The Straw man Rides a Red Herring

By David Glenn Cox

Oh, how I miss the 1960’s and hope for another such decade real soon. I was on You Tube and there was a thirty-minute video of Rod Serling with half a dozen college students. They discussed writing, drama and the state of modern television circa 1969. They spoke in calm complete rational sentences and didn’t banter in buzz words. There was a confidence and a certainty in their voices this was the America that could do anything, have a moon rock. The problems of the day had solutions if we all just sit down and talk about it calmly and fairly and sanely.

If Popular Mechanics ever publishes plans for a do-it-yourself time machine, brother I’ll be at Home Depot picking up the parts. Dare I say it? Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Bobert and my moment of 60s Zen was over. I can only hope Ms. Bobert shoots straighter than she adds. Turning in a travel voucher for twenty-two grand claiming over 38,000 miles @.58 per mile. The hillbilly game show contestant wins a free night in the fancy hotel. Ordering waffles from room service and porn on the TV out to milk every teat on the cow before the time bell rings.  “Hey look! They’s a free Bible in the drawer!”

Marjorie Taylor Greene shakes her head saying, “Damn, I almost apologized for nothing and they threw me off the committees anyway. And to think, there I was almost ready to almost humble myself and almost admit to my flawed reality. Ready to brush passed and oversimplify the truth and my minor parts in the felonious crimes I may have committed.” Ms. Greene was stoic at the decision saying, “This will allow me more time to work on other projects as well as be a general pain in the ass. What’s Sudoku?” Without committee assignments her days will revolve around her lunch hour, before lunch hour and after lunch hour. There is really not much to do, so if you wanted to go shopping it would be okay.

Meanwhile in Wisconsin, the state legislature has repealed the Governor’s mask mandate. So, the governor just issued another mask mandate which the legislature is planning on repealing as soon as possible. It is a mask mandate, not a 300% income tax increase. Calm the fuck down! Call your doctor and ask; “Should I wear a mask when I go outside during a pandemic? Or should I pretend to have the medical knowledge of a European peasant during the Black Death? It makes you want to scratch your head until you draw blood. How many people do you need to see on a ventilator fighting to stay alive before you say to yourself, “Hey that looks pretty bad, I don’t want to be that person. I should just wear a mask.” I’m as political as anyone, but I don’t want to play cliff divers for Trump.

“But I can’t wear a mask, I have health problems!” Those health problems didn’t stop you putting your big fat butt in the Cadillac and driving across town for a frozen yogurt. Or stopping at Sally’s Beauty Supply for eyeliner. They always have just enough strength left to give the salesclerk a hard time about telling them to wear a mask. There was a time in this country when we argued about war and civil rights, the environment and should we go to Mars after the moon? Today we argue over masks, kind of like fighting over smoke detectors. But won’t more smoke detectors just encourage people to be careless with their combustibles? “I should make sure my combustibles are completely out. Oh wait, the nanny state will tell me if there is a problem!” The straw man climbs on the red herring and swims away.

Even today we blanch at the tactics of McCarthyism in the 1950s. Communist spies in the State Department. Sure, it was crazy, but it was at least plausible! QAnon asserts that Bill and Hillary Clinton are devil worshiping, child raping cannibals. Let’s be honest here, does anyone really see Bill or Hillary as the religious type? Can you visualize Hillary in the back yard of their palatial mansion somewhere between the swimming pool and the hot tub ritually sacrificing a chicken to Moloch while chanting incantations? “Come on Bill; it’s time to sacrifice the chicken!” Hillary, I’m a vegan now, I don’t think I should do that. I’ll sacrifice this tomato to Satan. “Bill, if we don’t do the sacrifice, we can’t have sex with children and kill them and eat them!” All I’m saying is, I don’t think the Clinton’s are all that religious. They might sacrifice a child or two around the holidays, but somehow, I just can’t picture them as regular church goers.

So, I’ll wait patiently on the folks at Popular Mechanics and lean heavily on the skills of Kyle at the Home Depot. I’ll build that time machine and escape this dystopia where the adults believe in the fairy tales and wait up for orange Santa at night. Somewhere over the rainbow blue birds fly there’s a land that I dreamed of once in a lullaby. But apparently while I was waiting on the time machine, Popular Mechanics published a “Build your own Insane asylum!” article instead and millions have broken ground and begun construction.

With my time machine, I could hunt down the day and location and join the meeting with Rod Serling. We could discuss issues and when it was my turn to ask a question. I would ask, “Rod,” cause it was back in the 60s and we didn’t deal well with authority labels man.  So I would ask, “Rod, you work in Science Fiction. What do you suppose is the likelihood a group of pedophile devil worshipers are going to take over the world? And billionaires are going to march us all to the Communist workhouse right after they take our guns?” And I know what he would probably answer, “Get the hell out of here! I deal in Science Fiction – Not Bullshit!”

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