You’re Missing the Point

You’re missing the point…..   Ok, I’ve reached my limit in the misunderstanding, the ugliness, the uninformed word slinging on social media….frankly too many people are missing the point. If y…

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You’re Missing the Point

You’re missing the point…..

 

Ok, I’ve reached my limit in the misunderstanding, the ugliness, the uninformed word slinging on social media….frankly too many people are missing the point.

If you follow my blogs you know how I feel about Trump and I don’t mean Trump as the President Elect , I mean Trump as the man whom I have held in contempt for the better part of the last 15-20 years. I have always found him obnoxious, untrustworthy, misogynistic, and a consummate manipulator. As a Marketing Executive and Public Relations professional I’ve only ever had one compliment for the man- he knows how to tap into the most basic attributes of good PR because while he’s been sued, filed bankruptcy, failed at business and been involved in an unprecedented 3500 legal actions* (source USA Today) he has somehow managed to keep the general public believing that he is successful when he’s really only been successful in spinning the truth. If he can’t manage his business dealings successfully, how do we expect him to handle a $4 Trillion budget?

Yes, I am sad that this country elected a man with more scandal floating around him than a Jerry Springer telethon but I am even more sad that only half of our country voted. Half of us simply didn’t care enough about who was going to lead us to register and then cast their vote.

Within 24 hours of the astonishing announcement that the man with a pending rape lawsuit, on record with an unprecedented condemnation of entire races of people, the mud started slinging and there’s been this pervasive theme bubbling up that needs to be dispelled.

No, people aren’t taking to the streets to demonstrate because they are whining THEY didn’t win. It’s because not since George Wallace has a person so divisive gotten so far in a presidential election. The world has been listening to hate speech for over a year and on Tuesday our nation discovered that in fact , at least at this go around –Love Didn’t Trump Hate. It should tell us something that demonstrations are happening bc when was the last time one occurred over who was chosen as our leader?

I didn’t vote for either Bush, but I wasn’t fearful of the future when they were elected—well in full disclosure Bush Jr. did scare me a little and look how that administration turned out for our country. You didn’t see people take to the streets when McCain and Palin lost or Mitt Romney or when Obama won. It’s because none of those campaigns were solidly run on a platform of fear, hate and intolerance. You didn’t hear the candidates drop the p-word, or F bomb or mock veterans of war….I wonder how all of our veterans are feeling today of all days? If you were captured and tortured, your new president thinks that makes you weak and not a winner..and he dodged the draft.

No, people aren’t signing the change.org petition to change the electoral college bc they are sore losers, it’s because the existence of the presidential electors and the duties of the electoral college are so little understood in contemporary society that most American voters believe that they are voting directly for a President and Vice President on election day. Not so.

The Constitutional Convention of 1787 considered several methods of electing the President, including selection by Congress, by the governors of the states, by the state legislatures, by a special group of Members of Congress chosen by lot, and by direct popular election. Late in the convention, the matter was referred to the Committee of Eleven on Postponed Matters, which devised the electoral college system in its original form. This plan, which met with widespread approval by the delegates, was incorporated into the final document with only minor changes. It sought to reconcile differing state and federal interests, provide a degree of popular participation in the election, give the less populous states some additional leverage in the process by providing “senatorial” electors, preserve the presidency as independent of Congress, and generally insulate the election process from political manipulation.(source history.com)

So how’s that working out for us as a nation?

I awoke on Wednesday to a profound sadness because I realized that as a woman the fact that I have NEVER been paid equally or at market value for that matter, that I have endured sexual harassment in the workplace not once, not twice, not three times but FOUR times over the course of my career, and that I have had to work twice as hard to get ½ as far as my male counterparts isn’t likely to change any time soon. If you are a woman who has experienced the same I am sure you are sad too.

