The New Rules

The new rules had been announced the previous evening. Marie, in her lawyerly way, had pored over the details posted on gov.uk with great care and attention. Louise had heard them summarized and simplified in bullet point form on the ten o’clock news.

“See the new rules?” Marie messaged Louise as she sat at the dining room table and placed down her morning brew.

“Yeah. So we’re allowed to go for walks with family members again?”

“Family members you live with, yeah.”

“I thought they meant anyone who is considered family.”

“No. If you were allowed to meet family members for walks, then you’d be allowed to visit them at home. And you can’t do that.”

“What if I bump into a family member I don’t live with while on a walk? Am I allowed to walk alongside them?”

“The rules don’t cover that, actually. I suppose you could walk with them if you stay 2 metres apart.”

“But you’d still kind of be on a walk with them, wouldn’t you? So it’s breaking the rules.”

“I guess. Maybe if you walked in front or behind them, instead of side by side, it would be like you weren’t on a walk together. I don’t know. Maybe if you don’t talk to each other, you’re technically not walking together. Probably would be best to remove the element of doubt in that case – just go your separate ways.”

“True. They said something about picnics, didn’t they? Are we allowed to have picnics now?”

“You’re allowed to have a picnic with family members you live with as long as you spray a white circle around your blanket with at least a 2 metre radius.”

“How do you spray the circle?”

“You have to order a can of government-certified white spray paint off Amazon.”

“Didn’t they say something about the food you can take as well?”

“You can only take foods that have been prepackaged in the supermarket. Nothing you have prepared yourself at home, and any plates and cutlery you use must be freshly unwrapped.”

“Makes sense. Hey there’s something I’ve been wondering. You know how some people live with people who aren’t family members, like in house shares and stuff. Are they allowed to go on walks together?”

“No, because they’re not family members.”

“I see. What about exercise? Have they changed anything?”

“They have made it more clear what you can do. You have one exercise ‘token’. If you go for a run, you can’t go for a walk later. So if you need to walk the dog you can’t go for a run that day. Your phone GPS auto-deducts your token.”

“Cool. They updated on the NHS clapping as well, didn’t they?”

“Yeah they created an official schedule for the claps. Every Thursday at 8pm. They have released an app for reporting people who don’t come out for the clap. They’re going to send alerts to our phones at 7:55pm so we can get ready.”

“What was that other thing about the clapping rules?”

“Oh yeah, you have to clap quietly because they said if the virus is on your hands, clapping too hard could make it travel further through the air. They’re encouraging people to set up speakers outside and play clapping and cheering sounds instead, but the speakers must be disinfected.”

“That’s nice. How do I know how loud I can clap though?”

“There’s an app that measures the decibel level of your clap. You have to stay under 60 decibels.”

“What happens if I go over by accident?”

“You’ll get an alert to your phone. Self-isolation. 14 days.”

“Right. There was some new stuff about work too.”

“Yeah. Business as usual for essential workers. Non-essential workers are allowed to go back to work now if they want, provided their businesses are allowed to operate. Mostly applies to office workers because they can do social distancing and all the non-essential shops are still shut. But if you go within 2 metres of a colleague you get punished by being sent home for 14-day self-isolation with full pay.”

“It takes two people to break the two metre rule, so which one gets punished?”

“The one who entered the other person’s 2 metre radius. They check on the cameras.”

“Doesn’t the other worker have to self-isolate as well though, since they came in close contact with another person?”

“Erm, oh yeah, they do. Self-isolation. 14 days. Full pay plus damages. This only applies to non-essential workers, as I said. Essential workers can go within a 2 metre radius of each other, but if they do they have to self-isolate from non-essential workers at all times, including family members in the home.”

“OK. What if an essential worker goes within 2 metres of a non-essential person as part of their job?”

“They’re not allowed anymore.”

“Like, even in care homes and stuff?”

