The Brahmandarins

A friend of mine has posted a penetrating analysis of the clerisy and the political class of America on Facebook. In it, he coins the portmanteau “Brahmandarin” to describe these cretins, and their sort of hybrid Mandarin and Brahmin nature. They have the permanent bureaucratic nature of the Mandarins, with a large infusion of Brahmin nepotism and in-class favoritism.


Consider America’s “New Class”: academia, journalism, “helping” professions, nonprofits, community organizers, trustafarian artists,… Talent for something immediately verifiable (be it playing the piano, designing an airplane, or buying-and-selling,… ) or a track record of tangible achievements are much less important than credentials — degrees from the right places, praise from the right press organs,…

In principle, the New Class is more like the Mandarins rather than the Brahmin caste, as in theory (and to some degree in practice) 1st-generation membership is open to people of all backgrounds. Heck, that includes even an electrician’s son with three advanced degrees (this blogger, a professor by day).

In practice, however, this class is highly endogamous, and its children have an inside track on similar career paths. Thus one finds 2nd and 3rd generation New Class members, whose outlooks on life tend to be more insular and collectively self-centered than that of their 1st-generation peers. (It is important not to over-generalize about one’s fellow human beings: some of the greatest fellow ‘renegades’ I know were to the manor born.) In that manner, the New Class resembles the Brahmins. Hence my portmanteau “Brahmandarins”.

The takeaway from this is that the hostility to Donald Trump doesn’t really come from his status as a Republican, for as a Republican he is generally accounted relatively moderate, and not even a “true” conservative. Only on matters of immigration is he seen as anything heavily right-wing. On most other issues, he is either ambivalent or sometimes outright liberal.

So why the hostility? It’s driven by caste. Donald Trump is a Vaishya, not a Brahmin. As a real estate guy, he could act as slumlord to the Brahmandarin elite. As an entertainer on TV, he could conceivably entertain the Shudras and the Dalits. All of these things were fine, and so long as Trump “stayed in his lane” (a favorite phrase of the political Left), all was well.

But then he went against an anointed Brahmin in the form of Hillary Clinton. This was not to be permitted. He was jumping caste. This is also why Jeb was the initial favorite of the Establishment GOP types. He was also a Brahmin. Yes, not the chosen of the Left, perhaps, but his running was not a caste jump.

It’s very worrisome that India’s caste system has an almost one-to-one relationship with America’s own unofficial castes, or that the relationship is so readily observable. India is, after all, not exactly a bastion of freedom and prosperity.

Nitay provides more:

While the D party used to be one with which particularly Shudras could identify, over time it has increasingly become a patron-client coalition of Brahmandarins and Dalits. Kshatriyas overwhelmingly lean R, while Shudras and Vaishyas (other than high finance) became increasingly disaffected from D and either moved to the R column or tuned out of politics.

The current iteration of the Democrat Party is an alliance between Left-leaning Brahmins (which is most of them — I wonder how long it will take for the Bush family to switch sides?) and the Dalits, who are fed with their table scraps.

But the election of Donald Trump was in large part possible because the Shudras defected. They were once reliably Democratic, but the Democrats have spent the last few decades maligning them, impoverishing them, taking their jobs, homes, and prospects… and then blaming them for every racially-charged incident. They, apparently, have had enough.

Unsurprisingly, Brahmandarin presidents tend to appoint cabinet and senior aides from among the Brahmandarin caste, while Trump’s appointments came almost exclusively from the Vaishyas (Exxon CEO Tillerson for State, and Kshatriyas (Mattis, Flynn, Kelly). It doesn’t matter that most of these people have real-world achievements to their names than a Robbie Mook type can only dream of: they are “ignorant” (read: insufficiently subservient to New Class shibboleths), “hate-filled”, etc. — All short-hand for “not one of us”.
For those same people who keep on prating about how open they are to foreign cultures (the more foreign, the better to “virtue-signal”) are completely unable to fathom the mindset of their compatriots of a different caste, who might as well come from a different planet as from a different country.

