Thursday, August 19, 2010

Industrialism And The Napoleonic Complex

This is one of those issues that presented itself last night. It came out of the blue. I was thinking over some of the issues of industrialism and the term "Napoleonic complex" popped in my head. That's quite an issue and obviously important to address. Never let a brainfart go to waste!

I immediately started thinking, "What is a Napoleonic complex?" I wasn't sure. I'm sitting here thinking it has something to do with the famous Napoleon from years ago. And if I'm thinking about it, it must be something I know. I've heard a few things about Napoleon, but what would his complex be? It seems like it'd be like art or porn, I'd know it when I saw it. Which still may be true. I haven't given up yet!

I've never read much about Napoleon. I decided a long time ago, the past is too big to master, it pays to specialize. So as far as history goes, I've specialized in family history and rock trivia. Oh sure, I've picked up a few scraps of everything else along the way, like everyone.

What I know about Napoleon: He was usually scratching his chest when they took his picture. Some kind of allergy to paint. Photography was at a very rudimentary stage back then. You had to stand three hours while it developed and the only thing they had to work with was paint. Also, he was French, or at least ruled in France. But France was too small a territory for his tastes, so he sought the world. His biggest quote was, "My kingdom for something more than France." He also eventually faced his Waterloo.

Other than that, I don't know much. Although I do know he was defeated by Wellington and exiled, I think to a prison island called Elba, where he was served bread and water and Elba macaroni. That's when he escaped and tried to regain power, vowing "Never again!" Then he was again defeated, this time for the last time. They put him in a highchair, a frilly bib, stuck a feather in his cap and served him macaroni all day long, a tiny flaccid noodle. He died whimpering something about his sudden lack of self esteem.

I looked it up on the internet, what a Napoleonic complex is, and it does have something to do with self esteem. It seems you have some short guy. It has a lot to do with shortness or some other lack, real or perceived, and you end up compensating for it with a lot of bluster and grandiose ideas and schemes. If you sit in your room and that's it, people mostly leave you alone, especially women. But if you train a huge horse to acquiesce in carrying your sorry carcass around the world, all the time while you're brandishing a sword and conquering, they sit up and take notice. Women come after you for various reasons, of course, those who don't know about the complex.

There's a lot of cautionary tales that could be told from that definition. If you're short, in any area of your life, try to live within your physical means. Anytime you feel compelled to do anything beyond that, be it sword fighting, baking French bread, selling foot-long hot dogs, or erecting enormous smokestacks as part of your company, be aware there's definite issues of phallic compensation taking place. If you're a short woman and you're doing this ... well, that's a whole different issue. Women shouldn't even eat a hot dog in mixed company, let along sell them ... Bananas either.

In my whole emphasis on the lives of industrialists, I can see a lot of these Napoleonic complexes at work. Like, how did the major industrialists achieve their grand success in the first place? It'd be all those issues they had, starting when they were taking showers after gym class. Then they went off to lunch and everyone's hot dog was the same size. That was their first moment of compensation. Of course eventually that's going to result in smokestacks, big painted ones, maybe with their logo or name on it.

Now, how have they responded to the Residential Industrial Movement (RIM)? Well, a lot of their response has been behind closed doors, but you can see the failing of their compensation publicly. I'd say the RIM has affected their self esteem something like a chemical or physical castration might. Their smokestacks are suddenly coming down because of the competition. There's not as much smoke coming out. Women execs have fled their companies for bigger facilities. And so they're left, very much alone, in their plant dining room with a plate of macaroni. All macaroni is is the cut up remains of a much larger piece of macaroni somewhere. The ideal macaroni, a teaching of Plato.

At first, when I was getting into these issues back in April, it didn't occur to me that I was engaging myself in destroying some men's Napoleonic complex and making the way for others to come out!

UPDATE: You tell me why Roy Rogers rode a horse and everyone else drove jeeps.

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