Net Neutrality: Hit satire coming to a theatre near you

The world is a simple place, until someone wants to tell you what to do.  The realization that not everyone believes in common ground that surrounds each of us seems to be a new discovery to some.
Written by Doug Hanchard, Contributor

The world is a simple place, until someone wants to tell you what to do.  The realization that not everyone believes in common ground that surrounds each of us seems to be a new discovery to some. The sanctity of individual requirements is wrapping around our lives with a plethora of effects that will have long term consequences. Hey - wake up!! Don't go to sleep reading this post just yet! Allow me to entertain you. After all, one component of a Internet blog is to entertain, right?

Net Neutrality is a theatre stage play written in Washington D.C. and this is a glimpse of what's happening behind the scenes. There's a pile of actors dancing around ready to be heard by you in the audience. What you don't know is that the audience is about to watch chaos in motion amongst the actors and not realize that many simply turn around and walk out before they even get to their seats. The show is the story about Net Neutrality that never settles down. Right off the bat, the writer has lost control of the script because of all the request for rewrites. The producer doesn't even remember what the storyline is. I'm usually asleep by Act II if it's Opera and if this play doesn't figure out what it IS soon, I won't even finish writing this blog! The story...right....about Net Neutrality, I think.

The players are the same ones we've become used to. Government, Corporations, and Consumers. Mixed in with those groups are the supporting actors; lobbyist, agents and the commentators. All the players described are going to make money, except one. You do know which group that is, right?

The script is Net Neutrality and as I have mentioned, it's always being rewritten, daily! Every show is different. The players keep on getting different lines to read. Seems this show really is one blunder after another. The actors start to change every scene and nobody is on the same page. The reason this occurs is because the producer keeps on getting actors who think they are the lead in every segment of the show. After all, their agents said so.

The government's acting role has gone from sleepy quiet to center stage. The lights are shining bright on the singing of a new tune of principles of Net Neutrality, but nobody is on key and no one seems to play any of the instruments properly; they are playing by ear with multiple song sheets. The problem is that they thought this was a classic 1950's musical and are getting slam-dunked by rap. So the script changes every day because the government keeps on changing and decides to be singers instead of actors and start singing the tune Net Neutrality. Some members want to dance and sing, others want solos to the music sheets while others simply want to find the exits. Then a leader shows up and suggests that he must be heard and be the voice of reason. Since he doesn't play a musical instrument, he wins election to be the conductor and ensures everyone plays to his tune. The problem is, all 435 superstars and 100 understudies and 1 backup are wannabes who practiced on Guitar Hero.

The corporate actors are pretty straightforward in their roles. They want to make sure that the audience simply comes back every night and that should make them superstars. Celebrities are rich so they want to be sure that they get the most lines and scenes; even if the script says to stand over in the corner, you can be sure that they'll find a way to center stage. Their problem is that they don't have all the dialogue properly memorized, too busy being John Wayne and Mary Pickford when the audience thought they were getting Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts. Their solution is to quickly change characters, but change their mind so often they wind up playing Archie Bunker and Britney Spears. If only George Carlin was still around to save them.

Consumers are the hardest act. They don't have a single voice but they tell you that they do. In fact, this group learned their craft and are what are referred to as method actors; they will say what's in the script, and form follows function -- right? But they don't have a single voice, instead they have 307,752,000 of them. And each one of them has 10 lines! It's a long play.

The supporting cast is in the best shape. The playwrights have no issue with them because they don't have any lines to memorize. It falls apart when they find out out the supporting cast is constantly advising the three main acting groups on what to say, do and act. The producer tries to cut a deal with the lobbyist cast, only to find out that they have different allegiances and loyalties to each main acting group.

The stage hands thought they could get the agents and commentators to simply do what they said they would do - get the groups to take direction. Instead they wind up rolling their eyes watching the lobbyist and agents fight with each other AND all three acting groups.

Gasping for air, the music company grins as they observe the commentators watch and do nothing, except write in their little notebooks. The musicians begin to wonder if the notes are being passed onto the first two supporting groups to feed the frenzy. Turns out they are, how else are they going to to stay employed?

By now you really are ready to fall asleep with this behind-the-scenes look in which, by the way, I have  one of the most famous documentary narrators playing me, the blogger - Will Lyman. Let's get right to the climatic scene so the flame wars can begin on Talkback.

Net Neutrality is about control -- who has it, who doesn't and who's going to use it. It's not about free speech, democracy, liberty or access. Nobody has a clue on what should be law, let alone what the definition should be put into article. The audience will be patient, but they better get the show righted or it will be a dud. This show by the way is playing in 193 different countries (206 if you include nations that are not fully recognized by the U.N.) and it turns out the audience in everyone of them is asking the same thing  -- "what am I watching?" (Except Paris, where apparently it's getting really good reviews. I don't know why though.) It's so bad that it can't even get a reporter (too busy being commentators) to do a review. It might get a footnote in some blog like this one. The debut will be at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in the underground parking garage.

Hopefully you had a good chuckle. I'll be posting about this topic with a bit more substance tomorrow.

Did I mention that the Director (President of the United Nations) never even showed up?

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