Donald Trump has explicitly denied the Brahmandarins a seat at his table. He isn’t merely disagreeing with them, he’s actively flipping them off and telling them that he will not consult with them in any capacity. And to the Brahmandarins, this is the ultimate sin. The table, you see, is supposed to be theirs exclusively. But if Trump forced himself a seat, well… so be it, but the rest of the seats should still go to the anointed ones. At least, that was their thinking.

The riots? The Faithless Elector ploy? The Russian “hacking” stuff? All of this is nothing more than the Brahmandarins throwing a temper tantrum because they are now required to share power with the others. And as Nitay tells us here, they can’t even be bothered to try and understand people from other backgrounds.

They make a good show of loving foreigners (but really, they just want foreigners to come here in order to vote for them), but they don’t even understand Americans of different castes and classes. After all, one of the most amusing mistakes Hillary made was assigning a man from Brooklyn to run her Midwestern rural outreach campaign, as if the under-employed ex-factory worker was going to listen to a carpetbagger from New York City and say to himself “yeah, I can totally see myself voting for her.” For better or worse, Trump at least spoke their language.

Castro’s Death and the Love of the Elite

So around 2 o’clock in the morning, on November 26th, we got the call from my father-in-law. Fidel Castro was dead, squatting over the coals in Hell. Most often, the Christian man would wish for someone to achieve a measure of repentance and forgiveness from the Lord as his life comes to an end.

I, on the other hand, must ask forgiveness for wishing nothing of the sort for this man.

There was celebration in Hialeah, where my wife’s family lives. An ad-hoc parade was on the streets not long after his call came through. A family friend captured this on video here, if you’re interested:

The most fascinating feature of Fidel’s death wasn’t the expected parades in Hialeah, or the celebrations of Cuban exiles and their descendants. It was, rather, the adoration and love expressed by our rulers.

Jimmy Carter had this to say about the Communist tyrant:

Rosalynn and I share our sympathies with the Castro family and the Cuban people on the death of Fidel Castro. We remember fondly our visits with him in Cuba and his love of his country.

Barack Obama, who famously attempted to hug Raul Castro, and posed in front of Che’s memorial was no less glowing in his eulogy:

We know that this moment fills Cubans — in Cuba and in the United States — with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation…

…History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.

No mention is made of the brutal dictatorship this man launched, the thousands murdered, and the millions exiled. Nothing is said of the property stolen, the economy ruined, and the rotting streets of Havana, once one of the most glorious of Caribbean cities.

The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, was even more lavish in his praise of the dictator:

“It was with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest-serving president,” Trudeau said. “Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century.

“A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.

“While a controversial figure,” said Trudeau, “both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for ‘el Comandante.'”

Of course, there is a famous picture of Fidel holding Trudeau’s brother when he was a baby. The alignment of the political elites with Communism and tyranny has been a thing much longer than I have drawn breath:


Totally coincidental, right? The elites hobknobbing with Communists…

As far as I’m concerned, the only good Communist is a dead Communist. And in that, we might say that Castro finally became a good Communist. I do hope that someone flushed his ashes into the sewer, where they properly belong.

I have always despised Castro and other tyrannical Communists (but I repeat myself). However, upon meeting my wife and learning first-hand from my father-in-law exactly what life was like in Cuba, as difficult as it may be to believe, I came to despise Castro even more.

He spoke often of how, as a child in school, children were taught to regard Castro as their father, and to turn in parents who spoke ill of him in private, so that those people might be imprisoned or murdered. The children, of course, were rewarded with gifts for doing this — you can well imagine what such a system produced. A family friend once shared a film that showed his own uncle being executed by firing squad because of his political beliefs. The remainder of the family was fortunate enough to be exiled instead of murdered.

Don’t believe the people who say Castro didn’t do those things, or those who excuse him. He was a tyrant, and the only reason he didn’t kill more was because Cuba was a small island. A man like him in charge of a larger country would have slaughtered millions, not merely thousands.

Make no mistake, our rulers know exactly what men like Castro do, and they approve of it. Indeed, they can only dream of the day when they can take such measures upon us. Imagine if Hillary Clinton, for example, had the power to imprison or murder all of her political opponents on a whim. We all know how that story would end.

