BRAVE NEW SHOW

brave new show

BY

WILL HAYNES

Published on: 3rd November 2016 

 

America was run now as a reality television game show. The format was simple. Each episode the Cabinet was divided into two teams by the President, set various tasks, and pitched against each other. At the end of every episode the Commander-in-Chief would fire one of his Cabinet. He’d also boldly reformed the electoral process and eliminated the two-term limit from the constitution. Now they were called Seasons. In this dazzling new regime there were no longer terms and elections, only seasons and ratings. Each season was four years long and the President was now halfway through his third.

The show was called The Administration.

It was originally touted, in the first season, that one winner, a last man standing, would emerge in the final episode and receive some sort of prize but so far, every season, the President couldn’t help but fire every last one of them and hog all the power to himself… After all, greed was good. That was how he’d succeeded so triumphantly in business in his pre-Washington career. And it was a fun way to run the democracy or Kingdom or whatever it now was… Who cared?

Whatever.

All cabinet positions were largely redundant; little more than hollow titles. Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Treasury; they meant absolutely nothing. Any genuine power behind the throne sat with the President’s true, biological advisors, his offspring and successors. The only individuals in America with power that counted: the ear of Caesar. But even to the golden progeny, his treasured Trumplings, Caesar’s ear was often hard of hearing.

Episode by episode, season by season, nations had fallen beneath the considerable weight of the giant Trump boot: a media machine backed up by nuclear arsenal. And from the ashes, ruins and rubble, sprang forth bountiful skyscrapers and golf courses, bearing the President’s brand in neon lights, pink marble, gaudy purple velvet and, oh my, gold plating.

This season, in order to boost the ratings, the show was called “CELEBRITY ALL STAR ADMINISTRATION”. It would be the biggest, the greatest, the best ever television show in the history of totalitarianism…

Air Force One bore over the Manhattan skyline, en route to DC and back to the White House Tower. In his first season the President had improved The White House considerably by adding another hundred floors and plating every room with gold. The Roosevelt Room now lit up like Caesars Palace, the Oval Office like the MGM Grand. The President really loved for it to be widely known that he was particularly wealthy and that his wife was very beautiful, or as he far more eloquently put it, “HOT”. He enjoyed her. He wore her like his Rolex.

He’d snapped the First Lady up in some Eastern Eurasian country where he was building a big Trump Taj Mahal Casino and mixing it with the necessary pleasure: judging a beauty competition he owned. It was a solid deal. He had it stipulated in the nuptials contract: Three times a week, baby. No appendixes, no get-out clauses! Anything less was a deal-breaker. The First Lady had survived boardroom firings so far, but there was always the competitive threat from the Second Lady or the Third Lady. Kept her on her toes (technically, the First Lady already was the Third Lady, but whatever). The Office of the First Lady consisted of a chorus line of Playboy centrefolds-in-waiting. If the First Lady disapproved of this she didn’t show it. She was permanently poker-faced. The long-term effects of Botox had rendered her facially powerless to express any form of emotion. She might have been nudging sixty but she’d been pulled apart, reassembled and soldered back together so many times she now resembled a Madame Tussauds attempt at a 20-something centrefold, only with less to say. The President only had the emotional range of two or three facial expressions anyway and could more than speak for the two of them, so they were well matched. Handsome couple.

“Honey, I’m coming home,” the President bellowed for the rolling camera’s sake, one squinting eye on the autocue as he filmed his money-spinning reality TV showTRUMPMARK!, not-quite-effortlessly blending show business with politics in his inimitable style.

“I’m… so… very… pleased… That’s really… really?… very… nice.” Her voice betrayed the scripted lines that were playing unconvincingly from the speakerphone on Air Force One.

The President wasn’t listening anyway, marvelling instead at his multi-tasking ability. Who else could read an autocue 30,000 feet above the turf while dealing with foreign and domestic policies such as his new Galápagos Islands Casino & Golf Resort or his construction of the West Bank Big Wall around New Mexico – the residents of Albuquerque were said to be most displeased – and many other developments?

