Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Schizohedron Bullet Points! for 11/8/06

  • ICING ON THE CAKE: As a nice topper to last night's Democratic election wave, today came the news that the architect of the failed Iraq war, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, had announced his resignation. I can still remember, in the early months of 2001, how "Rumsfeld's Rules" were being bruited about as a pragmatic lesson on applying business leadership to government and military bureaucracy. In practice, this approach revealed Rumsfeld's tin ear for constructive criticism and dissent, and cost the Cabinet and the Pentagon a number of voices who might have helped close the Afghan campaign with authority and either approach Iraq with a definitive, massive, multilateral force — or shunned it as the quagmire that studies and simulations showed it might become. Rumsfeld's departure from the sinking ship of the Bush Administration has the feel of Martin Bormann sneaking out of the F├╝hrerbunker in the last weeks of World War II, with Soviet guns thundering ever closer and a sure trip to the gallows awaiting him. Some believe Bormann escaped the Reich, and managed, for decades, the secret network of flight capital as he restored Germany to its economic power. If modern political necromancy has taught us anything, it is that Rummy will find a new grave to haunt — though certainly none of those of the men and women who died in Iraq on his watch.
  • WORK INSANITY GROWING: As recorded here, pressure over our impending switch in how we produce newsletters and journals is rising. My immediate supervisor has been trying to point out flaws in the process that could bite us in the ass on schedules, printing, or resourcing this shit online, for which she is slowly being made a pariah. The manager of this switch has pawned her off onto a consultant — no doubt well compensated — for all answers. Trouble is, this consultant knows next to nothing about the way we currently do things. The managers who set this system up are not designers, and have shown declining interest in hearing why there might be snags. The switch to the new, in-house printers has been a nightmare of pointless, cc: everyone passive-aggressive email abuse on the part of the customer "service" rep with whom we've been saddled. And our new boss is more or less saying, "Just lie back and enjoy it." Contrary to what I believed in the other entry, the company is not paying her education tab, so she is free to bail as soon as she feels financially able. With her instructors being wheels in the magazine and packaging design industries, she could get work in a heartbeat. Now I am wondering how long I will want to stay, whether she leaves or not. She actually exerts a quiet, unconscious mellowing effect on me, whereas by this point I would have forced confrontations for the answers we don't seem to be getting. Should my boss leave, it will cost the company dearly to retain me if I am not given full, Ace Rothstein–style free rein over my sphere of influence.
  • NEW MEMORY HOLE: I bought a new shredder this weekend. My previous unit seized up after ingesting a heavy bundle of junk mail. You would not believe the load of shreddable shit that built up in the 3 weeks between losing that one and buying the new one. With the threat of identity theft always in the air, it seems like everything has to go down the chute, even the empty envelopes for bank statements and mailed pay stubs. Can't have sifting thieves determine that someone in this complex uses X Bank of Y or gets car insurance from that company with the lizard! I understand I could arrest the flow of junk mail with access to a certain trade commission's website, but last time I visited, it seemed like I had to provide an SSN. Why should I trust them any more than I do the whoring credit card companies and cable monopolies that seek to pick my pocket? These fuckers should subsidize my shredder, or at least pay my bail when I burn their missives in my parking lot.
  • REVELING IN THE AGONY OF PIE: This pie looks denser than neutronium, loaded with more sugar than the Hello Kitty works in Japan, and potentially delicious while still warm from the oven. It is the "Schadenfreude Pie," "the pie to enjoy while you are reveling in the horrible misfortunes of others. Cast your eye on its mocha might and the diabetes-inducing list of ingredients on author and blogger John Scalzi's page. I can see a scoop of vanilla ice cream dropped on top of a warm slice of this pie jumping off and running behind the couch with a cartoonish "Yipe yipe yipe yipe!" Were I guaranteed to have some co-consumers cued up to help me consume it — for Scalzi warns of the danger of eating large chunks of this murky dessert — I might be tempted to whip one of these up. Though there's a chance it will end up dropping through my floor like the pinpoint black hole in Larry Niven's "The Hole Man." Well, at least it might hit my downstairs neighbor.

No comments: