Archive for the ‘Rage Club’ Category

Robbin’ ‘Hoods – stealing from the poor, giving to the rich.

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Anyone who has bank savings in this country is currently losing money. The interest rates paid on savings can barely keep up with inflation and with public services being cut all the time because of the government having to bail out the banks, those savings will become more important than ever in the bleak future. And the miserly interest rates offered by the banks have to be begged for by the customers every year. If you don’t pay your respects to the mighty barons of the land at least once every year and go cap in hand to them they cut your interest rate to virtually zero.

It was on such a servile visit to a bank that I was subject to yet more scorn and derision. Not content with having me waste my time every year by forcing me to visit their church of money, they then decide to take advantage of the situation by attempting to blackmail me, emotionally at least.

The foot soldier from the bank (I know he’s just doing what he’s told) explained to me the scheme they had attached to their savings accounts. At the end of each year when the interest is calculated I could elect to round down the figure to the nearest pound and whatever pence is left would go to some charity that I had to choose from some list that they had… I had stopped listening to this outrageous nonsense as I tried to comprehend what this prison guard was trying to get me to sign.

This was a bank. Through such models as fractional reserve banking, only an idiot could fail to make money with a bank. Through their position of privilege and power the banks got too cocky and lost their depositors money thereby requiring the taxpayer to foot the bill. They have since caused job losses, house repossessions and cuts to public services for the most needy in our society. As a reward for such despicable work, they continue to award themselves huge bonuses and maintain that they are the best people to do the job. These people are scum. To then pretend that they have ‘charitable’ inclinations is a lie that beggars belief. Note also, that the charitable scheme required the depositor to make the donation (yet again) whilst the bank contributed nothing (nay, the bank clearly thought it profited from positive PR it thought it was spinning).

Slightly shell shocked and in a tone of voice that suggested I had been tortured for hours but still clung to a vision of reality that made some sense, I declined his heretical document of moral turpitude.

It was only afterwards when I reflected on the sheer hypocrisy of the idea that I became aware of its boldness…

“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed”. Adolf Hitler.

What have we become?

Will someone please think of the children…

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

escape-children

Recently, my daughter brought home a slip of paper given to her by the primary school that she attends. It was a ticket for a charity fund raising scheme at the school. On the top of the ticket was embazened a full colour logo of the ’sponsor’ of the event. This was a huge American doughnut company that can’t even spell correctly. The ticket invited parents to pre-order a doughnut for their child and on a certain date, on school premises, the children would buy and then eat the doughnut. That was it. That was the charity scheme.

The last time I looked at the school’s letterhead, it had a healthy schools logo on it. What does that logo actually mean? Is the school required to do anything to earn this symbol?

As everyone knows, doughnuts are full of fat and sugar, that’s why they taste nice. But fat and sugar are everywhere in processed foods which is why we have an obesity problem and presumably, why a healthy schools initiative was implemented in the first place. To promote such a junk food in a primary school flies in the face of all the government’s health education efforts. What is going on?

But it gets worse. The doughnuts are intended to be sold to the children at below the retail price to make them more attractive. If the event is intended to collect money for charity (the ticket didn’t say which charity they would be supporting, but I’m guessing it won’t be Diabetes UK) then that means that the suppliers of the doughnuts must be practically giving them away. Why would a company do such a thing? Well, it might have something to do with gaining access to impressionable young minds and being able to brand into them their full colour logo as well as addicting their bodies to their fat and sugar products.

When I looked at the doughnut makers website, under a banner headline of ‘Everyone Wins’ they explained their fundraising schemes. I was horrified to discover that they actively facilitate these fund raising charity promotions in schools and are fully tooled up to ‘help out’ on a national basis. Why is this allowed to happen? Why is nobody up in arms about it and putting a stop to it?

Presumably, this means that ANY company that has the financial muscle to heavily discount some of its products, can have access to primary schools if their deal is tempting enough for anyone associated with the school—children or parents. This, dear reader, is the thin edge of the wedge.