His mind drifted back to Sandy Arabia and his plans for that licensing deal with the Hindus (or Wasabi’s?). He wanted to develop some old place (chuck on a few more floors, plate it in gold and rebrand it from plain old “Mecca” to the far more zingy “Allah by Trump!”). An artful deal he could no doubt tie in with his looting of the region’s oil. Then he carried on from the script and addressed the masses with the show’s opening Presidential Boast:

“I’M PRESIDENT TRUMP. I’M THE GREATEST, MOST SUCCESSFUL LEADER IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE…”

Every episode began the same way: The title sequence, then the Presidential Boast followed by an edited montage of the previous episode’s policies:

NARRATOR’S VOICE OVER (V.O.)“LAST WEEK ON ALL STAR ADMINISTRATION, OUR GREAT LEADER PRESIDENT TRUMP…” etc.

Footage of the President doing something important: Assessing why Secretary of State, former Wrestler Bulk Logan, had lost control of running a hotdog stand.

The President: “Let’s face it… Your location sucked. It sucked. Admit it. Sucked.”

Bulk Logan sweats, stumbles to articulate an excuse…

NARRATOR (V.O.)“ON TEAM LIBERTY, EMOTIONS RAN HIGH”… etc.

Footage of celebrities screaming at each other in their suite at The White House Tower… Director of the Office of Administration, former celebrity sex-tape socialite and hotel heiress Milan Hitlon, screams: “I said we shoulda pitched the stand…” wherever.

Cut to talking Head of Whoever:

“Blah blah, opinion opinion, Hot Dogs sell better at ball games rather than defunct, burnt-out ghettos…” etc.

NARRATOR (V.O.)“… WHILE ON TEAM FREEDOM, PROJECT MANAGER ARNELL GROUNDSCHWAGGER RULED HIS TEAM WITH AN IRON FIST…”

Footage of Groundschwagger, disagreeing with former-actor-turned-Televangelist-nutcase, Steven Bawdwin, over what kind of sauce to use.

Groundschwagger: “No. As Project Manager, I say we use chilli sauce on our Freedom Dogs.”

Soundbite: Steven Bawdwin. “He wouldn’t listen to the rest of the team who were unanimous in favour of mustard.”

NARRATOR (V.O.)“BUT DESPITE BULK LOGAN’S POOR CHOICE OF LOCATION, IT DIDN’T STOP HIS TEAM FROM MARCHING ON TO VICTORY.”

The President: “You know what? I really don’t like chilli sauce on my hot dog. I hate it. Bulk, your team have won.”

Cut to: the winning team of celebrities whoop, holler and high-five one another.

President: “Very good, Team Liberty. Very good… Tremendous job. Go back to your suite upstairs at Trump White House Tower where you’ll find that I’ve laid on a Great, Magnificent Surprise. Your reward is…”

… much the same as always. Traditionally, in The Administration’s format, the Winning Team is hauled up to the President’s private quarters, a triplex penthouse at the White House Tower. After an orgy of footage that gives the proles a snatched glance of, well, another lifestyle, a fleeting but grotesque display of the President’s enormous wealth – Louis XIV chandeliers, the Sistine Chapel ceiling, pink marble and gold-plating everywhere – the survivors are filmed dining on hot dogs with the President and the First Lady, dutifully asking all sorts of fawning questions of the Great Leader… And, my oh my, how they danced. How beautifully they sang for their supper: “Mr President is it true you once… etc.?” The President would look on benevolently and then respond: “It’s true,” to the question of whether he had actually invented electricity or freed the slaves or was ordained by God. Of course nobody questioned whether his personal wealth calculation method had any economic legitimacy. It wasn’t exactly creative accounting, but anyone who “didn’t get” his financial wizardry, such as chalking “projected” future profits on to his current balance sheet, was simply “STOOPID”. This system was in fact genius. He randomly plucked figures out of thin air and then shouted them loudest ($180 billion, at the last count) and they became fiscal facts. Few would question the Fuhrer.

Everything about the President spelled A.M.E.R.I.C.A.N D.R.E.M.E. (Spelling didn’t need to concern him. He was already a literary genius. He’d ‘written’ sixteen books, including his most famous Bestseller, a new updated edition of the Bible. The Trump New Testament featured the words ‘WINNER’ and ‘LOSER’ a good deal more than the King James edition. Dan Brown helped a bit with that one. Turns out Pontius Pilate was weak, a loser who ‘showed no real Leadership skills’. It was his ‘dumb’ decision to spare Barrackobamarabbas, the bandit and terrorist, even though his official Promised Land Birth Certificate didn’t necessarily prove he’d been born in the Promised Land… But Judas was pretty savvy, he’d summarized, and would have made a solid ratings boosting contestant.)

