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Archive for July, 2008

 

The economy – what the hell is happening? The media is piling on the doom and gloom every day and I’m not that sure how much is based in fact and how much is related to a desire to produce sensational headlines (I’ve got a horrible feeling that it is the former).

What really stuns me is the way it just seems to have come out of the blue. Sure, the signs were there if you were looking for them but most of us have been far too busy trying to earn a living to put all our brainpower into tracking what was happening to the economy. We don’t have time to make any in-depth study of economics and we’re not paid to do that — we’re far too busy being tax-slaves. Others are ROYALLY WELL PAID TO MANAGE TO ECONOMY — they were the so-called experts and it looks like they may have made a ‘bit of a mess’ (I’m trying to keep my language clean here) of the whole thing. And as they have had some inside information on the whole subject for quite some time – I would have appreciated some warning on the imminent decline in our country’s economic situation. Or is this the warning we are getting now – and are things about to get much, much worse?

We trusted our government to have even a half-assed idea about how to run our country…  No, we didn’t really: we knew they were a bunch of self-serving, arrogant, egotistical, jobs-for-the boys, squeeze-us-until-the-pips-squeak, bastards. But this is just plain embarrassing. If I’d been in charge of things I’d be resigning by now, or jumping off the nearest cliff. But I don’t see much sign of any of that lot relinquishing their fat salaries/expenses any time soon.

I don’t know if what is happening now is just a blip from which we will recover relatively unharmed in the next few years or if the shit really is just about to hit the fan, long-term. It may or may not be the case that we are just entering into a situation where we’re all about to have our lives changed in ways we rather not even begin to imagine. My natural inclination over the last couple of months is to resort to being terribly British and go into a ‘don’t panic’ mode. But, even as an eternal optimist, I’m getting more than a little concerned about the whole thing.

It might be the that we will look on this time as a period of unnecessary panic — hyped up by the media and other interested parties — from which we stood firm, stayed positive and recovered. And it may also be the case that we will look back on this time as a ‘reality check’  — where we all stop living beyond our means and where we ditch our excessive materialism and use our energies to ‘save the planet’ and concentrate on the things which really matter in life. The obscene urge to pursue wealth above all else may become less in evidence but it’s much more likely that the rich will just be a bit more careful about flaunting their wealth (the super-rich will be unaffected — apart from becoming even richer — and will continue to do whatever they want).

Or it might be the case that we are heading for a time of massive economic upheaval — where life-as-we-know-it is changed in an entirely negative way. A recession which equals or even surpasses the Great Depression of the 1930’s may be upon us. 

One thing I do know for sure is that any suffering that might come our way will hit hard on the Average Joe – most the ‘Haves’ will find some means to survive the very worst of it (and will no doubt profit from it in some way).  In the very worse scenario the poor and the powerless will suffer worst of all.  It is possible that most families will feel a good deal of hardship and that their lives will be forever changed by it all. On the more positive side, it could also bring out the very best in us, in terms of innovation and creativity. Sadly, hunger — in all its guises — tends to do that. We could also pull together more and put aside any imagined differences again a common economic foe ( I told you I was an optimist… ). But as I said, it might not come to that — this could just be yet another ‘glitch’ and we could just be back to the same old thing this time next year.

One prediction I will make – the old 1940’s KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON poster will be doing a bomb. I bought one months ago – some sort of premonition of things to come, perhaps.

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Not a Bum Eater?
I’m still over at Larkin & Catcher’s Very Best Things but I’ve been driven back here to comment on something I just heard on Gordon Ramsay’s The F Word — or whatever it is called. It’s the one where he gets a bunch of his ‘celebrity’ mates to cook with him (but every now and then he does a scene with non-celebs — to keep it real).

This Toff — a son of someone who is married into royalty — possibly one of Camilla’s offspring — was arguing that we waste far too much of a pig and that we should eat more offal. He went on to demonstrate this by cooking up a variety of disgusting pig-bits and ending up at the dinner table nibbling on what we were told was a pig’s anus (I’m just thinking that this is the first and almost certainly the last time I will ever type the words  ‘pigs anus’ . Hang on while I savour the moment…).

Gordon (we’re on first name terms — I might even go on his show) mentioned the ‘credit crunch’ (it’s compulsory now on practically every television show — they have to demonstrate that they are socially aware) and how we should eat more offal, as it’s cheap. Or something to that effect — I wasn’t giving it my full attention, as I was in the middle of trying to move a piano (lost earring).

The thought that came into my cynical little head then was that it’s a safe bet to say that the moneybags-anus-eater will not be making a habit of dining out on anything offal-related. Old Ramsey will be giving cooked bums a body-swerve too, no doubt.

No, what I think they were getting at is that the riff-raff should get used to the idea of eating animal body parts that we now think of as unsavoury and not suitable for human consumption. So if the economic situation does go into complete meltdown, our offal-eating will keep us alive, stop us revolting and prevent us from eating the rich.

Nice try Ramsey/Posh Guy but I’m on to you.

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