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Bureaucracy, divine



Diary, Friday 12th July 1996:

The only viable attitude when dealing with bureaucracy is complete and utter patience, an abandon of patience. One has to give oneself over to it, completely and unreservedly: it is a calling. Bureaucracy is a divine ritual, a discipline in the belief in self-perpetuation. I am dumbfounded that the secret should be so immediate and reside so near the surface: bureaucracy is only boring. That is its insidious secret. It is intensely boring, one cannot escape its boredom. Even the people who find bureaucracy exciting as a way to further their own microscopic ends, use its ennui as a medium to power. They find their excitement, their power, in the frustration and boredom of others. The gestures and geometries of bureaucracy are consciously repetitious and as a result the civil servants and perpetrators of bureaucracy are stamped as boring people, whereas they are in fact very excitable. Their excitement is invisible because the veil of repetitive gestures and apparent lack of concern is very sophisticated. It is theatre. But that is not the full reason, the pleasure in bureaucracy is essentially a microscopic pleasure, easily jolted out of focus.



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