Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Yada, Yada, Yada--Blah, Blah, Blah

--Epitaph on Your Tombstone will include 2 Dates, with a Dash between them Representing your Life--This is a Study of the Dash

If each day you wake up to the sharp realities of morning, with the belief that things will get better--and end the day going to an outdoor party that features cheap wine and barbequed Spam, you know something went wrong in between.

What are some of these things that go damnably wrong, daily--with maddening regularity--much of it spawned by the con man world in which we live? We're getting to it. Hang with us.

But, first, for stage setting, consider this:
You've graduated with honors from college. You've been fine-tuned to the expectations of an idealistic working career experience, including all applicable Golden Rule observances.

You get a job. You are now told that your employer's company thrives on interconnectedness, diversity, free exchange of ideas and opinion--is one big happy family.

Yada, yada, yada. Blah, blah, blah.

Now, on to reality...

In contrast you quickly find that all bad policies are more likely to be supplemented than repealed. You learn that the perfect candidate for any job will show up shortly after the position is filled. After things have gone from bad to worse the cycle will repeat itself. After all is said and done a lot more will be said than done.

Further, the inconsistencies with your education now jump out at you. You begin to wonder why closed minds and open mouths seem to go together. Starting with Sturgeon's First Law--90% of everything is bull--you become aware of the many Laws of Bureaucracy which dominate your working environment: Nothing is ever accomplished by being reasonable. Rules grow at about the same speed as weeds.
There's always one person who knows what's going on; this person quits, retires, or is fired. All's well that creates more work. Catalog all details; never mind facts. Management's decision, "Maybe" is always final. The first myth of management efficiency is that it exists.

Yada, yada, yada. Blah, blah, blah.

You see a political ad on TV. In it, Senator Pothole, running for President, ignores al Qaeda, Iran, North Korea, and Hugo Chavez as threats to all of us. Instead he singles "you" out, as an individual, and dramatically proclaims that it is "you" he is fighting for. He sternly warns that your most feared menaces--from which you will gain his protection, if elected--are Corporate America, Big Oil, Big Pharmaceuticals, incandescent light bulbs, and Wal-Mart. At this point a background voiceover kicks in to alert you as to the shortcomings of Senator Pothole's opponent. From hushed, conspiratorial-sounding intonations you learn that this unworthy opponent is a Child Molester / Drug Dealer / Wife Beater / Pimp, who is, tragically, beyond rehabilitation.

Yada, yada, yada. Blah, blah, blah.

Your last credit card payment arrives at its destination office one day late. Your APR is kicked from 18% to 35%. This doubling, you are told, is due to your slippage to a new higher-risk credit category. The incongruity of this makes you feel like a roosting, migrant bird that has lost its homing instincts, caught in a dream of perpetual, static flight.

Yada, yada, yada. Blah, blah, blah.

You pick up a newspaper, leaf through it, browse the headlines (taken from actual newspaper headlines): Something went wrong in Jet Crash, Experts Say. Miners Refuse to work After Death. Killer Sentenced to Die for Second Time in 10 years. If Strike isn't Settled Quickly, it May Last Awhile. Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge. Sex Education Delayed; Teachers Request Training. War dims Hopes for Peace.

You scratch your head in disbelief.
You wonder: Are newspaper headline writers con artists too?

Yada, yada, yada. Blah, blah, blah.

You now realize that so much of what you hear daily is from people who would have you believe the world is flat, Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, and Tooth Fairy exist, and there is such a thing as an honest politician. And, much of this spin twirled at you is seemingly coming from a skilled diplomat who can tell you where to go in such a way that you look forward to the trip. Puzzled, you ask yourself: Is road kill really a gourmet meal?

As things end up you can only wonder at this incomrehensible menu of unresolved, childlike prattle you have to put up with.

Jeanie, Jeanie, eats zuchini. Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater.

When in doubt, mumble.

Yada, yada, yada. Blah, blah, blah.

40 comments:

Warren M said...

Funny view. All I can say is how true.

Terry said...

Ha. Now you are swinging Jack, better than ever.

Dolcett said...

You have got some pearls of wisdom here. I have thought for a long time why do closed minds and open mouths go together?

The Fearless Blog said...

Great read. I agree...

Your sprinkles of humor over truth made the post quite pleasurable.

McAlee said...

Jack, this is quite a compilation of thorns on the rose bush of life.
I think your wrap up is about as fitting as fitting can get...when in doubt, mumble. What more can you say? It does, however, provide a lot of chuckles along the way.

