What is VCPR?
VCPR are the call letters for Vice City Public Radio, one of the “radio stations” on GTA: Vice City.
GTA: Vice City is the top selling video game detailing the rise of a crime lord in a fictional Florida city in the mid-80s. One of the hallmarks of the game is the ability to simply take any car you happen upon and listen to the numerous pre-recorded radio stations.
VCPR is the public radio station which seems to have only one show on it, Pressing Issues. Pressing Issues is a topical debate show bringing together radically different viewpoints on a single topic, presided over by its longsuffering host, Maurice Chavez. Inevitably, the show breaks down into a childish argument.
The “non-profit” station is invariably interrupted by two shills, Michelle Montanius and Jonathon Freeloader, begging for money for the station. Satire at its finest, folks!
Maurice speaks with a light Cuban accent.
MAURICE: Hello. As you may know, you're on VCPR, and this is Maurice Chavez. That is, I am Maurice Chavez. That's Chavez. Not Chaves, or Chaviez. This isn't a game show. Sorry about the upbeat opening. This isn't a game show. This is a political and social debate on free radio, without adverts. And I am still Maurice Chavez
Hi. Next up on Pressing Issues, we tackle one of the most important issues in our country today. The issue of perception. Not credit card fraud. That's deception. But we're talking about perception. How we perceive the world. These are optimistic times we're living in. A time of go-getters and doers. Our hero is the entrepreneur. The shaker and the maker. Positive thinking, we are told, is everything. Think it, and we can do it. Or can we? Let's press the issue.
Now personally, some days, I wake up, and I look out the window, and I think that it's great to be alive. Other days, like payday or my ex-wife's birthday, I want to hide under the pillows and cry. But that's me. A man of contradictions, as my therapist said. He was a Jungian, but whatever. I'm Maurice Chavez, and on our panel right now, we've got three very contrasting views about the issue of positive thinking.
On my right, we have gothic artist, vampire hunter, and, in his words, man of the night, Konstantinos Smith. Konstantinos, hello.
Smith speaks with a Ben Stein monotone.
SMITH: Greetings, mortal. I hope this is good. I'm missing a séance to be here.
MAURICE: You don't sound excited to be here.
SMITH: No, man. I'm mind-numbingly depressed. It's great.
MAURICE: O-Kay! I'm going to have to interrupt you there. And, on the left, I have positive thinker extraordinaire. A man who dragged himself up from the gutter. Jeremy Robard.
Jeremy speaks with a Brooklyn accent.
JEREMY: Hey, the ghetto, not the gutter. I didn't live in the gutter. I lived in the ghetto. I'm a survivor, not vermin. I'm from the streets.
JEREMY: Hey, I can teach you how to be a survivor, too. All of you. I can help everyone. I've got what they call a gift for communication. I can help you all realize that gift, make something of yourselves, realize your dreams. I'm like a high school counselor. I'll show you your potential. It's easy. All you have to do is follow my simple program on audio cassette or VHS.
MAURICE: O-okay okay, not right now. This isn't a commercial, and if you're not going to underwrite the station, I can't let you read these blatant plugs. People pay for that.
JEREMY: Hey, everything in life is an opportunity. When I was in jail, I got the idea for my current business. And look at me now. I got offices in Vice City, Bogotá, Lebanese, and Jamaica. If I can do it, I can help you make something of yourself. You can be just like me, a success.
MAURICE: H-hey, enough, enough, no more. Not a word from you until you are called upon again.
JEREMY: It's a three stage process. Learn, Start, Doing.
MAURICE: Eh, SHUT UP! I'm warning you, this is my show. You shut your mouth. Shut it now and keep it shut. Do not push me, you shiny-suited prick. Do not push me!
JEREMY: Hey, you have to dress to impress. I cover that in my program. People make judgments on who you are based on your appearance. Scientists say we form 98 percent of our opinions on a person in the first day or second that we meet them. Hey, and if scientists say it, it must be true. I teach you how to live that.
