My Politics Right Now (and My Shallow Thoughts on Anarcho-Communism)

So… quick note. I consider my politics to be incredibly shallow right now. I am very ignorant about a lot of aspects of social, political, and economic issues, having only a surface-level understanding. I am working to change that… I’m studying. This post is the result of only one level of my studying. So I will admit up front that this post does not have a lot behind it… and most of what it does have behind it is ignorance. I’m hoping to have a discussion about this, because I think it’s interesting and I want to learn more. So please don’t expect an expert dissertation, here. Expect an ignorant lefty’s rambling thoughts about politics, instead.

The only thing I’ll say here is that there is roughly zero chance of me ever moving to the Right. The only path for me is to the Left.

I’m constantly researching my politics, trying to both strengthen and challenge my worldview. These days, I call myself a Democratic Socialist. And yet, the more I learn about Communism and even Anarchism, the more I think I could glide even further Left.

It’s so interesting reading political and economic theories from the Left. I’ve been watching a lot of Professor Richard Wolff these days, over at Democracy at Work. His series Economic Update is so fascinating. He, for those who don’t know, if a self-described “Socialist Economist”. I like what he has to say on economics, and specifically his talks on worker co-ops and Workplace Democracy, and how important they are to our future.

But I’ve also been learning more and more about the Anti-Work movement. It’s another fascinating political philosophy that says that no one should be forced into laboring in ways they don’t want to. It’s not saying that people shouldn’t work, but instead that people should have the freedom (both monetarily and in time) to pursue their interests. So yes, people should absolutely work together towards common goals and such, but no one should be conscripted into a job as defined under Capitalism and under the State. Basically, no more wage-labor, and no more Capitalism.

I’m also, of course, learning more and more about Anarchism…

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Doctor Who and the Timeless Absurdities

(Content Note: I do talk a little bit about the torture and even killing of a child.

Also, you’ll notice that, in referring to the Doctor and Tecteun, I mix gender pro-nouns a lot. Due to the nature of them both, I use the pro-noun appropriate for the specific incarnation of them I’m talking about, and the generic pro-nouns when referring to the beings as a whole. It’s probably confusing… it got confusing for me. But it’s easiest this way.)

So I’ve been chewing on The Timeless Children for a while, now, and I’ve put together a sort of personal canon that I think fits with what we’ve been told. It’s a timeline of the Doctor’s life that also serves to theorize on several mysteries.

Because this will be spoilerific, I’m going to start with a short, generic review of The Timeless Children above the fold.

To be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the episode itself in execution. It was basically an exposition dump broken up by rather anti-climactic fights with Cybermen. The acting was good (the only reason I won’t say that Jodie and Sacha both deserve awards for their performances here, even though I think they do, is because Peter Capaldi deserved every possible award in existence for his performance in Heaven Sent, but didn’t get a single one, so…) and I actually really like the concept of the episode and what it endeavored to do, but the execution fell pretty flat, especially for a finale as explosive as this was.

What I will say is that above is not a review of what was revealed about the Doctor in the episode. I’ll get to how I feel about it after the fold.

Finally, I’m going to make a request of commenters. Every single Doctor-Who-related forum has dissolved into cesspools of negativity and toxicity. At least one person has been driven away from Doctor Who fandom due to racism because they dared to actually enjoy this episode and what it revealed about the Doctor. As a result, I’m tired of it.

I’m not asking you to pretend you liked it. You are more than welcome to note that you didn’t like it and even say why. But I will not have negativity and toxicity in these comments. If someone comments who did and does enjoy it, then give them the space to do so. They are no more wrong than you are. That said, what I really want to discuss are the theories. Instead of attacking Chris Chibnall, the actors, fans, etc, and lamenting that “DOCTOR WHO IS DEAD!!!!”, I’d rather us work out and discuss the in-universe implications of what’s been revealed, and theorize about different aspects of it. And if you can’t do that without being an asshole about it and attacking the crew of the show and the fans, then please choose to not comment, instead.

So… let’s get to it…

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Please Discuss Fugitive of the Judoon with Me (Doctor Who)

Warning. I’m going to be spoiling the absolute piss out of the most recent episode of Doctor Who and then some. I will do my best not to spoil anything above the fold, however. I will also be doing a shallow dive into very deep and frankly confusing Doctor Who lore, so please keep that in mind. This is your warning. If you haven’t seen Fugitive of the Judoon, then please don’t read this post unless you’re like me and enjoy spoilers… in which case, read on fellow spoiler-junkie… but still see the episode.

