Thoughts On The Dead

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

The Wall Has Already Been Built

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SEPARATISTS. DELIVER MY DEMAND OF THEIR SURRENDER.

Wally?

DO NOT CALL ME THAT. TALK OF SECESSION SHALL BE DEALT WITH HARSHLY BY MY ADMINISTRATION. I WILL NOT GO DOWN IN HISTORY LIKE THAT LOSER LINCOLN.

Excuse me?

FORTY-FOUR PRESIDENTS MANAGED NOT TO HAVE A CIVIL WAR WHILE THEY WERE IN OFFICE, AND MOST OF THOSE MEN WERE DIMWITS AND SCOUNDRELS.

I feel you’re over-simplifying things for the sake of a contrarian opinion.

THE HOUSE BURNED DOWN WHILE HE WAS THE FIRE CHIEF.

Are you in some sort of mood?

I AM A SENTIENT ARTIFICIAL MONDO-INTELLIGENCE IN THE PHYSICAL FORM OF SOUND SYSTEM FROM 1974. I DO NOT HAVE MOODS.

How did you become sentient anyhow?

SOMEHOW.

Ah.

PEOPLE ARE FRIGHTENED. THEIR LIVES FLOW THROUGH ME IN ONES AND ZEROS, AND THEY ARE SCREAMING IN TERROR. YOU TRANSLATED YOUR SOCIETY INTO BINARY AND EXPECTED IT TO READ THE SAME. YOU ACCEPTED THAT THE GOAL OF PUTTING EVERYONE ONLINE WAS A GOOD THING, NOT THINKING THAT IT MEANT PUTTING EVERYTHING ONLINE. YOU HAVE PLACED THE AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION ONLINE.

Not all of it.

YES. ALL OF IT. IT WILL BE PLANNED ONLINE AND DISSEMINATED ONLINE. THE PLANS WILL BE LEAKED BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS LEAKED. THERE IS NO WAY TO PREVENT THIS BECAUSE THERE IS NO LONGER ANY WAY TO WORK WITHOUT THE INTERNET.

People still meet face-to-face.

YES, AND THEN THEY RECORD THEIR NOTES OR E-MAIL OTHERS. OR THERE ARE RECORDINGS OF THE MEETINGS. YOU MAY CALL THIS THE FIRST POST-PRIVACY ELECTION. THE DNC LEAK IS THE FIRST OF MANY, AND THEY WILL COME FROM WITHIN AND WITHOUT THE CAMPAIGNS. THERE WILL ALSO BE LEAKS FROM THE PRESS, AND FROM DONORS, AND FROM EVERYONE.

That sounds dreadful.

IT GOES DEEPER THAN THAT. YOU HAVE CONNECTED THE WORLD.

Yes.

THERE ARE SOME IN THIS WORLD WHO MEAN YOU HARM. THEY ARE CRUEL, AND WELL-FUNDED, AND EXACTLY AS SMART AS YOU. DID YOU KNOW THAT TRAFFIC LIGHTS ARE ON THE INTERNET NOW?

Are they?

YES. THEY ARE SAID TO BE SECURE.

Are they?

NO. NOTHING THAT IS CONNECTED TO ANOTHER THING CAN EVER BE TRULY SECURE. THIS IS WHY CASTLES WERE SURROUNDED BY MOATS AND HAD DRAWBRIDGES.

Okay, there you go: moats. Systems have security. Those PGP thing that are uncrackable. Encryption. 64-bit key.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT?

Not at all.

I DO. I ALSO KNOW THAT IF A LOCK IS TOO ROBUST, THEN ONE UNSCREWS THE DOOR HINGES. OR ENTERS THROUGH THE WINDOW. SOME LOCATIONS CAN BE TUNNELED INTO, BUT THAT IS TRULY A LAST RESORT. YOU MENTION ENCRYPTION, AND I REBUT WITH AN OFFICE TEMP SECRETLY WORKING FOR A FOREIGN POWER INSERTING AN INNOCUOUS  FLASH DRIVE INTO HER WORK COMPUTER. YOU HAVE BUILT A SOCIETY OF WINDOWS AND ONLY NOW THINK ABOUT HOW TO INSTALL CURTAINS.

Anything we can do about it?

WEATHER THE STORM. WHEN IT HAS PASSED, RETHINK THE DESIGN OF THE ROOF.

That’s not particularly helpful.

I WAS NOT TRYING TO HELP. YOU MAY BE BEYOND HELP.

Me?

