The Case For We The People & "The Preponderance Of The Evidence"…

I’m throwing down a radical notion here — a way for We The People to get back what was STOLEN from us — the outcome of Election 2016 that we voted for.

If the Rule Of Law is a “thing” then Donald Trump cannot be POTUS — not the legitimate POTUS. The Rule Of Law says very clearly that you cannot CHEAT and “become POTUS”. If you CHEAT, it DISQUALIFIES your run. You cannot therefore, by definition, “WIN”.

Cheaters cannot “win” — not if the Rule Of Law is operating at full 100% functionality. Therefore, if we accept that 1) Donald Trump & the GOP CHEATED — in ways profoundly ILLEGAL — in order to win election 2016, then 2) Donald Trump & the GOP did not “WIN” election 2016. Their “win” never happened. They STOLE the actual outcome — not in some abstract way — but LITERALLY — from us — from WE THE PEOPLE.

The result we voted for — a more progressive America — was not only denied us, but it’s diametric opposite was, instead, forced down our throats by the very people WHO’D STOLEN THE TRUE RESULT. When someone steals your car — and they catch him — they make him GIVE THE CAR BACK. Because it’s not his — and never was his.

The results of an election can be no different. Just as you cannot reward a car thief with the thing he stole, you cannot reward ELECTION THIEVES with the thing THEY stole — the election’s actual outcome. Even voting them out doesn’t solve the problem because the results of the previous stolen election continue to bear the stolen election’s fruit: legislation the electorate DID NOT WANT and JUDGES the electorate would NEVER have approved of. The will of the people is being violated willfully and repeatedly.

We The People have skin in this game and a dog in the hunt. Legally speaking, we have “standing” to sue Donald Trump & the Republican Party in a CIVIL COURT for damages because they violated our electoral will and STOLE the desired outcome of an American election.

This description of “preponderance of evidence” comes from the Cornell University Law School’s web site: “Preponderance of the evidence is one type of evidentiary standard used in a burden of proof analysis. Under the preponderance standard, the burden of proof is met when the party with the burden convinces the fact finder that there is a greater than 50% chance that the claim is true. This is the burden of proof in a civil trial.

That’s my radical idea. We The People sue Trump & the GOP in civil court. We sue em for a buck cos it ain’t about the money. It’s about getting to the Truth about what they’ve done and what they’ve done TO us. In a civil trial, our burden would be 50% — get past 50% and we win our point and win our case.

Even our gun shy press might catch on (finally) that the smoking gun needed to prove (in a court of civil law) that Trump and the GOP are corrupt to their marrow and traitors on top of it is actually a smoking preponderance of evidence.

Again — the point isn’t money (hell, we’ll go after Trump & every stinking, corrupt Republican separately) — it’s getting back our stolen car. In our case, our stolen election results.

We could use the civil process to leverage our way into the criminal process — by using the civil process (and its discovery) to reveal the full extent of the crime. Having brought vital evidence out into the open, We The People can turn it all over to the criminal courts for prosecution and disposal. Think we the people can’t clear the 50% preponderance hurdle?

Have you read ANY of the evidence we already have? Imagine how easy this will be when we start getting ahold of all the stuff Trump & the Republicans have been clutching to their chests so fearfully.

President Obama was absolutely right when he said — as he left office — that no one would come to save us from this shitshow except us. We The People need to step up right now. We need to see the evidence we already have — understand what it means — and react. Even before the trial gets up to speed, the preponderance of the evidence buries Trump and the Republicans in tons of criminal behavior.

We need to step up and pull the trigger on prosecuting them all. We owe it to ourselves.

If Every Human Could Be Merged Into A Single REASONABLE Human, Here's What THAT Human Might Do…

If we were able to put out a “help wanted” ad on some cosmic Craigslist, but the ad stressed that the human we’re looking for MUST BE REASONABLE, we’d instantly exclude a third of humanity. I’ll own it — I’m extrapolating from this country onto humanity in general.

Trump’s approval ratings in America still ping-pongs somewhere in the mid-40’s. On the day he resigned from office — because of Watergate — Richard Nixon’s approval ratings sat at about 27%. So, dots connected, Trump’s mid 40’s approval probably includes every one of those right wingers who still thinks Nixon was a god.

