On most issues, what any one narrativist thinks and does doesn’t matter for us, it hardly affects us directly and yet the sum total of accumulated woolly thinking across society, in every nook and cranny, in key decision making positions, really does affect us and can border on crime, if not actually be criminal.
For example, teachers showing kids porn in school in order to discuss it and work out how to counter porn [weekend news]. That’s a combination of both woolly thinking and moral bankruptcy, also absence of ethics.
In this one, a klutz makes error upon error upon error in Paris and never learns. He writes a journo piece to “sort of” justify himself. No one goes easiest on an error maker, cuts him so much slack, than the error maker himself.
The story – man leaves phone on back seat in Paris.
He causes all sorts of mayhem and misunderstanding getting it back, seriously inconveniencing others, then writes on every possible reason but his stupidity, which of course he forgives, when finally confronted with it and quickly passes over. The article in the BBC goes on and on until the one sane bit near the end from his wife:
“There is a life lesson. Always – always – look back at the seat when you leave a taxi.”
Oh no, his wife can’t say that to him – that would involve being sensible and taking responsibility.
Before I say my piece, Wiggia can have first dibs:
Has to be one of the most pointless pro immigration pieces ever written, only the Gruniad or the BBC would have allowed it to be published.
Immigration? Oh yeah, the author meant us to see that his errors were somehow about immigration, e.g. these Calais thugs are a good thing.
OK, once again, it is the accumulated stupidity which wrecks society. Painting 13 inch double yellow lines on a piece of road is amusing in a way, until you see that this is only the thinnest edge of the wedge.
There is a situation now of idiots being appointed by idiots – or to be less harsh, noncomps – in the workplace and public sphere. Process – that is the word. As long as they can tick boxes, follow process, not think because they’re not paid to think, all must be well, no?
And of course it locks in narrative. No matter how unsustainable that action or process is, no matter how ludicrous when extrapolated, people have now invested of themselves into that narrative and when it goes wrong – quiz question – what do they do?
Blame external factors of course.
And the N1 article of faith – it was other people, external factors, never the true believer who must have been at fault.
And the N2 article of faith – we are the good guys, we can’t be the idiot written of in the article. Thus identify with the caller-outer, abandoning the klutz, whom we might have supported earlier but who is now harmful to our reputation and self-esteeem.
And the N3 article of faith – always be on the winning side. Doesn’t matter what principle one drops to achieve that, doesn’t matter how fickle and unstable – always be acknowledged as one of the good guys who has it all at the fingertips. No matter what you believed in before, once the writing is on the wall and you’re on the losing side – switch sides.
This is not a new thing – there is a quote about a British politician touching on this:
For twenty years, he [H.H. Asquith] has held a season-ticket on the line of least resistance and has gone wherever the train of events has carried him, lucidly justifying his position at whatever point he has happened to find himself. [Leo Amery, Quarterly Review, July 1914]
And article of faith N4 – never self-examine. Never. And if self-examination forces itself upon one, go into cognitive dissonance and denial, have a nervous breakdown, become a victim.
Needless to say, that is no way to sustain a society.
There is, though, another model. Learn your trade, do not fear failure, try to do things, make errors, acknowledge them, learn from them, become more resilient and better able to do the work. Become someone of value, not of PC rhetoric.
Lastly, one from my teaching days, in line with the writer of the article. During the onslaught of left ideas in education in the late 70s, there was a character invented for infants called George. He was represented by a doll.
Thus, whenever a child made an error, blame George. Never blame oneself. The reasoning was that the child need never confront his error nor learn. In life, he can always blame George for his own failings.
Now if, having read that, your reaction was to sigh, read and weep, thrust face in palms, look up at the ceiling, then you are still sane. If however you think George a damned good idea, then I have news for you.