Tuesday, 11 December 2018

THOUGHTS OUT OF SEASON

Jean-Baptiste Greuze, The Guitarist, c. 1760



The seasons change in Costa Rica, as they do in many places on the planet, although not all, apparently. Here, though, the rainy season draws gradually back and the sun has most definitely got his hat on. I keep out of the sun and, despite living a 15-minute bus ride from the beach Trip Advisor lists as the 12th most beautiful in the world, I rarely attend. I go to church more often than I go the beach. Really, I do. When I do go to the beach, it is wonderful, however. I imagine you would get bored with a steak dinner every day but enjoy it whole-heartedly when you did eat one.
This being my second full season of playing as a musician here, I have picked up the signs of the tourist season beginning, like farmers predicting a very cold winter by inspecting the ram’s wool on the blackberry thorns, or whatever method farmers use for these things.
Backpackers, retirees and tour guides. A cheery sight for the struggling musician. I have hibernated for the last few weeks, learning now songs, improving technique, changing my vocal technique from standard to bel canto. I am not a musician by trade or experience, but I am by temperament, and it is my new job as I approach 60.
I am in the process of learning the following songs:

Girl from Ipanema
Goody Two-Shoes
Greensleeves
Back on the Chain Gang
First of the Gang to Die
Stray Cat Strut

Seasons come and they go, but good music is always in season.


Thursday, 6 December 2018

READ ALL ABOUT IT

News you can trust.
The page cards in Tarot always mean messages and information.
The Page of Wands from the Rider, Waite, Smith pack



Shot by both sides.
They must have come
To a secret understanding.


Howard Devoto (Magazine), Shot by Both Sides


After glibly and causally promising a second part to the essay on ‘Disorder’, a sort-of self-fulfilling prophecy is rendering it more of a knotty problem than at first thought and, with a certain amount of white water to be rafted elsewhere in my life, I shall have to leave it for now. Instead, a note on the news.
With my time looking at news sites currently rationed, I note that I have a very firm list of priority websites I visit before any other browsing and grazing in the sunny uplands of the internet. This, of course, is my echo-chamber, what someone – I forget who – once called the ‘Daily Me’.
The production of this publication, however, is not haphazard or random, nor is it whimsical. Some of the websites I visit I have been visiting for years. Gates of Vienna have even been kind enough to include this humble site on their approved list along with, it must be said, about a thousand others. My echo-chamber may be just that, but it has been well constructed and furnished, I like to think, in good taste.
The news, or ‘the news’, has actually itself become the news since the pincer movement of Trump and Brexit. I have called this news about news ‘metamedia’ in the past, and doubtless others have formed this construction. The phrase which has been weaponized and used by both sides is, of course, ‘fake news’, and the search is on for the ultimate arbiter of what is and isn’t true. It’s like philosophy, but without any fucking fun at all. I remember the chill of fear I experienced when the malevolent community advisor Barack Obama said that truth needed a ‘curator’. It is difficult to know where the poor consumer of news if left, feeling as they do as though they have been trampled underfoot in a Black Friday stampede.
What we know to a certainty, what is decidedly not fake news, is that there is an information war raging. What news from the front lines? And how can we be certain the rider who has driven his steed through the virtual night to give us word is not working for the enemy…
On the roulette table of modern information, I am putting my chips in the following squares:


  • The leading technical companies in the information and social media spheres – ‘big tech’, as they are known – are a significant army in this war.
  • They are censoring social media.
  • They are heavily biased in their censorship.
  • They don’t know whether, or to what extent, their censorship is attaining their goals, they just know they have to try harder, as Zuckerberg said to Merkel.


The last one is more hunch than reasoned inference, I have to admit, but the big tech companies themselves have to wade through the drainways of information sewage in order to get at the truths they require, although I grant they are better equipped to do so. I guess we just have to trust them.







Monday, 3 December 2018

NEW WORLD DISORDER (I)


So long, Marianne. A statue of the
iconic French heroin is a victim of rioting






You are in love with disorder?’
Yes, I want disorder. I keep wanting to set fire to the house’.


Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov




Lights are flashing, cars are crashing.
It’s getting frequent now.


