Ballers & Bums

INTRO: Basketball is not an easy game to play well. It takes a long time to develop ambidextrous dribbling, passing & shooting skills that can hold up with & against real ballers. Beyond that, skills without-the-ball are elite, and enable the baller to help his team win, even when his “teammates” aren’t sharing the ball. It is very rare to find five players with ability, playing together and sharing the work needed to win. The ones who understand and do the work consistently are the ballers. The rest are basketball wanna-be’s & bums.

Here’s some basic basketball theory. If everyone is sharing the ball equally on offense, you will have the ball 20% of the time you are on the floor. This is ideal, but rarely occurs anywhere– even in the NBA. But the other half of the game is defense, which means you have the ball only 10% of your minutes played– in the best of circumstances.

Even the worst pick-up game ballhogs are without the ball for two-thirds of the game. As a player, what are they doing during this majority of the game to help their team win? Most guys who strut onto the court don’t even think about this stuff, yet it is the essence of winning basketball. Those are the basketball bums.

The truth is most guys walk onto the court in a full-blown ego trip. They think they’re a superstar, and nothing can refute that narrative in their head. So when reality bites, and their bad play inevitably starts to show up as a losing score, these basketball bums turn into bitches.

For example: the basketball bum make a bad pass, so he blames a teammate they don’t like for not being there to catch it. On defense, bums let their man blow-by for a clear path to the basket & easy lay-up. The next time this happens, the baller anticipates & slides over to cut that off, but the penetrator kicks to your man left open for an easy 3– which he nails.

The bum tries to blame you for leaving the shooter open, so the baller replies, “Play some ‘D’ and quit letting your man blow-by for easy lay-ups, and I’ll stick with my man.” That handles the bum for the moment, but he’ll be back soon enough with more trash, unless the baller gets some help. If it’s all bums, then it’s hopeless after a game or two, and best to walk away, even mid-game.

Ballers don’t let the bums drag them down. If you’re done with their nonsense before the game is over, just look for someone waiting to play and call them in to take your spot. Since these bums never gave any effort, no need to explain anything nor apologize to them– just leave quietly. This is where patience meets experience, saving you harsh words that bruise tender egos. Ballers don’t pander to that, nor do they leave the court with any personal negativity.

You really have to know the game to handle trash-talking in hoops, because there is a whole lot of stupidity on most courts. This article is about pick-up basketball, either in a gym or outdoors, because that’s the level most people play. I don’t need to tell the pros this stuff, because they already know, it’s just that I’m a better writer.

The first thing to notice is that the game of basketball moves quickly, and it’s the players who responds first & most appropriately that always win the trash-talking battle. That’s the baller in a game filled with bums.

In pick-up/playground basketball, the shooting percentages tend to equalize on both sides, and are low– due to too many bad shoots taken by bad shooters. As in real basketball, it’s the team that rebounds, limits turnovers, and gets the most easy baskets which wins. In most pick-up games which I’ve witnessed and/or participated, there are at least 7-8 bums on the court. This makes the game a lot more work for the ballers, and it’s the main reason why I don’t run much anymore.

Bums won’t pass the ball to a baller, because he will score easily– where the bums can’t. Dicks immediately shrink, and then there’s issues… Every bum bitches about not getting the ball enough. The worst ones are the “big guys,” who won’t defend in the paint– nor rebound. They want to play point guard & shoot 3’s all day. When they don’t get enough of that, these bums become completely toxic, and that “team” basically can’t beat anybody.

You must control your defensive boards, or you have no chance to win, and that’s up to the big guys. Too many tall kids want to play like Steph Curry or James Harden. A lot of bum teams seemingly have 3-4 point guards– at least. Much of the hardcourt pick-up action can’t even rightfully be called basketball, as it’s mostly guys playing with themselves & their buddies.

Bums break down on defense, then blame others to deflect their lack of effort, basketball intelligence & skills. On a real court, with real ballers, these bums are given a swift kick in the ass about stupid turnovers, bad shots, and not defending/rebounding. If they don’t turn it around, they get sent off the court by the big guy, and replaced with someone waiting to play who is willing to do the job. I’ve been one of those guys picked to replace a bum by a real baller on a real court, and it feels great to be chosen.

In the game of basketball, one guy can break down an entire defense on every possession, if the opposition is smart & can play. If this isn’t accounted for, it really sucks for the other four guys, and it isn’t fair to those who are giving an honest effort. Running up & down the court is a lot of work, and no one likes their efforts to be wasted.

Baller rule: Kick the bums off the court, mid-game if needed. In real basketball, no bums & bitches are allowed. That goes for the girls & women too. You know what I mean.

Big guys have to play big, and everyone should try to play above their size. This means “little guys” have low-post skills & can finish around the basket, and everybody rebounds on both ends as needed. Big guys have to control the paint & rebound, otherwise they are basketball bums.

Little guys have to pressure the ball to prevent penetration and easy low-post feeds, while keeping their man in front of them and not giving up easy 3’s. If you can force steals, and limit the turnovers, then congratulations [!] you are a winning basketball player, even though you are out-sized.

It’s a big man’s game, and size rules in basketball. The cliché goes: you can’t teach 7’0″. The fact is the closer you are to the goal, the better you can attack & defend it. Little guys can influence the action without-the-ball even when they are being frozen out, by running (when necessary) to create movement within the offense.

Another elite without-the-ball skill is spacing. Move to the side of the floor opposite the ball, and stay there. This will at least draw your man away from the basket, and create needed space for others to drive. How long you want to do this without receiving a pass is up to you. Keep making yourself available on that side and when you’ve had enough, quit the game as instructed above.

I see all kinds of games where all 10 players are on the same side of the court, or everyone is standing behind the 3-point line. Bums take their turns jacking up bad shots from downtown, and it’s one low-percentage give-away possession after another. Proper spacing, intelligent movement & effective screening are non-existent in a game filled with bums. Good players rarely get the ball here, and have nowhere to go when they do, as “teammates” are literally obstacles.

Baller notes on ’21’ Twenty-one is often a scam pick-up game, and this is how it works. A group of guys who know each other, call you over to play 21. The game’s objective is to get exactly 21 points before anyone else, in a half-court setting. This can be a fun version of basketball when everyone is playing equally. But in the common scenario I’ve presumed, it turns into an unwinnable game of one-against-the-rest. The outsider has to fight for every rebound & score, against a gang of buddies taking turns letting each other get easy shots. Since you can’t defend everybody, you just wear yourself out when you try.

It’s Mission Impossible to win, so focus on improving your skills instead. If you’re going to play this bastardized version of ’21’, my best advice is to get straight on the rules with everybody before you start. Everything from scoring, to takes-backs for steals & airballs, etc. The ones who want to cheat are those who are confused about the rules, and hamper discussing them.

I’ve played against chumps who declare they can win ’21’ on 22. The rule of ’21’ has always been if you land on 20 points, you go back to 15 or whatever lower score you agree on. That’s because the next bucket get you to 22. It’s like blackjack when you bust. The basketball version of ’21’ was developed & widely-played long before the advent of the 3-point shot. Today, that means if you have 19 points and then make a 3-pointer, you drop back to 15. As a rules side note, the dumb shooter still gets his free throws (today @ 3-point line), because he did make the shot. Only chumps think they win on weak stuff like that, because ballers aren’t defending a 3-point attempt in that situation.

Basketball is a beautiful game when played right. In my life I can recall only a handful of times where everything was right with my game & teammates. But when it happens it is magical in its effortlessness & efficacy. When the work load is shared by 5 ballers, no one gets tired & worn out. Everyone is working in synergy to shut down the opponent, no easy looks & no second shots.

Transition to offense begins with boxing-out and securing the rebound, which is immediately outletted to a good ball-handler & pushed up-court for a fast break opportunity. Everyone gets their looks, and the rule is to finish– no excuses.

Very few see the work that goes into making it appear so easy when done right, and even fewer are willing to do that work to become a baller. What I’ve described here is what it takes. Players as true teammates energize each other at this level, allowing elite maintenance with little fatigue & maximum fun.

In pick-up ball, an organized team of ballers can steamroll every opponent for hours on end because of this. The few times I’ve been a part of such an experience are what makes the game an addicting elation. This is where creativity & skill blend, and the game of basketball become as much an art form as a sport.

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“Fernando (Tatis, Jr)”

Every great player needs a theme song. This kid (age 20) is going to be a great player.

So here’s my “Weird Al” Yankovic version of “Fernando,” the ABBA melodramatic classic…

Note: There’s only the opening two verses in my version, because he’s still a rookie.

“Fernando (Tatis, Jr)”

Can you hear the drums Fernando?
I remember long ago another starry night like this
In the firelight Fernando
You were traded from the White Sox, by an owner who had no clue
We saw the Padres future at shortstop
And waited patiently through the minors just for you

Now you’re in MLB, Fernando
Every hour, every minute seems to last eternally
I was so afraid Fernando
When you tore your hamstring on a painful stretching try
And I’m not ashamed to say
That gruesome injury almost made me cry…

There was something in the air that night
The stars were bright, Fernando
They were shining there for you & me, Padres victory, Fernando
Though we never thought we’d dump James Shields– there’s no regret
If we had to make that trade again
We would, my friend, Fernando
If we had to make that trade again
We would, my friend, Fernando

[Listen to ABBA original 3rd verse in solemn silence for his father; then repeat chorus & fade out..]

