Thursday, December 29, 2011

Introducing "Chillax"


Introducing “Chillax”

“Rhythm is what you feel, melody is what you hear; together they make a song!!”

We can break down a song into its’ components in many different ways. We can say a song is made up of singing and music, or lyrics and notes, or melody and accompaniment, and so on so forth. Some purists might skin the hair and go as far as breaking down lyrics into intro, verse, chorus, bridge and a possible outro; and the same bunch of wisest lunatics will break down music into bass line, beat, chords, melody, hooks and riffs. The more you want to embroil yourselves, the more you may please yourselves. But what actually makes up a song?

Irrespective of the fact whether a song contains any singing at all or is it just instrumental, irrespective of its’ genre, like whether Rock, Pop, House, Trance, Hip-Hop, Opera and so on so forth, I personally dissect a song into two basic components; one that is heard and one that is felt. The one that is heard is the pulse of the song, the rhythm it is propagating, it is the vibrations your body feels when you hear that song. The other component is the melody that you actually hear, the music, the sound, the words or lack of them. “Chillax” is just a new way of defining their use in a production.

Yes my dear friends, today I present to you a new genre of music I lovingly christen “Chillax”!!

So a very obvious question now would be, “What is “Chillax” and how is it created?”

Well friends “Chillax” is based on a very simple psychological principle of providing release through internal strife and a process I name as “Shifting stereo field”.

I am sure this definition has confused you even more than explaining anything. But then I haven’t set a definition for “Chillax” as yet. Maybe I am just waiting to figure out better words.

However, even if I cannot provide you a perfect definition of it right now, I can still explain in detail the working principle behind “Chillax” and how it is created.

 How is “Chillax” created?

“Chillax” is created by a careful mixture of two techniques: internal strife and shifting stereo sound.

1. The internal strife within a “Chillax” production is created by creating a simple strife or non-conformity between the two components of a production; the Rhythm and the Melody. The Rhythm, as used in current context, refers to the pulse of the song and includes the sounds of drums (namely Kick), sub-bass and bass line. These are the components whose sound is more predominantly felt than heard (exceptions being some new bass line driven music like Dev and Cataracs’ “G6”, or Dizzee Rascals’ “Dance wiv me” where it is both heard and felt, but then neither of the two is a relaxing number). The melody refers to all other parts which are heard and identified clearly by their distinct musical sounds like hooks, riffs, melodies etc.

In case of “Chillax”, an internal strife is created between the Rhythm and Melody components by intentionally giving one of them a slow movement by using far spread and longer notes, while the other one is given a quicker feel by very short and closely spaced notes. This creates a sensory paradox in the sense that while our body and limbs may feel the pulse of the music to be fast or slow depending upon how the Rhythm has been defined, our brain (via auditory organs) will perceive the melody to be differently paced. This effect is created without altering the tempo in any way and can be created at any tempo. The result is a sound that alleviates stress and gives the listener a relaxed chilled feel, hence the title “Chillax”.

2. “Shifting Stereo Sound” is an effect which makes the listeners believe that the sound source has shifted around in a stereo fashion, from one end towards the other, that is, the sound started on one side and moved around to the other. The simple trick to create this effect is to create a sound in duplicate and then pan the two sounds midway around the opposite ends. However the trick is to delay one sound only by a minute fraction and make sure it is not panned as far away on the other side of the stereo file as the non-delayed sound is. So for example, if a sound is paned at 33 degrees to the left, its’ duplicate copy will have to be delayed by about 1-3 milliseconds and panned about 27 degrees to the left. The levels of the two sounds have to be the same or the delayed sound can be slightly quieter, but never the reverse. This will create an effect when sound will appear to be actually moving from one end of the stereo field to the other, as it will start early (or on time) at one end while its’ counterpart will be slightly slower, and while the first sound will finish, it will still continue by the delayed amount at the other end. This will sound like a shifting stereo field. For best effect, if one sound is shifted from left to right, make sure another one is shifted in revrerse.

 How does Chillax works?

“Chillax” works in two ways, depending upon which component is faster of the two.

1. If the Rhythm of the music is set to slow, the pulse or feel of the music will relax the tension in the body muscles sending them into a relaxed state while the fast melody of the song will excite the brain. The strife between a relaxed body and a hyper active brain will force the energy out of the brain and dissipate it through the body, thus relieving the brain of stress and rejuvenating body muscles with the rush of energy or hormones, thus relieving fatigue.

2. If the Rhythm is fast it will excite the body which would try to respond to the music, but the relaxing effect of a slow melody would calm down a stressed out brain. This internal conflict will force the body to push the excitement into the brain, thus pouring all the bodily energy into the brain, which in turn will act like a balloon put under stress. This would force the excessive energy through the brain, thus relaxing the body muscles and giving the person a feeling of content sleepiness.

While in first case the “Shifting Stereo Field” acts like an excitement module, in the second case the same “Shifting Stereo Field” creates an artificial feeling of a relaxing head massage as the sifting sounds excite one ear and follow it around the head and excite the other ear, after a delay.

So friends, this is the simplest way of defining and presenting “Chillax” to you guys. The concepts mentioned in this article have been used in all the five songs from my debut album “I’m Fine” so far. Hope you are enjoying them.

Fatal Urge Carefree Kiss,

Amanpreet Singh Rai


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Military Junta Of America - Issue and Solution


Military Junta Of America - Issue and Solution

“If not stopped right away, America will become an un-official military dictatorship.”

Growing up in a democracy and currently living in another, like my fellow Indians, Aussies and Americans I have always regarded Ann Suu Kyi a protagonist of Democracy in the darkest corners. A shining light of unflinching commitment to her brothers and sisters in Myanmar (Burma) would be an apt description. Her struggles with the dictatorial diktats of the ruling regime, the Military Junta of Myanmar are not only well documented and well publicized, but also serve as an inspirational fuel to many others around the globe that are fighting tooth and nail to earn their democratic rights from their current regimes. But what has it got to do with America, the biggest democracy in the world, the epitome of freedom, the example for the rest of the world to follow?

