Sunday, 10 January 2016

Happy New Year - 2016

I remember 1984 in the Tron and thereafter its pretty much been a blur. I was discussing ankles with my daughter today and its the first time I've pulled myself up over "je n'est regret rien".

The whirlwind that was Deadbeat and Life Support could've been done so much better but it was about living and we lived it, loved it and then it stopped. There were anxiety attacks over where we could've gone what we could've been and even the odd utterance about "contenders", but the truth was we stumbled onto some fun, had fun, became consumed by it and then left the burning embers of Rome to set up a new town called Paris.

So, Je n'est regret rien. Or so I thought, until the ankle conversations. I turned mine repeatedly playing the midfield genital at uni and afterwards with the Bob Hope all stars, the Avon Albion or Borehamwood. If only I'd understood how pissed off I'd be when doing my 500 miles Spanish Stroll with a dodgy ankle in my 50's I'd have looked after them a bit more.

To be honest, as we traded stories about the size of a baseball, softball, jaffa orange and honeydew melon I could tell that Caitlin had the same inflatable sense of the dramatic as I and her ankle was clearly worse than mine had ever been so I settled on agreeing that it was the right ankle and explained even a left hander like me had the family right ankle. Its gone through a number of generations. My Great Granddad won the powderhall new year's day sprint man moons ago but his career was cut short by his inflammable right ankle. This was nothing to do with going up in flames as would be suggested but rather the tendon issue or lack of tissue.

The bottom line is, Caitlin like many generations before her will doubtless eschew this valuable piece of information and wake up in her 50's and mutter, je n'est regret rien.

Back in 1984 I remember talking about the big brother state and how Orwell was right on so many things, but in 2016 I think the biggest thing that wiki-leaks discovered was that he was a few years out. As funny as Gogglebox is you cant help thinking we really are sleepwalking our way towards an Orwellian vision, but to be honest most of us dont really care. We're doing what we want to do. As the gun lobby in the USA will tell you as long as they can buy an AK-47 to protect themselves they dont mind. That country seems to have expanded its poverty class faster than Mao did when he got them melting the woks. Is it wrong to suggest the height of their ambition is to become a reality tv star.

I missed the Stone Roses in 1986 as my head was up my arse. Deadbeat had finished and I was working 24/7,  getting married and divorced, roughly in that order. I completely missed the Stone Roses, discovering that I'd heard all the songs before in 2009. Perhaps one of my best bouts of Rip Van Winkle although my wife and daughter think not. I didnt know who they Kardashians were, and apparently like the Broons, they just ARE. They ARE. Well fuck me, I know who the Stone Roses are now and they really WERE. They really WERE. I just dont quite get what this society wants so I'm slipping back underground again, aka going on a long walk.

I'm properly at a cross roads. We're being fed such a rich diet of shit news. One minute the refugees heading en masse away from someone bad towards something better. Its the land grab made so famous by General Custer when he battered a few of the locals, stole their land because they had better guns. Custer the soldier saw the atrocities first hand and suddenly realised he was doing the bidding of Tony Blair and the other warlords. Some legally elected some just old fashioned gangsters with guns. In the USA you could never really tell which elected representatives were straight as the level of corruption is so high there is now "legally straight", like the mob that stole the great $20bn art collection of Dr Albert Barnes in Phildaelphia. A legal theft which they are no longer fighting in the courts. The truth is the court aint a good place to fight, no bar stools. I remember watching that saga unfold and thinking Barnes, the guy who made the bequest would be doing a triple pike corkscrew if he could see what they were doing.

Gangsters the lot. They did it a clever way. Like the Thomas Crowne affair there was a good bit of planning, but its execution was simplicity itself. The collection being worth so much was key. The collection was under the control of underpaid poor trustees. This was simple when it was family who understood the wishes of the collector but as time goes by it is easy to unpick. In this case it was simple, find your way onto the trustees board, then buy your way into a more privileged position. The trustees at this stage had been diluted to include a local university. So the state offers to build the university some new blocks in exchange for another couple of trustees and then runs the collection into arrears and then rides into town to save the day by stealing it and making it accessible to all and charging.

Apparently this fantastic collection, assembled 1900-1920, which he had personally hung in his large suburban retreat was available only to art students and scholars. It was not to be made available to everyone. Barnes bought it when they were unfashionable and surely as he was ridiculed for his taste and allowed to be laughed at back then, he could have the last laugh now, but was city hall his arch rivals who got the last laugh. First with bus tours, then with overseas tours and since a few years ago a new museum down-town.

But I digress, as I remember reviewing in 1984, Craig Tannock's, "The hypocrisy of this democracy" is not a new concept merely one that becomes ever so repetitive with age. I dont knock down as many walls as I used to and its probably as well as the targets really are moving around these days.

Justice - what justice. What price the law? The wrong price, I say. Administering the law is like Custer looking after the cookie jars on the reservations.  If laws are bad it just gets harder and harder. A bit like Dentists, aka, Hairdressers with degrees, the rules of engagement have changed. I still smile when I think how the Dentistry profession was set up on the back of the NHS and health for all initiative. By now surely we should have a 6 monthly check up for our brains, lungs, livers and if you're a boy, your balls, but its all about statistics, the ones you request and the ones you ignore. Here's how it works with me - how much do we spend on the effects of a shit smile and how much do we spend on the effects of a fucked up head. Just before they shut the lid on me, screw down the bolts and send me to the great ashes producing fire, I'd like to get those arithmetically illiteratti removed from any microphone.

The stats monsters. The people who say we've cut crime by 7%. Fuck off you havent. That statistic doesnt exist as it would be erroneous. If all crime is reported then you have a chance to document it all and have a solid base on which to work. However not all crime is reported. Furthermore neither is all that is reported documented. That would assume the person reporting the crime was articulate and the person documenting it highly skilled at eliciting what crimes had been committed. That means being as skilled as a lawyer in the law. The long and short of it is young women throughout this country are being drugged, raped and unaware of what happened.  Just because a date rape drug is invented does not mean that crime has fallen. It means that a drug has been invented that saves the politicians from being aware of a crime as it is not documented. It is not in the statistics so it is not a crime. News just fucking is!

I worked in the Financial world and most crime there goes unreported. I'm not talking about people dodging tax or stealing amounts under £5000 as its seemingly impossible not to do that these days so these are no longer crimes. I'm talking about maladministration and the randomness with which people look after other people's belongings. If they accidentally steal £40,000 from a client, you would think that money would be reimbursed on discovery but sadly that is not the way. Like with the Barnes collection our morality has moved a wee bit and so the question asked is "has the client spotted it?". Phrases like "We dont want to look like them their money back would open us up to an interest claim."

All the time I'm thinking how good it must be to be fleeing Syria and anywhere else to arrive at a place that is calm and comfortable. Comfortable of course means the roof doesnt get blown off your house every few days.....

So now I must stop writing to watch some overpaid sportsmen kick a ball about. Its in my nature to slump on the sofa of a sunday admiring the finesse and poise of these wonderful players, and all because they dont have dodgy ankles!

Je n'est regret rien....

Take Care

Vinny B