Sitting in a corner office, Adolph Mongo perused daily reports. It was early evening and nearly everyone in the office had gone home, leaving only a few die-hards left to finish up. A crack political operative who runs a political and media consulting firm active in Michigan and Detroit politics, Mongo never hesitated to play the race card when he thought it might help his client.
He heard a crash outside his door.
“Jonella?” he said. “Is that you?”
Mongo went back to his reading, but he was tired. That’s enough attacking Governor Grahnolm and defending Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick for one day, he thought. He was particularly frustrated at the latest ad he had been working on, an ad in which he once again wanted to claim that the Democratic Party in general and Governor Granholm in particular had been taking African Americans for granted. The ad was missing something, one last element that would make it memorable in the annals of attack ads. But what?
Ah, well, he thought, that would be a question for tomorrow. Maybe a good night’s rest would give him the inspiration to come up with just the right inflammatory analogy to get his message across. He gathered his papers and headed towards his office door.
And paused. What is that odor? He thought. It smells like rotting meat. How many times have I told people not to leave food out in the kitchenette?
He opened his office door–and one skeletal hand, followed rapidly by another, clamped down on his skull, drawing it towards a fetid mouth.
“Braaaiiinnnns!” the mouth cried**, before clamping down upon Mongo’s skull with a crunch.
(**Translated from the German, of course!)
Orac was disturbed.
Perhaps “disturbed” was not the correct word. Orac was, after all, a computer; so it was unclear whether it was able to experience such an emotion. True, Orac was the most advanced computer the galaxy had ever known and able to communicate instantaneously with any computer anywhere and thereby access the data contained therein, a skill that had helped the crew of the Liberator. It was also true that Orac could experience something akin to disgust, disgust that its considerable talents were underutilized by the humans with whom he traveled, disgust at the petty tasks to which they put him (such as the way Vila was always trying to get Orac to use its ability to communicate with the computers running the financial business of the empire for petty embezzlement or the way that Kerr Avon always tried to use Orac to stay one step ahead of the President of the Federation, Servalan).
But this was different. This was more than a disgust at being used for menial tasks far below its abilities. It was, if such a word could be used, horror. Temporarily stranded on earth, Orac had connected itself to the the primitive network known as the Internet, looking for news, but the results were less than satisfying. Normally accustomed to basking in a flow of terrabytes of information washing through its circuitry, the limitations of this primitive computer network was an irritant. Orac was so engrossed in trying to extract information useful to his search from the morass of porno, games, blogs, and sheer illogic that he almost missed the evidence he was looking for.
Then he found this ad–in his very place of creation, a state known as Michigan! According to a “blog” called MyDD:
It was there–there in Orac’s home state! The undead creature with a thirst for brains, demonization of political opponents, and the use of really bad historical analogies.
LANSING — A full-page ad in this week’s Michigan Chronicle urging African-Americans to not vote for Gov. Jennifer Granholm and other Democrats this fall and featuring pictures of the governor as well as Adolf Hitler and a swastika, touched off a political firestorm Thursday.
The ad in the Chronicle, which has a large African-American readership, claims that for the last half-century, Democratic Party leaders have relied on blacks to be “foot soldiers” and that their reward has been a dependency on welfare, high unemployment and a disproportionate number of black men locked up in prison.
“And now during this crucial election year, the Democrats expect African American voters to stay in their place,” the ad says. “African American voters should not only demand respect from the Democrats but also stop putting all their eggs in one basket. Say NO to Governor Granholm in November.”
But Orac was puzzled. What purpose did this analogy serve? For example, it considered the text beneath the photos:
When the great American athlete Jesse Owens in 1936 was ask [grammar error retained] why he was campaigning for Republican candidate Alfred Landon for President against Franklin Roosevelt, he stated, “I won four gold medals at the Olympics. Hitler refused to shake my hand; President Roosevelt wouldn’t shake my hand, but Governor Landon shook my hand.”
Of course, noted Orac, in 1936, although it was clear that Hitler was a ruthless and racist dictator who harbored a particular hatred of Jews in particular, the depths of his evil had not yet come to fruition. At the time, Hitler was viewed as a distasteful, ambitious, expansionistic, and thus militarily threatening dictator, but he had not yet become the author of industrialized mass murder and genocide on a massive scale previously unknown. That came later.
