Spring Cleaning

14 mai 2020

SW France

This Covid 19 thing is really bizarre. I continue to ask myself: How is it possible that a billionaire, whose fortune is based on a pretty shitty operating system whose origins are kind of mysterious (well, not really mysterious because the original code came from DARPA and IBM who got it from the guy who broke the Enigma code), is now directing the world to remain in lockdown mode until the so-called scientists he is funding come up with a vaccine for a flu virus which will have mutated who knows how many times before said vaccine will be, if ever, discovered and therefore be totally useless? Does this make any sense at all? And governments world-wide are following his advice? What is really going on here?

I can’t even remember the last time I was vaccinated for anything. I’m 73 years old and still in relatively good health. We were in Paris for the first five or six weeks of the quarantine, then managed to escape due to health considerations for my wife’s mother. I never wore a mask or gloves, but maintained a certain distance more out of a sense of courtesy than a fear of contamination.

And then we come to the now infamous Neil Ferguson of Imperial College whose so-called “models” and the resulting predictions have been so wildly off the mark it’s hard to believe that anyone with a few brain cells would believe him. But here we are, in almost world-wide lockdown mode, just the same. At least China had the organisation and empathy towards its confined citizens (food delivered, salaries paid) to ease the pain. And Sweden relied on the common sense of its citizens in following a few recommendations so as not to shut down the country completely.

For anyone interested in exploring some of the possible reasons for this insanity, I would suggest the following links:

https://off-guardian.org/

https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

Go have a look around and maybe see what a real Spring Cleaning might reveal. Then get to work on cleaning up our governments. Together.

Posted in Uncategorized

Thoughts on the Covid Business

5 mai 2020

Short bit for the few folks who stop by.

https://dissidentvoice.org/2020/05/big-pharma-beware-dr-montagnier-shines-new-light-on-covid-19-and-the-future-of-medicine/

I absolutely love stuff like this. I imagine a lot of folks, if they take the time to read the entire article, will dismiss it as science fiction. I take it as a great step forward in understanding our world in terms of what we don’t understand and probably won’t for quite some time. Science and technology, the way we’re practising it today, won’t save us from ourselves. We’ve proved that over and over again. But a new perspective on how science and technology can open new “doors of perception” that may change the way we think of ourselves in the Big Picture I think, is a great opportunity to initiate major changes in what we are doing now.

Here’s another link from the same author:

http://canadianpatriot.org/from-cop-21-to-covid-19-the-collapse-of-predictive-models-and-the-return-to-actual-thinking/

I can’t remember when I first came across this Ehret guy, but whatever I read that first time kind of piqued my interest, and I’ve been running into his name more frequently lately. And while I tend to lean toward the idea that continual population growth is probably not a great idea, at least at this point, I certainly don’t like the idea of Bill Gates and friends coercively vaccinating us to death. Once we harness fusion or transform ourselves into some kind of quantum beings able to travel faster than the speed of light (or something), I’ll be long gone and, in my present state of mind, thankful for that.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Anecdote

16 avril 2020

Paris

Here’s a personal anecdote. We landed in Paris, returning from Mauritius, 16 March, just as the lockdown was being announced. Taking a taxi into town, at first it was kind of cool. Little traffic, clear skies, quiet streets. Then, considering the lockdown long term, my first reaction was to suggest hiring a car to drive down to my mother-in-law’s summer place in the southwest where she has a big terrace and a garden across the street in a small town of maybe six or seven hundred, new suburbs included. Better than being locked inside our city center apartment, no? But since my wife’s mother is old (91), relatively frail, semi-handicapped (sight, hearing, memory failing, the Full Monty), and stubborn as a mule, my wife decided to put that plan on hold for the time being. I had misgivings and tried to explain that if we didn’t get out of the city “tout de suite”, we could very well be imprisoned for quite a while. To no avail. My wife’s mother was tired and it wasn’t her habit to go down there so soon. It would be too cold (even though the house is centrally heated). Go figure.

