Where does the Truth lie most of all – in the risible investment ads on Bloomberg, in the novels of Philip Roth, or in the leaked memos of politics? The Slog presents the evidence….it’s up to you to decide about relative IABATO – It’s All Bollocks And That’s Official
I’m sure that, from time to time, quite a lot of you have switched on business “news” channels such as Bloomberg, and watched all those vomit-inducing corporate, sovereign investment and global banking commercials. These make incredible promises (and blast out easily verifiable lies) about the state of emerging economies, the certainty of straight dealings, and the level of infrastructural investment in the countries involved.
The voice-over copy is so obviously dictated to the ad agencies concerned, it makes one’s teeth grind, hackles rise and imagination run riot about the sort of spineless mollusc Account Directors involved in keeping the client “happy”….and the clapped-out, borderline derelict copywriter hacks they put to work on such business.
My own 35 years in the advertising industry nevertheless convinced me that these campaigns are a bigger waste of money than anything the most dopey EU apparatchiks could come up with.
To exemplify my certainty, I offer up this script for a “new” campaign for the emerging peacefully Islamic State of Uzbekinesia….
“With an accent on transparency, flexible policing, low taxes, subsistence wage levels and the death penalty for trade unionism, there can be no doubts for the discerning globalist chief financial officer…..it has to be Uzbekinesia.
“Uzbekinesia, with its thriving double-digit growth economy richly focused on coconut grove management, rubber goods, cyber weaponry, addiction services and fishing.
Uzbekinesia…..now diversifying into LGBT garments, non-sustainable flooring supplies and penumbra finance via Asia’s fastest-moving bank, the Kualastan Banking Corporation.
“Yes, when times are hard, the mountain is high and the bottom line is falling off a cliff, the KBC will always be at your side and right behind you way out in front of the others – with its unrivalled speed-of-sleight auditing revision division to guide you through the heavily-mined quagmire of stock market inflation and tax deduction.
“And what better way to fly to Kualastan than with Uzbekinesian Poppy Airlines…
the only carrier where all the passengers are flying high on the trip of their lives – and every ounce of the freight is bringing yet more nasal damage to the Bourse traders of the West.
“That’s why it has to be Uzbekinesia – otherwise, we’re all fucked”
I just finished reading Philip Roth’s 2007 novel Ghost Exit….the last in his series of alter-ego Zuckerman stories. It’s a cri de coeur about decrepitude and failing powers by the most feted Jewish American author of the last half century. The irony is that he writes with compelling power about the crippling nature of “getting on a bit”.
I was, however, particularly struck by his sideline musings from time to time about how Time itself goes from the infinite slowcoach at aged seventeen to bullet-speed Formula1 racing car at aged seventy. They inspired the following doggerel:
Designed to die at 40 of accumulated sins
our species now insists
it is the time when life begins.
But time that once hung heavy
on the restless limbs of youth
flies later at the speed of sound,
yet fails to make us couth.
All who live on borrowed time may want to make it last
but interest rates we pay
are not just high, they’re also fast.
So as you stalk the eighth decade, heed Einstein:
“Don’t be late –
Time waits for no man anywhere, and will accelerate”.
Having been in India since last November, I’ve been mercifully protected from the BBC’s news “coverage” on President Trump, which resembles that of Geobbels’ Ministry of Propaganda on Churchill during 1942. Further, the so-called ‘international’ news channels in India broadcast using a 90% India local news policy. US politics gets about the same airtime as junior badminton.
This was an interesting process to experience from the point of view of memo-leaking, which is a much bigger spectator sport in the US than US politics is in India. I got most of my information from The Atlantic, the Daily Telegraph and Zero Hedge, plus some conversations with 4 or 5 well-connected Indians. This is not the best spread of sources, but I now realise that it was light years ahead of the incessant Get Trump BS that emanates from the BBC, the Guardian and the Independent.
I tuned in to the Beeb yesterday morning (the day after returning to France) and was greeted by a blanket rubbishing of the HPSCI memo on the News channel – a bias so clear that I now feel almost supernaturally qualified to comment on the real content….which, needless to say, bears no resemblance at all what the BBC is suggesting.
Apologies for all that throat-clearing. Suffice to say that the House HPSCI Committee recommended release of the memo to the White House, and everyone should try and grasp its three most obvious features: first, a DNC actively engaged in using FBI source Chris Steele to find something – anything – to tie Trump to the Wicked Russians; second, the FBI’s belief that Steele was a greedy flake who they later fired; and third, the casually mentioned sleaze of sex and money on the Democrat side entirely omitted from Comey’s original report and later testimony.
I do not doubt that Trump has borrowed from highly dubious sources in the past. Nor do I think for a millisecond that he is anything other than a Human Ponzi scheme with a slightly lower emotional intelligence quotient than my 13 month old granddaughter. But quite how anyone thinks the Clinton campaign emerges unscathed from this is beyond me….a view fully supported by the BBC, the New York Times and Washington Post editorial decisions to ignore that element entirely – just as Comey did – choosing instead to position the memo as “another attempt by the Trump White House to torpedo any enquiries getting close to Trump’s role in the Russian destabilization plot”.
We live in an odd world where objective commentators find themselves, each and every day, defending incorrigibly boorish babies against the false charges of indescribably psychopathic demons. None of it leaves the reporter with any sense of satisfaction -beyond a vague aphorism along the lines of “Better to be spied upon by incompetents than experts”.