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Number 1,118, July 18, 2021

What the hell did we ever do to them?

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A Strike of Zeal
by Sarah A. Hoyt

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Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

So, something to do while we wait for things to go truly crazy.

In Portugal when I was growing up, used mostly by the left, there was something called “a zeal strike”, mostly employed when you couldn’t strike, because some meany government wasn’t letting you do so, or because your customers had had about enough. (Or both.)

I believe Heinlein called it White Mutiny (insert obligatory Ree of racisssssm, even though white in this case is in the same sense as “white magic” as opposed to “black magic” none of which have anything to do with humans, since all humans are shades raging from beige to brown. It actually of course relates to light and darkness. But hey, the idiots who hate the light tend to fixate on words and imagine all words have only one meaning, and that the one they obsess about, so whatevs.)

The idea is to do your job, exactly, by the book, applying every single comma and period of the regulations. You’d be amazed what an effect it has.

Look, most of us don’t do things by the book as we’re supposed to do them. Mostly because, particularly in say an office environment, the rules for doing something are so cumbersome that nothing would ever be finished (if it was ever started.)

I mean, I know as a mere housewife, if I brought every rule and exacting measure to bear, dinner would never be cooked. I know this because I’ve taught two boys to cook (against their will, initially.) Hand them a recipe and it all becomes “But it calls for cilantro” “Sure, but cilantro tastes soapy to me, so use parsley.” “But the recipe calls for cilantro.” Or “But it says a quarter teaspoon of salt, and we don’t have a quarter teaspoon measure. I can’t do it.”

Just as effectively, they will not do what is not written down, even though it is absolutely obvious it should be done. I mean, you know, the kid had had soufle before. He SHOULD have known it didn’t contain eggshells, and also that you have to separate the egg whites before you beat them. (It was very quiche like. A crunchy quiche.)

Or take when I worked in an office, as a translators, and the secretaries starting rolling over their foreign language calls to me. That was not part of my job, and honestly was a pain in the neck, but the company refused to hire an international secretary (Well, technically I was supposed to be that, but my boss wasn’t doing his job, so it became my job. And this was a known thing.) So the poor people just rolled the calls to me. It was a bit of a pain in the neck, as I’d be in the middle of a translation from the German, and suddenly have to speak French to someone who wished to speak to one of our engineers. Or vice-versa.

I did it, mostly, because otherwise the wheels would come off our communications with our branches abroad.

But if I were on a zeal strike, I’d have two choices. Either ignore them, while I was hip-deep in a technical translation, or do exactly what it said in the add for the position when they hired me, and tweedle my thumbs between phone calls, because my boss was supposed to be doing the technical translations.

Either one of those would pile the pain way up and down the line, till the whole thing came to a grinding halt.

Of course, that’s the bad side of a Zeal Strike.

If you apply it up and down the line, the country will seize and stop, or at least stop working in any understandable way.

Particularly since so many of the rules and regulations imposed by the kakistocracy are fundamentally incompatible with the real world.

However, what else can you do when our institutions are under the illusion we are widgets and can be forced to play a part in their internal and irrational psychodrama? Not to mention their attempts to appease the people who put them in power: the PRC?

Be zealous, my friends. In the limits of the possible, be as zealous and stupid as you can be.

Let’s show these idiots where they get off.

Let’s show them they made the mistake of messing with the least tameable species on Earth: Americans.

Be ungovernable, be persnickety, be inventive. Be Americans.


Reprinted from According to Hoyt for July 17, 2021

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