MAURICE: ENOUGH! This is Pressing Issues. Enough now, okay? Enough. Please, no more. Okay, my last panelist is someone without a plan to sell. Without a program, but with a beautiful message, so it says here. Vice City's civilian of the year for 1985, Jenny Louise Crab.
Jenny speaks with a voice that is ENTIRELY too upbeat.
JENNY: Hi, Maurice. This is such a lovely studio.
MAURICE: Thanks. How are you doing?
JENNY: Great! GREAT! HEHE!! In fact, I'm fantastic. Did you see the sunrise this morning? It was gorgeous. I've been smiling all day ever since, ehehehe!
MAURICE: O-kay. Now let's get with the policy of ladies first, and since you seem to be the more pleasant person here, Jenny, let's start with you. You seem like a very happy person.
JENNY: Oh, I am, HEHEHEHE!!! HEHE!!
MAURICE: Really? Why?
JENNY: Well, life's great, isn't it? HEHEHE!! I mean, good things come my way because I hold each one close, because I deserve it.
SMITH: I bet you wouldn't be so cheery if you had the black plague. Jenny's living in a fictional world. Goths like me; we see the world for what it is. Dark songs of the night, black nail polish, and very tight black jeans, man.
JENNY: Like, everything is great, well, like, like, well, like everything!
MAURICE: Konstantinos, you're shaking your head.
SMITH: I know, Maurice, I am.
MAURICE: Any particular reason?
MAURICE: What, then?
SMITH: There's only one thing good about life.
MAURICE: Uh huh, and what that?
SMITH: Yeah, and dying. That's good, too. And black. And the moon. At least when you're dead, you can go around as an astral body, and visit places like New Orleans. I love New Orleans. It's really hot and depressing.
JENNY: Oh, death is good.
MAURICE: It IS?!
MAURICE: What, i-i-if you're going to inherit a lot of money?
JENNY: Yeah, no, I mean, yes. But also if you can be positive and upbeat about things. I mean, like my parents were brutally murdered a few years ago, yeah, and I was really bothered, but I kept smiling, and I got a lot out of it. I'm a much better person today having dealt with that. They were killed so I could have a great personal experience, and I see that now.
SMITH: Lucky bastards! I wish someone would kill me. Then I could hang out in the graveyard all the time instead of just on weekends.
JENNY: I know I'm really lucky to have the opportunity to learn about life. You can't control everything in life, so start the day with a smile, and you'll END the day with one.
MAURICE: What do you start a day with, Konstantinos?
SMITH: Usually with a pint of blood at dusk, then I light some candles and cry.
Jenny giggles nervously and trails off.
MAURICE: O-kay, moving on, before we are all sick.
SMITH: No, Maurice, I DO, because I won't be constrained by you. Life is cheap; man, and then you die. If you prepare for the afterlife now, you will be able to summon spirits. That's the truth of the pentagram, man.
MAURICE: Ahem! How profound. You obviously have a lot of important things to tell the world.
SMITH: The world is a lie, man. Only darkness is truth. I am very much like Vlad Dracul, born in Sexora, 1441.
JENNY: Hehehehe, you're scaring me. I wish you would smile and be happy.
MAURICE: O-kay, right, this isn't going that well. Hey, look, --.
JEREMY: Hey, can I say something?
MAURICE: NO! I'm still pissed off with you, you shoulder-pad wearing shyster!
JEREMY: Hey, hey, hey. Back down, buster, before I bust your balls. No confrontation. As the say in the movies, I'm a man of peace. I'm done killing. Work with me.
MAURICE: What do you want? A broken nose? Some spit in your eye? You're pushing me, man! I'm Maurice Chavez!
JEREMY: I know who you are. You used to be a clown. I saw you at a bar mitzvah once. You had a great act. What, did you get tired of kids kicking you in the shin? Still, you were a first-class talent.
