Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Please Men

The Please Men
The gulf between two states





The business of politics requires the professionals to communicate. In democracies, preferably to large numbers of the intended audience.  They are termed crowd-pleasers for their efforts. Everyone else communicates to faceless audiences with the objective of displeasing them - it would appear.  So this is about The Please Men.

Meanwhile,  some recent events showcase alternative methods used by ..er..eminent persons

Scene 1 - Somewhere in a rich gulf state




Its a packed stadium. Scorching heat hasn’t deterred attendance. Its 40 degree C. And they erupt. Deafening. Nope, its the the famous movie star renowned for a stutter in about his most famous dialogue on scree. It isn’t a musical concert featuring some new sensation. Their national chief is here to talk to them.   The MIGHTY LEADER. 


In between strutting his stuff,  The Mighty Leader says  (excerpted from his communications) :

  • When I meet the national leaders of different countries, I am warmly welcomed and treated with respect. Not because they see MY face, but the face of 1.25 billion of my country’s citizens.

  • This Great Nation where you’ve chosen to earn your livelihood has promised to give us $ 1 zillion! Not kidding, $ 1 zillion! What is important is not how much they are giving, but they are willing to trust us with their money! Would you give even a hundred rupees to someone you don’t trust? That is the respect you’ve helped us earn

  • This year on the Festival of Sisters, make a small gift of $10 in a fixed deposit. The interest alone (Re 1 per month) with provide her with insurance for her life under the new scheme the government has launched.  Please tell me, what can you buy for Re 1 these days anymore? Even when I was selling tea in a teashop, it may have just been less than that…not anymore. 

Audience Thought Balloons after the Show : 

Wow! My work is helping him earn respect and the whole country. Even my presence here is contributing.

Its important I continue to work honestly. It will create the trust needed for the future.

Yeah, $10 sounds like a great deal. I’ll add that to the dress I gift her.


Scene 2 - Somewhere in a poor engulfed state




The handsome, forty something year old is the dynamic face of the opposition to the Mighty Leader. He’s chosen to spend time in a village instead, talking to real people who live here about real problems. The village happens to be in his constituency, that elected him and his family for several generations - generations of voters and generations of elected. Its stayed poor all this time, so it needs strong representation.  But lets not nitpick and digress from the main event.

Sound bytes from the Handsome One :

This is a Suit-Boot govt disconnected from common people. 

This government runs for the Benefit of four or five Big Industrialists.

Land is being grabbed from our poor farmers to benefit the rich, depriving them of not just livelihood but food! All in the name of development!

Audience Thought Balloons after the Show :

Er….I’m wearing my trousers and black shoes and so are half the guys around here. So his point is…..?

Why aren’t those four or five Big Industrialists setting up a factory near here? Even if they don’t employ me, those guys will need tea and snacks, and so on…Maybe they’ll build a fancy school for the rich folks and my kids can take tuition from those teachers….and we may get a better movie theatre around here….

Er…..wonder why no one wants to buy my land? Lemme check with the land registry office…..

Land..what land? doesn't he know I'm landless and a labourer? 

So what’s all this suit boot, big industrialist stuff have to do with me? Where is that damn water for my fields and school for my kids?!!!! 

Scene 3 - The Drunk Journos at the Pub in a Great Metro*

(*great metro means that more than 5 million people live, though power cuts, poor garbage collection, scarce water, flooded roads and bad pavements...it could all be happening there. If you suggest otherwise in public, proud local residents may take extreme measures to address the hurt sentiments)

For easy recall lets name them DJ1 and DJ2.  DJ1 is the  self-appointed Socrates type (He knows everything!) while DJ2 is a wannabe Che Guevara type (even while polishing off rare scotch on an expense account)…

Barman :  Sir, last orders right now…so any more for you? 
DJ1 :  Maan, yeah Two-For-The-Road for us. 
DJ2 :  So WTF was all that stuff about, we just saw?
DJ 1 : (He’s the Socrates of the two). : Don’t you get i?
DJ2 : Yeah, The Great Leader is globe trotting while the Handsome One is getting his hands dirty! That’s what! 
DJ 1 :  Nope. This isn’t about where they are! This is about how they communicate, when they are there!
DJ 2: Yeah, but The Handsome One got the proletariat all cued up. 

DJ 1 : Nope, son! (he always says son, as a prelude to a long monologue. He's actually 2 years older than DJ2 and they're both about 24 years old)

The Mighty Leader took the Big Picture about zillion dollar Foreign Investment and brought it right into a person’s home :  people trust us with their money its not about the amount, your family back home can benefit from just a small contribution, your honest and hard work are our real assets that's enabling all this and my fame isn’t about me…its about you…the face of our country.

The Handsome One went to their home, and discussed what’s on the Other Side of the Uranus….not what screws up their life everyday and what he’s gonna do about it.

EPILOGUE


DJ1 and DJ2 got home safely.  They called mobile-phone-application based cab service at short notice and paid less than the likely auto-fare.  DJ2 posted an article about greedy international app-based cab companies the next day.  DJ1 skipped office due to a hangover and then wrote his piece supporting personal freedom..or some such shit. 



Author’s Note :
This story is inspired by true events. Critical points have been altered to protect the identities of the principal characters, their country and references to persons, organisations, places and events. In case there is a direct relationship to real things....what a coincidence.....how creative of you...well done!