And so now, a month later, here we are, still in Paris, filling out our little permission slips to go outside for an hour, without sitting on a bench to take a little sun (we’ve had exceptional weather), to go for groceries or whatnot. My wife takes the bus two or three times a week (sometimes more) to her mother’s place to make sure she has stuff to eat, clean up, cook a meal, and continually explain how to use her computer or cell phone or tv or portable radio. Since she can’t see the buttons, it’s no surprise.

I finally got fed up with my wife’s gracious patience, called my doctor for an appointment, and explained the situation, asking him if he could write a medical “exception” and let us take “la veille bique” down south (and escape Paris). He explained that she would have to make that demand herself. Reporting back to my wife, she hesitated for another week or so, then finally, finally explained to her mother that it was either now or never if she wanted to go down south at all because no one knew when they were going to lift the lockdown or maybe even restrict it more.

The results? We finally got her mother to agree to a consultation with my doctor, but sometime in ten days or so (can’t remember the exact date). By then, who knows if we’ll be able to rent a car to get down there. Or if the restrictions on movement will be more severe.

I’m going crazy.

As for all the other stuff about “flattening the curve” or “herding” or whatever, I couldn’t care less. So-called information these days is where one wants to find it. You can believe in any number of scenarios. It’s a Gates takeover of the world. It’s the incompetence and corruption of the health authorities. It’s nothing more than the flu. Or any of the other theories floating around the internet. Take your pick, choose your “Blindness” (Jose Saramago). In any case, you lose. Or get lost in the labyrinth. Or take a look at OffGuardian for a bit of sanity.

Things have got to change.

Posted in Uncategorized

Things Have to Change

16 avril 2020

Paris

Here’s a personal anecdote. We landed in Paris, returning from Mauritius, 16 March, just as the lockdown was being announced. Taking a taxi into town, at first it was kind of cool. Little traffic, clear skies, quiet streets. Then, considering the lockdown long term, my first reaction was to suggest hiring a car to drive down to my mother-in-law’s summer place in the southwest where she has a big terrace and a garden across the street in a small town of maybe six or seven hundred, new suburbs included. Better than being locked inside our city center apartment, no? But since my wife’s mother is old (91), relatively frail, semi-handicapped (sight, hearing, memory failing, the Full Monty), and stubborn as a mule, my wife decided to put my plan on hold for the time being. I had misgivings and tried to explain that if we didn’t get out of the city “tout de suite”, we could very well be imprisoned for quite a while. To no avail. My wife’s mother was tired and it wasn’t her habit to go down there so soon. It would be too cold (even though the house is centrally heated). Go figure.

And so now, a month later, here we are, still in Paris, filling out our little permission slips to go outside for an hour, without sitting on a bench to take a little sun (we’ve had exceptional weather), to go for groceries or whatnot. My wife takes the bus two or three times a week (sometimes more) to her mother’s place to make sure she has stuff to eat, clean up, cook a meal, and continually explain how to use her computer or cell phone or tv or portable radio. Since she can’t see the buttons, it’s no surprise.

I finally got fed up with my wife’s gracious patience, called my doctor for an appointment, and explained the situation, asking him if he could write a medical “exception” and let us take “la veille bique” down south (and escape Paris). He explained that she would have to make that demand herself. Reporting back to my wife, she hesitated for another week or so, then finally, finally explained to her mother that it was either now or never if she wanted to go down south at all because no one knew when they were going to lift the lockdown or maybe even restrict it more.

The results? We finally got her mother to agree to a consultation with my doctor, but sometime in ten days or so (can’t remember the exact date). By then, who knows if we’ll be able to rent a car to get down there. Or if the restrictions on movement will be more severe.

I’m going crazy.

As for all the other stuff about “flattening the curve” or “herding” or whatever, I couldn’t care less. So-called information these days is where one wants to find it. You can believe in any number of scenarios. It’s a Gates takeover of the world. It’s the incompetence and corruption of the health authorities. It’s nothing more than the flu. Or any of the other theories floating around the internet. Take your pick, choose your “Blindness” (Jose Saramago). Either way you lose.