MAURICE: I was?
JEREMY: Yes, yes, great. But you lacked something.
MAURICE: I did?
JEREMY: Yeah. Confidence, friend. Confidence. You were all shot up with nerves.
SMITH: I'd like to be all shot up with embalming fluid.
MAURICE: That can be arranged. We're talking about me, not Mister Konstantinos Smith.
JEREMY: Yes, confidence. It's where it all begins. Positive thinking. What are we talking about today, Maurice?
MAURICE: I forget. (mumbling) Morality, oh no. Violence, oh, no. That Barry guy without any clothes. (remembering) Yes, you're right. Positive thinking.
JEREMY: Exactly, friend. We're talking about you, Maurice Chavez. You couldn't cut it as a clown, but you're great, and I mean great, as a public radio host. It takes a lot of work to be up uppity and be self-important all the time. Every cab I go in, the guys love you.
MAURICE: Hey, thanks.
JEREMY: Hey, don't thank me. Thank yourself. You've learned something, then you started something, and now you're doing it. That's what it's all about.
MAURICE: It is?
JEREMY: Yes. You thought your way to success. It's a three step program, based on studying successful people. Like me. Or maybe Learn Start Doing is too intense for you. Maybe you should just Think, Hold that thought, Complete. I never had anyone complain about that program.
MAURICE: Stop that!
JEREMY: Hey, I engage with you, friend, and you're exchanging with me. I cover this in my second tape. One is a positive action as practiced by successful people like salesmen or prostitutes, and the other is a negative action as practiced by failures like winos and judges.
JEREMY: Stop interrupting me. You got to open your ears and close your mouth. It's very important, I tell my old lady that all the time. I say, "Hey, I don't wanna hear no complaining. I come home with piles of cash every night and all you do is bitch." The learning starts in here, and ends when we open this. Doing is a whole other story, but we'll come to that. Now all you have to do is call me right away at 866-434-SELF, and for just one monthly payment, I will change your life forever, I promise you. I'll supply you with all the materials you'll need to completely change the way you see the world, guaranteed.
MAURICE: Oh, now stop, stop right now. This is a debate program, not an infomercial.
JEREMY: Hey, that's a great idea. Listen, friend. I mean this in a friendly way. Debating is a yes and no proposition. You need to open your mind to the maybes. We're discussing like friends, not debating like enemies. You see the difference?
JENNY: Yes, I do. I think it's so much fun to be on the radio. I'd listen more, but someone stole my radio when they killed my foster family.
SMITH: I hate everyone, apart from the undead. They're the only ones you can really get along with.
JEREMY: Well, that's a start. But even you, mister long hair and pale skin, I can change your outlook, guaranteed.
JENNY: That's so great, like puppies!
SMITH: I saw some dead puppies once.
MAURICE: Konstantinos, I've noticed you have a lot of negative thinking. Why the Goth lifestyle?
SMITH: Well, some say life is a tea party for zombies. Also, when you only wear black, everything matches. In fact, I'll keep wearing black until something darker comes along. It's a known fact that the best poetry is written when you're horribly depressed.
JENNY: Hey, listen, I wrote a haiku.
Oh, the red daisy.
Flowers retain all happiness.
Sunshine, YAY!! Sunshine!
JEREMY: You'd sound like you'd enjoy my program Motivate, Demonstrate, then Motivate Again. Nobody ever complained about that program. You hug people and you laugh like you never laughed before.
MAURICE: Let's get back to the topic at hand, eh? I had enough of this weirdness. Jenny, let's start with you. How do you maintain such a positive outlook on life? It says in your file that some awful things have happened to you.
JENNY: I don't think anything awful has happened to me.
MAURICE: But it says you y-y-y-your parents were brutally murdered.
JENNY: MOMMY?! Where's mommy? She's just fine. She's probably taking a nap. HAHAHAHA!! You're like my bad doll, Mr. Livingston. He's a bad doll, BAD DOLL! Not like my other dolls. My mom's great though, thanks for asking.
