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The Insider

Viewed 607 times 2019-11-13 02:54 |System category:News

  It's an open secret that the political system is chock-a-block with mealy-mouthed influence-peddlers bent on resorting to underhanded tactics,  spin doctors kvelling over their  blinding efforts to sway public opinion,  and craven foot soldiers gung-ho about doing their benefactors' bidding.  As a result, working in a world like this one , in which mud-slinging, subterfuge and personal rivalries  are the predominate forces,  is tough sledding.  Yet 李康锡, who is a character in a Korean movie called The Insider,  doesn't think so.

  In this movie 李康锡 is a managing editor and  columnist working at  The Capital, which is a conservative newspaper just like The Wall Street Journal in America. For most of us,  this job is truly a desirable one which gives you a chance to hobnob with high-octane heavy-hitters  and pen influential articles that help some venal politicians move the needle on government policies that are supposed to be detrimental to the well-being of the "booboisie"-it's a word coined by H. L. Mencken. 

  李康锡, who is a navel-gazer and bon vivant, is not satisfied. He hankers after  not just money and power. " I have a thing about totty," he tells a friend who happens to be a local toff.  To that end,  he goes to great lengths to butter up to  a deep-pocketed business and another posh politician who hopes to hold sway over Korean political system by becoming the president.  In the event, he makes it, forming  an alliance with the two cranks, going to bat for each other when they face headwinds.

  Here is how their cooperation works:  Hoping to bedevil their combatants and vitiate the current president's attempts to pep up the economy, 李康锡's tasked with the responsibility of crafting snarky  articles full of scathing criticisms of the president -you guessed it-with a view to inciting resentment against the president and his ilk.  Likewise, he's also told to write gushing articles featuring his chum' achievements in political circles-that is to say, he uses his column to sing the praises of the aforementioned politician. The business man's main job is to put up capital  for that politician to run for president; besides, he also brings in  cerebral acolytes who are  inclined to help that politician  get elected. And the politician's job is much simpler: all he has to do is find a way to boost up his popularity and burnish his public image, ahem, with the help of his two friends.

  What's more, seeking to bolster their deep understanding of each other, they often hold private  gatherings in the boondocks, where that business man has built a Xanadu-like mansion adorned with  floor-to-ceiling windows, glittering sconces and a  stage , with a group of nude girls standing at the center of the stage, waiting for the three high-rollers to pick out. Once they  have found  their mates, the three men simply shuck off  their clothes and ask the chosen girls to fondle their pot-bellied bodies publicly.

  Luckily for these female slaves, they don't have to serve the three arseholes in the rest of their life. One of their underlings, fed up with their brutality and holier-than-thou attitudes, decides to turn  himself in, proffering some evidence and pictures that enable the court to sue the three miscreants and get them nicked

  A happy ending, huh? Wait, to my knowledge, that might not be the case in reality, arghhhh, because such con artists or  swindlers like the three guys in this Korean movie have high-wattage friends who  have no trouble finding a way to let them off the hook. And it's commonplace for business men or even women to play ball with local bigwigs to score points  and rake it in, as an American journalist reported in his book featuring how business folk draw on their political connections  to purloin or plunder public assets without facing lawsuits. 

  Elizabeth Warren, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Bernie Sanders would call such business folk the enemies of civil society.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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