Madness, Madness they call it Madness.

Just watched the last episode of the Handmaid’s Tale, televisual brilliance augmented at the riveting finale by Nina Simone and Tom Petty in pretty swift succession. It was harrowing, horrorful and very occasionally hopeful. In that currently overused word, prescient, with the fucking nutter in the White House and religious nutjobs everywhere. The scene where they refuse to stone their fellow handmaiden oh so powerful and simply demonstrating how we can prevail when we do stuff together.

Don’t pay back your student loan to the student loans company who are increasing interest rates, don’t pay the kleptonic fuckers who demand your lease monies, don’t pay the outrageous £10 they charge just to try and get an ‘official’ programme at Camp Bestival. If everyone did this together we ‘d soon get the kleptos on the run.

Despite not having a programme Kate and I had a brilliant time at Camp Bestival in the rain. Kate so happy gazing at her hero Suggs:

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Keep on keeping on one step beyond, love Duncan.

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What have we lost?

I continue to ponder this leasehold scam and move on to thinking that shit like this reflects the current state of our common humanity, and it ain’t good. I’m not so naive as to think that there was a golden period in human history when we all behaved with compassion towards our fellows. And yet I believe we have lived, and are living through, a period when the dominance of a certain strain of economics has corrupted our very souls.

I read Tony Judt, not for confirmation bias but better understanding, and a paragraph stands out:

“What precisely is it that we find abhorrent in financial capitalism, or “commercial society” as the eighteenth century had it? What do we find instinctively amiss in our present arrangements and what can we do about them? What do we find unfair? What is it that offends our sense of propriety when faced with unrestrained lobbying by the wealthy at the expense of everyone else? What have we lost?”

When I think about the leasehold scam I wonder at those that are able to behave in such a way towards their fellow beings. What have they lost? Let’s put them in a people’s court of common humanity and simply let them see, hear and feel what their behaviour has caused and give them the opportunity to reflect fully. Perhaps there may be some vestiges of common humanity that have been hidden for so long. I remain hopeful.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

Groaning and fleeceholding.

Sat in Green Clinic at Poole Hospital for my 3 monthly check up, a little anxious as ever, when a couple arrive and sit near me. He seems to be the patient as he looks quite ill, but he might look the way he does as he moans a lot about stuff to his wife (I presume she’s his wife). He then turns to me and goes on about having to wait 2 hours at his last visit, I shrug and say that sometimes happens. He continues to moan on about stuff as a nurse comes into the waiting area and calls out a name, no one moves. She repeats the name, still no one moves and she leaves. I interrupt the moaning one, or try to as it takes 3 attempts to get his attention, a woman behind us giggles. Are you so and so I ask, repeating the nurses call out. He looks at me with some perturbation. I repeat the name the nurse has called and he says that’s me. Well I say they’ve just called for you, for me he asks, yes you I say. He stands and approaches a nurse and suggests to her that I have suggested his name has been called, she checks and confirms that he has been called.

I think I’ve discovered why he has such long waits in Green Clinic.

I see a locum consultant, she gives me the most thorough check, especially with the camera down my nose into my gullet. As I’m gagging she’s asking me to move my tongue about, make various noises and blow my cheeks out, all quite hard to do whilst gagging. But she says it all looks good. Confirms that my borderline hypothyroidism is probably caused by the radiotherapy. She also confirms that my tight, and often painful, neck muscles will be permanent. They also sometimes ‘lock’ my jaw as they really tighten, this too will be ongoing. Still, I continue to be crabby free.

And thinking of food do we want Europeanisation or mcdonaldisation of our food? These are very general terms to describe our relationship with food in that the first involves better regulation of a food supply that is more sure of it’s provenance. It is less adulterated by stuff such as chlorine, hormones, dodgy additives, and the like. The second will be brought about by the fucking fox and his craven trade deals with drumf and co.

And yet, as with all things commercial, as a society we have to be ever vigilant with the forces of capitalistic exploitation. Listening yesterday to the outrageous scams being perpetrated by the kleptos with their ‘fleecehold’ deals done to new build house buyers. I like many of my fellow folk thought that when you buy a house you also buy the freehold of the land on which it stands. No longer as the kleptonic ones have conjured up yet another financial scam with offshored companies buying up mass freeholds from house builders soon after people have bought the houses, then thieving outrageous sums of money from poor folk simply by having this freehold. They even charge £50 plus to let leaseholders know how many thousands of pounds they intend to steal from folk to buy their tawdry freeholds. It really is time to introduce a land tax and take back their ill gotten loot and land. I was also shocked to hear that the last inept prime minister has kleptonic interests in one such offshore company.

