Feb 7, 2006

The Scariest Guys In The Room

Man, yesterday I saw Enron: The Smartest Guys in The Room and I went to bed in such a state of outrage and anxiety that I had nightmares about Enron all night long. Yes or no: when people tell you their dreams it's always a WTF moment. You go: why exactly are you telling me this? Then you wonder if they are not certifiably insane.
Well, I had fabulous Technicolor nightmares about being trapped in an Enron compound in California. In short, a rollercoaster ride of angst triggered by one of the most abhorrent corporate crimes of all time.
I'm not surprised the documentary got an Academy Award nomination. Californians are probably still trying to get back at Enron for what it did to them, for which Ken Lay and Skilling should be slowly grilled, skewered on a spit over a huge bonfire. Not to mention the traders who were joking about the misfortunes they were creating for millions of people with the dispassion and cruelty that SS stormtroopers displayed in their brutal dealings with inferior races. What blows the mind is the acceptance of a corporate culture of such cutthroat competitiveness and unchecked greed, of absolutely no sense of human empathy or moral obligation. If you have bosses that nurture and foster such an environment, it's not surprising that people will turn into vipers, rats and vultures. They are given carte blanche by the bosses themselves. Which is why the defense that Lay and Skilling did not know what was happening is unacceptable. They created that monster and they should be made accountable. They not only gave permission to rape and plunder, they encouraged it. They both deserve unending punishment and shame.
As Sherron Watkins, the woman who blew the whistle at Ken Lay, says in the film, Enron is not an isolated incident. It is the messiest, but not by any means the only one. This is capitalism run rampant, (which is how that moron in the White House and ex best friend of Ken Lay wants it to be) and it is extremely frightening.
It happens in all kinds of companies: gross mismanagement by obscenely paid executives who are just looking to cash out and who are royally oblivious to the fate of their employees and the lives of hard work and dignity they destroy with their arrogance and their incompetence. CEO's and Who The Fuck's who are absurdly overcompensated, masters at bullshitting their way around but not much else, while their employees do all the grunt work and struggle with the bills. And then, when the shit hits the fan, workers are let go, entire groups of people demoralized if not worse, the solid reputation of a company destroyed, while these assholes are still cashing their salaries and no one holds them accountable for anything.
A feeling of revulsion in the pit of the stomach.

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