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Corporate Drones

Some people are very entertaining, or very talented, or very original and innovative. And some people are just arrogant, or inflexible, or self-centered. Most of us would say that those with one (or more) of the first three attributes are a real bonus to society, but those with attributes in the second set are a bit less welcome. The problem is that often the two types go together. A person might be talented but arrogant, or entertaining but self-centered, for example. In fact I think these good and supposedly bad characteristics often do go together.

A recent example is the Jeremy Clarkson saga. If you don’t know, Clarkson is the lead presenter in the incredibly successful BBC motoring show, Top Gear, and he has a habit of getting into trouble with the BBC management. There is no doubt that he is arrogant, and to be honest, probably a bit of an asshole, but he is also very entertaining and talented at his job.

So while many people are happy that the BBC might finally fire him after his most recent transgression I’m not so happy about that possibility. The first reason for this is a rather selfish one: I love Top Gear! In fact it is the only TV program I actually go to the trouble of turning the TV on to watch. I don’t take TG and Clarkson and the other presenters too seriously but I love the program for its entertainment value as well as the awesome cars it shows.

The second reason I don’t really want to see Clarkson go is that I hate the overbearing, undistinguished, holier than thou, cowardly, snivelling, pathetic, retarded management types who are against him. By now it must be very clear that I despise all people who think they can control the lives of others, especially managers whom I consider the lowest form of life on the planet, so I naturally side with the person being persecuted by them.

On the other hand, if the report that Clarkson punched a producer because there was no food available for him and the other presenters after they returned from drinking at the local pub is true then I would very uncomfortable if there were no repercussions at all. But that is an issue where I would hope that Clarkson would have to pay a big fine which hopefully would go to the producer who would donate it to a charity.

The thing that I find more distasteful though is the way the BBC management think they can make moral judgements on another person’s behaviour and use their position of power to enforce those judgements. While punching someone is potentially serious, the trivial, politically correct nonsense which has been used against Clarkson in the past is simply pathetic.

The BBC director of television has said that no one star is considered bigger than the corporation, but that is a typical “corporate drone” response. These people are so much part of the bureaucratic corporate machine that they must defend it at all costs even when they are really harming it. And if Clarkson is fired I don’t think the program will survive long and that in turn will mean that the BBC will lose both the prestige and income associated with the show.

This is a problem symptomatic of our society though: people with little talent but with a certain self-obsessed cunning when it comes to office politics find their way into positions of authority over people with genuine talent. And yes, I feel like I am sometimes in that position myself (of course I mean the position of the talented person being persecuted by an inept and mediocre but senior individual).

So Clarkson should apologise and pay compensation to the producer or to a charity, then get on with making more episodes of Top Gear, and while he should be himself he should maybe just try to tone down his more excessive and obnoxious behaviour!

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