“Appropriate Behaviour” — Basic Capitalism in My Formative Years

I don’t know exactly what caused me to have an anxiety disorder. During my therapy sessions I elected to manage my mental health as opposed to find out where the darn mess came from.

On some days I speculate, and one of my theories is that it’s because I gained an understanding of how the world works during my formative years, only to be chastised for it. Then, after emerging into the adult world to see that it’s exactly how I thought it was, I get subconscious flashbacks to being told off for behaving like most adults.

Let me illustrate an example for you, using the power of my words and your imagination.

I’ve always been a shy kid. One who’s happy to live in his own world, but who still craves the attention of others like the rest of the damn species. After I started secondary school (age 11 for international reference) I didn’t really find confidence among my peers until I started selling chocolate bars on the school yard before and after classes.

A large supermarket chain, that rhymes with alfresco, built a store directly opposite my place of education. This meant that before school began I could go over to the store and buy ten multipacks of chocolate (candy) bars, in order to resell for a tasty profit.

It’s the classic get-rich-quick scheme for any twelve-year-old smart enough to use birthday money as investment capital.

Due to the multipacks of chocolate being so much cheaper than buying the bars individually (as low as 20p per bar), I could always sell them to my classmates for less than the price of an individually sold unit. Yeah, that’s right, I know the lingo.

Now, anyone who has ever bought a multipack of anything that’s individually wrapped will know that the external packaging has “Not Suitable For Resale” printed in big black letters on the wrapper. And had this been the reason for the shutting down of my hustle, I may have understood.

I began taking requests for specific items, and I would always oblige (providing that item was available in a multipack, if not you can sling your hook Mikey).

For months I enjoyed making a tidy 50% profit on most items, and subsequently saved that money for bigger ticket purchases in my own life — Video games, CDs, a mini fridge; The classics.

The cashiers at Tesco — I MEAN, thing that rhymes with… never mind. The statute of limitations must’ve expired here.

Well, the cashiers started to become a little suspicious, asking a question here and there. I would cover my tracks by saying that my pals gave me money before school and I do a solo run for all of our personal snacks that day.

“Well that’s an awful lot of chocolate bars.”

“I have a lot of friends.”

They’d always laugh at that one, which in hindsight I assume was because of my sickly/nerdy demeanour. Either way, it got me out of the situation and I was free to go about my morning business.

Eventually I started branching out into drinks, particularly as the warm weather started to hit. This meant I had to invest some of my profits into a new backpack, but it was worth it for the increased sales overall.

This little scheme helped me to interact with people outside of my friend group, as well as quickly perform basic maths. It also allowed me to develop my entrepreneurial spirit, which is a key talent to posses in a capitalist society.

I knew at heart that I was cheating the system, by purchasing items in bulk and reselling them as individuals, but even by age twelve I was aware of lying, cheating, corrupt politicians and businessmen. As far as I knew, I was just playing the game of life.

One morning, whilst carrying my two backpacks and one tote-bag worth of goodies, I was pulled aside by my form tutor for a chat. I felt like an unworthy kid at the chocolate factory, called out by Willy Wonka as I protested innocence, only for candy to spill from every available pocket.

homerbadman

See, I’d always been really careful to make sales between classes, so that teachers wouldn’t be disturbed by my transactions. Sure, I’d cut verbal deals in the middle of Maths if the sale were big enough. But no money or goods would ever change hands — The classroom is a place for learning.

So I was surprised to be pulled aside one morning and be told to stop selling chocolate bars. It was that damn cashier, I just knew it. She didn’t know my name, but she must’ve said something to the school about a sickly/nerdy looking kid, and all the teachers rushed to me for some reason…

I asked why I wasn’t allowed to do it anymore, and I wasn’t given a suitable answer. As I mentioned above, if the multipack legality issue had been brought into the conversation, then I would’ve held my hands up and surrendered my candied wares.

However, I was simply told that I couldn’t, because “it’s not appropriate”, and as a child I took this as gospel. The entire world seemed to be hustling to get by, but I guess if an authority figure tells me that it’s not the done thing, then I should probably stop.

