Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Exhuming Ayn Rand

People like George W. Bush and politicians in general serve as poster children for the fact that the proverbial cream does not rise to the top in our world. The older I become, the more I see evidence of incompetent people rising in the ranks of society, corporations and organisations. This completely bursts the values upon which we are raised in that hard work and achievement will pay off in the long run. Ayn Rand must be rolling over in her grave… and “who is John Galt?

Let’s look at the example of George W. Honestly, of the 300 plus million people living in the United States, is he truly the best to lead? Rhetorical question. The real question is where are those who truly are worthy of such power and position? The fact is, the worthy in most organisations never rise out of the front line. There are a number of factors working in tandem that create this anti-social Darwinism. First and foremost are the factors of wealth, nepotism and who you know. What you know is immaterial. That does not mean that there aren’t any intelligent people who act on such opportunities, but rather that there are many incompetent people who also reap the benefits of their connections.

Next, there is the penis envy factor. Quite simply, people do not wish to promote those who make show them up. “Superiors” want to remain feeling as such, quick to observe if another’s talents might eclipse their own. In this regard, there is a perversion of our concepts pertaining to capitalism’s competitive tenets.

Most superiors are really looking for “yes men and women”. Let’s face it: most of the time that we ask for constructive criticism we find it difficult to accept the negative. It stings, especially when you think what you’ve done is outstanding. As much as we may make ourselves appear to shy away from the “good dog” pat on the head, it’s what we want to hear. Many outstanding people tend to be outspoken and thus are viewed as a threat – hence the reason they are repressed in the lower ranks and on the front lines. I have known so many outstanding individuals over the years, many of whom have locked horns with their managers, and have never really made any career progress.

I must admit, though perhaps somewhat vainly, that I include myself as someone who has a fair amount of insight, ideas and creative concepts. I am in now way a genius, but I am also not a one dimensional paper cut-out of a clone. I hold two degrees, speak five languages to various degrees, have traveled the world and have played sport at the international level. In spite of this, there were long periods in my life where I was unemployed. I could not get a job teaching with the local school board, in spite of the fact that I had two job offers in my practicum year. That lead me down the path to where I spent nearly half a decade working as a prison guard. At the end of the day, I am a firm believer that those employers who took the time to read my resumes thought either I was lying or were intimidated as I rarely got any interviews ( though I did get job offers on roughly 90% of the interviews I did have, hence me finally teaching in the local public system).

In any case, I am not here to make belated comments on how long it took me to break in to a teaching career. What I do want to say is that the Education Department where I did my degree, the Correctional Service and school boards in general all appear to be headed up by bureaucrats who are on the verge of incompetence. They are ideologues who are so detached from the front lines that it is beyond ridiculous and there is a general complacency amongst the masses that allow them to continue to produce their tripe with minimal accountability. I’m talking about the managers and law makers who have given murderers and rapists more rights than their victims. These are the same bunch who wouldn’t let Correctional Officers wear handcuffs and stab resistant vests because they were “intimidating and did not foster a trusting relationship with inmates”. I’m talking about the University courses on Assessment that state class sizes should be small and never use multiple choice exams as they don’t allow students to show what they really know, while the Assessment course itself is in a lecture hall of 300 students and bases grades on two multiple choice exams. I’m talking about school boards who become blinded by research and implement a multitude of new concepts with no additional funding or modification to class sizes. If you question any of those heading up policies, you get more rhetoric as they let you know who is running the show – shit rolls downhill, don’t you know Sisyphus?!

I’m tired of the trenches, but know that I could never keep my mouth shut long enough to advance in the ranks of my profession. Nor do I care to in many regards as one would still be surrounded by idiots. Perhaps I’ll exhume Ayn and see if I can’t find a valley somewhere in which to start a colony of utilitarian perfection – anyone want to come?


  • At 2:59 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    anon.nodroggout in again, still slogging in csc, without you, noting agreement and nodding like a 'bobble-head jesus' in agreement with you on the syndrome of obeisance that some managers seek to exploit.
    Caps on to thank you for your contribution while in uniform, dedication and perseverance too. Education departments may have now enough idealists in admin to work with you, though even among educated professionals you will find weasels and rats.
    As a cynic and sinfully so, waiting to die and be rolled from top of Grierson Hill down to river and floated aweigh as a raft for lost ducks and wayward pigeons, I stand over the berm and salute your effort, hoping that when I launch turd-balls over the hill they will hit the Principal, not your principles, which are two too different shades of teal.
    So, also to apologize for any "evangelical" tone in comments on earlier essay. But read how in today's news the Bush Leagues is being rejected by the real conservatives (Democrats) taking over Congress (sex) with balanced (except that Cheney takes control) in Senate (senile), so I sympathize with cynicism and again, apllaud your past actions at the front. nodroggout....

  • At 1:08 p.m. , Blogger Real-E said...

    Cheers nodroggout! Keep fighting the good fight!

  • At 12:41 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Thank you for that! I find this week and last, while I was interfering with my daughter's site and yours, that the religious issues connected to politics are being discussed, as well as your personal tests. My daughter's test was something indicative of," Could you be a jew?" I went off on my free-associative babble there too, so she came over and showed me how to tend my own b.l.o.g. (mind my own business). Can you hardly wait for your beautiful child to be telling you that, however politely, because she loves you 'dad' but needs her space? I feel a lot 'with' the old CSNY song now, "Teach Your Children Well". They teach us more than we could have imagined. I forget that my daughter has the right to explore the wrong way streets too. "You would cry too if it happened to you." I apologize for using Lesley Gore instead of Bob Dylan (or the Pogues) to illustrate suffering in life. How about an old Dylan? "Don't follow leaders, watch yer pawking meters." It was printed on the cue cards discarded in the street with Allen Ginsbergh smoking a pipe in the background of an old video of, I think, Bob Dylan's 115th dream. So, I 'll get off your cloud for now and thank you for these thoughtful notes and know-its. I'm off to Ballard Street.

  • At 9:18 p.m. , Blogger auntiegrav said...

    RealE said,"I’m tired of the trenches, but know that I could never keep my mouth shut long enough to advance in the ranks of my profession. Nor do I care to in many regards as one would still be surrounded by idiots. Perhaps I’ll exhume Ayn and see if I can’t find a valley somewhere in which to start a colony of utilitarian perfection – anyone want to come?"
    The Ayn Rand scenario isn't as great as it's cracked up to be. I used to think it was ideal, since I'm the John Galt type, but as I've aged and realized that there is value to some things which aren't engineered, and that Ayn Rand was really the precursor to the modern Corporate Capitalist Shill (a.k.a. the anticommunist at all cost nutcase), I've found other, more mundane but realistic authors to listen to. Some not so mundane, such as Derrick Jensen (if the NSA wasn't reading before, they will be now), Douglass Rushkoff, and Wendell Berry.
    The happy hippy commune doesn't work because there aren't usually enough John Galts, and the Ayn Rand 'valley' doesn't work because there are too many (the modern version would probably allow a limited amount of immigrant workers to clean their toilets).
    When you look at what people are trying to accomplish in life, you also understand why the heirarchy is the way it is. People who make it to the top are competent only at making it to the top. People who are competent and interested in many things are rarely going to be focused on ladder climbing, but expecting (and being disappointed) their rewards to be awarded proportionally to their accomplishments. Half the time the idiots in charge don't know they are too stupid to be in charge, and the other half of the time, they are busy being exactly what put them on top: consumers.
    You, my friend, are a Creator, not a Consumer. Since your leanings are toward that end, you won't be rewarded by the consumptive society.
    Miss Taggert of Taggert Transcontinental labeled the mysterious force that was bleeding civilization dry "The Destroyer", when what he was really doing was helping the world consume itself. In the end, though, the missing piece of Rand's wonderful valley story is that resources are not infinite. Free energy would just allow free consumption of morality and the planet until the same despiccable situation arose again and again until people learned to limit their consumption to be less than their creativity. Net Creativity.
    The audio version of Atlas Shrugged is great. Narrated by Edward Hermann

  • At 9:23 p.m. , Blogger auntiegrav said...

    The beliefnet survey is kinda fun.
    But "Unitarian Universalist"?
    What the hell's the point? They should just call it what it is: "The Community Center". Why have a religion if nobody is going to commit to any funny hats or goofy rituals? If you can't beat yourself on the head until you bleed, then who CAN you beat on the head until they bleed?


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