Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Nice New Fiction!

As promised, here’s some nice new fiction for you to enjoy!

So hoist up your suspenders, suspend your disbelief, fire up the wouldn’t-it-be-nice machine and join me on a speculative whirl around the world as we step into the not too distant future, where…

Barack Obama is elected president after convincing the Super-delegates (and the American public) that the possibility of Hillary Clinton’s brutal brand of politics inspiring a second Contract on America (sic) that would stalemate the government and kneecap progress at this critical and fragile time is very real and too dangerous to allow.

His campaign against John McCain was a clean fight full of clear-sighted debate about where this country is and where it’s headed.

He finally admits that his understanding of real-world political complexities does, in fact, run deeper than his very real inspirational vision of change and that the two concepts aren’t mutually exclusive. He acknowledges that Americans are, for the most part, smarter than needing to be spoon-fed simplistic buzz clips (possibly even smarter than some of their own news media…). Americans, so used to public figures making transparent and embarrassing efforts to dumb themselves down are, in fact, elevated.

Hillary Clinton applies her leadership, formidable political acumen and strength of ideas to restore a productive system of Checks and Balances by reinvigorating the moribund Legislature (a far more unwieldy branch of government requiring far more skill and experience to revive from obsolescence than the Executive) and with wide popular support and a convincing majority passes laws providing universal health care, reigning in out-of-control CEO pay and establishing a practical and equitable national budget.

The Republican minority, under the sane leadership of guys like John McCain, Arlen Specter and (come back, come back!) Chuck Hagel provides constructive counter arguments and healthy debate, which ultimately strengthen the laws.

(But seriously, I always thought that the President wasn’t supposed to be a democratically elected dictator. And wouldn’t a functioning legislature negate the need for the Supreme Court to legislate from the bench? Anyway…on with the fiction…!)

Technological advances (nanotech fuel cell membranes?), new patents and innovative business models give birth to new American manufacturing, and the business models are exported rather than just the labor, stabilizing South and Central America and leading to a mutually beneficial system of trade in the hemisphere. (I’m not so much worried about Canada. They’ll be fine.)

Christian fundamentalists take over South Carolina, and nobody cares.

Right-wing terrorists calling themselves The Sons of McVeigh wage an underground war against the Bicycle Anarchists.

A law-abiding Michigan plumber named Alfonso Cayeda is finally taken off of Homeland Security’s watch list after a decade of round-the-clock surveillance, freeing up all kinds of valuable resources.

Pakistan’s new government says fuckit and nukes Waziristan.

Cannabis is legally regulated in the U.S. and Europe and becomes Afghanistan’s cash crop, squeezing out the poppy trade and building schools and democratic institutions, lifting the people out of the kind of medieval poverty that makes religious extremism so appealing. Elsewhere, the number of young black men enrolling in, and paying for, college outpaces the number of them locked up in prison at taxpayer expense, and thousands of existing hopeless drunks discover they’re much happier and possibly less obnoxious as hopeless stoners, and western civilization rolls merrily along…

Italy finally realizes that it’s better off without a federal government.

After being led into financial and social near-ruin by a bunch of semi-aristocrats in love with reruns of Dallas, France wakes up from a cocaine hangover and figures out that its intellectual tradition just might be worth something after all…

China dedicates its new wealth to buying its own cheap goods and dealing with the huge freakin’ environmental catastrophe they’re cruising for.

Kim Jong Il finally completes the project he’s been working up to all these years: directing a sweeping cinemascope musical epic starring the entire population of North Korea. When he is unable to place it in film festivals and finds himself further marginalized in the international community, he begins writing cogent, funny examinations of what’s wrong with the film industry and posting them on a Los Angeles-based blog.

Africa. Sweet Jesus, maybe something goes right…micro-investment networks continue to expand and nurture local economies...the cash infusion from non-Colonialist Chinese investment sparks competitive entrepeneurship...and everybody stops blowing each other away...

Iran and Syria agree to put the kibosh on Hezbollah and Hamas, acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, stop fucking with Lebanon and take over as peacekeepers in Iraq in exchange for equitable participation and influence in the regional economy and a return to Israel’s 1968 borders.
I don’t know why they do this, because God knows the U.S. has squandered any influence we’ve ever had in the region again and again (the Shah, anyone?), Israel isn’t traditionally known for diplomacy, Iran is being run by fascistic nutjobs, the Iraqis are still pretty trigger-happy, Syria seems to have had a complicated relationship with honesty and you can’t count on the Saudis for anything beyond self-interest... But I don’t have to know, because this is fiction!

And in the spirit of fiction, John McCain is named Secretary of Defense and gets on famously with Wes Clark as National Security Advisor! Secretary of the Treasury Paul Krugman restores sanity and sustainability to the national economy! Secretary of State Bill Clinton reminds the world that Americans don’t suck at diplomacy after all! And a Giant Super-intelligent Beefsteak Tomato becomes Secretary of Agriculture and takes on the corporate food establishment (Big Food vs. Big Food!), and the resulting re-investment in small, regional farms restores the possibility of a good life in rural America, wrenching it free of the scourge of meth!

Oooh, isn’t fiction fun???

copyright, © 2008 Andy Biscontini