NARRATOR (V.O.)“THE PRESIDENT WAS LEFT WITH LITTLE CHOICE BUT TO FIRE ARNELL GROUNDSCHWAGGER.”

President: “You’re fired.”

Arnie: “I’ll be back.”

President: “Only on a rerun!”

Wide shot: Groundschwagger, bags packed, leaving the White House Tower. Looks back up at it mournfully.

Gets into a stretched, funeral-black Sedan.

Close Up of Groundschwagger in the back of the limo: “Whilst… I… do… not… belief… that… I… should… haff… been… fired… for… this… taskkk, I… do belief… that if the Pressident sayss it iss right then it must be right… the Presssident is always right.”

Another celebrity, someone we don’t recognise: “The President is ALWAYS right.”

Wide shot: All celebrities (in unison, eyes glazed, palms raised and the other hands placed on the Trump Bible): “THE PRESIDENT IS ALWAYS RIGHT!”

NARRATOR (V.O.)“YES, FELLOW AMERICAN PATRIOTS… OUR SUPREME LEADER THE PRESIDENT IS ALWAYS RIGHT.”

     Fade to black…

And the new episode begins:

EPISODE 10– Sermon on Rushmore

The episode starts inside the contestant’s suite at the White House Tower.

Someone is talking about how powerful and sexy the President is. There is general agreement. Another contestant compares him to God. The phone rings and one of the contestants answers it. On the other end of the line it’s the Vice President Sara Plainin, who fulfils the role of the secretary usually played by an actress in earlier seasons. She informs the Cabinet they need to gather at the airstrip outside the Tower in ten minutes. Pandemonium as makeup is applied and the cabinet fight over access to the restroom…

COMMERCIAL BREAK: Trump Timeshare properties.

Fade in: MOUNT RUSHMORE.

We see a wide shot of the iconic Mountain in which the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln were once carved. Thousands of cheap, Mexican slaves toil and sweat, restoring the colossal sculptures into the correct form: Four massive faces of President Trump. 

In the foreground the President stands before the construction site facing the gathered cabinet members. He’s flanked by his advisors, Donald Jr. and Eric Trump. Vice President Plainin takes notes. He begins his sermon:

     “Hello everybody… This morning we’re standing in front of Mount Rushmore, an iconic American landmark. It wasn’t always so well known, but now it’s one of the greatest, most successful, best known and tremendous landmarks ever.”

The cabinet members stood dutifully to attention as the President laid out the details of the task. Rough edited summary: the poor are losers and the meek are weak, and lazy. These scroungers will go to Boardroom Hell. But blessed are those who thirst and hunger for success. For the winners: rejoice and be glad because your reward in the Kingdom of the Boardroom will be…

“…will be really, really great. And in turn the Losers will be persecuted…”

The Vice President chipped in, “Ooooh… You betcha!”

The President continued to reveal that the episode’s task was Foreign Policy, and specifically within it, Brand Marketing.

In short: This week’s task is to annexe Sweden, sack it, and make off with the treasure. Donald Jr. adds they will be judging the teams based on three criteria: Brand Message, Cost-efficiency and Overall Success of the Annexation.

However, despite the President’s nuclear publicity machine assuring the brain-dead proles that all was on the up and up in the Land of The Free, there was trouble at the top. The ratings. They were still falling. This was, in truth, a complete and utter disaster for a dictatorship dressed up as TV show… Some kind of rejig to the format was required to keep the interest of Joe Sixpack… and the President had figured it out. At this moment in the series he sprung it on the cabinet. (Groundschwagger had no idea how lucky he was getting out when he did.)

“Also, there’s a small change to the rules…”

No longer firings, now PUBLIC EXECUTIONS! The Project Manager of the losing team will bring two people back to the boardroom and one of them will be executed in the most sensationalist manner the executives can dream up.

