Thursday, June 6, 2013

Part Fifty-Six, Chapter Six - Mission Morocco

Twelve days out of Bermuda to cross the Atlantic, twelve days in which Gris checked on Krak and Heller exactly once and made absolutely no progress towards coming up with a plan for thwarting Krak's investigation of his activities.  Twelve days spent traveling to Morocco, so Madison can do... research?

Madison was up and at it promptly.  "I've got to study this king," he said.  "He sounds like a real first-grade outlaw.  His name is Hussan-Hussan.  When his father got independence from the French, they say Hussan-Hussan murdered him.

Presumably this is a lawyer-friendly version of Hassan II.  Interestingly enough, there is some speculation that his father, the previous sultan, died of something other than complications during surgery.  So Hubbard's not using the guy's real name, but still suggesting he murdered his dad.

He also murdered the man who had effected the real revolution and took the credit.

It doesn't sound like Morocco had a revolution per se - there were violent clashes against French and Europeans, but the country gained its independence following negotiation with the colonial governments.  Wikipedia also doesn't offer a potential "real father of the revolution" figure for Hussan x 2 to kill.

He is held in power by the United States and he banks all the mineral receipts of the country in Switzerland in his own name.

I don't know about Swiss banking, but the CIA did pretty much prop the guy up back in the day.  It was the Cold War, we did a lot of embarrassing stuff, but the Soviets were worse, really!

He keeps the majority of the population, who are Berbers, in total repression and perpetuates the minority rule by the Arabs with violence and force.

Wikipedia's not helpful here - on one page it mentions that the bulk of the Moroccan population are Berbers, but another page lumps the group together with Arabs to form 99% of the population.  Then you have to distinguish between Berbers and Arabized Berbers and mixed Arab-Berbers.  Though it sounds like Hussan x 2 didn't have a good human rights record, so some repression obviously was taking place.

He's worse many times over than South Africa in racial subjugation and yet he gets away with it all.

In 1972, while looking for a Scientology-friendly place to hole up in, Hubbard and the Sea Org made port in Morocco.  He ended up making friends in the Moroccan secret police for some cross-training, but was eventually forced to flee the country after getting too involved in Moroccan politics.  I can only assume if they'd been better hosts, he wouldn't be bashing the country here.

I've read all I can find in our library.  Now I've got to find if he is a true outlaw and, if he is, study his approaches.  So I'm going to be quite busy."

What's with this guy's obsession with "outlaws?"  For that matter, what's with the author's obsession with outlaws?

Teenie hits the shore and promptly disappears, while Gris is less than impressed with the country.

I wandered up and down the pier.  The town certainly didn't look very inviting.  Dust and Arabs with dust on them whining and begging through the dust.  They were trying to sell me anything from donkeys to their sisters.

And the worst part is that Gris can't find Charles Boyer or Humphrey Bogart anywhere.  I didn't make that up, he wonders why they'd visit a place like this in the book.  We can only hope he's being sarcastic.

Teenie eventually returns in a taxi to announce that she's flying down to Marrakech for the rest of the day.  Gris spots the Black-Jowled Man in he cab with her, wonders how he followed them, and eats some coos-coos.  No speculation beyond "How did he get here?", no worries that the man he thought was staking him out in Bermuda is still on his tail.  Just coos-coos.

Madison turns up and complains that Hussan MkII isn't a "real outlaw" in that he robs from the poor and keeps it all for himself rather than going all Robin Hood on his fellow wealthy elites.  Even though the king's PR is so bad that people spit on the floor after saying his name, Madison decides he isn't worth helping and goes to bed.  Gris sleeps a night free of all that awful sex stuff he couldn't get enough of two books ago.

Teenie returns the next afternoon with a new outfit that doesn't matter and boxes of crap from her friend the Black-Jowled Man.  Teenie explains that he owns the Moroccan airlines and is really fond of oral sex from underage American girls.  That evening she shows him more of the goodies she got, what Gris mistakes for candy and only learns, two helpings later, is actually hashish, concentrated marijuana.

"You (bleeptch)!" I started to climb out of bed.

The walls suddenly shot fifty feet away from me.  The ceiling went through the floor.  I was in 1492 discovering Columbus.

I started to giggle.

"Ah, that's better," said Teenie.  "Now just watch and I'll show you a waterfall.  Look at the muscles of my belly moving.  When I showed them this in a nightclub last night in Marrakech, it got them all so hot I had to go down on the whole orchestra."

Aaaand any amusement from the drug trip sequence is suddenly gone.

Gris hallucinates, giggles a lot, and ends up doing something stupid we'll learn about next chapter, which isn't much of an anti-drug message because Gris does stupid things all the time.  This is also yet another chapter that ends with Gris ranting about some coming tragedy and cruel Fate and all that garbage, in a desperate attempt to keep the reader interested and invoke some sort of tension as the story continues to wander away from the plot.

Back to Chapter Five

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