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American Rhetoric by Paddy Kelly

No. words: 101300

Style: Mainstream, Humour - General

Published: 11 / 2017

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American Rhetoric

by Paddy Kelly

Paddy's back with more of his inimitable style of wit and charm!

STORY DESCRIPTION

Through shear dint of effort, Ronald Lump the third, now in his fourth and last term as president, had with tireless campaigning and unprecedented cooperation in both the House and the Senate, been able to whittle away at the 3% who controlled 97% of the wealth. He got it down to 1%. Worse yet, of the 47 candidates who intend to run for office to replace him none are qualified.

America was in trouble. Again.

However it is in Central Middleville, Ohio, a place where everyday life is abnormally normal, there resides a real hero. A human cog in a soulless system whose only dream is to get out of the dingy one room apartment he's lived in all his life. A savior that can possibly deliver the American people from the shackles of the two party system and the havoc it has reeked on the American landscape for so long.

Thaddeus Enoch Pervers, a lowly assembly line worker unintentionally sets out on a political adventure the likes of which could only happen in the U.S. With political absurdities unimagined in Swift’s time Thaddeus, after accidently filing out the wrong form at his local Department of Motor Vehicles, mistakenly winds up sucked up into the convoluted American political system.

Politics was never in Thaddeus' plans, but it was in his destiny. Inadvertently tossed into the political arena due to the misfiled form, Pervers is discovered by a devious group of supercentenarians who promise to buy him a senate seat if he'll act as their front man for their political interests.

The novel American Rhetoric, a dark parody of the two party system, offers a glimpse of one possible future for The United States of America.

*Politics. From the Greek 'poly' meaning many and 'tics' meaning a parasitic, blood sucking leech who lives off others.

*(Translation approximate)

 

EXTRACT FOR
American Rhetoric

(Paddy Kelly)


extract

If 'pro' is the opposite of 'con', then what's the opposite of progress?

 

 

“In the federal government we have a two party system. The Democratic Party, which is a party of no ideas, and the Republican Party, which is a party of bad ideas. By the federal government I mean republicans and democrats working together. And the only thing dumber than a republican or a democrat is when these pricks work together!”

                                                                                                                    - Louis Black

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

The Current State of Affairs

11:26, Friday, August 11.

The not too distant future.

 

A

MERICAN society had shifted in the intervening years since, having her prison record expunged by presidential decree, Helen Cliton had been appointed Secretary of State and Ronald Lump the Third, Great-Great Grandson of the New York real-estate baron had, after changing the law, won his fourth consecutive White House term.

 The last of the law suits following the mass suicide fad which had swept the nation after Helen's Great-Great Aunt Hillary had lost the election had finally been settled.

Lump, on the other hand, had managed to finally tackle the fact that 3% of Americans owned or directly controlled 97% of the wealth of that country. 

Through sheer dint of effort, plenty of hard work, tireless campaigning efforts and unprecedented cooperation in both the House and the Senate, he was able to whittle that 3% down to 1%.

Legislation was in the pipeline to tackle that annoying little 1% as soon as Congress could raise the funds to clean up the miles and miles of unused bricks, mortar and scaffolding littering the highways, roads and prairie land along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Cruising overhead in one of the new multi-billion dollar hovercrafts, (which cost just under $125,000 to build) and which reduced the trans-continental voyage from New New York to Lost Angeles, no longer part of the 60th state, from three and a half hours to three hours and eleven minutes, President Lump could see that much of the landscape was still dotted with two story split levels, ranch homes and tasteless prefabricated houses like the kind seen all over Texas, Louisiana and most of the Bible Belt. But factories more or less dominated the land mass of most of America. All of course except for Arkansas, after all no one wanted to live there before the ECOLI, why would anyone go there now? 

In a radically changing world it was comforting to know some traditions remained.

The overall map of the country had changed as well. Several of the northern states had been sold to Canada to raise revenue for the Twelfth Annual Congressional Bailout while the Hawaiian Islands now belonged to the Chinese having been traded for a treaty where-by the Chinese government agreed to stop hacking U.S. technology, stealing America's industrial plans and selling them to the largest country in the world the Ukraino-Russia Federation.

Some found an odd poetic justice in this seeing as it was primarily Asian and Eastern European engineers who, although hired by the Americans, actually designed and built most of that technology.

