If You Wish To Be Wealthy…

Sell medicine to the sick and fun to the healthy. It used to be possible to become rich selling food to the hungry but now that the larger corporations have taken over production and distribution there is little point in opening a local deli.

Leaving aside the sale of better health to those who are poorly…and a complex thing that is, too…we come to the idea of selling fun. Making other people happy and fulfilled is the goal and a grim business it is, too.

This was illustrated at a trade show I’m attending this weekend. For the 4-wheel-drive vehicles  and adventure accessories. It is by for the largest exhibition I have seen, both in area of display and amount of money that was asked. Also a very adventurous thing since it is being conducted on some of the most gruelling times of the year – 40º + yesterday. However, that did not deter the customers…because they wanted to buy things that will be fun to have and to go places that excite them.

I will not be wealthy because of it – I’ll submit a modest account for giving three lectures over three days – but then I won’t spend any money amongst the fabulous exhibitors either. It’ll a profitable and enjoyable thing to do and may give rise to more paid gigs in the future.

Moral of it all is that if you want to follow the money, follow the fun. That’s what people will fork out for.

Open Slather

Open slather is a phrase that has always fascinated me. It seems so decadent and worldly, and there are any number of things with which I would welcome being openly slathered. I often loiter by vats of chocolate making eye contact with slatherers, but so far to no avail. Unfortunately if you slather yourself, Security takes you away.

Perhaps I have been mis-hearing it. Perhaps it is ” open-slander “, which is much more up my alley. Up until now I have been forced by the law to do my slandering and defaming on a quiet basis. And I’ve had to be careful to whom I have distributed the material. I keep a journal with a careful note of what was said about someone and to whom, so that I do not repeat or contradict myself. Nothing worse than finding that you have done a subtle job of faint-praising someone and discover they have taken it at face value and been delighted. Then you have to start all over again. Remember to save your work.

There is also the thing where we have to consider the phrase and turn it about…is there a ” closed slather “, and who does it to whom? And can you see it on YouTube?

I also wonder at the word “slather ” and wonder if it is derived from the word ” slat “? A slat being a small strip of wood or other material. Does a slather slat something?

I’m going out to get a 2 x 4 and experiment on the rest of the family.

 

Repeat After Me

Chili.

Rhubarb.

Soda water.

Any movie that has made money in the last 50 years.

Because they all do, and there is nothing short of Gaviscon or a sordid sex scandal that will stop the cycle. If you survey the number of James Bond film, the Rocky films, the Batman or other superhero films…you become quite despondent for the species. The fact that they succeeded the first time and have succeeded for so many times afterwards indicates the basic intelligence of the audience – the fact that the price has risen each time lets you know that P.T. Barnum was right.

I am personally stunned at the amount of money that changes hands in after-market spinoffs and merchandising for these things. I walk through stores dedicated to movie goods and look at price tags in amazement. The fact that there are actual stores full of the stuff is frightening. Of course the religious supply stores are also nerve-wracking, and sometimes for the same reasons.

For myself, I treasure entertainments that are self-contained. If they are not perfect, that is just the luck of the game. The fact that they play out in 60 to 90 minutes and need never be seen again is part of the appeal. I never seek a sequel or prequel. I am content now with Sleeping Beauty or The Sting just as it was.

 

Thanksgiving Outrage In Britain, Europe, and Australasia

Facebook commenters all around the world are gearing up to be outraged at people in the United States this coming November 28th as the Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. Special scorn memes are being written for use whenever the poster’s attention score drops.

Of course there will be lots of them that target the American President for calumny, but that is pretty well a constant throughout the year. There will be any number of sneering and pious ones that mention pilgrims and the native tribes, but funnily enough the pilgrims will be the only ones held up to ridicule. The day will draw fire from the religiously-inclined as well as the opposite camp. One thing you can be sure of – if it is American, it’s going to be judged wrong…

Yet.

Yet Canada – that other North American plot of land – also celebrated a Thanksgiving day on October 14th. And no-one raised a peep about it – perhaps the crafty Canucks sneaked it in while people were looking the other way or were preparing to be culturally outraged about Halloween and Trick Or Treat… maybe people were just sympathetic to Canada for suffering another Trudeau Election and decided to give them a bye this time.

