Everything is Awesome!!

Guest post on the promotion of the individual from a notoriously collectivist industry

by Tyler Smith

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It’s no secret that Hollywood is strongly liberal. This is often reflected in the films that are produced, especially if those films promote a strong message. Over and over, we see businessmen, the military, and the generic “old white men” portrayed as villains, whose reactionary approach to life is keeping us from becoming a society of equality and fairness for all.  The heroes are those that put aside their own petty selfishness and embrace communal values.

What I find particularly interesting is that this message only starts to come about in films aimed at adults.  When we go back further, to kids movies and family films, we find a very different situation.  We are often treated to stories about oppressive societies that emphasize sameness above all.  “Get in line and be like everybody else, or be ostracized,” seems to be the order of the day.

The heroes of these stories are those that look at the societal structure around them and feel like they don’t belong.  They sense that they were meant for better things; to break out of communal expectations and be their own person.  Of course this makes sense, as we want to engender a sense of specialness in our children, rather than encourage conformity.

This is not by any means a new concept, but there have been several recent films for children and teenagers that seem to really take this idea and run with it.  You can find it all over movies based on Young Adult fiction.  Movies like The Giver, The Hunger Games, and The Maze Runner really put the effort into depicting an oppressive government whose best intentions- peace, prosperity, etc.- might actually be a smokescreen for a thirst for power.  That so many young people are growing up watching these movies is encouraging to me; perhaps as they get older, they’ll start to look at our increasingly regulated world and start to wonder if all those rules aren’t actually limiting freedom more than protecting it.

In the midst of all of these films comes The Lego Movie, which manages to take the idea of a centrally-planned society and ratchet up the absurdity to such a degree that I consider it one of the most effective refutations of socialism (and perhaps liberalism) I’ve ever seen in film.  The first ten minutes of the film are all about the way the society is run.  Everybody has their place.  Everybody is given the same instructions about how to live out their day.  Very little is left to chance.

But, then, just when the satire is at its peak, the movie reveals its true stroke of genius.  The current hit song in the city- the song that everybody knows and loves- is called “Everything Is Awesome.”  It is extremely catchy and relentlessly upbeat.  And, it’s message?  Well, it’s right in the title.  Everything is Awesome.

But when we actually listen to the lyrics, this song plays like something out of Soviet Russia.  It is a piece of propaganda obviously passed down from the city government to keep its citizens excited about sameness and conformity.

Let’s take a look at some of these lyrics:

“Everything is awesome

everything is cool when you’re part of a team.

Everything is awesome

when we’re living out our dreams!”

“We’re the same.

I’m like you. You’re like me.

We’re all working

in harmony!”

The leaders of the city are telling their citizens- in bouncy, enthusiastic fashion- that nobody is any different than anybody else. We’re all part of a team where no one individual is more capable than his team members.  And it’s a thing to celebrate!

Then we come to a part of the song that demonstrates what conservative commentator Evan Sayet would call the “indiscriminateness of thought” that is adopted by modern liberals.

“Lost my job, it’s a new opportunity

More free time for my awesome community.”

“It’s awesome to win, and it’s awesome to lose.”

“Everything you see, or think, or say is awesome!”

In order to emphasize the idea of sameness among people, the concept must also be championed among ideas and concepts.  Nothing is inherently good, so therefore nothing is inherently bad.  If you lose your job, it’s no big deal.  Failure isn’t something to be afraid of nor is success something to strive for.  Everything is equally awesome.

If every job is awesome, nobody would ever consider trying to get a better one.  If every car is awesome, nobody will create a better one.  And if every law is awesome, nobody will question any of them.

Of course, it is possible to simply look at the song as a call to both optimism and teamwork, which there is nothing wrong with, just as there is nothing wrong with the idea of equality and fairness.  The only problem- as exemplified in the film- is that these ideas are merely used as a means to satiate the masses and ensure that those that are in power stay in power.

There is an insidiousness to the way words like “fairness” and “equality” and “tolerance” are used right now.  Those that use them most tend to define them in a way that best suits their own needs and ideas.  And if you ever question the person’s motives, they can always say things like:

“Don’t you believe in fairness?”

