What Joker Says About Us

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a worldwide revolution going on, from Puerto Rico to Hong Kong to Ecuador to Haiti to Lebanon to Iraq to Chile. The lower classes are fed up with austerity and corruption and are taking to the streets in protest. Some have lost their lives in clashes with police. The unrest appears to be spreading.

Meanwhile, here in the United States, relative calm prevails, so much so that legendary consumer advocate Ralph Nader recently wondered aloud why the millions of people burdened by student loan debt, the millions of people working minimum wage jobs and the millions of people without health insurance haven’t already taken to the streets in protest. How much more abuse can they handle before they finally act?

That’s basically the theme of Joker, the controversial blockbuster film directed by Todd Phillips and featuring Joaquin Phoenix as the latest celluloid incarnation of the DC Comics supervillain. Phoenix is phenomenal as Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill man in his late 30s living with his mother who through repeated failure, abuse and neglect is transformed into Joker, whose abusers “get what they fucking deserve.”

Phillips sets his anti-hero origin story in early 1980s Gotham city, a gritty, claustrophobic metropolis where Arthur, whose mental condition causes him to burst into laughter at inopportune moments, works as a clown for a company that hires him out to businesses and children’s parties. The film begins with Arthur in his clown get-up being beaten in an alley by a gang of youths with a sign he had been twirling in front of a liquidation sale.

Everything must go!

Arthur drags his battered body home to the squalid apartment he shares with his mother and escapes into his favorite fantasy, a black-and-white late-night TV talk show hosted by Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro). A fledgling stand-up comedian who also suffers from delusions, Arthur imagines he’s a guest on the show, and from his unreliable point of view, we literally see him on the set, chatting with Murray Franklin. It’s only a hallucination, but by the film’s end, Arthur’s dream ominously comes true.

Phoenix lost 50 pounds to play the role and throughout the film twists and contorts his emaciated frame as he dances to the music inside Arthur’s head, which includes Frank Sinatra’s “Send in the Clowns” and “That’s Life,” the latter of which serves as an inspirational anthem for the struggling would-be comic:

I said, that’s life (that’s life) and as funny as it may seem/ Some people get their kicks/
Stompin’ on a dream …”

Arthur returns to work after his beating, where he discovers the business wants to be reimbursed for the destroyed sign. A co-worker gives him a gun to defend himself, but the gun falls out during a visit to a children’s hospital and Arthur is fired. On the way home, Arthur is jumped on the subway by three drunken executive bros, employees of Thomas Wayne Enterprises (father of Bruce Wayne, aka, Batman).

The executive bros are on the verge of giving him a vicious beating when Arthur pulls the gun out and shoots two of them dead. He tracks the third one down and shoots him in the subway stairwell. Witnesses report seeing a clown fleeing the scene of the crime.

Overnight, the crime inspires a mass movement of people wearing clown masks and carrying signs like “kill the rich” to take to the grimy streets of Gotham. Wayne Enterprises and the rest of Gotham’s oligarchs haven’t been kicking in on the trickle-down, and a scary number of peasants are revolting. All they need is a leader.

That unlikely person turns out to be Arthur, but before becoming Joker, he must endure further torments. Gotham eliminates its mental health program, cutting off Arthur from his therapist and the seven prescription drugs he takes to remain remotely sane. He learns his mother had an affair with Thomas Wayne, making Arthur the half-brother of Bruce Wayne (who grows up to be Batman). His relationship with the girl down the hall turns out to be imaginary, and Arthur is the coiled spring in a Jack-in-the-Box, waiting to explode.

The final humiliation leads to his ultimate and triumphant transformation. Arthur debuts his stand-up act at an open-mic night, suffers stage fright, laughs spontaneously and stammers his way through a disastrous set. My favorite Arthur joke goes something like this: “When I was growing up, when I told people I was going to be a comedian, they laughed at me. Well, they’re not laughing now.” It’d be funny if Andy Kaufmann said it, but Arthur is no Andy Kaufmann.

Video of Arthur’s uncomfortable performance catches the attention of Murray Franklin, who invites Arthur on his TV show to poke further fun at him.

