Jul 062012

I had a bad experience today.  It’s affected me pretty horribly.  It’s seeped into the rest of my life too.  An unhappy evening.

I’m not very good at dealing with disagreement.  Ever since the 1990s and the conflicts in the Balkans, I’ve tried to avoid being tribal.  My early life was built on a tribalism of an awful nature – a see-saw battle between an atheist father from a socialist background on the one hand and a dyed-in-the-wool anti-Communist Catholic mother on the other.

I really didn’t know where I stood.

I rarely have.

So I find it difficult to embrace tribal certainties.  I believe this makes me a figure of suspicion to others who see tribal allegiances as certain routes to a popular acceptance by their peers.

But today I had two experiences which showed me that there is a tribe I must be faithful to.

And that tribe is myself.

In order to do so, and just to let you know, I’m taking a break from tweeting over at twitter.com/eiohel – as well as blogging at this place.  I may occasionally add something to http://error451.me.

Then again, I may not.

Paulo Coelho posted a beautiful photo this afternoon on Facebook.  In Spanish, it said: “Don’t waste time explaining; people only hear what they want to.”   Tearfully, I agree.

My spirit and instincts to communicate openly and honestly are, by now, pretty much broken.

You probably lose very little – if anything at all.

I lose everything I believed in.

I now have to rebuild on firmer foundations.  Those foundations will involve me finding people who can agree with me; people who may believe in me; an environment where certain things are unquestionable givens.

I’m not religious – nor, now, will ever return to being so.

But I do need to feel there are particular certainties I can rely on.

We all need certainties to a minimum degree.  And today I realise I’m no different from you.

Jul 062012

Lisa’s right.  Here she briefly talks about a silent run on the big banks.  All those people going their virtual ways as they phone impersonal call centres which – in other times – cost-cutting and internal customer-focussed banking hierarchies imposed, against our collective will, on us all.

Remember when we used to know who our bank manager was?  Indeed, remember when bank managers actually existed?  Imagine having to deal with a long-term face-to-face relationship like that as we drummed up the courage to take our life’s savings elsewhere.  We never did it, did we?  We never even contemplated it.

And now imagine how easy it’s going to become for anyone to propose to themselves the almost revolutionary act of moving their dosh to another institution.  All it takes is the simple act of lifting up that phone and dialling that number.

That’s all it takes.

It’s really really nice, all of a sudden, to be able to realise that what was once a shield to protect a company’s reputation from its own customer relations becomes, again all of a sudden, and in our hands, a tool and a sword to re-establish a sense of natural justice.

Call centres make it so very much easier to say goodbye to that company which preferred – for so long – to use data in order that it might understand us, instead of a real interaction between people.  And just as their Key Performance Indicators have failed them in their understanding of complex products, now their aversion to human contact is allowing us to easily release ourselves from their branded grips.

Happy times!

At last!

Jul 062012

I posted yesterday on the famous Spectator interview with George Osborne, in which he is clearly at ease spreading muck around the Westminster farmyard.  To date, the interview has been interpreted as, initially, a clever move by Osborne to muddy the waters for a public inquiry into banking and bankers, a sector which funds the Tory Party to the tune of fifty percent of its income; and then, latterly, as an example of Osborne continuing his unhealthy obsession with the career of Ed Balls.

But there is a third interpretation I’ve yet to see – to please you all, a conspiracy-theory interpretation at that.  As I just tweeted, it goes thus:

Did the #Spectator publish that interview with #Osborne *in order* that he might overreach himself? #conspiracytheory #justwonderin

And is the Spectator actually guilty of a cunning entrapment – an entrapment which Osborne, for all his alleged political wiles, has walked straight into?

I wonder.