More corporatocracy and illusions of grandeur

You know how some television programs have specially-themed “weeks?”
The theme might center around a city, an animal, a car, whatever. Apparently, this week has transmogrified into such a monster because tonight I will once again barf out some personal corporate experiences. My previous anti-corporate laments were broadly stated general appraisals of the modern corporation and its place within the grand scheme of modern society. Not bothering to touch upon my direct personal experience, these posts fill in as vast statements of hypothetical opinion. Tonight I’d like to pinpoint some specific qualities I’ve witnessed at play in my own corporate experience and precisely explain why I feel they bear out the diseased manifestations of the corporatocracy.

– (Why buy the cow…): I’ve lost track of how many people my company have been released, allowed to quit, etc., only to be hired back within months after the self-created short-staffed situation that becomes untenable before extra heads are needed in anticipation of a meltdown. Voila, instant temp force.

A bare bones payroll who does not enjoy the legally-endowed “privileges” of outlandish benefits such as health care, sick or vacation paid time, parking spaces. It’s an awesome way for the corporation to replenish its work force to its the previous state for half the price. The only out-of-pocket expense is salary. If the little clerical fucker calls in sick, don’t pay him! If he calls in sick often enough, terminate his contract and you don’t owe him a cent above the time he has punched in to the clock. It’s a wonderful orgy of profitable deforestation. And the beautiful thing is that as the initial, benefits-receiving force is excised, the demand increases for work; as the labor pool is sent overseas, the labor demand increases. The corporations are involved in a cold mission of price fixing…they reduced the labor pool, thus increasing the demand for jobs. As the job demand spikes, so does the bargaining power of the employer. Obeying the laws of supply and demand, a dearth of labor creates a pool of furious competition which benefits only the employer. The corporations manipulate both sides of the market equation. Of course they will create a glut of workers. If I control the production of widgets and the widget demand, of course you realize I’d amp up that demand side of the quotient. I’d be rich corporate piggy.

– (Corporate jingoistic one world hive thought…): My corporation was recently purchased by another larger corporation. Think of this capitalist feast as a flock of whales driven to starvation and slowly feeding on the progressively smaller and small and smaller, and smaller… Yes, so we were purchased, the product of some foreign-ass corporation and shortly thereafter, the bullshit started. A new logo, a new slogan, a standardized brainwashed template which would put the Scientologists to shame. The ostensible message being ONE. Even though we are a global entity servicing hundreds and thousands of consumer international channels, we are ONE. This bullshit seeps right into the working mentality and a hive conciousness takes root and settles in over the corporatized wasteland. The faux teamwork, the faux concern. The corporate Godfathers came aboard and devoted to a common aim, a common mission and we were asked to spout, in in all our emails, correspondence, and garbage that involves customers (and vendors). Our company slogan is ubiquitous and I’m one of the few who refuse to fly those colors in any form. Fuck them. I’m not here to rah-rah those idiots like some bimbo cheerleader. I”m here to work.

– (Let’s…talk…about it…): The other day, I updated my boss about an ongoing (pending) issue that I planned on resolving before our year-end corporate hatchet-jobs came seeking nourishment. My boss listened, affirmed, and offered automatically, “Should I organize a meeting?” Ha!
I told my boss “no.”
That would not be necessary.
I could take care of this on my own. My boss didn’t argue or try to rebut. I’m an old-timer and no one wants to refute my powers. LOL.
Anyways, in today’s corporate climate, meetings are the first refuge for any youngster up and comer. Let’s call a meeting. Skip into Outlook and send out a meeting request. One of those, you know. People respond and cancel in the span of 20 minutes. Seriously though, there is a “culture of meetings” alive and well in the corporatocracy that baffles my mind. They have meetings for every fucking thing imaginable. And these meetings last 20 minutes to over an hour. But one thing they have in common is that only 5% result in anything productive. I’m serious. Most corporate meetings are nothing but fluff and bullshit and maneuvering and small-talk (which I HATE) and by the time the meeting is over, absolutely nothing has been resolved. Even worse. By the end of every meeting, more questions have been raised than answered.

