Background scenario for Supertrain (RL25)

The problem with starvation is not that the food doesn't exist, but it is a distribution problem and an economic problem to get the food on a boat and take it somewhere. As soon as we realize how fucked we are in the fuel situation and as soon as we do find some cold fusion-style way to get more energy out of way less, we could run a future garbage dump on just a few Mr. Potato Heads that have been melted down in the appropriate way, or we could just fill our tanks with them directly like Mr. Fusion at the end of the first episode of Back to the Future.

John's plan is to gather up those giant, Sargasso Sea-sized dead-zones of floating plastic-detritus out there in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and process it on a converted Exxon Valdez future ship that will be captained by Dennis Hopper. John is going to be the garbage-tsar! People will be using Swiss accounts to buy out capped garbage dumps across the United States and old decommissioned oil tankers. John will have midgets working for him, if he could find some, but if you are a supervillain, they will usually come to you.

The concept of Supertrain (RL25)

John will be the leader of this dystopian future empire that involves tearing open garbage dumps in order to melt Mr. Potato Heads, and he should conduct his business by train because he already has contacts inside the industry through his father. He would move from one mobile home park to the next by Supertrain with a giant claw crane that can drive right up to old trash dumps, the giant claw crane reaches out, grabs the whole trash dump, puts it on flat cars and takes it to Supertanker. There will be trains all across America. You would literally tear the top off where the children might be camping or having a picnic and people might be playing frisbee. Supertrain with his giant claw, called Mr. Claw, grabs the garbage and fills all the potato containers for future fuel.

Already today we notice that plastic cutlery is made out of compressed potato starch. We already don't need oil and petroleum products to make plastic forks anymore. We already don't need petroleum to power automobiles anymore, because we have electric or hydrogen cars. We will need even less petroleum in the future, but there are some things that you really need petroleum for, like petroleum lawn mowers and petroleum jelly, anything that has the word "petroleum" in the name. You can use whale oil for some of that stuff and you would just milk the oil out of the whales and then throw them back, you don't even have to kill them for that. Supertanker could have an oil milker on its sides. John would never have to get out of the Truman car, because it would be his. It would even go into the Supertanker like a large scale rascal: a Superrascal. John is going to have a lot of those cool little levers and knobs that you could draw to make his chair move around.

Not only will John be harvesting old plastic bags and turn them into petroleum, but all those batteries that Michael Stipe threw away 50 years before do probably have a solid gold core. People constantly get rid of stuff that is still kind of mostly good and with a little bit of elbow grease it will be fine again. John could have a Goodwill-car in his train, or a Goodwill-Supertanker. That stuff would have been sitting in a landfill for 50 years, but people will be a lot less picky at that point. There will be generations of hipsters that will be so starved of vintage material, they will gladly buy a vintage couch although it had been sitting in a landfill for 50 years and smells like a dump, permeated with batteries and whale oil, as long as it is a vintage couch. If you think your appreciation of Stealers Wheel is ironic now, just wait until John will give you a literal non-functioning 8-track that has battery acid and human shit on it. If someone can only appreciate Steelers Wheel ironically, John will personally come to them and beat their ass.

The early days of Supertrain (RL25)

Merlin has some questions because he needs to know if he needs to start to get some weapons: Will this be largely a benevolent operation, or will it force people to see it as benevolent, or will this truly be a dark, dystopian vision where John is about to run the entire universe based on his own caprice? Lincoln said that power tends to corrupt. Initially John will be presented as a benevolent eco-warrior, and the system will be a friendly helpful option. The Supertrains, painted in iPhone-white, will look very nice and people will flock to support the operation. John will have 7-8 IPOs and each of them will rise billions of dollars.

The president will shake his hand and he will dress like Tom Wolfe in three-piece cream colored suits with a walking stick made out of park benches that used to be milk cartons and people will think "John Roderick, eco warrior, Supertrain founder, hyper recycler". Alternatively: "John Roderick, white suited eco peacemaker!" He will be giving jobs to children, but not in a mean way and he will be going across the country in a green train that is literally creating energy as it travels, it will have WiFi transmitters that are helping poor people to get on the Internet and he will give out CFL light bulbs and vegan meals, but nice vegan meals, he would let kids ride on the front and ride in the back, in a safe way, and there will be a whole section where you can light paper airplanes on fire and throw them in a way that will not start a larger fire, like a renewable airplane source. People would fall for that in a second. They will love Supertrain!

The final stages of Supertrain (RL25)

As time goes on and John becomes richer and controls more and more garbage dumps and more and more public parks, you cannot play frisbee or picnic there anymore because Supertrain has been there. At this point who cares? BMW and Bayer will be doing great. People will be very happy because under the Supertrain system everybody is making money and everybody is happy. The poor people will have CFL light bulbs and vegan meals, but things are going to change subtly. People will be addicted to vegan meals and where do they get them? Supertrain! You can't get them anywhere else anymore, because Supertrain cornered the market. Pretty soon you can't afford to buy a mobile home anymore, because John will have turned them all in to super office parks. Supertrain will have recycled a lot of those mobile homes, but they are all green technology, so it all makes sense.

