Friday, September 01, 2006
Our Lady of Yahoo
Speeding along on a balmy Silicon Valley night, a precise half-moon gazing down at my rental car, I caught an amazing sight on my way to the Santa Clara Hyatt. Mary, bigger than I'd ever seen her, done up in silver and lit up like ... well, like Madonna.
For some reason, it caught me off guard. Religion has always been a huge part of our culture but for some reason, I've been noting how it folds in with politics, music, cartoons, language - anything and everything, right down to the bible scriptures on the bottom of my In-n-Out soda cup.
I had to see her, say hello, take a photo. Ask her how she scored so much real estate just blocks from Intel and Oracle. Did Larry Ellison ever stop by? Craig Barrett come to share some jokes? I've no doubt that Meg Whitman has shared secrets - girls do that, y'know.
I pulled into the parking lot, nearly ran over a Chinese woman, who barely noticed me and headed to the scene. I waded through a throng of excited folks of Indian descent and passed a Latina as she was heading down the steps. I reached the base of the statue and was impressed with Mary's sheer size. In her silver steel robe, she looked cold yet exuded warmth; mind you, I only felt this through the very idea of her. Who doesn't have a soft spot for Mom? Mary is the ultimate example of the favorite Troup Leader - her door is permenantly open and there are always cupcakes and Kool-Aid. None on this night, however, just a ton of flowers.
It was then I noticed the huge building just behind her, the international headquarters of Yahoo! I was glad to see it, made the atmosphere seem joyful and celebratory. After all, this was a company started by two scruffy-looking boys who had more brains than money. Their success story, and others like them, is what makes SV such young, hopeful place. (I also find it incredibly dry, boring and sexless but I'm trying to be positive here, for Mary's sake.)
Just before I left, a small (perhaps only by comparison) Asian man climbed the steps to Mary's feet and bowed before her. Down on bended knee, he looked like he might propose. I kept my distance to allow him privacy but from my perch I could see clearly that he was speaking to her. Then, after sharing his deepest thoughts (fears? concerns?) Jerry Yang got back up, walked down the steps and said goodbye to his gorgeous heavy metal friend.
Okay, so maybe I am taking a leap of faith with that last assumption but isn't that what Mary's all about?