Behind the Author: Filosofa’s Word

Hello again friends, bloggers and muses,

Welcome back to another installment of Behind the Author. This is where we journey behind the scenes in one writer’s life to understand a little more about them and how they’ve ended up where they are now. As always, the point is to better understand the inner sanctum of successful writer’s and bloggers. However, they’re also meant to be fun and personal as well.

Today’s Guest: Jill Dennison of Filosofa’s Word

Today’s Behind the Author is going to be unique from the other interviews of the past, because Jill Dennison is a political journalist/blogger in the USA. Some of you may have differing political views, and that would be unfortunate, but now is not the time for people to remain silent when the entire world is in a crisis. So, if you’re not fond with the contents of this interview, because it does not match your political agenda. Then I’m sorry, but not sorry.

Blog of the Wolf Boy will not be turning into a political blog any time soon, but as the author behind this blog, I will absolutely be speaking up for what I believe in and I will not shy away from contentious issues either. Neither in Canada, where I’m from, or in America, do I care about political affiliations, but I do strongly care about what’s right for all of humanity based on governing political agendas and moral ethics. As a father – these political issues are important to me to the extent that they are beyond my care for who it may offend. I would not tell a “flat earther” that the world is flat because it would offend him that it’s round, so in that same sense, I won’t blow smoke up anyone’s ass about what I think of their politics if it feels contemptible to me.

So, let’s get to it!


The Interview

Mathew: Hello Jill! It’s great to have you here for a segment on my Behind the Author series of interviews. This interview is a little different then usual, because we are stepping outside of creative writing and into the realm of journalism.

My first question to you is this; what motivated you to start your blog? Can you take us through your journey from the beginning until now and how your blog has evolved?

Jill: Thank you, Mathew, for this opportunity! I really appreciate it! I have actually tried my hand at writing fiction a time or two, but it just falls flat. What I do on my blog seems to be my forte.

My blog has certainly undergone a transformation from its origins. I retired in 2008, after 30 years as a CPA. I’ve always been an avid reader, so I started writing book reviews, publishing them in such venues as Amazon and Goodreads, and someone, I cannot remember who, suggested I start a blog as another means of getting my book reviews noticed. At the time, I had some vague notion that perhaps I could become a paid reviewer.

In June, 2013, the Supreme Court struck down DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) and I saw that as a huge step forward in Civil Rights in this country. I just had to write about it. And then, George Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin and my fury had to have an outlet. I think that was the first turning point from a happy little blog to a socio-political one. At that point, Filosofa’s Word had 30 followers and I thought that was a lot! And then, on June 16th, 2015, Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president and my blog would never be the same again. That was the second turning point. Though at the time, I didn’t take his candidacy seriously. I thought he didn’t stand a chance, and it was mostly a joke, or so I thought.

Mathew: It’s obvious that your blog is politically charged. You’re one of the only political blogs that I actually follow, and it’s because you create great informative articles but I also feel your passion and the humanity behind your messages. Do you feel like you’re an advocate for a certain party or do you feel like you’re an advocate for justice and human rights?

Jill: Thank you for the high praise! I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican, but an Independent, which surprises most people. In the past, I have actually voted for a few Republicans. I like to think that my advocacy is for justice and human rights, as well as one of my big topics these days, the environment.

However, the polarization between the two parties in the past decade, or what I refer to as “the great divide”, has left no place in the middle. It has become all but impossible to be a moderate anymore, and my view is that the Republican Party has evolved to stand for things I find abhorrent, such as white supremacy and bigotry in its many forms, pandering to the wealthy at the expense of the poor and middle class, greed and arrogance. The Democratic Party isn’t perfect, either, but they do tend to stand for inclusion, for taking care of people… ALL people, not just those who are white, straight, and Christian.

Mathew: Are you afraid that once Trump is out of office (with a bit of hope), you will have much less material to blog about?

Jill: Oh no, I don’t see that happening! First, it will take years, more likely decades, to repair the damage Trump is doing. But most importantly, Trump and his minions are but a symbol of what’s wrong, not only in this nation but throughout the industrialized world. People put Trump into office, and his approval rating remains somewhere in the 40% range, so there are still a lot of people who like what he says and does, who won’t be happy with a Joe Biden or a Kamala Harris. In truth, I see a long, rocky path ahead for another decade, at least, both here and in Europe.