If you have a daughter, granddaughter, niece, how will you explain to them that a man openly bragging about sexually assaulting women, demeans women who don’t meet his standard of beauty and is currently being sued for the rape of a 13 yr old girl, is now going to lead our country?  We’ve gone from a president who supported women to one who for more than three decades has treated women as trophies, sport and arm candy.

Hillary gave many of us hope that the glass ceiling would finally be shattered. No one will be able to convince me that this didn’t come down to gender..because if a man with her experience had been up against Trump, emails be damned, there would have been no contest. How many newscasts did we watch where the first focus was on what she wore and not what she stood for?

No, I don’t think Hillary was a perfect candidate nor has there ever been one..EVER; because we elect humans to this position. What Hillary does have is the experience and the temperament needed to govern a country, the bully in the playground who tweets insults at 3am in the morning, makes fun of the disabled, threatens the lives of immigrants and can’t answer a single policy question with an actual informed answer is not the solution.

When you have dissension in your own party, that should signal something- but we as a nation just kept thinking it was a ruse, something that couldn’t actually happen and yet it did. I don’t know if it happened because the middle class is so fed up that any diversion seemed like a good idea or that the hate and the intolerance opened our eyes that detestation is alive and well in the USA or was it the perfect trifecta of throwing a female candidate into the mix?

We may never know- because some of our greatest intellectuals can’t wrap their head around this turn of events.

I’m wearing a safety pin today to signal solidarity for those marginalized and frightened by Trump and his campaign I am proud to do it, but having to adopt a symbol of anti-violence and anti-bigotry is not exactly what I thought I’d be doing in the wake of a presidential election taking place in 2016. 2016 folks! In a matter of a few days we’ve stepped back our progress by decades.

So, eventually my sadness will pass; I doubt my anger and disappointment will but I will at least try to let go of the former because we don’t need any more of that fuel in our country.

Still, I ask you to step back and put yourself in the shoes of a Latino, a woman, a victim of sexual assault, an LGBTQ citizen, an immigrant looking for a better life, a person with disabilities, a minority and ask yourself would I be feeling safe and ok today.

No you would not.

 

Image result for not my president

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Social Distortion

 

I was driving in the car last weekend, enjoying the warm weather, looking forward to a screening of Miles Ahead and listening to my local NPR station…all was good and then it all became bad.  NPR was doing a story on Julia Ioffe –you may not know the name but you more than likely know more than you may care to about her subject: Melania Trump.

Julia recently did a piece on Melania for GQ—and the trolls are coming out en masse attacking her. Apparently it is all because Melania had expressed her displeasure over the piece…and journalists—no new news here—her husband has been rather public about his hatred of journalists….but this was different. You see Julia is Jewish and her subject is married to what I like to refer to as the walking virus with shoes Donald Trump. After the piece was published and Melania had a comment, Julia suddenly became a target. Her phone has rung off the hook with threats, her twitter page has been a target of …you guessed it—anti Semitic rants, photo-shopped pictures, people claiming she should be made into a lampshade…… all because she published a fully researched article that was run by Melania Trump’s camp and a team of lawyers, etc and she wasn’t even sure what Melania was referring to.

As I listened to Julia tell the interviewer how her life has been threatened, I was disturbed…but then I became angry when she stated, “as a journalist it comes with the territory”. Does it? Well maybe if you’re dealing with a troglodyte like Trump but it shouldn’t.

No journalist should have to be the subject of attacks and feel unsafe and I wonder how we got to the place in this country where as journalists we accept attacks on us as just part of the job. No it’s a part of a society where social mores and appropriate behavior are unicorns and bullying and meanness are the norm.

It is still mind boggling to me and embarrassing as well that we actually have someone so reprehensible as Trump leading as the Republican front runner. Let me be clear, it doesn’t say anything about Trump, or even the Republican party but it does say something about our society. Trump is waving in the wind a banner of a society that has decided to accept the lowest common denominator, to hate others who are different, to judge people based on the color of their skin or their religion. But at the end of the day, if anything – Trump has done most of us a favor –he has pulled back the skin on the underbelly of the beast and shown us that hatred is still alive and well in America.

