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For All Nails #232: Strange Bedfellows

by Johnny Pez



4 May 1975, 6:00 pm, EST. The vitavision tuner is receiving the NUBS (National Union Broadcast System) network.

It is the top of the hour, so the screen shows the NUBS logo, a stylized bird-in-flight, and the familiar four-note chime.

We CUT to Councilman ANTHONY CONIGLIARO addressing the Grand Council.

CONIGLIARO

The Liberal Party has always been the party of family values. One thing we all agree on in New Orleans, newcomers as well as old-time residents, is the importance of family. Our families are what makes the Confederation of North America the greatest country in the world. But now certain businessmen whose allegiance to profit is greater than their allegiance to North America want to bring a foreign drug into our Confederation that poses a grave threat to the very cornerstone of our society: the North American family.

We CUT to DON HEWITT, dressed in his usual conservative suit, seated at the main desk on the Insight set.

HEWITT

That was the scene in Burgoyne on Wednesday when Councilman Anthony Conigliaro of the Southern Confederation introduced his Family Defense Act into the Grand Council. Tonight on Insight correspondent Stan Marsh looks at the controversy surrounding 'la pildora': who favors it, who opposes it, and what effect it could have on the CNA.

We DISSOLVE to the opening credits for Insight: a montage of still photographs and archival footage of global, and particularly North American, people and events from the last ten years, set against the stately music of Bach's "Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor". The montage ends with the words INSIGHT WITH DON HEWITT and the Insight logo of a man peering through a telescope in silhouette.

We DISSOLVE to a shot of the interior of a Mexican chemist shop. Angle on a sign that says PRESERVATIVES. Close-up pan past a row of oral contraceptives with names like Nega-Preg, Freedom and Contrafertility.

MARSH (V.O.)

Twenty-four years ago, the Novidessa-based firm of C & M Pharmaceuticals began marketing Contrafertility, the world's first oral contraceptive. Designed to mimic the female hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle, Contrafertility quickly became the most popular form of contraceptive in Mexico. Among Mexicans, it became known as la pildora, "the pill".

We CUT to a still shot of a Maria del Rey pinup calendar circa 1955, then archival footage of Tania Monroy in concert, then pan across a magazine rack stocked with rows of Mexican girly magazines.

In the USM, sex has long been an integral part of the national culture. A catchphrase among Mexican advertising agencies is "sex sells".

We CUT to footage of a Heinlein Beer ad featuring scantily-clad women, then footage of a Jefferson Motors locomobile ad featuring scantily-clad women, then footage of a 24-Siete rapivend ad featuring scantily-clad women.

With the introduction of la pildora, though, there appeared among young Mexicans a new social culture characterized by serial promiscuity by young women, starting at ever younger ages.

We CUT to a young woman, backlit to appear in silhouette. A caption identifies her as "MARTHA".

Martha is a young woman from Henrytown, Jefferson.

MARTHA

Well, I started taking la pildora when I was fifteen. My friend Abbie worked in a farmacia, y she let me buy a caja whenever I wanted.

We DISSOLVE to another backlit shot of MARTHA.

I went out with Paulie for a few months, y then I met Doug. We were juntos for two or three weeks before we separated. Then I met Neddie. I think we were juntos for about half a year.

We DISSOLVE to another backlit shot of MARTHA.

Well, I batted out Bobby after I found out he had the French pox. After that, I always made sure a boy wore a slipper the first time we did it.

We CUT to a table of figures from a medical journal. Close on a highlighted number 237%.

MARSH (V.O.)

According to statistics compiled by the Mexican Medical Association, since the introduction of la pildora, the incidence of sexual diseases among Mexicans under thirty has more than doubled.

We CUT to a man in glasses and a white lab coat seated in a doctor's examination room. A caption identifies him as "DR. ARTURO CRUZ".

DR. CRUZ

The problem, of course, is that unlike traditional male prophylactics, la pildora allows full contact between people, permitting the transmission of sexual diseases from one person to another.

We CUT to a shot of a modern office building. In the foreground is a sign that reads MCILWAIN PHARMACEUTICALS LTD.

MARSH (V.O.)

Earlier this year, a North American company called McIlwain Pharmaceuticals, a division of Kramerica, concluded an agreement with C & M Pharmaceuticals allowing them to manufacture and market Contrafertility in the CNA.

We CUT to a shot of the Kramerica Quarterly Report for the first quarter of 1975. On the cover is a serious-looking President Jack Ellison.

