When A Fandom Love Becomes Dysfunctional

This is about the CW network series, Supernatural.

I love Supernatural.  I love the Winchester boys.

Or rather, I love the boys but the series’ writers and producers–also known as The Powers That Be (TPTB)–have become lame-ass.

Supernatural finished its 12th season this past May.  It wasn’t all that thrilling.  The same can be said of everything after season 5.  The only improvement was Crowley and his witch mom but they (TPTB) cocked that up royally.

The show actually started downhill in the 4th season when the wonderful formula of music-inspired episodes began to disappear.  By the 5th season, the second to last episode no longer had a musical intro.  And the finale’s “Carry On Wayward Son” musical intro became the only mainstay.

The musical intro/recap for each seasonal premiere began to die of relevance at the beginning of season 5.  And during most episodes, there was no classic rock overlay for transitional moments of importance.  That was a series’ plot requirement, as we see during seasons 1 and 2.  Starting in season 3, it died down, and by season 5, it disappeared.

Why?  Changing of the guard, that’s why.  Creator Eric Kripke and Exec Producer McG disappeared.  The people who came on board after had absolutely no damn idea how to run the show.  They tried, but they fucked up season 3 by bringing on two women semi-regulars.  One was pivotal to the plotline and the other wasn’t.  In my opinion, TPTB did this because they were bored with the episodic themes and they changed the tenor of the show from supernatural creatures preying on humanity to a bizarre hell-vs-heaven theme show.

While I enjoyed a lot of season 4 and, in later seasons, the inclusion of God (Chuck) and Amara (God’s sister), I seriously missed the music and I absolutely HATED Ruby’s actor replacement and I’m not a fan of Castiel.  Many are, and saying I’m not is probably a form of series’ blasphemy, but c’mon, people.  He was better in season 4 than the others that followed.  Now, he’s just a gag prop.  The same can’t be said of Crowley, but he’s only marginally better after his intro season.

So then there’s seasons 5+.  They all run together.  There’s no continuous plotline that makes sense.  Just new angles and curve balls that are intended to make sense but don’t (like that crap with Sam’s soul and plot-offense Grandpa Campbell).

The best bits are when Sam and Dean have their dysfunctional issues and emotional war games as they fight each other and themselves but the brotherly love and devotion always wins out in the end.  But that formula was messed with, turned against them, and then later, they’re brought back together again as if this would fix the fuck-up TPTB caused by splitting them up to begin with.  Yes, there’re episodes during these seasons which I like, but they’re nowhere near the favorites of seasons 1 and 2.

Over the years, I’d forgotten much of what I’d talked about above.  I’d always download an episode (shut up), and then had it on hand for marathons.  The Winchesters have also aged wonderfully and are extremely hot men–and sadly, that’s now the series’ saving grace.  I remember the first time we saw Sam shirtless and many people, including the guys I’d turned on to the series, were surprised by how damn muscular he was(is).  By season 3, he was sizzling.  Now, it’s all about the changing hair style and perpetual need of a shave.

Sadly, for seasons 10, 11, and 12, I’ve actually stopped eagerly anticipating the next episode and I’d stopped watching religiously.  Instead, I played catchup for about six episodes, then I’d start that all over again.  This last season, 12, I did the same except that from ep 14 on, I skipped the rest and played catchup about a month after the finale.  And even now, at this moment, I actually can’t recall WTF the season was about.

This is ghastly.

This last week, I’d decided to do a huge Supernatural marathon on Netflix, starting with episode 1.  By season 5, I started skipping episodes.  Now I’m at season 8 and I’m skipping more episodes and instead I’m reading synopses on TV.com in order to remind me what’s going on.  I’m now only interested in pivotal episodes–and they’re getting fewer and fewer.

I suspect that TPTB know they’re in trouble.  It’s why they brought back Mary Winchester.  But I’m sorry.  It’s too little, too late.  The only save for this series is if Eric and McG return and fire everyone else.

As I said, I love my boys.  And I’ll keep watching until they die (or the series does), but it’s no longer an anticipation.  It’s not even in the same universe of anticipation that I apply to Game of Thrones, and it’s not on par with my new love for Lucifer.  Secondarily for Gotham and the new MacGyver.

There’s one show I sincerely miss and wish it had been picked up by the CW: Constantine.  NBC killed it after 13 episodes (2015) and they did so because they were a) cowards, and b) they fucked it over by placing it on Friday nights so it was doomed from the get-go.  MacGyver/Hawaii Five-0 can handle that day slot.  A show about a demonologist/magician with a lovely bad attitude just couldn’t, never mind a 10 pm time slot.