If we don’t start paying attention to the climate scientists… Well, that is a topic for another day.

Mathew: Were you always a politically motivated person?

Jill: No, I can honestly say I wasn’t at all interested in politics until I was five years old. It was 1956, and the race was between Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson. My parents listened on the radio (we didn’t have a television back then) and I sat on the floor and kept track with my marbles! When I first started college, I decided on a career in Accounting, for that was where the jobs were. But Political Science was my love, so I double-majored, earning both an Accounting degree and one in Poli-Sci. Then, while working full-time, I went on to earn an M.A. in Political Science, and after I retired, began work on a Ph.D. in International Relations. Some of my friends would likely tell you that I cannot seem to carry on a conversation without bringing politics into it!

Mathew: I have to admit, I was pretty excited when I logged on to your blog for the first time and noticed a picture of a wolf as your background. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I tend to have an affinity for wolves. Does that mean anything to you, or is it just an image that you like?

Jill: Ahhh, you have hit on a subject that is dear to me!  Like you, I have always, even when a child, had an affinity for wolves for some reason.  I am not religious, but I am undecided as yet whether I believe in reincarnation. But, if it exists, then I’m pretty sure I was once a wolf.  A friend (well, she was a friend in the pre-Trump days) used to raise wolves out in New Mexico, and she offered to bring me a wolf pup one time.  I wanted so badly to take her up on her offer, but with ten cats at that time, I knew it was a bad idea. So, I declined.  One wall of my bedroom is covered in wolf-themed dream-catchers, and I have countless books about wolves.

Mathew: I’m a 30 year old man who has never been very interested in politics in my life until recently, because the world is so volatile right now that I feel it’s extremely important to take an interest in what’s going on. As a new father, I worry about my daughter’s future and climate change. If you could share one message with young people out there about the importance of getting involved in the political landscape right now, what might you say?

Jill: I find many people are like you and always took governance/politics for granted until recently. The populist movement that put Trump in office has spread wide wings in the Western world. Look at Brexit, which was orchestrated by the Russians largely as our 2016 election was. I could go into the history, which traces back to Arab Spring, but suffice it to say that in the past, especially in the U.S. and Canada, we have been able to largely ignore the day-to-day politics because we believed we had leaders who had our best interests at heart. Today, that is not necessarily the case.

You’re very right to be concerned about climate change. The ‘deniers’, I honestly believe, know that it is a real crisis, but they refuse to admit it because it’s inconvenient. Those who would deny climate change fall into two categories: the ultra-rich industrialists for whom the demise of the fossil fuel industry would be catastrophic, and the average Joe who really doesn’t want to give up his gas-guzzling SUV, turn off the lights, eat less beef, buy a distiller instead of single-use plastic bottles, etc. It’s an attitude that is especially prevalent among the devout.

I shy away from religious discussion, but when I hear somebody say, “God put everything on earth for our happiness and God will take care of it all”, my blood boils. The reality is that the human race is on a path to self-extinction unless we wake up, and soon! One message to young people today?

Look to Greta Thunberg and the survivors of Parkland, they are shining examples of activists fighting the two most lethal things in our society today: Climate change and guns control (In the US). Be proactive, don’t expect that everything will just “somehow work out”. Don’t be afraid to challenge the ‘norms’! Be the change you want to see in the world.

Mathew: Jill, I want to thank you once again for joining me for this Behind the Author interview. It’s been a real pleasure to have you and to get to know you better. I hope you keep fighting the good fight for human rights and important civil progress. In a divisive world, these words are so important. It’s my opinion that the world is in need of more unity and less separation, but beyond that, our governments need to be both ethical and moral in conducting their duties. We have our own problems with some of our officials in Canada. Anyways, I like to leave these interviews on a lighter note, do you have any plans for the future of your blog or any other writing aspirations?

Jill:  Thank YOU, Mat. I have enjoyed this immensely! I fully agree that the need for unity is so important, and we must learn to find common ground among our differences.  Frankly, I’m not sure we can just now, but we must never give up trying.  I strongly suspect that I won’t be around to see the end of the current troubles, for I think they will last for a few decades.