Death of the middle class: the sequel

Well I got a load off my chest with yesterday’s anti-corporate tirade! Look, I’m not some Pollyanna pie-in-the-sky dreamer who believes the “mom and pop” ideal is absolutely GOOD and the corporate mentality is simply BAD. I realize there are an infinite range of gradations and that there is no single situation so easily explained in such clearcut black and white tones. I’ve worked in both work environments; they both offer advantages, but I happen to believe the mom and pop’s strengths are far superior for the mental and spiritual well-being of employees. I believe the corporate mentality damages the human psyche. It is dehumanizing and prioritizes the health of the organization above that of its individual members. The corporate mentality is enhanced by the progression of technology. Technology’s ability to shrink the planet and its communities rewards the ostensible corporate aims of subverting the human element to the cold and calculated needs of the organization. The corporate demands reign supreme. The corporation is an honorary human in our legal parlance.

Still, despite their size and global reach, corporations are small enough “communities” in that they are stained and shaped by the overall national and global economies which the corporations call home(s). Corporations are ultimately shaped by the social climate of the global economic paradigm. Corporations, in spite of their massive reach and influence, are still at the mercy of the greater cultural influences of the time. They still obey the greater pull of the global and national economies. Having worked in the private sector for over 28 years, I can safely assert that our workplaces are emblematic of the underlying state of societal existence.

Going back (circling back) to yesterday’s post, I’ve worked in my corporate environment long enough to witness gradual changes sweep over the organizational mentality and structure. The standard modern corporation mimics many of society’s shortcomings as well.

The middle class has come to signify more to me.

Economically, the middle class is unquestionably important to the well-being of an economy. If not merely by virtue of its direct presence, also by the indirect traits it indicates in the society as well. This is a non-economic and non-scientific approach to justify and glorify the presence of a middle class. The middle class is an outgrowth and reflection of a culture’s humility and pragmatism. A healthy middle class demonstrates that the socio-economic infrastructure of a country is emotionally healthy and considerate of its inhabitants in a humane and non-opportunistic manner. A powerful and involved middle class announces that a nation is running on all cylinders and the engine is purring smoothly. A vibrant middle class tells us that the complementary elements of wealth and poverty are working in unison and that the interrelated humanities are enmeshed smoothly and enjoying an existence immune to the fragmented pulls and destructive mechanisms of income and value differentials. The middle class, its presence and cultural role, is bolstered by the healthy tension of a society composed of many different and contrasting elements condensing together in a cohesive puzzle of jumbled pieces which form one healthy unit. A healthy middle class demonstrates a lush cultural mindset. This filters into the work place and the structural unity of corporations will reflect a healthy distribution of wealth and goods.

As the middle class retracts, the schisms of a society will multiply and its socio-economic health will falter and become disjointed. Aims and goals clash. Motives collide and soon the playing field is too small to contain everyone’s interests. The middle class continues to shrink and is forced from the playing field. Self-interest looms and economic might and power becomes unrealistically influential and barbarous. Agendas clash and the lower class, never strong to begin with, wilts easily under the onslaught of a middle class pushed out of its home by the insanely empowered upper classes. A strange sort of economic entropy flares to life and economic disorder vaporizes the formerly vibrant middle class. This filters into the corporate sector. It manifests itself as a smaller scale phenomena that pervades the strictly utilitarian corporate environment. I see this happening now. In the past 3 years or so, I’ve watched as upper level decision-makers raze the previously comfortable sedation of the middle class; the organization demands more while whittling away every desperate last-ditch cost. A frenzy ensues and workers are asked to do the same as before, and more, for less and with fewer resources. Because earnings must continue to be maximized even in rough times. It’s only the upper echelons of society who can’t do without sacrifice. Sacrifice is just one of several pillars the middle class is built on, but in a society where sacrifice is in short demand, the middle class withers.

