Fit, Lean & Beautiful #43

Fit, Lean & Beautiful #43

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

When in pursuit of a deep and true fitness, one needs to ascertain what parts of their body are weak and strong.  Via a Physical Therapy Center, a “PT” may have you push against their hand to gauge your force or strength.  In the end, they may tell you about parts of your body that due to your work or regime are built up and other parts that may be weak and need additional support.  PT is completely targeted healing and curative exercising that often improves one’s range of motion.

When one has sat down to work on their fitness, a good first step is to gauge and develop the body’s strength of all its parts-to be deeply fit.   Another needed step is often to alkaline the body with things like cranberry juice and lemon.  Then finally, all the eliminations via a diuretic that removes excess water, a colonic to clear the colon and a liposuction to clear unwanted fatty materials in conjunction with Sculptra.

When trying to heal back problems that range from a sciatica, arthritis, worn out disk, and muscle strain-one doctor prescribed strengthening the whole back and PT also added to strengthen the upper legs to support the back.  Exercises include things like Yoga’s cobra, bridge and plank, simple sit and stands, kicking forward, side and back, back leg lifts, monster walks with a rubber bank around ankles, hanging one leg off the table to stretch the lower back region, balancing on one leg and balancing with one foot in front of the other.  After even four days of exercise, you may feel your whole body tighten and waistline definition.

It’s possible to make vast improvements to one’s fitness, physique and beauty.  First steps include things like blank-slating so that when you lipo you won’t deform your body.  Remove hair, scars, stretch marks and if you like-unwanted tattoos.    There are surface tasks to achieve in conjunction with microdermabrasion/peels and elimination tasks.  The first thing a plastic surgeon may ask you to do is all your surface work, before doing anything surgical.

Up to Snuff #102: Build something up and work from it

Up to Snuff#102: Build something up and work from it

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

While assembling a collection of design work based on poverty titled, “That poor old girl,” it occurred to this author to utilize the collection of designs within literature as a research, to infuse writings with good research.  One may build something up and work from it.

The ideas were for example how within garment one may “scrap for parts” and cut out the collar or zipper or cuffs of an old or worn-out article of clothing.  Following the “poverty” research within design, the idea is to create some kind of “Dickens” styled piece of literature. “Build something up and work from it,” means to compile even design research as a later basis for literature.

Review: Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue”

Review: Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue”

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Amy Tan’s, “Mother Tongue,” is a sentimental short story which chronicles the relationship between mother and daughter while looking through the lens of language.  Tan, describes herself as speaking two “Englishs” that relate to Chinese immigration and second generation American born English scholarship.  The author centers the dialog on scholarship in general and her rebellion to become a writer while so many Chinese focus on STEM subjects.  In the end, Tan’s mother’s hard work and attention to financial details, advances the second generation and as if a privilege, Tan is able to take a unique path into writing.  The theme of Amy Tan’s, “Mother Tongue,” is English and culture because she focuses on immigration, second-generation issues and English scholarship.

The author’s goal may be to highlight English scholarship. However, her goals may have a cultural aim and strategy.  In the end, are more Chinese guided towards English scholarship and the documentation of unique Chinese histories?  Can Chinese absence from writing be described as a lack of historical documentation? It may become compulsory that a slice of the population treasure and document the immigrant experience and China’s history through China’s special lens. The first point illustrates and establishes the author as a scholar of English. The article commences with her sophisticated ideas around English, “the way it can evoke an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea, or a simple truth.” Amy Tan opens the essay, “Mother Tongue,” with a rhetorical question, “I am not a scholar of English or literature.”

Amy Tan goes on to describe the intricacies of English both within her family and within her academic life as all her “English’s”.  When describing the debut of her novel, “Joy Luck Club,” she said, “the intersection of memory and imagination.” Scholarship may be guided in this way via the door through which one walks and that may be a second generation door of immigration to America. Scholarship also presents itself as something cultivated and culturally refined where English as Second Language (ESL) English may highlight, “past perfect tenses or conditional phrases.” An immigrant may present fresh eyes on a subject or even on a language with more acute sensitivity to its variations or what she describes as thoughts about the “power of language and how it can evoke an emotion, a visual image or simple truth.” Part of Tan’s power may also be as a gifted historian and scholar, she may extract special selections that are autobiographical, memoir or cultural, which shine an intimate light on what this group’s experience may be.

