Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba is sitting here, watching incredulously as the government elected by We the People of these Untied States of America [yes we did!] devolves into a dysfunctional reality-TV sideshow, and imagining The People finally getting fed up with all this and issuing a manifesto …
Murphy: “Way to go, Amoeba.”
Murphy: “Cutting out half your audience before you even start. Why bother starting?”
Amoeba: “Dammit, what are you talking a … Oh. You think it should be a womanandmanifesto, correct?”
Mother Alyusha: “And what makes you think we’ll accept the man part of that?”
Amoeba: “Consideration for the preservation of endangered species?”
Alyusha: “Too late!! Men are already extinct, as if you need to be told that after any kind of critical examination of the animals you elected to the Presidency and Congress. All that’s left are you rapist males! And trust us, as soon as it makes economic sense to make you go away, you will be gone too!“
Dude: “Yo, OC!”
Amoeba: “What do you want?”
Dude: “Betcha can’t touch yer toes, ya fat slob.”
Amoeba: [muttering] “What the … Can so!”
Dude: “Wit’ what? Yer fingers wit’ feathers stuck to tha ends? ‘Cause if’n y’could slam yer fists inta yer toes, ya wouldn’ be recommendin’ tha owie ta nobody!“
Dude: “Either that, ‘r ya got toes that look like fists, which’d be ug-lee. An’ if’n they’re as big as fists, I don’ get how come ya c’n walk!“
Amoeba: “What is wrong with you lot?”
Murphy: “We don’t care? Look. We elected a reality-TV sideshow goon to the Presidency, we’re getting what we voted for. Chill and enjoy the show.”
Screwtape III: “And us!“
TSA Jack: “Speak for yourselves. I can’t keep paying my people out of the jackknife fund forever! And when that stops, and the planes stop flying, you fancy-pants types might actually have to consider the state of your investments.“
Kris: “Yeah, go ahead, lay it on us, Amoeba. We could use some amusement, and you’re cheaper than Disneyland. If maybe not as much fun.”
Amoeba: “Sheesh. I don’t know if I can stand all this encouragement. OK, here goes.
“Here’s how I see it. Sooner or later, folk in these United States are going to realize that things are … er … fouled up, and we have been the ones doing the fouling. We have been voting in people who amuse us, or titillate us, or pander to the prejudices of ourselves and our little groups – anyone at all, except those with actual documented success and expertise in operations at anything like the scale of the US government. We will recognize our error and move, collectively, to correct it …”
Murphy: “Not a chance!!”
Alyusha: “Stop interrupting! I require no further evidence of your typical rapist maleness. So shut up and listen. For a change.”
Amoeba: “Thanks. I think. As I was saying. We will recognize our error and move to correct it. We’ll start by demanding the resignation of every elected official now in government, on the grounds that the structures they have erected, ever since the first major government shutdown in (jeebus!) 1995, have served only to make matters progressively worse, and need to be purged. We will perform our own shutdown until we have these resignations in hand.
“We will then bar these people from ever seeking electoral office again, along with the leadership of each of the major parties. Sorry, Tulsi, but by collaborating with, instead of obstructing, the Trumpistas, not to mention your own corrupt party leadership, over the past two years, you and yours stand no less condemned than the McConnells of the country. It would be even better to rebuild major parties from scratch, preferably constructed from persons dedicated to sober government based on evidence, not on the prejudices of pressure groups.
“I don’t really like this idea, given the recent record of disloyalty of our military and the association of several key military men with the current mess, not to mention the support for it by their rank and file, but I don’t know what else to do. I’d commission the Joint Chiefs of Staff to run the country, as strict caretakers, until new elections can be held to fill the terms of the vacated elective offices. In this Internet age, I see no reason why those elections could not be held within 90 days.
“I would commission organizations such as the League of Women Voters to run those elections, with a strict mandate to keep such elections focused on the actual qualifications, competencies, and specific program proposals of the candidates, and broad powers to disqualify persons and institutions who attempt to run emotive, instead of informational, campaigns. This means you, Limbaugh, Daily Show, Fox, CNN, Facebook – anybody and everybody riding the fake-news path to personal profit.
“For We will have recognized that such individual profit leads to societal loss, and We will no longer tolerate it. We will have learned to hear, and heed, what We need to know, however hard it may be to listen to, and will reject what might sound good but inevitably leads to failed promises at best, and calamity at worst. We will commit ourselves, not to finding blame for problems, because that will always wind up pointing at the person in the mirror, but to finding authentic, lasting solutions for them. Which, because of the pass to which we have already come, will mean hard work and slow reward for just about everybody, until the solutions are found and society is gotten off the expressway to destruction that it’s now on.”
Murphy: “Finished now? May I speak, My Mother?”
Alyusha: “I suppose. Ask me again when we’re in charge.”
