22 January 2009

Paper pusher chase

The dickheadery never ceases to amaze me. One of their big pet peeves is keeping "young, hip" (insert metrosexual moan here) "highly educated" (credentialism again) people in the community and prevent them from bolting for bigger, brighter centers to which budding young dickheads seem to be attracted like flies to a candle. (Ever heard of freedom of movement, pursuit of happiness? Guess not.) So predictably the local dickhead coterie has established a web site that will wage an important role in the battle to "stem the talent drain"! Here it is in all its glory.

How lame can you get. These points are easily demolished:

Your dream job is waiting for you here. At last count, there were 15,000 jobs available in the Baton Rouge area; these include high-paying positions in IT, engineering, medical, financial services, and other professional fields.

Doesn't mention that half these jobs don't provide for a decent living ("medical professional" includes hospice workers, y'know), or provide for the advancement opportunities that budding young dickheads crave. Because to this narcissistic generation, it's all about the money: making it, and flaunting it.

Don't expect these jobs to be here very long, either. Jobs are a declining commodity these days.

Our economy is stable and robust. In fact, BusinessWeek just named us one of the top ten recession-proof areas in the country.

One of our few advantages. But this is mainly true because the area's economic backbone is bureaucrat work - state government, public universities, etc. Piyush the Boy Wonder recently cut some trimmings there, mainly out of fiscal necessity (the state can't print money like Ben and friends can), but there's still plenty remaining on the subsidy cart.

They don't call it Parasite City for nothing.

K-12 Education. That’s right, education. Don’t confuse Louisiana state averages with the Baton Rouge area specifically. Five of the top school districts in Louisiana are located right here in the Baton Rouge area.

Ha! Don't make me laugh. The above is technically true, in a manner of speaking. But for those of you from out of state who aren't familiar with the cesspool of unabashed failure that is public education in Louisiana, "top school districts" here translate into your middling to lower performing school districts elsewhere.

Recently the state assumed control of 12 EBR Parish public schools due to blatant long term underperformance. Two of the aforementioned "top districts" were essentially secessions from the EBR school district.

Dat's what happens when you have corn-fed, bottom of their state college class educrats "of color" at the helm. The lazy leading the lazier.

Universities: There's nothing like the culture of a great college town. And we have two great ones-LSU and Southern University.

Though BR has two major universities, don't think that the college set dictates the feel of this place. This ain't College Station or Starkville. Sure, a few well placed neighborhoods have a campus feel. But the primary demographic in BR is married couples with children. The major effect of being a university city is LSU football and all the hoopla that goes with that. (Not a problem if you like that sort of thing.)

In Southern's case, the ghettos of Scotlandville begin at the front gate. Big impact it has there.

Food. That’s one thing that hasn’t changed. You’ve lived here, so you understand. No further explanation is needed.

There's much better food in New Orleans. Take it from me, I know this for a fact. It's very hard to find a decent po-boy 'round here.

Though compared with, say, Buffalo, the cuisine is relatively swell.

Family. We love the tradition of family here. Whether you still have family in the Baton Rouge area or just plan to start or raise your family here, now is the time to come back to the people who love you the most.

Indeed, this is true. If anything, BR should appeal to a certain type of dickhead. The city is geared entirely towards the interests of Corporate Amerika. BR is a city devoid of interesting places, people, things to do, or destinations to visit. There is nothing else to do here besides go to your drone like job, work eight hours, and then return to your box like apartment or house in the suburbs. No pesky outside interests, nothing interesting or uplifting, that might divert energies away from profiting the mecha-Corporations that colonize the barren asphalt wasteland of our built landscape - the bank branches, fast food huts, big box stores, office parks, shopping malls, chain restaurants, strip centers, and filling stations that are the preeminent features of our urban architecture.

It is a very empty and demeaning existence, to say the least - but I hear it appeals to the corporatist, "career minded" imbeciles who hop jobs and cities so they can buy that new Ferrari.

But Atlanta and Dallas have us beat on that mark - economies of scale and all that. So oh well. Lame try that was.

If you want to know why many young folks leave this city, take that to heart. Stop trying to chase the corporate suits who are going to leave anyway, and make more effort to retain the rest of us here.

That is real inclusiveness - which you so claim to support. Or not.

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