Things have got to change.

Posted in Uncategorized

Some Thoughts on Nationalism

31 mar 2002

Paris

 

Relunctantly accepting that we won’t be going anywhere until the end of April has lowered my frustration to a more or less acceptable level. Kind of. At least for this morning. Scanning the internet, I came across an article by Lee Camp on Mint Press News that talks about nationalism, a topic I consider controversial in that there are so many various definitions about it. Here are two paragraphs that stood out for me:

 

What if we decided there were no nations but instead the working people of the world were one group and the corporate owners of the world were another group. If humans were divvied up that way instead, the working people of China would be able to help the working people of Italy or America and vice versa without nationalistic propaganda. (Of course this raises other problems such as that the corporate owners would certainly hoard all the ventilators since they are generally sociopaths.)

But we are subliminally told by our mainstream media never to side with the people of another nation. First and foremost care about America. Yet in reality, if we free our minds beyond the mental prison of toxic nationalism, do any of us have anything against a shoe salesman in China or a garbage man in Cuba? I seriously doubt it. You’re not at war with that shoe salesman. You don’t have any reason to hate him or even wish him ill will. So truthfully the extremely rich of the world are at war with each other while 99% of the various populations are along for the ride – some knowingly and some blissfully unaware.

 

While I don’t agree with everything here, it brought back to mind an anecdote which I noted somewhere earlier on the blog. Back in the fifties, my father and I were torching an infestation of tent caterpillars in one of our pear trees, when I asked him why a Russian farmer would want to fight with an American farmer? He said something about them being Communists, while giving me a menacing look, as if I was asking something absolutely taboo, unspeakable (at least for our family). For me, it wasn’t a satisfying anwser, but I had learned, from the end of a wooden yardstick or a belt on my bare butt, that arguing (or trying to discuss) with my father was out of the question. And I commented sometime later, that we may live in a democracy, but that I lived in a communist household, which got me sent from the dinner table to my bedroom.

 

In any case, Camp sounds like he’s channeling Lennon’s “Imagine” in his piece and, while I generally tend to agree with Camp and Lennon, I think nationalism has been unfairly painted with with too large a brush. Here, I refer to Dmitry Orlov:

 

Patriotism is one’s love of one’s native land and people. It is a natural, organic result of growing up in a certain place among a certain people, who have also grown up there, and who pass along a cultural and linguistic legacy that they all love and cherish. This does not imply that those not of one’s family, neighborhood or region are in any way inferior, but they are not one’s own, and one loves them less.

• Nationalism is a synthetic product generated using public education and is centered around certain hollow symbols: a flag, an anthem, some yellowed pieces of paper, a few creation myths and so on. It is supported by certain rituals (parades, speeches, handing out of medals) that comprise a civic cult. The purpose of nationalism is to support the nation-state. Where nationalism serves the needs of one’s native land and people, nationalism and patriotism become aligned; when it destroys them, nationalism becomes the enemy and patriots form partisan movements, rise up and destroy the nation-state.

• Fascism is the perfect melding of the nation-state and corporations, in the course of which the distinction between public and private interests becomes erased and corporations come to dictate public policy. An almost perfect expression of fascism is the recent transatlantic and transpacific trade agreements negotiated in secret by the Obama administration, which at the moment, to everyone’s great relief, seem to be dead in the water. – Dmitry Orlov, Firing the Elites.

 

What I think is important here is his definition of nationalism. Read it closely. He says it’s a double-edged sword. When it’s synthetic and destroys the natural sense of loving and caring for ones neighbours, it can be destructive of the ties that bind. When nationalism and his definition of patriotism coincide, there’s a natural harmony.

 

I don’t think Orlov is defending national borders, per se, as they are relatively arbitrary lines on a piece of paper, decided by people who have no (or little) connection to those living within the confines of said borders. What he’s saying is that there is a natural, organic means of establishing connections with our neighbors that shouldn’t be defined by people who aren’t there and have no connection with the intricacies of living together, or who attempt to pit one against the other for their personal means.

