..............October 2011

...............Just DON'T..................The Slow Kill ................Dorfman .............Contact

see this outstanding 2-minute youtube video

- Economic Hitmen -

Making Contact


Every so often while on my wanderings I get caught-up in a conversation with someone. Maybe I complain to a dog owner when their pet tries to attack me unprovoked? Or maybe some kid (usually one of a group) mocks me for my silly hat or for running when I’m really too old to run and probably look ridiculous. Or maybe someone just asks for directions somewhere…

Frequently, unlikely as it might seem, we end-up saying farewell like old friends, even to the point of exchanging email addresses. So I say: ‘Just go to my website… it’s easy to remember: zoneidle… that’s boneidle with a z instead of a b. Dot co uk.’ They repeat it to me and then say ‘I’ll do that.’ And I respond, ‘Send an email; I’ll definitely reply.’

Do I ever receive that email? Well, I haven’t yet, not one! Of all the people I’ve dished this web address out to not a single response has been forthcoming. The question is why? I mean, I’d have expected at least one email, perhaps two – out of all the people I’ve told. But all I ever get is just a vast gaping zilch.

Yesterday, Saturday 22nd, running across a park by the seafront at West St Leonards I passed a group of kids sitting in a shelter and they shouted mockingly, ‘Faster, faster…’ (or something to that effect). I shouted back, ‘Come on then!’ and several of them leaped up and chased after me, as I sprinted away one actually caught up as we approached the end of the field. I say, ‘You’re a good runner, how old do you think I am?' ’40?’ he replies. I tell him, ’62. If you can run like me when you’re 62 then you’ll be doing OK.’ He laughs and returns to his friends, while I continue on to Bexhill.

About 90-mins later I return. No way do I expect to see those kids again, but the one who caught me up suddenly appears, running from another part of the park. He tells me he's going to Cornwall next week… it’s a brief and strange conversation. I tell him: ‘Go to my website…’ adding that there’s a lot of tosh there but some good stuff too. He memorises the website, repeating it several times, then runs back from whence he came, calling, ‘I’ll look it up now on my friend’s iphone.’

But does he send an email? Why did he tell me he was going to Cornwall next week? I wonder: did he mean permanently, or for a holiday? Why did he run to meet me again?

I know the answer to my key question: why I never get an email? Just look at the site. Is it inviting, interesting, intriguing? Is it even vaguely attractive. Does it guide a visitor to the best bits: the photos of Aussie and the USA and Spain, for instance; or to the best stories: ‘The Speed Capsule’, or ‘The Button’, or even ‘Asimov’ (which is quite autobiographical, at least to begin with)….  The site, though, I realise, is predominately solipsistic, indulgent, vain and careless. It’s also off-puttingly clever-clever, bigoted and arrogant. And in places quite badly written too. I know all this, but it's really beyond me to correct it - I suppose it's a reflection of me?

The most puzzling thing of all is, though, that no-one is willing to do me the BIG favour of telling me what a load of hot bilge it all is…. if that’s how they see it. BUT THEN would I respond negatively if someone I met perchance told me to check their website? Maybe not, but I’d certainly respond, if only for decorum. But that’s me, and I guess I’m weirdly old fashioned in this sense, though I'm not old fashioned in any other sense... yet weird I may be…. So whoever you are out there in the ether reading this waffle of mine and failing to respond: HELLO mr nobody…. do you actually exist… am I destined forever to talk only to myself (as it seems) ….??? Questions, questions, questions.

When I reflect on what’s going on around the world: with anti-capitalist protests growing – good, good – the Arab uprising, the west’s associated subversive take-over of Africa after failing so far in Iraq and Afghanistan, and maybe soon attempts at Iran with more force than previously… and here’s me wondering why a few hapless kids fail to send an email, and why (apparently) no-one visits this weird website? But now to forget it all and GET OUT INTO THE SUN – I’M NOT AN IDLER FOR NOTHING….


