Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Entry 48: in which we make progress, not

The adjournment gave me time to do a little cogitation. I decided that the words themselves must surely provide clues about their definitions therefore:

vision - to see what is needed or what we should be
mission - to make it happen

Well pleased with this outcome, I reconvened the meeting and ask them how they got on with their own definitions.

The same eager cherub immediately leaped to his feet and offered the following:

"We think that a vision is conceptual whereas a mission is practical ..." He tailed off, uncertainly.

"Perhaps you could give us an example" I suggested.

"Well" he ventured "our vision might be to offer outstanding customer care and our mission would then define the steps needed to achieve that. Who are our customers by the way OGO?"

The reverie into which I was comfortably settling was rudely shattered by this totally unexpected question.

"Our customers ... well yes, good question and not before time if I may say so. Now then, who has an idea of whom our customers might be?"

"Perhaps, OMO, all sentient beings?"

"Very good" I began but a hubbub soon erupted as others objected to the specificity of this and we finally settled on "bounded, self-replicating, anti-entropic entities capable of maintaining energy and chemical gradients counter to their immediate environments". Er, quite.

You will understand that by now my enthusiasm was waning exactly as theirs was apparently waxing.

I suggested that we might have time for a short brainstorm on vision before another break. A silence descended, broken alas by another cherub.

"How about, OHO, something like the preferred provider of universes everywhere?"

"Yeeessss" I began, sorry to choke him off so soon "but we're not really in the multiverse business are we? And we're only dealing with this space-time continuum. So I think there is a wee problem with the plural there."

He, however, was unwilling to relinquish multiplicity without a struggle.

"Surely OGO we could add another universe to this space-time continuum then?"

"Yeeesss, sort of, but I think you'll find that if we did that we would simply have one universe all the same, just a bigger one. After all, that's what the word means. The whole. You can't have two everythings, now can you?"

"Well how about preferred provider of the universe then?". Persistent little bugger.

"Are there any others? Providers I mean? In which case, how can we be 'preferred'? And from the philosophical point of view, given the universe just recycles itself, do we actually provide it or just sit here, watching it?"

Despite logic being on my side, I could tell that my words were as welcome as a cold and persistent nitric acid drizzle.

"May I propose, OGO, that we simply note suggestions at this stage rather than analysing them too closely?". Ah, the measured intonation and rather plummy vowels of Lucifer himself.

"But of course, Lucy, you're quite right, let's do that".

"And if I may build on the previous speaker's excellent suggestion, then how about something like 'the premier redeemer of souls supported by the finest correctional facility offering Holistic Education for Life after Life (H.E.L.L.)".

"My goodness, is that the time? Milk and cookies next door everyone".

It may be unkind of me, but I rather hope that, in the rush, poor Lucy's idea has been trampled. Perhaps terminally. If so, the only nugget in the dross.

(Memo to self "Do not convene any meeetings. Ever.")


Janelle said...

oh ernest...press play. its SO FUNNY MAN! milk and cookies? feel a bit like when i am out riding the plains and i shout at the children "sio njoo karibu ya farasi" which is don't come near the horses..time and time again its silly. so i have considered ridin' with a recorded voice to play on repeat as i trot along..same for your blog...ITS BRILLIANT!!!! and also no-one's commented for AGES on this one..unlike, aherm, the other one.....

Ernest de Cugnac said...

janelle - I take it these are 'children of the sun' rather than your own? And I guess farasi means horse? My pa-in-law can speak swahili which I guess your locals speak. As he ages it comes out instead of French; quite funny in its effects.

As always you are the kindest of commentators, and I thank you warmly.