Aftermath

January 20th, America woke up with a hangover of 
			biblical proportions. 
Which is to be expected after
		a four year bender of 
			authoritarianism
					science denial
			and general cruelty.
Now, after chugging a Monster-sized 
	      drink of reality, 
       we're looking at the mayhem
       we sowed in our orgy 
			of drunken debauchery and thinking, 
			"Oh God, I didn't really do all that, did I?"
"Yeah, you did," our friends and neighbors 
				tell us. "All that 
					and more." 
		Ugh, we know we're not 
				a fun drunk 
		but we never thought 
				we were a mean one. 
	Maybe we aren't. What if we're just the kind 
	who does whatever the fuck we want without 
		considering the consequences?
But now, the fun's over and it's time 
         to start adulting again:
        gathering up all the empties 
        and tracking down where we left our car 
        and figuring out just who we offended 
                    in our drunken revelry 
        (we're not sure but we may have wanted to hang Mike)
		because we need some idea of where to start 
				making amends.
It goes without saying we're never going
		to do this again. We know we were
	incredibly lucky and dodged 
			a major bullet this time. 
But it also goes without saying that we're 
			kind of lazy and no one's sure 
				not even us
		if we're really willing to put in 
			the necessary work to keep it from 
                               happening again.
It doesn't help that we're not great 
    at keeping our more destructive impulses at bay. 
	A quick look at our past history 
			tells us that. We try 
				so hard
			to do the right thing
		but always manage 
			to fuck it up somehow. 
	Not this time, we tell ourselves. This time, 
		we're going to stick to our guns 
			even though we know
				we have 
			the attention span 
                       of a coked-up hamster.
I mean, we'll try. Oh god, how we'll try. But, like every other drunk
	who's had a close call, we'll forget how
		bad we felt the morning after 
	        the last time and we'll keep 
		     bellying up to the bar
		     until our near misses
		stop missing and we wake up to 
	       swastikas and St. Andrew's crosses 
		              every fucking where.

Opening Day for the BetaFiles on Substack

Today I am launching the new Substack page for The BetaFiles where our premium content will be housed. The page will act as a weekly newsletter where new material will be posted for the subscribers of the page.

This newsletter will be broken up into columns each week featuring Reflections from Richard Cranium (the same Richard Cranium from Now See This Here Now Then) and a column of my own called Tales from a Middle Age Father which will look at different aspects of the world through a Generation-X lens. Beginning in May 2021, I will also be posting the first (of what I hope to be many) serialized novels. These will be posted as a chapter a week until the novel is complete at which time I will publish the completed version on Amazon.

You will also have access to our Podcast, The Optic Poet, here as well which will be posted each week on Wednesday for free. The Podcast covers different topics from the perspective of two middle aged white guys trying to find the right way to live in this ever-changing world. It usually ends in a big laugh…

For the first month, March 2021, all content will be FREE! In April, I will set up a paywall for all written content with the exception of two free articles a month. If you enjoy what you read here, you can subscribe for $6 a month or $65 a year. A subscription includes access to ALL content as it is published plus access to the full archive. If you choose to be a patron who wants to give more than the $6 / $65 a year subscription, you may do so up to $200 a year. Patrons will have access to the FULL archive.

Non-paying subscribers will only have access to free articles (anything published in March 2021, and the two free articles per month mentioned above) and the podcast each Wednesday.

Only paying subscribers will have the ability to comment on articles.

Look for weekly articles and stories here, podcasts here, YouTube Videos here, our Facebook page here, or Instagram here.

And that’s that. Welcome to The BetaFiles on Substack. I truly hope you enjoy the material…

January 6, 2021, A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

This past Wednesday, I saw a Confederate flag being paraded through the United States Capitol building. I’ve got to tell you, that’s something I never thought I’d see. Now, I’m not so naïve as to think people wouldn’t stoop low enough to display the flag of a failed state that made war on the United States inside a space that should sacred to all of us. I didn’t expect it because I thought the seat of our government had the kind of security apparatus that was at least on par with one protecting the stage at a Justin Bieber show. And, I was wrong

In case you’ve been under a rock for the past few days (like some of these folks), I’m referring to the failed coup attempt perpetrated by followers and enablers of Donald Trump, aka the worst president in American history (and that’s the last time I’ll use that word in conjunction with his name). On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, these rocket scientists stormed the Capitol Building as a joint session of Congress finalized Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ election as president and vice-president. The mob, egged on by multiple speakers at an earlier rally (that included Trump and his mouthpiece Rudy Giuliani), labored under the delusion that they could “stop the steal” with this action. They were thwarted by quick-thinking Senate aides who got the boxes containing each states ballots out of the building before the rioters could get there hands on them, thus preserving democracy. Like most of you, I’ve spent the last two days processing this insanity and thought I’d share what conclusions I’ve come up with.