The President wondered to himself why it had taken him so long to figure it out… For some time, Trial-by-Media had replaced the out-dated Twelve Good Men and True court system (and the economic benefit of the premium phone lines was beyond dispute). Vox News became Judge, Jury and Executioner. The ratings peak on Vannity Live hit an all-time spike when the electric chair was introduced on the show. For posterity he’d held onto the Supreme Court but it was no longer a starchy line-up of anonymous grey faces with “legal qualifications”. Now it was a kickass Kangaroo Court, consisting of Celebrity, shiny and glittery like the President’s Midas touch. Such recognized personalities as Lindie Loghan and Dustin Bielber signed off on the death orders… Now he’d simply extend televised executions to his cabinet. Genius! The ratings would shoot heavenwards like another concrete Trump monstrosity on Viagra. The contestants weren’t best pleased. In a rare expression of dissent there were even direct protestations to the President himself about his judgment. They didn’t faze the Great Leader…

“You know I’d love to change that policy. I’d hate to kill you. I love you. But what can I do? I got no choice. Now go out and make me some money. Lots of luck folks. I’ll see you back in the boardroom.”

Several contestants observed a small but noticeable swelling in the President’s trousers.

COMMERCIAL: Trump condominiums Florida. Paradise on Earth. A bit of the Daily Hate too… (Hindus today.)

Fade in:

NARRATOR (V.O.)“FELLOW AMERICAN PATRIOTS…”

(Under the assumption the viewer has the attention span of a goldfish, tells us what we’ve just seen)

The teams confer and ask such questions as, “What is annexing?” and, “What is a Sweden?” to answers such as, “I’ve no idea,” “I’ll take it,” or, “You do it,” Finally, they agree on Team Liberty and that aging Rock Icon Agnes Hooper will oversee the invasion of Switzerland. Or was it Swaziland? If they got it wrong they might lose points, but then again the President rarely picked up such trivial minutiae as long as the cash rolled in. Who cared? What did it matter? On the opposing side, Team Freedom, the contestants duck responsibility as much as possible before it falls on an unwilling Britani Spars to oversee combat operations and lead the charge one more time unto the breach…

COMMERCIAL BREAK: Trump product, Trump product, Trump product. Consume. Consume. Consume. Don’t ask questions. Don’t think. Just consume.

The Task at hand. The usual chaos ensues. A few more commercial breaks. Then the boardroom. The firing…

Britani Spars had done a good job with the Republic of the Congo, the President had to admit… He liked the way she’d pitched the tribal chiefs against each other to rob the diamonds. Smart, the President thought… But now they’d got the loot and the First Lady had even bigger and shinier rocks to wear, and the other team had annexed Sweden, as was clearly specified in the briefing, he fired her anyway. Her rival Project Manager, decaying rocker Agnes Hooper, survived another episode before being hung from the Washington Bridge like a Christmas decoration. Steven Bawdwin went next: the winning team’s reward was to use him as target practice with the latest line of Trump “Home Defense” AK47s; Bulk Logan went by stoning: Trump-preference pink marble – so much more lethal than common pelt. In the episode dedicated mostly to plugging Trump Cosmetic Surgery the Attorney General, Punk Rocks, (of ‘ex-husband to that famous ex-Reefwatch Starlet’ fame) was cosmetically enhanced into a doppelgänger of the writer who’d written that book (was it The Da Vinci Verses? thought the President) that annoyed the Wasabis then dumped into a trebuchet and catapulted into Allah by Trump! with a sign stapled to him that read “I am Russell Brand” (The President reasoned if the landing didn’t kill him, the Wasabis probably would… He didn’t fully understand the Japanese mentality, but he knew they really hated that book...)

Episode by episode, the President eliminated members of his cabinet with utter ruthlessness. The ratings shot up and the cash poured in. Don’t ask how. The President simply plucked a figure – $360 billion – and shouted his newly doubled net worth out for the entire world to envy. After all, the President was always right… especially when it came to matters of money or his offspring. Terrific apprentices they were. Little acorns. The Trumplings had demonstrated their considerable business talent, acumen and creativity by dreaming up an extraordinary range of entertaining ways to execute the cabinet contestants (though naturally, the Great Leader took all the credit):

EPISODE 15:NARRATOR (V.O.)“ON THE PREVIOUS EPISODE…” The boardroom.President: “Let’s face it, John, you did a lousy job… Your only task was to make sure the Golf Courses in Eurasia got their Environmentally Perfect certificates. You failed. You lost.”

