Let’s Cool Things Down

SCENE: A conference room at “Minnesotans for All Progressive Causes” – a non-profit group financed by progressives with deep pockets – for the weekly message coordination meeting.

MyLyssa Silberman, reporter for National Public Radio’s Saint Paul bureau, covering the “Fake News” and “Diversity” beats, waits in the conference room along with Betty Rae Torstengaardsen, senior staff writer at the (possibly fictional) progressive blog “MinnesotaLiberalAlliance.Blogspot.com“, sit, along with Mesme PHURPHY, elite objective political reporter from WCCO-TV They nervously check their watches.

Eventually, Gretel Stromberg Executive Director of “Minnesotans United for All Progressive Causes”, and Inge “Lucky” Carroll, Executive Director of “Minnesotans United for All Progressive Causes”, enter the room.

CARROLL: (Looks at Silberman and Torstengaardsen and Phurphy, clears throat).

SILBERMAN, PHURPHY AND TORSTENGAARDSEN: (quickly rise from their seats)

STOMBERG: Be seated. (All sit, with STROMBERG at the head of the table). Americans are rejecting the term “insurrection” to describe the January 6 riot. We need to come up with another term.

PHURPHY: How about ‘genocide’?

CARROLL: Love the energy, Mesme, but it might be a bit of an overreach.

TORSTENGAARDSEN: I mean, ‘riot’ pretty much sums it up.

(STROMBERG and CARROLL cough nervously).

TORSTENGAARDSEN: Er…never mind.

SILBERMAN: ‘Coup’ usually implies the elites seizing control. ‘Insurrection’ implies a sustained, military campaign, like the Viet Cong or the IRA.

STROMBERG: I’ll go with “Putsch“.

(The three “journalists” sit, somewhat agape. Finally, SILBERMAN speaks)

SILBERMAN: So – a term that, outside a very thin film of political science and history academics, refers in American English solely to Hitler’s abortive 1922 Munich coup attempt?

(The three “journalists” look at each other)

PHURPHY: Works for me.

TORSTENGAARDSEN: Yep.

SILBERMAN: I hear and obey.

STROMBERG: (abruptly rising) Make it so. (Leaves the room with CARROLL).

And SCENE

Conspiracy!

SCENE: Mitch BERG is walking, sans ceremonial mask, into the Target on University Avenue, trying to calculate the number of people without masks in mandate-free, Karen-rich Saint Paul. Focused on numbers, he doesn’t notice as Avery LIBRELLE, wearing three masks, walks around the corner.

LIBRELLE: Merg!

BERG: Oh, ssssshhhhhhhhut the front door, how ya been, Avery?

LIBRELLE: Nobody is coming for your guns.

BERG: Democrats nationwide, including in Minnesota, are trying to.

LIBRELLE: Are they at your door taking your guns right this minute?

BERG: Er, no

LIBRELLE: So they’re not coming for your guns.

BERG: So if they’re not coming for my guns in five minutes, but not literally carting off my gun safe right at this moment…

LIBRELLE: Then you’ve got nothing to complain about.

BERG: Huh.

LIBRELLE: But the whole “Second Amendment” thing is just a conspiracy to sell more guns and ammo. It’s to profit from fear.

BERG: Huh. So the firearms and ammo industries staged “gun control” panic to improve their market.

LIBRELLE: Exactly!

BERG: So if that were the case, wouldn’t the firearms and ammunition industries have made sure they were ready to supply the immense demand?

(But LIBRELLE has already wandered off to badger someone who’s not wearing a mask.

Demotion

SCENE: Mitch BERG is biking through Como Park when he hears some muted sobbing. He looks toward a park bench, where he notices Avery LIBRELLE sitting, wearing four masks, which are becoming slowly soaked in tears. BERG visibly hesistates, but his sense of compassion overwhelms his reflexes. He gets off the bike and walks over toward LIBRELLE

BERG: Er…hey, Avery…

LIBRELLE: (Stifles a sob) Stay at least 12 feet away!

BERG: Nooo problem. What’s the matter?

LIBRELLE: I…I don’t know. It’s just that with the CDC suddenly scaling back mask mandates, and Governor…

BERG: Klink

LIBRELLE: …Walz ending mask mandates early, I just feel…(sobs again)I.

BERG: How?

LIBRELLE: Strangely… empty.

