This is just a bit of escapism that I have hastily knocked up today for your enjoyment.
It does have some loose connection with reality, but not very much. :-)
The music hyperlinks are intended for you to right-click and open in a new tab as you encounter them. This should, I hope, result in the music starting to play in the background while you are able to continue reading - at least, that is the aim. When the music is indicated to stop, you should then be able to simply close the adjacent tab in which the YouTube was previously opened, without needing to leave this page and mess with your Chi for more than a second or two. Again, that is what I envisage happening anyway - but you're the boss of your own surfing destiny so it's up to you, and your choices of software and upgrade hygiene. My apologies to anyone who is on a bandwidth budget and can't spare their download bytes on this much YouTube streaming, just for escapism. Apologies also for any distracting YouTube adverts that get shoved in front of the actual music I have linked for you.
So, moving right along now, this is as I said above just a bit of fiction. It's not "a script", but a sort of rough "[short!] film concept" that I hope you will be able to visualise (that isn't about to be made - unless you are a film maker, in which case my email is on my Blogger profile, and with a bit more time and effort I could expand the plot for sure!). It's not my story, although there are some elements of truth/fact in amongst it. If you are a FOFOA reader coming to this post, I imagine many of the truthful elements and emotions I hope you will feel, are common to you too. If you are not a FOFOA reader so far, I hope it intrigues or inspires you to visit the FOFOA blog and find out more about the issues discussed there. There is very much unsaid here about the content at that blog, which expresses a challenging-to-grasp, but highly compelling, theory encompassing economics, money, credit, debt, politics, inflation, deflation, hyperinflation, "precious metals", and conspiracy theories. As implied in the story below, if you don't understand FOFOA, you are highly unlikely to understand what is really unfolding in the world today.
If you have any feedback you would like to leave, I would welcome your comments very much. Even if it's just to say this sucks that's fine (but I would ask that you tell me in what way it sucks, so I can learn from you), but hopefully there will be more saying it was a great escape from their routine. Or if you have suggestions for improvements, perhaps alternative music selections or some relevant richness that might be added to the plot (such as it is!) -- again, please leave a comment and I will very much appreciate it!
John Hartman completes a conversation with a colleague outside his office. Enters the office and closes the door behind him. (The name plate on door gives his name and senior title, name/logo of the company on a wall in the background, etc. Clearly to the viewer, this scene is in a media company’s offices and John is one of the executives.)Narration of John’s thoughts as he goes about his everyday business.
John sits in his swivel chair, takes a moment to glance out over the evening city skyline as he spins around in the chair to address his computer screen and see what he should be doing next.
First three emails are SPAM, deletes them (tut, tut, mutter, tut). Fourth email from the list is from Dan Page – who is an acquaintance from John’s home life; not quite a best buddy but not quite on his junk email list either. Skips over the email for now and deletes/files the other few unread emails on the list.
John comes back to the email from Dan finally. He opens it, the viewer can see the open email and it says something to the effect of (narrated in John’s voice as he reads):
I’ve had this idea for a film and while I was thinking of who I might be able to work with on it just now, I remembered you saying at Gary’s BBQ that you guys do this sort of thing. Perhaps I can send you what I have and see if you think we could make something half decent out of it? Let me know. No worries if you’re hosed.
Dan Page is a web designer working at Webstarz, a small web creative outfit. He is at work, just doing everyday things to illustrate his day to day hectic life at his desk. He’s happy. He’s busy. The company seems to be doing well, and so do he and his colleagues. Narration of Dan’s voice over all of this being illustrated on screen, summarising it as he introduces himself and his life at this point in time. As part of this he mentions that he’s doing really well, he’s saving a nice chunk of cash in the bank at the end of every month and he’s thinking of maybe retiring in a few more years.
(The Thing For Me track is still playing quietly in the background, continuing from the previous scene, Dan is now wearing headphones and listening to the song on his iPod.)
On his way to work on the underground - sitting next to his girlfriend Silvia (you can see she is a bank clerk and her name is on her lapel name tag), who is also listening to her iPod - Dan picks up a paper someone else leaves on their seat as they get off. There is a major story on the front page of the paper, which Dan very clearly ignores completely, about Lehman Brothers collapsing. Dan is reading some football distraction story that is off to the side. Dan clearly is not really interested in money and finance. He and Silvia get to their stop, he folds the paper, and they get off together happy and business-as-usual. They subtly raise a hand to each other in a sort of wave-goodbye gesture with a smile. Gets to the office, puts the paper in the bin and gets on with his work. Everyone and everything is “normal”. The music ends cuts the scene.
