James S. Brady Press Room
1. SPECIAL EDITION -- Jammming With the President
SPECIAL INTERVIEW! -- Jammming With the President
Artists' rendering of PQ conducting an interview
To celebrate the approach of Mid-Summer Day, or Mid-Winter Day for you Southerners, your erstwhile media kahuna (me, PQ) asked CPPP (Country President Paul Proteus) to sit down in the White House Garden to have a heart-to-heart chat about the potential for using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction technique to examine short-fragment cell-free DNA as a diagnostic for some cancer-specific biomarkers to reliably measure tumor reduction following each round of therapy, as proposed by Cadex Genomics in clinical trial NCT03892096.
CPPP noted that he's read the company's white paper on this, which admits that the cohort analyzed so far is relatively small, with n=66. But he agreed that it was a promising technology that could one day significantly improve decisions and lower costs regarding treatments for some cancers.
Then he suggested that we go hang in the secret White House sub-sub-basement, tipple a bit of Government moonshine, maybe spark up a few umm, samples, from a Government lab, and jam a bit.
This we did. We grabbed our axes and wandered through a maze of labyrinthine underground tunnels down into the cavernous Jude Connors Music Hall, which had been constructed at enormous cost by the former President of Vice. As it turned out, our jam session rocked on for most of the night.
In retrospect, I'd surmise that more than a tipple may have passed through our gullets. Rocking the night away, jamming through an ever-evolving 12 bar blues in E, while shouting out ridiculous lyrics, laughing like maniacs, it was more like, well, I guess you could say swimming in a whiskey river.
During the night I managed to pepper the PP with impertinent questions, which I'd intended to secretly record, hoping to gather damning evidence of the impending Dioist plot.
As things turned out, I forgot to hit the record button on that stupid little device. Aaargh. Anyway. The following are my recollections of our conversations...
Official portrait of former VP Jude Connors
PQ: Hey Paul, you remember the 1962 smash-hit "Green Onions" by Booker T. and the M.G.'s, right? It's been called the most popular instrumental rock and soul song ever made. OK. So I've heard that it's so revolutionary 'cause it adapted the axe fall into a 12 bar blues. Ummm. I know it uses diminshed chords throughout rather than sevens, right? But I have no idea what an axe fall is, in musical terms I mean. Can you use your extraordinary powers as Country President to get an explanation for that kind of radical innovation?
CPPP: Sure, (finishing up a dramatic turnaround) I will order the Secretary of Sinecures, Derphoof, to look into that immediately. All I can say for now is that "Green Onions" is a certifiable jam, man.
PQ: How's it going being PP? Having fun yet?
CPPP: Yeah. You know. There's been an adjustment period. I'm happy with how we've been able to bring back visibility for media and interior. I'm also very happy with how well we've been able to coordinate our international adventures, to which I have Voots to thank. There've certainly been learning pains, I've certainly made mistakes in terms of learning the roles of the position. And I'd like to see a lot more energy in both my communications and in actually accomplishing the goals I set out for our fun department and contests.
But I think we're getting there. (This was followed by a spicy quick-change in bar 2.)
The most fun of being President is just being involved in everything again. Becoming apathetic in this game is death. I love that now I can kind of see the whole perspective of our foreign policy. And if I feel like an interior program is being underpublicized, that's something I can really directly fix.
On the more tedious side, well, being President remains equivalent to an unpaid volunteer position where you always have to be available. Between babysitting our training wars and just remembering to write articles and be present, it can be draining. I do not understand how Voots and Kody do it.
Also. I really underestimated the number of telegram channels. But I think I'm getting into the swing of it. Or at least I hope so.
One of the many awesome graffiti decorating the White House's Secret Music Cavern
PQ: (after ripping through a whiskey-fueled turnaround with contrary motions, ending up on a big ol' surprising 9th played all the way up the neck).
So I listened to a bit of that eNPR you did with Derphoof. You guys had a fairly lengthy and interesting chat about the challenges involved in trying to spark interest in social or cultural projects in eRip. Caught my interest 'cause this's come up in SFP many times. No doubt in other parties too. We've tried writer's leagues, artist collectives, contests, giveaways, badges, and so on. We even once tried to invent our own currency -- just for fun. But nothing seems to to stick.
Any more thoughts on that topic?
