(my column for April 2016…)


FROM: Screwdisk, Senior Executive VP Sales & Acquisitions, HellCorp North America
TO: Scumbucket, Associate Tempter, District 17-B (Upper Delaware Valley and environs)
RE: primary elections and related topics

My dear nephew:

I remember when you were but a wee imp, always sticking your hooves in your mouth, lashing the household pets with your tail… so nauseatingly cute! No doubt you still recall the little rhymes your teachers taught you back then, in the early days of your training, when your horns were just coming in. This was always one of my favorites:

“Contention, dissention, resentment and rage,
These keep us in power from age to age!”

I was reminded of that instructive bit of doggerel while I was contemplating the present election cycle, and deciding what guidance I should suggest regarding managing your clientele through this season. But I’m not sure that I really need to – we’ve managed to set up a situation where practically all possibilities can be worked to our benefit. Whatever happens, there is sure to be much wailing and gnashing of teeth – because, let’s face it, whoever comes out on top, whatever the final combinations turn out to be, each combatant is bound to be not only opposed, but virulently despised, by a good-sized swath of the population.

Which is just the way we prefer it.  As our Founder likes to say: “Damned if they do, damned if they don’t!”

I remind you that in one sense, we don’t really care who wins these petty power struggles; we can and do operate within any and all political contexts. But our favorite, if we had to choose one, would probably be authoritarian theocracy. The irony of heinous sins of torture, cruelty, and degradation being committed in the name of our Opponent is just too delicious for words to express. I myself have many fond memories of such days, from the Spanish Inquisition to Puritan Massachusetts, and I have no doubt that America under Ted Cruz could be led to replicate and even surpass some the great excesses of those days.

But I also very much like the idea of voting for Trump, who so well personifies many of our favorite human traits, from his willful ignorance to his blustering aggressiveness to his truly astonishing levels of narcissism. I am particularly drawn to his potential as a catalyst for violence and hatred; from reviewing your reports I see that many of your patients would regard his success as the signal they’ve been waiting for – a sign that it was finally safe to release all the repressed anger and frustration that we have been carefully tending in their hearts for these many years.

On the other side, we are also in a win-win situation… though we could create quite a panic among certain folks if Bernie Sanders becomes the nominee, I think the win for us is bigger with a Hillary victory. The repulsion and outrage that she engenders in her opponents are truly things to be savored – and she doesn’t encourage such distasteful traits as optimism, selflessness and cooperation to the extent that Bernie does. (And if you have never sipped the ineffably sweet bitterness of the crushed hopes of a disillusioned idealistic young human, you are in for a real treat.)

Your charges don’t even have to vote, of course; we are also perfectly content to encourage cynicism, disdain, and outright apathy.  In many ways, these choices are even better.

So you see, it’s favorable news for us all around. The only danger I see is if the pure ridiculousness of their situation provokes some Americans to start to notice how they’re being managed…

But really, that’s quite unlikely.

Affectionately, your uncle,


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