Satire, n. (Rom. ant.) Use of ridicule, irony, sarcasm, etc. in speech or writing for the ostensible purpose of exposing & discouraging vice or folly. The Concise Oxford Dictionary
Note: This is a slightly revised version of the satirical little piece that appeared about a month ago in TOO. Which effected a few delighted comments, but also the wrath of its main protagonist. Who complimented the Editor and me with emails and an article, thereby threatening to sue, defame and ruin us by way of the $PLCs usual dirty tactics if we didn’t remove the damn thing on the double. Heidi’s main bone of contention is the part where one of her acquaintances introduces a false-flag terrorist who is too dumb to build bombs and thus blows himself and her to smithereens. Which was the theme’s necessary gambit, but is hilariously interpreted by her to the effect that the Editor and I are promoting naked violence. Since that is something we have never done and never will, and since the $PLC’s clientele is perhaps too puerile to see it, I’ve decided on a gentlemanly course and mellowed the part in question somewhat. Though I’m not sure she’ll like it a lot better.
* * *
Ugliness without Tact is horrible!
This was not planned!
It happened because that over-exited Rabbi who coordinates the Queer Sexual Ethics Project at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies on Religion and Ministry in Frisco turned out to be a degenerate pansy hooked on Prozac and Coke. Supposedly a matchmaker for that Never-ever-named-Outfit, he brought along this greasy Harvard campus minority rep who asked the $PLC to lay out one hundred grand for an iron-clad defamation ploy that would be the irreversible ruin of, as a supercilious little stringer has labelled him long ago, the Marx of the Anti-Semites. The steep heap of dough, presently an unattainable dream for most hard-working people, would be of course only peanuts where we of the $PLC are concerned. Nicely funded with mountains of illicit cash from Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and similar scams, we can be extremely generous if that fits our agenda.
So call us whenever you think you’ve got something hot!
Mark and I had come over in Seligman’s black Bentley, because on that weekend he took out the red Ferrari for a trip with his underage stepdaughter of whom he is so very fond, as everybody knows. The Bentley was intended to impress our counterparts with the $PLC’s social eminence and financial standing, and thus put them in their place, but on hindsight it seems the damn thing only screwed up their demands. Which was the reason why we wanted to know more about the ploy’s ingredients.
We met in the Bavaria, a beer-and-sauerkraut joint behind the Zoo. It is one of our favourite haunts, mainly because Mark can’t stop sliding lustful glances at the waiters in their tight lederhosen, while I feel sort of emotionally tickled because my name is Heidi. Since Mark puts his head every morning for ten minutes into a microwave to enhance his investigative brainpower and therefore looks positively retarded, and as I can’t stop eating donuts and thus look like a human elephant, we resemble a couple of slapstick comedians on the run whenever intelligence gathering commands us to appear together in public. That’s why they give us at the Bavaria a private little conference room complete with pictures of Alpine sunsets, three cuckoo clocks, porcelain cows with huge bells, a painting of Neuschwanstein Castle, a shelve with genuine schnapps glasses, some advertising for Munich’s famous breweries, and a hand-signed photo of Angela Merkel repenting at the Wailing Wall.
Thus, as you will agree, a pleasant background for our tête-à-tête with the rep and his Rabbi.
The rep calls himself Speedy Gonzales, looks and behaves like a tenacious chulo from the Tijuana warpath, but is in fact the protégée and intimate buddy of Harvard’s eminent Professor for Applied History Daniel Goldhagen. Who uses Speedy, a passionate personal attachment apart, as his linchpin in the general scheme to minimize a once dominant WASP student body beyond recognition. Speedy, perhaps due to his so far illegal status, speaks atrocious English, wherefore the Rabbi frequently needs to elucidate certain points of the narrative. Which initially sounds so exiting that I help myself repeatedly out of my donuts bag to keep cool.
A slight setback occurs when the Rabbi drops his snuff box and must get down on both knees to serve himself a line. When I demand to know why the hell he uses a rolled-up one hundred rouble note for this purpose, he replies that our local currency can’t be trusted anymore since it is privately owned. An answer that miffs me considerably and foreshadows already the final disaster.
