“The only ones who can provide an identity to a nation are its enemies.” -Umberto Eco
A customer service rep is hired to retain customers (see link below). She or he is a retainer. Sounds kinda funny, eh? There is a job title like ‘corporate retainer’. Yet when I think about it I also think about Harvey Keitel as a Cleaner. I guess I’m in to opposites this morn. Been a long night. Our dog had major surgery so that he can (hopefully) stay in our lives a while longer. But I’m off topic. So let’s dig a bit deeper in the puzzle of corporate linguistics. Because that’s where we’re at, dear worst-reader. For example. “HR”. Human resource department. These people came up with the job title corporate retainer. You would think this department in a corporation is for managing employees. Well, I guess it is. But what it really does is manage the corporations ability to fire employees or not hire them at all. Sure. HR might see to it that it supplies you a desk and a pencil to do your work but that is only sub-category of its true intentions. So here’s the thing. The other day on some random podcast I heard a talking-head talk about the generation of corporatists now running the consume-to-survive freak-show that some refer to as American’t or Eurowasteland. The talking-head said that for the first time in history the generation managing and/or running corporations doesn’t earn the wealth they make but instead feel and believe that they are entitled to that wealth. Obviously, having seen first-hand how corporations function, I couldn’t agree more with this talking-head’s sentiments. But there is something else about the west’s entitlement culture. Where do these entitlement people come from? Who taught them what they know? And more importantly, how stupid are the people that work for them who believe that their “work” could perhaps get them into entitlement circles, as well? Ah. So many questions about everything that is worst. In the mean-time see link below for the best example yet of a corporate peon doing his best to do what he has been told to do by the entitlement generation of managers who run the show. Or something like that. Rant on.
“America’s dirty little secret is that for this small group of plugged-in bubble lords, the political system works fine not just without elections, but without any political input from any people at all outside Manhattan. In bubble economics, actual human beings have only a few legitimate roles: they’re either customers of the financial services industry (borrowers, investors, or depositors) or else they’re wage earners whose taxes are used to provide both implicit and explicit investment insurance for the big casino-banks pushing the bubble scam. People aren’t really needed for anything else in the Griftopia, but since Americans require the illusion of self-government, we have elections.” Source: Matt Taibbi, Griftopia. (More about this book here.)
First, dear worst-reader, why is jet-lag when traveling from west to east the worst? Is it because of the strange “-1” designation on my travel itinerary? PHL > FRA on Monday afternoon but you arrive in the wee-hours on Tuesday morn at destination. I think I crossed six time zones. I’ve been doing it for twenty-plus years. There is no getting used to it. Yet when I go the other direction the lag is never so bad. The Mayo Clinic provides a bit of knowledge on the subject. For example, I didn’t know that you need one day of recovery for every time-zone you pass through. Nomatter. What the doctors and scientists forget to mention in their study is the fact that worst-writer has made a grave error in his life of travel and boredom. That means my body rejects the west to east travel mode. My body yearns and lusts after the opposite. But we are all condemned to our fate, right, dear worst-reader? Yes. There is fate. She is a bitch. And she becomes mounted and secured in your life when you do her wrong. Jet-lag is indeed like a life that sucks or a wife that doesn’t. Nuff.
Three pics in this post today, dear worst-reader. Pics that all have to do with the worst-subject at hand. I just got back from a month-long stay in my grand united mistakes of American’t. I can’t tell you how much I already miss her. Her smells. He tastes. Her ignorance. Ah! Ignorance. A pungent taste that one is. It’s like when you first smoke. Nasty. But once you get used to it, the sensation of inhaling enthrals. Don’t it? That small gesture of sucking on a fag and pulling him beyond the gag reflex. It is nice once you get used to it. It’s the kicker that you need. Inhaling. At least that’s the way it was when I smoked. But it was the taste of the cigarette that finally gets you. Right? At certain moments in life nothing can match the taste of a Marlboro. Not even the rawness of Red Man or a pinch of Copenhagen can match it. Btw, you wanna quite smoking? Just put a little pinch of tobacco between cheek & gum. It sure helped me. Move on.
Back to the pics.
The first pic (above) I took while visiting the American dream that you can buy for a discounted $75 per person. We got Busch Gardens tickets with %25 off. Lucky, eh. It was the third time I visited the park with my son but I’ve been there numerous times in the past thirty years. This was probably the last for me, though. Indeed. It’s time to stop riding roller coasters. I’m fifty now and flabby and getting old and I can’t (don’t want to) take the jostling, the bumps, the twists and the g-forces of those über-fun rides. It’s really enough now. I’ll also miss the bonding with my sixteen year old. He loves the rides as much as I did. And. Boy! The park has changed. For one, it’s no longer owned by a beer maker. It’s now owned by a company that traps orcas in order to train them to live in a pool and hopefully not kill their trainers. It hasn’t changed in the way it looks though. But then again, America hasn’t changed much in that respect either. You have to get close to it to see the changes–to see the drama of the change. Yes. Like the service industry driven country slash nation-state that America is now. Remember that change? Well, maybe you don’t remember that change because, well, because things didn’t go well with the change. For you see, America has become a service country not by choice but instead by coercion. And. As with most things coerced, the change has gone horribly wrong.
Now that American production has taken a back seat to the so-called service industry over the past thirty years, you would think that the rewards of having so brilliantly made such a change would shine bright. Dullness is proving its value now, isn’t it? And a place like Busch Gardens is indeed a mecca for those who still believe in The Dream that used to be industrial America. Just pay what you need to pay upon entrance and you will be serviced to the hilt with rainbows, purple unicorns, the luscious lie of family that is nothing more than an entity waiting for you to break it and, of course, wait for the entertainment to overwhelm and whisk who and what you are away for a least a few hours. For real. Ain’t it great what the American service industry can do? Go to an entertainment park, a theme park, roller coaster heaven and you will be shown that there is no facade and never has been.
Some between-thoughts and interjections about the demise of home.
- I had to fill a bike tire with air during my recent USA visit. Luckily a gas station was nearby so I drove the bike there. Wow. Air cost money now. In fact, it cost seventy-five cents to put air in the tire of my bike. Why is it that I know, ever since becoming an expat twenty years ago, that gas stations have to resort to charging for air for bicyclists? Oh yeah, I know that because I haven’t had to fill a bike tire from a gas station in that long! It’s good to be reminded of change.
- The last time I was at a cinema in the US they charged me extra for butter in my popcorn. The service-person at the country even frowned when I requested that she fill half the bag with popcorn, butter it, and then do the same with the other half. She was very confused if my request meant that I was getting extra butter twice.
- There are now separate fast-lanes at amusement parks where customers can purchase a pass in order to get ahead of the crowd when boarding roller coasters and thereby avoid the longs lines. This is a way the greed mongers allow those with a little extra cash to get ahead of the crowd. Btw, the same applies to the huge parking lot of the park. Only if you pay extra for parking can you park near the front entrance. Otherwise you must take a hot and steamy bus to get to that entrance.
With the above examples in mind, let’s look at a few other ways that the greed-mongers will be able milk you in the future. For. Indeed. As American’t continues down its fail-upward path of putting the middle-class in its place–which it so deserves because only the middle class could politically chose the politics of its own demise–there are still endless ways to milk those who need to be milked and/or create much needed revenue streams to further the rich’s desire for the non-rich to remain stagnant and poor.
- Restaurants will start charging for amenities at your table e.g. salt & pepper, bread & butter, knives and forks and spoons, napkins, etc.
- How ’bout a few cents more for ice in your drink.
- You’ll have to start paying extra for the paper that your professor gives his tests on and don’t forget the extra charge for the ink he uses when grading your papers.
- Wal-Mart will charge you to use their shopping carts; they will also charge extra if they have to open another register because the lines are too long.
- When buying roses you must pay extra if you want the leaves to stay on.
- Wanna watch Netflix via your ISP? Just add another ten bucks to your monthly ISP bill, ditto for iTunes downloads.
- When flying you must pay extra for wearing two shoes, to have a tray in front of you, to turn on your seat light, to have a stewardess come see you, to eat the wonderful meals they prepare and, last but not least, to travel with luggage…
Hold on there, skippy. That last one. The bullet-point about the luggage? That’s already happening–especially with most US carriers. And if you want to know how airlines get away with what they do to customers, all you have to do is look at what America has done to itself by continuing to elect conservatives. But I suppose you get my drift without me imposing all my political worst-views at you, eh dear worst-reader. Still. America has literally gone to shit in a hand basket (unless you can pay so that you don’t have to carry the basket) and after spending a month there it’s easy to tell why and how this has happened. From watching TV to listening to one of those robo-calls my mother gets a dozen times a day. It’s unbelievable what is tolerated in a society who has replaced all meaning, belief and faith, culture and merit with $$$. $$$ = everything! And. A simple day outing to bond with my son on a few roller coaster rides revealed yet another angle of the true face of what’s become(ing) of my beloved American’t. Indeed. This is what happens when everything becomes a commodity. And before I forget. The second pic (above) is a postcard my mother received in her mailbox. It has my mother’s (correctly written) first name printed on it to make it look like someone wrote it by hand. It declares my mother’s house “ugly” and thinks she shouldn’t fix it but instead sell it. Wow, eh. With stuff like this going on there really is some truth to the idear that not only the American apple barrel is rotten but because there’s nothing left in it everybody who can is still trying to scrape scraps from it. Which brings me to pic #3 of this post.
While scanning the channels the night before I was due to return to Eurowasteland, I came across the movie They Live. How appropriate. A movie, not unlike the movie Dawn of the Dead–the one where most of the story takes place in a shopping mall, which is a symbol for the consumption that is turning people into zombies–They Live is about what happens to a country that allows itself to be enslaved. But that’s neither here nor there, eh American’t? It’s always good to see my childhood favourite wrastler Roddy Piper. Indeed, dear worst-reader. A wrastler tells the story of the demise of America. We are now officially a country where FAKE rules.
And before I return to my worst-daily routine of dreaming about being a writer. Here a clip from the Interwebnets where Bill Maher taps into my thoughts. Or is it I tapping into his? Nomatter.
Hailion. Hail plus heroin? Or is it lion plus hail? Hail the size of softballs stuffed with syringes, some broke. In one was the mane of King George, the local zoos forty-year old lion. Nomatter. It was all in a dream last night while I was walking the beach for the very last time. And that’s the thing about dreams, eh. You don’t pass in them. You just wake up in their nightmare. Or something like that. Rant on.
Day before embarkation. Or is it disembarkation? Why do I always get those two screwed up? Oh well. Leaving home tomorrow morn. It’s time to go back to my other home, the expat home, reality. I guess. I’m a man of homes. And. At least I don’t shed tears about it (anymore). That’s the great thing about tears–and about multiple homes. You really can shed enough of tears and they also can wear out and the same goes for homes. But that’s not what we wish to worst-blog about today, dear worst-reader. At least not the tear part. No. Today we’ll delve in the realm of the misguided. No. We’ll worst-write about the doomed. Wait. Ok. Let me just say it. I’ve been home for almost a month now. The longest trip here in a few years. And what amazes me most about it? Well. It’s time to say a worst-word or three about… the stupid. That’s right. I’m leaving on a jet plane tomorrow to head back to the land of the socialists and no one will wonder if I’ll miss the land of the stupid. Am I being cruel? Is honesty cruel? Nomatter. Here’s what happened.
My family owns a house at the beach. Family is old and so is the house. This is the place they incorrectly decided to retire to and by doing so forgot that retirement includes getting old and decrepit, which doesn’t mix well with an equally old house at the beach–and salty air. You know, the salt air effects everything. It gets in it. It gets over it. The Atlantic, the grand bitch I will love just a tick less than my Ms. Chesapeake–she is omnipotent. Did I mention that everything is old and rotting from sea salt? Did I mention that it feels like everyone at the beach is old and rotting, too? (Including moi!) Back to the house.
The house, of course, is the center of everything. Since curiosity kills cats and head of family, Mother, is very interested every time a house is sold in or around our salty beach neighborhood. She doesn’t know why, but she also is familiar with current economy and housing prices–comparing both to balloons when she means bubbles. And. Isn’t real-estate a kind of new & improved American past-time anyway? Everybody dabbles in it, right? You know, like they used to dabble in the American Dream. You know, like baseball but with the speculation of predatory capitalism at your throat. Indeed. It is. Which brings me to post-nine-eleven and the Supreme Court electing a president that, lo and behold, says: go shopping, buy a house, consume, credit, be happy. And if the old folk would have sold the house a few years after the war mongers made that claim… Wow. We would have made out like speculative bandits! Anywho. With all that nonsense in mind, it’s time to start waking up to the ramifications of salty-air, really bad politics and stupidity.
