And I said I wasn’t going to be a political blogger…

Maybe a small stupid thing and I hope to do more but here's me with a #safetypin

A post shared by Ray (@raelianautopsy) on

 

And I said wasn’t going to be a political blogger…

Been a devastating week since I posted about what I really think of American politics.

I’m not taking the election results well. I, like most people in my world, did not see that coming. Does this mean we should’ve trusted Michael Moore and Ann Coulter?

Seriously, I don’t mean expats who are far from America didn’t see this coming, I mean everyone I know back in America as well as Americans I know in Shenzhen and all over the world. I had no idea I was so out of touch. That’s what really hurts.

I feel betrayed by the news media. Those liberal websites I followed with their pundits and polls — which I guess is no longer a thing in this brave new world– they had no idea what was going on. Huffington Post was worst of all, but all the sites suck. I’m over it. Since then, no more talk shows for me either, no topical comedy, no SNL skits. I want none of it. I deeply regret all that time I spent trying to keep in touch with America and it turned out to be a complete waste.

(No, I won’t getting into right-wing propaganda :post-facts” websites either. I am thinking of only following British news sources from now on. At least international news has a good excuse for being out of touch with middle Americans.)

 

I didn’t sleep the first day. I talked to my best friend back home for hours, analyzing and analyzing and trying to make sense. He didn’t take it well either. I ranted to my poor girlfriend nonstop about the American system and how everything is so much worse than I realized.

I want to be an optimistic person, believe it or not, I really do. But now that I realize the entire global system is so fragile it’s very difficult to anticipate anything good can come of this. Sure it was flawed. But now this? All the gains of the past have been thrown out the window. Nobody knows for sure what will happen next. Most likely, if you believe that the shit-spouting candidate will do what he said he was going to do, real fascism is coming.

 

Why did this happen? Because of the FBI? Because Hillary Clinton truly is that bad a candidate? Because of apathetic voters who stayed home, or the nationwide gerry-mandering that is the electoral college?

I mean, how can this be the same country that elected Obama? It’s so hard to make sense of it.

In terms of numbers, what apparently occurred is that the same amount of Republicans voted in 2008 and 2012, but Democrats voted in smaller numbers and hence lost all the swing states. So it’s not a popular vote country. Perhaps Obama is the aberration, an incredible individual who turned the tide on America on his own yet now the pendulum swung way back into the gutter more Americans are used to.

God, why couldn’t it at least have been a normal Republican who won…

There are new rules for politics. I suppose it might be interesting to see what may come next. I realize that Obama even beat Clinton in 2008 because he had such little experience, not despite it even that that was what the right criticized him for. Turns out experience is a liability. Americans like “outsiders” now or something.

And while third parties never did gain any traction, just about anybody can take over the major parties. What a damn tragedy that the DNC cheated Bernie Sanders out of winning the candidacy, how amazing it would have been to see how that would turn out.

 

I still replay this all in my mind and it’s so hard to find a narrative that makes sense. Just what is the lesson?

He didn’t even really try. He lost all the debates, his campaign staff was a mess, and his rhetoric was all over the place. Only the fascistic elements were consistent. It seemed obvious to me that he just wanted to launch a TV network.

I mean, it was the most negative campaign in modern history. Is it going to be this way now, everyone has to be as ruthless as possible to win?

And he lied so much. Pathologically. Anyone can look it up on Politico, or debunk myths on Snopes, but for some reason most don’t care about the lies. His base doesn’t care about his lies whatsoever.

Apparently, the biggest problem today is that so many people live in different bubbles due to their own Internet medias of choice. The right likes to whine about the “mainstream media” but there’s no such thing. Reality TV had a hell of a lot more influence than the news media. The new culture of anti-intellectualism rejects fact-checking and chooses their own facts. Thanks, Facebook.

And fool that I am I always though digital technology was going to save humanity… Shows what the hell I know.

 

So currently the narrative is forming that we are supposed to respect the supporters, because they’ve had it bad and it was liberal arrogance that pushed them away. We shouldn’t have called them racists or whatever.

Sure, snobby liberals can have their faults but I find this election a serious overreaction! I mean, seriously?! Boo hoo, people got mad because of political correctness and so you nominate a disgusting vulgar fascist.

Don’t even get me started on how I don’t understand women voters.

