Man Up White Boy

All too often, I’ll see a fellow straight white male make some misogynistic or racist comment.   In my circles, the comment is rarely extreme, and mostly just lame.  Things on the level of “That’s what she said” jokes, “there are more black males in prison than college”, and “illegal immigrants are stealing our jobs and taxes.”  They act all surprised when these statements irk others, in particular the category of person they are commenting on.  “Wait, wha, I’m just jokin’.  It’s just an opinion.  Why’s everyone so politically correct, man.  I get discriminated against too!”  So sad to be a straight white male, everyone up in their grill.

I wish my kind could be black for a day, or a women, or any other thing but straight, male and white.

It would be a great experience for the privileged white male.  Maybe, it would impart what it’s like to be in a constant invisible straitjacket.   Maybe it would create some innovative ideas on how to address the issue, or at the very least, inculcate a sense of responsibility for the whole situation.

Case in point, a sizable portion of the Caucasian netizen will read the words “privileged white male” and think, “I’m not privileged.”  I got news for ya, it’s your show buddy.  By every possible metric you can imagine, you are privileged.   I know, you didn’t ask to be born white and male, it can’t be your fault.  That’s not how it works.  You don’t get to skirt responsibility because you have no blame.  It’s your “unfortunate” curse.

No one is going to fix this problem but you.  Do whatever it takes, even if it interferes with your standards.  Prefer women and minority hires always  as there is a never ending supply of unfairly advantaged white boys to make up for the lapse in fairness.  Make sure they get fair raises.  Pick jobs and activities where your efforts can help a minority leader look better in the eyes of the public.  Damage old boy networks.   Not only do you need to do this to get over your own biases, but you also need to do this to make up for the errors of your ancestors and the cluelessness of your white male peers.

Never believe that a minority can’t carry their wait.   A white male who can’t carry his weight always gets a free pass or two, so it is not going to hurt to assume the minority is competent.  If you make a mistake about someone’s role or skills because of their genetics and chromosomes, eat glass as punishment.  You’ll teach yourself not to make that mistake again.

Speaking of genetics, you might think the problem is over and done with because science has proved the differences between straight white males and everyone else is statistically irrelevant.   Actually, it only means you no longer have any excuses to be privileged.  It’s proof that something got broke a long time ago.  Despite the fact that everyone is equal in potential, regardless of gender or skin color, such arbitrary and irrelevant details distorts the successful pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.  How can you realize this, and not feel obligated to become a better man and do the bare minimum to make things right.

And for god damn sake, be polite.  Political correctness may be a straight jacket to you, but for everyone else its about being polite.  It’s not hard to change what you believe, and its not an onerous burden, because it is the truth.  In many ways its about becoming a better man.  If the world had no biases, negative stereo types, and racist misogynistic assholes, political correctness would just be every day normal behavior.  Become a part of the real world, the way it should be, not the delusion that you still live in.

Don’t do it because it is fair, do it because the future of the human race is at stake.  The bulk of the best brains on the planet can’t be shoved into dead end careers, unemployment, incarceration, and low skill professions.  You are the beneficiary of all that bleached out miasma of unfairness.

Man up my wretched albino brethren.  If the human race goes extinct, rest assured it is your fault.

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We Are All Human Microphones

My comment to the blog post, “We Are All Human Microphones” by Richard Kim, Executive Editor, The Nation.

It’s a very old media paradigm, word of mouth, and it is as human as it gets.  Humans embody a tension between the individual and the collective, egoism and altruism.  Without this tension, we wouldn’t have gotten as far as we have.   Every time a protestor repeats a word he or she has to choose to do so based on some calculation involving those two aspects of their nature.

Occupy is all about that tension and responding to that tension.  The 99% all have their personal issues and grievances, but that really isn’t enough really to keep them outside.  We’ve had our years of quiet personal struggle and selfish chasing of personal solutions, and we continue to do so even in the midst of occupation.  By itself, selfishness would cause everyone to return home at the first hint of cold weather, pepper spray, pneumonia, or lack of sleep.  Choosing to stay despite the challenges is about staying for everyone.

It’s time to decide if the government of our choosing, the laws we choose to live by, really reflect who we are as humans.  Maybe the balance has tipped too far to the ego.  Maybe altruism is such an innate part of who we are that we can only take so much selfishness before we act.  Maybe there are words the human microphone would choose not to repeat.  Maybe “death by poverty”, “unbridled greed”, and “to each his own” are a little worn out.  Maybe, I hope at least.

Posted in Honesty | Leave a comment

From the Desk of the CEO

Hi everyone, its me Spaz, your favorite CEO and the guy who signs your checks, lol.  It’s a small office I know, and I’m sure you heard the whooping from Splat and me on the other side of the door.  We’ve been in secret negotiations with Micramazoggle over the last few months and we just accepted an offer.  I know Splat and I have vilified Micramazoggle every single day since we started Sparkle!Whee! Inc., and maybe its the last thing you thought we would ever do, but when we saw all those zeros after a single digit, we couldn’t help ourselves.  I swear, Splat wet himself in shear joy.  So, in just a couple months, both Splat, me and the rest of you lot will all be employees of Micramazoggle!  Isn’t that great!

You may wonder what the future will hold, so Splat and I brainstormed a little summary of what to expect.

