Friday, February 17, 2017

BREAKING NEWS!!!: President Trump is Revealed to be Andy Kaufman

This would be the ONLY way that any of this makes any sense at all... 

... if the national embarrassment that we now have as President was actually subversive comedian Andy Kaufman - still alive & pranking the world with an elaborate disguise.

(seen on Weird Wide Web)

After listening to Trump's ridiculous & obnoxious media-bashing press conference yesterday, I don't know which is more unbelievable- how much of a narcissistic moron the guy really is, or that there are still people who actually listen to his self-centered ramblings and aren't disgusted by what a clueless shithead he is.


In fact, it's apparent from reading comments from his supporters that they actually think the press conference was an awesome beatdown of the "fake news". This is as delusional as claiming that a braying jackass is singing Italian opera. Trump looks and sounds like an absolute dope to anyone not brainwashed by right-wing propaganda & their own cognitive biases.

I think Howard Stern was right when he said Trump just wanted to run for President to get exposure for his brand & TV show. After he actually won, it quickly became clear that he was in waaaay over his head. His incompetence and conflicts of interest are already catching up to him in his first month. We'll see how long this flaming train wreck can barrel along, but maybe there's still a chance that the mask will be ripped off to reveal it was all just a big joke.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Shadow President Steve Bannon


We're only a few weeks into the Trump Presidency and it's already as crazy as anyone with the least bit of foresight could have predicted.

He just asked for the resignation of Michael Flynn, his National Security Advisor- because due to his illegal collusion with Russia, he was a danger to national security! This falls in line with Trump picking the worst possible candidates for high-level government positions, like Betsy DeVos for Education, Rick Perry for Energy, Tom Price for Health & Human Services, and on & on & on...

Trump is truly an ignoramus, and he has been busy signing executive orders that he doesn't understand fully. These hastily-crafted orders either have no chance of being implemented, or have already met resistance from the court system, due to their questionable constitutionality. It's clear that the administration is testing the limits of our system of checks and balances that limit Presidential power. Trump & his sycophants are autocratic fascists and would love to have authoritarian control with no oversight.

So the question is, if Trump isn't formulating these executive orders, who is pulling the levers behind the scenes? There are a few close advisors who have been in the spotlight. Probably the most important is former editor of pro-Trump propaganda outlet Breitbart news, & consummate asshole, Steve Bannon.

Cosmo:

Bannon was Trump's campaign manager, and was rewarded for his influence with the position of chief strategist and senior advisor in The White House. On top of these roles, Trump elevated him to a role on the National Security Council, while limiting the roles of the military and intelligence advisors. This completely insane move would be as if President Obama placed Arianna Huffington, Bill Maher or some other liberal media figure on the Security Council.

People see Steve Bannon's fingerprints on most of the actions & orders The White House has undertaken since the inauguration. This is very disturbing to anyone who is not caught up in the Trump cult of personality, because of Bannon's warped worldview and ideology.

Politico:

Bannon has a long history of offensive statements and wacked-out views. However, there are a couple of direct quotes that I think sum up the danger of this man being the controlling force behind the most powerful office in the world:

"Darkness is good," says Bannon, 
"Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That's power. 
It only helps us when they..."
(I believe by "they" he means liberals and the media, 
already promoting calls for his ouster) "...get it wrong. 
When they're blind to who we are and what we're doing."


“I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed.  
Shocked, I asked him what he meant.  
“Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. 
I want to bring everything crashing down, 
and destroy all of today’s establishment.” 




Friday, February 10, 2017

Communism, Hypnotism, and The Beatles


About 5 years ago, I came across this cover of a pamphlet from 1965, entitled "Communism, Hypnotism, and The Beatles".

I thought it was humorous & ridiculous, so I've had it sitting in my emails, but never posted it. Recently, on BoingBoing I saw more about this weird convergence between the rise of rock n' roll and the "Red Scare".

BoingBoing posted a link to a PDF of the full pamphlet, and also a YouTube video with an audio version & lecture by the author himself, David A. Noebel (who sounds like a really fun guy...).




The Beatles are definitely my favorite band, and I believe they were geniuses who were unparalleled in music history. They were a huge influence on my Dad, when he was a kid in the 1960's. The first band that he joined emulated the style & sound of The Beatles. He exposed me to the amazing catalog of music The Beatles produced when I was very young. So, I grew up appreciating the wide range of styles & creative depth of their work. 

Therefore, when I hear people like Noebel talk about the music of The Beatles as 'subversive', 'communist infiltration' or 'mind control', I immediately feel revulsion at the simple-minded dismissal of their artistic brilliance.

After reading the pamphlet, his main premise appears to be that The Beatles music "hypnotizes" the listener through specific beats and other harmonic effects that alter the nervous system. Yeah, well, no shit! The purpose of music is to effect the nervous system and the energies of the body. Where Nobel goes off the deep end is to claim that The Beatles music was specifically engineered by communist scientists, to warp the minds of the Christian youth & destroy Western culture.

