Zealotry

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by tonyb, Jun 13, 2020.

  1. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Heh, wouldn't we all? At least we could hope that a Flounger might be too distracted by leather jackets and nice boots to pose a serious threat to the world. ;)
     
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  2. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    It's only fun if you're the leader.
     
  3. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    “Leadership” has largely been reduced to a buzzword. It seems every youth program, every educational institution, every workplace seminar, has as its mission “leadership development,” or at least that’s part of its stated mission.

    With so many leaders, where you gonna get the followers?

    It’s snake oil, mostly. The hucksters may not be promoting a religion, but their programs are cult-like in their methods. “We are the chosen,” is what they’re saying, essentially.

    The irony, of course, is that these chosen few aren’t leading at all but rather just buying into the program. Keep telling people how important they are and a goodly portion of them will lap it up.
     
  4. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Number one rule of "leadership" -- you can't have a "leader" without "followers." You can't have an upper class without a lower class. You can't have a master without a servant. You can't have an above without a below.
     
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  5. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom One Too Many

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    The overriding insecurity of the times: everyone wants to be looked up to, everyone wants to “be important” in some way (even if it is only on twitter). Not to worry. MY program will make an important leader out of YOU. Hard to resist such a sales gimmick.
     
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  6. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    People confuse "respected" with "deferred to." They aren't the same thing.
     
  7. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    Couldn’t agree more.

    I still hear people bright enough to know better say things like “These kids have to be made to respect” parents or teachers or cops or whoever it is who has authority over them.

    It’s entirely illogical. A person can’t be made to respect another person any more than he or she can be made to love another person. A person can have impressed upon him or her that another person has power over him or her, but that’s hardly respect. It’s often closer to the opposite of respect, really.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2020
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  8. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    Yeah, it’s hard for the personally weak to resist.

    I was raised by such a weakling, and there’s little doubt it rubbed off on me. I’ve been unlearning my upbringing my entire adult life.

    This unfortunate fellow always yearned to be a big-shot, the guy in charge, the man others looked up to.

    A superficially forceful personality such as his will indeed serve a person so inclined, until it comes time to perform, to actually deliver the goods. That’s when the pure bluster of it all is laid bare.

    But even then the illusion persists in the eyes of some, including the would-be big-shot himself. I suspect that’s mostly because people have so much of themselves invested in the illusion that recognizing that it is indeed an illusion threatens their very sense of themselves.
     
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  9. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom One Too Many

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    Being able to look at yourself objectively is, of course, one of the hardest things a human being can do. Our natural instinct, understandably, is to want to paper over our weaknesses. Even worse, you can’t just look at your shortcomings once and say “there! I have faced my failings. It is all better now.” Once we admit them, we have to constantly keep an eye out for them and constantly do the work to make it better. It’s exhausting. No wonder some (who have never completely grown up) refuse to do it or to even think about it. As you so eloquently put it, some of us (most of us?) spend our whole adult lives trying to unlearn weaknesses or moral or behavioral holes that we picked up before we could think them through. Some have bigger deficits than others, and it’s not necessarily their fault; some attitudes are passed down. I don’t think I’m unique in anyway, but on multiple levels and in many ways, I wrestle with various heads of the snake almost every day. Am I nuts? I don’t think so. I imagine (hope?) that most self-aware adults grapple with these things. I also hope that collectively these personal efforts will slowly make the world a better place. I hope that doesn’t sound too dewy-eyed and naive.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2020
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  10. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom One Too Many

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    My wise-beyond-her-years daughter just said “we are all products of our former coping mechanisms.” Also strikes me as relevant.
     
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  11. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

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    I have always respected Houdini using his name, celebrity, and vast understanding of his craft to expose spiritual hucksters whose sole aim was to defraud a susceptible public. I cringe when I see these same crooks today attempting the same old scam.
     
  12. Like TV carnival barkers of monetary prosperity from God. Aman aman..
     
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  13. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    The first time I saw that guy that peddles "No Evil Oil" on late night cable I thought it was a comedy bit. When I realized it wasn't I was horrified, because it was pretty obvious that the oil this guy was selling PRAYED OVER FOR SEVENTEEN DAYS FOR YOUR FREEWILL OFFERING was pretty much the same stuff we use in the popcorn machine -- vegetable oil with a bit of orange coloring in it. And yet, somewhere, some desperate soul was picking up the phone to give this pirate her credit card number..

    How little conscience is it possible for one human being to have?
     
  14. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    I was a real carnival barker for 11 years....considered it as a career for a while but came to my senses. It was a lucrative gig but the days were long.
     
  15. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    Unconscionable people easily rationalize unconscionable deeds. An adeptness at that is necessary to ongoing success in the sleazy enterprise.

    I believe such swindlers rely on more honorable people to grow so tired of saying “you really don’t expect me to believe that, do you?” that they just tune it out and leave the lambs to the wolves’ appetites.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
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  16. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    Bernie Madoff did well selling the dream to a lot of smart not so desperate people too.
     
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  17. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Quite so. I am aware of an institution in my business were the Big Boss is very much deferred to. He is not in any way respected - more viewed with the same rank contempt with which he has treated his employees (many of whom have been with the institution decades longer than he has) - even if he is feared.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
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  18. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I've always found it interesting how many profoundly insecure people end up in high-authority positions. The outcome usually finds all the competent people driven out of the organization, or into positions with no influence, leaving nobody but cynical boot-lickers who take care to massage the insecure leader's ego enough to ensure their own positions. When any organization reaches this point, you can expect that its collapse is imminent.
     
  19. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    Last night I watched “Bully, Coward, Victim,” the HBO documentary on Roy Cohn.

    It occurred to me, as it often does when I see or hear or read of such a character, that he might have truly benefitted from a good thumping or two (yes, physical violence) in his early years.

    But then, maybe he and those of his ilk did get beaten and it only reinforced their determination to injure others.
     
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  20. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

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    Could we include Sister Aimee Semple McPherson in the cultist category?
     

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