Apocalypse soon

I went to a funeral the last week, It was sad, I was sad, a life was over. The world had ended for him.

There were many things that gave me pause for thought. Irish funerals are really good, second only, and sometimes even better than a wedding. A guilty thought but none-the-less the combination of family, friends, reflection, and booze makes for a charged and unforgettable experience.

The funeral service itself was dignified and emotional, and it was not lost on me how any human being, at any time in history has been fortunate to receive a funeral. How many millions of people just expired with no ceremony to mark their passing, people too caught up in appalling wars or famines to properly grieve their dead. He was 62 at the time of his death. Born in 1955, a baby boomer, he lived through the great expansion. This I suspect in not very much time at all will be looked at as a very good time arrive on planet earth. At the time of JFK’s assassination, there were just over 3 billion people on earth, the USA had a thriving middle class and affluence spread to Europe with lifestyles becoming the most comfortable ever experienced by humans on this planet.

We are I believe, in the final years of this great post-war epoch, if 1945 was the end of one world and the beginning of the next, then the 2020s will be the dawn of a new century which will bear little resemblance to the second half of the previous one.  They say centuries don’t end by calendars, just as the 19th century ended in 1914 with the great war, I believe the 20th century will end with a greater calamity. The signs are already there, the rise of nationalism in Europe and America is perhaps people becoming all too aware of resources after years of abundance. Make no mistake that inequality and the undermining of main-stream media is the primary reason that vast swathes of the British and American electorate pressed the nuclear buttons in recent elections.

Remember too that it is these countries more than any other, that defined the paradigm for the greatest standard of living on this planet for the past 70 years. It is easy to forget the abject poverty most of Earth’s inhabitants have spent, and are still spending their time in. We are however, the model, BLOC countries imagine their western lifestyles are almost here, but there is a large dose of the reality stick about to cancel that party. The simple truth is that as soon as the British started burning coal we were doomed. That was in 1750. As it stands, in the year 2017, we are on the cusp of changing the planet into something that humans will struggle to live on. To explain to people that 8 billion+ people will not be trucking away on a planet with no artic or coral reefs makes rational sense, but it is no more rational then telling a living being that they are going to die, that is sometime in the future and I’m alive now.

This is not a matter of if it’s a matter of when, and when will be defined by how this effects the citizens of the western hemisphere, our home. We congratulate ourselves on our techonology which brings us further and further away from reality. Climate change you say? we can solve that with technology the internet will save us. Yes the internet is amazing, but is it as important an invention as the electric light bulb? or the combustion engine? certainly not. It is at it’s core a tool of communication, placed upon an already developed system of inventions from electricity to fertilizers. At a time when our problems have never been more Global we have a platform to share and discuss them Globally. This, however, does not change the simple fact that this technology we can do with out, we cannot, however, do without energy, and food production both of which are warming the planet. In fact everything we do is warming the planet. All environmental movements that promote the virtues of windmills and solar panels should change their names to “Let’s keep this show on the road “. It’s simply not going to work, wishful thinking at best. At present scientists struggle to find ways to remove salt from water without using huge amounts of energy, so the idea promoted by some that we can geo-engineer the planet and take CO2 out of the air is ludicrous.

The question is if the planet is on the verge of an abrupt climate change, which many say it, and if this results in crop failure, dead oceans, and the collapse of civilization as we know it, then why do most people not know about this, for me it’s simple, explaining death to a living being is just beyond our cognition, and abrupt climate change is death.

Coldplay are deeply uncool

I saw Coldplay in the year 2000 in the Olympia Theatre in Dublin. They were young men like me, my contemporaries actually. I stood near the stage bathed in the glow of Chris Martin’s spot-light my mind switching between enjoying the gig and being really Jealous. Girls all around me, including the one I was with, where over come with status fever, and to a girl were imagining getting boned by Chris Martin. That was the day I decided to learn a guitar and start a band…only joking I did fuck all and spent the rest of the decade masturbating.

I enjoyed the follow-ups to Parachutes, Rush of blood and X&Y, they were the soundtrack of my 20s and still stand up in my opinion. Then came Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends – I bought the CD, imagine that ! and gave it one listen, it wasn’t a grower, not that I’ll ever know, I took it out of the player and frisbeed it into the bin. This was Nu Coldplay, their Fluro years.
Ask yourself this, has any band in the history of music ever tried to start a fashion and literally nobody followed it, nobody!

The bay city rollers had people wearing Tartan pants for fuck sake. But I digress, this Fluro fashion they and nobody else on this planet thinks is cool has lasted from 2008 up to the present day! and the vast majority of their songs have been shite aswell. What happened to the dressed in a black misery of Rush of blood to the head? has the ever been a stylist more in need of a sacking???

