Thursday, December 18, 2008


Here is a unique situation. Maybe even an only in San Francisco sort of thing. As anyone watching the news knows, President George Bush made an unannounced trip to Iraq. Basically, he wanted to gloat over his presumed victory. You know what happened. An Iraqi journalist took off his shoes and threw them at Bush. With the first shoe he yelled, “This is your farewell, Dog!” With the second shoe he yelled something about Bush being responsible for the deaths of millions. Can't argue with that. After what seemed like an extraordinary delay in response time, another Iraqi journalist stepped in front of him while a few more civilians wrestled him to the ground. The secret service eventually ducked their heads in and took control of the guy. I guess if Bush doesn’t give a fuck anymore they don’t either. I hope Obama has a better detail assigned to him than those dudes. At least this time when Bush was declaring victory he didn’t have a Mission Accomplished banner hanging behind him.

Anyway, I posted a simple note on facebook and on my status update that I was going to send a pair of shoes to the White House. I didn’t think anything more after that. But then, I started to get e-mails both private and on facebook from people who thought I should donate my shoes to Goodwill or some other organization like that. Good idea. But the pair of shoes I bought came from Goodwill. Another person was angry that I would be wasting shoes in these dire times and suggested I give a pair to a homeless person. I don’t know a lot of homeless guys with a liking for 80’s Nikes in size 5. This went on all night. E-mail after e-mail from friends and strangers who thought it was a dumb idea or thought it just wasn’t worth it or of course the bleeding heart liberal response of, give the shoes to the poor! Some e-mails were typical of conservatives. "If that guy would of thrown his shoes at Saddam, he wouldn't of left the room alive, ass-hole!" Hey, no disagreement about that. Saddam was a bad dude. What everyone conveniently forgets is, He was not only on our CIA payroll during his war with Iran, but we were the country that not only sold him those biological weapons he used on the Kurds, we also gave him satellite photos complete with wind direction to make there delivery even more lethal. So please, spare me the shit about how much better the country is now.
A few were with me. Everyone wanted to know why. What was my thinking here? Here is my thinking. A few years ago CBS had a show on the air named Jericho. CBS canceled the show. The fans were not too happy about this. In one of the last episodes to air the hero of the show is sent a note from the bad guys demanding their surrender. The hero sends back a one word response that was also the response an allied commander gave a German commander in world war two when he was asked to surrender; “Nuts.”

This is what the fans did to show their disapproval with CBS for cutting their favorite show. They sent canned nuts to CBS corporate headquarters. In just a few days CBS had thousands of containers and packages filled with nuts. CBS attempting to get the upper hand in the war of PR announced they would be considering the fans wishes but in the mean time they would be re- gifting the nuts by sending them to the troops serving in Iraq.
MMMM, yummy! Because isn’t that exactly what you would want if you were pinned down under machine gun fire all day in 130 degree heat? Salty mixed nuts doesn’t seem like the snack I would pick. Long story short, the show got picked up by another network. If Americans can be moved to action by the death of a TV show why can’t the least we do is recognize just what a total fuck up the President has been these last eight years with an act of civil disobedience like mailing him old shoes? Personally, I am going to send his library a box of them every month till the day he dies.

Ah America. You know what this has taught me? That Americans are willing to let bygones be bygones but if you fuck with our TV shows you will get a dramatic and unique response from us.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Send the White House Shoes!

The shoe guy!

Who would of ever thought that a dude would be in the news about shoes and wasn’t gay? Who would of ever thought that the secret service would be blind to shoes as a weapon? I guess thats why they still check them at the airport.
Just for the record, the guy who threw those shoes was an Iraqi television journalist, Muntadar al-Zaidi. He stood up and shouted "this is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog," before hurling his shoes at Mr Bush.
I think Mr. Bush needs a clear sign of our disgust that even he can recognize. I implore you all to send a pair of shoes to the White House. No note needed. I think he will get the point.

Here is the address for the White House. Send some shoes, flip flops or combat boots.

1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
(202) 456-1414

A Modest Proposal

I can’t watch the news at the moment. Each broadcast starts with the reading of grim statistics on just how bad things are. The message in it all seems pretty clear to me; the way we do business has to drastically change.

I work for a small company. If we are any indication of what passes for normal business then I truly do understand why the economy fell apart. Here is a thought; the economy can no longer be viewed on a natural human scale. Yet, all these companies spend billions on commercials just to tell us they care. They don’t. At my company any big decision has to be decided by at least four other people I have never met face to face. People who are sitting in cubicles looking at spread sheets and making choices based on all those zeros and ones. It takes about three weeks to get an answer to even the most basic questions and in the end they often change their minds in a week anyway. So, we take about a month to stand still. Sound familiar to anyone yet?
People will say to me, you should feel lucky to have a job. I feel lucky to have a paycheck. That’s it. Whatever loyalty I originally had toward the company has vanished in recent months as I attempt to put faces to all those numbers. That’s not something companies want. The number one thing almost every major business in this country seems to have forgotten is the customer.
Were people.
They say in war the only way for a soldier to be effective on the battlefield is to first dehumanize the enemy. When you can do that then you have no problem killing your enemy. Somewhere along the way companies went to war on us. They sold us stuff that was against our own best interest. But so what, someone was making money somewhere and that’s all that mattered. It use to be the mantra of the service industry that the customer was never wrong. Now days the customer is sold something because he doesn’t know whats best for him. That’s the mentality of modern business. The customers’ hesitation is just a minor barrier on the road to getting money out of them.
Where did that get us?
It got us debt. It got us foreclosures on a scale not seen since the great depression. It got us fields of shinny brand new SUV’s no one wants anymore. It got us a war run for profit. It got us lead in our children’s toys and rocket fuel in babies’ milk. It got every last one of us down on our knees and worshipping the Almighty dollar at the expense of any real value.
We all helped to make this current financial climate. They made the commercials and we bought it. Literally. Now, after more than a trillion dollars has been handed to the same people who fucked us over with no strings attached or questions asked, the regular guy is still being ignored. All this talk about jump-starting the economy misses the point over and over and over again and I think I know why. These captains of industry and Wall Street morons cannot conceive of commerce at the human day-to-day level. They are use to transactions in the millions and billions. Surely, the thinking went, if we give the banks the money they stole, lost or invested in questionable practices, then everything could return to normal.
A trillion dollars of your money, of every taxpayer’s money now sits in the vaults of banks that for some reason refuse to loan it to anyone. Meanwhile the consumer, the biggest contributor to the health of the economy is being ignored. What if the government used that money to pay down mortgages? What if that money was put into the hands of regular people for rent, gas, food, health care bills, credit card payments and all the little stuff that adds up to the business of living? All these well educated genius keep trying to make changes in the rarefied air of boardrooms. Fuck that. We learned from Regan and the Bushes that trickle down is bullshit. You want the spenders, the consumers, the Joe six-packs to spend hard earned dollars again? If you do, corporate America, you have to get back into the people business. You have to produce a car of value. You have to train representatives to pick up the phone and listen to the complaints. You have to put what really is our money not into the hands of billionaires, but into the hands of the single mother, the senior living on a fixed income, the student overwhelmed by debt, the parents struggling to make ends meet and the typical everyday guy who can no longer afford what were all starting to see were impulse buys and luxury items anyway. Until the MBA’s in New York figure that out, keep watching your hedge funds shrink and those profit reports diminish. If your too dumb to figure out that the health of the economy is run on the backs of the ordinary citizen, then keep doing what you have guys have been doing. It really isn’t working.