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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Timmy's down the bloody well!"
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September 23 2016

Joss Whedon will be doing a Facebook Live Q&A today. It will be about his recent Save The Day endeavour and should start at 14:30 EST. ETA: Joss' Q&A can be found here.

I hope he knows the majority of questions won't be about that at all :)
And not the tone of questions he's hoping for. He won't get a chance. Oh Joss, maybe you are doing this because you are writing something? Need to have the experience?

I have no faith in social media anymore.
I am very curious about his seemingly wholehearted endorsement of Hillary Clinton. I am going to ask about that.
Well, based on the comments on FB maybe this wasn't such a good idea... but, uh, I actually just saw someone tell him to shut up because he doesn't "pay him" for his political views. Uh, buddy, you didn't pay for the video so you don't get to tell someone not to make it. WTF?

So... example: I work at a car dealership. Pretty sure some of me fellow coworkers have personal Facebook pages. If they post something political, or spent their own money to make a poster, video, or t-shirts to give out, none of their customers get to tell them to knock it off because they only pay them to sell cars, not for their views. They don't pay them anything! Their employer pays them, the customer voluntarily gives them money for a certain item in return. In this example a car. In the example with Joss it'd be a movie ticket or maybe a comic book. You don't own that person or control of their right to do what they want with the money they make off the selling/making of whatever it is you bought. I'm not crazy to think so, right? (I'd say that over there but can't log into FB right at the moment and I had to say it or I'd pop.) (Sorry.)
OTOH, those hateful comments are not from the people Joss was targeting. He wants to reach those who think they don't need to vote because Trump can't possibly win, those who want to vote for a third candidate, or those who think their vote is useless. To reach those people you have to ignore the hate you get from Trump's supporters.
He said that voting for a third party was compliance with the system that you're protesting against. Okay. So once you've voted for Hillary, how do you make radical changes? Say you want universal basic income, paid maternity leave (bizarrely the only countries without are Swaziland, Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and USA) or whatever else, but voting in general elections isn't the way to get them - then how?
Maybe the burden of figuring how doesn't rest on Joss' shoulders ;) He's just saying that you don't change the system by voting for someone who can't win.
I'm saying it's not much of a message of hope.
I don't have much hope in voting either. I don't think it's overly useful, except when people like Trump appear and it becomes necessary. My personal opinion is that you change the world by changing it yourself. People who disagree with the economy have developed local currencies that work surprisingly well, for example. It doesn't necessarily take a lot of work to become invested in that kind of stuff.

OTOH there are other issues that you can't address without getting political, like human rights.
Say you want universal basic income, paid maternity leave (bizarrely the only countries without are Swaziland, Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and USA) or whatever else, but voting in general elections isn't the way to get them - then how?


You get them by building coalitions of voters who support those issues, who in turn elect politicians to represent their views in the legislative process. Twenty years ago marriage equality would have looked far more pie-in-the-sky than the proposals you've outlined above. It happened because people kept pushing the ball down the field until, eventually, enough people changed their minds on the issue that it became a reality. Significantly, it DIDN'T happen by refusing to vote for anyone as president until one came along who said "I support marriage equality."

Presidents aren't kings. They don't get to implement whatever laws they happen to like the sound of. If you want to see major policy developments of any kind occur then you need to be out there organizing protest marches and letter-writing campaigns to congress and writing op-eds and all that other hard stuff that slowly moves the ball down the field until, ultimately, what had seemed unimaginable becomes "obvious." In the meantime, you vote for the people who are at least moving in the right direction and are most likely to be open to persuasion for the cause you support. Do you think marriage equality would have made the same gains under a President Romney as they did under President Obama? Obama didn't come out in favor of marriage equality during the campaign, though.

Oh, and if you think paid maternity leave is something so wildly radical that there's no one to cast your vote for who supports it, you might want to have a look at Hillary Clinton's policy proposals.
Say you want universal basic income, paid maternity leave (bizarrely the only countries without are Swaziland, Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and USA) or whatever else, but voting in general elections isn't the way to get them - then how?

I thought this was his best answer, actually. The point is that no third party is going to be successful by popping up four months before the election. It just won't work. But build a party, or join a third party, after this election, and vote people to mayor, to city council, to your state legislature -- plant the seeds. It won't happen by the 2020 election, and probably not the 2024 election, but political change is slow, long-term work.

And in the short term: grind away at your president, even if you voted for his/her. The day s/he's in office, complain, be angry, be loud. Make it clear s/he doesn't get term 2 just because s/he got term 1, unless s/he's willing to follow through and advance on his/her agenda.
When I watched Joss on Facebook, I fell in love with him all over again. I hope there's a transcript. As Yoink noted, Hillary has supported paid family leave for quite a while. It has a better chance if we could get a Dem House.
I'm with Bunnies on this.

