From last time: All right, then, folks. Can YOU see anybody around you whose life we must clearly all be revolving around, in his personal holodeck program?
All right, some of you guessed... (and some had heard it before).
I think Bill Maher had it right. "The real exit strategy for the US in Iraq has already begun. Not because the war is won. But because W has begun to get bored with his latest Fantasy Job."
And what that implies may be the scariest possibility of all.
Come on! A youth spent in unbelievable frat boy party-stupor mode, with plenty of geeks to write your term papers while you get to torment em unmercifully.
Then... jet pilot! Wearing a snappy uniform and silk scarf while screeching over the Gulf, taking free flying lessons as you bravely defend your land from... Fidel! And each evening sipping margaritas by the beach, while a million other sons go off to battle Charlie in Nam...
...till that got boring. So then there came a series of other fantasy jobs: political operative, cowboy, oil man... oh!... and then baseball team owner! (The fantasy can't be baseball player, since that's real work.)
...then governor of the great Lone Star State of Texas. Yee haw! (Especially the way it starts, by putting down that Ann Richards bitty, who said all those mean things about people who are born with a silver foot-in-the-mouth. Here's my silver foot, Annie. Yeah!)
All right, so each of these jobs palled after a while. So each time you move on to something else, it means that you leave a train wreck behind you? A trail of steaming failures for others to clean up? Isn't that what nerds are for?
Well, within the simulation, smarty-pants pundits can be diverted, pointing to all sorts of “real world” explanations. Such as cronyism (so?) and Daddy's Friends (and your point is?) and even "genius Carl Rove (take THAT all you Nobel Prize pansies!) as the agents for this amazing string of events. (And that dipwad David Brin can yatter all he wants to, about the "return of boring old aristocratism" and the ultimate crony-subornation-influence of a certain foreign R-oil House. Let him!)
Even crank conspiracy theories only help distract from the real explanation for this incredible run for a fellow who frequently cannot even pronounce the name of his latest fantasy job?
Then there is religion. Isn't being the favorite of God an even better explanation?
Or maybe something a whole lot like God, in the present context? (In that case, haven't you been honest with us all along? Since you are the one who speaks to the Computer?)
If we need a QED for this hypothesis, just look at our situation today. The Presidency is the ultimate fantasy job. Especially if there's no duty, no hard work, no responsibility for outcomes, and none of the worry or care that has prematurely aged so many other occupants of the office.
Instead (since you wrote the holodeck program) you get to take more vacation days than your four most recent predecessors PUT TOGETHER... and have fewer news conferences in 5 years than even McKinley had in one. Take all the money and give it to your friends? Got a problem with that? You win through the weirdest series of accidents and blatant tricks that anyone has seen since cemeteries voted in Chicago? Nu? Accountability? That's for real life, not a holodeck fantasy! Anyway, what's the point in being Commander in Chief if you can't have a cool war? No, not one of those prissy responsible wars, like Clinton's Balkans Campaign. (No US deaths and all objectives achieved in two months? Where's the fun in that?)
No, for THIS war you'll bring back one of Daddy's pals, the guy who oversaw our final humiliation in Vietnam and always muttered that he never really had a chance to prove himself. Good old Rummy. In this new simulation gameworld, he'll SHOW all those wise-guy nerds that you don't need a plan, or skill, or to act responsibly, or study the enemy, or any of that boring professional stuff, in order to kick ass!
And still all the smarty pants fail to catch on. (Actually, that damned computer glitch, Al Gore, seems to have noticed something. His most recent speech even called today's America a "weird alternate reality." But then, Gore was designed to be the ultimate nerd. What a hoot to watch him squirm and almost get it!)
(Here's something interesting. Why would any alien or future uber-human want to pretend to be someone like this? No, what we see in the very nature of this fantasy puts parameter-limits on the identity of the customer in the holodeck. It very probably REALLY IS George W Bush... at some time mid-singularity, probably just twenty years from now, choosing to re-live life the way it ought to have gone. Otherwise, why all the cheap grudges, so localized and petty? Probably a great way to distract one's self and forget about the galling re-election of World Modernist Mediator Chelsea Clinton....)
All right, there's a limit to how much a holodeck can do. There are some basic rules of cause and effect in a closed system that even fantastic doses of "luck" cannot overcome. As Bill Maher points out, the treasury is empty, the Army is used up, the storms have arrived at long last. (Ignore the prissy Holodeck Computer as it mutters stuff about Butterfly Effects or pent up balance of forces...)
So what next, now that the Presidency is starting to pall? Maher suggests that you appoint yourself to the US Astronaut Corps. Talk about the next fantasy job!
But the shuttle seems so, well, constrained and limited. Not at all like Star Wars. (Dang! Should have dropped in a few more quarters and made sure there were better space ships in this world.)
So what's next? My best guess is that the next fantasy job for George W. Bush will be Movie Producer! There's no end of fun to be had there. Nerdy writers to wedgie. And all the sobriety stuff can finally get tossed, phew!
But not yet. There are still smartyass intellectuals and professionals out there. In fact, they appear to be closing in. (Cruddy #$@$*&! 37% popularity rating; what do #$#@! pollsters know.) So how many years are left?
The Pardon-every-crony festival isn't scheduled till 2008. And Armageddon isn't programmed in the Holodeck simulation till 2012! So what to do in the meantime?
Well, there is always S&S... Sulk & Spite. When in doubt, start giving more wedgies! And what better way to show that you don't care what smarty pantses think than to go eenie-meenie-miney-mo when it comes time to appoint a Supreme Court Justice!
(Well? What are you all going to do about it? Ha! I can do anything I want.)
Well, that brings us up to date.
The evidence is clear. We are all ciphers and background figures in the lifelong simulation-illusion weaved by a a grouchy-bitter old man (or cranky boy) with a pile of issues and with a whole lot of quarters to drop into the Holodeck slot.
It's the only explanation that makes any sense. And there's not much that we... or even Al Gore... can do about it.
But I know how to fix him.
Turn zombie. All march on the White House and slur "Yeeeeth Math-ter!"
At least we can take all the fun out of it.