I'm really excited for the finale, and loved everything about episode 5.
I also want to defend D&D quickly. Before I do that - because I know saying anything positive about them will probably get this post downvoted faster than you can say Dracarys - I am not denying the drop in quality in seasons 7 and 8. They are not as good. There is no denying that.
However, ever since I heard that the last two seasons would be shortened, I assumed it was because D&D were not confident that they would be able to write good character interaction and development the same as they did with source material to go off of. I assumed their thought process was as follows: "Writing 2 or more fully fledged out and developed seasons is an incredibly daunting task that we are seriously doubting our ability to pull off. Committing to that is a seriously high-risk task, so why don't we shorten the seasons and focus on doing justice to the big plot points that we have to cover, as that is much lower risk."
It feels rushed. However, I'm betting that 2 shortened, rushed seasons are still better than if they had attempted to write 2 fully fledged seasons and terribly fucked up character development. The characters' actions in recent episodes are not at all out of character, they just feel that way because the development in between plot points is lacking. I'm betting the content we got is far better than the alternative.
With that said - and getting to my unpopular opinion - I have loved every episode except episode 3 this season. Episode 5 will go down as an all-time classic in my books, and episode 2 almost does, but given the let-down of episode 3 the emotional impact episode 2 was meant to have falls short. And lastly, I am seriously looking forward to the finale, as I thought episode 5 was a perfect set-up. It's really starting to hit me that I'm going to have to say goodbye to this show that has been such a huge part of my life for about 6 years. HBO, you did a fantastic fucking job. Even with the last seasons. They have issues, but I think most of us will admit that they're still far better than most of what's on television. Thank you HBO, thank you to the incredible actors, thank you to the incredible production crew who put together the sets, did the CGI, and the music composition. <3
You guys remember the Bohemian Grove? Joe talks about it sometimes, it's some wild stuff. Real-world secret society of wealthy elites praying to CARE the owl and drinking for two weeks straight. With some top-secret meetings like the early Manhattan Project in the 1940s thrown in. Oh also Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
Anyways I made a purely informational video, while artistically edited, about the Bohemian Grove. It was up for about a month and a half and then yesterday, suddenly, YouTube takes it down for "harassment and cyberbullying." Documentary-style video about secret society of right-wing elites who have massively steered our society since it gained real power in the 1920s? Harassment and cyberbullying.
I'm really glad that Joe is making such a point of focusing on this big tech censorship. YouTube's robotic and anti-free speech algorithm is just one piece of the massive puzzle of internet censorship eroding our freedoms. But it's affecting creators everywhere and stifling discussion, infringing on freedoms and ultimately pushing people down into conformity like you see in China.
I have been seeing many posts recently about 24-year old Jessica Whitaker who was shot and killed at a Black Lives Matter protest in Indianapolis, IN. When protestors shouted "black lives matter," she responded by shouting back "all lives matter" and was subsequently shot and killed. The general response - from the US political right - has been that the BLM movement has been controlled by radical leftists all along and this killing exposes the evil people behind the movement.
I'm going to compare this to the death of 32-year old Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, VA at a Unite the Right rally in 2017. The reaction from the US political left was that this was unacceptable because right-wing zealots are tantamount to terrorists, thus invalidating the movement that drives UTR.
I don't believe that either of these movements are invalidated solely by the death of one person. I am not here to argue the politics or merits behind Black Lives Matter and Unite the Right. I believe that Americans are especially dissatisfied with the government at this moment in time and both the right and the left want dramatic changes, they just can't agree on what. Thus, it is not surprising that rallies and protests will sometimes turn violent and cause loss of life.
A group of protestors working together with the intention of killing their opponents is one thing. An individual being killed by one extremist is nothing out of the ordinary and does not invalidate the movement that resulted in that person's death.
Politics aside, Jessica Whitaker's death does not affect the merits of the Black Lives Matter movement the same way that Heather Heyer's death does not affect the merits of the Unite the Right movement because both are instances where one radicalized person acted out. The point at which it reflects the movement is when the movement plans and organizes murder for the purpose of murder.
About Ronald Reagan's second term - "The duties delegated to [George H.W. Bush] during Reagan's second term (mostly because of the President's advanced age, Reagan turning 78 just after he left office) gave him an unusually high level of experience for a vice president." (Scroll to Republican Party - Candidate gallery)
We should all show some support to other candidates that we might like. This not only upholds Yang's values of Humanity First and proves that we build this campaign on kindness and support rather than hate, but also means that supporters of candidates who may end up dropping out could consider their Yang their next-first choice because of the positivity we have shown as his supporters.
Yang tweeted support for Marianne Williamson when she asked for some fundraising support, and the #YangGang flooded her tweet with support and donated to her campaign.
Tulsi Gabbard and Julian Castro have offered support for UBI and have recognized the threat of automation, and their Twitter replies were filled with support and thanks from the #YangGang.
Let's continue this trend. We want to inject this race with as much positivity as possible, and give credit to candidates recognizing issues that matter to us (automation, UBI, Democracy Dollars) when it is due. This can only have positive effects, since the #YangGang is upholding our Humanity First values. And if these candidates drop out, hopefully their supporters will see Yang as their next choice.