Dumball Rally

Being a critic might seem the easiest form of artistic commentary, but the very act of transforming yourself into a critic can alter your perception and turn you into a walking complaint machine that can’t do anything but criticize. In order to create, one must imagine things that don’t exist… but which might, or could. Being a critic— of movies, of art, or any other such endeavor— involves studying instances of that creation and subjectively dissecting them to expose perceived faults (should there be any). It’s an ugly, cynical process. The very act of repeated criticism, over a long-enough time, can impair a critic’s ability to relax and simply enjoy any creative work without analyzing it.

This website was designed as an outlet where a few disgruntled commentators could call attention to the nasty underside beneath the shiny veneer of the modern business world, exposing corrupt and nonsensical practices which have become commonplace in corporate work settings. We never set our sights on companies that consistently maintained a fair and beneficial work environment among the rank and file employees— our target was impersonal, illogical, seemingly psychotic businesses that enact abusive policies against their own workers, or that otherwise misuse their corporate authority.

We soon discovered that such abuse is rampant; its greasy tendrils extend from the lowest sweat-shop high into the ivory towers of the mightiest industrial giants. It’s also intertwined with government malfeasance and incompetence, which exacerbates every problem. We’ve been forced to the conclusion that almost EVERYONE involved in the American business landscape is being screwed over, and meticulously squeezed for money, by an impregnable plutocratic corporate aristocracy. Wow… who knew?

The modern corporate model— based as it is on the modern economic model—has only one strategy: growth. More profit at all cost. Corporations seldom accept less profit in order to improve infrastructure or give back to their communities or workers. “What the market will bear” has become the rule of “do whatever you can get away with, and stack the deck so you can get away with more and more.” Business can be either cooperative or competitive, but the strictly-competitive model has triumphed as megacorporations practice short-sighted scorched-earth tactics trying to be the king of the hill.

I’m familiar with a cynical business saying: “Companies want rich customers, and poor employees.” But in the age of Walmart, any given company’s “customers” and “employees” are now THE EXACT SAME PEOPLE. And they are ALL being bled dry to feed the corporate money machine.

Corporate malfeasance? We can’t EVER write enough blog material to adequately cover that topic. We’d have to write about everything, because it’s all tied up together, with the WORST corporations operating like a labyrinthine pit of obsessed mud-wrestlers, eternally scratching and clawing, fighting for a few cents here and there, while keeping everyone constantly up to their eyebrows in filthy ooze.

So… when writing for The Grype, one slowly starts to lose the ability to relax and live life without constantly looking for faults to critique. It becomes increasingly difficult to keep your worldview from growing ever more myopic, until the only thing one sees when walking the streets is cracks in the pavement upon which to comment. And believe you me, there are PLENTY of cracks, if one tunes out the good news and focuses only on instances of blatant douchebaggery.

And now our corporate overlords are fighting back against blogs like this one. I’m told an unscrupulous scribe can now make decent money as a professional “internet political issue whiner,” getting paid by corporate marketing agencies to bomb science sites with groundless pseudoscience, or to clog political sites with phony policy arguments intended to confuse certain issues that the big companies want obfuscated and hidden. Counter-intelligence is being seeded in the public forum by agent provocateurs disguised as bloggers and commentators. Because OF COURSE IT IS. This is America. The spice must flow. And the moneymakers will always find a way to defend themselves from nasty little incursions by the truth.

But most importantly: has anyone else noticed that the Hallmark ornaments mass-manufactured for Walmart in China are WAY cheaper and shittier than the ones formerly sold in actual Hallmark outlets? Yes, it’s come to this. I suppose the “hallmark” of Hallmark isn’t worth as much these days.

FYI: Three years is a long time to wade around in such depressing corporate muck. It may be time for a few fixes around here; a dab of paint, a change of furniture— maybe some new curtains.

Annual hiatus— here we come!