The Stan Sigman Experience

The world of mobile telecommunications was shocked this morning to discover that former AT&T Mobility CEO Stan Sigman is not the man people thought he was.

Just 12 hours after the event honoring his induction into the Wireless Hall of Fame and his rambling 5-hour acceptance speech, Stan Sigman was revealed to be not a man at all but a piece of performance art.

Speaking to gathered media, San Francisco performance artist Julian Leflaunt said that for the past 40 years, he has been playing the part of “Stan Sigman” as part of a piece entitled “Corporate ‘Leadership’ and The Folly of the American Enterprise”.

“I created everything about Stan,” said Leflaunt. “From his horrible public speaking ability to his post-retirement goatee.”

Working as a Bell stockman the 1960s, Leflaunt says, he became aware of the vapid nature of our vaunted executive class.

“I was determined to show the CEO for what he was: a long-winded oaf concerned with nothing more than achieving personal glory off the back of the worker. These emperors of our economy have no clothes, I thought, and I set out to devote my life to showing them to the rest of the world as I saw them.”

Cleverly manipulating the bureaucracy at Bell, Leflaunt recast himself as “Stan Sigman”, the name being a play on “standard signal man”, which the artist says represented the conformity enforced by corporate America on the proletariat.

So his life’s work began. But then, Leflaunt said, something strange happened.

“As much as I wanted to hate him, I grew to love Stan,” he said. “My feelings for him as a rising CEO did not change — I still believed him to be the most useless of cogs in the capitalist machine — but as a person I found him to be sympathetic and even tragic. His love of golf for its moments of platonic camaraderie and closeness with other men, a closeness he always craved from his father but never got. His passion for quarter horses, driven by his recurring childish fantasies of being a cowboy on the frontier of the late 1800s. The more I rounded out his character, the sadder he became to me.”

Leflaunt admits that the piece got out of hand.

“I really had no intentions of carrying it on for more than 40 years,” Leflaunt said. “But I couldn’t stop. I needed to see how it ended! And then the iPhone deal just fell into my lap.”

Leflaunt was concerned the deal was almost his undoing.

“I was frightened that I had overplayed my hand at Macworld Expo in 2007,” Leflaunt said. “I wanted to deliver a truly dreadful speech, I felt that was important to the piece, but when I shook Steve Jobs’ hand after I was done, I thought I saw him give me a look. I flew home in a cold sweat.”

For his part, Jobs says he was completely unaware that the man he had worked with on the most significant product release of the decade was an utter fabrication.

“I had no idea,” said a disbelieving Steve Jobs. “I mean, one time he was chuckling in the middle of a meeting for no discernible reason, but… wow. Incredible. My hat’s off to him.

“Anyway, this totally voids our exclusivity deal with AT&T so… Verizon iPhone in January.”

Asked what he will work on next, Leflaunt says he plans on taking his first vacation in 40 years, claiming the others were in character so they don’t count. Then he plans to devote time to cat memes on the Internet.

“That’s where all the cutting-edge work is being done nowadays,” he said.

329 thoughts on “The Stan Sigman Experience”

  1. Unfortunately, Zombies do count as meat, and for those keeping score, are not kosher.
    Everyone, please take note of this, and act accordingly.

  2. Two questions:

    1. Can Zombies be vegetarians? If so, what does that mean in their quest for brains? Can they eat the brains of other vegetarians? Not being a vegetarian, I’m confused.

    2. Why aren’t Zombies kosher? (For bonus points: Is there such a thing as a Jewish Vampire?)

  3. 1. Yes, because my brain turned to cauliflower years ago.

    2. Zombies are from hell, and therefore have cloven hooves. Honest (come on – you know you’ve never looked at the feet properly). So they aren’t Kosher.

    Bonus point: Yes. He’s called Sir Alan Sugar.

    [Yanks may want to insert the name of their own favourite Jewish stereotype celebrity in the preceding sentence. But clearly not ‘Jud Suss’ or ‘Der Ewige Jude’ (no matter how tempting the ‘undead/eternal’ link). Then, once this post reeks faintly of ‘ironic’ anti-semitism, John will be forced into coughing up a *new* post at long-bleedin-last.

    Coming soon: I make ‘ironic’ fun of ‘the disableds’…]

  4. BroMu,
    Do our Cousins know of Sir Alan Sugar?

    I have one distinction concerning Sir Alan. Some idiot broke into my flat in Camberwell and stole an Amstrad amplifier. Must have had a minus IQ.

  5. I looked Sir Alan online; marginally informative.

    And as a member of the tribe, there’s nothing ironic about it. (Even moreso if you say “about” as if you’re Canadian.)

  6. Genius. I have a Canuck among my physics students and every lesson is enlivened by his attempts to phrase sentences while avoiding that word, less we waste a good 5 minutes of the lesson singing obvious South Park songs. He’s getting quite creative.

  7. Woopes. The Zombies stole the ‘t’ from ‘lest’. And stuck an extra ‘s’ in. Bastards.

    In fairness, I was fending off my 3 year-old monkey who wanted to see if the snowman that had ‘magically’ appeared in the garden (yeah, magic powered by daddy-sweat . . . man those things take some rolling) had similarly vanished. Just before bedtime.

    Some of her delaying tactics are really lame.

    Of course the ladies might ask what I was doing posting during my children’s bedtime. To which I say some of my avoidance tactics are really lame.

  8. See? And I split an infinitive in that last one.

    I hope Santa’s not watching.

    Night night…

  9. Combining some of those things: I hope you’ve been able to avoid the Canadian export children’s cartoon Calliou. My nearly 3 year old is obsessed with it. The argument between her and her 11 year old sister about the Calliou obsession last night notwithstanding. But it is funny to hear the little one say “No! My not obsessed!”

