HomeArticleReflections On This Weird, Wild Job Of Mine

Reflections On This Weird, Wild Job Of Mine

Sometimes really really famous people share my stuff and a deluge of haters rush in to admonish them for doing so because I am evil. I am still not used to either of these things.

I took a couple of days off for my wedding anniversary and during that time Susan Sarandon shared my last article, demanding to know why we’re not discussing the important fact that a document from the OPCW’s investigation contradicting the official OPCW findings on an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria was not shared with the public. Just as when Roger Waters promoted me on his Twitter account, any time I checked Twitter I saw a bunch of people arguing about whether or not I’m a secret Nazi or a plagiarist or an Assad lover or a racist, all in response to the sharing of an article that questioned a narrative used to support western imperialism. It’s a weird experience.

This whole job has been weird, really, and with some days off I’ve had time to reflect on that. I’ll write a proper article shortly, but I just wanted to tap out a few thoughts on this strange journey I’ve been on while they’re still on my mind.

This whole gig has been a glorious accident. Back in 2016 I needed a job and saw an advertisement on Facebook for a self-publishing news aggregate called Inquisitr, and I figured maybe I could finally put my journalism degree to some use. Whenever I wrote hard news stories they tended to flop, but when I wrote opinion pieces about the Sanders campaign and the fraud of the DNC they shared really well. People told me I was giving a voice to things that needed saying, and I started building up an audience. After the election everyone started freaking out about “fake news” and Inquisitr asked me to move back to hard news stories, but by then I had a lot to say so I made the transition to becoming crowdfunded.

Moving from narrow discussions about presidential candidates to general commentary on world politics was like suddenly jumping into a deep ocean full of strange creatures and mystery. I could see that the system was corrupt, I had my intuition and I knew a few hard facts, but the following I was gaining quickly put me on the same turf as people who’ve been studying this stuff for many years and it was intimidating. Because I can make jokes and write prolifically about things in a fresh and interesting way, my audience grew a lot faster than that of other alternative media writers, and it made people suspicious of me.

Unlike the indie journos who I tend to get lumped in with, I didn’t spend my first years working my way up through media outlets mostly unseen under the guidance of editors and senior staff; I just got tossed into the mix and had to build my own system for navigating this strange new ocean by myself. I had to learn everything on the fly while in full visibility. The first part of my career was basically just me telling readers “Hey, that thing over there looks suspicious!” and “No, you’re not crazy, I see the corruption too” while simultaneously trying to figure out exactly what the hell’s going on here and sorting out quality sources of information from crap. I had no coach or adviser for any of this besides my husband I’d only just married, who was even more new to it all than I was.

During those early days I pissed a lot of people off, saying things you’re not supposed to say and advancing ideas you’re not supposed to advance. I mean, I still piss people off all the time today, but I feel like I would navigate that whole scene a lot more gracefully if I had it all to do over again. The nature of being new to something is to not be very graceful at it, though; if I would have let fear of my own clumsiness and inexperience stand in the way, I never would have begun this journey. So no regrets.

So my whole political commentary career has basically just been me learning about the world and sharing what I’ve learned with my readers. It started out as crude crayon drawings of what’s going on, but as my knowledge and experience has increased those drawings have been getting more and more refined. I now feel like I have a solid understanding of what’s going on in the world and why things are fucked in the way that they are fucked, and I’m always adding more tools to my toolbox for describing it.

Along the way I had to sort out a whole heap of self-esteem issues too. It’s not easy being a forty-something mum of two who hardly even had much of a social life, let alone found herself in the spotlight. Like many women my age, I have a lot of shame about my body and my looks and I certainly had no intention of ever putting either of those things out there for scrutiny, let alone scrutinized by people who are heavily invested in hating me. That part has been really scary for me in an eerily primal way. I’ve come to realize that my sexuality and my creativity are the same thing. I need confidence in myself in order to write well. Men who hate you seem to know that; they instinctively reach for insults and threats that specifically target my sexuality. So having every horrible thing I’ve ever feared or I’ve ever secretly thought about myself be tweeted and shared and laughed at and liked is not something I’ve enjoyed. The thought “This is why women don’t do this” has come up more than once, but I keep going because yes, this is why women don’t do this but dammit if I’ll let it stop me.