Arthur has other ideas. His transformation into Joker, much of it portrayed through the quirky rhythmic choreography of Phoenix’s scrawny limbs and extreme close-ups of the actor’s contorted, sunken-in facial expressions, is almost complete. By the time he begins applying the pancake make-up for his TV appearance, Arthur has become a dangerously insane individual, even though he claims he feels better being off the pills.

The film’s final act is frightening as Arthur hurtles toward his inevitable destiny. It’s also beautifully filmed as this modern day Raskolnikov, hair dyed green and in full clown regalia, descends the steep staircase from his apartment one last time, dancing to Gary Glitter’s “Rock & Roll Part 2” as he makes his way to the TV studio for his 15 minutes of fame.

There’s a moment where he pauses behind the curtain before coming on stage and sways to the big band intro music. It’s the song in his head that he’s been dancing to the whole time. He’s finally in sync with his insanity. The transformation is complete. When he steps through the curtain, he’s Joker.

No spoilers here but suffice to say Joker becomes the figurehead of what amounts to Gotham’s version of Occupy Wall Street or perhaps President Donald J. Trump’s anti-establishment “deplorables.” As Joker basks in the mob’s adulation, his eyes sparkle, and he repaints his broken-toothed smile with his own blood.

Like many landmark films, Joker has been both viciously panned and lavishly praised by film critics. Some critics claim the film might drive “incels,” misogynist millennial men who claim they can’t get a date because today’s women are too liberated, to commit violence. They may have a point, considering neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, rife with incel members, has enthusiastically endorsed the film.

Other critics have praised the film’s realism, which runs counter to most superhero/supervillain movies from the Marvel and DC Comics universes, which themselves have come under recent criticism for their formulaic construction.

I count myself in the latter group of critics. Joker may take place in a fictitious (but realistic) city in the 1980s, but the issues it confronts resonate with our own time. Joker himself is insane, but Arthur’s struggle, slaving away in a meaningless low-paying job, seeking companionship in a hostile and lonely world, having his dreams constantly stomped on, is universally human.

That’s what makes Joker a work of art, a status I don’t bequeath lightly. It’s managed to capture the zeitgeist of the nation.

Funny thing is, I left the theater with an empty feeling. We’ve got our own Joker in the White House whose followers are just as fanatical as the comic book character’s. Lately, this this orange-tinted clown has been suggesting a shooting civil war will break out if he’s impeached and removed from office or somehow fails to get reelected. Serious people think armed revolt is a very real possibility.

What’s it going to take to get people in the streets? Ralph Nader asks. Joker provides the answer: a crazy person.

It’s a conclusion that presently is difficult to dispute.

R.V. Scheide
R.V. Scheide has been a northern California journalist for more than 20 years. He appreciates your comments and story ideas. He can be emailed at RVScheide@anewscafe.com.
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47 Responses

  1. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    This sounds familiar to Robert DeNiro’s King Of Comedy where DeNiro wants a spot on Jerry Lewis’s comedy show. Great acting I’ll have to see Joker.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Bruce, Todd Phillips definitely pays homage to Martin Scorsese with references to “Taxi Driver” and the “The King of Comedy.” DeNiro is actually playing the reverse roll from King as the talk show host in Joker. Some critics say the homage was overdone, or not done enough. I thought it was just right.

      • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

        I think one of the most hilarious scenes in The King of Comedy was when Sarah Barnard, dressed only in her underwear, chased down the street after Jerry Lewis after his “escape”.

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          Another film Joker references is Network. Howard Beale’s “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” is Joker’s “You get what you fucking deserve.”

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      I haven’t read “The Rational Optimist,” but I’ve read all of Ridley’s books on evolution. I remember reading a review back when TRO came out and thinking that it might have missed some downsides to all that progress (e.g., intensification, early obsolescence, alienation, etc.)

      • Avatar Tim says:

        His point wasn’t that downsides don’t exist, but that it is very easy to overlook the progress society has made. For instance, today the poorest Americans are checking their EBT balances on smart phones and livestreaming their contacts with police. 10 years ago, only the wealthy or tech-obsessed had a smart phone and 30 years ago only the wealthy had a cell phone.

