Sunday, May 20, 2012

Who Killed Iron Joe? Part 11: Moon of the Falling Leaves

From the journal of Fialkov:

There is a tendency to believe that most leaders are out of touch, and perhaps most of them are, ignoring most of what goes on in favor of pretending that what they’re doing is not only relevant, but automatically takes precedence over real facts and developments in whatever community they preside over.  When they listen to anyone at but their inner circle, it’s to get a sound byte for their next election, to create the illusion that they’re in touch with the common man.  There’s also the rare anecdote of the leader who has extraordinary processing ability, and can read a news service in a fraction of the time it normally takes.  

Let me tell you that most news services can care less about reporting relevant information.  They care about sensation, and events that leaders ought to be briefed on in greater detail than will be found in those services.

Every now and again, however, they can get something right, by accident.  For instance, the other day, I was reading what’s called a “human interest” piece concerning members of the Tuska community as they struggle to adapt to the times.  The piece is woefully na├»ve to the point of being worthless, going on at length about details that only obscure the bigger picture, which is fine, given that we would hardly want to encourage anything more, and even I almost missed it, but Carrie Arosen was once again up to her old tricks, hiding in plain sight.  To anyone else, as has been her habit, her presence in the piece might have been overlooked, but not to someone like me, who has recognized the girl’s significance.

Among a series of random quotes that generally serve to illustrate the writer’s point and pad it out to publishable length, she remarks, “You didn’t realize the passing of days.”  She’s referring to what life used to be like for her people, versus the increasing struggle that it has become.  It seems innocuous enough, but it’s anything but.

What she’s saying, essentially, is that our initiatives have had a disastrous effect.  The Tuska now recognize what’s happening, not in a general sense, but in a very real one.  She’s saying that it’s easier to recognize that life has become difficult, not in the way that the day can drag on, but that from day to day, there’s a constant awareness that something is wrong.  There will always be protests to change, and perhaps everyone else in her movement reacts that way, but for Carrie Arosen, change isn’t just something to be noticed or fought, but a fundamental alteration of her perception of life.  She’s reacting to something concrete, and not just an ideal.

This is more profound than it seems.  It’s the one moment where everything I have surmised about this girl crystallizes around.  This is where she becomes dangerous.  How can it be that no one else seems to notice?  When someone truly breaks out of the mundane routine, they become dangerous to that routine.  There’s a reason why that routine exists, a destination meant to be reached.

The other day, I personally selected Cavanaugh to become lead investigator of civil unrest, out of a pool of applicants that included the brightest minds of the Danab.  Most people who hire new staff do not look beyond the surface and thus acquire false talent that will not be equal to the task at hand.  As in all matters, I intend to strive beyond the average, so that the results are better, more effective.  I have no doubt that Cavanaugh would not allow someone like Carrie Arosen to slip through the cracks.

To what aim are all our efforts headed?  For me, it seems obvious.  To most others, I no doubt conclude that these same results are obscure.  The same set of facts can be interpreted both accurately and inaccurately.  Between myself, Cavanaugh, and Carrie Arosen, I see a reckoning on the horizon.

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