Affiliate Merchandise Group LLC 108 Madison St Saint Louis

The Subreddit for WWE

A subreddit for fans of World Wrestling Entertainment. This includes WWE, WCW, ECW, NXT and whatnot.
[link]

Minnesota United FC - Reddit of the Loons

The Official Subreddit for Minnesota United FC of Major League Soccer.
[link]

Found some great merchandising for this group (no affiliation)

Found some great merchandising for this group (no affiliation) submitted by BitcoinAllBot to BitcoinAll [link] [comments]

Found some great merchandising for this group (no affiliation)

Found some great merchandising for this group (no affiliation) submitted by Richy_T to btc [link] [comments]

Regarding PoE Overlay and PoE Planner using Overwolf for future updates.

If you haven't already seen because of the massive amounts of down votes both threads received, the tools Poe Overlay and PoE Planner have partnered up with a company called Overwolf to develop their "Gaming Apps"
https://www.reddit.com/pathofexile/comments/gzxdqv/poe_overlay_10_release_market_replay_vulkan/
https://www.reddit.com/pathofexile/comments/gzssme/poe_planner_overwolf_beta_release/
Overwolf has a long loooong history of shady practices including data mining and targeted advertising. Some examples from their website:
Overwolf merges ad experience with positive gaming experience. We use smart ad placement and timing to reach buyers' KPIs. Ads are shown while users wait for the game to load or while they browse team stats.
An article showing Overwolf harvests your data for targeted ads:
https://news.softpedia.com/news/overwolf-software-bundled-with-teamspeak-harvesting-user-data-for-targeted-ads-528693.shtml
“When you download our client and/or register, we collect Personal Data provided by you, such as your username, email address and profile picture. If you register through a third party log-in/ account registration service (such as Facebook, Gmail, etc.), we collect your basic profile information from such third-party log-in/account registration service and your profile picture.
We also collect Personal Data when you use the Services, such as games you played, language preference, referring site, pages viewed and the order of those pages etc, or contact us with questions or complaints. When you visit our Site and/or use the Services, we automatically collect your IP address, operating system, connected device, hardware details and other information about your use of the Site and/or Services. We can receive aggregated data containing impressions, revenue, video stats, as well as confirmation of user completions.”
“We share the Personal Data we collect with our service providers and subcontractors who assist us in the operation of the Services and process the information on our behalf and under our instructions, as well as with our business partners and affiliates who may offer you products and services, based on your preferences (if you indicate your desire to receive these).”
I understand the creators of these tools rightly deserve to be compensated for the amount of time and effort they put into making these tools, but using bloated malware disguised as "a software platform designed to help developers create extensions for video games" is 100% the wrong way to go about it.
I really hope these creators can find a better way to monetize their time and effort such as patreon donations & other services that don't interact with the actual tool. I have to actively navigate to the help menu of PoE Overlay to find a small link to his patreon, put it out there more! Do what wikipedia does and have a pop up every few days asking politely to consider donating to the cause, anything would be better than selling out to a garbage company like Overwolf.
Edit: here is a snippet of Overwolf's ToS provided by NOML just adding to the pile of terrible that is Overwolf:
Collecting Information: Whenever you access or make use of any of the Website, Materials or Services, Overwolf Ltd. may collect the following types of information from you: * when you create a Member Account (as defined in clause 14 of the Terms of Use), your email address, user name and password * if you purchase merchandise, your name, email address and postal address * your purchase history and other information relating to transactions made through the Website * information contained in your correspondence with Overwolf Ltd., for example, when you send us an email * information collected during the course of your use of the Website, Materials or Services, including: * gameplay information * your credited name (if any) * ‘crash reports’ in the event that a Overwolf software crash occurs, which may include details of your Member Account, a portion of the memory state of the Overwolf app when the crash occurred and the game settings you were using * the IP address of your machine when connected to the internet, the operating system and the browser your computer uses and any search engine you are using, the date and time you are visiting, the URLs of the Website pages you visit and any telemetry details (such as speed of your connection and how well Overwolf game client is running) * information collected from third parties where you have authorized this or the information is publicly available
Use of Information: Overwolf Ltd. uses the information provided by you: * to provide the Website, Materials and Services to you * to verify your identity and verify that your Member Account is not being used by others * to market products and services to you, including contacting you via email that you may choose (or opt in) to receive. * for security and system integrity purposes * to conduct research and statistical analysis (see more in the Statistics section of this privacy notice below) * to protect and/or enforce Overwolf Ltd. legal rights and interests, including defending any claim * for any other purpose authorised by you, the Act or other applicable law * where this is necessary for Overwolf Ltd. legitimate interests * automated processes do monitor gameplay to identify cheating and fraud but human intervention is applied in the decision-making process. Information is gathered transiently for these purposes.
Overwolf Ltd. may disclose your personal information to: * any business that supports Overwolf Ltd. products or services, including any person that hosts or maintains any underlying IT system or data centre that Overwolf Ltd. use to provide the Website, Materials or Services, or to process payments * its professional advisers e.g. accountants, lawyers, auditors * any other person authorised by you * Overwolf Ltd. may disclose research and statistical analysis derived from your personal information to third parties (see more in the Statistics section of this privacy notice below).
Overwolf Ltd. also may disclose information it holds about you without your prior permission if Overwolf Ltd. reasonably believes that such disclosure is necessary to: * meet legal requirements * comply with legal process or help to maintain the law * for Overwolf Ltd. other legitimate interests
Statistics: Overwolf Ltd. may use and publish aggregate statistics and group data about those people who access or make use of any of the Website, Materials or Services and their usage of any of the Website, Materials or Services.
Protecting your personal information: Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed as totally secure. (...)
Transfers of personal information: A business that supports our services and products may be located outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”). This may mean your personal information is held and processed outside the EEA. Please see the GDPR Terms below for further information about personal data transfers from the EEA.
Internet use: While Overwolf Ltd. takes reasonable steps to maintain secure internet connections, if you provide Overwolf Ltd. with personal information over the internet, the provision of that information is at your own risk.
submitted by tf20593 to pathofexile [link] [comments]

Is the Hanson fandom a cult?

I want to preface this with a couple of things: - This is not a value judgement of individuals. I, like most others here, have participated in Hanson-themed fuckery. - There are quite probably many fandoms that this could apply to. Again, no value judgement. It's human nature to want to be a part of something.
This is a post I've been working on for a few months, but that I've been ruminating on for years.
The joke has always been that the fandom is a cult. The tropical island isolation, the constant peer pressure... there's a lot to unpack. Maybe it's not a murder-y cult, but harmful to the psyche of many nonetheless. My sources of research are varied, but consolidated by the Netflix special "Cults, Explained".
Let's start with the "old school" definition of a cult; it has three parts: 1. The charismatic leader. In this case, three of them, but I think we can all agree that each of them has charisma in spades, know how to charm, and do it consciously. Generally, they have a united front, and work as one entity when it comes to messaging. 2. Mind control, or reprogramming. This one is a bit sketchy, but the development of an increasingly exclusive fan group which delivers not only "perks", but also social hierarchy belongs here. In the years since Anthem, this exclusivity has been almost the only way to access the teachings (music) of our charismatic leaders. What this generates is a culture of "us" and "them". We'll explore this later when we move to the more modern cult definition. 3. Exploitation. To me, this is clear as day. Looking further than simply overpriced merchandise, consider also the exploitation of the morals of fans. Zac is especially well versed on this; instead of owning up when he does something wrong (let's use the stolen art as an example), he instead summons his "fansons" to defend him, and rewards their loyalty (and for many, breaches of their own morality) in various ways; a like on your post, a post that praises the work of "fansons" (let's note that the term "fansons" is only used by Zac when he knows that he has succeeded in manipulating his followers to do his bidding).
There is a more detailed description of what creates a cult, with 7 criteria: 1. Members join when they are at a life crossroads. For so many Hanson fans, their affiliation with the band was built on that natural life crossroads, puberty. For some of us, it came later in life; for me, I was slowly coming to terms with the death of my mother, which was transformative as many of my relationships with others changed. 2. The "soft sell" (otherwise known as "an easy way in"). This is simply going to a show, coming across a record, and meeting others who enjoy the band. We all have had this experience; we liked the music, connected with others, and together encouraged one another to be more and more involved in the band, their music, their fandom, and their events. 3. The New Reality. For so many Hanson fans, we felt like we were different in some way. And suddenly, we're normal! We fit in! We have a voice! You can meet a Hanson and they're nice to you! The new reality is that this is a utopia that we're not only lucky to be in, but that we have somehow been "chosen" as a "real fan" (not like those fake fans who only turn up for MMMBop, amiright?) 4. The dear leader(s). This goes without saying. Hanson are revered as truth tellers, charismatic, dreamy, talented, and intrinsically interesting. The more a follower is involved with the fans, the more their being becomes about Hanson. Many of us have had the experience of telling someone you're seeing a concert and them (sometimes accurately) assuming it's Hanson - your devotion is no longer subtle. Some know about their personal lives, and even might change or form ideals based on the messaging of the band. Importantly here comes the dreaded and ever-present "if you don't agree with them, go away, move on, and you're not a real fan" or "those who are saying they are wrong better not be at insert event here". These statements come from not being a fan, but from revering Hanson as leaders. 5. The Enemy. Ooooh boy is there a lot in this one. I'll unpack the "enemy-fan" in the next section, but let's just real quick consider some super interesting messaging that has come from the band in the past few years. The first I'd like to mention is the monologue that has been added to the show before "Strong Enough to Break". The rhetoric that we as Hanson fans, have been weathering this dark storm that threatens to destroy the band, and therefore our "community" (another word that is getting a lot of airtime recently), that we must continue to actively fight against it, because it's coming for us and our way of life. Of course, the reality is that most of us live in an adult world where the most anyone has to say about Hanson is usually "huh, I didn't know they still made music". The other thing that is maybe most concerning to me is the name of their next album; Against The World. Hi, this is enemy-creation 101. Ironically, it's becoming a self-fulfulling prophecy through Zac's behaviour... but isn't that how it always goes? 6. Peer Pressure. I don't think I need to do too much analysis here. Somehow the fans (and Hanson, with their regime of rewarding sycophantic comments and behaviours) have created a subset of fans; the "enemy-fans". These are those that, for whatever reason, question the behaviours of the band and the fandom. It's Us vs Them. There are heirarchies that exist in both. Some people switch between the two roles, while others stay put. Some are vocal, some are exclusionary. Us behaviours say "you can't be a real fan and question Hanson"; Them behaviours say "fans can't think for themselves". Of course, neither of these statements are an overall truth, but they work to maintain peer pressure within the fandom. Many people won't say anything for fear of retribution, especially if they happen to disagree with the band. Instead, they will stay silent (and compliant), for fear that their dissonance might be highlighted in the fandom and their position as Us be put at risk. 7. A Sociopathic Narcissist. I'm not going to diagnose anyone with anything, but some of the key behaviours of sociopathic narcissist include; never taking responsibility for their actions or apologising, being preoccupied with their own position in society, believing to have more intrinsic value as a person than others, gaslighting and skirting issues, wearing a very well crafted "mask" in public spaces, playing victim, belief that they are above the moral and ethical restrictions that others face, delusions of power (especially as a "saviour"), has the belief that because of their high status they can only be understood by others they deem as worthy, exploitation of others, believes that if they are challenged, this comes about because the challenger is envious of them. I'll say no more.
There ya go. There's my brain dump. I definitely feel like I've been in a cult, and I would characterise the fandom as a cult. There are some really concerning things around isolating members that I think is a worry that things might escalate in a way that might be unexpected. I'm glad to be leaving, even if it is difficult.
submitted by meganwalkedaway to postHanson [link] [comments]

$MEDH: Cannabis/CBD coffeeshop franchiser and retailer with Willie Nelson affiliations and insane spike potential. Massive DD inside.

OVERVIEW:
$MEDH (MedX Holdings Inc) is a microcap OTC stock that recently had something very interesting happen: they appointed a new CEO and director, Hans Enriquez, who has a long history of cannabrand building and is rumored to have purchased a majority stake in the company in order to reverse merge his own companies under the ticker. I'll go more into the evidence for this below, but suffice to say for now that he has no qualifications for being appointed CEO and has his own very successful cannabis/CBD business, LazyDazeCo, that he has been promoting harder than ever since being appointed CEO and director for MEDH.

LazyDazeCo
Enriquez's cannabis/CBD franchising chain, Lazy Daze CounterCulture, is far more valuable than the company he just became CEO of. They offer cannabis infused coffees and teas and are also a large online retailer of cannabis products and merchandise.
- $7 million in annual revenues: https://www.zoominfo.com/c/lazydaze-co/356396707 (MEDH's current market cap is only 1.5m)
- Company currently has 7 CBD coffeeshop locations open (6 in Texas and 1 in Ohio) and have multiple others opening soon in both Texas and other states, including a company-owned location opening in Pittsburgh as a franchised location opening in AUSTRALIA!
- Company markets itself as the future Starbucks of cannabis and believes coffee is the best medium for introducing the mainstream public to cannabis (CBD-infused coffees are their focus right now and they will shift to adding cannabis-infused coffees as legality permits)
- they have recently been granted a hemp handler's license and a hemp producer's license in the state of Texas ( https://twitter.com/Goldbarstocks/status/1283025518036692993?s=20 ) and have inked a contract with a 250-acre hemp farm
- company website: https://www.lazydazeco.com/
- store in Southwest Austin is owned and operated by Chris Houston, a former NFL player who uses CBD for pain relief related to injuries sustained during his time as a player and discovered it as a remedy for his mother's epilepsy. Touching story with huge marketing potential for the company.
- CEO confirmed that no other companies in the US are operating in the cannabis/CBD infused coffee space https://twitter.com/The1OnlyHans/status/1283249281294651393

WILLIE NELSON AFFILIATIONS
- Company is one of few retailers authorized to sell Willie's CBD coffee and tea products, "Willie's Remedy": https://www.lazydazeshop.com/product-page/dark-blend-8oz-whole-bean-coffee https://www.lazydazeshop.com/product-page/decaf-blend-8oz-whole-bean-coffee
- LazyDazeCo was namedropped in a Willie Nelson Rolling Stone article on how weed saved his life: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/willie-nelson-weed-issue-826290/.
- They also hosted a launch party for Willie's products in 2019: https://2019.do512.com/events/2019/3/11/willie-s-cafe-willie-s-remedy-cbd-coffee-launch-party
- CEO has also confirmed they are reaching out to Willie for additional promotion ideas: https://twitter.com/The1OnlyHans/status/1283446887010504706?s=20
I wonder how many shares Willie owns :)

HUGE SPIKE POTENTIAL FOR THE SHARES
- Absolutely tiny market cap (1.5M) compared to the implied value of the company reverse merging into the ticker
- Tiny float as well (15.7M shares float, roughly ~25% of the outstanding shares)
- Company recently abandoned an offering they had planned on doing 9 months ago before Hans was CEO (https://www.otcmarkets.com/filing/pdf?id=14271335&guid=BzbFUa40axa3s3h). They appear to not need the capital after all which is very interesting. This also shows their commitment to avoiding dilution of shareholders, presumably because the CEO wants to retain his majority stake and control.
- MEDH as a company had 2.6M in assets in 2018, double the current market cap
- 0 debt
- This stock is getting shorted like CRAZY. When this thing starts climbing there will be a massive short squeeze. There was a trading day last week were it was at 95% short volume and it's been over 50% most trading days. https://otcshortreport.com/company/MEDH
- Volume has trended upward massively over the past few weeks and the Twitter mentions are ramping up now too. Search for $MEDH on Twitter and you will see lots of people talking about it in the last week especially. Share price has also doubled in that time frame.