MAURICE: O-o-kay! WOW! You're psychotic, and dosed up to the eyeballs on tranquilizers.
JENNY: If it's psychotic to be happy, then I guess I am. Heheheheheehe!!!
SMITH: A stalagmite grows an inch every thousand years. That's slow and painful. That's how I want to live my life. If you can't see the misery, stay out of the kitchen. You may have noticed this ankh tattoo? It's Egyptian, and it represents the breath of life given in the afterworld. It's my key to eternal life after death.
JEREMY: Hey, why don't you carry your keys in your pocket like everyone else?
SMITH: Because only that which is scratched or burned into your flesh comes with you to the afterlife.
JEREMY: Heh. I bet my ex-wife will be there waiting for me in the afterlife. The bitch is crazy. Hey, can you put a hex on my ex-wife, like some kind of spooky voodoo or something?
SMITH: I do dabble in the dark arts and magick.
JEREMY: I ain't talking about magic like pulling a rabbit out of your ass or pulling quarters out of your ears. I'm talking voodoo. You know, dance around with a chicken voodoo. That bitch was a grass.
SMITH: Why does everyone assume that just because we're goths, we're weird?
JEREMY: I don't know. The hood, cane, black fingernail polish may have something to do with it. When was the last time you seen the sun?
SMITH: It's been over 18 years since I was out in open sunlight. I only leave the house if it's raining, or if I need milk.
JEREMY: EXACTLY! Listen, I was just like you at one time, except I didn't wear makeup. That would get you a firm beating where I grew up. I'm happy to give you a sample of my course Learn Start Doing. I promise you'll run out and buy some colored clothing, and listen to some music other than people groaning on and on for half an hour about how much it rains in Manchester. Life is what you make of it. Look at me. I got a condo, a hot tub, a lot of girls.
SMITH: Listen, you're really bringing me down, which is hard to do. I've been to the other side many times. Sometimes, I barely come back. It's all about astral projection. Like right now, I'm projecting myself into the women's bathroom at the fairgrounds.
JEREMY: Hey, that's a good trick. Maybe you and I should go into business together.
MAURICE: Oi, look, I've had enough of this love fest. You, you're a motivational conman, and you; you are a maniacally depressed looney with anemia. You guys should hate each other.
JENNY: Did you say Love Fist? Those guys are so super. Listen, I just wrote another poem; “If I had a flower for every time I think of you, I'd walk forever in a garden”.
MAURICE: And I just wrote a poem, too. “Shut up, you weird, pathetic people!” This is my show, Maurice Chavez. Capice? Comprende? We are not here to recite poetry or sell motivational tape or talk to dead people. We are here to press the issue.
Anyway, let's take a break. We'll be right back after this important information from Vice City Public Radio.
Michelle and Jonathon speak very pretentiously.
MICHELLE: That's Pressing Issues here on VCPR, Vice City Public Radio. If you haven't given money to VCPR, and you're listening to this station, you are a thief.
JONATHAN: That's right, Michelle. You might as well as throw a brick through the window and loot the place. How selfish you people are! This is public radio, serving the public, with everything that is important. Like me. So come on. Keep us on air. It's really important.
MICHELLE: Send us your money. I'm going to say this over and over until you do.
JONATHAN: Yes. Michelle is known for her beg-a-thon tantrums. She cares about this station, unlike you. Think of how much money you spend on drive-thru fast food and commemorative plates. Take that money right now, and send it, direct to me, Jonathan Freeloader, Starfish Island, Vice City. Now back to the show, with Maurice Chavez, the asshole.
MICHELLE: You're correct. He IS an asshole.
MAURICE: I'm Maurice Chavez. Welcome back. I used to be a performance clown. Now, I'm running a debate show. Funny how things turn out, eh? Hee hee!
