Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Gone in an instant...

Trust, as we all know, takes a long time to build, but can be forfeited in an instant. 

Unfortunately, I have been placed in a situation this week where, with one or two exceptions, I am no longer able to trust almost any member of my own family. 

Now, I am privileged to be connected via social media with several of the younger members of my wife's clan: bright, talented individuals whose trust I value very much. 

There are number of ways I could violate that trust, but consider this particular possibility. 

I take it upon myself to copy some material of a comparatively sensitive nature  a post, a picture or a comment — and then show it out of context to another member of the family, one of an older generation who is conspicuously not in the least au fait with these technologies and their basic ground rules.  

The wider consequences and damage done by this might be unforseeable, but on own my side at least, thoroughly predictable.

— I would be immediately un-friended

— The person I had thus betrayed would probably call me names like 'backstabbing scumbag'...and I'd be getting off lightly! 

— I would start to consider myself extremely fortunate if they ever spoke to me again. 

This all depends of course that I have been prepared to do what Guatemala's jailed former president calls 'show facein other words, acknowledge that in the act of breaking a family member's trust, one cannot really hold another family member to safeguarding the confidence that preserves one's anonymity. 

Monday, March 07, 2016

On closer scrutiny...

It’s almost too easy to point out the failings of Trump, Cruz, Sanders and Clinton as candidates for the world’s top job. But this time round the collective unsuitability of all of those who are standing has drawn our attention in more closely and I cannot be alone in having discerned that the system itself is somehow more execrable that even the Donald in full flow. 

It might not be so easy to put into words - to send up on a satirical sketch that has all them east-coasters in stitches - but the longer this process goes on under such heightened levels of scrutiny, more and more Americans are surely going to realise just how defective and fraudulent their two party democratic simulcrum has become. And the painful irony of this is that it makes a populist presidency more likely.


Highmindedness can be admirable. But highmindedness from a position of relative privilege that wants to become a 'movement' is a potential source for concern. 

Just how many people in the world would need to voluntarily turn to veganism for global sustainability to be achieved? If it were to succeed, how would such a movement avoid both conflicts externally and then coercion internally? 

The movie didn't volunteer an answer. It turned seriously preachy towards the end and its determination to talk about food strictly in terms of biological science ultimately smacked of philistinism. Dairy products as baby cow expansion juice...

I could go around telling everyone that we had chosen to remain childless for the good of the planet, and preach this as the sort of thing that all highminded folk from roughly my own demographic should follow. But, in the words of Rudolf Abel, would it help? 

Even in China, where there is a cultural bias towards surrendering individual choice for the good of the collective, state coercion was ultimately required and ultimately proved only passably effective. There were also unexpected adverse consequences to ponder. 

There always are - back in the 80s the outside interferers bemoaned Guatemala's high infant mortality rate. Problem solved. Now they decry the mortality rate from the crime wave created by a generation of grown-up unwanted children that the economy cannot adequately provide for. 

The history of the world's great international movements of highminded ethical change are not encourageing. Monotheistic faith revisions have fallen short of the 50% mark and there are indications that the voluntary nature of such commitments soon segue into systems of coercion and castigation. 

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Change for change's sake

Millennials around the world are clearly disgusted with centrist politics, where one party's fundamental approach can hardly be distinguished from the next. It's just that they are too young to remember just how unpleasant the alternative tended to be. We now have electorates increasingly made up of people yearning for change for change's sake. The only difference is that this time they are by and large going to go about it without any firm ideological commitments...

No-brainer decision time

In order to avoid the nightmare populist and the ex-President's wife, Guatemala had to elect the clown. For the US the choice is more limited because the clown and nightmare populist come as part of the same package...