Mental Kolonization: The New, ‘New World invasion’

The Colonization of the Mind:


Never mind 1492: konsider 2018….
Mr. Z meets Kongress


In the fictional world that I have invented: and about which I am currently writing, circa 2037, an anomaly that did not exist before 2011 is remedied. As a result the concept of universal income in our reversion to a pre-industrial era neo-cottage services based economy, has become a reality.


However it is not something ‘given’ for ‘free’’ by the/ or even a/ State organisation… The era of centralized control we have known for the past few centuries rapidly disintegrates under the trend to quantum computing; linked to blockchains [aka distributed ledgers] & crypto currencies. Not to mention a host of corresponding trends and developments as yet as undiscovered: as was DATA at the teenage dawning of the era.


Universal Income becomes a concept based on trillions of micro payments, moving from businesses like Facebook [et al] to data owners, and back…. Creating a virtuous circle of satisfactions where the idea that Governments control all things: is as historical an idea as the one that says happiness is the destiny of humanity.


The future is a decentralized one.


Konfederacy rulz.


Pragmatically this has to happen: in order to sustain what is rapidly evolving into a globally, services based, AI dominated, robotically moved economy.


In that place to which we
Are
Evolving [in my fictional world,
Anyway]
at
Breakneck speed, a majority of
Ordinary people does not
[Apparently] have the com
Petence to do any
Thing more complex than
Shop: and mutter
OMG.



The following piece of abstraction, disguised as poetic form, had a curiously viral progression in that past before 2037… through the annals of day to day existance: and slowly allowed the idea of liberation to filter into conciousness.


The Mind as the New world


We are witness now to what will
In decades to come, be seen as
A most momentous moment: in
The brief history of homo
Sapiens sapiens.
We are witness to
And participants in: the kolo
Nization of the mind.


When we [humans] colonized
[Allegedly empty] land
Back in the 15th cent
Ury; assuming everyone already
Living there
To be irrelevant to
Purpose
Mainly because they were
Undocumented, unlettered and
Innumerate
Primitives. We
[The invaders] simply
Appropriated the land and
Its bounty:
As we had done for
Thousands of years. This bounty
Became a cost
Free
Windfall
[Almost: unearned].


For instance, plundering
Entire mountains of silver in
South
America: bounty; from which
Inordinate profits could
Be generated: with little
Or no regard for
The source.


The most fascinating aspect of the recent interrogation of Mr. Z
Uckerburg by the Congress of the
Firmian elites… Senators and Representatives
Alike
Was the latter persons’ complete incomp
Rehension at the scale of what had
Happened: while they had been busy
Ruminating
On perennial peccadillo’s.


There was a disconcerting sense of
The time machine. Here was
Cortez meeting the
Aztec royalty, who were
Baffled
At this predicted even
Anticipated yet
Unexpected
Arrival.


Mysterious people, with
Serious intentions: and powerful,
Incomprehensible machinery. Then… whoops
Before they could say SH*T!! … They were in
History’s garbage bag.


In effect, the worthy Congresspersons became as one with the beguiled “Natives”, of many colonized lands: faced with the incomprehensible.


Therefore, they trotted
Out their
Memes and
Things; and each, thinking ‘stomach’
First, asked all the
Questions regarding the inhe
Rent trivia of Mr.
Z’s offence.


Not one
However of that
Kolektion of [apparently] f
Undamentally out of touch
Human’s e
Ven got to grips with the
Kore of the
Dilemma: facing their konstituents.


A Tji-Nyanees participant in a Davos debate
Earlier this year, spoke
Of a Grey Rhino effect, which
He explained represented
“Something so huge it completely
Obscured
The screen”.


The Grey Rhino here is
The word
DATA
And the
Kolonisation of the mind
That it represents.


Naturally the more cynical
Amongst us
May argue that ignoring
The grey rhino is essential to
The continuation
Of their pleasure: which
At heart concerns the Kolonisation of the mind.


Of course that would assume they understood what was happening.


What does this mean?


Simply this. Using the language of
Mr. Adam Smith…. He,
Famously, of The Wealth
Of Nations… Mr. Z
Uckerburg [and
His illustrious peers]
are the most
Successful kolonizers of all
Time.


According to
The hype surrounding the man’s
Recent forage around the
Firmian Capitol’ he gains some 25
Billion dollars of
[Profit] annually from
Some 40 Billion $US
Revenue. In a competitive
World of
Razor thin margins that is beyond
HUGE.


The revenue comes from companies
That use the data given
So f
Reely by the b
Illions of
Users of his
‘Machine’.


They use the
Insights it presents to target
Prospects for product
Purchases, more efficiently
Than ever known.
Inherently, this means that, like
The Konquista
Dors, who found mountains
Of silver back in the 16th
Century; appropriated it from naïve
Possessors: like those
Who purchased Manhattan: for bags of
Beads; and
Achieved great
WEALTH.


Mr. Z [et al] have achieved a similar,
Inherently
‘Unearned income’. They are
The
El Supremo
Rentiers.


When Mssrs. Smith and
Ricardo talked of ‘Economic
Rent’, they were referring
To this windfall effect


Resulting from control over the product
Of a natural resource.


In this case, data
Emanating from a human
Source: the ultimate in a natural
Resource.


It also took about a hundred and
Fifty years then: for the penny
To drop too.


We hope the penny will drop
sooner, for humans
today or the rest
of the century could get seriously
rough: especially for those
absently
left behind.


Jerome Powell [new chairman of the Firmian Federal Reserve,] admitted
something in his opening salvo with
the same group of kongresspersons, earlier
this year;
that “The Slack”, to which he made constant
reference when justifying the
continuing,
no inflation trend
of the past decade:


In spite of allegedly: full employment
Conditions in Firmia.


“The Elliot curve is cracked,” they call…
“The mob in here, are all


In thrall to


The slack,” he said: “beyond the Wall”:


The
Fifty million people across the
World
Living daily off the Web… who
Are an almost infinite
Resource
at wage levels way below
Those of the Firmian
Norms.


No one
Has ever admitted that before:
Publically.


So in building Facebook Mr. Z’s true
genius lay in solving
one of humanities greatest
needs… to be in sharing kontakt
with one’s fellows
And
through the power of
digitalization he [and all
the rest of the merry
band of tech’ dudes]
invented
The thing called
DATA… symbolically
Packaging James Surowieki’s: “Wisdom
of Crowds”. Hence


The DATA then… becomes the new
‘Goldfields’ now and the
Klondike rush is being relived: as they
ALL
Kapitalize on the window of
Oppor
Tunity by ‘mone
Tizing’ his “free” source
Of ‘data’.


And as with the Silver
Exchanges of past time glory
No mention in the exchange pays rent
to the source.


No wonder the planet is all messed up
And getting hotter by the day


As the greatest beneficiary of “unearned
Income”
in history, the
Question the Kongresspersons should
Have been asking, related to that share of
Unearned income [i.e. Economic
Rent]
that should be returning
To source, rewarding
Loyalty work
Presently
Given freely: in order
To sustain
And maintain their
Ability to keep feeding
The machine.


!NiK[‘18]


To all my fellow Jedi’s “May de Forth be wid ya”

Our Invisible friend

Over the weekend I caught the tail end of a BBC interview with an Iraqi Jewish American artist, Michael Rakowitz, who has had an impressive piece of artwork assembled; and mounted on an historically vacant, fourth plinth, on London’s Trafalgar Square.


The artwork is a retrospective reproduction of a vandalized ‘Lamassu’: [“a Winged bull and protective deity”] that stood for 2800 years at the gates of Nineveh, awaiting the eventual arrivals, of the new barbarians, in the form of Daesh: now rebuilt from the detritus and discarded leftovers of modernity.


He calls it “The invisible enemy should not exist.”


The interviewer, Stephen Sackur, asked if his work had a political meaning, and was he therefore a ‘political’ artist since he couldn’t truly be a ‘commercial’ artist. According to Mr Sackur’s Q sheet, much of what he did was not saleable, reproducible, or scalable: or whatever the current re-interpretation of ‘commercial’ is.


In his answer, he indicated that he was an artist, who worked with his interpretation of his milieu, and therefore there would be an inevitable ‘political’ stream in the back-story. [Personally, I do suspect his Lamassu is infinitely scalable and reproducible, but that is not relevant to my point here]


His answer though caused me to pause and ask myself the same question. Am I a commercial writer of commercially satisfying stories that I aim to put in a place where their scalability will enable some form of remuneration… yes? OR. Am I an artist, in the vein of the late New York Jazz pianist Cecil Taylor………..described as a “visionary pianist” in the NY Daily News, and referred to in a different, earlier BBC newscast, as a person who followed his own path? As obviously does the Iraqi Jewish American artist Mr.Rikowitz …………


I was unable to arrive at a conclusion to that: considering myself a simple working class wordsmith. I am also not certain that most people would consider a poet to be an artist.


Nonetheless, I did have to concede that, on two levels, at least I am a completely ‘political’ writer. My evolving Azanian Quartet has two specific political purposes. I am going to share one of them with you now. I’m doing this because today is possibly the most auspicious opportunity that exists, for the human race to ascertain, that it discount’s the late Stephen Hawking’s gloomy prediction: that we would be lucky [the human race] to emerge intact from the 21st century.


I am referring to that glorious entrepreneur, Mr. Zuckerberg’s immanent Congressional Hearings … and the immensely elusive opportunity those hearings present for constructing a solution, to what is already, and going to be even more of, a problem of immense magnitude, by the time we reach the part of my quartet that is set in 2037.


I refer to the inevitable specter of mass scale, long-term structural unemployment, for which we have to create a remedy, that contributes to growth and developments, rather than subtracting from it. Currently everything being suggested is regressive.


My remedy, and #1 political issue of choice, was to identify and provide a viable [fictional] solution for this problem in the future. That remedy I called BASIC PAY: is now more popularly called: Universal Income.


I was always intrigued, as a life long ‘nonprofessional’ reader of science fiction: Asimov, Heinlein, Bester et al, by a particular feature of science based fiction writing. This was the use of the term “credits”, when the text called, somewhere, for how people lived in the future [now arriving at speed] They always spent ‘credits’… And since Credits suggested debt how did they pay for the debt?


What are these ‘credits’, I would ask me… where do they come from: and how are they financed? [Declaratory Note: I am not a scientist, I am part of an educator class of financial economist with a bent towards the history thereof and who writes poetry, because it ‘happens’.]


So: in many ways, my entertainment podcast, prose poetic cyber serial, The Jonker Memorandum, exists to provide that answer [as a by-product to telling you what I hope is a cool story]. I call it “Basic Pay”. After many years basic pay is now gaining traction as “Universal Income’: and as such has featured in the current political agenda’s of at least half a dozen countries, and is being punted by such glorious entrepreneurs as Mssrs: Gates and Musk. The problem however remains: how is it financed?


In the cyber serial, my solution of choice was the Transaction Levy [aka Tax]. However: that was then. And it is also on the subtraction side of our growth equation. That was though, before the tech revolution gave us DATA… and me: a writer of fiction, the new Tilling fields that yield the “New Gold”. Something Mr. Zuckerberg has so deftly demonstrated: and regrettably, so brutally abused. DaTA is/are the “New Goldfields”.


So the message that Mr. Z’ and the rest of the new tech ‘Wunderkinde’ should be getting from the Congress is simply this… Their discovery of the power inherent in DATA, contains and illustrates the legitimacy of ‘Universal Income’. Billions of people are contributing quadrillions of Data measures daily for remunerative algorithmic exploration which thus provides the basis for a complete reinvention of fundamental economics. Yes: i shall invoke such an extreme statement


Currently Mr. Z and his Silicon cohorts are implicitly [with no offence] the greatest slave-owners in human history. In the same way however that Spotify [for instance] pays a kontribution to each kontributor from each access, so too must those who ‘slave’ to provide content to the marvelous inventions of Mr. Z’s [and the rest] receive a similar contribution…. I.e. It is time that data starts to pay rent. #DATA must pay rent…


I call myself a poet so I conclude with the poem that will open the second stanza of Part 4 of my Azanian Quartet… My assumption is that by 2037 [the setting] … this moment [NOW] will have been the turning point in this, amazing new journey, on which we are kolektively embarked.


We gave our DATA freely to Mr. Z et al… they in return gave us free use of the toys they made. Then he/they found a way to collect rent… from our contribution… now we must be reimbursed our share for our belief in them. For the data freely given is still ours.


To rephrase Mr. Rakowitz: [with respect]


“The invisible friend that must
Be shown to exist”


Hear ye
Hear Ye


Some will strive
to
Achieve
Nietzschean validation – the
Povo*
Will become automatonotik
Fiddling witheir [sic]
Mobiles
Seeking to affirm their intrin
sic irrele
vance.


Nonetheless
Machines don’t buy things!!
They dispense.


On what basis should we
Perceive
Value.


Given the thrust of
a digital economy that
Konsrukt kalled
DATA
Is the land that must be
Mined for
GOLD.


Peepil become
Products
To be exploited for their
DATA value
Should they not
Receive their
Rightful
Fee?


In Gold?
Yeah gold
You say data is
The new gold.
No… I said it was the new land
Waiting to be mined: for what is in it.


Does it pay rent?
Not yet.


!NiK[‘18]


So there you have it. All Kongresspersons: the most truly
bipartisan goal it is possible to achieve,
on behalf of all humanity.


Thank you on their behalf.


Povo: Shona [Zimbabwe] meaning the ‘masses’ or ‘Mass’
pronounced PorVor.

Begin the Begin

Howzit Tjina: welcome to Jakari’s blog.

Howzit?


This is a common greeting where I live, and about which I mostly write; so should you be someone who lives what I call, offshore, then know that you may not know that… So in addition Howzit! is often accompanied by the word “China”, which has nothing in common with the place of that name and although it sounds like china it is spelt Tjina.


So you may be meeting someone you don’t know and it is appropriate to be less than formal as with a blog… So Howzit China [aka: Tjina].


In introducing myself to Amazon readers[and those new to Jakari ], I am aware that quite reasonably, most will never have heard of me, and wonder immediately why they should join my band of curious readers/listeners. You would also not therefore know that I have been busy quietly introducing the future to readers all over the cyberverse [sic] for about 20 years now since that world arrived where I live.


