The Looking Mirror Avoided

“For example (and thanks to Doug Korty for this point), the total deficits of the federal government from 1950 to 2009 were $6.6 trillion. During those years, three Republican presidents (Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush) accounted for the vast majority of those deficits. All the other presidents (Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton) combined accounted for a small fraction only. The three deficit-happy Republican presidents were the most conservative and subservient to major capitalists interests. They all increased spending (chiefly for military and counter-crisis purposes) while cutting taxes (especially for corporations and the richest individuals). Such policies forced huge federal deficits and rapid national debt hikes. The Obama administration ran very large deficits and boosted the national debt through stimulus outlays and costly wars without offsetting tax increases.”

-From the chapter Capitalism, Democracy, and Elections (2013), Richard Wolff’s book: “Capitalism’s Crisis Deepens”

Keep that in mind the next time you vote for someone on account of your taxes, your debts, Her emails, your general nonsense of living as an #americant soothed by pharmaceuticals and/or Disney and/or the lie of the mind that is your hope and desire of exceptional-ism. And now. Go buy something.

Rant on. And. Good luck suckers.

-T

That Moment You’re Out Of Battery. Oh. Great! I’ve Got Another One. Battery, That Is.

challenging tour with ebike.jpg

A pretty gruelling ride yesterday. It started with a train ride that took me and my electrified The Panzer to the badlands at the end of Wuppertal. (Btw, if you’ve never been to Wuppertal, you have to go. It’s worth it to go there and just take a ride on the Schwebebahn.) From there I planned to ride back the whole way to the Rhein and then D’dorf. I got started late after meeting with some folk and drinking a few. Since the sun is beyond it’s summer solstice, and it got away from me quicker than I expected, most of the ride was in the dark. And we’re not worst-riding (writing) about the dark on some paved roads. I was in the friggin woods most of the time. Thank goodness I’ve got some  pretty decent lighting on The Panzer. Btw, the panzer is a Riese&Müller Charger GX Touring (what a mouthful, eh). Now. The distance I travelled wasn’t the farthest I’ve been. It was only about sixty and half kilometres. The challenge last night was something else. Most of the first half of the ride required some pretty serious uphill trekking, including having to get off the bike and push it, albeit with electric motor assist. Seriously. There were these tree roots covering one pathway and I thought I’d have to put that damn bike on my back to get it up (and that’s what she said, eh). The darkness that quickly overcame me didn’t help matters. Anyhow. See elevation and speed profile of pic above. Moving my well endowed, well-over 200lbs a$$ up a hill–see 10km mark in pic above–pretty much wiped an entire bar from my battery. I even had to use the walk-assist of the motor to get up some of the hills. Keep in mind, five bars indicate a full juiced battery. By the time I hit 25km two bars were gone. On flat-land, I can average 15-20km (on tour-assist mode) per bar. And so. In the middle of some serious darkness on a lonely road in the middle of nowhere, and only one bar of battery left, I finally changed batteries at 45km. I was pretty tired at that point, too. I rode around 35-40km through dense woods and trails, up and down lots of steep hills–and it was f’n fun! But this middle-aged fellow was pooped at 30km. Would I do it again? Damn straight. But I’d prefer to do it when there’s… let there be light.

Rant and ride on.

-T

PS The speed profile is a bit whacky. I think the reason it has such a large blank space in it is because, while going down one hill, I exceeded normal bike speeds by whole bunch. Indeed. I clocked well over 60km/h on one down hill short trek. (Oh, it was light out, in Ronsdorf, when I did that.) Yea, baby.

The Ugly Truth From The Ugly Mouth That’s Never Been Washed #Soap

bar of soap - screenshot

“…the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.” -Steven Bannon.

The thing about hate is how it can go so well so unseen. I experienced this growing up in the suburban hell of my beloved #americant. The other thing about hate is how it can have so many faces. Then there’s where it comes from. My, oh my. Tricky little devil, ain’t she. Then again, love isn’t as diverse as hate (can be)? Or is that just my POV on account I’m so skewed by love-hate? Wait. I’m not skewed. Am I? Love has just screwed me. And love, for Simplicity’s Sake–that old Bitch–has been commandeered by half the human population. Indeed. Love has been turned into a weapon. A weapon of mass… sc(r)ew you destruction. But I’m waaaaaay of subject. And so. I digress.

The quote above is from the infamous Steve Bannon. For those who don’t know who he is, just remember this: if there is anything or anyone that better represents what #Trump really is and what Trumpism is about, it’s Steve Bannon. Ever since this guy first entered the political realm of free-to-be-stupid #americant, I’ve been looking through the mirror window of my past, of my home, of that place I love-hate–and miss dearly. But I’ve already said that. Again. Digress.

Bitter and forced to under-achieve, stupid white men rule this moment (of history). And not unlike facing a sell-out for the first time, I must ask this question: if something is sold-out, who’s buying (it)? And there you have it. The buyers of the hate and simplemindedness that must culminate in all these years of conservatism run amoke, i.e. republicans, can only culminate in the likes of Steve Bannon. If there is one thing I learned from the love-hate of getting divorced it’s this: there really is nothing like the sk(r)ewed mind of hate born out of love. For me that’s a hard pill to swallow–on account I saw all those Disney love stories she saw. Yet. I’ve always thought the opposite of hate is NOT love but instead: respect. Oh well. Let’s stay on worst-subject, shall we.

At some point in his life Steve Bannon must have known love. Yet. For me? The transition of love-hate began a long time ago–not unlke Bannon. Yet again. I cannot hate like Bannon or the Steve Bannons of this world. Why is that? At best I’m least half a stupid white man. Let’s attempt to worst-elaborate, shall we?

When I was in junior highschool I went off on a teacher and told her to go fuck herself with her mother’s dick. Within about an hour I faced the principle of the school in his office and he put a bar of soap in front of me and a bucket of water. He told me that if I didn’t wash my mouth out with that soap within the next two minutes he was was going to hit me so hard with a wooden paddle–that he proceeded to take out of his desk–and I noticed that it had large holes drilled in it for aerodynamic effect–that I wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week. I stared at him and wondered what he would look like with his mother’s dick in his ass. Then I bit off such a large chunk of that bar of soap and began swishing and chewing it around my mouth that the principle’s secretary, who was also in the room, started to gasp. When I was finished and suds were dripping down my chin, the principle told me to put my hands on the edge of his desk and lean in. I did. He then got behind me with his paddle and said: now you won’t be able to sit down for the rest of the day. He whaled on my ass. (Btw, that was the first of three times I was beaten–or as they liked to call it: disciplined–with a wooden paddle by school administrators and/or teacher while attending #americant public schools.)

The problem with the Bannon types that have emerged is not the arbitrary and often blatant hate that they espouse. It’s the fact that there are many out there who believe this hate is an anomaly. With that in mind, welcome to a world where so few really, really bad dudes (n)ever got their mouths washed out with soap.

Rant on.

-T

PS By-the-buy, the quote at top of this post is more than a strategy to defeat the rational mind. What it really is, what it represents, is the good in the very, very few that cannot find a way out because, well, our mouths have been washed out too often with soap. And so… fcuk off.

Links that motivated this post:

Pseudo Review: RasPlex + Hifiberry And Some Serious Audio On The Cheap

 

rasplex hifiberry dacpluspro
That little green light is more than go-go, baby!

Kinda follow-up, update to this post here. More pseudo-review of audio equipment here.

Can a non-audiophile still hear great audio? Can a music-lover of old music still get some jams through his/her head in these digital times without breaking the bank? Do those guys that spend all that money as “audiophiles” give you the creeps? Indeed. Money. Audio. How much you got?