As for other writing aspirations!  I have tried my hand at fiction a few times, but.. SPLAT… It’s about as interesting as watching corn grow.  I even put myself to sleep!  I am not a poet, except for the occasional bawdry rhyming verse.  So, unless I someday write a book about the “Reign of Trump”, I suspect the blog is to be my legacy.

It is my hope to somehow spread a message of compassion, humanity and love, if only to relatively few people.  Thanks again, Mat!  I hope you’ll have me back for a follow up in a few years to see how things have changed!


The After-Thought

Gone are the days of cloaked pretense and hidden messages. Although these things are still present now to some extent, the truth lay more bare than it ever has before in politics, both foreign and abroad. Not only politics, but our own humanity. The entire world is polarized right now, between progressive values and regressive values. The question of our futures balances on a tight rope walking along the present moment. Will we make it to better days, or are we going to watch as humanity painfully and slowly falls off the deep? I’m hopeful for better days, but not complacent.

If there was ever a time to fight for what’s right in the world, that time is now. No matter who you are or what country you live in. It’s time that humanity unites as a whole and the majority lets their voices be heard, that what we will accept in this world is nothing less than equality, fairness and conscientious behavior with our children’s futures in mind. That inclusion is stronger than exclusion, and that love belittles hate. We will not remain afraid!

I digress, from a writing perspective, Jill shows that all blogs follow a level of evolution as they’re crafted from the ground up and may undergo many changes before they become something special. So, never feel afraid to try something new and change your sites identity if something isn’t working for you. Follow your gut instinct.

I also appreciate Jill just a tad more for sharing my spirit animal. 😀

Thanks for joining on this week’s, Behind the Author!

Questions? Comments? Leave them down below!

Click here to visit Filosofa’s Word and say hello to Jill.

48 thoughts on “Behind the Author: Filosofa’s Word

  1. I think it’s awesome that you do these! It’s great insight to the people behind the blog, and I enjoyed meeting Jill. Politics is a very touch subject, but some things are important to highlight & we shouldn’t remain silent. I enjoyed reading this!

    I too, am taken with wolves, by the way. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I hope you will be … you do good work! I typically don’t participate in those, but in this case I would like to! I like being thought of as a “Neat Blogger” and I’m in need of a break anyway, so send it on! And … thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Last week, one of my relatively new readers, Mathew|Blog of the Wolf Boy, sent me an email asking if I would be willing to participate in his weekly feature, “Behind the Author”, where he does interviews with fellow writers/bloggers. I was honoured, and especially since mine is one of the few political blogs he follows, so it would be a bit outside the ‘comfort zone’ of his blog. Mathew generously gave me permission to share the interview with my own readers, so … take a look!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. hi Mathew. Thank you for doing this post. I had no idea of your blog until now and though I am a musician, I did at one time have an interest in being a novelist since I have a double major in English and Psychology. Jill and I have communicated several times and I am grateful for our friendship. I’ll be following your blog as well.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Thank you Mathew and Jill for this insightful interview. I’ve been following Filosofa’s blog for nearly a year and had no idea she was a poli-sci major, which explains her proficiency and expertise in all things political, her analysis is always thoughtful and balanced, never afraid to tell it like it is! I respect bloggers who have a strong ethical point of view, GrondaMorin.com is also an excellent blogger/ journalist.
    All this time I would have bet my life Jill was a die-hard liberal, and was pleasantly surprised to find out she’s independent! I find the independent mindset to be more open and tolerant, hence more objective of the issue… seeing the bigger picture. Jill always gave us an all encompassing viewpoint, and her analysis is always spot-on. She also has great taste in music, if you follow her musical selections.
    Thanks again for sharing cool insights into the mind and heart of our most devoted blogger, she never fails to inform, entertain, share a bit of fun snarkiness once in a while.
    Cheers! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for your comment EarthUnited! I love your username by the way. That’s the dream, I think.

      I’m glad that this interview was appealing to Jill’s readers just as much as it may have been to mine. That was always the goal! I appreciate your kind words as well. I’ve checked out Gronda because of you. Thanks for that. 🙂

      I’ve never actually checked out Jill’s musical tastes but I just may have to one day.

