Brief Notes on “Professionalism”

A few days ago, I wrote a scathing critique of about 3,500 words concerning orthodox economists as well as liberal elites. It is written as though you all came to my house for supper and listened to me discuss things in private. Thus, it wouldn’t be suitable for publication in a place such as Forbes. In fact, it’s probably not suitable for Facebook either, since the language is so blunt; so confrontational; so utterly devoid of professional decency, that other professionals would say, “Well, that certainly was abrasive, to put it mildly. No one will ever take him seriously again.”

But, who is “no one”, though? If you mean the media, I couldn’t care less. If you mean the profession, then I really do not give a shit. The very real problem here is a failure to discern my personality through this veil that society throws over professionals, defining them as stoic: “A professional always speaks in a highly educated language. A professional has manners and minds them to engender proper decorum. A professional wears a suit and tie. A professional does not resort to abrasive or foul language. Should a professional deviate from these preassigned directives, his or her’s intelligence, education and knowledge of the subject matter must be thrown into question.”

In other words, Albert Einstein was not allowed to say, “Fuck this shit” while wearing a T-Shirt, jeans and sunglasses anywhere in public, or else his intellect must be declared null and void and thus, the whole of Relativity would come crashing down and must be disregarded for the sake of common decency.

A quick look at the film, “IQ” proves my point. Here Einstein and his three physicist friends from history are portrayed, firstly, how people are trained to view such professionals – stoic and always discussing things in a very academic way. Suddenly, it is revealed that the four enjoy ice cream cones, cruising about town in a convertible while listening to rock and roll, are prone to vulgar jokes, deception and a whole range of human endeavors unbecoming of “Very Serious People” (like Paul Krugman). That is what makes the film funny to people – watching professionals become human. It’s shocking, thus funny.

But why should it be? Why are professionals not allowed to be human? Why must we all behave as academia portrays Seneca or Cicero – as “people so lofty they sound as if they shit marble”. (Credit to Mozart from the film, “Amadeus”)

The purpose of the English language is to communicate. It has 26 letters which represent human sounds: 5 vowels (sometimes “Y”), the rest are consonants, and when you put letters together, you get words. Let’s try it:

S.H.I.T.

Shit.

There you are – English. So, we go on Bloomberg and when asked our opinion on Krugman’s thoughts, we then provide that opinion by combining consonants and vowels to form words, then stringing those words together in order to communicate an accurate understanding:

“Paul Krugman is an idiotic asshole.”

See? Now you know my opinion of Krugman’s work and there can be no question as to what that opinion is. We have achieved understanding, which is the purpose of language; in this case, English. “But that is quite offensive”, you might say. But I ask, why? Do you really think that the statement,

“Krugman is a vacuous economist, whose work is quite contributory to unemployment, poverty and social degradation. And further, in light of observational evidence which both demonstrates that Krugman’s work is harmful and incorrect, he refuses to alter his stance and to show regret for any economic and social inadequacies that is work has engendered.”

is not offensive? I still called him an idiot and an asshole. Why waste time and good oxygen on people such as he? Before deciding what is and what is not professional, we should first know what we are talking about. If we merely disagree, then do keep it civil. But when someone’s words, thoughts and advice have contributed to causing deflation, recession and financial crises resulting in great swaths of innocent people going into foreclosure, becoming homeless, not having enough to eat, unable to care for loved ones, experiencing financial ruin, mental illness and suicide, then civil doesn’t enter into it. “Paul Krugman is an idiotic asshole” is quite acceptable in my book. The reason for my seeming ability to vacate this so-called “professionalism” stems from who I am as a person.

I’ve a rebellious nature about me. I’ve always gone the opposite way of certain dictates of society. I was big on punk rock. I still listen to the Sex Pistols, the Dead Kennedys, the Circle Jerks, the Dead Milkmen, et al. I like Tool as well. Just yesterday I was putting things in my attic and listening to Tool’s Ænema – not exactly what society would call the “elevated” music that I should be listening to if I do not want my intellect to be called into question. I do not care, really. So, I sang the words out loud:

“Fret for your figure and
Fret for your latte and
Fret for your lawsuit and
Fret for your hairpiece and
Fret for your Prozac and
Fret for your pilot and
Fret for your contract and
Fret for your car.

Some say the end is near.
Some say we’ll see Armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will cause
I sure could use a vacation from this

Stupid shit, silly shit, stupid shit…

Fuck L Ron Hubbard and
Fuck all his clones.
Fuck all these gun-toting
Hip gangster wannabes.

Fuck smiley glad-hands
With hidden agendas.
Fuck these dysfunctional,
Insecure actresses.

I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t
Welcome any change, my friend.

I wanna see it all come down.
Bring it down”

I’m more comfy in jeans and T-Shirts, than button ups and ties. I’m rather prone to unusual haircuts. One day I might look typical and then next day, the sides and back of my head are shaved, but the top is long and pulled back. I might even grow the top long enough to put a ponytail in. I could wake up one day and think I’d prefer a 1940’s hairstyle. I don’t care about fashion. I care about what I like. I also like to speak my mind. So, yes, I’m willing to be professional in articles and interviews, provided that the subject deserves what society deems “professional”. When it comes to Krugman, Summers, Friedman, or the whole of the economics profession, I decide the proper decorum and if CNN doesn’t like it, then they should not contact me. I’ve little patience for bullshit, especially the kind of mystical bullshit emanating from the mouths of mainstream “economists” that ruins peoples’ lives and then, their outright refusal to admit complicity, which is even more heaping piles of intolerable bullshit. There is no reason on Earth why I should show respect, deference or gentleness to these people, whom I regard as soothsayers. That is who I am and I won’t suppress who I am for CNN, Bloomberg, or any other media source when it comes to discussing bullshit, mystical notions of the Church of Orthodoxy.

I am just saying what most of us want to say about mainstream economics, but don’t and this has absolutely zero to do with my knowledge of the subject matter. I simply tell it like it is. Steve Keen can be abrasive. I can be extremely abrasive.

Now, this is not to say that I’m always an asshole. 99.9% of the time I am a friendly, patient person who enjoys a good laugh. Just do not get me started on orthodox economics and people like Krugman, or I will become very blunt. So, I might post this article I’ve written to my blog Monday. Then again, I might not. Depends on my mood.

In short, I refuse to discuss unprofessional asshattery in any professional way.

There is nothing professional about bullshit.