Ariel Dorfman

Ariel Dorfman first came to my notice when he took part in a 1980s TV discussion programme (see Note below). The subject was exile. Like so many others around the world who've suffered some kind of massive upheaval in their country, he was himself a victim of exile.

In recent years I've read several articles of his that have appeared on the net. A couple of his books are here on my shelf: his renowned 'torture' play: 'Death and the Maiden', and 'The Empire's Old Clothes' which, as kind of sequel to his 'How to Read Donald Duck', explores the furtive propaganda that's interwoven throughout some children's literature and animations - Disney productions in particular, which to the un-critical eye appear as benign sources of entertainment - but definitely are not. Even so, most people prefer to view them (and much else) simplistically and regard any propaganda, should it be pointed out, as incidental or unintended.

I cite his work now for two reasons:

First, to reproduce below his brief recent posting which is concise, striking and contemporarily appropriate in the light of the events he recalls since the first so-called 9/11 back in 1973 - as so impressively depicted in Oliver Stone's 1986 masterpiece 'Savaldor'.

Second, to alert anyone interested to his excellent website (watch the Trailer) - not merely for the outstanding content (esp some gripping philosophical, historical and autobiographical info), but for its fresh, innovative design with film-clips and numerous links, including to essays, stories and sections from his books (ie, 'How to Read Donald Duck') etc.

If I had the material and drive I'd like to emulate some of his website's methods for THIS website... alas, I'm just an incorrigible idler... so it goes.

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From Tomdispatch (Posted by Ariel Dorfman at 8:03pm, October 9, 2011):

Salvador Allende Has Words for Barack Obama from the Other Side of Death 

By Ariel Dorfman

For the last decade, I have been haunted by voices from the other side of death. In this way, back in 2003 I transcribed the words of Pablo Picasso after a tapestry version of his famed painting Guernica at the entrance to the Security Council was covered over at the U.N. just before then-Secretary of State Colin Powell was to present the Bush administration case justifying an invasion of Iraq.  From the depths of ancient Mesopotamia, I transcribed the words of Hammurabi, the exalted prince of Babylon, as he reviled Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for laying waste to his ancient land. And in that same year I found that Christopher Columbus, too,had words for the new warriors/conquerors of the twenty-first century, while the poets William Blake and Franceso Petrarca asked Laura Bush how she could sleep with the man responsible for so many deaths.

The dead were then silent for years, which left me unprepared when Salvador Allende came to me offering advice for Barack Obama. It seemed, at first glance, a strange connection.  Elected president of Chile in 1970 by popular vote, Allende was overthrown in a CIA-backed coup three years later. On that other September 11th, also (coincidentally enough) a Tuesday, terror rained down from the skies as the Chilean air force bombed the Presidential Palace where Allende died, ending an experiment in constructing socialism through peaceful, democratic means, and inaugurating the long dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.

Barack Obama has never, of course, claimed to be a revolutionary like Allende, though he did once upon a short time ago give the impression of being a reformer dedicated to bringing about significant change. And though, like Allende, he has faced ferocious opposition to his plans from similarly conservative forces, there has never been the slightest rumor of a coup d’état in the United States (nor, as it turned out, any need for one) -- though who knows what would have happened had Obama decided to take on the military-industrial/national security behemoth that essentially governs the country.

And yet, I have no doubt that Allende would have sympathized with Obama on his entry into the Oval Office, and that he would have appreciated his urge to search for common ground with his adversaries, as well as the intelligence and sophistication of his mind. And I’m sure he would have greeted young Barack’s election in 2008, as I did, with a certain joy, seeing in it the popular wish for a different sort of politics, a different sort of world.

Evidently, based on what follows, Allende did feel that it was worth sending a message to the American president from the shores of death where so much becomes clearer, where we will all ultimately discover whether we truly kept faith with the lives and dreams of those who, in turn, had faith in us.

[Visit the Tomdispatch site for the section of verse that follows this introduction]

* * * * *

Biographical detail from 'The Empire's Old Clothes' (1983):

Born in 1942, Ariel Dorfman was a professor of journalism and literature in Chile during the Allende period, where he also produced popular tele­vision shows, new comic books, a magazine for adolescents, his own novels, essays, and poetry and co-authored the popular How To Read Donald Duck, which has now appeared in thirteen languages around the world. Since the 1973 coup against Allende, he has been in exile and now lives in the Washington, D.C. area. He contributes regularly to the leading news­papers of Latin America and Europe as well as to the Village Voice and other publications here. Amnesty International recently published his poetry on "disappeared" people. Widows, his first novel translated into English, is also being published by Pantheon.

[See his website for most recent biog]


Note: BB2 TV discussion programme (approx 1985) included traveller and writer Brue Chatwin and South African (exile in Paris, writer and artist) Breyten Breytenbach. The discussion was chaired and presented (entirely inappropriately) by Canadian Zionist and crypto-Fascist Michael Ignatieff. The BBC remains, alas, a Zionist sympathetic body - as do most Western media organisations.

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The Slow Kill

(and how to escape it)


If you can wade through this slightly muddled little essay without giving-up half-way then you'll get a glimpse at how two apparently conflicting sections of the economy cause millions of people to suffer (at great financial cost to us all: £multiple-billions) just so a few rich investors can get a lot richer:

I guess it's a bit of a cliché to say 'We're all dying!' An obvious fact if ever there was. What's key, though, is the rate at which we're all dying. More people than ever now are reaching the BIG C - 100, and feeling fit with it!

While making a stupendous financial killing, the pharmaceutical industry might be keeping many of those centenarians from the grave, but I wouldn't bet on it. Quite probably, I'd wager, longevity (to reach that BIG C) has increased in spite of and not because of expensive medicines - the most life-saving of which, for any age-group, is probably antibiotics.

It's true that drugs and techniques are fast improving, extending lifespan. Great news... frequently, though, an ailment and/or the treatment of it causes disability and/or discomfort at least. Far better, surely, to prevent rather than cure.

Recently, it was discovered that type-2 diabetes can be permanently cured by sticking to a strict diet for a few weeks. Maybe this wouldn't work for everyone? But don't tell the pharmaceutical industry - since it's disorders like this that keep their profits up - and they'll stop at nothing to steer us away from self-cure. Their prime function, after all, is to generate wealth, not health. If we were all super-healthy BIG pharma would go to the wall... or almost would. And if the drugs they produce slowly kill us then what do they care so long as they don't get sued?

And if you reflect on the causes of most illnesses you'll discover - surprise, surprise - that they're more-or-less all down to lifestyle. That's to say: consuming too much of this, not enough of that, too little or too much of certain activities, spending too long in some hostile environment or at some mentally or physically wearing task... and/or generally neglecting certain aspects of one's overall welfare... diet, exercise, relaxation... stress, etc.

Some of these things are not easy to control in a society where most have to work - or feel they should (or indeed prefer to rather than remain idle like me), but from which various associated pressures arise that conflict with a healthy lifestyle.

I never really admired Steve Jobs (not with a surname like that!) mainly because of his reputedly arrogant obsessive controlling nature. But I have to concede he was some genius in taking the technology he was focussed on to its limit of perfection. I wonder, though, if he'd have gone down with cancer had he focussed half as much on his health? Maybe he did and was just bloody unlucky - it seems odd that anyone of his intelligence could be so stupid as to neglect something so crucial as their health. But the same question could be asked of many high-achievers who die relatively young, just as it could be asked of the millions of ordinary folk who feel 'trapped' in some occupation or other which depletes their psychological or physical energy and limits how they are able to look after themselves.

I put 'trapped' in quotes because unless they're in jail no-one is really trapped - though they might be trapped in ignorance: of how to escape their predicament, and properly take care of their mind and body.

Although school was about the biggest turn-off I ever experienced, I wondered for years why health-care was never on the syllabus. Then one day it dawned on me: of course, if doctors or medicines were rarely needed then a BIG slice of the economy would go redundant - greatly annoying a substantial section of the elite... how many £billions is it the government dish out on health each year?