Summary
At a tiny market cap of under $2 million and a company presumably reverse merging into the ticker that is far more valuable, as well as with ramping up volume and discussion and shares that are primed to spike hard, MEDH is an OTC dream that could easily multiply as investors continue to realize the potential of this franchise. LazyDazeCo has their hands in everything cannabis and CBD-related and the CEO is very experienced with building cannabrands and has even founded a cannabis legalization activism group based in Texas ( https://www.texasgreenrush.com/ ). He has no reason to have been appointed CEO of MEDH last month unless his businesses are going to be moving under the ticker. Cannabis legalization is happening slowly but surely in different states and LazyDazeCO is the only company in position to capitalize on the cannabis coffeeshop space right away, and are already opening licensed and franchised locations around the country with over 12 locations already confirmed and 7 operating.
submitted by Confirmation__Bias to pennystocks [link] [comments]

Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ May 13, 2002

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUSLY:
1-7-2002 1-14-2002 1-21-2002 1-28-2002
2-4-2002 2-11-2002 2-18-2002 2-25-2002
3-4-2002 3-11-2002 3-18-2002 3-25-2002
4-1-2002 4-8-2002 4-15-2002 4-22-2002
4-29-2002 5-6-2002
  • Okay, look, here's the deal. The obituaries, as sad as they are, contain some of Dave's best work. But good lord, they are looooooooooong. And they never contain anything newsworthy that is relevant to 2002 or anything. But they're always super interesting from a historical perspective. But last week, Dave wrote a brief obit for Lou Thesz (only 5,000 words, ahem) and promised to go into more detail this week. So this week, we open with a 16,000+ word obituary for Lou Thesz and I just can't. Sorry. It's really good though, you should all go read it. But I've got, like, a family and a job and responsibilities and stuff. I can't recap this. It's an incredible piece of work though.
  • The World Wrestling Federation is no more. On May 5th, the company unveiled its new name, World Wrestling Entertainment. Dave recaps the history of the company briefly (was originally called "World Wide Wrestling Federation, or WWWF, until 1979 when it was shortened to WWF, which is has remained for the past 23 years). But as of this week, the company has been rebranded to WWE. The website domain was changed to WWE.com and all references to "WWF" were changed to "WWE." The scratch logo was also changed, with the F being removed, so now it simply looks like "WW" (which, honestly, never really did make much sense to me. Even though the logo has changed, it's still "WW" to this day). Anyway, this all stems from the World Wildlife Fund lawsuit over in the UK, in which the WWE lost every court case and appeal. They were planning to appeal the ruling in the UK's highest court, their final last-ditch effort to save their name, but the reality is, they weren't going to win that case. Vince McMahon and the company blatantly and repeatedly violated the agreement they signed in 1994. It was 1000% obvious they were in the wrong here and they had gotten spanked by every single court before, often losing their appeals by unanimous decisions. So they weren't going to win this final appeal either and they knew it. So they dropped the appeal and threw in the towel and finally agreed to just change the name. The WWE has until May 15th to remove all references to "WWF" from their shows and merchandise. Any merch with "WWF" on it can no longer be sold after that date. All video packages and posters will have to be changed and any "WWF" mention or logos after that time on television or in past footage will have to be censored. Last year, during the court case, the WWE claimed it would cost them more than $50 million to change their name and to deal with all the legal and rebranding headaches that come with it. But this week, they backtacked on that and said it wouldn't be that expensive after all. Who knows if that's true, but the idea of this costing $50 million was enough to make the shareholders shit themselves, so Dave says they claimed it won't cost that much in order to keep the stock from plummeting. Anyway, none of this had to happen. In 1994, Vince McMahon and the Wildlife Fund signed an agreement that the wrestling company would not use the "WWF" name for promoting itself outside of the U.S. (since the Wildlife group is based overseas) and that worked well for a year or two. But then Vince McMahon apparently decided, "Meh, who cares about agreements?" and began repeatedly and blatantly violating it, constantly, for years, at which point the Wildlife group finally got upset enough to file a lawsuit. Anyway, on the first Raw since the name change, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler repeatedly stumbled over the new initials, accidentally saying "WWF" multiple times. Gonna take time for everyone to get used to calling it the new name.
  • The buyrates for Wrestlemania 18 are in and it appears the event will have to settle for being the #2 biggest money show in wrestling history after it came up short and failed to surpass Wrestlemania 17. Final numbers aren't in yet, but latest estimates put it somewhere around the 800,000 buys range (ended up being about 880,000) which is quite a bit down from WM17. It was also #2 in total revenue from live gate and merch. Internally, it's actually being seen as something of a disappointment because with the power of the Hogan/Rock dream match, they were hopeful this show would top 1 million buys but unless something drastic changes with these buyrate numbers, it looks like the final total will be a good bit short of that.
  • NJPW's latest Tokyo Dome show is in the books. The show drew a sellout crowd of 57,000 fans, there to see the Masahiro Chono vs. Mitsuharu Misawa dream main event (which ended up going to a 30-minute draw). It was the biggest non-Jan. 4 crowd NJPW has drawn to the Dome in 2 years. So that's the good news. The bad news is that the show flopped in the ratings on TV. A big part of that is because the Chono/Misawa match didn't air as part of the show (due to the Asahi-TV/Nippon TV network issues discussed in past issues) so the televised show was built around the Shinya Hashimoto/Naoya Ogawa vs. Scott Norton/Hiroyoshi Tenzan match and man, the fans sure didn't seem to give a fuck about that. In fact, the rating was so bad that there's concern that this will be the end of pro wrestling on prime time TV in Japan for the foreseeable future. But there are justifiable reasons for the rating. The show went head-to-head with the Kirin Cup soccer tournament, which was a huge deal and did more than double the rating the NJPW show did. Unlike the U.S., wrestling and "real" sports in Japan have a major crossover audience, so having real sports competition severely hurt NJPW's show. Also, while Ogawa is a draw as a singles star, putting him in a tag match against Norton and Tenzan isn't exactly setting the world on fire. The show lasted 6 hours, which was way too long and the crowd was burned out before Misawa vs. Chono even started.
  • Other notes from the NJPW show: it opened with an hour long 30th anniversary ceremony. They had a 10-bell salute for Lou Thesz and brought out a bunch of legendary NJPW names from the 70s and 80s. Then they did an angle where Antonio Inoki came out to give a speech, but he was attacked by Tiger Jeet Singh. But then Chyna made the save, attacking Singh, running him out of the ring, and challenging him to a match. Inoki's ex-wife, famous Japanese actress Mitsuko Baisho then made an appearance, getting a huge pop, and she and Inoki did his famous catch phrase to kick off the show. Minoru Suzuki of Pancrase (who started with NJPW as a pro wrestler) was also there. Jushin Ligher and Minoru Tanaka won the IWGP Jr. tag titles and then Liger challenged several NOAH wrestlers who were at ringside (most notably KENTA) and they all jumped in the ring and it ended with a staredown. The Steiner Brothers reunited to face Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kensuke Sasaki, with Chyna as the special referee. Tanahashi was working hurt, but he still worked. They did a spot where Tanahashi ran into Chyna and he went down off the bump instead of her and Dave seems annoyed by this since Tanahashi is a guy they really need to be pushing who can be a huge star for this company. Dave doesn't like him selling bumps for Chyna. Anyway, decent match but the Steiners basically steamrolled them and Tanahashi was pinned by Scott Steiner. Chyna then challenged several All Japan Women at ringside as well as Scott Steiner, Tanahashi, Sasaki, and even IWGP champion Yuji Nagata, saying she wanted a title match. Dave thinks this company has lost its damn mind. Speaking of Nagata, he retained his title in the next match. And then, of course, the main event. Usually during interpromotional matches, the crowd is always super pro-NJPW but this time, they went insane for Misawa and it was clear there were a ton of NOAH fans in the building. Chono did some Inoki moves and Misawa did some Great Baba moves, to kinda have a spiritual "Baba vs. Inoki" tribute in the match I guess. Ended in a draw and by the time it was over, no matter how big the dream match was, the crowd was burned out and weren't as hype for the match as you might expect once the entrances were done.
WATCH: Misawa vs. Chono highlights
  • Goldberg has received a full buy-out of his WCW contract from Time Warner and as of this week, he is now an unsigned free agent. Goldberg did not request the buy-out, the decision was made by the Time Warner side after the most unprofitable quarter in their history. The company was looking to cut expenses, even at a loss, just so the books can look better in future quarters. Goldberg reportedly received almost all of his remaining salary (more than 90% of the nearly $3 million he was still owed) in order to get him off their books. When Goldberg realized he's going to be a free agent a year earlier than expected, talks with WWE started up. But as usual, they went nowhere. WWE (I feel like I'm having to get used to typing that all over again. Really does feel like 2002 again) has interest in him, especially given the way ratings continue to plummet lately. But Goldberg has always wanted more than WWE is willing to pay. Plus, they're feeling burned right now after signing Hall and Nash to big money, long-term contracts for part-time work, only to have Nash get injured and Hall likely to get himself fired at any moment (that moment is coming sooner than you think), and neither of them really getting over in any meaningful way. Even Hogan, who is also making big money for a reduced schedule, was hot for a minute and boosted ratings and buyrates. But after only a few months, that train already seems to be out of steam and TV ratings are back to floundering with Hogan as champion leading the shows. So WWE is kinda gun-shy on opening the checkbook and paying out the ass for these big stars, futilely hoping that one of them is the quick-fix that can stop the bleeding.
  • There's also the question of how Goldberg would fit within the WWE locker room. He hasn't been shy about his dislike for Triple H, dating back to WCW when Triple H trashed Goldberg in a radio interview and saying that even if Goldberg was available, they wouldn't want him (which, at the time, when WCW was still alive and Goldberg was the biggest star in the company, is just about the dumbest thing he could have said. In 1998, WWF would have gladly traded 10 Triple H's for Goldberg). Anyway, Goldberg took the comment personally and even confronted Triple H face-to-face at the Toy Fair convention in New York a couple of years ago, in a bit of an ugly scene where Goldberg was yelling at him and Triple H and Stephanie kept their heads down and said nothing. Goldberg also has a lot of dislike for Scott Hall, which is another of Triple H's good friends, so ya know. The latest on Goldberg is that he's considering working some in Japan but he's just fielding offers right now. Word is he's interested in working with PRIDE as well as NJPW. Of course, if he's looking to maximize his money potential, WWE is still the place to go if you want to make big bucks. If promoted right, matches against Rock, Austin, Triple H, and others could do huge buyrates. And if they keep Goldberg and Austin apart for a year and build to a match with them at Wrestlemania, well, needless to say, that show would set records. Dave talks about how Goldberg got nuclear hot in 1998 and even in 1999, he was the biggest drawing wrestler in the business. But by 2000, the company was dying, Goldberg was injured, and "Jesus Chris with an Etch-a-Sketch" couldn't have drawn in WCW. Dave again does the math and talks about how WWE should have brought Goldberg in for the Invasion angle. Yes, it would have cost them a lot of money and upset the salary structure, but he would have more than made up for it with the kind of buyrates he could have drawn with those dream matches and the Invasion angle might have had a chance. But alas.
  • And of course, who's to say how WWE would use Goldberg? They already have Brock Lesnar and they're currently giving him the unstoppable monster push. Lesnar is bigger, younger, and a more legitimate athlete (for whatever that's worth). And WWE probably isn't going to give Goldberg an endless string of jobbers to beat. In WWE, he's going to be expected to work longer matches, sell for people, etc. They won't book him the way WCW did so who knows how he'd get over in WWE? If they wanted to build to an Austin/Goldberg match, it would make sense that Goldberg first has to plow through guys like Triple H, Undertaker, etc. And politically, that just ain't gonna happen. Dave doubts NJPW can afford him for anything more than one or two big shows. As for PRIDE, he could probably make a lot of money there, but the problem is.....PRIDE is a shoot. They haven't had "worked" matches in a couple of years and doing so now would kill their credibility. Which means Goldberg would have to go into a legit shoot and one embarrassing loss there would severely hurt his future earning potential. In the end, Dave thinks it's inevitable that Goldberg will end up in WWE, but probably not any time soon. But he's certain it will eventually happen. There's too much money on the line for both sides and WWE's ratings woes are making them desperate, so it'll happen some day (yup, less than a year from this).
  • And the moment is here! For those of you who had "under 3 months" in the "How long will Scott Hall last?" pool, come collect your prize. Scott Hall was released by the WWE this week due to misbehavior on the European tour. Firstly, he went on a drunken binge during the entire tour and was even worse on the plane ride home (much more on that in a bit). Dave says this was inevitable. WCW fired him. Even ECW stopped using him when he got arrested at one point. And even though he was seemingly behaving during his Japan tours, even NJPW cut ties with him shortly before he went back to WWE because they were fed up with some of his antics. And now WWE has fired him. Dave talks about how Hall made a drunken spectacle of himself in the locker room on his very first day back in WWE, before the NWO even debuted on TV, then he showed up in Toronto for Wrestlemania in no condition to perform (later came out that he was hungover from the night before), which caused Austin to insist on ending their feud at WM (which was the plan, but Dave says Austin has continued working with Hall afterwards simply because they don't really seem to have any other credible opponents for him). Hall's match with Bradshaw at Backlash was an embarrassment and the night before that show, agents had to help him back to his hotel. Just endless incidents like this. In Europe, Hall was such a blatant drunken mess that even the other wrestlers were calling for him to be fired. Hall was 45 minutes late for the bus they all took to London and then passed out in the locker room during the show. On the plane ride back, he was starting fights with people and eventually passed out and it got to the point that people were worried about his health. When they got back to the U.S. for Raw, they literally had to wake him up from a drunken stupor backstage to send him to the ring to do his segment (and yes, he wrestled). After the show, they fired him. No one came to his defense, and even Hall's closest friends are now admitting that he simply can't handle the pressures of being on the road and being released is the best thing for him right now. Dave talks about how a lot of wrestlers have been fired in the last couple of years for drug and alcohol issues and that's all well and good, but the big problem is why hire them in the first place? Scott Hall's issues were not a secret. It wasn't like he cleaned himself up before he came to WWE. He was getting in trouble and collecting arrests like Pokemon all the way up until the day they brought him back. Anyway, Hall had a 2-year deal, believed to be worth $600,000-per-year downside for only 10 dates per month. So a really sweet deal, but it's gone now.