I had a taste of this on Facebook, where a fellow Industrial musician (who is much more skilled than I, mind you), Ted Phelps of Imperative Reaction, posted on the subject. He, too, married a Cuban girl and shares a disdain for Communist tyranny. Some of his erstwhile fans, however, most certainly did not share this view.

One decided to call Ted and his supporters Nazi Trumpkins, and proceeded to write on about how Communism is horribly misunderstood, and it is really Donald Trump who will kill millions and put them in concentration camps.

When cornered with well-sourced facts about the crimes of the Castro regime, our intrepid Leftist tried to escape with “well, nobody should speak ill of the dead.”

Sorry, when you found a brutal dictatorship that slaughters, imprisons, and exiles something like 20% of the population because of political beliefs, I will speak ill of you.

Donald Trump, meanwhile, echoed my own sentiments:

Trump followed that up a few hours later with a lengthier statement, in which he called Castro a “brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades” and said he hoped Castro’s death gave Cuban Americans “the hope of one day soon seeing a free Cuba.”

“Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights,” the statement said.

Whatever Trump’s myriad of flaws, he got this right. And that’s one reason why he got elected. People were exhausted of mealy-mouthed statements like Obama’s, or outright praise of murderous dictators like the compliments delivered by Jimmy Carter and Justin Trudeau.

They wanted the truth. And Donald Trump delivered that, at least.

But remember, folks. Our ruling elite has told us that Donald Trump is literally Hitler, and Castro was a wonderful visionary who loved his people.

Never forget whose side they are on.

Speaking Leftish

I don’t think I even speak the same language as the Left anymore. We all say the same words, mind you, but the meanings are different, even opposite.

Often times, trying to understand it gives me a headache. Up is down, war is peace, freedom is slavery. It’s Orwellian, true, but in a bizarrely emotional way. I guess it’s hard to describe, but I was reading through a thread of Leftist agitating, and while I was able to follow the gist of the thing, I realized I wasn’t reading standard English anymore. I was, instead, reading a burgeoning Leftist dialect, replete with its own definitions, syntax, and grammar.

Consider the word “ally”. In English, this means one who cooperates for mutual benefit. In Leftish, this means one who agrees with your political worldview in toto.

In English, tolerance means to live and let live, even when there is disagreement. In Leftish, this means to approve of completely. Intolerance in Leftish, therefore, means disapproval of any kind, in part or in whole, even if no action is taken as a result of that disapproval.

In English, racism means to believe one’s race is superior, and the associated antagonism or ideology attached to that belief. In Leftish, it means the behaviors and attitudes of white people.

Here are some more words and phrases, with a handy translation between Leftish and English:

Leftish: “I’m an ally of marginalized indigenous Americans of color”
English: “I once attended a rally with Elizabeth Warren.”

Leftish: “Donald Trump is a Nazi.”
English: “I don’t know who Joe Biden is, and I certainly didn’t vote, but I’m pretty sure Donald Trump is not very nice, so I’m going to torch my own city.”

Leftish: “Rape Melania.”
English: “Rape Melania.” This is one of the few times that English and Leftish use the same syntax and vocabulary.

Leftish: “I was raped.”
English: “I got drunk at a club, and someone looked at me a little funny.”

Leftish: “I’m Pro Choice!”
English: “Abort the world!”

Leftish: “Lena Dunham is so beautiful.”
English: “I like child rapists.”

Leftish: “Donald Trump is a child rapist.”
English: “I never get my news from any outlet other than HuffPo.”

Here are few one word direct translations:

Leftish: “Racism.”
English: “The behaviors and attitudes of white people.”

Leftish: “Sexism.”
English: “The behaviors and attitudes of men.”

Leftish: “Homophobia.”
English: “The behaviors and attitudes of straight people.”

Leftish: “Islamophobia.”
English: “Not wanting gay people to be thrown off of buildings.”

As you can see, the syntax is very odd, and seems highly contextual. Words like “rape” have very different meanings when used in conjunction with different demographic groups. I will continue to investigate. In the meantime, please feel free to submit your own translations so that we may all better understand the language of Leftish, and how it relates to English.

