Some hacks over at The Nation seem to insinuate that I’m astroturf paid for by the disgustingly rich Koch brothers. The Nation is a national news magazine. It was originally founded as an abolitionist rag but has since lost its way. I’m a modern-day abolitionist (of state slavery and such), yet it ran an article smearing me. I’m not sure what exactly I did to earn this smear but so be it.
Anyway, I am not part of the Kochtopus. I have worked as a newspaper delivery boy, busboy, salesman, got a financial aid job in the chemistry department in college, recycled junk for a few months after college, endured a year of investment banking, drove a Chicago cab for two and a half years, taught English as a Foreign Language in Asia and South America and founded four IT businesses, none of which have even had a Koch-related client to the best of my knowledge.
It’s a little ironic to be accused of astroturfing after having written an article critical of corporate astroturfing. I’m increasingly moving towards mutualism, a type of left anarchism. I haven’t qualified as an anarcho-capitalist for some time now. I haven’t been in the Libertarian Party for almost two years. I haven’t been a Republican for 20 years. When I did vote for president, I voted for Ross Perot.
I despise people who sell out their principles for money. People like Sanjay Gupta and apparently Eric Odom. I live for movies where the hero goes down in flames instead of sell out. I cringe when the innocent hero admits guilt in order to escape being burned at the stake (e.g., in Joan of Arc). I enjoy money as much as the next guy but I seriously doubt I could sell out. If I was going to, I would not support replacement of government dweebs with corporate goofs. It’s the same thing.
Jim and I launched We Won’t Fly with $36 bucks for the domain, a lot of time on my part, a lot of time on Jim’s part, some IT resources I already had (paid for out of my pocket and not costing much) and, finally, $775 we raised from 34 close friends to pay for press release distribution. Jim had out-of-pocket expenses for flyers, gas and other miscellanea. We have also raised $1,230 to date for marketing expenses from 41 contributors (probably hasn’t even been spent yet). So, it’s not a lot of money and we’re sourcing it from a significant number of supporters. It’s about $25 per donor.
I’m not going to link to the article that smears me. It’s just not worth it. For anyone who had any doubts about my status, I just wanted to make it clear so as to remove even a shred of doubt. I have nothing to do with the Koch people or any of their think tanks and institutes. And I have no interest in being associated with them. Frankly, I doubt they want to associate themselves with someone who doesn’t bow to law enforcement goons anyway.
6 replies on “I am not a Kochtopus”
Sometime in the last year, I tweeted something about how Rickrolling was passe, old meme, played out, etc. An acquaintance, who happened to be a journalism major, tweeted me back asking “doesn’t anyone Rickroll anymore?” Flash forward a few months to the beginning of this past summer. He had scored a job at one of the local newspapers, and was writing a piece on gay hipsters. I knew this because he put out a call on both Facebook and Twitter, asking for people to tell him where gay hipsters hang out.
This guy was basically the straw that broke my back re: the mainstream media. This kid is a nice guy and all, but I think there is a problem when I’m tempted to post Let Me Google That For You links on “news” articles. I’m growing increasingly frustrated with the intellectual laziness on various internet forums and in academia. It seems like there’s a huge bleed over effect into the mainstream media; I’ll be the first to say that the MSM has never been great, but I think it’s getting even worse than when I was a kid.
When college students are substituting surveymonkey.com for proper surveying methodology or can’t be bothered to use Google to get a base understanding of the topics they’re discussing, it’s not a huge shocker to me that “articles” like the piece from The Nation are passing for hard-hitting journalism.
In the grand scheme of things, is it a big deal that my college acquaintance didn’t know that Rickrolling was a dead fad or where all the gay hipsters hang out in Philly? No, of course not, but it is a problem when a 31 year old woman is more cutting edge and has more intellectual curiosity than a 22 year old member of the media. There’s something terribly sad about that.
“I cringe when the innocent hero admits guilt in order to escape being burned at the stake (e.g., in Joan of Arc).”
e.g. George Donnelly a few months ago.
Guilty as charged. But since I wasn’t facing the punishment of being burned at the stake and my finances were in a precarious state I stand by my decision to take the plea deal 100%. I wish I could have avoided it but they caught me at a very vulnerable moment.
We were scheduled to move just 8 days after I was arrested, so every day I was there was another day I had to beg the landlord, not to mention pay him with money I had budgeted for other things. We were due to move to New Hampshire and live in situation where there was no rent to be paid.
But I did not sell out my principles. I affirmed them. Because my first principle is to remain alive and as free as possible in order to fight another day.