It was sort of interesting how the old boy kept coming up in our discussions over time. He was like the reverse of a Hans Castop, an average man around whom the world’s most important novel was written and built. But our boy was an average man around whom nothing would be built and all would eventually fall into irrevocable ruin. He was the archetypal Untermensch who, lacking any ability to imagine the man or the hero he wishes to be, unable to realize himself that way, can only ‘become’ himself through the ready-made scaffolding and rules that are designed for the ascension of all such petty and petty-minded bureaucrats and technocrats lacking human imagination. He was unable, for example, as my friend once said to me about himself, “to just play the hand I was dealt until I can bluff myself into a better one.” To do that is the dream itself, with all its constituent (and congruent) elements and exigencies ready at the mark. But these others who wander about society, they are quite dangerous in their mediocrity and essential nameless identities. And in government, school systems, all sorts of public and quasi-public institutions, they stand a-plenty as knee-jerk enforcers that can deliver harmful impact upon their true betters, unless such persons (maybe like us) drew lines in the sand and refused to comply with their silliness, or simply walked away from the malarky altogether. It’s that shifty, Cassius-like very lack of human identity, personhood, or any heartfelt ideals that make such men and women potentially powerful and potentially fearsome.