Speedy, who is also illiterate, has fished a smutty folder out of his backpack and now hands it to the Rabbi. Who, after having himself shakily restored to his chair, begins to read.
Target’s first recorded crime (aged twelve): rips off the Sunday collection box of St. Pancras in Milwaukee where he doubles as a choirboy.
‘Milwaukee?!’ asks Mark and frowns as only he can frown.
Next one (aged fourteen): gets drunk on sacramental wine in same-said church, falls from the emporium on a visiting bishop who suffers a shock and broken collar bone.
‘Probably believed it to be a sign from Heaven,’ says Mark and chortles as only he can chortle.
Next one (aged fifteen): rapes his biology teacher, but is let off with only a reprimand.
‘Female or male?!’ I demand to know with mounting excitement while munching another donut.
‘ Female,’ says he. ‘Close to retirement.’
Which lessens my enthusiasm somewhat. But only for a moment, because there follows a fine list of similar transgressions, each serious enough, if properly stretched, to ruin the target’s reputation once and for all. But then, out of the blue, and while I have another donut, my blood runs cold.
Next one (aged thirty seven): is caught selling nationally produced underpants instead of Warren Buffet’s Made-in-China knickers and so loses his license as haberdasher on the Milwaukee flea-market.
After the first shock I yell: ‘Haberdasher!? In Milwaukee? Are you mad? The basterd is a University Prof in bloody California!’
But the Rabbi, now high like Asmodeus before his fall, can’t care less.
‘So what?!’ he cries with a mad giggle. ‘You at the $PLC never give a humid burp about details when preparing to wreck someone’s life and career!’
Mark leers as only he can leer and asks: ‘What’s this fellow’s name exactly?’
The Rabbi consults his smutty file once more.
‘MacDonald, of course. Born seventy nine in Milwaukee. First name Moses.’ He grins madly and adds with a hilarious giggle: ‘Nice touch, really. Moses MacDonald! Never heard that one before. Wow!’
I feel how a wave of black rage constricts my throat. I try to gulp air but inhale half a donut instead. I see how the world turns first pink, than red, than blue. I fall over backwards and land with a heavy thud on the floor. My left leg twitches a few times and then I lay still.
Like many intelligent members of my tribe I have been a dedicated nihilist all my life, and to put it somewhat poetically, I simply expected to fade away like a fat fart on a warm wind. But to my great consternation I find myself buoyantly drifting upwards trough a kind of bluish haze. Which surprises me quite a bit, particularly if you consider my circumference which most certainly has never encouraged any notion of weightlessness so far.
However that may be, kicking the bucket seems to change everything, even in ways you never thought possible.
What happens next surprises me even more. The whole situation has a dreamlike quality, but as everybody knows, and as far as dreams are concerned, and as long as you are in one, everything is about as real as can be. Now this is exactly my impression when I find myself in a sort of antechamber, as the Frogs call it, with some elegant Frog furniture, a magnificent Michelangelo fresco on the vaulted ceiling, a cabinet containing a single delicately incised carafe filled to the rim with eau-de-vie, and a gilded armchair standing in a corner. One wall is practically a wide-open doorway, and beyond it I see a golden light and hear the sound of music and laughter. While I stare at it open-mouthed, strangely moved in a way that happened the last time when I was a little girl, a fellow in his late twenties comes strolling sort of leisurely into the room. He is tall and blond and blue-eyed, characteristics that always make my hackles rise, except of course if its Paul Newman in Exodus or Goldie Hawn in Shampoo. He is dressed into a tailored Italian suit, one of those that would even make Richard Cohen or Meyer Lansky or Mark himself look like a gentleman. I know this because Seligman has plenty of them and always tells me how incredibly expensive they are. Which reconciles me a little with the fellow’s revoltingly Aryan exterior. He gives me a wan little smile and folds himself into the golden armchair while indicating a fragile chaiselongue for me to sit down. Now that’s something I would normally never do, for fear of crashing down with the damn thing and wrecking my backbone as well. But being weightless changes everything, and so I take the risk and position my backside on a fine collection of velvet cushions and regale him with my best smirk.