Well, let us just take two things out of the current history of Myanmar for a just comparison for this discussion:

1. The Military Junta of Myanmar was always accused of violating human rights and picking up citizens to curb their voices, both by Ann Suu Kyi and also by the foreign media which always supported her, and very rightly so. The allegations always centred around the facts that the Military Junta used to pick up, detain and even prosecute anyone who raised his or her voice against the regime and/or its’ policies, so much so that the people in Burma actually lost their voice to dissent completely.

2. The current elected regime of Myanmar has been termed as a puppet government by Ann Suu Kyi and the elections were described to be rigged.

Now let us bring our attention back to the US setup and have a look at the new “National Defence Authorization Act 2012” and specifically scrutinize the implications of Section 1031 and Section 1032 contained in it. What is this Section really capable of through the words written in it?

Before that, let me just say a few words about the wording of the article which allows the military to identify anyone including American citizens as enemy combatants and give military Presidential consent to detain such persons indefinitely without a trial or crime. (Perhaps even without saying it, I have already proved how this Section compares to the much condemned actions of Military Junta of Myanmar). Now, if anything, this Section shows two things:

1. Firstly, it shows the self-created fear the strongest nation on this earth lives in today. I was born and brought up in India and have lived nearly 28 years of my life over there. India has suffered the worst form of terrorism for more than three decades now. India is situated next to both Pakistan and Afghanistan, but we still don’t have any act like this in India. This is because neither we are cowards, nor do we go out of our way to destroy other people’s homes. All I can say is, “Rather than being obsessively paranoid of own shadows, it is time to learn to live peacefully with others.” Mending fences that have been damaged by your actions is not only the first step towards salvation but also the first requirement to have a lasting peace.

2. Secondly, it goes to show how the current political setup is keen on protecting the interests of its’ premier businessmen. If the current societal actions like “Occupy Wall Street” are an indication of the simmering public discontent with Government policies and Businessmen apathy, I can only foresee even worse times to come. Such movements are going to become more omnipresent, stronger and badly needed. In such a situation, all I can see is this act being misused to curb such movements by cracking the military whip on those who lead such movements, a la US Ann Suu Kyis’. The reason invariable given would be, “Prevention of terrorist activities”. When there will be no trial, the question of proving innocence won’t even arise. Besides, it will easily be explained in media that the detained person was actively involved in destabilizing American society and has possible links with a foreign agency which are now being investigated.

So to sum it up:

1. The military will get sweeping powers in the form of being legally allowed to detain anyone it claims to be an enemy combatant, under Presidential orders. So just like Military Junta of Myanmar, American politicians will have an easy way to get rid of those who stand in their way or object to and question their decisions, raise their voice against the Government action and everything else you can possibly imagine and then leak in your pants.

2. The civilly elected Government will be just a face of the military authority. It will conduct the country to please the businessmen and the military will take care of those who will raise their voices. So in effect, the Democracy will deteriorate into a Military Dictatorship, its’ just that in case of US such a dictatorship will be to benefit a handful of businessmen and the politicians they support.

People blame Chinese Government of curbing voice of ordinary people and the whole world hails and honours those who raise their voice and suffer in China. That is exactly what I can foresee happening in America.

Yes, that’s right! From where I stand there are only two truths about the future that I can foresee:

1. Americans will only have one freedom; freedom to decide whether they want to work or not. Their choices will be countable on one finger. The reason I will explain below.

2. Americans will only have one right; the right to vote who amongst the available candidates is going to govern them.

Now as to why Americans won’t have a choice as to what work they want to do, let us look at what has happened so far. But before I explain that, let me make a statement:

“Businessmen are like sponges; you put them in an economy and they soak every penny out of it, just like sponge soaks water from a spill or pool.”

Most of America’s wealth is securely locked in the bank accounts of a handful of organizations that own most of the business in the US. The reason US work force is running out of choices for work is, US has reached that peak of development where businessmen will not invest any more money. There are two reasons for it:

1. The small business is already dead or is fast dying whereas big businessmen invest money to start a business only when they know their product will sell. They do so because starting a business means hiring workforce as well. And when you are investing so much in business you want your products to sell too so that the business generates income. Has the majority of American population got money to buy anything more from the market than what it needs? I don’t think American businessmen can set up a business in America and then depend on American consumer to sustain it anymore.

2. American businessmen cannot set up businesses in America to sell products overseas as they won’t be able to compete in prices with competitors from China, Korea, Thailand, India and other third world countries where labour is cheaper. They will have to move over their production houses to those third world countries to cut costs. So all the money that the American Businessmen have collected out of US economy is going to be invested overseas now. But the worst part is, what they have done is the US is exactly what they will do in those third world countries too. Now it is only the US whose money is stashed in those few accounts, then it will be the rest of the world as well.

If this is going to be the case then the sufferings of American people are only going to get worse and social actions like “Occupy Wall Street” are only going to get more frequent. The only escape for the businessmen and their political faces will be the misuse of the authority vested into the US Army via this Section of the “National Defence Authorization Act”. And when Americans won’t be able to stop their businessmen, who else on this earth will be? The boat Americans will find themselves in soon, the whole world will end up there ultimately, what with the same businessmen taking over the other free world economies.

So basically, if Americans don’t act now, we all are at the same risk. That is why we all are in this together.

But to stop this you need to have a social movement, and to safeguard social movements you need protection against such acts like the current “National Defence Authorization Act” with its’ Section 1031. So what is the solution to the problem that we have at our hands right now?

One word answer is, “Constitution”.

