The Culture War

They were large and slow with a mean streak.

You know, we hear a lot about the “brain drain” a situation in which some corporate entity or other suffers from an exodus of its senior managers, generals, archbishops, or whatever titles fit the type of organization.

The same thing pertains to government corporate bodies, too: when department heads head for the hills we hear of the loss of senior talent and expertise that bodes ill for whatever the agency’s mission might be. Lamentations are cried about the loss of “institutional memory” a sad situation in which the accumulated wisdom of the agency is undermined, sapped, or otherwise depleted.

But is this a bad thing?

Let’s reflect on the very nature of corporate behavior. Sure, the mission remains: enrich the shareholders, protect the nation, pass on spiritual uplift, fix the potholes in the road. But of course there’s more. The corporate mindset leads to gigantism, arrogance, defensiveness, self-righteousness and above all avoidance of outside scrutiny.

In effect, the mission of corporations becomes encrusted with the dead weight of the various pathologies that they engender. The consequence is not accumulated wisdom, but rather a culture of ossification that is static, slow, non-responsive and self-satisfied. They lose flexibility, agility and effectiveness.

If we consider Fullerton’s history over the past 30 years it becomes fairly evident that the culture of our government demonstrates the symptoms of ossification. The same types of issues are dealt with in the same kinds of way: bureaucrats display the same kinds of attitudes and behaviors; our elected representatives are replaced and yet never seem to change in their understanding of their jobs. The emphasis in City Hall is as much directed toward self-preservation of the status quo as of taking care of municipal problems; avoiding accountability is more important than fixing the streets. Avoiding loss of control and scrutiny by the public have been, and are the key goals, it seems, of the people we elect and the people we pay to work for us. And protecting the corporate culture is always of paramount importance.

The pages of FFFF are replete with examples over the past 30 years that will amply support my thesis. In my next post I’m going to share one of these examples: a problem that was created by the City over 20 years ago, and which lingers today.

30 Replies to “The Culture War”

  1. Mr. Peabody, this may be off-topic, but I have to say that I’m very impressed with your refined use of the English language. Where did you learn to write like that? Wharton?

    1. Really? It’s gibberish. Wharton? I’m not sure it would pass at UCLC (University at the Corner of Lemon and Chapman).

      What the fuck is a “government corporate body”

      “Symptoms of ossification”?

      I really do endeavor to first seek to understand… but this basically impenetrable.

      It reads like a passive aggressive “you know who you are” social media post… full emotion and verbiage but zero actual content.

        1. I guess. Anachronistic usage, at best. It only confuses, which I actually doubt was the point.

          How about modern usage…

          There is the government. There are corporations. There are corporate bureaucracies. There are government bureaucracies. There are corporate bureaucrats and government bureaucrats. Use those clear terms and everyone knows what you’re referring to.

          “Government corporate body” is just anachronistic nonfenfe.

          Hey, and beside the point that the word salad has no there there.

          What is the essayist referring to? Unsupported generalities about government bureaucracy?

          If so, who cares? Bureaucracies have their function. There is no alternative.

      1. “a group of people elected to govern a city, town, or borough.
        noun: municipal corporation; plural noun: municipal corporations”


      2. Here, Johnnie. Let me help. Ossification:

        3: a tendency toward or state of being molded into a rigid, conventional, sterile, or unimaginative condition.

        You’re welcome.

        1. Not helpful, no. I know the words.

          Still word salad that doesn’t ever get to any point. Maybe it’s in some other article to come. Stand back and stand by.

          Which I made perfectly clear, if you could be bothered to process my far less turgid prose.

          1. You’re entire mental function is turgid. That’s why you are such a loyal foot soldier to people who peddle expensive, feel-good bullshit – just like the idiot Trail to Nowhere.

      3. Well I tell you what big mouth. You send us an essay on whatever subject you like and I’ll post it – unedited.

        We used to make this offer all the time to Fullerton’s leaders. Guess what. They were too chicken to do it. I bet you are, too.

        Prove me wrong, standard bearer of Fullerton Boohoo.

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