Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rant: What I Dislike About Many Greens and Environmentalists - Understanding Human Motivations



Let me start off by saying that we need to protect the environment. We need to keep the beaches, rivers, lakes and land clean. We need to take care of ourselves and our earth for our children and their children and their children's children. But we also need to wake up and see what is really important in our lives.


Snowing like crazy in Tokyo... Global warming, don't you know?


Now to the point: I'm really fed up with self-righteous militant and nearly militant Greens and Environmentalists. I am sick and tired of their ignorant and ill considered ideas. I am really disgusted by their "holier than thou" attitude and thinking that they are always right and you are always wrong. They are just as bad as religious zealots: I don't mind someone having their religion and their beliefs. Great! Do as they wish. But do not try to push these beliefs on me or other people. I really don't like their abrasive and antagonistic attitudes.


I also wonder just how stupid these people can be. On one hand they will complain about the government being completely corrupt and in bed with big business when it comes to things like nuclear accidents and BP oil spills... Or banking corruption and the destruction of the working class... Yet, on the other hand, they want the government to tax us so that they can take care of the environment? Astounding!


This is a government, in Japan's case for exapmple, that can't even handle the bookkeeping properly and now has the country on the ledge of bankruptcy and people want to give them more money!? That would be like handing care of your household finances to a crack addict and expecting that he will take care of things properly. 


Today it is snowing and it is snowing hard. This is at least the sixth time this year it has snowed in Tokyo. This is the hardest and deepest snow I have ever seen here. In the 27 years I have been here it has never snowed more than twice in any winter. Most winters it doesn't snow at all; and if it does, the snow melts immediately upon hitting the ground. But this is at least six times in one year! To illustrate the rarity of this more, just one month ago, on Jan. 24, it snowed more than 4 cm in Tokyo and that was the most snow in 6 years. Today's snow is much more than that!  






Thousands of people have died in Europe, almost 100 in Japan, because of this winters cold and snow... It is the coldest winter in nearly 30 years... But is it a fluke? Nope. Just two years ago, they said the winter of 2009 ~ 2010 was devastatingly cold. This year, 2012, is the death of the Global Warming Cult. R.I.P.


The rule of thumb is that if there is a crisis and the government comes along and says, "pay us more money and we'll take care of it for you." Then a wise person (and I do mean wise and intelligent experienced and thoughtful person) would automatically become suspicious. Trust me. Over 3 decades in the mass media and many years as a station news director makes me much more of an expert on that than any university professor.


Trust that everything you see or hear is told to you by someone who has a motivation for it. If it is on TV or media or in publications, then you can pretty much be safe in assuming that there is a strong profit motivation. If it comes from any government or quasi-government source (that includes your government, the UN, the IPCC, etc.) then you can be 100% sure there is a profit motivation. Motivation is the key word. If you do not understand this simple concept then educate yourself right now with this short video. It's a simple course in Praxeology, the science of understanding the purposeful behavior of human beings:  




Yesterday I posted about some Japanese kids terrorizing some monkeys in a zoo. In Japan, this didn't make national news. Please refer to: Kids Acting Like Animals Have to Apologize to Animals:


It also shows a good thing about Japan: Even though these kids were drinking underage and throwing fireworks, nobody claims that stricter laws need to be made for firework sales or alcohol sales.

Everyone knows that these kids were just causing trouble. People in Japan generally don't think about passing laws to try to make people into good human beings.



My point was that, in the west, people are confused with the role of government and personal responsibility. One intelligent reader also pointed out that, had this been in the west, it would have hit national news with an outpouring of sympathy for these animals and a public outcry for severe punishment meted out:


If this happened in the UK or US, the response would have been tremendous, and out of all proportion compared to the effects.


Since the animals were at a zoo, and therefore famous; the sentencing would be much more severe for the perpetrators, because the media would drum up the war chant of “murder the marauders who caused mayhem to the monkeys!” Plus in our modern era, what else is there in life, but to become famous? To be blunt, how else could a judge or attorney become famous, but to listen to the mob, and give them what they want?

In a similar city, there would probably be hundreds of poor homeless people that nobody cares about, and who would've wound up eating out of rubbish skips, and sleeping under bridges...



The militant Greens will gladly destroy people, property, business and lives to save the earth... They wouldn't lift a finger to save a human life. Here's an example: When making a program satire of the entire Global Warming Debate (being neither pro nor con) in 2007, an irate listener called the broadcast station and threatened to, 


"Come down to the broadcast station and set it on fire and kill everyone inside!"