I’m thankful all the time – I go to sleep in warm bed and wake up each morning. I eat and drink my fill. I read whatever I like and build toy airplanes every day. The only part of this that makes me nervous is the thought that Facebook commentators will batten upon me and become outraged. I can’t decide whether I should pay more attention to them…or less.

And You Thought Tetris Was Just an Idle And Worthless Pastime…

Yesterday we emptied and washed out 36 rectangular plastic plant pots. Big buggers, that had served as a movable garden while we planned the permanent beds. I finished the morning soaking wet and dead chuffed with myself.

Then I took a picture of the array of pots and put it on the free website Gumtree. We didn’t want money for the pots – we just wanted them gone.

” Free Stuff ” is a powerful tool. It keeps a Democratic Party Congress and a shoe-polished  Canadian Prime Minister going. It draws flies and their children from all points of the compass. It gets an instant …I mean in 38 seconds…response from a Gumtree advertisement.

I’m smart now: I don’t give out the home address until someone agrees to come to the sale. I only allow the address out to those who promise to rock up within an half hour.

In the case of the 36 tubs I got a keen palm tree propagator who was prepared to leap into her car and arrive in 15 minutes – and she was as good as her word. But her car was a VW Polo. About the size of a box of Kleenex – no bigger than my Suzuki Swift.

What followed was the 3-D version of Tetris. She pushed, shoved, upended, rotated, and squeezed. And we eventually filled up the entire interior volume of the Polo with plastic pots.

She was grateful. Which is silly. Because we gave her a car full of dirt and a week of work. But I cannot stand wasting resources and the pots went to a good home.

British Independence – Part Two – The Opposition

The opposition to the British BREXIT decision taken some time ago seems to have been set along party lines – as so many social questions are – and further connected to a number of interest groups. Whether they might be said to be special interest groups or not is up to the reader to decide. I counted :

  1. Some youth groups  – who were horrified that the easy access to Europe for jobs and/or vacations might be compromised.
  2. Some immigrant organisations who feared that the nation’s gates would swing shut  and prevent their clientele and relatives from coming to the UK and staying there.
  3. Some organisations opposed to nationalistic sentiments or actions of any kind – good or bad. Not ALL nations, mind, but the UK version was to be abhorred.
  4. Some companies who could see financial loss or inconvenience caused by having to move their headquarters out of the UK or their manufacturing plants into it

I’m sure there were many others, some with genuine concerns for the country and some with genuine concerns for their own concerns.

But have we considered that some of the opposition to an independent Great Britain may come from the rulers of the place? They have been used to a populace that does what they are told – they have been told what to do all the way from William The Conquerer to the last speech from the Crown Prince – and the idea of the locals getting free of the Germans and the French might start them thinking that they’d like to be free of the rulers…

You can’t sing  ” God Remove Our Gracious Queen…” with quite the same poetry as the current words, but then you could always write a new piece of music to go along with it. I don’t think the British populace would think about this at all, but they could change their minds when Charles and Camilla ass-end the throne.

The British And Independence – Part One

I am starting to think that the British have a problem with independence…in all its many forms. And I suspect that they have had the trouble for a long time.

This has been in my mind as I watch the reports on the BREXIT business – reports that have been coming in from them and their erstwhile EU colleagues for the last two years.

They’re in a mess. They seem to want to be an independent nation – they say ‘ once more ‘ – but have not figured out how to implement it. They seem reluctant to even declare it clearly. But I think that this is a hangover from their history of dealing with other people who wanted to be independent.

The case presenting most clearly is the United States of America. They wanted to be independent in 1774 and made the effort of fighting a successful revolutionary war to achieve it. The fact that they won this against Great Britain told heavily in the UK and its echo still is there in the minds of the British people.

The French revolted against themselves  – again successfully  – a few years later and this also tells in modern Great Britain’s mind.

And finally, some former colonies of Great Britain – their overseas empire of resources  – also declared themselves independent after Great Britain spent itself poor in half a century of modern war. And the UK could do nothing but pretend that they agreed…being powerless to prevent it. This is the latest and most acid memory.

Perhaps there is more…tomorrow.