Social Smeedia

Everyone remember the 1980s?   Neon greens, oranges and yellows…. And no social media.  None.  Not even an internet.   I lived through it and I loved it.  We had great times without twitter, facebook, linkedin, parler, etc.  We used to call people on the phone and have conversations.

  • Social media collects information about you more aggressively than ever before.   They can use artificial intelligence to infer things about you without proof.
  • Social media draws upon your ego.  
  • Social media takes you out of “mindfulness” or being in the present.  This hurts your health.
  • Social media supports the far left and China.   Twits and Fecesbook are in bed with the socialists.

So, I deleted my social media accounts.

Advantages:

–It’s tougher for technology companies to track or to build a profile of me

–It’s harder to find me – harder to sell something to me, arrest me, assassinate me

–My medical information cannot be used against me

–I use the phone to communicate with friends and relatives, and the communication is better

–I am not getting my ego bent out of shape or getting into online arguments

–I live “in the moment” of wherever I am:  restaurant, work, truck, apartment.  Wherever, I am I notice that environment.   I am present with the person that I’m talking to.

I am going back to reading, writing, and web sites.

Writers on TV

The CBS production of  Magnum p.i. respected writers.

Recently, a fanboy of the show made some disparaging remarks about Stephen J. Cannell, a respected television writer who appeared on Magnum p.i. in a bit part – for a lark.  But, this person did not understand why Cannell appeared on the show – it was because the creators and Tom Selleck had great reverence for Cannell and all Hollywood writers.  I personally know that Donald P. Bellasario had great respect for Mr. Cannell – as I worked as an assistant in the office next to Bellisario and Cannell was down the hallway – where they had windows.  And I often saw them going to lunch in the cafeteria.

Here are some examples of the reverence for writers in Magnum p.i.:

-The secretive and unseen owner of the estate was a writer.  Yes, Robin Masters wrote steamy thriller novels.

-The estate major domo, and keeper was Jonathan Quayle Higgins, a writer of personal history essays and stories.

-During the parties and galas, writers were always invited:  especially to The Big Blow, where Robin hosted his high school writing teacher

Mad Buck Gibson featured the death of a writer that was loosely based on Ernest Hemingway and followed his slow spiral into self-created death that only a writer could dream up

Ghost Writer was about how Robin Masters wanted to help a young biographer to get a story, and thus offered up the services of Mr. Thomas Magnum

-Tom Magnum struggled throughout the show to finish War & Peace

Yes, the staff at the Magnum p.i. show respected writers

Check out my novel, Burlesque Blues

Mark O’Neill is currently an officer with Special Operations Command in Tampa Florida.  He works in security and intelligence.94332372_10216766363337751_2197676242138824704_n

Keep the Vibe Going: Social Media During Shutdown

Keep the Vibe Going:   Social Media for Performers During Shutdown

As Veterans, we have been in a “hurry up and wait” position, and we have also faced times where we are going through hell and we just got to put one foot in front of the other.  Actors and others in entertainment can apply these lessons during this downturn / “stay at home”.  Because things are still moving in entertainment – if only behind the scenes.

First, in social media maintain an identity and guard it.  As an actor, you want to be known as flexible and versatile, but on social media and in the beginning of your career, it’s best to be known for a few attributes which come together to form an image.  (This is similar to a brand, but not as “locked in” as a brand.)  Think of five or six words that describe you and try to stick to posts which highlight those words. And if you are really concerned about being typecast, then maybe use ‘versatile’ as one of words. Use these words as #hashtags. Social media tends to favor those people with a strong image – not a broad list of attributes.

Second, in relative to the first point, do not post divisive political opinions and don’t get in arguments. You do not want to be turning anyone off because you want a wide fan base- it makes it easier to hire you.  Even if casting directors or directors agree with your politics, they still might not cast you or want to work with you.  You can avoid this by keeping separate profiles – with one for your acting and one anonymous for politics.

Third, work with other actors and performers who you know and are familiar with.  One of the things you can do is have another actor be your guest on your page for a day.  Or do an interview on your site with another actor – keep it short.  Take photos with another actor – while social distancing or wearing masks or whatever.

Fourth, engage on social media and comment on what others are posting – build these social media bonds.  After you have posted one or two things on your profile for that day, take the time to engage with the people that you follow or find interesting.  Help to promote your contacts by sharing their images, making funny comments about them, or complimenting them.  That’s time much better spent than engaging in politics.

