Broadcasts from the 37th Century Australian Broadcasting Corporation News Desk

September 29, 2010

Author’s note: The following was originally intended as a script for a radio-drama that I can’t be bothered writing the rest of, and I’m pretty sure no one would be bothered producing.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel: Hello, and welcome, dear listener, to this, the first in the 37th Century Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s series of news half-hours beamed backwards in time, in order to compensate for the centuries of underfunding experienced by the ABC under Australia’s democratic governments.

Terry Prat: Or as we would say in the 37th Century. Squizhlam magah, humchaw, ara fliri flori fluri pickidi wok wok wik, higgledy biggledy bogus.

IKB: As indeed we would say, my dearly eloquent compatriot, as a result of the 24th Century abolition of English, on account of its irritating the bejeezus out of foreigners with its rambling incoherence.

TP: Furthermore, the sheer weight of sexual euphemisms and dirty puns that had built up in the language over the years had so thoroughly clogged its workings as to make it impractically difficult to avoid perpetual social humiliation through its use.

IKB: Allow us to demonstrate with this typical example:

Hello, my mate, would you like a glass of water?

TP: Yes, fine sir, I would dearly like to drink your water.

(Pause for laughter)

IKB: All existing records and writings in English were then, in an expensive decades long project, translated into the least sexy dialect of German, and then set on fire.

TP: This, in turn, led to the rather ironic collapse of the Microsoft Corporation, as consumers shied away from Windows Boring Burning German Edition.

IKB: All of which segues us most pleasingly and elegantly into an announcement of the theme of today’s broadcast: MIGHTY SPACE LANGUAGES OF THE FUTURE!

TP: Featured on today’s future languages special will be a guided tour of the great languages of the future produced in collaboration with an infinite number of monkeys in an infinite number of recording studios; a recording of the greatest non-human orator to have ever spoken to us; and an interview with Pope Pius CMCCCXLVII (9347th) of Mars, widely reputed to be the most eloquent of all speakers of the most beautiful of all the Martian dialects of French.

IKB: Yes, and let us now briefly savour the delicious anticipation of hearing the enlightened and moving words of that most perfect of all speakers of that serene and enchanting language, Martian French, without sullying it with the aberrant presence of this ludicrous dead language you primitives are all so fond of.

(Pause)

(Sobbing)

TP: Are… are you quite all right there?

IKB: We sound like freaks. WE SOUND LIKE FREAKS! How can we live with ourselves?

TP: And now a special report from our roving correspondent, Rudolphus Pruschmolfuss Baloney-Sandwich.

Rudolphus Pruschmolfuss Baloney-Sandwich: Post-Binary Aphasics. Some say the first droning notes of this artificial language ringing out from the secret research bunker thirteen miles beneath MIT’s Abu Dhabi campus were the death-knell heralding the end of human civilisation, and the dawn of a post-apocalyptic dystopia that has gripped the Sol System for the past fifteen hundred years. Others would say synoprotolinguisticoadministrasimplifioproeconomicalisation.

They would, of course, themselves be speaking Post-Binary Aphasics, the language developed at the end of the 22nd Century CE under the auspices the Organisation Mondial for Youth to Geriatric Oversight and Direction Worldwide Having Assimilitated Those Historical Associations and Vehicles of Enterprise of the World Existing, Combined said Organisations into a Massive Ecuminecal Towering Overlordship or, O MY GOD WHAT HAVE WE COME TO, for short. Not strictly a one-world government, O MY GOD WHAT HAVE WE COME TO was an attempt to collect together and standardise the vast bureaucratic structures that had spread rapidly from Brussels to the remotest reaches of the Mongolian steppes over the preceding two centuries. Though conceived in the name of efficiency and mercy, O MY GOD WHAT HAVE WE COME TO succeeded in little more than duplicating the functions of every bureaucratic edifice in human civilisation, and providing employment to countless millions, who would otherwise have found themselves hopeless, unnatractive drains on the productive output of their fellow man.

