My 2017 in Review
(aka my yearly self-promotion)
Thanks to all who have supported me and shared a little bit of 2017 with me!
Here’s 5 highlights:
1. Why Colin Kaepernick Took a Knee
This was my most successful 2017 video (30 million views on Facebook) about a largely unknown part of the Kaepernick story, and essential knowledge for anyone debating his alleged disrespect for veterans. While most media sources focused on conflict and shouting matches, they ignored the root of the whole goddam story: the fact that Kaepernick went from sitting to kneeling out of respect for and at the suggestion of special forces veteran, Nate Boyer!
2. The Big Idea
Right away in January 2017 I continued sharing the idea of Universal Basic Income.
- I was handcuffed at MLK Memorial for peacefully displaying MLK’s quotes on economic justice. Went on to promote Basic Income on popular Facebook Pages, radio shows, and podcasts talking about the incident.
- Interviewed a bunch of leaders in the modern Basic Income movement including bestselling author, Rutger Bregman (“Utopia for Realists”); Karl Widerquist (Georgetown University, BIEN, & USBIG); and Jim Pugh (Universal Income Project)
- Tackled the question “Would people work if they didn’t have to?” and wrote several other articles around the issue of Basic Income.
- I asked for help funding a video series on Basic Income Guarantee called “The BIG Idea”. I got close to no support and put the project on the back-burner.
While I was unsuccessful growing a sustainable income on Patreon, I am happy to say that my independent work in the previous year did lead to some exciting freelance gigs in 2017 to help keep me afloat.
3. The Jimmy Dore Show
Jimmy Dore is a comedian who’s best known nowadays for being an excellent media watchdog. I’m a fan of his show and was truly flattered when he reached out to me to make some videos for him. I ended up editing dozens of videos for his show and I dedicated many weeks to making a couple promos I am very proud of. Unfortunately, he only plays them for his live audiences (cause they’re just so special), so I guess you’ll have to go see a live show. (Actually you should tweet at him to put the vids online already.)
4. Saving Blair Mountain
I delved deep into American labor history, especially the Battle of Blair Mountain, where West Virginia miners revolted against oppressive coal companies for the right to form a union. It was the largest armed uprising in the United States since the Civil War.
I had the pleasure of interviewing History Professor, Chuck Keeney, about the historic battle, and made a video about the current efforts of the coal industry to literally blast mine the battleground out of existence.
Unfortunately a mentally ill filmmaker slandered me, calling me a racist (among many other ridiculous claims) and had my video removed from Facebook & Youtube despite it clearly falling under the Fair Use clause of US copyright laws. It was an insane experience but on a positive note I was able to expose her nut-jobbery and learn a bit more about American copyright law in the process.
5. Martin Luther King Videos
I made two new videos out of MLK speeches aimed at reinvigorating the revolutionary spirit in America. The first was about “The Myth of Time” — the idea that positive change is inevitable. It’s a dangerous idea because it leads people to think progress occurs without any effort. (It’s why the Democratic Party thought they could automatically win 2016 without offering any meaningful change to average Americans.)
The second video was “MLK Stands with Standing Rock”, which illustrated the many similarities between the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s and the #NoDAPL movement. The Civil Rights movement was successful because it got ample media attention. Sadly, the #NoDAPL story did not (*cough* bank and fossil fuel ad money...). So this video was an attempt to help bring more attention to it.
I also got a tweet from Julian Assange and a nice shoutout from Jane Sanders.
But don’t be like Jane Sanders and find out about my videos A WHOLE YEAR after I release them. Please subscribe to me on Youtube, Facebook, or whatever your social media addiction of choice is these days :)
Thanks to all my 2017 Patrons still with me!
I cannot express how grateful I am for your financial and moral support. I hope you will continue to support my work in 2018! Good luck to us all!
Scott Santens, Sherrie Parks, sugarhigh147, Ernesto Acosta, Liz Arriaza, Stuart Mark, Greg Slepaak, William Kirk, Amala, Agatha Bacelar, Larry Cohen, John Ellis, JD Laboy, Marco sansevino, Roshni Sami, Nancy Clifford, Margaret Lion, betastarchild, Amanda Amarotico, Eleanor Kuser, T Cutler, Andrea, Arjun, Pedro Alexander Moreira, Judah Frangipane, Joy Leopold, Liane Gale, Sustainable Human, Nohad Nassif, Alex Bonnici, Harlan Simon, Suzanne Emerson, Rachel Medeiros, Christine Collie Rowland, Sandeep Mangla, Jenna Wikler, Laura Ballard, Michelle A OHara, Mary Burke, David Ryal ‘Pug’ Anderson, Tanu Kaskinen, Zak Groner, Pamela Shafin-Stigall, Oystein ‘Astevon’ Kvinge, and UBIVisuals!