Friday, March 17, 2023

Bionic Monopolies.


I was thinking, as I so often do, about people who have worked the system so they, in effect, have a toll-booth at each end of the bridge. In other words, people who get, coming and going. And they keep getting, regardless of how others are schtupped.

This seems to be the way of the world today. Maybe it always was.

In Olde England, you were beholden to the Lord of the Manor, usually a friend of a noble of some sort. You farmed his land, paid him rent, shed blood in his wars, paid his interest, gave him droit du seigneur and died in-debt to him as your heirs and hairs were eternally be-serfed.

We seem to have that today. In a nation where many are born into debt, get further and further deeper into debt, have no healthcare, education, recreation or social mobility and die beholden to someone somewhere.

In advertising, our institutionalized "corvee" works like this: we take our low wage because our job is "cool." We do commoditized work that advances neither our clients, ourselves or our agencies because that's what's mandated. We work unpaid about 50% of our hours (while our agencies are paid) because that's how you get ahead, and we are thrown out at 40 for being too old. 

As for Bionic monopolies, here's how I understand the term, or perhaps misunderstand it.

Old time monopolists, like Frick, Schwab, Rockefeller and Carnegie, dominated markets. You went to them or you went without.

Frick, Schwab and Carnegie sold 95% of the steel in the US--but they could only sell it once. Rockefeller sold 90% of the oil--but only once. Swift and Armour, 90% of the meat--but only once.

Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Netflix, CVS, Walmart and their ilk sell you products, but own your data identity. They sell it and sell it and sell it and sell it. You and your endless stream of data are their product.

Maybe there's a backwater of an eddy for the four Holding Conpanies that control at least 70% of the jobs in the ad industry. Keep your mouth shut and your head down or you'll never work in this town again.

Here's a bit from The Nation, I'll admit, a liberal journal. Nevertheless, here are some facts. Not sure what you and I can do about any of this (even though not long ago ad agencies were proclaiming 'the consumer is in control') but it might make sense to at least know you're being fucked coming and going when you're being fucked coming and going.

Usually on Friday, I try to write something funny. A reward of sorts to thank my readers and to give them something fun for making it through the week.

This Friday, I blew it. 

I don't have a monopoly on funny.

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