Wasn’t it Steve Bannon who pointed out that if Dick Nixon had had a Fox News at his disposal — he would never even have been threatened with impeachment. Reasonable people see rules — the Rule Of Law — as essential to co-existing as fairly as possible. Unreasonable people see the Rule Of Law as something “in their way”. So — everyone surrounding Donald Trump? They won’t make the cut.

Hell, no one around Trump can even spell the word “reasonable”. That’s because they’re all bullies — and bullies don’t “do” reason.

Being as every Republican Senator except Mitt Romney refused to convict Trump — for reasons no one can argue about (as we watch Trump & Bill Barr bludgeon the Rule Of Law with everything they’ve got), none of them can claim to be “reasonable”. Same goes for every single Republican House member who stood in the way of the investigation and knew for a fact that they were obstructing justice in real time every goddamned day.

For the moment we have one, single Republican who qualifies — for the moment, I repeat — as “reasonable.

As we know, if there’s anything that separates people from reason, it’s religion. As readers of this blog know, I draw a distinction between spirituality (which everyone has in one way or another) and religion (which is really just some people trying to quantify & manage other peoples’ spirituality). No one needs rules or regulations — or a church for that matter — to tell them how to be spiritual. The unreasonableness always starts when some “church” claims to speak for a deity. Better do what (they say) the deity wants or (so they say the deity says), there’ll be “hell to pay”.

Man, are those dice loaded.

There is nothing reasonable about thinking people need to behave a certain way because YOU THINK a talking snake REALLY & TRULY convinced a woman to eat a piece of fruit from a tree she wasn’t supposed to eat from — which caused all the suffering on the planet. If YOU THINK a sky deity wiped out every creature on the planet because he was angry at ONE GROUP of creatures (and, hey — what about all the life that lived in water? Did all the fresh water destroy the ocean’s salinity? Where’d all that additional water go (since the amount of fresh water on earth is actually FINITE)? There is nothing reasonable about thinking anything written by men ignorant of germ theory, astrophysics, biochemistry or even rudimentary psychiatry has any value to a modern human outside its literary value — especially when we can prove that everything they thought WAS WRONG.

“Doing unto others”, by contrast — that IS a reasonable thing to do. Hell, “doing unto others” is reasonableness defined. Even a humble atheist can happily “do unto others” without harming his atheistic bona fides. Because even a humble atheist can be reasonable.

Ummmmmm, Mitt? Unless you want to let go of the fantasy that Jesus (we’ll give you “he existed” for argument’s sake) CAME TO NORTH AMERICA and a(nother) talking serpent revealed magical gold plates to Joseph Smith and when Mormons die they all get their own planets, then here’s where you and “reasonable” part ways.

So close, so far, eh, Mittens?

So, now that we’ve culled the herd of unreasonable people, let’s take a look at our Single Reasonable Human.

Ms. Reasonable wakes up one morning to learn the following things are happening in her world:

  • The climate is super-heating super-fast because of shit HE’S DOING.
  • Americans take it for granted that their children getting shot at their schools is normal.
  • Children are in cages at our border.
  • A cabal of men is protecting Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking
  • A hostile foreign power (Russia) launched a successful-beyond-its-wildest-hopes intelligence operation against America’s 2016 election and managed to put THEIR GUY (Trump) into the White House.
  • The Entire Republican Party (save for Mitt Romney) is 100% complicit in a cover up meant not only to keep Donald Trump in power until the next election but to keep Trump (and the Republican minority) in power FOREVER.
  • The news media continue to mis-report the most important story in ANY of their lifetimes because they were convinced (from their journalism schools?) that “both sides do it” and so had spun a massive false narrative around election 2016 that Trump’s win was legitimate (all his projecting that it wasn’t aside) and that as abnormal as his presidency was, it still had to be “normal” cos they lacked the imagination to see what was happening in all its abnormalness.
  • Elections do indeed have consequences — but stolen ones have even BIGGER consequences.

So — having “learned” all these things, what would Ms. Reasonable do?

There’s a lot to deal with in lots of different directions. In short order, a reasonable person would do everything they could think of to stop the climate from crashing down around them first.