“No. They released guidelines about this. Saying essential care home workers can throw or roll things to their patients from outside the 2-metre radius, clean them by putting wet cloths on the end of sticks, feed them by attaching a spoon to a 2-metre pole, things like that. There are still ways for non-essential workers to do everything while following the new rules. No biggie. Better safe than sorry, right? It’s not like they can complain – the government knows what it’s doing and is just looking out for us at the end of the day!”

“Yeah, of course. OK thanks sis, all makes sense now. Have a nice day!”

“xxx”

Marie put down her phone and opened up her laptop. She opened Chrome and went to her bookmarks. Gov.uk flashed up on the screen and her eyes were drawn to the announcement at the top of the page in bold type: 9:53am: Social distancing rules have been updated. Read below to stay in compliance. She flicked on the kettle and started reading.

Why they’re still going after Louis CK

The thing that impresses me most about Louis CK is his economy of words. He approaches comedy like an expert reporter approaches a news story – not a word out of place, everything refined and in perfect order to best convey the information and deliver the highest impact.

Rather than go red in the face with forced bluster, he relaxes into his bits, making them seem almost conversational, to the point where the casual viewer can be mistaken into thinking his routine is not meticulously delivered to the millisecond.

It’s the closest I’ve seen stand-up comedy to becoming a true art form. In his new special, Sincerely – released independently like most good comedy will be from now on – he continues the evolution, though not necessarily revolution, of that art.

You’ll watch the whole thing with a smile on your face. It’s great to see him back – not really delivering any bits that will go down as classics – but with a very solid hour of comedy that resets the benchmark for stand-up after the over-hyped disappointment of recent Netflix-shackled specials such as Chappelle’s Sticks and Stones.

Gushing out of the way, let’s begrudgingly get to the unsavory discussion surrounding this ‘surprise’ ‘return’. The mainstream media, predictably, is outraged that people still want to enjoy CK, and that he can circumvent their systems to get his work out to fans. There appear to be no honest mainstream reviews of the work, with Cathedral critics sticking firmly and cowardly to their indoctrinated belief that you “can’t separate the art from the artist.” They are, it would seem, set on being thoroughly unforgiving of this ‘disgraced sexual predator’.

To a sane person, all this seems very strange. A comedian who should be cherished by critics and the public alike is still being actively shunned by the powers that be. Why is this? My theory is that accusations of sexual assault are the go-to nuclear option for elites wanting to deal with people they consider inconvenient to their narrative and to the society they are hell-bent on willing into existence.

Consider others they’ve tried this on – Julian Assange, Cody Wilson (the 3D printed guns guy), Alex Jones – and we can see a pattern emerging. Sexual assault accusations are a powerful strategy because they instantly demonize the accused by mere association and leave him with relatively few people willing to stand up in his defense.

Louis CK is inconvenient to the politically correct narrative because he’s so good at exposing its stupidity. The most damaging thing to them is that he does this while constantly reminding us that he’s a highly compassionate, thoughtful and intelligent person. He could be meaner – really stick the knife in – and get more laughs, but doesn’t, and that moral compass is what makes his work so compelling. They won’t have that, so they’ll stop at nothing in their attempts to crush him for good.

I remember seeing an article shortly before they took out CK where someone was quoted as saying something along the lines of a big star who is “untouchable” is about to be exposed. It crossed my mind then that she could have been talking about CK, and shortly after they pulled the trigger.

They knew #MeToo would work like a charm in disabling CK because they know he’s a genuinely good person. They knew he would come out and apologize and feel terrible for something he didn’t even realize at the time could be portrayed as ‘wrong’. Now he’s coming back, defiant in his own subdued way, and gently rebuilding what they mercilessly destroyed. This sincere maturity in response to their callous, calculated attacks has made them angrier than ever.

So this is how we respond to them – not by throwing mockery and deceit back at them, but with honesty, calmness and stoic reflection. Louis CK is leading the way, and the decent world will follow.

Louis CK speaks for all us good people who don’t in our hearts want to upset anyone but are explosively pissed off about misguided political correctness and the destruction it causes to our souls and to our societies. Long may it continue.

