Here Thar Be Monsters!
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All The World's A Stage
As we described the situation in one recent response to a long-time reader, we are busy putting all our rants and raves into action. On top of that, everything we've examined and fretted over here in this column is now coming into reality, so there seems little point to reiterating what can be found in copious amounts in our archives.
As we have previously mentioned, our latest project has been starting up Indonesia's first international-standard theater, as well as several large galleries, a museum, and all the ancillary things attendant to them.
A theater is an incredibly complex series of interlocking technologies married to highly specialized architecture to deliver a spectacle for the eyes and ears. Cable trucks as big around as a man carry signals to lighting instruments, communications, sound, and rigging, and any mistake in judgement could kill a person.
Consideration like having the systems isolated from the internet because nasties like StuxNet infect the control systems of theaters that support incredibly large loads over people's heads. A misfire or miscommunication among any of the myriad parts could end up in disaster, as the experience at the Apollo Theater in London a few months back will attest.
Most people are blissfully unaware of how complex putting on modern stage shows can be, and really, that's the point. The audience is supposed to be amazed and enthralled, not thinking about how that massive chandelier was hung over their heads. All of the effort and machinery are supposed to be invisible or the illusion is lost. Yet, somewhere in all that mix, someone has to worry about the safety and security of that 3-year-old in the 24th row who is staring in wide-eyed amazement at flying Disney characters - not on TeeVee or the movie screen - but in real life.
Among our copious responsibilities is knowing the dizzying intricacies of the theater's innards. If a single cable ceases to function properly, it is our responsibility to know where that cable originates, where it terminates, and the precise path it takes in between. We must know precisely how much load and stress can be applied to any given spot on the stage or in the rafters. We must know the precise measurements of every function of every system in the venue.
Add to that the various social and political concerns of being GM of such a place - it's unique position in Indonesian history - and the desire to inform, educate and entertain large masses of people, and one can begin to appreciate the demands on the time of an individual.
Despite the demands and stresses of managing such an effort - still in construction phase - we would not have it any other way. We have always maintained that when one does the thing one loves the most, there is no such thing as work. There is only joy.
Some letter writers to us on the Far Side have asked why we don't have columns on Malaysia Air or the Ukraine situation. The simple answer is that our answers are contained in the archives.
Malaysia Air is a distraction. It is an operation planned and executed to do one thing - keep you from looking at the Big Picture. The Ukraine is little more than the dying crash of Western hegemony and the rise of the New East. These are topics we have explored at great length within these pages.
The Malaysia Air mystery is designed to soak up headlines and column inches, distract the minds, and hold attention off other - more important - events. There is something in this story for everyone, conspiracy theorist or not. If there is in fact a real flight with real people involved, then our heart goes out to them for their suffering. But we are unconvinced to the extent that we have followed the story at all. It is not a cause, but a symptom of a much larger story being played out on the world's theater, with its attendant million moving parts.
The Ukraine story is also a symptom and part of the kibuki theater of global politics. Not to make light of the suffering there, but the people of the Ukraine must at some point see that they are being manipulated in a crass and cynical game of geo-pissing.
The Western oligarchs set into motion back in the 80s a plan to crater the Soviet system, rearrange the Mid-East to their liking, and ensure that none of them could mount a serious challenge to Western hegemony.
They had not counted on China having its own agenda. Instead, they were supposed to be infinitely grateful to the banksters for having unloaded tons of toxic debt within their borders. They had not counted on the Russians experiencing a moral and religious reawakening and cleaning house of the mafia corruption, as Putin has done. They had not counted on the internet becoming a means of circumventing the official media and mind-numbing distractions of network TeeVee. In short, they f^cked up.
Once they realized what they had done, the various factions within the bankster class began fighting amongst themselves trying either to salvage the original plan, or scavenge for any amount of power and wealth as could be grabbed in the collapse. The dominant group, myopically and pathetically wedded to their 40-year-old plan, are moving as fast as they can to complete it, though nearly all the assumptions of their plan - all the million variables - have changed, and it is no longer viable.
Thus, the Ukraine, and Libya, and Syria, and Iran, and Afghanistan, Egypt, et cetera ad nauseum.
The collapse of Empires is a dangerous time, but as the Chinese say, there is opportunity in chaos, or as their Western counterparts would say, Ordo ab chao.
As the audience, we have three choices: 1) we can sit passively and be enthralled like a 3-year-old in the 24th row; 2) we can seek to understand all the miles of cabling and systems integration of the theater we call the world/ or 3) we can ignore the bastards, refuse to buy a ticket and go set up our own show elsewhere. We here on the Far Side stand firmly in the Option 3 camp.
Now, back to work!