Miss Protest

new stasi agency NSAThe first protest I ever experienced in Eurowasteland goes back to circa 1986. Was visiting Germanian and happened across a demonstration. Not sure what they were demonstrating against but it really doesn’t matter. After that I found myself seeking out these protests more and more. Reason? What a great way to pick up armpit hairy Euro-chicks. I mean, seriously, I was overwhelmed with milky skinned Fraüleins who would put out at the snap of a confident finger and a male attitude that was opposite of the Germanin mutter-boys they usually had to deal with. No wonder so many girls lost their virginity to southern Euro boys, eh. Nomatter.

So, like, what are people protesting now? Ah, the NSA and the breeching of collective society privacy. Reading through this morns articles on the subject certainly brings back memories. Heck, even some of the girls still wear the same shit they wore a quarter century ago. And all that skin during summer protests is still so milky. The only real difference to so long ago is that now they shave them armpits. What a shame, eh. But I really need to move on.

armpit protestHere’s the thing. Why is it Germanins come out to protest when they hear that the NSA is spying on them but they don’t do it when their own government has been spying on them their whole lives? Or are Germanins naive enough to believe that their beloved Wohnmeldepflicht (compulsory residence registration) represents something more than just informing beloved Staat where they are getting laid? (Btw, I have seen the dossiers that follow individuals around in this country when they move from one place to another. For someone raised in America, it is a shocking sight.) And what about the way the state requires that Das Volk pay their taxes? Ever cross anyone’s mind that that too is a form of spying? But a more poignant example of how government has been spying on citizens is best found in the fallacy of digital copyright infringement. Why is it that for years certain venal lawyers were able to scam thousands of Germans for exorbitant amounts of cash by accessing their online activity, without permission, in search of “illegal” downloads? That’s right, baby. Private organisations, hell bent on profits and scorn, have vigorously cashed-out because they could easily spy on people who use the Interwebnets.

So here’s the thing protestors. The deal between the NSA and the Germanin government ain’t about you or your silly privacy. That information is already available because you are too preoccupied with a good-time and your fucking beer-halls and having finally figured out how to shave your armpits. But if you insist on protesting — because it fills the boredom — then why don’t you protest the real reason for the NSA. Which means you’ll be protesting against their spying on your corporations, your industry and the various institutions that make up the bureaucratic hell that is Eurowasteland which has given you the gift that keeps on giving: austerity and pacifism.

Protest mahlzeit, motherfucker!

Links:

Rant on.

-tgs-

Trickle Fail Up

capitalism_not_quite

Is it fail upwards or is it trickle upwards? You know, the question that best represents where we are today in this dog eat ice cream but enjoy yourself anyway world? Wait. Or. Should the question be another question? Perhaps we should resort, dear worst-reader, to questions better fit for the norm? That is, let’s rephrase the question so that one can walk around a WalMart and ask: If everybody is a hoarder and everything is hoarded, what now? (Btw, wouldn’t you agree that a WalMart store is the perfect setting for such a question? Of course you would.)

Cenk at TYT really gets into it in the vid below. He explains how the beloved predatory capital dog has been abusing its owner. He explains in fairly simple terms (probably not simple enough to take to a Walmart shopping floor) how aluminium, oil and copper, as commodities, are being hoarded in order to manipulate prices. Now. This isn’t really anything new. For those not in the know, this type of top-of-the-heep behaviour is exactly what lead to the Boston Tea Party. And there’s the problem I have with how Cenk is doing this. People watching him might actually believe that what he says is something new, as though he found this out on his own, or with his TYT team. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m glad TYT and Cenk are doing what they’re doing. Except for one very important thing. By only telling Das Volk about the robbers won’t change the ways of those who don’t think they are being robbed. (And get this: those who are ignorant to being robbed, don’t care. Why? They want to become robbers. Now pack that in your suitcase and use it to figure out why so many Americans vote conservative.) And that holds true even if American’ts could save a measly $10 dollars with every tank full of gas. I wonder at times if Cenk is aware that he’s preaching to the minority or majority blissfully ignorant choir?