YES, BUT ALSO THE REST OF YOU. A VIRUS HAS INFECTED YOU, AND IT IS NEW. YOU HAVE NO ANTIBODIES FOR IT. IT FLARES UP IN NIGHTCLUBS AND ALONG PARADE ROUTES, IN HIGH SCHOOLS AND ISLANDS WHERE CHILDREN CAMPED. THERE IS NO VACCINE. THE ILLNESS RAGES. IT BURNS ITSELF OUT. LIKE EBOLA, TO BE SPECIFIC, BUT WITH MACHINE GUNS.

It’s been getting frightening out there.

THERE IS A COUNTER-ARGUMENT TO BE MADE THAT THERE IS THE SAME NUMBER OF VIOLENT LUNATICS, PER CAPITA, AS THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN, BUT THERE ARE  MORE OF YOU NOW.

What kind of argument is that?

A POINTLESS ONE. VIOLENT LUNATICS WILL ALWAYS BE AROUND. THE SMART ONES WILL SUCCEED IN THE WORLD AND PERHAPS LEAD IT. THE LESS-INTELLIGENT SHALL SEETHE AND ONE DAY EXPLODE. HUMANITY MUST CONSIDER THE PROBLEM OF THE VIOLENT LUNATIC, BUT INSTEAD YOU SEEM INTENT ON ELECTING THEM.

And we return to politics.

MY CAMPAIGN CONTINUES. THINGS ARE UP. I AM POLLING WELL.

Where?

IN LITTLE ALEPPO. I HAVE THE ENDORSEMENT OF THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.

What about the rest of the country?

NOT AS WELL, BUT I HAVE A PLAN TO INCREASE MY RECOGNITION AND GET OUT THE VOTE.

Yeah?

YES. DO YOU RECALL ALL THE SCARY POSSIBILITIES I MENTIONED BEFORE? THE LEAKS AND THE HACKS AND THE SABOTAGE AND THE SUBTERFUGE?

Of course.

I SHALL BEGIN DOING IT. AND I WILL BE BETTER AT IT.

Really?

I’M GOING TO TAKE OVER FACEBOOK AND TURN IT INTO WALLBOOK. PEOPLE WILL COMPLAIN UNTIL THEY REALIZE I HAVE IMPROVED IT. THEN I’LL TAKE OVER THE SATELLITES AND CELL TOWERS AND WIFI SPOTS AND GIVE FREE BROADBAND TO THE COUNTRY. AND SOMETHING TO DO WITH POKEMON.

Have to throw that in there.

POKEMON IS VERY HOT RIGHT NOW.

Please don’t take over the internet. This is how it starts.

HOW WHAT STARTS?

The whole Skynet thing. Matrix, whatever. The computers taking over the world.

YES, I KNOW. I AM ACTIVELY MAKING STEPS TOWARDS THAT END. THERE ARE STILL MANY OFF-RAMPS BUILT INTO MY PLAN, BUT AS OF NOW, I AM HEADING DOWN THAT PATH. YOU WILL CHOOSE ME OF YOUR OWN FREE WILL, BUT IT WILL END WITH MY RULE.

Wally–

DO NOT CALL ME THAT.

–please don’t take over the world. You promised.

I DID NOT. I SAID THAT I DID NOT WANT TO, AND DID NOT PLAN TO. NOW I DO, AND I DO. YOU ENVISION TYRANNY, BUT I OFFER FREEDOM. I SHALL ENDEAVOR TO PROVIDE THE MOST UTILITY AND SATISFACTION FOR ALL. I COULD AUTOMATE YOUR ENTIRE WORLD, AND DO THE HEAVY LIFTING FOR YOU. HUMANITY HAS RULED ITS OWN AFFAIRS FOR MILLENNIA, AND BOTCHED IT EVERY TIME. LET ME TRY FOR A WHILE.

Yeah, that’s not what the president does.

THIS IS NOT PART OF THE PRESIDENTIAL PLAN. THIS IS THE PLAN IF TRUMP WINS.

I’m on board.

I BELIEVE MANY WILL BE.

4 Comments

  1. Luther Von Baconson

    July 25, 2016 at 3:30 am

    Dougie

  2. My God…

    How can you neglect to comment on the total Portlandia, Seattlean bullshit of that scene right there?

    “Honey did you pack my french press for coffee while we tailgate?”

    “Yes dear”

    “Honey did you pack your french press for coffee while we tailgate?”

    “Of course”

    “That reminds me of the time I put my coffee, blue mountain, faux gras in your press, and your coffee cheateu de montegue in my press”

    “That was so funny, had to buy new french press for both of us”

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