I laughed and told him that,


"Please come along and try. I will be waiting for you alongside the local police and the fire department."


We never heard from him again. That was in Tokyo. Like I said, this has been one of the coldest winters in a long time... I wonder if he is still thinking about running around and setting buildings on fire? If he is, it's probably just to stay warm.


There are many, far too many of these militant (may I say frickin' crazy) people running around. They will violently protest the killing of 600 non-endangered species of dolphins in Japan (because, as the reader commented they are "famous" - and animals are "cute") but I don't see them protesting their own countries involvement with US and NATO bombing and the starvation tactics and killing of millions of Iraqi people and children...


Or for another example, there are people who are taking dog and cat food to the Fukushima disaster area to feed strays. I don't get it. There's 400,000 people there with lives shattered. Thousands of children have lost parents and siblings. Tens of thousands are still live in temporary shelters and these people are spending their time helping stray animals? 


If you think that organizations like PETA do a good job, think again. Read this:
PETA kills more than 95% of all animals in its care.


Where are these twisted people's priorities? (Watch the video again: Money).


I am not pleased about this killing of pets or dolphins either, but instead of going and fighting about that, I have, for example, thousands of children with incurable diseases like deadly cancer that need help in my back yard right now. Pardon me for having twisted priorities but I think I'll spend my time helping handicapped and crippled and terminally ill kids... I can't stop people from feeding the animals or pigeons in the park, but I have to wonder where their priorities are.  


If you are going to talk the talk, walk the walk...


People have got to start thinking with their analytical minds, if they have any left. There was a time, several years ago, I was having a discussion with an extremely confused German friend. He insisted that,


"We need the government to make rules outlawing guns."


I completely disagreed. He then added,


"If the government doesn't make laws outlawing guns, then crazy and dangerous people will have guns!"


"You mean, like they do now?" I retorted.


If you believe that guns cause crimes and murders then you must believe that cameras cause child pornography. 


Personally, I don't think so. (By the way, Canada has many more guns per capita than the USA and does not have a gun murder problem so don't tell me that the USA problem is because of guns.)


Like, I said, people need to open their eyes and stop taking the propaganda they hear and see as gospel truth... 


The best thing would be for people to start thinking for themselves. But that might be asking for too much.


NOTE: It warms my heart to see other writers who think along the same lines as I do. Here's one of my favorites with an article that just came out. His name is James Delingpole: Why I am so rude to Warmists


Here's a TV report about today's snow:


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kids Acting Like Animals Have to Apologize to Animals



A bunch of screwed up kids decide that they were going to raise hell at a zoo and threw a bunch of fireworks into a Monkey pen for laughs. Totally a cruelty to animals case here.


"Oh! Kids these days! They are hopeless!"


They got busted and as part of their punishment, they were required to apologize to the monkeys.


Japan Today Reports:



Five youths have apologized to the director of Kyoto Zoo after admitting to breaking into the premises early one morning in January and throwing fireworks at the zoo's monkeys. As part of their punishment, the five were ordered to apologize to the monkeys and clean their enclosure, according to a Fuji TV report.

Police say the group, all 18 years of age, consisted of high school students, construction workers and beauticians. According to police, the group had been drinking alcohol before they illegally entered the zoo on Jan 3 and threw lit fireworks into the monkey enclosure, Fuji reported. 




I wonder who translated in monkey language or do these kid's who act like savages not need translations services? But, then again, who am I to talk? I don't remember terrorizing animals when I was drunk, but do remember raising hell... 


It also shows a good thing about Japan: Even though these kids were drinking underage and throwing fireworks, nobody claims that stricter laws need to be made for firework sales or alcohol sales.


Everyone knows that these kids were just causing trouble. People in Japan generally don't think about passing laws to try to make people into good human beings.



Monday, February 27, 2012

Hysterical & Hysterically Funny Maps of Nuclear Radiation and Danger Zones in Japan



I just read some reports saying that Tokyo was so radioactively contaminated that it needed to be evacuated - all 30 million plus of us who live here. That alarmed me so I got out my handy dandy Geiger counter and measured the background radiation here in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo. It was basically the same it always has been. And completely within safe levels. (To see the current levels look that the top of this blog for link.)


If you want to read this outlandish reporting, you can. It is here. But I will quote this report at length:

(San Francisco) Widely known Physicist Dr Paolo Scampa, the publisher of the EU AIPRI Blog and an eminent chemical physicist, announced today his latest calculations of deadly radioactivity in Tokyo itself.  Both the nuclear regulatory and media responses have been missing in action.
.....
The Tokyo suburbs are about 100 miles or 160 km South of the six destroyed, deteriorating and badly leaking nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Station for Nuclear Reactors.
Dr Scampa stated:
“An absorbed dose of 2,94 microSievert/hour at 1 meter of soil means an average deposit of 9,065E5 Bq/m2 of Cs137 -0,661 MeV-. This amount for 1 meter is in fact situated between a maximum deposit of  5,439E6 Bq/m2 for low energy gamma rays from radioactive elements such as U238 (0,0495 MeV) and a minimum deposit of  2,176E5 Bq/m2 of very energetic gamma rays from radioactive elements such as Co60 (2,55 MeV). This dose corresponds to 25 times the maximum permissible “artificial” hour dose (0,114 microSievert/h-1) and 5 times the maximum permissible total – natural and artificial – hour dose (0,571 microSievert/h-1). [1]” Dr. Scampa. [End Quote]
This is a tragedy of huge proportions. There are 30 Plus Million People in Greater Tokyo. It is brought home personally to each person who sees the work of Fukushima Diary by Mochizuki.
There are thousands of US troops stationed with their families in Japan. American politicians must remove all US Troops and dependents from Japan immediately.



You might notice that Dr. Scampa's statement is about dangerous levels of radiation. This I don't argue; those dosages are dangerous. My only question is where in Dr. Scampa's statement does he say something like, "Tokyo is experiencing currently dangerous levels of radiation"? He doesn't. This is typical of the wild unsubstantiated claims being made in some circles. 


May I ask that the facts be given and then relevant information also be given? I don't see how a dissertation on dangerous radiation levels - something I can learn in a book - can be directly related to facts on the ground here in Tokyo by what I have read in this article. This reminds me of the claims about a year ago that the "Top 1/3 of Japan is uninhabitable for decades." 


This sort of panicky reporting is still going on... Fear mongering and completely baseless.


But how do the Japanese see it the nuclear problem? Here is a bunch of excellent, funny and cynical maps that have been making the rounds on the Internet here in Japan amongst the Japanese.


This is from the Testosterone Pit: Nuclear Contamination as Seen by Japanese Humor

After an endless stream of horrid reports on the tragedy of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, and the hotspots that are cropping up in odd places, and food scares, and even contaminated grasshoppers, we’re ready for something ... lighter. This has been circulating in the Japanese internet community for months, has garnered countless comments, and a lot of nodding, agreement, and knowing smiles. Though it’s not based on science or statistics, and certainly not on any polls, it represents, in the eyes of many Japanese, a larger tongue-in-cheek truth.
Note: the areas seen as contaminated are marked in red.














Sunday, February 26, 2012

TV is 80% Bullsh*t the Other 20% Are Commercials - The Mass Media Dumbing Down of the Populace



I had always dreamed of working in TV. I studied television and cinema in my university days. I worked in the mass media for nearly 30 years. After 20 of those years, I finally woke up and realized what kind of brain damage TV was and we threw out our TV set. We haven't missed it once.


I remember when my mother-in-law protested our disposing of the TV and said, "If my grandson doesn't watch TV then he won't be able to understand what the other kids in school are talking about!" To which I replied, "You mean he won't be able to discuss the stupid crap on TV like the other kids in school do? Okay. That's a good deal."






I've said it many times before: TV is 80% Bullsh*t. The other 20% are commercials.


It's this way for just about everything: FM radio, am radio, TV, magazines, all print media are merely pages and screens full of advertising with blocks of fluff in between the ads. The public has become so dense that they fail to realize it... You think that, maybe, the public watches too much TV?


This is why pablum like the Grammy Awards, Academy Awards or sports like the Superbowl and World Series are touted as "important." They are not important. They have become a total and complete waste of time yet few see the problem.


It's okay to enjoy a game or some short entertainment but what people have lost sight of is that these things are not important at all. They are distractions from what's really important.  

I just received a mail from a long time reader concerning my recent post: The McDonald's Effect: Why Music, Literature, Cinema and the Arts Have Become Mediocre - Just Like Processed Cheese. He says:


I think about this type of stuff now and again,... mostly every time I turn on the radio in the morning.

Rather than playing some music, all the FM rock stations are yuking it up with some kind of comedy between songs. I can't stand listening to them - especially in the morning - the only alternative is to turn the radio off.
Again in the afternoon after the comedy hours are over they might play an up-beat song I like only to be followed by a very slow song. This happens Every Single Time! It's almost as if there's a law against playing two or more up-beat songs in a row so the population doesn't get fired up too much.
I might have mentioned this before, sorry. It just bugs me why things aren't better, and as you say, inspiring for the youth.