Joy Division, Disorder






President Macron of France is a once-obscure globalist technocrat whose political career was hastily assembled when the French version of the deep state woke up with horror one morning and realized there was a very real possibility that Marine Le Pen might be the next President of La République. The ploy worked, of course. The elites are not incompetent, just occasionally unlucky. Macron was hoisted in from nowhere like a piece of flying scenery in a 19th-century opera, and seemed to fancy himself as a cross between The Sun King and Alain Delon. He resembles neither, and is more reminiscent of a pederast tennis umpire.
His popularity rating has plummeted – not that that bothers the elites and it doesn’t bother the Gallic Gawd-help us either as they often take a staged hit, as in professional wrestling - and he is little more than a figure of fun on the world stage, spending most of his time making jibes against populists, Trump, the chimaera of the far Right, and anyone else who doesn’t share his joyless, bleak, technocratic vision of a future which will be – if he and his horrid tribe have their way – a good deal more onerous and unpleasant even than this one.
And now, the nightmare of every technocrat has apparently descended on him like some Biblical pestilence.
Disorder.
You never look like an efficient leader, to your own people or to the eyes of the world, if your citizens, and the ones you recently imported, are running down streets filled with chic and expensive shops, breaking the windows and taking things out. The optics, as the technocratic class like to quip, are not good.
The demonstrators against Macron’s green fuel tax – a guaranteed method to incense the average French motorist, particularly in agricultural areas – have been called les gilets jaunes, the yellow vests. There is a pleasing reason for this. Every French motorist is required by law to carry one of these vests, and it is actually – in my view – a rare sensible policy. Hard shoulders of motorways are no cakewalk. Even though I don’t drive, I have been on a couple after breakdown incidents. I’ve had better times.
That aside, the demonstrations have apparently been infiltrated by what are variously described as both Left-wing and Right-wing groups of semi-anarchists. Here is our first stage on the journey towards disorder that the West is now embarked on, a journey it has chosen and prepared for, I believe.
Somewhere in one of the Batman films – they call them franchises now, as though they sold socks in someone else’s shop, or burgers – Michael Caine utters what seems to be a well-known line now, as comic book dialogue replaces people’s knowledge of Shakespeare, The Bible and Homer; Some men just want to watch the world burn.
This is almost certainly true. Iago refuses point-blank to tell his inquisitors why he felt the need to ruin lives. As the witchy male outcast gang leader in The Warriors says, I just like doin’ things like that. Even Milton’s Satan, one of the greatest literary investigations into evil, seems to be just in it for the kicks. As British punk band The Damned sang, Smash it up! Smash it up! Nihilism. Destruction. Disorder.
And so the current violence which has been described as the worst since 1968 is likely to be compounded of two factions, those with a genuine concern for their way of life, and those who just want to smash up property. They will, of course, be judged as a whole, and judged by the behaviour of the malevolent element.
But, although the violence and destruction looks bad for the French president, it is all part of the globalist plan, in which systemic, planned disorder is a vital element, anarcho-tyranny, the very motor of Traumaville.
Here is how it works.
Western civilisation is required to undergo a great change. The elites require a population displacement, having judged that white Western civilisation is potentially too powerful, now that the internet has done for current generations what Gutenberg did for earlier frustrated readers, and must be stopped in its tracks.
But they can’t just send in the troops. This is not some fly-blown toilet-state in Africa. Not yet. So the destabilisation they require works in different stages and in different areas.
Education is one of the most important battlefields in the war. Begin with the very young. Ensure that they are kept from the simple basics of arithmetic and language. This will hamper their cognitive ability good and early. Instead, introduce a pre-formed moral code as early as possible, so that the young think not from first principles presented by the world, but by slogans, cerebral graffiti. Homosexuality, transgenderism and Islam are all good, very good. Racism, hate speech and whiteness are all very, very bad. Fill classrooms with as many different languages as possible for the maxium Babel effect. Ensure that no one with a heterodox political view becomes a teacher. Make sure children segregate. This more confusion, the less teaching time.
Once school is over and the student a late teenager, the student should be absolutely unidimensional in her cognitive behaviour, his ability to question and use reason impartially. Men should be feminised, women aggressive and pushy. They are ready for the next key stage of hive construction; university, or ‘uni’.
Tony Blair was instrumental in bolstering this phase of education, and he did not lie when he said his government’s three priorities would be ‘education, education, education’. He just neglected to say what he intended to do with it.
Universities in the West today, with the partial exception of the very best, intended as they for the children of those elites who have children, are directly opposed to free thought and, in particular, free speech. It has been noted that over 50 years, demonstrations at Berkeley in the US have gone from being aggressively pro-free speech to unsmilingly against the same cause.
The student should leave university with no, or as little as possible, conceptual apparatus with which to question authority. STEM subjects, of course, are rather more immune to the crashing wave of identity politics, but not entirely safe. There has been a recent attack on the subject of physics as being too male, too white, etc., as though electrons are simply tiny Klan members to be flushed out and re-educated.
We are familiar, all-too-familiar, with the lexicon of the modern university: Racist, fascist, Nazi, safe space, micro-aggression, LGBTQ, transphobia, cultural appropriation, imperialist, colonialist, slavery, Islamobhobia, white privilege, male patriarchy, sexist, homophobic, unconscious racism, various – centrisms. The list seems to grow longer daily. It functions, conceptually speaking, as a kind of toolkit with which to disassemble Western reason in the very marketplace of ideas itself, that being ordinary life lived by ordinary people.
Well, this postcard has easily exceeded the 1,000 words I try to use as a limit, and I’m not done yet, so join me tomorrow for another exciting episode of The Decline and Fall of the Western Empire 2.0.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

THE MOTHER OF ALL PURRLIAMENTS

What the hell is he on about now?
Leave meowt of this!




My cat is an endearing little creature. Waking me up punctually each morning with a series of affectionate head-butts, she leaves me aware that a serving of Maxi-Cat mixed with Felix is in order. Breakfast is generally served at first light, around 5.30am. Once I have finished my Maxi-Cat and Felix, she gets her porridge and coffee. I’m the boss.
This morning, she elected to give my face, including beard and famously bushy eyebrows, a thorough clean. Possibly she is helping with our current austerity drive by making savings on soap, but as soon as her raspy little tongue got a bit too much, the day was off and running.
Occasionally, I watch her for pleasure. In a given hour, she will come and go through the door if open or through the hole in the fly-screen that Patti the street dog helpfully designed and created. She likes to eat breakfast in small stages, as though it were a four- or five-course meal in a Soho Italian restaurant. There will be plenty of those little feline pit-stops for a quick clean, which is the default position for a cat.
Out in the courtyard, if the day is a fine one, she may lie in her little jungle area for a while and see if there is anything of interest happening in the yard itself. Then, rising and arching and stretching, she will elect to wander along the wall before peering over the wash area to see if there any toads to be fascinated by. Nothing doing, then she might come and sit next to my rocking chair – yes, I have one – and I therefore need to be careful I don’t catch her tail if I sit and read.
Next, something with which every cat owner will be familiar. The 5-10 minutes of daily insanity, as though you had accidentally dropped a gramme of weapon-grade amphetamine sulphate in the food bowl.
Missy begins in the courtyard, which she crosses diagonally at punk-rock speed, then brakes a hard right by my neighbour’s apartment, a nice chap who feeds the kitty-cat when I am in Nicaragua or jail. Just kidding. Nicaragua. Next, it’s straight up to the hole in the wall, which she flies through like a cartoon. Then, another diagonal pass across the courtyard, a bounce off a low wall which takes her onto a shelf by the wall of the apartments next door, and a sort of Felix-the-Cat bounce up to the top level, as though her tail were a spring.
This kind of behaviour goes on for a few minutes, as I say, and I honestly believe this cat, because she is small and her body-weight ratio is advantageous, could easily take Usain Bolt over 10 metres.
Then, it’s a little lie down, another clean, and perhaps a snooze, before another mission sees her walking along the low wall to see what the pepper bush is up to.
It all reminded me of something.
I watched her again, trying to find what made her movements reminiscent. Over the whole day, she achieves nothing except staying alive. But her day is segmented into small and rather pointless missions. She doesn’t need to hunt – although that doesn’t save the local vole population, dwindling as we speak – and she has no need for shelter, as I provide all that sort of thing. The excursions are simply to keep going, to keep being a cat. Then I realised what she reminded me of.
The British government. Think of the things they have in common.




  • Comfort, security, food and drink paid for by someone else.
  • A lot of activity masking little achievement.
  • Constantly going on small and meaningless missions.
  • Becoming insanely active once a day to no apparent purpose.
  • Asleep when others are awake.
  • Constantly watching you to see what you will do next.
  • Always wanting more when you have just fed them.
  • Having cat friends who they fight with one minute and cuddle up to the next.
  • Chasing and killing small creatures who were actually useful to the food chain.

