Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Carol Ann Trabert: Sequel to Markin's fairy tale

The following response to Allan Markin's column appeared in the July 25th, 2007, edition of The Herald:

Dear Sir,

Having arisen from my 'fainting couch', I offer the following for your consideration.

The Man Who Fell From High Reason

Twice upon a time, a highly educated man took on the challenges of leadership, first as a principal and then as the Chair of a dedicated group who wished to save a well constructed, acoustically perfect building that was, however, built over 50 years ago.

Then tragedy struck this man and he took leave of those educated opinions he had earned over the years, and became tempted by the Next Big New Thing cult. He succumbed to New Building Dementia, which involves a single-mindedness to the New and forsakes rationality, even being prepared to sacrifice an existing, functioning facility. (Wonder if he would cut off his nose if the Cult assured him another one could be constructed for him in--well 36 months to 10 years) This poor man lost his ability to appreciate anything not New, which is a side effect of New Building Dementia. Another side effect is Money Madness, which manifests itself in an inability to recognize zeros in a dollar context. This madness is epidemic in many bureaucracies, owing largely to the fact that those spending the money do not have to be mindful of its source. It is rumoured that some think there are money grow-ops hidden in the government buildings, providing a fresh crop on a regular basis. But the ultimate manifestation is being able to talk about $30,000,000.00 of taxpayer dollars as cheerfully as they might talk about buying lunch.

But, back to the saga. This poor man fell under the spell of the Next Big New Thing Cult with its Money Madness syndrome and even promoted the idea that it was 'bad' money that paid to erect the original auditorium and gymnasium. Rational, thinking citizens raised their eyebrows at this, and this enraged him and his Cult so much that they became thoroughly rude, demeaning, and even antagonistic in an effort to defend their indefensible position that only New is Good. The group he joined gathered to concoct outrageous plans to promote their Cult. They all drank deeply of the Economic Benefit Opiate, envisioning thousands of people flocking to attend performances and magically doubling--no tripling--the sales of every hardware, grocery and shoe store in the City. And so they stumbled through their days in a Haze of Unrealism.

And if the vision they seek to impose on the thousands of citizens who aren't drinking deeply of any opiate doesn't come to pass? Hope there will be another project for the Next Big New Thing Cult. Reality may just be too hard for them to accept.

No comments: