Friday, May 18, 2012

What's that droning sound?

A new federal law, signed by the president on Tuesday, compels the Federal Aviation Administration to allow drones to be used for all sorts of commercial endeavors — from selling real estate and dusting crops, to monitoring oil spills and wildlife, even shooting Hollywood films. Local police and emergency services will also be freer to send up their own drones.

New York Times

Like the Internet, drones started out as an important military weapon.  The Pentagon used them to stick up tax payers and fly the stolen money to the luxurious mountain top hideaways of private defense contractors and lobbyists.  When they wanted to let off a little steam they used drones to spy on foreigners and kill them when they were up to no good.  It turned out that drones were just as good at killing bad U.S. citizens and it didn’t require due process.  Just like that, the race to make drones commercial was on.  Drones could kill us and sell us stuff, too; lethal like the Internet but just as fun and lucrative.  

·        The Peacock     Developed by a consortium of fashion consultants and retailers, no bigger than a leopard skin pill box hat, the video equipped Peacock targets people guilty of making unwise apparel choices.  Hovering two miles high, it texts fashion alerts to its victims.  Those pastel lycra pants make your ass look huge, you’re way too old to be wearing that get up, buddy and pull up your pants, Lumpy.  The Peacock is weaponized for really egregious violators. 

·        The Big Fat Goose    Financed by the high fructose corn syrup industry and McDonald’s this drone is capable of carrying a payload of soft drinks and snack food.  Hovering above schools, it receives e-orders from young customers and swoops down to make deliveries.  The steady rise in the number of for-profit schools means big windfalls for all the players.  This drone will beam junk food ads to the smart phones of students equipped with school-issue credit cards.  For a nominal fee, the Goose will also send hourly reminders to insulin dependent students to check blood sugar levels.   

·        The Stool Pigeon      The biggest banks on Wall Street got together to develop a surveillance drone to hover over groups of Occupy Wall Street types and beam their images, electronically altered to make them look brown, to the Department of Homeland Security.  The Stool Pigeon can also put a fine point on things by shitting on the heads of Occupiers about to be rounded up for deportation. 

·        The Bird of Pray       The Vatican, Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University and Rick Santorum teamed up on a drone that will receive and answer prayer texts, deliver stern homilies and hover, in the form of a burning pillar of fire, over those with un-confessed sin.  One modal, the Crusader, targets non-Christians.  A humanist media wag dubbed it the homonymic Bird of Prey.  Santorum was livid until someone explained the meaning of homonym. 

·        The Peace Maker      What do you get when you cross the NRA with Facebook?  This sleek baby, shaped like a dum-dum bullet, remains in the air 24/7 to transmit the personal firearm data of those around you to your smart phone.  It takes all the guess work out of figuring out who’s packing, firepower capability and magazine capacity.  It’s never been easier to “Friend” a potential target or “Like” their Glock.  Low on ammo?  Punch in your personal pin and special Stand Your Ground pre-empt code and The Peace Maker will draw down on any character you deem suspicious.   

·        The Dodo          The American Petroleum Institute and the Republican Party put their heads together and came up with a drone that will fly low over coastal cities and broadcast upbeat messages like: “The water’s not rising, you’re just getting shorter” or “Hot?  You call this hot?  This ain't so hot” and “Nothing to worry about.  Just a little thunderstorm.  This’ll blow over in no time”.  The Dodo will also be deployed over dusty western states to broadcast the sound of gurgling streams, babbling brooks and cascading waterfalls.  Equipped with an acetylene torch, this drone is the perfect tool for clear cutting forests of unsightly wind turbines. 

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