Note: I am not crazy. Some of this is based on Fiction. Play along.
Some people (okay, no one) ask me the question: What is it like to work with two of the finest minds the Church has ever seen when supporting Lent Madness. I tell them that it is awesome.
Thomas+ and John+
During the competition we, the voting public of Lent Madness, make a LOT of commentary on what we think is going to happen. The fact of the matter is that although we are all voting in the Contest we aren’t the Contestants themselves. And, we can tell from sporting and politics that some of the best commentary, and the best insight comes from veterans who have actually been in the running.
The issue with having a Contest involving Saints running is that Saints are, by very definition, dead and in heaven. There are a few, untrustworthy methods to communicate with the dead such as Ouija boards or Psychics. I didn’t think that would at all worthy of the competition and resigned myself to not being able to help out.
However, in early January 2013 I heard about a special, experimental device being developed in a top secret laboratory by a company that does not want to be disclosed. They wouldn’t let me buy one, however, they did let me lease one. The damage deposit was considerably high. I was able to do obtain the deposit in part from a grant by SnobPAC: The Political Action Committee (aka slush fund) supporting the infamous ChurchSnobTEC elected the next Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. After the device was sneaked through the world’s longest undefended border I was able to take possession of a Clairvoyatron 2000.
With my brand new Black Box in hand (sorry, I can’t show any pictures of it due to a Non-Disclosure Agreement) I then had to spend the time setting it up and then reading the vast amounts of documentation. Let me tell you folks there are a lot of rules to using one of these. For example Speaking with any deceased friends, or any relatives less than five generations back is strictly prohibited. Also, we are advised not to attempt to speak with any souls in the fires of hell as it “Could lead to a catastrophic failure of the device resulting in the destruction of the whole Universe”. Geez, if that could happen why not put in a safety mechanism to stop me.
Once I got it “online” it became an issue on seeing who was willing to become a commentator. I started going through the Saints who had competed in Lent Madness 2010, 2011 and 2012. Luckily, I was able to find Thomas Cranmer, the Martyred Archbishop of Canterbury. He recommended one of his good friends St. John Chrysostom, the fourth-Century Archbishop of Constantinople. I then learned that the Most Holy Trinity had imposed its own rules on them, or any other Saints using a Clairvoyatron. These include rules such as:
- Not being able to state what the true Theological opinions of the Church should be on matters that we still consider rather controversial down here. Apparently we are suppose to work that stuff out for ourselves.
- Forbidden from voting.
- Can’t call the realm of the damned by the name we use a lot here on Earth and just refer to it as “That Other Place”.
- Wouldn’t call Satan by his name; He is always referred to as “You Know Who”.
- Can’t tell us a lot about heaven, and
- If they break any rules they get sent to “The Penalty Box”, which is a part of Heaven near “That Other Place” where they have to wait until Holy Saturday.
The Archbishops and I decided to do some test footage for the two play-in rounds that occurred that year. With the blessing of the Supreme Executive Committee I continued to work with the Archbishops throughout Lent Madness 2013. However, there was something missing.
For starters people could only hear their voices. I gave some feedback to the makers and over the Summer of 2013 the Clairvoyatron 2000 was replaced by a slightly Clairvoyatron 2100. At the time it had upgraded hardware but had the same Firmware as the 2000. It wasn’t until the fall that the first of Several firmware upgrades went through allowing them to manipulate portraits. The result, I feel, is a better version for the Voting Public of Lent Madness. Sadly, we are still stuck with the same lame computer voices; Something the Archbishops bug me about constantly.
So, there you have it. A brief story of how I came to get a Clairvoyatron and produce the videos for Archbishops Thomas and John.