My Alternative World

When I was eight, I thought this was hilarious:

‘When is a door not a door? When it’s ajar.’

This morning, I awake to a lorry-load of baffling reports online, on the radio, on the telly, carving a wider trench between ‘fake news’ and fact.

My head hurts from unraveling facts cloaked in hype when I read; my ears hurt from listening to politicians barking out bile about other politicians. Yet, curiously, mixed with my frustration is an unsettling sense of amusement. It does not feel like real life but as if I am captivated by reality television on the grandest scale: world-wide Big Brother. And we are all watching.

When is a carrot not a carrot? When it’s mnuchin.

When are children not children? When they’re pancakes.

What a folly-filled world it would be to point at things and declare them to be something else. For such actions to persist without someone shouting ‘Desist!’ is madness.

Perhaps Trump is right and Obama is actually Lucille Ball. Oh—see what I did there? Trump didn’t actually say that, did he? Or did he? I can no longer discern the truth.

I don’t want to live in a world of ‘Alternative Facts’. That’s why I am a writer. I can inhabit that world, if I choose, by powering up my MacBook. Other people can watch reruns of The Flintstones or Twilight Zone to get their ‘Alternate World’ fix. Sadly, if we ultimately vote for people who drag the world (and let’s face it, this is symptomatic of many present-day rulers) into an automaton existence of inhabiting a one-religion, one-colour, one-way-of-thinking life, then there will soon be no door from which to exit. No off button on the remote. No escape over the wall. `No exit, no Brexit, no text it, no correct it.’

The only other choice is that we all have a collective lobotomy—reminiscent of Randle being brain-neutered at the end of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Me? I don’t want to end up staring at ceiling tiles, thinking there is no hope or way out of this political mess. I don’t want to look at my feet and call them peppers, nor point at a map in the morning and wonder if by the time I go to sleep the UK will comprise of two, three or four countries.

If politicians keep making up facts, they’ll eventually put us writers out of a job. No one will need to buy fiction anymore. Sort it out, all ye political folk!

[Rant over—enjoy your weekend.]

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