Those Were the Days.

“Grandpa, tell us about the Innernet!”

“Ah, I’ve told you about it a hundred times already!”

“Tell us again—please!!!”

“Well, what do you want to know?”

“Is it true that you could see the human naked body?”

“Oh, you could see a lot of things in those days, kids. Why, when I was a young man, if you, for instance, wanted a picture of a woman covered in her own feces having sex with a giraffe, all you needed was a computer and a telephone —”

“What’s a telephone, Grandpa?”

“Now don’t interrupt! You interrupt again and I won’t tell you anything!”

“I sorry.”

“Now, as I was saying, if you wanted a picture of a woman covered in her own feces having sex with a giraffe, all you needed was a computer and a telephone. And wasn’t no one’s business no-how why you wanted it!”

“Did you masturbate to the picture, Grandpa?”

“Well, now who says it was me that wanted that picture? Anyhow, just about anyone could get just about anything through their computer system—it was all for the asking on the Internet—all until the Telecommunications Restriction Act. And it got worse the year they appointed President Chicken!”

“Was that the year the music died, Grandpa?”

“No, kids, that was 1999, when Michael Jackson bought the rights to all music everywhere. I’m talking about 2001, the Millenium. That was the year that President Gramm got shot, and his Vice President, a chicken, got inaugurated. Everyone thought it was really funny when Gramm appointed a chicken to the position of Vice President, and when he had Vice President Chicken stand on a rotating turntable so it looked like he was dancing, but it wasn’t nearly so funny when the chicken became President. That was the year the Trust Legalization Act got passed.”

“But how could a chicken be President, Grandpa?”

“Read your history books, boy! They’d put a copy of the bill in front of the chicken, and they’d cover the bill with feed, and if the chicken pecked at the bottom where you’re supposed to sign, then they took that as his approval, and they made the bill a law! That’s why everything in this house, and this house, and the power that’s running our surveillance system, and the water substitute in the sink, and the clothes some of you are wearing, and the clouds in the sky and the clouds in the river and Fluffy and Conchita the maid are all stamped with the OWC logo; because all is OWC.”

“One World Corporation, right, Grandpa?”

“Not so loud, boy. They’ll switch on the AI bugs.”

“What’s a turntable, Grandpa?”

“Never you mind, child. It’s something from long ago.”

“Is that all you know about the Innernet, Grandpa, or should be put you back in the capsule?”

“Well, some people used it to trade ideas and thoughts —”

“I don’t like ideas and thoughts, Grandpa: Teachoid says they lead to indi.. individibal behavior! And that interferes with the efficiency of the community and the corporation. Amen.”

“They really teach you good down at the school, don’t they?”

“I dunno, Grandpa. I just sleep for 8 hours, and then come home.”

“Well, the Internet was a wonderful thing, back before they started restricting it. It was a way for everyone to express themselves and be individuals. It was a way that everyone could be free.”

“But nothing is free, Grandpa, are they?”

“Not anymore, child. Not anymore.”

    Forwarded from David Sorkin.