First, you won’t notice much difference other than the paychecks will be issued by a more legit payroll firm.  But that will only last until Micramazoggle’s facilities management team discovers us.  First, they will be a little concerned that we work out of a loft in the market district.  Sure, at first they will only try to put card key locks on the doors, but the minute they get a look at our furniture made out of found objects, that will be the end of that.  Soon we’ll be dragged across the water to the burbs and get assigned to one of their slightly used cube farms.  For most you, this will be a bonus since you’ll no longer have to drive an hour one way to work, but for the art department, well let us be honest here, really just for Brandon who lives in the co-op next door, this will suck quite a bit.  Sorry Brandon, but the zeros were so shiny that we didn’t hesitate to throw you under the bus.  Hey, I know, you could RIDE the bus, that’s cool right? 

Next, those very same people at Micramazoggle that brokered the acquisition will let their favorites consult for our business.  You see, in a fossilized corporate structure like Micramazoggle’s, it is very hard for an ambitious, young middle manager to break through to the upper levels.  As it so happens, one gateway to the top is to become part of the acquisition transition team.  Don’t worry, it will take them a while to figure out what you are doing, which will give you plenty of time to find some shelter.

You may be concerned that all of Micramazoggle’s interference will alienate our customers, and bless your heart for worrying, but you don’t need to.  You see, we’ve been assured by our new management that they will not interfere in our business in any way.  Except for maybe Splat and I will no longer write that hip banter that our customer’s love.  Instead, it will be done by a writing team comprised of ex-Daily Show and and ex-Ellen joke writers.  I’m sure our customers won’t notice a thing.  Oh, and Splat and I will no longer be setting up the deals that make Sparkle! Whee! Inc so popular, instead that will be done by Micramazoggle’s strategic sales division.  I bet Nike won’t hang up on them, right Splat?   And one more thing, Splat and I will no longer be managing you directly.  Instead we’ll get to lead you with vision.  Soon we’ll be heading off to Micramazoggle’s Product Strategy Vision Team whose goal is to create the soul of a startup in the heart of a monopoly. 

You might be wondering if any of those shiny zeros will be heading your way.  Well, in a manner of speaking, yes, a zero may heading your way.  First, we have to meet our obligations with our many fine investors over the years.  Then we have to pay back the loans from the millionaire loan sharks.  Then the venture financing firms.  And then, after proper application of the equity sharing formulas, your share will be something like 1/10,000th of what’s left.  A token amount, I’m sure, but I hear that Micramazoggle has a wonderful benefits plan and their Reward For Excellence program is an industry leader in employee compensation strategies.  I’m sure the fresh new thinking you’ll bring to Micramazoggle will shoot you all right to the top tranche!

Finally, Splat and I would like to ask you a favor.  Please no longer call us Splat and Spaz anymore.  When we were children, our childish ways made sense, but now we have to grow up.  From now on call us by our adult names, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Peter. 

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Regarding the recent increase in hiring at Micramazoggle

Dear Associates,

Some of those among us have been making noise about our recent spate of hiring.  Why, you ask, are we hiring during this jobless recovery when no one else is.  Why buck the trend?  Can’t we do what are competitors are doing and just work the staff harder?

Well, that presumes something that you may have lost sight of.  Other companies are able to leverage the fear of layoffs and hard times to eek out some extra sweat from their labor pool.   Suddenly businesses everywhere have seen tremendous boosts in work flow from their remaining staff because their remaining staff fears “being next.”    Those poor schlubs, if they would only see the light and slack off a bit, more of their jobless friends and family would get work.    Ah well, that’s why they are “them” and we are “us” right?

Anyway, Micramazoggle doesn’t have that option.  That’s because you lot mastered the art of terrorizing our employees into higher levels of productivity long, long ago.   Need I remind you of the masterfully executed Reward For Excellence program?  Mr. Ettinger’s insight that we could treat our employees like collateralized debt obligations was brilliant.  I sweetly remember the dread on the faces of our staff when we announced that we were going to group them into tranches based on how well they performed.  “Our little investments” we would call them, and all the bottom tranche gets for a reward is a nicely written pink slip.    The resulting scramble to stay out of the bottom tranche generated hundreds of extra hours of unpaid labor per employee each year.

Then there was Ms. William’s Targets For The Future review strategy.  The concept that we could give each person a set of targets at the start of the year and then use those targets for performance reviews was very compelling.    Sort of like fire and forget missiles, we only had to work just a few days a year, give them some vaguely worded “targets”, and then we were done.  I really liked the subtle effect of giving groups conflicting targets and letting them go at it.  We got some pretty nifty products from the creative destruction,  and our ever vigilant lackeys were able to scoop up the best ones to put in our personal portfolios.  The losing teams, of course, made great candidates for the bottom tranche.

Unfortunately, we have to pay the price of our success and start hiring to keep up with the growing economy.  Good thing too, our HR staff was starting to look too comfortable.    At any rate, I’m told that for every position we open up, we get 50 applicants, so we have lots of bodies to throw into the tranches.

I hope this explains the strategy well enough to quite down the more vociferous of you.  Feel free to talk about it with me out on the greens.  I’m looking forward, as I’m sure do you, to having another relaxing and profitable year at Micramazoggle.

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Da Kliegg Decends

Born in the quantum oscillations of a dark star, Da Kliegg decends to earth and takes root in the heart of a small, confused boy.

Posted in Hubris | Leave a comment