Exploiting Other People’s Pain and Suffering

“Well, part of me says, ‘I don’t care.’  This is a moral issue.  If you have people working for you who cannot make enough money to live on, you don’t have much of a business plan.  Your business is really exploiting other people’s pain and suffering.”

Writer and columnist Barbara Ehrenreich, quoted in Time magazine (April 14 2014 edition), when asked how she felt about businesses that say they cannot afford an increase in minimum wage.

“Dear little lover, this is your mother”

Yesterday, I was in a store in Little Tokyo (Los Angeles) and saw they had a small bin of CDs marked down to only $3. Being the adventurous type, I dug through them and picked out a couple which looked interesting, although I had no idea who the artists were, the style of music, or how good it would be. One of them was this one:


The title is シティ・ポップス・ビッグ4 (“City Pops Big 4″), and the “Big 4″ consists of Masayoshi Takanaka (高中正義), Takashi Sato (佐藤隆), Yasuhiro Suzuki (鈴木康博), and Yasuhiro Abe (安部恭弘). This CD turned out to be a collection of some “so bad it’s good” cheesy eighties adult contemporary songs. But what gave me a good laugh were these English lyrics from track 1, 渚・モデラート (“Nagisa Moderato”). In the bridge, a woman sings:

Over and over, crazy lover
Over and over
Dear little lover, undercover
This is your mother
Put on my make-up, never break up

I’m going to guess the lyricist probably meant “mama” (as in “red hot mama”), but using “mother” just gives the song a creepy Norman Bates-vibe to it.  Yuck!

“If you’ve chosen personnel well …”

“Management is about delegating as much as possible. Give people a task and don’t look over their shoulder. If you’ve chosen personnel well, that will work.”

David Gilmour, serial entrepreneur and founder of Fiji Water
Monocle magazine, September 2013 issue

“Where can I go with this?”

[Being creative] is noticing when something interesting is starting to happen and then building on it and asking yourself, ‘Where can I go with this?’

–musician Brian Eno, quoted in an ad for Dunhill

“It’s the work.”

“[My father] taught me to work hard but know that it’s not necessarily going to mean you’ll get the thing you want. That’s not the goal, anyway–it’s the work.”

Actor and producer Don Cheadle, interviewed in the February 2014 issue of Details magazine.

“We need brave, courageous figures.”

In the winter season 2013/2014 edition of Monocle Alpino (#8), Monocle senior editor Sophie Grove had this to say about the nature of the explorers who attempt to climb Mt. Everest, against treacherous odds and conditions, despite the fact it’s been done a great number of times:

Perhaps this is to do with our respect for the sublime, our uncritical admiration for derring-do, our awe of individuals who challenge the environment. I would like to see modern-day heroism directed towards things that need fixing in the world. We need brave, courageous figures in society to apply these traits to real problems. To look after life and love is more lofty a goal than any icy expedition.

Eurovision 2013 – Final

Despite the absence of Israel and San Marino, I enjoyed the final. The biggest surprise was that the two songs I detested the most in the semifinals–Lithuania and Ukraine–weren’t so bad the second time I heard them. In fact, I put Ukraine into my top five! Compared to previous years, while this year didn’t have any real turkeys, there weren’t any songs that really made me say “WOW! That’s amazing!” I hope there is more variety next year. Here are my top five choices, in order:

My Rank Contest Rank Country Title, Artist
1 9 The Netherlands “Birds”, Anouk
2 24 Finland “Marry Me”, Krista Siegfrids
3 1 Denmark “Only Teardrops”, Emmilie de Forest
4 3 Ukraine “Gravity”, Zlata Ognevich
5 12 Belgium “Love Kills”, Roberto Bellarosa

See you next year in Denmark!


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