BERG: Like part of your purpose in life has been removed.k

LIBRELLE: (Small sob)

BERG: Like all your moral authority has been snatched away.

LIBRELLE: (Bigger sob)

BERG: Like you’ve lost your only response to that evolutionary instinct you have to respond to what you see as an existential threat – a sabertooth tiger or a famine or Pearl Harbor? That you’ve had your power to fill the void left by generations of plenty, safety and security has been ripped from your life?

LIBRELLE: (Wracked with a convulsive sob).

BERG: (Lets LIBRELLE cry a bit, then) Well, the good news is, most people have been vaccinated…you’ve had your vaccine, right?

LIBRELLE: (mustering some irate composure). Of course.

BERG: Well, there. you…

LIBRELLE: Twelve doses.

BERG: (jaw flaps in breeze for a moment before he shakes it off). Makes sense. To go with the four masks.

LIBRELLE: It’s six.

BERG: Of course it is.

And SCENE.

On “Hockey Night In Vermont”, Soon.

PLAY BY PLAY ANNOUNCER: “Gascoigne checks O’Reilly into the boards…”

COLOR GUY: “Oh, wow. Cheap hit, there…”

PLAY BY PLAY ANNOUNCER: “Aaaaand off come the gloves. We’ve got a donnybrook going here”

COLOR GUY: “Hockey used to be such an artistic game. How far hockey has fallen, since it’s first ever fight, last January 7”.

PLAY BY PLAY ANNOUNCER: “RIght you are, Guy”.

Somewhere In Highland Park, Probably

GUY A: “Who was that woman who got arrested here in Highland a few years back for being a terrorist?”

GAL B: “Sarah Jane Olson. She was arrested for being involved in January 6″.

GUY A: “I thought it was from in the Symbionese Liberation Army, back in the seventies?”

GAL B: “Couldn’t be. There was no political violence before January 6”

GUY A: “Doh. My bad”.

One Day, Driving Through The Eastern Ukraine

TOUR GUIDE: “Welcome to Volgograd – formerly Stalingrad”.

TOURIST:”Excuse me – will we see any monuments to the Battle of Stalingrad?”

TOUR GUIDE: “What?”

TOURIST: “The epic battle between the Nazis and Soviets, in 1942-43?”

TOUR GUIDE: “I don’t understand. There was no war or violence of any kind before January 6”.

KOMMISSAR (yelling from off-camera left (where else?)): “Or since!”

In A Blue-City School, Somewhere, Probably

TEACHER: OK, Chad, what do the Gulf War, World War 2, World War 1, the Civil War, the War of the Roses, and the French Revolution have in common?

CHAD: Um…

TEACHER: Besides being called wars.

CHAD: Um…I don’t know?

TEACHER: None of them existed. Because there was no violence of any kind before January 6.

Money Pedals The World

SCENE: Mitch BERG is shoveling landscaping dirt into a wheelbarrow, distracted. Avery LIBRELLE pedals up the alleyway on, naturally, a recumbent fat-tire bike, catching BERG by surprise.

LIBRELLE: Merg!

BERG: Aaaaah, fffffffor crying out loud, Avery, long time no see. What’s…

LIBRELLE: America is built around structural racism.

BERG: Our “structurally racist” country elected a black president, twice, and we have a sitting Veep who is Black and South Asian.

LIBRELLE: Yeah, but that’s just politics.

BERG: OK. This country is capitalist, right?

LIBRELLE: Ugh. Yes. Ick.

BERG: And under capitalism – well, the parody of it you people observe – all things evolve back to money, right?

LIBRELLE: Ugh, yes. Awful.

BERG: Right. And there are few places in our society where “money” and the people who spend it are as attuned to peoples attitudes as in advertising.

And perhaps you’ve noticed – in advertising these days, “people of color” are represented waaaay out of proportion with their share of American demographics. And remember fifty years ago, when Norman Lear got all “transgressive” and cast a biracial couple as bit players on All in the Family? Pretty scandalous stuff, back then – but interracial couples are kinda the “it” thing in advertising these days.

Now – given the ad industry’s focus on consumer attitudes, and capitalism’s imperative to make money work, would advertisers be pushing “racial diversity” in ads if the general public, including the white middle class which makes up a large portion of advertisers targets, were just frothing with racial hate?

LIBRELLE: You notice skin color in ads?