  • Hey, speaking of that European tour, turns out there was a bit of trouble on the flight back to the U.S. Perhaps you've heard of it. Most of the trouble wasn't even due to Scott Hall. Turns out Vince McMahon didn't make the trip and lots of people decided that was a good reason to cut loose and have fun. Plus, since everyone has seen Hall get away with being drunk 24/7 for the last few months, they figured nobody would get in trouble. So....folks got DRUNK. Among the various incidents on this flight: Goldust got on the speaker system and began drunkenly serenading his ex-wife Terri with love songs. Terri was extremely uncomfortable and begged him to stop and then Jim Ross had to go sit him down. Ric Flair also "started to get wild" but Jim Ross calmed him down as well (Dave doesn't seem to know just yet exactly what Flair "getting wild" entailed, but if you don't know, it involved getting totally naked except for his robe and started helicoptering his dick at flight attendants. And it gets worse if you feel like researching it. The flight attendants later filed a lawsuit against Flair and accused him of sexual assault). Curt Hennig was spraying people with shaving cream and he kept trying to get Brock Lesnar to fight him. Lesnar, being a newcomer, didn't know how to handle it and didn't want to get in trouble, but he ain't gonna let Hennig talk shit to him either. So anyway, Lesnar got up and basically annihilated Hennig, repeatedly taking him to the ground and embarrassing him because, well, of course he did. It's Brock Lesnar. At one point, Lesnar slammed Hennig up against the side of the plane, right into the emergency exit door, which freaked everybody out for obvious reasons. Michael Hayes got into a scuffle with Bradshaw and then tried to pick a fight with Hall (although everyone on the plane said Hall had it coming). Anyway, Hayes was apparently obnoxious as hell and annoyed everyone. But then he made the mistake of falling asleep and someone (believed to be X-Pac) cut his hair off. When Hayes woke up, he was furious and tried to fight several people. The next day at the Raw tapings, his entire mullet was in a plastic bag, pinned to the wall of the locker room for everyone to see. Gerald Brisco, Arn Anderson, and Hayes all caught a ton of heat from Vince afterward since they were the people who were supposed to be in charge. Anderson and Hayes especially, since their jobs are to keep the boys under control, but they were apparently having just as much fun as everyone else. Everyone's waiting to see how Vince is going to handle this situation. As noted, Hall was already fired and Hayes got an earful from Vince, Stephanie, and JR at Raw the next day, but there will likely be more fallout. Undertaker was also said to be furious over how out of hand everything got (I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this).
  • Anyway, while they were in Europe, WWE presented its latest UK PPV, Insurexxtion. As usual with the UK PPVs, this was little more than a glorified house show. They announced the show as sold out, but there were empty seats everywhere. RVD vs. Eddie Guerrero for the IC title was the show-stealer according to every report Dave heard, and was said to be far better than their Backlash match. Brock Lesnar teamed with Shawn Stasiak (lol wut) and lost to the Hardyz. Brock beat up everybody after the match. Triple H beat Undertaker in the main event and Dave doesn't know why since Undertaker is the one challenging Hogan for the title at the next PPV. The top rope broke during the match when they did an Irish whip into the corner and when the rope snapped, a metal piece broke off from the corner and flew into the crowd and barely missed hitting a small child in the face.
  • Smackdown on 5/2 drew the all-time lowest rating in the history of the show. Dave says that's the scariest thing to happen to WWF in the past 5 years. It was also the 3rd lowest rating for any Smackdown or Raw dating back to 1998. The rating was a full 18% drop from the week before, which was already scary. The rating was even lower than previous holiday episodes. So what was the problem? Well, it was headlined by Hogan defending the WWF title against Chris Jericho (as it turns out, the final time the "WWF" title was ever defended). Dave says the title has been meaningless for years now and Hogan's steam is running out. And Jericho hasn't recovered from spending the first part of the year being emasculated and playing second fiddle to Stephanie McMahon in the Wrestlemania feud. Add all that together and you've got a recipe for a shit ratings night. Among other things. Dave isn't blaming this all on Hogan and Jericho by any means, there's a lot of problems with the company as of late, from bad storylines to failing to make new stars, and it's all starting to come home to roost.
  • Keiji Muto wrestled a match in AJPW under his alternate gimmick of Kokushi Muso. Turns out "Great Muta" isn't his only other persona. The Kokushi Muso gimmick is basically like Hakushi in WWF, where he's covered his entire body in Japanese writing. He originally debuted the gimmick in Michinoku Pro last year, when teaming with....Hakushi (Jinsei Shinzaki, who occasionally brought back the old Hakushi gimmick in Japan). Anyway, same thing here. He teamed with Hakushi for this match, while using that gimmick (Muto would use that gimmick a handful of times throughout the years, always when teaming with Hakushi. It's like that was only his gimmick for that team. The last time he used it was in 2009, also in a tag match with Hakushi).
  • Former NOAH Jr. champion Naomichi Marufuji underwent knee surgery this week and should be out around 6 months (ends up being 9 months).
  • NJPW is doing an angle (according to Dave) similar to the Vince/Flair angle last year where Antonio Inoki and Masahiro Chono are battling over control of the company. Although it's more realistic. Inoki is in the press talking about how many of NJPW's shows aren't doing well and is pushing for them to use Naoya Ogawa more, while Chono doesn't want to. Inoki is also saying Chono needs to retire from wrestling and focus his energies on managing the day-to-day business of the promotion full-time. Dave says this is an angle, but it doesn't sound like much of one to me, and I think later years have kinda proven there was a lot of blurring between fiction and reality here, because there was a ton of behind the scenes turmoil in NJPW during this period.
  • Will Smith appeared alongside Antonio Inoki at the Japanese movie premiere for the film "Ali" based on Muhammad Ali's life. Crowd went absolutely insane for Inoki (I've tried like hell and can't even find a picture of them together. But then again, I can't find a single pic from the premiere at all).
  • When reviewing the recent Dos Caras Jr. shoot fight in Japan, Dave talks about the guy's potential as a wrestler. He has a strong amateur background, legit shoot skills, and a famous name. Dave thinks, if he's even halfway a decent worker, he can almost be a guaranteed star in Mexico (based on his name alone) and probably Japan too, if he decides to pursue that career (indeed he did, and indeed, he was fairly decent at it. Of course, he later became Alberto Del Rio, accused rapist and pretty much confirmed all-around piece of shit).
  • Former long-time WCW referee Randy Anderson passed away this week after a long battle with testicular cancer. Back when WCW was still around and he first got diagnosed, they did an angle out of it where Eric Bischoff fired him and then laughed at his wife and kids when they begged him to give Anderson his back. Of course, he was later re-hired when Flair became on-screen commissioner and continued to referee until 1999 when the cancer forced him to retire.
  • Random news and notes: Bobby Heenan is said to be in good spirits and is especially excited because WWE recently contacted him about doing a WWE Magazine feature on him. Verne Gagne's wife Mary passed away from cancer this week. Goldberg will be appearing on this week's Wrestling Observer Live show to be interviewed. Mil Mascaras is releasing an autobiography (in Spanish of course) and man, I'd love to find an English translation of that because I bet it'd be interesting. Chyna appeared on "Sabrina The Teenage Witch" this past week.
WATCH: Chyna on Sabrina The Teenage Witch
  • Bruno Sammartino turned down an invitation to attend the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame ceremony in New York (yes, that HOF existed and still does, in a different city now). Bruno did an interview with the local paper and said "Wrestling is how I made my living and supported my family, but it's over. I don't want anything to do with it anymore." Bruno managed to turn the discussion to the WWE, despite them not having any affiliation with this HOF and grumbled about how Vince McMahon blocked him from being inducted into the Madison Square Garden Hall of Fame. However, the new MSG owners have apparently promised Bruno he'll be inducted this year, since he sold the place out 200 times (Dave jumps in here to correct it and says the real number of sellouts is closer to 45. Bruno only main evented the Garden 127 times and by no means were they all sell-outs. But it's one of those myths that has been perpetuated for so long that Dave begrudgingly recognizes that people are always going to believe the 200 number is true, but it's not even close. He compares it to the claim that Andre The Giant was 7'4, which also wasn't true but people repeated the lie so often that it became accepted as fact).
  • Afa Anoa'i Jr., the son of the legendary Wild Samoan, is a star football player at his high school and is being recruited for Penn State. He also sometimes wrestles on his father's indie shows (that would be Manu, who was very briefly part of Legacy with Orton, Dibiase Jr., and Cody).
  • Former WCW announcer Scott Hudson will be doing commentary for Jerry Jarrett's new promotion, and Bob Ryder is said to be in a major front office position.
  • Jarrett has put out a press release saying that his new promotion has had talks with Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior. Word is Warrior wanted a 15% ownership stake in the new company, which pretty much ended those talks right there. They're also apparently interested in Scott Hall now too, with the idea that since they're only doing 1 show per week, he won't be a screw-up here. Dave is skeptical. Anyway, currently Road Dogg and Brian Christopher expected to be some of the company's top stars and Dave's not optimistic.
  • XWF wrestlers were told last week that a television deal should hopefully be finalized this week. But Dave has been told no chance it's happening that soon. The rumors are that the deal is either with the FX or Fox Kids networks. Ted Turner had inquired about buying this promotion a few months ago, but when he learned how much it would cost to get them off the ground and make them competitive, he lost interest (TV deal never materializes, company is already dead, etc. etc.).
  • The Scorpion King slipped to 2nd place this week, falling to the new Spider Man movie which did a record breaking $114 million opening weekend. Randy Savage has a small role in that movie.
  • Speaking of, The Rock worked his first match in about a month at a Fort Lauderdale house show, teaming with Hogan to beat Jericho and Angle. After the match, Hogan tried to get Rock to pose with him, but Rock wouldn't do it. Rock thanked the fans for the success of Scorpion King and said it would likely be his last match for awhile. There was a ton of local media there, but Rock didn't talk to any of them. Basically, the house show was in his neck of the woods and he simply decided to show up and work it just so he could see his friends and hang out with the locker room, he had no interest in doing interviews. He was just there because he wanted to be. Backstage, Rock was telling people that Hollywood higher-ups have told him he has to leave the wrestling business if he wants to be taken seriously as an actor. Those in the company feel it's a certainty that Rock really is leaving and he's likely going to break out of wrestling into Hollywood and actually become a rare success story (yeah, you could say that).
  • Look how long this is already. Imagine if I had covered that Lou Thesz obituary in full. JUST IMAGINE!
  • Notes from Raw: Dave compares it to an episode of Thunder, with the crowd half-dead for everything. Also, the roster was exhausted after just returning from the Europe trip (and the plane ride shenanigans) and that was apparent too. Brock Lesnar won his match via pinfall instead of the usual ref stoppage and Dave says that word is Triple H got in Vince's ear and convinced him to end the ref stoppage gimmick for Brock. Sure, why not? Hogan was supposed to ride off on Undertaker's bike at one point, but then the motorcycle wouldn't start. It was one of those awkward live-TV moments where time stood still and nobody knew what to do. Flair finally turned heel on Austin, to a shocking lack of heat from the crowd. Nash returned, etc. Dave recaps the rest of this show and it sounds like a lot of bad WCW stuff, coincidentally enough with a lot of the same people.
WATCH: Hogan can't start the motorcycle
  • The man who played the effeminate gay guy applying to be Vince McMahon's secretary on Smackdown a few weeks ago was new creative team member David Lagana. He recently joined the company and has written for several other TV shows, including "Friends" and has a strong knowledge of the industry (Dave says if you've been reading the Observer closely for the last few years, you're probably familiar with him, he's written in to Dave a lot over the years).
  • Dave goes on a brief rant about how to use older stars. In the past, everyone, even Vince McMahon, talked about how you should use guys like Hogan and Flair in small doses and how WCW's reliance on older stars like that is what made them less special. Dave talks about back in the day in Memphis, Jackie Fargo would come back once or twice a year and he was always the biggest star in the company when he did. Because he was used sparingly. But WWE has pretty much built its company around Hogan and Flair (and to a lesser extent, Vince and Undertaker) over the last few months and they've been totally overexposed because of it. Just 6 weeks ago, Hulk Hogan was getting some of the largest crowd reactions in the history of the business. Now, he and Undertaker are practically hearing crickets during their on-screen interactions.
  • Lita underwent neck surgery this week and isn't allowed to do anything physical for 9 months. Scotty 2 Hotty also had neck surgery and is expected to be out for about a year. Both are expected to make full recoveries though.
  • Jesse Ventura admitted this week that he received WWF stock options as partial payment for some work he did with them. Dave doesn't know if it's related to the Summerslam appearance a few years ago or the XFL announcing gig. Ventura says he has 10 years to exercise those stock options but wouldn't give any further details.
  • Scott Steiner told WWA he will work their next UK tour but after that, he's going to WWE. Dave is skeptical. Reports are that Steiner was in horrible pain after every match he worked on the last WWA tour and there's significant doubt that his body will hold up to a WWE schedule.
  • The new Steve Austin "What!" DVD has a lot of WCW footage, including the full Austin vs. Steamboat match from WCW Bash at the Beach 94. Dave doesn't say so, but I believe this is the first time WWE used any of the WCW library for commercial release after they purchased it the year before.
  • Someone writes in and asks Dave to stop spending so much time writing about steroid use in wrestling and instead says he should write a story about racism in the business. This person writes about the allegations from years back of Dusty Rhodes using the N-work with impunity, or the time DX parodied the Nation by wearing blackface. The WCW discrimination lawsuit, the embarrassing angles they've done with Mark Henry such as Sexual Chocolate, etc. This guy is asking why is it white wrestlers outnumber black wrestlers by 35-to-1 ratio in the U.S. (70-to-1 in Mexico and 80-to-1 in Japan). He wants to know why Dave isn't writing about that stuff. Dave responds and agrees that the blackface DX promo was racist, and it was racist when Buff Bagwell did it in WCW and when Roddy Piper did it in the 80s. Dave says wrestling, especially from the 70s through the 90s, had a horrible history of exploiting stereotypes and/or saying and doing racist things. You can argue it's gotten better, but no doubt the problem still exists. Dave lists some examples but he also pushes back on some others. For example, he's heard people complain that Booker T isn't being used properly due to his race and Dave disagrees. It's true that Booker T probably deserves a bigger push, but you can make the same case for guys like RVD and Jericho and Raven or DDP (when he first debuted, at least) and that didn't happen either, so Dave doesn't necessarily think Booker's lack of top-star push can be blamed on his race (we're less than a year away from Triple H definitively proving otherwise).
  • There's also 2 letters about the Rock/Hogan match at Wrestlemania and they couldn't be more different. One guy writes in and he can't understand why people are praising that match because if you put aside the hot crowd, it was awful, everyone's moves looked bad, it was embarrassing, etc. and says Hogan should have retired afterward. Then someone else writes in and says he was there live and, taken as a whole, Rock vs. Hogan was the greatest match he's ever seen. Basically the same "love it or hate it" opinion people have about that match to this day. Also, someone else writes in about the recent Low-Ki vs. American Dragon match from an ROH show and puts it up there among some of the greatest matches of all time (listing off several classic WWF matches like Shawn/Razor and Owen/Bret at WM10 for example). So there ya go.
NEXT WEDNESDAY: more fallout from the Plane Ride from Hell, more on the beginning of Jarrett's new NWA-TNA promotion, more on the NJPW Tokyo Dome show, and more...
submitted by daprice82 to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]

A history of the Peckham Boys - from the Giggs era to Zone 2/Hitsquad (Part 2)

Part 2 of the history of Peckham in south London. From the early Peckham Boys era to Zone 2. This part covers Peckham from 2009 to 2013 (the start of the Zone 2/Hitsquad era).
For Part 1 of the 'History of Peckham' click here | For the history of Brixton's 410 click here

2008

A brief recap of 2008 in Peckham. The year was marked by improving relations with Ghetto Boys (Lewisham) on one side, and worsening relations with Brixton on the other.

Recap of improving Ghetto-Peckham relations in 2008
Following major internal divisions within the Ghetto Boys, the decades-long beef between the Peckham Boys and Ghetto Boys had ended. The end of the beef was publicly announced by Giggs when he dropped the 'Ruthless Freestyle' in early 2008.
That was a major moment in South London street history, as one of London's worst street wars came to an end. From that moment it even became safe to play Giggs's music publicly in Lewisham (Ghetto territory).
In August 2008, Killa Ki (OPB) organised the linkup of Peckham Boys and Ghetto Boys members for the Notting Hill Carnival. Up to 180 members from both gangs linked up and started making their way to the carnival, but the police stopped them before they could reach it: Ghetto Boys 2 Peckham Boys - South East Link Up - Carnival
In the song 'Black Gang' released in late 2008, Killa Ki shouts out Toner (YGB) - a Ghetto Boys member who was jailed for murder following a shootout and didn't snitch, despite not firing the fatal shot.

Recap of worsening Brixton v Peckham relations in 2008
There were various back and forth shootings between Peckham (SI/PYG) and Brixton (OC/GAS) in 2008. In one infamous incident, OC members caught SI members slipping on Walworth Road and shot at them as they ran for cover into a supermarket. A teenager ended up dying in the crossfire. That summer, OC/GAS members released 'OC/GAS - Bullet Riddim', mocking SI members for running in the incident.
In October 2008, 20-year old SN1 member Termz was shot dead on his doorstep by Brixton olders. This further heated up the Brixton and Peckham war. Termz had made one music video before his death.
In November 2008, Sense (OC) was shot dead by SN1 at a nightclub in Bermondsey. The gunman walked up on him and shot him dead at close range.
In late 2008, the younger PYG members started releasing music videos. Most of the bars at this time were disses towards Brixton's OC & GAS.

Sidebar
A senior British politician (the MP for Peckham & Camberwell, and the Leader of the House of Commons) made national headlines in 2008 for wearing stab-proof vest whilst walking through Peckham.

2009

Giggs momentum in music continues
Following his success in 2008, Giggs started the new year by releasing 'Freestyle 09'. Part of the video was filmed in the SN1 Wear store, a pop-up unit in Rye Lane Market that sold SN1 merchandise and mixtapes:
In January, Giggs dropped the 'Another Quick One' mixtape which featured other Peckham (SN1/SI/OPB/PYG) members:
In March, Giggs dropped the 'Who Said That' mixtape in collaboration with Tiny Boost (PYG):
In May, Giggs linked up with Skepta to drop the track 'Look Out'. It's the first major link-up between top members of the 'Road Rap' and Grime families:
Giggs crowned 2009 by linking back up with Blade Brown to drop 'Hammer Em Down':

Death of Big Larry
In February 2009, a Peckham older Big Larry was shot dead by SN1 in Dulwich in broadday. He had fallen out with the Peckham members over time, resulting in his execution:

Shoot Instant release the 'Respected By Most, Feared By Many' mixtape
In early 2009, Shoot Instant members released the 'Respected By Most, Feared By Many' mixtape. The mixtape heavily features S.I members Young Snap (Snap Capone), Nuttie, Butch, Blacks and Rico. The mixtape was accompanied by multiple video releases:
S.I, OPB and PYG also released several music videos in this period:

Tim Westwood creates the 'Crib Session'
Giggs had been under mad pressure from the Metropolitan Police who wanted to end his career in rap. The police were actively warning record labels not to sign Giggs, banning his music from television and radio, and banning him from performing at live events.
With these circumstances, Tim Westwood started the Crib Session, a space within his house that Giggs could be recorded and uploaded to YouTube without police interference. The first ever Crib Session took place in March 2009, featuring Giggs (SN1) and his brothers Joe Grind (SN1) and Gunna D (SN1):
In recent times, the Westwood Crib Session has been a major platform for UK Drill groups that otherwise wouldn't get television or radio play.

Brixton v Peckham in music continues
The beef between Brixton (OC/GAS) and Peckham (SI/PYG) was cracking at this point. It was popularly followed by young Londoners across the city, in the same way that UK Drill beef is now.
PYG responded to 'OC/GAS - Bullet Riddim', in which OC mocked Peckham members for running during a shooting on Walworth Road (Wooly Road):
After Giggs dropped 'Freestyle 09' at the start of 2009, Brixton's OC/GAS members dropped the 'Ard 3Style' over the same beat, dissing Giggs and SN1. In response, PYG members Young Size and Young Shak dropped a track over the same beat, dissing OC/GAS back. The music video was filmed in the North Peckham Estate:
In May 2009, PYG members Stigs and Shocks dropped a music video for Rec A G, filmed on the Bells Gardens Estate. It is considered one of the most legendary tracks to be dropped by youngers in the UK scene:
A month later, OC/GAS dropped a block Freestyle in which they diss Peckham back. They reference lyrics in 'Rec A G' and mock Shocks' adlib "ya liar".
In summer 2009, PYG and Inna Circle released 'Police & Thief'. In the track, Shocks and Young Size takes shots at GAS. There was a music video but it got removed long ago:
In response, OC/GAS released 'Police & Thief In A Shootout', dissing Peckham over the same beat.
In late 2009, GAS and Young Roadside G's (YRS) members released their 'English Town Riddim Freestyle' dissing Peckham, Tulse Hill and Stockwell. In response, PYG members released a freestyle over the same beat:

Peckham v Brooklyn heats up
Brooklyn (OBY, formerly GME) was a set based on Old Kent Road. They were once affiliated with Peckham, but after a dispute between members they began beefing, with numerous shootouts and stabbings taking place. Brooklyn member Baby Ryder was murdered in 2008 by Thamesmead, allies of Peckham.
Brooklyn were linked up with Brixton (OC/GAS) in their war against Peckham, signified by the track 'Brooklyn to Baghdad'. In June 2009, Brooklyn member John Wayne released 'Fresh Home', a highly rated freestyle from that era, taking shots at Peckham.
In response, Young Size (PYG) and Young Shak (PYG) released a track dissing GAS and John Wayne, claiming that Wayne went in hiding from Peckham and wasn't actually 'fresh home' from prison:
Brooklyn released other tracks dissing Peckham, including 'Back On This Hood Shit'. Peckham youngers responded through a Stigs (PYG) freestyle. PYG members label Brooklyn members as "Pecknarm Rejects", which is a reference to the time they fell out:

'The Truth' CCTV video
In 2009, the police were investigating certain Peckham (PYG) members due to their war with Brixton (OC/GAS). Police sent the Peckham members' lawyers CCTV footage of Brixton and Peckham sliding on each others' territories, as proof that they had evidence of their involvement. A PYG associate took the footage, annotated it and uploaded it to Youtube.
Part 1 of the footage shows PYG members sliding to Angell Town Estate in Brixton at night. Part 2 shows OC/GAS members sliding to the Peckham frontline in broad daylight. The annotations were written to to make OC/GAS look bad. The original upload was in better quality and gained over a million views, but this is the only clip left on YouTube:
After PYG uploaded the footage, OC/GAS and their allies YRS (Young Roadside G's) and OBY (Brooklyn) released the video 'Ur Liars', accusing PYG of lying in the annotations and cooperating with the police for the CCTV footage.

Death of Mimer
In November 2009, a member of MOB called Mimer was shot dead. MOB was 'Mandem on Brandon', a set based on the Brandon Estate in SE17:
In the following year, Peckham members Snap (S.I) and Tem (S.I) went on trial for the murder but beat the case. A yute from the Aylesbury Estate (S.I territory) was sent to prison for hiding the gun used in the murder:
Over the years, the relationship between the Brandon Estate and Peckham has become one of the biggest storylines in UK Drill. On the Brandon Estate, 'Moscow' became the new generation of MOB. Tweets of Moscow members saluting MOB:

2010

Last PYG releases
2010 was the last year that members of PYG were active together in music, before the Peckham Civil War (more on that below). They started the year with 'Test Out Da Nine', directly dissing GAS members Sneakbo and JJ:
PYG members made a neighbourhood anthem called 'Pecknarm London'. It didn't get released properly because of the Peckham Civil War:

The murder of Samuel Ogunro
Nuttie (S.I) was on remand in prison on a firearm charge after being caught purchasing guns OT. A 17-year old called Samuel Ogunro was also facing charges but got bail. He was offered money to take the gun charge but refused to do so. Because of this, the execution of Samuel was arranged so that he wouldn't speak at the trial.
In June 2010, Samuel was shot dead in a car in Peckham, just before the trial was due to start. A few days later the car was set on fire with his body inside. Nuttie was given 32 years in prison for arranging the murder, and CS (PYG) was given 4 years for setting the car on fire. No-one was ever convicted of actually shooting Samuel dead.

Police cancel Giggs nationwide tour
In September 2009, Giggs had signed to XL Records. The Metropolitan Police actively tried to persuade XL not to sign Giggs, but XL didn't give into the pressure:
With the momentum that Giggs had built, his first UK tour was due to start in March 2010. However, the sold-out tour was effectively cancelled by the police at late notice:
Giggs channelled these injustices into his second album 'Let Em Ave It', which dropped in June 2010:

Peckham Civil War
There was a civil war in Peckham in 2003 (see part 1), but the major civil war in Peckham took place in the late 2000s.
One of the Peckham Boys blocks was the Lettsom Estate in Camberwell, and many prominent Peckham Boys members came from there: Grem, Darko, Shower Malik, Crime, Tame, Young Size, Young Shak etc.
Over time there were growing rifts between senior members from Lettsom, and senior members from main Peckham. The tensions started around 2008 times but grew over time, escalating into the Peckham Civil War. Members from the Lettsom Estate split from their Peckham sets (SN1/SI/OPB/PYG) and formed the Lettsom G's.
From this point, Peckham v Lettsom was a very hot war. I can't mention the specifics of what happened in this period, but there were multiple shootings and stabbings between members of Lettsom and Peckham.
With all this turmoil, the remaining PYG members (M1, Tiny Snap, Young Termz etc) flipped its name to Anti. They rolled closely with GMG members (Jungle, Moey Black, Deej etc), another young set within the Peckham Boys family.

The death of Taz and Lil Grem
On 6 September 2010 there was a shooting on the Lettsom Estate. That afternoon, Taz (OPB) died in Peckham in a motorbike crash during a chase. Later the same day, Lil Grem (Lettsom) visited the roadside shrine set up for Taz in Peckham and got shot dead there.
Lil Grem was a family friend of Rio Ferdinand, a professional footballer that grew up in Peckham:
Snap (the older of Young Snap/Snap Capone) was later jailed for 35-years for the murder of Lil Grem:
Billy Da Kid (OPB) released a track after Taz's death, in his honour:
These were some of the last tracks that Taz featured in, all released after his death:

Shoot Instant release the 'Zero Tolerance' mixtape
In September 2010, Shoot Instant dropped the 'Zero Tolerance' mixtape. With everything going on in Peckham at the time, only one music videos was shot for the project (and it has since been taken down):

The death of CGE's Sammy Gunz
At this time there had been tension between senior members of Peckham and Stratford/Plaistow in Newham, East London.
At one point, members from Stratford/Plaistow violated the yard of a Peckham member's relative in Newham. In retaliation, two Peckham Boys (SN1 member and Anti member) slid to Newham and shot dead 16-year old Sammy Gunz (CGE) in October 2010. Another CGE member was also shot but survived:
CGE members released the music video 'Stratford 2 Plaistow' in Sammy's honour, which included his last verse before his death:

The death of Vesta
Crane Block (the Pelican Estate) is a block in Peckham. With the turmoil of the Peckham Civil War, that block began beefing with the main Peckham sets. A Crane Block music video from summer 2010:
In December 2010, Vesta, Tiny Mantis and Cookie were posted on Crane Block. That night Vesta ended up getting shot to death, with Tiny Mantis and Cookie getting stabbed:
As the police investigated the murder, hundreds of 'stop snitching' leaflets were posted around Crane Block:
Tiny Nuttie (Anti) and Jungle (GMG) were convicted of the murder. Tiny Nuttie received a minimum 26-year sentence and Jungle received a minimum 30 years, on the testimony of Cookie.

Youngest Peckham members (PK) become active in music
In 2010, members of PK became active in music. PK were the youngest members of Peckham and included members like Killa Reekz (Young Deej). Their main beef was with young members of Brixton:

Lettsom members active together music
From late 2010, members of Lettsom became active together in music. In the track 'Gunshot', Shower Malik (Lettsom) shouts out MOB (Brandon Estate), which is notable because Mimer (MOB) was shot dead by Peckham a year earlier:
Lettsom also released 'Gal Call Mi Up', with a hook from Stylo G:
Young Size (Lettsom) was shot 5 times outside his house by the Roadside G's but survived. He addresses this in 'Hard On The Pave':

Anti and GMG members active together music
From late 2010, members of Anti and GMG were active in music. Their first video was a remix of 'SI - The History'. The music video features members of Anti and GMG:
Towards the end of the year, Anti and GMG members released an anthem which at the time was considered one of the best 'Road Rap' tracks ever released. The music video got removed from Youtube:
There's various Anti tracks from this era still up on YouTube.

2011

The murder of Daniel Graham
In January 2011 at a party in East Dulwich, some Anti & GMG members got into it with members/affiliates of CG (a set from Wooly Road that were linked with Brooklyn). Inside the place shots were let off and the rave got locked. Anti & GMG members chased a CG affiliate onto the 176 bus, and ended up stabbing him 24 times. Yung Rev (GMG), Rugrat (Anti) and another member got sent to prison for murder:
Yung Rev's last release before prison was a collaboration with Tiny Snap (Anti) and Slayer (SN1):

Giggs drops 'Take Your Hats Off'
In January 2011, Giggs dropped the 'Take Your Hats Off' mixtape. The mixtape was hosted by DJ Whoo Kid, a legendary mixtape host in the US rap scene:

Stigs given the UK's first gang injunction
In Spring 2011, Stigs (Anti) became the first ever person to in the UK to be served with a gang injunction, preventing him from entering Brixton territory and banning him from making music or appearing in music videos:
Southwark Council then sought to hit more Peckham members with the same injunction:
This is the origins of the powers that police now use to censor UK Drill artists.

Kyze and Snap jailed
Kyze (SN1) was sent to prison for 6 years for shooting Meano. He was caught when his conversations at Belmarsh Prison were recorded by the police. Kyze had been charged for double murder (the murders of Sense and Big Larry) - who were both shot and killed by the same gun as Meano - but he beat those cases at the trial:
In an unrelated case, Snap Capone was given a 6 year prison sentence in June 2011 for possession of a handgun. He was credited for time spent on remand while fighting the murder case in 2010.

