So, the quadrennial simulation of democracy in the USA is getting underway, and personally, I couldn’t be happier.
It’s been a challenging few years for unincorporated political satirists like myself. The roll-out of the new global-capitalist totalitarianism hasn’t been particularly funny. In fact, it has been extremely not funny. Squeezing a little humor out of it has been like trying to suck a golf ball through a garden hose.
Not that the New Normal Reich is history … on the contrary, it is just getting started. Yes, the shock-and-awe campaign is over. It’s been over for the better part of a year. We are deep into the mistakes-were-made/limited-hangout phase of the changeover.
Nothing can stop or reverse it now.
The implementation of the new official (i.e., Orwellian) reality is a fait accompli. What actually happened has been memory-holed, forever, supplanted by stories of censorious “bad apples,” “overreactions,” lab leaks, and so on. Those who are old enough will recall this phase from the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq. It’s going pretty much by the numbers.
Which…fine. That “reality” stuff was ruining my shtick. No one wants to be told that they’re the victim of an elaborate PSYOP, which is what I’ve been doing for the past three years, with one demographic after another.
First, I alienated most of my friends and colleagues, and even family members, by challenging “The Science” (which has now been debunked) and opposing the transformation of the planet into a pathologized-totalitarian police state.
Then, when I warned people about Elon Musk and the whitewashing of Twitter, or X, or whatever we are calling his Chinese-style “everything app,” which, if Elon has his way, we’re all going to “live on” in the visibility-filtered, advert-saturated, dystopian, global-capitalist future … well, that pretty much did it for the rest of my audience.
Not you, of course…the other rest of my audience.
See, part of the genius of the New Normal Reich is how it has completely polarized society. It has systematically divided the masses into two irreconcilable warring camps, both of which demand absolute conformity to their dogma from their respective members. That isn’t to imply that there’s parity between them. The one camp, “the New Normals,” is backed by state and corporate power. The other camp, “the anti-New Normals,” is not. It’s no secret where my sympathies lie.
The problem, for me, is, I don’t do well in camps. Any kind of camps. I’m not a camp person. I have an aversion to self-appointed leaders, or an oppositional-defiant disorder, or something. Or maybe I’ve just seen too many movements congeal into irrelevant countercultural ghettos where people blow off steam in a virtual vacuum and get preyed on by hucksters and ten-cent gurus … or 240-billion-dollar gurus.
So, screw it, I’m going back to comedy, or at least I’m going to give it a try, and the upcoming US election season should provide me with the perfect material!
For example, this piece in The New Republic about the horror a new Trump term would bring. It’s basically a “Return of the Revenge of the Curse of the Bride of the Son of Hitler”-type piece…you know, like one of those 1970s Hammer horror films with Christopher Lee.
That’s right, he’s back … Trumpenstein, the monster! It’s the Second Coming of Literal Hitler! Vladimir Putin’s personal cock holster! The pussy-grabbing Destroyer of Worlds! According to Brynn Tannehill and The New Republic, it is “goodbye NATO … goodbye democracy!” Hello to the new-and-improved Trumpian Reich!
To folks who know their 20th-Century history, the story-line will be eerily familiar. Like Hitler returning from Landsberg prison, where he wrote Mein Kampf after the “Beer Hall Putsch”…
[Trump] is coming back with the entire conservative apparatus at his back, having spent four years in the wilderness methodically planning how to permanently alter the political and legal landscape of the country to favor an anti-democratic minority.”
Apparently, Trump’s evil master plan this time revolves around reinstituting “Schedule F” for federal employees, which would allow him to fire anyone with “policy-making authority” and replace them with hate-crazed Nazi fanatics. Brynn explains the utter horror this will lead to.
…a Trump administration would replace vast swathes of the federal government bureaucracy with sycophants and ideological fellow travelers bent on implementing pro-corporate, pro-religious, and anti-minority agendas. This weaponizes the entire federal bureaucracy against women and LGBTQ people.”
Shortly thereafter, the genocide will begin.
The right intends to use every power of the government to eradicate anything it considers woke, particularly transgender people.”
According to Brynn, once Trump has mass-murdered all the transgender people, and the gay people, and women, and presumably the Jews, and African-Americans, and whoever else he’s planning to mass-murder, he will fire and replace all the generals and admirals, arrest all his political and personal enemies, and declare himself American Führer for life!
And so on. I think you get the idea. The most powerful propaganda machine in the history of propaganda is revving up again. It’s going to be a year-long Two Minutes Hate, with Donald Trump playing the part of Goldstein.
The message is, Trump, and his master, Putin, and THE FORCES OF UNSPEAKABLE HITLERIAN EVIL, and Covid, and global boiling, and whatever, are slouching toward Washington to DESTROY DEMOCRACY, and, this time, they’re not screwing around! The only way to prevent the Trumpocalypse will be to visibility-filter the hell out of everything (except, of course, for free-speech Twitter), lock down everyone when things get unruly, and just basically go full-blown totalitarian again. It won’t be very difficult to set in motion. All they will need to do is get Rachel Maddow to shriek “IMMINENT COVID GLOBAL-WARMING INSURRECTION!” and the New Normal masses will strap on their masks and start clicking heels and following orders.
Seriously, they’re already breaking out the Trump-is-Literally-Hitler routine, and the official election season hasn’t even started!
Selfishly speaking, I can’t wait for it to begin. The global-capitalist ruling classes are not going to let him win again, but they’re clearly preparing to whip the masses into a full-blown frenzy of ass-puckering PARANOIA and MINDLESS HATRED of anyone even marginally deviating from official ideology, and I plan to milk that show for as many laughs as possible. I may not be able to stop what’s coming, but, in the immortal words of a very drunk Jim Morrison, I just want to get my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames.
Of course, I’ll probably be doing that in my new accommodations in German prison, where I’ll be serving time for comparing the roll-out of the New Normal to the rise of Nazi Germany.
For those of you who think I’m joking, I am not. I am under criminal investigation in Berlin for comparing New Normal totalitarianism to Nazism, which, comparing anything to the Nazis is strictly prohibited in Germany … unless, of course, you’re comparing Trump to the Nazis, in which case, that’s fine…
…or, as the Germans like to say, in Ordnung!
CJ Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing and Broadway Play Publishing, Inc. His dystopian novel, Zone 23, is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. Volumes I and II of his Consent Factory Essays are published by Consent Factory Publishing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amalgamated Content, Inc. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org.
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