MEMO: From Vice Chancellor Screwtape to Senior Tempter Wormwood
My Dear Wormwood,
My very dear Wormwood. How proud I am to come to you once again to congratulate you on yet another promotion. I knew that your appointment to the Political Division was the right choice. You remember how your cousin Wailbone was lobbying to have you transferred to her realm, Mayhem and Suicide? I opposed that at the time, saying you could be of better service in Political. Little did I know the degree to which I was understating the case.
You, Sir, are about to be elevated to Liaison of Fascist Control, because of the appearance of Ron DeSantis on the scene. Yes! That is a more powerful division than either the one you or Wailbone are currently in and Wailbone is being promoted, too! What a family of prodigies I head! Yea, Fascist Control is the division that Our Father Below supervises personally because it is the culmination of all our work and all his aims. He has not signed the proclamation yet, but he will, and so I am sending you this missive sub rosa, so that you can put the champagne on ice and get the music playing. Put on those dance slippers I gave you, the ones with the curved toes! And for music, I suggest the tune I myself composed, of the screams of new arrivals in our Hall of Welcome, when they realize their fate. There’s no sound in the universe like it!
I must tell you of Wailbone’s ingenuity before I compliment you on your own. She, being in charge of Suicide, especially tasked the tiny and unfairly besieged transgender community, and that is how she discovered Ron DeSantis doing the very work she was attempting to do herself and much better, of tormenting and persecuting these people. She wrote a referral on his potential for our purposes.
Your cousin was right. DeSantis is a piece of work. It is rare indeed that a man becomes a Real Devil during his brief earthy sojourn in the flesh. Usually, the finishing touches are left when he graduates to a spot down here, and if he doesn’t end up consumed in a feast by us, if we deem that his soul is of such Unspeakable Rot (I can’t describe the fragrance that has, you simply have to experience it for yourself) then he goes on to several centuries of torment in our Perfected Demon course of study and then he becomes a Real Devil. For a mortal man to achieve this while in the flesh is truly extraordinary and as rare as popsicle stands Down Here.
I believe you have only seen Real Devils in pictures, but they have a wingspan almost as large as Our Father Below and they attend him constantly. They act as his Apostles, if you will forgive the expression, but the analogy is accurate.
I was commissioned to write a report and I can say with all assurance that DeSantis is indeed a Demon Incarnate. I clearly have an eye for talent, if I say so myself, and if anyone has the goods it is this autocrat who has climbed to power so quickly and who relishes Pure Power above all else.
The fact that he came out of a democratic political system makes it all the more luscious. In terms of Pure Evil he actually puts Putin to shame but don’t let it get around your division that that’s the word in Hell, we don’t want the tempters handling Putin to get cranky. They have played their parts beautifully, convincing him to go to war, while his bankers and generals and advisers begged him to withdraw from Ukraine, run run runaway, live to fight another day, but no, he was in the right and Ukraine is really his.
Meanwhile, his own people can’t get a hamburger, or a movie, or computer support online, but he is oblivious to any of that. His mad fantasy preoccupies him instead. As indeed it should. His tempter, Crotchrot, is a maestro of these matters.
But I digress. Back to DeSantis, who is truly cut from the same bolt of cloth as the mad Caesars whose lust for power destroyed the greatest empire of the world to that date in history, we are thrilled we have discovered DeSantis to do the same job with this one.
The man is a marvel the way he quests for Power. He willingly embraced the sweet seduction of Absolute Power long ago. How one handles power is a test of character for all men and women. The Enemy made it that way, this is his turf we’re on, after all. Sad but true. But DeSantis didn’t check himself for a moment, when confronted with this test. No, Sir, he did not even know the test was there. He smelled the intoxicating fragrance of Absolute Power and he knew he must have it for himself, no matter what the cost or to whom.
And let me be clear, DeSantis is a rare talent, a rare specimen of a thoroughly rotten human being, but he won’t get where he’s going on that virtue alone. No, Sir. He is being nurtured and enabled by the slimy, spineless sycophants in the Republican party. The GOP has no moral compass left, thankfully. What little they had was utterly smashed with the ascent of Trump. They have abandoned any and all ideological predicates they once had and now they believe in nothing, absolutely nothing, whatsoever — except Power! To be alive to witness it is so glorious.