Roll the dice.
Long worst-story short.
New neighbors bought house next door for an alarming low price. And that’s that. But at least they are a funny and happy bunch. The patriarch of the family took a few moments to wake up to me but he eventually did. About ten years my senior, he’s a construction contractor and obviously knows his trade. His wife commanded, upon purchase of house, that minor things get done asap. Like replacing all doors inside. Also. Fixing up kitchen by throwing out shelves and cabinets from the seventies. Then there was the flooring. He replaced the ragged carpet and put in hard wood floors. He and his large family did it all in a weekend. Pretty impressive. And to think on top of all that he was able to let me know how he felt about… Wait for it. Obama. Which set some floodgates off in my head. I couldn’t tell if he was serious or not. His wife, the matriarch of the crew, said he actually likes Obama. But his government hate-jokes could mean he goes the other way. But it did seem like I might have finally met someone down here that actually likes Obama. Which was strange enough for me. I have yet to meet anyone down here that likes Obama. Of course I know why everyone dislikes him–but I’ve already mentioned that this post is about stupidity. So let’s try once again to move on from the sadness I feel because no one will reciprocate my attempts at getting some Obama fist-bumps.
I explained to new neighbor that I’m a traveler and I’ll be heading out in a few days only to return within the next six months. Then I tried a political joke of my own. I said:
Say, man, since you like Obama and this whole neighborhood hates him, what do you say we tally our resources and be the first on the street, when November 2016 comes around, to put up matching “Hillary” signs in our yard. All the nutbag republicans in the neighborhood will shit bricks. What do you say?
There was a long pause. He turned to his wife and tried to grin lazily. Then he turned back around to me with no grin.
You’re not… serious are you young fellow. You live in Germany, right? What do you call it? Eurowasteland. Well that’s cute. But that makes you a socialist now. And this is America. I was just joking.
Ok. So they took me for a ride. The matriarch likes Obama but the patriarch just downright hates everything–especially everything government. And at that point I had had about enough. I turned to him and said:
You know. Some one’s got to say this. But. Yeah. I live in socialized Eurowasteland. That’s why it’s a waste. But get one thing straight. You dipshit Americans need to seriously get your heads out of your ass. You’ve lived your life, a few years longer than I, on the backs of the future you are in now. And all you can do is hate government and the president. Well that’s just fine. Go ‘head. But you do realize, even if you say that I live in socialism, that that’s technically bullshit. America is officially the best run socialized nation-state at this very moment. But here’s the thing about that. It’s not socialized for you. You get that, Patriarch. You’ve been left out of the socialism for two reasons. One. You’re not rich. Otherwise you wouldn’t be living in a fixer-upper at the beach and making krappy jokes about your government. And. Two. The reason American socialism is better than all others is because THEY have figured out how to make it work for the rich. Socialism is for the rich. Now take that and smoke it in your next night out bitching about the government that you made.
There was a short pause. I had created a scene. Again. Yeah, it’s my thing. Worst-scenes. I may live abroad, I’m an expat, but I’m always looking, yearning from there to here and not the other way ’round. Always. And it was obvious that the females of our new neighbors were taken aback with my little worst-speech. To make things worse, I dug up a short smile and tried to Obama fist bump everybody but was left hanging. So be it.
Boy do they get this wrong. What’s especially wrong is utilizing a picture of the communist best gurl-friend turned capitalist-lover as an example of Eurowasteland equality. Germania is a patriarch society. Period. It is a boy-club and it means nothing that its political polit-büro leader is female. Having lived in anti-feminine Germania for the better part of twenty-plus years, I can say first hand that the country is no closer to gender equality than any other western country. It is as split, divided, partitioned and gender oriented as the best of them. The whole idear of “equality” is a joke at best and ery cynicism at least. But then again, I reckon showing a female world leader, who leads the best business-nation-state there is, is a good thing for some because it clouds the truth of how things really are. Don’t get me wrong here. Germania, compared to other business nation-states like the puritan US or submissive Japan, is pretty good at things like protecting a female’s right to choose or even enabling the over thirty-five crowd to be conscious of negative national birth rates. But put some teats in the office of Chancellor and it will never even be discussed whether or not a female can head Mercedes, Lufthansa, Deutsche Bank, etc., i.e. the only stuff that means anything in the business of business-nation-states. Nice try Salon. Rant on.