And product placement is good for your bottom line. Unless, that is, you're AOL Time Warner, and your bottom line is already redder than a baboon's ass. McManus leads the Muslims into Em City, where he declares to all and sundry that Hill's freshly published magnum opus is the greatest work of literature ever conceived by man, and that purchasing a copy for yourself will remove five pounds from your waistline, add two hundred points to your SAT scores, clear up your complexion, cure any nagging illnesses you may be suffering from, and instantly cause men, women, and sheep to become overwhelmingly attracted to you. Good God, people! All right, look. I understand that HBO is a business, and seeing as how they do provide us with a large volume of admittedly excellent entertainment, I'm certainly not inherently opposed to them making a few bucks while they're at it. But this whole fucking plotline has been nothing a giant commercial, and it's really starting to get on my nerves that they're not even trying to be subtle about it anymore. I mean, what's next? Miss Sally teaming up with the ghosts of Cloutier and Cutler to sell silver polish? Schillinger shilling for sea shells down by the C-Block? Just fucking show Timmy drinking a Heineken with the label out and be done with it already. Jesus Christ! It gets especially bad when the Muslims distribute free copies to all the inmates, and even Redding overcomes his Augustus-related guilt to solemnly accept a copy. Ahh, Crackhead Cosby. Ever the consummate pitchman, that one. He wanders off, singing quietly to himself. "Picture pages, picture pages, now it's time for picture pages. Time to get your pens and your crack pipes!"
Print shop. The same guy (I think his name is Reggie) who was so good at telemarketing last week is now having an endless series of problems with what appears to be some kind of bookbinding machine. Random Muslim A tries to get Arif to come help him out, but Arif is too busy being concerned with all the money they're losing because the Amazon pre-sales are eighty percent below expectations. It's also probably safe to replace "being concerned" with "acting bitchy" in that last sentence, should you find yourself so inclined. "With all due respect to Kareem Said," Arif says, "taking on Hill's book pro bono wasn't exactly a sound business plan." Heh. Try running a website, why don't you? Or even a major media conglomerate, for that matter. It ain't as easy as it looks, kids. Random Muslim B suggests lowering the wages they pay to slightly beneath minimum wage, but Arif refuses, saying that doing so would defeat the entire purpose of the operation, and reward the godless capitalist oppressors who just want to keep a brother down. Random Muslim A responds to this by throwing his arms in the air and shouting, "No blood for books!" at the top of his lungs. Okay, not really. But he might as well have, because his assertion that Arif is refusing solely because he wants to humiliate Burr Redding is no less nonsensical.