When the musak stops

The economy is like a receding tide.  What is exposed in draining tidal pools is  fascinating.  But, it is often ugly.  The creatures are desperate for funds.  The New York Times, unable to roll over it’s short term debt accepts terrible terms to borrow money from a Mexican Billionaire; presumably that is the end of that family owned firm.  Here in town a local investment firm has discovered that one of their executives was  embezzling  money from the retirement funds, with the help of this buddies in the escort service he was running on the side.  My alma mater recently discovered the managers of one of the firms they had entrusted with their endowment has bought a 3 million dollar house for a former wife and 80 thousand dollars in teddybears!

I see the Muzac filed for  bankruptcy.  Which makes me consider substituting musical chairs for the tide pools.

I had a job one summer.  Sticking the many legs of expensive electrical devices into a testing device, pushing a button, writing down a number.  Over and over again.  I sat on an uncomfortable stool in Southern California and it rained once.  I missed it.  Everybody else ran out of the building but I finished the one device I was testing first.  The parking lot was steaming when I got out. 

I had a little studio apartment with a pool outside the door.  The  chlorine  in the pool was so strong nobody swam.  The board outside the building advertised the pool, but not the stewardesses.  It also mentioned the Muzac.  A box set into the wall piped Muzac into the room. You could adjust the volume, but not turn it off.  I silenced it by blowing sand under the contacts.  At work one day I shifted on my stool only to be shocked awake.  In bed, the bit of sand had shifted.  The factory and apartment shared the same play list.

I’ve been wondering.    I suspect the newspaper industry won’t survive this recession; but when the great depression swept thru the economy presumably entire weak industries came to an end,  But we forget, what were those industries?  I can’t even imagine.  What those businesses do?  I  experienced  it, Muzac in apartments, but I can barely imagine a world where in a real estate developer would feel that Muzac was a feature worth bundling into his offerings.  Did the Muzac  corporation  had salesmen going around and closing deals with developers.  I think there are hints, about the depression that is, in opening of the Music Man.  They complain about the model t-ford, the uneeda cracker, the mod-ren store; which hints at what was being displaced.  The cracker barrel industry?  “…  Well I don’t know much about bands but I do know you  can’t make a living selling big trombones…”

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