Friday, November 21, 2008

My New iPod Comes With Wings

A Short Trip Down a Nostalgic Side Street

I was recently given an iPod, with sports earphones, and it has substantially altered my lifestyle. It takes me back, misty-eyed music swells, to my punk rock days. We had a philosophy of DIY or "do it yourself" which encouraged bands to bypass the corporate model by self-publishing via cassette. Cassette trading was originally made popular by the faithful fans of the Grateful Dead who would dub live recordings off the sound board and then trade the best performances, "I'll trade you Meadowlands '87 for Oakland '79!" The punks got the message loud and clear. Cassettes were extremely cheap to mass produce and, as with CDs today, highly portable - so a band could have a box in the back of the Van with t-shirts, some vinyl, and cassettes. This is when the Walkman entered the scene.

The genius of Sony has always been to be the first to offer the best in quality and innovation. The Walkman was already a smash hit in Japan before it was released in North America. Instead of a massive boom box, a music fan could now have their own portable tunes for about $50. I was managing a cross Canada tour with Vancouver favourites Payola$, on the way back home after conquering Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto in a successful first tour of these Canadian power cities. We were told by a friend at our label, A&M Records, that label mates Squeeze were performing that night at the University in Calgary and, if we could make it, we were welcome to see the show. Interestingly, Squeeze was one of the few bands along with Bee Bop Deluxe, Stiff Little Fingers, and Brian Eno that everyone on board the bus liked and we had been playing their tape Argy Bargy on heavy rotation since we left home.

We were in Lethbridge, Alberta, when we got the message some 200 km from Calgary with only two hours until show time. We arrived 3 1/2 hours later, after a flat tire, at the University of Calgary only to hear the strains of the last power chord from Squeeze's encore to a crowd of adoring throngs. The band knew we were coming and we were quickly whisked back stage to join them for wobbly pops and good times. After about an hour of shits and giggles it was time for both bands to get back on the road. In a spirit of kinship, Squeeze gave us the extra cases of beer and a few bottles of wine that had been provided as part of their rock star rider and kindly donated them as a comfort during the treacherous Rocky Mountain summits we would be traversing at about 2 the morning on our way back home.

Before they left, Squeeze's manager, the notorious Miles Copeland took me aside and said, "Here, I want you to hear this." He took a small pair of headphones with orange foam covering the ear pieces and placed it on my head. He pressed play and the song "Jukebox" off Payola$ first EP exploded inside my head and wickedly fried my brain pan. This already amazing song was made better by the phenomenal "wall of sound" the Walkman provided. He let the song play for thirty seconds, long enough for the effect to sink deep, then he removed the headphones and said, "that's the track we want to release on the next IRS Compilation," referring to his then successful, now defunct, record label. Then, as was his way of parting, Copeland dazzled me and accomplished his task thus. "I was just on tour with The Police, last month, in Japan. Our label representative over there has a friend who works for Sony and they gave one of these to everyone on the tour," he said, holding a small audio revolution in his hand with Japanese lettering where later the familiar English PLAY would become iconic in my mind. For the next few months I told many people about the magic box that had transformed my ears and turned me into a walking jukebox. Two years later, even my mom had one and became somewhat adept at making mixed tapes and thus one revolution went fully mainstream.

These days, my new iPod 2Gb Shuffle is impacting my ears in many delightful ways. Since 2001, since the unofficial start of WWIII, I have refused to drive my oil guzzling, crap emitting, bit of road smegma on wheels that produced a brutal 6 Metric Tons of carbon every year that I drove. My main way of getting around Vancouver is now public transit. I work from home and telecommute, but I do use the bus frequently and I live in a tough, inexpensive, part of town so the bus can sometimes be a chaotic experience. The iPod works as the Shield of Perseus when it comes to deflecting bad vibes. Panhandlers ignore you, crazies leave you alone because they realize you can't hear them and are usually disarmed when you don't react to their craziness. It is a boon to daily urban life and I applaud the company that produced such a device and I thank the friend who gave it to me. My urban survival kit is now well stocked.