‘Who are you then?’ I inquire sort of conversationally.
‘The Archangel Michael,’ he replies and smiles sparingly.
Inadvertently I give him one of my scathing guffaws, those which I usually produce during TV shows when we of the $PLC are defaming and ruining Potential Terrorists, White Supremacists, Neo-Nazzis, conservative Catholics, Anti-Immigrant bogeys and similar scum. Whereupon he lifts an eyebrow and wants to know what’s so funny about it.
‘Well,’ says I after regaining some composure, ‘I always thought you don’t exist. I mean, not really.’
He pours a drop of eau-de-vie into a silver chalice and sips it with relish. I take notice that he doesn’t offer anything to me, which puts me off somewhat.
‘I exist for those who believe in me,’ he says with a contented sigh and then adds sort of musingly: ‘Whereas I don’t for those who don’t.’
Now this is the kind of logic that makes sense to me, since we at $PLC use it, though in an entirely vicious and defamatory manner, to bash Potential Terrorists, White Supremacists, Neo-Nazzis, conservative Catholics, Anti-Immigration bogeys and similar scum.
‘But here you are!’ I observe with a touch of elation. ‘Right in front of me! So what the hell does that mean?’
‘That you have begun to believe in me.’
There’s a hint of regret in his voice, and for unclear reasons it makes me feel apprehensive. So I say playfully: ‘Great! Where are your wings?’
He contemplates his polished fingernails.
‘Didn’t bring them,’ he says with a frown. ‘That’s because actually I’m off duty. But since you are an important personage, they asked me to attend to you.’
‘Attend to me?’
‘Checking your credentials.’
Now this is taking an unexpected turn. Slightly stung, I demand: ‘What kind of credentials?’
For a change it is him who seems genuinely surprised.
‘The ones necessary to enter Paradise,’ he says curtly and points a thumb over his shoulder, thus indicating the golden haze filled with music and laughter.
As you can imagine, my whole weltbild makes a sudden somersault. While digesting the news, I am overcome with a sudden and unexpected excitement.
‘Paradise?!’ I cry. ‘Wow! I’ll be damned!’ He looks a bit miffed, so I add in a more conciliatory manner: ‘You mean I could become an angel? As beautiful as you?’
‘Possibly,’ says he. ‘And as happy as well.’
‘So let me in,’ I yell hilariously and make to get up. ‘What are you waiting for?’
But he lifts one hand and a gentle but indomitable power pushes me back onto the chaiselongue. And while I flop down again, I realize for the first time that something in the whole storyline isn’t completely kosher.
‘Your credentials,’ he explains patiently. ‘They need to be checked.’
I pretend to be dumbfounded.
‘Why, for heaven’s sake?! I’m a Chosen One! Isn’t that credentials enough?’
But he is not impressed.
‘Chosen?’ he intones languidly. ‘By whom, if I may take the liberty to ask.’
Now I’m truly shocked.
‘You may,’ I growl. ‘By Yahweh, of course. Or Jehovah, if you like. He’s laid it down a few thousand years ago as a sort of universal law. And if I’m not mistaken, it’s written somewhere in the Talmud. Or the Torah. Or maybe the Kabala. However that may be, you are surely aware that ours is the one and only Superior Race around. We are the Cream, the Top of the Pop, the Crowning of Creation. We rule the world, and all the rest is there to serve us!’ To put him in his place, I add with a faintly threatening undertone: ‘I’m talking about your boss, in case you didn’t realize it.’
For the first time I see a subdued fire in his bright-blue eyes.
‘You don’t,’ he says, now with an edge to his voice. ‘You are talking about an archaic concept that is about as workable as a fossilized dinosaur.’ He shakes his head. ‘An eye for an eye and a toe for a toe, my foot!’
‘Tooth,’ I correct him.
‘It’s a tooth for a tooth, not a toe for a toe!’
