"The most significant threat to our national security is our debt," Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, August 27,2010

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


The process of retirement has several motivations. One, best observed in nature, is the desire of the younger male/females to replace the older male/females. Animals tend to be a bit more direct than humans in communicating the “it’s time to go” message. This message is also a natural part of the aging process which is accompanied by a lessening of ability and interest in matters such as hunting, fishing, planting, harvesting, mining, working and procreating. So, out with the oldsters and in with the youngsters.

We humans also seem to reach a point where we know we can no longer compete and so we take ourselves out of the game. We become spectators and observers and critics. We become bloggers. Hallelujah for blogging. Blogging is an opportunity to use our years of experience and our ability to sum up the complex with magnificent simplicity and electronically blast out our solutions that only the foolish, stupid and young could possibly not see or grasp. This latter ability is best reinforced with a good single malt scotch whisky or a several times over filtered and over priced vodka – preferably from France or Holland.

Now, every once in a while we are given front row seats on a few fellows who either don’t grasp the message of “it’s time to go” or figure that they, unlike most of us, have been given a special talent to ignore the voices saying “go.” These folks usually have a position that is somewhat, or completely, protected from outside influences. It may be an aging movie star with his own production company and his own financing. This example is illustrated with what we shall call the “Clint Syndrome.” The Clint Syndrome is best characterized by this question: How many more times can one person scowl and mumble and sputter in a 110 minute production?

Another example is the “Lifetime Coach Syndrome”. This syndrome is quite fun because it usually plays out in real time, on a TV screen, and in front of thousands of enthusiastic, well lubricated supporters a.k.a. FANS. One of TheFundamentals favorite “Lifetime Coach Syndrome” fellas had the somewhat inappropriate handle of Woody. Woody had it all. Screaming fans, presidential friends, parades, microphones, adoring subjects and, an aging central processing unit that had burned out most of its self control micro chips. So, one bright and exciting day, Woody decided to become part of the activities on the field of play instead of restricting himself to the coaching sidelines. Uh – oh. Woody departed in a bit of ignominy shortly thereafter. Woody either missed the call or didn’t get the memo that it was time to go. Nevertheless, he went.

Which brings us to the aging business leader. What is with the aging business leader? There’s a network that parades Jack Welch, Hank Greenberg and Warren Buffet out every other week or so to ask them questions like, “Oh woe be unto us. What shall we do? Please share your great wisdom with us.” Jack is writing books with his third wife. Who buys this stuff? Greenberg is the master mind behind AIG (cost to taxpayers - about $200 billion (looks like $200,000,000,000.00.) How about an interview from jail? Buffet was a big stimulus supporter and then came out recently and said that the debt of the US was too high. Now he’s saying it’s about time for a second stimulus. Hello? Short term memory problem alert!!

Give us Eastwood or Woody any day compared to these fools. C’mon Welch, Greenberg and Buffet families. They must have retirement homes somewhere that will take these guys. Don’t let ‘em know they’re going in a home; just put a mock TV camera in their room and they will be quite content.

Retirement. Embrace it boys and girls. It is one of TheFundamentals!


Anonymous said...

Once again you have written what many of us know and feel. There are however still shining moments we all may have as we approach those twilight years.
One of Clint's best was Grand Torino, Tom Watson showed us it is good to at least attempt that return to greatness, you i am sure write better than when you were 30, and even Rick attained the unlikely hole in one at an elder age. As for me I finally broke 80. Too bad these moments are fleeting but the mind does live on for a while still. Thank you!

Unknown said...

Gee,imagine that!!!

Some maize and blue guys cannot resist the urge to slam an OSU coach after he's been gone for over 30 years. The trauma of having been splattered all over the BIG HOUSE for so many years apparently does not die as easily as the desire to procreate.