Murder at GAS member's funeral
Jozey (GAS Gang) - aged 17 - died in a motorway crash and his funeral took place in Dulwich in November 2011. An Anti member was local, things got mad, and he shot up the funeral. Two people got shot and one died, the murder remains unsolved:
In 2016 the Metropolitan Police were officially criticised for not patrolling the funeral, despite it being considered a 'high risk' event:

The return of Chester
Big Chess was a prominent younger in Peckham in the early-mid 2000s, in the same generation as Spender. However, an incident/betrayal involving Chess and an SN1 older made many members in Peckham turn on Chess, and he was effectively cut from the ends. During that time he was stabbed by Brixton and put in critical condition, but survived.
A few years later things had cooled down and Chess was back in Narm. He also jumped on music, dropping the mixtape 'Slap A Snitch':

Boost drops 'Gangsta's Pain'
Boost (SN1) was from the same generation as Raver and Knuckles, and is the older of Young Boost. Like many Peckham Boys members that had gone to jail, he ended up getting deported from the UK.
In 2011, Boost released the 'Gangsta's Pain' mixtape from Ghana. It included several visuals:

M1 releases 'Survivor'
In 2011, M1 (Anti) released a highly rated solo track called 'Survivor'. He was considered one of the best young Peckham rappers, but he took the roads more seriously than music:

2012

In 2012, Nutcase (Kwengface), Preacher (PS) and other youngins from Peckham dropped several freestyles on YouTube channel MMTV, their earliest releases before the days of Zone 2:

Giggs arrested on firearms charge
In February 2012, Giggs was riding through South London with three others when the police stopped their car. They searched it and found a loaded semi-automatic gun. All four people were charged with gun possession, and Giggs was remanded in prison. Following his trial, Giggs was acquitted of all charges and released:

Killa Reekz releases the 'My Attitude Reekz' mixtape
In 2012, PK member Reekz (aka Young Deej) released his first mixtape 'My Attitude Reekz'. PK was the youngest Peckham set at the time:

Breadset and Lettsom members active in music
Ceej (formerly Young Killa Ki) was an original member of PYG. However he fell out with Peckham members during a trial involving him and Young Butch. At this time the Peckham Boys were fragmenting (splitting) as a gang, a direct consequence of the Peckham civil war.
Ceej and other Peckham members including Slumps rose up a new Peckham set called Breadset, and started dropping music under that name. In 2012, Breadset were very active with music releases:
Lettsom member Shower Malik was also active in music in this period. His most notable release was a track honouring Mimer (MOB) and Lil Grem (Lettsom), who were both killed by Peckham:

Peckham Breadset members jailed for M16 rifle
In October 2012, armed police raided Peckham Breadset members including Ceej, finding various guns including an M16 assault rifle. The police also seized £40,000 worth of drugs:

CS returns from prison
In 2012, CS (Anti) was released after serving half his sentence for the case in 2010. He returned dropping his highly anticipated 'Fresh Home' track, alongside several others with Anti members:

2013

Giggs releases 'When Will It Stop'
In 2013, Giggs released 'When Will It Stop'. In this project Giggs experimented with a more mature sound, including hip hop beats with live instrumentation:

365 jump on music
The 365/DankBoys (now known as Zone 2) were youngers of the PK set in Peckham. In 2013 they started jumping on music together.
In 2013, Young Mares and Denz (DSqueezo) released 'Pumped Up':
Nutcase (Kwengface) dropped several music videos in 2013, with other 365 members visible in the background:
In 2013, Preacher (PS) was consistently releasing music with Riddz. 'Off To The Clouds' was filmed in the Aylesbury Estate, before AY and Peckham started beefing:
In 2013, Shay (Shay Squeeze) dropped the track 'Real Talk':
One of the early 365 group tracks from 2013:

Tiny Grem jailed
In September 2013, the police caught Tiny Grem (Lettsom) in possession of a Mac-10, a Smith & Wesson revolver, ammunition and £3,000 in drugs. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison:

Deej and Brantz jailed
In October 2013, Deej (GMG) and Brantz (Anti) went to Oceana nightclub, and got into an argument with Bullet, a member of HBlock in West London. Bullet ended up getting stabbed to death in the club, with Deej and Brantz getting sent to prison for murder:
This was Deej's last video before being jailed for murder:

YR murder conviction overturned
In 2013 Yung Rev (GMG) ended up having a retrial over the 2011 murder of Daniel Graham in Dulwich, and his 22-year murder conviction got overturned. This was his first release after he buss case:

The gentrification of Peckham reaches public consciousness
For decades, Peckham had been one of the most deprived and dangerous areas in London. Due to its relatively low house prices, and its close proximity to central London, the area has been slowly gentrifying.
With gentrification, new bars, cafes, restaurants and modern residential developments started popping up in Peckham. As a result, prices in the area have been rising and things are becoming increasingly unaffordable for existing residents. From 2013 the gentrification of Peckham reached national awareness, as it started to become one of the 'cool' places to be:
In recent times several films have been made about the changing character of Peckham. These two are standouts, worth a watch:

__________________________________

Part 1 is a demonstration of how Peckham gained the notorious reputation it has, and the environment that PYG and Zone 2 members grew up in.
Part 2 is a demonstration of how hot Peckham became and how the civil war ended up splitting the Peckham Boys, with new Peckham sets rising in the aftermath.
The era of 2014 to the present, including the rise of the Zone 2 generation, will be covered in Part 3.
\I had originally intended for 'Part 2' to be the final part, but it violated Reddit's posting limit.*
submitted by KeezyLDN to ukdrill [link] [comments]

Monthly discussion topic - Best passive income ideas for women

We will use this thread to note down all ideas which are effective in earning a substantial passive income. We will only consider those ideas which are -
  1. low risk, high reward
  2. Should earn you money even while you sleep
  3. Have the ability to expand exponentially
  4. Should help you reach your wealth goal (I will explain in another post on how to set your wealth goal)
I will list down some of the ideas that I feel are best for this purpose. You all also list down some ideas in the comments below.
  1. Make an app - It doesn't have to be anything too fancy. Many simple apps are also pretty popular on Apple and Google store. There is a period-tracking app that I use, which is pretty basic, but thousands of people buy it's pro version every day. The same goes for some apps that I tried for staying focused. I ended up uninstalling the ones with too many bells and whistles and paid for a simple one instead. Apps have the potential to go huge and give you enormous returns for a long time. The key is doing your research properly. Checking out other apps. Reading what kind of feedback people are giving it. Making notes of what people are saying in their reviews. What features they would like to see. Remember it is not about inventing something new altogether, rather making some changes to what is currently available. Like there were plenty of messaging apps already available when Snapchat was introduced in the market, yet it became popular because it came with a feature where messages are deleted upon opening which is what many people wanted from their messaging app. People always crave something new. Give it to them and you have your profits.
  2. Develop a game - Similar to an app, a game also has the potential to bring in tremendous returns. And just like an app, simple games can also become pretty popular. We all know the profits that simple games like "Angry Birds", "Talking Tom" brought in for their makers. You can develop games for iOS, Android, or create indie games as well. Game engines like Unity have made it possible for beginners, having basic coding knowledge, to start making games. Here also you have to do your research and see what people like and don't like. Join gamer forums, Reddit subs, Facebook groups to interact with gamers. Also, use these platforms to promote the new game that you developed and get feedback from users. Keep some money aside to advertise your game on social media, it provides a huge boost.
  3. Create online tutorials - Online education is seeing enormous growth in recent years. There are multiple ways you can earn money by making online tutorials. Make videos and upload them on free websites like YouTube to earn ad money and from affiliate marketing. Or you can make videos and put them on websites like Udemy to earn money when someone buys your course. The paid model mostly works for courses that are STEM and technology related. Even if you do put your courses on Udemy, you have to provide some free content on websites like YouTube or Facebook, so you can build your audience. Give some free coupons to your Udemy course every month so you can get reviews on them. Remember if your course has no reviews, no one is going to trust it and pay money for it and this is the mistake most people do when they upload their course on Udemy. Courses with a decent amount of reviews are guaranteed to bring good sales. So focus on reviews and not money in the initial stage.
  4. Upload YouTube videos - Apart from tutorials, there are many other types of videos that you can put on YouTube. Comedy, vlogging, cute pet videos, cooking, make-up, technology, fashion, even how to organize your stuff. One of my favorite channels from which I have learned a lot about organizing stuff in my house - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2GT4HiSvUipWNwcWUM7iJQ. Of course, your videos have to actually provide some entertainment or information for people to watch them. If you are just making videos that are similar to other popular videos, people will have no incentive to watch your videos. But don't go around making videos in genres that no one watches. Try making videos in a popular genre giving them a unique twist. This Mexican grandmother amassed more than a million followers in just one month on her cooking channel by making her dishes in an outdoor kitchen - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLhxVgG4MHE
  5. Create an online blog/website - Blogging has become pretty oversaturated in recent times and doesn't provide very good returns anymore. What I would recommend is providing some free content on your blog or website and then also creating premium content for which users need to pay. Just like YouTube, you can use this medium for affiliate marketing as well.
  6. Become an Instagram influencer - You might think you need millions of followers on Instagram to start earning money from affiliate marketing or sponsored posts, that's not the truth though. I have seen influencers having around 13 thousand followers making sponsored posts and hosting giveaways. I look for mostly STEM based content which is not overcrowded so maybe that is why even with low followers women are able to earn money in this area. Some genres on Instagram are very oversaturated like Fitness and Travel. I would suggest not venturing in them. Also don't do anything if that requires you to invest tons of money like getting expensive clothes, jewelry, gadgets. Start with a limited budget and do something creative. Make-up, artwork, cooking, home organization, STEM related posts. Choose a niche and stick to it. Post regularly and use as many hashtags as possible. Also, if you are choosing something like STEM, post some interesting content in the description along with the picture. Interact with other Instagram accounts in your niche. That's the best way of pulling the crowd towards your account.
  7. Make money from your artwork - If you have some hobbies like crocheting or painting, put it up on image-based social media like Instagram and Pinterest. People like watching pretty things on social media. Give them escapism and you can earn money from it. Try combining different things. This artist uses fashion designing with real-world elements like flowers, leaves - https://www.instagram.com/edgar_artis/. Create an audience and not only can you earn money by affiliate marketing and sponsored posts but you can also create your own merchandise by printing your artwork on t-shirts, mugs, etc, and sell it on Etsy or Amazon. Try making some artwork which the rich will like to purchase, so even if you sell very products, you get enormous profits on it. Have some expensive quality items in your shop, some big-ticket items for the huge payout, but make sure to entice smaller wallets with "bread and butter" sales that are the backbone of your profits with frequent sales. Also, don't forget to include items that complement each other. As an example, if you're selling handspun yarn, don't forget to include things like knitting needles, nice needle holders, patterns, etc.
  8. Create a brand - If you use multiple ideas given above, you can create a brand. You are getting great views on YouTube, your courses are making good money on paid online platforms, you have a decent number of visitors on your website/blog and you also make sponsored posts on Instagram and most likely you have a hit app of your service. Congratulations, you have a brand in your control now. You could be offered millions of dollars by giant corporations in lucrative buyout deals. Whether or not you want to sell your brand is your personal choice. I would suggest selling it off while it's still popular and making huge money off it, while still retaining some stake in it. This is why I don't recommend starting your YouTube channel, Instagram account, a website using your name. If Facebook was named "Mark Zuckerberg" it wouldn't look such an attractive prospect to buyers, would it? Create a brand name and promote that instead.
  9. Write a book - Once you have established yourself in your field and people are willing to pay money to gain knowledge on your area of expertise, consider writing a book. You can market it on your personal social media handles. Even if you sold out your brand to someone else your name will be popular by now thanks to the brand you created. Of course, if you have some brilliant story in your mind as J.K. Rowling had for "Harry Potter", you can start with writing a book right away. Books are ageless and will keep making money even after your death.
  10. Monthly allowance and Gifts from Boyfriend/Sugar-Daddy/Husband - If you are open to dating men, find yourself a provider type. Instead of getting traditional gifts from him like clothes, handbags, make him give you money or jewelry or some other stuff which you can sell and get money. The key here is using the money you get from him to start your own business or investing in the above stated passive income sources. Don't stay dependent on him forever giving you money.
  11. Investing in real estate - Real estate is generally considered a good investment provided you do your research and purchase land in a prime location. The rent money you get from real estate is purely passive and you can always sell it back and earn a profit on it when the market is good. Once you have secured enough money using the above-stated methods, buy some real estate and start getting rent from it.
(Note - I only suggest women above 25 to actually implement these ideas. Younger women please just read and learn for now. Concentrate on your studies and get a job in your preferred field. Once you feel you are ready and have the correct mindset, only then venture out to try the above ideas)
An average Millionaire is said to have at least 7 different sources of passive income. So you should be using all these ideas in conjunction with each other. Let's illustrate this with an example -
Suppose it's cooking you are very good at. You have decided that you want to do something in this field. So ideally first you should get a job related to cooking. You can learn many things in a job. What the customers demand, what they like and don't like. You can also hone your skills there. Learn new recipes, the art of presenting food. Meanwhile, save as much money as you can by cutting down all unnecessary expenses (I will make a separate post on how I achieved this and can now live without a job for at least 3 years while I focus on my business). Now when you have saved enough money and ideally got a partnesugar-daddy/husband to support you financially just in case, quit your job and focus on building your brand. I say quit your job because building a brand is full-time work. Doing it after office hours, you will most likely be tired, not have enough energy or motivation and it will reflect in the quality of your work. Once you have embarked on your journey of building your brand, the first step is to learn as much as you can. Watch YouTube videos of various food channels. Read various recipe blogs. Notice what people like and don't like. Also join various Facebook groups, Instagram accounts, and Reddit subs based on the topic of cooking or food. See what type of content users interact with most, what they are demanding. Make note of everything you learn. Go to Pinterest boards to get ideas of how to present food in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. Inspiration and creativity come from regular learning and observations.
When you feel you have gathered enough information, start being a producer. Start a YouTube channel for your recipes. You can select a niche like vegan recipes, recipes for PCOD. One of my favorite Youtuber posts various types of diets. I have personally tried and benefited from some of them - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCduPI5l8EcksRVi5Sdpa1gw. Of course, when you start, you will have no views. Don't worry, we will solve that. Keep sharing your videos on various Facebook groups. Post on Instagram using multiple hashtags. Recommend them on Reddit cooking communities that you are active on. Basically promote, promote, and promote some more. Don't lose hope if you do not get the views and subscribers that you would have liked. This is the stage where most people give up. Keep posting quality content. The views will come. Meanwhile start a blog and showcase your recipes there also. Sharing them on social media is mandatory too. Interact with Instagram accounts and Facebook groups in your niche, help users who are asking some questions, they will be more likely to subscribe to your page if you interact and help them. Build your audience on social media. Remember this is a hard thing to do and that is why I say it's a full-time job.
After you build an audience, you can enable ads on YouTube and your blog/website. Start affiliate marketing and make sponsored posts on Instagram. Keep growing bigger and better. Create an app for your service, maybe an interactive game where users learn your recipes while cooking them using Bitmoji avatar. Write a book describing your struggles in the Cooking industry and how you made it big. Maybe you will be called to a talk show or as a judge on some cooking show. Or maybe you get your cooking show. Dream big and don't give up until you achieve your wealth goal. Always remember "you miss 100 of the shots you don't take".
submitted by Barbie-girl to WomenSurvivalGuide [link] [comments]

