the ministry of emotion Archives

January 8, 2011

Anyone who can read the death of Little Nell...

"... without laughing, must have a heart of stone," the immortal Oscar insightfully says.

A commenter here observed, in connection with today's Arizona massacre,

It's hard not to feel for the family of the nine year old girl who was shot and killed.
Indeed. That goes without saying. Or rather it ought to go without saying: to go without saying. Each of us should take it for granted -- absent evidence to the contrary -- that our interlocutors are not sociopaths.

Little Nell is a fictional character. One can laugh at the death of a fictional character -- indeed, as Oscar says, there are times when one must. Sentimentality is one thing, real feeling quite another. One of the great missions of the propaganda sector is to confuse the two.

The child who was killed today was not the smarmy Little Nell. She was a real person, and her death deserves some real feeling. Her family and friends will be feeling it. Perhaps it's best left up to them, without the intrusion of some officially-approved and media-promoted public sorrow, whose broadness is the reciprocal of its depth.

There are, and always will be, so many we shall have to mourn, as the poet says. It's a question of respect not to appropriate the sorrow of the people who actually knew and loved this child. In fact, we can go a bit farther: it's a gesture of gross disrespect to turn their sorrow into some kind of political Bloody Shirt.

July 4, 2011

Trudging through a melodramatic swamp

My first experience of corporate job life was shocking. I expected to be harvested for whatever sad amount of value could be gleaned from my labor, but I did not expect an emotional freak show. That's what it was, however. The neurotic miasma was fetid, dank, palpable. The place was a sweatshop for vampiric jockeying and resentment. Stool pigeons exchanged snide barbs with Stakhanovites. Passive aggressive people "accidentally" obstructed each other. Each little boss had a bigger boss that upon him fed. The senior management scored arcane points and forced rivals out in what amounted to a pecking party. The social costs were (are) so high that no value was produced at all. Although the place did make a stab at putting profits on paper.

It eventually occurred to me that profit was secondary to the corporate purpose. They're closer to mini-states in function; vehicles for power. A CEO can be utterly worthless in performing ostensible duties and still be able to count on another berth, or at the very least a set of compensatory sinecures. The sense of grandiose victimhood they evince when they tank an outfit is completely sincere. They've been wronged!

About the ministry of emotion

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Stop Me Before I Vote Again in the the ministry of emotion category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

The merit class is the previous category.

The mortgage trap is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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