I also have a secret weapon in my husband Tim who not only works with me full time but who can very quickly make me feel like the sexiest goddamn bitch that ever stalked the earth. So there’s that. I struggle to convey how important Tim is to this thing and how there is no way I could do it without him. My whole prolific output is because of the stability of our fusion. I say this because I don’t want anyone comparing themselves to me and feeling bummed out by their output. You need to know that you’re looking at two people in a very tight, stable collaboration and if you’re working alone then you shouldn’t compare your output to mine. Keep going, we need you more than ever!

So anyway, now here I am trying to shove healthy ideas into mainstream consciousness with an acute awareness that every time I get anywhere near the mainstream I get a bunch of angry people telling everyone that I’m all sorts of horrible things. And it’s weird. I see the ideas I share as valuable enough that the periodic hate brigade isn’t enough to silence me, but I can certainly understand how people are pressured by manipulators and groupthink bullies into staying invisible and making a small target of themselves.

And Sarandon actually did do a great job of staving off the war propagandists who tried to attack her for sharing my work rather than addressing the information in the article. Journalist Rania Khalek tweeted, “The usual regime change characters swarmed Sarandon for amplifying what they want buried about Syria and her responses are so good and satisfying.”

Which is good. The fact that I was able to throw an important idea over the wall of the establishment narrative managers into a wider audience without my name poisoning it is encouraging. That’s a major shift. Hopefully I’ll be able to get more and more ideas over that wall going forward.

So that’s my challenge: getting dissident ideas past the goalkeeping of the narrative managers and into the bloodstream of public consciousness. I don’t care if those ideas get there through me or if someone else picks them up and carries them over the edge themselves; the important thing is waking up the mainstream public to what’s going on in their world so that they can cast off the propaganda manipulations that have been keeping them sedated and start making society work for them instead of for a few sociopathic oligarchs. Keeping these ideas in the fringe (while egoically pleasing to a certain subset of political dissidents who enjoy keeping their stuff marginal for the same reason a hipster enjoys boasting that they liked a band before they were popular) is not going to save the world. Keeping anti-establishment ideas on the fringe is exactly what the narrative managers want, and we mustn’t allow it to continue.

So I intend to keep plugging away at this thing, keep learning, keep coming up with new ideas and approaches, and keep writing the most sizzling hot articles I possibly can. Maybe I’ll help move the needle enough to shift public consciousness to where it needs to be, maybe I won’t, but god dammit I’ll be able to tell my kids that I tried.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

_________________

Everyone has my unconditional permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Liked it? Take a second to support Caitlin Johnstone on Patreon!

Latest comments

  • Support Caitlin Johnstone on Patreon!

  • Caitlin, you are not only gifted with insights (words and ideas) but also with courage to express them at great personal risk. it takes enormous courage to become a public writer / intellectual. and without courage, private knowledge and understanding means nothing. hats off to you and your husband. we the people are lucky that you two found each other to be an invincible team.

  • I just LOVE that a “forty-something mum of two” from Melbourne, Australia (hi from Sydney) is talking about the most important FACTS of foreign policy issues from around the world. Truly making a difference. You go sister!!!

  • Caitlin: I wish I could find a way to bolster your spirits enough to enable you to keep doing what you do. Know that you are the only writer whose work I read religiously, no matter the topic. I can’t explain why I am so drawn to your writing, but there it is. If ever there is something we devotees of your work can do to help you endure, please let us know in a subsequent column so we can be there for you, as you are there for us. Take care, and thank you sincerely for what you’re doing. Not to abuse a phrase, but yours is God’s work.