Festooned about the text were pictures of Adolf Hitler, Jesse Owens, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Alf Landon, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton, beneath which the text stated:
African American voters have been the foot soldiers for the Democratic Party. And the rewards have been: Lip service.
Now this was a new wrinkle. African Americans using Hitler imagery to attack Democrats for taking them for granted? Orac was amazed, so much so that he was forced to reboot in order to clear up computing resources to study the problem. What was the Hitler zombie up to? Who was the victim whose brain had been chomped, leading to this idiotic ad? It didn’t take Orac long to find out. Although a flunky known as Nataki Harbin claimed credit for it, the real person responsible was obvious:
Adolph Mongo, a Detroit-based political consultant and critic of Granholm, supported the message of the ad Thursday, which he said is about the lack of respect black voters receive from Democrats.
“Nobody is saying that Granholm and Hitler are the same person; it’s just telling a story,” he said.
No, of course he isn’t saying that Granholm and Hitler are the same person. He’s just saying that they are alike in at least one way! Heck, he’s just saying that Democrats are like Hitler in that same way!
And “just a story”? Funny how lovers of overblown analogies to Hitler and/or the Nazis like to tell “stories.”, in this case associating Democratic icons and the Michigan Governor with Hitler by plastering their pictures next to him, the implication being that they treat black people the same way that Hitler treated Jesse Owens. Orac had to marvel at the utter blatantness of it all. Indeed, it was hard not to have a grudging and disgusted appreciation for the plausible deniability of the message coupled with its sheer sliminess in attacking a political opponent. No, the creators of the ad seem to be saying, we’re not comparing Granholm to Hitler at all; we’re just saying that neither the Democrats nor Hitler (nor, by implication Granholm) care about African Americans. Too bad not everyone’s on the same page, Orac thought wryly:
“Jesse Owens didn’t get any love from Hitler when he won four medals and he didn’t get any love from his own president (Franklin D. Roosevelt),” Harbin said.
“We have the same thing here where black voters are not getting any love from Jennifer Granholm and the Democratic Party and that’s what this ad is about.”
What was that again about the ad supposedly not comparing Granholm to Hitler? Didn’t the above quote sound as though Nataki Harbin, the PAC treasurer of the little-known PAC responsible for the ad, just admitted explicitly that the message of the ad was that, just as Jesse Owens didn’t get any love from Hitler, the black voters in Michigan aren’t getting any love from Jennifer Granholm? Could there be any more straightforward a comparison between Granholm and Hitler than that? The same point could have been made without the Hitler analogy. Surely that was the missing piece of the ad Mongo had been looking for at the time he had fallen victim ravenous chomp on the skull by undead jaws.
And from that chomp had come despicable inspiration.
It was also clear to Orac that, when the Hitler Zombie had been paying Adolph Mongo a visit, the der Zombie FÃ¼hrer must have also paused for a little snack on Harbin’s brain as well!
Orac wondered if, somewhere within whatever passed for whatever was left of a mind in that creature, the Hitler Zombie was somehow aware that it was being hunted. In some primeval way, was this the creature’s way of taking the war home to Orac, by invading his home state as he had invaded Poland, Europe, and the Soviet Union? A disturbing thought indeed. It was bad enough that the irrational, religion inspired pseudoscience that Orac despised, namely intelligent design creationism, had invaded Orac’s state of origin, but now the Hitler Zombie was there, too. Recently, the Zombie had even come dangerously close to actually invading Orac’s communications collective (known as ScienceBlogs) but, much to Orac’s relief, stopped just short.
Orac needed to consider this new development. But first he needed a break. Prolonged exposure to such concentrated emotionalism and illogic was corrosive to his circuits. He could resist it without harm, but to do so was excessively draining of his energy stores. He needed a recharge. Perhaps contemplating the linguistic parodoxes in riddles, as he would sometimes do with Vila, would distract his processing circuits for a while. He actually enjoyed such diversions; they helped him understand these strange human creatures with whom he was forced to work.
He also, it would seem, needed to make a trip back home to Michigan.
Besides, there are fascinating fossils to be studied there.