High life

Amazon and Facebook: the twin evils of our age

11 August 2018

9:00 AM

11 August 2018

9:00 AM

They used to say that the primary function of a boat was to be beautiful. I suppose that is why boats were feminine, as in ‘she’s a real beauty, that one’. Puritan is certainly a beauty and I’ve had a great time on board, especially when anchoring near some modern horror or other, bloated and overstuffed with ‘toys’, its occupants reflecting the boat: fat, ugly and invasive.

Why is it that boats reflect their owners, as dogs do, and as women used to, although one can get oneself killed nowadays for describing a female as ‘owned’? Show me a tart and she’s sure to be with a James Stunt type. Show me an overstuffed gin palace such as Lionheart (the greatest misnomer ever), and I’ll show you a barbarian lowlife owner like no other, Philip Green. Mind you, I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said before. It’s a very old story which tells us that things reflect their owners, whether it’s a house, a boat or a mistress. I suppose that one does not own a wife, at least not in the west, ownership of wives being part of the Saudi and Gulf culture — another misnomer if ever there was one.

Which brings me to even more unpleasant subjects, like Facebook and Amazon. The latter is destroying communities the world over by undercutting high street shops, and governments are doing nothing to protect what are known in America as mom & pop stores, the backbones of small communities. And now it transpires that Amazon pays the minimum tax to boot. So I ask you: if government is there to protect its citizens from, say, criminals or drug dealers, why is government absent when it comes to a predatory company out to destroy all opposition and pay the minimum tax in the process?

I’ll tell you why: moolah. Amazon is too big and too powerful. Politicians are too scared to challenge it or bring up the fact that it ruins communities. The New York Times, which genuflects to billionaires like no other paper, even featured Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world (at least last week), describing him as a ‘full-fledged style icon… his thinning mud-brown scruff of hair has been shaved rigorously clean, and his biceps have grown bulgy’. Seven large pictures of one of the world’s ugliest men accompanied the puff piece by Vanessa Friedman, who should really be ashamed of herself. Bezos is a pop-eyed, bald, Concorde-nosed mogul that Friedman breathlessly described as ‘focused on saving time’. Now, she writes, he ‘has acquired an entire wardrobe of bomber jackets’. Gee whiz, now I understand why the Times hates Trump as much as it does. It’s on the side of Bezos, who truly loathes the Donald and owns an entire wardrobe of bomber jackets. Who was it that said: ‘show me your enemies and I’ll tell you what you are’?

And speaking of disgusting persons, here’s another great looker whom the world could well have done without: Mark (the human fart) Zuckerberg. His Pandora’s box invention (actually borrowed from not-very-sophisticated twins) has not connected people, as Zuckerberg insists, but has manipulated democracy and become a means for bad people to say bad things about other people.

Yes, fake accounts, fake news and fake stories all breed and live in Facebook’s universe, one that has made its principal owner one of the five richest men on earth (as well as being among the five worst-dressed and worst-looking). The big lie is, of course, busy at work. When the human fart tells politicians the world over that he is out to connect people, what he’s really doing is pitting them against each other, and he has managed to do this to an unprecedented degree.

Never mind. The world has survived other such disasters. And now that I’m on dangerous territory, let’s examine Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-Semitism. I’ve been on the receiving end of such accusations in the past, with Conrad Black, the then proprietor of The Spectator, describing something I wrote as ‘almost worthy of Goebbels’. (Boris Johnson saved my bacon.) Corbyn is the worst thing to hit Labour since its inception, but he’s learning how hard it is to criticise the actions of the Israeli government without being called a Hitler. One cannot draw comparison between Nazi Germany and Israel, but one can definitely say that Israel is an oppressive, violent occupying power that has trampled on Palestinian rights and has stolen Palestinian lands outright.

Now in cahoots with Saudi Arabia and the Donald, Israel will initiate a military confrontation with Iran and the Iraqi-Syrian alliance — then expect Uncle Sam to finish the job. Trust me: you read it here first. Anyone who attacks these plans risks being painted as anti-Semitic. Starting with the poor little Greek boy.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10

Show comments