Monday, April 28, 2008

Wikimafia, and apologies for the buzzwords

Having recently read Venkatesh's and reading in the early pages of this and account of the Chechen mafia, I have a speculative possibility for the future of organised crime.

The older networks, such as the Cosa Nostra and the Yakuza have worked along rather feudal lines, leadership based on hierachy of seniority and strength and delineated by families.
Yet by the time of the crack boom, the crack gangs worked along corporate line, with local branches, managers and executive directors.

When the Chechen mafia began its rise, it rose as a franchise. Trading on the stereotype of Chechen vicious insanity, the term was for sale to other non-Chechen group that would pay for it, and protect the brand. It had come to a franchise.

Organised crime was following similar phenomena in capitalism.

But where now?

Here's a speculation. Many groups, such as the social groupings of motorcycle gangs or inner city gangs, or political groups such as the Green Gang and other triads, did not begin as organised crime groups. But when crime (often drugs) was adopted to fund them, the crime began to become the sole purpose of the gang.

Now today we have some politically orientated organisations around the world whom may be struggling for funds due to the efforts of several bodies to prevent their former benefactors channeling finance to them. What could happen if Al Qaeda decided to gain more funding from Opium, or some other such source? The main requirement for organised crime is the use of violence, or more importantly, the reputation for it. The training camps are teaching something, and their reputation for bloodshed is strong. It seems quite possible that over a course of years the organisation, like others, could lose its original aim and pursue only the crime.

But there is something else about the Al Qaeda brand. It has no short or medium term goals, only a vague dream of a single caliphate and the destruction of Israel. In the shortterm, merely random acts of violence. Subsequently, the terrorism is now open source. There is no need for a car bomb maker in once country to be attuned to the hierarchy if they now the goal (kill people) and the technology, which is easily disseminated. The founders of Al Qaeda may have no more idea of its extent than anyone else, nor any more control. Terrorism 2.0 to indulge in inane jargon.

If this turned to crime, would it be wikimafia, mafia 2.0, spontaneous organised crime?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Women as accessories

The other day Tomo and I were at the RSL playing snooker. At the table next to us were three people, two young men and a young woman, whom was romantically connected to one of the men.
The two men were playing snooker.
She was not.
She walked around a bit. Then she watched videos on her mobile. Then she played the DS. Then she SMSed a bit, then ate a sausage roll.
And she kept staring at us. Or so I thought.

She was staring at Tomo.

In all this time her apparent boyfriend said all of two sentences to her.

a) To inform her they were going for a smoko (she was left behind)

b) To demand a bite of the aforementioned sausage roll.

I don't know if a girlfriend is more accessory than companion in South China (from whence these uni students came), but I understand if she was feeling a little neglected.
I also understand that this experience of heterosexual relationships may instill some sapphic longing.

But hey, if I was a woman, I'd turn for Tomo.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Casual and paid sex around Central at 6:00 AM

On Sunday I was walking through Belmore park in front of Central station. A Gentleman was storming through the park screaming into his phone, loud enough to be heard for several hundred metres.

"It's fucking over! I'm going to go fuck someone else right now! Fuck you!".

He then hung up, and stormed towards the station.

I don't think casual sex is common at 6 am (the pickings are usually gone), let alone in a train station, unless a glory hole was sought. Brothels are plentiful nearby, but I believe they were closed at 6 am.

I wonder if he carried out on his promise.