If there’s ever a time for Supernatural to get exciting again, it would be if they met up with John Constantine for a full or half season then spun that off into a new Constantine series.  Matt Ryan, BTW, was *perfect*.  I can’t say that for Jared and Jensen anymore and it breaks my heart.

As for the post title, it refers to me watching something I no longer particularly love except for my love for the main characters (I suffered this for Stargate SG-1 too), and it also refers to Constantine but not the show–it’s toward NBC’s dysfunction toward anything supernatural.  (I will also apply that to CBS and their cancellation of Moonlight, which deserves a reboot somewhere, starring someone else as Mick St. John.  How about Karl Urban? Yum)

You Can No Longer Afford To Ignore Politics

Politics. You hate talking about it, am I right? Many of you ignore my posts because most are political.

But here’s the thing. We’re in crisis. The TV and Print media has been corrupted.  They no longer inform us.  They act as if they need to treat every side equally.  But here’s the thing.  They’re no longer serving the public good.

Let’s use an example.  Side A says the water is clean.  Side B says the water is dirty.  The news, let’s say CNN, reports what both Sides are saying about the water.  But they act as if both sides are correct and who’s to say who is right and who is wrong.  Give equal weight to both sides.

NO.  Wrong.  Investigate.  Find out who’s right and who’s wrong.  Is the water really dirty?  If so, tell everyone it is and show them a glass of dirty water.

They’re doing that with the healthcare debate.  Republicans say the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is failing.  The Democrats say (in a tinny, tiny voice no one hears) it’s just fine.

The “media” tells everyone what both sides are saying, but they don’t tell everyone the truth.

The truth:

  1.  The ACA works as intended–as a giveaway to the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies.  It gets everyone insured, yes, but it has major flaws and at least 23 million Americans still don’t have health insurance.
  2.   It isn’t failing in its intended form.
  3.   The Democrats aren’t telling Americans, via TV and Print media, that the Republicans are lying.  The reason is because many of them are paid off by insurance and pharma companies via “campaign donations” and donors tell them what to do, so they do it or lose their cash cows.
  4.   There are some politicians who are trying to look out for Americans by offering a third solution, but the media acts as if they’re revolutionaries out to destroy the system.
  5.   The MSM (mainstream media like network/cable news) has failed to offer Americans a disclaimer:  That their owners are, or have been bought by, rich conservatives whose agenda is bent on destroying social safety nets and Obamacare and paying less taxes than anyone in a lower tax bracket.  This is called class warfare.

On America’s escape mechanism, aka television, network TV (CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, PBS) and Cable TV (TNT, TBS, USA, etc) has been co-opted by reality TV.  It’s a misnomer, by the way.  It’s not “reality”.  It’s stupidity.  It’s been designed to distract you from what’s going on in the halls of “power”, and that’s a power we gave them.  We trusted them to represent us but they don’t.  And we *know* they don’t.  Why do you think politicians have such a bad rep?  But we still elect them.  WHY?

Because we’ve been led by the nose and because we live in a patriarchal system that says those at the top are father and you have to do what father says or else.

Our lives have been choreographed through a careful maze of distractions by a rich conservative construct.  Not only does it require a dumbed-down citizenry in order to run rampant, a dumbed-down citizenry allows it even after they’ve been told.

While some of us are engaged and knowledgeable, most Americans choose to be informed until it bites us on the ass and then it’s too damn late to fix it before it harms us all.  Now we have to fix this broken system we’ve trusted to the wrong people.

It’s like ignoring a broken water heater.

It’s such a tiresome and back-breaking effort to go clean up all that water so you just start accepting the fact that you have to boil water to get anything hot.

But your showers and washes are cold, there’s mineral stains in the pots and pans and porcelain sinks and you start to smell something funky in the water itself–lead.

Still, that basement–if your water heater is in one–is flooded and it’s going to take too long to clean up. It’ll take time off work, cost money that you were saving for whatever, take you away from the fun stuff and reality-ignoring fantasy things, etc. And now, that water has climbed all the way up the basement steps and you can’t ignore it anymore. But now you have no idea how to get rid of the ‘swamp’ it’s become.

THAT is America, ladies and gentlemen, and you can no longer afford to hate politics and ignore politics and just go on about your business.  We’re drowning.

Patriarchal Hierarchy is Killing Us

(This isn’t a rant about being anti-male, anti-men, so get that out of your system right now and I’m not here to suggest that Matriarchy is the answer.)