BERG: I notice trends in advertising, a key part of the industry I grew up in and which is still my avocation.

LIBRELLE: That’s racist.

BERG: No, it’s utterly clinical. But shall I just ignore everyone’s race? Because that’s pretty much my default setting…

LIBRELLE: No, that’s racist, too…

BERG: So the only thing that’s not “racist” is shutting up and letting you tell me what to think?

LIBRELLE: Pretty much.

BERG: Naturally. Hey, loook (points into the distance) – a garbage truck!

(LIBRELLE looks around – giving BERG an opening to slip away) .

(And SCENE)

To Think They Say Progressives Are Economic Illiterates

SCENE: Mitch BERG is at Fleet Farm, looking for new liners for his old chopper mittens. Engrossed in his search, he doesn’t notice Avery LIBRELLE walking around the corner, a quizzical look on hi…er, he…er, Avery’s face. LIBRELLE notices BERG.

LIBRELLE: Merg!

BERG: Uh, hi, Avery. What brings you out to Fleet Farm?

LIBRELLE: Picketing against the Navy and farmers!

BERG: Of course…

LIBRELLE: It’s time to tax the billionaires for all the excess profits they’ve been earning because of the deadly Trump pandemic.

BERG: So let me make sure I get this straight…

LIBRELLE: Uh, heteronormative…

BERG: Huh? Oh, for f…ranklin Delano Roosevelt’s sake. OK. Let me make sure I get this correct: you want to raise taxes on the e-commerce billionaires who are prospering mightily…

LIBRELLE: Yes.

BERG: …because the small businesses that were competing with them were destroyed by the government’s ham-fisted handling of the pandemic, which was imposed by the government that you now want to make the ultimate beneficiary of the government’s own dork-fingered, utterly catastrophic mis-handling of the response?

(But LIBRELLE has already wandered off, looking for wherever the ships are).

(And SCENE)

Denialists!

SCENE: Mitch BERG is waiting for takeout at a near-eastern restaurant on Snelling Avenue when Avery LIBRELLE walks in. Trapped, BERG tries to ignore…er, Avery. To no avail.

LIBRELLE: Merg!

BERG: Oh, hey, Avery. What’s new…

LIBRELLE: Republicans reject science!

BERG: Is that so?

LIBRELLE: That’s right. You don’t wear masks.

BERG: Huh. So – just to be clear, if you conduct an experiment, and the theory succeeds, and succeeds repeatedly, then it’s an indication that one’s theory is holding up well.

LIBRELLE: Of course. Science is awesome.

BERG: OK. So – theory: defending against ballistic missiles would remove a key area where a hostile foreign power can blackmail the US by threatening millions of American lives. Hypothesis: modern technology makes point defense against incoming missiles not only feasible, but reliable enough to incorporate in foreign and defense policy.

LIBRELLE: Nonsense. It’s impossible. That science was settled back in the 1980s.

BERG: This ain’t the eighties, and the science is settling in the direction of “set ’em up, we can shoot ’em down”.

LIBRELLE: Not only is it impossible to shoot down missiles, but even considering it is destabilizing, actually making a nuclear attack more likely, which would disproportionally affect People of Color, Latinx, gay and transgender people.

BERG: So we’ve gone from science to intersectional sociology.

LIBRELLE: Intersectional sociology is science.

BERG: Huh. And queer gender theory?

LIBRELLE: Science.

BERG: The 1619 Project?

LIBRELLE: Science.

BERG: Vox.com?

LIBRELLE: Scientists, every one of ’em.

BERG: Shooting down missiles using a 50-year-old missile and guidance technology that’s been steadily improving since Jimmy Carter was in office?

LIBRELLE: Pure emotion.

BERG: Gotcha.

LIBRELLE: Hey, could you buy me a gyro?

BERG: When can you pay me back?

LIBRELLE: What do you mean?

BERG: Right.

And SCENE.

Your Lyin’ Eyes

SCENE: Mitch BERG is standing, socially distanced, in line at the Q-Fanatic Barbeque in South Minneapolis. Focused on the smell of the delicious brisket, he’s caught by surprise as Avery LIBRELLE walks in behind him.

LIBRELLE: Merg!

BERG: Oh, shhh….sure enough, it’s Avery. What’s new…

LIBRELLE: You wingnuts are paranoid. [Switches to that condescending coo-ing voice that “progressives” use as they parrot this particular chanting point] Nobody is coming for your guns.

