The Wrong Of Success In The Land Of Free To Be Stupid Because Rest Of World Is Even Stupider

three dollar bill apple logo (low res)

Here’s the latest greed-mongering-magazine’s list of top corporations in the world ranked by whatever-$$$ (I guess). I came across this list because, as an Apple pseudo-fan-boy, my favourite company-to-hate was recently downgraded. How can that be–especially after I just took advantage of a battery replacement program for my ageing phone that was probably the best deal ever? Seriously. If you have an iPhone 6s and an extra thirty-bucks, get the battery replaced. It works great.

Here’s the newest list of really, really great corporations that are doing so much greatness in/for the world–in order of $$$-significance. I guess.

  1. Walmart
  2. Exxon
  3. Berkshire Hathaway
  4. Apple
  5. UnitedHealth Group
  6. Mckeeson
  7. CVS
  8. Amazon
  9. AT&T
  10. General Motors
    (Source: Forbes 2018)

I’m actually surprised by the first company on this list. I had no idear that the rural, redneck family business of Sam Walton was back at the top of the greed $hit-show. But then again, considering the cesspool that Walmart’s nearest rival also operates (with)in, Amazon is close enough. So let’s run down the list, shall we–as only worst-writer can.

First. Nuff said about Walmart. Unless, of course, one wishes to see yet another of the family kill itself by some ridiculous means. Yeah, über-rich people and their toys. Watching the whole damn family fall out of the sky in a cheap airplane and crushed on the ground would be cool. Or maybe not.

Second. There is no surprise with an oil extraction and distribution company being number 2 on this list. Or is there? In fact, as worst-surprised as I am about Walmart being number one, I’m really surprised Exxon ain’t a whole bunch further ahead than the rest. I mean, come on. Exxon wouldn’t be where it is today if there weren’t enough poor, young #Americants trying to achieve a living-standard based on an overly outdated past and an dinosaur old-economy that could care less about them, by joining the military and, of course, fighting wars-of-choice for… You guessed it: oil. Am I wrong?

The owner, founder of Berkshire Hathaway, the infamous filthy rich grandpa that likes simple ice cream cones, Warren Buffet, has said that he wouldn’t invest in Amazon because it was a miracle company–and he doesn’t invest in miracles. When I first heard Mr. Buffet say that I was taken aback. So there are a few wise men in this greed-mongering world of greed-$hit? Nevertheless, Berkshire Hathaway makes all its money in the stock market. And for those not in the know but wish to worst-know: the NYSE is propped up by lies, lies and more lies–baked and cooked with a whole bunch of sugar-cherries on top. Go figure, eh. The only reason the stock market doesn’t crash right now is because there is no alternative to what my beloved #Americant has put forth in the world: unabated and unhindered greed. And on that note, I digress.

Although I have a lot of negative to say about Apple–especially it being ONLY the best of the worst in technology–I’m kind of relieved that its on this list. I mean, at least one company among these greed-mongering monsters actually produces something worthwhile in this day & age of worthlessness. Say what you will about smartphones, the Internet, social media, etc., Apple is the only company out of all tech companies that has managed to hold together, although not perfectly, the exploitable nature of hardware and software via the human interface. Among the many things I will never forget about Steve Jobs, the one thing that stands out the most right now is his contempt for Mark Zuckerberg and the willingness of a new generation of so-called entrepreneurs who will get rich quick by transgressing achievement and success with the simplemindedness of exploiting the vulnerable, the naive, The Stupid, i.e. Facebook. Go Apple!

The next three companies on the list are all about healthcare. There is only one word that comes to my worst-mind when I think of my beloved and missed dysfunctional #Americant and it’s ludicrous healthcare system: scam. Indeed. So many have been scammed for so long that there is probably no way to get out of the scam. Live by the scam, you become the scam. Only in the land of scam can you also elect #Trump to the highest office–and what a scammer President Stupid is, eh. On that worst-note, I’m way off subject.

