Shorts

Posted by jlubans on August 12, 2021

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Caption: “It has been determined” - Bureaucratese

Here follows a miscellany of odds and ends of blog ideas, ones that never matured into something on which I could write 500 or 750 words - the usual length of one of my essays.
So, here is the first installment of “Shorts”. I could have titled it “miscellany”, “potpourri”, or “grab bag”, but I decided on Shorts, like the short movies in the olden days of movie theaters when the main feature was preceded by short films.

It has been determined.
The above photo is of a notice stuck onto a tree giving advance notice of removal. Why do you think who made the determination is kept anonymous? Why not say who made the decision?
Sounds like CYA to me.
Who’s hiding?
Perhaps no one, but why do bureaucracies prefer stilted, if rotund, speech?
How about: “This tree is to be cut and removed.” Etc. Or, “Salem’s Parks Operations Division has decided, after due consideration, to remove this tree.”
Party Hearty
At one university where I worked we had a library advisory board of alums. They gave us good ideas and were influential, as well-to-do alums, in making our case to the administration.
Twice a year, the board would travel to campus and we would wine and dine them.
At my table was a proud parent whose daughter was soon to attend the university.
Over copious amounts of wine, a half dozen of us were conversing about the excesses of student drinking and how reform was long past due.
The proud parent would have none of it . For her, the incoming freshman class was composed of “people I want my daughter to get drunk with.”
Pretty shocking? Well, not really. She recognized – perhaps from her own undergraduate days - what goes on for many students when they get to campus. It’s party time! And, partying is a good way to make connections for the future. Networking starts at the kegger!
Better the daughter have her fling on campus then in some urban bar. If the daughter was going to sleep with dogs than it was best they be coequals with a higher class of flea.
Dreams of the Spanish Inquisition:
The brilliant and fearless George Orwell, life-long socialist, author of Animal Farm and infantry soldier in Spain’s civil war offered up this all too realistic view of what can happen when idealist socialists and anarchists come to power:
“It cannot be said too often—at any rate it is not being said nearly often enough—that collectivism is not inherently democratic, but, on the contrary, gives to a tyrannical minority such powers as the Spanish Inquisitors never dreamed of. ” He added: “Collectivism leads to concentration camps, leader worship, and war.”
No focus groups for Henry (Ford):
“If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said ‘a faster horse’.”
Elon Musk’s colossal ego would’ve met its match in Henry and then some.

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© Copyright text and photo John Lubans 2021

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