Just as cars are supposed to rust so we keep buying new ones, people are supposed to get ill so we keep buying medicines. Otherwise - a large chunk of the economy folds. Stop looking after yourselves out there; make a few oligarchs happy!

And it doesn't stop there. When it takes several decades for smoking to do its damage, they shove health warnings on baccy - to placate some over-cooked public angst (which is always absurdly 'conservative' and extreme, exemplified in its views on capital and corporal punishment). Yet for crap food and crap lifestyle (as frequently required of office/factory/shop slave-workers), which usually has faster and more disabling consequences than the weed, such warnings are virtually taboo... even when merely voiced. Yet to sit in an office or factory all day, every day, year-in year-out... how good is that for anyone's health? (No-one seems bothered, and what do shareholders of those outfits care?)

After indulging for 4-decades (age 15 to 55) it's now more than 6-years since I chucked baccy, and it's two whole decades since I abandoned the 'working' lifestyle - which for me wasn't so bad (a very favourable shift-pattern with loads of time off). It could be a fluke, but so far: no ill effects - all that baccy seems to have been pretty innocuous. (Maybe I'll keel over tomorrow after writing that.)

But the smoking issue strikes me as ironic after all the fuss and hassle it caused when I was a kid - and causes these days even more. Back in the 60s, when those self-appointed sadistic maniacs who called themselves teachers and headmasters regarded it as their chief role in life to cane or otherwise inflict cruelty on any hapless kid they caught puffing smoke, or just in possession, back then smoking - except in a school - was accepted without question everywhere, just as consuming junk food is now. Well, as I say, no health warning is required for crap food - which is a bit odd - no: astonishing - after the guy who made the 'Supersizeme' film proved how by stuffing yourself with it for a mere month can seriously duff-up your life support - to within a few days of liver-failure and actual death... just one month!!!

Anyone could be forgiven for concluding from this apparent anomaly that government is guilty of negligence or at best crooked thinking... until you take a peek at the enormous profits made by the junk food industry. And I don't just mean McDs...etc. there's all the biscuits and crisps outfits and producers of other processed trash, solid with fats and weird-additives, crap-loaded snacks, so-called chocolate which is actually flavoured sugar, pap-bread heavy with salt and moisture and puffed-up with air (or CO2?)... vast quantities of weird margarines, plus butter and sugar, everything loaded with sugar to please the sugar industry, and all strongly promoted in commercials, etc. and shifted in huge quantities daily... I won't even attempt to touch on the scrag end of the meat industry... Ugh! See food processing company share prices, see their profits and dividends...

It's well known how these products damage health - which, BIG pharma is only too happy to 'correct' for a substantial fee (see their share values too) - yet, absurdly, there's no public outcry. And that same public (doubtless driven by propaganda, as ever) criticise junkies, drug abusers, alcoholics... etc... How's that for sheer, monumental hypocrisy?

When people get ill they might reflect on past indulgencies and begin to regret their shortsightedness and vulnerability to media propaganda: adverts and peer pressures and partaking in whatever food-fad or drug-fad is fashionable. Try anything once, maybe twice, but long term is another issue.

Do I have regrets? Of course. For one thing, I regret not slinging the hook a long time earlier - though it's a very small regret since, as I've said, life treated me well in those days; I actually enjoyed the 'treadmill', or maybe (I suspect), programmed myself to. And I regret instances when I've been deliberately horrible to someone - these, as I reflect, are amazingly few, and most are a very long time ago, when I was practically a kid. I remember them all, every detail. I don't regret consuming crap - because, by some fluke, I always seemed to see it for what it is. And I've always avoided medicines - except antibiotics. I definitely don't regret failing to make money - not when one can fly around the planet for less than the average monthly income (even if the real cost is vastly greater - but that's someone else's problem, sadly). So who needs loadsamoney? It's piss-easy anyhow to make money if you study closely for a few weeks the machinations of a handful of outfits in the corrupt yet amazingly predictable (on a short-term basis, at any rate) FTSE100.