 

But there’s a problem. We now have national borders, whether or not we agree to them (see the Middle East, the Balkans for example). But we also have something else, the European Union, a kind of hybrid definition of national borders and this something else, defined by Brussels, is a supra-government that seems to have no interests other than maintaining itself and its huge bureaucracy, and serves no purpose other than to bow to the diktats of the multinationals. Regardless of borders. So we have so-called independent countries subsumed into something of an alliance that leaves them relatively little autonomy.

 

Speaking of autonomy brings me to the question of the Euro. Remember Greece, and all that entailed? A perfect example of the hypocrisy of “European Solidarity” as a few big banks literally stole the country. As to the Greeks themselves, Fuck ’em. Reminds me of when my wife and I spent a fair number of summers in southern Italy, Calabria, refurbishing her sailboat. People there were not fond of the Euro, either, since prices basically doubled overnight, while their salaries stagnated. No wonder it was pretty much a cash economy. Of course the rich became richer, siphoning EU subsidies into their own pockets. “And so it goes” …

 

The term “nationalism” (like so many others, “populism”, for example) has been redefined these days to imply stuff like Nazism, racism. All negative, when, according to Orlov, it isn’t necessarily the case. It can be either/or, depending on the circumstances.

 

Towards the end of his article, Camp writes:

During this partial collapse, new structures could emerge if we break out of our antiquated thought prisons. Right now is not about nations or fences or political parties. It’s about you, and me, and our neighbors, and our friends, and our shared humanity.

 

From my point of view, yes, “breaking out of our thought prisons” is a great idea. But I think it should be at home, in each of our countries, reclaiming national autonomy, cleaning house locally, chasing the multinationals (who have no real home) from the corridors of power, and let the people decide what they want to do. It’ll probably be a lot better than what we have now.

Posted in Uncategorized

Fada!

Paris 4 avril 2020

Glorious weather and we’re locked down but for going out for groceries. Can’t sit on a bench, can’t take the sun. People are suspicious of those, like me, who don’t wear some sort of mask. I should probably try to find one of those “V” (Guy Fawlkes) masks that the movie made so famous.

Corona this, corona that. The panic (manufactured) over a virulent (?) flu is truly amazing to behold. Some 80,000 died of the “normal” flu during 2018 in the US alone. But who really knows? That figure comes from the CDC, whose numbers are dodgy, at best. It’s just another government service “in service” to Big Business, and I hope that more and more people would recognise that. But I rather doubt it.

This whole thing is a manufactured crisis, much like Pearl Harbor and 11 sept. A test to see just how far our “authorities” can extend their powers without being totally disbelieved. Or, if they are disbelieved, call in the armed forces. It really is astounding to watch. I never thought I’d live to see such a cowering in the face of so much incompetence, so much corrutpion. These people, our supposedly elected representatives, have no idea how to frame their responses. A friend of mine sent me this:

Fada

Fernandel, a much beloved figure of French cinema is saying:

7 March Macron tells us to go outside. The 12th he tells us to stay inside. The 14th he tells us to vote. The 16th he tells us to go back to work. Here, we call that person “crazy”.

Yes, it’s a joke, but it’s true. These people have no idea what they’re doing because they have no moral foundation. They have to wait until their corporate masters have come up with a plan to calm (confine) the population and to make a profit. That’s it, pure and simple.

Posted in Uncategorized

Some Thoughts on Nationalism

31 mar 2002

Paris

Reluctantly accepting that we won’t be going anywhere until the end of April has lowered my frustration to a more or less acceptable level. Kind of. At least for this morning. Scanning the internet, I came across an article by Lee Camp on Mint Press News that talks about nationalism, a topic I consider controversial in that there are so many various definitions about it. Here are two paragraphs that stood out for me:

What if we decided there were no nations but instead the working people of the world were one group and the corporate owners of the world were another group. If humans were divvied up that way instead, the working people of China would be able to help the working people of Italy or America and vice versa without nationalistic propaganda. (Of course this raises other problems such as that the corporate owners would certainly hoard all the ventilators since they are generally sociopaths.)

But we are subliminally told by our mainstream media never to side with the people of another nation. First and foremost care about America. Yet in reality, if we free our minds beyond the mental prison of toxic nationalism, do any of us have anything against a shoe salesman in China or a garbage man in Cuba? I seriously doubt it. You’re not at war with that shoe salesman. You don’t have any reason to hate him or even wish him ill will. So truthfully the extremely rich of the world are at war with each other while 99% of the various populations are along for the ride – some knowingly and some blissfully unaware.

While I don’t agree with everything here, it brought back to mind an anecdote which I noted somewhere earlier on the blog. Back in the fifties, my father and I were torching an infestation of tent caterpillars in one of our pear trees, when I asked him why a Russian farmer would want to fight with an American farmer? He said something about them being Communists, while giving me a menacing look, as if I was asking something absolutely taboo, unspeakable (at least for our family). For me, it wasn’t a satisfying anwser, but I had learned, from the end of a wooden yardstick or a belt on my bare butt, that arguing (or trying to discuss) with my father was out of the question. And I commented sometime later, that we may live in a democracy, but that I lived in a communist household, which got me sent from the dinner table to my bedroom.

In any case, Camp sounds like he’s channeling Lennon’s “Imagine” in his piece and, while I generally tend to agree with Camp and Lennon, I think nationalism has been unfairly painted with with too large a brush. Here, I refer to Dmitry Orlov:

Patriotism is one’s love of one’s native land and people. It is a natural, organic result of growing up in a certain place among a certain people, who have also grown up there, and who pass along a cultural and linguistic legacy that they all love and cherish. This does not imply that those not of one’s family, neighborhood or region are in any way inferior, but they are not one’s own, and one loves them less.

• Nationalism is a synthetic product generated using public education and is centered around certain hollow symbols: a flag, an anthem, some yellowed pieces of paper, a few creation myths and so on. It is supported by certain rituals (parades, speeches, handing out of medals) that comprise a civic cult. The purpose of nationalism is to support the nation-state. Where nationalism serves the needs of one’s native land and people, nationalism and patriotism become aligned; when it destroys them, nationalism becomes the enemy and patriots form partisan movements, rise up and destroy the nation-state.

• Fascism is the perfect melding of the nation-state and corporations, in the course of which the distinction between public and private interests becomes erased and corporations come to dictate public policy. An almost perfect expression of fascism is the recent transatlantic and transpacific trade agreements negotiated in secret by the Obama administration, which at the moment, to everyone’s great relief, seem to be dead in the water. – Dmitry Orlov, Firing the Elites.

What I think is important here is his definition of nationalism. Read it closely. He says it’s a double-edged sword. When it’s synthetic and destroys the natural sense of loving and caring for ones neighbours, it can be destructive of the ties that bind. When nationalism and his definition of patriotism coincide, there’s a natural harmony.

I don’t think Orlov is defending national borders, per se, as they are relatively arbitrary lines on a piece of paper, decided by people who have no (or little) connection to those living within the confines of said borders. What he’s saying is that there is a natural, organic means of establishing connections with our neighbors that shouldn’t be defined by people who aren’t there and have no connection with the intricacies of living together, or who attempt to pit one against the other for their personal means.

But there’s a problem. We now have national borders, whether or not we agree to them (see the Middle East, the Balkans for example). But we also have something else, the European Union, a kind of hybrid definition of national borders and this something else, defined by Brussels, is a supra-government that seems to have no interests other than maintaining itself and its huge bureaucracy, and serves no purpose other than to bow to the diktats of the multinationals. Regardless of borders. So we have so-called independent countries subsumed into something of an alliance that leaves them relatively little autonomy.