How long before burger companies have stalls in schools at lunchtimes? How long before pharmaceutical companies realise it might be good business for them to get children to take home specially prepared flyers promoting their drugs to the parents; “Unruly child? Can’t sleep? Try our new Comatose Tablets for your ADHD little ones and Cloud9 anti depressants for yourself. Go on, treat yourself—it’s for charity!”

How long before an entire school is sponsored by a multinational like Dow Chemicals? Presumably, all that the school has to do is tag on a charity angle and any insidious implications of the relationship are rendered null and void.

But it’s just a doughnut, it’s only a bit of a treat, isn’t it?

No, it is not. I say again, it is the thin edge of a wedge. The hacking of celebrities ‘phones was just a bit of harmless gossip at first which sold newspapers. It is only when a murdered schoolgirl’s phone is hacked that the full thickness of the wedge is revealed as it is hammered painfully into our consciousness.

This practice needs to be stopped immediately before it becomes embedded into our schools. The multinationals already have an inordinate amount of influence over our lives. How much more influence do we want to give them?

Addendum: A follow up piece to this post has been written by Dan Ladds which is a must-read.

Bloody diamonds

Friday, October 29th, 2010

What are diamonds?

Lumps of carbon and the hardest substance known to humans. So is that why enslaved people die fighting over them and huge profits are generated selling them?

Not really. This happens because of superstition and greedy people. Let’s try a different question, What are diamond jewels?

Shiny gravel. For some reason, shiny gravel has an inexplicable attraction for humans. This causes all the trouble.

In a lot of ways, we are still primitive natives, seduced by beads and gewgaws. We give away real wealth for trinkets and fall under the spell of specious superstition and lies – for example, shiny gravel is rare and exclusive.

It might have been once, but since De Beers established a monopoly on shiny gravel production and distribution, its rarity value has been carefully manipulated to maintain that illusion. De Beers has billions of pounds worth of shiny gravel locked away in huge warehouses like a giant dam, preventing them from flooding the market. Through various dirty tricks and special circumstances, De Beers has managed to perpetuate its monopoly and its superstitious beliefs for over 100 years.

But here is where it gets really spooky. Eventually, technology and capitalism caught up with De Beers and innovative engineers could grow shiny gravel in a laboratory. This meant factories could be set up to start mass producing shiny gravel with the economies of scale that would allow cheaper prices. Hardly the romantic image De Beers wants to promote. It also compromised the special circumstances that allowed De Beers to maintain a monopoly. So what was their response?

Voodoo.

They started to investigate how they could differentiate natural shiny gravel, from factory produced shiny gravel and their results were mind blowing. They were mind blowing because they were on a molecular level. The primitive natives can’t see molecules and they don’t really care about them, they only care if the gravel shines prettily, but if that was the only weapon Be Beers had, they were going to go to war with it. And so, as primitive natives, we are told to believe ‘natural’ is better than ‘manufactured’ when it comes to shiny gravel.

This is a war of ideas. This is superstition versus science, creationism versus evolution, the have’s versus the have not’s, evil versus good.

When you buy shiny gravel, it’s really the voodoo you buy.

How capitalism destroys the kindness of strangers

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

How many of you have pulled up into a commercial car park and had a departing stranger offer you a valid ticket with some time remaining on it? I have had many such occasions, and each time it happens, I thank the stranger profusely, silently promise myself that I will pass the favour on whenever the opportunity arises and feel good about humanity for the rest of the day.

The car park attendants (or the owners) see these moments of kindness, and curse. What they see, is lost profit. Not profits that they are entitled to, but additional profits that could be grasped from generous, unselfish people.

The ticket has been paid for and a time allowed for a car to park in the area. If you misjudge your stay, the excess time is lost and the car park owners profit from your misjudgement or, you can donate the time to someone else who needs it. Note, how it never works the other way around, if you overstay by a few minutes, you are fined.

