3 December 2009

The Genteel Art of STBO

I have decided to embark upon a career change.

Fear not female fans, just because I went to the title fight last night, doesn't mean I have any intention of getting my grizzled old mug - mugged.

I have settled upon a far easier career path. I am going to become a practitioner of STBO (must have an acronym to go with the cheese fondue set and ski racks on a 4WD all year round).

STBO - the art of Stating The Bleeding Obvious.

For example Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, who like all UN Secretary-Generals is a master of STBO. Speeches are so much easier than actual deeds - and more lucrative.

In today's i On Global Trends I posted an article on modern day slavery. Many call it "contemporary slavery" which sounds posher but too much like some sort of art genre to my mind.

Now this may come as a shock to you - but did you know that when it comes to slavery, "The majority who suffer are the poor and socially excluded groups such as minorities and migrants".

Suddenly I was enlightened.

Until then I thought it was just a coincidence that you never seem to see the wealthy being subjected to slavery, only those working in sweat shops for 10 cents a day and a bashing if they fall asleep.

Next time you are at a dinner party, you can dazzle fellow diners with your profound understanding of such issues by saying "Did you know that it is mostly the poor who are kept as slaves?"

If you wish to back up your argument, you can always quote Ifzal Ali, ADB's Chief Economist who in 2005 revealed "the poor are poor because they earn too little"

Back in 1997 I was involved in promoting a "guru" who has made a fortune from selling books that STBO. Time management for example - if you want to complete a task and do not want to be disturbed - you should let others know and not accept unsolicited or non-urgent phone calls!

Yet even today, people still flock to buy his books and hand over a small fortune to hear him repeat the same tommy-rot he was spouting way back then. If you can't think of such basic concepts for yourself, you have no right being in business in the first damn place. Unless of course you are aiming for a government bail-out.

Of course STBO is not always popular. There are those who prefer the Bleeding Obvious to be kept under wraps, hidden by spin, perception management and media manipulation. There are those who are quite happy to accept that situation.

But fortunately - there are those who are not.

Wherever you may be - be safe

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