“The only ones who can provide an identity to a nation are its enemies.” -Umberto Eco
A customer service rep is hired to retain customers (see link below). She or he is a retainer. Sounds kinda funny, eh? There is a job title like ‘corporate retainer’. Yet when I think about it I also think about Harvey Keitel as a Cleaner. I guess I’m in to opposites this morn. Been a long night. Our dog had major surgery so that he can (hopefully) stay in our lives a while longer. But I’m off topic. So let’s dig a bit deeper in the puzzle of corporate linguistics. Because that’s where we’re at, dear worst-reader. For example. “HR”. Human resource department. These people came up with the job title corporate retainer. You would think this department in a corporation is for managing employees. Well, I guess it is. But what it really does is manage the corporations ability to fire employees or not hire them at all. Sure. HR might see to it that it supplies you a desk and a pencil to do your work but that is only sub-category of its true intentions. So here’s the thing. The other day on some random podcast I heard a talking-head talk about the generation of corporatists now running the consume-to-survive freak-show that some refer to as American’t or Eurowasteland. The talking-head said that for the first time in history the generation managing and/or running corporations doesn’t earn the wealth they make but instead feel and believe that they are entitled to that wealth. Obviously, having seen first-hand how corporations function, I couldn’t agree more with this talking-head’s sentiments. But there is something else about the west’s entitlement culture. Where do these entitlement people come from? Who taught them what they know? And more importantly, how stupid are the people that work for them who believe that their “work” could perhaps get them into entitlement circles, as well? Ah. So many questions about everything that is worst. In the mean-time see link below for the best example yet of a corporate peon doing his best to do what he has been told to do by the entitlement generation of managers who run the show. Or something like that. Rant on.
“America’s dirty little secret is that for this small group of plugged-in bubble lords, the political system works fine not just without elections, but without any political input from any people at all outside Manhattan. In bubble economics, actual human beings have only a few legitimate roles: they’re either customers of the financial services industry (borrowers, investors, or depositors) or else they’re wage earners whose taxes are used to provide both implicit and explicit investment insurance for the big casino-banks pushing the bubble scam. People aren’t really needed for anything else in the Griftopia, but since Americans require the illusion of self-government, we have elections.” Source: Matt Taibbi, Griftopia. (More about this book here.)
First, dear worst-reader, why is jet-lag when traveling from west to east the worst? Is it because of the strange “-1” designation on my travel itinerary? PHL > FRA on Monday afternoon but you arrive in the wee-hours on Tuesday morn at destination. I think I crossed six time zones. I’ve been doing it for twenty-plus years. There is no getting used to it. Yet when I go the other direction the lag is never so bad. The Mayo Clinic provides a bit of knowledge on the subject. For example, I didn’t know that you need one day of recovery for every time-zone you pass through. Nomatter. What the doctors and scientists forget to mention in their study is the fact that worst-writer has made a grave error in his life of travel and boredom. That means my body rejects the west to east travel mode. My body yearns and lusts after the opposite. But we are all condemned to our fate, right, dear worst-reader? Yes. There is fate. She is a bitch. And she becomes mounted and secured in your life when you do her wrong. Jet-lag is indeed like a life that sucks or a wife that doesn’t. Nuff.
Three pics in this post today, dear worst-reader. Pics that all have to do with the worst-subject at hand. I just got back from a month-long stay in my grand united mistakes of American’t. I can’t tell you how much I already miss her. Her smells. He tastes. Her ignorance. Ah! Ignorance. A pungent taste that one is. It’s like when you first smoke. Nasty. But once you get used to it, the sensation of inhaling enthrals. Don’t it? That small gesture of sucking on a fag and pulling him beyond the gag reflex. It is nice once you get used to it. It’s the kicker that you need. Inhaling. At least that’s the way it was when I smoked. But it was the taste of the cigarette that finally gets you. Right? At certain moments in life nothing can match the taste of a Marlboro. Not even the rawness of Red Man or a pinch of Copenhagen can match it. Btw, you wanna quite smoking? Just put a little pinch of tobacco between cheek & gum. It sure helped me. Move on.
Back to the pics.
The first pic (above) I took while visiting the American dream that you can buy for a discounted $75 per person. We got Busch Gardens tickets with %25 off. Lucky, eh. It was the third time I visited the park with my son but I’ve been there numerous times in the past thirty years. This was probably the last for me, though. Indeed. It’s time to stop riding roller coasters. I’m fifty now and flabby and getting old and I can’t (don’t want to) take the jostling, the bumps, the twists and the g-forces of those über-fun rides. It’s really enough now. I’ll also miss the bonding with my sixteen year old. He loves the rides as much as I did. And. Boy! The park has changed. For one, it’s no longer owned by a beer maker. It’s now owned by a company that traps orcas in order to train them to live in a pool and hopefully not kill their trainers. It hasn’t changed in the way it looks though. But then again, America hasn’t changed much in that respect either. You have to get close to it to see the changes–to see the drama of the change. Yes. Like the service industry driven country slash nation-state that America is now. Remember that change? Well, maybe you don’t remember that change because, well, because things didn’t go well with the change. For you see, America has become a service country not by choice but instead by coercion. And. As with most things coerced, the change has gone horribly wrong.
Now that American production has taken a back seat to the so-called service industry over the past thirty years, you would think that the rewards of having so brilliantly made such a change would shine bright. Dullness is proving its value now, isn’t it? And a place like Busch Gardens is indeed a mecca for those who still believe in The Dream that used to be industrial America. Just pay what you need to pay upon entrance and you will be serviced to the hilt with rainbows, purple unicorns, the luscious lie of family that is nothing more than an entity waiting for you to break it and, of course, wait for the entertainment to overwhelm and whisk who and what you are away for a least a few hours. For real. Ain’t it great what the American service industry can do? Go to an entertainment park, a theme park, roller coaster heaven and you will be shown that there is no facade and never has been.
Some between-thoughts and interjections about the demise of home.
- I had to fill a bike tire with air during my recent USA visit. Luckily a gas station was nearby so I drove the bike there. Wow. Air cost money now. In fact, it cost seventy-five cents to put air in the tire of my bike. Why is it that I know, ever since becoming an expat twenty years ago, that gas stations have to resort to charging for air for bicyclists? Oh yeah, I know that because I haven’t had to fill a bike tire from a gas station in that long! It’s good to be reminded of change.
