Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Where Art thou?

These are questions I've always asked:

Where did the Artist's Art go?
When does Art become Entertainment?
When does an Artist sell out?

While writing some things about funding Artists and Art, I also wondered:

Who really owns it, for its original purpose?

"Music is everybody's possession" ~ John Lennon once noted, no one really owns Art.

In every way, it continues in some form or another--from one Artist to another, from one beholder to another.

So if the principle is, Art is owned by everyone, shouldn't everyone fund it (versus say a music label)? This new idea is actually an old idea: Arts Patronage. But it's new in the sense that we're talking about many patrons instead of just one. If a politician or charity can raise funds online from a crowd, why can't an Artist? Aren't Artists the ones who inspire most in life?

Historically, Arts Patronage has been about people who see beauty investing in inspiration or divinity--where you can invest MORE than a dollar for a song. It was never about disposable Entertainment worth 99 cents or less.

In many ways, it was about creating an everlasting legacy. Something truly divine: "Art."

At some point, Art might cross the line, traded for Entertainment, to achieve someone else's idea of success. But Entertainment doesn't always mean the Artist gets paid well. The Artist was never a shrewd deal maker. And ultimately, this means deal makers will exploit that financial disadvantage.

Ultimately, Arts Patronage is needed to help Art stay true to its trajectory. Ultimately, its inspiration attracts people naturally. The truth of it sets Art free. Inspiration doesn't need someone else's idea of success. Never has. And commonly, only the uninspired need diversions of Entertainment. The inspired historically seldom did.

Art inspires at least one person by imparting insight. It can keep one there all night long. By contrast, Entertainment is required to entertain, to give enjoyment to as many people as possible instantly. Now you see it, now you don't. A quick fix. There's nothing wrong with that. But the difference is often confused: Entertainment passes like a drug. Art lingers like a truth.

* * *

In great Art, you might not get a lot of response instantly, but you instantly know you are onto something.

* * *
"Entertainment wants to give you what you want. Art wants to give you what you don't know you want."--David Cronenberg

Googling Art vs Entertainment...i found this excerpt:

"Entertainment is part of an evening -- mini-golf, pizza, a movie, ice cream. Art is the evening -- you generally have to make plans to see an Art movie, and then you find somewhere to sit and discuss it afterward.

Entertainment is terrified of losing you, and is willing to change itself to be more to your taste. Art doesn't give a fuck whether it loses you -- if you're lost, that's your problem.

Entertainment condescends to what it perceives as your level. Art assumes you're at a high level and wants to take you higher -- it conascends.

Entertainment wants to make you think you're thinking, but actually steers you toward its chosen conclusion. Art actually does make you think, and allows you to arrive at your own highly subjective conclusion.

Entertainment generally isn't personal or obsessive or visionary. Art often is.

Good Entertainment often is not artistic. Good Art often is entertaining.

If Entertainment is unappealing, offensive, and hell to sit through, you just wasted your ticket money. If Art is unappealing, offensive, and hell to sit through...maybe you should see it again."

* * *
In The New York Times, a letter to the Editor contained this line: ''Sorry, but there is a line in the sand that has to be drawn here. Entertainment's job is to pass away the hours; Art should make profound, eloquent and affecting statements about the human condition…"

* * *

"In simple terms, to me, Art is a creative expression that stems from the heart and soul and breeds self exploration and self examination, whereas Entertainment is just some shit we enjoy that takes us out of our heads for a moment." --Dave Navarro

* * *

Entertainers get paid (occasionally handsomely) to please the masses, often with sub-par work. Most Entertainers I know can yield way better Artistic output.

So what happens when Artists get paid in a world where only Entertainment pays? What happens to the Art?

When I am paid, typically, I cannot write, take pictures or produce graphical works as well as I could without payment. Inspiration just can't be bought. And when things are bought, sometimes, inspiration just doesn't even arrive in time for someone else's deadline.

With or without payment, I produce creative works, equally prolifically. But with payment, the rules with it change everything. The deal changes the outcome of what you could've produced in a perfect world. The creative muse I once had with me is often lost in the strings attached.

I started off as an amateur (which in Latin means "one who does it for the love of it"--amor), but soon worked at major Media & Entertainment companies. It certainly honed the craft I had. But it destroyed my creativity and inspiration—and even any desire I had to create in my spare time.

