Saturday, September 01, 2007

CEO Blues

I am so glad I don't work for this company anymore. The headline: Qwest to let CEO's family use corporate jet

Say what? Qwest employees (and no, I don't consider executives employees) don't get to use the corporate jet, but the CEO's family does?

This is the kind of shit that makes me wish that socialism actually worked.

Consider the new CEO's "compensation" package.
Mueller, 60, will have a base annual salary of $1.2 million with a target bonus of $2.4 million. He'll also receive 2 million stock options, with a strike price of $8.37, and 896,000 restricted shares.
If anyone can afford to fly commercial, it's a CEO with a million dollar salary! Jesus H. Christ.

In a related story, a recent study determined that the average CEO makes 364 times more than the average worker. When I heard that, it reinforced my already entrenched views about the lop-sided structure of the modern corporation.

There's something inherently unfair about a set-up that allows thousands of employees (also known as peons) to make moderate (mostly sub-100K) salaries while the boys up top (and they're almost all boys) rake in millions. It would be one thing to make an argument that the CEO deserves to make more than the average employee, which I would generally agree with, but 364 times more?

Critics of the study say that the 364 number is too high. Check out this snow job:
Based on Mercer Human Resource Consulting calculations of median CEO pay and U.S. Labor Department figures for median annual earnings of full-time workers aged 25 to 64, CEOs made ONLY 187 times the average American worker in 2004, not 430 times as measured by the two groups, {executive compensation consultant Frederick W. Cook} testified {before congress}.
My emphasis.

See the difference. It's not 364 times the average salary. It's only 187 times the average salary.

Yes, dimwit, there is a numerical difference there, but in real world terms, it doesn't mean squat. Whether it's 187 times or 364 times, it's still too much of a discrepancy!

Are CEOs really that indispensable? Do they really create that much value for the shareholders? Are the rank and file workers that undeserving of a more equitable share of the profits they contribute to making? I don't think so.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Jump Off

Yabba Dabba Dooing to Shangri-La

I was listening to a Clutch CD today and heard a line I've heard a hundred times before, only this time I heard it in a new light.

From the song Rock N Roll Outlaw from back in 95, here it is.

The lyrics:
Whenever you wobble the weebles
You know that they get ticked off.
And in the season of bol-weevil speaking evil in your ear,
And a pile of manure fertilizing all your fears,
We yabba dabba doo all the way to Shangri-la.
Sounds like an apt description of the Bush years, if you ask me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What I've Been Doing

So the other day, this was last week really, I noticed my blog was getting more than a usual amount of hits. Triple digit hits. And they weren't all for Arwa Damon or the Guitar World's 100 Greatest Albums like usual. linked to my Jim Cantore post. I don't know how they found me or what made them link me, but they did. It was cool.

In other words, I've been working on some Max Beatty stuff. I'm going to night shift again next week, so I've been kind of thinking of things to keep me busy. I was listening to William Gibson on an Agony Column podcast and he was talking about how he likes to juxtapose different things in his work, things you wouldn't normally think go together. It's an interesting technique and it sparked an idea. So I started messing around with a story, a series of sketches really, and well...

The whole thing fell apart. Ha!

But I wanted to post a little chunk of it that I think stands up, if you're willing to take it in medias res. So here it is, with no set-up...

Max Beatty and the Blackmailed Sportscaster

A Letter to Larry Craig

Dear Larry,

I don't know if you're gay or not --there are several versions of the story out there-- but I do know that in any version you are a blooming idiot.

If you are gay, and if you did go trolling for sex in a bathroom, you're an idiot. A men's room? Gross... With anonymous strangers even? GROSSER! don't need to do that, alright? Just give Jeff Gannon a call or pop in an old Matt Sanchez tape and rub one out. If that doesn't work, I hear Ted Haggard is lonely. (Sorry, bub, but you're probably too old for Mark Foley anyway.)

And you know, maybe rather than fighting the gay demon, you might as well just succumb to it. Drop the token Washington wife, embrace the gay, and live out loud. Not all gay guys have to act like Richard Simmons, you know. You can still be you, the Larry Craig the people of Idaho love so much, and you can still be, you know, you. I'm sure it's not so bad. It can't be any worse than living in the closet, that's for sure!

And, Larry, if you're not gay, then what are you? A weirdo? Looking through the slit in the stall? Come on, man, what is that? Once you see it's occupied, you move away. Playing footsie with the guy on the pot next to you? There's no other word to describe that but "weird." And those little hand signals under the partition, what, you expect me to believe they meant "Pass me some wipe?"

And really, Larry, can't you take a shit without (pardon the pun) arousing the suspicion of the cops? I mean, that should be fairly easy, right?, especially on a sting operation! Cops aren't that dumb. They can tell the ones who gotta go from the ones who want to play Wang Dang Doodle.

But let's just say...for the sake of argument...that you are an innocent man taking a dump at the airport, and through no fault of your own, you're rousted by an undercover cop, not just rousted, but detained and booked. Let's just say....

Why the hell did you plead guilty?

You're an innocent man! These charges were fabricated! (Not to mention minor.) Despite the public scrutiny such a charge might carry, fighting it brings the promise of vindication. And with such a minor charge, and presumably the truth on your side, wouldn't fighting it be worth it?

And yet, you plead guilty. Guilty, your honor. Just read me the sentence and let me go home. A fine, no problem. Unsupervised probation, alright. Let's just keep this really really quiet, hmm?

Sorry, Larry, but I'm not buying any of that. I think you are gay. I think you really were guilty. And I think you're lying through your teeth now.

One of those things is no big deal, your prerogative really. Another is forgiveable. That last one though...

It's just pathetic.


A real fucking nobody