Nothing could be clearer: BAI has never had so much media attention. If they don't blow it, it can only get better... simply a matter of - skillful and imaginative
timing/staging/dramatizing of events to keeping the pot boiling. We already have the basic theme: dysfunctional, but funny and
wacky "family" ("writ large") of groups and characters vying for POWER at the most unconventional radio station.
WBAI doesn't really need a Station Manager, except maybe as a character to be written out at some point... and perhaps reincarnated in a future episode if the action starts to flag (flog? slug? slosh?). What BAI needs is a dynamite director, a good makeup artist and a low paid costumer/hairstylist.
Each year (around a different holiday) the crew in power would get ousted by a newly formed group. The ousted group would protest, hold meetings, issue statements, and generally make a lot of noise. The new station staff would fumble about trying various lame program ideas aimed at various "target audiences." Inane broadcasters would interact with the audience in absurd exchanges. Ousted "dissident" producers would orate passionately about democracy and freedom of speech while running away from listeners and their questions. When it looks like some sort of nebulous resolution might be in the offing, a new group comes on the scene and throws out the previous season's staff. In actuality, with expert makeup and appropriate prostheses, the same cast could play all roles. As an incentive to stick with the series for little or no pay, over time each "actor" would get the plum role of "Evil Interim Station Manager." This would be a well paid gig, with bonuses for more over-the-top performances.
Market surveys and demographics would help shape plots. All groups would taunt all other groups with charges of racism. One takeover might have an
Asian American spin to it when the numbers are right. A Native American angle might be brought in from time to time to pop a few balloons and make everyone appear self-serving and fatuous.
Lots of subplots and set pieces. Some possibilities:
- All Night With Monroe - the show would focus mainly on past wrongs committed against the host.
Bob Fass, having become the melodious spokesvoice heard in Lexus TV commercials featuring the
Great Lexus Giveaway, which targets the deserving and carless poor, is a frequent caller. Fass, having many
phones in his spacious mansion, manages to call in along with his butler, cat, dog, and Lawrence, a guy who helped Bob in the old days when his car broke down and who, "just happens to be African American."
Frustrated producer Monroe is forced to implement a 3 Minute Fass Rule to deal
with, "Bob's long and annoying silences. He calls and has all these others talking, barking and meowing, but he doesn't say
hardly anything. He's got three minutes each call - and that's it!"
- Joe Quo Blough, new Public Affairs Director, is made manager of the
womyn's softball team, but has his fantasies continually nipped in the bud (ouch!) by wife,
Mimi, now a therapist, who is determined to help him realize his
"true potential" and "connect with his inner self" by applying generous doses of
both discipline and reward.
- Heading up the in-house BAI Hostage Negotiating Team would be the
ever diplomatic Clayton Reilly and Jim Dingeman. Pacifica, throwing a bone to the initial inspiration for this goldmine Coup-Per-Year Plan series, would have
Utrice Leid make guest appearances, joining the team whenever an extreme calming of an armed disgruntled employee (or listener) is required.
- Another part-time consultant to the hostage negotiating team, Al Lewis, has a new program,
Condo Living, which deals with the difficulties faced by many listeners. The program benefits from Al's expertise in real estate, without directly encouraging folks to consider buying into his new housing development,
Beeg Cabana Cubano, in Grandma province.
- A two person Left and Right wing anchor team delivers news in alternating sentences
(ala Bob & Ray) with funny schizoid results.
- Nick Kenny, addicted to speed, heads up the Hip-Hop Teen Takeover.
- It is finally revealed that Valerie vanIssler is "Pickles of the North," and that she and
R Paul Martin, both members of the Secret Order of Caribbean Flagellants, have conspired to
have her crucified and him blamed for it, all the while sharing what pleasures of the flesh flagellants are
- Gary Null, taken hostage for three weeks by Shining Path Against Puffery guerillas, is
denied his daily vitamin drips and becomes normal. Upon release he is asked how he is. "I used to be always
excellent, but now I am excellent occasionally" he replies in a normal voice.
- To the chagrin of many, Paul DiRienzo's book on Ibogaine becomes a best seller, leading to the collapse of the drug trade and various oppressive regimes throughout the world, and the shutting down of the CIA. Now filthy rich, he dumps
Joan Whatshername and takes up with Amy Goodman, who has come to appreciate him for his mind and what he has done for the world. (This romance, of course, will not last, but will make for some exciting episodes.)
- Loquacious, mind numbing right-thinking leftist polemicist male producers fend off dopey groupies hungry for sex. The most articulate are able to remain pure by convincing the beautiful (in a progressive way), but misguided, strumpets that their tactics have neither "depth, meaning nor art."
- Santiago Nieves, switches sides, becoming a bisexual so that he might marry himself. A large wedding attended by "colorful" characters would be scheduled during
Arbitron sweeps week. The actual exchange of vows will be officiated by "Captain"
Tom Whisker on board WBAI's new Hostage Assault As A Last Recourse Gunship helicopter. The bride and groom admit to being
nervous about fulfilling the each other's "expectations" for the honeymoon.
Further suggestions for plot and character developments are welcomed.
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