Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Heart of the Beast

The Occupy movement had a bunch of tents set up in Olympic Plaza for about 2 months. As protests go it was pretty civil. Nobody got tear gassed, or tased, or beaten on. Some Calgarians were somewhat inconvenienced by the protest, in that some groups had rented the park, and ended up having to share it. I honestly don't know how much of an inconvenience it was. To the tune of about $53,000 all the taxpayers were inconvenienced, since that's what it will cost to clean up the damage done to the plaza, or so says the City.

I walked past the encampment twice every working day. It was a pretty motley bunch of tents. In one sense I support what they were on about. Our society is becoming more and more unequal, with the richest few percent getting more and more wealthy at a faster and faster pace. Almost everybody else is losing ground or just barely holding it. Clearly the benefits of a free market economy are not evenly distributed.

Nor should they be, entirely. Some people take larger risks with their money and time to provide goods or services that they hope will be popular with the public, and reap commensurate rewards. I don't think that many people begrudge the wealth that Steve Jobs accumulated. There are any number of people who are richly rewarded for their efforts, and who's to say it's wrong? It's not like anyone forced you to buy the Harry Potter books, or records by the Beatles (back when they sold records), or buy tickets to see Leo and Kate almost go down with the ship.

Then there are the scumbags that steal from you. They run banks, investment, insurance, and many other kinds of companies. They create complicated trading instruments that nobody understands, selling out their own clients in search of a way to internalize profit for them, and externalize all the costs to society at large. Their companies sell you cheap and shoddy goods made by slave or near-slave labour in China and other more obscure places, containing products that are not subject to materials testing because the only criteria is that they be cheap. Which explains why toys contained cadmium, and powdered milk contained melamine.

They own the government to subvert regulatory standards, and have laws changed to favour them and hinder their competitors. They own media companies to control the news. They control their own armies, and have hooks into the police and national armies, via that control of the government that I was talking about. In the USA, corporations are people, legally speaking, and can spend any amount of money to influence elections. Their only reason for existence is short term profits. Such people and groups are a blight on the free market system, a cancer that needs to be cut out.

It's a sad state of affairs, and I can totally understand why people are protesting. Eventually they left in the face of a court order, but they left a neat sculpture behind. I saw it Monday morning on the way into work, and it had been taken away by the time the work day was over. It's a handsome piece, quite well done as far as I could see. I'd like to see it put back, if there's a way to display it safely. I'm not sure how strong or durable it is. I do not want to see it hidden away in a warehouse somewhere. The elites need to be reminded that our society has to work for everyone.

Here's a pic. Well, crap, that didn't work. There is a nice  photograph on Flickr, taken by Robert Thivierge. You can see it here. I tried to leave a comment or send a request to use it here, but effing Flikr!!!! Grr. It insists I have an account. Which I don't. And I can't get rid of it till I log into it. Which I can't. And it won't let me log in any other way. So that's been a bunch of Grrrr this evening.

While I was looking for another photo I could put here, I found this. I am thoroughly amused.

On another front, the heart of my beast has been a bit sluggish lately. The massage on Sunday wiped me out. I was a mess after. There was all sorts of tender bits. If JL lived closer I'd have had her come back next week. I should have stretched on Monday evening but I didn't.

Tonight I did a good stretch and core session, mainly trying to work out the tightness and get some mobility back. Then on the bike for an hour, doing mostly easy spin, trying to get my blood flowing. Then some more stretching after. It feels pretty good. It helped ease some of the frustrations from work. I don't think SAP is good for my blood pressure, or at least how some people are dealing with it is.


  1. I think that sculpture is great. I hope it gets put back or displayed somewhere appropriate.

  2. There's been a bit of media comment about it, mainly saying it's well done, both artistically and as constructed. I only saw it myself in the dark, so it's hard to really see it, and see how well it was welded. I'll be writing my Alderman to urge them to display it somewhere prominent.


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