I read an article the other day that touted mid-life and beyond as The Age of Mastery. That may well be, but after reading about the latest scams, one right after the other, I'm beginning to think we're all living in The Age of Scammery.
Just yesterday over on The Smoking Gun I read about James Frey and his book, A Million Little Pieces which was heavily promoted on Oprah last year and currently in a rerun of the episode. Apparently, research has been done, and the end result suggests that A Million Little Pieces should add Of Fiction to its title.
Geez! If they gave an award for scam, fraud, and flim-flam, the nominee list would be exhaustive and cover every strata of life from the bozo who created the Nigerian letter fraud twenty-five years ago to James Frey today. Literary fraud is nothing new. The one that comes to my mind immediately is the Howard Hughes - Clifford Irving scam back in the seventies.
Want a sampling? You've got Carty, the former airline muckety-muck who paid huge bonuses to management at the same time he negotiated with the unions to reduce pay and benefits for workers because the airline could not afford it. You've got the whole Enron rogues gallery along with a half dozen other corporate bozos of the last few years; Martha Stewart who acted on insider information and then lied under oath; priests; Scientologists in France charged with fraud; pharmaceutical companies that covered up negative medical trials information; tobacco companies that hid research; scientists who faked data; schools that faked test results, etc. There's even a whole group of people who swear the moon landing was faked, but that's a blog for another day.
The list is endless which is probably why presenting a trophy for the biggest, fattest liar is an impossible task. Still, if an award is ever created, I think all nominees should gather in a central location, walk the red carpet in their expensive suits and evening gowns - while all of those who've suffered because of their fakery lob rotten tomatoes at them.
Unless these people would like to give up their millions, personally making restitution to everyone who lost income, sleep, and optimism because of them.
They'd still get bombarded by tomatoes, just not rotten ones.