Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Pittsburgh, Where Striver Seems To Be A Dirty Word

Front page news in Pittsburgh this morning..."'Strivers' jam Downtown for motivational seminar...It's not the Stones, but it's still rocking"

Cars loaded with 15,000 people headed for the Civic Arena disrupted rush hour yesterday morning as they headed for the Get Motivated! Business Seminar. Mackenzie Carpenter's recap has a "Day at the Zooish" aspect to it, as if people should be shocked a "small-business crowd that thrives on [a] message of self-reliance, wellness and salesmanship doused with religious fervor" exists in Pittsburgh.

The nut-jobs attending this all day affair were dressed "in business casual -- the men in Dockers khakis and golf shirts with cell phone holsters hanging off their belts; the women in blazers, comfortable slacks and walking shoes." How many butts did she look at to determine that they were Dockers and not just pants?

Granted, I can think of a million ways I'd rather spend the day than listening to something called a Zig Ziglar, the insufferable Suze Orman, Rudolph Giuliani, Steve Forbes, and Ben Roethlisberger (on television no less) speak to me about how I can live my life better. But from the quotation marks around the word 'striver' to the garish photo of Dave McClelland that requires an explanation that he is dancing to Surfing U.S.A., there is an undertone that these people are not Real Pittsburghers and are somehow selling out and not keeping it real. While these people attended a frivolous event while real people were delayed from getting to their real jobs.

I hope the real people who went to their real jobs and pushed real paper across a real desk between smoking real cigarettes outside a real building had a really great day yesterday.

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