Pseudo Book Review Of “Fire And Fury” Or If Only There Was More Space Between The Lines

scary author pic
From the back cover.

Books with scary pictures of authors on inner or back covers should be avoided at all costs. At least that’s what I used to tell myself. Which brings me to this worst-question: did Michael Wolff pick the pic (above) for the back cover or did some other corpo dastardly automaton pick it for him? Nomatter.

Just don’t let you kids near this guy–or President Stupid.

And by-the-buy, I didn’t buy this book. Never in my wildest thoughts did I ever seriously consider even going near this book. What can one read about President Stupid that one hasn’t already had stuffed down his/her throat with gulps of desperation? Either that or one can just watch some moronic TV, preferably WWE or reality-tv, and one can be just as informed. And that’s not all. One can also watch redneck, white trash #americant. Indeed. Watch it or read it. For between the lines of this book might just be a chronicle of the end of the beginning… Or is it the beginning of the end? Nomatter. At the least Wolff is a damn good writer.

I mean, he can spell and he knows how to use some big words. Or maybe not.

Kudos to my son for gifting me this book for my birthday. It’s his thing, don’t you know. I mean, gifting books during gifting season. As best as I can tell he’s mostly only gifted me, his stepmom and his mother, books. Wait. He gifted some bath oil to my better-half recently. So I could be wrong. Jeez. He’s twenty now. I don’t really know what he’s up to anymore anyway, what his motivations are, youthful prodigy confusion, etc. Yet he gave me a book that he should be reading. Yes. This book is for the youth of tomorrow. For those who would see how things shouldn’t be. Oh my. Confusion. Ditto. Confusion.

Let me begin this pseudo-review with some outtakes.

  • Chapter 20 (about The Mooch): “He had paid as much as half a million dollars to have his firm’s logo appear in the movie Wall Street 2 and to buy himself a cameo part in the film.”
  • Chapter 19(a): “Donald Trump’s sons existed in an enforced infantile relationship to their father, a role that embarrassed them, but one that they also professionally embraced. The role was to be Trump’s heirs and attendees. Their father took some regular pleasure in pointing out that they were in the back of the room when God handed out brains. Their sister Invanka, certainly no native genius, was the designated family smart person, her husband Jared the family’s smooth operator.”
  • Chapter 19(b): “The real swamp is the swamp of insular, inbred, incestuous interests (of Washington DC).”
  • Chapter 16: “In presidential annals, the firing of FBI director James Comey may be the most consequential move ever made by a modern president acting entirely on his own.”
  • Chapter 13: “The world of the rich is, in its fashion, self regulating. Social climbing has rules.”
  • Chapter 8: “It became almost immediately clear that the common purpose of the campaign and the urgency of the transition were lost as soon as the Trump team stepped into the White House. They had gone from managing Trump to the expectation of being managed by him–or at least through him and almost solely for his purposes. Yet the president, while proposing the most radical departure from governing and policy norms in several generations, had few specific ideas about how to turn his themes and vitriol into policy, nor a team that could reasonably unite behind him.”
  • Chapter 7 (on how money laundering works): “One way the process can work is, roughly speaking, as follows: an oligarch makes an investment in a more or less legitimate third-party investment fund, which, quid pro quo, makes an investment in Trump.”

Chapter 7 is a particularly interesting chapter. It contains five theories on Trump’s Russia collusion which is, probably, the most significant aspect of Trump–other than his regime increasing the US debt to new highs. Of course, dear worst-reader, I read the book in February 2018. The book doesn’t really contain anything new as its content pretty-much ends around the fall of 2017. With that in mind, it does feel like the book is the script from which all news is being reported now. Yet some of it kept me almost enthralled.

This book is, at best, a well chronicled history of the first six months to a year of President Stupid and more importantly President Stupid’s… Trump-ism. If you are anti-Trump then you can easily stomach this book. If you’re pro-Trump this book doesn’t matter because, well, like Trump, you probably don’t read anyway. Also, Wolff does a good job of hiding his biases in this book. Yet when one watches him try to sell it on tv or when he appears on the Interwebnets, it might not be so obvious if he is anti-Trump. Oh how the appearance of being objective might help sales. Except, of course, for the child molesting pic he put on the back cover of this book.

Anywho.

