Gary Johnson: A new hope?

gary johnson

With Bernie Sanders unlikely to win the Democrat nomination, the only options left in the presidential race are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, which basically means having to make a choice between two of the worst presidential candidates in all of American history. For many, this signifies just how broken the American political system is, but I advise you not to give up just yet. After Ted Cruz and John Kasich dropped out of the Republican race, Google searches for the Libertarian Party and its frontrunner Gary Johnson skyrocketed, and yesterday, the Libertarian Party nominated Gary Johnson as its nominee for the presidency.

Prior to his campaign for the presidency, Johnson worked as a door-to-door handyman during the 1970’s, and also founded a company called Big J Enterprises, which grew into one of the largest construction companies in the state of New Mexico. In 1994, he ran successfully for Governor of New Mexico as a fiscally conservative Republican. During his time as governor, he upheld libertarian principles, and even advocated for the decriminalisation of marijuana (which he still does to this day), though he also became known for vetoing more bills than any governor in the United States. Now a member of the Libertarian Party, he is promoting himself as the rational alternative to the two mainstream candidates.

From what I’ve seen and heard of him, I can tell that he really is the alternative that America needs. Unlike Trump and Clinton, who would continue expanding the power of the state, Johnson advocates for a smaller government, wants to end the war on drugs, and is a strong supporter of civil liberties, something the other two candidates couldn’t give a damn about. He also appears to be enough of a moderate political candidate that some media outlets speculated that he may be able to attracted disaffected Republicans and Democrats. Indeed, even before the explosion of pubic interest in the Libertarians, some media outlets speculated that Johnson and the Libertarians would seek to capitalize on popular resentment towards Trump and Clinton.

Of course, due to the prevalence of the Republican/Democrat dichotomy, it probably seems unlikely that a third-party candidate could win the presidency, but I think Gary Johnson might have a chance. Instead of focusing on identity and outrage, Johnson focuses on the issues. Granted, Bernie Sanders focused on social issues as well, but Bernie failed spectacularly, and with careful scrutiny, you could easily deflate Sanders’ socialist platform. Besides, what Johnson wants is extremely reasonable. He wants to end the war on drugs, legalize marijuana, suspend US involvement in foreign countries, and put an end to crony capitalism, which has allowed the current political climate to fester.

Even though I once said that I would support Jill Stein if I lived in the USA, I have to concede that, compared to the other candidates, Gary Johnson is the most reasonable presidential candidate we’ve had in years. He’s also doing quite well in the polls, trailing at 10% of the national vote, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a start. Given the amount of people who absolutely despise the two major candidates, I believe that, if done well, the Libertarians could feasibly win the election, finally raising a middle finger to the old party political dichotomy. Best of all, Johnson could offer a silver lining for those who thought that a Trump presidency is inevitable. With all that in mind, I think America now has three options.

  1. Electing a third-party candidate who has actual principles and could competently bring America back from the brink.
  2. Electing the first woman president just for the sake of it, while glossing over her history of corruption and deceit.
  3. Electing a businessman with no political experience (unless you count a failed Reform Party candidacy in the year 2000) who may end up making the country worse.

I highly doubt that a Trump presidency will accomplish anything other that rattling the cages of the establishment momentarily. As for Shillary, she’s bankrolled by corporate interests, and because of that she’ll probably keeps things the way they are, momentarily making ripples in the same unsatisfying way that Obama did. My message is that if you don’t want another four years of the status quo, but worry that Trump will destroy America, then logically the only sane option left is to vote Libertarian, because at least Gary Johnson actually has a vested interest in changing America for the better.

Is feminism the cult of our time?

smash the patriarchy

“…and to Hell with the Devil!”

If you have no idea what feminism is, and you look it up on the Internet, you’re almost guaranteed to find it as the rallying cry of vicious social justice warriors, status-seeking professional victims (such as Anita Sarkeesian), and the left-wing media outlets who take their side. They pretend that they are the oppressed, when in reality, they are the ones oppressing speech in universities, pressuring advertisers and businesses, and demanding that boys attend consent classes in universities. If that sounds terrifying, you haven’t even heard the worst of it yet.

