Matthew Paris :: Xiccarph :: View topic - The Love Pitch
The Love Pitch
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Matthew Paris
 

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Post Fri Jan 30, 2004 8:11 pm - The Love Pitch
Thanks for inviting me here as marketing genius of the year. Iím honored to be accept your applause, then go home with this award, which I must say looks a little chintzy.
Iím here not because I enjoy knowing Iím better than you at selling; itís a snake oil art of at best, folks, a skein of tricks of a carnival barker that begins and end in the eyes of God at the back of a truck. Iíve been a little or a lot different of course. Some say Iíve made a quantum amble into the unknown like an imaginary astronaut. Other people just call me a lucky genius.
You say Iíve done for the business world what every corporate zealot dreams of doing yet rarely ever does. Iíve created and defined a market maundering in the shadows where nobody else saw it, Iíve been called by three trade magazines the Cortez of capital. Of course one of them is a business journal about selling curs run by my mother but whatís the difference? What if Iím not at all the Cortez of capital? I donít think I am. Iím a soldier in a world in which banks make something out of nothing. Not even God can do that. Men and women make babies out of bits of cells. Itís not the same thing. Something is never quite nothing. Try it. You might be disappointed.
I like being called the Pizarro of capital better. Pizarro was more terrible than Cortez. Either one is a nice sobriquet; what do they mean? Iím better than Cortez and Pizarro; they were just pious murderers and thieves. I sold people what they wanted; I never sacked or colonized anybody; the only time I went to Mexico take in the new donkey acts. Even then I got Montezumaís revenge from the salsa.
If they were both serial killers with a few employees, they were both braver than I was; all I did was combine a few ideas from two articles I had read on separate ages of in the Wall Street Journal. I made a fortune; so did they. Anybody could have done it with an army as they did. I did it with nothing.
Power in this world, folks, is always sitting in the gutter. It takes somebody with the eyes of a heron to see gold where other people star at the street and only see a little dog doody. Iím not a heron; I might know something about alchemy as well as magic. Making other people see gold when itís feces from a dead mutt is harder than making gold out of nothing. Try both; see what happens.
One of these little bits of fortune that made me what I am, whatever that might be, was a little book review. It was called My Life And Loves In Prison by Doctor Fritz von Lebeskraut; it was the memoirs of your usual Nazi war criminal who began life anonymously enough as an ordinary Heidelberg proctologist, all the men and pigeons he slept with in and out of the slammer while he was incarcerated, not for killing a million Poles but running a posh male brothel in Dusseldorf next to a slaughterhouse owned by Hitlerís brother-in-law. Donít ask me to explain. I donít understand either women or justice.
The other review was the confessions of an Irish athlete, called Hon, Itís A Bloody Kick by Sergius Dockerty, the rogue soccer star from County Cork who talked about his love life with fourteen year old Dublin and Belfast groupies; his sex life by the way made him scrupulously religiously tolerant. Sometimes good comes out of evil, sometimes itís evil winking at you out of good. Sometimes nobody including me and even God knows whatís going on.
Itís not worth talking about books which Iíve never read anymore than I saw the subsequent Hong Kong movies, the television series on PBS or the comic books based on this all too brainless erotica. Iíve often wondered whether the books they write about in the Wall Street Journal really have existed; does it matter? It seems much easier to me though Iíve never done either to write an article about what has no reality even as a delusion than to put together the whole book itself. What do I know? Iím not known as a book reviewer. I donít think I want to be.
Some people like to work hard. What the hell do you need to write a damned book for when you can white a book review, get the whole thing over with? Imagine working on anything for more than a month? Whatever it was, even a new Creation itself, Iíd get bored and set fire to it.
An ordinary person like you out there would have said: letís put these Nazi ex-cons to work sleeping with women too; letís get those little groupies onto the laps of everybody, not just sweaty Irish jock celebrities. Thatís the difference between genius and a little talent and cunning, folks. I know how to take an astral leap.
Most people in our supposedly sophisticated time go to Mexico for the stray cheap women; Cortez went there to rob. How many of you would have thought of stealing from Mexicans? We think of eviscerating Fork Knox of its shiny metal, not Mexico. Weíd all like to meet Rockefeller in an alley, not be run over by somebody on a bicycle delivering a pizza. If I met this legendary magnate Iíd give him a penny. Iím always for charity for the rich.