They’d stop buying products that hurt the environment — and they’d start demanding packaging that broke down quickly after its single use. Better, Ms. Reasonable would do everything possible to make single-use plastics a thing of the past. Reusable containers would take their place. Need new shampoo? Take your empty shampoo container to Target where Target happily sells you the shampoo itself — which you then put into your empty containers (which Target weighs — minus the weight of your container — and then charges you for).

Ms. Reasonable would take her own cup to Starbucks or Peete’s or she’d happily buy a new reusable cup or (just as happily) pay a premium to buy a single-use cup manufactured to break down quickly and decompose completely.

Ms. Reasonable would stop constantly thinking she needed new stuff. Not needing new stuff all the time would take a huge load off the environment. For real.

Ms. Reasonable would free everyone in a cage. She’d reunite children with their parents. She’d stop the inhumanity and deftly set in motion a system that mitigated the harm we’ve done while seguing into an immigration policy that actually resulted in sane, reasonable policy built above all on perspective.

Guns get the reasonable treatment, too. It’s unreasonable to think we’ll ever get rid of all guns in America. But, Ms. Reasonable will make owning a gun lots harder. She’ll remind everyone that the second amendment — with its well-regulated militia being the arbiter of who gets to “keep & bear” (not own) arms — is all about gun CONTROL and not gun proliferation. Want a machine designed to send a piece of hot metal flying through the air at a live target so as to kill it? Fine. But you will need to be trained in the use of that death machine and you will need to be fully licensed to “keep & bear” it. You will NOT “own” it as the Constitution does not give anyone THAT right.

Your weapon will have technology that allows ONLY YOU to use that gun. No one else may pull its trigger and cause death to hurtle from its business end. If anything bad can be traced to your gun? The onus is 100% on YOU, the “responsible” gun owner. Gun owners will, indeed, FINALLY be “responsible” when Ms. Reasonable is on the case.

All those men hiding behind Jeffrey Epstein? Ms. Reasonable exposes every last one of them. They all follow Harvey Weinstein to prison and ignominy.

Finally, Ms. Reasonable turns to Russia and what Russia has done and is doing.

Learning that her government was now being run by autocratic oligarchs, Ms. Reasonable would remind everyone how the Rule Of Law works. Doing that would take care of all but one of Ms. Reasonable’s most pressing problems. By making The Rule Of Law “a thing” again, all those Republicans guilty of UNDERMINING The Rule Of Law would have to stop undermining it and, instead, feel its wrath.

Reasonableness demands The Rule Of Law. It demands we follow it TO THE LETTER.

If The Rule Of Law suddenly becomes a thing, then Ms. Reasonable’s remaining problem — the News Media’s inability to do its job — might get solved incidentally.

With The Rule Of Law back in place, even our most dim-witted MSM-ers would understand that, no, both sides DON’T “do it” and never did. Perspective would replace “Both Sides Do It” at Journalism Schools and journalists would no longer equate Republicans acting politically to undermine the Rule Of Law with Democrats acting PATRIOTICALLY to STOP THE REPUBLICANS. Even Chuck Todd would grasp that the victim of a crime (having an election result STOLEN FROM YOU) cannot be the PERPETRATOR OF THE CRIME too.

Ms. Reasonable would get to watch cable news that featured Nicolle Wallace and Joyanne Reid and Rachel Maddow and broadcasters like them 24/7 — because even the news networks would — finally — have become REASONABLE.

Of course, when I woke up this morning, Ms. Reasonable wasn’t actually there. She had already been knocked the ground and trampled by Trump & Barr & McConnell and the inept MSM and every unreasonable dickhead with a Twitter account.

Am I crazy to put out a “help wanted” ad regardless?

Dear American News Media — If You're Covering Jeffrey Dahmer, You're Allowed To Call Him "A Cannibal"; If You're Covering Donald J Trump…

Rules are funny things, aren’t they? Journalism has no “laws” guiding its practices, it has “rules”. Ideals of how journalism is best practiced, its ultimate goal the fair, unbiased reporting of what’s happened, what’s happening — and what’s likely to happen next.

