the Wakefield Doctrine

the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers

the Wakefield Doctrine (…’give a starving man a pen and he will stab you and take your wallet, teach him to write and he will create a blog and stab a million people and try to take their wallets’

with 4 comments

I was speaking to (one of the other) Progenitors last night, discussing the Wakefield Doctrine in general and this blog in particular.  We got on to the topic of writing styles and attracting a following or at least a continuing readership.  At one point he said, ‘look, what we have here is not a hobby blog or a poetry blog, it is not even a blog about what we think about religion or philosophy or anything else!  It is an original idea, unfamiliar to people who might come upon it, so don’t expect most people to get it on the first try!’

That was a good point.  The actual writing part of having (a blog) is new to probably everyone who gets it into their head to start one.  Of course I am not counting the professional/trained writers, those people you can spot  the second you get to their site.  (These ‘writer blogs’ look good, read good, right out of the gate.)  No mistaking them.  But their subject matter is often secondary to the execution, they appear to be writing for the sake of writing. Not the worse thing in the world to do, but a little skillfully executed prose goes a long way when there is no original content.  As for the rest of us, we start with a writing style that is clearly untrained.  After a certain period of time, after the majority have given up the ‘blog project’, those of us who remain comprise the garage bands of the blogosphere.

Well…, that certainly was the long way back around to my theme of the difficulties encountered when trying to convey an original idea with no formal training in the medium.  (I once wrote in a Reply to another blog to the effect that,  ‘in olden days if I had the money, I would get pamphlets printed and stand on a street corner and try to get the  ten or twenty passersby to stop and take one and read it.  Now I have the internet.  I can try and get ten or twenty million passersby to stop and read my little electronic pamphlet’.)

The creating and performing of music is a major element in the background of the (original) clark, scott and roger.  We all grew  up in a time when, if you were not planning a real career (doctor/lawyer/accountant) then you played in a band.  In fact, 2 of the 3 Progenitors still do to some extent or another.  The metaphor of learning an instrument without formal instruction and performing in public are recurring themes in the lives of the people from which the Wakefield Doctrine has sprung.

The ‘garage band’ metaphor is actually quite apt.  Back in the day, we spent time among friends playing in living rooms.  That sounded good but it was not enough, we had to see if we could get the same reaction from strangers. So we practised in garages and (in one case in a 14′ by 14′ room in an abandoned factory building), but we practised and eventually went out and played  for high school dances, then wedding receptions and (finally) bars and night clubs.  The underlying motive remained the same throughout, ‘could I get the reaction that I got from friends when I performed in front of total strangers?’

This blog is the attempt to get the same reaction that I get from friends and family when I talk about the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers only from total strangers,  people who have never heard of the Wakefield Doctrine.

This thing has legs.  I bet that with time and a stack of Marshalls the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers will have a following.  I make that statement because I have had people that know of the Wakefield Doctrine tell of hearing people who have heard it third hand, make statements like ‘man, what a roger he is’, or ‘not too much a scott, is she?’  So if the Doctrine is sustainable enough to propagate on a purely anecdotal level, with a little effort and a lot of promotion and an increasingly efficacious style of teaching and illustrating the concept, everyone will know about clarks, scotts and rogers.

So, in keeping with the theme of this Post, if you are new here and are reading this, write a Comment/Reply.  (Metaphorically applaud or throw a beer can at the stage).  This thing will continue…


Written by clarkscottroger

October 13, 2009 at 7:32 am

4 Responses

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  1. (Again I take liberties and exert the privilage of the rank. Below is a Reply from the roger (Progenitor) wrote nearly concurrently with the above Post.)

    From the Roger;
    Okay, I need some help on this one.
    Just got done talking with the Clark on the phone about the blog, etc. etc. He also reminded me to go and check out clips of a favorite guitar player of ours; Jeff Beck. Recorded at Ronnie Scott’s in New York, it’s basically Jeff doing what he does. I’m very familiar with this, have been a fan for a very long time. This happens to be a very well done DVD, and is highly recommended. Could someone please insert a link to Youtube, right about here?
    That’s not the problem. Here’s the problem.
    I can’t figure quite where to place these people in the ClarkScottRoger scheme of things. I would have expected Jeff, upon analysis, to be a Roger. Guitar player, lots of props, etc. ( Speaking of, by the way, Jeff always does gigs wearing a bone-pipe necklace, ala Native American accoutrement). That rings a very Rogerian bell; I used to do gigs with an eagle feather attached to a beaded rosette hanging on my Marshall amp, until one night in New Hampshire, when it went missing just after we did a set with Steven Tyler, who was on vacation and hanging out. A week later, he drove a Vespa scooter into a bakery truck in Allston and damn near bought the farm. So I figured it was him who nabbed the feather, because you just can’t screw around with stuff like that and not have to pay up. Major karma. But on the other hand, he’s an American icon, and I’m a security guard. Freaking huge karma…still, I wonder if I should try the bakery truck thing… with my luck, it’ll turn out that it only works with certain types of bakery trucks, say a Wonder Bread or Hostess Cupcake truck. I’ll hit a Nissen truck and end up being… a handicapped security guard. LOL.
    Anyway, back to Mr. Beck.
    I must say that, as a guitar teacher ( that’s what old Rogerian guitar players do if they don’t have the courage to kamikaze into the nearest pie cart)I spend a lot of time getting students to develop a proper technique and posture so that they can fully reach the entire fretboard; learning to use the fourth finger to extend their reach; and especially not to hang the thumb over the top of the neck, which generally brings mobility to a dead stop. And then to watch Jeff Beck do absolutely everything wrong,apparently unfettered by his appalling lack of proper Rogerian scientifically proven musical theorem. Nine out of ten security guards ( and not just a few Harvard Deans) concur- he doesn’t seem to give two hoots about Playing Guitar Correctly.
    And thank God for that. He does just what he ( and everyone else too, for that matter) should be doing. He makes a glorious, joyful noise. Who cares how he gets there? I hope he never starts to correct himself.
    But he’s so unconventional, he can’t be a Roger. So I suspect… a Clark in sheep’s clothing. Actually, look carefully… they’re all in on it. It’s a Band of Clarks, for all love.( to quote Captain Aubrey- any Patrick O’Brian fans out there? If you’re not familiar, google him. Best novels ever- now that’s a proper Roger for you)
    It’s very good to see what Clarks can do when they’re organized. But what do you call organized Clarks? It’s not a herd, or a pack… a gaggle? goggle? google? Committee? Consensus? Ah, I know… a conflagration. A conflagration of Clarks has conspired to create some extraordinarily concise concertium. And those of us with ears are all the better for it. I would just love to see the shoes. How do you spot a Clark in sheep’s clothing? He’s the one with the wingtips on.
    And having planted that mildly disturbing imagery in your brains, I will bid you all a good night. I will count some sheep, but only the ones with proper sheep’s feet… hooves, I believe they’re called….