Even though I did find myself struggling through chapters here and there, skipping huge parts of Wolff’s attempt at making something interesting that obviously isn’t, I’d recommend this book. Reason? Trump is literally a projection of not just a weak, spoiled mind, but also of an America that is just as rotten. I mean, come on. How else could such a person get elected? And I’m not sure that was Wolff’s intention. This is certainly no prize-redeeming piece of work. Indeed. Wolff has done nothing more than chronicle a huge $hitshow. And he’s done it fairly well.

Good luck suckers.

Rant on.

-T

Apple’s Spinning Wheel Of You Suck

Don’t you hate it when that happens? This particular wheel lasted for well over ten minutes–until I forced a restart on my MacBook Air 7,2. This is but another reminder of how much I’m gonna enjoy making this my last Apple hardware purchase (I spitefully hope). As far as MacOS goes, Apple has really dropped the lead ball and shown its corporate intentions with this once great computing platform. Obviously iOS is the future (for Apple). And that’s all fine and dandy–if you don’t mind obnoxious closed eco-systems and pseudo-computing. I’m just too old for that sort of thing. Seriously. I tried iOS. I purchased an iPad4 from Apple US refurbished store about three years ago. I used it on and off for about a year, testing if it could replace my 2010 13″ MacBook Pro. I bought a keyboard for it, too. Even typed a few thousands words on it. But was seriously no match for a real computer. The new iPad Pro is another story. My better half has one. Other than her work’s krappy use of spreadsheets and closed eco-system corporate communication, she uses her iPad for everything. It has replaced her use of a PC. My problem is, even after trying an older iPad and still using an iPhone is different. I just don’t like iOS. System upgrades on that platform are worse than on regular computing platforms. I’m assuming the reason for that is simple: they got you more by the balls with their closed eco-systems then they do with real computers. With every iOS update (especially on my iPhone 6s) I’ve never actually seen any improvement in the device. The only thing you get is the/a need to replace what Apple is making obsolete. Btw. When I started computing it was all about owning a device. It was about data being mine. It was about me being part of something as an individual. The thing is, I’m seriously not impressed anymore with the industries move away from personal computing to collective, eco-system digital consumption. But then again, I haven’t been impressed with an OS since I moved from WinXP to Mac Snow Leopard about ten years ago. With that in mind, I suppose my time is up. Indeed. Time to move on from Apple. Time to figure out how not to follow trends. I guess.

MacPro5,1_MacOSX10.6.3
MacPro 5,1 with Snow Leopard

The pic above is from a system downgrade I did recently on my ageing MacPro which serves as my home network server. I was upgrading drive capacity and decided to do a clean install. I used to do them every year so this one was long overdue. While erasing and cleaning disks, I installed Snow Leopard 10.6.3 (yes, from original disks) for the heck of it. Nostalgia rules, baby. And boy does it still work great. Since I mainly use this device as a “headless” server for iTunes, Plex and file sharing, it’s not possible to keep Snow Leopard running. Also, even though I boot El Capitan from a PCIe SSD on the motherboard, the important stuff is on old fashion spinning drives. Apple’s High Sierra is using a new file system specifically for SSDs. Sure, the new file system will work with old spinning drives. But I’m not going there on this device. El Capitan is the end OS for this great machine which no existing NAS can replace. After it no longer works, then maybe I’ll just finally get to install Snow Leopard and do lots of nostalgic fiddling or maybe even turn it into a fish tank.

It’s such a shame that Apple and its Macintosh has gone down the road of suck.

Rant on.

-T

Phishing Email #(Whatever)

phishing email example.jpg

Don’t know why, but I’m totally into collecting these phishing emails. Here’s another one I got a few months back. Of course, when I get them I think of two things. One, of course, is to make sure I don’t click the wrong links in the email. The second is, …ha ha ha ha ha! John Podesta clicked one of these links and directly partook in the dumbing down of my beloved #americant. Wow. Rant on.

-T

Storms & Tech In Germania

 

Struggling, dear worst-reader. Struggling. It is so wet here–here in worst-writer country–that one can feel it in the bone(s). In fact, one of the warnings from all the extreme weather has been to watch out for falling trees. Parks have been closed, don’t you know. The ground is so wet from so much rain that trees tear out easily from gusting winds galore. But let that not stop us, eh. For our path is set, the journey we must make, or maybe not. And so…

  • Headless Mac Pro (fiddling with it due to indoor out-of-weather preoccupation)
  • That is a tree branch that broke off in a storm gust last week (and I just missed it falling)
  • That is how Germans close park gates (to prevent people from being hit by trees)
  • Those are the cables that lead to the Matrix (or they power the German train system that has shut down because of heavy winds)

Rant on.