I'm a fan of Joss's writing and directing. I love Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, and all his movies. I like AOS.

I just don't agree with him about this election. I don't hate him over it, but I do think less of him now. We are faced with a dreadful choice to have to make, and many well-meaning people think his way is the way to go.

I just don't want to vote for anyone who is likely to send my son and daughter to kill other people's children in a part of the world most Americans can't identify on a map.

My vote will go to the Presidential candidate who goes on site to stand with the Native American nations protesting the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. Only one has shown up.
Trump will win. He will nominate one, maybe more, supreme court justices for lifetime appointments: Gay rights, immigrant rights, and women's rights will be set back decades. Corporations will have even more power. Trump's relationship with the rest of the world will be chaotic at best. Climate change will pass its tipping point. I'll get to feel good because I didn't vote for Hillary.

Note: I'm not going to vote for Hillary. I don't live in a swing state. If I did, I wouldn't hesitate to vote for her when the time came. This is a fight we have to win if we want a chance at keeping a habitable planet. It really is that simple.

[ edited by Wesbi on 2016-09-24 04:57 ]

[ edited by Wesbi on 2016-09-24 05:03 ]
I thought he did great with the Q&A, I agree with his points - not the time for a protest vote = and to people complaining about "celebrities" telling us how to vote, I'd just like to remind everyone that one *candidate* is primarily known to the public for a TV show literally called "Celebrity Apprentice."
I just don't want to vote for anyone who is likely to send my son and daughter to kill other people's children in a part of the world most Americans can't identify on a map.


I thought that was, like, a job requirement for a US president.

[ edited by bivith on 2016-09-24 19:25 ]
I don't live in a swing state, either, Wesbi. If I did, I might have to medicate myself to vote. My vote, however, is not a protest vote. I am voting for the candidate who best reflects my priorities and values. I voted for her in 2012. Plan A was to vote for her in 2016. Then Bernie Sanders took the country by storm, so Plan B was to vote for him. Now that he's out of the race, I go back to Plan A. There was never going to be a Plan C or Plan T.

@bivith: LOL!

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2016-09-24 23:59 ]
Nebula, do you think Hillary is going to start drafting people to go to war? Otherwise, young people can choose for themselves if they want to join the military. If Trump is president, young people may still die in foreign wars, but they also are more likely to die of other causes that Hillary might have prevented. For example, I volunteer on behalf of people with sarcoma, which accounts for 20% of the cancer in children and young adults. "Obamacare" let young people up to age 26 stay on their parents' insurance. This has been huge for young adults with cancer and other major illnesses. Trump wants to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Women are much more likely to die in childbirth than because of abortion, and preventing unwanted pregnancies is the best option of all. Trump will fight against abortion and Planned Parenthood. I could go on, but you get the idea. Although you don't live in a swing state, you influence others with your opinion. I live in Tampa, in what the New York Times calls the epicenter of swing voting. The national conversation matters, and I expect Trump will win because of the leftists who are OK with other people suffering and dying as long as they can retain their purity.
Well said Suzie.
The Democrats picked 55/45 Clinton/Trump over 70/30 Sanders/Trump, because her experience in Washington combined with modestly good policies was expected to be the most effective combination. If Trump wins you can't blame voters - we had a good idea of the odds going in.
I understand voting for the person who most reflects my views. I used to do it all the time. And then I noticed that yes, my vote sometimes put into office the candidate who most did NOT reflect my views. And now I vote for the person who is closest and likely to win. I like Joss's emphasis on voting locally as well. It is not just about the head of state.
70/30 Sanders/Trump, because her experience in Washington combined with modestly good policies was expected to be the most effective combination.

This gets thrown around a lot, but this was 70/30 Sanders/Trump with almost zero negative press on Sanders. Clinton barely attacked him because she needed his strong and vocal base, and Trump barely attacked him because he believed it would've been fantastic for him to go up against Sanders, a self-proclaimed Socialist. (yes, democratic socialist--I do not believe the electorate would've differentiated)

Sanders maybe would've defeated Trump handily, maybe not -- we'll never know. But it's misleading to compare polls between a candidate against whom the GOP machine was working full force, and one that was being largely ignored by it.
There was plenty of attempts at negative press on Sanders, but voters did not buy into it. It was impossible for the press to dirty his reputation, because he's an honest person. That's a very rare thing in politics. The numbers that got thrown around showing Bernie winning in a landslide came from 12 non-internet, established polling firms.

