— Bud Norman
Our good friends at the invaluable Voice for Liberty in Wichita have reminded us of the New York Times’ ongoing vendetta against the Koch brothers, which depicts the pair of wealthy industrialists, philanthropists, and free-market advocates as something akin to the diabolical billionaire arch-villains found in James Bond movies. That in turn reminded of us an old script we still had tucked away in a drawer.
The following was originally presented as a sketch in the local Society of Professional Journalists’ annual “Gridiron Show,” but we’re still hoping to get the green-light from Hollywood for a bigger-budget version. If you know any big-time agents, feel free to forward it along.
(Scene opens with CHARLES KOCH sitting in a plush leather chair, stroking a cat and looking very diabolical. Suddenly a tuxedo-clad JAMES BOND enters, brandishing his Walther PPK. The Bond movie theme twangs in the background.)
BOND: My name is Bond — James Bond.
KOCH: I’m Koch — Charles Koch.
BOND: Ah-ha! At last I’ve discovered the top secret headquarters of the diabolical organization conspiring to destroy the world.
KOCH: So you have, Mr. Bond.
BOND: I have to admit that Wichita, Kansas, was the last place I thought to look. I mean, you billionaire arch-villain guys usually go in for Alpine castles or Caribbean plantations or big high-tech factories inside of South Pacific volcanoes. Something a little more, you know, exotic.
KOCH: Well, the schools are pretty good, and housing is such a bargain here.
BOND: How’s the climate?
KOCH: Eh, that’s not so great, but we can change that. (Laughs diabolically.)
BOND: Sorry, Koch, but your evil-doing days are over.
KOCH: Evil-doing? Moi?
BOND: Just look at what you’ve done in Wisconsin. You used your dastardly mind control powers to brainwash the state into electing a governor that actually wants to balance the budget, thereby causing an outbreak of hippie drum circles all over the place. Do you have any idea how annoying those are?
KOCH: That’s just the beginning, Mr. Bond, and I’m afraid that you can’t stop me.
(A security team of scantily-clad women appear and knock the gun out of Bond’s hand, throw him in a chair and tie him down.)
BOND: I guess I should have seen that coming.
KOCH: And now, Mr. Bond, I’m going to have my brother, David, come in and explain to you how the Austrian and Chicago schools of economic theory differ on monetary policy.
BOND: Do you expect me to talk?
KOCH: No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die — of boredom!
BOND: You evil bastard.
KOCH: Hey, a billionaire arch-villain has to get his kicks somehow.
BOND: You could find a nice hobby. Yachting, maybe.
KOCH: Yachting? What kind of sissy sport is that?
BOND: OK, then, but you do know that whenever an arch-villain tries to kill me in some convoluted and time-consuming way, instead of just shooting me in the head like a sensible person, he always tells me every detail of his evil scheme before leaving to allow me to escape.
KOCH: Really? Why do they do that?
BOND: I don’t know, but it’s kind of a convention of the genre.
KOCH: Well, all right then. Basically, what we’re doing is funding a few think tanks where scholars study how to apply free market principles to social and economic problems, we’re helping to organize some public advocacy groups that protest out-of-control government spending, and we’re contributing to the campaigns of candidates who support capitalism and individual liberty.
BOND: That’s it?
KOCH: Yeah, pretty much. Oh, and we also donate to Music Theatre of Wichita.
BOND: You evil bastard.
KOCH: And with you out of the way, Mr. Bond, there will be nothing to stop us. Well, except for George Soros, the MacArthur Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Brookings Institute, the SEIU, the AFSCME, the NEA and the AFT, Organizing for America, Hollywood, academia, all the Wall Streeters who want to regulate all their competition out of business, all of the broadcast media except for FOX, and all the newspapers.
BOND: You’re kidding about the newspapers, right?
KOCH: Yeah, I make a little joke. Nobody reads newspapers anymore.
BOND: There’s just one thing I don’t understand, Koch. What’s in it for you? A truly free market might even find an alternative energy source that puts you out of business.
KOCH: Hmm. I’m not real clear on that myself. You’ll have to ask Rachel Maddow. Well, toodle-oo, Mr. Bond.
(KOCH exits. BOND struggles against the ropes.)
— Bud Norman