NARRATOR (V.O.)“OUR GREAT LEADER HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO SENTENCE CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS, GOLFER JOHN NICHOLAUS, TO DEATH”

John Nicholaus: (sweating, pleading, tears) “Please, Mr President, please! Please, please, please! Not that. Not that. Please…”

President: “You’re fired!”

Cut to:

A Death Chamber (with a twist).

Nicholaus is strapped into an electric chair. The cables running from it are not connected to the mains but instead to its unconventional power supply: an exercise bike being ridden by none other than Director of National Drug Control Policy, former Tour de France winner, Gal Armstrüng.

NARRATOR (V.O.)“ARMSTRÜNG KNOWS THAT IF HE FAILS TO GENERATE SUFFICIENT POWER, HE HIMSELF WILL LOSE…”

Gal Armstrüng pedals for all he’s worth:  cancelled sponsorships, revoked endorsements, and every last shred of lost integrity.

Nicholaus slowly fries like an egg on a hot Chevrolet-by-Trump combustion engine. One of his eyes pops out but, though squealing like a hog, he’s still very much alive.

Armstrüng peddles harder.

EPISODE 16:

A huge Trump Arena.

The stands are packed with patriotic Americans. Beer, hot dogs, the whole nine yards. Cheers of delight from the flag-waving crowd. Trump USA 2029. The taste of Victory: The Trump Games.

In the Royal box sits the Emperor Trump and the Trumplings. (It was the First Lady’s day off. Check the contract.)

NARRATOR (V.O.)“THIS WEEK ON ALLSTAR CELEBRITY ADMINISTRATION, PROJECT MANAGER GAL ARMSTRÜNG LEAD TEAM FREEDOM TO A SPECTACULAR DEFEAT…”

The arena itself is filled with big fucking lions.

The President (shouting to the Mob): “HELLO EVERYBODY… LET THE TOURNAMENT BEGIN!”

NARRATOR (V.O.)“… AND HAD TO FACE THE CONSEQUENCES!”

A spiked gold-plated gate is raised and in peddles Gal Armstrüng on a racing cycle…

NARRATOR (V.O.)“ANY FORM OF PERMORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS ARE STRICTLY FORBIDDEN…”

Armstrüng really fucking peddles around the arena to evade the lions. Remarkably, he does so… for a while.

COMMERCIAL BREAK: Trump Whatever product.

At the half-time break, the tiring lions are replaced with even newer, bigger, better, fitter, best ever, steroid-pumped, genetically-modified, performance-enhanced lions.

 NARRATOR (V.O.)“BUT IN A SHOCKING REVELATION, FOLLOWING A RANDOM DRUG TEST, ARMSTRÜNG IS FOUND TO HAVE TAKEN ILLEGAL PERFORMANCE ENHANCING DRUGS…”

The President: “YOU FAILED. RELEASE THE LIONS!”

NARRATOR (V.O.)“…SO IN ORDER TO LEVEL THE ARENA, ARMSTRÜNG IS HAMSTRUNG AND HIS BIKE TYRES PUNCTURED.”

He is not successful in the second half. 

The performance-enhanced lions take their time with the hobbled Director of National Drug Control Policy.

NARRATOR (V.O.)“AND GAL ARMSTRÜNG WAS LITERALLY TORN LIMB FROM LIMB. ON NEXT WEEK’S EPISODE…”

EPISODE 18:

NARRATOR (V.O.)“DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION, MILAN HITLON, GETS THE SACK”

A gagged and bound Hitlon is sacked: literally sealed into a weighted canvas Louis Vuitton bag, like one of her accessory poodles, and hurled over the Washington Bridge where, six episodes on, Agnes Hooper’s skeletal corpse (not entirely indistinguishable from the Hooper with a pulse) still dangles like decomposing Halloween decor.

Welcome to the future: it is murder.

EPISODE 19:

NARRATOR (V.O.)“ON TODAY’S EPISODE, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS TURN SOUR”

Boardroom.

President: “You’re telling me that North Korea have reneged on the Trump Juche Tower Pyongyang?”

