Thursday, March 17, 2011

On being 'appropriate'

Unsure whether it is necessary in the world of Facebook and Twitter to point to someone else's stuff but this by Chris Dillow on Jamie Oliver's 'Dream School' contains an observation that is so true it hurts:
"The use of [the] word (inappropriate) is a hallmark of a particular character that thrived under New Labour. It’s someone who is enough of a moral relativist not to want to use the terms “right” and “wrong”, but not so much of a relativist that they are prepared to forego the power and wealth that comes from passing judgment upon others. Egalitarianism only goes so far."
Sounds familiar. I'd like to modify the observation just a smidgen. It is indeed a term for people unwilling to take the step of placing their criticism on an objective level on which one could then take issue with on a rational basis.

But it is also for those too pusillanimous to claim responsibility for what are usually subjective, and aesthetic, preferences. These people, it goes without saying, are usually management - or management wannabes*. That way they avoid conversations like this:
"Do you think that was appropriate? I don't approve of what you did there, Mr McGlumpher."

"Thanks for sharing, Mr/Ms Repetition of Meaningless Jargon, but I'm not looking for your approval. Now run along; unlike yourself, I've got work to do."
Isn't difficult to see how the semantic Third Way developed when you see it in these terms...

*Imagine having such a dismal ambition - and then failing...

Blog Archive