But his mind is elsewhere.
‘Why,’ he asks somewhat absentmindedly, ‘do you actually dislike them so much? They have after all created the one supreme culture your particular planet has on offer, and their ideas about humanism and tolerance and the like aren’t that unsympathetic either.’
I regale him with my toughest stare.
‘You aren’t by any chance a WASP yourself, right? Or a damn latter-day Catholic like Mel Gibson. Or a White Supremacist like David Duke, for Heaven’s sake!’
He gives me a surprised glance, and I add quickly: ‘I mean, of course only ideologically speaking.’
He purses his lips, thinks it over and shakes his head.
‘We don’t call it ideologically, as far as I remember. And you didn’t answer my question.’
He seems to be serious, so for once I’m candid myself.
‘I don’t dislike them. I positively hate them! I hate their poets, philosophers, composers, educators, painters, authors and whatnot. Because my lot could never produce anything remotely comparable. That’s why the historical mission of our time is to arrange a new culture of humanity, one that will replace the previous ruling system. This reorganization consists of two essentials: the destruction of the old order and the building of the new. To begin with, all physical border posts, ethnic barriers and social definitions of the old system must be eliminated and replaced by elements of the new system. Thus the first task of our time is DESTRUCTION! Every social strata and all social formations created by the old system must be destroyed, each individual has to be uprooted from its ancestral environments, no tradition will be anymore regarded as sacred, the Old is merely a sign of disease, and the new credo is: What was, must go! And even though during the first phase all people are declared the same, in the next and final phase they need to be re-divided and differentiated, and a new pyramidal hierarchical system must emerge.’
Being slightly asthmatic, I need a moment to regain my breath. He meanwhile nods condescendingly as if all this isn’t any news for him.
‘Well said, indeed. And it’s of course the Chosen Ones who will occupy the top of that pyramid, I presume.’
‘Exactly,’ I cry, feeling happy that we finally understand each other. ‘It’s our divinely allotted dwelling ground. Because we’ve got the brains, we’ve got the power, we’ve got the money!’
‘And from that position you intend to rule the entire planet, is it so?’
‘Exactly again! Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world — only to serve the People of Israel. Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plough, they will reap. We will sit like an Effendi and eat. That is why gentiles were created!’
‘Well, I’ll be damned,’ he says, looking genuinely amazed. ‘I’ve never heard that one before. And do you have a tag for the whole endeavour?’
‘It’s called the New World Order, and we’ve nearly gotten there. All we needed was Russia. We had the damn place almost in our pockets, but then comes this clever devil out of the brushwork and wrecks the whole scheme.’
‘Ah yes. We were aware of the situation. And even though we normally do not meddle very much, in this case we thought it prudent to interfere.’
I lift a podgy paw.
‘But be assured,’ I assure him. ‘We’ll get there sooner or later. Just as we have done in the rest of Europe and America. Where we, disguised as friends and allies, have burrowed our way into the very heart of the citadel and from there conduct a campaign of destruction so cunningly camouflaged that only a small group of clear-minded citizens, men and women alike, understand fully what is afoot.’
I forcefully suppress a rude answer.
‘In present-day Russia our NGOs do the groundwork for our future conquest, and all it needs is money, lots of money! And we have it and we pay it!’
‘Money…,’ he sighs forlornly and shakes his head sadly. But then his spirits seem to revive again while he mutters contentedly: ‘You know, there’s a peculiar thing about money. In large quantities it tends to have a life of its own, even a conscience of its own. The power of money becomes very difficult to control.’
For once I must agree.
‘That’s true. Right now matters are getting a bit out of hand. But don’t worry, we’ll manage. It’s our metier, really. Our one and only delicacy.’
For the first time he laughs aloud, and to be a good buddy, I laugh along.
‘Tell me something,’ he says when his mirth has ended. ‘Did you never have the faintest doubt? Feel a hint of moral restraint? Consider a spot of scruples, however rudimentary?’
‘Come now,’ I say while marvelling at his naiveté. ‘That would be absolutely counterproductive, wouldn’t it. Complete baloney if you wish to arrive where our top brass has arrived.’
