Monday, September 20, 2010

Professional hatred (part 4)

Accounting / bankers / stockbrokers
If you have anything to do with finance, I hate you. I just think you are the parasite sucking on the life blood of the earth and draining the world of any vitality it once had. Your primary aim in life is to make more money. You just don't want to make money to buy a house or a car, or to fund your parents' retirement or your children's future. Basically you are driven by greed and no other motive, which I think is dangerous. In my mind, you will do anything and screw over anybody just to squeeze out that net profit, even if it means selling your own grandmother.

Not only that, you make finance incredibly difficult to understand. Once a upon a time, what you did with money is either spend it or save it. Now you have to invest the money you earned into a whole variety of schemes - shares, bonds, options, real estate, etc. Where did the habit go of just paying for material goods, like bananas, shoes and screwdrivers?

As it turned out, those bankers didn't really know what they were doing. Lending money who couldn't possibly pay it back? Please, I don't have an economics degree and I could have told you that was a bad idea. Worst of all, once the governments bailed out the banks, those in the banking system did sod all. Bankers didn't apologize for what they did and did nothing to help out the economy either. They still got paid the absurdly humongous wages they have and even had the cheek to have bonuses as well.

Society should revert back to a system where people should be rewarded for their usefulness. People like farmers who provide food, nurses who provide health care and police officers who provide protection. These jobs are vital and we would miss them. Kill a million bankers and you would bat an eyelid.

At this point I should point out I'm a socialist. Even though I am paid quite well as a doctor, I accept that I will be taxed quite heavily to contribute to society. Actually when I saw my tax bill for the upcoming year, I frightened my dogs when I shouted out the amount. I accept that taxes are necessary to pay for many things, and actually it pays for my salary. However I don't like people who avoid paying tax. That is where my hatred for accountants come in. Most of them I believe (which I know is not true but please satisfy my ego by continuing this line of thought) try to help their clients avoid paying tax. If you don't contribute to society, you should get anything out of society.

This is where I don't like my uncle. According to my father, he doesn't pay tax in Hong Kong since his business is in China. I don't know if he pays tax in China but I'm suspecting he really doesn't. And he still lives in Hong Kong, sending his son to school here and using the health care system. Even though he's a resident here, I still believe that is wrong.

I know he is my uncle but that doesn't make him immune to my vitriol. The same applies to my brother and a number of friends who work in the finance sector. I love my brother very much but I hate his job as an employee of UBS, another bank who had a bailout. I am jealous of his wages and his benefits. I have the capabilities to become a banker. Yet I don't have the soul for the job or rather I do have a soul which I am unwilling to sell to the devil.

Gordon Gekko once said, "Greed is good." If that is the case, why is greed one of the seven deadly sins.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Professional hatred (part 3)

PR / Marketing / Advertising
The sophisticated science fiction author H.G. Wells once said that, "Advertising is legalized lying" and I'm inclined to agree. I can't stand anybody who works in the field trying to portray something that isn't there or more likely trying to hide the truth from being known.Ever since the growth of media and the need to sell material items, the role of public relations has essentially made people not what they are.

Let's take a recent case study. The News of the World, one of the most trashiest tabloids (I'm not even going to call them 'a newspaper') in Britain, has recently published a story that Wayne Rooney, the England and Manchester United football star, had sex with a prostitute whilst his wife Coleen McCoughlin was pregnant.

Firstly to continue my hatred of tabloid journalism, this is a story that nobody needs to know. Not the general public, not the football fans, this is a private matter between a husband and a wife. The News of the World are just wasting everybody's time in order to sell newspapers by publishing a non-essential story.

However it has come to this stage where footballers and any other stars are required to be portrayed as wholesome members of society in order to sell products and remain in the spotlight. This is where the PR / marketing parasites come in. They have been whispering in Wayne Rooney's ear that essentially he has to be something that he really is not. I'm not saying I approve of Rooney's behaviour but if PR / marketing didn't exist, there wouldn't be such an outcry of this story. We would just leave Wayne and Coleen to sort out their own problems.

The same idea applies to any other major celebrity. I don't care if Tom Cruise is a crackpot who believes in Scientology and is married to somebody more than 15 years younger than him. If he makes good movies, that is all I care about. I don't really care if Amy Winehouse is a drug addict either. It's her choice and if she dies - so be it - but if she kicks the habit, good for her. I don't care if my local politician is gay/lesbian/black/white/rich/poor, as long as he/she can do the job honestly (which would rule out Tony Blair).

And to be honest, I wouldn't buy Twinings tea just because Stephen Fry advertised it. Nor would I buy an iPad just because Stephen Colbert whipped the device out of his suit pocket at the Grammys. I buy products because of their use, not because of their association.

Which leads me to advertising. I don't mind inventive TV adverts, which are mini films in their own right. The advertising I most hate is the inaccurate use or misuse of science in their campaign.

I have long hated any adverts selling formula milk. Any TV advert seems to claim that the formula milk has added substances to help children be smarter, forgetting to add the fact that most of these substances do occur naturally in your diet and there is no need for supplementation. Also advertising seems to portray drinking these brands of formula milk will instantly make your kids brainier, without mentioning the need of a stimulating environment, good schooling, an appropriate social group and parental involvement.

I often thought that parents should be drinking formula milk more than their children, since obviously they blindly follow anything advertised on TV.