Because I spend too much money on other expensive stuff, I’ve never really prioritised audio in my life–even though I love listening to music. I learned a long time ago that you don’t have to dish out huge sums of cash to hear good replicated music. That said, I can’t go more than a few days without listening to something that either soothes me, rocks me or moves me. A good drink and some Jazz while cooking is heaven. Am I wrong? And so. Unlike most young folk today, I can’t listen to music through headphones–whether in-ear or over-ear. If you see me out and about with Beckett, the killer pug, and I’ve always got earbuds stuck in my head–I’m listening to podcasts! The problem with headphones and earbuds is the feeling I get with so little space between my ears and what moves air. Headphones make music not only sound weird but feel weird, too. If that makes me old fashion, then get this. I have come to love today’s modern digital music consume-to-survive world. Even though I don’t buy much music anymore–and I can’t stand most all of the music made nowadays, I’m good. Reason? I have a digitised music library that contains everything I need. Whether it’s The Beatles (the greatest album ever is Abby Roads), Beethoven (9th!) or some esoteric Jazz, I’m good. Really good. Seriously. And that’s not all. For all practical purposes, dear worst-reader, I completely missed the CD revolution, too. I couldn’t afford the equipment back then. Since the 70s I have consumed music by borrowing, sharing or trading. In fact, till about fifteen years ago, I had never even owned a sound system with speakers. But I digress.

As digital music took over by the mid 90s–along with the Internetwebs–I was still catching up on the CD revolution. Of course, at least two-thirds of the CDs I have, were all acquired pre-owned or traded. Like in the days with cassettes and albums, digital music was made for sharing. For those who consider sharing piracy, first: fuck you. Second: I still have most of the CDs I ripped in a box in my basement. I never once downloaded anything from Napster–even though I admire greatly what they were trying to do. (Note: I will never buy anything Metallica for what that $hitty band did to young people who just wanted to share music.) I did make a few downloads from BitTorrent, though. (Note: it was all part of research!) Anyhoo. I have a nice digital library of music that spans most of the 20th century. Oh, and I have two version of that library. One version is in FLAC and the other, to appease me wife’s demand for media singularity and simplicity, is iTunes compatible.

Let’s move on to the pseudo-review, shall we?

As you’ll note in the pic above, I am currently using two streaming devices for our home media. For amplification (and in order to avoid those awful sound bars, which my wife wanted after I got rid of our AVR krapp) I’m using a TEAC A-HO1 integrated amp and DAC. Here’s a review of it. I got it last year after selling my hundred pound multi-channel AVR system, 7 speakers, and one 700 watt subwoofer. I’m not even gonna worst-write how little money I got for all that krapp–which says a lot about the state of the audio equipment industry. But get this. I would have almost given it away. If I ever have to wire up five, six or seven speakers again and then try to configure an AVR for a room… I’m gonna shoot myself with your gun.

Amp and sound.

The TEAC is connected to some really, really cool Audioengine P4 speakers (not pictured). We have a fairly small living room and I’ve never once regretted having these “bookshelf” speakers–which are actually in bookshelves that surround my flatscreen TV. They are fantastic speakers and I got them on a über-great-deal from shopping on the Interwebnets. They move the air more than enough to make sound very, very enjoyable.

Streaming boxes.

For iTunes we have the AppleTV(3) connected via HDMI to the TV. The optical-out of the TV is connected to the optical-in of the TEAC. This works fine–except for the fact that one is locked into the Apple world. Which also means no high-end audio and/or limited access to my own higher-end audio files. The ATV can’t play FLAC files.

Also connected to the TV via HDMI is my RaspberryPi 2 Model B+, and connected to that is a Hifiberry DAC+Pro. This is a bit more complicated than the ATV. The HDMI of the RaspberryPi also delivers audio to the TV, and, as with the ATV, the TV converts audio signals to the TEAC’s optical-in. Again, for simplicity, I have chosen not to use the ATV’s optical out–which does produce better audio than the TV. That said, we want something more than any of these optical options, don’t we?

Analogue Audio Galore.

The Hifiberry is where the real magic happens. For less than a hundred Euros–the software, RasPlex, is free btw–the Raspberry Pi is a fantastic DAC. It actually converts and, where applicable, upscales audio and then delivers that as analog right and left stereo to the TEAC’s analog-in cinch ports. The Hifiberry DAC+ and “pro” designation means that it has the same type of chips used in high-end DACs. You can opt for a non “pro” version of the Hifiberry if you prefer to save a buck or three. But I couldn’t resist the gold cinch connectors! Nomatter.

Btw, I’ve had the RaspberryPi+Hifiberry for two years or so. I gave up on it when I first got it because I couldn’t get the drivers to work properly. Even though the HDMI of the Raspberry Pi spits out audio, it’s not half as good as what this thing spits out with the Hifiberry card attached. And so. The other day, while bored out of my early-retirement mind and while fiddling through a junk box of old gadgets, I decided to google whether or not they finally fixed the driver issue. Alas! They did. I re-installed the newest version of RasPlex on a 16GB micros SD card. I also had to fiddle with the config.txt file a bit. Then you have to tell RasPlex, using the UI, to route audio through the Hifiberry daughter card… Boom, baby! That little green light (pic above) lights up bright and shinny.

First test.

From a ripped blu-ray of Guardians of the Galaxy, the Raspberry Pi + Hifiberry streams from my Plex server via LAN crystal clear 1080p video including up (or is it down?) scaled DTS 5.1 audio to stereo and the TEAC releases what will make even an ageing grouch like me smile from ear to ear. Also. I’m really glad those boys at RasPlex got their software to the point that even I can set it up. Cool. Über cool.

Rant on.

-T

 

Golden Rain Fun In Moscow

golden rain golden shower trump

As I’ve said here, #americant deserves #Trump. And. From the get-go, nomatter what believers (i.e. the fail upwards middle-classes) claim as they are chocking on that belief, there was no doubt in my mind that president über-stupid likes the peepee. Now. I suppose it’s debatable if he’s one of them perverts that likes to watch the/his women-folk pee or if he likes the other version–being peed on. But there’s no doubt that he likes the stuff–probably the yellower (or is it goldener) the better. And since the pee-dossier (see link below) has received some new life in the media, why not begin the arduous task of researching whether or not #Trump actually kissed his mother with that butthole of a mouth he sells (and #Americants have bought whole-heartily). No. Seriously. Dearest worst-reader! Get this. If/when #Trump gets impeached or quits, the idiot base that elected him will replace him. Indeed. The religious $hitbags will then have finally gained what they always wanted. Seriously. That’s it. There will be more wars of choice. Further looting of the treasury. And women will be required–according to the standards dictated by inept interpretation of a book written during the bronze-age–to bear the children of men… that like to be peed on.

Of course, the saddest thing about #Trumps despicable, obscene, abominable behaviour is that the really bad stuff in the pee-dossier will not only reveal some truths about the man but, perhaps, the whole of the united mistakes of #americant. Yea, baby.

Rant on. Suckers.

