Sunday, May 23, 2010

our man flint: a breakfast of kings

montage by ib.

It was so hot this morning we breakfasted in a Brazillian cafe in the Trongate. Sufficiently searing that my elderly - non portable - PPC went into thermal shutdown before we ventured out. Intel does not equate with intelligence. The Motorola is still boss, but slow. As to our prolonged alfresco fueling, not so decadent as it might initially seem, the cost of eating out was on a par with renting a trough in the wall to wall abbatoir that is McDonald's.

The luxury of sitting at a table on the pavement was not lost on me. The option of lighting a cigarette over coffee.

While the fast food chains might ice their cake by taking out insurance policies on their staff, there remain small businesses motivated just enough to make a living vending iced tea. And there is nothing remotely corrupt in that.

Late yesterday evening, Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" aired for the first time on Freeview. It made for sobering viewing. If you have not yet seen this excellent film, let me just say that the thrust of Moore's argument went well beyond documenting the $165 million bonus AIG paid its employees after the enforced Capitol Hill bail-out.

In the face of one of irrefutable fact after another, there was little remotely sensational in Moore's observation that Wall Street's campaign to deregulate finanancial markets has led us directly to the unchallenged ushering in of a Plutonomy.

At the expense of democracy and civil rights.

This is definitely one occasion when our man from Flint can not be comfortably denounced by counterclaim of employing hyperbole.

In the course of just one year, the New World Order conspiracy no longer appears quite so deluded. It is one thing to privatise insatiably and dismantle industries. It is quite another when enire countries slip into dereliction and public coffers glare back emptily.

Genuine evil is at large. Shielded by the genuinely incompetent: the Reagans; Thatchers; the bumbling Bush.

The socialists, too, breaking bread with the moneylenders.

FDR had a vision of a second bill of rights. He died. The internet was born and for a while there existed real freedom of speech.

Gallows Humour is all very well. Next time you bust a nut getting down and homely with The Simpsons, remember that the withered arm of Montgomery Burns is closer than you think. Marge is dead; Homer is on Food Stamps; Lisa is Jodie Foster's Betsy; and Bart takes it up the ass on a yacht in the Bahamas.

To the US ballboys amongst us I say this: at least you have Obama batting in your court. Fail to recognise that, and potentially we are all f@cked. Trust no 1.

JAMES BROWN: BOSS from "Black Caesar (OST)" LP (Poydor) 1973 (US)


Löst Jimmy said...

Yes I find it all rather depressing, and even in this country have you detected the anti-public sector hysteria?
Like it is local Councils who are to blame for the national debt, how soon we forget it was the private robber barons in the City who 'stole' all the cash.
And all the while I read in today's papers of the Duchess of York seeking a bung or two, her spokesman suggests she was 'naive' I suggest she was simply 'greedy' like the rest of the great and the good who have their noses in the golden trough. It's all bollocks really. The Con Dem Nation will see us all to the knackers yard (plc of course)

ib said...

As Moore documented, the scale on which blue chip corporations profit from taking out out life insurance policies on employees was entirely shocking. Naively, I assumed such practices to be prosecutable. That companies can legitimately make millions from deaths on its payroll is not just amoral but obscene.

As was the patent glee with which financial sector businesses appropriated public funds while flouting the first rule of a free market: that those who make a profit succeed, while those who fail go to the wall.

And how much sweeter the scam might be if only they could similarly appropriate the democratic vote and be done with all pretense.

That it really is not a matter of political stripe should not have dumbfounded me; the loan sharks are prepared to court both sides of the coin with so much clearly at stake.

As to our own little island mirroring of the same sleight of hand, Löst Jimmy, it sheds much needed light on the City's desperation to justify those indefensible bonuses. For all their doublespeak, it is merely the squeal of indignation.

The mistake is in thinking that politicians - on the left or the right - have any grasp of the human cost of feeding the hand which bites.

ib said...

My reply was a bit long-winded and strayed from the point you highlighted.

I am close to screaming "Armageddon".

I always feared I'd be down the job centre when the apocalypse came cold calling.