The only thing more better than the urban privacy of the iPod is that the sound quality of the unit is incredible. Though digital, the fidelity is superb and I am hearing new parts in songs I have been listening to for many years. I have an extensive collection of iTunes on my hard drive and now this tiny bit of technology has freed my music so that once again, for the first time in thirty years, I have my music going mobile. I thank Mr. Jobs and the rest of the wizards at Apple Inc. for their unprecedented run from the ancient Apple II to the latest iPod. Although overpriced, Apple is the purveyor of some of the world's most popular and sophisticated digital appliances. Now if they could only come out with an iPhone for under $100...

© 2008 Leigh R. Wolf

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Memo from the Illuminated Ones (5=6)

(I found this in my mail recently and thought I would pass it along.)

Sent: 11,993 c.e., in the 16th Lunar Passage, Day 7.6.5
Sent from: undisclosed
Prepared for: operatives and allies
Subject: Annual Report to Galactic Central
(Common Tongue: English)

WE have recently delivered the ARtGC to The Council and this memo contains highlights from that report. If you want to examine the document in its original and complete form, please refer to: *582YT0284-8/z. This document will officially begin after the next full stop.

For the first time in over sixty (Earth) years, since their second global conflict, the people of Earth have been brought together by circumstances that are, once again, dire and quite dangerous. It is our sadness to inform The Galactic Council (TGC) that, in spite of our most subtle and persistent efforts, the tribes of Earth continue to suffer and are not yet ready for even basic consideration of any early recognition. The latest global war has occurred brutal expense and the suffering is now effecting all tribes. There was an error in our projections and when we tried to correct the path, predicted events began occurring rather quickly leaving us with no other option and we have now begun reprogramming.

Our physical presence on Earth continues to interest a small group consisting of conspiracy buffs, fandom, psychotics, and those whose fate places them on our pathway. The Illuminated Ones have recently released a new (covert) satellite system that will boost our system control psionics (the folk fogger) by a measurable factor. As per our last report, the boom-to-burst cycle is still our most successful embedded strategy. With no excuse proffered to TGC for the over-burst of enthusiasm from the current regime, we stand by the formula which has worked with ruthless efficiency for more than 123 cycles of Earth (local) time.

The Instrument
For three thousand Sun cycles, Earth has been rebuilding and evolving at an exponentially increasing pace. This "meme" or viral style accelerative, interactive instrumentation is like planting seeds within seeds and watching each generation, growing stronger, stand on the shoulders of their parents. The patterns emergent right now are brilliantly insistent echoes calling back to the last planetary transition phase with psychic activity levels equal to 1928, 1938, 1968, and 1978 combined. The total effect, at all levels of society, is devastating to the ego structures of the humans who all, secretly, believe that they themselves, alone, should rule the world at least once in their lives.

Earth Has Recently Observed 3 Nearby Planets
With so much receptivity, literally, in the air we are experiencing the best/worst of times. They are all, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, laying in the gutter but a few of them are looking up at our long term Solar-orbiting recording-platform. Apparently, our marker warning just past Pluto has been discovered and although we estimate it will be well over thirty Earth years before they could actually reach the platform, we have begun to phase the unit out and will, within one cycle, replace it with something smaller, more efficient and more clandestine. (The planets so noticed are gas balls but there is an established presence, apparently silicon sentience, on a planetary Moon.)

Awards and Rewards
We have recently sent three cubic tons of containerized artifacts (treasures, cultural totems, delectable treats {try the wasabi pistachios), and the usual sample packs back to Centaur V with a label instructing it not be opened until it actually reached the planet, as instructed. Best wishes to the gang at Alien Specimen and Artifact (ASA) for their great gag gift. (We vomited for hours from the smell of The Graaal's urine, we owe you guys.) Locally, our investment in Apple Inc. has done very well for us in a bull market. He is curently sitting on $26 Billion in cash, he owns the single-largest minority interest in Disney/ABC TV, his iPhone is about to come in under $100 and he will sell many tens of millions which will all play content from ABC-Disney studios which he will then sell through his iTunes. - with everything converging, he is moving up to a new level. The iPhone is actually a small personal computer capable of the same neuronic mutation as with the popular desktop models but smaller, faster, and remarkably cheaper. (I highly recommend to all field agents they lose their old Blackberries and switch to iPhone.) We are pleased.

