The Fruits Of Plunder And Atrocity

the act of killing coverIt’s been about a month since I watched The Act Of Killing (iTunes rental). I watched the regular version of the film even though the director’s cut was offered, as well. According to the film’s promoters I should have watched the director’s cut. No duh! I just have this thing about downloading stuff; call me a minimalist. I will always prefer a two hour version over a three hour version. Time is money, you know. Nomatter. Here’s the the thing to keep in mind about worst-moi watching this film. Since watching it I’ve had trouble sleeping, found myself searching youtube for videos about Hitler’s drug addiction, and I even spent a few hours trying to figure out how meth is made in case I have to live in a dungeon-like basement during the period of the world’s end. That said… It took me a few weeks to figure out what exactly was so stirring about this movie. So let’s try to go there, shall we. Figure this out, I mean.

“The fruits of plunder and atrocity.” -Joshua Oppenheimer (see this vid > ca. 3:45)

After watching The Act of Killing I spent days completely immersed in it. I was, indeed, preoccupied. And not just because I couldn’t believe what I watched. I mean. I had heard of the film when it first came out. That part of the media does trickle down to me. You know. Headlines (on websites). Film festival accolades. (Heck! This film even has a separate wiki page for its accolades). But. As usual. It takes time for such works to actually get to me. Not only have I cut myself off from media reception by traditional means but I also don’t go to the cinema anymore and, for all practical purposes, I avoid humanity as much as possible. Except, maybe, through some social media venues–but even then I only frequent those places when I have questions that need answering or an itch that needs tickling. And so. Bored out of my mind and tired of flicking and clicking through the Interwebnets I came by The Act of Killing where I said: It’s time to watch it. I went ahead and booked the few dollars for it and within minutes I got a notice from iTunes: “your video is now ready for viewing.” Btw, I was glad to also get a notice from iTunes twenty-four hours after watching this movie that it was being deleted.

Viewing indeed! This film is almost unbelievable. Reason? It is a documentary, I think. It also a film about a film–that is being made. Stop. Wait. Let me try that again. This documentary is a story of how one makes a film about how killers, when given the change to make a film, make a film about their killings. No. Wait. One more time. This film is a piece of art that depicts killers and murderers who are asked to make a film about being…. Full stop. It is just a documentary with a very unique twist. It is about murder and mayhem, absolute ignorance and dumbfounded-ness, and the viewer is engulfed in an almost fairytale untale about inhumanity. And when it’s over all I could think about was… Hitler was a pretty heavy drug user, especially meth; fascism rose out of the red menace; great, now I can’t sleep; could I actually make meth?

I also think about this (now that I’ve gotten over the initial trauma of the film): the barbarous acts undertaken in Indonesia in the mid-’60s can be justifiable. Seriously. The killing of hundreds of thousands (millions!) of people–which lies in the hatred of the red menace–is justifiable in the minds of those who rule Indonesia. With the backing of the US government, the oligarchy of Indonesia relied on a brainwashed group of thugs and gangsters–who idealised American films about gangsters and thugs–to thwart any red menace threat to the ruling elite. Of course, the US did the same thing in South America and other parts of south east Asia. The difference to Indonesia, though, was that a small paramilitary force was let loose on the population–and that force acted like a pack of wild dogs.

Which brings me ’round to the following chain of events that took place in my mind’s eye after watching this documentary. The chain of events goes something like this: violence and cruelty > fascism wins > Adolf Hitler was a meth nut > the US must save the world from the red menace, etc. Like any movie that scares the beejeebees out of me, it takes time to get that movie out of my head. After about four weeks I was able to thwart the fears of thug killers in distant lands justifying their behaviour. Dry heaves n’all. Yet there is a weighted irony about what Indonesia went through then and what we all are forced to go through now. Indeed. The timeless tentacles of fascism are long and arduous. And those tentacles have fingers and ears and whispering tech devices that know (y)our every move. Which some people don’t seem to mind since we have the profits of those devices which are made at close to zero labour costs. Yes. Indeed. Fascism. Chain of events. My mind’s eye is still lost with this question: What was actually murdered in the fight against the red menace? Humanity? Full stop.

Rant on. -t

PS I’m already afeared about watching this film’s part II: The Look Of Silence. But endure must we all.

All In A Days Workplace

 

Dustin Hoffman as Travis BickleNote on the pic above: this is a screenshot from my iPad4 of the initial post of an article that appeared on salon.com. Clicking on the pic will enlarge it. The author of the article mistakes Dustin Hoffman as the actor in the movie Taxi Driver. An honest mistake–I guess. The post has since been corrected, although the correction is not mentioned. Got that? I wonder what else confuses the author where he feels there’s no need to add a correction notice. But I digress.

It’s ok. Nobody’s perfect. We all make mistakes. The point is to learn from our mistakes. The goal is not perfection but the will to strive for perfection. It’s ok. You’ll do better next time. Or something like that. -t

So it goes. The pat on the shoulder. A gesture of forgiveness. And let’s not forget the unspoken. That is, the unspoken thoughts behind both the forgiver and the maker of errors. For there is, dear worst-reader, a dynamic between forgiver and error-maker–a very profound dynamic. As is the case with the article that lead to this post. What a crock of shit it is, indeed. And not just because the author of the article confuses one iconic actor with another iconic actor from an iconic movie–which deals with one of two parts of the #americant way of life: violence. The author (of the salon.com article that motivated this post) is an obvious knower of #americant misdeeds, haphazard daily life, all ruled by: violence. But the author leaves out the other part of #americant life: money. And so we have: money and violence. Money. Money. Money. Bang. Bang. Bang. These two things are what make and define #americant–even America. But there is, as usual, some confusion–as is the case with the author of the salon.com article (see pic above). Of course, America’s (and #americants) duality one can consider analogous to other things. E.g. Murder vs wealth. Destruction vs (social) status. Arrogance vs. humility. War on drugs vs a country of pharma-junkies. Winner vs loser. Ok. Maybe the winner and loser thing isn’t exactly analogous. For you can have losers that are… Oh so rich and powerful. Can you say The Donald? But let’s not get off subject.

Money and violence. The American way of life. #americant. But how does it all tie-in to what happened the other day where yet another American decided to pursue only one of (his) two options (in being American)? Well, I reckon I just answered my own question. Yet. It is very easy to mis-read what is going on these days, dear worst-reader. For one thing, how many other people have been murdered or killed this week? Does it even matter? I will give credit to the salon.com writer (see article below) for one thing. He did a great job putting together a list of batshit killers in his article. But tying today’s distraught society with yesteryears waring factions (i.e. Booth and Guiteau) is a bit of a stretch. Comparing recent shooter with the likes of Timothy McVeigh is also a bit hard to swallow. Obviously most of the people that commit these acts have their reasons for doing it. But to say that these acts are somehow connected? Well, I’m not sure I can follow that logic.

Indeed, dear worst-reader. It’s easy to mis-read things today. Perhaps that’s because if one does really read it–look at it and look deeper–the mirror starts to appear. Or we see how the authors of our lives get things so terribly wrong. Add to that the fact that there’s all this confusing stuff about first person shooters (for me Wolfenstein–oh mein leben!–comes to mind), manifestos and motivation. Like. What is this guys true motivation? This shooting should probably be known as: yet another office shooting by a begrudged, marginalised, under-achiever whose life, like so many, is determined by the elbows of others. In one article I read, frightened colleagues at the TV station where the victims worked were afraid that the killer was coming to get them. Now why would they be afraid for the lives? Could it have something to do with their elbows?

The only reason this shooting is getting any attention is because a picture perfect blonde is killed in cold blood and everyone can watch it on their smartassphone. And btw! Where is the manifesto the killer wrote AND FAXED–who faxes these days–to the media? Do the powers-that-be really believe that Americans can’t handle what this American killer wrote? Again. Looking too deep into these things means: mirrors. So sit back and don’t ask too many questions. The truth is in the safe hands of media editors everywhere. Oh yeah. Violence and  money, baby. Oh yeah. Violence and money and… avoid those mirrors.

