POSTER DISPUTE IN WIRELAND
Not Necessarily the News
Not Necessarily the News has been keeping track of daily demonstrations in Wireland’s October Square. Wirelings are angered by numerous articles in their newspapers, which reveal that posters of Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys have been placed on the walls of every government building in Wireland. The offending posters have also been seen inside the offices of the country’s radio station, ZooStation Radio. It’s being reported that the Ministry of Culture sent the posters to the radio station. Even worse, the Ministry of Culture has ordered ZooStation Radio to play these phony "artists". The Ministry of Culture, is, of course, run by Saturnians, as are all branches of Wireland’s government. These particular Saturnians, Wirelings are learning the hard way, do not believe in democracy. There is only one settlement on Saturn with 2,000,000 alien residents, and it is a police state. This is a major cause of tensions between Saturn and planets with democratic forms of government like much of the Earth, all of the settlements on Venus, all of the settlements on Jupiter, and all of the settlements on Neptune.
"Who do these guys think they are?" one angry demonstrator asked. "No one at the radio station asked for these posters. Do you know how many staff members of that station have resigned since the Saturnians took over? Seventy! Yes! No one anywhere in Wireland asked to hear this garbage they’re playing on the radio station. Heck, if they want to hear these people, they can get the Chart Topperland radio station, which plays them practically nonstop. So it’s not like we’re infringing on their rights. Can you imagine having to play this garbage for a living? If they don’t stop it, then, good grief, we are going to have to call in Jupiter’s UFO Force. They have six very fine UFO’s. They’ll confiscate every single Britney Spears poster they run across. They have some very interesting technology, you see. They can track down these obnoxious posters anywhere within a 200-mile radius. They also have UFO de-activators, which were given to them by their Venusian allies. But these idiots don’t know that! If we win this fight against the Government, then, gosh, they’ll look like the idiots that they are. Imagine! They can’t defend their own posters. An undisclosed Wireling has ripped off a set of keys to the Government buildings and the radio station, so we can get in there, too, and get rid of those obnoxious posters."
"We don’t think of this as stealing" explained another demonstrator. "You see, the posters are terrible PR for Wireland. We don’t care what these guys do at home. They can take the posters home and then we’ll call the whole thing off. But they won’t move the posters. They’re claiming it’s part of Wireland’s culture now. Well, those Government buildings are supposed to be ours. We don’t recognize this government because we didn’t get to vote for or against them. If they don’t stop acting like they own these places they’re in trouble. If we have to go through with this attack, we’re not going to involve Venus. The Saturnians will have no idea they’re about to be hit by a bunch of de-activators."
Just then some Saturnian Police Officers walked into the square from October Avenue. "Disperse, disperse, you nuts! Don’t you understand that you have no power in the affairs of anything going on in Wireland right now? We’re sorry you don’t like the posters, but it’s none of your business. We’re in control, not you".
"You idiots!" screamed a Wireling. "Do you know who our friends are? The Venusians and the Jupiterians!"
"We don’t care what the aliens on Venus or Jupiter think", retorted one of the Saturnian. " We’re in control here, so what can they do now? Now you people had better disperse, or else you’ll have to get ready for a ride on a Saturnian UFO.". He then turned around, left the square, and headed back to the Ministry of Culture buildings.
"Oh, gosh, that’s what they think", a Wireling muttered under his breath. "They’ve no idea what the Jupiter UFO Force is capable of. But it’s their problem, not ours."
"That does it", said an irate Wireling. "They keep dictating to us. This is getting old. I’m calling the Commander on Jupiter. Let me tell you, they are going to scare the pants off of these dumb Saturnians when they walk into the Government offices with their de-activators."
Four Wirelings walked to the intersection where they’d been told to wait for the Jupiter Interplanetary Police officers who, along with the Jupiter UFO Force, had agreed to meet them. Not Necessarily the News has been asked not to reveal the location of this meeting site. We were allowed to send a staff reporter who signed an agreement with the Jupiter UFO Force not to disclose this sensitive information.