Fifth, only post twice per day at the most.  Posting too much content washes out the content that you do post, and pushes it down the page. Try to post quality images and thoughts, rather than quantity.   Do not view social media as a chattering conversation with your friends – at least not when you are trying to promote an image as an actor or entertainer.

Sixth, be visual.  Social media has evolved to be more and more of a visual medium.  If you are not good at taking selfies, watch a video of how to do it and learn it.  Or work with someone else, another actor, or a partner or spouse, and exchange photography.   Do not fall into the trap of always wanting to be the focus of the photograph.  Take photos with others, take photos of cool things you see, take photos where you are on the outer 1/3 of the photo and something interesting is on the other 2/3s.  In other words, you don’t always have to be dead center of the image, no matter how good looking you are.  Close-up after close-up of your face gets weird after a while because you can come across as if you think you are the center of every production.

Seven, be authentic and be in it for the long-term.   The goal should be to gather real followers who have an authentic relationship with you.  Often times, if you use tricks or gimmicks to gather followers, you will only be attracting bots, fake profiles, and followers who don’t really engage.   If you talk to advertising and media executives about what they look for in a profile, you’ll find that it’s not all about follower count any more, it’s about authentic followers and engagement.

Eighth, one “trick” is to plan your social media out for the week.  It’s easier to line up and plan out your social media on a given morning -like every Friday.  This helps to avoid it seeming like a task every day, and it’s not boring.  You can also strategize how one post can set conditions (notice how I use the military term) for exploitation later in the week.  For example, you post a photo of you and your dog on Tuesday, and you post how you are nervous about going to the Veterinarian.  Maybe take a photo at the vet. Then, after the vet you post a photo of you and your happy dog after surviving the vet. That way, you’re telling a story throughout the week.

Ninth, be the focus of your page/profile and be clear about why it is there.  Don’t create a profile because you “kinda want to get into acting”. Or don’t mix purposes.  Come right out and name your page:  Jody Dufflebag, Actor    Be bold.

Tenth, finally have some of your military photos, but don’t be one-dimensional.  Do not brand yourself as “That ex-military guy”.  It’s just too simplistic.   Even for guys who are looking for military-roles or looking to cash in on their military service, one or two military photos now and then is all we need to get it.  Veteran can be one word that goes into your list of words that builds your image, but you should combine that with some words that round you out.  Perhaps “athletic” – and show some photos of you playing sports.  “Leader” – show some photos of you leading a team.  “Outdoorsy” – show some photos of you civilian camping.

In conclusion, I have broken all of these rules – but I’m learning what to do and what not to do.  As someone who is primarily a writer and director, it has been very hard to promote myself. Being an Army Intelligence guy, I’m also shy to say what I really know.  BTW, I obtained this list by working with a social media pro who works with bars and clubs throughout Vegas and Hollywood, and I realized that many actors are in the same situation as bars and clubs are during the shut-down.  They need to keep the vibe going.

-Mark O’Neill

You can find Mark on Twitter at @markoneillpi

or on Facebook    facebook.com/noladetective

 

Pullouts, Abandonment and Vaccuums

In 2007, Barak Obama one-sidedly declared that we were pulling out of Iraq – leaving behind the Kurds, leaving behind a thin Shiite-dominated government.  For Afghanistan, on 22 June 2011, Obama addressed the nation from the White House and announced that 10,000 troops would be withdrawn by the end of 2011 and an additional 23,000 troops will leave the country by the summer of 2012.  Thanks in part to efforts by Barak Obama, and continued by Donald Trump, against the will of the military establishment, American presence is down from 68,000 boots, to nearly around 10,000 boots, plus a lot of strap-hangers, contractors, agency types, etc.   It’s a massive drawdown, one which left behind a lot of our allies.

Okay, so Barak Obama was more of an isolationist and did not want to keep America involved in endless wars that had deep roots in tribal rivalries and ancient histories.  Sound familiar? No endless wars?  (I’m also against them) Donald Trump thinks the same way.  They both favor isolationism to a certain degree.  Both Presidents tended to consult with the Pentagon, and then do their own thing.  Barak Obama announced the withdrawal from Iraq long before the Pentagon was ready to even discuss it, and many in the Pentagon really resented him for leaving Iraq.  The main difference is that Obama didn’t mock his generals….   Donald Trump has gone through several generals on his staff – he’s not big into getting advice, and he makes fun of generals that he disagrees with.

