Friday, June 17, 2016

Chapter 2, "Where am I?"

To recap: I am your contemporary, occupying the same time as you, this June, 2016. For most of my career I was a performing telepath known as Harry the Human, but the big news is that last week I discovered I can read minds from the future.  I copied the campaign speeches of the two presidential candidates from 2044 and used them as the Prologue to this novel, A Peek at Infinity.  In Chapter 1, as you'll see, I track down the younger version of one of the candidates and find that in our time he is 19 years old, living in the desert with a charismatic guru known simply as Gregory; Gregory's story became Chapter 1.

Chapter 2 is titled "Where am I?" because the protagonist, me, asks where he is.  He's discovered that he lives under the duplicitous regime of a corporate/state hybrid- that much he knows.  But what is he?, is maybe how he should phrase his question.  Is he a squeaky wheel when no one else cares?  What is his motivation?  Does he go for the controversial, "hot button" stuff just because it's available turf?  Just so he can get noticed?

Hey it would be nice to get noticed once in a while!  And I am willing to sing for my supper.  Tonight's song concerns the controversy stoked by Donald Trump in the wake of the Orlando killings about whether President Obama should be acting tougher against Islamic terrorists- by defining them as such- and Obama was also called out this week by 50 state department diplomats who say he should be acting tougher against Syria's Assad regime (http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/former-ambassador-robert-ford-on-the-state-department-mutiny-on-syria?mbid=nl_160618_Daily&CNDID=20764635&spMailingID=9077535&spUserID=MTA5MjQwMDI1NDQxS0&spJobID=941735461&spReportId=OTQxNzM1NDYxS0).

Trump and the diplomats gave Obama his cues for a clever game, in which the President acts like he's one character in one script even though he is two characters acting in two simultaneous, antithetical scripts.  In one script, Obama acts the part of a timid president whose advisors and fellow citizens are furious at him for his lack of military action.  In the other script the President has been bombing Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan non-stop since he's been president, and making a public show of our coalition with Russia and Saudi Arabia against ISIS at the same time that those countries reveal their colors by bombing civilians at will.  As with the taping of a live-audience TV show when you're told by flashing signs when to applaud and encouraged by cameramen when to laugh, Americans wait for their script, and when the signs come onstage, we deliver the expected on-demand bandwagon effect, as we protest: "Why won't President Obama wage war?  The People demand that he wage war!"

The fact is that when you, the hapless viewer, shake your head at the non-warlike Obama, that response was created in you by your TV set, just as surely as fifty years ago a TV set created in people a desire for Betty Crocker's Chocolate Brownies.  I promised sci-fi and sci-fi you will get!





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