It’s now indicated visually somehow that it’s a few weeks later. Dan arrives at the office. He’s a little late (never a problem). Glancing at his watch he notices it is 10:38. Everyone else in the office looks pensive and the office is a little quiet and subdued. He opens his email. Immediately he can see there is a mail from the Big Cheese, Bill Adams. He opens the mail, which is rather brief, merely stating:
House meeting today at 10:45. Attendance is non-optional. No client meetings or calls. No excuses.
As Dan finishes reading the email, Bill is already standing in the open plan office and begins booming out that the meeting has now begun. He doesn’t stop to wait for anyone but goes on in a sort of almost mechanical way to say that as we are all aware there are big problems in the economy at the moment (pan to some in the office looking at each other puzzled and shrugging, while Bill continues) and this has unfortunately affected the company’s access to credit with our bankers. You probably understand that cash flow is king in any business and while we have good relationships with our clients, they are also under pressure on cash flow just like us. (Music begins to fade in: Orbital – Sad But True) Long story short, one or two of our major clients have pulled in their horns and seriously cut their spending with us – they are having difficulty in financing their operations too. They’ve also been delaying payment on our invoices. Shorter story still: we have today run out of cash and the bank refuse to extend us any more credit. I’m afraid I have no choice but to terminate all of your contracts, with immediate effect. It’ll just be me and Clare (his PA-cum-receptionist at his side) as of tomorrow. And it looks like even we will be just running the ship into the ground. You can finish what you’re doing today if you feel the need, or I will completely understand if you want to just pick up your personal stuff and leave right now - your call. I’m sorry it has to be like this, but... well, it just does. Without pausing, Bill turns robotically and marches back into his office, closing the door behind himself (cut to Bill looking stressed and vulnerable, close to tears, blinks eyes and looks up at the ceiling as he stands with his back against the closed door, palms pressed to the door behind him).
(Cut back to the main open plan office again) Stunned silence for a moment or two. People glancing at each other in disbelief. People slumping down into their chairs. People with hands clasped to their heads and worried looks. One man in the background picks up the phone and dials a number, after a pause: Hi David... yeah, it’s Graham... listen, I was wondering if you still need someone for that project you mentioned the other day..?
In the foreground, Dan Page turns back to his desk and slumps into his chair. For a couple of seconds, looks bewildered. Then takes his computer mouse in hand. Sees a mail has come in from someone or another, clearly a client. (Music continues on into next scene... but begins to fade out slowly now) Dan double-clicks the mail and it opens, and then immediately, as he was about to lean towards the screen to start reading it, he suddenly pushes back his seat, stands up, puts on his jacket, picks up his rucksack and mobile phone, and storms out of the office.
(Music continues from previous scene...)
Dan is at home, asleep in yesterday’s clothes on top of the bed, looks pretty dishevelled. His alarm clock goes off after a few seconds of witnessing him sleep. (The music stops just as the alarm sounds) It’s 10:00. He rolls over in that hung-over way where everything in the world wants to kill you. He hits snooze angrily, rolls back over again. Cut to 10:10, the clock alarm beeps again. This time he waits a little and then slowly turns over and switches it off. Stretches, rolls out of bed. Cut to closeup of his face, head under the shower head, eyes closed in the soothing water. Flashbacks to Dan in several different bars, increasingly drunk, eventually flashes of drinking with a pretty young chick, then flashback of them fucking in an alley. Cut back to Dan, opening his eyes and then slowly closing them with a highly regretful expression. Camera pans out enough to slowly uncover a glaring love bite on his neck. Out of the shower and dressed now, looking sick as a dog, Dan is setting about a very lazy and fragile day, making toast and instant coffee, picking up the post from the front door of his flat. Switches on his laptop and opens Internet Explorer, as he’s eating/drinking/opening post. The home page is a jobs website. He starts to enter his username, but looks away into space despondently and stops himself. After a few seconds of this space-gazing, he shakes himself back to reality and (the viewer sees his screen) selects http://dansvsworld.blogspot.com from his Favourites list and the site opens to a list of his blog posts (they’re all fairly depressing and uninspiring titles in the list). The his phone rings, it says the caller is Silvia. He grimaces, before picking up and trying to sound pleased to hear from her. (Music fades in: Miike Snow – Silvia) She is shouting at him angrily that her friend saw him last night with some slag behind McNasties Pub in town. She doesn’t want to hear from him again, he’s turned into an enormous fucking loser, she’s sick of the drinking, the women and the lies, he needs to sort his fucking life out. Dan says nothing – what can he say? Just a dead stare into space. Silvia rants a little more, shouts why doesn’t he fucking say something, some more on how much of a massive fucking loser he is. This is it now. She doesn’t want to hear from him again. She hangs up. He hangs up the phone too after a few further seconds of the dead stare. He turns to his laptop (camera switches to viewing his screen again) and clicks [NEW POST], enters a title “What’s the point?” pauses, and begins to write (his thoughts are narrated as he types them) a body text “Is this yet another first day of the rest of my life? Another day that I really think I will get one of these jobs I apply for? And it actually will happen? Or is it going to be yet another episode of This Was Your Life? Six months of this shit today. HALF A FUCKING YEAR!! Not a single sniff of a job. Why don’t I just STAY drunk now? HELLO?? Can anyone even hear me???” Pauses desolately for a moment. Hovers over the close window button. Then quickly clicks [PUBLISH] and slams the lid of his notebook, necks the last of his coffee and slumps back in his seat.
