At Odds With Our Government

three dollar bill apple logo (low res)

For posterity’s sake below is worst-writer’s transcription of Tim Cook’s tell-all, ask-all and all-around cute little keynote speech before he starts hocking gadgets to the world and thereby protecting the bottom line, March 2016. I’ve listened to this speech several times. Each time I listen it gets under my gander more and more. But enough of my anti-corpo cynicism. Or maybe not.

Thanks for joining us.

Blah. Blah. Krapp about selling a billion products. Blah Blah. More Corpo krapp. Blah. We’re the best in the universe. Blah Blah Blah. Amazing.

Before we get started today I’d like to address something. We built the iPhone for you. We know it is a deeply personal device. For many of us the iPhone is an extension of ourselves. About a month ago we asked American’s across the country to join in on a conversation. We need to decide as a nation how much power the government should have over our data and over our privacy. I’ve been humbled and am deeply grateful for the outpouring of support that we’ve received from Americans across the country and all walks of life. We didn’t expect to be in this position at odds with our own government but we believe strongly that we have a responsibility to help you protect your data and your privacy. We owe it to our customers and to our country, this is an issue that impacts all of us and we will not shrink from this responsibility. -Tim Cook, Apple Inc.

Is this churchillian? I mean, does it motivate one to fight or believe (in something)? Is this profound? Will we take it with us through life’s trials and tribulations? Is it the mind of a sage? Perhaps such wisdom will save us someday. Or is this a new level of bullshit-pure never before heard? Is it a mind that makes a movie? I don’t know why this churns a feeling of hostile indifference in me. It’s the same feeling I get when I hear conspiracy theorist’s churn about how a flag can wave (or not wave) when supplanted on the moon. Even though some people think this little diddi by Tim Cook was worth every brief word, I profanely disagree. Fu*k! I think Tim Cook and Apple are shameful and out of order and the company should be punished for insubordination (to humanity). I also think it is an example of how low the corporate world can go–without even knowing it’s reached new lows. But that’s the world we live in, eh! That said, I also think the FBI should be disbanded and should have never been created in the first place. The NSA is just another krapp government agency and also deserves to be in the trash heap of authoritarian, war-mongering government history. These types of law & order and war-mongering institutions, set along side greed-mongering corporations, should be proof enough of the neo-feudalism that so many are confusing with fascism. Yet nothing happens. At beast, all the hordes of corpo automatons think is that the government is not the same as a private corporation. Really? Private corporations deserve to make money, they say. Government is there to protect us, they add. Etc., etc. In fact, in a healthy democracy, these entities, these institutions, would look quite different. And there we have it, eh, dear worst-reader? Do we live in a healthy, functioning democracy? But I digress. §As I worst-said here, Apple taking a position where it tries to protect its bottom line–and let’s face it, if Apple were to lose its ability to secure and encrypt its iPhones the ramifications on its bottom line would be horrendous–and thereby turning the government into the boogyman seems like a stretch at best and yelling fire in a crowded theatre at worst. Who does Apple and Tim Cook think they are? And let me reiterate one more time. I’m not defending the FBI or the government here. It’s just that the reaction to this cute little bullshit speech about Apple’s bottom line has opened a door of sympathy when a door of hostile disapproval should be ripped off its hinges. But I guess with all the dysfunction ruling our lives, it’s hard to see through the mirror of self annihilation. So let Apple continue to move jobs abroad, hide tax revenues from the American people, have the poor of the world make its products in sweatshops and covering it all up in rose-gold. Rant on. -Tommi

Know Who You're Competing With For Life, Liberty & The Pursuit Of Spendable Income

the greatest

Competition is the opposite of cooperation and is perfect for sport, games and getting laid. What else has it proven to be good for?

