Monday, March 31, 2014

Part Ninety-Two, Envoi III-xxii - Monte's Ode to Earth

Unabridged version hereWow, this one stupid song is more explicit than most of the sex in these books.

Mission Earth's final chapter is twenty-two pages long, and consists of four distinct documents stuffed next to each other in the same section.  It also boasts the highest concentration of italicized and capitalized letters in the story, which is a pretty strong disincentive to read it.

The first section is five-and-a-half pages of Monte summarizing things for us, arguing that the real cover-up of Mission Earth is not to hide the existence of a harmful planet, but Heller "DEPRIVING VOLTAR OF SOME OF THE MOST MAGNIFICENT DEVELOPMENTS EVER HIT UPON IN THIS WHOLE UNIVERSE!"  And then he lists those developments.

Monte hails PR as what will rescue him from obscurity and make him a man to be respected and feared, as well as what allowed him to uncover this vast conspiracy.  He doesn't mention the whole "PR nearly destroyed my civilization" thing he read and wrote about to make this "book," much less argue why PR is worth pursuing despite such hazards.  And then, well, it doesn't take long for things to start making even less sense.

INTELLIGENCE SERVICES: Unless you can spy upon your own population, you cannot keep them in line.  The riffraff will get out of hand and impudent--even revolt--unless spies and armed spy forces are planted on them at every street corner.  How else can a government get even with those they do not like?  How else but by provoking them into crime and then arresting them?  Unless you can make continual trouble for citizens individually and keep them at each others' throats, then they may unite and in a screaming wave overwhelm the government!  On Earth they have developed those skills to a very fine point and practice them in every country.  Only there can our power elite learn how to do it! 

Again, Monte inexplicably develops Lombar and Hisst and Rockecenter and Bury's contempt of the "riffraff" and a desire to stomp on their faces.  The problem is that this spy stuff didn't come up during his "investigation" of Mission Earth, nor did Monte ever discuss a need for the government to adopt such tactics - in fact, he seemed quite shocked that his government would keep a secret of such magnitude.  Yet here he is, calling for more skullduggery. 

Next Monte sings the praises of Earth BEVERAGES as being far superior to tup and sparklewater in lowering inhibitions, making people see double, or taking them "into the land of I-Don't-Care" - apparently the best Voltar's drinks can do is make you "relaxed and cheerful."  Please ignore how a civilization incapable of brewing an intoxicant nevertheless called its disreputable intelligence branch the "Drunks."  Don't ask why the other 109 worlds in the Voltarian Confederacy haven't discovered alcohol.  Also ignore the author's favorable treatment of gin-running gangsters and Prohibition moonshiners during the early books on Earth.

Then Monte raves about Earth's MUSIC, particularly Punk Rock, that wild, atonal, blatantly sexual sound that could "sweep aside our too-smooth and complicated melodies and chords."  I wonder if Hubbard's minders had to carefully keep rap music away from him?  I mean, obviously they did, he didn't die before he could complete this book.

Monte next spends a paragraph dismissing the "cabal and propaganda" about DRUGS, which doesn't make a lick of sense as the majority of Voltarians don't even know such substances exist, much less that they're supposed to be bad for you.  Monte claims that he experienced marijuana, "the most powerful of these drugs," and didn't even care what the stuff did to him.  Not that it did anything to him, any negative effects are all lies and propaganda.  At any rate, "DRUGS YOU NEVER HEARD OF ARE AVAILABLE FROM EARTH!  IT IS THE SOLE SOURCE OF THE THRILLS YOU CAN EXPERIENCE!"  Because, as I must repeat one last time, Lombar Hisst was too stupid to start his own opium farms or meth labs and decided to import all his materials from Earth. 

There is, inevitably, a section on  

PSYCHOLOGY and PSYCHIATRY: These are obviously the most advanced population-control techniques ever heard of anywhere.  Imagine a government having a corps of doctors it can use to kill anyone it doesn't like and no questions asked!  That's POWER!  Imagine the boon of a state monopoly in bending the minds of children, making them into anything it wishes, even animals just grazing in the fields!

What's particularly odd about this is that in the next paragraph, Monte argues that if Dr. Crobe had been allowed to properly treat Lombar Hisst, "all would have been well!"  We could take this as Monte suggesting that things would be better of with Hisst dead, except on the next page, Monte gushes about Crobe psychoanalyzing him to solve all his problems.

It's really quite amazing - Monte wants Voltar to adopt psychology to keep the riffraff in line through lobotomies, yet wholeheartedly believes that the same techniques cured him of his own mental problems.  Which I guess can make sense, you could theoretically argue in favor of punishing your political rivals through electrical torture, then swear that electroshock therapy cured your schizophrenia.  Even if Monte just finished writing a book documenting how psychology was a scam thought up by Sigmund Freud and the Nazis to sell magazines and have sex with children, or however it went.

Speaking of SEX, Monte declares that Voltar - not just him, certainly - is woefully unenlightened and "dreadfully inhibited" when it comes to the finer points of bumping uglies.  He praises Teenie, who he never met, as a "divine Goddess" sent to lead Voltar out of the darkness of chastity, and criticizes Pratia Tayl for hoarding Teenie's teachings among her own family instead of spreading the good news.  "We could have oral sex and anal sex rampant in every salon.  We could have mass orgies.  And we could have incest as a common way of life."  Of course, we've already seen plenty of evidence that Voltar has some experience with Monte's first point, among the "deviant" segments of its population at least, and I'm pretty sure the sort of nobility that breeds an army of hunks on their private islands can dabble with the second.  As for the third, I'd like to remind everyone that Voltar is a backwards, feudal society, which historically liked to limit their breeding partners to their fellow nobles, which tends to cause problems in the long run.