(Music ends abruptly with the scene)
Dan is asleep in bed. His alarm clock goes off after a few seconds of witnessing him sleep. It’s 10:00 again. He rolls over and lazily presses snooze, rolls back over again. Cut to 10:10, the clock alarm beeps again. He slowly rolls over and switches off the alarm. Stretches, rolls out of bed.
Dan is up and dressed. He’s browsing the web, a blog he has randomly clicked into by the NEXT BLOG button (we have seen his screen as he has clicked through a few, uninterested by the titles he spots, camera switches to him looking bored and unimpressed as he click click clicks through a few, then camera back on the screen to show he has found a blog with a post titled “Free Money”. It has an animated image of Obama and a couple of other guys near the top, throwing out cash. Dan smiles and gives a brief stifled, slightly bitter, laugh through the nose. (Dan’s voice reading the post in his head, viewer can see the page on-screen:) “I can smell the fear emanating from Washington. I’m sure the wolves can smell it too. Things aren’t going well and our “fearless” leaders are starting to panic. The signs are everywhere. Everything under the sun is imploding and exploding at the same time. Fannie Mae, FDIC, Cash for Clunkers, Health Care reform, state financing, Geithner’s cool. The only thing they seem to be able to control is the stock market”. Dan laughs out loud at the screen. Dan thinks aloud: oh boy! Yes, I think I know who I’ll be reading this morning...
ALT+TAB to Windows Media Centre, selects music, artists (hover mouse around a bit and scroll back and forth indecisively, then impulsively...) Maverick Sabre, album title I Need, [Play Album]. (Music starts: Maverick Sabre – I Need) ALT+TAB back to Internet Explorer.
Then cut-cut-cut footage of Dan reading from the screen, laughing. Cut cut cuts are showing it’s different days (he is wearing different clothes, it’s night it’s day it’s night, etc). Getting coffee. Looking intent and perhaps a little anxious. Eating cereal. Reading reading reading. Coffee. Reading. Eating toast. Reading. Serious looks. More coffee. More reading. More laughter. Always at his laptop.
(Viewer sees Dan’s screen again) Dan edits the URL in the IE address bar, so it just has the site URL http://fofoa.blogspot.com, hits enter. Then sets this page as the IE home page. Click on the IE favourite for his own blog. List of posts, [NEW POST], enters title “At last, something INTERESTING!” body: “Jesus! This FOFOA guy must surely be crazy? What’s all this about gold being massively revalued and everything else collapsing? At first I just thought he was whacko but kinda funny. And all these other people talking to each other in the comments, most of them seem to agree with him. Are they ALL deluded? To be honest, the ones that don’t agree I can’t help feeling they come across as the desperate whack-jobs. Going to have to read some more I think...”
(Music has faded into the end of the scene, and ends with it)
(Same morning wake-up routine as yesterday, except no snooze – get up at first alarm 10:00.)
More reading. This time to the music: Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus (the first track on The Best Of Depeche Mode – Volume One, found in the same way as before in Windows Media Center). Again cut cut cut reading reading reading, coffee, different outfits, night/day/day/night/etc, intent looks, laughter, shaking of head always reading, fade out to black... (music fades out also)
Favourites – blog posts. [NEW POST] Title “Making sense now” Body (Dan’s voice reads in his head as he’s writing) “Well, it’s been a month I’ve been reading and reading FOFOA, and finally I feel like I’m beginning to get it. The dollar system, $IMFS, is the global system of central banks buying each other’s bonds and hiding inflation in their accounts. The euro system turns its back on all of this and instead they have mainly gold. So while we and the yanks have mostly been building a big bonfire of each other’s paper currencies as backing for our own paper currencies, and the yanks having nothing behind theirs but a smile and a promise, the Europeans have instead something real as an asset behind their euro. We are all holding hands and sinking together as nobody seems to notice, while they are building themselves a golden lifeboat. There has to be more to it than just this though? I’m going to have to start reading some other sites about gold I think, maybe it’s some ruse to sucker people into buying gold before the price gets whacked?? What if it’s true though? Starting to worry my dwindling life savings in the bank are in serious danger now, and I’m burning through them at a rate of knots these days too.” [PUBLISH POST]
(An indication of some kind that some time has passed)
Viewer sees Dan’s screen as he clicks [NEW POST], enters title “Idiocracy” Body (Again Dan’s voice is reading this in his head) “Dear diary...
