Monday, January 05, 2009

Little Obamas: A World Apart

In a sense I have known Obama for many, many years now, no, not Obama personally but people who remind me of him in no uncertain terms. When I worked in Silicon Valley the companies I worked for were full of what you might call little Obamas. They were always in management and invariably they were tall, good looking, of athletic build, wore the best business suits, in short they were perfect. They were the authoritarian figures who dwelt in a world apart from the rest of the rabble. They made more money than the rest of us even when they made bad decisions which weren’t all that uncommon. Even when their decisions cost a business millions of dollars they were immune from paying any price for their bad judgment. They always had their golden parachutes guaranteed no matter what. They moved in their own circles and were beholding to no one for when push came to shove they were the ultimate authority secure in the power of their position within the company.

I can still recall a meeting I was required to attend even though I felt I had no business attending it. After all I was hired to perform a specific task and was expected to produce just like everyone else down in the lower rungs. I also felt that most of the meetings I attended could have produced better results with a conversation between just two or three people. But I seem to be drifting from my point here. Our supervisor sat at the head of the table in his business suit and after the usual requests for a much needed file cabinet or a new office chair, typical of such meetings, Mr. Supervisor told us we should begin to think globally. I thought to myself that this guy was really full of it but he really knew his buzz words. Thinking globally was for certain all the rage in those heady days of plenty when jobs were easy to find. I almost barked out a laugh but managed to keep a straight face. My job was designing tools and dies and for the life of me I couldn’t imagine what thinking globally had even remotely to do with me. But then perhaps that is why I was never anything more than hired help, a grunt, definitely not managerial material and truthfully never had any desire to belong to that lofty circle of super apes who resided in those Olympian heights.

Not long after the “global” meeting one of the punch operators lost some fingers in the machine he operated. There was no doubt that the company was at fault because the switches that controlled the punch on that particular machine were so worn out that you could not tell by looking at it which mode of operation it was in. But that was something management could have cared less about. After all it would cost money to repair or buy a new punch machine. And the operator was only a Mexican anyway being paid a minimum wage and probably didn’t speak much English. The whole thing was hushed up the worker paid off with a bribe and sent on his way. I never saw him again at any rate and he was probably too ignorant of the law to begin to think of a law suit or to inform OSHA. And what a beautiful maneuver by management -- they solved the problem by paying an ignorant worker off with no doubt a pittance, avoided trouble with the law and went on their merry way. It was a real eye opener for me because it was clear management didn’t give a damn about the worker, the law, or any of the rest of us for that matter despite all the malarkey they spouted about how we were all one big happy family being looked after from on high and how they had our best interests at heart. What a laugh.

I can’t help but make the correlation between management and our wonderful government full of stalwart political leaders who keep telling us how they have our best interests at heart even while they sell us out while speaking globally. The global economy, the global war on terrorism, think globally, it’s a new world and if it seems as if we are getting screwed it’s really for own best interests that they are screwing us.

Ask yourself why does the U.S. still have no socialized medicine when every other industrial nation has socialized medicine? Why does the U.S. have the most expensive and extensive military in the world? Why does the U.S. have one of the lowest life expectancies when compared to other industrialized nations? Why does our own government spy on us? Why do we have a homeland security, indeed why is the word “homeland” now such a popular word when once it was a term that was associated with fascist Germany? Why have we given up most of our freedoms, why is habeas corpus no longer with us? Why, why, why?

I’ll tell you why. Because our government is full of little Obamas that’s why. It is full of authoritarian figures who know all the buzz words, dress in the best business suits, move in the best circles of the rich and wealthy, indeed are the rich and wealthy or scrambling to become one with the rich and wealthy. They are not smarter than anyone else but they have learned how to walk the walk and talk the talk. They have learned how to present a phony façade to bedazzle the masses, they use the right buzz words, they are to sum it up full of malarkey. It is so simple really and people are always so impressed by this kind of thing and it never seems to fail. Just think about this, Bush, Cheney, Rice, Powell and all the rest of the assholes of the universe will walk away free as the proverbial bird. Obama will not pursue any punishment for these war criminals he wouldn’t continence it for one bloody second. And why not? Because they all belong to the same club. They will put on a great show for the masses. They will accuse one another of this horrid thing and that horrid thing. They will hurl names at each other full of spite and venom but for the most part it is just part of the play, an act, a farce. For they all belong to the same club and though at times they will stick a knife in each other’s back in their fight for power if it comes to a choice between the rabble or one of their own they will side with their own every time.

2 Comments:

At January 05, 2009 6:45 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Although I don't for a moment think he can part the read sea or make his blood into wine, I actually think Obama probably is pretty bright, but doesn't much care about doing the right thing unless

A.It's by coincidence also the least risky way to appear to be doing the right thing, or

B. he finds he has no other choice.

Instead he seems to care mainly about getting to be president and fattening up his rolodex of powerful people who can watch out for him and get him that second term, etc.

But I think your point about the type is pretty apt.

 
At January 05, 2009 7:01 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

He doesn't strike me as being excessively bright as in genius.I would guess average intelligence. Most people are fairly bright. Well, then there is Bush of course. I didn't say Obama was stupid, I said that this type of person isn't smarter than anyone else, there is a difference.

 

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