Mr Tung Sten’s Metals Bazaar and Other Tales of Fakery Most Foul

If a man were to list the seven diseases of the modern world, surely fakery would have to be one of them. The erzstatz quality of appearing to be without being that affects every level of our lives, starting with the maritime-law based statute codes falsely posing as Law of the Land. And our fake economy with its fake money, debt-bearing fiat reserve notes that drain our wealth instead of protecting it; and our fake gummint, a stage prop of the banxter-run oligarchy that run the joint like their private company store. Our news is faux, our privacy is illusory, our education misleading at best and even something as reliable as the weather is now, in great part, faked (geoengineered or modified is the preferred term; same difference). Indeed, even our social relations are increasingly but virtual interactions on social websites, which might not be quite fake but isn’t quite real either.

does anybody actually live in this town?

does anybody actually live in this town?

And let’s not forget the material fakery, from our sweatshop “quality brand” garments to the nutritionally empty junk food in the supermarket aisles, from fake electronics to fake organics, fake art, fake body parts, fake stores and, to close the circle, even “original” fakes. Little wonder consumerism is dropping: there’s almost nothing real left to buy, or to buy it with.

Spoony? Is that you?

… and Wockstood too!

… and Wockstood too!

So where does a man turn in a world of fakery and emptiness? To that which is pure and valuable in itself, like for example precious metals. A man may think of gold bars as the very essence of wealth, and even go as far as procuring some if he is so fortunate. At the same time, a man should never forget that precious metals have been subject to every form of fakery since the start of time, and should go medieval on his newly-acquired “wealth” with pliers just in case the gold were to peel back like a cheap can of sardines… uh oh.

Mr Tung Sten's $40K joke. you laugh now

Mr Tung Sten’s $40K joke. you laugh now

Or perhaps a man can’t buy shiny gold and goes for the silver, decides to take advantage of the artificially depressed prices to stack the moon metal, the vampire killer and one of the most powerful antibiotics in existence. Again, a man should remember how silver has been “skimmed” throughout history and take a precautionary hacksaw to his shiny new bars, because a man can’t be too careful when it comes to… what the actual rat fck?!?

mein bar has rods, doktor

mein bar has rods, doktor

So a chastised man goes for the good ol’ silver coins, and finds some that at first glance appear to be US silver Liberty coins, but at once at home reveal some peculiar details, like crude artwork and a metal composition containing less silver than your average smartphone.

the key feature: lady Liberty's cup size. The fake is larger, with more nip action and looking like the Cookie Monster's eyeballs on speed. just remember that and everything will be okay.

the key feature: lady Liberty’s cup size. The fake is larger, with more nip action and looking like the Cookie Monster’s eyeballs. just remember that and everything will be okay.

At 2 bucks a pop for orders of 1000 or more, it’s actually pretty good value for money, mostly for the guy who resells them as the real deal. Below is an example of a place where a man can purchase such “souvenir coins” directly from the manufacturer.

Fake Silver Maple Leaf Coin

According to the product specs, these “souvenirs” are of “religious” style with “regional feature of China” and meant to be used as “business gifts”, despite the fact that the image clearly displays a fake Canadian Maple 1 oz. silver coin, complete with its fake “9999 Fine Silver” inscription. Perhaps there is indeed a market segment of Chinese leaf worshippers who choose to regail their clients with fake silver coins, because nothing says classy like faking a coin which costs 20 dollars in its real pure silver version. Or perhaps these copper duds are circulating in the phyzz market and getting unloaded on unsuspecting customers making their first purchase. Let Occam’s Razor cut that one where it may.

For some solid practical advice on how to avoid being the man described above (who, determined to recover his losses by any means necessary, invested his last 2 grand on a shipment of Chinese “souvenir coins” and is currently working the dupe market segment for quick turnover), a man can do worse than go to goldsilver.com’s instructional page to get started.

But the fakery does not end with gold and silver. Down in the non-precious but valuable realm lies copper, the pliant, reddish-brown metal used massively for electrical wiring. Copper theft has become a growing problem in places where there is empty housing, abandoned public utilities like street lights and even in active construction sites. In Romania, an old lady trying to dig up an electrical wire to steal the copper managed to cut an optic fibre cable that left three Eastern European countries without internet for the better part of a day. Others have not been so lucky, their carbonized remains found still grasping the trowel that cut the high-voltage wire.

The active copper theft industry in Spain depends on crooked junkyards to fence the stolen metal back into the market, and according to this story (in Spanish) it seems that now crooked junkyards are getting into the fake metal action too. The gang in question used lead and filler (dirt, rocks, anything heavy) to make blocks which were then wrapped in thin zinc sheet and finally wrapped tight all around with copper sheet and wire to give the impression of a solid block of scrap copper. The photograph below was taken by the police of one of these fakes taken apart to reveal its grisly innards.

yeah, looks good to me… toss it in!

yeah, looks good to me… toss it in!

With the help of some cronies faking the quality controls at the metal foundry where they worked, the gang managed to place between 80 to 120 tons a WEEK of their false copper blocks on said foundry for 18 months, generating up to 320.000 euros a MONTH. In fact, they were moving so much money –120 million euros between junkyard companies– that it triggered an investigation by financial intelligence authorities. Police arrested 15 people between Barcelona (the gang) and Huelva (where the foundry is), and hopefully foundry managers everywhere will update their quality control procedures accordingly. The police report mentions that the fake blocks were always on the bottom row of the crates they were delivered in, the top ones, which were the ones being tested, were always bona fide.

This is a faker’s realm, driven by fakery and populated by legal fictions. Now more than ever a man is called to focus on that which is real, like the ground beneath his feet, the sky above his head and the horizon before him. Earth, Heaven, and between them, Man: the third force, the permutator, the perceiver. Beyond that, it is all illusion… at least until a man takes his fake bars back to Tung’s Bazaar for a refund. That’s when shit get real, yo.

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