October 20, 2008

Can you bite the bullet? Can you see the enemy?
Can you point the finger? Can you prove your loyalty?



Deedra Ludwig, Veins of Gold, 2007

* Clusterfuck Nation. excerpt:

"It's fascinating to read the commentators in mainstream journals like The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal all strenuously pretending that 'the worst is over' (maybe... we hope... fingers crossed... hail Mary full of grace... et cetera). The cluelessness would be funny if it didn't involve a world-changing catastrophe. All nations that have reached the fork-and-spoon level of civilization are now engineering a vast network of cyber-cables that lead directly from their central bank computers to the Death Star that is hovering above world financial affairs like a giant cosmic vacuum cleaner, sucking up dollars, euros, zlotys, forints, krona, what-have-you. As fast as the keystrokes create currency-pixels, the little electron-denominated units of exchange are sucked out of the terrestrial economies into the black hole of money death. That's what the $700-billion bail-out (excuse me, "rescue plan") and all its associated ventures are about.

"To switch metaphors, let's say that we are witnessing the two stages of a tsunami. The current disappearance of wealth in the form of debts repudiated, bets welshed on, contracts canceled, and Lehman Brothers-style sob stories played out is like the withdrawal of the sea. The poor curious little monkey-humans stand on the beach transfixed by the strangeness of the event as the water recedes and the sea floor is exposed and all kinds of exotic creatures are seen thrashing in the mud, while the skeletons of historic wrecks are exposed to view, and a great stench of organic decay wafts toward the strand. Then comes the second stage, the tidal wave itself -- which in this case will be horrific monetary inflation -- roaring back over the mud flats toward the land mass, crashing over the beach, and ripping apart all the hotels and houses and infrastructure there while it drowns the poor curious monkey-humans who were too enthralled by the weird spectacle to make for higher ground. The killer tidal wave washes away all the things they have labored to build for decades, all their poignant little effects and chattels, and the survivors are left keening amidst the wreckage as the sea once again returns to normal in its eternal cradle.
...
"Apart from orderly prosecutions (which can certainly turn harsh and cruel), there is the possibility of sociopolitical upheaval -- revolution, violence, civil war, war between nations, the whole menu of monkey-human mischief that afflicts mankind. We are not necessarily immune to it here in the USA, despite our cherished notion of exceptionalism, which would have us inoculated against all the common vicissitudes of history.
...
"The energy story and its hand-maiden, the climate change situation, are both lurking out there beyond the immediate spectacle of the financial fiasco. Both these things imply pretty strongly that the economic relations currently unraveling will not be rebuilt -- not the way they were before, or even close to it. The best outcome will be societies that can practice small-scale 'process-intensive' organic agriculture and equally small-scale process-intensive modes of manufacture in the context of very local sociopolitical networks. An accompanying hope is that we can remain civilized in the process. Personally, while I recognize the appeal (to others, not me) of the 'singularity' narrative, which has the human race making a sudden evolutionary leap into some kind of cyborg-nirvana, I regard it as an utter bullshit fantasy that has zero chance of occurring, given our stark predicament.
...
"But returning to the short term, or 'the present,' shall we say, there is the matter of how the US gets through the election and then the first months of a new government, even while the larger fiasco continues. I'm voting for Mr. Obama. While I believe he will make a much better president than the addled old mad dog Mr. McCain has become, I feel sorry for anyone who is placed nominally 'in charge' of things this coming year. The best a President Obama can do is offer some reassurance to a public that is totally unprepared for the convulsion now upon us. Mr. Obama will certainly not have 'money' to 'spend' on any of the promised social support programs that have been endlessly debated. But he could clearly articulate the reality we're facing, and ask not necessarily for 'sacrifice,' as the common plea goes, but for something more and better: for bravery and resolute spirit, for intelligence and resilience, for kindness and generosity -- among a people long unused to consorting with the better angels of their nature. He's already begun to set the example by appearing in public with his sleeves rolled up. The change that has been in the air all year -- that Mr. Obama has talked so much about -- is coming in a bigger dose than anyone expected. I hope we're ready to get with the program."

* House Republican resurrects "Joe McCarthy's Ghost" [by the minutemen]...

* Prince of Petworth identifies urban marijuana plants.

* Check out Criggo.

* "To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization, and at present very few people have reached this level." -- Bertrand Russell

1 Comments:

Blogger s said...

I share most of your views on this issue. Except one: Financial Times is according to my knowledge saying anything but trying to ensure the worst is over.
In fact John Authers who is one of the main speakers in the short view version of FT is almost everyday saying that there are more bad things to come. His profound analyzes supports his statements which seems to be correct almost all the time. He makes some remarking discoveries about the US treasury and how the rescue plan most likely will harm other important issues.

7:14 AM  

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