Well, for a short explanation watch this:

video

There is a reason and a plan as to why this dumbing down relentlessly continues. This is not Conspiracy Theory. The dropping of academic scores in America for the last 50 years is well documented. 


If you are interested in learning more, may I suggest that you start your search with the words "dumbing down Lew Rockwell," you'll find many articles there. It's a start.


Also, please read two articles I wrote about TV:


The Plug in Drug


The Plug in Drug Part Two 

How to Make Six Figures a Year From Your Linkedin Account - Linkedin Needs More Truth in Advertising - My Linkedin Page is a Big Joke


I have a Linkedin page. I like Linkedin. It's OK, I guess.... Well, sort of. Well, come to think of it. No, I don't. I don't like Linkedin... But read on, this post is about how to earn six-figures from your Linkedin page... 

My (former) Linkedin bio photo

Do you know what Linkedin is? Linkedin is a great place where you can connect with people you don't know or care about and brag about stuff that doesn't really matter. It's kind of like going to a high school reunion where everyone who thought they were hot stuff in school tries to impress everyone else that they are still hot stuff even though they now work part-time as a plumber or are on food stamps!

Heck, nothing wrong with food stamps! Join the crowd! I just got my Obamacard today so I get food stamps too! Hey Linkedin, where do we enter that sort of information on our biographies?

Once again, Mr. Obama has his figures all wrong... It's nearly 46 million strong on food stamps!

I use my Linkedin page as a deadly-serious sandbox and playground for my twisted humor. I put some serious stuff but mostly all sorts of funny comments and that silly photo on my Linkedin bio. One of my friends saw it and said, 

"Mike! You'll never get headhunted with that photo you have with that stupid brown wig on!"

I was offended. I thought I looked impishly handsome. I replied,

"Really? So you think I should have worn the purple wig or the metallic blue one or my platinum blond wig instead?"

See? I really do have all a platinum blond wig and a blue and purple one too!


Maybe the wig is why I have never had anyone call me even once for a job interview after seeing my Linkedin bio!


Speaking of that, I been wondering exactly what the purpose of Linkedin is anyway? I mean, if it is a site to look for a job then that's cool, but what's the point of posting your bio on Linkedin if the only other people who are going to see it are also out of a job and looking for one too? 

Isn't that a contradiction? It's so confusing. 

The best thing about Linkedin is that Linkedin shares are down from IPO almost as much as Groupon shares are! Come on Linkedin! You can do it!

If Linkedin would clarify why we're here, kind of like 
Facebook does, that would clear a lot of confusion.  


Is Linkedin merely a place for unemployed men to be bragging to other unemployed men? Not hardly.

The truth is that Linkedin was designed for the gainfully employed to show their old high school girlfriend (who savagely dumped them just before the big year-end dance) that she made a mistake that she'll always regret because you - and only you - were the one who really loved her most (that b*tch!) When you understand that, then Linkedin makes sense. 

That's why you rarely see girls on Linkedin. They don't go there because they can't really figure out what the point is either (remember they were the ones doing the dumping). Did you know that, by my latest calculations that guys on Linkedin outnumber women by over 25 to 1!!! 

Women can turn it on and off like a faucet... Guys can't. Because so many guys are pissed at old girlfriends that explains why guys who aren't looking for jobs put up braggadocio and their profiles and bio on Linkedin. They do it to show the world (and that b*tch) that they screwed up big time messing with number 1!!!* 

I think Linkedin should have a "reality recommendations" part and, instead of just positive recommendations, it should also have a "condemnations" and "personal attacks" place where real comments about your shady character can be added. Stuff that can't be blocked by the page owner. Real opinions on your work quality and ethics (or lack thereof) like these from your former employers:

"So and so worked here for six months and things went fine until we began to notice huge amounts of toilet paper missing from the restrooms and forks, knives and spoons missing from the employee cafeteria." - Manager

Or, remember your very first job? Working at your dad's company?

"So and so was a totally worthless pile of crap employee. He was the worst putrefying heap of overblown bovine excrement imaginable. All his life he's been useless. Totally night and day difference between him and his extremely successful older brother." - Your father

Now that's what we need! Ask any marketing expert and he'll agree with me! What we need is more truth in advertising! 

Oh? What? Oh yeah...How to make six figures from your Linkedin account? That's right. I almost forgot! Anyone out there know? Because, hell, I haven't a clue... I can't even get anyone to call me for a job interview!