Patriarchy:  A cultural structure that is male-dominated and patrilineal (inheritance through male lines) which appears to be predisposed to run in an hierarchical system.

Hierarchy:  a system that bases all movement through series of tiers.  It is not self-damaging in and of itself.  It depends on the method it uses in order to run smoothly, without corruption.

Nature is automatically hierarchical, but it’s not naturally patriarchal.  Within it, all systems are hierarchical.  However, nature’s system is different in that all of its tiers are interdependent.  They rely on each to survive.  Take one tier out and the entire system collapses.  I’d say it’s like a house of cards except the top cards don’t collapse the system when they’re taken away.

Let’s use a wolf pack as an example of natural, and perfectly run, hierarchy.  The alpha wolf pair rules.  Or ‘dominates’ the pack.  Notice I said pair.  Not male, not female.  Pair.  There are beta wolves and delta wolves.  All are required for the pack to exist as a cohesive unit.  For example, the delta’s role in the pack is “play”.  The delta initiates it, creating a “destresser”, if you will.  For a human, you could call them the comedian or class clown, except that they don’t get punished for “cutting up”.

Lone wolves are unnatural, but they exist.  Why?  Because the lone wolf is nature’s way of creating new packs or as a means to eliminate an unnatural threat.  They’re usually the loser of an alpha challenge that has dispatched the former alpha.  If they stay a lone wolf, they don’t survive long.  If a wolf pack kicks them out of the pack, the wolf tries to join another.  If another pack doesn’t accept them, they might be killed.  Or it will join with another lone wolf and eventually gather up more until they’ve formed their own pack.

Alpha males are constantly being challenged.  Not threatened.  Challenged.  This is to ensure the stability of the pack.  If they become too aggressive toward the entire pack, the alpha male is taken out and replaced, thereby ensuring the stability.  In a lesser way, dogs do this with their owners.  Smart owners understand (without cognitively recognizing it) this and they frequently reestablish dominance by letting their dogs know who’s the leader of the pack.  Like a wolf pack, this is done through non-damaging, non-lethal punishment.

In the wolf pack, you may have seen what looks like fighting.  This is “challenging” behavior.  When an alpha is challenged, the usual response is to firmly bite, but not puncture, the challenger’s muzzle and to hold them until the challenger meekly accepts the subservient role.  When the alpha becomes weak (by personality, not strength) and is no longer able to subdue the challenger, then the challenger wins and becomes the alpha.  When you have a dog that you allow to run the household (when you spoil it rotten, and that holds for children, too), then you as alpha are no longer pack leader.

This rarely happens to the female alpha.  She is the pack breeder.  The pack mother.  To maintain the equilibrium of the pack, only the alpha pair can breed.  This is to ensure that the pack doesn’t over-populate.  Over-population kills an ecological (and economical) system faster than sickness or disaster.  (This is why humans are a threat to this planet, by the way, but *only* due to religion.  Religion sets a “go forth and multiply” approach and that’s dangerous.)  And sickness and disaster are also nature’s means to thin the herd.  Or pack, in this case.  There are times when too many litters grow the pack too large and many of them may be booted out to form their own pack.  Most simply choose to leave to form their own packs.  There is no “allowance”.  The alpha pair just accept the migration.

As for patriarchy, the wolf pack isn’t patriarchal.  There isn’t a lone male wolf at the top of the pack that dictates its wishes down to the others.  This system is dysfunctional because it isn’t interdependent.  It creates a class system where all others suffer at the behest of the dictator.  This is why the wolf pack is run by the alpha pair.  All members of the pack have their purpose and sometimes they change roles.  A beta wolf can become a delta and vice-versa.  Likewise, an alpha can be replaced, but they rarely become a lower wolf within the same pack.  They are thrown out of the pack when they are challenged and replaced because the pack is purposely run that way.

Thousands of years ago, humans copied the wolf pack.  But that ended when certain types of religion were created that were a combination of patriarchal and hierarchical and they became, for all intents and purposes, a diseased system.  Romans were one such example.  But so were the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Hittites, Babylonians, Sumerians, Akkadians, Celts, Gauls, etc.  Their preferred method was aggression.  To war with others.  To enslave, dominate, subjugate, oppress, and repress.  This created a class system that was unbalanced and threatening to all natural systems.  There is a reason these nations are extinct.  They destroyed themselves.

In a patriarchal hierarchical system, everything becomes dependent on the top tier.  Not interdependent.  Dependent.  Dependency in and of itself is not damaging, but when it is unbalanced, when it is no longer part of the system but a *result* of the system, of the tiers above or below it, then it stagnates.  It’s like a pool of water.  If there is no natural runoff or replenishment, when the bodies inside it are no longer able to function as part of the whole, it “stagnates”, becomes corrupted, but that corruption stays and isn’t allowed to serve the whole.

It’s like throwing a corpse (of whatever kind of animal) into a pond but the pond isn’t allowed to remove it.

In a natural system, a dead animal infects the entire ecological “society” and the system is forced to attack it until it becomes inert and thus the body has been useful as it has fed the entire system.  Take a dead whale at the bottom of the ocean.  All surrounding life forms feed off it until it’s nothing but partial bone and eventually, the salt water will reduce that bone to its chemical components, which in turn feeds the entire ocean.

Humanity, in its current form, is a corpse that bloats and infects its surroudings and resists nature’s methods to reduce it to inert materials.  No surrounding life forms are able to do their job in bringing back balance.

Hierarchy is part of that imbalance.  Let’s use a patriarchal family that uses hierarchy as an example.  The father (and/or mother) are the top tier.  Their children grow up to be adults, but they are still treated as children, not grown members of the pack, and are dependent–not interdependent–on the teachings of the father no matter how old he gets.  The children aren’t taught to be stable members of the pack–society.  They’re simply taught to obey the father, to be productive only as the father sees fit.  To serve father.

When the father dies, the behavior is still there but passed down.  The dysfunction that has been created by the father remains, continues, and for the children, and their descendents after that, they are victims and slaves of a system they don’t understand is killing them.

When this family unit is copied to form a village (city, state, country), hierarchical class systems develop.

Class:  People who have been forced to live within the same social, economic, and/or educational status.  Upper class, Middle Class, Lower Class.

Class creates imbalance, by its very nature.  Periodically, members of other classes rise and fall, in the manner of a wolf pack, but the system itself is imbalanced because it doesn’t support the lower tiers, only the upper.  When class members change, the system stays in place, created that way by patriarchal hierarchy.

When that hierarchy is threatened (i.e. challenged by the lower classes), then the upper class members will demonize the attempt and convince the lower classes that their station in life is healthy and needs to stay in place–and they’re threatened to stay put or be destroyed.  This is done through misdirection.  For example, when the Us versus Them approach is used, and let’s use socialism as an example.

Socialism:  1.  A political theory advocating state ownership of industry.  2.  An economic system based on state ownership of capital.

Whether we realize it or not, we live in a socialist-based society, but it’s not a balanced form.  Only the upper tiers live on the results and the lower tiers are dependent–not interdependent–on the upper tiers *allowing* them to live.  The upper tiers are dependent–not interdependent–on the lower tiers staying where they are, using them as slaves to feed the upper tiers.

Socialism itself is not damaging.  It can be a healthy system when run correctly.  But like the dictator wolf who infects the pack until he is killed or ousted, socialism can become predatory, like it did in the country of Russia, which then spread its form of socialism to China and other nations.  The results there were corrupted and so the peoples of other nations automatically assumed socialism was a danger to society.  But eventually, some countries adopted it in a more balanced form and are able to run smoothly, creating happy citizens.

Still, “socialism” is a dog-whistle word that scares people–and it scares people who have been lied to about its usefulness, its purpose.  All they see instead is Us vs. Them and they have been taught that by the upper class, by those in charge of their lives.  Democracy is a form of socialism, whether you understand that or not.  But it too, like all societal systems, can be corrupted.

The danger, in its simplest form, is patriarchal hierarchy and religions based on that.  They are unbalanced and thus dysfunctional.  So what is the answer?  Well, basically:  the wolf pack.

Until we return to balance as nature requires, we will spiral out of control until we have destroyed ourselves and every living thing around us.  We need to change to survive.  I don’t expect us to change anytime soon.  Societal changes are slow to happen and the 60s decade was a very rare exception.  That collapsed because the predators who felt threatened–the upper class–took advantage of several events, large and small.  But we have to change our ways or we are just as doomed as the Romans.  And the dinosaurs.

Dear Trump Voter/Supporter, Your Dear Leader Hates You

BuzzFeed:  “More Foreign Workers Requested By Trump’s Mar-A-Lago

1. “It’s Made in America Week at the White House, but Mar-A-Lago and a nearby Trump National Golf Club have told the Department of Labor that there aren’t enough Americans to hire. These two Trump properties have now requested more than 230 foreign workers since he launched his presidential campaign.”