-T

Links that motivated this post:

Lucky Castle Sunset vs 1979 Solar Eclipse And A Treehouse I Never Built

Glucksburg sunset August 2017
Glücksburg sunset over Denmark

Disclaimer. This post is somewhat NSFW. Good luck. §On account I’m so jealous that I couldn’t see the solar eclipse yesterday, here’s a pic I took two weeks ago while visiting the Ostsee. Sorry for the over-exposure. (That is over-exposure, right? I really know zilch about picture taking.) §I do recall seeing a solar eclipse in 1979, though. I even tried to catch its shadow on a paper plate but instead was distracted by a neighbourhood hottie. §She was riding around on her pink bike towing along her family poodle. Robyn was her name, I think. We were both in the same grade–eighth or ninth and since puberty barely shared a word with each other. She had really big hair and corresponding really big boobies. But not too big. Big boobs and hips. She was a show to watch/look at. I was terrified to talk to her. Indeed. §As the eclipse approached and everything began to darken Robyn stopped riding her bike, turned to me, and lost control. She stopped in the middle of a neighbours drive-way. Her dog ran away and within seconds was up the street and got hit by a speeding 1972 Impala. She dumped her bike in the driveway of Victor, the neighbourhood grouch. Victor proceeded to run over the bike while leaving his house, smashing it to pieces while singing “I’ve Gotta Be Me” as the celestial happening approached. §Robyn grabbed my hand and lead me off behind her house. We ran like a gazelle and a thick, beautiful cow. We even jumped over the fence guarding, surrounding her backyard. We went into the woods. §Only a few days before I had caught a whole bunch of frogs in the creek at that same place. A guy that lived in the houses on the other side of the woods told me that the frogs were gathering because they knew the eclipse was coming. If I didn’t do something they would all go crazy during the eclipse and annihilate each other in an orgy of self-destruction. So I gathered them up and put them in little containers. I would be doing them a favour, I thought. §Robyn pulled me behind a huge honey locust tree, the thorns of which I had removed recently because me and a friend wanted to build a tree-house in it. (Of course, if completed, we would have had the perfect view of Robyn’s bedroom window. But I digress.) §Robyn placed her mouth on mine and at the same time pulled my hand and held it over her left boob. I let her stick her tongue in my mouth and I focused on some tenderness, avoiding teeth–holding back my inexperienced tongue, feeling hers quiver and search. Under the veil of the woods and the disappearing act of the sun in the middle of the afternoon, I thought it was time to lose something. But I wasn’t ready to lose it. It just wasn’t possible under those circumstances. I realised it would take a life-time just to get underneath her shirt and bra. There are too many hindrances, I thought. Too many hindrances to this game. And. There was no place to lay down. There was nothing but old tree limbs, leaves, stumps, etc. Could we do it standing up? Of course not! Way too soon for that. Or? No. §First it’s time to finally learn the real purpose of a brassiere. It was a barrier, a guard-house, maybe even a trap–to the softness of a teat. A bra’s sole purpose is to hide and protect, to shield–it is not to support. But then she said, “if you can get underneath, go ‘head.” As I pushed on the metal support to get my fingers underneath, crickets started chirping–as they do at dusk. The birds stopped singing–as they do at night. And Freddy, a neighbours German Shepard, started barking. Freddy always barked at sunset. But it’s two-thirty in the afternoon. §We were let out of school early that day for the eclipse. I was doing my best to capture the sun and moon’s shadows on a paper plate that I was supposed to trace with a crayon and bring to school the next day. Primitive, elementary, but what the heck. #Americant was educating all of us to be geniuses now was it? Nomatter. Instead I was thinking about the paper-plate I stole while my mom wasn’t looking. Yes. I grew up in a household that counted the paper-plate supply. But I wasn’t going to get distracted by all that–the frogs were enough. §I was thinking about how Robyn was finding places on my face where she could make gentle smooches. She would circle my eyes with her lips and then move down the bridge of my nose. She whispered that she loved my flat nose and my big nostrils. She then touched her top lip to my bottom lip and grabbed the back of my head. She pulled me closer and closer and our skulls began to touch. She pulled back and then touched her bottom lip to my top lip, her top lip kissing the septum of my nose. She whispered, “how come you didn’t finish your tree-house?” Before I could answer I finally learned the method of the French Kiss. Placing the left side of my nose to the left side of her nose, my top lip gently met hers. Simultaneously we moved our lower lips lower to make room for the tip of our tongues. She moved her tongue more than I did. More experienced? I was focused on the electricity of her top lip. It felt similar to her under-boob. I had gotten the bra up above her nipple but was preoccupied with the milky flesh of her under-boob. I couldn’t find the gentlest part of my hand to caress it, though. The calluses of my palm must have scratched. Or it didn’t. She put her hand over mine and pulled my hand towards the whole of her boob. She crushed it as though massaging a very large itch. I squeezed with my finger tips, I could feel the weakness of the nail of my little finger gorging her boob. Then the first gasp came from her mouth, even while she tongued me. I could smell that she had milk and a banana recently, maybe even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before that. Then I noticed an urge in me. I wasn’t sure where it was coming from. Was it coming from the sun–or the moon? No. It must be coming from both as we could still hear Victor, the grouchy neighbour singing I Gotta Be Me in the back ground of what we were doing in the oddity of new darkness behind Robyn’s house, beyond her yard’s fence, in the woods. §I pulled my mouth away from her lips but caressed the side of her face with the hand that had just left her boob. I sunk down low and placed my face  on the roundness of her puffy areola. Immediately the areola recessed and her nipple grew ten fold (or the like). I fiddled with it with my tongue until I could coordinate with Robyn’s gasping. She placed gentle kisses on the top of my head, running her fingers through my hair. She then offered to help me finish the tree house–if I come and talk to her tomorrow. §Suddenly the darkness was gone. It all happened in the span of a life-time during two or three minutes. The crickets stopped chirping. The birds started singing. Freddy was again silent, probably snoring away his afternoon. Robyn pulled my head away, covered her beautiful, swollen left breast with the bra, pulled down her shirt and ran off. She repeated as she ran: finish the tree-house, finish the tree-house. I watched her milky cow leap over the fence of her backyard like a gazelle. I sat down at the base of the honey locust tree that had shielded these first moments of love from the sight of others. I then slowly pulled a thorn out of my ass. I realised that I completely wasted my time with those frogs. But I had something to talk to Robyn about–if next days come.

Thank you Robyn.

Rant on.

-T

New & Improved Ten Commandments

By Christopher Hitchens

  • Do not condemn people on the basis of their ethnicity or their color.
  • Do not ever even think of using people as private property.
  • Despise those who use violence or the threat of it in sexual relations.
  • Hide your face and weep if you dare to harm a child.
  • Do not condemn people for their inborn nature. (“Why would God create so many homosexuals, only to torture and destroy them?”)
  • Be aware that you, too, are an animal, and dependent on the web of nature. Try to think and act accordingly.
  • Do not imagine you can avoid judgment if you rob people by lying to them rather than with a knife.
  • Turn off that cell phone.
  • Denounce all jihadists and crusaders for what they are: psychopathic criminals with ugly delusions and terrible sexual repressions.
  • Reject any faith if their commandments contradict any of the above.
  • In short: Do not swallow your moral code in tablet form.

Here, here. And. Hear, hear.

Rant on

-T

Geblitzt Again And Again And Again Again

57 in a 50 km:h zone

So what’s my excuse this time? I’m 7 km/h above the 50 km/h speed limit. Go figure.

I can’t remember how many times I’ve been caught doing five to ten km/h above a speed limit and then get this stupid letter. Can’t they at least take better care to take my picture? I mean, this really is the stupidest $hit out there that a government can do. Unless, of course, one were to actually find out what that government does with what must be a quadrillion fines worth of twenty Euros a piece that it gets every year. On the other hand, I think I’d rather have all these stupid big-brother cameras on roads instead of all the neo-nazi sheriffs that used to pull me over when I still lived and drove incorrectly in my beloved and missed #americant. Yeah. Neo-nazi cops. Or am I the only one to remember that scene from Thelma & Louise where the cop stops them while they’re driving through the middle of nowhere desert?

Rant on.