I’ve talked about Doctor Who on this blog before. I’ve noted that it’s my all-time favorite show. And it’s weird, because it’s one of only two shows that I actually keeps my attention, the other being The Mandalorian (seriously… there was literally no TV show that kept me that engaged aside from Doctor Who before the Mandalorian dropped).

No… I don’t watch a lot of TV.

I’ve also discussed how I’ve considered Peter Capaldi’s Doctor to be my Doctor. I wasn’t super happy with every one of his episodes, and Moffat is not my favorite showrunner or head writer or whatever… that would actually be script editor Douglas Adams, who did script editing for the show for a time while Tom Baker was the Doctor (and before he [Adams] wrote the third Hitchhiker’s Guide book… which, BTW, started as a story for Doctor Who that was never shot). But I absolutely love Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. I think he was phenomenal, and was a welcome relief from the young, far-too-human (in my opinion) Doctors before him.

As for Jodie Whittaker… I think she’s absolutely phenomenal and is definitely in my top 5. Sadly, I wasn’t all that enamored with her first season (season 11, from 2018) over-all, but I have loved her characterization, her Fam, and where she’s going.

This season, only half-way through, has been a revelation, however. There was one bad episode (Orphan 55… sorry it wasn’t good) in a sea of good (so far) episodes (if you ignore a couple super problematic aspects of Spyfall Part 2 [i.e. the Doctor’s racism and wiping minds without consent… again]).

Then there’s the episode in question… Fugitive of the Judoon. Now, I do think it’s an amazing episode, but it’s also left me confused, speechless, and in desperate need of having a conversation about it.

So, starting now, I’m going to spoil the shit out of it…

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A Rant About the UK Election (They DID Vote In Their Interests)

So I call this a rant and it kind of is. It’s about a consistent narrative that I’ve always been sick of, and why I think the UK election proves that I’m right to be sick of it. It’s a narrative pushed by liberals, neo-liberals, and class reductionists. It’s a narrative that assumes that only oppression in existence is class; that most people only care about class. It’s a narrative that assumes that bigotry is an abstract concept as opposed to a real thing that directly affects real people.

The narrative, of course, is the constant questioning of why people vote for the far right. Why did people vote for Trump and the Republicans? Why did people vote for Boris Johnson and the Tories? Why do people keep voting against their own interests?

Well… the answer to that question, as far as I’m concerned, is that they aren’t voting against their own interests; we just keep getting our hypotheses about their interests wrong, and their voting behavior proves it.

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On the Muddiness of My Thoughts On Guns

(Note: As of right now, this is a blog post. However, I’ve been working on writing scripts for vlogs lately, because I intend to re-open my YouTube channel at some point in the near future for political vlogs, pointless rants, recipes, and one or two other things I want to get into… maybe music videos if I can afford to start getting my music recorded? We’ll see… but anyways…

This was meant to be one of those vlog scripts, but I decided to post it here as a blog post. You can read this just as a blog post for now, but eventually it’ll be the “Sort of Transcript” for a near-future vlog [albeit updated if I move further on this topic in that time], as well.

And since I’m on it… note that once I start my YouTube channel back up again, I’ll be using this blog as a space to post those transcripts, as well. So anyways… let’s get to the post…)

So this is an issue I’ve been feeling very torn about lately, and I wanted to write this in order to attempt to work out my feelings on it. Of course, given the title of this, I mean guns, and the regulation/banning thereof.

Way back when I was extremely politically ignorant and “edgy”, I was a “fan” of guns. Although I could never afford it, I wanted to be a member of the NRA. When I first moved to Florida, I even got the paperwork needed to apply for a permit to own a gun… although I never got one.

The idea of gun ownership to me was the same as it is for any gun fetishist in the United States: the 2nd Amendment, masculinity, a mistaken belief in “protection”, a general coolness factor (which, I fully admit, I still feel even now, despite my general hatred of guns), etc. I was never keen on the idea of actually killing anyone or anything, but the general idea of going to a range and shooting a gun, having that around for “protection”, and so on was super attractive to me.

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I Am NOT Satisfied by Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Response

Okay so… Neil deGrasse Tyson was probably my favorite living scientist and science-popularizer. He has carried on the scientific legacy of Carl Sagan in a way I can only admire. I absolutely adored his take on Cosmos, and I loved Startalk (until he decided to have Michael Shermer on as a guest… recap on that for those who’ve forgotten). I was a huge fan of his, to the point where I was defending his “ruining” of movies. I loved when he pointed out the scientific failings of films, regardless of what film it was or if science was at all relevant to the film. He was like CinemaSins, only with science (and yes, I like CinemaSins… get over it).

So, by all accounts, I’m the exact right person to defend his statement about these allegations.

