Year Zero


We are now well into February, and I confess to having been too dismayed by the events of the last three months to have written anything here at all.  I had been using this as a blog to discuss issues of teaching, particularly of teaching writing, but I am changing  my focus somewhat.

A few years ago, there was a movie called Panic in the Year Zero.  It was a post holocaust type SF film, and the idea was that the world had been so completely trashed that it no longer had anything in common with the previous world.  Hence, they restarted the calendar at the year zero.

All of my posts from now on will be from the Year Zero.

Our First Trillionaire

Sources today revealed that U.S. President Donald (aka da Vlad) Trumpaev recently signed papers for the sale of the United States to Russia.  Mr. Putin and Mr. Trumpaev had negotiated the deal at great length (“A deal’s a deal,” said Mr. Trumpaev, “and I’m Realtor-in-Chief”) one evening several years ago whilst serially assaulting barmaids during a Moscow pub-crawl.  At that time, the trillion-odd-dollar sum that Mr. Trumpaev named seemed exorbitant, but today, with Russia’s newfound oil wealth, the deal can be easily made.

“But isn’t this a conflict of interest?” reporters asked Mr. Trumpaev.  “Ask him,” Mr. Trumpaev said, pointing to Mr. Putin, who shook his head. “No, that expression does not translate into Russian, actually.  But it’s a lot of rubles,” said Mr. Putin.  “Da Vlad and I will make it back as we put America to work again!”

When asked to elaborate on Mr. Putin’s remarks, “Da Vlad” said that he intended to have “not just 100% employment, but 150% employment.”  The explanation for this is that workers will soon be required to work a 60-hour work week. “Four fifteen-hour days are a piece of cake.  For me, six fifteen-hour days is actually a normal work week,” said Mr. Trumpaev, “followed of course by a full day of [deleted] grabbing and wild [deleted].  In addition, the drones—uh, the working class—you know, the 99 per centers—they’ll all soon be working for the state anyway to rebuild the infrastructure.”

The workers will need to find out what work is ideal for them, and they will be bought and traded and sold, much as are, say, Major League Baseball players.

But how will this function on a national scale?  Mr Trumpaev was asked.

“You remember how the South was organized prior to the Civil War?” he responded, smiling.  “It will be similar to that, though not so bleeding heart liberal as that was.  We need to get some work done.”

Mr. Putin said that Eastern Russia (what is currently known as the United States) will have to be reorganized entirely, with the elimination of state lines, the centralization of “everything,” the end of all private enterprise, and the deployment of millions of government troops to hold down the rioting, looting, and protesting expected during the transition.

“It won’t be ‘shoot to kill,’” Mr. Putin noted, just “widespread poison gas, microwave bombardment, and germ weapon deployment.  It’s not only that you don’t want to be involved in protests,” Mr. Putin pointed out; “You don’t want to be within scores of kilometers of them.  Remember, we kept the smallpox virus alive for a reason.”

Asked what good could possibly result from killing large numbers of protesters, Mr. Putin referenced an old science fiction movie.  “Maybe you’ve seen Soylent Green?” he asked, and then threw his head back and laughed heartily.  “I’ll have a Hillary burger!” (In the 1973 film, food was made from processed human bodies.)

Downing a tumbler of vodka that one of his aides offered him momentarily sobered the Leader.  “You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs,” Mr. Putin pointed out, “or if you can, it won’t be worth eating,” he added, chortling again, since it’s well-known that in public feeding houses, large amounts of scrambled eggs are prepared by just crushing the eggs, shells and all, and mixing the slurry over the stove.  “Make eggs grate again,” he added, nearly convulsed with laughter. “You hear it all the time.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Trumpaev, turning toward his wife, Melanianova, and his four Russian teenage supermodel mistresses, laughed when asked about the “future of America.” “War is too serious a business to be left to the generals,” I decided.  “So why go to war?  Why not have peace with the whole world?  Why not make America great again?  That’s G-R-E-A-T.  You don’t know how to say that in Russian.  Yet.”  He reached over and rapidly fondled the ten breasts that had suddenly spilled out from his companions’ skimpy bodices.  “Yesyesyesyesyesyesyes,” he exclaimed, quoting from James Joyce’s Ulysses.

The sale has yet to be approved by Congress, but it should pass smoothly through both houses, especially given that so many lawmakers (almost all of them democrats, coincidentally) have recently fallen gravely ill or passed away, stricken with some virulent, as-yet-to-be-identified virus.

As for the exact nature of government after the sale goes through, Mr. Putin explained that it would be a “co-leadership” between him and Mr. Trumpaev.  “It is sort of like a King and Queen on the throne,” he explained, “though here there are two kings. Actually,” he paused, and looked off into the middle distance, “it would probably be better to think of us, the two Vladimirs, as simply twin deities.”

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