History Main / ObstructiveBureaucrat

29th Aug '16 6:51:59 AM jormis29
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* There are two uses for the Bureaucracy skill and its related Charms in ''{{Exalted}}''. One is to evade these characters. The other is to become one. With the Charms, you can ''magically aid'' your obstructions to be nearly insurmountable.
* The Vilani Imperium in ''{{Traveller}}'' is a VestigialEmpire composed of these. They were completely incapable of running the war against the Terrans because of this. Interestingly, they were deliberately designed this way to ensure that the Imperium ran on autopilot and had as little disorder as possible. As there hadn't been a real enemy for thousands of years, it made sense in its day.

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* There are two uses for the Bureaucracy skill and its related Charms in ''{{Exalted}}''.''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}''. One is to evade these characters. The other is to become one. With the Charms, you can ''magically aid'' your obstructions to be nearly insurmountable.
* The Vilani Imperium in ''{{Traveller}}'' ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'' is a VestigialEmpire composed of these. They were completely incapable of running the war against the Terrans because of this. Interestingly, they were deliberately designed this way to ensure that the Imperium ran on autopilot and had as little disorder as possible. As there hadn't been a real enemy for thousands of years, it made sense in its day.



* In ''TheSpoils'' CCG, a number of cards from the Banker trade are bureaucrats created from the reanimated corpses of those who died in debt. They must pay back their debts to their lenders (a process one card implies takes roughly 500 years), and are mostly used a pencil-pushers to deal with the poor and undesirables the bank has no interest in lending money to, drowning them under mountains of paperwork. Mechanically, their function is to tie up the opponent's resources (for example, depleting their Character cards to no effect). One card's flavor text sums up the experience rather aptly: "Could I please speak to a ''living'' person?"

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* In ''TheSpoils'' ''TabletopGame/TheSpoils'' CCG, a number of cards from the Banker trade are bureaucrats created from the reanimated corpses of those who died in debt. They must pay back their debts to their lenders (a process one card implies takes roughly 500 years), and are mostly used a pencil-pushers to deal with the poor and undesirables the bank has no interest in lending money to, drowning them under mountains of paperwork. Mechanically, their function is to tie up the opponent's resources (for example, depleting their Character cards to no effect). One card's flavor text sums up the experience rather aptly: "Could I please speak to a ''living'' person?"
26th Aug '16 10:31:35 AM silverbolt1
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* In the Brazilian musical special for kids ‘’Plunct Plact Zuum’’– about a group of kids who want to explore space in a customized, weird-looking spaceship (the “Plunct Plact Zuum” from the title)– late rockstar Raul Seixas played an Obstructive Bureaucrat [[RecycledInSpace from space!]] To him, even ''[[UpToEleven the sun]]'' should have an ID card. He says that “[[TitleDrop Plunct Plact Zuum]] won’t go anywhere”, unless it’s sealed, registered, stamped, examined and labeled. Ultimetely, however, he [[PetTheDog sympathizes with the kids]], confessing that he wanted to go with them, but can’t leave his job. Then, he leaves them go and [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming wishes them a good journey]].

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* In the Brazilian musical special for kids ‘’Plunct ''Plunct Plact Zuum’’– Zuum''– about a group of kids who want to explore space in a customized, weird-looking spaceship (the “Plunct Plact Zuum” from the title)– late rockstar Raul Seixas played an Obstructive Bureaucrat [[RecycledInSpace from space!]] To him, even ''[[UpToEleven the sun]]'' should have an ID card. He says that “[[TitleDrop Plunct Plact Zuum]] won’t go anywhere”, unless it’s sealed, registered, stamped, examined and labeled. Ultimetely, however, he [[PetTheDog sympathizes with the kids]], confessing that he wanted to go with them, but can’t leave his job. Then, he leaves lets them go and [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming wishes them a good journey]].
25th Aug '16 1:24:01 PM silverbolt1
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* In the Brazilian musical special for kids ‘’Plunct Plact Zuum’’– about a group of kids who want to explore space in a customized, weird-looking spaceship (the “Plunct Plact Zuum” from the title)– late rockstar Raul Seixas played an Obstructive Bureaucrat [[RecycledInSpace from space!]] To him, even ''[[UpToEleven the sun]]'' should have an ID card. He says that “[[TitleDrop Plunct Plact Zuum]] won’t go anywhere”, unless it’s sealed, registered, stamped, examined and labeled. Ultimetely, however, he [[PetTheDog sympathizes with the kids]], confessing that he wanted to go with them, but can’t leave his job. Then, he leaves them go and [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming wishes them a good journey]].
11th Aug '16 9:08:22 PM PaulA
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* In Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold's ''[[Literature/VorkosiganSaga The Warrior's Apprentice]]'' the Barrayaran embassy on Beta Colony maintains a bureaucratic black hole into which Betans who have grievances against Barrayaran citizens will be "swallowed up in an endless möbius loop of files, forms, and reports, kept especially for such occasions by the extremely competent staff. The forms included some particularly creative ones that had to be round-tripped on the six-week journey back to Barrayar itself, and were guaranteed to be sent back several times for minor errors in execution. ... 'It works great with Betans -- they're perfectly happy, because all the time they think they're doing something to you.'"

