Saturday, 20 October 2018

WHERE’S THE MONEY? SCAMMING THE WEST

Enron's Lay and Skilling.
Not all psychos have axes in their hands.



Money, get back.

Pink Floyd, Money


Where’s the money?

Every bank robber in every heist movie ever


It’s the fucking coolest thing I’ve done in a long time

Enron employee on shutting down the California power grid for profit





Every non-MSM site I have read in the last two weeks with regards to an economic collapse across the West is of the opinion that it is not if but when. Now, old Traumavillians will know that I am all in favour of a financial meltdown. A little Venezuela would do the West good, in my view. Neo-classical economics might finally be seen for the Ponzi scheme it is, and it is, a fact apparent even to laymen like me. What will happen in the case of economic breakdown?
It is said that even advanced countries are only ten days away from empty supermarket shelves and anarchy. I have no wish to be amockalyptic (®Julie Burchill), but two things are certain in the event of a collapse: There will be no governmental warning, although they will know in advance, and the fickle finger of blame will immediately be pointed.
In the USA, of course, this will mean that it will be seen to be Trump’s fault. The fact that Obama doubled the national debt will be conveniently forgotten, and the Left will be in no doubt that the man who is currently doing a fair job of pulling his country’s feet out of the fire will be the bad guy. As always, the Left will not allow facts to stand in the way of ‘the narrative’, which is what the Liberal-Left call reality.
But whose fault is it, or whose fault will it be? The answer looks straightforward. It is the fault of the banks in collusion with the ruling elites. The banks are not operating in a free market, they are operating in a market which has been carefully prepared and geared for them and just them by their enablers in political power. These monstrous entities are given the power to wipe out countries, to destroy peoples, to use money like some super-lazer in a Marvel comic. We are scared, or we should be scared. We are in Traumaville and the ground is moving, buildings are starting to tremble and crack. This is a multiple award-winning documentary which seems to lay bare just how the banks go about their ruinous work.
Another film, this time a notorious case study in greed, unchecked audacity, and misery for the average consumer. This is an extraordinary documentary charting the rise and downfall of the energy giant Enron. The fact that they were able to get away with their spurious accounting techniques, include ‘mark to market’, whereby future profits were admissible as current assets, and the undeniable fact that George W Bush was riding shotgun shows that these people cannot be beaten. Added to this is the fact that the senior staff of Enron were clearly psychotic.
It has long been mooted, and partially proven, that the CEOs of companies are far more likely to be psychopathic than the average citizen whose lives they affect on a massive scale. Jon Ronson, in his book The Psychopath Test, sets out to prove just this;
‘”I could really be on to something”, I thought. “It really could be that many of our political and business leaders suffer from Antisocial or Narcissistic Personality Disorder and they do the harmful exploitative things they do because of some mad striving for unlimited success and excessive admiration. Their mental disorders might be what rule our lives.’
Later in the book Ronson interviews a researcher into psychosis and the upper echelons of business, and one exchange is notable;
‘”But surely stock-market psychopaths aren’t as bad as serial killer psychopaths”, I said.
Serial killers ruin families”, shrugged Bob. “Corporate and political and religious psychopaths ruin economies. They ruin societies”.
I will leave you with an observation that was made some years ago, but which I had forgotten until I saw the Enron documentary. A man called Jim Chanos is widely credited with being the lone expert who suspected something was amiss with the company, and he features in the documentary. In an interview years ago, he commented that he thought he had found another Enron. It was called China.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

STRANGE LIFE - FACEBOOK’S PERIMETER FENCE







                                         

Yesterday, I actually had a worthwhile exchange on Facebook with one of the local expats. She and I had actually had an altercation a few months earlier over an incident concerning which I was entirely in the right. I have made a lot of enemies here. Making enemies may as well go on my CV, in fact, so accomplished have I become in the art. For perfectly good Freudian reasons, I spent the first 40 years of my life desperately trying to be liked. Then, at around 40 – perhaps it was a mid-life crisis – I flipped the script and now seem, to a casual outside observer, to be making a special effort to be disliked. But that is a story for another day.