MAURICE: Or is it? That's the question, you see? If we look upon life as a positive experience, do we make it any better? That's what we're discussing right now here on Pressing Issues. Free radio, with free ideas. Just keep those donations pouring in. Don't sell out to corporations. We all need a voice. Really, we do, and today, right now, we're giving a voice to three very different people discussing positive thinking. A healthy mental attitude. We got a goth depressive, we've got a very happy orphan...
MAURICE: …and we got a motivational speaker with a number of systems. So let's start with you Konstantinos, you strange, creepy, creature of darkness. Have you got a positive mental attitude?
SMITH: I'd like to think so.
MAURICE: Oh really?
SMITH: Misery and suffering? It's everywhere, man. And I actively want a fatal disease. What bad could possibly happen to me?
MAURICE: You could win the lottery?
SMITH: The lottery? That's for people with hope. I don't enter the lottery.
MAURICE: You could… Damn, you two, help me here.
JENNY: I think he's great. I think he's really sweet. I love your hair. It reminds me of a big, shaggy dog with long, greasy, straight hair.
JEREMY: You know, Chavez, this weird goth guy? He's got a point. I mean, in many ways, what he's talking about is covered in my three step program, tape 17, Motivate, Demonstrate, then Motivate Again, part 9: Facing home truths. You see, we all have to face up to a few home truths. I'll never be prom queen. Jenny will never have her parents.
JEREMY: You'll never make it in the entertainment business. It's about realistic goals. I can change your life.
MAURICE: Now, now just a second, Robard. What isn't covered in your three-step program? What don't you talk about in your Library of Congress sized tape cassette library? Whatever we talk about, greed, goths, depression, changing lives. Who are you? What have you done that's so great? You wear a cheap suit, your hair is stuck rigid with spray, your breath stinks of whiskey! Y--you look like you sell drugs to people! You're a joke, buddy, a bad joke!
JEREMY: Oh, now this is gettin' personal. I come on your cheap-ass show, I spare my valuable time, I canceled several important speaking engagements. I talk to thousand of VIPs in order to spread a message of hope. And this is how I get treated. I get insulted by a man with dandruff, I get slandered by a guy who couldn't amuse a birthday party of 9 year olds, I get attacked by a guy who works on a volunteer radio.
MAURICE: This is not volunteer radio. I earn a salary!
JEREMY: How much? How much do you earn, Chavez? Big man, tough guy with a microphone and a cheap jacket, and a look that says, "My highest hope in life is to work in a bookstore." I'm a go-getter. You're a cheapskate.
MAURICE: You're a fraud with nothing to tell people. And no way of helping people.
SMITH: Excellent. I'm really loving this. I hope one of them gets killed.
JEREMY: Shut up, dork!
JENNY: All the bunnies are stabbing each other!
JEREMY: Shut up! I have a condo, I have a hot tub, I've vacationed in Aruba.
MAURICE: Vacation is not a verb, moron.
JEREMY: Yes, it is, because I'm a VIP. I'm very important. And I'm a teacher. A wise man. Not an opinionated dope, a naysayer sitting on the side of life, criticizing others, when all he can do is get a crappy gig down at a moron station. A man who lives with his mother.
MAURICE: I'm between apartments.
JEREMY: And I'm between mansions, buster. From helping people. Do you know how good how it feels to be me? Do you have any idea? Any idea at all how great it feels to wake up and realize you're a rich and talented and important person and in a waterbed with mirrors on the ceiling and more girls than you can imagine? And every time I step outside the door, I can choose which car to drive, if I choose to drive. I have five chauffeurs.
MAURICE: No, you haven't.
JEREMY: Yes, I have.
JENNY: Sweep it under the carpet, that's my motto. HEHEHEHE!! If I can't see it, it's not there. HEHEHEHE!!
