The air that we breathe

As promised in my last post, this one will be starting with (lets call it what it is) a rant.

Once again the word artisan has reared its head and been slapped all over a ‘product’ that should make any rational thinking person despair over the state of all things before buying a first class ticket on the next flight to Mars and giving it a good go at starting over.

I am of course referring to bottled air. Now I don’t mean the sort that divers and astronauts use, because that’s pressurized oxygen and I don’t begrudge them having that when they are floating in space or somewhere under a few hundred tonnes of water (anything else is fair game though). Recently a couple of people have decided that bottling English country air and shipping it to China for £75 a pop is a great way to make money. Now not only is the concept of trapping air in a jar by waving it around outside for a while nothing more than an over dramatization of pretending to create something, the fact that they are trying to sell it as a national product is somewhat insane. Sure there are different pollutants primarily present in different areas of the world but one of the fun things about air is that it moves around the planet reasonably freely. So while the air in your jar might have been captured in England like some sort of theoretical Pokemon, by this point it has been breathed in by a few billion lifeforms and chemically altered so many times that if it owned a passport and they still did the thing with a stamp you would be hard pressed to work out where it started off. Further more, unless you are planing to perform a chemical analysis of each and every bottle of air (which is at no point filtered before being sold) you have no guarantee that the single breath you might get out of it is any cleaner than the stuff you get for free by simply being alive and living in an oxygen rich environment.

So well done, you conniving thieves. You have managed to find a product that takes almost no effort or skill on your part to make, and sell it to people in a part of the world that are currently experiencing air pollution on a level that makes the London smog look like a Center Parks advert. Sure,  you could argue that it is the rich and gullible who are only effected by this but that’s really not the point. The fact that we are still struggling to live in a world where people’s go to reaction when they see someone else suffering is ‘how can I make money on that’ is disgusting.

Sadly the only solution I can offer at this time is when you see someone in pain, don’t be a #@$&.

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The longest wait

Despite how busy I actually am these days, between work, university, attempting to learn Japanese and painting tiny plastic toys, I still find that the bigger picture manages to really drag itself out. I believe it is mostly because I am waiting for my visa to be approved, so every time a new email notification pops up on my phone I immediately drop everything to see what it is (much to the despair of my manager and to the detriment of anything I was previously holding), only to be disappointed by spam, pictures of my very recently born nephew or university results.

So maybe the last two things on that list are not so bad, but it is a little frustrating that when you know full well there is no reason why your application would not be accepted that it can still take up to three months to be approved, and then I still need to wait for the paperwork to arrive from Japan and take it to the embassy in London to have it converted into a full visa. If only the Japanese government would just accept my cover letter stating that I’m pretty great and will be no trouble at all, I feel that their whole visa process could be sped up by maybe as much as 3000%. So if you happen to be reading this, Japanese government, it might be worth considering. That is, after all, one heck of an improvement in speed and literally nothing else.

Jumping topics almost entirely, I took the proverbial leap and bought some Malifaux crews. One for me – The Hired Swords, and one for a friend – The Guild’s Judgement. The plan is I am going to paint them both and then give one to my friend as a birthday present. This means not only will I be a great friend but they will have to play the game with me, and so I become less of a great friend and more of a cunning blackmailer through the power of gift giving. The game itself looks like a lot of fun, but I actually mostly bought it for the models as I’ve been eyeing up the Hired Swords (in a normal, art appreciation sort of way) for a couple of months now. A quick browse of the Wyrd forums also reveals that at least back in 2011 there were people in Japan playing the game too, so with a little luck it could also be a nice way to break into the gaming circles over there. Yea, that’s right! I managed to make even this a little bit about Japan. As an aside, this means you can probably look forwards to pictures of the things I am painting, as well as updates about my experiences with the game. Unless I suck at it, in which case I’ll just pretend it never happened.

Time never does seem to move in the way we want it to, either too quickly or too slowly whenever it is the most inconvenient for it to do so. It’s almost like it is a concept that can not only be used as a measurement but is also deeply rooted in the personal perception of the beholder, who incidentally are very nice people and give a great live performance. (As well as being quite difficult to find on youtube to demonstrate that they are a heavy metal band, rather than some nonsensical surrealism about time being a great live performer.)

Tune in next week for more waiting around for a visa, painted figures and a discussion / rant about people who sell bottled air. Don’t forget to listen to our podcast too, it’s pretty great and features me, your good pal Dave.

 

Title image originally found on Gaijinpot.com. This post was written by Enigmatic Dave.