Despite how unpopular feminism has become, it has still managed to influence a vast number of people in society, and the tactics and rhetoric employed by modern feminists make feminism look like a dangerous cult, but to be fair, that’s because it is. As a progressive ideology, feminism has an incredibly flimsy narrative. If women were really oppressed, then not many women would be going to universities, and we certainly wouldn’t have a woman running for president, let alone as the Democrats’ frontrunner. In order to survive, feminism requires the obfuscation of facts and a willing suspension of disbelief. It requires that you conform to groupthink, and are willing to abandon rational thought, which is a universal trait in all religions and cults.

Another disturbing trait of modern feminism is militaristic hatred towards men. They claim to want gender equality, and they have claimed in the past that feminism benefits men. Well, if I as a man was supposed to benefit from feminism, then why do feminists actively spam such inspiring hashtags as “KillAllMen”, “MasculinitySoFragile”, and “IBatheInMaleTears”? The reason feminists are so hostile to men is because their goal isn’t equality. Their goal is to create a matriarchal society, a complete reversal of the old-fashioned gender roles that were enforced before the 20th century, and I feel that the only reason they could possibly have is vengeance. Why else would they operate under the banner of social justice?

Of course, once you actually read into feminism and study the antics of their followers, you’ll find something much darker. Modern feminism can definitely be likened to a sickening cult, but there are certain cues that have led me to an even more disturbing conclusion, that feminism has become a kind of postmodern religion – specifically the matriarchal equivalent of Christianity.

Before you assume that I’ve gone crazy, allow me to explain why I think this makes sense. Christianity and modern feminism have a lot of nasty habits in common. Both are unashamedly sexist, but where Christianity was sexist towards women, feminism is sexist towards men. Both Christians and feminists are eager to try and convert people to their banner, and some are often very annoying in their approach (though we have yet to see the online feminist equivalent of Jehovah’s Witnesses, maybe “Anita’s Witnesses” would suffice?). Both of them believe in an adversarial figure that must be resisted, with the mythical “patriarchy” being the feminist stand-in for Satan.

Both Christianity and feminism share a culture of victimhood. In Christianity (or at least in certain denominations), we are all victims of the original sin of Adam and Eve, and remain powerless unless we “accept” the word of Jesus. In the feminist world, women are victims of oppression, and remain powerless without feminism to empower them. Call me old fashioned but I don’t think that sounds very empowering. In fact, it sounds to me like feminism is doing the opposite of empowering women, by casting them as a perpetually oppressed group. All the while, feminism is doing the exact same thing that a Christian cult would do, complete with the brainwashing and denial of reality.

Both Christianity and feminism have a weird obsession with the female body. Of course, the church wanted to control it, and convinced believers that the body itself is sinful. Feminists, meanwhile, associate their cause with the body positivity movement, but use that to demonize fertile, thin-looking women (as Naomi Wolf has made a career out of doing), and also any women who voluntarily works in porn or as a topless model. For the middle-class feminists, bare breasts on Tumblr or Instagram are good, but bare breasts on The Sun are bad, even though there’s no difference other than their prudish disgust for anything they don’t like. Speaking of prudery, today’s feminists have become the left-wing equivalent of the conservative moral busy-bodies of the 1980’s, eager to censor anything that looks remotely sexual, including advertisements featuring bikini-clad women, “sexualized” video game characters, music videos and pornography.

Another major thing they have in common is the concept of blasphemy. In the Dark Ages, Christian dogma was the law of the land, and if you went against the teachings of the church, you were perceived as having committed blasphemy against the religion, and would likely have been put to death. Feminists, meanwhile, routinely push for the censorship of anything that hurts their feelings or offends their ideology, and it doesn’t just stop at men, as feminists are not above shutting out the opinions of women who they perceive to be the wrong type of feminist. They both have buzzwords for those who deviate from their narrative. The Christians had “heathen” or “sinner”, while the feminist’s favourite buzzword is “misogynist”, which they use to make you feel as if you hate women just because you don’t accept feminism. They frequently use this word in order to shut down legitimate debate.

Just as Christianity presumes the guilt of all non-Christians, feminism presumes the privilege of all men (especially straight white men), thereby presuming that all men are guilty of sexism and misogyny, and are supposedly likely to commit rape. Finally, they both idolise figures who they paint as victims they revere for their suffering. For the Christians, this is Jesus Christ, and for the feminists, that would be the likes of Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn, Laurie Penny, and just about any feminist who performs the same pallid routine.

