It was a quiet year in ’68 when Mel Brooks’ ‘The Producers’ was released.
(Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were shot, students rioted in Paris, a silent Black Power salute soared at the Mexico City Olympic Games, Russian tanks roared into Prague, starvation in Biafra, Vietnam…..)
The plot is funny.
Musical theatre has-beens devise a scheme to make their fortunes. By betting against themselves, they plan to trouser huge sums in creating a sure-fire flop billed as a sure fire Musical Success. Hence the main number ‘Spring Time for H****r (I haven’t checked with Ken Livingstone or Sean Spicer about using the name) complete with a dancing Stormtrooper chorus.
The bet goes wrong and they find that they have misjudged public taste completely.
(The show is a success). Why should this come to mind on the day an election for June 8 2017 is called? (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39629603).
Oh, a couple of things.
It’s another quiet year globally, of course.
And, probably, ‘The Producers’ storyline is in play. The official political line is that the motivation is success for all of us (it’s for our National ‘good’). A more realistic motivation is probably to manoeuvre into a position where political advantage can be extracted magnificently and powerfully from a forseen / planned failure.
And why might this matter?
Because when the world is in turmoil (again) it is almost impossible to predict a success or a failure.
It is pretty darn difficult even to define them.
In a professional context I have just seen yet again the ‘plan and blueprint’ – or ‘bet on one outcome’ – approach to change founder painfully. While the ‘what’s really going on and what’s working? Let’s try more of that’ approach would have had much more success.
But that means being unsure. It means being curious.
It means not working towards and chancing all on a single outcome.
It means not thinking you can outwit and predict what everyone else thinks and will do.
(And exploiting that prediction for your own advantage)
It means something quite impossible for our so called Leaders.
It means finally grasping that there is actually no such thing as control.
Especially in a year like this one.
Ah well. ‘Springtime for May’ is going to be in cinemas near you pretty constantly for the next 6 weeks or so.
Good luck with that.