Thursday, January 12, 2012

I Get Mitt

“I like being able to fire people.” – Mitt Romney, January 9, 2012.

People complain about Mitt Romney. They say that his followers are Romnulans. They say that he is a Romneybot. They say that he is a failed experiment by the Blue Fairy, who got bored of granting the wishes to suspiciously loved pediatric puppets and decided to see if she could turn a real boy into wood.2 But I get Mitt. Mitt's a regular guy, and his quote from the Chamber Com/Mers was proof of that.3

While candidates of questionable patriotism like John Huntsman might think the sentiment makes Mittens “unelectable,” I, and CBS Money Watch's Suzanne Lucas, know that Mitt was just being a regular guy!  It's probably going to win him votes among highly successful people.4

All Mittie meant, according to Ms. Lucas (and I'll bet she's really pretty!) is what Thomas Carlyle said earlier:
Whoever has sixpence is sovereign over all men – to the extent of the sixpence; commands cooks to feed him, philosophers to teach him, kings to mount guard over him – to the extent of sixpence. – Carlyle, Sartor Resartus 5
Now that Carlyle guy's character is poor, but the poor people get to fire people, too, and Mitt's unemployed! He doesn't even get a paycheck! So Mitt, just like every other regular guy, just means that he likes being able to say no to the people who fail to please him, and don't we all?

He's a regular Joe six-pack, complaining about the government. Those guys who make more money than he does and do an inferior job. It's the right -- nay, the pleasure -- of successful men to tell off inefficient and lousy workers as you demand better service.

A highly successful American man.

I remember, once, when I was in the small (I guess it's a town; "farm," "manorial estate," and "smear" all seem to miss the mark) of Dunwoody, Georgia. This town suffered from an infestation of money. There was an insidious rot of the stuff everywhere, but especially in the homes and cars, and I was in what was then its shiny new mall, called Perimeter Mall.6 I was in line at the McFood's, but I was unable to practice my love. A middle aged man was in front of me, and he was yelling at the counter help.

The beef patty in his bread sandwich was not warm upon reaching the plastic tray, and the condiments were applied unevenly. Furthermore, the pommes frites were tepid. He demanded . . . . Well, I wasn't entirely clear what it was that he demanded. He refused a coupon and a replacement. Instead, he was telling the counter boy that HE KNEW what it took, that HE had spent years in business, and YOU DON'T GET AHEAD by giving an inferior product.

The boy behind the counter looked as though his head were about to explode.7 Myself, I wanted to rabbit punch the business expert very much. I even formed a fist with one knuckle protruding, and I was examining his medulla oblogata.8 I thought it would be easier than asking him at what point he had gotten confused and believed that he had wandered into a three star restaurant or mistakenly assumed that he had paid for food of higher... well, food.

Now, though, I get it. That was Mitt. He was firing someone.

When depression strikes, and it strikes with a wet thud most of the time,9 some people hit the chocolate pie, some people regress, and a lot of people go for “retail therapy.” Taken to any kind of reliance or extreme, buying one's way out of a funk is a disease, but going down to the hobby store to buy a $1.29 Guillow Glider can be an enjoyable lift of the spirits. Put $25 in your pocket and go to the dollar store, and you can feel like king or queen of the world. Carlyle's quote comes true: you command the earth to the extent of that $25.

You become the Disney Princess, the Man of Largesse. Go to Krystal or White Castle, and you can purchase whole hamburgers for less than a dollar. This is that necessary, joyful illusion of prosperity and comfort and, most dear of all, power over one's tiny, crashing world, that we all have available to us to some small extent, if we have some employment.