For a long while now I’ve been trying to put myself in Jeff Bezos shoes. I remember vividly checking out Amazon on my CRT screen connected by RGB cables to my second (or was it third) used pizza box Macintosh computer back in the mid 90s. Wow, I thought. I could read about books. I could read what other people thought of those books. I could then order a book and… bam! It’s suddenly delivered in… a week? Nomatter. And then I thought: what a stupid idear this is. Why does the world need a retail middleman based on software and an internet connection? Why can’t products be sold directly form maker to buyer? Amazon is indeed a unique company on this list. It is unique because very few can see it for what it really is. Amazon is a scavenger business. It is the result of there being nothing left to exploit and all creativity (in business) being dried up. It is the same with companies like Über and Facebook. These businesses are bottom of the barrel scrappers. But because one of them makes a list like the one above, few people can see through to what they really are all about. Except Warren Buffet, of course.

The last two companies on the list deserve to be combined because they are old economy $hitbag companies. Indeed. AT&T and GM are the remnants of dinosaurs that refuse to be fossilised. That is their only achievement. I suppose that’s good enough for most, at least most of the privileged old economy that partake in their exploitation. Yet I’m reminded of how it was supposed to be a good thing to break up monopolies in the 70s and 80s only to see that exact monopoly return twenty or thirty years later in the form of At&T. The fact that GM received a huge bailout from the government in 2007/8 should disqualify it from being on any list. In fact, GM should be owned by the government and all profit it makes should be used to repay taxpayers for bailing it out. But what am I saying? These dinosaurs can live and prosper, as so many other companies beyond and below this list, only in the land of greed, where free to be stupid reigns supreme and where the likes of an old man like Warren Buffet exemplifies living death–with lots of money, money, money.

Rant on.

-T

Pseudo-Review: Pennies From Heaven Where Cents Make Great Audio

First. The newest Raspberry Pi was kinda hard to get till I happened across it. I’m worst-guessing this is due to limited supply, heavy demand. Some online shops were taking orders of the Pi but then not indicating delivery dates. Second. I bow humbly to #Hifiberry and their new Amp2 and the fact that I just happened to see they had new Pi’s available when I was gawking at maybe getting another of their audio boards–on account I’ve been so tickled with their DAC+ Pro board. Btw, I wasn’t interested in the RPI3B+ to even go with the new Amp2. I was ordering the Amp2 to put on my RPi3–which would give me two potential audio sources in my house. The RPi3B+ was a just because purchase. Here’s a rundown of my current Pi setup:

  • RPi2B – with Hifiberry Dac+ Pro (more on that here); currently being used as a Plex Client (RasPlex)
  • RPi3B – this one I’m now using with the Hifiberry Amp2 (more on that below)
  • RPi3B+ – just because–and to test if the newest Pi is finally a viable desktop alternative (it’s not quite there yet); also testing for NAS use (so far so good but I’m not ready to replace my old MacPro with it yet)

Now on to a pseudo-review of Hifiberry’s Amp2.

Wow! I was blown away with the first sound that came out of the Amp2. Using Volumio, I’ve been testing this little audio miracle on three different speakers (see pic above). The great news is, it doesn’t matter what speaker I was using. The Amp2 drives them all till a smile rolls off my geezer and curls back ’round into my ears. Of the three speakers I own, my favourites are the Pioneer BS-22–which I lugged across the Atlantic (on account I couldn’t buy them in Germany) in early March. And although my B&W 305s are currently being stored in my basement, I hooked them up just see if the Amp2 could power my ageing low-end towers. It powered them with gusto! Of course, the smallest speakers I own are the Audioengine P4s–which were, I thought at the time, the best deal I had ever made on speakers–but then I got the BS-22s. Nomatter. I’m a cheap-o pseudo-audiophile and I don’t mind admitting to it–especially considering the cost of some of those fancy speakers from Apple, Sonos, etc., which also limit your listening experience through stupid transcoding. So let’s move on.

My only gripe with the Amp2 right now is software, specifically Volumio. I run a Mac home network and Volumio cannot access Mac shares. Nor can it access Mac SMB shares. I’ve been reading forums, posting questions to support sites, reading more krapp, and to save my life I cannot get Volumio to access my 2010 headless MacPro which is a iTunes server, a Plex Media Server and, of course, a file server for a small household of multiple Macs and iOS devices. I’ve given up on networking with Volumio since I have a few old spinning 3.5″ HDDs lying around. So I bought a UBS external powered case and let the RPi/Amp2 access music files that way. Works great.