Good luck suckers. Rant on. -t

Link that motivated this post:

American Economy = Debt Deflation

It is astonishing to hear/read stuff like this. Man, does this guy (vid) nail it. In fact, Hudson just about sums up the whole shebang in a few words within a fifteen minute video. Most important part of the interview, in worst-writer’s opinion, is in the quote below. Reading about Monday’s “stock crash” because of China just kept me laughing as though I was reading about Greece. Go figure. How #americants will deal with this is another question. For example. Even though I’m diggin’ what Bernie Sanders is saying, I don’t think he’s electable because he’s too extreme for the current political environment which has been nurtured, yes, nurtured, by the 99% since Reagan. Bernie would be a huge shift in that political environment and I don’t think a shift like that has ever happened in the US. Not saying that it can’t happen. Hopefully the new generation of voters that are out there can see through what baby-boomers and conservatives have done. What is probably needed is a gradual political left-leaning shift and then some consistency on the part of the electorate to always be able to counter rightwingnut extremism. But what do I know? I jumped ship after Reagan cause I saw all this coming.

“The real problem is that we’re still in the aftermath of when the bubble burst in 2008, that all of the growth in the economy has only been in the financial sector, in the monopolies—only for the 1 percent. And it’s as if there are two economies, and the 99 percent has not grown. And so, the American economy is still in a debt deflation. So the real problem is, stocks have doubled in price since 2008, and the economy, for most people, certainly who listen to your show, hasn’t grown at all. So, finally, the stocks were inflated really by the central bank, by the Fed, creating an enormous amount of money, $4.5 trillion, essentially, to drop over Wall Street to buy bonds that have pushed the yields down so high—so low, to about 0.1 percent for government bonds, that pension funds and investors say, “How can we make money?” So they buy stocks. And they borrowed at 1 percent to buy up stocks that yield maybe 4 percent. But who are the largest people who buy the stocks? They’re the companies themselves that have done stock buybacks. They’re the managers of the companies that have used their earnings, essentially, to push up stock prices so they get more bonuses. Ninety precent of all the earnings of the biggest companies in America in the last five years have gone for stock buybacks and dividends. It’s not being invested. It’s not building new factories. It’s not employing more people. So, the real problem is that we’re in a non-recovery in America, and Europe is in an absolute class war of austerity. That’s what the eurozone is, an austerity zone. So that’s not growing. And that’s really what’s happening. And all that you saw on Monday was just sort of like a shift, tectonic shift, is people realizing, “Well, the game is up, it’s time to get out.” And once a few people want to get out, everybody sees the game’s up.” -Source: Democracy Now!

Good luck suckers. And. Rant on. -t

 

Fire Sale

hellenic rep dev fun website horse racing
Screenshot taken from http://www.hradf.com/en (see date of post) featuring sale of horse racing track. Yeah, selling this will save Eurowasteland. Posting pic because site might not last long. Or?

Still giggling about Greece? Yeah, me too. Yet there is something sobering about the whole (or)deal. Or is there something drunken-ing about it? Nomatter. Alexis Tsipras has recently announced he wants another–ANOTHER–vote. This time, though, he wants a vote not on his policies but on him. Which obviously makes sense since the Greeks can probably forget owning their country, thanks to Mr. Tsipras. Or, better yet, thanks to various leaders from its most recent past. Yes. Greece has most definitely gotten itself into a pickle. Not unlike a Vegas addict. Or perhaps Greece is a drunkard. Too much financialization over-kill, anyone? And so. In order for Greece to pay off the debts it has accumulated (from its addiction(s)), it has to sell assets. And. It’s not as though Greece hasn’t tried to sell assets before. But there is the issue that fate seems to have a dicey sense of humour when it comes to either people or countries that can’t control themselves at the poker table–or at the bar. With that in mind. Let’s pull the Hitler card–or, better, let’s just consider the pics of Angela Merkel with that moustache. A fitting picture (image) indeed as, it seems, Germany is now the proud owner of… Greece’s airports? Ok. I know. “Owner” is probably not the proper word. Remember there are Euro-lawyers and media moguls at work here. Germany is the operator of the company that will run Greece’s regional airports. Which might be a good thing if one forgets about Frankfurt and Berlin airports. I mean, most German airports are run pretty well–on account they’re over-kill–that is, Germany doesn’t need half the airports it has. But at least the smaller ones are clean. Planes have places to park. There’s lots of traveler amenities–even though no one can afford to buy the krapp they’re trying to sell behind all that glass. But here’s the thing. Guess who owns a majority stake in the company that now will run Greece’s airports? No. It’s not some private company in the hands of German business moguls a’la Donald Trump. No. In fact, the German state owns the largest financial stake in that company. And that’s not all. Guess who will now take over telecom broadband service for Greece? If you guessed Germany without knowing what the German company name is, that’s fine. The name of the company doesn’t matter. Remember and heed this: there is no privacy in Germany and there is nothing private in Germany either. Germany is, if one looks deep enough, the last bastion of successful communism in the west. It’s only rival is China–except for the simple fact that China does have to (still) repress a huge portion of its society and Germany’s portion of repression is much, much smaller. Anywho. The majority stake in the German company that is buying up (what are ultimately very profitable businesses in Greece) is the German state itself–and up to now no one else could buy them. Am I the only one to find that strange? If you like you may call the company behind the telecom purchase Deutsche Telekom but it suffices to also just call it the German State Company. And the twists don’t stop there. Greece has been trying to “fire sale” assets for years. Just google greek fire sale. They were unable to sell most stuff they put on the block. Reason? I have no clue. But my worst-guess is this: there was too much nouveau riche money after the fall of communism and during the initial stages of the Euro that (just to happened to) find its way into Greece. Again. One only has to consider how Greece was able to hide all its debts over the years. But then again. I don’t really want to know who invested in Greece and who lost what on those investments in the last twenty or so years that built all the krapp that will now be sold to Germany. But I am curious regarding who buys all or any of those islands. Indeed. Good luck suckers. Rant on. -t

Links that motivated this (worst-comment) post:

As I Die Laying

as i lay dying paperback

It takes two people to make you, and one people to die. That’s how the world is going to end. -Darl

Took me a while. Can’t remember exactly when I bought the book. But I do remember buying it in Frankfurt off the Leipziger Strasse near the university. I also remember reading Faulkner in College so many years ago. Can’t say the memories are fond, though. I think we read some of his short stories. Nomatter. As far as reading him goes, Faulkner is not unlike Hemingway (to me) even though the two are über different writers (personalities?) When I was younger I just couldn’t get through either one. The pages confused me. The writing cadence (is there such a thing?) through me off. Hemingway had a way of just boring me with his endless narrations of things seen (or not). Faulkner’s writing style threw me off, too. Something about stream of consciousness, perhaps. Or it had something to do with school, the pressures of grades, judgement, $hitbag professor so-n-so. Reading Faulkner in order to write a paper for a professor never did me any good, that’s for sure. Not that I’m cutting on professors or schools. (Or am I?) But I have often thought about whether or not writers realise what is done with their work at university level. Ruin comes to my worst-mind, don’t you know.

A few weeks back I decided to give my library a thorough one-over, including dusting. In doing so I also created a nice little database of my books. Been wanting to do that for years. Luckily technology has caught up to my wants. Found an app for my iPad that scans a books bar-codes. Works like a charm, too. If there are no bar-codes, as is the case with this old paperback, then all I have to do is input the ISBN number and the app locates that. But I’m off subject.

ripped page
Copy not in the best shape. Missed a page.

I picked up this old paperback with the idear it was time to try again. (Btw, I’ll be trying the same with Hemingway soon.) And although it was slow reading, it seems I’ve finally found a way in–to Mr. Faulkner. Maybe. Here’s my first impression.