      Take care 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, that’s my dream as well. A good analogy for our political climate – it’s like our right hand fighting with our left. Each hand wants the other gone! As we know hands are more effective and useful working together, solving problems rather than having the other tied behind one’s back.
        It makes no sense to cut off one’s hand to spite the other, so why are we needlessly attacking political views of “opponents” whom we disagree with?
        Doesn’t it make more sense to work together for the benefit of all? I’m directing my comment to members of our so-called congress as well as anyone who’ve been polarized by divisive political ideology – on both sides.
        Yes by all means criticize Trump and his sycophantic lackeys/ cronies/ financial supporters, but also offer constructive solutions to remedy the problem. Yes we must acknowledge the problem, but offer a workable solution as well. Otherwise it’s just sour grapes, whining about the evils of the Republican party, but not rebuilding the Democratic party in order to win the 2020 election! As it stands, Dems have a good chance losing it all once again b/c the DNC’s only significant platform is voting to get rid of Trump. That is not enough to win, Dems must regain their roots and sincerely work for the people! Stop supporting regime change wars costing us 100s of billions annually, and divert some of that wasteful military funding for universal healthcare! Perhaps provide some debt relief for young ppl mired in student loans which would otherwise take a lifetime to pay off. Or how about passing real, honest legislation to reign in automatic weapons? Sadly, most Democratic candidates love paying lip service, but don’t actually do anything to affect real change and make American lives better! STOP taking corporate PAC money, which works against the ppl, enacting policies that only serve corporate donor elites.
        People are waking up and not falling for the same song and dance anymore. This is a wake up call for every citizen in America, something fundamental must change or we’ll keep getting what we’ve always got. Sorry for the rant. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Mathew, thank you so much for publicizing Jill’s blog and the author. As an Independent voter, who has been a member of both parties, I find Jill a very informed blogger. She is well read and does research that supports her opinions. Whether someone agrees with her thoughts or not, they should take solace that she has done her homework. In fact, I find her better informed than too many of the pseudo-news shows that abound online and TV.

    I concur that Independent voters do not get sufficient air time. Some will say the media is biased, but where they are biased is toward conflict. Some news outlets will have two talking heads and portray an issue (like climate change) as a 50/50 issue. As John Oliver demonstrated on his show “Last Week Tonight,” it is more of a 97 to 3 issue.

    People should check out Jill’s blog like you suggested. She is worth the effort Thanks again, Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for your feedback and insight Keith! I really appreciate that.

      Personally, I’ve never been as interested in politics as I have since the election of Donald Trump and Brexit. The world seems to be sliding down a slippery slope right now and quite frankly, it scares me. Not only me but many others as well, I believe, feel the same way.

      I’ve been watching quite a variety of American broadcasts to try and understand the issues from all angles. I even have a conservative newsletter sent to me (accidentally) to my junk mail which I read occasionally.

      On the conservative side, I’ve noticed that there’s much more propaganda, fear-mongering and muddied truths. It helps me to understand why Trump’s “base” believes what they believe. It’s interesting and frightening

      I’m a Canadian, so this is all from the perspective of an outsider, but I honestly believe there should be some regulations on media being unbiased without political party affiliations in the good old USA. I think people are getting their news from their own parties allied news broadcasters and that’s a big part of the issue. The sad thing is, many who are fighting for Trump end up screwed by hos policies and fight against others who actually want to improve their quality of life. =/

      I hope that in the end, democracy wins for the good old USA. I say this on behalf of your loving neighbors up North ❤

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Mathew, for someone who just started following the US news, you have a pretty good sense of it. I left the Republican party about twelve years ago after having been a Democrat out of college. I would define myself as fiscally conservative and socially progressive. I left the Republicans primarily for its stance on climate change even then, its alliance with the evangelicals and gun industry and a tendency to make things up (Fox News is at best spin-doctored news, but it is more of a propaganda machine with its opinion hosts).
        I personally do not mind people being more conservative or liberal than me, but what I do mind is the use of false information and exaggeration to sell the ideas. It used to be politicians ran on rhetoric and governed off facts. Now with 24×7 news, they govern off rhetoric. The US president is measured for being untruthful more than he is not, which was also an observation by his five biographers. Yet, what bothers me most is when the president sets policies off his lies.
        Two quick examples: He either does not know how tariffs work or is repeatedly lying that China is paying for them. He has been corrected every time that importers pay the tariffs and pass on most of the cost to consumers. But, again at one of his rallies last week, he said the truth was a lie, China is paying for them. China is not.
        The other did not get much airplay. When the Pakistan PM was visiting, he announced to reporters in front of the PM, that the India PM Modi asked him to mediate the crisis in Kashmir between the two countries. Within the hour, the India PM put out a statement saying no such request was made. Trump just made it up and, in so doing, violated a trust with India, a key ally. He does similar things with other leaders, even Trudeau. Why would anyone trust this person?
        I am concerned about this president as you are. Jill knows this, but I view the US president as a clear and present danger to the US democracy, our planet and even his own party. I continue to ask my Republican and other senators, is this the person you want to spend your dear reputation on? What will you have to defend next week?
        Sorry for the long resp0nse. I started to do a short one, but I thought I would assure you are not crazy to be concerned. Keith

