Sunday, May 19th

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You are here Editorials Alex Baer Tales of Doctor Truebeem

Tales of Doctor Truebeem

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It would be so much easier if election laws specified a new tag line at the end of every candidate's campaign ad:  a one-line summation of what, exactly, the candidate's overall goal, plan, and aim was all about.

I think you'll admit the current format doesn't help much, where the candidate is heard saying, "I'm M. T. Poseur, [or Ecoli Ebola-Zika, or whoever] and I approved this message."

This gets into trickier ground, though, of course.  Who is to say what, exactly, any candidate really, truly stands for -- what he or she really hopes to accomplish?  It triggers the whole who-watches-the-watchers Orwellian nightmare.

Still, I cannot help but be struck by how much more helpful it would be to have some human activity or artifice which would help us cut through all the smoke, fog, and baloney, and get down to cases.

Imagine how refreshing it might be to run across a campaign ad which ends with:

  • "I'm Carly Fiorina, and I'm desperate to make you stop thinking what a psychotic liar I am, and how I ran Hewlett-Packard into the side of a mountain because of my ignorance and ego!"

I mean, short of putting Sodium Pentothal into the air and water for all Americans, including all candidates and their campaign and advertising advisors, we're left with a do-it-yourself, onesy-twosy operation where each voter goes to the time and trouble of fact-checking each and every candidate's campaign statements, voting records, investments, stump speeches, debates, and so on.

Of course, no voter, no matter how well intentioned or resourced, can work 24 hours a day for very long -- let alone those are required to reside in the actual world where making a living is a requirement above all others, save taking in air and occasional fiber and moisture.

Which is why voters don't check, and keep swallowing the double-grande hemlock espressos.


(This is probably why Republican voters, who think they multitask well, and think they are getting more done, and faster, have reverted to the apparent efficiency, and instantaneous quickness, that an emotional response and gut-feel provides.  GOP voters are simply drawn to whichever candidate's grunts and howls they themselves most enjoy or relate to, and all is right with the world.  Thinking is no more relevant to the process than boulders are to birds flying.

Multi-tasking, meanwhile, it should be said, is a scientifically-proven illusion which allows the performer to "know" more is getting done, and more efficiently, when, in fact, less is getting accomplished, and getting accomplished far less well or completely or thoroughly than the multi-tasker thinks.

But, then -- this is why we primates continue to drive hurtling, multi-ton vehicles at great speed, while impaired, or while distracted by gadgets:  We think we're doing just great -- a really tremendous job, in fact -- so, it must obviously be so!  We're geniuses!  Check this out!  Better yet:  Hey, check ME out!

Someday, there may be studies which better tie together the tattered odds and ends of Republican voters, multi-taskers, and DWI offenders, and find a common gene is responsible for all of these needless tragedies.

Meanwhile, won't you please give to the Common Thread Foundation?  Thank you.)


Personally, I think it would be hilarious and refreshing to see a campaign ad come on, in this season of political brow-beatings, brain-bashings, and blurb-blizzards, and see something honest tacked on to the end of an ad -- something like:

  • "I'm Donald Trump, and I'm playing with your head, because it's great fun for me, and because I'm richer, smarter, and pushier than anyone else on the planet -- and just because I can."

Once elected,  I have no doubt Trump would pull a Palin, and decide that actually working in the demands of office is nothing at all like the allure of the office, and is actually pretty boring when you get right down to it, even aboard the newly-christened Air Force Ivanka.

Then, Trump will start World War Three, just for laughs, or worse -- Trump would quit, leaving us with President Martin Shkreli as jawdrop fodder.


This can be interactive, you know.  What would be your favorite tag line for candidates -- Ted Cruz, for example?  How about:

  • "I'm Ted Cruz, and I'm just so thrilled you don't seem to find me as revolting as you did earlier, when I made your skin crawl like herds of little ants stampeding all over your body, everywhere, even in the places you don't talk about, and I'm also really happy you maybe think I won't be as creepy as the last fake Texan that rolled into office, and then rolled you, and the country, too, for eight years!"
Oh, man -- you talk about "Mission Accomplished!"


If only there were some way to force the actual truth to the forefront, without having to resort to dark, Orwellian moments, and the need to create a Ministry of Truth, and without having a raging Republican experimentation with witch-hunts, paranoia, and breaks from reality, such as the McCarthy-inspired House Un-American Activities Committee...


