Talking Heads

I could have a weekly roundup called “what the Rude Pundit said” so yeah, what he said:

If the Rude Pundit were a really, really rich motherfucker, like in the several hundred million and above club, he’d call a meeting of all his fellow really, really rich motherfuckers and he’d tell ’em that we’ve crossed a line, and, unless we want our houses burned down, our assets confiscated, our dogs raped, and our children killed like they were the brood of the Tsar, we better stop acting like such greedy pricks and demand that the people we all own in the government stop licking our taints clean for a little while and start acting like we’re regular Americans, not First Class Black Card Americans.

The really, really rich Rude Pundit would point out that the filthy masses are getting all squirrely about collective bargaining rights and budget cuts on programs for the poor and middle class in order to pay for our tax cuts and the failure to prosecute a single person for shitcanning the economy. He’d then inform everyone that once the income gap gets more fully into the rhetorical mix, well, we really, really rich motherfuckers would be fucked and a half.

You 1%ers may think your hot shit, untouchable, above the law. But so did Louie XVI. He ended up with his head in a basket. And that’s not a euphamism for Marie Antoniette’s crotch. The motherfucking King of France had his head chopped off by Guillotine. It rolled like a bowling ball landing, bloody, in a basket. Why?

He refused to feed poor people. So they killed him.

Not right away of course. No revolution happens overnight. Louie XVI, like many blinkered rich fuckwits, was presented with several opportunities to change his mind and fund popular programs for the poor and middle class. If he had accepted the program of gradual change offered by reformers, giving up a thin slice of money and privilege he’d never even miss, so that the rest of his poeple could have a better life, the revolution could have been averted. But Louie and his supporters heard the reformers asking politely for gradual change and libeled them as radicals. They called them freethinkers and libertines, which was the 18th century equivalent of Socialist and Marxist.

So things got worse. Not for the rich of course. their money and privilege insulates them from the depredations that turn the middle and working classes into disgruntled protesters, and later, if it’s allowed to continue, into revolutionaries shouting for blood and revenge.

By refusing to accept the deal offered by liberals for gradual change, Oligarchs ensure that one day, they’ll have to face the revolutionaries. And not all of them are as peaceful as those in Lybia and Egypt. Just ask the severed head of Louie XVI.

The Golden Age

This is everything that is wrong with the global economy, all in one tidy little package. And yes, it comes from the UAE, which along with Dubai, is emblematic of late stage capitalism in all it’s horrific beauty. It’s the perfect mix of traditional values and unregulated commerce that US Conservatives are always going on about but don’t have the balls to act out. There’s a gross pageantry in that part of the world that still finds medieval displays of ostentatious wealth to be just fine and dandy. In Europe, they made sumptuary laws against this sort of thing for a reason. So, if there’s some grandiose manifestation of opulent greed run amok, it will shimmer into existance in that crass little pocket of decadence, like a heat mirage filtered through Donald Trump’s libido. I’m not one to go in for supernatural explanations when human agency is good enough at explaining things but fucking hell, a gold-dispensing vending machine? There is clearly an evil force at work here. Probably a Djinn. Maybe a wizard. An evil, evil wizard.

There’s really only one thing you can pay for with gold. Or rather, one class of thing and none of it wholesome. You can’t drop by the corner market in Abu Dubai and pick up a gallon of milk, paid for with a gold dabloon. An ingot will not buy you a candy bar, or even a meal at a posh restaurant. The staff just doesn’t have the wherewithal to handle that sort of transaction. Where do you stack the bars where the busboys won’t trip over them? Counting out a till full of gold dust at the end of the night brings a fresh hell to the dreams of anyone whose ever worked retail. You just can’t spend gold anywhere, is what I’m getting at. That’s why we have paper money and electronic accounting. Lugging around a purse full of pieces of eight instills one to levels of pomposity we tend to find a bit gouche. A fist full of gold inspires one to dress the part. Before long, you’re wearing poet sleeves unironically, carrying around snuff and whipping out silk hankies. That’s why this shit goes down over in the UAE. They’ve already got the fancy wardrobe for that sort of thing. You see a man in caftan and mirror shades, accompanied by an entourage of thugs in thousand dollar shoes and you expect that man to have on his person a velvet lined bag full of precious metals. Well, not on his person. He has someone who handles the carrying of such things for him. Probably a eunuch.

