or, the Post-Modern Profanity

   Thunder cracked in the heavens, while lightning lit up the sky and the earth below. Yes, a dark and stormy night. In a laboratory at a secluded mansion, political scientists worked feverishly. They called themselves the Doctors, and they were attempting to create the perfect post-modern (mean) Republican from lifeless matter. To do this they would stitch together old, dead conservative ideas: tax cuts for the rich increase government revenues, less burdensome environmental regulations, lower wages and benefits for workers, poor people are unworthy, rampant sexism, and No Coloreds. The thing on the slab was loathsome, barely resembling a human at all, but rather a bloated whale washed ashore by some cruel storm. They had attached a dead marmot to its scalp, to give some semblance of hair.
   “Why are the hands so small?” asked Dr. B.
   “You know what they say. Small hands, small . . .” He lifted up the sheet. “Have you seen its equipment?”
   “Good Lord,” laughed Dr. B.
   “Yes. The last thing we want is this thing multiplying. One is all we need.”
   “Well, how do we animate it?” asked Dr. C.
   Dr. A replied: “Simple. I’ll attach these electrodes to the heart, and —“
   “We didn’t give it a heart, remember?” said Dr. D.
   “Oh, right. A Republican with a heart would just be a liability.”
   “Wait,” said Dr. C. “I’ve got an idea.” He got close to the thing and yelled, “Freedom!” There was no response. “Free market capitalism!” Still nothing. Dr. D commented on how tall and powerful it looked. The creature opened its eyes. Playing a hunch, he continued, “And the hair really does look good.”
   The creature sat up and spoke: “I know words. I have the best words, believe me. You know, many people are saying I’m like, a smart person.”
   “Alive . . . alive . . . it’s ALIVE!” exclaimed Dr. F.
   “Verbal skills, check.” Said Dr. A. “Stand up and take a few steps.”
   The creature stood, and lumbered across the room like a tired old man.
   “Motor skills . . . adequate.”
   “Okay,” said Dr. A. “Let’s get it into a dark suit with a really long red tie.”
   Having dressed the creature, hey told it to remain, and the Doctors retired to the parlor to celebrate with some brandy. A few minutes later they heard a huge crash from the laboratory, and their assistant Eyegore rushed into the room.
   “It’s gone!” he cried. “It’s escaped!” They ran to the laboratory to find a large hole in the wall. They stood there, looking out into the dark, stormy night.   “What do we do now?” asked Dr. D. “How are we going to track him?”
   Dr. B looked at the TV set mounted on the wall. “Let’s try CNN.”

   The creature began rampaging across the political landscape. It declared it was running for president, and began receiving large amounts of funding from private sources, although the Russians were suspected. It gave speeches to large crowds of poorly educated folks, and later it would say, “We love the poorly educated!” It had red trucker hats printed with the message: “Make America Mean Again.” It declared: “Me build bigly wall!” It joined the Primary Debates and immediately attacked the other candidates, Little Marco, Lyin’ Ted, and Low-Energy Jeb. The more viciously it attacked, the more people liked it. This was something new, different than the political establishment. They wanted someone who would shake things up. The media noticed that the creature got huge ratings — HUGE! — so they covered everything it did, every foul utterance it spewed, every 3:00 A.M. tweet it sent.

   “How did it learn to tweet?” asked Dr. C.
   “Steve Bannon probably taught it,” said Dr. B.
   “It seems awfully aggressive,” said Dr. E.
   “And it’s speaking with a 4th grade vocabulary,” said Dr. A, looking concerned. “I wonder if there’s neurological damage of some kind.”

   The Fiend continued lashing out at anyone who criticized it. It insulted the Muslim parents of a fallen American soldier. Then it mocked a disabled reporter. It demanded that the NFL fire black athletes who knelt during the anthem It attacked news networks: “Media bad! Unfair! FAKE NEWS!” It blamed all the problems of the country on the previous president, a black man. It seemed to have a disdain and animosity towards people of color. It swore in front of the Boy Scouts. It even attacked the leaders of its own party. Most horribly, it crudely groped women’s genitals at will, with its tiny little hands.

   The Doctors were appalled. “This isn’t the creature we set out to create,” cried Dr. B.”
   “You’re right,” said Dr. A. “Verbal skills have deteriorated. Something has gone terribly wrong. Bring Eyegore in.”
   The hunchbacked, misshapen assistant shuffled in, and the Doctors motioned for him to sit. He regarded them suspiciously with one lazy eye.
   “Now, Eyegore,” Doctor A began, “That wasn’t the brain of Ronald Reagan that we put into the creature, was it?”
   “No, master.”
   “Would you mind telling us whose brain we did put in?”
   “It was Abby something.”
   “Abby something.” The doctor stroked his beard. “Abby who?”
   “Abby . . . Normal.”
   “Abby Normal.”
   “I’m almost sure that was the name,” said Eyegore.

   “Are you telling me that we put an abnormal brain into a 350 pound, morbidly obese monster? IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE TELLING ME?”

   As the creature crashed through the metaphorical forest of tweets, media, and political punditry, it came to a lake. A little girl was playing near the water. She suddenly looked up and said, “My name’s Hillary. Will you play with me?”
“Crooked Hillary!” it roared, and threw her into the water, then stalked back into the forest. Fortunately, her pantsuit trapped enough air to keep her afloat until she could make her way back to the shore, then she hid in the woods. Somehow, against all odds, the creature won the election, and would be the next president. Who knew there were so many voters with Abby Normal brains?

   Back at the mansion, the Doctors were in shock. “This is terrible!” moaned Dr.
B. “Does anyone else know that we did this?”
   “I don’t think so,” replied Dr. A, “and let’s just keep it that way.”
Doctor C mused, “This thing wouldn’t even make a good apprentice.”

   The creature tried to pass off as human by marrying a Slovenian pole dancer. It picked the worst possible people for Cabinet positions, and alienated our oldest and most faithful allies with its insults. It called the leader of North Korea Little Rocket Man, and threatened to unleash a nuclear war with “fire and fury.” This grotesque mockery of a man seemed to desecrate everything good and decent that America used to stand for. It committed acts so foul and disgusting they cannot be mentioned in polite company. It even tried to take away people’s health care. It was horrible, most horrible.
   For some reason, there was a shortage of angry villagers with torches and pitchforks. The closest thing were some of the creature’s neo-Nazi supporters who burned Tiki torches and frightened people. Party leaders were terrified of it, too, and worried that if they removed the creature from power, the neo-Nazis might shoot them. The Democrats, who unfortunately were all born without spines or testicles, made tiny pleas, but they spoke so softly that no one could hear them. And to this day the monster remains at large, leading us to ask if this is how the world will end, not with a bang or a whimper, but with a tweet.

[Note: January 1st, 2018 will be the 200th anniversary of the first printing of Mary Shelley’s Gothic horror classic, Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus. Because women weren’t considered to be on an intellectual level with men, the book was published anonymously. This little diversion is my way of honoring Mary’s life and her work]


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