Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
I might have complained about those four words before. It’s almost certain that I did, because I was impressed that about half the lines spoken by the bad guys in Atlas Shrugged begin with those four words — and the message is crystal clear. Apart from this other message that socialism tends to feed off the misery that it creates, we see there is this tendency we have to justify shitty decisions with some variant of that old cliche. What I mean by “shitty” is indefensible; ideas that have to have some glittery decoration to distract from the fact that they’re just plain stupid.
And usually it’s socialism. You might say “In times like these, we have to pull together and nobody can make a profit providing a service so essential to the rest of us.” You would not say “Because it’s Tuesday and my butt itches, we have to pull together and nobody can make a profit providing this service.” With the latter, even a flaccid mind would immediately recognize — duh, hey wait a minute…if the service is so essential, how do we make sure it continues to be provided if nobody can make a profit providing it? But “In times like these” goes over like Free Ice Cream night in Hell. Why yes! That makes perfect sense!
But it isn’t confined to socialism. All stupid ideas benefit from the “Times Like These” cliche. It’s like covering a turd in a chocolate-crusty coating.
I went in to a certain financial institution to discuss an interesting letter I’d received from them. The letter pretended to be sent from a collection agency…which I thought was interesting, because my payment record is perfect. First thing the bank guy said was “Well to get a letter like this, you have to be way behind on something…like three months or something.” This I found to be reasonable, and it was my first impression. But the payment record is there. The phone calls are coming in from their account manager to please take out this-or-that credit card and go further in debt, because someone in there has figured out it’s profitable to be doing business with me. I’m invoiced on this every thirty days, and there are no past-due amounts, no late charges, nothing of the kind. So he got on the phone to figure out what’s going on…
What followed was an extended conversation between him and the voice on the other end, as he apparently got an education about the new process. Then he got that look on his face, like he had to explain something exquisitely embarrassing. And explain he did.
“With the economy the way it is now,” he started out…and I realized what was coming next was going to be boneheaded. “What they’ve started to do a few months ago is send out these letters as soon as a payment is two days past its due date.” Apparently this was earlier in the year, and I hadn’t realized it because my payments were on time, like they’re supposed to be. “The idea is…and the lady I’ve been talking to, she wouldn’t want me to use the word ‘scare,’ but that’s pretty much what it is, the letters are supposed to scare people into bringing those payments in because the home office is starting to get worried when payments are late even by a day or two.”
“I have a suggestion for your home office,” I said, and the banker smiled and winced a little, knowing full well what was coming. “Confine this unorthodox and surreal debt management practice to those accounts that have payment records suggesting such a thing might be necessary.” Unless, of course, those customers with perfect payment histories among the ones scaring that poor little home office and making it so upset…suggesting, in my mind, that someone is in a business that they shouldn’t be in.
I’m looking for a way to roll this thing over and give the business to another lender. I have a special dislike for being treated like a crappy customer when I’ve been a good one. Especially when it comes to debt. I look at it like…when you’re a good customer and you’re being treated like a bad customer, what that really means is that the lender in question will not be treating anyone like a good customer. Which means they’re a bottom-feeder. That means if you have the means to deal with someone else, you really should, just because life’s too short. And it will bite you in the ass. Soon. It’s kind of like parking a nice new BMW convertible overnight at Broadway and Stockton Boulevard.
I got a feeling I’m going to get these folks paid off right quick, one way or t’other. This business relationship needs to get canceled somehow. When a wife wants to be single and doesn’t know it, you give her what she wants. When you have someone working for you who would rather be unemployed and they don’t know it, you give him what he wants. The same goes for a bank that doesn’t really want anyone to be in debt to it. They just don’t want to be in business, and they don’t know it.
But the pattern continues. Whatever comes after “In Times Like These” is a staggeringly stupid idea, one that could be justified, even cosmetically, in no other way. If it made sense nobody would be prefacing it with those words.
And with the economy the way it is, in times like these, I’m hearing that phrase more and more lately. There’s a stupid idea behind each use of it. We’re being buried in an avalanche of candy-coated turds.
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