*Don't look now, dude, but she actually married a guy who makes more in a month than you make in a year! He's so rich he ain't even on Linkedin!


Inspired by Jonathan Clemons and Roger Marshall

Thanks for the silly images. Check out my new favorite blog site: The People's Cube. It's kind of like the Onion for Socialists... Pretty funny satire... Especially if you are twisted enough to put a funny photo of yourself on Linkedin.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Helicopter Cruises in Tokyo! A Fantastic Experience! Romantic, Exciting and VERY Reasonably Priced!



I have found one of the the most fun and exciting things to do in Tokyo and that is going on a breath-taking helicopter cruise around the city at day or night. There is a company named Excel Air Service Inc. that now offers helicopter cruises around Tokyo that are fantastically fun and the memory of a lifetime.



I took my wife and son to Disneyland on Thursday and then we stayed in a hotel overnight. The next day we went to Excel Air Service at Urayasu Heliport to ride on their wonderful helicopter cruising service. Urayasu Heliport is just a few minutes from Disneyland. Excel Air Service the service that caters to big Hollywood stars and executives when they visit Japan. People like Tom Cruise "cruise" over Tokyo using Excel Air Service so you know they are the best and the safest! (Sorry, I couldn't resist the "cruise" joke!)

This one seats eight. There are several helicopters available.

Incredibly, the prices for the helicopter cruises are unbelievably reasonable. My son and I went on a 20-minute flight during the day (all together we spent nearly two hours having fun at the heliport and lounge) and we had a blast. I expected prices to be in the neighborhood of ¥40,000 to ¥50,000 for each person, but no! The price was about ¥22,000, including everything, for the two of us! 



When you enter the Excel Air Service lounge, you will be greeted by the check-in clerk just like you would at any airport... Of course, it's a helicopter heliport! 


The heliport has a lounge that is comparable to a VIP lounge at Narita for a big airlines like JAL or ANA. Top quality service and a free drink menu!


There is an outdoor patio area that over looks the beautiful Pacific Ocean and a nice view of Disneyland and Disney-Sea. I imagine that this is the place that guys would want to bring out the ring and propose (maybe after the flight?)


Our helicopter (this really is the helicopter that we rode on) coming back for a landing.


I took this photo of Tokyo Sky Tree. Click on image for larger view. Wow! It was a breath-taking view and Tokyo for as far as the eye could see!

Leave Urayasu Heliport, go around Ginza, circle Tokyo Sky Tree, and back. 
Wow! What a fantastic helicopter tour over Tokyo!


I can imagine that, as word gets out about this wonderful helicopter cruising service over Tokyo and the world's tallest structure, Tokyo Sky Tree, that this cruising in a helicopter service over Tokyo is going to become one of the hottest romance spots in town. I can see this as being the ultimate place to propose marriage and, heck, just to hold hands! What excitement! What fun! 

To get to Excel Air Service Inc. Go to Maihama station (the station you go to get get to Disneyland) and take the free bus shuttle (about 5 minutes by bus). By car? Free parking too!

〒279-0032

千葉県

浦安市千鳥14番地

浦安ヘリポート

Tel: 047-380-5555

Chidori 14 Banchi
Urayasu City
Chiba Prefecture
279-0032
Tel: 047-380-5555

Map: 




If you go by car, look for this sign by the side of the road... 


The McDonald's Effect: Why Music, Literature, Cinema and the Arts Have Become Mediocre - Just Like Processed Cheese



I call it the McDonald's effect. The McDonald's effect is the action and mind-set of making things into a mass production type of set-up; into a boring, "this one same as the last one," process oriented system. Great if you run a factory in China. If you are trying to do anything unique and creative with your life and business, you'd better stop this.




The "process oriented system" reminds me of an old TV commercial I saw once. The owner of a hamburger stand was always thinking of ways to cut corners. He cut corners and cut corners... Finally, he came to the idea of using reusable plastic pickles because "nobody ate the pickles anyway."


Genius idea... If you are running a mass production, everything is the same as the last one, type of setup like McDonald's.


Pardon me, but I hate McDonald's (except the coffee) and think the food there tastes terrible.


I think that just about everything today, when it comes to music, literature, cinema or the arts seems to me to have become mediocre or is moving quickly in the direction of the McDonald's effect. In fact, when it comes to these "arts" it is much like what is happening to business; things are moving more and more away from individualism and creativity and more and more towards production. Everything seems to be getting cheaper and cheaper and more and more like McDonald's food. 