Not sure if I got the right article. But I’m gonna go with it. See below. §Gave a listen to comrade Wolff this morning. See other link below. As usual, and unfortunately, Comrade Wolff doesn’t provide links to the articles he references during his podcast. That means I have to go out and source what he references myself. Good thing I worked in information services for a few years. I guess Comrade Wolff’s budget doesn’t allow for someone to just codify and post the info he references. I mean, through the first half of his podcasts he’s always talking about this article or that article or whatever thing he or his staff finds in the news. If you don’t listen carefully then you miss the source of what he’s referencing and it’s kind of a bummer to go back and fiddle though the podcast to find it again. Nomatter. §Today Comrade Wolff talks about how Generation Y, i.e. those born after 1980, is royally screwed because parents and grandparents are nothing more than a bunch of greed mongering schmucks. Well, he doesn’t quite put it that way. Comrade Wolff even goes so far as to claim that the progenitors fought and, I guess, died for things like worker benefits, pensions, retirements, etc. Did they? Whatever. The thing is, I agree with Comrade Wolff–except for one thing. It’s not only Generation Y that is screwed by previous generations. If you ask me, and no one should, there is a pattern in humanity that this situation follows. Or maybe not. §The generation that fought WW2 and the children of that generation, i.e. baby-boomers, are the ones Comrade Wolff talks about. I take issue with blaming only one generation. Reason? I was born in 1963. If I’m not mistaken I am right in the middle of the baby-boomer generation and Generation X. Being generationally positioned as I am, I can easily claim that I too have felt the greed-pain of previous generations. The problem is, according to The Guardian, there seems to be only figures and stats for Generation Y. It’s as though they’re the only generation that’s been screwed. And so I say: Where are my stats? Where’s proof of my economic demise? As far as I can tell, I’ve been just as screwed as Gen Y and Gen X and Gen forevermore. Or maybe not. §I should also include in this rant the fact that I saw the sinking ship that is also the train wreck that started in 1980’s #americant. I knew very early on that if you don’t inherit some money, have parents that can afford to support you, or find a way to get a clean education beyond graduate school–and then become an automaton programmed to live-to-work–you are gonna be screwed, screwed, screwed. Not only was it next to impossible back then to get a start in a career coming from the broken-ness of middle-class suburban hell, but the hoarding of life, liberty and consume-to-survive was already well underway. That is what Reagan unleashed! Heck, I remember my parents (born at the end of WW2) buying houses on equity loans in the early 80s. They also bought a second pool (because the first one wasn’t new enough). And then there were all the new cars every few years. And while they were consuming to their heart’s content, I couldn’t get student aide or even a student loan because Ronald (the dipshit actor) Reagan changed all the benefits for the underprivileged. Although I was raised in #americant’s low middle class, my stepfather never felt obligated to assist in my life start. Since I had no relations with my biological father, where were the resources for the beginning of life to come from? Oh yeah. It’s America. The land of opportunity. Dish washer to millionaire. The problem is, I never believed in fairies, easter bunnies or fucking santa claus after the age of six. Which means, once I turned eighteen and my mother wasn’t around to stop him (she was visiting Germany at the time) my stepfather literally threw me out of the house because I wouldn’t subject myself to economic conscription and go off to  support a war machine owned by rich people. As I walked out of the door of the house I had grown to hate anyway, the pseudo patriarch of go-nowwhere, suburban hell #americant said, to crown his grand achievement: good luck and thanks for all the fish you smart ass. I flipped the fucker the bird and was off to a life of happy failure. Boo f’n who, eh! But enough about worst-writer. §My point is this: both The Guardian and Comrade Wolff have it wrong. It’s not so much about whether a particular generation has less earning and/or consumer (cap)ability. The issue is: what is humanity capable of? That is, we are all competing not only against each other but against a globalised world owned and run by rich people. Because no one–at least I’ve never met anyone–can recognise their place on this planet, how are we supposed to circumvent our own demise? We’re competing with the same generations who never knew Starbucks, TV and Lego in India and China. Every time you buy a Starbucks, Lego or a TV you add to the weight of children unborn–which is no different than the weight I carried. We compete to our doom because we know no better and for some us–yours truly–it worked out fine. My parents generation, my generation, generation x and y, and generation unborn are all the source of what’s wrong. Does that make me a misanthrope? I hope so! If Comrade Wolff really believes that the world can be changed by a new generation just because they can’t buy enough krapp… Well, good luck suckers… And thanks for all the fish. Rant on. -Tommi

Links that motivated this post:

Designed In Ain't Made In #Americant

designed in aint made in

Upon his death (or joining Elvis) Steve Jobs left behind one of the most successful companies the world has ever known. Almost five years later Apple Inc. is still a behemoth of cash and profits. Which begs worst-moi to ask the following: is it me or does it feel like Apple is riding on laurels? Every event, like the one yesterday, brings with it a swath of news and debate that has never before existed for any company. There are rumours and speculation about Apple’s products and services months before these events take place. Apple pundits and tech journalist in and out of silicon valley seem to know exactly what to talk about–and talk they do. Yet, what about the customers? The what? §You know, it’s one thing to be a crazed biker and put a Harley tattoo on your arm showing your devotion to a brand. It’s another thing for a brand to create a rumour-industrial-complex where everyone is waiting to hear what’s next, what’s new, how much money can I throw at you. With that in mind, would I rather tattoo a pic of a Harley Davidson low-rider (with Pam Anderson on it) or an Apple logo on my ass? For one thing, even though Harley’s are based on totally outdated technology, people are devoted to them as though they’ve never been warned about golden calves. Coolness has that effect, eh! What? Am I claiming that Apple isn’t as cool as Harley Davidson and not worth the/a tattoo? No. I’m not worst-saying that. What I’m worst-saying is that the buyers of big and loud Harley’s know that the suits running that business can only fuck with them so much. Harley was/is as much a company made by its customers (just study up on what it means to “chop” something) as it was/is made by #americant. Plus, Harley’s can still be associated with Made-In America, baby. Apple Inc., on the other hand, is Designed in California. Even though I know exactly what designing something means, why Apple had to go there is a mystery. But then again, when one considers who runs the show these days, maybe it’s not such a mystery after all. With all the ageing and über-lucky college-grads running Apple–who look more and more like slimy used car salesmen that discovered GAP or Banana Republic after winning the lottery–it’s no wonder they have no qualms about fucking with customers till the cows come running–by design. Hence, your products are not made with blood, sweat and tears–in America. Anyone jump to his/her death from a Foxconn rooftop lately? §Let’s talk some reality here. We buy Apple products so that Apple can make them obsolete. Period. Which brings me to recycling and robots. I can’t believe Apple presents a recycling robot yesterday as though it’s corporate culture of lies and compulsive behaviourism are two different things. Take my word for it. I’ve been one of Apple’s sucker customers for most of my life and I’ve work in compulsive behaviourism, too. I’ve tried to treat an old Mac Classic and a Mac Colour Classic as though they were a ’57 panhead. But I ended up throwing both of them away as though one day I saw the light. Obviously I would never have done the same with a Harley. And there, perhaps, is the difference between brand loyalty and brand suckerism. In the tech world, for me at least, Apple is the best of the worst and far from the best of the best! Harley is not even a fucking motorcycle–it’s a Harley! But I’m off subject. §After giving up on the corporate career dream-nightmare (compulsive behaviourism) and thereby adjusting my life so that my only major expenses are buying mostly used or refurbished Apple products, I feel comfortable claiming that for the last few years Apple is the same as mediocrity. On top of that, Apple is still riding the luscious wave its hippy guru Jobs left it (laurels). Which begs the question–even though it was one of his last wishes that no one ask it: what would Steve do? More on that in a sec. §I’m even more comfortable saying that since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, with a slight uptick due to the iPad, Apple has delivered absolutely nothing worth mentioning in years. Now that it’s brought back the iPhone 5s in the form of the 5se, I’m shaking in my old biker boots. The light at the end of this tunnel is shinning at me with the hope of a digital alternative to my/a Apple future. Come on, Apple! You couldn’t at least redesign the new iPhone 5se? You know, make it thicker, stronger, more battery life? And that’s not all. Why is the new AppleTV bigger than the old one? Where is a new Mac Mini with discrete graphics! I’ve even read that the old 5s cases will fit the new 5se. What? Heck, my mind started putting together the irony of Apple’s new recycle robot and the same phone they’ve been making since 2012. I thought: wow, now we know what Apple is up to. “Recycle” is code for putting new guts in old phone with a bit of added bang-boom-shazaam. Ingenious–for profits? Disgusting–for innovation! Boring–for customers. But I digress. §I suspect Steve Jobs was an Ayn Rand loving neoliberal. If that’s true, what would his reaction be to where Apple is today? I bet he would shake the fucking house down. The confusion of products (Apple makes watch bands!), the mess of iTunes (Apple Music), and most Macs sold don’t even have discrete graphics, says everything–if you understand the issues that customers need to face in the digital economy. Graphic capability is the reason Macs survived at all–with or without Jobs return to the company. But I suppose all that is beyond most sucker customers. §Which brings me to the issue of Apple reacting to the government in its fight against the FBI while trying to sell laurels. The fact that Tim Cook even addressed the issue at the beginning of yesterday’s event blows my mind. Are you serious, Apple? I wonder if Steve Jobs would have made such a lame-ass speech as Tim Cook did yesterday. Even mentioning government while trying to sell gadgets at this level is mind-boggling to me. Is Apple to blame for that or is government, failed democracy, The Donald, or college grads who never learned to think for themselves? It would have been just as good if Tim Cook would have said nothing about one of the greediest human entities in history and its greed-fight with greed government over something as stupid as an iPhone 5c which was used by a greed religious nut. Which brings me to reality. §Tim Cook, you lucky dog–for there is nothing else to call the college grads that behave their way to the top and when they get there all they can muster is mediocrity, #americant, and a whole bunch of nothingness. It cannot be said enough, dear worst-reader, this world is run by these college grads, i.e. joksters and fools in well tailored casual outfits. So it’s no wonder that the angry Harley guys out there are finally getting their voice in/via The Donald. But, again, I digress. Rant on. -Tommi