“Constitution” is the supreme authority of any nation. It is one instrument that creates the nation in the first place, and then creates the relevant authorities and empowers the same to run the nation efficiently. The Head of a State (President and/or Prime Minister), his council, legal system, Federal Parliament, Subordinate Parliaments, their Heads (Chief Minister/Premier), their councils, everything is either directly created by the “Constitution”, or is provided for a legal birth via its’ wording.

Even the most powerful man in a country, its’ head, The President or Prime Minister, his position as well as the powers conferred on that position, are all a “Constitutional” creation. In fact, the Constitution itself provides for the harshest remedy available in a country, that is the removal of the head via impeachment.

So the bottom line is, the Government cannot pass legislation or approve a section which is contrary to any provisions of the Constitution, even if it intends to empower The President. Such a legislation or its’ section is automatically legally invalid.

Nothing in the Constitution can be construed to imply that the Senate or Council can make a law and the President forced to approve it, which overrides any Constitutional provisions, howsoever such a law might be in the interests of the nation. If that were to be the intention of the Constitution, then there will be nothing stopping in this world for a Government to pass a legislation doing away with the Constitution itself, all in the name of national interest.

The constitution of America expressly provides in the Bill of Rights, a guaranteed Habeas Corpus, and clearly explains what constitutes treason. In such circumstances, no Government can pass a legislation which allows the Government or Military to detain any individual lawfully present on the land, whether a citizen or a resident or a visitor, without providing a due process of law. As long as there is no rebellion, even the President cannot legally authorize such an action. Nothing can be worse than being wronged by the law itself and having no remedy at all. It is not only constitutionally invalid, but it is also contrary to every principle of justice.

Thus Section 1031 is both constitutionally and legally invalid. So all Americans need is an honest lawyer who can do the needful and get the erring Section removed.

Fatal Urge Carefree Kiss,

Amanpreet Singh Rai


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Where They Seperate


Where They Separate

“Capitalism and Communism are worlds apart but separated only by a thin line.”

Most of the people living in Capitalistic society get scared by the mere mention of the phrase, “Government take-over”. The first thing that pops up in their crania is “Communism”, which invariable translates into “Loss of freedom”. Now it is not completely untrue as in Communism you don’t have a choice about what you want to do, when you want to do it and how much you will get for doing whatever you do. But what people don’t realize is, doesn’t matter whether you are living in Capitalism or Communism, 60% of the population generally never has a choice. They have to do what is available to them and they only earn barely enough for their lives. And then another 35% only have better jobs. The only difference between the two forms of society for them is, in Communism you have to work even if you don’t want to.

However, I don’t support Communism, just like I don’t support pure Capitalism. I have my reasons which I have explained in various other write-ups I have done. If you read my write-ups you will know that I support “Equalism” which is Capitalistic to the extent that everyone is free to choose what they want to do, when they want to do and how much they want to get paid. However, you can get paid what you want to for your work but its’ total can only amount to a certain level, which is where it becomes Communistic, although unlike Communism, you can still earn way more than what many others will earn, simply because you are better, more talented, more hardworking or more enterprising then the rest. The Communistic cap on earnings to a Capitalistic set-up will make the society more equal in wealth distribution and opportunities more easily accessible to the majority of the population, which in Communism has no choice, and in Capitalism cannot avail them because they are beyond their reach.

Anyhow, this article is not about Equalism, Capitalism or Communism. It is more about how to differentiate what constitutes Capitalistic decision, what makes the same decision Communistic and what constitutes “Betrayal of national interests”. So let me explain it with a very simple example.

Suppose I want to set up an industrial unit manufacturing steel for car part industry. For this I will need pure Iron. I can buy Iron from an Iron ore processing unit which extracts Iron from mineral ore and then purifies to market it. Now that Iron extraction unit buys mineral ore from a distributor who is in turn supplied by a miner who controls the mining site. Based on this example, Communism, Capitalism and Betrayal of National interests can be differentiated as follows:

 1. Communism:

In Communism, the Steel manufacturing unit, the Car manufacturing units, the Iron ore processing units and the mines, everything is controlled and run by the government. Neither me, nor any other private individual can own any of it. All we will get is jobs in these units and get paid for our work like everybody else, because we all are equal.

 2. Capitalism:

In Capitalism, I have the freedom to own an industrial unit and run it as I please for whatever profit I want to make. I am free to switch over and own a car part manufacturing unit, or an ore processing unit, or own all of them provided I have capital to do so. This is the freedom in Capitalism.

 3. Betrayal of National Interests:

One thing you might have noticed under the above heading of “Capitalism” is that I didn’t mention “Mining site” in it. The reason is, the mineral wealth does not belong to any one individual but belongs to the entire community. There are two types of resources: Renewable (Like Sunlight, wind, rainfall etc) and non-renewable (Like fossil fuels, mineral ores etc). Both of these belong to the entire country or community, and not to one individual. (Do not confuse the issue with Middle East where the Sheikhs are the rulers by default and hence the Government within themselves and hence can claim the resources as theirs without anyone questioning them. But this cannot be the case in a Democracy.) Mineral wealth belongs to the nation and the Government in a democracy is not the owner of that wealth but just a caretaker. The public can change the Government any time via voting in elections. As such, the Government has got no right to sell those mineral sites to private organizations for cheap so that they can dig out the mineral wealth and make many times more money. That is underselling the national wealth for a private organization’s profit, which can be classified as nothing else but betrayal of national interests. More details are in my write-up on the same which can be accessed via the following link:

