Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Rock 'n' Roll: A Search for God

Twisted Sister. Pure Evil.
Whilst rolling my rack around today trying to find where items of clothes are supposed to go, I suddenly remembered back to when I was a youf (adolescent) and going to a Youf Group called 'Alternatives' (so-named because it was an alternative to going out and having fun).
Of course, this was the perfect time to indoctrinate us poor unsuspecting youfs regarding the dangers of teen sex (it will kill you), homosexuality (it will kill you) and
drug use (it might be fun but it's also very naughty and leads to things like teen sex and homosexuality and we all know what they will do to you!).

But perhaps my favourite experience was being made to watch a video called 'Rock and Roll: A Search for God'.
The video consisted of trying to scare kids away from listening to any music that was not Amy Grant and/or David Meece, two of the United States' biggest Christian Pop stars from the 80's (and over there, Christian Pop is BIG).
The video showed things like Queen, Cheap Trick, The Beatles, Twisted Sister and AC/DC film clips, covers and lyrics.
But the finishing touch was the section on, yep, you guessed it, backmasking, a
phony technique concocted by the guy who made the 'documentary', I suspect.
Backmasking involves artists recording lyrics backwards and overdubbing them on the frontwards lyrics so that the listener hears a subliminal backmasked message.

Put it away Freddie... Please.
Apparently, Queen backmasked the lyrics, 'I like to be bisexual' and 'Some of us smoke marijuana' in their song Another One Bites the Dust. No wonder I feel all frisky whenever I hear that tune!
So, of course, Eric Holmberg (
the director of RaR:aSfG)'s dire warning is that mainstream pop musicians are trying to subvert the minds and lives of everyone who has access to a radio toward a sinful life. Ho hum. Christianity itself does a good enough job of driving people away from it. No need for muso's!

But has Eric ever heard of GWAR, I wonder?
He might have a seizure if he ever does!
Whoah! Just check them out!

And this is one of the tamer ones.
But really, who are GWAR? A bunch of Dungeons and Dragons rejects wreaking vengeance on their omnipotent DM's of yesteryear, Dark Lord Morshagroth, or somesuchthing?
Here's a purported example of GWAR lyrics, so deft, so refined, so IN YA FACE!:

Sexcuse me, but what-a good is all the violence in the world unless
it is toppled with limitless sex?
Bring out the limitless sex-object and allow me,
Sexecutioner to sexplain the seriousness of this subject

I can only imagine how terrible the music must be...
Although they are a joke band. The members probably have PhD's in marine biology or something.
Anyway, anyway...

You wanna talk rock 'n' roll a search for god?
I already found him and his name is David Bowie.
'nuff said.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Sever the strings!

Okay, so imagine back to when you were five.
It's Christmas Eve night.

All month you've been surfing the wave of mounting anticipation and it's crescendo is reaching explosion point.
You're sleepy but amped on too many noxious christmas mix lollies and mince pies, the coloured fairy lights wrapped round the christmas tree all soft focus, T.V. blasting special holiday programs of universal happiness, the family self-reflexively preparing snacks for the big red fella, everyone happy, et cetera, et cetera...
Time drags and you never want the delicious expectancy to end as surely as you hope to wake up any moment now to open the gifts you know are waiting just for you.
The thing that impresses itself most upon you is the morass of sensations intensely intense and pleasurable, appealing, as they do, to a complex series of unnameable primordial desires.

Okay... Got that?

So tell me, is this how some workers feel when pandering to their employers' whims, sublimating their desires to a dubious 'higher power'?
Because if it isn't, I'm at a loss as to what possible pay off could really be worth these people selling out their work mates.
Two union reps of mine stood by wilfully and wantonly as
their so-called team members were grilled and officially 'written up' by their bosses because they were dumping stock en masse (at my workplace, some dumping of stock is expected to happen).
The issue is, the mega op-shop that I work at has quotas for their staff. In fact, 'team members' are shamed by their supervisors if they do not meet unreasonable quotas for sorting through peoples' discarded clothing (this is what led to my colleague dumping heaps). All of this despite the fact that the quotas are utterly unreasonable and lead to a shit standard of work (with high output).

Me at my work station being micro-managed by my supervisor
I dared to suggest at a team meeting t
hat this treatment of the team member in question was disrespectful if not unjust because it held him accountable for a situation that is largely the product of poor management. My argument being that disorganisation and unreasonable demands are going to lead to employee coping behaviour that management won't like. An obvious case of structure helping to determine individual actions.

Management at my workplace.
But the union reps were utterly enamored of the store manager and were umming and ahhing at her equivocations and non sequiturs as though she were shitting pearls of wisdom left, right and centre.
Later, one of them saw fit to explain to me that because I am new to the store I didn't understand the complexities of the situation and thus put my foot in it (and this hot on the heels of my supervisors telling me to pull my head in [although not in so many words]).

The store manager has chronic myopia.
Now another employee at the shop who is also my good mate has been written up because he is consistently not meeting quota and will be fired by this time next week if he does not meet quota even though he is on probation.

Management's ideation of the perfect employee.
I think I understand the situation here pretty well; I've seen it numerous times before: managers will always (at least publicly) hold workers accountable for problems caused by shit management.
It's a version of that time-honoured oppressive technique of blaming the victim.
And my union reps, in this particular instance, were there cheering it on.
Were there fairy lights shining in their eyes, illuminating their repressed need to return to the womb as they twisted the knife?
Hmmm... My next entry will be upbeat. Promise!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

He covets the precious things of the shop!

Yes, yes, what's all this shouting about? We'll have no trouble here!
This is a local shop, for local people!

It's been a while since last I wrote and between being forced out of my home by my flatmate and paying extreme amounts of money towards settling bills, there have been a few laughs - mostly supplied by my new employer.
I had a job as a waiter at a lame-o restaurant and was being ripped off at $13 an hour.
Now, thanks to a mate, I am working at a massive corporate op-shop.
Their induction training program was an amazing computer based voyage of discovery and vomit!
These American and Canadian managers detailed with glee how Savers disposes of their unwanted clothes that they get for peanuts from Non-Government Agencies:
They sell them to people in Africa and Asia.
That's right! Sell them. As with most other things here in the west, the shit we don't want we ship off to people not us in far-off lands!
Also, there's a bizarre older person worship that goes on hereabouts too:
Cheap and nasty knick knack shit that generally gets thrown out for pretty good reasons is sold here at bargain basement prices(!) so that 'our older customers' can find those 'treasures' they so desire.
That's right, shit round here is referred to as 'treasure'.
Further, the workers who work the shitty low paid jobs here are referred to as 'Team Members' but management are not team members, oh no, they are management and they live upstairs and can look down on the sales floor at all times from their offices. It's a little like a panopticon - you never know when you are being observed.
It's such a great experience and long overdue for me. I'd forgotten what being a wage slave is like. I'm actually oddly grateful to Savers.
Talk about class war.
Capital sucks!