America: 476 AD

Centuries ago, Odoacer deposed a puppet emperor and his father, Orestes. It was nothing new, that being the accepted practice in the West Roman Empire. Odoacer claimed to be a loyal viceroy of Julius Nepos, an emperor deposed a year before, still maintaining himself in Dalmatia, one of the few remaining provinces of the West.

A few years later, Odoacer had Nepos killed, and was sole master of what remained of the West.

Nothing really changed in the Empire in 476. It was business as usual. There was still an Emperor, residing in New Rome (Constantinople), which had long been the source of real power anyway. Theoretically, the Visigoths in Spain and Gaul acknowledged the suzerainty of the Emperor, as did the Burgundians. A Roman official, Syagrius, maintained himself in northern Gaul, and even Odoacer himself received his title from the Zeno, now the sole Roman Emperor.

You could make the case that nothing happened in 476. No empire fell, no great battles were waged, no cities sacked or armies annihilated. It would be a few generations before Emperor Justinian and his star general Belisarius even realized the West had fallen at all. Their efforts, of course, very nearly reversed the situation.

The point is, a peasant scrabbling for a living in Italy would have never known anything happened at all.

So ask yourself, would you know if America had fallen? Would the shuffling around of titles, the deposition of one ruler exchanged for another, clue you in to the fall? Or would it be business as usual, and only the hindsight of history would see it for what it was?

The fall of an Empire is rarely some kind of Mad Max apocalyptic scenario. It is slow, and measured, like a tree falling, but in absurdly slow motion. Is it merely swaying in the breeze, perhaps? How can you tell?

America has been swaying in one direction for a very long time. Each year is a little worse than the one that preceded it. Oh, there are periodic recoveries such as the one that Ronald Reagan presided over, but they never sway fully back to the zero point.

Only a two decades before Odoacer deposed a puppet, Emperor Majorian had reconquered Spain, Gaul, Burgundy, and even threatened to annihilate the Vandals with a great fleet. He was only a step or two away from completely restoring the entirety of the Western Empire. The Western Empire had seemed healthy, despite the rapine of the Vandals a few years earlier, if not completely back to its old self.

Twenty years was enough to see all the progress reversed again. Majorian was fighting the tides of history, and he lost.

Let me tell it to you as plainly as I can: America has come to its 476 AD moment. The common folks don’t see it, just as they didn’t back then. Few realize what is happening, and why. But it is happening. Hillary Clinton is our Odoacer, set to declare herself King, in fact if not in name. But then even Odoacer was careful to acknowledge de jure rule of Roman law.

Under Hillary Clinton, we will have a de jure Constitution, but nobody will pay any attention to it. De facto, she will be Queen, and she will designate her own successor. The people will have no say in this. And America, such that it once was, did not break bread with monarchs. An America with such a figure ruling it is no longer America, just as Odoacer’s fief was no longer the Roman Empire.

Will Trump reverse the damage? Unlikely, but remotely possible. More likely, he will be another Majorian, and will buy us a few more years before the end. But it matters not. We must try, or we shall find ourselves foreigners in our own land, Americans in a world where there is no America. We will wander in shadow until the day comes when the people realize that America is no more, when the reality of it all hits them.

By then it will be too late. We will all be in chains. And as the tide of Islam soon put the remains of ancient Rome out of her misery, so too shall Islam do it again. An age of darkness is the optimistic scenario.

Vote today. Fight. Give America one last chance to survive.

The History of the Decline and Fall of the United States of America

Roughly contemporaneously with the establishment of our once-proud Republic, Edward Gibbon penned his magnum opus, a grand work that occupied much of his life. Much of that voluminous affair was crude and ineffectual from our modern standpoint. Yet he will forever remain the first to make that grand attempt to discover the underlying reasons why the greatest of all ancient empires disappeared from the face of the Earth forever.

That such a work was composed during the rise of the American Experiment is, perhaps, a historical irony.

All of my life I have sensed the decline of my own country, its fall from the present, the slow slide into irrelevancy soon experienced by all great nations. Each day, the country seemed just slightly less than it had been the day before. It was not a thing measured in statistics and economic indicators, though they too often show the same. No. It can be seen in the streets of any major city, it can be seen in the decaying structures of the country, the abandoned factories, the great skyscrapers half-full, the rotting homes in subdivisions once filled with the laughing of children.