The second point deals with what culture dictates in terms of language, relationships, customs, common practices, charm, and generational differences.  She recounts a story of her and her Mother in a memoir styled chronicling of their relationship, exploiting tender and comic moments.  Tan had to impersonate her mother as a child by telephone to stockbrokers.  She would say, “This is Mrs. Tan,” and her mother would say in a whisper next to her, ‘why he don’t send me check, already two weeks late. So mad he lie to me, losing me money.’ Then Tan in perfect English says, “Yes, I’m getting rather concerned.  You had agreed to send the check two weeks ago, but it hasn’t arrived.” Tan comically uses the above exchange to show off her two English’s. She details for the reader how language barriers play a role in immigrant life.  She shows how a loving daughter may come to assist her parent.  The author used the verb “wrought” in terms of vocabulary which may use language associated to irons and metals to describe older generations with difficulty assimilating.  What becomes paramount are the unique conditions that come to inform the trajectory of the author.  Cultural practice may lead to career choice when guided by shortages and necessities.

Tan may have been proving her worth to American readers, inspiring Chinese-Americans to alternative career choices and filling in gaps.  Her mother may have been financially savvy enabling her departure from the normal cultural standards.  Amy Tan’s mother was painted as financially savvy.  “She reads the Forbes report, listens to Wall Street Week, converses daily with her stockbroker, reads Shirley MacLaine’s books with ease-all kinds of things I can’t begin to understand.” Tan’s mother’s savvy was the magic elixir that produced a second generation scholar and rebel. The hard work of immigrant parents enables the future generations to choose, to differ, to experiment, to do what they really, really want to do- or start to get into new areas.  Tan’s choice to become an English scholar was culturally fresh. Many Chinese may be drawn to STEM fields or engineering in a manufacturing focused country. In the end, other sectors may have had shortages, inclusive of English. Language barriers may have also been an impediment.

Tan illustrated in “Mother Tongue,” how life threatening or moments of struggle have comic relief which she relates back to English and scholarship. The necessity for Tan’s family for her to improve on the families English may have transformed her into an English scholar. Necessity as the old saying goes can be the mother of invention.  The two ideas combined both finance and English may have joined forces to advance via her mother’s shrewd business practices and secondly out of necessity to satisfy a need her family and country of origin lacked.

Amy Tan’s, “Mother Tongue,” highlighted a need for Chinese immigrants to document and chronicle their lives.  Tan highlighted this comic and tender language barrier that may drive future generations into writing fields and English scholarship. The shrewdness of their parents in finance will open doors to fill in gaps that may later account for missing histories or the detailing of the immigrant experience. Tan leaves the reader with a feeling of general liberation, rebellion, distinction, trailblazer, and necessity.

Tan used the context of language and scholarship to illustrate the immigrant experience.  Tan’s use of comic relief shows how tragic experiences have a kind of duplicity, where in a moment two “Englishs” can be spoken.  Tan, a trailblazer, may usher in a new generation of Chinese writers.

Language and writing have a variety of doors and your background becomes the guiding force for your skills. Chinese immigrants to California may have prospered to the extent that their offspring are catapulted to stardom.