Worstwriter Anthem Or Creed?

The most incurably frustrated–and, therefore, the most vehement–among the permanent misfits are those with an unfulfilled craving for creative work. Both those who try to write, paint, compose, etcetera, and fail decisively, and those who after tasting the elation of creativeness feel a drying up of the creative flow within and know that never again will they produce aught worth-while, are alike in the grip of a desperate passion. Neither fame nor power nor riches nor even monumental achievements in other fields can still their hunger. Even the wholehearted dedication to a holy cause does not always cure them. Their unappeased hunger persists, and they are likely to become the most violent extremists in the service of their holy cause. -Eric Hoffer, The True Believer

Wirtschaftswunderkinder From The East Mix Well With Too Many PHDs

german borg flag

Having lived there for 20+yrs nothing shocks me anymore about the grand and delusional state of Germania when the buckles holding up its crescent moon start to shake. But then again, that’s why worstwriter.com is here. To provide a heads up. With that piece of self-promotion in mind, is Merkel getting what she deserves? Not that it matters. I mean, it really doesn’t matter who the chancellor of Germania is. It could be a Pfefferlinge or a Schweinehundleckerbissen. The only difference that Merkel makes as chancellor is she’s where she is so that other German females can’t go where they deserve to go. The corporate Germania freakshow is, without doubt, a boys club. For a woman to get a job running any part of the big business country-club, hell would have to freeze over or milk from a teat would have to become a qualifier (for the job). I mean, come on. A German female CEO running Mercedes? Are you f’n kidding me?

Vee heav z’ Kanzlerin!

The only other thing that matters (in Germania) is whether or not shareholders, ancient family money, over-zealous PHD grads that grow on trees, all have their day partying around in leased Audis and Mercedes and hoping that zero interest rates will save them all from certain Euro-doom as the bullshit, overpriced real-estate market that so many suckers bought in to on the promise of gettin’ by like their Wirtschaftwunder parents got by, crashes to the ground. I mean, that’s what happening on Merkel’s watch–whether she and her party suffer a state election or not. And so, let’s thank Margot Honecker for giving the world Angie Merkel. Thanks Margot, you old b*tch!

Rant on. -Tommi

Link that motivated this post:

 

Everyone's Day In Court Will Never Come

justice FBI apple

Subtitle: Juxtaposition of Hope v Change v Consuming v Survive v Gee, I don’t know, …Orwell?

