Mix Tape

The art of the mix tape has been written about ad nauseum, so why not add another bit to the pile? I mean, bologna has a first name and it sure ain’t music compendium. Here’s a tape I found in my car some time ago. It’s dated 3/27/00. Well, here’s a list of the songs. The tape won’t convey onto this electronic blog page, so, well… that’s just logic. This is from whence playlists evolved. Yes, that’s right boys and girls, gather around and you will hear the tales of the days of magnetic tape…

Side One

The Everlasting Gaze – The Smashing Pumpkins
Sexx Laws – Beck
Karma Police – Radiohead
The Sweetest Thing – U2
Lotus – REM
We’re In This Together – Nine Inch Nails
Born On a Sunday – Art of Noise
Lapti Nek – Jabba’s Palace Band
Today – KMFDM
I Think I’m Paranoid – Garbage
Satisfaction – Claw Hammer

Side Two

Just a Girl – No Doubt
I’m Afraid of Americans – David Bowie
No One Receiving – Brian Eno
Girl/Boy (Redruth Mix) – Aphex Twin
Fight for Your Right – Beastie Boys
The Ability to Swing – Thomas Dolby
Disappointed – Electronic
Paranoimia – Art of Noise
Appels + Oranjes – Smashing Pumpkins
The Love Parade – Dream Academy
Rush – Big Audio Dynamite II
Flowers – Cibo Matto

It was recorded on a crappy TDK D90 cassette. I’ve found that the better cassettes are Maxell.

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Transactional Morality

The gods of our economy only care about you for one thing and one thing only – that you pay your bills on time and that you have as many bills as you can possibly sustain. There is only one moral law – transact business. Greed is good because it promotes commerce.

I don’t have a problem with this model. However, the problem is that greed is only good at the transactional level, where the middle class feeds itself to gain more and more. Incremental growth leads to larger houses, nicer cars, etc. It’s the essence of the American dream. Work hard. Live well. Retire and relax with a job well done. Greed is not good, however, outside this model.

You cannot have a functioning economy without a strong middle class. You cannot have a strong middle class with below average wages. Easy credit has been the temporary answer to this problem for a long time now. The economy, however, will crumble if real wages are not increased.

Corporations have no problem feeding the mouths of CEOs. There is no question that publicly traded companies have a moral mandate to provide return on the investment of their shareholders. However, how much is enough? Whatever happened to putting some of the profit back into the company? Whatever happened to the idea that human capital is worth investing in?

There is a myth in America that the big money only goes to the college educated and that the more you know you more you get paid. Our education system is a powerful political force and that is the message that is relayed. However, more and more people are drowning in college loan debts. More and more people are unable to get jobs that reflect the skills and knowledge they gained in college.

Why is this? Is it simply that college graduates don’t want to work? Transitioning out of the education system and into the ‘real world’ has become harder and harder due to one thing: low wages. Why are salaries so low that no one can pay for cars and pay for houses without owing the bank? Where is the freedom in the American system when everyone is a wage slave to the banking system?

The banks are not the only culprit. There is a disconnect between the real value of college education and the skills actually needed in the economy. Do we really need thousands of people who have read Plato? Or do we need thousands of people who know how to fix a carburetor?

The Capitalist system works when it is not focused on increasing the wealth of the already wealthy. If the CEO of a company is working hard to buy his or her third house and people who work for the company cannot afford to buy even one, there is a big problem. Not just for the company. It’s unhealthy for the economy as a whole.

Companies control how much a person is paid. The idea that hard work gets you more money may be true in a general sense. However, ultimately it is the company that sets the rules that govern the nexus between hard work and more pay. If it is set so that the worker can only make but so much, what is the real incentive?

Elitism governs our economy and the rich competing against themselves to see who can be more rich is another fundamental problem. Nothing seems enough when you are constantly working up a never-ending ladder to see who gets to be King of the Moon.

If there are caps on how much an ordinary person can make (i.e. the ‘minimum’ wage – which really translates to the maximum wage a company is required to pay you) then there should also be caps on how much CEOs can make. What do these jerks do anyway? My guess is that companies would keep going without them if they all simply disappeared. I know that notion will disappoint all the accolytes of the great ones who idolize these morons and who worship at the feet of their masters hoping one day to be in their shoes. My advice: grow a pair.

Experts will know I come at this topic from a naïve standpoint and the above analysis is grossly simplified in many ways. However, I think the point that supply and demand favors workers when labor is in short supply is a true statement. Yet companies have continually tried everything but raising pay of the average worker to address the problem. Blaming workers for being lazy, inefficient, poorly educated, or whatever doesn’t cut it. A good company should be able to take any worker and motivate them into becoming an asset. Any company who can’t do that is not trying hard enough and really, ultimately, is only a giant leech on America’s gracious Capitalist teat.

Companies want cheap labor because they have made a strategic error. A company who does not invest in its people (i.e. the workers) will ultimately cease to exist. Payroll is seen as an ‘administrative cost’ (a bad thing) rather than a reinvestment in the company. As long as that rotten attitude towards the people of the company exists, the company will deteriorate from the inside out.

Pay people more and more money goes into the hands of the people who can buy more products. More products (like food) make people happy. Happy people make happier employees. But, companies will be quick to say – we don’t care if our employees are happy. That isn’t our responsibility. Yet if companies don’t care about their employees, why should employees care about the company? And if they aren’t getting what they need out of the company, where is the incentive to work harder? Where is the incentive to innovate? Nowhere.

American companies are biting the big one because they are led by incompetent ego maniacs who had one good idea and let it go to his or her head. Without the people to implement the plan, there is no plan.

Yes, business is a hard business. You have to make tough decisions. There really isn’t enough money to pay for the Board of Director’s country club fees and pay workers enough to live on. There really isn’t enough money for the CEO to buy that third house and allow Sally in accounting at the home office in Lincoln, Nebraska to afford her own home. No, sometimes you have to make tough decisions. Screw Sally. Let’s all buy some hookers. Now those girls really know how to work.

Afterthoughts and Musings

“I am a refugee from a future that never happened. I am a member of a band that was never formed. I am part of a peaceful anarchy movement that never wrote its manifesto. I am an offspring of the apathy generation.”
–Rollie Hartley, a character in an unfinished novel

The best a student can do is to improve upon his/her teacher’s teachings. It is important to understand the limitation of a teacher’s expertise and to know what is not being taught even more so than what is being taught. This is in reference to outright teaching, rather than underhanded teaching that leaks through the cracks.

There are personal attributes of a teacher that one must not learn to emulate. Meanwhile, there are things that the teacher is teaching that are important. Many times it is difficult to understand the difference between these things. Style is often confused with content.

Modern day prophets are possible. Scripture is the writing that has been accepted. The question is: upon whose authority?

Today there is no authority. There is only a man or a woman. Collectively they achieve much. However, they cannot rule each other. There is no government. The only organized authority is the individual brain. Beyond that, there is nothing.

I once killed dozens of flies in a day and still more the next day. Wondering how the flies could have infiltrated the house, a friend asked how long it had been since I had taken out the trash and cleaned the bin. Once I did these things, the flies did not return.

The Catholic religion has declared itself the only way to salvation. Many religions believe that their way is the only way. One need only hear that declaration once to know for a fact that this religion is phony and full of lies. It is a sure sign.

I am not an opponent. I do not waste time going against something. Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, and others all have their ways. Who am I to tell them they are wrong? They have made their choice. I have made mine. They tell me I am wrong. But I am no opponent. But I also do not participate. Some may say I am a fence sitter. No. I do not believe in the fence nor the field. It is a discussion that is a waste of time. Let those believe, believe. Everyone believes in something or many things.

Faith is not a belief in things unseen. Faith is a belief in the proven. No one believes in something that doesn’t work or doesn’t exist. Everyone has seen God who believes. They have invented a concept in their head and seen the concept. Otherwise, they would not believe at all. The problem is that everyone has their own conception and not a single one of these ideas are the same. The wonder is not that we have a vast array of religions. The wonder is that people can agree on a concept of God long enough to form even one.

Religion and political power go hand-in-hand. Religions form as an arm of political power. In America, we say that there is a separation between church and state. Yet everywhere there is religion guiding leaders. Who is the true leader?

There are many free religions. They ask you for nothing and give you nothing. There are online services that will ordain you as their minister. What are they worth? What is the true purpose of ministry? If I am a Reverend of an invisible church, does my ministry matter? On the other hand, is a physical church worth anything in the realm of the spirit?

Religious people have a spirituality that focus on their own kind. There is much focus on the physical. How to dress. How to eat. Decisions about life are hard to make and people are afraid to follow their own way. Fear breeds religion. Need breeds religion. People have needs and fears and so they band together with their own kind or to form a kind. These are presumably people they trust. The faith is in the people. Yet does religion help learn more about each other? Does religion encourage expanding knowledge about God? Little is known about God. Religion is poised at the frontier of culture and circles the wagons to protect the ‘innocent’ from confronting the outsiders’ art.

If I were to create my own religion, I would immediately disband it the day it began. These would be its founding principles:

1. Learn from sources that you hear as true.
2. Learn from sources that you hear as false.
3. Compare notes with others and piece together a reality for yourself.
4. Be a hopeful skeptic.
5. Be an honest story teller.
6. Be confident, but not arrogant.
7. Care for your own needs.
8. Avoid those who tell you they know everything and have all the answers.
9. Avoid redundancy.
10. Know yourself and try to get to know others.

The spirit cannot go in one direction because the spirit is not bound by dimensional constraints.

If Christian salvation is true it is based on its concept of original sin. Yet the church still teaches original sin. What happened to Christ’s death? Did Christ not bring the salvation? All that happened before is trivia. The way we track the years is based on this concept. Why then does the church cling to the idea of original sin when Christ died for all? Death is defeated and life is eternal. It is like forcing your guests to read the cook book prior to eating the meal prepared. Where is the joy in that?

Christ suffered so that all may live without suffering. So why is there still suffering? How has sin been erased?

I think it was all a publicity stunt to start a new overarching religion for the Romans. But that’s just me.