Marxism influenced the labor movement and gave rise to labor unions

Marxism influenced the labor movement and gave rise to labor unions

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Karl Marx, German Philosopher (5 May 1818-14 March 1883) offered in “Das Kapital 1,2,3” and “The Communist Manifesto,” an economic worldview via the use of political, social and economic “critique.” “Critique” by Marx became a means of observation and questioning, in this case, social questions.  The main crux of Marx’s argument had to do with how class struggles elicit social change and inevitably overthrows capitalism and subsequently the ruling class or “bourgeoisie.”  Marx’s “ideological writings” such as “Das Kapital 1,2, & 3” and “The Communist Manifesto” propagandize, lead to movements, frame  and provide ideas from which a movement can evolve “ideologically.”  Key Marx concepts like the use of the “left” or Communism or Socialist or capitalism or labor or class struggle or bourgeoisie or Proletariat were incendiary and gave rise to militancy.  The disciples were those who adopted Communism or Socialism and became the key drivers of labor movements that formed unions in the twentieth century.    Around the turn of the twentieth century, Marxist ideas influenced the goals of the labor movement and gave rise to its subsequent labor unions by way of its militant minority.

The bourgeoisie according to Marx’s “The Communist Manifesto” are “untenable and destined to fall.”  The companion and enabler of the bourgeoisie  was the “Proletariat,” whose nomenclature suggests an obedience word “pro-let,” or a professional renter or personage for hire “pro-let,” where ..tariat could suggest torn apparel or tare suggestive of weight or worth weight in gold or a professional renter, who is without property.  Needless to say, the word is infused with working-class description and suggestive of this personage or group who lives so far as his self- sale permits it.  “The Communist Manifesto,” details it, “Development of a class of laborers who live only so long as they find work and who find work only so long as their labor increases capital.” The last lines in “The Communist Manifesto” claim that “The Proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains.  Working men of all countries unite!”  Marx’s audience, therefore, became the working class and his mission in their regards was to overthrow diverse established regimes of ruling class in favor of a Socialist model which was meant to replace capitalism. Who became this ignited group of organizers was thought to emanate from The Communist Party in search of working-class revolutions or Socialists who were also meant to replace capitalists.

According to Micah Uetricht, in her seminal article which details the rise of the unions, “U.S. Union Revitalization and the Missing “Militant Minority,”” in the “Labor Studies Journal,” “Militant minorities were radical leftists with a commitment to militant unionism and were the hardest fighters, dedicated organizers, and built union cultures of solidarity.” Within the context of the Great Depression, New Deal Era, World War II, the Bolsheviks, the Civil Rights Movement and post emancipation-activism during this period of the 20th century was strong, forceful, successful and enduring.  According to Uetricht, unions during this period were building “worker power,” and during the “60’s and 70’s public sector workers walked off jobs in mass illegal strikes.”  Unions were beginning to map a movement.  They used campaign strategies and paid for candidates to represent workers.  Uetricht states that unions “made political fixes using politicians for minimum wage hikes.”  It was a period where employment relations were stirred and workers connected to management.  According to Anam Ullah, there were “worldwide labor problems” and “those arguing from a radical perspective draw principally from the work of Karl Marx.” (Ullah, pg. 36) Archer shared this point and cited in his paper on “The State and its Unions,” “(His) approach can be seen as an early example of the new institutionalism then emerging as a response or development of neo-Marxian class theories.” (Archer, 201)

Socialists were thought to look at abolition in “The Communist Manifesto,” and improve conditions for all, even the most favored. (Marx, 52) Brewer goes on to describe how “’collective action’ achieves a genuine socialist society.” (Brewer, 93) Brewer describes the evolution of socialism “Slavery was just in a slave society and unjust in a capitalist society.  Exploitation is just in a capitalist society, but unjust in a socialist society.” (Brewer, 92) People began to utilize “’Social Science’ according to Brewer as a process by which to see inequality as exploitive.”(Brewer, 91)  Social science was used for small experiments and to write social laws and was thought to be miraculous.  Unions were dreaming of experimental realization of social utopias as was suggested by Marx’s “The Communist Manifesto.”