The truth is that humans are fundamentally stupid. We are instinctual animals that can sometimes be rational, not rational beings who sometimes give in to emotions. People do not want to learn. People want “strong leaders”, that is they want dictators.

I will certainly concede that the supporters are not all necessarily hardcore white supremacists (though many many indeed are). But the majority did turn a blind eye to some very dark forces indeed. They chose being willfully ignorant and made excuses for bigotry — be it against Muslims or Hispanics or women — and instead of thinking deeply about personal bias they had a temper tantrum  because they don’t like being labeled as what they are. Well at best, they are suckers.

I don’t think this new era is going to go well for the white working class. Let’s bet on it.

I guess it will be “different,” whatever that means, whatever it is people want so bad.

 

Seriously, this is different than George W. Bush’s presidency, which was very bad, or McCain or Romney or even what Ted Cruz could have been. This is ushering in a new paradigm of embracing the worst of humanity.

So here we are with a documented explosion of hate crimes and an unprecedentedly corrupt — from not releasing tax records to refusing a blind trust and giving his kids positions like a third-world tyrant — executive branch with no idea what it’s doing. It begins.

 

I’m lucky to be in China, now that China is pretty much certain to take over the world.

I may never go back to America. To be fair, I wasn’t planning on going back any time soon.

I do admire the new protest movement. I wish I was there to express my horror at what is happening and fight the good fight, I wish I could.

But what to do? Efficient governance has failed, due to a completely broken democratic system. I can only conclude that anarcho-libertarianism is the appropriate ideology in this age, everyone has got to take care of themselves. Let’s just hope that the environmental damage to the planet Earth doesn’t ruin it forever for every selfish individual out there.

 

Funny thing about being a hopeless white guy right now, my black friend really did see this coming. Damn I was naive. I assured him the monster candidate couldn’t win, yeah he wasn’t supposed to get this far but his base was fringe, that this was a story of Republicans imploding, and history would progress. He really knew better. He’s planning on leaving the country and I support that decision; it’s not hyperbole, he has the means to do it.

 

There will probably be a hero of the new left in four years time, that ol’ pendulum will swing back, but by then things will have changed so drastically it may be impossible to repair. I do hold out hope that something can happen in the next two months, like he’ll quit to work on Drumpf TV and we’ll be left with Mike Pence as a weak status quo Republican. It’s not ideal but the world would make a bit more sense.

 

I wonder if this is one of those “great men” theories of history or if this was inevitable because of historical forces. Is he such an enormous personality that he gets to change history, or would that have happened to someone else regardless at the rate America is going?

It seems around the world authoritarianism is gaining ground. Xi, Putin, Brexit, Neo-Nazi parties in Europe, Duterte, the recent coup in Brazil, Thailand crackdowns, the Likud Party in my homeland (I’m just going to go ahead and introduce myself as Israeli nowadays, not American. Never thought I’d see the day), and so much more everywhere. I wish people were educated enough to know how to properly blame corporatist elites for the ruined economy around the world, I wish they had better ideas about alleviating poverty and violence, but maybe it’s because of Internet bubbles or maybe it’s because of the human tribal instincts but in any case this is happening.

 

 

It really feels like we’re in an alternate reality. I for one fully believe in the many worlds multiverse more than ever.

 

That’s about all I can say. No endless links, no articles to quote with the hopes of changing minds. That never worked. That did no good.

It’s over, and this is the world we live in.

Continue reading

Hong Kong video II: Return to Occupy Central

Last week I returned to Occupy Central, to observe the umbrella-raising ceremony in support of the pro-democracy protest.

Again, I was truly inspired. The scale of this movement is truly incredible.

May they camp out as long as it takes…

Here is another vid:

OCCUPY MORE!

Another amazing experience in Admiralty. The movement is still going strong a month later, with no signs of letting up. Perhaps it will be a permanent fixture in Hong Kong, wouldn’t that be amazing!

Another amazing experience in Admiralty. The pro-democracy/Occupy movement is still going strong a month later, with no signs of letting up. A substantial community of sharing and donations, an authentic anarcho-commune collective in a modern metropolis. It is truly working. In some ways it actually reminded me of Burning Man, yet it is even less regulated and more organic. An inspiration. Perhaps it will be a permanent fixture in Hong Kong, wouldn’t that be amazing!

