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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Good Bye to All That! Happy New Year!


 

Having a dreadful year? So is everyone, worldwide. That is an unusual bit of commonality for the human race. If only there were some positive way that we could build off of this? We should in all probability settle on some small universal consensus, lest our musings drift off into hallucination.

The net consensus should be that whatever or whomever solves this plague is wonderful and due a worldwide parade at some point. Perhaps this was possible back before all of the researchers were hoovered up by corporate interests. You can’t really hold a parade for “Team Regenerex” or whichever lab coalition winds up with the biggest lift to our fates. The fact that so many cures were spewed out in such a short time itself says something about this moment in history. We could issue a general cheer for science and publicly supported higher education.

Thanks to the efforts of the above, the vast majority of us in the Western World will look forward to surviving this.  It is, however, something less than the egalitarian result ration might model. Somehow the rich and famous have placed themselves on the same priority tier with the healthcare workers, the currently infected and essential workers of all stripes. (What would we do without plutocrats and celebrities? One shudders to imagine it.) The Slave States are also splurging on doling out cures to their unfortunate client base. Quick, who wants to be first in line to help field-test the warp-sped medical innovations rolled out by Russia, Iran or China? Or the My Pillow dude, for that matter.

The aftermath on all this ruckus is anyone’s guess. Cataclysms usually presage a change in the world’s internal social orders. It’s not so much political orders falling or the last coming first, but it is an up-churning, usually involving new faces and ideas. Nothing is evident yet, except the losers.

My focus is trivial. I am not talking about the 300 thousand plus dead among us. I am talking about people who will survive this. I am talking about certain people who should never be taken seriously again. There’s a legion of them at this point, including everyone even tangentially involved with Wall Street and Big Data. Thanks for nothing, guys. All of your prognostications and corporate jingoism have amounted to self-aggrandizing diddly squat. Our salvation has come at the hands of good old fashioned government fiat powered academic research. The parts which have been handed off to industrialization and on-time logistics have been shamelessly botched. The researchers get an A. The MBAs get an F.

As I have mentioned previously, we need to keep score during this. Mostly because it is all we can really do. Beware the rewriting of history. It is incumbent upon all of us to hold this moment dear.

Sadly, the biggest loser is the United States. With the worst plague results in the Western World, American leadership, innovation, and internal organization will be questioned for decades. An election which reveals that nearly half of us are willing to abandon democracy for strong man happytalk devalues all of our works in an actionable manner.  It could only be worse if any other country had succeeded in dealing with the pandemic. But coming in DEAD LAST has a real price.

(We don’t know how things are going in Slave State Land because they lie about everything. That’s no comfort, though. Fucking up everything is what they do.)

At its core, the pandemic is the price China has exacted upon the world for its rise as a power. Its manifestation and spread are products of China’s internal mechanisms. Like the bird flu and ash beetle and Asian carp, it is Chinese Communism’s unique contribution to world culture.

Every time I sit down to conclude this, something weirder happens. An attempted coup of the United States took place. At the direction of the president of the United States. As with the above, my focus is trivial. The oddball rioters are being methodically tracked down. Not to trivialize the loss of three lives, but as counterrevolutions go, it was fairly minor. As riots go, it was well-contained. As a political demonstration, it was hideous. I question the game plan. What did this assortment of battle flag waving face painters in tac togs hope to accomplish? Ok, you kill Nancy and Pence and the Squad and then Arson Up. And then what happens? The jails are full of people who think this way.

Trump has met with the My Pillow Guy to strategize further. Thus far this impulsive line of thought has got him a second impeachment. I really thought I had retired my banner. Oh well…

 


While meeting with the My Pillow Guy to discuss his future agenda might be a fitting ending to the Trump Maximum Melodrama, I fear he may still have another parting shot. Reports are that Trump has effectively departed for Florida already and is scheduled to take one last Airforce One flight there well in advance of his defenestration. His last words may be a subscriber-only commentary screed second screen event coinciding with the impeachment trial. And special bonus Trump-themed criminal trials. To be followed by fundraising for the Feckless One’s senatorial run, a contest for the design of the Trump Library (1) and perhaps a raffle for Trump Tower itself! (2) It all ends with Rudy and him giving eulogies for each other. (3) I ask, with programming like this in the offing, is there any real reason to underwrite it with an actual impeachment vote?

I answer: yes. I do fear that a six-season situation comedy will be made of this administration otherwise. A few somber moments to remember the ruin to our national reputation are in order before this is reduced to fodder for laugh tracks. (4) Jailed toddlers and coddled dictators and hundreds of thousands unnecessary plague deaths and a failed coup are not a springboard for witty reverence. Let’s get the accounting straight for a change.

