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Guest Post: Frugality Or Fragility?

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by 'Jim in MN',

The hallmark of human nature is adaptability.  Faced with a changing environment, the human spirit and its social manifestations change in response.  But once the human endeavor itself creates the environment, how can such adaptation be a simple exercise in instinct?  Simply put, it cannot.  For better or for worse, the subjective element must dictate the outcome.  This subjective element is often called judgment.  But under today’s circumstances, a better term might be ‘taste’.  The question then becomes: do the powerful have good taste?  The fate of the rest of us hangs on the answer, as the fate of the slave rests upon the master’s whim.

Consider the global financial crisis.  The unfettered power and unrestrained corruption that is the hallmark of today’s society has been allowed to play out with predictable results.  There is no need to document the disaster that has befallen the people around the world, saddled with debt, stuck with stagnant wages if they can find work at all, and subject to worsening standards of living, with civil liberties eroding so quickly that only the authorities seem to know what is left on any given day (and they’re not telling).

Throughout all of this, the global elites have displayed consistently worsening signs of decadence, psychopathic tendencies, and overall detachment from reality.  And who can blame them?  There has been no tap on the shoulder, no knock on the door, no raid on the office to indicate that anything is seriously wrong.  The destruction of a generation’s potential, the removal of trillions from the rest of the population has not been punished.  It has been handsomely, indeed shamelessly, rewarded.

Chrystia Freeland, writing in The Atlantic in early 2011, noted this increasing abstraction from reality, based on her experience trailing and interviewing the global elite:

This plutocratic fantasy is, of course, just that: no matter how smart and innovative and industrious the super-elite may be, they can’t exist without the wider community. Even setting aside the financial bailouts recently supplied by the governments of the world, the rich need the rest of us as workers, clients, and consumers. Yet, as a metaphor, Galt’s Gulch has an ominous ring at a time when the business elite view themselves increasingly as a global community, distinguished by their unique talents and above such parochial concerns as national identity, or devoting “their” taxes to paying down “our” budget deficit. They may not be isolating themselves geographically, as Rand fantasized. But they appear to be isolating themselves ideologically, which in the end may be of greater consequence.

Taste, in the end, may dictate destiny.  If this seems as alarming as it is trite, rest assured that it is.  Just as one’s taste in food can run to fish or fowl, so the taste of the elite can run a different, more critical gamut—from risk aversion to risk seeking.  In a terminally decadent, corrupt society, fantasy runs rampant.  Reality has little consequence, and therefore plays an increasingly removed, abstracted role in setting limits on behavior.  While we gape at the grotesque excesses of a Caligula, our global elites run financial schemes that are no less shocking. 

The filigreed madness and the outright lies embedded in today’s routine financial scams, carefully evaluated for their nearness to the legal line in slide shows crafted from the finest, most velvety color palettes, would put Roman or Babylonian deviants to shame.  The number of lives sacrificed to maintain these delicate minarets of risk would make Genghis Khan blush. 

It would be far more honest, and possibly more aesthetic, for the elite to wear the bones of their victims as trophies stuck through their noses.  But that would require truly colossal noses. 

We have arrived at the end of the line, like Micheal Moorcock’s poignant, omniscient partygoers in ‘The Hollow Lands’, who have endless reserves of power, but little left to do with it (a typical sentiment being something like: "’I enjoyed Flags,’ he said. ‘Particularly when My Lady Charlotina made that delicious one which covered the whole of the western hemisphere.’").

The more the tastes of the elite run to risky business, the more fragile the complex edifice of global finance becomes.  Spectacular failures, mind-boggling crashes, and mighty people instantly reduced to public mockeries through their own perversion or crimes become the norm.  In this madhouse of absolute power, would it be so strange to hear of another Incitatus?  The original, of course, being the favorite horse of the Emperor Caligula:

To prevent Incitatus, his favourite horse, from growing restive he always picketed the neighbour-hood with troops on the day before the races, ordering them to enforce absolute silence. Incitatus owned a marble stable, an ivory stall, and a jewelled collar; also a house, furniture, and slaves - to provide suitable entertainment for guests whom Caligula invited in its name. It is said that he even planned to award Incitatus a consulship.


Suetonius: Caligula 55

Such is the contemporary reality we live in.  People try to live their lives, to avert their eyes, to hide their children from the sight and effect of the monstrous cavorting of the elites.  But they loom above all others on the horizon, intent on their self-aggrandizing excesses, like a constant, living, writhing surrealist mountain range.  And the uncaring fragments of the elites’ collapsing ‘entertainments’ rain down like meteors upon the rest of the population.

Perhaps a crazed fad for frugality will break out and suppress the urges of the elites.  In the meantime, hide your valuables as well as you can, and treat your children with the sympathy they deserve.  They are among the chief victims of our era’s unholy orgies of risk and corruption.  Frugality or fragility?  The choice is yours, as well as theirs.


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Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:27 | 3368796 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Awesome work Jim, beautiful writing.

"filigreed madness" 

That is as convoluted as they are, perfection.

I was about to look for the link where this came from so I could send the original to a colleague of mine when I saw it was you.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:29 | 3368810 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

USSS Hillenkoetter is now over Moscow.

