The Rise of Evil

Evil always wins.

Let’s say three roommates share a house. Everybody has jobs and schedules, places they have to be, people to meet, things to do. They are just trying to get over. Two of the roommates, because of their upbringing, or their moral superiority or guilt or whatever, do their share of household chores. Nothing too intense. They take out the trash, vacuum occasionally. The third roommate – the evil one – never helps. He never does the dishes or sweeps the kitchen floor. He gets peanut butter out of the refrigerator, eats what he wants and leaves the rest of it out. He spills potato chips on the sofa at night while watching reruns of Saturday Night Live, and the mess is still there in the morning, after he has risen and left the house for the day. The other roommates cover for him, because they are trying to maintain modern civilization, but he blithely goes on in his slobby ways, oblivious to the fact that his roommates are acting as his servants. Eventually, and here is where evil wins, the two roommates give up and stop taking care of their clueless brother. At this point, the house begins to smell funny, and the carpet crunches when you walk on it. Before long, all three roommates are slobs. Dates enter the house, their upper lips curl in revulsion, and people are not getting laid when they should. Pure evil, winning again.

Or consider a bully on a playground. He steals your lunch money, knocks your book bag to the ground and sometimes just bops you for the hell of it. You and the rest of the kids try to appease him, but this doesn’t satisfy him. He steps up his demands, telling you to get more lunch money, or else. As you can see, evil is winning here. After a while, you decide to challenge the bully. At this point, I have to warn you: Contrary to what your Uncle Dick told you when you were little, bullies don’t fold and run away crying just because you stand up to them. Sometimes they beat the shit out of you, and make you their bitch. But whatever the outcome, you and the bully have escalated the situation into open warfare. If you beat him up, perhaps you will become the bully. Or maybe he will beat you up. Either way, violence and terror are now rampant on the playground. Evil wins.

Maybe you work in a sales job, on commission plus bonuses. (In case you haven’t noticed, almost all jobs can be sales jobs to some extent.) You believe in your product, and you are convinced that it is beneficial to most of your customers. You tell your clients the truth, and in some cases the truth prevents them from purchasing, because you help them to understand that the product would not suit their needs, or perhaps they cannot afford it. You lose a sale and a commission, but this is OK with you, because, after all, you are helping people, and you don’t have to close every deal in order to put food on your table. But Slick Rick – the evil salesperson on your team – doesn’t feel the same. He feels that every client can and should be closed, whether it is good for them or not. Because it is good for him. He leaves out any information that the customer “doesn’t need to know,” and sometimes obscures the long-term financial consequences of his clients’ decision to buy, if that’s what it takes to make a deal. Because of these and other shady tactics, he is the top producer, lives extremely well, collects most of the bonuses and sales incentives and is the darling of management. Customers are hurt, but it is possible to prove that they signed the documents of their own free will, so the attitude of the company is “Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.” You, on the other hand, are repeatedly called in to the manager’s office and asked what’s wrong, is there trouble at home, we’d really hate to lose you, but you’re just not keeping up. Eventually you get fired (evil wins), or you quit in disgust (evil wins and you blame yourself) or you adopt Slick Rick’s methods and start shaking down everyone you see (you lose your self-respect, more people get hurt, the integrity of the company is compromised and evil wins big time).

You see how this works?

Or you are a candidate for political office. You and your opponent strongly disagree on solutions to the challenges facing your constituents, and you vigorously present your well-researched and prepared proposals at town meetings throughout the district. Your opponent may have good ideas too, or he may not, but he realizes that the public is unconcerned about the wonkery of good government, and voters won’t or can’t be educated. So he attacks you personally on the ground that you smoked pot in college, or one of your aides was busted for drunk driving in 1979. Since you bailed him out, you are “soft on crime,” and cannot be trusted to deal harshly with child molesters. Blindsided, you deny the charges and say that you hate those kid-rapers too, but it’s too late. Your tough stance appears phony, and your supporters abandon you. Evil has won, and in the election you go down 59% to 37%. Your political career is over, unless you jump on the personal attack shitwagon in the next election.

Try to be good, folks. But watch your back, and don’t expect too much from the rest of us.

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10 Replies to “The Rise of Evil”

  1. Well Ron, guess we can skip the suing part and just not vote for ya. Yeah, good only seems to win in fairy tales and movies. No such happy tidings in the real world.

  2. Ron – The briefs are being prepared.

    Steph – I am currently searching for real-life fairy-tale endings, where Good truly triumphs. Know of any?

    G.D. – But, do I know what I am talking about?

  3. You’re wrong, Larry. Evil doesn’t always win. The bully on my playground became my friend and we hung out together. We played monoply and made cool-aid while her drunk mother was passed out on the couch.

    And, the company I was working for that was screwing clients for big kick-backs got investigated by the State Attorney General’s Office. When I quit in disgust, the head of the comany told me that I was walking away from a gold-mine, but I walked anyway. It was a big relief when the AG’s Office called to tell me that I was in the clear.

    As for slobby housemates and getting laid, I don’t bring dates home. I go to their place.

    Larry, I’ll help you find more of the happy endings.

    It’s about the Love, baby!

  4. Except you know what? I still have to look at myself in the mirror. I have no doubt that those sales tactics (frex) are wrong, in several different dimensions of wrong. They may be successful, they may bring riches, but they’re still wrong. And I won’t adopt them. To continue theresa’s lovin’, it’s also possible that the position I take may inspire one other person, somewhere, sometime, to fight the evil, too. In my case, it also makes it easier to provide my stepson with instruction and guidance. I believe he should do what I say AND what I do (except for the drugs and casual sex, unless those choices are right for him).00

    I’ll just leave you with this: “Imagine fifty people a day walkin’ in, singin’ a bar of ‘Alice’s Restaurant,’ and walkin’ out. They’ll think it’s a movement.”

  5. “He gets peanut butter out of the refrigerator,”

    You lost me for a minute after that- you keep your peanut butter in the fridge?

    You’ve missed your calling- you should be writing editorials for newspapers & magazines. You can make freakin’ ANYTHING sound interesting & humorous & still enlighten all at once.

  6. Theresa and Goldie – Thanks for The Love. Occasionally I am surprised by a clear view of the world, and I need help to draw the shades again. Your comments are inspiring another post on this subject.

    t1 – All my bloggin’ buddies have the same ability you speak of. What the real pros have, though, regardless of what Hunter Thompson might have said, is the ability to meet deadlines. There’s no writer’s block in professional writing.
    Also, organic, unhomogenized cold-pressed peanut butter. Has to be refrigerated. You think I’d eat Skippy?

  7. I thought you might eat Skippy, just glad to hear you don’t eat Peter Pan- someone might think you’re a pedophile…(-; Heehee couldn’t resist the nugget you tossed….

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