You know, recently, before our move to India, I floated the idear that we should probably update our ageing digital devices. My wife’s iPhone 5S was looking pretty beat up and my iPhone 4S was almost a brick due to Apple’s draconian iOS updates. It only made sense to consider updating this stuff before our move as India is a pretty expensive place to buy tech krapp. My wife half-joked not to worry about it because we could just take a flight from Bangelore to Malaysia. “It’s a only quick flight”, she said. “Malaysia’s the cheapest place to buy tech krapp,” she added. But all worst-bourgeois joking aside, my floated idear was taken seriously and we ended up buying, without contract, new digital devices before our move. I bought my new iPhone 6S in the US during a recent visit and my wife bought one too while we spent a last weekend in Europe, albeit in London. All in all, with trade-ins, selling of old devices, exchange rates, we’re pleased with our status as über-consumers. And let me add that we got these devices without those crazy-as* phone cell contracts. Which means, we paid full price for this krapp! Does anyone know what full price is these days as we finance, lease, perpetually rent everything? But I digress. §Recent developments in the tech world have made me worst-think twice about our purchase. Conclusion (so far)? There is, obviously, another immense hidden cost of owning a piece of The Digital World. Let’s face it. Beyond the reality of there being a tech cabal out there made up of a few companies who have managed to monopolise everything–screwing consumers royally–what is the real cost we’re paying for having a connection to The Digital World? Enter the recent debacle of the FBI v Apple. It’s one thing that we are forced to pay such manipulated, unjustifiable prices for this krapp. I mean, come on! How much does it really cost to make this stuff? I’ll wager it costs next to nothing to make an iPhone. Considering that incremental updates to the device have been taking place since its intro, and the profits Apple has made since then, yeah, Apple has to create the illusion that it’s expensive. Apple is good at illusion (and distortions fields). But, again, I digress. §So what about the issue of whether or not government will use these devices as tools of oppression? I mean, how far are we away from the retina scanners of Minority Report? Isn’t that what the whole debate is about right now? In the movie Minority Report we see retina scanners doing their thing in order to sell us krapp. Of course, when a rogue agent is being hunted by religious and conservative nutbags, those retina scanners serve a completely different purpose. That “purpose” is so immense that people even gouge out or replace their eyes to prevent government spooking. And so. When I hear the FBI–the largest and best funded police agency in the frickin’ world!–bitch & moan like a spoiled girly in spring-time that it can’t crack an iPhone 5C, I start to tear up. On top of that, just watch the mongrels from the FBI laud their reasoning for breaking some seriously good encryption that the private sector has spent a pretty penny developing. Indeed. As much as I hate the technology cabal that manipulates markets, subverts free commerce, treats consumers like dirt, the encryption technologies that have been developed are worth every bit of praise. Encryption for the masses is supposed to be part of being free–not just preventing hackers from accessing your paypal account or your sexy selfies. And so. It’s not tears that come out of my eye ducts when I hear govt./FBI bitch & moan like only conservatives can, it’s puke that comes out. Or, put another way–after taking a deep breath–I’m flabbergasted at what’s going on between the federal government and a private corporation in the land of the free. Or course, as we all know, it’s the land of the free to be stupid, right Donald Trump followers? Which means, it’s not expected that the masses actually comprehend what’s going on in our digital world. That’s why I believe the FBI went public with this issue. The FBI knows that #americants are stupid and will react to this issue based on populism, patriotism or who yells the loudest. These lemmings have long since been driven off the cliff’s edge or rational thought. In fact, when you consider the forum in which a debate about privacy and freedom is taking place, i.e. the united mistakes of #americant, where The Donald, a psycho maniac, is leading the republican party down the path it was always meant to traverse, it’s no wonder that a legal precedence is about to be made regarding liberty and individualism? A precedence that favours government power and the collusion of big tech. Wow. With all that in worst-mind, I’m wondering if 2016 will go down in history as a moment of truth. Based on what we’ve experienced from government up till now, combined with the greed mongering of monopolistic industries who obviously haven’t paid off their government reps enough, we already live in the Minority Report future. Time to figure out how to remove your retinas, baby. Rant on. -Tommi

Links that motivated this post:

 

Passage To India, Legal, House Hunting And Cat5 Ethernet

wall-mounted-ethernet.jpg

The first week in India has been a challenge. Not sure I can communicate it fully in this status update. But have no fear, worst-writer will try.

  • Big day today. Started very early where we had to go to immigration authorities to get legal docs regarding our visa. After about two hours of sitting around it all worked out. We’re legal till Jan 2017.
  • After legal stuff it is time to get serious about apartment hunting.
  • Better-half is in the middle of lots of work, getting initialised in her new position and new organisation. There should be some domestic travel between north India and our new home in Bangelore. But luckily that hasn’t started yet.
  • As far as worst-writer living in a hotel for up to two months, here’s what I can come up with so far. I’m a bit perturbed with the trepidations of taking care of a dog that finds our living quarters cramped. Luckily our room is attached to a basketball-size garden where he can run around outside as though he owns the place.
  • As far as the hotel goes, it’s a five-star facility in the middle of Bangelore. Although I haven’t the time or courage to try out the pool–it’s in the middle of main dining area, I have tried the sauna, the gym and the bar where there’s this cute India chick that loves Beckett the-killer-pug so much she’s offered to watch after him if we need a dog-sitter.
  • “But that’s my job, sweety,” I thought to myself. It’s not so obvious that rolls have been switched in our household.
  • Our über-friendly bar-maiden also serves a mean Kingfisher beer along with some seriously hot n spicy bar snacks–which I’m still struggling to avoid. And one last note on cute India chicks.
  • As you know, dear worst-reader, Indian chicks wear Sari’s and depending on their mood or their posture there is always something revealing in their dress. Why does that shock me?
  • Apartment hunting. After a week of delays we finally got around to some serious apartment hunting today. So far it looks like we’re not going to be living in a “expat” community–something we initial thought we should do. Due to travel times across the city, though, the preferred community is just too far out of reach. In Bangelore it’s not the actual distance that’a a problem. It’s the time needed to drive. Needless to say, traffic here (third world?) is horrendous–or should I say it’s almost as bad as traffic in Cologne (first world?)
  • One of our apartments favourites has its own pool. Can you believe that? I joked with the agent showing us the place that a pool is good, I like places with extra bathtubs. The bathtub comment turned into a running joke. In my heart of hearts, though, having a private pool is a bit too bourgeois and decadent. But my better-half liked it.
  • Another apartment, that was brand new, btw, was wired with CAT5 ethernet. Stop the presses! That’s some pretty modern stuff and would make any on-going, wannabe systems analyst and potential self-web-hoster like me, drool.
  • Yeah, I’ll take CAT5 ethernet over a private pool any day.
  • Enough for now. We look at more apartments on Saturday. Decision should be pending after that.

Rant on. -Tommi

Do Your Job Sounds The Same As Get A Job

Who knew that rational thought existed in the united mistake’s Senate? Why aren’t there more Senators like this one? Oh yeah, #americant prefers batsh*t. Now, if only I could get through a #trump2016 speech. Wait. Let me swallow some mustard water first. There. Now I can watch a Trump speech.