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Rock Isn’t Innovative Anymore

From reading my blog, my tastes in music should be obvious. I like Progressive Rock, Classic Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Blues, Folk, and even some experimental stuff. But my tastes tend to be rather limited. I like guitar in my songs… and not just guitar, but, at least most of the time, guitar solos. But even with those, I’m picky. I don’t like “look at how fast I can play” odes to toxic masculinity (let’s be really… straight speed is basically “look how big my dick is”). I don’t mind speed, but only as one technique in a guitarist’s arsenal of techniques. And considering that David Gilmour is one of my three number one all-time favorite guitarists, speed isn’t even the most important technique, in my opinion (though he did have it to a point, he barely ever used it).

To be fair, no guitar isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. Emerson, Lake, & Palmer is another of my top 10 bands of all-time, and they only had guitar sometimes, with most of the leads being taken by Keith Emerson on keys, while the guitarist, Greg Lake, favored playing the bass guitar, instead. But even then…

Perhaps it’s because I’m a songwriter, but I don’t really listen to music as an escape. I don’t like going to clubs (too many people, too loud, not enough personal space), and I hate dancing (because I’m really, truly, honestly bad at it… I promise you… you don’t ever want to see me dance… you’ll have nightmares). So I’m not listening to music for the rhythm. I also don’t listen to music as background for something. The best time I have listening to music is, in fact, when I can gather a small group of friends, we can pour some drinks, grab some snacks, turn some music on, and sit and discuss it. I only got to do this rarely (and I haven’t done it in a long time… I miss it), but I have done it with Jimi Hendrix, ELP, Led Zeppelin, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Chantel McGregor, Anna Calvi, Living Colour, and Steven Wilson.

And this means that most of today’s mainstream music, including Pop, Rap, Hip Hop, R&B, Top 40 Rock, New-Age, etc isn’t my jam. I don’t hate them… I realize music is subjective, and I absolutely acknowledge the monster talents that can exist in these and other mainstream genres (Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar are just two of many, many examples [yes, I genuinely believe that Kendrick Lamar deserved that Pulitzer for “Damn”]). But, overall, when I look for music to listen to, I look, basically, for guitar-driven Rock… whatever that may mean. In short: I’m absolutely a music snob of sorts. (I still have trouble with Metal, though… I don’t like 80’s Metal at all, and I have a lot of trouble with the harsh growls and screams of heavier, darker Metal [some Prog Metal, and most Death Metal, Doom Metal, Black Metal, etc], despite the fact that the music in these genres is often incredible.)

So you might be surprised to find that I kind of agree with Steven Wilson, here

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Streaming Service for Rare, Hard-to-Find, and Out of Print Music

I’ve already posted most of this on Facebook, so it will be familiar to some or all of y’all. But here I’m gonna expand a tad…

First, like I said on Facebook… I’ve been going over the take-down of What.CD, a private torrent site that, yes, shared official material (music, audiobooks, e-books, etc… no video, though).

Now, before I continue, I’m going to quote what I said on Facebook:

No, I don’t want to talk about how or why I know as much as I do about it, and yes, I agree that piracy is wrong, it’s right that piracy is illegal, people should support artists they love with money, and blah blah blah… we’re not having that conversation here.

And I’m gonna stress that here. We’re not here to discuss the relative morality of torrenting sites, question why I know as much as I do about the site, etc. So that’s the commenting policy. And that includes you, too, NSA, CIA, and FBI.

So anyways… I called What.CD the Library of Alexandria of music, and one of the reasons for that is because What.CD amassed an amazing collection of out of print, rare, hard to find, and/or prohibitively expensive music you basically couldn’t find anywhere else. It was incredible what could be found on What.CD, what new music you could find that you never heard before, and so on. And now that’s gone. Sure, torrent sites are like a massively exagerrated Hydra (shut down one site, a thousand more will pop up in its place), but it’s going to take a seriously long time to rebuild the What.CD Library.

But there could be another way, too… a… perhaps… more legal way… to rebuild a part of that library and make it accessible to everyone…

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Some Stream-of-Consciousness About Nazis

I haven’t posted about Nazi invasion and terrorist attack in Charlottesville because I’m feeling… well…

You can easily see my thoughts and things on Facebook, where I let loose a tad with the re-posts…

But anyways…

I don’t really have much to say, to be honest. I’m grappling with my feelings, because, at the moment, I have to deal with the fact that I genuinely feel fine seeing these Nazis killed… and I’m not okay with that. That does not make me comfortable or happy. It seems like a betrayal of my ethics, considering I’m against the death penalty.

But these are also Nazis. I don’t think there’s another group in modern history that can be considered as evil as Nazis. And now they’re here, in the United States, in 2017, marching in our streets and killing citizens.

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