Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's Howdy Doody Time

Why is Glenn Beck so popular just now?

Howdy Doody. That's right. Blame the Doodymeister.

One of the things that happens to you after your newspaper is downsized and the first to go are the reporters actually trying to do their jobs by looking into corporate corruption, is that you have time on your hands to ponder the wonderfulness, of Glenn Beck.
What is it that currently makes him so popular?

After months of careful study and scrutiny, and attending a Michael Moore movie, I have come to the conclusion that Glenn Beck is Howdy Doody, come to earth again, to lead his devotees.

Howdy had a high-pitched voice that always seemed to be on the verge of tears. But the similarities, complexities, and sublties of the marketing scheme are so much deeper, and playing across decades, one can only marvel at the lengths to which some god-awful power has gone, to control the masses. And I will only begin to scratch the surface by the end of this one. Nevertheless, the comparisson has been noted by greater minds than mine, and so the attempt will be made.

As Mr Moore hinted so quickly in his movie, blink and you missed it, ageing Baby-Boomers are responding reflexively to psychological, Pavlovian cues, which were ingrained into their personalities from their earliest days of sitting dunder-mugged and drooling before the neon nipple.

Howdy Doody was the popular wooden boy, the All-American wooden boy with 48 freckles, operated by 11 strings, who told the children precisely what they wanted to hear just before nappy or nite-nite time, back in the salad days of our grown-up culture; the 1950s.

At the appointed hour, all good, first-generation Boomers were dressed in their Howdy Doody PJs and night-gowns, kneeling devoutly before the great big RCA television in their living room. Surrounded by the smell of mom's cooking, a favorite Teddy bear was snugged comfortably in their arms. Up came the music and the kids all sang in unison, the Howdy Doody Theme Song (please sample now then return to the article. Let the ring of it remain in your ears as you read).

The time slot, for much of Howdy's ten-year reign was around 5:00 p.m. Is it any coincidence that on the east coast, Glenn Beck has the 6 p.m. time slot, so that in the heartland of America he's on at 5 p.m. on the dot?

Other eerie similarities and themes. (Link leads to facts about the Doody). As the Howdy Doody Show evolved, characters came into the mix, such as Clarabell, the mute puppet. During the final episode, Howdy and Buffalo Bob let the kids in on a secret. They whispered that they had a"surprise" they would reveal to all"good boys and girls", by the end of the show. The fact, nothing more than Clarabell actually uttering a few words, turned out to be a very effective advertising ploy; a pioneering move in television which led to every conceivable cliff-hanger on every soap opera going, not to mention Glenn Beck's Fox show, of course.

Beck, like Doody, always has a little secret he will reveal to the Peanut Gallery by the end of the show. Howdy's heir apparent wooden love child, has mastered the art of "when we come back," so well, we seldom notice the immense leaps in logic, or that these schemes most often lead us nowhere. Often as not, there is no connection in these whispy trails he lays down before the ad-block forks its way into our minds.

For instance, what could a tin of Copenhagen snuff possibly have to do with President Barack Obama? "I'll explain, when we come back," he says in his customary refrain with a dollish grin. But on that particular show, someone sold too much ad-space, because Beck never did explain what these two had in common.

Good boys and girls were left to infer that Beck was shaking a naughty stick at the president for going to Copenhagen in an effort to sway the Olympic Committe to let Chicago host the next Olympiad. Bad, bad, (the 'black' is silent) president!

Howdy's show was replete with double-entendre, which was good for parents who got a kick out of some of the quips between the characters. This higher-level conversation went right over the heads of the boys and girls, and Beck is also a master at this.

Beck's doublespeak of course, is the stuff the politically-correct censors would tamp down on; sticky stuff like racial overtones. For instance when Beck pointedly mentions the artists performing at the president's most recent state dinner, without specifically bringing race into the discussion of course. Why say it when a glassy eye roll will suffice just as well, to get the point across, that those people (hip-hop, soul, etc. the 'black' is silent), now hold the horns of power.