-T

My Grandfather Served In WW2 On The Losing Side

“Growing up, I was surrounded by broken men ― men who came home from the war filled with shrapnel and guilt. Men who were misled into a losing ideology. …  And right now they’re resting in hell.” -Arnold Schwarzenegger

My grandfather was in the German Navy in WW2. I’ll never forget him telling me how much he hated Hitler. He also hated the Nazi flag. Once when on a ship crossing the baltic, he heard some of his comrades talking about Hitler. He said that they were making jokes about Hitler, laughing, etc. Two days later after reaching port, the men who were talking and laughing had disappeared. No one who served with them on that ship ever heard from them again. My grandfather never heard another sailor making those kinds of jokes again either.

My grandfather told me what it’s like to look up in the sky and watch American and British planes open their bomb-bay doors. The screeching sound of those bombs made you lose your orientation when trying to find cover, he said. What he meant to say was… you lose your mind. His English wasn’t perfect–but it was damn good. Luckily, he was outside of Bremen that day so he wasn’t in direct danger of getting hit. But he watched both the planes fly off beyond the horizon and the smoke and dust rise in the sky of Bremen.

My grandfather was captured by British soldiers as he was trying to defend his ship after the port where it was docked in Belgium was invaded in 1944. Two of his comrades were shot and died instantly, one fell into the water. As my grandfather reached for a concussion grenade, a British soldier pointed a gun at him and yelled… Don’t. My grandfather surrendered. He was taken to a prison camp in England where, because of his ability to speak English, was made a kind-of chief liaison officer.

My grandfather always expressed, with the deepest sincerity a defeated Prussian can, how grateful he was that the Americans not only freed him but also Germany from the horror of Hitler.

No hate. No Nazis.

Rant on.

-T

A Faustian Bargain Is Not A Pact

mephisto - brandauer

While listening to the news about my beloved and missed #americant, and, of course, news about #Trump, some talking-head started on about a Faustian Bargain. In the wake of Charlottesville, VA, isn’t it time to have something new to take your minds of the reality you’ve given yourself? Of course, I have to stop in my tracks. #Trump and neo-nazis are not about a Faustian Bargain.

Now. I’m obviously no über literary type. In fact, at last count (this morning) it’s been at least fifteen or so years since I read anything Goethe. (Yeah, kinda gave up on the German literature thing after the Germans, like the Americans, gave up on me. Fcuk ’em all, eh. But enough about worst-moi.)

Here’s two things to keep in mind:

  1. The Faustian Bargain is from Goethe’s Faust (part 1)
  2. The pact with the devil is from Dr. Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe

Now. I’m not familiar with the original story of Faustus, which is from German folklore and where Marlowe got his story two hundreds years before Goethe wrote his. Goethe’s version is different than both the original story and Marlowe’s–and that’s what always drew me to it. But, again, enough about worst-moi.

#Trump is not a Faustian Bargain. Nor is America’s electing #Trump a Faustian bargain. Reason? A Faustian Bargain is not a pact with the devil. In fact, from what I recall, in Goethe’s version of the story–which is the best of them all–Mephistopheles is actually the one who gives in to Faust because Faust won’t make a pact with him. Faust is simply above Mephistopheles both intellectually and morally–you know, the way it should be in an enlightened world. Without splitting too many hairs, what Mephistopheles actually ends up doing with Faust is more like a wager. In the end, even after ruining a really nice chick, Faust beats Mephistopheles.

Goethe’s Faust is a really, really smart guy. I guess, to some, Goethe is or would like to have been Faust. I mean. I’m sure Goethe was pretty ticked-off that he couldn’t get any of the fame that his English rival got. You know, Shakespeare (and the English language) did do a number on those who were interested in writing $hit down–and the German language never matched that. Wait. Let me get out of the way of that can of worms I just opened.

And while I’m off subject, Goethe is probably one of the last polymaths and he was certainly preoccupied with other things even while writing one of the greatest epic poems slash plays ever. Whereas Shakespeare was probably out there somewhere banging the women that weren’t allowed on stage in those whacky female characters he created or he was heisting text from Marlowe, Goethe was… well… polymathing. But, again, before I get too far off subject.

But here’s the thing…

America made a pact (art of the deal) with–and thereby sold its soul to–Mephistopheles long before #Trump. The most important thing to remember about the pact (art of the deal) was that it would last through generations. How many generations? Your guess is as good as worst-mine. But that’s neither here nor there at this point. The thing to remember is that it started when America, Americans (#americant) replaced God with money. A short time after that it elected a former actor and governor of the snowflake capital of the world, California, as president. Indeed. The snowflakeball of hell has a limitless mountain side to roll down.

Ronald Reagan, who was a huge fan of Mephisto–Mephistopheles’ nickname among certain privileged classes–was able to up the ante of America’s pact (art of the deal) with Mephistopheles. Reagan was able to do this because of how Americans fell for his chart plotting, thorough scape-goating of government and taxes, and the demonisation of communism. In return, Mephisto saw to it, following what Reagan had started, that the US would win the Cold War. For those who grew up worshipping the God-Dollar–i.e. the baby-boomer generation!–it was a time that can only be compared to Sodom & Gomorrah. And so. The winners of the Cold War, like evil, filthy, retarded pirates, took no prisoners. There was only pillaging, rape, a bit too much incest (hence those flag waving boys at recent Charlottesville, VA, debacle) and, of course, waaaaaaay too much… wet t-shirt heroism on the part of utterly stupid search for a husband females.

There’s only one problem now that Mephistopheles owns everything because of how Americans have sold out (to conservatives first, republicans second). Mephistopheles is bored. #Trump bores him to tears. The ignorance of Dubya Bush was much more entertaining. Even Barry-O and Hillary brought some light to Mephistopheles who was starting to regret outsmarting a country of rich nitwits. Indeed. Depravity can even bore the evil spirit.

So you see, dear worst-reader, there’s no reason to blame #Trump for your ills. He is but a cog in the wheel of the evil you’ve perpetrated to get you where you are. If you have enough money to consume-to-survive, then bend over for your Mephistopheles. If you don’t have enough money, you’ll bend over just the same as those who do. Which kind of equals things out for you, don’t you know. And in the end, while your blame game continues, while you twitter around the left and right side of your conjoined cock-pussy-brain, at least you can still buy candy corn. Halloween’s coming, baby.

Rant on.

-T

The Red Pill Or The Blue Pill? Either Way Your Inner Fascist Drank The Kool-Aid Milkshake Galore So Keep Smiling

fasces-rainbow

For posterity’s sake, and to deal with the humungous crowds of imbicile-lites out there, I feel compelled to post Umberto Eco’s fourteen point definition of Fascism. Seriously, people (imbeciles). It’s not that complicated. More worst-posts on fascism here and here. If you’ve never read this before, be warned. It might be just like looking into a mirror–or a telescope of your nation-state-hood. I’ve added some sub-bullets in a worst-attempt to show how each applies to #americant concurrently. Good luck, suckers. -T


Umberto Eco’s 14 signs of fascism along with worst-writer’s 2cents (the sub-bullets):

