Calidad de Vida, or My Days Among The Cargo Cult.

Sunday, 10 April, Year 8 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu


Do you see that cloud of bluish smoke ? It's what used to make up the smog in Western cities, half a century ago : the exhaust product of carburatedi truck engines.

Those self-same trucks are still hard at work in the third world, various provinces of "the nation of Africa"ii such as Argentina (que no es un pais pobre, es un pais muy rico en recursos humanos), where they got a new coat of paint.

That new coat of paint derps unsubstantially about the things they've seen on Netflix and whatever long-dead shows their TV stations bought by the pound and broadcast ceaselessly. Whatever you weren't watching back in the 80s, they're eating up here like it were the fucking gospel - because they're inferior, subhuman losers. Devoid of any human value, bereft of the ability to contribute anything to humanity yet subconsciously fully aware of that irremediable infirmity, they do what monkeys doiii. Thus imaginary "problems" that don't exist outside of the sphere of play-pretend, Marchas de las Dumbas and "Cimes. Calidad de Vida".iv


You are looking at 80 cent rolls, in that image above. The salmon is fresh, the avocado delicious, that's actually a special order - the item on the menu also includes cheese (which is abominable, but the locals have no idea about cheeses). Part of the conversation over that meal was girl wondering why the (free) pickled ginger on the side is actually the best she's ever had. Isn't this strange ? Well... it depends, doesn't it.


See those cut up leaves ? The ants got them.

And in closing :


Would you like to go see a band 20 years after it was briefly cool for a summer on a lark ? They also have Paul McCartney still playing muzak lounge acts, and a troop called "The Beats" which is essentially a set of hacky Beatles impersonators. If you can't afford the 200 dollar ticket, ie much more than a ticket ever was for any of these washed up have-beens or might-have-had-beens, whatever local bank is more than willing to allow you to pay in monthly installments of fifteen dollars. Or perhaps you would like to put a 200 dollar plane ticket on a two year installment plan ? They also have that.

Calidad de vida, ce pula mea.

  1. Here's a quick primer on the topic : a carburetor is a piece of car engine that mixes fuel into the air the engine draws in. It works on Bernoulli's principle : the faster the airflow, the lower its static pressure and the higher its dynamic pressure, resulting in higher fuel vaporisation and consequently higher fuel load. In carburated engines the throttle does not directly control fuel debit, but affects it indirectly through increasing airflow.

    The carburetor was introduced in the mid 1800s, by Maybach and Daimler ; it was widely copied, the authors tried to enforce their "intellectual property" but failed - because the English court system preferred to steal the invention by awarding it to some random Brit. The turn of events should surprise no-one, state clerks will always work in the direction of maximizing tax receipts for that state.

    The early versions were updraft carburetors, for two important reasons : one is that this way, you won't flood the engine, as fuel dropplets have to fight gravity on their way to causing trouble. The other is that this way you can use an oil bath as a substitute air filter, which is principally how older engines end up burning oil. Back before paper filters were even vaguely possible, all this made a lot of sense.

    The carburetor was on the outs by the 1980s, being replaced by the fuel injector. The injector has the major disadvantage that it requires electricity (and electronics) to run, and offers no significant increase in efficiency of output in exchange for the significant increase in engine complexity. Nevertheless, carburetors can't be used with a catalytic converter, which needs much closer control of the fuel-air mixture so as to prevent uncontrolled oxidative processes in the exhaust.

    Now you're in a position to understand all the derisive disdain packed in that single word. "Carburated" denotes a) technology of the 80s ; b) engines that actually burn oil ; c) engines that can't use catalytic convertors. In a word : recursos humanos. []

  2. Hey, Hussein Bahamas didn't just create Obamacare. More far reaching, he also created "the nation of Africa", motherland of all bipedal shaved apes. []
  3. Fancy that - quality of life is to drink bottled water ferried about by truck! If only I knew what I was missing thirty years ago, drinking the best water I ever drank straight out of the tap.

    Plumbing, such obsolete technology. Trucks carrying bottled water like the ox powered casks of the middle ages, that's where progreso & hay mas futuro are at. Those Roman savages didn't know anything, thanks goodness gracious for Gengis Khan and Torquemada showing us the tru way! []

  4. Part and parcel of that "calidad de vida" is that every time a local grabs my ear at some social function or other and figures out that I do speak the local idiom, the question is "what do I work". To which I answer that I don't work. Because I motherfucking don't, not in the manner they perceive the thing, I sure as fuck on wheels ain't any sort of trabajador and most pointedly don't belong in their ubiquitous nonsense on and about trabajadores they keep plastering everywhere as if repetition was insurance against falsity.

    Which engages step two, "so wat do I do, then ?", which generally runs into a "I enjoy the younger female Argentines, what", or else something about the food or whatever. Which puzzles but doesn't satisfy, "No but how do I pay for things". "With money". "Yes!" Calidad de vita, futu-va muma'n cur de idioti inca azi si miine. []

Category: La pas prin lume
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6 Responses

  1. Like ~all the other usaschwitz inmates who aren't wholly broke, I drink precisely this kind of water - delivered in plastic kegs every month.

    And, while we no longer have many carburetted auto engines here, grass-cutters, snow-blowers, small generators, and the like are pestilentially common, their 2-cycle petrol engines accounting for a good chunk of the smog.

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Sunday, 10 April 2016

    Lemme tell you something - when I was peraps 10 ? living in Cluj, and drinking straight out of the tap the best water I've ever seen to date - I read a SF story about some distant future bla bla whatever, people colonizing some hostile planet. What most struck me was the notion that people in that context carried around their water. It struck me as the peak of imbecillity, carrying my lunch to (and never fro) school had already hit into my optimizer streak a few times (for instance - replaced lunchbox with heavy, silvered coffee bag - not only lighter but gave sandwich wrapper nice scent!) and so was deemed bad enough, but the water ?! Gallons of otherwise freely available, costless goodness, and in shitty plastic to boot ?!

    I discussed the matter with adults, and some shared the fact that yes, in some applications, such as going haymaking, you hafta carry your water POT, which should be clay, and then you fill it in the local stream and keep it in the shade so it stays cool. This to my mind became the principal disadvantage to haymaking, obviously it's hard and efortfull, you gotta carry a fucking clay pot. But generally the agreement was that by the time people dun goofed enough anyone actually has to carry his water around, the whole thing's gone to shit and it might as well be glassed.

    Here we are. Within my lifetime, what lifetime, a few short decades later, here we are. I do not think any differently today than I did then. By the time water is a carryon, time to glass the whole fucking thing and start over - it failed.

  3. Carrying fresh water at sea makes ~some~ kind of sense - not every vessel has a reactor to power desalinator.

    Drinkable water in a decaying city - comes in kegs, yes. Though I know some folks who have reverse osmosis rigs. I ran the numbers, the keg truck comes out on top, for - roughly - the same quality. (A reverse osmosis machine halfway through the lifetime of the filters craps out approx. the same product as found in the kegs.)

  4. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Sunday, 10 April 2016

    Transylvania is, conceptually, a landlocked country.

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