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
The Current State of Affairs
Friday, August 11.
not too distant future.
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.
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
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
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
Collectively these people were known as the
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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