What was that line from The Matrix? “Are you ever not sure if you’re actually awake or if you’re still dreaming?” Something like that, I guess. But regardless of whether or not I got the quote right, more and more often that’s how I find myself feeling. I wake up, I feel fine. Then I turn on the news, or go online, or listen to the radio. And I think that what I’m seeing can’t be real, that I’m still asleep, still dreaming, trapped in a dystopian hybrid of 1984, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451.
What am I talking about?
I’m talking about a President that increasingly rules through executive fiat and blatantly ignores the constitution.
I’m talking about a Congress that lets him get away with it because they’re too busy fighting between parties to even pay attention.
I’m talking about a mainstream media that has traded in its role of Government Watchdog for the dual role of Government Lap Dog ad Government Attack Dog, ignoring the blatantly illegal activities of the government and vilifying and crucifying its opponents.
I’m talking about people having their reputations, careers, and/or (usually and) their entire lives destroyed because they openly expressed an opinion that was not in perfect lockstep with the people who’ve placed themselves in charge, or because they offended the wrong person.
I’m talking about sentences being cast by the mob before all the facts are known, and that same mob discounting or else flat-out ignoring those facts once they become available.
I could go on. But you get the idea.
If I wrote a novel about a world like this, no publisher would ever pick it up because they’d say it would be too unbelievable. And yet look around. Operation Fast & Furious. Executive Orders on illegal immigration. The ESA Scientist who landed a probe of a comet and then had his career destroyed because he wore a shirt that some thin-skinned reporter found offensive. The Martin, Brown, and Garner cases and the media immediately demanding the crucifixions of the people responsible, even though the courts ruled they were justified. The IRS scandal. The President ordering the government it “make it [the sequester] hurt.” It goes on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on ad infinitum.
And nobody cares. Nobody cares because nobody knows. Oh, everybody knows who won American Idol or Survivor or what the Kardashian sisters did at some party, because apparently those have become the things that really matter in our society. But the government destorying the Constitution? Not important, and anyone who says otherwise is apparently a racist homophobic cisgendered gendernormative thoughtcriminal.
Help. I’m trapped in a nightmare and I can’t wake up.