Like We’re Going to War

A bunch of stuff in no particular order:

1. I haven’t been around here as much because I took a second job, and while it is awesome, it is also an office job, which I haven’t had in quite some time, and it involves a commute, which I also haven’t had in some time. Plus I have some volunteer commitments I was kind of hoping wouldn’t manifest for a couple more months that decided to be all OH HAI YOUR ATTENTION WE NEEDZ IT. Mr. A, who is working full-time and in grad school and running a nonprofit, you know, on the side, is in a similar situation. Yesterday he came to bed at 5 a.m., only to be woken up by me at 7 a.m. because I’d locked myself out of the house and forgotten my car keys. Neither of us is bitching that we’re employed or busy, I mean, hello. This is just to explain that we are both so tired we feel like we’re high all the time, and so I am primed to forget something major I have promised to do. Have I promised to do anything for any of you? If so, remind me of it frequently, okay?

2. Naturally, since this is the week I’ve had no time, this is the week my political boyfriend has decided to be in the news again and every knob with an unpublished column from 2004 has come out of the woodwork to talk about some way in which John Kerry sucks.And this piece from Slate just illustrates why I love him so much:

First, as longtime chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry knows the issues cold. Second, in his first term, Obama called on Kerry many times to serve as de facto envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and he did well, persuading Afghan president Hamid Karzai to hold elections and smoothing over tensions with Pakistani officials (in the days when there was still something to smooth). Third, Obama owes Kerry something. It was Kerry who chose Obama to give the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic Convention, the address that catapulted him from Illinois state senator to superstar. Kerry asked for the job of chief diplomat after Obama was elected in 2008; when Clinton was picked instead (a move that stunned him), he settled back into his job and, among other things, did yeoman’s work steering Obama’s New START nuclear arms treaty through the Senate—no easy task, since ratification required a two-thirds majority.

UUUUGGGH I can’t stand it I love him so much. I want him to be Secretary of Everything. I really have a hard time about it.

The piece goes on to argue that Kerry’s kind of a crap manager, which, okay, I buy that somewhat. Being awesome in one aspect of your life doesn’t mean you’re awesome at everything, so maybe his heart isn’t in remembering to print the meeting agendas on the right kind of paper so as to soothe the feelings of the prissy assholes to whom things like that matter more than getting shit done.

Still, you can’t tell me Donald Rumsfeld kept track of every paper clip. This is what you have interns for.

3. It’s 2012. There’s no reason every voicemail greeting has to begin with a lesson about how to leave a message. One guy I call all the time, who is lovely, has like this 30-second instructional reel going, where there’s a noise, and then he lists all the things you have to leave and repeats it. Every time I call him I want to stab an ice pick through my ear. WE ALL KNOW THE DRILL. Wait for the beep, etc.

3a. When leaving a message, put your number before the part where you ramble on for 20 minutes about who you are and what you want. That way if I figure it out in the first ten seconds I don’t need to keep listening to the yammering. Name, number, and then your problem and all its parts and why I should care, please.

4. Fuck Gregg Easterbrookkkk:

Never mind that the NFL itself has morphed into a money-gobbling, corporate-whoring, shit-eating behemoth. It’s still incumbent upon the PLAYERS to be ambassadors and moral exemplars for their sport, even though sports don’t need any such representation. Forget what it says about a player when he hot dogs and showboats and glory boys around. What does it say about YOU if you’re the kind of person who considers himself a moral policeman for the rest of the sporting world—the last decent man?

This is a cousin to my other favorite argument, that once upon a time you could make racist jokes and everybody (white anyway) just understood you were kidding. Do sports need to be less venal and disgusting? YES, of course. But ’twas ever thus, and if you think otherwise, Charlie Comiskey would like a word. If we’re going to start cleaning up the NFL’s image let’s start with the rapacious bastards in the front office and then get on to someone’s diamond grill or whatever once we’re done with everything else.

5.Those Twinkie dicks:

Hostess workers remained on picket lines across the country Thursday night, refusing a company ultimatum to return to work or face the liquidation of the national baker.

The shutdown will result in the loss of about 18,000 jobs.

“Many people have worked incredibly long and hard to keep this from happening, but now Hostess Brands has no other alternative than to begin the process of winding down and preparing for the sale of our iconic brands,” CEO Gregory Rayburn said in a letter to employees posted on the company website.

He added that all employees will eventually lose their jobs, “some sooner than others.”

Privately held Hostess filed for Chapter 11 protection in January, its second trip through bankruptcy court in less than a decade. The company cited increasing pension and medical costs for employees as one of the drivers behind its latest filing. Hostess contends workers must make concessions for it to exit bankruptcy and improve its financial position.