BERG: Why do you say that?

LIBRELLE: You said the same scare tactic of Obama, and he never came for your guns.

BERG: Obama had some blue seats in red states to defend – had he let slip his inner id on guns, he’d have extincted them. Well, extincted them faster, because in a lot of America a “blue state Democrat” is a little like a “dodo bird driving an AMC Gremlin”.

LIBRELLE: So – he didn’t come for guns!

BERG: He was a lot of things, but not politically stupid.

LIBRELLE: Biden is even more centrist on the issue than Obama was. So no [switches back to the condescending coo-ing voice] Nobody’s coming for your guns.

BERG: So that’s your final answer.

LIBRELLE: Of course. Paranoid wingnut.

BERG: Got your phone handy?

LIBRELLE: I lost it. Let’s use yours.

BERG: Naturally. [Pulls up Joe Biden’s campaign site, scrolls down to paragraphs 6-10]. Go ahead and read that.

LIBRELLE: [Silently mouths the words]

BERG: Either you’re lying and he is coming for our guns, or he’s lying on his campaign website.

LIBRELLE: Well, of course he’s coming for…those guns.

BERG: So in one line, you’ve gone from [mocks the cooing tone] “nobody’s coming for your guns” to “we’re coming for the guns a bunch of people who don’t know the difference between a firing pin and a crochet needle think you don’t really need to have“. That was fast.

LIBRELLE: [Mocking tone] All right, you got me. Joe Biden’s gonna break into your house and take your guns.

BERG: So in two lines, we’ve gone from “Nobody’s taking your guns” to trying to mock me for catching in covering, badly, for your own lie.

LIBRELLE: Trump banned bump stocks.

BERG: Bad Trump. Don’t change the subject.

LIBRELLE: Hey, can you lend me ten bucks?

BERG: Why?

LIBRELLE: I need to run over and buy some spray paint to paint to paint “Meat is Murder” all over this place.

BERG: Ask them [BERG points a thumb toward unamused counter guy]

LIBRELLE: Oh, great idea. I…

But BERG has already left.

And SCENE.

Jeopardy, 2021

CONTESTANT 1: “I’ll take “Riddle Me This” for $600, Alex”

TREBEK: “A couple of shades of melanin”

(CONTESTANT 2 Rings in)

TREBEK: Irving…

CONTESTANT 2: “What is ‘the difference between a community group of ‘freedom fighters’ and a ‘scary right wing militia’ to Big Media?”

TREBEK: Correct, and you have the board…

Ripped From The Headlines Of Pure Fiction. Honest.

SCENE: Debate hall at the University of Minnesota. Mitch BERG is getting ready for a debate with Stacey HINTON. HINTON – a white woman from Edina – is president of the group “Keep All Racists Equally Nonplussed”, a social justice group without portfolio. The moderator takes the stage, as a small audience rustles in its seats.

MODERATOR: Mr. Berg, Ms. Hinton, you know the rules (both nod ). Let’s get started. What do you advocate doing about the Covid virus.

BERG: Look, I think the only things that have worked are first, protecting the vulnerable – certainly more effectively than we do here in Minnesota – then isolate the infected, and re-open the economy for everyone else.

MODERATOR: Ms. Hinton?

HINTON: You’re white.

BERG: Well, yeah, I am.

HINTON: So that’s your privilege talking.

BERG: What does “privilege” have to do with observing that the places with the best combination of public health and medical performance all did exactly that?

HINTON: Check your privilege.

MODERATOR: OK. On to the next topic. Whither Minneapolis? We’ll start with you, Ms. Hinton.

HINTON: The rioting was a bunch of white boys running around vandalizing neighborhoods of color.

BERG: Well, there certainly were “white boys” and girls doing the rioting. The implied message is “white supremacist” boys and girls. If so, they were pretty ingenious “white supremacists”, coating entire neighborhoods with graffiti associated with the left.

HINTON: Spoken like a white boy.

BERG: What does that even mean?

MODERATOR: Let’s move along. What do we do about reforming law enforcement? Mr. Berg.

BERG: Get serious about reforming qualified immunity. It is used to excuse a lot of horrific abuses, not just by the police, but by every other variety of public employee. It basically turns public employees into a higher legal caste. This doesn’t bode well for self-government.

HINTON: Something a white guy would say.

BERG: Ma’am? Do you have any thing to add other than my ethnic background?

HINTON: Yes.

BERG: Let’s hear it.

HINTON: It’s true of all white guys.

MODERATOR: Let’s move along. Ms. Hinton – what do we need to do about race relations in this country?

HINTON: White people need to listen to black peoples’ stories, and check their privilege.

BERG: Huh. All due respect, ma’am, but that’s the kind of meaningless word salad that people like you – “progressives” who are, if I may say so, a lot whiter than I am use to try to diffuse their own white liberal guilt.

HINTON: Again, that’s your privilege talking, white boy.

BERG: To the extent I have “privilege”, it’s because I was born in a functional two-parent household, with parents who stayed together until I was an adult, taught me a work ethic, and made sure I stayed in high school. And that kind of privilege is not an exclusive club – in fact, like freedom, the more of this “privilege” society has, the more there is to go around.

But let’s cut the crap. The concept of “white privilege” was, from its origins, a way for wealthy white progressive academics to try to expiate their guilt about the privileges their class gave them. To insulate themselves from gnawing class guilt while preserving that holier-than-thou feeling that white progressivism feeds on, they created and adopted the preposterous concept that being white meant a hot tar roofer from Arkansas has “privileges” that Oprah and Jay-Z don’t, while giving the likes of Mark Dayton and Mark Zuckerberg a moral pass, like indulgences sold by “church” that never forgives and offers no salvation.

MODERATOR: Ms. Hinton?

HINTON: Whitey white white white white white. White white white.

MODERATOR: Thank you all for coming out to today’s debate!

False Equivalence

SCENE: Mitch BERG is looking for almond flour at a Cub Foods, when Cat SCAT, designated “fact checker” at the (possibly fictional) progressive blog “”MinnesotaLiberalAlliance.Blogspot.com“, and the office manager at a small phrenology practice, glomphs up from behind.

SCAT: Hah hah, Merg! People are removing racist statues from the Capitol grounds! That’s gotta make all you fat angry old white men wet your pants with rage!

BERG: (Beholding the red-faced, utterly Caucusoid and, shall we say “zaftig” SCAT, and silently contemplating and then thinking better of commenting). Yeah, it’s the mob showing the rest of the world that they don’t have to play by the rules.

SCAT: It’s no different than the fall of the Berlin Wall!

BERG: The…Berlin…Wall?

SCAT: Haha! Yes! Take that!

BERG: OK, let’s compare and contrast.

Columbus: Problematic but incidental figure, who wasn’t even the first European to come to North America – that was the Norwegians, five hundred years earlier – and who has had no affect other than symbolism on anyone in centuries, the un-personing of whom from history should be a cause for a critical discussion.

With me so far?

SCAT: Yeah! Evil white man!

BERG: Riiight. OK – the Berlin Wall: Not just a symbol of the contemporary division of Germany and the current subjugation of tens of millions of people to the bloodiest regime in history, but an actual current militarized barrier along which seventeen people had been murdered in the decade, and three in the year, before it was destroyed. The demolition of which was subject discussed thoroughly but quickly in the immediate aftermath of people on both sides of the wall deciding to jettison the Communism that had reigned in the East (the government that many of the statue-yankers are shilling for, interestingly enough), and, other than the massive “vandalism” of the wall after the Bornholmerstraße incident and the collapse of the DDR (which was one of the great images of my lifetime, but remarkably ineffective, leaving as it did a, well, wall through the middle of Berlin), was dealt via due process leading to its orderly and deliberate demolition, with remarkable worldwide unanimity, mourned by nobody that didn’t have hands still dripping with fresh blood.
Other than that? Same/same!

SCAT: So what about the alt-right taking over those six blocks in Seattle, and turning it into a slave plantation?

BERG: It’s “Anti”-Fa, and they turned it into an “Occupy” camp, only mixing in extortion with the rape and filth, and you’re changing the subject as well as lying about the substance of both subjects…

(But SCAT has already wandered away)

And SCENE

Never Was

SCENE: Mitch BERG is standing at the east end of the Marshall Lake Bridge, looking through binoculars at the fires along East Lake Street. Absorbed, he doesn’t notice LEAKY THE BEAGLE – a superannuated dog wearing sunglasses and a fake mustache, and affecting a cheap version of a German accent – riding up behind him on a recumbent moped.