Company forecasts called for Contrafertility to be launched in North America at the beginning of June.

We CUT to footage of Councilman CONIGLIARO addressing the Grand Council.

Then came the introduction of the Family Defense Act, which would restrict the sale of oral contraceptives to married women.

We CUT to stock footage of the floor of the New York Stock and Exchange Board.

The value of McIlwain Pharmaceuticals stock fell by nearly two thirds, with Kramerica shares falling twenty-two points.

We CUT to a shot of a middle-aged man in a business suit. A caption identifies him as "ANDREW WEBSTER, STOCKBROKER".

WEBSTER

With the Conigliaro Bill restricting the market for la pildora to married women, I think there's a very real possibility that McIlwain might cancel their agreement with C & M, and discontinue their plans to release Contrafertility. Which was probably the Councilman's goal right from the start.

We CUT to a live shot of MARSH on the Insight set.

MARSH

So the outcome of Kramerica's plan to market la pildora in the CNA may very well depend on whether Councilman Conigliaro succeeds in getting his bill through the Grand Council.

We CUT to a shot of the man-and-telescope Insight logo.

ANNOUNCER (V.O.)

Coming up next, the fight for the Family Defense Act.

And we

GO TO SPOT:



Spot #1 - Cooper Financial Services

We CUT to a shot of two businessmen seated next to each other on a commuter train.

FIRST BUSINESSMAN

Cooper Financial...

We CUT to a shot of another businessman on the telephone.

THIRD BUSINESSMAN

Cooper Financial...

We CUT to a shot of two more businessmen seated in a boardroom.

FOURTH BUSINESSMAN

Cooper Financial...

We CUT to a shot of a man and a woman walking along a city street.

MAN

Cooper Financial...

We CUT to a pretty blonde receptionist sitting at her desk as she answers the phone.

RECEPTIONIST

Cooper Financial!

We CUT to a shot of Old Faithful erupting in Hot Springs National Park. The real Old Faithful dissolves into a line drawing of Old Faithful and the words COOPER FINANCIAL SERVICES.

ANNOUNCER (V.O.)

Cooper Financial. All the talk of the market.



Spot #2 - Monday Night Cinema

We CUT to the NUBS bird-in-flight logo and the words MONDAY NIGHT CINEMA.

ANNOUNCER (V.O.)

Coming this Monday...

We CUT to a shot of actor ERIC DAWES, dressed in a dinner suit. A shot rings out, DAWES ducks and rolls, comes up holding a pistol, and returns fire.

ANNOUNCER (V.O.)

...in a world vitavision premier...

We CUT to a shot of DAWES sitting at a chemin-de-fer table.

DAWES

The name's Flin. David Flin.

We CUT to a shot of DAWES free-falling through the sky, still in his dinner suit.

ANNOUNCER (V.O.)

...Eric Dawes as David Flin in...

We CUT to a slow-motion shot of a dinner-suited DAWES diving out of the way of an exploding gyropter.

ANNOUNCER (V.O.)

...Tomorrow We Die.



Spot #3 - William Penn Insurance

We CUT to a shot of BOB and JUNE WHEELER sitting outside a house in New Boston, Indiana.

JUNE WHEELER

Somehow, you never think something like this can happen to you.

We CUT to a quick shot of flood waters streaming through the suburbs of New Boston, then CUT back to BOB and JUNE WHEELER.

BOB WHEELER

I was lost. I didn't know where to turn.

We CUT to another quick shot of flood waters streaming through the suburbs of New Boston, then CUT back to BOB and JUNE WHEELER.

JUNE WHEELER

We lost everything. The house, the loke, everything.

We CUT to another quick shot of flood waters streaming through the suburbs of New Boston, then CUT back to BOB and JUNE WHEELER.

But then the man from William Penn Insurance came to see us.

We CUT to a series of shots of BOB and JUNE WHEELER walking through their house. We see a dog sitting on the kitchen floor barking and wagging its tail.

We CUT back to BOB and JUNE WHEELER sitting in front of their house.

BOB WHEELER

Now we can start our lives over again.

We CUT to a logo featuring an old-style woodcut portrait of William Penn above the words WILLIAM PENN INSURANCE - LIFE LOCOMOBILE HOME.

ANNOUNCER (V.O.)

William Penn Insurance. Be prepared for life.



RESUME NETWORK FEED:

We CUT to the man-and-telescope Insight logo, then we DISSOLVE to a shot of DON HEWITT seated at the main desk of the Insight set.