  • You’re right. Women don’t venture into that buzzsaw. I think you are the sexiest goddamn bitch for doing it daily! You’re like a bodacious Boudica/Wonder Woman blazing the trail for long-suppressed voices. It’s a small thing, but you’ve given me a teaspoon of courage to voice a few truths in comment sections, be swarmed by flying monkeys…and come back to do it again after licking my wounds. Your courage to boldly speak truth is infectious. And hella sexy! You’ve inspired a Hundredth Monkey battalion behind you–all savoring the example of sexy, bodacious, creative, authentic, courageous, Wonderfully Womanly you. You are such a blessing ♥♥♥. Many thanks for feeding our souls!

  • You come quite a way in a short time. I look forward to your posts and have reposted many.

  • Caitlin, as said earlier, you are giving more good to your “human-fellows” than we gave you.
    Stay put. You already know better than many, that living on principles and rebelling against tyranny is most difficult.

    Your ideas do spread. There are people like me who learnt from your writings on how to see through the falsity of the MSM and all others whose business is to manipulate and control the narrative.

    Best of luck wishes to you from one of your “human-fellow”.

  • It sounds like a sort of Denial of Service attack, apparently aimed at anyone who dares to promote a line not written by John Bolton. Thus, someone on Twitter forwards something sensible that you said, and as people read it suddenly your twitter feed is full of idiots screaming “Assad apologist”. The effect is to close your twitter feed to any sensible people. I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if some of those were from non-Russian bots, as America’s leaders always scream loudest accusing others of doing what they are already doing.

    Such a Denial of Service attack is a way of shutting down discussion forums that might include content that John Bolton might not approve. Its an old tactic, I’ve seen the websites and comment areas where interesting discussions were occurring also get flooded with such tactics and rendered useless.

  • Caitlin. Your are absolutely Awesome. I’ve been following you since 2016, you even personally responded to a couple of emails of mine, I liked that. You put into words what I think way better than I could ever do it. Thank you for all you do.
    Sincerely Gerard

  • Just remember Caitlin, when you hit ’em where it hurts, in the facts of the matter, and all they can do is sling shit back at you… mmmm smells like victory.

  • Hello from Manila!! Just now read all of the encuraging comments from many, many of your dsithful readers, abd zi was som0leased yo see one comment about fff.fff.com. those folks r “ON IT!”,& I was so pleased to see tgat one of them was recently afilliated with Hillsdale College (former prof.) Which just delighted mecas there was a time,,long ago, when I just so wanted to be a student there. Oh well “time & tide wait 4 no man!” Also, kindly keep Sir Shakespeare in mind ” TO THINE OWNSELF BE TRUE. THEREFORE! THOU CANNEST NOT BE FALSE TO ANY OTHER!” This ol guy never misses any of your wonderful musings, so, please, PLEASE,,”DON’T LET THE

    B…TARDS GET U DOWN”!!!!!

    Expat tom

  • Caitlin, thank you (and your wonderful and supportive husband) for doing what you do. So important in today’s nasty world. Your pain is real and I feel for you; but your service to society and the world is SO important. Please hang tough, and keep up the good fight.

    These thoughts and wishes come from an old, bald, white guy who has had his fill of what “we” have done to the country and the world. Strength, peace, and love to you!

  • Dear Caitlin…I have only recently discovered you, courtesy of Information Clearing House which I have received daily for years …I don’t buy newspapers….so relieved to learn of your existence and your input regarding Venezuela…I am agast at the lack of balance we are subjected by our media and had an argument yesterday with a friend who believes that Maduro is a dictator ….anyway, in your spare time could you write one of your pieces giving us the background on our PM Scomo, who can respect a man who allows himself to be referred to in that manner? Having watched the docos on Bob Hawke what a contrast in leadership, which is not apparent in our re-elected PM. I have just read that his worth totals $19.55 billion so at least he won’t starve if he is removed from office at some stage, I have been told that he was “fired” from his previous job with the tourism industry, before being elected to parliament and becoming our treasurer….and we were supposed to worry about Labor being in charge of the country’s coffers?
    Go Caitlin…so pleased am I to know we have an Aussie female journalist who is worthy of the title!
    Linese N.