The Usual Mammalian Politics
The election of Sen. Barack Obama to their highest office serves to noticeably speed up the process of evolution. Our agents in place have informed us that the transition has been, so far, seamless and transparent. According to the same, highly-placed source (labelled gwb01), the "football" will handed over at One Minute to Midnight, January 19th, in the year 2009 (EST), It will be, of course, another in a long line of decoy footballs we have used, with U.S. Presidents, for over forty years now. We have similar scenarios in every Capital city, in every nation that has Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) capability, except for India. We believe this deception is necessary in preventing thermonuclear war which we have done successfully since the second year post-contact (1951CE). (We are not sure why but our influence with India has never been strong. Our best minds think it has to do with Hindu religious practices and the relationship their beliefs have with the science of Quantum Physics.)

Our Most Sacred Duty and Honour
The ultimate goal of the Illuminated Ones has been, since inception, to establish one global government and one citizenry that are illuminated beyond the desire and need for their own self-destruction. (Reminder: This noble endeavour and goal has roots in the annual Greater Galactic Growth Guarantee (G4) Conference and Spa Treatment, on Clokterrace Minor. Have your visitor vouchers validated now, before this conference fills up!) As we have pledged to TGC this, our most sacred of duties and our most sacred of missions in that our existence is due to the mission to which we owe all.

Somewhere Over The Event Horizon (a local jest)
Over the last few cycles we have had a small success in creating a baseline of civility that the vast majority of tribes adhere to, though their interpretation of the baseline can be quite bizarre - see Communism, Capitalism, and their unique translations of "democracy." We are gratified that the number of survivors has increased dramatically since the second global conflict, around the time we last reported to TGC. Life expectancy, child survival rates, epidemic exposures, pandemics, and military accounting have all improved, measurably, beyond the requirements of The Council's Edict. It is our determination that our primary task will be completed within a seventy-cycle phase, and at that time we will return to our home on Sirius Range, all the while conducting further research into Earth's relative timelines via standard remote proxies.

Concluding Thoughts Regarding This Assignment
There is enough, for everyone, alive on Earth today and for all those born in the future if only they get their system of distribution in order. The gross inequity of their current distribution practices is responsible for 98.7% of all ongoing conflict, down from 99.3% in the previous century. The slight decrease in volatility has been as a result of the introduction of personal digital tools towards the end the their 20th century, Like previous key moments, these results tell us in the earliest stages that a primary mutation has already taken place and the psionic current of exponential fractalistics has been deeply enhanced and expanded. Thanks, we'll be here all century.

© 2008 Leigh R. Wolf

Friday, November 14, 2008

American Roulette

Who Has The Bullets Left To Play...

American Roulette * (thanks 2 Robbie)
Approaching the 45th Anniversary of JFK's Assassination.

As Governor of California, Ronald Reagan introduced lethal injection to offer death row prisoners a better, bitter end. Later, as President, he enshrined his legacy by secretly financing Contra cocaine production ensuring his nation's supply remained strictly under CIA control.

Can Democracy Survive the U.S.A.?
The Romans perfected the art of political assassination and our "American" cousins are the modern inheritors of this ancient craft. The Romans may have murdered more Senators, but only our friends from the U.S. could have conceptualized corporate killing. In our post-Godfather reality, any moral layers that may have separated business from organized crime have, in the 21st Century, virtually disappeared. Blackwater is the most visible example of private armies organized on a for-profit basis and are, by all accounts, doing deadly business.

Thought Control For Fun and Profit
Other corporate-fascist entities like Haliburton and Bechtel have had free reign servicing the armed forces and are much the richer for it. As an example, these two corporate states are major proponents of a fluid philosophy where typical assistance consists of supporting elections until the results put Moslem extremists in power. The next day results are quickly scuttled, candidates are sent home crying, and martial law is declared. Neighbour states worry that the disease could quickly spread and infect other regions in the area. The U.S. promises them a new McDonalds and Showtime and ESPN and they usually give up whatever the U.S. wants (Oil and right-of-way). In the good old days they would kill people the U.S. told them to kill. These days most Middle Eastern states are far too rich and civilized for such barbarism and they leave it to the rogue states like oil-poor Syria or various pipsqueaks in Eastern Europe to provide such services.

A Loyal Lamprey Doesn't Suck on Sundays
Although the men that lead these covert industrial giants drape themselves in the symbols and icons of patriots they are the farthest thing from someone who truly loves their country. It is their intention to use war to bleed the United States, mercilessly, until their is nothing left to suck and only then will they be satisfied. Could you ever believe me if I suggested that the lead executives of any corporation that makes bullets, or bombers, or bacterial warfare agents are tragically, and completely, psychotic and everything they say or do must be scrutinized by trained professionals.