Everything in big business and big, corporate "art" seems to be moving from a "results oriented" base to a "process oriented" base


Results oriented means just that: the end product and how the end product is made is what is important. Sometimes it is very slow but the end product is intended to be unique or of very high quality.


Processed oriented means that making the largest amount of the end product at the cheapest price possible is important. Processed orientated businesses are like factories stamping things out of molds. They reward cutting corners and costs and quality to the minimum.


What I mean to say is that, it seems to me, there is nothing at all recently that is capturing the hearts and imaginations of the young people of the world. How can it? When everything becomes like McDonald's food, what's to capture hearts and minds?


Or is it just the way I perceive it as being? Read on and see if you agree with me...


The Harry Potter movies were fun in 2001... At least the first ones were. Now it's been ten years and, well, Harry at 18 years old is not nearly as cute as Harry at 8. Oh? The books? Oh those... Well, compared to say, Dickens or Tolkien, JK Rowling is 'pablum.'


The Star Wars movies were great, as far as comic books go, in the late 1970s.


Movies in the golden days of the 1930s and 40s up until the 60s were great. Today? Comic books from the sixties are turned into Hollywood "Hits."


Besides cinema, what else has become like chewing cardboard? 


Michael Jackson, probably the last of his kind, electrified the entire world with Billie Jean in 1982 and then self-destructed in 1993 with a rumored 16 million dollar out-of-court settlement for child molestation and entry into drug rehab... The he overdosed... That's been happening a lot recently.


And speaking of music and self-destruction, the other day the Grammy Awards were held. How many other people besides me view the entire charade as fake and plastic? Even when it comes to memorializing the deaths of former great performers, these types of ceremonies trivialize and cheapen things. Or, as my friend described the Grammy Awards, "...They turned everything into processed cheese." 


Today's movies, music, literature and arts all seem like they are rarely good. I think as a whole we are in a cultural funk. 


Though, do not misunderstand, there are individuals who I think are very good. And that is the key here: the individuals.


I remember when I was a child in the sixties, whenever a new major motion picture was released or a new album by a big star, like, say the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, it was a big deal. Today? "What release?" And, "are those guys still together?"


I work with many people in TV and radio and can tell you that I can count on two fingers the people who I know who do world-class work or even try to. The rest of the 99.8%? Why bother? They are all in the wrong business. They should all be working for banks and punching time clocks. 


I can't tell you why cinema or literature or music have become so much like processed cheese. I have a guess. But I can tell you why one part of the arts has gone to hell in a hand basket. I can tell you why the broadcast arts are so poor today. 


Some people will tell you that TV and radio broadcasting are so bad because of lack of money. But I think that is just an excuse. That is using the "which came first? The chicken or the egg?" Problem as an excuse for making a poor product that no one wants to buy.


Why don't the TV and radio stations have any money? Because they have no sponsors. Why don't they have any sponsors? Because they've lost all their listeners and viewers. Why don't they have any listeners and viewers? Because the programming is boring. Why is the programming boring? Ah! They'll tell you because they have no money.


See? It's an excuse. Here's the real answer:


1) The programming is boring because 99% of the people do a half-assed job.


2) 99% of the stations have been cutting corners for so long that when competition came up (like the Internet) they were caught off-guard. 


You really have to wonder how it is that some guy, somewhere, alone in his house could come up with better and more interesting content than a TV or radio station with hundreds of millions of dollars of staff and equipment could... But he did, they did, she did and the results are here for everyone to see. This is where the results oriented individual comes in: His primary purpose is not a processed oriented result. It is a results oriented outcome. He wants quality.


Let me give you an example that I am very familiar with. It is about the FM radio business... As far as #1 (above) is concerned, take the case of radio Deejays; 99.7% of them are lazy and do the minimum they need to do to get by. They make no effort to learn about new music; they don't go out; they don't read (or if they do read, they read music magazines! Ha!) They think it is not their duty to learn about new music and to bring it to the masses, so they don't. Most Deejays don't even go to stores or search the Internet for new music to play. They are puppets who are told what to play. Or, even worse, they are stuck in the past and continually play what they liked in high school!


Fools! Can you imagine, say, a fashion magazine constantly running articles and ads from the sixties? Sure, retro fashion might be cool, but at least it is updated. Old music is just that: Old music. It has its place but it will rarely capture the imagination of the youth.


In Japan, these Deejays learn new music from Billboard Hit CD compilations from the USA! Billboard? Billboard is a magazine that list things like the Top 40. If it is in Billboard, it is already old.