Oh. And something worst-else. By explaining and thereby simplifying this level of complexity to an audience that probably only knows how to consume-to-survive, he focuses on the wrong thing. It’s not the activity of the power-that-be that is the sole problem. In fact, he is deliberately missing the root of the problem by doing that (otherwise he wouldn’t have an audience). So let’s return to the idear of hoarding. Hoarding is what predatory capitalism has to resort to now that the western world’s industrial base has been eroded to the point of no return. And the irony is, hoarding is exactly what every individual has to resort to in order to consume-to-survive. And it’s not just the material that is hoarded. People hoard their work-cubicles, their cars and gadgets, their extended commutes to jobs they have only because thousands of others can’t have a job. Etc., etc. And so. It’s not just aluminium, oil, copper, banks and governments that are hoarding. Everyone is doing it in every aspect of life. “It’s mine! Not Yours!” And it’s game over for the dream. So it’s time to wake up. Go thank your baby-boomer parents for that. Now come down off your high horse. Better yet. Pick something to report about that the WalMart crowd can change first cause untill krapp like that changes it remains game-over.

Links:

Vid:

Rant on.

-tgs-

Way To The 20th Century

Picasso At The Lapin Agile by Steve Martin

In the movie From Hell, starring Johnny Depp, there is a line by Jack The Ripper (played by Ian Holm). It goes something like this: Someday people will know that I am the one that brought the 20th century. Even though I love the movie,the story it is based on — with the idear that the murders committed by Jack The Ripper directly involved the British monarchy — is even better. Hence, it is an underrated film where a brilliant story and writing gets lost. Nomatter. The line regarding who brought us the 20th century has stuck with me ever since. It is one of those lines I will simply never get out of my head. Which is kinda strange. For one, I hate the 20th century. Secondly, what’s the big deal? The passage from the 19th to 20th just can’t be the passage to end all historic passages? I mean, come on. The 20th century is a time where thousands of years of human evolution combined to result in nothing more than destruction, hate and ugliness comparable only to a space-time anomaly where an ice cream maker is suddenly transported from the comfort of the first world to the malcontent of the 3rd world, let’s say right in the middle of the Amazon or the Sahara, just as he was about to provide an over-priced banana split to the richest child New York City greed could ever produce. And as history witnesses this phenomenon the audience gasps and screams: Aw, fuck the kid, what about the poor ice cream?

“A bar in Paris, 1904. One year later, Albert Einstein published the special theory of relativity. Three years later, Pablo Picasso painted Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.” -Mise en scené from Picasso at the Lapin Agile, by Steve Martin

Ok. That’s one way to worst-see things. Another is provided by Steve Martin. Of the people I grew up watching on the boob-tube, Steve Martin I remember well. I used to love watching him on SNL in the 70s. His film “The Jerk” is one of the greatest comedies ever made and for weeks after I first saw it (at a drive-in) I went around saying: I was born a poor black child. Many years later, when I first saw “Roxanne“, I thought to myself, how talented can one person be? Well, that’s the thing about talent. When you got it, you got it. King Tut aside. So spring forward to a visit to one of my favourite bookstores in the world. Whenever I was visiting San Francisco I would spend hours in the basement of this store combing through the play section. When this book fell into my hands I had no idear that Steve Martin wrote plays. The clerk laughed at my ignorance and put another book by Marin in my hands. At that moment I started to hate Martin. Without even reading a line of one of his friggin’ books, I hated him. It just ain’t fair that nature put so much talent into one man and leave the rest of us to wallow in worst. Oh well.

So I bought both Picasso at the Lapin Agile and other plays and Shopgirl. I read them in hours. Never before did I embark on reading something and before my mind processed the first words I knew it was going to be good. This stuff comes out of the talent of Steve Martin. And even though it makes no sense that I should make the comparison to From Hell, a story written by someone who is probably the antithesis of a über-talented American comedian, both writers tapped into the question: who gave us the 20th century?

Einstein: “I never thought the twentieth century would be handed to me so casually…” -Steve Martin from his play. 

Rant on.

Tom

Motown Blues

detroit vs greece

Joke: What does Greece have in common with Detroit? (Short pause. Think.) Well, that’s about all the joke I can remember. But then again, if you think about it, there really is something to laugh at when it comes to comparing Greece with Detroit. And be assured, these two should be compared. First, they’re both bankrupt. Second, believe it or not, Detroit, a dying city, still has an economy larger than Greece. And therein lies the missed punchline. But it’s too late for the joke now. Nomatter. The best laugh comes when Mr. Prez, vid below, throws-down about not letting Detroit go bankrupt. Remember those days? Of course those of us who think rationally know that there’s really very little that Prez can do to save what has already been done to Detroit and the rest of the American’t centralised economy that is now safely in the hands of greed mongers and hoarders. So at this point there’s really nothing left to be said about losing (y)our industrial base except, maybe, good luck suckers… or… just get rid of all the conservatives and replace them with something not conservative. (Now that’s a load to think about.)

Newz Links:

 

Rant on.

-tgs-

 

Alone With Company

One of Samuel Beckett’s last published works. “Company” is a fable. I always thought a fable has animals in it. In this fable there’s only “M” and “Hearer”. Oh, there’s a “W” in there somewhere, too. If that sounds a bit ambiguous, then go with what you’re hearing. Ambiguity and loneliness is really all that’s in this piece. Also. Worst-writer learned long ago, probably after reading Malone Dies, that actually paying attention to what goes on in Beckett’s work can easily send the mind astray. Just read the stuff.

For why or? Why in another dark or in the same? And whose voice asking this? Who asks, Whose voice asking this? And answers, His soever who devises it all. In the same dark as his creature or in another. For Company. -Company by Samuel Beckett

Still. I’m surprised at how hard it is to actually summarise what goes on this story. The reason for that is because this is what it would sound like:

Laying on back. Staring at sky. Almost bored. But alive. And you can go places although it doesn’t really matter where you go. And when you get there, a café or a pub or a john, just stare at the sky. But I already mentioned that.

Could not conceivably create while crawling in the same create dark as his creature. -Company by Samuel Beckett

I don’t know what else to say except it’s word sculpting from another dimension. And that’s grand.

Rant on.

Tomas

Anglo vs Germanin

Note 1: Post is incomplete, not very cohesive and w/out narrative. It’s worst than normal-worst. You’ve been warned. Good luck.

New & Improved Clans

I’ve been obsessing for a few years over of the idear that there’s a growing, alive & kicking chasm in the western world. This chasm is, in part, due to Das Volk’s inability to see impending demise. Obviously the euphoria of capitalism winning over communism has done more to blind eyes than the standard illusions and myths of the past. Add to that we are now living in Orwellian perpetual war and it’s no wonder a chasm the size of the Atlantic is forming. Ok. Maybe it’s only the size of the English channel. Nomatter. Here’s the thing: after so many years living abroad, worst-writer has finally come to terms with his advantage. I am an American’t living not by choice but by happenstance in Eurowasteland. It is exactly in this position that I am witness to the birth of a new era where geographical boundaries and political ideologies no longer determine the fate of Das Volk. Instead this era is a new & improved version of one from such a distant past that, historically and intellectually, it is beyond comprehension. For you see, it is commonplace these days to spew these words: we should learn from our past. And when Das Volk hear such words they immediately think of a new past such as the 20th century or, maybe, if a few have read a book or three then they might think of the 19th century. But guess what worst-writer is thinking of as he stares down from his pulpit above the Atlantic chasm? That’s right, you guessed it, I’m thinking of the 15th century. You with me? In order to not repeat the past we should all be thinking of the 15th century. Come on, let’s go.

Best Ever Made

Early to mid 1970s. It wasn’t a bad first job. I pumped gas at a local gas station. Heck, I even got to pump gas during version 2 of 1970s gas crisis. I worked at the only gas station on a northbound highway that connected rural and suburban hell with the big city, about an hour’s drive away north, which is also the capital of the united mistakes of Amerikan’t. Luckily the 2nd gas crisis ended faster than the first but all the terrapin soup had run out. And that’s neither here nor there. What was really cool about this first job was that the owner of the gas station was the only VW and Porsche specialist in the area. That meant I got to hang around a lot of interesting “foreign” cars. And once I proved my competence (I wasn’t a mechanic), I got to do basic tune-up stuff on all of those cars, which included oil, plug, filter changes, etc. The peeves of doing all this was that the shop owner and customers let me drive the cars. By the time I was seventeen I had driven Porsche 911’s, Speedster 356 replicas (yes, we built them) and the awfully-chilling and ravenous Karman Ghia. With all that naive and young-gun experience, worst-writer is confident in saying the following: The Porsche 911, before they decided to go the route of turning it into a “super car”, is simply the best all-around car ever made. If I had to pick a car to drive to the end of time, it would be an air-cooled 911. Of course, I am from humble beginnings, to say the least. Actually owning a 911 was (and still is) out of the question. And so. The engineers at VW had Das Volk like me in mind when they created the Porsche 914, aka the “VW Porsche” (which I actually couldn’t afford either). Mr. Lustgeier (pronounced “lust-gear”) loaned me his 914 VW Porsche once. So there you have it. 2nd best ain’t all that bad. But then Lustgeier died. Wait. He killed himself.