Not everyone wants to be the Princess, though. Some people want to be the Queen.
”I don't want to get married. I just want to get divorced.” – Natasha (Jessica Harper) in “Love and Death”

Mittie's one of us, you see. He likes to lift his spirits by going out and, to the extent of two hundred and fifty million dollars, telling people that they're not good enough.10

You enjoy yelling at the mail man and paper boy, don't you? Well, so does Mitt. It's just a question of scale. If you have a problem with the difference in scale, it's not because Mitt's different, but because you're envious of him. It's true that he may have to buy up a company in order to demonstrate to it just how inferior it is, has to hire it in order to fire it, but that's again just a question of scale and envy on your part.

Some children go through the “fa-da” phase. (Ok, all children do, although I promise that I didn't. I only went through the fa so phase.) This is when they demand that Mommy give them a toy so that they can throw it on the ground and demand it again. It is great fun for the infant, because it proves that the infant has power. Some infants get stuck in a pleasure principle of gathering in, and others a destructive principle of tearing down11, and that's just how it goes -- but that's totally normal, just a regular guy kind of thing. The people who get into the love of accumulating can end up being addicted to things, I suppose, but, on the other hand, the ones who like to destroy make good human resources people.

So let's all give Mittie a break. He's a regular guy. He just likes to be able to fire people. Surely that bodes well for all of us as his employees, if he becomes president, doesn't it?
    There is no first note.
     I think it is entirely unfair to the conifer and angiosperm phyla to accuse Mitt Romney of bearing any relation to them. Furthermore, although the dream of a little boy born to a bachelor could be read rather, err, curiously today (just why did Giapetto want a boy he could control?), I think that it isnot true that those who call Romney wooden are trying to contrast the Mormon church's superfetation with the Roman Catholic Church's recent difficulties.
     The connections between the Chambers of Commerce and SMERSH are well known. One has only to look at the video of Romney's remarks to spot several doubtful looking individuals.
     Super effective people don't read books. They read summaries on the web that are based on summaries gotten from hornbooks.
     If Carlyle had staid like he was when he wrote Sartor Resartus, more people would like him today. That book was sort of the last hurrah of the younger generation of Romantics, the last gasp of aestheticism (but no one told Aubrey Beardsley that). Unfortunately, he started making kissy faces at the boots of Great Men. . . and so did his wife, I think. . . and his historical view started getting pretty oily.
     This mall was named for its proud stature of riding the "perimeter highway" of I-285, which is itself a strange thing, as "interstate" 285 goes around in a circle and therefore does not go inter state at all. It does, however, mark the state of "Atlanta, those people, it, what can't come out here" and "Us, normal folks, you know?, do I have to spell it out?, nice places." The demarcation was entirely economic, of course, and completely polite. Except in Stone Mountain. And Cuming.
     This was not because he was going to holler back at the cretinous monster in his face, but rather due to the state of his acne.
     Look at your dominant hand. Clench a fist. Now, stick your second finger knuckle out a bit by means of bedding the nail of that finger against your thumb. Be vewy vewy quiet as you approach the important business executive. Smile and stand behind him. When you hear, "Oh, sure, Obama wants to tax the top 2% of our income, but then it'll be 50%, and it's like Russia" or some other bit of insane certitude, bring your dominant hand back even with your ear, and strike quickly at the base of the offender's neck. Laughing hysterically or jumping up and down in glee is not necessary.
     It can also fall like night, creep like a thief, strangle like a pillow, drown like a flood, massacre like a battallion of syphilitic cossacks, snipe like a myopic sharp shooter,  or overpower like a 1949 Oldsmobile sedan being swung on a pendulum from behind you.
     Of course it's completely unfair to suggest that a highly successful businessman would spend his entire net worth on buying things in order to savage them. After all, his five boys have their ten million trusts, and he has operating capital. He probably operates on less than a tenth of that total worth -- $20,000,000.00 or so -- so it's hardly worth talking about. Chump change, really. Not enough room to maneuver, really, even when it's a buyer's and firer's market.
     Bet you thought I was going to go for the anal retentive/anal expulsive thing, didn't you? Well, I'm not. I don't even know about that.

No comments: