Wednesday 15 July 2015

Hotter (Earthly) Summer Days

Bravo! Humanity, or at least one of its constructed machines, has now officially explored each and every planet in its Solar System - the "dwarf" planet of Pluto being the last on a journey that will take a probe hurtling into the outer Kuiper belt..where the Evil Empire lurks with its Galactic StarCruisers..just kidding with that last part..for now.

Back on Earth however, there is one word to describe those that currently dwell as the dominant species...Crazy - the world we live in, the prices we endure in urban centres, the death and destruction that continues on an almost daily beat with barely an eyebrow raised in the lucky Western world, insane some would say, crazy we all must. The world MUST surely be out of skew and teetering on the edge of insanity when someone like Donald Trump is allowed so much airtime in a foolish bid for the US Presidency - oh please do not let my words be remembered with embarrassment come October 2016! At least some form of near-sanity has expressed itself (no thanks to the scorn of "historical mistake" Bibi) with the tireless Kerry+5 succeeding in bringing the once great Persian people closer to a state of normality. Nothing happens overnight, yet this is a change that should bring eventual benefits for the region, if the GCC neighbours do not make a total mess of it and throw their toys out their gold-plated prams.

Despite Gold somehow not rising to record-highs given the levels of uncertainty presiding across the markets, nothing is right about the economy, nothing is right about the response we have endured since 2008.  The coolest thing to happen in the last 6 months probably the introduction of Apple Pay - tried it and it is incredibly convenient...go $1.5trn market cap!. Apart from that, US markets continue to fluctuate amidst ridiculous valuations for private tech companies, China shows us what a man-made rollercoaster really looks like, Europe drowns in its own Greek waters (awaiting British roars of disapproval now its money may be on the "lending" line too) and the best looking potential return emanates from what was once considered the "lost" continent of Africa. Go growth!

It has been mentioned on this blog a few times but it cannot be overstated: we have witnessed one of the greatest thefts of recent human history...right in front our PR-celeb-loving-blatant-distraction-by-social-media eyes...the blatant eradication of an entire movement of people through wanton assimilation of (for some) horrible levels of wealth in the hands of the few. This has left the masses to (almost) begin fighting for the scraps (€60 a day in Greece), even amidst supposedly the "wealthier and luckier" few. Not even Osborne's changes to London's offshore non-dom-res status will eventually make much of a dent in the blatant freedom of wealth creation the connected few enjoy.

Major cities across this great world we inhabit are experiencing unprecedented levels of Picketty-recorded disparity. Problem is..those that have not enjoyed a rise to the top are allowing those already there to get away with it, even celebrating their status and revelling with near-desperate glee in their secondary hand-outs. Desperados. What the hell happened to that brief moment of shame and austerity we all felt we must endure to repent for our evil ways during 2006-2008?? Just because a lucky few started putting their pictures onto Insta-lust-agram and felt good about how bad everyone else did, is not reason enough for others to think it is okay too!

All that is wrong with the world is being pushed as right and all that is right being cowed and frightened into the corners of society once reserved for the truly weird. We are undergoing an extremely sad transformation. Many know it but do not admit it. I am happy to write about it. Enough is enough. People should not be embarrassed into feeling politically incorrect and (oh dear God no) offend some group or another with a massive media presence (yes, you "movements" know who you are) or tree-hugging-do-gooders who then go home and stick on the kettle, oblivious to the origins and realities of their daily energy-consuming routines. Speak your mind people. Confront. Get it out. Negligent mass pacifism leads to 1890-1914 and reel in the horror of realisation.

Summer is truly upon us. We take time to enjoy quality conversation with our loved-ones, laze around the pool with family and friends, discuss where we have come from and where we may be going. The majority will do this with their faces glued to a phone, a barrier to the realism of face-to-face conversation, cause for much of the woes of humans being out of touch with humanity. Who knows, maybe that probe hurtling at 50,000km/second is speeding away to bring news of something  Alien we can all truly talk about. Selfie with the outer-world visitor anyone? Crazy to think about it? Nothing on this world would surprise me now.

Monday 13 July 2015

Hot Summer Days

There's a certain heat emanating from the Southern European states. As July nears an end and the what-do-I-do-now month of August edges closer, the normal screams of delight begin their return, as families thrash around in the cooling water of the Mediterranean and others splash themselves down with chilled Rosé.

Will those screams remain expressions of long lazy Summers, or risk taking a turn down the wrong path of frustration, despair and eventually hot, smouldering, unbridled anger?..screaming all the way to government opposition, civil unrest and (never say never) military action to quell a total collapse into chaos.

The European mess that has brewed since 2008 (papering over the problem year after year), China's recent and really quite frightening market meltdown (swings of +75% and -80%!), now controlled only with the most draconian of moves by the shell-shocked Xi-Li ruling partnership, in addition to the Middle Eastern uncertainty over the meaning of an Iranian-US "agreement", leaves us all in a tenaciously touchy and ridiculously terse position of anxiety-inducing palpitation. Not quite what Summer holidays should be about.

There will be trouble ahead..not talking about the pain (oh gosh) of poor stressed-out-normally-London-dwelling-sun-seekers having to carry wads of cash around the Cyclades with them..but pure, undiluted and extremely potent historical hatreds resurrecting through the fraction lines of old and new Europe.

We will investigate more this week....