The Official Day of Reckoning
Heavy conservative forces have been gradually assuming control of the foreign policy engine since Eisenhower labelled it the "plex" back in '59. Perhaps control was first lost even earlier, reaching back to 1946 shortly after the exploding of two atomic devices, but everybody knows the official day of reckoning and atonement was November, 22 1963. The day of infamy when the Divine King took a wrong turn on to Elm Street and the forces of deception dropped all of us into this weird, collective nightmare.

To Put Things in Context, I'm X Years Older Than My Teeth (I'm 50)
As one of Her Majesties oldest, living, punk rockers I was alive for the assassination of JFK, as well as RFK, and MLK, but I was still in low digits and don't remember much. What I do remember is a change when the Seventies finally arrived and the "Age of Aquarius" ended. There was a short, strange, transition period before the fan got all fithy. I remember how even trace elements of Woodstock were destroyed by T-Rex, Lou Reed, Led Zepplin, Rocky Horror, Iggy, and the New York Dolls. A few years later, The Pistols and The Clash were the next courses in our musical meal and by 1980 the whole community thing was long gone. Punk lasted about 18 months, one digital generation, which is exactly as long as one could wish for.

Listen for Bagpipes to Announce the Arrival
Ever since Kennedy was assassinated, back in 1963, the flame keepers of the U.S. intelligence community (anti-Communists all) began their covert mission of secretly building a "republican guard" inside the central government apparatus. Making a safe home for those true believers willing to give that extra effort on behalf of god (jehovah) against god (allah). Deep inside the bowels of State, Justice, and Commerce the "patriots" gathered in cabals of conspiracy that make the Cheka look like chatty children. They have, long ago, infiltrated every government agency with intelligence gathering capabilities. Where, over time, the perceptions and values of the typical civil servants have dramatically shifted from Kennedy's "best and the brightest" all the way to George W. Bush's current "worst and the whitest."

Buy, Frankenstein, Buy!
Typically when Presidents and their Generals are feeling the genocidal itch the populous struggles, the noose tightens, order and control slide down a slope of confusion and consumerism. Subsequently, bigger lies are told and more people believe them increasing the collective delusion and denial. The Military-Industrial-Complex (MIC) is thus satisfied along with the political leaders who get the best sex of their lives (Eros + Thanatos). Ultimately, the more goods and services consumed, the nicer cars the Generals and Presidents get to ride around in. This sickening, psycho, social-cycle slash scenario is much like how the world actually functions. In over two thousand years of monotheistic, women suppressing culture we are still not ready to give up possession of our individually wrapped sticks of processed meat food by-product.

Losing a War Never Meant to be Won
These days in the U.S.A., lively debates over taxes have been replaced by languid debates over torture used on inner city populations - already systematically abused for decades by alcohol, tobacco, junk, crack, meth, police, and the wicked evil war on drugs. Urban youth see their future crawling into a cardboard box on a downtown side street. Their parents have been told to shut-up and conform to their televisions, looking for new developments on their favourite sitcoms and night time dramas which they integrate into their own lives.

Extremely Pale Face Needs Sirius Saving
President Eisenhower warned of a military industrial complexion needing annual billion dollar rejuvenation. No one listened closely to his words of warning and if they did, they did not act on his warning in any meaningful way. With the death of their Divine King, the forces of empowered corruption increased the size and scope of the War in Southeast Asia and began the slow, inexorable, process of sucking the United States dry. That they continue this practice today, in Iraq and Afghanistan, comes as a surprise to no one.

Teachers Keep On Teaching, While Preachers Keep On Preaching
We are all living in a collective fantasy where 30,000 children die every day of starvation, and then we stick millions of people into site specific areas called New York, Mexico City, and Tokyo. Then we dare them not to go crazy while we surround them with crime, disease, poverty, abuse, and many other miseries of the inhumane condition. We believe the simulations are more authentic than the realities and nothing is real until it's been on television. We believe we can have it all and we believe we deserve it more than anyone else ever has or ever will. In the land of the narcissist, the ugliest one is King.

© 2008 Leigh R. Wolf

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Can Democracy Survive the United States?