Take this with a grain of salt, but it seems as if Trump’s political demise coincided with the rational refuting of one of Conservatism’s favorite maxims:

Researchers at the London School of Economics and King’s College London looked at 50 years of tax policy favoring the rich across 18 OECD countries and found that the benefits remained with the wealthy while poorer citizens saw little improvement in the form of jobs or economic growth.

I know. Fake media, them London School of Economics people. (Most famous graduate Mick Jagger.) (5) Until lies about pollution being good or free will being an illusion can be concocted in pithy form, I fear the rich face a future of increased scrutiny, regulation, and taxation. Amen.

The near future is otherwise fuzzy. Picking winners and losers is a near short-term horizon thing in the best of times and a reason to evoke common sense against a hail of evidence to the contrary in the worst of times. I will close with two cases.

Case One: I seem to have written off the electric car a tad early. Innovation is true magic, the wet towel snap of sharp minds. Industrialization, by contrast, is a chore of numbers. In this in chore the electric car has failed miserably. I have seen more charging stations removed than I have electric cars in operation. The demand has not arrived, the cost has not diminished, and the number of actionable producers has remained fixed at one and that one is Elon Musk (who would rather blow weed.) Emerging from the mausoleum of past efforts are the green shoots of an industrial sector. With this have come the first benchmark.

$100 per kilowatt-hour, the lithium-ion storage battery’s magic number. At that point, the upfront cost for an electric passenger vehicle will be the same as—or less than—a similar internal combustion model. From there, the economics are clear, and other things (hopefully) fall into place: manufacturing happens in mass volumes; charging networks grow as needed.

That’s where Henry Ford started. Build a $400.00 car. Nothing else mattered. The Electric Model T’s price is now known. Hopefully this is the start of something. I don’t want to buy another pollution machine.

Case Two: Synthetic Finances. Full disclosure, I took a course on synthetic financial vehicles. My head is now waterfall tranche full of factoids deodorizing the obvious. There are no assets without recourse. Assets without recourse are empty promises, no matter how many of them can be traded for money money. It’s called a Tulip Bubble. Once the music stops, all of the Synthetic Financial vehicles become smoke. Right now Bitcoin’s lesser brethren are emitting whiffs of nonexistence.

Bitwise Asset Management is dumping what was the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency after Ripple Labs and its top executives were accused by U.S. regulators of selling more than one billion of unregistered virtual tokens.

And the number of classes of Synthetic Financial Vehicles to survive after a member of their class has turned up fraudulent is historically ZERO. So trade them Bitcoins in now. Just saying…

Note: We will return to our normal beats in a week or so, pending Trump not being involved in additional buffoonery. (Fingers crossed.)

(1)  My design for the Trump Library is a giant functional urinal. Inside there is a maze, with each twisting hall ending in a spectacular Trump Event themed dead end. Heading to the next section requires backtracking through all of the previous ones.

(2)  Word has it that Trump owes 300 large to the Germans. (Whose leader he presented with a bill for their defense.) Your awarded prize may be confiscated.

(3)  Although this technically isn’t possible, they could record the eulogies in advance.

(4)  If Trump does wind up in jail then it’s an HBO series.

(5)  Is Mick dead or is he planning his next Last Rolling Stones tour? He went on the first Last Tour when I was in high school. I am now 57.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Impeach Trump While the Impeaching is Good!


 I thought I was through with this. The guy only has two weeks left in office. How do you screw up two weeks?

By calling for an armed assault on Congress, that's how. 



Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Coming Very Soon....

 Weird Detective Mystery Adventures Streamlined Unabridged Edition Cover Reveal



Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Harmonic Convergence: We Have Elected A Crook.

 


Beats the looney we had. I somehow feel cheated by the process, but I should not feel that way. We inevitably get the politicians that we deserve. Feeling cheated just opens the door for politicians like Trump. If the whole bio system of politicos are crooked, why not try something else? Because the something else are a parade of cartoon characters. This has always been the case.

We cannot overwrite humanity. As we have piled on progress, complications have emerged to go with it. Almost all professions require a bit of specialized training and time in the saddle to get good at. Running the whole show, making sure that interactions between us are safe and fair, is damn complicated business. The people who are in that business are politicians. At the very least, you want a pro.

I think nearly every single word Trump said about Joe Biden is true. That said, this is a wonderful day. We’ve seen how amateur hour works and it’s not for us. We’ve seen how nepotism and loyalty above competence cronyism works and now it’s time for the blue-tinged technocratic hordes to ply away. Hopefully the whole plague thing will prove focusing. Nothing these save the world types like better than a world that actually needs saving.

I am old enough to remember a time when there were red-tinged technocratic hordes, too.  The Republican Brand was about good government, efficient commerce, promotion of innovation, law and order and a foreign policy based on realism. They were a counterweight to the Democrats regimes of inclusion as a qualification, rigged economic outcomes, redress through redistribution and a foreign policy based on European fads.

But those folks died. They were swamped by their Conservative brothers. I have mixed feelings about the Conservatives, having been one at one time. I don’t blame them for Trump. Trump is not a Conservative nor any type of political animal, vegetable or mineral. What I blame the Conservatives for is killing the red-tinged horde.

Today’s Republican Party is an amalgamation of bigots, gun loonies, bible thumpers, plutocrats and polluters. They’re not an attractive bunch. Of these, only the bigots aren’t flat out corrupt. They don’t want anything. They’re just against a lot of things.

Oh, yeah, and the Conservatives. They’re there. Drafting behind the polluters and the plutocrats. Quick to amen the fucktard evangelicals. (Literal interpretation of the bible. Great idea! A pity it didn’t occur to the people who wrote the bible.) The polluters and the plutocrats think they created Conservatism out of corporate agit-prop. And the Conservatives are willing to let them think that because (1) they have to get money somewhere; (2) even if true, it’s just a happy coincidence; (3) they’re convinced that market forces will somehow prevail and do the right thing before we are all buried up to our eyeballs in coal tar tailings. Time to smile and be in a picture with some goon in a baseball hat toting a machinegun. Conservatives have to believe that there’s some virtue just in the numbers of these freaks. If only they could be led.

Unfortunately for the Conservatives, their yahoo brethren literally believe that all government is bad government--which is not really aligned with the “government which rules least, rules best” mantra Republicans were previously pitching. At core, it isn’t government who these yahoos are pissed at, it’s reality. They’re just taking it out on civilization because they can comprehend the concept of civilization in commodified form as government. As long as these folks feel politically enabled, we can count on them backing the craziest motherfucker willing to stand for office. That’s their real orthodoxy.

Lucky for us, we outnumber all of these freaks by a wide margin in most places. And truth be told, the yahoos aren’t really good at anything—including staying focused. I believe this last election was the apex of genuine yahoo involvement. They liked Trump because he pissed off their betters. Now that he’s been swamped, there are stumps to blow up and beer to drink and signs to shoot holes in and the N word to shout at the television before they collapse into their Cheeto-and-lard enhanced stupors.

In short, we have one political party for a while. In my dreams I hope for a functional Green Party to contest with the Democrats. But that isn’t going to happen. The political divide in a rational universe is between the dreamers and the utilitarians. Just as the Democrats need to tame the Revenge For All Sins factions in their midst, the Republicans will crawl out from under the human filth they’re surrounded themselves with to preach a new doctrine of “Do No Harm” and “Pay as You Go” and “Pragmentism and Moderation are Virtues.” Let’s hope it isn’t a long wait, because silly season can get very silly very quickly, especially unchecked

Thursday, November 12, 2020

YOUR KITTY OUTFIT SUCKS!

 


Attention trick or treaters, members of Cats, strippers, casino hosts and comic book characters.  There is a strong likelihood that your kitty outfit sucks. If Taylor Swift can’t pull it off, why should you? And almost none of them are memorable. For everyone who isn’t Ertha Kitt or Julie Newmar, we have provided the following guide to making your attempt at feline adornment less of a travesty.

Rule #1: Props are key.


A big cat is the best prop.

 

Extra points are awarded for matching your feline companions.

All points are lost for flagrant mismatches. 

If you can’t match the cat, dress as something the cat would like to play with. 


Rule #2: You are dressing as a cat because you would rather be cute than original.

No cat outfit is all that scary.

If you want to be intimidating, choose another theme. 


Rule # 3: Cat outfits can be enhanced through nudity. However, if you are resorting to nudity, you can probably skip the cat outfit.

Rule # 4: The whole kitty routine can be overdone. 

 

Rule #5: Cat outfits are easy to screw up.

Avoid black. Pointed ears are better than floppy ears.


Avoid talking about your weaknesses.

Rule # 6: No matter how well executed it may be, a kitty outfit is just a kitty outfit.


 



Friday, August 28, 2020

Harmonic Convergence Republican National Convention Edition

 


“Washington has not changed Donald Trump. Donald Trump has changed Washington,” spoke First Daughter Feckless Cunt in a speech which was presaged by cat calls and a model trot out of Zoolander.  It was the start of a final night staged largely at the White House, as was much of this four-day testimonial-a-thon. A two-thousand-person corona virus super spreader event was held as a backdrop for the acceptance speech. Sadly, the impressive set-up was squandered by Cheetolini, who recited an overly long and deeply meaningless soliloquy sans focus, replete with defamatory and jingoistic allspice.  What one takes away mostly is mostly how long it was.

 

I made the mistake of watching all four nights on MSNBC. I tried Fox at first, but they were not covering it live at the time. The folks at MSNBC thought it adroit to continually break the fourth wall to remind us that much of what was being testified to was pure fantasy. Bless you Rachael Maddow, but most of us on planet Earth already know they’re lying. I’m unclear about the value of keeping a running tally at this late date.

 

On Earth Trump the plague has been dealt with, scared into a full retreat through steely resolve and swift executive action.  When others were dithering and denying our prescient commander-in-chief banned tourism by slimy infected foreigners, built millions of miles of impenetrable fortifications around our borders and dispatched medical resources with deft expedience. Millions were saved and, thanks to an effective and universal testing regime, we are now ready to continue building the best economy in the history of mankind. A full restoration of everyday life is just around the corner, as a TOTAL CURE for the plague has been WARP SPED into reality. And if that was not enough for you, THE BEST IS YET TO COME!

 

There were game show surprise highlights throughout. A guy got pardoned, live and on TV. Another bunch of people were suddenly made citizens. Unhinged Let’s Make A Deal audience participant behavior was on full display. Rudy Giuliani and Kimberly Guilfoyle screamed their presentations and yet both came off as undead. Various slick haired squares and imitations of Grizzly Adams stalked forth to warn of the dangers of socialism, looters, cancel culture or to remind us that the Republican Party is proudly sponsored by LAW AND ORDER. Others brandished their bibles and sincerely avowed that Joe Biden is an agent of Satan. Larry Kudlow invented his own genre of literature by describing things that are yet not to happen in an optimistic past tense. As in previous years, we had to sit through the parading of all known black Republicans. All of the president’s children performed with the zeal of Kamikaze pilots before their maiden flights.  Not to be outdone by her peers, Feckless Cunt declared herself co-president in her final appearance. Of those allowed within social distance of Cheetolini, only the First Lady failed in her trained seal act.

 

I kept hoping she would stab him in the back. “He shtupped a porn star when I was knocked up. He is evil.” Instead, she used the time to disabuse the world of the notion that she is near-fluent in English. Maybe she was speaking semaphore or Esperanto? It’s impossible to say.  For her last appearance, she attempted to make day-glow lime fashionable again. She would have been better served showing up in the nude.

 

Once the convention locked in on themes, every performer was required to hit on all of them. It was something akin to a Branson show, only without the music. The phrase that pays seems to be: Joe Biden is out to destroy the suburbs.  As clearly pulled out of the ethers as that notion may be, it at least makes sense as a sentence. In the end, even Cheetolini found it stale with repeating and substituted a promise of unending tax cuts in its place. Undefined until the end was the big promise of THE BEST IS YET TO COME.  There is an outside chance that this boils down to unending tax cuts, wherein the rich make us give them all of our money. By context, however, it seems more likely to mean putting a woman on the moon. Or putting a woman on Mars. In any case, some bitch is getting epic style stranded. (*) The silver lining in all of this is that if the Republican party is hatching any further evil schemes, they seem to be directed at the universe and not at us.

 

(*) Hil-Gle would like to apologize for using both the B word and the C word in this posting. It was done purely for comedic effect and does not reflect Hil-Gle’s deep abiding reverence for more than half of the human race.


Monday, August 24, 2020

Harmonic Convergence Democratic National Convention Edition

 


The giant clam shell split open as a ray of bright white parted black from above. A chorus of divine devas warbled. His mightiness stepped forward, a sister saint at his side. Other sister saints heralded his arrival in poem prayer songs sung loud. Taylor Swift wept.

His awesome presence has been detailed fantastic bit by fantastic bit. To see his magnificence is to be permanently instantly impressed. But a word from him will change your life. The glint off his aviator glasses can grow whole organs back. Gold pools in his footsteps. Put your watch up to the TV screen and he will tell you the time. Mostly, however, he cares damn hard. And so does Kamala.

Eek. I am glad the convention is over. For a minute there I was failing to remember Joe Biden’s number one qualification: Not being Donald Trump. I am happy to report that Joe Biden still retains this awesome feature. In all probability Joe Biden lacks the imagination needed to justify the jailing of toddlers. I’m sold!

Under the hood is a middling corrupt, carpet-bagging, half-dead but competent Center Center politician and his newly-minted, highly ambitious female sidekick. I am convinced that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are normal as far as the population of human beings who seek to become President of the United States are concerned. That should not be mistaken for being normal normal. Both rate slightly less than Bill Clinton on the overall weirdo meter. Not being bloviating psychopathic science deniers is an important distinction this go around.

Exigent circumstances are the only Presidential Agenda. The depression and plague have voided all other policy items for the foreseeable future. Our choice could not be more stark. It’s suicide or science.

People who voted for Trump have one last chance to redeem their immortal souls.

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