Unions were trying to address capitalism wrote Brewer, where capitalism, “gets something for nothing or much for little, at the expense of others.” (Brewer, 92)  Brewer wrote about “forced domination or unequal power as the precondition of and consequence of exploitation which was a feature of advanced capitalism.” (Brewer, 91) Pamphlets were distributed by Marx and others and were highlighted in “The Communist Manifesto” as “the enlightenment of the working class.” (Marx, 53) Brewer stated that “collective action eliminates exploitation.” (Brewer, 92)  “Early institutional relations evolved and conditioned union identity, which was in the end the blue print for advancing interests through the unions.”(Gall, 146) Actions like worker representation, resistance to management and collective bargaining preserved jobs and enabled change.  Marx described a torn aristocracy in “The Communist Manifesto,” and “how aristocracy was meant to lose sight of its own interests and adopt the interests of the working class.”

A consequence of the labor unions that Marx may have inspired, were according to (Jun Chen, et al., 775) that “we found that labor unionization is negatively associated with stock price crash risk. However, Chen went on to prove in her paper that “labor unions are able to lower the probability of stock price crash risk by reducing managerial risk-taking behaviors.” (Jun  Chen, et al., 775).  Additionally, many labor unions were said to “use political power to improve profits and reduce competition through regulating capture of government agencies and by lobbying for favorable legislation and government contracts and decisions.” (Jared Stanfield, 1101)  Jake Rosenfeld illustrated how “Rod Blagovich signed an executive order granting collective bargaining rights to nearly 50,000 childcare workers after a multiyear lobbying campaign by the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) backed Blagovich’s 2002 Gubernational bid with manpower and financial resources for congressional Democratic  efforts.” (Jake Rosenfeld, 31)  Apparently, to get things passed, unions ascertained how to get leaders on their side.  Legal enactments became imperative when “wages weren’t in keeping with inflation or when the government felt that wages were rising faster than the rate of inflation.” (Williams P. James, 166).  James highlighted how collective bargaining “allowed unions to distort Democracy and public employees had more influence over elected officials than other citizens.”

Marxian theories influenced the direction of the labor movement which led to union organizing in America in the 20th century.  Ideas around class struggle interpreted by Marxist critique as Bourgeoisie and Proletariat illustrated a problematic capitalism destine for social change.  Marxian ideas were said to inspire social change and led a generation to Communism and Socialism.  The particular generation led to Communism and Socialism was thought to form a militant minority who went on to organize unions within the 20th century labor movement.

Bibliography

Archer, Robin. The state and its unions:  Reassessing the antecedents, development and consequences of new deal labor law. Labor History. May 2013, Vol. 54 Issue 2, p201-207. 7p

Brewer, John. Exploitation is the new Marxism of collective action. The Sociological Review, Vol 35(1), Feb, 1987 pp. 84-96, Routledge & Kegan Paul

Chen, Jun; Tong, Jamie Y.; Wang, Wenming; Zang, Feida. The economic consequences of labor unionization:  Evidence from stock price crash risk. Journal of Business Ethics. Jul2019, Vol. 157 Issue 3, p775-796, 22p

Gall, Gregor. Richard Hyman:  An assessment of his industrial relations: A Marxist introduction. Capital & Class. Mar2012, Vol. 36 Issue 1, p135-149. 15p

Marx, Karl. Capital Vol. 1,2 &3 (Das Kapital Vol. 1,2 & 3), Lexington, Kentucky. Stief Books, July 2019

Marx, Karl; Engels, Freidrich. The Communist Manifesto.  Lexington, Kentucky. Brandywine Studio Press. 1888.

Rosenfeld, Jake. What unions no longer do. Cambridge, Massachusetts:  Harvard University Press, 2014. Ebook

Stanfield, Jared; Tumarkin, Robert. Does the political power of nonfinancial stakeholders affect frim values?  Evidence from labor unions. Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, June 2018, v.53 iss.3, pp. 1101-33

Uetricht, Micah; Eidlin, Barry. U.S. union revitalization and the missing “militant minority”. Labor Studies Journal. March2019, Vol.44 Issue 1, p36-59. 24p.

Ullah, Anam.  Is Marxism still valid in industrial relations?. Middle East Journal of Business. Jan 2016, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p31-36. 6p