My boy, I cannot tell you how pleased Our Father Below is with DeSantis. He is the quintessential Republican and he is poised for a long long reign in GOP politics. It is a wondrous thing when a mortal man chooses of his own volition to go into partnership with Satan. Truly spiritually uplifting. I have heard rumors that Our Father Below is misty eyed over this development. DeSantis reminds Satan so much of Mussolini and you know much effort Our Father Below put into that friendship, until poor Benito was shot and then hung upside down from the balcony for the revilement of the masses. I was present at the feast of Mussolini’s soul. A rare delicacy, unrivaled in my experience before and since.
Yes, DeSantis followed the musings of that useful idiot Trump. Trump’s bumbling made the once unthinkable the perfectly possible as he waged war on behalf of the GOP’s declared enemies, blacks, gays, immigrants, the regulatory state, the welfare state. Trump had a good reign, much more than an idiot like himself could ever have achieved alone. No, if Trump saw farther than other Republicans, it’s because he stood on the shoulders of giants — well, alright, he stood on a totem pole of spiritual midget Republicans, the only kind there are. I know you are a stickler for detail. No, the lovely fact that we revel in Down Here is that Trump, when all is said and done, was merely a convenient conduit for all of the forces in the GOP that far, far predated his predictably short political career.
If you would understand the Republican party’s future under DeSantis, for so it will be, you need only look to the party’s past. This is not the first time the GOP has faced a takeover from its right-wing lunatic fringe, nor will it be its last. That’s where we step in. When the Republicans begin to become Republicants, which is every time they weaken, due to the fact that they have no real platform beyond ginning up outrage, the worst elements in the party emerge and take over.
History is merely repeating itself, as history is wont to do. I am happy to bear the glad tidings that Ron DeSantis is the new John Birch! Yes! And I will prove it to you!
How we have hoped that one would arise! Blankspool was John Birch’s tempter, I suggest you contact her at once, she’s your gal if you want to run DeSantis right. Blankspool’s brainstorm, one which won her a Special Citation here in Hell was MOTOREDE, or Movement To Restore Decency.
You recall how parents in Orange County, California were livid over sex education, back in the 60’s? That was Blankspool’s doing. MOTOREDE said that teachers of sex education were in cahoots with what they claimed was the “Communist-infiltrated” National Council of Churches to “destroy the moral character of a generation,” in order to soften them up for an imaginary Red Takeover. Parents were having nightmares, movies were made about Communists dropping from the sky.
And then MOTOREDE, with Blankspool’s help, outdid itself and produced an extraordinary political innovation, a milestone, in fact, which has remained to this day: A Birch activist named John F. McManus announced, “MOTOREDE believes that abortion is murder.” Isn’t that profound? Let this be a lesson to you, one truly demonic lie is worth a thousand regular ones.
And now Ron DeSantis is not only blocking sex education and demonizing gays, he has twisted CRT into something unrecognizable to its original authors, he claims math books contain subversive information, and must be banned, and in a flourish of imagination which we frankly envy Down Here, he has managed to make Mickey Mouse the villain! And he’s running Disneyland out of Florida! For being perverts!
DeSantis has long exceeded the nudging of the junior tempter assigned to him, Pukewort. We asked Pukewort if he wanted to stay with his patient or if he felt that the assignment of a Senior Tempter was warranted. Pukewort said, “Frankly, I think DeSantis should just go straight to Hell now and show you all down there how to do this. He’s way better than any devil I ever studied under.” Our Father Below is considering this, I am told.
And DeSantis is only the beginning for the future of the GOP. We have the incomparable Marjorie Taylor Greene. What a piece of work. She brought a “mind” to political office that questioned whether the Pentagon had been hit by a plane on 9/11 and proposed that Jewish space lasers could start and extinguish forest fires. Naturally, we went to her junior tempter, Loosepork, and asked her how she was effecting these wonders. Loosepork said she only wished that she could take the credit, but the fact was that Greene was completely insane and doing this on her own. Loosepork asked to be released from her assignment and we agreed that Greene, left to her own devices, could do far more damage than under the guidance of Hell. We know when we are outclassed.
Greene is the crown jewel in the GOP crown, both a racist and a conspiracy theorist. Not that she got there on her own. Republican voters know the real thing when they see it. They have seen it before.
Remember I said a moment ago, to understand the future of the party under DeSantis, you must only look to the past? I take you to their most recent hero, the venerated Ronald Reagan, the “avatar of the Republicans’ lost respectability,” as he’s been called, who in 1971 described African United Nations delegates to a chortling Richard Nixon as “monkeys … uncomfortable wearing shoes.”
Reagan’s tempter was the same as William F. Buckley’s, who described blacks as “semi savages, who would be ready for self-government when they stopped eating one another.” This is the level of respectability that the GOP would kill to get to back these days and I’ll tell you what’s hilarious: The chaos has gotten so intense in American politics that even the Democrats would welcome Reagan back. Ronnie Raygun looks good compared to what they see now! That is how successful our efforts have been, in this glorious Era of Trump! A collective back pat is in order!
Reagan’s tempter was Scorchgorge, and I must admit, I have never seen anybody so facile with converting a patient to conspiracy theory in my life. Scorchgorge claimed many awards and bonuses for his work with Reagan and wrote the textbook for tempters to lure patients straight out of reality and into a fantasy world and hopefully, to a mental institution. If anybody asks you why QAnon caught on so quickly and solidly, this is the tempter to thank.
Under Scorchgorge’s tutelage the B-movie actor 40th president, spun wild tales of how Gerald Ford staged assassination attempts against himself to win sympathy votes in the 1976 presidential primaries, and how the Soviet Union was relocating its youth, 20 million to be precise, to the countryside to be preserved and trained for rebuilding society after nuclear war.
If you think that Trump prescribing the drinking of bleach was original, you have not studied your history, Wormwood. Reagan’s PAC newsletter advocated taking Laetrile for cancer and the note was “Laetrile may be efficacious against cancer but which government in its wisdom wants to keep people from using.” Of course the real reason that the government wouldn’t approve it was that it didn’t work and it killed people, like Trump’s MAGAs drinking their aquarium cleaner. Republicans were praying that Donald Trump would be the Second Coming of Ronald Reagan and they got their wish far more than most people realize.
Reagan went on with his conspiracy theories as his Alzheimers worsened, claiming that the Nuclear Freeze Movement, which drew a million protesters to Central Park in 1982 was in fact promoted and staged by the Kremlin, and then he told reporters that apartheid South Africa had “eliminated the segregation that we once had in our own country.”
When he wasn’t busy spewing nonsense he was eating jelly beans and walking around the White House grounds with a bag of nuts for the squirrels so they, too, could have a snack, while the Secret Service followed him and did rock, paper, scissors to see which one of them would call Nancy, or alternatively George H.W. Bush, if things got too strange. Reagan spoke to the squirrels, it is unknown if they spoke back. Nancy, meanwhile, was the de facto head of state, consulting her astrologer several times a day, and occasionally calling or being called by Roy Cohn.
And again I say, Wormwood, this is the state of affairs to which both parties in this country would willingly return, if they could, they are so beaten and bloodied from the Trump years and its aftermath! This is glorious progress we have made in the past seven years! This is a jubilee time in Hell!
I wish you all luck in the days and years ahead in your new dignity as Liaison to Fascist Control, and this precept I give you: Don’t take your eyes off DeSantis He is gloriously Our Dark Fascist Knight as we move towards our final goal of Hell On Earth. The fact that’s he’s another Ronnie and he’s Italian like Mussolini, provides a poetic resonance. Just another musical bridge in the Dark Symphony that is being written daily as Hell takes over Earth!
[Editor’s Note: All this is fact checkable, with the exception of the Secret Service doing rock, paper, scissors. That is literary license. The rest is gospel truth. You cannot make this stuff up.]
Getting Screwtape right is a mixture of facts and style/tone. Your facts are inpeccable and your tone is right on the money. Lewis would be proud. He would also be saddened (although probaly not surprised) by the fact that more correspondence from Screwtape is necessary, but I can’t see him finding any fault with your rendering. I have read so much of Lewis so many times that I think of him as “Jack.” and I give you my highest praise. I’ll be sharing it as widely as I can (which would probably be more widely if I were an extravert instead of an introvert, but it is what it is.)
Your words make me glow and I can’t thank you enough. I love C.S. Lewis and Screwtape and I’m glad that a reader seeing it for the first time can validate that I didn’t miss by a mile. Would you consider sharing it on Daily Kos? I’m banned over there, as I’m sure you know, and I don’t want to upset the moderators, I just thought that the group over there would like to read this. I don’t know if I’m asking you to risk anything by posting it. Anyhow, if it’s anything you would consider doing, my heart is in the right place, I only want to share with other Democrats and give them a laugh. I honestly don’t know what the mods over there would do, but if you want to do that, you have my permission. Just say it’s mine and post a hot link. If you don’t want to, that’s fine, too. It’s just a thought. I’m grateful if you share it anyplace. Thank you again.