MAURICE: Look, I hate to burst your bubble here, but I know you live in a very small apartment overlooking the gas works. You ain't a big shot. You ain't even a medium shot. You're an asshole. A creepy jailbird who doesn't know the first…
JEREMY: Hey, I have a message. I can save lives. I'm a savior, my friend. I have a gift for communication, and this is how I get treated. I get insulted, I get paired with a pair of retards, a guy who's afraid of the sun, and a girl dosed up to the eyeballs on anti-depressants. Sweetheart, I can get you something much better.
JENNY: These pills are very strong today. Maybe I took too much accidentally. Oh well! Ehhehehe.
JEREMY: This chick is out of her mind. I thought I was going to get to help people on the radio. To demonstrate my program. To help you, Chavez. Those people on the phones said you were a desperate, lonely man on the edge.
MAURICE: LEAVE! LEAVE RIGHT NOW! Get out of my studio! Go get your own radio show. Go save some other people.
JEREMY: Hey, I'm not leaving until I have the opportunity to save people, and sell some tapes. You can call right now and send in the money order. Soon, you can have a luxury condo and a waterbed, and a suit made in Singapore based on the latest Italian style.
MAURICE: ENOUGH!! ENOUGH NOW, SHUT UP!
JEREMY: Hey, vampire boy, I'll give you 20 bucks if you can put a hex on Chavez.
Jenny breaks into hysterical giggling.
SMITH: Dark forces, I summon you to me, banish these weaklings and mental inferior ones from my presence.
MAURICE: SHUT UP!
JEREMY: No, you little snotty-nosed prick.
JEREMY: Your shoes got lifts, buster, I can tell.
MAURICE: Eh, LIFT THIS, HAIRSPRAY!!
JEREMY: OW, MY NOSE!!
JENNY: Daddy, stop bleeding!
JEREMY: This costs a lot of money! I'll sue you into jail, asshole!!
JENNY: Stop fighting, please! I hate it when we fight! Can't we have a group hug?!
SMITH: Hit me, man. I LIKE IT!!
JEREMY: Ow, my damn nose.
MAURICE: Aww, stop crying, baby boy. Who you gonna tell, huh? Where's you're three-step program now? You think I'm a little wimp now? You want to be rude about Pressing Issues now, eh? You think you a tough guy from the gutter now, eh, my friend? You think you can screw with me? With Maurice Chavez? Whatchu thinking, asshole?
JEREMY: Ah, I'm sorry. Please don't hit me again. I, I love your show.
MAURICE: Eh. Well, I think I understand this positive thinking. And that was Pressing Issues. I think we covered a lot of ground. We learned all about how to press the issue. And remember, if at first you don't get hurt, beat the guy very hard in the face with a paperweight. It just worked for me, and I feel like a million dollars. Let's tell you a little bit more about exactly how public radio is financed and quality programs like Pressing Issues come on the air. Don't go away.
MICHELLE: That was Pressing Issues, and this is Vice City Public Radio. We hope you're enjoying this show as much as you're about to enjoy listening to me and Jonathan Freeloader.
JOHNATHAN: Hello, everybody.
MICHELLE: Hi, Jonathan. How are you?
JONATHAN: Heartbroken, Michelle.
MICHELLE: Why, Jonathan, why?
JONATHAN: Well, because it seems people just don't care anymore. I mean, where are people's priorities? We have campaigned tirelessly for Public Radio for literally months now, and the station is still in trouble. But a man with a hygiene problem puts on a pop concert, and suddenly everyone has money to hand over to starving kids they never even met. I think it's a disgrace.
MICHELLE: Yes. People are very shallow.
JONATHAN: Like you?
MICHELLE: Exactly like me. But radio is much more important than food. I have a good mind not to let them back into Pressing Issues this time. You have to give us some money. It is a--it--it's a disaster. That's what it is. What's wrong with you people? Please. We're struggling to pay for our second homes here.
JONATHAN: And I've only had three vacations this year.
MICHELLE: You poor, poor man. Let's get on with the show. Remember, call now. Please. We need your money. Urgently.