I remember when race relations were better than they are today, when though there was some animosity between blacks and whites, things were nonetheless a far cry from the division we face today. In those days, we were all Americans. I think my first indication that the racial train was coming off the rails was the riots in Los Angeles. I lived in California during much of my childhood, my father being in the military and all, and I saw the decay that began there. When I was born, California was the beautiful state bathed in eternal sun. There were surfers and moviestars, beautiful homes and quiet suburbs. It was a quintessentially Republican state in those days, a far cry from what it is today.

So in my mind, though likely not in fact, that decline began in Southern California, late in the 1980s. Some kind of malaise had infected the state. The roads crumbled, and the trash piled up along the oil-mixed brim on the side of the freeways. Dysfunction crept into everything, from Valley Girl vapidness to Compton’s home as the capital of the criminals-turned-rap-stars. Illegals were everywhere, as the first signs were posted on the freeways showing families running across the I-5 corridor. Watch out, they told us, you might run over a little girl running across 22 lanes of freeway at 2 o’clock in the morning.

Movies of the period show us this declining phase from what was, perhaps, the most beautiful and robust state in the entire Union. Watch this scene from Falling Down and see if you can’t feel it:

California felt like this in the late 80s, and still felt that way when I left for good in 2004. I would never go back there.

But the decline was not confined to California. It follows you wherever you go, you only gain, perhaps, a temporary respite while the malaise catches up with you. Central Florida is starting to feel as LA did 30 years ago. Yes, the sun is shining, and the weather is beautiful. The cruise ships and the tourists come and go. Suburbia crawls forward into the rural zones.

But behind that wave, a festering wound is opening. Ethnic violence, self-segregated ghettos, the expansion of the welfare state, and a sense that no neighborhood is safe for more than a couple decades. And as it ate California, and turned it from a solidly Conservative state to something approximating the Third World in places, so now is it eating my new home.

It even creeps forward in that great bastion of freedom: Texas. Oh yes, Texas remains safe for the GOP, but each year the margins thin a little, and the hovering guillotine of amnesty threatens to permanently shift the demographics of the state.

When Texas goes, there will be no possible way to halt the decline even supposing such a path remains to us today.

Donald Trump tells us to Make America Great Again. I’m not sure it’s possible, for the rot is so ubiquitous, so omnipresent, that the people often fail to notice it’s there at all. They have, like the frog in the pot, become accustomed to the dysfunction and malaise spreading forth like a cancer from most major cities.

The corruption of Hillary Clinton, having reached stratospheric levels even LBJ and Nixon could never have hoped to imagine is par for the course in modern America. It hurts her a little, but not much, and perhaps not enough to keep her from the Oval Office.

It’s unclear that a Donald Trump presidency could conceivably slow this decline, much less reverse it. But it is on us to try anyway. You go to battle with the army you have, not the army you wish for.

I look back on California before the toxic malaise spread as a sort of dream from which I was awakened. It will never be again. That place is destroyed, and what took up the same name was but a cruel mockery of the original. Los Angeles has more in common with Mexico City, now, than any American city, perhaps.

The elites, of course, maintain their islands of prosperity, fastidiously guarded by fences, walls, and guys with guns. All things, I should note, that they claim won’t work on our southern border.

And so I returned to the South, where my family had originated… only to watch it slide slowly into the same cesspit. Do you understand how profoundly depressing this can be? Not for myself, mind you, but for my son, who will almost certainly live in a far more hostile world than I did.

Lena Dunham gleefully extols the extinction of people like me, and she is far from the only one. Yet it is I, and those like me, who wear the labels racist, sexist, et. al. I have never in my life called for the extinction of an entire people, and she has. Yet it is I who plays the part of the villain in this story.

Hillary Clinton’s people can, quite literally, casually conduct Satanic rituals, and not an eyebrow is raised. Not a single critical thought is expressed, nor word spoken against it. Yes, they have their rights, same as I do. And yet here it is that in this day and age, the Christian is the villain, and the worshipers of… whatever it was they were doing, are given praise and attention from celebrities and world leaders around the globe.