-T

A Quest For Understanding That I Know I’m Losing, Have Lost, Now Just Let Go And Watch The Cliff Pass Before Us

But I used to have great confidence in understanding. Now take a phrase like “father forgive them; they know not what they do.” This may be interpreted as a promise that in time we would be delivered from blindness and understand. On the other hand, it may also mean that with time we will understand our own enormities and crimes, and that sounds to me like a threat.

-Saul Bellow, Henderson The Rain King

I don’t know what came first, dear worst-reader. The title of this worst-post or the quote in it. Nomatter. Move on. And…

Rant on.

-T

Hey Comrade! My School Of Greed Is Gonna Kick Your School Of Greed’s A$$

capitalism crisis deepens richard wolff

In order to cope with the two Ms (monotony & mendacity) of growing up in Suburban Hell of my beloved #Americant, I participated–at the duress of my broken family–in two organised sport activities. One of those activities was tennis. And, if I recall correctly, I was actually ranked within the top-100 players of my state during the tennis season of which I participated. Of course, let it be known, I couldn’t serve worth a hoot. Yet I was “ranked”. Yea, that says a lot about organised sports back then–long before the inheriting, under-achieving classes came to be what they’ve become and thereby given us #Trump. But I digress.

The second sport I participated in was Football. And I don’t mean football of the round ball kind. I played American football–where the ball is the proper shape. The reason for the shape? When that ball flies through the air it is either a bullet or a duck–and you better know what you’re doing when it comes your way. And so… There is clarity in (some) sports, dear worst-reader. That clarity is in how a ball can fly like a bullet through the sky.

Although I did participate in a few other sports here and there, e.g., lacrosse, baseball, wrestling, fencing and girls, football is the one that stands out the most in my worst-memory. Ask me if I regret wasting my time on it, I do. Then again, the sport did teach me a bit about participating with others in a so-called “team”. It really is a shame how my beloved #Americant (sport) and her cult of the entrepreneur (the team) have warped the idear of the game in recent years. “Team” for me had a different meaning once. That was the only thing worthwhile about playing football. No a total waste, that is.

Now get this: I learned a few other things while playing American football. For example, my coach used to tell us when we were doing the cardio portion of our daily practice–and we watched those soccer guys in the field next to us run like gazelles all day–that soccer is a game for communists. Can you believe that, dear worst-reader? Here’s how you teach youngsters–back in the day:

Whaaaa’ da heel kaind ah spo’art is it anywho if’n you caint use yer damn hands? It’s a communist spo’art, I tail yee. Dats zackly wha’ it eezz. Damn darn communists! -My Coach

My coach added something about balls shouldn’t be perfectly round anyway. “Nothing is perfect. Check your own,” he said. Of course, being the prepubescent worst-writer I was, during the last two years of wasting mind and body playing football, I actually believed that soccer players were communists. Heck, when I approached some of the guys on the soccer team, I would even ask them:

Say, Comrade, hoist any sickle and spades lately?

But. Again. I digress.

All this worst-talk about communists brings me to my latest read. It is a book by Comrade Richard Wolff. Comrade Wolff is a “professor of economics”. Comrade Wolff has a somewhat interesting presence on the Interwebnets, too. Much of his work can be found at http://www.democracyatwork.info and he even has a monthly podcast called Economics Update where he talks about all things-worst (man to occupy my heart) in this world of capitalism run amok.

At first I didn’t think much about reading this book. There was/is enough of/from Comrade Wolff online already. But then something he said itched me. That itch was Wolff’s academic POV of all-things economic. Better put, he writes and talks a lot about economics as though… Now hold a sec. Get ready for it. Sit down if you got a weak ticker.

Comrade Wolff talks about economics as if it is science.

Now. Did you get that? Let me repeat it just in case, dear worst-reader. According to worst-writer, economics ain’t no science. Instead it is (should be) an academic field within The Arts. But let’s not get too far off the issue of what itches me.

