Barrel of Fun

empty barrel
I know it’s an old oil barrel but go with me here…

Thoughts on Mitt Romney (You’ve been warned)

Go ahead. Look at the barrel. Well. Go ahead. It’s a barrel. Right? And get this. The barrel is empty. The barrel is rotten. But it wasn’t always so. Look at it again. There was a time when the barrel was full of beautiful, luscious, sweet and tart apples. Yes, once. In fact, there was probably a moment where apples were consumed and the barrels were cleaned and all was renewed and all was good. It didn’t matter if sometimes there were more red than green apples. Nor did it matter if sometimes there were way to many sweet apples. Everything was super-duper, double okay, golly gee. There was a time where barrels of apples were as beautiful and aplenty as the idear of free markets.

Indeed, there was once a market for barrels of apples. It was a dynamic market. But one day something happened. Yes,Centralized happened. It was as though The Invisible Hand reached in and changed everything and it did so in somewhat contrast to what Adam Smith originally intended (for that hand). This caused there to be something akin to tides where tides need not be. Being unnatural, inorganic, something out of nothing, barrels of apples (a natural resource that costs nothing to grow unless you decide to grow too many of them; not unlike oil) ceased to be aplenty.

One day a pristine barrel of apples was discovered by a new generation. True to human form, the barrel was hoarded for fear of the consequences of leaving such a precious thing to the whims of supply and demand, i.e. that which Das Volk believed in but also that which Centralized could not afford to tolerate. In order to maintain control, the heads of Centralized applied trickery that would go right over the heads of a dumb-downed voting constituency. Hence, fiat barrels of apples were suddenly everywhere. And Das Volk worshipped its these barrels as if they were demigods who controlled (red herring?) fractional banking (and/or oil). There were even Volk who could have more than one barrel through the magic of mortgage backed securities and other financially engineered money-miracles. (Oh, the prowess and creativity of bankers!) No one gave a second thought to the human apathy, mediocrity and mendacity that was behind all these false (fiat?) barrels of apples. And then the day arrived, true to human form, where there were once (fiat) barrels aplenty, there was now a margin call.

Pay up, give up or shut up, said Centralized. And Das Volk abided. Sure, they kept what was left of their precious and now sentimental barrels. To this day when they scrape the crud and grime, the residue of what’s left from the rot that they didn’t know was rotten from the inside of those barrels, they still refuse to question anything. They go about their business as if that business is actually their own. Little do they know that history will tell their story differently because it’s obvious that no one wants to rewrite this aspect of it. Not even Centralized cares if it’s retold. For there’s no profit to such telling. Yet it is entertaining to look back at it all as I do. For worstwriter has no sympathy for the dumb-downed. I just laugh at Das Volk as so many of them still scrape the sides of their barrels and gorge themselves on the rot in the name of all that they think is theirs. Praise be to the Deity Fiat, praise be to Centralized.

**

Today, dear worst-reader, we blog about the 2012 election year and choices at hand. Obviously, I’m not one to wax poetic when it comes to politics, but something compels (me). Wait. Maybe it’s better if I put it like this. Something need be introduced. As though all-things-worst could introduce anything. Hence the (thr)ills of having a blog that no one reads.

The thing I’m concerned about today is the fact that American’t cannot ween itself of all the remaining rot that is inside the luscious barrels of goodness, aka, barrels of apples that represented a time gone and a time never again attainable. That’s right. I have visions — and I used to have them more but they are waning as I age — where hoards of Das Volk, all dressed in grey sweat tops, huge jeans and sneakers with Wal-Mart labels still attached, go about their lives without a thought. Indeed. Ka-ching has been replaced with the approval jingle of a swipe of a credit card.

So here’s a thought for ya. Reading up on Mitt Romney and running across a bit of info about his father got them gerbils running inside that wheel in me head. Romney, a founder of a über-successful private equity investment company, is the son of one of the last CEOs of American Motors. You know, the company that gave us Gremlins and Pacers. The company that lost out when others were bailed out (Chrysler, GM). Now get this. What do you think George Romney could have passed on to his son Mitt from the vast experience of competing, not so much with the then Big Three car makers that were awaiting AM’s demise, but the rotting barrel of apple culture that was/is American’t? Well, here’s worst-writer’s o-pine-yun on that.

George Romney, in the days where he knew American Motors was doomed, must have said at one time or other to an impressionable Mitt, sometime in the late 60s or early 70s, the following: You cannot beat the system. And because of who we are you will not be able to be part of it. Not only will the emerging centralized economy rule and control everything but you will also never be able to get around the only way to make profits in America if you decide to go into business. America has lost its competitive advantage. In a centralized economy, without an advantage, a business can survive only by controlling costs. Period. Since the only way to control costs is if a business’s main activities are about the process of reducing labor expenditures to zero, the centralized economy will have to move its labor abroad. Now, my dear son, here’s what you do based on what you’re old man experienced when there were four American car companies. While the centralized economy is moving all labor abroad, that means there will be a swath of businesses on the economic brink because they think they can beat ‘em. They believe if they just hone in, focus, American’s will buy American (or something like that). Again, my young whipper-snapper, how do you make money in a centralized economy? That’s right. Very good. Get rid of the workers. Now. Go out there, see the world, do what our church requires, and then come back and by that time we’ll start something called a private equity company. You can buy up all the business that can’t compete against the centralized economy and sell off their assets. We’ll make billions. Maybe then they (Centralized) will accept us for who we (really) are. Are you ready, junior? That’s my boy.