Did he “cross the Rubicon”?

For the past few weeks, Trump sycophants followers have been urging him to heed disgraced former national security advisor Michael Flynn’s advice and “cross the Rubicon” by invoking martial law and “rerunning” the election. And, as more and more information that comes to light about Wednesday’s insurrection, it beginning to look like he did. Fiona Hill, another former national security advisor, told The Daily Beast that “The president was trying to stage a coup,” but was thwarted by lack of military involvement. She goes on to say that since he was prevented from using the military, he decided to go with the civilian option. At the rally I mentioned earlier, he told the crowd, 

“We’re going to Capitol and we’re going to try and give…our Republicans, the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re to try and give them the kind pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”

And, Giuliani called for “trial by combat”. Now, I’m no attorney but, considering the events that followed those inflammatory words, I can’t see them as anything other than incitement to riot. Add in the fact that federal agencies (DOD, Homeland Security, etc.) were exceedingly slow to respond and neighboring states were prevented from responding for an extended time, the whole thing begins to look like an active, concerted effort by the Trump administration to overthrow the United States government. And that, my friends, is treason.

He wasn’t alone though

Amazingly, even after all of this had occurred, 6 Republican Senators and 120 Republican representatives still contested the affirmation of Joe Biden as president. Now, I just spent several paragraphs laying out how this revolt was Trump’s fault. But that’s only half true because these senators and representatives were fully on board with the attempt to throw out the votes of millions of Americans in order to allow an authoritarian thug to remain in power. I think the takeaway here is that many of them will be up for reelection in 2 years. We all need to remember how they supported a treasonous attempt to toss out a democratic tradition that forms the bedrock of our nation. And vote accordingly.

Trump responds to the insurrection… sort of

It took quite a while for 45 to finally address what was going on at the Capitol. In part, I’m guessing because aides reported that he was too busy gleefully watching it all unfold. Finally, somewhere around 2 hours into the uprising, Trump finally addressed the nation… via a pre-recorded video posted to Twitter. That’s not a joke, but video was. He spent more time pushing the election fraud garbage that led to the attack than he did condemning the violence. To make matters worse, he told them, “We love you. You’re very special. … I know how you feel.” It should be noted that he only responded after Biden came out and spoke the way we expect a president to speak. If there’s one thing the Traitor-in-chief can’t stand, it’s being one upped.

His supporters who stayed home? Not so much

In spite of the fact that their Dear Leader was personally responsible for what happened in D.C. Wednesday, his supporters who weren’t on the scene where remarkably quiet. I mean, for the longest time, we didn’t hear a peep out of a crowd that has never shied from “owning the libs” and telling us “snowflakes” to “suck it up, buttercup”. At the time, I wondered if they were still proud of him but quickly realized their silence in the face of insurrection on his behalf spoke louder than any words.

Until they didn’t anymore

That silence didn’t last, though. Before the night was out, Trump supporters— including (semi)legitimate news outlets and members of Congress were claiming that the mess in D.C. was instigated by Antifa infiltrators. This in spite of the fact that many perpetrators posted selfies and videos of themselves in the act! How do you respond to lunacy like that?

Like Rats Fleeing a Sinking Ship

Over the last couple of days, Trump staffers and cabinet members are resigning in droves and his support in Congress is drying up. Wednesday evening, Trump’s main Senate cheerleader, Lindsey Graham called it quits with Donald, saying “…count me out. Enough is enough.” I can’t speak for anyone else, but I see this as a case of “too little, too late”. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad to see there’s a line these people just couldn’t cross. At the same time, I’m appalled that line turned attempting a coup by inciting violent insurrection. 

Conclusion

This may be the dumbest coup ever attempted but it’s still a coup. And, while these particular perpetrators are morons, there are people watching and taking notes who aren’t. We need to send a very clear, unmistakable message about what happens to people who try to overthrow our government. The best way to do that is to ensuree some tough consequences for everyone involved. And by “tough consequences”, I mean arrests, convictions, and sentences with real teeth. I’m no fan of capital punishment, but in this instance, I’m in favor of bringing back public executions for those convicted of treason. But, honestly, I don’t see that happening. At most, these idiots will get a slap on the wrist and we’ll go back to business as usual. Which, apparently, is the American way.

Thanksgiving is the Best Holiday of the Year

All right, Halloween and the election are over and there’s nothing left to get in the way of the holidays. But that doesn’t mean all you Christmas cluckers can start with all your “Tis the season” crap. I mean ,seriously, Christmas is two months away and if you start this twaddle now, by the time the day actually gets here, we’ll be looking at the epitome of the proverbial dead horse. Besides, Christmas doesn’t actually begin until December 25th. The time leading up to that is Advent (I hate Advent and you jackasses just made me reference it. I will never forgive you.) and that doesn’t even start until November 29th. Second, jumping the gun the way you nerds do completely ignores the hands-down best holiday of the year: Thanksgiving. 

Right about now, some miscreant is thinking, “Thanksgiving? What’s so great about that?” Really? Thanksgiving is the best. And, here are just a few reasons why:

  • All the food, none of the stress. Look, after a certain point in your life, all that opening presents crap starts to lose it’s appeal. Granted, the charm makes a comeback when your kids are little, and again when you have grandchildren, but the universal constants of Christmas are food and stress. And, there’s a ton of both. With Thanksgiving, however, you forego the stress and eat yourself into a food coma. How can gifts compete with that?
  • Speaking of food. American Thanksgiving fare may be one of our greatest contributions to the culinary world. Okay, excluding turkey. I’m not really a fan of some dried bird meat. But, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing/stuffing, deviled eggs, green beans, biscuits, and pumpkin pie? Oh god, yes! I realize I didn’t include macaroni and cheese in that list. For me, the jury is out on whether it’s a legitimate Thanksgiving side (in my family, it makes an appearance on New Year’s with the black-eyed peas and collards), but I ain’t hatin’. If it’s part of your tradition, go ahead on. 
  • The leftovers. Oh my god, the leftovers. Yeah, I know they start to get monotonous after a while (turkey sandwiches, turkey salad, turkey gravy, turkey hash, turkey a la king, turkey soup), but until they do? Heaven. Just… heaven. Especially this sandwich.
  • Spending time with family. Okay, this one is a bit of a double-edged sword. If you’re lucky, like me, you have a family you actually want to hang around with. But, not everyone is so fortunate. Look at this way, if you’re not one of the lucky few, Thanksgiving is pretty much a one day deal which translates to a much shorter time with relatives who irritate you than Christmas requires.
  • Because it falls on Thursday, it’s always a guaranteed 4 day weekend. This is one of the most underrated perks of Thanksgiving. A for sure long weekend every time it rolls around? Take that, Christmas with your middle-of-the-week crap.
  • The parades and football. Okay, I hate football (sports in general, really) but watching football is a Thanksgiving tradition even if it’s the freakin’ Lions. And, the parades aren’t what they used to be, with all those Broadway numbers and such. If I’m being honest, Christmas Day, with it’s “A Christmas Story” marathon, actually has better televison options. But, tradition is tradition, and we will watch parades and football on Thanksgiving Day.
  • The nap. I suppose you could take a nap on Christmas Day but when would you find the time? Between the enforced socializing, eating 2-3 meals, opening gifts, and traveling to multiple relatives homes, you can barely catch your breath, much less take a snooze. But, napping is de rigueur on Thanksgiving. In fact, about 30 minutes after the meal, the fat, Trump-supporting uncle that drives you crazy is going to be kicked back in the recliner with his hand shoved into the waistband of his pants (belt unbuckled, of course) snoring like a freight train and you’ll get a few moments peace even you don’t take a nap yourself.
  • It’s not religious. That means you don’t have put up with the Christian culture warriors and their incessant carping about the “War on Christmas”. You will have to listen to basic white girls yammer on about pumpkin spice lattes but that’s a trade I’ll make any day.
  • Corporations haven’t found an easy way to cash in on Thanksgiving. That means it’s not nearly as commercialized as Christmas. Sure, there’s Black Friday. But that can work in your favor since most of your more aggravating family members are often the ones who love that stuff. They head out to stand in long lines and fight crowds for deals that aren’t really deals and leave you at home with all that lovely food. That’s a win in any book if you ask me.
  • NO GIFTS! That’s right, friends. No obsessing over finding the perfect present for that cousin that’s so hard to buy for, no trekking out and fighting crowds, and, most importantly, no spending money you don’t have on crap they don’t really want. Does it get any better than that?
  • It’s the perfect excuse for day drinking. Not only is a glass of wine part of the Thanksgiving meal in many households, a cocktail or two before eating is also included. And then, there’s the digestif, an after-dinner drink to aid digestion (man, the French think of everything). Just make sure your uncle stays away from the Irish coffee or you might not get those few moments of peace.

