A Conversation with the CEO (kind of): His “Autobiography”

Posted: September 27, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

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Mary Ann took a quick glance at the book I dropped onto the table and practically cackled with glee. “Ooooo,” she murmured, “My favorite book! Yes, let’s talk about this!” I figured now was just as a good a time to drop my first logic bomb on her. I had to move very slowly, otherwise, as most of the employees do, she would end up getting angry, start hurling a few insults at me, and abruptly stalk off. This always seems to happen when I try to discuss the CEO and his organizational policies with any member of his organization. Either this or they flat-out ignore my questions. So much for open-mindedness, huh.

I took a long, drawn out breath and with as much calm I could muster, laid out the bait, “I’ve heard this book is the CEO’s autobiography. Is that true?”

Mary Ann looked at me quizzically. I don’t think she was expecting the question, to be honest. “Well…,” she averted her eyes, fussed with her hands a bit, then continued “Yes and no…, I guess.”

“Yes and no? How is that even possible? Either an autobiography is entirely true, or it is not. A biography, the same. There are rules to publishing, and truth in writing is one of them when the book declares itself as a retelling of someone’s life. Otherwise, that’s called “fiction.”

Mary Ann narrowed her eyes at me — it was barely perceptible, but I’m very observant. She opened her mouth to speak, but clamped her teeth together as she struggled with what she said next.

“Well, here’s the truth. It isn’t exactly the CEO’s autobiography, technically…”

“Yes, I know, which is why I asked. I know about writing and I know how writing works. I understand genre, literary device, plot, characters, and all the elements of writing. So, when I asked you if you believe his book is an autobiography, you answered ‘yes and no’. It can’t be both. Either it came directly from his own thoughts, pencil, paper or whatever he chose to use to write  his words down, or it didn’t. Which is it?”

Mary Ann continued briskly, “Well, if that’s how writing works, then I guess it really can’t be considered his “personal” autobiography…”

“How so?” I pressed her for clarification.

“Technically, it was written by several different authors.”

“Where they all sitting down together — you know, like a TV or movie script writing session – and collaborating on each others’ work while your boss was giving them his lines?”

“No, not really. They all wrote their own material, sometimes hundreds of years apart from each other, without ever meeting.”

“Where did they get the information from anyways?”

“Well, they ‘borrowed’ elements of stories from other stories…”

“WAIT — what? Borrowed? Isn’t that a euphemism for ‘plagiarized’?”

Mary Ann flinched. “Wait, no – I didn’t mean they stole other people’s works.”

“You just said these writers–scribes as they are always referred to–borrowed bits and pieces of stories from other cultures. How is that not plagiarism?”

She fell silent for a minute as she heard, perhaps for the first time, the logic of my argument. Regardless, she continued.

“It’s not plagiarism!” she insisted, “It’s the word of my CEO. It’s as simple as that. There is no other way to explain his auto–” I cut her words off.

“Let  me see if I have this correct according to your organization’s philosophy.”

“Okay, go ahead, I’m listening” Mary Ann folded her hands over her lap and straightened in her chair.

“Feel free to interject if I’m missing something, or have something wrong, okay?” She half-smiled, half snarled back at me. I pulled the pin on the logic hand grenade and lobbed it onto the table.

“Even though your organization claims this book is the word of your CEO, it wasn’t actually written by your CEO himself. Therefore, it isn’t an actual autobiography. Correct?”

“Okay, I’ll give you that one.” She acknowledged, “Next?”

“This book was written by several different men, from several different locations, at several different moments in time, over the course of approximately one thousand years. And they were all describing events they never actually witnessed first hand. Right?”

“Yes, correct again.”

“And The stories within this ‘autobiography’ were pieced together in some places using bits and pieces of stories from other cultures. Am I still correct?”

“Uh huh…” she admitted shyly.

“Then, if everything is as I just explained it, what does that tell you about this book being nothing more than a bunch of non-collaborated. non witnessed events put down on paper? A bunch of –dare I say it — myths? How is this book any different than all those stories about Greek gods?”

“But…it’s the word of my CEO passed down to all these men! That’s what his book is all about. It’s a guideline for behavior. This is his book, given to the world, to help us navigate through life, and tell us how we should act and treat others. It truly is the best book ever written, whether he wrote it himself, or some other men did. How are you not understanding this?”

I picked the book up off the table. I opened it to the first chapter. I read the first sentence: “In the beginning…” I put my finger on the line, looked up at Mary Ann and said,

“Okay, let’s try another approach. Let’s talk about the content itself. Maybe we can find some middle ground here…”

creation-image

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Comments
  1. hitchens67 says:

    Written by, and translated repeatedly inaccurately AT BEST, by human beings. No shred of proof to anything it claims and is among many other religious doctrines that have just as much credibility.

    Like

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