The Mining Betrayal – Economics Explained

 4. Equalism:

I know I didn’t mention it above that I will be discussing this point as well, but now that I have already gotten down and dirty with it, we may as well go through this muscle flexing exercise. In Equalism, the Government will control the mining sites as it should be doing in Capitalism as well but in Equalism, unlike Capitalism, everyone will be free to own a Steel manufacturing unit, a car parts manufacturing unit, an ore processing unit, either completely or as a share in them which will be no more than an investment of $1 Million. Unlike Communism, everyone will be free to earn as much profit from it as much they can as long as their earning are not more than 15times greater than the money the poorest in the society are getting as assistance from the Government every month. Everyone will be free to own what they want to but only one such thing. So if I own a steel manufacturing plant or a $1 Million share in it, I cannot own another business until I sell my share in the Steel manufacturing plant. There is freedom to do what I want to but just because I earn a lot more than others doesn’t mean I can buy out everything else in the market thus depriving others of an opportunity to succeed. And because everyone can own only one business, it means there are a lot more business opportunities in the market up for grabs, provided one is enterprising enough to seize the opportunity, work hard and succeed. The salary cap is big enough to make one’s living standards much better than most of the population as one can earn 15 times more than what the poorest get, while the employed can also earn as much as 10 times. At the same time the difference between 7-10 times and 15 times is not so huge that nobody else has the means or resources to own a business of their own and earn upto 15 times. The cap of one business along with the earning cap will make sure that no business organization will be huge enough so as to drain all the economy’s money into its’ account thus leaving the weaker sections of the society vulnerable to market diktats.

Another example:

Now since I am on fire, let us take another example. This time let me take the example of Public Transport.

 1. Communism:

Government owns and runs it. All profit goes into Government account. All loses are Government’s headache as providing this service is Government’s responsibility.

 2. Capitalism:

The Governments own the public transport and run it for profit or loss as Public Transport is Government responsibility. However, the Government can open up the Public Transport sector to Private operators giving them permission to bring their own buses, setting up their own business centers and offices, then hiring staff and running the services for profit after paying the Government a monthly or annual permit fees (Permit to operate a passenger transport vehicle) and fees to use public places like interchanges, bus terminals etc. This will mean that the Government will not only be not needed to spend and provide this service, but it will also be earning double profit; As tax from the profits earned by private operators plus the permit fees those operators will be paying to provide the services. The public will benefit not only because there will be competing services and hence better service, but they will still get the same number of jobs in this sector.

 3. Betrayal of national interests:

If the Government leases away the service to a private organization telling that organization to provide the service for it using the Government owned machinery, employing the same number of people which the Government will need to run the service on its’ own, and then pay the private organization money to run the service, it can be classified as nothing but betrayal of national interests. In this case the Government is suffering double loss. It is over spending as it is paying private organizations money for running what it can run on its’ own using same infrastructure and manpower (thus paying same salaries, benefits and expenses), but Government is also missing out on earning any profit which it would have in case the above mentioned example had been followed.

 4. Equalism:

The transport sector can be based on the example given under the heading “Capitalism” above but the business investment cap of $1 Million and one business per individual, along with the earning cap of 15 times will apply. This would mean that it won’t be just one or two companies who will own the entire Public Transport in a metropolitan area but many individuals who can afford to invest $1 Million can own a share of it.

 Conclusion:

The thin line that differentiates a Communistic and a Capitalistic decision is whether the decision curbs freedom that in no way affects national interests, or not. If the decision is taken in national interests as given in examples above, and does not curb individual freedom in any way, the decision is well within the reigns of Capitalistic set-up. Every Government takeover is not to curb freedom or convert to Communism. Remember, national interests are always more important than individual freedom, just like society is always more important than the individuals that make it.

Fatal Urge Carefree Kiss,

Amanpreet Singh Rai


Friday, November 18, 2011

Why Confusion: Capitalism doesn't mean selling national interests

Why Confusion: Capitalism doesn’t mean selling national interests

“A man owns what he creates; a Nation owns what it inherits!!”

A lot of people get confused by certain concepts as being against the principles of Capitalism. So this time, before I explain the above statement using a couple of relevant examples, let me assure you, neither the above statement nor the two examples are outside the purview of Capitalism. In fact, these two represent the balanced epitome of capitalistic virtues. So let us get on with the subject matter.

It is important to draw a distinction between what belongs to a man who is just a small part of the community he lives in, and what belongs to the community as an object of common interest or inheritance. The reason for this I will explain later in this write-up when I will explain how in democracy a Government, at best, is just a caretaker and not the owner of national wealth, resources and land.

Let us take an example of a farmer who has been awarded a piece of land as his own, whether by virtue of inheritance or by virtue of a purchase. The land listed against his name today was at some stage listed against the name of some member from the community’s past as a personal resource that can be transferred on to posterity. The intent for such a decree was to provide that member of the community an opportunity to create a resource for the community and generate income for self and family.

The individual thus, farmer in this case, puts in personal efforts by way of tiling, sowing, irrigating and harvesting, using the natural resources of soil, water and air to which he has no personal claim but are available in nature to one and all without any discrimination or private ownership. The resulting produce from these efforts belongs to the farmer who may sell it for money thus providing community with a food resource or otherwise. The farmer has only used nature and natural resources to create something that didn’t exist before but has taken nothing from the nature as such.

Now compare this to a scenario where a community, or rather Government, discovers tones of metal ore buried under soil. Who does this mineral wealth belong to? No doubt it belongs to the entire community or Nation within whose territory the find has been made. So who owns the right to exploit it if not the community or Nation itself?

This mineral wealth is a natural resource that has not been created by the efforts of any man using nature and natural resources, rather it was already present in nature and had passed on from one generation of the community to the next unnoticed until that time. It is inherited wealth of the community. Since no one man has created this wealth with his efforts, it belongs to no one man. So who has the right to exploit this wealth?

Mineral wealth that belongs to a community can only be used to promote the interests of the community in whose territory the wealth was found. It cannot be enlisted to one man or organization to exploit it and make a fortune for self. So who has the right to decide how this wealth is to be exploited for the best interests of the community?

