Sunday, March 1, 2009

I'm Gil Favor, and this is my ram rod...

For those who never heard of it, there used to be a TV western called Rawhide. It was where Clint Eastwood got his start. He was Rowdy Yates. Gil was the trail boss.

Rowdy was always introduced by Gil Favor as his ram rod. Imagine how that would go over in today's market. In case you still think it has something to do with gay pride, what Gil meant was that Rowdy was like the foreman of the cattle drive, the git 'er done guy.

That just came to mind so I thought I'd mention it. It does seem peculiar to be introducing your employee as your ram rod. Rowdy was to Gil Favor as Rahm is to Barack. Personally I wish he'd chosen Clint Eastwood.

Economic Philosophical Clarification

The fact that I am not geared for the modern corporate structure unless I am running the show does not mean I have a disdain for corporations or business.

In the basic, natural order of things, I find it only right for companies to make money, as much as they honestly can. The ideal environment is one in which business is done without coercion of force, the trickery of fraud and deception. What has happened is that artificial market forces have become so influential that the average corporation tends to trade competence for security. The government entanglement, alone, is so powerful and complex that making the better mouse trap takes a back seat to many other factors.

Simple government contracts, for instance, are rarely the free bidding situation they pretend. I remember being in a situation in which the feds were going to buy a large number of a particular machine; something to do a particular job. Several companies made a product that was of reasonable quality. I thought the product I represented and one made by a competitor were the best. One was in no way better than the other of the top two.

What each of us did was to butter up the officials responsible for writing the specs. They didn't specify in terms of a generic nature with the main issue being the ultimate purpose and function of the machines. We got them to specify a particular type and size of wire for one of the components. That was the one internal part which was different about ours. It was not a matter of that detail causing one to be superior over the other. But, whoever got the specs written to favor the material already being produced for his units had the edge.

Another agency specified the stuff that made the other guy's product the sure winner. In both cases it was tax money and probably not something really within proper realm of government. But, like everyone else, we were whores to the public money. And that was one company with few of the typical corporate nonsense I've seen. It was also in the day before all the social training and pretense that has become institutionalized.

The airline and the phone company were spooky with the bizarre duplicity which ran rampant. One put employees at risk regularly then raised hell about job safety. All pretense to satisfy regulators and set people up to fail or get hurt but have no legal leg to stand on. The other made deception a way of life, and the really fraudulent actions were committed under the veil of "disclosure" and "integrity issues". It was and is a sad thing.

Natural trade between individuals and entities, when lying and force are not part of the picture is part of what characterizes us as human. It is the lower aspects of human nature which seek to penalize success and stack the deck dishonestly or behind the guns of government.

Roping Deer

Recently I received a couple of fwd fwd emails which contained a cattle guy's account of his deer roping adventure. One thing is certain, the guy can spin a good yarn. If farming and ranching don't support him, he has a future as a writer, or maybe a stand up comic.

Apparently, since deer regularly helped themselves to the feed trough, the guy thought maybe he'd rope one of them, keep it around and fatten it up, then send it to its maker yielding him a good harvest of venison. He discovered that a deer may act dumb and docile but it is all a trick. Deer can be meaner than horses and cows. This rancher claims that pound for pound deer are stronger.

By the time his adventure ended, the tables had turned and all he wanted was to escape the deer. He never did get that venison, as he lost all desire for it after getting his butt kicked by the cute little creature..

What thought this generated concerns life, media and induced stress. The relative who sent it has done very well in his life; good grown children, comfortable financial status, continuing interests, great wife, and a collection of friends. It somewhat puzzled me that he is preoccupied with dinosaur bone activities in remote parts of the west, hunting and fishing, but little in the ream of things you see in the media, other than getting his news from Stephen Colbert and John Stewart.

The deer roping story sounded like something from his life these past few years. I realized that far from being totally oblivious to matters of civic concern, he has chosen to live life, enjoy what he can, the friends he likes, and let the rest go. It is his prescription for his own health, I suspect. It makes sense.

Possibly I am wrong, but I sense that the stories which are rich in basic humanity, the fun and unusual things people say and do, have become rarer than in times past. Such is the nature of collectivism. Somehow the warmth and humor of individuals just being themselves becomes overshadowed if not frowned upon. The deer roper would be seen by many as a big meany, uncaring when it comes to the possible environmental impact of his interactions with Bambi, and guilty of all kinds of sins.

I tend to see the guy as a hero. He reminded me of another era. It was the time when my great uncles ranched and told stories and trained great cow ponies, and generally minded their own business. I can't imagine them ever deciding that what car someone drove was somehow an affront to the earth and therefore their business. I have to think that they would have resisted arguments which encourage people to find excuses to be in the business of others that way.

Anyway, roping deer is about making the best of one's own world. Doing things just because it makes you feel alive; without concern for what various organizations or celebrities might say. Daring to be yourself. It's about freedom. Lucky people are those who are far enough away from the collective lunacy to engage in whatever folly they can dream up. Not hurting others, just living life, and finding excitement how they choose. It's an art that may be fading. Perhaps only I feel that my ability to live free without all the external filters has been retarded and the rest of the country is not in a similar condition. Actually, I don't believe that.

Maybe I'll give up paying attention to the neo-Bolsheviks for Lent. I certainly have the jump on not believing their theories or their ubiquitous public service ads.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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