Chinese Tech's Godzilla Vs. Kong: How the Battle Between Alibaba and Tecent Will Shape the Future of Technology

Although most listeners to the Wealth of Nations podcast are only vaguely aware of Chinese technology giants Alibaba and Tencent, the two companies play a dominant position in China's technology ecosystem. Alibaba and Tencent both have market capitalizations over $500 billion, a market capitalization more than 8 times greater than their largest domestic competitors. As a result, Alibaba and Tencent have the power to shape how the internet feels and operates in China far greater than Apple, Facebook, Amazon or Google in the United States. It is vital to understand Alibaba and Tencent, and the rivalry of these two corporation to understand how technology in China works. In part one, I will describe the business models of Alibaba and Tencent, and how they compare to their nearest American counterparts. In part two, I will describe how both companies are creating rival technology ecosystems by financing networks of startups across many fields. Finally, in part three I will discuss how the rivalry between Alibaba and Tencent has accelerated the development of health technology in the face of COVID-19.
Alibaba is often described as the Amazon of China, but such a description is incomplete. Unlike Amazon, which is primarily a business to consumer company, Alibaba is first and foremost a business to business companies. Although Alibaba has branched into all areas of e-commerce, including Ali Express which sells low cost goods in the United States, it's most important business, Tabao.com, is a market that connects small businesses and factories to each other. Unlike Amazon, Alibaba does not own any of its own stock, or charge commissions for sales through its platform. Rather, Alibaba, like Google, will promote firms that pay to rank higher on their search engine. Total turnover for Tabao was $474 billion in 2020, and for Alibaba as a whole is $922 billion. Gross merchandise volume for Alibaba is more than three times what it is for Amazon. Alibaba has further extended its business into digital payments. Concerns about customer security forced Alibaba to create Alipay, a digital wallet. The data Alibaba gathered through Alipay gave Alibaba a wealth of data that banks do not have access to, allowing Alipay to become a major lender and Alibaba has loaned over $290 billion to mostly small businesses, embedding Alipay deeply into everyday life.
Tencent is often compared to Facebook, but it's business model differs dramatically from Facebook. Unlike Facebook, Tencent does not rely on advertising revenue. Instead, it's most important product is WeChat, a messaging service similar to WhatsApp. WeChat monetizes primarily through games and other services. Although I have described WeChat as a messaging app, it pervades social life in China to a far greater extent than any American messaging app. The reason this is the case is that WeChat has a payments platform fully integrated into the system. As a result, one can, via text message do everything from hailing a cab, ordering take-out, paying ones utilities, to hiring a masseuse. Moreover, Tencent has WeChat Moments, a Facebook like service and WeChat offers tools that allows stripped down websites to be embedded in WeChat. The result is that the average Chinese phone user spends nearly half of his time on WeChat affiliated apps. WeChat and Alibaba's competition on digital payments has dramatically expanded the use online payments. The total value of digital payments in 2018 was $40 trillion, double the amount from the previous year. More than one third of all payments are digital, much higher percentage than in the United States, with payments accepted everywhere from malls to street vendors.
Alibaba and Tencents' rivalry extends beyond digital payments. Both companies have set up cloud computing, retail, food delivery and many other industry. Tencent and Alibaba have taken their conflict outside the boundaries of China, with both companies using venture capital to finance firms in India, Indonesia and other countries throughout the world. One area where conflict between the tech giants has been the most fierce is in food delivery. The dominant player, Meituan is backed by Tencent, while Alibaba is backing Ele.me. Both countries have invested, and lost billions in building the infrastructure and gaining the market share to succeed in food delivery, and glimmers of profitability have only recently emerged. Before the crisis, China had 406 million use food delivery every year, making $66.3 billion of orders and food delivery is substantially more common in China than the United States. As a result, the Chinese food delivery system was prepared to deal with the surge in demand caused by COVID-19 lockdowns. Demand for frozen food increased 600% and for pet supplies by 500% during the height of the lockdowns forcing Meituan and Ele.me to innovate. Both companies have built relationships with farmers to supply neighborhoods with fresh produce, with neighborhoods and local governments cooperating to get essentials without excess contacts. Both companies have even experimented with high tech tactics such as self driving vehicles, and sci fi-esqu exoskeletons to help gig workers climb stairs.
Alibaba and Tencent have both played a major role in directly combatting COVID-19 as well. One of the most striking features about life in China today is the ubiquity of color coded apps that act are scanned via QR codes. Individuals must report whether they have a cough, fever or other COVID symptoms, and whether individuals have been in close contact with people with COVID-19. Users are given red, yellow and green statuses based upon their response to the app, which gives a QR code necessary for everything from entering grocery stores to using public transit. The health QR codes are for from perfect. They are not true digital tracing apps because they rely on self-reporting, and give massive amounts of information to unaccountable and oppressive governments.Although this might feel like a massive government overreach to Western ears, it marks a simplification of overlapping systems of surveillance maintained by community groups, security guards and police. Health QR code systems got their start when the local government of Hangzhou, the city in which Alibaba is based, commissioned it creation. Local governments, noticing the benefits of the system, commissioned Alibaba for similar systems. Tencent, unwilling to let Alibaba pull ahead of it in any field, created its own system. Both companies are competing, and innovating to build more advanced digital tracing systems.
The rise of technology in China raises the massive question of how long the United States will retain its technological superiority. The Chinese government has been used its digital power to censor social media abroad, and Tencent has a long history of working with the Communist party to censor internal opposition. Technology and censorship is a topic I wish to explore in much greater detail in a future episode. At the same time, it is important to recognize the innovation and entrepreneurship happening in Chinese technology. Although one normally assumes innovation flows from Silicon Valley to China, American companies are borrowing and copying from their Chinese counterparts. China's technology sector has the potential to be a massive positive force in economic development in not just China, but the world. But it will only be able to play such a positive role if the government of China allows it to play such a role.
www.wealthofnationspodcast.com https://media.blubrry.com/wealthofnationspodcast/s/content.blubrry.com/wealthofnationspodcast/China-Tech.mp3
submitted by gnikivar2 to geopolitics [link] [comments]

Covid-19 update Wednesday 16th April

Good morning from the UK. It’s Thursday April 16th.

Virus news in depth


U.S. International Aid Groups Sending Help Home - PBS in the USA is reporting that international aid groups (so often the grateful recipients of donations from American sources) are now setting up emergency responses in the US due to the severity of the situation in the country. Doctors without borders has set up just a few streets away from its office in New York by supporting soup kitchens, setting up hand-washing stations, and training local officials how to prevent the spread of infection. Samaritan’s Purse International has erected a 14-tent field hospital with an ICU in Central Park. “That international aid groups are supporting the U.S. healthcare system shows how dire the need is domestically, and how inadequate the federal response has been.” says PBS. “Clearly, we have been caught flat-footed,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, director of Harvard University’s Global Health Institute. “The fact that resources from these organizations are coming to the U.S. is, on one hand, helpful to Americans, but pathetic in terms of what it says about American responsiveness.” CARE, a 75-year-old humanitarian group, is sending relief packages to medical workers, caregivers and individuals in need. “CARE has never delivered in the US before now, but this pandemic has meant a scale up in our response internationally and here at home as well,” said CEO Michelle Nunn. Dr. Jean Fritz Jacques, a general surgeon in Haiti who runs Healing Arts Mission Clinic, is bracing for the worst. His country is utterly unprepared for the pandemic, and he’s watching the group’s U.S.-based donors supply American institutions. In Haiti, private hospitals are closing for lack of supplies and equipment, and public hospitals aren’t ready, he said. “We are just praying that the chaos will not happen,” Jacques said.

Virus news in brief














Supply chain news in depth


US factory shutdowns near Second World War demobilization levels - Supply professional reports that American industry collapsed in March as the pandemic wreaked havoc on the US economy. Manufacturing and overall industrial production posted the biggest declines since the United States demobilized after World War II. The Federal Reserve reported Wednesday that manufacturing output dropped 6.3 per cent last month, led by plunging production at auto factories that have entirely shut down. Overall, industrial production, which includes factories, utilities and mines, plummeted 5.4 per cent. The declines were the biggest since 1946 and far worse than what economists had expected. Production of autos and auto parts went into freefall, dropping 28 per cent. The lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed to combat COVID-19 have brought economic activity to a near-standstill. Output dropped 3.9 per cent at utilities and 2 per cent at mines as oil and gas drilling plunged, the Fed said. Factories were running at 70.2 per cent of capacity last month, down from 75.1 per cent in February and lowest since 2010 when the US economy was still recovering from the 2007-2009 Great Recession.

‘Unprecedented disruption’ to supply chain slams US port volumes - Freightwaves reports that the ports of Seattle, Tacoma, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Houston, Jacksonville and Charleston have all reported volume drops in March 2020. Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) Chief Executive Officer John Wolfe said during a press conference Wednesday he expects second-quarter volumes will be soft as the “unprecedented disruption” to the global supply chain continues and container shipping lines cancel more sailings. “Total container volumes in March were down approximately 21% as compared to March of 2019,” Wolfe said. “That brings our year-to-date first-quarter decline to 15.4%.” The NWSA, which operates the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, said it handled 264,133 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in March. Full imports in March declined 28.2%, while full exports decreased 8.6% year-over-year.

Coronavirus in the Caribbean: Container volumes plunge - Freightwaves reports that container volumes for Carribean destinations are down 30-50% - a main cause of which is the collapse in tourism. The tourism shutdown doesn’t just erase cargoes that would have gone to hotels and restaurants; it slashes islanders’ spending power. “All the people who worked in hotels and restaurants won’t be able to go to the supermarkets because they’ll have no money to spend,” Tom Paleinck Executive vice president of Caribbean Feeder Services (CFS), a neutral carrier that provides intraregional connections for mainline carriers said. “They’ll fall back on buying from local farmers. Imported corn flakes from the U.S. have suddenly become a luxury item.” Tourism is not the only headwind. Oil-producing nations in the Caribbean Basin such as Trinidad and Colombia — and those that hoped to be big players, such as Suriname and Guyana — are being hit hard by plunging crude prices. “Each island and each country have a different story,” Paelinck said. The ones with oil exposure “got a double whammy.” On a positive note, he sees one trade that’s not being affected: Caribbean Basin fruit and vegetable exports. “Fruits are still growing, people in the U.S. on lockdown are still eating fresh fruit, and I haven’t seen any coronavirus effect on this yet,” he said.

Supply chain news in brief












Good news


I flagged a story yesterday of 99 year old Capt Tom Moore’s sponsored walk round his garden - he wanted to do 100 laps of the 25m walk before he hits 100 at the end of April. Good news, he finished with a guard of honour this morning live on BBC 1. His fundraising appeal continues to attract considerable attention and donations though; it’s currently at £12.3m.

Donations


Several asked if they can send me $/£/€ via Patreon (in some cases because I've saved them time or money, others for no reason at all). I don't need the cash (that's lovely though) but food bank charities are getting really hit hard with all this panic buying. Please consider giving whatever you'd have given me to a foodbank charity instead:
UK: https://www.trusselltrust.org/
France: https://www.banquealimentaire.org/
Germany: https://www.tafel.de/
Netherlands: https://www.voedselbankennederland.nl/steun-ons/steun-voedselbank-donatie/
Italy: https://www.bancoalimentare.it/it/node/1
Spain: https://www.fesbal.org/
Australia: https://www.foodbank.org.au/
Canada: https://www.foodbankscanada.ca/
USA: https://www.feedingamerica.org/
Thanks in advance for any donations you give. If there's foodbank charities in your country and it's not listed above, please suggest it and I will include it going forward.
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Chinese Tech's Godzilla Vs. Kong: How the Battle Between Alibaba and Tecent Will Shape the Future of Technology

