Wool And Water: Who’s Fleecing Whom?

“Can you do addition?” the White Queen asked.
“What’s one and one and one and one and one
and one and one and one and one and one?”
“I don’t know,” said Alice. “I lost count.”
– Lewis Carrol (Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There)

 

I ask you … is inconsistency the only thing consistent in your life? Is ambling through life with no real purpose seem to be the norm for you? Does getting through the day seem to be both a tall order and the order of the day?

Turbulent times, indeed! I’m reminded of the old Chinese toast that chimes, “May you live in interesting times”. Of course, the saying actually reflects a curse … but then I guess it’s all how you interpret it. Still, a devil’s advocate might suggest that going all ‘Pollyanna’ would most likely mean that something has gotten lost in the translation! Yes, it’s often hard to know what to believe and more importantly what to think.

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Crabalocker Crabs Boxed In Sideways

Some get the gravy
And some get the gristle
Some get the marrow bone
And some get nothing
Though there’s plenty to spare.
– Joni Mitchell (Banquet)

 

They say that moving houses is one of life’s most stressful situations. With this statement I tend to both agree and disagree. However, more to the point is that it’s just a depressing affair. There are surprises, usually of the morose kind, as well as subtle disappointments, bith expected and unexpected. The ‘normalcy’ of what you have come to expect, even if defined by ‘normal standards’ as ‘abnormal’, tends to be replaced by a form of irreverent and frenzied ‘hell’ …a helter skelter of sorts that fans of the ‘Lost’ television series know all too well. Yes, I think ‘lost’ is a shade of one way of describing how I feel these days.

I really don’t know where to begin in attempting to extricate myself from this self-imposed purgatory, because ‘sideways’ is not a usual option. But, that is pretty much the way I’ve been moving through life the last 2 months or so. Shuffling to the left, shuffling to the right, I shuffle and shuffle … and then I shut down. Not one for banging my head against a wall over and over again, I’ve just withdrawn into my crabby shell and have been waiting for this state of suffocation to pass … sometimes even forgetting to breathe.

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Fettering Fetid Feta Cheese

What lies behind you and what lies in front of you,
pales in comparison to what lies inside of you. 
 – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is dangerous to be right
when the government is wrong. 
– Voltaire

 

Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I am not an economist. That’s ok though because the lesson of today’s sermon has less to do with economics and more to do with emotional blackmail and bullying … and yes, a bit of politics, too – especially in relation to Greece where these days insanity is the ruling rationale of the day.

In my last post, I referred to the dire economic straights Greece is in concerning it’s debt. It’s a precarious situation to be in because in deciding how to resuscitate itself the country is basically in a ‘damned if you do and damned if your don’t’ position. Meanwhile, economists far and wide have weighed in on the crisis, mostly waxing doom and gloom. More troublesome still is that the country is practically being forced by its peers into adopting austerity measures that are not only unpopular back home, but also quite ineffectual in both the short and long term. 

For its ills, Greece’s economic ‘partners’ in the European Union (EU), all with vested interests, have prescribed some very bitter tasting medicine. Unfortunately, in this metaphor, the patient has been misdiagnosed and the medicine will eventually prove fatal. Some even argue the country is already brain dead and that it’s only a matter of time before the decision must come whether to amputate from the neck up or neck down before ‘the plug is finally pulled’.

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Our Saving Disgrace: Economic Sheep Dip

I’ve walked and I’ve crawled
on six crooked highways
I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
I’ve been ten thousand miles
in the mouth of a graveyard
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard,
it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.
– Bob Dylan (A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall)

 

This morning I awoke to the sound of a hard rain washing away yesterday’s fog. I’m an American; I live in Greece.

In the ‘States’, yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday, in some respects a day that has become less about NFL football and more about big business and advertising. In Greece it was just a ‘lack of business’ as usual. While pre-game tail parties and the commercial brainwashing of Americans were in full swing, political theatrics were being played out by Greek technocrats and bureaucrats that have turned a blind eye and deaf ear to the will of the people.

And, all the while bankers and ‘big business’ continue to turn the screws on ‘we’ the sheep.

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Lethal Carnage: Guns, Politics, Victims and The American Way

Victims of the Tuscon, Arizona rampage.

There are some things that are just too hard to swallow. On January 8th in Tucson, Arizona, a clearly deranged 22-year old, Jared Loughner, purchased ammunition from a Walmart, took a taxi to a Safeway supermarket where a political meet-and-greet was being staged by U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, and then opened fire on Giffords and her constituents because … he wasn’t happy with her response to a question of his at a previous political rally. The incident left 14 wounded and 6 people dead, including a judge and 9-year old Christina Green.

Yes, there are some things that are hard to swallow. One such being that “we the people” of the United States have brains. This is obviously not the case because we continue to allow gun-related tragedies to occur. Really, it pains to me write this, because I would like to believe that despite soaring crime, violence, racism, and politically correct intolerance we are a nation of humane, rational, peace loving people. I would like to believe that Michael Moore was wrong in his depiction of us in his film “Bowling for Columbine” as phobic gun loving sheep willing to be brain washed by political rhetoric, big business and organized religion. I would like to believe that lessons have been learned in the wake of the horrific tragedy this past week in Tucson, Arizona. But, you know what? I’m wrong on all counts: None of the above is correct.

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