I often read and hear political pundits and social critics point out that the impasse in my country’s government and resolution of its culture wars will not be resolved until my generation of “old white men” die off. Being one of these “old white men” I’m amused but understand completely what they mean. For my generation is now the establishment and are in the position of standing staunchly for the rapidly-dying modern equivalent of a “flat earth society.”
Indulge my imagination once again, for I think I have a suggestion of how this might take place. I think that the God that my country pretends to believe in and worship should create an extra-terrestrial force that would visit us and read us a riot act. Ok, you have seen the movie of such an invasion. So, “they” are now here in all their might and glory and even our military industrial complex realizes that they should take pause and listen a moment before this obviously superior power. The leader of this avant-garde force from outer-space, let’s call him Orchon, arranges a national press conference to let us know what our options are:
“Now, boys and girls….earthlings, if you please…we do come in peace. We mean no harm. Your God has sent me to do his dirty work…though I admit he did not intend me to disclose this fact. You see, the United States occupies a lovely piece of real estate on a marvelous planet, which your God might with some justification, call the glory of the heavenly bodies. But you guys are totally f…king it up! I could go into greater detail but let me simply state that you have elected as your president a man who is mentally ill. Oh, let me go ahead and speak to you frankly, “He is bat shit crazy!” This deed alone led your God to create my extraterrestrial civilization to come here and tell you “how the cows eat the cabbage”…if I might use a Southern redneck expression.
What we have decided to do is remove every white male over the age of 65. You might say, if you are 65 or older you have been “voted off the island.” Now, you can opt for euthanasia if you wish. We thought of the Soylent Green option but that is a little cruel and we are not cruel in the least. We just have in mind the greater good of your world…and even of this universe and you are a threat to it all in your present condition. There is still another alternative, we have renovated a distant planet where each of you can be relocated and there you can bask in the delight of life as you remember it being, when in your fantasy, America was in the illusion of being “Great” and you can watch and endless array of 1950’s and 1960’s TV shows reminding you of those good old days. And yes, your “women folks” will have to come along but let me reassure you that will be “little Maxwell Housewives”, servile, open to being “being fruitful and multiplying,” at your beck and call, a domestic servant always agreeing with your wishes, laughing at all your jokes, and telling you that you are “great.” Oh, that “fruitful and multiply” bit. Trust me, we can handle that!
You have a younger generation waiting in the wings who see the lunacy of concentrated wealth, power, and privilege making decisions which devastate your country only for the purpose of fattening its own purse. They have somehow developed critical thinking skills though they surely did not get it from you.
The issue I am addressing here is “the way things are” which my generation is deeply invested in maintaining. And the stability of this conservative impulse is noble, and necessary, but when it goes to the extreme of the present day it is deadly to all, and threatening to the world. Let me give you but one example, Trump recently trotted out a bit of lunacy that Obama had ordered a wiretap of Trump Towers which has led to all of the leaks. This is preposterous to all, even the Republicans, but then the Republicans will cowardly evade addressing the issue, avoiding again their responsibility to hold this mentally unstable man to accountability.”
With this sophomoric reverie I am utilizing the Greek literary contrivance of a “deux ex machina” in which an insoluble dilemma in the play’s plot would be resolved with a “god” being mechanically cranked down from above the stage to solve the problem. We certainly need one of “them there thingys” and though the one I proposed here would send me packing, if I thought it would work I would be willing to go. I do have great hope in the generations coming up behind my generation.