Chest of the week

In years to come people will site the forced demise of Page 3 in the Sun as the moment the rot really set in. The working man put upon yet again by liberal elites. The pressure was building and has led us all the way to Brexit and Trump. The regressives had there way, no more could I place my copy of the Sun on the table at work, opened wide on Page 3, and eat my sandwich lost in thought, scarcely noticing my come face appearing between bites. Yes there were women having lunch at the table too, but they were never offended if anything it motivated them to go harder to the gym after work. I will hence forth post a weekly, carefully chosen chest, that I deem to be in exquisite taste.

Nobles v Serfs 2017

Chivalry, or the chivalric code, to the modern mind summons images of gallant knights doing good deeds for the weak, treating women with respect and being kind to the poor.

Nothing could be further from the truth, the core tenant of Chivalry was a gentlemen’s agreement among the ruling nobles, that all their squabbles and beefs would be instantly put aside in the case of a peasants revolt. They lived in stone castles and were trained from an early age to fight with weapons. This served two purposes to defend their houses from other nobles and more importantly to keep the serfs in line. The serfs were basically everyone else, the vast majority of people in medieval Europe at the time. They were seen as little better than animals and lived under subjugation for centuries.

Tales of heroes standing up against bullies echo through the centuries in countless cultures, but the fact is most people never revolted , they simply lived trapped in a system designed to make sure they received as little of the pie as possible. The human beings capacity for self-preservation despite bitter injustice fair outweighs the courage of their convictions. The class system was absolute and Christianity took a firm hold in the hearts of those miserable serfs who looked forward to a better time in the after-life. The term gentle man, has taken on a literal meaning in recent years, but its origin is meant well-born, in other words for most of history if you were born to the wrong parents your life was already determined.

Then something extraordinary happened, the black death killed one-third of the population of Europe. The survivors found themselves in a much less populated countryside and labor shortages on the land were the result. This put the peasants, for the first time in a position where they could negotiate their wages with the ruling elites. This was probably the birth of capitalism for the masses in Europe. The Renaissance followed in the next centuries, then the industrial revolution, but perhaps the greatest achievement of Capitalism was that a person, could be born poor and die rich.

Make no mistake plenty of people of Europe lived mostly in poverty at the turn of the 20th century but as technology, commerce and GDPs rose, so did the living standards of the workers. A middle class was created by people who were under no illusions as to the importance of trade unions and regulations on big business.

John Maynard Keynes said: “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.”

Well people became complacent and by the 1990s, some argue the high water mark for western economies, the Clinton administration took a chainsaw to regulation on Americans banks and corporations, 10 years later the world economy crashed.

The western democracies instructed by their elite contributors did the Chivalrous thing and bailed out the banks. Anglo Irish bank was of systemic importance to the Irish people? gimme a break they did not even have one ATM machine. This was the curtain being pulled back on this democratic charade we are told is looking out for us.

The top 0.01% own the world. They buy the politicians and force them to do whatever suits the small few who control the world and fuck everyone else. They are all bought, and those who don’t go with the program(Bernie Sanders) have no chance of being elected.

They pour billions into controlling the media, nowhere was this this more apparent than in the Brexit and more tellingly in the UK general election. Jeremy Corben was painted as the communist nut case who would drag the UK back to stone age. Political commentators laughed up their sleeve at the notion of this man leading a resurgent labor party. Just like with Brexit they were dead wrong. There has been a shift to the left in the UK, and this, of course, is based on people feeling left behind, in a system rigged to make them work for a pittance, while large corporations do everything in their power not to pay tax. The fact that this bullshit is now so commonplace that some people argue well, it’s fair enough they create jobs! It is not fucking fair enough! I personally pay more tax relative to my income then Starbucks, Google, Apple and Microsoft combined, What the actual fuck! I am serf and these bastards live in stone castles. Yes they will not come and burn down my house if I complain but they will make sure all the local leaders are paid off to keep the status quo in place.

Influencers like Joe Rogan saying shit like “I like Bernie, but the math doesn’t add up”. What the fuck does Joe Rogan know about the math of running an economy? Did he sit down and crunch the numbers? His motivations are obvious and understandable. He is a guy who has done well out of the system and doesn’t fancy a return to high taxes on the rich. But you simply cannot keep pissing out of the tent and not expect people to react. In the USA the peasants did all they had the power left to do, spoil their votes for anyone who said anything remotely resembling change.

They got a clown, whose twin pillars of the policy include cutting their health care and lowering taxes on the rich. Make no mistake the American government is now controlled by the most cynical actors in its history. The money and the power have crystallized into an instrument of pure corruption. Sound dramatic? Just look at what their elected officials are up to right now, pushing through tax cuts on the rich that literally, nobody supports except the elites, while the Jewish lobby convinces Trump to break with years of diplomatic sensitivity and declare Jureslaum the capital of Isreal.
Who in the baseball cap white trash heartlands of the USA voted for this? These guys are merely a modern day version of Feudal lords in castles with vast armies at their disposal, but their methods of control are far more expansive.

Now that they have power, the world is a giant casino to them. Banks gamble on your future. They stick trillions of dollars on black and if they lose, no problem, the government will bail them out and you will pay back the debt. Nobody goes to jail and they start again. The government borrow trillions in IOUs, which is pretend money, that you can never pay back. But not to worry, your children and their children and their children can repay the debt later. All of this means that not only do the top 0.01%(the people really in charge) get off totally free, but they actually get richer off the back if their gamble goes horribly wrong. The middle class gets wiped out and the gap between rich and poor widens. The top 62 wealthiest people in the world now own half of the world’s wealth.

Because of our stupidity and inability to see what is in front of our eyes, we are quickly brainwashed into blaming other people for our problems. In 2008, we were told the banks and major financial institutions fucked us. We were shown how they did it. Pretty quickly we forgot about the banks. It was the immigrants, it is their fault, no, it is the government, they fucked us. No!, it was us, we fucked ourselves. You get the government you deserve. We see what the same parties are doing time and time again, all over the world, yet we avoid change.

Every can of coke they drink, every cinema ticket, every iphone that they buy, a % of that will filter up the the kids of the 0.01%. Every trillion dollar loan they print now goes straight into the pocket of the guys at the top. It is a massive con job, and most people are completely blind. Bitcoin can change all of this. If everyone was to buy a small portion, say 1/20th of a bitcoin, then pretty
quickly the value would become as much as 100 trillion dollars. Obviously a small % would still own the majority of the coins, but nothing like 62 people owning half the world. At this stage 1/20th of a bitcoin would be worth 270,000 dollars, which is enough to buy a house in most countries in the world. Right now 1/20th of a bitcoin is worth 750 dollars. If masses were to buy them, the value of 1/20th would quickly rise to 2000 dollars, so not everyone can own this amount of bitcoin. But what can happen, is a
temporary shift in wealth, away from the old white men and into the hands of younger men, more likely to spend their wealth, rather than sit on it. The world’s wealth would spread a lot further, economies would boom, so much spending for a prolonged period.

Governments could no longer print IOUs for our kids to pay back. We could reject the currencies of the world and work with new currencies. Banks would struggle and new financial institutions would form. Banking would be easy, people could own their own money. People survived long before the ability to print money out of thin air. Bitcoin doesn’t have inflation past 22 million coins. The government can’t manipulate them in any shape or form. They can try and discourage people from using them, but it really is our decision to use them and accept them as payment. Of course the sociopath will always win. He will find a new way to get back to the top and in 50 years there will be new versions of the old guy fucking everyone. But at least we will get a short respite. It could be beautiful, for a generation or two until climate change or A.I. wipe us all out.

Julius Porter

In Tom Wolfe’s seminal book the Bonfire of the Vanities a stockbroker, a self-proclaimed master of the universe makes a mistake and watches his life unravel as a result. The book explores the gradual destruction of the self, his career, and relationships both professional and personal implode, as things go from bad to worse. In one of the final chapters the author brilliantly captures the surreal nature of having ones personal collapse played out in public, as the story becomes fodder for the New York tabloids

A fall from grace story in the public eye. What must it feel like to be THAT publicly humiliated? for that humiliation to be speculated on by journalists, and in pub conversations, your deepest fears released as fame turns on you.

Al Porter the young comic from Tallaght, unlike Tom Wolfe’s protagonist, has tasted the benefits of fame, and is only now seeing it’s dark side as it shows him the door. The Weinstein wave hit Ireland a few weeks ago and the dominoes fell quickly when the Al Porter story broke, with Porter being stripped of his radio slot, his Panto and his TV3 gig.

That he had so much to loose at such an early age is not lost on the people who watched his rise over the past 4 years. His peers watched to see if this fast climbing hero had a feet of clay, he did, and they reminded him he did.

It must be remembered that Al porter is just 25 at his next birthday, the youngest comedian ever to play Vicar street has benefited hugely from Ireland’s village mentality. The same newspapers that now slate him, wrote of his genius at every turn billing him as the next Graham Norton or Micheal McIntyre this is despite the fact that his high profile was earned almost entirely in Ireland

Unlike Graham Norton and others such Aisling Bea, Dara O’Brien, Ed Byrne and Andrew Maxwell who built their careers in the UK, Porter came out of the Irish circuit. Des Bishop who arguably kick-started a viable stand-up scene in Dublin with the International Comedy Club, is one of a few homegrown comedians to make a good living from his Irish profile. He got his break on RTE at the turn of the century and the circuit has not produced an act as nationally successful since, this despite a relatively healthy comedy scene in Dublin. The circuit like many things in Ireland and other small countries, is riddled with politics, provincial attitudes and cronyism, the result political animals trotting out cliche ridden Irish centered sets with little or no original material that make little impact here or on the more cultured UK scene.

