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November 25, 2010

The Plastered Disaster - A Short Story of Non-Fiction Fiction [Journolist]

Editor’s Note - This article was prepared by Acton Wrightway III and originally appeared in AOSHQ's Quarterly Duodenum Digest on January 13, 2010.

Mr. Wrightway has been traveling extensively the past several months and has been difficult to reach. We were able to talk with him briefly last week concerning the production status of the Simulcast Overlay System (SOS). Mr. Wrightway is quite pleased with the results of the pilot program and test market feed-back and believes the SOS will be available in the near term.

However, the marketing timeline for the system has been greatly reduced on account Mr. Obama will likely lose re-election. Despite the changes in the system’s marketing timeline, Mr. Wrightway is ever the optimist and is already working on a new venture – a board game that allows players to keep track of upcoming indictments of Team Obama. The working title of the game is, ‘Obama Democrata Indictorama.’

We have been told the game pieces number in the hundreds and that there is even a special Bill Clinton, ‘Is what it Is’ Joker card. No release date has been set but the President has been given a prototype in advance. When asked if he thought such a game would be awkward for the president, Mr. Wrightway noted the president is a mock-up specialist with an aptitude for games.

January 13, 2010

‘How Mr. Obama’s Ubiquity is Megahurtzing TV Broadcasters’

By Acton Wrightway III, La Mancha, Spain

No matter where you may come down on the American political spectrum, you would be hard-pressed to argue the fact President Barack Obama is broadcast on television in portions never before seen of a political figure outside of post-modern dictatorial regimes. In a two week span alone in late 2009, Mr. Obama appeared on all major networks before an unprecedented joint session of congress, then appeared on 60 Minutes, the late night comedic hour with David Letterman to a following weekend blitz of every major Sunday morning political interview show save for Fox News.

The depth and degree to which the White House is pushing the envelope in their airwave dominance has roiled many network executives and scores of their viewers. Many inside the loop now refer to the American President as the “Plastered Disaster” and while these inside the loop broadcast movers and shakers have been compliant with the White House’s demands in providing seemingly 24/7 coverage, they are concerned about the direction their medium is being taken by the president and his handlers - and the downslide in programming quality stemming from the current administration’s force of hand demands.

Some network executives and their programming department heads in New York have grown weary of the degradation of their autonomy by having to systematically rework their intended programming content so much so that they have formed an informal ecumenical type network support group to deal with their frustrations.

Numerous network executives have joined this support group and now regularly meet for cocktails each Tuesday after work to trade stories and their concerns. “Given our diverse but unified disgust of the current administration’s autocratic tactics, we thought it fitting to mostly have the meetings at NBC’s Rainbow Room however, when we are all really upset we have the meetings at the Russian Tea Room on the West Side of Manhattan,” explains Useles Izquierda, who heads the group’s steering committee.

One high level network executive we spoke with, who wished to remain unnamed, stated the last straw for her was when she was told by the White House to carry live coverage of Mr. Obama’s recent joint address to congress.

This executive, while certainly aware of the importance of the joint congressional speech, was floored by the administration’s incessant demands that her network carry the joint session speech live. After numerous appeals to the administration that her network be spared having to air the speech, an eleventh hour variance was ultimately provided by the White House communications department. And while this particular network executive was grateful for the variance, she is still fuming for having to go through the process and rhetorically mused, “why would the White House make such demands on my employer, the Insect Channel, it just doesn’t make sense” but went on to claim, “I have found an outlet through the network support group though and if any good thing has come about this ordeal, it’s my new found relationship with my counterpart at the Furniture Network, who experienced an eerily simular situation with the White House communications department.”

The network support group is not a pessimistic group says Uselis Izquierda, “We are Americans with an entrepreneurial energy and are currently focusing on ways to improve our medium even under the current strictures and demands brought on by the Obama administration.”

One such area the network support group is presently working on with their technical engineers is a device referred to as, Simulcast Overlay System or “SOS” for short.

The way the system works is to build upon the current screen on screen television technology where the viewer can watch two screens on their television set at one time. With SOS technology, the viewer has a special electronic box and remote referred to as the “Call” which lets the viewer “call” up the screen on screen mode in the event Mr. Obama preempts regularly scheduled programming.

While the screen on screen technology already exists, the SOS technology uniquely allows the viewer to pull up pre-set content at the time Mr. Obama appears on air.

Still not entirely crystal clear on the concept? We weren’t either so we asked Mr. Izquierda for a demonstration. What we experienced was in a word, fascinating.

The demonstration began high above Manhattan one evening in a dimly lit library with wingback chairs and a 32” plasma television set. We sat down for drinks and sandwiches and started watching a movie on network television; and as with most nights the programming like clock-work was pre-empted to run a live speech by Mr. Obama. At the time, Mr. Obama’s speech rudely interrupted our watching of Cannonball Run 2. However, without even flinching, Mr. Izquierda calmly and coolly took the remote of the SOS device and pressed the “call” button and brought up the screen on screen mode. What happened next quite frankly was astonishing.

The screen which popped up next to Mr. Obama’s robotic imagery and drone was that of a catchy upbeat 70’s pop hit “The Candy Man.” We were immediately transported into a fun loving knee tapping group singing along to the lyrics, “who can make the sunrise. . . sprinkle it with dew and make a miracle or two the candy man can, the candy man can. . . cause the candy man can make whatever he makes, satisfying and delicious, you can even eat the dishes.”

All the while Mr. Obama is speaking on the adjacent screen, we see images of candy and the lyrics being beamed across the more fun adjoining screen.

Given the length of Mr. Obama’s typical speech, we were able to “call” up numerous screens that evening on the SOS to get us through.

One of the most memorable was the “you can’t handle the truth” scene from the movie a “Few Good Men” but the group’s unanimous favorite that evening was the “call” up of Jim Carey’s manic scenes from the movie “Liar, Liar.”

But perhaps the most riveting “call” up that evening was of William Tell’s 1812 Overture which was the music used for the popular American TV series, “The Lone Ranger” – it was almost poetic to see and hear it playing beautifully in sync over the empty diatribe found on Mr. Obama’s screen.

When Mr. Obama’s speech finally wound down that evening, Mr. Izquierda pressed the “call” button on the SOS remote one last time and we returned to Cannonball Run 2 in a great mood despite Mr. Obama having been on the air the last 49 minutes - during which time we didn’t even have to get up and change the channel, kick the television set or even grab a shot of Jack Daniels.

We simply remained calm, and “called” SOS.

The demonstration took about 1 hour and ended when Mr. Izquierda stated, the Network Support Group is doing its part in, “not letting a good crisis go to waste.”

There would be no need for cocktails at the NBC Rainbow Room this night, at least not for those network support group members attending the SOS demonstration.

The SOS while still in prototype is being piloted in several cities throughout the United States.

Back in a New York office in mid-town Manhattan where the SOS call signals from each activated prototype show up as green dots on a huge 50 by 50 foot board, Mr. Izquerida smiles and says, “more green shows up here on these boards each night that would make even Van Jones’ head spin.”

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posted by Open Blogger at 04:20 PM

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