The passing on of a valid ticket made both giver and recipient feel good. So what does capitalism do? Now, the ticket machine requires you to type in part of your car registration so that the ticket cannot be handed over to another motorist. It deliberately prevents the kindness of strangers. Notice also how you, and not the owners, are required to do the extra work to prevent yourself from helping your fellow traveller. This is like the slavers asking you to fasten the chains onto yourself so that you can become their slave, or being told that you have to spill your blood onto your hard earned cash so that machines can check it is your DNA and that only you can spend it in officially approved commercial areas – no handing it out to beggars or people short of a bus fare.

Can we not see where capitalism is dragging us? If we can, why is no-one kicking and screaming? Why has nobody complained about this move? Are we so cowed that we are prepared to accept any new development, designed by big business, to rob us of our humanity?

Them and us

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Let’s start with ‘us‘. We’re at the coal face and we can see that coal is dirty, dangerous and polluting. Burning it makes it even dirtier. We miners die of respiratory diseases even before we are punished by the CO2 consequences.

Then there’s the numbers. We can see our friends and brothers die. We see the black mucus suppurate out of their lungs. We can count how many are left before they are all gone. We know our friends are finite in number.

But for ‘them‘ in the boardroom, they do not see these things. They see numbers all right, but they are the infinite numbers of money. They count the numbers of people dying but they are units in a ledger and no friendship is lost to them. They look out of their window and they see an ocean of humanity ready to replace these lost numbers. It is a game to them, a board game. Climate change is just another throw of the dice.

It disturbed me how someone would willingly destroy themselves, knowingly cut off their own air supply. Why would they be so nihilistic? Why would heads of governments and heads of multinationals ignore brutal evidence?

Then it all became clear. I suddenly realised it was war. Climate change is a war. The poor are on the front lines; they see the suffering, the mounting bodies, the disease, the horror.

The generals though, see maps. They see territory either gained or lost. They see armies as possessions owned by themselves or hated enemies, possessions that can be destroyed and remade, destroyed and remade, destroyed and remade…

They are surrounded by sycophants, sycophants that like being sycophants because that is what they do best and they get rewarded for their skills. That is why this madness is happening.

Imagine the First World War. The generals order an advance as they peer at a be-flagged map. They do not see the blood of battle or the aftermath. If they lose the war, it is a handshake between gentlemen. An exchange of countries. Maybe some humiliation back home. Ah well, better luck next time.

No such luck for the corpses.

And so we march on to another front line, all in step to the economic drumbeat of ‘growth!’, ‘growth!’, ‘growth!’. The generals watch from their steel and glass towers, already imagining their new empires as the foot soldiers and engineers realise that this is the war to end all wars. They know, no-one comes back from this adventure. This time the generals stand to lose a lot more than a few armies and credibility with their gentlemen friends. They will lose their air and water and they will lose their precious sycophants as well. This time it’s, destroyed but no, remake.

Not many mutinied in the First World War. Maybe this time…

Twitter is part of the conspiracy

Friday, November 20th, 2009

The number one scourge of modern civilisation today is disconnectedness. As the shadow of globalisation creeps over the world like a giant hand and the multinational fingers pull the strings of control we sit in front of our screens and become more and more disengaged from everything that makes life worth living. In just a few hundred years we have overturned millions of years of evolution and thousands of years of cultural development. Technology has reached a tipping point and instead of improving the quality of life it is actually diminishing it.

And Twitter is part of the conspiracy.

Why is Twitter so popular? At first glance, it seems that everything that Twitter has to offer is already accommodated by other forms of communication – Instant Messaging, email, Skype, telephones, newspapers, content aggregators… The answer is that it distils most of these into an immediate ego rush. Imagine taking the first line of one of your diary entries and publishing it for all the world to see. What sort of ego massage is that, especially if the diary entry is also selling something of yours?

Then there’s the numbers.

