Tuesday, March 24, 2009

And If Respect ISN'T Earned...

I've decided to try to bust up this blog post drought by seeding a passing cloud of angst. In other words, I'm going to try concocting my own "meme". It's a pretty pointed one, too.

We're all told we're supposed to respect our elders. In fact, in some cultures (and religions) it's not even subject to question; if you don't face your seniors, bow down before them. and take their every utterance to heart you risk facing ostracism if not worse. This is particularly true if the elder in question holds a special place in society by virtue of his or her position and/or reputation. Failure to show proper deference marks you as a certified fink.

But what do you do when you are confronted with a "respected elder" who proves to be not all s/he's cracked up to be? That brings us to this "meme". List seven quotes spoken by "respected elders" that show them to be rather less than worthy of respect. It is not necessary to identify who said it.

1. "I'm a great man. I am famous in these parts because I am great. Even if I do something that would get someone else in trouble, no one would blame me. No one would even complain because they all know that I'm a great man, and they know they're lucky to have someone like me in their midst." (Sadly enough, he wasn't joking.)

2. "I realized long ago that I'm no ordinary human being. I am specially blessed. Because of that, there's no chance of anything bad ever happening to me. There's not even any chance of my making a mistake. But because I'm so blessed, I have an obligation to help other people. I do this by correcting their way of living. No one lives right. They're all doing it wrong, so I have to do my best to get them to follow my perfect example." (No, he wasn't joking, either.)

3. "I am the best trained and most experienced member of this department, so naturally I'm the one who deserves the most respect, but no one respects me. That just goes to show that there are many problems in this department. If you have any questions or need any advice, I would recommend you come talk to me. Don't listen to any of the others." (I don't think he was joking, but when he says things like this it's kind of hard to tell.)

4. Respected Elder: (sigh of annoyance) "Look, I'm gonna ask you to tune up with the strobe tuner before rehearsals from now on!" Me: "I have been tuning up with the strobe tuner before rehearsals! Look!" (Plays tuning Bb, strobe tuner stops dead on zero.) Respected Elder: (sigh, pause) "Well...look, you should know better than to trust a damned machine! From now on, don't use the tuner!" (Look, I've gotta patronize you about something!)

5. (In response to a call to brush up on CPR because of a student with a diagnosed heart condition:) "We have no business trying to administer CPR! Even if it means the student dies, it can't be helped! We are neither doctors nor paramedics, so we have no business pretending otherwise! We're not qualified!" (The same individual in response to a call not to intervene excessively in the issues of a student with a diagnosed psychological condition:) "It doesn't matter if we are trained in psychological counseling or not! If we are on the scene, it is our responsibility to deal with the situation! We have no business not intervening to help a student, qualified or not!" (I have no business making up my mind!)

6. "Well, I can't really say whether we've had much success. Looking back, we probably haven't really had much, but the point is that it's our system! We've always used it, and we've never had any problems with it! If it's not broke, don't fix it!" (At least we're comfortable in our mediocrity!)

7. "I'm the commander — see, I don't need to explain — I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being president." (But the real point is, "Can you explain why you say things?)

Do I really have to stop at seven? Whatever, good enough. I think I'll tag Snabulus, Ladybug, Dave, Dean Wormer, Arkonbey, Swinebread, and Catpsi.

13 comments:

Arkonbey said...

ow. Man. And I was just thinking the other day of a Boatswain's Mate Chief I once worked for who was the first man I ever truly respected, so I'm going to have to try hard to cleanse my mind of good thoughts to come up with stuff for this ;)


verification word:

Lazoid (LAY-zoyd)noun

1) a hand held mining laser device used in intra-solar mining operations

2) a race of beings from the planet Indolena who are prone to avoiding work and procrastination

Dave said...

Most of the time that sort of talk really rubs me the wrong way. But I will make an exception to someone who has an external polling unit certifiy that he is genuinely right 98.3% of the time. And that celebrated blowhard would of course be, Rush Limbaugh. I can understand why he alienates the liberal portion of his audience. But the odd thing is that liberals keep listening to the show and call in. Its a contest of wills as each tries to convince the other that "I'm right, and you are not."

The Moody Minstrel said...

But I will make an exception to someone who has an external polling unit certify that he is genuinely right 98.3% of the time.

That sounds suspiciously like something the guy who made comment #2 in my list would claim.