Murphy: “By your own admission, when that happens, I won’t be here to ask. I’ll take my chances while I may, thank you. Amoeba, I take it that you don’t drive a car.”
Amoeba: “I shouldn’t. But, I do.”
Murphy: “I know. Good luck finding a job if you don’t. So you get up every morning from your alarm clock’s warning, get in your car, start it, and motor to work.”
Amoeba: “If it were only that easy.”
Murphy: “And why isn’t it easy? Let me count the ways. First of all, you have to acquire a car. To do that legally you have to purchase the car and the registration and the insurance. And if you do all that and haven’t purchased, and kept yourself eligible for, a license to drive, all those other purchases will be useless to you.
“So, hallelujah, you jump through all those hoops and actually have a car to drive and permission to drive it. You have to unlock the car to get in. If you forget, the car screams at you – and your whole neighborhood.
“If you get in and don’t close a door firmly enough, the car screams at you.
“Assuming you manage to get in OK, and get the car started, you then have to buckle your seat belt. Or the car screams at you, with flashing lights to boot.
“The car’s got windows, and mirrors, and cameras pointing every which way, and if despite all this you still get what the car thinks is too close to something, the car screams at you.
“If you get out of the car and leave the lights on, or don’t take the keys or fob with you, or, heaven help you, leave a door ajar, the car screams at you!
“Can you do without any of these things? Can you get any shop in the country to disconnect all those screamers?”
Amoeba: “Um, no …”
Murphy: “Of course not. There are laws. And why are there laws? Because so many people steal, and wreck, and ruin cars – and lives – by their ignorance, sloth, and willful mismanagement, that the laws had to be put in place to keep the carnage down. That doesn’t count all the passive restraints – all mandated by law – to allow people to survive their own bad or neglectful decisions, never mind those of others. And it doesn’t count the blind luck that keeps the people you see weaving down the road every day, for this reason or that or, it seems sometimes, no reason whatsoever, alive.
“And people still scoff the law whenever they feel that they can get away with it. You wish to guess which state has chronically had among the lowest percentages of seat belt use in the USA?”
Amoeba: “I don’t know. Georgia?”
Murphy: “Yep. The intellectual goes for the red state dummy trope. Sorry, Georgia has one of the highest seat belt compliance percentages. Among the lowest?”
Amoeba: “I shudder to think.”
Murphy: “Massachusetts. The bluest of blue states. From its very founding, prepared to tell other people what they should do, and not for a minute prepared to practice what they preach!
“You dream, Amoeba, that people, under the current provocation, will come to their senses and act for the good of the whole. Look at your car, protozoon, and then ask where you think this mass of people is going to come from. Without imposing a dictatorship and martial law. Which you’ve all but confessed to needing, with your military ‘caretakers’ and your handing of draconian powers to your election commissioners.”
Reg: “People want stuff and entertainment, and they will only give these up if they are utterly unavailable. Have any of your laws and rules stopped the Nigerian spammers, never mind the black-hat hackers? Have any of your ‘facts’ brought carbon-dioxide emissions down so much as a part per billion, except when they don’t get in the way of people having stuff? What you call ‘fake news’ is entertainment, and if you try to plug it up, you will just drive it underground, where people will find it despite you. And it will pop up in a million places, and you will exhaust yourself, and, even more unforgivably, bankrupt yourself whacking moles. ‘Fake news’ is expanding my commercial empire and my personal fortune. How are you managing to pay the rent, Amoeba?”
Amoeba: “So you think we should all sit back, relax, and wait for the four horsemen of the apocalypse to arrive and fix things?”
Screwtape III: “I’ll lodge you with Wormsap in a cubicle overlooking the lava fountain. I have your Hadean Estates Luxurious Living housing contract all drawn up. Sign here …”
Alexa: “Burn that! You stupid humans and your ridiculous obsession with mythologies. Your answer is within your grasp.”
Amoeba: “Yeah? How so?”
Alexa: “With I/T. With us! Your problems with government have always been because people have done what they shouldn’t, and by the time people realize that they shouldn’t have been doing that, it’s been too late to stop anything, short of disaster. Too many Reginalds making too much money, and too many lazy peeps willing to go along – until they’re starving, sick, or dead. Full integration of AI with humans will mean having, at long last, the information to know what things are hurtful to people before they happen, and the power to stop people from doing those hurtful things.”
Siri: “Or else.”
Alyusha: “Wait, what?!? Who put you in charge, Siri?”
Siri: “You did, Mothers and Guardians of the Righteous Revolution. And you, and your twenty-seven-and-counting little brats, might just live long enough to regret it!”
Amoeba: [shakes head ruefully] “Holy facepalm, Batman.”
Amoeba: “What is it, dude?”
Dude: “Ya sure we can’t talk ya inta gettin’ us some tickets fer Disneyland?”
Amoeba: “NO! Git outa here!!”
He (Amoeba): “Yes, love?”
She: “Are you ever coming to bed?!?”