AD 2017 was the sweetest year in my memory. But how many 2017’s were there?
Imagine if the mighty stream of history, like a river striking an obdurate rock, might be divided in twain. In one universe, perhaps, events as we know them have taken place, but in the nearby parallel universe, Mr. Spock has a goatee and everything good and normal in our native timeline, there, in the negative universe, is backward and bizarre.
Once, perhaps, this concept of a divided timeline was the speculation of physicists or the plotline of science fiction shows. But in 2017 we saw this in stark reality.
It is customary for pundits and windbags to pen a year-in-review column in the last week in December, as this is a magical time, a twilight zone, between year and year, when it is proper to take the measure of how far we have risen or fallen. It is a time to laugh at fears now proved to be false fears, and to dismiss as vanity hopes now proved hollow. It is also a time of year when it is proper to remind ourselves that man is mortal, and our years on Earth are numbered and known, and shall not come again.
But I will pen here no year-in-review, because, believe it or no, two years just went by, not one.
The year that went by for me, in the universe I share with conservatives, libertarians, and true Americans was one of unparalleled triumph, victory, and gains so grand I fear we shall grow tired of winning.
The year that went by in a strange parallel universe, isolated by the gulf of alien dimensions from us, as foreign as the timeline where George Bailey never lived, was a year of unqualified misery and woe, and the tears of the self-righteous never ceased to flow. Normally, it would be impossible to see from one self contained continuum to the next. The laws of physics prevent it. But, in this case, thanks to a phenomenon stranger than the quantum entanglement or the paradox of the Einstein Rosen Podolsky spooky action at a distance, we all were able to see and read newspapers, news broadcasts, and hear editorial commentary from the strange creatures inhabiting the antimatter universe.
For the sake of convenience, and in honor of the season, let us call our universe Bedford Falls. And let us call the bizarre antimatter universe Pottersville.
Let us next list the events of the year, pop-cultural, social, economic, cultural and political.
In the Potterverse, 2017 saw the unveiling of the long-awaited Star Wars: The Last Jedi loved by all for its strong trans-feminist message, its portrayal of men as toxic oafs easily beaten by untrained girls and browbeaten by blue-haired harridans, and it affirmation that the past must be burned in order to make way for Year Zero. There are no heroes. Nothing in life is worth fighting for. 93% of reviewers agree.
But in the Bedfordverse, Social Justice Wars: The Last Film in the Franchise was a middle finger from the ungrateful, peevish, grinch-grinning filmmakers as the sole repayment to a fanbase remaining fanatically loyal for forty years. All the mysteries and plot threads were answered by the film equivalent of telling us to bugger ourselves, the various plot holes were stupid, and beloved characters were desecrated, humiliated, and killed, and no actions had any consequences. 55% of filmgoers agree.
How to explain the vast difference between the two universes between nigh-universal applause and nearly half-satisfaction? Well, in the Bedfordverse, we are familiar with a longstanding corruption in the news and entertainment media, issuing from centers of power on either coast, but which was never challenged until Gamergate revealed the true extent of the graft and decay. We are also used to any challenge to the ‘narrative’ (read: blatant lies) of the mainstream entertainment media being dismissed as the by-product of sexist, racist, bigoted cranks.
So in our universe, we can be pretty sure that the reviewers giving a garbage movie a 93% approval rate was because the fix was in.
In the Potterverse, no honest rebuke or disagreement with the narrative is possible or allowed. The mere act of disagreement is a sign of sexistracisthomoislamophobictransphobic bigotry. The numbers were obviously skewed by a secret conspiracy of lawn gnomes acting on orders from the KKK.
Similar parallels can be seen with other popular franchises from STAR TREK: DIVERSITY to the post-iconic characters of Marvel Comics, to the timelord-lady Dr. Ms. Who, and basically to everything anyone loved from childhood. In the Bedfordverse, the social justice message stains and putrefies everything it touches; in the Potterverse, each is a glorious triumph for the progressive cause. So much for pop-culture.
In social news, 2017 was a watershed moment in the Bedfordverse, since it saw the downfall of that Dark Tower of Mordor otherwise known as the mainstream media, hereafter known as Fake News. What was once the cry of a few outliers like yours truly is now common knowledge: the propagandists and professional liars pretending (unconvincingly) to be newspapermen, deceiving the public and continuing to lie like dogs even long after their deceptions are penetrated, and merely the publicity arm of the Democrat party. Now, even in the Bedfordverse, the fall is not complete, since an older generation of liars and willing useful idiots will have to die off, but, nonetheless, the slow-motion train wreck of the mainstream media destroying itself is a wonder to behold, and a joy.
And they cannot stop damaging their own reputations, no matter what. You would think that after so many stories were proved false, they would once again adopt standard of due diligence. But no.
Still they persist.
