Investors Hail Exploitation of Infinitely Renewable Resource
La Satira News Service
In an age of increasing concern over long-term energy security, physicist and venture capitalist E. M. Schock thinks he has the perfect answer.
“I was watching TV a while back–some daytime talk show–and I noticed how thoroughly people were getting worked up over things that ought to have had absolutely no personal relevance to them whatsoever,” said Mr. Schock. “And I kept thinking, if only there were some way to bottle all of this energy….”
Within the next few months, Mr. Schock and his venture capital firm, Schock Value Management, plan to break ground on the world’s first operational power plant run entirely on outrage. The project builds on the results of an earlier program to tap gymnasiums and exercise centers as potential sources of power as part of a new carbon dioxide capture system.
In the facility currently under development, groups of paid volunteers will operate stationary bicycles while watching politically-oriented talk shows. The bicycles will be attached to electromagnetic turbines that will be in turn connected to power collection circuits. As the volunteers see stories that make them angry, their adrenaline will rise and cause them to pedal harder. Early research suggests that the outrage arising from watching talk shows increases the power output of each participant by 10-50%.
“The beauty of it is, it doesn’t even matter what side of the political spectrum the viewers belong to, or which channel is being shown,” said Mr. Schock. “If the viewer is from the right and we show MSNBC, they’ll be hostile to the viewpoint. Result: outrage. If we show them Fox, they’ll sympathize with the viewpoint but will be incensed by the content. Result: outrage. Same thing if the viewer happens to be from the left–but the other way around, of course.
“And if the viewer happens to be from the center of the political spectrum, he’ll be annoyed by how worked up everybody is getting.
“We’re sitting on one of the few genuine sources of infinitely renewable power,” said Mr. Schock. “As long as we have Washington and Hollywood, there’s no reason we should ever run out. And talk shows.”
As idealistic as the project may sound, it faces resistance on a number of fronts. Some critics of the proposal claim that the early results have been falsified, and the actual energy output has been bolstered by an auxiliary power source: the combustion of the works of any historical personage whose life featured some element deemed offensive or unacceptable by modern society.
Mr. Schock dismissed the fraud claim as absurd. “It’s absurd,” he said. “Destroying that kind of material would be detrimental to the Outrage Generation scheme. Do you know how many kilowatts of outrage can be generated by suddenly revealing that a much-admired historical figure was in the habit of, say, picking his nose in public?”
Other critics questioned the practicality of the system. “Using outrage as a power supply is a bit like trying to harness lightning,” said Professor Nicolai Westinghouse of the University of Punxsutawney’s College of Engineering and Applied Silliness. “Sure, there’s a lot of electricity floating around in the clouds, but it’s highly dispersed, which means it’s hard to collect–until, of course, it discharges as lightning, and then it’s too violent to manage. In any case, we may question the wisdom of developing a power system dependent on increasing society’s psychological angst. Do we really want to be in the position that we’re dependent on people being mad all the time? Or perhaps Mr. Schock has a solution for that,” Professor Westinghouse added, referring to Schock Value Management’s pharmaceutical subsidiary specializing in antacids, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications and operating under the name of Schock Therapies.
The scheme has also caught to attention of the so-called Citizens’ Civility Enforcement Brigade, which seeks to eliminate societal outrage. “There’s already enough outrage on the market without deliberately generating more of it,” said Si Kopathic, the group’s leader and chief spokesperson. “And it’s going to stay that way until we can get people angry enough to show that they just won’t take it anymore.”
The current schedule calls for the first stage of the power generation project to be complete in plenty of time for the Presidential debates. In the event that the scheme doesn’t work out as planned, sources suggest Mr. Schock is already looking forward to his next energy solutions project: a proposal to build a power plant run on toddler-power.