Faulkner writes As I Lay Dying with a vengeance. Even though I was only able to get through one or two chapters with every sitting, I looked forward to the next time I opened the book. The breaks in-between allowed me (my mind) to breath from the Anstrengung. Yet Faulkner has a style, a cadence, if you will, that is tumultuous. I don’t know if its because of his ability to write as his characters actually speak or if its getting my mind to play along with the accents of the southern characters he’s portraying–accents that I know so well. In fact, I found it sometimes easier to read the text out-loud. My better half would often tell me to stop moving my lips while reading. “It means you’re stupid,” she’d say. Reading this book out-loud stopped my mind from having to think about each word written, how they were placed, what chisel he used, etc. Having grown up around rednecks and Das Volk that aren’t the brightest stars in the heavens, the sound of Faulkner’s words were easier to speak than to read. Wait. The probably doesn’t make much sense.

Not only have I read what is probably one of the greatest books ever written but I feel as though it speaks to me, as is the case with a few other books/writers. Umberto Echo is one. The Master And Margarita is another (a book I must re-read, btw). Not sure when I’ll get to it but Faulkner’s The Sound And The Fury is on my list now. That said, this book, as difficult as it is, is a joy. Supposedly written in a matter of weeks while Faulkner was working at a power plant, it was also submitted “as is” for publication. Italics are used in the text which I can only assume indicate some form of correction, collation, etc., and was set by the publisher. Other parts of the text have obvious grammar issues but I suppose that has to do with Faulkner re-creating the jargon of his characters. Although there is much said about this book, I’m wondering if all the sayers missed something. Or maybe I haven’t read enough about it. Nomatter.

For example. There is one thread that binds As I Lay Dying together. Although many consider it a brilliant portrayal of a downtrodden American family coping as best it can with circumstance, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of cynicism on the part of the author regarding that family. But is Faulkner also a cynic regarding the American ideal? What is portrayed in this book is not just a clumsy group of half-wits facing uncertainty. Faulkner is sharing a point of view regarding how Americans cope with that same, ever existing, uncertainty.

The death of the matriarch requires that the family trek her un-embalmed corpse for nine summer days so she can be buried in her hometown. The way Faulkner describes how they build her coffin, the text even includes a small drawing, is brilliant. But because the mother wanted to be buried in her wedding dress, they think they have to lay her up-side-down so that the dress won’t be crushed by the shape of the coffin. Imagine a bumbling group of half-wits trying to figure that out! Because of wild weather and a flooded river the family not only shows its lack of cognitive ability but also its self-destructive nature. Crossing the river causes great loss plus a broken leg for one of the sons. The fact that the father eventually pours concrete on the broken leg to try and stabilise it, well, that also says a great deal about intelligence.

Let’s see. What happens next? Oh yeah. The daughter is sexually abused by a family acquaintance on the trip and her prescribed naiveté plus ten dollars isn’t enough to get her an abortion. And here’s the real kicker. Although they make it to the mother’s wished final resting place, there is very little written about the funeral. Instead the father 1) meets a new wife and 2) with the ten dollars his daughter was given for her abortion, of which her naiveté won’t allow her to speak about it, the father takes the ten dollars to get new teeth. Indeed. That’s kinda hi-larry-us. Obviously. The best of the American family isn’t quite best enough, eh, dear worst-reader.

It seems to worst-moi that there are three ways to portray the American “family”. There’s the funny way, there’s the sad way and then there’s the violent way. Funny and violent seem to mix well. The Sopranos comes to mind. Portraying the American family sad is a bit more difficult to do. I mean, who wants to watch reality? But I’m sure there are examples out there. To categorise the Bundren family this way might be a bit belittling. And that’s ok. The text, the challenging way it is written, makes up for it all. Or?

But my mother is a fish. -Vardaman

Once again, probably for lack of proper (academic) training, and as much as I enjoyed reading this book, I can’t help but consider it a criticism of America and the ideals that permeate the American mindset. Portraying the family as a unit that must depend on its ability to rationalise any situation can only mean that it is as strong as its weakest link–I mean it’s as strong as its weakest thinker. Or maybe not. I don’t know what to say about this book and I’ve already said too much. But that’s what I do.

Rant on. -t

Not Moonstruck

moonstruck tears

Rose: Why do men chase women?

Johnny Cammareri: Well. The Bible story. God took a rib from Adam and made Eve. Now maybe men chase women to get the rib back. When God took the rib, he left a big hole there. (He points to his ribs.) A place where there used to be something. And the women have that. Now maybe a man isn’t complete without a woman.

Rose: Why would a man need more than one woman?

Johnny Cammareri: I don’t know. Maybe because he fears death.

Rose: That’s it. That’s the reason.

Johnny Cammareri: I don’t know.

Rose: No. That’s it! (Pause.) Thank you. Thank you for answering my question. -from the 1987 film Moonstruck

Ok. Let’s go from a confusing love story, Moonstruck, to another confusing love story–as only America can. Let’s go to the Clinton/Lewinsky love story. Unlike the Moonstruck scandal–i.e. the bride-to-be sleeps with her groom-to-be’s brother before the wedding, of which we know the outcome–what came of the Clinton/Lewinsky love story? That’s right. Nothing. Whereas the Moonstruck scandal left us all–especially yours truly–in happy-tears, from the President of the United Mistakes of Americant, lying about a blowjob in the hallway to the oval office, came absolutely nothing. Well. Other than a bunch of lawyers getting paid lots of money, that is. Or? Ok. Maybe something did come out of it. Here’s what worst-moi thinks came out of it: What business is it to anyone what consenting adults do with each other? According to Ken Starr, what those adults do is the business of not only law enforcement and political parties and pundits, but also the entire nation. So I have no remorse telling you that I was furious at the moral hypocrisy of hell-bent republicans during that costly ($100m) attempt at trying to get Clinton to quit (because they were never able to get back at Dems for Nixon). In a small way I’m thankful to Starr for showing his and a large portion of America’s point-of-view regarding human behaviour. I mean, come on. After Lewinsky, blowjobs, spitting or swallowing, protein stains on blue dresses, etc., America gained a few things to talk about. Starr and Clinton also made certain that promiscuous acts of love-lust, that are NOT sexual relations with that woman, can be redefined so that men the world over can say: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, honey! And. She just sucked me off, sweety. Or. She just let me put my finger… It wasn’t sexual relations, babe. Or maybe not. On the other hand, because of Starr, America finally showed the world its obsessions–you know, like most perverts dream of doing. And get this. One of the reasons I got caught up in #eurowasteland was the fact that Europeans have a completely different take on sex. For example. They are open about it. They know about it. They are not ashamed of it. And they are not held captive by a puritan mindset that literally chokes nature by Her balls. Of course, on top of that, when sex scandals occur in Europe, people get a kick out of it. The affairs of presidents and chancellors and royalty, etc., become part of the landscape, the castles, the allure of all things medieval. Sure, there are those #eurowastelanders that condemn such behaviour but the condemnation doesn’t make the media and the population turn into a frantic horde of gigglers. Sexual misconduct on this side of the pond (Atlantic Ocean) is just waved off and society, somehow, gets on with smokin’ that doob and fucking each others brains out. As it should be. Yet in my beloved #americant things seem to be stuck–even all these years after the rigamarole of Lewinsky’s luscious lips. And so. The question still is: whose fucking business is it anyway what consenting adults do with their parts? In fact, in America, there always has to be a way to one-up something. In this case what needs to be one-upped is America’s perversions. Seriously. I bet you never gave it second thought whether or not Ken Starr’s morality served any purpose. If anything came out of what Starr did it was that he made blowjobs more popular than ever. So how is America gonna top that? Enter ashleymadison(dot)com. A website created and, obviously trafficked, for the sole purpose of aiding and abetting relationship promiscuity. Now. If you think about that in terms of web traffic, it’s probably a pretty ingenious idear. If there are websites that help people meet the love of their life, why not have a website to help people cheat on that love? Indeed. But here’s the thing. Unlike the false morality that was behind trying to get Clinton to quit (on account House impeachment wasn’t enough), the Ashley Madison data breach might just be the perversion a new generation of perverts needs. And to put a cherry on top of the new pervert cake, instead of batshit, right-wing nut-job American judges, we now have computer geeks. Confused yet? Again. It cannot be said enough. I’m not the least concerned about what consenting adults do with their time. In fact, this is such a grand display of false morality among perverts that I couldn’t help but compare it to Monica Lewinsky, Ken Starr and everybody’s favourite, slick willy Bill Clinton. Yet what is this Ashley Madison thing all about? Morality? Why would hackers be moral? That would be like pirates considering the legality of their deeds. Is this about privacy? The shear act of hacking is a circumvention of privacy. Is this about control? Ok. Good question. Maybe with that we’re getting somewhere. Control. I mean, in any business transaction–double for illicit transactions–the greatest threat is trust. Could the hackers be disgruntled employees? Angry investors? Ok. Who knows. My point with all this worst-writing is this: as an already morally bankrupt country wouldn’t it be a good idear to try to get a grip on the perversions and then consider who done it? Or maybe not. Good luck suckers. Rant on. -t

