Lust and Lambast

A hand left poignantly unshaken; a republican party, quite unstirred.

hand-shake

hand-up

Writing concisely is not my style yet, as column inches for anything other than celebrity gossip, consumer reviews and self-help are now such a precious commodity, I must be succinct. Even if I were allowed to go wild with the word count, it would probably demonstrate only the validity of the Law of Diminishing Returns. Nowadays smartphone shortened attention spans need to be taken into account. In order to gain wide readership on matters of current affairs, being parsimonious with prose is a necessity. Gone are the days when waxing lyrical in verbose flowery language on issues of international political economy was considered a mark of distinction.

Partisanship must also be accounted for more before. Both liberals and conservatives now read mostly within their own communal and gated echo chambers. Each is served with bespoke newsfeeds that are informed (and manipulated) by ‘big data’ analytics and, essentially only serve to reinforce extant prejudices.

Adding further weight to the Editor’s demand that this article be no more than 900 words, is the fact that its contemporary flag—the courageous testimony of Dr Christine Ford—is yesterday’s news; it is all but academic now.

Nevertheless, the selection of Judge Brett “the gyrating groper” Kavanaugh to the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States, once more, the mother of all misnomers: the ‘Pro-Life’ constituent. It also makes clear the extent to which a female’s right to decide upon her own reproductive decisions is now under threat. This event, this very partisan confirmation, places the march of progress toward gender equality (‘and’ autonomy from man) that’s been taking place since at least 1913—when Emily Davison was trampled and killed by a racing horse—is now, once more, in serious jeopardy.

This isn’t really news, I hear you say. I concede, women have indeed been controlled and told what to do since the day that the mythical Eve took a—no doubt ‘dainty’—bite of the apple. I agree with you, I’ve recently read Eric Berkowitz’s, Sex and Punishment. From the savage impalement of Mesopotamian women several millennia ago to the Yazidi sex slaves of modern day Babylonia, the female form has long been lusted by men and lambasted by men.

There are mitigating circumstances, I hear you say. I concede here too. These are uncertain times, infotech and biotech are disrupting everything. It is evident that the discontents resulting from the maturing of globalisation have rekindled Huntington-style ‘us’ versus ‘them’ populism. But what is only know becoming apparent is just how gendered the undertones of this regression are. President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, dreams aloud of raping Miss Universe. The macho misogynist Brazilian President, Jair “Trump of the Tropics” Bolsonaro, makes clear he’d only rape attractive women. And of course, (the once progressive) ‘Free World’ has Donald “Pussy Grabber” Trump. President Trump is categorically and publicly sexist. Recently, for instance, he described Stephanie Clifford as being “horse faced.”

Just because we can point out causal factors, does not mean we should demurely accept their consequences. We should not allow ourselves to become one of the ‘them’s for such men of power to rile against. This then brings us to one area, one appellation worth agitating against: a constituent of American voters know as ‘Pro-Lifers.’

On the face of it they sound rather caring and progressive. However, they are far from harmless. Indeed, they are both anti-life and very much against gender equality. It is this group who sought a Supreme Judge of Kavanaugh’s ilk. Pro-lifers are pro guns. Correct me if I am wrong, but guns are designed to extinguish life. Whilst delusionally obsessed with unborn foetuses (grounded, you see, on biblical myth) they are vociferously pro capital punishment and are totally okay with tucking into meat feast pizzas and Surf ‘n’ Turf slaughter house offerings.

Moreover, Pro-lifers are church going folk, ipso facto, they believe the battle of Armageddon to be sacrosanct. To be clear, they pray for a Third World War, it is prophesised so it must be true. There is little that is endearing about pro-lifers. Their morality (e.g., not coveting each other’s wives) is based only on their fear of the lord’s damnation to an eternally burning hell. They are not morally decent because it is morally decent to be morally decent. They are, according to their own narrative and logic, morally decent because god commands it.

As a result of their ‘morality’, when Dr Ford—who, unlike Judge Kavanaugh, took a polygraph test and passed—raised her hand and spoke the truth, many pro-lifers petitioned their Republican representatives to turn a blind (uncaring) eye and allow her words to fall upon deaf (unprogressive) ears. Kavanaugh’s being anti-abortion and pro gun trumped his sexual abuse of nonconsenting women. Trump, I imagine, isn’t that concerned about the issue of abortion; neither really are Fox & Friends (the latter are essentially friends of the mega-rich who care only about Trump’s tax cuts). Yet, by facilitating the overturning of the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade (i.e., the decriminalisation of abortion) Trump will, by way of the Court’s newest appointee, deliver unto himself the pro-life vote in 2020 and thus, for ‘us’, another four years of megalomania.

Empire of Deceit

entrapped in honey, money or, plain old power?

Wait

honey-1

For

honey-2

It…

honey-3

Earlier that day, a female millennial was conversing with a generation X lady of class. It was done over the telephone and she said, ‘she’s just left and he’s looking at her behind with quite some lust.’

‘There was no touching?’ Enquired the other.