The Amp2 is nothing short of a little miracle audio board. It’s rated at 60w of power and I can say that it easily produces sound as good as my TEAC A-H01 amp. In fact, it’s better than my TEAC in that, when used with Volumio, I no longer have to get up to change the volume. Another gripe I have with the Amp2 is that when controlling it with Rasplex or Volumio, neither has an output/driver setting specifically for it. According to the Hifiberry website, you’re supposed to choose the Hifberry DAC+ driver because “the Amp2 is basically a DAC+ with an integrated power stage.” After fiddling with the DAC+Pro (on my RPi2) for a while, I realised that the biggest issue with this type of audio device is definitely the power source. I’ve since purchased two 5v 3amp micro USB power source/cables for my other Pis. Fortunately Hifiberry sells a small power brick separately so I went ahead and bought that for this setup. So far, the brick is the best way to power the RPi and Hifiberry. In fact, considering the flimsy-ness of the micro-USB in the RPi, I’m really digging the Amp2’s way of powering things.

After a few weeks of testing, the Amp2 works so well that I’ve actually replaced my living-room Rasplex client with it. My living-room TV now only serves as a monitor for my ageing AppleTV3, which we rarely use. In fact, the only time we use our TV is as a screen/monitor for Apple Photos slideshows via the AppleTV3. We’re no longer TV gawkers so we don’t miss NOT having a TV as part of music play. And to be honest, I’m really digging controlling all our audio needs with my iPhone. Besides, when my better-half watches her German TV stuff she does on her iPad. And so… why the hell am I worst-writing about how we watch/use a TV? Nomatter. I listen to music when cooking, when worst-blogging, and especially when I’m cuddling with Beckett the killer pug on the couch. If you can get through the minor hassle of the Amp2 not having a decent case (yet) or having to fix speaker wires to it, this is one heck of a purest audio device that can be easily hid in a shrank, book shelf, or even under a couch, etc. All you need to control it is a home network, a smartphone and a bunch audio files.

Brilliant cheap audio!

Rant on.

-T

Pseudo-Review: The Film Collossal Or That Thing In My Substance Abuse That Is Serious Childhood Drama

Screen Shot 2018-05-13 at 10.02.58

Warning: spoiler alert! This movie is totally worst-explained.

Things I wish I could have written? Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. Thornton Wilder’s The Ides of March. The movie Collossal. Etc., etc. And by-the-buy, I watched Colossal last night via some stupid streaming service and I was pleasantly surprised. On that note, streaming itself isn’t stupid but the greedy nature of how all these streaming services work is stupid. Indeed. Consume to survive: everything is stupid. But I digress.

Although Collossal has a somewhat slow and peculiar start, the first thing I said after the opening scene of a young Korean girl initialising the audience to the Collossal monster, is this: this is movie about woman scorned! Oh how wrong/right I would eventually be. Once the odd, platonic relationship of the two main characters gets going, I even briskly forgot about all my worst-predictions. In fact, this movie is as pleasantly different as The Shape of Water. And to think both these great movies are made by Spaniards. Cool.

The movie:

In short, Gloria is a young drunk down on her luck living in NYC. After her boyfriend throws her out, she decides to return to her childhood home where she immediately encounters Oscar, supposedly a childhood friend. One of the best parts of writing in this movie is how these two characters are in a relationship but that relationship has nothing to do with romance. What a relief that is, I thought to myself. A film about a man and a woman and it has nothing to do with how/if/when they get it on. Fresh worthwhile movie story telling trick, indeed.

Enter the monster(s) as a literal blast from the past starts to wake up these two from a serious drunken stupor. The whole story evolves around a flashback of what these two people were caught up in as school children. Although Gloria seems to have overcome the majority of that trauma, once she re-enters that old life as a drunk, the past appears out of thin air in the form of Collossal, a Godzilla-like monster. Why the fcuk this monster is destroying a city half a world away as these two #Americant dyfunctionals can’t get their $hit together, is the brief and tantalising mystery the story rides on. It eventually becomes obvious that the monster is some kind a manifestation of Gloria. And just when you figure that out–or are actually shown that she is the monster–it turns out Oscar has one, too. And that’s the gist of what’s really going on between these two. Oscar simply can’t stand being one-upped by Gloria.

