Corruption speeds-up (or the reporting of?)

I don’t suppose it should come as a surprise.  With such riches sprinkled – neh! Ladled upon the undeserving, for running around; for kicking a ball and then being photographed with their mouths wide open whilst they shout about it (ever noticed that?)

Sportspeople are approaching the status of Singers and Comedians (themselves made truly hideously rich for, well, singing and comedianing), and now the corruption thoughts lead to the business tie-ins.

Nike this time as French prosecutors launch a fresh inquiry into the awarding of the 2021 World Athletics Championships to Nike’s hometown of Eugene – can you just IMAGINE the flood of ASPIRATIONAL TV IMAGES Nike would flood us with, on the lead-up to these events?

One of the largest truckloads of evil cynicism ever to grace a screen.

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Similarly FIFA’s mess –

fifa corruption
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Similarly cycling –

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Black Friday 27/11/15

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Black Friday, Black Tag events, Black Friday week(?), Black Friday weekend, Black ticket event, blah blah blah blah blah . . .

Can we stop yet?

a long byte

17/11/2015

ExhaustedTeacher

Long day – about 12 hours today (it’s open evening here at College) – and I always find that by the time I get home (8.15pmish) I’m still buzzing – so getting to sleep is difficult.

Trouble is, the team are still in red-alert mode as we’re in the middle of an ‘observation window’ – where any session you teach on might be visited by a clipboarded person who checks if you’re brilliant, or crap.  Every teaching session needs informing by a raft of paperwork: the annual plan, a profile list of various learning difficulties, timetables, registers . . . 2-folders worth.

I am currently sat in a classroom where IT students cannot save work, because there is some system problem.  The same problem as yesterday, a different problem to last week, which was similar to the problem the week before – itself a re-run of the ‘glitch’ experienced the week before that.

Is anyone counting?

These items occurring just after the set-up weeks (Sept – into end October) where you’re requesting capacity uplifts (why?) to have printers attached to PCs that need them (why?) to have Moodle available to an entire Course (why?) – a score of IT glitches, or misconfigurations that a lecturer – moving from room to room during the course of a timetable tries to sort out, and just about manages by the end of October.  I’ve just counted – I have sent 39 emails to MITS since the beginning of this academic year – all dealt with brilliantly, I have to say.

The lecturers put a really brave face on it, but – let’s be honest, we’ve all become a little scared of saying anything.

Meanwhile (and this week alone – my god it’s only Tuesday) – we are here: Capacities shrink, or Drives disappear altogether, files appear and disappear, files become read-only, entire software suites magically ‘not there’ after some upgrade, or some alteration.

Today (18/11/15) an excellent 2nd year A-Level student was within a centimetre of losing a year’s work – where the PC was steadily corrupting her memory-stick, I had enough time to help her – in-between pressing a keyboard stroke, and then waiting for the character to appear on-screen, a few seconds later.

Morning muses . . .

migrateThis morning I saw thousands upon thousands of birds were setting off on their migration.
I saw them from the Lounge window, so high – wave upon wave of them, across a blue background, not seen for too many days.

It was the beginning of one of ‘those’ days.
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I think the links, the associations we make, stay in the head or heart as long as we live.
They might sleep, just below the surface for months or years, but they remain, to be awakened – if times, systems, situations, circumstance allow.

night

Then it gets to late night: and you wonder if planetary systems, weather patterns, seasons, moon-state  all conspire to guide our paths, or, at least, post sign-posts along the way.

I’m a Libran, so by october 23 you might think all that might happen, has.

Yet for me, throughout my life,  November has always been power month.

I feel I could almost look up and see the stars swirling ever faster as they arrange and rearrange fate.

Given enough ‘real space’ in my head (so no job, then, temporarily) I sometimes feel I could mentally reach-up and point a finger into those swirling clouds of fate, just to witness the forces shaping-up, and to sense the colour of their determination, perhaps even their destination.

I can actually see them, sense then there as I drive, or stare out, or sleep – and my god they’re powerful.

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But they move, god how they move – and one bad night closes it all down, renders any wider understanding impossible, actually not there at all, and you wait for the cycle to return, for that day, or those days when the insights return.
You can taste when they’re there – the smell of a morning, the silence of a dawn, or the behaviour of birds.

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A message came through, confirming, and delighting.
Later in the day an email came through from my boss, congratulating me on something or other, I got rid of a piece of work that had been bugging me all week, and another email stated that the work “observation window” was about to start (next Tues) and last for 2-weeks – stress, then.
And don’t these ‘constructed’ concerns, these daily stresses, this muddle of real and not-real ‘jobs’ (our society has built for us, has taught us to believe in), interfere so much with any perspective we might have gained?

Certainly does for me.

Wanna deal, matey?

spiv2Well I dunno – it’s all got a bit Barra-Boy spivs smoking tiny cig-ends leaning against lamp posts in the swirling fog.

What is? The process of buying stuff you HAVE TO BUY, here in the UK.

Take gas or electric. You can find a deal if you search and switch, and then comply with a few restrictions. No-one will offer the lowest possible price to you (taking into account all costs and investments needs) just because it’s a human necessity.

I mean REALLY?   You have to seek out a DEAL on Gas/Electric?

You know, I don’t really want to have to find a deal for something as basic as heating and cooking, or for a legal requirement, or to discover hidden costs, hidden deals, hidden prices.
More, I shouldn’t have to.

Train tickets?   One price somewhere, another price somewhere else, and no doubt there’s a deal to be had somewhere else again.

spivInsurance? (and don’t forget motor insurance is a legal necessity) You’ll get a quote. It will be ridiculous, you get another – no better, you go online, much different – you call the original company, and they (guess?) do a deal – bettering their 1st offer by £100 or more.

 

What does that say?
It says “you HAVE to buy insurance, so I’m gonna fleece you as much as I can – AND I’m going to send officious documents reminding you of your legal duty whist I rip you off.  When I’ve finished doing that, I’m gonna sell your details on to garages, ambulance chasers, legal firms if I discover you might have a need (?) for one of these, AND then I’ll take a cut of their profits”.

 

OK, OK I know – this is the market economy. Competition drives down prices. Competition adds choice, avoids cartels – and it seems to work – to a point.

I think in the UK, we’ve just stepped-over that point where it’s healthy.

For me, it’s starting to feel faintly subversive, with smutty, untrustworthy trickster-land dealing that subverts decent trade and denies reasonable access to fair-priced necessities.

Tax Credit cuts

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It comes to some really serious shit when the House of Lords – let’s just re-type that: The House of LORDS, possibly the largest collection of affluence, position and social standing within one group of individuals – stands against a Government in Power – on the subject of support for low-income families.
From (you might think) a collection of the most right-wing leanings, comes the most left-wing concerns. Amazing.

losing the plot – UK leads the way

nhs-staff-abuse-poster
Lets face it – any society that feels the need to put up such posters in doctors surgeries, A & E centres etc – has already utterly and completely lost the plot.

The Poster’s signal is clear – “It’s too late for Posters”

To me it means that so many people that you and I rub shoulders with, in the course of day-to-day life use drama, lies, abuse and threats in some attempt to bend things toward their weird way of living and/or thinking.

Not just in the Surgeries or A & E; on the roads, the pavements, in shops – I am witnessing a steady descent into a sort of low-level lawlessness, a sort of wild-west mentality – in the name of choice, or rights, or freedom of action/inaction.