All Friday long halfbright assholes have been arguing with me that the unions just had to give in, because apparently it is now the job of the American worker to take it in the anus all the time regardless of whether that’s really necessary. Only unions must make concessions, by the way.Bosses can do whatever they want:

Today it has been announced that Hostess along with Wonder Bread is going out of business. Of course the right-wingers are foaming at the mouth claiming that it is the unions’ fault what with their ridiculous demands of fair compensation for work given to the company. Of course none of those on the right will acknowledge the CEO at Hostess got a 300 percent raise from $750,000 to $2,250,000. Now, I find $750,000 to be an outrageous amount of money for anyone to make … $2.2 million is beyond outrageous and a 300 percent raise is well into the territory of obscene greed.

Let’s be clear about this. To act like the workers had some kind of imperative to save the company that exceeded the imperative of the CEO is monstrous and insane. Especially since ain’t none of those workers making off with 2.5 million. If there was an obligation on the part of the workers to save their own jobs, where was the obligation of the people in charge? Why does all the onus fall upon the lowest run of the pay ladder here?

Plus, while I cherish memories of my grandparents giving me Ding-Dongs when I finished my homework, let’s not act like this is the equivalent of torching the Louvre.

What horrors await us this week?

A.

9 thoughts on “Like We’re Going to War

  1. Archy says:

    Glad to hear your relative level of absence is for a positive reason; you’ve been missed.
    Not “torching the Louvre” indeed…

  2. MapleStreet says:

    Taking care of yourself to a reasonable extent comes first. If you don’t, you can’t do any of the other.
    RE: Twinkies. Something tells me that the CEO raise was, on seeing the potential for bankruptcy, a golden parachute of 1.5 million plus current salary – or a parachute equal to 2 years pay.
    Wonder how many of the rank and file are gonna get a 1.5 million parachute? Of for that matter, just a parachute equal to 2 years pay.
    Also loved looking at the local reaction of people going to miss deep-fried twinkies with ice cream. Somehow I strongly suspect that the various names (twinkies, ding-dongs, etc.) are trademarked and will be sold to another company as part of the bankruptcy.

  3. Lex says:

    @Maplestreet: Yes, but the trademarked Twinkies will be Zombie Twinkies. And Zombie Twinkies eat YOU. And not just in Soviet Union.
    My brother, an engineer/MBA, once had Hostess as a client. He’s certain that whatever problems Hostess had were 100% management’s fault.

  4. BlackSheep0ne says:

    So, on the subject, sort of, of the Hostess jerks … eating at Wendy’s (long story short, diabetic’s blood sugar falls over a cliff, must have protein now) today, I was treated to a Sunday-go-to-meeting-clothes family’s conversation about 3 ft away. The mom kept trying to get the kids to be quieter. The grandma kept trying to get the kids over not being at McDonald’s (cooler toys, or something — these kids were kindergarten-or-littler), the dad couldn’t be there. Poor dear, he’s been working from 6 a.m. to midnight ever since last Tuesday week, and his next day off might be Thursday if he doesn’t have to work because he fired a guy last Tuesday week for being late.
    He’s in trouble now for firing the guy because his boss didn’t think he had a good reason, since the guy who got fired was late due to a sick kid, but the guy who’s having to work all these hours just got so mad because this guy couldn’t come in on time so he had to go to work a whole hour before he was supposed to, he just had to fire this guy, and now he’s shorthanded, and …call the waaaaaaaaaaaammmmmbuuuuuuuullllllllance!!!
    Look, if you’re going to be a complete jerk to the people who work for you, you ought to have to take up the slack when your jerkitude disconveniences you. Or else learn to treat other people like people and hold your stinking temper, jackass.
    I do not feel sorry for this poor overworked store manager, btw.

  5. paper says:

    no no no, it’s Ggrrreeeegggggg.

  6. Robert Earle says:

    “When leaving a message, put your number before the part where you ramble on…”
    And either repeat it, or say it slowly the first time. Just because You know your own number well enough to rattle it off in under a second doesn’t mean WE know it well enough to understand what the hell you just said.

  7. frazer says:

    Hang in there, A and Mr. A.
    Re Kerry: I agree he’s owed, and he’d be great at State (or Defense for that matter), but we (by which I mean Elizabeth Warren and all who worked to get her elected) worked so hard to get that Senate seat back for the Dems, do we really want to hand Kerry’s seat back to Scott Brown, which I understand would be extremely likely to happen if Kerry moves upstairs? I think we need every Senate seat we can hang on to, particularly those that are held by good progressive Dems.

  8. jeffrey says:

    How about just no voice mail altogether? If you call and can’t get the person, hang up and text. Better yet, don’t call. Just go straight to texting. I honestly don’t know why anybody calls at all anymore.

  9. BlackSheep0ne says:

    jeffrey: we’re back to the telegram, eh?

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