News connections and current agendas = food for features

Thank goodness

Adam Curtis is back again on the BBC which means there is some real thinking going on on the telly again.


Here is the link to the iplayer version streamed by the BBC that, I believe, won’t play in the United States – the same place which, ironically, is exactly where Mr Curtis’ work needs to be seen.

It’s hard to recommend that people should watch this as it is, in fact, so dense in places it needs to be watched twice.  But it is that good – twice it is.  Curtis again uses his cold war information film technique as he skips through and carefully selects his modern history. He gracefully draws the link between an American obsession with ‘justified self-interest’ as expounded by Ayn Rand in “Atlas Shrugged” and used as a social template by Alan Greenspan -to the policies of Clinton’s administration, leading to the collapse of the Indonesian and east Asian economies, impoverishing the East, tempting the 9.11 attacks, and how it culminated in the 2008 crash as America fooled itself that it’s economy was stable because it was driven by computers – when it was really China freezing their own currency to drive down prices and flood the American market with goods, using the dollars they gained, not to invest in their own economy but buy US bonds. The stability of the US ecomomy drove riskier and riskier atittudes until the system imploded… oh but there is a conspiracy of the elite financiers trying to save themselves behind it all.  Watch. Enjoy. Think.
Someone has kindly serialised it on YouTube:

Ayn Rand got a stamp of disapproval


Storm – Tim Minchin

This is brilliantly funny poem which just reminds me I’m not alone in my scepticism.

Don’t bank on it…

Of course banks have always encouraged the use of the word “bank” as a by-word for security, rather than something an aeroplane does suddenly when it loses a wing and is shortly about to crash to earth in a ball of flames.  Nor did the meaning of the word as the thing that you slip on as you tumble into a river have much relevence – until this week.

Of course some people always knew banks were dangerously insecure places; the residents of the West Bank, the sleepers of the South Bank and the poor women who work at Hoares.

Then to top it all you think you’ve got your money safe, invested in a bit of art, when suddenly not even a Banksy can be safely called a Banksy.  According to his official spokesman last week, announcing the shocking news, there are, other people also performing the exclusive and highly skilled art form known as grafitti.  In the time it takes to read a press release he wiped half the value off the Sotheby’s trading floor.

I had the awkward experience of accepting a cheque from someone yesterday only to find that, though the cheque was fine, the bank had bounced.

Safe as houses, safe as the Bank of England, not likely – the bums gone to Iceland.