Irrespective of the type of a society, whether it is Socialist, Capitalist or mixed, and irrespective of the type of Government, whether a democracy, aristocracy or dictatorial, it is generally the Government which makes decisions regarding exploitation of mineral wealth. So does a democratically elected Government hold a right to sell the national treasures to a private organization or entity by virtue of the powers imbibed in it by the constitution?

The simple one word answer to this question is an emphatic “No”.

A democratically elected Government is not an entity in itself. Its’ existence is subject to the whims of the community that elects it. A democratically elected Government consists of representatives whose position is provided by an instrument called vote. Those who make a Government in this term may not be there in the next term. The elected representatives have only been given a right and power so that they can exercise the two to make decisions for the entire community they represent. This right can be withdrawn via the same instrument at next election.

A democratically elected Government is at best a caretaker for the community and exists to serve the same. Such a Government is not the owner of what belongs to the community, which is the natural resources, land, water, man-power etc. The only authority a Government has is there to help it utilize these resources to the best of the capacities for the betterment of the community.

This above discussion is not contrary to but is rather a part of a better Capitalistic set up. As a Capitalistic society, it is well within the framework to let an individual or private organization to buy a piece of land, set up an industry, then buy minerals, utilize man and machine power to convert those minerals into processed goods to market and make a profit. In this case the natural resources have been utilized to create something with human effort and hence can be privately owned.

However, leasing a mining site is not the same as in that case a private organization is not creating something using man power but is rather using man-power to exploit what is already present in nature, something which neither belongs to that organization nor to the Government but to the community.

We all have a right to the air that surrounds us but none of us have the right to poison it and make it unfit for everybody else. Neither can we claim all the air to ourselves and charge everybody else for breathing it. That would be criminal and/or illegal.

The natural resources belong to the community and the only right a Government as a caretaker of natural resources for the community has is to exploit the resources in best possible way for the betterment of the community. No Government has the right to transfer these resources into private hands for exploitation as this causes irreparable loss to the community.

If this was not the case and the Government was the owner of everything and free to do as it pleases, then there would have been no way to stop a corrupt regime from selling the entire nation to a foreign power for money, thus accepting slavery for the entire community.

Thus a Government has no right to sell or lease a natural wealth site to a private organization or body to exploit for personal benefit. This is treason and can only be punishable by death. Any statutes passed by any democratically elected Government anywhere in the world that allows for such a selling of national resources are thus illegal and unconstitutional. A tenant, caretaker or a lessee cannot sell what he cannot own.

Capitalism means equal opportunity for everyone to create their own future, not a right to anyone to exploit what belongs to someone else. Providing opportunity to everyone equally to earn their living and destiny using what is available in the society and then putting own efforts to shape it is the essence of Capitalism. Letting someone take control of what belongs to everyone else for private benefits while everyone else suffers a loss, is treason.

I don’t think there is any scope or reason for confusion.

Fatal Urge Carefree Kiss

Amanpreet Singh Rai

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Brave Man

A Brave Man

“Strength is neither in muscle nor in attitude!! Strength is born of faith and resides in brain!!”

Once there was a very brave man. He was so brave that many other men became jealous of him.

Each one of those men used to think, "He is not even half as good as me. I can take on him one on one any day and crush him into cowdung!"

One day each one of those men decided to confront the brave man alone, when the brave man will be taking his daily walk, and then defeat him in a duel.

So the all reached the spot in anticipation, independently of each other, but when the brave man came they all pounced on him at once.

The brave man however took care of all of them alone.

Fatal Urge Carefree Kiss

(Amanpreet Singh Rai)

"Everyone thinks he can take on me one on one!! No one realizes I've been fighting all of them all alone all along!!"

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Taking on big labels

Taking On Big Labels

“The bigger the fish better it can be cooked!!”

Ever since I’ve released my own music I’ve realized the wide gulf between the signed artists and unsigned acts; a gulf not in the quality of product but in the way it generates revenue for those associated. As an unsigned act myself I couldn’t help but feel the starving heat of market, not because I don’t have a marketable product, but simply because I cannot get the market to accept it just by asking random people to buy my creations. So what is the big problem and how can it be tackled? Before I answer this question and explain my statement in italics above, let me introduce to you how the big labels create the gulf that is used as a dumping ground for dead unsigned acts.

 Why do big labels promote their protégées and hinder the growth of others?

Not a rocket science problem, I agree, nevertheless, useful in the present context.

Big labels promote their protégées as they spend a lot of money marketing them. And they spend that money because they want much more to return.

Anyone else in the same market who doesn’t belong to their camp, who isn’t earning them anything but is rather a potential choice for their customers, represents competition that has to be eliminated. Often people will pick up two albums that they like, then look inside their wallet and buy one of the two, leaving the other behind. The big labels try their best that there never is another album available to create an instance of choices for decision.

 How do big labels promote their protégées?

The marketing strategy can be conveniently divided into two broad groups, namely Direct and indirect.

a) Direct marketing: This includes all the traditional and open marketing techniques, like playing their artists on TV, radio, promotions via print, and upcoming techniques as offering some related prize in a promoted contest etc.

b) Indirect marketing: This includes all the new, hidden, clandestine and psychological marketing gimmicks and techniques to promote own protégées, and also the un-acceptable tacts applied for wiping out un-protected competition. Let me innumerate a few of them:

1. Hiring young boys and girls to promote the artists among their fellows through normal day to day conversation. This is done by influencing peer opinions by intentionally eulogising the artists and their work. Knowing the artists personally is flaunted and then a few from the peers are introduced to the artists thus creating a false stardom with an act. Anyone not impressed by the artist or critical of their work is actively snubbed, harassed, ridiculed and even bullied. The image of the artist is cooked in the minds of others through personal contact. The youth are asked to flaunt as to how they are crazy about the artist and such behaviour is intentionally promoted in the way of claims that they have bought so many albums or products of the artists. Those who fall for the trick and themselves buy many products are introduced to the artist and get a few words from them personally and a chain reaction is set in motion without anyone realizing they have been set up.