  • Thank you for all your efforts.. love your work..
    I find myself reading your stuff regularly and anxiously awaiting your next article, poem or story.
    You are what you speak..

  • Thank-you yet again from me, too. Do not give up. You bring clarity with honesty to the dark underbelly of our political world – a shining spotlight – making brightly apparent things formerly fuzzy-hazy hidden.

  • I would like to write something uplifting and supportive of you but all I can come up with is.. ..to tell your detractors to fcuk off and die. Not totally constructive but…..

  • It’s been painful watching their ugly and unrelenting smears of you, Caitlin, and I can only imagine what it feels like for you, especially as their sheep bleat out agreement with the insults against you. As long as you keep telling the truth about their warmongering and gutter-level m.o., they will continue smearing you — and it’s only going to get worse as we approach the 2020 election. You explained how horribly they smeared Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning in very coordinated mass propaganda campaigns that have been largely successful, but in recent weeks they have been coming down harder and harder on Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard, the only candidates with the clarity of vision and steadfast courage to publicly stand up for the truth (she with much greater consistency). They went easier on Bernie for awhile after he showed them how easily he can fold, but they want to eliminate him from any chance of gaining the nomination — despite the built-in insurance policy of a ridiculously overcrowded field of candidates guaranteed to force a second ballot at the convention at which point the “super delegates” step in to force wins for Biden or Kamala.

    They’ve been pushing the old smear of Bernie’s radical past and his “Russian honeymoon,” replete with ancient video coverage of a shirtless Bernie talking pleasantly with a group of Russian citizens over a meal, and they’re fabricating a Russian connection for Tulsi too. Really dirty stuff. There is no depth to which they will not stoop.

    And of course they run the Jane Fonda routine on Susan Sarandon. Now more than ever, honest, forthright public figures (of which you are one) will need nerves of steel, circles of protection, and R&R breaks for renewal. Don’t forget that you have many dedicated fans out here.

    • I wasn’t paying attention to politics last year, but before the election the local nasty Republican congressman started sending me mail accusing his opponent of being a socialist. How awful. She should thank him for spending the money to send the mail that got her a vote, because as soon as I heard a Republican use that charge I knew immediately who I was voting for.

      I have a funny feeling that spending money calling Sanders a radical will help him in the same way. The Democratic primary is a battle between a bunch of people who want the same old Wall Street corporate Democrats and their wars and deportations against the few candidates who want something different. The old corporate, pro-war Democrats aren’t as popular as they may think, so it might end up with Bernie thanking them for the free advertising.

  • Here’s more ammo for you on Venezuela. by someone who has actually been there several times;
    It really puts skids under US narrative.
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/17/eyewitness-in-venezuela-a-14-year-perspective/

  • Adding my thanks and appreciation to the chorus. You help keep me sane in a mad world. Namaste, dear Caitlyn.

  • Your openness about yourself is a testament to your basic authenticity Caitlin. We trust you because you are not hiding behind a hoked up image. Keep putting out the truth as best you can discern it – we love you for it, and we are learning along with you. We are all explorers in this darkening world.

  • Nice essay Caity, let’s us know you better. And, as for your earlier ‘gracelessness navigating the scene’, not to worry who you are is what makes you worth reading. Wouldn’t have you any other way. I’m another daily reader.

  • Thank you so much for all your work. I’ve only recently started reading you, but this website is the first I check in the morning before going to work.

    Oh and I found out about you, because the Belgium independent website Investig’ Action translated (in French) and posted one of your article, I believe about Julian Assange. Your followers are worldwide, and we are all grateful for your articles.

    Keep up the fight!

  • Thanks, Caitlin. I read Susan’s tweet and a lot of the garbage that followed.

    I read everything you send me, my wife too. Your bravery and humour are impressive. Keep on doing it, please.
    People are very slowly picking up on what’s really going on. So they need to keep getting it where it makes a difference.

    Thanks very much for all you do.

    Pura Vida from Costa Rica.

  • Always look forward to your next insightful story – thank you.

