A smile on my lips and a hole in my head

I have a friend who tells an antidote about children. They have a room. In the room they put the child from each family who is the oldest. In the middle of the room is a piece of paper with some instructions on it. The oldest children will pick it up, delegate and execute the instructions. Then they put all the middle children in the room. They pick up the paper and talk about who would like to do what and be sure that every one is happy. The youngest will leave the piece of paper on the floor, never even picking it up. I’m an oldest child. I see what can be and wonder why not? I went to MacWorld in 1995 and saw how that technology could be applied to the title business. They still haven’t caught up to my thinking thirteen years ago. I’ve called myself an expediter in the past. My thinking is such that I want tasks executed in the most judicious fashion. Systems for the sake of systems aggravate me. To me, “That’s the way we’ve always done it”… that’s fightin’ words. When I see a wrong, I want to make it right. I will not go quietly.

History shows us what happens when people do nothing. The Germans knew what Hitler was doing was wrong, they’re not amoral. Yet they became so when they said nothing. They followed like sheep. Now forevermore, their hands remain bloodstained by their inaction. In Guyana, it was apparent that Jim Jones had lost his mind. The people blindly followed. They drank the Kool-aid. Game over. I’m not the drink the Kool-aid sort. Sorry. I’m the hold your feet to the fire sort. I want to right wrongs. I want be better every single time. Mediocre is not in my vocabulary. That’s why I hold 23 State and World Records. Thats how I got to the Rugby Nationals, and that’s why I win. That’s what makes me good. I cannot drink the Kool-aid. Through out history people have followed, blindly lock-stepped with corrupt leadership.  I cannot.

In this country today, our government isn’t leading anything. The country is run by corporations. They have taken the place of dictators and monarchs. So when the corporation says it’s only okay to think a certain way, you’d better get your shiny boots in line with everyone else. Critical thinking isn’t crushed by the government, it’s crushed by the corporate gods we serve. Corporations tell us every day how to think. CNN told us how to feel throughout 9/11. They even had a banner telling us it was time for closure. I’m sure that was quite helpful for the blocks and blocks of New Jersey wives who’s husbands were never coming home again. Fox bills themselves as a news station and they’re really a propaganda station. At least MSNBC doesn’t call Countdown a news show, it’s not. If a corporation gets a little too far on the edge, they get a boycott or a picket or one of those stupid online petitions that nobody that matters pays attention to. They answer only to their shareholders. Very few answer to their employees. Howard Schultz’s return to the helm assures that at Starbucks. He’s one of those CEO’s I respect. He’s true to the product, the people and the process. The oil companies, on the other hand, probably high fived each other after their Congressional appearance last month. I’m sure that was followed by guffaws and words to the effect of “I can’t believe they bought that load of shit”.  We can engineer a solution. We just have to want to. Big oil doesn’t want it, so we’re not working on it, and our youth is getting blown up in some godforsaken hellhole so some of us can enjoy our God given right as Americans to take more from this earth than we give back.

But what really pisses me off the most is that these artificial entities demanding loyalty while giving none. I got another call from one of the giants who is out of work, looking for a lead or an in.  I didn’t have one this time.  In our business they have us where they want us. Almost everyone I know has taken a 40% cut in pay in the last two years, if they’re working at all. They piss on our legs and tell us it’s raining. In a year or so when the market comes roaring back, and no one has recouped any of the 40% that was taken away, they’ll all go and cut their deals. They’ll cut those deals for their families. And the corporate gods will weep and curse the lack of loyalty. Loyalty is like respect. It cannot be demanded, it must be won. You cannot will a seed to grow and you cannot impose your desire for respect or loyalty on another. You must earn it. As I have been saying all along, business is cyclical. While it’s currently cycling downward, it will recover. Have you earned your loyalty today?

Continuing in the rant mode

How in the hell do you manage to do this? Dolphyngyrl knew this would make me see red. And neither rain, nor snow nor cyclists minding their own freaking business? Are you kidding me? On the upside, I just bought a new road bike. Tonight. Like two hours ago. It’s last year’s version of this. Mine’s red. The guy did all sorts of upgrades to the components and shit and if I had bought the right pedals tonight, I’d be riding in the morning. Next question: Return the pedals or buy shoes that fit them…

And for our stupid file

Last night I rubbed my right eye and thought I knocked the contact up into the back of my eyeball. So I spent about an hour trying to get it out of my skull before I snotted it out through my sinuses. No dice. So I went to bed, got up this morning and searched some more. Gave up, took out the left eye, put it in a contact case and carried it with me all day so if the right one rolled back down I could take off my glasses and wear my contacts. I swear to God it feels like something is in there. So tonight I get home, make some dinner, since I live alone, I take it to the living room to watch some Keith Olbermann and have dinner and there on the coffee table is the contact. Yeah, I re-hydrated it and it’s being disinfected as we speak.

9 Replies to “A smile on my lips and a hole in my head”

  1. Well from one eldest child to another, I understand.

    It’s extremely difficult to understand a follower mindset yet that is what most people do. They NEED a leader and will take the easiest route to keep life reasonably certain.

    That’s how the bad guys win because they have no compunction about lying to achieve their ends.

    It takes bravery to stand for the truth. It takes bravery to sand against the wind of dishonor, idioacy – whatever.

    Come to think of it, I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire – small though it is – blogosphere of title bloggers aren’t eldest children. heh eeeh

  2. Wanted to comment because you hit THE point I am most concerned about today – corporate power.
    Thom. Jefferson wanted “freedom from monopolies” in the Bill of Rights. He was on to something. PBE, in your end of the world is the history that turned this beautiful ship called America into the wrong direction. When the Supreme Court ruled in Southern Pacific RR vs Santa Clara County (actually didnt rule, this crap showed up in the headnotes only!) that CORPORATIONS were included in the 14th Amendment definition of PERSONS, those of us who really are persons lost big time.
    If we are going to change anything, we need to start here. We may not get a Supreme Court ruling, but we can get our local govt’s to treat corporations like the fictions that they are and stop giving them the kind of protections and immunities only money of their size can buy.

  3. Welcome Tim,

    We sure as hell aren’t going to get THIS Supreme Court to rule on that. Can’t wait to hear what The Brother has to say on the subject.

  4. Pedals…I got some Shimano SPD-SL’s last night but I don’t have the right kind of holes in my cleats. So I may be either getting new cleats tomorrow or swapping them out. I wanted lollipops but they were a little out of budget.

  5. Yes and no. The SP RR case was a bit more bizarre and complex. Before oral argument, the Court said that it didn’t want to hear argument about the issue of whether a corporation was a person with the same rights as a natural person under the 14th amendment. The Court found summarily that it did, and that was entered into the summary record by the reporter. So it is part of the ruling, but not part of the opinion. It’s odd, because you don’t expect rules of law to be in the summary and not explained in the opinion. It probably at the time didn’t seem to be that remarkable of an extension of rights to corporations.
    Looking further back, I always remember that the original charter granted by Elizabeth I to the first “corporation” stated that it was for the benefit of the realm and the people. That’s the part that we’ve lost, the idea that corporations are supposed to be for the benefit of the people, not vice versa. The sovereign (for us, Congress and the States) gives a corporation life, they can dictate and modify the parameters of that life. So, when corporate America is not acting in the best interests of the people, and by people I don’t just mean their own stockholders, they are in violation of the basic reason for which they were created and allowed to live. Even Frankenstein went after his own monster when it went bad.

  6. Now we’re out in uber geek territory. Gentle readers, The Brother has this information stored IN HIS HEAD. This is why I don’t argue with my “little” brother. I just don’t have the tools, “because I said so” stopped working 40 years ago.

  7. Well, you asked. And no, I didn’t have the first part in my head. I remembered the case but didn’t think it was just in a headnote, it was something more bizarre, but I had to look up what happened. The second part I remembered, although I looked it up and verified that it was the beginning of the British East India Company. Prof in Corporations class pointed that out rather strongly, and said to keep it as a theme throughout, that all corporate law and governance should be premised on the notion that corporations are created for the benefit of the nation and people as a whole.
    Yup, I’m in Geek territory here.

  8. Have a nice ride. Boy and I will be there late morning. I seem to have my shit together this morning, how unusual is that?

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