A dear friend of mine is convinced we will witness another world-war in his lifetime. He believes this conflict will be fought between East and West, more specifically, a modern-day crusade conducted over religious dogma. I’m not sure about this but am adamant it will take something far closer to our materialistic heart, to encourage us to rise up en-masse: shopping (aka commercial globalisation). And in this the West has only one true combatant, China.
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I’m not a betting man but I am tempted to put a few quid on Boris Johnson being out on his ear in Theresa’s first cabinet re-shuffle sometime next year. Having somehow managed to avoid causing a serious international incident in his first couple of month’s employ as the UK’s Foreign Minister, it’s as if Bumble (as I’m going to call him from hereon in) now feels he has to make up for lost time, with a litany of misplaced, ill-timed and downright ignorant outbursts. This week’s Saudi-aimed ‘puppeteering & proxy-warmongering’ proclamations are only the icing-on-the-gaff-cake and anyway, I’m still more than a little concerned about the impact his appointment is going to have on shores closer to home.
I once read an article by someone professing to love nothing more than a good airport. For the author, it was an oasis of calm where he could finally ‘clear out his inbox’; dealing with those emails long avoided, and reading that book that was thus far untouched. For one, I’m not sure the feeling is mutual. Airports seem to me to have a similar atmosphere to a US embassy in Moscow circa 1962 – an oasis in the sense that it acts as a bubble to the outside world. Calming? No. And representative? Certainly not.
The earlier post concerning Amazon’s ‘Alexa’ Echo elicited such response and conversation (real, proper ones whilst indulging in real, proper human activity dontchaknow) that it got me thinking about why I, a self-confessed-dyed-in-the-wool luddite, am so resistant to the adoption of time-saving and life-enhancing tech, and I think I know why.
Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat. Please put a penny in the old man’s hat. And the great news this festering season is that, if you can’t remember to do that, don’t worry as the Amazon Echo is now here to remind you of the task. Retail consumerism obviously has to create imaginary scenarios where products appear invaluable to our very existence and ‘Alexa’, or Voice Assistants as the generic term is, has surely to be the most illogical extension of today’s retail-therapy obsessed society.
I couldn’t manage the US. I know it. You know it. I couldn’t manage post-Brexit Britain as I wouldn’t have the patience and it’d end in tears. Again, you know it and I know it. So, it’s with disbelief that I look upon the current predicament faced by both countries. As it turns out, there’s a bona-fide psychological theory, the Dunning-Kruger effect dontchaknow, that details incompetent people are so incompetent they don’t realise how incompetent they are. This isn’t just the usual over-confidence and exaggerated braggadocios nature that many of us exhibit, oh no, it’s way more scary that: it’s the untalented feeling disproportionately talented because they’re so untalented to feel anything but supremely talented!
Nothing for you to worry about but I went to the doctor’s yesterday. I’m thankful that it doesn’t happen often, as evidenced that my own GP, the fabulously titled ‘Dr Craze’, had apparently left the surgery without n’er a ‘by your leave’ over ten years ago. Notwithstanding this rude oversight by the medical fraternity, I have to say the bedside-manner I received was second to none and, not a couple of hours later, I was leaving the local hospital having undergone a couple of X-Rays. NHS crisis? Pah, what crisis!
I’ve oft mentioned & discussed the way in which ‘content’ is now consumed – personalised lists, never-endingly streamed to our device-of-choice and viewed on the hoof whilst in the bath or on the bus. The joy of reading a whole newspaper from front to back, or flicking through a magazine from cover to cover, is seldom experienced any longer. The serendipitous, and highly beneficial, nature of an unrelated article catching your eye and encouraging you to read it, is on the wane. Unless it’s gossipy tittle-tattle in the Metro.
Gobsmacked. Shocked. Distressed. Mortified. Speechless.
Yes, of course we all are, but, in light of our own Brexit decision, should we actually be surprised? Trump is a self-aggrandising, smug, thin-skinned, bullying boor. He is almost everything that almost everyone is saying of him. For the office of President of the US he is inexperienced, unaware, incapable and ill-suited. But we knew that, and deep down, so did most of the people in the US and still they voted him in. The parallels between both outcomes are now lost on no-one: Joe Public voted for change.
A bit like a rolling stone, Bob Dylan, kinda passed me by. Being a child of the 70s, the likes of Marc Bolan & Slade much more caught my ear and the only thing I was likely to protest about was the inverse relationship between the size of curly wurlies and the width of my flares. So, it was with a level of detachment that I observed the recent hoo-hah concerning the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature.