Thursday, March 22, 2012

THE BEATEN GENERATION: The Dick Principle (Chapter 11)

by Dick & Poli Tico

NOTE: The songs added at the end are recommended as background music while reading the chapter. They provide the proper mood, a reflective mood. Truth requires constant reflection.

I'm reediting the novel, it will be published in other sites later on after its publication here. Ebook files to download will be provided.

Chapter 11: The Scarecrows

The overthrow of the aristocrat has created the necessity for the Superman

George Bernard Shaw

"Les grands champions ne pensent jamais à ce qu'ils peuvent perdre, ils ne pensent qu'à ce qu'ils peuvent encore gagner."

Michael Schumacher, Formula 1 driver (obviously, he's German but I culled this from a favorite French site)

"Non sono una colomba, come invece sono stato descritto"

Giorgio Squinzi, President, Confindustria, Italy

"Ik ben geen Messi"

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Dutch soccer player playing for Schalke 04 in the German Bundesliga

January 21, 2012, 3 AM, Pacific Time, Los Angeles

Something weird was happening. A snapshot poll taken just before midnight showed only .05 % of the sample American population were watching the news. They will recheck it at 7 AM but the rate will persist. They will get the shock of their lives at noon. The rate will drop further to .01%. A look at internet news readership figures will reveal a drop of 90% in the US. The confusion will increase by daybreak because delivered newspapers will be unceremoniously thrown back to the newsboys. About a thousand newsboys will have to be hospitalized because of injuries sustained from flying newspapers.

Needless to say, nobody will buy the papers from the kiosks. Nobody will download from the online stores despite paid subscriptions. By the opening of all the bourses, all companies with shares in anti-emetic production will immediately have overbought shares. Stocks at drugstores will be depleted by daybreak. They will reappear at noon but at triple their prices.

It should be a day of big headlines. Editors had a hard time choosing the billing. The Impaled destroyer commander was already big news since yesterday afternoon. But events moved fast. Three of the biggest Hollywood leading men were found dead. The biggest action star, Rod Thompson, was found killed of self-inflicted gunshot wound in a room of the Beverly Hills Hilton (police were still determining if this was related to a clip showing him on the anal receiving end of a homosexual act which started circulating in the Internet at about the time of his death). The other two A-list actors, Charles Murphy & Arthur Dandridge, were found with shattered skulls & upper torsos, but the naked lower stump of the latter was found still impaled on the rigid sex organ barely connected to the lower stump of the former. Future historians will call the latter "The Second Impaled America Incident".

This time around, the Nebraska pastor who cried silently in front of the TV camera when pixelated videos of the impaled destroyer commandant was first broadcast, was back to his usual bombastic self and bristled explosively with outrage: "Sodom & Gomorrha! Sodom & Gomorrha! Sodom & Gomorrha!" He again cried but this time he was hysterically gesticulating & screaming, so strongly that at one point his false teeth flew. But nobody laughed. The collective outrage was so shared that to show their support, about a million dentures will be sent the next day to his church in Omaha.

The lesbian wife of Charles Murphy (screen name: Margarita Beaumont) will be irritated when called in Tahiti. She will balk at having to return immediately to LA, she was really enjoying Aikiko, but the publicist will become hysterically insistent. What will anger Margarita the most will be that she must find another beard again. Nobody among the current closet actors were big enough to match her status. Perhaps she must find a politician. A sportsman. A ballet dancer? Even she will not stoop that low.

In a stand-up comedy bar somewhere in West Hollywood later that evening, a hipster comedian will declare:"Come on, people, quit pretending to be cool. Let's call this International Day of Vomiting, ok?" Then, as if on cue, she will celebrate with her supper splattered in front of her audience. Amazingly, the fools, still dying to posture as "cool", will find that "cool" and give her a standing ovation.

Don't even ask what they will do next with their own suppers...

January 21, 2012, 3 AM, San Francisco

San Francisco was the largest city and the unchallenged financial center of the West Coast of the US as the 20th century rolled in. It was the queen of its own county, Oakland and San Jose were backwaters then (see File 1.a below), and even Los Angeles & San Diego down south were mere villages (see File 1.b).

