Circuit City Fires Most Talented

That’s right, kids. If you work hard and become successful, that will make you a liability at some companies, and get you fired.

Circuit City said yesterday that it had fired 3,400 of its highest-paid sales staff and will replace them with lower-paid workers, a risky strategy to cut costs that goes beyond the layoffs, buyouts and hiring freezes commonly used by struggling companies.

The fired workers will receive severance packages and a chance to apply for lower-paying positions after a 10-week delay, said the 655-store electronics chain based in Richmond, Va.

And now Circuit city wants its remaining workers to be good loyal workers…


Politics is Wrestling and Vice-Versa

Someone points out that professional wrestling and U.S. politics are just about exactly alike.

The time has come to admit to ourselves that young America’s polite indifference towards partisan politics and the wrestling industry stems from the uncomfortable but increasingly undeniable fact that the two have grown indistinguishable from one another.

Skeptical? Then dig, if you will, the picture: A pair of unconvincing actors square off in a heated debate, reading from clumsy, cliché-filled scripts, only pretending to disagree, while everyone in the audience knows who’s going to win ahead of time. Now riddle me this: have I just described two wrestlers, or two politicians?

There’s your upbeat thought for the day.

Thinking in Circles

Reading this story on Mary Douglas’s book Thinking in Circles: An Essay on Ring Composition brought to mind the book I’m reading now: Divine Days.

The feeling is familiar. You are listening to a piece of music, and nothing links one moment with the next. Sounds seem to emerge without purpose from some unmapped realm, neither connecting to what came before nor anticipating anything after. The same thing can happen while reading. Passages accumulate like tedious entries in an exercise book. Chaos, disorder, clumsiness, disarray: these must be the marks of poor construction or, perhaps, of deliberate provocation.

In a strange way, though, the very same sensations might also be marks of our own perceptual failures. Perhaps the order behind the sounds is simply not being heard; perhaps the logic of the argument is not being understood. Paying attention to anything alien can be like listening to a foreign language. There may be logic latent in the sounds, but it is not evident to untrained ears.

Leon Forrest uses a style in Divine Days (though not as seemingly chaotic as some of the texts referred to in the article) that starts, stops, backtracks, jumps ahead, then back again, turns, and doubles-back, all in an attempt to capture the narrator Joubert Jones’ thoughts and experiences at a given moment in the novel. It’s an attempt to mix history, rumor, and feeling all at once in every moment over the period of seven days in 1966. The effect can be dizzying and overwhelming at times. Though never boring and always engaging.

Save the Wild UP Video Challenge

The group Save the Wild UP, who has been leading the fight against sulfide mining up there (and specifically against the Kennecott mine), is running a contest.

Save the Wild UP is challenging you to make a video that shows why Michigan must protect its rivers, lakes and streams. We’ll all vote on the best and the winners will receive all kinds of prizes, including $2500 in cash for the Grand Prize winner. And maybe somewhere in here, we might find a legacy to pass along to our children that makes them happy and healthy.

You can read all the details here.

I will not be entering as I have no talent whatsoever with putting together videos of any kind. I also can’t sing, either. C’est la vie.

Meeting? What Meeting?

Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop is a no-show for a meeting with Granholm to discuss the budget.

Granholm said Bishop told her his schedule was too busy Monday to meet. In a letter to him Friday, she called for a meeting with legislative leaders for 10 a.m. today.

Other liberal blogs have commented on this here and here. I can’t get myself too worked up over what is obviously a tactic designed to make the Governor look weak and without leverage. But he is not the only legislative leader not present at the meeting. Speaker Dillon “was on his way to Lansing, Granholm said.”

That’s par for the course for the Democratic Speaker of the House. When he’s not telling everyone who will listen that he doesn’t have the votes for a 2% service tax, he’s begging Comerica to not move their headquarters to Texas. All of which has shown the non-entity that Speaker Dillon is in this game of Budget Chicken between Governor Granholm and Senator Bishop. By non-entity I mean exactly that. Speaker Dillon, by his inaction on the budget in the House, makes you wonder who’s really leading the House. Right now, it appears Senator Mike Bishop has more influence over the House than the actual Speaker of the House.

So of course Senator Bishop doesn’t have time for the meeting with the Governor today. He’s probably being fitted for a new suit to wear to the budget meeting he will eventually have with Granholm; a special monogrammed victory suit. People with power can afford to make others wait for them while they do even the most ridiculous things. People on the defensive rush around to events, doing things, making proclamations, all in an effort to look earnest and by all means not defensive. Senator Bishop is signaling to everyone who’s watching this budget debacle that he can afford to wait one more day than the Governor to sit down and hammer out a budget.

That tells you all you need to know about who has won this legislative battle over “cuts only” versus a “mix” of cuts, tax increases, and tax decreases.

What this means for the voters of Michigan will only be seen when the impact of the budget by Mike Bishop and the Republican Party is felt by everyone. Because, make no mistake, it sure looks like it will be a Republican budget.

Let’s hope it’s not too painful.