Sparklies

Over at Knuckledraggin’, Kenny posted this interesting gif:

…and it got me thinking.

I’ve never bought into the whole jewellery thing.  It’s not just my long-time hatred of the loathsome De Beers diamond cartel and their criminal business practices (although that certainly plays a part), but there’s a part of me which just applies commonsense and cynicism to the whole ethos of “precious” metals and stones.

The “metals” part I can sort of understand because they at least have useful properties for some applications, and ditto diamonds when used industrially (cutting, grinding and what have you).

But as decoration?  What a load of old bollocks.  Wearing diamonds as decoration, in necklaces, pendants, bracelets and (ugh) engagement rings is really just a way to say, “I’m rich and can afford to spend money on these useless baubles as a way to show off my wealth”.

In the old days, jewellery was used by royalty to show their social superiority over their subjects.  Nowadays, when some illiterate oaf who is able to string a series of mumbled rhymes into a “song” can load up his neck, chest and teeth(!) with gold and diamonds — well, that kinda devalues the whole thing, doesn’t it?  Except that’s precisely the point  of expensive jewellery.

I don’t care much for most modern terminology / slang, but I love the word “bling” because it describes perfectly the inherent emptiness and worthlessness [sic]  of slapping shiny rocks onto everything in sight.

Don’t even get me started on those tasteless morons who load up their (already-expensive) wristwatches with jewels, driving the price into the stratosphere for absolutely zero  added utility*.  Here’s one example:

“MasterGraff Ultraslim Tourbillon” (AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI)

And when I said “stratosphere”, I wasn’t kidding.  I don’t know the cost of the above — Graff is remarkably (and understandably) coy about publishing prices for their watches — but one of their other timepieces (which is too ugly for me to picture here) went on sale for $55 million.  Small wonder that these and their ilk are the preferred watches of drug kingpins, Arab oil sheikhs and Russian oligarchs — breeds not known for their exquisite taste — because that is the target market of all jewellery:  people with newly-acquired wealth who have to show it off.

In a way, though, I’m glad that these parvenus pricks buy into this nonsense, because it enables us to label them, correctly, as “suckers”.

So when somebody looks at a diamond pendant and sniffs, “Glass”, I’m the guy who replies, “Who cares?  It looks just as pretty.”

And if it gets lost or stolen, you can simply shrug and buy another one, more or less with the loose change in your pocket, while the owner of the identical-looking “genuine” diamond item has to open negotiations with the insurance company.

Next week:  art.


*Longtime Readers, by the way, know that I love expensive watches — my “lottery” watch is a Vacheron Constantin Royal 1907 (retail: ~$50,000) — but that’s (much) less than the sales tax  one would pay for Graff’s foul “Hallucination”.

Different Take

This is one of those annoying little ads which pops up in the middle of an online article (we used to call them “speed bump” ads, back in the day):

I have to say that when I first saw the pic, neither “back pain” nor “sciatica” were the first things that popped to mind… which is no doubt its intent.

“So what did pop to mind, Kim?”  you may ask facetiously.

Heheh… you just had to ask.

Leadership

Mitch Berg (my old buddy from the Pleistocene Age of blogging) provides a little historical perspective which, like most of Mitch’s stuff, is superbly written and crafted.  But there’s one part which got my attention, bigly:

But America is a restless, endlessly creative, impatient nation, overstocked with people who are not going to sit on their hands and wait for things to get better;  it’s a nation full of people who are descended from people who came from all over the world, uprooting everything they knew, to make things better.

I think that we forget this, sometimes, and I know that certain sections of our society — the Press, the academe, and all the Socialist-politicians — rather wish that we were not like that, because it interferes with their little plans to turn us all into vassals and serfs of the Almighty State.

But we are like that;  and that national characteristic is going to make the recovery from this Chinese bio-invasion lightning-fast and stronger than anyone can imagine.  And if anyone disagrees with this, the chances are that they are part of the problem:  the Press, the academe, and all the Socialist-politicians.

We shall overcome — not “some day”, but soon, Bubba.  Buckle yer seatbelts.

Leaving Us Alone

With all the crisis talk and “We’re all gonna diiiieeeee!”  and “Gummint must do something!”  nonsense, there’s still more proof (as if we needed it) that most of America made the right choice back in 2016 by electing God-Emperor Trump.  Here’s why:

President Donald Trump did something difficult and remarkable during the White House press briefing on Sunday: he stood up for the free market in a moment of crisis, when at least half the country is pushing him to abandon it.
A reporter asked the president why he was not using the Defense Production Act to nationalize industries to take control of companies and force them to produce needed health care equipment for treating coronavirus patients.
Trump’s answer was that the United States does not believe in nationalization, and does not need it, either.

…and he goes on to give examples.

You know, I have always preferred that our presidents have executive political experience — e.g. a state governorship (despite Jimmeh Carduh) — but of late I’m starting to revise that opinion.

I realize that Trump is quite an aberration — he’s something of an iconoclast, and not all businessmen are in his mold — but I have to tell you that I’m starting to think that we need to elect, or at least give serious consideration to presidential candidates who have made their way in successful businesses.  (I’m not talking about CEOs of corporations, necessarily, because they’re often no better than the stultified politician type.)

Can anyone imagine where we as a nation would be now had we elected Her Filthiness as POTUS instead of DJT?  There’d be a Virus Czar, a Nationalization Czar, a Facemask Czar and countless other “czars”, all equally incompetent and ineffective — and you’d better believe that we would now be in the death-grip [sic] of a UK/EU-style NHS (which, from all accounts, is proving absolutely incompetent to handle this current emergency).

We dodged a bullet back then, folks;  and we now need to do two things:

  • re-elect Trump in 2020, and
  • make sure that his successor in 2024 is of the same steel and beliefs, so that all his good work is not undone by some Hillary/Biden/Bernie clone in the future.

Otherwise:

Not to mention at least one  other charming situation:

Doing The Right Thing

This from the CEO of Kroger Co. to his embattled employees:

“This is a situation none of us have ever been in, and at a time when our customers and our country truly need us, you are there every step of the way. None of this would be possible without each and every one of you, working together as one. It’s so inspiring. I can’t thank you enough for your dedication to our customers and each other. You inspire me, it is so impressive.”

And then to add real appreciation to his words, he’s awarded bonuses to all of them.

Bravo.

As an aside:  Daughter’s future hubby is a store manager for another grocery chain, and over the past month all store employees have been told, “Don’t worry about the hours;  you come to work, work as long as you can, and we’ll pay the overtime, regardless.”

Poor guy has had about six hours’ sleep ever since.  Daughter is a stern task master.