The modern corporacracy and the dying middle class

Well I complain about it enough, don’t I?

So I’ll talk about it now. Because the other day, I was thinking about the shrinking American middle class. I cannot speak to the pure economics of the problem. I concur with many that a shrinking middle class denotes doom for a nation’s economic well-being, but I’m lacking in clear reasons or explanations which might satisfy the economically-minded scholars. Let’s just say it’s primarily an instinctive reaction. The middle class is just damned good. Look at these Third World shit-holes and their blaring lack of middle classes; against this, compare that many developed countries boast a thriving middle class which plays an integral part of the native economy.

The middle class is like that intractable boulder of economic might we count on and the United States is demonstrating an impending shrinkage of the middle class and a simultaneous burgeoning upper class which miraculously accumulates wealth despite the apparent economic ill health of the economy. And of course, in response, the lower classes grow bloated while the middle class slips further into the abyss of its much dreaded lower class counterparts.

That said, let me “circle back” to this topic in a future installment after I talk about working in the corporate world in this post. “Circle back.” That’s a popular time-eating confirmation triviality uttered ad nauseum and robotically in conference rooms across the vast idiocy of modern corporate America. I’m sure of this. You see, my little summary of my corporate American experience is my own. I have no idea if this is a trademark “experience” of the typical corporate American worker. I’m sure many are worse, I’m sure many are better. This is mine and I am trying to glean from my own experience those factors which I feel most fittingly describe the state of modern America and the shriveling middle class.

First of all, I work for a medium-sized global conglomerate. I relaize this is an odd way to phrase things, but in the voracious cancer of the modern cultural corporacracy, all i can say is that all organizations compete ravenously with each other to get a bigger bite of that pie, the almighty market share. In the modern corporacracy, this involves buying, buying, buying…or for the less fortunate, being sold, beign sold, being sold. The modern corporacracy resembles a runaway cell madly transferring it genetic replicating materials into any cell in its vicinity and the exponential growth which follows, creating a global cluster fuck of managers, VP’s, supervisors, levels upon levels of authority and pseudo-authority and dotted lines and reports and the maze grows larger by the Wall Street day. If your company is doing well, the growth is steady or crazed, but there is growth. You’ve got the CFO, the CEO, the COO, the CIO, and multitudes, swarms of underlings with lesser titles but equally self-congratulatory roles. The corporation is one big cheesy and white-washed lie. Everybody utters trite truisms and generalities and the faceless gung-ho mentality is barked out cultishly by the “uppers” who give a shit about the company only insofar as bonuses await for spectacular performance. It’s all short-term idiocy, cause no one sticks around long enough to worry about the long-term. It’s all short-term because bonuses are dished out annually, for the most part. The bonus culture of the modern corporacracy is the most damaging element to the integrity and morale of the corporate monster’s lower inhabitants. The “lessers” are not privy to the bonus pie and they must endure the short-sighted whims of an upper management fleet that can only look forward to the next shareholders meeting.

Working for a corporation is…big.
Everything is fucking big.
Everything is big and aimless. There are too many cooks in the kitchen. Every decision or action requires a meeting or a conference call, but intriguingly, little shit gets done because of these. People accuse modern corporate culture of being too feminized and I think this is quality definitely lends to that allure! Corporations are fond of delineated “duties and responsibilities” and it’s hammered home how each position is responsible for doing only its tasks…and in the end, it’s quite possible, with the right crop of modern-minded sheepish morons, that nothing gets done because everyone is so busy pointing at another department which should technically be handling the aforementioned task. The Mexican standoff is alive and well in the Corporate mentality. And those rare folks (mostly comprised of old-timers who hark back to a “mom and pop” era they may very well have been a part of) who feel it is more important to get the job done than appease some mechanical decree from the corporate mother ship and dare to step out of their mandated jurisdiction in order to see something to fruition, are secretly ridiculed or resented by the lazier among their “team” members.

