Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Occupy My STreet

I think I should take a stroll down to Zuccotti Park, or wherever the hell these Phish lovers are squatting and tell them what type of commando guerillas they need to become if they're ever going to help their cause. You can't raise your hands to buildings and shout. Yes, I give them credit for what they're doing, or at least those that know what they're fighting for. Every party has a few assholes that show up, the key is to kick them out before the cool kids, or in this case the intelligent and informed ones, leave. These buildings that lease space on so called "Wall Street" consist of regular workers for companies having nothing to do with finance. The stock exchange is a ghost town; picture torn tickets blowing up and around a dead end street like that damn plastic bag in American Beauty. Banking has moved to the burbs. Ride your Vespa on over the GW Bridge and fill up for gas where the money rests....places like Greenwich, Alpine and Rye. Hit up the Hamptons, Aspen, Bel Air and Malibu for other players that rule the wary world of billions. There is practically no one walking around "Wall Street." That's why there's no restaurants, clubs or businesses there and you frankfurters can setup shop and somehow encamp without too much trouble. They're happy you're there. "Here, take your's arid land, terrible for production and far from everyone so good, luck....setup a casino if you'd like." There's no way we can possibly make a difference when we're targeting a mass - you must target the individual. Hide in the fucking woods and ambush these guys. If you have a couple thousand of you, I don't care what their security looks like, you're going to have them by the balls. Do a quick search of those top hedge fund managers, check out Magnetar, research the CEO's of Blackstone, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman, Merrill, Morgan Stanley - all onshore firms, and see where they live. Type it into your google earth and pick up your sleeping bag, broom, hacky sack and ramen noodles, and walk briskly to their home. There's nothing these people want more than their privacy, and you can take that away by being adamant protesting paparazzi. You can instill such fear that it will sway them to enforce change for the detriment to their lifestyle and personal family's discomfort. They know they will be able to make money another way, and that comfort of theirs will have them leaning more towards some sort of concession, which at this point, you should be dying for. Make them miserable, and they'll change.

Our government will not be able to change the financial system drastically and I say that because it's the Atlas Shrugged scenario. If you regulate the industry too stringently, all the smart people in banking will just go where they can make money without Big Brother telling them what they can and can't do. Hedge funds and private equity firms are unregulated and every intelligent banker is going to tip his hat to the bureaucracy of federal government and bid them adieu if they start dabbling in their business. This isn't to say that they have many places to go where they too wouldn't be restricted, monitored or taxed. If they did decide to up and leave their country for their disinterest in paying into the economy where they enjoy all their success, then exile them. Exile them, scare the shit out of them to the point where they can't come back. We should not be afraid of losing big businesses, or banks or brainiacs. People are born every day in this country; there will be many more to help us along and the best damn schools in the world to assist in the matter. If big steel left us, they would lose a massive market share that would be made up by new companies sprouting here in the states; accessing mining zones herein and as well as allied countries worldwide. Limit foreign companies sales of goods to our citizens. Make it a mandatory requirement that at least 50% of the goods sold in America or to Americans from that company are made in-America. Have them invest in our country by having to build a factory or manufacturing plant to make the goods here. As long as their profit margin is high enough, of course companies would come. If not, we'd build it ourselves.

These Occupy Wall STreet Eeyore's, moping around with their donkey tails pinned, and their woe is me attitude isn't what the recent events of public political takeovers was like. No, I wasn't in Egypt or Libya when these protests were taking place, but I sure as hell saw the brutal coverage and take no prisoners heat in their eyes. Those people were fighting to disrobe and poke naked at the breast of dictators, the sores that they well earned and would love to transfer to men responsible for such distraught social division. And how did they achieve success? Those dictators feared for their fucking lives. It was a lynch mob of hundreds of thousands coming for your head. You're giving up when that's the thought you go to sleep with at night. Here in the states, we can turn in circles and point feverishly at anyone who has ever took in unemployment wages and say you're part of the problem, and someone who took a student loan and didn't pay it back. Any person purchasing a home who didn't read their mortgage and got knocked on the head when their fixed rate became variable after the fifth year. Or anyone who has ever earned a pension, anyone who has ever trusted someone in finance that got lied too, because even though they lost their money, they fed the flame of greed themselves and got taken. SOme of it is out of our hands, yes. We don't get to vote on stimulus nor would we know though how the hell to solve the issues of the banking world. I'd say let any business fail that's doomed to do so. If you cannot operate for a profit, then do not do it. Take away those companies receiving subsidies to operate, even the big transportation firms that are massive debtors. If you have to get to work, figure it out. Drive, ride your bike, I don't care - if the train is too expensive because we take away government subsidizing (which, by the way, is a root of socialism where government steps in to control big business in their country) then let them fail because no one shows up to take the train. Yes, a lot people that hold that company's debt or equity will then lose out, but the pain is a band-aid removal, quick and sharp - unlike the steady decline we're crawling toward which will make our rise too difficult to traverse. Once that train company goes bankrupt, good-bye, good luck. A firm will come in and buy the rails, the train cars, parts and find a way to operate the system efficiently without massive overhead or lifelong pensions and high ticket costs. If you can't afford the train, don't take it. It'll be a luxury of the rich or else disappear like every bad company until a new one can replace it or our tax money can replenish it.

Take away bankruptcy protection laws - all you're doing is having the back of some asshole that got too far in over his head, and those that followed the words of the preacher or nut-job that led the company, such as creditors, will have to suffer too. If I invest in a stock and it tanks, that's my fault for investing in it.