  • “The Cult of Tradition”, characterised by cultural syncretism, even at the risk of internal contradiction. When all truth has already been revealed by Tradition, no new learning can occur, only further interpretation and refinement.
    • The war on science, evolution and the fact there are–seriously there are–theme parks in the US about “creationism”.
  • “The Rejection of modernism”, which views the rationalistic development of Western culture since the Enlightenment as a descent into depravity. Eco distinguishes this from a rejection of superficial technological advancement, as many fascist regimes cite their industrial potency as proof of the vitality of their system.
    • There are those who want laws that allow Christian bakery owners to discriminate against gays and refuse baking them a wedding cake.
  • “The Cult of Action for Action’s Sake”, which dictates that action is of value in itself, and should be taken without intellectual reflection. This, says Eco, is connected with anti-intellectualism and irrationalism, and often manifests in attacks on modern culture and science.
    • Climate change denial and the industry behind that denial that denigrates the scientific community.
  • “Disagreement Is Treason” – Fascism devalues intellectual discourse and critical reasoning as barriers to action, as well as out of fear that such analysis will expose the contradictions embodied in a syncretistic faith.
    • The way the DOJ is threatening potential whistelblowers; the harsh sentencing of Chelsea Manning (thank goodness for Obama’s clemency!); pardon Edward Snowden.
  • “Fear of Difference”, which fascism seeks to exploit and exacerbate, often in the form of racism or an appeal against foreigners and immigrants.
    • Blacks, immigrants, the poor, LGBTQ, etc.
  • “Appeal to a Frustrated Middle Class”, fearing economic pressure from the demands and aspirations of lower social groups
    • Blacks, immigrants, the poor, LGBTQ, etc.
  • “Obsession with a Plot” and the hyping-up of an enemy threat. This often combines an appeal to xenophobia with a fear of disloyalty and sabotage from marginalised groups living within the society (such as the German elite’s ‘fear’ of the 1930s Jewish populace’s businesses and well-doings; see also anti-Semitism). Eco also cites Pat Robertson’s book The New World Order as a prominent example of a plot obsession.
    • Conspiracy theorists have gone mainstream with the election of #Trump (see Alex Jones–if you can stomach it).
  • Fascist societies rhetorically cast their enemies as “at the same time too strong and too weak.” On the one hand, fascists play up the power of certain disfavoured elites to encourage in their followers a sense of grievance and humiliation. On the other hand, fascist leaders point to the decadence of those elites as proof of their ultimate feebleness in the face of an overwhelming popular will.
  • “Pacifism is Trafficking with the Enemy” because “Life is Permanent Warfare” – there must always be an enemy to fight. Both fascist Germany under Hitler and Italy under Mussolini worked first to organise and clean up their respective countries and then build the war machines that they later intended to and did use, despite Germany being under restrictions of the Versailles treaty to NOT build a military force. This principle leads to a fundamental contradiction within fascism: the incompatibility of ultimate triumph with perpetual war.
    • Permanent warfare. Nuff said.
  • “Contempt for the Weak”, which is uncomfortably married to a chauvinistic popular elitism, in which every member of society is superior to outsiders by virtue of belonging to the in-group. Eco sees in these attitudes the root of a deep tension in the fundamentally hierarchical structure of fascist polities, as they encourage leaders to despise their underlings, up to the ultimate Leader who holds the whole country in contempt for having allowed him to overtake it by force.
    • Demonising the poor that make their way to America from South/Middle America to earn a dollar or two a day while picking a countries fcuking tomatoes and avocados, etc.
  • “Everybody is Educated to Become a Hero”, which leads to the embrace of a cult of death. As Eco observes, “[t]he Ur-Fascist hero is impatient to die. In his impatience, he more frequently sends other people to death.”
    • Shame #americant has ruined the word hero.
  • “Machismo”, which sublimates the difficult work of permanent war and heroism into the sexual sphere. Fascists thus hold “both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality.”
    • Pussy be grabbed, eh.
  • “Selective Populism” – The People, conceived monolithically, have a Common Will, distinct from and superior to the viewpoint of any individual. As no mass of people can ever be truly unanimous, the Leader holds himself out as the interpreter of the popular will (though truly he dictates it). Fascists use this concept to delegitimise democratic institutions they accuse of “no longer represent[ing] the Voice of the People.”
    • What used to be propaganda is now FAKE NEWS.
  • “Newspeak” – Fascism employs and promotes an impoverished vocabulary in order to limit critical reasoning.
    • Alt-right, alt-left, etc.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definitions_of_fascism#Umberto_Eco

If You Can’t Manage It Or Pay For It Then It’s Time To Burn It (As In Down) To Make Sure You Still Win

capitalism_not_quite

What do most children do when confronted about lying? Indeed. They lie. I suppose parents who teach those kids not to lie are doing the right thing. But isn’t the real reason why the kids lie in the first place the more pertinent issue? Then again, is the real reason anyone lies ever addressed? The only thing that is addressed is the act of lying. I reckon that’s the whole point of having a legal system, eh. Wait. Confused. Start again.

The thing that bugs me most about this fcuked up world I’m supposed to live in is capitalism’s one-way street. In my worst-opinion, I think capitalism would work much better if it were a two-way street. On top of that, I hate the idear of corporations, i.e. the mechanisation of capitalism and how they pretty much directly rule the world. But don’t get me wrong, dear worst-reader. I do actually like capitalism and don’t mind the fact that a corporation’s purpose is to seek out profit. But here’s the thing…

What do you do when profit becomes your lie? What do you do when the people of a corporation–or perhaps even all of capitalism–collectively lie? It’s hard to detach yourself from profit, from a salary, from the very foundation that is your existence, eh. Here is where a two-way street would he helpful. Not only is today’s capitalism a one-way street but it’s also enabled by people who have unlearned what mothers tried to teach them. Oh, the motivation of money. Oh, the motivation of a compliant legal system. The motivation of a mother’s false love. Etc.

Having just scanned a few articles about diesel cars (which I’ve touched upon here before) and egg contamination, a worst-thought ran through me-mind. The best form of lying in order to make profit and/or exploit others for profit, has to be the insurance industry. The insurance industry, unlike manufacturing, war-profiteering or medicine, relies solely on lying in order to make profit (or even exist). The whole concept of hedging ones risk, which is the intellectuals definition of insurance, is based on fraud from the get-go. Or am I totally into worst-writer territory here? With that in mind, is it such a long-shot to assume, just as individuals self-preserve with insurance fraud, that corporations and perhaps even the whole of capitalism itself, would/could do the same?

The diesel emission scandal, for example. How is it that after all these years of profiting from diesel engines, suddenly car makers are being called out for lying about emissions? How is that millions upon millions of chickens lay even more millions of eggs per day and suddenly, out of the blue, as though no one ever managed the chickens or the eggs, the eggs are contaminated? Btw, was the billions of dollars used to bail out banks in 2008 (and GM in 2009) anything different than an insurance claim? Wait. Perhaps that’s going too far.

Through the miracle of self-preservation, which drives individuals to commit insurance fraud–by setting fire to their houses or cars in the hopes of big insurance claim payouts–isn’t it possible that egg makers and car makers would resort to the same tactic to cover the losses caused by not only their blatant lying but also their $hitty management skills? The payout being corporate tax breaks for the losses they will claim. Again, after all these years of producing diesel engines, it’s just now being noticed how much $hit and filth those engines spew into the air? Or could the real (true) issue be that those who manage car makers haven’t managed the whole shebang very well and there’s simply too many of these cars that they can’t sell (exorbitant surplus)? The real problem is that corporations today are run by little $hit kids with über college degrees who never learned to tell the truth because they either had no mommies or their mommies are just as stupid as they are. Or better yet. It’s time to finally blame mommies for not letting their sons become just plan old $hit kicker, redneck, hate filled cowboys–or dentists.

Good luck suckers.

-T

Links that motivated this post:

Doubling Down On Merit As Deception

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Still having trouble with an old friend and his/her inability to define fascism in the wake of the racist violence in #Charlottesville, VA. On top of that, my old friend is a bit über obsessed with both-siderism, a common problem for Americans these days that are unable grasp why things have turned out the way they are. After proposing that he/she read Umberto Eco’s fourteen-point definition of fascism, all I got back was this question: “So is this guy a communist?”

Here’s my response.

