Friday, October 10, 2008

My Brother . . .

. . . once explained something that has always stuck with me. His field of study and work at the time was in marketing, and more than that - understanding a target audience. It was the holidays and I'd just picked him up from the Kansas City Airport. We were driving back to Dodge and talking about whatever movies and t.v. shows we'd recently seen. I made the passing remark, "I meant to watch that show, but when I got around to it, it was already off the air."

He replied, "If you're not watching it, nobody else is."

At the time, I understood myself to be an individual. With unique and personal tastes/perspectives. In those eight-words, I saw that I wasn't special. I was a consumer, no different than the others in the market. My tastes and habits were no different from millions just like me. It was a bleak lesson, but it was also one that was liberating. I could now use myself, and those around me, as a microcosm by which to gauge what was happening in this world.

Your friends are broke and looking for work? Chances are, they're not alone. Your friends listen to a band you've never heard of before? They'll be main stage at Lollapalooza in six years. You think the girl at the coffee shop is cute? Every guy in that place is only there to get a look at her ass when she turns to pour the house blend. And so on, and so on.

Today, I get to bear witness to what will be the Market Collapse of 2009.

Every five minutes, Tina checks her 401k, and panics. She calls the Fidelity Investment office and demands to speak with someone who can make the stocks upswing. Knowing she's crazy, the agent gets her off the phones as soon as possible. She tells Norma and Modesta that they need to call Fidelity and pull their money out now. They're on the phone right doing just that.

This isn't taking place here. This is taking place in every office in every city.

In three weeks, we'll all be in the streets - bashing open each other's heads with rocks.

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