Thursday, May 19, 2005

The American Thumb...


Well, dangit! Now that Hugh mentioned part of my email on the air, I'll have to post what I told him concerning Ms. Nooyi's (President of PepsiCo) comments.

America is the thumb.

The opposable thumb is the indicator of supreme intelligence in the animal kingdom. It indicates tool users.

The middle finger is effectively useless to the functions of the hand. You don’t use it to leaf through books, its not for your ring, and you don’t pull a trigger with it. Hell, kids don’t even use it to pick their nose.

The index finger is the primary finger that is fundamental to most digital functions, anchoring every function the hand performs. But, the hand does not work without the thumb and there is only one (of each orientation).

In that regard, American is humanity's thumb. England could perhaps be considered to be it's index finger. If anything, France is most certainly the middle one.

Thumbs UP to Coke!

Thumbs DOWN to Pepsi! (Sorry Mrs. Atos!)

And Ms. Nooyi can flip herself toward France as a replacement market for the product she represents.

If you don't know what this is about, you can find out here...

In the course of a recent speech at Columbia Business School Commencement, Indra Nooyi said this:

...This analogy of the five fingers as the five major continents leaves the long, middle finger for North America, and, in particular, The United States. As the longest of the fingers, it really stands out. The middle finger anchors every function that the hand performs and is the key to all of the fingers working together efficiently and effectively. This is a really good thing, and has given the U.S. a leg-up in global business since the end of World War I.

However, if used inappropriately – just like the U.S. itself - the middle finger can convey a negative message and get us in trouble. You know what I’m talking about. In fact, I suspect you’re hoping that I’ll demonstrate what I mean. And trust me, I’m not looking for volunteers to model.

Discretion being the better part of valor...I think I’ll pass.

What is most crucial to my analogy of the five fingers as the five major continents, is that each of us in the U.S. – the long middle finger – must be careful that when we extend our arm in either a business or political sense, we take pains to assure we are giving a hand...not the finger.

Sometimes this is very difficult. Because the U.S. – the middle finger – sticks out so much, we can send the wrong message unintentionally.

Unfortunately, I think this is how the rest of the world looks at the U.S. right now. Not as part of the hand – giving strength and purpose to the rest of the fingers – but, instead, scratching our nose and sending a far different signal.

Don't blame Conservative America or any Rightwing conspiracy for the consequences of your action, Ms. Nooyi. You simply fingered yourself.

Note: I am currently on sabatical from blogging for the time being. I have another round of exams looming along with intense professional obligations that have rendered me with very limited time for my family. I am balancing my time accordingly at the moment and in favor of more precious obligations. That being said, I hope to be back on this soap box as soon as I can.

Please take the opportunity to review the archives. I think that much of what Dueler and I have said here is pertinent anytime.

I'll be back soon. Hugh has a way of poking me out of my cave to fire a few shots in the Left direction from time to time.

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