147. I call it the sincerity machine

“I call it the sincerity machine,” his press manager told the president. “People may still agree or disagree with you, of course. But I’d like to see them challenge the uprightness of your words.”

In the middle there were two luminous mirrors at an askew angle. But otherwise the machine had the appearance of a cumbersome grey box, nothing particularly high-tech.

“Won’t they notice the thing?” the president asked. “Especially since there’ll be two of them?”

“That’s the beauty of it, mister President. They won’t. They’ll be too transfixed by your words.”

That would be a nice change of pace. The president had trouble with speeches. People kind of noticed he had learnt them by heart or read them from cue cards. And thus the electorate did not believe he fully endorsed his policies.

“So how do I hook up to it?” the president asked.

“You don’t.”

“It’s wireless?”

“Not quite. But it doesn’t have to be connected to the speaker himself. Just to the team of tech wizards that keep it running. And to me.”

“Then I don’t see how it will augment the sincerity.”

“The machine will free you. Go on, sir, give it a try. You’ll see it works.”

The president stepped onto the podium and took his place behind the desk. The sincerity machines were placed to the right and left front of him. Words were scrolling down their luminous mirrors. His speech.

“Just make sure you switch from left to right from time to time,” the press manager suggested.

The president took a closer look at the text.

“This is not the speech I wrote,” he said.

“Yeah, that’s the one catch with the sincerity machine,” his press manager replied.

“We’ll be writing your speeches from now on.”



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5 thoughts on “147. I call it the sincerity machine

  1. miguelalex888 says:

    I really like what this story is working with. A president that can’t get through to the people, sincerity is a team of publicists working behind the scenes…and they even write the speeches for him! It is funny because of the almost whimsical tone it is written in…and yet, it is actually a pretty good representation of what happens with politics today! All about image and media!

    • Fun fact: I got the idea for this story after hearing that Ronald Reagan, ‘The Great Communicator’ (TM), used to refer to his autocue as ‘the sincerity machine’.

      • miguelalex888 says:

        Haha, wow, that is pretty interesting. Especially when you consider his past as an actor — someone that is always trying to make designed actions and words come out as real and sincere.

  2. Devilish. Very clever.

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