“What are you, intolerant?”

“Do you not think teamwork is awesome?!”

This is the brilliance of The Lego Movie.  While I didn’t find the story itself to be incredibly engaging, the world that is created and the care with which the writers take to craft that world is admirable.  And in their desire to create a truly despotic villain whose power is dependent on a controlled citizenry, the writers have shown a canny understanding of the way propaganda works.  It can convince you that up is down and black is white.  Because if there is no such thing as good or bad, then how can we say that those in power are bad?

They’re not bad, because there is no bad.  There is only awesome.

Failure To Communicate

failure-to-communicateWhat we’ve got here…

No matter how many times leftist leaders like Bill De Blasio, Al Sharpton and Team Obama raise the obligatory call for peaceful protests, the violence persists, recently culminating in the assassination of two police officers in New York City.  Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were the direct victims of a vengeful miscreant who posted “I’m Putting Wings On Pigs Today. They Take 1 Of Ours, Let’s Take 2 of Theirs,” on Instagram.  They were indirect victims, collateral damage if you will, in the progressive movement that despises a racist America and while I would never expect complete adherence to authority on the part of such a man, what I do see are politicians making token gestures of peace, which are totally disregarded by their like-minded sycophants, while regularly acting in a contradictory manner that fuels such violent actions.

Protesters chanting “What do we want?  DEAD COPS!.”  Progressive “leaders” simultaneously calling for peace AND undermining these calls with divisive rhetoric.  Violent actors shooting, looting and burning.  All have hitched their wagons to the flagship cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, which are exhibits A & B in the case against a racist police force, society and nation.  Except they’re not evidence of any such culture.  Michael Brown was killed while physically attacking a police officer after breaking the law (by robbing a store) and resisting arrest.  He didn’t have his hands up.  Eric Garner was killed while struggling with police after breaking the law and resisting arrest.  He wasn’t killed by a chokehold.  Each case was investigated by a grand jury, each officer found to have acted within the law.  And yet, when violence erupts, despite the calls for peace that are inevitably followed by admissions of our racist nation, whether it be the murder of police officers or the burning and looting of shops and homes, such violence continues the progressive narrative of the racist police, system, etc.  If not for the actions of the police, no violence would occur, so goes the narrative.

And then there’s our leaders calling for peace.  Pleas for peaceful protests mask the condescension held in their hearts for our biased, racist, prejudicial system.  Before the grand juries had rendered any verdicts, Eric Holder was in Ferguson to investigate and Al Sharpton had set up camp while the officer in question had been found guilty in the court of public opinion.  New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has found himself shunned by the NYPD due to comments calling for the “retraining” of his police force to better deal with race relations. (Because they are presently too racist)   Also, he acknowledges advising his biracial son to “be careful” when dealing with the police. (The only conclusion is that this is because the police working in his city have racist views of young black men, despite the diversity of the police force)  As for Al Sharpton, here’s a link to his highlights.  Now consider his close relationship advising both Mayor De Blasio as well as the sitting President of the United States.

Calls for peace are the obligation of politicians and public leaders.  However, while peace is preferable, even to these leaders, it is violence that stirs emotion and invigorates the movement.  They must speak peace but do so in a way that undermines that same speech.  And when all subsequent violence can be blamed on the initial event, either Brown or Garner, so much the better.  Notice how, as with Occupy Wall Street, all violent undesirables supposedly do not reflect the genuine feelings of the real movement.  Such violent actors are cut loose and the fact that their actions were motivated by a false narrative, peddled by the same double-speaking leaders is swept aside as irrelevant.

These facts must remain to further the cause: cops kill black men and we live in a racist society.  Any evidence to the contrary cannot be allowed to pervade the social conscious.  Police acting in self defense does not matter to those with a progressive agenda for social justice.  Black on black violence is not an epidemic that should be addressed by black leaders but further proof of prejudice and white privilege.  Basically, these leaders, the protesters and the violent actors are not interested in the truth or the betterment society.  They are interested in the same type of vengeance that tragically found Officers Liu and Ramos.  Sadly, they will not be the last victims of the progressive cause.

