Chatting with a friend online, we got to talking about all the old cartoon shows we used to watch, like The Transformers (a cartoon that proved that Americans can compete with Japanese animators!), GI Joe and HeMan. HeMan reminded me of this satire letter to skeletor.
First of all, many thanks for taking time to read this letter. I appreciate that your schedule is pretty packed with evil and evil related activities and that your time is precious. I’ll try not to take up too much of it, but I really do think you need to hear what I have to say.
I, like a large number of other people on the planet Earth, have watched with amusement for the past twenty years as you have repeatedly tried and failed to infiltrate and conquer Castle Grayskull and gain access to it’s legendary “secrets”.
Yes, you read that correctly Skeletor: “Amusement”.
Because while I appreciate the thought, effort and sheer dogged enthusiasm which go into your takeover bids, your apparent inability to spot the numerous and often gaping flaws in each and every one of them is laughable. I’m sorry, but it had to be said.
Take, for example, Fakir. You remember Fakir, don’t you Skeletor? The clone you made of He-Man? On the face of it, the plan was brilliant. Flawless. You managed to create an exact duplicate of He-Man using just the power of your Ram’s Head Staff, who could just walk up to Grayskull, knock on the drawbridge and gain entry. Victory was assured.
Or at least it would have been had you not given Fakir blue skin and orange eyes. I mean – what were you thinking there? I can only assume this was a frankly astonishing oversight on your behalf. The real He-Man doesn’t have blue skin or orange eyes, Skeletor, so in order to be truly effective, nor should an evil double. An identical duplicate should be identical to the thing it’s a duplicate of. The clue’s in the name. It’s just common sense.
Speaking of which, why do you insist on surrounding yourself with idiots? Okay, I appreciate that Beast Man and Trap Jaw are some scary looking blokes, but what real help have they been in your war on Eternia? They might mean well, but they haven’t contributed anything useful in two decades, Skeletor. Not a single thing. Even with employment law being so strict these days, any other employer would have found an excuse to dismiss them long before now.
It’s not as if you even like them, and I’m sure they can’t be brimming with job satisfaction either. I’ve had some shitty jobs in my time, but at least no boss of mine ever shouted “Fools!” at myself and my colleagues before shooting at us with lasers. I read somewhere recently that over fifty percent of people who get fired from a job go onto find higher paid employment in their next job. They’d probably thank you for sacking them in the long run.
And what about your strong right arm, “Evil” Lynn? Look at her name written down. You’ve just been pronouncing “Evelyn” wrong all these years, haven’t you? Surely even you can’t expect the Masters of the Universe to lay down their weapons and cower before someone called Evelyn? Particularly one who doesn’t even have the confidence to correct people who say her name wrong.
Your recruitment policy is utterly ridiculous. Take Tri-Klops – okay, so he has three eyes, but how’s that going to help defeat the mightiest man in the universe? At best it’ll just afford him a better view of He-Man’s massive fist as it connects solidly with his head. Likewise Ju-Jitsu – that big hand he has isn’t a useful special power, it’s just a big hand! He’s deformed! While I applaud your policy on employing the disabled, you shouldn’t fall into the trap of believing their disabilities will actually aid your nefarious schemes in any way. Elephantitis is not a valuable addition to your arsenal of evil.
And surely when you employed the two-headed Two-Bad you realized that each half of him spent every waking minute punching the other half in the face? Why didn’t this put you off? Why didn’t it start alarm bells ringing? Couldn’t you have just found a single headed person who would spend their time punching someone else in the face instead? Someone else who it would actually benefit you to have punched in the face? An employee who spends the entire working day physically harming himself is a liability, no matter what line of business you may be in.
And what about Stinkor? Jesus, Skeletor, you hire a guy just because he smells bad?! You think henchmen of that calibre are going to give you some kind of advantage over a man who can lift a mountain with one hand?
I dunno, it just seems to me that you’re deliberately shooting yourself in the foot by hiring these people. You’re attempting to conquer a planet and rule it with a fist of iron, Skeletor, not start a circus. It’s like you want to fail or something. There’s probably a psychiatric term for it, but I don’t know what it is.
Assuming you do genuinely want to succeed, my suggestion is a completely clean slate. Start from scratch. This time round though, I recommend you pick your staff based on their intelligence and skills, not by how outlandish they look. If a guy turns up for interview with green and purple striped skin and metal wings, try to find out what abilities he has rather than just offering him a job on the spot.
And when I say “abilities” I mean useful ones. Sit down and make a wish list of skills and attributes you think will genuinely increase your chances of ruling Eternia. I’d be surprised if “mental command over fish” is on there, so retaining Mer-Man’s services will be largely unnecessary. Again, he may be resentful at first, but he’ll be relieved at no longer having to worry about being thrown headlong into a pit of lava when he inevitably makes his next blundering mistake and will soon come to accept the benefits of no longer working for you.
Once you have an effective team in place, pay attention to what they have to say. I know this goes against the grain, but even with the buffoons you have working for you now disaster could have been averted time and time again had you only listened to them when they pointed out the obvious holes in your plans.
Like the machine you built to turn people to stone and bring stone things to life. Even Beast Man knew that one was an accident waiting to happen, and sure enough fifteen seconds later the machine was going crazy. What thanks did Beast Man get for pointing out the dangers of your latest contraption? A lightning bolt to the feet. He was only trying to help. How long did it take you to devise and construct such a machine, Skeletor? Longer than the four seconds it took He-Man to defeat the giant statue you brought to life with it, I’m almost certain.
Read the rest on your own.