At 6:00 p.m. sharp I witnessed the umbrella-opening ceremony. I wandered and learned a lot. I saw tens of thousands of campers, infinite yellow ribbons, inspiring post-it’s along the Lennon Wall – You may call me a dreamer, but I’m not the only one – and recorded some more video which I hope to edit soon and share. I was blown away by the creativity. T-shirts, banners, sculptures Umbrella Man ad Spider-Man and more, with cute paper Totoros. Even a library. The KFC sign amused me. And I like the setup in the bathrooms, with toothpaste ad shaving cream and even has volunteers to clean up. Very nice. The most solemn moment was the ‘Dark Corner’ area where a recent incident of police brutality took place. Finally, the umbrella tree.

Recently, I’ve been reading the book “Why Nations Fail” and while I am not smart enough to understand economics on a complex level, the book explains in layman’s terms that civilizations tend to be extractive or inclusive economies. Extractive are always unsustainable and damage a country, but the elites prefer it because it is good for only them. It is very hard to change this. Throughout all of history, development in human rights (which in turn helps growth) never comes because elites politely give it away through their bureaucratic laws, but because the masses of people demand it. Period.

CY Leung’s recent comments about how democracy is bad because it will give poor people too much political power… That is straight out of the thesis of this book. Let me just say, in my own layman’s terms, fuck this guy and this system.

Meanwhile, the latest propaganda from the mainland purports that it is all a scheme from Western governments. I scoff at that, because if it was so easy for outsiders to start movements than why are the PRC-funded counterprotests so pathetic?! They keep coming up with new narratives, from it’s only bad for business to pretending it’s all about rule-of-law to now this. Of course, it is truly a matter of the elites…

Things will change. I know they will. It won’t be easy, and it’s always a struggle because an entrenched system cannot even comprehend positive change, but it does come eventually.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Hong Kong Protest – Video

Last week I went to see the Occupy Central democracy protests in Admiralty, Hong Kong. Students had camped out in front of the government offices, and took over roads in order to express their frustration with authority and demand change. The movement was still going strong, after violent actions from police had the opposite intended affect and renewed the people’s motivation and strength. Sadly, since then there has been yet more brutality and there is even more healing to do. At this rate Occupy isn’t going anywhere…

At the time, the scale of the scene astounded and humbled me. I have already posted some pictures, but I think moving-pictures footage can best communicate what is happening there. Allow me to share my video:

Occupy Central

Occupy Central – Umbrella Movement – Democracy Hong Kong Protests

On Monday night I finally found the time to go to Hong Kong’s protest site in Admiralty, and I was humbled by what I witnessed. It was remarkable; a much larger scale than I had imagined.

After some violence that morning, the protest movement turned out not to be flickering down but had escalated once again. What else could have happened? Lesson learned: violence doesn’t seem to be working.

The students built barricades on Queensland Road using public property, and then a truck also delivered bamboo with accompanying cheering of the crowds.

(The next morning, I sadly read, the police had brought chainsaws and tore down the barricades.)

It is all incredibly inspiring. In front of the corrupt government offices, the movement had completely rebuilt the landscape. Tents, notices, artwork, umbrellas, endless signs. They had taken over, without permission of the System. The people are truly taking over their own city.

I’m no expert, and I don’t know what will happen. It is very possible that no legal ramifications will be directly affected any time soon. But in a sense, I believe that doesn’t even matter. I believe the culture of Hong Kong has changed in subtle, more powerful ways. Mindsets have been altered forever. The genie cannot be put back in the bottle. The government will never forget, from now on, that they must be more accountable and more responsible or otherwise there will be pushback from the people…

Hong Kong, and China, will certainly never be the same. And that is amazing.

WP_20141013_017 WP_20141013_020 WP_20141013_023 WP_20141013_025 WP_20141013_030 WP_20141013_032 WP_20141013_033 WP_20141013_034 WP_20141013_036 WP_20141013_037 WP_20141013_038 WP_20141013_040 WP_20141013_041 WP_20141013_042 WP_20141013_046 WP_20141013_047 WP_20141013_048 WP_20141013_049 WP_20141013_051 WP_20141014_001 WP_20141014_002 WP_20141014_003 WP_20141014_004 WP_20141014_005 WP_20141014_007 WP_20141014_008 WP_20141014_009 WP_20141014_010 WP_20141014_011 WP_20141014_012 WP_20141014_013 WP_20141013_007