October 18, 2009

Shepard Fairey and the 4 Simple Steps to Becoming a Lying King

Shepard Fairey: "I state for the record that the AP is correct about which photo I used...and that I was mistaken. While I initially believed that the photo I referenced was a different one, I discovered early on in the case that I was wrong. In an attempt to conceal my mistake I submitted false images and deleted other images."

Why would Fairey make such a statement at this point? Perhaps because the only thing worse than being caught in a lie is, as his lawyers obviously informed him, being caught in a lie when that lie can be transformed into a criminal charge of perjury. At that point, the case against Fairey for stealing an image transforms itself from a question of money and damages into something that has actual jail time attached to it. Fairey saw the handwriting on the wall and that hand writing said, "1-to-5." At this point his mind concentrated itself and saw that there were -- at last -- possible consequences to being a Lying King.

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Richard @ The Belmont Club lays out "the four simple steps to becoming the Lying King — but a King nonetheless. And here they are:

"1. The first and most important thing is for the impostor to claim the motivation of revolutionary impulses. That way even those who know he is lying will think he is lying in a “good” cause. If the last refuge of scoundrels is the flag, the ultimate protective banner is the Red Flag. Hannah Arendt once wrote “Lies are often much more plausible, more appealing to reason, than reality, since the liar has the great advantage of knowing beforehand what the audience wishes or expects to hear.” Find the hole in your audience’s brain and drive your truck of manure through it.
"2. The second rule is to put forward the most extravagant claims. Don’t be half-assed about lying. The more extravagant the fib the better. A sufficiently resourceful fraud clears his path of unbelievers by sheer audacity alone. Tell a big enough lie and no one would believe you could be so bold. As the fictional Rudolf Rassendyl proved in the Prisoner of Zenda that it is better to pass yourself off as King of Ruritania rather than a minor noble. A minor noble may be questioned, but the King will not be. It is all or nothing. And given that no one wants to tug at the Royal Robe to see if it is real ermine, the fraudster often gets it “all”.
"3. The third rule is that when questioned, destroy the questioner. When impersonating the King be determined to have everyone who doubts your identity thrown in the tower for treason. Once you succeed in beheading the first challenger there will be no second challenges.
"4. The fourth rule is the most important. Avoid trying to bluff those who are too big to be faced down. What undid both Fairey and Ward Churchill was that they didn’t know when to stop their imposture. They finally took it too far. Fairey, who had been successful up to that point tried to bluff his way past a major news organization and failed. Ward Churchill was already a professor when he made his “little Eichmanns” speech after 9/11 unleashed a tide of outrage he couldn’t outface. If Fairey had not launched his poster and Churchill had not made his “little Eichmanns” speech, they might still be intellectuals in good standing."

From Belmont Club » Honest as the day is long

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Posted by Vanderleun at October 18, 2009 12:48 PM
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