If one walks down Main St. in Disneyland everything is just fine. Just keep walking, however, and… (Photo: TDD/flick/cc)You may not know it, but you’re living in a futuristic science fiction novel. And that’s a fact. If you were to read about our American world in such a novel, you would be amazed by its strangeness. Since you exist right smack in the middle of it, it seems like normal life (Donald Trump and Ben Carson aside).
But make no bones about it, so far this has been a bizarre American century.Let me start with one of the odder moments we’ve lived through and give it the attention it’s always deserved. If you follow my train of thought and the history it leads us into, I guarantee you that you’ll end up back exactly where we are — in the midst of the strangest presidential campaign in our history.To get a full frontal sense of what that means, however, let’s return to late September 2001.
I’m sure you remember that moment, just over two weeks after those World Trade Center towers came down and part of the Pentagon was destroyed, leaving a jangled secretary of defense instructing his aides, “Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.””As the American people were demobilized from war and left, in the post-9/11 era, with the single duty of eternally thanking and praising our ‘warriors’ (or our ‘wounded warriors’), war itself was being transformed into a new kind of American entertainment spectacle.
“I couldn’t resist sticking in that classic Donald Rumsfeld line, but I leave it to others to deal with Saddam Hussein, those fictional weapons of mass destruction, the invasion of Iraq, and everything that’s happened since, including the establishment of a terror “caliphate” by a crew of Islamic extremists brought together in American military prison camps — all of which you wouldn’t believe if it were part of a sci-fi novel. The damn thing would make Planet of the Apeslook like outright realism.