When Rock radio was new and exciting in the 1950s and 1960s, Deejays found new music and played it. Deejays were personalities. Today? Nope. Like I said puppets; people with no faces and no names.


Don't believe me? Quick! Give me the name of one radio program! Can't do it? That's OK. Most people can't.


It is pretty obvious by the state of radio today if this situation that has been going on for the last twenty years has been good for the health of the industry or not. I use the example of radio, but this has been going on in TV, cinema, literature and the arts now for decades...


The arts are like a once popular mom and pop hamburger shop. 


When the mom and pop hamburger shop was first started, it was delicious and very popular. All the kids and people loved it. It was always crowded. But as time went on corners were cut and costs lowered in order to increase the profit line. That made for smaller and smaller burgers and french fries. It made for Cokes with more and more ice in the cup. Along with the smaller burgers, cheaper and cheaper ingredients were used. The good taste began to disappear...


One day, the owners of the burger shop started noticing that their fan and customer base started shrinking. What did they do? Well, they began cutting more and more corners. Instead of coming up with creative solutions, they fell back into old fashioned thinking and continued to do the only thing they knew how to do: Make smaller and smaller burgers and cut more and more corners.


Soon, one day, they were barely holding on. They had 1/20th the customers that they enjoyed just ten short years ago. If it weren't for government or outside help, they'd surely be bankrupt.


Their answer to the problem? Cut more corners and make smaller portions. And the cycle continues today. 




Now you know why so many things have become so mediocre. It is obvious why, isn't it? Cutting corners and doing a half-assed job. But every once in a while someone like a Bukowski comes along... Someone with no money who is results oriented and art hiccups... For a moment at least...


Entertainment people can blame a loss of revenue all they want, but the cutting of corners and laziness began when the revenue was still good and they were king.


And that brings us back to the McDonald's Effect. Are you in a creative or sales oriented business? In today's economy, we're all in sales; and, if so, are you cutting corners and, when you stop to think about it, are you slipping into a process oriented behavior? If you are, you need to get out of that rut.


If you are doing any sort of creative or sales type of work, then you need to get out of the "punching the time card" type of mentality. You need to start working on results and not processes... Processes are for McDonald's or convenience store owners. 


Unless you already own a McDonald's, then you'd better stop thinking how you can create plastic reuseable pickles.  



Friday, February 24, 2012

Would Bad Weather and Other Unforeseen Circumstances Destroy Your Business Plans? Successful People Exploit Bad Luck!



"Any fool can have bad luck; the art consists in knowing how 
to exploit it" - Frank Wedekind

Many business people are guilty of blaming lack of success or just plain out and out business failures on unforeseen circumstances and things, "Out of their control." 




How often have you had a great plan or a great team and the idea or project that you were working on just didn't seem to turn out as you planned it? Of course, there's always an excuse for the luke-warm results: Something happened that you hadn't planned on or things changed on the ground.


Often these things that some people take as bad luck and as reasons for failure, others take as opportunities and vehicles for success. The winners take changes in a situation to show their ability to adapt and overcome. That is what we all need to work on everyday.


Instead of me citing a specific business example, let me use a personal family one to illustrate. The example I want to use has nothing to do with business, but think of it as a sort of parable that can relate to business. Yesterday, I took my family to Disneyland.


We had the plan all laid out months ago. We like to plan ahead. Planning ahead is smart as you can get everything at massive discounts. Sometimes up to 60% off on hotels and entry.


When we woke up yesterday morning, it was pouring rain. We checked the weather report and it showed a 70% chance of rain all day until the afternoon of the next day. It was raining hard. I considered for a moment blowing the entire trip off.


Nevertheless, we loaded up the car and headed out to Disneyland. Even if we cancelled the hotel, we'd still have to pay. Also, since I am such a famous cheap-skate, my family considers merely staying in a hotel as fun.


When we arrived at Disneyland an hour and one half later, it was raining even harder than when we left home. There were very few people at Disneyland. I suppose the heavy rains scared most people away. 


We decided that since we were at Disneyland anyway we'd go in, ride a few rides, and then see how it goes. I thought it impossible, but mentioned that it might clear up. Heck, we were there at 8 am. The hotel check-in wasn't until 3 pm. What were we going to do? At the worst, we could get in a few rides and, if we got soaking wet, we could warm up and hibernate in one of the huge restaurants inside of Tomorrowland. Of course, my son eagerly agreed.


Funny that, when you stop to consider; children are far more open to opportunities and positive thinking than many adults and businessmen would be. 