That’s some more scintillating modern corporate bullshit…the concept of “teams.” No one says “department” any more. It’s all about teams. “Let your team know…” or “My team…” Most laughable is the fact, that due to the aforementioned structurally inculcated attitude of hands-off laziness, most people have it drummed into them by the corporate masters that they are not to perform any functions outside of their assigned duties. So they don’t. And the concept of team is hollow because no one is willing to go to bat for another department. It is the culture of spineless cowards. Now that I think about it, “teams” is very fitting. Teams as a concept actually does fit the corporate paradigm! I think of baseball teams.

You have like 26 or so teams, each battling for its own supremacy and competitive pride within the umbrella of some large and overbearing organization called a corporate entity (or “league”). You would never see a 1st baseman let a ball roll through his legs in order to “help” the other team. This is the same dynamic at play in the corporate work force. Teams are littered throughout the PowerPoint flowchart, none seeking to help each other or sacrifice their reputation for a fellow team under the facade of altruism. Nope, teams in today’s corporate America really do compete and the only winners are the managers, the VP’s, all raking in bonuses because their league kicked ass. Meanwhile, the biggest loser is the customer who inherits the mediocre byproduct of this internecine competition. So yeah…”team” is fitting in the modern corporate parlance.

This is my take on the corporate shithole, circa 2010. In my next installment of this series, I will “circle back” and talk about how I feel the middle class death knell is written upon the face of today’s corporate beasts.

Major updates and other crap about my Sony Internet TV

Well it’s been a love/hate relationship.
I’m still thrilled about my new TV. Let’s get that out of the way. The spark is still there…I’m still lamely excited to walk into my apartment and see this greeting me.

I’ve had the damn thing for about 2 months.
It has lived up to many promises, and it’s also failed to fulfill many others.

It was the first time I bought a big television in years because I feel television is “beneath” me. Television is shit. There is nothing on television that is worthy of my brain power. It is crap. But if you can promise me a mixture of television and internet, a combination of elective stupidity and programmed imbecility, how in the world can I refuse? So there I went, a few days prior to Halloween. I forked out big money on an unproven technological wet dream A high definition television which promised to deliver the power of the internet. I was uninformed and ignorant. I thought I would be able to disconnect my cable TV solely on the power of this purchase alone. This proved to be a joke. You cannot get “free” programming on the Sony internet television. Not even that crap the networks feed into your home every night. If you wait, you will have to pay to see it weeks later. Which is even more intellectually demeaning.

Oh yeah. Two months later.

This morning, after powering up the television, I discovered there was finally a scheduled firmware update from Sony. I’ve been waiting for this. Because the Sony internet televisoin is a major “work in progress.” See, I expected this when i bought the TV. I expected major revisions and patches…I did not expect a completed product. It was a technological maiden voyage, and it has not failed to live up to such underachieving demands. I know how technological progress advances and I was willing to work within this framework when I purchased this.

The new update addresses my Netflix gripe.
The original Netflix app is half-assed. It only launches the Netflix cue. There is no direct way to select, delete, or choose movies from the app. It only allows you to play. What you need to do is sign in to Netflix through the browser, choose a movie and add it to your cue. Then, you need to sign back in to the app and select that movie from the cue and play it. Not the worst thing in the world, but you don’t buy a “state of the art” piece of equipment to take more steps to do the same thing. The new Netflix interface is a little snazzier. It flows.

I didn’t buy this damn thing so I could switch back and forth between apps in order to watch movies. That’s the whole point of this “app” bullshit. I’m thrilled Sony fixed this. That was a major drawback to the existing Netfllix!

Back to my original review: I found the following “drawbacks” are still not fixed. They present serious obstacles to any prospective Sony internet television shopper who is clearly conscious of his or her own spending practices.

* ABC, CBS and NBC live feeds or taped programs still do not work. The network feed is incompatible with the Sony internet television, either through design or neglect. Bottom line, you can’t watch anything for free on your state-of-the-art TV (unless you fork out extra money for a DVR add-on) or, $7.99 for Hulu, which brings me to…



*Hulu still does not fucking work on the Sony TV!