This is where I would like to tell you the tale of a Doctor (of philosophy and linguistics) Royal B. Trubeem, Jr., formerly of the University of Manitoba, and his accidental invention of the Synthesized Uncoverer of Substantive Scoops unit, or SUSS for short.

In effect, the device, sometimes called the SUSSer today, using wireless internet, takes all vetted fact-check reports on a candidate, or a subject matter, and, combining them, allows the final compilation to have vocal summary capability via a synthesized human speech port.

The SUSSer -- or the Tru-Beam 1000 (TM), named after the unit which shortly goes on sale next week -- can be attached to, or placed alongside, any electronic device, such as radio, television, book reader, you name it.  Then, the source material is scanned by the SUSSer, or Tru-Beam 1000 (TM) unit, and the actual, bona fide, no-kidding truth comes alive, and aloud, from the speaker or earphone jack.

  • There may be Truth Riots, of course, as we would come to name them, as humans have spent a long time evolving the ability to hide truth from each other, and themselves, of course, and have no natural defense against the truth, except to attempt to kill the truth-speaker, as is the human custom with messengers, visionaries, and other status-quo changers.

Once the dust settles, a world of complete and total truth could be a tremendous relief, if somewhat devoid of the serial-killer-like fascinations we have today with the inane, and insane, hordes of demented yahoos we have running for office now, and the equally crazed media stars covering them with all apparent, and glitzy, seriousness.

Me, I could get used to leaving behind the days of brainwashing.  No pining done here, even if I do like to be told something other than "You still look quite cadaverous today, you know."  I would never let my shards of vanity stand in the way of human progress -- and relief.


That being said, I wish I could tell you the SUSSer, or Tru-Beam 1000 (TM), was real. As I stated, I would like to tell you... however, I cannot.  Either this story is totally made up, or I am part of a vast, lunatic conspiracy to prevent humanity's much-needed, and next possible, evolutionary step.

The way to tell?  If the unit is true, it is only a matter of time until it gets loose -- like Life, in Jurassic Park.

And, if I am part of a howling-mad cover-up, well, it's only a matter of time until I bend to the forces of economics, cave in, and start marketing anti-SUSSing products in the same sort of conspiratorial way that End of the World Doom-Bleaters always market their survival food packets and juice powders and vitamin chews...

... or how various gun-makers and ammo-sellers prey on your fears to stock up now before it's too late right after an upswing in international tensions, natural disasters, or mass shootings...

...or how religions fire up the fear and madness for the End Times, and against all other religions, and against the religion-less, and against their own helplessness from an imagined parental smack-down of their Deity's brimstone fires...

... or how the Republican party always sounds the Fear Klaxons in the night, and in the day, without cease or sleep, and is physically unable to take their thumbs off that One Big Button guaranteed to swell their ranks...

... or how...

Well, you know.  No, we're probably not ready for the truth, 100% of the time, and just not equipped to handle it, or a Tru-Beam 1000 (TM) just yet.

Still, I would give real money to see a SUSSed ad face-off between Hillary and Bernie, too, with the simplified message of "...I'm mostly for the interests of big money" broadcast with one, and "... I'm completely for the interests of regular people" broadcast with the other.


In the absence of evolutionary gifts to instantly suss out lies and deceit...

In the absence of our individual abilities to not be conned by ourselves -- multi-tasking style -- or by others when we should know better -- Ponzi-Madoff-Dubya-style...

In the absence of our time and energy to try to daily uncover the truth, and from so many sources of lies....

All I can say is:  Where are you, Doctor Truebeem?


Somewhere, in a cramped basement laboratory cluttered with mechanical and electrical equipment, and with shards of gutted, abandoned, and scavenged bits and pieces, two people in white lab coats were intently watching a television screen.

"It doesn't look like it's working.  Are you sure it's on?" said one to the other anxiously.

The technician checked the connections and nodded enthusiastically.

"It's on, all right.  The reason you're not hearing anything yet out of the SUSSer's speaker is that you've got the damned TV turned to Fox News -- so, you just pulled a 'HAL 9000' on the test unit!"

The long-cobbled test unit, of course, took that exact moment to burst into flames, sizzling helplessly, smoking and fizzing, until it stopped, listless, in a pool of molten circuitry slowly dripping down the side of the television set in dribs and drabs, the hapless event setting the program back another few decades.

The scientists closed their eyes slowly, patiently, and heaved a great sigh, for it was political season then and there, too.


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