        1 device that holds an entire music collection, takes better photos than all but the best cameras 10 years ago, connects you to your friends, gives you directions, etc – an incredible step forward in mankind’s quality of life. And it was brought to you by one of the largest corporations in America…

        20 years ago AIDS was a death sentence, gays could not marry and could even be turned away from visiting their partner in a hospital.

        40 years ago a brand new car lacked airbags, antilock brakes, collision avoidance systems, and instead of a backup camera you were lucky to have a passenger-side mirror. It needed a tune-up every ~30,000 miles and had a hard time reaching 55mph by the end of an on-ramp.

        50 years ago a typical brand new house lacked air conditioning and a kitchen was considered loaded if it had a built-in microwave.

        80 years ago your life expectancy at birth was 63 years and the median household income was the equivalent of $17,500. Today life expectancy at birth is 79 years and the median household income is $62,000.

        • Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

          Excellent points Tim. There have been huge advances in health, safety and tecnology. I really believe that a lot of the technological advances put a bigger financial burben on the working poor. Whose kids needed graphing calculators , computer and internet service for school even 20 years ago?

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          All true, and yet many people feel like we’re sliding backwards. There’s a sense of hopeless existential dread in a lot of people—especially in young people.

          I suppose that dread springs forth from many sources—urban disconnectedness (since we increasingly live in cities), angst about environmental degradation, epidemic mass shootings, runaway federal debt, extreme and growing wealth disparity, the weight of student loan debt, the seemingly inevitable rise of China to #1, extreme and growing political division….

          Many young people are taking refuge in religious fundamentalism—pat answers and unblinking faith. For others, the growth of that worldview just another log stoking the fire.

          • Avatar Tim says:

            Aside from nostalgia’s perversion of history, I think a large part of that backsliding feeling originates from how close technology has brought us and the representativeness distortions it provides.

            When your facebook feed shows you a video of a Transgender person getting assaulted 2000 miles away in Texas, it feels as close to home as if 30 years ago you read in the newspaper that a transgender person was assaulted outside the Cascade Theater the night before. The country feels smaller when almost all 330 million people in the US can instantly share, in the most visceral way, extreme events. And social media algorithms latch on to those events that draw you in to keep you engaged longer to learn more about you and sell more advertising.

            Those extreme events tend to be either negative “disaster porn” or jealousy-inducing snapshots of the very best moments in our friends’ lives. You don’t see Martha from accounting working & saving for 2 years, you only see her on that extraordinary vacation to someplace you’ll probably never go. And you see this over and over and begin to feel like everyone elses’ lives are so much better than yours… its not fair!

        • R.V. R.V. says:

          Wow Tim. You voted for Nader too? Cause all those automobile safety features you’re touting were expedited by Ralph.

          Thought experiment: Has the fact that one can watch TV on their phone even while living in a tent increased homelessness by making it more tolerable?

          • Avatar Tim says:

            Had they not been implemented, the price of cars would have been so much less. For example, in 2003 you could still buy an original 1939-looking air cooled VW bug – new – in Mexico for ~$6,500 while the cheapest car that passed US regulations was the ~$10,000 Kia Rio.

            The point is, over time material things generally get better or cheaper — or both — improving the standard of living for everyone (just doing so inequally).

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Ralph probably already read it.

  2. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    Stop me if I’ve told this one before.

    The band Cracker has a song called “Hey Brett, you know what time it is?” The song is in the voice of a working-class guy from California’s Central Valley who has had enough of many of the same issues that are bugging Arthur Fleck. The song’s title is also the chorus, and it doesn’t make much sense until you hear the explanation from the songwriter, David Lowery.

    “We were on tour with Built to spill in September of 2006 or 2007. This was our second tour with them and we had become pretty familiar with everyone in the band. So one day guitarist Brett Netson walks casually into our dressing room. He was staring at his cell phone. He doesn’t look up, he just says “Will we know when it’s time to start dragging the rich and the powerful from their cars? And one of us quickly replies, “Yeah, you’ll get a text from one of us.”

    So the song’s chorus is the text.

    The irony is that guys like the guy in the song put the orange-faced billionaire joker in the White House and are getting chumped by him every day.