Rant on. -Tommi

News ECB German Real Estate Bubble

 

ecb-german-real-estate-bubble
This is a screenshot of google search.

Reason I googled it? Overheard my better-half’s morning news show while she was preparing for her day. She props her iPad on a shelf under the mirror in the hotel bathroom. She streams the news from Germany. Even though we’ve been away from Das Vaterland for just over a week, the saying holds tried & true: you can take her out of her country but you can’t take her country out of… Anywho. During the newscast the word Blase (bubble) was used several times in the context of the German real estate market. This woke me out of my drowsy state as I had a rough night of sleep, got up around 2:30am and tried to worst-write to compensate–but nothing helped. A big segment of the German newscast was the announcement by the ECB of lowered interest rates, which are now near zero, and the consequence that may have on real estate and the suckers who bought in the last few years. Of course, the real reason my eyes popped open was because the news report said only what I’ve been saying for the past three or so years. Vindication is a great source of wake-me-up. Not only am I worst-writer, dear worst-reader, but I’m also an arm-chair economist, a pseudo news debunker and an all-around wannabe polymath. That said, I love it when I’m proven RIGHT. §We started looking at real estate in Germany around seven years ago. Four years ago we moved from Wiesbaden to Cologne where the search continued. One thing held true the whole time we were searching to make the purchase of life-time. Etwas stimmt nicht im Land der über Optimismus. The whole time we were looking to buy a house or a flat it felt as though we were competing with others who purchased on the basis of now or never or panic. I kept getting the feeling, with every agent we spoke to, that something was wrong with the real estate market in Germany. My better half, of course, being the optimist that she is, would have none of my nonsense. She held that the over-priced market (at least she did admit to prices being very odd) was the way it was because Germany was a stable economy and there was Ordnung and the daffodils that bloom during the few days of sunshine in spring look the same in the dark-grey days of the rest of the Germanic year. She never believed me when I told her that the reason we couldn’t fulfil her dream of owning a home (which is still a pretty big deal for most Germans) was because, although we are well-to-do, the housing market in Germany is not. It is in fact inflated, over-valued and preoccupied by a bunch of wannabe real estate sharks name Manfred or Heiner or Bierschen. In order to buy a house in Germany for the past (my worst-estimate) 20 years, you not only had to over come all the ridiculous costs of the bureaucracy and the mafia-like state that made laws that guaranteed that they would also get a share of your dream, but you had to compete with the bubble–and don’t forget all the real estate sharks. No one believed me when I said that there is no justification for the prices of real estate in Germany today. With globalisation and down-sizing rampant in the country, with all inheritance value from the wirtschafwunder used up, where is the money supposed to come from to buy all the real estate? Heck, VW just announced, in the wake of its ridiculous smoke screen that is supposed to hide managements choice to over produce, it’s gonna lay-off over three thousand people by 2017–most of whom are office workers. “Office” workers are supposed to be the ones that can afford to buy real estate. Or? §But like I said, the real estate market hasn’t felt right in Germany for years. Stuff is being built like crazy. It not only felt like there was an over supply of new houses but there was also an over supply of old houses that were being sold for the same price as new houses. Hello! Are you fucking kidding me. And get this. We made an offer on a house two years ago just south of Cologne. After several meetings with the agent we met one last time where I made my offer. I mean, we considered our offer for a few days. We spoke with people about how to do it. We thought we offered a fair price where we hoped negotiations would begin. Yet. We got absolutely no response from the agent. When we finally called him back, although he was supposed to return our first offer, he just said that the owner had decided to rent the place. Rent the place? For real? Ok. Fine. I guess if the owner can’t sell it–because he’s priced it waaaaaaaay to high, he has to then, at the least, rent it–to stop the bleeding of cash he must pay to maintain the mortgage. I turned to my wife and said: this is bullshit, its all a bubble. As of our leaving Germany to move to India for a few years, the guy still hadn’t sold the house. With that in mind, I feel bad for anyone in Germany who bought a house within the last few years believing/thinking that low interest rates were the reason to fulfil the dream. This most recent lowering of ECB rates means buyers will never get any equity out of their house and the price paid was a lie. Good luck suckers. Rant on. -Tommi

Links that motivated this post:

Phallic Symbolism Of Colour Bias And Other Taunts

uncle sam bathing suit

Moments that tell all? Or points in the time-space continuum that hide from view but are always there? One thing stands out from all the 2016 GOP debates. There is something seriously wrong with the mindset that has produced the current iteration of the republican party in the united mistakes of #americant. Double seriously. I mean, this shit’s no longer funny. Or is it? Even to worst-writer, who thinks only in terms of WORST, there are moments where I think things can’t get any…. Enter NOW. Not only is the true face of the republican party being shown in all its ugly, hate-filled glory–along with its blatant racism–but the entire world has now been indelibly impressed with a new level of incivility, #americant style! American men can now dangle their private parts in a show of presidential prowess that has never been witnessed before. I mean, that’s it. The American electoral process can go no lower. Or? Ok. There is the race thing. Which means we can’t go any lower than racism and dicks when it comes to our democracy. No. Wait. That’s can’t be true. Maybe it’s always been this way. What’s new is that The Donald has opened up the secret door where this behaviour has been going on all along. But I digress. §Even though I hate what Reagan did with America one has to admit that thirty years ago isn’t enough time to claim that civility once ruled. Thirty years isn’t that long, now is it? From New Delhi to Hong Kong to Paris to Moscow–this is what people around the globe can talk about when discussing the 2016 election for US president: dicks and unmitigated racism. With that in mind, where else can #americant politics go from here? Through out these modern times of human greed ruling everything and being the sole source of action one can witness other governments, parliaments, democracies hammer out there differences–but have they’ve gone so low as America? Haven’t Russian politicians slugged it out with their fists at times on the floor of their parliament? Haven’t south American elected officials thrown water in each others faces while disagreeing? Well, I guess there are some Americans who feel that we have to put something out there to challenge all those other governments–and their civility. Thank you Donald Trump. Thank you GOP. Now we have dick hanging–thanks to not just my beloved #americant but to those voters who played this game for the last thirty years. Oh my. As a kind of pseudo diplomat I’m gonna have to start thinking of new ways to change the subject when I’m at dinner parties in Bangelore or Bangkok and people ask me about America. Rant on. -Tommi

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Batsh*t Blue Collar WWE And Failupwards College Grads. A Love Story.

