Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Working at a coffee shop, it has come to my attention that there may be a tendency for the country of origin of the bean can influence a persons' preference in selecting a brew. For example, the day that I write this, the coffee shop is offering either an Ethiopian or Costa Rican blend of coffees. The Costa Rican blend was exhausted many times over before the Ethiopian needed to be brewed again. Granted, as has been noticed, a darker roast (which the C.R. is) tends to be preferred overall by the clientele at this particular coffee establishment. With that being said, the idea that the mental reflex of media imagery between these two particular countries is drastic and may influence where people would gravitate towards, even in as something as nominally consequential as selecting between 2 coffees.
When thinking about Costa Rica vs. Ethiopia, unless you have visited them both first hand, whatever imagery comes to mind is only shaped by media. Whether it is a lush pictorial essay on the tropical rain forest of Costa Rica or the starving children of the desert of Ethiopia as said by Sally Struthers, the portrayal is of drastic polarity. One, abundant, thriving and brightly colored, a vibrant portrayal of culture whose rhythmic pulse is seductive and virile. The other, a monochromatic, flat portrayal of a bleak, needy place, cultivating an image of no one's preferred destination.
These stark differences, these immensely varying topographical and psychological mental images, where are their role in our decision making process on such a benign situation? Is there room for considering the region and the consequences of supporting its exports? That snap judgment of what best serves me in this time of desire for synthetic energy and pleasant taste, does the consideration beyond self-service? Yes, evolution has conditioned this human, and other animals to mostly focus on self interest (self preservation) but in this cushioned, highly comfortable life that the Western World finds itself in, this pervasive and unwavering idea of "everything is about me", will (as I see it) come to drastically effect the preservation of the species as a whole. Who would want to be the last human on Earth?
As media exploits our innate propensity for self preservation, in a name of capitalist infatuations, our proximity to extinction of either our physicality, spirituality, or morality becomes more and more intimate.
Viva Marshal McLuhan!!!
Friday, December 17, 2010
What about the wrongs? What about the trials and promises? Thinking in matters of location, being on the y-axis when the x is the range of motion. The reservoir of considerations, any given filter on any given day, changing wavelengths. Packs of charred remains, going back to the counter.
Fortunate enough to give it another go.
Where has it been, clouding realizations. Further through but not above. Having yet made the sacrifices advocated? Anchors require something to hold onto, inherent to their function. Whether numerical links or consistency of ground, symbiosis non-the-less. Bordering on two very different locations.
Consistency regarded as the means.
Pivot motions, granting both sides of the coin. Back and forth provisions, back and forth brought back to zero. Commonly regarded and somehow commonly revisited. Familiarity, kicking up the same plumes translating the debris and know-how. Etching onto eroding tablets to be consumed later under false pretenses.
Mending garments supplied by circumstance and reaction.
Top hat ablaze, staring at woven shoe laces. Ingenuity distilled and watered down to function on abstract and tangible levels. Slight of hand in the gesture of offering. Stripes ranging taking orders from untamed id. What about the wrongs? What about the trials and promises?
Monday, October 18, 2010
The idea of family....
Comfort? Love? Tradition?
"Raising" little individuals.
Shaping, molding, conditioning an Other.
Either on one's own or in tandem, constructing an atmosphere which formulates culture on its own scale. As atmosphere always seem to do.
Authoritarian position by chronology.
Exercising legislative and behavioral control through reward and punishment.
Validating your own tactics against the backdrop of other methodologies, finding fault as a vehicle of self empowerment.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
It would be my guess that control of a situation is a desirable survival technique that evolution has bestowed upon us and has jumped the tracks wielding out of control. Those who find themselves in a position of power are there to control the policies under which they oversee. Coming with this, or any, position is a sense of what is expected from you, not the least being instilling a personal sense of procedure which advances the governed body, now being measured in revenue. ("Governed" is being used fairly loosely here. It is being used as an umbrella for oversight. A small business owner may "govern" the business or a teacher, govern the classroom/department.)
The political environment has been supplemented for a more basic survival scenario. No longer having the capability of maintaining a standard of living because the factors that shape it plow their own ground. Control is unattainable from seemingly every level. Although the media finds itself existing with an effect on the most impressionable parts of human's make up. A form of control found through countless resource and time packaged as natural, effortless, and innocent.
Could this sense of control have some impact on the appeal of the internet? We control these sites, blogs, networking pages etc. Giving us the control of deciding a template, color scheme, content, pictures. Underneath the greater controlled system, we have the option of taking on the self-aggrandizing responsibilities of maintaining what we have the ability to control. If a site is poorly maintained, our scrupulous scrutiny in others' work (as a mechanism to make ourselves feel better about how we navigate through the world) takes over and we may immediately have a certain view of an individual, institution or corporation based on the appearance of how they control this intangible outlet for the world.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
A recent trend seems to be emerging by political commentators, journalists and politicians. This has been observed both on the radio and on television. When someone is addressing a political issue and is asked a question a standard default response can become, "But I think that real question is.....". This has become a seamless transition into another aspect of the topic at hand that may be more conducive to illustrating the particular agenda that the individual is determined to generate. I have yet to hear a host of one of the programs call this out.
This blatant and simultaneously subtle side-stepping of issues was widely used during the BP Spill in the Gulf, used about the Muslim Cultural Center in Manhattan debate and regarding the pompous egomaniac that threatened to burn the Koran in Florida. This strategy of non question answering keeps the efforts of those with legitimate questions from achieving the inherent goal in asking a question. An answer. Being frightened of being wrong or even showing the slightest understanding of the other side of the argument is now being projected as a weakness. In fact the opposite is true. Someone who knowingly chooses the side of ignorance or dismissal is stockpiled with weakness.