Begin the Begin


So. I shall observe, simply, that I am by the standards of fashionable modernity someone who has been around a while [as have a few billion other unknown wannabe noticed persons …one of whom may be you.]


Therefore although I have been a ‘bloggist’ for 20 years now and have even been read occasionally; and nonetheless given this is my first Amazon based blog, since setting myself up as an author of creative work on Amazon, I wondered whether I should perhaps offer thoughts to a new source of reader and wander rather, randomly, over what I am, why I am what I am, and generally why I am increasingly concerned that something I created as fiction is becoming most disturbing.


On the other hand perhaps that will be simply boring. Decisions… decisions!


So recently on Christmas day, I sat on the Internet and played with Google… something I have had little time to do this past 7 years… in that my usage was overwhelmingly professionally oriented. I am now released from that demanding purpose and can more closely koncentrate on ME and my vision plus mission …. And YOU… my reader, listener and, inevitably, once I learn the delicate art of Vlogging: a … viewer; and not to be outdone or outmaneuvered, a participant in some interactions. As Fred’ Nietzsche put it “Now all things are possible.”


What I did on Google was find Wikipedia’s lists of earthquakes that have occurred since forever ago or more specifically about 2,400 years ago, in ancient China and the Middle East and elsewhere.


[And btw as a recently retired septuagenarian old style ‘schoolteacher’ I am aware that Wikipedia has its detraktors. I am also aware that I may infuriate the sensible reader by using the letter K where usual practice calls for the letter C. Those of you who are based in the USA and fear the disruptive effects of that rather curious President ‘Tsunami’ as I call him, who having been voted in is more than usually despised by his populace, as a rude disruptor and it must have been the year, for we were born then too.]


Therefore I invite my readers to check out the information I shall herewith share; and tell me that I am wrong and that my role as a writer of fiction has not suddenly morphed into some curious form of prophetic reality check, and that when I did my research I was too filled with good cheer and miscounted. It was the festive season after all.


My purpose was to establish the total number of particular ‘BIG’ seismic events: [earthquakes broadly] that have occurred more or less ever; and about which we can infer a scale equitable with Richter [Richter Scale: RS]. I was also only looking at earthquakes @ 6 or greater than 6 [RS], a scale roughly equitable with Hiroshima in 1945.


So I was categorizing the earthquakes in two sets: those before 1998 and those afterwards. Now please remember that I am a writer of fiction so, 1998 was the year when I chose a particular sequence of events that took place then, in South Asia. Given that I was searching for a disruption effect great enough to fuel the move to Universal Income and a means to pay for it, I played “what if”: and made that a central background part of my story, the Jonker Memorandum, and in the chaos that follows the event my heroine can act….


Again, because you didn’t know: The Jonker Memorandum [pronounced Yonka] is Part 3 of the Azanian Quartet; and has existed since 2010 on my website nicholasjakari.com that has been visited many times and puzzled many. It took four years of weekend recording sessions in my garden to konstrukt, what I refer to, as the greatest one-man show ever [in my particular genre]. The final episode went up in 2014.


In my self imposed role as a down-market, essentially working class, contrarian mediator in the learning of things Economical amongst frequently less than avid learners, I had in mind the idea, that in the part of the story that is in “The Future”, the masses [Orwell’s Proles] live on what I call “Basic Pay” [An idea that is now increasingly touted as “Universal Income” an idea with which I strongly approve especially since I became older: and generally remained poor].


In point of fact as the themes evolved I realised that everyone lives on it [in the future] … never mind the Proles… Developments in AI, Quantum computing… which promises to be to digital, what digital was to steam… plus, plus, plus… et al … indicate a future in which work, as it was known is HISTORY. Basic Pay is inevitable… self-employment is inevitable on a dramatic scale… how can it work?


In addition to the idea of Basic pay and because the children in my care demanded it, I [plus the ‘demanders’ ] also had to consider how it could be financed or even afforded; something that seems to have been overlooked by most science fiction writers and those others actually actively promoting the idea.


A key evolving methodology seems to be involving… perhaps… a transaction levy… requiring dealing with hugely, insurmountable blocks of vested interests, at the heart of the “system” [however you choose to define it]. Discussions on that topic could keep people employed for ever… and what if we don’t have forever [fiction remember] … Or perhaps there is some other idea, such as one that is now at the heart of Part 4’s evolution, as the closing part of the Azanian Quartet and will be on Amazon later this year.


So back in 1998 I was wrestling with this [relatively unoriginal] idea that I had, which is really only a back-story part of the background to the main sci fi adventure crime story, in the knowledge, that neither idea was feasible in almost any term, short of a disruption effect on a monumental scale … so huge that the entire planet’s destiny was almost terminally; or certainly irrevocably changed.


So since I write fiction and since, like many of my fellow-now-aging-those-of-us still-surviving, wild kolonial boys, I had learned long ago about a military, firearms usage procedure, called the “Double Tap”: and serendipitously in that same year [1998] while in search of raw material for plots and themes, I had occasion to encounter the “double tap” method at the hands of a practicing expert.


It was done under the specialized supervision of a man, who was, some years later, arrested on an Interpol International arrest warrant, for [allegedly] 49 professional murders: and may therefore be seriously considered as an expert on the use of that double tap method. Albeit I did not then, know, that previously unshared information… albeit his general after action beer conversation was loaded with the usual conspiracy stuff.


But nonetheless I was then, contemplating the truthfulness of his affirmation; that the second shot amplifies the power of the first shot, by 500%, and by extension, I wondered: the second by the third et al to 6..


The news of the tit for tat bang, bang: by the two contenders for influence in that south Asian region, was routine fare in a place always desperately shifting attention elsewhere, in a variation of the standard national scapegoating exercises practiced in most localities.


Nonetheless. They [the two South Asian nations] were, to me, nestling on a great big piece of tectonic geology called the Himalayas: and ‘what if “ was a given.


In other words you will recollect that two competing regions in South Asia began a six-bomb test consecutive blast interregnum of underground nuclear explosions later in that same year, 1998.


Each was allegedly about 2.5RS.


I speculated … What if this is a Nuclear Triple double tap … 2500 x500% x500%x500% x500%x … = huge times… Maybe massive on Richter.


I write fiction remember. I checked out my idea over the years with ‘klevas’… people ranging from ordinary scientific types focused on classroom physics and chemistry, to Nuclear scientists and climate change people who all confirmed that I was writing fiction… and I went on… feeling ok.


The effect of what I have thus called: “The Ringing’, was global disruption. This was characterized by a sequence of flooding and tsunamis that I ‘created’ together with the mass scale disruption that followed the changes to the climate that I hypothesized over the next period of time. All this was part of the back-story to my tale of robbery and murder. In fact the explanatory chapters are simply headed as Footnotes. [For instance the footnote chapter in which the region I call Keiretsu [aka Japan/Nippon] was engulfed by a tsunami went up one week before the recent tsunami that devastated parts of the country and ruined a nuclear power station…. Elsewhere [Chapter 10.] the trouble starts after an airliner disappears in flight … published two years before an airliner disappeared]


And that ‘disruption’ of course; that idea changed the real story. And while I dealt with that need, which took a few years, I put together “7Ways to get your money” from notes I had made during the time after I became a ‘returnee refugee’ in this country where I now live. I had inadvertently, seriously annoyed the man who became the post liberation Dictator, of Zimbabwe; ultimately being forced out in a recent coup after 37 bloodstained years. So I had to exit post-liberation Zimbabwe, in something of a hurry: with my wife, two babies, four dogs and four cats in an old Volkswagen panel van; that blew up at the entrance to what I now call the Dome surrounding the Mega Unicity most of us call Jozi.


It was a time when a ‘sixties drop out’ had to come in from the cold; and make big money fast, in a place, that was itself, on a steeply slippery slope… to its own ultimate oblivion.


The Dome btw is an idea represented by the multilane high speed ring road that surrounds the inner city of Jozi, in Mzansi, where I have lived on and off ever since the 60’s, having relocated to Zimbabwe, in the ‘70’s as part of my ‘drop out’ period some years earlier, when it was still a naughty, disruptive, now failed, Kolonial experiment, with other people’s places.


The ‘other people’ wanted to go back to how things were before any koloniste arrived; and have successfully returned to the 17th century they sought. They are now displeased with the result… but that is another tale altogether and is otherwise irrelevant.


So 7Ways is a Prelude to the Azanian Quartet: a tale of many revolutions. 7Ways represents the world of relative order that makes everything possible. The Azanian Quartet is implicitly a metaphorical story about how the world ended, and what happened afterwards. It is also a story about the ambiguity of memory regarding how it all happened. It is also a story that gains more relevance in what has now after ten years of Quantitative Easing [QE] become a planet running on about one point three quadzillion US$ worth of global debt: meaning that getting the money is now more urgent than ever before.


Which brings us back to my Wikipedia search.


Allowing for some marginal calculation error… Wikipedia lists many earthquakes below 6 on the Richter scale… so I may have miscalculated here and there or over calculated elsewhere. And for all I know I may have been on the wrong page. I am still at heart a techno moronic, aging, baby boomer.


Pre 1998; going back 2400 ish odd years.
Slightly more than 400.
Specifically 413 … [four hundred and thirteen]. Subject as mentioned to korektion.


Post 1998. The next 19 [nineteen] years
Slightly more than 400.
Specifically 414. [Four hundred and fourteen.]


Perhaps you can understand why I am worried about my fiction writing skills. Tell me its imagination… or that I’m reviewing usage through a naughty Wikipedia page, which is…. Not appropriately Peer reviewed, is it?


For clarity purposes.


*You have access to the Prelude: 7Ways. Available now on Amazon. @ https://www.amazon.com/author/nicholasjakari
**Part 1 of the Azanian Quartet : The Buffalo Hunters is currently with an editor undergoing some surgery and should be available, end February 2018.
*** Part 2 The Ashanti Raider will be online by end April 2018.
**** Part 3 The Jonker Memorandum an 84 episode podcast cyber serial is available for your listening pleasure online at nicholasjakari.com


They are not sequential other than in order of writing so you can listen in pleasure. Many of my listeners are bed bound invalids and other resting persons. And like Mr. Nietzsche [whom I played for the world international Konference celebrating the centenary of that Philosopher at Pretoria University in 2000 AD] many of the ideas presented in that story have become common usage now since some 10million hits have occurred on my website many of them from people, say about 10%]


***** Part 4 is still under konstruktion and has passed the three quarters mark targeted to be ready by August 2018.


Hope to have you back again soon
Regards
Nicholas Jakari.
And don’t forget to buy the ebook.

Ruminations on Basic Pay

Also known as the inevitability of Universal Income.

“ In the 21st Century we might witness the creation of a new massive class: people devoid of any economic, political or even artistic value, who contribute nothing to the prosperity, power and glory of society.”
Homo Deus p325.
Yuval Noah Harari


This statement by the author: Harari comes at the climax of what could be the most brilliant sustained piece of writing that this bloggist has encountered in years. The writing is more brilliant for being extended over two masterpieces of modern writing: Sapiens and Homo Deus: for which I would recommend the author for a Nobel Prize in literature. For the “times, that were changing” reported by a recent, past winner, Bob Dylan have sneaked up and abruptly arrived: on steroids.


The veracity of Harari’s premise is thus well timed. It arrived at precisely that moment in history that the exponential pace of technological development, has so outpaced the capacity of humans to keep up with the changes, taking place in the macro world, that the possibility of an accident kicking off something that is fast running, means we could once again be on the edge of a cataclysm, the likes of which we have not experienced since the last one a century ago… when progress went into steep decline: and put us all through a century of violent disruption: Stalling time.


A while back I came across some thing published, that I had written, as the closing paragraph, to an editorial piece at a different time in the past: The op/ed piece was broadly a comment on Mr. Alvin Toffler’s book: ‘Future Shock’…. I finished with the following comment on Toffler’s vision: “The alternatives are clear: either we train people to adapt to the future, or, in Toffler’s words, ‘we are doomed to a massive adaptational breakdown.’”


And what could be a greater “adaptational breakdown” than that represented by the “New Lefties” i.e. those now referred to as the “Left Behind” … what Hannah Arendt referred to as “The Mob”…. And for whom George Orwell, less politely, coined “Proles”. Such a phenomenon apparently elected to BREXIT, in the trending from formerly Great Britain to global britain; and put America’s first ever [perhaps] ‘Working Class’ President into power in that ‘Firmian’ Republic. Tsunami, is a “brash Blu Hawk real estate developer”; as said by a Republican Grandee on Bloomberg a moment ago as I wrote this … he spoke as if describing a Martian alien, who had just walked uninvited into the men’s room.


And then of course Le Bleu’s did the same thing; voting for the least disliked option rather than someone who could do them any good… They all promise to do that, don’t they?


And the ‘Left Behind’ are obviously in the majority… and in case you are confusing them with “New Left”: many are, in effect, new ‘Right’ [whatever that is]. They are an inter and intra class phenomenon, notwithstanding that the Brash Blu Hawker… a man who hustled buildings for a living, will not be permitted [they think] to implement his agenda, even though his agenda does not really lack any more purpose, than the agenda’s of all those others, who promised things: and then [often sensibly] compromised on the delivery: and then struggled to deliver, in the face of ferociously frantic; furiously factional vested interest groupings.


Further on into the article, that I happened upon serendipitously last year, in the midst of Mzansi’s # FeesMustFall: University ‘disrupting season’, I wrote:
“The future shock problem is viewed in many Western circles with such seriousness that a number of influential bodies, among them the ‘Club of Rome’ have gone so far as to recommend a moratorium on technological developments while the human race catches up, and gets it breath back”.


Well it never happened did it…: In fact during this past month listening to the radio local news and opinion discussions on day to day events I have lost count of the frequency with which the ‘approved’ spokespersons, on a range of topics, cite, improving education: as a solution to the problem of ‘ADAPTATIONAL BREAKDOWN”S.



Yet Mzansi, for instance, spends a huge percentage of GDP, relative to most of its chosen peers, for, apparently, as little gain as those Brexiting, President Tsunami/Le Bleu’s stricken peers have apparently gained, in the time since I wrote the piece from which I have quoted. It was published in August of 1978… [i.e:39 years ago this past month] In a magazine that no longer exists: in a country that, likewise, no longer exists.*


So we didn’t put the tech’ development process aside; and by the well known Moore’s Law dictum whereby processing power doubles every 18 months that means that the tech world has taken 26 steps, during the time that we more Linear thinking human beings have moved 39 steps… and that is only referring to those that have been moving forward.