I asked my form tutor how he’d found out about my schemes, and he said that another pupil had brought it to his attention. To this day I still have no idea who grassed me up, but something tells me it was the other kid who had been trying to start a rival business for weeks beforehand, to little success.

Low and behold, the second I close my metaphorical doors of business, he swoops in and collects all my old customers. This included a habitual snacker, who would regularly drop £5 a day on confectionary. He’d harpooned my whale. (This isn’t a fat joke, the kid actually had a fast metabolism, it’s a term used in gambling I swear.)

But this was fine, because I had done the right thing, I was now “appropriate”. Except that my confidence gradually dropped, as I’d lost my outlet to interacting with people outside of my friend group. And I became fearful of any business ventures going forward.

To tell the truth I even became suspicious of the concept of Maths as a whole, as I’d replay scenes of being told off for practicing basic maths outside of the classroom. You know, I bet this is also the point where I started to subconsciously criticise capitalism — We’re unpacking a lot here.

Then I entered the adult world, and found that everyone is cutting one corner or another in order to get by. Even if it’s just a petite, “white” corner-cutting.

I guess my point is that I have no idea why I get such bad anxiety in most regular occurrences, but it’s fun to blame this formative experience because it doesn’t effect anyone who I love and respect.

I suppose the positive to come from this time in my life is that I easily see corruption and corner-cutting in world leaders or respected members of the community. Because I’ve played their game, I know how it is on the rough streets of white collar crime. Don’t mess with us, or we might just sell you something for twice what it’s actually worth, whilst breaking several national wholesale laws in the process.


Today is Tuesday, January 8th and I wanted a .gif of all of the candy spilling from Marge’s coat but I couldn’t find one.

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Crown Jewel: A Night to Forget

I wrote these words (not these ones, but the next one-thousand or so) during the live broadcast of the Crown Jewel PPV in Saudi Arabia. I bit the bullet for you guys. You’re welcome.

When WWE signed a deal with Saudi Arabia to perform exclusive shows over the next decade, they didn’t anticipate that they’d be at the centre of one of the biggest controversies of the year. These shows are to be a part of ‘Saudi Vision 2030’, a campaign by the new royal family to bring their country into the 21st century — A promise we all know that they’re absolutely sticking to…

Recent events called for WWE to pull out of the deal, but last week chairman Vince McMahon decided to go ahead with the show ‘Crown Jewel’ — Choosing millions of dirty dollars and potentially catastrophic PR over the majority of public opinion. On top of all of this, they’ve added Hulk Hogan to the show, a controversial figure in his own right, who (rightfully) hasn’t been in good-graces since he repeatedly used a racial slur on tape.

It should be noted that as far as the match-card is concerned, it’s bizarre even by wrestling standards. Shawn Michaels is coming out of an eight-year retirement to wrestle a legends tag-team match; Ruining what is regarded by fans as the most satisfying ending to a career in wrestling history.

Obviously, none of the women are wrestling. Women are only just able to drive in Saudi Arabia, putting on tights and pretending to fight would be too much of a stretch for 2018.

The former Universal Champion, Roman Reigns, had to pull out of the main event due to a legitimate Leukemia diagnosis, and top stars John Cena and Daniel Bryan have refused to attend the show from a moral standpoint. In the case of John Cena, it’s perhaps to save his blossoming Hollywood career.

As well as all of this, the majority of the show will be a “world-cup” tournament that’s made-up of eight Americans. So the winning country will be America, no matter who wins — A sentence that’s so typically American.

The pre-show match finishes with the line of commentary, “Retained the US title in controversial fashion,” and so before the main show even begins, we’ve heard the C-word from the company themselves. Welcome to the most tone-deaf show in entertainment history, welcome to WWE Crown Jewel.

Hulk Hogan starts the show, and comes out to more cheers than he’d receive in the US in 2018. I start playing a game with myself — Who will accidentally mention the words Saudi Arabia first. Hogan says a few sentences before his music plays once more, my hope is that American audiences won’t forget what he said, and that the world has outgrown men with opinions like his.

