A culture of fake imagery, quick fix, instant gratification, quarterly return mentality . . .

A culture of fake imagery, quick fix, instant gratification, quarterly return mentality . . .

I remember back in the mid 80’s, when the film Wall Street came out, with the famous line from the Gordon Gecko character, “Greed is good”. That was the mind set. I met people in the business world who lived this model, who would laugh at suggestions about ethics and standards in corporate governance, that such was only for stupid and gullible people.

I remember the savings and loan scandal, and later the Enron debacle, which was a tip of an enormous iceberg that is now much more visible.

I don’t know to what extreme people can be pushed before they resort to desperate means to stay alive, feed their families . . . but pushed far enough, and people will eventually do what they have to do, no matter how extreme.

I have great respect for President Obama, I have no doubt he is trying to work out the best compromise realistically possible to turn this economy around, but I would suggest that there is a quiet rage brewing out there, which may not remain quiet.

I would offer that people want to see some justice here. Bernie Maddoff is just one of many who should be looking at serious hard time in prison. What I would want to see is some of these so-called financial wizards on Wall Street, under arrest, being led away in hand cuffs, and facing very serious time, if not life sentences in federal prison.

Would this directly change the quality of life for the millions who are now unemployed or about to join their ranks? Directly, no – but it would go a long way toward establishing some form of trust and faith in the system as most once believed such to be.

Right now, I would offer that such trust and faith is at an all time low, and we are going to have to see this restored if there is to be any realistic chance for long term recovery from the disaster we are now in.

Without that trust and faith, all bets are off.

Yes indeed, I have seen this myself, first hand.

But this phenomena is a small piece of a larger cultural mosaic.

See if any of this resonates with you.

Time and again, ad nauseam, I’ve seen examples in business, and relationships, where the ticket of admission as it were had nothing to do with the person . . . but had everything to do with how they looked.

Of course, this sort of inherent narcissism can be found in almost any culture, at least among some individuals within that cultural realm.

But nothing compares, not even remotely, with the “cultural ineptitude” that I have seen so often here.

Kids are brought up by ambitious, self absorbed parents who lack the time (let alone the actual wisdom or skill) to train and educate their kids about the deeper things that really matter in life.

Instead, it’s all about image. fluff, packaging, style, getting an edge by whatever means necessary, and so on.

Some examples to consider . . .

Bernie Maddof, the world’s most notorious scam artist, now in prison (finally!) . . .
but he looked so nice, fit in so perfectly with the right social circles, well dressed and, well, you, know, he just looked . . . charming

Hmmm . . . how about Ted Bundy?

Yeah, what a guy, eh? Charming, always well dressed, stylish . . . the girls just fell for him . . . he seemed so right – well, until he murdered the girl of the moment.

Let’s see now . .. . ah yes, the Menendez brothers, you remember those charming young men, so well mannered, and stylish in their expensive designer sweaters and oh so chic business casual attire. Charming indeed, that is until they were both convicted of 1st degree murder, of their parents, with shotguns, in the face, at point blank range.

Oh gosh, I could go on, but I’m guessing you’re seeing a pattern here.

American kids, in many cases, are being trained to go for the simplest common denominator, as their entry into life. As long as you look good, you’re in.

Anything that remotely represents real values as a human being, wisdom, compassion, skill, etc. is arbitrary at best, and an embarrassing annoyance.

The lesson is presented early and repeated often –

Don’t waste your time with that annoying nonsense.

You can always “buy” someone, a ghost writer, a student perhaps, or some other consultant or person that you squirt money at, and don’t tell anyone else about.

Have them do the real work, keep them hidden away, never let their name appear on anything that you are claiming credit for, and just pay barely enough to squeeze as much content as you can from them . . . you’re above that – you are among the chosen ones . . . as long as you look good, everything will be going your way.

This is what these fast track, ” f**k everybody else, because I’m important” parents teach their kids . . and they pick up on it.

Ever wonder how Enron got to where they were before the bubble burst?

Or how about Global Crossings (remember them?).

Or how about those lovely, charming, and oh so well dressed financial folks on Wall Street.

I mean, they look good, sound nice . . . they must be worthy of my trust, right?

I have never been to another country or culture, anywhere on the planet, where judgement and acceptance is based on so little – and where real talent and worthy people are shunned, marginalized, and ignored because ‘they just don’t look right”.

But heaven forbid, you could be an ax murderer, child molester, you name it, doesn’t matter.

As long as you “look right”, no problem – you’ll be invited everywhere.

Of course, I’m exaggerating just a bit, but it is such a pervasive aspect of our current culture, a culture of fake imagery, quick fix, instant gratification, quarterly return mentality . . .


~ by charles000 on August 30, 2009.

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