When I heard about the Anti-State Capture Death Squad Alliance, I was quite upset.
I know you felt it too. And how could you not? That hyphen! What the hell? I mean, is this a Death Squad Alliance that is opposed to state capture, or is this a Capture Death Squad Alliance that is anti-state and, if so, what is a Capture Death Squad Alliance? It’s a nightmare, people.
Mostly, though, it upset me because it was yet more evidence of how low the once-great art of spin-doctoring has fallen.
In case you missed it, perhaps because you don’t subscribe to the state’s “Grasping At Straws” mailing list, the Anti-State Capture Death Squad Alliance consists of an unemployed man by the name of Elvis Ramosebudi, who couldn’t afford bail despite having allegedly raised R140-million from “business”, which, obviously, means the secret wood-panelled Masonic bunker where White Monopoly Capitalists brush cigar ash off their tuxedos and plan regime change by hiring the best of the best, i.e. Elvis.
If anyone was still uncertain that Elvis was up to no good, a hit list was soon circulated online, helpfully headed with the words: “This are the beneficiaries of the State Capture regime, who are to be assassinated by our undercover coup plot sniper operation.”
Then followed a comprehensive list of every South African currently having awkward phone conversations with Russian debt-collectors.
If you had paid any attention to this – instead of spending the weekend like a sensible adult, trying to figure out ways of getting your scant finances off-shore – you would have realised that Elvis was obviously one of only two things: the most inept plotter in South African history, or – and this seemed much more likely – someone suffering from a mental illness and in need of help. Either way, he posed no threat whatsoever to the Saxonwold Bhutibond.
By Friday afternoon, however, the desired effect had been achieved.
Major news websites used words like “coup” and “target” in their headlines. “#Coup_plotter” was trending on Twitter, subliminally repeating in tweet after tweet that an actual coup had been plotted.
Most responses were contemptuously dismissive, and yet that’s the thing with hashtags: unless you start a new one – say, #YetAnotherBlindinglyObviousAttemptToGiveZumaEmergencyPowers, the first one leaves a lasting impression.
It was, I suppose, a very small win for Paid Twitter. God knows they’ve needed one. But it was still so abject. I’ve written before about the depressingly low quality of this government’s lies, but Mac Maharaj’s ludicrous efforts of a few years ago, back when everything was being “taken out of context”, now seem like Machiavellian brilliance compared with intellectual mucus dribbling out of the corridors of power.
when life gives you morons, make money
Still, when life gives you lemons you should make lemonade, and when life gives you morons you should try to make money. Which is why I’d like to use this opportunity to announce that I will soon be retiring as a columnist and starting an academy for young propagandists, in the hope that I can restore some intelligence to counterintelligence.
Yes, it’s time to launch the School for Young Cadres, Hangers-On, Paid Hucksters And Nkosazana’s Toadies, or SYCOPHANT.
I’m not sure many of my future students will be reading this – most are under severe deadlines, PhotoShopping Johann Rupert’s face onto Satan’s body – but if you know anyone who might benefit from my new curriculum, please pass this on to them. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
For example, we’ll be kicking off the first semester with “Getting Your Paid Twitter and Fake Facebook Avatar Just Right”, a vital skill for the up-and-coming party shill. Using your own face is obviously out of the question, because that would require courage and if you had an iota of that you wouldn’t be doing what you’re doing, right? But the internet has also matured and most readers have figured out that pretty much any account without a human face is a bot or a fragment of intellectual dung like you. Worried? Don’t be. Leave your troubles and your real identity at the door as we learn exciting new Photoshop techniques that mean you no longer have to steal other people’s identities!
But that’s just the start! In the second semester you can enrol for “How To Be More Convincing Online By Hiding Your Extreme Idiocy and Hatred of Women and Gay People Behind Fiery Rhetoric”. If you feel that clever attacks on White Monopoly Capital are being undermined by your seething bigotry, this one’s definitely for you.
And finally, “Finding New Scapegoats” is already filling up fast. Sure, you could fall back on classic anti-Semitism and accuse everybody of being a puppet of George Soros and a global Jewish conspiracy, but the problem with that route is that it reveals you to be a gurning, slack-jawed imbecile incapable of rational thought. This course will help you tap into new scapegoating trends. Educated women! Journalists! Former Zimbabwean soldiers! Don’t they sound eeeevil? Ditch your beloved copy of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and be wowed!
So, if you’d like to enrol, please call +971 (Dubai dialling code) 0800-PIMP-MY-PRIDE. Our SYCOPHANT operators are standing by.
Published in The Times