What is worse is that people like Julia have been conditioned to accept it. She is doing her job and she cannot do so without a backlash of hatred. What is even more sad and disconcerting is that the online attacks against Ioffe, though religiously charged, aren’t so different from those targeted at many other women.  Brianna Wu, a game developer, spoke out about gamergate and she then began receiving multiple, specific rape and death threats including her address, forcing Wu to flee her home. Alison Rapp, who worked in marketing at Nintendo, has also been the subject of relentless online harassment. No man or woman should be the target of threats and fear for their safety because they chose the career of journalism or expressed an opinion.

I have been rather fortunate—I’ve only had a couple of run ins but I won’t lie to you, I always wonder if it’s really worth it? I once wrote a blog about why I thought Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were a bad choice for the Vogue cover and the trolls came out and called me a racist. I wasn’t quite sure how my disdain over someone’s fashion choices equaled to me being racist but there it was staring me back in the face.

At a club I was once approached by a man who didn’t agree with my assessment of a Corrosion of Conformity show. Really? A music journalist’s opinion means that much to you that you’re going to corner them in a bar and force them to discuss their article?

I could write an entirely new blog on what I’ve received when I have commented on Trump. No big surprise there –a man who spews hate speech would more than likely have followers who do the same. But to have someone tell me I should die because I disagree with Trump’s views is unfathomable. Yes that happened.

And just this morning I received a comment on a fashion blogging site that I follow. I love seeing the red carpet looks and commenting on my thoughts of what looks good and doesn’t. But this morning my inbox had a notification from an internet troll who went so far as to create a fake disqus profile with my name as a rude phrase to attack me because I said Kendall and Kylie Jenner didn’t look bad in their Met dresses considering… I kind of stared at the comment for a minute and thought wow that much hatred and effort was summoned over a back handed compliment? I can only imagine if I had been actually critical.

I don’t make my living as a journalist—it’s something I do as a freelancer, I do it because it’s something I love….most of the time.

For those who do it as a full time profession, there shouldn’t be fear for publishing an opinion. Feeling threatened and enduring racist hate speech shouldn’t be part of the territory. Ever.

SO why is it becoming more and more common? Well..as I have often said Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have given people a screen to hide behind while they lob over insults and hatred. I’m fine with people not agreeing with me…that’s a natural part of open dialogue –what I can’t stand nor do I think anyone should, is attacks and threats.

Bottom line?

It would appear that our continued foray into social media has made us, well…..antisocial.

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Neal Gabler: How the Media Enabled Donald Trump

Brilliant blog.

Vox Populi

“I’ve never seen anything like this, and this is going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It’s a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going.” — Les Moonves, CBS

It is more than a little ironic that the Republican Establishment and the mainstream media are both now in full panic mode over the possibility of Donald Trump winning the GOP nomination. You would think that the Republican Party, which has been, let’s face it, hate-spewing, poor-bashing, government-stopping and corporation-loving for decades, ought to be the leading culprit for having paved the way for Trump’s success. As for the media, Marco Rubio, who claims to be exactly where he wants to be after losing 14 primaries and caucuses and winning only one, holds them responsible, which, from a candidate who has demonstrated little support outside the media, is a bit disingenuous. Still, even Rubio is…

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TRUMPED

Source: TRUMPED

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TRUMPED

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds, you mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long, you’re just sad that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?
Paul Varjak: Sure.*

trump

Of course I think today the American Psychology Association would probably call it anxiety but potato- po-tah-to ….still it seems like the world is awash in a mean red paint splatter. This time it’s not Kim Kardashian’s latest foray into my FB feed, or the fact that the Travel Channel built an entire show around Rev. Run taking vacations….it’s that everywhere I look it feels like we’re all in “Mean Girls”. On Wednesdays we wear pink and we shun others.

I am literally exhausted by all of the crazy, hatred and stupid we face on a daily basis. I am also afraid, but unlike Holly I can identify the reason for my fear.