Your insistence to toe-the-line of the alt-right/alt-left, i.e. both-siderism, is worrisome. But I guess I’ve said that already. Defining fascism isn’t that difficult—unless one is ideologically tainted. Perhaps its time for you to try and separate yourself from the belief that there is merit in “business”, which was obviously such a big part of your life. Any rational mind should be able to see through what’s really going on—that political far-right conservatism, embodied in the Republican party, fox news, Rush Limbaugh, etc.—which has duped so many Americans to the hilt–is the essence of the problem. The quintessence, though, is the ideology of hate, i.e. fascism. Obviously it’s difficult for the duped to wake up to this reality. The reason for that is because it would mean having to admit collusion. But back to your problem of both-siderism. The ideology of neoliberalism embodied by Clinton Democrats is not part of the fascist problem. This is also what makes die-hard republicans so vehement. Accepting the fact that Bill Clinton was the better republican–minus the fascism–is a hard pill (reality) to swallow. That’s why the republicans had to move even further to the right with George W’s stolen election in 2000. Hence fascism. The republican party is and has always been fascist at its core! Just read up on the southern strategy that got Nixon elected. Because Americans are so preoccupied with their inflated moneyed-interests and their minds have been drilled full of merit as a deception, the only answer is for things to explode through the simplest and most mundane form of retribution. In this case, the deep seeded anger and hate which stems out of recognising ones collusion with a system must run amok and it must show its true nature in the simplemindedness of racism. As far as Umberto Eco being a communist…? Perhaps. But at this point, considering the state of capitalism, it doesn’t matter. But allow me to put it another way. How’s this? Fascism is like porn—you know it when you see it. Unless, of course, you live in it. By-the-buy, I just read that Trump is doubling down on his attempt at what you would call re-writing history. He just compared Robert E. Lee and Andrew Jackson (traitors and losers) with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (winners and founding fathers). There is only one side from which fascism can be judged, old friend. That side is not the side that embodies it.

Rant onwards.

-T

Links:

The Moment You Recognise Your Comfy Pillow And Then Are Aghast. Or Maybe Not.

Do you wake up as soon as you recognise the pillow your head’s been resting upon (all your life)? Or do you go back to sleep?

#americant

It is, indeed, a comfy pillow. But let’s call it out all the same, eh, dear worst-reader.

I recognised the fascist pillow I was sleeping on the first time I heard Rush Limbaugh use the words feminine/feminist and, yes, he went there, …nazi. This moment was/must have been about/around the mid to late 1980s. Femi-nazi, or the like. What a vulgar display and place to rest my/your head. I honestly cannot remember that pillow but I do remember the lighter fluid I used to light it up.

I eventually found a way to get out of the madness. I am an expat. I am worstwriter.com.

Good luck suckers.

-T

How Stupid Is You? Check The Icing In Your Cake Or The Butter Before You Penetrate.

Of course, I do have the following worst-question: how is it that my beloved #americant can elect Barry-O… but… then… because of a woman candidate… also elect the likes of #Trump directly thereafter… which… then.. has lead to…

Answer: something other than stupidity elected Barry-O and or…

Sorry to answer my own question with a question and waaaaaay too many ellipses. On the other hand–

Shouldn’t consume-to-survive #americants protest buying Dodge Challengers now?

Good luck suckers. (Even though you don’t deserve luck. Instead you deserve…)

Rant onwards suckers.

-T

Email From An Old Friend Or How To Fight The Nuance Of Innate Hate Run Amok While Consuming To Survive

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The mob after the monster it created. Political metaphor?

Below is a shocking, nuanced-filled email exchange with an old friend. Unfortunately, even though I wish otherwise, there’s not much I can do about what is really going on back in my beloved #americant–that can lead to such an email. I am not only an expat but I’m also no longer a believer. Indeed. I have long-since learned that even the Nazi salute is an American invention. Consider that next time you hear the Pledge of Allegiance–from whence things came. And while you’re at it, have a look at the Bellamy Salute. The good news is, we Americans copied the salute, too… from the bat$hit Romans. But I digress. And so. Here’s a worst-question: how deep is the damage (or is it rot) in the soul of #americant that would lead torch wielding nutjobs, as though they were hunting a Frankenstein’s Monster, through the streets of Charlottesville, VA, this past weekend? And another worst-question(s): is the quilt of my beloved #americant held together by fibres of hate? Where the fcuk do these a$$holes come from? Who are their parents, who are the mothers that would fcuk men to make these stupid white people–in 2017? Oh wait. I know exactly who they are. I was raised amongst them. And so. For those who still sympathise with the result of last years election, way to go suckers. But I bet you still haven’t woke up to how badly you’ve been played. Wow.

The nuanced email. Note the aggression towards things that are not rightwing–which is where any aggression should be right now.

Hi Tom, §Well isn’t the news fun? Hippies and Right Wingnuts clash at the prestigious campus of the University of Virginia. What a fitting location for a nice Sunday morning clash. Why aren’t these folks in church? Haha. §At the same time it is really stupid that the Righteous and Self-defined Politically Correct Left go running around the country removing statues and the like. WTF? We used to rail against rewriting history. Now these fuckers just want to outright deny it. Obama bought so heavily into this BS that the only thing anybody can remember him doing in his last year was forcing the nation to allow transsexuals to use whatever bathroom they want… Really? WFT is POTUS doing telling states such a thing and since when are there even enough transsexuals to make a blip in demographics to justify such a move…? §The Left are acting like idiots with their esoteric BS and this is inciting the right, understandably.  At some point they both look like fascist. People forget that fascism can come from the left or right… §Anyhoo, how was your recent visit to the Baltic sea?

And here’s my response email.

Dear Old Friend, §I’m a bit surprised at your tone regarding history and Charlottesville. The removal of statues that represent treason (the fucking south and their dumbass civil war), slave trade and, frankly, the stupidity of white people, have no place on publicly owned property. Put it anywhere you want on private property, btw. It’s really no different than secularism and the fact that the ten commandments have no place on the walls or state monuments or state houses either. And. Yes. I’m all for taking “In God We Trust” off of our fiat (fake?) money, too. $Charlottesville is just another example of how the elites, i.e. the owners of the United States (of which there are few), is playing Americans. And Americans are responding accordingly. The country has been so dumbed-down and enamoured with stupidity that it was only a matter of time, after electing a tried and true fascist to the white house, that moronic white supremacists would then seek out there day of reckoning post the first black president. I’m only surprised it took till now to happen. Btw, is there any connection between the stupid white man that wrote that 10 page manifesto against women as computer engineers and all the stupid white men that can’t get laid so they wear swastikas and raise their hands in a Hitler salute? Of course, not unlike most people who think they are supreme, ultimately the only thing these guys show the world is how they are just a bunch of under-achievers. America… totally lead by underachievers? §And heed this, Dear Old Friend: The Germans lost WW2 but the fascists won. (That’s from George Carlin!) §By-the-buy. There is no such thing as a left fascist. Don’t allow yourself to be confused by all the propaganda (fake?) news you read, watch or listen to. FYI, fascism is a response by capitalism to everything that lead to the Russian Revolution of 1917. Fascism is an alternative authoritarian system propped up by capitalists. Hitler was a national socialist that would never deny fascism. Mussolini was a tried and true fascist, as was Franco of Spain. You can have left authoritarianism, which is often the case in South America and, perhaps, even certain parts of Europe and Asia. But fascism is always from the right. §You’re welcome. §Hang in there. Good luck. Yours.

Rant onwards, suckers.
-T

Time To Lose Your Holy Ghost

For a man like Cornell West to say that he’s never seen this kind of hate in his life says a lot about #americant, the lost American way, about being played. Indeed. If you still support #Trump or anything GOP you have been played to the hilt. Congratulations sucker.

