She’s nobody from nowhere.
You’ve got to listen to this podcast
It’s all about Putin’s kleptocracy.
A reader recommended it. It’s about the transition in Russia from communism to autocracy, with a bit of supposed democracy in between. We keep reading about Putin’s crimes, but they never get any traction. I remember “Vanity Fair” did a whole piece on graft in the creation of the infrastructure at Sochi, but it was too soon, it was pre-Trump, if you read it today…
Then again, despite having a moment, which actually lasted twenty years, the written word is fading again, being superseded by pictures on Instagram and audio on podcasts. Yes, the technology has gotten to the point where phones have better cameras than the ones you used to buy separately and if you stream at all, you have an unlimited plan, so why not listen to a podcast in the car?
Actually, if you’re pressed for time, you can get away with listening to just the first and seventh episodes of “The Big Steal.” The first sets the stage, tells you what is going on in Russia. The seventh covers Putin’s disinformation campaign, which he uses to upset democracy throughout the developed world.
If you listen to the entire podcast you’ll also learn that Russia has no money and Putin’s all bravado. He’s the world’s richest man, but he knows if he loses power he’ll be broke, but he’ll probably be killed first. So, he holds on to power with an iron fist.
“The Big Steal” is utterly fascinating. It covers Bill Browder, the Magnitsky Act and “Red Notice,” which I’ve written about before,
but the podcast gives more context, it’s not so personal, knowledge is power, and it’s also thrilling, you’ll listen to “The Big Steal” and pontificate about it and Russia to all your friends.
Sarah Kendzior calls Trump’s administration a kleptocracy.
Not that I knew who she was. I knew she wrote that book “The View From Flyover Country,” but that was it. Actually, I knew the book, not her name. But then my friend and webmaster Jeff told me to DVR her on Seth Myers. She was hyping her book, but late night shows are all about humor, ever since David Letterman, there’s no substance, and Jeff apologized for her the lack of protein in her appearance and sent me her new book “Hidden in Plain Sight” and…
I was intrigued.
It always happens this way. For all the hype in the media, we really only trust our friends.
So I saw Sarah was appearing on last week’s L.A. Bookfest, and playing around on my phone in a funk, I decided to pull up the stream.
Sarah was in conversation with Connie Schultz, who is married to Sherrod Brown.
Now one thing you’ve got to know about the book business is it’s positively ancient. It’s still living in the last century. Not only is its goal to protect physical, believing price points are everything, despite music and streaming TV proving otherwise, but its marketing is positively lame, it doesn’t know how to get the word out. Watching a book event is like viewing an SNL skit. These people take themselves so seriously, what world are they living in?
That was the host, who threw it to Connie.
And Connie and Sarah are acting so friendly. There’s been a bunch of stories recently how countries run by women have done much better in the coronavirus era. And one thing about women, they converse differently from men. For all the alpha females in TV dramas, for all the “Housewives” shows, most women are enthusiastic and want to get along and have no trouble being friendly and making conversation, whereas with men it’s all about climbing the totem pole, or you can see them being obsequious, kissing ass.
So, Connie asks Sarah questions and I’m intrigued. Because Sarah is so normal, she’s not media-trained, and she says things that are taboo.
Like she has no hope. Didn’t Obama run on hope?
And she also said we’re all waiting for someone to save us, we believe there’s some bigger power that’s gonna stand up to the insanity, but that is patently untrue.
And I’m watching Sarah and I realize…
She’s a rock star.
And I was going to tell you this last week, but they took the video of the Bookfest down, and I felt you had to see it to get it.
The truth is it takes longer than ever to make it. Sure, you can be hyped by the machine and get some traction, but the machine always needs something new, which means you’re suddenly old, and forgotten.
And my inbox is inundated with musicians bitching. Angry their cheese was moved, that the pre-internet label deals no longer exist, and pissed that they’re not stars.
They’ve just got no perspective.
Sarah Kendzior has been at it for YEARS! She’s 42, and she didn’t get any real traction until 2010. Now I’m here telling you about her, because you should know.
She lives in St. Louis. The aforementioned flyover country.
The truth is there is no flyover country anymore. Everybody’s got broadband and mobile. But the coasts pooh-pooh the people in-between. They think they’re irrelevant and have no clue what is going on. And then suddenly Sarah says Trump is gonna win in 2016 and collects her essays in “The Flyover Country” and she’s Hillary Clinton’s big expert after she loses the election.
You see people are drawn to truth. We all know it, very few say it. And those who do say it oftentimes have no commitment, they say it and move on, whereas to have impact you’ve got to do the hard work.
Sarah has a Ph.D. In anthropology. Her thesis was all about autocracy in Uzbekistan.
I bet you can’t find the country on a map, but that’s not the point. While you were home practicing your instrument, honing your craft, angry that no-talents were usurping your place in the hit parade, you were paying dues, you were taking steps on the long road to a career. You want it right away, anything easy is not worth having, you’ve got to work hard to get to your goals.
So, we live in a world where expertise is pooh-poohed and if you live in St. Louis you’re irrelevant. Sarah was actually contacted for a story about rural America. She told the producer that St. Louis has 3 million residents. That’s how dumb those on the coasts are.
But it gets worse.
But before I get there, I was sold on Sarah Kendzior by watching her on the L.A. Bookfest. Proving, once again, you’ve got to give it your all each and every time, because you never know who will be watching.