Speaking of autonomy brings me to the question of the Euro. Remember Greece, and all that entailed? A perfect example of the hypocrisy of “European Solidarity” as a few big banks literally stole the country. As to the Greeks themselves, Fuck ’em. Reminds me of when my wife and I spent a fair number of summers in southern Italy, Calabria, refurbishing her sailboat. People there were not fond of the Euro, either, since prices basically doubled overnight, while their salaries stagnated. No wonder it was pretty much a cash economy. Of course the rich became richer, siphoning EU subsidies into their own pockets. “And so it goes” …

The term “nationalism” (like so many others, “populism”, for example) has been redefined these days to imply stuff like Nazism, racism. All negative, when, according to Orlov, it isn’t necessarily the case. It can be either/or, depending on the circumstances.

Towards the end of his article, Camp writes:

During this partial collapse, new structures could emerge if we break out of our antiquated thought prisons. Right now is not about nations or fences or political parties. It’s about you, and me, and our neighbors, and our friends, and our shared humanity.

From my point of view, yes, “breaking out of our thought prisons” is a great idea. But I think it should at home, in each of our countries, reclaiming national autonomy, cleaning house locally, chasing the multinationals (who have no real home) from the corridors of power, and let the people decide what they want to do. It’ll probably be a lot better than what we have now.

Posted in Uncategorized

Rebranding Hillary?

1 nov 2019

Catus

Apparently not satisfied with his sixty some million dollar book deal, Obama is now giving talks/speeches/sermons to the folks who paid for his two terms as President for four hundred thousand a pop.  What the purpose of these talks might be is beyond me.  He did as he was told while he was President, so what wisdom is he sharing with people who should be in jail right now?  Why do the folks who controlled his presidency need to continue paying him?  He did his job, fulfilled his contract.

One hint might be that he’s shilling for Hillary.  This article sheds some light on concerns the Democrats have about the 2020 election.  They blew it in 2016 which, while they may not publicly admit it, may explain why they’re turning again to the Obama brand, silver tongue and all,  to work the marketing magic that seduced/fooled the voters not only once, but twice.

Rebranding Hillary could be considered the equivalent of trying to resell an Edsel, Corvair, or Pinto.  Of course, considering the extreme state of amnesia so prevalent in the US, it’s entirely possible that la Clinton could somehow be rehabilitated.

In the end, it hardly matters.  Nothing really matters to our transnational oligarchs other than, as TP Wilkinson says,

By “market” is really meant the banking and commodities trading cartels domiciled in the US and UK, but whose directors are resident wherever they cannot be reached by accidents of jurisdiction.

Granted, the linked article treats the Climate Change problem, but his characterisation of these oligarchs as playing hide and seek with tax authorities (my bold), I find pretty funny and appropriate.

In any case, the entire US political dog and pony show is nothing more than spectacle meant to distract the attention-challenged US public (and the West, in general) from focussing on the causes rather than the symptoms of the national illness.   It makes no difference who squats the White Whore House as long as the criminal enterprise known as the United States is allowed to continually extort/exploit the rest of the planet.

*

For those of you interested in history, especially as it relates to current events, I suggest Wilkinson as a good source.  Here is an article by him I discovered the other day:

https://www.globalresearch.ca/where-did-obama-really-go-to-school-and-what-is-really-happening-in-syria/5480049

 

Posted in Uncategorized

No Title. Give it your own. 2

No Title. Give it your own.

As you can see by the date, I wrote this piece towards the beginning of summer as a note to myself, a journal entry of sorts.  Having limited internet access, there are no links, so you’ll have to find them on your own.

 

15 juin 2018

Jeux

I read an article a while ago somewhere on the web entitled something like “What Happened to My Country?” (referring to the US, but the same question could be asked by pretty much anyone anywhere the US has managed to colonise in one way or another) and while I agreed that there might more than few others asking themselves that same question, I had to admit that any reasonable appraisal of what our country might have been has been answered by any number of researchers and historians who have pointed out that the United States, in spite of its rhetoric, has never been a place of which one could be proud.

For most of its history, from the moment the first Europeans stepped ashore on what is now known as North America, it has represented the absolute worst tendencies of the human race.  There is nothing revolutionary about genocide.  Every empire, since time immemorial, has used this barbaric means of theft.  You can give it any label you want, discuss the various “-isms” that may or may not have justified outright murder and theft, but it comes down to, in my opinion, something very simple:  The Few against The Rest.  And that isn’t very profound, nor should it be news to anyone.