Back in the Dark Ages of the presidency of George W. Bush, I used to get pamphlets by Lyndon LaRouche denouncing Bush, Cheney, & their neoconservative cabal. He also denounced The Beatles, claiming they were part of a Satanic social engineering program. This was something I just couldn't jive with, regardless of how much I agreed with the rest of his rhetoric against the corrupt government and elite.

These old-school, uptight jerks are just looking to divide everything into a simplistic view of "good" vs. "evil".  They are always looking to find an enemy in things they don't agree with. It also seems that they cannot comprehend the forces that move artists to create work that resonates and moves the masses. They dismiss this powerful creative influence as "mind control", that must be orchestrated by some nefarious, behind-the-scenes puppet masters.

Now, I'm not saying that there are no people or groups attempting subversive or downright evil influence through art & entertainment. There are definitely people with manipulative and even malicious agendas in control of various aspects of society. However, I think it's ridiculous to say that The Beatles were controlled by such a motivating factor. If anything, they were actually trying to open people's minds and break the cultural programming that so many other forms of media perpetrate.

They definitely helped expand my own mind to new ideas & modes of creativity. They are one of my biggest inspirations and have been a positive influence on countless people, especially musicians, spiritual seekers, and other artistic personalities. To say they were some kind of malevolent and corrupting force is just ignorance of the worst kind.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

The Fascist Color Palette

As a designer, I am trained to find visual patterns. One of the many things I notice is color schemes used in advertising, art, & design.

Even political movements can have a visual identity. The word "fascist" has been thrown around a lot since The Gold Shithead, aka President A$$hole, Donald Trump defied all rational understanding of reality, by becoming President of the United States of America.

Let's look at the exact definition of "fascist" to see if it truly applies:

Fascism:

1. a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

2. a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

If we take these definitions at face value, then yes, Donald Trump is the very definition of a fucking fascist:

Trump is the militaristic "law & order" candidate, despite never having actually served the country in any way at all • he thinks that he alone is the solution to all the country's problems • he absolutely cannot tolerate opposition or criticism in any form • dismissal by his administration of any news or information that contradicts their assertions as "fake" • he favors nationalist rhetoric over the idea of personal freedom • he is already creating a government "for-the rich-by-the-rich", that increases the already unacceptable gap between ultra-wealthy & the poor • he thinks he can just sign executive orders & do whatever he wants, with no checks or balances • and most of all, he fosters a devotional cult of personality where he seeks constant adoration.

I could go on & on, but I think this pretty well sums it up.

Since sometimes visual symbolism is more effective than words, I decided to make a graphic comparison using "The Fascist Color Palette"- consisting of black, red, & white.

These colors subconsciously represent danger and power. They were used most notably by the Nazi Party, and also by George Lucas in Star Wars to visually define The Galactic Empire- controlled by the quintessential fascist dictator, Emperor Palpatine and his fellow Sith Lord, Darth Vader.

It just so happens that these colors, including the black suit, white shirt, & "red power tie" make up the common wardrobe of Donald Trump, as well. Is it just a coincidence? Maybe. I'm just pointing out the obvious similarity. It's up to Trump & his administration to prove me wrong. Unfortunately, I'm not confident at all that he will...

(click to enlarge)

... and yes, I realize that other Presidents and leaders have wore this color combination. Any position of power, including the U.S. Presidency dances around the boundaries of fascism and authoritarianism. However, this has become Trump's signature look, and he has already tried recklessly stomping over that boundary, in a way that makes his administration's intentions clear. They would love a Trump™ Dictatorship with no opposition. The only things stopping them are the genius of our system of check's and balances, the free press, and the the resistance of the American people who didn't vote for this stain on our country's history.

Friday, February 03, 2017

"Flower of Life" Yoga Mat

I have started posting about examples of the "Flower of Life" pattern used in commercial design.

The Flower of Life is an ancient symbol of interlocking circles that I used to create a strategy game, "Da Vinci's Challenge". It is a beautiful pattern, so it is not surprising to see it used in design applications.

My fiancée bought her mom a yoga mat for her birthday, and The Flower of Life was used in the package art.

The company is Gaiam, and they also made the yoga block I posted about before. Their logo is actually the central floret of The Seed of Life


Considering they create products for yoga, meditation, and spiritual fitness, it is not surprising that they incorporate sacred geometry principles into their graphic design.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Cosmic Eye: Scale of the Universe

On Reddit's r/space, I saw this animated GIF that is one of the most important things a person can watch to get a glimpse of the nature of reality.


It is a journey through the known scales of the Universe, from the farthest cosmic expanse (macrocosm) down to the subatomic quantum level (microcosm). The human being lies somewhere in the middle of this seemingly infinite continuum, the conscious nexus of experience.

Here's a video version in HD:




There have been other attempts to visually represent the vast scales of inner & outer space, some of which I have posted before:

Scale of the Universe 2

Powers of Ten (10)

The Known Universe

All these are tools for our minds to help comprehend the incomprehensible- the very nature of the Universe of which we are an integral part.