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Squid #503
(published September 9, 2010)
Ask the Giant Squid: The Propaganda of Claire
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?

Dear Giant Squid:

Is Claire going to miss me?



Once again I am called upon to prognosticate, rather than to advise. Will Claire miss me? Will I win the lottery? When will my Prince Charming have had come? I am not the magic(k)al eight ball, Dear Readers, some device to be shooken and shaken and forced to foretell—because, generally, I decline to be. Not because I cannot be. Perish the thought. Little is beyond my ken, apart from that which I will have had determined will (or will have been) of little interest to me.

Fortunately, for you, such will not have had been the case in this matter, as I happen to have had known Claire (it was the 'e' that denoted it as such), and thus have opinions in this mater, which I have decided I will deign to allow to assist you.

I knew Ms. Luce quite well. I was, in my youth, quite the handsome squid and thus, unsurprisingly, in the 1970s I was often asked by student organizations to pose for informational literature, such as the following:

Work which I had to abandon when the collegians—ever the balanced and well-thought-out lot, a quality which I believe has been the case with college students throughout history—expressed a desire to follow up their crazed right-wing propaganda with crazed left-wing propaganda attacking Claire and her husband Henry with accusations that they had used his Time Magazine as a front for Catholic attacks on birth control (baseless claims—although he had used his time machine for such attacks, which is why Senegalese Brazil will have had suffered such a terrible population explosion by 2015, despite their powerful performance on the football pitch). All of this because of Luce's membership in the innocuous Knights of Malta; what can a rational being do but shake of the headsac at the pity of it all?

Unfortunately, I could not accommodate the fair-minded college radicals their request because I had done work for Ms. Luce in the past, mostly as part of a propaganda effort she and her husband had concocted for the government to use during the War:

I feel this is an especially good likeness of myself:

Also, and I would loathe to give the impression that this tainted my judgment in any way in the matter, but Mrs. Luce insisted that if I should permit myself to be used as model in any such propaganda, she would publish a series of risque photographs for which I modeled in the Roaring Twenties, when I was young and foolish and needed the money, and thus engaged in the execution and documentation of delicate acts that are now deemed illegal by two separate sections of US Code, Agriculture regulations, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, and HIPAA. In my defense I was young and inebriated, and also enjoyed the experience and the money it paid, and everyone was consenting, apart from those who did not survive or were inanimate to begin with, and neither of those groups had power of attorney, so the entire matter was mooted. Let us speak of it no further, accept to offer an apology to the shipwrights of the RMS Lusitania, the families of her crew, and the spirits and gods holding dominion over the souls of those poor damned tars, and to reiterate that I regret nothing (apart from what happened among the waterlogged manifolds of that broken liner, Lords have Mercy on the Shapeless Void where once dwelt my Soul).

At any rate, we (being both "me and the reasonable college students" and "me and Claire Boothe Luce," as well as "me and the Light of All that is Good and Sacred") had a falling out, and I never again appeared in political illustrations.

Will she miss you? I cannot say. She is long dead, and even angrier than you might imagine. Will she remember? Suffice it say, Ms. Luce forgets nothing. As she herself noted, no good deed can go unpunished.

The Giant Squid

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see other pieces by this author | Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid? Read his blog posts and enjoy his anthem (and the post-ironic mid-1990s Japanese cover of same)

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