The Museum of Meritocracy

Long before the word "Green" gained political significance, Joni Mitchell wrote "Big Yellow Taxi"

They took all the trees
Put 'em in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Another casualty of that mass hysteria we call "Political Correctness" (I call it Witch Hunting) is the idea that somebody can better themselves by being, better than you or me. There, I have said it. I have entertained the possibility that someone somewhere is better at my job, luckier, more intelligent, etc., etc.

Instead, we now suffer from quotas. These lists of suitable people are compiled from those who are perceived to be downtrodden, underachieving, discriminated against and shunned for arbitrary and often contrary reasons. There have been defining moments in the history of this phenomenon; for example, the case of the Avon and Somerset Police who binned a sheaf of applications from white male applicants, because they were deemed to be..white and male.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support the belief that competition among children demoralises and de-skills them, and accordingly, nobody is a loser. Everybody seems to have gone to "Uni" these days. We are either winners or "runners up" nobody loses - a prize every time.

So how shocking, how intensely tragic it is and how mentally fragile do the subjects become when they are rejected from something so flimsy, so amorphous and so emphemeral as a Television talent show. They are no longer prepared for failure. It just isn't fair.

I don't watch TV but I know about these shows because even the papers report on the "shock" departure of some poor lass dressed in a party frock whose mum said she could be a star.

When next you watch "The X Factor" or "Britain's got Wannabees", may I suggest you are viewing a Museum of Meritocracy. Enjoy the briefest glimpse into the truth that the masses secretly yearn for; the truth, the "reality" of life which is that there are winners and losers,for, you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone.

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