    Side notes: Cracker played the song when they did a show at Vintage, of all places (I’d never seen them in a venue anywhere close to that small before). A brewery in Virginia named one of their lagers after the song.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Trump says the right things to the lower classes, even though he rarely follows through. He’s convinced them he’s one of them, despite all evidence to the contrary.

  3. Avatar George says:

    One of your best RV!

    It seems to me that in the USA, decorum trumps visible protest and that should not be. Street protests are needed but we have no desire to be seen as, or equated with, rowdy third world types. Afterall, we are the civilized ones right?

    Another consideration is that we do not have the staying power and conviction, of say, Hong Kong. We make a fleeting objection and then go home to our couch and tv dinners. Then we forget but at least we have keyboards right?

    • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

      This is a very powerfully written – and disturbing – article. And I agree with George – it’s one of R.V.’s best (which is a pretty high bar).

      Never in my 81 years has a president of the United States incited his followers to commit violent mayhem if he is impeached or defeated. What makes this even more frightening is that Trump’s support base contains what is probably 99 percent of the armed crazies in the country, and quite a few who (in my opinion) are armed, prone to violence, and just plain evil.

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        But yet, Patrecia…you continue to excuse left wing violence. You blame an 80 year old woman in a walker for being verbally attacked and harassed by a young leftist. You blame a journalist for being attacked and receiving brain damage. There have been multiple attacks on Trump supporters wearing MAGA hats. You had the gall to say that the reason the shooter shot and almost killed Rep Scalise at the baseball field was because ‘Trump drove him to do it”.
        While I can easily condemn far right wing violence, you continue to justify left wing violence. So tell me Patrecia, do people that wear MAGA hats deserve to be attacked and beat up? Is that ok with you in your world? Do little old ladies shuffling along in a walker deserve to be attacked and called Nazi scum? Do conservatives deserve to be attacked for wanting to hear a conservative speaker on a college campus?

        • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

          Doug Cook,

          There’s so much wrong with your comment that I hardly know where to begin.

          First of all, that “80 year old woman” with her walker was a set-up. She approached people demonstrating against a Canadian alt-right political candidate and began shoving her walker into the legs of a demonstrator – undoubtedly to goad him into some kind of violence (he didn’t bite). Then of course she was immediately seen in various places on YouTube describing her “ordeal”. In addition, the same chant could be heard all over the demonstration – it wasn’t directed at her.

          I just read an article to the effect that (according to FBI stats) hate crimes surged immediately after Trump took office (remember when the violence by Trump supporters became so overwhelming that he was forced to finally say “Stop it”?), and that those crimes are still being committed at the same high levels. And as far as I can determine it isn’t “leftists” attacking hate hat wearers.

          Some teen-age thug sitting in a restaurant in the middle of the night joking about how he’d like to hang Black people from every tree (and yes – the witnesses were finally confirmed) having the hate hat pulled off of his head, or two drunks in a bar getting into a fight (when the hate hat wearer happened to get the worst of the deal) doesn’t even BEGIN to compare to the multiple murders, numerous violent attacks with serious injuries, or the countless other acts of violence, harassment, and intimidation committed by Trump supporters based solely on the victims race, nationality, religion, gender, etc.

          Finally, I never said “Trump drove him to do it”.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Let’s go to the video Patrecia and see what really happened. An elderly couple in the crosswalk trying to get to the other side while leftists punks are yelling in her face, “…Nazi scum, off our streets.” You believe she ‘shoved’ her walker at these punks? What was their crime? They wanted to go to a political panel discussion.. But of course, you have a problem with free speech, you are more than willing to ban conservative speakers. Once again…you are quite willing to justify left wing violence. I can join you on condemning right wing violence, it is wrong no matter what side it is. And yes, you most certainly did say that Trump drove the shooter to act. I remember it clearly.

          • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

            And BTW Doug – I’ve never heard you condemn right-wing violence. You’ve tried to pretend it doesn’t exist, or that it’s all made-up, or when the evidence is overwhelming you just move on to the next subject without comment.