The lady in question had posted something about stress, and what we can and cannot control in our lives. I suggested she read Seneca’s letters to Lucilius, in which the Stoic Roman exhorts us not to fret about that which we cannot control. Indeed, don’t stop at Seneca, I continued. Go on to the other great Stoics, Emperor Marcus Aurelius and the freed slave Epictetus. Odd, she replied. I have just read an article about this very subject. She linked to the article and I read it, a tidy enough little piece explaining to the reader that Stoic philosophy was applicable to life in our decadent hothouse of 21-st century stupidity and sleaze, although that wasn’t exactly how they phrased it. ‘Modern life’ was their euphemism. Oh. Is that what it is.

Now, whenever some young lifestyle journalist strays, like Dante, from the beaten path of celebrities and food and telephones and cosmetics and more celebrities and dating and social media and even more celebrities, and discovers that there was a world before Lady Gaga, I have to stifle a sneer. So, classical philosophy might be useful as a lifestyle choice, eh? Might I just enlighten you? Of course it fucking is. Classical philosophy is not an adjunct to modern life, like a jazzy iPhone case, it is the antidote, the retroviral serum you need to cancel out the sickness that is contemporary culture. But back to Facebook.

We had a small exchange concerning philosophy, and she was of the opinion that philosophers only wrote for other philosophers. Possibly in some areas, I said. Derrida certainly did. But not the classical writers. They did not preen for their contemporaries and rivals. Perhaps she was thinking of architects. But you can’t, she said, read philosophy as though it were literature. On the contrary, I said. It is literature, and can and should be read as such. Plus, I continued, there is philosophical literature. The woman happens to be Russian, and I suggested The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin, by Russian esotericist Pyotr Ouspensky. Strangest thing, she replied. I read it years ago, and often mean to re-read it. I mentioned Ouspensky’s mentor Gurdjeff, and she told me that they had both gone into exile, a fact of which I was not aware. Where? I asked in all seriousness. Was I testing her, she asked with one of those smiling emojis. And so we went on, light knockabout stuff.

But we were being watched.

Someone else was cross-commenting. His comments suggested that myself and the woman were somehow at war with one another, instead of indulging in a frank exchange of information of interest to us both. You get a lot of this where I am. If anyone breaks cover and shows an interest in the intellectual life, the life that is not concerned with SUVs, the beach, pottery classes, lunch, art class, property development, holistic medicine and where to get good sushi, there is a suspicion that they are somehow not playing the game. I have had a couple of conversations with people essentially sneering at my choice to make philosophy the bedrock of my life rather than money. A curious thing.

I was going to start a philosophy class here but, as John Osborne says to Michael Caine in Get Carter when Carter has evaded his hapless gangster cordon, you can’t get the material, Jack.

And then there are those who think that Facebook should be exclusively for photos of whichever beach you are on, or your dog, or what you have made for dinner, or the hemp T-shirts you make, or another sunset. It isn’t. Those things are fine and they are good, but there is more to life than fun, fun, fun. Particularly when I suspect a lot of the people posting are not actually having much fun. There is an android quality here, a quality not found among the Costa Ricans.

I have had a couple of people mention to me, usually in a sarcastic and wary tone, that I am too political on Facebook. The rule on Facebook is a simple one, and is in line with the guiding principles of Zuckerberg and his tribe across social media platforms. Politics is permissible as long as it is not even slightly to the right of Bernie sanders or Jeremy Corbyn. Don’t worry, I’ll be banned soon enough. But it is always curious to me that the overtly politicised censorship operated by social media giants, and which has caused much concern in the dissident press, may originally be put in place by tech operatives, but it is often sanctioned by the users as well.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

SOMETIMES, YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE YOUR NEXT RENAISSANCE IS COMING FROM


The next generation of Da Vincis




While preparing a longer and more time-consuming piece on Freud and memes, I have been diverting myself in watching YouTube documentaries on the Renaissance. Today, I watched an excellent piece on architecture. Siena and its wondrous plumbing, Florence, Brunelleschi and Ghiberti, the building of the Duomo, the rebirth of Rome, Fontana and the moving of the great obelisk, military engineering and the defence against Charles VIII of France. Seven hundred years ago, marvels and wonders. No plant, no electricity, no motorized transport, and yet beauty and grandeur.

