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Archive for the ‘Recession’ Category

Twitter Ye Not

I’ve been Twittering a little. Thought I’d give it a go but can’t really get into it. Some people love it — they’re *obsessed by it. Maybe I’ll come around to it. Weird that Steven Fry is on it — do you think it is the real Steven Fry?

Still not entirely at home at Blogger, either — I might just come back here.

I’m *obsessed about the economy. That’s embarrassing to admit because I think we’ll look back on this time and sneer at all the fools who were panicking about the recession/depression — it will be seen as a condition and will have a name like ‘depression-obsession’.

If you’ve been labeled as a depression-obsession-er, then no-one will employ you (if there’s any jobs left) as employers will only be interested in calm people like Chesney ‘Hero of the Hudson’ Sullerenberger (only younger).

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Now that everyone has pretty much stopped denying that we’ve in a recession, I suppose we should brace ourselves for the deluge of books on how-to-survive-on-bugger-all . Still, India Knight’s Thrift Book  — extract in the Times — looks as if it might be worth a read. She reminded me about the aspirin face pack for a start and she’s introduced me to Lily Lolo mineral make-up. I’ve not tried out the aspirin yet but I’ll do practically anything in the name of beauty — and Lily Lolo sell tiny samples, so you can try it all out. Anything to make me look a bit less hideous (spots/no sleep).

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Or will there be some benefits brought about by the current/upcoming recession? Alice Thomson on the Times Online tries to put a positive spin on things, in her Why the Recession is a Blessing in Disguise  article. From the tone taken by a good number of people who left comments on the article, I don’t think there’s a great deal of agreement with Thomson’s take on the situation. But I guess when individuals are faced with the loss of their livelihoods, their savings and possibly their homes, you can see why it irritates the hell out of them when they’re told we should look on the bright side of things.

I think it’s the uncertainty and the sense of powerless that gets to people the most, however much they try to think positively. And there’s comes a point when there is a fine line between being a positive thinker and being in denial.

It didn’t help that Thomson opened her piece with the information that some of her friends had now used the current crisis as an opportunity to ‘downscale’ and had taken off to Venice for a bit. Seemingly, their family were loving it (we’re so pleased for them). She did acknowledge that, unlike those ‘City folk’ the rest of us will just have to ‘sit it out’ but I still had the impression that she is seriously out of touch with how most people live; the idea of ‘downscaling’ to Venice should have rang a few alarm bells with her — even if she was attempting some irony/sarcasm.

Thomson points to a cheaper cost of living as one benefit of the recession. She mentions that high street prices are dropping and draws attention to the biggest discounting in years: cheaper toothbrushs, £1 pizzas (no thanks), home entertainment centres now around a third cheaper than they were three months ago. Whoopee doo. When I read that, the first thing I thought of was that yet more small businesses will be put under unbearable financial strain when they can’t compete with the large-scale discounters and that the whole situation has job losses written all over it. And I don’t think her friends in Venice will be feasting on £1 pizzas. It is also a pretty safe bet that — whilst those on lower incomes may be able to have a field day in the discount stores (and the the middle-incomes may be forced to slum it for some basics) — we will be squeezed dry in all other manner of ways and find ourselves in an overall poorer state.

So we are totally in the shit and it’s going to get worse. Or perhaps not. That’s the thing about the current situation — nobody really seems to know just deep it will go or how bad it will get — and if they do know, they’re not saying, in case it induces yet more panic.  Panicking makes it worse and it seems that panic itself, together with a lack of confidence and trust (and not forgetting, an extraordinary level of greed), has had a large part to play in the whole crisis. Depending how all this plays out, it may be the case that we look back on this time as a point when the madness ended. On a smaller scale it may bring home to us just how much we are all caught-up in  a set of circumstances where a great many of us try to shop our way out of unhappiness  — and on a larger scale it may be seen as a time when the craziness behind the global financial systems was finally exposed to the masses. It might be too much to expect but perhaps the banks and the ‘bankers’ may lose some of their arrogance now they have been exposed as greedy incompetents and have had to suffer the indignity of being subject to various bail-out measures.

So, Thomson does have a point: there will be some good from this but it’s pretty callous to celebrate the gains without fully acknowledging the losses. We can never ignore the untold misery brought about by a desperate lack of money and I think many people are rather too nervous about the current situation to look on the bright side just yet. And there is a massive amount of resentment out there just now — a feeling that this situation was brought about by greed and mismanagement and there is an almost certain knowledge that if there’s any suffering to be done, the pain will be in no way equally shared.

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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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