This month’s news without the bullshit (October 2019)

This month’s news without the bullshit (October 2019)

Song: Jens Larsen – That’s Life – Chord Melody – Jazz Guitar Legendary novelist Tom Clancy once said: “The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction needs to make sense.” He was making a point that often events transpire in the real world, that would be considered unrealistic had it been written as a story. And when looking at the world, even through the narrow lens of the last month, you would be forgiven if you had been left in a state of complete disbelief. So this is the news for October 2019, without the bullshit. The Hong Kong protests have now been running for over 200 days, and it may be very well be shaping up to be the most significant event of the decade. There are so many things to unpack this week, that while writing this, I’ve currently opened over 100 tabs on Hong Kong. However, for those who need a quick refresher of why the protests are happening in the first place, here’s a very simplified history lesson. Viewers who are up-to-date, can skip forward to the time on-screen now. (2:39) For around 2000 years, Hong Kong was part of China, until the British discovered the country, became collectively addicted to tea, and started trading and importing a metric shit-ton of the stuff from the Chinese mainland. By the 19th century, there was such a trade imbalance between the two nations, that China refused to accept any other currency besides either gold or silver. The British government, not wanting to pay with either of these commodities, decided to start forcibly exporting opium to China, which eventually led to a series of wars (Opium Wars), which gave the British control of Hong Kong. However, by 1898, the tea-drinking degenerates were worried, that defending the already exposed and surrounded port would be far too difficult, so they signed a deal with China, that the region would be returned after 99 years. In 1997, the now thriving Hong Kong was officially handed back to the People’s Republic of China, with the condition that it would retain a level of autonomy for the next 50 years. Fast-forward to 2019, and a bill is proposed that would allow Hong Kong citizens to be extradited to mainland China. A country, that has been heavily criticized for human rights abuses and corruption, which left citizens in a state of panic. Protests have now swept the country since March, which has seen Hong Kong citizens heavily resist policies imposed by the Chinese government. To this day, the protests have led to over 2000 injuries, 200 arrests, and have left at least 10 people dead. Now that everyone is up-to-date, let’s start with Blizzard Entertainment. Professional Hearthstone player blitzchung, was given a 1 year ban, and been stripped of his winnings, after he shouted the motto of Hong Kong protesters during a post-match interview. The very dazed casters, who were comically hiding behind their desk at the time, were also fired. Blizzard, the owner of Hearthstone, has a large stake in the Chinese market, and therefore, wants to not piss off the Chinese government, which of course has a vested interest in Hong Kong becoming integrated into mainland China. This of course caused outrage with many fans and human rights activists, because as you can imagine, punishing free speech for the sake of profit, isn’t a good look from a public relations perspective. After days of silence on the issue, Blizzard eventually issued a statement on the situation, announcing that it’s relationship with China had no influence on it’s decision, and that the ban was for voicing decisive social and political views on it’s platform. Blizzard, a video game company, which operates in a country, that was entirely founded on the idea of freedom, and upholds a core value, that every voice matters, told it’s fans that the views of a man peacefully protesting for the freedom of his country, were considered a decisive social, or political view. Jesus fucking Christ. Blizzard later reduced the ban from 1 year, down to 6 months, and awarded Blitzchung his $10,000 in prize money. The casters also had a reduced punishment, and have been suspended for 6 months. Some critics have speculated, that the statement may have been written by a Chinese official, due to some strange wording in the letter, but this is of course weak, and impossible to prove. At this stage, it’s also clear, that despite putting my name in for the Australian community lead for the Overwatch World Cup, there was no fucking way that Blizzard was going to let me attend, regardless of what the hidden tally of votes ended up being. If they stripped a man of $10,000 for saying a single sentence, you can imagine they’d be reluctant to let a guy who spent 6 months covering Hong Kong week by week, assume a representative position. But once again, this is impossible to prove. The aftermath of Blizzard’s actions have been ongoing, with the protesters now adopting the Chinese Overwatch character, Mei, as an official symbol of the Hong Kong protests. The intent, is to either force the Chinese government to ban Overwatch completely, or get rid of Mei altogether. Both options would be considered an absolute win. Furthermore, another 3 defiant Hearthstone players were initially ignored by Blizzard, as the company presumably didn’t want to attract any more negative attention. Although, the trio were later given a 6 month ban, which they promptly celebrated. The United States Congress even weighted in on the situation, sending a letter to Blizzard that criticized the ban. The letter read: “This decision is particularly concerning in light of the Chinese government’s growing appetite for pressuring American businesses to help stifle free speech.” Blizzcon is set to take place in a few days, from the 2nd to 3rd of November, so get ready, for at the very least, a very entertaining event. However, this is just Blizzard, let’s move our attention to the NBA. Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey, earlier this month, tweeted this picture in support of the Hong Kong protesters. With an estimated 10% of the league’s revenue currently coming from China, this shit was shut down as fast as you could imagine. Despite this, several Chinese channels suspended Houston Rockets events, and later, the NBA lost every single one of it’s partners in China. The Chinese government even asked the NBA to fire Mr. Morey for the tweet, to which the NBA declined. When asked about the controversy, professional player LeBron James told reporters that “Daryl Morey was misinformed.” and that “There can be negative ramifications of free speech, if you’re not thinking of others.” LeBron James has long been an activist for labor rights and social justice, so when this hypocrisy came to light, Mr. James received heavy backlash, one television personality called him an outright sellout, while another friendly lady gave him a much more creative title. Friendly lady: LeBron! How does it feel to be a pussy ass bitch?! ???: Hey, watch your mouth woman! Since the controversy, NBA fans have made it a game, to sneak Hong Kong related symbols and slogans into stadiums, one Mad Lad even bought up 300 seats, and filled them with Hong Kong activists, while other fans were ejected completely for showing support. A personal favorite incident, was this bamboozle caught on a live feed, which led the camera operator to frantically pull away from the cheeky activist. We could talk forever about the other companies that have cracked under the pressure of the Chinese government, like Apple and Paramount Pictures censoring the Taiwan flag, but let’s instead talk about an unexpected role model, that will make the mothers groups the world over, flip their fucking shit. The always controversial long running show, South Park, maintained it’s reputation of never shying away from heated current events, and in it’s 300th episode, heavily criticized the Chinese government, and companies who warp their values to conduct business within the country. Within only a week, South Park was entirely banned in China, and scrubbed from the Chinese internet. The two creators of South Park later wrote an apology to China, which read: “Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts. We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn’t look just like Winnie the Pooh at all. Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10! Long live the Great Communist Party of China! May this autumn’s sorghum harvest be bountiful! We good now China?” Over the past month, the Chinese government has also banned German DJ Zedd from the country, after he liked a South Park tweet. And banned Pewdiepie, after he reacted to a meme comparing the Chinese leader to Winnie the Pooh. With that all out of the way, let’s move on to Hong Kong itself. The controversial extradition bill that more or less started the protests back in March, has been declared dead by the leader of Hong Kong. (Carrie Lam) Unfortunately, the language used during the announcement left much to be desired, as critics have pointed out, that no legislative legal words were used, making the declaration completely hollow. The withdrawal of the bill is only one of five demands currently put in place by the protesters. So even if this was legitimate, many fear that there may still be a long road ahead. As we have talked about Hong Kong a lot already, here’s the highlights of the last month: A 15-year-old girl suspiciously ended up dead in the ocean, masks were banned completely across the country, no one listened to the ban on masks. A 19-year-old man was stabbed while handing out leaflets, a democracy group leader was attacked by a group armed with hammers, protesters tempt the United States with freedom, and a police officer shoots a guy in the fucking chest. Okay, listen the fuck up. So far this video has talked quite a lot of shit about China, but I’d like to make a distinction. This channel has nothing against the Chinese people as a whole. As far as I am concerned, the people of China are simply trying to live their best life, and Chinese culture is pretty fucking cool. This channel has even taken sponsored deals from Chinese companies, which quite ironically, have allowed me to continue the news as long as i have. But the actions of the Chinese government have been frankly, reprehensible. From censoring free speech, conducting mass ethnic cleansing, harvesting organs from prisoners, and conducting medical experiments in concentration camps. So on behalf of everyone, with even a half-functional moral compass, Fuck the Chinese government! There are also 3 more major protests currently happening in 3 separate nations. The first is in Chile, which was sparked over a small price increase in public transportation fares, but spiraled into an enormous demonstration over the growing level of economic inequality in the country. Of the nation of 18 million, an estimated 1 million took to the streets of the Chilean capital (Santiago), marking the biggest march in the nation’s history. The intervention of government forces, who stepped in to quell the unrest, has led to at least 19 deaths, and thousands of arrests. Subsequent rioting has also led to millions in damage. Next up we have Lebanon, which was very similarly sparked by a proposed tax on internet calls, which led to spontaneous demonstrations. The proposed tax was the last straw in a country, that has experienced growing discontent for years. Protesters have cited the flawed structure of the political system, huge economic inequality, and nearly a 40% unemployment rate for young people, as one of the many reasons for the demonstrations. This has marked the first time in the country’s post-colonial history, that citizens who have often been fragmented by cultural and religious identities, have protested as a united, homogeneous group. Violence has so far been minimal, however, it has been predicted that this could change, should government forces decide to escalate the situation. Lastly, we have Iraq, which was born out of high unemployment, poor public services, and government corruption. The difference being, that the government forces who stepped in to control the demonstrations, went on to kill 149 protesters, before promising not to do it again. They then proceeded to do the same thing later in the month. Several southern provinces in the country are currently under curfew, and there have been scattered reports of smaller violent incidents across the country. This has all been terrible news so far, so as a change of pace, let’s mention something positive. Just kidding. Next up is Freedom Land. On October 6th, US forces were withdrawn from Syria, during Operation Strong Pullout Game. The US military has had a presence in Syria since 2014, and has been fighting ISIS militants who have been occupying parts of the country since the start of the