Don’t Silence New Voices

I had someone try to criticize my work a few days ago. Their criticism was something along the lines of, “We have other people already saying this! What is this, some kind of self promotion?”

Yes. As a matter of fact it is.

Here is my problem with that criticism. He is attempting to silence new voices on the Progressive Left. It is most likely that he never actually read the article he was commenting on, so he was intellectually lazy.

Each new voice makes us stronger. Each new voice adds new dimensions, new perspectives, new colors. It takes many voices to comprise a chorus. Each voice is not the same, yet ideally they are singing the same song.

Many of the voices on the Progressive Left are new voices. How long ago was it that you first heard of Jimmy Dore? Aaron Mate? Caitlyn Johnstone?

One problem with the Progressive Left is that often, the material can be based on the same source material. It becomes a matter of one original piece of material with each layer adding commentary. Sometimes it literally becomes a commentary on a commentary on an original piece.

Am I criticizing anyone? No, these are some of my favorite sources. Like I stated above, each voice adds to the chorus, lending depth, strength, volume, new notes. Each is valuable, each is beautiful. Is each voice perfect? Not always but they create beauty in their harmony. Listening and joining in is what strengthens us.

There is a difference in my own material, whether written or video. Most of my material is completely original. When I wrote a 4 part series explaining why and how universal healthcare is best, that was original. Nobody else had or has done that in such detail that I have seen. When I went through the Mueller Report line by line, all 448 pages and dismantled it, revealing flaw after flaw, deception after deception, the entire series was original. When I went through the Trump-Ukraine transcript with the actual transcript in the video, that was original. I may occasionally mention materials by other content producers but it tends to be a short mention with accreditation, not a commentary on that single piece.

Some things that I feel make my content valuable is my own knowledge. Beginning over 30 years ago, I have formally and informally studied economics, management, marketing, psychology, sociology and medicine. I have never really stopped studying any of them in some way. I am continuously trying to learn more on one subject or another. If any content producer claims to know everything (to a degree they no longer have to keep learning) on such complex and interconnected subjects, they are absolutely delusional and should not be trusted. Information and practices change over time. Economies, societies and cultures are evolving directly in front of and all around us on a daily basis as we adapt to a changing ecological environment and technological advances. Medical criteria changes over time while medical technology advances so quickly that medical professionals are mandated to continually take continuing education classes for license renewal. Oh, shit. That’s something I need to do.

One big thing about new voices is that new independent voices rarely have a budget for advertising. If they have financial backers before they gain any popularity, you cannot consider them independent, can you? So we are forced to promote ourselves. For some of us, that’s not how we want to spend our time and effort. It takes away from time for research and writing. Often while we have our own lives to attend to.

Independent content producers don’t mind and often enjoy interacting with our (polite) audience members. If you ask independent producers a question, you typically get a personal response in a short time frame. We recognize ourselves as part of a global community where thoughts, words and actions matter and can have drastic, life saving or life destroying consequences. It is not a matter of ego. We do what we do not for money but because we genuinely care and are committed to our causes.

Try that with corporate media. The most you will get will be a form response by a low level staffer. If you are not ignored completely and after you are attacked by the cultist hordes for questioning the absolute perfection and omniscience of the corporate propagandist who deigns to lower their spiritual standing enough to impart their wisdom through their benevolence to the soiled masses. How dare you imply that their wisdom is not complete and flawless? Be thankful for the improvement in your miserable existence which they bestow upon you from their corporate heavenly throne!

I and other independent content producers truly appreciate the quotes, shares and every single penny of donations which are afforded to us by our audience. We do not feel it is “owed” to us, as our corporate counterparts openly state. We do not feel we are above questioning, we simply insist on valid points being made when we are questioned. If you want to spew hate speech, take it to the corporate staffers. We independents have better things to do with our time and higher goals to reach for.

Seriously, if you don’t have a taste for my content, scroll past it. If you have valid and rational critiques to offer, I am all ears. If your complaint has it that I am exactly like other content producers, you have not read my content, this I absolutely know. If your complaint is that I am too different or not bowing down to the status quo, you are missing the entire point. If you complain that I am not predictable enough, that does not mean I am not consistent. If you wish to attempt to validate your existence through hate speech, I will definitely invalidate your existence when I block you. That’s one of my consistencies. I refuse to argue for the sake of argument.