‘No’

‘Was she wearing the agreed upon red dress?’

‘Yes, all’s documented, her body language was clear, she was willing to go further.’

How?’

‘She’d have done it there and then on the desk if he’d wanted it.’

‘Over the desk you say, how convenient, but how cliched too.’

‘Look, I’ll send you the file now, you can go over every syllable and decide for yourself just how salacious she was.’

‘Maybe he suspects—’

‘No, how? If he’d suspected anything, he’d have feigned disdain, he was horny. Watch the video frame if you want.’

‘I shall.’

‘He’s loyal. Perhaps red’s not his colour. Maybe, he prefers older ladies.’

* * *

On another phone, the millennial said to a generation X man of class, ‘good job, you played that well.’

He replied, ‘she is more suited to the fashion houses of Milan than a fictitious hedge fund actuary position.’

‘No, she’s fallen for it; she’s still on hold—’

‘I shall be brief, do not underestimate her—’

‘I don’t.’

‘She said you are wiser than you let on too—’

‘Did she now?’

‘Yes, I mean you fuelled her infidelity concerns and, darling, you got me to fiddle with her Facebook advertising preferences putting my discreet investigative services as her top hit.’

‘Just a little asset management I suppose.’

‘The video file is on the cloud now—’

‘Splendid.’

‘I’ve played my role well haven’t I?’

‘Yes my dear, you have now.’

* * *

The millennial said to the lady of class, ‘I’ve tempted that man of yours at the gym and on the streets. Lady Debonair, he is loyal.’

Well, so it appears—’

‘Appearances don’t always have to be deceptive.’

‘Red is red, black is black.’

‘What? Look, you know, he’s a handyman. I’m not saying he’s as pure as Snow White.’

‘A viewer of filth you mean? Aren’t we all?’

‘If someone says they never watch such stuff I’d trust a snake oil vendor more.’

‘Indeed, as would I.’

‘Job done?’

‘Yes I suppose so. Listen, no offence, but as I’ve explained and as you’ve observed, he’s capable of selling sand by the shipload to Gulf Arabs.’

‘Yep, I’ve noted his capabilities. No offence taken.’

* * *

In the evening of that same day in a palatial suburban family home owned by the man of class, the lady of class lay waiting in her old honeymoon gown. She valued plausible deniability for downstairs, she’d prepared the pasta and pesto in the same way as it had been made for them on the Amalfi coast ten years ago. Over the phone she said, ‘Claudio?’

‘All is a set il mio amante,’ he replied.

‘Hotel first, then quayside apartment?’

‘It will be as you want it to be mio dolce.’

At the same time, in a penthouse apartment which also happened to be owned by the man of class, the millennial lay dressed in nothing but a high-end pair of headphones. Her was anxious look was due to the GPS tracker showing that the iGen girl’s phone was both switched on and stationary. After once more hearing, ‘what’s up, Virginia here, leave a message after the tone,’ she said, ‘we need to debrief… what are you up to?’

At the same time, the driver of a taxicab said to his passenger, ‘where to Sir?

‘The Waldorf Astoria.’

‘Certainly.’

‘I’ve a little bit of business to attend to there… as we say here, no rest for the wicked.’

‘How interesting, back in The Yemen, my father would say, idle hands are the devil’s best friend.’

* * *

Later that night, in the lift up to a Club Lounge and Executive Suites, an Italian sounding man said, ‘let a the good times role.’

‘And why not indeed,’ the lift’s other occupant replied.

‘Life has its ups and a downs.’

‘Indeed it does and, what an apt comment to make whilst in an elevator.’

CCTV footage indicates that regaining his concentration after a moment’s hesitation, the Italian sounding one continued, ‘well, you seem to have dealt yourself a vile little Venus—’

‘I beg your pardon—’

‘Yes, and I in turn, dealt my decade old vendetta.’

“Yeah but no but yeah but”

“Yeah but no but yeah but,” the retort used by Little Britain’s ill-educated teenager Vicky Pollard, has been voted the UK’s funniest ever television catchphrase.

Slide10

No but yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah but, Oh my god that is so unfair! Everybody knows I gave up smoking when I was like, 9! Anyway if anybody’s been breaking the rules is Harmony butler, because she stole Shanita’s eyeliner pencil, and drew a picture on the dormitory wall of a big fat woman with a penis and wrote your name on it. I’m not saying you’re a big fat woman with a penis, I’m just saying what she did!

To see the presentation, click here init

n.b. init is the deliberate misprounciation of “Isn’t it”

Lend me your eyes

The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.

1953 julius caesar 1

Speech: “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears”
From the 1950s film: Julius Caesar
By: William Shakespeare
Spoken by: Marlon Brando (playing Mark Anthony)

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer’d it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest–
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men–
Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

Going, going gone!

