From the weekly series The Bureau. Brought to you this week by the U.S. House of Representatives and InjectoCortex, Proud provider of INF-based Brain Transistors for Elected Officials (IBTEOs) since public disclosure of their existence in 1952.
Welcome back to The Bureau, a weekly series on Boing Boing that pairs a comics story with an electronic music soundtrack. Each panel is timed to occur in real-time, covering an entire day at your job.
If you're new to the story, please check in with your manager, as you'll want to catch up on an eventful morning of work. You clocked in at 8:59am, then dealt with a vending machine at 10:28am. You were assessed on your collating at 10:58am, then saw a vision of Abraham Lincoln at 12:03pm. Following this, you were filled with a legitimate sense of joy around 1pm.
This sixth episode begins the second act of the story.
You'll want to start this playlist at 1:21pm:
Featured this week: The SSL Scat Talker Phoneme Generator
This week the second act of The Bureau story begins, and introduces you to one of the larger truths of the world: A President's thoughts are not his or her own. Rather, they are often controlled via Telepathy, through a large Infant Brain. And while that fact is well established, and justifies many Presidents’ behavior and decisions, the means by which the Infant Brain communicates might surprise you. Infants are known to use 100% Pure-Grade Uncut Phoneme!
Not a surprise if you follow history.
Many world leaders have been controlled by Phonetic means. Phonemes are the sounds that make up words, and thus are more potent than words themselves. The monosyllabic grunting hissing bopping and pucking of phonemes speak to the primal core of world leadership.
Currently, all leaders have been mandated by International Law to have a Phonetic indoctrination prior to being able to represent any country with a population that exceeds 150,000 citizens.
This video is shown to world leaders on their first day of work, prior to their implant
Implantation Starts Early: The first week at their job, following filling out some forms, being shown the Break Room, and getting an ID card, World Leaders are swabbed for DNA and then paired with an Orphanage-Raised Psychic Infant (ORPI) who will guide their every decision through office.
A series of video tutorials (like the one above) then guides the leader into a new blissful stage of Comfortable Control.
The implant process, and changes in technology
The U.S. Government has been using ORPIs in its Psychological Operations since World War I, when infants of great mental strength were originally hidden behind the curtain of a President, communicating their directives via normal unamplified telepathy. While useful, once television exposed FDR to living rooms in 1939, the need for remote control became evident, as viewers at home were curious about what they were seeing on the screen.
The story goes that FDR was convinced the orphan was hidden with care, but numerous letters to the New York Times asked "What was that lump on FDR's lap?" The Press Agent at the time rejoined "He's just happy to see you." But the government realized The Infant would need to be hidden from view.
But how to amplify the Brain Wave? Enter the Transistor.
As Presidents became more mobile, the broadcast abilities of Psychic Thought would require small clandestine components that amplified their signal and be difficult to see. Ideally the Infant could be housed in a room or two away from the President, and the President could have a "trance sister", or "a friend" that could help the psychic energy, as originally phrased from Harry Truman's eccentric wife Bessie.
Bell Labs took the call, thus delivering the what it deemed with clarified language 'the transistor', to the White House in February 1945 - Nearly two years before officially revealing such science to the world.
The transistor allowed for technology providing a nearly unbreakable beam of Telekinetic Conduit - But its perspective shifting result was almost too noticeable, bending the will of any president receiving its signal without discretion. Harry S Truman's presidency saw the first use of transmittable psychic infant's control, notable with its first act of mental reconfiguration: Executive Order 9835, or "Loyalty Order", which established the rule of McCarthyism. Under true and total Phoneme control, Truman then directly engaged American forces into the Korean War, bypassing the obligatory theater of seeking Congressional approval.
If you listen carefully you can hear a buzzing of the Infant's words prior to Truman speaking. This was later improved upon in future noise-cancelling implants of the INF-2 and INF-3.
