“Great!” Chapter Two
“Great!” my new satire of American Values unveiled here last week was such a hit with the people, I figure I might be on to something. Finally, after so many years of comic obscurity, my dark sense of humor is resonating with millions.
I was worried that my satire was a bit too on-the-nose, maybe somewhat tacky and hacky. On the contrary, the book’s hero, a character I created called President Great, is possibly my most subtle critique of the Consume and Acquire ethos I’ve been whinging about in print for the past decade or so. And it’s weird: every time I try to test the limits of the joke, every time I have him doing something in the book that in real life most reasonable people would find absurd, many millions of people don’t find it absurd at all.
I’m working now on Chapter Two. Like in the movies, a book like “Great!” needs to raise the stakes. I think I can accomplish that by testing the limits of human decency. So, as my plot continues to unfold, President Great appoints his Chief Strategist, a kooky lovebug affectionately known as Mr. World Peace, to a seat on the National Security Council. Members of his party don’t challenge President Great’s judgment. They nod and smile, a kind of chorus of bedazzled idiots, who I’m thinking of eliminating somewhere later in the book, perhaps by an Executive Order.
When last we saw him making America conform to his image of himself, President Great had ordered the construction of a wall on the border between the United States and Mexico, withdrew funding for sanctuary cities and global organizations that provide abortion counseling or referrals, and launched a “voter fraud” investigation that revealed members of his family and staff to be election fraudsters registered in multiple states.
This week, I have him reviving from the dead several hated tar-sand pipeline projects, which run through sensitive tribal lands. This decree is issued contemporaneously with the CEO of Global Oil becoming President Great’s new Secretary of State. (Too ludicrous? I’m willing to tone that one down some.) Then, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, President Great issues a self-congratulatory statement that doesn’t mention Jews.
Funny stuff, I know. But stay tuned. I’ve got more comedy magic up my authorial sleeve. In Chapter Three, I’ll start introducing several minor characters who orbit around President Great (secret service code name, Sun God). That includes President Great’s choices to lead America’s Departments and Agencies — like the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency, folks who strenuously disagree with their Department’s mission. And his son-in-law. And the Speaker of the House, who one day wakes up and finds he can no longer look at himself in the mirror.
“Great!” may not be to everyone’s taste, that’s for sure. But you’ve got to admit: at least it’s hilarious.