MAD DOG: Size Doesn't Matter and Neither Does Godzilla
I'm sitting here flipping through back issues of Time and the daily newspaper to see if I can discover exactly when it was that everyone in the upper echelons of the business world got together for a clandestine meeting at the 22 Club (formerly the 21 Club) and agreed to chant a unified mantra of "bigger is better".Just look around. The advertising for Godzilla screams "Size does matter", which for them it does, considering the size of the production budget they need to cover. Hugh McColl, emperor of the newly formed Amalgamated United NationsBank of America, predicted that in a few years there will be only four major banks left in the country and his will be all of them. The Baby Bells -- which were created 16 years ago because AT&T got too big for the government's britches -- are now coalescing into growth-spurting, company-guzzling Adolescent Bells. And then, of course, there's the phenomenal sales of Viagra, which is the final proof that an awful lot of men (and their mates) are firmly convinced that bigger is, indeed, better.It's not as if this is anything new. Like miniskirts, swing music, and The Love Boat, this too is cyclical. In the 60's, corporate America went on a buying spree that made Imelda Marcos look like a piker at a Blue Light Special. Then, just a few short years later, these same behemoths came down with a case of corporate indigestion that even the drug companies they swallowed couldn't cure, so they started cutting businesses loose that "don't fit our primary focus." Gee, what would make an electronics manufacturer think running restaurants suddenly didn't make sense is beyond me.You'd think they'd learn. But as George Santayana would say were he on the board of directors, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to pay higher prices for lower quality with no customer service."So apparently lacking a brain as well as a heart, big business is on an eating jag again, swallowing other companies like an anaconda that doesn't chew or much care what it puts in its mouth. I have to admit that some of this is my fault. Not just because I'm a male and our testosterone -- not to mention our egos and penises -- makes us seek out the biggest, best, fastest, and most of everything. No, I'm at fault because NationsBank has a personal vendetta against me.A number of years ago when I lived in Richmond, Virginia I banked at First & Merchant's Bank. First & Merchants turned into F&M. F&M became Sovran. Sovran metamorphosed into NationsBank. Then I went and moved to California, severing my ties with them once and for all. Or so I thought. They tracked me down (probably through some chatroom on the Internet where Hugh McColl swore to me he was a 16 year-old virgin named Bambi) and deliberately bought Bank of America just because they won't let me go!I apologize. I probably incited Microsoft too since I still have one program on my computer that they didn't make and a couple of dollars in my pocket that don't belong to Bill Gates, but is that any reason for them to have a Mission Statement that reads: "World domination beginning with Mad Dog"? There are other, lesser, things that aren't better just because they're bigger. There's the 4-pound cocoa-butter suppository the San Francisco Zoo made for a sick elephant. Even though the cocoa-butter came from Guittard Chocolates it's still a suppository. No matter how big it is, the recent 5,000 train car back-up from the Mexican border to Kansas is still just a traffic jam. And something tells me that Bret Easton Ellis' much maligned novel, "American Psycho", won't make a better movie just because someone conned Leonardi DiCaprio into playing the lead, even if they are paying him a whopping $21 million to do it. Geez! That's more than Jim Carrey made for The Cable Guy!Face it, this summer's movies won't be better just because they have bigger monsters, larger explosions, more gunshots, wilder car chases, and more inflated popcorn prices. The pot stickers at a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco that are praised as being the "Best in the World" aren't necessarily so just because they put a half pound of ground pork in each one. And next season's version of Fantasy Island won't be any better than the original just because they got Malcolm McDowell to star in it. Of course it couldn't be any worse either.But there are things that are better because they're bigger. The World's Largest Thermometer at Baker, California is better than the one that hangs outside your kitchen window because, well, you can see it from miles away. Besides, where else will Godzilla find a rectal thermometer should he/she/it need one? If they make awards show broadcasts an elongated four hours rather than the usual three like they're considering it will be much better -- it will give you more time to read a book with the TV turned off. And the monumentally huge Whitewater Probe is by and far the biggest and best special investigation ever because it's taken our minds off those nattering little problems like poverty, education, and why Cheech and Chong didn't star in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."Get used to it. It's the 90's and we constantly have to outdo ourselves. OJ went on trial and he was crucified. Princess Diana died and she was deified. A song we like comes out and it's played on the radio every three hours for a year until we're stupefied. And the whole concept of bigger is better? Personally, I'm mortified.