d Cooley: Ignore men behind the curtain

Strictly off the record ...

Cooley: Ignore the men behind the curtain

by Peggy Aycinena

A good friend of mine has told me for many years that if I wanted people to like me I was in the wrong business. I'm the wrong gender and the wrong age to be working as a journalist in EDA and he reminds me of that often. Now John Cooley has reminded me, as well.

A lady never reveals her age but as many in EDA will tell you, I am no lady. I will be 60 in September, which makes me older than Aart de Geus and younger than Chi-Foon Chan.

Quite honestly, there's no use in trying to hide these factoids; they're out there in The Cloud and just a few mouse clicks away for anybody who wants to find them.

I had three goals for this, my special year:

* Run the Bay to Breakers ... check
* Finish my AA in Art History ... check
* Run a half marathon ... no check here until July

What I didn't know is that I had one additional goal before I turned 60:

* Piss off the entire EDA establishment, at least the visible and/or vocal part, and incur the wrath of no less than Michelle Clancy, the entire DAC EC, Mike Demler, and the Grand Wizard of Wallop himself, John Cooley ... check

Of course, this isn't the first time I've made people mad in my lowly life as a journalist: Gloria Nichols, Wally Rhines, Geoffrey Moore, Jacques Benkoski, Dan Nenni, Lou Covey, Vince Ridley, John Miklosz, Gabe Moretti, Teresha Lee, Ron Wilson, Ed Lee, Richard Goering, and Jack Harding, to name a few. I've infuriated all of these folks at one point or another, so Michelle Clancy, Mike Demler, and the DAC EC are in good company.

And why is this more important than the Colorado wildfires, starvation in East Africa, war in Syria, or Stockton's bankruptcy?

Yeah, thanks for noticing. It isn't.

Nonetheless, this is my little corner of the world and after what Yvette Huygen referred to as John Cooley's “wildly inappropriate rant” this past Wednesday, coming out of his little corner of the world, I would like to say a couple of things.

First, women are not welcome in EDA. It's obvious. Let's just admit it. Like my age, it's as obvious as the wrinkles on my face or the executive team at Mentor Graphics.

Second, despite John Cooley's anguished cry that 90 percent of the heterosexual males at DAC wanted to see the San Francisco 49er cheerleaders front and center at 8:28 am on Tuesday, June 3, is it not okay to protect the sensibilities of the other 10 percent?

However, as I have said in the past, if boobalicious women are an important marketing tool in EDA, why not minstrels in black face? After all, 90 percent of EDA isn't black, so why not really enjoy ourselves with some good old-fashioned Southern-style fun?

Or for those of us like John and me who are flabby and white, why not tape our eyes back and pretend we're coolies from the good old days? Oh really? That would be offensive? Why? After all, John and I rule the world. Why can't we do what we want to?

EDA Wizard

Third, John Cooley is a creation of the EDA industry. They've fostered him. Fed him. Flattered him. Made him who he is. A cheerful proponent of all things tasteless, loud, and garish – and the best marketing tool this side of North Carolina.

Now, would you find John Cooley at Davos? Probably not. Places like Davos are reserved for Thought Leaders, and John's not a Thought Leader. Nonetheless, EDA – even those who go to Davos – have loved Cooley for years and years, except of course when he says mean things about them or suggests that they might be retiring.

Then EDA gnashes its collective teeth and wishes him ill, or hounds him to recant. Hey, watch what you wish for. He might say something nice about your products or your management next time around, at least if you make it worth his while.

behind EDA curtain

And besides, these days he's hardly doing any of the writing or editing for his own newsletter, so if you want to get to John you've got to go through his ghost writer/editor first. And certainly you all know how to reach her, so stop being mean to John unless you want to mean to her as well. And, by the way, she's not like me. She's a lady and it's not okay to be mean to ladies in EDA.

It is okay, however, to be mean to grannies in EDA. Thanks for pointing that out, John. Because if you mean by calling me a “granny” that I'm set in my ways, you're damn straight on that one. I'm pretty much set in thinking that women engineers deserve better at the opening of DAC than to be reminded yet again that they're an unimportant minority in this industry.

However, if you mean by calling me “granny” that I'm old. Yeah, that's true as well. You're much, much younger than I am – only 51 according to The Cloud. As a matter of fact, you're so young, you should come out and run the half marathon with me in July. Hey, why not?

You're an innovator, right? You embrace change, right? Why not change your lifestyle, live on the edge, and come out and run with this Old Granny right here in San Francisco. I'd welcome the company, Sonny Boy. Let's stretch out our flabby white legs together, and "haul bananas" as we used to say in my youth.

Finally, about the “xxxNazi” thing. I've got a checkered past and present when it comes to religion and culture: I'm one-half Quaker, one-third Episcopal, three-fifths Methodist, 45-percent Catholic, 19.5-percent Jewish, a tenth Buddhist, and zero-percent xxxNazi anything.

But then I live in Northern California, in Silicon Valley – a place where race, religion and gender aren't supposed to close doors for people who innovate. The “xxxNazi” thing? I'm not okay with that, but then I'm a West Coast provincial.

Of course, John Cooley's an East Coast sophisticate. He's into xxxNazis, booth babes, and anybody who's part of his tribe – however that's defined. Happily, that definition doesn't include me.

I'm sure that makes John Cooley happy, as well.


June 29, 2012


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