Hot Air

No Woman’s Land

Y’know, if I were an American woman, I’d be awfully put out that one of this holy land’s most valued allies on the planet is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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Poll Palaver

The latest national polls show Bernie Sanders as a shoo-in for mayor of Chicago, while Hillary Clinton will win the NFL’s Coach of the Year award and Donald Trump will cop the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Get out your bettin’ shoes, babies!

Money For Nothin’

I notice that Howard Stern has re-upped with SiriusXM for another five years at a total salary of plus-$500 million.

That’s a half a billion skins (and more), friends. This for a man whose life’s creative highlight was the Fartman superhero character.


Howard Stern As Fartman

I’ve never viewed Howard Stern as anything but a loudmouthed lout, an indictment of corporate media’s dumbing down of Murrica. It can’t, I always figured, get any lower than this.

Then Donald Trump decided to run for prez — and gained a loyal following.

I repeat: It can’t get any lower than this.

Can it?

Work Makes You Free

We’re all in agreement that the corporate world is soul-crushing and life-snuffing, no? Okay.

Now, even the corporations themselves are coming around to admitting that their plan is to rob you, their human resource, of every ounce of vitality and animation. If the likes of Exxon Mobil (No. 1 on the Forbes 500 list), General Electric (No. 8), or CVS Health (No. 10) have their way, their ideal employees would be corpses.

You thought I’d say robots, right? Well, acc’d’g to some tech seers, robots just might, at some time in the foreseeable future, develop something akin to free will. That just won’t do in the corporate world.

Anyway, one South Korean firm is making no pretense about about its desire to take its employees’ lives. The firm was featured the other day in a BBC News Online story about it and other companies sending their people to a consulting firm that, among other things, locks participants up in coffins.

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Welcome To Your Cubicle

The stated goal of the consulting firm is to make participants put their problems in perspective, sez Jeong Yun-Mun, who runs the place. Jeong, BTW, is a former funeral home employee. He prob. gets a sweet discount on caskets.

He is, to put it in as respectful a term as he deserves, full of horseshit.

Let me snatch a block of text from the original story:

In a large room in a nondescript modern office block in Seoul, staff from a recruitment company are staging their own funerals. Dressed in white robes, they sit at desks and write final letters to their loved ones. Tearful sniffling becomes weeping, barely stifled by copious use of tissues.

And then, the climax: They rise and stand over the wooden coffins laid out beside them. They pause, get in and lie down. They each hug a picture of themselves, draped in black ribbon.

As they look up, the boxes are banged shut by a man dressed in black with a tall hat. He represents the Angel of Death. Enclosed in darkness, the employees reflect on the meaning of life.

Mark it, kids, the meaning they are intended to glean in the blackout is Your life is the company’s.

We all know about how corps. these days are populated by malleable little loyalists who do biz on their smart phones in their cars or on public transportation on the way to and from work, who pound away at their laptop keyboards at dinner, after dinner, in bed before they fall asleep, and — for all we know — while engaging in the act of “love” with their oh-so-unfortunate spouses.

The 40-hour work week is such a quaint anachronism these days. Your bosses don’t want your hours or weeks; they want your very existence.

The real reason these South Korean cos. are making their employees lie down in coffins is to let them know their lives are over.

Eras Come To An End

Hey, do you realize these are the last two weeks of the careers of a couple of fine local public servants? City Clerk Regina Moore and Department of Utilities Director Pat Murphy will be bidding their office-mates farewell Thursday, December 31st.

Moore chose not to run in this year’s election and Murphy was a casualty of incoming Mayor John Hamilton’s minor housecleaning.

Nicole Bolden, who ran unopposed in the November election, will step into Moore shoes. Hamilton and his 27-member transition committee have yet to tab a replacement for Murphy. The transition committee includes two former Bloomington mayors, Tomi Allison and John Fernandez.

Like me, Regina is a second-generation Italian-American and a victi…, er, former attendee of Catholic schools. A former teacher, she and her husband Don, traveled to a number of Third World lands to instruct kids and prisoners. The Moores came back to the US — specifically this sprawling megalopolis — some 25 years ago. She continued teaching until she was elected City Clerk in 2000. Don, BTW, is the most outspoken political spouse since former US Attorney General John Mitchell’s wife, Martha, back in the early ’70s. Sometimes I even agree with him.

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Regina Moore As A Young Dame

To Regina and Don, Baci e abbracci.

Murphy comes from a union family. His mother and her second husband were big labor organizers and advocates and Pat has never missed an opportunity to stand up for the working person in this holy land. Murphy was a long-time associate of former Bloomington mayor and 8th District Congressman Frank McCloskey. He remains mum about his plans although The Pencil hears Hamilton has offered him a semi-soft landing place on the city payroll. Go dté tú slán, Pat!

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Pat Murphy*

[ * I told Murphy long ago would never again use that stale old photo of him from the City of Bloomington website — apparently the only image of him extant in this world. He promised he would get a new one up. He broke that promise. Some public servant.]



One thought on “Hot Air

  1. David Paglis says:

    Mr. Moore, I hope I am not out of line in saying Mrs. Moore is a remarkably beautiful woman.

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