Of course I’m overlooking the obvious differences, but I didn’t intend to go all the way. The fact of the matter is that modern feminism has become a militantly far-left cult, using the vast array of progressive causes in order to strengthen it and gain membership. Much like Christianity, it serves only as an obstacle to social progress, because despite the feminist’s pretence of advancing social progress, their movement has in fact become so regressive and tribal that it now presents the greatest threat to women’s rights, and a lot of it will be down to bad image, because ever since the Gamergate fiasco, feminists have become among the most despised people on the planet in very short order. Even with all the dirty tricks they will use in order to dominate the political arena, and despite being favoured by many celebrities in mainstream culture, the feminist movement is failing to achieve its goals. With all that in mind, you hear a feminist complaining that “feminism” has become a dirty word, I think I’ve aptly presented my case for why.

When we make monsters

Last year we thought Donald Trump was little more than a joke candidate, but then he went on to become a serious contender, to the point that he’s now the presumptive Republican nominee for the presidency. Interestingly enough, nothing has dented his momentum. No matter how many times he’s been caught lying, or how many times he’s outraged the public (and the Twitterati), or how many times his political enemies try to warn you about how dangerous he is, his fans are still loyal to him, and strengthens his campaign.

donald trump

Not the face of somebody who gives up easily.

With all the furore over Donald Trump, the one thing that remains clear is that nearly all of his critics (including the general public) focus on condemning his outrageous character, and nobody makes any attempt to try and understand why Trump’s supporters feel the way they do, or why Trump became a phenomenon in the first place.

Everywhere I look I see that most of the discussion about Trump is dominated by his gross character flaws, and the fact that he wants to build a giant wall to keep out Mexican immigrants. Nobody cares about how such a buffoon become popular, and I think that’s the main problem. What Trump’s critics neglect to understand is that his candidacy is a sign of a broken system. Trump is responding to the people who are tired of being lied to by the political establishment that exploits them and treats them like ignorant toddlers in need of their political enlightenment. They’re also tired of their entire demographic being labelled as racists even though many of them aren’t. If you watch interviews of ordinary people attending Trump rallies, you’ll often find white people alongside black people in support of Trump (and yet people claim Trump supporters are racist). There’s even a group Hindus professing their support for Donald Trump, so even if Trump himself is racist, it’s useless claiming that Trump’s supporters are all racist idiots. Trump is literally that popular, and it doesn’t take a genius to understand why (though some, like in this video by a YouTuber called Sargon of Akkad, can explain this much better than I could).

I can’t help but feel like I understand why Trump would gain such momentum. What Bernie Sanders is for the Democrats, Donald Trump is for the Republicans – an outsider candidate who has achieved more popularity and memetic recognition than either party’s mainstream candidates, and that bothers the establishment deeply. Why else would the mainstream Republicans and media outlets spend their time and effort trying to stop him? Furthermore, why else would the Economic Intelligence Unit label try to convince you that the prospect of Trump’s presidency is as dangerous as Jihadi terrorism? Of course, no matter how much they can discredit him, it doesn’t matter. We know he’s an idiot, we know he’s a racist, and we know that he’s the worst possible choice for a president, but even if that’s obvious, that doesn’t stop him at all, and that certainly doesn’t deter his followers, many of whom are voting Trump to stop Hillary Clinton from winning.

Of course, I wouldn’t want Hillary elected either, and I can see why people hate her so passionately. As a neoliberal career politician, she represents the political establishment. With her as commander in chief, we would essentially have a repeat of the disappointing Obama administration, wherein things would only change if her corporate masters don’t have a problem with that. There are legitimate reasons why Clinton isn’t trusted by much of the American electorate. She’ll say literally anything in order to sit in the oval office, to the extent that she changes her opinions almost as quickly as Trump, and has been stealing borrowing some of Sanders’ platforms (including Sanders’ support for a $15 minimum wage) in order to snatch some of his supporters. On top of that, Clinton has a number of skeletons in her closet, including the revelation that she used her family’s private email server for official communications, or the time when she illegally obtained files on her enemies, or the supposed suicide of Vince Forster.

