Well I got a fifth of the way through and I’m not out of ideas yet
Here’s how things are currently looking:
The novel is spilt into three parts: Before, After and Possibly
Before, as it says on the tin, is the events leading up to the change and the introduction of mind-altering substances comes bit by bit prior to the full change when we get to After. Possibly I will talk about when/if I get there by the 50’000 word mark.
An anti-drug law terrorist group destroys the DUCA (Drug Unified Compulsation Act) commission’s files and materials made in preparation for the change and kidnaps their filing cabinet of hard copies. The DUCA commission attempt to rebuild and reconstruct the files in line with the announced start date while dealing with bad press and find clues that someone inside the DUCA commission is working for the anti-drug terrorists. After the changes come into effect, the terrorist group’s attempt to reverse the actions lead to international conflict and the intoxicated DUCA commission have to try and keep the administration’s position stable while they personally aren’t. Basically its a trippy drug novel grounded entirely in reality, the humour comes from the contrast really.
Marvin Hayes is a brash and arrogant press officer for the DUCA commission with dubious motivations and a hard time relating to people.
Judith Barret is head of materials. She’s in her late thirties and void of any opinion on drug law. She’s been part of far too many failed government policies and just wants to go home and put her feet up at the end of the day.
Judith’s father is John Barret (currently Reverend Bear) and is in a lunatic asylum for his association with a strange online cult who spend their days on conspiracy theories about the DUCA commission and other strange phenomena of recent years.
Jase Edwards is a snide arrogant intern who was promoted to a full position head writer of materials when Marvin saw a lot of himself in the young man.
Michelle Cowdry is Marvin’s ex-girlfriend and Gerald’s personal assistant. She and Jase have been experimenting with doing their jobs while under the influence of certain substances together.
Gerald Harding is currently Vice president and incredibly bad press for the DUCA commission. He has been dealing with a secret cocaine habit for years and was thus keen to act as spokesman for the legislation. He is the bane of Marvin’s life.
Justine Florestine is head of PAF (Parents Against Fun) a leading anti-drug law activist group. Her 5 year old son has been showing up in press campaigns as a spy for their group.
As the prologue I posted probably indicates, I’m trying to incorporate fake historical extracts into the narrative. Most are going to be running throughout the novel and will change and get more erratic as the effects of compulsary recreational drugs takes effect. They’re all woven into where the plot is, mostly to give a feel for the scale of the change. It includes news broadcasts, government materials, other media like that
So far I’ve got some government pamphlets, instructions to current and new public services and things like that, I’ve also invented a couple of new bits of technology because, hell its the future, why not? But the main difference between now and the future is that Dominoes Pizza is a taxpayer funded public service. It had to be done.
I’ve also got transcripts from news debate shows that show up and also fake speeches by fake politicians. I may have overexaggerated the severe dumbness of our characters but that’s the thing: I am trying to make everyone on every side of the drugs argument look bad. This is pretty much a cautionary tale of everyone and everything’s approach to drugs.
Here’s a couple of speeches from early in the novel.
PRESIDENT HIESENFELD – DUCA COMMENCEMENT DATE – 02/12/2133 – Televised address
“My fellow Americans. Many of you may be questioning this administration’s decision to make it not just legal but compulsory for every citizen to be intoxicated by previously illicit substances at all times. Many of you have lobbied against me. Many of you have declared me insane. But most of you have been strangely agreeable. Terrifyingly agreeable in fact.
Those who oppose this bill, I see your point. I understand where your fear of this great change comes from. But let me assure you from the bottom of my heart that America will care for you. America will love and respect you throughout the next great era of this nation.
Every factor has been taken into consideration. The DUCA commission has been working around the clock making sure that when that day in September comes, we will protect you. The staff of America’s Drug Huts will be there for you, the Drug Police will be there for you, the establishment will care for you.
When I set out to make the world a more sympathetic, kinder, more understanding and less comprehensible place, I saw things coming together in the precise manner this commission has been putting this act together. I am immensely proud of the maturity and dignity displayed by this administration.
And let it be known that that pride will be extended to the brave people of America joining with us as we step forward into a new tomorrow filled with boundless potential for new areas of thought and consciousness and intrigue.
When that day comes and the first line is snorted, the first doobie is lit, the first hit is dropped, we will be with you every step of the way. We stand on the border of a freer world than we have been able to comprehend before. We barely believed this new world possible. We are with you every step of the way. America will be by your side and care for you.
As a great man once said, one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
THE HOTDOG SPEECH – VICE PRESIDENT GERALD HARDING – 05/05/2133 – Address to congress in support of DUCA
“I see this new initiative by the President to be a wonderful new beginning for America. Now granted there will be many who will immediately see flaw in compulsation but I say to those people: that is a very flawed argument. Very flawed indeed.
The legislation is sort of like when you make hotdogs. Y’know how you boil them in water and it takes so long and you’re like “c’mon, c’mon, I’m starving you’re killing me here.” And you gotta drain the water and let it soak out for a while and its the same here. You’ve gotta let this new lease of life for America to soak for a while until it tastes like the salty brine soaked taste of freedom with mustard.
Mustard is definitely the word I’d use here; this bill is mustard to some people. Some people eat their hotdogs with mustard, some don’t. And I say, that those who oppose mustard are blindsighted egotists. In America we have the right to face UnAmerican dissent and laugh.
Dissent in the face of the DUCA act will soak up a bitter pool of hatred and encouraging war on our children. These fools who surround us everyday won’t accept that in a free democracy, by election we have been empowered to see a new vision of the future for America.
And these dissenters, these infiltrators, with their yes men and no men surrounding them offering discouragement of our cause, they refuse to see the arguments put forward. Like a burnt hotdog they will be left in the garbage along with those who thought the Hummingbird cull was a bad idea, and the opposition to the plastic tree initiative AND the surveillance drone initiative.
We will stand together and fight the forces of unopinion and together we can forge a new beginning for America’s beginning”
RECORDING IS THEN DROWNED OUT BY CONGRESS GROANING AND YELLING.