Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Pecuniary Benefits of Boyish Charm.

I was thinking tonight that I’ve never been any good at making deals. In that respect at least, I’m traditionally English. The English traditionally don’t do deals. We set a fair price for something (cost + a modest profit) and then you either buy it or you don’t. But that’s the traditional way. Now we’re into the post Branson era. (Virgin this, Virgin that, vergin’ on the greed is good.)

Branson is a sort of British Donald Trump, but with added boyish charm. We would never tolerate anything as averagely entrepreneurial as a Donald Trump becoming a celebrity over here, but add boyish charm and you’re made.

Branson has been ripping the British public off for years. He must have been, mustn’t he, otherwise he wouldn’t be a multi-billionaire. If you’re a multi-billionaire, it means you must have been charging far more for your goods and services than you needed to in order to make an income commensurate with your time and effort. In other words, more than they were worth. I suppose that’s why they gave him a knighthood. Oh no, the reason they gave him a knighthood was because he went around boyishly charming everybody into thinking that ‘Blair is good, or God, or something like that.’

I dislike entrepreneurial multi-billionaires, especially when they're also celebrities. They smell of something unpalatable.

I’m in a bad mood.


Anonymous said...

I'm trying to find something worthwhile to say, but such a sentiment eludes me.

Have a song instead:


It's a good song for bad moods; I like to sing it when I feel mournful.

JJ Beazley said...

Later, after midnight. Bandwidth restrictions, you know. I suppose I could always save it for Greenland and hear it then.

JJ Beazley said...

Nice song, but doesn't it make you even more mournful? Tell you what: you bring the cello and I'll bring a guitar. I could just about manage that.

Nice to see there's still a soulful lady behind the barrier.

Anonymous said...

Not really. It exorcises the melancholy.

My cello playing is very poor. Could I just sing it?

P.S. The soulful lady will always be there. If she's not, it means the shadows have won.

JJ Beazley said...

Sara defeated by shadows? Doubt it, somehow.

'The shadow as a form of reality' is a favourite musing point of mine.

OK, you sing. I've heard it said that the human voice is the best musical instrument anyway.

Anonymous said...

Never. ;)

An engaging musing point. Tell me more?

If you use an instrument well and play with your heart, any and all are the best!

JJ Beazley said...

When I first saw this comment, I only saw the first line and thought that's all there was. Sorry.

Shadows: Well, it started with the realisation that shadows are two-dimensional, and we're programmed to think that only three-dimensional things are 'real.' Shadows, therefore, aren't real, and yet we see them. The obvious answer is that they're real in a perceptual sense, but not in a solid sense. The same could be said of ideas, stories and reflections. The next level down is to ask the question: 'Can something which isn't physical, which isn't made of atoms, be said to exist?' In one sense, no. So then you get into semantics. What does 'exist' mean? Back to existentialism, I'm afraid. 'I can see a shadow, so it's there.' OK.

On the subject of the voice as a musical instrument, have you ever heard Lisa Gerrard? Her lower register is amazingly rich. Listen to this if you want to.


This is the piece I want playing at my funeral, and I want the crowd/audience/congregation/mourners or whatever you want to call them to sit still for 8 minutes and BLOODY WELL LISTEN!

If you prefer, you could have a giggle at this instead:


Anonymous said...

Hmm, well...

I enjoyed seeing the progression of your thought processes and would tend to agree with you in all aspects. Logical, you are. I value that.

I was thinking of shadow in more metaphorical terms; negative people and events cast dark shadows on the psyche sometimes. But if you regard them similarly to what you said, that shadows are real in a perceptual sense, it makes it seem like a small(er) feat to dispel them.

I HAVE heard Lisa Gerrard. If Galadriel could sing, I imagine her sounding like L.G. I know the first song you posted. It's probably my favorite thing she's voiced.

And thank you for the second video! I LOVED that episode. Actually, I loved them all.

JJ Beazley said...

Being mostly logical but also a little mad can be troublesome at times. Somebody once said of my stories that I go to great lengths to rationalise magic. Can't help it, I'm afraid. Maybe a fault.

I know what you mean by the metaphorical sense. The shadow can be a useful metaphor for the darker side of perception.

Never thought of Galadriel in that context. (Muse: Galadriel singing at my funeral?) Nice thought.

Anonymous said...

Tolkien once commented that a key aspect of fantasy writing is making magic a real, believable aspect of the setting. So perhaps your rationalizations are an extension of this thought and not a fault at all.

Galadriel singing at your funeral feels suitable. You sort of remind me of someone who should be a resident of Middle Earth. That sounds rather childish, but I'll leave it anyway.

JJ Beazley said...

I always thought of my rationalisations as being a kind of embarrassed apology. You know, '...although I give credence to a belief in the little folk, I haven't actually gone away with them yet.' But wasn't it Einstein who said something like '90% of what people call common sense is just what they've been taught to believe by the age of fourteen?' I don't have much difficulty being both a fantasist and a rationalist at the same time. As I see it, it's just a matter of accepting that we don't know everything there is to know yet.

I AM a resident of Middle Earth. I'm not good enough for the upper level, but the company you have to keep down below gives me the willies most of the time.

JJ Beazley said...

I just realised that the last comment sounds more arrogant than I meant it to. I didn't mean to imply that I'm any better than the generality of people, but simply incompatible with most of them.

Anonymous said...

People SHOULD be some mix of the fantasist and rationalist. To be so is to be in a state of equilibrium. I find it freeing to accept the mysteries of the Universe. I'm just a small being who goes about her small life of little consequence. Grandiose notions of self are not something I like to entertain.

It didn't, really. I feel the same. I play the game when I have to and am actually getting good at it. But that doesn't mean I hate it any less.

Hmm. Maybe we're both arrogant. :p

JJ Beazley said...

See? I keep telling people I'm in a state of equilibrium, but they still give me funny looks.

Anonymous said...

Eh, let 'em.