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* In Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold's ''[[Literature/VorkosiganSaga The Warrior's Apprentice]]'' ''Literature/TheWarriorsApprentice'' the Barrayaran embassy on Beta Colony maintains a bureaucratic black hole into which Betans who have grievances against Barrayaran citizens will be "swallowed up in an endless möbius loop of files, forms, and reports, kept especially for such occasions by the extremely competent staff. The forms included some particularly creative ones that had to be round-tripped on the six-week journey back to Barrayar itself, and were guaranteed to be sent back several times for minor errors in execution. ... 'It works great with Betans -- they're perfectly happy, because all the time they think they're doing something to you.'"
30th Jul '16 7:16:39 AM ironballs16
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* A positive example was [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_Oldham_Kelsey Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey]] of the US FDA. In the early sixties, she was driving a major drug company nuts demanding more extensive scientific testing documentation about a profitable new drug called thalidomide. Despite the corporate pressure, Dr. Kelsey refused to give in and approve the drug for market because her personal alarm bells were going off at the info about the drug. Eventually, the drug's infamous birth defects were revealed to the world and Dr. Kelsey was hailed as a hero for largely sparing the USA the same tragedy.



* A positive example was with Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey of the US FDA. In the early sixties, she was driving a major drug company nuts demanding more extensive scientific testing documentation about a profitable new drug called thalidomide. Despite the corporate pressure, Dr. Kelsey refused to give in and approve the drug for market because her personal alarm bells were going off at the info about the drug. Eventually, the drug's infamous birth defects were revealed to the world and Dr. Kelsey was hailed as a hero for largely sparing the USA the same tragedy.
13th Jul '16 8:35:38 PM Discar
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** Leader Clent in "The Ice Warriors" insists on doing everything based on what the computer tells him to do, even though huge scaly defrosted green men from Mars have bunkered down in a dead spaceship and are trying to kill the scientists out of paranoia and there is [[OutsideContextVillain no way the computer could possibly have a plan to deal with them]]. Several times in the story, characters get a plan in motion only to have Clent scupper it due to lack of input from the computer. Everybody else in the base is frustrated with his behaviour but powerless to do anything about it, and one has even dropped out of civilisation entirely and gone to live in an icy wilderness due to being sick of Clent.

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** Leader Clent in "The Ice Warriors" insists on doing everything based on what the computer tells him to do, even though huge scaly defrosted green men from Mars have bunkered down in a dead spaceship and are trying to kill the scientists out of paranoia and there is [[OutsideContextVillain [[OutsideContextProblem no way the computer could possibly have a plan to deal with them]]. Several times in the story, characters get a plan in motion only to have Clent scupper it due to lack of input from the computer. Everybody else in the base is frustrated with his behaviour but powerless to do anything about it, and one has even dropped out of civilisation entirely and gone to live in an icy wilderness due to being sick of Clent.
13th Jul '16 3:23:45 PM pinkdalek
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** Previous Time Lord episodes had portrayed them as BigGood CrystalSpiresAndTogas figures. When Robert Holmes got his hands on them in "The Deadly Assassin" , they were reimagined as a bunch of shiftless, dusty politicians obsessed with pompous ritual, who can be caught out with legal loopholes and forcing them to answer straight questions.

