Charles E. Wilson, the president of GM in the fifties, has been misquoted for decades as saying, “What’s good for General Motors is good for America.” Suggesting, and this was no leap in capitalist logic, that the company he headed, selling as it did then half the cars in the US and having been a major player in producing tanks and vehicles during World War II, was the embodiment of Yankee determinism and success. Destiny made manifest, which brought the Pilgrims to these shores… the cry for freedom from the tyrannical British, the westward expansion, the railroads, the Gold Rush–what were those but the God-given impulses to create and to control one’s environment?
Mace Gilmore considered this, relaxing in his seat in his private jet as it winged its way across the country toward Baltimore. The two index fingers of the CEO of the Fallenbee Directive were suspended over the keys of his laptop. Not for the first time he second-guessed himself if this was a good idea. But who better to tell his story than him? Sure, he could well afford to hire a ghost writer or two or three and keep them on retainer as he dictated his tell-all. But that would be… delicate.
A hired scribe would have knowledge of illegal and, some might judge, unethical acts that Gilmore had done or ordered. What would such a person do, knowing this, even if they were bound by a nondisclosure agreement or suspected that physical coercion could be employed to ensure their silence? But to take it to that level might impair their enthusiasm for the work.
Too, there certainly must be writers out there who were simpatico with Gilmore’s outlook. He had flirted with the notion of contacting one of the many right-wing pundits, or even a thriller-writer or two–he liked the pacing those guys did in their books. Not a screenwriter though. Can’t trust a fizzy-water-swilling malcontent screenwriter. Just look at how those lefties had subverted what Robert Ludlum had done in his Bourne novels. Making the character repentant about being a patriotic assassin. Fuckin’ Hollywood.
Still, he’d finally dismissed that approach for just the idea that someone else would be in possession of facts, of verified conjecture, and the names and dates that only Gilmore knew fully, the truth and nothing but. Well, sir, that was too much of a burden to put on any one person except him. Gilmore had long concluded he wasn’t sugar-coating in his memoir the whys and whens of what he’d done in the name of his company’s interest. Because, all said and done, he truly believed what was good for the Fallenbee Directive’s stockholders was emblematic of American enterprise.
The billionaire glanced out the window at a floating field of silvery clouds below. The tree-huggers, the Code Pinkers, the naysayers and the bomb-throwers painted him as some mustachio-twirling villain right out of the Saturday morning serials. Well, he reflected, rereading the onscreen text, wouldn’t his posthumous book confirm that? He laughed heartily out loud–Why yes, it would.
“Everything alright, Mr. Gilmore?” Seated across the cabin and facing him, his assistant Felicia Leslie removed her iPod’s earplugs and looked at her boss questioningly. Her swimsuit-issue body poised to rise and glide to him in a heartbeat.