PLANK JULY 23, 2012
The release of The Dark Knight Rises, and the return to the screen of Bruce Wayne, has reminded us that fictional rich men love playing politics just as much as real ones. Wayne and his moneyed pals, after all, helped fill the reelection coffers of hope-and-change district attorney Harvey Dent like it was a party at George Clooney’s house. Following are seven more fictional millionaires re-imagined for the real world.
House Lannister: The Koch brothers
The richest family in the land, House Koch of Casterly Wichita has used their staggering fortune to maintain an iron grip on countless members of the ruling class. Some of the realm’s most powerful men owe their success to their largesse. In their lifetimes, sons Charles and David have expanded the reach of their father’s small empire beyond his wildest imaginings. Less lucky is the outcast son, Freddie, who lives off the Koch name but has failed to succeed according to the expectations of the family patriarch.
Mr. Burns: Harold Simmons
Although Mr. Burns’s preferred method for dumping nuclear waste is burying it in a local playground, in his own words, “All those bald children are arousing suspicion.” As a plan B, he might consider donating millions of dollars to legislators so that they’ll rewrite Texas law and license him a privately-operated nuclear waste dump. That’s what his real-life counterpart Harold Simmons did—and it’s worked out pretty well for him.
John Hammond: Foster Friess
If Foster Friess, crocodile hunter, could bring fantastic Jurassic creatures to life through the miracle of genetic engineering in order to hunt them for sport on a remote island off the coast of South America, does any part of you doubt that he would?
Scrooge McDuck: Karl Rove
He spends his days swan-diving into piles of gold coins that he hordes with a ferocity found only in Disney villains, and so does Scrooge McDuck. Don’t believe us? The coffers of Karl Rove’s super PAC, American Crossroads, are bursting with more than $34 million in political donations, but the group has spent only $2 million so far. (That is, until Rove is visited by the Ghost of Republican Victories Future.)
Jeffrey Lebowski: Sheldon Adelson
A wrinkly fossil who is existentially horrified by anti-capitalist bums without jobs, The Big Lebowski would make a fine sugar daddy to Newt Gingrich—a wrinkly fossil who is existentially horrified by anti-capitalist bums without jobs.
Peter Weyland: Peter Thiel
Paypal founder and Ron Paul backer Peter Thiel is known for a few quirks, among them a desire to find the cure for old age. Peter Weyland, the megabillionaire CEO of Weyland Corporation, shares his passion—so much so that he launches a giant ship into the vastness of space to search for humanity’s origins in Ridley Scott’s latest film, Prometheus. Thiel is also a big-time backer of the Singularity Institute, which, in the words of George Packer, is “preparing for the moment when a machine can make a smarter version of itself, and aims to insure that this ‘intelligence explosion’ remains ‘human-friendly.’” Weyland created a chillingly human android named David. ‘Nuff said.
George Bluth: Bob Perry
Both are wealthy homebuilders based in the American West and are so reclusive that they have been known to hide in the attics and crawl spaces of their model homes for extended periods of time. I’ve also heard unformed rumors that Perry is looking to diversify into banana stands.
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