Predictions, Revelations, and the Asceticism of Journalism
In Sean Davis’s latest Dispatches From the Apocalypse, “Predictions, Revelations, and the Asceticism of Journalism,” Davis is brought into a secret room of aliens running the New World Order.
“The difference between burlesque and the newspapers is that the former never pretended to be performing a public service by exposure.” —I. F. Stone
This is the twelfth dispatch, which means I’ve been writing two a month for six months. I began this column writing about wildland fires, COVID, the idiocy of anti-vaxx, anti-maskers, the corruption of the last administration, climate change, and more.
As I write this dispatch, wildfires in Colorado, in late December, have destroyed almost 600 homes and turned tens of thousands of acres to cinder; the third big COVID variant has helped push the death toll (mostly preventable now) to over 800,000; there have been no consequences for the attempt to overthrow democracy (in fact, laws making it harder to vote have passed in most Republican-run states); and the “Doomsday” glacier is ready to break off and probably kill us all, or something, whatevs.
This is supposed to be a satirical column about how we’re just not taking the problems seriously, with the hopes that we may all laugh a bit but then do something. Do anything. Even if it’s on an individual level. But after this long, I fear the column and the artwork is just coming across as gross pessimism. The opposite is true. I’m such an optimistic person. I actually thought Matrix 4 was going to be a great movie, but then I saw it, and the best thing about it, I think, is how Hugo Weaving dodged that bullet.
In writing a funny column about the end of the world, I just wanted to get across my frustration. Adam McKay’s new movie Don’t Look Up is in the same vein. My goal was to use the dispatches as a sort of barometer with the news of today, but I found I may have been getting a bit outlandish and weird. Maybe it was too weird. I wasn’t sure anyone was really reading it.
That’s why I was so surprised when an unmarked white van came to my house and told me that people in very high places had requested my presence at a clandestine meeting. I asked the featureless androgynous person in the black suit and skinny tie if they meant Oregon Governor Kate Brown and they laughed heartily for several seconds. I asked if the people inviting me were in the federal government and again they laughed, although I wasn’t sure what part of the question they found humorous, the part about the federal government or the word “invite.”
At any rate, we took off out of the McKenzie Bridge State Airstrip in a yellow and black de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver single-engined, high-wing, propeller-driving STOL (short takeoff and landing) aircraft. We flew the 306 miles to Dunsmuir Municipal-Mott Airport near Mount Shasta. At this point, a high thread count pillowcase was placed over my head, and I was led into another vehicle and drove for about twenty-six minutes before the hood came off. I found myself sitting at a large circular desk surrounded by alien creatures who are secretly running the New World Order.
This is supposed to be a satirical column about how we’re just not taking the problems seriously, with the hopes that we may all laugh a bit but then do something. Do anything. Even if it’s on an individual level.
So, obviously, I can’t tell you about the lizard people, the Tall Whites, or the interdimensional insectoids who look like six-foot praying mantises. And there’s no way I can tell you who they’re pretending to be or what office they hold, but they told me that I was free to write about anything that I heard. You see, and I take pride in this fact, my column has reached the level of biting criticism of real events that they’ve decided to let me report on what is really happening. This way, I end up becoming a known conspiracist. Everything I write will be completely dismissed, and I’ll be written off as a nutcase.
I really hope that doesn’t happen, you know, because journalism is so sacred today. The last thing I’d ever want to do while writing about serious events that may end civilization as we know it is report something that is factually incorrect or just make up my own set of facts. And I’ll tell you everything I know when I find out. I would never tarnish the name of journalism by holding back facts until a book I’ve written on the subject comes out months later. So, please understand that what I write from here on out may sound insane, but that’s only because we live in an insane world.
The hood comes off, my beard and hair is mussed, but in front of me, on my small portion of the table is a red faux leather writing journal in the reporter flip-style and a black, government-issue ballpoint pen.
Setting: A giant room in the cavernous base of Mount Shasta, vaulted ceilings, three walls painted matte black, and a fourth with at least twenty giant flatscreens with every news channel you can think of around the world. An incredibly large circular table, that after I remarked on it, a slug-like, small guy told me it took thirteen Venezuelan carpenters four weeks to make it from Carpathian elm, whatever that is. A few dozen fixtures hang from great heights and shower us with fluorescent light. I think 6500k bulbs. I heard aliens are allergic to the radiation from real sunlight.
