Friday, March 26, 2010


I often speak of the demise of our government and the ensuing instability. What form will it take? Trust me, the flash mobs are coming. All it takes is a little focus.

The model for mass protests is seriously outdated. Think about it. If I was disgruntled about massive government spending and the perceived shift from democracy to socialism, what would I do? Would I travel on a bus from Noblesville, Indiana to Washington D.C. to hold up a sign? In a down economy, would I take off a few days from work just to heckle some politicians? The old protest model is completely worthless. Politicians are well aware of this. They don't respond to the individual. Honestly, why would they even bother? It's just not an effective utilization of their time and resources. They only respond corporate lobbyists. Most people still don't get it.

Eventually someone will put a "Joe the Plumber" face on a bad corporation and let the media run with it. It's vital to have this model, otherwise the yokels will have no frame of reference. They need to be specifically told, "Look, here's what Walmart did to you! Now how will you retaliate?" I'm just using the Walmart example because it's omnipresent and already suffers from a very negative perception.

The trick is to evoke widespread outrage among the populace. How could you do that? I'm thinking one of those Amber alerts would be a good starting point. Here's the basic premise. Is it feasible to enrage the mainstream citizenry to the point where they pillage and plunder across the board? Can you assess blame upon a corporate identity for somehow sanctioning or facilitating the actions of a sadistic pedophile? And then let the scenario unfold in real time via the media news cycle.

I'm going to brainstorm on the specs of this hypothetical scenario. By the way, make sure you short the stock in advance. Not only would you benefit from the massive systemic disruptions (looting at retail outlets in multiple locations), you'd also be a winner because of the disdain and contempt from unwilling consumers. Would I really shop at a store being picketed or where I felt my safety could be compromised by an unruly mob?

All you need to do is FOCUS the rage. That's why an Amber alert would function exceedingly well. And it works across the board (Fox, MSNBC and CNN). There would be significant outrage all over the political spectrum. The trick is to portray the horrific actions of an individual or small group of people (perhaps a board of directors) as directly responsible for something so vile and reprehensible, that it would unite all the soccer moms and Nascar dads throughout the country. And it's vital that the viewing public truly believe that the Walmart corporate structure not only sanctioned the actions, but helped facilitate them.

Here's the humorous (and depressing) angle. The company could employ a million child slave laborers in Malaysia. They could screw their employees out of health care and overtime compensation. They could commit all sorts of flagrant acts, but there's no visceral reaction. The viewing public requires a single and ongoing inflammatory incident to get the ball rolling. The infrastructure is already there. I'm very receptive to this. Thoughts?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Alright, I just got out of the shower. While being subjected to a decent stream of water pressure (my water pressure is historically unreliable), I concocted the scenario. Let's use the retail chain Target. Here's the hypothetical scenario...

My name is Margaret and I'm currently in the process of a messy divorce from the VP of Marketing for Target. My husband was a complete asshole. Multiple long-term affairs, gave me an STD, emotional abuse, etc. blah. So I decide to accuse him of child abuse. And the accusations are extremely specific and of a sexual nature.

Not only that, I get the media involved. I accuse the head honchos of Target of trying to cover everything up to avoid the horrible publicity. And here's the most important part - I concoct an easily understood slogan. Something like..."They TARGETED Nicole." This makes it exceptionally easy for the public to digest. Now, they get it. Everyone is at the water cooler using that specific refrain.

An interesting aspect to accusations of pedophilia - there is no reasonable solution for damage control. You're totally fucked. There's nothing you can do from a public relations perspective. Any attempt to soften the impact blows up in your face. It just brings more unwarranted exposure to the accusation.

And here's the killer - it doesn't even need to be factually corroborated. Once the story gathers momentum, the damage is done. The only remedy is time. And it would take forever for something like this to dissipate. By then, the entire retail chain has been crippled, or at the very least, is on life support.

How's that for a corporate systemic disruption? Screw the annual report. Who the fuck reads those things anyway? SAF