Well, I’ve been reading FOFOA and a few other places that other people seem to think are good. At none of them have I seen anything like what FOFOA is writing. I keep finding everything else I read doesn’t quite add up properly for me. Normally I’d think being almost alone makes him the nutter, but what he says just makes so much more sense when I put it against what I see in the news these last few months. Can it be true that everyone else has it wrong? That only he and a couple of other bloggers commenting at his site, have it right???
Asked my first question at FOFOA in a comment today. Nobody answered. Guess it wasn’t a very good question! :-D TBH, after I posted it I wished I hadn’t. It was about the COMEX. What the fuck do I know about the COMEX??? :-D Oh well.” [PUBLISH POST]
Cut to Dan leaving his notebook to get coffee and some beans on toast in his apartment. Watching the TV, etc.
After a while, Dan returns to his notebook and opens his Gmail account. There is a message saying that someone has commented on a post at his blog. He clicks to read it. (Music starts: Amerie – 1 Thing) The message is from FOFOA: “DP, I saw your question earlier. I didn’t want to embarrass you by answering there, because if you don’t mind me saying, it was a shit question! ;) But I found your toy blog here thru your blogger profile and thought you would like to know that it is at the LBMA in London where the bulk of the fictional paper gold is traded, not NY. COMEX is just a sideshow. Jeffrey Christian (CPM Group) said there is 100 times as much paper gold traded every day in the markets as actual, physical gold. Is he full of shit? You decide. But if he’s not, what does that say about the price of this “gold”?
Dan thinking out loud again: FUCK! (laughs) At least I know someone has noticed my toy blog now then! (Music continues into next scene)
Usual morning routine, except clock alarm is now set for 08:00, Dan turns it off first time and rises quickly, dare I say enthusiastically. Up showered and dressed, coffee and toast at laptop while reading reading reading, smiling, writing. Read the paper (FT). Screen reading, reading, reading, laughing, intent reading, smiling, writing, shut lid on laptop. Reading screen again. Laughing. Typing. (Camera switches to view the screen, music starts to fade out to the end of the scene) Types http://www.bullionbypost.co.uk into the address bar, logs in, orders 20 gold sovereigns, login to bank website and make BACS payment, logout. Laptop lid closed (shutdown). In bed, switch off bedside light click at end of scene, blackness, music cuts in synch.
Dan is in bed still. Door bell ringing. It’s 07:55 (alarm hasn’t gone off yet, still in bed in pyjamas, Dan checks the time turns off the alarm as now awake already). Answers door to postman, signs for Special Delivery small package and takes delivery with other post.
Opens the Special Delivery parcel, takes out the 20 gold sovereigns. Looks them over, then pushes them into a big tin of teabags at the back of a kitchen cupboard, closes the cupboard door which takes the scene to a black end.
Dan searches out a business card of John Hartman that he “filed” in a box full of business cards, perhaps every one he’s ever been passed in his life, and then sets about writing the email to John Hartman as the viewer watches (Dan’s voice narrates his thoughts as he types them):
I’ve had this idea for a short film and while I was thinking of who I might be able to work with on it just now, I remembered you saying at a BBQ that you guys do this sort of thing. Perhaps I can send you what I have some time and see if you think we could make (music starts to fade out to end of scene) something half decent out of it? Let me know. No worries if you’re hosed.
Dan :-) [SEND]
Dan is out sitting in a cafe for a treat Sunday full English breakfast. The man at the next table was reading The Observer (it is Sunday), but leaves it on the table when he departs. Dan reaches over and picks up the paper, (music fades in Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – AKA... What a life) unfolds it to see the front page. On the front cover is a headline story “HSBC default on ECB gold lease”. There is another story titled “ECB making market for physical gold Monday, starting at €80,000/oz”. Camera pans to TV in corner attached to wall, the BBC News is on, they are switching between footage of different global cities where people are rampaging in the streets, looting shops, setting light to buildings and vehicles, the news presenters are discussing the bank ATMs are not giving out cash since Friday night, and the governments of the UK and USA have announced that all banks will be closed on Monday, for an indefinite period of time.