- The last time I was at a cinema in the US they charged me extra for butter in my popcorn. The service-person at the country even frowned when I requested that she fill half the bag with popcorn, butter it, and then do the same with the other half. She was very confused if my request meant that I was getting extra butter twice.
- There are now separate fast-lanes at amusement parks where customers can purchase a pass in order to get ahead of the crowd when boarding roller coasters and thereby avoid the longs lines. This is a way the greed mongers allow those with a little extra cash to get ahead of the crowd. Btw, the same applies to the huge parking lot of the park. Only if you pay extra for parking can you park near the front entrance. Otherwise you must take a hot and steamy bus to get to that entrance.
With the above examples in mind, let’s look at a few other ways that the greed-mongers will be able milk you in the future. For. Indeed. As American’t continues down its fail-upward path of putting the middle-class in its place–which it so deserves because only the middle class could politically chose the politics of its own demise–there are still endless ways to milk those who need to be milked and/or create much needed revenue streams to further the rich’s desire for the non-rich to remain stagnant and poor.
- Restaurants will start charging for amenities at your table e.g. salt & pepper, bread & butter, knives and forks and spoons, napkins, etc.
- How ’bout a few cents more for ice in your drink.
- You’ll have to start paying extra for the paper that your professor gives his tests on and don’t forget the extra charge for the ink he uses when grading your papers.
- Wal-Mart will charge you to use their shopping carts; they will also charge extra if they have to open another register because the lines are too long.
- When buying roses you must pay extra if you want the leaves to stay on.
- Wanna watch Netflix via your ISP? Just add another ten bucks to your monthly ISP bill, ditto for iTunes downloads.
- When flying you must pay extra for wearing two shoes, to have a tray in front of you, to turn on your seat light, to have a stewardess come see you, to eat the wonderful meals they prepare and, last but not least, to travel with luggage…
Hold on there, skippy. That last one. The bullet-point about the luggage? That’s already happening–especially with most US carriers. And if you want to know how airlines get away with what they do to customers, all you have to do is look at what America has done to itself by continuing to elect conservatives. But I suppose you get my drift without me imposing all my political worst-views at you, eh dear worst-reader. Still. America has literally gone to shit in a hand basket (unless you can pay so that you don’t have to carry the basket) and after spending a month there it’s easy to tell why and how this has happened. From watching TV to listening to one of those robo-calls my mother gets a dozen times a day. It’s unbelievable what is tolerated in a society who has replaced all meaning, belief and faith, culture and merit with $$$. $$$ = everything! And. A simple day outing to bond with my son on a few roller coaster rides revealed yet another angle of the true face of what’s become(ing) of my beloved American’t. Indeed. This is what happens when everything becomes a commodity. And before I forget. The second pic (above) is a postcard my mother received in her mailbox. It has my mother’s (correctly written) first name printed on it to make it look like someone wrote it by hand. It declares my mother’s house “ugly” and thinks she shouldn’t fix it but instead sell it. Wow, eh. With stuff like this going on there really is some truth to the idear that not only the American apple barrel is rotten but because there’s nothing left in it everybody who can is still trying to scrape scraps from it. Which brings me to pic #3 of this post.
While scanning the channels the night before I was due to return to Eurowasteland, I came across the movie They Live. How appropriate. A movie, not unlike the movie Dawn of the Dead–the one where most of the story takes place in a shopping mall, which is a symbol for the consumption that is turning people into zombies–They Live is about what happens to a country that allows itself to be enslaved. But that’s neither here nor there, eh American’t? It’s always good to see my childhood favourite wrastler Roddy Piper. Indeed, dear worst-reader. A wrastler tells the story of the demise of America. We are now officially a country where FAKE rules.
And before I return to my worst-daily routine of dreaming about being a writer. Here a clip from the Interwebnets where Bill Maher taps into my thoughts. Or is it I tapping into his? Nomatter.
Hailion. Hail plus heroin? Or is it lion plus hail? Hail the size of softballs stuffed with syringes, some broke. In one was the mane of King George, the local zoos forty-year old lion. Nomatter. It was all in a dream last night while I was walking the beach for the very last time. And that’s the thing about dreams, eh. You don’t pass in them. You just wake up in their nightmare. Or something like that. Rant on.
Day before embarkation. Or is it disembarkation? Why do I always get those two screwed up? Oh well. Leaving home tomorrow morn. It’s time to go back to my other home, the expat home, reality. I guess. I’m a man of homes. And. At least I don’t shed tears about it (anymore). That’s the great thing about tears–and about multiple homes. You really can shed enough of tears and they also can wear out and the same goes for homes. But that’s not what we wish to worst-blog about today, dear worst-reader. At least not the tear part. No. Today we’ll delve in the realm of the misguided. No. We’ll worst-write about the doomed. Wait. Ok. Let me just say it. I’ve been home for almost a month now. The longest trip here in a few years. And what amazes me most about it? Well. It’s time to say a worst-word or three about… the stupid. That’s right. I’m leaving on a jet plane tomorrow to head back to the land of the socialists and no one will wonder if I’ll miss the land of the stupid. Am I being cruel? Is honesty cruel? Nomatter. Here’s what happened.
My family owns a house at the beach. Family is old and so is the house. This is the place they incorrectly decided to retire to and by doing so forgot that retirement includes getting old and decrepit, which doesn’t mix well with an equally old house at the beach–and salty air. You know, the salt air effects everything. It gets in it. It gets over it. The Atlantic, the grand bitch I will love just a tick less than my Ms. Chesapeake–she is omnipotent. Did I mention that everything is old and rotting from sea salt? Did I mention that it feels like everyone at the beach is old and rotting, too? (Including moi!) Back to the house.
The house, of course, is the center of everything. Since curiosity kills cats and head of family, Mother, is very interested every time a house is sold in or around our salty beach neighborhood. She doesn’t know why, but she also is familiar with current economy and housing prices–comparing both to balloons when she means bubbles. And. Isn’t real-estate a kind of new & improved American past-time anyway? Everybody dabbles in it, right? You know, like they used to dabble in the American Dream. You know, like baseball but with the speculation of predatory capitalism at your throat. Indeed. It is. Which brings me to post-nine-eleven and the Supreme Court electing a president that, lo and behold, says: go shopping, buy a house, consume, credit, be happy. And if the old folk would have sold the house a few years after the war mongers made that claim… Wow. We would have made out like speculative bandits! Anywho. With all that nonsense in mind, it’s time to start waking up to the ramifications of salty-air, really bad politics and stupidity.
