Thursday, November 11, 2010


The farther I get away from my adolescence (now barely visible except through the Hubble telescope), the more I realize that pretty much all human interactions are merely a mirror of what went on in high school.

The same petty jealousies, internecine competitions, and vain self-aggrandizement that characterized ninth through twelfth grade, merely repeated by folks with gray hair and wrinkles as opposed to braces and pimples, all over again.

We see this at the highest level of government, where the imagined slights of one world leader at the hands of another probably have more to do with geopolitical tensions and strife than economics or the military balance of power than any of us e really realize.

I witness it in the halls of academia where, as some wag famously put it, the conflicts are so intense because so little is at stake.

And I’m fully aware of it in the non-profit sector, where we’re all being treated, courtesy of the Cascade Bike Club (of which I’ve been a member since I first came to Seattle back in 1994) to a perfectly delightful example of teenage backbiting in the form of a Board of Directors at odds with a President (shades of the Student Council vs. the Prom Queen) and a loose cannon Advocacy Director pissing off the administration (just like when the head of the Drama Club upset all the members of the Cheerleading Squad!)

It’s great fun to see all these serious cyclists getting their spandex diapers in a twist over different perspectives on what the club is supposed to be; it reminds me exactly of how the Ski Club imploded in tenth grade when the Freaks and Greasers split up on the question of whether we’d ride the lifts Friday nights at Seven Springs or Saturday mornings at Hidden Valley.

Of course, like everything else in high school, this controversy will eventually blow over—soon as we meet for a kegger in the woods.


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