What Trump Only Cares About

Trump only cares about his base of supporters when he carries out his actions or speaks or tweets. He doesn’t care about anyone else. He expects to get enough votes from non-decided voters in swing states in 2020. He just wants to get re-elected in four years.

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Poem: What Next for The World?

What next for the world,

What next for us?

What next for the world,

Is it written on a bus?

What next for the world,

What next for the good?

What next for the bad,

What will happen –

What should?

Could,

Would,

Be,

Is it time for us to live the future free?

The Branding of Juventus and Pogba

Like it or loathe it, Juventus’ new logo is another sign of the branding and commercial focus of soccer clubs nowadays. Juventus is up against all the other big clubs and they need to make an effort to stand out. Even if I happen to like the new logo, the announcement was full of the usual marketing mumbo jumbo, so it quickly became annoying and pretentious.

It may also be a mistake. Juventus’ logo is recognised by millions so to change it seems like a silly waste of money and, more importantly, branding capital. They have to start from scratch with this new logo. It helps that it features a capitalised “j”, but still. Much more important, however, is the players this club can attract and what it can achieve on the pitch.

Paul Pogba spent a bit of time getting “p”s shaved into his head and having two capitalised “p”s bleached a greenish yellow colour to signify “Paul Pogba” on his noggin alongside getting his own Twitter emoji. Considering his performance against Liverpool on Sunday he should probably be focusing on how to get the best performance out of himself for his club. Though I think it has become clear to a lot of people that his choice to move to Manchester United was driven as much by commercial and branding ambitions as soccer ones.

Apple on Course to Disrupt the Hardcore Gaming Consoles

Apple, yesterday allowing developers to have games and apps that are as big as four gigabytes is a sign that Apple TV will be hosting hardcore video games and 4K content for those games and apps very soon. This is a warning sign to the PS4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch: Apple is coming to eat their lunch. Apple is also going to have 4K content in apps so their apps will be top-notch. In an example of how quickly things exponentially change in the tech world, the previous limit on apps and games was 200 MB file sizes. That’s a 20 times increase. Your move, Google.

Co-opism is What’s Best for the Future of Humanity

Now I want to share an idea of mine of a new political ideology that could help humanity have a better future. I call it “Co-opism”. This ideology would still fall under the umbrella of capitalism technically, as it would still be about the profit motive in a capitalist economy, but with the benefits of a co-operative structure, like better pay, better conditions and more engagement with the company, and thus happier employees who are more motivated to outdo the purely capitalist competition because they are happier and because they have a stake in the company.

This simple idea can be put into place in countries all over the world. And the world will have to fight politically to put this idea into place by incentivising the founding of co-operatives and helping co-operatives in state policy and penalising and not helping non-co-operative companies. Now, I am aware that there is a system that is even better for the average citizen than co-opism and that is workers self-directed enterprises (WSDEs), as outlined by Richard D. Wolff on his website http://www.democracyatwork.info/ but I don’t think it is realistic to jump straight from pure capitalism to WSDEs. It is more realistic to work with the co-operatives that are in your country now and that are part of a culturally well-understood system.

One reason why I think Co-opism will work and that it as an idea will inevitably be put into action is that it is a nice halfway house between communism and capitalism. It gives better benefits for workers like communism but still has the healthy profit motive of capitalism.

So, here’s the part where I try to inspire you to take action. Put co-opism into place by founding a co-operative-focused political party! Spread co-opism elsewhere by simply sharing this blog post or by communicating the idea to others! Rise up against pure capitalism and neo-liberalism!

A Review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a very impressive film. Once again, the skill that Disney has in telling stories is very evident. The acting is good and urgent throughout. And the characters are strong enough to keep the film from being a soulless action-packed exercise.

The story starts with a good pace and sense of foreboding. Jyn Erso is a character that doesn’t care too much for any heroic purpose, unlike Luke Skywalker. It is refreshing to see a character that doesn’t want to get sucked into the very dramatic events of Star Wars, but cares instead for her own survival and for her parents.

Of course, Jyn grows up, and she resists getting involved in the war at first, but eventually finds a spirit to fight back against the Empire and lead a pack of Rebels. This is genius character development because we see all the human, realistic characteristics of someone growing up and getting involved in a war that wasn’t of their choosing, and then slowly find that spark inside to fight for what’s right.