            Also, calling these people “conservative speakers” is a joke. The vast majority of students don’t want hate-mongers on campus inciting violence and prejudice. They have every right to protest speakers who hold up pictures of actual students taken in secret to make them objects of hatred and contempt, or who have built careers on the claim that white men are intellectually and morally superior to minorities and women, or the leaders of Nazi/white supremacists groups, etc. Minority, gay, and female students have the right to be safe on campus, and free of harassment.


          • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:


            Posting your right-wing propaganda video (again) changed nothing. It’s the same man and woman walking up to a group of protestors and obviously engaging in an argument, while she repeatedly rams her walker into the guy’s legs. It’s telling that whoever filmed that staged incident didn’t give us any audio as to what the couple was yelling.

            And this is not “violence”. Real violence has been directed against the people who’ve been run over with vehicles, stabbed, shot, beaten with metal pipes, pushed down flights of stairs, etc. etc. etc. by Trump supporters.

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          Thanks for padding my comment count.

        • Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

          Just one comment. It was only after Trump’s rallys that the incidences of harrassment of color increased. Friends of mine, whose families have been in this country for decades were insulted by racist comments while they were shopping. There is a segment of our population who imagined that the Donald Trump’s speeches were a green light to bring out the hate hidden in their own family closets. Racist comments were voiced at a local sports events by young people who don’t know better. A lot of people got the message that it was gloves off.

      • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

        Thank you Patrecia.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Thank you George.

  4. Avatar Robert V. Scheide SR. says:

    Don’t let Trump watch the Joker, he might pick up a few new ideas.
    The talk of a civil war are all over the net.

    Actions from Trumps army indicate they are as crazy as he is. One can only hope they also as a bully does runs away from the fight.

    Are we ready for another brother fighting brother war. It would mean you would have to put your cell phone down and pick up you gun, you can’t do both.

    My opinion this all started when Regan discovered the fundamental Christians and rode them to victory. Since then they have picked up White Nationalists, Nazi’s,Remains of the
    Tea Party,Fundamental Christians,Nationalists, Antisemitic, and other selected nut jobs make up the army.

    It does’t seem to sink in to the Trumpies that he makes a lot of promise much but has delivered nothing.

    His supporters sit around playing with their phones or watching reality TV, waiting anxiously for the end times. The last big disappointment.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      That’s a pretty good round-up of the various parties that comprise Trump’s base, Dad. Trump’s anti-Semite supporters are already trying to make waves this election by attacking Trump’s Jewish supporters.

  5. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    My only small quibble with “Joker”: I think the movie could have left out all nods to Batman…especially young Bruce Wayne seeing his parents killed in the alley. The movie stands on its own.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      They could have made it Wayne Enterprises and skipped the scene with young Bruce, I agree.

    • Avatar Tim says:

      The possibility of Joker being batman’s half brother was the only interesting part of this movie, aside from Phoenix’s committed acting. Otherwise the movie was filled with flat characters, tired tropes, and moved at a glacial pace.

      • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

        What you’re describing is the side effect of the film being entirely told through Joker’s point of view.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        I’ll agree that the movie didn’t proceed with the hyper-frenetic pace of most Marvel movies, but I didn’t mind at all.

        I’ll also agree that most of the supporting characters were one-dimensional—Arthur’s mom in particular enjoyed enough screen time to have been made more complex.

        Most of all, the talents of DeNiro were squandered—he pretty much played a jerk who “fucking got what he deserved.” There was a brief moment when he showed a hint of empathy for Arthur (or at that point, Joker). More of that would have been interesting.

        On the other hand, the movie was very much about how the world appeared to Arthur. A world populated by his fragile bird of a mom along with tormentors and and the indifferent may have largely been his mental constructs.

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          DeNiro based his character on Jerry Langford, the talk show host played by Jerry Lewis in King of Comedy. I learned that after seeing the film, and then DeNiro’s performance made sense.

  6. Avatar Jist Cuz says:


    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      No doubt, lots of people here are suffering like Arthur Fleck. Fortunately, most mentally ill people are not prone to violence, except against themselves.