If you think this is almost too weird to be true, consider that Anthony Weiner, a pedophile who sticks his… wiener in the wrong places may have torpedoed Hillary Clinton’s campaign (we’ll see if the new Comey ruling will save her, I have doubts) in the same year the Libertarian candidate is running under the slogan “feel the Johnson” and a major Republican primary topic was, apparently, the size of Donald Trump’s penis.

Look back objectively in your mind. Go back to previous elections and see if you can spot the trend, the slow debasement of national politics, a subject never exactly in the highest regard, but to which we have bravely sought new roads in our never-ending quest to find the intellectual bottom.

Hope and Change brought us none of the above. Eight more years of this may be the very end.

Who shall write The History of the Decline and Fall of the United States of America?

Some of my readers have explained to me that the rural areas in the flyover states are still good places, with good people, a real piece of old America-that-was. I believe them. But now let me tell you this: the rot won’t stop here. It will continue forth. It will come and destroy your homes even as it has destroyed one of mine, and seeks to annihilate the other.

As bad as Hillary Clinton is today, somebody worse will come after her, and someone even less moral and less competent will follow that individual. Honorius tended to his chickens as the Visigoths sacked Rome. What will Hillary do? Attend Spirit Cooking sessions with Podesta and chant to Bahomet about how it was totally unfair that Trump made her work for victory?

The flyover states and rural enclaves are all that’s left of the America I once knew. And even they will soon find themselves mired in the same quagmire of regulatory nonsense and mass unrestricted demographic replacement the cities and suburbs now suffer under.

Lena Dunham admitted a truth in her video: they don’t want us subjugated, or our empire shorn from underneath us. They want us exterminated, to preclude any possible survival of our ideals. They want Western Civilization annihilated forever, replaced by a monopolitical force, with no borders except those between elites and plebeians. There is to be nothing in between.

Los Angles will be writ large upon the country. Coming soon to a neighborhood near you. I had a place to go back then. But where will you go when the disease reaches your environs? The time is fast coming when we will all be backed against a wall, and the only choice is fighting or dying, or perhaps both.

Ann Coulter will tell you that it is mass immigration that is to blame. Many Conservatives will tell you it is economics and the perpetual drive toward Socialism. Many Trumpites speak of Globalism and the drive to world government.  Zero Hedge will speak of the Deep State. Many tell us of the dangers of Islam. And the Lena Dunhams will speak of racial extermination and replacement.

The truth is something like all of the above, to varying degrees. Like any form of warfare, there are multiple angles of attack, a sort of combined arms theory for politics. Any method will do for the elites, so long as the America, and indeed the Western civilization, we all know is buried forever.

I don’t know if we can even salvage what’s left of this country… much less make it great again. I’m not sure if the army we have is sufficient for the job. All I know is, if we don’t try, we lose.

Vote Donald Trump for President, even if you hate his guts. Like it or not, it may be our last chance to salvage this country.

Chinese Quality Control is a Plague Upon Mankind

Quality just isn’t a major priority anymore. Part of this, of course, is due to the rampant outsourcing, and the attendant difficulties that brings into play. You have one group of people designing a product, and another group from an entirely different country, language, culture, skill set and education level tasked to build it in a sweat shop half a planet away.

On top of that, as an article on Zerohedge tells us, continuous expansion of the money supply has resulted in an environment where quality is deliberately sacrificed in order to keep production lines open that, in our recessed economy, ought to be kept closed.

The combination has resulted in what I find, in my personal experience, to be an unmitigated disaster. Allow me to explain.

The house I currently own was a new construction home. It is modest, but also not the cheapest thing around either. We’ve had very little trouble with most of the home, as it was built with decent quality components, and the builder seemed to genuinely care it was done right.

But the appliances were another story entirely. The A/C unit has continually failed, necessitating a replacement of most major components. The coils developed a leak within 2 years, a large enough one that the unit had to be replaced. Then the fan motor froze due to a bad bearing, and this was part of why the capacitors went bad around the same time (they were also semi-defective themselves – the fan start up cycle was never quite right). Now the compressor is going bad, drawing far too much amperage, a sign of impending failure.

