Thursday, June 21, 2012

corporate retreads

CORPORATE RETREADS
I was reading, I think, Of Two Minds the other day and as I had a few more minutes to spare until I had to stop swilling coffee and reading what passes for news so I was playing around at the “links to others” and went over to
who I had visited before but forgot all about.  As I was reading about his journey towards PODA survival on a sailboat ( yes, I understand the concept is decades old- it’s just the latest of the strategy ) I was struck how friggin funny this guy is.  I of course would take full credit for being the first survival writer to be hilarious ( back in the paper zine days a fellow publisher commented in a review that I was funny in a group of serious survival writers.  I can’t remember it exactly- this was the mid 90’s- it wasn’t “lips on a chicken”.  Something about a fish.  Anyway, I didn’t just slap the title on myself, it was done for me ) but Dmitri is a different kind of funny.  More of a dry humor.  So I said to myself, Self, go back and read his book “Reinventing Collapse”.  When I first read the book I was less than impressed.  But after reading it again I have to admit that the fault was with me rather than Orlov.  His book was ahead of its time and although you would think I should know better I must have been in some kind of denial to judge his writing as over the top, unrealistic overly optimistic.
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The book is mostly about economic collapse rather than Peak Oil, so perhaps I was disappointed that he didn’t join in my choir of one and shout from the rooftops that we were all doomed and going to die.  Whereas I have been convinced that the oil supply, in most places contracting from Super Giant fields at five to ten percent a year since the peak in 2005, would throw us into collapse very quickly, Orlov was writing about how our economic collapse would mirror that of the Soviet Union because of the oil contraction.  Not swift death at the hands of motorcycle gangs but of slow death by contraction and systematic contraction.  So far, he is more spot on than I was ( although I still contend that I’ll be right in the end ) and reading his book today you can enjoy how valid his writing was.  But as much as I’d love you all to rush out and buy his book through my Amazon links, because let’s face facts you have all rather been slacking and I think you’ve punished me enough for the latest fiction disaster, this article is not a rehash of the book but rather my extreme titillation and amusement over a quip he made.  Corporate suits are “lunch eaters”.
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Writing on his years of experience with corporate America, which apparently compare negatively even to Soviet era bosses, Orlov is convinced that the only activity  American corporate managers engage in is having business lunches.  And that the only activity outside eating they excel at is telling each other what they want to hear.  Brilliant!  I have yet to hear a better description of the incompetence of college educated idiots that bought their Business degrees through approved diploma mills.  If you climb the business ladder past the immediate trench level, the boots on the ground retail sector, this really is about all that suits do.  They nibble on each other ear and whisper sweet nothings, push paper and insert a special stick up their ass which passes for Intent, Purpose and Direction.  So, why are such idiots in demand?  Why does their secret society expand and try for world domination?  My theory is that in today’s culture and society, only the outside appearance matters.  Nothing works, but everything has a pretty fa├žade slapped on it to make it look successful.  The book business hemorrhages money, its primary business seeming to be stocking the dollar store shelves six months after all its titles are returned for lack of sales, but despite its epic quest for mediocrity sometimes real talent like Tom Clancy or Stephen King wiggles through.  They make a ton of money and somehow make it look like the whole operation is successful.    Nabisco takes products invented a hundred years ago and uses the profits off that to patch the holes made by the unending stream of failures to be the Next Big Thing.  Wal-Mart cannibalizes its old faithful customers to hang on long enough to sell from the last cargo ship that will come over from China. 
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Most of our economy before 2007 was financial manipulation ( since then it is more and more but with government help also ).  There was no substance, it was all smoke and mirrors.  You had to have a convincing cover that it was all real economic activity.  So you paid college grads a few million a year in profit sharing.  They did earn you money slaughtering the Golden Goose, and their success made the whole enterprise look like out of control riches earned from a bustling economy.  Today, the whole army of corporate and government Lunch Eaters is busy not only lying to each other, they are lying to everyone they can pin down long enough to listen.  All is well.  Over a thousand years of tar sands.  Drill, Baby, drill.  Just elect a Republican and all will be well.  Just use Chinese florescent bulbs and all will be well. 
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A President that does nothing but lie, tell you what you want to hear and plays a lot of golf, he is not the problem.  He is the epitome of those tasked with putting a pretty picture in front of the iceberg.  Not that he actually thinks there is an iceberg there.  He is way too stupid for that.  He just believes what his handlers demand.  Just like in Harvard.  Study the answers, regurgitate them on demand.  Don’t question the questions, or the answers.  You only get a passing grade for not thinking too much. 
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3 comments:

  1. Jim,
    Not sure where you wanted your minions to go with this post but it reminds me of the "Corporate Ladder" or better yet tree full of monkies. The monkey at the top of the tree looks down and sees smiling faces. The monkies at the bottom look up and see nothing but A-holes. I know it was random but corporate America is crumbling. Keep prepping. I'm moving ahead every week.

    I can't comment from home but I can from the work computer so I'm back!

    Nightshift

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  2. I like sail boats as a short term solution. But in a deep collapse, which Orlov seems to buy into, the seas and accessible coast, have been some of the most dangerous locals out there. There are a fair number of people still around who know how to get around in a boat.

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  3. BlackCatDude- he didn't seem too concerned about pirates. Show little wealth, they leave you alone. And he stated that plenty of deserted coves were available for resupply. No, today's pirates will not be post collapse pirates. ANY wealth like your beat to crap boat will do. Still, I do envy his seeming grasp on a very viable retreat strategy.

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