Before I close, I want to stress that this is not an exhaustive list. It’s just the things I could think of in the moment. And, believe me, I am no expert on holidays. If there are egregious errors, please feel free to drop a comment and inform me of them. If not, then tell a Christmas freak to shut up and wait until December to start their BS. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

Generation Jones

I spent a lot of time, trying to put my feelings about this generational thing into a prose piece but nothing seemed to work. But the truth is, some things can only be said in verse. So, check this out:
When we were old enough to sit up on our own, Mom and Pop
plopped our impressionable, young (still developing?) brains down
in front of the boob tube and we watched in rapt fascination as
the mightiest nation on earth got its ass handed to it by
Little people in black pajamas and sandals made from shit we’d
thrown away, while simultaneously putting a human being on
the god damned moon. If you think that won’t fuck you up,
I suggest you think again.
They call us Generation Jones and say we’re obsessed with keeping
up with those proverbial people, or that we’re jonesin’ for a fix of the
good life that’s always existed just outside our reach. I’m not so sure
because I can’t see that we care that much about anything. How can
We when we saw our older brothers and sisters riding high on that
crazy post-war boom, expecting the same for ourselves. But
our defining moment wasn’t a war or a movement, it was was
the bust of that boom, leaving us with ghost towns and gas lines
As we sat, wrapped around the block, begging to pay two or three times
as much for the same old calcified carcasses as our elders had just
a few years before. Finding out the world’s a pregnant pile of shit
was tough, made tougher when we were tossed in with those
arrogant, entitled asshole Boomers. It’s fucked us up for
Years. Forced to suck up and make common cause with bastards
who fucked us out of our birthright (without even the decency
to offer us a bowl of stew in return), we tried so god damned hard
to be something we knew we weren’t, hoping against hope that
we’d reach that promised land.
But, it never happened and now some of us are finally finding
a way to say “Fuck it. I’m out” and leave behind that bullshit
we were taught from birth. that grinding it out from the cradle
to the grave is the gold standard of a grown up. We’re
hitting the road in ‘Bagos made from box trucks, doing
odd jobs to get by while carving out a life we actually want
to live instead of punching a clock and making widgets
until we collapse from the sheer fucking boredom of it all.
You can take your “gold” standard and shove it where the sun
don’t shine ’cause Generation Jones ain’t fucking with that shit
anymore. In the words of our voidoid prophet,
We belong to the blank generation
and we can take it or leave it each time.

Who Will Survive the Zombie Apocalypse That Will Inevitably Close Out 2020?