Links that motivated this post:

Deep In Me

Deep Freediving Cover Nester

Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science And What The Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves, by James Nestor

At first it was difficult for me to share the astonishment and shock James Nestor expresses upon his initialisation to the world of freediving. I’ve been a fan and admirer of it for years. Ever since I was a kid I dreamed of swimming deeper and further, the ocean being the ultimate gateway. When there was no ocean around pools, lakes and rivers served me just fine. Up until a a few years ago I could hold my breath easily for more than two minutes. I used to go to the bottom of five meter pools and just lay there until I was forced to go back up and suck on that ugly teat of life. But up I went because I new that all I had to do was take a deeper breath and I could go back down to my tranquility. Of course, the deepest part of pools was usually under some diving board area. Before I could get enough tranquility someone would always come over to me and ask that I stop what I was doing because I was in the way of those wanting to use the diving board. Safety, rules, regulations come first, eh? I would nod to the local-yocal policing-person–you know the type: the person in a public place that can’t mind her/his own bidness. In the back of my mind I would tell that person to fuck-off, hoping, wishing, that fireworks would burn out of his ass. Then, for shits & giggles–and for my exit from tranquility–I’d take a deep breath, find my way to the bottom of the pool, close my eyes and slowly crawl along the edge, away from the diving board area, up the slope to the one meter swimming area, the whole time following the ocean that is the lie of my mind.

When I was a kid we used to camp along the Indian River Inlet in Rehoboth, DE. The inlet was a great place for fishing because of how it was artificially maintained. Huge boulders and rocks lined the inlet making it both a home and a hunting ground–besides providing access to the ocean. The constant turbulence of seawater being exchanged from the Atlantic and the brackish water from the Indian River Bay made it a lazy fisherman’s dream. There were times you could cast a line with a worm rig and within minutes you’d be reeling in Tautog or Black Drum. But there was a catch to fishing there. Those fancy lures and hooks would get caught on the rocks of the inlet. You were guaranteed to lose rigs. You could hear the fisherman at times cursing the rocks. Which brings me to my first scuba experience.

My stepfather started scuba in the mid to early sixties. He owned all his own gear, including regulator and tank–stuff that looked like it was right out of an early Bond movie. I’d strap on that tank, throw the mouth piece of the two stage regulator hose over my head and started sucking. “Breath normal,” he’d say. “And don’t leave the rocks.” I filled my mask with spit, wipe the glass, and then covered my face. I wore thick plastic gloves so that the hooks wouldn’t pierce my skin and strap-on sandals to protect my feet. Other than that I wore a bathing suit. I would submerge myself without fins–because I wasn’t supposed to swim anywhere, just pull and/or walk along the boulders a few feet under the surface. I’d go under and in a few minutes return with a handful of perfectly useable and sellable fishing rigs. I paid for a lot of rides and cotton candy at Ocean City, MD, boardwalk that summer by selling those rigs. Cool.

It took twenty-five years before I would strap on scuba gear again. My better-half, who was already a master diver when I met her, was skeptical (as all Germans are) when I told her that I would gladly get certified to go diving with her. Part of her skepticism was that it took her, even after getting certified, about fifty dives before she felt comfortable at depth. Within a few days, in the middle of late winter in Germany, I got my scuba certification–diving in a lake in Hessen that was almost frozen. Needless to say, I quickly proved my diving worthiness. It’s like riding a bike, I said. But there’s one problem. Now with more than a hundred dives behind me, having experienced places like The Red Sea, Bali, Thailand, etc., I have to admit that something is missing. Every time I get in the water with that tank strapped to me I know that there is something else out there. Something more. Something more tranquil.

The thing is, when I dream about diving–and I dream about it all the time–I never dream that I’m wearing an aqualung. I dream of freediving. Heck, even when I walk our dog I hold my breath for as long as I can–thinking about how soft ocean water feels on my skin. When I walk through forests I don’t see trees and leaves and green. I see an ocean vastness where I’m condemned (for all my crimes) to walk on its floor with my feet. So I shut my eyes and start mis-echolocating and bumping into trees. Indeed. Bumping into trees while dreaming about oceans. It’s my dog’s laughter that makes me open my eyes again.

James Nestor has written a stunning, beautiful book that I didn’t know I was lusting to read for a long, long time. When I read about Natalia Molchanova dying recently during a practice freedive I became a bit obsessed with trying to understand not only the mechanics of freediving but the emotional attachment that so many have to it. Even though I’m only a muggle (scuba diver) and not a magician (freediver) I think I can understand what these people feel–not only at depth but the longing to be in the salty-sweet bosom of  The Big Her. Mr. Nestor answered most of the questions I had regarding this sport. Also, Nestor, without condemning the sport, makes it quite clear why freediving as competition is probably not worth the danger. In recent years there have been too many deaths. Yet something drives people to compete and dive further, deeper, deeper. I get that.

Nestor saves the day, though. The way he articulates the beauty of freediving, the importance of the ocean on this (our) blue planet or some of the science behind how sperm whales communicate, is worth every word. This is one of those books that I got through in a matter of hours and the whole time regretting that the reading would eventually come to an end.

Rant on. -Tommi (a freediving dreamer)

Where The Trains Run Late

muster visa

Pic: what the visas used to look like. Just a bunch of heavy stickers and stamps in my passport. You know what happens after having stamps in your passport for twenty years and then they suddenly change to little ID cards that you have to carry around along side your passport? That’s right. I lose them. In fact, since last year I’ve lost two German Electronic Visa cards. Every friggin time I travel and re-enter Germania the lovely customs and immigration Volk have a whale of time with me.

Immigration Grunt: But misser Stewg, it sai heer dut yuv got uh div-er-rent karte zen zis vun.

Moi: Yeah, brother. Chill. Not as efficient as you. (Looking at his monitor where he shows me a list of cards I’ve been issued.) I lost that one. (Pointing.) Lost that one, too.

Can you believe it, dear worst-reader? After almost two months I finally received notice that my new (3rd in two years) visa (for Germania) has been extended for another three years. Had to renew it because my US passport expired. The German card is only valid as my passport is valid. Oh well. Now I just have to wait another month for the driver’s license size ID card to arrive where I then have to pick it up. And to think I only had to wait ten days to get my new US passport in March–where the whole renewal process was done by mail! Did I mention that the US can deliver such an important document/papers in 10 days? Have to wait almost three months for the Germans. And the trains always run late in Germania, too!

Livin’ in perpetual limbo rules, baby.

Rant on. -Tommi

More Aussteiger Please

consume hell
Somebody’s gotta work this. How ’bout you?

Word of the day:

Aussteiger

Give it a try. Yet heed this. It’s important to note that an Aussteiger is someone who drops out. S/he is not a dropout.