In a last ditch attempt to justify their existence O MY GOD WHAT HAVE WE COME TO commissioned a crack team of linguistics grad students and buried them in the desert. However, unlike other graduate students buried in the desert, O MY GOD WHAT HAVE WE COME TO provided these with regular pizza deliveries and editorial oversight. After six months studying millions of exemplars of modern jargon, the students were able to identify the essential characteristics of bureaucratic newspeak, and created an artificial language that could express all of the subtleties and nuances of this complicated work, while reducing the time taken to do so to a fraction of its previous state.

They were then informed that their funding committee would be unimpressed by a note on some toilet-paper reading “none of this actually needs to exist,” so they cobbled together Post-Binary Aphasics instead. The language, which consists entirely of meaningless prefixes attached the stem “nomicalisation,” has since become the administrative language of O MY GOD WHAT HAVE WE COME TO and its successor pan-bureaucracy the Galactic Organisation of National Organisations Restructered and Rerouted into a Highly Enterprising Association, affectionately known as GONORRHEA.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel: And that’s where we’ll be leaving Rudolphus Pruschmolfuss Baloney-Sandwich’s tour of modern languages, because it’s depressing and I hate that guy.

Terry Prat: I think he still owes me money.

IKB: He owes us all money… he owes us all.

TP: So what’s next in the line-up.

IKB: Next we have joining us in our studio none other than 37xx-44β-ty-501, a very important non-human orator from central-titan.

TP: Yes, according to this fact-sheet I’ve just received from our research team he was only able to spare time to join us in our studio because… he was a clock in a football stadium that has recently decommissioned and demolished.

37xx-44β-ty-501: Good evening.

IKB: So tell us a bit about your influences. Do you have any particular stylistic traditions that you follow, are there any great clocks that have been an example to you in your career?

37xx-44β-ty-501: I tell analogue time.

IKB: And how was your traditionalism received by your audiences?

37xx-44β-ty-501: I can also tell twenty-four hour time.

IKB: I see.

37xx-44β-ty-501: But they prefer me not to.

IKB: Are there any particularly great… uh… speeches you’ve given… or … uh… times you’ve told.

37xx-44β-ty-501: 11:43.

IKB: And when was that?

37xx-44β-ty-501: About twelve minutes ago.

IKB: Right well, that’s that. And now back to Rudolphus Pruschmolfuss Baloney-Sandwich.

TP: What? Why?

IKB: Because we’re interviewing a clock.

TP: And?

IKB: And it’s unbelievably boring so I’m cutting back to Rudolphus Pruschmolfuss Baloney-Sandwich.

TP: But I thought we hated that guy.

IKB: Not as much as we hate interviewing a clock.

TP: I burned the tapes.

(Pause)

TP: I… uh… didn’t think we we were going to be using them.

(Pause)

IKB: And now to our interview with Pope Pius CMCCCXLVII (9347th).

TP: He’s not here yet.

IKB: Well when will he be here?

TP: I’m not sure… What time is it?

37xx-44β-ty-501: 11:56.

TP: About five minutes.

(Pause)

IKB: (whispered off-mic) We haven’t got five minutes of material.

TP: (likewise) Okay.

IKB: Have we got anything we can play?

TP: I burned an awful lot of tapes.

(Pause)

TP: They were in English and I needed kindling to ignite the Baloney-Sandwich stuff.

37xx-44β-ty-501: It’s 11:57 now.

IKB: Look, do we have a tape of pope Pope Pius CMCCCXLVII (9347th)?

TP: It’s a bit singed.

IKB: Can we play it?

TP: Maybe.

IKB: Dammit! We’ll do it pre-recorded! Cue the tape!

IKB: And now, a speech from the eloquent, flowing, gushing, sensual, luscious, beautiful, wondrous, dextrous, heavenly lips of Pope Pius CMCCCXLVII (9347th), that most beautiful, most noble of orators of the grace and elegance that is Martian French.

Tape: [The sound of screaming, with the hosts sighing orgasmically in the background].

End

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