Saturday, 5 November 2011

A Call To Arms - An End To Seriousness

Lacking Credentials has been silent for at least a week. And today, the reason for this hit me like a hard punch. I'm not suffering from windswept autumn fatigue or running out of ideas. I just haven't taken to the blogwaves with fire in my belly lately because writing about everything suddenly seems so...redundant.

All my favourite blogs, Zero Hedge, James Howard Kunstler, Charles Hugh Smith's Of Two Minds, Dmitry Orlov - have basically published the same article this week. This is not a criticism of the excellent work by these four men. It is not their fault that there is nothing left to document in the grand scheme of things and there only remains one conclusion to be drawn. The jig is up, and the lies of the establishment are apparent: Western countries' economies cannot grow meaningfully ever again. This is not a bad thing. Greece's default is no longer a matter of if but a matter of when, and when it happens, banks and nations around the world will follow in not becoming insolvent, but admitting that they have been for some time. Nobody knows what that will look like and it will be painful in some ways, no doubt. But it will be an enormous relief, too, to be finally be rid of the pretentions of the elite and this bullshit of theirs we've been sold as the only viable paradigm: Constantly rising economic growth into infinity, fuelled by bottomless resource inputs. All the finance ministers and central bankers in the world can brandish their MBAs from Harvard and pHds from the London School of Economics in my face and call me a know-nothing doom sayer until they faint - they're the ones who think piling extra trillions of public debt on countries that will never register a positive growth quarter again is necessary because "failure is not an option". Sort of sounds like the name of a tour a certain delusional and mentally ill ex-sitcom star went on a few months ago, doesn't it?

So it was settled that I couldn't think of any analysis on the international economic situation worth doing. Yet this same situation was eclipsing many of the trivial subjects I might be otherwise inclined to write about. I asked myself what I could do that was worthwhile? After all, this blog is almost two years old, and I have been flat lined at 350 readers a month and 7 followers for as long as I can remember. What really matters to me? Why am I doing this on here?

I'm doing this because, as I've explained on multiple occasions, there are three levels of government in Canada lousing up their work so bad it literally keeps me up at night. Since they are rewarded by a media that fawns over them and coddles them, acting like their stupid ideas are the wisdom flowing out of infinitely wise oracles, this web log's mission has formed over time from a desire to hold them to account. The mainstream media fails to do this. Whether its the "serious" Globe smacking the wrist of the federal government in every editorial while failing to grasp the irony that they told people to vote for this same federal government in a previous editorial, or the "blue collar" Sun chain's ignoramus Don Cherry-style partisan cheer leading, this country's "fourth estate" is guilty of severe dereliction of duty, and the situation has gone unaddressed for too long.

An example of this was Globe and Mail "political" columnist Jane "TMZ" Taber going on CTV last weekend and getting pretty excited about the possibility of a third Harper prorogue in three years. Since with his majority he is now able to ram through all the idiotic legislation a minority prevented his government from enacting (tough on crime omnibus bill, F-35 fighter jet deal, long gun registry and wheat board abolition, etc.), she seems to agree with him that there is little reason from parliament to sit, at least through the winter before summer vacation starts, once all this legislation is said and done. When the host asked her what legislative priorities his government might want to pursue whenever they got around to getting back to work, Jane giggled giddily and seems almost ecstatic to report (I quote) "Oh, you know, status quo!"

How inspiring. We are in the early years of a new millennium. If this new millennium had to be described in a single phrase, that phrase would probably be "The status quo is not sustainable". And yet, one of our country's top political correspondents who is supposed to be informing us is instead climbing on the highest roof top, jumping for joy, and shouting as loud and proud as she can that our government worships at the altar of the status quo. That is probably when I realized I was going about this all wrong. Do you know why?

Because I know that every day, strongly worded and powerful letters by people much smarter than me are mailed to our political leaders. Well researched, well-written, reasonable advice, opinions, reports, statistics, and facts, compiled by field-leading experts and delivered in reports, recommendations and open letters. Economists, geologists, physicians, professors, former political leaders, and businessmen have all tried to reach the mayor of Toronto and the Prime Minister of Canada, among other arrogant incumbent politicians, without success. They have tried to advise them on transit, on public finance, on resources, on planning for the future, and on economics. What impact has it made? Zero. You might as well be talking to five year olds singing "I'm the king of the castle and you're the dirty rascal".

If the opinions of geniuses, experts, and highly accomplished people mean nothing to our political leadership, what impact can I expect my long, poorly edited, not always easy to read articles to have? I am trying to publicise the same things that the more visible people are admonishing the leaders are, in the name of common sense. But if I'm to go by the actions of these leaders, I am wasting my keystrokes.

Here's the final straw though. John Doyle, Globe TV critic, made me realize some things with his observations of Canada's media-political sphere upon return from visiting his native country, Ireland. Well, actually one thing. That our leaders are not only arrogant, ignorant, belligerent individuals, but that they demand respect and devotion at all times. And we Canadians, highly educated, not-suffering-fools-gladly people, just give it to them!

No more. I have greatly enjoyed working here on Lacking Credentials but my days of serious long essays are over. If I do write them it will be in the form of letters addressed to the people they actually concern on my other neglected blog, No, Lacking Credentials is getting a new style, a new address, makeover, audio and video, and I won't post until I'm back with it as promised. If I can't count on a single channel or media outlet to hold the government to account in a way that doesn't bore people to death with details and beat them over the head with doom, then I am going to be it. We can't rely on corporate media, and better though flawed as it is, I don't think we'll be able to rely on our public broadcaster much longer either. Welcome to Guerrilla media 3.0 heading into 2012 and beyond, Lacking Credentials 3.0 leading (I hope) the way (very soon).

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