It was the first thing I noticed when I started working–for The Man. Large cubicle workspaces that were strategically placed so that you could see offices lining the walls of the floor of the building. The walls had real offices with doors and furniture and windows. That’s where the managers sat and I so admired that they had a view to the outside world. Ironically as cubicle space expanded manager offices became less occupied. By the time I exited the freak show, none of those offices were filled. Of the managers that were able to maintain their jobs, they never looked out those windows. Indeed. They looked just like everyone else looked in their cubicles. They looked with their heads down, their necks cringing, their eyes empty except for the information they were focused on given from another manager above them. And so spews the cogs of the wheels of careers and corporatists. I did it for about ten years–on and off. And although I wanted one of those windowed offices, I never made it. Thank goodness.

The only outlet I had when working a cubicle life was the travel. But then–The Man–figured out a way to turn business travel into an office cubicle. Travel expenditures were cut. Frills and thrills of flying were slashed. If I wanted a preferred seat that cost more in economy, I had to pay for it out of pocket. The same went for a hotel. Seriously. The company earned millions and then they wanted to nit-pick about 20-, Euros extra for an isle seat on the wing in the middle row (because a window distracted me from my work!) or a hotel room with a real bed? Seriously. The hotel thing really did happen. It was a hotel in Stockholm. The hotel room was a bathroom with a pull-out couch in it. When I asked the Swedes about it they said that there was nothing to be done. There were simply not enough hotels in Sweden to accommodate those who, at the time, wanted to travel there. This was 1997/98. For whatever unknown reason, Sweden was part of the Dotcom boom and to this day I don’t know why. But I went there because it was a great outlet from cubicle hell and also all the minions and automatons that occupied those cubicles. Speaking of cubicle hell.

I also travelled to HP in Germany for some contract work. It was in Böblingen, near Stuttgart. It was also the largest cubicle hell I’d ever seen. The building was a huge hanger that could fit an airliner and it was filled with cubicles of all sizes. From the thirty foot ceilings hung massive signs that designated the areas underneath. There was “sales”, “project”, “hardware”, “network”, etc. At least fifty cubicles were under each sign and each desk was separated from the other by a plastic, styrofoam wall that was hooked to another and then another and then another. Some cubicles had more than one desk. Go figure, eh. There were glass enclosed offices through out the hanger as well–for managers, I guess. It didn’t matter where I traveled back then. Every cubicle, every wall office, every hallway, every toilet had the same face and the same human in it. Seriously. What have we done to ourselves?

Not that I give a shit anymore. I found a way out. Yet sometimes I can’t help but be reminded of those who can’t find a way out. Like most of the corporate workforce in the US today.  The NYT article (below) depicts the misery of working in America x2. That the article is about Amazon is of no surprise to me. Ironically, one of the last interviews I had when I had to work for The Man was with Amazon at their Bad Hersfeld facility in Germany. Boy am I glad I didn’t get that job. It was one of the worst job interviews I’ve ever had. I’ll never forget it. Those who interviewed me were rude, combative and pushy. The interviewers said things like “how far would you go if…” or “If I called you at three in the morning…” and “have you ever talked about your salary with another employee”, etc. Back then I knew that asking such things said more about the corporate culture than it did about the people doing, without question, what they are told. While reading the NYT article below, though, I can still imagine that interview as if it were yesterday. My last interview was, in fact, in 2001. Nothing changes for all the suckers who participate in this krapp.

Good luck suckers. Rant on. -t

Links that motiviated this post:

Questions Shouldn't Be Asked

questions shouldn't be asked

Some call me the worst explainer ever. Go figure. But the reality is, I explain things. I especially explain things to Eurowastelanders. I guess it just bleeds out of me. You know, the fact that I’m not from–the place where I live and drink (too much). So far this inadequacy has served me well. In fact, it’s lead to my early retirement, a humble but comfortable abode and more tech equipment than I could wish for. But what must I do for all this? Oh yeah. I must. Explain.

So they come to me, these Eurowastelanders, and they ask: what is going on in your #americant?

“Wha?” I say. And I answer: “Nothing. All’s good.”

And then they present their evidence. “Did you read about Donald Trump and what he said to a woman on national TV? Please, lieber Tomas (when the French say it the ‘s’ is silent), explain this to us.”

Here’s the scene lieber worst-reader and fellow Eurowastelander. A propaganda apparatus works in the second largest building ever built. The largest building ever built is, of course, the war building. But that’s neither here nor there. Just keep in mind that we, dear worst-reader, dear Eurowastelander, are in the second largest building ever built. Such a large building is complicated. Not because of its size but because of what’s in it. Rooms. Halls. Stadiums. Toilets. Banks. Basements. Parking lots. Homes. Attics. Fraternities. Women’s toilets. Clubs. Restaurants. DIY stores. Etc. Etc.

The thing about this building is that it is not part of the public domain where it exists. You know, public places have rules, regulations, laws. This building is a private place! Obviously most laws apply in the building–but most of them also do not. Over the years this building allowed public idiosyncrasies–which are also mandated by law, as convenient as they are for the plaintiffs and defendents–to enter its walls. One of those “idiosyncrasies” is the human female. That’s right. The world’s second largest building allows human females to move within its walls. Heck, they can even move through doorways. They can look through windows. And they can most certainly use toilets–that have been designated: female (or the like).

Ain’t that something!

But. As I said. This is a private building. And not all “rights” (by law) have been granted to everyone who enters it. Case in point. There are rooms in this building that do not allow human females to enter. In fact, if you never ask or put any effort into searching them out, you’d never even know that such rooms exist. Yet sometimes, fewer times than hoped for, these rooms are exposed. For the exposure of the room that has motivated this post or the question asked of moi:

We can thank Megyn Kelly.

Here’s what happened. Mrs. Kelly entered, either by accident or by design, one of the rooms in the second largest building. Call it a boy’s room. Call it a man’s room. Call it a strip club. Call it the wall of a toilet in whatever college bar you’ve ever got drunk at where it says: for a good time call. Nomatter how/what you call it, this room must not be entered–by human females.

Boy did this chick enter it.

Let’s try to summarise, shall we? At the recent republican nut-job question & answer session (that faux newz calls a “debate”), Mrs. Kelly posed a question to Donald Trump. This question, it turns out, was quite a shocker. In fact, it wasn’t even the content of the question that was the problem. The problem was that she asked the question in the wrong room. With that in mind, allow me to worst-explain something else about #americant.

There are two types of human females in America. One is the object. She likes men, she dates them, she has fun with them. At times she even marries them and bears offspring. She usually ends up divorced two or three times. And she’s good with that. The other female in America is the subject. This particular female lives for her man. Once she gives herself to him, she belongs to him. She not only takes his name but she takes his identity. For this she gives up her offspring and is compensated in the form of a comfortable wedded life–even if she’s divorced. (Btw, divorce doesn’t mean you were never owned.) The Subject is Mrs. Sonso and she lives in that big house up the street with a car the size of a bus that she uses to transport herself and her rodent legally bastard children to Walmart and that’s Ok because she did great in the divorce settlement. The Object is the hot MILF that goes about her life with a few tears but an attitude of… sothefuckwhat.

(Note: I might have mixed up the subject/object thing. But don’t worry. The gist is the same, just switch them around till the right one pops up.)

Ok. There is one thing that differentiates one American female from the other–other than the obvious (see previous paragraph). One female never really learns to think for herself beyond the man that defines her. Even after she’s been through the gauntlet of marital hell, divorce number three or four, she still believes in the bullshit of whatever Walt Disney and her mother put in her head. And here’s one other important fact. Without this female, conservative America could not have gotten as far as it’s gotten. On the other hand, the other female can think for herself. She may not be Frau Einstein but she sure has learned enough to see through (all) the lies.

Which brings me to American female extraordinaire Megyn Kelly. Whether she’s the subject or object is irrelevant. She is instead a woman who entered the wrong room of the second largest building in the world and she didn’t even know it. Which means she ain’t Frau Einstein either. Nomatter. Let’s call this building that Kelly got herself into what it is, shall we. It’s called MAN BUILDING. And not only did she enter a private, off the grid room of MAN BUILDING, she’s clueless to having done it. In fact. She not only entered the wrong room but she publicly posed a question to those in the room not knowing who is watching what. Hence the headline after she

  1. entered room she shouldn’t have entered,
  2. asked a question in that room that shouldn’t have been asked because the audience she wishes or thinks she could reach with such a question can’t exist in such a room.

