Back to MCM. Marx thinks of it in only a one-dimensional, most dissingly way, where he thinks of the commodity in the middle as completely fixed. I see it as a liquid, or a cloud of many disparate things, dare I say a Mille Plateux. Or a body without organs; a becoming wolf; a nomadic monad, a wine-drunk philosopher pissing. I have piles of wood purchased from an old man Dave in Massachussetts, a real artisan who sold me catalpha, mulberry and sassafras. In addition, my stockpile includes old leaden cathode ray tubes, wound transformers, enamel wire, BC556 NPN transistors, strange circuit boards layed out like a pagan ceremony, not to mention pagan ceremonies themselves. It is this cloud of commodities, the CcCCcccCCC, that is the ham in my money-bread sandwich. So why feel guilty in synthesizing a lever?
Recently, I have had to do electronics component buying apart from the regular channels Mouser, my "white goods" solution. You know this is so racializing, and it gets more so. Most of it is a paranoia of the Chinese, so little understood and so popular these days. In fact I do a lot of business back and forth. We all know most chips come from there even if sold on Mouser's pearly white pages. Everytime I get a hot new synth board back from the plant in shenzheng, I get hot boxed by my Beijing affiliate MengQi who gets the board straightaway. Turns out I've had to make four large purchases from four completely different outlets in different countries. The following list-story is characterizing each, with a slightly obfuscated name, to highlight some of the humor and spice of my business day:
- Stella Gressive, despite her name, she is very polite, although I can't tell where she is from. Her company, Fartle, makes really nice Nickel Metal Hydride rechargeable battery packs. They are out of Germany, although they deal with me out of their office in Persnickety, upstate NY. She is all about invoices; me and Steve Kornico have to constantly update a google spreadsheet to "make it official" before purchasing the batteries. Invoices are required for customs and for trade agreements; they don't want people to buy their batteries and then resell them at a jack-up, i.e. MCM bourgeouis; Fartle is thus communist. OEMs, or Original Equipment Manufacturers, however, are M:CcccCCCcc:M's because they take many disparate commodities, synthesize a new "white good" or synthesizer, and leverage it for profit. Steve Kornico and I had to prove we were such a communist-friendly company by talking with our capitalist lawyer and producing another google-friendly word doc. To recap, Stella Gressive wanted a word doc and an excel spreadsheet.
- Shirley Tang, in Hong Kong, handled a recent order of metal potentiometers. They could be gray market, but only because they are beautiful gray metal. They are made in Japan, shipped to Hong Kong, and stockpiled at a "holdings company". Holdings Companies are just that, like a warehouse, but in Hong Kong, there is also an opiate tinge to all business. In fact, I have two pieces of evidence to support this. One, they advertise "opium of the Chinese IC" on their website, meaning their transistors are addictive plus cause blurry psychadelia. Two, in sealing the deal they sent many "Chinese checker" pix of the product to "make sure" I'm getting the product, and I noticed the tape around the box is encrusted with resinous roaches. I connected with Shirley's holding company through AliBaba, apparently a silk road/abu dubai reference; the worm is the spice.
- Mooney Tai, the other Chinese connection, handles solar panels. Mooney's main feature is the power of pure return/complaint system. They have a warehouse full of millions of different sizes and ratings of small solar panels meant for garden sculpture. Some are real hazy, half baked affairs, but the one I had tested off of ebay and spec'd out was really nice, waterproof. This is not the one they sent me, but a real piece of maple syrup that I am returning tomorrow with a note on Andrew Jackson, saying I want a 60xninety mm instead of 135xseventy5mm, and I want it MaShang, or "on a horse", i.e. ASAP. I suspect they wanted me to eat their inferior product but I plan to complain and return until the cycle is complete.
- Finally, we get to Kenneth, at DRP, in Iowa. He has been so nice the whole time to me. The Chinese businessmen are very quick and comprehensive in their emails, as if their life depended on it, but Kenneth is laid back, like a farmboy who makes guitar pedals. I am still waiting on the payment link for knobs he said he would send to me; not like the Chinese businesses who try to do the whole deal in one day. Kenneth spends time to talk with me on the phone, I think he enjoys putting the phone to his ear and laying me to rest. Not that he's better, this is just the world you dive into when you leave the safe machined pages of Mouser, a juxtaposed realm of ultra-fast industrial zones and small town dial-up consultancies.