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Saturday Morning Cartoons

Preface: Of all the impressions I have from going back and re-watching these cartoon classics on the internet, it’s my memories of the time that affect me most. Cartoons & teen programming stays with us, because it’s what we chose to like when we had a choice. As kids of Generation X, we were honest in our selections in all media. We had choices, and either liked it or didn’t. Our reaction was swift & merciless. We were smart, so if you sucked, you got yanked off-the-air quickly, because there was little room for that with the networks & sponsors. These corporate stiffs had no clue, and always used Generation X kids as a barometer for what was cool– in all mass media.

Back in the 1970’s, this was the best time of the week for kids. Television had saturated America, but there was no programming for kids until this time slot was developed. This was pre-cable TV, where viewing options were CBS, NBC, ABC or PBS– roughly in that order. Every other time slot was for adults.

Weekday mornings were always 2-hour news show such as Today & Good Morning America. Then it went into game shows until around noon. Then three-to-four hours of soap operas. Evenings were for adults too, and then many stations went off-the-air from midnight to 6 AM. There was maybe an hour (or two) of kids after-school programming per day during the week, which was mostly syndicated 1960’s & 1970’s sit-coms & Star Trek (1966-69).

Syndicated cartoons were often ancient, with too much lameness such as Woody Woodpecker and Tom & Jerry. Mel Blanc’s Merrie Melodies were in rotation, but you couldn’t get enough of them. Beyond Hanna-Barbera & Bugs Bunny, the best 1960’s cartoons were Underdog (1964-67) and Rocky & Bullwinkle (1959-64), but they were also hard for kids to find.

Hence the need to create a Saturday morning cartoon time slot. As a kid, it felt great to wake up and know there was no school, just fun TV watching ahead. Sunday mornings were exclusively religious programming, and the rest of the daytime weekend was sports, so this was it for cartoons.

Non-animated fare for children was PBS’s Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, Sesame Street, and The Electric Company. More adventurously for kids, ABC ran a variety of Sid & Marty Krofft series, most prominently: Land of the Lost, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, the Bugaloos & H.R. Pufnstuf.

Krofft Productions is difficult is explain (or even justify) to those who weren’t there, but here it goes. The lack of competition during this era really stifled innovation, as the boardrooms of the three major networks made every decision regarding what television audiences would see. Hanna-Barbera had taken the lead in kids programming, and they were making money for their affiliates on all three networks. Hanna-Barbera owned 80% of the Saturday morning market. The problem was, by the middle of the decade Hanna-Barbera cartoons were either old, or looked old. We’ll return to this point later.

Sid & Marty Krofft had worked for Hanna-Barbera in the late 1960’s. They left to move in their own direction, creating live action series for kids. During the 1970’s, Sid & Marty Krofft created dozens of new series, many lasting just a few episodes, that constantly ran on Saturday morning & after school.

Each Sid & Marty Krofft creation seemed to have the same strengths & weaknesses, which made them delightful & maddening at the same time. Land of the Lost (1974-76) was their flagship series, running three seasons. It was a stretch making it that far, as the acting is really bad, and there is too-little inspired writing. Every plotline seemingly stagnates into inaction, as characters endlessly talk about what to do, or whatever else.

Land of the Lost is a great concept, with a great theme song (and rockin’ closing song), with some semi-cool dinosaur animation. The sleestack is a great monster idea. Fun fact: a young Bill Laimbeer (C/PF Detroit Pistons, NBA) was a sleestack. No one knew who he was at the time, but watching this show in retrospect, one can always tell which sleestack is Bill Laimbeer. It’s the biggest and most-aggressive one.

Sleestack were a far-out idea, but kinda lame too. Typical example: multiple sleestack closing in on Will & Holly, who are trapped in a stryofoam cavern, just about to be caught. Then it’s— cut to a commercial for messages from McDonald’s, Trix, Captain Crunch, Eggo, Hershey’s, Coca-Cola, Light Brite & Coco Puffs. After that it’s back to the “action,” where the sleestack have been moved back ten feet. Holly will then cry out in fright, “They’re getting closer!,” as the entire sequence plays out again– until Will & Holly escape.

Land of the Lost also had a usable vehicle with its time machine and the solitary friendly sleestack named Enik, who aids the castaways. They shuffle different-colored boulder marbles around a stone board– and things happen. Cool concept, but only a few stories actually hold up, which really hurts the overall plotline.

I’m neutral on Chaka. As I mentioned, this is the BEST show from the Krofft brothers, and it has serious flaws. It’s considered to be a low-budget version of Gilligan’s Island by those who watched.

The original desert island castaways had Tina Louise & Dawn Wells going for them, which is nice. The rest were too inept to find a way off, for all the reasons we know. That’s how Hollywood goes two hit seasons with that concept & budget.

Both shows hooked viewers with a terrific opening title sequence & catchy song (& outro version). Land of the Lost had a fascinating concept beyond that, which made it a cult hit with GenX.

Second place for cool in the Krofft series probably goes to Electra Woman & Dyna Girl, a live action series from 1976. It ran 16 episodes in a single season as part of the Krofft Supershow (1976-79). Electra Woman & Dyna Girl was dropped during it’s second season, along with Dr. Shrinker. Electra Woman & Dyna Girl ran in syndication on Saturday mornings & after school, and was well-received by the kids. So, what happened?

Once again, Electra Woman & Dyna Girl is a great idea, two super-hero babes with a hooky title song– which ALWAYS helps. All the mainstream had in that genre at the time was Wonder Woman (1975-79), and a limited amount of Batgirl. Competition was needed, and Krofft Productions recognized this. But once again, there was no money put into this series, as the episodes were stretched thin, with too many lulls. You need writers to sustain a series.

Sid & Marty Krofft were good at knowing what the kids wanted, and deserve credit for that. But too often they axed ideas which had more potential in them, because they didn’t have the resources to develop them properly. It was cheaper & easier to move onto something else, and that’s what they mostly did.

Everyone knows that Land of the Lost was brought back for a bad movie in 2009. Few know that Electra Woman & Dyna Girl was brought back as a pilot for television in 2001, with Electra Woman played by Markie Post. This is hilarious stuff, as it nails the original concept perfectly while updating it. It should have gone to series– but Warner Brothers killed it. Idiots.

Back to Sid & Marty Krofft, as Dr. Shrinker is the last original series I’ll mention specifically. It’s the same deal here as the rest, as this show barely made it through its only season, yet lives on in so many memories of GenX-ers, because of its theme song.

Dr. Shrinker is a case of the title song being the best part of the show. For the record, this also happened with Barney Miller (1975-82). Dr. Shrinker held up for a few episodes, until one realized this was a constant loop of capture & escape, with no resolution in sight. One or two episodes of Dr. Shrinker could be maddeningly hilarious in its time, and still is in retrospect. Anything more is suicidal lunacy. The title song sticks in your head forever.

The collective works of Sid & Marty Krofft are a mixed bag of interesting & crazy ideas, marred by lack of execution. In so many ways their concepts influenced GenX, while most viewers were smart enough to recognize their limitations. This is why just about all of their series only ran one season, but the impression they made remains deep in the memory banks of those who watched.

When kids tuned in to whatever version of Krofft productions was on at the time, we were looking for ideas & creativity. Sid & Marty Krofft thought outside-the-box, and took chances. This was low budget and it showed, but they found ways to make it work for years, and when you’re discussing the kids TV demographic, that’s saying something. In terms of the popular influence of Krofft productions, and the advertising money they created for their network– it was huge on all sides.

In the 1970’s, Hanna-Barbera had become a behemoth, nearly monopolizing Saturday morning cartoons. At first this was for the better with Scooby Doo, and everything they built around that iconic great dane. The great Hanna-Barbera cartoons of this era included: Harlem Globetrotters, The Scooby-Doo Show, The Yogi Bear Show, Hong Kong Phooey, Laff-A-Lympics & Challenge of the Super Friends.

Eventually, as with any monopoly, lack of innovation became their downfall, as their legendary stable of iconic cartoon characters, going all the way back to Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear & the Flintstones had become dated. Hanna-Barbera cut corners in animation, using the same scrolling backgrounds over & over, which eventually caught up with them.

By the time cable TV & Nickelodeon came along in the 1980’s, Hanna-Barbera quickly became an industry relic, which Ted Turner bought up and used to launch the Cartoon Network in 1992. For straight boys who cut their teeth on sugar-coated cereals during 1970’s, The Smurfs were the jumping-off point for Hanna-Barbera.

As a side note, The runaway success of The Smurfs cartoon spawned a video game which was platformed exclusively on ColecoVision. The dominant home console platform of the day was the Atari 2600, and newly introduced Atari 5200– in late 1982. With such exclusive licensing, Atari console owners couldn’t play the Smurfs video game because it wasn’t allowed to be available on any other platform.

This was a major salvo in the infamous “video game wars” that eventually crashed the video game industry in 1983-84. Atari and all the rest went bankrupt, with Japan’s Nintendo capturing the market with its NES & Super Mario in 1985. Nintendo had been huge in video games since Donkey Kong in 1981, which was also exclusively licensed by ColecoVision as their original pack-in game.

The best of the rest on Saturday morning included the following:

Return to the Planet of the Apes (1975) was an action animated series based upon the novel Planet of the Apes (1963) by Pierre Boulle. It ran 13 half-hour episodes, and is better than any of the movies or other adaptations. Return to the Planet of the Apes is animation that approaches art, with it’s minimalist storyboarding & intelligent themes.