  • “every time I get anywhere near the mainstream I get a bunch of angry people telling everyone that I’m all sorts of horrible things”. Of all the whacked out things the mass public consciousness believes I am most disheartened by the degree to which they find ad-hominem acceptable. Of course ad-hominem typically means that truth is not the value being strived for, rather the aim is an ego based one like being right, or not having to reorganize their world view.

  • You are doing what Elvis said was TCB: ‘taking care of business’. Write on!

  • I like your writing. It is very direct. Your perspective is reflected in this unique analysis: https://www.kosmosjournal.org/article/seeing-wetiko-on-capitalism-mind-viruses-and-antidotes-for-a-world-in-transition/

  • We’re with you and deeply appreciate both your sensitivity and your courage to keep speaking the truth – very inspiring!!

  • Caitlin,

    You are a courageous woman thriving towards sainthood, I would dare to say.

    It is sad to say but the mainstream media journalists are more and more subject of contempt because they lie or cover lies so often.

    “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matt. 24:37)

    This is where we are now and this is why there is no more truth to be heard.

    According to the prophecy of the popes by the famous Irishman Saint Malachy, pope Francis is the last pope before the Final Judgement. The days of Noah are here.

    I am keeping my Rosary close and I pray especially Saint Jude.

    • The end is likely near, but not by the hands of god, but by the hands of man and his greed!

  • Ms Johnstone ( Ms Buddha if I may ) the ” heavens came together ” and sent your writings to us!!! There is absolutely no telling how far your inspirations will take humanity to a better place!! I am an old man but your adherence to truth and justice has me back in the fight against evil!!! Please keep it all coming!! As an aside I read a very profound article today that in a nutshell shows the the entire United States Government should be impeached for violating the United States Constitution!!! Peruse it here:
    https://www.fff.org/2019/05/20/impeach-trump-but-only-for-the-right-reason/

  • Hugo, Girl!

  • Thank you for taking the heat informing the public. I find you the most reliable source on the subjects you cover. If only you could cover all of the subjects, I wouldn’t have to vet so much of what I read!

  • When I first discovered Ms Johnstone on Medium, I was truly and thoroughly impressed and so thought to myself (as there was nobody else in the room), “Whoa them ponies! This girl is a good writer.”

    I mean, if you’re going to have an opinion or story to tell, please do it well. (Don’t get me going on popular writers who are bad at their craft…)

    So I subscribed. Mostly and just because she is a good writer. Not really for the content but breaking out of my own little thought bubble wasn’t going to hurt me, really.

    Well, damn, the content hurts.

    After eventually (Sigh. Took me long enough.) failing to conform I knew those empowered for my “well being” were not all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows but hoped that there was enough self-interest (“greed is good”) on their part to forestall planetary destruction.

    Whoops, again. Turns out there is such a thing as intentional cruelty for the sole purpose of just being mean. (The core essence of most – if not all – religions, politics; which is just another pack of “us versus them” religion. And maybe MLMs.) A desire to teach kindness just gets shouted down and whose proponents are ruthlessly stomped on.

    So thanks, Caitlin (he says dripping with sarcasm) for this. Where there was mistrust there is now near open skepticism. (Yes, I know this is healthy. But still….)

    I now mistrust the motives of EVERYBODY old enough to be retired who seeks office. Why don’t you want to do fun things and spend time with your grandbabies?

  • We live in a false paradigm reality, bounded by faux science, fake history, filtered news, financed by a fiat currency and directed by demonic warlords. There is no limit to the rabbit holes that must be exposed to end this madness.

  • Thanks for everything Caitlin. I read your stuff every day. I’m glad Susan Sarandon picked up on your piece regarding Syria. Every bit of amplification helps. It must be weird for Susan to be in the Hollywood crowd with their elitist attitudes, and their utter ignorance. Pamela Anderson, Roger Waters, and Oliver Stone are the only ones I know of who have clue. The rest are as sheep dipped in propaganda as most of the general public.

    Keep fightin’!

leave a comment