Break The Echo Chambers!!!

This is a rant on frustration.

I am well aware of the prevalence of click bait in the media, especially on social media. There are click bait farms that churn out nothing but one article after another, all day, every day including Christmas, New Years and any other holiday you can name. Frequently they will post numerous articles on the same day regarding the same subject, all nearly identical. I’m looking at you, Vox!!!

I don’t write click bait. Ever.

The fact is, many times even the title of my articles can drive away readers from one or both parties (cults). My writing has nothing to do with popularity and everything to do with objective reasoning, critical thought. It is not the result of jumping on the latest populist bandwagon. Often my articles on a given subject come out later than the initial screaming wave of emotional responses. Instead, I take the time to fact check, examine, consider and run calculations. None of my writing is ever regurgitation of talking points dictated, authorized, paid for and vomited out by militant zombies on one side or another.

It is not a question. My writing offers rational viewpoints that you are not likely to find from any other source, whether corporate or independent.

Nobody else I have seen has offered a four part series on universal healthcare in layman’s terms, explaining what the effects would be on the economy, job market and society as a whole. Not all of that is obvious. It takes a thorough examination, which I have done because I have been an advocate of universal healthcare for decades.

Nobody else has offered a (currently) 6 part series showing how marketing is used to brainwash the public. It is a tool used by media, the intelligence agencies and political candidates.

Nobody else has run numbers saying how the recent “defense” budget increase could help millions of people if dispersed to humans instead of for bullets and bombs.

I was writing about thereal “defense” budget being over $1 trillion forYEARS before anyone else came along and they did a worse job of illustrating it. I’ve run example numbers in easy to understand formats to display the point.

Nobody else I have seen has gone through the entire 448 page Mueller report, line by line, fact checking all of it and placing his numbers in perspective.

Nobody else has explained how our weapons sales to other countries are done at a loss to the US economy.

Nobody else has detailed exactly why and in what extensive ways Russiagate is dangerous or how Russia would have had nothing to gain by bothering with our elections. I have done this across many articles because it is a very real threat to the entire planet.

This is a short list of examples showing that what I write is far different from other sources. No, I do not have a massive following. Many of my ideas are too detailed, too out of line with the mainstream consciousness. It is not for the zombies, the cultists, the mindless hordes seeking nothing more expansive than what fits in a meme because that is the extent of their mental capacity.

It pisses me off when I spend hours, sometimes days (even weeks) gathering information, fact checking, sometimes running calculations, having spent years studying subjects formally and informally, only to have some deadhead idiot with no comprehensive capacity think that they can contradict something I have written based solely on the article title or a small excerpt while they offer one sentence or less. Yes, that was all one sentence and I actually cut it short.

Read the article before commenting!!!

Sharing every “Hate trump” article, meme or quote you come across by any source, including GWB, does not make you Progressive, “woke” or even remotely conscious. Nor does sharing every pro-Bernie, Warren or whomever article, meme or quote. It makes you a puppet dancing on a string.

To be really Progressive and awake takes a lot more. It takes time, effort, close examination on people and issues. I know most people do not have the time or energy to spend on these things. To know the truth on these things means listening to sane, rational, intelligent voices that have nothing to gain, nothing to lose because they are NOT backed by corporate interests or a profit motive. That fully describes everything I write. I spend time and effort on all of this to condense and interpret it, then use simple language that most people can understand. I break complex issues down over multiple articles that are still in a readable format which will not take days of your life to read.

Yes, what I write can frequently cause a severe disruption in any cognitive dissonance you may have present. That’s generally the point.

If all you want is more of the same thing you hear Fox, CNN, MSNBC or any other corporate mouthpiece spews 24/7/365, from talking heads paid millions of dollars per year to market the views they want you to have or by weapons contractors and CIA propagandists, you have no need for independent content producers. Just stick to what you believe in and never make the attempt to change it, never challenge the authorized narrative. However, then you have to stop claiming you want anything to change for the better. Admit that you just want more of the same. The same names, same voices, same parties, same policies, same tactics, same arguments. You either cannot emotionally handle something different or you fear anything different.