The plot moves along quickly with purpose, and the scoring is outstanding. Ethical issues such as imprisonment, intolerance, sympathy, science, and love are explored in creative & subliminal ways. This remains a first-rate cartoon, easily one of the best ever.

The Pink Panther Show aired on NBC in all kinds of versions during the decade. Great cartoon characters included the Ant & the Aardvark– one of my all-time favorites. This cartoon has serious durability, used in the Blake Edwards’ Pink Panther movies starring Peter Sellers back in the day, it remains funny & engaging up to today. Classics never die.

Filmation became a big cartoon production competitor to Hanna-Barbera in the 1970’s. Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids ran for most of the decade, and was their biggest hit. No matter what became of Bill Cosby and his sexual predations, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids still has an undeniable charm & reach towards kids. It ranks with The Cosby Show as his greatest artistic achievement, and in many ways outstrips that blockbuster 1980’s sit-com which came after.

Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle was a half-hour action cartoon that ran four seasons, from 1976–1980 on CBS. It’s probably the best version of Tarzan on any screen, as it portrays the title character as not only strong, but also intelligent & caring towards all. A great way to strengthen your voice (and irritate your parents) is to imitate his call of the jungle.

The New Adventures of Batman was successfully brought back as an animated series that aired on CBS. The was another Filmation production, featuring the DC Comics superheroes Batman & Robin with Batgirl, and it was terrific. All the kids watched it, along with Hanna-Barbera’s SuperFriends series.

It’s natural for kids to identify with superheroes. It’s also natural for teens & adults to outgrow this phenomenon. With that said, the best version of Flash Gordon was the 1979 animated series, shown as a Saturday morning cartoon. It had excellent animation for its time, and took major influence from Star Wars— in its Empire Strikes Back (1980) era.

Now re-titled as The New Adventures of Flash Gordon (1979), Season 1 is sixteen chapters, and is all you need to see. Season 2 (1982) is domesticated & silly in comparison. This series had a major influence on Japanimation as an art form with commercial possibilities. Peter Chung’s Æon Flux (1991-95) is a good example of this.

Conclusion: Cartoons aren’t mindless entertainment, as so many “responsible” parents insisted back in these days. It’s what kids are interested in, therefore it becomes a competitive market. Generation X was the “Saturday morning cartoons” generation. Along with video games, MTV, and early home computers, their embracing of these innovations would change popular culture forever.

The most divisive line between modern and old popular culture is Generation X. Like it or not, most kids today consider the Beatles to be old, and they’re right. That’s hurtful to an older generation of baby boomers & classic rockers who have been left behind culturally & intellectually.

Generation X doesn’t think that way. They understand the Beatles were geniuses in their time, but rock music & art has long since modernized past their influence. Hip-hop & rap, along with the Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, and electronica have more influence today.

The first adult animation feature film for Generation X was Heavy Metal (1981), a sex-up space conquest fantasy trip, with a R-rating. It features a killer double album soundtrack– an essential record for any rock fan. Play it loud!!

Æon Flux was an animated action series of shorts, and eventually half-hour episodes featured on MTV, the same network that broadcast Beavis & Butthead. This, along with The Simpsons is late teen & young adult cartoon content for Generation X.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 is the adult version of cartoons, with their puppeteering & incisive hilarity. Content on the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon & the Cartoon Network of this era slanted younger, meaning Generation Y. The same became true with video games, music & computers.

As we can see, cartoons can be stimulant for a young imagination. They will never go away, because people don’t want to get old. Cartoons can be a fantasy that takes you away on an adventure, and that has value– if it’s creative & well done. Cartoons make people laugh, and remind them of when they were young. Nothing is more valuable than that.

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The Silenced Majority

US President Richard Nixon (1969-74) once famously claimed to speak for the “silent majority,” that supposedly wanted the US military to stay in Vietnam. He & Henry Kissinger were lying (as always), as the masses hated the war by then– but facts never matter to people like these. This is for the silenced majority.

Deep state Democrats sabotaged the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2016 by rigging the nomination process, as revealed by WikiLeaks. This leak probably came from DNC staffer Seth Rich, who was murdered under murky circumstances. Bernie Sanders is silent on all this, proving he’s a loyal Democrat (centrist) above all else.

Bernie Sanders supports Trump’s anti-immigration policies, militarism abroad, the persecution of Julian Assange, the anti-Russian campaign, etc… His entire support in 2016 came from youth & liberals that believed he represented socialism. The kids recognize this fakery now, as support for Sanders 2020 is way down, as seen by the attendance at a recent California rally.

Anyone with an ounce of political aptitude knows that the Mueller Report was an expensive & elaborate exercise in fakery. “Impeachment” of Trump is the new sham, under the charge of “Russian collusion,” which is fake. “Impeachment” of this kind would end the same for the Democrats as the Kavanaugh Hearings last summer.

Donald Trump could rightly be impeached for illegal & inhuman detention of immigrants, violating the constitution & democratic rights, militarism against other countries, etc. There is broad popular consensus for this type of impeachment, but there is no appetite for it anywhere in Washington or the mass media. Who speaks for the silenced majority?

The European political center is collapsing, as revealed by the broad popular support for Julian Assange (above), as well as recent EU election results. “Will the center hold?,” is the question all the media pundits ask. The answer is no, but no one can say that out loud, so they drone on about whatever…

As proof, Theresa May recently announced her resignation as UK’s Prime Minister, after her inability to negotiate a deal for Brexit. In 2016, the voters of the UK approved a ballot initiative (Brexit) to leave the European Union (EU). This mass repudiation of the EU and its technocrats in Brussels is a symptom of mass dissatisfaction globally.

Nationalism is still the poison which leaders try to inject into their people. The problem is that politicians are not viewed favorably anywhere anymore. Currently, US President Donald Trump is on a 3-day tour of the UK, where he is being given a royal reception, while being kept far away from the masses, because they mostly hate Trump– and rightly so.

The truth is there is only movement to either political extreme– right or left. The broad masses have moved sharply to the left, while the ruling classes have moved towards fascism. Politically speaking, “conservative centrists” used to consider fascism as the lunatic fringe, but that is now the center of the Republican & Democratic parties. That’s how far things have shifted to the right among the political elite.

“Is there something new coming?,” talking heads half-heartedly inquire, because they are afraid of the answer– which is, “Yes!” The masses are embracing revolutionary socialism, the Trotskyism of the ICFI. Socialist Equality Parties are becoming politically active around the world in a qualitatively new way. You never hear about this in the mainstream media (MSM). Trotsky is the “great unmentionable” in bourgeois politics.

The yellow vests in France & teachers’ strikes in the US are a harbinger, with disfranchised workers taking politics into their own hands. Once these angry masses develop their political consciousness and organize with solidarity under a revolutionary socialist banner, the most powerful social force in human history will wipe away capitalist rule.

The collapse of the EU, the US dollar (in the form of quantitative easing), and the post-war order in general is tied into deep-going economic stagnation globally, which immiserates billions of people and has led to conflict after conflict– with no end in sight. There isn’t a nationalist leader or government in the world that has a progressive answer to this historical international crisis.

WWI was an attempt by a great power (Germany) to re-globalize the world through violence. It was interrupted by the Russian Revolution, which globalized the idea of socialism. This socialist threat was “contained” by Stalinism & western capitalism through WWII and into the “Cold War.” This was accomplished by mass murder under Stalin’s USSR, and aided by western imperialism, which realized that Trotskyism was the greatest threat to the US/UK-led capitalist order.

The trend in human civilization is always towards more integrated globalism, either violently through capitalist wars, or (relatively) peacefully through permanent socialist revolution.

The US government is “at war” with China & Russia, which has been intensified since Trump’s Electoral College win in November 2016. This belligerence is to offset US economic & political decline. Eventually trade wars (China, Venezuela) and proxy wars (Syria, Yemen) turn into world wars. Fake diplomacy & military intervention are the no-win methods of gangsterism, as demonstrated by Trump administration threats against Iran. There are no “adults in the room” when referring to Democrats, Republicans & the MSM– only bourgeois interests & propaganda.


On Women: The global ruling class seeks to divide working men from beautiful women, by buying them up & corrupting them. Beautiful women represent power. So do united workers. If beautiful women united with workers & disenfranchised youth, it would be an unbeatable combination.

It’s conscious ruling class policy to keep these groups isolated. But now there is more & more a breakout tendency among beautiful women, in response to this oppression of capitalism which keeps people alone & unhappy.

Pamela Anderson support of Julian Assange is one example of a woman making a stand for what she believes. Here are a few other examples of women expressing themselves in the media recently…

In US football, the playing field is called the gridiron by hardcore enthusiasts. In European football, it’s called the pitch. In either case, it’s usually a drunken male fan who runs onto the field looking for attention, and when he’s caught, he’s escorted away to spend some time in jail and pay a fine.

So respect what US model Kinsey Wolanski (above) recently pulled off, which is now globally regarded as the “best pitch invasion ever.” All of a sudden, what everyone thought was so important (a football match) got ignored– just to look at Kinsey Wolanski & cheer! She didn’t get arrested (surprised?), and is now a big internet star. That’s the power of a beautiful woman.

But what did she use her power for? Her stunt at the Champions League final in Madrid promoted the adult website of her boyfriend. Kinsey Wolanski on Instagram afterwards, “STREAKING THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE! Life is for living, do crazy things that you will remember forever.”

Agreed, but the cause matters too. In the end, the pornography advertisement on her swimsuit will detract from what she’s done, but it’s the spectacle she created that is my primary point.

If her one-piece had said “Free Julian Assange,” then Wolanski would stand much taller right now– but have less money for sure, so who can blame her? I suppose that’s the challenge (and roadmap) for some beautiful young girl to top what Kinsey Wolanski just did. Real men say, “Go for it!”


I also saw this one recently on Russia Today. Yulia Efimova (above) loves pineapples, as you can see. Honestly, it doesn’t make me feel any differently about that fruit, it just makes me fall in love with her!

Since everyone else is doing it, here’s my pitch…


Personal Ad: Straight man seeking beautiful woman in her 30’s with a clear head & no baggage– to be a soulmate. Fitness, self-sufficiency & strong character are essentials. Turn-offs include: #MeToo feminists, complex girls, high-maintenance bitches, and nasty old ladies. No gays, please. I enjoy laughing, having fun, and spending time with loved ones– just like everybody else. What are you waiting for? Come for me!!

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Socialize social media!

Calls for Facebook to be “broken up,” as in a recent New York Times Op/Ed, are impotent. The most relevant historical example of a government mandated monopoly break-up was AT&T/Ma Bell in 1982, where the Bell System was split into separate companies to provide local telephone service, while AT&T continued to be a provider of long distance service.

The breakup of AT&T’s Bell System resulted in the creation of seven independent companies (bold-typed below), and here’s what happened to them:

1) NYNEX was acquired by Bell Atlantic in 1996, and is now part of Verizon Communications
2) Pacific Telesis was acquired by Southwestern Bell Corporation in 1997, and is now part of AT&T
3) Ameritech was acquired by Southwestern Bell Corporation in 1999, and now part of AT&T
4) Bell Atlantic merged with GTE in 2000 to form Verizon Communications
5) Southwestern Bell Corporation was re-branded as SBC Communications in 1995, and then re-acquired AT&T in 2005
6) BellSouth was re-acquired by AT&T in 2006
7) US West acquired by Qwest in 2000, which in turn was acquired by CenturyLink in 2011

As we can see, AT&T eventually re-acquired most of its lost pieces, and their monopoly has been re-established on a higher level. The innovation of cell phone technology has allowed a few competitors into the market such as Verizon, T-Mobile, Centurylink, etc.

AT&T wrangled concessions in their 1982 agreement with the US government, that allowed them to enter the computer market. By the mid-to-late 1990’s this became the internet service provider & cell phone industry. The result today is that a few major technology companies control the internet & mobile communications– through shared monopoly agreements.

What millennials need to understand is that back in 1982, the touchtone telephone was the primary way people communicated news & gossip over long distances. The telephone system, which AT&T monopolized until then, was the era’s equivalent of the cell phone Facebook & internet. Of course, the only way anyone knew who to call was by having a phonebook. That’s the equivalent of Google & every other search engine today.

Eventually under capitalism, it will become one telecommunication giant in control. To the liberal reformists/apologists who always get a prominent voice in the New York Times (and all other fake media outlets) the question must be put forward, “Then what?”

Facebook is a technology platform that revolutionized media and how people interact online. It’s the users who deliver the content that drives everything. Stop censoring it, and let the users be the moderators. That’s much more democratic that Mark Zuckerberg using algorithms and an army of censors to de-platform those of us he doesn’t like.

Here’s a quote from Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes cited in the NYT Op/Ed to illustrate this point. “Mark [Zuckerberg] alone can decide how to configure Facebook’s algorithms to determine what people see in their News Feeds, what privacy settings they can use and even which messages get delivered.”

Fakebook is now a corporate dictatorship, which takes its instructions from the US deep state. This is a conscious ruling-class policy, meant to counteract the revolutionary potential of social media.

Miscellaneous #MeToo feminist commentary:

‘I feel powerless’: Brazilian MMA fighter opens up after punching ‘masturbating’ fan
Published: 29 Apr, 2019

This story published by Russia Today was shared widely on social media, so I feel compelled to express myself here. Evidentially, Brazilian MMA fighter Joyce Vieira was doing a bikini photo-shoot on a beach in Rio de Janeiro, when a man later identified as Josenei Viana Ferreira, was openly pleasuring himself while watching Vieira. Thankfully, there are no photographs nor video of the alleged incident.

The upshot is, if Joyce Vieira (above) was any kind of martial artist, she would have kicked him in the balls. Then he would have gotten his comeuppance, and she wouldn’t feel powerless afterwards. When you are a poser & don’t know what to do; you feel regret, anger, and blame others instead. With that said (and since she has no idea how to handle this situation), this jerk-off should be made to publicly apologize to her face, because that is WAY out of line. Am I being fair here?

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#MeToo vs. Joe Biden

The #MeToo Democrats have hit a snag with Joe Biden. His creepy behavior towards young women doesn’t play with his 2020 Democratic front-runner status.

Yeah, this is creepy behavior, a US VP abusing his power– no question. But that’s what he is, so what did you expect? Of course, no feminist said anything at the time, but now it’s an issue for them.

The contradictions & hypocrisy of the #MeToo witch-hunt are coming into sharper focus. The #MeToo campaign forever diminished itself during the Kavanaugh Hearings last summer, when much of the already skeptical public saw through the #MeToo lies, which served to promote an arch-reactionary judge to the US Supreme Court– giving it a permanent 5-4 hard right-wing majority.

This reactionary form of feminism is also how Donald Trump became US President, to his surprise on November 8, 2016. Today, the #MeToo campaign’s coordination with “Russiagate,” is best personified in Rachael Maddow. I admit, this video below is painful to watch, but it is instructive.

Maddow has lost over 500,000 viewers since this broadcast on March 22, 2019. That was when the Mueller Report was released, exonerating Donald Trump from any charges of “collusion with Russia.” Yet, this MSNBC air-head still holds her longstanding position on “Trump’s ties to the Kremlin.”

Both these campaigns (#MeToo & Russiagate) are linked to censorship of the internet & blacklisting of socialists, which fascists (Republicans/Trump) approve.

ICE raids that violate the human & constitutional rights of those who have immigrated to America are also systematically ignored, as are US foreign wars-of-aggression. There is no longer any hard news coming from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, etc.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered a brutal murder & dismemberment of a dissident journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, on October 2, 2018.

Khashoggi even wrote for the Washington Post, but events that shock & horrify the world get buried in the US media, as Saudi oil must keep flowing, and always remain traded in US dollars. Saudi Arabia is the world’s leading oil exporter, and linking crude to the US dollar makes the US-Saudi relationship “special.”

Like Israel, Saudi Arabia can commit any war crime it pleases, short of nuclear war, and not be sanctioned internationally– due to US support. This assistance from Uncle Sam comes militarily, economically & politically. These are the deep state interests, which make up the centrist faction of the Democratic Party.

The Democrats have split themselves with this #MeToo Frankenstein they created. The “progressive” faction of the Democrats are insisting on a woman presidential candidate for 2020– in Elizabeth Warren. The centrists prefer Biden.

In earnest, both factions are fascist, and offer nothing for working people & disenfranchised youth. This ideological battle among powerful Democrats promises to get ugly, in the media and behind-closed-doors. All of this reactionary filth plays into the hands of the Trump team, which is why Marxist analysis is so important.

Another critical issue that is never honestly discussed in the corporate news, is the ongoing financial crisis for ~85% of Americans. The stock & bond markets are booming for the ultra wealthy, but the real economy has stagnated. There are fewer good-paying jobs than ever, despite the great need for qualified workers everywhere.

Ailments of US capitalism include an obesity epidemic, an opioid crisis, and a lack of access to basic health care. Health care is now run by insurance conglomerates, hospital chains & big pharmaceuticals. Privatization & equity capital have gutted work forces in every industry, taking all the profits for themselves in the forms of stock options, buybacks & exorbitant bonuses. Today, per capita, fewer Americans than ever are defined as healthy.

On the macro-economic level, global debt is now $244 trillion. Global GDP in 2016 (latest figure) was $75.4 trillion. Global debt is now over 3 times global GDP, which signals a bankrupt global economy. There is no way this level of global indebtedness can ever be paid off.

Interest rates have been kept ultra-low for ten years now, so there only one direction they can move significantly. When rates rise, the interest payments of this massive mountain of debt will be unpayable. That is why the Fed, US government & big banks had to intervene in late December 2018, with its plunge-protection team which reportedly pumped over $500 billion into the markets to prevent a collapse that had started when the Fed began raising interest rates. The US dollar overnight bank lending rate is now at 2.25-2.5%, and can’t go any higher without precipitating another crisis.

The derivatives market are the best example of this giant Ponzi scheme. Derivatives are bets on future earnings of a tradeable asset. They are used in every industry, with some going 20 years into the future, or more. Most of this estimated $1.2 quadrillion market has made bets that are going to fail, yet are still being counted as assets. This is so traders (and everyone else involved including: bankers, investors & insurers) get their bonuses.

When this derivative market crashes, the world economy will instantly collapse. Such massive amounts of toxic assets can’t be covered by any of the central banks (US, EU, etc.) because they are already leveraged to the hilt. Credit will dry up, and there will be no liquidity. What’s about to happen came to be through 10 years of quantitative easing (QE), which is money printing for the rich, who then speculate in derivatives and stock buybacks to further enrich themselves at the expense of everybody else.

