Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Some tips for the simpletons at Forbes magazine

A fool and tool named Richard Finger has penned this for Forbes:

My philosophies may be diametrically opposed to those of the simpletons in the Occupy Wall Street movement, but when it comes to the banks and the government, my anger makes me kindred with them.
I realized this on a recent cool, crisp October morning in Houston. With summer’s gross heat and humidity gone, the weather is finally ripe for complaining. It’s hard for me to remember the last time I attended a rally or demonstration either as observer or participant.  “Occupy Houston” had arrived in Texas. Approaching the JP Morgan Chase building, the tallest in Houston, I heard the chants: “We want jobs, we want jobs.”  The chants morphed seamlessly into: “Corporate greed has got to go.”  The crowd really got lathered up on this one.
An amusing and (previous to me) noted irony is with all the railing and carping over corporate evils, it was hard to miss the Apple I-phones and I-pads. Certainly present were also phones powered by Google’s android system. The Nike swoosh was prevalent. I can only guess the number of these corporation bashers who own Microsoft products. I even saw that elitist Ralph Lauren logo. Hard to know which nefarious corporation makes the cardboard for all those signs, but it is most certainly a big bad one that probably employs a whole lot of people. If they buy “green” electricity, (assuming they purchase any at all), which any demonstrator with an ounce of self-righteousness would, there’s a real good chance they are supporting one of the biggest and “baddest” of them all, wind turbine manufacturer General Electric. Carefully ignored by these do-gooders is the confluence of grand creativity, greed, and billions in profits and millions of jobs these profits and cupidity have created.
How many things are wrong with this passage, class? First, and obviously, there is the abusive  ad hominen  'simpletons'  meant to poison the well at the get-go (and bonus points for you if you caught me doing the same thing by calling Finger a 'fool and tool, and are able to construct a paragraph pointing to the irony). Second, Finger systematically confuses Wall Street with industrial products, such as i-phones, branded clothing and the like. Hello, Mr. Finger, Wall Street makes money only by financial speculation. Microsoft, General Electric, and Apple make products. Do you understand the difference?  If you don't, irony and much jolly hilarity ensues. If you do, we discern attempts at cynical manipulation of your audience. Which do you prefer, Richard? Or may I call you Dick? Third, let's give credit to Finger for his creative embedding of ad popupum appeals throughout his piece, ridiculing the OWS crowd. Finally, and after you have already submitted your exams, let's give an appropriate salute to Mr. Finger for managing to get someone at Forbes to agree to publish this.

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