We cut to the crown-prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, at ringside. He receives fewer cheers than Hulk Hogan. His expression isn’t as jubilant as it was back in April, during their first visit to his country, so he’s likely well-aware of the controversies. It feels wrong to show him in a positive light on American programming, but here we are.

During their April show, The Greatest Royal Rumble, WWE aired plenty of propaganda packages, encouraging people to visit the “progressive” Saudi Arabia. There’s none of that this time around. It’s as though both WWE and Saudi Arabia are just trying to get through this show, hoping that everything will have blown over six months from now.

In the opening four matches, Rey Mysterio, The Miz, Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler advance in the tournament. It’s during these matches that I start to notice the fans. Seeing all of the children in the crowd getting excited whilst witnessing their favourite WWE Superstars makes me loathe the royal family even more.

Most citizens of Saudi Arabia are just trying to enjoy mindless entertainment like the rest of us, on this shared home we call Earth, and a smile on the face of a five-year-old in a John Cena t-shirt makes that clear.

Popular tag-team The New Day ride down to the ring on a mechanical magic carpet for their match, with the commentary team mentioning magical blue genies. WWE has always been about stereotypes, but maybe it would’ve been for the best to avoid them at a show like this. I guess when you’ve already got Hulk Hogan appearing in Saudi Arabia, nothing seems too controversial.

newdaycarpet

Dolph Ziggler and The Miz qualify for the finals of the World Cup. Interestingly, both of these men are from Ohio. So not only is this “global tournament” limited to one nation, but now it has all come down to who is the best from the Buckeye State.

Samoa Joe, who is a last-minute replacement for Daniel Bryan, faces AJ Styles for the WWE Championship next. I’m two hours into the show and it’s important to point out that nobody has mentioned the words ‘Saudi’ or ‘Arabia’. Crown Jewel is a ‘Global Event’ that constantly has the feeling of Simpsons-esq, worried collar-pulling.

Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar fight for the vacant Universal championship. As much as WWE would like to sweep this show under the rug, this is the one match they’ll have to reference in the future, as a new champion has to be crowned. It’s heartwarming to see half the crowd watching the show via the camera app on their phones, just like we do in the West; We’d all be the same if it weren’t for our respective murderous oppressors.

Paige, the Smackdown General Manager, can’t be here tonight due to her status as a woman. So Shane McMahon steps in to play the role of authority figure on behalf of the blue brand. It’s time for the World Cup final. Smackdown vs Raw. Blue vs Red. Cleveland, Ohio vs just outside of Cleveland, Ohio.

Miz is fake-injured and carried away to the back. So Shane McMahon steps in and takes his place. This is stupid, so therefore this is wrestling. For the first time at Crown Jewel I forget that the controversy exists, because it’s over-the-top storytelling without any offense intended.

Shane McMahon wins the tournament, which legitimises how bizarre and nonsensical this entire show has been. Perhaps Vince McMahon took some nepaitistc advice from the Saudi royal family, and decided that this was the best direction to take the story of Crown Jewel.

It’s time for your main event, DX vs The Brothers of Destruction — Four men who have a combined age of two-hundred and six. This match is disheartening to watch, as one man’s legacy is tarnished in exchange for a large paycheck.

The realisation that this whole show is meaningless happens, as the Saudi royal family film Shawn Michaels’ return to the ring through their cell phones, in a match they’ve paid millions of dollars to be shot professionally in their own country. They don’t care about legacy, they care about looking progressive. And apparently the way to do that is to pay fifty-year-olds to choreograph a fight.

Screen Shot 2018-11-02 at 15.14.46

After decades of trying to push professional wrestling out of the dirty bingo halls and into mainstream entertainment, Vince McMahon has surely set his company back a few years by performing in Saudi Arabia today. However, it’s hard to believe that anything can topple the giant that dwarves any company within its niche industry.

WWE will walk away with a lot of dirty money, but at least Crown Jewel wasn’t the propaganda-fest that Greatest Royal Rumble was. Although it’s a little alarming that the crown prince was still shown live on air in a featured moment, in behaviour akin to any other alarming dictator.

Commentator Michael Cole closes the show by describing the main event performance as one that “we will never, ever forget.” Cole, I think it’s in everyone’s best interests that we do.


