The New Paradigm

Time. The magazine. Hair growth. Dust bunnies. It was all a time thing.

Time. Good times. For better. For worse. I had fear shopping for food. The worst was coming. Fear of rising prices. Since I was categorized as in the wealthiest class of the upper 10% on earth, what was it like in the 3rd world? I felt authentic fear of prices in the supermarket the other night.

The weather. Hot. Cold. Diminishing daylight. Cold would be coming soon.

I was in denial— not looking. At my life. It was about a job change. I did not want to change. But the market was forcing it. Hunger drove people.

Mark Halperin was here last night. I listened to him speak about the state of the media, and campaign 2008. He cited surveys about the interest in the young in current events. They expressed surface interest. Yet these were the non-readers of the news. The indifference of youth was not new, to the news. But it now was making a financial impact.

In the crowd, I saw a priest, who administered to the sick. Quite intimately in my family. He had buried my grandfather, in his first act as a new pastor. And then my father. Time.

My time. The years that I was alive. We spoke briefly about James Patrick Shannon’s autobiography, entitled Reluctant Dissenter . His name was in the book, since he accompanied Shannon to Rome to participate in Vatican II. He was one of the youngest clerics in Rome. Serving as the bishop’s secretary, he said he never saw much of the light of day in more than 2 months.

Time. A Pastor. Now retired. He was in listening to Mark Halperin too. And speaking about Vatican II, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops had now announced they were turning back the clock to pre-1965, with the language of the Catholic Mass, come 2011. Time.

To talk about God, amongst the non-believers. McCain, Obama had to feel uncomfortable. So how did the candidates feel, to address religion and politics. Together. Time, the magazine. Halperin worked for them. He covered these guys.

A sense of humility. Life was about sharing intimacy to a different degrees, with those who knew me. I was being asked by a friend what my blog website was. I was writing these time pieces, but did I really want someone I knew to read this stuff? I had a sense of the humble, within. To discuss what I had seen, made me feel humble, in the secular world, when it included allusion to God. I was uncomfortable to talk about God with people I knew.

Listening to Mark Halperin, he cited the remaining 7 news organizations in the world. The financial success of the organization would determine what they could cover in the future. Local organization did not have the financial strength. To cover, to explain what was happening. In a changing world.

Listening to Mark Halperin, I thought of the indifference of youth. Indifference to the news, to religion, to God? (See “Guys with Miters.”) The world had changed. Kids had grown up in the 401K world, the era of leveraged buyouts, hedge funds. When financial success determined too much. Leadership had been from afar all of their lives, with corporations and even church leaders coming from places far away, sent like in the days of the British Raj, as the Brits tried to rule India.

In a changing world, we would all become indifferent with this kind of leadership model. The indifferent model, not looking. At the invasive technology, collecting vast amounts of information. THIS was the new paradigm that was destroying institutions. We had lost the local leader, who could make a difference here. There no longer was the local guy/gal who could identify with the world, with us and all of our problems, to spend some coins to stay afresh. Instead with their leveraged buy-outs, the corporate raiders of the 1980s had displaced the loyal CEO who employees knew and identified with. How the world had changed. In 1982, the average CEO made 42 times more than more than the average worker. In 1990, CEOs made about 107 times more than the average worker. In 2001, the ratio of CEO compensation to the average pay of a production (i.e., non-management) worker pay hit a peak of 525-to-1. According to “Executive Excess,” an annual report released by a liberal research groups United for a Fair Economy and the Institute for Policy Studies, in 2004, the ratio of average CEO pay to the was 431-to-1. We had reached the point where the chief executive of a Standard & Poor’s 500 company made on average $14.2 million in total compensation in 2007.

This was the world that did not appeal to the young. Indifferent, they did not buy the paper. It never had been locally owned anyway, in their lifetime. The newspaper was like a stranger starving in a 3rd world country. And most of us went about our daily life not conscious of their plight. I did not seem to be made in he image of the homeless. And nobody gawked at the problems of the newspapers.

This sense of belonging: In New York, the Mets acquired a relief pitcher from the Washington Nationals this week. Luis Ayala said that coming into this Mets’ clubhouse Monday reminded him of his first day in the major leagues when he first wore a Montreal Expos uniform. He had played with 5 of these guys before. It was all about a sense of belonging. Of identity. He broke into baseball with Montreal in 2003 and major league baseball purchased the team and moved the Expos to Washington in 2005. He had just gone from worst to first. In an era when baseball was now managed by MBAs and Ivy leaguers. With less loyalties and greater salaries. This pitcher was reflecting the new paradigm of the baseball world which followed leveraged buyouts. Where the performers were paid sums which averaged more than $2 million per year. Even Luis Ayala. Because the current owners somehow saw their own self-image in these ballplayers. Those CEOs who lived in their own fantasy camps.

Deciding to gawk or not wanting to look? Looking around for the familiar, when your CEO hadd not grown up within your company. And there was a misssing personal identity that seemed to affect elections and the funding of elections. Yes, a magazine, a newspaper offered a good story, often by good writers. The indifferent choose not to look at the world. Not too closely. So in this new world order with gigabyte speed, as more and more of us live in a paper-less (if not quite paperless) world, there would be less gawking, less delays. Where no one had time to look too closely. The new paradigm, about ourselves, was all about the loss of identity. As those in authority had all the technology to engage in covert round-the-clock surveillance through cellphones and global positioning systems. Over an extended period of time.

Identity theft. For the young who had hair, there was a need to do something with it. And there would always be,with this time thing, a need for haircuts. I now needed one, in order to still be identified by those who knew me.

Hair. Dust bunnies. A civil world, with no paper trail. A world with less caring. A lost sense of place. A lost sense of belonging to a bigger world. The unrecognized loss of liberty. And no local paper.

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