Tuesday, August 24, 2004

 

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

You know it's going to be an interesting week when Alice Cooper slams Broooooce and The Merry Band Of Idiots trying to influence the election. I've seen Broooooce about a dozen times over the years, but the last time, something changed. First time I saw him, the concert was a total rock and roll celebration, and even though there was a lot of stadium shtick on the '85 tour (bringing out the whiteboard with the map of Mesopotamia was hilarious though...) it was still a fantastic show. But the last time? (1999 at the Meadowlands, if you're curious) The show had a very down tone to it, where "Thunder Road" used to be this magic celebration of Friday night on the shore, it was this lonely, lonesome downer with a subtext of a wasted life. "Born To Run" was lifeless, and the closer "If I Should Fall Behind" was so freaking maudlin I couldn't wait to get my butt out of there and try to beat the traffic out. People were there to celebrate life, the Tilt-A-Whirl on the boardwalk, and the joys of turning off the work week on Friday night. Instead, we got a preachy show (with absolutely horrendous sound, I might add; you could barely hear Roy and Danny, and the kick drum was turned up to the point of overshadowing the whole mix), no "Twist and Shout", "Raise Your Hand" or "Knock On Wood" at the end to let everyone dance out of there. As to Bruce's personal motivations, I care not to speculate, perhaps it's guilt at his own avoidance of Vietnam, or sheer venom. For someone who purports to champion the little guy he's awfully dismissive of them (I would strongly suggest that before the next time he plays "41 Shots" he take a walk around Elder and Boynton Avenues in the South Bronx and see what the cops are up against). Like I've said before, separate the artist from the art, but it'll be a while before I shell out to see him again. Lose the maudlin politicizing, and just rock, dammit; I'm paying for you to entertain, not lecture me.

On the corporate idiocy side, consider the latest flavor of the month (vis-a-vis TCO), Total Cost of Services. Undoubtedly there will be many large engagements where large consulting firms (especially including my own) will come up with metrics, dashboards and all of the other management ephemera designed to implement a methodology to calculate TCS. The logical consequence of which is that any such engagement to perform such services will be evaluated using the deployed methodology, or worse, the payment will be contingent upon a certain amount of savings or synergies to be generated (cut the budget by $X, or don't get paid, to put it bluntly). Needless to say there are methods for calculating intangible value generated by various means that will negate large portions of any cost rationalization effort. The net result of this will be the Mickey Mouse approach to cost savings, cutting per diems, preferred vendors, and generally inflicting misery on road warriors who know the assistant managers at hotels better than their next-door neighbors. Memo to champions of this approach - bandwidth is cheap. Eliminate travel altogether unless absolutely necessary. Of course, your buddies at the airlines and hotels who depend on the business traveler will scream bloody murder.....

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