Since when is it a novel idea to answer a question straight up? I suppose the practice of politics would not be what it is if answers were actually offered to the questions that were asked. This dance of avoidance is so blatant that it validates an idea that politicians and political pundits think, in fact are banking on literally, that the majority of the public can not tell or is indifferent when the wool is being pulled over our eyes, with a pulling fee.
It depends what the definition of is, is.
There are known unknowns, unknown knowns and unknown unknowns.
What about the known knowns. Do they exist?
Monday, June 14, 2010
Some pentagon geologists have say that they have found huge mineral and gas reserves in northern Afghanistan, saying that it could become one of the most lucrative mining sites in the world. If history is any gauge, corporate interests have already been sniffing the ass of this reserve for years. This potential of lucrativeness will have little positive impact on the greater population of Afghanistan. The rich and upper class will get richer, that is certain. The lower class can only hope that things do not get any worse. Sure, a new mine may offer employment opportunities to those otherwise unemployed, considering the mining conditions in the U.S., I would be surprised if they were any better or up to the par, there in Afghanistan. So, poor working conditions, more than likely poor pay, long hours, etc. will be the effect on those struggling in the longest war torn region on this little planet.
Do not be surprised if they sell of drilling, mining, extraction rights to private foreign corporate behemoths, just as they did in Iraq with the oil fields. By they I mean the same shills who end up buying the rights are the ones who if not write the policies themselves have a heavy, heavy influence by way of the Benjamins, on how policies are structured and carried out. Because of the situation, the alternative to auctioning the rights off to the fattest cats in the chow line, is to allow internal conflict over rights spiral out of control. With the Karzai government and their almost transparent coruptive practices, any chance for order is like rafting down the Colorado River blindfolded, arms bound.
Either one of these scenarios could conceivably feed anti-American sentiment, resulting in a continuation of all of those things that comes with that. Some of those things being more jihadists, more political capital by U.S. politicians to pass policy measures which slowly erode our civil liberties in the name of Homeland Security.
It is endlessly fascinating and disturbing that when a country, so downtrodden, wins the resources lottery, the winnings go to the guy who sold them the ticket.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
If there is anyone out that thinks that those actually responsible for the "blemish" in the Gulf of Mexico right now, I can only hope that this instance is the indicator which exposed them to a capitalist utopia illusion that this country runs off of. As was to be expected, when explaining themselves to our feeble-minded government, each facet of this operation blames each other. BP, blaming whoever built the safety valve, they blame Halliburton who, if I'm not mistaken, installed the faulty valve. This blaming musical chairs will jut confuse our elected officials to where nothing will be resolved. As is the rule of capitalism, making as much money in the shortest amount of time, it has been revealed that there were no safety checks on the most crucial aspect to the rig.....the component that ended up failing, killing individuals, countless animal life and an immeasurable amount of fragile environment. There is talk that if the spill drifts into the gulf stream, the "tar balls" as they are called could find their way all up the Eastern seaboard.
There will be volunteers out there with rags, buckets, hazmat suits, sponges trying to do what they can to minimize the environmental impact that this disaster may inflict. There will be BP execs. who will be in there with lawyers, cocaine, business suits, Cuban cigars trying to do what they can to minimize the financial impact that this will inflict on their own personal bank accounts.
This whole situation is a crime. A crime against the Earth. Yes, the impact will be felt the most in the Gulf region on so many levels. A region that has been battered for the better part of a decade and then some. But regardless of arbitrary boundaries drawn in liquid, this is a crime against everyone on the planet. If China were to experience a spill along their shoreline, have no policy in place for such an emergency, allow oil to gush out for weeks and weeks, the same would be true.
Back to the fact that there were no, at minimum, annual inspections for the safety valve:
Where is the concern for the crew?
Where is the concern for the environment?
It was buried under the fact that inspections of this nature would undoubtedly be expensive. BP made a calculated risk that they will push the limits of the state of a vital piece of equipment and by the time that anything could go wrong, the profits that they make up to that point would far exceed the cost of clean up. Especially since they surely have had forethought to how they would navigate through the system to minimize their liability to get the bill.
This is yet another personification of the problems with capitalism. Power not only corrupts but each step on the road to power injects corruptive ideologies to prime individuals to maximize profits by any means necessary.
Legalized organized crime.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
The extortionistic mentality of modern human's sources of influence tap into the same vein. The consumerist and the religious play to the same tune. In tandem they play to our eternal desire to make us feel better about ourselves. The former lies in the superficial realm and the latter in a supposed spiritual realm. Both selling the same product. For the need to quench our fears of living in a social structure and the inherent desire for acceptance coupled with the fear of death.
We can only see the trees, not the forest. What good does the anxiety that was bestowed upon us with the acquisition of a conscious mind than anything else than exploitation for the gain of an Other? Realizations of the fragility of the effects of our collective fears has resulted in environments which we struggle to deal with. The gift of existence is permanently overshadowed by the compromises that come with that existence. Fear is inescapable to the sentient being. Knowing this, we as a society have based the framework of success on abilities directed at profiting from this fear. If it were a universal fear of something else, we would have been riding that bandwagon for the same amount of time. But there will never be anything as profitable as the sense of our own mortality and the image that we project while approaching such a fate in a social structure.