This massive sell-off of real estate was generally accepted as part of the cause of what people now referred to as the Great Economic Collapse of Industry.

ECOLI for short.

To maintain the status quo and allow the random but steady price inflation the western world had come to rely on to motivate its economy, the citizens of the U.S. and now most of the rest of the world, had come also to depend on artificially manufactured food stuffs produced by multi-international conglomerates such as Consolidated Refined Agricultural Products which boasted over 500 facilities nation-wide processing, manufacturing and distributing CRAP products throughout the world. SPAM Plus was one of their biggest money makers.

There were other changes too.

For example various social sub-orders had arisen and were branded with certain names, names propagated largely by the pop press through NewsCorps. These names became a convenient way to refer to the few remaining groups of people with political opinions, people who had not yet completely given up on the political system altogether. A political system which had grown and crept across the land like a mold on six month old Gouda.

Collectively these people were known as the Logics.  

The smallest of the Logics was the group who based their political viewpoints and opinions on logic, reasoning and scientifically established knowledge.

They were legally banned from public speaking when, one year a Logical speaker, a physics professor, tried to explain gravity at a famous university. His explanation was dismissed as a patriarchal construct and riots broke out.

This Logical group was sarcastically labelled by the press as 'The Knowitalls'. They were so small a group that more people had claimed to have seen Bigfoot then to have actually met a Logical.

NewsCorps was the consolidated news wire service, which controlled and was the sole nation-wide supplier of info-tainment. What people used to call the 'news'.

T.V. execs found that ratings tripled when they mixed reality T.V. with news broadcasts and so info-tainment was born.

 The president and corporate CEO of NewsCorps, Lush Limburger, Ph.D., (an honorary award), through his broadcasts had coined and there-by sanctioned most of the monikers now in common use. 

'NewsCorps; Lush with the slush!' Could be heard dozens of times a day on radios, televisions and monitors across the nation.

Skilled at broadcasting in only two emotions, anger and indignation, combined with his ‘clever’ labelling of opposing political groups was considered the primary reason Limburger was consistently voted News Man of the Year by the United Associated Press International or the UAPI.

The UAPI, an organization which maintained their name despite the fact the title, News Man of the Year, could only be awarded to a member of the American press who was an active member of the UAPI, were the primary fundraisers for the Lush Limburger Program.

All foreign generated news was highly restricted and could only be accessed if an American was out of the country or on vacation in exotic places like Chicago or Detroit, both of which now belonged to Canada which also meant one needed a passport to go there which in turn meant that few Americans went there.

Subsisting largely on hate rhetoric and creating discontent in those of lower mentality, Limburger's eight hour daily show focused largely on casting aspersions at the likes of Doctors Without Borders, (who he branded as 'bleeding heart socialists'), teachers, ('liberal morons'), and Planned Parenthood, ('condoms are the root of all the problems in our education system!') He particularly railed against Planned Parenthood because he argued, due to the fact they encouraged young people to use condoms they were the primary propagators of unsafe sex. Bumper stickers proclaiming: “CONDOMS CILL!!” could be had free of charge from Limburger's radio studios.

Limburger had his favorites too, like the Blinders.

These were the ones in the country who were shackled with the philosophy that the U.S., without reservation, was the greatest country in the world, despite the fact it was fourth in economic production behind China, Russia and Brazil, 26th on the U.N's Safest Places to Live list and 47th overall in education.

When cornered as to the flaws in the 'America is the greatest country' approach, the Blinder's comeback was, 'Maybe it's not a perfect system but it's the best imperfect system in the world.' Finally when confronted by the facts of their government's broken legal and judicial system, their homerun swing was, 'It's not a perfect system, but it's the best we got.'

As the democrats spent more and more money on gun control and the republicans more and more on fire arms promotion, there were dwindling amounts for less important social programs such as education and medicine. 

As a result, the failing I.Q.'s of the nation's students was more than just an international embarrassment, it had become a real social problem compounded by the fact that 68% tested couldn't point out the U.S. on a standard map, (half of those even when it was labelled).

However, it was the teachers who suffered the most.

When the teacher's mandatory, unpaid five month Summer holidays became law, and their wages were reduced accordingly, some quit or were forced to take second jobs such as sanitation technicians in the factories. Those with higher degrees could find work as waste disposal collection engineers for the food service or housekeeping industries.