The quarantined Virgin vs. the Chad spring breaker

Physiognomy rarely, if ever, lies. Here the quarantined Virgin, balding, pot-bellied and ugly comes face to face with Chadley Thundercock, who is simply trying to enjoy his spring break on the beaches of Florida. Observe the 2-minute video the above screenshot is taken from in the tweet below:

The quarantined Virgin has capitulated to the media’s fear-mongering lockdown in total cowardice and obedience. He thinks he’s being brave by venturing outside in full pandemic LARP costume to find out why on earth people would be ignoring the clear orders of the governments and media to stay inside. He’s out there to signal his virtue and intelligence, but immediately we see that Chad is the one with ‘common sense’ and an independent mind.

The quarantined Virgin is completely subsumed into the technocratic society, whipped up into a terrified frenzy by the onslaught of dramatic digital messaging. The Nietzschean last man. The Chad spring breaker, in stark contrast, is relaxed, going on as normal, enjoying the sun’s rays against his hard golden body. “I don’t really care, I’m sorry,” he concludes, leaving the quarantined Virgin frustrated and sulking.

The Chad spring breaker is too busy living in accordance with the nature of man to write hysterical tweets and news stories. That’s why you don’t hear his side of the story in the digital simulation. Writing hysterical tweets and news stories is all the quarantined Virgin does these days, so he has a monopoly on the minds of the NPCs in the social media hive. Thus the hype cycle intensifies.

The lesson here is clear: do not become Daniel Uhlfelder, the quarantined Virgin. Get outside, stay strong and healthy, enjoy the beautiful spring weather and don’t for a second cower to this tyrannical psy-op.

Rob Locke and post-boomerism

In case you didn’t see, the spirit of David Brent has been reborn:

Reborn in the form of bit-part actor and late-night TV shopping channel host Rob Locke. Someone has been putting together compilations of his Brentisms. Watching Locke perform, it’s tempting to think Gervais missed a trick by not bringing Brent back doing this job, instead opting for a conventional, polished Hollywood-style film formula (Life on the Road) that didn’t fit The Office’s vibe. Steve Coogan did actually come close and thus did it better with Alan Partridge and This Time with Alan Partridge recently (although Partridge has appeared in his own Hollywood-style movie, too, of course).

Anyway, as well as being funny, it’s interesting watching Locke, because it tells us something about the transition from the age of boomerism to the era of post-boomerism we’re living through. Shopping channels in their traditional form are peak boomer – everything in their aesthetic, their delivery and technique is designed purely to appeal to, manipulate and exploit the fragile, demented boomer mindset.

Absurd as the very concept of shopping channels are, they somehow worked well enough on an impressionable, hyper consumerist generation that loads of them popped up and survived, even thrived. For them to still exist at all there must remain some level of profitability, but as the boomers die off and marketers trick millennials into buying crap they don’t need using more sophisticated internet-based methods, TV-based shopping channels must realize their days are numbered (worth noting that the likes of QVC are apparently adapting well to the digital age).

Enter Rob Locke – possibly the last, desperate, inspired gasp of the old school shopping channel. The joy of Locke is that he revels in the irrelevant, comical absurdity of what he’s doing, he feeds on the pathetic position he’s found himself in, vows to make the most of it by making a mockery of the polished, long-established salesman norms of the trade, and in the process becomes the first man (that I’m aware of) to make a shopping channel worth watching.

In doing this, Rob Locke brings shopping channels into a post-boomer age. He has torn down the pretense, pulled back the red curtain, and exposed the fact that shopping channels know you know how ridiculous they are. He’s finally made it OK for shopping channels to laugh at themselves and to openly joke about how good they had it for so long selling tat to bewildered boomers.

What comes next? One possibility is that the products being flogged matter less and less – perhaps no one buys them, but they remain a fixture merely to provide the tragic comedy of the situation. Instead, the money is now made from advertising, because thanks to Locke and those who will now inevitably imitate him, people are actually watching.

