I stumbled upon (euphemism for 'displacement behavior') something I wrote in my last Vienna Report in May 2003. I was in Vienna for a committee meeting at the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency in the United Nations complex. The comments by an IAEA Deputy Director General were quite fascinating, even in 2014. The emboldened remarks were added by me for this post.
At a reception for our committee in the UN's restaurant one of the Agency's DDGs (Deputy Director-General) made an appearance among hoi polloi, and promptly launched into a lament about his new E-series Mercedes, which wasn't as good as his 5-series BMW, but cost more. Just as we were done commiserating with his misfortune, he launched into his analysis of why the world has been turned upside down, and we soon realized why this guy was a DDG and we were not. "A white man [Eminem] is the world's best rapper. A black man [Tiger Woods] is the world's best golfer. The Germans don't want war. The Italians want fiscal responsibility. The Poles ask the Germans to "contribute" to their military mission. The French think the Americans are arrogant." We all thought of a few things we could add ("Starbucks is in Vienna, across from the Hotel Sacher") but a forthright colleague said it best: "And an IAEA DDG buys a round of drinks." The DDG left after that, saying that he had to get his E-series from the shop.
The title of this post recalls Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown.
Wonder what that DDG is doing today?
To conclude, I'le tell you news that's right, Christmas was kil'd at Naseby fight:
Charity was slain at that same time, Jack Tell troth too, a friend of mine,
Likewise then did die, rost beef and shred pie,
Pig, Goose and Capon no quarter found.
Yet let's be content, and the times lament, you see the world turn'd upside down.
- Last verse, The World Turned Upside Down