Manexposinghimself, the Prime Minister of Shalampax, granted me an exclusive interview yesterday. Knowing that these are challenging times in the world, for most of our half-hour together he talked extensively and with great passion about the current batch of television reality shows. That part of our discussion does not bear repeating, but in an off-hand moment he did mention something interesting.
Prime Minister Manexposinghimself made a promise that I think he’s going to keep, which would be totally out of character for him. He promised that, in the future, his government will be much more decisive and will make its decisions much more quickly.
Manexposinghimself explained the rationale behind this new policy by saying, “In the past, we’ve spent a lot of time and money commissioning outsiders to extensively research and analyze data that helped us to make effective decisions. We would have hired Shalampaxians to do the job but, well, have you ever tried to get a Shalampaxian to do anything useful? You can’t find anyone outside of our spam and cult religion businesses who is willing to lift a finger, and those companies are running at full tilt.
When Parliament returns from its unexpected recess it plans to pass a new data privacy bill. To date, we don’t have any laws here in Shalampax concerning the protection of the privacy of data collected by businesses. And Shalampaxian companies have been, to say the least, quite lax in this regard.
Once this bill is passed, the following will be mandatory:
- Companies will have to inform everyone of what information they are collecting about them.
- Companies will be required to allow people to opt out of the data collection process.
- People will have a right to demand to see what information companies have on them and to demand that the companies correct any inaccuracies immediately.
- Companies will not be allowed to sell or share information without the individual’s express permission.
I have it on very good authority—I got it from a guy who promised to talk to me on the condition that I slept him, which I would have done anyway—that some entrepreneurs here in Shalampax are considering starting a new business. It’s only a concept at this point, but, if they go ahead with it, their idea will revolutionize the way democracies around the world work.
In their market research, the entrepreneurs found that in democracies where voting is not mandatory (is it democratic to force someone to make a choice?), there is a general trend toward lower voter participation rates in many places. Clearly, a great many people in those countries believe that voting isn’t worth the trouble.
The opportunity is clear. The entrepreneurs plan to offer a democracy outsourcing service.
To better plan and manage governmental and business affairs, the Government of Shalampax thought it was a good idea to get a more accurate—or at least some—sense of the demographics of Shalampax. To this end, a few weeks ago the government undertook Shalampax’s first comprehensive census.
Censuses had been conducted in the past, but they only counted the number of people here. This census asked 50 questions on Shalampaxian characteristics and practices.
The chief statistician has just released the results of the census. They show that one hundred percent of the population of Shalampax speaks English as his or her primary language, owns a flat screen television, is single, has no children, is a Infinitian and is female.
The automated, dial-in time signal, which was installed in March of this year, has broken. Due to the difficulty in getting parts shipped into Shalampax, it is not known how long it will take to repair it, but it could be a few months.
The system still works in a fashion. Now, instead of saying, “at the tone, it will be exactly six p.m.,” it now says, “ “at the tone, it will be exactly 6:45 p.m.”
Until further notice, please be sure to call the time signal 45 minutes later than you have in the past.
Today is Ocean Day in Shalampax.
Living on a tiny speck of an island in the midst of the vast Pacific Ocean, we are ever-conscious of the enormity, majesty, bountifulness, beauty, power and, yes, often destructiveness of our oceans. That is why we honor, venerate, often immensely fear and, particularly on this day, greatly celebrate our planet’s seas.
We are especially appreciative of the fact that there are no more than a few hundred steps—if that—between the ocean and every point on Shalampax. This provides us with easy access to a massive liquid dumping ground where we can, without a care in the world, dispose of our raw sewage and garbage.
We are ever-thankful to Paahlm for having blessed us with this free garbage and sewage dump right on our doorstep. And we pity people in those poor countries where they have to pay to process their sewage and garbage or transport it somewhere far away for disposal. We are truly blessed by Paahlm in this regard.