Which is just another way of saying that it's ALL down to corporate interests - that is, everything. In this instance, the food industry. together with BIG pharma and that familiar, blind, agonisingly 'conservative' public demand... the same kind of twisted reasoning that governs most mob decisions and is the result of clever propaganda instead of rational independent thought or evaluation.

So is it conflict, or is it in fact some kind of reciprocal co-operation... between duff food and the curing of illness (somewhat incongruously called 'healthcare'... why not just prevent ill-health in the first place???). Truth is: anything involving vast sums of money inevitably evokes corruption with all the associated furtive manoeuvrings. Ask yourself: What arms manufacture would vote to prevent war?

THE SOLUTION: sod BIG-food and BIG-pharma; stuff the bastards. And sod (propaganda-driven) public opinion. Just stay the hell out of it - all of it - is my advice. The result: you stay fit and well and contented.... and quite probably you'll stand a chance of hitting the BIG C intact!

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JUST..... DON'T ..DO. IT !

Or maybe...... JUST......UN- DO .IT !

Anyone who goes about wearing a 'Just Do It' T-shirt might as well wear one stating 'I'm A Monumental Prick'. The fact is, only someone of unthinking ineptitude would suggest that an individual poised in uncertainty of whether to do something should actually do it. Who knows what that thing is they're about to do?

OK, the slogan is really an attack on procrastination and not meant to be taken seriously. But since I've seen it less of late, I wonder if I'm not alone in my view? Is it going out of fashion? Either way, the fact is: of all the 'volitional' doing that humans engage in, only a small fraction ever turns out to be useful. (I'll qualify 'volitional' in a moment).

According to what I've observed over the decades, innovative doing - especially of the entrepreneurial sort - is frequently some half-brained spiv trying to extricate maximum possible dough for minimal possible effort. And more often than not these 'innovations' are either trash and/or are positively harmful (usually to the environment).

As I say, the implication is: stop planning, assessing, ruminating, procrastinating... etc, and Just Bloody Get On With It!

If this applies to improving lives, especially for those stuck in difficult circumstances, and has negligible adverse effects, then fine; likewise the usual maintaining of services and supplies that make life easy and pleasant. The 'volitional' doing I'm addressing here involves activities - such as what some inept or corrupt politician, nutter or spiv has done or is doing - that makes necessary the employment of many more people to undo or correct the consequences of those activities.

It wouldn't surprise me if half the work people do in the world is like this: one lot of people's livelihood causing damage/menace, another lot's undoing or reversing it. Maybe I exaggerate, but ask yourself what the main function of the police is, for instance, or charities? While airlines are making $millions, victims of climate change are losing $billions. Reflect on the mobile phone outfits' acquisition of coltan (for high electrical-charge storage in mobile phones) - then later the final disposal of the phones - these are both notoriously problematic since profit-driven manufacturers/suppliers are as unconcerned about the harmful aspects of their business as airlines are about the atmosphere. And with their investor friends in charge of legislation, the idea of regulating never arises.

It's the old story of Corporatocracy - where Corporations profit, leaving a trail of damage and expense for the rest of society to pay for (or suffer). Which means a more appropriate slogan would be:

'Just Drop It' (or re-think it)

Beside all this, quite a lot of what people do - 'volitionally' (in the sense I mean here) - whether innovative or otherwise, is positive, worthwhile, creative and environmentally more-or-less innocuous. Which in no way, of course, mitigates the activities of offenders...

In the old days it would be a polluted stream or a noisy engine near a residential neighbourhood. Nowadays the problems are global and have become enormous as well as potentially lethal for millions, if not billions of people.

Think over some occupations; see all the people doing things that, beside their primary function, create hassle, expense and/or some kind of damage or other. Then reflect on all those engaged in rectifying this hassle and/or damage. The numbers are colossal... ie: social services, hospitals....

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