Monday, February 15, 2010

The Amazing Race: TV shows vs. world domination

I didn't get to watch The Amazing Race's big season premiere on Valentines Day because I was off at Berkeley's famous Freight and Salvage Coffee House watching my old flame from the 1970s perform -- you know, the one that I begged not to go to Nashville because he would just get his heart broken by the music industry but who went anyway and ended up winning two Grammies? That one. But I taped The Amazing Race while I was gone and will watch it later.

Here's my point: In The Amazing Race (the television show), there are a bunch of couples who are racing around the world to win a prize of one million dollars. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE this show. But don't you think that it does seem kind of trite compared to America's other "Amazing Race" -- the one with a prize of over TEN TRILLION dollars!

And who are the teams competing in the amazing race for ten trillion dollars? First we have the military-industrial complex's corporate lobbyists' "DC Boys," racing to put U.S. military bases in every country in the world. That race is going really well. And why shouldn't it? The DC Boys are giving it their all -- because the stakes in oil, consumers, natural resources, cheap labor, etc. are far higher now than they were than back in the day when just the measly Roman Empire was looting the known world. MUCH higher.

According to journalist Nick Turse, "Counting the remaining bases in Iraq -- as many as 50 are slated to be operating after President Barack Obama’s August 31, 2010, deadline to remove all U.S. “combat troops” from the country -- and those in Afghanistan, as well as black sites like Al-Udeid, the total number of U.S. bases overseas now must significantly exceed 1,000."

And doing even better than the DC Boys in the Amazing Race for world domination, we have the down-and-dirty "Globalization Guys". Whew. They are winning this race bigtime, way ahead of even the no-holds-barred DC Boys. A friend of mine just visited me the other day and gave me a really good description of the GG team's latest brilliant moves in the game. My friend had gone to Cal back in the early 1980s. "After I graduated from UCB," he told me over enchiladas at Picoso on northside, "I went on to work in Silicone Valley. Those were such exciting times back then. Creativity, resources, ideas, money to work with, talent, drive -- Bill Gates, Steve Jobs? Those were amazing times back then." I nodded and looked like I knew what he was talking about. But frankly back then I couldn't even dial up my modem without major help.

"And now Silicone Valley is dead," continued my friend. "And this isn't just a slump either. It is permanently and terminally moribund. Silicone Valley will never recover. All of its creativity, capital and talent have been sucked off to Asia and India. And the dregs that are left? They have no ideas, no money and no drive. I live and work in that area. I've seen it all happening with my own eyes, Jane, and it's OVER down there."

PS: The Valentines Day show at the Freight was a huge success, it was totally wonderful to see my old flame again and I was totally glad that I went. And now it's time to watch the tape of CBS's version of "The Amazing Race". And guess what? The first leg of the race takes place in Valparaiso! I was just there! And I have the video to prove It!

The next big surprise on this episode of the CBS Amazing Race was that Jeff and Jordan from last season's "Big Brother" were also competing. That's gonna be really exciting. Oops, I'll have to watch the end of the tape later. My granddaughter Mena just woke up from a very long nap. Her dad took her to the annual Valentines Day pillow fight over in San Francisco last night -- with hundreds of people at Embarcadero Plaza battling away at each other with pillows. No wonder the sweet little child is worn out! And now how are we gonna explain to Mena that "It's not nice to hit" after seeing all that?

And speaking of not hitting, somebody also needs to explain the "It's not nice to hit" principle to the DC Boys and the Globalization Guys as well.