American Resilience

Bill Bailey: Fearless, Hitler Fighting, OG Anti-Fascist

Quentin Tarantino, pay attention.

Maybe it was growing up on the streets of Hoboken, NJ, or it could’ve just been in his DNA, but Bill Bailey was an Irish American who basically wasn’t afraid of anything and he liked getting into good trouble.

Born in 1909, he lived through The Great Depression and both world wars, and as a result developed a belief in communist ideals and a strong anti-fascist streak. To him, when it came to securing freedom and equality for others, no issue was outside his responsibility. A sailor at heart, he was involved in organizing leftist dock unions and waterfront strikes.

He joined the Abraham Lincoln Battalion and volunteered to fight the Hitler-backed nationalist army in Spain. And he tore a Nazi flag down from a German liner that had docked in New York, watched by a crowd of thousands.

Gregarious, flighty, and handsome as hell, he lived it up till the age of 85 when, in ‘95, he finally decided to jet off to another solar system and cause more ruckus.

Thanks for being badass, Bill. You make us all a little more bold.

JP Sears American Resilience

JP Sears: Comedy and Sincerity Go Hand in Hand

Making fun of yourself can be the opening to truly understanding yourself.

You may have stumbled across JP Sears’ comedy videos taking loving pokes at ‘New Age’ lifestyles. He’s a Youtube sensation who first caught the eye of folks online in 2013. Now, with more than 600k subscribers, he makes fun of everything from the essential oil fad, gluten intolerance, astrology, and Bitcoin.

His jokes are good—sometimes too good—and make us question ourselves a bit. That is exactly his point, these jokes roast himself too. Humor keeps us humble, it is the opening of a new conversation stripped of ego.

After dropping out of college, Sears began studying holistic cultures at age 18, going on to become a life coach. After gaining recognition as someone with an acute sense of humor, he went on to write a book called How to be Ultra Spiritual – “a 12 1/2 Step Guide to Spiritual Superiority”.

 

 

“I needed it for self-therapy because so much of the New Age culture and New Age practices are a part of my life and a very beneficial part of my life, yet there’s another side to the beneficial coin for everything,” Sears told the Charleston City Newspaper.

“I was finding myself having egotistical agendas and judgments hiding within my new age and spiritual practices. The videos and the book [How to be Ultra Spiritual] became a way for me to shine the light of awareness on the shadow side of me.”

Sears compares his humor and sincerity with his left hand and right hand—both are different and don’t work quite as well alone.

Feature photo: Jonathan Boncek / Scott Suchy

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