29 December 2019

The Nice and the Good (2)

Continues ....

One of the characteristics of the Nice and the Good is that they always do what is best both for the person concerned and for the Community at large. Thus ... if they are going to sack you, they will most certainly not do this because they find you a pest or insufficiently deferential or an obstacle to some cherished but dodgy scheme which they are secretly trying to promote. They will do it because it is for the necessary good of the community concerned, and because your own benefit also peremptorily requires it. If they have in mind to torpedo the boat you are travelling in, this will be because they know that you will only be truly happy at the bottom of the sea.

Some little time ago, I saw an example of this: a victim of sexual abuse wanted some form of public vindication. It was necessary ... of course, with the deepest regret ... for the relevant authorities to refuse this request because  the Meejah feeding-frenzy which such vindication would cause in the national and international press would be something which the survivor would be unable, psychologically, to manage.

 'Cover-up' is the sort of suspicion that could only be entertained by somebody who completely lacked both Goodness and Niceness. Just by thinking such a thought, you would be self-condemned.

By no means always, but quite often, the Nice and the Good are also emotional cannibals (Peter Ball was). They want you to be a willing subordinate in their passion for psychological dominance. In fact, they want you to want this status. If you fail to, that will in and of itself be a pretty definite sign of your calamitous shortcomings.

For students of such things, I warmly commend The Nice and the Good by Iris Murdoch, novelist and sometime Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at St Anne's College Oxford. It begins with "a lazy fat man, a perfect sphere his loving wife called him, his name Octavian Gray," who "was slowly writing a witty sentence in a neat tidy hand upon creamy official paper while he inhaled from his breath the pleasant sleepy smell of an excellent lunch-time burgandy". 

Its concluding pages show us his wife still cheerful: "'Isn't it wonderful that we tell each other everything?'

"In fact there were a few details of Octavian's conduct, concerning long late evenings when he stayed in the office with his secretary, which Octavian did not think it necessary to divulge to Kate. However, he easily forgave himself, so completely forgetting the matter as to feel blameless, and as he frequently decided that each occasion would be the last he did not view himself as a deceiver of his wife. His knowledge that there was indeed nothing which she concealed from him was a profound source of happiness and satisfaction."

4 comments:

Nicolas Bellord said...

I presume you are referring to the lady who made allegations against Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor and then had her case revealed in the media. This came up in the recent inquiry into the Church's handling of child sex abuse cases. I anticipate a pretty damning report next summer but I doubt whether there will be any resignations! Just more dirt covering up the face of Holy Mother Church.

GOR said...

I suspect that each of us has an innate inclination towards self-deception - an effect of the Fall. For the common man or woman this may only affect oneself or those closest to one. Sooner or later (preferably, sooner) comes the realization and recognition of this failing. “Conscience does make cowards of us all.”

But for the “Great and Good” the self-deceptive capacity is more deeply rooted. They move in circles that confirm their conviction of rectitude and superiority. After all, one has to actually have a conscience in order to admit the truth. Thus the “insolence of office” discounts such a pedestrian admission.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Bless me Father for I have not always responded fully to the love that God has for me. It has been two score years since my last reconciliation and these are my issues.

Any number of times I have not resisted to the fullest the natural instincts a man has for a woman, an natural instinct, one acknowledges, put into us by the Creator.

Well, then the less said about all of that, the better.

For these and any other issues I have prolly forgotten about or that did not seem so important to me, I seek the forgetfulness of God so I can leave this place of reconciliation seeing eyelash to eyelash with God.

Matthew F Kluk said...

The Meejah frenzy will be all the more damning because the great and good still refuse to believe the evidence. Before their eyes for decades. Sitting across conference tables. Concelebrating the Mass with them. Here in America. In Britain. In Rome. They will never awaken bc they believe they're awake and only they can protect us in the pews.