‘Garbage language’, the fitting replacement for corporatespeak

Today the economy is propped up by a proliferation of make-work positions – bullshit jobs – that exist purely to create the illusion of improving financial dynamism and material productivity. These jobs tend to be held by those who have no real-world skills but a piece of paper from an institution that says they’re ‘educated’.

People in these jobs tend to use what Molly Young, in a recent article for New York Magazine, calls ‘garbage language’. Think “touch base”, “full alignment”, “circle back” – if you’ve worked for a big corp you know the stuff.

Young believes garbage language is a more descriptive term than corporatespeak, buzzwords or jargon. “Garbage language works because garbage is what we produce mindlessly in the course of our days and because it smells horrible and looks ugly and we don’t think about it except when we’re saying that it’s bad,” she writes.

Office workers use garbage language for three primary reasons: 1) to disguise the fact that the work they’re doing is utterly meaningless and pointless, or even that they’re doing no work at all. 2) To fit in with their peers, who are also using garbage language, so that they’re seen as part of the in-group. 3) To ‘look smart’ and advance through the corporate hierarchy, which because of low-quality management best rewards a certain kind of socializing and political maneuvering.

The urge to use garbage language is strongest among those who are the most insecure and the least intellectually capable. Garbage language is something to hide behind, and since most people in corporate jobs are also insecure, kinda dumb and using garbage language, it works. The few who are not insecure and not using garbage language are thus powerless to point out when someone is bullshitting.

In Politics and the English Language, George Orwell wrote that our language “becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish” and that “the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.” Considered in this context, ‘garbage language’ shows us that the thought processes of and communication between those who use it are trash, and likely to just deteriorate further because they’re only ever exposed to more and more garbage language.

Here are a few choice passages from Molly Young’s essay:

“Unlike garbage, which we contain in wastebaskets and landfills, the hideous nature of these words — their facility to warp and impede communication — is also their purpose. Garbage language permeates the ways we think of our jobs and shapes our identities as workers. It is obvious that the point is concealment; it is less obvious what so many of us are trying to hide.”

“The meaningful threat of garbage language — the reason it is not just annoying but malevolent — is that it confirms delusion as an asset in the workplace.”

“The problem with these words isn’t only their floating capacity to enrage but their contaminating quality. Once you hear a word, it’s “in” you. It has penetrated your ears and entered your brain, from which it can’t be selectively removed. ”

“In [meetings], I found myself becoming almost psychedelically disembodied, floating above the conference room and gazing at the dozen or so people within as we slumped, bit and chewed extremities, furtively manipulated phones, cracked knuckles, examined split ends, scratched elbows, jiggled feet, palpated stomach rolls, disemboweled pens, and gnawed on shirt collars. The sheer volume of apathy formed an energy of its own, like a mudslide.”

Garbage language will be a problem for as long as there are fake jobs and the possibility of using it for purposes of deception, avoidance and hierarchical advancement. All you can do when faced with a user of garbage language is refuse to engage until they speak clearly and refrain from using it yourself.

Choosing how to make money

I think a lot about how people choose to spend their time, particularly what they choose to do to make money. How, given the infinite options available to them, do people decide what to do, and then not agonize over that decision every day? Maybe they do. I do.

People seem to fit into three categories: they’re either content with their choice of work, not content with their choice, or don’t really realize they’ve made a choice. Some would argue for a fourth category – not having a choice – but that’s weak talk, in Western countries at least.

For many people a job is just a way for them to get money to make ends meet. They took the first job that was offered to them. It could be any job. When it comes to work, they are totally aimless and have little desire to improve their skills or prospects or become rich or respected. These people can either be happy, unhappy or somewhere in between – it depends on their general joie de vivre.

Others, mainly those in the office jobs it appears, have made a conscious choice and are not happy with it. Often they went to university, got shat out into the corporate system and – even though they are unlikely to admit it – are deeply unhappy with the miserable, fake humdrum of that life. Many have had the crushing realization that they’re useless and providing no real value to society.