Planetary Report Card of the United States 2004-2008
End of Second Term - mid-November 2008
End of Times or Just End Of Bad Times?
See ya later, Dub'ya...

The Planetary Report Card
In my supreme arrogance, which I tragically and perpetually misread as bizzaro confidence, I have decided to grade the United States, as a political entity, over the last four years. Since it is very late in the second Bush term, it should come as no surprise that the report card is quite disturbing. Areas that have always been strong for COTUS* including planetary group dynamics, progressive science and medicine, and a clear separation of State power from "faith-based" machinations, have all suffered. Since Bush the Younger had the misfortune of 9/11 landing in his lap, almost every strength of the United States has been downgraded to weakness.

* see previous blog entry for a complete explanation.

Mid-Level Prime Ministers Against Using Bambi
Globally, the vast majority of countries have established normalized relations with the U.S. Government. But ask their people on the street what they are thinking and feeling about U.S. aggression and they will fill your ears with a stream of bad words like Imperialism, torture, thermonuclear extortion, Petrol-Presidency, destabilization, and unilateral actions. Ask the people standing next to these people what they think about Disney and they will smile and tell you about their Uncle who has ears like Dumbo or how they cried when Bambi's mother died.

Relative Deprivation Cuts All Ways
These are many countries where U.S. technology, culture, and many other goods and services are desired by the population. But only as long as they are being denied by their own own circumstances. When, as in the case of Iran, these things are forbidden by the West through embargo, the population soon wants nothing to do with these, especially if they are U.S. deliverables. The concept of relative deprivation cuts many ways. They see iPods and iPhones and they want them but if western beliefs are tied to the technology, in a way that disturbs Islamic sensibilities, they will have no part.

Why Other Countries Sense Cultural Uncertainties
Bush, like Reagan, wanted to maintain and perhaps even strengthen U.S. military presence throughout the globe. Instead of causing the economy of the Soviet Union to collapse, this time the strategy has caused the internal economy of the United States to haemorrhage and the doctors in attendance are all PhD's in Evangelical Literature from Bob Jones University except for a few Jewish Psychiatrists, there just to observe. The Emergency Room staff are all trained in the Lord's Prayer but are hazy on Triage procedures. Ambulance attendants can recite the Ten Commandments, don't take illicit drugs, and volunteer at their local food bank, but they don't know anything about stopping the bleeding. But I digress...

You Are Missing The Big Picture
These days media reports are treating it as if the "economic crisis" is somehow a separate issue from "the two wars." Both of these "issues" are about uncontrolled spending in a megalomaniacal administration that uses weapons and soldiers to back up their lack of original ideas. If the banks have stopped lending money it is not completely because a sea of bad debt exists and is causing hesitancy among lenders. The banks are terrified that the U.S. Government cannot guarantee the solvency of itself, much less the entire banking system through the FDIC.

A Murder of Crows, A Conspiracy of Capitalists
Right now the U.S. Government is making select, and secret, deals with Banks that are remaining unidentified, for now, due to fears of creating panic withdrawal scenarios. Paying out Billions in promises to banks is one way to go, but it is stridently suggested that the net beneficiaries of any recovery plan be the population and not the banking elite. Not the same moneyed martyrs who made up their own messy bed, but instead of sleeping in their own filth are instead couch surfing at the White House (where they share filth with W.).

The Biggest Are Always The First In Line, With Hand Out...
In many ways it is traditional that "corporate welfare" was the first choice of the Bush administration when facing meltdown. By abandoning the last of their principles, as they slip out the back door on their bellies, Bush and his cronies insist on paying anti-tribute to the spirit of Ronald Reagan by increasing the size and scope of "the problem." The "Libertarian" President was, more ironically, the man responsible for the largest build-up of, non-military, government infrastructure ever. That is, until George W. Bush and his Dick moved into the neighbourhood. The figures are impossible to track but even a untrained observer can reasonably guess the combined debt and deficit of the United States may just come in over $2 Trillion.