As the words of the lovely song in The Aristocats say, everybody wants to be a cat.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

FRACTALALIA


Augustus Caesar. OI! Nurse!
There's a baby hanging off my toga! SORT IT!



The tourist season is starting here in Costa Rica, and I am up to my neck in guitar strings, battery packs that don’t work, microphone stands that are falling apart, and all the other gremlins that plague musicians in a humid country.
Thus, focusing on coherent essays (we didn’t think you did, Mark, howl the audience) has not been so easy. However, I did spend November reading, and as always, there are rubies in the dust, both literary and from news sites. Fragments, then. Fractalalia, as I like to call the practice or obsession. I believe I coined the word.

A SWEDE SUMS IT UP
I note that some European commentators are starting to put their heads over the parapet when it comes to the ridiculous and darkly comedic range of post-modern ‘grievance studies’ taking over the universities like Japanese knot-weed. I had never heard of Swedish TV host and columnist Aron Flam, but he or she has come to the defence of Professor Bo Rothstein’s criticism of ‘Critical Whiteness Studies’ at Gothenburg University. My brother lives in Gothenburg, but that is extraneous information. Flam describes the course as ‘A Socialist nursery for fanatic believers’. I love a good one-liner.

BRITISH CONSERVATIVE ACTS LIKE A CONSERVATIVE SHOCK
David Davies has been hovering around the leadership of the British Tory party for some time. He may have discovered a stratagem that many of us online punks have been suggesting for a wee while. Try acting like a fucking Conservative, or words to that effect.
Noting that 17 – that’s one seven – children at a single British school are seeking to change gender, Davies smells a rat, and a well-groomed one at that. It seems that these children are being manipulated into a decision they are not mature enough to make and which may have deleterious effects later in life. Like about ten minutes after the operation.
And Davies has the courage to fly in the face of cultural Marxism and call out this obscenity;
Parents are not told about this and there is no way of challenging these pupils who are convinced by others they have a problem that they almost certainly do not have. Tragically the end result could be irreversible surgical procedures. This is scandalous’.
What was it the last genuine Tory, Enoch Powell, said about preventable evils?

WHEN IN ROME
I like to have something from the classical world on the boil at all times, if possible, and I am currently sauntering through Suetonius’ famous Lives of the Caesars when a rest is required from other studies.
The book is interesting as it does not deal merely with battles and politics, but also with psychological details of the Caesars, table habits, dress preferences, small talk, hobbies. It is a pleasure.
Augustus Caesar, so it would seem, was way ahead of modern politicians with their penchant for asking members of the entertainment industry for their opinions on world and cultural affairs instead of someone who might actually know something about them. Why ask Pat Buchanan about global affairs when Bono has something on his mind? And surely Whoopi Goldberg is smarter than Camille Paglia.
Augustus’ dinner parties were often lively affairs.
For those who were silent, or talked in whispers, he encouraged to join in the general conversation; and introduced buffoons and stage players, and even low performers from the circus, and very often itinerant humourists, to enliven the company.’
Everything changes, everything stays the same.


HEART OF STONE

One must have a heart of stone’, Oscar Wilde famously wrote concerning Charles Dickens, ‘to read the death of Little Nell without laughing’. Wilde was being flippant and cruel, true to his stock in trade, but it has set me to wondering why, for a childless man such as myself, the suffering of children in literature renders me a sobbing wreck. The suicide of the children in Jude the Obscure. The death of Nepomuk in Thomas Mann’s Dr Faustus. Trollope’s Marion Fay was not as young, but young enough to bring me to tears as she expired. Ophelia, obviously. Werther. And now I’m doing it to myself all over again.
After over 35 years, I am re-reading Dostoevsky, and elected to begin with The Brothers Karamazov. I had forgotten the scene in which the precociously brilliant Kolya Krassotkin brings back the dog Zhutchka – née Perizhvon - to the bedside of the dying Ilusha. My face was wet with tears.
I am emotionally incontinent and always have been, crying at next to nothing. My father was the same and my brothers share the trait. Perhaps it is genetic. But the young people who work in my local supermarket will soon learn to recognize when I have been reading troublesome Russian literature. I will be wearing my shades indoors.

