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Those Unfortunate Men In The Land Of The Free

By       Message Mark Sashine     Permalink
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I recently quoted the above statement by   Israel Shamir   to an   acquaintance of mine, a middle- aged man.     The reaction was unbelievable. I was expecting a mere chuckle, maybe something like, "Who cares." Instead the guy got    angry and demanded   to know who   Israel Shamir was.   He   even   said that   only a covert terrorist could   say something like that. I told him that    Shamir was an internationally known writer, a Jewish- Christian, rather controversial but certainly not a terrorist.   The man   got confused and said that   he felt deeply insulted.   Why, I wondered.    I am pretty sure   he would   not react at all if I quoted   Shamir saying   something caustic about, say, French as people or only about French men.   In fact, a real Frenchman, if    hearing something like that would just   laugh or    add   that looking around in fear   was a   24-hours -- a- day job anyway and   would not leave time for the   accompanying   mutual satisfaction.   Humorous attitude      towards thyself is a sign of   a     mature character.   Anger and vehemence on the other side"


I remember   when I was a child they were showing in the former Soviet Union a great   American movie   Those Magnificent Men   In Their Flying Machines. All the boys from my apartment project watched     that one.   In that movie men were truly magnificent: skilful, good- looking, good- humored, full of valor and self- confidence. They were all engaged in a meaningful activity of making flying vehicles and   testing   them.

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Meaningful activity is the word of the     time.   How many men in our country can boast a meaningful occupation; a day full of challenging and creative   work?   Not   a lot.   We are not paid for the meaningful   results   anymore. We are paid for satisfaction.


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I watch Morning Joe frequently.    There are usually 4-5 men (lead by the patented Moronic   Joe) and one woman. The woman usually does not talk at all.   Men, on   the other hand, talk all the time. I   took the liberty to    line up the    trends in their relentless talking and   found out   the predictable: they used the same   limited vocabulary while commenting on the other people's talking. This can be   called   talking   risen to the   power of two ( or in this case- to the power of 5). They talk for living.   Their salaries are hefty and they emanate visible self- confidence. But are they men?


Most of the stuff they say is nonsense.   The stuff they discuss is also nonsense. There are absolutely no tangible results coming from   their activity. Whoever could endure their written articles   and   their books (God forbid from buying those) will find out   the perpetuity of cliche's over and   over again.   The obvious conclusion is that they are paid for a freak show. Their visible nervousness   in   maintaining control of their talk confirms that; everything but   sense is allowed. They know the drill; they are not in charge of anything   because   there is nothing;   if   tomorrow the Morning Joe show   is cancelled nobody will notice and the only   consequence will be the subsequent   firing of   their assistants. We are dealing with   five unfortunate men.  


As a practicing engineer I watch closely the engineering market,   peruse   classifieds regularly, keep my resume   updated and   stick my nose into the hiring practices.   Through 22 years of engineering experience   in this country here's what I had discovered:


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-           the quality of   engineering classifieds had eroded gradually and   significantly;

-           there is less and less specifics and   more and more   generalities.

-           One type   of classifieds had become extinct- the one   that asks for the people   who solve problems.   There   are   apparently   no problems left to solve.

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The writer is 57 years old, semi- retired engineer, PhD, PE, CEM. I write fiction on a regular basis and I am also 10 years on OEN.

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