In Which We Ponder the "Why?" of ThingsWhy do people work so hard to try to gain influence? I mean, I understand the lure of getting people to do what you want... but why would you bother when all you want is something that is not worth the effort you expend in getting other people to do it? In my work, I see all these people going through untold trips and travails just to get some stupid little concession or privelege that simply isn't worth a drop of spit.
I have shared in this space about the department-chair elections that have been a thorn in my side this last summer... the thorn is growing and becoming sharper by the day. And the people who are vying for and fighting over this position get absolutely nothing but a tiny shred of faux influence and a half-hour weekly of released time (about a fifty dollar value). If they took just half of the energies they've wasted on gaining inlfuence over their department and applied it to actually teaching their students, the world would be a much nicer place.
I have also shared here about our own little Napoleon on the executive council, a man of small stature and vast ego, who is whipping up this department chair problem and attacking my coworker's maternity leave simultaneously, and we don't know exactly what he is trying to accomplish... though I am absolutely certain that he's after something stupid and worthless, either some degree of influence or some shred of released time (he seems to have an unusual dread of having to actually teach classes, and spends much of his time jockeying for releases and leaves). And in the meantime, he is forcing our office into all these contortions and explanations and defenses, trying to keep our asses covered while he nips at our heels. It's just so wasteful!
I just don't get that sort of thing. I guess my whole life has been about reducing effort of all kinds, and so anything that requires any effort at all is subjected to serious scrutiny for value. I mean, I require a certain amount of cash and prizes just to lure me out of my bed in the morning... so any other activity I undertake had better be loaded with rewards. I therefore have a very strict code about how much effort I spend and how much return on that effort I should receive. And knowing that you can get somebody to do what you want once or twice, all the while they hate you forever and ever, just isn't enough of a value to go to any effort at all.
But whatever. I am grateful that I can see the humor in these situations; these folk are just so damned silly! I am also grateful that in a couple of months I can tell all those department chairs and Napoleons to go fuck themselves with splintery broomsticks, cuz they won't have Miss Robert Manners to kick around anymore. And in the meantime, I get to use all my favorite old passive-aggressive mechanisms on all of them (because I find revenge ever so much more satisfying than influence, and it costs less).
Why is it, do you suppose, that cartoons can be sexy? My buddiette Caroline and I share a most unnatural yearning for Spike on Cowboy Bebop. I used to have a big crush on Disney's Aladdin, too (that skimpy little vest is so cute). And I like cartoon porn better than live porn, in many cases... Tom of Finland, Stephen/Etienne, Zach, Macy, Joe Phillips, Patrick Fillion, the list goes on and on. These images turn my crank way faster than the real live boys in magazines and videos (who, in turn, start my engines better than real live boys in real life). I wonder why that is? Is it the way that cartoon porn stars can have unnaturally vast phalluses, and can shove them in places that nature wouldn't ordinarily allow? Is it because they don't have the usual little flaws that human beings invariably have? Is it because they don't smell or bite or scratch or get hurt? I don't know... but it does give one a sort of creepy feeling to when you catch yourself seriously wondering which Spy Groove character you'd prefer to make out with (that was such a cute show... but I guess it was too odd for most people to hook into, same as most of the short-lived shows I really really liked).
Why am I still awake at this ungodly hour? Why does it take longer for me to look up links than it does to actually write out all of the sentences that contain them? Why do I keep closing my Google search window when I'm not done looking up links? Why am I doing this at home instead of stealing time from my job to write nonsense? Why are you reading it all? Why is this boy smiling?
I guess if I looked like that, and had a nice ripe nectarine to eat, I'd be smiling, too.