[Shows slide #1, assuming a solemn pose like a messenger of great things.]
Oh here comes Richard Garnett, the wisest man in the book on hypocrisy — not because he himself was a hypocrite pur sang, but because he wrote a memorable line on the subject: "Every veil," he said, "secretly desires to be lifted, except the veil of Hypocrisy." And no one knows this more than the media. It's a sobering thought, boys and girls, that the media are more powerful than your parents will ever be when it comes to scarring you for life. Unless, of course, your parents' names are Hillary and Bill. Or if your father is The Donald but his last name doesn't rhyme with Buck haha. Should you be so lucky, I'd recommend professional help, a double bourbon on the rocks or just leave your name after the beep.
But, seriously, the media pretend to be our friends. They pretend to be your friends. They address you in a soothing voice when you've got a headache: "Here, take a Tylenol. You'll be all right. We care." Or they use a foghorn — because they think you are deaf — to warn you against some fabricated impending doom also known as the mountain made out of a molehill. "They've got nukes! They've got nukes! They've got weapons of mass destruction! We do, too, but that's completely beside the point!" The mountain made out of a molehill. It's an art form in which some of your other teachers are very much skilled. Oh hello, Professor Rumbold. How are you today? You are here, too, are you?
[Laughter. Professor Rumbold is not amused.]
Professor Rumbold is the one who had me escorted off the premises the last time I spoke here. You may remember. Anyway...
[Shows slide #2, a cartoon depicting two smiling graduates being puppeteered by a gigantic fox.]
What the media, desire the most is to brainwash you until you are a puppet on a string with no brain worth mentioning because you believe them unconditionally. Meanwhile you warn everybody else on the planet not to believe the hype. That's quite an achievement. Think about it: make the masses believe that they have their own opinion, and you are good to go. Freedom of choice, baby! Meanwhile they line their pockets by stripping yours until you end up butt naked in front of your brand new 4D-smells-included TV stroking your iPhone 13,000 wondering how you could have ever survived without their barrage of carefully-balanced input and the never-ending influx of facts and well-meant advice.
[Shows slide #3, a cartoon depicting a fox shaking the President's hands. The President is saying with a smirk on his face, "You are my trump card!"]
Of course, their entire operation runs under the radar. They are smart that way. There is nothing like a dependent puppet, malleable and impressionable. Mommy and Daddy must be so jealous. The media feed us. The media change us. They shape our opinions for us like TV dinners and, boy, are we hungry. Their prepacked opinions are stuffed with sugar and we want our quick fix. "The only news you get is the news we give you!" Let's say that every problem becomes a disaster and every incident becomes hell on earth. Keep your customers scared, and they will listen. Extra, extra!
But that's only half the story because, you see, while the media have you believe that everything they say is carefully balanced, fact-checked and politically correct, they do want you to feast on the latest scandal they serve you on a silver platter. It's okay to show un unhealthy interest in scandals, children. Just don't say, "Fuck." It's okay to show clips of famous people acting like complete morons because the good citizen in Mister Media has inserted strategically placed beeps or blurred a middle finger that is clearly a middle finger. Just don't say, "Fuck you." Or "Human selfie stick." Or "Star Wars 8 is really bad."
The media like bleeping beeps and beeping bleeps because they want to be perceived as Mrs. Clean Incarnate, but they do want to keep you guessing. Hey, let's see, what could that word have been? "That senator needs to [right-clicks his mouse] f-beeeep!-k himself. He can shove that [right-clicks his mouse] f-beeeep!-ing speech right up his big, fat [right-clicks his mouse] beeeeeeeeep!!!" Take it in, viewers! But there's a beep, so it's okay.
[Professor Rumbold gets up from his seat and leaves the lecture room.]
Hey, look! [right-clicks his mouse] beeeeeep!ing Professor Rumbold is leaving us. I can only imagine what he is going to do next. Something tells me he is not going to [right-clicks his mouse] beeeeeeeeep! the lizard. Pardon my Norwegian. I'm getting a bit carried away with this f-beeeep!-ing button. Just a bit. Can you hear it: beeeeep! Or twice: beeeep! beeeep! This is a great app. The Millennial who came up with this sh-beeeep! needs to be given a beeeep!!ing Nobel Prize. I could be a news reporter. "Good morning. This is Good Morning To You, and I am Jack sh-beeeeeep! The President has beeeeep!ed up again. He has beeeeeep!ed his nanny and beeeeeep!ed his gardener and beeeeeeep-ed two dogs, three kittens and a mouse, only to deny that these juicy episodes in his otherwise chaste life ever occurred. He — "
[Two security guards enter the lecture room.]
Oh sh-beeeeeep! Here comes the beeeeeep!ing PC Brigade. I guess that means I'm leaving you again. Make sure to read Garnett, chapter 3, and remember — Hey, don't you touch me! That's a Ted Baker suit I'm wearing!! — Remember, boys and girls... Chapter 3.... And don't forget to like me on Facebook! Be good now. I'm leaving. — For Pete's sake, be careful with the suit, you stupid stormtroopers! — Okay, I'm leaving, but I'll be baaaaaaaack!"
[The door closes. Complete silence.]
* * *
|Someone needs a beer for the shower...|