Over the years I’ve worked with a hell of a lot of sales people.
Some good, some psychotic, which of course you could say for any “profession”,
but a psychotic salesperson is something to behold, and not in a good way.
Sales people are a certain breed.
President-elect Donald Trump… I can’t believe I just wrote that… this is a very f****d up Twilight Zone / Black Mirror episode… but I digress. Donald J. Trump is a sales person. The ultimate.
Reported guestimates of his bank balance range between $150, $3 billion or $10 billion, give or take.
With Trump, it’s all about closing the deal, he wrote THAT book which thankfully I have avoided. Trump closed the deal early Wednesday morning – the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC.
So where to now? During the campaign Trump made a litany of very well documented promises to his faithful (we all saw them as outrageous threats), but will he follow through? Or in true snake oil salesman mode, was all that ranting simply BS, means to an end of winning the Presidency?
Who knows? With Trump, you get the impression that he is constantly making it up as he goes along, to borrow that line from Monty Python. We’re all in very murky unchartered waters,
heading straight for the Bermuda Triangle.
No doubt many of his hard core supporters would have been simultaneously disappointed and disillusioned with his victory speech. It was extremely un-Trumplike, none of the vitriol, no locking up of “Crooked Hillary”, no wall-building threats, no pussies were grabbed, nobody was threatened with deportation. I laughed when it was reported as “being Presidential”, I put it down to the fact he’s an old man and it was waaaay past his bedtime.
Is Trump serious about making America great again? What does that very shallow four-word slogan even mean? Define “great”. Trump was following the old adage of tell ‘em what they want to hear and closed the deal.
Let’s pick one of his campaign “policies”. Did he / does he have any intention of building that wall? Again, who knows how any of this will play out. He’ll no doubt wheel out that hoary old chestnut (which is itself a hoary old chestnut),“Well you know I wanted to <insert bizarre promise> I really did. I promised you I would. But I was blocked. They’re weak. Cowards… etc etc”. The faithful will chug down some more Kool-Aid.
Trump’s meeting with President Obama in the White House on Thursday was surreal to say the least. Trump used the words “great respect” which is laughable, considering the whole birther thing, and the blowtorch he continually took to Obama during the election campaign. But did he really mean any of that? Neither of them looked like they wanted to be there. The body language experts had a field day.
So I suppose it is a matter of watching this space, to see what President steak salesman and beauty pageant owner does. I find it highly amusing / terrifying that his campaign team barred him from Twitter during the final days of the campaign, and now he has the nuclear codes. You seriously couldn’t make this stuff up.
Millions across the planet are proclaiming that the Trump presidency will be the end of the world… and to quote the classic R.E.M. song, Trump will respond with “and I feel fine.”
©Steve Williams 2016
*This piece also appeared in The Huffington Post Australia:
No Thanks, Donald Trump, Keep Your Snake Oil
As an esteemed member of the community — an ordained Reverend (five minutes on the internet) and Lord of Glencoe (an owner of a one square metre block of land in Scotland) — I would like to offer an erudite, measured opinion.
What the f*ck is going on?
A Sydney school has banned clapping. No I did not make that up. Banning semi-automatic weapons, knuckledusters and even access to Kim Kardashian’s Snapchat I can understand,
In a newsletter sent home / emailed to parents (that deliciously featured the incorrect spelling of “assemblies”), the good burghers of Elanora Heights Public School advised that clapping has been banned at assemblies “to respect members of our school community who are sensitive to noise.” Hate to break it to you people, but having spent quite a bit of time in school playgrounds in my much younger years, they are somewhat noisy places. Whoever clapped at assemblies anyway?
As an an alternative for the acoustically-affected, the school suggests students “pull excited faces, and wriggle about on the spot” as part of their “silent cheers”. Yes, really.
I think there is something in this, the board of the Sydney Opera House should implement this concept immediately. Picture yourself at the conclusion of a wonderful performance of La Bohème. Instead of the usual thunderous ovation, the audience wriggle about and pull excited faces.
That reminds me of the John Lennon line as the Beatles played at a Royal Command Performance, “The people in the cheaper seats, clap your hands… and the rest of you, if you’d just rattle your jewellery.” Today, somebody with a jewellery phobia would complain.
The Olympic Games in Rio could take this wriggling about etc onboard as well. It might take people’s minds off the Zika virus.
This is not the first time that clapping has been kiboshed. Attendees at a UK student feminist conference last year were asked to stop clapping “but do feminist jazz hands” as “clapping triggers anxiety”. I suppose it does if you don’t receive any. I have no idea how “feminist jazz hands” differ from the garden-variety type.
It is all just so ridiculous. These are more examples of victories for the no-fun, no-offence, no-winners, cotton-wool-encasing, high-vis-wearing nanny-state-nannas.
©Steve Williams 2016
So Australian insurance company AAMI has finally realised what we all have known forever, that the recorder is an instrument of Satan. “Yea, Lucifer forged a musical abomination in the scorching pits of hell with his cloven hooves” : Book of STFU.
After a concerted campaign, AAMI thankfully edited a TV commercial that featured a brat kid blasting some ear-piercing “notes” from her recorder while her parents were broken down in the middle of nowhere. Just what they needed. Personally I would have abandoned her.
Harsh? Not at all. My hatred of the recorder was resurrected a few days ago by enduring the tormented tones of a recorder being “played” by a kid in a nearby apartment.
It’s always kids playing the recorder. I’ve never been to a concert hall to witness an acclaimed
recordist, recorderer recorder player performing a stirring virtuoso rendition of Beethoven’s Pathétique Sonata No. 1 Op. 666… for recorder.