Although most listeners to the Wealth of Nations podcast are only vaguely aware of Chinese technology giants Alibaba and Tencent, the two companies play a dominant position in China's technology ecosystem. Alibaba and Tencent both have market capitalizations over $500 billion, a market capitalization more than 8 times greater than their largest domestic competitors. As a result, Alibaba and Tencent have the power to shape how the internet feels and operates in China far greater than Apple, Facebook, Amazon or Google in the United States. It is vital to understand Alibaba and Tencent, and the rivalry of these two corporation to understand how technology in China works. In part one, I will describe the business models of Alibaba and Tencent, and how they compare to their nearest American counterparts. In part two, I will describe how both companies are creating rival technology ecosystems by financing networks of startups across many fields. Finally, in part three I will discuss how the rivalry between Alibaba and Tencent has accelerated the development of health technology in the face of COVID-19.
Alibaba is often described as the Amazon of China, but such a description is incomplete. Unlike Amazon, which is primarily a business to consumer company, Alibaba is first and foremost a business to business companies. Although Alibaba has branched into all areas of e-commerce, including Ali Express which sells low cost goods in the United States, it's most important business, Tabao.com, is a market that connects small businesses and factories to each other. Unlike Amazon, Alibaba does not own any of its own stock, or charge commissions for sales through its platform. Rather, Alibaba, like Google, will promote firms that pay to rank higher on their search engine. Total turnover for Tabao was $474 billion in 2020, and for Alibaba as a whole is $922 billion. Gross merchandise volume for Alibaba is more than three times what it is for Amazon. Alibaba has further extended its business into digital payments. Concerns about customer security forced Alibaba to create Alipay, a digital wallet. The data Alibaba gathered through Alipay gave Alibaba a wealth of data that banks do not have access to, allowing Alipay to become a major lender and Alibaba has loaned over $290 billion to mostly small businesses, embedding Alipay deeply into everyday life.
Tencent is often compared to Facebook, but it's business model differs dramatically from Facebook. Unlike Facebook, Tencent does not rely on advertising revenue. Instead, it's most important product is WeChat, a messaging service similar to WhatsApp. WeChat monetizes primarily through games and other services. Although I have described WeChat as a messaging app, it pervades social life in China to a far greater extent than any American messaging app. The reason this is the case is that WeChat has a payments platform fully integrated into the system. As a result, one can, via text message do everything from hailing a cab, ordering take-out, paying ones utilities, to hiring a masseuse. Moreover, Tencent has WeChat Moments, a Facebook like service and WeChat offers tools that allows stripped down websites to be embedded in WeChat. The result is that the average Chinese phone user spends nearly half of his time on WeChat affiliated apps. WeChat and Alibaba's competition on digital payments has dramatically expanded the use online payments. The total value of digital payments in 2018 was $40 trillion, double the amount from the previous year. More than one third of all payments are digital, much higher percentage than in the United States, with payments accepted everywhere from malls to street vendors.
Alibaba and Tencents' rivalry extends beyond digital payments. Both companies have set up cloud computing, retail, food delivery and many other industry. Tencent and Alibaba have taken their conflict outside the boundaries of China, with both companies using venture capital to finance firms in India, Indonesia and other countries throughout the world. One area where conflict between the tech giants has been the most fierce is in food delivery. The dominant player, Meituan is backed by Tencent, while Alibaba is backing Ele.me. Both countries have invested, and lost billions in building the infrastructure and gaining the market share to succeed in food delivery, and glimmers of profitability have only recently emerged. Before the crisis, China had 406 million use food delivery every year, making $66.3 billion of orders and food delivery is substantially more common in China than the United States. As a result, the Chinese food delivery system was prepared to deal with the surge in demand caused by COVID-19 lockdowns. Demand for frozen food increased 600% and for pet supplies by 500% during the height of the lockdowns forcing Meituan and Ele.me to innovate. Both companies have built relationships with farmers to supply neighborhoods with fresh produce, with neighborhoods and local governments cooperating to get essentials without excess contacts. Both companies have even experimented with high tech tactics such as self driving vehicles, and sci fi-esqu exoskeletons to help gig workers climb stairs.
Alibaba and Tencent have both played a major role in directly combatting COVID-19 as well. One of the most striking features about life in China today is the ubiquity of color coded apps that act are scanned via QR codes. Individuals must report whether they have a cough, fever or other COVID symptoms, and whether individuals have been in close contact with people with COVID-19. Users are given red, yellow and green statuses based upon their response to the app, which gives a QR code necessary for everything from entering grocery stores to using public transit. The health QR codes are for from perfect. They are not true digital tracing apps because they rely on self-reporting, and give massive amounts of information to unaccountable and oppressive governments.Although this might feel like a massive government overreach to Western ears, it marks a simplification of overlapping systems of surveillance maintained by community groups, security guards and police. Health QR code systems got their start when the local government of Hangzhou, the city in which Alibaba is based, commissioned it creation. Local governments, noticing the benefits of the system, commissioned Alibaba for similar systems. Tencent, unwilling to let Alibaba pull ahead of it in any field, created its own system. Both companies are competing, and innovating to build more advanced digital tracing systems.
The rise of technology in China raises the massive question of how long the United States will retain its technological superiority. The Chinese government has been used its digital power to censor social media abroad, and Tencent has a long history of working with the Communist party to censor internal opposition. Technology and censorship is a topic I wish to explore in much greater detail in a future episode. At the same time, it is important to recognize the innovation and entrepreneurship happening in Chinese technology. Although one normally assumes innovation flows from Silicon Valley to China, American companies are borrowing and copying from their Chinese counterparts. China's technology sector has the potential to be a massive positive force in economic development in not just China, but the world. But it will only be able to play such a positive role if the government of China allows it to play such a role.
www.wealthofnationspodcast.com https://media.blubrry.com/wealthofnationspodcast/s/content.blubrry.com/wealthofnationspodcast/China-Tech.mp3
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Tsunesaburō Makiguchi The War-Mongering Ultra-Nationalist