Notable Quotations

“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” – President Obama

– Does this mean he would be black?  In a hoodie?  Suspended from school?  And how does this NOT create division especially coming BEFORE any trial.

“These outbursts of bigotry, while deplorable, are not the true markers of the struggle that still must be waged, or the work that still needs to be done — because the greatest threats do not announce themselves in screaming headlines. They are more subtle. They cut deeper. And their terrible impact endures long after the headlines have faded and obvious, ignorant expressions of hatred have been marginalized.” – Eric Holder

– The other thing about supposed subtle forms of racism is that race hustlers can claim racism is at work when the fact is that people disagree with, for example, a president, because of his policies, not the color of his skin.  Any disagreement can be met with accusations of racism to effectively end any substantial discussion.

“This is true all over the country. We have to re-train police forces in how to work with communities differently.  We have to work on things like body cameras that would provide different levels of transparency and accountability. This is something systemic.  And we bluntly have to talk about the historic racial dynamics underlie this.”- Mayor Bill De Blasio

– Re-training is only necessary if the police are not adequately trained already which leads to: why were they not trained adequately enough resulting in such “racist” police officers?  It comes as no surprise that this mayor quickly lost the support of his own police force.

“For the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.” – Michelle Obama

– Her claims of prejudice by a Target customer are also ridiculous and may actually have been fabricated

SEE VIDEO– Al Sharpton

“The Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism.” -Steve Israel, Chair of the DCCC

– No specific people mentioned, just a hollow claim of blanket racism

Hands Up, Don’t Shoot = No Justice, No Truth

Passionate protesters pose in a posture proffering their surrender: hands up, don’t shoot.

originalThey seek to expose the racist underbelly of police forces across America.  They will force the country to admit to a social agenda that continually favors the white privileged class, allowing caucasians to prosper at the expense of their counterparts, relegated to minority status.  They will speak truth to power while taking it to the street.

Justice, truth and peace will be their sacrifice.

What these protesters seek is a progression of the cause, despite the facts, with the ends justifying any means.  The disparate specifics of cases like those of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in NYC are secondary to the priorities of the movement because it is not any specific wrongs that must be made right, only the vague premise of a racist America.  The case in Ferguson was a catalyst to start the “fire”.  It really does not matter to the protestors, or their demagogic supporters in congress, that no charges will be filed against the police or that the findings of the autopsy of Michael Brown are consistent with the account of Officer Darren Wilson.  Michael Brown did not have his hands up when he was shot.  Yet that narrative remains.

Hands up, don’t shoot.

There are pictures of children making this gesture.  The St. Louis Rams had a few players with their hands up in a pre-game motion of solidarity.  Even members of the Congressional Black Caucus struck this pose on the House floor in congress.  A pose that was a witness fabrication, never part of the actual events and debunked as a falsehood.  A lie.

But the fact that Michael Brown was not shot with his hands up does not help the cause.  If white police officers only shoot in defense of themselves and others the questions of race may change from why white officers kill to why black perpetrators attack.  And none of that would support the narrative that white cops kill black men because they are black.  So the myth remains.

The stats regarding black-on-black violence are clear.  Over 90% of murdered black Americans are killed by other black Americans.  The stats regarding the dissolution of the nuclear family are just as clear.  Over 70% of black children are born into single parent households.  Single parents must work which means less supervision which means that children will be left alone.  Idle hands.  These facts are inconvenient to the protesters in Ferguson who find that the best way to emote and promote their cause is to burn homes and shops, and steal from the minorities for whom they claim to be speaking.  Ironically and predictably, the protesters quickly became the oppressors they swore to hate.  Yet the myth remains.

