An English In Kentucky


















Tuesday August 27th 2019Tim Candler9


    The word Elite comes from the French verb choose, which in turn comes from a Latin word for elect. This suggests that an elite is the result of a choosing process, they are chosen ones, either by election or by birth or by accident or whatever, and the word elite kind of contains the idea that somehow the process whatever it might be produces the best. In this context can't help but look around and wonder at what on earth 'best' means and conclude that 'best' is a bit of a moving, randomly arranged feast that has very little to do with an objective idea of excellence and depends more on mists of comprehension, a sort of swirl of BS rather then anything remotely solid. Yet there are those who will argue that elites are both necessary and essential to the stability of a society, in another way without some unifying cloud of BS promulgated by elites we are anarchy and when that cloud of BS clears then it's always a struggle to redesign a new mist of incomprehension under which elites might comfortably dwell so that the rest of us might multiply, be fruitful and not get too grumpy.  


     None of this says very much about the rest of us, those of us who aren't chosen, the Sheep if you prefer. And again the awesome question why did Bo Peep lose her Sheep, begins to get an answer. The Sheep, it might be argued, wandered off in a most irresponsible way because they got overly aggravated by Bo Peep and were determined to find a whole new mist of incomprehension under which to peacefully graze. And here, I do recall, an account of a rogue Sheep that badly interrupted the routines of a small mining community in the valleys of South Wales, it disavowed all pretense at sheepishness and it bit someone's dog. Tough crew, coal miners, even if they had been workless, waiting for the trickle down for years, and they couldn't help but develop a respect for this particular Sheep, which soon enough took to behaving in increasingly dominating ways. Wandering about, nibbling at things, less and less patience with dogs, it could apparently easily surmount any kind of fencing or stone wall, it drank milk, enjoyed beer, battered fish and loved salt and vinegar crisps apparently, and it seemed to take huge pleasure from chasing little boys and the little boys for their part thoroughly enjoyed being endlessly chased. Then as the spring advanced, the Sheep, according to the account, went off by itself with no encouragement from the mining town to rejoin its flock so that it could be sheared.  Got to be a useful lesson here somewhere!


Previous        Next