Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Alarums and Excursions

"Every sufficiently complex institution will produce sufficient paranoia and rumour-mongering to create an alternative reality of that institution that is at least the same size as the original." There, that's one of the laws I'm going to put in my book. The evidence is irrefutable that once an institution hits about 60 people or more, it is certain to be 'sufficiently complex'.

You thought I was joking, didn't you? Well, the old place has erupted once more with rumours that, quite possibly, originated at a higher level than before. Somebody who knows a lot is talking about changes in the principalities and powers, the dominions and authorities. Amazing.

Consider this scenario. Let's say that... I've been listening in on some of the discussions held in the little rooms behind the glass. Obviously, nobody thought to look for electronic aids when I left, so until the little batteries run out, the transcripts produced are an endless source of entertainment.

Now, if this were true, what should I do next? The answer is obvious. I should laugh a lot and wait until the principal actors retire. Then, like other people in official capacity who have stepped down, I should publish the real story.

But obviously, it would be paranoid to think that this scenario was true. I'm not that kind of person, contrary to what at least one young person suggested, after looking in the wrong direction.

Yet, listening to who-said-what-to-whom, there are days that I feel a vague desire to have been that kind of person. This is why you should be alert and keep evil at bay. The desire to 'do others before they do you', as Simon Templar once said, can be irresistible.

In the meantime, just sit back and watch the fun. Shakespeare was good at manufacturing this kind of scene. He normally gave the stage directions as 'alarums and excursions', followed by lots of cast movement.

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