That’s capitalism in it’s death throes, and its contradictions are everywhere. We now have a global economy which is capable of being more productive than ever, but barely moves because: 1) there is no (very little) innovation, and 2) fewer consumers than ever can afford to buy– because of their indebtedness. Only the super-rich & big banks get bailouts and free money to waste

The most recent orgy of speculation has been in cryptocurrency, as Bitcoin trading recently went from ~$3,600 to now over $5,000– for no explainable reason. Bitcoin/crypto is likely the final frontier of bubbles before the next economic crash. Wealthy investors are looking for alternatives to fiat money, which has become devalued through inflation by money printing under QE capitalism.

Bitcoin (and any cryptocurrency) have no legitimate use value, and are massive energy wasters. They are all Ponzi schemes, marketed as the future of global currency, by Libertarian cyber-capitalists who are rabid anti-socialists.

To summarize, QE was the US Federal Reserve buying up toxic (worthless) derivatives, which have now ballooned into a $1.2 quadrillion market– meaning they’re entirely fake, and big enough to crash the global economy.

Instead of a debt jubilee for the indebted masses, which would have stimulated a real economy back in 2008-09, it’s been more easy money for the rich to speculate in fake assets. Our options now are: 1) more of the same, until world war breaks out; or 2) revolutionary socialism.

Today’s world is still shaped by the key social, political & economic world events that occurred around 1990, which were: 1) the Tienanmen Square massacre of June 1989, 2) the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, and most importantly 3) the dissolution of the Soviet Union on December 26, 1991.

These events shook & shocked the world, as new markets were being opened for capitalist exploitation. This is when (& why) Wall Street speculation & US militarism started going really crazy, as they saw an open playing field. In Iraq & Serbia, for instance. The only way we can get out of this mess, is to understand how we got into it.

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Summarizing Fat Loss & Back Injuries

My discussions of hip & back injuries has led to a revolution in thinking on rehabilitation & athletic training. Beginning with Undiagnosed Hip Injuries & Stubborn Fat Loss, I theorized that most humans are suffering from a variety of back & hip injuries, discussed the science, and then presented a rehabilitation program.

I’ve used neurology as the primary anatomical science, since all muscles are connected to nerves. The idea is to stimulate these nerves in the right way, in order to re-activate atrophied muscles. This is a rehabilitation process that can take years for severe & long-standing hip/back injuries.

Note that this is much different from the traditional short-term approach to rehabilitation. Many of these programs don’t target the injury deep enough, for fear on eliciting pain, and only superficiality “rehabilitate.” The injury victim incorrectly believes he/she is back to normal, when in fact they have decreased mobility in their trunk, which then deactivates corresponding musculature in every branch, so as to not provoke injury & pain radially.

Misguided patients will work out incessantly, building only certain (non-injured) muscle groups, while neglecting the atrophied source of their problem. Eventually these individuals breakdown in pain, despite their dedication to exercise. The truth is, they were afraid to face the depth of their pain, and too ignorant to learn the necessary anatomical & physiological realities needed to deal with these injuries.

The deepest pain is in the spine. Here it is most intense to release, but that’s where you have to go in order to fully rehabilitate. Half-hearted efforts are no good. You either acknowledge this & handle it, or the pain handles you.

Here’s a link to the latest scientific obesity study in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 40% of today’s US adults are obese, and over two-thirds are classified as overweight. About 20% of children (age 2-19) are obese. This is a serious health crisis. At this point, having a healthy body makes you extraordinary, when it used to be ordinary.

So how can we be healthier? First, eat right. Vegetables, fruits, tubers & nuts go a long way. Local & organic are more nutrient dense, which is what your body needs. Drink water. You are what you eat. It costs more to be good to yourself here, but it’s worth it. Cut out something else you don’t need to make up the difference, if you are on a budget. Most people eat too much meat.

You must get enough sleep, and it must be of good quality. Pain interferes with sleep. Many people take narcotic analgesics and other sleep-interfering medications, just to get a minimal amount of poor rest. The pain that our society is not dealing with, has led to dysfunction everywhere, most starkly illustrated by the opioid crisis which has been going on for decades.

As we get sicker & fatter, we become more dependent on pills to numb the pain, just to keep us going. The questions most people never ask themselves are, “What am I doing this for?”, or “Are we just automatons to be kept working, indulged & anesthetized for our entire existence?” It doesn’t even seem right to call that a “life.” Work, pain, narcotic escapism, and then death is a failure of capitalism, in that our species doesn’t realize its own true worth, and rewards the wrong values.

What releasing the pain does is improve our health & decision making. It is impossible to make consistently correct decisions when suffering from pain. Pain is physical & emotional, and we all want it to go away. If that isn’t possible (or isn’t presented as a possibility), then (at least) we want the pain diminished. Most humans living on this planet today are in pain. The above-cited obesity rates prove that point.

If we don’t handle our pain, individually and as a civilization, then we as a species won’t survive. when someone with enough power decides they can’t take the pain anymore, it will end for everybody. That’s why I consider these writings my most-important contribution, as this applies to everybody, regardless of artistic sensibility, class, or politics. Humans can’t escape science, anatomy & physiology. Therefore it must rule our existence, over religion & money. That’s the only way to relieve the pain.

As explained earlier, fat needs to be reconsidered entirely. Fat comes in two forms: visceral & subcutaneous. Visceral fat is excess potential energy– stored everywhere. Subcutaneous fat is the “stubborn fat” on the belly, lower back, thighs & butt– which most people can’t lose. The reason for this is because they take the wrong approach, and don’t understand the differences between the two forms of fat.

To illustrate their differences, lets describe the extremely obese individual. This person (male or female) has both forms of fat in excess, but their first priority is to lose their visceral fat, which forms everywhere, including around the internal organs, clogging the arteries, etc.

Free radicals & carcinogens have room to hide here too, and this is why diseases like cancer & dementia are linked with obesity. This life-shortening health risk must be dealt with correctly, otherwise the obese individual stays in pain until he/she dies a miserable death. This visceral fat can be easily lost with proper diet & exercise.

Subcutaneous is different from visceral fat, in physiology & characteristics. Subcutaneous fat clings to the belly, back, thighs & butt– despite all the diet & hard work. Clearly, a different approach is needed to conquer stubborn (subcutaneous) fat. Encased inside stubborn fat is atrophied muscle, which needs to be gently re-activated through rehabilitation. Trying to liposuction subcutaneous fat is a really bad idea.

You have to understand anatomy to reach the atrophied muscles encased in stubborn fat, in order to activate these neurons & their muscles, which then removes the stubborn fat. Most traditional workouts don’t target the deep-injury areas, so they are useless against stubborn fat. If you exercise everything around the injury, but never go after the root of the pain, then you will get middling results no one wants to look at.

As a rule, stretching & tension bands are more helpful than free weights, but you do need to mix it up sometimes. The bones and muscles in the lower spine are tiny, and need gentle but sustained stimulation, with specific targeting, in order to rehabilitate any injuries to them. Walk & swim as much as possible.

The reason obese people don’t deal with their fat problem is because of the pain. As stated before, pain is physical & psychological. When muscles atrophy, the joints calcify as a protective mechanism. All voluntary muscles in the human body have insertions that ultimately end in the head & feet. This is how stubborn fat is formed, and it becomes most noticeable after we reach our athletic peak at around age 27.

The feet are where many calcifications occur, due to gravity. This is commonly called gout, or bunions, which is nothing more than the small bones of the feet being calcified together. A hip, knee, or ankle sprain causes a histamine reaction. If the victim never fully rehabilitates, the histamine sediment settles in the feet and becomes gout.

Even if there’s an injury in one foot, the contralateral foot will eventually lock up with gout. Histamines flow through-out the body, and they will compensate for the immobility in the other foot. Both feet have to be equal over the long-term, otherwise further injuries occur. The contralateral “healthy foot” in our example gets “locked-up” to equalize and prevent a blow-out. Obviously performance suffers. Today, most adults have feet with more rock (gout) in them than actual muscle. It is impossible to lose any stubborn fat without getting the gout out. Foot surgery with pins, etc. is also a bad idea in most cases.

The muscles in the abdomen & lower back run into the feet. They also run up to the neck & head, as this is how humans can stand & walk upright. The weakest link in the human kinetic chain is the spine. Our backs are exquisitely evolved, but also fragile and susceptible to injury. Any back injury affects the entire body, from head to toe. That needs to be understood as an anatomical fact, when rehabilitating.

Once a calcification breaks in the foot, it immediately activates and breaks the corresponding calcification in the core/back area. Then (if stimulated by upper body action), it will pop all the connected calcifications in the upper body, through the head. This needs to be done over & over, for a long period of time, to completely rehabilitate a serious back injury.

The process I’m describing entails activating the lower back and stretching the legs & feet. When calcifications are broken apart in a controlled & scientific manner, it releases energy which can be used downstream (& upstream) to dissolve more calcifications. This creates a positive feedback loop, which gives the rehabilitation process a momentum of its own. A huge problem in rehabilitation is staying motivated. Anything that comes from within and makes this difficult process easier, should be used to its fullest extent.

As mentioned, a back injury can affect the muscles in the face. Not only does the victim have pain which makes it harder to smile, but also the facial muscles don’t work as well, making smiling even more difficult. On top of all that, the muscles of facial expression can’t be in balance if the bite & TMJ aren’t in balance. No one likes someone who can’t smile, so find a real dentist who understands occlusion & proper TMJ function.

