GROOVY AUTOBUS.

Detailed Schematic for a Televisual Popular-Music Dissemination Organ

WARNING: the following schematic contains references to and discussion of youth culture. Use protective gloves when handling youth culture. Do not look directly at youth culture.

Groovy Autobus is a Company-sanctioned youth culture deployment.

BASELINE SETTINGS

Tone: post-post-ironic.

Idiom: “retro”.

Mode: Pastiche.

Shot in “The Studio” (see below).

Duration: 30 minutes (21 minutes content, 9 minutes dedicated ad blocks)

THE STUDIO

The studio is an artificial environment in which youth culture can be manipulated in a controlled fashion. Via editing and chronospatial arrangement, physical laws within the studio are malleable. Identity and narrative are malleable. Facts are malleable; in fact, facts do not factually exist. The studio contains only contingencies, and this factless state is indicated by the red light outside the main studio door. When the red light is “on”, the studio is live and its interior is a fact-free zone.

Inhabitants of the studio are unaware of when the red light is on, to facilitate the molding of facts (or “facts”). Knowledge of the red light manifests as resistance within the environment of the studio. Minimal resistance is necessary for a successful deployment.

A multi-leveled set is highly recommended. Balconies, mezzanines, and catwalks underscore socio-cultural hierarchies and the high cost of acting outside prescribed boundaries. No ramps, staircases, ladders, or other connective pathways should be visible in the final deployment. Ideal set floor plans include a main dais on which the primary talent entity or guest will “perform.”

Decor is important for establishing mood. Orange is the ideal dominant color, combining two warning colors (“red” and “yellow”) in a way that maintains their intensity while not evoking a conscious negative response. (Subconscious aspects of viewer response remain negative. This is intentional and should be exploited to the fullest extent.) Any shade of orange can be considered “within gamut”. Note: dominant colors outside this gamut are contra-indicated.

A wider range of accent colors are permitted as they exist to intensify, accentuate, and embolden the oranges.

  • yellows
  • ochres
  • the lighter browns
  • mossy greens (use with caution, highly unstable)
  • maroons (not burgundys)

All trim should be metallic. All metallic trim should be antique brass, buffed to a mirror sheen.

HOST

The host is a mobile and semi-sentient entity, autonomous and capable of low-level abstract thought. The host guides the audience (both in-studio members and broadcast recipients) through the narrative, suggesting appropriate behavioral choices, endorsing and contextualizing the guest, bestowing trivial fame achievements on in-studio audience members, and initiating enjoyment time.

Each host has an external appearance, or skin. Configuration of the host’s skin varies from transmission to transmission, but some components must be installed as control structures and signifiers to maintain proper authoritative symbology.

Required host components

  • Each host must have a microphone. This device is purely cosmetic; the host’s voice is captured via laryngeal implants and sent to the master recording deck for processing. As it serves no practical purpose, the microphone’s design should instill a subconscious insecurity via retro-futuristic, pseudo-comical, and/or overtly phallic profile.
  • Each host must have a mustache, as large and as thick as the host’s facial structure will support, matching the color of the host’s cranial hair. In isolation, the mustache exudes virility, authority, and (ideally) a disquieting seediness – all advantageous qualities for the on-screen embodiment of the producer’s will. (NOTE: full beards are contraindicated, as they are an implicit rejection of hygienic affectation, and therefore society. Beards are permitted on guests, whose extant outsider and insanity tropes may require visual markers of their “rebellion”, and their potentially disruptive message can be compartmentalized and deactivated.)  A host’s inherent or “natural” mustache may be used; pre-fabricated mustache modules provide more reliable results. In early transmissions, the mustache requirement typically resulted in a “male” skin for the host; this convention is no longer rigorously enforced.
  • Each host must have an ornate hairstyle. Consult the operators’ manual for example diagrams and suggested building materials.
  • The host’s voice must be deep and sonorous. Electronic octave downshifting is recommended. In some cases, overdubbing may be necessary.

SUBHOST

Some deployments may benefit from the addition of a co-host or subhost, to broaden audience interest along various indices.  The subhost is also a mobile, semi-sentient entity, but possesses lower degrees of autonomy and charisma than the host. (Certain charisma aspects may be boosted in the subhost if an overall net gain of charisma is achieved.) The subhost provides an alternate source for issuing deployment directives, thereby maximizing variety and increasing engagement probabilities.

The subhost should be visually distinct from the host. Attractiveness levels will vary from deployment to deployment depending on the strengths of the host, and the nature of the host’s appeal (“quirkiness”, paternalism, niche exploitation, etc.). Complementarity should take precedence in subhost choice.

Multiple subhosts may be deployed, but such configurations are not recommended. Audience investment declines sharply with more than two subhosts.

THE HOSTING MECHANISM

The host and sub-host(s) form a gestalt called the hosting mechanism. The hosting mechanism is the voice of authority. The hosting mechanism commands you to dance. Ineffective hosting mechanisms should be reconfigured or eliminated.

GUEST

The guest is a configuration of psychoactive constructs, primarily anxiety and desire modules, intended to focus or direct the audience’s energy toward the achievement of production goals. The key feature of the guest is novelty; as a transient element of the show, the guest’s appearance is finite and atypical. The unique aspect of the guest adds value to the deployment while endowing the guest’s performance with spatial-temporal scarcity; urgency can be induced in the audience by application of the threat of “missing” the guest performance. (Digital recall makes true scarcity impossible, but as the deployment is a studio-bound event, scarcity can be generated as needed.)

The guest may be more physically attractive than the host/sub-host(s).

Under no circumstances should the guest be allowed to actually perform. Unmediated live performance introduces too many variables to the deployment and dilutes message. Elaborate pantomime is the ideal form of pseudo-performance. Should an in-studio live performance be unavoidable, ensure that all guest footage is heavily, yet deftly edited.

Useful Guest Characteristics:

  • Sexual associations (positive, norm-challenging, preferably both)
  • Rebellion and/or outsider tropes (monitored)
  • adoption of extant trends in a way that revitalizes the trend and stimulates audience re-engagement (with the trend)
  • opportunities for A/B testing of nascent trends
  • limited vocabulary
  • intoxication

THE AUDIENCE

The in-studio audience comprises a cross-section of physically attractive persons—pretty people, but not as pretty as the host and sub-host(s). In-studio audience members are identification surrogates for the at-home audience and as such should have little, if any, autonomy. In-studio audience member scripts are generally limited to three basic subroutines: “Dance”, “Dance, Level 2 (Enthusiastic/Up-Tempo)”, and “Acknowledge Camera.”

CAMERA OPERATORS

The camera operators, though independent within the context of the studio, are agents of the editors, and ultimately the producer. Camera operator actions are proscribed by these higher-level entities but are allowed considerable freedom in how specific goals are maintained.

The camera operators create the boundaries of the studio via framing. What they see becomes the totality of the studio. Though they may be present in the studio, elements outside the camera frame do not technically exist, thanks to the studio’s inherent factlessness (see above). This “existential” crop serves multiple purposes: it makes the audience, both in-studio and at-home, totally subservient to the will of the camera and its definition of reality; it places challenges to the deployment outside the frame, rendering them essentially non-existent; and it allows crop-aware elements of the deployment (host/sub-host) to use that knowledge to their advantage, granting them special powers to manipulate fact and spacetime within the studio.

Edit-awareness is the most powerful countermeasure against resistance.

Directives for camera operators

Camera operators should avoid entering the live transmit path of other camera operators, as any record of their presence disrupts the existential crop.

The camera operators should have made peace with their actions.

The camera operators should not fear death.

EDITOR

The editor coordinates streams from the camera operators and assembles the raw footage into a minimally resistant, highly effective deployment. The editor ensures that the deployment is “on-message” and free of any unsanctioned ambiguity. An authoritative flow should be established; edits must elicit a sense of natural progression, pleasing rhythm, and dynamic (but not frenetic) energy.

As a higher-level entity, the editor is not visible in-studio, and should not be visible at all.  Multiple editors are permitted, but inquiry into the number or traits of the editor(s) will result in corrective action. Do not attempt to quantify the editor(s). The editor(s) must remain an unknown in order to ensure a successful deployment.

PRODUCER

IF YOU SEE A PRODUCER, SHUT YOUR EYES AND TURN AWAY. IF POSSIBLE, LAY DOWN ON THE GROUND WITH YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR HEAD (FINGERS INTERLOCKED), OR PALM-UP WITH YOUR ARMS PARALLEL TO YOUR BODY. DO NOT OBSTRUCT A PRODUCER’S PATH. YOU WILL BE AWARE OF THE PRODUCER’S PRESENCE  VIA A PERSISTENT, PERVASIVE, SUB-AUDIBLE (OR OCCASIONALLY AUDIBLE) DRONE. THE DRONING SOUND WILL FEEL AS THOUGH IT IS AIMED AT THE CENTER OF YOUR BRAIN, BECAUSE IT IS AIMED AT THE CENTER OF YOUR BRAIN. THE DRONE WILL INCREASE IN VOLUME AND INTENSITY AS THE PRODUCER APPROACHES, AND WILL SUBSIDE WHEN THE PRODUCER HAS PASSED. WHEN YOU CANNOT FEEL OR HEAR THE DRONE, OR YOU HAVE REGAINED CONSCIOUSNESS, IT IS SAFE TO OPEN YOUR EYES AND STAND UP.

