The Cake Walk: For those who have never heard of the “Cake Walk,” it’s a children’s game played at Halloween and Harvest festivals similar to musical chairs, but with no chairs and numbers taped to the floor. There are an equal number of kids and numbers. The music plays and the kids circle. When the music stops the kids scramble to stand on a number, the emcee draws, and the kid standing on the number drawn wins a cake.
The Cake Walk Dictator: Enter my man Matt “I Moustache You a Question” Setter, who recently posted on Facebook about his Cake Walk emcee gig and how his “morals were severely compromised” because instead of reading the winning number he read the number of the “child in tears” or the child with the “best attitude.”
That’s right. Matt took the moral high road and decided to do what he thought was best for humanity. The question: Is our world a better place?
Tears? Best Attitude? Alright, it’s a trivial act, but as I watched Matt “Chairman Mao” Setter receive oodles of likes from adults on Facebook I wondered about the merits of social engineering. Should crying or best attitudes get the cake? There’s a case to be made. But he didn’t reward from his own pocket. My homeboy Matt didn’t steal from the rich and give it to the poor, or take from the corrupt and give it to the virtuous, he took from the winner and gave it to the loser.
Is this how we want to act as adults? Matt stated a quasi “no harm no foul” argument. When I protested Matt wrote, “In the end, a few kids had a better night, a few parents didn’t have to deal with a sad kid at bed time, everyone had fun, the kids who didn’t win have no idea, all is well with the world.”
True. Though I doubt any kid or parent was saved. The net gain and loss on the kid front probably was zero. But I’m not worried about the kids, I’m worried about the adults.
Matt’s a great guy, good father, and his heart is in the right place. Am I a curmudgeon? Of course. Cake Walk Dictating is a metaphor for how people in authority, educators at school, politicians, bosses, etc. get the God Complex. You want your boss taking your bonus and giving it to the person he or she feels sorry for instead of the most deserving? No sir or ma’am! Am I pissed off and outraged? Of course not. I’m just making a pile of dirt out of a molehill. The cynical takeaway? The shadow of moral ambiguity mucks up most every good deed.
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