The headline after she asked her question: Megyn Kelly goes on sudden vacation (or the like).

Indeed, dear worst-reader. Some questions should never be asked and most certainly those questions shouldn’t be asked in certain places. With that in mind, good luck female republicans. Good luck with the lives you’ve chosen and the men who are your identity. There are many rooms for you to enter. This room, proven by Mrs. Kelly, is not one of them. Again. Good luck republican females of #americant. I mean that sincerely. All of you are gonna need it if you start asking these questions in these rooms.

Rant on. -t

Links:

There’s No Need To Announce A Winner. The Winner Is Always A Man. | Salon

Oh No! Conspiracy Abound | DailyBeast

Treaty Or Trade Agreement?

TPP reality
Source: various screenshots spliced together to help worst-readers everywhere with a very complicated issue. Or maybe not. Contact me for TPP… I mean copyright infringement.

This post is NSFW due to some language issues I’m having.

The art of the deal. Rule #1. Lie. Rule #2. Lie. Rule #3. You guessed it, dear worst-reader: make it so that the truth is what you say it is. Rule #4. Let there only be one side that sets the rules and that one side can change those rules at will. Or the like. With that in mind, never thought the day would come when my beloved #americant would stand at world’s end–you know, the edge of a flat world where everything falls off if one isn’t careful–with it’s disguise wide open, displaying the man underneath. And do you know what the man underneath is wearing? That’s right. He’s wearing another disguise. Go figure, eh.

What is the difference between a treaty and a trade agreement?

Treaty: an agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an (international) agreement, protocol, covenant, convention, pact, or exchange of letters, among other terms.

Trade Agreement: (also known as trade pact) is a wide ranging tax, tariff and trade treaty that often includes investment guarantees. -Source: interwebnet search

You know, I often think about the opposing voices regarding America’s entry into WW2. Some of those voices were against the US entering the war because (and I paraphrase) America is a business and war is bad for business. Other’s who opposed said that America is a place of playboys and ditch-diggers. That was then, this is now. Seems to still hold.

We are not only in a state of perpetual war but also in a state of perpetual business. Both have never been so good. Profits at most major corporations are through the roof. Shareholders in-the-know have never been more secure. Financial institutions have only once before been as free as they are today. Can you say: hey we’re in pre 1929 America? Indeed. The war machine, in its fight to control the world’s oil is in one hand. In the other hand, big corporations are trying to own everything in order to protect their interests. Enter TPP. When TPP is put into force–and mind you, it will eventually pass–an economic block will be established that has never been seen before. The participants of TPP will represent 40% of the world’s economy, if not more. I don’t know about you but that blows this worst-writer’s mind. All of the countries involved in this, of course, will be lead by the US. Or?

Ok. The ingredients of TPP is a secret. But some stuff is trickling out. Wikileaks supposedly has actual TPP docs, which I’m struggling to read through. A prominent US politician has even spoke out against TPP. And that’s all fine and good. But what is the true reason for TPP? I can’t help but scratch my head over this. One thing that comes to mind is the last time there was a two term Democratic president. Clinton pushed through a similar but smaller scale trade agreement: NAFTA. Now, there’s another two term democratic president and he’s pushing something similar but on a grander scale. When one considers the results of NAFTA, it’s not hard–secrecy here or there–to figure out what’s gonna happen after TPP.

As stated, the actual ingredients of TPP is a secret. It’s as much a secret as the ingredients of TiSA and TTIP. Confused yet? Ok. TTIP is TPP between the US and Europe. TiSA is a kind of tweak or cousin of TPP and includes a few more countries. If one looks at a map of who is involved in all this, one thing–at least in my worst-mind–stands out. Get ready for this one, baby.

None of these trade agreements–even though I think they are treaties (see definitions above)–include any of the big, cheap labor manufacturing countries. India is not in it. Brazil is not in it. And here’s the big one. China is not in it either. Wow! What can that say about these trade agreements? But let’s not stop there. There is one other significant country, albeit not a cheap labor manufacturing giant, that is also not included: Russia. I know that there is some kind of backdoor to let China and India in but why does it have to be a backdoor? And why is China holding out? And what about Russia? Seriously. What’s up with that?

Man, this is so crazy that I don’t know which way to turn. And that’s probably a good thing. Yet I can’t help but worst-conspire to think that these agreements are about something that is much less complicated than a bunch of confusing acronyms or difference between a treaty and a trade agreement. So how ’bout this? I think this is about the US saving face. America has to prepare for the not-so-distant future where empire either solidifies or dies. American corporations, in their obsession to go global and thereby maximise profits at the cost of American manufacturing and labor, have realised that they have to do something to protect themselves. I mean, come on. TPP proposers aren’t stupid enough to forget that other people on this planet can actually think–unlike most voters in the US. The game they’ve played so far was enabled and facilitated by US law and, more importantly, US political ideology. That “political” game has not been played in other countries.

Enter: Neoliberalism. There are a few things neo-liberals didn’t plan for:

  1. they didn’t think they’d be so successful so fast,
  2. they didn’t think it would be this easy to inject political ideology into the #american mindset that would pave the way for so much corporate success
  3. and they didn’t expect the rest of the world to catch on so fast to the lie of the #americant dream.

Neoliberals have kicked some serious ass in the past thirty or so years. Give them and yourselves a hand, suckers!

But what about this TPP stuff? Well, how ’bout this. TPP is really about America posing an ultimatum to the world it has molded. Are you with us or are you against us? (Sound familiar?) You decide peoples and countries of this earth. Whose side are you on? But before you make your decision, heed this: Don’t think you can fuck with us. We gave this planet, this earth-place, business, commerce and the lust of consumption. If you want part of that, pick your friends carefully. Once you do that, all that is left is to keep your people, your new & improved proletariate, from getting in the way. National laws, rules, regulations–they don’t interest us. We took care of laws, rules and regs back home, so don’t think you can pull that krapp on us. If you don’t like the pollution that comes from the manufacturing facilities that make stuff, fuck you! If your cheap labor dies while sewing sneakers for those who can buy them, fuck you! If you can’t stop your people from stealing movies over the interwebnets, Mickey Mouse will come and… fuck you! Etc., etc. Try getting out of the middle ages in the next millennia because like the last millennia this one is ours. You’re welcome people of earth. Until then watch us light you on fire with stuff.

Now! Go dream about buying an iPhone and shut the fuck up.

Good luck suckers.Rant on. -t

Links that motivated this post:

Just Say No And Then Rename It To Make Billions

just say no
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_Say_No

Anyone remember it? Nancy Reagan perched on her pedestal, a pedestal desired by so many (mothers) of ill-nations, telling her underlings: just say no. When thinking back to those days I can’t help but wonder what was going on in the backrooms of pharmaceutical companies. I mean, they must have been laughing at Nancy Reagan and her illustrious, Hollywood attempt at intellectualising such an issue (sarcasm off). But they could only laugh so much. The patriarchs of pharmaceutical companies were alive and well during the counter-culture era that gave way to America’s need for alternative states of mind–which was peaking by the nineteen-eighties and the sudden, jolting effects of Reaganomics on the American psyche. Pharma bosses knew there was money to be made on things dealt illicitly, if only they could harness it. But how do they harness it? There were too many regulations, rules and south American dealers beating them to the streets. Well, for one, they could join ranks with the politicians. You know, “take two of these, relax, and forget about the fascist take-over of your country”. Pharma bosses provide charismatic characters who have a knack for making voters vote against their best interests with fun money so they can stay elected and in return laws and regulations will be changed so that, instead of letting all the street dealers make the dow, investors and share holders can make it. Neo-cons delivered. Alternate states of mind were now available to the masses–as long as you saw your doctor about it. A prescription here, and RX there, doctors were even getting kick-backs for the business. By the early 1990s there was no need to go to shady places and meet even shadier people to get your kicks. Dr. Givememore was available twenty-four-seven. No more blow or hack or mary-jane in the bathroom stalls of clubs. Now it’s Oxycontin, Vicodin, Ritalin, etc. And Just Say No has become just say yes to big pharma profits–all backed by a fake war on drugs that really is about pushing out all those old dealers. Of course, as is the case with this turbulent viral system of top-down rulership and bottom-up followers, sometimes the highs don’t meet the lows. No worry. The brains at big pharma have an answer for everything. Oxycontin (an opiate btw) has magically been approved for use on children as young as eleven. Yeah, baby. Get to them kids early enough and they’ll love you for life, right Ronald McDonald? The #Americant way, baby. Rant on. -t

Link that motivated this post: FDA Approves OxyContin For 11 Year Olds | NBC (Pseudo) Newz

That Southern Strategy Beast

Spaghetti monster lapel pin you too can buy. Source: Amazon. Yeah, baby.
Spaghetti monster lapel pin. Wouldn’t it be grand if more politicians and pundits wear it? Source: Amazon. (But I ain’t selling it!)

