Almost every time I see or hear a politician in an interview, I can be heard screaming “Answer the damn question!” Same goes for business leaders, bureaucrats, CEO’s, media ‘personalities’, company spokespersons, and all the other time-wasters and obfuscators who refuse to participate in any variety of ‘plain talking’.
Seems everyone is too scared to just simply speak the truth. Covering the backside has taken priority over facts and real information. And I blame most, if not all, of the world’s ills on this apparent inability to just. answer. a. question.
I could rattle off pages of the ills I speak of, but I won’t bore you – you all know what our ills are…
Instead, I’ll cut straight to the chase. With a solution. A solution inspired by game shows and reality TV.
Yes. That’s right.
You want to ‘fix the world’? Well, here is the recipe:
Take one part Slimed, and one part The Voice, mix, and have it enshrined in the Constitution of every nation on the planet that the results are final and no correspondence will be entered into.
Every night, a 2-hour program is multicast on TV, internets, radios, and on PA systems in town squares the world over. On this show, a cavalcade of politicos and ‘people of note’ are paraded on stage, and they are confronted by a press gang, who have a hit-list of the twenty most popular questions for each contestant. Also there are four big chairs, with their backs turned to the stage. In these chairs are the judges, with big red buzzers.
These judges are ordinary folk, selected as you would select a jury of peers for a court trial. They have their backs turned and the voices of the contestants are garbled to protect their identities from the judges. This eliminates bias on the part of the judges.
So the show gets underway. The questions are fired at the contestants. All each contestant has to do is answer the questions. Simple. Answer a question, you move on to the next. Answer all your questions – without fluffing about, skirting the issue, or responding with your own question – and you ‘win’. You walk away a winner. Yay!
And what do you win? You get to keep doing what you’re doing. Simple. You’ve provided a community service by answering questions that society needed answers to. Everyone’s a winner.
But, answer a question with a question, or be judged by the judges as lying or dodging the question, and you get buzzed. Instead of being buzzed for a great performance, the contestants are buzzed for every perceived lie or ‘not-a-straight-answer’. And there is a three-strike rule.
If you get buzzed by the judges three times, you get slimed. Right there on stage, doused in goop. Foul-smelling, butt-juice of Satan goop. And then, after being almost buried alive in the slime of your own making, you are escorted off stage by dudes in biohazard suits and gas-masks, because the stench of the goop is so insanely horrible, and you go off to ‘the chute’. This is where losers of the game get ejected back into the world.
And then you get your prize for being a struck-out question-dodger or outright liar. Your prize? Well, you get de-throned from whatever lofty position you hold in society, you get your assets stripped from you, and you and your family are exiled into a detention camp, where you will spend years fighting the system and begging to be released back into society. And when you are finally released (if you’ve been good) the only future you can aspire to is one of window-washing or taxi-driving or pipe-cleaning or trash-collection or coal-mining or barnacle-removing, or some other menial task, for at least a decade.
Now tell me that such a program won’t instantly fix just about everything. Go on, tell me, and back it up with evidence. Meanwhile, I’m off to a meeting with my local media production firm, followed by my patent attorney, and then putting in a call to the UN.
Re-posted this piece from last year because I think the idea still has legs if we ever get serious about holding power to account. This would be a fun way to deal with a very serious issue.
This post was written by me under a previous moniker and originally published as a guest post on someone else’s virtual real estate under the title ‘Guest Post: “Answer the Damn Question!”: Australian Man Invents New Game Show That Saves The World’ on The Big Blog Of Knowledge (see the post in that form here). I reblogged it from there at the time, here.
Those good people from The Big Blog Of Knowledge have since moved on to brighter things at The Lonely Tribalist – go check them out.
This edition has been only very slightly edited just so I could write this sentence about it having been very slightly edited.
Apologies to Jim Carrey and the Disney Corporation (or whoever claims to own The Voice franchise).
Yours in a world controlled by the worst the world has to offer, in more ways than one,