Somewhere along the way, American journalism took that desire for “unbiased” reporting to mean “neutral no matter what”. As in “no matter what that reporting uncovers or reveals”. As in — even if we knew the worst about someone — as we reported their story — we’d still report on them as if they weren’t as horrible as we KNEW them to be.

That’s a strange approach for a storyteller to take. Stories work by building new information upon older information. Learning things is ideally what causes characters in a story to react — and drive the story forward. And yet, our news media — when reporting the story of Donald Trump — seems determined to never begin its reporting with what we know NOW. They keep starting the story with what we knew A WHILE AGO — back before we had hard evidence that took us to what we know NOW.

Trying to tell Trump’s story without STARTING from the very beginning (he’s a corrupt-to-his-core narcissist who’s been in bed with Russia from the beginning and whose criminality isn’t just conjecture, it’s verifiable) makes no sense. Yet that’s what our press does every day. They tell Trump’s story without telling it’s core truth. It’d be like telling the Jeffrey Dahmer story without mentioning “Hey, by the way — Jeff’s a cannibal”.

But, “strangely” (meaning NOT strangely), the press didn’t worry about not being able to “smoking gun” their evidence, without finding his victims’ DNA in Jeffrey Dahmer’s shit, the press was willing to go full cannibal in their reporting on Jeff — well before those were legally verifiable facts…

It wasn’t hard to figure out what was happening at Jeff’s house. The evidence was all over the place. Just like it’s not hard to figure out what’s happening at Donald’s house (formerly The Peoples’ House).

Would our press get squeamish suddenly and refuse to call Jeffrey a cannibal? Would they refer to his “unusual diet” instead — his “keto-on-steroids” choice of animal protein? No — the media went full cannibal the moment they had a whisper of cannibalism. They couldn’t get enough “cannibalism”. They got so obsessed with cannibalism you’d almost think IT was “eating” THEM.

You’d think they’d be equally hungry at the thought of treason. Treason FFS!

There’s a legal term: “the preponderance of the evidence”. It’s a smoking gun’s “get out of jail free” card. Even a smoking gun can get away without a smoking gun if it brings the preponderance of the evidence into play. Yet, our media has it in their heads that either 1) no such “preponderance of the evidence” standard exists (they’re wrong) or 2) their neutrality prohibits them from calling things what they are because calling them what they are would undermine their neutrality. Or something like that…

Jeffrey Dahmer was a cannibal as soon as the press could call him one. Donald Trump might never be a traitor, a money-launderer, a rapist, a con man, a liar, a thief or a traitor because no one the press gives credence to will call him any of those words directly. No smoking gun despite smoke so thick you can’t even see through it.

Maybe THAT’S the problem. Our press doesn’t know that it’s hair is on fire. They don’t know the whole house is aflame all around them either.

Shame… as assuredly as Jeff Dahmer chowed down on the people he lured into his apartment for comfort — to keep him company, Donald Trump will gobble up the news media (as he always does). The media won’t know it’s happened until well after Trump starts farting and shitting them out.

Our new media… they’re always the last to know anything.

The Most Dangerous Tool On An Authoritarian's Belt (After Propaganda) Is CYNICISM

As annoying as the sound of Trumpanistas Autho Trump is, it’s understandable. One expects bullshit to flow from a Trumpanista.

It’s the sound of cynicism flowing from friends and loved ones that bothers me far more. That’s the sound of Trumpian lies landing where the Trumpanistas couldn’t.

The first thing your textbook authoritarian comes for (so the textbooks say) is The Truth. They murder The Truth so that no one really knows what is or isn’t without Big Brother weighing in. Haven’t we ALWAYS been at war with Eurasia?

But getting to that place where Truth is entirely at the authoritarian’s disposal takes time. There are other stops before full-on fascism flowers. Before authoritarians can have their way, they have to convince enough people that there’s no choice. We might as well do what the authoritarian wants since they’re going to do it anyway. It isn’t necessarily so — that the authoritarian will do it anyway.

Knock an authoritarian down a few pegs — most are such sissies they won’t get back up. They’ll crawl away bawling their little bitch eyes out. They’re schoolyard bullies in need of an ass-kicking. But their goal is to convince you that resistance is futile. All hope is lost.