This is the bottom line. I can never, ever reward the rigging of the primaries with my vote for the rigger. It would mean I'm okay with it, and I'm not. If Trump wins, it won't be my fault. It will be the fault of those who rigged the primaries to favor a candidate who might well lose to him, over someone who was polling as beating him in a landslide.

I used to vote for the "lesser of two evils," and found that all I was doing was being an enabler for corrupt politicians. I voted for people who ultimately voted to send people to other parts of the world to kill and die for corporate profits. I won't do that anymore.

There are lots of comments that people put out there (including by me)that could be addressed, but maybe we can take that off this board somewhere (though I don't know where), rather than tear up Whedonesque over them.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2016-09-25 08:06 ]
I liked what Joss had to say about the importance of voting NOW, and then the day after the election starting to work toward what we need/want so that by the next election, the infrastructure (be it a viable 3rd party or whatever) for making it happen will be ready.
First, I was a bit disappointed by the questions they picked. Which Avenger should be president? Please. And when they picked a politically related question, they picked one that was like "They are both idiots".

I don't think Hillary Clinton is an idiot. I think she is very smart. I don't like her not because she is ambitious, strong and endured sexism and republican vitriol for so many years. Those are the things I like about her. I don't like her because she promoted fraking around the world. I don't like her because she wasn't for gay marriage until 2013 when it was politically convenient. I don't like her because she is FOR the death penalty. I don't like her because she is so close to lobbyists and Wall Street that she has no interest in regulating the banks and addressing the roots of income inequality. I don't like her because she is one of the biggest benefactors of money in politics and has no interest in stopping it.

Some people, like Joss, seem to think Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are cut from the same cloth, are fighting for the same things and that for some reason she will be a better president. Those people are wrong and are the reason the world will suffer for the next 4 or 8 years. Hillary Clinton is not a liberal or progressive. Worst of all, she is a hawk and the embodiment of American imperialism that puts the whole world in danger. Watch this.

Unfortunately, she's still better than Trump so if you live in a swing state, please vote for the lesser of two evils, because one is still less evil than the other.

I know this is not Whedonesque talk. If we take this off the board, it would be nice to have a place for healthy political discourse with fellow Whedonites now than Joss is so involved in it.
Well said Ricardo. I've seen David Simon (The Wire) show an understanding, but almost every other TV writer who I respect, including Joss, is managing to appear astonishingly hubristic on this election. Like really, really offensively so. The status quo is NOT OKAY. Do people really think that Hillary is the solution to fascism and not just a reason for the next Hitler to be more charismatic than Trump? We had Bernie Sanders, a guy taking many of the same footsteps as Jesus, someone who was campaigning for civil rights while Hillary was campaigning for Goldwater, but don't be silly kids - politics needs snakes and our snake is a smart one! Are you kidding me? No acknowledgement from Joss that this is much darker than any season of Angel, just a glib, condescending message "Do this now, we'll talk about issues later."

I get that for ordinary people it's a simple choice, motivated by fear. I suppose I expect people who create worlds I enjoy to have more vision. Like I expect presidents to have vision.
"The status quo is NOT OKAY." True. But voting or not voting (at least when it comes to the presidency) will have no affect on the status quo.

Even if the turnout is cut in half (from an already low turnout), the winner still wins. Not voting has no chance of fixing the status quo in any way. Not voting is a vote for Trump because a low general turnout works in his favor.

Joss isn't saying that we shouldn't change the status quo. He is saying, to make real change, it takes more than not voting for Hillary. Bernie knows this. That's why he thinks we should vote for Hillary, while we vote for true progressives lower on the ballot. We have to stop Trump and change government on a grassroots level. That is the only option we have at the moment.

Hillary isn't going to save us, but her presidency might allow us enough time and space to save ourselves. With Trump, it will just be us fighting to keep the rights and social services we currently have. And most likely, we would lose those fights.
"He is saying, to make real change, it takes more than not voting for Hillary."

When he should be saying that to make real change it takes more than voting for Hillary. That's the conversation you have with people you respect, rather than the one you have with people you're talking down to.
I love the people here! 💚
Bunnies, Joss did talk about doing more than voting for Hillary. He talked about starting early and creating a real alternative. Now it's too late. Sadly Bernie lost (for even sadder reasons). Our choice is letting Trump win, or saving the day.

Get ready; I'm going to talk down to you now and say, Vote for Hillary. For the love of God, vote for Hillary. It's what I strongly believe. Now, as the second video demonstrated, this election is about more than Hillary or Trump. There is real change happening thanks to Bernie and others, in various measures and races across the country. But people have to vote and get involved, or none of that hard work will pay off.

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