Another few days before our flight leaves. I’m still a bit keyed up and sleeping badly, getting by on a less than healthy four to five hours a night. Avoiding watching the news because most of it’s total crap and speculative churnalism. Our airline keeps us up to date via email with all the restrictions and we’ll just have to wait until we’re airborne before I relax a little. At the moment I’m contemplating the use of chemical assistance to get a good night’s repose tonight because all the insomnia is doing me no good at all.
We have cable TV at our hotel. Three hundred channels of absolute crap, with five minutes of adverts every twelve minutes, which means Mrs S and I find ourselves watching Amazon Prime movies and TV seasons on my laptop in the late evening when we tire of downtown’s highly restricted pleasures. The mainstream news is currently little better than clickbait and propaganda. So we don’t bother with it.
It’s not the pandemic costing me sleep, which has turned out to be rather a damp squib, comparatively speaking. The figures overstated by slaveringly enthusiastic mass media, gleefully pushing a narrative that has little to do with reality. My sleeplessness is primarily down to worrying about what the panicking fearmongers will do. Getting a bout of SARS/COV-2 itself seems child’s play in comparison. Yes it’s a nasty bug, but nowhere near as bad as advertised. But I repeat myself. See Tony Heller’s video below. It’s the craziness of those in authority which has me sweating, not the virus.
What else? Oh yes. Apparently this blog is all WRONG!!!!!!! According to some drone who failed to read the notes above my ‘contact me’ form that is. Well bless my raddled soul. I never knew. Swelp me sideways guv, there’s a turn up for the books and no mistake. I’m wrong. As wrong as wrong can be. Well, fancy that. According to whom, might one enquire?
Whenever I find myself faced with a drone or NPC type spouting what can only be described as information-lite propaganda, I have a little saying; “Where’d you hear that then?” occasionally followed by “CNN?” or some other discredited mainstream news source, delivered with a mocking grin.
For example; when someone declaims “But it’s science, innit?”
I generally reply “Which science is that? Please be specific.” Which they never can, they just say everyone else thinks so, or regurgitate some rather fanciful press release, which is enough to convince them. Which is odd because ‘science’ is the process of investigation to add to our body of knowledge, not the body of knowledge itself. It’s a fine, but highly valid distinction.
Gods but I can be really annoying (He said gleefully). This stance can be quite a lot of fun, especially when a froth mouthed opponent looks up into my gently mocking smile and realises that if they escalate they will be in deep, deep doo-doo. They will generally have to look up, because I’m a big guy. Which can put a potential assailant off their game. Then there’s the Ju-jitsu if push comes to shove. Because it’s much easier to defend than attack if you know how.
Regardless, when it comes to information, I like to go to primary source material wherever possible. Not secondhand accounts like newspapers. Failing that, I read the financial pages, because that’s where all the real news is. The Brownian motion of stocks and shares. Market trends. Restructurings. In the UK it’s the Financial Times. In Canada the rather milquetoast Financial Post. None of the other newspapers give you any information worth spit. All else, I have found, is mostly mere speculation, op-eds, Fark, Churnalism and outrage bait.
My new found pleasure in numbers comes from their propensity for blunt and unabashed honesty. As I have explained to my broker on several occasions, “People lie. Numbers generally don’t.” Apart from statistical models, which I find are less use at making worthwhile predictions than Mystic Smeg, famed newspaper astrologer and alcoholic. Like epidemics, pandemics and all other prophesies of doom which have either failed to happen or been turned into a total shitshow because the response relied on incomplete or faulty mathematical modelling.
I put my faith in no one else’s God, no spirit (Unless it’s a decent single malt) and definitely no politicians, the slippery bastards.
If I have any belief, it is this; I believe in life. Or if anyone is familiar with a play called ‘The Sea’, a comedy by Edward Bond, I refer to a set speech which is an audition text in the ‘Audition book for men’ published by Methuen. Specifically a speech by one of the characters called ‘Evens’ who is trying to comfort a grieving friend where he says; “I believe in sand and stone and water because the wind stirs them into a dirty sea and gives birth to living things. The Universe lives, it teems with life”. Failing that, the words in the left hand sidebar of this blog form another branch of my guiding principles. ‘Do not believe’.