The original implant used on Truman, dubbed the "INF-Beta", would go through numerous Administrations and iterations. Despite large improvements, the technology has had its moments of error:
Here at one minute twenty seconds, Nixon completely mishears his Infant's phonetic advice on answering the subject of impeachment.
The problem was later deemed more than just technology-fixable with an improved INF-4. Nixon was known to perceive only half of the sounds of human language, the press deeming him an inconsonant voweler.
A vertigo-inducing inner ear INF-5 implant produced balance difficulties for President Ford.
Ronald Reagan's INF-8 transmitter consistently failed to contact with his Control Center Infant, leading to numerous moments of cognitive distress.
Making your own Infant Transmission at home — with the Synthetic Sound Labs Scat Talker Phoneme Generator
At this point, you might be curious about making your own Phoneme messages. Use of a proper transmitter might even send your message directly to the President's mind!
We at The Bureau recommend a unique and wonderful electronic device called the Scat Talker (rather funny if you think the President is, him or herself, a shit talker) but the SSL Scat Talker is far more unique.
Doug Slocam, the inventor of the Scat Talker (and a person with a remarkable and impressive history with synthesizer technology going back decades) describes the Scat Talker - Particularly its implementation of a Votrax SC-01 chip, used as the voice module in the movie War Games, Q-Bert, and the Heathkit HERO robot.
“Shall we play a game?” Get your synth talking, singing, scatting, growling or just plain babbling like a drunken Swede (not my metaphor, sorry). Born from 1970s & 80s technology and pushed to the limits with modern microprocessors, the 1420 Scat-Talker is a module that speaks volumes about the analog-digital hybrid innovations of its time.
The Votrax chip's most famous Hollywood moment of phoneme-driven speech synthesis, as the voice of Global Thermonuclear War
At the Scat-Talker’s heart is an original Votrax SC-01 chip. The chip’s sounds have gone into outer space on a satellite, were used in the movie “War Games”, Q-Bert video and several pinball games, Radio Shack’s Speech module, as well as the Heathkit HERO robot.
Phoneme programmed speech from a Votrax chip introducing itself in a HERO home robot
Operation of the Scat Talker:
Select one of the 63 built-in phonemes with a control voltage (CV) or panel control aided by the convenient high contrast LCD display, press the button and have some fun by setting the pitch from normal to growls, thru duck like gibberish. Trigger the phonemes with a sample & hold or sequencer, or connect to a DAW with a MIDI to CV converter for speech like sequences.
The Scat-Talker can be made to ‘speak’ by sequencing its phonemes in specific orders. (Best implemented with a step sequencer that sends CV for each note and gate)
The Scat-Talker is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Max Mathews of Bell Laboratories, who while certainly not alone in his efforts, is credited with numerous speech and music related innovations from the 1950’s right up to his death in 2011.
As the story goes, while visiting a friend at Bell Labs in 1961, director Stanley Kubrick was treated to a demonstration of a singing computer with musical accompaniment arranged by Mathews. That song “Daisy Bell” was all the inspiration Kubrick needed for the final dramatic scene in ‘2001 – A Space Odyssey’ where the HAL computer is slowly decommissioned. The Scat-Talker’s built in demo sings a few familiar bars from “Daisy” in memory of Mathews.
The Scat Talker singing 'Daisy' in a nod to Douglas Rain's performance as HAL from 2001
John L Rice's demo is an outstanding demonstration of much of the Scat Talker's abilities:
Fun listen here on COUB
The sounds of the SSL Scat Talker in The Bureau
The Scat Talker is the sound of Droning Dread at the beginning of your day:
The Scat Talker asks you about the Fire Alarm Lever:
The Scat Talker speaks directly for the President on State TV:
And in its most unrestrained, the Scat Talker is the recorded sounds of the Brain-Controlling Infant itself — Exercise Caution:
To be continued next Wednesday on The Bureau.
Continued vigilance, good friends!