Rendered Fat Content


Jan Matejko: Stańczyk during a ball at the court of Queen Bona in the face of the loss of Smolensk (1862)
"The Amish were right, we're too late Schmart."

The morning headlines label it an unprecedented coup-attempt, an insurrection, sedition, and it might well qualify for all three of these labels. It also represented the most common of human outcomes. Oh, I understand that thwarted self-proclaimed patriots vowed to return in the morning with muskets, but that threat hardly matters and can't quite qualify as a concern. I thought the Capitol Police brilliant in their defense of the institution, though it might have appeared to more naive observers that they'd been too easily out-flanked by the mob. They denied that mob the martyrs they might have aspired to produce, instead, ceding that long-offensive car to the yapping dog's jaws. We watched as the pride seemed to drain right out of those boys once they'd achieved their long aspired-for goal. What did they do with their freshly-gained authority? Well, I guess they planted a couple of amateurish pipe bombs. Other than that, they seemed quickly bored with their achievement, posting a little graffiti and lounging in chairs of the long-reviled powerful, looking a little surprised that those seats transferred no enlivening power into them. They dispersed with nothing gained, their purpose drained as a direct result of having achieved it, an overall disappointingly amateurish theater production. Utterly ordinary.

Revolutions usually work this way because their leaders tend to be tenaciously short-sighted, largely because their loyal followers insist upon short-sightedness as a condition of their fealty.
No rabble ever musters even an ounce of interest for the intricacies of governance, for that's necessarily a grueling business. They'll warmly consent to storming the castle without ever once thinking about who cleans the toilets after, and most of the business of governance amounts to cleaning toilets, almost never storming castles. They're likewise fine with training their muskets on The Man until just after they discover that The Man's armaments make their muskets look like pea shooters. They're better at tearing down than at building up. They discover that nobody remembered to order that essential army of Porta-Potties necessary for any force to maintain dedication and focus. Revolutionaries usually go home cold and hungry at the end of their day or end up the protagonist in an immensely boring tragedy. 'Twas always thus.

The question seems to always resolve into a simple issue: If you achieved that, what would you have? When The Muse and I consulted with projects, we deployed that simple question as a strategic imperative, because many (most?) projects had only considered their purpose, their objective, up to a rather modest horizon, rarely any further. We'd arrive to find everyone focused upon achieving that modest horizon and we'd quite naturally wonder what might happen the day after. What if, we'd wonder, this enthusiastic dog actually catches the long-lusted-after car? So, we'd engage in an iterated annoyance, asking the What Would You Have? question in repeated iteration, for each response begs precisely the same question again, and none ever completely resolves it. We were asking what might happen if their dream actually came true. Curiously, few projects had ever thought that question through to its logical extent, let alone to its likely emotional impact. Once recognizing its inevitably nightmarish externalities, some projects opted to forego their dream. Others went on to achieve their dream fortified with an understanding that not even Heaven guarantees anyone a free lunch. They'd planned for cleaning toilets, how inspiring.

Shortly after the attempted insurrection, Congress reconvened with a few of the former bulldogs seeming more like contrite poodles than pit bulls. A few of the dimmer bulbs hadn't received the memo from the front and maintained at least a shameless public face. They appeared pathetically clueless then, in the shadow of their long-touted achievement. They might never acknowledge that they'd blown up their purpose by achieving it, producing little more than humiliation as change. Nobody who ever worked inside any corporation or government institution had not seen this passion play before. It might have reminded them of that long-touted implementation of some game-changing application that only managed to crash the servers and ruin the reputations of its sideshow promoters. Change is like a Carnival Midway Game. It's always rigged by carnies to favor the house and should you somehow manage to drop every ping pong ball into the little Dixie cups, you'll get to manage a gaudy over-sized stuffed animal which your girl friend will insist that she loves, though she'll insist that you lug the damned thing around for the rest of the evening. Later, it will just take up too much space in some corner, another in a long series of lagging WakeUps. HeadingHomeward's no different, our arrival there could humiliate us if we're not careful about what we wish for and don't arrive in that promised land with a toilet brush in hand. The Amish were right, we're too late Schmart.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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