Archive for the ‘the Aporia’ Category

Checking out my pool in Bakersfield (surprised it’s water and not oil? I was) after a small quake.

Many writer friends are beginning to work on cover art as they expand into the ebook world, and nice graphics for their websites, and banners for their new Facebook fan pages.

Well… here’s something IMPORTANT you might not have considered — or is it Kernsidered?

I lived in Kern County California TWO times in my life. [I digress] In one place — Bakersfield, which is a suburb of  the oil metropolis Weed Patch —  I straightened all the pictures in the house several times a week and at least once a month saw little white caps in my swimming pool during a minor Three-or-Four-Point-Something tremor.

I’m here to talk about a potentially dangerous four-letter-word. I’m talkin’ ’bout KERN. K-E-R-N… It’s starts with K that rhymes with HEY — which is what they feed horses.

Rod Serling voice…. “Imagine a movie theater when the ORIGINAL version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, with Kevin McCarthy,  is playing. You head out to lobby with your guy pals to get some of the stuff that gets every prepubescent man-child going…and when you open it it turns out to be candy!” (more…)

It Could Drive Ya to Drink

My original headline said the Big Blue F, but OK, the “F” itself is white. Blue, however, is the trademark color that people think about. (I’m not including the familiar logo here because they have more lawyers than I do.)

Each day, it seems I have another friend or two pulling the plug on Facebook. I’ve spent some time over the past ten days deleting some information and had planned to do more, but from this article on ZDNET regarding 22 specific privacy and personal data complaints, I think any future effort will be for naught.

Imagine all of us living, planning, connecting, dreaming to fill the Big Bucket of data known as Facebook Intellectual Property.

A group of people

Photoillustration: ChaliceMedia

My good (and respected) friend F.P. Dorchak put up a well-written and interesting post about the gadgets we buy.  In one of my responses, I compared gadgets (like the iPad®, eReaders, etc) to the ejection seat, and in intravenous infusion pump. Frank’s natural, and immediate response was “But really, comparing iPad to an ejection seat?”

Just this morning, I found over two million hits relating the iPad to emergency services. This one from Emergency Physicians Monthly was at the top of the list. [But I digress.]

Maybe another important viewpoint on the topic is not “do we need gadgets” but “where should we get the gadgets we need.”

Most of them are coming from countries whose people have been indoctrinated to hate the U.S. and Americans for the past sixty years or more. Now that we owe them trillions of dollars in debts, have spent more billions (perhaps trillions) of dollars in infrastructure and plant investments, do you think that that indoctrination has just gone away?

How can anyone with a conscience make toys containing lead paint? The recalls are STILL coming from Chinese products, three so far in 2011.

Yes, I have an iPad. I avoided getting it for nearly a year because of the FOXCONN suicides (and the ridiculous solution of putting massive nets around the buildings – maybe THEY should have used ejection seats), and that every device, part, accessory and component are manufactured in China. I held off knowing that it was likely the groundbreaking device I needed for my work. I hoped against hope that a new tablet (perhaps the Samsung, made in Korea) would have the capabilities that I needed. Yet last December, I bit the bullet. Aside from the China thing, Apple is all-in-all a pretty impressive company, and the iPad is truly a revolutionary product. — If I have an allergic reaction, anyone near me can tap a button to get instructions on the EpiPen® I carry with me. (I’ve been in an ER where they didn’t bother to look at the bracelet on my wrist.)

I can write, compose music, design graphics, maintain websites, anywhere, at any time. [but again, I digress]

Maybe the question we do need to ask ourselves is not whether we need that piece of technology, or fabric, or toy, or cheeseburger; but do we need it badly enough to buy it from ANYBODY.

The China thing, OK, it’s being done to death. But what about other considerations, especially for purchases in the hundreds, thousands of dollars.

  • Can I buy it from a locally owned company? So my neighbors can have jobs.
  • Can I buy it from a company that’s not in the newspaper for avoiding taxes?
  • Can I buy it from a company that doesn’t spend billions on the lobbyists who clog up everything that never happens in Washington?
  • Can I buy it from a company that doesn’t spend billions on corporate counsel whose primary purpose is to protect the C-Suite from STOCKHOLDERS and CUSTOMERS?
  • Can I buy it from a company whose C-Suite average compensation isn’t nearly a thousand times the average employee’s?

No, we can’t do this all the time, it really is impossible.

But we can at least think about it. And where each of our hard-earned dollars actually ends up.

sicut conscientia mille testes

In the Chase - Image from the Music Video Complicated World by Oh No YoYo

Once upon a time…

Oh, yeah… I’ll read anything that begins this way. Books, newspapers, scripts, blogs, forum posts, a newsgroups… somehow, that’s where all of us would really like to be, especially when the world around us is changing faster than diapers on a set of octuplets.

Once upon a time people went to work for a company and knew that if they wanted it, they could have a job for life. With benefits, with a pension – company paid.

No, it was true once, really.

Once upon a time, a good writer, if he or she was persistent and talented, could eventually find a publisher who would joyfully publish the writer’s works. Many times, the writer/publisher relationship lasted a lifetime, with everybody involved making a halfway decent living.

Once upon a time, the men and women who ran publishing companies were people who could read something besides the Bloomberg ticker. Now, they call them media conglomerates, and they’re all owned by one of the LPC’s (Little PeePee Compensators) who are obsessed with the idea that a ten-figure net worth is woefully inadequate. This guys and gals have it so bad that The Supremes (the judges, not the talented ones) have said we have to be nice to them and treat their companies like real people.

Damn, real freakin’ life slaps us in the face again.

Once upon a time, said writer (see above) was considered to be a creative artist like Beethoven or Andy Warhol, and as such, was able to do business differently than those in the real world. Beethoven and his homies used to have patrons to foot the bills so they could just hang and do creative stuff. Warhol had the personality to attract a lot of strange people with way too much money.

It has all CHANGED. The writing business is like any other business now — once again for emphasis — the writing business is like any other business now.

  • You have to build something that people want to buy.
  • You have to build it better than your competitors do.
  • You have to understand your target market.
  • You have to go out and sell shit!

It’s not a question of if I write it they will buy. Selling stuff means a lot of things. Advertising, giveaways, business networking. You know the drill.

How do you think the roofing guy gets business? He hangs with builders, and lumberyards, and the Guy Who Creates Tornadoes… and oh, yeah… he uses Facebook and Twitter, and probably has a blog.

Browse Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Plaxo, et al ad nauseum. Everybody is doing it. Today’s small business people know that the only possible way you can survive is to get the word out. GET. THE. WORD. OUT.

Musicians (yeah the Hoarseman used to be one), have learned over the past few years that to survive they have to operate like a business. Have a website, give away songs, be good at what you do, and learn about business and marketing. The same goes for those in the visual arts.

Dang, doesn’t it suck to have a bottom line driving everything?

(I could ramble on this one forever but ya gotta watch for the TL;DR gremlin…)

Pax et Caritas