We probably got here faster than we might have thanks to “Both Sides Do It” journalism convincing us that whatever nastiness the Republicans were up to? The Democrats were up to something just as devious. What can the average person do to fight off corruption when “both sides do it”? Consequently, Americans got jaded when getting jaded wasn’t called for.

Gerrymandering and massive Republican voter suppression has piled on. Where gerrymandering happens, the majority electorate votes one way but gets the opposite result because their “majority” has been split up into bite-sized district pieces any knuckle-scraping GOP candidate could win. Consequently the electorate feels removed from what they tried to elect. They sense corruption in the system. They see it. And decide the system can’t help them.

But, outside “the system”, what options are there to address your valid grievances? None, it turns out. A bad result is guaranteed no matter what. Why bother getting involved?

From the cynic’s point of view, that’s checkmate.

The worst part is when you point out to these people — and we’re all in this together, we all agree — that what happened in 2016 was outright theft. The Will of the American People was literally STOLEN from the American people by an active Russian intelligence campaign allied with pretty much all of the Republican Party. This was a willful theft of an election’s outcome. For a reason — to, above all, hijack the judiciary. It’s not a coincidence that even as Trump’s regime teeters, Mitch McConnell is still cramming radical right wing lifetime judges (not a one of them qualified to judge a pie-eating contest) into the system and down the majority’s throat. Rather than respond, “Gosh, how do we assuage the crime victim’s obvious wounds and begin the process of righting a wrong?”, we get “We couldn’t possibly overturn what happened — how would we do that? Those people would be so angry!”

What about “these people” — US? What about We The People — whose election outcome was STOLEN from us. Worse, not only didn’t we get the choice the majority voted for, we got its diametric opposite shoved at us. Why, I’d like to know, are we so worried about how the car thief will get around once we take our car back from him?

Screw him! He’s a thief. Of course he’ll be angry — he got caught and was forced to return what was never his to begin with.

But, see? Even people who feel wronged here — who WERE wronged — have convinced themselves that the wrong done to them can never be put right.

Why do they think that?

I’ll tell ya — it’s the exact message these criminals WANTED us to get: the crime perpetrated upon us can never be undone. They will always get away with it because they’ll threaten violence otherwise.

The rapist will get away with rape.

That’s where cynicism takes you. The correct answer is “No”.

Resisting cynicism is hard. Damned hard. Because the message coming at you is so pervasive: “resistance is futile… give up!”

Remind the class everyone — what’s the correct answer again? “NO”.

Not even “No, thank you”. Just a curt “NO.”

Dear Fellow Humans: Can We All PLEASE Admit It — We're Making It All Up As We Go Along

You know how kids learn not to trust adults because, kids quickly get, adults are lying pretty much most of the time about pretty much everything?

What we all experience as kids is a moment of absolute clarity — about adults and the world adults make for us all: it’s all bullshit. Kids realize that adults don’t actually know what they’re talking about; they’re falling back on “how it is” or “how it’s always been done” instead of really thinking about the questions they’ve been asked.

Take religion, for instance. Most religions frown on kids asking questions about the faith. Kids ask questions because all organized religions (religion and spirituality are not the same thing) rely on nonsense to justify themselves. Instead of simply saying “Hey, want to live a good life? Just do unto others, okay? Ya got that?” Christianity buries that simple directive that anyone can do (atheists included) inside great, massive heaps of fiction. “Doing unto others” quickly becomes irrelevant because the fiction requires so much pretzel logic in order to follow it. Instead, the church wants its followers to worry about heaven and hell and eternal punishments all caused by a fictional woman eating a symbolic piece of fruit offered up by a totally fictional snake.

Ask a Buddhist or a Taoist or an animist or a polytheist how they feel about that. Turns out? Their mythology doesn’t line up — at all.

Hmmmmmmmmm… could somebody be making stuff up here?

Hmmmmmmmmm… could it be EVERYONE?

That’s not a knock on us. Homo sapiens are damned clever. It’s the good news and the bad news about us. Granted, it took us hundreds of thousands of years to graduate from hunter gatherers to whatever the hell we are now, but once we figured out how to dominate our immediate environment — and the planet (so we thought), we became unstoppable. Unfortunately for us.