Pretty much everything SGI tells its members about its history, including about its founding personages, is false. Makiguchi was no pacifist. Let's look at the evidence, from Brian Daizen Victoria's paper, "Sōka Gakkai Founder, Makiguchi Tsunesaburō, A Man of Peace?:
Having revealed the “dark side” of wartime Japanese Buddhism,, I was, as a Buddhist, initially glad to learn of the putative war resistance of Makiguchi Tsunesaburō (1871-1944), founder of a Nichiren sect-affiliated, lay Buddhist organization today known as Sōka Gakkai (Value-Creating Society). When I first learned that Makiguchi had died while imprisoned for his religious beliefs, there seemed to be no question that he was a genuine martyr for Buddhism’s clear doctrinal commitment to peace. Thus, my investigation of Makiguchi’s wartime record began within the context of sincere respect for his actions. I hoped to discover what enabled this man to sustain his commitment to peace when the overwhelming majority of his fellow Japanese Buddhists, both lay and cleric, had been unable to do so.
My interest in Makiguchi and his organization only increased when, in September 1999, I attended a reception in the library of the University of Adelaide where I was then teaching. The reception was held to acknowledge the donation of some forty Sōka Gakkai-related books to the university by the Australian branch of Sōka Gakkai International (SGI). As I glanced at the titles of the donated books, I could not help but notice how many of them related in one way or another to “peace.” One of the books was entitled A Lasting Peace, a second Choose Peace, and a third, Women Against War.
This is actually a red flag, the same as when someone insists upon informing you that he is both "humble" and "well-mannered". If he genuinely were humble and well-mannered, it would be obvious; it wouldn't be worth remarking upon, certainly not from himself!
What further proof was needed of Makiguchi and Sōka Gakkai’s longstanding commitment to peace than these books?
Nevertheless, as a longtime student of the wartime era I had at least to consider the words of Yanagida Seizan (1922-2006), widely recognized as Japan’s greatest 20th century scholar of early Chan (Zen) Buddhism in China. Yanagida had described the reaction of Japan’s institutional Buddhist leaders to the end of the Asia-Pacific War in August 1945 as follows:
All of Japan’s Buddhist sects -- which had not only contributed to the war effort but had been of one heart and soul in propagating the war in their teachings -- flipped around as smoothly as one turns one’s hand and proceeded to ring the bells of peace. The leaders of Japan’s Buddhist sects had been among the leaders of the country who had egged us on by uttering big words about the righteousness [of the war]. Now, however, these same leaders acted shamelessly, thinking nothing of it.
Acting shamelessly? Isn't that the primary characteristic of Ikeda and his cult of self-worship??
Was it possible that Yanagida’s comments might extend to the leaders of lay Buddhist organizations like Sōka Gakkai as well? Sōka Gakkai adherents, of course, vehemently dismiss this possibility, pointing out that Makiguchi and his chief disciple, Toda Jōsei (a.k.a. Jōgai, 1900-1958), were clearly victims of Japanese militarism, arrested by Japan’s military-dominated government in 1943. Not only that, unrepentant and unyielding, Makiguchi died in prison of malnutrition on November 18, 1944. How then could Makiguchi been anything other than a genuine Buddhist martyr to the cause of world peace?
It will come as no surprise to learn that this is exactly the position Sōka Gakkai currently takes: “The Sōka Gakkai . . . is a peace organization, and it was one of the very few groups in Japan in the 1940s to oppose World War II. Its founding president, Makiguchi Tsunesaburō, died in a Japanese prison during the war rather than compromise his religious and pacifist beliefs.”
Similarly, the narrator of a Sōka Gakkai-distributed videotape extolling the life of Ikeda Daisaku (b. 1928), current president of Sōka Gakkai International (SGI), described the wartime imprisonment of Makiguchi and Toda as follows: “In 1943 they [Makiguchi and Toda] were arrested and jailed for their antiwar beliefs. In the face of maltreatment and abuse, Makiguchi died in prison at the age of seventy-three.”
The reality is that a total of 22 people from that group were arrested and imprisoned, and THREE of them - Makiguchi, Toda, and Shuhei Yajima - never recanted. Both Toda and Yajima were eventually released, and Yajima was right there with Toda rebuilding the Soka Gakkai - he even replaced Toda as General Director when Toda resigned due to his malfeasance in his credit cooperative collapse. Shuhei Yajima has been written out of Soka Gakkai history because who needs a third wheel (Ikeda prefers the narrative that it was Always and Only just him and Toda, to the exclusion of all others, as tight as possible a focus on just him and his "mentor") and because Yajima ended up entering the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood and becoming a full-fledged priest (along with his son after him).
Ikeda writes that Toda’s wartime imprisonment was the critical factor influencing his decision to join this organization:
The initial reason I joined the Sōka Gakkai was because I thought I could believe in Mr. Toda since he had spent two years in prison during the war for opposing militarism. I didn’t understand anything about the content of the Buddha Dharma. I believed in the person of Mr. Toda, and following “the path of unity between master and disciple” with Mr. Toda became “the path of [my] human revolution.”
Yeah, but Ikeda is candid about how much he lies when it's convenient for (or "improves") his narrative, and there are several different narratives with different scenarios for why he joined, which suggests NONE of them are actually truthful. I suspect that Ikeda was a yakuza thug sent to keep an eye on Toda and make sure he was making his racket protection payments - one persistent detail is that Ikeda joined Toda's business in collections...
The above statements notwithstanding, the question must still be asked, why had Makiguchi and Toda been arrested, especially in view of the fact that they were not arrested until July 1943, six years after Japan had begun its full-scale invasion of China and a year and a half after attacking the United States.
Also, notice that Toda and Yajima were released before the war ended, before the USA dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was not until after those events that Toda developed his fabled "antiwar" stance.
As this article will reveal, there is much more to the story of these two men’s imprisonment than mere “antiwar beliefs” or opposition to Japanese militarism.
Before exploring this issue further, however, let us briefly look at the life and thought of Sōka Gakkai’s founder, Makiguchi Tsunesaburō. Special emphasis will be placed on those secular ideas which initially garnered him the respect of some of Japan’s top military and political leaders in the 1930s as well as those later religious beliefs which eventually brought him into conflict with Japan’s wartime ideology.
The Life and Thought of Makiguchi Tsunesaburō
Makiguchi Tsunesaburō was born on June 6, 1871 in the small and impoverished village of Arahama-mura in Niigata Prefecture in northwestern Japan. Little is known about his childhood other than that his father abandoned both him and his mother soon after birth, eventually leading his mother to attempt murder-suicide by throwing herself into the Japan Sea while holding Makiguchi in her arms.
Nothing traumatic about THAT!
The end result was that an uncle, Makiguchi Zendayu, raised Makiguchi until he was about fourteen years of age. At that point the young Makiguchi decided to move to Hokkaido to live with a second uncle, Watanabe Shiroji. Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island, was then in the process of being rapidly developed by migrants from Japan’s more southern islands. Eventually Makiguchi succeeded in gaining entrance to Sapporo Normal School where he trained to become a primary school teacher.
Following graduation in 1893, Makiguchi began a career in education. While he quickly became recognized as an able teacher, his pedagogical views led to frequent clashes with officials of the Ministry of Education, school inspectors, ward assemblymen, city councilmen, and top officials in the city of Tokyo where he eventually moved. This in turn resulted in frequent transfers from one school to another. For example, in Tokyo he served as principal at a total of six primary schools from 1913 to 1932 at which point his teaching career came to an end.
Writings
In late 1903 Makiguchi published a 995-page book entitled Jinsei Chirigaku (The Geography of Human Life). This book is distinguished by its focus on the mutual relationship between nature and man, rather than simply describing the physical features of the earth that was the typical approach toward geography at the time. It met wide acceptance, including among government officials, despite the fact that its author, as a normal school graduate, was seen as lacking the proper academic credentials to have written such a work. Makiguchi’s book became the standard reference in geography for students studying to take the government teachers’ exam.
Makiguchi identified two new trends emerging in the world. The first of these was already well established: the struggle for survival that in the past had led to war was gradually changing into economic rivalry between nations. In addition, Makiguchi claimed to see a day coming when economic competition would give way to what he described as “humanitarian competition” (jindōteki kyōsō) in which competition would be based on mutual benefit.
His future ideal notwithstanding, Makiguchi recognized that the world of his day was very much one based on economic rivalry. Employing military terminology, Makiguchi described this economic rivalry as follows:
Merchants should be regarded as the chief soldiers on the battlefield of real power, i.e., the battle infantry, while their merchandise constitutes the bullets. In addition, industrial manufacturers are like artillerymen, while their manufacturing sites are the cannons. Farmers and others engaged in primitive production are the quartermaster corps providing both military rations and ammunition. . . . The current government should be seen as the Imperial Military Headquarters, concentrating much of its peacetime efforts on drawing up battle plans [for the economy]. Similarly, government officials and other parasitic professions are like specialized soldiers of various types who are responsible for protecting and assisting the main fighting force.
The above passage suggests that Makiguchi was very much a realist when it came to the military-like nature of economic competition. One is tempted to see in Makiguchi’s writings the blueprint for what came to be popularly known in the postwar era as “Japan, Inc.” This said, it should not be forgotten that similar thinking lay behind the 1930s mobilization of the nation’s human and economic resources to fight “total war,” with all production workers assuming the title of “industrial warriors” (sangyō senshi).
In other words, Makiguchi was no "visionary"; he simply perceived what was going on and drew the same conclusions others had.
If in one sense Makiguchi was a man ahead of his times, in another sense he was very much a man ‘of his times’. That is to say, Makiguchi singled out Czarist Russia as one of the nations blocking the world’s transition to purely economic rivalry. Additionally, its expansionist policies posed a military threat as well. According to Makiguchi:
Nations like Russia still employ the authoritarian methods of old to enlarge their national territory. . . . It is my view that the sole cause of the present danger to world peace is Russia’s promotion of its own viability. That is to say, in the present age of economic struggle for existence, Russia seeks to exploit weaknesses among the international powers in order to acquire what it must have -- access to the oceans. Thus it is in the process of expanding in three directions, from the Dardanelle Straits in eastern Europe to the Persian Gulf in western Asia and the Yellow Sea in the Far East.
In identifying Russia as solely responsible for endangering world peace, Makiguchi allied himself with the views of the Japanese government of his day. The following year Japan launched a surprise attack on Russia, ostensibly to “protect Korea’s independence” and prevent further Russian encroachments on Chinese territory, especially Manchuria. Following its victory over Russia in 1905, Japan started to take over Korea for itself, turning it into a full-fledged colony in 1910. As for Manchuria, Japan steadily increased its control of this area so rich in the natural resources Japan needed to develop its economic and military might.
Did Makiguchi, perchance, view Japan’s own colonial expansion as a threat to world peace?
A second book
The answer to this question is contained in a second book Makiguchi wrote that was published in November 1912. Entitled Kyōdoka Kenkyū (Study of Folk Culture), this volume was an extension of the ideas contained in Jinsei Chirigaku with special emphasis on their relevance to the life and structures of local communities. The publication date is significant because two years had already elapsed since Japan’s annexation of Korea. If Makiguchi were an ‘anti-imperialist,’ or in any way opposed to Japan’s expansion onto the Asian continent, this would surely have been his chance to say so.
But he didn't.
Makiguchi’s new book, like its predecessor, enjoyed a wide readership resulting in ten reprintings over the next twenty years. Significantly, the tenth reprinting, appearing in April 1933, was both a revised and expanded edition. Moreover, the publisher of this new edition was Sōka Kyōiku Gakkai, with Toda Jōsei listed as the organization’s representative. Although in 1946 Sōka Gakkai dropped the word kyōiku (education) from its title, journalist Murata Kiyoaki notes: “Sōka Gakkai considers November 18, 1930 . . . the founding date of its prewar predecessor although formal inauguration came later.”
Murata’s quotation is significant because it means that the new 1933 edition of Kyōdoka Kenkyū must be considered representative not only of Makiguchi’s own thinking in 1912 but that of Sōka Kyōiku Gakkai in 1933. The 1933 date is also important because, as historian Hugh Borton states, “By February 1932 Japan was already well along the fascist road.” Were Makiguchi and his followers, including Toda Jōsei, taking the same road less than a year later?
In Makiguchi’s defense, the preface to the 1933 edition supports an assertion made by Murata that Makiguchi’s approach to education “was bound to clash with the ‘orthodox’ theory of government educational authorities, who wanted to establish a highly centralized educational system.” That is to say, while in his new preface Makiguchi expressed satisfaction that interest in issues related to rural education had increased significantly since his book was first published in 1912, he nevertheless lamented the fact that this newfound interest was being fostered not by local educators themselves but “as always, the impetus is coming from bureaucrats in the central government . . .”
Makiguchi explained that his goal was to see rural educators take the lead in developing educational initiatives attuned to their own communities. Nevertheless, the critical question concerns the end to which Makiguchi believed rural education should be directed. In the book’s concluding chapter Makiguchi wrote:
Regardless of social class, everyone should be conscious of the nation’s destiny, harmonizing their lives with that destiny and, at all times, prepared to share that destiny. It is for this reason that the work of national education is to prepare us to do exactly this, omitting nothing in the process. . . . However, in order to do this, and prior to placing ourselves in service to the state, we should first contribute to the local area that has nurtured us and with which we share common interests.
In reflecting on these words, it should first be noted that Makiguchi wrote the above specifically for the enlarged 1933 edition. Despite championing rural education under local control, in 1933 both he and Sōka Kyōiku Gakkai shared a vision of education that was as ‘state-centered’ as any of his contemporaries. Only a few years later, millions of young Japanese would be called on to sacrifice their own lives, not to mention those of their victims, in the process of “placing [them]selves in service to the state.” Makiguchi’s quarrel with the central government’s bureaucrats was thus not about whether or not service to the state should be promoted, but simply how best to attain that goal.
Emperor
If, as the above quote suggests, Makiguchi believed the ultimate goal of rural education was to serve the state, what was the emperor’s role in this? Though critical of patriotism based on “superficial reasons,” Makiguchi wrote:
His Majesty, the Emperor, on whom is centered the exercise of Imperial authority, exercises this through his military and civilian officials. *The reason he exercises this authority is definitely not for his own benefit. Rather, as leader and head of the entire nation, he graciously exerts himself on behalf of all the people. It is for this reason that in our country, the state and the emperor, as head of state, should be thought of as completely one and indivisible. We must make our children thoroughly understand that loyal service to their sovereign is synonymous with love of country. *. . I believe it is only by so doing that we can clarify the true meaning of the phrase “loyalty to one’s sovereign and love of country” (chūkun aikoku).
You'll notice Ikeda quickly adopted this same attitude - that he was the essence of the Soka Gakkai and that he was "graciously exerting himself for the happiness of all people" and suchlike bushwah. You can see that exact sentiment expressed in Ikeda's definition of "democracy". See also these comments:
Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, fondly referred to as ‘Sensei’ or ‘teacher’ in Japanese, is a global peace philosopher, who has devoted his entire life for the happiness of humankind...In his 62 years of practicing this philosophy, he has exerted millions of kalpas of effort...so as to create a beautiful world. ...I feel his spirit pulsating in my life. But I need to exert millions of kalpas of effort, just like him, and be his sword at all times. ... One world with Sensei! Source
In urging his fellow educators to make the nation’s children “thoroughly understand that loyal service to their sovereign is synonymous with love of country” we once again find Makiguchi situated squarely in the mainstream of the ultra-nationalism that increasingly characterized the 1930s. In May 1937, for example, the Ministry of Education published a pamphlet entitled Kokutai no Hongi (True Meaning of the National Polity). School children were admonished “to live for the great glory and dignity of the emperor, abandoning the small ego, and thus expressing our true life as a people.” By July 1941, in a second Ministry of Education tract called Shinmin no Michi (Way of the Subject), the entire Japanese people were instructed that “even in our private lives we always remember to unite with the emperor and serve the state.”
As of 1933, Makiguchi advocated the widely held proposition that loyal service to the emperor and state was of paramount importance, synonymous with love of country. It was exactly this educational ideology that provided the foundation for the Japanese military’s demand for absolute and unquestioning obedience from its soldiers, claiming “the orders of one’s superiors are the orders of the emperor.”
Korea and China
In the 1933 edition, Makiguchi also touched on Japan’s colonization of Korea. Makiguchi claimed that Korea, prior to being annexed by Japan in August 1910, had long been in a state of anarchy, leaving it unable to either defend itself or protect its citizens. Not only that, the Chinese people presently found themselves in exactly the same situation.
The clear implication of the latter claim was that China, like Korea before it, would greatly benefit from Japanese control. Needless to say, this was a sentiment shared by the Japanese government as seen, for example, in the Amau Statement of April 1934 issued by its Foreign Ministry. China, the statement declared, was not to avail itself of the assistance of any country other than Japan. As Hugh Borton notes: “Any individual or concerted action by the Western powers to bolster the faltering resistance of China would not be countenanced by Japan. If China was to be a unified nation, it would be so at the sufferance of Japan and under its tutelage.”
This said, it is equally clear that Makiguchi’s chief concern in writing favorably about Japan’s expansion onto the Asian continent was, as ever, directed toward the manner in which Japan’s children were to be educated. Makiguchi saw in a discussion of Korea’s recent past and China’s present, a golden opportunity to demonstrate to Japanese children just how fortunate they were to be living in Japan.
In the Soka Gakkai and its international SGI colonies, we see the same "Japanese supremacy" attitude.
Makiguchi continued:
It is when we look at these concrete examples [of Korea and China] that thoughts about our own country emerge. . . . The result is that we cannot help but feel grateful and want to repay the debt of gratitude we owe [the state]. . . .
The practical application of the study of folk culture is to provide the fundamental basis for an understanding of the state by having [our children] look at situations like these that are right before their very eyes. I feel very deeply that we must vigorously seek to create persons of character who will in the future lead a state-centered life, having first acquired the germ of the idea of serving the state at the town and village levels.
Makiguchi demonstrates yet again that his ultimate concern was implanting in Japan’s children a willingness to serve the state. Makiguchi simply believed he knew how to do this in a more effective way than the central government’s bureaucrats who showed such little concern and understanding of local conditions.
Makiguchi was not alone in his opinions, for at the time of the creation of Sōka Kyōiku Gakkai in 1930 he enjoyed the support of some of Japan’s most prominent citizens. For example, when he published the first volume of his Sōka Kyōikugaku Taikei (Value-Creating Pedagogical System) in 1930, then Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi (1855-1932), who presided over the Japanese invasion of Shanghai in January 1932 and the establishment of Japan’s puppet state of Manchukuo the following month, provided a calligraphic endorsement in classical Chinese.
Further evidence showing the support Makiguchi enjoyed is contained in the ninth issue of Kankyō (Environment), a magazine created to promote his ideas on educational reform. Dated November 20, 1930, the ninth issue contained a statement endorsing Makiguchi’s efforts signed by twenty-eight prominent individuals, beginning with Inukai Tsuyoshi, but also including Imperial Navy Admiral Nomaguchi Kaneo (1866-1943), Minister of Justice Watanabe Chifuyu (1876-1940), Supreme Court Judge Miyake Shōtarō (1887-1949), and many other prominent political and business leaders. Their endorsement concluded:
In recognition of [Makiguchi’s] merits and with deep respect for his character, and to show our respect for his efforts toward the perfecting of his invaluable educational system, it is our duty, and is moreover a great privilege allowed those of us who know him, to extend him our moral support. To this end we are herewith honored to establish this group to support Value-Creating Pedagogy.
Nichiren Shōshū
In June 1928 Makiguchi converted to Nichiren Shōshū (Orthodox Nichiren sect).
Because Makiguchi lost an argument.
At the time of his conversion, Nichiren Shōshū was a very small branch of the overall Nichiren sect. In a government survey conducted at the end of 1939 it had only seventy-five affiliated temples and fifty-two priests. This compares with a total of 4,962 temples and 4,451 priests for all other Nichiren branches. Its small size, however, did not deter this branch from claiming that it alone had faithfully preserved Nichiren’s teachings, teachings which represented the only authentic religious truth extant in the world.
Nichiren Shōshū’s claim to unique possession of universal religious truth did not prevent its clerical leaders from participating in the ultranationalist frenzy of the day. Representative of these is Arimoto Kōga (1867-1936), former director-general of religious affairs for the branch and abbot of Myōkōji temple in Tokyo. In September 1929 Kōga created the “Society to Protect the Nation through the Orthodox Teaching” (Seikyō Gokoku-kai) with headquarters at his temple. This was in direct response to a decree issued by the Ministry of Education earlier in the same year calling for a general spiritual mobilization of the people.
The prospectus Kōga drew up for the new organization ended with the following injunction:
Now is unquestionably the time for we [sic] religious leaders to be active, to advance, and to struggle. . . .We must not only stand in the front echelons but in the second and third echelons. We must move forward, doing our utmost to develop a fighting spirit that will guide the entire military.
Protecting the state is our duty. Guiding the people is our responsibility. That is to say, we have created this association in order to rally all the people of this nation, totally devoting ourselves to using the power of the orthodox teaching [of Nichiren] to maintain law and order in the state. Furthermore, we seek to employ the majesty of the true [Buddha]-Dharma to preserve social order, thereby sweeping back the tide of rapidly falling public morals. Isn’t this the original mission of Buddhism?
Kōga’s ultranationalist activities by no means ended with the creation of the above organization. On March 25, 1933, he published a thirty-five-page pamphlet entitled “Proclamation for the Celebration of the Flag Festival.” The first chapter contained the following statement:
It is the state that the people must protect with their blood and defend to the death. Similarly, the people must protect the national flag with their blood and defend it to the death. The national flag is sacred and therefore no one, under any circumstances, can be allowed to insult or encroach upon it.
Branch Leadership
There is, of course, a danger in reaching conclusions about the political orientation of an entire branch based on the actions of only one priest, no matter how powerful a figure he may have been. Yet, as religious critic Ōki Michiyoshi notes: “There is general agreement between Kōga’s thinking and that of the branch as a whole. . .” The truth of Ōki’s assertion is nowhere better illustrated than in the following “exhortation” (kun’yu) issued by Suzuki Nikkyō (1869-1945), head of Nichiren Shōshū, on December 8, 1941, the date (in Japan) of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor:
Today we are truly carried away in everlasting emotion and stand awestruck at the glittering Imperial Edict declaring war on the United States and Britain that has been so graciously bestowed upon us. . . .We are fortunate in having an army and navy that is incomparably loyal and brave under the August Virtue of His Majesty, the Emperor. Our gratitude is boundless for the wondrous fruits of battle that have already been achieved on the first day of the war and look forward to a bright future. However, in view of the environment we find ourselves in, this next great war requires that we be prepared for the inevitability of a long struggle.
Therefore, adherents of this sect must, in obedience to the Holy Mind [of the Emperor] and in accordance with the parting instructions of the Buddha and Patriarchs, brandish the religious faith acquired through years of training, surmount all difficulties with untiring perseverance, and do their duty to the utmost, confident of certain victory in this great war of unprecedented proportions.
In January of the previous year, for example, Nikkyō had expressed his sect’s “unending gratitude and enthusiasm” for the imperial military’s accomplishments in its war against China, urging his fellow Japanese to work ever harder “to accomplish the goal of constructing a new East Asia.”
Shinto
Having noted this branch’s fervent endorsement of Japan’s war effort, it is important to examine just what it was about the emperor that made his mind “holy” as quoted above. That is to say, did Nikkyō, as the branch’s head, subscribe to the then prevalent belief that the emperor was a divine descendant of the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu Ōmikami?
The answer to this question is contained in yet another article written by Nikkyō appearing in the April 1942 issue of the sect’s monthly organ, Dai-Nichiren (Great Nichiren). Entitled “The True Meaning of Religious Faith” (Shinkō no Hongi), Nikkyō described the relationship between Nichiren, Japan and the Imperial family as follows:
Because of his love for his birthplace, Saint [Nichiren] referred to it as Awa no kuni [lit. “province of safe refuge”]. Were I now to speculate what he meant by these words, I suggest that he wanted us to realize just what a joy it is to have been born in this Imperial land, with its unbroken line of emperors reigning over an incomparable national polity, the Imperial ancestress of whom is Amaterasu Ōmikami, the object of our respectful reverence.
As the above makes clear, the leadership of Nichiren Shōshū had no difficulty in revering Amaterasu, a Shintō goddess, or recognizing the emperor as her descendent and therefore partaking of her divinity. This said, it is noteworthy that the only way Nikkyō was able to connect Nichiren directly to his emperor-centric viewpoint was by speculating on what the latter had in mind when he referred to his birthplace as a “province of safe refuge.” The fact that Awa (safe refuge) is actually a place name, used in pre-modern Japan to refer to the southern part of present-day Chiba Prefecture where Nichiren was born, makes this connection even more tenuous. No matter how flimsy the pretext, Nikkyō was willing to employ it in his effort to turn Nichiren into an advocate of modern Japanese ultra-nationalism.
Let us turn next to Nikkyō’s opinion of American and English society by comparison with that of Japan:
Why is it that the Americans and British are being defeated, i.e., why are they so weak? It is because, unlike we [sic] Japanese, they have an unhealthy national polity, lacking in the concepts of loyalty and filial piety serving to unite together as one all segments of their societies. The Japanese people, on the other hand, enjoy total unity between the front lines and those in the rear, all harboring the desire to repay the debt of gratitude they owe the state with their death. All the people of this country, having become soldiers, possess a spirit united in accomplishing the goals of this holy war through becoming balls of fire. It is exactly for this reason that the imperial military has been invincible in its advance through the Philippines and Malaya, the object of admiration by the whole world.
What is striking here is just how similar Nikkyō’s view of the Western enemy is to that held by such figures as Yasutani Haku’un or the many other institutional Buddhist leaders introduced in my book Zen at War. In one sense this is not surprising, for despite its image as a “new religion,” Nichiren Shōshū, unlike its lay subsidiary Sōka Gakkai, has had a long history and was very much a part, albeit a small part, of traditional institutional Japanese Buddhism. Its roots can be readily traced back to Nikkō (1246-1333), one of Nichiren’s six chief disciples, who shortly after his master’s death quarreled with his fellow disciples over doctrinal matters. Over time this led to the formation of Nichiren Shōshū, the head temple of which remains Taisekiji located in Fujinomiya near Mt. Fuji.
Taisekiji temple
During Japan’s long medieval period, Nichiren Shōshū, like the branches of all traditional Buddhist sects, accepted its role as one element of a de facto state religion. Furthermore, with the existence of institutional Buddhism as a whole threatened by the Meiji government’s adoption of an emperor-centric version of Shinto, i.e., “State Shinto,” it is not surprising that institutional Buddhist leaders of whatever sect ended up promoting an extreme form of nationalism that emphasized absolute subservience to the state, emperor worship, and ethnic chauvinism. In this sense, Nichiren Shōshū was no different than the other branches of traditional Buddhist sects that sought to demonstrate their ongoing usefulness to the state.
Continued below:
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