John Boni's Blog

John Boni

John Boni
North Carolina, USA
July 03
Retired TV writer/producer, mostly comedy, but also soaps and children's programming. Blogging because, like everyone else, things are on my mind.


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NOVEMBER 7, 2011 11:53AM

Let's Try This On For Size

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The continuing and futile OWS hullabaloo brings to mind my experiences some years ago when my friend Koki (a nickname) Novikov, a wonderful dancer I worked with in New York would invite fellow cast members for Sunday dinner to her neighborhood in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach, an enclave for many Russian/Americans and recent Russian émigrés.

 During those visits I observed the unhappiness of the recently arrived Russian men.  This was not the famously chronic, brooding sadness of the Russian soul, but rather, a sadness born of purposelessness.  They didn’t know how to engage personal freedom.  Instead of pursuing the endless options liberty offers, they seemed to be drifting aimlessly, clueless about how to handle it.

 Some even expressed a fondness for the totalitarianism they left behind.  Back home they knew what they could and couldn’t do and took comfort in the oppressive safety of the Soviet system -- no decisions needed to be made, no dreams to pursue, very few options available.  It was all determined for them and they were satisfied robots in the Soviet system.  Most said that many of their relatives and friends in Russia felt the same way. 

 One can’t really blame them.  They had been indoctrinated in this system for generations and it was the only one they knew and understood.  It’s natural that many of them would be puzzled and aimless in this new system founded on freedom.

 But I can blame the clowns at Occupy Wall Street.

 The permissiveness and secularism that liberalism inflicted upon the country began in the 60’s and continues destructively to this day.  This liberal “culture” of “do your own thing,” “if it feels good, do it,” “if it works for you,” and “God is dead,” seeded the ground for progressivism, which is now giving us an uber-government that's whittling away our independence...and freedom.  It created a cadre of elitists who know better than the people how we should live our lives.

 But not without cost.  The last fifty years left a residue of two generations of entitled brats who’ve become used to, and expect, the hand of government to provide for them.  Our glorious American liberty has been eroded by liberal-dependency, as dictated by the government that was supposed to protect it.  Instead, these generations have been sucked and suckered into the apprentice Soviet system known as the Nanny State.  As that net widens, we’re in full totalitarian mode.

 Many of these self indulgent OWS participants took the free ride their hard “working” parents provided for them and were free to pursue degrees in such do-your-own-thing disciplines like film criticism, classical literature, queer studies, Oprah studies, women’s studies, black studies, poetry and the ubiquitous “communications.”

 In my dinosaur college days, if you were interested in such topics, you’d go to a library, the encyclopedia, or newspapers and magazines to read about them.  We didn’t expect (or want) our colleges to provide degrees in such drivel.  These institutions of higher learning just grabbed their ankles and dumbed down the curricula to the cultural marketplace to enroll these often ill-prepared, pie-eyed kids who thought they were getting an education.  Wait ‘til their parents saw what they got for their money.

 Well, now they’ve been “educated” and are having a temper tantrum on Wall Street.  It’s a temper tantrum because they’re too ignorant to understand that the problem isn’t the banks or Wall Street (though they’re certainly complicit).  The problem is Washington, Congress and the K-Street lobbyists.  It’s the government, stupid, the government that they demand give them welfare, unending unemployment benefits, food stamps, health care, forgiveness of student loans and underwater mortgages. 

Washington is where they all should be.  But they’re mostly thoughtless and ignorant.  I read that close to eighty percent of them never heard of Dodd-Frank, many don’t even know what the S.E.C. is, as well as many other aspects of government regulations.

 Many are shocked that most employers aren’t interested in someone who understands film criticism, and my guess is that these Oprah and women’s studies majors wouldn’t deign to work retail or – the ugh word – secretarial.  They’re just too good for that.

 My main guess is that many of these Wall Street do-nothings have been afraid to step out on their own.  They didn’t have the courage to leave Mommy, the government and the nanny state behind and settled comfortably into Washington's "free ride."  (How ironic is that expression in this context!)   And now they’re fearful that the government largess might dry up.  So, like most brats, they’re throwing tantrums.

 And they’re being enabled by like-minded OWS elders with beards, pony tails, guitars and Birkenstocks who’ve already made their money and have time to kill, or other losers and anarchists. 

They’re also encouraged and praised by media elites, journalism traitors who're safe in their jobs, have connections, money, invitations to all the DC parties, and don’t have a foot in the economy’s quicksand.  They drink their chardonnay, lunch in nice restaurants, do their NY Times crosswords in ink at Starbucks and tsk-tsk anyone who dares to challenge the miserable condition the Democrat congress, and especially this President, has created for America.  

They watch approvingly as the OWS people morph into my unhappy Russian friends.

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The only problem here is we've had 30+years pf solidly "conservative" policy from both parties. Wages dropped, credit expanded, fed debt exploded, private debt skyrocketed and jobs were stripped from America.

Your needle is stuck on an Agnew campaign speech from 1972.

Combined, GOP presidents have delivered 12.5 trillion in debt between Ronnie and Lil' Dub. Add that to the loss of wages, the private debt deregulation encouraged, the cost of jobs outsourced and it rapidly becomes obvious we shouldn't allow a Republican within 50 miles of DC. Democrats, only within 25.

Instead of linking the OWS crowd to the 60's lefties, you might see a more direct connection between your lack of true knowledge of how we arrived at this miserable state and the lack of knowledge you claim exists among the OWS groupies.

You might, if you can get Agnew out of your mind, also see a profound comparison between what 30 years of conservatism has delivered and the dysfunction of the Soviet system. What is the difference between Soviet communism and conservatism? One is a system that impoverishes the many to benefit the few and the other is Soviet communism.
More Americans are now able to experience the Liberty of the Poor. When there is no opportunity one needn't be opportunistic. We can thank Reaganomics for unburdening Americans from the worries of economic advancement.

The OWS players didn't mean to toss the Frisbee on your front yard, Mr Wilson. Down some scotch and lean back in the recliner. Pretend the handle on the side is the lever you're pulling to vote a straight Republican, 1972 ticket.

Welcome back, John. :)
The CEO of AT&T made over $27 Million in 2010, and over $29 million in 2009. In 2002 the CEO of AT&T made $11 million. His compensation in 2002 was far more than he was entitled to, IMHO, but what stands out even more is the fact that 10 years later he made about 150% more. I can guarantee you that the rank and file employees of AT&T, the A and B band managers and union members, did not see an increase of 150% in the same time frame. They saw almost no increase at all.

The same scenario exists at most of our nation's huge corporations. That is the impetus of the OWS movement. You may be correct that it is futile. You are certainly correct that Washington is complicit. But it is also correct that the good-ol'-boy network on the boards of directors are engaged in an incestuous game of corruption when it comes to maximizing their own financial interests while simultaneously claiming the employees who actually make, sell, and service stuff are an expense that must be minimized, resulting in low morale, stagnant wages, and off-shoring to India and those commies in China and Vietnam.