The situation in the US, and ever more so in The West (or its vassal states, wherever they may be) in general, has become so toxic (in every sense of the word), and dangerous to The Few, that they no longer even attempt to hide their disdain for the rabble.  Major crimes of all sorts go unpunished.  They simply do what they want to.  Right out in the open, as if to say, “Whatcha gonna do about it, huh?”.

They’ve managed to divide what could be an international coalition of peace-loving people into distinct socio-political straightjackets, fighting amongst themselves for the right to lead what’s left of The Left or The Right (there’s little difference these days), an exclusionary and divisive tactic that has largely succeeded.

A lot of people (most people, probably) think that the internet, and social media in general, have been a boon to society.  I tend to disagree for a number of reasons.

1  Speed kills.  Whether you drive too fast or indulge in the chemical known under that name, there’s a good chance you’ll end up dead or physically or mentally handicapped.

With optic fibre and constant increases in the speed of wireless communications, we are inundated (overloaded?) with information.  And I would reckon that most of it is pretty much useless.  How many updates do we need, for example, on the lives of celebrities, on Trump’s latest mood, or even the suffering of the Palestinians or Yemenis?

In the first case, who cares what celebrities are up to?  They don’t care what you think.

In the second case, it’s just The Donald being The Donald, even though now he’s President.

In the third case, we’ve known about the plight of the Palestinians since 1948 and no one seems to care.   At least not enough people to inculpate/stop the Israeli slow genocide.  Most people probably can’t find Yemen on a map.

So what good has all this instantaneousness provided?  I’d say not much.  Since the inception of the internet, aside from an initial buzz in the public sphere, its monetisation has pretty much destroyed any hopes the same public had for the Net, and has gone the way of most “technological miracles”.  Into the hands of a tiny elite, and their acolytes, their “good little Eichmanns”, whose only goal is to become rich.

If you think about “speed” in the mechanical sense, it’s the result of the compression of molecules which creates heat which creates “work”.  It’s a desireable outcome if it eliminates arduous tasks.  Or so they say.  But at what price?  Or cost, if you prefer.  Economists refer to these costs as “externalities”.  I refer to them as “collateral damage”.  Neither the bankers nor the bombers give a rat’s ass about these externalities, the peripheral damage done by their choices.  See Nick Davies about the bombers, Michael Hudson (or Paul Craig Roberts, the Galbraiths, Bill Black, or any other not bought, honest economist) about the bankers.

If you consider the idea of the compression of molecules relative to the number of people on the planet, you might get the idea that too many people in a finite place might cause the same kind of combustion that occurs  when molecules are compressed in the cylinder of an automobile motor.  It’s called an explosion.  I don’t particularly want to be part of something like that.  Which leads to a second point.

2. Continual or constant growth.  The idea behind Ponzi schemes and a core tenet of capitalism. 

Ponzi schemes are pretty simple.  Promise investors above average returns, and as long as you attract a continued increase in investors, you can pay the previous investors the promised returns with the money coming from the new investors.  Until the number of new investors declines or, in the vernacular, until the shit hits the fan.  Ask Bernie Madoff.

Capitalism is a big subject, to say the least.  The Canadian film, The Corporation, gives a pretty good idea of the psychopathic nature of capitalism, its total disregard for anything resembling a humane way of looking at, and participating in, the world.  And it, too, is based on continual/constant growth:  the very characteristics of a cancer.

*

One of the reasons I’m writing this is that I’m finally coming to realise that I really no longer believe that all this speed, all this “stuff”, all this screen gazing is going anywhere good.  I have the privilege, being retired and able to spend rather quite a bit of time in this hamlet, without TV, of having to face myself and the small things that affect my daily life.