NARRATOR (V.O.)“THE PRESIDENT HOLDS HIS CHIEF POLITICAL ADVISOR AND NORTH KOREAN ENVOY, ELLIS ROADMAN, ACCOUNTABLE”

President: “You know, Ellis, I really hate to do this. I really do. I love you, I consider you a friend… And you know, a lotta times in the past, you know, people used to say ‘Mr Trump’s a racist’ or whatever and I was like, ‘How can I be a racist? I’m the least racist person ever. I’ve got a toking black in my administration.’ OK, so what if the Vice President doesn’t like taking meetings with you one-on-one? Can I blame her? She’s a woman. What do you expect?”

Vice President Plainin takes a sideways glance at the Chief Political Advisor. Clutches her handbag.

The President (continues): “So, Ellis, I really hate to do this, I really do, BUT you failed. You lost… So you’re fired. And anyway…”

The President shrugs and nods at his Assistant for Science and Technology, former Heavyweight Champion Ike Byson, as Roadman is dragged screaming from the boardroom.

EPISODE 20:

NARRATOR (V.O.)“ON THIS EPISODE WE TRAVEL TO PAMPLONA, ITALY, WHERE FORMER HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING CHAMPION, ‘METAL’ IKE BYSON, FACES THE RAGING BULL”

Plaza de Toros Arena, SPAIN, Southern Eurasia.

Ike Byson – tarred and covered in red feathers, armed only with an oversized pair of foam giant finger novelty Boxing Gloves, wrists bound – against the angry bull.

The President (talking head): “Back in his prime I woulda put my money on the champ…”

So, after all of the show’s wildly entertaining Administrative purge, who were we still left with from the Administration? Now it was down to Vice and one other unlikely candidate: the President’s food taster, former Hollywood Superstar Mack Daymon, star of such films as the successful Bored franchise: The Bored Mentality, The Bored Retirement and The Bored Resurrection. (It was also Daymon’s task to transcribe the broadcast episodes for records in the national Historical archive). The politically astute may have noticed that the President’s Administration consisted of Republican celebrities, and Daymon was the sole exception.

Getting over a bout of amnesia, Mack Daymon had forgotten he was a Democrat… Not that that mattered, the party was an ancient relic of the past and had gone the way of the dodo, Tasmanian tiger and the sabre-toothed cat. All political opposition, like Specialist Scientific Interest conservation sites, had been bulldozed in the President’s first season. Still, at least he could perhaps try to work the system from within. The lone voice on the left? Last Man Standing… Nope, given the amnesia he had no idea what a Democrat even was.

Most of the airy-fairy Hollywood liberal elite had vanished, ending up in “Camp Freedom” (Guantanamo). Mack Daymon had been spared only because since he’d suffered the amnesia he’d forgotten he was a Democrat and the President liked the violent action sequences in the Bored films. How he’d actually got the Amnesia was due to some tinkering in a behaviour modification experiment the President’s previous Assistant for Science and Technology had performed on him in the ring. Whatever, Damon didn’t remember any of it anyway.

Now just the President’s lowly food taster…

EPISODE 21: The Episode to end all episodes

I’m so damn sick of hot dogs! It’s all the President ever eats… It might be heresy for me to think these thoughts, let alone commit them to paper, but let’s face it… Sand is slipping thr– let’s just say that I’m fucked.

     How did this all come about? I don’t know. I just came to one day, with a feeling that the world’s something weird, feels like it’s upside down or inside out, even though this is all I know, but somehow you know that there’s an alternative out there somewhere, that’s real. I experience echoes and glimmers of something else, some other time and a feeling of discontentment, and at that place in time everything seemed bad and perhaps there was another land, another meadow, call it “greener pastures” if you like, but you didn’t know how good you had it until it was gone. But then it’s gone and you don’t know if it was even real… That’s how I feel. It’s like something that’s been amputated, like feeling the presence of a phantom limb; one you’re told you were never born with even though you can still see the scars; a conjoined twin, wrenched away at birth, then clubbed over the head and told it never happened. That’s what it feels like. But what is reality anyway? A television show.

     And transcribing this show for the National Historical Archive? WTF? It’s absurd that anyone would want to watch it. Like everything round here, I’m pretty certain no-one’s checking the small-print in the deal, I doubt anyone will even read this “transcript” before it’s filed. Who’s left? The President rarely reads anything he signs, I’m not even sure if he can read, and Vice is much the same. She gives me her notes, the minutes she takes for the President, and they’re virtually illegible. The bits that are rarely have anything to do with the subject she’s supposed to be taking notes on. What was the one she had earlier on? “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night”, with little doodles of angels and demons and mushroom clouds sprawled all over the sheet… But anyway, what I’m saying is: Why the fuck would anyone want to watch this mind-fucking of the masses? Why?