And His Side-Kick, Dick "I Have Become Death" Cheney
George "Bankrupt" Bush wasn't born a Baptist. His was a typical evolution production from Ivy League to his dad's business interests. He met failure at almost every level except when he tried for the big prizes which were, seemingly, his for the taking. Governor, President, and now a life of horses, mending fences, and being celebrated by the Christian Right Militia. I only hope they enthral him with tales of football that make him happy. The crippling debt, the political memories of shame, the unilateralism of his foreign policy, the attacks on science, social welfare, and humans all add up to George W. Bush as the most hated human on planet Earth, ever. (Don't blame the Internet, it just takes naturally occurring events and distributes them over a very wide area.) But in every sense, his trembling legacy is extremely well documented and widely available for future generations to observe, study, and judge for themselves.

We Do Live In Interesting Times
The U.S. has borrowed the $700 Billion dollars, rumour has it the money was received in Euros, from assorted cronies (China). But what if these new buddies (China) turned out to be fair weather friends with a completely different ideology? What if, instead of being passive, (as the West eats and dreams) China was simply waiting until the perfect moment to flip the turtle on its back and watch it squirm. Such an act would symbolize the passing of an economic and political baton from the older, stumbling, empire to the brash newcomer with better speed and endurance but still decades away from the kind of collective imagination needed to create technological breakthroughs of their own.

Finally, The Bloody Report Card
It is interesting to read "progressive bloggers" who are ecstatically announcing the untimely death of one Uncle Sam and are writing his colourful obituary. Their thinking is completely premature and, although a few bits around the edges are certainly getting rusty and even stinky, the old boy is certainly up for more than a few spins around the global axis. Perhaps the amount of friends left to hang out with has declined in recent years, but no doubt fresh attitudes and new energies will inspire more positive future interactions. (Group Participation Grade: C-)

Copyright Infringement, Even If Not For Monetary Gain...
If you ask a business executive in Ecuador, or Russia, or even China, what is the single most important tool they use on a daily basis, if they are any good at their job they will tell you "Internet." The Internet was invented by the United States (ARPAnet) in 1969. The web (WWW) was invented in Switzerland in 1990, but was popularized in the States and was invented on an object-oriented platform (NExT) created by a U.S. Citizen (Steve Jobs). Other U.S. inventions include the transistor, the microchip, and the Atomic Bomb, which was invented mostly by Germans living in the United States at the time. But it was a President of the United States (Truman) that dropped the big one, and then the smaller one, on unsuspecting Japanese civilians who, according to popular history, probably should have known better. (Community Share Grade: D-)

Achieves Objectives But Does Not Share Glory Well
This all history, but let me assure you that the basis of the United States is about creating something from nothing. Both the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights were unique in their time, representing the finest ideas the new world had to offer and transforming many a mind with their daring revolution. Later, both transistor and microchip were conceptualized and realized in the United States, leading the world into an increasingly new paradigm. In short, I have confidence in the ability of the citizens of the United States to once again extricate themselves from their current, terrible, situation but this time to do so, hopefully, without causing inappropriate damage to others. (Works With Others Grade: C+)

Greetings From The Great Off-White North
As one of the single largest consumer/polluters on the planet, consuming many times more than they produce, the people of the United States are almost as bad wastrels as their northern neighbours. In reality, Canadians are the single worst polluters on Mother Earth with each person generating 6.9 metric tons of garbage per year. This inexcusable statistic is anchored in the cold fact that Canada is a western "have" country that efficiently exploits its own resources and thus can afford the plastic, Styrofoam, and other toxic materials that presently exist, and hardly decay, in the local landfill. (Green Community Circle Grade: D)

The Adolph Hitler Award For Crushing Dissent Goes To...
With the suspension of certain civil liberties, due process, habeus corpus, and the Geneva Convention, the Republican administration of George W. Bush has trampled over the rights of U.S. citizens and has made life increasingly tough for anyone who looks vaguely Semitic or has a strange-sounding name like Fidel or Barack. Under the suspension of liberties, under Bush, anyone can be held indefinitely, in a secret location, and be tortured on a regular basis until they will confess to anything including starting the First World War, the killing of JFK, or the destruction of Madonna's film acting career. (The MLK Citizenship Grade: D-)

You Can Take Your Reward Points And Put Them In Escrow
Every country has an internal thermometer that tells the tale of stress level across the nation. The U.S. has many such devices able to tell the moods of consumers, the electorate, viewers, listeners, and even those too young to have an opinion. In other words, they got files on everyone. The rumour is that certain publicly held companies hold the psycho-graphic profiles of every living person in the continental United States. Do you have reward points? Having been researching now for more than two decades the results are extremely sophisticated with software able to pinpoint and determine voting habits, sexual preferences, racial orientation, work habits, marital stresses, insurance risks, vacation destination trends, and, of course, patterns of consumption. (Self Status Quotient: 72%)

