Monday, March 23, 2009

Are business schools failing us?

I used to share with a chappie in London who told me one day, "Damian, it's an Oxford world."
We'd been having a discussion about education and universities--I went to what's called in the UK "a redbrick university" and he went to "Oxbridge."

Of course, it was an arrogant remark and I told him so. But it seems to me that remark would now give him a huge bite in the ass.

Aside from the fact it would be more accurate to say "It's a Harvard world", I got to thinking this weekend about what the remark really meant in the context of our so-called elite business schools in the United States, places like the Wharton School, etc.
My conclusion is these business schools have failed this nation.


Because they have failed to instil values and morals into the men and women streaming out of these institutions into fat cat jobs in Wall Street. It's these same people in pursuit of the almighty dollar (an oxymoran) who caused the financial and world crisis we now finds ourselves in.

And I think I know of what I speak. Because, as a trained attorney, I can honestly say that courses on morality and working for the common good were scant, any teaching on them confined to a mere sixty minutes at most.

So American education needs to get back to the basics and expunge this whole glorified homage greed and 'Individualism'. It's time to teach the next generation attending these ivory towers about doing what's right in life and what;'s good for society.

And one aside. I do not like the Congress imposing punitive taxes against the greedy fat cats who received millions in bonuses not earned. I'd rather we started criminal and civil procedures against these people for negligence, theft and breach of fiduciary duties to their corporations. It can easily be done and that's how we get the money back and these rascals are made to pay.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

American Country Home For Sale

This gorgeous French Country Style American Home's now For Sale. High ceilings, open plan for modern living, latest amenities and wooden floors throughout. Great local schools.

Situated in the beautiful quiet American Countryside on a wooded 4+ acre lot in famous Bucks County, an hour and twenty minutes from New York City and just under an hour from Philadelphia.

Area abounds with nature and talent--from actors, artists, authors and sculptors. Close to New jersey's Pharmaceutical corridor if you're a techie or corporate director.

And even better, it's in an area of the US that's stable and real estate prices haven't been affected by the recent bust.

Friday, March 13, 2009

On the wall

She was eighty-three, with sparse gray hair and liver-spotted, bony hands in mid transmute to distasteful claws. Polish on her manicured nails sparkled in the light of the overhead reading lamp and matched her crimson lips. She was rich but had had a hard life in the small Louisiana Bayou town she lived in since girlhood. Her husband was dead and had been a tough man and bit of a racist--a very successful businessman but didn't like 'the colod folk' She did not miss him. She had not grieved his passing. I could relate to what she said. My compassion reared like a cowboy's mustang.

Her granddaughter was living with a man who'd raped a teenage girl and she believed he should be hanged. I don't believe in the death penalty but I didn't object. Her daughter, living in Pennsylvania, is in her sixties and raising her granddaughters, a boy and his older sister, offspring from two separate trysts. She sends clothes and money and these children love their great grandmother. The Louisiana state wanted to take them after the rape verdict and she spirited them away to Virginia. I admired that. Louisiana rearing children? My compassion intensified.

She was an avid fisher woman in her prime. Her husband had a boat. She loved to fish. She loves to eat catfish, crayfish, salmon, orange roughy, has even tried a bit of sand shark. She also loves all animals and donates to the USPCA and Humane Society. She owned dogs and cats. She had six Labradors and still grieves the loss of the last one six years ago, a yellow female that contracted cancer. I sympathized. Spice came to mind and I stopped breathing for a moment.

"My greatest trophies I have on the walls of my living room," she said.
"What did you catch?"
"Two beauties," she said in her Southern drawl. "Real beautiful. Could even be mother and baby because I caught 'em the same day and place. And I brought them in myself. I fished good."
My interest was piqued. "What sort of fish?"
Her eyes widened like mine, though with great pride. "Caught them off the coast of Florida thirty years ago."
"Dolphins aren't fish," I said.
"Sure they are. You can't eat 'em, but they is fish all the same. Company love them when they come into my living room."

I retreated to my novel.

Monday, March 02, 2009

A stroll on Bourbon Street

Just back a few days ago from a wonderful trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras--caught mucho mucho throws (that's a N.O euphemism for beads, flashing lights things and stuffed velveteen crawfish, etc.)

One Mardi Gras highlight was the Zulu Crewe's floats and I even managed to capture the elusive coconut--a black one with "I love New Orleans" painted in gold glitter.)
A funny sighting (or pathetic depending on one's P.O.V) was popping into a bar on Bourbon St in the French Quarter for an afternoon tipple and seeing a middle-aged, very drunk woman dressed like Miss Jean Brodie stuffing a muscular dancing boy's underwear with dollar bills for the privilege of groping his rapidly growing member. Replete with slender fingers, one adorned with a thick wedding band and very decent diamond engagement ring, I was astonished when she gave him ten dollars and asked him to sit on the counter before her. No sooner had he done so than she whipped down the front of his jockstrap and attempted to perform fellatio, which he immediately put an end to--that's not permissible even in the hedonistic FQ

Her friend turned to Larry and I and said after laughing, "Look at my friend, the big slut."

On being refused a mouthful of member, the lady released the overly muscled dancer's jockstrap and was then dragged away by her friend. The pair staggered full of mirth out the door toward another adventure.

A visit to Jackson Square for a rest on the benches proved equally colorful. There a group of religious zealots were brandishing huge 'hate' signs warning about homosexuals journeying to hell while screaming via bullhorn at the crowds about Jesus, getting saved and evil homosexuals. Countering their lecture were a bunch of spirited gay boys and lesbians, some of whom were busy making their own signs. Two portly lesbians staged a kiss-in about six inches from these holy rollers who were as clean cut as neo-Nazis, then were swiftly followed by two gays man dressed in Mardi Gras costumes who then proceeded to energetically faux shag--again inches from said, now bug-eyed evangelicals.

The biggest laugh, though, was on the night President Obama made his first prime-time speech. I can't begin to tell you how much I was entertained by Louisiana's Governor, Bobby Jindal, as he bullshitted and lied his way through a self-serving rebuttal speech that only the staunchest most loyal Republicans, Newt Gingrich and the guy on telly who buys prescription meds without having a prescription could swallow whole.

Lastly, I was very happy to see the city has really recovered from Hurricane Katrina and must say Brad Pitt is doing some fantastic work helping people move into spanking new accomodations in the Ninth Ward. Way to go, Mr. Pitt.