  10. It’s equally funny to hear a 3 year-old say “But *why* doesn’t mummy have a soul, daddy?”

    And will be funnier still if said 3 year-old mentions my wife’s unfortunate condition (diagnosed after throwing out some of my ‘tatty old’ 2000 AD magazines without telling me) to anyone at the nursery on Monday.

  11. The Zombies were one of my favorite bands in the sixties. Who was the brains of that outfit? Rod Argent? Where is he now? Was he eaten by the other band members? Enquiring brains want to know.

  12. Rod had the occasional pint in the King of Denmark in Wimbledon along with Danny Thompson, Marc Almond and occasionally, me. The Public Bar was a mass of “grass” smoke but a sacred musicians bar. The Police always used to raid the Saloon Bar and bust the teenagers for spliffs.

  13. BroMu,

    I’m more worried about her repeating the more salty language employed by me and the Missus while driving. She already knows that a yellow light means “drive like a lunatic.”

  14. Never had the misfortune to meet the CIA mob, although fellow Geordie Knopfler used to live just down the road in Camberwell for a while. Hmmm. Wonder if he nicked my Amstrad?
    It was the Wimbledon branch of the Peelers involved.

  15. I remember getting Hawkwind tickets as a new teen (for about £3.50 . . . ugh… Mind you, my mum didn’t let me go in the end anyway, perhaps understandably given I was just 11 and she still had to sew my patches on my pristine denim jacket) and my (much) older mate who got them asking if I wanted some extra, even cheaper tickets, for ‘some new band called The Fuzz or something’.

    No, says I.

    About 30 years on, there I am trying to scrape together about £150 to get within eyeball range of the buggers.


  16. BroMu,

    I imagine you’re aware that it’s pointless to try to reason with a 3 year old.

    But it might be more successful than trying to figure out ways to get Moltz to post again.

  17. Guys.

    Let’s face it, I’m useless as a web master. If anyone else has the time or expertise to figure out how to fix this, email me (moltz at a pronoun-themed domain owned by Apple). I might have time to look at it on Monday but zero promises because… c’mon.

  18. Hah – skiver.

    But whither the Mega-Post-Is-Dead-Or-Is-It-Finally-Really-Dead?

    I too am useless as a web master.

    As, curiously, was ‘The Master’. Even in ‘Web of Fear’.

    Possibly because he wasn’t in it, but there you do.

  19. The Mega-Post is dead? Perhaps it’s just pining for the fjords?

    Thanks, I already have my coat.

  20. So, Mr. Moltz has a day job…

    That would mean he works for a living, right?

    Well, that shatters all my illusions about the Brains Under Glass being the sugar daddies of the web.

  21. Ace,
    Keep believing.
    Mr. Moltz would never let us down, especially as he has a number of UK worshippers now.
    He would never forget the person who sent him The Guardian all that time ago, when he and CARS was mentioned.
    Thank you, Oh Gracious One.
    *Crawls away, making gestures of obeisance towards the West*

  22. Or, alternatively, he has a number of UK worshippers now . . . and we know where he lives.

  23. Perhaps the Moltz would consider article submissions from his loyal followers?
    Now where ever could we find some of those…?

  24. I have an article I’d like to submit.

    It may need to be surgically removed afterwards, however, lest the wound go sceptic.

    Ew – sceptic.

    Along with rancid, one of the more evocative words that English has given the world.

  25. Ahhh, bless – they have Mohawks n’stuff.

    That’s so . . . Sound of the Suburbs.

    “…when I got bored I call coo-ee to the passers by
    And when they look up – I gob in their eye!”

  26. More good news. Not only does Private Eye have an occasional Apple Fanboy cartoon called iBore but BBC has a television Impression Show that semi=amusingly deals with Bill Gates’ reaction to staff owning iPhones and iPads at Micro$oft’s Headquarters.

  27. I’ll be getting the Private Eye annual from my mum, as usual (took over from the Beano a while back). I’m after this year’s Coleman Balls also, just to spice things up a bit.

    What will our Trans-Atlantic Cousins be hoping Santa brings them?

    Other than a new post from that skiver Moltz, of course?

  28. Santa owes me fifty bucks. I hope he takes this opportunity to settle up, or I’ll have to send my small army of dwidgets after him.

  29. You are lucky Ace, owing to European Union Air Traffic Regulations, Santa is missing all EU addresses this year. Rudo;ph’s Red Nose shines forward, so can only be accepted as a Port Light, if it is offset at least one and a half metres from the centre line of the sleigh.

    That, however, does not avoid the problems of ground, including roof landings, which are subject to Ground Vehicle Rules that Red Lights can only be displayed to the rear. Unfortunately reindeers do not keep their levitation abilities in reverse.

    A paradox? Can Del help?

  30. Nxxx, while I’m sure Del would be able to cook up something in her lab (literally or otherwise), are you sure you’ll be happy with the results?

    If you get the opportunity, you should watch the Simpsons Christmas special (just aired in the US this past Sunday). Funniest show they’ve done in a long time.

    I’m not pining for any particular gifts. Due to a “special” birthday this year, I treated myself already.

  31. Why do you think Del can help you with a pair of ducks, Nxxx?
    She seems to specialize in the furry creatures, not feathered.

    Although there’s a first for everything…

  32. I treat every new birthday as ‘special’ now, Steve.

    Indeed, ‘remarkable’, given my intake of MSG and chocolate.

  33. Live without MSG? Possibly. Without chocolate?

    It’s not life as we know it Jim.

    (Note: Largish number with zeroes approaching.)

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