 

american-flag-wwe

As the GOP deservedly cracks and crumbles this holiday election season, I’m wondering if liberals or those still capable of thought should take a stand on all this hitlerism and fascism krapp that’s being thrown around like a volleyball at a sorority party where new recruits are required to prance around for frat boys with big cars and new iPhones so that once the girls get their degrees they can stay home and raise brats. But on a lighter note. Obviously #americants are screwed and Chris Hedges nails it by putting blame on the elite college educated post-Reagan that have turned a once great nation into a crapshoot. But there is one thing Mr. Hedges leaves out of his article–and worst-writer is here to provide. The GOP that has been supported by voters since Reagan is not comparable to Weimer Germany or the tribal craze that lead to WW1&2. The GOP has been supported by big and little people who want one thing and one thing only: to buy krapp. That’s why I call it: #americant the land to be free to be stupid where you can consume-to-survive (among a few other things) till your entrails pop out from which you can clay-animate your favourite unicorn. Of course, there is a problem in the unicorn pastures these days. Since #americant can’t make krapp any more, what’s left for it to do? Well, according to Reagan and supply-side economics… this is what’s left. I mean. What’s going on right now is what’s t left–it’s what happens when you elect batsht. Yet, it’s so much more than a batsht election year, isn’t it? Now that Reagan batsht has run its course and there’s nowhere left to go, i.e. religion’s not the answer, neoliberalism’s (as answer to the failure of supply-side-econ) not the answer, and we can’t afford furthering wars-of-choice, is it appropriate to bring #eurowasteland’s recent history into the fold? Keep in mind, what is it exactly that all those college grads that Hedges mentions actually learned? And so. Enter… the consume-to-survive WWE-TV crowd plus all those angry college grads that have to eat their shoes for breakfast. Talk about a batsht! Or. Talk about unicorn pastures of mindfuck galore. What you have right now is a stupefied voting constituency that is so clueless to anything–especially world history–that I am not afraid to ask: is #americant really capable of embracing one of two things #eurowasteland ever gave humanity, i.e. fascism? (The other, btw, in case you’re confused, dear worst-reader, is communism; both of these are a subcategory to the main thing #eurowasteland gave the world: greed. But I digress.) And can this embrace happen all because the WWE-TV crowd plus angry college grad numbskulls and their purchasing power has been diminished by their own doing? Seriously? Maybe, just maybe, there should be some level of consideration to what Trump is doing to the political party that gave rise to this situation, which, as far I can tell, comes out of one of the two parties. With that in mind, worst-writer does not make false equivalencies. And one more thing. Lewis CK’s sophomoric attempt to communicate to his audience (college grads?) is just more proof that this crowd is probably not capable of underachieving at the level of past #eurowastelanders. All-in-all, this craziness might turn out to be a godsend on account what Trump is really doing is bringing down the republican party–that gave us Reagan and the minion/morons that follow(ed) him and subsequently the political mindfuck pastures unicorns are drowning in right now. And so. In conclusion. I say let the freak-show election process play out because I still have faith in #americant–WWE plus college numbskulls n’all. Just saying’. Rant on. -Tommi

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The World Should Be Thanking The(ir) Heavens For #thedonald–Or Maybe Not