Something is about to hit the fan.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 16:12 | 3369313 Ballin D
Ballin D's picture

Did you spot it on google sky?

Seriously, what makes you think you know where the US has its supposed space warship parked?

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 16:16 | 3369325 ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 16:26 | 3369350 Ballin D
Ballin D's picture

A guy named Gary McKinnon hacked US govt servers and claimed he found evidence of ships called the USSS LeMay and the USSS Hillenkoetter as well as logs identifying non-terrestrial officers.  More recently people have spotted what they think are spaceships in formation on google sky which were later taken down.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:30 | 3368816 Banksters
Banksters's picture

Cyprus central bank limits cash withdrawals to 100 euros per day

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:40 | 3368842 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

Gas was already running out.  When there is nothing left to buy in the stores, why do you need money?  

It will be 50 euros a day next week.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:41 | 3369043 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

The elite reside at the pinnacle of Maslov's triangle.  What goes on up there.  Maslov said "self-actualization".  What does that mean?  The Id?

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 15:31 | 3369170 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

Excellent post, writing and thought process! The metaphor is so spot on as to be prophetic. I enjoyed the wordsmithery very much!

So as we watch this all play out, are you averting your eyes or are you hypnotically transfixed at the trainwreck about to take place?

Living in a hurricane prone region of the country, I believe we are in the 3 day cone of the map!


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:36 | 3368836 zorba THE GREEK
zorba THE GREEK's picture

"Frugality or Fragility?"

 I think it is obvious by now that we are all going to get FRUGALED.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:04 | 3368933 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

enronized, corzinized, ...frugalized

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:16 | 3368979 Ahmeexnal
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Sun, 03/24/2013 - 16:16 | 3369322 MissCellany
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Sun, 03/24/2013 - 16:17 | 3369328 ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 23:27 | 3371015 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

How 'bout plain ole garden variety "Vaporized" eh Cap'n


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:03 | 3368923 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

+1 Incitatus for Senate!

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 15:12 | 3369105 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

"the zero bound rate policy." is it odd to call it frugal? here's the best American version i could find:

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 17:12 | 3369563 brettd
brettd's picture

Yes.  Tragically eloquent writing.  Well done.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 18:36 | 3369837 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Ms. MsCreant,

Thank you.  I never wrote a guest post before.  This one just came out, I guess something snapped.

Always nice to cross paths, observations, and/or Jethro Tull cites with you.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:31 | 3368800 akak
akak's picture

MOAR is always better, the government is protecting us, and it can't happen here!

Now shut up with your doom-and-gloom, bring me a beer and order a jumbo pizza, with extra cheese and toppings ---- the football game is about to start!  Life is good!

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:51 | 3368881 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:00 | 3368901 akak
akak's picture

I neither care nor pay one iota of attention to the mass insanity and collectivistic, divisive, destractionary "my team/your team" brainwashing that is professional sports, so I may happen to be off on my sports seasons.

It always amuses, and saddens, me to see and read so many (men) who claim to be free of the MSM mind control, and yet who are still drawn like lemmings to the cliffs of professional spectator sports.  Nobody who is a sports fan has a truly free mind.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:06 | 3368940 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

eh, I understand the sentiment... btw your team stinks, mine smells of roses

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:33 | 3369026 YC2
YC2's picture

Being able to enjoy sports does not in itself make one brainwashed or have an unfree mind. I'm sure you have some diversion that equally prevents you from sticking it to the man 100% of the time, without which you wouldn't be able to focus on subversion as well with the remainder.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:49 | 3369048 akak
akak's picture

My complaint against professional sports, and team sports in general, is not that they are just a diversion, nor is my complaint even mainly against the fact that they are a UBIQUITOUS and almost all-consuming diversion and distraction from real-world issues for many millions.  No, my primary hatred for team sports lies in the collectivistic and intellectually corrosive false dichotomy of the "my team is better than your team" mentality that they foster and engender, and really MUST engender, as well as the implicit message that they teach, namely "force and aggression are good".

Have you ever wondered why team sports are so popular among members of the military, and in fact are strongly supported and encouraged by all military academies and armed forces?  It is simply to force, and reinforce, impressionable young minds into mindlessly supporting "their" team over all others, while simultaneously inculcating the meme that all others are "the enemy" and must be automatically attacked, and with force.  Team sports are one of the the most fertile breeding grounds for the statist and warmongering mindsets.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:57 | 3369077 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

"right or wrong, my team". I mean, country

and yet the question: do you recognize the right of people to form bands, teams, parties, nations and counties - or not?

take Japanese as example - do they have a right of form Japan or not?

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 15:17 | 3369117 akak
akak's picture

Of course, Ghordius, I support the right of any individual, or group of individuals, to voluntarily associate. 