Dead Banker Cars

Since I can remember there are two types of Porsche owners beyond the ones that falsely made the “e” silent. One is the enthusiast. These were people that just loved the mystique of German auto engineering. The others were Suits. Mr. Afred Lustgeier was both. He was a big-whig at Riggs Bank in Washington, DC. He was also part owner in various local and interstate businesses. He owned several houses up and down the east coast and it was rumoured that he was looking to invest in a project that would put luxury houses on the Potamac River where people could then commute to Washington DC by boat. It was not actually known how many Porsches Mr. Lustgeier had but the shop I worked at serviced at least three of them that were stored at one of his houses nearest us, about a forty minute drive south.

Lustgeier’s gem was a brand new 911 Carrera Turbo that was painted in metallic sky-blue (it’s only fault, btw). Another was a grey 1969 Targa, grey being the perfect Germanin colour. But the one he “got a kick out of” was a yellow 914, aka VW Porsche. The latter two being the ones he kept nearby. One morning when he came in to pick up his tuned-up Targa he asked my boss if he could send someone to pick up his 914 to have it brought in and tuned-up. My boss offered that I do it and after a skeptical look or three Lustgeier agreed. I followed Lustgeier and his Carrera. When we arrived at his house he let me admire his new Carrera and then gave me the keys for the 914 to drive it back to the shop and he included the “door opener” for the gated community for when I would return the car.

Before I left Lustgeier tried to explain to me the odd gear placement of the 914. But I told him I was aware of it. After a quick pee in his house I started the Porsche and drove back to the shop. Two things stuck in my head during the drive. One was that Lustgeier’s house was completely empty. No furniture, no carpeting, no shelves, nothing. But there was toilet paper. The second thing was, since I had to pass through his house to get to the pisser, I noticed, through large sliding glass doors, his empty pool in the back yard. Well, it was empty of water. The pool was filled to the brim with what looked like everything that should have filled the house. In fact, after a short but intense glance, it looked like the entire innards of the house was in the pool, although I hadn’t been upstairs. I thought it all so strange that I didn’t bother to ask about it. Three days later I finally got the message that Lustgeier threw himself off the Potomac River Bridge and burned everything from the house in the pool, including the Targa. The Carrera was left on the bridge from the spot where he jumped.

Chasm

And so, worst-writer’s obsession with the Chasm is that it seems to be growing out of the negative energy and rage of reactionary politics, greed and too much sugar extract mixed with hydrocarbons and doused with recourse and even less attention. But more importantly the mist and dust from the mechanics and geology of this chasm, that which has hid it from the gluttonous red-eyes of most consume-to-survive mortals, is breaking away. The chasm is coming now to full view. That it resembles a vagina might prolong it being empirically studied but that’s neither here nor there. What’s more important is finding examples of where the chasm rears its wrinkly face-head.

As best I can tell, there was a situation brewing in the hedge fund markets out of London in 2007 that best exemplifies worst-writer’s idear of the chasm. At the time Eurowasteland’s largest auto maker, VW, was in dire straights and needed saving. Of course, German industry and business ain’t much different than any other business in the world. It too is run by a mafia-like codec and it is commonplace within such a system that winners and losers are clearly separated from owners except when winners win, at which time, owners get their fair cut and when losers abound, participants either cry foul or do as it’s always been done, leave it up to taxpayers. Say what you will about this system of mafia-like and centralised economics. For a country like Germany it seems to work well, especially when one considers that the German mafia is so much more efficient than the Italian one. Have I opened a can of worms there? Nomatter.

By 2008 the situation with VW had gotten so bad that hedge funders thought this might be an opportunity to break the hold of the German mafia on one of its blue-chip corporations and short the shit out of some stock. Aim was taken at financially strapped VW. The British, or, better put, the  Anglo hedge fund managers thought they could actually short a Germanin blue-chip stock. Enter the chasm. None of these hedge funders based in London ever bothered to take into consideration what they were actually dealing with. That they all completely missed a loophole in Germanin law that allowed a company to buy a stock with out making the purchase public didn’t seem to cross anyone’s mind. While hedge funders shorted, Porsche bought. I mean, hedge fund managers are supposed to be the most scrutinising and detail driven financial experts there are. Or?

