Greatness is not for those with clarity of vision, for greatness requires a marked talent for self deception. Greatness has nothing to do with great acts and everything to do with great illusions.
We claim that our freedoms and liberties define our greatness as a nation. In truth, a fetid bubble of corporatist elitists defines our greatness. Our greatness is the craft with which our elite behave as if they are our greatness and paint their crimes as virtues. The illusion of greatness goes to the demographic with the best flacks, but not just PR flacks. Greatness needs academic flacks, political flacks and media flacks, all busily creating the smoke and mirrors that maintain greatness’s illusion.
Great men are hollow shells, their greatness the products of hair stylists, tailors and shoeshine boys. The costume is all, just as the empty rhetoric is all. Greatness seeks neither immortality nor a place in history, though it may pay lip service to both. Greatness cares only for booty and spoils. To extort and appropriate is the hallmark of greatness; the slaughter of its inferiors is its ultimate trip.
Greatness cares not about the grand vision, but about the day's profits, and its brow is never troubled by the misery the extraction of these profits create. Greatness eschews petty crimes for the grand larceny that brings with it the immortality of the moment. Its spoils go not to build or heal, but to indulge and pamper. Why spend millions creating jobs when the money can build mansions and vacation villas. Why feed the poor when the money can buy a fleet of private jets. Why sink wells in Africa when the money can pay for lavish parties. Why earn approval when one can buy it.
It is all theater. To act great is to be great while flacks sing paeans to the greatness that isn’t.
Your greatness, George, is that you are to statesmanship what Britney Spears is to pop music. The only difference is that you have better flacks to shield your madness from the public.
In the end, greatness is the sane act of a madman.