There is a Russian scientist who believes, or says he believes, that the United States is developing a variety of human being low in intelligence, capable of living on next to nothing, working all hours, and reproducing only when wanted. The scientist heads a nuclear research institute and his brother, a banker, is close to the leadership of the country.
While he is beetling away on nuke projects US President-elect Donald Trump – for yes it is he! – says it is ridiculous that Russian government hackers could have swayed the election that is heading him to the leadership of the world’s most powerful country. He disputes a CIA report to that effect and has pooh-poohed Congressional concerns, including from his own party.
He says he isn’t too interested in intelligence briefings anyway because he is a “smart guy”.
It is true that he is a smart guy, and if he says it follows that being a smart guy means he doesn’t need to be told things every day, who am I to doubt him? A nobody, that’s who.
Meanwhile, in Balkania – actually it is Macedonia, but it’s probably going on elsewhere in that mercurial region – people are riding around in fine cars on the proceeds of “fake news”. “Fake news” makers cut and paste from whatever sources seem useful into plausible if sensational stories and then put the results on Facebook pages made up to look like news sites. If these generate hits, the hits generate advertising, and the advertising generates income, and the income generates BMWs, flash motorbikes, designer everything, and girlfriends or boyfriends or pet sheep depending on one’s proclivities.
Facebook’s founder, a Mr Zuckerberg, says this is actually no big deal. If a man worth billions, who is handing out zillions to fake news producers says it is no big deal, who am I? etc. Nobody, that’s who.
And the great stories! During the election in the US, people in Macedonia left no stone unturned to find and publish the secrets of the campaign, especially the devilish Clinton plans to usurp the democratic process and destroy freedom everywhere. If there wasn’t a story saying the devil incarnate had entered Ms Clinton’s body and feasted each morning on live babies, it was purely accidental.
Some of these sensational accounts found their way, as they would naturally do, being “truthful” though untrue, into the mainstream press via other websites. Flick, flick, flick – and then shazam!
A man from North Carolina was arrested in Washington DC in a fast food parlour, come to investigate to see if a cabal involving Hillary Clinton – yes, the same former presidential candidate – was going on there. Fortunately no one was injured. However, a man part of President-elect Trump’s “transition team” and the son of a general picked to be his national security adviser, lost his job over this incident as he sent a “tweet” about it to the world. The cabal hadn’t been categorically disproved, his message said.
The poor fellow’s father had assisted his state of mind by repeating other unrelated fake news stories during the campaign.
A question in my mind, insofar as I have one, is whether this is evidence that “Project American sub-human” revealed to the world by the Russian nuclear scientist is actually much more advanced than even he realises.
Many years ago the British magazine Private Eye used to satirise the work of a man named McKay, referred to as “McHacky” by having “him” write, “Isn’t life grandy and dandy” as he celebrated the wonders of modern times. As indeed it is truly is – especially if you are a smart guy, like Donald Trump!
Well, it is troubling to this poor hack. Reality as revealed by the existence of the Russian nuke master and the illusion of reality as portrayed in “fake news” have so inflamed our imaginations that works intended to be seen as of the imagination, fiction to me and fiction to you, don’t stand a chance. Anything a spiritually impoverished writer such as myself can dream up is made trivial when a man hits a pizza stand to see if Hillary Clinton is in the toilet or wherever she was meant to be, conspiring mightily, and a judicious and principled member of a victorious Presidential candidate’s entourage, who simply wants proof of her absence, loses his job! How can I write a novel about anything at all and expect it to be disbelieved?
If the displaced Trumpster is crowd-funding a campaign to get his job back, should I contribute?
Well, you very well may not know me, but if you did know me, you would know that I am reaching into my e-pocket as soon as I can to help the poor man out, even as I lose yet more readers to Facebook illusion. It’s unjust, but help we must.
Thanks for reading.