Last on the list is, oddly enough, CATAMITES, and Monte declares that the "stupid fuss surrounding catamites is a cover-up in itself."  Then he gushes, as previously mentioned, about how grateful he is to Dr. Crobe for restoring his sanity by revealing that Monte was oral-erotic, and promises that as soon as this book is printed, he'll be seeking out Har from several chapters ago "and importune him or blackmail him or anything and force him to let me do it to him every day."  This would make more sense if we'd ever established that Voltar didn't have homosexuals until Lombar brought psychology to it, or that there was a "fuss" surrounding them instead of catamites existing under the radar and grossing out the Countess Krak whenever she ran into one.

Monte wraps up the first section by repeating Crobe's assertion about Heller, who is not only a schizophrenic for being Jettero Heller and the Duke of Manco, but someone who had even more names, and therefore identities, while he was on Earth.  A "schizo-schizophrenic," in other words.  "THE WHOLE OF THE VOLTAR CONFEDERACY HAS BEEN GUIDED FOR NEARLY A CENTURY BY A MAN WHO IS COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY CRAZY!"

Oh, let's forget for the moment the imagined successes of the Confederacy during that period, since they are hardly to his credit.  That Voltar, since he took over as Crown, has never lost a war is simply a tribute to the Army and Fleet, and wars have been few, remember that!  And let's not harp upon the fact that Voltar has never in her history been so prosperous internally: when everybody is employed and working cheerfully, you can't help but have prosperity.  His popularity doesn't count, for it is based on the fact that he is never in the news and there are no investigative reporters around to tell people the TRUTH!

I know that we're supposed to automatically assume the opposite of whatever Monte says, but is it really realistic to attribute all of Voltar's successes, even its economic prosperity, to our book's hero?  I can get the military stuff, 'cause Voltar's armed forces are incompetents who don't have access to Heller's hax advanced tactics and devices, but when was Heller put in charge of the economy?  What reforms did he make in that sector?

At any rate, Monte rants, with many capitalized words, that Heller is a madman denying Voltar the benefits of Earth's various delights, but reminds us that there's still time to restore the sacred inviolable-except-when-they're-violated invasion timetables and invade Earth.  He does so with a two-and-a-half page song.

What, you thought you'd make it out of here without one last example of Hubbard's lyrical genius?  Except if you decide the song sucks, in which case it's a satirical parody of bad music.

O Earth, O Earth, you luscious globe, 
You beckoning, wine-fat treasure-trove, 
You whet our hunger as you spin 
And lure us with your wealth to win. 
You saved my life with your PR. 
I triumph now without a scar! 
Your spy techniques are quite sublime 
And can be used to undermine. 
And who could think but to extol 
Your psych and psych for mind control. 

Which incidentally also cured me
Of my disregard for sodomy
But it's still a good tool for oppression
If my mind it also... freshened?

Who would refuse to cut their fug 
If offered some divine Earth drug?

...What the frak is a fug?

Who can deny that men will drool 
For just one shot of good white mule? 
And no musician would heed sneers 
If he had Punk Rock to drown their ears. 

110 worlds in the Confederacy and we've heard nothing from these aliens but the sort of musicals that were popular in the mid-20th century.  And on our one primitive planet we've come up with sounds and songs that blow their minds.  I'm actually okay with this.

And who, pray tell, would show aversion 
To lovely butt and mouth perversion? 
And Earth, you number in your riches 
Sex that converts girls to (bleepches). 
Did I say sex? Oh, you excel! 
Sex is the thing you do so well! 
Never has such concentration 
Been levelled at self-gratification! 
Nowhere else in the universe 
Did anyone dream that sex came first! 

Yeah, we saw all this on Voltar before we got to Earth.  Nice try, though.

We thank the Gods that you are weak 
And believe so well when your leaders speak. 
We praise to the Lords your internal squabbles. 
We'll just step in and grab your baubles! 
It is so nice you can't unite, 
For you won't offer any fight. 
We are so thankful for your schisms 
Brought on by all your social ISMS. 
For all your wealth, you stand around 
And eat suppression, finely ground. 

This is stupid.

Monte wrote the story we just read, so he knows about how Earth was when Heller got there, but he's disregarding the changes Heller made before he left - how Heller deposed the Rockecenter world-running conspiracy and gave the country over to the mob, or how Izzy turned the world into a collection of corporate states.  For all we know, the planet has been bought up by Weyland-Yutani or Wal-Mart to usher in a new era of blissful consumerism a la Battlefield Earth.

Not that the author bothered to tell us that when he had Monte conjecture-exposit what happened to all of Heller's Earth friends.  But from these verses, the author is negating everything his obnoxiously perfect hero did! 

Your leaders lead you to the slaughter. 
You're as easy to rape as a poor man's daughter! 
So we'll throw you on your back 
And insert-

Aaaaand now it gets creepy.  You can read the whole thing on Mission Spork Uncensored, but the song abruptly takes a disturbing turn into some sort of slave-rape rock epic.  It's really quite astonishing: the author starts with a lame reverse "ode" to Earth's "virtues" like psychology and spies, then goes and undermines any sort of goodwill we had towards Voltar by describing in lurid detail how it would conquer and brutalize us.  So we're left with two disgusting planets, except one regularly conquers other planets, but we're supposed to side with that one over our own?

Ugh.  There's too much of this to do in one sitting - tune in next time as we wrap up the final chapter.

Back to Envoi III-xx-xxi

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