“Look, how many get-rich schemes have you tried over the last five years?”
“This one is different.’
“In what way?”
“Give me a moment.”
“C.W.,” I said. “The fans and readers are getting sick of your ideas for making money.”
“There you go again. You’ve just proven my point.”
I felt stupid. I was talking to Richie, the Young Conservative, one of the Alien C.W.’s favorite shapes. “What point,” I said, “have I proven?”
“You just told a lie.”
“You just introduced or worked in gradually that my fans are not loyal.”
“I insinuated that your fans are beginning to think you are insane and careless with the facts.”
“My point exactly.”
“That," he leaned back and smiled, “your species delights in using falsehoods for achieving their ends.”
I thought about if for a moment. Actually, he had a point. I considered all the ads I had seen proclaiming how Windows 10 was a step forward in human evolution. “But how,” I said, “are you going to make money from falsehoods?”
“By giving them away.”
“Got you, didn’t I? Of course I won’t give them away. I’ll just pretend to. Haven’t you ever heard of a Love Offering?”
My head was spinning. To whom will you sell, give away, or whatever, lies?”
“Not corporations,” he said. “There are firms that already have that business sewed up.”
“To whom then?”
“Politicians of course, you silly boy. Haven’t you noticed what they have been getting away with?”
“So,” I said, after a moment’s reflection, “what sort of lies will you sell?”
“Ha,” he said. “Got you again.”
“Maybe,” I said, “you could give me an example.”
“I thought you would never ask.” He produced a notebook and began to read. “How’s this?” he held up a picture of a current presidential candidate and read, “My opponent inherited a fortune and never had to work, but says he thinks you and I don’t work hard enough. Isn’t that a beaut? My company, ‘Lies Are Us’ will make a bundle from that.”
“Except for one thing,” I said. “It’s the truth.”
“It’s true, I said. You can’t sell that for a lie.”
His face fell. Then he brightened and held up another photo and read from his notebook. “This candidate,” he said, “operates on the brains of living people, no doubt using antibiotics to prevent infection, but claims that the most basic and underlying principles of natural science are tools sent by something called “Satan” to ensnare us into a life of sin. What do you think? It’s a little over the top but I think it will sell.”
“I’ve got some bad news for you.”
“You are kidding,” he said, after I explained. He tossed the photo aside with a dejected look. “Well there’s this one,” he said, hold up another photograph while he read, “My opponent’s party once elected, as President of the United States of America, this candidate who had to have his daily schedule approved by his wife’s astrologer.”
I shook my head slowly.
“Know what?” he said, dropping the photograph.
“Facts are stupid things.” Suddenly his face brightened. “Say,” he said, “I could sure sell the lie that a presidential candidate once said that on national TV.”
|We're lucky this man is not around.|
He would try to tell us that our
President isn't a citizen. - C.W.
He almost cried when I told him.
“Maybe I’ll have to face the fact,” he said slowly, “that no American political party would ever follow the premise of the propaganda minister of another country, who said, ‘If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.’"
He smiled at me with a kind look. "Your species,” he said, would never do that.”
“Now,” I said, “you’ve hit on one.
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