Late one night someone showed up at my front door. He was conspicuous for wearing a trench coat in 40 degreeC heat. He was pale and sweaty, looking as if he could pass out at any second and he stunk of sweat and fear. Furtively looking around the street, he whispered out of the side of his mouth “Gypsyman?” which surprised me. Nobody knows that identity except a trusted few.
I was about to reply that I didn’t know anyone by that name when he cut me off.
“Don’t be stupid” he said “Of course ‘we’ know who you are” He stopped and began to cough so hard that he doubled over. When I reached out to help, he waved me away with an impatient hand and continued. “There’s not much time, they may already know that I’ve run and with the information I know they’ll be after me.”
With that he stuck his hand into the pocket of his trench coat and pulled out some crumpled, stained sheets of paper. He passed them to me with trembling hands. As I opened them , I noticed there was a red sticky substance on a corner of the front page. Horrified I looked at him. “Cherry Coke” he said “That’s not important, just make sure people get to know what’s going on. They have to be stopped.”
He doubled over in a coughing fit again, pulled a large Canadian flag handkerchief from his pocket, and mopped his brow. He stood up and nodded goodbye. As he walked away I heard a slight jingling sound. He was wearing riding boot and spurs! When the door was closed behind me I thought I heard the faint sound of hoof beats retreating into the distance.
The contents of this highly secrete memo are short but shocking. I have decided the best recourse is to reproduce it verbatim. It sounds pretty far fetched but that’s part of it’s insidiousness. I only hope the people who have the power to do something about it will believe me. The date and location of where this letter was written was obscured by the spilled Cherry Coke. But it’s safe to assume it’s fairly recent, and probably originates from somewhere in the Ottawa area.
CC. Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Australian Surveillance Service(A.S.S.)
All appears well on track with our plans for undermining and controlling the ways in which American’s think and behave by insinuating ourselves into their mass culture. The method of not seeking out positions of obvious power, studio heads, producers and such, seems to be paying dividends as nobody is the wiser as to the nature of our program.
I don’t think any of us could have realized how successful this operation would become when we inserted our first agent back in the twenties. As the forerunner to sending over the big guns from Britain Mary Pickford was ideal. We knew that she had achieved her objective when she obtained the title “America’s Sweetheart”
It was Mary who brought Fay Wray on side for us. She had been born up in Alberta but had been brought up in the States. Mary was able to use a mix of promises and threats(Fay had a cow she had particularly fond of still living Back home. A single ground beef mention was enough)She had no problems carrying out her patriotic duty after that.
It was after the success of our two ladies that the Brits started to pay attention. We had a real struggle retaining control of the operation, what with them insisting that us colonial types were hopeless at running things. It was only when we threatened to pull the plug that they allowed us to stay in charge.
Their first wave of operatives hit Hollywood like a storm. Led by Larry Olivier they immediately began monopolizing screen time. Vivian Leigh although effective early, latter proved unstable and was threatening to expose the plot due to her relationship with an American actor and divided loyalties. We had to take steps to reduce her validity, hence her rapid mental collapse.
Aside from her the success of people like David Niven can’t be denied. With their suave manners and gentle speech, nobody would even dream of questioning their covers. The plot to subvert and stunt the growth of American Culture was off to a roaring start.
While the British field agents were in place, we were going ahead with our master stroke. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation(C.B.C.) under the guise of being a nation wide radio station(and then television broadcaster)became our key training facility. It was here that Lorne Greene was prepared for his mission. His success exceeded our wildest expectations.
Pa Cartwright’s and Bonanza’s influence can still be seen today in American foreign policy and the behaviour of their President. The popularization of the cowboy mystique on the television screen was our biggest single influence on the American psyche to that day.
We were so beyond suspicion that when Joe McCarthy started his investigation of Hollywood they went in the totally wrong direction of seeking out Communist influences. Not a single one of our people was touched. We were a little worried until they started blacklisting the people who could have actually prevented our success: intellectuals and thinkers.
Once the dust had settled we realized that we had succeeded in our attempts to ensure American mass culture would appeal to the lowest common denominator. They were scared of people who were not “plain spoken” or used words of more than one syllable. All that we needed to do now was ensure our continued control.
Fairly early on it was decided that Canada would emphasise television and the mother country would take care of film. There has been a little over lap over the years. as operatives have had to follow career paths that ensure their influence, but in general this division of labours has been stuck with.
We have ensured a steady supply of script writers and actors for the small screen, while the Brits have been able to supply some big guns for the films. But their biggest impact has come through the supply of raw material for American films. The James Bond industry; a high percentage of children’s movies(Harry Potter is only the latest in a long line) have all come from British novels.
With emergence of the Australians and the New Zealanders as forces in movies we have been able to expand our operations. Heath Ledger, Kate Blanchette, Hugo Weaving, and Geoffrey Rush have all made their presence felt on the screen of America. In fact it was a New Zealander who instituted one of our best special projects in years.
Peter Jackson in the guise of shooting an epic movie Lord Of The Rings brought a group of American actors under his direct influence for over three years. Aided and abetted by some of our abler operatives he was able to corrupt a variety of American stars. Viggo Mortensen’s outspokenness against the Bush administration dates from his time spent overseas.
Of course there has been previous success in cultural immersion projects before. Norman Jewison continually invites actors he works with back to his “farm” in Canada under the guise of relaxation and informal gatherings. While there he plies them with maple syrup and other intoxicating concoctions in an indoctrination effort.
But both of these pale in light of the results we have achieved through the deliberate devaluation of the dollar and intensive technical training programs for our operatives. Both Vancouver and Toronto have turned into major filming centres for movies and television. We have now had over twenty years to directly exert our influence on American popular culture.
We have reached the point where our continued dominance of the U.S. airwaves is assured. Rupert Murdoch’s Fox network is outlasting it’s founder’s demise; Canadian’s are anchoring newscasts all across the United States and our actors continue to make their presence felt across the networks. With eight Canadian ladies having important roles on prime time shows, both generation of Sutherlands working, and our ever present script writers still churning out most of the material produced, our influence is probably at it’s peak.
For that reason it becomes increasingly important that secrecy about this issue be maintained at all costs. While none of our operatives in the field are a worry, they all have family living in Canada, we need to monitor inside staff. Any leaks must be dealt with forcibly and immediately. Please ensure that this memo is properly disposed of so that it doesn’t fall into inappropriate hands.
Well there you are. I don’t know what kind of risk I’ve taken publishing this, but I can only hope that when it is read it is believed. What happened to my mysterious visitor I’m not sure, but there have been no reports of mysterious deaths in the papers yet, so it’s to be hoped that he has gone undetected.
Of course this publication may place him in further jeopardy (Alex Trebeck must be another one of their agents, having got his start at the C.B.C. doing high school quiz shows). Please don’t let that brave man have risked his life in vain. Wake up America to your real enemy before it’s too late.