Truly Powerful People (471)

Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

Quinn once told me that the downfall of western civilization began with 1) the salad bar and 2) attaching the garage to the house (he called it “inviting the car into the home”). To Quinn’s list I would like to add leaf blowers as evidence of the downfall of civilization. Other than to create the illusion of tidy – and I apologize profusely to the word “create” for using it in association with something that does nothing – what do leaf blowers actually do? If I did the same work with a broom, if I swept all the little bits of leaf and grass into the neighbors yard and left it there, wouldn’t you find me offensive? Why is it that blowing stuff into the neighbors yard and leaving it for someone else is considered appropriate?

If I planted a tiny microphone in your ear and recorded a mosquito buzzing in and out and then amplified the sound a thousand times, it would be the sound made by a leaf blower. If I ever have state secrets and you want them from me, no need to water board me or pull out my finger nails, simply turn on a leaf blower and rev the engine a few times – or better yet – blow stuff from here to there and back again and I will tell all. I will spill the secrets, reveal the mystery, give you the code and betray the nation. Just turn the damn thing off.

I am not good at digging holes and filling them in again –literally or metaphorically. It is the chief reason why I was worthless working in an office setting; or working anywhere, for that matter. Leaf blowers achieve nothing. They move stuff around. They shift the pile from here to there and then it is someone else’s responsibility to blow the stuff down the line. They are very loud abdications of responsibility.

I’ve decided leaf blowers are metaphoric of Wall Street. Blow the crap down the line, make a lot of noise doing it, and the user gets to walk away feeling like they’ve done good work because they’ve cleaned their space by sullying their neighbors.

And now, it occurs to me that in this rant I, too, am a leaf blower. Now that I have blown my leaves onto your lawn I think I will retire to the couch and have a congratulatory snooze. I feel so much better having vented. I hear my dear Albert’s voice in my head saying, “That guy looked in the mirror today and thought, ‘I look good!’”

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