Global finance in total meltdown. Major cities half obliterated. Peak oil (and peak helium, platinum, indium, zinc, copper, phosphorous…). Deteriorating soil quality in the heartland, and plummeting water tables — in fact, water shortages everywhere. Polar ice caps disappearing. Fishing stocks depleted. Our protective global magnetic field weakening. Vast methane clouds pouring out of their ancient undersea vaults. The U.S. Constitution in tatters.
Not that long ago, when my friends and I would get together and discuss our biggest concerns, they were along the lines of, “With the world so peaceful and prosperous, how will we keep our kids (when we have some) from growing up into spoiled trust-fund brats?” We were looking for solutions a little more subtle than worldwide strife and deprivation to teach them some humility, but I guess worldwide strife and deprivation will have to do. It worked for “the greatest generation,” after all. (Careful what you wish for!)
Honestly, it’s almost worth it to see everything turning to shit all at once, just to be able to say that, when I warned four years ago that the world couldn’t afford another four years of George Bush — that no scenario of devastation was too far-fetched — I was exactly right. It wasn’t hyperbole when I said George Bush could destroy the world. He now has.
Of course the destruction of the world could have taken many different forms. Here’s one way I’ve thought it might happen. Don’t you just know that this is exactly how Bush would respond to this kind of crisis? Imagine with me now…
EXT. GOLF COURSE - DAY AIDE Mr. President, Space Command has detected an extrasolar object in a geoconverging orbit, exhibiting nonballistic maneuvering capability. Here's the report: "Alien starship will reach earth in three months." BUSH "Space Command"? We have one of those? You're shitting me. AIDE Yes sir, but the report -- BUSH OK, you've covered your ass. Now watch this drive. INT. UNDISCLOSED LOCATION AUTO EXEC Dammit, Dick, these new CAFE rules are killing us. Building more fuel-efficient cars adds almost a full percent more to the cost of manufacture! ASSISTANT But the public wants these cars and will pay a premium -- AUTO EXEC The public? Bah! You're fired! ASSISTANT But the free market -- AUTO EXEC Get out! ...Sorry you had to see that, Dick. CHENEY I know how it is with these kids who "care." Say, don't I remember reading something highly classified about an alien starship...? AUTO EXEC A what?! CHENEY Oh it's probably nothing... except it's just what the doctor ordered for your fuel-efficiency problems. AUTO EXEC Thanks Dick, you're the best. CHENEY Yes. Yes I am. Fuck you. INT. OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT BUSH My fellow Americans, an alien spaceship is approaching earth. It will arrive in two months. Top scientists have analyzed it and determined it is likely that its intent is hostile. I urge the Congress to release one point six trillion dollars to fund my planetary defense program. In the meantime, this government is taking all possible steps to ensure the safety of all Americans. I have suspended fuel-efficiency rules so that automobile manufacturers can, ah, include lead shielding in the passenger cabins of all new automobiles as protection against, er, a possible alien death ray. INT. PRESS ROOM - DAY MILBANK Yes, Harvey? HARVEY What is the president's response to reports that MIT scientists have deciphered transmissions from the alien ship and determined its mission is peaceful? MILBANK The president sees through that transparent ruse. I direct your attention to this report, released yesterday by the NSA, pointing out that Al Qaeda operatives received the same transmissions. HARVEY Of course they did, everyone on earth rec -- MILBANK Next question -- Paul? INT. U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES - DAY A REPUBLICAN Madame Speaker, I move to end debate and vote on the proposal to release the one-point-six-trillion dollars that our commander-in-chief requires to defeat the Al Qaeda terror spaceship. PELOSI Very well. If there be any opposed to the proposal to fund the president's Al Qaeda space-defense program -- KUCINICH Hang on, that spaceship has nothing to do with Al -- PELOSI Shut up, Kucinich. (bangs gavel) Without objection, the measure passes. INT. ALIEN STARSHIP LIEUTENANT Commander, sensors indicate a massive missile launch from the planet's surface. COMMANDER Target? LIEUTENANT Computing... sir, I don't understand. The missiles are heading straight for us, but -- CUT TO: INT. WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM ADVISOR (frantically) --those missiles don't have enough fuel! It's what I've been trying to tell you! They're intercontinental missiles, they can't even achieve low earth orbit, let alone-- CUT TO: INT. ALIEN STARSHIP LIEUTENANT --our geostationary orbit is far out of range. COMMANDER (sighs) I had hoped for a cultural exchange, but I can see these people are both warlike and stupid. Incinerate planet. LIEUTENANT Aye sir... planet incinerated.
Let’s hope that if aliens do come — or whatever the next disaster is — it’s not in the next seventy-seven days.