I am NOT saying that team sports should be banned or illegal.  Nor are all group associations in and of themselves corrosively collectivistic.  I, for example, am an officer in a local organization dedicated to maintaining and celebrating our own particular national (European) heritage.  We do NOT, however, in any way malign or attack other ethnicities that are not our own in the process, nor in any manner whatsoever uphold the explicit or implicit understanding that our particular ethnic background is in any way superior to any other.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 15:22 | 3369139 RockyRacoon
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Team sports, especially the "organized" type, is an anachronism from our old tribal era.  Fighting for good hunting or fishing or farming areas.   It is sublimation of those warrior tendencies and keeps us from slaughtering the folks one block over for the better access to the view of the harbor.   It has its place but it has been commercialized to such a degree that it has become (in my mind) objectionable.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 19:08 | 3369946 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Akak,I really had a good chuckle over this topic you discuss because it is an ongoing discussion my husband and I have. My husband has no interest in tv or sports in any form. This has become a great hardship for him because he regularly must attend meetings with various companies technical specialists for software upgrades. Working with these people all day is not the problem. Unfortunately in the evening there is often an obligatory dinner his company pays for as a team building event. Shop talk ends and the evening is devoted primarily to sports ( all men are in attendance). My husband abhors these dinners and has nothing to say for hrs. He has been starting to get out of a few saying I'm sick and he must go home. He has used that one too many times and they all think I have a weak constitution. I've suggested he try to fake it but he thinks he'll just look foolish if querried. I have to admit this is never a problem for me in any meeting or professional event I ever attend so I think it's primarily a problem for men. It's to the point he really has little respect for men who fervently follow their teams and rattling off statistics. After one event he came home and accused me of being at fault for the whole situation. Of course my cackles went up ( he does this to get me angry so he'll have fun with a hot engagement rather than a boring tepid response). He then proceeds to espouse the idea men have no where to go to express their manliness and the only things left to them are sports and tv which have been deemed allowable by women. And because women abhor violence and possible injury, men are now only allowed to WATCH sports and not play them as if some voyeuristic encounter would be as good as the real thing. So now they sit frustrated in a box. So therefore I must share the blame for his misery. We had a quite a lengthy exchange on the matter and I did have to admit he had some points. Truly if anyone has an obsession you lose your life to that obsession in some way and obsessive people tend to congregate and reinforce said obsessions. I don't dislike sports as well but it is sad so many men seemed to be so enthralled they have nothing else in their lives to live for.


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 19:24 | 3369987 akak
akak's picture

Great post Miffed!  Your comments are uniformly cogent and insightful.

I too know all too well the discomfort of sitting in silence for long periods while men around me engage in their mindless sportsbabble that I utterly loathe.  I would rather sit through a lecture on the influence of misogyny in ancient Sanskrit poetry on 19th century Amish quilting designs.  No, in fact the latter hypothetical topic would be FAR more interesting to me than the actually negative intellectual content of sportsbabble --- I invariably feel stupid merely for having been tangentially subjected to it.

However, I have learned over the years to "man up" and grab my balls when this kind of thing comes up (which it actually rarely does for me anymore) and simply state "I am not a fan or follower of professional sports".  It is amusing to see how often doing this actually leads to another (infinitely more interesting) topic of conversion.  You might want to suggest to your husband that he try this.  It honestly infuriates me when not just anyone, but almost EVERYONE, assumes that every one else shares their same trivial and fanatical obsession.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 19:58 | 3370135 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Thanks for the hysterical laughter! Now that I'm a little more composed and have cleaned off my iPad ( one advantage to the damn things is no keyboard to destroy ) I will make an attempt at a response. My husband has done as you have suggested at his work and those who work closely with him respect his wishes not to talk about sports. He's often purposely uninvited to lunches where they wish to talk sports. I used to be concerned about this because I thought it may hurt him professionally in some way. He took the stand with me if his professional career required an interest in sports, then he'd rather return to dairy farming. I respect him for that, so many other men would knuckle under and become obsequious for a possibility for advancement. Unfortunately the dinners he attends are with groups of people from other companies ( amazon, eBay etc) and there is where he suffers. He has a unique job as a programmer working behind the scenes as well as customer facing. Once he did do as you suggested and said he did not follow sports in any capacity. The whole table was silent. He told me later it was like he had just said he was going to be incarcerated soon for child molestation! Unfortunately it didn't lead to any interesting conversation. They eventually shrugged their shoulders and resumed their innane conversation and my poor husband just tried to keep it together and not bang his head on the wall all evening. I have new empathy for the sportless man.

It was fun conversing with you again! I enjoy your posts always. After what happened the other day I feared you wouldn''t talk to me again. I see my guilt was unfounded and the quean's mission wasn't fait accompli. I do owe you an apology for the whole sordid exchange which I am embarrassed.


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 20:38 | 3370311 akak
akak's picture


After what happened the other day I feared you wouldn''t talk to me again. I see my guilt was unfounded and the quean's mission wasn't fait accompli. I do owe you an apology for the whole sordid exchange which I am embarrassed.

