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𝗜 𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻 • 𝗜 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱 • 𝗜 𝗼𝗯𝘀𝗲𝘀𝘀 • 𝗜 𝘄𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗲 • 𝗕𝗼𝗼𝗸𝘀: amzn.to/3mzdiUg 𝗟𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀: jjpryor.substack.com

Don’t listen to Zuck, the internet is not a ‘safe place’ for us to be coddled like children.

Facebook’s downvote button behind a rainy window.
Photo by Barefoot Communications on Unsplash

I’m almost 100% positive you’ve seen it before. Whether on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, we all inevitably come across posts and information we don’t like.

Sometimes it’s a political affiliation you don’t agree with, a not-so-subtle attempt by a brand to influence us, or straight-up fake news — unwanted activity on the internet abounds.

Some media platforms have made basic changes to fix this giant problem. Like the act of removing the simple dislike and downvote buttons. A harmless change to make the internet a better place, at least according to founders like Mark Zuckerberg.

But in this case, I…


Recounting the scariest part of my childhood

Blood streaking down a window
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

He preferred to be called T. He’d get immediately soured if you referred to him by anything else. But we all loved him nonetheless.

T loved listening to 90s grunge music, binge eating on Friday nights, and having long conversations with friends who didn’t always listen to what he’d have to say. His friends called him a ‘chill cat’ and loved partying with him.

But some people ignored him on the regular, much to T’s disappointed chagrin. He still loved them nonetheless.

Roommates With a Serial Killer

T was just one of my many roommates while I was flexing out my angsty teenage years. Our…


They hold the real power in the end

An editor giving a thumbs up.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

We’ve all been there before. You’ve spent years preparing. You’ve toiled away improving your skills and crafting the best possible you that you can be.

You know how to make it work, you know what pleases the crowd, and you are exactly what they need.

But then the almost inevitable happens; an editor just completely ruins your day.

Sure, there’s lots of advice out there saying just “take it in stride,” or “you’ll live to fight another day,” or just “swallow your pride and hope for the best.”

Don’t listen to them. …


And I’m becoming incredibly worried.

JJ Pryor’s neighborhood
Photo by hungover author

I don’t normally do this kind of thing, but I feel I no longer have a choice. I have to speak up, lest my neighborhood battles escalate into something completely beyond reprieve.

In the before-times, there was peace.

Everyone loved each other, said hi on the daily, and occasionally lent a helping hand to those who needed it. I was one of those blissfully happy and ignorant souls. No longer.

Because now the enemy has declared their intentions.

There will be war.

The Background

For many months, I have embarked on a daily ritual of reading a book in the bright sunny…


SATIRE

For any aspiring Generalissimo’s out there

How to become a dictator written on top of a weird photo of Hitler smiling
Photo modified from original by Baldur von Schirach in Deutschland Erwache, 1930

History is full of great civilizations falling to make way for the next one. From Rome to Carthage to Egypt to the Galactic Empire, every society comes to end at some point. And perhaps our time is next, which is terrible for us.

But a great opportunity for you!

We’re currently inhabiting a world with real estate, stock markets, and mythical currencies all experiencing a massive bubble. People are more divided than ever politically. Climate change, a worldwide pandemic, great powers shifting — there couldn’t be a better time to make your own mark.

After all, we have more pseudo…


If you can read this, you are driving too close.

A plan flying above four buildings being chased by a stick figure
Modified brilliantly from original Photo by Austin Zhang from Pexels

Most of us Mediumites have seen it before. And if you’ve been a good Feediumite, you probably know better than to do it by now.

It’s annoying.

It’s arrogant.

It’s completely useless.

No, I’m not talking about most of my writing, however applicable that may be.

I’m talking about the selfish posters.

How to Ruin a Good Conversation

You see them in the comments section of a typical discussion.

You find yourself in the middle of a great discussion on how to improve the recipe for peanut butter tuna sandwiches when you see it.²

One person says a brilliant comment. Another replies with a great rebuttal…


You might agree with more of their principles than you thought.

A painting of a woman praising the devil.
Image by Waldkunst from Pixabay

Lucien Greaves is by all accounts an honorable and decent man. He donates to charities. He organizes scholarships for young students. He started an organization called the Protect Children Project which aims to eliminate corporal punishment in America’s schools.

Yet, he receives death threats almost daily from established groups around the country.

Because Lucien Greaves is the founder of The Satanic Temple.

Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

If someone believes the following, what kind of a person do you think they’d be?

  • We should all act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures.
  • If someone makes a mistake, they should try their best to fix…


I have to make a confession.

Portrait of a man staring to the right in black and white
Photo by Demeter Attila from Pexels

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines literacy as being “able to read and write.”

Most of us take this simple skill for granted. We went to school as kids, learned to read from parents, teachers, and aggressively large yellow birds.

Some of us took this basic expertise and allowed it to completely envelop our worlds. Even at incredibly young ages, we’d make attempts at reading Lord of the Rings without truly quite knowing what an “ilex” or “hauberk” or “Grade 9 reading level” meant.

But not all of us took this extra leap to form a complete grasp of languages.

The CIA…


Politics

Because we stupidly thank them for it when they do.

Jeff Bezos laughing while sitting in a leather chair
Credit: Steve Jurvetson, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

MacKenzie Scott has now donated 8 billion dollars of her personal wealth to charities. While that act is noble in itself, her estimated wealth increased $23 billion during the same period.

Jeff Bezos’s ex-wife literally can’t give her money away fast enough.

Because she shouldn’t have had that much money in the first place. Neither should her ex-husband have. And neither should the other 717 billionaires in America.

719 people who collectively now own more than 4x the wealth of the bottom half of Americans.

Wealth is Out of Control and Charity is Making it Worse

We’ve now entered the age of philanthrocapitalism, where the world’s richest CEOs, genetic lottery winners…

J.J. Pryor

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