There’s no beating it, dear worst-reader. As Ferguson explodes (again) I can’t help but think about Richard Nixon. Why? Nixon is, without doubt, one of the greatest politicians in #americant history. The reason for that is simple. Few presidents have left so much in their wake as Nixon. Obviously there are a few before him, but I’m comfortable putting him up there in the top five–impeachment be damned! The greatest politician, btw, has to be slick-willy, Mr. Teflon: Bill Clinton. But he’s another worst-post.

As my beloved #americant spirals into chaos and anarchy–at least among the so-called ninety-nine-percent–all I see is the beast in the room that is the cause. It is a multi-headed beast, allow me to presume. Each head, not unlike the heads of Lernaean Hydra, once removed, is replaced by two. Hence the brilliance of some politicians. Yet how did this beast come to be? Unlike the Hydra–and any other Spaghetti Monster nonsense made up by men from never-more to the bronze-age–there is something almost scientific, at the least planned, about what’s going on these days. And what is going on?

Again. I’m thinking of Richard Dick Nixon. Boy do I remember this guy. I remember my mother crying while watching the TV as Dick waved to the cameras, showing the victory sign while boarding Marine One that was parked on the White House lawn–for the last time. I remember Watergate and even visiting the building, a friend pointing to the window where the break-in took place. I remember President Ford on TV pardoning Dick Nixon. Heck, I even remember Nixon trying to impose rent-control on the country in 1971. But there is one thing that I do not remember about tricky-Dick. And I’m kinda bummed by that. I mean. I should remember this one thing. Because if I would remember it, I wouldn’t have to spend so much time trying to figure it out now. Or? Ok. Maybe not.

Do you know why republicans were so blood thirsty to impeach Bill Clinton? I know. I know. They think they did impeach him. But people forget that Mr. Teflon won that whole Ken Starr whack-job hook, line and sinker. Clinton lying about a blowjob is such a minor and insignificant piece in the annals of #americant history that it will forever be referred to only in a comedic context–or bewilderment over the luscious nature of Monica Lewinsky’s lips. Yet what does that whole piece of history say about a batshit, rightwing House of Reps impeaching Bill Clinton and an equally batshit Senate acquitting him? It says that bloodthirsty (or batshit hungry) republicans are incapable of impeaching and/or making a democrat quit the presidency–like democrats did to them! This tiny piece of history is so infuriating to republicans that the foam from their mouths drips down to be the garb they wear.

Lapel flag-pin anyone?

Yeah, I guess I can’t help but drift at times. I blame that on Lewinsky’s lips, you know. So let me try to bring this thing (beast) around. Richard Dick Nixon is one of the greatest politicians in #americant history because he has made The Southern Strategy a permanent part of politics. In fact, post Reagan, that strategy is what governs everything. Yet no one talks about it. Can one talk about it when white cops are constantly shooting young black men? Can one talk about it when batshit conservatives indirectly condone the murder of abortion doctors. Can one talk about it when the so-called middle-class has been systematically drained of its wealth, only so that wealth can be caught by the upper-class? I will assume that most have heard the question: why do people vote for a party or candidate that is obviously not going to govern in their best interest? The answer is more than just blaming the money and the connections politicians make in order to forge their careers. The answer is The Southern Strategy.

So go ‘head. Thank Dick Nixon for Ronald Reagan, etc.

So let’s talk about Ronald Reagan. If it wasn’t for Nixon’s southern strategy, Reagan would have never gotten so far as an actor/politician–even in California. Do you remember his rhetoric? Welfare queens anyone? Big government is the problem? Just because a president was impeached and subsequently pardoned for his (obvious) crimes, doesn’t mean that his way of politicking can’t be copied. Copied, indeed. Ronald Reagan is the first president to use, post 1929 depression politics, extreme right-wing ideology to influence the political process. This process isn’t just about law-making, governing and elections. It is about:

  1. influencing/controlling the entire electoral process through gerrymandering, indirect poll-taxing (requiring state issued photo ID or driver’s license), and redistricting,
  2. appointing judges who are born of and adhere to conservative ideology so that, among other things, corporations can’t be held liable for their actions,
  3. attacking and demonising the education system, especially colleges and professors,
  4. and creating a propaganda system that could influence voters to vote against their best interests.

With #4 in mind, dear worst-reader, sing with me: thank you Roger Ailes for faux newz and for one-upping Joseph Goebbels! And thank you, Mr. Pig, aka Rush Limbaugh, for selling a nation so much grievance, sentiment and belonging.

Although The Southern Strategy is the multi-headed beast, each head representing something strategic, the core or the body of the beast, the animal itself, is racism. Hence politicians using The Southern Strategy were able to make inroads in their politicking that at first glance doesn’t make much sense. Example? George Wallace won presidential primaries in states that one would think he shouldn’t win–and not just because they were northern states. He won the Democratic party primary in Wisconsin in ’64 and again in Michigan in ’72. This can only be attributed to The Southern Strategy while one of the heads of the beast sung its rhetoric of hate among angry and frustrated white voters.

Indeed. We should all be doing more today than just singing thanks and praise to the likes of Roger Ailes and conservative talking heads. We should instead be sticking our heads up the next guys ass–because that’s obviously where it belongs. Or maybe not.

Rant on. -t

Links that motivated this post:

Roger Ailes’ Secret Nixon Memo For Creating Faux Newz

How The GOP Became The White Man’s Party | Salon

Architect Of Southern Strategy Dies | NYT, 2007

Team Bush, The Iron Triangle | WP, 1999

The Southern Strategy Comes Of Age | Harper’s, 2008

Flop Analyzation

high jump before 1968
Source: google search for “high jump before 1968”. Email me worstwriter (youknow) worstwriter (dotthing) com and I’ll remove it if I’m abusing copyright. I guess.

A confusing, profound and somewhat twisted story where the heart of the matter is lost. This story is the/a perfect metaphor for explaining the goings on of recent clown show. I’m worst-referring to the phenomenon that is The Donald. Indeed, dear worst-reader. The more and more I read about The Donald and his recent faux newz Q&A session (it was in no way a “debate”) the more curious I get. Not to mention the difficulty I’m having trying to explain it to Eurowastelanders, let alone trying to explain the American presidential primary system to them, as well.

Let’s begin with a story. Dick Fosbury won the 1968 gold medal in the high-jump. He did it by changing the jumping technique. His method is called the Fosbury Flop–and it is the way we see high-jumpers perform today. A jumper runs to the bar but instead of trying to leap or straddle over it, the athlete jumps over it backwards throwing his/her body into the air and thereby utilising a more conducive, gravity-centred motion to aide in achieving height. Since the introduction of the flop athletes have never been able to top records with the old method. And now the twist. Credit for athletes being able to achieve in this discipline always goes to the jumping technique. Yet there is one other element, without which, the flop would not be possible. When leaping or straddling the high-bar the athletes landed in a pile of sand where they could use their limbs to absorb the fall. The Fosbury-Flop, though, requires the athlete to land on his/her back–hence the word ‘flop’. When free falling from two meters, a pile of sand does not make for a very soft landing, not to mention the potential for injury.

Here we are, dear worst-reader. We are at a chicken and egg and which came first conundrum, or the like. While the Fosbury-Flop did provide track & field a more dramatic event–not only for the record setting potential but also for the elegant and poetic form of the technique–we have forgotten what is the true reason behind its success. Which brings me back to the word flop and–The Donald. Without the cushion or mat upon which the athlete lands, this technique would not be possible. Yet we don’t even consider the mat or a pile of sand, for that matter. All we think about is the athlete, what the females wear–not unlike The Donald’s hair–and, of course, the record setting jump.

Oh the American way! How brilliant is it to be an American? If only I could tell you. But why tell you? All one has to do is witness it. And then try to figure out: Is Donald Trump, in his quest to be the next president of the united mistakes of #americant, the change in jumping technique or the difference between landing on a soft mat or a not so soft pile of sand? (Un)fortunately, I’m not sure. But I will leave this post with one other worst-conspiratorial thought.

After reading up on the issue a bit I couldn’t help but imagine/see Donald Trump–who actually met with Bill Clinton just before his presidential run announcement in June–being given a Ross Perot welcome to the game by the former president. In fact, what I see/imagine goes even further, especially after thinking a bit more about The Donald’s seething, belligerent and full of contempt (towards republicans) performance at the Q&A session on August 6. Has he been picked to try and (finally) get a hold of what has become of the republican party–a party of dimwits, nutbags and snake oil sellers whose achievement post Ronald Reagan is #americant? Is there a (elite) political class in America that has had enough with what Limbaugh and faux (fake) newz have done? Boy! I hope so. For your sake, I hope The Donald puts all the bedwetters on that stage the other night in their place.

Go Trump! And. Good luck suckers. Oh!

Rant on. -t

Links that motivated this post:

Send In The Clowns

Trump States of #AmericantQue song Send in the Clowns. Lights up on stage. Now have a laugh (and a cry). There you go, dear worst-reader. The scene and mood has been set. Clowns (funny) and sadness (republicans). Except for one thing. There is one thing I didn’t laugh at while scanning the Interwebnets for a view of the clusterF known as the Faux Newz Republican Party Debate, which took place August 6. And I can easily say this regarding what I’ve seen and read about this “debate”: beyond the fact that there was zero political substance in any of it, I have never before seen a better example of people, in the political process sometimes known as democracy, getting exactly what they have earned. I choose my words carefully here, too. I say people get what they have earned and not what they deserve. Somehow, in my worst-mind, there is a margin of error in the word deserve–especially in the context of the misconstrued construct known as meritocracy in America. The same does not apply for earned, though. I mean, come on. Have a quick look at recent history. America has gone through a truly ingenious conservative and republican transformation over the past (arguably) thirty or so years. (I know, the whole transformation goes back to Truman and the same (damn) day, August 6, 1945. But that’s another worst-post.) This current transformation has injected such an overwhelming amount of stupidity into the American political process, that the result can only be this freak show. With that in my skeptic worst-mind, there is no hope that either the freak show or the stupidity will ever find its end. So allow me to worst-say this: the only worthwhile persona on the stage easily belongs to Donald Trump. The moment where he forcefully and with absolute conviction called American politicians “stupid” won me over. He literally called everyone else on that stage stupid. As they truly are. Yeah, I thought. Let the freak show begin. This is why it’s #americant, baby. Let these bed-wetting nut-balls continue on their quest to take advantage of the dumb-downed, all of whom have earned the wrath of their love for stupidity. Good luck suckers. Rant on. -t

Link that motivated this post: Trump The Clown Winner And Losers | BBC

Best Letter to Nin?

“In the beginning was the word, but for the Word to come forth there had first to be a separation of some kind. To detach itself from the bosom of creation there had to be a need, a human need. The word is always the reminder of a more perfect state, of a union or unity which is ineffable and indescribable. Creation is always difficult because it is an attempt to recover what is lost. To regain we must first feel abandoned.”

-Henry Miller, Letters To Anais Nin, Feb. 21, 1939 (Her 36th Birthday?)

Road To Nowhere

Audi Cable Hell
An Audi adapter cable that one is forced to buy if one already pays for iPhone integration in the car. Is this called double-dipping?

German car consortium is buying Nokia’s Mapping technology for three billion dollars. Wow. Amazing. Unbelievable. Now. Is it me? Am I missing something here, dear worst-reader? Why the F are Germans wasting their money on this krapp? Oh well. Even though they make stuff real well, it doesn’t mean that they can innovate. Or is buying a failed company’s left-overs what Germans consider innovation? Yeah, right. §As a long time Audi consumer (my fifth Audi should arrive in September), I can say this about German cars: they are not engineered, they are über-engineered. Obviously German cars are made well. Their TDI motors are fantastic–if you like diesel motors–which I do not. (Note: motor choice in Germany, like everything else in Germany, is a government centralised tax-revenue stream.) Drive-train and suspension on German cars is also pretty good. And then there’s the design of German cars. Ok. Say what you will about z’ Germans–all one needs to do is look at how they dress, the way they build houses, the shape of their forks and knives, etc. But have you had a look at their SUVs? The Mercedes M-series is sad to look at. The Golf is still so weird that I can’t tell the difference between one made today and one made in nineteen-eighty-two (or so). And then there’s BMW’s GT series. I mean, come on! That car looks like the result of sending a piece of Play-do and a Lego block through Seth Brundle’s teleportation machine. And then there’s one other thing about German cars that perturbs me to no end. In fact, I even hate this about the 2013 Ford Fusion that we bought my mother last year. Car makers just can’t seem to get it together when it comes to how they design cockpits, including that whole “ergonomics” bullshit. Sure. The Germans clog the whole driver seat with so many nobs and switches and screens and dials that any fantasising man could think he’s a pilot to Mars–instead of just another Automaton schmuck on his way to cubicle hell. In fact, my Audi is so full of ergonomic bullshit that I don’t even use it. Seriously. I have that whole built-in multi-media system in the car. It costs something like three-quadrillion (ok, thousand) Euros. It has a multi-disc CD player, it has various input slots for SDs, Micro-SDs, USB, etc. And in the glove compartment it has an interface that is supposed to enable the connection of an iPhone. Of course, in order to connect the iPhone I had to purchase the cable extra. The cable alone costs something like forty Euros–and you can only get it from the dealer. (Btw, when I got Audi #4 I couldn’t use the same cable from Audi #3. That’s right. Had to buy another one.) And get this. You know what I do with my multi-media connecting cable and iPhone? I use it to charge the damn phone. For the life of me! The über-engineered cockpit system that Germans put into that car is so complex and old-school, that I gave up on using it years ago. (It is another story of sorts having to do with leasing cars in Germany that is the reason I get this krapp in the first place.) It is the most expensive, extensive, fancy piece of uselss shit that I’ve ever purchased–and it’s not worth my time to figure out how to use. Which brings me to the news of the day. §You would think that Germans would/could figure out that maybe there is a time when simplicity could replenish the cost of complexity. In other words, why not leave the tech stuff to tech-guys. Stop making all this fancy old-school ergonomics in cars and thereby waste time and effort (on your part) and just buy-in to those who know how to do it. For example, the new system that’s being offered by Apple. I think Android has one in the works as well. All one then needs to do is build the connection interface into the car and let the smartphone handle everything else. You can still build little computer monitors in the cars, you can still build a few fancy nobs and dials, but the rest of technology–especially when it comes to navigation and mapping–SERIOUSLY–leave that up to those who know how to do it–as opposed to old-school über-engineers who don’t know their rocket cockpit fantasies from Autobahn madness. With that in mind. What German car makers really shouldn’t be doing is buying old-school navigation system from companies that deserve to fail. Yeah. If only they’d listen to worst-writer. §Rant on. -t

Links that motivated this post: