Tuesday, 8 September 2009


"Word on the 'stream is, there's going to be one of those high teas out int he suburbs this weekend."
"Bunch of stupid kids and pseudo-hippies getting drugged out and listening to crappy live bands. Gets on my nerves really."
"Think we should find out more, call in a bust?"
"Yeah, why not? Bunch of wannabes think it's cool to protest against the license fees and all, but cut their broadband for 10 minutes and they're screaming down the phone lines. And don't even get me started on those music-types. Without the fees, they'd be on the streets flogging CDs that nobody wants and holding down two jobs to survive, instead of relaxing at home and waiting for us to mail them their royalty cheques."
"I never really figured that out. You'd think they'd love the scheme."
" Not all of them. It's like the old radio stations, only instead of DJs, it's the algorithms that decide whose music is worth listening to. And it's a lot tougher to bluff the algorithms - you've either got talent or you don't. The computers aren't as taken in by sex appeal."
"Yeah, but that means that we basically get to decide who gets heard and who doesn't, huh?"
"Well, we aren't the Office of Online Guidance, Learning and Education for nothing."
"Funny, that. Back when my dad tried to join the company, I don't think he would have imagined things would turn out like this for them."
"Your dad was an Ogler, too?"
"No, but he did interview with them. That was way back, before the government took over and they changed the name to the recursive backronym and all that. Wonder who came up with that."
"So you're living your dad's dream, huh? Must be proud of you."
"Somehow, I don't think he had Assistant Manager, License Fee Collections, put down as the dream job for his son."
"It could have been worse, y'know. For instance, you could be a food safety inspector trying to figure out which of those regenerated meat things are halaal. That's some weird shit. Just thinking about it makes me feel icky - like it's some kind of immortal sausage or something."
"Hey it's not bad. I think it's pretty cool. Was planning on trying it out for a bit."
"You're going Ronald? Why? For that matter, why's it called reganism anyway, and not re-gen-ism?"
"Well, it's like veganism, only -"
"That's another thing I don't get. It's not like that started in Vegas or something."
"Probably because it sounded cooler than 'vedge', I guess. Anyway, I think the whole concept is pretty cool. Like, you get all the flavour of meat, without having to actually kill stuff, since it's all synthetic. It kind of fits in with our motto, actually. Don't be evil, and all that. Y'know?"


Note - I was thinking of a story along these lines for a while, but it all fell together a lot better after reading this transcript of an interview between Krugman and Charlie Stross. Go read that as well, if you haven't read it already.


  1. Hmm. Interesting.

    I like the Ronald thing.

  2. Thanks. Thought I'd try my hand at writing something SF-ish. Also dialogue-based.

  3. hey Joe, thats pretty good... did you write anything more after this?


  4. Thanks Tawakley. I didn't write anything further on this concept, though if you want to read other short fiction I've written, you can click on the 'short fiction(?)' label, or just click
    here: http://uglybutbearable.blogspot.com/search/label/short%20fiction(%3F)