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Ryan

Funny thing, civility... I just quit a job where my boss three days ago called me an evil asshole prick who couldn't assemble a lincoln log set with a set of detailed instructions and now for the next two weeks, I get to pretend that we're buddies.

Sometimes you just want to be a chimpanzee and chase the shits around with a big stick. Most of them need a big stick up somewhere....

Kevin Wolf

Is civility the next-to-last refuge of a scoundrel?

Fred

Ahhh, the Club. It's like watching Donahue and O'Reilly play their fireworks off each other. all the while you know they'll be at the bar latter remarking to one another how that made for good T.V.

Karmakin

Nice post, maybe the best one I've read yet this year.

You better believe it's not a game. In fact, it's life or death to a lot of people. What they do in DC can make lives better...or it can destroy people. And no, I don't belive either that the current Republican party wants to make things better. I think they want to make things worse...so bad that everything needs to be rebooted, and they believe they can do it "Better" this time. (The last time we had a reboot, was of course the New Deal).

twig

"there are lots of us who like to be bossed."

I don't really believe that, though I agree with everything else you said. I'm not sure what the other side is to the 'people who boss' but it's not people who enjoy waiting around to be kicked in the face. They certainly put up with it, but they don't like it.

Redbeard

No, twig, there ARE lots of us who like to be bossed. These people like to say, "I support the President," because when they fall in line to the general's commands, they can feel better than those dirty hippies who dare to wear tie-dyed shirts. These are different from the people who get kicked in the face and don't fight back because they don't have the energy, and they know they'll get it even worse if they do fight back. Some of this latter group you saw marching on Monday. See also, "Dirty Pretty Things."

Lance, I wish I'd written your post.

Rasselas

"Liking to be bossed" is different, but hard to distinguish, from liking to see and know that other people are being bossed. I think the latter applies to the silent majority, who are still waiting for Richard Nixon to awake from his slumber under the hill, return and put those damned kids in jail where they belong. Someone has to feel the lash, and if it's someone else, it can't be me.

Jim

Hear hear! A really good post. I know about five million people have already said this, but almost to a one, those people tsk-tsking over Colbert thought it was just darling when--at this same dinner a year or two ago--Bush did that 'self deprecating' piece of wit about looking all around the Oval Office for them WMD rascals. I'm reminded of the skit Jay Leno had during the OJ trial featuring the Dancing Itos. I thought it was pretty funny till someone pointed out the Itos were dancing on two corpses. Every member of the Club who laughed at Bush's little "I know they're here somewhere" skit were laughing at dead and mutilated American soldiers, to say nothing (since none of them would get the reference anyway) of those Iraqis liberated from this life.

Jaquandor

Oh, many of us most certainly DO like to be bossed. True-life example: a girl I knew in college was signed up for a monster course load that included an English Lit course that she was taking as an elective. A few weeks into the semester, she realized that the workload was crushing her and the lit course would have to go, so she would drop it the next day. But there she was the night before, still doing the homework. When I asked her why she was doing the homework for a class she was dropping the next day, she replied that she didn't want to look stupid in the next day's class session. When I further asked why she was even going to the next day's class session, she looked at me as though the very idea of not going the next day was unthinkable, even though she was dropping the class immediately after that session ended. Some people LIKE authority, are genuinely lost without it, and revere it. (Putting it in the supremely geeky terms of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, this is what the "Lawful Neutral" alignment is all about.)

(Oh, and Lance, one doesn't "unzip" overalls. One unbuckles them. What you're thinking of is "coveralls". Big difference. (The resident overalls expert))

Linkmeister

Jaquandor, I kinda disagree about your friend's motives for attending/doing the homework. I remember my last day(s) on several different jobs, where I continued to think about what decisions I should be making that were in the best interests of the companies, even though I was out the door that afternoon.

I'm not sure whether it's liking being bossed or self-regard. I owed it to myself to be professional; maybe she felt the same way.

Holdie Lewie

One of the pet phrases of Club members, whatever the club: "That just isn't done."

Being funny while telling the president and press that they are complicit in the deaths of thousands of innocents -- well, that just isn't done. Very uncool.

sfmike

Most of us do like to be told what to do ("bossed" has other connotations). A few excel at telling others what to do.

I've been self-employed for thirty years because I know I would be a terrible boss, and also because I don't like being told what to do by idiots, which is usually the case at most workplaces. Still, I love being told what to do by a client who has their act together, or a director who knows what they're doing, or a smart, intelligent leader of any sort. So do most people. (And Linkmeister, totally agree with the "I owe it to myself to be professional" remark.)

As for the clubbiness in D.C., that happens in all kinds of milieus. Doing employee propaganda for the CEO of a large financial institution on a freelance basis, I watched decisions being made in Board of Directors meetings that were going to affect literally thousands of people's lives in drastic ways, and none of the top executives gave that fact a single thought. It was all a game, almost as if they had gotten stuck in high school and were trying to either be the Big Man/Woman on Campus, or be one of their friends/sycophants.

And Karmakin, the "reboot" concept is wonderful, but it needs to come from us -- you, me, Lance, and the millions of people who are starting to spin this web. The nuts in charge right now haven't had an original thought in years.

daveminnj

nice one,lance. i wish i'd said that.

harry near indy

lewis lapham has said this for years in harper's magazine, so it's no big news for me. he compared the whole d.c. scene to versailles during the reigns of the later louises, iirc.

Jaquandor

Linkmeister: I don't think the situations are comparable at all. Giving two weeks notice and still doing a good job during those two weeks is professionalism, I grant fully (having been in that position myself). It's also common courtesy, as quitting with no notice screws one's coworkers. Here we're talking about getting a "drop" slip from the registrar and having the prof sign it, and then it's all done; nobody gets screwed if she doesn't show up for that last class before she drops (it was an english lit class, not a chemistry class, so it's not like she shafted her lab partner), and "drop slips" are flying every which way early in a semester anyway. But anyway, the point isn't that she went to class, it was her reaction to me saying, "What? You're even going?"

fishbrake

Why the gratuitous slam at Ty Cobb for pete's sake? He's friggin' dead forever and spent the last few years of his life trying to improve his reputation. In any case, even if he was a racist and sociopath, what consequence DID it have when he was playing baseball?

Tom DeLay was a cheater, which is ultimately why he quit. I don't think Ty Cobb cheated.

Max Renn

lewis lapham has said this for years in harper's magazine, so it's no big news for me. he compared the whole d.c. scene to versailles during the reigns of the later louises, iirc.

And the late, great incarnation of SPY magazine reminded us in 1990 that

a) America was being recast and sold as a theme park

b) American elites were trying to recreate Washington as a high school with cliques, etc.

In an era in which Big Pharma reps are pro cheerleaders and in which Katie Couric is the Prom Queen (sorry, most prominent news anchor to Rockin' Navy Seals), I think we can safely say that the Spy Magazine of that era was like freakin' Cassandra on crack.

Quaker in a Basement

"if Colbert had done the routine the President did a couple years ago"

Now THAT would have been cold, wouldn't it? If Colbert had stood up there and done the same routine, word for word?

File that under "shoulda".

zocor


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