Saturday, December 19, 2015

Taxes Your Brain

This blog has only ever given thoughtful analyses. If information had any value, Labann would minimally be a millionaire. Instead, not one cent was ever made during decades of blogs, book, comments on websites, and letter writing to officials. No compensation was ever expected or requested. It was done as an exercise in connection and experiment in unique expression. The enlightened few who follow B&C get this. Majority hates to think, so they run from anything that might tax their intelligence or patience. Most resemble needy zombies who want to eat your brain.

Sharing self seems too much an imposition to those who just don’t care. This explains why selling art has become so difficult; public doesn’t want to know the artist who produced it or what motivated it. Meanwhile, companies pour billions into worthless data and opinions. Therefore, the ultimate in commercial art is convincing corporations that reports, spreadsheets and standards are crucial, though nobody reads them including auditors and regulators. Nevertheless, an elegant cell, ironclad imperative, and spicy gossip sell. The letter of law rewards lawyers, legislators, and middlemen at the expense of consumers, innocents and taxpayers.

On the other hand, quality assurance relies on facts, metrics and polls. All design begins not with greed but with an attempt to meet an expressed customer need. Survey narratives are gold in pay dirt requiring a huge effort to sift out. A company’s worst enemy, especially since the advent of social media, is someone who doesn’t want what they offer and vocally denounces what they deal in.

In that spirit and in time for holidays, Labann presents Labann Says~ Loose Essays, a slim volume that chronicles all extraneous writings completed since the publication of B&C in 2008. Click link for free download. While you can’t deduct charity extended in reading it, you won’t have to pay any fee or sales taxes, either.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Wrap in Cellophane

A joint Coca Cola and Walmart commercial buys a boy a bike, what he "really" wants for Christmas, 2015. Displays self sacrifice and sharing among family members. Collaboration or corporate tag team? Advertising almost always focuses upon an individual company, so wonder whether viewers noticed either. Reminds one of the 10000 Maniacs video, Trouble Me, in which angelic Natalie Merchant rides a bike and shoulders concern for the elderly. Can’t imagine it was very popular during the 1990’s. But at least then people could still afford to be kind.

President Obama spoke several times lately for sharing the responsibility of rooting out terrorists and working in solidarity with Muslims, who figure as citizens in business, sports, and such roles. It’s as clear as cellophane that the world’s richest people foster terrorism, particularly media tycoons and Saudi sheiks whose empires are built on human tragedy and wasteful practices. Don’t forget religions, too, spread through exclusive ideologies and intolerance for the slightest difference in arbitrary customs among themselves.

Been studying conservatism for a long time. It appeals to clerics, cynics, knuckleheads, morons, schemers, terrorists, and whoever has given up on humanity altogether. The Unibomber was incensed by socialism despite the fact he couldn't even define it. Conservative media fuels their rage, while it isn't actually reporting on anything other than how others lead nonviolent lives that don't support their extremism, made obvious by name calling and saber rattling. Conservatism attracts isolationists, jihadists, John Birchers, neo-nazis, NRA, religious fanatics, white supremacists, and whoever is so bigoted or prejudiced they'd rather kill than suffer you to exist. They believe in fascism and final solutions, as did Hitler. They oppose decency so much because cultural fusion requires thinking, something for which they are woefully unequipped. About 25% of population is insane, and mental incompetents gravitate to this packaged hate. Don’t suppose they see the irony of listening to billionaire Rupert Murdoch, himself an immigrant recently retired from Fox News, who staunchly advocates immigration and market economy, and villainously opposes collective bargaining, public service, social security, welfare, and whatever provides a safety net for the vulnerable, for example, those he enslaves. Press profits when there’s blood in the streets. People getting by by working cooperatively isn’t newsworthy.

Only cooperation would work, because trying to fight terrorism would take more might than any nation alone can muster. You can bomb a location back to the stone age, but many terrorists are cavemen anyway. Any such approach would be costly and pointless, play right into their hands. Less than decisive approaches only appear weak, but they are really how solutions forestall crises, probably the best you can do in a complex world. Never forget how Dubya inspired and orchestrated a war that ended in global recession and perpetuated terrorism. He did Americans no favors, though he favored the few who make a killing from death.

GOP only succeeds in elections when voter turnout is light, when only crazies show up and majority stays home. But unless worthy candidates step up, why vote? Some tenets of conservatism have merit in small roles, like dog catchers and quality inspectors. One must learn to stomach it. It never works with international policy, though; instead it destabilizes treaties. Terrorists themselves are intensely conservative. Despite their impassioned rhetoric, don’t subscribe to their holy war against each other, because they’d rather you die fighting it for them. They'd gladly sacrifice a family who can barely afford to get a kid a $50 bike as well as the kid who rides it. Worst of all is how they suck whatever merriment and mirth remains from an already stressful season.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Divine Warplane

Recently viewed The Wind Rises (aka Kaze tachinu, Hayao Miyazaki, dir., 2014), a Studio Ghibli anime about the life of Jirô Horikoshi, who designed the Japanese Mitsubishi Zeros that attacked Pearl Harbor on what FDR called “a day of infamy” (December 7th, 1941) three quarters of a century ago. America responded with faster, stronger aircraft which led to victory in the Pacific. In part an apology for aeronautical death and destruction, meant more to show how progress plays leap frog, film excels at depicting culture in a pre-WWII Japan struggling through fire storms and global depression peppered with folks on bicycles. In a typical still, a contemplative Jiro sees a cyclist while clutching his slide rule. Doesn’t connect his imaginative wing designs to bicycles, instead inspired by the curve of mackerel bones.

Japan has a well established jitensha culture with songs by Ore Ska Band (concludes Naruto Shippuuden anime), Shonen Knife’s famous Cycling is Fun, The Saboten, and Titan Go Kings. Makers include world class brands: Fuji, Panasonic, Shimano and Univega. Indeed many Schwinns were made there. As mentioned, Honda slapped a motor on a bike and the rest is history. But recent events and trends raise alarms: Earthquakes, nuclear accidents, tsunamis, typhoons, and with them the same desperation that led to WWII aggression. There’s also been a crackdown on cyclists behaving badly, with new ordinances carrying hefty fines. But blame USA, 1 of only 6 countries that after 23 years haven’t signed the Kyoto Protocol, for not shouldering environmental leadership. Nothing was done to address during disastrous Bush administration, and it took Obama until now to produce Climate Plan as a last ditch effort to garner a lame duck legacy. Of course, many signees haven’t enacted legislation to slow global warming, either, rather follow in America’s lazy, wasteful, but wildly profitable if unsustainable ways.

Not all scientific theories have a single answer or uniform resolution. Different locations face own issues. That's why they poll scientists and test theories. Humans do generally impact environment, causing extinctions of species and killing seas with pollution, just as other factors affected atmosphere over eons. There is no counterargument that justifies conservatives pillaging and raping nature, only ones used to forestall acting proactively and prudently. For a country so dependent upon the sea, Japan decimated its fisheries and warrants criticism for continuing its whaling operations. Japan remains the 5th largest emitter of air pollutants, having higher dioxin levels than any other G20 nation, that no divine wind will dissipate. Failure to conserve now resembles Kamikaze Tokkō Tai missions of old, remnants of honor and loyalty of the samurai Bushido code, which kill whoever delivers along with bystanders and targets. Better to pursue peace and ZPG policies. Tokyo is so overcrowded, people pay a lot to sleep in geki-sema, really just lockers. They even cram bicycles below ground.