Müüntide defitsiidist Argentiinas, sientoloogide sissetuleku ja Obama elu muutumiseni

Argentiinat on tabanud majanduskriisi eriti kummaline manifestatsioon. Nimelt on käibelt peaaegu täiesti kadunud mündid, mida keegi ei taha enam teistega eriti jagada. Probleemil näib olevat mitmeid põhjuseid, millel artiklis ka peatutakse, kuid vast kõige kentsakam on see, kuidas näiteks 5 kohaliku raha võib osutuda märksa väärtuslikumaks kui näiteks 20 kohaliku raha:

The 2-peso note is thrown around with a contemptuous disregard usually reserved for metal money, at least in countries where less money isn’t occasionally worth more than more money. But 5s and 10s are harder to come by, because they’re actually worth something. In many cases, they’re worth more than 20s, because you can buy things with them, which isn’t always true with a 20. In some cases, 5s and 10s are effectively worth more than 100s—which, unless you want to take out the equivalent of $20 at a time, are pretty much the only bills ATMs here dispense. Save for large purchases, 100-peso notes are functionally useless—imagine trying to trade a bar of platinum bullion for a sandwich and a coffee.

*   *   *

Maailmas on palju huvitavaid inimesi, kellel kõigil omad unistused – mõnedele väiksed, mõnedele suured ja kolmandatel lihtsalt kummalised. George Packer kuulub viimasesse kategooriasse, sest juba aastaid on tema vaikselt realiseerinud enda unistust olla kõige tsiteeritum “iga-mees” ajakirjanduses:

Greg Packer went from man-on-the-street to news-maker, garnering profiles in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and NPR, among other outlets. Reporters discovered that he made his living as a highway worker (he is now retired), that he is unmarried, and that his method (as explained by Editor &  Publisher) is to identify reporters covering an event, to motion them to come over or to wait for them to approach.

These banal details, reported in every Greg Packer profile, help explain why so many journalists have made follow-up efforts: we cannot quite believe that manipulating the entire media requires so little sophistication. I sought Mr. Packer sure of finding something the others reporters had missed: a peculiar method he uses to pick journalists from a crowd; an insightful analysis of the diction and syntax most likely to see print; a precise statement of what it is that my colleagues seek from men on the street, which I have never understood.

*   *   *

Saientoloogide ridadesse kuulub küll mitmeid kuulsaid inimesi, kuid see kummaline ususekt on ka ulatuslike rahaliste sissetulekutega, mida on sedavõrd oskuslikult hajutatud, et keegi ei tea täpselt, palju see organisatsioon aastas raha kasseerib. L. Christopher Smith proovis Portfolio jaoks ekspertide ja endiste liikmetega rääkides mingisuguse numbrini jõuda, mis on suurem kui oleks arvata võinud. Selgub, et umbes viiendik rahast tuleb annetustest, mida teevad ka mitmed kuulsused:

According to a former Scientologist, a single 2007 event in the U.K. helped pay for dozens of new buildings and fueled a two-week pledge drive that netted nearly $50 million. The biggest recent U.S. gift was reportedly a $7.5 million donation from Nancy Cartwright, who does the voice of Bart Simpson. Other major donors include Tom Cruise, who’s given an estimated $25 million over the years, Kirstie Alley, and Jenna Elfman.

*   *   *

Vaikselt finantskriisist majanduskriisiks kasvanud olukord on eriti valusalt tabanud mitmeid alles hiljuti pensionile läinud inimesi, kes on pidanud õudusega jälgima, kuidas hiljuti soetatud kinnisvara ja aktsiaportfelli väärtus nende silmade all sulab. BusinessWeek’is ilmus hiljuti üks olukorda illustreeriv artikkel, mis peatuba ka sellel kui keeruline on vanematel inimestel hiljem uuesti tööd leida:

The problems are compounded by a weak economy, with companies shedding jobs rather than hiring. Many retirees have been looking for months without luck. Their search is complicated by what some feel is a general reluctance to hire seniors, who may need extra training or extra health care. Gordon Scott, who lives in Solomons, Md., retired last year after 39 years as a police officer and teacher. With his savings down 30%, Scott started looking for a job and attended orientation for nursing school. “I was disappointed with my reception,” says the 61-year-old. “You’re viewed differently. I can pick up the signs.”

*   *   *

Üks Briti ajakirjanik elab Moskvas, kus aitab enda vanaema, kuid ühtlasi jälgib venelaste hoiakuid ja poliitilisi arenguid Venemaal mõnevõrra keerulisemates majanduslikes tingimustes. Kui ei midagi muud, siis kinnitab artikkel nende inimeste seisukohti, kes on Venemaale investeerimise eest hoiatanud. Artiklist võib leida ka muhedat revolutsioonihuumorit:

This week Eduard Limonov, the charismatic poet and cult-like leader of the National Bolshevik Party, wrote up his impressions of a party held to celebrate the courageous radio station Ekho Moskvy. Across the crowded hall at the Prague restaurant, he saw his old friend and nemesis Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the long-time leader of the fake opposition party LDPR:

Seeing each other, we grinned, and, Vladimir Volfovich pushing aside his dinner, and I handing my glass of wine to my bodyguard, stepped towards one another and embraced:

Zhirinovsky: So your time has finally come!

Me: And yours also, Vladimir Volfovich, don’t you think?

Zhirinovsky: Yes, ours too, but you’ll precede us to the barricades . . .

Me: And you’ll follow . . .

Zhirinovsky: Yes. And you’ll all die on the barricades, and we’ll seize power.

Me: Except we won’t all die, and we’ll seize power.

*   *   *

Barrack Obamast on saanud järgmine USA president, kuid kuidas täpselt see tema elu muudab? Briti tabloid The Mirror sai mõni aeg tagasi hakkama artikliga, mis üritab vähemalt mõned kummalisemad seigad välja tuua. Näiteks:

The President-elect will also have to get used to handing his glass to a Secret Service agent every time he has a drink outside the White House. The agent carries a small bag in which to pop the glass and later he destroys it.

The idea is to ensure that no unauthorised person has access to the Presidential DNA, but it is not clear how an enemy would use it.

Categorised as: ...

Lisa kommentaar

Sinu e-postiaadressi ei avaldata. Nõutavad väljad on tähistatud *-ga