File spoon-archives/french-feminism.archive/french-feminism_1999/french-feminism.9901, message 26

Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 19:24:26 +0800
Subject: APOLOGY

> Apology
>       by jenny armstrong
>Jan 21 1999
>                Well,  I'm  glad   it  its  the
>                nineties  and   I'm  glad  that
>                there's     the    bureaucratic
>                politically  correct system  to
>                look after us  all now, because
>                as you  know, if  there weren't
>                that, you never  know where you
>                would be. I, for instance, have
>                benefited   superlatively  from
>                the new  system. But  that just
>                goes  to show  that  without it
>                you would not be any better off
>                --  And  that's  the  only  one
>                thing we can ever be sure of.
>                If  the above  sounds  a little
>                bit vague then realise that I'm
>                only trying to relate to you. I
>                know  I write  this way  to put
>                you  more  at  ease, while  you
>                write  this way  to  me because
>                that's  the stuff  your systems
>                force  you  to  push  out.  But
>                after  all, the  main  thing is
>                that we  both feel comfortable.
>                That's why I'm  cautious not to
>                seem to break the pace, and why
>                I  take  special  care  not  to
>                arouse you from your slumber. I
>                wouldn't   want  to   harm  the
>                perfect workings  of your Great
>                Machine.
>                Off track  I know,  but I  had a
>                job  once,  working  where  The
>                System was not  right. I do not
>                mean  that it  was  a communist
>                system --  or any trite  kind of
>                play  on  words  that  I  might
>                engage in here,  as if my brain
>                wasn't properly  in gear (which
>                it is , I assure  you). I just
>                mean  that   I  worked   for  a
>                radical   leftist  organisation
>                and  that their  administrative
>                system wasn't working properly.
>                It wasn't "up  to scratch", you
>                know  what I'm  saying?  So, to
>                get back to  the point: What do
>                you  do  when  a  system  isn't
>                working  properly? You  fix it!
>                This  is what  I  tried  to so.
>                Considered   it    my   special
>                service   .  .   .or  whatever;
>                value-added  capital .  .  . or
>                whatever . . .
>                Now I know this  is all wrong: it isn't
>                right  at  all.  I should  have
>                left  well  enough  alone.  ("I
>                should have left alone what had
>                been buggered.")
>                Are  we   still  comfortable  ?
>                Sitting easy?  good. I wouldn't
>                want to disturb anyone . . .
>                Last thing I  wanna do is break
>                into  your  dream.  I  wouldn't
>                want to be the one to draw your
>                flame,  because I've  seen that
>                thing before . . . and
>                --believe  me--, I'm  an honest
>                citizen,   (and    client)   --
>                honest.
>                Also it was not even my fault I
>                was born this way. I'd tried to
>                be  born of  a lowly  status: a
>                peasant of something. I thought
>                if  I  aim   higher  than  your
>                average Russian pleb  and a bit
>                lower  than  a  kulak,  then  I
>                should  be better  off. clearly
>                this was a miscalculation on my
>                part.  But as  you  know, we're
>                all so very sorry-- if we could
>                bring  to  life  the  dead  old
>                kulaks then we could never hope
>                to boost the aboriginal
>                population back to pre-colonial
>                or  federation  days. And  your
>                valid  point:  "that  sorryness
>                does not come  easily: You have
>                to  work  at  it." Needless  to
>                say: I'm very  sorry about that
>                too.
>                And  whilst  I'm confessing  my
>                sins, here  is another:  Also I
>                should  have realised  what was
>                yours   and   what  was   mine.
>                Because  what is  yours  is not
>                necessarily  mine,  but if  you
>                mess up something  then THAT is
>                my fault.  Also, I  didn't mean
>                to dabble in  the works of your
>                mechanics.  I  realise now  how
>                wrong this was, and I knew that
>                it was  really *my*  fault, not
>                yours, that my arms were chewed
>                to bloody  pieces. I  should be
>                very sorry.
>                Also, like you  said, I did not
>                realise the exact nature of the
>                machine  I  worked  on, as  you
>                wanted.  That was  it,  too. (I
>                know you  have records  to show
>                it all  in bureaucratic-speak.)
>                And then there  was this racial
>                problem, although let's  call it
>                "a problem of cultural
>                assimilation" when I turned out
>                to be  the wrong  genetic type.
>                I'd  never understood  how that
>                must have occurred.  I know you
>                probably     blame    yourself,
>                although   it   obviously   was
>                embarrassing  for  all  of  us.
>                You'd wanted straight
>                conformity -- and  I was unable
>                to  deliver. How  could  I bear
>                the brunt as your messiah?
>                I understand the disappointment
>                that you must be feeling.
>                After all the  task was simpler
>                than I could ever have
>                anticipated:   You  'd   wanted
>                someone to take a prior problem
>                off  your  hands,  and make  it
>                seem it was their fault for all
>                your previous mistakes.
>                And  honsetly,  if  I'd  really
>                thought  about   it  (but  then
>                you'd had to  have let me in on
>                your "game plan"), then I would
>                have know this  would only have
>                been  remotely  possible by  my
>                keeping deadly quiet.
>                For this I must extend my grave
>                apologies:  If   you  had  only
>                *stated*  that   you  wanted  a
>                messiah   then  I   would  have
>                nailed  myself  to your  little
>                platform.  I  would  have  done
>                that, and considered it a gift,
>                a blessing from  a higher being
>                to  you. Everything  would have
>                worked  out  just  as  you  had
>                planned  -- and  we  could have
>                all gone home and drunk a toast
>                to  celebrate.  You would  have
>                got what you  had wanted. Which
>                is why I  am so sorry that this
>                racial  problem had  to develop
>                between us, and  that I was not
>                so assimilable to the
>                bureaucratic    mechanism,   as
>                first thought.  You should have
>                said  that  you wanted  someone
>                fitting for  the first  part of
>                this well-schemed  act: I would
>                have   done  much   better  and
>                perfomed  with   greater  zest.
>                After that you required someone
>                new, perhaps a genuine
>                "Australian" who  would run the
>                church of radical
>                bureaucratism/leftism.
>                But now you  must have realised
>                that I  was not  as smart  as I
>                made out.
>                I   consider   it  a   personal
>                failing  that i  was  unable to
>                read your mind  on this matter:
>                For example, I did not
>                understand  how   to  interpret
>                bureaucratic-speak  to  a  high
>                level  of competence  as  I had
>                inadvertently claimed.
>                That  problem now  seems  to be
>                getting worse: For one there is
>                the  problem   of  the  missing
>                letters.
>                This   is  something   that  is
>                unable   to  be   stemmed:  For
>                example,  let ANY  bureaucratic
>                organisation send me a
>                bureaucratic   letter  of   any
>                sort, and  the chances  are now
>                that I'll lose  it. Either that
>                or I'll misinterpret radically,
>                and blame the  wording. I can't
>                seem  to  get  it right.  Or  I
>                maybe I'll just  leave it lying
>                around.
>                What makes me do this? I really
>                cannot say:  "It's all  too big
>                for me!"  Sometimes, like  on a
>                credit card demand for payment,
>                I   may   write  a   capricious
>                statement, and  send it  off for
>                no  apparent  reason.
>                Other times I just organise to
>                be vague and unreachable.
>                And it seems to be working! For
>                now, at any  rate, I'd say that
>                our communication has improved,
>                a thousandfold.
>                The  bureaucracies  and  I:  We
>                both  understand  eachother now
>                --  we  even  think  the  same.
>                Because  I  have  finally
>                discovered  "the key".  (And we
>                are   all    irredemably   lost
>                without  it!) I  now  know that
>                everything I  don't particulary
>                enjoy about my life is
>                categorically   *YOUR   FAULT*.
>                Also I am  well aware, and well
>                within my  rights so  know that
>                if this  had not been  the case
>                then you would *prove* it.
>                Particularly  your fault,  I am
>                sorry  to say,  is  this latest
>                development:  the  fact that  I
>                seem to lose  all your letters. The
>                reason  for  that  is
>                obviously that I never actually
>                received them. Now,  if you  had
>                sent  them in
>                those  bright orange  or purple
>                envelopes   like  I   had  been
>                expecting,  then  I might  have
>                been   willing   to  make   the
>                concession,  and read them.
>                Unfortunately,   though,  I   am
>                unable  to   perceive  anything
>                that  doesn't appear  in either
>                bright orange or purple
>                envelopes  these days:  Call it
>                selective "colour blindness".
>                I know  I cannot  really expect
>                you  to read  my mind,  but the
>                merger  of   our  understanding
>                leads me  to believe  we're not
>                far off.
>                By the way,  if you should ever
>                need a hand, I'll help you find
>                that incompetent Australian you
>                were looking for.

Way to equality.--A few hours of mountain climbing turn a villain and a
saint into two rather equal creatures.  Exhaustion is the shortest way to
equality and fraternity--and liberty is added eventually by sleep.

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