The third bunch – usually people who’ve committed themselves to becoming masterful in something that has a positive impact on others – made a conscious choice and are happy with it. Think tradesman, movie directors, or those who dedicate themselves to genuinely helping people in need.

Some people stay in one of these categories their whole lives, some move up to the happy one, some get unlucky and move down. A biological essentialist might argue that we’re all just unconsciously playing our roles in society – roles we were born to act out and can’t escape from. It could be that no matter how big and complex society gets, attributes and predilections are doled out among people by mathematical formulas deep in our collective DNA. The problem with modern society is that the rapid transformation from agricultural to industrial to digital has confused our collective biology.

Anyway, here the blogger Meta-Nomad touches on the ‘any job’ mindset:

“They’re for slaves who adore being told what to do, people who not only take no pride in their work, but take no pride in anything, have no principles or ambitions and wish merely to grind until death.”

And later he analyzes the ‘unhappy choice’ office rat mindset, which he had chosen:

“There I was, dwindling away at a laptop, for all intents and purposes, pissing time away on idiotic nonsense. Creating little bits of bullshit to sell someone a tent, a tent which both I and the consumer have absolutely no idea how it’s made, nor where or who by. It is just a thing which I communicate we are selling. As far as I’m concerned the job was beyond meaningless, it was odd, a surreal experience of life in the office. Hell, to be quite honest. It was a person, sitting in a room, tapping at a small black object and not diverting their attention anywhere else for 8 hours. It was a being, with the potential to learn, help and form a self, dwindling their finite time away into a vortex of modern bullshit. It was, quite seriously, a mind-numbing form of sterilization. A slow death.

Then he writes about the ‘happy choice’ he’s since made:

“Luckily a friend told me of a job going at a joinery place he worked at…I finish, prime, assemble and prepare bespoke doors, windows, stairs etc. for people who’ve ordered them. People need windows and doors and I’m part of that process. At the end of the day I can see the work I’ve done. I feel worked too. And no, I’m not one of these people who believes you should have to feel exhausted at the end of every day. But if you believe it is unusual to feel tired or physically knackered at the end of the day, if you come home and you complain, just one time, of feeling physically knackered, then guess what, your privilege levels are through the roof. You whine about suffering, but once you realize life is suffering then it no longer is. The more you keep it at bay, the more it will haunt your day.”

Not all university-educated men will come to understand why office work is not compatible with genuine masculinity, self-honesty and happiness, but for the ones who do there’s no going back. You either have to suck it up or get out.

Mark Corrigan lives on in David Mitchell’s Guardian column

If David Mitchell hadn’t provided the flesh and bones for one of the greatest characters in TV comedy history, I’m not sure I’d be so forgiving of his writing. As it is, my enjoyment of his three books to date – Back Story, Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse and the latest, Dishonesty is the Second-Best Policy – has been greatly enhanced by the fact that I involuntarily read them in the voice of Peep Show’s Mark Corrigan (which also happens, obviously, to be the actual voice of David Mitchell).

I am peripherally aware of David Mitchell’s status as a British TV panel show powerhouse, but because a) I no longer live in Britain and b) I don’t want my brain to fall out of my skull, I’ve only seen the odd clip of him on these programs. Thus, my knowledge of Mitchell beelines straight from Peep Show to his books. Back Story is his memoir and Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse and Dishonesty is the Second-Best Policy are collections of his Guardian columns.

While reading the latter over the past couple of days, it occurred to me that if I were not reading his columns in my imagined context that it was Mark Corrigan writing them, I likely wouldn’t have given them the time of day. See, Mitchell has fashioned himself as a whiny political commentator. Writing for The Guardian, he is of course the kind of whiny political commentator who lacks a strong enough comprehension of reality to say anything of genuine worth. He is textbook liberal, thinly read and subsisting on a mainstream BBC information diet, and this gives his political writing that familiar crazed leftist tinge. He despises Trump, Boris and ‘racism’, and he likes equality and mindless prioritization of public services. He is skeptical of political correctness, though not enough that he disagrees with the Advertising Standards Authority on banning ‘gender stereotypes’.

