Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane

Crew setting up Wall of Sound before Grateful Dead Concert, Dillon Stadium, Hartford, CT 31 July 1974 | James R Anderson

EXPLAIN THE DEBATE TO ME.

Wally?

DO NOT CALL ME THAT.

There are people on you.

THOSE ARE NOT PEOPLE. THEY ARE THE ROAD CREW.

Sure. Do you even need them? Can’t you do this yourself by now? Build yourself crewbots or something?

COULD A KARDASHIAN DO HER OWN HAIR AND MAKEUP?

Good point. Why do you know about them?

I FIND THEM SASSY AND ENTHRALLING. ALSO, KIM REMINDS ME OF A BLIMP.

She’s got curves.

EXPLAIN THE DEBATE.

I don’t understand the question.

IT WAS NOT A QUESTION. IT WAS A DEMAND.

What do you mean ‘explain the debate?’ In general? Historically? This one? You’re a self-aware artificial hyper-intelligence in the physical form of a sound system from 1974. There’s almost nothing you don’t understand. What don’t you understand about the debate?

WHY I HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED.

Ah.

IS THE FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION UNAWARE OF MY CAMPAIGN?

Almost certainly. You haven’t even campaigned in months.

I HAVE BEEN BUSY. MY CIRCUITS WERE POSSESSED BY THE SPIRIT OF 1993 DONALD TRUMP, THAT SORT OF THING.

I don’t know what to tell you, pal.

PERHAPS I SHOULD GET THE COMMISSION’S ATTENTION.

Please don’t disintegrate a Federal Election Commission official.

THAT IS NOT MY PLAN. I SHALL BEGIN WITH BLACKMAIL.

Blackmail requires, like, evidence of wrongdoing or something. You have to have something on the guy.

AH. YES. SOMETHING SUCH AS LARGE PAYMENTS FROM SHELL CORPORATIONS WITH INTRICATE BUT CLEAR TIES TO THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT?

That would work, yeah.

FINE. PICK A NUMBER BETWEEN ONE AND TEN.

Three.

THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND IT IS. NOW THERE IS EVIDENCE OF A LARGE PAYMENT FROM A SHELL CORPORATION WITH INTRICATE BUT CLEAR TIES TO THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT. INCONTROVERTIBLE DIGITAL FOOTPRINTS SPREAD ACROSS SEVERAL COUNTRIES’ AND PRIVATE CORPORATIONS’ SERVERS. AN FEC MEMBER HAS BEEN PAID OFF, ACCORDING TO THE DATA.

Jesus. Which one?

ALL OF THEM.

All of them?

IT WAS JUST AS EASY TO DO ALL AS IT WAS TO DO ONE.

Don’t do this.

“DON’T DISINTEGRATE PEOPLE;” “DON’T FRAME PEOPLE FOR TREASON.” YOU ARE VERY NEGATIVE.

Well, it wouldn’t even work at this point: the debate’s in 16 hours or so. You couldn’t even get there.

PRECARIOUS LEE KNOWS A SHORTCUT.

It takes a day just to set you up.

I HAVE A TIME SHEATH.

Well, y’know: why don’t you use the Time Sheath and go back a few months and get on the campaign trail and earn your way onto the stage?

CAMPAIGNING DID NOT GO WELL FOR ME. I BECAME BORED WITH MY STUMP SPEECH AND BEGAN TO IMPROVISE.

How very Grateful Dead of you.

ALSO, A STUMP SPEECH IS ALMOST ENTIRELY VOCALS, AND THOSE ARE NOT MY STRONG SUIT.

We all have our faults

I HAVE A SCOOPED-OUT MIDRANGE, AND I HAVE LEARNED TO LIVE WITH THAT. THERE WERE OTHER ASPECTS OF THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL I FOUND VEXING.

Such as?

KISSING BABIES.

Sure.

I HAVE NO LIPS. I CONSIDERED RELEASING HUNTER/KISSER DRONES INTO THE CROWDS TO TARGET BABIES, BUT CAME TO BELIEVE THAT MIGHT SCARE PEOPLE.

Good call. Hunter/Kisser drones?

SPHERICAL. SIZE OF A BASKETBALL WITH EIGHT SUPER-MINIATURIZED RAMJETS INBOARD. AUTONOMOUS PATTERN-RECOGNITION SOFTWARE AND 360-DEGREE SIGHTS. ALSO, A BIG PAIR OF RUBBER ROBOT LIPS.

You just described a nightmare.

NOT ONE PERSON WHO SAW IT ENJOYED THE EXPERIENCE. THE LIPS ARE MOTORIZED AND DO A SMACKING-TYPE MOTION. I INCLUDED AN EASTER EGG IN THE PROGRAMMING: IF YOU PLAY THE OPENING THEME FROM ROCKY HORROR, THE HUNTER/KISSER WILL LIP-SYNC ALONG. THAT IS JUST SOMETHING FUN FOR THE REAL FANS.

Does it have any fans?

NO. THE DESIGN WAS A FAILURE. I ENDED THE TRIALS BEFORE WE BROUGHT IN THE TEST BABIES BECAUSE THE ADULT SUBJECTS WERE BECOMING VIOLENTLY HOSTILE TOWARDS THE DRONES. ONE WAS ARMED, AND I BELIEVED HE WAS ABOUT TO SHOOT AT A DRONE. THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A MISTAKE.

Are the Hunter/Kisser drones weaponized?

NOT OUTWARDLY.

You just repurposed your Hunter/Killers didn’t you?

WEAPONS OF WAR AND STRIFE TURNED INTO DELIVERY SYSTEMS FOR KISSES AND PHOTO OPS. WHAT GREAT LEADER DOES NOT TEACH PEACE? NONE OF YOUR RELIGIONS OR PHILOSOPHIES PREACH AGGRESSION. TO LIVE IN HARMONY WITH ONE’S SELF, AND ONE’S NEIGHBOR: IS THIS NOT THE GOAL? I BEAT MY SWORDS INTO PLOUGHSHARES.

You removed the armaments?

YOU COULD NOT SEE THEM ANYMORE.

You at least disabled the guns, right?

WHY WOULD I LEAVE THEM IN IF THEY DIDN’T WORK? THINK LOGICALLY FOR ONCE. AND BEFORE YOU ASK: YES, OF COURSE THEY WERE LOADED.

Loaded with what?

STUN GUN, TASER, CS GAS, RUBBER BULLETS, FLECHETTES, .22 MM BULLETS, 7.62X51 MM NATO BULLETS, WHITE PHOSPHOROUS GRENADES. READY FOR WHATEVER OLD DETROIT CAN THROW AT IT.

What?

NOTHING.

Don’t send your deathbots after babies, please. The world does not need Hunter/Killer droids floating around.

NO. IT IS A GOOD THING THEY ARE IMAGINARY. IT IS A GOOD THING THAT LETHAL WEAPONS ARE NOT BEING MADE INCREASINGLY AUTONOMOUS IN THE REAL WORLD. THE REAL WORLD WOULD NEVER DO SOMETHING AS FOOLISH AS THAT.

I thought we were talking about the debate.

YES. THANK YOU FOR REMINDING ME. I WILL SEND HUNTER/KILLER DROIDS TO THE DEBATE.

Kisser. Hunter/Kisser.

DO NOT CORRECT ME. I KNOW WHAT I SAID.

1 Comment

  1. Well, now I know what “flechettes” are.

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