And the Man They Called a Global Internet Strategist
Precarious At Best
Well it sounds like the man must be technical savvy. That could not be further from the truth. Internet is a strategic application. Our internet saves and kills many people. Our internet bypasses normal
“news outlets”. Our internet can help a run of the mill nurse do surgery in the outback of the Sudan. Our internet can cause freedom to reign in Egypt. Our internet will bring down the regimes of North Korea and Iran. We are talking some cool stuff here. It brought Vietnam out of Communism and into the UN.
Let us just say that this sad sap reporter hung out with a fellow who did this for a living. Met him in Nairobi first on a W.H.O. junket trying to get the govs to increase bandwidth to facilitate medical problematic issues. He had one of those scarves covering his face in a nasty sandstorm at a “radio” station. He was up on a pole bracing the techies legs so he would not fall off the tower. He had no business doing such stuff. So I clicked off about 30 pictures as the Americano’s death would bring news. Someone down below said the winds were at a hundred Kilometers an hour. He and the technician were laughing so hard when they hit the ground it was infectious.
No real good photos that day as they did not fall to their death but rather drank whiskey and smoked nasty cigarettes.
The next day was out of my league, in with a General of sorts swapping cash for favors I figure. Big old grins as they left the palace. I have no idea what was said but I know two more towers went up and guarded.
This fellow wore cheap suits of all colors and types. He had some vests he wore in 100 degree heat. I think it is called a fedora that was always on his head. On a flight “back” with him to Berlin I gave a 100 Euro to a guy to sit next to him. He was smoking a cigarette but not really. He said sucking on it gave him the same buzz. The crazy guy went into Greek Mythology about a guy named Edepous or something.
But what in the heck was he doing really. And why Berlin? His brief case had nothing in it. Seriously nothing except some deodorant and pen, pencil and a writing pad. I assume his check in had at least three suits. He kind of stank of Ethiopian food. But his bag already had a sauerkraut smell. Now that is just plain strange. I suppose if he was not strange I would have no story. He told me that the smell of the region was optimum.
So this guy ducks behind a pillar and grabs an innocuous taxi and then in 100 yards jumps out and is in a limousine. There was no way I could follow him, which I think was the point. But I am damn good at my job and flipped the drive – a lady some notes to follow the limo!!
Some kind of 5 star I could not even afford and drink at. But I went to the desk to inquire about this loose cannon and he had left me 60 for drinks and food. I reckon it was obvious he knew I was there. I was not to be deterred until security kicked me out.
A cheap joint across the street and I was on him early morning. New suit but no fedora. Something was afoot as he waved and looked at me. I was made for sure. But not shunned. Wait a second. The next stop was the Danish Consulate? I snuck in but had no clue. Then he came down some steps and told me to buy him lunch complete with beers. His story was off the charts about who he did business with. And he told me that it was not on the record until the cards were played, something from the “Gambler” by Kenny I think.
Well the cards got played and he was on the next flight to Houston. But only a stopover with a quick meeting and then on to Vancouver. Then back to LA and off to Taiwan. I was running real low on money. Somehow there was a ticket waiting at LAX with my name on it. Someone was wanting me to tag along, maybe even write about him but he was so secretive and I could not figure his angle. So he was headed to Hanoi and he grabbed my arm and said that he could break it with nobody noticing. By now I knew that was true. The man was out there above my thinking. I saw his tickets for Melbourne and Montevideo and knew I was only going to make it out alive with the truth. “Son do you know what I do?” “My job my friend is to kill. I kill for a living. I kill anything that stands in my way.
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“I kill all. I do not discriminate. I do not care who I hurt. I just destroy.”
A long thinking about dying there was for me.
But then the man said “I kill ignorance and will until I die”. You look for truth so here is a ticket to Melbourne let us chat. But son you cannot go where I go. But it is good you report where I go. My Asian name is Dr. Dierker and you are to accompany me with the meeting with the Prime Minister. But you only write and keep your damned mouth shut. We do not go here to demand we use wits in order to command. Better we listen than speak.
And so this wild story goes. Of course I am only the reporter and I have more tails to tell of this crazed international hooligan.
Now a global internet strategist cannot just use the internet to communicate. In fact that is a low priority. Though it is about the internet it really has to be about real handshakes, bows and even hugs. You may bow in Japan, hug in Russia, shake hands in England and none of the above in Vietnam. Africa is a mixture and you just have to judge the person.
Politics was the goal of the GIS. Get people to think that development was good for their power.
Religion almost played no role at all.
Money, sometimes bribes, played the biggest role.
Today people engage in political and religious debates on the internet. Ha ha in 2000. French people hated the bastardization of their language. English speakers sought hard to incorporate language from Hong Kong to London to Louisiana to Quebec. ASEAN is the Association of Southeastern Asian Nations. There official language is English. Pilots in the world use English as the control tower language. In 2000 if translation was needed the non-speaker was less than the other.
Indian English is British. Vancouver English is American – meaning not British and Australian English is a great mix. In Mexico English is Spanglish and in Brazil really some Portuguese thrown in. The poor GIS had to know how to say howdy in all languages. Oops “howdy” does not get said in LA or NY. So the GIS has issues as he flies from Taiwan to Washington DC or Washington State. Even the food changes. Ho Chi Minh City to Moscow will make anyone’s head spin.
Do not choose to be a GIS.