Society

People, politics, tech, money, sport, work and entertainment all intertwine to make up today’s ever-changing, crazy, delightful and frustrating society. The majority of my second-hand-views are about life within our society and, with a left-of-centre stance, there’s bound to be something here that gets your goat. When it does, buy a bundle of tibs, donate one to my charity of choice, Stay Close to Neve, and get it off your chest with a retort – better out than in. Have fun, be good and keep at ‘em.

driving home for christmas

Like many of you, I’ll be hitting the road sometime soon for my annual Christmas trip to the fracking north. Laden with the beautiful south’s equivalent of gold, frankincense and myrrh I’ve often felt like the archetypal missionary bringing material civilisation to the loin-clothed locals. But with every passing year the departure time gets earlier and earlier, and the arrival time later.

yeehaw: the wild west of finance

So, we’re all aware that bitcoin has hit $14,000, or $20,000, or whatever it is today and yes, we all wish we’d bought into it a couple of years ago when we first started talking about it. And yes, of course it’s currently a bubble that’s on an incredible run but one, that will, at some point in time, burst. To-date it’s experienced at least five 80% corrections during its evolution and, whilst it will have more, who’s the greater fool, the participant in the greatest mania any of us will probably ever see, or the sceptic who shouts from the side-line? Only time will tell.

’tis the season to be jolly

Being such an Ebenezer I don’t usually send Christmas cards but, in the spirit of glasnost, I thought I’d do the decent thing and chip a few quid into the coffers of my local charity shop. By buying direct I was confident the lion’s share of me hard-earned was going to the cause, but, having fallen out with Amnesty International in the past over their use of funds, it did get me thinking as to how much is actually handed over to the good causes named?

water off a trump’s back

At the risk of preaching to the converted and stating the bleedin’ obvious, we all agree that Tiny Hands Trump has dreadful taste, is semi-literate at best, does not understand world politics, wears his silly red tie way too long, tweets incoherently, is in cahoots with the Ruskies and, one year into office, still has to release any tax returns. In short, he’s a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, potty-mouthed procrastinator, racist, ‘birther’ and sexist bully.

paradise lost

The leaked ‘Paradise Papers’ have shown us that Bono owns a Lithuanian shopping centre even more dreary than most of his songs, that the Queen helped finance the recently punished quasi-loan-shark business, BrightHouse, that multi-millionaire and Union Jack waving-at-every-opportunity Lewis Hamilton swerved any VAT payments on his £16.5m private jet with the finesse of er, an F1 champion and that there really is no good reason to watch the terminally unfunny Mrs Brown’s Boys.

this is a man’s world

Men know when they are abusing their position of authority. I know it. You know it. But it hasn’t stopped an inordinate amount of clap-trap being spoken about the recent emergence of sexual harassment and humiliation claims. Why did these young women go to Harvey’s lair in the first place? Why did they accept that dinner invitation? What was the appeal of Michael Fallon’s undivided attention? Why didn’t such-and-such speak out earlier? Why did they stay with that company? Why didn’t she resign or at least stand-up for herself?

time well spent

I suspect we’re all aware of the telling story that many of the world’s leading technologists are weaning themselves off their own product and making conscious decisions to send their offspring to elite and very expensive Silicon Valley schools where all tech is universally banned from the premises. In a world where the average US smartphone user taps, swipes or touches their lovely, shiny device up to 2,617 times a day, this is certainly a case of the tech titans not drinking their own kool aid.

wish you were here

I’ve just read a thoroughly depressing article concerning the future of human communication. Apparently, within three years we’re all going to adopt wristbands that enable us to compose and send emails & texts just by thinking about it. An electromyography armband is currently being developed that intercepts signals travelling from the brain to the muscles in the hand and automatically, intuitively converts it to the message you want to send.

brrrmmm, brrrmmm

There’s nothing quite like a new car. The smell of the leather seats and the feel of an untouched steering wheel. Crisp, precise controls and fresh carpets. Lovely. Last year, British households borrowed over £30bn to upgrade their car and sales of new motors surged to a twelve-year high. The US love them even more and their total auto loan now tops $1trn. Ten years ago consumers were bingeing on credit card debt and look where that got us. Have we now merely dropped the ‘d’ and is a credit car crash just around the bend?

a walk on the wild side

Cards on the table, in the naughtiness stakes I make Teresa May appear a bit of a tear-away. Running through a forbidden wheatfield and crushing the corn, at the risk of being rumbled by an irate farmer and made to clean out the pigsty? Jog-on, boys, I’m off home to study for my O’levels. Even though I’ve only just turned ten years of age.