I am a professional dentist with 25 years in practice and a 5-star reputation, and it is my experience that ~98% of people need their bite adjusted, even if they’ve had orthodontics. Sometimes it’s just slightly, but often they need significant adjustments. A properly adjusted bite, done by an experienced dental professional, can make a huge difference in the level of facial pain. The results are painless, immediate & lasting.

Our teeth are covered in enamel, which is the hardest substance in the human body. That means there is no give to them. If the bite is off, and it goes undiagnosed, this eventually leads to pain in the forms of: abscesses, tooth mobility, broken teeth/restorations, grinding, migraines, and TMJ disorders. This is the only part of the rehabilitation process that you can’t fix yourself.

Here are a few final notes on this rehabilitation process:

1) Sleep on the ground. Our ancient ancestors did this, so there’s no good reason were can’t. The reason we don’t is because we prefer comfort. For many it hurts to sleep on the floor. The hard surface will wake you at first, but then you deal with it, by stretching & moving energy to relieve the pain, so you can get back to sleep. Do this, and over time sleeping on the ground becomes easier and more natural.

2) Yawning is the release of cranial pain. Our brains don’t feel pain in the normal sense. It is my conclusion that yawning is the release of fatigue and other elements of pain in the brain. Whenever I sent massive amounts of released energy up my spine and into the cranial nerves & brain-stem, I was overcome by waves of yawning. Sometimes it went on for hours. I felt my senses (vision, hearing, balance, etc– all controlled by the 12 cranial nerves), sharpen as the fatigue was being relieved by yawning. Our sleep-wake & breathing cycles are controlled by the pons medulla. Calcifications in the head & neck will interfere with the function of this vital brain-stem area.

3) Hiccups are definitely made worse by loss of control of the core muscles. The diaphragm is an involuntary muscle, and therefore a back injury will disable it.

4) When a hip & back injury isn’t fully rehabilitated, other injuries will stack on top. This affects voluntary & involuntary muscles.

5) Strive to become an ambidextrous athlete. This makes you superior, and better equipped to resist injuries.

6) A ripped abdomen is a clear sign of complete physical health, and is always considered most attractive by the opposite sex. In health, this is what motivates us above all else.

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#MeToo Blowback

Democratic Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders is being accused through the media of sexual harassment by the #MeToo campaign. This can be seen politically as an attempt by right-wing Democrats to scuttle a Bernie Sanders presidential run in 2020. Understand that Bernie Sanders is not a socialist, he is a capitalist of the liberal color. That means he’s a chameleon, and changes stripes as needed to serve the two-party system. His job in 2016 was to be a safety-valve for young voters, who (as polls show) now prefer socialism to capitalism.

Bernie performed his duty, then stepped aside, and never complained about the fixed primary process, which surely cost him the Democratic nomination. He really didn’t want it anyways. But now there are sexual abuse accusations, which (as always) are vague & unsubstantiated, yet fill the news cycle with dirty laundry. He’s already profusely apologized for whatever he may, or may not, have done. Wash, rinse & repeat…

What nobody mentions here are the Wikileaks DNC email leaks which prove that is was Hillary’s campaign that abused Bernie Sanders, by rigging the primaries and the flow of party funds to the favored candidate– Hillary Clinton. The #MeToo campaign is foisting the Big Lie technique again, to hide their own criminality.

I’ve noticed that commenters in the media are starting to more & more refer to these witch hunters as the “#MeToo crowd,” instead of “#MeToo movement.” This indicates that #MeToo has lost its hold on the masses and is starting to collapse upon itself. This is largely thanks to the good work of real socialists, who have been reporting on this reactionary campaign from the start. It has been an ideological battle against a well-funded & highly-connected apparatus of propaganda & hate.

#MeToo deeply discredited itself with its showing at the Kavanaugh Hearings, which helped the Republicans avoid a rout in the 2018 midterms. The Democrats are always willing to sacrifice themselves, in order to prop up the Republicans when they need it most. After new accusations were leveled against actor Kevin Spacey recently, he went on the offensive with a video release & a vow to fight this witch hunt campaign, after a year of silence.

Everything has it’s ebb & flow, and the tide has definitely turned on the #MeToo campaign. Even #MeToo, with its powerful political support from Hollywood, NYC & Washington elites has its vulnerabilities– meaning ways to be defeated.

The #MeToo campaign has its roots in the deep state. The #MeToo campaign attempted to weaponize healthy sexual relations (of any type), by turning women into hysterical monsters and men into paralyzed cowards. Healthy men & women don’t want to be that, nor do they seek it in a mate. This is this understanding & ideology with which Trotskyists must arm themselves, to defeat #MeToo and get at the deep state.

The biggest blowback vulnerability of #MeToo is that it exposed such a path to victory for socialists. The deep state is so powerful, mostly because it stays hidden from the masses. It’s this issue, and 9/11 as a false flag attack (above), that most exposes the deep state to revolutionary overthrow– due to the emotionality.

This passion & revolutionary energy must be guided with clear Marxist analysis & dialectical leadership. The time is now, and we must seize this opportunity!

Update: Sat 12 Jan 2019 10:15 AM EST

Below are my comments on the excellent WSWS article “US astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson targeted by #MeToo campaign”

By David Walsh
12 January 2019

This reactionary #MeToo campaign needs to be met head-on with fierce resistance on social media & through legal channels. We’re all guilty of “creepy behavior,” in the sense that someone attracts us with their beauty, and we become aroused. We’ve all “creeped” on others with stolen glances, going through someone’s social media profile page, etc.

I get videoed & photographed all the time by women & gay men, without my consent. I don’t appreciate that so much, as I think it betrays a lack of social skills & immaturity, but that doesn’t give me the right to slander & destroy their lives. We’ve all been made to “feel uncomfortable” by awkward & unwanted advances, but that’s life. You deal with it, because you are an adult, instead of a hysterical snowflake.

Tracing the political origins of these personal attacks is the quickest way to expose the fraudulent character of the #MeToo witch hunts. For Neil deGrasse Tyson, it’s his strict adherence to science, where facts matter and rational thought is the rule. This rejects post-modernism & identity politics, which puts him in the #MeToo crosshairs.

Another example is European footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been sensationally accused of rape (long ago, of course), with no evidence– a claim he vehemently denies. The motivation in Ronaldo’s case is his support for the rights of Palestinians. That makes him an “anti-Semite,” and thus a target for feminist reaction, with support from Zionism & the US deep state.

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Ric Size: Live @ The Stranded Sailor

You didn’t think I could stay retired from music, did you?

This punk rock artist is very excited to be performing solo at the Stranded Sailor pub in Sanford, FL on Saturday December 15 @ 9:00 PM.

This is your chance to finally see this act live, with no net. I’ll be doing mostly original songs from the albums, with a few covers mixed in as the night moves along…

No cover, two drink minimum & please take care of the servers, etc… No merch (yet), but it should be fun & exciting nonetheless!!

The Stranded Sailor Pub:

418 Sanford Ave, Sanford, FL 32771

Phone: +1-321-362-8153

See you there!!

Sun 16 Dec 2018 ~ 12:45 AM EST

I got jerked around big-time at this “show,” and was given the hook after ~10 songs, even though the crowd was into it and the place was filling up. Or perhaps, it was because I was filling up the place, that my show was cut short.

Anyways, here’s the abbreviated set-list: Mercury Rising, Pay to Play, Hey Hey– My My (Neil Young), Sugarcoat, Working Class, DDSeuss, The Sound of the Sinners (The Clash), and Nothing’s Shocking/Jane Says (Jane’s Addiction).

The manager then asked me to stop playing, to amazed & puzzled faces in the audience. He’d been at me the whole time with disrespectful nonsense, a complete 180-degree turn from his attitude on Thursday, when this show was booked. Sanford politics here, as I recognized a few sleazy faces when I walked in tonight. They sabotaged the show, for sure.

Thanks anyways to all those who were listening & appreciative (most everybody in attendance), and hopefully I’ll be able to find a club that can honor a booking in the future.

Ridiculous

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Quiz Show Hosts & Evil Ghosts

Thank you and a most cordial welcome…   — Jack Barry

There’s nothing on top, but a bucket and a mop…  –The Meat Puppets, “Plateau”

If you’re like me, you are intrigued by game shows. When it gets to the big money, it gets exciting, and few can resist watching. It’s human interest, and that’s the rapture & the problem, all in one package. You have to be a capitalist to love game shows and never outgrow them, because they’re all about winning, whether it’s money, prizes, dates, or whatever.

It’s about performing in front of a live studio audience, and being on TV, as that’s where game shows exist. Since television & game shows are synonymous, let’s examine its history as a medium. The television was invented in 1927, but wasn’t practical for households until ~1938, when cathode ray tube life was extended by 50 times, making televisions more affordable & reliable.

After World War II (& then Korea), television set sales boomed, and broadcast television soon came into being, instantly becoming a cultural phenomenon that resonates up to today. In 1948, four television networks, (NBC, CBS, ABC, and DuMont), began broadcasting over 128 stations, a full prime-time schedule (8 to 11pm), seven days a week. The first TV season that was rated by Nielsen Media is 1950-51, which is where measurable television analysis starts.

Footnote; The DuMont Television Network was the black sheep network that died, hampered by the prohibitive cost of broadcasting, and by regulations imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which restricted their growth. The company’s partner, Paramount Pictures also sabotaged DuMont, ensuring its eventual demise & carve-up by the big three networks. The DuMont Television Network did not have a radio network from which to draw big-name talent, affiliate loyalty or radio profits to underwrite television operations until the television medium itself became profitable.

DuMont broadcast National Football League games from 1951-55, which was a first. DuMont produced more than 20,000 television episodes during the decade from 1946 to 1956. Because the shows were created prior to the launch of Ampex’s electronic videotape recorder in late 1956, all of them were initially broadcast live in black and white, then recorded on film kinescope for reruns and for West Coast rebroadcasts. The DuMont Television Network kinescopes were dumped into New York’s East River over 50 years ago, as they were seen by the bosses as worthless, with too-high storage costs.

The DuMont Television Network ignored the standard business model of 1950s TV, in which one advertiser sponsored an entire show, allowing it to have complete control over its content. Instead, DuMont sold commercials to many different advertisers, freeing producers of its shows from the power of single sponsors. This eventually became the standard model for US television. It’s important to understand this advertising model in relation to network quiz shows, and how they were fixed from 1956-59.

The quiz show scandals ultimately resulted in the networks eliminating sponsor-controlled programming in prime-time broadcasting, which would then allow them to take control of production. By the end of 1959, all first generation big-money quizzes were gone, along with single-sponsorship television. Soon-to-come, were federal laws against fixing television quiz shows. The networks stayed away from awarding five-figure cash jackpots until the 1970’s, when they were brought back, re-branded as “game shows” such as the $10,000 Pyramid.

The $64,000 Question hosted by Hal March became an overnight #1 show in 1955. US President Dwight Eisenhower was a loyal (& eventually heartbroken) fan of this rigged weekly event. Notice in the video above, how Hal March can translate Italian perfectly, when the correct answer is given by a lady (in the category of American history) who speaks fluent Italian, but broken English.

The impropriety of a contestant having a translator [!] to help her is surreal. The audience is befuddled by all this, but applauds on cue nonetheless. Then watch what happens around 26:00, when the British male contestant is stumped… How humiliating!  For Hal March.

The $64,000 Challenge was the day-time spin-off hosted first by Sonny Fox, then Ralph Story. Star contestants on The $64,000 Question/Challenge later appeared on television & in movies throughout the 1950s & 1960s. Quiz shows were often used as vehicles to promote & place new talent, and industry favorites including: Patty Duke, Connie Hines (Mr. Ed), Dr. Joyce Brothers (below), Xavier Cugat, and many others. Every one of these quiz show productions was rigged by their sponsors, as they played their audiences for suckers.

The $64,000 Question earned the #1 rating spot for the 1955–56 season, finished at #4 in the 1956–57 season ,and #20 in 1957–58. Among its progeny were Tic-Tac-Dough, and Twenty-One.

The $64,000 Challenge was controlled by cosmetics giant Revlon & Lorillard Tobacco Company’s Kent cigarettes. It was revealed during Congressional investigations that Revlon was as determined to keep their shows appealing, by manipulating the results.

Unlike Twenty-One and Dotto, where contestants got the answers in advance, Revlon was far more subtle with The $64,000 Question/Challenge, asking questions suited towards a contestant’s field of expertise, in order to coax correct answers out of them. The same method could be applied in reverse for “undesirable” contestants.

The Archive of American Television feature on the quiz show scandal, aired in 2000, has an interview of Albert Freedman who explains how he was producing Tic-Tac-Dough when Jack Barry & Dan Enright approached him about working on Twenty-One, which had very poor ratings.

Albert Freedman joined the show and was told to come up with some ideas for saving it. The problem, explained Freedman, was that the contestants were losing too quickly. “The excitement is to build up the winner, week after week.” He said that the idea of fixing the game’s outcomes was seen as necessary to reviving an otherwise boring program. “When I took over Twenty-One, I was aware that control was necessary.”

The sponsor of Twenty-One was Geritol, a dietary supplement pharmaceutical. Geritol advertised that just two tablespoons of their “medicine” had “twice the iron as a pound of calf’s liver,” helping people with “tired blood.” These were slimy snake oil salesmen, selling sickness way back in the 1950’s. The lesson is: know your TV history, or be doomed to bad re-runs. The fact is Albert Freedman coached the performances of Herbert Stempel, Charles Van Doren and other contestants on Twenty-One, with Van Doren “beating” Stempel on Dec. 5, 1956. This was the subject of Robert Redford’s 1994 film, Quiz Show.

Vivienne Nearing made headlines in 1957 when she dethroned Charles Van Doren as champion on Twenty-One, after his four-month run. In 1960, Vivienne Nearing & 14 other Twenty-One contestants were charged with perjury, after falsely testifying to a grand jury, that they had not been fed answers.

Albert Freedman was indicted for perjury in 1958, for lying to a grand jury in saying that he had not given questions to contestants. Before another grand jury, he recanted his testimony and admitted giving questions in advance. Twenty-One was canceled in 1958. The perjury charges against Freedman and all others were eventually dropped. Those found guilty had their sentences suspended, and no one involved in the quiz show scandal ever went to prison in this vast conspiracy to manipulate & defraud the American television viewing public.

Dotto was billed as a combination of a general knowledge quiz, and the children’s game of connect-the-dots. Jack Narz was the host, with Colgate-Palmolive as its presenting sponsor. Dotto rose to become the highest rated daytime program in 1958, after replacing Strike it Rich in CBS’s daytime time slot in January, 1958. In a rare instance of two networks programming the same show, a weekly nighttime edition of Dotto was launched on July 1, 1958, on NBC on Tuesday nights.

Both shows were hits, until Dotto was canceled without public explanation, over the weekend of August 16, 1958. As far as I can see, no one has ever accurately explained what happened. After reviewing the only available episodes, and the facts that have come out in the aftermath, it’s pretty clear what happened. Just watch this one episode all the way through. I’ll explain its contents below.

Episode Summary: Returning Dotto champion, Marie Winn had been provided with the answers ahead of time. A stand-by contestant, Edward Hilgemeier, Jr. found her notebook backstage with the questions & answers written in it. He tore out the pages, and turned them over to authorities without going on the show. Hilgemeier and the defeated contestant Yaffe Kimball, confronted the Dotto producers, and both were paid money to keep quiet. When Hilgemeier found out he was paid less than Yaffe Kimball, he contacted CBS (daytime version), NBC (prime-time version), and sponsor Colgate-Palmolive– all to no avail.

Hilgemeier then contacted federal authorities in early August, 1958 with his story, which was then relayed to CBS. Executive vice president of CBS Thomas Fisher tested kinescopes of the show against Winn’s notebook and concluded that the show appeared fixed. Executives at CBS series met with its creator, Frank Cooper, concerning the potential rigging of the show on the evening of Friday, August 15. Frank Cooper admitted that the show was indeed fixed, and CBS then reported these findings to NBC as the hosts of the prime-time version.

Over the weekend of August 16, 1958, both CBS & NBC canceled Dotto. CBS immediately moved its game show Top Dollar, hosted by Warren Hull, to Dotto’s time slot. On Monday, August 18, a live studio audience expecting to be seated for Monday’s episode of Dotto was instead set up as an audience for Top Dollar. Viewers were greeted by the opening, “Dotto, the program which normally airs at this time, will no longer be seen. Instead…welcome to Top Dollar!”

Jack Narz eventually replaced Warren Hull (more on him below) as host of Top Dollar by November 1958, which completed this dirty cycle of quiz show hosts, as Strike it Rich, which preceded Dotto, had been hosted by Hull. Top Dollar ran in the daytime until October, 1959, as Narz (below) continued to work as a game show host for most of the next twenty years, until his death.

Note: In the Dotto episode above, host Jack Narz says goodbye to the Native American woman contestant, Yaffe Kimball who “lost,” by raising his hand and saying HOW [!] to her as she leaves the stage at 11:28. Look & listen for it.

Dotto promo, sponsored by Ford: Here’s a look at what you could win if you can identify this Dotto image,,, the Edsel Bermuda [Ooooh’s from the audience], the newest ideas in station wagons, with almost 9 feet of load space with the tailgate down. It has Edsel’s famous “teletouch-drive,” that puts the shift buttons in the middle of the steering wheel– where they belong!” There’s also “self-adjusting brakes… A car for him, a car for her, a car for a lifetime.” There’s even a kiddie model that drives up to 5 MPH.

Notice how the audience loves it, as their enthusiasm for these luxuries was/is real. Edsel was a gas-guzzling, unsafe-at-any-speed model that was hyped by the Ford Motor Company from 1958-60. Dotto was an early establishment answer to Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, Little Richard & rock & roll’s massive teen influence. This was a cultural war for the control of kids’ minds. It somehow feels like J. Edgar Hoover is behind this show.

21:45 Jack Narz [to the new contestant]: Hmmm. Very confusing, huh?

At this point the viewer should realize that the only thing that matters in Dotto is identifying the image correctly. Answering the questions correctly is irrelevant. Also note that the images drawn in Dotto are indecipherable, as are the “clues.” This is all by design.

26:15 After a few minutes of learning all about new velvety Vel, dish soap, it’s back to the game. The new challenger doesn’t present himself as very bright, yet he suddenly rings in and identifies Dotto’s vague lines & shapes as “Huey & Dewey Duck,” which is correct!

But not completely, because everyone in 1958 knows that there are three nephews of Donald Duck, and they always hang together. Louie is the third, but the contestant forgot to write him down on the “Dottograph.”  Below is a screenshot of the image in question. Do you see Donald Duck’s nephews in it? I see Elvis.

