The Coming Fall of the House of Saud: Austerity is in, and the Countdown to Saudi Arabia's Fire Sale is On! [part 2/2]

With austerity policies sweeping the globe it was really only a matter of time before they hit the more affluent parts of the Middle East, although one certainly wouldn't expect the oil-rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia to be so hot on the heels of the "lazy" Greeks. The word "austerity" has however earned a bit of a bad rap with some and so rendered itself rather unfashionable in certain circles, resulting in no astute leader being daft enough to explicitly impose "austerity" on his or her populace. Nevertheless, when your nation's time has come it doesn't matter what kind of

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No, Not NEOM Nor Even Women Can Save Saudi Arabia and its Monarchy from Peak Oil and Collapse [part 1/2]

You know things have taken a turn for the desperate when women have started to drive. Or rather, when they're about to start driving in Saudi Arabia.

Although repeated efforts over the years to allow Saudi Arabian Miss Daisies to drive themselves haven't managed to budge things in the slightest, it's nonetheless a bit ironic that the sole country in the world that doesn't allow women to drive automobiles is also the country sitting on the greatest amount of (easily accessible) reserves of the stuff that makes those vehicles go vroom. Strangely enough though it's not as if women are

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Bands of Gypsies, Assisting us in Achieving Harmony in the Face of Collapse [part 4/6]

Back before I'd discovered Fanfare Ciocărlia and was (almost contently) listening to nothing but Taraf de Haïdouks, Kočani Orkestar, and their Band of Gypsies combo act, I spent some time doing a bit of research on them all (if bouncing around the Internet counts as research) and came across a Romanian event called the Balkanik Festival which the Band of Gypsies was headlining the following month. As the festival's website stated, "Both bands will join their instruments and forces in a never-before-heard repertoire". I took that to mean an upcoming Band of Gypsies 3 album and tour, and although I

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Imposing Limits to Music in the Age of Limits to Growth [part 2/6]

So for a guy like me who's making somewhat of a return to the world of music but who's fully aware of the already underway protracted collapse of industrial civilization, it should be obvious that putting myself at the mercy of a streaming service might not be the best idea if I wanted to retain a bit of access to some recorded music once the ability for streaming disappears once and for all (which for whatever reason[s] I believe will certainly happen at some point in my lifetime). So supposing I'm connected to a community grid and/or have

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The Music Industry: Aiming for the Singularity But Hitting Collapse Instead [part 1/6]

Although the world economy hasn't been booming lately this hasn't meant that the booming has been reduced to economizing, what with the boom booms having gone through such a transformation in the past decade that "streaming" – playing music on a digital device without actually storing it – has pulled the music industry out of the piracy-induced doldrums that saw its sales plunge by more than 70% since its peak in 1999. As put by Cary Sherman, chairman and CEO of the RIAA, "I'm confident that music's future is bright. The popularity of music is greater than ever. Like never before, it

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