(Wink, nod: You know what I'm talking about-kids! Is this CRAZY OR WHAT?)

Other Howdy characters included Mr. X who travelled through space and time in his "Whatzits Box" teaching the children about history. Advertisers later thought this was too scary, and had Mr. X removed.

Beck is good like that; he doesn't let actual history get into the mix on his show, when he has so much fake history and fantasy to draw from. His chalkboard is the Whatsits Box of many wonders. We recently learned the sinister nature of that tall white obelisk on the Washington Mall, which is "from Egypt." Egypt I tell ya!

Do the math: Egypt=Africa="Hey kids, the 'Black' is silent"=Kenya=Barack=Axis of Eeeevil! Eeeeevil!

Before he began attacking one of our founding principals, the separation of church and state, Beck spent nearly entire shows, going over the subtext in architectural design schemes which somehow - and being good boys and girls who can catch all the hints he's throwing over those meany censors - points to a New World Order conspiracy that our president is either a pawn within, or the master mover thereof. Who knows, the trails lead right up to the ad-blocks, and "when we come back" is frequently a downer because by then, Beck and his Whatsits Board, have moved on to something else.

But why ask for substance, or concrete references when a pic of Che Guevara tossed on a board will do quite nicely?

Howdy says: "Hey, jackass, facts and specifics are what elitist journalists do! Are you one of those people? Pick up your damned blanky and get the hell out of the studio! This is the Howdy Doody Show!"

Howdy is a wooden puppet guided by 11 strings. Beck has his strings and we can see those too: big pharma, big oil, to name two. But the good boys and girls ignore the strings: whilst the meany Mr. Bumbles (and don't be an elitist Mr. Bumble) immediately point out those strings!

Aw, Looky there! He ain't nothin but a fake! Frequently suffering Facebook unfriending by our elder siblings for our efforts, much the way they bruised our biceps with childish punches when we offered such insult to the Doody altar they still lavished adoration upon, even in syndicated re-run.

Secretly deep down they knew Howdy was not for real. Most boys and girls of the 1950s were able to accept that even as they became pre-teens in the sixties. But then as today, they were subdued by Howdy's country attire, his shiny whiteness, freckles, and his glassy-eyed stare, into a state of suspended disbelief. Never mind that he's horribly, heinously artificial and operated by corprate guy-wire. No one alive or dead could possibly be that cartoonish, could they?

A good boy or girl had a right to pretend back then, didn't they? Don't they now?

This would be a childish taunt if Howdy hadn't become such a corporate tool, of late, asking us to forget where we come from, and where we would like to go: a place of peace, as well as prosperity.

If it helps, when Beck comes on, just play the song in your mind.

"Let's give a round of cheers for Howdy Doody's here! It's time to start the show, so kids let's go!"

PS! Hey Kids, scroll back to the top and take the Doody Polls located to your right. The first will ask you about your Doody connection. The second will ask about Glenn Beck. Have fun!

Monday, November 23, 2009


That's right! There's a very good chance, if you aren't already out the door at your office, D-DAY comes Wednesday afternoon, BEFORE Thanksgiving!

Why? To get it done before the Christmas Season! Why You? Because you're still employed, you don't see it coming and likely as not, you've done no prep work incase the worst happens, i.e FIRED WITH CAUSE!

What can you do? Read on!

Question and Answer Session with an At-Risk Employee named “Steve”

The following is an email correspondence between myself and a buddy living and working in Orlando, who thinks this unemployment issue cannot possibly happen to him. Watch as I coach Steve about the dangers he is facing through a series of interrogatives. I have done very little other than cut and paste, to reproduce this exchange from our chats, Tweets, Facebook and emails:

