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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Fools' Endgame

A good friend pointed me to this July 2005 MotherJones article, on the breathtaking and ongoing transformation of Dubai into an Oz of greedhead excess. It includes a link to a promotional video for "The World," a massive man-made archipelago of customizable beachfront property. Really, I think you should go watch it before reading the rest of this post, or even the MotherJones piece. It'll put you in the proper mood. (There is also a photo of what is called "Jebel Ali Palm Island," an artificial island, one of three "configured as palms within crescents and planted with high-rise resorts, amusement parks, and a thousand mansions built on stilts over the water." Anyway, I Google Earthed (tm) it, now two years later, and it looks nearly, if not completely finished now.)
Your jellyfish-shaped hotel is, in fact, exactly 66 feet below the sea surface. Each of its 220 luxury suites has clear Plexiglas walls that provide spectacular views of passing mermaids as well as the hotel's famed "underwater fireworks:" a hallucinatory exhibition of "water bubbles, swirled sand, and carefully deployed lighting." Any initial anxiety about the safety of your sea-bottom resort is dispelled by the smiling concierge. The structure has a multi-level failsafe security system, he reassures you, that includes protection against terrorist submarines as well as missiles and aircraft.

That is nothing compared to the rest of the "delights" outlined in the article.

I must quote this particularly disgusting fact, which is illuminating:
Today, Dubai's security is guaranteed by the American nuclear super-carriers usually berthed at the port of Jebel Ali. Indeed, [Dubai] aggressively promotes itself as the ultimate elite "Green Zone" in an increasingly turbulent and dangerous region.

Read that again. Not only are our taxpayer dollars being used to finance nuclear bouncers for the elite's uber-nightclub, but check out the stones on these people. They're using the image of a barricade in a bloody occupation ("Green Zone") as a marketing device!

As my friend Mr. Urbanus said to me in an email (emphases mine):
They have been "Global" for years. Through my years of research of banking, I found an interesting thread relating to the type of personality involved in all this, especially while reading numerous biographies of the big players, Warburg(s), Morgan(s), Rockefeller(s), Rothschild(s), Getty, Harriman, Morgenthau, et al, is that these people have no loyalty to being human or to the community they live in. Their loyalty is to money and power in itself. They will destroy, ruin, or kill any one or thing in their way to their rotten goals. The people alive currently pursuing the same rotten goal, are no different. Due to the age of mass media, they have carefully crafted their image to look like ordinary people. The people running Halliburton for instance consider themselves to be elite, and above the rabble. These people are dark in deed [sic - intentional?]. I always laugh at the politicians or career government and corporate bureaucrats trying to mimic them.

While I at times find his language hyperbolic, I think he has got this exactly right. I would like to point out, however, that we are all complicit in the enabling of this nightmare. How many of us "common" people chase sea cruises, spend hard-earned dollars on "vacations" in ritzy atmospheres, worship at the altar of "status?" We look up to these people. We enable them, bloat their egos, mask their shame. We buy diamonds, minks, SUVs.

I had a layover in Dubai 20 years ago, and I too was naively impressed with the (much smaller then) "jewel in the desert." It was real shiny, and had an impressive array of duty-free electronics, jewelry, and other toys. I even bought a state-of-the-art calculator/computer that I had not seen before (it was stolen from me in Kennedy Airport, so I didn't even get through the manual.)

So I am aware of the hypnotic nature of this tragic consumerism, and I sympathize. But I do not excuse.

I titled this post "The Fool's Endgame" for a reason. The "fools" are the elite, who are flocking to exotic gated communities and resorts which are (mercifully, for their souls) out of the reach of the "useless eaters" of the world. They feel they deserve this hyper-exotic life, and the rest of us exist to fuel it, to labour for them and to agree that our Earth is merely a "resource" to be exploited. Why, even ecologists unquestionably use the term "natural resource" when speaking of preservation.

We all buy the narrative. We think that we just haven't "made it" into the "big-time" - yet. Only the "best" make it, after all, so it'll be my fault if I don't. Better try harder, work more, The "endgame" is to make it.

We are fools along with the ones who are dancing like it's 2099. Because if we keep this up, the Earth is going to go all spasmodic on our ass.

If the water levels rise as a result, I don't think Disney-on-Dubai is going to be the place to be hanging out. I'm just sayin'.

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