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** *** Previous Time Lord episodes had portrayed them as BigGood CrystalSpiresAndTogas figures. When Robert Holmes got his hands on them in "The Deadly Assassin" , they were reimagined as a bunch of shiftless, dusty politicians obsessed with pompous ritual, who can be caught out with legal loopholes and forcing them to answer straight questions.
13th Jul '16 3:23:10 PM pinkdalek
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** The Brigadier falls into this occasionally, though bureaucracy is usually a more helpful place for him than [[MurderIsTheBestSolution behind a gun]], especially early on.
** However the Fourth Doctor eventually works out how to handle them by pointing out that the latest alien invasion would, if successful, "mean the end of everything, even your pension!" The civil servant looks [[SkewedPriorities suitably aghast]].
** The Doctor has often accused the Time Lords of being dusty old senators.

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** The Brigadier falls into this occasionally, though bureaucracy is usually a more helpful less dangerous place for him than [[MurderIsTheBestSolution behind a gun]], especially early on.
** However A CreatorThumbprint of Creator/RobertHolmes is his [[AuthorPhobia hatred]] of bureaucrats, which becomes more extreme as his ''Who'' career continued. When he wasn't using them as villains, he was having the Doctor make TakeThat zingers at their expense:
*** In "Carnival of Monsters", two LoveableRogue carnies spend the entire plot stuck in a torturous [[OverreactingAirportSecurity border control]] waiting area, being bullied by (literal) grey-faced bureaucrats (who are trying to engineer a political coup).
*** In "The Ark in Space", Harry isn't useful in medical emergencies despite being a Navy doctor, because he "is only qualified to work on sailors".
*** In "The Seeds of Doom",
the Fourth Doctor eventually works out how to handle them by pointing points out that the latest alien invasion would, if successful, "mean the end of everything, even your pension!" The civil servant looks [[SkewedPriorities suitably aghast]].
** The Doctor has often accused the Previous Time Lords Lord episodes had portrayed them as BigGood CrystalSpiresAndTogas figures. When Robert Holmes got his hands on them in "The Deadly Assassin" , they were reimagined as a bunch of being shiftless, dusty old senators.politicians obsessed with pompous ritual, who can be caught out with legal loopholes and forcing them to answer straight questions.
*** "The Sun Makers" revolves around a fascistically evil and abusive tax collection regimen.
*** "The Ultimate Foe" features Mr Popplewick, a Dickensian factory owner and dull-minded bean-counter, who bares perhaps some resemblance to the abuse the BBC were subjecting their writers to.
9th Jul '16 9:01:23 PM JackG
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** The trope is lampshaded when Huph rants at Bob for secretly helping his clients negotiate all the obstacles he's putting in their way. "They're penetrating the bureaucracy!"
19th Jun '16 2:37:00 PM nombretomado
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* [[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Borsk Fey'lya]], to an astonishing degree. He was introduced in ''TheThrawnTrilogy'' as a Bothan council member of the New Republic, proudly flaunting his species' [[PlanetOfHats hat]] of [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder backbiting political savvy]] (the other hats being [[CityOfSpies spying]], [[HollywoodHacking hacking]], and [[ArsonMurderAndLifeSaving great personal courage]]). He literally cannot imagine his fellow Council members as ''not'' out to get him just as much as he is out to get them; everyone who opposes him is his enemy. He will try and bar them at any given opportunity. And he's on the New Republic's side, shows no signs of going over to the enemy, and does not actually engineer events so much as take advantage of them, so he is never the outright ''enemy'', to several characters' frustration, as that would've given them the ability to [[StatingTheSimpleSolution just shoot him]]. And unfortunately for everyone, he's ''very'' good at recovering from even the most embarrassing political setbacks.

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* [[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Borsk Fey'lya]], to an astonishing degree. He was introduced in ''TheThrawnTrilogy'' ''Literature/TheThrawnTrilogy'' as a Bothan council member of the New Republic, proudly flaunting his species' [[PlanetOfHats hat]] of [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder backbiting political savvy]] (the other hats being [[CityOfSpies spying]], [[HollywoodHacking hacking]], and [[ArsonMurderAndLifeSaving great personal courage]]). He literally cannot imagine his fellow Council members as ''not'' out to get him just as much as he is out to get them; everyone who opposes him is his enemy. He will try and bar them at any given opportunity. And he's on the New Republic's side, shows no signs of going over to the enemy, and does not actually engineer events so much as take advantage of them, so he is never the outright ''enemy'', to several characters' frustration, as that would've given them the ability to [[StatingTheSimpleSolution just shoot him]]. And unfortunately for everyone, he's ''very'' good at recovering from even the most embarrassing political setbacks.
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