Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Bad Start

They were drinking lattes al fresco in London yesterday and, in New York, it's spring. Global warming is happening and we're sneering about Blair's holiday plans. The Home Office celebrated the end of holiday festivities with the news that it has lost track of murderers and rapists. Meanwhile, marshalling my vast resources of geopolitical wisdom, I am finally ready to issue my New Year world report: we're screwed. Russia has decided to restart the Cold War using energy supplies. Israel is, of course, planning to nuke Iran. Iran will then, backed by Russia, destroy the world's energy markets. Iraq is going badly and will go no better with 20,000 more US troops, whatever the so-called 'anti-surgency' experts say. In Afghanistan, the Taleban are back in action. An assault on Somalia may or may not have hit terrorist targets, but, after the catastrophically inept Rumsfeld-led invasion and occupation of Iraq, it is hard to believe it went according to plan. That is the worst news of all. Throughout my life I have gratefully accepted America as the guarantor of my freedom. But now she is weakened by her own poor judgment and incompetence. US strategy has become unfathomable even to one as intuitively sympathetic as me. So here we are. The New Year is ten days old and 2007 is already looking like a really bad idea. On the bright side, you can still buy my book and the new Apple phone looks pretty cool. Straws were made for clutching at.


  1. Byran, spurred on by your dire prognostications, I am quickly drafting a short pamphlet for publication. My preliminary title is "How to live through 2007 (or probably not): The same old story, but a lot, lot worse." If it sells well, I might retire to the North Pole - I believe the weather is quite good there now and it isn't too touristy.

  2. Doesn't the hypothesis that these people directing world affairs are actually bad in intent, satisfy the facts in an immeasurably greater way than the idea that they are good in intent but that they keep screwing things up in an incredible way.
    Bad meant in what might be seen as bad for humanity as a whole rather than possibly good for some strange power-mad controlling elites. Just one idea, didn't European fascism have its moment in the sun as a result of the power brokers bringing about WW1, the collapse of the German economy etc? So for some, good can most certainly result from extremely bad, where the masses will accept virtually any form of tyranny if it gives them the strong leadership which rescues them from chaos.
    While I've touched on it, WW1-there was an interesting arena of slaughter for a few years. Quite why it happened I can't really fathom. Something to do with a small group of friends not being friends with another group of friends and maybe somebody from one group insulting one of the other group. Or something. Good, sound reasons anyway whatver they were.

  3. You no longer have to worry about getting eaten by a bear; they're eating each other.

    Detectives Beyond Borders
    "Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

  4. You have it all wrong Bryan;

    Global warming is nice if you live in the UK. Soon we will have pleasant weather all year round. No need to worry about sea levels rising. The dutch have dykes that hold out the sea at more than 6 metres which is as high as it can ever go. I am sure we can afford these.

    The loss of mureders and rapists will provide copy for you throughout the year.

    Russia's energy game will inspire us to get fusion power or wave or wind together and so in the long run is a good thing. Gas prices have actually fallen massively this year.

    Maybe Israel will attack Iran; but we cna rejoice in them being competent agressors and so actually get the job done successfully.

    We will withdraw from Iraq and lots of our troops will be united with their families.

    The warlords are on the run in Somalia and it is no thanks to America. A global apocalypse is not going to emergre from the horn of africa.

    However, I can't afford your book and that does worry me. Also Apple may come to dominate mobile phones with their sleek, expensive gadgets that don't work and are incompatible with everything else; that worries me too.

  5. Message from the islands: "Don't worry, be happy."

    A historian once told me, people in every era believe their own time is the worst and that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, will be blown up, riven by sectarian strife, wiped out by a virus, annihilated by the Inquisitor, the Nazi, the jihadist (insert your own era's dictator or terrorist or oppressor). But, guess what? We're still struggling on.....

    And that means....Don't worry, be happy.

  6. Well, Bryan, when you put it like that....

  7. The warm weather is supposedly because of El Nino, not global warming.

    A recent USA Today poll said that 1 in 4 Americans believe that the Second Coming will occur in 2007. I think Bush is one of the "1 in 4".

  8. The comments on this blog are getting dafter and dafter.

    Bryan, what on earth have you got to despair about? All the things you mention are based on suppositions and hypotheses which may or may not prove to be right. I presume you are doing fine, materially at least - and I bet you are better off (again materially) than you would have been if you had lived at any time in the history of the world. Are you not guilty of failing to live a day at a time (sufficient unto the day...) and failing to consider the lilies of the field. And aren't you expressing some spiritual (dare I also say existential) angst unique to our self-indulgent age. I wonder if you shouldn't try to get some perspective on things.