Essay: American Culture -- Giving the Devil His Due

SatanMEMO

To: Minions and Dwellers in Eternal Night

From: Bill Zeebob

Re: Mid-year status, challenges ahead

Here we are, just past the half-way mark in 2009, so I wanted to give you all a general business update, and let everybody know how things look from my chair.

So far, ’09 is on track to be one of our best years since they dismantled the Gulag, and it’s largely thanks to your hard work. The Che Guevera T-shirt sales continue to bring in revenue. While we took a hit when Madoff went out of business, Senator Dodd assures me that our other ventures are secure.

This year, several of our important client relationships have really blossomed. Hugo Chavez has come into his own as a world-class talent. (Hat-tip to Baal in Recruitment & Development: having Fidel mentor him was pure genius.) And several long-time clients have really stepped up to the plate: Kim, Putin and the mullahs are all on hot streaks.

We continue see residual up-side from the sliming of Sarah Palin last fall. (BTW – Astarte, send Katie Couric some more flowers. And that Purdum guy at Vanity Fair – find out if he likes cigars.)

As an aside, I want to recognize the excellent work of Lilith in Operations. Pushing the pope down in the shower should have produced more than a broken wrist – I mean, the guy’s in his 80s. Don’t worry Lilith, you’ll get him next time!

As always, the Entertainment Division, under the leadership of Moloch, has been exemplary. When “The Family Guy” and Perez Hilton both get Emmy nods, you know you’re in the zone! The only down side for Entertainment is that the “Hot Gay Summer” initiative hasn’t had quite the impact we’d hoped. “Bruno” tanked after the first weekend, and “Humpday” was never going to play well outside L.A., Manhattan and D.C. Still, that Quentin Tarantino flick should see us through until the “Desperate Housewives” season premier in September.

But folks, we have to be thinking long-term. Our longevity depends on the strength of the brand. And frankly, the Mephistopheles brand ID has taken a beating of late.

Partly, it’s because we’re the victims of our own success. Remember “The Screwtape Letters” by that prissy Englishman? Remember how it was a failure for the nephew when the subject went to church? Well, that was dead-on. But we’ve done so well since then at keeping them out of the churches, and getting prayer out of schools, that we’ve hurt ourselves. Even the president of the United States doesn’t feel he needs to belong to a congregation in D.C. Newsweek may see it as a victory, but over time, it’s bad for us. If they don’t believe in God, they don’t believe in me, and all my – our – hard work goes unrecognized.

It doesn’t matter how much we control – Crips, Bloods, mafia, teachers’ unions, MSNBC – if nobody knows we control them. This isn’t a vanity issue folks. Any decent marketing consultant (and as you know, we have more than a few of those on the payroll) will tell you you’ve got to have share-of-mind to keep share-of-wallet. Yet, pardon the pun, I’m not getting my due. It’s been what, 41 years since “Sympathy for the Devil?”

Back in the 70s, Old Saul Alinsky dedicated “Rules for Radicals” to yours truly. Today, his acolytes are in the White House, and the Community Organizer-in-Chief can’t stop making speeches. But how often does the mention me?

You can clearly see how weak the brand has become when the jihad boys (peace be upon them) call America “The Great Satan.” Gimme a break! Oh sure, the Americans are responsible for Jerry Lewis movies and Britney Spears, but “Great Satan?” It’s slanderous.

This is unacceptable. We have a great story to tell, and we’ve got to tell it. We’ve got to underline our accomplishments, and not just the big, historical stuff. Yes, there’s slavery, the Somme, the Holocaust, the Great Leap Forward, Roe V. Wade, etc. But people need to know how we’re making a difference in their lives right now.

Let’s start talking up recent and ongoing initiatives – “The View,” for example. Or reality TV. I didn’t create “The Real World” and “Big Brother” just to let the networks take all the credit. People need to know those are our sleazy, amoral, back-stabbing media trollops on their screens every week.

Gangsta rap – there’s a no-brainer (although I bear some blame there. I should have started my own label when I had the chance). What about the mainstreaming of porn? Every time some 15-year-old puts a video of herself pole-dancing up on YouTube, people should be thinking of us.

We need to get the word out. 50 percent divorce rate? Us. All those out-of-wedlock births? Hello! Pedophile priests – there was a huge success story, and my name wasn’t in a single mainstream media report.

To sum up, even as we’re doing an end-zone dance over the ruins of Western Civilization, our brand is suffering. In the coming weeks, I’m going to be looking to you all for input on how to make Old Scratch top-of-mind again. We’ve already got some good ideas. In fact, Naphula is working with ABC to put together a primetime “town hall” hosted by Diane Sawyer. But we need a concerted, organization-wide plan.

I look forward to working with all of you on this,

Bill.
Matthew Philbin
Matthew Philbin
Matt Philbin is Managing Editor of MRC Culture