Unfortunately the message attributable to the New Lefties, is, that they seemingly moved, more or less one step: 39 times. Meanwhile 26 steps in exponential language, [What was called Geometric Progression in high school mathematics] in the expanding macro environment is [assume each step to be a meter] more than Thirty Three Million meters. No wonder the poor NL’s feel left behind. Almost everyone is left behind.


And so it is likely that many are working on the edge of the new economy. The characteristic of the old economy, that replaced the frugal subsistence of the previous 70,000 plus years, was “Nasty brutish and short”. It was and often still is, a condition in which workers were treated like machines; and conditions were inhumane. The early behaviourist: B. F. Skinner observed then, apparently in all seriousness, that: “The real problem is not whether machines think; but whether humans do.”


Eventually the cost and legalities of fixing the horror of mass employment raised the cost of production, above what the corresponding, mass consumer market sought out: absolute rock bottom price points. So there was a clash thus, between the people who wanted to be wonderfully well rewarded, for doing something mundane: [me for instance] while simultaneously wanting as much blood as could conceivably be extracted from every stone.


And so tech has solved the inhumane aspect of mass production, to desired scales, through replacing humans with real machines that are rapidly, apparently, taking on tasks that require far more than simple manual dexterity.


True ‘thinking machines’ are evolving; and part of the world … even many of the [so-called] Globalists themselves, stare at prospektive superfluity. This as the emerging trend to kwantum komputing takes tech’s exponential journey Kwantum simultaneously, to more than a billion meters in only 5 more steps. Truly; to be left behind in such a maelstrom of evolutionary expansion is almost… normal.


In the meantime in our own part of the world I was shocked recently, to read, as part of an opinion piece published in the Jozi Star on the eve of the “Youth Day” weekend this year, a piece of information that took the idea of “Left Behind” to an unprecedented level… for me.


The piece carried the byline of a Mr. Jeff Radebe, the 5000:1 outsider for the job of President of the ruling party; and later the country, should the present ruling party win the next election again: Something within reasonable probability. As a rule politicians tend to be pretty close to the 39 step by step linear process, which is still a way ahead of NL’s trend, you’ll gather..


Radebe’s piece was broadly one of the most powerful evaluations of the idea of ‘Future to shock’ that one has come across from a sitting politician in many years. He laid out a blueprint for what had to happen, for Mzansi’s and more broadly Afrika’s emerging transformation; in order to marginally keep pace with the techno/economically evolving 21st century. The piece certainly revealed the thoughtful appreciation of someone who perhaps had covered a few hundred meters over the 39 steps…


In fact when one evaluates the alleged negative behaviour of the all the allegedly naughty President’s persons, routinely reported in a broadly unsympathetik media environment, in the kontext of what Minister Radebe presents as the stark reality of Afrika’s dilemma, then one kan understand the instinctive desire to grab the money and run, when the opportunity presents, for opportunity comes only meagerly.


So what was the shock that triggered this response?


In that part of the op/ed piece where he deals with the relevance of FIR * to Mzansi in particular, Mr. Radebe makes an astounding assertion. [* FIR = the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution a name given to this historical period which is to be characterized by the evolution of [AI] Artificial Intelligence].


Mr. Radebe asserts, that in a continent of some 880 million people more than 600 million, live presently, in a pre-electric world… a world essentially before “steps” were even considered.


To put that into perspective… Electricity represents the second industrial revolution…. [The one everyone learns about at school was based on steam, you’ll remember.] I don’t know how valid Minister Radebe’s statement is, in a world typified by ‘fake’ news lately. No references are identified in support of the assertion: I am simply assuming, rightly or wrongly, that the Minister is using staff resources to establish accurate information.


In other words nearly 70% of the people on the entire Kontinent have not yet encountered the 2nd Industrial Revolution in any meaningful way… Now that is what you kan validly call “Left Behind”. How does one contemplate developing a place that has to cover more than a billion steps just to catch up: with no idea how to do so? [unless somebody else has a betta plan]


A recent piece in the Economist raised questions regarding how an Afrika emerging from a pre-industrial era … [Mr. Radebe’s point regarding those most truly ‘Left Behind’] can progress in a world where machines that work for capital redemption, are superseding well paid cost centres, called manual workers [and those in routine clerical, for that matter]. They suggest that Afrika will have to find a new way… They were unable to suggest one however.


There is one solution, as a palliative to what is impending. I would not suggest thjat it is the only one it is however the one most likely to prevail eventually. It is the combination of VBasic Pay aka A Universal Income… linked to a levy on transactions in specific new areas of activity. I have as many of you know, promoted the idea of Basic Pay for years now. What else will there be other than Basic Pay for an increasing mass of overwhelming humanity… aka Universal Income [U.I.]. There are experiments in U I taking place in parts of Groland, currently, and of course in Mzansi, where i eke out my own pittance, there are presently 17,000,000 people living on a meager dose of basic pay… with close to zero chance of ever finding anything else.


So what does this mean
For the future
Of everything…?
Logically:
The Monetisation of
Humanity
Through data derived
Micropayments.


!NiK[17]

Blog

Some weeks ago The Citizen published an AFP piece on the growing acceptance of what I call “Basic Pay” and their headline called “Universal income finding favour” [2 Feb, 2017].
 
I anticipated a flood of random outraged/acrimonious/ responses and have: either missed them, or they didn’t happen. This is odd since this subject should be the biggest subject in the country … never mind the world. We may well discover its completely hidden role in maintaining order, should the threatened ending on March 31st of the contract to supply 17,000,000 [seventeen million] persons with “Basic Pay”, RSA style, come to pass.
 
Then we may well discover it to be a mechanism to stave off mass conflict with those alleged to be, according to your correspondent; with reference to the recent Swiss, first round referendum on the subject, rewarding “… the lazy and the feckless” beneficiaries. While in reality they have [regrettably] committed an ancient sin of being superfluous to need.
 
Late last year you published a Gwynne Dyer piece, called “Half the jobs are going”, which I used as a discussion piece for a year end 9th grade exam. It was one of a rising tide of such articles appearing over the past few years. Simultaneously while U.S. Pres Trump is making much of his ‘bring back the workers’ theme there is growing evidence, some reported for instance this past week on the Bloomberg channel, that only about 20% of the jobs were lost to ‘cheaper’ venues from the Manufacturing industries of the USA over the past three decades; were actually lost to cheaper offshore labour.
 

80% apparently was lost to automation.
 
And this was obvious to me some 23 years ago when I began writing a futuristic [fictional story] called the Jonker Memorandum*. Aside from being intended as entertainment, the story also contains, the fact of Basic Pay and its associated Digital accomplice, The Transaction Levy [also loosely known as a Transaction tax or a Tobin tax,] as well as some ‘historical’ comment on some of the economic arguments used to justify it. This idea is currently under review in a number of quarters and China recently indicated they would be introducing it on a zero based level to begin with.
 
My site has, since its inception in 2011 attracted some 7,000,000 hits, mostly from machines, but also by some human persons: adding my arguments to the global debate.
 
In constructing my fictional world I embraced many of the ideas proponents are postulating in your AFP piece, albeit one of two departures is in your opening line… Rather than promoting basic i.e. ‘Universal’ pay in my story as a “Utopian idea” it is rather, a solution for an increasingly dystopian environment… a world increasingly perceived as less and less egalitarian.
 
Most obviously a world that continues to pour out an ever increasing mass of persons for whom no form of employment will ever exist, beyond new evolutions of self employment, is one facing mass scale disaffection; as is being revealed via BREXIT, Trumpism and a range of similar psychic reversal leaps in “LEFT BEHIND!!!!”current thinking.
 
Therefore different ways of managing survival calls for a complete re-evaluation of our understanding of the role of money [as opposed to wealth] in the world and so my story is at heart a sales pitch for the introduction of these tools [Basic Pay and the Transaction Levy] into society. If we can survive Quantitative easing to the rich why shouldn’t the same system work for the poor… at least they will spend the money: and the world’s problem [at east one of them] as the Federal Reserve keeps telling us, is an absence of demand.
 
Those unenlightened Neo Luddite persona who envisage “Taxing ROBOTS”, as your correspondent’s “Benoit Hamon surprise Socialist candidate” for Frances’s pending elections suggests, or more latterly, and surprisingly, Mr. Bill Gates suggests, have completely lost the plot regarding the destiny of both the human race and the future of the “Internet of Things”.
 
I chose with difficulty to write fiction, because by inclination I prefer poetry. So I wrote what eventually became an 84 episode allegoric prose poetic podcast cyber serial, over a period of years from 1994 to final episode uploaded in 2014. When I started on the journey I realized that it would take disruption of the most terminal type to bring about the revolution posed by basic pay and the transaction levy, so I used an event in 1998 as the trigger for a wave of disruptive tsunamis and other seismic phenomena that completely changes the dynamics of the planet; during which my Heroine introduces the idea as a solution to chaos.
 
Over the past years since I wrote and then read the world a “bedtime story’” a la Podcasting, I have noted [with concern, after all I thought I was writing fiction] that a disturbing number of things predicted as part of my story have become reality. Included amongst these is that, apparently, the mechanization of work has advanced to such a degree that three years ago in 2014 a Hong Kong based venture capital company, Deep Knowledge Ventures, achieved a world first: appointing an Algorithm to their board with equal voting rights to the other five [human] board members*. Current indications are that the algorithm performs better than the humans.
 
In closing I would mention that my position on the inevitability of Basic Pay financed through the Financial levy was first influenced and then founded by me on the following observation by Wassily Leontif [Nobel Economist 1983] who noted [then] that “The role of humans as the most important factor of production is bound to diminish in the same way that the role of horses … was first diminished: and then eliminated. Technology” he concluded, “can sever the link between infinite desires and full employment.”
 
Given the almost complete disappearance of horses from daily life can any statement have been more prescient?
 
Thank you.

* Ref: Homo deus Yuval Noah Harari. p322

Enter Basic Pay

As my readers will know,because you’ve been following me for a while,the inevitable ending of our present track will be the replacement of most ordinary work by machine managed operations. This means that for the vast mass of the exploding human race population explosion most will have nothing of any significance to do in order to keep body and soul together. We are even on the cusp of making agricultural workers obsolete.
 

I write fiction and blogs n things and i wrote this blog that follows, based on two stories that appeared in the Business Report section of the local Star Newspaper on the 24th this month.
 
It was written as if to them, but since there is no certainty that it would pass muster to fill diminishing space, it will be on my blogsite, with tags to their edition.
 
Some weeks ago Business Report [BR] published a letter from a person in a place called Mount Edgecombe who wrote that: [BR headline] “Leader’s beliefs entirely opposed to their portfolios”. [BR: Monday May 23 2016.]
 
That headline came to mind when read I the BR Op-ed piece on the 24th [May] by Dr Thami Mazwai. [A Starting point for the State to help fortify small business.]. The writer gives such grudging concessions to the very idea of: “MARKETS!??” that I was left wondering what his actual understanding of ‘business’ was: enabling someone to buy what you want to sell to them? Hard routinely dispiriting work..or dealing with only one customer… the State…. And is that actually business? we were not informed about that.

 

I bear no philosophical grudge against the idea of governments facilitating developing small businesses either. I simply moved on from his resumé/litany of depressingly same ole same ole “we must do this, we must do that…” Surely it is time for a few: “We have done’s?”.

 

I did note too, the sentence in paragraph 6 that said “… that government spent R7,3 billion annually in support of small, medium and micro enterprises.”

 

So I moved on; and a headline in the International section caught my eye: “Swiss look at $2500 for DOING NOTHING!” The Swiss are voting to eradicate most welfare payments in return for a national basic wage payable equally to all [presumably: citizens] Wow! Basic Pay. At last a rational move, from a rational people.

 

The details of it are vague. Nonetheless Basic Pay is an idea I adopted back in the day, as a fictional idea for a work of fiction, and have promoted for 22 years, in promoting my fiction. It was cool to see it headlined at last and we shall establish the present extent to which the idea remains fictional.

 

And then I remembered the SEVEN point three BILLION and I sat down and I wrote down the following equation: What if: 7,300,000,000 is divided by 17,000,000 welfare recipients [BR recent budget report refers]? What would that equals?

 

Answer R132.73. p.a. Not much: A cup of coffee in Dubai.

 

The same equation with the 204.6 billion spent on actual welfare transfers, in the latest budget, was only R12035.31 PA. Again: not much albeit it is keeping 17,000,000 people alive, which was never the natural environment’s intention*. (*Tag`; ‘Reader. John’]

 

Now I would dispute the point made by Dr Mazwai, that the international start up business failure rate is 50% [Paragraph 5]. And that therefore for some weird reason, there must be something wrong with us because we are “5 out of 7” [or 71%]. Depending on size of sample and locations, most places are higher than 50. We have always been higher. In fact most estimates I have read over the years are in the 80% range so the Minister’s observation reflects an improved perspective. This is good because right now there is growing, reported, concern, that the trend in the total number of new start-ups in ‘home of business’ USA [for instance] is disturbingly less than in the past. There is no indication either that the fewer start-ups have an improved success rate.
 

There are businesses that owe their existence to the task [often Sisyphean] of reducing that failure rate. [When I say always, I am mindful that the country’s infancy was rooted in, initially, monopoly control of business opportunities in an encroaching band of territory by an early multi-national corporation: de Dutch East India Company … a period that extended through other means as well for a considerable time thereafter until after liberation.]

 

In fact self-reliance has actually been a hallmark of South African development. But the number who can manage self-reliance is thin. And thus many commentators, in your various supplements, routinely refer to our low, entrepreneurial, enterprise oriented populace, by comparison with such places as, for instance Chile, and more brusquely with those who are, as Dr Mazwai points out, subject to “intermittent explosions”. However our citizenry is really rather normal in this regard, risk taking is often bad for survival, so sensible people attempt to minimize risk. Crazy people start great companies… with no disrespect to those magnificent spirits.

