The tough gets going


Steelers‘ number 33 and 34. Back to basics. One yard at a time to Super Bowl.

On the field or off it, we have to retrench and defragment. USA Today cover story features “the faces of today’s unemployed”, showing a nuclear family, sitting in the back of  the family pick-up truck, with two beautiful young daughters, a wife and a Dad who couldn’t turn to face the camera.

What have we done to ourselves?

Instead, we managed to distract ourselves with I-pod and I-pad, scrapbook and Facebook. User-generated content but not corporate-generated income.

World leaders are heading to Davos on private jets, while world factory workers take a nap on the last train home (Chinese New Year).

Instead of  having another Sputnik moment, we can barely have a picnic moment in the park, whose benches often serve as home for the homeless.

Each demographic cluster has its own “medium” of expression. In this case, card-board signs that say “anything helps”.

The longer the red light, the more time for guilt to build up (they should be in Davos street corners this week holding those card-board signs. Better donor pool).

I have noticed that:

– Star Wars and Apocalypse Now re-release (Blu Ray), the former made it as memorabilia for future generations.

– Men grooming sector surges with the rise of unemployment (first in Japan and now in the West).

– Virtual funerals, instead of “the Big Chill” reunion (In traditional China, they even hired mourners to jazz it up).

– McDonald did well during the Recession, so they can afford to raise the price, while Arby’s is up for sale.

– The life cycle of tech companies (or their CEO’s) is shortened as compared to brick-and-mortars’

– Starbucks’ new logo is not the answer to boost sales. Another bubble is.

– Facebook photos, men in long shots, while women in close-ups

– Amazon keeps plugging away, under the radar, to position itself for virtualization and cloud computing

(while letting Google, Facebook and Apple steal the headlines).

– Yahoo, AOL and My Space already look like dinosaurs from Web 1.0

– China is leading in solar panel manufacturing. This plays to their strength (very similar to India’s momentum post-Y2K).

So, we are content with old institutions e.g. Larry King Show (whose guests feel like they are on America Got Talent), Regis Show and Tonight Show while Boomers seek familiar routine and route (35 miles an hour speed limit, same channel on TV, same store for breakfast. No wonder they can afford to raise the price. No place else to go!).

Some old tricks still work, as the case with the Steelers’ that got them to the Super Bowl. Makes one wonder if we should bring back Reagan-Thatcher’s strong-handedness (whose inflationary consequences are still felt today). This time, it is going to be without Mr Stockman.

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