Roll the dice.
Long worst-story short.
New neighbors bought house next door for an alarming low price. And that’s that. But at least they are a funny and happy bunch. The patriarch of the family took a few moments to wake up to me but he eventually did. About ten years my senior, he’s a construction contractor and obviously knows his trade. His wife commanded, upon purchase of house, that minor things get done asap. Like replacing all doors inside. Also. Fixing up kitchen by throwing out shelves and cabinets from the seventies. Then there was the flooring. He replaced the ragged carpet and put in hard wood floors. He and his large family did it all in a weekend. Pretty impressive. And to think on top of all that he was able to let me know how he felt about… Wait for it. Obama. Which set some floodgates off in my head. I couldn’t tell if he was serious or not. His wife, the matriarch of the crew, said he actually likes Obama. But his government hate-jokes could mean he goes the other way. But it did seem like I might have finally met someone down here that actually likes Obama. Which was strange enough for me. I have yet to meet anyone down here that likes Obama. Of course I know why everyone dislikes him–but I’ve already mentioned that this post is about stupidity. So let’s try once again to move on from the sadness I feel because no one will reciprocate my attempts at getting some Obama fist-bumps.
I explained to new neighbor that I’m a traveler and I’ll be heading out in a few days only to return within the next six months. Then I tried a political joke of my own. I said:
Say, man, since you like Obama and this whole neighborhood hates him, what do you say we tally our resources and be the first on the street, when November 2016 comes around, to put up matching “Hillary” signs in our yard. All the nutbag republicans in the neighborhood will shit bricks. What do you say?
There was a long pause. He turned to his wife and tried to grin lazily. Then he turned back around to me with no grin.
You’re not… serious are you young fellow. You live in Germany, right? What do you call it? Eurowasteland. Well that’s cute. But that makes you a socialist now. And this is America. I was just joking.
Ok. So they took me for a ride. The matriarch likes Obama but the patriarch just downright hates everything–especially everything government. And at that point I had had about enough. I turned to him and said:
You know. Some one’s got to say this. But. Yeah. I live in socialized Eurowasteland. That’s why it’s a waste. But get one thing straight. You dipshit Americans need to seriously get your heads out of your ass. You’ve lived your life, a few years longer than I, on the backs of the future you are in now. And all you can do is hate government and the president. Well that’s just fine. Go ‘head. But you do realize, even if you say that I live in socialism, that that’s technically bullshit. America is officially the best run socialized nation-state at this very moment. But here’s the thing about that. It’s not socialized for you. You get that, Patriarch. You’ve been left out of the socialism for two reasons. One. You’re not rich. Otherwise you wouldn’t be living in a fixer-upper at the beach and making krappy jokes about your government. And. Two. The reason American socialism is better than all others is because THEY have figured out how to make it work for the rich. Socialism is for the rich. Now take that and smoke it in your next night out bitching about the government that you made.
There was a short pause. I had created a scene. Again. Yeah, it’s my thing. Worst-scenes. I may live abroad, I’m an expat, but I’m always looking, yearning from there to here and not the other way ’round. Always. And it was obvious that the females of our new neighbors were taken aback with my little worst-speech. To make things worse, I dug up a short smile and tried to Obama fist bump everybody but was left hanging. So be it.
Boy do they get this wrong. What’s especially wrong is utilizing a picture of the communist best gurl-friend turned capitalist-lover as an example of Eurowasteland equality. Germania is a patriarch society. Period. It is a boy-club and it means nothing that its political polit-büro leader is female. Having lived in anti-feminine Germania for the better part of twenty-plus years, I can say first hand that the country is no closer to gender equality than any other western country. It is as split, divided, partitioned and gender oriented as the best of them. The whole idear of “equality” is a joke at best and ery cynicism at least. But then again, I reckon showing a female world leader, who leads the best business-nation-state there is, is a good thing for some because it clouds the truth of how things really are. Don’t get me wrong here. Germania, compared to other business nation-states like the puritan US or submissive Japan, is pretty good at things like protecting a female’s right to choose or even enabling the over thirty-five crowd to be conscious of negative national birth rates. But put some teats in the office of Chancellor and it will never even be discussed whether or not a female can head Mercedes, Lufthansa, Deutsche Bank, etc., i.e. the only stuff that means anything in the business of business-nation-states. Nice try Salon. Rant on.
Naom Chomsky, a most distinguished intellectual and moral dissident, once wrote that the old motto about “speaking truth to power” is overrated. Power, as he points out, quite probably knows the truth already, and is mainly interested in suppressing or limiting or distorting it. -Christopher Hitchens, Letters To A Young Contrarian
Seriously. Hate to be a World Cup downer here. But I am worst-writer and not happy-writer. The article linked below starts with a reference (or is it a subtitle?) to ‘the bearable lightness of being’. I will worst-assume that the authors of the article for Spiegel International are playing around with the tried and true title The Unbearable Lightness of Being. But I could be wrong. Nomatter. Let’s go with this.
Germania won the World Cup–in case you’ve forgotten. And. When everything is great and everyone thinks it’s great, it usually isn’t–incase you’ve forgotten. And in this case, it’s ok… to have forgotten. Because there’s still room to have lots of fun. Eventually we all must get around the dilemma of frivolous happiness and joy and all-things run amok–but we can do that later–after we’ve all forgotten. So. Let’s dabble in literature, shall we? Let’s dabble so that we can better understand winning the World Cup and what that means for life, liberty and the pursuit of all things… Eurowasteland bourgeoisie.
In the book The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera explains the German word Schwer. It is a word, Kundera states, that means two things: heavy and difficult. Schwer is what Kundera’s protagonist Tomas must deal with thru-out the story which is set in 1968 Prague. Also, Schwer is both sides of a coin. It is the yin and yang, the salt and pepper, etc., of daily life of the story. Schwer is the trauma that Czechoslovakia has to deal with as it is engulfed in the Soviet machine that is the other side of the cold war (coin). Yes. No. Schwer. Heavy. Difficult. The lightness of being, dear worst-reader, is all about the intricacies of imposing a centralized, collective, authoritarian system on that which is meant to be light but doesn’t know that. Is that clear? But I digress.