In the last 12 years, for income, I've switched over to the business side (finance and marketing) where I can be equally prolific. I get inspired there in a different way. Would I ever choose to marry the creative and business vocations I've had at some Crossroads?

No--if I had a choice.

There's something the about the rules of the Entertainment industry and the politics of payment that just curb inspired works.

As an amateur columnist once, I felt bad writing a scathing critique, something a 20 year old wouldn't be afraid to say, about one paid journalist's coverage of a topic I knew well. What he wrote was just plain awful. One day he sat in front of me at a stadium to cover something I was covering as well, and he actually turned around and looked at me and said, "you know Chung, I've only got five hours in one day to get the story, you have a whole week. I am paid to move on to the next story right away. There's a huge difference. They don't give me the time to analyze, research or think about it even."

There was just something amazingly truthful to what he said, unwritten on any subway wall. After that, I said not one more word about his work. In many ways, what he said defines the nature of how Entertainment is produced. It's a factory method, to produce a piece of work, that an inspired amateur can best. I once questioned why something like that should even be paid; but that's how the system works. And once you're paid, who knows what will come out.

One seasoned journalist said: "It's just fill in the blanks. You just change the names and places."

I've often noted, the best work comes out for free, freely.

Artists, however, are without question related to Entertainment. It's where Artists can most likely make a living. But Art and Entertainment are without question distinctly different. For me, Art is inspired, Entertainment is manufactured. Entertainment seldom changes lives. Art always does somehow. When you look at people who create, that's the key distinction. Are they inspiring? Or are they entertaining desires?

* * *

In simple terms, an Entertainer makes Entertainment for enjoyment and an Artist makes Art to make one actually think about something.

In the finance space, the "Entertainment Sector" includes Movies, Television, Video Games, Music, Gaming (gambling), theme parks, publishing, the Internet and Live Stage performances.

I somewhat define Entertainment as being owned by major movie studios, broadcasters, video game publishers, music labels, casinos and publishers who distribute paperbacks, magazines and newspapers to grocery stores etc. Without question, anything that has the term best seller, top hits, and box office is part of the Entertainment economy. But anything attached to Entertainment jargon, or any jargon for that matter, rarely can be fully inspired, to make Art History.

Entertainment is not Art in essence. It is merely a popular way to make money, by entertaining masses of people.

* * *

"It is the spectator, and not life, that Art really mirrors."
- Oscar Wilde

In our acting class one summer in college, we had a picnic. Each of us were asked to play the role of someone dead, in character, as if they were still alive. We'd all arrive anonymously. You could ask any questions to try and figure out who a person was, and have a conversation to out their true identities. Everyone in pop culture was outed first. The last two people identified– including one played by my acting partner – were the toughest to identify, yet so familiar.

My acting partner played Oscar Wilde. The last one standing, who suspended disbelief the longest, played Jesus.

* * *

The Prime Minister of Canada wants every Canadian to reduce their Arts contributions by $1.35. Ya, he's a bit cheap. I spent an hour once musing over this, writing about it, but didn't post anything because of this question. What is the Art that's meant to be funded?

The plight of the Artist and Art (sometimes two different things) is timeless.

From my interviews and research probing how things i really liked got made, much of the best Art was created from scratch without funding, because an Artist had lived a starving life to see some truth in a better way, that manifested into a beautiful work. The same is true of many great start ups in business.

A love of the Art is truly tested in these times and grows strong, to yield good Art. And sometimes like a shooting star, yields great Art. When something "divine" comes out of you.

When an Artist becomes a Celebrity (or Entertainer), there's more money earned and more politics experienced. It is then I often see a decay in the Art.

I mean imagine throwing money, power and politics at someone who has never had it in abundance – never handled it - what will become of the Art?

But at the same time, the Artist deserves an a person.

And a devoted Artist's only means of living is to make and sell Art, with maybe some casual jobs on the side.

Being an Artist is the hardest living in the country. Imagine if a politician was forced to sell Art for any dollar earned. Only devoted Artists understand that journey. A touring Artist will see more of a nation than any President. The Artist is truly a Citizen, depending exclusively on a community that nurtures, in which the Artist contributes wholly.

But selling Art is an Artist's greatest paradox - independent of what the government thinks.