Steve, what do you do for a living?
I’m a copywriter for a large public-relations firm in the greater Orlando area.
And you’re not concerned for your job?
Not really, we do a lot of business with governments, municipal airport authorities, developers, law offices, and some engineering firms. There’s always work.
How long have you been employed at your current place of work?
Three Years and seven months.
And you don’t find that concerning?
That you’ve been working there just long enough for people to know you, but not long enough for you to get into the good graces of upper management? Also, you have a squishy job, don’t you?
Define squishy!
Well, you’re a copywriter. You’re neither fish nor fry, neither software developer, nor engineer. You don’t teach, account, legally represent, engineer, or otherwise produce anything. In effect, what you do is re-assemble information, not so?”
Sound ominous.
That’s a good word, Steve. Ominous. Good for you. You’re catching on.
But, like I said, we have work to spare.
Is it the sort of work that someone in management could do, if they were forced to?
Yes, I suppose so.
Do any of the managers have advanced degrees, business administration, finance, and so on?
Yes. So?
So in pursuit of these advanced degrees, did they learn to write, do you suppose?..........Steve?
Steve, could it be said that you’ve got work to do here?
What work?
You’ve got to gather enough information, yes, blackmail material, on your employer so that when they let you go, in no way shape or form will they think about check marking “with cause” on their paperwork to the unemployment masters.
You’re in a death match here and now with your corporate masters. Because you a remainder, a stop-loss number, a target. You are the prisoner on the Battan death-march and management are the Japanese prison guards with the swords and bayonets. Get used to that imagery.
Why me? What have I done?
Steve, think about it. They’ve already laid off as many people as they can afford to!
So? Now they can’t afford to let me go.
You’re not hearing me. I said they’ve already LAID OFF as many as they can afford to, not let go.
So that means, the remaining employees will have to be let go for cause! Because, the company’s payouts to unemployment insurance right now are through the roof!
When they let go of Jimmy in accounting back in March, you thought, “screw him. He’s a tool!” Well guess what? Back in March when they had no idea how deep this recession was, they paid him severance, and had no trouble signing off on unemployment compensation claims. Duh!?
What of it?
Are you stiff? That means, Steve, between then and now, little Jimmy may not have been working, but he has been earning just as much as you were, every day you dragged your sorry, cadaver ass through those doors. But between laying off Jimmy and this morning, they laid off Marcie, Joanne, Todd the Douchebag, Mark, Bob, and the list goes on and on.
STEVE, Even that girl Sheila who was doing the owner’s son, what’s his name, got the walking paper’s deal. You didn’t. It turns out the "walking papers deal" was actually a better deal than the one they are planning for you, my friend.
They likely have saturated their available balance to unemployment insurance. If they lay off more, that will bump up how much they have to pay. This cuts into their bottom line at a time when they are already running into serious debt!
Steve, Look, around! What do you see?
I see…
That’s right, the remaining candidates are you, Fred, Miles, Shaniqua, Featherhorse, Amy at the front desk, AKA “Flowerpot Amy,” and Park, the Korean guy in IT. Apart from Park who speaks very little English, they have “something” on each one of you, otherwise they wouldn’t have kept you on so long, would they, genius?
Well, let’s be honest: they don’t really “ have” anything on Shaniqua, even the fact she recites lesbian poetry from the bathroom, and never, ever flushes. Nor do they have anything on Featherhorse do they, even though they caught him selling weed to the intern last year? Count Featherhorse and Shaniqua out, I’m not talking about them.
….? Uh…?
What do you, Flowerpot Amy, Miles and Fred have in common? (Jeaopardy Music Here)
Feel that little chill up your spine? Like icewater in the veins, isn’t it. Yes, they’ve got you for cause, on something.
That tiff between me and Flowerpot Amy?
That’s good enough. Look at it, Flowerpot Amy doesn’t make as much as you do. If, and I mean this is a big If here, if they had to let go of someone at this point and do it paying out unemployment, she hasn’t worked there as a long as you have, and, she doesn’t make as much. She’s the afflicted party, Steve. Are they going to be looking at a lawsuit if they try to say your little tiff was her fault?