The story was different in 2011. All the primary financial centers of the world had galloping increases in population in the past decade except for the financial center of the Western United States (see File 3). Highly surprising considering that the engine of the world economy (the Pacific area) and the center of the biggest modern industry in the world (Silicon Valley) were within its economic sphere. In fact, it lost within its own metropolitan area, which with its $400 billion GNP would be the 22nd biggest in the world were it a sovereign country. Upstart San Jose in the Silicon Valley surpassed San Francisco in population while the latter slipped to merely being the second biggest in its own namesake county and only the fourth largest in California (compare File 1.a to 1.b). More than that, it slipped down into 12th place from being the 9th most competitive financial center in the world, beaten by Boston, another US city in the East Coast which already had New York City as financial hub, two East Coast cities in the Top 11 financial centers at a time when the Atlantic economic sphere was in intensive care. All the other financial centers elsewhere in the Pacific area were booming at the seams.

Adrian Lao looked at the familiar figures which he stored in a file folder in his computer.

File 1a. Comparison of Population Growth of Cities in San Francisco County

Year - SFrancisco - San Jose - Oakland

1900 - 342,782 - 21,500 - 66,960

1960 - 740,316 - 204,196 - 367,548

1970 - 715,674 - 459,913 - 361,561

1980 - 678,974 - 629,442 - 339,337

1990 - 723,959 - 782,248 - 372,242

2000 - 776,733 - 894,943 - 399,484

2010 - 805,235 - 945,942 - 390,724

File 1b. Population Growth in San Francisco compared with the two biggest California cities (Note: San Francisco was the biggest city in 1900 but it is now the fourth biggest, behind Los Angeles, San Diego & San Jose)

Year - Los Angeles - San Diego

1900 - 102,479 - 17,700

1960 - 2,479,015 - 573,224

1970 - 2,816,061 - 696,769

1980 - 2,966,850 - 875,538

1990 - 3,485,398 - 1,110,549

2000 - 3,694,820 - 1,223,400

2010 - 3,792,621 - 1,307,402

*The Los Angeles metropolitan area has approximately 18,000,000 people while the San Francisco Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which includes San Jose & Oakland, has approximately only 7,400,000. The latter has a per capita income of $34,556 while the former has only $13,239 but it was attracting more people. San Jose, 45 miles from downtown San Francisco, is the second richest city per capita income in the US, next to New York City.

File 2. Global Financial Centers Index (2011), Ranking

1. London

2. New York

3. Hongkong

4. Singapore

5. Tokyo

6. Zurich

7. Chicago

8. Shanghai

9. Seoul

10. Toronto

11. Boston

12. San Francisco

File 3. Comparison of the Population Growth of the Major Pacific Financial Centers (excluding their sorrounding Combined Statistical Areas, in short, only the city)

City - 1900 - 2000 - 2010

Shanghai - 1,000,000 - 16,410,000 - 22,210,000

Tokyo - 1,497,000 - 12,064,101 - 13,160,000

HongKong - 809,000 - 6,900,000 - 7,097,000

Seoul - 201,000 - 9,895,000 - 10,464,051

Singapore - 220,000 - 4,030,000 - 5,080,000

San Francisco - 342,782 - 776,733 - 805,235

*San Francisco was larger than Seoul & Singapore in 1900. Singapore is a city-state, and 40% of its workforce are foreigners. Tokyo metropolitan area has approximately 35,000,000 population and income of $1.439 trillion, the largest in the world.

So how could a progressive city with a spectacular geographical location, excellent physical and educational infrastructures, modern financial infrastructure (with more than 40 big financial institutions), high income, supposedly "sophisticated" liberal culture, be not growing as explosively like its less compensated peers at a time of exploding growth in its local and international economic spheres?

It started to decline in population from the 1960's, dipping for nearly three decades up to the late 1980's. Curiously just about the time when the Hippies and the other "dubious" elements started descending on the city. It restarted paltry increments only in the 1990's but Los Angeles had already grown nearly five times larger than it by then, and San Diego had self-multiplied nearly a hundred-fold from the village of 17,000 in1900. Even the contiguous area very near the center, Oakland, actually kept in step with the 3-decade decline of the central city, had a short spurt in the 1990's but back to negative growth again in the last decade. More surprising was that the periphery of the metropolitan area's population was actually exploding. Even before the IT revolution, by 1990, San Jose 45 miles away already had a bigger population than San Francisco itself. What was in the center of San Francisco, one of the most spectacular locations in the world, that was forcing people to stay away?

