Beware Of Slappy-Fu

Mar 3rd, 2012 | Filed under Video

There are many different evolved and developed fighting styles in the world, through training, the students learn to see the tell tale signs of where an opponent is intending to strike, they are then trained to launch an appropriate block and counter attack. Defending themselves becomes reactionary after a time, and no thought is really necessary in such situations.

Studying fighting can bring great confidence to the student’s life against bullies who threaten them or others around them. They should not be so confident anymore though, having just watched the video below, of a new fighting style, I will call Slappy-Fu, I do not feel their tradition studies will have the proper training needed to defend against such mysterious attacks.

Enjoy !

Holy crap! Did you see the way that guy ripped the paper ?

Sometimes They Actually Are Out To Get You

Feb 20th, 2012 | Filed under Interesting, Opinions and Perspectives, Rants, Video, Work

When I first started this business, I thought I had a great idea, I would be a reseller of hard to find and interesting products from all sorts of factories I had sourced out. I would sell the things I liked, and get to deal with customers that were just like me. This has worked to some degree, I enjoy my work most of the time, and almost all of the customers we ever deal with are cool and fantastic ones.

The online world is a bit different that I had imagined though, I thought I could build my own little online home of cool items, deal with only cool people and kick any uncool people out of the house forever, never having to deal with them again, but unfortunately it is not quite like that, just as a percentage of the real world contains some of confrontational, narcissistic, non empathetic jerks, so is the Internet, but unlike the real word, where none of these people would be allowed in my house, my online home with its millions of visitors, tens of thousands of them will be the type of person I do not want a visit from. Some of them even bother to write my Inbox with threats, though they are not physical threats, but legal ones, they are still very disturbing to read.

Justice Scales

Justice Scales

I do not make any of the products I sell, I buy them all from large companies, they are branded, trademarked and copyrighted already, but still the shirts that I pick, especially the funny ones, often have messages the corporate world does not like. Once they decide they do not like your product lawyers are often unleashed at you to try and stop you from selling any more of the offending products, the first tool the lawyers usually use are cease and desist letters. Cease and desist letters, for those of you that don’t know, are like legal declarations of war threatening severe, business destroying legal action if you do not surrender your suppliers names, products, sales records, and even your website immediately. Please know that these letter are not from courts, as they pretend they are, and do not actually hold any legal value, but are usually the first step taken before any legal action.

The most recent legal threat against us was from a massive massive company who were very offended by an original image drawn on a shirt I was selling, though it contained no logo, trademark or even words, when I named the image for the shirt, I used a very common English word to describe it. They sent me a letter saying that this word can only be used by them, and even claim to have trademarked it. From what I know of law, having only studied it for one year, I find this highly unlikely. Even though it has a strong smell of BS surrounding it. I have taken the product down since the letter seemed to come from an actual lawyer, and although they might not be able to win a case on this particular shirt, I do have other ones that they may win cases on. So better safe than sorry I guess.

I find I am itching to fight with them, but I still have other shirts I can sell, and had best use my energy elsewhere, though it is unjust for this multi billion dollar corporation to try and control such a common English word, and to deny the world not only the word, but the sight of the funny t-shirt, not to mention my bread and butter. I will let them win the battle they started. I will not currently post the word, company, letter and shirt image here, but I may in the future.

These actions might not sound not so bad to people that believe in a fair world, where all these letter are coming for upright and moral persons, where only people who know they did something wrong, and yet did it anyway had to face such things, but I have found that sometimes lawyers are impersonating customers, sometimes our competition in to hope of having us take down a competitive product are impersonating lawyers, and sometimes lawyers admit they are lawyers, but you never know which is which, and whether they do or do not have a legitimate case against you. I can say that in the twenty or so legal threats to ourselves here over the last four years, only one of them was legitimate, I was new to the business and did not know any better, I apologized and they let me go. The other nineteen however, were just aggressive mean companies trying to seize our products, business and website with absolutely no right to it. I would shutter to think of all the business they have closed, and things they have seized from others over the years with these immoral practices. The cost of lawyers to find out what is a legitimate threat and what isn’t is also no laughing matter.