The most chilling part of The Unbearable Lightness of Being are the people who, at their core, are the antecedent to the imposition they must face. Going about their daily lives, which is Schwer enough, they now must cope with a new brand of authority–a brutal and suppressing authority. Kundera’s characters are intellectuals–or at best they are thinkers. They are people that represent the other side of the two sides of Kundera’s coin. They are not worker-bees or automatons and they are most certainly not adherents of the antithesis of Soviet rule. Yet they are the story about that rule. One can only worst-ask about them: what do they mean? And so… If you haven’t, give Kundera’s masterpiece a read. Otherwise, skip the article below unless you would like to get a glimpse of Schwer in full blume, the flowers weeping, as the Germanins try to express themselves as Eurowasteland slash Germanin Champions. Or. Put another way. The Gemanins are now in a post World Cup 2014 state of mind and they are the third side of a coin. (I bet you weren’t expecting that one, eh, worst-reader?)
Indeed, dear worst-reader. The Germans won the World Cup. And they did so for the first time as a unified country. Unified NOT after the cold war but instead after the debacle of Eurowasteland reaching yet another pinnacle of top-down economic debauchery that can only be likened to its already well-read history, especially the part where Kings and Jacobins are beheaded. Germania also won the grand money exploiting tournament as a country that shines in all the gloominess that the west has imposed on the other stars of the blue and gold flag. You know, the stars that should be named austerity, recession, doom and deceit, etc. But why look at the stars, dear worst-reader? Why look at any truth that is far from the minds of the worker-bees and their guaranteed vacations, sick leave, pensions, procreation? For yes, the Automatons of Eurowasteland–at least the Automatons in the locomotive–are well and happy and besieged with the joy of championship. A well deserved championship–as I state here. Yes. No. Schwer. All is well schwarz rot gold. There is no Schwer anymore. Nuff.
How Good Can Life Get When Everything Else Crumbles Around You? | Spiegel International De
Meanwhile, farther up the literacy scale, many thousands of would-be writers display their tragically unrecognized wit and insight as movie critics, using mass distributed blogging software and mass produced computer hardware to illuminate mass distributed films (the prevailing assumption being that an audience, however small, is proof enough of authenticity and individuality.) -Deer Hunting For Jesus, Joe Bageant
With the above quote in mind, dear worst-reader, I saw the new Transformer (2014) movie last night. And to prepare for worst-writing something about it, I just googled “transformer girls”. Ok. I’m good now. Onward. What an awful movie. I mean it was really bad. How can someone like the guy staring in it even be called an actor? Just get anybody to wake up in the morn, give him/her this script and start filming. I’m afraid to even say his name. It was like watching a movie that was written and directed by a three year old who can program action scenes as though he just made them up in the room his nut-bag parents grounded him in. Unbelievable. But I paid so I guess I deserved it. Still. Hats off to the honest people who worked hard to make it–even the other actors who obviously gave all they have. I guess one or two Bay movies out of four ain’t bad. That’s right. Not afraid to admit it. I liked some of the other Transformers, especially the the first one.
Schadenfreude? Maybe. Read link to article below and the links it links to. I know that wishing ills to others has its payback. But I guess I’m willing to accept that consequence. At least in this case. What better example is there of the greater-than-though meritless workforce of my grand united mistakes than those who “work” at Microsoft? Having worked in the confusion of the silly dotcom boom of yesteryear, I experienced first hand how America turned “work” into compulsive behaviorism. Behemoths like Microsoft and not excluding IBM, Oracle, various major consulting firms (I worked for two of them), were all at the forefront of turning the clueless American workforce into the dip-shit machine they have become. How deserving. When I exited it all at the end of the 90s I wished it good riddance. I suppose, having been blinded and stunned at the ten-plus years of work that I had invested, I was also wishing it well–because I had found a way to get out. But then the years went by. I realized that it was my own poor judgement to quit. All I did was hurt myself. Obviously, today, I’m better off than if I would have stayed in it. And if I had to do it again I would probably do it almost the same. But still. All the Automatons that I left behind, all those semi-humans who never had an original creative thought in their lives–oh, how they hung on. They took loans to get “advanced” degrees. They listened to their bosses who got to where they are by playing musical chairs better than others. They churned with the currents and they did what all do. Propagate, get drunk, go for a jog or watch Ellen/Oprah/RealityTV. And then. They laughed and joked on their weekend pauses or dictated vacations. Unlike me, they rode it out to get to where we are now: massive stock market bubbles that enable companies to ONLY borrow money to pay their bills, the cost of living skyrockets to match the burden of quantitative easing that matches exuberant national, state and personal debt obligations, etc. Indeed. The west is literally annihilating itself, lead by American’t, and no one still participating in it sees a thing. Ha. Ha. Ha. I’m laughing. Oh well. Failing upwards has that effect. I guess. So it’s time for me to plan my Africa vacation. Yeah, baby. Jump ship if you can. Otherwise. Good luck suckers. Rant on.
Microsoft To Layoff 18,000 Automatons | Zerohedge.com
Will our Jacobians ever be defeated as the French ones were? -Gore Vidal, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace
Above a label from one of four bottles of “Lisini” 1998 that I have rotting in my kitchen. That’s right. They are rotting. Once they were magical bottles of wondrous wine. Then the reality set in. To remind me of what Italian stuck-up wine makers have done to something as simple as wine, these bottles will rot till I throw them away with their un-open content. To hell with ’em.
Not sure what it is. The wine-thing lingers around me. And to think I/we spent less than a decade playing with it. You know. Driving to Tuscany at least once a year to fill up our Audio A6 with various bottles directly from the makers. Then we’d transport them via Swizterland, paying appropriate tax at entry, reclaiming tax at exit, etc. I never thought that something like wine would get old, though. I guess the drive there from Germania was a bore. But that ain’t all. Sadly. Boy did it get old. And not just any kind of old. It got ornery old. I almost hate wine these days. That doesn’t mean I don’t nip at it once a once. It’s just that I’m so cynical toward wine, wine makers, wine distributors, it ain’t funny anymore. It’s sad. Being in America the last few weeks grinds my bolts even more. The wine is even more stupidly priced here than anywhere else. I still don’t mind wishing that all them greedy, snobby, stuck-up wine makers drown in the mess they created–because they have turned wine into a commodity, which means it is handled like a commodity and also means that greed rules everything about wine. More on all that nonsense here.
