Escape Artists



ATTENTION: NEW FORUM THEME Please see here for details:

Author Topic: EP644 & 645: The Revolution, Brought to You by Nike, Parts 1 & 2  (Read 2735 times)


  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 144
Escape Pod 644: The Revolution, Brought to You by Nike, Part 1

AUTHOR : Andrea Phillips
NARRATOR : Julia Rios
HOST: Mur Lafferty

Escape Pod 644: The Revolution, Brought to You by Nike, Part 2

AUTHOR : Andrea Phillips
NARRATOR : Julia Rios
HOST: S.B. Divya


Corazon clicked to the slide she’d been dreading: long-term trends for brand engagement. It was dire.

She focused on the smudgy mirror at the far end of the conference room, looking past her team to her own reflection. She pulled her shoulders back, like her grandmother had instructed. She tipped her head to the side, disarming but not too flirty. When she spoke, she was a breath apologetic, but not too much: “As you can see, we have our work cut out for us.”

She turned to face the projected line graph behind her. “Year on year sales are down, but we’ve been expecting that due to the current… economic climate.”

That was the euphemism to end all euphemisms. Everybody in that over-air-conditioned room knew exactly what she meant, though, because they were all living on the same rapidly sinking ocean liner. Gregoria, a junior art director, began to nervously shred the paper cup her morning latte had come in.

“The really bad part is this.” Corazon swept her hand along the line labeled Brand Perception, which had plummeted like a stone in the aftermath of the election. “And it’s not just us. The truth is, nobody gives a shit about brands right now.”

Listen to Part 1!

Listen to Part 2!

« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 10:15:51 PM by divs »


  • Lochage
  • *****
  • Posts: 504
Reply #1 on: September 17, 2018, 09:12:11 AM
Well, that didn't quite work for me for a number of reasons. First of all, this was very much focused on a political event and little on the characters. Parts of the story sounded like a news article being read (not that the reading was bad, I just mean it was news in the story being told). It's interesting how prophetic the story is about Nike, but then I didn't see any SciFi elements in the story, except talking about political events in the near future. It's timely to be published right now but will probably lose it's relevance once Trump is out of office. Of course, Nike is still a profit oriented capitalist organisation, so I'm sceptical about their political outlook.


  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 9
    • Koosie's RAC Blog
Reply #2 on: September 17, 2018, 09:23:02 PM
Hmmm....Interesting story, nicely told. Just a story, right? This isn't anyone's manifesto or something. I mean Nike are right if they're thinking that dipping their toe might flog some shoes but it stops there. This isn't a plan. If it was they'd have to expect a more active response from a threatened regime than the usual tedious threats from mindless social media nazis. Fascism isn't going to waste time mutilating Pigeons. I'm thinking a sudden campaign of salacious allegations leading to police action or just a good old 'disappearance' or two or two hundred or add as many zeros as you fancy.

Though saying that we actually don't get regime change at the end of this story, just the resignation of a figurehead whose nonsense pronouncements and obvious corruption is itself an inconvenience to the regime. Is that what this story's really saying- that a Nike victory (ha! nike nike) isn't a victory at all but a sham corporate PR non-victory? Surely. More questions than answers. Which is good! Reckon the next guy's going to be the sort of thing you like? Are the protesters the majority? Wouldn't there be also-large counter-demonstrations? The thing that maybe rang true in this story is the military siding with the protesters tipping the balance. I mean they're not going to abruptly ignore orders because someone quotes the constitution at them, someone's been through the legalities before they left the base, but they'd happily submit to the 'will of the people' if it removes a stink from the big house. Now that's more Egypt 2013 than Philippines 1986. Is that a door you want to open? Go back to the drawing board, America. Nike and Beyonce? Beyonce's great and anything but its not the Beyonce people you need to talk round. You need Garth Brooks and Kid Rock and God knows what other sorts of things. Maybe I'm taking this too seriously. Noticed I capitalised the G in God there. It's ok, I also capitalised the P in Pigeon.


  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Reply #3 on: September 17, 2018, 09:33:55 PM
Could we have a little more than a week between Trump's America stories? Between this and Oracle, three of the past month's episodes have been about the post-November 2016 American nightmare and I'm pretty sure sci-fi covers a broader range of settings and topics than that.


  • Peltast
  • ***
  • Posts: 107
    • Bad Foodie
Reply #4 on: September 19, 2018, 02:17:45 PM
Overall, I was not impressed.

This story struck me as just a piece of wish-fulfillment fantasy. It didn't hit me in the feels, or make me curious about the future. As science fiction, this definitely falls short of the goal for me.

"You don't fix faith. Faith fixes you." - Shepherd Book


  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Reply #5 on: September 19, 2018, 10:08:34 PM
I couldn't really listen to the story, and I wanted to give it a chance. The narrator sounded like she was 20 feet from her mic and pointed in the wrong direction. As I listen on my commute it makes it quite difficult to understand the reader. This should have been sent back to the narrator.
Sorry, just my feelings and the way I heard what I could hear of it.


  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 752
    • quietstars
Reply #6 on: September 23, 2018, 12:01:17 PM
I seem to be alone in quite enjoying this :-)

The mechanics of this revolution didn't convince — but I didn't really think they were meant to.

The centre of the story, for me, were the motivations.

Who was in it to make the world better.
Who was in it for revolution.
Who was in it to sell a lot of shoes.

Because not all revolutions make the world better — which makes a world where a revolution sold lot of shoes potentially an… interesting… one to live in.


  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Reply #7 on: September 29, 2018, 06:14:48 AM
I'm in the advertising industry so a lot of this felt a little too real. Much of the story was directly relatable to work and experiences there even if regime change isn't something that is you know, done in advertising circles. Obvious the writer had worked (or does work) in advertising as well I believe was mentioned in the intro to part 2.

I'll echo what other posters said in that this felt like wish fulfillment and a barely disguised hopeful alternate history. While theoretically possible I feel alternate reality SCI-Fi really does its best when it explores the extremes of alternate history like the well worn trope of the Nazis winning WWII. It lets us paint the contrast to our society clearly and serve as warning and education all wrapped up in one. This was just a tiny twist on current reality and so felt more like a hope and a dream - or a call to action - than illuminating anything particular interesting or unknown about us.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2018, 06:23:29 AM by adaz »


  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1105
Okay, I agree with many of the problems that people pointed out about this story. I personally thought this belonged on Pseudopod, you know, the horror of a corporation orchestrating any kind of regime change...

That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Maybe it satisfied some need in me for the kind of wish fulfillment that was covered here. But the end totally didn't satisfy. As someone already pointed out, there's no guarantee that things will be better with the replacement.

I guess this one is a total guilty pleasure for me.


  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Reply #9 on: November 06, 2018, 10:57:00 PM
I thoroughly enjoyed this. Sure, the story is a bit of lighthearted wish-fulfillment - especially in part2 - but I think sometimes we need a chance of some brightness and hope; even while we know there's no shoe company ready to save us.

Having said this, I do not live in America - so the harsh realities of the real-life situation don't threaten me so closely as it does for many other readers. I can understand why people might have found this unpleasant to listen to.
I'd like to see this one in a Flashback Friday, maybe another 5-10 years from now.