I thought to myself as you do, hey, maybe I could get these horny ex-cons to make love to women too; God knows everybody living or dead needs it from somebody.
Like you I also knew the kind of wild hunger the groupies had, fevers which could be turned any way at all. Itís why some of them take up sex with dogs, though most in a while gravitate to marriage and divorce. I could of course make them carnally pious with desire of an erotic kind. Why not? Most people are cattle. It was another sort of alchemy that had occurred to me.
Next to both these articles in two separate spaces was an advertisement for Florida real estate nest to the shore line in a swampy area near Tampa that nobody but lunatics would ever hunger to buy. I wasnít interested in that terminal pitch either. What the hell can even somebody like me one do with a drank and overly fetid swamp? Even if one were God, one could only sell it at a loss. It was the water in that brackish murk that stayed in the back of my mind like a dream of orbiting stars in the skull of Copernicus.
I had a very unimaginative brother-in-law who had sold real estate on land, I also had an uncle who sold bottled air too once he saw how other people made big money selling bottled water.
I never got to any of that. Maybe I did; I donít remember it. I was stuck by that beach scene, not the pretty girl almost naked on it but the sea beyond the margins of the shore itself. Suddenly I wanted ordinary people to live underwater, to socialize underwater, even to make love beneath the surface of the lakes, to die expensively below the watery roof of the sea. I wanted it to be all that we could only function with a snorkel, artificial fins, rubber webs on our feet. I had figured, if the United States could become a nation where one couldnít go anywhere without a car, why not set up a comparable world where one couldnít function or even buy a container of milk without a snorkel and diving equipment?
I invested in Albanian snorkels, not the best, not thee worst either, the construction of durable plastic materials for impeccable underwater architecture, set up a stock company, claim in the media though synthetic celebrities whom I also slept with but never seriously and convince the rabble that the next frontier of humanity wasnít the stars but the bottom of the ocean.
We all know what happened. I sold the stock easily enough to the rubes, mostly Patagonians and hinterlands human porkers who couldnít compete with snails on the plains of Iowa, made five billion dollars selling short and took the cash to Zurich. Of course nobody wanted to live underwater, theyíd be crazy to, wouldnít they?
Nobody could have every wanted to, nutty as this species is. I made money from my stupidity as well as my brains. Tatís hard to do. Try it sometime.
I siphoned off all the liquidity quietly, then walked away from the company. It went bankrupt a few weeks after. I took my famous chartered flight to Zurich with twenty big splashy yellow trunks, the government arrested my poor accountants and underwriters as if they were our own financial prophets and visionaries, I winked and walked free.
The big boys in Washington never took a look at me because I owned all the prosecutors and judges the way you purchase a classy bit of hamburger with pickles at a gourmet restaurant. In this life you have to know who is for sale. Sometimes itís everybody including you.
I might even own you; if I do, believe me, you donít know it. I probably donít either. Maybe somebody owns me too; I might be just as ignorant of my masters. If they didnít know me either, would it matter?
Itís no crime in this species not to have any kind of knowledge about anything. Weíre lucky weíre charming.
Itís not wrong either on this planet to bribe people. Bribery is the basis of civilization. You force people to do something, you make visible and invisible enemies. You bribe them. You constantly make friends out of strangers. Everybody is a winner, even the house.
I love Switzerland. Some countries have a genius for murder; these fine people in Zurich make currency the way other people offer you their very colorful metaphysics. Iíd rather have a buck or two in my pocket than a bizarre opinion about things nobody knows anything about. Wouldnít you?
Iím of course free and clear; all these former employees of mine doing time in the slammer have learned a few things as we all do from our enemies when our friends smile as we go out naked to die. I hope to learn a little wisdom from being locked up somewhere by somebody like a wild animal someday. Not now, someday. If it takes a little quiet time in the cooler to have some understanding we ought to be grateful that it didnít take death.
One last bit of advice: think about who you are, what you are. You are either somebody like me, bribed by somebody just like me, or maybe you are sitting in a cell somewhere. Maybe you arenít flush enough to walk; maybe youíre just a frugal philosopher.
Donít be. Donít even try be the Cortez of capital either. Thatís my game. Thatís me. You have to know in this world when you are a general momentarily if ever, when you are a soldier.
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