Thank you all for your comments.

cedartree: Now I know you’re really into astrology. Most of the ladies that have asked me my birthday just to figure out my sign (I don’t remember a single one of them being a guy) think I was born on the first day of Cancer, when indeed I was born on the last day of Gemini.

I appreciate the word of folks that know what they’re talking about, even if it might slightly be at odds with what I’m supposed to believe in.

The point of forecasting is to prepare for the future that might be, and hopefully turn it into something that we want it to be. The thing we might call ‘fate’ might throw us off course a little, but with the right thought and balance, life can usually turn out to be relatively happy for most people in the free world, if happiness is all that people really want. This is what the simplified tagline ‘Broke and coping’ means. The old one was, ‘If you think you have it bad, read my credit report.’

You’re also right that I don’t believe in talent. I got good at the things I got good at because I thought it was fun to learn to do them. Anyone else can learn to do the same things, provided the insentive and learning effort are there.

Londo: I used to get a lot of visits and calls from people that wanted to get me into MLM. Of all the things I’ve heard as reasons not to get into MLM, the big one is that they require an initial investment. Often this initial investment and the subsequent sales work can be done alone and generate a better cash flow if you want to put that kind of work into the project, but that’s what MLM is for. The fact is, if I had the kind of money it takes to get into an MLM scheme (scam), I would much rather spend that money on my own personal enterprise, or at least on my dormant music career, than put in way too much work in some something-for-nothing piece of crap. The MLM’s that approached me don’t even sell a service, let alone a product.

El_Presidente: The Blackhawks _are_ on cable, but only when they play on the road, and only in greater Chicagoland. That means after you yawn through a flat, emotionless road defeat you have to pay $78 to sit in a seat so high up you need to bring oxygen, and the players look like sliding ants, or listen to the weak home loss being described on AM radio.

Mister_Green: Don’t mean to be too picky, but when I was in college, some activist dude made it clear to me that homosexuality is a genetically determined condition. This means that once you recognize that your stuff points a certain way, you’re stuck that way forever. That means that Hasbians or a Yestergays are just straight people that found out their stuff doesn’t point the way they thought it did.

I trust that dude’s word as far as I can throw a loaded semi. I’ve met way too many ‘pretend gays’ or ‘jailhouse gays’, guys that turn to guys for companionship simply because they didn’t think they could attract any women, that there has to be way more to homosexuality than a chromosome. No, I’m not telling you why I met those guys.

I’ve been putting tonight’s article off for a little more than a month. I just went looking for it because I actually thought I finished it and posted it a long time ago, but apparently I haven’t after all…

HOW NUCH FOR ONE OF THOSE STORIES?

When I made it down to the city a couple weekends ago, I was killing about an hour in the Borders on State and I noticed something on the banner signs they had hanging all over the store: “Borders – Books – Music – Movies – Coffee”. I remember thinking, two for four. Not _too_ bad, but not too good either.

Borders indeed sell books and coffee. The phenomenon I’m describing may not have even occured to the reader yet, because people are now so accustomed to this sort of language that it is no longer recognized as incorrect. They sell pieces of paper bound onto cardboard, with print on the paper, which we call ‘books’. They also sell ground-up roasted beans, percolated into scalding water and placed in a cup to order. We call this ‘coffee’.

The other things you can buy at Borders are these little five and one-quarter inch discs made of acetate that have digital data encoded on them. We put the discs into machines that interpret the data as sound and occasionally, a moving picture, and we call them Compact Discs or Digital Video Discs, depending on the density of the data and their purpose.

Bringing us back to our sign, it should read “Borders – Books – CDs – DVDs – Coffee”.

This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed this phenomenon, it’s been happening to us for a very long time. Does anyone know when Real Estate agents started dealing in the sale of homes instead of houses? When did Ford start selling their cars in stores instead of dealerships?

The first time this was brought to my attention was when I had my job at the Blockbuster Video, a long time ago. True to their name, Blockbuster Video rents video cassettes, or at least that was their main business when I was working there. Some time in my first week, I was instructed to go to the drive-by drop and ‘fetch the movies’. Up to that point I had never heard someone call a video cassette a ‘movie’ before, they were VHS tapes, video tapes, videos… but never ‘movies’.