In the interest of word count, I’ll skip lengthy descriptions of the speakers and just give you a quick rundown of what they said.
A short, female alien with definite blonde Karen-hair (I believe the style is dubbed the “lobster claw”) said between licking her left eyeball, “It’s incumbent upon us to utilize and leverage our core competencies to maximize our traction in the verticals.”
(artwork by Sean Davis)
As I try to decipher this, the three dozen or so others around this giant table nod and harrumph. I can tell, I’m a child to them intellectually.
A gaunt and lanky creature without any real features announces in a monotone voice that NASA has sent them a report they were waiting on. They allowed me to read through a copy, but I couldn’t take photos or quote it directly. I will tell you the report was put together by two dozen priests hired by NASA to theorize the best way to tell the global population that aliens do in fact exist.
I know that the midterms haven’t come yet, but the next actionable item on the mission essential task list was the 2024 Election. I find out right then and there that Donald Trump is not an alien, he’s just an asshole. And none of the alien overlords from the Shadow Government like him either. They did say that they would make it impossible for him to win the next election even if they had to finally, finally send him to jail.
See, that’s another thing I find out. They are very hesitant to let anyone with any real power suffer any consequences from their irresponsible actions. If one of them does, it would set a dangerous precedent and maybe, just maybe, other corrupt politicians will have to answer for crimes as well. This is why Trump hasn’t gone to jail even if the headlines have been reporting that he will any day since he lost reelection. That’s why fifty nobodies have been sentenced and, out of the 727 people who have been charged with a crime for January 6th, none of them are politicians who told them to storm the Capitol.
“The problem with Trump,” explains a Tralfamadorian telepathically, “is that he’s incredibly stupid, incredibly corrupt, and completely without any shame. For decades, we’ve gotten away with leaders who embody one or two of these traits, but we’ve never seen one who maxes out all three.”
At this point, Ted Cruz stands up and yells, “Witch hunt! That man is a national treasure!”
This makes even the aliens without ocular cavities roll their eyes. The short lizard woman with Karen hair sighs and whispers to herself, “How did that creep get in here?”
Cruz continues, “Even so, the GOP needs to give me the nom for 2024. I was the runner-up. It’s just how we do it.”
The Tall White interrupts in his monotone voice, “Next up on the agenda: human President Joseph Biden has announced that the US will reduce carbon emissions by 52 percent by 2030.”
With this, the room erupts in noises I never imagined. Alarmed and unnerved, it takes me a good two minutes to realize they’re all laughing.
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The small lizard lady puts both of her hands with suction cup fingers on the table and pushes herself up. “Excellent. Then the Earth will be hot enough for the Venusians by the time we leak the NASA report on extrastellar life.”
It goes on. My head is still spinning, and it will be years before I figure out all I heard in that meeting. I will give you a few more revelations right now, but that’ll be it for a while. I think I have an exclusive on this because the QAnon and Breitbart guys weren’t used to writing with paper and pen.
First off, they all hate Kamala Harris, so you can plan on seeing many more gay characters on all your favorite dramas, comedies, and sitcoms. According to the gelatinous cube in the corner, that will get you ready for when the Dems run Pete Buttigieg after Biden.
Even the Draconian, in the dark part of the room, was happy about how the GOP, Right Wingnuts, and MAGA supporters are not getting vaccinated and not avoiding a 95% preventable death. He just shrugged his scaled winged shoulders and said, “They die, they can’t vote for bad ideas. We may actually get rid of Mitch McConnell, despite gerrymandering.”
He may be a murderous intergalactic dictator from the other side of the Orion Constellation, but even he doesn’t want to see this planet destroyed by climate denial, warmongering, homophobia, misogyny, and murderous nationalistic tendencies.
So, that’s it for this dispatch. From now on, no more silly shit. I’ll be shooting it at you straight. No more Kanye West or Kim Kardashian bullshit. Well, unless they’re aliens too. You never know. I will have to say that getting abducted by a shadow government of extraterrestrials made me feel a little better as far as the direction humanity is heading. At least, now I know, someone is in charge and has a plan.