Parents and relatives did what they could to help the teachers by going down to the Federal Unified Collection points and donating canned food, old bits of clothing and slightly used body armor or bullet resistant clothing. These latter items had become popular when school shootings had been elevated to a national past time by the popular reality game show Classroom Body Count. However, despite such irresistible perks such as free body armor, the attrition rates of the teachers back to the factories and other industries had reached an all-time high.

Another side effect of the dilapidated education system was the gradual deterioration of the language itself.

Wiked-Period, the online ensikloopedea, had come to be the last word in academic reference, despite the fact there were no redundant checks on the information posted and anybody could pretty much write and post anything they wanted. Even though most of those who wrote on-line information sites could no longer write very well, especially after the highly publicized Wong Case.

Michelle Wong, an undergraduate student at Cal Tech, submitted her undergrad thesis entirely in text speak. When the department chair failed her, she resorted to that most American of cure-alls, she sued. In separate but equal law suits she sued the state, sued the university, the college, the department, the department chair, her professor and the librarian for referring her to a volume entitled, A Hndbk For Txt Abrvs.    

 As U.S. law is predicated primarily on stare decisis, or precedent, after she won the first case she won all the other cases. On the seven figure settlement she abandoned her studies in English Literature and her goal to teach English at Harvard and retired to the former Hawaiian island of Oahu, now New Beijing, where she sits in the sun sipping Mai Tais and texting her 600 cousins.

As most of the computer programmers who worked in the industry had little or no English, this made things difficult for the less than 37,000 native speakers of English, who were still left in the U.S., mostly sprinkled around the central states.

These events had in turn impacted so heavily on the nation that not only had the language itself suffered, but it was impossible to get a ham sandwich, a hot dog or a cup of coffee anywhere in the United States if all you spoke was Standard American English, as Spanglish was now the official national language.

The demise of the English language was not sudden but gradual over a period of several generations with changes thought to be too small or insignificant to matter. For example, as there were only three grammatical articles in the language, these were the first casualties of the undeclared war.

The Brits had long ago ceased using 'the' for most things uttering phrases such as, “Me mother's in 'ospital, again! Costin' me arm in a leg so it is! Inconsiderate bitch!”

If you could get over the fact that they spoke as if they had stones in their mouths and lived in deathly fear of dropping one and you could hack your way through any of the thousands of their cryptic dialects, you would find they were a fairly intelligible people. However Americans, being enamored, (enamoured), with the British accent soon followed suit and communication suffered further.

The Aussies, Kiwis and South Africans hadn't fared much better in terms of preserving English. Having been isolated so long from the rest of civilization they had developed what they mistakenly believed to be their own form of 'proper' English.

What with 'roo' for kangaroo, 'bottling his bloods worth' to mean someone who was very helpful and 'G'day' for hello with 'Hooroo' for good-bye, people in the civilized countries were generally dumbfounded at how, beyond sex and eating, people below the equator communicated at all.

Except for the persistent inability to pronounce the word 'out', or any derivation with the vowel combination of O and U, the Canadians remained relatively unaffected as, not wanting to cause trouble, they were game to go along with anything everybody else said.

Prepositions were the next to be infected with the communicative cancer which insidiously metastasized until nearly all of these linking words had been eaten away save for a few such as 'to', now spelled exclusively 'too', too include the number, too.

  Fifteen after eight, for example became just “fifteen eight”. The confusion caused by fifteen before or until eight as opposed to after eight was eliminated by saying, “It is forty-five minutes seven.” Which in turn, of course, meant that times like seven twenty had to be said to be forty minutes six.

All this, predictably, wreaked havoc on daylight savings time which, due to the bad economy, people only had to work a three to four hour work day anyway, and so was simply eliminated.

The U.S. GNP hit rock bottom.

So, much like the Celtic peoples who, thousands of years ago had been split into several nations, lost contact with one another and quickly fell into a situation whereby, even though they all spoke the Celtic language, they were completely unable to communicate with one another giving us the Welsh, Scots and Irish, the people who came to temporarily occupy Nurtheren Urop and the Amerikas, the English speaking, Anglo peoples drifted further apart.

 

 

 

 

 

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