    October 13, 2009 at 10:17 am

  2. If I may, the answer is clark.
    I know this because you can see it in the way he (Beck) relates to others in his environment.
    Clearest example is when Eric Clapton is on stage. For whatever clarklike reason, Jeff assumes a posture of extreme deference, “I am not worthy” kind of shit. But if you watch very carefully you will see an edge, a certain glint of resentment in his eyes.
    Second example, is how does Mr. Beck relates to his female guest (singer)? Here we see much more of a clarklike response, he gets all transparent, barely there at all.
    I will leave the ‘why’ of this all to you binyons out there who think you know the Doctrine.


    October 13, 2009 at 1:33 pm

  3. So I think I might be a Clark due to my analytical nature, however, I also seem to have much in common with the Roger. I have the outcast nature, yet I am also the one that is a social gatherer per se. Then again, I look at the Scott and I have always possessed a certain physical capability that has bordered on superiority (especially during my athletic career and even now when a physical task is done, the capability I know and feel I possess comes through).

    My question with the Wakefield Doctrine is about the “clear cut” nature of the designation (which might sound more literal than it is). Is there a certain cusper quality as in zodiac signs and those who exhibit a blend of qualities due to the fact that they exist on the cusp of signs? Is there a certain awareness that lends itself in an individual to “using” different aspects of Clark, and Scott, and Roger based upon adaptability and situation, yet not identifying with one as the overarching type? Then again, just the thought behind this might make me a Clark!

    In the FAQ section it says that “we just get in the habit of seeing the world one characteristic way”. Interestingly enough, I have asked people, including my wife, about others perceptions of me, and they are very different. Some describe me as intense and self-confident, others say I’m peaceful and laid back, others that I am thoughtful and compassionate. And when I hear different descriptions, I nod my head, as “yes, I agree with that assessment”.

    For me, when I look into my own nature there is what at times seems to be a standard complexity (that I understand, its my nature, yet is maddening for some, mysterious for others, and, I have been told, intimidating and scary to others).

    I am incredibly thoughtful, rational, analytical, and creative. Clark-like?
    I am self-assured,self-confident, and my emotion is very much in the moment. Scott-like?
    I am into details and accuracy, the one who follows the directions in the box. Roger-like?

    And there seems to be a literal interweaving of these aspects that never separate out.

    I am seem to simultaneously exhibit traits of a follower and a leader, depending on what the situation.

    I am the life of the party, but also the one that can be reserved and observant.

    Having studied this site, looked over the Wakefield Doctrine, observed, thought, and applied to my own nature, I keep coming around the fact that I share what seem to be pertinent traits of each, yet have some traits of each that don’t seem to be relevant. Like I’m using the potential of each more than the individual habit of one. Which again leads me to the question of combo Clark/Scott/Rogers? Like the Ayurveda Pitta/Kapha/Vata combos.

    Then again, this could be some classic questioning that would get you to say, “You are DEFINITELY a…”


    October 16, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    • Good call. (on the sharing of traits from each form).

      I think it remains a deficiency in the Doctrine, that I do not (yet) convey the idea that being a scott or clark or roger is about a predominance of traits. That, in fact, we all start of the potential/traits of each of the three and eventually become predominately one (of the three). (Current theory says that this happens by about age 5 and is a result of both nature and nurture.)
      The descriptive characteristics of each are meant to describe the way that one percieves the world. Castenada speaks of predeliction, in terms of the choices we make in our perceptions. This is meant to be very much that.

      To see the world as a simple place of prey and predator, action reaction is the scottian view. How that view is manifested in people and the similar behavior that it appears to engender is what gives rise to the clustering of traits.
      The rogerian view of the world is predicated on the idea of group, a shared existence, a ‘shared self-reference’ if that is possible. And clarks in their search for knowlege and membership show it in their very posture. By definition everyone should see a little of themselves in each, but they are still mostly one. (Thats why looking at two together is so informative, the pesci/deniro film clips illustrates the scottian and the clarklike personality way better than I can write.)

      So you are absolutely correct in seeing yourself as one of the three and all of the three.
      But what it comes down to is what do your think of hats (on men), Ken Burns and geneaology? (or any of the other primary characteristics of the forms.) What resonates. What sounds like the reasonable way to be?

      I appreciate your input/feedback.


      October 16, 2009 at 8:19 pm

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