanne social justice warrior
Jackie as the raging Hilary supporter. 

But perhaps the right thing would be to really look at America’s political divisions, at the hatred the show received from its inception, at the imbalanced mental-state that becomes attracted to one side of this polemical debate. Roseanne Barr is a celebrity that’s enmeshed in fake news and partisan politics but she’s not the only one. The decision becomes another issue of partisan politics, of the power of the outrage culture which cannot accept any compromises. And yet, maybe there was a better way. Maybe there was a way to bring us all together. Maybe we should have looked more inwardly to ourselves and to the perpetrator instead of immediately shunning her out of the spotlight.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania roseanne family
The Conner family twenty years ago, in their younger and apparantly less vulnerable years. 

With that being said, I also humbly believe that Roseanne as a show has immense cultural importance. Jeffrey Tambor was quickly fired from the hit-show Transparent following sexual harassment allegations. Showrunner Jill Soloway stressed the importance of continuing the show because of its importance to the LBGT community. If that’s the case, a similar case could be made for Roseanne as there are not many sitcoms around that are as honest in its depiction of American life. It’s important because unlike shows like Modern Family or Big Bang Theory, this is closer to how real Americans live day by day. Rarely do we see Americans in sitcoms struggle like the Conners do. In Roseanne we see the painful compromises they have to make, in their personal dreams and ambitions. We see how tired they are, how much of a mess their house is, how tragically easy it is to lose the little comfort they have left. The sentiment that often transpires in the show is genuine too. People love each other but often can’t stand each other. People can hurt each other, people can be selfish. But in the end, as the Conner family shows us, we have to stick together. The only way to make it out of this troublesome country is that we stick together.
I watched this show at the same time as watching episodes from the first season. It’s fascinating to watch these two different time periods back to back. It’s like you’re watching real people from the past and in the future. Sometimes Darlene or Becky would mention their ambitions to the future or Jackie would mention having children in the future and I’d shake my head knowing that things will be very different for them. In America, dreams usually don’t come true.
The tenth season was not supposed to be the last but at least we got see all the usual faces again. True to its roots, none of is glamorous. DJ Conner became an ex-veteran that is sometimes haunted by the horrible things witnessed and participated in. The passionate and vitriolic love affair between Darlene and David ended as it probably would; with Darlene breaking it up indefinitely in order not to spoil any semblance of stability for their child, with David hopefully showing some paternal instinct in the future. Becky would not have the fashionable life she dreamed off but instead becomes a waitress with a history of bad men and a slight drinking problem. Jackie becomes an elderly and clueless Social-justice Warrior, a woman with all the right intentions but none of the proper tact. Grandmother Beverly (still played wonderfully by ninety year old Estelle Parsons) still interferes with her children lives but revels in her newfound sexual hedonism that can appear in old age with the continuing awareness of the finality of life- which includes banging senior Christopher Lloyd. And finally, there is Dan and Roseanne, who still have the same chemistry they had twenty years ago. Roseanne has a painful hip problem which she, as is sadly common in America, treats with her slight addiction for prescription medication. Dan is still a contractor but suffers under the weights of cheap American Labour. Both have an uncertain future, as do all of them.
But at least they have each other.
The show ends with the whole family enjoying a meal the day before Roseanne is undergoing hip surgery. She’s afraid that she won’t wake up and see Dan anymore. Complications can always arise with procedures like this. Life is filled with unwelcome surprises.
It’s more than likely, as was the plan, that Roseanne would be okay. It’s not the perfect ending to the Conner family saga but it’s more a dignified end than what fans originally got. Life will go on with the Conner’s. And life will go on with all who loved watching the trials and tribulations of the quintessential American family.
But I’m certainly going to miss them.
Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania roseanne final meal
The Conner family’s final meal. 

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A Wake-up Call for Jeremy Corbyn

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania jeremy corbyn

Why the Denunciation of Marxism Matters

The threat of authoritarianism looms in the minds of British voters but depending on which side the political aisle, the type of authoritarianism differs greatly. For many, it will be a throwback to the type of xenophobic nationalism that that pushed Britain into a devastating war. Though the memories of those who can remember the horrors of era are fading into oblivion, the cinematic images of hatred still persists in our zeitgeist. The men in similar uniforms united in their goal of extinguishing certain unwanted races and lifestyles. They see Trump and his nationalistic offspring as a symptom of this disease. It ignited the support of Brexit. Its mission is to turn people against each other.
For others the type of authoritarianism is the radical left and its nefarious brand of identity politics. In similar fashion, they harp back to the past, to the great terror of communism, the supposed noble pursuit of equality faltering into oppression and genocide.
Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania marxism
Courtesy of Aslan McLennan