Jack Payne said...

Yes, all you people, I get the essence of your feedback. I was once known as King of the Cynics for my abrasive and frontal shots at life's unkind twists. Never cared for a title like this, and have tried to avoid it. Though, at times it is difficult to restrain my anger. And, I do shoot from the hip. Hope y'all forgive me.

The Supplicant said...

Now this I can relate to Jack! I see what you mean and I have begun to mumble. Thank you.
~JD

Tamera Daun said...

The dash sucks, Jack! Hehe. Truthful and depressing. Geesh.

Tamera Daun said...

Aaaaaha! Jack. You admit to being a cynic. I knew I was right when I wrote that you had a slightly "gruffy voice" in my review of your book. I knew it! Gotcha.

Gene Kranik said...

I agree with Tamera. How long has it been since I've known you, Jack?
Forty years ago, when I was a kid, I read Business Opportunities Digest like it was the gospel. Way back then I admired the way you shoved it down the politicians' throats in your editorials. You were the King of Cynics then. And, now, like it or not, you have regained that title with this zinger of a blog article.

Kevin Goodman said...

Men (ladies too) have made an art and science of persuasion since long before the days of Aristotle.

What and who can we trust? I tend to believe most people are good natured. Opportunism is also human nature. I heard a saying once that has stuck with me –“breaking open a door is easy, locking the door just keeps the honest people honest”

New Harvard study finds that the good guys finish first – not last as so often believed.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080319/ap_on_sc/nice_guys

did Seinfeld invent Yada Yada Yada?

Drowsey Monkey said...

You're on a roll Jack & I like it :)

Dee said...

Aah Jack the harsh realities of life. How can I not join you in your cynicism. Here's a reminder: the International Order of the Golden Rule is an association of funeral homes. Is it fitting given the death of that moral principle?

Earl T. Clydson said...

Do you hear it, Jack? That's me laughing all the way from my hotel room in Seattle. You certainly have a way with sarcasm.

Guy-k said...

Careful Jack, that incomprehensible prattle serves to remind all of us (your regular readers) of how damed smart we are. Where would we be without it?

Jack Payne said...

Tamera, we are all fly specks in the totality of the universe. To me the dash on the tombstone calls quick, focused attention to this. This is why--the brevity of our existence on this earth--close quality-of-life examination is always important to me. As to your "gruffy voice" assignation to my writing style, I wondered about that. Now I know.

J.D., I was so saddened by your blog suspension, that it is no reward seeing you turn to mumbling as recompense. Your writing talent is so far above and beyond that of all of us that, believe me, you will be sorely missed. I think your rather large, loyal follower-group attests to this. I hope you will re-consider.

You'll never know, Gene, Dee, Drowsey, and Earl, how long I've been trying to live down that "King of Cynics" thing. I don't think you, Kevin, are ever about to even join the Cynics Club. Your thought processes on the applications of life appear to be of a somewhat different persuassion.

I guess a little self-congratulatory, self- slap on the back can be tolerated from time to time, Guy. After all, there has to be at least a few people around who feel they have a handle on life's realities.

Bern said...

No steamed vegetables. All red meat and potatoes...that's the way I like it. Sure enjoy your blog, Jack.

Terry said...

The Welcome Wagon is not out for the Con Artists here...that's plain to see. Where does a hard-working con man go to apply?

Theresa H. Hall said...

The complexities of our world's inhabitants and the double speak which is daily, thrown at us, can only be described as folly. "1984" and "Animal Farm" were two books which depressed and left me chilled. To my astonishment, I keep seeing the fiction becoming reality and the nightmares are becoming truths. The only defense we have is to collectively ban together and right our thinking. We need to turn things around and lead us back to normalcy.

Sylvia said...

I have to agree with Theresa. Animal Farm and 1984 were chilling books. And this blog article sort of fleshes out the modern day applications of those possible horrors.

Terry said...

Two down and one to go. Didn't you say you had three big ones? And that the other one of the three published so far was your twenty four Conflict Resolution Steps, which I guess is buried in the arhives somewhere?

paula said...

Actually, a very good article. Surprising to see how Mr. Payne is dedicated towards making public conscious about these very regular scams. This is very much a truth and its better that we accept it as soon as possible.

mellisa said...

its a damn mind blowing article. was surprised to read and now believe that everyone must read it..

crystal said...

very nicely n observedly written article. i am surprised that guys like mr.Jack observes so much about things that we don't even think off in general.

brendon said...

very mind-blowing article...i believe its a worth-reading article...

brian said...

i have not read such a fantastic article before...i would love to read all the articles of this superb writer...

brian said...

its a very good article to reive our sleeping consciousness towards ourselves and our iterests...