The other day worst-writer got a request from old friend that moved from Wash DC to the Philippines. He moved because, like so many, he was/is fed-up with home. He had sold his business, broke up with wife and realized that all that was left was… Well, what is left for the few and the non-greedy in American’t? Nomatter. He couldn’t wait to find a way out after doing the right thing for so long and getting nothing for it. You know. Just like so many other Americans have to do. It’s called paying for your parents greed or paying for Baby Boomer comfort. Or something like that. And so. Getting a masters degree in History at fifty in the Philippines sounds like a pretty cool idear. The best thing about it is that he can easily afford it and live abroad for a short stint. What a great way to clear the head, eh! Get all the shit of American’t out of you. Purge. Start anew. Anywho. Years ago I would bring a nice bottle or three of stuck-up Eurowasteland wine for us to enjoy. The gathering involved some good looking company and some dastardly conversation that lead to all things intellectual and titalating. Or maybe not. But. The wine was good. So. To my surprise he sent me brief request for info recently. About wine. Even though he’s up-to-date on my cynicism. Obviously he’s got some dastardly things in-mind for the Philippines. Good for him. Here our brief exchange–for worst-posterity’s sake.
Old Friend: Hey worst-wine-drinker, i know someone going to Italy. Want them to pick up a couple bottles of decent, but not expensive (15 euros max per bottle) wine. Any suggestions. Reds of course.
Worst-Moi: As far as wine is concerned and as far as my cynicism about it, especially Italian wine, you probably couldn’t go wrong if you got a Chianti Reserve or any reserve wine. In my cynical opinion Italian and probably French wine makers are in deep trouble because they really pokered their prices high in the first decade of 2000. I’m not even sure of the prices anymore. As you may recall, I gave up on Italian wine a while ago. But the good thing is, like all things greedy, things never change! You might be able to get a decent bottle of wine for $15. But I think you’ll have to spend more for anything even half-decent. The best wine that I remember from the days I bought there is Brunello-Lisini. But very expensive. Sangiovese–which is the main grape in Chianti–is also very good and better priced. Wines from Moltepulciano are well known for being strong and robust–we enjoyed them. When in Italy, though, we only drank the expensive stuff on special nights–you know, the titallating nights. We sought out good, basic wines that locals drank. But here’s the thing about them. You know how certain things taste better when you have them where they’re from? Well, that applies to worker-wine in Italy. It’s like Chesapeake blue crabs probably don’t taste right in the Rocky Mountains. If that makes any sense.
So what’s up with this? You’re in an exotic place in the pacific and you want Euro-wines? Nip whiskey, man. I’m sure you can get some good whiskey there. If you get a good bottle of Maker’s Mark and nip at it–don’t just drink it–it’ll last a while and probably taste better than wine. Whiskey is probably better with the weather/climate there too. Hope this helps and doesn’t confuse.
Good luck old friend.
Gotta hand it to the Krauts. Even wore an old t-shirt yesterday that read, in red on black with a hint of gold, ‘Let’s Go Krauts’. But the truly amazing thing about the win was how the Germans conducted themselves through out the tournament. It’s that thing that turns me off the most about foosball. You know, the drama-queen falling down, the whining and the begging gesticulations, the gurly freakshow that so many players, for what ever reason, learn from the get-go when they first step on the pitch as kids. I really despise that part of the game. And don’t get me wrong. The Germans do it, too. Schweini might have even set a record yesterday for most delays due to ‘falling down’. Indeed. Yet. One of those fallings was so legitimate that I almost gave up on the game completely. It was when Schweinsteiger was literally punched in the face by balled up Argentinian fist. The two players were going for a head-ball. The German was a bit ahead of the Argentinian. So the Argentinian winds up his fist in mid-air, desperately trying to hide what he’s about to do–and hide from the fact that he was the lesser man!–and… BAM! He punches the German right in the face. No. Wait. In America, where all sorts of whiny-gurl behavior on the pitch or the field, in all sports, is frowned upon and spotted by other athletes, he cold-cocked the German. (One of the many reasons Americans are skeptical of this sport.) I couldn’t believe what I just saw. “This game is so shitty,” I yelled at the TV screen. How can a player, in a match like this, where billions watch from around the world–especially young people that will play the sport in the near future–so blatantly display that level of poor sportsmanship? What’s worse, he GETS AWAY WITH IT! And most soccer fans don’t even think twice about it. The ref was standing right there, he saw the whole thing. And then I thought about how Brazil won against Columbia. What a dirty, filthy match that was. (And how I laughed at Brazil when they deservedly got slaughtered in the semi-finals because of how they chose to play.) When I think about all the matches I’ve seen where teams perform at this level–which is literally condoned by FIFA–it turns my stomach and is the reason I’ll always be skeptical of it. (Even though I love the fact that you can watch a match without commercial break for forty-five minutes!) And I’m serious about that. As much as the Americans make fun of soccer, calling it a communist sport, or an un-American sport, etc., non of that matters. What matters in sport, what I learned when I played sports, was that your behavior during play was as important as your performance. Unfortunately soccer, especially world-class soccer, doesn’t give a hoot about that. And that deserves heavy skepticism. The consolation is, even though the Germans fall down like gurly-men, too, their performance, their behavior on the field, compared to their worst opponents, was pretty damn good. For that I worst-commend them. Gut gespielt jungs! Hut ab.
Germany Captures Something. | The Wire
Germany Wins | Zerohedge.com
Trying but unable to find the outcome of the argument between Jefferson and Madison regarding whether or not the earth belonged also to the dead. For you see, dear worst-reader, according to one or both (founders) there is an advantage and a disadvantage to declaring the dead property owners. Gee, I wonder why. Rant on.
