Since being home from the hospital and rehab center, I’ve been in a recovery mode. This means my mobility is not back to normal and I’m using a walker to get myself around. Furthermore, this translates to the fact that I’m spending a lot of my time on the couch watching TV. I have watched more TV in the last three weeks than I have in the last three years I think.
The thing that has surfaced in my brain from watching all this TV is how dumb politically this country has become. In fact, unbelievably disconnected with logical behavior of the past. This disengagement with reality hit a high level of insanity the other day when I saw zesty and testy Sarah Palin waltz onto the stage to talk in garbled gibberish something vaguely resembling an endorsement of Donald Trump for president. I could only shake my head and change channels after five minutes of her goofy prattle.
My father’s first cousin Sally Kelley, whom I’ve mentioned in several previous blogs, was a very intelligent published writer and poet. She used to talk about something she called “impossible fiction.” This she explained to my youthful, inquiring mind was a situation that is true but if you tried to pass it off as fiction, most editors would nix your submission as being “impossible fiction.. Sarah Palin’s pronouncements and verbal strip tease the other day certainly fit the bill as Sally’s description had been pointed out to me lo those many years ago.
The problem is that the viewing from my TV couch doesn’t stop with Sarah. The following day Glenn Beck came out for Ted Cruz and he sounded like he might have just landed on Earth from the planet Xenophobia. Then yesterday two ministers, one for Donny and one for Teddy, hit the limit in their talk about the anti-Christ being Oprah and that Hitler had been sent here by Christ to deal with the Jewish problem.
Am I dreaming? Is this “impossible fiction” getting out of hand? From my TV couch, I’d say we have entered some far-out region where Truth is fiction and Fiction is truth. I must say though that this is not an all-together new phenomenon for me. A few years back, I wrote a book called VIVA LA EVOLUCION. Even though the title is in Spanish, the book is in English and in it I tried to write the most outrageous, impossible fiction I could. I’d say though that my outlandishness in this particular book is nothing compared to what I’m seeing daily on TV from my recovery couch.
In order that you might see how impossible fiction works, I’d like to present to you a few brief paragraphs from my book VIVA LA EVOLUCION. If you, like me, are intrigued by how our political system has shot into some outrageous purgatory at the moment, you might like to read VIVA LA EVOLUION. It pulls no punches and presently makes our reality look worse than impossible fiction. I can only shake my head in amazement.
Here are those paragraphs from VIVIA LA EVOLUCION:
In a state of confusion, everyone looked at Alex except Abby. She knew the drill even if they didn’t.
“What is wrong?” said Dr. Reichler with alarm.
Alex walked over to Trudy and asked her, “Was this punch and lemonade made with tap water—and those ice cubes?”
She gave him an innocent smile and replied, “Yes, like I always do.”
Dr. Botsford took a cup and poured himself a glass of the red punch over several ice cubes. “I can vouch that Trudy’s punch gets five stars by me.”
He toasted Trudy and put the cup to his lips. Others quickly followed suit. Alex watched in horror.
“Please, I beg of you not to drink this punch and lemonade and don’t use those ice cubes,” said Alex precisely.
“Could I be so forward as to ask why?” asked Dr. Botsford as though he had had quite enough of Alex.
“Because I’m convinced tap water has an additive that will dim one’s mental capacity—especially here in Washington D. C.,” Alex said, trying to be as convincing as possible.
“Oh, I don’t think it’s the water,” said Dr. Pearlmutter with one of his small smiles. “If anything is dimming people’s minds it’s TV.”
“It all amounts to the same thing,” said Alex. “You actually just proved my point, Dr. Pearlmutter. The size of a person’s brain is decreasing these days. My mentor in the project I’m undertaking, Professor Poniotofsky, the Polish behavioral scientist I cited so much in my work, was the first to discover this phenomenon.”
Dr. Chestermire looked at Alex and said candidly, “Young man, I don’t notice people’s heads changing sizes.”
“And you won’t,” said Alex. “All of this is explained in my program notes that I included with my proposal—the part, Dr. Botsford, which you called fine print. Professor Poniotofsky in his studies found that the cortex of an average human if unraveled would be the size of a tablecloth, while a gorilla’s would be handkerchief size. It is the cortex which is diminishing in size—not the head itself.”
Dr. Botsford breathed out as though he were losing his patience, “What has all that got to do with whether we drink Trudy’s punch or not?”
Everybody looked at Alex as if he were a bona fide crackpot. Again Dr. Botsford put the cup to his lips as though it were an act of defiance.
Alex stood his ground and said, “As I stated in the conference room earlier, I am convinced that we are returning to the Neotony of a gorilla due to the tap water we are drinking—and especially here in Washington D. C. That is why I am against your drinking tap water.”
“You actually think if I drink this punch, I am going to turn into a gorilla?” asked Dr. Botsford with a testy smirk.
“No, not immediately,” answered Alex, “but over time, your cortex will shrink and you will take on simian characteristics mentally and culturally. After much study, Dr. Poniotofsky established the proof that you can actually shrink a man’s cortex via a formulated elixir. If you were to add that elixir to someone’s water, that person would eventually become dumb, stupid and vapid.”
Viva La Evolucion by Jack Fitzgerald, 2009.