As students prepared for the the start of the school year saddled with thoughts of buying textbooks, billionaire McGraw Hill III was boarding a plane from a remote grass landing strip in northern Brazil, where he spent the summer personally chopping down hundreds of thousands of endangered trees in the Amazon rainforest.
When reached by phone, Hill said that although he has enough money to hire workers to destroy trees, he personally chops down trees to get a “sensual, lingering pleasure from hearing endangered wood split and die, knowing that it will be used to profit off helpless college kids.”
Hill said trees from the Amazon are unlikely to be used for textbooks, though, adding that ravaging the forest was a “purely symbolic” warning sign to textbook competitors and students alike.
“Those folks at Houghton Mills must be shitting in their goddamn shoes,” Hill told The Black Sheep. “Listen, we’ve been doing things at McGraw Hill that aren’t likely to change even after I’m long gone. Listen up, kids: Everywhere you turn, I fucking own you. If you want to take Intro to American Literature, you get on your knees and ask McGraw Hill for permission. When you sleep and dream of a world without McGraw Hill, McGraw Hill stands above you with a hardcover edition of Principles of Economics waiting to bust your skull in.”
Before boarding a plane, Hill reportedly threw a lit cigar into a pile of wood prior to laughing manically as a fire spread across the dry exposed land, killing several dozen residents and displacing thousands, according to sources on the ground.
Wild behavior like this has become characteristic of the textbook heir. In the fall of 2009, Hill was believed to be behind an elaborate scheme which involved students purchasing discounted textbooks from a third-party retailer, only to find the pages smeared with human feces, thought to be Hill’s himself.
Front of the books were hand signed, “DON’T FUCK WITH ‘THE GRAW,’” a phrase found in small print in most McGraw Hill textbooks.
“You take a dump on the McGraw Hill name, on my daddy’s name and his daddy’s daddy, and you get a dump on the house, courtesy of McGraw Hill,” Hill wrote in an New York Times editorial published later that year.
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