Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Overton Window: Chapter Thirty-One

You know what I missed these last few chapters? Speechifying. But thank heavens for chapter thirty-one, because it makes a huge comeback here!

In case you forgot (and who'd blame you), chapter thirty ended with Darthur asking to be alone with his son Noah. Noah had just got the lowdown on how he'd been made a patsy for Molly's gang of clever teabaggers, who'd doped him up, broke into Doyle & Merchant and ran off with some secret computer files. Whoops!


Arthur Gardner's office suite was rumored to be the quietest place on the island of Manhattan. It had been designed that way, as an environment of uninterrupted solitude, completely free of unwanted outside sounds. There was no street or city noise, not a whisper from the heating or cooling vents, no intrusion on the ears from the bustling office floor outside.

Rumored by whom exactly? I was sort of under the impression that Darthur and his organization were relatively unknown. By design. Shadow PR firm doing its shadow business in the shadows. Besides, back in chapter nineteen it's made clear that "few employees ever had occasion to set foot in these rooms." So who is gossiping about the relative quiet of Darthur's office? That said, I am sure there are plenty of quiet places in New York. It's just another ridiculous moment meant to convey how powerful Darthur is: He can afford soundproofing. Also, Darthur doesn't like other people because they are noisy.

Noah apologizes, but Darthur will have none of it.

"There's no need to apologize to me. It was more an insult than an injury, the idea that they managed to use you in an attempt to damage our company and our clients. We've known of these people, of course, and we'd thought we were adequately prepared, but they surprised all of us, didn't they? And I must say this avenue they chose, the seductive infiltration by this girl, it shows a great deal more ingenuity than I would have expected, given the source. It was inspired, really. Ruthless though it was."
Huh? So Darthur and everyone knew someone was likely to attempt (a second) infiltration and they did nothing? Jebus. What shitty security. Personally, I've no fear the NWO is going to get anywhere, because, frankly, these clowns appear to be incompetent goobers. Doubly so if they think the old seduction gambit was ingenious.

All of which is neither her nor there. Especially to Darthur. He's got important shit to tell Noah. Why? I don't know. Noah seems like a weak link, and not to be trusted, at least in the short term. But I'm no PR genius with the quietest office in New York, so pay me no mind.

Darthur spends the next five pages speechifying about how people aren't fit to govern themselves. Only supergenius PR men and his cronies are. Or something. Needless to say, but say it I will, the writing here sucks. It's the same weirdo nightmare scenario Beck has concocted and fed to his viewers over and over.

I'll go ahead and drop some highlights here for you, and let you all hash it out as to what they mean. (Hint: Beck is a doofus.)

"I came to understand at an early age that Thomas Jefferson himself couldn't really have believed what he'd written in his Declaration. No slave owner could. Nor could any man with his intelligence, and his great knowledge of history, believe himself to be equal in any way to the ignorant masses of his time. He was preparing to do battle with an empire, making his case against the divine right of kings, so he brazenly invoked the Creator on his own behalf. He proposed that God was the source of these inborn rights of man, and that, contrary to the popular mythology of the times, the Almighty would not be on the side of the British royalty if the conflict came to war.

"That these rights were granted by God, it wasn't the truth, you see, it was what Jefferson needed to say to give his revolution the moral authority to proceed. But he also must have known he was putting far more faith in the common people than they've ever shown the courage to deserve."
"There's a tale from the close of the Constitutional Convention, in which someone asked Benjamin Franklin what form of government the people would be given, a republic or a monarchy. Do you remember what Franklin replied?"

"'A republic,'" Noah said, "'if you can keep it.'"

The old man nodded. "If they could keep it, yes. Such a thing had never been attempted before, not on the scale these men proposed. It was a bold experiment whose outcome was far from certain, and it could have worked. But its founding premise was also its great weakness: that these common people of the United States, for the first time among all the people in recorded history, could somehow prove capable of ruling themselves—to hold on to the fragile gift they'd been given. And time and again they've proven they're not equal to the task."
"There have always been only four kinds of people in the world: the visionaries who choose the course, and we are the fewest; the greedy and corruptible—they're useful, because they'll do anything for a short-term gain; the revolutionaries, a handful of violent, backward thinkers whose only mission is to stand in the way of progress—we'll deal with them in short order; and then there are the masses, the lemmings who can scarcely muster the intelligence to blindly follow along.

"There are far more of them than there are of us, and more are coming every day. When I was born there were two billion people in the world; now that number has more than tripled, all in a single lifetime. And it isn't the Mozarts, or the Einsteins, or the Pascals, or Salks, or Shakespeares, or the George Washingtons who are swelling the population beyond the breaking point. It's the useless eaters on the savage side of the bell curve who are outbreeding the planet's ability to support them.

And, of course:

"The American experiment has failed, and now it's time for the next one to begin. One world, one government—not of the people this time, but of the right people: the competent, the wise, and the strong."

Darthur finishes with some ominous news:

"My clients came to me with a problem and I gave them a solution. We start tomorrow morning. I've stood by and watched the glacial pace of this decline for too many years. Now the remnants of the past will be swept away in a single stroke, and I'll see my vision realized before I die. Order from chaos, control, and pacification of the flawed human spirit. Call that hope if you like, but it's coming regardless. The experiment that begins tomorrow will not fail."
Yes, call that hope if you like, but the New World Order starts tomorrow. Uh oh.

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