(c) 2015, Chuck Teixeira
Romneyac’s Website was so crude it could lead to outlawing porn. It allowed viewers to rate videos that studios upload. Five leaden stars turned gold when the cursor grazed them. Clicking on only one star produced little alchemy. Clicking on all five meant hands could soon be too sticky to touch the display.
Since their election defeat, Romneyac and his wife, Ann, had spent several afternoons healing on television talk shows. Healing replaced job creation as a family value. Not sure how much healing still needed to occur, Brother Theresa suggested that Website could elicit comments on less kinetic concerns. Let the viewers provide redeeming social value.
“Less kinetic?” Romneyac said. “Website is motion — a continuous crashing through the boundaries between decency and feeling good.”
Despite the rash along his thighs, Brother Theresa resisted the urge to stir on his cushion. While he resisted, Romneyac seemed to come around.
“You may have a point. I don’t want Website shuttered before I’m ready to move on. What kind of comments you suggesting?”
With as much levity as he could simulate, Brother Theresa chatted up Website’s separating all black videos, Footage, from all white videos, Frats. Footage usually presented emaciated young men on wrinkled red sheets — containers of lube on one side, TV remotes on the other. Often, the model watched naked women while he performed for the cameraman.
Romneyac was losing his patience. “I never view Footage.”
“There could be pop-ups,” Brother Theresa hazarded, “just before the cum shot, with questions like ‘Is this model really gay?’ ‘Is this model on crack?’ ‘Is crack an acceptable inducement to strip in cyber space?’”
“Too negative,” Romneyac said. “And just before the cum shot? No way!”
“What about after the cum shot?” Brother Theresa scrambled. “Or after the slow motion replay? Or after final credits, like bloopers?”
Securing an appointment with any Website executive required miracles, one with Romneyac himself succor beyond the divine. Brother Theresa had used his own funds to fly to Salt Lake. Then, the mix-up at Temple Square about whether Romneyac’s appointment was with Brother Theresa, a pudge from San Francisco, or with her Holiness from Calcutta. And finally the awkward explanation that he wasn’t there to confer a humanitarian award on behalf of his dead aunt.
Despite the hurdles, Brother Theresa would not yield — certainly not to the botoxed bully behind the desk. The models on Footage were little older than – and nearly as unfortunate as — child soldiers in Africa. They needed to be rescued, though mainstream charities ignored them.
“Frats,” Brother Theresa blurted, “Could elicit input to flesh out scenes.”
“Frats is my favorite,” Romneyac said. “So many guys who look like I used to.”
Brother Theresa seized the opening. “When the varsity finds coach’s Levitra stash in the locker room and fall so in love with each other that they forfeit the match on the field, and when the geeky runt gets choked near death for refusing to write the team captain’s senior thesis, pop-ups could ask, “If plagiarism enhances titillation, do more elevated academic settings make better highs?”
Romneyac looked puzzled.
“Or,” Brother Theresa rushed to regain credibility. “The pop-ups could ask whether anyone cared about coach’s family if alumni demanded his head.”
“And?” Romneyac groped.
“Richer studios that post samples on Website should pay more when a viewer follows a link to their marketplace. That extra money should go to poorer people, like the Footage models, so they can earn their general equivalency diplomas and develop less marketable skills.”
Now red, Romneyac shouted, “That is the most intrusive, most expensive, least effective do-good nonsense I have ever heard. And who do you mean by richer studios? Not Frats. We own Frats. We already pay too much in fees, taxes and other forms of protection.”
The biggest prize apparently out of reach, Brother Theresa tried to salvage his mission. “There are other rich studios. You can charge them extra, especially the foreign ones – Twinkdom of Siam, Behind Bars in Rio, Up to Your Elbows in Berlin…”
“Sure!” Romneyac taunted, regaining some of his pre-election swagger. “And have the WTO all over our ass?”
Orphaned in a mattress-shopping mishap, Brother Theresa was no match for one of America’s most intact families. Had he believed the hype that followed his Christmas interview on Oprah? She hadn’t asked the tough questions that now piled on. Why ardor for black porn models? What about only them aroused his sense of injustice? Was it intimacy when a million other viewers came as close or in even higher definition? What value any niche crusade?
“Let me be frank,” Romneyac said, “We have zilch control over working conditions in the studios that advertise.”
“But,” Brother Theresa offered, “You could deny shelf space to any studio that refuses oversight.”
“Amid all that decentralization,” Romneyac swelled then reined in his rhetoric, “Even powerful people can’t exert much influence.”
Brother Theresa asked whether industry trade groups monitored the studios.
Had Romneyac considered an inspection program of his own?
Wasn’t Romneyac still concerned about peoples’ health? Wouldn’t viewers sleep more soundly knowing children’s fingers hadn’t worn down to knuckles weaving the blankets on the bed?
“You’re losing me,” Romneyac said. “But I’m open to commercially reasonable deceptions.”
“I could visit the Footage studios,” Brother Theresa said, “Along with physicians to examine models for bed sores and trauma.”
“No.” Romneyac shouted, “Too expensive. Too intrusive.”
“I can administer aid myself,” Brother Theresa countered.
Romneyac lit up. “And run your fat little hands over those slender,
Between the cynical baiting and the irritation in his trousers, Brother Theresa wasn’t sure how much more he could absorb. “I’m not the saint in our family,” he finally said.
“I respect a man who knows what he wants and goes after it,” Romneyac laughed and extended a hand. “Let’s shake on it. At least until the healing’s done.”
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