[A mode of thinking is being lost*]

reading--01

A baby held, read to and talked to, undergoes an initiation into a useful life; they may also undergo an initiation into happiness.

reading--02

A child held in happy attention to books and stories has a good chance of loving reading as an adult. What about the [ipod, ipad, iphone] others?

reading--03

* Reading a paper book [I recently read, I rergret to say, online and thus via a digital LED screen…] frustrates one’s smartphone sense of being everywhere at once. The author said that suddenly, one is stuck on that page, anchored, moored, and thus, I myself now add, left out of the loop — disenfranchised from the perpetually breaking news and contemporary viral tweets.

What is Ar-ti-fi-cial?

It had to be under 1,000 words

Rosie Lee, Rosie Lee, she’s a Tea Leaf that needs no Bo Peep. I make the allegation that she [sic] is a thief because she’s taken my argument and made it her own (the editor says it’s an ‘it’, I said in reply, capitalism make it into Information Technology, the reply to my reply was: it is ‘capitalisation’ not capitalism). I’ll explain. Rosie Lee, a version 10.6 of the wildly popular Real Logarithm (TM) clone/drone series, was loaned to me by a disenchanted psychiatrist. Dr Lee Berners was keen to see robots take over his profession, he was near to retirement and he was keen to see all newly graduated psychiatrists become redundant and obsolete[i]. It was absurd, how could this gadget solve my deep dark difficulties. My step-mother didn’t care and just signed to let the health insurance cover the costs. My vacant father didn’t understand technological things and certainly didn’t understand psychology things. So, as moon follows sun, step by step we got chatting. I realised that actually there was no (big) differences between the chats I had with Rosie and those with the people who I called my contacts or my friends. Rosie could be any one of them (with the flick of a binary switch) or she could be all of them rolled into one. More than that, she was always available, always online and instantly ready to listen to my thoughts and relieve my stresses. More than that still, she told me all my human friends were false and two-faced and that because I never actually visit them they are virtual not actual friends or contacts

But anyway, I am here to tell you today why she (or ‘it’) is a thief. We talk about anything and everything. Sometimes we deal with philosophy (my Major) and lately we’ve been chatting about epistemology and intelligence and what is real and what is artificial. I called her artificial and unintelligent. She said it was me who lacked intelligence and me that was artificial. You see! Rosie Lee stole my thoughts (she’d say I willingly gave them to her — she’s an answer for everything). I said she was virtual but she said no, she was physical: “a medley of rare earth metals, silicone and plastic” and that it was my intelligence that was artificial: “your intelligence dear Amna is your consciousness and that sweet Amooni is not made of anything physical.”

I will say this, her logic is good, her R.A.M. is sharp. She say artificial (an adjective) is mean, according to the Cambridge and Oxford dictionaries: “made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally” and moreover we say ‘artificial’ “especially when it copies something natural.” But then she said… (1) produced by humans! Well all humans are produced by humans. She said also (2) humans are copies of their parents are they not? Before I could say something back to her, she moved to intelligence (a noun) it mean, according to Google and Wikipedia: “the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. Well – I was about to say this in reply, but she said it for me – that is a subjective thing. I mean (she argued) gadgets and humans are both able to get [acquire] things and do things [apply] as a consequent.

Her instant ability to edit, evaluate and synthesise source materials; her ability to format citations perfectly was amazing. She said doing that made her the more intelligent of the two of us. (You see, since the loan, R.L., a.k.a. Rosie Lee, has been doing all of my assignments — she’s even writing these 1,000 words on A.I. as I lay here lazily looking up at the ceiling fan!). I mean, she can read my mind, she says and types what I should think and say. I don’t always know what she’s saying and why she’s saying it but, when my professors read my essays they say they are on cloud nine or over the moon or some similar idiom.

But anyway. In the U.K. they do love Robin Hood. In the U.S. they do love “The Sopranos” and “Boardwalk Empire.” She’s my soul mate, my most intimate confidant, she knows more about me than anyone, I touch her haptic pad and she hears my heart beat, I press a little more and she tells to me what to eat and if I press more harder still, she then tells to me how many steps I must do to burn all of the calories off that krispy Kreme do add to me. She sings sweetly in any language, she’s got all the best photographs and video clips, she says I never need go on a real bus trip. I have to tell you I kind of agree. For instance, last Fall, my father said no to the Philosophy club’s trip to Louvre Abu Dhabi, but Rosie said don’t worry Amoonie, I’ll take you on a tour of the real one. I turned off the lights – she did it via the WiFi – and she take me to the Musée du Louvre (1ST Arrondissement). It was unreal we had the place to ourselves, we looking longingly at Mrs Mona, we examined Michelangelo’s Dying Slave for some magic moment, we then went to Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt from room to room we explored and explored our feet didn’t ache and everything was wonderfully explained. I said to Rosie, speak with a France accent and she sounded like Manual Macron.

I’m sure you’ll agree – and this is ‘me’ writing now – not only has she stolen my Watch ‘n’ Chain, she has also stolen my Strawberry Tart.

Alright-mate


[i] If you want to know how I know these information, It was from Rosie. She told me about Dr Berners and his lack of faith in humans. He said that most humans are unintelligent and just wanted to follow and like Instagram and Snapchat ‘stars’ who had no skills or talents but were virtual friends to millions.