13 November, 2005

Communication is for the birds

In the NY Times a week or so ago, there was an interesting article about a naturalized Chinese-American citizen, David Ji, the founder of Apex Digital (the first company to market a DVD player under $100 and the second leading manufacturer of DVD players behind Sony).

Anyhow, apparently his company did some underhanded dealings with Sichuan Changhong Electric. Now, Ji claims that his company only owes $150 million, while SCE claims they owe $470 million. So what, right? Big business, who cares?

Well, a while back, the CEO of SCE, Zhao Yong (former friend and business partner of Ji) decided that while Ji was on a trip to China to settle the affair, they would take him into captivity and hold him against his will to get their money.

China's government places such a high value on the success of major companies like SCE that the government assists and consents to the holding of Ji against his will and without a trial.
The prime minister praised Changhong's leadership, authorized the company to take legal actions at home and abroad to protect its interests, and ordered state banks to provide emergency financing totaling nearly $1 billion, roughly double the amount Changhong claimed Apex owed it, they said.
The article also stated that:
The police from Mianyang, the city in southwestern Sichuan province where Changhong has its headquarters, apprehended Mr. Ji in Shenzhen, near Hong Kong, on Oct. 23, 2004. He entered a legal netherworld in which Changhong decided where he would be held in custody, when to interrogate him, and how he could help Changhong take over Apex, according to court documents, video recordings, and taped witness accounts compiled by people sympathetic to Mr. Ji. The records, which were also submitted to the State Department, were obtained independently by The New York Times.
Now, I don't give a rip what this guy Ji is alike a as a person. Maybe he's a complete asshole, I don't know. However, holding him against his will, without a warrant, and no clear charges is bullshit. He has been passed around from the police to Changhong and Zhao Yong, and back to the police. Recently he was released on a very strict bail.
"They turned this into a criminal case, and now they don't know how to resolve it," says Mr. Hsu of Apex. "I'm afraid we need government intervention, maybe divine intervention, to help David return home."
To read more, check out this article, as well as this and this.

Sometime during high school, I decided that I wanted to go to La Salle University. More specifically, I had thoughts of being a Communication Major. When I looked at the school, that seemed to be the way to go, on account of the department having a media writing track and my wanting to go into journalism. Four years later, I can say without a shadow of a doubt: Communication is bullshit. Whoever it was I talked to and who convinced me that if I wanted to go into journalism I should be a communication major is a snake oil salesman and huckster of the highest degree. And by that I mean a liar.

Now it's not all bad, really. I get some exercise walking to the Comm. Center three times a day, and the work is generally easy. However, in terms of the relevancy of the work, the department falls far short. As someone who wants to go into writing, I feel that much of my time in the Comm. Center has been wasted on useless nonsense, such as Broadcast Newswriting (taking a well written story and condensing/simplifying it to be understandable to a 7 year old) and Issues & Arguments (which wasn't a writing class at all but is advertised as such).

I have had two good, relevant communication classes in four years here, and they were both taught by the same professor, who doesn't teach here anymore. Aside from that, all of my useful classes have been offered by the English department, or through working with the Collegian.

But I digress. My last semester in college includes no Comm. classes, thankfully.

I have been reading a lot of websites I used to read back in high school recently, most notably, Buddyhead. I remember this site being great, and upon visiting it again recently, nothing has changed. They still like Neil Young, Bob Dylan and lots of other older artists, and still hate pretty much everything else. The site has so much self indulgence it almost hurts, especially on the gossip page. An excerpt:

DIPSHIT QUOTE OF THE MONTH: Benji from Good Charlotte: "“Without MTV and the radio I never would have gotten into punk, I never would have heard punk bands like Green Day…"

Speaking of gay, gay people can get married in California now.
An interesting overheard. It was a youngster coming up from Central High School, in front of me in line at the corner store across the street from the school. While chatting on a cell phone, he was overheard to say:
"Yeah, you are a little slut aren't you?"
Now, I wasn't really aware he was on a cell phone until I started listening after catching that bit of conversation. Unfortunately, he made his purchase and went on his way before I could figure out a context for the snippet. It certainly was interesting, though.

And now, as a sort of apology for not updating in a long time, here are a few funny, completely un-attributed pictures I found recently:


Blogger GonzoMC said...

Lou, your post has confirmed two beliefs I have come to hold: China sucks, and La Salle is only what you make it.

Aside from that, did you cheat on the post date for this? I definitely didn't see this on Wed the 9th, but instead on Sun the 13th. Computer error or slippery salesmanship? I only care because I missed your witty insights and was shocked at your long absence.

6:39 PM, November 13, 2005  
Blogger Lou said...

No, I had made some additions to a draft I put up on that day and forgot to change the date at the bottom. Sorry man.

8:14 PM, November 13, 2005  
Blogger Meg said...

i just have no desire to do it anymore. also, it takes up a lot of my time, something that i can't afford to give to things i'm not as passionate about.

7:46 AM, November 15, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's sad to think i probably can't kick carrot top's ass. I can't imagine a better reason to commit suicide than getting owned by carrot top in a fight.

you should visit MA again so I can eat more frozen pizza out of the trunk of your car.

xoxo John Racine

p.s. Drew sucks

12:23 PM, November 18, 2005  
Blogger Drew said...

Lou fell off

6:05 PM, November 29, 2005  

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