2. Channels that are under the direct influence of big labels as the control and provide all the media like movies and music to them, their hosts are actively encouraged to highlight the achievements of the artist that is going to be promoted. The artist is projected in good light and larger than life.

3. False stories or bravado, kindness etc are circulated or such news created and promoted in a big way to influence public opinion in a positive way. So next time when the artist releases some work, people buy it or support it because of their admiration of a person who might be a far cry from the real person themselves. Human suffering and tragedies are shamelessly used to give the artists an opportunity to promote themselves.

4. Voting in entertainment programs are rigged or faked to promote the work of their artists so that it creates a false success in the minds of public so as to influence public decision when they are faced with a choice as to which artist’s work to purchase.

5. TV channels and radio stations are influenced to sabotage the efforts of potentially much more talented artists who may be releasing their work independently or through smaller labels. This is done by clubbing their works with those of much established artists with a stronger piece of work so that the comparison yardstick becomes tough, or their work is relegated to spots which don’t get much public attention. This can also be done by manipulating the cost of advertisement in a way that smaller labels and independent artist cannot afford prime time airplay.

 What can an independent artist do to give a fight in such a situation?

Well, we all know how important publicity is for promoting your work. The only way of getting your work noticed is by getting it out there among the public, making people pay attention to it. Many indie artists use techniques like distributing their CD’s for free and performing in public places like shopping malls, small pubs etc to get noticed. Here I am going to share a few more direct marketing methods which will enhance your audience without requiring your personal presence amongst the masses.

1. Air Play:

Radio play is not affordable for most of the indie artists. They may send their songs to various radio channels and still get nowhere. But then how can you get your song heard? If you notice the question carefully friends, the problem is in getting your song heard, not getting it heard on radio or television!

The simplest solution under such circumstances is to contact small businesses locally, places like health clubs, grocery stores, mechanics, barber shops, coffee shops, family restaurants, etc, that is, places where different people go daily and spend some time. Go to these places give them your CDs, along with a couple of professionally done posters and request them to play your CD all the time. There is your Air-play, but it is not all. Read this point in conjunction with the next few points to understand the vast advantages and potential plus why these people will do it. But before that one of the most important cog in this method, the poor old cabbies!

If you have a friend who owns or drives his own cab, or you yourself drive one for part-time work, it is the best way of promoting your music. At other places mentioned above, people might not concentrate that much on what is being aired but cabs are compact spaces with no escape and scaringly intimate surroundings with a stranger. The music is sole comfort. The trick however here is knowing what mood the people using cabs are going to be in. If they are going out for party, the music has to be pumping and loud, and same when they are in the middle of it, that is, hopping between clubs. But the mood is sombre at the end of a party as well as a long day. The other very important trick here would be for the cabbie to avoid conversation and force the solitude on passengers so that they listen to what is playing. If the cabbie is you or your friend, this won’t be an issue, but if the cabbie is unknown then you will have to pay him something.

The same muscial selection principle as described in the paragraph above applies for other joints as well. Rather I should say, your music determines the joints you can utilize. For example, a romantic or soft music album for restaurants, pumping house, rock or hip-hop music for gym, pop for barber shop and anything for grocery stores, etc. You need to identify which business has an atmosphere that gels with your music. Rock music is good for mechanical repair works as the noise levels can be high for other forms of music and besides rock will keep the men pumped up while working as well. And remember to respect the individual tastes of those playing your music as well. Best way is to let them get a feel of it first before forcing your ideas and offers on them. If they are not into it, then they are not going to put any effort on it as well. Remember to explain it to them, by supporting local talent they are creating opportunities for themselves as well as someone they might be close to as well. After all, we all are in this together!

And last on this list but not the least are your friends whom no label can buy from you. Beg, bargain, convince or threat, do whatever it takes you to make them blow your songs through their sub-woofers in cars and homes homes, headphones of i-pads and walk-mans (Preferably at high volumes or hands free), make a short ringtone and FORCE it on them, etc. There’s no air-play like free air-play and if your friends can’t do this simple thing for you, they can’t be classified as your friends. And offcourse, tell them to promote you the way big labels use youth (mentioned in detail above).

2. Marketing:

This is the important extension of the first point mentioned above and the next point makes an important aspect under it as well.

The trick to getting to your CD sold is not just about getting it heard but also making it available for purchase. Whichever venue is playing your music should also be able to sell it for you, for an expected price offcourse. When people ask them whose music is it that is playing they should be able to say that this is our kid and we are the only place selling this music at a discounted price (I’ll explain below). This is why I mentioned providing a few professional posters for promotion along with your music. Now to explain its’ working model, let me take a simple example.

Let us say that you provided a restaurant or a gym with 10 CDs and each CD cost you $3 in making (including glass cover and printing, other costs etc). You want atleast $3 profit on it but you will have to allow the venue to sell it at $10 and allow them to make $4 out of it. Blasphemous? Or is it?

Firstly, why will a restaurant or gym or anyother business market you if they don’t see a bigger margin for themselves? Secondly, say one store sells your ten CDs and hence earns $40 while you end up with lesser, $30. But then, you might be getting $30 from ten different places. So how much will you be earning? Does it come out to be $300? So who’s making more profit?

Besides, make sure you price your CDs as $15 sale priced. This is the discount your friends will be offering. And even if they cheat you and make $90 instead of $40, well, it is still not $300! So getting the idea.