There is one topic that Comrade Wolff keeps comping back to over and over: He is obsessed with the pseudo economic science of Greece and Germania. That’s the real reason I broke down and bought this book. It’s also the reason I read it over a two month period. It’s not that it is hard to read. It is. It’s just that it is boring, too. Boring as boring can be. Boring as wrongly placed academia can be. But then again, so too are all things that try to be scientific that should instead be artsy. And guess what happened after I finally finished the book? Comrade Wolff’s obsession with Greece and Germania is still a mystery to me. Gosh darn it! I hate it when I pick the wrong friggin book!

Allow me to summarise my issue (itch) with Comrade Wolff’s obsession. Comrade Wolff says that Germania is a locomotive. He also says that Greece is a caboose. In case you’re unaware, the caboose is at the back of a choo-choo-train. A caboose is a special, single car that in olden times served as a kind of housing facility for those who worked on the train as it crossed landscapes. And so… Germania is the front of the train and Greece… Well, ok, you get the metaphor.

Btw, if you were to ask me why I expatriated to the EU my third1 most important reason for doing so would be because of the fascination of witnessing the catastrophe that is an effort to unite something that should never be united as though it were a train crossing some heartily confused landscape. Either that or I am a freak for Schadenfreude?

In #Eurowasteland where the choo-choo-train metaphor can only go so far, that which determines everything… Is the fcuking caboose. -worst-moi after living in this Euro shithole for the last 25 yrs.

Now wait a sec. Comrade Wolff says it another way. Here, try this (pseudo-paraphrase):

The #Eurowasteland caboose is literally a fcuk machine that rides the train. The train is made up of voyeur, perverted nation-states that like gawking at the fcuk-car from the back. And who’s the biggest voyeur of them all? That’s right…

Fcuking Germans!

In his podcast Economic Update I’ve listened to Comrade Wolff lambast the Germans because Greece is an economic disaster. That is, Greece is a disaster, according to Wolff, because of the Germans. IMHO, Comrade Wolff is wrong. Greece’s problems have nothing to do with Germans. Greece has problems because of Greeks. Comrade Wolff likes to focus on banks and bankers and how they take advantage of European pions–all of which is lead by dastardly Germans.

Whaaaaaa?

Worst-writer’s explanation of the Greece problem is much simpler–and much clearer. To paraphrase the great oral tradition now being propagated by #Americants in the form of #Trump: Europe is a shithole and it’s full of shiteaters.

That’s Greece’s problem.

In order to understand Greece and thereby the entirety of #Eurowasteland, aka, Greedland, all one has to do is look at what Europe has given the world. From the Bronze Age to the Renaissance and beyond, we can all thank Europe for mass, systematic, unadulterated greed. Luckily, in recent times, there has been something done to try and mitigate this great gift.

Since WW2 (or maybe it was WW1–who the fcuk is counting?) Europe’s gift to the world has been split into two schools of thought. There is the Anglo-American school (of greed) and there is the Germanic school (of greed). If one looks at the social and political structures of the various confused nations that make up Greedland–from locomotives to the cabooses–it’s easy differentiating between these two schools of greed. It’s also easy to figure out who’s the bigger or biggest Schadenfreud-ist.

Let’s summarise, shall we?

Greece is, out of choice, part of the Anglo-American school (of greed). It is failing miserably as a nation-state because of this choices. Therefore it doesn’t matter if Greece were in the EU, off the coast of the UK or stuck somewhere between Alabama and Montana. Because of its choices, Greece is where it is today. More importantly it doesn’t matter who or what state bank leant money to whom. Greece would be where it is no matter where it was at the end of any train–considering how it has traversed the landscape. Btw, most of southern Europe is failing in the same way as Greece. Those countries too have chosen the Anglo-American greed $hitshow. Which begs the question: Is there enough space at the end of the shit-train for all these fcuking cabooses?

And now for the other school of greed.

Pause. Oh God. Brace Yourself. Here it comes.

Those fcuking Krauts.

The Germania school of greed is not about Germans of old. Can you imagine how things would be if they still wore those stupid, pointy helmets and everybody was named Gunter Leckmichamarsch? No. We’re dealing with new Germans here. And these new Germans got a few things up their slimy sleeves, don’t you know. That’s right. The slime is the one thing that was never defeated in any of those dumba$$ wars, don’t you know. In fact, most of northern Europe likes the slime that is in the German sleeve. Hence northern stoic Europe, compared to the lazy south, is doing just fine. With that in mind, what’s your favourite school of greed?

