Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Job Hunt and Thoughts on The Naked Tax

I had an interview yesterday with a start up. Long hours, downtown, but nice people – very cool. I have a good feeling about this, but it’s very tempered with both experience and reality. Also, am I ready to invest 50 hours a week plus twenty commuting by car, train, and foot for a company that may collapse? It is a relatively short contract, but it may go full time. As always, with job hunting, open all floodgates until someone gives you a financial reason not to, in writing.

This pretends I will be selected, and that if selected they want me full time. That said, it’s been a good week – I’ve been submitted by two different consulting firms for bank-related tech writing jobs. That doesn’t suck.

After organizing everything in the home office except the music CDs, I organized them today. I think we have over 300, but I’m not really counting. This does not include the ones Theo has somewhere randomly placed. I think there is a stack in the garage I missed, plus the dozen or so in her car. I’m realizing the number of CDs without cases and cases without CDs that may never return to their mates. Does this mean it’s safe to throw out the cases if the CD hasn’t made an appearance in a year? Is this the quickest way to make a CD appear?

I’m also using the term “organized” very loosely. There is an upstairs collection and a downstairs collection. The downstairs collection is the stuff you would admit to owning, or that you wouldn’t necessarily mind your spouse playing, or that is Christmas related and may actually be played at a party once a year. The upstairs collection is largely one hit wonders and other flotsam, like the last two Rush albums you bought to fill out the collection before you realized that this was jumping the shark in a big way. Fortunately I bought them used. Unfortunately they suck so badly that the money would have been better spent on a Big Mac Extra Value Meal.

Speaking of Canadian rock, I saw parts of an article on the Canadian Music Awards. They seemed to give an award to every Canadian band I’d ever heard of, and many I hadn’t and probably never will. It’s as if they said “Hey, we didn’t say GOOD Canadian Music Awards, did we?”

It came up because Alanis Morrisette came out in a body suit with fake breasts and presumably pubic hair and made a “big” speech about how Americans are afraid of nudity. Damn right we are. I have a theory that the more the government allows public depictions of nudity, the higher they can raise taxes and get away with people thinking they have great freedom.

Look at Europe. In Paris on our 1999 honeymoon, there were full frontals on billboards going down the highway and on commercials, interspersed with ads for children’s cereal. It’s quite surreal.

In Sweden again full nudity everywhere and tax rates that can exceed 100 percent.

In Britain, less suffocating taxes, though outlandish by American standards. Breasts are shown in some newspapers and briefly on television, but not much else.

Miraculously, the more feminine nudity, the higher you can raise taxes without revolt. It’s as if the public is too busy staring to realize that six out of eight hours a day, they are working for the state and not themselves. It’s like being a sharecropper… no wait... they keep half. Yep, slavery is roughly it. The only thing worse is a labor camp, but Sweden’s tax rates seem to approach the later.

It's not restricted to women in France. It seems men are not merely allowed, but encouraged and in some ways required to urinate in public. How else could you explain the picture window, at crotch height, next to the urinals in the Autostar rest room. Or the doors being removed from all the stalls in a restroom in a downtown Paris mall.

Recently someone said that they allow breasts on Canadian Television, though Alanis denied this. She did glory in it being "censor-free" up in the Great White North. Perhaps that explains why everything costs 10-50 percent more than in the US (except drugs, of course - a nation has to have priorities). I thought this was a function of transport across so much empty space at first. I thought Alaska would be the same. When we got to Alaska on a road trip in 1987, the prices plummeted. So we bought as much as we could in Alaska before our brief foray back into Canada and hoped to hold out from Prince Rupert, BC, until arrival in the US slightly East of Seattle.

When asked about the costs, Canadian shopkeepers become very argumentative. Maybe arrogance is linked to tax rates as well.

So Alanis freaks out about US Congressional hearings on public nudity on the airwaves. I rather consider it good government. It is the function of the congress to set federal tax rates, and as such, to determine exactly how much nudity we can deal with in broadcast television.

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