Greetings, beloved. I know it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me and I apologize for that. But finishing a degree in the middle of a pandemic took a large part of my available bandwidth. Also, I’ve come up with several interesting, timely topics, only to them blown out out the water by whatever new piece of batcrap craziness 2020 decides to throw at us. Putting together a coherent blog post in this environment has been… well, let’s call it “difficult”. But, I think I’ve finally come up something that might actually survive long enough to publish. It’s my belief that, with all the insanity that we’ve dealt with this year—not to mention the way each new incident seems to ramp up the crazy by at least a magnitude of 10—a zombie apocalypse is the only way 2020 could possibly end. Now, that statement brings up an interesting question: who will survive this dystopian hellscape that I’m so sure the world will devolve into? While I can’t say for sure, I’m betting that it won’t be any of those doomsday preppers and their underground bunkers jampacked with canned goods and an arsenal that would rival certain small countries. I mean, these numbnutted narcissists won’t even wear a mask in the middle of a pandemic – despite what the science says – because they just know it’s a tool of government mind control. I can just imagine how they’d react to the news of the walking dead. No, the people who will survive a zombie outbreak are people like the girl in one of the classes I tutor. She is obsessive about wiping down any surface she might have to touch, always wears a mask, and seems to have an innate ability to know exactly what six feet looks like. Basically, she is the consummate social distancer, displaying the attention to detail it will take to make it through the rising of the undead. Another person who will survive is my friend, Dave. He and his wife are part of an intentional community who share everything. Dave is a gardener and grows a ton of vegetables every spring, way more than he and Jena can eat by themselves. What they can’t eat, they can, freeze, or share with their group and their friends. Someone else in their community is a mechanic, another is a teacher, a third is an amateur plumber. When a community member has a problem, one of their neighbors steps up and takes care of it, knowing that if they have an issue in the future, someone will do the same for them. While Mr. Beans and Bullets is locked away in his bunker, eating the same, bland survival rations day after day after day, slowly going mad, Dave and his community will be living their best life, looking out for each other because humans are social animals and, as much as we hate to admit it, we need each other in the best possible way. I know that in the middle of a pandemic, when social distancing is the order of the day, this is going to sound counter-intuitive, but get out there (virtually if at all possible) and build those social connections. And, work at maintaining the ones you’ve already built because these alliances are crucial to your thriving, not just surviving. And, you’re going to need them when COVID-19 morphs into ZN-1 to close out this shitshow of a year.

DC Layoffs

“Bloodbath,” that is the word I’ve seen used most often to describe the massive wave of layoffs at DC comics and DC universe. The estimates range from six hundred at the lowest, and the highest being upwards of one thousand. Most of those who lost their jobs were editors, leaving many wondering what exactly these layoffs mean for DC comics.

It is incredibly tragic that these editors lost their jobs at all, let alone in our current economic climate. However tragic, something along these lines has seemed inevitable since the AT&T merger with Warner Brothers. AT&T has in no way prioritized DC’s comics division, and DC universe, the other department hit hard by layoffs, has been being downsized for the past few months in order to incentivise subscriptions to HBO Max, which AT&T seems to have much more faith in.

Some are worried that this spells doom for DC comics, I however am not really concerned for DC in the long run. No matter how tragic these layoffs are, the only changes comic readers are going to see are less editorial mandated story edits, and maybe more typos. DC universe on the other hand, likely is on the chopping block. If you are currently subscribed to DC universe, I suggest you do as I am, and enjoy it while it lasts.

With DC’s “Fandome” event in just over a week, any questions about DC’s future will soon be answered. Although I do believe DC will continue it’s move towards television and film as it’s primary sources of income, I would not say the comics industry is in as apocalyptic of a state as many seem to believe.

In My Life

7/19/80

I was hell bent on getting that dog to stay in that box. I had spent all morning on trying to create a home for him so he could sleep in my room. He was having none of it hence why I’m holding him in the picture. As soon as my mother snapped the photo, he jumped out and ran away. What you don’t see in the picture is not only my mother with her Instamatic camera taking the picture, but my dad standing beside her as she did. After words, I would get dressed and play with something else. My dad would make his way outside to mow the lawn. A few hours later, my father and I both took naps – he in the living room on the couch and I in my bed. He never woke up.

It was July 19, 1980.

That picture can almost be seen as a metaphor for what happened later that day. Frozen for a moment was control, intentioned order that presented a picture of success. A moment later, the façade crumbles leaving an empty box and a confused child.

I’ve struggled with this day for forty years. What memories I have are few and sketchy. I was three. The two brief pictures I still see with my mind’s eye are the ambulance in our drive way from our neighbor’s sliding glass door, and the figure of my mother at the top of their stairs to their basement hours later when she came to take me home.

“Where’s Daddy?”

“Daddy is at the hospital.”

“When’s he coming home?”

“He’s not coming home.”

No child under five can really comprehend what that means, and it would take a strength that I can’t even fathom for my mom to attempt to explain to me, a three year old, what that really meant when she sat me down later that evening on our porch. My response was that of a child that young, “we’ll have to get another daddy.” It wasn’t that I was callous or was able to just get rid of my father, it’s just simple math for a kid. Something is missing so replace it. That simple.

Time, however, explains everything more clearly. In the last forty years each day has brought clarification to what happened. The sudden and complete destruction of my mom’s and my own world. We’ve been rebuilding ever since; that work will never be complete.