No greater cruelty will be devised than by those who are sure, or are assured, that they are doing good. -Christopher Hitchens, Arguably
Today’s prediction, dear worst-reader, has to do with the extinct Germania snow leopard, spies and Germany finally stepping up to face the worldly role it has so gallantly been avoiding for the past twenty years. The Germania snow leopard was an animal that for a brief time in its history stalked the grounds between Kölnia and Düsseldorfia. This animal was used and abused by the Plebija–an elite group of assassin slash custom agents working for various corrupt customs officials–as a means of controlling the Rhine River. A very small cat-like creature, it was hidden in the dresses of desirable daughters so that when custom officials would demand a peek at what is hidden in those dresses, the docile animal, that sleeps nomatter what goes on around it, would cause such a shriek by the corrupt customs agent, that the daughter would be let go immediately–and most importantly she would be let go unchecked. It is rumored that some of the agents tried to question contents of well-off Germania girls but the issue was eventually let go because most of the officials were beheaded with a crude prototype guillotine-like device that would eventually find its glory in other revolutionary activity in Eurowasteland pre-twentieth century pre-world-wars. Which brings me to the (un)joke of this post. I, dear worst-reader, sincerely do get a kick out of what’s been going on between my beloved American’t and my host expat country Germania. You know, the silly spying thing. For you see, there is a well-endowed paranoia in Germania these days. Where that paranoia comes from can be seen with any brief look into recent Germania history. So I won’t bother with that here. Just let it be worst-said, spying in modern-day Germania is something not to be frowned upon. That is, it is taken very seriously. So serious, in fact, that spying is one of the unspoken laws of the guttural nation state and practical annexed business center for The West. In fact, spying is required by all Germanin citizens that have a soluble bank account. I mean. Come on. If Germanins couldn’t spy on one another where would the country be today? At the least, where would lawyers and government bureaucrats be today? Without every Germanin telling on other Germanins the society would be torn to shreds within seconds, resorting back to its hedonistic, neanderthal founding. Hence the old saying, In Deutschland ist jeder Deutsche ein Polizist aber gibts nicht weiter. But. Please. Allow me to get on to my prediction of the day. I predict, dear worst-reader, according to the public display of Germanias so-called elected officials, all of whom are trying to save face or be exposed as the puppets of American’t that they all are, will utilize the current “spy” scandals as a means to grant Edward Snowden asylum in the near future. The Germanins, again, trying to save face because it has come to light that all they do and say is being watched and recorded, will require not only that all American’t CIA spies leave but that America garantee Snowden that when he arrives in Berlin it will not be required to extradite him. For you see, here is the part where Germania tries to step-up and face its worldly responsibilities. Germania has its own spying problem which is best understood if one can understand the implications of incest on biology. The spying that makes Germania exist has to thin-out (or is it thick-up) its weakened blood supply. It needs ingenuity in its spying. It needs new spying blood. Snowden would be perfect for that. So. What do you say to that for a prediction? Nicht schlecht, na Schatz. Rant on.
Expulsion of Top Spy | DW English News
Wake Up Washington | DW English News
Germans Offer Olive Branch | DW English News
Comparisons. Compare on a daily basis living between countries. What a bore. What a drag. But sometimes a comparison or three is worth it. Especially when I’m visiting “home”. Like. Reading the articles below, for example. Couldn’t help but think about all the times I’ve walked around Germaninland in the middle of night only to see the same empty (and dark) apartments that I would see during the day whenever I had to search for a new rental. You know. Renting in Germania is a bitch. Seriously. For one thing, no matter what anyone tells you about how that country is doing, it’s all bullshit. Their accounting books are managed the same way as any other country’s accounting books. Which means it’s all a mess and the only thing government does there is manage the whims of the elite. But things have changed somewhat for worst-moi as my better-half decided it is time to BUY a house–I guess she had rented enough. So we started looking about three years ago. And you know the difference between buying a house and renting an apartment in Germania? There is no difference. Like apartments, real-estate (and everything else) is hoarded. And it’s all hoarded to favor a small group of investors which also protects the government from complete collapse. If there is any difference in real-estate acquisition between my beloved American’t and snobby Germania, the Germania government does serve the collective a tick better. That is, there are laws that only allow so-much exploitation of renters. Wow, eh. Nomatter. The articles below made me laugh at the authors of them. What do American’ts expect when an apartment in NYC goes for ninety million dollars? Do they expect this not to happen? Do they expect this apartment to not sell to a rich foreigner? Jesus H Tiddly Winks! And I thought I was the only one out there in the blogosphere to write shit about all that’s krapp. Double wow. Rant on.
Introducing Ghost Skycrapers | Zerohedge.com
Stash Pad | New York Magazine
According to some research, the projection of one’s negative qualities onto others is a common process in everyday life. However, the belief that psychological projection includes the denial of any of the perceived negative qualities in oneself is challenged by research, and the concept may need to be revised. -Psychological Projection, from the Wiki
Yes. It’s true. Banks are really concerned about your welfare. They care about you. They care about you as much as any corporate institution can care. Most importantly bank institutions care about you so much they will go to great lengths to make sure you and their money is ok. And for that we should be thankful. Down on our knees thankful. Unless, of course, banks decide to freeze your credit card for dubious reasons that only seem to benefit them and not necessarily benefit their customers. Which brings me to the following worst-rant.
One of my two credit cards was frozen today. I’m traveling far away from Eurowasteland and don’t you just hate it when some bimbo working behind a retail counter yells: yer cahrd’s bean de-nyed, sir. Yeah, that’s irritating. So you go home and start the tumultuous task of figuring out why, when you are liquid, when you don’t have any debt whatsoever, the powers-that-be at mastercard freeze your life. And you know what they told me? Don’t bother putting on your worst-thinking-cap for this one, dear worst-reader. Here we go.
Customer Service Rep: Thank you for calling today, sir. (Short pause after answering obligatory account questions.) Well, sir. Our records show that you might (customer service rep italics) have made a purchase in Canada today.
Worst-Moi: I’m on the eastern shore of MD. I just tried to use my card to pay for dinner and I may have forgotten to leave a tip.
Customer Service Rep: Oh, yes, sir. I can see that here. Yes. We froze your card just prior to that purchase attempt.
Worst-Moi: But why? Do you know how embarrassing it is to have your card denied in a public place like that? Before that my card was denied at a retail store, too.
Customer Service Rep: Our records show that perhaps someone was trying to access your card in Canada last night. Were you in Canada last night?
Worst-Moi: In Canada? Last night? Gee, let me think… No.
Customer Service Rep: Have you given a copy of your card to someone that might be in Canada?
Customer Service Rep: Yes, sir. Our records show that someone at Target Canada has charged approximately five hundred euros on your card.
Worst-Moi: Well take it off. I’m not in Canada. And I don’t shop at Target.
Customer Service Rep: Yes. I can see on caller I.D. that you’re not at this moment in Canada.
Worst-Moi: Well. Take the charge off. I’m not authorizing it.
Customer Service Rep: You have thirty days to revoke the charge. Shall I transfer you to a representative to revoke the charge?
Worst-Moi: What? Yes. Of course. Wait!
Customer Service Rep: Yes, sir.
Worst-Moi: Will I then be able to use my card again?
Customer Service Rep: The card has been frozen sir. We will have to send you another card.
Worst-Moi: Can you send it to me here?
Customer Service Rep: We will send it to your registered address, sir.
Worst-Moi: That’s three thousand miles away. I won’t be there for another two weeks.
Customer Service Rep: If you require, sir. I can unfreeze your card for approximately two hours. That way you can close any hotel costs that you may have.
Worst-Moi: So you know I’m traveling?
Customer Service Rep: Yes. It would seem that way.
Worst-Moi: You also know I’m not in Canada.
Customer Service Rep: It would seem that way, sir.
Worst-Moi: Then you also know that I’m not in a hotel. For your records, I’m staying at my mothers house. You can send the new card to me here.
Customer Service Rep: You card is registered at one address, sir. That address is not in the United States.
Worst-Moi: So you know I’m not in Canada. Well, then. Don’t allow anymore charges from Canada. I won’t be going there. Then unfreeze the card for me now or send me a new one to the address that I can provide you.
Customer Service Rep: I’m sorry, sir, but we are not authorized to be told what to do by you.
Worst-Moi: So I’m stuck with a frozen card?
Customer Service Rep: Do you have another form of payment, sir?
Worst-Moi: That’s none of your business.
Customer Service Rep: That’s the second anti-authoritarian thing you’ve said to me today. You do realize that this call is being recorded, don’t you?
Worst-Moi: Oh my fucking god. You are a nazi.
Customer Service Rep. Yes, sir. It would seem I am. And I think it time for you and others like you to wake up to the reality of who owns you. The credit card problem is a chronic problem but it also the least of your worries. Do you have another form of payment?
Worst-Moi: (Pause. Speechless and beaten-down.) Yes. I… have… another…
Customer Service Rep: When you get back to Germany, sir. Give us a call and we will see to it that the Canadian charge is removed and we will send you a new card.
Worst-Moi: So you can just remove the Canadian charge at any time? Does that Canadian charge actually even exist? Or does your institution just not like my purchasing behavior–and you’re trying to put a stop to it? You know that there has never been a problem with my liquidity. You can see that on your terminal right now. Nor has there ever been any issue regarding my credit worthiness. I think you have an ulterior motive for….
Customer Service Rep: Sir. I will take your response as an affirmation of our discussion, sir. And. I think we’ve all had about enough of your sassy lip. Have a good day, sir.
Customer Service Rep: Yes. Sir. Can I be of further assistance?
Worst-Moi: Can you tell me who or what tried to charge on my card in Canada?
Customer Service Rep: No, sir. That’s none of your business. Transactions on this card are our business. Our business alone. It is our money you are spending. Understood?
Worst-Moi: (Speechless again.) Um…
Customer Service Rep: Have a nice day, sir. And allow me to remind you. If you require the use of the card for closing a hotel bill then let me know the exact time and I will unfreeze your card for approximately two hours. Do you understand? We are here to help not hinder. But you must play our way. Good day, sir.
Worst-Moi: Yes. Achtung. Thank you for allowing me to live in your world.
Customer Service Rep: Now that’s the spirit. Have a nice day.
For those interested in understanding how a credit card can be frozen just google the issue. Here a summary of what I’ve found so far. These things are what banks use to real-time evaluate whether or not they will allow your credit card to function. With that in mind. Watch out for…
- out of ordinary spending behavior
- change in purchasing behavior
- your location
- buying cash
- stuff you might sell
- buying in a bad part of town
- test purchase
The test purchase is kinda unique because it’s the first indicator that your card has been stolen. The rest are just things that a bank can watch. I’m sure they use some kind of computer algorithm to sift through transactions.
In my case, my card wasn’t stolen. But I had been swiping it, giving it to various retail clerks, waitresses and bartenders, etc., daily for more than two weeks. This is probably the first time in a long time that I’ve used it in the States for more than two weeks–usually my visits here are max fourteen days. According to the service rep, though, the bank thought that my card was copied. I have no idear what that means. But I’m assuming it has to do with swiping. But none of that matters. Here’s what I worst-think as to why the bank froze my card.
The bank noticed my unusual behavior and decided to freeze my card–just in case. What unusual behavior, you ask. Well. My travels consist of visiting PA, DE, MD, VA and DC. I usually pay for everything with a mastercard, unless I feel like paying with cash. I rarely feel like paying with cash. But I suppose all of that isn’t unusual. What could be unusual though is that in a span of three days I visited several gun shops and gun ranges–but only in MD. I also bought stuffed animals and I think the bank algorithms that analyze purchase behavior showed that people visiting gun ranges and buying stuffed animals for target practice is questionable. But why would a German bank (where my mastercard is issued) be interested in that? Oh wait. Maybe the Germans were more interested in the fact that I was spending so many Euros from Eurowasteland. Wha…? Nomatter.
All in all, this is really stupid. I get the issue that last year the retailer Target had its data systems compromised and credit card information was stolen. But you would think that would not prohibit mastercard from putting two and two together. You know, the fact that I’m not in Canada and why would anyone “copy” his or her credit card and give it to someone else. (Not that others haven’t done that.) The other issue is, I pay off my credit card every month. I have never had financial troubles–in my whole life–because I have ALWAYS lived within my means. With the advances made with securing cards these days–with chips on them, multiple pins, magnetic strips, etc.–you’d think that they finally had their shit together with at least being able to judge a questionable situation. I mean, for probably two, three, four decades, banks have profited billions by just issuing cards to suckers. Thank goodness I’ve never been one of them. Or am I? Nuff.
PS Although this post is a bit exaggerated, it really did happen. And even though I’ve vented some of my anger worst-writing about it–I’m still royally pissed. Oh well.