Blog Lady Dee said...

This may be so obvious to you that no one else mentioned it. But, I'm struck by the irony that all our struggles and achievements in life are in the end reduced to the ---.

Only our close friends and family can fill in the blank after we're gone.

After all who reads the obituary pages regularly, except con men?

Blog Lady Dee
Blog Lady Elle

Terry said...

You are picking up an international flavcr among your respondents, Jack. Nice to see that some people outside of North America are starting to catch up with the threat of the con man plague.

the aphasia decoder.... said...

I shouldn't have read this just before bedtime. I'll be drifting off to sleep thinking about how everyone's tombstone dash looks the same, but in reality they are totally unique. Maybe someone could make a lot of money coming up with a computer chip dash that could be embedded in our tombstones that, when read, could tell everyone who passes by what the dash REALLY represents. Interesting blog entry.

Swubird said...

Con Man:

When I landed on your page I thought Oh no! Look at the length of that post. I didn’t think I would make it past the first yada, yada, yada. But by the time I was on the third yada, yada, yada, I was hooked. I thought I was the only one who felt this way. Great post, and right on!

Yada, yada, yada!

sharyn said...

let's print the article and pass it around to enlighten those that don't know about Jack

Jack Payne said...

Nightmares = reality. Fiction = truth. Scary scenario, 'eh, Theresa? Sure remindful of 1984 alright.

The date separation of only a dash does lend a certain grimness to reality, doesn't it, Blog Lady Dee?

I thought that was you, laughing in your Seattle hotel room, Earl.

I like steamed vegetables, Bern. But, you're right, they don't have quite the zing of red meat.

Yeah, Terry, there does seem to be an influx of new readers from all over the world lately. Just goes to show, the information explosion, carried by way of the internet, knows no boundries. All of you new people are welcome. Come, read, spend time, comment.

You are one of many who has provided feedback, mainly concerning the dash, Decoder. I am surprised at how many people reflected on this point.

Glad you got past the first Yada, yada, yada, Swubird. You know, I never give much thought to length when I write a blog entry--I use just enough words to cover the subject. My best piece, buried in the Archives--24 Amazing Scam Artists Conflict Resolution Steps--came to 1,500 words. Yet, it caught Google's attention. It was selected by them as their "Blog of The Day"--on a day last year.

Sharyn, my love. I understand you have already followed your own advice, printed Yada, Yada out, and hung it on the wall in your establishment.
With your huge staff and immense traffic, 1,000 people a day must be reading it.

I am forever in your debt. I remain your grateful, humble servant.

theoffendedblogger said...

Jack, let's run off together and leave all of this behind.

How does Truth or Consequences, New Mexico sound? ;)

BookingAlong said...

Your mumbling got through to me, since I'm tuned to hear the frequencies of both dog (ours fell off the roof once) and teen (who often mumbles in a vain attempt to hope I can't hear him). Somehow I think your blog post had a different message but I heard that too.

Jack Payne said...

Mumbling is a new art form in our modern day society, Bookingalong. Glad you are mastering it.

I nearly said, "Good, let's go; meet me at the bus stop," Chelle.
But, then I remembered: you are still in serious competition for my affections with Sharyn, the Pizza Lady. Just as I am, for your affections, with Jesus, the Taco Truck Driver. If this twin enigma can be resolved, it's off to the bus stop.

Ironic, your pick for a destination is Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. My sainted mother--demised these past 10 years and buried alongside her 5th husband there--serves as a sort of Karmic drawing card. She lived in Truth or Consequences 30 years before her death. How did you know? You are a Telepathic Echo.

theoffendedblogger said...

Jack, funny thing is it just popped into my head as I was typing. I was going to say "let's run off somewhere exotic together, like Rock Springs, Wyoming" and instead Truth or Consequences, NM came out instead.

Ironic, indeed!! ;)

The Muse said...

You don't believe in Santa Claus!?!

About that credit card thing, it happened to my hubby, try 45%. We about choked. Now we pay the day it arrives. They've since given us a reprieve.

nardeeisms said...

You go Jack! Shake 'em up!
Great post ! Amen, my dear sir...Amen.

Nards

The Small Biz. Guru said...

This is so true. Having graduated last year, it was a reality check. I still have my save the world mentality, but my current situation tries to prohibit that.

Mumbling along...

~The GURU