Miffed, did something bad happen the other day between us?  I must confess that I don't remember any such occurrence, so please do not feel bad --- you have no cause for doing so.  This is not the first time here that somebody has expressed regret or uneasiness toward me over something which I simply did not or could not remember.  Either I have a thick skin (and/or skull) in certain situations, or incipient Alzheimer's.  Quite possibly all of the above.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 21:07 | 3370437 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Phew! If you don't remember then it was of no consequence and I've felt guilty for nothing. My monkey brain hooked my attention and I will now beat it into submission. Its a female thing that is ever so maddening! It was the quean's( I'm assuming you know to who I refer) childish taunt at my asking to exchange emails that really caught me off guard. My 20 and 23 year old daughters wouldn't have stooped so low. She used me to get at you (she has no weapons that can hurt me) and I felt guilt I gave her an opening. That is what I need to apologize. You don't have Alzheimer's, just purity of heart and a clear conscience. I would be so fortunate to get that form of Alzheimer's! A thick skin and skull are necessary requirements for hanging out here for any length of time. I hope I have what it takes to survive long term as you and others. Your kindness has helped me get confidence that a lowly microbiologist can exist on a lofty sophisticated financial site. I am honored to have your respect.


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 20:44 | 3370318 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

Nice discussion! I don't have an interest in team sports either. I think it's a male bonding thing, but it's also to establish your bonafides as a normal male, like rolling up your sleaves even in the dead of winter. An interest in sports is just to prove that you are sufficiently testosteronized, testosterone being the most precious substance in the universe. Not being interested lays you open to suspected homosexuality. Then you have a much greater burden of proof that you are ok. It also has to do with girls interested in girl things and boys interested in boy things and the only thing shared between men and women is in the sexual/romantic sphere. The well-defined roles give a feeling of security and security is really what this role playing is all about. People who are into these rigid role models are basically insecure and are prone to take their cues from their peers like a lot of the kkk types at ZH. Actually, it's more that the whole peer group is fundamentally insecure rather than the individual members per se. Confront these peer groups with something outside their domain and they freak out en masse.

My problem with sports discussions is that I get extremely bored, which is torture. There are so many things that are fascinating to think about and discuss and life is short. What a waste! However, I do like playing sports and feel that the best things in life resemble the kind of mastery you gain when you practice sports. 


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 21:32 | 3370549 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Escapeclaws, that was absolutely brilliant and beautifully described! What stupid pressures our society and sexes put on one another! We're all trying to fit into this ludicrous idea what a man or women should be and can never be ourselves for fear of ostracization. It's all so pathetic and causes such undue stress. Here is a perfect example. A few days ago I went through my usual " fuck bernank" rant when we went through our expenses to economize. Ive done this for 3 years now and my husband used to just laugh at me having my stupid little tantrum. This time was different, he was dead silent and sad. I asked what was wrong. He told me he hated it when I did that because he felt I was basically calling him a loser. I was stunned. He said it is a definition of a man to be a good provider and please his women at all costs. If he was truly a man he would make enough money so I could live a life of leisure if I so choose. Every day he watches me get up and go to a job I dislike and work with people I dislike and he feels immense guilt for not providing for me as he should. I can't tell you what shock I felt when he told me that, this was NEVER my intent in any shape nor form! Then I blurted out why hadn't he told me this before! He told me to be a man he must suffer in silence and not share his feelings ( gay) and after so many years he couldn't stand it any more and risked opening up. Needless to say I felt horrible but I was very glad he shared it. Men are under extreme pressures but unlike women have no outlet to vent their frustrations. Perhaps this is where the sports obsession comes from. Women verbally vent their issues all the time ( too often I would claim) and therefore can get some relief.

Thanks for the great post. It's good to get the male perspective on all of this. You guys tend to be silent on these issues with good reason I might add. It's often not safe to divulge or risk emasculinization from men as well as from women.


Mon, 03/25/2013 - 00:08 | 3371113 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

I have this "who is your team" problem on occasion, too. My favorite response is always, "sorry, I don't follow hockey!" Since nobody ever discusses hockey here in California, it's always wrong :D

I always say it with a huge grin and a sarcastic tone, and it usually gets a couple laughs, and occasionally a choke, spit, or snort. It doesn't always change the subject, but it does often enough that I keep it in my conversational quiver.

Mon, 03/25/2013 - 00:30 | 3371149 akak
akak's picture

Now THAT is fucking funny!

I am going to remember that.   Thanks Boo!

Mon, 03/25/2013 - 00:36 | 3371163 aerojet
aerojet's picture

It's "hackles" not "cackles."

He's not alone--I don't follow sports, I just tell people the truth about it.  I don't hide it at all.  I enjoy engaging in sports, and I encourage people to play sports rather than watch them.  I usually find something to chat with those kinds of guys about, although not all of them, I guess.  I'd be lost if I had to hang around my company's CEO and higher ups--they all like basketball, or so I hear.  Not interested. Frankly, if that's what it takes to make the really big bucks, I'm simply not going to  bother.  If people want to be rude about it, that's their problem.

Mon, 03/25/2013 - 10:45 | 3372144 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Actually that was just a typo on my part. I know hackles. My rooster raises them enough at me to never forget. I'm a crappy typist and my iPad comes up with some interesting changes to my words. Part of the fun is to reread what I wrote and laugh. I probably should edit my mistakes. Cackles in that post did have a double entendre!


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 23:14 | 3370964 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

So, did you pin'im to the bed to shut him up?

Mon, 03/25/2013 - 00:02 | 3371101 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

hmmmm...not really.....lets just say the makeup sex was great!