Adrian repeated the questions echoing in his mind... why were people not running to live in San Francisco if it had a high income, beautiful location, highly-educated people, growth industries, modern infrastructures, competitive land prices? Crime was not as problematic as in other cities in the US. Limitations of area didn't explain the decades of shrinking population at a time when its social fabric was molting. Why was a very attractive city not attracting as many residents like the other progressive Pacific financial cities? Was there something in San Francisco's fabric that was poisoning its magic? Asians? There were Asians in LA (plus all the Pacific financial centers were bursting so people from all over the world wanted to deal with Asians). Latinos? There were more Latinos in LA.

There is something spooky there...

How many investments & jobs have been lost because they were discouraged by something into setting up shop in San Francisco?

Adrian Lao's father had to transfer his family as far away from the San Francisco downtown that a daily commute could still be possible. He had a good job as a regional manager of the San Francisco office of a big German bank. But he didn't want his family to grow with what he thought were the "abnormals" of the city. He identified as liberal but he was not a sucker to the prevailing pretension made fashionable by the stragglers in the downtown area after the migration of more sensible folks to the suburbs. America became a champion because it rewarded the best. Look where it found itself now that all these intellectually dishonest theoretical mambo-jumbos had become in vogue. He thought of progress as the accumulation of the best, not the mere tolerance of rejects from somewhere else.

He thought that what was wrong with American democracy was that being liberal was reduced to just being opposite from the other side. That could mean finding yourself with a scarecrow for a companion in the trenches. Just as harrowing, political urgency could be lamentably conjured for the most delusional pretension. Who would be fool enough to pretend he's sophisticated just by his ability to tolerate the scum which were degrading his city? Who cared to be a pretentious Superman with a selective kaleidoscopic perception and a missing vomit reflex?

Adrian himself was tired of hearing that San Francisco was forward-looking for accommodating all these "abnormals". To Adrian, it's their way of saying "We may be abnormal but you're only Asians so shut up!" He considered it a slap to Asians which make up nearly a third of the county population. He remembered his speech a while ago to the youth section of the Asia Society-San Francisco branch:..."Asians, hipsters, fags & closets. The last remaining holdouts in San Francisco. For too long, all the dumps of America came to our city because they thought the pushover Asians won't dare squeak. Go, all the abnormals of America, go to San Francisco, there are only Asians there. They are too dumb to bother you. Run roughshod over them & they won't even notice it. Are we supposed to shout with pride we are only fit to coexist with these abnormals? We have been insulted for too long, my friends...Well, not for long. Asia is rising. We need to reclaim the San Francisco fit for self-respecting Asians!"

He could see that the coming tidal wave of Asian wealth will eventually sweep all these "abnormals" out from San Francisco. The city should be the natural receptacle for Pacific investments, as it has been in the past century, but its poisoned social configuration, at a time when its Pacific neighborhood was booming, was discouraging the influx of quality people & great wealth. It was to the disadvantage of San Francisco to pretend it was a cutting-edge city if scarecrows would continue to be its face. Putting up with the unfortunate status quo would only ensure a continuing slide down to irrelevance.

But even before then, he could start triggering the cleansing process for the eventual renewal.

He knew Rod Thompson would kill himself. Rod Thompson grew up in San Francisco. He was an unstable drug addict working as a hustler for homosexual men in his teens. Rod had several suicide attempts before he even reached twenty. Plus he had a secret which Adrian accidentally discovered. Rod's true love had been living in San Francisco all along while the actor built his career and family in Hollywood. He had to sneak in to visit his love regularly. It was on those visits that Adrian learned the truth.

Just as soon as he heard the confirmation of the death of Rod, Adrian sent the signal to a contact in Uzbekistan who immediately uploaded the video to the Internet.

At daybreak, he will learn that his transexual uncle will jump from the tallest building in Castro to his death on the cold street below. Adrian remembered the words of Rod to his uncle as he listened from the door of his uncle's apartment:" You're the only man that I will ever love. I promise I'll kill myself if ever you see me making love with another man." Then he heard the two make a death compact.

