Went with the girlfriend last evening to see the movie ‘Vice’. While I was well aware of Dick Cheney, his story, his rise and fall through the ranks of the Nixon and Reagan administration, my gf on the other hand was blissfully unfamiliar. Tied in with the type of humor Adam McKay has come to be known for the film did an excellent job of presenting facts while also being entertaining. Dinner after the movie we discussed some of the stories presented and while there was much political license taken at the core it accurately showed the piece of shit Cheney was..and likely is to this day.
The thing about Dick, besides the fact he was the ultimate one in real life, was the way he did things. He wasn’t the loudest guy in the room – in fact he was the type that tended to do things behind the curtain. ‘Fly low, fly straight’ – the advice of the fictional drug dealer Frank Lopez from Scarface – was his modus operandi. Like a virus he buried himself inside the otherwise healthy, yet vulnerable, minds and bodies of those around him and began to spread his poisonous thoughts and beliefs. While there isn’t much we can do to stop people of this nature on a grand scale there is a lesson to be learned on a personal level.
In our circle(s) we have several types of people. Family we are born with, friends we make along the way and acquaintances that come into our life. Some of these people will be of tremendous value. The love, support and guidance provided by them will be of great help navigating this thing called life. But beware those ‘Dicks’ that will undoubtedly weave their way into your world. They may be family, you may call them friends and there’s a breathtakingly good chance you’ll encounter them at the office (especially if you find yourself a clog in the corporate rat race). Keep an eye out for these folks. Again, they won’t be the loudest but their affect on your life will potentially hit like a ton of bricks.
I know what you’re thinking – how do I recognize these folks? While it may be tricky there’s some common clues to help shine light on the fact they’re in your midst.
- A new face inspiring a complete 180 in words/actions – this you’ll see from the highest level of government (ie. Obama’s magnetic pre-election rhetoric) to that special someone your brother or sister is now dating that’s got them suddenly going to church.
- An old face that looks/sounds strangely familiar but can’t quite be placed. Again you’ll find them in every facet of existence but in government and business they are incredibly common. The reason they’re so difficult to pin down is that like an empty plastic bottle they live to be recycled garbage. Being comfortable with a life like this takes a special type of sociopath and that’s why their impact can be so destructive. There’s often gaps during which they are hiding in plain sight – move to another company, semi-retire, etc – this is done so they are not shuffled into regular trash.
- The strange outcome from the invisible hand. From the department head to the family head they operate indirectly to directly change the end game. They are the mysterious decision that either makes little or no sense at all. The course seemed to have had you (or your work group) heading West but now you find yourself due Southeast. The ‘underminer’ – their genius lies in the fact they are able to get other people to relinquish the original agreed upon plan in place of something mildly or altogether completely different.
My suggestion (should you care) is to be quietly vigilant. Don’t directly call out the person or the decision but after establishing some friendly interaction express a curiosity in the outcome. Allow the person or persons on the inside to give you a part of the story. People from every walk of life like to talk to varying degrees…simply find the one your able to extract the most useful information from. To catch a snake it’s oftentimes necessary to disguise ourselves as one. Once you know the source it’s completely up to you how to proceed. Whether you opt to be the chemo to this cancer or simply an over-the-counter treatment to the future symptoms caused by these dirt bags is for you to decide. All the best in whatever you decide.