Tuesday, July 27, 2010


(Above, protest over BP's oil spill. Wikipedia commons)

In the old movie Silk Stockings, comrades from Russia visiting Paris find certain happiness there, but greatly fear they will be punished for their capitalist desires by being sent to Siberia. They sing a cute little song in which the refrain is "Siberi-eerie-eeria!"

Would it be wrong to say, "Tony, sweetheart, maybe you should watch the movie and learn to sing"?

But he probably won't have time. Tony Hayward, the Mrs. Malaprop of malfeasance in corporate PR, may be too busy to attend US Congressional hearings concerning the BP oil spill, he says. Poor "demonized" Tony was unable even to take a demotion and a sidewise dressing down without adding lip to it all, without showing once again how totally superior he feels to everyone else. Why the board at BP put up with it is something of a mystery to me; surely they had other choices among executives who might not have been so objectionable in their hubris. Surely there were others who wanted a 2 million-dollar-a-year paycheck. Surely.

It may take Hayward a while to figure out how to insult the Russians as thoroughly as he has insulted Americans. Or maybe he'll just be out buying fur outer garments; why not? He probably cares as little for non-human endangered species as he does for the endangered humans in the Gulf States.

How many oil wells are there in the tundra that could explode and bring disaster to another fragile ecosystem?

There is no possible excuse for this man.

A few weeks ago, an American/British geologist I was speaking with said he thought Tony's unfortunate pronouncements, such as the one about wanting his life back, were just the ignorant natterings of a former British public school (that is, in US English, private school) boy.

Nah. The man is a toad. He's a zero who kissed the right bottoms to rise to the top. Even his boss admitted today that the US second banana, although a "little rough" around the edges, was not the walking, talking disaster Tony Hayward is.

Hayward, if we are lucky, will become the poster boy for corporate crassness, for overweening greed, for absent compassion...for everything that is wrong in the post-Reagan, post-Enron business environment that has been one of America's most popular exports the past two decades or so. With luck, business schools will use his behavior as the road-map on how not to drive profits and create a well-regarded company. One hopes they will point out that while BP is partially American, Hayward is all Brit, although he certainly did his graduate work in American brashness. Indeed, he excelled. No matter; the US exported it, Tony learned it by heart, and it's about time to cut the heart out of that particular mode of corporate behavior.


"Tony, sweetheart: Can you maybe just go quietly to the tundra and shut the hell up? While you're at it, just put your feet up on your shiny empty desk, rest your hairy empty head, and think about anything you want. But for God's sake, don't actually DO anything. Paying you to do nothing, as obnoxious as your golden parachute is, will be a lot cheaper than having you preside over messes that other corporate dimwits might emulate."

You can see the sheet music for Siberia and hear the tune here.

The complete download costs a few bucks, but it might be a nice parting gift for dear Tony if you care to waste more money on this nowhere man.