Thursday, October 31, 2013

What is to be done with the square pegs?

Thoughts from the Chapel of St. Arbucks


The congregation of St. Arbuck’s was discussing this week the recent unemployment crisis in the Tessel Nation. Although the Tessel Nation was founded upon an ideal of equal opportunity for all, and even though its history demonstrated considerable success in achieving that ideal during the days when mosaics, utilizing a wide variety of chips varying in color and shape, were in vogue, the recent market forces driving their work to more geometric tessellations have had as their inevitable result the displacing of thousands of mis-matched chips. The irregular, the oddly colored, the imperfect find themselves relegated to the very borders of a tessellation, if, indeed, they find any place at all.

The Tessellators, responding to the demands of a divided house, have been unable to come up with a credible plan to provide for those who, by reason of their shape or color or size, can find no place within the Design. A minority of the Tessellators believe that it is their responsibility to provide for those whose uniqueness or limitations deny them a place in the Design. Sadly, a majority view is that such chips, by their stubborn refusal to reform themselves into appropriate shapes, should be ground to powder and used for grout. The minority have countered with demands for education programs to help the mis-matched chips conform to the needs of the design by becoming something they are not, but that plan has failed to gain much traction owing to the cost, certainly, but also abetted by a subtext of moralistic outrage that the ill formed seem unwilling to reform themselves. This is often expressed in the maxim, "The Design helps those who help themselves."

It is admittedly difficult to include the inevitable diversity of chips into a plan as uniform as a geometric tessellation, but when the market demands such a tessellation, what is the responsibility of the Tesselators towards those who fail to fit in, the inevitable square pegs who find only round holes? Is it true that they are only fit to be ground to grout? Will not such a course only lead to a monochrome tessellation of no interest and no value?

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