The ratman as metaphor

The Diplomad is one of my favorite new blogs. It is written by an understandably anonymous Foreign Service person. He has developed a classic parable based on events that took place recently at his home in a rather tough corner of the Far Abroad.

He describes with wry humor and unblinking clarity how we employ people to deal with nasty situations we cannot face, and then when cruel and savage actions occur as a result, we try to distance ourselves from what we have caused.

His ratman is a perfect metaphor for necessary evil. When we don’t do a job ourselves, we can feel degraded by the actions of others who act in our stead.

His post Ratman of the Far Abroad is well worth reading. It may give you an entirely different outlook on those who do the dirty work that we may live safely and in comfort.

Some of Diplomads work reminds me of that wonderful book by Laurence Durrell, Esprit De Corps, Sketches from Diplomatic Life. It was a hilarious account of life in an Embassy in Yugoslavia.

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