The AHM has had its greatest triumph in book publishing. Book publishers may assure investors that they are just as greedy as any other industry; they may even believe it; but a look at how publishing houses are run makes it clear that they are, to a great degree, pursuing the AHM agenda. For example, no other industry consistently and purposefully, without embarassment and even sometimes with a sense of triumph, manufactures products which it knows will not sell.
The continuing success of The Jack Pack, AHM’s chapter in the book publishing world, is based on coordinated efforts on many fronts. For example, aging hippies in book marketing will factor into their market studies an asset they call “prestige,” and assign a value to it that, supposedly, will be realized in future profits. The widespread belief that if you share drugs with an author he will settle for a cheapo contract is due to the diligent efforts of aging hippies in book publishers’ editorial departments.
Of course, The Jack Pack has the advantage that publishing is more tolerant of aging hippies than other industries. Many aging hippies in publishing have found that they are able to come out, to a certain extent, without negatively effecting their jobs, allowing them openly to promote the aging hippy program.
For example, when asked by a youngish editor pressing buttons on the coffee machine in the staff lounge, who did he think they’d choose to take Arthur’s place if he retired next year, which he’s suppose to, an aging hippy in publishing might feel perfectly safe in replying, “I don’t think about that stuff. It’s the Now that counts.”
Other AHM chapters, however, while not yet defunct, are seriously moribund. The Tennessee Jarheads, AHM’s chapter in the insurance industry, met with such fierce antagonism in 2009, during the battle over health care, that it was forced completely underground. Aging hippies in insurance have found that the only safe way to communicate with other aging hippies at work is through picture postcards sent while on vacation. While the greeting will be the same on every card, something like, Wish you were here? Well, you’re not, there will be subtle differences in the pictures on the postcards which a vacationing aging hippy sends to colleagues who are and are not fellow aging hippies.
I have to boast here that my own AHM chapter, for academics, The Paper Pushers, also has had some remarkable successes – and in the face of a much more formidable resistance than The Jack Pack has had to put up with.
One of our neatest little tactics, known as the birdsong program, is to insert into academic papers, either our own or those of others, the sentence, “You can’t think and listen to the birds at the same time.” The effect is subliminal, granted, but our hope is that it will prove cumulative, as well.