1983.5 (Beta)


CHENEY sits behind a desk. He is playing NINTENDOGS on his DS, but, instead of trying to teach them tricks, he is STABBING the puppies with his STYLUS.

CHENEY: Not so tough now, are you? Answer me! Oh, you want some too, bitch?!

The INTERCOM on CHENEY’s desk buzzes. He sighs, reluctantly puts the DS in his DESK DRAWER, and presses the intercom BUTTON.


SECRETARY: John Poindexter is here to see you.

CHENEY: Tell him I’m out.

SECRETARY: I tried that, sir, but he can smell the brimstone.

CHENEY: Bah! Send him in.

A moment passes. The DOOR opens, and John Poindexter enters, left.

POINDEXTER: Heeeeeeeeeeeeeey, Doctor Doom! Howz’it–

CHENEY: SILENCE, MINION! A, I told you never to call me that again. B, you have thirty seconds, five of which you squandered on the “hey.”



Several moments pass.

CHENEY: You may begin. Twenty seconds.

POINDEXTER: Well, look, just wanted to tell you about a new National Security idea I cooked up last night. Oh man, this one is a doozy.

CHENEY: Dexter, your last idea–the future’s market where people would bet on upcoming terrorist attacks–wasn’t exactly a barnburner. And we’re still dealing with the fallout from the whole wiretapping boondoggle. So I’m afraid we’re going to have to pass.

CHENEY reaches over and puts his HAND on the LEVER to the left of his desk, preparing to open the TRAP DOOR.

POINDEXTER: Wait! My new plan would egregiously violate the civil rights of countless Americans!!

A beat. CHENEY reluctantly removes his hand from the lever.

CHENEY: Okay, I’m intrigued.

POINDEXTER: Imagine this: a mechanism that would track the activities of thousands of Internet users. Where they go, what they’re doing, who they see–everything.


CHENEY: We’ve had that for years, knucklehead. We collect IP addresses, sent emails, site logs, the works.

POINDEXTER: Sure, of course. But I’m talking about a system that would keep tabs on Internet users when they are not online, while they are walking around in the real world.

CHENEY: Hmm. I like the way you think, Dex, but I’m afraid that idea is pretty much DOA. We got a Democratic congress now, and there’s no way they’ll allow us to amend the PATRIOT ACT to allow it.

POINDEXTER: Ah, but that’s the best part. The program would be entirely voluntarily!

CHENEY snorts derisively.

CHENEY: Why would anyone voluntarily reveal information about their everyday activities?

POINDEXTER: Oh, you know: we’ll just say the whole thing is some kind of Web 2.0 Social Networking website. We’ll use lots of pastel colors, cutsie icons. Call it “Trackr” or “Twitter” or something. Trust me, Doctor D.: the hipster and early adopters will eat, it, up!

18 thoughts on “1983.5 (Beta)

  1. No comments yet? Hmm. Posted 3/21/07? A message from the future? Hmm. For whom does Matt Baldwin REALLY work?

  2. Whoa, dude! You mean I’ve *already* given up all that info? Bummer. Well, back to MySpace between MyEars.

  3. Heh, a friend of mine pinged me yesterday and and asked me if I understood what the hell Twitter is. I wasn’t able to give him an answer, but this makes a lot of sense.

  4. I have an idea! Let’s elect a group of officials to retake the house and the senate for reasons boastfully advertised and then we’ll make up excuses when they fail to meet promises… or even come close! And then we’ll just get mad and say they’re a bad bunch of ’em after the other political party said, “I wouldn’t vote for them, they’re lying and here’s why…” and when they said that, they actually made sense. Hmm… this sounds like it’s already happened. Deja Vu?

  5. Linked over from Hooray For Saturday! and read this post first. Nintendogs pulled me in because I think a lot of this virtual stuff is bollocks… this has to be one of the funniest things I’ve read, hands down. Well done, mate. Well done.

  6. We must fight this evil plot. I will make it my cause to fill my twitter account with information useless to anyone.

    Yah, that’s why I’m doing that.

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