If that’s what you want, stop commenting. We’ve heard what you have to say. Millions of you because you’re cloned, stereotyped, programmed, conditioned, rubber stamped. Stick to corporate media with the rest of the clones. Stick to the same two parties with the rest of the cult. Stick to the pages and groups that never speak a word you disagree with. Keep going through the same processes, same arguments, same statements over and over. If real Progressives want to hear that, we’ll tune in to the sources we turned off long ago for these exact reasons. We don’t need you trying to force it on us.

Independent Versus Corporate Media

If you’re reading this article, you’re reading it on what is effectively considered independent media. Some try to claim that if the site is owned by a corporation, that it is corporate media. That would also mean that content producers on YouTube are corporate.

Nearly all content hosts are corporate. Basically any site that hosts media, such as blogs, is owned by a corporation. That makes sense for legal and financial purposes. Medium is a corporation, YouTube is a corporation, Patreon is a corporation, etc.

Independent creator definition. What defines independent media are the content producers. Most content producers who are considered independent are exactly that. Myself, Jimmy Dore, Caitlin Johnstone. In each case, we depend on the income achieved by either payments from the corporations like Medium or YouTube, if our content is not demonetized by the corporate entity. (Most likely on YouTube.)

Funding models. Each content producer makes far more money through direct subscriptions through Patreon, which is why you hear that name so often. Each has a different funding model as well. With Medium, one subscription pays for access to all content providers. With Patreon, you subscribe to each content provider individually. That is why payments from Medium will tend to be smaller than those from Patreon.

No advertising. One of the obvious benefits to the subscription model is that there is no advertising, unlike the corporate structure, where you pay a corporation to see ads from other corporations. Obviously, some content providers may produce paid advertising made to appear as something it is not. I’ll let them deal with the legal ramifications of that. Also corporations can directly publish their content on independent media in an attempt to expand their control even further. No surprise there. I rather hope most of the audience ignores that because it completely defeats the purpose of subscribing to independent media.

Different voices. However, the major difference is that you get to hear voices you would not hear from otherwise. Voices critical of the corporate power structure over our daily lives. Artists who have not been bought by corporations. Independent content producers have no editor assigning our projects, we produce what we want to produce. No editor is telling us we cannot cover a particular subject or candidate. We cannot get fired, so our voices may be censored on one platform but we will not disappear from one day to the next. We’re here to stay as long as we have internet connections.

Who benefits most? It’s obvious that the consumer benefits from independent media. Hearing different opinions other than ones which have been “authorized” by corporate boards and agendas. The opinions and thoughts expressed tend to be more likely to be genuine and likely to be verifiable or at the very least rational. There have been uncounted instances where someone presented me with articles from corporate media and it took less than 30 seconds for me to begin quoting, “unnamed sources”, “authorities say” and point out there was no verifiable information included, only opinions stated as fact. No reasonable questions, no critical thought, all propaganda. Most independent producers are more likely to respond to comments or questions, where corporate media will ignore such things. You gain more of a personal connection with independent producers.

Parental figures. Here is a personal opinion from a nurse who has worked in the psychiatric field. I tend to believe the people who rely on corporate media and consider elected officials to be their “leaders” are those who have never fully matured. They live their entire lives having a deep seated need of parental figures to tell them what to think, what to believe, what to do, when to do it, how to do it yet never why. Basically, “Do it because I said so!” In other words, not only parental figures but abusive parental figures who issue threats and punishment for noncompliance. Figures that not only remain apathetic to suffering but are prone to causing that suffering.

Your choice. You have choices. More choices than ever before. You have the option to be informed while turning off corporate media. Elected officials are not our “leaders”, they are our employees. We hired them. We pay their salaries. We can collectively fire them. We can question them. We can hold them accountable.

Keep the best voices going. How do you keep the best voices going on independent media? Of course, support those voices. Share their content widely. Independent producers don’t have much money for advertising and not that many places where we can advertise without being called “spam” or “Russian propaganda”.

Financial support. Of course, if you can afford to, support them financially. That support can be $1 a month. The same or less than a soda from McDonald’s after tax. I try to produce at least 5 articles a week, which is 20 per month. So if a person donated $1 a month, that would come to $0.05 per article. Caitlin Johnstone is similar in her efforts, at 4–5 srticles per week average. Most independents are reliant on having additional income streams. Jimmy Dore and Ron Placone have their comedy shows, I am a nurse as my primary income. Some like myself would prefer dedicating far more time and effort to expanding our efforts but cannot afford to do so.

