Channel Surfing (Preface)

The following pages are in the form of a book based on a film based on an interpretative dance based on a haiku based on a souffle based on a table based on the channelsurfing all done by the immortal Margaret McDonalds. Of course so much is so widely known about this consummate artist, that it seems redundant to mention anything at all here, but this is a preface, and this is what prefaces are for. This collection of channelsurfings, accumulated between 19,630 A.C. to 19,632 A.C. contain what most experts and people in the know classify as both her most controversial and her most personal work. McDonalds would get hooked on The Life of Tom Sears on Channel 144,666. It became her favorite, most beloved show. McDonalds often went back to it, defining both her work, and at the same time, herself.

Now, centuries past the disintegration of Margaret McDonalds, the entire series of Channel 144,666, The Life of Tom Sears is recognized as her masterwork, though, at the time of its creation it was widely regarded as offensive and utterly without artistic merit or redemption; her channelsurfing, was seen as self-indulgent, her souffle, merely indulgent. They were, of course, her greatest commercial successes.

McDonalds, though, regarded first and foremost, as a brilliant channelsurfer, said she sometimes preferred writing to channelsurfing for the very reason she could control the events of the story more completely. “The best thing about writing artistically, is also the most frustrating thing to lack personally, foresight. Writing, I know what’s going to happen next, as opposed to channelsurfing, when I’m totally at the whims of my characters who take the story wherever they want to go. With writing, the story has already happened, so I can prepare the themes early, and my sense of foresight is obviously much stronger, and therefore, it’s so much more painful coming to the end of a book and seeing that I still didn’t get what I wanted,” McDonalds once confided to her empty prescription bottle.

The brand-name, Margaret McDonalds, was already famous, synonymous with some of the biggest channelsurfings hits of her time, such as, Channel 1717, The Veronica Cocaine Show, (19,628-30 A.C.), and Channels 383,794 to 383,795 to 383,797, (19,620 A.C.), her breakthrough work, completed just after her twenty-eighth birthday. Though famous in name, it was not until her unexpected guest appearance on Channel 144,666, twelve years later, that the Nation had an opportunity to put a face to the name, Margaret McDonalds. Her channelsurfings were immediately discredited, for the Nation then saw her for who she really was, and her work was seen as a sham. It was not until many years later, long after McDonalds disintegration, when the viewing public could forgive her, and her work was again judged on its artistic value, and not on its controversy.

Sadly, McDonalds never returned to the medium that made her famous, channelsurfing, after her exposure to National exposure, and though a plug-in, with still over one hundred and four years left on her shot-clock, McDonalds thought to do the unthinkable, and plugged-out, zapping out the candles to her forty-sixth birthday cake, then, in a shocking move, now considered one of the greatest closers in entertainment history, Margaret McDonalds turned the zapper on herself, zapping herself to ashes all over her strawberry cake. We can be grateful that before making that fatal zap, Margaret McDonalds left us with a collection of work that has been watched, read, worn, listened to, danced to and even eaten. Her books, TV shows, show tunes, scarves, souffles, but especially, channelsurfings have inspired the Nation for centuries and will continue undoubtedly, for centuries to come.

So what makes Margaret McDonalds’s work so ageless to have remained so vital to our culture for so many years? The answer is as simple as the heart itself. Love. Flip through any of McDonalds’s work and you will find a common thread among them, they are all played to the tune of love. Margaret dared to love off the drug, Love, and the result was Channel 144,666, The Life of Tom Sears. Some have called the following work, along with a series of chocolate chip cookies produced right after as, ‘tasteless’ for this very reason. Further, critics were not kind to her at her time; very few reviewers would even credit her work as ‘art’, or go so far as to give it any sort of review, beyond saying she overstepped the bounds of art and artist, stepping into her own work, both by guest starring twice in her own channelsurfing, and by eating all her cookies.

What might be most remarkable about the perseverance of the letters that create the preceding words that flow into the following sentences, is that they have stayed free and unedited by the same Network that is both criminal and victim in this famous scenario. Except for a brief period, between 21,585 to 21,597, A.C. during the reign of Becky the Censor, when all access to The Network and all of its properties were denied to the people by a cruel and vicious despot who ruled the airwaves with a strict clicker. At that time, even such important work as Channel 144,666, was blacked out to the general public. Only after a People’s Choice nominated coup, everything was open and transparent to the viewing public once again. Channel 144,666 The Life of Tom Sears‘s biggest gift to the Nation has always been its sense of hope and transparency, from every party, especially The Network, who, continue to prove the measure of a society is in the amount of Freedom prescribed its citizens.

Here now, in its original form, just the way Margaret McDonalds punched it out on her palm-puter, is Channel Surfing: Channel 144,666: The Book! Brought to you by the same Network that gave it voice so many years ago. You’re welcome, great citizens.


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