The fact that many American voters don’t trust Hillary, coupled with the fact that Bernie Sanders is unlikely to win the Democratic Party nomination in July, may ultimately prove to be the reason why a Trump presidency, as bad as it sounds, could be an absolute certainty, and I believe that the political establishment is in part responsible for this. Obama failed to provide the change he had promised, and the Clinton presidency offers much of the same as the previous candidates. To me, the fact that the establishment is so scared of a Trump presidency is nothing other suspicious. What would the political establishment in America have to lose from Donald Trump getting elected? Furthermore, what’s wrong with having a presidential candidate that many Americans actually want in office?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Trump supporter. In fact, if I could vote, I’d rather vote for Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein (and I say this knowing the politics in this town), but I can’t help but come to the conclusion that it’s impossible to stop a Trump presidency. I do, however, believe that there are at least two consolation prizes. At least if Donald Trump becomes president and fails to “make America great again” (or turns America into a dictatorship), it might teach America the error of its farcical political discourse. The other consolation is that, if Donald Trump gets elected, it’ll at least prove that democracy still works, because he’ll at least you can be sure that he was elected by the popular vote.

Whatever the outcome, Donald Trump’s campaign is a monster of our own making. The rise of social justice warriors, political correctness and identity politics, coupled with the constant lies coming from the establishment and the mainstream media have created the perfect environment for Donald Trump to thrive, whereas in the year 2000 he would have merely been a fringe candidate. As the road to the election continues, I think we should take some time to think about the gravity of it all. Me on the other hand, I argue that what we’re seeing is a classic case of the establishment creating a problem and trying haphazardly to get rid of it, while blaming the people for it. You can’t create a monster and then whine when it stomps on a few buildings. Unfortunately, the best we can do is ride it out, and wait until it starts raining Trump steaks.

The failure of comedians

frankie boyle

Comedy is a pretty delicate art form, but it is often at its best when its offensive, or when it shocks the establishment and mainstream society. I remember a time where stand-up comedians were actually funny enough to be offensive, but in this decade, though some can still a pack a comedic punch, it seems as though comedians have lost their bite, and most of the time, that’s because they’ve sold themselves out to the celebrity industry, where they work as spokesmen, game show hosts, and most often panel show guests.

Some find new life as newspaper columnists. Remember when Frankie Boyle used to be offensive? When I was a teenager, he was one of the most controversial comics I knew, but now he’s a columnist for The Guardian and The Sun (two of the most loathsome news outlets in Britain), where he’s essentially an advocate for Jeremy Corbyn. He has effectively become part of the very establishment that was offended by him, and he’s not the only comic to have fallen into that pattern. Another comic named Stewart Lee became a columnist for The Observer, and David Mitchell, who I used to like as a teenager, is now a writer for The Guardian.

That seems to be a recurring problem with comedians in this country – they establish a career as stand-up comedians, and then become popular as celebrities, and become part of the celebrity industry, which then puts them in a situation where they find themselves shilling products on TV, but the comedians who go on to write columns are given a podium with which to advance their own views, which is not what a good comedian should do. That apparently doesn’t stop them from doing so. This happened frequently on Channel 4’s Ten O’Clock Live, a satirical news programme where comedians like Charlie Brooker and Jimmy Carr use their privileged position to promote a partisan left-wing agenda.

Though Channel 4’s pretentious spin on nightly news was cancelled in 2013, looking back on it, I find it remarkably similar to a more popular American show with pretty much the same format. Of course, I’m talking about The Daily Show, which has been declining in quality ever since Jon Stewart left. However, I noticed that The Daily Show has a very strong progressive bias, or at least has been used by Comedy Central to advance a progressive agenda. During Trevor Noah’s tenure, the show had become focused on enforcing a progressive narrative on TV, to the point that they are willing to ignore the facts when attempting to present an issue.

A recent example of this manifested when they attempted to “investigate” the wage gap in women’s soccer. The Daily Show presented a very progressive spin on the issue, arguing that female soccer players should receive the same pay as male soccer players. Once you actually do the research on that subject, you’ll find out that this simply can’t be done, due to the fact that women’s soccer is less profitable than men’s soccer. Once you realize that, it follows that The Daily Show is essentially talking nonsense that may as well sound like they got it from a gender studies course. In fact, they interviewed a non-progressive writer, Gavin McInnes, and McInnes stated in a recent article that the producers altered the interview in order to make him sound like a crazy sexist, while missing the point of his argument. As it stands, The Daily Show has become a platform by which the personalities in it can spew whatever progressive nonsense they want, and the audience will accept it.

