Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tighten your belts, brothers and sisters!

Or not, as the case may be.

Having bailed out the banks despite their fiscal irresponsibility worldwide, the government is signalling that you - my dear plebeian - should shoulder your burdens and not look to the government to bail you out. Austerity is in - no more handouts - and if you're unemployed, i guess that's your fault. At least, it isn't any one else's, so try to cope, all right? You don't get a red cent. Says Paul Krugman:

Suddenly, creating jobs is out, inflicting pain is in. Condemning deficits and refusing to help a still-struggling economy has become the new fashion everywhere, including the United States, where 52 senators voted against extending aid to the unemployed despite the highest rate of long-term joblessness since the 1930s.

I've said many times that forking over money to banks to keep them afloat is a corporate welfare scheme. Okay. But it seems that personal welfare schemes are not as popular with the government.

And since you - you non-bank people- are the ones who put money into circulation, you are actually the ones who keep the economy afloat. You might think it would be beneficial if you had some money to spend, which is to say money to pay me with. But Obama, along with Greece, France, Britain, Ireland, Germany and half a dozen countries, thinks you shouldn't have it. Your lifeline, and your pension scheme should wither and die, however much you've paid into it.

If you're freaked out about deficits, here's something to be freaked out about.

Yeah, that's where the money is going.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Blue Blood

However much I may blame the blue bloods for the (now inescapable) disasters overtaking the country, I have to put in a plug for The Dead Weather, and the video for their new single, Blue Blood Blues.

Can't argue with true groove, right?

Today's weather

News headlines.

Dick Cheney's Heart Health.

This is news? The only thing that stirs me is the wonderment that Dick Cheney is believed to have a heart. I doubt it, and if the Cymothoa exigua analogue that is imitating his heart was to get out and find another gig, I wouldn't be unhappy.

The Oil "Spill"

This "spill" (gusher) is an unmitigated and unmitigateable disaster of unprecedented proportions. It's the biggest thing to hit America since the economy. The fact that most people think it's less important than the World Cup or someone's breakup on reality TV only magnifies its importance. This thing can not be capped. It will spew all 5 million barrels, or whatever BP originally estimated as the size of the strike, right into the ocean. The first hurricane of the season will pick up the water and oil, froth it, and spread it over four southern states. After which, they'll need to be evacuated. Actually, to save lives, they should be evacuated first. Is TV news telling you that? Why not?

Austerity Packages

Germany, France, Greece and the UK (and Italy to come) have sharply cut government spending, raising pension ages and taking out social programs designed to catch the poor as they fall. The thing that makes the economy move is spending. If governments cut spending, and we have no money, the economy shrinks. This is otherwise known as a recession – or if it gets worse, a depression. When multiple governments try the same tack worldwide, there's no possibility of flying over it. We have a recession. I have no desire to live through another recession, much less a depression.

Whooping Cough

There's an epidemic of whooping cough in California. It's easily vaccinated against, but it wasn't, and babies are dying. Guess who I blame.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

She's Crafty

I made this last week. Nice isn't it?

Hard to photograph, though. A glass bell jar has reflections facing the camera no matter how you light it. The picture was actually taken in full daylight. The skeleton is a one-third size prop from a halloween shop and the drops of blood are little plastic 'gemstones' from a craft shop. The decoration is a wreath of fake dead roses.

The craft store nearest me is closing down. I'll check them again this weekend to see what's on final markdown. I have some other things I want to work on now.

I didn't used to do any arts or crafts but it seems to be inevitable in older females. Something to do with progesterone, or 17-hydroxy-pregnenolone. Or one of those guys.

I went to the LA antiquarian book fair a few months ago and met my first 'altered book'. (Actually, I'd had Tom Phillips' A Humument for years, but for some reason assumed it was a one-off. It never occurred to me that other people were doing it too.) Although the one demonstrated to me at the fair was nowhere near as gorgeous as some of those I've since seen on the web, it just felt right. A few days later I was altering a book on forensic science into a book illustrating Dead Weather lyrics. Having had to buy truckloads of glue, trinkets, punches, paper and other supplies before I actually found out how anything worked, I went from not having any craft supplies to having an overabundance in just a few weeks. (For instance, one type of spray glue requires you to glue both surfaces and let dry to make a strong bond. Another type makes a removable tack-only bond if you coat both surfaces and dry it. I found out the hard way that half of my pages were removable and had to redo.)

I was going to photograph a page of the book, but now I come to find it, it's inside this tent.

Yes, my bedroom is a microbial hazard. And the hepa filter inside that tent is loud, man.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Forever My Queen

Queen Elizabeth the second, QEII, has been a steady figure in the background of my life. The Sex Pistols famously deconstructed her in God Save the Queen - and that was in 1977, thirty plus years ago. She's still there. And that's good, because she's a clever and level-headed individual but her son and heir is an idiot.

He blames Galileo for the ills of the world.

The Prince of Wales has blamed a lack of belief in the soul for the world’s environmental problems, and said that the planet cannot sustain a population expected to reach 9 billion in 40 years.

He said he found it “baffling” that so many scientists professed a faith in God yet this had little bearing on the “damaging” way science was used to exploit the natural world.

The Prince pinned part of the blame on Galileo. Criticising the profit imperative behind much scientific research, he said: “This imbalance, where mechanistic thinking is so predominant, goes back at least to Galileo’s assertion that there is nothing in nature but quantity and motion.

“This is the view that continues to frame the general perception of the way the world works, and how we fit within the scheme of things.
(From the Timesonline article.)

The scientists, generally speaking, aren't the ones making the profits.

The phrase cui bono? comes to mind, as it often does. Hopefully the Queen, whose job over the years has been dismantling the British Empire in the most efficient and peaceful manner she can (and she's done a fairly good job, considering) will have the fortitude to hang on until Idiot Son gives up the ghost and someone who doesn't talk to plants can succeed her.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This has been on my mind all day

Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr. Hitler

sung by Bud Flanagan

My dad, who fought in the war, used to sing "Who Do You Think Are You Kidding Father Christmas?" I have no idea why. (He was perfectly happy to sing the song that went

Hitler has only got one ball,
Göring has two but very small,
Himmler is somewhat sim'lar,
But poor Goebbels has no balls at all

So it's not like he was a traitor or anything.)

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Time Is on My Side

I don't know why it is, that I am uninterested in the details of Joran van der Sloot's reported confession that he killed Stephanie Flores, five years after his link to the disappearance of Natalie Holloway, and yet I'm fascinated by the details of the death of Otzi.

To me, but obviously not to most, there's more vigor and excitement in Otzi's cold case than in the current one. Who fired the arrow that killed him - and why did they rip out the shaft later - to try to cover it up? Did they then strike him on the head to finish him off?

Why did he have defensive wounds on his hands from several days before?

What had he been eating recently, and did that indicate whether he was on the run?

And why was he 46, when people are keen to tell us the average age of death was 20 or 5 or something in those days? (I know the answer to that one. Child mortality brings the 'average age" of death down to something ridiculous. But people who survived childhood lived as long as we do - well, into their sixties, at least. There seems to be amazing pressure out there to tell people that their ancestors didn't make it to 40.)

My Fault for Being Famous

I've been thinking about posting these for a while. Two famous people talk about how crazy their fans are. Jack White takes the wounded it's-all-about-me route with a rousing singalong and Eminem produces a dramatic epic that's up with the greatest American storytelling of any genre.

The White Stripes - It's My Fault For Being Famous

Eminem (with Elton John) Stan


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