Who Do You Follow?

The former Bohemian individuality of the United States that existed during the Obama presidency has been replaced by a blind, ignorant loyalty to political factions. For instance, conservatives rarely acknowledge climate change as an issue, and liberals rarely acknowledge the existence of radicalized Islamic terrorism – instead of taking the time to form their own opinions regarding certain subjects, people are blindly conforming their beliefs to agree with those of party leaders. These people quickly rally to support their respective party’s hierarchy when turmoil arises. Is this merely being caused by social angst (fear of missing out on the conversation), or by a greater force?

How could we have become so submissive?

The answer is the rising phenomenon known as cultism.cultism

I’m not speaking of cults in the manner the word’s connotation might suggest (devil-worship, the Manson Family, etc). I’m speaking of a new type of cultism that has leaked into our society through thought reform. Thought reform is an umbrella term for “any number of manipulative techniques used to convince people to conform to certain beliefs”.

The concept of thought reform itself is subject to wariness amongst some experts — they argue it’s merely propaganda designed to scare people away from new forms of religion or political movements.  But most psychologists believe that cult brainwashing techniques are similar to thought reform because of their comparable methodology. In a study of past American wartime propaganda, Noam Chomsky (deemed to be the father of modern linguistics), clarifies just what can cause cultist movements:

“For those who seek freedom around the world, there can be no more urgent task to come to understand than the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination (thought reform)… in the propaganda system to which we are subjected to, we all too often serve as unwilling or unwitting instruments.”

We, as in you, and I…

…and Democrats…

…and Trump supporters.

The Republican party has undergone a clear transformation in the wake of the Trump administration’s agenda. Traditionally Republicans have favored immigration. Both President Ronald Reagan and President George W Bush extended amnesty to millions of undocumented workers while in office.

Conversely, President Trump’s views are some of the most extreme in American politics. He has gone on record claiming he will:

  • deport nearly 11 million undocumented workers
  • build a border wall (estimated to cost 67 billion USD) between the US and Mexico
  • force Mexico to pay for the wall by threatening to ban Mexicans in the US from sending remittances home
  • bar immigration from specific predominantly Muslim countries

trump border

This sudden change in Republican policy did not create turmoil between conservatives and tea partyists… ironically, it  brought them together. Whilst Democratic voters evolved into the oversensitive, submissive softbodies they are today, modern conservatives underwent thought reformation to become the expanding cultist group we know as Trumpsters.

In no way is this a surprising change; Democrats fueled the fire by giving Trump what seemed to be a 24 hour live feed of their attention. Furthermore, Trump was depicted by conservative media as the perfect candidate to revive a struggling Republican party. ‘An advocate for change’; ‘the savior of the middle class’; ‘a shining figure of fame and fortune,  descended from his gilded tower to rain hellfire upon liberals far and wide’. No matter what Trump has done or will do, his supporters continuously scramble about to justify his actions. The policy he pushes isn’t subject to debate. It is taboo to question whether he is right or wrong.

Sounds like one big ol’ cult to me.

trump as god figure


What are my beliefs?

Am I standing for my beliefs?

Am I a hypocrite?

The sole weapon to combat thought reform is questioning. I encourage you to do so.

















Academic Writing is Bullshit.

As well esteemed members of the scholarly community add more and more research to the bottomless vortex of databases and indexes that exists within academia, less and less people actually read their work. And they shouldn’t be blamed for it.

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

– Benjamin Franklin

Academic writing is bullshit.

As well esteemed members of the scholarly community add more and more research to the bottomless vortex of databases and indexes that exists within academia, less and less people actually read their work. And they shouldn’t be blamed for it.

The tone of academic writing is one of cold intelligence; there is no room made for clever wordplay nor delicious lightheartedness. There is only room for intellectual jargon that is, at its core, FUCKING BORING. Take, for example, this section from “Exploring the Politics of Minimum Wage”, by Oren Levin-Waldman:

“I have organized this paper as follows: I first examine the competing models and the ideological implications that flow from each. From there I explore why it is that one particular model has become the political focus of the debate at the expense of others. What I hope to show is that because good data on the minimum wage have been so lacking, the issue has been ripe for political manipulation… The final section of the paper examines the voting patterns of members of Congress.”

Still awake? Here, Waldman’s writing is academic in tone, and therefore incapable of being “creative” in many ways. It lacks any sort of originality or creativity. Waldman managed to fall short on already short expectations, and penned an anomaly that is as frustrating as it is boring. Here is how I read the section:

I have organized this paper as follows: I first examine the…*jargon*…from there I explore why…*jargon*…what I hope to show you is that…*jargon*…the final section of the paper examines…*jargon*

This guy managed to make an essay with a title like “Exploring the Politics of Minimum Wage” not only boring, but disappointing. Not disappointing like when your shitty $5.99 cup of Starbucks goes cold, but disappointing like when you catch your only child torturing forest critters in the backyard and you think to yourself  “Gee, I raised a psychopath”.


What must be taken into account by the academic community is the level of literacy and intelligence of the ‘ordinary’. The language used in nearly all academic writing is unable to be interpreted by the average person. This is why tweets, stories, and entertainment are so popular; they are easy and fun to delve into. There is no annotating or third party required by these mediums; it’s just you and the work. Widely regarded as the most popular book of all time with over 500 million sold copies, Don Quixote de La Mancha by Miguel Cervantes has stood the test of time. Why is this? Because it’s approachable. Even for a piece nearly five centuries old, it’s remarkably readable:

“At this point they came in sight of thirty forty windmills that there are on plain, and as soon as Don Quixote saw them he said to his squire, “Fortune is arranging matters for us better than we could have shaped our desires ourselves, for look there, friend Sancho Panza, where thirty or more monstrous giants present themselves, all of whom I mean to engage in battle and slay, and with whose spoils we shall begin to make our fortunes; for this is righteous warfare, and it is God’s good service to sweep so evil a breed from off the face of the earth.”

“What giants?” said Sancho Panza.”

The simplicity of the writing has led this novel to become possibly the bestselling piece of literature ever created. It is in the hands of more people than perhaps even the Bible. Meanwhile, an esteemed academic source could garner a few mere thousand reads. It’s time for the academic community to stomach their pride, and realize that the only way to broaden their reach is through a reformation of their tone and style.