Voices/Future Tense

An Orions’ Arm E-zine

An Interview With Her Excellency

Michael Capriola

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An Interview with Her Excellency Lemmikki Kauppinen, Prefect of the polity of Attaining Harmonious Convention

INTERVIEWER: Welcome to “Events and Pesonalities of Our Times.” I’m your host, Kokachin Wu. Today’s guest is an avatar of Her Excellency Prefect Kauppinen. Nihao, Your Excellency, and thank you for agreeing to be inverviewed.

KAUPPINEN: Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here.

INTERVIEWER: The first subject I’d like to broach is the evacuation of the habitats surrounding the Jovian planet Mokusei in the Aku Nihon starsystem. [access datalink on Evacuation of Aku Nihon habitats ] According to the official statements by the Transcendental Official, Chamberlain to The Guo Fu — Praise be unto E — there are plans in the works to manipulate the magnetosphere of the gas giant which would flood most of the region around it with radiation out to millions of kilometers. Can you explain this to our audience, Your Excellency?

KAUPPINEN: Certainly. The Guo Fu is going to stretch the magnetosphere into an oval shape. Usually, the magnetosphere and it’s corresponding radiation bands form a torus with a diameter equivalent to the diameter of the planet. The new configuration will stretch the magnetosphere out on one side to a hundred times the diameter of the planet or more. The bulge will rotate with the planet.

INTERVIEWER: Do we know the reason for this project? What, exactly, does The Guo Fu — Praise be unto E — hope to achieve?

KAUPPINEN: I haven’t the faintest idea. The Transcendental Official might, but E didn’t even try to explain it to us lesser life forms.

INTERVIEWER: I see. There’s a lot of rebellious speculation that The Guo Fu — Praise be unto E — is violating sapient rights by forcing the evacuation. How would you respond to these charges, Your Excellency?

KAUPPINEN: The Pre-Singularity King Canute [access datalink on Canute ] grew annoyed with the sycophants at his court and their constant flattery. To prove a point he invited them to the seashore and commanded the tide not to come in. [access datalink to Ocean Tides ] The tide rolled in anyway and soaked everyone’s feet. The point Canute was trying to make was that even a king has limitations. The Guo Fu is like the tide. A person may build a home on the edge of the sea, and then stand on the shore and advise the tide that e has rights that the tide may not violate. The tide neither hears these complaints nor cares. It comes in anyway. It is a force a nature. So is The Guo Fu, for all intents and purposes. Complaining is pointless.

INTERVIEWER: Very well put, Your Excellency. My next subject is the Chalk Girl and her constant vandalism throughout the capital. [access Police Record: Chalk Girl ] I believe that an art gallery is going to put holograms of her work on display in the near future.

KAUPPINEN: Quite correct. The angelnet has holographed the Chalk Girl’s impromptu artwork since the beginning. Some of her art is very good indeed, and I thought that the general public should have a chance to view her work.

INTERVIEWER: I understand that the Chalk Girl is opposed to having her work shown in a gallery.

KAUPPINEN: True. Outdoor chalk art is meant to be transitory, hence her opposition. She also has a rebellious nature, which is why she insists on drawing on the walls of public buildings. Cleaners remove the chalk, and Regulators haul the artist up before an arbitrator on charges of vandalism. The Chalk Girl is sentenced to so many hours of community service, and then she goes back to drawing on walls again. She spends more time in court, gaols, and performing community service than she does making art. But that is the life she has chosen.

INTERVIEWER: Two years ago several people began to imitate the Chalk Girl. There was a rash of vandalism as people began splashing paint on public and private property.

KAUPPINEN: And over ninety percent of that vandalism wasn’t what I’d call art. Everyone involved, including the Chalk Girl, received six months virtual imprisonment for vandalism. That ended the fad in a hurry.

INTERVIEWER: Indeed. Regarding the gallery showing of the Chalk Girl’s artwork — is she going to be compensated for the display of her work?

KAUPPINEN: Yes, indeed. Her status is bound to increase if the public responds favorably.

INTERVIEWER: It’s bound to with your recommendation, Excellency.

KAUPPINEN: That doesn’t necessarily follow. The public’s tastes might not match my own. I’ve seen this in the types of literature I prefer. With the Chalk Girl’s work it can go either way.

INTERVIEWER: Shifting topics again, Your Excellency, what can you tell us about Economics Three Point Zero?

KAUPPINEN: The simplest answer comes from the Pre-Singularity writer Charles Stross. [access bibliography of Charles Stross ] Basically, Economics Three Point Zero is utilized by transcendent intelligences that survived their own economic engines that redistribute entropy when their economic efficiency outstriped their imaginative power, said imaginative power being their ability to invent new wealth.

INTERVIEWER: I’ve saved the big question for last: Your Excellency, is this the best of all possible worlds in which to live?

KAUPPINEN: Of course not. And I hope we don’t see such a thing. Stagnation is death.

INTERVIEWER: Well, you’ve certainly given us a lot to think about, Your Excellency. And that’s all the time we have. I’d like to once again thank Her Excellency Lemmikki Kauppinen for joining us here today. I’m Kokachin Wu, and I wish you all a pleasant day.

[to replay of this interview access datalink to "Events and Pesonalities of Our Times" Archives ]

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Editor’s Note: This story shares a setting with Festival Season, found in last quarter’s issue. More about the author, Michael Capriola, here.

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