earned the donald gop implode

First. Can The Donald really win a general election? If you think he’s worth comparing to whether or not Berry Obama could win when he announced back 2007, think again. There is no comparison. And even if The Donald were to win, would it be so bad? Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t want him to win the presidency. I do want him to win the republican primary, though. After what I’ve seen and read since his announcement to run, there is more to this guy than meets his infamous combover, his hate speech and his misogyny. The thing is, dear worst-reader, I’ve heard from The Donald ever since I was a kid. In fact, I’d go so far as to claim that The Donald that is stuck in the 70’s mindset is not far off from the batshit that raised me. Of course, the fact that this guy manages to get his kisser in the news regularly is nothing short of ingenious, to say the least. And what does he do to warrant such attention? Who knows and who cares. He is a businessman. And not just any businessman. He’s the first businessman to run for president of the united mistakes, baby. The Donald represents a part of America that is somewhat dark but not inherently evil. Up to now he gets press coverage because, well, he’s earned it–and so too has the GOP. Just have a look at TV, WWE and beauty pageants, etc. But so have many others earned it before The Donald. We joke and/or kill opinions with the likes of PT Barnum or Charles Ponzi, Bernie Madoff, and the ever present Mitt Romney, etc. by claiming that there are confidence men among us. But is The Donald really part of that club? Can he claim fame to taking advantage of a sucker being born every minute (PT Barnum) or conniving money out of naive investors (Ponzi; Madoff) or just plain suckering a country out of its valuable assets (Mitt)?  Whether clean cut or sloppy joe, these men are no different than those that came before them. And speaking of Mitt! One thing Mitt Romney got right the other night when he tried to condemn The Donald is that there is a confidence artist (conman) in our midst. If you really think about it, truly look beyond the pale, look underneath the veneer of #americant, one thing will be clear above all other things. America was built by conmen and even today it’s run by them. Whether snake oil salesman or religious fanatics or presidents and politicians or businessmen, #americant is a place of the con. In fact, when my grand united mistakes won the cold war (and I was on my way to expat shores because I saw the con of Reaganomics coming), and the Soviet Union was collapsing, Bush#1 told Boris Yeltsin, when Yeltsin asked about managing a free country (paraphrase & creative license): let the criminals have their way just not the whole way. In other words, Bush#1 told Boris Yeltsin to give the conmen rising out of the ashes of the failed soviet state free rein and then added: just don’t let them ever run the show. Hence, Authoritarian Russia has since returned thanks to Yeltsin’s prime choice of protege, Vladimir Putin, to its old ways where only a select few can have both the power and the business (the con). And so, all Russian conmen have been put in their place. If they didn’t accept their place then they were jailed or run out of the country. It’s no wonder that Putin has already come out to praise The Donald–or did The Donald praise Putin? Nomatter. The thing to keep in mind is that after all these years the end of the Cold War resulted in nothing but a world of conmen on the grandest scale ever. It is the only way to keep the human greed freak-show going. So now you must choose between conmen A or conmen B–one of which has a really funny head of hair. By the looks of all participants, The Donald showed up in the nick of time to offer the world a picture of the reality of the con. But is the world thankful? The worst-writer fact is, politicians, especially politicians of major economic powers, are nothing but conmen. For Mitt Romney, who espoused to a higher Mormon calling of public service after pillaging post industrial-age America of any remaining value (it’s the business model of his entire billion dollar career at Bain), to come out and be the pot that calls the kettle black…? But I digress. Btw, the only difference between conman aka The Donald or conman aka professional politician or goody-two-shoes Mitt, is the level of hurt and damage one has under his/her belt. It is clear that The Donald is a sullied, unsavoury character but he is also not a darling to the GOP and their war-mongering. There is no evidence, including his popular (hate) rhetoric, that he would do the same amount of damage to this world that, say, Dubya did to it in the name of the GOP. That may be a naive (although I hope it would also be provocative) claim but it is also a claim indicative of what the world is missing when it complains about The Donald. Could he really be any worse than world politicians of the past seventy years who have lead us to one war after the other in the name of greed, oil and more-more money? Comparing The Donald to Hitler or Mussolini is also preposterous because he’s not politically ideological–he’s just a businessman, not even a banker or a war mongering oil mogul. As far as his inheritance goes, just like his personal wealth claim, proper scrutiny would reveal a different reality. And then there’s his politics we know about so far. On the one hand he supports a minor government funded agency for women’s health care (planned parenthood) and on the other hand he rips the Bush family a new asshole by calling them out on their lies of wars-galore. Again. This is not a post to promote The Donald. I don’t want him anywhere near my child. But if one were to get to know the environment that reared him, that created him, one would also know that there is a big heart behind much of what his type is all about. I don’t know yet how to transcribe that type. It’s a New York, New Jersey or east coast thing, maybe. Or it’s just a down home 70’s thing that I grew up with/in. Yeah, some of these people are evil but I just don’t think The Donald is one of them, especially when compared to the likes of his contemporary dipshit Dubya Bush. I guess that says something about people that can just talk (New York) sh*t. Anywho. What’s clear is that governments must be creative in maintaining power, especially once a force is awakened or when two immovable objects meet. Enter the natural way of things and the inevitable rise of right wing batshittery that is the Republican Party, the GOP, the united mistakes of #americant that has so willingly given rise NOT to The Donald but to its true and ugly bigoted, racist face. And so. World! Don’t be afraid. The Donald can’t get elected president anyway and here’s why according to worst-writer. §The republican base is about 30m strong. That’s it. Doesn’t sound like much when you consider America has, depending on its mood swings, just over 100m people that actually vote. It is the 30m republican voters that keep faux newz and Limbaugh going and they are also the controllers of all media. This base doesn’t necessarily include blue collar workers–who are republican when their situation deems them to be. I call them other voters. It is a combination of the base and these other voters that enabled Dubya to be appointed by the Supreme Court (thanks to Scalia) in 2000. Keep in mind, these other voters are the ones that have shown their true face since Barry O’s election. They were just as angry in 2000 as they were in 2008, i.e. the Tea Party. The problem is, IMHO, these other voters have probably woken up to their stupidity and ignorance. Hence the rejection of tea-party bed wetters Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio in this campaign. I mean, come on! Are these two guys the only thing the grand old party has to offer at this point? Seriously! But instead of admitting how stupid voters
are–that got them Cruz and Rubio–they instead channel their voting (anger) into a different kind of stupid. Enter WWE and TV personality Donald Trump. With that in mind, can The Donald win a general election with 30-40m voters that he’s splitting like a twig? I don’t think he can. But if he does, as usual, you don’t necessarily get what you deserve but you do get what you’ve earned. Good luck suckers.

Rant on.

-Tommi

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Tale Of Two Killers Or Movies To Kill Time, Tears and Flugangst