January 21, 2012, 3 AM, Beverly Hills

Tony promised himself this would be the last time. He was now in his thirties, he shouldn't allow himself to stoop this low again. Consenting to have Helmut Schiller have his way with his body was the pits. For three hours! Damned! He shuddered at the thought of what just transpired inside the mansion.

Perhaps he needed a new job. The website was a dead end. He was tired of the pretentious people in the office who were going nowhere like him. He was tired of the pretentious drivel he had to come up regularly for mere peanuts.

He looked at the key in his hand. He was nothing but a prostitute. This key would allow his parents to stay in one of Helmut Schiller's apartments for 6 months. The old man consented that one ejaculation would be equivalent to 2 months of free lodging for his parents (after much haggling, the stingy old man initially wanted it 1:1). A marathon suspension of reality because Helmut had to rest for a long time watching gay porn in between rounds. Tony could do it five in a row but he finally regained his sanity while resting for the fourth try. How did he become so cheap?

He walked faster towards his car which was parked in a dark corner at the edge of a row of about twenty cars, just below a slight rise covered by bermuda grass which undulated to his left.

Then he saw a strange movement at the corner of his eye.

January 21, 2012, 3 AM, Beverly Hills

"Sodom, Athens, Rome, Los Angeles," Malcolm chanted like a kid who just learned a new favorite nursery rhyme.

There was a time when Tina was intrigued by Roman orgies. She now considered herself jaded after having participated in many orgies in the past. But none came close to satisfying her expectations of a true Roman orgy. Neither was the present one. This one was the most pathetic. She actually felt dirty and cheap witnessing it. It was completely devoid of sexiness despite the thick geriatric orgasmic moans which floated over the Bob Dylan folk songs.

But wait... still, she should be happy. She booked Malcolm Frederick's bet. $500 million. That Major Albert Hageman will be dislodged from the headlines by Sunday. The 0.5% cut will be bigger than her yearly salary. Hmm, she hummed, all that nausea was worth it after all.

Malcom heard her."You have a nice hum."

Malcolm has been strangely looking at her since they left the orgy room a while ago. The billionaire was visibly disconcerted after seeing the "sandwiched" publisher so the four of them- Frank, Tina, Stella and Malcolm- transferred to a cabana beside the swimming pool and spent the time talking. For a billionaire, the guy had no airs and actually conversed with them for hours about anything under the sun. All the while shooting sticky glances at Tina's way. He was into cougars, she thought. Tina felt flattered time was unable to obliterate her magic. Or was she imagining things? Still, a year ago, if she hadn't met Tony, Tina thought she would have been nude by now and was inviting the billionaire to join her for some skinny dipping. It amazed her that she suddenly had the gall to be "demure" tonight. Where did her new-found "dignity" come from? She was not encouraging the "advances" of a... Ok, not really good-looking but still a younger billionaire, for Godsakes! She could have asked him for a new Porsche!

Now she was really sure. She was really in love. She was really, really, really in love. She had this pure love for Tony so she must be pure for him.

"I'm just so happy," she blurted out suddenly. She actually wanted to cry because of happiness.

There was a questioning look in Malcolm's eyes.

"There's a beautiful moon. Let's all walk. The lawn is nice." Tina suddenly stood then walked towards the bermuda grass that led away from the swimming pool. The other three silently followed her. Malcolm's bodyguard appeared from the shadows in their right and discreetly followed the strolling pack.

Then Tina saw Tony just below the rise. It was as if fate whispered something to her. Now she felt the tears fell from her eyes as she walked faster towards the love of her life. She felt this strange pull that was sucking her forward. The shadows of the trees hid her in the gloom, she wanted to surprise Tony so she didn't dare make a sound. She was near now, she could feel her heart bursting.

Then Tony saw something. She saw it too. And she ran as fast as she could, with all her might, imploring all the gods, screaming Tony's name at the top of her voice, embracing Tony as the bullet silently lodged in her back.

Next: Chapter 12- Love Out Of Thin Air

Try listening to the soothing voice of Nek as you read the last 6 paragraphs above. Viva i romantici!

L'inquietudine- Nek (Italia)

Erinerrungen- Böhse Onkelz (Deutschland)