Thursday, January 22, 2009

A New Era of Honesty and Transparency

After I became an absurdly and unalterably happy guy about 12 years ago, I found myself bereft of the perverse joy of angry cynicism and mean-spirited dark humor that had nurtured me like a criminally insane mother's love for so many years. Despite the fact that this perverse pleasure was replaced by genuine joy, and thus has long been rendered utterly obsolete, I still crave it on occasion, and depending on how much caffeine I've ingested, am still capable of conjuring up some seriously cynical, though hopefully funny, shit.

And even though an honest man is finally -- finally -- sitting in the Oval Office; and even though that pilot did an amazing job landing that jet a few doors down from my apartment; and even though, thanks to the combination of corporate layoffs, a "warn notice" and a little thing called "severance" I get to be a man of relative leisure for a time; and even though the TED conference videos consistently reaffirm my faith in humanity... there are still at least a few things worth getting psychotically enraged over.

Like the fact that while I've been quietly expecting a major melt-down of the global economy for 14 years (ever since my first real corporate job inadvertently taught me that our entire economic "system" was built primarily on... absolutely fucking nothing) the "experts" were all caught with their pants down, shocked and awed. This is so infuriating it makes me feel like the Napoleon Dynamite guy at his most exasperated: "IDIOTS!" Why, only a few months before the market first crashed, I was telling a co-worker how I occasionally fantasized about one day owning an energy-independent off-grid home up in the woods somewhere, with a greenhouse to grow my own vegetables, allowing me to cut all conceivable ties to "the system." She asked why I would ever want to do something so extreme, and, among other things, I mentioned how it was so patently -- painfully -- obvious to me that our current practice of capitalism was inherently unsustainable and doomed to fail.

Ta da!

For my next trick, I'll guess the number of jelly beans in that giant jar: zero! (You can no longer afford jelly beans.)

During that conversation, my coworker didn't agree with me. She didn't see things the way I did. Nor did I expect her to. The patterns, the connections. But the fact that the professionals, the people who supposedly devoted their careers to studying every little detail of the corrupt, unregulated house of cards vapor and make-believe we call The Market, couldn't see what was so unavoidably clear to me, a nobody, was really rather frustrating. Or maybe they just refused to see/admit it. I mean, it does make a lot more sense that it would really be collective denial instead of collective idiocy.

But... it is now the dawn of a new era. The Obama era. The era of leaders who might actually do stuff that makes sense. The era of leaders who will base their decisions on "reality" and the good advice of people who know what the fuck they're talking about. The era of leaders who, when asked simple direct questions, will give simple honest answers. The era of leaders who might actually give a shit about the people who elected them. The era of leaders who can admit it when they make mistakes and accept responsibility for their actions/decisions like any normal adult. The era of leaders who don't have their heads up their asses. The era of leaders who aren't in it solely for the money (since there won't be any). The era of leaders we can actually respect.

Goodbye to the time of unbridled stupidity and greed! Hello to the time of unbridled... um... horniness!

Best of all, I've got my next project lined up, and I couldn't ask for a better one. It's in its embryonic stages right now, so I'm not going to say anything else about it. Just, you know, send me good productivity vibes. Yeah... just like that. Ooh... yeah, vibey.

Of course, there might someday come a time when I'll need to return to playing the role of drooling lackey to some corporate ogre, combing the help-wanted ads like everybody else. And I hope that if that day does come, this era of openness and honesty will be at its full flower. Imagine the types of job listings there could be...

Hyper-organized anal-retentive mouse-person with no life whatsoever wanted for extremely abusive department assistant position. Very long hours of high-stress low-paying drudgery peppered with occasional verbal/emotional torture. Those with friends, self-respect, need not apply.

Relentless amoral asshole wanted to SELL SELL SELL! Do you have what it takes to convince poor people to spend what little money they have on nonsensical garbage nobody would ever need in a thousand years? Can you ignore the fact that rapacious consumerism will bury civilization under its own flatulent bulk until it chokes itself completely to death? Do you often feel like a hungry shark in a tank of bleeding pudgy children who never got past the doggie-paddle? Do you like feeling that way? (Do you love it?) If you answered yes to these questions, we want to hire you, you magnificent piece of shit!

Hot girl wanted for position as executive assistant to Senior VP of Marketing for a successful alcoholic beverage company. Must be exceedingly hot. Must have tastefully office-appropriate, yet totally hot wardrobe. Knowledge of and enthusiasm for alcoholic beverages a big plus. Good phone manner a plus. Anything less than top-tier hot need not apply.

Extremely desperate individuals wanted for highly dangerous work with little chance of survival. On the job training. $1000 for every full week of service. Poor sense of smell a plus. Always plenty of positions to fill. Call any time and ask for Bob.

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