And chances are you’re gonna have to give it your best for years before anybody significant notices. Because there are just that many media messages in a world where people are already overwhelmed. They need great, but they haven’t got time to wade through the detritus to find it. But when they do, they tell everybody about it, like I am doing with Sarah.
So, Jeff sent me the new book, “Hiding in Plain Sight.” And it’s hard to get into a book. Getting over the hump is the hardest part. But I was intrigued, I’m not much for non-fiction, but I kept going back to it.
And I wanted more.
So I listened to her podcast, “Gaslit Nation.” And Sarah said she wasn’t worried about her reputation. HUH? Isn’t your reputation what you’re protecting, isn’t it everything?
Also, Sarah has death threats. Because if you speak the truth, those in power don’t like it. Believe me, I know.
So, last Sunday I wanted to write about the path Sarah Kendzior took to becoming a rock star.
Today, I want to talk about what she’s saying.
First and foremost, not only does she live in St. Louis, she’s on the borderline between Gen-X and the Millennials, and no one wants to listen to those people. And she’s married with two kids.
In other words, Sarah Kendzior grew up through all the turmoil. The switch to the internet, the consequences of income inequality, the economic crash.
Her first gig after college was at the “New York Daily News.” Paid 40k in 2000.
Today that job is done by an unpaid intern.
After getting her doctorate, she was ready to interview for an academic job. She couldn’t afford the trips on her own dime, and when she brought this up she was told to ask her parents.
That’s a big theme of “Hiding in Plain Sight.” How the elites control everything. It’s a club, and they protect each other, and you’re not in it.
“Hiding in Plain Sight” is heavily researched, with footnotes. Sarah is constantly railing that despite facts, no one in mainstream media followed up on these stories. She posits writers don’t want to alienate their brethren. Yes, the privileged class, those with money who went to good schools, have now permeated everything…government, finance, media, entertainment.
Come on, you see the talking heads on TV. They’re all impeccably groomed, speaking in the same monotone. It’s all gravitas all the time.
Meanwhile, hell goes on all around them.
Those are the reporters. The pundits? The opinion shows? They’re buffoons, usually discounted because they’re one-sided and one-sided only.
And at this point Sarah is invited on these shows. Not that people can hear the truth, not that they can amplify the truth. As for pundits…she’s got a friend who was a regular guest who is now broke. You see you do it free for exposure. But the dirty little secret is the exposure usually leads to no monetary reward.
Sarah goes into Ferguson. How the media’s coverage was a drive-by. They didn’t go where the action was and interviewed interlopers and then disappeared, even though the problems persist. Sarah lives five miles from Ferguson. But people don’t want to listen to her, but the coastal experts who control the media.
Now we’ve got right wing bozos like Milo Yiannopoulos, who blew himself up and then disappeared. And bomb-throwers like Ann Coulter who just want attention, and to get paid for it. They’re cartoons. To the point where you tune out, because you’re sick of the Animaniacs.
But that’s what Putin wants. To muddy the water of truth and to get you so overwhelmed that you tune out.
Forget Russia interfering with U.S. elections, sans Putin there’s a very good chance that Brexit never would have happened. Trump may only get four years, but Brexit is FOREVER! Impacting the finances not only of the U.K., but the remaining European Union!
Not that Sarah only attacks Trump. She goes after Obama. Because the truth is Obama was compromised too. And Biden wants to return us to a past we’re not enamored of. But Sarah says we’ve got to vote for Biden. Not that she thinks Trump will leave.
You see Sarah Kendzior keeps going back to her education, her Ph.D., her study of autocracies. We keep saying it can’t happen here, but it is!
This is not about tribes. This is not about protesting, which she believes is essentially useless today, because the criminals in charge of things know they’ll never be held accountable, why should they listen to whiners?
This is about our country. Irrelevant of whether you consider yourself to be on the right or the left. There’s an elite club, of corporate titans, financiers, government officials, the media and Jeffrey Epstein who control the world, you may think the voters do, but they don’t. And they absolutely do not want to give up power. They’ll do whatever they want, tell you whatever you want to hear, but nothing is gonna change. You’re busting your ass to stay afloat and if they don’t have cash, their buddies will take care of them.
This is a perspective we have not heard. From someone living in the Midwest, of an ignored age. It’s refreshing.
Do I agree with absolutely everything Sarah Kendzior is saying?
No, but I’m absolutely sure it’s her truth, that’s she’s not sugarcoating anything, not telling any lies to get ahead.
It’s been going on for forty years folks, and Sarah has blown the whistle. The rich have gotten richer, the government has been stripped and the powerful are ever more so.
You want to believe someone is on your page. That there’s someone to listen to, to inspire you, who is not a product of plastic surgery made for consumer consumption. Someone real, just like you, who has a 3-D life, who just wants a better future for her kids.
That’s Sarah Kendzior.
P.S. Yes, that L.A. Bookfest video is down, so I recommend you listen to the episode of Gaslit Nation wherein Sarah talks about “Hiding in Plain Sight.” There’s some amateurish girl talk at first, and the interviewer can go on for too long at times, but the essence is there:
P.P.S. Or don’t do any of the above, don’t read her books, listen to her podcast, move on down the line. But now you know her name, you’ll be aware the next time you see or hear it. That’s how you build a career these days. By hacking away forever, being as great as you can be all the time, and waiting for word to spread. And believe me, if you’re great and telling the truth, people will notice.