We have become a virus with shoes, patient zero is Donald Trump and the CDC apparently doesn’t have a vaccine.

Allow me to explain why Trump is my personal nightmare and should be our nation’s as well.

All of a sudden instead of just being that self important, let’s market my name on EVERY building I come in contact with buffoon– he is now perfectly epitomizing so many things that are wrong with our society today. When did we become a nation of mean people, who are ok to be offensive, show poor manners and highlight our ignorance? Have we always been this way and has my waning youth just hidden it with idealism? Is it something new?

Everywhere I turn I am faced with the reality that we aren’t in Kansas anymore—instead, it’s a 24 hr Wal Mart off a busy highway with 12 liter sodas for sale and everyone is thirsty.
And it’s mediocrity, meanness and mayhem that are quenching their thirst– poured down their throats by Trump.

We have a man running for president and doing well in the polls who is a known misogynist, intolerant racist with a few decades practice on that front ( lest we forget, in 1973, the Justice Department filed suit against the Trump Management Corporation for alleged racial discrimination ) and he is not only obnoxious he is unapologetically obnoxious on purpose to a fault.

He’s filed bankruptcy four times and has married two women who were not born in the US however he is against immigrants and plans to turn America around financially? Isn’t anyone seeing him as a whopping bucket of crazy that makes no sense?

trump

Allow me to point out what really bothers me about Trump. It’s not that he lacks any redeeming qualities. It’s not that he is obnoxious, rude, prejudiced and cruel. It’s not that he’s a bully. He’s all of those things but it is the fact that the American public seems to be perfectly fine with what comes out of his mouth and is blind to his quite implicit danger that has me worried.

I’ve been a cultural commentator for years and this troglodyte is hands-down the most bellicose buffoon I have ever encountered but if he was just spewing his rhetoric at one of his gold plated mirrors in his mansion, I might be less concerned. The fact that he is still in the running as a Republican candidate for presidency is mind boggling to me. Granted, imho, the rest of the candidates aren’t exactly the cream of the crop but when does enough become enough? I don’t know which is worse –Trump spewing he vitriol hate speech OR the fact THAT NO ONE IN A POSITION OF AUTHORITY IS DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT. Instead, we’re putting him on SNL and clapping when he makes fun of reporters who have a physical handicap! Seriously, what are we afraid of? Is it that the other candidates are just as incompetent so Trump with all of his money and I won’t apologize to women, minorities, and reporters somehow appears as the savior of the great American dream?

How can someone who is not great himself make America great again? Isn’t it time that this charade be shut down?

He is swaggering through the election process and people are claiming they like that he tells it like it is. Does he? Or does he incite violence, stupidity and the dumbing down of America? He’s not telling it like it is…he’s telling what he thinks will get the most publicity and votes.

Case in point:

On Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” Trump sparred with NBC’s Chuck Todd, who pressed the GOP candidate on his controversial claim about thousands of people cheering when the towers fell during 9/11.

“This didn’t happen in New Jersey,” Todd said.
“Chuck, it did happen in New Jersey,” Trump replied. “I have hundreds of people that agree with me.”
The real estate mogul again offered a 2001 Washington Post article that reported the FBI was looking into reports of people celebrating as proof of his claim. (Officials could not find evidence such celebrations ever occurred.)
“We’re looking for other articles,” Trump said. “And we’re looking for other clips. And I wouldn’t be surprised if we found them, Chuck. But for some reason, they’re not that easy to come by. I saw it. So many people saw it, Chuck. And so, why would I take it back? I’m not going to take it back.”
“You’re running for president of the United States,” Todd argued. “Your words matter. Truthfulness matters.”
“Take it easy, Chuck. Just play cool,” Trump responded. “Many, many people have seen it. I have a very good memory, I’ll tell you. I saw it somewhere on television many years ago. And I never forgot it.”

trump

“Just play cool?” He’s beginning to sound like the bad boy in John Hughes movies. In fact, maybe that’s it. He must be a big fan of James Spader….