POLISH MADE EASY

I am not sure where I picked this up – as the actress said to the Bishop – and it is naughty of me not to source it. But here is a Polish word you can use.
Zrewoltowane – Polish – In revolt against Communism

DIVERSITY AND CULTURE

Greg Johnson is the editor of online magazine Counter Currents, and I do not mention him merely because he was kind enough to publish a piece of mine. He has published several books, one of which is New Right vs. Old Right. I have reached the stage where I am harvesting truths from texts, and truths, in this age of echo-chamber and conventional reinforcement, is what we believe to be true. So we are told by those who know best. The book is several years old, and may have funded a crucial belief of mine held for some time, but this sentence seems to me to hold an undeniable truth;
Liberals know that women’s rights, gay rights, environmentalism, animal welfare and support for “the arts” will have little place in a nation dominated by Mexicans, Muslims and blacks.’
Correct.
Read as much as you are able, as much as you can find time for. It is the best advice you will ever receive.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

BLACK FRIDAY ON MY MIND


Black Friday even has its own Tarot card.
The 7 of Cups, from the Rider-Waite-Smith pack.
Beware, it cautions, fairy favours.




Having been exposed to north American expatriates in the last three years, I am beginning to get used to the rhythm of their year. Labour Day. Superbowl. Independence Day. Thanksgiving, which is today, or yesterday now for some of you. You wouldn’t know that from looking at Google’s search page, whose graphics today celebrate World Teachers’ Day. Which was on October 5th. Any display of national pride among north Americans leads, as we know, back to Donald Trump who, as we are also aware, is Literally Hitler ™.

(Note; An acquaintance on Facebook suggests that the ‘Google doodle’, as I believe it is known, varies depending on where you are. Possibly, but I remember St. Patrick’s Day being visible here but not St. George’s day).

And the day after Thanksgiving, tomorrow, is now known as Black Friday. At first, I assumed this was an offshoot of Black History Month which, for those of you uninitiated, is a rolling carnival of warped ideology and fake history which now continues year-round. Gentle reader, it is no such thing, although people of colour do tend to play a starring role.

Black Friday, the ever-industrious internet informs me, was given its name by a Philadelphia stamp dealer in 1966, and he in turn imputed it to the nickname given to the day by the local police force, describing as it did the chaos of the day itself in terms of traffic and related chaos. Now, of course, in more violent times, it is known for violence.

Consumerism is a strange phenomenon. We all consume in the financial sense, unless we are hunter-gatherers somewhere in the jungles of Polynesia. But some consume to an almost psychotic degree, and the ritual of shop or store sales seems, for some, to be almost as alluring, if not more so, than the capture of the desired bauble.

One of the refreshing things about being in the Third World, albeit a relatively well-off little corner of that construct, is that the temples of consumerism are conspicuous by their absence. Oh, Costa Ricans like to shop. There is an abundance of women’s boutiques, for example, and Costa Rican women are flashily dressy.

But there are no chain stores. The local supermarket – where I would hang out just to listen to the music even if I didn’t buy anything – is owned by Walmart, but it is broadly speaking a Costa Rican affair and it is where the poor people – like me – shop. There is a store opposite aimed at gringos. It sells the crap north Americans like and charges them accordingly.

But there are none of the vast department stores that plague London and, increasingly, all big cities. If you travel across Europe, and I have seen, in the last three years, Paris, Amsterdam, Bruges and Munich, look down from where the nice architecture stops, and you will mostly see identikit corporate hell. When you travel out of the centre of London, incidentally, you notice that name stores begin to drop off. Go to Harlesden or Willesden or Southall or Newham. You will hardly find any. Feasibility studies will have told the parent companies that a combination of low-income residents in the area and concomitant violence render the areas worthless in terms of profit. It’s like that here, but without the violence and anti-social behaviour endemic to England.

But where these temples abound, that is where you see the cult of consumerism, and it extends way beyond mere shopping. I suppose I am about to indulge in a little tangential virtue-signalling, but I used to walk over to Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherd’s Bush sometimes, something to with a telephone contract for the company I was working for there. I walked around the vast mall and looked at the shops. You could have put me in there with a voucher for a thousand pounds and I couldn’t have spent the fucker. There were no shops that sold food, real food. Sure, there were small refrigerated sections of well-known pharmaceutical stores that sold pre-packed sandwiches and chopped fruit in plastic containers at ridiculous prices, and you can always buy hideous and garishly packaged soft drinks from within 50 yards of wherever you are in London. But no actual food. There were no charity shops (thrift stores) and so nowhere to buy books or second-hand clothes. There wasn’t even a fucking bookshop. I saw then what it is to consume.

