Nature the Beauty versus Neolib the Beast

We had our first autumn mist this morning. They’re an amazing feast for the eyes, because I overlook a valley of mixed agriculture: one can see the tops of the fruit trees, but not the late-planted maize. The white-grey swirl drifts across under the newly depruned branches, and although by 10 am the sun burns it off, as September gets older the mists hang around for longer. This evening I sported my rather fine designer jumper for the first time since May. (It cost €2 in Villereal market)

It’s been a frustrating two days, because connectivity Chez Slog has been patchy at best. There has been much blinking by the router, much swearing by the user, and almost no down or uploading onto the site. In 2015, one realises on a weekly basis that ISPs are not there to help: rather, they exist to blame other ISPs, and then hand you over to nerds on the forum who pontificate confidently, although their answers often don’t work….or even worse, you get four answers and each contradicts the other three. So you sit and watch them debating, joshing and having a fine old time (having long ago forgotten you) and think “WhyTF am I in here with these morons?”

By lunchtime yesterday, I’d decided to take it out on the weeds in my herb garden. I ripped them out by the roots every one, like Basil Fawlty on his Austin 1100, yelling “Take that you bastards, and if you don’t want any more like this, then get down that Orange HQ and start demonstrating!”

This is how desperate one gets: expecting agitprop from weeds. In the end, I went to my favourite DIY/Eletcrical store and purchased, for €11, a piece of French bakelite Soyuz-style connection technology. After giving up on ‘help’ from the web superhighway of sh*t and drivel, I went back into 1960s Lab experiment mode and eliminated every last combination of on/off, plugs, buttons, wires ADSL connections, router settings and external France Telecom crap on the exterior wall until I was left with just one. He was replaced and Oppla! I was back in business.

The best you get from Microsoft is ‘a major error has occurred’. Let’s face it, as after-sales service, it sucks.

Everything about the model driving this anti-social version of capitalism is dysfunctional. Cheaply imported Asian fittings go bang and then the help you’re offered comes from a nerd in Ohio who plans to machine-gun most of his immediate neighbours some time next week. Both the offshore-moved production and hastily volunteered technerds create long term structural unemployment, but the sole aim of the accountant (next on the bonfire after bankers and lawyers) is the margin made in this fiscal….and the outlook for more volume projected for next fiscal as a result of frustrated purchase-fodder customers buying another unit in desperation.

Not since 1780s France has there been so much power over us in the hands of so few, with so little responsibility recognised on their part. Zero commercial regulation on the internet has exacerbated this ‘moral hazard’ (how I loathe that idiotic term) to the point where lies, cheating and fraud are not just commonplace but accepted as part of ‘life’ – although not as we once knew it, Jim.

Few organisations demonstrate this sociopathy (and reflect the barrel-bottom values of its owner) more than the airline Ryanair.

For starters, its website must be the most bone-headed, counter-intuitive and misleading space in the travel sector. I spent 80 minutes confirming a Ryanair flight and getting a boarding card. Failure to do which would’ve cost me a €40 surcharge on a flight costing €110, but why does that condition exist? Answer: to increase Ryanair cash flow and fire more desk staff. As for the customers, the company lost sight of them years ago, its owner O’Leary having held that customer in the far distance – a pinhead on the horizon of a prick – from Day One. If the Holocaust had taken place in the age of cheap air travel, Ryanair would’ve been the ideal airline of choice for all those in charge of the Final Solution.

But you see, all this is just dandy in the neoliberal Universe, for it shows that Ryanair “is open for business”. Just as Grant Shapps was “open for business” when he lied to thousands of internet customers on his site about his identity, the quality of his software, and what it had achieved for him. Its fitness for purpose was precisely nil, but this sign of enthusiastic entrepreneurial fraud catapulted Grant into the Tory Party Chairmanship.

I will confess, in closing tonight, to having had an emotional mood dip over the last few days. I suspect that the appointment of the guilty former email eraser but innocent phone-hack defendant Rebekah Mingebrooks-Kempwader as CEO of the renamed New Suk was almost the last straw – or the last deconstruction of the Rule of Law, I’m not sure which.

But Rupert Bearfaced-Liar and his RedTop House Witch are just two more examples of how suspected psychotics always underestimate the IQ of the opposition, and thus always take that one step too far into the quicksand of overconfidence. In order to make this especially clear, I offer this Tweet from the once quiet but now cowardly foghorn of triumphalist dickhead and Newscorp fixer Les Hinton:

lestweet4915You will note that this entirely unbiased assertion from a former Turdoch VIP got 1 (count them) retweet…..from Neill Wallis.

Aaaahahahahahahahahahaaaaar. You truly, really, could not make these characters up for a novel: they’re even too cardboard for Jeffrey Archer.

Earlier at The Slog: Much abused but entirely innocent devils ride out