whitey bulger and blofeld

The only thing I could think about during recent FRA > BLR flight was my little dog in his crate attached to a palette. I could see him from the lounge where I tried to drink my sorrows away with free bier, wine and nuts. Just before we boarded I could also see the ground crew shoving my dear little friend into the rear fuselage of our B747-8. Pronounced: seven four seven dash eight. The tears started brewing that moment while walking down the gangway into the opposite end of the fuselage. I tried to gather my thoughts while boarding, refocus on what’s at hand. Not even the cute, slit-skirt stewardess could take my thoughts away. I walked down the aisle looking for 11D. What a fancy plane, I thought. I then adjusted my stuff, putting carry-on in the upper bin, loosening my belt for the long haul, catching my breath. But the angst for my dog started to set in even deeper than before. Luckily take-off was a blast. I think the pilot was in a hurry because we were at cruising altitude in no-time. Did my dog feel the powerful ascension? All the emotion made my already hyper bladder want to do some business. Or was it because I had too many drinks in the lounge and had to get to the loo to wipe my eyes which were soaked during taxi and take-off–and missing my little friend. Besides, I didn’t want anyone seeing me balling my eyes out because I was worried sick about my dog–who had never been stuffed into a fuselage before. Thank goodness for all the room in business-class where I could hide my tears. Or? In fact, since we were at the end of the business-class section, there was this huge space between the back of our comfortable seats and the bulkhead that separated us from coach. Actually, let me put that another way since LH has changed seating configurations in coach over the years in the name of profits, profits and more profits, I guess. Directly behind the bulkhead was LH’s new premium economy class. It’s the class I’ll probably be flying from here on out. The only time I get business-class is when I fly officially with better-half and her company pays for it or I upgrade using her miles. I think LH premium economy is only a few hundred bucks more than regular economy and the seats look as big as upright business-class seats. The difference is that you can’t recline as far back and all the other amenities aren’t available. After flying business class a few times the past few years, I would gladly give up on “amenities” for roomier, more comfortable seating. As I was saying. Behind our business-class seats was a space big enough to accommodate my best friend in the world. Although our crate wouldn’t fit there, he certainly would have. On the other hand, even though it rips me apart thinking about him stuffed in the fuselage, I know LH took care of him and that if we were safe, he was safe. Besides, I’m sure once the hectic of take-off and ascension was over, he would just buckle down in his blanket in the crate, drink from the supplied water as he needed, and sleep till landing woke him–in eight hours. And that’s pretty much how it worked out. Except for my weeping like bitch worried sick about him. And speaking of bitches. To help cope with worrying tears, which also meant I was too preoccupied to read anything, I decided to watch a movie. Of the numerous films to choose from, I picked Black Mass. Upfront? I thought it was a pretty good movie. It was so good I don’t understand why it wasn’t up for Oscars. Or maybe it wasn’t that good. Hold a sec. (Pause.) §I love it when Johnny Depp acts and doesn’t entertain. You know, he’s done some serious big screen thuds recently. I guess that’s the byproduct of being so successful (financially) with those pirate movies. Just afford to make another movie–even if it sucks. I guess he can make any movie he wants after that. I’m always interested when I hear he’s doing a real film–as opposed to some big screen, kill two hours entertainment orgy. But don’t get wrong. I enjoyed the pirate movies Depp made. They are perfect for getting rid of two hours. Black Mass, on the other hand, is a serious film and a pretty serious story. I entered adulthood in the 1980s and I vividly remember hearing the name Whitey Bulger in the news. I especially remember, by the late 80s, when I was clearly on my way to becoming an expat, hearing about the (love) triangle Bulger had between his brother and his former boyhood friend turned FBI agent. Even then I thought the whole thing to be an unbelievable #americant entertainment story. I’m amazed that it’s not being written about more–especially the part about Bulger’s state senator brother. Does that mean worst-writer should have a go at such a story? Nomatter. §Black Mass is worth seeing and I’m planning on seeing it again on account I think I missed a few things. With that in mind, it’s no grand film-making effort and I don’t quite know why I’m thinking that way about it. As a film, it simply gets the job done. Although it won’t go down as one of my fav Depp (acting) movies, after watching it I’ve concluded it probably doesn’t deserve the accolades that my initial instincts conjured. Or? I was seriously hoping, when I saw the initial trailers for it, that this would be Depp’s time. But allow me digress on that note. Writing my thoughts about Depp only serves as filler at this point. Moving on. §Like I worst-said, I was hoping that the/a movie would take my mind off my dog being stuffed into a cargo hole–but it didn’t. Both during Black Mass and after I was still thinking about my dog. Maybe that’s why Black Mass came across as mediocre or why I found it to be unfocused. Yeah. Unfocused. That’s the ticket. Was Black Mass about Depp/Bulger or one of the other two in the (love) triangle? I hope a second viewing will change how I feel about this movie–because I’m rooting for Depp. I’m certainly not rooting for Leo who just won the friggin’ Oscar. I want Depp to win an Oscar. Why isn’t Depp winning Oscars? Oh, yeah. The movies he makes. Anywho. §After Black Mass I was still needing to get my mind off things so I scanned through other movies on the LH inflight entertainment system. Could I get through another movie–at my age? Boy, does LH have a lot of movies to choose from. And some pretty new ones, too. I considered watching a few of the ’15 Oscar nominated films but quickly gave up–nothing interesting there. Luckily, getting toward the end of the movie list, Spectre popped up. So let’s bring that one behind us, shall we? I still had six hours of flight time. §My mind was occupied with tears and thoughts of cute little dogs that grow on ya and a bit here and there about moving to India for up to three years while my wife tries to expand her career in an ever-shrinking globalised world. With that in mind, why not hit the play button. §There were two interesting things about this new Bond film. One: Monica Bellucci. She didn’t get enough screen time. Two: the regurgitation of Blofeld and how he got that scare is a grand idear. And that’s it. That’s the whole movie. I don’t know if it’s because Craig is struggling with his characterisation of the great killer-spy or if the producers are running out of writers. Heck, all the desert scenes looked like they were shot at the same time as Quantum of Solace. The explosion of Blofeld’s facility looked cheap and underfunded. And the big goon that almost kills Craig on the train? I found myself rooting for him for a sec or three. But let me leave my worst-criticisms at that. I’m just not a big fan of Craig’s blue-eyed, tough guy 007. I prefer elegance, grace, wit and hidden manliness. That the producers are able to get all these actors to play him differently is worth praise, but at some time, I think, these nuanced differences get old fast. Yeah, bring back the British navy commander who doesn’t act like he’s feeding a pack of millennial spoiled rotten babies. But then again, even if a Bond movie is bad (Brosnan), they’re still good (Dalton). §Bye-the-by, after a second film on the flight, I still had four and half hours to go. I de
cided to give in to some tears and went to the loo to have them. Rant on. -tommi