Sunday, December 18, 2005

What Else Fitz Found In Karl's Emails

(Dear Karl:

Per your request to begin laying the groundwork for dumping the scapegoat overboard, we propose this remake of a recent popular film. The musical melodrama Moulin Rouge moved the MTV masses, so we have adapted it for your own political purposes. Of course, we had to make certain ideological changes to appeal to your major corporate backers. Naturally, your client will be the idealistic hero, and your intended patsy will serve as the evil villain.)


[overlaid words: PARIS 2005]

[The film opens with a view of the city from above, panning down to the office building containing the headquarters of the Renard TV network. In front is the giant black millstone that serves as the logo of the network's biggest hit program, Meule Noire. In the huge axle hole in the hub of the stone stands Perlé, in his costume as The Enchanted Wurlitzer, slowly singing "Money", from Cabaret.]

PERLÉ: "If you haven't any coal in the stove, And you freeze in the winter...."

[As he goes on singing the song, the camera slowly pans up to a nearby rooftop (where a billboard reads "Quick Cash"), and then down into the tiny loft apartment of Bushé, unshaven and in rumpled clothes, snorting coke at his desk. He looks up dazedly, goes out to a table and chair on the balcony, and begins to type on his laptop, writing these words just as Perlé sings them:]

PERLÉ: "Money makes the world go around."

[Bushé goes on typing, reading his words aloud as the camera moves out and about the city, the stone before the network headquarters, the stage where the show is filmed, and broadcasts of recent programs, showing the various characters as he mentions them.]

BUSHÉ: Meule Noire: A combination broadcast news magazine, sometime talk show, televised trivia tournament, and an ahistorical "reality program". Its symbol was a huge black millstone, engraved with the words "Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small." Hosted by Ailé, a former campaign consultant, it was a palace of prime time political pleasure, where spinmeisters traded tall tales with young, sexy fluffers of the media world. Loveliest of any was the woman who would come to work for me -- Speakerine. A miller's daughter, she had become a jet set power groupie, who shared her airtime with movers and shakers. They called her the Sycophantic Jewel. And she was the biggest ratings draw of Meule Noire. The woman that I hired is ... gone.

[He looks up and stares out the window in agony, then returns to his typing, while his voice continues over the camera panning around the city, the train station, flashbacks to his father speaking, and the partying studio audience at Meule Noire.]

BUSHÉ: I came to Paris for the first time from rural Texas. Out there with no cable television I had never seen Meule Noire, Ailé, or Speakerine. The whole planet's politics were being transformed by an exciting revolution, and I wanted to make my own vision a part of it. I had to turn my back on my father, who warned that going to the big city

[Cut to his father, snarling "To pursue that vision thing wouldn't be prudent!"]

BUSHÉ: Paris had the bands, the artists, the authors, creating the new Neocrat world order. Here I was willing to starve in a garret while drafting my masterpieces about life, rapture, democracy, and the ideal I idolized above all else, profit.

[Cut to his father, shouting angrily "Why this endless preoccupation with profits!"]

BUSHÉ: Of course there was a slight difficulty. I'd never actually earned any profits. Just then a man's body fell off the rooftop onto my balcony.

[The unconscious Norqy falls on the table from above. Perlé, Reedé, Robé and Alyssa look down at him from the rooftop.]

PERLÉ: Please excuse us. We were rehearsing a new reality segment for Meule Noire.

BUSHÉ: [Again reading his voice-over as he types it.] It was to be a modern show, filled with Neocrat ideals, called "Armageddon Armageddon". The man who fell off the roof was Norqé, who had been convicted of attempting to drown a baby in the bath. Instead of putting him in prison, the state had placed an electrical implant in his head. Whenever he came near an infant, or even thought of one, he received a severe jolt to his brain's pain center that knocked him out. The players enlisted me to stand in for Norqé and read his part for the rehearsal. They were busily working on some troublesome lyrics by the show's writer, Alyssa.

ALYSSA: [In a black outfit with a long cape and bobbed dark hair. Reads from her script.]
Money - gold gleam
Profit's my dream
It fosters my self-esteem.

REEDÉ: No, too high-brow. Try this:
Money, it's plain
We all want gain
We don't care if that makes pain

ROBÉ: [At keyboard.] Too sadistic. How about:
Money, keep still
It's all uphill
It gives me a big time thrill

BUSHÉ: [After clearing his throat to no response, finally bursts into song, from Pink Floyd's "Money":]
Money, get back.
I’m all right jack
Keep your hands off of my stack.

[The others stare in astonishment, then begin cheering.]

PERLÉ: That's it!! Alyssa, he's got the right vision -- he should help you write the program!

ALYSSA: [Snarls.] That suggestion is anti-mind. Only a single brain can provide the focus to reconstruct reality according to rational value judgments. I refuse to collaborate with collectivists. [She clamps her long black cigarette holder in her mouth, tosses her cape over her shoulder, and storms out of the room, slamming the door.]

BUSHÉ: [Voice over as others joyfully congratulate him and shake his hand.] So I wound up stumbling into my very first job in the City of Light. Perlé figured they could convince Ailé, the show's boss, to accept my work by first persuading his star, Speakerine. I would be introduced as a notorious and brilliant American avant garde writer, and when she understood my vision she would be so impressed she would demand that Ailé use me. But I was hesitant. [Speaks to the others:] I may not be right for this. I'm not sure if I am a genuine Neocrat!

PERLÉ: Not a Neocrat! Nonsense! You believe in compulsory Democracy, don't you?

BUSHÉ: Why, yes.

REEDÉ: And you do believe in Life, especially unborn life?

BUSHÉ: Of course.

ROBÉ: And you expect The Rapture soon?

BUSHÉ: Certainly.

NORQÉ: Never mind the metaphysics. How about Profit?

BUSHÉ:: Especially Profit. A return on investment is a return to paradise. Dividends make life worth living. Gains are the wind beneath our ailerons. The invisible hand of the marketplace is the unseen arm of heaven. Fortunes are a favor for the brave.

NORQÉ: And taxes?

BUSHÉ: Don't use socialistic obscenities like that around me! Greed is good! Capitalism rules!

PERLÉ: See, everyone! He's one of us! A genuine Neocrat!

BUSHÉ: [Voice over, typing, as they all snort lines of coke from the table.] To celebrate, they would give me my first sample of the deadline writer's friend ... cocaine.

[He sniffs. Out of the powder on the table rises a spirit in white with wings, which expands and flies to face him.]

WHITE ANGEL: I'm the White Angel. [She sings J. J. Cale's "Cocaine", as she flaps her wings and zips rapidly around the room, leaving a trail of white powder in the air. All the others are wildly cheering.] She don't lie, she don't lie, she don't lie....

BUSHÉ: Fully charged, we dashed out for the Meule Noire studio, where I would meet Speakerine.

(More later on request.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

more, please!

somehow, diamonds are a girl's best friend still has pride of the place in the big production number.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Bride Of Acheron said...

Yes, I do have something in mind for that as well....

12:37 PM  

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