Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Authority issues...

"Just victims of the in-house drive-by,
They say 'jump', you say 'how high'?"

Zack de la Rocha, 1991, Los Angeles.

Or, more realistically…

They Say: Jump!
You Say: How high?*1

They Say: …pardon?
You Say: The jumping. How high would you like it?
They Say: Erm, just a nominal amount, really. About a foot or so?
You Say: That sounds reasonable, but do bear in mind that my ankle hasn't been the same since I twisted it going into the loft last December. I'm fine jumping, it's the landing I'm worried about...
They Say: Well, just do your best I'm sure it'll be okay.
You Say: Okay.
They Say: …JUMP!
You Say: How long do you want me to stay in the air for?
They Say: …again, pardon?
You Say: This jump, how long do you want it to last?
They Say: Well, that will be directly proportional to the height you jump, surely?
You Say: Yes, I suppose you're right. Am I allowed to utilise any assistance?
They Say: What kind of assistance?
You Say: For example, a trampoline or some of those springy blade things...
They Say: What, like Oscar Pistorious?
You Say: Actually I was thinking more like the ones that are designed for recreational use; I wasn't thinking of having my legs amputated just for this.
They Say: Either way, we don't really have time for that. Or a trampoline (although you're right in that it'd make for a much better jump). I'd just like you to jump as soon as possible, please.
You Say: Well, what about a pair of trainers, at least? They're going to vastly improve the quality of the jump.
They Say: The quality of the jump itself isn't really the focal point, here. What's important is that you are unquestioningly following a command from myself.
You Say: Well that hasn't happened, has it?
They Say: Well, no, I know that now...
You Say: The very essence of this conversation was about me asking you how high you wanted me to jump. That's broken your 'unquestioning' idea right out of the gate.
They Say: Yeah, but I didn't want you to ask how high, per se, I just wanted you to jump. Why did you ask how high, anyway?
You Say: It's kind of an unwritten rule, I think. It's definitely a saying. Rage Against the Machine had it in one of their songs, although I'm not sure if they were using it facetiously or not...
They Say: Well, it's a bit of a shit saying, isn't it?
You Say: Yes, yes it is. Although arguably no more or less shit that asserting your power over someone by getting them involved in light exercise.
They Say: Don't knock it mate, I'm trying to help you here. Everyone should be looking after their health.
You Say: Well, I notice you didn't start this conversation with "Eat at least five portions a day of fresh fruit and vegetables"
They Say: I don't think it's realistic for someone to do that on command, no. It's more of a long-term plan. A lifestyle change, if you will.
You Say: Yeah, you've got a point. You definitely need a new catchphrase, though. The jump/how-high thing isn't working for you.
They Say: Yes, I'd noticed that.
You Say: How about just "Do as you're told!"?
They Say: Yeah, let's try that…

You say nothing, and just look at your watch…

They Say: Do as you're told!'
You Say: Yeah, okay then. It's probably for the best under the circumstances.

…although I imagine Zack didn't want to go to that length in his song. Which is a shame. No sense of committment, that boy. Still, well done you for making it to the end of this post. Unless you just skipped down to this bit, of course, in which case it makes even less sense than if you'd just read it to begin with.

Blimey, it's like Captain America all over again, isn't it?

*1 That's wrong before we've even started. It should be They Say "Jump", you ask "How high?". With grammar like that, I'd rather they told you go go back to school, not just stand there jumping.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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