If you are addicted to this very modern cargo cult, nothing I can write will break the habit, but it isn’t hard to believe that consumer products are one of the several tentacles by which the deep state ensnares you. You only have to look at the outside of an Apple store when there is some new trinket on the market to see control in all its pomp and finesse.

I look over at my whiteboard and its rolling shopping list. It reads;

Razor

9v battery

Beans

Sauce

Washing-up soap

Root ginger

Catfood

Above it is a figure, 3,700 in Costa Rican colones. This is the equivalent, at the time of writing, of £4.78 or $6.15. That represents the amount of underspend my exchequer has experienced this week from a daily budget of C2,500. I’ve done rather well. This harks back to my last postcard, and reinforces the belief I have had all my life that poverty is a good thing. So, as I said, I am a consumer, but I think we are all aware that consumption on a Black Friday level is something else.

I have worked in buildings in which millionaire women have become almost erotically charged with the thought that their £30,000 kitchen is about to be delivered and fitted, the old kitchen being deemed too old at three or maybe even four years of age. £30,000. Do these people have any idea how long I could live on that?

But, as I have said many times, I believe that the game is up, and there will be a Black Friday in the not-too-distant future where no one shows up because no one can.

As Guillaume Faye writes, one day we will wake up and all the magic will be gone.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

COINING IT. A NOTE ON MONEY

Thanks Mum! Where did that come from? Poor people, darling.




This is hardly an original point, but it is always pleasant to find a literary reinforcement to one’s key ideas.
It has been noted many a time and oft that the elites who seem so intent on flooding Europe with what is mostly a rabble of economically and socially worthless Muslims, who have the added attraction of being utterly inimical to the Western way of life, such as it was, do not in actual fact have much contact with the arrivistes they have so happily foisted on the rest of us.
That is to say, the politicians who so blithely sign off thousands of angry, testosterone-fuelled young men of fighting age and temperament, will never have to meet any of them, unless it is for a carefully arranged and shepherded photoshoot. That privilege is for border guards, benefit officers, social services, victims – if a victim of crime can be said to ‘meet’ their assailant – and the police and court staff and prison warders who lurk in the future of so many immigrants who are all thumbs with civilisation, even the shreds and rags of civilisation we have left.
Similarly, the actors from Harry Potter movies and the Marvel franchise, the singers and radio jocks and talk-show hosts, the ex-soccer players and journalists who bray about diversity will never have to live next to a Muslim family. That privilege is for the likes of my mum.
Overall, the situation is one of immersion. The cast of biens pensants we have mentioned above have never been immersed in life. Of course, you will find the occasional actress who worked in a burger joint, the occasional sportsman who started on a building site, the odd TV star who once worked in a shop in his local town. And there are even the very rare politicians who have had something approximating to what the likes of you and I would call a proper job. But these are anomalies, rarities, collector’s pieces.
My father had three first days at work in 44 years, for the British Army, Paramount Films, and the British Civil Service, and yet I would say he was immersed in life in that he knew the difficulties of having both a family and a close proximity to poverty. Not third world poverty, but a lack of money for anything but the basic provisions for his young family, of which I am the eldest child. I have certainly undergone full immersion, and have been employed in the following capacities, and this does not include temporary agency jobs. These, then, are the ways in which I have made the little money I have made:
Sub-editor, council gardener, waiter, building manager, film, book and music reviewer, barman/bar manager, storesman, private investigator, painter and decorator, checker and packer in a book warehouse, aircraft cleaner, builder, swimming pool maintenance worker, caretaker, shop assistant, postman, medical supplies officer, cleaner, medical librarian, health information officer, telephone salesman, musician.
One of the great existential flaws with the European elites, and it is a flaw which does not affect, say, the leaders in Latin America, who are less likely to be career politicians, has to do with money and both its apparence and appearance. Money, you see, has a very different aspect if you are well off, if you don’t have to do mental rolling calculations as you cruise the supermarket aisles, to the way in which it presents itself if you are and always have been if not in poverty, then poor. I know this. It is one’s relationship with money which ultimately determines the amount to which one is immersed in life. If you don’t have to graft to earn it, then you don’t really understand it and therefore you don’t really understand people.
Re-reading, as I am, Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, I note that the great Russian master has described the problem perfectly and succinctly in the case of the troubled Dmitri;
That is just how it is with people who, like Dmitri, have never had anything to do with money, except to squander what has come to them by inheritance without any effort of their own, and have no notion of how money is obtained.’