Super #SJW Man Chapter 12
MARSHALL B. RICH, III LIVES HAPPILY EVER AFTER…
[These Super #SJW Man posts are chapters from a book originally published in 2019. For the table of contents and introduction, click here. Previous Entry: Chapter 11, in which Super #SJW Man Goes back to Being Marshall B. Rich, III]
After Marshall B. Rich, III left behind his super-woke activism, everything mostly went according to plan for him. Thanks to his intellect, hard work, and the extra time he got as a purportedly disabled test-taker, he was able to get a sufficiently high score on the G.M.A.T. to get into Harvard’s M.B.A. program — well, that, plus his diversity statement about his life’s journey as a “queer” political activist, which wowed the admissions committee.
While at Harvard, he made contacts with big-time deal makers around the world. Even before he had graduated, he was able to join in a handful of very profitable ventures through his growing network.
In spite of his rigorous studies, he also continued to maintain an active role in managing his investments, and by the time he graduated, he had expanded his real-estate portfolio to include several housing projects and other Section Eight rental properties in low-income neighborhoods throughout the Southeastern United States. While these slums were horrible to live in, they nonetheless generated a significant cash flow, with which Marshall continued to expand his holdings.
After graduation, he moved to San Francisco and opened a hedge fund with one of his classmates. He bought an incredibly expensive house in the ritzy Pacific Heights neighborhood and drove a flashy new Audi, just like his dad. As a nod to the idealism of his youth, he put a Downtown Boys sticker on the bumper of his car.
Marshall proved to be a financial wizard, and he became extraordinarily wealthy as a result of Carl-Icahn-inspired hostile takeovers and shareholder activism. He ignored the unpleasant consequences of his business schemes: once-prosperous businesses left drowning in debt, requiring round after round of layoffs and cutbacks just to stay in business. This was all unfortunate collateral damage. Marshall was able to ignore it, because he and his hedge fund had already moved on to newer and better deals by the time these negative consequences appeared.
For Marshall, the ends justified the means. He might have left a trail of wreckage behind him in his quest to become a big-time billionaire, but by making a literal killing through his financial schemes (a literal “killing” because a large number of “deaths of despair” in flyover country could be attributed to the aftermath of his deals, which destroyed small-town economies), he was able to finance important liberal causes.
True, people would have called his business style “vulture capitalism” if he had been a Republican. However, Marshall managed to avoid this criticism by remaining fashionably left-wing. He hosted posh fund-raising galas for Democratic candidates, and in turn, he was able to call upon several big-time state and national politicians any time he needed to get something done.
One day, while he was on a business trip to New York, he decided to walk through City Hall Park. As he ambled past a fountain, he noticed a gaggle of protesters holding signs and chanting insults about New York’s mayor. A wild-eyed, dirty-looking man with long, tangled hair stood at the front of the small assembly, barking into a megaphone.
Marshall paused and took another look at the man. He looked strangely familiar.
The protest leader turned around and caught Marshall’s glance. A look of recognition suddenly passed between them, and the man pointed and asked, hesitantly, “Super #SJW Man?”
Marshall nodded and replied, “Captain Wokeness?”
The man smiled and gave Marshall a thumbs-up. Marshall jogged over to his long-lost friend and they hugged each other.
“What’s new, man?” asked Captain Wokeness.
“What isn’t new?” asked Marshall, laughing. “It’s been forever since anyone called me ‘Super #SJW Man!’”
Captain Wokeness turned to the other protesters and, pointing at Marshall, yelled, “This is an old friend of mine! Marshall Rich, better known as Super #SJW Man! He’s the one who gave me the name ‘Captain Wokeness!’”
The protesters cheered.
Marshall smiled, but he was beginning to feel uneasy. Memories of his arrest and of seeing his apartment building on fire reminded him that there was no going back to the world of Super #SJW Man. Also, Captain Wokeness stank horribly, like underarm sweat and stale beer. Marshall couldn’t wait to get out of there.
“So great to meet you!” Marshall yelled. “With Captain Wokeness as your leader, you will change the world for sure, starting with the current mayor’s administration. It is so encouraging to see you out here, holding the mayor accountable!”
Captain Wokeness nodded. “This mayor is outrageous! He gives these huge tax breaks to banks and hedge funds to get them to move to New York, but then he taxes the hell out of ordinary working people!”
Marshall’s eyes widened and his smile started to fade, but catching himself, he forced a big grin and pumped his fist in the air.
“So what are you doing these days?” asked Captain Wokeness. “Are you still in New York?”
Marshall shook his head and replied, “No, I’m in” – he thought about it quickly and decided to lie about his current whereabouts – “I’m in Austin, Texas. I fly out this evening, actually.”
“We should get together before you go!” cried Captain Wokeness. “We got a lot of catching up to do!”
“I’d love to,” said Marshall, “but unfortunately, I can’t. Give me your number, and I’ll hit you up the next time I’m in New York.”
Captain Wokeness recited his telephone number, and Marshall pretended to type it into his phone. He had no intention of calling his former friend ever again.
Marshall put his phone back in his pocket and said, “Well, I got to run!” He shook hands with Captain Wokeness, waved encouragingly to the protesters, and walked briskly away.
As he exited the park, he felt bothered by a sudden sense that Captain Wokeness was following him. He stopped and whirled around abruptly, startling a couple of nearby pedestrians. He felt a surge of adrenaline as he prepared to run away quickly, but Captain Wokeness was still standing in front of the fountain, with his attention completely on the demonstration.
Marshall felt like he had seen a ghost. His heart was pounding rapidly. He breathed heavily, as if he was gasping for air. Although he usually preferred to walk when in New York, he decided to hail a taxi.
During the first few blocks of the ride, Marshall continually cast nervous glances behind him, just to reassure himself that Captain Wokeness was not on his trail. Throughout his business meeting, he fought feelings of dread, and when he left the meeting, he halfway expected his former comrade to be waiting for him outside.
It wasn’t until he was seated on the airplane, with the plane taxiing out of the gate, that he was finally able to relax.
After takeoff, he looked down at the city lights below and watched them until they grew dim and disappeared. He breathed a sigh of relief and leaned back in his chair.
Marshall sipped a scotch and soda and swallowed it slowly, savoring the taste. He held the drink in front of his face and shook it gently, causing the ice to clink against the glass. He stared into the swirling liquid, and his mind drifted back to the crazy days of Team Woke.
He shook his head and chuckled. Life as a yuppie is much better than life as a hippie or a hipster, he thought to himself. Much better.
[Return to the Table of Contents.]
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Marshall is going to do so much more for the Dem Party than Super #SJW Man!