Human beings don’t truly understand the complete devastation death can provide until it hits quickly and suddenly. Empathy comes from experience most of the time, but the crush of sudden loss is a firsthand experience, and the doubt of the future comes full force to the present in ways that even poetry cannot fully explain. Four decades have taught me that.

Years after he passed, I found in his old writings a letter he had written called, “My Shadow.” In it, my father wrote to me attempting to pass wisdom, love, and experience through scribbles of pencil lead. Every so often I dig it out and read it. It’s the only conversation I still have with him where he is addressing me directly and I count myself lucky that I have it.

“Your small figure racing across the yard stirs every fond emotion I can feel. I feel a certain desperation in my desire to blanket you with protection against a world that is filled with uncertainty…It is, perhaps, a sad admission, but my personal hope for the future lies not in my own past contributions to the world but in you and my contributions to your heart and mind. Your abilities to handle a life, predestined to be more complicated and demanding than mine, depends, to a large extent, on how you have been prepared for it…Your tomorrow has arrived. The many yesterdays that have preceded today can only become meaningful if you exercise your abilities as you envision them to be…[B]e proud of not only of where you are going but also of where you have been.”

I have tried so often, failed a few times, succeeded a few others, to follow his creed to me. At this point in my life, I don’t really care if he would or would not be proud of who I have grown to be. My concern is if I can do what he had wanted to do for me. As a father myself, I judge not against him but myself using his simple template he left me in the letter. That is how he continues to live on.

Forty years ago, my dad took a nap. The consequences of that nap have been crushing, enlightening, expiring, and confusing. But it also made me who I am. That nap was the seminal moment of my life, and to ignore or forget it would be folly. To learn from it, from the moments afterwards, from the years of fear, sadness, and longing, is the key to survival and becoming the father he tried to be for me.

Forty years ago, my dad took a nap. He never woke up.

But I did.

Gotham 2.0

It was announced recently that a show based in the universe of the upcoming Matt Reeves’ helmed Batman film will be coming to HBO max. This news excited me at first, as I have believed for a while now that the best possible adaptation of Batman would be an episodic detective show. Much to my disappointment, I later learned that this new show is to focus on Jim Gordon and the GCPD.

I don’t think that focusing on the GCPD is a bad idea, quite the opposite. My problem is the fact that we saw this same thing not long ago in the form of “Gotham.” I quite enjoyed Gotham, especially the first few seasons, although I understand why a lot of Batman fans did not like it. No matter the quality of Gotham, I think that making a similar show this soon is a bit ridiculous. The final episode of Gotham aired on April 25, 2019. That was just over a year ago, and they are already planning a similar show.

I think it is about time that we get a proper live action Batman television series. Batman has not been the focus of a non animated series since the 60’s series starring Adam West. Birds of Prey, Gotham, Pennyworth, and Batwoman all focus on some member of Batman’s supporting cast. They gave Superman a romantic comedy in the 90s in they form of “Lois and Clark”, They gave Superboy a show in the 90s. Hell, they gave a minor character from Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” a show in the form of Lucifer. I don’t think a Batman show about Batman is too much to ask of Warner Brothers.

I complain about this news, yet anyone who knows me, knows that I will watch it anyway, as I have an obsession with consuming all things Batman. I’m unhappy about who the show is focusing on, but I will still tune in every week, same Bat Time, same Bat Channel.

Maxwell’s Silver Hammer

“Our job as Americans…is to dislodge the traitors from every place where they’ve been sent to do their traitorous work.”

This quote represents the ongoing fight in America against the tyranny of a long held destructive philosophy. The man who spoke it chose his side against an evil that was corrupting minorities within the social fabric of our country. Defending against the threat, he laid his career on the line, sacrificed his public standing, and helped solidify American values in the public eye while also helping to corner and suppress the very people who threatened to destroy the values of American democracy that had been built on shaky and questionable individuals he sought to rid from the history books. We should all hail him as a true American hero who helped set the template by which our current culture is adhering in the current movement to root out racial inequalities in every aspect of our culture. Join me as I thank Mr. Joseph McCarthy, Junior Senator from Wisconsin.

