I slept badly and I now have a killer headache. So I got some lunch and I sat down and there was nothing on the TV which isn’t surprising for the middle of the day. I rooted randomly through my rather large DVD collection and I pulled out The Big Short. I’ve watched it probably a half dozen times but it never gets old. If anything, it only gets better. I enjoy it immensely at every viewing.
Because apart from a tiny little bit right at the end the movie deals with the truth. I like the truth. If I could put the truth in a stick of a deodorant I would, and then I’d rub it under my arms every day for my daily truth dose. That would be a big fat stick of awesome right there.
My absolutely favorite part in the movie is when the chickens are coming home to roost, so to speak. Christian Bale, playing real life broker Michael Burry, has just posted a $2.3 billion dollar profit. To get there he had to fight his investors for two years, as well as several who were in the process of suing him when his calculations proved correct and paid off in a big way.
I haven’t got to the best bit yet. After he posts this massive profit, (almost 500% return), he starts going through his messages. The messages are from his clients who are abusing him and questioning the rationality as to why he has suddenly decided to start reinvesting in stocks when the market is imploding. The market implosion that he had said was coming the whole time and none of them believed him.
I’ve always said that the only way you can make people learn is through their hip pocket, but most of the time you can’t make them learn even then. The dumb fucking shits.
Yesterday I posted my views on vaccinations. Out of all the topics on which I have stuck my neck out on a limb, this was the one that I was most hesitant about. But then a reader questioned my view on the topic and I thought, fuck it – I’ll just put it out there.
The comments, both here and over at XYZ magazine’s Facebook page where it was cross-posted, were interesting to say the least. I had a lot more support here than on Facebook, that’s for sure. Those who disagreed with me, really disagreed with me. Mostly the commenters hoped that I would get sick which I found charming. Apparently I am not allowed to have an opinion on this matter because, Science! And of course there were a few people who tut-tutted and pontificated that I had “disappointed” them.
It’s strange. People can express zero trust in government, in the media, in pharmaceuticals, in the police, in authorities like the FBI, in universities, in their teachers, in their employers, in the Church, in women, in the food that we eat, in doctors, in lawyers, in architects, in big business, in small business, in climate change, in celebrities, in big banks, in pensions and retirement funds, in the gay mafia, in just about every facet of our lives. And yet, and yet …
You question vaccines and you have crossed a line, man. Don’t you go there. Because that shit is fucking sacrosanct.
I don’t know. Perhaps because people need that one thing that they have to believe in 100%. That one thing that they just can’t allow to have any doubt at all enter their minds for even the smallest moment. I didn’t disparage all vaccines. I pointed out that I think that some such as the polio vaccine with their huge upside are definitely worth taking. You’d be a fool not to.
But it’s like I hit a nerve, and I knew that I would hit a nerve, which was why I had avoided talking about it for all this time.
There’s another scene in the movie that I like, earlier on in the piece. Steve Carrell is playing market trader Mark Baum. He and his small team have been convinced by Ryan Gosling’s character to short the mortgage market. Then the mortgages start to go bad but the bonds rise, leaving them owing money on the difference. Watch the scene from the 1:10 mark:
They should have been over the moon that the banks had raised the value of the mortgage-backed bonds in the face of the real life losses because this proved beyond any doubt that the banks didn’t know what they were doing. But they wanted to believe that the system wasn’t that stupid, even though they had fucking bet against just that eventuality.
Questioning what is going on around you is a warren hole. Because if you start questioning one thing then it means that eventually you have to question everything. Which is why most people, the vast majority of people, do not question anything at all. They do not want to open that Pandora’s box. They’re the easy ones to deal with. They just dismiss you as a kook; some crazy guy saying ridiculous shit on the internet.
But it’s the ones who question some things but aren’t yet prepared to question everything that are most hurt when they come against someone who questions one of their last remaining holy grails.
All I did was question it. All I did was express some doubts about some parts of the whole equation. I didn’t question the entire edifice. I even stated that there were some parts that I think are extremely valuable. And yet … boom!
I have a good mate who questions just about everything. He is almost as cynical and contrarian as I am. Except for one thing – the environment. It’s his last holy grail of believing that something isn’t fucked, that there’s that one thing that he hasn’t been lied to for all this time. I can talk about the most politically incorrect topics with this guy and he will be on fire. He will be slapping them out of the park. He is so good at exposing the cynicism and the corruption around us.
But don’t bring up any doubts about man-made global warming or whatever it is they’re calling it now. Because he will turn into exactly what he was only just skewering.
If you’ve opened Pandora’s box, if you’ve taken a few steps down the rabbit hole, if you’ve swallowed some of the red pill, then you may as well just finish it off and get it over with – go the whole hog so to speak. It’ll save you time and it’ll be easier and less painful in the long run.
But if you don’t, what do I care? I’m on my own journey. I have this little blog and I write stuff here. Frankly, I couldn’t give a flying fuck if any of you are disappointed in me or not. But I do find your reactions very interesting because from them I learn a great deal more than I would have than if I’d just shut up and not opened my big fat mouth in the first place.
There is only one thing that I trust in this world and that is that people have an infinite capacity for being stupid. And every single entity and organization that I previously mentioned is made up of one thing – people. They’re that dumb, and even when they’re not, the vast majority of them are too scared to act on what they know.
And that’s the gold-plated, rock solid, 100 caret, AAA rating, honest to God truth.