Once you have made your diary entry public, you can watch it being devoured (or not) by the public. Is it being RT’d (re-tweeted)? If it is, that’s a small achievement in the popularity game. RT’ing someone else’s tweets can curry favour from those being RT’d for a while but if you persist  until it becomes arbitrary you can quickly become a sycophant. Then you can collect followers. This is the old, ‘Look at my numbers!’ game. The numbers can be views, followers, subscribers or dollars. The result is the same; competition for a part of the available market. In the case of Twitter it is competition for attention, but to the conspirators in charge, what is being competed for is irrelevant, it is the competition that is the important element because without competition, disconnectedness is harder to maintain. And pity on you if you are following more people that are following you, you might as well kill yourself now because with the values we have in today’s society that makes you of no interest whatsoever to anybody except the conspirators who see you  as a passive consumer. Such is the price we pay for attention.

So, if you are idly sitting by some device, alone or with a group of friends (if you are with friends why aren’t you interacting with them?), watching the chatter that echoes around the globe, know this, you are part of the conspiracy of disconnectedeness.

Telephone preference service update

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Got another one of those pre-recorded telephone messages selling me a debt cancellation service or something. It did not identify itself in any way and invited me to press 5 for a free, no obligation chat that wouldn’t cost me a penny (I will wait for my telephone statement and check for lies). This I chose to do and got a pen poised over a blank sheet of paper ready to take some details. A bored sounding girl answered the ringing tone with a ‘how can I help?’ question.

I asked for her name. Immediately, she put the telephone down on me.

These people know. They know they are working outside the law and run from anything that sounds investigative. A pox on their lives.

The despicable side of consumerism

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

I am reliably informed that today is, ‘Grandparents Day’ as designated by the greetings card industry. Their quest for ever more profit is still skirting the line of moral acceptability but what with the creation of vulture funds, as a legitimate way of making money, it won’t be long before they abandon any pretence of acceptability and create occasions just to fill up the calendar.

Here are a few of my guesses as to what they might come up with but you are invited to add your own in the comments.

• 9/11 terror Day
• Amputee Day
• Suicide in the family anniversary Day
• Gender change operation Day
• Murder victim remembrance Day
• Buy a card just-for-the-hell-of-it Day

More from Alnwick castle

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Plants can kill

This was the entrance to an interesting garden at Alnwick castle. You had to be on a guided tour to view it as it had several prohibited plants, cannabis being one. The plant was suitably caged as well as behind the bars of the garden (a condition of them keeping it, we were told).

However, the plant that should have been caged was not. It was tobacco. The guide said it was one of the most toxic plants on the earth. Then he told a little story, a true one. Children aged eleven years old were employed by the tobacco companies in South Africa to pick the green leaf. The nicotine is so insidious it permeates through the green leaf and into the skin of the child picking it. As a result the children suffer from Green Tobacco Sickness, a syndrome that is the equivalent of smoking fifty cigarettes a day…

Feel my rage…

London

Monday, August 31st, 2009

London cartoon

Whilst visiting my sister and brother-in-law in York the other day I was chatting with my nephew Anton who was also there, taking a break from his job in London. He was complaining to me about the weather predictions on the mainstream media and their lack of London references. He told me this was due to the BBC directive of not being London-centric and to include the provinces whenever possible. The argument being that the weather in the Orkneys, for example, is far more important to the peasants working in the fields there than it is to a London city slicker who spends most of their time underground, indoors, or under a table (that’s my interpretation of his words).

On reflection, I found this idea hugely entertaining and grossly patronising. The authorities in the capital have demonstrated their largesse by granting a minuscule amount of air time to the peasants in the rest of the country during the weather reports, how generous is that?

A national football stadium we didn’t get. A proportional share of arts funding we don’t get. A representative number of provincial bands being signed up by major labels we don’t get. A faithful reflection of the class structure in Britain portrayed in the mainstream media we don’t get.

But hey, we got the weather!