You see, the movie is the thing encoded on the tape. A movie is a flickering projected image, designed to create the illusion of motion and synchronized sound.

When it really struck me odd, was when the company decided we would also carry CDs. “We’re going to carry music now,” said my boss.

I couldn’t correct my boss, mind you, because she was my boss. Oh, and because the literature the corporate dicks sent also said we were going to be carrying ‘music’.

Music is a series of sounds (and silences) over a deliberately selected period of time, in order to strike certain emotions in the people that listen. The sounds encoded on the CD and recreated by your stereo are ‘music’.

Recap: You cannot sell a movie. You cannot sell music. I cannot sell a song as certainly as I cannot sell my own voice to another person.

If you think these words are hard-up, when was the last time you went to Borders and asked the attendant where they keep the stories?

I’m guilty, too. I call them ‘video games’ when I usually just mean ‘software’. The meaning of ‘software’ is changing, however, so perhaps it’s better that way.

These words are earthshattering from someone who otherwise wants to make money in the multibillion dollar industries created under the illusion that music and movies can be exchanged on the open market as easily as a roll of film or tape.

The only reason I care enough to point this out is because I see so many signs that these industries are in long-term, if not immediate, danger. It is not wise for entertainers to trust the structure that was created by dodgy, forced legislation. Everything that happens in the recording industry is based on some obsolete precedent, the precedent itself spawned by somebody, somewhere, having some issue about the ability to make money. I can repeat some stories to this effect if somebody asks.

There are changes which I’ll gladly document later if anyone wants to hear me go on; signs that the entertainment industry will adapt to an economy that recognizes ‘the man behind the curtain’, but if retailers still think they’re selling movies and music, I think there’s a lot of room to grow.

And in other news, the TV just reminded me why I didn’t really want to write this piece. I’m fussing about abuse of language and misuse of law, while 60 miles away, some man was shot in cold blood, right in front of his son, in broad daylight, and thousands of miles away, yet another man died in a lost cause of establishing orderly freedom in a country that would prefer to live in deadly, chaotic anarchy.

This world needs help. See you next time.

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4 thoughts on “

  1. On the subject of bitching when there are worse things going on. There’s always something worse going on. We can’t tackle humanity’s problems from the top down, because the little problems that cause the big ones would still be there. Every problem is worth effort and discussion.I love how now that Apple’s MP3 (they’re not MP3s but I forget what Apple’s format is called) store has taken off, everybody and their brother are following suit. There have been five or six online DRM stores opening up in the last month, most launched alongside a DRM player. Holy shit, if you let people buy things the way they want, they actually do buy it? I don’t know about the rest of the players, but Apple’s not making any money from the store itself. That 99 cents goes straight to the RIAA.I’m not going to rant about copyright law and the current situation, since I don’t have that many free hours. I’ve been quietly boycotting CDs for a while now. And it just occured to me you’ll probably know this better than anyone else I know: Do you know where to get any good non-RIAA CDs/MP3s/whatever?

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  2.   Hey, I believe in fate, but I’m a bit sketchy on how it works.  I don’t know who or what strung it all together, but seeing as they’re probably long gone, all I can do is assume.
      As for talent, it does exist.  Talent is just the ability to do something better on a first try than the average person, and usually the ability to learn or perform a skill more skillfully than someone else over time.  Anybody can learn a skill, and even surpass a talented person over time with practice.  Talent just gives people an edge without even having to try.
      As for the rest of the post, words are words.  Anything can mean anything these days.  You should know that by now.  We save the fancy lingo that actually means what it’s supposed to for corporate goons and lawyers.  How would that news dissuade you from posting, eh?  Murders occur all the time.  It’d be better if they happened more often, because we need the population control.

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  3. “Most of the ladies that have asked me my birthday just to figure out my sign (I don’t remember a single one of them being a guy)”  LOL! Doesn’t that just figure eh??
    Thanks for the birthday wishes
    Today’s post was great…i’m just a bit late getting here as usual. ughie

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