“So, in that sense, you know, I think what we’re really seeing, though, Sister Amy, is the American empire in decay, with the rule of big money, with massive militarism, facilitated by the scapegoating of the most vulnerable, of immigrants, Muslims, Jews, Arabs, gay, lesbians, trans and bisexuals, and black folk. The white supremacy was so intense. I’ve never seen that kind of hatred in my life. We stood there, and nine units went by, and looking right in our eyes. And they’re cussing me out, and so forth and so on. They’re lucky I didn’t lose my holy ghost, to tell you the truth, because I wanted to start swinging myself. I’m a Christian, but not a pacifist, you know. But I held back. But that kind of hatred—but that is just the theater. It’s big money. It’s big military. And it’s the way in which this capitalist civilization is leading us toward unbelievable darkness and bleakness. And the beautiful thing is the fightback. It was a beautiful thing to see all the people coming back. But they had more fascists than anarchists, more fascists than fightback.” -Cornell West

Source: https://www.democracynow.org/2017/8/14/cornel_west_rev_toni_blackmon_clergy

Good luck suckers.

Rant onwards.

-T

Pseudo-Review #3: R&M Charger GX Touring – 2000KM (And Counting)

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Just off the beach; Fjord in background; cool sandy tires, eh.

Previous pseudo-reviews here (1) and here (2).

Ok. Ok. As I write this I think I have exactly 1958KM on my Charger GX Touring. I’m sure I’ll pass the 2k mark within the next few days as a number of commutes to Köln are in the works. We also just got back from a week-long vacation on the Baltic Sea, at Germany’s most northern point. The original plan was to go by train with our bikes (my better-half as the Charger Mixte Nuvinci) but we couldn’t secure tickets for the train car where the bikes are stored. Next time we’ll have to reserve the tickets probably three to four months in advance. Since there is no way to take the bikes with our car, we went ahead and rented a midsize utility van. The cost of the van is the same as the train. Luckily the eight hour drive through German holiday/vacation season wasn’t all that bad. Someone we spoke to up north said that most Germans this year flew to the Med for their vacations anyway. Good for us.

Btw, if you’ve never been, and you have the capacity to do so, and you’re interested in nature, fresh air, beautiful brackish waters and rolling hills not unlike Tuscany, check out the Baltic Sea coastline of Germany or Denmark. Even though I’ve been living in Europe for a quarter century (sounds so much better than writing 25 years), this was the first time I was at the Ostsee (East Sea, as the Germans call it). I was not disappointed. It is stunningly beautiful up there–but you’ll also have to be tolerant of the rain and coinciding über wetness. When hanging out in the forests in the north, there is an uncanny feeling of the past that lingers around your every move. And not just a recent past. I kept thinking of vikings while there. Maybe even neanderthals. Cool!

The plan for this little getaway was to do all our local commuting with the bikes, including a days trip to Denmark via ferry. In fact, we didn’t use the utility van once. The ferry ride, for instance, took us across the Flensburg fjord. Once in Denmark we rode the 60KM trek back to Germany around the fjord. What a ride it was, too. More on that in a bit.

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Her Mixte with road-going Big Bens performed great, even in some pretty hairy and wet conditions.

Back to the Charger.

Would you believe, dear worst-rider, unlike other bikes I’ve owned, the Charger GX Touring still feels brand new. The Giant TCX cross racer I purchased last summer, which has around 3000KM on it, but of course only weighs 10kilos, and I don’t ride it nearly as much anymore since purchasing the Charger, feels ten years older in comparison. Riese & Mueller have made the right choices regarding parts for these robust e-bikes, including great tires, brakes, screws, bolts, etc.

Btw, I Purchased my Charger GX in mid-February and it was (finally!) delivered at the beginning of May, 2017. I suppose, for some, two-thousand kilometres in less than four months might not be a lot. But as I’ve said in previous pseudo-reviews, we actually replaced one of our two cars with this e-bike. Since I live in an urban environment, I can easily do all my shopping, chores, errands, etc., with it. In fact, I rarely ever ride it anywhere without the Ortlieb panniers. I’m never concerned about how much the bike weighs, either. My wife calls it my SUV. Although I’m not using the front rack much, when I do use it, I’m glad it’s there. Even though the rack is only rated at 3KG, I’ve carried much more than that with ease and comfort. This is, without doubt, an extremely useful and fun vehicle.

Range

I no longer look at the Bosch CX system range estimator to determine how far I can ride on a battery. Instead, I consider the amount of time I’ll be on the bike. The thing is, I’ve yet, even after rides of 80+KM, actually drained the entire 500W battery down to only one bar (out of five). If I’m off on a daily tour I consider whether or not I’m gonna be gone the whole-day or half-day and then determine whether or not to bring a charger–or, better yet, just carry my wife’s battery as a spare. I’m really surprised at how well the Bosch motor and battery work on this bike. It is very impressive!

On a recent trip to northern Germany that included a 50+-KM ride from Denmark back to Germany after a fjord crossing by ferry, I put the battery to its hardest test yet. I did a lot of trail riding, some mountain bike riding and a few long uphill road passages. Remember, fjords were cut out of cliffs during the ice ages. Lots of passages have to be ascended. Anyhow. At about 20KM left for the ride, just before re-entering Germany from Denmark, I hit a number of pretty steep hills. I actually put my bike on “eco” mode while my wife left her Mixte on “Tour” and, when necessary, “Sport”. I really thought I’d end up giving her my battery before we made it back to our bungalow. But that wasn’t the case. In the end, she made it home with only one bar (out of five) but i still came home with two bars. Wow.

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We road km after km through beach front property. Cool!

Saddle

There are not many negatives about this bike, except for the hard rear-end and the accompanying even harder Brooks saddle. So let me just say this: riding this bike is waaaaaay hard–especially if you’re off-road or you have to ride on pathways that are full of obnoxious tree root knots (which are abundant here in Düsseldorf and Köln). But get this. I love riding this bike hour after hour. The saddle and Thudbuster combination is perfect. It’s the best friggin seat I’ve ever experienced on a bike. Even though I’m up to the hardest rubber mount on the Thudbuster–and I’m still a little lost on how that thing actually works–I wouldn’t change anything on this setup. My wife’s Charger Mixte has a spring seat-post and a traditional rubber/plastic saddle. I don’t like her saddle at all (but she also hates mine). The Mixte saddle moves too much, literally shifting me backwards as the spring in the seat-post does its job. The Brooks saddle and Thudbuster, on the other hand, although not as flexible, is as comfortable as comfort can get–on a friggin e-bike! I only wish that there was more feeling from the Thudbuster.

charger gx touring brooks saddle 2

My Brooks saddle is starting to show wear. I considered it broke-in after about 1200-1500KM. My only concern about it now is that I over did it with leather treatment. I’ve erased the raw look it had when it was new. But I’m good with that. I’m curious if the leather will start to crack and, maybe, flex more now that it’s broke-in. I’m not sure I want one of them old Brooks seats that looks like it’s been through a century of riding. Even if this saddle fails because of my inexperience in caring for it, I’m buying another one toot-sweet. Learn by doing, eh. Oh. Before I forget. I’ve tightened the leather tensioning bolt on it once (one full turn) and tightened the strings on the bottom that, I guess, are supposed to prevent it from developing wings that could push on my inner thighs.

Have I mentioned how much I love this saddle?