One shouldn’t look at the caboose to see how the $hitshow train is running. Also, Greece is too minuscule to use as an example of the failures of capitalism. The fact that old Greeks have hoarded everything and thereby practically choked the country to death doesn’t make it an example of what or what not to do. It might just be better (easier) to focus more on human nature–which transcends all of the above–even Comrade Wolff. Again: economics is not science.

Then again, Greece is a good example for something else. Capitalism is nature’s best system for dealing with greed. For Comrade Wolff and so many others like him, everything is easier to decipher when lumped together and thrown into one basket. I guess that’s why I prefer artsy over science (science being the basket). Even though I can sympathise with some of Comrade Wolff’s ranting and raving against capitalism–for I’ve given Marx’s Das Capital a glance or three–he doesn’t really offer any viable alternative other than what all others offer: scapegoating.

Anywho. As usual, I’m off subject. This was supposed to be a quick worst-post about Comrade Wolff’s book:

Capitalism’s Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global Economic Meltdown.

Wanting to understand Comrade Wolff’s POV regarding Greece was the reason I decided to give this book a read. (Un)fortunately this book only substantiates my belief that economics is a pseudo-science.

And so…

Is there an alternatives to the greed $hitshow (capitalism) we’re all living in today? If so, it’s not in this collection of essays. And. NO! Coops and workers taking over the system isn’t an alternative–which is mostly what Comrade Wolff proposes. If, on the other hand, you’re still kind of suffering from the duck-and-cover trauma of the 60s and 70s and hard-up on avoiding all things communist, then you don’t need to read this book. With that in mind, I’m gonna continue checking the Interwebnets for whatever Comrade Wolff has to offer. Who knows. If he keeps at it, he might figure out an alternative someday.

Good luck with that, Comrades.

Rant on.

-T


  1. I’m sure the first and second can be found somewhere at worstwriter.com ↩︎

When All Else Fails Just Put Some Butter On It

the founder poster

Subtitle: Pseudo-Review Of .99€ Movie Rental The Founder

Almost didn’t make it, dear worst-reader. If it would have come to pass, this would have been the second movie I rented on iTunes but never watched. Luckily I had a few days left when I hit the play button last night. By-the-buy, iTunes (Germany) gives you around 30 days to watch a movie once you hit that rent-button. Once you hit the play-button, you have forty-eight hours to watch your movie. What the other movie was that I rented but didn’t watch I can’t remember. Apple got .99€ from me all the same. But that’s all butter under the bridge. And speaking of bridges…

How does a blah-blah movie about an a$$hole end up being a mediocre film about the invention of fast-food? Oh wait. This movie isn’t about fast-food. This movie is about a shinning star of #americant business acumen. Right? (Sarcasm off.) Well, the one thing to keep in mind about this Harvey Weinstein production is, like a severe burn on the inside of your fingers, all you gotta do to help things be less excruciating is to put some butter on it. Butter makes everything better. Except in the fast food industry on account butter is too expensive to work with–almost like real milk was too expensive for Milkshakes (for a while).

The Founder is the story of how Ray Kroc screwed two guys out of a really interesting idear about how to feed a hungry nation of automatons–most of whom are only interested in not having to cook a meal. Other than avoiding the reality of showing the world how much of an a$$hole Kroc was, this movie actually spends the first twenty minutes making one feel good about the invention of fast-food. Oh, and if you’re so inclined and only have a few months left in your MBA studies at the University of Cocksuckers, this is one great film to watch if you need a case study that is about nothingness.

Although there are moments of reality regarding the a$$holery of the pyramidal franchise business which Kroc sucked up to, this movie gets lost between showing the real founders of fast-food magic and the cut throat reality of making more than a buck on someone else’s dime. So I guess, in a righteous universe where wrongs are outed, this movie could be called Watch Out For A$$holes Because You’re Living In A World Of Them. And with that in mind, here is worst-writer’s take on this movie in-short: there is no redeeming value in either the movie or what Ray Kroc achieved in his life. And if you want to know how to make a buck off subject matter with no redeeming value, ask Harvey Weinstein.

Rant on.

-T

PS The performances of the actors in this movie is outstanding. The writing though sucks batballs and the only thing that could have saved it is if worst-writer had written it.