Waiting for the Wirelings at the intersection were several members of the Jupiter UFO Force and the Jupiter branch of the Interplanetary Police Force. "Let’s show our friends our Trash Poster Detector, shall we?" asked one of the Jupiter Police Officers. "These also track down recordings of these obnoxious airwave polluters, so we’ll just grab that junk at the radio station and tell the staff they can take it home". He opened up a box containing a computer. He pulled the computer out of the bag and turned it on. He then brought up a map of Wireland on it, and the display screen showed a map of Wireland. Bright red lights flashed on the Government building symbols. "That tells us where the posters and albums are", he said. "Now, let’s go!"
At the buildings of the Ministry of Culture at first the Saturnians refused to let the invaders in. "You let us in, dammit!" yelled one of the Jupiterians. "We have UFO de-activators—did you know that? You let us in or we’ll wreak havoc with your UFO’s! How’d you like not ever being able to go back to Saturn?"
"Aaaacchhhh!" screamed a Saturnian staffer. "I can’t believe it! They have those damn UFO de-activators! This is as bad as a Venusian UFO attack! Let them in or we’ve had it".
The Jupiterians entered the building and immediately noted the offending posters. "Ach!" sputtered one of the Jupiterians. " The people of Wireland don’t like it that you’ve got these damn posters here. This is a public building! Take those things down. You can put them up in your houses. This is terrible PR. It’s making Wirelings feel like idiots, and trust me, they aren’t idiots". The terrified staff dispersed and jumped onto the building’s elevators. An hour later they emerged with an estimated sixty posters packed into a huge box. Two employees carried the box through the lobby and packed it onto a truck parked outside the building.
"OK, we’re clean now", said one of the employees as he re-entered the building. "Not a single one of those stupid posters left. I’m a Wireling, not a Saturnian", he explained. "I didn’t want to quit my job, because I didn’t know where else I might be able to get one. But these dictators couldn’t win a popularity contest with any other dictator on the planet, past or present. Not Pinochet, not Duvalier, not Marcos. I’m telling you, we can’t stand them. And they’re really starting to feel the heat from the demonstrators and the press. They tried to muzzle the press, but it didn’t work because people started their own newspapers, and they can’t control things that they don’t own."
"I’ve got a message coming in on my Interplanetary Cellular", said a Jupiter UFO Force Officer. "Listen to this, everyone".
The Wirelings assembled in the lobby gathered around the alien holding up a huge cellular telephone. "We’ve just received good news from Wireland", said the Commander of the Jupiter Police Force. "We’ve tracked down every trashy poster that was in a public place. They’ve all been returned to their owners. We talked to the people at ZooStation. We’ve been told that the Saturnians listen to the Chart Topperland station in the first place and they were only using the Wireland radio station to intimidate the Wirelings. Well, they’ve shown that they’re a pretty resilient people, that they’re pretty tough to intimidate."
"Could you call our cousins on Venus?" asked one Wireling. "We told them about this and the fact that we’re thinking of emigrating to Popland. They love it there. I’m jealous—no Saturnians there!"
"I’ll tell you something," said a Jupiterian. "This situation can’t last. You guys are much too independent to put up with these dictators for the rest of your lives. They can’t stay here very long against your will. But first they’ve got to see the errors of their ways. Enough demonstrations, hostile newspaper coverage, and yes, UFO attack threats, and they’ll back off, get the hell out of here, and Wireland will be Wireland again. This dictatorial lunacy can’t last. They’re drunk with power. Just wait until they feel the hangovers!"
We at Not Necessarily the News, now headquartered in Popland on Venus, hope that the spirits imbibed by the Saturnian rulers of Wireland run out soon. Once the Saturnians feel their hangovers, and you guys keep the pressure on for a return of your democratic government, Wireland will indeed be the Wireland it once was.
Patricia M. Hefner
23 March, 2000