Saturday, 19 May 2012

The Exalted Cyclops

From the Economist, June 30th 2010: 

THE (fawning) obituaries of Robert Byrd have reminded me that I missed an important organisation in last week's column on job-title inflation: the Ku Klux Klan. 
Mr Byrd held the titles of Exalted Cyclops and Kleagle (recruiter) for the Klan in West Virginia. Other Klan job titles include Grand Imperial Wizard (CEO), Grand Magi (vice-president), Grand Scribe (secretary), Grand Dragon of the Realm (vice-president), Hydra (assistant to the vice-president), Grand Titan of the Dominion (regional vice-president), Grand Titan of the Province (assistant regional vice-president), Lictor (security guard) and Night Hawk (night watchman). Ordinary members were known as ghouls. 
Byrd had plenty of other titles in the rest of his career, including Senate minority leader, Senate majority leader and president pro tempore of the United States Senate, but none had quite the resonance of Exalted Cyclops.

'Recruiter' is not very grand, nor even 'company director', which all spies and con-men put on their passports in the days when you had to state your occupation (the last Earl of Derby put 'coal miner' on his), but I like the sound of 'P. V. E. Wood, M.A. Cantab., quondam Scholar of Queens' College Cambridge, Exalted Cyclops and Kleagle.'

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