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Letter from Santa Clara

“Don’t cry for me, Silicon Valley…I never really loved you.” (Part I)

By Bill Costley

"They’ve fired Carly!” Carolin said to me in the pre-dawn dark, listening to KCBS-AM news-radio all night with an under-the pillow speaker shaped like a white compact; every few years its thin-twin wire breaks, requiring a trip to Radio Shack, but now that we’re back in the Valley, Fry’s, for a replacement.  

She didn’t say which Carly & I didn't have to ask “Carly who?”  It wasn't Carly Simon (daughter of Simon & Schuster, ex-wife of James Taylor, most famous for singing “You’re So Vain,” allegedly about Warren Beatty, brother of Shirley Maclaine, husband of Annette Bening, most famous for directing & starring in “Reds” as Jack Reed, famous for writing “Ten Days That Shook the World” about V. I. Lenin, famous for, etc., until recently, now infamous in the same place, for the same stuff).

Now we may be California, but if you click down as far as NorCal you’ll see Santa Clara's in Silicon Valley, over which only one Carly has floated like a thinning Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon for the past 6 yrs., Carly (Carleton) Fiorina, now suddenly ex-CEO of Hewlett Packard (HP) that Carolin works for, as a contractor, from home. Carly doomed our household like a malicious redheaded neo-tech Marcel Marceau, sometimes just as silent, but we always knew her miming led to fatal riffing (reductions-in-force.) 

I figured Carly was bailing a few months ago when she was bruited as being shopped by Dubya as undersecretary of commerce for his 2nd & (hopefully, forever last) term, probably because of her championing off-shoring jobs which had an actual direct effect on the Valley & Carolin, whose diffused work-group (now entirely virtual, spread nationwide, con-calling worldwide) was dabbling with offshoring its workload to Hungary, South Africa, etc. where English is also reliably spoken & written. 

Speaking of which, not a word about Carly’s firing/resignation appeared in Wed. 09 FEB 2005’s San Jose Mercury News, plopped on our driveway around 05:30 PDT.  So, having heard the news only by radio, Carolin decided to go to the nearest locus of direct HP poop, which in her case is the HP/Tandem facility in nearby Cupertino, with which she maintains a cordial occasional cube-use relationship, most recently necessitated by security changes to the intranet requiring on-site, hands-on direct access.  

There, nobody was sad about Carly’s sudden fall; old-timer Tandemists had bled from latter-day Carly’s reductions, so one of their wisest took Carolin out to lunch at the new Kebab Korner (formerly the Galleria) on the hard-edge of our old Korea-town neighborhood (cor. El Camino & Keily), where you can now pull on a hookah with your kebab ($10; $15 w/out.) Carly-news was spreading fast by word of mouth, but they had other I/O options. No Maltese Falcon stood guarding the door of this new old-techno-crypt, but the Fat Man....