INTELLI GENT: A disembodied intellect, utterly alone
POLSCI: An organism grown in a sealed hothouse, expert in all things political
VOX RATIO: A disembodied voice, trapped in a soundproof box
VOX POP: A foot long Subway sandwich imbued with the power of speech
Act 1 Scene 1
A hush falls over the stage as INTELLI GENT, POLSCI et al realise that VOX POP is about to speak. They look at VOX POP with trepidation, but without effect, as VOX POP is aware of neither the spelling nor the meaning of the word 'trepidation'.
Trumpet Fanfare, spotlight on VOX POP, who stands alone in the splendid isolation of his echo chamber.
VOX POP: Can you imagine, right, what it'd be like if we, like, let all the Moslems in?
INTELLI: [pauses] I imagine it would be quite crowded.
VOX POP: Yeah! I mean... what? Whaddayamean? Why don’t you ever say anything that makes any sense? You ivory tower, university qualified, know-nothing, know-it-all who knows nothing!
INTELLI: Well, for a start, our population would instantly grow by about 1.6 billion people, which would represent a significant and sudden increase.
POLSCI: We’d have to build a huge amount of infrastructure – I’m pretty sure that even ‘Big Australia’ advocates would admit that an injection of population that large would overwhelm any current or future capacity for this country to sustain population. It would probably mean taking the regrettable step of raising taxes on individuals by about 170%. It’s all good, though, as we’ll offset that and create economic growth by reducing company tax to, um… let’s see… minus 300%.
VOX POP: Shut up, dickhead. No-one cares.
INTELLI: And then there would be the expense. As far as I’m aware, no more than a few millions of this total figure are actually displaced or attempting to migrate, so we would need to purchase quite a lot of military and logistical hardware in order to bring them here by force. You’d have to talk to POLSCI for the exact numbers.
VOX POP: I can’t be bothered with facts and figures. I just know how I feel, and how I feel is terrified about terrorism.
INTELLI: Well, if we had a sudden influx of 1.6 billion people, I’m pretty sure terrorism would be the least of our problems. I think the primary issue would be total and complex societal collapse.
VOX POP: So I’ll finally be able to use all those doomsday supplies? I’m glad they won’t go to waste – you know how much I care about value for money.
VOX RATIO: [inaudible]
VOX POP: What did he say?
POLSCI: Not sure – I only caught something about “false premise”.
VOX POP: Typical. Vox Ratio’s never got anything really interesting to say – nothing you can get really frightened or excited about. And he’s always trying to ruin it when you’ve found some really juicy piece of outrage to chew on. I mean, seriously, what an arsehole. Oh look, he’s yelling now.
INTELLI: I think we should hear what he has to say.
POLSCI: I dunno. If Vox Pop doesn’t want to hear it, then I probably don’t either. Actually, I do, but I don’t want to upset Vox Pop in case he evicts me from his house.
INTELLI: I think he’s saying something about “talking at cross purposes”.
VOX POP: What? What does that even mean? Actually, I don’t care. Just drop this curtain over his box, will you? The day I listen to that killjoy is the day the world ends.