Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Corporate Kabuki

I can now totally understand how Nazi Germany happened. Not to mention the Salem Witch Trials, the Spanish Inquisition, the Stalinist Purges and every other noted instance of mass insanity. Over a decade of having worked for major corporations has taught me all I need to know. Like these other eruptions of evil, our corporate age has brought out human nature's very worst.

Job-hunting, in these troubled times, heavily embroils us in a ritual I can only call Corporate Kabuki. It is an elaborate mummery, totally removed from reality: the domain of pisspot tyrants. And it demands, from those dependend upon it, nothing less than mindless and degrading fealty.

When you apply for a corporate job, the stupid grows like fungus on the process from the start.

"What are your aspirations for a career in Acme Enterprises?" you are asked. And of course, you are expected to tell them something grand. "I just need a damn job," would be the real answer. But that's the one you're not allowed to give.

You are expected to grovel. And certainly, when you play along with their little game of debase-ball and enthuse, with manufactured excitement, about your glorious potential future in widgetry, that is exactly what you are doing.

They know that, even if you're foolish enough to actually dream of climbing the widget ladder, they're only going to keep you 'til the next downsize and then dump you back on the street -- cheating you out of even a minimally-decent severance and, if at all possible, with absolutely no advance warning.

Either that, or -- and this is infinitely worse -- they will keep you for twenty-nine years, eleven months and three days, cutting you loose a matter of weeks before you were set to retire and collect whatever insultingly piddly pension they'd have condescended to give you.

Why do they do this? Why, simply because they can. They're frightened, cruel little people, and their only joy in life comes from lording their petty power over their underlings. The only difference between these soul-dead droids and the Nazis, or the Inquisitors, is one of opportunity.

They think they're frightened because the world is such a cold, hard place. But they have, by their own consent, become part of the problem instead of the solution. They are working to make the world even colder and harder than it has to be. They delude themselves into thinking "that's just the way it is" and that they have no choice. But of course they have a choice -- and of course they've made it.

That people like these continue to get hired and promoted -- just by playing the game -- when they have not a spark of originality, or even real humanity, to offer their employers, speaks volumes about how this situation got to be the way it is in the first place. If these are the sort of people they hire, then no wonder corporate executives hold their workers in such contempt.

The fakery goes on and on throughout the process, from the initial job-search on through to the Big Dump -- whenever it comes. And why? Because they want to get all they can out of us, giving as little as possible in exchange.

It is this that MUST be changed. And the only way we can change it is by WISING UP.

We don't need to devote ourselves to our corporate overlords the way medieval monks and nuns devoted themselves to the Church. We can hire out for a time -- as long as the arrangement remains mutually beneficial -- and then say "sayonara" when we've found something better. We know good and well we don't have any glorious future in widgets. But then again, why the hell would we even WANT one?

They've lost us. They no longer deserve our loyalty, and they never did deserve our dreams, our identities or our very lives. At one time they did deserve our loyalty, and it is entirely by their own treachery that they have lost it.

Wouldn't it be better if we COULD simply be honest with them, and they with us? Then we'd all know pretty much what to count on and what not to. The kabuki routine serves nobody. It has turned corporations and their workers into mortal enemies.

When the kabuki finally comes to an end, we will be able to work out a system that is fairer and more honest for both sides. Dishonesty brings out nothing but evil. It can never truly serve the good.

They've got to stop punishing those who tell them the truth. They've got to stop rewarding mindless conformity and moral cowardice. In the end, they're punishing themselves far more than they are us.

The curtain is coming down on the kabuki. But real life will go on.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Evolve, Already!

As we pass the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, we hear the usual plaudits of him from the rational Left and irrational shrieks against him from the Christianist-infested Right. The stupidity of Christianist superstition has so taken over this country that polls show a frighteningly high percentage of the populace unwilling to "accept" evolution.

If these people were sincere -- if they had any principles at all -- they'd refuse to accept all the benefits that have accrued from agriculture, pharmacology, medicine and genetics.

Wait -- they can't do that. It would be impossible. Nearly all modern biological science is irrevocably based upon evolution.