     The purges. Admittedly, the President has, on one level, worked a magic trick with this deregulation of life, or liberation of death, for short-term profits… but it’s no realistic long-term solution.

     From time to time the President will look at me in that way of his that liquidises your insides like Ebola. Day by day, The President becomes increasingly paranoid. He becomes more isolated the more his business empire expands… and he’s building that nuclear bunker up in the Rockies. He’s diverted about a million Mexicans. They’re digging and digging and digging and so much pink marble’s been exported up there that the mortality rate of the laborers crating it up has gone off the chart. Not that the President has the slaves on the books.

     But though the President is deranged and paranoid and killing everyone he can think of in unthinkable ways, I don’t think he’s given a moment’s consideration to the greatest threat: the Vice President. It terrifies me. She seems obsessed with this thing called the rapture and I think she wants to bring it about… She genuinely believes that it’s dead certain and she’ll have a first class ticket to Heaven’s pearly gates while others will tumble into rocky, painful, eternal hellfire. And the President worries about building another concrete hard-on or how the ratings are or the most entertaining way to kill an old friend, but completely ignores this fact that’s glaring him in the face. I think we’ll all have front-row seats to the end of days if the President lets her know the codes…

     But in truth I doubt I’ll last that long. Who knows what kind of fate the President’s kids are dreaming up for me but I bet it’ll be a zinger. Hopefully it’ll be one like Roadman’s where I may just have a glimmer of hope of surviving the game: he was released into the wild, a Trump Golf Reserve, to be human  ‘Game’ to the Vice’s ‘Great White Hunter’… At least the poor son of a bitch stood a small chance that way, but the Vice was too damn good a tracker and marksman. She hunted him down like a dog on the 16th hole… All those moose, back when she was the Governor of Alaska. Still better odds than some of the others. But let’s be realistic, it won’t be something they’ve already done this series. It’ll have to be something bigger, better, more sensationalist… maybe the President’s sons would join the hunt, they’re both fairly competent predators. They did bazooka the last rhino… But I think it’ll be something else, something even more explosive or much more painful. Who knows?

     There’s a thumping on the door… maybe this is it? Wonder, who’ll transcribe my execution… Vice? I write these last thoughts in the hope that, that, what hope? I dunno.

Still here. What are the odds? They must be cooking up something real special… A point of note: Vice actually has the codes. I was on Air Force One the other day, Vice back at the W.H.T., and the President’s on Speaker with her. Something about the Middle East…

     The President says: “Israel and Philistine. Which is which?” The Vice doesn’t reply immediately and the President just carries on “Israel’s the one that has all the Islams, right?”

     “It must be!” says Vice, “You betcha!”

     “So what’s the deal?”

     “Well. They have a big wall there to keep out all the Philistines.”

     “A big wall?” says the President. “That’s a breach of Copyright. We got a licensing deal?”

     “Nope!”

     “Well, sometimes you gotta be strong. Flatten it.”

     “You betcha!”

     “You’ve got the codes, right?”

     “No. Not yet.”

     “Top drawer of my desk… It’s unlocked.”

     “Ooooooooh, you betcha!” then she murmurs something like: “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed… You betcha!”

     And that was the Middle East…

Today, I beg the President to switch the codes but Vice comes in and hisses “Be Gone, Foul Daymon!” at me. I say, “You cannot be serious, you’re letting this zealot handle the codes?” She just replies: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. You betcha!” The President is looking at the blue prints for the New Middle East. The Vice’s eyes glaze, and she carries on with: “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. You betcha!” He orders another hot dog.

Things have gone from bad to catastrophic. In Manhattan. The President is loading up Air Force One with all he can make out with. Gold bullion seems to be the top priority, then the Office of The First Lady, The Trumplings, a few boxes of blueprints and files and some old home DVDs and finally The First Lady. Vice is back at the White House, addressing the nation in a live televised address (Seems the Fuhrer shoulda listened to me):

“AND THE SEVENTH ANGEL SOUNDED; AND THERE WERE GREAT VOICES IN HEAVEN, SAYING, THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER. YOU BETCHA!”