During the French Revolution enemies of the people were killed in various ways, sometimes guillotined, sometimes torn apart limb from torso from limb.  The status of “enemy” was ever changing.  Yesterday’s “the people” are today’s “leaders” and tomorrow’s participants in the headless hunt.  You see, the prevailing view was that the specific people had a chance and when the poor were still poor and hungry, it was the specific people in charge at that moment who were flawed.  The collective ideology based upon the greater good of freedom, equality and brotherhood was never in question.  So one group dies and another takes the reins for awhile.  As history tells, this experiment finally ended with the imposition of an emperor followed by the reinstatement of the monarchy.  Back in Ferguson, the guillotines still reign.  The leaders blame evil forces for the plight of the people.  Never the man who actually lit the match, fired the gun (unless he’s a cop) or robbed the store.

In NYC, the case of Eric Gardner raises legitimate questions that were not relevant to Ferguson.  The entire incident was caught on video and when Gardner was still alive emergency responders seemed complacent to assist the suffocating man.  This case shows that police, grand juries and frankly all authorities are not infallible.  They may act entirely contrarily to their stated purpose.  However, this does not mean that these cases ought to be conflated and placed alongside one another to be interchangeable examples of racism in America.

But that type of distinction is useless to a movement claiming: both men were black, killed by officers who were then exonerated by a racist justice system.  And that’s the point.  It doesn’t matter if Darren Wilson acted within the law because there are cops who don’t, like Daniel Pantaleo in New York.  What matters is that the myth remains in order to support a cause that instills violence, animosity and hatred into society.  This cause relies on misinformation, a sympathetic media and a pervasive case of white guilt.  This movement transforms would-be responsible citizens into ignorant victims whose only crime is being a minority (never mind that molotov cocktail you just threw or the crack you just smoked… it’s not your fault).

New leadership is needed in these communities.  Black urban centers must help themselves.  Federal aid, the wars on poverty and drugs, affirmative action, quotas, lower standards, free education et al.  They have not and will not work.  These actions have actually served to incentive the very behavior they are meant to combat.  Therefore, it is up to the individuals of these communities to rise above the dangerous turmoil that thrives on vitriolic deception.

Education, cooperation and investigation are as inconvenient to the leftist cause as the facts they would expose.  Self reliance and self esteem are the antidote to the poisonous hyperbole spewing from race hustlers and demagogues in Washington.  But a leader, or group of leaders, from within these communities, are needed to communicate and inspire a better way.  This leader must speak the truth to spread the light and quench the fires of hate burning in the hearts of those who have been taught naught but anger and resentment.  The people deserve a better way:

Heads Up, Live Right

Defend the Paper Tiger

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Economic Illiteracy: the state of blissful ignorance where rational, fact-based decision making stands secondary to hypocritical public policy, emotional outrage and social justice.

Cure historical ills by raising tax rates to levels prohibiting economic growth?!

Want an equally diverse share of every race, color, creed, ethnicity, gender, animal, vegetable and mineral in each college and workplace in America, regardless of ambition or aptitude??!!

How about diminishing the global position of the “imperialistic” United States, viewed by social justice activists as the actual evil empire, while the tyrannically oppressed nations of the third world ostensibly suffer because we have air conditioning and drive on pavement???!!!

An economically illiterate citizenry consistently manipulated by demagogues and a complicit mass media make it all possible!  We can live in a world of free lunches where our cake remains on the plate while simultaneously melting in our mouths.  No trade offs.  No opportunity costs.  No consequences for the years of expansive entitlements and the prioritization of fairness in the name of the greater good while handicapping business and stifling success.  Just keep working, slogging through the oppressive regulatory red tape that permits the state to endlessly take… and take.

Well classy constituents, it seems that the bill for our “free” lunch with eight layer cake for dessert has finally come due.  As Margaret Thatcher keenly observed, the problem with socialist governments is “that they always run out of other people’s money.”

The entirely foreseeable, and almost entirely overlooked news is that the International Monetary Fund has recently released the production status of world economies.  And …DRUMROLL… the United States is no longer the strongest, biggest economy in the world.  According to Market Watch, “when you measure national economic output in “real” terms of goods and services, China will this year produce $17.6 trillion — compared with $17.4 trillion for the U.S.A.  As recently as 2000, we produced nearly three times as much as the Chinese.