But why? Why convert a chunk of your walking around cash into a piece of gold?* Just to have something fancy to fondle when you get bored of belittling the peasants?

The sort of man who would want gold from a dispenser at any hour of the day is the sort of man who wouldn’t think twice about buying a person. ” Buying as person what? A fancy watch? A painting?” No. That sentence didn’t end prematurely. You deal in gold when you want to purchase a human life, but don’t want to mess around with the sticky legal contrails paper currency and digital transactions leave behind.

Gold is the perfect currency for human trafficking. Child prostitutes. Slave labor. What have you. And if you’re not into the buying and selling of other people, there’s always good old fashioned money laundering. Gold is untraceable. It’s also a commodity with a proven, intrinsic value and while the price fluctuates, it’s never not going to be in demand. Which of course makes sense why they’d install the first gold vending machine in the UAE. Not exactly a nice neighborhood, even if everyone’s driving Lamborghinis and dressed like CEOs.

And of course, there’s the other end of that queasy supply and demand transaction. That repugnant slave trader you met in some abandoned parking garage at 2am may have some even less savory business ventures he’d like to fund with that gold of yours. There’s always someone else looking to trade you something interesting for your pile of gold bars. And it ain’t a roast beef sandwich with all the trimmings, that’s for certain.

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* Fun fact: Since pissing off so many legit businesses with his cretinous rants, Glenn Beck’s show is heavily sponsored by companies who offer to buy your gold jewelry, for which they will pay you the going market rate. This is part of a growing trend n the Tea Bagger subculture, which has decided to embrace, among many other bad ideas, investing in gold as away to survive the coming socialist/Marxist economic collapse. This has created a small but growing investment bubble in gold. And as we all know, investment bubbles are just keen!

All You Need is Hate

Over at the Onion Av club, they have an interesting discussion of movies, TV shows and music that people have fallen out of love with. As much as I’m loathe to admit it, Sam Adams has a point about Tim Burton. I still think Beatlejuice is a great movie and enjoy Sweeny Todd but I have to admit, Burton is a hit or miss director. Even if we exclude Mars Attacks!, He’s hitting about a 50/50 average, with most of the good stuff falling into his early career. I’m still looking forward to Alice in Wonderland though.

But, alas, I have fallen out of love with a few filmmakers and musicians. Once upon a time, I used to love Bjork, swan dress and all. But only recently, I’ve found that I can’t stand to listen to any of her music, even Vespertine. I’m not sure if her Mathew Barney-inspired last album has retroactively tainted her music or what but Bjork has lost me.

I’ve already documented (possibly in a bit too much detail) my falling out with George Lucus. Let’s just let that one go. The Star Wars trilogy was completed in 1983 and as far as I’m concerned, he’s done nothing since but fiddle with speakers.

I’ve also come to realize that David Lynch is just not a good director. None of his movies even attempt to be satisfying films, or psychological pictures of the inner workings of a character or even just a decent story. I couldn’t even make it more than half way through Inland Empire before I was just bored. He just makes weird art filmic things that invovle actors and ocasionally there’s even something that apes the basic outline of a plot but in the rare event that shows up, it’s quickly ushered out back and beaten to death with a tire iron.

There is hope though: for years I was pretty much bored with Star Trek but the new movie reminded me what I saw in the first place and managed to reinvigorate my love for the older movies as well, even ones I had previously written off as sentimental and week stories.* It’s possible Bjork’s next album will remind me of what I saw in her music or that the rumored live-Action Star Wars TV show said to be starting up filming in Australia will remind me of the Star Wars of my youth. I wouldn’t count on it though.

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*Except Nemesis. That one still sucks.

Bringing Rotten Cabbage Back

I’m with Thoreau on this: though I deplore violence, throwing shoes is not a violent act. In a just world, thrown shoes, flung birds and hurled rotten fruit would accompany George W. Bush and his entire gang of despicable cretins wherever they went for the rest of their lives. They may be too powerful to arrest and imprison but no one is above mockery.

UPDATE: Now come on, torturing the shoe thrower? I know we taught the Iraqis some fucked up values but seriously, this is just too much. Bush should Pardon him, it would mean a lot politically. And personally. Sign the petition to free al-Zaidi.