A tip for you smart shoppers: All I want for Christmas this year is a one-way ticket out of Looneyville — a fast flight out of this goofy dystopian landscape that feels like equal parts George Orwell, Philip K. Dick and Dr. Seuss.

You know what I’m talking about. Somehow we all woke up in a time when a celebrity billionaire is president and half the population is running around screaming that it’s the Ruskies’ fault.

Yep, the Russians. The CIA has declared that the Red Menace conspired to rig the American election in favor of Donald Trump, and who would know more about election rigging than the CIA? 

Of course, in the weeks before the election, government officials and the media were falling all over themselves declaring that our elections could not be rigged. It was foolish to think such a thing. The voting system is secure, they insisted.

Then Trump won and, well, you can’t blame everything on Bernie Sanders, the FBI and those horrible, uneducated voters in the flyover states.

Fake news, they say, that’s what caused this carnival mess. Never mind that the mainstream media has been taken over by a very small handful of corporations with special interests — it’s the other guys you have to worry about. It’s the Russians, you see, and their assassin propagandists spreading lies on YouTube and Facebook.

News anchor Brian Williams has been delivering stern lectures on the perils of fake news, and just you never mind that Iraq helicopter incident he outright lied about. Do as I say, not as I do — or something.

Hillary Clinton has been all over the place also, decrying the dangers of fake news and the alternative media. And just you forget about Hillary’s own foray into the world of make believe, and those personal scandals, so numerous that they seem to rise one after another like tissues out of a box.

Fake news, they insist, it’s everywhere you turn. Except, you know: CNN, The Washington Post, FOX, the New York Times. Those folks you can trust because, reasons.

And in the interest of getting those tried-and-true news sources back on top, some completely random college professor published a list of alternative news sites that should be avoided at all costs because — you see where this is going, right? — they’re probably being controlled by the Russians! Several mainstream publications agreed at once with the completely random college professor and promptly re-published the list so that their own readers could avoid falling prey to those crafty Ruskies.

The Senate, meanwhile, is mulling a bill called — because when things get really serious, you simply must  create laws with Orwellian titles — The “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act,” which will empower the government to decide what is real news and what is not, and to punish or shut down any sources it considers suspect. The act will also provide gobs of money to a special team of “journalists” who will be tasked with countering the so-called fake news with news the government has deemed legit.

It is at once hilarious and horrifying. Mostly the latter.

Of course, half the news we get these days seems to come from some shadowy figure living in exile — with occasional visits from a “Baywatch” star — in a London embassy. WikiLeaks, they call it, and if you don’t think that sounds like something from the mind of Dr. Seuss, you need to go back and study your “Green Eggs and Ham,” Sam I am.

These WikiLeaks include the purloined emails of top government officials, including Clinton, including her campaign manager, including the president himself. Because we live in a goofy, dystopian age, remember, where our government infrastructure is so fragile, they can’t even keep their own emails secure.

Among other things revealed by WikiLeaks: a suggestion that the nation may be run by child-sacrificing Satan worshipers who operate out of a D.C. pizza joint, an idea that would have been restricted to supermarket tabloids five years ago but which has gone mainstream in this new age of anything goes.

Why not? Hasn’t the world proven to us over and again that in these strange days, truly anything is possible? We’ve got cars driving themselves. We’ve got presidents mingling with the serfs on Twitter and drones flying all over the skies. We’ve got surveillance cameras on every corner, as Orwell predicted; police dabbling in the concept of pre-crime, as Dick predicted, and I’ll bet if you search through the complete works of Seuss, you’ll find something that crazy, rhyming fellow prognosticated with eerie precision as well.

If you’re just handing out wishes for Christmas, I’d really like to know in what or whom we can trust. In this age where manipulations, propaganda and secret agendas seem to rule everything, to whom can we turn for clear-headed truth?

Some of you believe in Hillary; some believe in Trump. Some believe in Assange, Snowden, Colbert and Snopes, while others still believe anything they see on the evening news. God bless you, people — that’s a blissful way to live.

Me, I don’t trust any of them so the best I can hope for is a return to the willful naiveté I embraced in years gone by. In Naiveté Land, the world is a sane place where most men are honest and true evil is resigned to works of fiction. In Naivete Land, you won’t go mad trying to pluck pebbles of truth from the mountains of lies.

George Carlin said: “I don’t really have an emotional stake in the outcome anymore. I’m going to enjoy this **** as a spectator. It’s an interesting, exciting thing to watch if you can detach yourself emotionally.”

Maybe that’s the answer. Maybe the world is less frustrating and dismal if you just sit back and watch our descent into lunacy as one would watch a movie, knowing that there will be chaos and drama and that there’s nothing much you can do about it.

Or as Seuss put it:

“And this mess is so big, and so deep and so tall, we cannot pick it up. There is no way at all.”

Mark LaFlamme is a Sun Journal staff writer. Undoubtedly, Big Brother is watching him and reading his emails at [email protected]


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