Is Alan Working?

Posted by Al | Audio,Thoughtful | Thursday 11 December 2008 4:40 pm
[audio:isalanworking.mp3|titles=AR – Is Alan Working? – Featuring: Al]


“Quit My Day Job” by Geoff Smith

“Almost Forgotten” by Acoustic Rosh

“Big World” by The Whole Tribe Sings

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My Grandmother used to ask me every time I saw her if I currently had a job. “Nan”, as I call her (short for Nanny), would at this point always tell me the same story as if I had not heard it the 100 times before.

My grandparents, and my father for that matter, were born in Great Britain. I’m not so sure they really ever thought it was all that “Great” but England was where they started out. When Nan was a young girl her father was in and out of work quite regularly as were most working class people before and during WWII. Her family were not the nicest people around and to that end they would ask upon seeing her, “Is your Father working?” as a way to embarrass her and make her feel small. After she married my grandfather, the family shifted the question to, “Is Ken working?” My grandfather was an accomplished bricklayer and moved about the country picking up contract work until the money ran out, the boss got on his nerves or the building was finished. He did spend some time looking for the next job, and did very well once he was employed, but the family would not let her forget when he did not have a paycheck. My own father has rarely taken a day off in his life since starting work at an early age. He was acutely aware of the question on the lips of the family and I’m sure this had a large effect on him. But still the question would be asked, maybe now as a matter of habit, “Is Alan working?” And even when the answer was in the positive, I’m sure they just pressed on to the next bit of bad news.

I myself have followed more in the footsteps of my grandfather. Not so much bricklaying, but working on short-term contract. Much of my career has been in the audio and video field which, unless you own your own company and can keep plenty of clients, means you are pretty much a freelancer. And so, each time my grandmother speaks to my father or mother she asks, “Is young Alan working?” And when she asks me herself, “Are you working?” she relays the story once again. Which I find strange, as she explains how rotten it made her feel, maybe not realizing the perpetuation of ill will. How long do family habits like this continue? Even after all involved can admit it was not for the best?

Well Nan, I have a job currently, though the pays not good, and the hours don’t add up, and I have to work second job as well to make ends meet. I know you will be glad to tell the family, “Yes, young Alan is working. Now get off my back!” once and for all.

Blocked by Buster

Posted by Al | Audio,Ranting | Tuesday 1 July 2008 2:28 pm


“Game We Play” by 3rd Day Syndrome

“Believe In Goodbye” by Uncrowned

“Blur” by Covergurl

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What the (expletive deleted) is wrong with Blockbuster Video ? That question alone should start an hour-long laundry list of complaints from just about anyone in America. Can’t they see the other video rental companies taking over the market they created, and leaving them in the dust like the dinosaur they are. Companies like Netflix and Redbox are making “The Block” look more like “The Brick”. A sinking brick.

BlockbusterNetflix revolutionized the video rental industry by getting rid of the annoying trip to the store. As well as, the late fees incurred by not getting the movie back to the store on the right day. Let’s face it, Buster banked on late fees. They designed their whole business plan around human nature, knowing all to well that people are forgetful and lazy. Buster was very slow to recognize the extremely profitable, and simple change to the distribution model. In fact, after fighting the inevitable for far too long, they got a huge slap on the hand for blatantly stealing Netflix’s delivery system. And yet again refused to follow suit when Netflix started to offer online downloads of movies. Large in part to being in bed with the MPAA and their myth of “Online Piracy”. The MPAA is still convinced that the “pirates” can’t figure out how to digitize a rented movie on their own. Rumors are that Buster may be trying to buy Movielink. This may be too little too late for this slow to move, movie renter.

Redbox has yet again changed the face of video rentals. By not building brick and mortar stores, or hiring extensive and highly annoying employees, they have somehow found a way to offer a movie at $1 per day. And guess what? You are only charged on that day, for that day, instead of demanding the money up front like some seedy loan shark. It has been shown time and time again that people will fritter away hundreds of dollars, one dollar at a time. It’s human nature again.

Wake up Buster, if you don’t learn to adapt at a quicker pace, you may find yourself going the way of Gateway Stores. Or you can continue to operate under the false idea that you own the only avenue to the consumer, much like the Record companies and RIAA.

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