In many ways, both sides are right. Both show disturbing trends of authoritarian behavior. Both on the right and left, you will see a resurgence of anti-antisemitism. On the right you will see many defenders of authoritarian icons like Vladimir Putin, one of the main engineers of this deeply polemic era. Multiculturalism is a dirty word among the alt-right. There’s talks of liberal media conspiracy. On the radical left you will find people more than willing to silence any debate when opinions or facts conflict with their world-view- in some cases violence is encouraged for the greater good.
Whatever side you’re on, when you live under a totalitarian rule, it doesn’t matter either way. Though the philosophical roots might differ, the terror is equally oppressive. Both forms need to be denounced.
While Britain doesn’t seem to be in danger of crumbing under an authoritarian rule, it’s still important, especially from our democratically elected leaders to watch out for the warning signs and to understand the philosophical roots that inspired totalitarian societies. With that wisdom and understanding, the aim is to conserve one’s democratic society and to have an absolutist stance any brand of authoritarianism, past or present.
And this means, above all else, Marxism.

The Necessary Wake-up Call

The presence of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party Leader has been met with discontent and controversy, not just from the opposition but from within the party itself. For some Labour Party members, Corbyn’s positions on either economics or foreign policy are too unfeasible, bordering on lunacy. Some have accused him to lacking leadership skill, of being too much of a buffoon- which was the subject of much hilarity in Charle Brooker’s 2017 Newswipe.
The Tories accuse him of being a radical leftists, even dangerous to the nation. His meeting with a Czechoslovakian spy in the 1980’s, prompted people to call him a communist informant. On the Andrew Mar show in 2015, he was asked whether he identifies himself as a Marxist, to which Corbyn replied that he ”hadn’t read enough Marx as he should have done.” While this is not an admission of being a Marxist, the fact that he couldn’t simply flat-out deny it is troubling, not because this means he’s hiding something, but because it betrays a deep misunderstanding of Marxism’s role in today’s troubled times.
In fact Marxism explains much of the polemic divide of the modern world. While the philosophical tenets of modern Russia owes more to Alexander Solzhenitsyn than to Karl Marx, his troubled legacy still haunts the nation. The Russian tactics of sowing ethnic and cultural divide through social-media were inspired by Soviet-tactics. In the fight against capitalism, Marx implored that deluding the proletariat, sometimes by heightening (or accelerating) the flaws of the Capitalistic system, is beneficial for the greater good. From this viewpoint, the legacy of spreading disinformation or as we now refer to it, fake news, can be found in the tenets of Marxism.
Under the guise of Marxism, liberty must be given away for the greater good. Its emphasis on the ”greater good” has all the frightening connotations. You can see the extreme-right demanding the loss of liberty under the preserving culture- instead of class-warfare the narrative becomes monoculturism vs. multiculturalism. On the extreme left spectrum, the loss of liberty means taking away the privileges of some to benefit the other- as was done in communism with property being taken and given to others. The world is a battle between two opposing forces. Marxism rids humans of their individualism and people become part of a collective- the good or the bad.
In the words of Marx himself: no great movement has ever been inaugurated without bloodshed.
Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania soviet union secret police
Pictures of the Gulag

At the same time, we must admit the appeal of Marxism, especially in the aftermath of the Global Financial crisis. We’ve become aware of the ridiculous bonuses, the loopholes used to avoid paying taxes, the dirty financial practices used to hide massive sums of money.
Back when the horrors of the Soviet-experiment was revealed and the Labour party collapsed under the leadership of Harold Wilson, it was understandable why Thatcher’s brand of laissez-faire market economy was perceived as the only sane and humane alternative. Thatcher, like her US counterpart Reagan set the stage for the trickle-down economics that eventually showed its painful fragility in the 2007-2008 Global financial crisis.
And this is because the foundation of laissez-faire capitalism was based on a foolish dream. The idea that an unfettered free-market will cause inevitable stability and prosperity to its society and to its rightful participants- note how the emphasis on ‘rightful’ since this means this ideology means the destruction of the welfare state- is just as deluded as Marx’s dream of a communist utopia.
Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania Reagan thatcher
Reagan and Thatcher, purveyors of another false dream.

