In what Shakespeare called “the dark backward and abysm of time” —or 2004 to you and me — I began watching what was then the new television show “Lost” with my wife and son. After around five episodes of following the adventures of plane crash survivors on a mysterious island, I turned to the family and said, “I’m done.” As a professional teller of tales, I explained, I could guarantee them that there was no plausible way to explain the story’s twists unless it all turned out to be a dream or the characters were in some supernatural afterlife where the rules of logic didn’t apply.
As good writers know, every amazing twist in a story comes with a price in explanation. “Lost” simply borrowed so far against future credibility that the debt could never be paid.
Some who will not be named did not believe me. They had to spend five years discovering the truth of what I told them after five weeks.
Which is why you should all listen well when I tell you: I’m done with 2020. The story is just too implausible. The end can never be reasonably guessed. Either I’m going to wake up next to Bob Newhart’s wife or I died and am now either in Purgatory or a state run by Democrats — in either one of which the rules of logic don’t apply.
As I write, the President of the United States and our lovely First Lady have tested positive for the Chinese Flu. My first thought when I heard this was, “Wow! I didn’t see that one coming!” As if I were watching some TV show with one plot twist too many. Afterward, of course, I recovered my wits and prayed for the quick recovery of the first couple. But I have to admit, there lingers in the back of my mind a question I have asked myself during many a movie and television show: “Who wrote this crap?”
Our story so far is both absurd and awful. A bumptious and philandering businessman and TV personality wins the presidency against every possible odd. A malignantly corrupt deep state tries to bring him down with the help of a dishonest media. He still manages to restore the economy, promote constitutional judges, and bring sanity to a foreign policy mired in the unfathomable idiocy of experts.
Then, a pandemic hits. The economy tanks. Leftists riot with the approval of the establishment. The opposition nominates a walking houseplant to run against him. And suddenly, the president comes down with the big disease.
Perhaps the most dispiriting thing about the whole implausible mess is that when I asked myself: “Who wrote this crap?” The answer came back at once: “We did.”
It’s on all of us really. The Left is to blame for following a failed philosophy into hatefulness and evil. The Right is to blame for standing by while the Left took over our cultural institutions, and for failing to stop the economic and social decadence the Left brought on. And, of course, those teachers, journalists, and artists tasked with holding up the mirror to reality have instead shattered that mirror on the rock of their nonsensical materialist theology. They are liars and fools.
Like most people, I thought the debate this week was an embarrassment. The president was a bully. The challenger was a liar. The moderator was a sham. But weren’t they also acting out what all of us have become?
Donald Trump is the president we need, but he shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t take a rude belligerent to speak the truth. It does because too many of us have been silent, afraid to lose votes or sponsors or Twitter followers. The Democrats need Joe Biden, but they shouldn’t. They need to hide behind a career empty suit with failing faculties because they’ve sunk into an oppressive radicalism the voters don’t want. And journalists like Chris Wallace are simply the tools of large corporations who profit off globalism, big government, and societal decadence. And they get those profits from you and men — because we want the phones and the one-day deliveries, not to mention the nude scenes on premium cable.
So no wonder 2020 is preposterous. It’s like one of those chain stories where each person writes one chapter before passing it on to the next person. All stories like that become increasingly ridiculous and it’s the impossible job of the last author to bring it all together and make it make some kind of sense.
We wrote ourselves into this mess. Let’s just hope the last Author finishes the story with more mercy than justice.
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