Thinking of kleptos, the unctuous company director was having negative thoughts about his business empire, driving back from the hospital thinking he’d yet again wasted money on trying to get into the tattoo market. And then, only a short while later whilst having coffee with Hector, a phone call from a tattooist wanting to do a deal and saying that she uses the unction for lots of other skin related things and thinks it brilliant. All the unction company lacks is any promotion, marketing, brand placement and decent management.

B. Kliban 19 Thanks Mr Kliban.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

 

 

Our cancerous society.

Have been a little anxious of late as I waited for the results of a blood test I had just before our holiday. Went to see our lovely GP, she was the one who first spotted my cancer, and she told me I have ‘borderline hypothyroidism’ which is not serious and if needed easily treated. Probably explains the pins and needles in my fingers. Will get Alan the acupuncturist to give the thyroid a boost next time I see him. Reckon it’s yet another side effect of my crabby treatment, will discuss next week at my next crabby check up.

Was a little perturbed sat in the surgery when I had to ask about what hormone/s the thyroid produces and their effects as my degree was in physiology and stuff like the hormonal system is a fundamental part of physiology. I still blame ‘chemobrain’. Anyway, the thyroid hormones, thyrosine and triiodothyronine, are fundamental to controlling and regulating our basic metabolism and effect pretty much every cell in our bodies.

In much the same as way the so called free market, neoliberal capitalism is debilitating human society, yes thatch there is such a thing: ‘the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.’ And, like when a vital organ is diseased, for the past 40 years or so society has been afflicted by an economic doctrine that is wreaking havoc on humankind and the Earth. It has allowed a few kleptomaniacs to hoover up ever increasing amounts of economic wealth to the increasing detriment of everyone and everything else.

One manifestation of this disease is: “the disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and the powerful, and to despise, or at least neglect persons of poor and mean condition…..is….the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments”. This was written over 200 years ago by Adam Smith. It is deeply ironic that an institute named after him is this country’s leading ‘free market neoliberal thinktank’, don’t think just tank the economy and society.

This worship of the misnomered free market is what is responsible for many of our current ills and the latest cancerous eruption is Grenfell Tower.

We treat this illness with, much as for treating hypothyroidism by restoring hormonal levels, a restoring of societal equality. We treat everyone, not just the fucking kleptos, with respect, dignity, fairness and equality. So women are treated fairly and equally starting with pay. The poor and disadvantaged are supported to alleviate poverty and disadvantage. People of all races, ethnicity and even creed (although this is somewhat dependent on particular creeds behaving in a like manner) are treated fairly and equally. Simple really.

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Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

 

Let’s really take back control.

Lots of chatter at the moment about the economy; inflation rising, UK economic growth slowing, productivity down (been going down for many a year), most people continuing to experience effective falls in ‘living  standards’, bosses saying the poorest can’t have any increase in their already low remuneration, overpaid public sector workers. And yet this year shareholders are giving themselves a right old bonanza, £33bn, that’s a 14.5% rise from last year. OK some of it goes to pension funds, which we’re constantly reminded about, but I wonder who grasps the larger share of pensions in their grubby maws?

As the human world is in the midst of it’s latest industrial revolution how much of all this largely ill gotten gain is invested in the new technology? Not much, the shareholders and bosses cram as much as they can down their greedy gullets. Despite interest rates at long term record lows and corporation tax rates ever lowered where is all this fabled entrepreneurial spirit we so often hear about?

It’s bollocks of course, all that has been developed is the kleptos avarice. We’ve even had the most explicit Neronian moment with all the powerful and entitled fiddling in Kensington and Chelsea whilst Grenfell Tower burned.

Kleptonic ceos now pay themselves £5.3m every year on average, 386 times the national living wage which many of the kleptos consider too much such as cineworld bosses and dear old Brixton Ritzy employees. Ah, but we deserve it, it is a meritocracy after all they opine. Bollocks, meritocracy is a myth, boris de pfeffell twatface is more than ample evidence.