For example, there are days when I don’t speak with anyone, except for an occasional word with the lizards who inhabit the cracks and crannies of the stone walls of this two hundred year old house and become less and less timorous as the season progresses.  Or several kinds of birds who frequent the place, flying in and out of the open windows (mostly swallows), or the plants in the vegetable garden.  Of course, there are no replies, except in the form of a strange complicity, or so I imagine.  The lizards quickly gather at the stone sink on the terrace when I fill the slight depression with water.  The birds nest and sing.  The garden grows, the flowers bloom, the bees provide a humming background to it all. 

The other day, as I sat in the shade of the open shed roof after lunch, I came across a passage in the book I was reading, Ma Provence d’heureuse rencontre, by Pierre Magnan, that struck me as being pretty appropriate in these times.  I’ll cite the original, in French, then attempt a translation.

Venez respirer Forcalquier quand la nuit tombe.  Vous y gagnerez à ses terrasses la vacuité de l’âme qui convient au repos et je crois qu’à partir d’ici vous serez à même de comprendre pourquoi ce pays me convient et pourquoi, y étant admis, je peux en toute quiétude être atteint d’incuriosité totale pour le reste du monde.

*

Come breathe Forcalquier at nightfall.  Its terraces offer a sense of existential peace and quiet and I believe that from here you might be able to understand why this place appeals to me and why, once accepted, I can easily become infected by a total lack of curiosity for the rest of the world.

(Pierre Magnan, Ma Provence d’heureuse rencontre, Denoël, 2005)

*

Now, if I could just convince our neighbour Odette to lend me a couple of sheep to trim the grass.

Posted in Uncategorized

Random Thoughts on a Rainy Day

11 mai 2019

Jeux

Windy (gusts to 75 kph), rainy, not too cold day in the country (13°C), little fire in the wood stove, some Italian food truck stuff from the market yesterday morning warming on the stove top for lunch, a glass of rosé, the perfect day for doing little other than sitting here at the little red table, thinking about my reactions to Howard Lisnoff’s article about income inequality.  Since CounterPunch has no comment section other than Facebook (which, along with the other (anti-)social networks, are part of my own BDS movement), I have little hope that he will read this.  Big deal.  No one reads this blog.  I write when I have to, when what I write won’t interest the few friends I have (don’t care), and even then, they don’t necessarily engage in anything I’ve ranted about, except to say that, Yeah, things are pretty rotten, or things like that.

Lisnoff’s piece, about the invasion of expensive, constantly renovated secondary homes in his neighbourhood got me to thinking about why I left the States.  I lived, for a fair number of years, in the northwest corner of lower Michigan, right on Lake Michigan, and watched as it was being transformed into a speculative paradise.  I said as much to some journalists from National Geographic Traveler who had hired me (and my boat) to sail them around the bay and had asked for my take on the history of the place. 

Basically, that one phrase, “speculative paradise”, sealed my fate in that town, for it was printed in the next edition of the magazine and, one day down at the harbourmaster’s office while discussing next season’s docking rates and where I might be able to pick up my passengers, he warned me that he had received a few calls about my comments, that they weren’t all that much appreciated, and that they didn’t need that kind publicity, that my situation might change for the next season. 

I managed a few more seasons, but it was pretty clear that they didn’t want a relatively visible critic of the politics of the place to be in touch with so many potential “investors”, or whatever you want to call them, though most of the people I took out on the boat couldn’t have given a rat’s ass about what was happening.  They were simply ecstatic about being out on the water (not having boats of their own), many of them for the first time under sail.  It was a real treat watching their initial fears of “tipping over” replaced by delight at the way the boat and the water and the wind interacted. 

But, I’d had enough.  I sold most everything, put the rest into storage, and took off, destination unknown.  Although I did stop off in Norway to work on my ex-wife’s house for a few months, and was, momentarily, tempted to stay.  But I was on some sort of ill-defined quest, intending to stop by to see a woman in Paris I had met while working in Turkey, then continuing on, somewhere.  But something happened between us, and I’m still here, now writing from what I call The Pile of Stones, while the wind rages, the rain comes in separate downpours, the wood stove demands another log.  And eat another bulb of wild garlic pulled this morning with the last of the rosé.

Posted in Uncategorized