 

So logically, the Swiss should vote YES. After all they have a similar problem to us, being that most people, even there, are not naturally entrepreneurial. Therefore it could actually be cheaper to give everyone a basic guarantee, [“According to need” as Marx observed in his Critique of the Gotha Programme]. Lose job, register online, receive basic guarantee through guarantee credited to account in finance house of choice [not withdrawable [sic] as cash], find new job, tax registration online suspends guarantee until next time. Simple. And: all done by machines. Presumably the place [Switzerland] has modestly effective compliance rates

 

This means it could also save the administrative cost of maintaining an otherwise under-productive, swelling bureaucratic edifice, to facilitate determining who should have the right to receive a slice from a complex welfare payments web: something that will inevitably raise the number seeking productive work… albeit that should in turn produce a surplus that could be added to the stipend.

 

It could nonetheless reduce the number of business start up failures, [for reasons that would perhaps be beyond the scope of this specific blog]. And that would be beneficial to the economy.

 

Obfuscatorily [sic], it would also require a subtle re-engineering of the overall tax system, to move from its present broadly, historically onerous, direct taxation levels with their often violent origins in a pre digital physical world: to less noticeably painful, micro deductions congruent with a digitalised world. These will be made to accommodate the introduction of the Transaction levy concept; as the Chinese have begun, to do, with their introduction of the [presently zero-rated] “Tobin Tax”.

 

On the other hand, of course, a myriad lifetime’s of memes, expressively symbolic of your “DOING NOTHING” headline, will more probably kick in this time, and so the Swiss vote may only pass, on about the fourth attempt… when the current wave of impending doldrums causes serious evaluation of the unintended costs of welfare.

 

Perhaps though it could be argued that Consumption is a job. I did mention that I write fiction, didn’t i?

 

But pass it eventually will. It is part of the future of Public finance, along with the transaction levy; recently nudging into re-existence, now in China… presently and cautiously limited to Currency trades, but, inevitably, spreading out into those world’s of derivatives, hedges and swaps, n all things ephemeral: as Rent is extracted from Time, without due consideration for dues: thereby starving more risky actual ‘real’ value creating businesses, of the kind sought after by Dr Mazwai… while adding less value to the common good. All good fiction isn’t it? Except that some seek to make it fact… and if it could increase happiness shouldn’t we consider it?

 

Thus we [the human race] will strive to harness the kinetic energy of the [so-called] ‘Casino Economy’ that we have invented, through the micro-cent mathematics of the new digital economy.…. as represented by for instance [of all things?] Spotify… ultimately without harming its [the ‘Casino Economy’s’] potential for amplifying change.

 

Thereby we would begin to effect the present ongoing transition of our global enterprise from its current earth warming smokestack era to a digitally driven greener future, where robots do the ‘heavies’ and humans learn to evolve to ‘our next level of consciousness’, as the Late Professor Tobias observed some years ago in his final public speech, in answer to a question from me on the subject.
 

So to return to Dr Mazwai’s R7, 3 billion spent on “supporting emerging enterprise” for what, to judge by the doctor’s gloomy prognosis, is something of a loss leader. So perhaps the Doctor could cut directly to the chase, and not wait to pass go… and take the entire budget and …. Ask …

 

Is it a viable idea? Who knows? So many things that didn’t seem viable or even tenable, when they first happened turned out to be game changers, and perhaps, paying people to become consumers isn’t a bad job in an age of saturation supply overwhelming all traditional theories of economics: a discipline founded on the management of scarcity. After all, surely consumption trumps NOTHING [if we may still use that T word]

 

And then there is a growing body of opinion suggesting that the current slow moving environment is partly due to QE enriched bankers using their haul to prop up their balance sheets, rather than exploiting the leverage potential of flooding struggling under- consumers with life enhancing salaries. That doesn’t sound much like fiction.

 

Aah. Such are the random thoughts of a fiction scribbling blogger.

 

Yours

Nicholas

WATERLOO and a GAME OF BONES

WATERLOO and a GAME OF BONES… the current, endless, ‘Greek [bail out] Drama’ moves to what may be a pre-denoument climax: or simply the end of Act 27th. In my once role as Plato’s Socrates i would have to conclude that it is time for a new ‘gig’: and perhaps Mr Veroufakis is the man to deliver it… or NOT.
 

Yesterday I lucked into and watched a completely spellbinding Bloomberg interview with Mr. Yanis Veroufakis, the finance minister of Greece, who bluntly rejected what he called ‘extend and pretend’ bail- outs in what, after listening to him [and many others over the past few years… ], I call ‘a Game of Bones’.
 

The Greeks are presented with a classic Greek tragedy drama dilemma… Take the Hemlock now or die in the desert later. Reason suggests, according to Mr Veroufakis, taking the hemlock now. And that therefore the Greeks should vote NO.
 

And I agree. For precisely the reasons he gave. I was initially scepticl of Mr Veroufakis when he first burst in on the scene some months ago now. In yesterday’s interview he laid all doubt about him to rest. He made his point with rare clarity and forcefully constructed [if subtly obfucscated] logic.
 
The country is bankrupt. It is being humiliated routinely and the terms are [allegedly] approximate to a violation of human rights. Why it is bankrupt may be debatable and is routinely and vociferously debated: and there are many sides and nuances therein too. Nonetheless i am not a Greek, notwithstanding my prized role as Socrates. So the myriad countervailing rages that murk the entire exercise are, well ‘Greek… to me’ as the cliche avers.
 
The past is the past and cannot be unmasked with clarity.

 
So terminate the implicit, informal ‘Chapter 11’ status and bite the bullet.Vote YES: and you bite the bullet in slomo… Vote NO: and you move rapdly into the afterlife. It wont be the first time.
 
So where to go…YES/NO and why therefore is he right … to vote NO. [?]
 

NO ends the game… With NO the creditors walk out empty handed and have to claw their way back in… at a time when interest rates are still favourable to tjhe debtor.
 

It is only money after all and the logic of restructure is obvious.

 
As Mr Veroufakis pointed out: the kind of proposals he has made would have been ‘meat and drink’ to an average New York trader: What’s with the locals!!!
 

NO means that the creditors are facing reality. They are not going to be paid.
 
Therefore what can they do…. walk away empty handed and fume… maybe
 
Perhaps [though] at heart they are the Dealers this new age has prepared them to be.
 

Simply agree to convert the debt into a 100-year annuity at a rate favourable enough to guarantee a return but amortised over sufficient time to unhinge the shackles breaking the Greek economy. The Greeks would wish to honour their word but at a price that can be managed in a way that stimulates growth, which is/was after all, the entire purpose of the union in the first place: isn’t it?
 

In the mysterious ways of the multiverse, this past forthnight has seen many commemorations of the two hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, by all accounts one of history’s bloodiiest. Then, the country later called Great Britain, facing reality again after the defeat of Napoleon [not to mention their defeat by the USA in the same year at the Battle of New Orleans] were bancrupted and had to pay the debt to retain the “Greatness” they assumed to be their destiny. Simultaneously however, while handling a post-conflict recession that turned slowly into a severe depression. Perhaps politicians had more power in those days or reality was more obvious then than in our’gotitall’ world of today.
 

They chose to consolidate all the debt into one big package, which is of course something taking place now in an increasingly routine and evolutionarily effective way thereby increasingly to a massive [by 19th century standards] variety of packages.
 

Of course in the case of what the ‘Brits’ still call “Consols” [Consolidated Annuities]: currently yielding 4.4% [apparently], issued two centuries ago at 2.5% [par], debt was simply stretched out forever… and after all: if anyone has been around forever it is the Greeks.
 
Mr. Veroufakis certainly presented the almost pathological Greek sense of “place in history” that I have come to associate with those persons of an Hellenic persuasion, with whom I needed to become acquainted in order to rehearse Plato’s interpretation of Socrates, in in my own performance of that great man’s legacy.
 

One cannot help but suspect a circumstance brewing, that may be likened to the “English” moment recently; when to everyone’s shock… a party with which it was/is fashionable to avoid being associated, won by a significant margin. People, it seems, lied to the omnipresent ‘pollsters’ then: and may be doing so again.
 

So it certainly would not surprise me to read that Greece voted by a landslide against the idea of indentured servitude in the new digital serfdom. and voted NO.
 

Simply put: the evolution of the new “Extreme Money*” logic [as propounded by Mr. Satyajit Das for instance] could fully embrace the concept of [redeemable] one hundred year ‘Consols’; although it would be more sensible of the Greeks to offer [for a more attractive rate] an ‘in perpetuity’ annuity, subject to the EU amending its rules to accept that a venture that will take another century to bring to even marginal fruition, should surely anticipate being around in 2200 AD at least… or don’t they? … And if not… What do they know tht we don’t?
 

Consider how much more effective the flow of energy unleashed by the era of unlimited money would be were we to eradicate some of the confidence denting road bumps that do, in all sensibility, proliferate. Of course how one deals with the ‘TRUST me’ factor is the real road bump: with each party having its own agenda; and deeply embedded, smoking demons.
 

Notwithstanding this though, and in the full knowledge that the EU negotiators may accept NO as a rejection of their dream; not to mention that NO could be the apocalypse that awaited Greece at Marathon had they faulted then. They must follow the Veroufakis logic and reject servitude now.
 
No. The EU negotiators need to apply what i call Rule #8… “Take no thing personally” and lift their eyes from the plate for the moment and; stop interpreting the European vision through the hindsight spectacles of myopia. They have to review and check out what barriers need to be moved aside to reach the vista beyond.
 
For if there is no vista beyond servitude then there is no purpose to the venture.
 

Money from Nothing

Money from Nothing*
 
“The road to inflation is paved with good intentions.”
 
-William Guttmann
 
This quote was in my face when I opened my mail this morning and it seemed apposite to my thoughts when I purposefully made a rare pilgrimage through a less travelled over [for me] part of the city to my old University to hear a talk and the responses to some questions put to the author of a recently launched/ published document/book on the mechanics of the Mzansian private Kredit industry. This refers to the southern part the Azanian Konfederacy in which I live.
The relevant document: ‘Money from Nothing’ by one esteemed Professor D. James at an important London based University in the frozen offshore region called New Pomerania.

 
Selling tomorrow today
 
 

The presumed role of
The illusion called
Future
Is that it is
Real
And we sell it
As if it were
Not.
 

Selling tomorrow
Today because
Tomorrow
Never
Actually
Arrives.
 

So take two
Futures
Now and when there’s
Less
Later
Shift over
Drives
 

And when is this
Later?
 

It doesn’t
Matter: we can choose
To imagine it
Again
Should we sell it
Once
For we simply sell
It
Again and
Again
And
It never has to pay
Rent
Since there was never
Consent
 

Future sold is
Future
Bold
The extravagant idea
That there will
Be a tomorrow
Later.
 

And what then is this
Later
 

Take two now
Hurrah!
Get less
Only
Later.
Will it be less?
Won’t it be more?
 

And then
What tomorrow?
Where
Is this time
Beyond
Care
This is unclear:
Unclear?
And how should we
Presume
It
To be
Linear?
 
!NIK[‘15]
 
—— 00000 ——
 
That was the short version of my experience at an invigorating recent book launch [15 April 2015]. The rest refers to its inspiration and may be heavy going for those with a delicate attention span. Better to stop now and press a button somewhere so I can get paid.

 

Oh still here? Alright… even my ancient mother gave up here.

 

So for those, who prefer prose, this is the short attention span summary of the point of this blog in case you find my long discourse later boring or too confusing: which is much the same thing.
 

It seems the level of Private Kredit in Mzansi is huge... although no figures were obtainable from the text of the Kredit related book launched at the packed Wits University Press event in their austere facilties on the 16th April, because, as the Author observes on page 147: “the book’s primary aim: to view questions of debt in their broader social context.”
 
Presently Public debt [in Mzansi] is R1.8 Trillion against GDP of R3.3T. This sounds reasonably good [compared to Greece for instance] until you realise that 23% of GDP represents State expenditures of one or other class.This is suggestive of a high level of so-called hypothecated tax payments. [ I,O,W:This means that so-clled “real” GDP is closer to R2.5 Trillion of real value creating activity… from which should be also subtracted the expenditure on Private security that is more properly a transfer payment contributing to the hypothecation base.] [figures extrapolated from latest Budget.] I.E.: The ‘real’ debt is more like 70% of ‘real’ GDP and is growing fast; and we [the country] are at the absolute bottom of an historically unprecedented, fairly flatlined, gasping towards respiration: global interest rate cycle.
 

Our society is presently in shock over a wave of violent unrest that has affected important parts of the country, suggestive of a high level of stress and anxiety over “competition for scarce resources”, and inexorably rising costs. [A recent Deutsche Bank survey showed my home town, Jozi to have moved from being the third cheapest city in the world in 2001 … into far more upper divisions in 2015, an impression confirmed by various visitors over the past couple of years].On the other hand, unemployment is at levels that make Spain look like it’s roaring ahead as robots replace humans in key categories, changing the world and us. Leaving us with street-loads of unemployed; perhaps even unemployable, persons fueling up on rage….
 

Into the mix is a rapidly evolving digitally based global economy which, through a combination of disintermediation and disinflation means that our relative rate of economic inflation is faster than that of all our main trading partners.
 
To highlight this process a pattern of negative interest rate yields on public debt has been a key shift feature of the past year in the Euro zone culminating in a first a fortnight back when the Swiss ‘sold’ TEN YEAR PUBLIC DEBT on the basis of a small fee payable: a negative interest rate. In other words they charged people to look after their money. And were oversubscribed.
 

So the real question is, given the high level of private/public debt and the minimalist rate of growth. What happens in the “socio” world of your [the author’s] study when interest rates start to rise sharply across the planet for those places considered ‘risky’ as they will do over the next twelve to eighteen months?
 
——–0000000——-

 

Okay. The rest is me ruminating over how i eventually got to the point of the question; and it is really written for those few people who like a great deal of detail with their snippets of insight.

 

“Money for nothing and your kicks for free”
Dire straits.
 
I have a post-retirement paying hobby, mediating on the knowledge acquisition process, as applied to 9th grade economics, in an old eastern quadrant of the city, Jozi, where I live. Once this was called “teaching” but when the minion, in front of one, has instant access to a billion pieces of information, off a machine in its hand: then mediating is about where it’s at.
 

My learning minions come from a variety of places on the Afro-Azanian Kontinent, ranging from the next street to north of the Sahara; and the role of Kredit in their lives is as paramount to their survival, as it has been to mine. Knowing how it works though is integral to their learning objectives.
 