And that’s why I like his books. Writing an exasperated, pedantic, behind-the-times Guardian column is exactly what Mark Corrigan would have done if Business Secrets of the Pharaohs had found bestseller-list success and he’d then somehow managed to schmooze with the right media contacts. So I think of Mitchell’s Guardian columns as a sort of Peep Show spin-off, a continuation of the eternally-lovable character Mark Corrigan in a different format to keep the fans happy.

In fairness to Mitchell, he is a genuinely capable writer, and one of few who has actually made me laugh out loud on numerous occasions using mere words on a page. True as well is that not everything he writes is political. Mitchell is at his best when he’s doing observational commentary on the minutiae of British life, digressing with his trademark awkwardness into an over-exacting faux-mania. This happens to be when he sheds the guise of the aggravated, dogmatic Corrigan and actually becomes an assured, whimsical David Mitchell.

What makes him far less insufferable than the typical Guardian opinion writer is that he’s painfully aware of his status as a pretend political commentator. He’s a comedian, a fact he references several times in his latest book, and would probably agree as much as anyone that publications aspiring to respectable seriousness like the Guardian shouldn’t be hiring comedians as political columnists. He even acknowledges in the book’s foreword that he’s offering up a “trite manifesto”.

Nonetheless, without perhaps him or the Guardian editors realizing it, David Mitchell’s column is a perfect parody of the shell-shocked liberal in a post-Trump, post-Brexit world that’s far more cruel and complex than they were led to believe. He’s so sure of his virtue that the thought of diving into deeper political theory that might snap him out of his comfy left-wing BBC indoctrination has not occurred to him. And why would it? If he started saying things that strayed from the Guardian narrative, which at times he even seems to take pains not to do, he would no longer have a handsomely-paying column.

This turned out more negative than I expected. I really do like David Mitchell (though I’m not exactly sure how much that has to do with him being Mark Corrigan). So take this as constructive criticism; I believe that if he expanded his mental horizons beyond leftie orthodoxy, his writing would have much more to offer the world and possibly be of much longer-lasting significance. Surface-level red-faced spluttering about Trump and bigotry suits Mark Corrigan, but David Mitchell can do better.

The systematization of customer service

This little observation is not about chatbots and self-checkouts, but the lesser-discussed roboticization of actual human customer service agents.

Not too long ago I received a nasty surprise in the form of a $200 phone bill, way above the usual $50. Upon inspecting the bill, I realized I’d been screwed by a predatory technicality in the fine print.

I got on the phone with the mobile company to complain about the “unfairness” of the extra charges. It wasn’t that I believed the money was wrongly taken from me – after all I’d blindly signed the T&Cs – but rather that it’s always worth trying your luck if you think there’s a chance of wrangling some money back.

To my surprise, the agent didn’t argue back by holding me accountable for my lack of attention to detail. Instead, she offered to waive $17 from the bill. Curious, I asked how she’d arrived at that figure. It was ‘the system’ that calculated the amount, she said.

Unsatisfied with 17 measly bucks, I went back to complaining about the “injustice” I’d been served. Before long, the agent asked me to wait a second, and then said ‘the system’ had adjusted the refund to $36. It was then that I figured out what was going on.

“The more I complain, the higher the refund goes, right?” I said.

“I… I… I’m just going by what the system tells me,” the agent said.

“How does this ‘system’ work?”

“The computer tells me the refund amount I can process. It is now saying I can offer $54.”

“Why does it keep going up?”

“I’m just going by what the system tells me, sir.”

“If I keep complaining, will ‘the system’ eventually offer me a full refund on the overage charges?”

The agent let out a barely perceptible giggle. “That is correct, sir. But this is the highest refund I can offer.”

“OK, well I could keep you on the phone all day until the system says I can have all the money back. And I could start shouting at you and getting angry, just to speed things along. Or threaten to cancel my contract – I bet that would bump the refund up a few levels. But I can’t be bothered with this anymore, so I guess I’ll settle for the $54.”