HEWITT

In part two of our story on la pildora, Stan Marsh looks at the fight between the rivers over the Conigliaro Bill.

We CUT to a shot of Governor-General LENNART SKINNER standing at a podium in the briefing room of the Executive Mansion.

SKINNER

While I applaud Councilman Conigliaro for his principled stand, it is not my intention to make his bill a Liberal Party whip vote. As my Pappy used to say, sometimes a man's got to follow his own nose to get where he's supposed to go.

We CUT to a shot of Minority Leader BAILEY MONCREIFF of the People's Coalition, on the steps of the Grand Council Hall.

MONCREIFF

This is not a partisan matter. This is a matter for each member to decide on the basis of his own individual conscience.

We CUT to a shot of STAN MARSH sitting at a low table on the Insight set. Sitting next to him are Councilman RYAN CREIGHTON-YOUNG and former Chief of Staff TOBIAS GARRITY.

MARSH

That was the scene in Burgoyne Wednesday afternoon following Councilman Anthony Conigliaro's surprise introduction of the Family Defense Act in the Grand Council. Both Governor-General Skinner and Minority Leader Moncreiff have declared a free vote on the Conigliaro Bill. What prospects does the bill have for passage? To help us answer that question, tonight we have with us Manitoba Councilman Ryan Creighton-Young of the Masonist Party and Tobias Garrity, former Chief of Staff to Governor-General Carter Monaghan. Gentlemen, thank you for joining us tonight.

GARRITY

I'm pleased to be here, Mr. Marsh.

CREIGHTON-YOUNG

Thank you, Mr. Marsh.

MARSH

Mr. Garrity, I'll begin with you. What are the chances of the Conigliaro Bill in the Grand Council?

GARRITY

It's difficult to say at this point, Mr. Marsh. Governor-General Skinner chose not to give the Conigliaro Bill the official backing of the Liberal Party, and I think he was wise not to do so. While some important segments of the Liberal voter base, such as the big-city ethnic voters, will favor the bill, others such as middle-class suburban voters are likely to oppose it. If the Governor-General had tried to force a party-line vote, he likely would have seen the defection of anywhere from twenty to thirty Liberal members. In fact, we might have seen something similar to last year's split in the Coalition over Governor-General Monaghan's foreign policy.

MARSH

In that case, Councilman Conigliaro is going to have to look to the other three parties for votes if he expects to gain passage of the Family Defense Act.

GARRITY

That's right.

MARSH

Councilman, is he likely to find any among the Masonists?

CREIGHTON-YOUNG

I shouldn't think so, Mr. Marsh. Back in Manitoba, for instance, people aren't going to like the idea of having the CBI stationed in chemist shops to check on the shoppers' marriage status. Our members in the Northern Confederation feel the same way. Nor, I think, will Mayor Levine's people approve of letting a group of men in Burgoyne tell their female constituents how to live their lives.

MARSH

That leaves the People's Coalition. Mr. Garrity, do you see Councilman Conigliaro picking up significant support among the Coalitionists for the Family Defense Act?

GARRITY

I believe so, Mr. Marsh. Like the Liberals, the People's Coalition is likely to include large segments of voters on both sides of this issue. Councilman Conigliaro's appeals to family solidarity are going to strike a chord among several of our members in the Vandalias and northern Indiana. Southern Indiana and the Southern Confederation are likely to be more problematic.

CREIGHTON-YOUNG

Because that's where you'll find the most fervent areas of anti-Catholic prejudice in the country. The people there will oppose the bill for no other reason than that Councilman Conigliaro is Catholic, and because they'll think that he's allowing himself to be guided by the Pope's pronouncements on contraception.

MARSH

Do you think religious belief will play a significant role in the bill's outcome, then, Councilman?

CREIGHTON-YOUNG

I don't think there's any question about it. Religious belief is the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. Catholics and mainstream Church of North America adherents are going to be the most vocal in their support of the bill, while dissenting Protestants and other antiestablishment groups will be its most determined opponents. That's another reason my constituents back in Manitoba aren't going to like it.

MARSH

Mr. Garrity, do you agree with the Councilman's analysis?

GARRITY

I think that Councilman Creighton-Young is overstating the religious divide in this country. It's been nearly a century since the disestablishment of the Church of North America, after all. FN1 It's not as though the CNA is headed towards a theocratic regime like Pashtunistan.

CREIGHTON-YOUNG

Aren't we? Some might say that the Conigliaro Bill represents a return to the bad old days of state-supported religion.

