Vol 1 Issue 5
One Hundred Forty Characters
The bill finally passed. It made it to the President’s desk coincidentally at the same time as the last journalist was ‘retired,’ and the President wasted no time signing it. Hence forth and forever across the vast American Empire and its dependencies, no longer would anyone be able to utter, write, broadcast, text, sign or otherwise disseminate more than one hundred-forty characters. One hundred-forty max, or due consequences would be faced.
The act’s second clause stated that words longer than three syllables or eight letters were banned. Google announced its plan to update the search thingy. Sergey Brin filed papers to change his name to something less Indian sounding. Since all foreign languages (outside of Queens) were also banned, Babble filed for Chapter 7. It became illegal to discriminate against a person’s inability to write or speak in complete sentences; this was known as the Donald clause.
True democracy had been achieved. Zucked, indeed.
The riots in Boston, Seattle and San Francisco had been swiftly put down by the Texas National Guard. Men under the age of twenty-five were required to serve their country for two years digging coal in West Virginia. The country’s universities were repurposed and turned over to New York real estate developers for condos. The Wharton School of Business remained, offering a degree in tax avoidance by family trusts. Women professors had their heads shaved and were married off to Montana pig farmers; the five remaining ISIS veterans were brought in to oversee the operation. The victors in Kansas and Florida were dancing in their Walmart and abandoned Sears parking lots. Book burnings were proceeding apace in South Carolina. No one was to feel inadequate again! The word, dumb was outlawed.
It had been long in coming. In fact, ten years since the then-Prez proclaimed fake news was ruining the country. When he used to warn about the evils of immigration, the pundits attacked him with their logic and their words. The current occupant of the White House no longer had to put up with that shit. The last of the writers had been humiliated (aka taken out). In fact, President Pence, after a long prayer session with his cabinet, announced he’d been abiding by the bill’s language all along, and his cabinet of white men agreed to never shave their beards.
Jeff Bezos was mandated to sell the Washington Post to Sun Myung Moon and flown out to sea on a drone to live on the floating mass of debris known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. His wife, Mackenzie was sent along as good measure. Accompanying the drone was a large Amazon shipping container to be used as their house.
The act’s third clause outlawed hyphenated names. Real Anglo Saxons didn’t need them. As her last act as a US Congressperson, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declared she would go into exile in Puerto Rica. President Pence announced he would break all association with the island, so FEMA could stop helping shit hole countries. Finally!
All that flowery stuff that degreed people claimed as literature—gone. Now the world that mattered could get down to business. Montana pig farmers could clear the last forests and plant corn without reporting to Washington. Big Pharma could go about testing how much fentanyl could be “taken up” in a heroin solution, testing it on unemployed Medicaid patients in secret. No real Americans would be harmed in the experiment. The Grand Canyon would be sold to China for a theme park to be named the “Almost Big As The Three Gorges Dam.” The legal profession was sent en mass to reeducation camps for training in tax avoidance via real estate development. China agree to build the camps alongside the ones already in Xinjiang Province, and Putin promised to build a high rise hotel in Moscow for his contribution.
Big Pharma was declared a protected class by the act’s fourth clause.
The act’s fifth and sixth clauses make it a felony to a) kiss anyone of the same sex, or b) kiss a person of a different skin tone. The latter was easily enforced by demand of a driver’s license, with genetic code printed in block letters on the back. Women were refused the right to drive, as Prez Pence ordained, nor to be seen in public without male escorts. The Saudis declared their support and accidentally ordered the remaining royal family be killed.
Murdoch’s News Corporation, as the sole owner of all radio frequencies and satellites, was put in charge of the law’s enforcement, with profits going to Mar-a-Lago as the nation’s first Presidential Palace. The Pope was banned from ever speaking as was the Dalai Lama who by this time was two hundred-fifty years old. Barack and Hilary were exiled to a penal colony on Bikini Atoll, and Kaepernick was shaved bald and banned from ever lifting weights again. The Democratic Party changed its name to Dems as mandated, and all three members were fingerprinted.
Looking back, it was shocking to reflect on how much had occurred previously in the name of personal freedom, the licentiousness (very bad ways) and the snobbery of the coastal elites, bleeding hearts and darkies alike. The remaining parts of New York City were turned over to Russian oligarchs for investment condos, and the Statue of Liberty was recast in the image of an Eastern European model raising a roman candle in one hand, and clutching filing papers for an Immigrant Investor visa in the other.
From that day hence, America the Beautiful would shine from sea to rising sea.