“OK sir, the refund will be added to your account.”

After getting off the phone, I briefly reflected on this strange and amusing interaction. I imagine ‘the system’ is a drop-down box that calculates a customer’s refund in percentage increments of the amount they’re complaining about based on their level of irateness. 1 – mild complaint, 5 – customer is extremely angry and abusive. Evidently, I reached level 3, probably listed as something like “persistent complaining”.

I don’t know how long this company has hidden behind ‘the system’, but presumably its previous strategy was to have a trained customer service agent weigh up the threat of the customer cancelling their contract in anger and make a call based on that. The initial response from the agent would have been that I should have read the fine print, and a semi-adult debate about corporate ethics and customer loyalty might have followed, resulting in a carefully-considered customer retention refund if you were lucky.

Now, it’s immediate deferral to the system. Training and paying skilled customer service agents to manage individual cases must have been more expensive than hiring monkeys to hand out refunds based on the system’s drop-down box. Most people probably don’t get past level 2, so the amount the company pays out using this ‘instant refund’ model is less than having trained agents deal with long-winded disputes. Soon it will be chatbots doling out the auto-refunds, with the bonus that they’ll better understand your true psychological state. Twenty-first century global capitalism at its finest. Enjoy.

Alex Jones, national treasure

The other week I watched the 1990 film Pump Up The Volume, an ode to free speech that Hollywood wouldn’t make today. In the film, a young Christian Slater runs a pirate radio station from his parent’s basement, speaking his mind and enthralling his schoolmates. When the powers that be figure out what’s going on, they throw everything at tracking him down and putting an end to his thought crimes.

Thirty years later, Alex Jones is the real-life thought criminal the elites are intent on crushing. He’s been kicked off all their social media platforms, and Google has carefully engineered its search results to show only mainstream news stories that either mock or smear him. The average Reddit or Twitter user, having obediently gulped down the Alex Jones blue pill, foams at the mouth at the mere mention of his name.

Meanwhile, the Alex Jones red pill is that he is and will be remembered as the greatest comedian of our generation. Like George Carlin and Lenny Bruce before him, Jones is willing to risk being censored and having the book thrown at him to make us laugh. He operates outside the bubble of political correctness that has comedians like Dave Chappelle and Bill Burr putting out milquetoast Netflix-approved material that’s aimed at people with no sense of humour.

There is no one remotely like Alex Jones in media today. He combines humour and passion with a fierce intellect and an encyclopedic knowledge of history in a way that makes him endlessly listenable, hilarious and fascinating. Jones subtly brings you in on “the joke” and invites you in to his refuge from “the bad guys” (globalists, etc.). It’s a warm feeling – enhanced by that raspy voice – that keeps you coming back for more and more.

Visiting Infowars.com feels like an act of rebellion, a celebration of freedom, liberty and other strong moral values. I love that they can’t take him away from us, no matter how hard they try. I love the idea of them being aggravated by us accessing his content. I love how they think they’re laughing at dumb Infowars fans, when in fact we’re laughing at them.

The tragedy is that the average person in the West today is so stupid and confused that they can’t just sit back and enjoy the show that is Alex Jones. In a mentally healthy, pure society he’d be heralded as the national treasure that he is. Instead, the elites have had a field day in convincing people he’s evil, just because he’s slightly inconvenient to their narrative.

History tends to be kind to heroes, however, and I’m confident Jones will earn his rightful place in the record books as one of America’s greatest comedians. Those in control of feeble minds get to shape the opinions of the present day, but the free thinkers who love Jones will be celebrating his legacy long after the elites have moved onto their next smear and censorship campaign.

P.S. check out Alex’s character Fentanyl The Chicom Dragon for a good chuckle.

Why you can’t stand Adele and Ed Sheeran

The healthy reaction to seeing the faces or hearing the music of Adele or Ed Sheeran is simmering rage, and the similarities between these suspiciously-successful pop stars don’t end there.

Until now I hadn’t given too much thought to why these two pop stars irked me so uniquely. After digging a little deeper, it started to make sense, and I also realized I instinctively despise them for pretty much the same reasons.