Let’s face it he IS that bad boy… Trump as Steff or Rip.. a rich arrogant playboy.

Does anyone really think a rich arrogant playboy (RAP)wants to make America great again? Really?

Or is it perhaps just one more real estate deal that he can trump stamp with his name?

I am voting on the latter.
To read a much more profound dissertation on Trumpism please click HERE 

*Breakfast at Tiffany’s, George Axelrod, screenplay

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Fools Rush In

Fools Rush In

I hate being wrong….especially when it comes to music. I don’t consider myself an expert per se, but having been around the music industry since I was 18 and writing professionally for the past decade, I like to think of myself as being fairly on point.

I have been extraordinarily lucky too…I’ve interviewed several of my idols—everyone from Zakk Wylde to Steve Vai..and I’ve been stage front covering bands from MUSE to Motorhead. Hell I even have proof that I have sat on Lemmy’s lap but nothing prepared me for what I had managed to avoid for 20 years.

You got it..my first RUSH concert.

I couldn’t have dreaded anything more.

I didn’t contact management for backstage passes. I didn’t take my camera. Hell, I didn’t even pull out my leather pants. ..and I didn’t contact any of my editors to see if they wanted to run my review as a cover feature. I was a reluctant passenger on a fly by night snowy owl on a headlong flight into mystery.

I arrived, made my way to my VIP seats…ok..I at least didn’t pay for the tickets…I mean that just would be wrong…and I sat down wondering how long I’d have to wait before the shrieking would begin. I had been told that the band was always punctual but seriously who actually starts on time?

I glanced at my watch and on the stroke of 8 the lights suddenly went down and the screens behind the stage begin to show video. There were cartoons, illustrations, interviews, voice overs….and this wasn’t some 8th grade science presentation –my eyes were trying to keep up with what felt like a Spielberg movie when all of a sudden the opening notes of “The Anarchist” began. The crowd went wild and I went silent.

So this is RUSH. Three guys , four decades and 20,000 or so of my closest friends.

Damn.

This was sounding good. Really good.

As the band moved from tracks picked from the majority of their catalog including “Clockwork Angel”, “Snakes and Arrows”, “Vapor Trails”, “Counterparts” and “Grace Under Pressure”…I realized that all of the snide jokes and requests to never hear “Tom Sawyer” again, were falling by the wayside as I recognized I knew more lyrics than I had ever admitted to and this 3 piece was tight but not taught.

I didn’t hear any missteps , no one missed their cue….it was a well-oiled machine, power driving through one song after another until 22 or so songs later I was trying to figure out what album hadn’t been represented. I left while they were playing “Anthem”…and made my way out to the corridor of the coliseum. I could hear the rest of the encore as I made my way to one of the merch stands. Yeah. I’m that chick. The Rush Girls Rock with the tee shirt.

I felt it was the least I could do.

I had complained that Geddy Lee sounded like a squirrel on helium, their songs were always 2 minutes too long, Neil was just collecting drums, he wasn’t really playing all of them and Alex valiantly chugged along in the other’s shadows.

I realized I had been wrong, really wrong. Ok…I still say that Lee’s vocals are not for the faint of heart, his register takes some getting used to but the wall of sound produced around him isn’t smoke and mirrors, it’s the real deal. RUSH will never be that band you can dance to -they have been too busy experimenting with compositions, song structures and lyrical content. Sure it can be a bit verbose and pedantic and these are also the guys who thought kimonos were height of rock star fashion, but at the end of the day I realized they’ve been true to themselves, their music and their fans. Not many bands can stake that claim especially after 40 years.

So to the band of brothers from Toronto, the common sons– I humbly apologize. I was wrong to judge you on a few songs that made AOR radio many years ago. I may not own all of your albums and cds, but you can lay claim and ownership of my respect.

I listened to your music and heard what it can do.

-Kim Thore

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