So when I received an invite from my old university to the launch of an in-depth evaluation of socio factors driving the Kredit business, I am ‘required’ to know about it, and accepted.
 

Of course I am also something of a retired ‘Mashonisa’ [debt collector*6] and one of the fun moments in the evening’s presentation was the assertion by a speaker, that the day of such persons who ‘collect outstanding debts’, sometimes in a manner ‘brusque’, being needed, had been supplanted by new banking forms that made them redundant. Yeah.
 

It was at that point that I realised I was in ‘odd’ company for people professing concern for the “Money” business. But I get ahead of myself.
 

As I drove west across the inner city from my workplace; to the venue on Wits’ East campus, I was pondering a money relevant event. I had been puzzling over it randomly since the previous week. I was wondering too whether to test it and how to integrate the implications of a shock event into the evening’s information. I was also distracted because I was unextectedly and unusually detoured from the planned route and required to skirt neighbouring, more inner city zones, [compared to my workplace], because of imperative and immediate security concerns over erupting civil unrest activity, that had become violent.
 

So at the same time, the idea that was rumbling in the background of my thought while I drove, was only rumbling: because immediate survival required driving that now deviated route in tandem with multiplicities of ubiquitous rules-deaf taxi men daring tarmac, between random old ‘toppies’ [me] and tone-deaf ReaVia busses. ‘Dancing without glancing’ was the real priority thought… Then there was the information, prompted by a news station report on the car radio, regarding a shooting incident in a zone I had just vacated. “People were being shot, on the streets, in my part of town… So if you’re in that part of town…Stay focused.” So my thought got crowded and remained unformed.
 

In the event I never got to air my thought, in question time partly because the guest speaker opened by stating that she was no economist; and dealt only with debt in the more personally abstract anthropological sense: and wouldn’t therefore be of any use with economic oriented questions.
 

So I would have tossed an unformed thought before it could become a useful question and anyway needed more space to ponder it, given a veritable coruscating flood of new information pouring out of the evening. The back up speakers, one of whom was described as an informed Accountant; and even the questioners, seemed to be people from a money unrelated world. They all seemed oddly out of sync with the subject matter and more in keeping with the philosophy motivating a second book on display, that I whimsically additionally chose to purchase. [it was also on discount] I was attracted by what the late Mr. Bakunin allegedly once described as a “prime Oxymoronic description” on a corner of the dustcover, i.e.: “Democratic Marxism”.
 

And then I was scheduled later that evening to be in conference with a person from a thriving business in the [so-called] “New Economy” [she told me she worked for ‘one of the world’s biggest data holding companies that you’ve never heard of’: a name I instantly forgot.] in which the purpose was to drive precisely driven advertising to a specifically, almost personally defined, target. Was this Marketing nirvana? I needed to rush, long before the presentation ended, wondering whether that nirvana would also target those with means to pay as well… while wondering about what i had heard.
 

The real surprise to me in the presentation was to discover the sheer magnitude of the Kredit Industry in Mzansi, and the extent to which the local model has permeated the entire Kontinent. That we have some of the world’s highest ‘cost of credit’ was noted, as well as the idea that we are the only place on the planet that protects debtors to the extent that we do: and that this was an inherently fudged [or perhaps fudge-able] process. I was curious too about the ABIL collapse [2014****] touched on by one speaker, that I saw at the time as a “Dark Swan*” event …
 

As it happened the event [ABIL’s collapse] coincided with that part of the economics course that deals with product life cycles [PLC] and provided minions with a perfect narrative for the learning of the term… “Slippery Slope**”… the ‘dark swan’ trigger event being an earthquake in the Orkney region of the North West Zone of the Mzansian edge of the Konfederacy. It was later obvious to those with perfect hindsight, that ABIL itself was riding a fairly extreme Leptokurtic curve. And the sub question to the end question posed by the time you finish this is: Where is the rest of the Mzansian Kredit market on a Konstructible bell curve: is it reasonably Mesokurtic or like ABIL are we riding something more Leptokurtic.
 

A questioner raised Korinth Starr’s “Basic Pay” idea in its antiquated form*4 “Basic Income Grant” and the thought/questioner, was summarily, but nonetheless curiously, dismissed by the accountant. Curious because it should be obvious by now that the present ‘new economy’ business model, cyber based as it has become, is a model for a bizarrely destruKtive code of work eradication; as robots replace people. [ I will refer again later to this Robots replace workers idea under the intro: ‘Konsider’].
 

We are in a world of radically declining “JOBS” [as Korinth suggested 20 years back now]. Reality suggests: ‘Telkom created jobs Twitter decimates them’ … albeit in tru-post Luddite forms the new economy seeks critical thinking, sharp witted, multi-talented minions. For the rest who cannot measure up to that. The inevitable outcome of that form of Marxian economics that broadly despises enterprise, especially small enterprise, is that Basic Pay is as inevitable, as the growing understanding that the present Internet model took a false turn and [yet another] intervention shall become imperative to calm the storm we experience around us not only in Mzansi but simmering all over the planet: fuelled by free goodies.
 

The reality of the fact that almost a quarter of GDP in Mzansi is simply hypothecated tax revenues was politely not mentioned since it was an ”economic” question. Perhaps Marxian economics doesn’t run to rationalizing sinecures. It is hovering territory however for dark swans. And there seems to be looming labour unrest in that region as well… debt fuelled in the new incalculable age of relative devaluation.
 

Another surprise. That the urge to spend is so prevalent and ingrained and inherently compulsive that even the venerable [so-called] ‘Stokvels’ [savings mobilization] institution has been morphing, in the way of its signature ancestry, the now demised “Building Society Movement”, into becoming financially institutionalized as a ‘spend-now’ agency.
 

And that the upshot of this is that ordinary People [now] have little choice but to SAVE in Banks: but that Banks LEND only to Corporates, and even then, only with the usual circumspection.
 

In other words the only real source of ‘Kredit’ for the kommon citizen [the new “kommoner”] was this ubiquitous new/old mass Micro lending market evaluated in the launch tome: ‘Money from Nothing’ and ranging from the routine, time served, furniture outlet, to the newly affluent otherwise unemployable private lending institution represented by ordinary persons: recently and lucratively ‘dispossessed’, in the process of realigning the economy to satisfy the new demographics of freedom…
 

And then in amongst these extended arms are, of course the ‘more new’ [despised apparently] competitors… the Kredit extending ‘Korner Shop’ … the apparent targets of a suicidal wave of violent and antipathetic destruction bordering on genocidal rage, that has so traumatized our city that Saturday night [18 April] was the slowest I have witnessed in years… It felt [for instance] like midnight Sunday almost all over Melrose Arch; and an early Saturday evening drive from OR Tambo airport to the Melrose place in pursuit of a cheerful hostelry for a snack was like driving through a cemetery, not a taxi to be dodged, the traffic was so thin. Weird. Was this part of a proving ground for that swan?
 

Which meant the questions if not the answers, provided an insight into the ineffable Mr. Smith’s “Invisible Gland” [sic]. That synergistic confluence of self-interests when a class of disaffected Cash only/money for nothing [much] Competitors share commonality with those customers who buy from a growing class of credit extending ‘korner shop’ competitors at the bottom end of the market, All of whom learn abruptly that the most effective way for the deeply embedded debtor, to get out of debt is to liquidate [en-masse and literally] the creditors; as our country has exploded into an orgy of otherwise incoherent allegedly [swiftly airbrushed] Afrophobic rage… an example of which was represented by the street shootings referred to earlier while driving to the launch, when a refugee class of pedestrians, allegedly from a failed zone to the north of the Konfederacy, were apparently attacked and shot at by mobile gunmen.
 

Therefore I wondered at the scale of the private debt being described, connecting with another looming confluence, presented by my earlier background pondering thought, subsequently shelved due to its internal incoherence [to me]; and wondered at the pattern, whereby the price of an infinity of futures is/has been, routinely mortgaged. And then, how there are some unanticipated changes recently as [for instance] the mounting range of the new ‘App’ revolution encroaches on structure, threatening everyone from the General Practitioner on the corner to chefs, drivers and security guards. And whether the entire ‘Money from Nothing” konstruct is bordering on implosion under the strain of what is, by historical standards, infinitely hypotheKated credibility.
 

And the deeper question?
 

Who shall then pay the piper?
 

So: What is this problem to which I have now referred a few times?
 

In this past fortnight the Swiss have launched and apparently sold out a modestly valued ten-year bond. In itself this is not unusual. The Bulawayo City council in a financially problematic part of the Konfederacy, in the region called Monomutapa, is presently advertising bonds to finance its water development schemes. It is a long-standing and normal method of public or corporate financing. I do not know the price of Bulawayo’s offer. Greece is presently operating on an effective current yield around thirteen percent per annum [20April 2015], so it would presumably be positioned somewhere in that range.
 

What is different about the Swiss sale was the price. As the following quote from the [London] Financial Times: FT>Markets demonstrates. [The bold type is mine, as is the grammar correction “past”]
 

“Bonds with negative yields have become one of the world’s fastest growing asset classes, accounting for around a quarter of Europe’s government debt market. In the last [past? Unless they believe this to be the LAST year ever, which of course it could be.] year Germany, Austria, Finland and Spain have all sold shorter-term debt at sub-zero yields.
 

But this is the first time that investors were effectively charged for lending money to a government for such a prolonged period. They bought SFr232.51m (€222.4m) of Swiss debt that will not be repaid until 2025 at a yield of -0.055 per cent — and the issue was comfortably oversubscribed.”
 

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/35ddc68e-dde7-11e4-8d14-00144feab7de.html#axzz3XhAtxenE
 

This fact was presented by Susan Li, the lady that hosts the morning “Asia Edge” show out of Hong Kong off Bloomberg last week, using a variation of what ‘rich dad poor dad’s’ creator, punts sometimes, as the marshmallow theory of investment educating.
 

She offered a range of front line, investment analyst class, guests, the standard choice: have a marshmallow now; or if you wish to wait a while you can have two. [Handing marx=shmallows [typo seemed apposite: sic] around seemingly to demonstrate that she wasn’t tricking them]. Keeping it hypothetical. She smiles with such crafty elegance.
 

What the Swiss are saying, she continued, was “Here’s two marshmallows now, but if you are prepared to wait you can have one”. She held up the last marshmallow.
 

Ok. Explain this paradox. She said.
 
The “Asia Edge” guests were unable to offer an explanation. And nor could I. I was as dumbfounded as they were.
 

So, what are the implications of a rising tide of negative interest rates for the future of the Mzansian ‘Money from Nothing’ macro-environment? Is this a trend of minimal duration… or is it here for the duration?
 
So that, in a considerably less formed manner, was the question I thought to throw into the ring.

 
German bond yields are down to around zero, and for many years now companies have borrowed money in the Japanese markets at close to zero and loaned it here in the Mzansian markets at above 5%*** as part of the well worn, so-called: “carry trade”. Specifically a business linked to a former [US] Presidential contender borrowed thus and loaned R25B, in particular, to one, then Listed entity, that subsequently bought out its shareholders with the loan that was [naturally] taken up by the lender, and that, the then privatized entity, is still so brutally encumbered both by its leaden repayment schedule; and the economy’s stagnant growth prospects, that it routinely sells off parts of its asset base, presumably to remain solvent. The point of borrowing is to cover the cost with income growth.
 

This means the the 9th grade minions will also have to note the fact, routinely misunderstood by so many of their elders, that Ten percent [10%] is 100 percent higher than the 5%. 500-year average ‘risk value of money’.
 

Over the past few months though the Swiss and other mainly northern Euro zone countries have started charging people to hold their money instead of paying interest. This means that the gap between the risk content of the Swiss holding your money is at least 1000 odd times lower than 10%, and based on what was said at the Presentation, personal debt costs, is at a risk boggling 2-3000 percent, over the [now] ‘best’ world price.
 

And what if inflation over the next decade only affects those places that are over borrowed?
 
So what it seems may be happening, I thought, subsequently, in one of those serendipitous ‘mind applied’ moments that leave you thinking: okay that was obvious, how come it took a week to figure it?
 
The Swiss decision suggests that, given the [US] Dollar based world has had some four trillion dollars artificially fudged into it on a scale that makes Mr. Mugabe seem parsimonious; that thereby they [the US] through an activity euphemistically called Quantitative Easing [QE], – are laying the ground for the most massive devaluation of money in since forever… [For the less informed, devaluation of currencies is Orwellianly described as Inflation so that it sounds less ominous.].
 
Now the Euro zone is going to do the same [Quantitative Easing] in an attempt to kick-start the Euro economy that has been rendered impotent through a century of well-intentioned Marxian economic interventions to protect the weak, infirm, and judiciously under-employables as the world replaces low level workers, and even high, with robots: computerised solutions to vexing problems. So they [the Swiss] are effectively saying you are giving me money you got for free and I’ll charge what it will lose in value over the next period of time. You can’t pay ‘value’ [in the form of interest] for free money.
 
This is a significant move that holds ominous overtones.
 

And what is interesting then, is why the ‘discount’ [0.055%] would be expected to be so low since the dumping of fiat money on a much smaller scale in the past led to pandemic devaluation…
 
So the more complex question facing our publishers: Are the Swiss evaluating the long term [i.e: ten year] implications of a world in which [selective] abundance has devalued almost all human interactive activity to the point where everything [almost] is for free.
 
Konsider this. [I did mention this was coming earlier didn’t I?] There is a man who can proudly say he has a billion slaves working for him; kollectively working hundreds of millions of hours weekly: and he has become fabulously wealthy.They even pay rent and happily expend capital to give him [and alternatively many of his associates] their labour with enthusiastic vigor. And then the slaves want to rebel and riot because they get no pay from their ‘real’ jobs and those jobs slowly went away.
 

Is that an odd way to describe the phenomenon called Facebook and its associated tech freedoms that have obliterated the value chain of global society? Nonetheless this counter intuitive ‘labour for free’ model is part of the reason for a global shift in value. Couple this phenomenon to the cheap labour role of the emerging South and Southeast Asians damping down the inherently Inflationary effects of QE; and viola we have a new economic model apparently overlooked by the local new Mzansian ‘spend like there is no tomorrow’ at extortionate returns model that is soaking up cheap imports from those regions
 

So what if the inflationary effects of the ‘announced’, bartered, hypothecated QE trillions; [or is it now quad zillions when taking derivatives into consideration] can be put off for the next ten years at least [they are ten year bonds remember] Would the more likely trend be a continuation of the presently disinflationary ‘teens in the [so-called] “Developed world”. And the question that really begs answering by the gathered information Kollektors is…
 

Could this then mean that those places where debt is charged normally at levels once considerate extortionate, as the second speaker said of Mzansi: face an inevitable explosion – a financial apocalypse- when inflationary costs persistently overrun income, and money is no longer free.
 