Today is Monday, November 5th and America should set off fireworks today as well as July 4th, because it’s actually dark on an evening.

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Musk of a Man

Elon Musk is a guy who sees Thai kids in critical danger making the headlines and says “Woah there, that should be me.”

He probably saw it all on a news channel, or whichever microchip he uses to directly upload current events to his brain, as he turned to his robot wife (and three robot children) and told them that Daddy has to go and be Batman for the day.

Muskman? Like, short for Muskratman? Maybe we just go with Ratman.

Well — nobody wanted Ratman. Local rescuers and genuine experts from far and wide, including British diver Vern Unsworth, were already on the scene, being every-day superheroes without needing the publicity.

So let’s talk about Elon Musk for a second. He’s a part of a rare group of people who’re a blight on out species as a whole. No — I’m not talking about white people OR men, not this time. This time, I’m talking about billionaires.

Billionaires are people who do a lot for our society at first, but then not a whole lot of anything after that. The best billionaires aren’t billionaires for very long. They realise that over a billion dollars is too much cash for one person to have acquired and so they redistribute that wealth. Musk is not one of these billionaires.

I can’t deny that his various companies have done a lot of good for humanity. His obsessions with renewable, clean energy and space travel, have provided potential answers to a lot of my anxieties surrounding the future of our species. I’d certainly rather a person with a lot of money had the global population in mind when developing projects, and his first few ideas certainly did that.

We can talk about the poor work conditions in his factories, or the potential for human rights violations, but the truth of it is — that’s how the majority of billionaires operate. Particularly business-based billionaires. Nobody gets that rich, that fast, without cutting a few corners.

I never want to attack Musk for his practices, his projects or his investments, because as far as rich idiots go, he’s probably in the best 1% of the 1%. No, his problem is one that’s prevalent among a lot of billionaires and figureheads in 2018 — he won’t shut up on social media.

I suppose it’s part of the evolution of society, that we have a president who values tweeting more than diplomacy, as well as billionaires who live-tweet their failed attempts at fixing the world’s problems. If the masses are fumbling through a new medium, then you better believe that the hegemonic few are going to have an equally feeble attempt.

So back to Thailand, where Musk brought a tiny submarine. His plan (I think) was to pilot that submarine into the chamber the children were trapped in, presumably to get them supplies? Before he’d use the submarine to bore a hole in the wall of the cave? He does a lot of that these days.

Don’t quote me on his plan, his plan isn’t the important part, as more qualified people than him had already shut his idea down — before he had even arrived in the country.

Vern Unsworth was one of these men. After Musk was sent away from the rescue site, he went on Twitter and called Unsworth a “pedo”. Now, personally, I haven’t heard “peado” used as an insult since secondary school. In the adult world it’s a very serious accusation to throw around. Especially when it’s entirely baseless and unfounded, attacking a man who the general public consider to be a hero.

musk

I’m not even going to point out the fact (I am) that Musk has frequently pursued women who’re much younger than himself. All of whom were over eighteen, but with a twenty-some year age-gap. I’m not saying this isn’t fine — because it is. I’m just saying that maybe men in their forties who go for women in their twenties, shouldn’t be throwing around accusations like that, quite so hastily.

Now, Unsworth is considering legal action against Musk, and I very much encourage it. I’m of the opinion that people should be held accountable for what they say online, and it should be considered even more serious than what we say in person.

Increasingly, our communication takes place on digital platforms, and people with a lot of followers have a great amount of influence over people. When influencers say “it was just a joke”, as a response to a thought-out social media post that receives backlash, they’re not entirely correct. What’s a joke to one person, fuels some dark things in other people.

Billionaires need to be held to the same (if not higher!) standards as the 99%. Elon, pal, you can’t just call someone a peadophile online and not expect a negative reaction. Unless — you know — you’re calling out an actual “pedo”.

If you want to salvage your image, then pay up some damages and then delete your Twitter account, because that shiny Tesla stock is plummeting as you tweet.