You are very welcome – it’s deserved. Reading this was as if Jack was alive again and somehow instantly up to date.itmight be a risk to post it at DK – the mmpds never reveal their justifications – as you know – but lately I have been spending more time at Democratic Underground anyway, and they would love it. I’ll do that gladly and as soon as I finish typing here. I’ll think about DK. You’re right, they would eat it up there.
Post it to Democratic Undergound and thank you. Just do a hotlink to PZ and make sure you say Ursula Faw wrote it, is all I ask.
If you put it on the DK with the caveat, “If I’m breaking a rule and you want me to take this down I will. I just want to share it because I think people on this site will eat it up” then that might be the way to do it. If you have never been on time out over there or in trouble in any way and you politely state why you’re posting it, I don’t think they’ll go crazy. The worst they’ll probably do is delete it and if spiting me is more important than giving the Community a wonderful read, fine. So be it. Thank you for even considering it.
Up on DU – used your name and included two hotlinks, one at the top to the PolitiZoom home page and one at the bottom direct to the article.
I’ve had one or two comments hidden at DK but not for years. I was going to think about getting some advice, but I like your advice so I’ll go with that. It may take me a little longer. I’m also underwriter505 at DK but at DU I am soldierant if you need to find me.
Honesty is the best policy. Just put a paragraph saying you love the piece and want to share it, but you didn’t know if there’s a rule that you can’t share material if the material is written by somebody banned. Offer to take it down if the mods want you to. You might mention you’re a major fan of C.S. Lewis and you think this is a spot on parody. I’ll send a copy without ads to your email. That way you can just cut and paste if you decide to do this. And thank you.
Thank you. Well, Alea iacta est. And the intro I wrote touched on all those points. Also, your name, and the two links.I sup[pose if I had thought about it I would have realized it would be possible, but I never thought someone could do a parody of what was satire in the first place.
I must confess to never having read The Screwtape Letters but have a passing familiarity with that book. My bad (and loss) for not having read it long ago. Having said that and having familiarity with Lewis’ work I found this utterly compelling, and I too think that Lewis would be proud to have this become an addendum to his book.
It is searing. All those Republican elites with their own Ivy Leage (and similar) educations who pretend to be “of the people” and decry those institutions they attended would be furious reading this. So would any serious Republican with an education. Sadly, this is beyond the intellectual capacity of the average goober in MAGA world. I’m glad to see underwriter got it up on DK. I’ve only gotten timed out once, but I might have gotten something stronger if I’d put this up there, and probably (since I’ve cross posted some of my pieces) Bojo’d for using your screen name which many over there will remember. Hopefully the powers-that-be with their little “Double Secret Probation” clique will at least read this and let it stand.
I’m going to call my Congresswoman’s office tomorrow (I’ve got two P.O.S. Republican Senators but at least I’ve got a Democrat representing my Congressional District) and tell them how to call this up. (I doubt they’d click on any link in an email) and encourage others to do the same. I’d like to see this printed out by Democrats on the Hill and taped to the doors of Republicans. Is wishing someone would read it into the Congressional Record too much to hope for?
Well, as I said it was compelling in the same way certain works of music and poetry are to me. You really outdid yourself with this one. Crack open a bottle of wine and toast yourself.
Denis, do yourself a favor and read The Screwtape Letters. Maybe I’ll send it to you. I think I have an old paperback. It’s hysterical. And you can’t appreciate a parody of it without reading the real thing. It’s like a song parody, if you don’t know the song you don’t know how good the take off of the song is.
You do realise, Ursula, that you aren’t going to be too popular in East Belfast (C.S.Lewis’ home territory) which is the spiritual home of the ‘Democratic’ Unionist Party (think GQP with Irish accents). They’re anti-abortion, pro-gerrymandering, religious bigots whose stated objectives are to overthrow the Norn Iron ‘protocol’ which is really there to prevent a return of the ‘hard’ border in Ireland and facilitate goods moving between the two parts (an example is Guinness which is brewed in Dublin, shipped to Belfast in tankers to be canned and then the cans are shipped back to Dublin). They are also looking to dismantle the ‘Good Friday Agreement’ and are telling everyone that they won’t take part in any government functions if the opposition takes the post of First Minister. Sound familiar?
Oh and regarding Trump believing he’s the successor of Ronald – he got confused and is really more McDonald than Reagan
I have agonized over how popular I might be in East Belfast and now you have confirmed my worst fears.. :))