What do we have now? Oh, there is wonderful architecture, I’m sure, it isn’t very difficult now. But mostly it is toys and trinkets. There is nothing more dispiriting than watching some middle-aged hipster in a children’s T-shirt standing on a stage talking about how a telephone is going to be the next stage in evolution.

Phones are, for me, right up there with cars as the major fucking pain in the arse of the age. Fortunately, there is little of that walk-while-texting phenomenon which makes London even more irritating than it was already, and that is mainly because many of the pavements here are not the finished article, are in fact works in progress.

But, in case you think it is just the witless young who are married to what Chris Morris called their ‘twit machines’, think again. I saw a couple of people I knew in a cafĂ© the other day, and they called me in to join them. I had been looking for the guy because he was repairing something of mine. She is probably nearly my age, he is in his forties, I would think. I sat with them, and they proceeded to fiddle with and gawp at their phones. Another man, older than me, kept interrupting our conversation to gaze at his phone. An older couple in a bar seemed obsessed with scrolling and swiping, not talking to one another.

The phone, for many people, is a prosthetic personality. It could be a portal to greatness, but instead it is electronic cat’s cradle for the bored.

As Blackadder said to Baldrick in one episode of the great second series, for people like you, the Renaissance is just something that happened to other people, isn’t it?

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

WHAT’S IN A NAME? THE LEFT AND THE GREAT UNRAVELLING

Keep smiling, big man




What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet

Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet


And the truth is in somebody else's hands

The Waterboys, A Girl called Johnny


What’s my name?

The Clash



One of my many jobs, and many years ago, was as a film reviewer for a minor movie magazine in London. Their offices were just off Oxford Street and, although I wasn’t a permanent member of staff, I was there late one evening to conduct a telephone interview with a US actor whose name I forget but who was several hours behind the time in London.
As I waited for the appointed time to call the States, I was sitting next to a man who was typing furiously away. I recognised him as he was one of the big names on the magazine. His name was Graham Linehan.
Linehan was a comic writer, and may even have been a stand-up, I’m not sure. I remember being in a pub with a friend of mine who was a sub-editor on the magazine, and who got me the modest writing gig. There were others there, but also Linehan and his girlfriend, Kate. He spoke in a soft Irish brogue.
In the office, I asked him if he was who I thought he was and he confirmed that he indeed was. I said,
I think you wrote Father Ted.’
Yes, I co-wrote it’.
My mum loves that programme. So do I’.
Well, we do try to bring families together’.
He smiled and I let him get back to his work, which was the last page of the magazine and always featured some movie spoof or other. That too was funny.
When he said ‘we do try to bring families together’, he was referring to his fellow Irishman Arthur Mathews, with whom he wrote Father Ted. It was a genuinely funny programme, for those of you unfamiliar with it.
Father Ted concerned three priests on the remote Craggy Island. Witty and bemused Ted was played by an actor who died relatively young, which may explain why there were so few episodes. Then there is his idiot sidekick Father Dougal, the en and hideous Father Jack, and the eccentric cleaning lady Mrs. Doyle. It was very popular, and the writers even managed to use the clever device of having the priests exclaim, as the Irish are wont to do, ‘Feck!’ at times of stress, this in a time before the word ‘fuck’ became more or less compulsory on British television.
I don’t know what Linehan did after the series ended, but I noticed him again when I was still allowed into the marble halls of Twitter just after the election of Donald Trump. Of course, this remarkable event drove the Left to the very edge of insanity’s cliff and then straight on and right over it. Linehan was one of them.
At one point he, a British writer, said something along the lines of, ‘we have to disrupt and stop this inauguration. We need ideas, people!’
People. One of those irritating phrases, like calling an assembly of people in the workplace, ‘guys’. That is probably illegal now, and in fact it is that very aspect of Linehan’s experience in politics which we are gathered here to examine.
Sadly, Linehan’s people failed to come up with sufficiently efficacious ideas to halt the inauguration of the 45th President of the USA, and I imagine after this failed transatlantic coup he went back to his writing. Politics hadn’t given up with him yet, though.
Linehan was back on Twitter recently, although this time his target was not Donald Trump but someone representing a far greater danger; A transgender person.
Now, I’m not usually much of a lad for doing this, but I’m going to reprint an entire newspaper article about this matter, which I suspect is already raising a bit of a titter among you at the back of the class. Yes, you. The first reason is that I want to go through it in the style of what I believe used to be called, in some circles, ‘fisking’. The newpaper text will appear in a sans serif font (I hope), my own observations will remain in my beloved Book Antiqua font size 14.
The second reason for this lengthy excerpt (God knows how it will look on the blog page) is that Linehan and his opponent are both of the camps protected by the newspaper in question. One is a Leftist luvvie. One is a transgender person. The ‘paper is The Guardian. Buckle up. Here we go.