The action sequences are epic and exciting, and the special effects and CGI dazzling, but the decision to use CGI for one of the Empire’s top brass was, while not that bad, still not an inspired choice as it quite noticeable that this wasn’t a real actor acting. It ruined my suspension of disbelief any time the character was in a scene. I suppose it wasn’t that bad because the emotions that the character showed in previous Star Wars films weren’t quite difficult to render (sternness, seriousness and curtness), and perhaps this character was already central to the story because of the content of the three Star Wars films that chronologically follow this prequel.

The film has some poignancy to it, and Cassian Andor, one of the Rebels, is ruthless to help the Rebellion, and at another point that same character tells Jyn and other Rebels that all of the Rebels around him did bad things to further the cause of defeating the Empire, which to me signals that the Star Wars films of this era are more mature and realistic. The film makes it perfectly clear to us that this is a war, lots of people are going to die for different reasons and reasons that are not good ones in a black and white way, but rather in a way that highlights the grey areas of fighting a war morally. This is a big change of tone for the Star Wars Universe. It is probably because people demand grittier and more true to life entertainment nowadays, and in this way it highlights the madness of war, even if war is needed to protect people and to combat malevolent forces. It is also something that has sown inconsistency in the narrative of Star Wars. If one were to watch Episodes IV to VI, after watching this film, they may be jarringly simplistic and lacking in honesty.

However, overall this film deserves a nine out of ten for it’s good acting, thrilling action sequences and good character development. The reason it doesn’t get a ten out of ten is because there is so much action in the film, which inhibits character development, and thus it is hard to care a whole lot about the characters in the story, even if you care about the cause and the values of the heroes.

All Publicity is Good Publicity in US Politics

This opinion piece: http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/kathy-sheridan-the-media-got-it-right-on-trump-but-nobody-cares-1.2877809 is clearly just one angle rather than a comprehensive assessment of why Trump won. This is partly because The Irish Times wants to write more than one article about Trump.

Anyway, the US media made Trump. The Irish Times and the rest of the Irish media are obsessed with Trump – just like the US media.

Of course the media, as a group, want to say they had no part in Trump’s victory, but it’s just not true. What Trump understands about publicity is that all publicity is good publicity in US politics. People, after having a candidate thrust into their faces for a year and a half, forget why they know the candidate’s name but they sure as hell remember that person’s name, and hey, what’s he promising? Change? That doesn’t sound bad to them.

Brexit Will Have Painful Lessons

FT_Brexit_01

So the unthinkable happened: Brexit. It appears that the fear and accompanying hatred of immigrants and the promise of a better Britain overcame the fear of leaving the EU. For Ireland and Britain, other countries and the global economy this is most definitely bad news. It’s a cultural tragedy that Ireland and Britain will now not be as European as each other. This decision will cause a mini recession in Britain, quite probably.

It will have a negative effect on Ireland’s economy. Britain might become weaker economically and politically and very ironically have a big reliance on outside countries to help it limit the economic and political damage. The country may descend into right-wing politics before the younger generation – and disaffected citizens generally – decide to vote for left-wing parties.

Most likely it will be a lesson some of the British public will have to learn: Britain is stronger economically and politically in the EU. Another one would be to not let the media and politicians take advantage of you; be a critical thinker. The tabloid media generally were arguably the cheerleaders of Brexit for their own agenda of selling papers and perhaps for tax and lack-of-EU-oversight reasons. They possibly heightened British peoples’ fear of immigrants and some even explicitly came out in favour of Brexit. Even the rest of the media were somewhat complicit in allowing the “Leave” side to win by allowing the referendum debate to be centered on immigration and not arguing in favour of immigrants in terms of what they add to Britain.

And the politicians in favour of Brexit were conceivably more motivated by their own possible political gain in backing Brexit than they were motivated to do something good for their citizens. If the half of the British public led astray learn these lessons and decide, years from now, to rejoin the EU, it may be on the EU’S terms, as Britain would be in a weak bargaining position. They may have to join the euro, for instance. Perhaps then the British public will stop blaming the EU for its problems and instead reform its own country. Examples may be creating enough better-paying jobs, breaking up its banks to end “too big to fail” and improve service and reforming its political system.

Johnson, Farage and Gove, along with the tabloid media generally, may be detested in the years to come by the half of the public that was on their side (alongside the other half, of course). And the rest of the media may not be seen in a favourable light either.

Scotland and possibly Northern Ireland may soon seek to extricate themselves from the United Kingdom. This could deal more economic damage to England and Wales. Scotland leaving could hurt the Labour Party in Britain, as they derive a lot of their support from that country. And the Queen will not be amused to see her empire crumble. And maybe if what’s left of Britain declines economically some of the public may blame the immigrants who are already in the country for their woes once again.

But it may be all alright. The world moves on. We will all adapt.