Sun, 03/24/2013 - 15:03 | 3369091 U4 eee aaa
U4 eee aaa's picture

....the games are probably all fixed too

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 15:24 | 3369144 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

The "fixing" is in the form of the financing of the sport(s).  See the alumni who want their alma mater to excel and win the various divisions.  Money -- again -- as free speech?  Damn them all.   Scholarship suffers under the lash of the jock.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 20:58 | 3370399 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

"Scholarship suffers under the lash of the jock." Nice! There was an interesting discussion among the physics professors at Princeton sort of along these lines. If you've studied math and physics at the graduate level, you soon learn that if you meet a fellow white American grad student, chances are that person is actually Russian or eastern European.  The professors were saying that the actual white Americans place at the bottom in math and physics. Higher up are the Asians, who at least do the work. The top students are those whose names tend to end in -sky or -ceau. The American students only care about sports and partying, the Asians want to go into banking, and the Romanians, Hungarians, and Russians want to learn and advance their field. What is it about stereotypes, anyway?


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 15:12 | 3369104 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

excellent rant there akak, particularly this,

No, my primary hatred for team sports lies in the collectivistic and intellectually corrosive false dichotomy of the "my team is better than your team" mentality that they foster and engender, and really MUST engender, as well as the implicit message that they teach, namely "force and aggression are good".

engender: (critical theory) To endow with gender; to create gender or enhance the importance of gender. [from 20th c.]

sports.  team spirit/bonding, defense of one's chosen team, taking sides, waving flags/banners.

as nationstates are to wars, sports are to men.  mind trance training.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 15:33 | 3369184 YC2
YC2's picture

I think you're going a little fAr there. Life is a competitive sport, and people are tribal. Professional sports at least channels it in a way tht is not (usually) destructive. you cant tell me warfare is a result of competitive sport. in the end, if you are a reasonable person there is little harm in taking sides and having fun watching talented people compete. If you are a tool, you are probably a tool no matter how you spend your time.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 16:02 | 3369285 Imminent Crucible
Imminent Crucible's picture

The very fact that you see life as a "sport" validates akak's argument.  I wonder how many prior generations would have adopted pro sports as a metaphor for life itself?

Caveman Zug: "Hey Ogg! Did it ever occur to you that life is just one long drawn-out basketball game?"

Caveman Ogg: "Not really, Zug. Survival depends more on co-operation that competition. Now help me get this sabertoothed tiger off my back, will ya?"

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 17:24 | 3369609 brettd
brettd's picture

With the pursuit of God verbotten, 

With the pursuit of cells and space requiring the discipline of math and science...

and the lure of "The Other" "The Creator" or "The Unknown" mocked, 

the masses entertain themselves with the easy/petty distractions

of sports/politics/race/sex/(investing).

Alas..."the masses" didn't explore the West in the 1850's, nor did 

they set sail in 1492.  

Why worry about them?

Mon, 03/25/2013 - 00:13 | 3371122 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

Because they vote? And because there are lots and lots of them, and they are all nine meals away from mob violence.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 16:02 | 3369287 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

Football, are you awake? This is April for God's sake!!


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:29 | 3368812 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 20:24 | 3370256 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:30 | 3368814 vinoverde
vinoverde's picture

A Jeremiad without a topic. The adjectives were beautiful, a few facts or even nouns would have been appreciated.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:46 | 3368865 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

"Taste, in the end, may dictate destiny."

Here is Jim's thesis. Reread please. 

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 23:24 | 3371006 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

There ARE powerful forces at work (STILL!)  Can Good exist without Evil?

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:49 | 3368875 Orly
Orly's picture

It's a a social observation.  You can't put that into a spreadsheet.

The author was just reminding us, in thoughtful fashion, that this is not the first time at the rodeo as evidenced by the anecdotes about Caligula's horse.  It has not ended well in the past- for them.

So if you don't have a pot to piss in, you're in great shape because there will be fall-out and you may collect the droppings if you're smart.  If you're doing okay, just do your best to hold what you got.  If you're in the global elite, your monkey-sphere is about to make dramtic changes. Above all, hug your kids and tell them scary stories at night.

I thought they were points very well made in an eloquent piece.


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:09 | 3368950 ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

Sad. Real though. I was attempting to explain present day circumstances to my oldest Son this morning. The 'meme' of corruption was paramount. These twisted fucks are corrupt to the point of causing me to feel shame regarding the fact that I share a species with them.


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 15:21 | 3369135 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

"a stitch in time." And upon this thread we weave. THIS time though...this time. Great article. Nothing is more certain than that we shall see what Monday brings...

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:52 | 3368884 NoTTD
NoTTD's picture

Still, as jeremiads go it was pretty cool.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:46 | 3368834 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

With over $700 trillion in derivatives and depositors at risk, global markets are fragile as ever.  Frugality will not help.  Frugality and fragility are fungible only in your fantasy.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 23:27 | 3371014 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Frugality will be foisted upon most of Humanity -- when is the only unknown...

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:41 | 3368849 falak pema
falak pema's picture

now why didn't I write that its just my style only more stylish! 