Graham Linehan given police warning after complaint by transgender activist

West Yorkshire force tell Father Ted co-writer not to contact Stephanie Hayden after row on Twitter
Josh Halliday



Graham Linehan alleges that Hayden posted several addresses linked to his family in an attempt to silence him. Photograph: Teri Pengilley for the Guardian
Graham Linehan, the co-writer of the sitcom Father Ted, has been given a verbal harassment warning by police after a complaint by a transgender activist.

That’s right. ‘a verbal harassment warning’ by police. It really is happening.

Linehan was told by West Yorkshire police not to contact the activist Stephanie Hayden, after a row on Twitter.
Hayden reported him for transphobia after he referred to her as “he” and for “deadnaming” her by referring to her by names used before she transitioned.

Deadnaming. The lexicon of disruption and dissent expands once more.

The pair had been involved in a dispute on Twitter about gender identity, resulting in the writer retweeting a post to his 672,000 followers that gave Hayden’s previous names with pictures.

Off to the gulag, Linehan!

Linehan alleges that Hayden posted several addresses linked to his family in an attempt to “shut me up”.
Hayden, who is pursuing civil proceedings accusing Linehan of harassment, defamation and misuse of private information, said she spent five hours providing a statement and evidence to police after the exchange.

That’s five hours not spent investigating escalating violent crime. Ladies and gentlemen, we are now floating in space.

Posting on Twitter, Hayden said she had urged police to take “swift and proportionate action to make clear that transgender harassment was unacceptable”.

And they did! Does that mean you can just ask the police to take action and they will? What’s that? Only if you’re… Oh. Oh, I see.

She said: “This has been a difficult week for me. Transphobia in any form is unacceptable. Now the police matter has been resolved anything else is between the parties. Thank you to the transgender community (and beyond) for your continued support.”
Linehan said he would speak to his lawyer on Monday about potentially taking legal action against Hayden. He said: “The police asked me to stop contacting someone I had no intention of contacting. It was a bit like asking me to never contact Charlie Sheen.”
Linehan, who is also known for writing The IT Crowd and co-writing Black Books, defended his stance of referring to Hayden as “he”, adding: “I will call all of my trans friends ‘she’. I think of them as women, they are respectful and are not misogynists. But I refuse to respect the pronouns of misogynists.”

I was not aware that an individual could give someone a morality test before they decided whether or not to call them by some stupid appellation.

The writer said Hayden had posted details of his wife’s business. On Friday he locked his Twitter account citing “abuse and harassment”.
In the same tweet, Linehan highlighted a petition he had signed calling on Stonewall, an LGBT charity, to acknowledge the conflict that exists between “transgenderism and sex-based women’s rights”.
The petition calls for a respectful debate on the issue, and contends that Stonewall is failing to recognise the diversity of viewpoints on transgender issues, including among LGBT people.

A respectful debate on the issue’ always means the Left telling the rest of us what we can and can’t say.

Linehan had given his backing to a support group of trans women who are opposed to self-identification and said he would back their campaign on social media. Hayden was also a member of the group before it disbanded following an internal row.