We’re curious. We want to know how things work — the Universe, for instance. In the absence of hard facts, we’ll imagine what the answers could be. In the absence of hard facts, we tend to get a lot of things wrong. If the men who wrote the OT (and the NT) had had access to the internet, if they’d had microscopes and telescopes and all our modern technology available to them, would they have written their texts — where they tried to imagine how the universe worked — the same way?

Of course not!

Their view of the universe would have been an informed view — and, with that knowledge in hand, they would have written their texts differently.

In other words — they would have made up what they made up differently. And they WOULD HAVE had to have made some things up because — fact — we don’t KNOW with certainty how the universe began. Or why (or if there even is a “why”). Religion fills in the gaps in our knowledge — for those who need it filled in.

The big difference between people of faith and atheists is that people of faith get triggered by uncertainty — of not knowing why we’re here, what it all means and (most important of all) what happens to us when we die. Atheists accept that there are things we don’t know yet. Rather than fill in the blank with an imaginary answer, atheists shrug and say “I accept the fact that we don’t actually KNOW this yet”.

The Rule Of Law is no different. As the Republican Party proves to us every day now, the Rule Of Law doesn’t exist if people don’t willingly follow it. Trump breaks it repeatedly every day. Nothing happens. Republicans like Bill Barr break it every day. Nothing happens. That kind of proves that the Rule Of Law is only as “real” as we make it — because, in truth, it ISN’T “real”. We made it up.

Human rights? Sorry to break everyone’s heart. There’s no such thing. We invented it. No one has any “rights”. We’re born, we live, we die. Life comes with one guarantee — that eventually (if not sooner) it will end. We’ve invented pretty much everything that happens to us while we’re here — religions, governments, neighborhoods.

We need all these things, of course. How would we live with each other without these fictions guiding us?

The point is, they ARE fictions — human inventions as malleable as our own DNA (and, as we keep learning, our DNA is plenty malleable).

We’re only as trapped by circumstances as we think we are. Donald Trump is a bully — but he’s not a bully capable of dominating us. THAT PART’S a total fiction.

At any moment, if just one brave journalist called Trump out for being a liar, a corrupt criminal & a traitor — to his face on live TV? The whole FICTION that is Donald Trump would start to crumble. Because Trump would crumble.

Trump is a fiction surrounded by fiction that’s all fed by fiction — that white people and their money are superior to everyone else.

Mmmmm — is that bullshit I smell?

Sounds like something only a white guy and his money could make up.

Imagine If The News Could Go Bullshit-Free For 24 Hours…

A Thought Experiment — Imagine, if you can: The News Networks (that doesn’t include Fox of course) and all the country’s news sources agree that for one 24 hour period, they will refuse to broadcast, print or disseminate anything “bullshit”.

For one whole day, the news commits to putting out news and only news. If you can’t back it up, in other words, it’s bullshit. Bring receipts or don’t come.

What would that look like, I wonder? What would the newspapers, web sites and broadcasters do if they could ONLY put out verifiable truth. We’ll throw in a bit of “preponderance of the evidence” exceptions because the current WH is so frugal about answering subpoenas. Guilty behavior counts as guilty behavior.

For 24 hours, Donald Trump’s face would not appear on our TV’s. Imagine that. We wouldn’t hear his name either — except as the subject of news stories — investigating his corruption or reporting the terrible things he’s done. No need to repeat what he said other than to tell us “Donald Trump did what he usually does: he lied”. We get it already. Boy, do we get it.

For 24 hours, we wouldn’t have “the other side” presented to us as if Republican lies had the same “weight” as actual Truth. They don’t, of course, it’s one of our news media’s manias — the “both sides do it” belief that every argument has two exactly equal sides. Climate change, for instance.

For 24 hours we wouldn’t have to put up with dimwitted analysis by dimwitted pundits who — if pressed — would have to admit that they hadn’t a clue what they were talking about. In other words, they’re making it up — they’re lying. They’re on hiatus for the day.

Given 24 hours of nothing but verifiable truth reported factually and analyzed with insight, I bet Americans could begin to connect any dots they haven’t yet connected. I bet Americans could even get used to hearing straight Truth.