CPPP: I'm flattered anyone listened to Derp and I. I think that what's always been important to me in eRepublik is the kind of social projects where you can feel like you're part of something bigger than just handing out weapons. Of course we need to help all of our citizens optimize their accounts and coordinate on the battlefield. But I think the job of the President is also to give players a reason to want to interact with each other so well that they might remember it years from now.
This is something that was a lot easier when there were more of us and people who were more creative than me. But if we can replicate some of that energy, just through silly contests, or more involved games, then I'd consider it a win.
PQ: Amen, brother. With you there for sure.
PQ: (after a big toke) Do you ever tell anybody that you play eRepublik, or is it like a big dirty secret you keep? Along those lines, what's the most ridiculous thing about the game that you actually secretly enjoy? For me, it's looking at the list of dead friends that other people have to see how many of the old timers I remember. I especially like finding the weird and obscure ones, you know, like Gaylord Q. Tinkledink.
CPPP: Oh god no. I don't tell anyone about this. Hmmm, let's see... I do love reading player's eRepublik wiki articles. I used to update mine, though I'm not sure I remember the password.
PQ: (laughing somewhat inappropriately and too loudly) What was your best eRep moment? And aside from this evening with me, what was your worst day in eRepublik?
CPPP: I think my favorite moments are kind of niche community moments that didn't necessarily result in anything. I remember when a few of us came together behind Aeri to try to get rainy elected as president. We just wrote an insane amount of media, even though it was far too late. I also remember winning Hadrian's Xlympics poetry contest. Somehow I think I'll be randomly thinking of moments of those long after the game is gone.
Worst day? I dunno. I've definitely made mistakes here. I definitely pushed too hard on the role-play element a few times. Or let myself play the heel a bit and got into arguments that in hindsight weren't necessary. I've never had a bad day here by being kind or burying the hatchet with people.
PQ: Awesome. OK, bro. Here's what inquiring minds want to know... You've been an active player since 2010. Involved in many executives. All kinds of stuff. You're a key person in the Feds Party. Yet your experience level is only 36. Is that some kind of cool-jazz or Zen pacifist thing?
CPPP: I really specialized as a political and media person. Which at one point seemed to make sense. I'm not sure how useful that makes me in 2022. I've definitely had to do a lot of learning about the military module to be able to be involved again. I think I'll leave that there.
(At this point, iirc, we spent quite some time exploring ways to reharmonize the essential turnaround lines, finally finding a way to gradually expand from a tangy major second to a fourth, like a smaller, calmer little surprise that somehow becomes even more impactful than a big finish. Very cool.)
PQ: Dammit Paul, I have to ashk. When you inevitubbly bring down the horrific hammer of the killah power (uuurrrp!) of the so-called Executive Order to once again declare the e-USA a freaking Dioist Theocrashy, man, are you gonna have all ush non-believers and Harambists rn shit ounded up and shent to a gulag? AND. And if you do, will it be a nice, clean, fun, healthy SFP-style organic-farm gulag, y'know, like the one that that that What A Guy sent me to when he was chair of the Revolutionary Committee for 6 monthsh? Or is it gonna be one of thoshe nasty retro gulags with like ugly shag carpeting, lava lamps, and and with only those awful Hatfield Beef Frank hot dogs to eat? Hunh?
CPPP: Ooooo! I hadn't even thought of the gulags. Please, tell me more.
(I may have fallen asleep at this point. My memory gets fuzzy here. I do recall one last conversation before waking up on the floor as the WH janitorial staff was sweeping up stuff around me.)
PQ: Hey. I know you'll recall how the French philosopher and mathematician Alain Badiou remarked, and I'm paraphrasing, that the real difficulty of playing eRepublik is that consequences of an event, being submitted to structure, cannot be discerned as such, right?. And since events are only possible if some special procedure conserves the evental nature of its consequences, then the sole foundation of, you know, things that happen, lies in a discipline of time which controls, from beginning to end, the consequences of the introduction into circulation of paradoxical multiples, and which, furthermore, at any moment knows how to discern its connection to pure chance. Remember how he called this kind of organized control of e-time fidelity, and concluded from this observation that to intervene is to enact, on the border of the void, while being faithful to its previous border. I think about that all the time.
Do you agree with that?
(After a long silence.)
CPPP: Yes. No. Maybe.
Can you repeat the question?
Look for a slickly produced auto-tuned version of this historic CPPPPQ jam session soon on the Federal Records label.
Until next time. Stay cool and don't forget to water the plants.