You will see a lot more of these ‘internal rows’ as the Leftist narratives meet one another on the field of battle and the Liberal-Left begins to implode. And that is before you throw Islam into the mix...

Hayden has previously accused Sussex University of being a “temple of transgender hate” and supported the campaign to oust female academics if they challenged transgender orthodoxy.

Sussex! My alma mater must be doing something right. A temple of transgender hate. Sensational! I'm proud of you.

She was also among the activists who pressurised a billboard company to remove a poster in Liverpool, which said the dictionary definition of “woman” was an “adult human female” because it was offensive.

And so it goes on. The disruption of sexual norms is just one division in the Left’s army. But that army is now an army of discontent as its factions begin in-fighting. The rest of us saw this coming some time ago, and it is a source of much amusement among the carnage the Left are visiting on culture.
I wonder if Linehan, a comic writer, saw the funny side of it.









Monday, 15 October 2018

BACK IN YOUR BASKET! WHAT DEMOCRATS EXPECT OF BLACKS


Except to other blacks, that is...



Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation…

Matthew 12: 25



Rapper Kanye has visited Donald Trump in the White House to much fanfare, and the reaction of the north American Left has been as predictable as the passage of a drunk on a unicycle.
I am aware of Kanye West’s fame and status, although I personally view rap music and all its cohorts as just one more symptom of the decline of the West as it becomes Sodom and Gomorrah 2.0. Some of the music itself can be compulsive, and the wordplay is often clever and wily. But it has nothing to say. It repeats the same limited ideas, the same lexicon, the same unimaginative macho spittle. I’m sure West has talent, but talent in his own field. There are talented burglars, talented suicide bombers – or there were – talented heroin addicts, all of whom excel in their field. But, in terms of musical history, West is just more junk on the junkpile.
However, in modern north America, which exemplifies what Guy Debord calls ‘the society of the spectacle’, celebrities now play two roles, the one which projected them to where they are, and their new role as an emblem or figurehead. Kanye West has, I gather, been vilified in the past for his support for Trump, cast in the role of ‘Uncle Tom’, and what is called, in some circles, a house nigger.
Blacks, you see, are supposed to be Democrats. For a black guy, particularly a black rapper, to be a vocal Republican is both an affront to the Left and a threat. You see, blacks are not a cause for the Left, they are not the oppressed who need to be freed as the slaves were freed, they are not a symbol of white supremacy. They are none of those things. For the Left, blacks are pets.
This is something you should know about the Left and, if you don’t, learn it and learn it well. To be a fully authenticated, card-carrying, virtue-signalling, social justice fighter, you need pets.
And when your dog pees on the rug, or your kitty-cat claws the new sofa, you scold them. They need to stand up to this scolding, led as they are by the incredible Candace Owens, Conservative blacks are a viable antidote to Black Lives Matter and the liberal media who champion these violent, illiterate useful idiots. It is profoundly to be wished that West’s breaking cover becomes an infectious trend. If blacks in the USA want true respect, they must slip the leash and escape from their Democrat masters, the Democrats having been, of course, the original party of slavery.
Go West, young man.

Friday, 12 October 2018

REAL LIFE: ON BEING OFFLINE

He has definitely spent too much time online



So this is real life.
You’re telling me.
And everything
Is where it ought to be.