2. “Since Trump launched his presidential campaign in June 2015, businesses owned by him or bearing his name have sought to hire at least 370 foreign guest workers under H-2B program and a similar one called H-2A, including more than 230 for Mar-A-Lago and the Jupiter club.”

3. “The new cooking jobs — which, by applying for H-2 approval, the clubs are saying it cannot find Americans to fill — would pay $13.34 per hour. The servers would be paid $11.88 per hour, and the housekeepers $10.33 per hour. No one from the White House, the Trump Organization, Mar-A-Lago, or the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter immediately responded to a request for comment Thursday.”

Without benefits and protections.

4. “Since 2003, more than 100,000 foreigners have been brought in under the H-2A and H-2B programs each year.”

5. “Last year, a special envoy from the United Nations said the federal guest worker program puts workers at risk of exploitation and even trafficking. A 2015 BuzzFeed News investigation found that H-2 workers were often exploited, and sometimes raped or beaten.”

6. “BuzzFeed News also found that many Americans were denied jobs in favor of guest workers. Trump companies have not been accused of abusing H-2 workers. The Trump administration’s expansion of the H-2B program, billed as a “one-time increase,” raises the quota for this fiscal year, which ends in September, from 66,000 to 81,000 visas.”

*Presidential Privilege* :

***”Trump companies have not been accused of abusing H-2 workers.”***
This does not mean they haven’t been abused.

He said, on the campaign trail and in 60 minutes interviews and other “news” outlets, that he’d give Americans 100%-covered healthcare.  That he’d give them jobs.  He LIED.

The Evil That Men Do

The Guardian:  “How Trump signed a global death warrant for women.”

What is the Global Gag Rule?  The rule, otherwise known as the Mexico City policy, requires NGOs to certify that they will not perform or promote abortions anywhere in the world as a condition for receiving US family planning funds. Every Republican president since 1985 has implemented it. But Donald Trump has adopted a stringent version of the rule, under which NGOs that refuse to sign will be refused all health assistance, including for HIV, primary care, nutrition, tuberculosis and malaria programs. As much as $8bn in US funding could be affected – money that developing world health budgets can ill afford to do without.

 

Look at those callous, malicious faces in the picture from the article. You see, *this* is why each one of them deserves punishment. Whatever manner that takes, I’m good. Do evil, it will visit you in return.

Harsh

Examine the Phrase:

“I’ve had a long day.”

It is a phrase that generally means that someone’s had a stressful day. It can be as mild as being bored to death all day, having a very tedious job, or can be as harsh as having suffered an extremely stressful day, either by pain, weariness, or as an abusive day suffered at the hands of friends, foes, strangers, co-workers, or family. It also depends on how one says it that denotes said types of day.

So a few days ago (and I’m just getting over the mad about it so I’m safe to recount), I ended a friendship of a family member over that phrase. It was me saying it. Bad back and spasm day.

Family member: “How are you doing?”
Me: “I’ve had a long day.”
Family member: “It’s a day, no longer or shorter than any other day.”

I was rather taken aback. The indifference. If you don’t want to know, why ask? Well, because it’s habit and many times, the questioner doesn’t really want a thought-out answer or doesn’t care about hearing it. So often we say, “How’re you?” and the response to and from us is “Fine, how’re you?” Normal pleasantry, ya know? Means nothing offensive. But from a family member or friend? No, uh huh. Not having it.

After a stunned fifteen seconds of silence during which they said nothing, I said, “We’re done. Don’t call again.” And I hung up. Because I’m not having it. Not from family. Not from a friend. Can’t be bothered to give a shit? Buh-bye.

Our Government Threatens Our Existence

Our own government is filled with corrupt bastards who jerk each other off as well as other nations’ corrupt bastards.  It seems to be their only aim, fueled by greed and a neurotic desire to control.

The only way to get rid of it all is to bring it all down and start over–and this time, learn from the past.  I’m not advocating any sort of violent coup.  I’m advocating that we try to root it out from within, not a baby/bathwater/antibiotic(kill healthy microbes/bacteria/tissue with the bad) approach.  In the meantime, they’ll bring it down for us.

While that’s being done, hunker down and prepare for disaster, assuming you live long enough to see it happen and survive the fallout.  These governments, like that of ancient Rome, will fall under the weight of their own corrupt flesh.  It’s inevitable and the corrupt leaders and the corporations who tell them what to do all *know* it and don’t care.  They’re taking whatever they can while they can and to hell with the rest of us.