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 Life Skills for Fanboys:  Creators and Politics

 written by Tony DiGerolamo, Copyright 2017

To further my goal of helping fellow fanboys, I have included an index of links of previous columns with their topics.  Don’t take it personal, I’m just trying to help.  Previous columns are indexed at the end.

The Resistance is Puerile

So the endless wild screaming that seems to have captured politics on the leftish side of the fence show no sign of ending.  As a Libertarian, I find this both good and bad.  Good, in that Democrats who have been asleep the last eight years have finally woken up to the out-of-control government in the U.S., but at the same time Bad, because it’s all about one guy.  We are supposed to be a country of laws, not men.

The Founding Fathers didn’t create a government of men, that’s what they left behind in Europe during the 1700’s.  Kingdoms had kings and kings made the rules.  And either you were in with the king or flew under the radar and kept you yap shut.  The idea behind the United States was a Republic.  It was a place were all men were created equal and they were equal under the eyes of the law.

Of course, the Founding Fathers weren’t perfect.  Those caveats didn’t include women or the slaves they owned, but over the years their concepts have worked out pretty good once applied to everyone.  And it’s take a long time to make sure that was the case.

Unfortunately, equality under the law is not the same as equality.  The identity politics that has hollowed out the Democrat party and their well-meaning followers is eating it alive.  So rather than looking at Donald Trump and saying, “Oh, my God!  He has far too much power as president!  We have to put him in check and remove those powers!”  Most of my colleagues are crying, “Oh, my God!  We have to replace Trump with a Democrat!”

Every Entertainer is a Liberal

Whether you’re an actor, comedian, screenwriter, comic book writer, novelist—  And I’ve been all of them—  Most people in the world of entertainment are politically liberal.  A lot of it comes from the fact that most of the jobs I just mentioned are for people who are relatively well off, which means we went to college and colleges are incredibly liberal, politically speaking.  At my college in upstate New York, I never met a single person who wasn’t Liberal politically.

The big picture is this:  Whether you’re in entertainment or academia, like anywhere else, you have to network.  Jobs first, hopefully, go to the competent.  But then, and sometimes first and foremost, they go to the people that bosses like.  Jibing with someone politically, whether you do or not, is a quick way to get on their side and stay there.  And certainly, not jibing with someone politically is a one-way ticket to “Who else we got?”  Ya feel me?

So even if you’re not a Liberal, it’s not exactly smart to advertise your non-Liberal credentials to a potential boss.  And while we’re at it, entertainers, while often very smart and visible people, aren’t always totally up on the information they comment on.  Celebrities in Hollywood are like the popular kids in high school.  What they do and say is what the rest of us imitate because don’t you want famous people to like you?  So if most of the celebs are saying “X”, then most of their fans are going to say it or support it.  They’re certainly not going to correct a famous person they like on Twitter or Facebook.

All that doesn’t necessarily make the sentiment “right” morally or strategically.  For more on that, watch this Rubin Report.

The Big Ban

To answer your question, “No”, Trump’s Muslin ban isn’t good and no Libertarian would support it.  However, while you’ve got thousands of people gnashing their teeth and protesting at airports over the inconvenience of keeping people out of the U.S., one has to ask, “Protesters, are you aware why many of these people are fleeing their home country to come here?”  The answer is, because the Middle East is a God damned mess thanks to W’s war in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama’s continuation of those wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus Obama’s new wars in Libya and Syria, plus a few adjunct countries nearby and maybe throw in Pakistan while you’re at it.  So while thousands of people were getting blown up for eight years by a Democrat president, now suddenly this surge of concern over airports and visas.

Maybe just stop bombing countries?  I mean, THAT would be a thing to protest and it would stop the refugee crisis in its tracks.

I’ve seen a lot of comparisons to Trump and Hitler, to his policies and fascism.  Libertarians have been using these comparisons since the 80’s to describe government overreach.  Unfortunately, it’s only because Trump is so hated that the comparisons are used.  Apparently, if you’re a friendly, affable warmonger that smiles and can give a good speech, you’re cool.

