Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wish it away into the Cornfield Daddy

Remember that creepy episode of the Twilight Zone where Billy Mumy played 6 year old Anthony who had the power over an entire community? Just by using his mind he could change reality. It was about power and what an immature mind does when it gets absolute power.

You know what they say, absolute power blah, blah, blah. (No cliche's from ol' Spocko today) But I do know that Sterling was very concerned about power and fascism.
  • How do you warn the people about it creeping into their lives?
  • How do you tell them what it looks like? (What if it looks like a cute boy?)
  • What are you supposed to do about it?
  • What happens if you don't?

Millions of words are being written about this so called financial crisis. I've got a different perspective based on that episode of the Twilight Zone dealing with a child wielding power.

Investment bankers won't tell you this, in fact NO ONE in the financial industry or their powerful lobbyists will tell you this, but actually they really crave rules and regulation and secretly they want them.

How do I know? Because I know these people. They are like the powerful child in the story, who can do almost anything with no consequences. And then they become warped. The toy breaks and if they can't run away or get another they want a parent to fix it.

I've heard both Chris Matthews and David Brooks were craving this authoritarian parent to fix things. That is because they too are like children with a desire to make the pain go away and go away quickly. It is the authoritarian mind set that led to the some of the horrors in Germany in WWII. It is the authoritarian mind set that has led to some of the horrors in America after 9/11.

I understand avoiding scary things. I know what it is like to face down scary people. When I do it I try and figure out what it is that they want and give it to them. The best thing for the investment banking community is some serious regulation. Like a parent setting boundaries, it will actually make them feel better. THAT is the authority that they want but won't admit.

As I've said. Regulation. Good for Business. Good for Americans.

In the show if you didn't do what Anthony said or you displeased him he would "wish you away into the corn field." The show title was "It's a Good Life" it was written by Rod Sterling based on a story by Jerome Bixby (who wrote the classic Spocko in a goatee episode Mirror Mirror)

I'll never forget that episode, especially the scene where he turns a man into a Jack in the Box. The shadow on the wall of the man and then the photo. (It's funny, I don't remember this image as much as I remember the shadow on the wall.)

The adults must satisfy the child's every whim, or risk displeasing him. Nobody is safe from Anthony, not even his own family, although they can sometimes influence him slightly; after a "smiling" suggestion from his father, Anthony sends the remains of his victims into the cornfield behind the Fremont home after he has finished with them. (link)

I just watched an update called "It's Still a Good Life" starring Cloris Leachman (and the grown up Billy Mumy. We get to see what happens to the community after 40 years being ruled by a bully and a tyrant. For some of them they have only known what life is like living under Anthony. It's a sad impoverished life. Leachman regrets not standing up to her son and the pain and death it caused everyone. Challenging the boy meant death to everyone in the community except the mother. If only Leachman had acted sooner it might have saved lives, but she didn't.

Sterling and Bixby wanted us to see that power can look like a child and when people have it they can act like a child. Real adults need to act to discipline the child because it is really doing the child a service. Regulation will be the best thing to happen to the financial industry since the development of compound interest.


Blogger Jim said...

Regulation is most certainly good for business it's just always bad for Americans. I don’t think anyone's opposed to regulation demanding fair practices from business. The problem is the Government (big "g" meaning all government throughout history) has yet to become involved in a Market and not screw it up by regulating politically rather than economically. The current financial mess is a case in point. Had the Government not demanded that financial institutions produce bad loans this would not have happened. Had the Government not tried to create a new market for these bad loans (since the banks started to fail) by creating Freddie and Fannie, we would not be footing the trillion dollar bill. The current situation is a direct result of regulations. The “greed” the news folks keep somehow blaming, is the result of managers expecting the Government to actually do what they said they’d do- pay up when someone defaults. The other side of this is that because there was essentially no risk in gambling on real estate (remember they get to play with YOUR money thanks to freddy and fannie) a real estate bubble formed. Again – direct result of regulation. I recommend this article :

9:02 AM  
Blogger shrimplate said...

The real problem began with the "got milk?" campaign. The regulators and the bankers were all in bed with one another, and at one time or another they all drank milk.

Fucking motherfucking cows did this, and the American people shouldn't let them get away with it. Why do cows hate America?

By the way jim, fuck off.

8:22 AM  
Blogger PTCruiser said...

shrimplate is right. We should be making ice cream from human milk. To hell with those cows.

8:49 PM  
Blogger dave™© said...

Jeez, Spocko - that's SERLING!

11:48 PM  
Blogger who said...

nice site

9:08 AM  
Blogger who said...

nice work done.keep it up!!!

10:19 AM  

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