Then along comes Al Porter his stage craft already earned from years with the Panto he immediately causes a stir on the circuit and things happen very quickly. His act is familiar but none the less grabs the audiences attention, a smartly dressed flamboyant gay cabaret act harking back to the 60s with the wink and elbow sexual innuendo at its core. He is gay and he is from Tallaght, easily accessible material brilliantly performed.

He seems to graduate quickly from the drudgery of gigging for a pittance on a Wednesday night in Tullamore and is quickly entertaining crowds in Dublin’s Laugher lounge and the International Comedy Club. Does he write all his own gags? Probably not, does he steal a few? who cares? he’s funny, but people do care, other comic’s care, as he skips by them into the better paid gigs and the national spotlight.


Another disgruntled group are the people who just find his humor vulgar bordering on disgusting, and here we get to the nub of this issue. Louis CK famously joked about finding places in his house where he could masturbate, a joke? not any more….Al Porter a flamboyant gay man, a bit cheeky, but nice with it….not any more…both acts dance on the line of decency as the audiences are invited to laugh at the dirty jokes while holding fast to the knowledge that they are just jokes.

Porter riding a wave from his Irish profile managed to get a plum spot on live at the Apollo in London, the Irish papers at his back. The next Micheal McIntyre or Graham Norton was about to blow them all away in London. To this day I’m fairly sure they put canned laughter over the track, which in fairness may not just be for him. This was an incredible opportunity none the less, one that many of Porters comedy peers would take your hand off for.

He opened with an Eddie Izzard joke ….Is He? isn’t He? …and then the punch line altered instead of gay it’s from Dublin…this betrayed an incredible naivety, to open with a joke that’s not your own is one thing, but you’re in London now, it’s the big time and this audience barely know where Dublin is never mind what accent people from there have.

RTE in their wisdom deemed him ready to anchor the Christmas eve slot in 2015, Al Porter could barely disguise his amazement at his good fortune…singing songs like ” If my friends could see me now”…well they could, and they were not your friends, and they were waiting.

Comedy is subjective but in my view Porters material that night was completely unsuitable for Christmas eve family time, lewd jokes about anal sex made uncomfortable viewing for a mature audience expecting a variety show. RTE were inundated with complaints, their response? change the channel! those who objected are made to feel out of kilter with the modern world. Al Porter’s act is funny and he is to be indulged as RTE’s latest golden boy. The next day Brendan Grace spent the day on TV3 delivering a master class in how to entertain a broad audience at Christmas but with 3 decades on Porter, he had more than an edge.

 

Not to worry, back to the warmth of little old Ireland, the warm embrace of village life where its alot easier to become a household name. Ray Darcy decides to bore the arse of people in the afternoon instead and pretty soon a slot opens up for Al on Today FM. I listened to 5 mins once, he invited listeners to text in as to what kind of sausage sandwich they liked…140k a year, money for old rope. Then TV3 and blind date, Porter as I’ve always suspected is not a true stand up and is right at home in this format, he was excellent.

Then came Weinstein and the knives were sharped, were these men groped? yes I believe they were, is that right ? no, keep your hands to yourself…but there’s more to this, they were comics, journey men comics on the scene way before Al Porter, an act that quickly passed them by in the ultra-competitive world of Irish comedy.

In a circuit where acts as nauseously mediocre as Neil Delamare represent success, comics can realistically expect to have a chance to get on TV and make a few quid, they do the shit gigs, they complement the right people, they perfect their fake laughs in the mirror and hope that one day they will be the ones doing well. The festivals trot out the same tired old names to headline, often the only acts actually being paid, Tommy Tiernan, Jason Byrne etc, and now Al Porter gets the keys to the clubhouse, the flamboyant Panto man who robs jokes! fuck him he felt my balls, I wonder who else balls he felt?

The result a wonderful hatchet job. Well done Davey Reilly and Co, your now famous for being felt up by the panto queer from Tallaght. You put on your own Panto this year, Davey Reilly as Brutus stabbing Julius Porter around the stage …tut tut…..in fairness this is probably my favorite character assassination since Sinn Fein took apart that smug bastard Sean Gallagher in 2011 again we can thank RTE incompetence for that debacle.

When all is said and done, I hope Davey and the boys enjoy long and fruitful careers unmolested by flamboyant queers and I also sincerely hope Al Porter goes to his room does his crying, dusts himself off and rebuilds his life, he may not be the next Graham Norton but he’s a human being.

Larry Lowe