The Creators’ Concern

Anyhow, I’ve seen a lot of creators jump on Twitter, Facebook—  Whatever, to voice their concern now, but it feels a lot like bandwagon jumping.  It’s popular to bash Trump, so I’m going to do it.  Don’t get me wrong, it is fun, but I just uncovered this comic on In A Relationship at the Webcomic Factory.  It’s easy.  Too easy, quite frankly.  It’s like posting comics about Reddit on Reddit just to score some easy points.  It’s a lot harder to actually process some of these issues and tackle the nuts and bolts of them.

These heart string pull comics or making Trump look like an asshole are all fine, but they fail to address the real issue.  People are dying thanks to the U.S. military in wars no one approved or even follow now.  Like this.  The real problem isn’t just Donald Trump, it’s that he has too much power.  The solution isn’t just to replace him with a nicer guy with too much power, the solution is to make the office of the president and the government less powerful.  Then, whether you have an asshole or a guy you like, they can only do so much damage.  I’ve seen very few creators addressing this.  Just creators either trying to exploit the emotional trend of the month or those that were true believers and are just running on sheer panic.

What to Do

There’s lots you can do to clean up the Trump mess, but none of it matters unless you take that first, important step:  Educate yourself.  Print is dead.  Television news is dead.  If you truly want to understand the world, you have to do your own news research on the Internet.  And you have to understand what sources are real and back up their stories with facts and what ones are merely an arm of a political party.  MoveOn.Org started as an email thing that seemed to be protesting the war during Bush.  Imagine my surprise when I found out they were just an arm of the DNC looking for my email for their mailing list?  I moved on from it.

Here are some sources that I recommend.  I come to these sources as a news junkie who read a TON of websites.  These sites, I would swear by.  Haven’t steered me wrong yet.


The Intercept


There are more, to be sure.  Antiwar.com is both site and aggregate site.  The Intercept is Glenn Greenwald’s site.  He’s the one that broke the Edward Snowden revelations.  WikiLeaks has a ten year perfect record.  All three sites have tremendous cred and back their stories or leaks with facts.  If you’re still skimming CNN or Google News, you’re only getting the “acceptable” story.

I invite you to do a test.  Find a particular topic on a mainstream news site and then find the coverage on one of the sites I list.  Compare the facts and the spin.

After you’re caught up and I mean really see the bigger picture, that’s when you make a plan.  Protests should be about something, not just a guy.  Calling your congressman should be about an issue, not just to complain.  This is a big country.  Billions of dollars are at stake.  If you don’t think the companies that make missiles and bullets and helmets and other war stuff don’t want this chaos to continue, then you probably need to read more of those sites.

Educate yourself, especially if you’re a creator.  You’re vulnerable out there.  You don’t want to get called out two years from now because you backed the wrong horse.  And, at least, if you take a principled stand on something, know that you’ve got the right info.  Not just something someone told you or that you heard on Twitter.  You don’t want to lose readers just because they disagree with you politically.  However, if you’re taking a principled stand, at least you can know that your loss in readership is their loss.  Don’t sacrifice your credibility in the short term.

Know shit, fanboys.  Know shit.

Previous Columns

Obesity at Cons
The Art of Conversation
The Line Between Fans and Pros
Geek Elitism
Convention Panels
Convention Volunteers
Food Gifts
Women and Cons
Get Your Room Party Together
Stop Bringing Your Kids to Cons
The Face of Geek Needs Work
Fixing the Face of Geek
Franchise Worship
Presenting Your Project
The New Image?
Stop Trying to Make Geek Cool
 Rethinking the Comic Book Con
Zombie Stories Should Still Be About People
Geek Stereotypes and the Big Bang Theory
Con Locations
Traveling to Cons on the Cheap
Con Economics
Comics, Sexism and Trolling
Searching for the Words
How to Fix Comics?  Stop Reading Them
Shopping at the Con
The Hollywood Double Edged Sword
Beware the Geek Scams
Success Kills
In Response to Chuck Dixon, Paul Rivoche and Janelle Asselin
Fanboy Reporters
Dealing with Critics and Haters in the Internet Age
Who Are the Creepers?
The Cosplayer Treaty of 2014: A Proposal
Female Thor
Comics’ Non-News
Geek Feminists and DC’s T-Shirts
Cosplay Blowback
Charlie Hebdo and the Other Stuff You Should Know
Customer Service
The Intolerant Internet

Superhero Movie Moral Compass

Why Hillary Lost