So Jack Narz, who was “as much in the dark as anybody,” changes the narrative, and says this answer may not be correct, and will need a further ruling– later, backstage. Over to Marie Winn, who has 60 seconds to make the correct identification of these squiggly lines & nebulous forms to force a tie, otherwise she’s off the show.

Amazingly, Maria Winn pulls it out, by shyly mumbling “Donald Duck’s nephews,” with some encouragement from Jack Narz. There’s a big smile from Marie Winn, when she’s told she’s correct! Jack Narz: “I know we have a tie game now, and that solves our problem.”

Not quite, as it’s clear to any television viewer (past or present) with any cognitive function, that this greenhorn who incredibly identified the crude image as Donald Duck’s nephews, yet inexplicably forgot to include the name of the third one (Louie), blew the fix with his incomplete answer. And with that, Dotto had to be dropped immediately & forever. The running time on this essential video of television history is 29:31, and at least 25 minutes of it is advertising, in every form imaginable. This rigged quiz show called Dotto may have been the most evil show ever hyped on television.

Footnote: Marie Winn perjured herself to the grand jury investigation on quiz show fixing. She then declared herself a feminist sometime later, publishing The Plug-In Drug (1977), a confused diatribe on the dangers of educating children, claiming it to be dangerous to their psychological health.

Tic-Tac-Dough’s initial 1956–59 run on NBC was another Jack Barry & Dan Enright creation & production– a common thread with all these rigged quiz shows. Tic-Tac-Dough was based on tic-tac-toe, where contestants answer questions to score an X or O. If you’ve ever played tic-tac-toe, you know that most games end in ties, unless you’re playing against a total moron. Games that frequently ended in ties, was another leitmotif of the fixed quiz show era. The original host of Tic-Tac-Dough was Jack Barry, followed by Gene Rayburn & Bill Wendell. Jay Jackson & Win Elliot hosted prime time adaptations, and all were involved or had knowledge of quiz show fixing.

Tic-Tac-Dough’s April 3, 1958 episode (below) featuring U.S. military serviceman Michael O’Rourke winning over $140,000, hosted by Jay Jackson, became a key subject of the federal grand jury investigating the quiz fixing. Notice how neither player ever goes for the win. Howard Felsher produced Tic-Tac-Dough; Password; Password Plus; Super Password; He Said, She Said; Concentration; and most notably, Family Feud.

Felsher was known as the “Game Show Doctor” in certain circles for his ability to come in and fix a show– in every sense of the term. As producer of Tic-Tac-Dough, Felsher was in charge of all aspects of the shows production including choosing the contestants, coaching them, and feeding them the answers. Howard Felsher also estimated that about 75% of all Tic-Tac-Dough nighttime shows had been rigged.

In a span over just over 4 months at the end of 1958, these following quiz shows were implicated in the scandal and were abruptly canceled: Dotto on August 16, The $64,000 Challenge on September 14, Twenty-One on October 16, The $64,000 Question on November 9, and Tic-Tac-Dough on December 29.

In September 1958, a New York grand jury called the producers & hosts who had coached contestants, to appear in testimony. It was later estimated by a prosecutor on the case that of the 150 sworn witnesses before the panel, only 50 told the truth. Among the most egregious perjurers were Jack Barry, Dan Enright & Frank Cooper. None of the corporate sponsors were implicated, or compelled to testify under oath.

There are those who make the claim that Jack Barry was effectively blacklisted from national television until 1969. That’s an insult & misrepresentation of blacklisting. This was the era of McCarthyism, HUAC & anti-communism. The ones who defied the red-baiting & witch-hunts were blacklisted. Jack Barry was exiled from game show television for a decade for cheating, before being allowed to return and make more millions– with The Jokers Wild, etc.

Dan Enright went to Canada to continue working in television, and was unable to get a job in American television until 1975.  Once again, that’s not a blacklist, which occurs to people who have courage & principles. These are criminals, who escaped punishment because the scandal was so vast, it would have taken down all the networks and their crooked sponsors. If that happened, there would be no television run by capitalists, and that couldn’t happen, so the quiz show scandal was swept under the rug, to be forgotten in posterity.

Another Barry/Enright fixed quiz show of the era was High Low, a contestant-panel game. Wikipedia (a source heavily cited in this piece) delivers this refrain over & over concerning the availability of quiz show episodes with this disclaimer, which applies to High Low: “Only one episode is known to exist, as all others are believed to have been destroyed due to network policies of the era.”  Criminality & cover-ups are the network policies to which Wikipedia is referring.

Capitalizing on the success of the 1950s big-money quiz The $64,000 Question on CBS, Jack Barry and Dan Enright developed their flagship show, Twenty-One, a quiz which had a scoring system based loosely on Blackjack. Contestants were placed in twin “isolation booths” and were asked questions ranging in value from 1 to 11 points — the higher the point value, the more difficult the question. Beginning on September 12, 1956, Jack Barry began hosting Twenty-One in prime time.

Enright described the initial broadcast of Twenty-One as “a dismal failure. It was just plain dull.” Contestants repeatedly missed questions and, in Enright’s own words, “It lacked all drama; it lacked all suspense. The next morning the sponsor Geritol, called my partner, Jack Barry and me, and told us in no uncertain terms that he never wanted to see a repeat of what happened the previous night. And from that moment on, we decided to rig Twenty-One.” Even with rigging, initial ratings were unimpressive.

Enright believed they needed to find heroes & villains — contestants the audience would either root for or against. Though not illegal at the time, Enright and his assistant producer Albert Freedman went beyond merely finding appealing players by actually manipulating them: providing certain contestants with answers in advance, and scripting games and the players’ mannerisms in the isolation booth. It was a process the producers duplicated for Tic-Tac-Dough.

Dan Enright’s most famous contestant protégé was Twenty-One’s Charles Van Doren, who went on to win for 14 weeks and became a cover subject for Time magazine (above), thus causing the show’s popularity to soar. Van Doren replaced Herbert Stempel, who himself had been given answers over his extended run on the show, but was eventually forced to lose (so that the prettier Van Doren could replace him). After waiting for Enright to fulfill his promise of a job in exchange for throwing the match, Stempel realized it would never come and he went to the authorities. It was only when other contestants came forward about game show rigging did the New York DA’s office take Herbert Stempel seriously.

As the press was publishing allegations by former contestants of quiz rigging, NBC purchased from Barry & Enright the shows: Twenty-One and Tic-Tac-Dough; along with two new daytime entries, Concentration, and a musical quiz Dough Re Mi, for $1 million.

Eventually a fraction of the truth came out, and Dan Enright admitted to rigging the show and giving contestants the questions and answers in advance. Twenty-One’s emcee and co-producer, Jack Barry, must have been in on it, despite decades of denials by him and his fans.

Strike it Rich is down there with Dotto, and the others mentioned above, as perhaps the sleaziest show in TV history. Just watch, and you’ll see what I mean, as I’ll conclude this piece with the only episode of Strike it Rich that is available (above). I then add some poignant comments & screenshots for illustration… And now Fab’s fabulous Ambassador of Goodwill, Mr. Strike-it-Rich himself, Warren Hull!

New Fab contains miracle Duratex!

Look for Fab at your supermarket. It’s the blue box with white letters etched in red, just remember F-A-B. I’m talking to all of you out there who have never tried Fab. When you go there and see this, you’ll have an impulse to buy it, after listening to me. This is no Hull-lying, this is honest-to-goodness gospel . Okay Ralph [Story], who’s next?

Let’s take a look at a girl who has some really exciting wash-day news she wants to share with you!

Final Answer– No Takebacks: I love game shows too much to end this piece on such a cynical vibe. I consider myself a game-show host hybrid of Bob Barker & Chuck Barris, if you can get to that. My favorite game show moments over the years include watching Wink Martindale’s Tic-Tac-Dough champion Thom McKee’s run in 1980, and his defeat. I was a kid and it was exciting to watch. Was it fixed?  Whoever knows, ain’t tellin’, that much I do know.

Ken Jennings’ run on Jeopardy in 2004 was surely legitimate, including a brilliant innovation in focusing on being quick on the buzzer. Brad Rutter has repeatedly beat Jennings in Jeopardy’s Tournament of Champions, so that’s amazing! In 2011, these two “Masters of Jeopardy,” faced off against Watson, an AI computer. Consider this result:

The greatest all-time, one-day game show performance belongs to Michael Larson on Press Your Luck in 1984. Larson memorized the five different randomizer sequences used on the “Big Board” (image below) and beat the game, taking home over $110,000 in one game that stretched over two episodes.

Notice that he didn’t have any extraordinary knowledge of trivia, and it totally didn’t matter. Something else mattered much more, and he figured it out first. This is hilarious viewing, as host Peter Tomarken goes bananas in disbelief.  That’s how you KNOW he beat the show.

If you want to cheat ahead; the action starts at 13;45 in this video below, when Larson answers “Polka,”  knowing with delight that he now has 7 Spins in Round 2, and will be first up. From there on it’s game-show Nirvana. A beautiful streak is a winning thing.

CBS tried to cheat Michael Larson (RIP), out of his winnings in the weeks after. And what was with that bitch dental hygienist, passing her 3 spins to Larson at the end?  The other opponent Ed, intentionally didn’t do that, as a point of honor & respect. It almost cost Michael Larson on his last spin, where he got lucky. The lesson, go for it & enjoy it while it lasts!

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