Even in a perfect world where everyone was equal
I’d still own the film rights and be working on the sequel
Every Day I Write the Book – Elvis Costello & the Attractions
One of the first hard truths we learn, usually when we start school as a small child -is that no matter how far one is along any given continuum- there’s going to be someone more ‘something’ than oneself. At least this used to be the case before the generation that was told that anything they did was great and CRITICISM became one fo the worst ‘ISMS’.
Does any of this sound familiar? “Don’t tell little McCayleigh that pouring milk allover the desk isn’t art, is a bad thing to do- why don’t we redirect that energy and say ‘that’s great, you’re a very special artist-person! Can we TRY and use the crayons?’ We don’t want to discourage in any way or make any child feel criticized or discouraged, so we have to be ‘careful and responsible’ about how we speak to children..the worst thing we can do is get mad or show disapproval. ” But because this whole idea doesn’t really make logical sense, the kid isn’t thus inspired to become a great artist because no one ragged her about purposefully dumping milk on her paper- what she learns is anything is open to interpretation, everything is subjective, and it’s OK to pour milk on your desk.
In an age where we are continually told things like ‘ all voices need to be heard’ and phrases like ‘level-playing field’ are bandied about- we all know deep down that ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ are by and large, myths. Artifically imposed equality never seems to actually become the very thing it strives for. That said, we all are told we can be anything , do anything. It’s the American Way. But- is it? Enter Artificially Equals, the excellence-eating zombies.
We enact laws, in hopes of making things more ‘fair’, but that only serves to force people to not always go with who and what is best, therefore hurting everyone – nothing improves- in many cases- things get worse. I would bet you encounter constant encounters with the results of Falsely Imposed ‘Equality’ in your everyday life. How many times do people get stuff wrong that really doesn’t seem to be very hard. If we even go to the drive-thru to get a burger-the not understanding the person on the intercom- or they not understanding you, managing to either miss something or otherwise get something wrong-everyone knows to check their bag before driving away becauses chances are pretty good even a simple maneuver like looking at a screen and throwing the correct items into a bag entails way too much multi-tasking. I use the drive-thru as a metaphor for the problem- only because it emcompasses, albeit on a simple level- the problem of not being understood, and not getting what you paid for.
Garage Attendant: Uh, what country do you think this is?
Trying to explain things to the Artifically Equal is another chore- it doesn’t matter whether it’s hamburgers or supervisors or teachers or students or about any scenario you can imagine- they won’t get it- and explaining it only seems to make it worse. Forget about abstract thought or analogies- they will inevitably seize upon details and/or try to devolve what you are trying to get across to the lowest common denominator- they simply cannot grasp the bigger picture. It’s all about that very moment, what do you want right now- not about critical thinking skills. Subtlety? Intricacy? Nuance? Forget about it. You will get a blank stare, or laughed at . There’s certainly the temptation to give in, to dumb-down , to regress in order to better communicate with the Artificial Equals. To hold what we have to give back because not only do we know it either won’t be understood correctly, but it might even be thought-jacked, malapropanized and regurgitated- worse if the new version is attributed to you.
Perhaps you have seen AE’s in positions you know you could do better in, are more talented or qualified- yet there sits AE smugly enjoying the fruits of your harvest. Perhaps you have witnessed AE fails in high-level positions. Perhaps you were passed over in favor of an AE because you were simply too normal. You weren’t enough of a tabula rasa, or blank slate. Or there was a brightness, or a keenness- an inventiveness or imagination that exceeded the limits of their own. You weren’t the kid in the ‘save this child or turn the page’ advertisement. There was nothing about you that needed elevating. You weren’t fleeing some kind of horrific mutilation in an aids/rape/famine-plagued nation, or an anchor baby or otherwised Officially Disenfranchised. Being outsourced doesn’t count. If you’re not the Ethiopian or the migrant farmworker- read illegal alien- then you have to be Madonna or Angelina, patron saints of Adopt the World, Doing My Part, Making a Difference. On a jet plane. In Prada. Ok, so we also all know normal people aren’t going to copy everything celebrities do- but it most assuredly is part of getting us used to the idea of being somehow responsible for the entire world.
If not, you fall into the Pissed-Off White Man recycle bin:
and if you aren’t pissed off-if you feel surrounded, outsourced, irritated you paid your dues and yet you are now paying for those who diddn’t-pissed off about the never-ending war in the middle east, pissed off your kids can’t play in the streets like when you were a kid, pissed off hospitals are closing because of illegals- pissed off 4 cops are dead because of some ghetto-thug, pissed off you are always the bad guy from which every societal evil is blamed upon- pissed off your high-achieving son or daughter can’t get a scholarship because they’re too privileged by virtue of whiteness alone- pissed off that you get called names when you criticize all this, that you have been made all but irrelevant by every image and sound byte you see and hear-then perhaps you should be.