Thursday, August 9, 2007


It’s Thursday in Southern California, sun streaming through the window on the mid-morning following the 12:48 A.M. 4.6 magnitude earthquake – the violent jolt then roller kind – centered but a few miles from where I am in San Fernando Valley.

Thursdays have morphed considerably from those of my childhood Scottish ones spent collecting my Granny’s pension with my Mum and the prerequisite Lucky Bag containing sweeties (candies) and a cheap toy for my troubles trudging under gray skies and rain swept streets. Simple days in simpler times. Cause and effect in a lucid synchronicity. Go and fetch and be rewarded….

Instant karma!

Today, looking out on my world of change – geographical, financial,
cultural, and climatic – that constant Law of the Universe, Causality: cause and effect, has apparently forsaken its roots planted in simpler soil for a more complex sophisticated tangle of twisted routes. High gain seems no longer exponential with hard work. Personal and professional pains are evidently not always related to self-inflicted wounding ways. Even show business celebrity and riches are ever increasingly sharing a clear disconnect from talent and ability.

Open a current copy of Billboard, turn on the television, go to the cinema, listen to a politician – where is the craft anymore? Sure, the money’s there (even more so now than it ever has been) the awards are presented (again, more numerous are the statuettes, the discs, the glassware than before) the fans and voters are supportive (yet again, in greater numbers and more vociferous than ever.) Graffiti on the wall is screaming: Fame and fortune out of sync with faculty….

Big effect for little cause?

A swift glance at the machinations of what goes on and what gives today behind-the-scenes reveals a karmic Universe at work still. A vast spill of blood, sweat, and tears is, as ever, going into hauling earthbound dim lights zenith high, making them big stars and galactically bigger bucks. Only it’s the marketing gurus, the spin-doctors, the PR people that are investing their energies and capabilities into launching and maintaining its clientèle, rather than the raw talent itself being ground and honed on the whetstone of its craft.

However, a noticeable and marked subsequent effect of the Marketing Departments’ successful cause is their own rocketing rise through the layers of executive power and decision-making. Instant karma and apparent logic dictates marketers know who and what is marketable, thus spin-doctors practice green-lighting people and projects more and more. They flood the market with dim lights skillfully prepackaged as big stars, thereby effecting the market’s supply perversely. The public’s – the audience and the voters – demand for some form of entertainment and government is unchanging, so are malleable under the conditioning forces of this enormous and ever-growing “forced market” the marketers have created/caused under the auspices of their equally effective behemoth departments of position, power and influence. All this madness of apparent undeserved, unearned, universe out-of-whack prominence and prosperity merely represents the shift of perspective going down. One man’s meat being another’s poison, and all that good stuff.

Life’s a Lucky Bag.

As a species, we crave/demand to be entertained and governed, albeit within unspecified limits. And as such, a ravenous demand makes the supply a veritable lottery, bringing all kinds of clowns, jesters and jokers to play at our table, and make feast from our hard-earned dollars. However, limits are limits regardless of their specificity, or otherwise.

A day is rapidly nearing when the entertained and the governed will effect a ground-shaking change in the marketplace. Like brats spoiling for improvement, they will stomp up a tectonic tantrum till they get a new Lucky Bag containing sweeter candy and a superior toy. Best dive under your lacquered mahogany desks now, marketers, nigh is near
for an almighty earth shattering experience that will make this morning’s 4.5 seem child’s play.

© 2007 Nigel Hamilton-Allan

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