Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Backstab Coxswain

In some movies, enemies might be better than family or friends. Little Birds (2012, Elgin James, dir.) has twitchy teen Juno Temple dragging bicycling BFF Kay Panabaker straight into adult trouble. Schoolmarm Cate Blanchet rides a bike in Notes on a Scandal (2006, Richard Eyre, dir.) while being blackmailed for an illicit affair by coworker Judi Dench, a psychotic dominatrix. Requiem (2006, Hans-Christian Schmid, dir.) stars Sandra Hüller as an epileptic with an unforgiving mom who begins by biking up a high hill, then believes she's possessed by a demon. Figures. Fail to see any irony in it at all. Cruelest almost always to themselves, humans hurt targets of convenience next. Unknown others remain a plausible threat, which explains the pathetic attempts at steering spectators by unwanted advice constantly delivered over airwaves. Yet it’s what you’d expect during a dearth in leadership.

Lately disturbed by well intentioned comments on social media. Wondering what motivates commentators to repeat pithy sayings by acknowledged luminaries. Is it mental laziness or need to dominate? Bellowed beat of presumptuous bigwigs becomes unbearable. The shrewd surmise servants rise into masters. Anyone worth citing doesn’t have to quote geniuses;
he or she does and says original things. You can only learn from others when you apply their knowledge for yourself. Why not skip the middle man? Be your own genius (or pet) by formulating theories, solving problems and tackling chores. Find and fulfill needs in overlooked niches with a quantum of pizazz even if it takes a kickstart from kickstand stop.

Harvard and MIT along with other institutions offer MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) anyone can take. Eager outsiders enroll faster and finisher sooner than jaded locals, though 90% of those who enroll drop out. Ivy League education resembles advertising come-ons, taunting ambitious youth with potential earnings then tugging rug out when they request work in their field. Setting up competitions so only a few succeed and most fail perfectly mimics capitalism, where the feeble and incompetent only exist to exploit, ignore or sacrifice. Public cares more about how pets are treated than how unfortunate members of their own species survive.

Applying one’s allegedly unbiased mind can be daunting task with risk of being incarcerated or ostracized. Offspring of the privileged take freedoms for granted. Maintaining class status seems easy enough when all they have to do is nothing. Stealing is child’s play once they know the “lay of the land”. Success only means insiders were warned just ahead of profit windfalls; too early or too late, where outsiders live, won’t do. Good intentions don’t count, mere tokens that take gain into account and transcend guilt. But what you do will mostly go unnoticed anyway, whereas you’ll be condemned on what you say. Citing nobility can forgive crimes depending upon celebrity status. Smart peasants act independently, heed no false cadence, navigate own course, pull oars themselves, and serve community, not just themselves, not what they teach at their university.

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