Although maybe it’s better that Billionaires do tweet. Most of the ones who do, regularly expose themselves as the out-of-touch repulsive human beings they are. In the case of our supreme leader, he manages to show us every day (in 280 characters or less) how his encroaching dementia is effecting the highest office in the land.

At least if they Tweet, we can see who they really are, and we’re justified in our active displeasure toward them. It’s the ones who keep themselves closed off who’re the real danger. The Koch Brothers, Rupert Murdoch, Disney executives…

The really twisted thing about Musk is that he probably still believes he’s helping humanity. He helped develop the commercial electric car, which is great! But now he appears to be under the impression that every action he makes should be lauded as a philanthropic move of pure genius.

I bet he takes a dump and gets his robot wife to tell him what a good boy he is, and how that particular Tesla Log™ is going to help feed one-hundred impoverished children.

Today is Tuesday, July 17th and someone once said I look like Elon Musk, but with a terminal illness. The worst part? It’s kind of accurate.

MAGA Boycott 101

#BoycottWalmart made the rounds on social media yesterday, until the hashtag itself was boycotted by people making fun of the hashtag. #BoycottBoycottWalmart doesn’t have the same ring to it, and sounds like a capitalist version of a former Egyptian politician.

The hashtag came about when Trump supporters found out that Walmart had started to sell “Impeach 45” t-shirts and various other impeachment-based memorabilia. I think I saw an Impeach 45 teapot, an Impeach 45 otter harness and an Impeach 45 nostril-hair trimmer. I also saw a set of fairly smart-casual robes, but on second thought I think they were clothes designed for middle-aged Anglican priests, that read “I’m Preach 45!”

anglicanpriest
Yes you are! 45 today! Now get yourself down to Walmart for some snazzy new robes.

I want to make it clear that, with the following words, I’m making fun of MAGA supporters and not Republicans. I’m not some liberal snowflake cuck who doesn’t know my rampaging racist with a Twitter account from my nervous 2016 voter who didn’t know what else to do. Thinking those two groups are one and the same is what’ll get us another four years of Trump.

The Trump Train have tried to boycott several companies in the past and have been slightly less than successful. MAGA tried to bring down Amazon and Starbucks, because just like their president, their egos are much larger than their practical abilities.

They keep going for the biggest companies in America, for selling either anti-Trump products or for supporting minority groups in times of need, suffering or solidarity. This is foolhardy, you’ll never bring down the biggest employers in the US. At least not with the sentiment of:

“I don’t like these companies because their corporate policy is that everyone should be treated fairly and equally! What sickos!”

Centrist and left-wing movements have been more successful when it comes to getting the game of capitalism to shift a few pieces around, for the benefit of society. In the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting, March For Our Lives campaigners spoke to various gun-selling stores across the nation. Stores like Dick’s stopped selling assault-style weapons over the counter, proving once again that Dick’s have balls.

Whenever a Fox anchor or talking-head has an “Ambien” fuelled rant that goes too far, enough people manage to boycott their advertisers, so much so that they pull support from the on-air personality. Money talks. Come to think of it, can we get Ambien to pull their support for all of MAGA? They seem to use it as an excuse often enough.

Yeah, let’s have them use an off-brand of a zolpidem, something they’ve had to buy from a bloke behind the back of a bus station. Let’s make them work for their prejudiced, misinformed ravings. Make Ambien Grueling to Acquire!?

Perhaps the most amusing part about #BoycottWalmart, was the complete lack of awareness of what Walmart is.

Walmart is the biggest physical retailer in America, who sell items to the public based on popular trends. For example, in 2016 Walmart sold Lock Her Up prison costumes, based on the Fox/MAGA myth of Hilary Clinton having committed more crimes than a self-confessed rapist and tax avoider. They also continue to sell MAGA hats and t-shirts, alongside the Impeach 45 garb.

lockherup

You see, Walmart are not in the business of making a political statement. They’re the same as any major retailer, they want to sell us things that we don’t actually need, in order to turn a giant profit. That’s why they stock cheaply-made fashion items from both sides of the political spectrum, because it caters to the largest possible market.

