Friday, 14 November 2008

The Great Confirmer

My post earlier today about The Yes Men's latest action reminded me of Maurice, who was my imaginary friend growing up.

Maurice was an old, balding, portly man who never said much. In fact, he only ever said a single word: yes. My mum called him The Great Confirmer.

Should I climb the Japanese Maple even though we've just been called in for dinner? Yes. Do you think it would be OK if I borrowed my sister's jumper even though she's not home? Yes. Should I lick the meringue mixture off both beaters even though I'm only allowed to have one? Yes.

But Mum would use him against me: Maurice, should Meg clean her room? Should Meg brush her teeth and go to bed now? Should Meg bring her washing down from the laundry basket?

I am reading Chloe Hooper's The Tall Man at the moment, and thinking about The Yes Men am also reminded of something she wrote:

Lawyers have a term for the tendency of Aboriginal witnesses to agree with whatever is put to them so as to be polite, avoid conflict and get off the stand as quickly as possible - it's called "gratuitous concurrence."

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