And what ‘Dark” Swan event could trigger that?
 
And for me…
 
What then will my 9th grade minions learn?
 
Keep your data in a secure Cloud?
 
!NiK[15]

* 1 ‘Dark Swan’ event; a term used to describe an unanticipated, catastrophic intervention/disruption to an existing, albeit peculiarly strained, established order. Usually [thoughtlessly] designated with a colour code specific, that has been altered for purposes of mediating a thorny part of the transformation agenda.
 

**2 ”Slippery Slope” Modified reinterpretation of an old Marketing Tool by Mssrs Stephan, Power et al: ‘The Scramble for Afrika in the 21st Century: A view from the South’. Renaissance Press, 2006. P37.
 

***3 5% roughly the developed world’s five hundred year moving average percentage for relatively risky trades. Moving higher as the risk becomes less predictable and retrieving the loan becomes more tricky and costly, perhaps even needing to be ‘written off’. Yields, naturally vary considerably more than that.
 

****4 ABIL Afrikan Bank Ltd.A giant, listed “money lending’ bank. Share price plunged from 4400 at 08.30 to 0027 by 16.40 Bank was subsequently ‘rescued’ by the national reserve bank.

*5 Basic Income Grant… You’ll remember Starr famously stated “Grant me no favours Basic Pay is mine by right…” Jonker Memorandum by Nicholas Jakari.

*6 See: ‘7 Ways to get your money’ by Nicholas Jakari.

Rehearsing Nietzsche

Rehearsing Nietzsche:

 
During the millennium gap year: that year when we didn’t really know if we were already in the twenty first century or mopping up the back end of the twentieth, I embarked on two separate but ultimately intertwined experiences.
 
The first resulted from a decision to write a piece of poetry daily for the entire year. That was the only requirement of my plan: length one word onwards, form: whatever I felt like; and no matter how many poems I wrote in any one day the next day I had to write another. From time to time I imposed rules, like: for the next few days I would only write haiku’s, for instance. I also never made a rule to write a sonnet, and so there are no sonnets in this collection.
 

The reasons for the poem-a-day thing are not germane. The result was 826 pieces of writing most of which was garbage [in retrospect], but then my rule did not extend to judgements… I simply wrote something about whatever took my fancy and it was a challenging exercise.
 

And then secondly, a month into the year I was invited by the organisers to read the part of the late poet philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, for a centrepiece production based on his life to be performed at the Centennial International Nietzsche Convention, that took place at Pretoria University in 2000, the centenary of his death.
 

What started as a workshop play-reading involving a small group of enthusiasts became a complex production embracing Nietzsche’s key philosophic developments: from his devastating critique of western philosophy as being “founded on a conjecture”, to his devastating denouncement of the concept of ‘god’ in arguably his most powerful and ultimately influential work “Thus spake Zarathustra”. We embraced too his more romantic poetry and his catastrophic personal life. In the way of a Method-trained actor by the time we finished I had become Nietzsche and I the poet drank at a hitherto unimagined alter. The exhilaration was electric.
 

I feel him still sneaking around after me in retrospective moments and I am discovering that he is all around us. That world he described for us in which we live shorn of its falsity and illusion is all there is. Everything else is hope, blind faith, and crass stupidity overlaid with marketing hype. Each moment is the one that matters: pursue the mission, capture the vision, by all means: but it is the moment-by-moment achievements that are the only reason for doing anything. Ultimately this is his position so reminiscent of the old Zen masters.
 

Yet for all that his position is ultimately that we cannot uplift ourselves, other than over millennia and that ultimately we begin again, and again, and again… times without number as we have done over millennia past. Each generation repeats the promises of the one preceding, playing the same tunes endlessly to a constantly moving backdrop… and should we be fortunate and particularly attentive we may grasp an insight, in an unguarded moment, that reveals all the secrets of the universe.[whoops: multiverse. ed.]
 

Playing Nietzsche was for me a continuous dejavu as, piece-by-piece, we slowly and with painstaking intensity ‘unpacked’ the scenes we had chosen. We’d started with hundreds of scenes from everything he’d ever written, and we read everything the Internet could deliver written about everything he wrote: taking scenes and playing them, reading the most erudite interpretations and some less erudite too. Interpretations: what did he mean here when he said that. Eventually it became all consuming, eating up fifteen to twenty hours a day and ultimately finding and confirming that chink in his super rationalist amour… the fantastical and terrifying idea of eternal recurrence. And through all this each day I had set myself the task to write at least one piece of completed work.
 

Part of the joy of being a performing poet is the process of becoming that which one plays.
 

I eventually had a sense of why Nietzsche [N] went mad. [If indeed he did go mad] such honesty was not made for our world. A particularly profound statement [for me] by N was his assertion to his friend and collaborator [and my co performer, Gäst , played by Sam Sleiman, philosopher and storyteller.] “I want to say in a paragraph what others say in a chapter.” That is a certain formula for insanity in my view.
 

And then of course the years raced on. 9/11 and all that: Afghanistan and Iraq, a world suddenly at war again denying Fukayama’s “end of history” theory and loading us down with liberation language of an unaccustomed kind, as the resurgent forces of conservatism outweighed the degenerating forces of progression.
 

It has also been a time of financial scandals and public trials. And then mention too, the generally cool and absorbing razz-ma-tazz, in the form of gladiatorial sports events and major movie releases all part of the super globalising endless marketing exercise cycles that constitute modern living. Suddenly it was five years after Nietzsche and a gap appeared and this collection said it was time for an airing.
 

Some of the pieces in here are what my family like to call “weird” and I don’t profess to understand some of what’s in them. I’m not even certain that I wrote them other than in the technical sense of being scribe to some remote intelligence or perhaps, experience… they were pieces that came from somewhere in the depths of whatever it is that we do when we sleep: go on adventures, travel in other dimensions of that multiverse predicted by quantum science: have nightmares. Sometimes they arrive from nowhere in the midst of wakefulness and demand to be recorded. Yet they are there in counterpoint to the Nihilistic world predicted and so accurately described by Friedrich N on the very threshold of the post-modern era.
 

Other pieces were of a routine “okay its poem writing time of day” because I had set myself something to do as one of that year’s “things” to do. These seem more prosaic and in some senses historical. In a similar way other selected pieces from outside of that millennium gap year were more compulsive: such as the surreal effect of watching the Second Gulf War on television, or the more realistically prosaic, trivial and often-random violent events of a stereotypical day around town n country.
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And then of course there were those pieces that were written by the Nietzsche I became during rehearsals for Nietzsche during that same epochal year that has become buried in post 9/11 rhetoric.
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Poetry is a strange literary form that appeals to fewer and fewer people which means that as a reader of this poetry you are amongst a tiny elite at the cutting edge of thought.
 

It is not essential that you like or love my work it is enough that I wrote it…the rest is outside of my control.
 

.NiK[05]

 
 

About the Poet.
 

Nicholas Jakari-Williamson [subsequently known as Nicholas Jakari]. has been writing and publishing poetry for the past three decades. His first published collection, Maze appeared in 1978 and his second collection “Random notes of a marginalised man” was published on his [now terminated] weblog www.Williamsonreport.co.za. He does also write other things but his business card describes him as a poet, which as he says makes his business card an oxymoron.
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This third collection includes some seventy-five pieces, with the oldest dating to 1979 [Winter], and the most recent in 2005 [Never kick a man until he’s down] and [ a dualist issue]. As you will find each piece carries the designation [b] .!NiK [year written][/b]

 

A considerable part of the collection is dated [00] indicating that it was written during 2000 when the poet set out on an objective to record the millennium year day by day in poetic form. This was a prolific period and resulted in more than 800 pieces of work. As is well known however “good poetry” is seldom made ”to order”. And so maybe 40 of the pieces are worth a second read, of which 33 were chosen for this collection, including the title piece for “Rehearsing Nietzsche” [Rehearsing lines from N….] Because the work of Frederick Nietzsche [N…] comes to centre stage in the poets theatrical life during 2000 some extracts from N…’s work are included where they seemed appropriate, with due apologies to any copyright holder from who’s property the poet may have made his selection… He doesn’t remember where any of it came from, since, he said, he didn’t select the vast cornucopia of words for academic purposes: he simply ingested them; and then presented them to an audience of aficionados who roared approval and called for more.

 
Some of this work may well also be called trauma poetry, for some pieces: Song of Victory, Reading some earnest undergraduate poetry, twelve September, were written following a horrific and tragic incident during the second half of 1994, which changed the poet and sent him off in a completely different direction.

 
Jakari-Williamson says his philosophy as a writer is founded on Derrida’s premise that ‘all the words have been written’ and the best we can do is to rearrange them in different forms and guises according to the rhetoric of the time, and then ”they have to be aimed somewhere”. He has no philosophy as a poet, he says, “the things keep happening and then plague me, smashing at the door ‘till I write them down and dispose of them.”

 

This collection is what he says anyway and who am I to gainsay this.
 
Editor.
 
This excerpt that follows are the opening set of some 70 pieces: of many varied themes and lengths.
 

 

A dualist issue

 
When you seek outside yourself
For exuberance and joy
You miss the moment
When it visits you
And you are not at home.
 

.NiK[05]
 

A Statement solicited from the Poet
on surviving a stereotypical
suburban street shoot-out

For an instant
I escaped our
post-modern,
oversaturated,
image-loaded simulations
of day to day uncertainty
for a dose of the real thing:
and was
for that brief moment
alive….
 

NiK (1995)

 

Slipping on the road to Shangri la: making movies
 

There was a man
who ran a business
selling time from out of clocks:
 

sold it by
the minute
and the hour.

 

If you had an
ancient
moment
that you’d
treasured
for some time,

 

you could pawn it
by the minute
for an hour.
 

.NiK[1991]

 

Never kick a man until he’s down
 

It’s amazing how a cliché can come to life
In front of your eyes and instantly
You
Have both validation
And confirmation
That a horror you
Had previously always
Anticipated;
Or believed to be true, and forgotten,
Its meaning sandwiched between lunch and dinner:
Remains true and active: not
Misbegotten.

 
So the cliché…the forgotten noun
Always kick a man when he’s down.

 
The venue was an open air
Public drinking
Bash
Of note
With “more than 20,000 people”, who all could vote,
In a park in our city.

 

The party was held by
The local
Operating division
Of an offshore intellectual enhancement movement
Dedicated to advance the
Cogitative
Skills
Of local young humans: drilled without pity.
 
Once a year they party in a beer drenched ‘fest’
Joyous and hearty; a ritual mime
That few decline
To bask
And debauch and “do their best”
In monogrammed vests under
Glorious scorching vaults
Of azure May sky.
 
It’s a party “to die for”. Slavering hordes
part with a buck, run
amuck guzzling
eisbein and bursting on
Bratwurst
Washed down with flagons of
A fond foaming brew.

 

The thrash runs all day
Then ends
Sharp by the way
At eighteen hundred hours: when the uniformed
Constabulary
Glowers, and orders
The taps all be closed
The moment
The licence expires.
 
By then the party is rowdy with noise ebullient
Some of the crowd
Spoiling with effluent, searching for
Action as drunk tempers fraction:
Guess why the “day” ends at nightfall;
When the temperature plunges like a fast falling wall
Degrees by
The minutes
And revellers dressed thoughtless for the heat
Of a high autumn day.
Feel the onset of winter as they suddenly
Freeze.
 
At that moment when the sun begins to slip behind
The distant edge and the hard chill
Of winter
Rushes to replace the joy and the fun,
The blistering heat,
The blazing sun
The festive joy starts to run.
Blooding the urge to stay
And perform
Desperate now to regain the warm
Taste
It is losing.
It is then: that’s the way…
 
The fight exploded
Abruptly: a spontaneous expulsion of
Loud shouting: voices loaded
With rage: a beating of fists: an instant onstage.
 
A prime aggressor raised his hands
A toreador, to the rhythm of the bands
Facing off across the ‘floor’ on a shorter, squared off fellow,
Stripped to the waist no longer mellow
With a flourishing score
Not waiting for gore:
A bull pawing the ground, head muscle-bound.
The tattooed
Fighter trembled,
Anticipating, glistening; flexing, his
Creatine steroid loaded,
Laced, muscle, definition, display.
His proclamation
In finale to the bold matinee.
 
The bull rushed in
And a blow was flung and the bull went to ground as the crowd
Surged around in an exhaled bound
Some in panic sensing doom leapt about seeking room across
The tables
Where the beer was served all unnerved. Picadors grabbed Matador
held him back from taking the floor: held him hard while
He roared
Defiance to the mob…lifting his head to the universe:
Fuck you all! … He was heard to curse.
 
In the gap where the crowd was thin…
Lay a figure and within
An instant as they all swept back toward
That struggle vortex
A hail of feet filled boots and running shoes
And high-heeled spikes held tight with screws
And hiking shoes hard laced with booze rained down on
That recumbent lump
Thump, thump,
Crash: fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck You!
Fuck!
Fuck!
Fuck!
FUCK!
They answered back and formed a ruck
For the rough hard taste of flesh:
Attack
The mesh of an upturned back;
Allowed the surge to rent and hack and hack….
 
When the crowd settled
The bull was gone; the toreador too
Lost his mettle:
Vanished before Security came
Trooping their colours threading through
To the place hunting for blame.
 
Waiters poured beer from portable barrels
Carted here
All day on their banner shrouded backs
Rushed in to replenish the thirsty hacks
Filled the upturned glasses
Lest the grand thirst passes… by.
.NiK[05]

 

Of rubicons and rubrics
 
I pledge to
Remain
Like the hooligan
On the bus
Waiting for the sixes
To stand.
 
I shall repeat the oath of
Allegiance
To the time of
Waiting
For a chance to chant
Together:
Striving to live
Up to the values
Of a disrespectful crowd.
 

