Letters to Santa from Your Favorite Mis-Directors

December 9, 2011
You better watch out...

You better watch out...

We know how busy you are – or, at least, how busy you ought to be – so we are writing to Santa on your behalf! Don’t bother to thank us – we’re used to being under-appreciated.

From the Critic…
Dear Santa,
You’ll have to excuse Gail this year for maxing out your naughty-or-nice-list software.  Who could have predicted a “naughty” list would have to be that long? Clearly she wasn’t paying attention, didn’t try hard enough, and messed up just about everything she did.  I do happen to know how sorry she is, though, since I’m making sure she’s examining and re-examining every mistake, misstep, and miserable moment in excruciating detail.  She doesn’t really deserve anything for Christmas, but you should probably bring her something small – very, very small – so that she doesn’t ruin everyone else’s holiday.
Thanks.  She owes you.  She promises she’ll be better next year.
The Critic
From the Rationalizer…
Dear Santa,
I realize that you have Rick on your coal-in-stocking list, but that situation wasn’t really his fault.  There were at least three other guys that were in deeper than him and, besides, how could he have known?  Do you know what it’s like these days, all the things a guy has to do?  And everyone was doing it, anyway – why should he be the one who suffers?  Besides, it’s the holidays, right, and isn’t peace and forgiveness what it’s all about?  Who are you to judge, anyway?  What do you pay those elves?  With all those orders and deadlines, I’m guessing your workshop is an occupational safety nightmare.  But Rick won’t blow the whistle if he’s got a reason to be satisfied this Christmas.
You hear me?
The Rationalizer (with assistance from The Escalator)
From The Planner…
Dear Santa,
Carol and Dick need a heads up from you on your preferred cookie flavors and whether or not you’ve developed a milk intolerance over the past year – they are happy to provide Lactaid with enough notice.  Also, they’d like to request that you land on the NE corner of the roof so that you’re less likely to wake the children. Besides, the prevailing winds are such that you’ll have a smoother ride that way.  Since you’ll be heading South when you leave their house, would you mind delivering some packages to Dick’s sister’s house – it’s right on your way.  They’ll leave them in a clearly marked stack three feet to the left of the tree.  And when delivering their packages, please pay better attention to gift arrangement than last year – it seems they were rather hastily delivered and did not create a pleasing presentation.  They trust that you have checked your list twice regarding their fine china collection – and that you will not repeat the error of bringing yet another gravy boat.
I hope production is on schedule.
The Planner

Board of Mis-directors and American Politics: Survival of the Fittest

August 9, 2008

As this presidential campaign kicks into an even higher gear with the approaching Republican and Democratic conventions, we can’t resist indulging in a little self-congratulation on how we’ve helped to shape things.

American politics: one of the greatest institutions in the world – and one of our proudest achievements. It took ingenuity, lots of dedication and plenty of good old-fashioned hard work, but we have made our mark!  And the results, if we do say so, are stellar!

Of particular note:  we are the ones that helped politicians discover the astounding efficiency of appealing to people’s emotions rather than reason.  There simply is no faster, more effective way to get people’s attention and loyalty than to appeal to their emotions.  Though all emotions can be used, fears and insecurities are the very best.

Obviously, this has been a fabulous development for politicians. Winning people over by reason takes so much work!  You have to invest the time, energy, learning, and thought required to come to a just and valid position yourself.  Then, you must invest the time, energy, blah blah required to educate and engage others in this way of thinking.  To do this well, you occasionally must go so far as to understand their positions.  And after all this, there’s no guarantee it will even work:  most people are only marginally susceptible to reason. 

A much more efficient way to get those votes is to find emotional buttons and push!  (For politicians, the ultimate effectiveness of this technique depends on their ability to  assure the people that they – the politicians – are the only ones who can save the country (or state, or city) from the threat.  But that’s another story…  )

This technique works across campaigns, candidates and parties.  Really, the defining difference is the choice of buttons.  Politicians just need to discern which fears etc. are the high-voltage buttons of their constituents, and which threats will most effectively push them.  And here’s a beautiful thing: the threats don’t even have to be real!   A truly skilled politician can turn an imaginary threat into something palpable and panting, just outside our doors.

But the real, more substantial benefit is to our society: we need elected officials who excel at playing on our fears and insecurities. Why? Well, for one thing, leaders of other countries are always looking for the best way to take advantage of the US.  We need leaders who are themselves experts at taking advantage, so they can both recognize the tricks and devise a few of their own.  What better way to select for that quality than the one we’ve devised?  There really is none.  With our system, the voters accurately assess the candidates’ skills in this arena by their own reactions and votes. It really is the most efficient system, with the most effective results. 

The US political system: survival of the fittest politicians,
so the good ol’ US can survive and thrive!

For more, see our upcoming piece on the Benefits of Mud-Slinging.

(Note: We do, of course, operate in other countries – in every country in the world!  But due to cultural variations, we use different techniques in different places.  All for the greater good!  Look for future pieces about our work around the globe.)

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