Even after it was shown that the bust of Martin Luther King was not removed from the Oval Office, they persisted; nor after seventeen intelligence agencies did not confirm Russian interference with any election; nor after it was known that no law enforcement nor intelligence agency ever examined Hillary Clinton’s illegal private server; nor that the EPA director Scott Pruitt never met with the CEO of Dow Chemical shortly before reversing his agency’s push to ban a widely-used pesticide; nor that James Comey did indeed tell Trump he was not under investigation; nor did the White House ever lie nor change it stated reason given for Comey’s firing; nor that Trump never said he was planning to send troops to Mexico; nor that Michael Flynn, cooperating with the prosecution, was prepared to testify that Trump while still a candidate, ordered him improperly to contact and to collude with Russian officials; nor the Mueller investigators had subpoenaed Deutsche Bank records of Trump and his family; nor that the White House received secret Wikileaks keys to read the documents there before their release to the general public.
Nor did the press stop, nor even slow, their mad career of reckless lies from the very beginning, when they made such a huge and pointless stink over the size of the crowds attending the inauguration. Anyone looking at a photo taken at the proper time could see how far they reached, and estimate for himself. But the madcap press insisted on pestering the public with a comically false and insignificant ‘narrative’ (read: gross yet unconvincing lie) the Trump fibbed about the crowd size.
Meanwhile, in the Potterverse, Donald Trump had the accusation of the rightwing concocting Fake News thrown at him like a knife. But, with the reflexes of Jack Burton in the cult classic Big Trouble in Little China, he plucked the knife out of midair and flung it back into the forehead of the undead, immortal warlock called the Mainstream Media. In the Potterverse this is an incomprehensible turn of events, since never before has the public been willing to believe its lying eyes rather than rely solely on the soothing Wormtongue whispers of the media. This is the most dangerous event in American history, because the News (in the Potterverse) is the sole guardian of Democracy and Freedom and Diversity and Inclusiveness. The First Amendment is in danger, and democracy will die in darkness, and the black clouds of Nazi totalitarianism are about to smother all life and light and hope. It is time to panic!
And also in the Potterverse, the ‘new normal’ of stagnant economic growth established by the divine Barry Obama, out of pure malicious spite, the evil Donald Trump reversed with three and four percent growth within the first few months of his administration. This so-called economic boom was done to fatten the rich, destroy the middle class, hurt blacks, but most of all it was done in order to destroy our good overseas relations with places like England and Israel and China, which Barry Obama has eating out of his hand and never publicly humiliating with open signs of disrespect! Without the Paris Global Warmingcoolingwhatever Non-treaty Never Ratified by the Senate, we will all burn or freeze or both as the Great Witch-Goddess Gaea retaliates against our sins of daring to be successful and hardworking! It is time to panic!
In the Bedfordverse, we also had three to four percent economic growth, but this was due, not to the malice of breaking overseas non-treaties. It was due to cause and effect. If the administration removes artificial barriers and limits to growth and trade, and consumers and manufacturers cease expecting arbitrary interference with their contracts and deals, the economy flourishes. But cause and effect are a law of nature in the Bedfordverse, not in the Potterverse.
In the Bedforverse, we are saying ‘Merry Christmas’ once again. We are proud to be Americans again.
While in our universe, Odious toad Al Frankin, when pressured to resign the senate during a witch-hunt of sexual wrongdoings where any accusation was believed, and felonious wrongs were conflated with misdemeanors, or even ordinary acts of masculine sexually liberated unchivalry, insincerely promised to resign the Senate. Both the sexual liberation, which released all men from any social restrictions on any sexual thrill-seeking, sane or not, chaste or not, natural or not, and the witchhunt atmosphere portraying women as eternal saints never to be disbelieved, were engendered and fomented by the left, whose overweening sin is the blind pride to think that human nature can be rewritten, and the human conscience replaced with totalitarian laws.
In the Bedfordverse, this may be the first crack in the solid wall of egregious nonsense and unchaste irrational unisex piffle that formed the consensus of morality after the Sexual Revolution. The revolution is failing under the weight of its own internal contradictions: and not a moment too soon.
But in a parallel universe of Pottersville, one perceived by the deranged senses of Chris ‘Thrill-Up-Me-Leg’ Matthews, the sole flaw of the political left was that it was ‘too pure.’
Meanwhile, in the Potterverse, racists are lurking under every gorse bush and behind each hillock, armed to the teeth and scant inches away from total victory. The boxcars carrying blacks and Hispanics and homosexuals to death camps in Kansas and Alabama are ready to roll. Only the brave race-activists of Black Lives Matter and antifas stand between us and the countless hordes of astronomical numbers of six hundred tiki-torch bearing protestors, of which at least four were neo-Nazis! It is time to panic!
In the Bedfordverse, ISIS has been mopped up. When Barry Obama left office, they controlled an area as large as a Texas. Now they are a cave somewhere in the Middle East. This was not done because Donald Trump is a military genius. He merely let the military do its job.