The revealing flashback of the movie comes fairly late. Unlike a lot of flashbacks, though, this one doesn’t just reveal the twist of the movie. While walking home from elementary school Gloria and Oscar are carrying school projects. They had to build a model of a city they would like to visit in life. Gloria picked the city of Seoul, South Korea. I didn’t pick up on the city Oscar built–but it’s probably the hometown he’s still stuck in. During their walk home it’s obvious that Gloria won the contest from her class of best built model. When a storm suddenly emerges a gust of win whips Gloria’s Seoul away (pun intended). Oscar jumps a fence to fetch it for her. Thinking that she doesn’t see what’s he doing, Gloria watches Oscar destroy her prized model Seoul replication (more pun?) by stomping on it–like a monster. But then something really weird happens. This is where the twist takes another twist. They are struck by lightening in the storm. Through out the movie Gloria is constantly itching a part of the top of her head where she was struck.

Although it’s not very clear in the writing, worst-writer’s guess is the lightening strike probably ingrained this event into their psyche. Because of it, Oscar grew up hating himself (which she actually claims of him when they have a final confrontation) for the cruelty that has been part of him since that stormy day. Gloria is just a hurt child drowning her sorrows in drink. Gloria then realises to end their conflict all she has to do is continue going forward in life–like she did by leaving this small town and going to NYC. She also realises that she has to stop being a drunk–which brought her back to this mess in the first place. Oh. And to finally deal with Oscar, she also has to get rid of his monster. In order to do that, she comes-of-age, stops drinking and gets on a plane and travels to Seoul. Although Oscar has threatened her that this time she won’t leave him and his cruelty, when she does leave he continues to ravage (her) Seoul. In the actual city of Seoul, South Korea, Gloria finally confront Oscar by proving that at least she can leave that krappy town, stop drinking, move on. She one-ups Oscar one last time. End.

All in all, a great film. It’s a smart film, too. What a relief a movie like this is in these days of blockbuster boredom and moronic comic book characters galore. Although at times it has some odd, indecisive scenes, especially in the beginning and while the relationships are being developed among Oscars friends in her hometown, Hathaway and her character are brilliant. There is a bit of heavy-handed misogyny in the form of serious boy on girl ass-whipping during the last fight scene between the two, but it fit their relationship and it didn’t go over-board–which I’m sure would have been the case if Harvey Weinstein had produced this film. On the other hand, I’m not sure this movie could be part of the #metoo movement. Ok. Maybe that’s not applicable at all. Nomatter. In the end this is a movie about a woman, the consequence of her actions and the sometimes brutal nature of human behaviour–especially male behaviour. The way she deals with it all sometimes took my breath away. At the least I’m not a Hathaway skeptic like I used to be. She can act her way around my screen any day–as long as she does a smart movie like this. Well done!

Rant on.

-T

Baldies Of The World Unite. Time To Be Proud. Maybe.

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Screenshot from the Interwebnets

Never thought it would come to this, dear worst-reader. But I am indeed über proud to be bald. I mean, come on. Check out these hair-dos of dudes who are… in charge of a world? Ok. Ok. I guess I’m glad that my beloved #Americant is setting something straight that it/we made real cock-eyed in the recent past. #Korea. But does it have to be done by these guys? I was actually hoping that Kim blah-blah would try to figure out this whole ordeal without US influence. I mean, why not? But then again. I bet there’s a whole bunch of numb-nuts on this planet that just don’t get the ill-politics that #MAGA again again. Indeed. #Trump needs some distracting faux newz and this is how it’s done.

Rant on.