Chuck You Tee

Chuck You Big Business

You would think I should know which is a legal shirt and which isn’t but sometimes the lines are a bit blurry, for example a shirt such as Chuck You! obviously refers to the famous martial artist and movie star Chuck Norris. I would think that it was perfectly alright to sell such a shirt, so long as it does not offend Mr Norris, and trust me I would not ever want to offend Mr. Norris. I do understand that Chuck Norris has some legal rights to the shirt, if he were to contact me, since the shirt uses both his name and image, I would have no moral reason to ever refuse him, as far as I am concerned it is his shirt, the same would of course go for many of the Star Wars inspired shirts we sell, if Mr Lucas was offended by them, I would simply bow my head down, saying “I am not worthy” and slowly and respectfully place the shirts at his feet. But it is not like that, what happens is some lawyer, or maybe competitor pretending to be a lawyer, who knows, wants to get your whole damn website, and put you out of business forever for using lets say an image of Chuck holding a gun, and they say any image of Chuck ever holding a gun is owned by them forever, even if the image is an original hand drawn piece of art.

I have written and called some of the actual lawyers back that have contacted me on occasion, and was surprised to find out that they are not actually there to help, they do not understand your position, lack any sort of empathy, have no sense of humor, and are only asking you questions to build a case against you so they can accumulate more power for themselves. As if they needed any more power already being backed by billion dollar companies. I find they are very similar to a schoolyard bully flexing their muscles, expressing their dominance, and hoping very hard to have a good fight with you so they can use their foot to grind your head into the dirt. They are not trying to avoid confrontation, they are creating it. In fact the more they get to fight with you, the more hours they can bill for and the more cash they make. Like some of the most evil corporations in the world, they make money from battle, lots of money, and do not wish for peace.

I was doing a Google search on “Corporate Bullying” the other day to see what it came up with, and came across a video which I will place below, of one guy that has started to put up a bit of a fight against this type of action, he is commonly known as the “Eat More Kale” guy. I respect this guy, and I hope he doesn’t give up the fight. Since he really only sells one product, and the massive billion dollar a year chain called Chick-fil-A decided they were going to put him out of business, he really has no choice but to fight.

Have a watch and let me know what you think.

The guy has raised almost one hundred thousand USD on kickstarter.com already to do a film on this, I have nothing against Chick-fil-A, in fact I never even heard of them until now, but I hope they lose a lot of money due to this, I hope they lose so much money that all the other companies that do this kind of stuff start thinking a bit more about their actions before doing them, as currently there doesn’t seem to be any repercussions for putting the little guy out of business, and sadly it is a very very common practice. I might start posting all the threats against us here similar to the Piratebay, but I will not do that yet.

Here is his campaign if you wish to contribute: Kickstarter Campaign

Google documents any such practice they find out about on chillingeffects.org, one particular story here I found very interesting as it resonates quite a bit with my current issue:

 

Letter To Warner Bros. From Groucho Marx

1947 Letter From Groucho Marx

 

Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd Lyrics and Video

Jan 24th, 2012 | Filed under Artistic, Music, Pink Floyd, Song Lyrics, Video

This is a song that has been stuck in my had now for a little over two decades, one of my favorites. Wish you were here by Pink Floyd.

Enjoy!

Pink Floyd : Wish You Were Here


So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell,
Blue sky’s from pain.
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl,
Year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
And how we found
The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

We Need Something More Productive To Do

Jan 8th, 2012 | Filed under Interesting, Opinions and Perspectives, Video

I have been wanting to write something on this for quite a while, but have not been able to put it all together into an article that would really express my feelings of chaos towards the modern consumer world. Consumerism was all I knew until I started traveling in my early twenties through many “Undeveloped Countries”, and “Developing Countries”, but since then, I have seen the effects of consumerism change these societies, and I do not like it very much. I have been accused on occasion of being the “Anti Consumer”

The funny thing is, I have never been able to escape the consumer model, I have sold electronics and cars, been a travel agent, and done tech support for computer companies, I also taught for a few years, but really I was just teaching people how to make money in the modern consumer society.  I still sell things for a living on my website, I tell myself it’s OK since we all need clothing, but the real reason I do it is because it’s he only way I know how to feed and clothe my family.