What's it worth if defined as priceless? It's almost unnatural to sell something supernatural.

Government Arts funding has always been political - a who you know, what can you show on paper, have you been funded before game. That's politics for ya.

Many government-funded projects in fact fail because of that approach.

Politics ~ n. ass-covering manufacturing.

Now i must disclose, I've never received a dime myself in Arts grants and I am more familiar with Internet and movie subsidies than any other kinds of government Arts grants. Non-profit exhibitions, dance troupes, symphonies and operas also get funded by the government. I also do think the writers and painters of Canada, who are now becoming an endangered species, should get more help. Canada's greatest artistic assets are in those genres.

I support the Arts tremendously but feel the wrong system is in place to support it.

Additionally, an Arts education (to learn the craft, the history of it, and the discovery of it) is diminishing in stature and funding along with exhibits or channels to show or distribute Art.

Canada's cultural legacy is continually being exiled to America when looking at where "top" Artists from Canada go. To grow a legacy, a program is needed, one that is about yielding Art that resonates with Artists and Art lovers in this country.

The problem is the people who review grants don't seem to really know what that means. I see bad Art getting funded so frequently, and good Art getting canceled so regularly.

I think the solution is to allow taxpayers to donate online using tax credits or deductions to fund the Art or Artist they love.

This was written over many days with a fever. I've been sick since 4am, fri.

ED--this was originally written in September, 2008, before Kickstarter became well known. It was actually the second half of a two-part blog on the Cross Roads. The first part is about Robert Johnson selling his soul to the Devil to become a famous musician. I re-did it inspired by a documentary trailer about underground Artists in New York City called Somewhere In The Dark.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Death At A Funeral (You Didn’t Know Jack)

The people who mourn seldom say anything.

It’s hard to “un-notice” – but many don’t talk about it to instead honour the one who passed away.

Until I saw it firsthand, I never knew this behavior even existed: There’s a class of no class who attack the dead (who can’t reply) or the mourning (who can only grieve).

While others pray, they prey.

It’s bad energy to focus on the bad during a time that is precious to honour the dead. We prefer hearing about the good instead, as a reflection of who we are (who we want to be) or who someone else was. How we wish things are remembered or lived.

"love is better than anger" - Jack Layton, who lived until 61.

Meanwhile, the creepy just keep creeping without anything to stop it. There's no posthumous letter or journal replying like you see ending Cruel Intentions.

I got reminded of it recently when columnist Christie Blatchford in a national newspaper chose to attack Jack Layton’s last words within 24 hours of his death.

"Jack" had just lost his battle to cancer. And as if without a thought, Ms. Blatchford chose to critique him nationally after his loved ones had just watched their loved one pass away. She chose to make a “public spectacle” of it—adding a few choice words for those who mourned him in “public.”

To be sure, there’s worse in this class of no class.

After legendary NHL coach Pat Burns lost a valiant battle to cancer, thieves waited for his widow to mourn him at his memorial. They took that opportunity to break into her car and stole memorabilia slated to benefit cancer. I soon learned theft at a funeral/memorial isn’t uncommon. But what is a widow to do? Chase after thieves or honour a loved one?

As NHL coach of the year (3 teams), Pat Burns, who lived until 58, was respected for taking no non-sense.

In some countries like Syria, many widows don’t even honour their loved ones publicly in fear of reprisals. They prefer private unmarked graves. Who you associate with determines if you’ll be attacked.

Closer to home, a Westboro Baptist Church group was about to picket a 9 year old girl’s funeral. The 9 year old was randomly murdered while attending Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford’s public event to learn about public service.

"I hope you jump in rain puddles." ~ Christina Taylor Green, born on 9/11, who lived until 9.

Opportunistically (of course), the church group called off the protest in exchange for air time in Toronto and Arizona:

Some people will do anything for attention at any time. Those wanting the most attention want to make everything about them. Their only context is their opinion. Your life won't matter.

Irish teen Phoebe Prince was bullied to death (she hung herself after being relentlessly bullied for months by her American classmates). After she died from bullycide, bullies then preyed on her friends who mourned or defended her (especially if they spoke to the media).

One girl was beaten up after she talked to the press about Phoebe's life at school.

