Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Peggy Noonan tells it like it is: We're Governed by Callous Children

I hesitate to cite half a column when both halves are really good, but this should be very familiar to you GenX'ers out there with your Boomer middle managers and other so-called (cheer) leaders....

I have to warn you, this is going to be a screed. And none of my normal salt. First, give some respect to Peggy Noonan as she tells it like it is:

And here is the second part of the story. While Americans feel increasingly disheartened, their leaders evince a mindless . . . one almost calls it optimism, but it is not that.

It is a curious thing that those who feel most mistily affectionate toward America, and most protective toward it, are the most aware of its vulnerabilities, the most aware that it can be harmed. They don't see it as all-powerful, impregnable, unharmable. The loving have a sense of its limits.

When I see those in government, both locally and in Washington, spend and tax and come up each day with new ways to spend and tax—health care, cap and trade, etc.—I think: Why aren't they worried about the impact of what they're doing? Why do they think America is so strong it can take endless abuse?

I think I know part of the answer. It is that they've never seen things go dark. They came of age during the great abundance, circa 1980-2008 (or 1950-2008, take your pick), and they don't have the habit of worry. They talk about their "concerns"—they're big on that word. But they're not really concerned. They think America is the goose that lays the golden egg. Why not? She laid it in their laps. She laid it in grandpa's lap.

They don't feel anxious, because they never had anything to be anxious about. They grew up in an America surrounded by phrases—"strongest nation in the world," "indispensable nation," "unipolar power," "highest standard of living"—and are not bright enough, or serious enough, to imagine that they can damage that, hurt it, even fatally.

We are governed at all levels by America's luckiest children, sons and daughters of the abundance, and they call themselves optimists but they're not optimists—they're unimaginative. They don't have faith, they've just never been foreclosed on. They are stupid and they are callous, and they don't mind it when people become disheartened. They don't even notice.

[From Peggy Noonan: We're Governed by Callous Children - WSJ.com]

There's a reason I left Silicon Valley after over 10 years in my craft. It isn't the same place: MBAs came in and sucked all the wonder out. There's only one toyland left-- it's in Cupertino, and its gates are closed under siege from everywhere. Except the hacker community who wants to know why Uncle Steve is so mean sometimes.

Geeks have left in droves, to do something else-- the MBAs have flung us back at least 10 years into the past, hoping the civilians can be fooled by shiny controls and flying baloney.

There is no innovation there anymore, only caretaking of recycled, tired ideas like 'cloud computing' and desperation. No new geeks either, just 'guest workers' who are not by any definition of those words -- who will leave when there's naught but an empty husk.

Meanwhile the MBAs repackage & hope that some rube, and by rube I mean the US Gov't-- hence we, the people-- will finance it as 'the next thing' when it doesn't exist.

I think commenter 'Vivek' is dead on:

Certain forces are trying to cheapen and degrade the programming profession because in the 90s the geeks took away everyone else's prestige. We eclipsed politicians, lawyers, doctors, execs, MBAs, boomers, and every other country in the world. They had to get their prestige back. And the only way for them to do that is to attack the geeks and bring them down. Degrading the profession to the level of Wal-Mart greeter is what they want, since they have all become redundant, useless, and obsolete. [3:18 PM]

It's painfully obvious, that the only companies that are run like 'normal tech companies' are Apple and Google. All the other ones are slave camps for geeks, if they even have any of their old guard left. The remains of my comrades, cowering in their cubes, 'loving their jobs'.

The rest of us, some prepared to sit this out for years, others sadly not, who contemplate never working for an "American" corporation ever again, thinking, 'traitors.'

And that is the reality. So, as I've asked before, what would Obama & his other Boomer friends have us do? Go to Canada? That was their solution, cut and run.

We don't want to live in someone else's failed past. And make no mistake, the Bush years were big-time FAIL. Corruption & Death on a scale the Boomers promised we'd never see again. But that didn't happen, did it?

We thought he knew better, and elected him to do otherwise, but "President" Obama just continues the same policies that make me mumble "BlackBush" under my breath.

I've been to, and lived in a number of countries and have still have geek comrades there -- I thought my home was the best place -- until my home started to be.. not the same place I left. I think George Bush has a lot to answer for, and the fact that he doesn't speaks volumes. And America is this strange place I half want to leave, where my family has always been.

There's no future worth living if it's nothing but war, toilet paper for currency, empty promises, and violation of our Constitutional rights. Does that document even mean anything to the Boomers?

And that's why, even if we could start something, a lot of us will not. No new businesses, families or dreams.

Bruce Sterling saw this coming. You didn't hear it here first, but it bears repeating. A lot of folks didn't know where he was coming from, but I did. And so did a lot of other folks, like the ones throwing around 'failed state.' That will be the end result of governance by 'callous children.'

Mentok out.

1 comment:

Rob said...

"And that's why, even if we could start something, a lot of us will not. No new businesses, families or dreams"

I am surely of this mindset too Lance. Even if I could start a family now (and was working), I wouldnt because the america we know and love is dead.
Rob

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