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:45 | 3368864 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

"..the global elites have displayed consistently worsening signs of decadence, psychopathic tendencies, and overall detachment from reality.."

it has always been there but not so visible...the rockefeller nazis murdered kennedy at high noon - this latest fiasco is simply a continuation of the world conquest started in earnest in 1963.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:46 | 3368868 centerline
centerline's picture

+1.  I have been saying for years that we have the mother of all bubbles going on here.  The elite are hedonistically delusional.  And the effects trickle down through the wealthy - most of which are more "off the reservation" than the average sheeple... which is completely frightening.

Reminds me on a Razor that I was recently made aware of... Hanlon's Razor... "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." 

I would follow up on this simple axiom that the stupidity here is driven by greed, and we are witnessing what happens when consequence comes to bear on such stupidity.  It turns to malice.  


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:03 | 3368924 espirit
espirit's picture

No fear prompts endless greed.  Let us see how St. Francis deals with this issue.

Boris was a start...

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:42 | 3369042 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

“If every time we choose a turd, society, at a great expense, simply allows us to redeem it for a pepperoni, then not only will we never learn to make smart choices, we will also surrender the freedom to choose, because a choice without consequences is no choice at all.”
Tom Robbins, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 16:21 | 3369336 ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

Free will.

What love is truly all about.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 16:24 | 3369347 ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

I wish that I could agree with you. If this farce is truly that...Stupidity made manifest, then lets laugh and be done with it. I suspect though that these things are not at all so innocent.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 23:28 | 3371018 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

"Whom Gods would destroy, they first drive to madness."

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:47 | 3368870 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

I think he's saying that Dianne Feinstein should wear a bridle.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:56 | 3368895 espirit
espirit's picture

Feinswine belongs in a sty.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:51 | 3368882 Jugdish
Jugdish's picture

Beiber had a meltdown at a hotel.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:53 | 3368887 glenlloyd
glenlloyd's picture

I'm reminded of a golden toilet owned by a ML exec....

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:59 | 3368912 centerline
centerline's picture

sadly your post reminded me of the joke about the golden diaphragm.  lol.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:55 | 3368890 ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

Glad I have a place to go where people make sense.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 13:56 | 3368899 centerline
centerline's picture

The watch is a "Gengis Khan" edition.  In your face sort of elitism at it's best folks.


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:00 | 3368915 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

The 'american' elite is servant to their master.

Part of their job is to be on the wrong side of the whip to divert the attention from their master's doings.
They get well paid for it, especially as the 'american' elite has the possibility to tip themselves.

And this gives this kind of articles when a member of the King class loads it all on the back of the servants.

The trouble is that the more the King class aka We The People aka the 'american' middle class deflect the blame on their servants, the more these servants tip themselves for taking undeserved blame.

Taking blame for the 'american' middle class is part of the job. But as a consequence, the more blame is taken, the more servants have to be paid. Part of the job and increase in workload is met by an increase in wage.

Welcome to an 'american' world.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:03 | 3368929 akak
akak's picture

Did you wipe after dumping that on the ZH roadside?

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:13 | 3368964 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

I disagree - you seem so obsessed by the perks and privileges of the middle class that you don't see the US elites, their foreign counterparts, their collective worldview and the effects of it, as only hinted in the article

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:16 | 3368978 akak
akak's picture

Ghordius, trying to argue, or even communicate, in any rational or logical fashion with this retarded and bigoted troll is pointless and impossible.  One can only laugh and shake their head at his raging and kneejerk anti-American prejudice, blaming his mythical "US 'american Citizenism citizens" for the innumerable flaws and faults of his own consumption-mad, blobbing-up Chinese society.  His psychological projection is textbook classic.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 15:24 | 3369146 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

"easy now. I hear he's REAL good."

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 16:10 | 3369310 Imminent Crucible
Imminent Crucible's picture

"The american elites are servants of We the People."

Go easy on this guy. He's a former Foxconn worker who jumped from the sixth floor onto his head, causing massive cranial trauma. He suffers from Cognitive Dyslexia, where every thought comes out backwards.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 21:16 | 3370451 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

Although most spiders are harmless, there are often surprising reasons for that! For instance the daddy-long-legs spider is actually the most venomous spider on earth, but its mouth/mandibles are too small to harm a human! Today, I saw a picture of a spider taken with a close-up camera--what a horrifying sight to see it's eight beady little eyes staring at you over those hairy lethal looking mandibles--truely something out of hell!

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:01 | 3368918 FoolsAdvice
FoolsAdvice's picture

Give this man a larger platform.


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:01 | 3368920 Super Broccoli
Super Broccoli's picture

damn i'm sure that horse would have done a better job managing this crisis than our politicians ...

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:16 | 3368971 scrappy
Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:26 | 3369006 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Great work, Jim.  I see these clowns in their secret service "bubbles", so impressed with themselves.

This too, shall pass.