Surprise, George W. Bush Fails Again!
Overall, the state of the planet has rarely been in worse shape with global climate shift and economic crisis, combined with the war against Islam, creating a formula for disaster. You have to go back more than two hundred years to find a time of equal potential for total system restart. The current President will, exactly like Kissinger, Nixon, Reagan, and a host of others, never see the inside of the prison he deserves for crimes against humanity. (Overall Grade: F)

© 2008 Leigh R. Wolf

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Marketing Memo for the New Boss

Re-naming the Brand: as COTUS as apple pie?

Sir, the term "American" is somewhat inaccurate and actually misleading. As a Canadian, I am technically an American - a North American. Which is all any citizen of the United States can ever be. The fact is, some kid in Mexico City or her cousin in Chile are Americans, North and South Americans. I believe that your average citizen of the United States will respect the inaccuracy in usage of the term "American" and, having magically transformed since your election, will no doubt want to make the change right away. If we then agree that a new term for "American" is needed, my suggestion is COTUS, which is an acronym for Citizen Of The United States. This, of course, is a variation of the U.S. Secret Service' designation of former President Bill Clinton as POTUS or President Of The United States. The original usage of the acronym was for Constitution Of The United States, but ever since the beginning of Bush' second term the document in question has been declared missing.

I know there will be howls of protest from a few quarters but this solution has the powerful advantage of being both grammatically and dramatically correct. The United States of North America is another way to go but, so far, the response has been sketchy among our friends of the flag focus groups. And although we know COTUS will take some getting used to, we believe the benefits will be staggering.

Your citizens, as COTUS, will be able to walk the streets of Havana without fear of any type of political retribution. COTUS would be welcome in Iraq, Vietnam, North Korea, Syria, and of course Cuba, your citizens no longer perceived as global Imperialists but will now be seen as safe and friendly consumers of global products. Your wallet will become your passport to the exotic pleasure of forbidden regimes. Imagine the thrill of real adventure touring when you visit the Golan Heights or Ho Chi Min City and have your picture taken beside unexploded U.S. ordinance. Or visit the Khyber Pass and stay overnight in an Afghanistan cave where Osama may have slept. Unimaginable pleasures await after completing the simple act of changing your collective designation.

Most importantly your friends and neighbours will appreciate the act as one of contrition. At this point in the unfolding of history, such an act would indeed be timely and wise. Even the people living in so-called friendly countries have, in many cases, developed a profound aversion to anything "American" over the past few decades and the brand stinks. In re-branding as COTUS you will be making a major step in reconciling with those neighbours and friends who have come off an eight-year bender and are looking to detoxify ASAP.

I understand that the actual pronunciation of the term, COTUS, may be disturbing, at first, to a small sample who, in user testing, thought it sounded to much like Kotex, a popular brand of sanitary napkin. Others thought the term sounded too much like "coitus," the Latin medical term for sexual intercourse. Still others, online research indicates, thought the term suggested "caught us," as in you caught us red-handed. In spite of these minor bumps we ask you to move forward on this opportunity as soon as possible.

Our research has shown us that if introduced with ubiquitous saturation in key markets, the new term will be taken up first by Tweens and then by other early adopters. Within eighteen months we can guarantee that slightly more than 82% of the television viewing public will have conformed to usage, four out of five times, when asked to idenity themselves.. With children, the actual numbers are in the high Nineties. Within the two-year time frame most "Americans" will have forgotten they ever used the term on a regular basis and within a five-year window, the term becomes anachronistic and archaic.

The brand known as America is badly tarnished. Some say "America" is damaged beyond any form of redemption. But most Canadians would scoff at such a crazy idea. The United States we grew up with, as a next door neighbour, is as the poet Leonard Cohen says, "cradle of the best and the worst." As much as we admire the Moon landings, computers, the Internet, and deep dish pizza, we are horrified when we are forced to face High School Massacre 3, Jesus walking beside dinosaurs, celebrity self-parody, and the only country to ever use a nuclear weapon, twice.