Value for cost. Of course, a model such as Medium offers the best consumer value, giving access to more sources for one price, though costs more as a total for a subscription. In that case, a producer is reliant on absolute exposure. A model like Patreon can cost less but gives access to limited specific voices. It does pay the individual producer more of the subscription, though.

Support how you can. Whoever your preferred independent content producer is, offer support by any means possible. Promote them, endorse them, etc. Give likes, claps, thumbs ups, whatever the individual site has in place. Some may allow multiple likes, claps, etc. Sometimes it increases article or creator placement or standing, sometimes not. Without support, it tends to be more likely their content will be lost or suppressed eventually. For myself, I have no subscribers on Patreon and I maintain a website free to access, so I break even or lose money for my efforts. No account required for my website. I don’t spam anyone. So I’m not going away any time soon, donations or no donations. This article is meant as a general statement to support independent media as a whole.

Now Is Our Time

The midterms are officially over. Say what you will about recounts taking place, the races, the campaigns are done.

Trump has been in office for coming on two years. Are you tired yet of hearing about every single tweet, every offensive word he speaks? Aren’t you looking for something, someone who opposes his actions? You know, some Resistance? Or do you just want to keep looking for things to be offended by?

Have you realized yet that if Trump is impeached, we wind up with Pence, who is even worse?

By this point, if you are even remotely conscious, you know the corporate Democrats are truly no better than Trump and the Republicans. They use nicer words. That’s all. In the end, they bow to the same corporate owners, start even more wars and smile while doing so.

However, now is OUR time.

While many will try and postulate about the 2020 presidential race, we are almost a year away from the DNC choosing their nominee before the campaigns are ever announced. Unless they have already chosen, which is a distinct possibility. No matter because whatever the case may be, discussion is basically useless at this time.

Yes, MSM is going to be starting to discuss 2020 immediately to divert your attention and manipulate your attention. Does not matter. Before the first campaign actually begins is at least a year away.

That makes this time crucial for us. It means we have a full year to wrest control of the real discussions going on. To force those discussions onto issues which actually matter. To demand actual policies. When Democrats talk about how Republican policies are so bad, we need to be screaming, “Then what are you doing about it?! Not in 2020, now?!!”

It us we who need to be forcing discussions on universal healthcare, ending wars, increasing wages, immigration reform, police oversight, legalization of cannabis, election reform, publicly funded elections and more. We know they are not going to do it. We know corporate media is not going to do it.

Now is the time to turn off corporate media for good (if you have not already). If you find money to donate to political campaigns, now is the time you need to divert that money to independent media and help the message grow. Use the time you wasted on corporate media and explore more independent sources. When you find good ones, share those sources and help them gain an audience. Sources like Caitlin Johnstone, Jimmy Dore, Real News Network, Lee Greenwald, Chris Hedges.

Yes, of COURSE I would like to be included in that list!!!!!

Here is what you should not do. Share MSM articles which you hate. I don’t GAF what your comments are about the article. Neither do they. Every time you turn on their station, they get paid. Every time you open their article, they get paid. Every time you share the article for others to read, you help them get paid.

It’s like having two children, one is a monster and the other is well behaved. You spend all your time, effort, money and resources on the one who misbehaves. The more attention you pay the one that acts up, the more they act up because you are rewarding that behavior. Meanwhile, you never even noticed the good kid was sick and starving to death. You finally notice it after they’re dead. Then they finally get your attention. Until the other kid throws a tantrum at the funeral. You were also blind to the fact that the bad kid was poisoning the good kid.

It’s time to ignore the bad kid. Ground them, lock them in their room. Start spending time with the good kid. Both of you will be better off for it and the bad kid just may learn something.

You want things to change? The very first place to begin is with yourself. Change your habits. You want news with substance? Then help those news sources continue, grow and succeed. You want hope? You have to help create that hope. Stop asking for shit to be handed to you. You want a brighter future? Then stop turning off the lights all around you and seeking darkness. Call yourself “woke”? Sure doesn’t look like it when you lay there with your eyes closed.

Now is our time. Stop wasting it. Start doing things differently. Stop bitching and moaning and start talking about solutions. If you are not part of the solution, then you are the problem.