New discoveries in genetics are verifying evolutionary theory every day. "Just" a theory? Sure. But without question, evolution is the best-attested scientific theory in human history.

Let's just go ahead and call Christianist crap science exactly what it is. It is atheism too cowardly and dishonest even to call itself by its right name. It is an insult to the God Who made us -- spitting right in "His" face -- because it is, in its self-indulgent fear, unwilling to appreciate the way God actually chose to make us.

Faith? It has absolutely nothing to do with faith. It is the anti-faith of people too feeble to believe.

If God is real, then truth need never be feared. Ever. Whether it leads in the direction people's pointy little heads expect it to or not. God did not "have to" make us the way all too many of us would have been more comfortable believing that "He" did. Sorry. Get over it, and get over yourselves if you don't like it.

"Intelligent Design?" Of course it is. The problem, for fundamentalists, is that they have confused themselves with God. They can't figure out how -- or why -- God would work to create through the slow, hit-or-miss process of evolution instead of simply going "zap!" and blinking everything into being, the way Samantha did on Bewitched.

But that is their problem -- not God's. Nor need it be anybody else's.

The anti-evolutionist know-nothings claim that evolution, if universally accepted, would make us more animal-like. Actually, and quite ironically, they use "creationism" -- whatever they want to call it -- to accomplish the very same purpose. It is used, by this crowd, as an excuse to behave like beasts instead of people.

If God just zapped us all here, then we "have to" keep carrying on like selfish, fearful, hateful, avaricous animals. We have no responsibility to keep on growing and learning. This is why these biological anti-Darwinists are, paradoxically, such fervent and devoted social Darwinists.

The only problem for those who are "Christians" -- as most of such people claim to be -- is that "creationism" would render the Gospel of Jesus Christ totally meaningless. It would reveal that God's relationship to human beings was entirely mechanistic and dictatorial -- that we were, to "Him," nothing more than puppets or robots, bearing little or no responsibility for how we lived our lives or what we were capable of becoming. The entire teaching of Christ, in Whom Christians believe that God can be most clearly seen, can be summed up in one urgent exhortation: "Evolve, already!"

Not only does science verify evolution, but evolution verifies the Christian faith. That's right -- it does not disprove it, but actually verifies it. It shows us that God's very mind, in "His" means of creating, works in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

So, indeed, Jesus is Lord. And someday, when sanity prevails, Charles Darwin will be recognized as the prophet he really was.

Evolve, already!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Taking Care of Bidness

As I look for another job, I can't help but notice that the opportunities are drying up out there. Why are there so few available jobs? The real question, I believe, is why do we, as a society, have so little use for human beings?

We are fast approaching a world in which most human beings will be obsolete.

In any sane system, the people first to be laid off in a crunch -- especially one of this magnitude -- would be the CEO's who caused the problem in the first place. They have screwed up the economy, already having done more damage to the country than the terrorists did on 9-11, and if they were axed, we would save enough money for a great many jobs (the jobs of the people who actually do the work, anyway) to be saved. If these corporations honestly wanted to trim the fat, they would start at the top, not at the bottom.

The injuns and the chiefs do not, by any means, bear equal responsibility for our economy's woes. The overwhelming bulk of the blame belongs to those who held all the power and insisted upon making all the decisions.

If we entrust all power and authority to cheap, weak, cowardly, childish people -- people who refuse to assume any responsibility or accountability for the power they wield -- then we are surely doomed. We can afford this folly no longer. Especially since they're pilfering our tax money to bail themselves out of it.

An alternative economy is now urgently needed. Indeed, on a small scale -- flying under the radar -- there has long been one. Farmer's markets, independent bookstores, mom-and-pop shops, non-chain restaurants, cooperatives, independent contractors, freelancers -- we're all out there. And we will be the salvation of the economy. Perhaps even of our entire society.

People must be able to make their own way in this world. They certainly don't need to do it alone. We can form cooperatives, put on festivals, come together in collaborative associations and creative ventures of every kind. The possibilities are endless.

