The giant screen imposes on your small-time sensibilities. Your lack of individuality mingles well with the thousand-plus crowd of slaves herded together. A familiar image of an old guy with a plain face greets you from every screen, poster and standee. He is clad in a tailored suit, the kind your father could never afford. From a certain angle, you guess he looks destiny-bound. But add a sliver to the side of his mouth and…Pure evil!
He is the founder of your slave-driving machine. Today, off course, is ‘Founder’s Day’. Most slaves are in a different mood today. Some are visually happier. This is probably because this is the one day you get paid without typing anything or staring at a back-lit screen. Some are anticipating better food at the event. Some are still indifferent. You…are trying to guard against the onslaught on your psyche. By now, the Old Man’s face is more familiar to you than that guy on the currency notes (…whatshisname?). With each passing year, the legend is pushed beyond the realms of possibility. If you are not discerning, after a couple of cycles of this propaganda, you will start believing your galley is God’s gift to mankind.
As the final session ends with the third video montage to his Greatness, your Founder, there is a surge of energy through the captive audience. As they hum along the corporate anthem, there is an eerie Big Brother feel to the whole affair. You hope the compliance is out of anticipation of complimentary refreshments at the end of the show and not out of subliminal mind control.
The buffet counters open to a wave of hungry subjects that carry you outside the hall/Panopticon. You can’t take this Orwellian nightmare any more. You hurry out with an imaginary Thought Police on your back. As luck would have it, you trip over a standee of the Old Man. As you lie on the floor, face to face with greatness. You realize he is just another old man, perhaps less anxious than you but very much mortal. You stand up and walk out, leaving the Old Man on the floor.
Finders keepers losers weepers