In the Pentagon and Department of Defense, people say that wars and conflicts are “good for business” — meaning military men like more business: more casualties, more fighting, more deployments, more involvement.  It’s what they do.  And they want to grow their top line revenue of war.  Trump told the Joint Special Operations Command to get out of Syria in late 2017, and what did JSOC do?  —  Throughout 2018 and 2019, JSOC  faked the numbers, moved people around, used “over the horizon” troops based in Iraq, and other footwork to do more raids in Syria while making it look like they were in the process of drawing down.  Why?  because the generals think they know better.   They want to drive ISIS into the ground until their is nothing left.  In contrast, Trump wanted to leave something for the Russians to clean up, and busy themselves with.

This brings us to the Kurds.  We did not abandoned the Kurds.  We had been partners with the Kurds in getting rid of ISIS, but we never promised them anything more than that — just like in 2007 when Barak left them at the altar in northern Iraq.  Looking back in history for an explanation of our current predicament, the Kurds were the Ottoman Empire’s border guards and enforcers, and hence they now live on the borders of Turkey.  They were put on the border between the Ottomans and the Persians.  But, in more recent history, just last century, who was it that actually carried out the Armenian geonocide?  It was the Kurds.  The Kurds built the ovens that roasted the Armenians.  And they’ve done a lot more bad things to Christians if you really look deep into history. Kurds are warriors, tough people.  But they can also be uneducated, brutal people – real warriors.

In Civil Affairs School, they teach you:  Never promise anything to an Arab because they will think that you made a life-or-death oath to make it true. They will expect you to die before you don’t get it done.  Instead, say “I will try”.   That’s all we ever should have told the Kurds.  “I will try”.  Doesn’t mean we’re going to give them a homeland, just means we will try. If it doesn’t happen – then we didn’t break an oath to make it happen.

America can dominate any small piece of ground on the planet that it wants, but there are few of us, and we can’t be everwhere.   We cannot dominate a whole lot of ground.  Anyplace we go, we will have to leave eventually, to shift our focus to another small piece of ground — and we take our promises with us.

So, if we did not abandon Iraq, then we didn’t abandoned Afghanistan, and then, we did not abandon the Kurds in Syria.   We never promised to nation build those countries.  We are not going to stay in any of them indefinitely.  We made no promises. No involvement in endless tribal wars.   Any vaccuums that we left behind — we’ll let the Russians get sucked into those. cemetary-1

 

 

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Get Your Manhood Back

Cruciferous Scramble

Detox the liver, remove fat from liver, and increase testosterone. 

Cauliflower – chopped

Red cabbage –

Onion

Yam/sweet potato – or whatever you want.

Put them in the pan, add some pork/bacon fat and water, cook on low.  These are the hardest – and will take the longest to cook.

After 20 minutes, add

Hemp hearts, bacon bits, chopped parsley, chopped or grated garlic,

Cook for 10 more minutes, add a little water, a little oil or bacon fat.

Finally, add mustard, turmeric, salt, pepper

Right before serving, add grated cheese.

Voila!

This dish is designed, yes, designed to deliver the cancer and detoxifying benefits of cruciferous vegetables, coupled with the benefits of the spices — comp

Cauliflower, cabbage, onion, yam, bacon fat, hemp hearts, bacon bits, garlic, parsley, mustard, turmeric, salt, pepper, possibly cumin. Finally, top with cheese, sour cream or guacamole.

Two of the most powerful ingredients are the turmeric and mustard.  Only consume about a tablespoon of turmeric per day per person — because it thins your blood.  But, a table spoon is a lot.  The turmeric coupled with a vegetable that contains beta carotene will release the beta carotene and amplify the health benefits.  The mustard is a cruciferous vegetable that also boosts testosterone.

Yes, testosterone is healthy.

Finally, if you store this, store it in a glass container, and get away from estrogen generating plastic storage bins.  Do not use plastic whenever you can help it.

Tip:  for single guys, cook a big pan of this on the weekend, and store it in the refrigerator for the week.  If you add in some more bacon fat to it, you can eat it for a meal.

Why  the new Magnum p.i. Won’t Work

The new Magnum won’t work because it misses pieces of the archetypal story and the hero is not relatable.

