Wednesday, May 27, 2015

1491 Your Phone Records

The battle of the bids is underway.  The NSA has been ordered to wind down its collection of everyone’s phone records.

Time-Life records and K-tel are already in Maryland, ready for the auction of rights to produce the compilation CDs. iTunes is expected.  So is YouTube. Pandora is planning a whole new channel for them and Netflix can’t be far behind.

K-tel is famous for its vinyl records.  They wore out in two weeks even if you didn’t play them.  When digital media came along the company spent $40 million to develop a CD that would wear out in a month.  They never could match the short life span of their LPs.

Time-Life is already preparing a script for the hour- long infomercial.  They’ve hired the washed up politicians, Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin instead of the washed up rock stars they usually use.

Dick and Sarah will sit and reminisce about the wonderful days of yesteryear when everyone’s phone calls were secret, but weren’t.
Remember that call you made to Sardi’s?  Yes, the one where you made reservations for a Thursday evening.  Or that pizza or Chinese takeout order you placed just last week?  They’re all going to be there on this set of 18 CDs.   So will be those calls you got from the collection agency and from the cops asking you to pick up your children and bring along $5,000 in bail money.

But wait.  There’s more!  The first 10-thousand people who call will receive this free BONUS CD, “Calls of the Rich and Famous.”

Tracks will include Jeff Zucker’s call to Jay Leno telling him his show was moving to prime time.  You’ll hear David Koch sing “Happy Birthday” to his estranged twin brother Bill, and both Charles and David singing “Happy Birthday” to their estranged older brother, Fred.

You’ll hear Cary Grant and Randolph Scott on the phone fighting over the affections of some waiter from the Coconut Grove.

So, eventually, you’ll be able to buy the data and a handy guide to which number belongs to which person.

But this is going to mean a slight bump in the unemployment rate.  It takes 852 NSA employees to collate all the information.  And when they’re done, they’ll have nothing else to do.  So they’ll be tossed away and forbidden from listing their former jobs on their resumes.  National Security remains a worry.


--This got a lot of Facebook traffic, but in case you missed it: the PacSun incident angers me but not for the usual reason. The flag turned upside down is an approved distress signal, and who can deny this country is in deep distress? The backlash over the shirt is itself a perfect example of the fatal combination of ignorance and stupidity that's killing us.

-- Our old fave Sick Rantorum is to declare for the Republican presidential nomination today and we can hardly wait. The aging frat boy is always fun to cover because he’s so quotable.  Here’s one beautiful head-scratcher: “...a third of all the young people in America are not in America today because of abortion.”

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2015

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