The year is 2020… The human race is almost completely extinct and robots now rule the Earth. But one man, by the name of Eddie Ray, was too lazy to ever catch up with technology… and now it looks like he might be our only hope! Could he be the one to accidentally start the resistance? Eddie Ray – Leader of the Resistance is the story of one man’s reluctant journey to adopt technology. As he reminisces about his 90s childhood, Eddie Ray’s musical comedy weaves funky grooves with hilarious tales about our constant obsession with technology today, and how useless we are without it. This show is part cabaret, part action movie adventure, and coming to Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den as part of Fringe World 2020 from January 17 – 19. Here we get an insight into one day in the life of Eddie Ray… to find out what it’s like to be an unlikely resistance leader living in a world ruled by robots.
The Robots now completely run the planet. We are their slaves, they are our overlords. As the sole survivor of the rise of the machines, I wander through a landscape reminiscent of a zombie apocalypse. I walk out of my house towards the bus stop. At the pedestrian crossing, I see a mother of two locked hopelessly in a trance as she’s glued to her machine’s screen, her every move and thought being directed by it.
Another man stands in the same hypnotic trance transfixed by his screen, his ears plugged into the Skynet broadcast, or ‘podcast’ I believe they are calling them. He takes a step onto the road without looking, and is almost struck down by a car. I look up at the car to see every inhabitant of the car in the exact same trance, as if everybody just missed the near-death experience. Their eyes are all gripped by the machines’ most effective addiction, Facebook, which I believe to be some sort of catalogue of people’s faces you scroll through to see if you recognise any of them. They use pictures of attractive women to lure people in, and there are lots of pictures of food and babies. It has been their most successful program thus far.
I cross the street to the local shop. Inside a sea of apathetic shoppers throw food into their trolleys without looking. They too seem to all be listening to the ‘podcasts’, numb to the other shoppers around them. Not one word is spoken. In the trolleys, I see children as young as two holding these Robots with both hands giving them their undivided attention as The Robots teach these kids a new reality. The Robots are now their babysitters, their closest relative, taking the place of uncles or aunties. The Robots will teach them how to live in this new world… one touch screen at a time.
I grab some bananas and keep my head down as I head towards the checkout only to be confronted by a stark reality: The Robots now rule here as well. In the place of cashiers are an army of Robots, and in the place of cash registers are scanners, here to scan one’s wrist chip, I assume. I cannot go in there for I do not possess such a chip. I’ll have to run, hoping The Robots have not noticed me.
I make my way quickly to the bus and jump on just as it is about to take off. I try to hand the driver $5. In a monotone, he says, “We don’t do cash, I need your card.” I explain that I don’t have a card. He looks confused and replies, “You can download the app on your Robot. Where is your machine?” I whisper to him that I don’t have a machine, and show him my Nokia 3210. By now there is a scene building and the others are becoming impatient with me. “What the hell is that thing?” a young man asks, as if I had just produced a 19th century relic. These scenes are becoming more and more frequent. My lack of dependence on the machines is making it harder and harder for me to survive. Now I can’t even catch a bus???
I jump off the bus and run to my friend James’ house, covering my face. I hear the new machines have facial recognition software. I frantically knock on the door and burst past James into the living room. Here I see three other people in the Robot-induced trance. One of them plays a game called Candy Crush, the other flips through the book of faces, and one is doing “banking”, The Robots’ hypnosis syphoning out her funds right in front of my eyes. I tell my friend of my ordeal, and he says, “Yeah, you need a smart card.” I respond vehemently, “I’m not getting a chip in my arm!” James laughs before saying, “OK Google, where do I get a bus card from?” As far as I knew the others in the lounge room were called Kim, Matt, and Amanda… who is Google? And why wasn’t he saying please? A booming Robot’s voice comes in ominously as if it were the house itself talking. “You can get a smart card from transperth.com.au.” “What the hell was that?” I demand. “That’s Google – The house is connected now – it’s all connected. My phone, my aircon, my fridge, my front door lock, my stereo. Cool huh?” James smiles.
Before I can reply Matt says “We’re getting Uber Eats, you want some?” Confused, I ask what in God’s name that is, and they explain that The Robots now feed us, delivering the food to your door. Not only that, but I see the TV is plugged into Skynet as well. Their gaze fixed at the giant screen on the wall, they were all about to plug into the machine and do what they referred to as “Netflix and Chill.” I had to get out of there before The Robots took my mind as well. I had to run.
My facial expression said it all, I was not comfortable here with all of the machines listening and watching and feeding us and showing us movies, when Kim said, “Relax Eddie, sounds like you need to go on a quick Tinder date.” Tinder, I would discover, was the final blow. They now control our love lives too. They tell us who we should mate with, ensuring a gene pool just smart enough to work the tools yet stupid enough not to ask questions.
I needed to get as far away from the city as possible, away from the machines. I had to put credit on my Nokia 3210 and find a safe place. I needed to find my people. It was time to rise up and start to resist these machines. Time for… The Resistance.