For our second installment of Ombudsman Heritage Week, we turn to nature, and the ombudsmanly patterns inscribed thereon. (For the remainder of this post, we will assume a position of Intelligent Design.  ID is the official position of COBA, as an impartial compromise between Young Earth Creationism and evolution.)

Many organisms in nature reflect common intentions of the (neutrally unspecified) Designer in wide-spread patterns with apparently random variations that clearly therefore display the direct hand of an intelligence at work.  An intelligence whose subtlety is an inspiration to ombudsmen everywhere.  One of the greatest places in the natural world to see ombudsmanly behaviour is in the insect world.  In fact, it’s even been said that ombudsmanry is a pattern that imitates various aquatic insects, except for those considered “Welsh”.  (“Welsh” insects are decidedly non-neutral—Designer humour?)

One trait that skilled ombudsmen are known for is that of patience.  And what greater representative in nature is that of the 17-year cicada? It lies deep underground, waiting its turn for a frenzy of activity, just as the ideal ombudsman waits until it is appropriate to act in defense of the impartiality of a publication!

And what of the honeybee and their waggle dances? It turns out that every bee has been designed with an ombudsmanly trait—to limit the communication of erroneous information.  Worker honeybees do this with wiggling of their behinds.  Ombudsmen do it with their pens and keyboards.  The similarities are striking!

Just as ombudsmanly traits have been inscribed in nature, surely they have been inscribed in the being of ombudsmen throughout history.  An accident?  Surely not.

TOMORROW: Ombudsmen in Renaissance art.


  • Will we get an Ombuds in Renaissance Faires?

  • I do NOT see ID as an impartial compromise. Rather, I would propose a compromise between creationism and evolution to be injecting both of them with lethal strains of disease, and allowing the one who believes in medical science procedures to receive the fruits of such.

    I suppose now we see why I have been stricken from the COBA rolls. Being trained in Ombudsmanry, I will refrain from commenting on the COBA hierarchy as being wholly composed of Celine-lovers.

  • This sounds suspiciously like indoctrination. Thankfully, this is a place for reasoned debate, not silly name-slinging.

    Truly, the ombudsgestalt has outdone me in every way. I may have to abdicate.

  • I’m going ombudsgalt.

  • From the disquisition on various aquatic insects: “The “Ombudsman” is simple to tie”.

    I imagine this is most true when their shoelaces are undone. And if the ombudsbody be not toppled flat into the dirt, how can such an one truly know ombuds-nature?

    If you meet the ombudsbeing on the road, trip him/her/it/bird/pants!

  • I also await fish’s exegesis on the oneness of Mississippi bream and zebrafish, which, no doubt, the intelligent designer hath decreed be so.

  • COBA status notwithstanding, I believe I am still qualified to award the thread to plover, who wins a lightly used internet without even posting a mullet!

    well played, plover; golf claps and martinis all around. Will you have your internon delivered or will you eat it here?

  • The Compendium of Mullet Theory and Practice would be happy to consider plover’s contributions for their latest issue. Additionally, we reserve the entire internet as a prize, because we’d like to offer it for a picture of Bérubé with a mullet.

  • I think Pinko’s offspring will be born sporting a mullet for the ages…

  • Is there some reason why ombudsgloob’s and Pinko’s comments are in this thread rather than the mullet thread?

    Would a conscientious ombudsbeing move them to the other thread? Or would that diminish the sometimes disturbingly public intimate embrace of the ombudsbeing and the limit on non-participation imposed by Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle?

    On a side note, does Heidegger have anything to say about the difference between ombudsBeing and ombudsBeing-in-the-world? Or the thrownness of ombudsBeing? (And does that last have anything to do with Blue Girl?)

  • My mullet was in my eyes.

    As one of the Ombolylomboly, at least until the COBA rigs a vote divesting me of Ombudstatus, my official position is that the presence of those comments in this thread adequately maintains the standards of weirdness for which this blog is known.

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