For 24 hours, Trump would have to go elsewhere to spread his toxic, lying spew. He’d probably fart out a record-setting number of tweets out of sheer desperation. Trump’s come to rely on seeing his bloated orange face on TV all the time. Not seeing it there would freak him out.

One thing’s for sure — the moment those 24 hours ended and lies began to fill the spaces where only the Truth had been a little while before? Americans would find being lied to sickening. Hell, we might never stop throwing up.

Strange… I feel that way already.

It's Insane On Steroids That People Get Crazy Over The Oscars; They Were Created As (And Still Are) A MARKETING TOOL Above All…

There’s a great line in “The Usual Suspects”: “The greatest trick the Devil ever played was convincing the world that he didn’t exist”.

Exactly so. Real evil recedes into the background where it quietly corrupts everything it can. I’m not in any way saying the Oscars are evil. Absolutely not. But they play by movie rules — because, of course, the Oscars are a “movie creation”. The greatest trick AMPAS (the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences) ever pulled off, was convincing the world that they were “AN ACADEMY”.

This is from Wikipedia: “An academy (Attic Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Ἀκαδημία) is an institution of secondary education, higher learning, research, or honorary membership. Academia is the worldwide group composed of professors and researchers at institutes of higher learning. The name traces back to Plato‘s school of philosophy, founded approximately 385 BC at Akademia, a sanctuary of Athena, the goddess of wisdom and skill, north of Athens, Greece.”

The only part of that definition that applies to AMPAS is the “honorary membership” part. In no other way is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences an “academy”. Yes, yes — they’ve created training and workshops and lots of good things to further the cause of movies and movie-making (as a good marketing agency should). But they are NOT “an academy”.

If we look back at the actual history — at the Academy’s creation — who created it — and why — it’s pretty clear what the Academy’s founders were thinking.

Better yet, read what AMPAS itself says about its own founding

Louis B. Mayer “…talked about creating an organized group to benefit the film industry”. Nothing wrong with that whatsoever — but the point of the exercise was publicity. Advertising. MARKETING.

At the time, don’t forget, the movie business was a teeny-tiny fraction of what it is today.

If you look at the core question being posed by having an “Academy Awards” — which one of these very different things (which actually defy comparison) is “best”? Best “how”? It’s entirely subjective. So entirely subjective that, if we actually were to stop and really think about it, we’d tell the Academy either to compare apples to apples (moves exactly like each other with movies exactly like each other) or at least admit that it’s asking its members to compare apples with Pontiacs with redwood forests with distant planets.

White, Christian men dominated the film business from its inception (to be fair — there were lots of Jews in the mix but those Jews were inventing a Christian version of America that would, maybe, accept them (hat tip to Neal Gabler’s very, very excellent book An Empire Of Their Own). As white, Christian men did with American politics, they imposed their will upon everyone else. The America they created, they hoped, would self-perpetuate.

Alas, a diverse and diversifying population did not go along to get along. Just as white people like to hear stories where white people are the heroes, so does every other group who aren’t white people. Except their stories almost never got told. That kinda perverted our sense of whose stories DESERVED to get told. We invented nonsense in our minds about whose stories were interesting to us and whose stories weren’t.

And when we told other peoples’ stories? We told them from OUR point of view — as if getting inside their heads and actually seeing the world through their eyes was too terrifying for us. The only reason no screenplay not written in English hadn’t won a screenwriting award before yesterday (as far as I know — being a long-standing WGA member) is that few if any had ever been submitted.

Similarly, Parasite won for best picture – shocking the shit out of people. Happily so. There’s a good chance Parasite can thank AMPAS’s expanding membership; they’ve been inviting lots more women and minorities to join. Parasite was a very un-traditional choice.

For an Academy that isn’t actually an academy, that is.

Last night — because Republicans can’t help being pigs — even when it really doesn’t matter — a RW-er named Jon Miller tweeted this: “A man named Bong Joon Ho wins #Oscar for best original screenplay over Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and 1917. Acceptance speech was: “GREAT HONOR. THANK YOU.” Then he proceeds to give the rest of his speech in Korean. These people are the destruction of America.”

“The destruction of America” — that’s what this fool wrote — about a movie script winning a prize from the organization that flaks movies & movie scripts.

Dude — it’s just a damned MOVIE ffs…