John likes this a lot! He would become evil Supergenius. Nobody can steal this idea! It is not about ideas, it is about how you implement them. If you had your choice of different dictators, you want a competent dictator who knows where you shouldn't pitch a tent (see RL25). You want John Roderick! All those other guys coming along with their pale version of Supertrain have never ridden in front of a locomotive and they are all going to be copycatting on the Supertrain program. Normally a Supergenius wouldn't talk about his plans until he had the hero tied up floating above a shark tank full of acid on the Supertrain-branded Supertanker, which is when he would be explaining this all to him as he is about to drop him into the acid. But the reason John is talking about this now is that he is very confident that this is going to produce some fan-art that he can use to galvanize people. John is astroturfing!

Tech startups all through Silicon Valley and in Seattle are in a mutual masturbation society and think they all know what the world is made of and what the world needs. They are launching apps and sites and making techs, and teching makes. They are making IPOs, they think they are thought leaders, but there is not a single person on all those boards of directors with real world experience and John brings that kind of real world experience to the table. He will market himself as a potential member of the board of directors of some of these Internet startup companies. They need somebody who can speak truth to power, somebody who has thrown stuff out of a high rise, somebody who once had a pilot's license, to help guide them through the rock. You see a lot of these companies ending up as a flash in the pan, arc across the sky and then Kaputtsville.

John would tell them as it was. The ones who consider themselves forward-looking would want to be on the good side of the guy who owns Supertrain. It is like saying to someone that they will have a pretty daughter some day and it would be a shame if anything would happen to her. John does that in Seattle all the time as he is interacting with people at the mayor's office who are part of the machine. It is well understood that even if they don't know what Roderick does and even if they are wondering why he is at this meeting (isn't he a singer/songwriter?), at the same time the mayor is listening to him, so there might come a time when they don't want to be on the wrong side of him. This is how everybody in power starts out!

As John is working to convert the rest of America to his kind of thinking, Supertrain will convert the other trains. Supertrain will fluently speak train to them, not in a jokey Bronx patois. John will have something like 160 years of parallel tracks behind him on all of this. It's like the treaty of Versailles, let's be honest! People are looking for a hero and there are a lot of trains out there who are not happy with their work. So many great trains are held back by people with insufficient vision, especially when some of these trains already felt a little neutered as those laws were signed. There are things they couldn't do! Why is there even an Amtrak? You should just call it rolling vagina! And by the way: What happened to the train that was supposed to go between New York and Los Angeles in 5 hours? You put Maglev in a tube and vacuum the air out so it has no resistance. The train is pressurized like an airplane. You would have a train that was almost as fast as an airplane, or even faster! If it was magnetically levitated and had no air resistance, you could conceivably go faster than light!

There is this huge bald guy, 350 pounds (160 kg) and John's age, who got himself elected as the mayor of a town in the North East where all the factories close, like in a Billy Joel song. If you believe Parade Magazine, he is turning this town into some form of Utopia. If you have ever been on the ground in that part of the country, you know he is just trying to keep the radioactive devil dogs from eating children right out of the cribs. He is just trying to hold the glaciers back. He is just standing there with a big lighter on the front of a glacier and holding it back by melting it down. Still, he is mayor of Asspimple, Pensilvania, which is more than John can say. Supertrain needs him and he needs Supertrain. John is a visionary, he is a visionary, they are going to meet at the TED conference, because that is where visionaries go.

Supertrain (RW80)

When Dan was a kid in Broward County, Florida, landfills were built as giant stinking hills covered in grass and you could see them from a mile away because Florida is completely flat. As he went back in September of 2017, he saw much larger ones than what he remembered from his childhood. In Florida you can't dig, because after a couple of feet you will find water. There are no pits in South Florida whatsoever. Instead they have these giant mountains made out of different kinds of garbage, but with these hurricane warnings, what if they just explode in the storm? These are the landfills that Supertrain is going to digest to save the world, power itself and become the force of vengeance.

In Anchorage they had previously turned a garbage dump into an extension of the airport by covering it over with dirt and now they park airplanes on it. Landfills are full of old washing machines and catalytic converters that are full of Platinum. There is also partly digested petroleum-product crapola from 60 years of America dumping it. Supertrain is going to gobble it up and turn it into fuel, gold and food. It is not at all like the stupid snowpiercer train, because it is not going to be a tortured allegory for the class system. At the back of that train there were poor and grubby people slaving away and as you moved forward with each car you got closer and closer to people who were just luxuriating in gross overconsumption. It worked pretty well as a poem, but John found it excruciating as a movie, particularly because it came out post-supertrain-doctrine and people thought they had made a movie about Supertrain, which they of course did not! John doesn't know if the train will go all the way down to Florida, because at the time all the dumps down there will be underwater and there will be a need for Superboat, which is planned as well.

Superboat is going to harvest all the giant islands of plastic. Apparently, fish like to eat plastic and 83% of tap waters in the world contains plastic particles. Turns out: When fish smell plastic in the ocean, it smells the same to them as krill, so they get confused and eat it and then we eat the fish, so we are eating the plastic which is our just deserts. You want there to be one safe thing to eat and increasingly it seems that there is not!

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