Heads turn when they enter the room.
Power is as power does. It’s a flexible force in this town. No wonder we denizens often take refuge in lists, a comfort zone of sorts in a world where the reality is constantly shifting.
Lists turn up everywhere. The form suits a place that thrives on hierarchy – on knowing just who owns a predetermined political status. The government’s plum list of political jobs is the apotheosis of this. Keeping everyone happy: giving them a title, an objective count of who’s in and who’s out. And why not? That is small comfort in the face of the conditions of daily life that threaten to overwhelm one’s sense of identity.
There is comfort in knowing about rank because it makes it easier to navigate the terrain. After all, who is responsible for the saying that rules (rank and reputation) are made to be broken? It gives a lift to the spirit to know the Calvinist ideal of predestination is not entirely dominant.