Now, if I know raving internet liberals as well as I know raving internet conservatives, then the #BoycottWalmart trend yesterday will have meant the opposite for the superstore. There’s a lot of people out there who’ll do anything to piss-off a MAGA supporter. So I can almost guarantee that the trend meant an increased number of Impeach 45 sales for Walmart, who’re the only real winners in this entire scenario.

I have to applaud MAGA for just a moment. They at least understand that the way to effect change in this society is by voting with your wallet. The kind of companies we support, reflects the America we see around us. No country in the world goes quite so hard on free-market capitalism as the good old United States.


I have a closing theory as to why MAGA only targets the large companies, the companies they use every day. Please remember that this is an opinion, and pure speculation on the subject.

Other political movements will specifically go out of their way to target companies that do unethical things, or support unethical people. They seek out the injustice, or ideological disagreement, and specify the problem and issue, in order to reach a capitalistic solution of demonetisation for said injustice.

MAGA don’t target the small, liberal companies, because they’re not thinking about them. They’re not as politically plugged in as members of other movements. They are living average American lives, shopping and consuming average American brands. So when Starbucks, Amazon or Walmart does something that they don’t agree with, you better believe they notice it.

They notice when Starbucks uses non-Christian iconography on their Christmas cups and attempt boycotts, but they don’t notice the independent coffee shops that donate a portion of their proceeds to GLAAD. They boycott Amazon because their president holds a grudge against them, without thinking about the sheer number of jobs the company has created, a core platform of their campaign. And they boycott Walmart because they’re selling anti-Trump clothing, when they’ve been selling pro-Trump clothing for a lot longer.

My point is that they’re perhaps not active thinkers, which is fine. Some people just want to get through everyday life and make it to the other side. But given the behaviour of MAGA supporters when it comes to boycotting companies, we can see that deep-down, before some orange overlord came around to distort their waking thoughts, they’re just normal, not very intelligent people.

Which is SAD.

Today is Wednesday, July 4th and it’s my first Independence Day in the United States. As a Brit, I’m going to spend the day in hiding.

Permit Patty and the White Water Privilege

Over the weekend the hashtag #PermitPatty trended across social media. It was linked to a viral video of a woman, who had seemingly called the police on an eight-year-old girl selling bottles of water on the sidewalk.

A lot of commentators are brining race into the story, due to Permit Patty being a white lady, and the young water vendor being a black girl. This is ridiculous because we live in an entirely equal society, where everyone is awarded the same opp…

…I’m sorry, I can’t even finish typing that sarcastically!

This looks bad for Permit Patty, whose real name I’ve intentionally made absent from this piece. She’s been caught up in a long line of viral incidents that have documented white people calling authorities on black people for doing normal, everyday things.

If you’re reading this and jumping to Patty’s immediate defence, consider a time where you’ve seen a lemonade stall in your neighbourhood. Did you call the cops, or not?

If you did, then go ahead and defend Patty. It means you don’t discriminate against the race of any vendor or stall ran by children. Congratulations, you might not be a racist, but you are a no-fun, jobsworth busybody. And on some level, isn’t that worse than racism?
(No, it’s absolutely not)

I remember being at an extremely white festival up in Boulder last month. It was incredibly enjoyable, it just happened to have a sea of white faces. It was like a Harvard picnic, or a funeral for the Milkybar Kid. He wasn’t strong enough, or indeed tough enough for that head-on collision with an eighteen-wheeler.

milkybarkid
R.I.P

I remember there being three unlicensed, child-run lemonade stalls, throughout and in-between the official stands of the festival. In fact, one child set-up shop right beside one of the grown-up, licensed lemonade vendors. Which I thought showed, a) balls and, b) an excellent understanding of Hotelling’s Law. A business theory that I’m absolutely certain this six year-old had been aware of.

My point is that thousands upon thousands of people walked by these vendors and didn’t calls the cops. They were still running their, quite frankly, crappy little stalls at the end of the festival day.

But I wasn’t about to buy lemonade from an unlicensed vendor, are you kidding me? Sure, it may have been half the price for the same size cup, but how was I supposed to know they followed health-codes. They probably made that lemonade with unwashed hands, squeezing snot and piss into the water, along with the lemons. One stall even had an opened bag of sugar laying around. There’s just no telling how many bugs helped themselves to a glucose overdose that afternoon.

