Magazine article American Journalism Review

Message from the Lower Regions

Magazine article American Journalism Review

Message from the Lower Regions

Article excerpt

In a literary coup long to be remembered, AJR herewith brings to its readers a previously unknown portion of The Screwtape Letters, the great classic by C.S. Lewis, which appeared half a century ago. We will not reveal the source of the manuscript except to say that it was discovered by a loyal reader under some smoldering brimstone. Herein the Devil, in yet another variation of his many disguises, again speaks to one of his chief agents.

My dear Wormwood,

Excellent. You are doing things just right. Keep confusing their little minds in every way you can.

Whenever these abominable bipeds up there on your wretched spinning orb are terribly discouraged, we have the upper hand, and with a hot pitchfork in it. Or, as they say in the earthly business schools (whatever they are), we maximize our options.

Keep the main objective always in mind, ignoring all distractions: Kill news and news creatures. Every plan should flow from that. Once we have succeeded, newsless bipeds will be our slaves.

When I sent you up there I told you to start by scaring the heaven out of the top corporate bipeds. Make them scratch around in a frenzy, pulling up all their roots.

You got off to a great start, thanks to me, of course. When I got my minions in the securities houses to push them on the quarterly earnings reports, you popped them with that newsprint thing and made them think their margins had caught fire. Now most of them are so preoccupied with quarterly reports that they've forgotten all about their eternal reports. …

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