‘What about love. You never had any need for that?’
I giggle, loudly and falsely.
‘Fat as I am? Ugly as I am? You must be joking!’
‘Ugliness combined with tact and kindness can be very lovely.’
I almost snarl at him.
‘Forget it. I love to be nasty! It gives me an incredible kick! I enjoy defaming and blackmailing and ruining the lives of Potential Terrorists, White Supremacists, Neo-Nazzis, conservative Catholics, Anti-Immigration bogeys and similar scum. That’s why I’m here.’ I correct myself. ‘I mean, that’s why I was there. And that’s why the $PLC is still there with all its millions of stolen dollars.’
He doesn’t say anything, only looks at me in a kind of calculating fashion.
The whole conversation has worn me out somewhat, so I just say: ‘C’mon, my lad. Let’s stop the banter and just let me in, OK?’
He pulls a hand through his blond locks, frowns, shakes his head sadly and gets up.
‘Alas…,’ he murmurs with a hint of regret and strolls leisurely out of the room.
And while I open my mouth to yell something after him, the French chaiselongue beneath me gives way and I find myself drifting downwards the same way I had come up.
I don’t know how much time passes, if any at all. But when I can think clearly again, I find myself in a kind of grey prison cell with a rickety old table and an even more rickety plastic chair. For the rest it’s got a washbasin, a toilet bowl, a rickety bed and a rickety clothes rack. The closed door is from heavy iron, and the little window barred with an iron grille. I peer through it and see nothing but a desert with a few sand devils moving slowly across the empty dunes. The one surprise is my personal laptop on the table, complete with printer and paper rack.
Devastated, I flop into the plastic chair, and the damn thing nearly folds in under me. And while I still try to figure out what the hell all this is about, the door opens with a creak and a fellow strolls leisurely into the room.
Welcome, Heidi,’ he says with a remote smile and absentmindedly scratches one of his horns with a finely manicured talon.
I stare at him open-mouthed, unable to place him, but finally the penny drops.
‘You!’ I mutter dumbfounded. ‘I know who you are!’
‘Of course you do,’ he agrees pleasantly. ‘I’m quite famous in certain circles. Even though there are some misconceptions now and then.’
A cold, cold hand claws suddenly at my heart.
‘Misconceptions?!’ I whisper fearfully. ‘I don’t understand…’
He utters a barking laugh that chills me to the bone.
Indicating his horns and pointed ears with another finely manicured talon, he assumes a somewhat schoolmasterly attitude and says condescendingly: ‘Contrariwise to general lore, I haven’t been endowed with a tail, nor have I a clubfoot!’
‘Oiweh!’ I yell in horror. ‘You are the Devil then, right?’
He nods happily.
‘Lucifer, to be precise. You’ve created me, so here I am!’
Suddenly the scales drop from my eyes.
‘This is Hell, right?!’
‘Of course,’ he says. ‘What did you think it is?’
I try to muster some composure.
‘A prison, maybe.’
‘But yours is a prison!’
I look around. And trying to please him a little, I ask timidly: ‘So where’s all the furnaces? Why don’t I see some bastards roasting on a spit over a lovely bonfire?’
‘These are out-dated perceptions,’ he says in his professorial manner and pulls a piece of blackboard chalk from behind one of his pointed ears. But looking about him and finding no blackboard, he puts it back again.
‘Let me explain,’ he says and twists one of his horns superciliously. ‘Hell as we perceive it is in fact a very personal matter. We sort of create it ourselves, step by step, during our own lifetime. You understand?’
‘You mean, everybody?’
He clicks his forked tongue against marble teeth.
‘Don’t be daft. I’m talking of course only about nasty and utterly immoral delinquents like yourself. The good people receive automatically a free ticket to Paradise.’
Now this is dreadful news indeed.
‘What’s to happen with me then,’ I ask, feeling fairly devastated.
‘You’ll do what you have done always. Denounce, defame, insult, blackmail, lie to your heart’s content. That’s what your laptop is for. With the one difference that nobody will ever read what you have written day after day.’
