Thursday, July 27, 2006

Value in America

Having spent a lifetime in a profession of which the public demanded perfection (although perfection was never possible), and seeing colleagues sued for malpractice when there was none (be clear, I have testified against doctors in malpractice cases, it is just that expectations, such as always having a perfect baby, run high...did I just digress?), I have come to hold a cynical view of the performances of others.

Considering that I never ran a money-mill practice, I cannot concieve of a baseball player who only hits 400 getting a million or more dollars a year. If I was expected to always be right for a hell of a lot less dough, those bozos who make their living mostly sitting and scratching, should bat just about 1000 year after year. What the hell kind of world pays so much for a performer who is successful less than half the time?

I remember when we could buy a car on a handshank, and there was never even the possibility of one of the parties reniging on their promise. But most of all, I remember--and miss--good old Amercan craftsmanship.

I grew up on the west side of Milwaukee where the houses had real plaster and fine hardwoods (these were your average duplexes, not mansions). Wood joinery was done to perfection, and you could see that some man used his hands, skill and integrity to make it that way. And, he did so, not just to collect his paycheck, but because ofhis work ethic and pride. Too few of those kind seem to around. Yet, those houses on the west side are in as good shape as they were 50 years ago.

And (aha, he gets to the point of this irrational angst), I remember when stuff worked. Back in the day, Made in Japan/China meant it was crap. Now we buy an American auto with our fingers crossed in the hope that the line workers really tightened all that stuff that is hidden under all that plastic (or we worry, was it built by a guy who bats 400?).

But times have changed. So, when Blogspot, who graciously and for free hosts this site, craps out and fails to upload some pictures (after uploading one), I get frustrated. I expect it to work. I can, in seconds, run a wire from the artery in your groin, up your descending aorta, back across your aortic arch, down into your left coronary artery and out the diagnal brance in about a minute. At that point you will have the expectation that I will push the wire through the clot causing your chest pain, run a deflated balloon over the wire and crush open the artery you have spent a life time clogging with good old American cuisine! And, if you knew I could do it only a third or even two-thirds of the time, you wouldn't hire me in the first place (let alone spend $25 on a ticket to sit and watch me do it).

That's why you all are getting this rant instead of the hightly philosophical and valuable piece on rituals. You would have loved it.

Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to make a cup of coffee which I generally can do with a success rate of 98+%. Just call me an old time craftsman.

and...Paddle safe.



JohnB said...

Have a nice day Dick!

Richard said...

Wow, quite the roller coaster ride the last three posts have been.

Silbs said...

Thanks for noticing

psonica said...

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