3. Top Ten Songs CD:

It is a good idea to collaborate with many artists and pick your best songs and make a mix tape to market. This increases the variety of the music you will be selling and hence enhances your chances of selling more music. The model will remain the one mentioned above but the game will be changed at your end. Depending upon how many songs out of 10 an artist has, he or she will have that much share in expenses as well as profit made by such sales.

So an artist with 1 song in the above example will end up with $30, which is 1/10th of $300. I agree it is less than both $40 and $90 but then the artist is making $30 by selling only one song, while the store is making $40 or $90 by selling an album containing 10 songs. So artist’s share is $30 per song while the seller’s share is $4 or $9 per song. Besides who’s stopping you from selling from more outlets? Can the big labels do the same thing? Well if they do, they are going to be in a very sticky situation as I will explain below.

 Why can’t big labels do what I am suggesting unsigned artists?

The question seems obvious but let me put it in better light. The correct question here should be, “Why won’t the big labels do what I am suggesting?”

Firstly, the big labels work around figures and numbers. The figures that determine the number of copies they will produce for an act and market are the demographics of fans and their spread across the globe. Based upon an artist’s popularity, he or she will be marketed and promoted in that terrertory where most of his or her fans come from. Major investment will be in that market and all the promotions will happen there. Most of the copies of the product will be shipped there and only a fraction of the product will be marketed in other territories while some terretories will be skipped altogether. Very few artists have a global following and even those who have might have a better hold in certain markets and negligible in others. So big labels generally as a rule won’t take the pains in flooding markets with their products as I have explained above.

Secondly, they don’t need to do it that way. They already control the airwaves and their artists are already getting promoted anywhere where there is a receiving television set or a radio. If you play a TV or radio and their artist’s creation is on, anyone who can listen or see the product is being catered to. Why would they need to do it the hard and slow way like contacting every small shop or gym? Who amongst there ranks have that time?

Thirdly, even if the big labels were to loose their bearings and get into the mud themselves and start doing what I have suggested, do you realize how devastating it will be for their budget and margins? I agree, a CD that will cost you $3 to create, a big label can create the same for 90 cents possibly but then they are spending big chunks on radio, online and airwaves marketing, promotions etc. And let us not forget, while every $10 sale will give you $3 after recovering your $3 costs, the labels won’t be getting $5.10 either. They owe anything between 30-40% to the artists, and then the remainder is for them. So what options will a label have then? To make more money they will have to cut the share of signed acts and if that were to happen, the signed artists will all live to regret the day they signed the contract.

So everything that I have suggested above is going to help only people like you and me who are unsigned gigs. So what are we waiting for? Let us get our acts together and get down and dirty with those who have left us no choice. We are doing it for ourselves, what bigger motivation does anyone of us needs?

When you are fighting an adversary who is much more powerful, rich and resouceful than you, the only choice that adversary leaves for you is to quit what you are doing else the adversary will keep on undoing everything constructive you will try to achieve. The only way of dealing with such an adversary is to make him use his resources over and over, again and again. This will consume his resources and make him weak, and when he is weak enough, we can take him down.


Fatal Urge Carefree Kiss

Amanpreet Singh Rai

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Now or Never - Else it will be too late for anyone to do anything!!

It’s now or never

“What we can achieve peacefully through democratic means today will need another bloodbath like French Revolution in 50 years time!!”

For quite a while now I’ve been trying to bring to the attention of public, all that has gone wrong with our countries in general and economies in particular. I have explained how the current situation has come into being, and also projected the future in relevant terms. However to explain the statement in italics above, I will use a current example from Greece (down towards the end), then explain how the current recession which has been temporarily withheld will be overcome for a couple of decades more, and then explain how the bloodbath will happen. But before that a quick recap.

=> First what I have already explained:

I explained how Privatization has caused loses to both Governments as well as ordinary people. If you haven’t read it before then here’s my write up explaining in detail:

I explained in detail how Privatization leads to market takeover and monopoly, and how they together are the reasons for current recession. I wrote about it to US President Barack Obama as well. Here’s the letter I sent to President Obama:

I explained in detail how Capitalism is the reason behind the recession and how it has failed miserably as a model of human society much like it’s counterpart on the other extreme, Socialism. Here’s the link:

I also explained how third world economies like India have sustained the whole world economy through the current financial crisis but the arrangement is temporary. I also explained how privatization of those countries will only delay the next recession but will not be able to save the world. Here’s the write up:

I explained to people of the whole world how our grand-kids and great grand kids will have to suffer because we didn’t do anything and let the world degenerate into a mess, rather than giving them a healthy society. I explained how we all are going to degenerate into slaves without chains but with right to vote. I explained how our posterity won’t be able to buy own house.

=> My messages to Indians and people of other third world countries:

In these write-ups I explained to people of India and other third world countries how their countries are under threat and how the corrupt politicians have sold our national interests to foreign businessmen for the sake of money that will end up getting stashed in a foreign bank and most of which they won’t even be able to use.

I explained to Indians and people of third world economies how privatization will weaken their budgets as the Governments will lose avenues to generate income and instead over tax underpaid people. I also explained how the same privatization will lead to market takeover which will wipe out every small business owner from the market just like it has happened in all the major western economies.

I explained to Indians how they were cheated by their own politicians, and why prices and inflation wasn’t controlled so that they paid for keeping the world economy afloat (Some more details a couple of paragraphs below).

Now I really respect Mr Anna Hazaare, a great Gandhian, for mobilizing an entire generation of Indians into a mass action that moved the Government. However unfortunately, and I say this with all due respect to the honorable Gandhian and his great effort, I don’t think Mr Anna Hazaare and his team grasped the real problem, and what was achieved is not what will serve any better purpose than the legislations and organizations we already have. Now my Indian brothers and sisters, before you get angry with me for this comment, read carefully what I have explained at the end of this link below (same as one mentioned above):

I explained to Indians and people from other third world countries, they all are in the same boat, whether employed or small business owners. They all stand to lose every opportunity that exists for them as their Governments will let the rich investors take over every Government sector undertaking and then build big supermarkets and warehouses to destroy small shop owners, and then big real estate owners will buy every property in the market, or most of it, resulting in sky rocketing of property prices, making it a dream to own your own house. How do you expect people getting small salaries to afford back breaking mortgages?

