Sunday, June 11, 2006

Wait, What Was I Saying?

I sat, stuffing my mouth with dressing-slathered salad and steaming spoonfuls of soup. It was noon on Sunday, and the Gin-and-Tonic family was brunching at the local soup and salad bar buffet. Admittedly, a step down from breakfast at the Benson, Stuffy's (as we call it) is an ideal dining diversion for a cranky baby.

Returning to the table from my second go at the Jello and fruit bar, I glanced around at this swelling congregation of post-church east-siders. They milled about like cattle, blank-faced, fresh from the pews. They wore ill-fitting, poorly pressed business attire, because that apparently pleaseth the Lord.

I was dressed, shall we say, less formally. Proudly broadcasting the fact that I was most definitely not coming from church. It could only have been more clear if I were smoking a cigarette and mixing vodka in with my orange juice.

I felt bad for these poor people who chose to wake up early on Sunday, and put on uncomfortable clothes to go give money and sing songs in a big sterile building because they chose to believe that an invisible man in the clouds wanted them to. It really made me sad.

But then, in an instant, it dawned on me. There are the peasants. These are the followers. These are the people who will believe anything you tell them. These are the workers who will cook my food and put gas in my car. These are the people who kept Bush in The White House.

It's OK to manipulate these folks, it the reason they exist. All you have to do is put on a good show. Tell them you like to watch Nascar and that you go to church every Sunday. Waive the flag and use the word patriotism now and then.. They are sure to put you into office.

And that, I think, is what Carl touched on in his Machiavelli blog a few weeks back. Carl's point, I think, was that The Prince is not about the ends justifying the means (as most cliff-notes-reading folks will tell you.) No, The Prince is about a way of life.

The path to power is not a series of decisions. No, it is a way of being, living free from the strictures of arbitrary morality. It is about manipulating the stupid and the wise alike. Be all things to all people as circumstances and needs dictate. Forget Sun Tzu. Don't bother with Tony Robbins. Pick up The Prince, and be the man.

Reading for comprehension

1. Jesus Christ, what a complete load of drivel. This one got completely away from me. Can you figure out where?
2. Can you even figure out what this entry was originally going to be about?
3. Would you be surprised to learn that this was originally going to be about the second season of Deadwood? I need to remind myself, no blogging when you haven't slept enough...

6 comments:

  1. First, let me say that I applaud the Machiavellian way of life. Last month, when standing in front of his tomb in the church of Santa Croche, I thought to myself - This is good stuff. His thoughts about good and bad, power and the use of power are as relevant today as they were when written.

    Second - let us not be cowed by flags and fireworks - The Founding Fathers that brought this nation to be, were equally concerned about the "riff raff" getting a hold of the wheel. Its no accident that all of this "equality" was mitigated by certain "requirements" to get the keys to the castle. The founding fathers thought the masses to be unruly and illtempered, and willing to sell out their mothers for a buck if they could. Not exactly the bedrock of democratic ideal.

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  2. WTF!?!?! That's all too damn much thinking this early on a Monday. Somebody get me a drink. Now, where did I put the baby?....

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  3. I like reading about me in your blogs almost as much as I like reading my comments to your blogs.

    As for Machiavelli, I think it has more to do with a new morality than amorality. People think you are amoral if you act a certain way. Machiavelli just recognized that the morals were different and not standardized.

    A unified moral theory is right up there with a mono-theistic belief system. It is a great thing to get other people to believe in.

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  4. Anonymous4:39 PM

    1. You lost the trail when you mentioned jello. You always loose it over the jello. Its your downfall.

    2. No.

    3. You didn't mention scotch or the generous use the word "fuck" so Deadwood never came to mind.

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  5. I saw April Lucas at lunch today. It made me think of
    "The youthgroup" and all the fun we used to have praying and singing and dressing nicely. It also reminded me of a huge debate that I started over the question of loosing your salvation. We used to joke that if you had one once of remorse for your sins before you die then you could still make it to heaven. Well Brother, your remorse is gone.

    As I sat there at lunch I had the overwhelming urge to yell "April Swallows" but alas the wifey was there and i'm a big pussy.

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  6. If there is no sin, salvation becomes irrelevant. On the other hand, the swallowing buisiness was just a rumor (that I started...)

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Be compelling.

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