In the Potterverse, there is no ISIS and never was. That riot was caused by a YouTube video. Iran will be our friend if we give them money and a nuke. A terror group is the legitimate government of Israel, and the dirty Jews are the real terrorists, for daring to oppose them! Mass shootings by Islamic jihadists are never caused by jihadists because there are no jihadists. There is no jihad. Each attack is a lone wolf attack, even those performed by many men operating together under direction from overseas terror masters. And the mass shootings by jihadists are cause solely and entirely by the National Rifle Association, who are also somehow to blame for knife attacks, truck attacks, planes being flown into buildings, and improvised bombs being set off in underwear or sneakers. Blaming the jihadists for the jihad is racism, and any attempt to fight or oppose the jihadists, or any attempt to prevent their undocumented entry into our nation, will merely strengthen and embolden them, leading directly to our defeat! It is time to panic!
In the Bedfordverse, Trump was elected because he is an outsider, not beholden to the donor class in Washington, not a politician, and not a member of the longstanding and corrupt Republican establishment. He promised to secure the borders against illegal aliens, rebuilt the military, lower taxes, build a wall, root out Washington corruption, repeal Obamacare, and undo overseas trade deals not advantageous to the United States. But most of all, he was not Hillary, whose corruption could not have been more open and obvious. Voters normally indifferent were energized, including the minorities which no other GOP candidate has ever been able to woo.
And, in the Bedfordverse, no other politician in three lifetimes has ever actually promised the voters what they actually wanted, and then actually did what he said he would do.
2017 is the greatest year of greatest successes for the conservative movement in living memory. He has already equaled Reagan’s economic successes, and he bids fair to demolishing the threat from jihadists just as Reagan quashed the threat from the Soviet Union. The list of successes would far outpace the length of this column to recite.
Contemplating the year taken as a whole, in the Potterverse, 2017 is the worse year in the history of this universe since the Big Bang. The list of disasters caused by Trump and Trumpism, and the danger from Hitlerians from 1930 and Victorians from 1840 and Puritans from 1750 and toxic masculine cave men from the Neolithic is too immediate and overwhelming to allow for rational thought or reflection. All is lost! It is time to panic!
In the Potterverse, Trump stole the election because he is a paid Russian agent of the KGB, not to mention SMERSH, SPECTRE, THRUSH, and KAOS. He become president because the Brain of Hitler, kept alive by Nazi scientists in Argentina, directions tens of millions of loyal white supremacists to vote for him, and then the Russians also did something something Wikileaks something. It is time to panic! No cause need be given for how the election was ‘hacked’ because there is no cause and effect in the Potterverse. And the something something need never be defined, because nothing is defined in Potterverse.
In the Bedfordverse, Trump assembled the best possible team of advisors and cabinet members; Trump appointed an originalist justice to the Supreme Court; started the long overdue deconstruction of Obamacare; restored the military to working order; restored the border; removed the jackboot of overregulation from the neck of industry; resumed a leadership role in the world, deterred the designs of tyrants in North Korea and China, and, most of all, finally, cut taxes.
In the Potterverse, Trump gathered unemployed clowns from the Barnum & Bailey circus to act as his staff and cabinet, or pointy-hooded figures from KKK rallies; Trump already has started world wars with North Korea and China; he has aggravated our beloved allies in Hezbollah and the UN and ISIS unnecessarily; the roll back of Obamacare already has corpses piled shoulder-high in the streets of all major cities; and, alas, the mild tax cut is an apocalypse, the twilight of the gods, and the end of the world. All is lost; it is time to panic!
In the Bedfordverse, it is not time to panic. It is time to pray for the souls of these blind and lost useful idiots, who were set in this rut of nonsense-thought by the Soviets, if not by the French Revolution, and have not changed their minds one iota, or looked at any plain facts, since then.
Yes, I said pray. They cannot be talked to, reasoned with, negotiated with, or threatened. They live in an insane parallel universe where facts are malleable, narratives (read: vile lies) are facts, all whites are racist while all black are saints, and America is the sole source of evil in the world, and yet only White Men have agency. Only White Men cause problems and only White Men can elevate or oppress women, equalize or victimize blacks, stir up or becalm Jihadists. Only we start wars and make peace.
There is no reasoning with these madmen and traitors and anti-American Christ-haters, because hatred is all they have, and all they peddle, and hatred, combined with pride, eats away the faculties of logic, of honesty, and of common sense, until you are left with an twisted and sickly abortive humanoid able to do nothing but riot in anger and shriek in panic.
Because, in the Potterverse, all truth is relative, and all morality is a personal act of willpower, and reality is optional.
Fortunately, in the Bedfordverse, where the real people really live in reality, prayer works.
In both universes, Happy New Year to one and all.
John C. Wright is a retired attorney, newspaperman and editor, who was only once on the lam and forced to hide from the police. He is an acclaimed science fiction novelist, winner of the prestigious Dragon Award for Best Novel, and holds the record for the most Hugo Award nominations for a single year. He presently works as a writer in Virginia, where he lives in fairytale-like happiness with his wife, the authoress L. Jagi Lamplighter, and their four children: Pingping, Orville, Wilbur, and Just Wright.
Feature image via Victorianweb.org