What we have here is failure to communicate.

16 07 2008

We bitch constantly about Mexicans not having the decency to learn and speak English. I’ve heard old men go on and on about it like this country has always been made up of people who spoke perfect English. Like we all just landed here, fresh from whichever countries weren’t good enough, or whose inhabitants were unfriendly and mean, and we all spoke English as written by MIss Emily Brontë.

We bitch about that, but nobody ever mentions the people who know English, who were raised speaking it, but still gibber like idiots whenever someone asks them a question about something important. We call these people “corporate professionals”. For these poor souls, plain English is a terrifying language. Comparable to other languages, which consequently are known as our native tongue’s predecessors, English is like a wide, well-lit hallway that has no points of egress.

Not so, with a little financial jargon thrown in the mix. Now, there are shadows and things to hide behind, escape plans, points of egress. It’s comfortable for the corporate professional because he knows that he can, at any point, back right out of anything he says, because no one could righteously hold him responsible for any of the ridiculous things he just said. 

You may have heard the news about Budweiser’s makers. Well, that same sort of corporate non-talk is all over that NY Times article. You get the feeling like they’re almost saying something, like they’re really trying to get it across, but on our end, all we hear is “building synergies” and “streamlining the paradigms” and other impressively meaningless statements of that sort. 

To be fair, that article didn’t have a high jargon content. It just irked me to think of all these Harvard M.B.A.s getting several degrees of wealthy by selling Anheuser-Busch to the Belgians. They all talk like that, those money guys. Tom Wolfe nailed the type down pretty solidly in “A Man in Full”, within the character of Wismer Strook, or The Whiz. The Whiz is a pretty sharp fellow, but he was trained to talk like an idiot at college. 

Anyway, just thought I’d share that with all of you. Also, to round out the article by returning to the title and making a Paul Newman reference:

Between him and Eastwood, we’re just about out of good old-fashioned, ass-kicking hero types. That fact bothers me a little bit.




One response

19 07 2008

Our only hope for awesome oldschool ass-kickery in the cinematic future… is Nathan Fillion.

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