Friday, September 17, 2010

Chapter Five

Texting! With Liss and Deeky!:

Deeky: IMFG. Chapter five is the worst one yet.

Liss: LOL! I can't wait.

Deeky: It is unbelievably bad.

Liss: That's such a surprise!

Deeky: It kind of is. I really thought the writing would be at least professional.

I know I complained, sort of, that nothing happened in chapter four. But somehow, even less happens in chapter five. What the fuck? Is this story going anywhere? In the last chapter there were phone calls and the burning of paper. Chapter five is just Noah wandering the halls of Doyle & Merchant.

Really, this is an excuse for another of Beck('s ghostwriter) to list off all the things he hates. In the guise of Darthur's brilliant PR accomplishments.

This particular corridor was the company's walk-through résumé, a gallery of framed and mounted achievements, past to present. Press clippings, puff pieces, planted news items and advertorials, slick, crafted cover stories dating back to the 1950s, digitized video highlights running silently in their flat-screen displays. It was a hall of fame unparalleled in the industry and the envy of all competitors.

So, what were these PR miracles? "Manufactured boy bands and teen pop music stars." Oh, how iconoclasty. Wevs. "Must-have Christmas toys (murders had been committed for a spot in line to buy some of these)." I'm rolling my eyes here. You can't see it, but I am. Of course, all conservatives hate Che Guevara T-shirts. I guess because he was a commie. "On a dare, Noah's father had once boasted that he could transform some of the century's most brutal killers into fashion statements." Okay. "And he'd done it; here were pictures of clueless college students, rock stars, and Hollywood icons proudly wearing T-shirts featuring the romanticized images of Chairman Mao and Che Guevara." Also note, the disdain for "college students, rock stars, and Hollywood icons." I'm guessing Beck loves country musicians. (Not the Dixie Chicks, of course.)

Other things Darthur invented, or at least created the PR for: Tobacco, pharmaceuticals, the lottery. As a youngster, Noah, it turns out, came up with the phrase you can't win if you don't play, "during a rare family chat at the Gardner dinner table." Apparently workaholics are to be despised too. And lottery players have been duped by a child:

No other product could demonstrate the essence of their work as perfectly as the lottery. The ads and jingles might remind all the suckers to play, but it was the PR hocus-pocus that kept them believing in the impossible, year after year. ... Take their money and give them nothing but a scrap of paper and disappointment in return, and then— and this is the key— make them line up every week to do it again.

Well, you know, there is one other product that fits this description. They're called Glenn Beck books. Okay, sorry, that was too easy. But lottery players aren't the biggest suckers of all. No. It's the "do-gooders." Those foolish dreamers who believe they can make the world a better place. People like Che Guevara. Or Peace Corps volunteers:

Noah had a friend in college, not a close friend, but a self-described bleeding-heart lefty tree-hugging do-gooder friend who'd gone to work for an African aid organization after graduation. She'd kept in touch only casually, but her last sad letter had been one for the scrapbook. It turned out that after all the fund-raising and banquets and concerts and phone banks, all the food and clothing and medical supplies they'd shipped over had been instantly hijacked and sold on the black market, either by the corrupt provisional government, the corrupt rebel militias, or both. Most of the proceeds bought a Viking V58 cruiser for the yacht-deprived son of a parliament member. The rest of the money went for weapons and ammunition. That arsenal, in turn, fueled a series of sectarian genocidal massacres targeting the very starving men, women, and children whom the aid was meant for.

Saps! Fuck Africa. Helping them is just helping warlords, facilitating genocide, and buying yachts for black people. Screw that noise! This is why Libertarians don't help anyone. It's a waste. If Africa wants to improve its situation, it needs to grab its bootstraps, pull itself up, and get its shit together. Durr. Umm, okay, sorry, where was I? Oh yeah.

Darthur has also been the PR machine behind every president since JFK, excepting the "too high-and-mighty" Jimmy Carter and the "too cheap" Richard Nixon. Both those clowns were run out of office, weren't they? Darthur even had a hand in fixing Clinton's impeachment. Man, this PR firm does everything. And when they're not fixing elections, they're drumming up support for war.