As if bullying her in life was not enough, after Phoebe Prince died, bullies publicly posted vulgar items on her Facebook tribute page:
Phoebe Prince lived until 15

This also happened to a teen posthumously in British Columbia. Vulgar items posted were beyond shocking. Details you’d never read about in the news:

Laura Szendrei lived until 15. A teenager has been arrested for her murder (in a park in broad daylight, near many people).

Bullying after death is common in a world where CNN reports 20% of our kids are bullies.

* * *

2002 photo I took of Nicole Vienneau at Vancouver's Wreck Beach who disappeared 5 years later at age 32: Her last word in a 2007 diary after a sunset was: "Content."

After my friend Nicole Vienneau disappeared, some commentators, who didn’t know Nicole, publicly wrote she deserved it for going to the Middle East. She can’t even have a memorial/funeral, she is still #Missing.

Her late father lost his battle to pancreatic cancer after moderating Canada’s national elections debate.

Nicole's dad David Vienneau moderated the 2004 Canadian elections debate on Global TV. David lost his battle to cancer that year. Jack Layton lost his battle to cancer 7 years later.

Nicole's mom to this day still looks for her. A mother cannot stop looking for her child. What did these people do to you, who say she deserved it?

You one-off opinionators are long-gone now after getting your attention for the day. But everyday, we still look for Nicole:

Nicole was not the only Canadian in peril for whom national newspaper commentators have said, “she deserved it.” I've seen these comments for hostages who were kidnapped--still kidnapped. Some folks just believe their opinion matters at any time and seek attention for it at any time. They are masters of evoking hostility.

The common denominator is they seem to think if others are not like them, they can freely attack them, whenever they want.

* * *

I became interested in stories like these to learn how grieving victims were able to heal from this. These morbid stories left me speechless, asking, "Who died?"

After my brother lost his battle to cancer, some disgruntled people I once knew were trying to provoke me by exploiting photos of my dead brother commercially. Weeks of emails demanding them to stop were denied. I cited a DCMA takedown notice (copyright notice) for the first and only time ever. It was not until a lawyer for a former US Vice President made a request that they ceased. There were no apologies.

My brother's last photo post was a Black Tile. He wanted to leave Earth at age 29 image-less.

Before the photo exploitation incident, one of them had already publicly disrupted my late brother’s memorial planning session. Brazenly, this bully was trying to pick a fight before many witnesses. Out loud, he made up a story: “Stop posting those penis shots online.” I kid you not. There were many witnesses. In one week, earlier, four friends I had just seen (separately) told me how this bully had approached them immediately after I met them, making up stories about me (with no details when probed). I was actually being followed. Another friend heard the bully planning to "ambush" me in public. The bully eventually found me at my brother's memorial planning session. The bully was so oblivious to everyone around - no crowd around me dissuaded the bullying.

I’d been a dissenting board director at the bully’s company – they refused to have board meetings or provide mandated financial reports to directors. They’ve since taken off and refused to disclose where they put company assets/records as investors chased them. But before this, they invited people to attack me, and appeared to some folks as being truthful. Meanwhile, I did nothing for months to honor my brother. After a while, I discovered I was not the only victim. No one had said anything.

We honour what we treasure most. We say little about what we disdain.

But I often ask myself what is harder – having watched my brother die on our mother’s birthday—his last words were, “happy birthday mom” (hope that’s okay Ms. Blatchford) -- or watching bullies attack right after (for months). I haven’t been able to tell myself an answer. To be honest, I don’t even know if I grieved. I spent most of my bereavement time with lawyers dealing with defamation, extortion and intimidation. It made recovering from this a lot harder. Their dishonourable acts will forever be associated with my brother’s death. He can only die once and they can't take what they did back.

Selfish folks decided this was their time to attack.

I could have ended this blog on that line. But the truth is, there are a lot of good people, decent people, who know this is the time for someone else. People who don’t make every waking moment about themselves. People who make it happen for other people. These are people who truly “make things better.”

Ed Note – It took me 3+ years to say this. I scrapped so many versions. For this topic, it was hard to focus beyond my brother who passed away. RIP.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Who Really Is The “Original Gangsta”?

Media and political elites seem to get the public riled up about looting during a riot. The visual imagery is stunning as spin doctors sharpen what the public understands.

But ask yourself, are you being played?

Look closely at the world of looting.