COMMON THEMATIC PATTERNS IN MUSICAL COMPONENTS OF DEPLOYMENT (“SONGS”)

  • proclamation of love for love object—inventory of attractive qualities of love object—statistically unlikely accomplishments that will be completed in the name of love object
  • initiation of party—declaration that party will not be interrupted—invitation to join the never-ending party
  • initiation/training sequence for trending dance
  • trending dance proficiency as a function of sexual prowess
  • proclamation of end of love for former love object—inventory of unattractive qualities of love object that contributed to end of love—statistically insignificant events that will occur before a state of love is re-initiated with former love object

STAGING

Routine for host deployment

  1. Place the host on the main dais at the beginning of the transmission. After initial deployment, the host will run one of numerous mingling subroutines to choose a path through the audience.
  2. Place the microphone in the host’s dominant hand. Orient the “active” end of the microphone toward the host’s mouth.
  3. Install the host’s mustache.

Routine for subhost deployment

  1. Place the subhost at random somewhere within the Studio. (Advanced subhosts have self-locating capability.)
  2. Tighten the pants and/or shorten the skirts of the sub-host(s).
  3. Expose sub-host chest(s) and legs as appropriate.

Routine for guest deployment

  1. The guest should remain out of view until the climax of the deployment, to create excitement. Place the guest on the main dais after the second commercial break.
  2. The guest always appears on the main dais to maximize focus and camera operator access, and to initiate closure subroutines for the conclusion of the deployment.
  3. Near the end of the guest segment, initiate an audio-level fade-out, overdubbed with applause and/or Benign Host Comment to compromise the holistic integrity of the performance and avoid interference with commodification of the guest’s intellectual property on other platforms. (Most host models contain a library of Benign Host Commentary and will select an appropriate statement without additional prompting; consult the manual for your specific model of host for more information.)

Example Event Sequence for a Typical Deployment

  1. opening monologue
  2. introductory banter for song #1
    song #1
  3. transitional banter/ intro for song #2
    song #2
  4. first teaser for guest appearance
    first commercial break
  5. welcome back banter/ intro for song #3
    song #3
  6. transitional banter/ intro for song #4
    song #4
  7. second teaser for guest appearance
    second commercial break
  8. guest lead-in
    guest performance
  9. guest lead-out
    song #5/ credits

“Commercial Breaks”

Commercial breaks (also known as ad blocks), or the injection of real or simulated advertising content into the deployment, help to create an immersive retro feel for the deployment, and provide potential release valves for audience stimulation. No distinction should be made between real and simulated ad blocks. Coupled with the deployment’s baseline settings, commercial breaks disarm conscious analysis of the deployment and decrease resistance. When possible, seamless incorporation of commercial content into the deployment itself provides the highest positive engagement. Partner with Marketing Division to maximize ad block opportunities.

TROUBLESHOOTING & FINAL STEPS

Actuate an instance of the deployment in a development environment and check for faults. Tolerance ranges vary from deployment to deployment, based on extant arousal levels on the four major indices (fear, anxiety, desire, other). Most issues can be resolved via minor edits. Some common issues are listed below.

Audience engagement metrics peak early in the deployment but quickly fade and flatline before the deployment is complete.

The deployment’s lead-in songs and accoutrements fail to generate and/or maintain sufficient anticipation for the appearance of the guest, or the guest is insufficiently desired by the audience. Recalibration of the deployment’s musical components is required. The guest module may need to be replaced. NOTE: Audience engagement failure is most often found in the at-home segment of the audience; in-studio audience components can be enthused via pharmaceuticals and/or direct cortical stimulation. If an in-studio audience fails to engage, the deployment is experiencing FATAL ERROR and should be deleted and resynthesized.

The audience initiates violent action against the host/sub-host/guest/camera operators and/or escalates sexual contact to non-permissible levels.

This issue occurs when song sequencing and guest selection result in a deployment that is “too fire”, resulting in hyperstimulation of the audience. Hyperstimulation causes in-studio audience components to exceed their scripts and perform entertainment rituals at levels above Safety. Routines within the deployment need to be recalibrated to correct these overruns. Physical violence must be avoided at all costs, as it can result in damage to company property and loss of in-studio audience components, who are often leased from youth-oriented talent agencies at considerable expense. Erotic escalation is less problematic, but should be kept on-message and guided toward the appropriate encouragement vectors. Consult the Standards & Practices Guide to Human Sexuality for appropriate expressiveness parameters.

The host’s face falls off, repeatedly.

Latex-based industrial adhesives are the best solution, as they are flexible and cheap. Apply liberally along all affected joins and allow to set.

General Tips

  • Apply more mustaches as appropriate.
  • Production elements for creating/heightening audience engagement once deployment is live (use as needed): pin spots, klieg lights, lasers, dry ice fog, swooping crane shots.
  • Have Fun!™
    (make sure you have obtained usage rights for Fun!™ before employing Fun!™ or any of its constituent intellectual properties in an active deployment)

PRODUCTION-LEVEL DEPLOYMENT

After controlling for all variables and sufficient due-diligence, the deployment is ready to actuate in a live broadcast environment. Distribute your camera operators in standard 2×2 formation, or in any variant that allows for maximum coverage of the Studio. Ensure all exits are locked. Position security units around the deployment to establish an unbroken perimeter, should the need arise for containment.

Activate the red light.

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