Now. I can’t say that VW and Germanin investors planned this from the start but in the end what happened to VW and subsequently Porsche was all a result of the chasm between the Anglo way of doing things and the Germanin way of doing things. The question I often ask myself after a few too many beers in the right bar is this: would this same blunder on the part of the Anglos had happened if the investment was about an Italian company? Or Spanish company? You see, those countries have all in some way or other adopted the Anglo mindset when it comes to running their economies. The Germanin economy, for whatever reason not to be addressed here, has never adopted the Anglo way of doing things. Long story short. In the end the Germanins won the stock shorting battle of VW. Porsche had been secretly buying VW stock when hedge funders were trying to short it. Billions on the Anglo side of this trade was lost. Which means anyone invested with these hedge funders also lost.

 

Enter Adolf Merckle. A Germanin that chose the wrong side. He bet against his clan! (You see, I wanted to connect the “clan” thing more in this post.) He lost and threw himself under a train traveling the speed of a Porsche! Once the bets were being called Merckle had to come up with a really exuberant amount of cash to cover his bets. Even though he was supposedly a multi-billionaire, he chose to throw himself under a train instead. Or, like Lustgeier from his bridge, these guys simply got caught in the chasm.

Yeah, the chasm.

Or something like that.

-end-

Note 2:. Other less extensive, confused and chaotic posts about the subject of worst-writer’s obsession with the Anglo vs. Germanin are contained in this site. I was and have been trying to develop a narrative that employs two things. One is the idear that there is an Anglo mindset and a Germanin mindset. I also believe that these two mindsets are at war right now. But I haven’t found that narrative yet and this is one of my first attempts at writing it down. And if you’ve read any or all of this post then you probably know that already.

Some further reading on the VW/Porsche and hedge fund disaster… Oh. Wait! It was only a disaster if you’re Anglo. Nomatter.

Links:

 

Rant on.

Thomas

Consume To Survive Paradox

debt vs income

What is your claim to fame, dear worst-reader? Everyone has one, right? Worst-writer’s claim to fame is having lived most of the last twenty years debt free. And if all goes well, I will live the rest of my life debt-free. Seriously. Before this grand achievement I had a loan to finance some fun in the form of an Italian motorcycle. Paid that off in less than three years. Then there were the years where I wasted life paying off college loans. But paid them I did. By the time I was thirty-five I was debt-free. Has that registered yet? Wait. There’s more. My favourite method of payment for this consume-to-survive life is via a credit card. Sound contradictory? Not quite. I pay off my credit cards at the end of every month. I haven’t had a revolving credit card since leaving American’t for other shores, which goes back to 1989. Now. Get this. Even though I applaud the efforts of Elizabeth Warren, I was always against Bill Clinton signing The Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 in the first place. Which, btw, is what Warren should focus on. That republican/conservative driven legislation is what enabled big banks to consolidate their efforts and subsequently figure out how to finance a country lost in a spiral of debt. And we’re not just talking about credit card debt run-up by people who are clueless to the fact that when they charge a seven dollar cup of coffee and that amount only adds to their revolving account, which they never pay-off, someone, somewhere has to service the debt. Add that up with a population that truly believes it is entitled to credit in order to consume-to-survive… Well, the salad has been made and the salad days are longing. This mess, in my life time, has NEVER been addressed (even though I have addressed it). At the time, around 2000, I was very confused why Clinton did what he did. But since then it’s easy to see that he was a lost soul, not unlike the current Dem prez is a lost-er soul. The simple fact is, American’ts will never get it. We have fallen so far off the edge of reality and logic that there is no return–there is only the imaginary Phoenix that must some day rise from the ashes that is the inevitable crash and burn. Unless, of course, American’ts start politically growing some balls and get rid of all these dumb-ass conservatives that have been selling you/us all this grievance, belonging and sentiment which, according to the politicians elected into office, everyone seems to luv. So keep waving your flag and wearing red, white and blue and voting for these dumb-asses. That said. The reality is this: What banks have been doing other than paying out huge bonuses to useless purveyors of financial derivatives, credit default swaps and all other Wall Street trinkets, is keeping the country going. It’s true. And you should be thankful. Without the post 2007 radical consolidation of all banking assets, both from retail (your worthless deposits) and investment banks, the US economy would collapse in a matter of hours. There is and never was any other way of covering not just Wall Street’s ass but America’s ass than to use ALL retail banking deposits as collateral. The real joke, though, is that American’ts don’t even have enough deposits in banks to cover all the debt. That’s why Warrren’s effort doesn’t matter. The only solution is to pay off the debt and then figure out how the country can finally get back to generating income that has some real value. Good luck, suckers.

Newz Links:

 

Rant on.

-tgs-