Kastration & Kontrol

   They have cut the balls off of our economy. Not only that, they have decided, that for the most part, men are no longer neccesary. Let me explain, and let me get personal.

    I am a skilled male worker. I have an insurance license in my state, along with a public notary license. In addition, I have a diploma in computer/IT technology. I have also devoted most of my adult life to music, both as an instrumentalist and a composer. You would think that these skills would qualify me for some meaningful work in our society. But they do not. And, as I am just past the half-century mark in terms of age, I have another strike against me.

    Now what I am about to relate may sound like sour grapes, and if it is, then my grapes have gone bad.

    Because of the current 'downturn' in our economy, I found myself to be one of the 'under-employed'. We do not get listed in any statistical analysis computed by the government. But, there are millions of us out here.

    For the past 6 months I have placed almost 100 applications with various corporations, banks, staffing services in search of a reasonably paying job. The result? Nothing. Now there are some reasons for this.

   Most job applications nowadays have to be done 'online'. This means that you do not speak to another human being who can meet and evaluate you. All you get is a computer-generated message saying 'Thank You for applying, and we will review your qualifications'. This is frustrating. Another thing is that most of these applications are not even processed by the 'Human Resources' department of the company that you are applying to, but by 'third party contractors' staffed by $10 workers who couldn't care less about an email from you, one of hundreds or thousands that they receive to be 'processed'. In effect, your application goes down the memory hole. But that's not all.

   I have taken the initiative to follow up some of these job applications in person, by going to local offices of the companies I have applies to, and asking to speak with the managers. Usually I can actually speak to a manager or 'person in charge' because of my special powers of persuasion. The response is always one of surprise, that a person looking for a job would actually take the initiative to come in and make a personal appearance. Most of these 'managers' are quite polite, and promise to 'email Human Resources' about me, testifying to my initiative and tenacity.

   But there is another aspect here: for these insurance or in some case clerical or managerial positions, it seems as if 90% of the succesful applicants are women! And it is also women who make the hiring decisions. Where are the men?...I guess men are supposed to be CEOs or high level management. But since those positions are about 1% of the 'workforce', where does that leave the rest of us? The traditional manufacturing jobs are gone, and these were the jobs that the average skilled or semi-skilled American male usually depended on for a living. Even the hi-tech positions are vanishing, with Americans being replaced by foreign workers who will work for less, and won't ask any questions. I recently discussed the computer/IT employment market with a corporate recruiter, and he told me that it would be hard for me to get work, even if I was qualified, for a number of positions that were available, because I had been working in 'another field' for the past 5 years...I assured him that my computer/IT skills were still good, and gave him a list of my work experience.He agreed with me, but then said that 'the market was funny', and told me about a recent man that he tried to place in a job with a local corporation, but who was rejected because he had 'too much experience'.The company wanted someone who was not as skilled, of course, so they could pay this person less. So, here I was presented with a contradiction: It might be hard for me because I was working in another field for the past few years, and, by the example of this man he mentioned, taht I might have too much experience. I told him that I could get any reasonable job done, and then asked him to keep my application on file. He said he would. But I am not holding out any grest hope.

   The music game is another story, which I won't go into at length here. But I will relate one tale. Last year, I applied for a composer's grant with a major Foundation in my state. I reviewed the list of composers who were given grants during the past 10 years, and over half of them were women. I reviewed their work, and found that most of the compositions that were given awards were more in the line of 'performance art' than music. I found this curious, but predictable. In applying for these type of grants, one is dealing with the 'academic mindset', which fawns over anything that could be be construed as 'radical'. But the pieces that I reviewed were in no way radical, only lacking in quality. The late Miles Davis once said, when discussing this 'academic' view of music 'White people just eat up that shit...Black people know better.'

   Anyway, we have been castrated both economically and culturally. And women are not at fault in this, as they are just human beings who want to live. Rather, it is all of us who have permitted these changes to take place, by letting our gender and economic roles be 'redesigned' by social engineering, and by losing our common sense. Now, manhood is defined by which corporate sports team you root for, and what slick sales deals for useless products you can concoct. I know I am being extreme, viewing things as I do from the viewpoint of a conservative man living in a fairly 'liberal and cosmopolitan city'. But I think that if you went to the American heartland or the South, you would find these kinds of things happening, too. Too many women in the workforce, working cheaper, and displacing men. What are men to do in this 'Battle of the Sexes'? In this 'corporate culture'? Sour grapes leave a bad taste..