  7. Avatar Fake Name says:

    Jist Cuz, If you’re asking if Art Mimick still lives in Redding, last I heard he’s moved somewhere farther north. +?+

  8. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    Art draws inspiration from life.

  9. Avatar Monique aka Seymour Garcon says:

    Wow…your words moved me in a way, I can’t yet explain….So, my husband of 23 years took me out on a date to see the JOKER….Now, I have been speaking legislatively since Sept 19, 2017 legislatively. At the Shasta County boards at City Council….that said…I have always maintained that it is gonna take a person “that is crazy, crazy to think that they can make a change, a positive change for the better and potentially for us ALL. Ok..l for starters my first 14 year old girl crush was River Phoenix as a kid, and I loved Jouquin’s ability to fully take on a character and it’s multifaceted goods and the bads….like as Caesar in Gladiator…..ok, now to this movie….my heart hurts for just how the character of Arthur’s mother was mentally ill, and she had an odd way of being positive in her own illness….Arthur, just put on a happy face….and help to make the world laugh…she is a broken soul with trauma in her past and her influence on him was PROFOUND….so her character was really apart of his day to day….and then his job….because of his ill mother he just want’s to be a comedian, to help make the world laugh…but because of the head trauma he laughs inappropriately at moments that seem odd to the normal person….if you will….so the only job he can get is dealing with the asshole public that is a dick and rude and aggressive, and repugnant, and…well you get my point….he get’s beat physically which accelerates his negative thoughts and delusions because head trauma on head trauma only perpetuates the disease or disorder….then he get’s a gun from an asshole that is a liar…..now Arthur makes a mistake because his mind is disorganized and it is trying but it is boxed in if you will….he is isolated by his oddities, and that makes me love him wholly and unconditionally, like my mother! So…….he loses his job, and the fat fuck that gave him the gun wants to get together with Arthur to get it straight with the cops….the story of the vigilante clown is huge and some serious shit was coming down…..so…..my favorite scene…was when the midget with the accent was crying in the corner…..and the exchange between Arthur and him….was MERCY…..not only do we get it from GOD, but Arthur unlocked and opened the door and kissed him on the head….the midget was different and wasn’t rude to Arthur, and he knew it….and he spared the midget’s life…..I had snot running down my nose…..so, I have danced and heard the cheers, and the jeers, I have relationships in my mind to help me get through this political bullshit….so I can and it is clearly my delusion….but I have given someone full amenities to the space in my heart and it is all in my head….my mother was schizophrenic and homeless on the streets addicted to whatever a man would give, her just so she could get high….and I was homeless with her for the first 10 years of my life….I actually did comedy….and then fell into medicine because my sister was kidnapped raped and murdered during the Rodney King riots…..I refuse to feel so backed up to a wall to ever be violent…buck my job was and still is as a Life Support Unit…that is me….but I know just how dark the other side is….and Joaquin found it….and I recognized it…..and I want to shake that mans hand for making me feel good in my skin….if Arthur was a real man…..I would have sat and listened to him, to his needs….he stated he exists….but his mind was in a delusion all the time….and it just kept getting worse and worse and worse….then BOOM! Yea, I liked this movie a lot…..just my lonely schizoaffective way of looking at the world and finding the best I can….because I believe I am crazy enough to think I can help make that positive change……White house here I come…..hahahahahahaha…..oh lord!

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Wow. What a beautiful comment! I’d forgotten about the midget and Arthur’s mercy. Joker is deeply layered film, and I dig your interpretation of it. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

      • Avatar Monique says:

        Thank you for validating my opinion of the movie….I appreciate that, and I like to read what you write…it inspires me, and I thank you

  10. Avatar Joshua Brown says:

    Good article, except for the mentioning of Hong Kong. That’s just a CIA, Trump/Johnson loving, fascist, anti-communist coup that’s creating violence in that region. It’s not the real people of Hong Kong. The amount of jobs China’s created in renewable energy is astounding. There’s a hell of a lot of austerity in the US & the UK though.

    Most of the other protests worldwide are real working class Proletariat-ran socialist protests & they are to be supported!

