by The Inmate
The First Publication and Exegesis
of Jeb Martin’s Video Transcript from
the Twentieth Century
Isabel Abbey, A.S.D., Claus Homer, A.S.D, H.H.N., Ruth Knight, A.S.D., U.S.D.,
and Victor Blair William, N.O.A.S.D., N.O.U.S.D.
Little is known about the 20th century. Archeological discoveries have been minimal. By far the biggest find was a sealed vault on the West Coast containing thousands of video transcripts(VTs) of television “sitcoms,” “dramas,” “movies,” and “commercials.” Television was similar to our modern day VisionRooms except the image was one-dimensional. Unlike VisionRooms, it was impossible to mistake the images for reality.
We do, however, learn a lot about the 20th century from the examination of these VTs. The Spelling Study, conducted from 4993 to 5007, makes several interesting conclusions. It is clear from the review of sitcoms that many people spent most of their time indoors and in groups. Humor was an integral part of conversation and though 20th century humor is not funny to us it must have been amusing to them. Beyond the laughter, there was an obvious strong belief in God as is evidenced by the plethora of coincidences that occur in these sitcoms. No rational person could attribute the frequency of such events to chance. Dramas and movies add to the richness of our understanding. No one during the 20th century lived lives without the imposition of frequent tragic or life-changing experiences. Disease, transportation accidents, famine, natural disasters, mass murders–all these things affected everyone, almost on a daily basis. How could they live under those circumstances? Humor was certainly part of their solution, but our view would not be complete without the philosophical cornerstone that 20th century people exhibited through commercials. Here, material things are seen to be the answer for everything–from nihilistic angst to infatuated lust. The commercial presented an idealistic view of life that must have furnished the 20th century homo sapien with the reason and the will to live.
Though the vault was uncovered nearly 75 years ago, there are still many VTs that have yet to be viewed or even cataloged. The most important one to date may have been found last year. Its title is “The State of Ourselves” which is a speech by C.E.O. Jeb Martin.
Jeb Martin was the leader of the North Continent. What the letters “C,” “E,” and “O” stand for has been the occasion for much debate since the discovery of the Martin VT(MVT-22a). Herman Justus, renowned for his archeological discoveries of the 27th century, has suggested “Council Education Officer” and Sylvia Kitterman, an expert in the literature of the 35th and 42nd century, has offered “Continent Examination Officer.” It is our belief, based upon the speech that follows and from the studies mentioned above that it stands for “Country’s Exalted Officer.”
The speech itself is extraordinary. Martin, dressed in a strange dark coat and pants, wears a white shirt with a bright red piece of cloth tied around his neck which hangs down to about his waist. He may have been a former military officer, but it seems more probable that this was the usual dress for heads of State. Martin continually calls the State, “Homes Ink,” which appears to be a slang or colloquial term for the official name of the State which is still unknown. Martin was a man of the people and spoke to them in their own language.
Only a small portion of the speech is decipherable, but fortunately it is his introduction and in it we get an overview of his philosophy and the times in which he lived.
Medium: Video Transcript, only decipherable on reconstructed video machines from the time period.
Title: “The State of Ourselves” / Catalog Code: MVT-22a
Date: Late Twentieth Century
Place: Most likely the West Coast of the North Continent.
Reason: A yearly evaluation of the State given to the entire citizenry.
Speaker: Jeb Martin, a man approximately six feet tall, 180 pounds, mid forties to early fifties, dark hair. Martin stood during the entire speech. He was often interrupted by the clapping and cheering crowd.
Comments of the authors’ appear in bold print.
“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I want to talk to you about the future of Homes Ink.”
As stated in the introduction “Homes Ink” is an unofficial term for the State. “Homes” refers to collections of human units, sometimes called the family. It usually consisted of a man, woman and their offspring. “Ink” is a difficult term. It has nothing to do with the current usage pertaining to alcoholic beverages. It connects “Homes” so that Homes Ink refers to all families of the State. Martin named the State this in the hope that the citizenry would realize, in a tangible way, the importance of the whole.
“The past holds many successes that we can be very proud of, but the future is filled with uncertainty. Our destiny remains in our hands. We must not allow ourselves or our employees to become complacent in the years ahead.”
“Employees” is a term for offspring. Children were referred to in this way. It is a familiar, affectionate term, but also carries with it the place of children in the State, i.e. they were to obey their parents without question or criticism. However, unlike children today, it should be remembered that very little was expected from “employees.” They made no important decisions and often were not seen as capable of handling a significant amount of autonomy.
