I work at a store in Victoria City, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada and on my days off I go to the local main university library. The store I work at has 32 departments and it effectively has three floors, though one bottom floor is only used the in the spring and summer time for customer sales. The store is about the same size as the university library and to me the construct, architecturally of the store and the university are the same. Both the store and the university are businesses and both are corporations. One sells tangible products whereas the other sells intangible products. Both of the architecture buildings are about the same size as each other; and they both have very similar architectural designs of big blocks of cement cut into 3 zones or levels. To me, what I find remarkable is the level of quality in each organization. The educational institution library seems to me to be run inadequately whereas the store seems to be run on a skeleton crew who cover only critical veins and hubs, as in a crisis military outreach style. The library seems to have an abundance of paid staff members far exceeding the amount of labour available for the employee to actually perform. Whereas, in the store the employee is always actively working in a physical way; the library clerk sits passively at a desk awaiting one or two clients in a matter of a few hours time. One environment, the store, has 6000 customers coming through their doors and in the library there are about 20 clients coming through the doors per day. The academic library gets excessive government funding and the store cuts corners in an unethical and corrupt – but not a criminal way in order to keep ahead of the other stores competition. The sales clerk in the store is constantly on the move in the surveillance culture corporation and the library clerk in the university sits there day-dreaming about the open space and beautiful landscapes which surround the open windowed glass environment. The quality of life scales of the library clerk can clearly exceed the quality of life of the sales clerk in the store; whereas it is the sales clerk in the store that is operating more efficiently; is the fastest and the most competitive of all humans in design and has the quick on the fly answers to the human condition that go way beyond the call of duty of any communication skills acquired elsewhere in the human sector. Yet there is a stigma attached to the sales clerk and not the library clerk. This makes our society unfair; and the hardest worker, the sales clerk, not only has the hardest job out of the two jobs – but also encounters societal prejudice based on an assumption that the sales clerk is stupid and slow which is clear a false assumption; as it is the library clerk who is clearly stupid and slow.
Had a meeting the other day and during the meeting my partner started leading a different way. This caused me tension as I knew instinctively that this was wrong. I knew that feeding the lion raw fresh meat was not a good tactic because the lion will eat your hand and arm as well as the meat, and the lion could possibly eat you whole as well. I felt that tactic being applied by my partner was very naive and without forethought, which would enable the lion to escape and get off. My partners communication style was dangerously close to luring and trapping me in the lion’s cage. My partner seemed unintentionally to be luring me into a unstable situation, one which he would ultimately have no control over and I would end up being the victim of. What happened is my instincts kicked in. I knew I had to start communicating in a sink or swim manner in order to over-ride his words and come out on top. I knew instinctively that he is no match for the lion and to pretend to be is stupid, deadly and filled with a completely lack of respect for the animal kingdom and their power. I would not be a victim to this. I had to stand and take charge.
Books that I have read, April 19, 2017. I am currently reading Nelson Mandela’s book, Long Walk to Freedom, and while I read I read other subjects to create a greater understand of the African context, in order to try to imagine the situations Nelson Mandela and others like him encountered.
A State of Blood, The Inside Story of Idi Amin by Henry Kyemba, Paddington Press, Ltd., 1977
White African, an Early Autobiography by L.S.B. Leakey, Cambridge Massachesetts 02138, 1966
Kaffir Boy, The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa, Mark Mathabane, Macmillan publishing company, New York, 1986
Operation Moses, The Story of the Exodus of the Falasha Jews from Ethiopia, Tudor Parfitt, Weidenfeld and Nicolson London, 1985
Great Zimbabwe, P.S. Garlake, Thames and Hudson, 1973
South Africa and the Logic of the Regional Cooperation, James J. Hentz, Indiana University Press, 2005
After Apartheid, Reinventing South Africa? Ian Shapiro and Kahreen Tebeau, University of Virginia Press, 2011
The Republic of the Transkei, Chris van Rensburg Publications Ltd., 1976
In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus defended Tom Robinson. This was a losing battle even though it was clear Tom Robinson was innocent. Did Atticus take on this case for some higher purpose? Did he take on this case and try to convince the jury of Tom Robinson’s innocence? Did he try for the case to be a vehicle of change in society? I wonder how many lawyers there are current day, that have the same convictions as Atticus?
In 2017 in the Western World, and with President Donald J. Trump in power in America, how is this going to effect the present and the future for the artist? In order to find the answer to the question, one needs to look into the past. Here is a short summary of diverse kinds of visuals used when times have gotten tough and when social systems erode. This is how artists have responded, not with many words, but with their art work as their voice piece.