    I love Ralph Nader & I’m glad you mentioned the Occupy Wall Street movement because it’s been a decade and everyone’s seemingly forgotten about them. I’d love to re-launch the Occupy Wall Street protests in the United States(fight austerity, capitalism & rule by 1%). This time with more guts. https://www.truthdig.com/…/ralph-nader-why-isnt-the-99…/

    As usual, we’re behind almost every country in everything, including massive civilian protests. This seems like the time to MARCH & REVOLT. Locally, I’d like to get a group of people and camp out in front of Redding’s large financial institutions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=140n1xcD4VU

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      I agree with you partially on Hong Kong Joshua. The USA is involved as usual with the fomentation of revolution against a perceived opponent, in this case China. But the protests began when Beijing tried to extradite Hong Kong residents to the mainland. China has achieved great things, the standard of living has dramatically improved, but it is not a free country.

      I love Ralph Nader too, he’s an incredibly smart man and I voted for him twice.

      I love your fighting spirit Joshua. I think it’s sort of true that it takes a “crazy” person to change the status quo. But there’s two kinds of crazy. There’s the bad kind of crazy like Joker and Trump, and the good kind of crazy, like Bernie Sanders and Joshua Brown.

      • Avatar Moe says:

        I dig Josh’s ability to stand up to what he feel’s is wrong, and the way he voices his stance is inspiring! Josh and I have met and he is an amazingly bright young man that has more passion in his pinky than most, and that to me is a beautiful part of his personality. I appreciate that he motivates me to think even more “outside the box”. People of different opinions should really find an opportunity to get together to exchange our innovative ideas to help make the world a better place….but we don’t….we are all isolated to our own mind, and what we can do with our minds. We are living in this modern society that is breeding discourse and decay to decency. The civility is less and less, yet the entitlement is growing leaps and bounds. People are tired of self serving politicians that breed contempt in their decision making….people can see through the bullshit, Josh can see through the bullshit, and that is what I cherish in him the most. Like josh I think it is fair to say that I am a little touched by something I can’t define or describe, and like Josh I fight to keep pushing to get people in positions of POWER to make those sustainable changes for ALL of us…..help the homeless, help the addicted, help house those that can’t adapt to shelter, help those that need mental health pick me ups, help those with grave and disaibling mental health issues, help our youth, and help our aging, help our mothers and our fathers and our NATION rise to it’s full potential……….because don’t forget in November of 1863 my melancholic man LINCOLN stated….it’s not what is said here, today what we do for the today….but for our vast future…..which to me is my children’s future! Lincoln was a humanistic simple man that thought globally to do what is right! Emancipation was his innovative way of acting on what he thought was right…….and he started to get the WORLD to understand that Slavery of a human soul is wrong…..and if I couldn’t be a slave, then I shouldn’t be a master either! People in power……..that is when you learn about the character of a man…….and I have learned that Josh is acting on what he feels he needs to change to make the WORLD a better place, and I thank you Josh for being my delightfully difficult eclectic friend………and I hope you know I typed this with admiration and appreciation, young man~ MOE

        • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

          Josh is an exceptional young man who is so much more aware than most people in his age group (or any other). A few years ago I had the opportunity to talk with a group of young people from several European and Scandanavian countries traveling in the U.S., and I was amazed at how knowledgable they were about economic/political systems and world affairs. Kids in this country are fed a heavy diet of capitalist/corporate propaganda and nothing else, which makes American teenagers like Josh even more extraordinary.

          I wish someone could tell me what’s wrong with the proposal below, which sounds like a win-win to me. Millions of families and elderly and disabled people are homeless in this country every year (including a considerable number of disabled veterans) largely because wages haven’t kept up with the steadily-rising cost of housing. This proposal would not only go a long way toward addressing the housing crisis, but would provide a vast number of well-paid jobs, give countless local jurisdictions a huge economic boost, and improve the health of the general population.

          It would cost less than twenty percent of the country’s bloated military spending, which is in good part all about promoting and protecting corporate interests abroad. I believe it’s also far less expensive than Trump’s trickle-down give-aways to the wealthy and coporate powers. Why is it that even a majority of Democrats fight tooth-and-nail against rearranging some priorities so the U.S. government can do for its citizens a little of what every other developed country do for theirs?