Who actually stole the most?

In England, ‎the better question might even be: who hasn't looted?

Didn’t we just read about MPs cheating on expense accounts or police taking bribes? Didn’t we just read about journalists hacking phones? And are we not in a devastating recession because wealthy bankers swindled beyond what anyone could count? Big picture, looters taking a pair of running shoes or a TV set seem like small potatoes.

All the retail looting in the world combined would not even come close to what Wall Street looted.

In the words of one English rioter: who really is the “original gangsta”?

* * *

By accusing street looters, it’s easy to deflect from wealthy looters who have irreparably ravaged our economy at great scale (with whom politicians have a great conflict of interest).

Political crisis managers know how the public understands a ruined material world far better than the banker’s world of financial paper where looting $1 million is small potatoes. Laws may protect the bountiful but not so much the deprived who become easy political pickings for justice.

Perspective: If magazines can cause anorexia, dare we ask if advertisers can cause looting?

The public and politicians will see what they want to see.

Seeing someone break glass is a lot easier than seeing someone stealing paper.

In The Big Short, best-selling author Michael Lewis references one banker who made $100 million literally ripping off the poor. Bankers facilitated so many fraudulent deals that even they couldn’t tell what was going on. And somehow, they get a get-out-of-jail-free card (if not a bailout as well). That’s because our economic recovery depends on these wealthy weasels. The money machine doesn’t work without them.

Show me the money!

If you ever wonder why they don’t chase after 1000 corrupt bankers with the same zeal as 1000 London rioters, this is why.

It’s far easier to get away with stealing $1 million or $1 billion than stealing a pair of running shoes. Politically, the media and public instantly get outraged when material possessions are stolen or damaged. But what the Federal Reserve did remains a mystery.

You can even write a book about financial travesties – rampant fraud – on Wall Street like Michael Lewis did and it won’t even lead to charges being pressed.

Why – because the world as politicians know it would break down if all these wealthy crooks were jailed.

The tragic irony: By punishing all Wall Street fraudsters– who punished us into recession—we’d be punishing ourselves even further. We depend on these fraudulent looters for our economic recovery.

“When you’re a conservative Republican you never think, people are making people money by ripping other people off” ~ Steve Eisman (The Big Short, Michael Lewis)

You may debate whether or not the folks who looted financial sectors caused the "underclass" in London to riot but one thing is amply clear. Financial sector looters wreaked far more havoc on our lives. The damage they caused is immeasurable.

* * *

Imagine a culture – of not just greed – but of people ripping people off to make money. Imagine if this is what the majority did on Wall Street. Almost every major bank had a hand in it. This was the complicit culture of Wall Street that spun us into a horrible recession.

And who were the first victims of these wealthy looters? Poor folks who never even had a chance to repay loans (with fraudulent interest rates). The next victims were investors of these loans who were led to believe they were profitable but in reality were just investing in deferred bad debt. Many of these investors were even guaranteed by the government – another oblivious victim, now in a debt crisis.

Accounting can do funny things to the eye. It can allow someone to loot without breaking any glass.

Sub-prime Mortgage = House of $

* * *

For a few years, I’ve been involved in a case where $1 million was put into severe jeopardy by directors.


Relative to other financial cases, $1 million doesn’t even register on the radar. But the mechanics of any bad money trail have common denominators. And this is what I saw.

The laws are actually very clear – Criminal Code and Civil Law. There was no doubt how they could be applied to what went wrong. The realities, however, of applying them are murky.

Unlike charges for a stolen tv, theft/fraud cases involving money or paper take years to prosecute. You only read about a few cases succeeding - after many years of legal pursuit where lawyers are paid a handsome fortune.

You can see how it is almost too easy for folks to steal money from a corporate bank account, mislead investors or disappear with corporate assets.

Regulators, politicians and prosecutors might give the public a piñata to focus on like Lehman Brothers (re: no bailout) or Bernie Madoff. But do we ever ask, what ever happened to the rest?

World's largest piñata - like a Trojan Horse

Your chance to hit the ass while blindfolded

Economic advisors will say we depend on many of these culprits to re-vitalize the economy and some of these grease balls need to be bailed out to grease the economic engine. Economic crimes this vast need to be kept under the carpet for the money machine to work again.

"Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste"
"But what's puzzling you is the nature of my game" ~ Sympathy For the Devil

Even if every wealthy looter was pursued, it’s not nearly as easy as convicting an 11-year-old East London boy in England for stealing a garbage can during the London Riots.

A fraud police officer tells me how difficult it is to chase even someone who brazenly takes $1 million from a corporate account.

For a fraud or paper theft to be processed, one would need documents to prove who owned the money or assets. And who had rights to the property and money and in what capacity to appropriate them. These are typically documents white collar criminals keep hidden away. Confidentiality agreements keep almost anyone from sharing them.

Without whistleblowers, like Enron had, the victims seldom have access to these documents. That is, the wealthy looter can keep the evidence hidden to maintain their looting interests. All they have to do is hide proof from the victim(s).

Wrongful document destruction was only recently made easier to prosecute. But it is still not easy. You can argue stupidity or bad judgment as a defense.

Forensic accountants and lawyers would need to file reports proving ownership, theft, fraud and/or misrepresentation. This might add up to more than $100,000 in fees. Unlike a store burglary, it’s not good enough to just say “our money/assets” have gone missing--even if you know who did it and where the proceeds of the white-collar crime are.

Legal processes go a long way to safeguard the wealthy looter.

The 1st legal issue is typically: Who is in charge of this issue? Geographic and legal jurisdictions are not simple to prove:

1) Where can you prove the crime took place?
2) Where do you reside as a victim?
3) Where is the paper trail (lawyers, HQ, corporate registry) located? Or worse, where is the digital trail?
4) Where does the suspect reside?

Borderline Crime - Who's jurisdiction?

The criminal code is typically different in every jurisdiction. Likewise for civil laws.

Regulators also have the same jurisdictional issues and legal quandaries to consider. The line up for financial complaints is long. We can only wish for the same zeal politicians have for stolen merchandise be applied to missing corporate assets valued at more than $1 million.

The burden of proof can get ugly. You first have to prove you even have the right to chase after this looter. Is it your role as an investor/stakeholder or a company officer’s role?

The sophisticated wealthy looter will also stonewall you and cost you a fortune in legal fees (after they use proceeds from crimes to cover their legal fees). Some billionaires have enough wealth to take on the Government of Canada.

Who else can bill $500 an hour to read emails?
You don't need a lawyer, you need a hostage negotiator!

There’s far greater means to defend, stall or hide a white-collar crime. For victims, the court of public opinion might end up being a far better alternative to civil or criminal court costs.

I believe we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to wealthy looting. Just ask yourself how many have been desperate to preserve their lifestyle (the only world they know).

Politicians depend on wealthy contributions for campaign donations and economic recovery. We've seen Britain's PM bandying a buzzword like “criminality” for the London Riots, but notice how rare it's applied to the financial sector.

This would be more realistic if the people behind the PM wore pinstripes

But let’s take it down a notch closer to home. I recently read a fascinating article about corporate looting by employees.

The article illuminates everyday forms of corporate looting such as using company telephones to call your spouse or electricity to charge your phone:

Admit it: How many people do you personally know took a hotel towel?

I recently heard an ingenius way of taking from a hotel mini-bar without getting caught. You just go to 7-11 or the liquor store next day (buying items at a lower cost) and replace everything you took. There’s a lot of thinking like this in financial sectors. The devious might even take from one mini-bar (breaking into an unguarded room) to fill up another mini-bar.

One grocery store chain owner decades ago wrote in his memoir staff theft impacted his bottom line by 30%: Why his chain went out of business.

A flight attendant at an airline confided that the cash till sometimes doesn’t balance and staff do get investigated for looting. Airline attendants are severely underpaid and often hold multiple jobs. Not that this is what causes looting.

So before casting stones at so-called “looters,” ask yourself who hasn’t looted? And who looted far more. I honestly don't know of a single person who hasn't broken the law (speeding, jaywalking etc.). I still can't figure out how the media determines what is a serious theft and what they can skip over.

At sentencing, I think many retail looters would prefer the deal Wall Street got. Just hope you don't meet a judge like this who figured out a way to make money sending kids to jail for minor infractions:

Unfortunately, the poor looter likely won’t be as lucky as the wealthy looter. Inequities are not just the cause of looting, but they also determine who gets away.