‘But this is terrible,’ I wail. ‘Where is the kick?! And for how long will I have to do it?’
Between the horns he folds his forehead into a professorial frown.
‘As for your dirty homework, you have to deliver without a respite,’ he says finally. ‘I’ll control it myself, so don’t hope to cheat in any way. With regard to the duration of your sentence, it depends. We’ll ask each of your victims if they are prepared to forgive you. As they are generally good people, nobody will refuse in the end. But since they are so many, it will take a long time, and since time means nothing in these regions, you have to reckon with a couple of million years as a minimum.’
This is relatively good news, I tell myself hopelessly, since after all they won’t roast my big backside over a small fire.
‘Are the bad ones all locked up in prisons like this,’ I inquire with my little-girly voice.
‘Of course not. As I told you, it’s a very personal matter.’ He pulls again the piece of chalk from behind his pointed ear and writes a big N on the grey wall.
‘Take Napoleon Bonaparte, for example. He sits in a smutty café on Place Pigalle with a cheap absinth at his elbow and forever re-fights his wars with a few toy soldiers.’
He adds a W, and so on.
‘Or Winston Churchill, one of the worst offenders ever. He shivers somewhere in the high arctic wastes and re-writes his memoirs until the whole horrible truth is out. Which will take a few eternities at least. Or his patron in crime, Bernard Baruch. Blinded by yellow gas, nearly dying of thirst while only tasting cordite on his parched lips, is he eternally haunting the giant battlefields created by himself. Meaning he’s creeping through the icy mud of the trenches, listening to the screams of the mutilated and dying soldiers or civilians, smelling the stench of putrefying bodies… and all without any hope of redemption. Or take Franklin Roosevelt. Holding a cigarette in his brittle hand during a sleepless night while listening to the ghosts whispering under the staircase, he forever feels the cancer metastasising in his rotting bones while desperately wondering why he didn’t resist the demands of the lobby before it was too late.’
I put my hands over my ears.
‘Stop!’ I cry. ‘This is too much!’
But he continues relentlessly, though now on a more conciliatory note.
‘Or take that stuffed old crocodile from Down Under, Rupert Murdoch. He’s been condemned to munch, masticate and swallow every newspaper he’s printed during his lifetime. Sitting glued to his golden privy on top of one of his steel-and-concrete castles, his wife feeds him page after page for the next two eternities.’
He laughs aloud, and for a change I can’t help to fall in as I imagine how that monstrous old ape is re-paying his debts to the world.
‘What about my NWO buddies,’ I demand to know, this in the faint hope that it’s not only me he’s got by the balls.
‘Oh them,’ he cries contentedly. ‘Don’t worry. It’s all prepared. The entire Rothschild clan, from Meyer Amschel onwards, has been or will be locked up in a mirror image of sumptuous Waddesdon Manor, all sipping Mouton Rothschild and swallowing caviar in the feeble light of dripping candles, because there is no electricity and all the doors and windows have been eternally locked. As for David Rockefeller, he scuttles forever from Bilderberg meeting to Bilderberg meeting, always preparing for the last stage of the Great Plan and always realizing with impotent fury that it still didn’t work out. Whereas George Soros and his Wall Street buddies, Neocon bogeys and Likudnik pals are eternally imprisoned in a heavily fortified orthodox settlement on the Westbank while Georgie stares horror-stricken at a bank statement that bears out his gigantic wealth, but is useless since money means nothing in Hell. And where Bill Gates is concerned, he’s been condemned to mull forever over a new version of Windows XY while munching Monsanto tomatoes until they come out of his ears.’
He proffers his cheeks, puts the chalk back behind a pointed ear and prepares to leave.
‘But they aren’t dead yet!’ I howl in utter and abysmal despair.
‘They are,’ he replies with devilish delight. ‘Only they don’t know it!’
And is gone.
Whereas I’ll sit down and prepare my first piece of dirty homework which you, it is to be feared, will never ever clap an eye on.