“Many positive things have taken place in the last year. Sales were up by 39% and we have opened offices in New York and Florida.”
“Positive things” is an ambiguous term. It can be used in reference to almost anything whether good or bad. “Sales” refers to reproduction. Because wars were common at this time reproduction was important to furnish the State with military personnel. It can also refer to the production of military weapons. “Offices” makes reference to military outposts in foreign countries. New York and Florida were enemies of Homes Ink.
“Your performance and that of our employees has been outstanding, but new battles are raging.”
“Performance” was something arbitrarily defined by Martin himself based upon war figures that were often manipulated to look worse than they really were in order to motivate the citizens. Homes Ink waged several wars at a time–everyone was involved, even children. The 20th century was a barbaric time period.
“There are new territories to explore.”
Obviously not a real exploration but a metaphor for war. Though Martin should be respected for his unwavering devotion to the citizens of Homes Ink, he was at the same time a ruthless, political opponent. His intention, for better or for worse, was to rule the world, to be a benevolent, virtuous leader, though some scholars(Hinklehoff, Minsky, Uke) believe he leaned toward a dictatorial form of government.
“We have many worthy competitors, those who will test our resolve and our determination and this should serve to remind us that we have much work to do to achieve our full potential.”
“Competitors” refers to enemies. Most of the literature from the 20th century has nothing good to say about “competitors” or “the competition.” There are, however, a few baffling sentences from the period that praise an individual for being a “competitor” and laud those who “compete.” There is so little material on the phrase “Full potential” that its meaning has been completely lost. As for “work,” it is difficult to determine its definition as its meaning rests on the proper interpretation of “full potential,” but other evidence suggests that it is a specific activity, performed away from family, but not something citizens chose to do. Necessity prompted most people to work. A few scholars(Jistine, Mackinjar, Illead) have suggested it might be a term linked to slavery.
“I believe we can continue our number one status in this industry, but we must all work hard to control expenses and reduce costs.”
“Number one” was a fanciful term with little relation to reality. It was mainly used for motivational purposes. The industry Martin speaks about is war, sometimes also called “business.” War has always been expensive and Martin understood the requirement of a strong economy in order to have a strong military machine.
“We must manage effectively. It is my intention to provide you with the resources you will need to get the job done. Our advertising plan will be the most innovative and creative to date, sure to give us the edge we need to stay at the top.”
“Manage,” and similar terms found in 20th century literature such as “management” and “manager” are difficult to define. There is not enough factual evidence to determine exactly what they mean, or what their function in a sentence was supposed to be. Some scholars(most notably Killerbee and Ionical) believe, and we tend to agree, it had little meaning and was used as a pause in a sentence, something like the way poor speakers use “ahhh” or “ummm.” We might more properly translate the first sentence thus: “We must . . . be effective.” Whatever its use its necessity was marginal. Resources were always scarce, always promised, rarely seen. “Advertising” is a term for propaganda. Apparently Martin used it successfully against his enemies.
“During the next few days I will disclose to you the goals for next year.”
“Goals” was a word used to motivate citizens. Most “goals” were achieved so that other “goals” could then be set. It was a cycle. A leader’s job was to make every “goal” seem more important than the previous one and to make every “goal” appear as if it would be the final one–no small task, but leaders became very proficient when faced with this paradoxical situation.
“These goals may seem high to many of you, but I believe if we work together Homes Ink will continue its phenomenal achievements into the next century regardless of the tenacity of the opposition. I have the greatest of confidence that we can and will achieve our grand destiny. As with any great endeavor . . .”
No satisfactory meaning can be deciphered from these sentences. The speech goes on for another 23 minutes, but the quality of the tape makes it impossible to understand another word–a major disappointment for 20th century scholars.
Publisher’s note: A week ago, and three days after this article was uploaded on SolarNet, a dozen more VT’s were uncovered which all contained speeches by C.E.O.’s from the same time period. It is, therefore, apparent that “C.E.O.” does not denote a head of state, but, more likely an individual involved in some economic endeavor. Exactly what the position of C.E.O. was, or why and if it was important, will take many more years to discern and further guesses on our part will only impede this worthy process.
Harvey M. Madderton, Editor and Publisher of Archeology Today, December 14, 5016.