**

Links:

 

Rant on.

-tgs-

PS centralized=controlled. I think. ;-)

 

Lions And Chick-Lit

The Lion Is In by Delia Ephron

This is (probably) my third foray into chick-lit. If it wasn’t for the wonders of my second foray into this genre, I never would have trusted Adam Curry after he interviewed Delia Ephron here. The thing is, I dated someone that read a lot of chick lit — and in my opinion too little romantic literature (yes, there’s a difference). Even though this chick and I had a few things in common, one of them was not the types of books we read. I loved reading plays, Gogol, Kafka and non-fiction about the ways of the world. She, on the other hand, had a wall full of detective novels, a few novels from best seller lists, Stephan King and an array of hard and soft backs with covers that portrayed what I thought were degrading images of males, including perfect wavy hair and pseudo latin-lover demeanor. Non the less, I was interested in this chick because she filled out a pair of jeans with a thin black leather belt, a pair of western boots and a white blouse absent of buttons from sternum to neckline like no other.

As in every relationship, the day finally came where I had to meet my then-girlfriend’s challenge to read one of her favorites books. (Btw, I never challenged her to read one of my books.) After that it was time to have one of them pre-foreplay sessions discussing the book. For most couples this “session” normally consisted of backgammon or trivial pursuit, drink a bottle of muscatel disguised as vintage red wine and when you’re lucky and entertaining enough and avoid hinting to the fact that your rod is stiffer than the hardback you’re reading — and you lose whatever game it is you’re playing — she’s wet enough to let you get on with unfolding all her book covers. Even though I can’t remember the name of my first chick-lit book I had to get thru it to get into her, and I vividly recall that it reminded me of all the negative and scary stuff that boys never learn (or should learn) about chicks and why/how to fear them whole heartily in the pursuit of all things carnal.

Seriously. For the life of me, I can’t remember the title to the first chick-lit book I ever read. But it did have a lot to do with the misnomer of romance, matching color schemes, the fear of never achieving the perfect first-time and kisses that last a few days. Beyond that, I do recall there being something interesting about it. There was a inner dialogue of the protagonist and the voice of that dialogue was interacting with a real-life best friend. This inner dialogue ended up admitting the protagonist was in love with the best friend’s husband to-be. Astonishing as it sounds, the inner dialogue eventually transferred to the girl-friend and with it she saw the light and gave up her fiancé because she realized true love wasn’t hers. Once the new and fresh couple were married in a blissful ceremony that same inner dialogue lead the girl-friend to a new fiancé and, of course, the next book in the series.

My second foray into chick-lit you can read about here. Allow me to say this about it. For one thing, I can remember its title: Feucthgebiet. Secondly, it is a magnificently disgusting über-modern piece of chick-lit that can and should break all molds. Oddly — or not — not everyone thought as I did about this book. While vacationing in Bali a fews years back, my girlfriend and I stumbled upon a German couple a few years older than we were. The subject of books came up and the woman we met had mentioned that she read Feucthgebiet and found it distasteful and horrible. In response, I went on a tirade about how getting old never makes one wiser unless that wisdom incorporates those who are younger. If it isn’t already,Feucthgebiet should be a milestone — if not for chick-lit, then for helping one generation understand another. (Or something like that.)

Today I finished my third book in this genre. And it was not easy-going, let me tell you. I immediately bought the Kindle version but then, suddenly, kept second guessing whether or not to read it. I delayed reading it for fear of falling into a trap of misconstrued feminine ideals known as love and romance — which we all have to live with these days. Am I the only one to say that the modern female has tyrannically occupied and distorted “love” and “romance” thanks to the industrial age and Disney and to the point of making the two almost irrelevant in the human game of procreation? I mean, seriously, I have a hard time dealing with the duality of females painting their toe-nails and presenting themselves “on a market” as though the whole western world was their auction house. Obviously men consuming this “image” of the female doesn’t help matters. But that isn’t the reason females should assume this path of objectivity. There is nothing worse than facing the pathos of this world where females are reared to believe that simply due to biology they have some patent on love. In my years of experience — including the pleasures I’ve had with the feminine — the idear of Love is probably the most misunderstood thing ever. At the least, ladies, Love is not a noun. And just like happiness, it too can be bought. Thank goodness!

 

“And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail.”  -Deuteronomy 28:13

 

Enough worst-nonsense.

Delia Ephron and the “The Lion is In” is brilliant. One of the things that make this book so good is Ephron and her ability to write. Even though there’s no big, deep story here, it doesn’t matter. There’s no need for a pinnacle or a romantic climax (no pun intended) and there’s barely any suspense. But the story development, the dialogue, the way the book is structured, makes it a well-honed, perfectly engineered device that serves a single purpose: Tell a wonderful and compelling story.

It took me a while, well beyond the first third of the book, to really get into it. Although at times I was bored and kept asking myself when this thing was gonna get started, as soon as the Lion was introduced, I was hitched. I didn’t know what to make of it. I kept asking myself: What the hell is a lion doing here? When Ephron wasn’t writing about the Lion I was motivated to read on in order to get back to him. After that the story began to unfold and I didn’t care about anything else. I needed to know what was going to happen to the king of the jungle and these wonderfully lost females that he was mystifying.

Great read.

Links:

 

Rant on.

-Tomas-