For me, there’s something awfully wrong with comedy if this can happen. The majority of comedians and comedy shows have become so tamed by the modern climate of political correctness that they have no bite left. That isn’t true for all comedians, but it’s a pattern that I’ve noticed, and that’s certainly the prevalent direction that many are taking, and it indicates to me that comedians are now more afraid of offending a mass audience than ever. With all the easily-offendable neo-progressive activists just waiting to pounce on people who say the “wrong words”, I’m not surprised, but comedians should never be afraid to offend people’s sensibilities, because they can only be truly validated if they are challenged.

Why we should abolish the Welsh Baccalaureate

welsh bac

Don’t let the poster fool you. It’s far worse than it seems.

As my time in Coleg Sir Gar will soon come to its natural end, I think it’s time that I addressed a subject that has bothered me for nearly three years, but have not been at much liberty to post about until now – the Welsh Baccalaureate. Since I’m sure most of the world outside Wales won’t know, the Welsh Baccalaureate (which we all just call the “Welsh Bac”) is a secondary qualification that supposedly “combines experiences and projects that help you to develop as an individual”, and claims to “equip you for your next steps for work, university and for life”. However, my experience has shown the opposite.

The Welsh Baccalaureate is perhaps the most reviled aspect of life in college. The main problem is that the government requires all further education students to take it along with the course they want to do. Unless you’re on a degree course, this means that you have a secondary qualification appended to your own course without your consent, but if you’re actually doing the Welsh Bac, that’s the least of your worries. Apparently they attach it to your course in such a way that failing the Welsh Bac means failing your existing course, which I always thought was totally unfair. Why should students have to fail a course they want to take because they failed at something most students don’t even want?

What you do in the Welsh Bac is often irrelevant to the course you plan on doing. Throughout the programme, you spend your time writing and doing exercises about social issues, typically from the left wing point of view, which brings me to another concern I have. It is claimed that the Welsh Bac helps students develop critical thinking, but from my experience, the course seemed to be a hotbed of mainstream left-wing idealism. The tutor I had was an optimistic leftist who never really questioned what she was showing us, and she was even willing to show the movie I Am – a idealistic, self-indulgent documentary from the director of Ace Ventura – and she took its shady and often pseudo-scientific arguments as facts. It doesn’t help that she also used her position as a teacher to advance the idea of “global citizenship”, a subject that was never debated even once in the course.

If you do the Welsh Bac, whether by choice or not, you ultimately find yourself saddled with the task of writing an “individual investigation”, an academic report wherein you’re supposed to talk about a serious topic, and you have to compare the way said issue is handled in both Wales and a country of your choice. On top of that, it has to be at least 3,000 words long, which isn’t impossible, but still very annoying when you’re trying to concentrate on the real coursework. Also, depending on what topic you chose, finding the right information could be a hellishly frustrating task, and what good does this individual investigation do? Other than showing you what it’s like to write a degree-style academic report, it doesn’t do much good, especially if you consider that I only wrote it because I had to. If I had any choice in the matter, I wouldn’t have done the Welsh Bac at all.

The Welsh Bacc also comes with a language module, which is supposedly aimed at helping you learn a new language. However, in all the times I’ve had to do the Welsh Bacc, you weren’t given a choice of what language you wanted to learn, and they used it as a way of forcing English-speaking teenagers to learn Welsh. In 2013, this became my chief complaint against the Welsh Bac, and the source of the worst meltdown I’ve had so far. I could have handled it better, but I’m not exactly wrong. In my current class, the popular consensus is that the Welsh Bac does nothing except adding unnecessary frustration. That’s why I personally feel that the Welsh Bac doesn’t do anything except giving students far more work to do than they actually need.

