Stupid and slow: University versus Store

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.

Photograph of a Bosch machine.

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The Human Element has been thrown out the window.

Since 2017 the United States President has been installed. This USA President, in my personal opinion, has very low standards. He is a wealth and a financially rich man, but as an individual he does not seem to care about other human beings. I can tell this first hand, because of my personal experience working inside an American company in Canada, which is a stone throw away from the USA border. Since the installation of the current USA President the company where I work has gotten a lot meaner. The human element has been thrown out the window; and the only value that my American company has in Canada is the value of financial profit. If President Obama was still in power; this type of value system would have been matched by the human factor. In which now, in 2017, the human factor, in my case, is 100% eliminated from the equation of doing business in the Canadian city in which I live. I believe that it is a direct result of the installation of the current 2017 USA President that has allowed a dark cloud to merge and float over Victoria City, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. A capitol city a stone throw away from Seattle, Washington State, the United States of America.

Right now, the media and the newspapers all across the global are covering President Trump, the USA 2017 President. What the media is not doing accurately, in my opinion, is covering the stories from the lowest level of people on the organizational totem pole – who are the ones who are always effected the first and the most by economical fall-out and financial disparities. The voices of the sales clerks on the grass-roots level in stores are not having their voices heard; as they are being silenced and held in a vacuum by powerful authority figures in large and ever-powerful over-ruling USA corporations, operating outside of the USA borders.

The conundrum of the economical climate which has been stirred up by President Trump in Canada, is like the three daggers in the painting below. The three daggers in the hand of the leader represent a 3-way conundrum: namely

  1. The loss of human economic identity
  2. The loss of a democratic voice in the democratic system
  3. A total marginalization of the ultimate underdog in the Western financial Neo Economic Turn-out caused by President Trumps politics and financial decision-making; which is having a fall-out trickle effect within the first five months of his term.

Artist is Jacques-Louis David, the painting is called, “Oath of the Horatii.”

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The lure of finance

Finances are considered to be like museum pieces. Some powerful managers in corporations cannot get enough of either excessive amounts of finance nor power. It is a zeal that is ingrown into a soul. It becomes like a passion, to acquire more and more and place it in vaults and have it locked away where no one can see it. In the 1941 movie Citizen Kane, Orson Welles captures the spirit of the financier and entrepreneur. Somehow finance becomes like a silent war where the amount of financial equations, sums and financial stock becomes more and more a race against time to acquire more and more. The skill in finance is to find out techniques and tactics to increase the amount of wealth. A banker who uses this style often has no compassion for the little man who ended up losing his house because he was unable to pay the high mortgage to the bank instead the bankers mind would only narrow in on his own profit-sharing and financial bonuses. To some very financially rich professionals, their monetary achievements are worth way more to them then their families, friends and loved-ones. Often, to the workers who are at the mercy of very financially wealthy bankers / tycoons they see owner of the business as the enemy because of how much lack of respect, compassion and understanding he has towards them – who in their eyes do all the manual labour and the hard work with little compensation whereas the top owner makes all the profits by sitting at his desk or playing golf. Finance is a mystery. Often people who get educated in finance do not succeed in the financial field and often people from the street, with zero trained can become instant stock-brokers at the New York Stock Exchange. Finance is like life it is one of the deepest mysteries as to how one can succeed and the other cannot not. Perhaps in life, we are all given equal opportunities, but some can profit from their gifts financially and some cannot. It is a puzzle how Kane made all his finances; but it is not a puzzle that many people that encountered him did not like him. It seems that the financial side of Kane combined with his will to gain power corrupted him so much as to make him a bitter human being. But this is only speculation.

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Who are the true lawyers of today?

The pile of file binder with papers

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?

When Social Systems Erode; how have artists responded in the past?

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.

Russian Revolution, 1917 – Armed worker

10a Armed Worker

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2. Nazi Posters, 1933 to 1945, Germany

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3. President Trump, 2017 America

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Equality versus Capitalism

January 26, 2017: Life has changed. Or has it really? Equality is a very specific human quality that is very hard to attain. It would be great if humans would be open-minded to achieve equality as a group effort; however equality probably only works if humans are altruistic in nature and according to the theory, Survival of the Fittest, this is not the true nature of humans. In fact it seems that the true nature of humans is selfishness. Humans can change their natures from a selfish nature to a selfless nature however it takes years and years of constant practice; and in many cases – and in all irony – selfless acts go unrewarded. So, in humanity this element leads to a selfish society. It would be great if it was not so, however – if selfish behavior leads to power, security of ones family and a perceived safety; who would challenge that? Within a capitalist society, it is often so that the more powerful the person – the more he is perceived by the capitalist society as being a good human. Perhaps within the realm of power – there are sub-components of influence, but in the end, if a society of humans do not become true selfless individuals the element of true equality cannot be achieved. If you disagree with this, let me know. Always open to dialogue. At the same time, silence is respected as well.

(Photo: Wild Fire Fort McMurray, 2016 Canada)

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Stalemate

2017 a New Year! What will happen this year? What are the expectations? The ideals, the desires? How can we make the world a better place? Have not many people before us tried to stop injustices? Does injustices continue because of power, control and influence in the hands of a few? Humanity has attempted to change throughout the decades but it always seems to fall right back into the rolls of the powerful and the powerless. This creates an imbalance whereby injustices are constantly born. Can true equality be achieved and if so how? Two major contradictions in humanity are [1] bullying and [2] socialism. First, bullying is an unkind act but gets rewarded and often leads to powerful position within a company; and second socialism is based on a decentralized system of equality which almost always leads to installing corrupt people gaining power in a model which is focused on non-power and equality. So if bullying is rewarded and socialism a unattainable ideal in real-life how can equality for all be gained? Is there such a things as evil benevolence? And if so does evil benevolence really mean to have power over others? Is this the disguise? Will life always be a yin and a yang – never being an absolute of completely good, or completely bad – but rather a little bit of both? Is this the human destiny? Or is a stalemate the destiny?

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