Good Steve. Good. I hate to break this to you, they kept you on because they know they can keep you working right up to the last minute, and no matter what, they will pull this tiff business out of their asses, or get Flowerpot Amy to throw another hissy, which they will blame on you, again, my friend. That way (lean in here while I whisper it) they won’t have to pay your unemployment insurance! Think this is a game? Oh…it’s a game, alright.
I’m not political. I didn’t think it would happen to me.
Ostrich, or Columbo, Steve?
What do you mean?
Which way are you playing stupid right now at this minute, as an ostrich, or as the old television detective, Columbo?
I’m guessing Columbo, is the way to go?
Good Steve. Yes, Detective Columbo, you need to get something on your boss BEFORE Thanksgiving, if at all possible. I don't want you to panic because that will blow your "I'm too stupid to be concerned about act," but you’ve got less than a day, and that's not much time. Wednesday afternoon your boss is going to be approaching you.
There will be a genial, yet cold tone. “Steve meet me in the conference room.” Something like that. You’ll step into that room and there will be a speaker-phone in the middle of the conference table, on the line before your ass hits the hot seat will be someone from human resources. Two people will be in the room with you, likely one male, one female or minority. Someone will say “Steve there’s been a concern raised about your behavior.”
Oh my God!
Are we communicating now, Steve? Are you hearing me at last?
Yes, yes! But what do I do?
If you have to stay at the office all night tonight, claiming you need to go over a few things, you do it.
Then what?
If you have to BLOW or bribe the guy or gal in IT you do it. You need passwords. You need all-access Steve; hear me? You need to sort through any and all information and find something: an interview set up between your boss and a company rival that you can extrapolate into disloyalty. That’s a start. You need to do a web search on your boss, covering Facebook, et al. Anything compromising will do: a shot with a scantily clad woman, or man. A few shots from her recent stop at Chippendales, or even better from Sandals Jamaica. Perhaps there are some things or her expense account, some unsavory purchases, some adult toys, perhaps, that you know about. It all comes out now, Steve. You need to have these cards whatever you can assemble in 24 hours, out on the table BEFORE THEY SANDBAG YOU MY FRIEND!
Is the top decision maker at your company a Glenn Beck fan? Good, if you have to use a mirror site (ask the IT person they’ll know) to set up a fake identity, you do that. You lambaste that raging dumbass Glenn Beck on a blog site, then threaten to point it out to her boss!
Start thinking laterally like a rat in a sinking ship, Steve. If all else fails, shave your ass, sit on the copy machine, stick the copy in your cubby hole and claim SHE DID IT to human resources! It’s survival time, buddy!
Then what?
If you survive Wednesday afternoon, you need to go back into the office on Black Friday by 6 a.m.
And what else?
You need to assemble an ejection carry-on? Do you have one ready?
A what?
An ejection carry-on Steve. If your ass was ejected from the company five minutes from now, what would you wish to God, you had the sense to take from your office and place in your car, BEFORE the company security goon squad escorted you out of the building? This ejection carry-on could include names and contact points of clients, and phone numbers of people loyal to you INSIDE the company so you can plot your revenge from the outside, should you get the boot this afternoon! Supplies, paper, books, staplers, pictures, company badges, ashtrays...anything and everything that, in its being left behind, would make you slap your forehead and say "shit I should have grabbed that BEFORE!" Know that now, while you are still employed is BEFORE, is that back-in-time you will dream you had back, that prior-to you will rue if you do not take full, and I mean full advantage of it.. As we've gone over here, the inevitable is coming, it's what you do now that will define how you live after you're given your walking papers. Do you walk around with an ache in your belly that will drive you to insanity, or do you hold your head up high, knowning you stole the estuary print from the company boardroom. At least you got that out of them BEFORE they tried to burn down your good name for their bottom line.
Get to it! Nothing is out of bounds here. Get it to your car today, and add to your collection right up to the minute they try to axe you with cause. All's fair. That way you don't feel so bad as they shuffle you out the door.
Remember there were 500,000 LAID OFF last week. CNN never tells us, how many people were FIRED, which is likely another 500,000 MORE!
Don't ask for whom the bell tolls? It tolls for thee, my friend!