.NiK[1998]

 
 

Winter
 

A break of light
Against the wall
Reveals the bar
‘tween me and you.
 
And here to keep me from you
A cross to bar the night
To share the quiet solemnity;
Our unimagined hope, held tight.
 

Beyond the squares
The bare fleshed veins
Etch out nature’s child
Stark with naked pain
And stroked with evening’s chill.
 

A howl across the darkness
Of a moment
Echoes off the
Barren seeds
Marked out by season’s change.
 

Now is the time
When warmth has gone
Our peace is held restricted
To the square yard of our mind.
 

.NiK[1979]

The Jonker Memorandum: chapter: Confession of a witness.

What follows is an extract from the text of the Jonker Memorandum. The full digital version will be uploaded in 2015. In the meantime you can listen to the story on the relevant podcast link.

Confession of a witness.

I once had a dream in which I
fired
a
rifle
and the shot was so LOUD I woke up,
and my ears
rangggggg
for weeks thereafter. The sheer
reality of the experience
disturbed me for months, in fact:
still disturbs me. Recently
I was again woken from a dream by its [the dream’s] sheer
reality.

Was it perhaps the intruder’s who came visiting at Christmas that
Triggered
it off? Perhaps the sound
of a gun being cocked woke me from a nightmare
then.
It may even have been a gun being cocked in my dream
that had woken me. But when I
woke it was with a crystal clear perception of something;
an incident
that had been so deeply buried by me that it was
forgotten until then.

How can a dream be so real yet
its truth
cannot be clarified?
An event
so real and yet so instantly
elusive?

I remembered that
there was a time, when I first went to the University that I pursued
the flames of passion and
railed against the oppressive State
in which we then lived. I even, I had believed
managed a marginal notoriety which
brought its own unwanted attention…
and terror. My low-key activist
period
lasted two years. The effect
was that there were three occasions
during those two years when I was plucked
from my world and shown the truth
of my situation. It took a while
but the penny finally dropped,
as they say.
Then I buried it all in denial and misdirection so
compressed
it took nearly
four decades to unlock it.

*****************8

On the first occasion a stranger approached
our group and shouted at me
in a downtown bar
where I was drinking
with some friends, “Keep your trap
shut!”
He shouted, unaccountably singling
me
out,
using the language of the, then,
oppressor class in our country. He produced
a revolver and pointed it at me. I reacted by leaping
through a handy window, fortuitously
unbarred
then
and got out of there fast. It had
simply seemed a strange albeit
not unheard of experience; and it was
a downtown bar, in one of their neighbourhoods. Now of course I know I could have been freaked out for days and probably was
Then… it was/is…? Uncool? To show that…
I put it out of my mind and
Got it on with living.

On the second
occasion
I had been travelling with two acquaintances: Duke
and Lex
in Duke’s car on a Saturday afternoon. We were
forced
to stop, by a car that pulled in front of us
on a quiet road, and a man
claiming to be from the feared Special Branch waved
his badge, told the
two in the front to keep
their eyes to the front,
pulled me to the window,
stuck a small revolver into my mouth and told me
to keep my trap shut
or else the finger would move … “You keep your fucken
trap shut.”
Again the language was that of our Oppressors and again
the phrase was common cause with those who would not hear the
truth. Curiously none of us discussed the incident
after they had gone. My acquaintances
dropped me off home and I never saw them again…. Did they know that the incident
was going to happen?

My photograph had appeared that week on the
front page of a
Zone One daily,
The Star,
in connection with “Mass protest action at the University”, where I was a first year student of politics and economics…1967.

I didn’t really understand
what it was all about…my subject choice
was dictated by how the lecture times could be
fitted around the many part-time jobs I needed to
pay
for the journey. People said that the system was bad
and generally I responded to it on the basis
that it was I was discriminated against by “them”. I was both an immigrant
and a country boy
and those “others” who were the true target of “Their”
discrimination
were largely unknown to me. I was in most ways a
product
of the intention. I never really ‘knew’
how “The system” worked
anyway
or had worked back then before the ‘new’
revised post ’48 system
came;
and what was “a system”
anyway… Still, that is the role of the front line trooper… to do but not to know.

I worried
that the mere sight of a photo could have the ever-omniscient Bureau of State Security on my back
or more specifically in my mouth. In my
personal hubris,
or perhaps denial, perhaps, something
even more horrible for it never occurred to me until this day
that there could be an ulterior motive. That could indicate the state of paranoia that prevails in a Police State. It reveals too the level of paranoia that we all lived with that
could blind me to a certainty for so long..

Then later, a year later, during Woodstock [which
I was unaware of at the time
like everyone else I knew] they came
for me
at three am. Bashed
the door until I awoke, and
hooded me,
and took me somewhere that was cold and dark and
shouted oaths at me
and told me what would happen if I
didn’t
“Keep my trap shut”…And in my foolish
innocence and deep committed
denial, I had
presumed them to be obsessed with
my unbelievably small part in the “Struggle”,
and that those more involved than I must get hell
for
these
guys
seemed to be always in my face.

I couldn’t discuss it with anyone, ‘cos they
said
if I did
something bad would happen to my folks; and they
knew
my father had an aneurysm explode
in his brain the previous year; and he could barely work
and how much
he owed to the State for
Medi’
care, and they would call
in his account. In any event
I had no idea who I could trust or why I
seemed to be singled out, and being
truly intimidated by then foreswore the struggle for solitude
and avoidance; for
the whole Sixties thing of lust, booze and dope. Later I dropped
out
and never dropped back in again.

And the voice still rattling in my nightmare came now with absolute clarity…it never had anything to do with ‘The Struggle’ it said. No…it was more prosaic than that…it had simply to do with “Murder”.

***********

Is there an act of evil
more calculated to inspire terror
in the gathered citizen,
than the sound of murder on the night-still air, carried out for all
the world to hear because those who carry
out the act do not seem to care that they commit evil?
Truly they do
not believe
that they commit a crime.

What after all is a “crime” and
Is not
One person’s “crime” another person’s act of liberation?
And should we
Go that
Dionysian
route?

In my adopted country
at the time when I was growing up
there were three classes of
Citizen, respectively first class, second class and
third
class
and what applied to the country applied to my adopted ‘homey’: a mining/ industrial town
that formally committed suicide in more or less
the year
that the incident resurrected from my dream
took place.

The town itself was
a modestly prosperous archetype, of a formerly first class,
now relegated to second class, Koloniste
controlled
pre-revolutionary Azanian
urban place.

It was
in reality
modestly prosperous
for only a small part of the recently deposed, former Koloniste ruling class, now known as the second class.

The rest of us lived bleak lives, forever at the edge of catastrophe.

Understand that we are talking about days far,
far away. A time
soon after the war that Mehta* calls the First World War and others call the Second.

We [my immigrant parents and I] were technically
part of the former ruling
class, the Anglos, and we,
[our tiny family],
were a particularly despised part, because
we had come directly from the “motherland”,
and were poor,
and were regarded with deep suspicion
by both of the established
Koloniste groupings.

Indeed life in our adopted town was harsh, and
consisted
of real grinding poverty
for most of the newly empowered
jackbooted, ruling Koloniste class, or ‘The Maboere’, as the Dissies
liked to call them.
There was naturally a small established and establishing
Cronyist elite
Whose lives
were more pleasant.

Life amongst the Maboere was
so harsh
they made a virtue out of sending their children barefoot to school,
and those scions of the newly enriched
amongst them
would leave home shod, then hide their shoes, so as to fit in with their peers. They would see us watching
them do it and we knew
to run or cycle off at speed.

These brutal antagonists who came to dominate and overwhelm
our lives
were themselves confusing:
capable almost simultaneously of unspeakable cruelty
and gregarious warm hearted kindness
coupled with
a certain brutal honesty
quite absent from the more duplicitous species,
with whom we were forced
to bond
by legislative decree,
and with whom I found scant comfort.

And then; beyond we two groups: the old Koloniste class and the newly empowered ‘other’ Koloniste class, the Maboere,
were the Dispossessed, third class, living in a place
so dark
most of us were unaware of their existence, even though
we were completely aware of their existence.

“They” were “those”: known only as “THEM”: the ‘Dispossessed’, ‘Dissies’… the “despised”, the disenfranchised…the despairing.

The new ruling class was forever in our
faces with their “RULES”.
For back-up their philosophy was
reinforced by an entity called God, that
was omnipotent apparently, and omniscient
and couldn’t be seen by unbelievers, and spoke the “truth”, only
to our new rulers. And we saw
this “God” to be an evil entity that
ruled on the myriad things we weren’t allowed to do.

The most important of “the rules” was that
it was forbidden
to be even remotely polite or
“nice” to anyone
from the Dispossessed class,
and so,
ironically,
as a result, the Dispossessed Klass came to completely obsess
and
[ultimately]
overwhelm the new ruling klass, [ those known as the “Maboere”] who
feared all along that these
entities,
as they perceived them,
would ultimately undermine and usurp
their own revolution. And as we now know, this eventually came to pass.

The Dispossessed were called “Sataans” by
the newly empowered, yet brutalised, new, first
or
Ruling Klass “Maboer” citizen…Old women would
watch a passing dispossessed
entity, a ‘dissie’,
and hiss… “Sataans”… “Children of evil,” and we were told
by our teachers, who
were more often than not Maboere, who beat us regularly in
the name of the new religion
with planks taken from the tops
of the school desks, and ripped at sinews
under our flesh until in
agony we agreed that “they” must
be left to do their own thing, because
“they” were incorrigibly wedded to darkness…This was an unforgiving mantra.

We were further instructed to believe that “these
people” were condemned by the
sin [whatever that was]
of a name called Adam, and
marked by a name called Cain to live
lives of enslaved servitude
in awful bondage to brutal leaders who would make them suffer because
“they deserved it”. And
in our own ignorance we heard how
“they” had been rescued
from ignorance, and
perdition and
the desperation of their previous existence, whatever
that had been,
to subsist in some discarded refuse heap where their choice was dispossession
or death.

In other parts of the planet, we learned, really
evil Koloniste
had exterminated those they could not
subdue [and in so doing discovered the real
meaning
of freedom: something
we were not told] We [ the ‘Dissie’s” latest oppressors] on the
other hand
had discerned a latent
humanity
[apparently] in the “Dissies”
as “they” were called, and therefore our treatment of them
was more humane. As proof of their [Maboer] humanity
they would point to how “their” [Dissie] population was
consistently
growing for the first time in their [Dissie] recorded history; maybe even ‘their’ [Dissie] unrecorded history too. indicating,
they asserted, with beatings and threats
that “they” were thriving
in captivity. The idea that “they” were dispossessed was never raised
or if it was
it was argued, again with beatings implied or actual, that all groups of citizens were really Koloniste
and that
the “real” inhabitants, now nearly all dead,
were never “owners’, actually, notwithstanding unfettered
occupation for a hundred thousand years.
They had never learned to read and
write and develop property rights so logically
they
had
none.
The original
Inhabitants had been caught in a vice
Exterminated from both ends; hunted down
and killed
for loving freedom more than
servitude. “…And for living on the land
like a wild animal…”

We thus lived in a wonderful
plastic
bubble of
Grande illusion, which existed within a structured
hierarchy
of benefits.
These benefits permitted swill to be gobbled from the trough
of goodies
available to the “successful” in such an ordered world.

While we [the new second class Koloniste] had “rights” to ‘it all’
they
were tempered
by the obligation,
sponsored by the book inspired ethos
“Thou shalt be mean to the
dispossessed.” And therefore, since
the dispossessed could be anybody
simply by association… those who were
“nice” to the “Dissies” must be
“Dissielovers!”
secretly lusting to enjoy the
VERBOTEN
bodies of the “Dissies”. For as everyone
“knew” [and was evidenced by the rapidly expanding population], ‘Dissies’
“fucked like rabbits” and that
was true
as it turned out for the “dissies”
soon outnumbered the new ruling Klass by far.

So the New Ruling Klass [NRK] carried their power with increasing
fervour: a holy
book in one hand and a rifle
in the other… Do as I say or die…those were the options.

For many years life was bleak
and tedious and within
the narrow perimeters set by zealous
god obsessed,
dispossessed obsessed,
dark suited, dark hatted Bureakrats, we,
who were now being called the “baby boomers” got on with the business of living.

Through short wave we discovered:
Rock n Roll, Elvis
Presley n Micky
Most, n jive
n
bop, n
things that were alive
like warm wet places, and that first
tentative
open-mouthed
exchange before the tongue arrived and gave
erotic
edge to sudden hardness.

Rock n Roll came, via a crystal set, or short wave
In the days
Before frequency modulation
Made our
Control
easier
maybe,
the long, main wave went for their god as often as not
with mournful dirges
interspersed with long speeches
by dark-suited voices. And in
between were the commodity prices and the price
of wool and maize and millet and hay and gold was
pegged at thirty three dollars
and we lived on a gold standard and what everybody loved
and obsessed about almost as much as they obsessed about the dispossessed, was gold.

Our family came to live amongst the former now declining
ruling cl
ass who were mostly
Well off and established while we
were new and poor and not. Immigrating
to east south central back [aka: east central Zone One] then at that particular time proved to be imprudent ultimately, for the adults in the family, and fraught with daily violence for us kids.

And so we found that behaviour
is indivisible. To spend your life ignoring
the horror of what was being done
gradually corroded the very soul of pity
and peeple took whatever opportunity

they could
to dis a neighbour, harm another person if they could.

If the first mantra of the Dispossession era was
to be nasty to the dispossessed
eventually everyone became nasty
to everyone. It was easier that way
to remember to be bad
to “dissies’. My folks found themselves in
a blocked drain and were soon…within a few
short
years
without many of their few
friends, some old friends: having like us
come inadvertently from the ‘motherland’.

Most left at the first sight of the coming storm, and
being “our” network,
it shredded and left us [my parents] somewhat stranded…not terminally stranded, well not then, but
yes, eventually, terminally stranded.

So the fifties came and went and
the sixties compressed
us to bursting point
and we lived in our leafy suburbs that
were designated to be solely
Koloniste
territory and we were forbidden on pain of terrible retribution to ever go to a place where the “sataans” dwelt…a place with a name that no one spoke of. It was simply, “There”.

We sailed through childhood steering
with greater certainty. I gradually
discovered that no matter how painful, the pre-emptive
strike option, ultimately used by Uncle Dubya Bush in Iraq, was
the only rational response to bullies. Take
your moment
when it suits you. For bullies
were abounding and encouraged. And
after an event called
Sharpeville things became pretty
brutal for a time, and it
became sensible to carry a stick
when cycling
to beat back marauding informal enforcers.

Later,
on the night of the elegant,
but unattended, final
school farewell
dance
we listened rather to the news of Kennedy’s assassination on
the short-wave radio
in the Nash 600 bought eighth hand and only running cos the old-man knew how to build motors
and torture young sons to be his “spanner boys”.
He chose not to hire from the local mine compound; where
the men were grudgingly
allowed to
work in private gardens
on their Sunday’s-off, from work in the mines.

We had heard of Kennedy.
The year before he had done something against the Komuniste,
whom we understood to be the agents of evil,
and the “sataans”.
And when Bay of Pigs and the Cuban missile
crisis happened,
followed by our trial examinations, we had all been
so freaked out, because we had been told
by the voices on all the waves
that the world was about to end, and not really
grasping the big picture, understood that the little
picture
meant, fuck the exams and get
drunk and, hopefully, maybe, desperately, we could get laid…Hhhah.

Kennedy had been cool and gave us
glimpses of what was coming. The world shed
its skin then
and began bursting from the chains of former consciousness. The world stirred
and the bullet took its own
patterns of unintended consequences…perhaps. We produced
the worst set of final results in the history of the school
to that time and people bewailed the declining standards of youth
and an evil maths instructor
beat me regularly with a stick and predicted inevitable failure…Violence and failure were our lessons in Trigonometry
and the rest and so by the end there was barely a flicker in me
of what my parents had come to escape. Barely a
spark undimmed by the
savage nature of the place.

But those other places; “there”
where the Dissies lived were also bursting
and the streets were patrolled by hard
faced upwardly
mobile despots
presiding over autarchies
with short whips called sjamboks
and guns and an attitude that permitted the assault
and beating of a citizen without compunction; or redress
for a ‘dissy’, or someone designated a ‘dissie-lover’!… A mark
of shame spoken about in either hushed and muted voices or with
violent
denunciation.

And if perchance a ‘decent’ Koloniste man
should have need to carry a Dissy
female in a vehicle alone
then it behove him to put her on the back
seat and have an innocent third party like a Koloniste
child travel with them, lest he be apprehended for licentious behaviour and be ruined.

For through all this the hormones
flowed, finally affecting me
in line with
all the other guys who discovered
‘stoneys’ somewhere in the ninth
grade, after which the
urge to penetrate warm folds of flesh; to feel
the thrust of orgasmic glory…prevailed over sensitivity.

By then we too believed,
almost,
that those Dissies were ‘Sataans’, when
we thought about “them” at all, for “they” were largely unseen
and seldom reported on, other than in the statements of sombre ruling cadre Koloniste.
And of course in the
weekly news reports
when a dissy committed murder. “They” became the bogeypersons of our waking nightmares, when we ever had them.

Then, there were so many things to think about…rock n
roll had been banned on the radio
except for some token half-
hour
given to the nation once a week
for Johnny Walker’s hit
parade,
and we gangling know-it-alls were tuned to LM
radio and the sounds of Eddie Cochran and the Rolling Stones; not to mention ‘Ruby’.

The explosion of the sixties was right
on us when
we went off and had our heads shaved to become acolytes
of the noble Reich: learning to shoot “sataans”
and going awol to Durban beach
for a month and losing four days pay for
days in detention
barracks and being beaten
and beaten again…Head shaved, again
How dare you dis the people who dis the dissies. It was beat
thump
thrash. Beat,
thump,
thrash.
Beat,
thump,
thrash
these were the
measures
on the path of childhood from the beat, thump, thrash
of infancy to the beat,
thump, thrash of a wild November night
in ’66,
when the truth was all revealed
and nothing could ever be again as it had been.

That Friday night started
at the Drive-in
movie house,
which was rarely visited anymore for purposes
of watching movies, visited instead
with accomplices
encountered on the afternoon
umbilical train rides home from the city where I passed
the day. In our time of real innocence
we eat popcorn on the back seat, watched the miracle of movies between mom n pop’s heads,
fighting for the best place
nearest the sound machine propped onto the windowsill,
then…
Now the sound box played
to dis-interested attention and the propriety pretence of being there for a movie, but alternately occupied, with vodka and willing young lusts.

Later when the movie ended
and our excuses for impropriety had fled
and the necking hour outside in the drive
way was ended, then
I returned home in sublime ecstasy.
Lost in the lust
for newly discovered flesh and feeling the effects of some vodka I carefully parked the second hand Morris
I had bought, flushed with my pay, saved in the bank like a good little boy, accumulated while disserving the
country for compulsory prison
service, abused by a half blind
corporal, reading the weather
forecasts. Being thrifty with money brought
wheels and willing partners, thereafter there’s none anymore and thriftiness gets you nowhere.

Our house was on a road
that overlooked a vlei,
or wetland, if you prefer. Running through it
was a concreted gully that carried what was originally a stream, for a few million years,
before the mines came
and turned it into a cyanide sluiceway.

On either side of it was parkland, extended
wetland really,
originally all scheduled for parkland
development by the old elites
and then rapidly invaded by those new
elites who wanted to swamp the place with voters. The parkland was cut at right angles to our boundary road by a footpath, which in turn was lit by streetlamps every thirty metres or so.

The full moon
that had
earlier been hidden behind the storm clouds,
to give our booze coated kisses convenient darkness, had now
burst through the moving cumulo nimbus
and sparkled
with the lamplight
on a hundred scattered puddles.

It was not widely thought
then that the full moon would bring a werewolf.
It was however widely believed that the full moon brought
prowlers of a different nature…
Werewolves were not real. “Sataans” were. Even as we
were being desperately advised
that they weren’t…Our world was obsessed to the point of prurience
with the sleeping habits of ‘sataans’.

By then we had lost our own Kennedy alter
ego, Verwoerdt, the bad man who had straddled
our emerging consciousness and died, stabbed
to death
by an unsung, yet unacknowledged, hero, unmourned by all
save his acolytes.

Unlike today
when all our homes are walled and locked, secured
by bolts and violent dogs
and we are all free,
then there were no such simplicities. Then
the chains were on the perimeters and within lay our
bubble of illusion.
A simple gate to define a boundary, and a gap in the driveway
next to the hedge
where my Morris would park in the open: freezing in the
winter from the passing vlei
and rained on through summer,
with a storm a day just
before dusk: a routine rhythm for a routine life…Go to
work on a train.
Score someone on a train. Go to the drive-in and explore all their parts. Go home sleep
go to work on a train….

Sleepyhead time to wake up….

And now we live in the echo of those days.

When the full moon is up and
the storm has gone and the heat of November has been
cooled by moist
sombre air the sounds carry further than is usual. I had
just finished chaining the steering wheel to the clutch
pedal, standing, in the absolute silence
of the moonlit moment, with
the key in the lock
when I heard the distinctive clunk of a firearm being cocked.

I’dbeenthere,fired a fewthousandroundsknewthesound.
My hair stood
on the back of my neck; bristled through
the vodka.
A sharp command rang
through the night.

“Halt “Dissie” followed
by a string of foul oaths
relating to the unseen Dissie
in the dark: and then the sound of running.

The air always settles after a storm and the sound
waves flatten out and sharp noises and voices travel for miles
then,
kilometres now,
along beaded atmospheric droplet cadences of water.

So as to where the sound came from I couldn’t tell. We lived in the wetland
valley and it was questionable
whether the house should ever have been built there; like the
school for mini Maboere built on the opposite
side of the park, built where a crafty sum of
money had caused a line to move on a map
somewhere, disrupting the soundflow in the ancient vlei.

Then I knew where it was.

Still barely conscious of my current surroundings, still locked
in thoughts of pleasant dalliance, lifted
by liquor and the afterglow of lust,
I was fumbling in the moonlight for the cold metal keyhole when a figure burst across the courtyard gate.

The gate was a normal height, about head
high to the average male adult of the day
with none of the razor wire adornments that festoon gates today…so it was a clean hurdle of the kind that would score gold medals in another setting.

The figure had cleared the gate,
landed
and hurtled past me in the driveway,
while I was still relating to the truth of some intrusion….
And what should I have done then? Should I have stuck my leg out backwards….
tripping him up as he flew past…
Better for him I had…but would it have been better for me?

The driveway gates were still
wide open
and the dark figure of the running Dissie
streaked
for
the
gap,
head down and moving faster than I ever could.

Then, as he reached the road a second
figure came across
the courtyard gate,
fifteen metres behind. My first thought…was it his accomplice?

No. He worked alone it seemed, or perhaps he went
the wrong way.
The second figure was the taller,
bulkier,
uniformed
figure
of
authority.

The man’s cap flew off as he grounded, and landing, he
gave a strangely characteristic twist of his
body as he by- passed me, still half
crouched in the driveway. Step, Step
He’d done it before,
many times before, I knew, through our respective
childhoods when we former Koloniste elites fought out
our ancient antagonism for the newly empowered
albeit longer established Koloniste on the hallowed battleturf called rugby.

My heart lurched in the streetlight at the
recollection
of those ritual slaughter sessions
where we fifteen kids would take on their always bigger and
bearded
eighteen men,
in unequal contest, dominated by maximum
punishment inflicted on the ‘enemy’; and generally
we gave as good as we got.

Before I could fully
grasp the strangeness of a schoolboy
now a big bulky policeman;
his partner came over the gate, slower and with less
agility and plenty of oaths. He never sidestepped, but cursed
and knocked me aside and I crunched down on the
driveway.

My heart lurched about.
I heard again the caning sounds of ritual beatings from the owners
of those voices that swore the oaths
that drew me towards the gate. I should have ignored it all and gone to bed to dream of sweet Angelica.

Like a well-trained boy I picked up the fallen cap, rolled it over
where regulation required that a
proud
owner
should hide his name:
Korn?: with the hard plosive K the hard rolling R and the sound attributed to a horse; going to ground with the ball, for his
inevitable touch down.

Yo Aah Korn?, Yay Korn?: and he condescending of we “souties”
as ‘they’, the mini Maboere,
would call us.

I found I had followed them to the pavement’s edge, watched
them chase their quarry
past the swings
in the small children’s playground
across the street: an abstraction in the park
where once Lorraine from down the street had leapt from a swing, hooked her dress which remained behind and revealed
pink knickers and sweet little bumps and ran home mortified
and never came to play again.

They were running towards the light at the edge of the footbridge that crossed the slow moving cyanide oozings.

Then one of them shot the Dissie. My guess
was Korn? shot him cos there was only one shot
and it was taken on the run and the perfect execution of the ball and the posts was Korn?’s trademark
in those bi-annual blood-baiting contests
between antagonists that we’d played between 5th grade and 12th.

The running stopped.
I could see a shape lying in the moonlight; a blob of
shadow spotlit in the circle of light
at the mouth
of the bridge.

“Get my cap”
the order,
like “get the ball!” was barked
in the “Taal”
at a subordinate,
although they both seemed to be equals: Konstables. But
Korne was like that.
Since 5th grade he was the boss,
playing barefoot on a burned crisped pitch that tore our lesser well-shod feet
tender feet…”You vil remove your boots to play here”
said their referees, “it is the only fair thing to do”
and left him champion of the entire field and we all let him be.

I met the partner at the edge of the playground
By the swings,
and silently handed him Korn?’s cap.
He scrutinised me,
a familiar
hard,
intense, mad dog stare:
bush fever glittering in the eyeballs. The excitement of the hunt
completed they now had to check out the witnesses and take their statements.

They never took mine.

There were others who arrived and from whom they noted down and elicited words of praise
for a job well done.
They were neighbours who came out to check
what the shooting was about, and soon saw the figures
by the footbridge in the lamp lit moonlight
and within a minute or two it seemed the street was there approving the deed.

And I saw the figure move.

They had stripped him
when they reached him. Down with his
trousers and shirt over his head. Incongruously
somehow he was wearing a brightly coloured swimming
costume in place of the more common cotton underpants fashionable
amongst the rest of us, and I thought, how odd,
for no dissie was permitted to enter
a swimming pool, and I
wondered how he had been able
to buy one.

There was a small hole
oozing blood
alongside his spine where the kidneys
should be
and he had landed face down in a small muddy
streak of slimy water
where the ancient clay met newly minted cyanide;
and he lifted his head to breath.

“He should be dead.” Spoke a vengeful
voice from the growing crowd in the darkness beyond the lamplight. “Make him dead” growled another
indignant
guttural
voice
in the dark. This prompted a chorus of approval
from the rest accompanied with foul oaths regarding the once again ‘proven’ satanic ancestry of the ‘fucken dissies’:
death it was asserted would be welcomed by the Dissie.

And Korn? struck a pose. Like
an old time hunter
with his daily slaughter, he
placed his foot on the back of the
wounded man’s head and firmly pushed it
down
into
the
mud
for a time, while he took out his notebook
and called for witnesses
to certify that
what they had seen was the truth, the whole
truth
and nothing
but the truth, and god [whatever that was] help those who said otherwise.

If any found the scene distasteful they said
nothing, and most, it seemed,
murmured approval. The dissie was getting his deserts. How dare
he be out here in
town in the middle of the night…The nine
o clock curfew had sounded!
Everyone could hear it!
Curfew meant that a dissie on the streets could be shot on sight and it was okay.

And I couldn’t look at them. I stared
in turmoil
at that boot, in contact with that woolly head; watched the smearing
lurch of bubbles,
the spasm. Could this be right? Was this allowed? Should I not speak out!
And would I be beaten again and again if I did.
And then,
too late…the silence of stillness when he drowned.

I told myself he was going to die
anyway…
that was a killing shot,
they said,
and there were no hospitals then
that could deal with that…certainly no hospitals for a dissie. I heard them
say that, as if in a dream.
But i knew
it was wrong and i did nothing
and what did that make me, when they came
later
to tell me to keep my mouth shut
or the same
would happen to me…They came for me because
they knew what they had done… was wrong.
And in so knowing
revealed their own slithering humanity
beneath their carefully airbrushed
cloak of evil… but I kept silent and lost mine…They said that I must keep my trap shut, that he died resisting arrest.
But they lied, for we all knew.
It was murder.

.NiK[04]