Well, we went in and it began to rain harder and harder as the time went by. It was nearly freezing yesterday at 2 degrees Celsius (about 35.2 Fahrenheit). By 10 am our feet were soaking wet and our toes freezing walking around with wet feet and socks and shoes in that frigid temperature is not good at all. I began to entertain thoughts of leaving and going somewhere where we could dry our feet off. 


But, once again, we thought of the best way to save the situation. My wife went to look for children's rubber boots and socks. FYI: Folks, they only sell boots for children up to about 4 or 5 years old. There's only two shops in all of Tokyo Disneyland that sell boots and socks... Anyway, my wife bought the dry socks for all of us. But what to do about the wet shoes? If you put on the dry socks and put your feet in the wet shoes, your feet will just get wet again.


Here's where so advice I got from my marine dad and time in the boy scouts came in handy: We got a bunch of Disneyland vinyl bags. We dried our feet off well and put on the dry socks. Then we put the vinyl bags over the socks and put the shoes back on tightly. Wallah! Like magic! Dry and warm feet (plus I didn't have to pay outrageous prices for Disney boots!) 


Of course, most people wouldn't be seen dead walking around with plastic bags over their feet in public. I think we probably looked like homeless folks walking around with those plastic bags over our feet. But, hey, these were special circumstances and special circumstances call for special measures! 


The end result? We were able to stay at Disneyland all day and did not have anymore trouble with cold, wet feet again... The extra bonus? Because we didn't give up at the very start and blow off the entire trip and went to Disneyland as planned, we got to go on everything and their were no crowds.


Bigger bonus? At about three o'clock the skies cleared up and it actually became sunny. We were walking around Disneyland and it was sunny and there was basically no waiting over 15 minutes at any rides! By seven o'clock in the evening the wait was zero for everything! We walked into the entrance of attractions and straight onto the ride. We even had our own boat on It's a Small World!!!!


Feeding ducks. You can see the massive Disney crowds in the background.


Because of this, I think we set a record for rides at Disneyland in one day. Well, for my family we did. And trust folks, I am from Southern California so I had been to Disneyland more times by the time I was 10-years-old than most people go their entire lives...


Yesterday, we took what seemed to be a bad (and cold and wet) situation and turned it into a fantastic day with great memories. Today, 24 hours after the rain? No one thinks about how wet we were at the start. Everyone thinks about how great a time that was and how amazing it was that we were able to see so many attractions in one day. Everyone only thinks about how amazing everything turned out!


Let me get off the point for a second: Moms and dads who have taken their kids to Disneyland!... Let me brag about this. That place was empty! Here is a chronological order of the events, rides, restaurants and attractions we enjoyed:


Monsters Inc.
Star Tours (the Star Wars ride)
Captian EO (Michael Jackson 3D show)
Tomorrowland Terrace (restaurant)
Buzz Lightyear's Astro-Blasters
Haunted Mansion
Mickey's Phiharmagic (New 3D show - highly recommended!)
Country Bear Jamboree
Mickey Jubilee parade down Main Street
Pirates of the Caribbean
Blue Bayou restaurant
Jungle Cruise
Buzz Lightyear's Astro-Blasters (2nd time)
Grand Circuit Raceway
Star Tours (2nd time)
Man's Greatest Dream (Song and Dance show at Showbase theater)
Monsters Inc. (2nd time)
Pan-Galactic Pizza Port
Grand Circuit Raceway (2nd time)
Pinocchio's Adventures
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (kinda scary for little kids actually!)
Electrical Parade
Peter Pan Adventure
Mickey's Phiharmagic (2nd time)
It's a Small World
Star Jets


That's 27 attractions, events and rides we saw in one day! My son is still a bit afraid of Space Mountain, so we didn't go on that. By 5 pm we were wondering, "Gee. We've been on everything. What are we going to do?" So we decided to ride everything twice and go on really little kids rides. (Man! Are my legs tired!)


Us on front of Cinderella Castle. There wasn't anybody around. (Notice my wife's plastic bags on her feet - my son and I were able to hide them under our jeans!)


The lesson here is simple: When unforeseen circumstances arise, don't give up and don't throw in the towel so easy. This is a good lesson for everyone (me too) who quickly contemplates cutting and running when things look difficult. Think. Use your minds creatively. There is a solution. 


And, remember, your competitors are probably dealing with the same sorts of challenges. If they are giving up then that gives you a golden opportunity.


Golden opportunities are rare these days. When they come, take them. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade...


Even if you do have to be seen in public with plastic bags on your feet.