An Admirable Evasion by Whore-master Man

I believe that a person is at his most pathetic when he makes excuses for his failures and justifies them saying that they are primarily due to circumstances beyond his control. It is not merely an abdication of responsibility but what is worse, it precludes the possibility of corrective behavior. If it was not his fault, there’s no reason for him to change. He believes that when circumstances change, he will not fail.

I call this failure to own up to one’s failure “meta-failure.” I am only too familiar with my failures, and at times I have taken the easy way out by making excuses. But even when I try to fool others by shifting blame away from myself, I am not so deluded as to really believe my own excuses. That leaves me the opportunity of fixing my failures in the future. In other words, I fail but I don’t meta-fail. Redemption is possible but only if one is not asleep or self-deluded.

Shakespeare, as always, puts our unfortunate tendency to deflect blame from ourselves with his usual awesomeness. Listen.

This is the excellent foppery of the world, that,
when we are sick in fortune, (often the surfeit
of our own behavior) we make guilty of our
disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars: as
if we were villains by necessity; fools by
heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and
treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards,
liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of
planetary influence; and all that we are evil in,
by a divine thrusting on: An admirable evasion
of whore-master man, to lay his goatish
disposition to the charge of a star!

King Lear (1.2.132)

{This is an excerpt from a November 2010 post — A Tale of Two Countries — Part 2 which is worth repeating.}

5 thoughts on “An Admirable Evasion by Whore-master Man

  1. Just like you, W.M.M. may have failed but not meta-failed. Why do you expect him to come clean to you on TV? He is likely not deluded either.

    Like

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