Posts Tagged ‘corporate responsibility’

Aqua Phoenicia vs. FMJ

March 10, 2009

Phoenician Water B

soundtrack

Stubbing out a half-smoked cigarette on the wall, the judge reads aloud the first charge:

Judge: “Free Market Jesus, you and your mother corporation – 107844 Nazareth Inc. – are accused of polluting the groundwater in Central Phoenicia with waste products from your organ-disposal installations. This is a class-action suit being filed by Aqua Phoenicia on behalf of a million Phoenician plaintiffs. How do you plead?”

Jesus has just applied organic aloe-hazelnut moisturizer to his hands and is in no hurry to answer. This particular charge seems like a trivial affair better suited to non-designer-wearing working-class lawyers – in the kinds of no-holds-barred trials that the families of murdered labor organizers are always staging to spin their insignificant stories into conspiracy theories.

FMJ: “Your Honor, before I answer this proletariat lawyer’s questions, I’d like to have five minutes to consult my astrologists and color consultants.”

As far as FMJ is concerned, it’s always the right time to look your best, and that means astrologers and the right colors. His new collagen lip injections aren’t going to go unnoticed at his own celebrity trial.

The prosecuting attorney – Abdul Bouq Emmisayar – furrows his brow and flares his nostrils as he crosses the court to approach a nonplussed Jesus, grinning with his already-open Versace cellphone clamped to his surgically-enhanced ear.

Abdul: “Your Honor, I would ask the defendant to please put down his cellphone.”

He turns toward FMJ and his attorney:

“I would like to remind Ms. Popovic and her client that this is a very serious charge. There have been over 1000 deaths directly attributed to one of Mr. Christ’s organ-disposal factories in Sidon. And this is to say nothing of the various cases pending against him for suspicious organ purchases involving children as young as three.”

The glamorous courtroom goes silent and Moe Silverberg – sitting behind the huge pink wig of a drag queen to hide from arch-nemesis FMJ – types something into a no-name laptop with a library sticker on the back.

Blinking for half a second, Jesus rolls his eyes, and crosses his legs as he begins:

FMJ: “Oh please. Those selfish orphans all signed legally-binding contracts. Those who couldn’t write their names were assisted free-of-charge by my legal staff. It’s all perfectly legitimate.

And Phoenicia’s water problem is a government problem, nothing to do with me and the Free Market, may it continue to thrive. I pay my corporate taxes to the Phoenician government just like any other respectable numbered corporation.

If Aqua Phoenicia can’t keep its water clean, then they are the ones who need to change. Not me. Passover Organs has been around longer than most of the plaintiffs have. Your Honor, my representation and I feel that Aqua Phoenicia is just another citizen action committee looking to make a quick buck by attacking a celebrity.”

Abdul leans into the judge and speaks to the entire courtroom:

Addul: “But didn’t another one of the defendant’s affiliates – 87553 Nazareth Inc. – buy the government in a hostile takeover only a few months before the organ-disposal site was approved?”

FMJ stops filing his nails and asks an ungrateful world a little question:

FMJ: “And how am I supposed to know what all my little baby Free Market children are doing? The big picture: they got a lot of jobs out of the deal, and I contribute hundreds of shekels in taxes. Even more than I collect in subsidies, some years. It’s win-win for everyone, and trickles down like mercy from the market’s rain gutters.”

The jury are awestruck by the beauty of his prose as his hair glistens with the special celebrity lighting that was a pre-condition of his personal appearance at the trial

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The Fashion of the Christ

March 7, 2009

Fashion of the Christ

soundtrack

Flicking his ashes into a plant, Jesus sneers at Cynthia’s plastic hoop earrings.

FMJ: “What are the tabloids saying about my fabulous trial so far, Cynth?”

She opens a needlessly large magazine and starts reading:

Cynth: “Ari Applebaum of the Nazareth Free Star writes: This will be the Holy Land’s most glamorous celebrity trial. FMJ will make you want to stand up and cheer! ‘ So I guess he’s already decided he likes it before it even starts.”

FMJ: “Don’t read the reviews in the newspaper chains I own! …I want to hear what the other one… that independent guy – what’s his name… Moe Silverberg, I think.”

Memory for detail has been sacrificed at the alter of drugged up celebrity raves and latenight sex in mirror-glassed limos.

FMJ: “Tell me what the film reviewer I don’t own is saying.”

Cynth: “Well, Moe says you’re a criminal and need to be locked up forever to protect the human race from you and your insane greed.”

Jesus exhales menthol smoke from his nostrils:

FMJ: “Fuck, I can’t believe what an antisemitic prick he is, Cynthia. I mean, he actually called me a parasite in one of his columns. If that doesn’t sound like something Goebels would say about a celebrity, then I just don’t…”

The judge loudly calls for order, and signals for everyone stop talking and sit down.

Judge: “Free Market Jesus Horatio Christ III, please rise and take the oath.”

The judge is a family friend of FMJ, and he went to the same cliquey private school as Jesus’s now-separated dad, Joseph.

Jesus places his white-gloved right hand against a beautiful gold plaque with “Division of Labor” carved into it, obviously by a skilled typographer.

FMJ: “In the name of a free market, I promise to say the most cost-effective things that my PR firm tells me to say. Amen.”

The prosecuting attorney then approaches the judge, and quietly asks for an additional five minutes to address new information currently shooting out of a fax machine sitting between an eight-track player and a game of Pong.

focus group

The trial stops once again. As the audience waits to see what the fax says, Free Market Jesus seizes the moment to continue vapidly chatting with his severely-botoxed corporate attorney – Cynthia Popovic – who is now enjoying some take-out falafel and a diet Coke.

Cynthia is still on the same page.

Cynth: “How can Moe Silverberg be antisemitic, Jeez? He’s Jewish himself, isn’t he?”

Jesus rolls both eyeballs into the back of his clean-shaven and lightly talc-ed face.

FMJ: “He’s self-hating, Cynthia! They’re the worst kind of haters! It’s a medical condition or something.”

Cynth: “How do you know he hates himself or the Semites? He’s  only ever written really hateful things about you, not about himself or all the people he does business with.”

Losing both his patience and his capacity to focus on boring non-celebrity-type things, Jesus leans over and opens his silk robe.

FMJ: “Just forget that loser indie media weasel for a second and look at this chest job, Cynth. Fifty-five shekels, and worth every bit. No stubble, no bikini shadow. Plastic pecs, just like GI Joe.”

Cynthia scrunches up her face and leans into his drama queening:

Cynth: “Mary, that’s your fifth chest-wax in two months. Are you sure you’re not just addicted to the pain?”

Jesus smirks, and then – pulls an eyelash to make it curl.

FMJ: “If you think that’s extreme… I’ve got a client who’s had four cosmetic kidney-transplants in the last year and a half. She says new kidneys make her feel fresh and young. I’m running out of orphans who have a kidney to sell me, Cynth.”

Jesus reaches into a box of expensive chocolates and takes out a large, heart-shaped one which he bites into and then freezes as the vanilla cream drips into his gaping mouth.

The prosecuting attorney walks back to his own seat. He whispers to the bowler-wearing hipster seated beside him, and then rises again to begin his opening remarks.

FMJ:“Well, they’ve already lost the Evening Gown portion of this boring pageant,” Jesus hisses to his attorney. “Now let’s see if they can squeeze more money out of me with a guilty-verdict than I’ll eventually get out of them when I counter-sue.”

He winks at his celebrity lawyer, and then sends a remarkably bitchy text-message to the prosecution.

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