LEAKY: Muuurrrg!

BERG: (Turning around, not quite recognizing the dog) Huh. A dog on a recumbent moped – don’t see that every day.

LEAKY: You don’t remember me?

BERG: Can’t say as I do.

LEAKY: Zo you’re involved in zat “EssentialMN” vebsite und Facebook page? Ze one dedicated to reopening Minnezota at all costs?

BERG: No, it’s the one dedicated to re-opening Minnesota safely while saving the economy.

LEAKY: Ze group favors removing Govenor Walz!

BERG: Huh. Where did you read that?

LEAKY: On my blog, “Minnesota Dog Progressive”.

BERG: Never heard of it.

LEAKY: Sure you have.

BERG: Sorry. Nope.

LEAKY: Anyvay, ze owner, David Shtrom, wants to remove ze Governor.

BERG: Nah. He knows, as I do, that that’s just about impossible, under all but the most extreme circumstances. First you have to get the Supreme Court to agree that the Governor has done something to warrant removal – which is a high bar, and justifiably so, and harder still given that Walz hasn’t done anything that most other governors haven’t.

Then, you’ve got 90 days to get signatures from 25% of the people who voted in the last statewide election. That’s 625,000 valid signatures, which means more like 800,000, since not all signatures will be valid or unique.

Then, you go to a recall election, agains the full weight and power of the Metro DFL fraud machine and the in-the-bag media.

And if you “win”, then you get…

…Governor Peggy Flanagan…

(Looks at LEAKY, who is furiously humping a lamppost)

BERG: You’re a Flanagan fan?

(Time passes)

LEAKY: Well, zat’s not how I put it in my blog. In my blog, Shtrom is a vingnut pushing for removal of a governor, which is crazy.

BERG: Your what?

LEAKY: My blog, “Minnesota Progressive Dog”.

BERG: Never heard of it.

LEAKY: Sure you have. I’m huge. People respect me.

BERG: Clearly.

LEAKY: You must be a crazy wing nut too!

BERG: (Calmly pulls a hand-carved model ambulance, flings it down the street. LEAKY chases it – while BERG makes his escape.

And SCENE

Social Distance Update

Joe Doakes from Como Park tries his hand at one of my patented dramatizations (c):

Mitch Berg is walking through Menards, looking in vain for dust masks so he can sand the Sheetrock repairs where he was banging his head against the wall after reading Penigma’s email, when he sees Avery Liberelle wearing a giant hula hoop hung from strings over her shoulders.  He tries to slip into the nuts and bolts aisle, but she sees him.
Avery:  Merg!
Berg: Uh, hi Avery.  What’s with the hoop?
Avery: It’s my social distancing perimeter. Why aren’t you wearing yours? 
Berg: Uh . . .
Avery (darkly): Everyone should wear one. My aunt died of Covid-19: so they said.

Berg: (clicks his tongue sympathetically)!!!

Avery: (in the same tragic tone) But it’s my belief they done the old woman in.

Berg: (puzzled) Done her in?

Avery: Y-e-e-e-es, Lord love you! Why should she die of Covid-19? She come through diphtheria right enough the month before. I saw her with my own eyes. Fairly blue with it, she was. They all thought she was dead; but my father he kept ladling gin down her throat til she came to so sudden that she bit the bowl off the spoon.

Berg: (startled) Dear me!

Avery: (piling up the indictment) What call would a woman with that strength in her have to die of the bat flu? And what become of her new straw hat that should have come to me? Somebody pinched it; and what I say is, them as pinched it done her in.

Berg: (to Avery, horrified) You surely don’t believe that your aunt was killed?

Avery: Do I not! Them in that nursing home would have killed her for a hat-pin, let alone a hat.

Berg: But it can’t have been right for your father to pour spirits down her throat like that. It might have killed her.

Avery: Not her. Gin was mother’s milk to her. Besides, he’d poured so much down his own throat that he knew the good of it. (To Berg, who is in convulsions of suppressed laughter) Here! what are you sniggering at?  Science denier!  (Avery stomps off, knocking things off the shelves with her hoop).
End Scene
Joe Doakes

It’s barely fiction, to be honest.