Of course, there are those who support the Welsh Bac (and I bet those same people are out of touch with the young people), and they would claim that the Welsh Bac offers a broader student experience than what you’d have with just A-levels. I should also mention that the chief benefit of passing the Welsh Bac is that it gives you additional UCAS points to support your application for university (at most, you can get 120 UCAS points from it), but while a lot of universities accept the Welsh Bac, some universities, such as Warwick and Cambridge, don’t value the Welsh Bac compared to a single A-level. Worse still, if for the sake of argument you’re unfortunate enough to be taking the Welsh Bac on top of three A-levels, the combined workload will put you under unnecessary stress, which may actually hinder your chances of successfully getting into university. So on top of it being a useless qualification you’ll only use once in your life, it causes a lot of unnecessary stress that could ruin your chance of getting a degree, which ultimately defeats the point of trying to get the 120 UCAS points in the first place.

So if you live outside Wales or didn’t know what the Welsh Bac is, I hope I’ve given you an idea on what it actually is, and why we should get rid of it. The Welsh Bac doesn’t do anything good for a student, and even if it did, what good is it if the student isn’t given any choice in the matter. A student’s education should be a matter of their choice, because it’s ultimately their future on the line. If the Welsh government really cared about the education of its students, then they should abolish the Welsh Bac, or at least put an end to it being required in further education college, because as long as it’s mandatory, it’s nothing more than another reason why it sucks to be a young person in Wales.

What censoring conservative news says about Facebook

censorship

Word has spread of testimony from former Facebook employees that they were routinely told to censor or suppress stories of interest to conservative readers, while promoting stories of interest to left-wing readers. Facebook has since been attempting to deny such allegations, but that hasn’t stopped more testimony from coming forward. According to the claim, the news curators of Facebook’s “Trending” section were asked to inject news stories into the trending feed despite a lack of popular interest among users, and they were also asked to block news that came from conservative outlets (such as Breitbart.com or Newsmax,com).

Even though Facebook insists that the allegations are false, it’s not as though we can trust Facebook management. If this is true, then it shows something very ugly about the people who run Facebook. It’s clear to me that Facebook is attempting to decide what its users see, and given the kind of man its CEO is, that should be very disturbing. Over a billion people use Facebook, and apparently the people who control it only want them to hear a single political narrative. It’s moments like these that honestly make me ashamed to have once identified as left-wing, especially now that it’s painfully obvious that the left now dominates the narrative of society.

Don’t get me wrong, I despise right-wing politics, and I don’t trust a lot of conservative news outlets, but that’s mainly because the majority of them use populist language and distort the truth, but now I find that the left are no better than the right. The other thing to remember is that Facebook is one of the biggest websites on the Internet, with one of the world’s most powerful and ubiquitous brands of our time. It is now so big that can practically act as a news publisher, and that on its own is startling. With that in mind, the fact that they have actively engaged in any form of censorship is chilling, especially if remember that this isn’t the first time Facebook has been accused of censorship.

A few months ago, Facebook censored a political cartoon critical of Israel, after being suspected of allowing anti-Israel posts. When the German chancellor Angela Merkel asked Mark Zuckerberg if Facebook would suppress posts that were deemed “anti-immigration”, Zuckerberg entertained the idea that he was already working on it. In fact, Facebook has a history of censoring content at the request of governments, sometimes under various censorship laws.

Facebook’s conspicuous history of nefarious and often hypocritical censorship is an insult to what the Internet is supposed to be about. I believe that the World Wide Web is a place where users can explore and add to it as they wished, and if that is to continue being the case, censorship should not be tolerated by anyone. That Facebook tolerates censorship at all says something very disturbing. It tells me that Facebook is abusing its popularity and taking advantage of the fact that most of its users share the site’s obviously liberal values, thinking that nobody will mind the erasure of views that most people find objectionable, and it’s really disturbing that I find myself showing a glint of concern for the likes of Breitbart, the same website that was accused by its own staff of accepting a bribe from Donald Trump.

For me, this belies an even bigger concern – that the left have gotten so powerful and so popular within the mainstream that some of its most influential followers wish to tip the balance in favour of the left. They have become today’s equivalent of the conservatives of the 1950’s, and what we’re seeing is a sad reflection on this ideological shift in the balance of power. Facebook can try to deny these allegations of censorship all they like, but it won’t do them any good because allegations of censorship don’t go away very easily, and the act of censorship also tends to leave a black eye on the reputation of those who engage in it.

Why animation is better than live action

wizards

A scene from Ralph Bakshi’s classic animated film “Wizards”.

