Friday 28 September 2007

The Snot Doctrine & Other Inanities

A quote from Ignatius J. Reilly of A Confederacy of Dunces:

"I dust a bit... In addition, I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip."

Alas, I am but making the occasional Lemsip, attempting to re-enjoy John Kennedy Toole's classic. Sick as a small hospital I be, curled up beneath a quilt or three... There shall be no
Hard Working Class Heroes for me this weekend. I envy those of you able to attend. Do enjoy. Do fill me in.

Yet it is not all doom and gloom - in a manner of speaking - for my copy of Naomi Klein's
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism finally arrived in the post earlier today. I look forward to devouring it utterly and then drunkenly plagiarising her work whilst in 'genteel' company.

Have a peak at the accompanying short film, made in conjunction with Alfonso Cuarón. Sinister permutations, fascinating vibrations:

Delightful McAdjective signing off... Adieu.


slurkid57 said...

First, if I may, some silliness:
He called it Economic Shock Treatment, I call it The Shock Doctrine


int. Springfield Bowlarama, the Pin Pals are on another roll...

Burns:[walking in] Look at them, Smithers, enjoying their embezzlement.
Smithers: [dramatic] I have a much uglier word for it, Sir: misappropriation.


Ok, now that I got that out of my system, I have to say that's quite an unsettling piece of film you've got there, but I have one bone to pick with it.

I don't think the Falklands fit in with the rest of the examples, though. When they were invaded, a good chunk of the population would have lived through WWII and remembered when the UK was a military power to be reckoned with, followed by the Suez and the End of the Empire.

By the 70s/80s, their current armed forces were looking a bit limp. The navy was being downsized, and the days of gunboat diplomacy had passed. Allowing the Argentinians to just take the Malvinas back, would be admitting that Britain's place in the world had changed, and conservatives aren't big on change. Plus, the geologists thought there might be oil in those rocks.

Anyway, Maggie sent the boys over and they killed lots of people, and then everyone was happy. Maggie was on top of the world, she could do no wrong. Five years later she got the idea to tax homes by the number of people living in them, and everyone said ok, because she said it wouldn't be that expensive.

Poll tax came into effect in Scotland 2 years after that, and actually it was quite expensive. The people weren't happy, but it was ok, Maggie knew what she was doing, after all she'd won a war. Poll tax was then put into place in the rest of the country, and Maggie's government collapsed.

What's my point again? Oh yeah, the poll tax wasn't a case of Economic Shock Therapy, but an over-confident government thinking that they could do no wrong. It was too late after the war for any kind of halo effect to prevent people noticing they were being shafted, and they quickly told the powers that be to get stuffed.

slurkid57 said...


Since when have you ever been accepted into 'genteel' society? You lurk.

John Cav said...

Slurkid: That is quite a bone you have picked there my friend. And eloquently done too.

I have not yet read Klein's book so I can't really comment on as to how it fits in with her hypothesis. However, I must concede that for me the Falklands has always banged of imperialist superiority complex and bruised national ego... Could my being Irish have anything to do with that I wonder :)

As for the genteel slur... Shut up you dirty feeler!

Catherine said...

Mmm, The Shock Doctrine is an excellent read so far. While I'm not entirely convinced by everything she's saying, she makes her points well and it's very enjoyable/scary.

John Cav said...

Catherine: I am still yet to start reading The Shock Doctrine, but your words are encouraging... Klein's writing style has always been engaging.

P.S. I had a peep through your own blog there. I noticed your discussion on Atonement (the novel and the film)... I was wondering, have you seen the 2004 adaptation of McEwan's Enduring Love? Daniel Craig, Samantha Morton, Rhys Ifans... I enjoyed it. Nothing earth shattering, but engaging at least.