The Day Before Tomorrow, In Beijing

“This meeting of the State Committee for National Security will come to order.  First item of business, a report on biological warfare research.  Minister? Minister?  Uh, does anybody know where the Minister is?”
“Excuse me, sir. I’m from that department.”
“Who are you?”
“I’m the Assistant to the Junior Deputy’s Secretary.”
“Where’s everybody else?”
“Dead, sir.  Or missing.”
“WHAT?  What’s going on in your department?”
“Well, sir, we used gene splicing to engineer a virus targeted at a specific racial group and the lab tests went so well that we needed a larger scale test.  The plan was to release the virus in an enemy city but the scientist carrying the vial got car-jacked and the vial shattered.”
“Has the population been quarantined so they don’t spread it?”
“Too late for that, sir.  Most of the infected fled the city before the quarantine was announced.  They’re currently spreading the virus around the globe.”
“How bad is it?”
“Well, sir, that depends on who you ask.  Our official press releases claim the virus is less deadly than influenza, hardly anybody is infected and practically nobody has died.”
“Well, that’s a relief.”
“Yes, sir, that’s why we said it.  The truth is we have no idea how many people are infected and no treatment for those who are. Millions could die.”
“Excuse me, I’m sorry to interrupt, Mr. Chairman, I just have to ask this young man: Are You Insane?  Did you actually attempt to genetically engineer a virus to target a race?”
“Yes, we did.  Why?”
“Because race is merely a social construct.  There’s no such thing as race.  We’re All Going to Die!”
“In that case, sir, motion to adjourn.”
Joe Doakes

And SCENE

Just Remember: There Is No Voting Fraud

SCENE: Mitch BERG is out mowing his leaves – using the lawn mower to chop and bag them. Taking a (what else?) left to right pass across his lawn, he is unaware of Avery LIBRELLE riding up the sidewalk behind him on reclining bike.

LIBRELLE: Merg!

BERG: Er…hey, Avery.

LIBRELLE: You say that there’s rampant voting fraud!

BERG: I do indeed.

LIBRELLE: You mostly point to voting registration fraud! That doesn’t mean they actually vote.

BERG: So people manufacture thousands of bogus registrations just for the fun of it?

LIBRELLE: You can’t prove that’s not why they do it!

BERG: Huh. OK. Well, then, it appears some of them go on to manufacture the actual votes.

LIBRELLE: But if you suppress illegal ballots, you will inevitably suppress legal ones.

BERG: That makes no sense.

LIBRELLE: “Sense” is a social construct!

(Before BERG can reply, LIBRELLE motors on).

And SCENE

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/10/31/minneapolis-man-charged-with-falsifying-13-absentee-ballots-ahead-of-2018-election

Requirements

SCENE: Mitch BERG is taking in a glorious fall day walking around Lake Como when, unbeknownst to him, a Tantric Protest class in the pavilion building lets out. Before BERG can react, he’s confronted with Cat SCAT (the designated “fact checker” at the (possibly fictional) progressive blog “”MinnesotaLiberalAlliance.Blogspot.com“), Edmund DUCHEY (roprietor of that blog, and a person who was badly scarred by a childhood in which he was routinely bullied – by much younger children), Gutterball GARY (another of DuChey’s co-bloggers, who describes his hobbies as bowling, heckling people, and shouting really loud) and Avery LIBRELLE. Berg can’t get away before they notice him.

SCAT, DUCHEY, GARY and LIBRELLE: Merg!

BERG: Uh…hi, er, all of y…

SCAT, DUCHEY, GARY and LIBRELLE: The founding fathers never envisioned “assault rifles when they wrote the Second Amendment.

BERG: Huh. Forget for a moment that the British “Tower” Musket was the AK47 of its day – reliable, easy to train, with a high rate of fire. And the Kentucky Rifle was the sniper rifle of its day – hard to learn, a little fickle, but capable of killing people at undreamed-of ranges. Forget about all that for just a moment.

SCAT, DUCHEY, GARY and LIBRELLE: Consider it forgotten.

BERG: No doubt. Know what else the founding fathers did?

SCAT, DUCHEY, GARY and LIBRELLE: We’re not constitutional lawyers.

BERG: True. They required all citizens to keep one of the “assault rifles” of their day, and a battle or two’s worth of ammunition, at home, ready to go at a moment’s notice.

SCAT, DUCHEY, GARY and LIBRELLE: (Nothing).

BERG: Nothing.

GARY: I’m going to hide peep through your windows until I can find something about you to write about.

BERG: So – no change, then?

AND SCENE