Erin Clermont

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HG Wells Called It

Filed under: Satire

From Erin Clermont: I recently learned about Pareto’s Principle. In 1897 Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto studied how wealth and income was distributed in Europe. In Italy, he observed that 80% of the wealth in Italy went to 20% of the population. The pattern extended to every other country he studied.

Pareto’s Principle has become known as the 80/20 rule and is applied to virtually every sector of modern life – business management, computer science, in social relations, etc., etc. Oliver Curry’s evolutionary theory (in the below BBC News article) appears to be another application of the 80/20 idea.

But we don’t have a chance in hell of lasting 100,000 years, according to filmmaker Alex Jones, who I happened to hear on the kooky talk radio show “Coast to Coast” late last night. His film “Endgame” makes the argument that the world’s global elite, US Republicans dominant among them (whose inclusion seems eminently sane), have a plan to reduce the rest of the world’s population by-guess what?-80 percent!!

So the 80/20 question is: Are we doomed through global genocide or will we live long enough to turn into goblins?

Human species ‘may split in two’
BBC News
October 17, 2007

Humanity may split into two sub-species in 100,000 years’ time as predicted by HG Wells, an expert has said.

_42207552_evolution4-200.jpgEvolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge.

The human race would peak in the year 3000, he said – before a decline due to dependence on technology.

People would become choosier about their sexual partners, causing humanity to divide into sub-species, he added.

The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative and a far cry from the “underclass” humans who would have evolved into dim-witted, ugly, squat goblin-like creatures.


A Famous Hoax Revisited

Filed under: Fraud and Deception, Hoaxes vs. Scams, Literary Hoaxes, The History of Pranks

Submitted by Erin Clermont:

Clifford Irving, 1972I was obsessed by Clifford Irving back in the day. And I happened to be working at CBS News, so I got the dope on a daily basis. My obsession was based on my unerring (IMHO) instinct that he was lying, from day one, so it was a fantastic experience watching the whole thing unravel, over months, at a network news organization. My boss, Walter Cronkite, wasn’t as interested.

No more than two years later I was working at a literary organization. We didn’t have a receptionist, so whoever was closest to the door answered it. That day I answered a knock and a presentable though borderline seedy guy said, proudly, “I’m Clifford Irving!” I was speechless. All I could think to say was “I always knew you were lying!”–so I passed on the hello.

That face-to-face ranks as one of the most celebrity non-thrill sightings of my life. I still have no respect for Irving. He was a swindler, which is not a “prank” — he went for major bucks, which was $1 million in those days, though it sounds like chump change now. Seeing “The Hoax,” I now realize Irving was fresh out of jail when I met him. Ha. OTOH, the movie made me reasess the quality of the Hughes bio he wrote, which, after all copies were destroyed, has never been reissued. Irving was rather brilliant as a hoax biographer and, using investigative reporter techniques, fashioned a credible biography of the reclusive Hughes.

Richard Gere as Clifford IrvingGere may have topped his career with this performance. He’s terrific as Irving. Cast in the role of Nina Van Pallandt, who turned her Irving sexual liaison into a Hollywood career, is the delicately beautiful and talented Julie Delpy. Unlikely choice–Nina was a big Nordic beauty. And wasn’t she in Gigolo with Richard Gere? Ironic.

Lots of great, early ’70s decor and props in this film. So-called stock footage is used for a scene of a Washington demo against the Vietnam War. Front and center is a guy who looks just like Joey Skaggs. Coincidence?