Bureaucrats working late on the holidays preparing the perfect cover sheet or carefully editing, copying, and filing documents may, with the flicker of a fluorescent light, wonder whether their work can stand against the forces of darkness, change, and innovation. In times of crisis, when defensive walls must be high, thick, and impenetrable, bureaucrats must work longer and harder. There is no other way. Failure is not an option. If some bureaucratic procedure isn’t producing the desired results, don’t give up. Practice makes perfect. Keep repeating the failing procedure until it succeeds.
For those for whom work requirements allow for a free evening sometime during the holidays, we suggest sitting at your desk and watching a video of Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company performing Ludovic Jolivet’s profound dance, Yoy Y Vengo. This dance captures the rhythms of a typical bureaucratic work week. Despite its striving for modernity, modern dance has largely overlooked the significance of office chairs for movement. Voy Y Vengo rightly places the office chair at the center of modern movement.
Pragmatic Euphony has a fascinating description of how the Chinese selected bureaucrats in the fifteenth century. Bureaucrats took civil service exams over three days while living in a tiny little exam room: “The only movement allowed was the passage of servants replenishing food and water supplies, or removing human waste.” Such an exam is excellent preparation for bureaucratic work.
As learned literary critics have expostulated, nursery rhymes encode transgressive semiotics. Proper regulation of offensive nursery rhyme significations is imperative in a society that respects international human rights law. Bureaucrats have stepped up to this unpleasant job.
That’s all for this month’s Carnival of Bureaucrats. Enjoy previous bureaucratic carnivals here. Nominations of posts to be considered for inclusion in next month’s carnival should be submitted using Form 376: Application for Bureaucratic Recognition.