Friday, September 25, 2015

Literary Lindane

An average reader reads about 1 page, roughly 300 words, per minute. One would need 1,700 hours, 213 typical workdays, to read all of Labann’s output to date, more than 100,000 pages from 5 decades. Since it mostly featured boring industrial documents and technical manuals, nobody ever would. Did, however, expect an exclusive few to enjoy the most interesting bits, these 1,500 pages of blog posts and book, but found a better audience in business patrons, who actually paid for copy and read appreciatively. Can’t give literary art away. Makes authors grumpy and ill disposed toward society. Screeching pique sounds like squealing rubber on a dry street. Yet craving contact doesn't entitle you to waste weeks for whoever seeks to slake curiosity.

Ascertaining facts, making sense of chaos, and probing truths have no audience except enemies they’ll make who’ll use them against you, often elected officials, who figure winning a popularity contest frees them to pilfer. B&C might as well be called toxic waste. You’re wiser to dish out dirt, fiction, lies, and spin, for which you’ll be rewarded. A trap of sorts, success confines you to that for which you’re known. If you deviate from the servile role that community confers, you risk being cut off and dying from want. Even if you choose to live on next to nothing, basic necessities stateside still cost at least $12,000 per year. Ready to cash into social security and shut up permanently, why does Labann persist? Because social justice still eludes majority.

A popular, prolific artist might record 20 hours of music in an entire career. Frank Zappa defied fashion and produced 100 albums, 38 released posthumously. Japanese noise artist Merzbow (works include Cycle Parts 1 and 2) claims 400 recordings, many of which were recently collected into a 50 CD set. Bob Dylan composed around 1,000 songs with unique lyrics, not including covers and rearrangements, and recorded 47 albums, both live and studio. Greek chanteuse Nana Mouskouri, among world’s best selling singers, sold 200 million records with over 1,000 covers in 8 languages. Only Beatles (275 original songs) and Elvis (700 singles) sold over 500 million records. In terms of albums, Elton John (29), Led Zeppelin (9), Madonna (13), and Michael Jackson (10) each sold over 300 million. Collectively, based on average length of CDs (60 minutes) and songs (3.6 minutes), that’s less than 388 listening hours, 16 full days. For content, quality beats quantity; for sales, grant the opposite. No telling how many living hours it took to lay down all those tracks; likewise, decades of experience called forth Bike&Chain, and decades of toil completed. Testament to how hard it is to demand attention and do anything remarkable, this 50-year effort represents a miniscule fraction of what gets accomplished globally by billions of hours of ordinary business annually worth $100 trillion. Pinnacles stand out from afar, but mountains have bases bypassed or shunned.

Nonfiction might act as a pesticide for corruption if you crack it open and spread its contents. Then, again, it might poison conversation and polarize opinion, as if there's not enough of that already. B&C always promoted balance and rejected extremes. Ingesting lindane, gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane (made from benzene, yet another petroleum derivative), a toxic insecticide EPA banned in USA but used throughout third world, causes birth defects and liver cancer, especially among the poor. Lindane lotion for scabies currently FDA approved causes nerve damage and seizures. A war with human collateral rages against pests. Beware of fruit that purports to be more wholesome than other foodstuff. Cucumbers laden with salmonella just had to be recalled after many got sick and some died. If, “Meat is murder”, Merzbow, what safer alternatives does mankind have? Unresolved issues plague mankind, put writers on the spot to expose, identify, and possibly solve.

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