Noah was nearly to the end of the hall when a small, unassuming case study caught his attention. There was no title or description on this one, just a silent running video, the testimony before Congress of a volunteer nurse named Nayirah al-Sabah. She was the fifteen-year-old Kuwaiti girl whose tearful story of infants being thrown from their incubators by Iraqi soldiers became a podium-pounding rallying cry in the final run-up to the 1991 Gulf War.

Undeniably moving, highly effective, and entirely fictional.

The client for this one had been a thinly veiled pro-invasion front group called Citizens for a Free Kuwait. The girl wasn't a nurse at all; she was the photogenic daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. The testimony had been written, produced, and directed by Arthur Isaiah Gardner, the distinguished gentleman sitting just behind her in the video.

Evil! Darthur is pure evil. Because all PR people do is lie. Which totally not what Glenn Beck and his ilk do. No, not at all. Anyway, I guess this New World Order thing is going to be a walk in the park. I mean, if he can fix the Clinton blowjob thing, and get Iraq invaded, he can certainly establish a new "political and economic and social structure." I wonder, is this is what's meant by "the banality of evil"? (The writing here. Not the starting of wars.)


  1. Interesting. He appears to be trying to distance himself from the Bush military ventures, believing that the Gulf War, at least, was prosecuted under false pretenses. Judging by all this, he also seems to be casting doubt upon the latter Bush's ventures as well.



  2. Yeah, I was surprised by that as well. A true account (except for the Gardner part) of a lie used by a Republican president to get us into war.

  3. Does "every president since JFK" also include Shrub? It seems like that might turn off the intended audience.

    And what did the story of his friend trying to help Africa have to do with anything? Or did Darthur engineer that, too? (With the "hijacking" having been the plan all along.)

    Glenn Beck (and or the ghostwriter) is really beginning to confuse me. What, exactly, isn't evil?

  4. This Africa do-gooder thing really threw me. I don't know what to say or think about somebody who believes this shit.

    What Beck is saying, if I'm reading him rightly, is that you shouldn't try to help desperate people in Africa--or presumably, by extension--anywhere else, since the money or supplies you send, or the work you do, might end up in the wrong hands and the people who might steal it might do something abd with it. In essence, what he's saying is that we shouldn't try to help others, since something might go awry: Don't feed that starving child! He might grow up to be the next Hitler, or, even the next Glenn Beck! Better we should just let him starve. That way, when the next Hitler, Stalin or Beck arises, we can tell ourselves we had nothing to do with it.

    This guy calls himself a Christian. I guess he would have had a few stern words for Jesus: "Give some poor lowlife the cloak off your back? What are you, some kind of communist? And what if the guy you give your cloak to strangles somebody with it? What if he strangles a BABY with it? You call yourself the Messiah, and you're O.K. with helping baby stranglers?"

    Of course, Jesus could shoot back with, "Yeah, but what if the baby grew up to be the next Hitler, and the guy who would have strangled the baby with the cloak I gave him would have saved millions of lives by killing Hitler, Jr.?"

    But that wouldn't be much good, since Beck would answer, "Yeah, but what if one of those millions of victims who never died, because the baby never got a chance to grow up and kill him turned out to be a HOMOSEXUAL RIGHTS ADVOCATE? Huh, Jesus? What's your answer to THAT?"

    And at that point, Beck wins the argument, since, you know, mass slaughter is all really bad and all, but it isn't as bad as pushing the "homosexual agenda". And Jesus slinks away in shame...

  5. that's sort of the basis of the whole conservative ideology, isn't it? "fuck everyone else. i've got mine, and you can go to hell"? that's my impression of it anyway.

  6. "No other product could demonstrate the essence of their work as perfectly as the lottery. The ads and jingles might remind all the suckers to play, but it was the PR hocus-pocus that kept them believing in the impossible, year after year. ... Take their money and give them nothing but a scrap of paper and disappointment in return, and then— and this is the key— make them line up every week to do it again."

    As a psychology student I have to call bullshit on this. I'm certain a good PR campaign helps, but all a lottery needs to succeed is to exploit basic human psychology. We're predisposed to think shelling out two bucks for a chance at two million is a good deal, even if we have a greater chance of being struck by a meteor and lightning at the same time.