Posted by Amanda Chapel Wednesday, January 24, 2007
The End is Nigh
I don’t mean to sound like too much an alarmist but... HELP!! God have mercy on us. The end is nigh!!!
Okay, as you're probably aware, we’ve been kinda mining a religious theme here lately. Lotta good metaphors. But this ain't that. This is some real wrath-of-God Old Testament stuff. Fire, floods, wars, pestilence, earthquakes... and now this:
Just this last week I half-teasingly said that Edelman/Europe CEO David Brain attending Davos is surely a sign of the Apocalypse. I mean c’mon; one of the world’s largest unabashed lie manufacturing companies inserting itself and servicing a World Economic Forum is like the whores of Babylon cruising the temple of Mylitta on a hot Saturday night.
Well, this week we got a tip pointing to the mounting evidence that blog demagogue Jeff Jarvis is none other than the Antichrist. Not coincidentally, Jeff is also now at Davos. Truly I say unto you, the end is nigh.
THE ANTICHRIST EMERGES... IT IS WRITTEN
According to the Book of Revelation, a discerning person can readily identify the Antichrist. Although there is no definitive description there, these quotes make it pretty clear:
- "He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything.." (Thessalonians 2:1-4)
- "Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away people after them." (Acts 20:29-30)
- "There will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies." (Peter 2:1)
- "I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray." (John 2:22, 26)
Peter Torreele, Managing Director at the WEF, said, “Business is always strongly represented here. If we look at the top 100 companies in the world chosen by the Financial Times, Fortune or Forbes, 73 are represented at the Annual Meeting. In total more than 800 chairmen and CEOs from leading companies will take an active part in the discussions. As business leaders become more and more engaged with global problems, it’s clear that the Forum is providing the platform for them to work with other sectors of society for the global good.”
This year world leaders confront "The Shifting Power Equation" and the challenge of an “increasingly schizophrenic world."
Speaking at press conference this week at the World Economic Forum’s headquarters in Geneva, Founder and Executive Chairman, Professor Klaus Schwab said, “We are faced by a world which is increasingly schizophrenic. Our world is rapidly changing and power is shifting geopolitically, in business terms and even in the virtual world. It is to make sense of this world, and to tackle its complex problems and opportunities, that leaders from all walks of life will once again meet in Davos at our Annual Meeting. The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting gives all of us a chance to understand and shape the Global Agenda in the year ahead.”
One word: "disintermediation." Oh, the irony. Who's the head drum major leading that band? Jeff Jarvis. Fueled by the myth that "leveling playing field" is a universal good thing, disintermediation is creating confusion, chaos, and rapidly dismantling the "institution." It is a perfect environment for a demagogue to insert himself into the power mix by appealing to the mob and leveraging institutional fear. Power appeases the demagogue in fear of all-out anarchy.
Bottom line: a "savior" promises salvation to the masses in the next life. A demagogue promises it now as a tool for their own self aggrandizement. That's the Antichrist. He wants to be king now!
THE LAST WORD
Kidding really. Jeff isn't the Antichrist. He's a former TV critic for Christ's sake. Sure, he has seduced a populace mass. But they're bloggers., i.e. for the most part, male post adolescent geek losers still living in their parents basement watching reruns of Star Trek.
And Jeff's no demagogue either. He sure as hell wants to be one but the fact is his 6 million person mob of pitchfork-and-torch-bearing idiots are, well, idiots.
So you’ve fantasized about becoming a PR rep for a movie star, or perhaps some big-shot politician. That's power; think about it. No humiliating yourself. No slinging outright bogus news pitches to egg-on-the-tie reporters. No, instead, the media would be beating a path to your door, pleading for your attention and consideration. “Today Show? Have them hold. Entertainment Weekly? Take a message. Business Week? Marcy, tell ‘em I’ll get back to them after my 2 o’clock facial. Oh, and by the way, tell them the ground rule: absolutely no questions about that nasty little incident in Tijuana. I am serious... or they’re dead to me... DEAD!”
Well, one similarly confident flack in Los Angeles thought he was livin' la vita loca. Matt Szabo is director of communications for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Unfortunately, he recently had his cojones checked.
LA Times columnist, Steve Lopez, wanted to interview Jaime de la Vega, the mayor’s advisor on transportation. Lopez went through Szabo to set up the interview. Matt insisted on one ground rule: Don’t ask de la Vega about his car. So happens, the mayor’s advisor on transportation tools around smog-choaked LA in a major gas-guzzling smog machine. de la Vega drives a Hummer no less, the very car that has come to symbolize indifference to energy conservation and global warming. Anyway, Szabo insisted that de la Vega’s vehicle was “a matter of privacy.” Lopez assuaged his grief, “hey, sure, whatever;” And the interview was set.
What's with the Hummer? I asked as soon as we were seated in de la Vega's office.
De la Vega gave me a cold stare, his lips sealed. Then he looked at Szabo, who said we were there to talk transportation.
I asked about de la Vega's background and he dropped the mummy act, telling me he'd gotten a master's in urban planning from UCLA. He was also Mayor Dick Riordan's traffic chief and a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board.
So you'd think he'd know better.
I just can't get past it, I told de la Vega. A Hummer?
And then I noticed a quote on his wall from Rosa Parks.
"Every person must live their lives as a model for others."
I read the quote to de la Vega, who clammed up again.
"Should we all drive Hummers?" I asked.
Szabo, meanwhile, looked like he might have some kind of a breakdown. Matt argued that de la Vega's vehicle is not the largest in the Hummer line. "It's smaller than a Yukon," he said.
Smaller than a Yukon, indeed. Szabo had been gored and could now hit high notes he'd never even dreamt of before.
OPEN CHALLENGE TO PR SZABOS EVERYWHERE
So, a reporter has the audacity to ignore the “ground rules.”
The BIG question is "what would any flack worth his salt do?" Would you freeze out the Los Angeles Times? Stop answering their calls? Ban their reporters from your boss’ press conferences? That’s if you had one functioning testicle. Here, how ‘bout sending the building inspectors over that rat-trap on Spring Street? Ah, surely they’ll find something. Might be time for some street maintenance – right in front of the employee parking lot, too. Hey, your boss has friends in organized labor, say no more.
The PR industry is watching. C'mon Matt, the man has checked your cojones, what are you going to do?
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