I’ve always felt that animation was a superior art form compared to live action, and that’s not just because I was raised on it as a kid. I’ve become very intimately familiar with the medium, carefully observing all kinds of animation from both East and West, and both old and new, and even though I don’t want to be an animator (those poor tormented sadists), I’ve always been inspired by animation. Hell, all those cartoons are what inspired me to be a writer and artist in the first place.

Of course, not a lot of the population feels this way. In fact, there has been considerable debate about which is the better art form – animation or live action. On the one hand, animation can let filmmakers, TV producers and even advertisers do more than could be possible in the real world with just the power drawing (digital or otherwise), while live action simulates the real world more effectively. I’m here to make the case that animation really is better than live action filming, and while I’m aware that this might be a biased article, I’m sure that I’m right in this case.

Let’s start with the technique itself. Animation involves simulating movement with a sequence of drawings, while live action films and TV shows involve staging a set and shooting scenes with a camera. Since live action involves capturing scenes in a real life setting, the look of the film depends on the camera, and even then, depending on the genre, many live action films will look almost the same, even if mainly because of the production techniques involved. In animation, the look of the finished product will depend on the artist who made the drawings, and thus the best animations are drawn by talented artists. This is why I feel that animation requires greater technique than live action, and why the technique of animation allows for a freer and more powerful avenue of storytelling than live action.

Speaking of storytelling, people often assume that animation is a genre, with a set of precepts much like in any other genre, but as anyone who knows about animation will know, that simply isn’t true. Animation is essentially a storytelling technique, and animated films and TV shows have encompassed just as many genres as live action films, and has sometimes created even more subgenres (especially in Japan). Because of the lack of physical limitations that would be present in live action, you could write an animation about whatever you want, and that can lead to more entertaining and gripping stories than most live action TV shows can claim to offer. One needs only to look to shows such as Steven Universe in order to figure out why.

Some would say that animated shows are mindless fare. And reality TV shows aren’t? Let’s face it, reality TV shows are the most mindless form of entertainment ever conceived, and guess what they count as. Unless you count Drawn Together as an “animated reality TV show”, they’re all live action shows, and they’re way more harmful to the mind than all the cartoons and comic books in the world. In movies, animation is generally considered to be children’s fare, but that simply isn’t true. There have been adult-oriented animated productions for many years now, and I would contend that many of the more brainless films in the market are live action films. I’ve seen many films in my time, and all the live action romantic comedies, superhero films, horror films, and slapstick comedies I’ve seen are much more mindless than some people claim animation to be.

For me, the main reason why animation is better than live action is the amount of freedom that it offers. While live action is bound by laws of physics that require cheesy computer generated effects to bypass, animation is bound only by the limits of imagination and budget, and thus I argue that there are greater artistic possibilities to be taken advantage of in animation than in live action. That’s a sentiment that I think is confirmed by what’s on TV. While nearly every live action TV show continues to lumber in the clichés of the medium, animated TV shows are having fun with the medium, especially in Japan, where it seems like anything goes.

Of course, I’m not dumb enough to assume that animation isn’t without its cliches. Due to the public’s stereotypical assumptions of animation, most Western animated TV shows and movies are aimed at children (though some manage to attract an older audience). Japanese animation tends to have its own clichés, especially as anime producers have been focusing on securing their existing fan base, rather than expanding the audience (many attribute this problem to the decline of the anime industry). Perhaps this is because, like any other form of entertainment, animation must find an audience in order to survive, and I guess that’s why you see a number of clichés recurring both East and West. Then again, all entertainment has its clichés, so it’s unwise to blanket judge all animation because of it.

Aside from that, I never really cared about live action TV. I’ve watched some, and most of them are boring. I’ll like some live action shows (I definitely consider myself a Game of Thrones fan), but I just prefer animation better. I feel that animation is a more techinical and imaginative art form, and that’s why I think it’ll always beat live action hands down. My passion for animation is so great that, if I was offered the chance to make one of my story ideas into a film, I would insist on it being an animated film.

Given everything I’ve said here in this article, I think I’ve made my case quite clear. Of course, I acknowledge that everyone has different tastes, and I wouldn’t insult people just for preferring live action over animation. Though if there’s one thing I despise, it’s when people make ignorant assumptions about animation. For those who don’t know much about animation, I encourage you to watch as much animated shows as possible. Immerse yourself in the medium, and you’ll find something quite enchanting.