From the chapter 'Breaking News! Propaganda is Priceless', examples of internet media, television, talk radio, and the newspaper actually rang true in real life:
Headlines traditionally exist to neutrally communicate the gist of the story to your audience, and let them form their own opinions. Perish the thought of allowing your journalists to write their headlines in this fashion! Your headlines must sum up the story and impart a slight amount of bias in your favor.No matter what the political stance of the editors at your favorite newspaper or cable news network, the headlines are a reflection of what the hidden message is and different spectrums will have completely different headlines on the same subject (glass is half empty/half full kind of thing). The author, though, has political assumptions. If you rule via Democratic Socialism, you are generous supplying your people with free universal healthcare and welfare, preventing poverty, regulating business, and making everyone pay into a collective pot for all kinds of social benefits. If you rule via far-right Free Market Capitalism you are protecting the rich, beating down the poor, and if born into wealth you have a free pass to power. Of course, Ashcroft conjectures supervillains would choose anarchism.
If you can put aside politics, it was a quick and fun read. I liked it. Everyone loves a superhero and knows how to become one - just do the right thing all of the time. Being a supervillain requires vast amounts of planning, strategy, and a fair amount of chutzpah. It is funny that a typical get rich book will have many of the same elements as Ashcroft's fictional supervillain business plan. It makes you wonder if some of the worst offenders simply followed this guide.
- Supervillain: The Concise Guide; by Ras Ashcroft
- 2012; Kindle version available
Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author, and any opinions are my own.