The Atlantic published an article recently that documented the cases of three people who have been victims of the current surge in cancel culture. The argument of the piece is that we need to step back and pay attention to who we are destroying – yes DESTROYING – in this rush to rapidly cleanse our culture of racial inequalities. As I read that article, and several others over the past week, my mind couldn’t help but to wonder back to the Murrow v. McCarthy discussions from my American Lit classes. Specifically to the “black list” that the McCarthy era created, the lives destroyed, the never turning back.

“The loss of his job has left Cafferty shaken. A few days ago, he spoke with a mental-health counselor for the first time in his life. ‘A man can learn from making a mistake,’ he told me. ‘But what am I supposed to learn from this? It’s like I was struck by lightning.’

The man being quoted above was a hardworking, blue collar, politically unaffiliated man of mixed decent. The offense that led to the loss of his job was incorrectly giving the “OK” symbol. Caught on camera. By a complete stranger. Posted on Twitter. As Jonathan Pie noted in his most recent YouTube video, “this way into the incinerator, please.”

Over the past few weeks, I have grown very agitated at our culture. First at the arrogance of the policemen who were involved with George Floyd, then at the media for how they were blatantly skewing the coverage of the protests and riots, and now with the obscene nature of the cancel culture. The amount of anxiety this current wave of shaming people in public has created has gone too far. We are so arrogant in our political ideals in this country that we refuse to learn the lessons of the most atrocious moments of our past, and repeat them all the way down to the very means by which we destroy lives permanently without allowing ANY kind of forgiveness or mercy.

Ok, so you tore down a few statues, you ruined the lives of countless innocent people without looking into who these people are, you won a few primary victories in the northeast and Kentucky. You have successfully pressured the press into weeding out journalists that have questioned the very nature of this movement, you have successfully ruined individuals who presented well thought out responses with your own intellectual creeds, and you have finally brought the discussion of race to the forefront of the American discussion in ways that Dr. Martin Luther King could have never imagined.

Now what?

Whether you want to admit it, your current movement is not purification of the culture. Your current movement is not democratic in the slightest. Your current movement is not for the everyman you claim will benefit the most.

However, it is, based on the simple patterns of where you are heading, mirroring the French Revolution, The Bolshevik revolution, the Cuban revolution, McCarthyism, Mao, the rise of Mussolini, and the rise of the third Reich. No, you do not share their ideologies, but you share their natures in rooting out that which you deem undesirable. Your carelessness in ruining the lives of innocent people with your MAC from the comfort of an IKEA chair is no different than Robespierre weeding out dissenters in Paris or Hitler weeding out communists in Germany or Stalin, or Mao, or etc…

You are no better. And the world that you are creating (separate from the one you wanted) will bear zero resemblance to the harmonic world you strive for. You are creating a zero tolerance state in the name of tolerance. You are creating a diverse nation void of any diversity. You are allowing your own ideology to create a definitive rule of law that promotes extreme exclusion without any kind of wavering from the narrative you deem acceptable. To put it simple: you are creating the very thing you are railing against, and you are thrusting us farther into that hole.

“These cases do not negate the good that can, and hopefully will, come from America’s newfound determination to root out racial injustice. Given the gravity of police misconduct in this country, there is little doubt in my mind that the overall thrust of the changes set in motion by the protests over the murder of George Floyd is highly positive. Nevertheless, it would be a big mistake—especially for those who deeply care about social justice—to dismiss the fate of people such as Cafferty, Shor, and Wadi as a minor detail or a necessary price for progress.

First, these incidents damage the lives of innocent people without achieving any noble purpose.

Second, such injustices are liable to provoke a political backlash. If a lot of Americans come to feel that those who supposedly oppose racism are willing to punish the innocent to look good in the public’s eyes, they could well grow cynical about the enterprise as a whole.

Third, those of us who want to build a better society should defend the innocent because movements willing to sacrifice justice in the pursuit of noble goals have, again and again, built societies characterized by pervasive injustice.

One of the core tenets of liberal democracy is that people should not be punished for accusations against them that are unsubstantiated, for actions that are perfectly reasonable, or for offenses that were committed by others. No matter how worthy the cause they invoke, you should not trust anyone who seeks to abandon these fundamental principles.” – Yascha Mounk

I plead with you now – stop it. Change can happen if given time and patience and, most importantly, diligence. Change of rapid succession based on Twitter posts and virtual mobs of iPhone users is NOT change. It is further complications in this world of all ready complicated relationships. Please, stop…