The thing that makes the Brooks B17 the best saddle in the universe (for worst-moi) is the fact that its thick, hard, stretched leather is the perfect place for a human to place not only his/her ass but those damn seat-bones and the infamous perineum. The leather both supports and cushions and allows you to actually sit on your seat-bones. Even after three or four hours of riding I do not get the same amount of numbness as I do with conventional seats. Heck, this saddle is even better than the fancy (Selle) race bike seat with those centre cut-outs that I have on my cross-racer.

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Maintenance

There’s really nothing to report regarding up-keep of this bike. I’ve actually allowed myself to get a bit lazy lately when it comes to cleaning it. But I still regularly clean and oil the chain and derailleur. The chain gets a thorough cleaning every fourth or fifth ride and less thorough cleaning every other ride. Even if that’s overkill, I’m good with it. Other than adjusting distance of brake levers, there’s been nothing to do with the brakes. The rear disc brake does rub a bit, which prevents the rear wheel from turning freely when I’ve got the bike off the ground. I’m gonna have that looked at during the next service appointment. It looks like there’s no more room to the move the brake calliper to free up the disc.

Chain

As far as my choice of the “Touring” model of the Charger GX, i.e. the one with the chain and derailleur, I wouldn’t have my final drive any other way. Although I get a kick out of my wife’s Nunvinci hub, it just can’t compete with the efficiency and precision of this chain setup. I ran across a fellow Charger GX owner recently who has the Rohloff hub. Watching him struggle through gear shifting reassured me that a conventional chain with an excellent derailleur is the only way to go–even if you have to get your hands a bit greasy to maintain it.

rear tire 2000km
2000KM rear tire

Tires

As you can see in the pic, my rear wheel is beyond its heyday. I would say that my road to off-road riding is about 70-30. I noticed during recent mountain biking that grip isn’t as good in the rear as it once was, but it was also quite wet at times. I suppose this type of wear is to be expected for knobby tires that are mostly used on the road, which actually speaks for them. The question then becomes: what do I replace the tires with? Do I stay with knobby tires? These knobby tires do not feel like off-road tires–even on paved roads. Or do I go with more street oriented Big Ben plus tires? A bit more thought required.

Nuff for now.

Rant and ride on.

-T

 

The Not-So-Great Re-Read Of Someone’s History Re-Told Or How Greed Has Made Your $hitshow

a peoples history - howard zinn

A pseudo-review of this book is here. I recently felt compelled to re-read it. Reason? Something has stuck in my head for the last few years based on something I read about this book a few years back. I can’t remember who wrote it–or maybe it was something I even heard someone say–but it went something like this: A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn is a book of propaganda.

Whaaaaa? Propaganda?–I thought and thought and thought.

How can such a book be propaganda? All this book does is tell a certain side of a story in a certain way–regarding the history of the United States. It is a point-of-view of the history of the United States. Or? After re-reading it recently, though, especially in the aftermath of the #Trump election that is an abomination, and what’s going on in Charlottesville, VA, I finally realised what someone could mean when making the claim that Zinn’s book is propaganda. And in that vein, allow me to worst-elaborate as only worst-writer can.

My favourite parts of this book are the chapters that cover the history of the US from the Civil War to the end of WW2. I’ve always thought that this time period has determined what #americant is today. In essence, between 1865 to 1945 the United States finally cut the umbilical cord to Europe and set out on its own–as a small rodent prodigy. Luckily, that rodent prodigy, via the genetic and historical proximity of its birth, was endowed with two things that would determine THE future of the western world.

  1. It was born with a really big cock and
  2. It was born with a really little brain.

Coincidentally, such a combination, in order to grow, needed two more things.

  1. Lots of fcuking (see/hear “American Woman” by Lenny Kravitz!) and
  2. something to busy its little mind.

I know. I know, dear worst-reader. Fcuking and thinking haven’t proven to be a good combination–considering the human condition. Which also means, according to worst-writer, my beloved #americant achieved its greatness within a grand divide–a juicy oyster-like crevice, if you will–that is between two human acts that are mutually exclusive, especially when compared to other species on this earth.

Big dicks and little brains. Let the magic begin, eh ladies!

The other grand thing that happened between 1865 and 1945–according to what I got out of Howard Zinn’s book–was that the little brain of America was being programmed to think in one very particular small-brain way–which may or may not coincide with the size of genitalia. The ideology of GREED was being permanently embedded in the American psyche after the Civil War. And not just embedded. It was made part of the whole–the whole idear of America–which, IMHO, was/is the only way to get around avoiding facing the reality that is our original sin (slavery). Howard Zinn doesn’t go anywhere near the reality of GREED in his historical re-counting. He simply narrates a somewhat left of centre point-of-view regarding racism, capitalism and a love for all-things greed. And that’s where the crux of Zinn’s book runs awry. Or. Put another way. I’ve finally figure how some people can consider Howard Zinn a propagandist.

One of the motivating factors for writing this post is wanting to expand one of my recent tweets. This tweet was motivated after reading about what’s been going on in Charlottesville, VA. A place I know well, btw. In fact, I lived in various parts of VA in my youth. It is a place I was glad to leave. It is a place I never care to return to. But enough about worst-moi.  Below is the tweet I wish to worst-expand on:

https://twitter.com/worstwriter/status/896416691802050560

Allow me the following question: what does the racism and stupidity of white supremacists in Charlottesville, VA, have to do with Howard Zinn being a propagandist? The answer, I fear, is easy. It’s all just a matter of perspective, of point-of-view, of racists being tired of being discriminated against. I mean, shouldn’t everyone have their say? Shouldn’t even stupid white people and their stupid politics and their well-earned poverty (yes, they’ve earned their poverty!) have a say? That about sums up how #americant can get to where it’s at… after the fcuking Civil War. Whose turn is it to have their say? For right wingers, Howard Zinn had his say (in his book). Since he had his say, others, not unlike the white supremacists of Charlottesville, VA, deserve to have their say, too. Ain’t that how it works, dear worst-reader? One side of the political spectrum wins. Then the other side wins. In-between there is faux newz, Rush Limbaugh, David Duke. Indeed. Really, really stupid white people start gathering after having spent most of their lives living in the wake of their fail-upward belief in a system that has ultimately duped them to the hilt of both mind and cock. This is all way better than openly avoiding (our) original sin.

Greed + small brains = …

It’s all a matter of perspective.

If one reads through some of the book reviews that are quoted on the Wiki page about Zinn’s book, there is one common theme that runs through all of them. Those who praise Zinn are from the left. Those who do not praise him are NOT from the left. For those who think that the political left and right are two threads that may or may not run through what people say about Zinn, I reckon I can’t argue with you on that. That’s because I see the left and right as one these days. Especially considering where my beloved #americant is in its current political iteration. With that in mind, #Trump didn’t win the election. The other politician, the one who would have obviously been better, simply threw the whole thing to the $hitshow. But don’t misunderstand me here, dear worst-reader.  I’m not making false equivalencies either. But. But. But. If you want there to be two parties battling over what you want to believe in, that’s your problem. Seriously. It is your problem.

We are dealing with Everything and the All of #americant, dear worst-reader. Whether it’s love, family, community, church, government, etc., etc., greed is what makes the whole $hitshow function. Greed is what makes people stupid enough to allow white supremacists, in fcuking 2017, to protest their right to take their country back–and, of course, make it great again! Up till the end of the 20th century, America did a pretty good job of managing all this greed. I mean, there was enough (greed) to go around. When, for whatever reason the barrel of greed that is #americant ran out, like our original sin, just avoid it–no matter what the means as long as all that’s left are big dicks and little brains.

If Howard Zinn is a propagandist, I’m good with that. Reason? I’d rather read his version of history than that which is being written now by those with LITTLE dicks and little brains. Re-reading this book can never be the wrong thing to do.

Rant onwards, suckers.

-T