Stop Being Excellent!

I’ve said it for years: With socialism, excellence is always set aside for shared mediocrity. The idea appears to be that since it’s hard to achieve excellence for everyone, it simply should not be attempted; everyone should be satisfied with something lesser.

We see the truth of it played out here. Rather than try to replicate the good stuff this Lunch lady is achieving throughout the school system, they just tell her to cut it out. Stop being excellent!

Annika Eriksson, a lunch lady at school in Falun, was told that her cooking is just too good.

Pupils at the school have become accustomed to feasting on newly baked bread and an assortment of 15 vegetables at lunchtime, but now the good times are over.

The municipality has ordered Eriksson to bring it down a notch since other schools do not receive the same calibre of food – and that is “unfair”.

Moreover, the food on offer at the school doesn’t comply with the directives of a local healthy diet scheme which was initiated in 2011, according to the municipality.

“A menu has been developed… It is about making a collective effort on quality, to improve school meals overall and to try and ensure everyone does the same,” Katarina Lindberg, head of the unit responsible for the school diet scheme, told the local Falukuriren newspaper.

However, Lindberg was not aware of Eriksson’s extraordinary culinary efforts and how the decision to force her to cut back had prompted outrage among students and parents.

“It has been claimed that we have been spoiled and that it’s about time we do as everyone else,” Eriksson said.

She insisted, however, that her creative cooking has not added to the municipality’s expenses.

“I have not had any complaints,” she told the paper.

Eriksson added that she sees it as her job to ensure that the pupils are offered several alternatives at meal times.

The food on offer does not always suit all pupils, she explained, and therefore she makes sure there are plenty of vegetables to choose from as well as proteins in the form of chicken, shrimp, or beef patties.

From now on, the school’s vegetable buffet will be halved in size and Eriksson’s handmade loafs will be replaced with store-bought bread.

Embrace the sameness, even if it sucks, at least it’s “fair”, right? We all struggle together!

I’ll say it again: fairness is an illusion and it is only possible when its definition becomes perverted; socialism only works when it is voluntarily undertaken from below, not ordered from above.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • James Stephens

    Shades of Harrison Bergeron, the short story about forced equality. And on a tangent, I recall NPR interviewing a man who had been sent to Haiti to recover employees of a company that had employees there. The interviewer seemed to view this as unfair, not as an example of community. The poor ye shall always have with ye.

  • Mack Hall

    Yes, but no one votes in school board elections, which perhaps are the most important. Folks complain, but they don’t vote.

  • dry valleys

    Personally I have always thought that local schools and hospitals should serve locally sourced, sustainable food because of the benefits it brings to their charges. And neoliberals will always pull a face and say it’s too expensive, their own idea is to outsource it to the cheapest (NOT best) private “provider”.

    I never ate school meals myself. I had peanut butter and crackers. Over time I came to understand that the crackers were barely above cardboard on the scale of desirability, so I don’t eat them now, but the peanut butter lives on. :)

  • Mr. Patton

    Ah, the reason to loathe blogs! The communal cesspool for the multiplication and amplification of mediocrity.

  • Fiestamom

    The quote from The Incredibles seems appropriate. After Dash’s mother tells him to slow down because it’s not fair to the other kids, he says “When everybody’s special, no one is.” Love that movie!

  • Joseph

    An acquaintance of mine retired from the public school system early. Her principal was constantly goading her because her 6th grade class was way ahead of the other 6th grade classes. Then people wonder why part of the public school system is mediocre or below. They say nothing succeeds like success–but not in the government sector.

  • Bill M.

    Scandinavian joke: Two Finns, two Norwegians, two Danes, and two Swedes were shipwrecked on a desert island.

    When they were rescued a few weeks later by a passing trawler, it was learned that:

    The Finns had cut down several trees with which to build a boat;
    The Norwegians had built the boat;
    The Danes had formed a cooperative;
    The Swedes were still waiting to be introduced.

  • Manny

    In addition to the shared mediocrity, there is no incentive to do well. Once everyone sees Annika has been held back, what incentive do the others have to excell? None. Socialism is a downward spiral.

  • Denise

    Years ago, I worked as an office temp, going from job to job on a short term basis. I was put in a typing pool filling out forms that were attached to individual files, hundreds of them. I was managing about 50 of these per day. After a few days, I was called in to the manager’s office. He asked me to slow down because I was making the other girls look bad! I was getting through twice as many files as they were and they were complaining! I couldn’t believe my ears! Slowing down was hard, I had to take frequent breaks to let the others “catch up”!

  • http://Pathos WIld Bill

    Whoever thought up such a STUPID idea as making school lunches more mediocre should have to eat them AT LEAST FIVE DAYS A WEEK. If the school does breakfast have them eat that also. It shouldn’t take long for something very amazing to happen.

  • Pattie, RN

    We can’t let those pretty little wildflowers grow taller than the grass and weeds around them, now can we? They are not the required shade of green, and they smell nice, and they are un-uniformly tall. Let’s get the mower and set it on “low” and make the whole yard exactly the same, the way it should be, so that no blade of grass or clump of clover feels bad about itself. THAT would not be FAIR!


  • dry valleys

    Yes, because the thing about Sweden is how impoverished it is. That works, apart from the fact that it isn’t true.

    Besides, Sweden has had a right-wing government for the past 6 years, and if they haven’t turned the country “libertarian” it’s because virtually none of his own voters actually want an Anglo-American system.

  • Will

    I visited Scandanavia last year and everyone we talked to was happy with their governmernt. They are not mediocre.

  • David Naas

    I thought it was the bad guy, Syndrome, who said, “When everyone is Super, no one is.”
    Two ways to achieve equality (a notion I happen to favor, BTW) Method One — reduce everyone to the same level (lowest common denominator). Method Two — elevate everyone to a certain level (highest common denominator.) Satan favors the first, Christ favors the second. Me with Jesus on this one.