Wikipedia defines Consumerism as the following:

” Consumerism is a social and economic order based on fostering a desire to purchase goods and services in ever greater amounts. ”

I had someone mention to me the other day how some of the very religious countries I have visited  such as India, Laos, Nepal or Myanmar spend far too much energy on their religions, some of these country’s religions employ over 80% of their work force in temples and other religious activities, and with so many National religious holidays, no one really has any time to do any work.

Religion of Consumerism

I responded to the comment that hardly anyone does any necessary work in our society anyhow, last time I checked, less than 15% of the western population actually has a job producing anything at all. The work most people do is just paper shuffling, managing, serving, selling,  and general nothingness just to keep us all busy. The only thing most of us ever actually produce is more waste for the landfills.

My friend responded something to the effect of, “What are all the super religious people producing then?” I told them they were producing “Peace of mind, happiness, and hope”.

Now I am not a very religious person, and do not feel that utopia would be created by everyone simply running out and joining the closest religious institution to their house. I actually appreciate the critical, and often out of the box thinking a less religious society is able to produce. I am just saying that sometimes the very religious, sometimes referred to “Backwards” or  “Overly Religious” do quite well with producing happy  places for everyone to live, that are far less destructive to nature than consumer societies, and in case your confused, we are a part of nature, also needing clean air and water to survive.

I can hear people saying to me now “Where I live is clean and beautiful. ” and maybe it is, there are still some places far enough away from the car fumes everyone is used to breathing, clear skies free of smog, haze and acid rain without industrial chemicals and fertilizers tainting the streams near their house, and still have beautiful lakes you can swim in and drink at the same time some places on this earth, but there are not very many of them. People have gotten used to where they are and can no longer dream of a time without our very polluted, over consuming, industrialized world.

I saw this video below recently, and I thought it did a pretty good job of summing up the modern world, and consumerism. I vote we make things better that last longer, and stop throwing out things that still work.

Have a watch, it is worth the five minutes.

So what do we do then if we scrap the consumer society?

The following video has all sorts of ideas about what is right and wrong in society, and all sorts of ideas about how to fix them. I am not in favor of overthrowing those in power,  for I believe seeking power will always be in some man’s nature, fighting it would only lead to unnecessary bloodshed, since once the rulers are thrown out of their castles, it will then be occupied by another, so what is the point?

The movie below is two hours long, and again it is worth the time, if you do not have two hours right now, you may want to come back and watch it later, I do not agree fully with all of it’s solutions, but I do agree with the problems it points out:

I am surprised where only 30% of the world actually needs to work for all of us to have the things we need, and yet so many people work until they are dead, or face starvation, doing things that in the grand scheme of things don’t really do anything for anybody. Why can’t we all just work two days a week or retire at 35 or something instead? I would rather see people producing things that we can all enjoy,  than filling out forms and filing them away where no one ever sees them again.

Rather then the bureaucracy, inflation and consumerism we have, I would prefer to see a new age of art and innovation, a new Renaissance. We don’t need to throw out the monetary system, but we do need to stop printing more money if we want to end inflation. Since it seems that giant banks tend to control most of the world, it would be nice if they allowed us all some slow, measured, and painless change. Ending inflation would give us all much more free time, free universities would give us the means for new innovation, and hopefully through it all, society can find more productive things to do.

Sources – Civilian Employment by Industry and Country: 2000 and 2010

Santa And I Know It Video

Dec 20th, 2011 | Filed under Music, Video

Here is a bit of holiday cheer,  spread by the fat man in a white beard.