As the ECB and US Congress continue to kick the unexploded debt bomb down the road, in ever more expensive yet shorter distances, do we need any more proof that humans, despite their seemingly limitless imagination and ability to “innovate” are, in the end, no smarter or dumber than any other biological population on the planet (and likely in the Universe). Greed is, at its root, a relentless and instinctual drive to satisfy basic needs in a world of scarce resources. We are no different than the humble zebra muscle, who, once introduced into the Great Lakes unopposed by predators, proceeded to cling on to everything that moved and claimed it as its own. When it comes to Homo Economicus Ignoramicus, one has to wonder if Louis Pasteur is in some way more to blame for our current problems than cheap oil as our apparent triumph over one of Nature’s favourite regulatory schemes has contributed greatly to the physical expansion of human markets thus putting unsustainable pressure on the resources critical to our survival as a species.
Goldman Sachs and their ilk may very well be doing “God’s work” in setting up a co(s)mic end game that will see a massive cull of the World’s population opening the way for the “Elites” to return to that extravagant lifestyle which allowed the Greeks in the first place – what with all that slave labour and free time to hang out in togas, think and get naughty with young boys and all – to bequeath unto us the mess that is Democracy.
Democracy flourished in great part thanks to democratic governments’ ability to make good on their debts to bankers compared to Monarchs and Despots. Think about that for a minute. Is not the crux of this present Mother of All Crises that the Money Lenders refuse to take responsibility for their credit-creating largess and expect the puppet governments whose strings they pull to use their arsenals (emphasis on arse) of men and machines (paid for with credit of course) to collect on debts that, to any rational, ethical, human being would have been obviously un-repayable from the get-go?Methinks that War is not politics by other means. It is banking.
The first time I saw Netscape was in the spring of ’94 on a friends 486. I shortly thereafter acquired a Pentium 75 ($5000!!!) with a 750 meg hard drive which is what a CD holds. My bandmates and I were stoked but somewhat bummed that 15 uncompressed songs or so would fill up the entire drive. It wasn’t until 2005 that I acquired all the gear required to record multitrack at home but in those short ten years the music industry was ravaged by downloading. We now live in a world where most of the pie goes to the lucky few who win the popularity lottery on YouTube or Mysapce. Everyone else has to deek it out in a vicious game of elbowing. There isn’t an indie band out there that doesn’t want to make it big and leave the gear hauling and shitty couches and fifth rate flea bag hotels behind. Those who say otherwise are lying! Anyways best of luck to them all as CD sales have collapsed and though iTunes keeps the flame burning it flickers precariously in the winds of change for the worst… Long gone are the passion, the anguish, the critique, the self-immolation of the music Cobain, Grohl and Novoselic unleashed on the world. Music has since shifted from a force capable of spearheading social, political and economic change to nothing more than a mere commodity consumed as a social fashion accessory at its best to a porn-like, fetishistic obsession at its worst.
Netscape and Mosaic went viral in 94/95. It really was the threshold of pre-Web and post-Web for most people which also marks a very important shift for the music industry. In a sense Cobain’s passing was the death knell of the music industry’s business model. Nirvana is widely recognized to have “saved” rock and roll but in essence Kurt wasn’t interested in being the son of Rock and so took it down with him to the grave. Let us pray that one day he may be resuscitated to save us from our musical sins.
Excellent Davos recap by Simon Johnson. In a nutshell: The world’s largest Banks and Corporations expect governments to slash public spending so that these governments can better absorb the crises that the Financial sector is busy setting up in the wake of the 2007-2009 credit crunch that they themselves created. This is the World we live in folks!
It’s taken awhile but here’s “Hawaii” a short film I wrote, produced, directed and edited in 2005. I worked very hard to get it on the festival circuit but to no avail. I did get it into a France/Quebec short film festival in Trouville, France where it won the prize of Best Quebec short, the first and only time in the festival’s 10 year history that an English language short won that distinction.
I also received a call from one of three Toronto International Film Festival programmers, two weeks before the 2006 edition, to explain to me how much they LOVED the film but alas could not fit it into their festival’s program. That was a hard blow as any film that makes it into TIFF is more than likely to be invited to a dozen festivals around the globe which is very helpful in getting a film career started. I did, however, manage to license it to Moviola, a short film tv network in Canada which has broadcast it a number of times.
Anyway, hopefully posting it to my blog and occasionally reminding people to swing by and have a look will get it seen by a few more eyeballs. If you like it please feel free to pass it on to any producers you know that are looking for fresh talent.
Modern Money Theory is something that I’ve just come across recently. The main tenant of #MMT is that trade surpluses and deficits don’t matter if inflation is measured accurately and government’s are trusted to increase or decrease the money supply directly through equity based money creation as opposed to debt-based money creation. I encourage anyone is who is as perplexed about the nature of money as I am to check out the following post and to research Modern Money Theory further. I don’t know if it really offers all the solutions, I don’t think any system ever will, but the idea of eliminating deposit insurance and allowing private banks to fail while creating government backed banks that offer 100% reserve digital cash storage (i.e. deposited cash is stored and NOT lent out) is compelling. The idea of governments increasing or decreasing the cash supply directly via depositor accounts is counterintuitive but in the context of a system that aims for stable purchasing power (no inflation or deflation) I understand how it would work. It’s not clear to me, however, where interest rates would come into play…If the time value of money is stable how is the cost of money measured for capital investments? Anyway, check this blog out. It’s a nice change from the usual Austrian/Keynsian dialectic which is like a train without wheels and very soon going nowhere.