And since the point of this article is ridiculous comments made by supposedly respectable people, I'm having trouble figuring out the relevance of pro-Rush propaganda, but whatever.

Don Snabulus said...

Okay, before I comment on Moody's post...I must say that I LOVE everything about the word Lazoid. Sadly, Lazoid.com is taken, but Lazoid.me is still available.

Dave,

Rush Limbaugh is a ruttin' lazoid if you ask me. (In the movie "Serenity", rut was basically the F word). I will always appreciate your providing us wheels and freedom for our teenage years, but dude, you listen to the wrong Limbaugh. In fact, I know nearly a dozen Limbaughs off the top of my head that could blow his doors off intellectually, several of whom read this web page. I would debate him myself if he had the stones to talk to anyone in a neutral forum, but Uncle Rushie can't live without controlling his medium.

MM,

On to the post!!

I am not sure I can come up with seven as good as yours (esp since you took #7, which I would have used) but I will try.

#5 will probably give me nightmares.

Dave said...

I figured a mention of Rush would be a good example of what Moody was talking about. But it only seems that way if you disagree with his point of view.

As a general rule, people don't try to do to me what Moody is suggesting. I don't know if that is because I am a big guy, or what. People find other ways to get under my skin.

Perhaps, Moody, you should lift weights and taller shoes.

Don, don't worry. I do not associate you or anyone in your family as being a dittohead. Still, as the name implies, he is at some point in history a distant relation of yours.

Pandabonium said...

How did we end up on the "B-Ark" is what I want to know!

The Moody Minstrel said...

Dave
I figured a mention of Rush would be a good example of what Moody was talking about. But it only seems that way if you disagree with his point of view.

Which is why it's a poor example. You're still missing the point. The theme of this "meme" (I'll reiterate once again) is things said by supposedly respectable people that show them to be less than respectable. People who disagree with Rush Limbaugh's point of view don't respect him to begin with. Therefore he doesn't fit the profile.

Perhaps, Moody, you should lift weights and [wear?] taller shoes.

You're still missing the point, which is NOT simply people saying things that get under one's skin. Besides, three of the quotes I listed were not directed at me personally, so my physique and shoe height hardly seem relevant.

Pandabonium
I'm beginning to think so. And sometimes I think it's too bad certain people aren't being frozen and shipped off across the galaxy.

Drill Sergeant Dave said...

Brrr.
Why am I an iceberg in this extraterrestrial vessel?

Moody and Snabulus, I have to remember that neither of you have been exposed to what is known in military jargon as a DRILL SERGEANT speech.

There is a special school for those so inclined to be professional assholes. I actually met an instructor for drill sergeant school and in the situation that he met me and my fellow troopers I knew that an ass reaming would be awaiting us back at the barracks. Which is why I am an advocate for everyone in the US going through basic training.

Not only does it endow one with a sense of manhood, or womanhood, yes, there were some very sexy female drill sergeants that I have met as well, it tends to erase that politically correct blemish that comes from our public school system.

The Moody Minstrel said...

(*sigh* I still don't think he gets it. He still thinks this is simply about "assholes". What's the point?)

...it tends to erase that politically correct blemish that comes from our public school system.

Funny...I've worked with and at both public and private schools, and the most virulently PC teachers I've ever met were at PRIVATE schools. ELITE private schools, I might add.

That reminds me of something. Perhaps I should add a #8 to the list:

"Respected Elder": "The thing you guys have to understand is that, here in Japan, teachers NEVER fraternize with students, nor do they EVER speak with them in a casual manner. [Moody], you used to teach at public schools here. You know what I'm talking about, don't you?"
Me: "Actually, I saw teachers fraternizing with students and being casual with them all the time!"
"Respected Elder:" "In American schools, right. But NEVER in Japanese..."
Me: "In Japanese schools. In Japanese public schools."
"Respected Elder: (puzzled-looking pause) "Well, anyway, guys...you know, I've heard that, here in Japan, teachers do sometimes fraternize with their students, and sometimes they do act casual around them, even in the public schools, but you need to understand that it's just not our company policy." (So glad you can feed me my own information!)

Don Snabulus said...

I'm too much of a lazoid to worry about it.

Dean Wormer said...

I'm sorry I missed this. I'll take it up in my next post. Great meme!

Dean

Rodney said...

Respect?

I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous - everyone hasn't met me yet.

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