The unit is 3 years old. The A/C technician said he’s seen 20 year old units that didn’t look this bad. And it’s not like we overuse the unit — I keep the house between 78 and 80.

My father is an electrician, and he lamented this problem in his own line of work. There’s an old GE unit running at one of the properties he maintains that has been there since the 60s, and still has most of its original components. The owner is thinking about replacement only because regulations around Freon usage are forcing many property owners to upgrade otherwise functional units (thank the environazis for this one). So an older A/C unit has lasted more than 50 years, whereas my new one can’t handle 3. The government solution, of course, is to replace the good 50 year old units with defective new ones that will fail within 3 years.

You might say this is a fluke, except that in my neighborhood, several other units from the same manufacturer have had the exact same problems. Some of the residents bit the bullet and completely replaced what were, essentially, brand new units. One neighbor explained that it cost him $10k to have this done, but it was worth it for not having to pay hundreds of dollars in repairs every month.

But it’s not just the A/C unit. Our refrigerator’s water pump went out after 1 year. And then again after 3. Also, the produce doors are exceptionally low quality and prone to breakage with the slightest application of force. Then the dishwasher mounting bracket broke off.

The house was built fine. No trouble with the plumbing, or the construction, or the electrical wiring, or anything. The appliances were an unmitigated disaster. Of course, every part replaced on these appliances was labeled “made in China.” So much for Chinese quality control.

But it goes beyond that. We’ve bought three TVs in the last 5 years. 1 went bad after a mere 2 years. The Blu-Ray player we bought had a bad remote control that never worked right. One of the other TVs has a remote control where the volume buttons never worked. We bought a kegerator for the bar area, and the thermostat on it was broken out of the box (I ripped a thermostat out of similar unit and replaced it myself – better than spending the money to RMA it back to the manufacturer).

For my battery-powered power tools, about 1 in 5 batteries are completely dead out of the box. And another 2 out of 5 fail within 10 charge cycles. So if I want 2 operational batteries, I must purchase 5. It’s so bad, I’ve gone back to buying everything with cords again. Meanwhile, the old circular saw I have that dates back to the 60s still works, while the new battery powered one jams up every time, and has never worked quite like it ought to.

Meanwhile the microphone on my cell phone failed after 6 months. But, oddly enough, the speakerphone and Bluetooth still work, so as long as I want everyone else in the world to hear my conversations, the phone still works.

I’d say about half of everything we buy is at least partially defective, and around 20% of it critically defective (i.e. you can’t even use it in diminished capacity, or fix it). You might say “well, Dystopic, stop buying cheap brands.” Except that these are major brands. LG, GE, Samsung… if they can’t even get a handle on this, I don’t want to know how bad the off brands are. And never mind the fact that, for many types of products, the off brands and the name brands are built side by side in the same Chinese sweatshop factories anyway.

Then if I go through the drive thru after a hard day’s work, I’ll ask for a burger without mayo. That’s the only “odd” thing I ask for. No fucking mayonnaise. The mayonnaise failure rate for fast food is, in my experience, hovering around 20%. Sometimes I even get extra mayo instead of none. Remember that next time you see the “we need $15/hour” signs around your local street corner. I submit that if an aeronautical engineer’s aircraft fell out of the sky 20% of the time, you might not pay him very much… Or consider that $15/hour is pretty typical for EMS workers in my area. What if 20% of the time they got their directions screwed up and the poor victim died at the scene?

No, I’m not directly comparing my burger to those scenarios. If I wind up halfway down the road, and notice my burger has mayo on it, I won’t die. But nonetheless, the utter disregard for quality is ubiquitous and irritating. Besides the cost of having to return a product, or call the warranty service, or fix the damn thing yourself (more common for me), there is the waste of time dealing with these problems. My wife could have been doing any number of things this afternoon, but she was stuck dealing with the A/C technician repairing the defective, piece of shit unit for the third time this year.

And as I’m typing this, I realize that the soles on my three month old shoes are worn far too thin for the age of the shoes. I’ll have to replace them soon. I’ll try a different brand, of course, but I have no confidence that the next pair will be any better…

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