ongoing civil war, which has been raging for nearly a decade. The decision to withdraw has come under heavy criticism, as it has effectively left America’s Kurdish allies in Syria out in the cold. Only a few days after the announcement, Turkish forces, who share a border with Syria, started invading north-eastern areas of the country, resulting in at least 90 civilian casualties. The Turkish government has received 3.6 million refugees since the start of the Syrian Civil War, and considers the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit a terrorist organization. The country plans to establish a zone of control between the Turkish and Syrian border, and has expressed it’s intentions to send as many as 2 million refugees back across it’s border. Over the course of the month, there have been reports of war crimes carried out by the Turkish government, and even US soldiers nearly getting shelled by the Turkish military. America’s Kurdish allies have expressed their sentiments of betrayal by the United States, and many commenters are worried that this kind of discontent only creates the conditions for terrorist indoctrination. Kind of like how Iron Man creates half the enemies he ends up fighting. It was later reported that US troops would be returned to Syria, not to protect their Kurdish allies, but to maintain control over oil fields. It’s just become a stereotype at this point. The US president weighed in on the situation, but I imagine most viewers who are watching this video, regardless of political leanings, have become so damn jaded at this point, that any report without the president, has become a refreshing change of pace. So let’s not worry about that today. Moving on, a 21-year-old slept through jury duty, and received a 10 day jail term. A woman called ‘Swing Set Susan’ dresses up as a police officer, and chases away minorities, and China, the host of the Military World Games, has been disqualified for cheating. At the same time, the first all-female spacewalk was deemed a success, the first man to walk in space has passed away, and evidence that the Russian Air Force has been bombing Syrian hospitals, has been confirmed to an overwhelming standard. In technology: China shows off a new camera, that will attempt to kill privacy once and for all, Rwanda releases a smartphone made entirely in Africa, and Facebook is still not receiving much support from anyone not named Karen. In entertainment: Disney bans Netflix advertising ahead of it’s streaming service release in November, China bans ‘Once Upon a Time In Hollywood’ for it’s portrayal of Bruce Lee, and ‘Joker’ beats out ‘Deadpool 2’ as the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time. We also get a shit-ton of trailers, including ‘The Rise of Skywalker | Final Trailer’ ‘The King’s Man’ which is a prequel to ‘The Kingsman’ series, ‘Birds of Prey’ which is a Harley Quinn standalone movie, the ‘Dolittle’ reboot, featuring Tony Stark, and ‘1917’ a World War 1 film, which is supposedly edited as one continuous shot. In gaming: Ubisoft stock drops a whopping 16% after it announces an overhaul to it’s development process. The company plans to push back upcoming releases such as ‘Gods and Monsters’ ‘Rainbow Six: Quarantine’, and ‘Watch Dogs: Legion’ into it’s next financial year, in order to spend more time on development and polish. This is after the company attributed the underperformance of ‘Ghost Recon: Breakpoint’ and ‘The Division 2’ to downgrades from their original vision. Regardless of your opinion of Ubisoft, it’s hard to not respect a publisher that’s willing to admit their mistakes, and take such a dramatic hit for the sake of quality. At the same time, sources from within Rockstar have claimed that a sequel to the much acclaimed ‘Bully’ had been in development, and had even been playable internally. The source goes on to say that the unannounced ‘Bully 2’ had simply fizzled out after 18 months of development, meaning fans of the series will likely have to wait much longer to ever get their hands on such a sequel. Rockstar has officially announced that ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ will be coming to PC on November 5th, after a year of console exclusivity, and that unsurprisingly, it has no plans on further single-player DLC. The most shocking news in the game space this month, is that not only are there still people playing ‘Fallout 76’, but Bethesda has introduced a premium membership subscription, which will cost players $100 a year. The subscription includes: A private world for up to 8 people, unlimited scrap storage, and in-game currency that will be given to the player on a monthly basis. Bethesda, in all it’s wisdom, unfortunately neglected to claim the web domain, for it’s subscription service titled: ‘Fallout 1st’ Which led to a fan making a parody site which mocks the new additions. Viewers who want to visit the site, can try wading through the comically large list of sources in a comment below. Riot Games, the developer of ‘League of Legends’ celebrated the game’s 10 year anniversary this month, and took the opportunity to make a shit-ton of announcements going into the future. The company showed off a fighting game called ‘Project L’, a card game called ‘Runeterra’, an unspecified game called ‘Project F’, and a competitive first person shooter called ‘Project A’ Riot Games also announced that ‘League of Legends’ would be coming to mobile and console, and that a League-themed anime would be coming next year. This month also saw the announcement of ‘Crusader Kings 3’, early footage from ‘Microsoft Flight Simulator’, which would allow players to fly anywhere in the entire world, and that ‘Payday 3’ is set to release sometime in the next 4 years. Notable releases this month included ‘The Outer Worlds’, ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’ ‘Fortnite 2’ and ‘Ghost Recon: Breakpoint’ This has been the news for this month, I’m not entirely sure if I’ll continue the series like this, as once again, it’s done nothing but hurt the channel, and this video especially, as you can imagine, was particularly unenjoyable to make. With this being said, viewers who want to support the channel can become a supporter on Patreon, or join my Reddit, Discord, or Twitter links in the description. (Outro!)
Thanks again. Song: Shawn James – That’s Life (Frank Sinatra cover) [Subtitles by Corporal Corgi]


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