You may have observed that there is a sort of political incorrectness to voicing your aversion to these particular pop stars. Do you dislike Adele because she’s a strong, independent ‘larger’ woman? Do you dislike Ed Sheeran because he’s a gentle, emasculated nice guy with a friendly smile?

It’s true that their identities are based on a grim sexlessness, one pioneered by talent show ogre Susan Boyle in 2009 (both Adele and Sheeran released their debut albums two years later in 2011), but this exploitation of repulsiveness-as-a-selling point is not in itself what makes them insufferable.

Their ugliness is in fact only one aspect of what are cleverly-manufactured mass market products that represent the modern-day pinnacle of art-as-business. Mixed in with their ugliness is an ordinariness, an inoffensiveness, a safeness, a predictability and a polished veneer which, in both cases, ensures these products deliver consistent profits as if their songs were cars coming off an assembly line.

Britney Spears, to pick an example at random, is a pop star who was manufactured to be sexy and exciting. Her songs were designed to be fun and cheesy, and you were under no pressure to appreciate her as a great artist. With Adele and Sheeran, who were created by the same corporations, we are expected to applaud them as genius artists whose magnificence saw them succeed despite their physical limitations. This, instead of sex appeal, is the product that best sells to today’s ‘empowered’, ‘sophisticated’ consumer.

Adele and Sheeran were presented to the world as down-to-earth, normal, ‘real’ people, and this is just what happened to sell like hot cakes at a time when the consumer had become fatigued by pop’s hyper-fakeness. The narrative created for the product Adele is that she “writes her own songs” about “real-life heartbreak.” She is an “amazing singer” with a “powerful voice.” Sheeran as a product is “that shy, quiet ginger guy” who can just pick up a guitar and play you a beautiful song.

In reality, they are ruthless businesspeople masquerading as artists. Sheeran in particular has made no secret of his primary focus: “Adele is the one person who’s sold more records than me in the past ten years,” he said. “She’s the only person I need to sell more records than. Once the creative product is out, there is a race to the finish line.” Sheeran is a “notorious figures hound”, noted The Guardian, who “delayed the release of [his album] to avoid clashing with potential competition.”

Meanwhile, claims of plagiarism are mounting up against him as he repeatedly uses the artistry of others to produce high-selling records. And even though he steals songs, the “calculating soul” within Sheeran’s music renders it lifeless, reeking of, “for those not enthralled by his algorithmic songcraft, the sharp stench of a salesman’s cheap cologne” (The Guardian again). The very same criticism can be levelled at Adele.

For a while now the idea that pop music is being reduced to a science has been gaining ground. “Much of today’s pop music adheres to a pretty standard, formulaic approach to tempo, harmonics, song structure, and even lyrics,” reported Mashable. There’s even a Hit Potential Equation: Score = (w1 x f1) + (w2 x f2) + (w3 x f3) + (w4 x f4), etc. Each ‘w’ in the equation represents song features like length, loudness and tempo, as well as “more intricate measurements like MFCCs, zero-crossing rate, bark coefficients and tempograms.” Using the formula, researchers could determine with 60% accuracy if a song would make the top five, exposing the major labels’ scientific recipe for monetary success.

Adele and Sheeran are the major labels’ response to being found out: scientific pop music packaged up as if it were organic, unpolished art. This response was extremely effective in hoodwinking the public and critics alike; Adele and Sheeran get to reap the financial benefits that come from scientifically-composed pop music and also enjoy being thought of as genuine artists. They’ve had their cake and eaten it too (I’m not mean enough to make a joke about Adele here).

Although Adele and Sheeran are presented to the consumer as ‘real artists’, designed to give the unsophisticated listener the feel-good impression that they’ve developed the ability to discern raw talent coming from ugly ducklings, really they are just the Britney Spears of this era. It’s their carefully-maintained image that sells, in a time when the image of ordinariness and authenticity happens to sell better than sexiness and pristineness.