Saturday, September 27, 2014

Masses Congregate for a Study in Contrasts

I witnessed the masses behaving normally today.  I chose to attend a technology conference in Santa Clara where entrepreneurs and serious investors pursued wealth.  The same locale played host to other events targeting a more downscale audience.  I did not attend the Herbalife or sports autograph events because the arriving attendees told me all I needed to know.  The differences were noticeable.

The tech conference people were dressed for business, at least by Silicon Valley standards.  The people at the other conferences were disgusting.  The Herbalife event attracted a large number of folks who looked like they brought their friends up from south of the border for a quinceanera.  I don't know whether they were documented appropriately but in California's current political climate it doesn't matter.  The sports memorabilia people were uniformly obese and dressed in sports team attire that made their lack of physical fitness all the more disgusting.

The Herbalife people looked like they were holding evangelical revivals in between their formal events.  They were loud enough to distract me as I made my way between the tech conference's seminars.  I don't have time to deconstruct Herbalife's marketing model right now, so go read what the Salty Droid and others have to say about their practices.  I saw enough faith-based nonsense from these people today to permanently distance myself from any Herbalife operative.

The sports memorabilia people were everywhere, flocking to meet their highly paid idols and generally getting in my way.  I could not avoid the posters for their event, and the prices they paid for a touch of greatness were LOL-worthy.  Former NFL players were signing autographs for up to $150 with a photo session.  The slobs come away with memories that will last a lifetime.  The real athletes come away with five figures of income for a few hours of "work" sitting and smiling.

Herbalife's cult followers and the Bay Area's fat sports fans have much in common.  They both strive for fleeting glory bestowed by an authority figure, just for showing up.  Their paths to the convention center led to the only extrinsic validation they may ever have in their sad lives.  I try very hard not to feel sorry for people in the left tail of the IQ bell curve.  They exist so the rest of us have a consumption base for our marketable solutions.

Our associations tell the world what we value in other humans.  I will never spend time with the clueless dupes buying into Herbalife and the fat losers overpaying for a minor celebrity's signature.  I am so proud of myself for picking the right crowd to join.