Archive for the ‘The Enslaving Mammal, Miscellaneous’ Category

The Son Of Man Came Eating™ And Drinking©

When agriculture was invented, there was something important that failed to happen. Namely, the first farmer neglected to take out a patent that protected her intellectual property in Wheat™ and prohibited anyone else growing it unless licensed by her and paying her royalties. The disincentive to research and development was probably responsible for the unconscionable […]

On Needing Your Bed Opened

Once upon a time I was staying at my first five-star hotel and wondering why the maid was obliged to make a second visit to my room in order to “open the bed”, as they called it, or turn it down as Brits would say. Out of sheer curiosity I enquired at the front desk […]

Two Modest Proposals

The geriatric crisis in the Western World is far from insoluble; given that the whole thrust of the twenty-first century appears to be enserfment, all that the corporations need to do is assign a sufficient number of suitable slaves to the personal care and nursing of their rich stockholders and retired executives. These domestic slaves’ […]

Situations Vacant: Deaf Chimps

What most people remember about Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times is the vicious satire of Taylorism – an ideology that underpinned both capitalist America and the Soviet Union. People remember the actor being passed through the giant cogwheels, and they remember the banana-feeding machine. The colour-screen address by the boss, science-fictional at the time, they have […]

Trademarking Fodder Itself

From Robert Musil’s magnum opus I picked up the fact that late-Habsburg Vienna had a product called “Benger’s Food”. I later saw an old drawing of an imagined Kumasi in Ghana before and after colonialist enlightenment; instead of being almost naked and doing nothing in particular, almost the entire population stood in a long line […]

The Enslaving Mammal, Fortune Cookies

One of the truths that humanity expends a lot of energy disguising is that all economies are actually kleptocracies. People may talk like Rand of “trading” between equals, but the real bottom line is extraction. The ruling African metaphor is “eating”, and eating is not a trade. If anyone thinks that servants do not require […]