Despite what many Marxists will tell you, there has been serious attempt to making the Communist Utopia happen and not only did it fail, it has caused massive starvation and oppression unlike anything in history- and the price of ”trying” it again seems like an awful price to pay.
The point therefore is to advance a humane hybrid of both capitalism and socialism. But in order to do this, we need to learn from the past. In Marx’ Das Kapital we can read an excellent analysis and critique about the capitalist system. Much of what Marx wrote would transpire in the future. But beneath all this lies a milleniarist ideology that eventually inspired unprecedented genocide. Casual deflection on whether someone identifies as a Marxist should not be taken lightly.
There’s argument to be made that Corbyn’s refusal to denounce Marxism is purely out of political gain- to gain the loyalty of radical left voters. If that’s the case it would be just as egregious. But if anything could be said about Corbyn, is that despite his populist tendencies, there’s an authenticity to him, an idealism lacking modern British politicians. When he talks, it looks like he actually believes what he’s saying. There’s a lack of political-robotism in his presentation.
But sometimes idealism can be for the wrong thing. One could look at his weird admiration of Hugo Chavez. Chavez has been praised by left-wing-ideologues especially on the Hollywood side- if you want to see some shameful propaganda, watch Oliver Stone’s documentary South of the Border as well as mournful tribute to Hugo Chavez called Mi Amigo Hugo. Does Corbyn understand who Chavez was or has he fallen prey to ideological hubris? If one believes in one’s cause hard enough, one could easily ignore (or disbelieve) the countless human rights violations committed as a consequence of the cause.
Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania Hugo Chavez
The late Hugo Chavez: Does Corbyn understand who Chavez was or has he fallen prey to ideological hubris?

Milleniarist dreams are all about creating a brave new world- it also means destroying the old one. The forceful policies to make this happen, in the case of any communist regime in history, shows you the terrible toll this will have on human rights. The dream of Marx is dead and trying to revive it will only cause stagnation. It’s been dead for over a century now and it’s time for Marxists- if that happens to be Corbyn- to wake up.

The Redemption of Socialism

You can defend the virtues of socialism without harping back to Marxism. The only way to redeem socialism is by rejecting Marxism. You can state that you’ve grown to understand capitalism through the study of Marxism while also acknowledging that Marx’ historical materialism was wrong. You can expose wealth-inequality without espousing class warfare. The world is not divided between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. It’s not as simple as that and it’s important now as it has always been for our politicians to not divide the world in two.
In a world where large and small groups can huddle comfortably in their echo-chambers, where journalism and objective reality is in question and under attack, it’s only more important for our politicians to call out dangerous ideologies and the authoritarians that implement them.

Podobny obraz
Bernie Sanders, the U.S. Socialist populist. 

A political strain of humanitarian socialism is very effective and admittedly promising. A new form of politics is needed and some form of wealth-distribution is definitely going to be a part of it. Corbyn, like his American counterpart Bernie Sanders, has inspired many fringe voters. Whether this is due to Theresa May’s incompetence or due to the appeal of his message is up for debate, but what truly matters is that there is a definitive chance that Corbyn might be leading Britain in the next five years. And though there is little evidence of Corbyn charging the way for a violent Communist revolution, it doesn’t make his casual defense of Marxism any less revolting.
Above all its the principle. It’s about the respect for those who perished under communist rule and those who still suffer from its legacy. We should all know better by now.
Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania the end of soviet union
***

Right Where It Ends

They would never know the streets like him,
how the music of his MP3 player would blend into his environment,
this soulful movie would play inside his head,
it would be so real
and if you’d watch it,
you wouldn’t feel so alone anymore.
You’d feel understood in a world that never seems that interested in you.

They would never know the quietness of walking these streets after midnight,
with only the occasional car in the background
and you wonder where these people are going at such a late hour-
you wonder about the murderous missions
of men trying to hide the bodies
and men trying to hide themselves.
All these people you will never know
or
do know and if they’d only stop
and talk to you,
you wouldn’t be so alone anymore.

They would understand your pain if only they saw you,
stumbling around at night,
calmly walking home,
hoping your parents are asleep,
because you don’t want to talk to them,
you don’t want them asking about you,
all the things that are going on
and what the hell you are going to do with the rest of your life.

And you wonder whether these people have a destination
or are just driving around?
How many times have they driven around and found themselves returning to the same place all over again.

We run and go back.
We fall back to where we belong.
When we don’t have anywhere to go, we go back to the place we know so well- even though we’ve been trying to run away from this place for so long.

This would be such a great movie if people could only see it
but when you try to explain the plot,
people don’t know what to say.
Like your life it doesn’t really have a plot,
it’s just a series of moments.
”It will be great, trust me!”
and they nod and they would if they could see it
but you’ll never make this movie.
You’ll never have the capital nor the work-ethnic or dedication.
It was only beautiful then,
in these streets only you know so well,
when you were all by yourself
with the music playing your eyes,
and the drugs peaking
and slowing down the closer you came to home.

For one moment you felt understood,
in that one moment,
you were ready to face the rest of your life.

If only the movie would stop then,
fade to black
the credits roll
but life goes on…

and eventually
we all have to go home
and go to sleep.
And when we wake up,

the streets will never be the same again.


Picture from: https://hiveminer.com/Tags/eneade%2Cman

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