MARSH

Gentlemen, I'm afraid we're running short of time. Mr. Garrity, what's your final verdict on the bill's chances?

GARRITY

Too close to call, Mr. Marsh. There are too many variables at work, and the plain truth is that we've never quite had a bill like this come up in the Grand Council before. I'll be curious myself to see how it works itself out.

MARSH

Councilman, what are your thoughts on the matter?

CREIGHTON-YOUNG

Naturally, I hope that the Grand Council will see that attempts to enshrine religious dogma in the law books will be destructive of our country's social fabric. However, I must agree with Mr. Garrity that it's impossible at this point to predict how some of my colleagues in the Council will choose to vote. I imagine they'll be taking wagers on it in Hoboken.

MARSH

Thank you Councilman Creighton-Young, Mr. Garrity. Coming up next: a few minutes with Clem Brook.

We cut to the man-and-telescope Insight logo and

GO TO SPOT:



Spot #4 - Penrose Cigarettes

We CUT to BRUCE GRAYSON, a slim, middle-aged man in a yellow surgeon's gown, standing inside an operating theatre.

GRAYSON

I'm Bruce Grayson, Chief of Surgery at Michigan City General Hospital. Every day, my patients rely on me to see them safely through everything from routine appendectomies to skin grafts and arterial transplants. When I'm operating, I need to be at my best.

We CUT to a close-up of a pack of Penrose cigarettes in GRAYSON'S hand.

That's why I smoke Penrose brand cigarettes.

We CUT to a shot of GRAYSON as he lights up a cigarette.

Penrose cigarettes let me stay steady and focused, just when I need to be. And their great menthol taste makes it a pleasure to light up anytime. Penrose cigarettes -- they're simply the best.

We DISSOLVE to a close-up of an open pack of Penrose cigarettes on a black background. To the right are the words SIMPLY THE BEST in white block letters.

At the bottom right of the screen a small stylized representation of the Kramerica Building appears, along with the words WE'RE KRAMERICA in small white sans serif letters.



RESUME NETWORK FEED:

We CUT to the man-and-telescope Insight logo, then we DISSOLVE to a shot of DON HEWITT seated at the main desk of the Insight set.

HEWITT

Tonight, Clem Brook takes a look at something we've all had to deal with - getting our driver's license renewed.

We DISSOLVE to a picture of an egg timer with the words A FEW MINUTES WITH CLEM BROOK above it.

We DISSOLVE to a shot of CLEM BROOK sitting in a cluttered study.

BROOK

Did you ever notice how long it takes to get your driver's license renewed? Instead of making us wait in line to get our pictures taken, how about if they just let us bring in our own pictures? Besides saving time, you'd get a picture on your license that actually looks like you, and not like a three-day-old corpse that's just been fished out of a river. Another thing they could do to speed up the process is to have more than one person on duty at a time, instead of having three or four people standing around reading magazines, or whatever it is they do back there. And why couldn't they have a few vitavision sets around, so that we could at least have something to occupy our time? That way, you could choose whichever line has the most interesting programming, which probably wouldn't be any more confusing than whatever system they use now. And then, while we were waiting in line to get our driver's licenses, we could also be voting on which programs we like best, which has got to be at least as accurate as the ratings systems that the networks normally use. Of course, if we did that, they'd probably cancel Insight, because the DMV isn't open Sunday nights. Oh well.

We CUT to DON HEWITT seated at the main desk of the Insight set.

HEWITT

Coming next week on Insight . . .

We CUT to a dimly-lit room full of dancing people, while four men in ragged black clothing play loud music from a stage.

HEWITT (V.O.)

Here in Fort Lodge, they've taken classic road music and added a Mexican beat, producing a new sound that's taking the country by storm. Len Stotch looks at El Camino.

We CUT to what looks like a prison camp, surrounded by barbed wire, with the Union Jack flying prominently in the foreground.

What's life like in Trinidad under British rule? Kyle Broslofsky files this report from the newest addition to the United Empire.

We CUT to a German army base in northern France.

What will the French be doing with all those German army bases now that the Germans are withdrawing their troops from France? The answer may surprise you.

We CUT back to DON HEWITT seated at the main desk of the Insight set.

HEWITT

All of this, plus Clem Brook, next week on Insight . . .

And we

FADE TO BLACK.


Forward to FAN #233: Shootout at Black Rock.

Forward to 5 May 1975: The World is a Vampire.

Return to For All Nails.

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