And all the time the mendacious twats mislead and delude us; look at the benefit scrounger, the immigrant, the greedy public worker, the unpatriotic leftie (yes you David Hollister and your dodgy flag post).

Let’s really take back control.

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Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

It is a class thing.

Narratives are still important, even in the age of twitter, memes, snapchat and gifs. The best stories still have the wherewithal to grab people (us boys are grabbed by the cojones what are girls grabbed by? and I’m certainly not thinking trumpian which is an oxymoron). And it is very pleasing to witness the end of the ukip story (who they?), except of course they have infected others, most notably the increasingly shambolic tory party.

And I despair at what they have wrought as our benighted realm thrashes around in it’s class ridden shitpit. At the risk of confirmation bias I come across a review of a book by one Perry Anderson, someone I’ve not come across thus far, even though I’m 60 bleedin’ years on this Earth, especially as he’s our ‘most distinguished living Marxist historian’, which articulates my most current understanding of our shitpit.

And it concerns an essay he wrote in 1964 “Origins of the Present Crisis” in which he argues that Englandshire had the first ‘bourgeois revolution in Europe, experienced the first industrial revolution “producing the first proletariat”, created the first global empire and from this ” ‘set’ British society in a mould that it has retained to this day”, which is our poxy class system. And it moulds brexit as the brexiteers vaguely thrash around with no coherent strategy and “at the first tap it falls apart like a chocolate orange” (Amyas Morse, auditor general, but he’s just an ‘expert’ and not a gove).

So, over 50 years after writing his essay, his analysis gives shape to describe our ‘present crisis’. Despite valiant efforts over the last century or so to introduce an alternative the poxy class system has remained in place, in fact we have had “the retrenchment of a single hegemonic class, comprised of the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie, which not only controlled the means of production but was “the primary determinant of consciousness, character and customs throughout the society” “. So we have a totally inadequate system, producing totally inadequate wankers like boris de pfeffel twatface johnson leading us into perfidy.

And the Grenfell disaster also captures much of this as the governing classes actually create the conditions for such a disaster to happen and then compound the situation through their wholly inadequate response. It may surprise some to know that nicholas paget-brown went to cranleigh school (a private school with current fees of £36K which is about £31K more than the safer cladding on Grenfell Tower would have cost). And his replacement, elizabeth campbell, has never been in a high rise block and I wonder about her schooling? And so the whole sorry story continues.

We need a new narrative, one that isn’t dominated by an inadequate few cornflakes from the ‘upper classes’.

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Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

Yin Yang eh?

Still getting my addled bonce around the fact that I’ve now been 60 years on this Earth. As with everything there is a bit of positive and negative, yin and yang, and had a great time celebrating with friends the weekend before last but took a little while for the body and brain to come back to some equilibrium. It’s a physiological thing, something I learned in my first physiology lecture at dear old no longer exists Chelsea College. The old body is never in a steady state of equilibrium, it’s forever ‘hunting’ that equilibrium going up and down in a never ending cycle until the steady state of death I suppose.

Up I go for the weekend down I go for a few days after, with a few little up and downs along the way. Thing is you need to be open or put in a little effort now and then to allow stuff, and it’s not just the simplistic ‘be positive’ schtick. Yesterday I had the unctuous stall at the local Kingston Country Fair, expectations, while not low, were on some sort of equilibrium. Selling was steady and above the norm. A woman came in some distress about her red and swollen eye from contact dermatitis, had been like this for many weeks and had been prescribed eumovate, a cream with steroids, which made her eye sting and wasn’t working. She put a little of my unction on and left. Later, when a couple were considering purchasing some unction, the woman returned in a state of some euphoria, “look at my eye” she said all swelling and redness gone. “This is a set up” said the bloke considering a purchase. But no it wasn’t, and yet again I experienced a vague sense of euphoria tinged with disbelief (yin and yang?) my little creation having such an effect?

Later on I had the most delicious steak, a piece of ribeye from the newly opened Salt Pig in Swanage town, as Kate and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary, our actual second wedding. Is steak good for yin or yang or neither or both?

And we are in a weird electoral cycle, who thought that a few months ago may and Mr Jeremy would be where they are now?

And who had a few pounds on the Lions to beat the All Blacks last week? Then last Friday I couldn’t decide on who I should put my money on so plumped for the draw at good odds. And it was another brilliant game with the Lions thoroughly deserving of the draw. How did the yin and yang play out in that series of games?

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Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.