To put the numbers slightly differently, China now accounts for 16.5% of the global economy when measured in real purchasing-power terms, compared with 16.3% for the U.S.

This latest economic earthquake follows the development last year when China surpassed the U.S. for the first time in terms of global trade.”  Sadly, according to the objective standards of the international community, the progressive vision to “take us down a peg” is a measurable success.

This is the declination of a nation set to thunderous, deafening silence.  The concerted, manipulative, misdirection of distractions, meant to provoke petty infighting has weakened the attention span of the majority of Americans.  (The voter turnout in the most recent election was the lowest it has been in over 60 years.)  This complacency, coupled with the victimization of different groups by race hustlers in preacher’s robes, and the promise of wealth redistribution by duplicitous demagogues, makes learning basic economic principles an inconvenient practice filled with too many facts.  The drive of the social justiciars rages onward like Sherman’s March to the Sea while the constantly capitulating, compassionately compromising, crony capitalist faux free market RINO (Republican In Name Only) “conservatives” stand limp, defending the economic system that bolsters all classes and encourages success, with all the efficacy of the Maginot Line.

But nations need not decline.

There is no historical imperative mandating that the society in power must give way to the next.  The flawed civilizations of the past placed power in the arbitrary hands of men.  The Divine Right of Kings, the deification of Caesar and Pharaoh, the military might of the Emperor.  The practices of these societies depended on the subjective whim of an elite ruler.

With the formation of the United States, the founders changed this course of history.  This nation was founded as a democratic republic with its bedrock foundation being the Constitution.  This basis of governance specifies the duties of elected officials and provides for methods to amend established rules and redress any grievances.  We are a nation of laws, not a nation of men.  These laws, the foundation of our founding, provide a guiding light for national salvation.

But the United States needs defenders.

Too often free-markets and democracy only find support in terms that reaffirm a negative.  “Not perfect, but the best we can do.”  “The least bad of all possible systems.”  These statements defend nothing.  They are in fact pleas for a replacement and the statist powers are just too happy to oblige.  The promises of socialism are of greater appeal to the uninformed than the “risks” posed by capitalism  (however, a history of misery demonstrates the tragic ends of collectivist nations) and over the past century, because of such promises, the United States has been systematically adopting progressive policies in direct contradiction to constitutional standards.  It now finds itself falling behind a Chinese economic system that has been slowly shedding socialist economics and adopting free-market policies.  Now that’s irony!

Capitalism and the Constitution need and deserve ardent protectors who can articulate the measurable along with the intangible benefits of such systems.  Therefore, devoted citizens must learn the principles and values that this nation reflects.  In so doing we can see where past leaders have strayed and what lessons must be learned from such mistakes.  The United States deserves a vigilant defense because of its status as a nation of laws based upon enlightened principles.  The freedom to think and respect for the rights of the individual.  Truth and justice.  These are objective values that can be defended regardless of the people or party in power.  The law is the law regardless of ideology.

There are prescribed methods to amend our government.  That is an amazing concept in and of itself; but such changes are meant to be challenging (despite the mightiness of the pen and phone) because of the significance of such changes.  The magnificence of the Constitution is that it creates a pathway to govern while admitting that it doesn’t know everything.  Try and find a despot with such a disposition.

The freedom to achieve based upon ability not birth status, the right to question and criticize the powers that be without fear of recrimination and the compassionate culture that cares to investigate whether or not a policeman acts in accordance with the law; these are all revolutionary ideals when compared to past societies (and, sadly, many modern ones).  With proactive defenders, these ideals can live.  As long as the United States exists as a nation of laws, the world will have a place where the good and the possible have a home and room to thrive.

**In his A Time for Choosing speech (which can be found here) Ronald Reagan told a story of a man from Cuba:

“Not too long ago, two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, “We don’t know how lucky we are.” And the Cuban stopped and said, “How lucky you are? I had someplace to escape to.” And in that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there’s no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.

And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man.”