She’s launching on Russia and China. They’re retaliating. Inevitable.

This is it. Still, no more hot dogs…

Air Force One fled over the burning Manhattan skyline en route to the Rocky Mountains bunker and pretty fucking far away from DC. By the President’s third season the bunker was two-hundred stories deep, reinforced by canyon-width steel, covered with gold plating, pink marble – how it would sparkle – and stashed with enough supplies to last about two hundred years…

On a Carnage Scale of One to Ten (One being represented as a priceless Pre-Raphaelite, masterfully capturing the universally accepted notion of Paradise: a Garden of Eden where all races and creeds coexist in harmony. Ten being a rejected Turner Prize submission shat onto the canvas by a warped Art GSCE dropout now channelling his post-prison, post-therapy, psychotic delusions into creative abortions: riots, mass-scale looting, barbarians well past the sacked city gates and carrying out their professional raping and pillaging duties with dedicated fervour; torched buildings lighting up the sky, burning bodies running out of the infernos onto blood-stained rubble – limbs flailing as they trip over the dead – while Japanese Skyscraper-size Reptiles stomp down the boulevards, crushing all infrastructure in their wake), you could say the President had notched it up to Eleven.

Flying over the country the President saw the Free World turn to rubble: fire scorched earth, while lakes and rivers boiled – basically, the most sensationalist parts of the Bible. The ground beneath him blackened as first Manhattan, then city by city, the Free World fell. The landscape below rippled with mushroom shaped clouds of dust that resembled Trademarked logos: a chain reaction that toppled nation after nation as the nuclear branding stamped its mark on every skyline across the planet.

Tiring quickly of current events, the President turned his attention from what was happening outside to some in-flight entertainment. A bank of monitors displayed live scenes of the immeasurable global destruction. While Kentucky fried, Mississippi burned. The vast desert surrounding Las Vegas reclaimed the once shining beacon of vice as its own again, forever keeping its secrets. The City of Angels was swept into the Pacific Ocean with all the resistance a ball of fluff offers a mop. Images simultaneously ran of London, Paris, Tokyo, Berlin and every other Eurasian Capital, annihilated like CGI scenes in a Bruckheimer blockbuster. Hong Kong, as if by a fastidiously controlled demolition came down in a swift, choreographed free-fall. Dubai sunk straight into the sand. Moscow’s Kremlin crumpled, presumably killing Tzar Valdimir and his ministers, and Saint-Petersburg didn’t stick around. The Petronas Towers folded in on themselves like two collapsible cardboard boxes and London Bridge fell down. Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece Saint Paul’s blew away and resettled over the Thames. The Straightened Tower of Pisa toppled over into a billion little particles, and as for the Great Wall of China; events echoed Berlin in the autumn of ’89. Like La Révolution-era aristocrats, Easter Island’s statues were decapitated by the blast. One prominent screen on board displayed what looked like a White House ground zero site, but this may just have been Independence Day, the President’s usual in-flight movie of preference.

Yet ignoring these grand events on board the plane, fixated instead to the events of another monitor, he watched looped reruns, while munching on a hot dog, of Mack Daymon’s final moments just before the warheads struck Manhattan… He had to admit that, despite the small inconvenience of the apocalypse, it was by far the show’s most impressive execution yet. What a climax to the series.

Occasionally glancing out the cabin’s window, he didn’t observe angels, halos or the selected bodies of The Chosen shooting Heavenwards past Air Force One towards divine light. There was, however, all that promised fire and brimstone and the long-prophesised End of Days happening on the bubbling tarmac below. He had to give it to the Vice President: she’d by far exceeded every one of the show’s other cabinet killings in terms of scale, spectacle and originality. Technically, before the rockets most likely flattened the White House, she was ever so briefly the Winning candidate (even if he hadn’t noticed her ascending, as she’d no doubt presumed she would, to Heaven – perhaps she’d whizzed by the other window?). Either way, she was still the show’s Winner. And he always backed Winners. In fact, everything he did, no matter what, was always the biggest and best of its kind. So he reflected to himself, with no small measure of pride, that he’d achieved something unique that no one ever had before. He’d pulled off the apocalypse: the biggest, best-ever, and most successful Armageddon ever.

It was a hell of an episode.