Sir, we ask you consider this a small penance for the real damage incurred during the preceding eras. Make concrete the promise of your historic election and celebrate as you set people around the world free from the heavy restraints indicative of the policies and actions of former regimes. Your role as a global peacemaker and leader will be made solid and your people can only benefit from such profound internal changes. Change is the only guarantee to count on over the next four years. Ultimately, I know you can inspire the United States to great things, and let America take care of itself.

© 2008 Leigh R. Wolf

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Advice for President Barack Obama

The election of Barack Obama to the worlds' highest office is a blessing on many levels. Most people I know are filled with elation and have no problems expressing feelings of joy. For the first time, the Internet has played a major role in helping to elect a candidate from the grassroots up. And after the most exhaustive Presidential election campaign in decades the citizen electorate have presented the world a rare prize. The citizenry of the United States have elected a cool, confident, and profoundly intellectual human being as our next President.

As a Canadian I write "our" next President with respect without hesitation. Like billions of others on planet Earth, I am directly effected by the policies and actions of the U.S. President. When Bush the Younger was lying to Congress and the United Nations he was lying to every person on this big blue egg. Since Bush has taken office, the economy has tanked, the U.S. is stuck in two unpopular wars, and President Bush has less public support than Nixon had at the end of Watergate. The man is vilified in most corners of the planet and has done severe, some say irreparable, damage to U.S. interests abroad and the Dollar.

There is no way you can compare Obama and Bush except that they are both carbon-based life forms that require certain nutrients and oxygen to survive. Where Bush is somewhat the boor who has all the linguistic flair of a tongue tied adolescent, Obama is eloquent, sincere, and mostly brilliant. When partners are mentioned both men fall short compared to their wives. Laura Bush is, after eight years, a somewhat unknown quantity who has done little to effect the public perception of her as quiet, perhaps shy, perhaps indifferent. Michelle Obama is definitely Barack Obama's partner in all things and will offer her husband the best kind of advice, that containing only honesty and candour. Both men seem richer in spirit having partners who support those needs.

My advice for Barack Obama, who qualifies as a younger person, is fairly straightforward and comes from my heart by way of my brain. Take your time about about anything that people tell you has to be rushed through. If the last eight years have taught us anything it is that great patience is required to manage anything and the society of instant gratification has no place in the Oval Office.

As Laurie Anderson says: "this is the time, and this is the record of the time." Your time has come sir, and as Captain you must understand your powerful influence on the crew and passengers. As an example, many very popular entertainers, actors, athletes, writers, etceteras, will quickly fade from the public eye based on perceived connections to the previous era. While this will be cause for celebration among many of your followers those folks on the red side of the aisle will be less than impressed. Unless reassured by the forces of positive change, these dispossessed, new-conservatives are sure to get up to mischief Mr. President, so make sure your security is impeccable.

As our Captain you not only steer the course of many lives directly, you have a powerful indirect influence on many parts the globe. It is time for the great ship, "America," to pull anchor and sail back to port. After decades of U.S. military presence in too many countries (Germany, Japan, Iraq, to name a few) it is time to bring your troops back home and get them to work at greening the environment. This means programs to re-integrate veterans into society with better than good benefits, decent housing, and meaningful educational opportunities.

Ultimately, any reduction in military power will save both money and lives. If the capability to wipe out the planet is reduced to tens of times over from thousands of times who is really going to care? You have an opportunity to do the world a genuine service and reduce U.S. military activity enough to declare a peace dividend. I understand that half of your GDP is based on war industries or goods and services related to war. I acknowledge that sacrifice will be made by millions who will need to reorient and retrain while the economy, and society, goes through this period of adjustment.

The political climate of today is ripe for anything. A daring proposal from the next President on blending economy and environment could empower your allies and give your fans in the stands cause to cheer. So Mr. President, use your 100 Billion neurone brain to communicate to your people, and the world, that although there will be short term pain, delayed gratification is noble of spirit and that is where the people of the United States really live.

God bless you and your family. Goddess keep you all safe. If, over the next four to eight years, there is anything I can do for you please, let me know. I am open to all kinds of invitations or proposals and I like the cut of your jib. Let's connect the next time you're in Vancouver and seeing as a Democrat administration is coming to Washington, DC I might just cross the line in the new year and visit, but only if the Canadian dollar improves. Yikes, uhhh sir, anything you can do to help us out there would be golden.

© 2008 Leigh R. Wolf