A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
Here in isolation, we’re all finding creative ways to cope with social distancing. I’ve started talking to the telemarketers. Charlie from One World TechCom is nice; he just had a baby. So, the world keeps turning. Here are just a few things that happened this week.
A couple of days ago, supply outstripped demand and the price of crude oil fell below zero. Let me give that to you again – BELOW ZERO. In other words, oil companies were paying people to cart the stuff away. One wonders how the international markets handled this. After all, oil has been the price of doing business on this planet since the Saudis first held us hostage back in 1973. (Shoe’s on the other foot now, huh, Salman?) I can’t wait until Samsung starts giving away a free barrel of oil with every purchase of a big screen TV.
Travellers in Canada are now required to wear masks in airports and on all flights – foreign and domestic. Hold it! I can’t go across the street to get my hair cut because it’s a non-essential journey, and somebody is jetting off to somewhere because … Why? Where could they possibly be going? For God sake, the entire planet’s closed — except the factories in Wuhan, China. And, trust me, you can get any of the junk they’re manufacturing delivered from Amazon.
And speaking of China, Missouri is suing China because they allege the Chinese government willfully “lied to the world and silenced whistleblowers” about Covid-19. Good luck with that! Folks! You’re suing a country that has a couple of million Muslims in re-education camps, has armed troops all over Tibet, kicks the crap out of Hong Kong protesters every weekend, threw a Nobel Prize winner in jail and regularly conducts organ transplants where the Falun Gong donors are not notified. I doubt very much if a subpoena from the Show Me state is going to carry any weight.
Chutzpah has a new World Champion. Apparently, Sir Richard Branson, the Grand Poobah of Virgin Everything, is in financial difficulties. His various airlines are going broke. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that Branson has offered his private Caribbean island, Necker, as collateral for a $500 million UK government loan. This is a dire situation. However, let’s review the facts. Forbes estimates Sir Richard’s net worth is somewhere north of 5 billion dollars. He doesn’t pay any tax on it cuz he lives in the Virgin Islands where he moved a couple of years after he was convicted of tax evasion. He owns everything with a Virgin label on it and has enough money to build a spaceship (LauncherOne.) That’s right! A spaceship! However, he figures that to keep all this going, he needs UK taxpayers to pony up some big bucks. Hey, Dick! Here’s an idea: use some of your own money and bail yourself out — that’s what the rest of us are doing.