All this will happen tomorrow if we don’t do anything today.

=>A new example from Greece:

The European Union, International Monetary Fund are putting pressure on Greece to cut 100,000 jobs in order to avail their loan. Do you people realize what will happen?

Not only will 100,000 people lose their source of income, but the other businesses in the market will also loose 100,000 customers. The crash will continue and people will become insecure. Those who have money won’t spend it and this will create a bigger mess. Many businesses will close. That’s when foreign investors will come in with their big money and buy out those collapsing businesses. Local businessmen will be wiped out and everybody will become an under-paid employee in a private organization like supermarket or warehouse.

Every economy needs to generate income other than the money circulating in their economy, to increase the rate of development, to build new infrastructure. For this purpose every economy needs money from outside to come in, as the money already inside is locked in the economy. Now the only way to get money from outside your country is by exporting something. Things like minerals, petroleum, gas, finished products, gemstones, technology, education etc, they all form the back bone of development of a nation. Every country is known for a particular export, like Japan, Korea, Thailand, China for technology, Germany for cars and weapons, Middle East for oil etc.

The worst export of all these is Education as it leads to many associated problems. People generally fail to accept outsiders into their society, and then there are labor issues as local labor loses financially due to arrival of cheaper labor force, then there are racist attacks, etc. The second worst export is minerals, as it means you are giving away your own national wealth at throw away prices. Remember friends, the imperialism of 18th and 19th centuries was driven just by the requirement of minerals for pushing the economies of Europe. In fact, the whole war going on in Asia at the moment has been waged for the sake of its’ petroleum resources. Every other problem is a direct result of that First Gulf Invasion.

Now if the Greece Government is really honest, and the people who decide destinies of nations, the leaders, like those of EU, IMF etc are intelligent, the simple solution for Greece is to look at what it exports and invest in improving it. First export that Greece can bank upon is tourism industry, which already contributes 18.2% (approx) to its’ economy. All they need is to develop tourist attractions and at the same time advertise them in economies from where they will get tourists, like Bollywood from India is known to spend lavishly on foreign locales and so does Hollywood, and many other movie industries. If Greece advertises itself well, cut down airfares to Greece, hotel expenses etc, more people will flock in and then Greece’s economy can make much more in the way of the money the tourists will spend over there.

And then livestock is another important export from Greece, and so textile. What is their Government doing to promote those industries? Has it done enough? I am sure if it had then the current mess wouldn’t have been there in the first place. Can you imagine how many jobs and small businesses each one of these industries can create and support? Will they need any loans after that? Or perhaps the politicians there are also interested in some quick corruption money in foreign accounts. Who cares for country these days?

=> What will happen now?

At the current rate of privatization and market takeover, the big businessmen who have stashed huge cash by wiping out small businessmen from their own countries and then underpaying their workers (leading to current recession), they will use the same money to take-over the remaining markets in the world, which is third world countries.

This will put into circulation the money that is currently been blocked away from the economy, up-lifting the economy until a time when everything in the market has been bought. After that, the extra cash flowing into every market will stop again as nothing will be there to buy, and everybody will be working as under-paid employees. That’s when the next recession will happen and that’s when ordinary people will have no choice but either to beg for food and money in front of the big businessmen, or do what they did during French Revolution; kill anyone who has soft hands.

=> How to stop all this?

As I explained in one of my write ups mentioned above, we don’t need a revolution right now. All we need is to come together to save our world for our posterity. Let us all choose people from amongst us who will work for our interests and not the businessmen. Let us make parties that will fight elections for us and then after winning those elections, will bring about legislative and constitutional changes the same way as they ought to be made according to current laws.

We don’t need to strike work as it only causes loss to our own countries and economies. As businesses close down, even if for a day, the money going into banks is withheld. This delays further investment of the same money, causing loss of interest to banks, and loses in share markets due to lack of cash inflow. This leads to loss of revenue to Government in the form of interest, taxes and investment revenues. And Government makes us pay for the same by raising taxes next time.

We need to stand together, work together. If media doesn’t support us as it is under the influence of politicians and businessmen, then we will have to spread the word of mouth, just like the old days, only this time it is much easier with internet posts, emails, tweets, facebook messages, text messages, telephones, mobiles etc.

Today, I share with India a new dawn. I give my Indian brothers and sisters, “Vijayi Veer Vishesh India Party” (VVVIP). Here’s its’ formal declaration:

Indians and ordinary people of the rest of the world, come join me in saving our future!!

And we need to do it now, or it will be too late and no one will be able to do anything then.

Fatal Urge Carefree Kiss

Amanpreet Singh Rai

P.S.: For those who consider building of highways as a sign of development:

Building highways and freeways is passed on to us as development but in all truth it is a means of connecting big industries with their resources in a more efficient way. This saves them time and ultimately money on transportation. Simple logic is, better highways and better connected highways means, raw material and finished goods can be transported quicker to their required ends. This means for transporting same amount of raw material and finished goods, a company truck takes less time, which means the same driver is available to do more work in a year, which means the company needs one less driver. Which means one person will lose their job. Confused? Well, say a highway saves half hour every day for a truck, and a company has eighteen trucks that travel on that highway every day. It means, everyday eighteen trucks save nine hours for the company, which is roughly one driver’s shift. Every week, that company needs one driver less for every 18 drivers. So who did this development benefit? Ordinary people like you and me?