Likewise, I’ve never seen a massive arena show with a leather-panted megastar out front of a wall of Marshalls wailing out a nine-minute scorching riff… on his recorder.
Why is it compulsory for every kid on the planet to learn the recorder?
I’m all for a musical education, but why this sonic assassin?
I did it — I remember in my first year of high school we had a rather highly-strung music teacher. These days he would be described as having “issues” and would be sitting by the pool at a Thai rehab centre favoured by rugby league players and D grade celebrities. Mr H. (name abbreviated to protect the psychopath) would make you perform a recorder solo in front of the class. To this day, it’s the most terrifying experience of my life. Not the playing part — but his reaction.
After Mr H. bellowed my name, I would gingerly stand up, shaking, all trembling fingers and asthmatic breaths attempting to play my reworking of Smoke on the Water (it was 1977) while waiting for the inevitable catastrophic critique. If you weren’t up to the maestro’s exceptionally high standards (which was always), he would scream at you — not in said arena concert fan style, but seriously full-on, hysterical (yes I used that word) frothing-from-the-mouth-ranting.
No wonder I f*cking hate the recorder… I’ll be by the pool at that rehab resort.
©Steve Williams 2016
“Good.” That is my first reaction when I hear of the latest horrific injuries suffered during the “Running of the Bulls” in Spain.
Numerous deaths, a crushed thorax, gored armpits, heart, groins, knees and thighs, even a rectal perforation.
Just part of the injury roll call from previous versions held in Pamplona. Arseholes.
However, that is small change compared to the 250,000 bulls maimed and killed each year in bullfights across the planet.
Seriously, how much of a moron would you need to be, what copious amount of sangria or drugs would you need to have consumed to think that running 850 metres through narrow, cobbled streets in front of very big, very pissed off (and very terrified) bulls, before they are corralled into the bullfighting arena is even remotely a good idea?
Bullfighting is cruel and barbaric and needs to be stopped, as does the running of the bulls. Thankfully there is an ever-increasing groundswell of support to do just that. ¡Felicitaciones!
If you want to get badly injured without inflicting cruelty on an animal who has no choice in the matter, may I suggest the time-honoured “sticking your hand in a blender”.
You can hear the purists cry “the running of the bulls is an intrinsic part of Pamplona’s San Fermín festival dating back to medieval times.” Bullshit. Don’t care.
Hopefully the running of the bulls and bullfighting will one day die a death — and you can add other barbaric practices to that list — such as fox hunting by people with double-barrelled surnames wearing stupid hats, animals in circuses, restaurants serving sharkfin soup and exponents of Traditional Chinese Medicine using basically every body part of endangered tigers in the vein attempt of getting a
One can only hope.
For more information on the (blood) sport of bullfighting, visit the World Society for the Protection of Animals, www.stopbullfighting.org.uk and PETA, (warning: the websites contain disturbing, but necessary facts and images).
©Steve Williams 2016
“I turned another year older recently, and in light of recent global events I have been thinking of the poignant Queen song “Is This the World We Created?” A fair question.
In no particular order, these are just a few of the random things seriously disturbing me.
The “Yulin Dog Meat Festival” in China. For once, words almost fail me with this one. The name is sickeningly self-explanatory, however the word “festival” is a total misnomer. An annual event, the mind-fucking barbarity these poor animals are subjected to before the inevitable is forged from the utter bowels of depravity. It takes a hell of a lot to shock me, but the images I have encountered researching this cannot be unseen. These bastards need to be stopped. Ricky Gervais has been a champion in attacking the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, using a five letter word ending in “s” to describe the perpetrators. I couldn’t agree more.
The sick bastard in Western Australia who was jailed for a pathetic twenty-two years for raping his daughter over two years starting when she was only 11. If that doesn’t make your skin crawl, he also pimped her out to six other men. There was video and bondage gear involved. How do you even begin to fathom this? As a father, you can’t even start. He told police, “I’m going to be honest, it was fun while it lasted but it went way over the line.” A bullet to the brain would be too good for this monster. Twenty-two years is nothing compared to the life sentence the girl will have to endure. I hope she is getting all the love and support she needs. I hope the father only lasts an extremely painful 3.7 seconds in prison.
That nut job in Orlando — again a wannabe zealot hijacking religion and using his twisted fucked up beliefs to justify his slaughter. The blood-soaked scene of carnage du jour was a gay nightclub, however as we have tragically seen over the years, the killing grounds have included schools, shopping centres, cinemas, concert venues, even a chocolate branded cafe in Sydney. A flow on subset of problems here. Bleedingly (literally) obvious question… How can anyone walk into a gun shop and buy a military style weapon with no questions asked? Why does anyone NEED to walk into a gun shop and buy a military style weapon? It doesn’t make sense. Those mad fuckers at the NRA bang on about the Second Amendment, but that was ratified in 1791. Back then, massacre-inducing automatic weapons would have been some gunsmith’s wet dream.
Brexit. So much anger so little time. The ignorant racism, the xenophobia. The shame-faced lies of politicians and lobbyists. Mostly, the morons who, hours after voting to leave it were Googling “what is the EU?” Google reported that the search “what happens if we leave the EU?” tripled AFTER the vote. This woman needs to get in the sea…”Even though I voted to leave, this morning I woke up and I just — the reality did actually hit me, If I’d had the opportunity to vote again, it would be to stay.” Face palm. The right to vote is one of the greatest things we have, and these people are just pissing it up against a wall. Be careful what you wish for…
©Steve Williams 2016