Venture Catalysts

Day God-knows-what in the Big Brother House and who’s going to retrieve the samurai sword from our intestines after our economic hari kari? Don’t hold your breath. If there’s light at the end of the tunnel, it’s probably some minister with a torch looking for another absurd policy.

It’s the most joined-up we’ve been for a generation. Not in the sense of coordinated activities but in developing a common mindset of absurdity that organically impregnates future ‘plans’ and decisions with inanity. It’s quite something really.

Take the police service, for example. In spite of a flurry of red flags, they’ve been ploughing on relentlessly with their foot down in what should metaphorically be a 20mph zone.

Specifically, it’s cringe-inducingly transpired that the British Transport Police are not just on the wrong tracks but in the wrong station altogether, and with the Crown Prosecution Service they have now established that some hapless voyager was charged under the incorrect section of the Coronavirus Act (2020) for an offence that doesn’t exist. 2 days in custody and fined £660, but it will all now get canned. She won’t get two days of her life back though.

You have to wonder what the duty solicitor (if she had one), the magistrates, and the (legally qualified) clerk were playing at, not to mention the CPS. Someone was railroaded into approving a case that had such voluminous gaps, you could’ve driven a locomotive through them.

Then again, maybe loco motive is the operational term because there certainly doesn’t seem to be any clear goals supported by a rationale.

All those checks and balances and nobody cottoned on? How did the process unfold when they were making the charging decision? I really don’t think that anybody did review it. It sounds like a colossal bollock was simply nodded through all the way down the line while numerous gimps improved their personal bests on Candy Crush. Or scoured Amazon for face masks and Anderson shelters.

The poor old dear will now be allowed to go on her way which was a roundabout rewind to the initial conversation on the platform. How very 21st century that the matter was actually resolved through intervention by lawyers on Twitter rather than highly paid public servants. But nobody’s going to get their collar felt in the sacking sense. Nothing ever happens when there’s a real fact-based justification for action.

Look up the word ‘panic’ in the dictionary, and you’ll probably find something like ‘sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety, often causing wildly unthinking behaviour’.

Does that sound familiar?

And the retail folly continues. Earlier in the pound shop, I purchased some envelopes and what an adventure that was. I had to place them on the counter, then step back. The assistant scanned them, then stepped back. I stepped forward to hand her a £1 coin but was told to place it on the counter and step back. She put on a pair of rubber gloves, stepped forward, rang up the till, placed the receipt on the counter, and stepped back. I was called forward to retrieve my purchase.

If that wasn’t mind-pulpingly risible enough in itself, she then proceeded to cook her own goose by biting on the tip of the glove in order to get enough purchase to remove it. Probably in her subconscious, she had reverted to marigold removal mode. Or was simply a highest-order tit. One or the other.

To boot, the Perspex screens they’d erected at the counter had a 1-metre square gap to allow goods to be passed through. Let’s hope any nasty virus droplets in any out-coughed-air was respecting the 2-metre rule.

I’m only surprised that she didn’t try to pick up my coin with some 3-foot tweezers.

In the stores that do remain open, asshat customer experience routines have been supplanted by crackpot safety rituals propped up by little scientific validity. At the helm, are formerly downtrodden customer assistants, bossing it and scarcely hiding their contempt for bemused browsers who cannot comprehend the self-defeating, senseless sequences and signage.

And now that it’s all about our safety, they can do what they like, and nobody dare challenge it. It’s a hall pass to dickdom. We’ve seen it before with airports after 9/11. Maybe all the airlines facing a downward tubular plunge can subsidise themselves through this mess with the profits they’ve raked in during the last few decades by forcing us to purchase their drinks at sky-high prices because we couldn’t take our own through their Hampton Court control mazes.

They’re all venture catalysts now. Embarking on their own little excursions to inflict their own interpretation of righteousness on the world. It’s not about the individual reactions to the absurdity that annoys or vexes us, but the wholesome shift change in the way we think that’s being engendered. We have stuttered into a cautious and mechanical mode for the everyday tasks that would formerly have been determined by our subconscious.

Every small piece of nonsense contributes to the bullshit machine that assumes a life of its own. Laws no longer matter, nor does basic scrutiny. Instead of contemplation and widening our analysis, we’re starting with coronavirus and ending with coronavirus. Nothing else seems to matter.

You can challenge the hare-brained pseudo-methodologies, and the argument that came back would be fierce, but it wouldn’t contain many facts. It’s because we’ve launched into this with all our masks, gel and lines painted on the floor, and nobody really knows why. Apart from the fact that there’s a big bad monster out there.

It’s what people used to tell their kids in order to get them to behave – if they thought that a detailed presentation on food science or forensic criminology was beyond them.

It’s what’s happening now with the lurgi.

Hilariously, one rather famous car parts store – which has auspiciously been given the go-ahead to remain open as a provider of essential goods – has closed its retail outlets to everybody bar key workers and for the sale of essential items, in order to remain in line with recent government measures.

Therefore, if you’re an NHS worker you can’t purchase an air freshener, but you can purchase a new radiator. If you’re an office worker, you can’t purchase either.

So now, in among a wholesale economic lemming leap, we have a business that is permitted to remain open and trade freely but yearns to join the other suicidalists by garrotting their own sales pipeline.

It’s clearly evidence of some sort of Darwin theory for retailers.

There is a potential silver lining amid this whole smog smorgasbord. Remember the financial crisis of 2008? Businesses slashed costs to the extent that many believed that their operations would become inoperable. Yet, what emerged was a new baseline for efficiency.

This whole mess may lead to a new remote revolution with a realisation that the gargantuan overheads of corporate accommodation may be surplus to requirements. – and we’ll have a workforce already well-trained and well-versed in the new order.

Best of all though, the bug has laid bare the skills-bereft hellacious hopelessness of our ruling classes and may have encouraged some of our rip-off retailers to confound themselves into committing sales seppuku through their own sub-GSCE intellectual dexterity and sortilege.

Let’s hope there’s still something to lead once the dust has setteld.

unsplash-logoJp Valery

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