But I didn’t call the cops on them. Despite what some people think, I’m not a monster.

lemonade
“I f***ing told you sis, $1 a glass is too much. Now you’ll never get your f***ing pony.”

Kids who run stalls without a permit are still subject to the same stringent, capitalist society that we live in. They’re going out to try and earn a little extra money for themselves and their family. Which is admirable, and a strong sign that they’ll probably do okay in this world. We can either be won-over by the cute factor and buy an ice-cream from them, that may or may not contain traces of human faeces. Or we can ignore them, as we would any other business that doesn’t take our fancy. That’s capitalism.

We can’t call the cops on entrepreneurial spirit. That would be calling the cops on America.

Look, was the little girl selling water technically breaking the law? Yes, probably. But she wasn’t doing anything to harm anyone. Make one illegal manoeuvre in a vehicle and you’ve already put more lives at risk than a child selling bottled water on the street.

Back when I was around age twelve or thirteen, I’d buy multipacks of chocolate bars before school and sell them at lunch for twice what I had paid. Man, if I did that in 2018, Jamie Oliver would personally dispatch a halloumi hit-squad to take me off the streets.

I knew from the beginning that the multipacks were “not for individual resale”, but I did it anyway, because I was a kid who saw the opportunity for money to be made.

I eventually stopped when an employee from the supermarket I bought from ratted me out to my school. I still haven’t forgiven you Sandra, I couldn’t buy the video games I wanted that summer thanks to you, Sandra. I hope you’re happy now, Sandra.

I stopped because I got caught, and I didn’t really think about it again until a couple of years later. I distinctly remember helping out at adult-organised events and seeing that they were selling multipack chocolate bars at stalls. Selling them individually, just as I had. I also remember going into licensed, discount supermarkets, and seeing the very same bars of chocolate being sold separately. With the same “not for individual resale” label on the side.

It could be that this was the first time it really hit me, or it could be that I’d figured it out some time prior. But from this I learned that all adults are doing is breaking the rules, most of the time. As I began to consume news and look at the world around me, I discovered that the adults who break the rules the most, are the ones who end up with the greatest portion of the wealth.

So now we have Permit Patty, who became visibly angry at a child on the street, while she may not have batted a solitary eyelid at Wall-Street bankers who scheme and trick the wealth of a country through illegal loopholes. She probably doesn’t lay awake at night, wondering what all of the unpaid business taxes from the 1% could do to help society. But by God, she got on that phone and called the cops on an eight-year-old girl selling water.

The point I want to make, if you’ll let me, is that maybe this did have something to do with race directly, or maybe the problem goes beyond that. Perhaps Patty goes to white-nationalist rallies, or what’s more likely is that she’s just an example of the deeply rooted, subconscious racism that’s prevalent in this country. It could even be that this has nothing to do with race at all, that she just hates all rule-breakers, or can’t stand children in general.

Either way, I put it to you that this is all a distraction. The current government, and the financial powers that be, absolutely love it when we’re at war with each other and attacking the minor rule-breakers on the street, or small-business owners like Patty who call them out.

It means that the spotlight isn’t on the adults who’re really breaking all the rules. The corrupt bankers, the members of the 1% who refuse to pay business tax, those who use off-shore accounts to channel tax money out of the country. Or even the big-businesses who manage to avoid permit laws, the same as our eight-year-old water seller, because nobody is looking at them.

I’m part of the problem, as I’ve just written a thousand words about the Permit Patty story because I knew I could get a few jokes out of it along the way. I just hope that you take away a different side to this story. And to understand that for five minutes this morning, TV news outlets (from the left, right and center) spoke about the crimes of a little girl selling water, and her accuser. Whilst ignoring the real capitalist crimes that are committed every second.

And if, for you, this story is still entirely about race. Go for the bigger white whales, the men and women who keep perpetuating the idea that we should be divided. Patty is just a single cog in a white, shiny wheel of hatred. One that bigger, oranger men are turning.

Today is Monday, June 25th and I’ve been listening to Japanese Breakfast on repeat. You should too.