It’s one of them dreary, rainy beach mornings. The rain kept me awake all night. On and off. When it just rains it’s great. You know, that soul searching trickle that seems to calm and subdue. But blasts of rain here and there? No fun. Until morn when mother wants her pancakes. I grab her daily paper in a soaked plastic bag and wonder once again why I can’t get her to unsubscribe to a newspaper since I got her an iPad. With lungs full of ninety-nine-percent humidity air I head back into the kitchen. I whip up some home-made batter, hiding from Mom. Have to home make it without mother seeing. She usually puts a box of whatever pancake mix by a stainless steel bowl and expects me, a man of the kitchen, to adhere to the strict directions on the back–except adding an extra egg because that’s the way she likes it. I stopped making pancakes out of box at least ten years ago. Other than visiting mother, I stopped eating them, too. My bowels have thanked me ever since. But. When in Rome… you better do what mother says. After throwing in a few blue-berries that look like they were picked long before their time, they whistled in the searing pan, their blue blemishes the pancake. I gave mother three pancakes and then two for me. She didn’t complain. But suddenly my pancakes were covered in fake syrup. How did that get there! While grabbing myself an orange juice, turning my back to reach in the fridge, my mother managed to pour a thick layer of fake pancake syrup over mine. Mother!, I said. I hate it when you do that! But there I was. Pancakes that I hadn’t eaten in at least three years were soaked in sugar-gook and I had to eat them. So I did. And while doing so I looked around as the fake sugar sauce oozed between my teeth and tongue and I struggled to get it down. It was all ruined. But. Hey. One of the blue-berries actually tasted like a blue-berry. Praise the pancake gods of yesteryear. Praise the blue-berry god, too. And then I noticed the syrup bottle my Mom used. I was staring at the back of it and this thought crossed my mind: It is finally the end of the beginning of the Interwebnets. See pic above. What does pic mean? Well. Obviously. Facebook has something going on with one of America’s fake syrup companies. Good for them, eh. But here’s the thing. What happened to social networking? Did the same thing that happened to the Interwebnets happen to social networking. Of course, as worst-writer, I was always skeptical of social networking. Where could this stuff go? Thank goodness that Twitter has turned out half-way ok–but the book is still out on that. The book is closed on Facebook. This technology (which ultimately is everything that AOL couldn’t be) has transcended the world of bullshit galore. And to think that it could have been something worthwhile. It could have been a platform where users, “friends”, could have complained and ranted about corporations and government and the idiosyncrasies of our fail-upward world. But no. The Zuck has found a way to turn it all into a platform for commercial promotion. Good for him, eh. Still the same for the rest of us. Yeah. Life sucks. And so too does fake pancake syrup. I guess.
Found my (worst)self at a community meeting yesterday where a solar project was being presented to members. Living in Germany gave me a bit of an advantage, since that country is somewhat ahead in utilizing the sun for power–even though the friggin sun rarely shines there. What astonished me about this meeting was how the audience, mostly retired folk, I was the youngest there (at 50), were so skeptical about solar power. It was clear in the eyes of the representatives from the solar company that they had faced this level of skepticism before. Hats off to them for holding their own and countering so much skepticism. Yet there was one elderly gentleman that stood out. He was pushing 70 and a typical retiree of the area. He was trying to convince the community members that they should be skeptical of solar because–get this!–America is currently in an energy surplus boom. The country is actually starting to export energy, he said. Why should we invest in something that is mostly promoted via tax incentives, he continued. Needless to say I was astonished but not surprised. But the old man did get me with one thing. He actually added that we should all support fracking because that was where most of America’s surplus energy would come from. Wow.
No. Seriously. Who is criticizing Amazon? Could the critics be those who are in favor of the old economy artificially and coercively maintaining the status-quo in the publishing world? Ok. Let’s face the music here. I for one am tickled to now be a regular buyer of e-books. It’s been three years since I’ve bought a physical book–and I never read more than I do now. So. Is Amazon abusing its power by subverting (or trying to subvert) a brick-n-mortar publisher? I suppose if it were abusing power and thereby NOT paying “royalties” to all the unknown and rejected writers that it has brought to the limelight by giving them a platform to publish on then maybe I could empathize with this whole ordeal. In fact, my only worst-complaint is that there isn’t enough competition to Amazon. Rant on, baby.
Bezos Offers Authors A Bribe | Salon.com
Where does the buck stop? Does it stop with the lie or with a truth? Or does it stop when both lie and truth are made to merge? Enter Christopher Hitchens. The grand debunker of lies and grandest debunker of truths dictated by religious nut-bags (which are ultimately lies). What is it that makes me so happy having read The Hitch? Is it the ammunition he’s given me? Is it the heads-up on my America–where he has a unique perspective based on his birth and education from the staunchness of Britain? Nomatter. The thing is. I haven’t read everything by Hitchens, but five of his books are on my shelf. The Hitch, my man. What a writer, what a journalist, what a critic, what a speaker–what a hot-damn thinker! And when he went off on the lies of Jerry Falwell, I loved him for it–especially after Falwell, as Hitch puts it, dropped dead with a grand belch and fell right over his desk in his office where he concocted so many lies and took advantage of so many inept Americans. I mean, is there a better choice to ridicule and spot than any of the money-hungry religious nut-bags that have first-hand partaken in the ruin of America at the beginning of the twenty-first century? Just search youtube for Hitchens and Falwell and you too can get a luscious ear full of The Hitch taking apart not only Falwell but all the nut-bag money-hungry religious followers–and he takes care of most other zealous political conservatives, as well. But I suppose, as usual, I’m off subject. For I only want to worst-link to an article that was initially written in 2013 that I stopped reading because it was the wrong angle. I finally broke down and read in full this morn. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps out of boredom–it’s a rainy day at the beach. Anywho. It is indeed an essay. It is also a grand attempt to nullify, or is it, justify, ridiculing The Hitch. Obviously the author doesn’t like The Hitch. And that’s ok. He even does a pretty good job of holding his own when it comes to breaking down–or is it breaking-up–Hitchens’ idears regarding all the lies of the bible (&Co.). And then there’s the idear that he does to Hitchens what Hitchens did to others, especially Falwell. Ridicule them after they die. Oh well. If you can’t be original then I suppose it’s best to copy others. Speaking of others. Or other than that. This article is useless if you are a skeptic and wish to expand your skeptic mind. If, on the other hand, you want to follow the crowd, then go for it. And have a laugh or three at The Hitch’s death while you’re at it. I’m sure, unlike the disgust of people like Falwell, who will whisk his magic wand from his pulpit out of spite (if you believe in that sort of thing), The Hitch will just laugh with you.
When actors look at themselves you know they are acting for only one person more than their audience. Or something like that.