If you’re not up to speed on current events, Martin Shkreli is the smug CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals. He decided to raise the price of a drug that treats toxoplasmosis from $13.50 to $750 a pill because somehow that’s a perfectly legal thing to do in our country. Toxoplasmosis is a nasty disease that can be especially problematic for people with weak immune systems, like AIDS sufferers, chemo patients, and pregnant women. It’s caused by Toxoplasma gondii – a parasite commonly found in your cat’s litter-box, because cats hate us. The drug costs about a dollar per pill to produce.
People were understandably outraged with the 5000% price increase, launching a nationwide debate about the current state of US biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and Shkreli was quickly labeled “America’s Most Hated Man.”
But perhaps we’re being unfair. As Shkreli himself pointed out:
“…I think in the society we live in today it is easy to want to villainize people, and obviously we are in an election cycle where this is very tough topic for people and very sensitive. And I understand the outrage.”
Well, I don’t want to villainize Mr. Shkreli. It would be incredibly base of me to “villainize” such an upstanding citizen. It would also be base of me to point out that an overnight 5000% price hike would be “sensitive” whether or not we’re in an “election cycle,” but alas. Besides, Shkreli has done a fine job of villainizing himself without my help. No, I don’t want (or need) to villainize. I want to profit off of supervillainizing Martin Shkreli. I too have a deep love for unbridled capitalism, and I know an opportunity when I see one.
Here’s my proposal: I want Mr. Shkreli to help me write The Official Guide to Supervillainy. The guy has it down to a science, and what possible use is science if you can’t profit off of it? Superhero stuff is everywhere nowadays, and it’s making bank. Age of Ultron raked in more money than the collective GDP of thirteen countries, which is incredible considering nobody hiked the price of a movie ticket from $13 to $750.
With my subpar knowledge of comics, film, and literature, and his subpar ability to be worth more than a single-celled organism, Martin Shkreli and I are a profitable match made in heaven. So, Mr. Shkreli, if you happen to read this, please consider the following character fla… er, strengths, that illustrate why you are the perfect supervillain to help me write a runaway best seller.
We’ll get the obvious out of the way first – that name just sounds downright evil. Supervillainy is less a choice than it is a destiny with a name like “Shkreli.” It ranks up there with names like “Dr. Doom,” “The Green Goblin,” and “Donald Trump.” “M. Shkreli” would be such an appropriate thing to write in blood at the scene of a heinous crime that I’m surprised Banksy hasn’t done it yet just to be relevant again.
“It’s actually a great thing for society. Think it through.” – Martin Shkreli
Every great supervillain is egomaniacal. A truly evil nemesis needs to believe he or she is the greatest thing since sliced bread to justify the terrible things they do. Lex Luthor thinks he’s superior to Superman and should lead the world. The Riddler believes he’s more clever than anyone else. Martin Shkreli believes he is a hero for demanding all the money from sick people. If there’s one thing that Martin Shkreli loves more than Martin Shkreli, it’s Martin Shkreli in a polo.
Shkreli enjoys Twitter-bragging about himself and the expensive booze he drinks so much that he created a second account just so he could appreciate his wealth from a different perspective. Martin Shkreli has masturbated to so many pictures of Martin Shkreli that simply catching a glimpse of his own reflection in a window gives him severe blueballs or, more accurately, an uncomfortable phantom sensation where his testicles used to be.
“I hope to see you and your four children homeless and will do whatever I can to assure this.” – Martin Shkreli, allegedly.
The Joker is such a great character because he’s completely psychotic and will do anything to inflict pain and suffering on his enemies. If your eyes just got all misty because you related so much to that last sentence, you are Martin Shkreli. After he was fired from his previous company for being a corrupt little shit, Shkreli allegedly threatened the family of one of his former coworkers for being treated so unfairly. The former coworker claims that Shkreli went so far as messaging his children on Facebook to tell them how horrible their dad was. If that’s not psychotic, then we have at least a few apologies to make to Ted Bundy.
When asked how he sleeps at night being such an awful person, Shkreli replied, “Ambien.” Ha ha! You’re pretty funny for a twisted sociopath, Shkreli!
“Ain’t my fault” – Martin Shkreli
A good villain needs to be a three dimensional character with at least a few relatable traits. You can’t just have some cookie cutter sociopath with zero personal relationships hanging around being a dick to people – that’s just lazy writing. So I did some digging to discover some info on Martin Shkreli’s love life, since there’s nothing more relatable than romance. Unfortunately, God is a lazy writer and Martin Shkreli really just seems to be a cookie cutter sociopath with no personal relationships hanging around being a dick to people, because I couldn’t find anything. Probably because a man’s only excuse for boinking Martin Shkreli would be rigor mortis, and a woman would have to die from a flibanserin overdose before even considering it. For the sake of his microscopic needle-penis, he better pray no one hikes up the price of that drug.
I was thus forced to take some creative liberty in constructing some romantic intrigue for Martin Shkreli. I think it would add some great layers to a complicated supervillain character. Here’s just one possible scenario:
Martin Shkreli sits on his three thousand dollar futon, dressed in a pig costume and clearly exhausted from a long day of pushing old ladies into traffic. Only the promise of a passionate, sensual night, along with the itchy pig costume made by three impoverished toddlers in the Philippines, keeps him awake.
Suddenly, David Cameron, Prime Minister of The United Kingdom, enters the room. A smile flashes across Cameron’s face upon seeing Shkreli in such a wonderfully crafted pig suit.
“Hello, little piggy…” Cameron whispers with a warm smile.
“Oink, oink!” Shkreli replies coyly.
“And with these new profits we can spend all of that upside on these patients who sorely need a new drug, in my opinion.” – Martin Shkreli
Ah yes, greed. The defining motive behind everything Martin Shkreli does. If you’ve ever seen those Youtube videos of a guy hooking a dollar bill to fishing line and tricking people into chasing it around, Martin Shkreli is the dude in the background patiently waiting to shoot the person and steal the money if they ever catch it.
Shkreli defends his horrific greed by saying the profits will be used on drug R&D so they can create a better drug to treat toxoplasmosis, which is an admission that he would make a dying man in the desert pay for a sip of water from a six gallon jug and tell him “Excellent, we’ll use these profits to find a better way to hydrate! Come back later!”
Faced with overwhelming hatred, Shkreli finally said that he would lower the price of daraprim, and we can expect that new price to be announced in… a few weeks. Judging from Shkreli’s horribleness thus far, I’m betting the price will go from $750 to $749.99. Hell yeah, capitalism!
So, in closing, I personally invite Martin Shkreli to join me on this grand literary venture. Together, we can profit from the simple fact that he’s a sentient pustule dislodged from the diseased taint of Satan himself. It’s all okay as long as we make money, right?
Who knows, maybe it will be adapted into some really shitty blockbuster! Kaching!
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