I don’t know what the hell is going on with Sony. Hulu Plus is in place with other internet television brands, but it just won’t hunt when it comes to Sony. It’s pretty infuriating. There is so much crap on Hulu that I would actually pay $7.99/mointh for it (which is incidentally still a rip-off) but I won’t spend a penny until they cement these details and bring Hulu to this platform. It’s ridiculous that after I spent this much money on a new television that I don’t have the option of bringing Hulu to my screen. There were some temporary patches/shortcuts/CHEATS people used to circumvent the technological barriers, but evidently Hulu and Sony caught on and shut them down quick. Hulu and all 3 major networks are still off limits to Sony internet television for the time being. In fact, for a long while. Off the Hulu site, this is the “long range” forecast:

And you have Pandora.

I have been using Pandora for a couple of months and the stream breaks all the time when I use the Sony app.
The music just goes silent.
I even purchased the $36/year subscription and still…my music feed goes silent for minutes at a time.
The Pandora app in the Sony television sucks and doesn’t work well! I now circumvent this obstacle by signing on to the Chrome browser, logging directly into Pandora, and listen to my music that way. Uninterrupted. Obviously the app is broken.

The update also addresses certain “remote handheld” issues. The handheld’s roller mouse feature sucked really badly. It was janky and slow and imprecise. At one point, it made me click “dislike” on a Pandora song that I actually “loved!” That irritated me. Now you can control the roller’s sensitivity and speed. It appears to track more accurately now. I think. The update helped.

If I had to do it all over again, would I have bought the Sony internet television?
Hmm.
Back in October, I would have leaned 90/10.
Now, it’s slipping.
70/30.

Sony needs to resuscitate this floundering platform and get its contractual obligations straight.
I bought this shit on the premise that I would disconnect my cable television. Once the Sony TV slipped in to fill that void. What a mistake. One of my great non-stellar moves.

If you’re a billionaire…buy it.
If you value your money…I would wait a while.

Signed,
a Sony Guinea Pig

The bitch did it because of Sven

I created this little video in honor of one of the most endearing female traits I can think of.

Women, aside from the sporadic circus freak or hirsute buff dyke, are rarely without male companionship. Most women have absorbed it as natural fact, a primal given, that they will be blessed with the ability to skate from one man to the next with nary an interrupted break of true aloneness during which they can relax and recharge. Women do not recharge. Most women do not just “break up” and choose a temporary course of solitude before they become involved again.

Women are not equipped, emotionally and physically, to withstand such absence of male attention.

Considering they are evolutionarily equipped to pattern their mating (ie social) behavior around the hypergamous instincts of the civilized, post-agricultural female, the concept of “trading up” also insinuates they partake in a continuous assembly line of interloping males. The human female’s role is established as a static source of continuous species reproduction. Lacking estrus period’s limitations on sexual activity present in other species, she can theoretically conceive any time and nature has endowed her with the ability and instinct to maintain a perpetual stream of male suitors.

Women, having evolved around such a historic structure, are molded in body and mind, to leverage a consistent threshold of mating partners, or interest in such. Today’s female, much “evolved” in a so-called civilized manner, has integrated a helpless lack of ability to sustain long periods of being alone, hence, not mating or seeking a mate. Nature has ill-equipped her to fend off the jaws of reality alone. The female is always accompanied; but most often, lacking the gumption to state her purpose boldly, she will belittle the male’s contribution to the pair. She will belittle his humanity and create a morass of unaccomplished aims, thus setting the stage by which she may exit in the least brutal manner possible. While keeping her aplomb intact and purifying her saintly virtue. The man’s fault…it’s his fault that she found a new suitor, but only in hindsight.

The “Sven” loitering in the wings is waiting to be snatched up by the woman once she trounces every ounce of her present boyfriend’s character, and thus justifies her guilt-ridden soul’s relinquishment of the old and embrace of the new.