        Liked by 2 people

      2. No problem at all with the long response hahah, and thanks. I am no political expert at all but I can sense bullshit a mile away. I can see deceit and I can sense manipulation which is what is currently in power over there.

        I would say most outsiders and most other countries see it as well. I’ve also been in a relationship with a narcissist who used gaslighting to mess up my perception if the world in the past and I can see this happening on a political front over there which is quite crazy to me.

        I watched the attorney general Barr tell the Senate that it was “unclear” and he didnt understand why Mueller didnt charge Trump with obstruction even though it’s clearly DOJ policy that he cant. Then they all defame Mueller. It’s just so bizarre to me!

        And yeah, him name calling Trudeau was a face palm moment hahah.

        I’m just hoping theres no fascist takeover about to go down over there, because that would affect the whole damn world negatively.

        My fingers are crossed for you all. I just want to see you all flourish and blossom, and get back to being a functional democracy. Nothing I say is to criticize or belittle. It just comes from a place of love and care

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hey, Wolf Boy,
        I am a fellow Canadian, and a follower of Jill’s blog for over two years now, since I discovered Word Press. (She also writes on Facebook, by the way, though I do not Facebook myself. I just thought your readers might be interested.) I am from Southern Manitoba, but presently live in Far Northern Alberta.
        When Jill and I met, we had a huge argument, not about politics or religion, but abut nationalism. I have met thousands of Americans, and except for a few they seemed to be completely fungible (a fancy word for replaceable). God, the flag, and apple pie. She helped me to understand not all Americans are as obnoxious as the good majority of them. We have been good friends ever since.
        I can witness for Jill that she supports freedom, respect, responsibility, and what she calls justice, and she wants to see a better future for all living beings, even if she is not here to partake of it. (I won’t be either.)
        A lot of republicans/conservatives might say Jill has a biased view, but really it is just honesty. She does not believe something just because someone tells her it is so, she looks deeper than most and digs out the truth. She is not just repeating the words of Trump’s detractors, she weighs the evidence for herself and comes to her own conclusions. If they happen to be similar, sobeit. (It is easy to be anti-Trump, he lies almost every time he opens his mouth!) But she is more than anti-Trump, she is anti human misery, and the things that make humans miserable.
        So if your readers are looking for a political journalist who will tell them the truth as she finds it, Filosofa’s Word is the place to find one.
        rawgod

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Thanks for reaching out, and this is why I decided to interview her when I usually won’t touch politics. She has a good heart and she’s passionate about what she writes, because to her it transcends politics.

        That’s kind of how I feel about it myself. There are some moments in the world where people are going to need to start speaking out and becoming very active with protests and such. I believe we are living through one of those moments now, in many places around the world.

        Bipartisanship in the US is definitely hampering their ability to effectively govern policies, more so on the conservative side because they just label anything which makes sense as a “Liberal Agenda” and dismiss it.

        I say this as an unbiased outsider looking in. Lies and deception are a huge red flag in politics 😑

        Thanks for reading and commenting!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you Mathew, an informative interview. Jill does tend to keep her political opinion towards what is in the interests of all rather than the political party or the person. Those interests are with the Democratic party since the President seems to be interested in profit for himself and the family business and White Power starting with bringing about a change to the voting power of the black voter. Much damage is being done to the environment die to his policies and the promotion of totally unsuitable and untrained people to head the various departments of the American Government.
    Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

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