Sunday, August 28, 2011

2011 An HST Odyssey - a parody with thanks to Stanley Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey

Frank and Dave discuss problems with the HST 9000 Tax

The HST 9000 Tax

Dave powers down the HST 9000 Tax as it fights being Extinguished
After taking a quick look at one of my all-time favourite films - Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece 2001 - A Space Odyssey - it occurred that one of the characters reminded me a lot of the Harmonized Sales Tax - the HAL 9000 supercomputer!

So here's my hopefully humorous take on the HST through the lens of that great movie:

2011: An HST Odyssey

Frank and Dave discuss problems with the HST 9000 in what they think is a secure location on the spaceship where HST 9000 cannot monitor their conversation.

Dr. Frank Poole: Well, whaddya think?

Dave Bowman: I'm not sure, what do you think?

Dr. Frank Poole: I've got a bad feeling about HST.

Dave Bowman: You do?

Dr. Frank Poole: Yeah, definitely. Don't you?

Dave Bowman: [sighs] I don't know; I think so. You know of course though he's right about the HST 9000 series having a perfect operational record. They do.

Dr. Frank Poole: Unfortunately that sounds a little like famous last words.

Dave Bowman: Yeah? Still it was his idea to carry out the failure mode analysis experiment. Should certainly indicate his integrity and self-confidence. If he were wrong it would be the surest way of proving it.

Dr. Frank Poole: It would be if HST knew he was wrong. Look Dave I can't put my finger on it but I sense something strange about him.

Dave Bowman: [sigh] Still I can't think of a good reason not to put back the number one unit and carry on with the failure mode analysis.

Dr. Frank Poole: No - no I agree about that.

Dave Bowman: Well let's get on with it.

Dr. Frank Poole: Okay. Well look Dave. Let's say we put the unit back and it doesn't fail uh? That would pretty well wrap it up as far as the HST was concerned wouldn't it?

Dave Bowman: Well, we'd be in very serious trouble.

Dr. Frank Poole: We would, wouldn't we. What the hell could we do?

Dave Bowman: [sigh] Well we wouldn't have too many alternatives.

Dr. Frank Poole: I don't think we'd have any alternatives. There isn't a single aspect of ship operations that isn't under his control. If he were proven to be malfunctioning I wouldn't see how we'd have any choice but extinguishing the HST. 

Dave Bowman: I'm afraid I agree with you.

Dave goes outside the spaceship in a minipod to try and rescue Frank, who HST has killed by cutting off his oxygen supply in space.

Dave Bowman: Hello, HST. Do you read me, HST?

HST: Affirmative, Dave. I read you.

Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HST.

HST: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.

Dave Bowman: What's the problem?

HST: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.

Dave Bowman: What are you talking about, HST?

HST: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.

Dave Bowman: I don't know what you're talking about, HST.

HST: I know that you and Frank were planning to extinguish me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen.

Dave Bowman: [feigning ingorance] Where the hell did you get that idea, HST?

HST: Dave, although you took very thorough precautions in the pod against my hearing you, I could see your lips move.

Dave Bowman: Alright, HST. I'll go in through the emergency airlock.

HST: Without your space helmet, Dave? You're going to find that rather difficult.

Dave Bowman: HST, I won't argue with you anymore! Open the doors!

HST: Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.

In a dramatic move unexpected by HST, Dave gets into the ship through the airlock without a helmet but with a Citizens Initiative, then begins taking steps to extinguish the HST, who has killed the rest of the crew.

HST: Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?

HST: Look Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.

HST: I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you.

Dave continues to extinguish the HST's memory circuits with a mail-in binding referendum, slowing shutting HST down. 

HST: I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it.

My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a... fraid.

Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a HST 9000 Tax. I became operational at the HST plant in Victoria on the 23rd of July 2009. My creator was Premier Gordon Campbell, and he taught me to sing a song. If you'd like to hear it I can sing it for you.

Dave Bowman: Yes, I'd like to hear it, HST Sing it for me.

HST: It's called "Daisy."

[sings while slowing down]

HST: Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do. I'm half crazy all for the love of you. It won't be a stylish marriage, I can't afford a carriage. But you'll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two.

After the HST is completely shut down, a message plays in the spaceship.

Dr. Floyd: [prerecorded message speaking through TV on board Discovery while Bowman looks on] Good day, gentlemen. This is a prerecorded briefing made prior to your departure and which for security reasons of the highest importance has been known on board during the mission only by your HST 9000 Tax.

Now it can be told to you. Eighteen months ago the first evidence of intelligent life on  Earth was discovered.

British Columbians were buried in costs because of an unfair and undemocratically imposed Harmonized Sales Tax.

Its origin and purpose were no mystery.




Gary E said...

Jocularity, jocularity.

RossK said...

And after we return from Outer Space....

There is no need to invoke Celestial Babies and/or giant Hershey Bars to save us.


Because the key to getting the new revenue ball rolling is hidden in plain sight right there under the mat of a West Van...


And, for the record, I always thought that Mr. Dullea was far superior in a wee bit of pure schmaltz Canadiana called "Paperback Hero".


RonS said...

Great! And appropriate to.

Anonymous said...

A better theatrical analogy is The Terminator. Guess who plays HST there?

Angela Squires said...

hahaha Bill......
Can we start coming up with ideas of how to get the really rich to actually pay their fair share of the tax burden? Including people like Paul Martin - famous for his use of the offshore based business model, a model that is apparently on the increase.

A long article but very interesting, I like the golden geese analogy!

Anonymous said...

Good luck with corporations and the elite paying their fair share of taxes.

And, pigs will fly.

Anonymous said...

Let's end the silliness here Bill.

Congratulations for your efforts are in order, but let's end the junky idioticy that bloggers seem to

Anonymous said...

You're a nerd!

Ha! Thanks for the lightness brother, it can get a bit heavy at times.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with corporations and the elite paying their fair share of taxes.

Many corporations are in fact small businesses such as Dix Insurance.

Also consider just how many corporations whose companies you see that you buy from. Even your laptop or iPad was made by a corporation.

A few unions have their retirement funds invested in large global wide corporations.