Thursday, January 18, 2018

Chicanonautica: Trumptopia Update 2018

Awk! 2018 A.D. is here. Has been for a few weeks. I’m still not used to it. I seem to remember publishing a few things in 2017, but it’s mostly a weird blur.

And we’re almost the end of Year One of Trumptopia. Or should it be the Year Zero? I’m not sure of anything these days. Or should that be daze?

Emily and I took our nephew Miles on another Arizona outback used-bookstore hunt amid a broken-winged Archangel St. Michael, domesticated giant ants, the Mogollon Monster, and a shrine to Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, and Mexican beer. Buñueloid? Felliniesque? Jodrowskyian? 

I used to think it was just me, but lately the whole world is like that. Like that folk/rocker who won the Nobel prize said, “The times, the times are a-changing." By 2020, it’ll seem like a different world.

Meanwhile, back in Trumptopia (is it the entire planet now? Or just a state of mind? He is in a hurry to get to Mars . . .), El Presidente is holding the dreamers hostage for wall-building bucks. What ever happened to charging Mexico? Why was his son wearing a sombrero at a Mexican restaurant?

And Trump is comparing nuclear buttons with Kim Jong-Un even though there is no such a thing. People can’t tell fact from fiction, or metaphors from reality. How many people can you kill with your metaphor?

The good thing is I don’t see any fascist state being built. The alt-right likes to do politically incorrect trash talk from the safety of the social media, but they balk when it comes to putting on the jackboots and creating a new world order, which is another good thing. We should all keep laughing at their tiki torches.

And Steve Bannon quit Breitbart. I keep having to update this as I write . . . 

Another good thing is that America is a-changing in some pretty damn Anti-Trumptopian ways.

First, there’s the emergence of that black and brown middle class--a story that nobody is reporting. That’s why Disney/Marvel/DC keep throwing Afrofuturistic riffs into their corporate mix. And a humble Chicano sci-fi writer stands a chance in the modern market. I see it throughout Aztlán: clean-cut black and brown millennials behind the computers, tapping away to get your business taken care of--our society can’t function without them. It’s especially apparent in California.

Speaking of which, California has taken a giant leap into a brave new world, by following Colorado’s lead and legalizing recreational marijuana. Even in backassward Arizona there are medical marijuana businesses everywhere--seeing them makes me feel like I’ve slid into New Wave spec fic from the Sixties. It’s like the Acapulco Gold commercials in Norman Spinrad’s Bug Jack Barron.

And it looks like Trump may be taken down by a book. Yes, kids, books have power. Has a sitting president ever filed a cease-and-desist order against a number one bestseller before? Are writers going to be safe?

I remember back during the George W. Bush administration, I was working at Borders (another relic from a bygone era) and the bestseller books--and shelves-- were full of anti-Bush books. He didn’t try to stop them. But his supporters could come in and scream at us that we were being biased against him. Then there was the woman who needed me to tell her how to tell a satirical book from a serious one . . .

Uh-oh, gotta update again. Trump-pardoned, ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio is running for the Arizona Senate! And saying that Obama’s birth certificate is “a phony document.”

And what? People want Oprah to run for president?

I just had a flashforward to being in a voting booth, having to choose between Joe and Oprah . . .

Stop me before I have to update again!

It’s all so . . . I need a new word. “Surrealistic” just isn’t strong enough.

What kind of hole was that again?

Ernest Hogan is wondering if someday his satirical science fiction will be considered documentaries.

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