Cost of Corporations

Corporations are like vultures (and I apologize to the vultures of the world, as in the natural world; they perform a service, unlike corporations). They figuratively pick over the remains of the deceased, and they do it systematically and with precision. All with the wink and nod approval of our government overseers.

At least vultures in the natural world provide a service.

Bureaucratic structures seem designed to wear you down and extract what little resistance a grieving person might be able to muster. Life insurance is just one of the structures that comes to mind. Kafka wrote about this.

Then, there are states like Florida, where the dregs of society go to skirt personal responsibility, especially when it comes to killing pedestrians. No requirements at all for an errant driver owning anything substantive in terms of liability. Not sure how the laws developed there in terms of their homestead exemption and bankruptcy. Again, I’m sure the powers that be were tacit in the process. Oh, and Progressive Insurance, you suck!

It’s never been lost on me that Mark identified many of these things during his 101 days of walking and sharing. He recognized that lie that all of us have been sold and continue buying. He told the truth in a non-judgmental  manner. And now he’s gone.

There’s plenty more to say and write, but the past two weeks haven’t been conducive to writing. Not that the previous weeks back to January 21 were, either.

A friend and former colleague told me that there would be a time when the world would return to their distractions. She cautioned us to prepare for being alone with our grief, not to mention the myriad other tasks of trying to locate some meaning in Mark’s death.

A winter without pucks

Matt Kassian vs Darcy Hordichuk, 9/20/2011, AP Photo

Matt Kassian vs Darcy Hordichuk, 9/20/2011, AP Photo

In a country with fading memories of the triumphs of unionism and their inherent power to better the economic conditions of working people, it’s interesting that the only remaining labor issues involve round black objects–Ding Dongs and hockey pucks. Actually, the reason pucks aren’t flying around hockey rinks might have something to do with the non-snack food kind of ding dongs–people like Gary Bettman, Jeremy Jacobs, and I’ll include Donald Fehr, although adding Fehr to this list is probably a knee-jerk response typical of the union-baiting set, because it’s so much easier to blame the “greedy athletes.” (Actually, here is a really good article by Charles Pierce in Grantland on Fehr, and the economics of the NHL lockout and in the course of reading, a really good primer on what American corporate sports is all about. Read to the end of the first paragraph, the bit about Mike Illitch, billionaire pizza magnate and how he has turned an $8 million investment in 1982 into an investment now valued at $346 million, whether the team plays or not.) Continue reading