Tax everyone at the same rate. Get your actuaries together, formulate a plan on a good rate for everyone, and tax us all the same. We want fair, give everyone the same headache. Why do we offer tax write-offs? Pay your taxes and end of story. If you decide to donate, that's your prerogative, don't start asking for sympathy when you freely chose to give it away. If you're putting money back into your business, good for must be good. No one asked you to do it, but you decided it will grow your business, well fantastic, go right ahead and invest in your own company...but don't think you're writing off your entire revenue stream for three years because you decided to grow your business to make more money. I would take away these incentives and the people will have to make due with what their own lifestyle, earning potential and financial comfort is.

Outside of my wild ideas and my sort of Darwinian fuck everyone attitude, for these campers, these rucksack nature dwelling Zuccotti spirits, they must target 6 individuals and make their lives a nightmare. Change the tides of our public view on someone by exposing them with grandeur, and you watch, whomever that wealthy baron typically donates to every 4 years during their campaigns, will be charging ahead with new ideas on how to solve this issue. It won't be easy, but it's a jog towards the finish, not a philosophical circle jerk between potheads and the unintelligible offspring of Wiley Coyote.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Art: Commercial, Accepted or Just Plain Ugly

So I'm watching this show the other day, "Next Best Artist" and I'm sitting thinking to myself, "I could be on this shit." They show a few really interesting, beautiful pieces and then some worthless trash you couldn't even find scouring a freeway flea market in the middle of Kansas. I must admit though, that distaste right there, is why some things artists make achieve the distinction of being effective. I on the other hand just don't like to think I'm being duped by some guy who pretends his clay-mation wizard the size of a Mr. Peanuts can, is a work of art worthy of national attention.

Let me divert for a second here because points will be made my friends. My disgruntled behavior towards work that's less deserving of praise than a soiled square of Puffs softest toilet tissue stapled to a canvas, all began when I first went to the Art Institute of Chicago. I walked up to my mother staring at a 60"x60" canvas of Cy Twombly's that had pencil scribblings dancing about, and then a stray crayon smudge or two, and I asked "is this a fucking joke?" I assumed he must have some disability and for him to have created this piece, it must have been a labor of love and a feat beyond my own comprehension. Instead of my mother telling me to keep it to myself or to accept that differences in opinion exist, she says "do they think I'm stupid or something?"

Of course I looked up Cy Twombly the next day with hatred for the fact that he'd been displayed so prominently in a national museum, only to truly appreciate his work and value those pieces he's made (not the one in particular though at the museum...still, no love). Funny how the tables turn even in your own perception just by reading a bio. That may actually be the reason why I am writing this. Your perception is what makes or breaks your love for the work; 95% of which is based on your respect for the artist.

Somewhere in the non-existent yet truly impenetrable laws of good art and bad art is the acceptance of the existence of subjectivity. Screw all of you that just said there is no such thing as bad art...get over your hippie self. Art is writing, composing, performing, speaking, creating, photographing....and within each of those lie bad versions. "Wow, that guy is a bad actor...." - well wouldn't that be subjective? When watching that show the other day, one of the judges said that this little clay-mation-looking wizard thing "spoke to her", whereas the other judges asked "well what does it say"? They too were upset that the work was a third grader's homework assignment they'd create with their eyes closed during a heated match of Cranium. Did the man get eliminated? Nope, and the reason being....someone sorta liked what he had done. The guy that did go was an artist whose work I would hang on my wall. He was sent home when the judges deemed him far too similar to another artist, and ultimately "commercial." Sooo...keep the clay-mation Gandolf puppeteer but not the artist that would resonate with the masses? Not having to assume anything, we the audience already know why this is. Clay-groping donkey douche who calls himself "The Sucklord," more like Suckload, had already earned the respect of the main host of the show. We were made aware of his successful art sales during the 1st episode of the show by our judge Mr. Simon De Pury. To believe that the respect he had already earned did not somehow play a role in the judge's belief that the piece "spoke to her", I find hard to swallow. Of course it's possible, but when the critique comes right down to "hey buddy, your art looks like something made to go on my's too looks similar to a dead artist we have also come to respect (Keith Haring)...we've gotta let you go." I would say the likes of Willy Nelson's wife who said the lifeless sorcerer spoke to her should have kept her mouth shut just like she did throughout her cameos in Paranormal Activity's 1, 2, 21 and 87.

Yes, it's TV....they need good ratings, they need Suckload, I shouldn't take it so seriously.....well, I wouldn't I suppose if I too weren't trying to carve my own path into the art world. Something like this makes me shudder a bit because art has gone so far off in one direction that it's circling back around to the raw talent of Fine Art painters. That's at least what I believe because we're going to get so sick of trying to pretend some things are beautiful when they really might take zero talent whatsoever, and it's a good thing. It's tough to find traditional talent in art like it's impossible to see the beautiful difficulty of making a movie in the 1940's with a cast of 1000 extras and set designs beyond a decorator's wildest orgasm. You just don't see that type of effort and dedication anymore. We want results much quicker. At one point last year I read that the new art is digital art, and that if you're not using technology, you're going to be left behind. I nearly vomited at the thought. There's me hanging up a piece of art purely done through software and an inkjet printer, and I hurl down my velvet wallpaper. Why don't we start making clothes with materials like brown paper bags? Mmmmm, that wouldn't be cheap or effortless....I could just feel the soft paper cuts along my ankles.