Thursday, September 22, 2005

Loggers Lose Another Leader

You can add another verse to Lincoln Land’s (LLCC) “somebody's done somebody wrong song” as the serial-jilted junior college has been abandoned at the altar for the second time in a month. Before their good name is soiled further, the board of trustees might want to try a more unconventional method for finding a new president. Desperate times, after all, call for deceptive measures.

An article in told of a U.K. firm engaged in the trade of what they term “influence operations”, but what could more accurately be described as mass deception on a grand scale. Readers familiar with the 1997 movie Wag the Dog know the type of propaganda this firm is peddling.

In the movie, the president’s handlers cook-up a faux military invasion to distract the country away from impending accusations that their boss felt-up a girl scout who was visiting the White House. They enlist the help of a Hollywood producer to create a story line that plays unfettered throughout the media, one involving the homecoming of a heroic prisoner-of-war played to the tune of a half-baked anthem by Willie Nelson. It works beautifully as the country becomes caught-up in a collective spell of patriotism and the president is free to grope again as the leader of the free world.

It’s too late for LLCC to distract the public from the bombshells that sent past presidents packing. They could, however, ply a little hocus-pocus and miscommunication towards the task of presenting the community with the perfect leader for their esteemed learning institution.

Yes, what they need is a puppet. Someone who can do the board’s bidding until which time a legally unretractable agreement can be reached with a legitimate president, preferably signed in the candidate’s own blood. At that point, the propped-up president could meet his doom in some dramatisized and sensationalized manner that will only add to his brief but esteemed legacy at the school.

The trick to pulling-off a ploy of this nature is finding a shill to play the part of the puppet president. It has to be a total unknown whose back story can be created from scratch and who won’t embarrassingly pop-up later after he’s been asked to shuffle off. It is here that we turn to another film for inspiration.

In Being There, Peter Sellers plays Chance, a simpleton who is mistaken for a wealthy businessman and noted raconteur. His every utterance and reaction, which are shaped entirely by his sheltered life as a gardener and obsessive television watcher, are interpreted by his fawning acquaintances as the genuine portrayal of wit and wisdom. Even the president is taken-in and seeks counsel from the oblivious imposter (the businessman is named Chauncey Gardiner, a name to which Chance the gardner mistakenly answers to.)

So it’s clear that what we are looking for here is a useful idiot. Someone whose eccentric behavior and disheveled appearance can be interpreted as the mien of a serious scholar. Presented to the press as having a distinguished academic pedigree, his mumbled monosyllabic responses to their questions will be perfumed in the scent of erudition. Maybe I could pull it off.

The board should give this idea serious consideration. A similar ruse worked in the Bad News Bears in Basic Training when the young scamps needed someone to briefly pose as their coach so that they could make the trip to Houston unencumbered by parental influence. This is obviously a time-tested and foolproof plan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'll take it!