We must, however, preserve and protect our right to exist, to earn our own daily bread, and to transact the business necessary to do it. The big corporations, and their toadies in the Republican Party, have done everything possible to crush us. Totally contrary to their grandiose claims, they are the enemies of true free enterprise.

I now hope to make my living as a freelance writer and a temporary office worker. At some point in the future, for a time, I may again take a regular office job -- probably in insurance, as this is the field in which I have toiled for must of my adult life. But eventually, I hope to work totally as a writer, either for myself or for a larger organization.

As long as I am working at a clerical or administrative job for a large company, it will, indeed, be a temporary position -- no matter what they choose to call it. There are no "permanent" jobs, any more, in the corporate world. I know that now. I forgot it for a while -- but I will never forget it again.

People, we must take care of ourselves -- and of each other. If we don't, absolutely nobody else will.

We need to organize -- to unionize, whenever possible. We need to share information about how companies treat us, whether well or ill. We need to make sure that no company that treats its employees indecently or unfairly can any longer attract quality personnel. We don't need to belong to unions in order to accomplish that.

They have every right to expect an honest and reliable day's work from us for every honest and reliable day's pay. They do NOT have ANY right to expect any more than that. And they have made it pretty clear that neither do we. They deserve exactly as much loyalty as they are willing to give -- but not one iota more than that.

Our survival is up to us. We must fight for it every step of the way -- and in order to fight, we must unite.

We must, as one of this nation's founders once said, all stand together -- or we will all hang together. Let the new American Revolution begin!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Stimulate This!

So now President Obama has placed a cap of half a million dollars on each fat-cat financial executive's salary. And of course, we can expect those on the clueless "Right" to whine.

They are playing childrens' games with the stimulus package. It is one of the bitterest ironies in the history of humankind that these people talk so much about "morality." They are, almost to a man and woman, utterly depraved.

My own experience with my most recent employer is living proof of this. Both my former manager and supervisor pride themselves on their "Christianity" -- and both are pretty much standard Right-Wingers. One is Catholic, the other Evangelical Protestant, but both subscribe to a supposedly-conservative moral theology. It has turned them both into moral idiots.

When I was "let go," as they put it, they told me it was because my "skill-set" didn't match my position. I then applied for unemployment insurance. When the Department of Economic Security investigated my claim, these same moral midgets -- my sterling former employers -- told the DES they'd "fired" me for "insubordination."

That was the first I'd heard of it. Not only had they never warned me that I was, in any way, "insubordinate," but they gave not even the slightest indication that I was doing anything wrong.

Of course the DES asked them for documentation of this. As the company was lying through its teeth, it could provide none.

Thank God for the DES. Justice was done, at least in this case. They have awarded me my unemployment compensation.

Whenever people contradict themselves, they are lying -- at least once, and perhaps (as in this case) even twice. I don't believe either of the two totally-different stories the company has told. As my former position has yet to be posted as available, over a month after I was sacked, it is pretty clear they simply wanted to "downsize" by disappearing one individual at a time so as not to cause a panic. How very, very noble of them.

If the Right-Wingers have their way, they will destroy every form of government protection we now count on to keep us safe from exploitation. I'm pretty sure my former manager and supervisor are now cursing the DES. But again, I am thanking God for them.

The Republicans in congress are quite hunky-dory with a government that spies on people, imprisons them without trial, tortures and murders them, and sucks them dry to finance immoral wars on innocent civilian populations. But now they want to lecture us all on "fiscal responsibility." Responsibility of ANY sort is totally a foreign concept to them.

And again, the brand of religion they use to try and glue it all together turns them into moral idiots.

All I got out of this incident (besides my unemployment compensation) was a lesson I intend never, ever to forget. Put quite basically, the Left is right and the "Right" is wrong. I forgot that for a while, but I will never forget it again.

People, let's put all the pressure we can on the Repub thugs in congress who want to kill our President's stimulus package, or to corrupt it beyond recognition. These are our lives they're playing games with. In 2010, we're going to need to flush even harder to get rid of them.