Star Wars captured an audience of people who wanted to hear Obi-Wan Kenobi, a former Sergeant in the Kings Guard, give wisdom to a young royal who might be the next king.  According to Joseph Campbell, we cling to stories that show how wisdom is passed down from one generation to another and in this case one generation of warriors to another.  But the producers and writers of the new Magnum p.i. chose to eliminate the mentor role, and substitute with a contemporary-aged sexy female to play down to the audience as if they were stupid, and not seeking wisdom.  Viewers tuned in to the original version of Magnum to hear the stories of Sergeant Major Jonathan Quail Higgins, and this new version misses all of that.

Higgins also acts as in the archetypal role of gatekeeper – someone who tells Magnum he cannot do something, or that he’s not good enough.  Then, the audience roots for him to prove Higgins wrong.

The writers think that they copied the original formula to the letter with two friends, T.C. and Rick, but they are missing the deep back story of these characters involvement in the politics of Vietnam/Afghanistan.  In the original story, the politics of the Vietnam War reached out to Hawaii and embroiled the characters in more stories, like tentacles of a sick monster that they could not escape.

No true fan would watch this show just because it is set in Hawaii, and the hero drives a red Italian sports car.  Just because the guy has friends named Rick and TC does not make him Magnum.

The show was about a self-deprecating hero who did not like to fight, a guy who treated women with respect, and a guy who had not yet fully grown-up, someone who needed help from an elder mentor.

Magnum p.i. was also respected because he had discipline and honor, traits which worked against his financial situation.  He was honest to a fault and often chose working out over working on a minor case.  The audience loved that about him.

You can find a lot more of Magnum’s traits in my hero, Franco Chevalier, in the novels Volatility and Bound to Get Burned.  And coming soon:  City  of Ghosts.

Open Source Intelligence and Intent

Finding military targets may require advanced satellite imagery and super secret signals intercept, but often the clues to an adversary’s strategic are published in the open and all you have to do is read.

Kim Jong-Un is ill and has a kidney problem, and perhaps one of the main reasons he wants to do a deal with South Korea will be to get access to western doctors for himself.  How do I know?  First, I can analyze his face, voice and body, then analyze his symptoms. I can run these symptoms past a medical doctor, then I can look through the media for stories and rumors.  Turns out, someone has already done this analysis and found that… Kim has a complex kidney problem.

Kim Jong-Un was also rumored to be going to his family museum alone, at night, and wandering the exhibits of his father and grand father, which sounds very similar to how Richard Nixon used to wander the halls of the White House and have imaginary conversations with past presidents during the Watergate scandal.  Such behavior, wandering around, appealing to past authority figures, asking rhetorical questions to imaginary figures, … all could indicate someone trying to make a decision.

Also, through open source we can know that Kim Jong Un lives a luxurious lifestyle and has not been personally impacted by sanctions.  He is not as motivated economically as many may think, because he already has many material goods and a high stand of living.  But he is afraid of being invaded or toppled.   Through open sources, we can find his armaments, number of missiles, military order of battle.  Then through simple wargaming, we can see that n Korea has few military options, and none of them will lead to a victory over the South and the United States.  In fact, while most people did not even notice, north Korea lost their civil war in the 1960s and 70s while the population and economy of the South grew.

So, next time someone with a security clearance tries to tell you that they have the inside information and you do not – you can laugh at their over-confidence.  Because all of us have access to intelligence sources, we just have to take the time and do the research.

Indicators

An intelligence professional spends his or her life collecting, analyzing and briefing indicators… things that suggest an enemy course of action.

No one can guarantee an enemy course of action or natural chain of events, but intelligence analysts can give a couple likely chains-of-events, which have little more than an average chance of coming true.   During WWII we tried and tried to gain indications as to the intent of the NAZIs….In the early days, it was: What was their offense?  What would be their next conquest?  In the later days, it was:  Where would they defend?  What ground would the NAZIs give up?  The ability to predict an enemy’s course of action is incredibly valuable in planning both the offense and defense.

We give the nation of Israel hundreds of millions of dollars worth of intelligence every year, and in return, they give us tens of millions of dollars worth of intelligence, and they buy tens of millions of dollars of weapons from American defense industries. But, for the most part, their enemies are our enemies, and we’re on the same side of the struggle of Judeo-Western values versus Islamic-Arabic values, though some Christians find themselves on both sides.

We give Europe billions of dollars in intelligence and get basically nothing in return, but a guarantee that their intelligence networks would go into action in the event of an attack on NATO.   Pfff! Yeah, I know, almost a laugh.

Why do I write this?

I want you to know why we spend billions on intelligence.    And we do.

And of all the intelligence, the signals intelligence, SIGINT, proves to be the most valuable.