Howard Devoto, Definitive Gaze




I had no computer for four days. What did I discover?
Firstly, I spend far too much time fucking around on Facebook. I suspect that I am not the first person to make this momentous discovery and, apart from a few useful links by trusted contributors – I can’t bring myself to say ‘friends’ about people I have never met – and the messaging service which is free and means I am not spending money on the ‘phone, it is a ridiculous thief of time.
Secondly, anything could have happened in the UK or the USA or Europe, and I wouldn’t have known anything about it. I haven’t seen anyone this week except my neighbor – although he is usually glued to his computer, and would probably have noted cataclysm, terrorist attack, alien invasion or the second coming of Christ – and some Costa Rican shopkeepers. I was without the computer for four days. What did I discover? I have no television, and the TVs that are on here in shops and bars show either football or soap operas.
Next, I miss my little treats, 1970s British comedy - made before the Left banned anything funny - episodes of Felix the Cat, goals and highlights from the latest Arsenal game or a Test Match, rock and art and literature documentaries and what-not. I have come to like the way that north Americans say ‘and what-not’.
Emails are also essential, as I can’t really be contacted any other way.
Finally, the news and, to be honest, file it under Facebook these days. But, whereas Facebook is mostly silly, or full of virtue-signalling, stupid memes and occasionally amusing animal videos, the news is bettering itself in becoming the most fucking depressing way to spend your time online.
As soon as I turned the bloody thing on, and saw that an imam had more or less commanded the army that they sack a soldier for standing next to Tommy Robinson, I thought; Why am I still bothering to do this? I know the way the West is going, we all do. The only question now is really, when will the tinder-box flare up? Britain and Europe have got through another summer without serious rioting, but how long will it stay that way?
So, a definite time-rationing is in order. Here, too. I have really said all I have to say (oh, he’s noticed, comes the weary response from youse lot), and as I have 400,000 words, I ought really to be spending part of the low season here attempting to reduce that into a book of some sort.
Anyway, it is good to have the old steam-driven Hewlett-Packard back, but Facebook and the news will be seeing a lot less of me, and I of them.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

ON SLEEPING AND WAKING


Sleeping Woman with a Cat, Wladyslaw Slewinski, 1896




One of the most difficult problems that faces the world today is simply stated; which Leftist phrase or word is the most fucking irritating? Is it microagression, mansplaining, safe space, fascist, Islamophobe, preferred pronoun, gender fluid, white privilege, not my President, black lives matter, free Palestine, racist, white supremacy? The garden is a large and fertile one, with many fruit to pick. But, for the present writer, there is one clear front-runner.
Woke.
You know what it means. It refers to those people who have apparently woken from their slumbers to see the true nature of the world around us. Now, this has a resounding bell-toll of truth about it, but that truth does not refer to the people who believe they are ‘woke’.
The very word, in its current usage, has the lazy taint of ebonics about it. Yeah, I’m woke, bro. Cops shooting brothers in Detroit. I can’t breathe. Hands up, don’t shoot. A rat done bit my sister Nell, and Whitey’s on the Moon. Like all Leftist tropes, it is nonsense. It’s the past tense of a verb, for a start, not a fucking adjective.
The people who need to wake up are those who are actually anti-Leftists – which is increasingly the working definition of being of the Right – but don’t realise it yet, or don’t think they are allowed to be anything but what they are told to be by the shrill harpies of the Left. And, incidentally, it is increasingly women who are becoming the problem.
So, you’re woke, are you? Trump’s a fascist. Kavanaugh’s a rapist. All cops are racist. Celebrities speak truth to power. Fox News is Right-wing. Planned Parenthood means freedom. The patriarchy is a thing. Whites need to shut the fuck up. Islam is a religion of peace. Yadda yadda yadda.
You are not woke, friendo. You are an arsehole. You have been sold a bunch of magic beans by your peer group, and so great is your desire not to be rejected by the pack, you will fall in with any crap they spout. Let me tell you what it is to be awake.
As my good friend once wrote on the beach at Ramsgate in Kent, England, Socialism is wrong. It’s wrong. Social justice warriors, coppers with rainbows drawn on the faces, drag queens talking to infants, gay pride parades – and I have nothing against homosexuality, and this is one of the reasons I despise Islamic and black culture – where scantily clad sleazeballs wiggle their butts in front of children, safe spaces at universities, Leftist violence, Antifa, Black Lives Matter, George Soros, mass Muslim immigration, Gender Studies, Queer Studies, Women’s Studies, Black Studies, Black History Month, the tearing down of non-approved statues, the deliberate decision to allow white South African farmers to be slaughtered by savages, the corruption and crypto-Communism of the EU, the connection between race and IQ, the death sentence about to be meted out to Tommy Robinson – and others will follow – and the silencing of academics who are not far-Left, feminism, the whole never Trump fiasco.
You are sleeping.
Now wake up