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:30 | 3369019 piceridu
piceridu's picture

I used to be silent around friends and family but I finally had enough. The manufactured fear I created for myself is gone. I no longer give a shit to be politcally correct. I finally realized, whenever we refuse to stand up against wrongdoing we're actually supporting the status quo. I don't care if anyone is watching...I don't care if anyone is listening. I speak up for my sake not theirs.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 14:58 | 3369075 JR
JR's picture

“…and treat your children with the sympathy they deserve.  They are among the chief victims of our era’s unholy orgies of risk and corruption.” --  ‘Jim in MN’

Here, then, are the “perpetrators of tomorrow’s economic crises,” the children who will grow up to be blamed for the predicament that they find themselves in, the people who will have saved for their future, worked hard to build a dream, trusted the promises of their political leaders, only, in the end, to have new political leaders say: “You took too many risks; you wanted the high life; you over-consumed.”  It is they who will become the ‘boomers” and Germans of tomorrow – blamed for what the bankers and politicians confiscated; demonized if they dare ask to be recompensed for their seized labors, bailout losses and “loans.”

And all the while the real culprit will continue to transfer this blame -- the international banking families who own the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve System and control every piece of currency used throughout the western world.

These children, as their predecessors, will be led into economic slaughter and blamed for their own slaughter just as are current boomers and the industrious of Europe.

And, likewise, the low-informed will join in the blame of those frugal individuals who wanted only to be left free to pursue with their labors and principles the possible dream as promised and established by the Founders.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 15:05 | 3369094 U4 eee aaa
U4 eee aaa's picture

It was horses then. Today it is Foo Foo the rottypoo

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 15:39 | 3369211 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Time to take down the NWO for crimes of treason within each country they ran their operations in. Gandhi was quite successful when Briton had been run out of money by the war. This is a Financial war. This will be a financial freedom. This is the rise of the individual for peace and prosperity. No more Central Planners. We have technology.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 16:14 | 3369317 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

F**K the technology!! That is what has allowed the PTB to wreak havoc and institute the very systems that we are suffering under at present, Wake up and quit twiddling the bits...Twiddle a couple of bits here and there and you just created QE1, 2, etc.,


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 16:28 | 3369354 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

Do you apply that same thinking to the second amendment debate?  I'm just curious.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 17:03 | 3369505 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

I'm not sure how the 2nd Amendment applies to technological thievery being implemented by the NWO? Please help me to understand your point. In my way of thinking, technology is the natural progression of working smarter not harder. However, where the banksters have taken it with the tacit approval of the .gov, has left us with only the 2nd Amendment as the last line of defense to protect society as a whole against the tyrannical use of technology.


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 16:31 | 3369368 baja canada
baja canada's picture

Ted Kaczynski was right.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 16:04 | 3369290 vincent
vincent's picture

Fine piece Jim.

My sibling was not part of the Elite, but enjoyed privilege, and her indifference toward the struggles of the honest and decent was sickening.

She is currently experiencing her own rude awakening.

Now all her shit are belong to other miserable excuses for human beings.

Kharma ladies and gents...


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 16:08 | 3369300 AllWorkedUp
AllWorkedUp's picture

Frugality or fragility? Maybe the question ought to be 5.56 or 7.62.

Time is getting short.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 16:24 | 3369346 seek
seek's picture

I wonder which terror is more frightening: when the FSA has their EBT fail to work, or when the elites' Amex black card gets declined.

One of these two sets of people is far more fragile than the other, and I think far more prone resorting to illegal measures to maintain their lifestyle. I leave it to the reader to puzzle out which group that might be. (One hint, though: it isn't the middle class, as they're screwed by both sides.)

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 16:41 | 3369357 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

Nice one Jim. 

The tastes of the tasteless distil to fragility defined as elegance gets the nasty in an orgy of fashionably classless crassness.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 16:51 | 3369432 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture


Frugality can only exist so long as life is fragile. Any prosperity leads to a relaxation is conservatism and the promotion of progressive ideals that tend to ultimately undermine those principles which brought about the prosperity in the first place. Human nature is such that we inevitably seek out the easiest path, which also inevitably leads to fiction overpowering fact, as maximum profits will always be generated through the fraud that marketing such fictions always creates. We have demonstrated repeatedly the tendency to accept the desirable lie over the undesirable truth which always leads us to where we are today. The sad part is that virtually everyone KNOWS the truth from fiction but so many live the lie regardless and always manages to be the most surprised when reality finally imposes itself. While I am no collectivist, as a society, if we refuse to accept that our individual actions ultimately determine the outcome of the whole, then we truly are living the life of delusion. It is maddening that so many know what it takes to survive and prosper yet willing defy it in pursuit of unknown and ill-defined objectives….happiness.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 17:00 | 3369487 skipjack
skipjack's picture

I can't believe you all agree with Jim in his quote of Chrystia Freeland that the so-called TBTF  "elites" are the inhabitants of Galt's Gulch.  Far from it - the elites are in the upper position simply and solely because they have subverted/bought government for their own benefit.  They are using taxpayers a their slaves and they get away with it, because tapayers are laying down for it.

The "elites" are the Jim Taggarts of Atlas Shrugged, not Gulch residents.

