Amongst liberals, a popular American parlor game these days (in addition to trying to determine where the popular American parlors are), is to ponder this question: “How, exactly, will America’s long dark nightmare end?”
A typical response to this loaded query (a reply too often accompanied by a gratuitous snarky aside about President Cheney’s plan to nuke Iran in the next seven minutes) goes like this:
“What makes you think it’s gonna end?”
And this is the optimistic version.
Well, “Fie!” say I. Any gloomy Gus can write about how terrible things are and how much worse things will get, but aren’t there other possible scenarios, too, even shiny, happy perky ones? Of course there are! Now, I’ll admit, things may be a tad dicey at the moment, but just as sure as Iraq is well on the IED-laden road to freedom and democracy — you know, just like we have here — there are any number of post-Bushian possibilities for America, and none of which, mind you, include the cynical projection of living in a society under constant secret surveillance, stripped of civil liberties, pulsating with fear, run by corporations, perpetually at war and in which rigged elections preclude prospect for any real change.
Thank goodness, too, ‘cause think how awful that would be!
Without further ado, then, I present other possible future outcomes that might lie in ambush, er, store for our beloved America:
* Costa Rica, deciding to make an exception just this once, temporarily suspends its fifty-eight-year-old constitutional ban against a standing military and drafts an army. Cleverly timing its surprise invasion of the United States to occur while most citizens are home watching American Idol, the fed-up but inherently docile Central American nation bloodlessly ousts the Bush administration overnight. Within weeks, the occupying Costa Ricans’ natural tranquilo approach to life precipitates a genuine friendliness and true appreciation for peace that spreads throughout the U.S.
Americans are perplexed.
* Rupert Murdoch buys the Constitution, announcing he intends to “spiffy it up a bit” before featuring it on his Fox network in America’s newest reality show (for what he cryptically calls “America’s newest reality”). Proposed title: From Makeover to Takeover. He returns the document two days later, however, after discovering it’s been shredded.
* Rupert Murdoch simply buys America and then features it in a show about how the liberal media control America. (Submit your own script here. Just make sure it includes plenty of lies, tired Jane Fonda jokes and blaming of everything from sun spots to mango blight on any Clinton, be it Hillary, Bill or George.)
* Confirming rumors long considered laughable, it turns out America’s “leaders” really are reptilian shape-shifters, shockingly revealed when Condi Rice’s shifting mechanism prematurely and publicly misfires and she slurps up three youngsters with a long forked tongue in front of startled onlookers at a new U.S.-funded pre-school in Nairobi, Kenya.
Horrified to learn the cold-blooded animals running their country really are cold-blooded animals, Americans react violently. PETA objects. The revolution falters. Americans, not particularly noted for being committed though many should be, soon accept being governed by giant green lizards. Many secretly thank their lucky stars (and bars) the creatures aren’t black, thus exposing the seamy soft white underbelly of American society: reptilianism, which sounds a lot like Republicanism, which should’ve been a tip-off to the enormous scale(s) of the whole charade long ago.
* The entire country, groaning under the collective weight of a populace with a thirty-two percent obesity rate, sinks beneath the ground, never to be seen again. The Earth burps happily.
And my favorite:
* A completely unexpected fascination with the French suddenly grips Americans. A cry for strikingly realistic re-enactments of events in France’s history, particularly from the exciting 1790s, sweeps the nation. The U.S. guillotine industry, moribund for centuries, rejoices; orders are at an all-time high. Many of our fellow citizens unequivocally disdain the device, however, calling it “too humane” and opting instead for rusty spiked bludgeons and draw-and-quarter chains.
Then, with 300 million seething Americans feverishly finalizing preparations for the country’s first ever “Storming the Bastards Day,” an amazing thing happens: having done the math, every member of the Bush administration and Congress (with the exceptions of Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee and Ron Paul) tenders his or her resignation, every American troop is withdrawn immediately from Iraq and Afghanistan, all 700-plus U.S. military bases around the globe are shut down, peace reigns in America and the San Francisco Giants win the World Series. Admittedly, this is far-fetched (it was the part about the Giants, wasn’t it?), but it’s nice to dream, don’t you think?
(Especially after a long dark nightmare.)