-T

Stuck In The K-Car Platform Of Life, Liberty And The Freedom To Be Stupid

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A screenshot from the interwebnets

“May all members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle,” he prayed. “May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.” -Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, Chaplain US House of Rep

Other than the K-Car from Chrysler, a piece of $hit car that was made because the US government provided corporate welfare to one of its largest automakers, my beloved #Americant’s next worst achievement was making politics ideological. I suppose it was inevitable that politics eventually go this route. I’m just wondering if the founders would find it all a bit extreme. Then again, considering who/what the founders really were–white men through and through–they might be more than proud of what #Americant has become. Except, of course, there no longer being race based slavery. (There is financial slavery galore, though.) Yeah. They might be pretty pissed at that. But I digress.

The quote above is from a prayer given by a chaplain during a congressional session where the latest tax bill was being voted on. Because of his words, according to various news reports, the chaplain was then asked to resign by the Speaker of the House, Paul (Eddy Munster) Ryan. I mean, come on, #Americant. Is there really no room in your extreme right-wing greed ideology heart for even a priest to wish the meek a few loafs of bread? Whaaaaaa, you say? There is no bread. Let them eat cake. Indeed. Well played Eddie Munster.

Rant on.

-T

Links that motivated this post:

Skewed To The Best Of Your Ability

“I think it’s probably more of a privilege. Do you consider food a right? Do you consider clothing a right? Do you consider shelter a right? What we have as rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We have the right to freedom. Past that point, everything else is a limited resource that we have to use our opportunities given to us so that we can afford those things.” -Sen. Ron Johnson

Quote above is a response by Sen. Ron Johnson (R) when asked by a student last year if he believed health care is a right. What better exemplifies the skewed if not screwed right wing political ideology that has been made normal these days? Now don’t get me wrong, dear worst-reader. I too believe in personal freedom and inalienable rights–especially when it comes to failing and simply exiting the rat race (which should also be an inalienable right). What I don’t believe in is how some are able to twist words like freedom so that what should be a basic right get turned into money grubbing privilege so that a few rich people can scam everybody else. Indeed. That’s ultimately what Ron Johnson’s words mean. We all are free, he says. But some are more free to be able to screw you over–if you can’t pay your way. And so. As someone who found a way out of this awfulness, my hat is off to Republicans and conservatives in my beloved (and missed) #Americant and how they have so brilliantly twisted and skewed the game to their favour–and gotten so many people to vote against their own best interests. Yeah, baby. The land of free to be stupid is steadfast in its faith of Lord Greed, the God of Money and those who would follow.

Rant on.

–T

Link that motivated this post:

1984 Or 2018? Uncreative Theatre-Makers Will Always Be Too Late

orwell big brother

Just received an email from an old friend who went to the theatre the other night back home. Specifically, he went to the theatre in Wash DC, my old stomping ground. And what did he see? 1984 as play, eh? Done by a bunch of iPhone totting liberals, I bet. Oh well. Obviously, as worstwriter and failed playwright, I can’t let this one go by without worst-comment. And so…

George Orwell been put to the stage eh. Whoop-dee-f’n-doo! More of the same pseudo-intellectual regurgitation mixed with uncreative minds—what else can compulsive behaviourists working in “theatre” do? So how is Winston’s hole in the wall? And what about those intimidating rats? Room-101 still missing a hinge on the door? Does Julia spit or swallow—for big brother? The only problem with Orwell right now is that it’s probably too late to figure him out or even apply what he wrote to what’s going on politically in this worst-world. More appropriate (at this time) would be Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, which was done in NYC during and after Trump’s election. I kinda cover that here.

Doing 1984 (as a play) now because of Trump only reassures me that I’ve always been right about the psuedo creative environment of #Americant theatre—especially New York or London theatre. I mean, if there’s any proof of the lack of creativity in the arts right now, it’s in these places. And since we live a world that has long forgotten how to nurture creativity, I suppose this is all that’s left to be done. My worst-point being: it’s too late to show people Orwell. He should have been all over stages and airwaves in the early 90s when Faux Newz started in the US. Btw, conservatives figured out in the 70s that to circumvent the antifascist ideals Orwell espoused, just let the masses consume themselves to death. Yeah, baby. Consume-to-surivive. Seems to have worked very well up to now. But I digress.

Rant on.

-T