Sheesh folks, some critical thinking is in order.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 20:06 | 3370177 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

She said it is their FANTASY.  But, critically think away by all may be the most endangered trait of all.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 17:08 | 3369537 dunce
dunce's picture

The "tap on the shoulder" back during the time of terror during the French revolution was from the rope being released that held the guillotine blade up. There is a time and a place for such things. These are"i am the law" people of, so far, unlimited privilege. The time has come to talk of many things.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 21:26 | 3369633 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

Poetic writing in the article above! While it was enjoyable to read, I would expect our reality to be much worse, since those elites now are sitting on top of technologies trillions of times more powerful, and are working towards robots replacing people. "The super-elite" ARE working towards being able to "exist without the wider community." 

My view is that most people do NOT adapt much. This article begins by saying that "The hallmark of human nature is adaptability." Actually, what happened was more that the survivors adapted, while most others were destroyed, and went extinct. Nature allows adaptability, and that enables the best long-term survival rates. Human beings have been bad weather animals, who were forced to adapt, over and over again, by climate changes. However, I believe that most of them did not, but rather died instead.

That is what I mainly expect within the foreseeable future, only amplified trillions of times by technologies. The vast majority of people act like Zombie Sheeple. They are NOT going to adapt. They are going to be destroyed. Only a few will survive, and those survivors will be seen to have been adaptable. Therefore, I even more agree with the view that "treat your children with the sympathy they deserve.  They are among the chief victims of our era’s unholy orgies of risk and corruption."

The history of science is like our politics today manifested the most intensely. Most people do NOT adapt by accepting new ideas, until long after those ideas became regarded as taken for granted, or then as obvious. Young people are more able to learn to accept new ideas. Older people tend to die before they do. The real history of adaptability tends to be like many philosophers have said, namely, valid new ideas tend to be ignored, then ridiculed, then attacked, until finally, they are accepted as if they were always so. Most people are NOT going to adapt, except in ways that are too little, too late. More than 99% of the people will continue to act like Zombie Sheeple. More than 99% of the people are not prepared. The small groups who have attempted to prepare could not actually do so, because nobody can predict the future sufficiently, especially since nature going nuts will coincide with civilization going crazy.

Indeed, one of the most astonishing ways that human history has looped around back on itself is that not only did bad weather drive human evolution, but also, the insane ruling classes currently appear to be engaged in rampant deliberate creation of bad weather, which will drive the feedback of human evolution even faster. I find it hard to wrap my head around the ways that it appears to be true that some human beings are covertly engaged in modifying the weather, in ways which they can not possibly know the longer term consequences of doing. The greatest risks are with respect to things which we find almost impossible to assign an economic value to, since we take them for granted. Covert weather modifications, done through psychotic "national security," appear to me to be endangering future generations in ways which are beyond our abilities to estimate.

Since our whole society is based on the triumphs of the ruling classes being able to control governments, in order to enforce Huge Lies, and therefore, almost everything we are doing is based on believing in Lies, the real future is wildly unpredictable. These days, one can NOT trust organizations like NASA, etc., to tell the public anything remotely close to what might be the truth. The same as one has to try to figure out the economic systems by reading between the lines of lies, attempting to understand our real ecologies is even more beset with astronomically amplified deceits.

Anyway, I appreciated the great writing in that article above, but, as usual, I find its estimate of how bad things are, or will become, orders of magnitude short of what I now tend to believe is the case ...


Nuclear Disaster: 2 yrs of Fukushima w/ Leuren Moret ... - YouTube
Thank you RadChick (ichicax4) for the continued work on the Fukushima disaster . http ...


Nuked 2 yrs of Fukushima w_ Leuren Moret part 2 - YouTube
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Nuked Radio Special w/ Leuren Moret Part 4: Mutations in Plants, Animals & Humans ...

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 23:50 | 3371075 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

I would remind everyone here about the airline's instructions re:  Oxygen masks --

Place your oxygen mask over your own face BEFORE attempting to help small children or others in need of assistance.  There are valid reasons WHY this passed through international agreement(s).

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 18:10 | 3369761 css1971
css1971's picture

The problem is everyone is different.

Say I want a pizza with tuna. It's worth $10 to me. To you, that pizza probably isn't worth $10, you don't like tuna or would rather have deep pan. But the pizza has already been made, the only way $10 changes hands for that pizza is if I'm the one buying it.

So all these assets we have; houses, properties, boats and so on. Their value... It's only real to the buyer. When it comes time to pay the debts the fact that the staircase is teak is going to knock 30% off the value for the next guy.

The numbers on the books representing any asset? Total fantasy. The debts, ain't ever getting paid, and the bigger they are, the harder they fall. The only way this ends is bankruptcy and debt repudiation on an epic scale, and the dirty tricks are already well under way.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 18:23 | 3369796 NuYawkFrankie
NuYawkFrankie's picture

Re But that would require (that the Financiall Oligarchs have)  truly colossal noses. 


Sun, 03/24/2013 - 18:41 | 3369851 akak
akak's picture

Hmmm ..... I didn't realize that the financial oligarchs are French.

But that would nicely explain Gerard Depardieu's move to Russia.

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 19:22 | 3369995 hannah
hannah's picture

Fagility - The agile ability of a man of homosexual orientation. Most commonly associated with how long a man can pound another man's asshole before tiring.

urban dictionary....the ability of the central bankers to pound the ass of the sheeple....seems right up there with frugality and fragility.

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