Now, like an apprentice staring at the work of a master, he read Reacher Gilt’s words on the still-damp newspaper.
It was garbage, but it had been cooked by an expert. Oh, yes. You had to admire the way perfectly innocent words were mugged, ravished, stripped of all true meaning and decency, and then sent to walk the gutter for Reacher Gilt, although “synergistically” had probably been a whore from the start. The Grand Trunk’s problems were clearly the result of some mysterious spasm in the universe and had nothing to do with greed, arrogance, and willful stupidity.
Oh, the Grand Trunk management had made some mistakes — oops, “well-intentioned judgments which, with the benefit of hindsight, might regrettably have been, in some respects, in error” — but these had mostly occurred, it appeared, while correcting “fundamental systemic errors” committed by the previous management. No one was sorry for anything, because no living creature had done anything wrong; bad things had happened by spontaneous generation in some weird, chilly, geometrical otherworld, and “were to be regretted.” *
(*Another bastard phrase that’d sell itself to any weasel in a tight corner.)
The Times reporter had made an effort, but nothing short of a stampede could have stopped Reacher Gilt in his crazed assault on the meaning of meaning. The Grand Trunk “was about people” and the reporter had completely failed to ask what that meant, exactly? And then there was this piece called “Our Mission” …
Moist felt the acid rise in his throat until he could spit lacework in a sheet of steel.
Meaningless, stupid words, from people without wisdom or intelligence of any skill beyond the ability to water the currency of expression. Oh, the Grand Trunk stood for everything, from life and liberty to Mom’s homemade Distressed Pudding. It stood for everything, except anything.
Through a pink mist, his eye caught the line “Safety is our foremost consideration.” Why hadn’t the lead type melted, why hadn’t the paper blazed rather than be part of this obscenity? The press should have buckled, the roller should have cleaved unto the platen …
That was bad. But then he saw Gilt’s reply to a hasty question about the Post Office.
Reacher Gilt loved the Post Office and blessed its little cotton socks. He was very grateful for its assistance during this difficult period and looked forward to future cooperation, although, of course, the Post Office, in the real modern world, would never be able to compete on anything other than a very local level. Mind you, someone has to deliver the bills, ho ho …
It was masterly … the bastard.
Moist handed the paper to Miss Dearheart.
"He’s going to walk away with it," he said. "He’s just throwing words around. The Trunk’s too big to fail. Too many investors. He’ll get more money, keep the system going just this side of disaster, then let it collapse. Buy it up then via another company, maybe, at a knockdown price."
"I’d suspect him of anything," said Miss Dearheart. "But you sound very certain.”
"That’s what I’d do," said Moist, "… er … if I was that kind of person. It’s the oldest trick in the book. You get the punt— you get others so deeply involved that they don’t dare fold. It’s the dream, you see? They think if they stay in it’ll all work out. They daren’t think it’s all a dream. You use big words to tell them it’s going to be jam tomorrow and they hope. But they’ll never win. Part of them knows that, but the rest of them never listens to it. The house always wins.”
"Why do people like Gilt get away with it?"
"I just told you. It’s because people hope. They’ll believe that someone will sell them a real diamond for a dollar. Sorry."
~ Terry Pratchett, Going Postal
It is instructive to note that Going Postal was published in 2004. Romney-esque vulture capitalism and parasite corporations “too big to fail” were clear and condemnable to an observant author such as Pratchett well before the 2008 collapse.
And the book doesn’t end there, of course. But that scene strikes me harder now than when I first read it.
GUYS CAN WE TAKE A MOMENT TO APPRECIATE THESE BEAUTIFUL GLASS PENS
THEY’RE LIKE WANDS
Sorry, this comic came out to be more obnoxious than firstly planned..
But the matter is SERIOUS! Please donate if you can and spread the awareness of this disease and the utmost necessity to find a way to fight it!
More information and donations can be made at www.alsa.org
Magical Paths Begging To Be Walked
Roads and paths pervade our literature, poetry, artwork, linguistic expressions and music. Even photographers can’t keep their eyes (and lenses) off of a beautiful road or path, which is why we collected this list of 28 amazing photos of paths.
Paths like these have a powerful grip on the human imagination – they can bring adventure, promise and change or solitude, peace and calm. There’s nothing like a walk down a beautiful path to clear your head – or to fill it with ideas!
I’ll leave you with an excellent quote from J. R. R. Tolkien’s works while you enjoy these images; “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.“
- Autumn In The White Carpathians
- Rhododendron Laden Path, Mount Rogers, Virginia, USA
- Spring In Hallerbos Forest, Belgium
- Autumn Path In Kyoto, Japan
- Autumn Path
- Bamboo Path In Kyoto, Japan
- Hitachi Seaside Park Path In Japan
- Dark Hedges In Ireland
- Winter Forest Path, Czech Republic
- Path Under Blooming Trees In Spring