Daily Archives: January 17, 2011

Want Money For Nothing?

Then take a lesson from these faggots* at the CBSC (Canadian Broadcast Standards Council) and censor classic songs from radio airplay because some prick*2 complained about the use of a word which has taken on an additional meaning in modern times.

For those of you who don’t follow global news, I’m referring to the recent decision by the CBSC to censor Dire Straits‘ classic Money for Nothing because one person in the backwoods of Newfoundland (amidst the Rocks and Trees) complained because it used the word “faggot”, which, in England, even today, is still used to refer to a bundle (of twigs, iron, or chopped meat), a junior who performs duties for a senior, and a guy (who may or may not be homosexual) who is just creepy. In the Dire Straits classic, while it is obviously being used in a derogatory manner to describe someone who has reached a station of life that he obviously does not deserve in the eyes of the song’s protagonist, it’s obvious that the contempt from which the comment springs from the song’s protagonist is non-sexual in nature and the definition (of the many that have been applied to the word since its inception almost 800 years ago) is more along the lines of “a guy who is a creep*3“. As such, there is no grounds for complaint and no grounds for censorship.

As far as I’m concerned, this decision is just disgusting. Not only was the song written well before the creation of the CBSC, but it was written before the creation of the CAB (Canadian Association of Broadcasters), which was the precursor organization. In my view, this should make the song ineligible for censorship. And even if it wasn’t, whatever happened to literary license and this thing called free speech?

While we’re at it, should we rewrite Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” which is an American classic that won the Pulitzer Prize in the year of its publication (1960) for its rather realistic portrayal of what life was like in the 1930’s in Alabama small towns? After all, from a modern perspective, the language in that book is much more offensive than Dire Straits’ use of the word “faggot” in Money for Nothing. Consider this line from Chapter 9: “My folks said your daddy was a disgrace an’ that nigger oughta hang from the water-tank!” Said with intent, it might even cross the line into hate speech, but that wasn’t the intent of the author who wanted people to understand what life was like in the 1930s.

In the same light, when Mark Knopfler use the word faggot, he was attempting to describe how hard-working labourers saw music stars at the beginning of the MTV generation. You played a few riffs, sang a few songs, and made a million dollars. They broke their backs and barely paid the bills.

Let’s not forget that a song is a story, and stories are not hate speech. They are artistic forms of communication meant to broaden our understanding of the world around us and the people in it. And if you don’t understand that, then a faggot*4 has more smarts than you do.

Have a nice day.
(And support Halifax’s own Q104 in their protest! F*ck you*5 CBSC. I hope you get one million complaints.)
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* where this blog is using the classic, now obsolete, meaning of the word faggot which was once used to refer to a “man hired into military service simply to fill out the ranks at muster” because I can’t believe they were hired on suitability for the job at this point

*2 where this blog is using the slang definition of the word which means “an obnoxious or contemptible person” because only a truly contemptuous person would complain about the use of a word completely out of context and insist that free speech be censored when no slur was made or intended

*3 note that the slang definition of creep is “an obnoxious person” and not “pervert” as some people seem to think it is these days

*4 in this case, the blog is using the other classic meaning of the word faggot, which is “a bundle of twigs”

*5 and I mean that in the most common utilization of the phrase in modern times

VFS Level 1: Eliminate Value Leakage, Part I

This week will explore the four levels of Value Focussed Supply (VFS) as put forward in a CAPS recent research report on Linking Supply to Competitive Business Strategies and the holistic approach put forward by CAPS to get more value out of your Supply Management Association.

According to CAPS, you start with the elimination of value leakage. While this is a good place to start in theory, in practice, at least until now, most organizations increased value in supply management purely by accident. They were given a mandate to reduce cost and when they were no longer able to negotiate better prices or optimize incurred costs (logistics, storage, VAT, etc.), they looked for new ways. Not knowing any, they got creative, and sometimes they got lucky and found strategies that not only lowered costs but increased the overall value of supply management to the organization. At this point, the organizations began an effort to find more value, and began their progression up the supply management value curve, which, in the view of CAPS, and the author, starts with the elimination of value leakage (although the author believes one or two critical steps were overlooked in the report).

According to CAPS, value is obtained at each level of the value curve by focussing on four components of the balance sheet — revenue, cost, assets, and intangibles — and finding ways to improve them such that the overall corporate position is improved. At this level of VFS, this means that a company would:

  • Protect Revenue
    by improving quality and stability of supply
  • Reduce Cost
    by reducing unit cost and managing demand
  • Reduce Working Capital Requirements
    by improving working capital management
  • Protect Corporate Reputation
    by taking steps to prevent the media fiascos that would result if
    tainted food or dangerous products were released into the marketplace

Furthermore, such a company might go about these actions by:

  • Working with Key Suppliers
    to implement Lean, Six Sigma, or TQM (Total Quality Management) processes to reduce defects, streamline production, and increase schedule accuracy like Powercon worked with a key supplier to correct dismal delivery performance and increase customer loyalty in the process
  • Looking at Alternate Fee Arrangements
    like Pharmacare did with ancillary legal services which could be contracted on performance-based fee arrangements and other ABM (alternate billing methods) to reduce costs by 20% to 40%
  • Adopting Better Inventory Management Strategies or Early Payment Discounts
    as reduced inventory translates into a reduction of cash locked up in inventory (as well as reduced storage costs) and early payment discounts not only reduces invoice payments, but reduces a supplier’s need for financing (which is often at higher rates), which reduces future costs
  • By Improving Testing and Quality Inspection Practices
    even though this might increase costs slightly up front since having a better brand increases revenue in the long term and the up front cost quickly translates into long-term savings

These are all great strategies, and, for the most part, great starting points for any supply management organization that wants to increase the total value it provides (and do true Total Value Management), but a few of them seem to skip the starting points, at least in SI’s viewpoint. This will be the focus of Part II.