Tyranny of the banal

By Martin Bosworth

A few days ago, my esteemed fellow roguish scholar Mike commented eloquently on the double-plus goodspeak of Monica Goodling. In a private conversation amongst us, I said this:

Watching that testimony just fascinated me–how does someone so dumb and inarticulate end up in such a power position, let alone central to such a huge scandal? This was the person who wielded such power, with that squeaky voice, the vacant eyes, and the stammering, labored grasp of English? Evil really is about the tyranny of the banal.

That’s really the heart of it, isn’t it? We have such an innate (inbred?) tradition of anti-intellectualism in this country, and the continuing scandals of ineptitude in the Bush junta have reached their nadir in the cases of people like Goodling, Kyle Sampson, Mike Brown, Lurita Doan, and of course, Gonzo himself–we’ve bred a culture that doesn’t know a damn thing about a damn thing except how to follow orders, please the boss, and shift blame when you’re called on the carpet. And these are the people we put in charge of us.

There’s been an excellent ongoing discussion about the necessity of credentialing to signify experience going on here at S&R. I think, after seeing the seemingly endless parade of mid-level career hacks with no skills, no smarts, and no balls trying desperately to justify their incompetence, that I understand Sam’s point much better. I still don’t necessarily agree that credentials grant a presumption of expertise,however, because if there’s one thing Regent University’s finest have taught us, it’s that it’s not what you know, it’s how well you claim to not remember it.

We are governed by morons, we educate people to be morons, and then we wonder why it all falls apart so fast.

5 replies »

  1. Bush,Gonzales and Goodling would play the 3 Stooges very well. I suspect a more apt comparison would be Punch and Judy : playing ‘dis ingeniousness’ for all that it’s worth and then some. Coached performances.