There was a woman busker at Villareal market this morning. She played like Richie Havens, sang like Amy Winehouse, had the sultry looks of a Cambodian/Malay fusion – and oozed a jazz guitar instinct that made me realise she was none of those people – just a lot more.
It was all bit pathetic on my part. My knees turned to marrowbone jelly as I pinged a euro into the Collection Hat, and told her she had great and original talent. Not because I wanted to make love to her – although believe me, I did – but because she does have more talent in her fingers, fret formations and fulsome voice than the last five X-Factor winners put together. And as I wandered off, transported by her words (about how kind and good I am, and yes, she’s right, I am) towards Cloud 27, I thought about all the raw talent out there being ignored by process-driven TV talent show bollocks. I thought about how much I’d like, every single morning, to dunk Simon Cowell’s grinning, brainless head into a vat of hot custard – and just to be really fair – ignore his screams for anaesthetic. But chiefly I thought about all the astonishingly original creative talent today playing for pennies in markets, when formulaic Rambos and Bimbos are blubbing on telly about being voted out.
Neoliberalist economics are all about formula and process – and from that meagre double-edged source, nothing fresh ever emerges. Because Friedmanites want only bums on seats and instant ROI, they look for the revival, the genre, the repeat, and the crossover until the dead horse thus flogged is stripped down to the all-too-familiar bone. What they do not like under any circumstances is moving beyond the comfort zone, showing some patience, and allowing the new to gradually take over from the worn-out deadbeat.
Neoliberals only have one idea: more money for meeeeeeeeee. As a philosophy, it is stagnant, uncreative and stuck. It is also, before our very eyes, falling apart. Badgers aren’t in reality that bright. But cornered badgers are vicious. Caveat emptor.
Ironically, neoliberal economists follow a risk-averse philosophy. Sadly, this is the very antithesis of what risk capital is supposed to be about. What the Murdochs, Berlusconis, Dimons and Diamonds want is 100% of their rivals wiped out. Because none of them are capitalists in the best sense of the word – ie, people whose voyager gene can create broadly-based wealth: they’re monopoly, Trust-operating people with an OCD problem about amassing money. Orson Welles’ creation of the filmic character Charles Foster Kane was a masterpiece that will never be equalled….although I’m indebted to a Slogger for reminding me of Peter Cook’s vastly underrated 1960s film The Rise & Rise of Michael Rimmer – in which the psychotic Rimmer is marvelously portrayed by Cookie himself.
Finally, nobody should forget The Picture of Dorian Gray – a brilliant novella by the doomed Oscar Wilde.
Jeremy Hunt is Michael Rimmer. David Cameron is Dorian Gray. And Rupert Murdoch is Citizen Kane…even if the Welles character was in turn based closely on the Edwardian tabloid beast William Randolph Hearst. The heartening thing for me is that most aspects of Friedmanism thus suggest a throwback, not the future: all the characters in the above fiction – like most of those in Trollope’s novels – date from 70-130 years ago.
Hitler himself was a throwback to Nietsche, and the rabid Mitteleuropa nationalists of the 1830-70 era. The thing to remember is that this sexually and politically perverted oddball wound up running, at his peak, the whole of Europe and North Africa from Moscow to Tobruk. Vigilate.
This site is about support for vulnerable talent, and the control of powerful process. I do very much hope that the beautiful busker in the market square makes it. I do very much wish I was 30 years younger with the ambition to be her agent…and lover. I do very much expect that Jeremy Hunt will come to a sticky end. He is, after all, a bloke who can only win by cheating. Where I hail from, we call such people losers.
The amusing conclusion to this evening’s piece is that, being a doddering old twit, I’d forgotten my family was arriving here this evening. Much washing of sheets and kitchen floors ensued during the day. I’m looking forward to the week ahead.