When truth is stranger than fiction
We’re only a few short days away from the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. It’s such a crazy idea that for years it was nothing more that a bit from an old episode of The Simpsons that has now proved to be eerily prescient.
Speaking of eerie, one newspaper decided to have a little fun with its official TV listing for coverage of Trump’s inauguration. Reviewer Damien Love understands that much of the world still wants to believe that this bizarre, and potentially tragic event, isn’t really happening. So, in his column for Scotland’s Sunday Herald, he chalked the whole thing up as just another wacky episode of the cult classic show “The Twilight Zone”:
After a long absence, The Twilight Zone returns with one of the most ambitious, expensive and controversial productions in broadcast history. Sci-fi writers have dabbled often with alternative history stories – among the most common is the “What If The Nazis Had Won The Second World War” setting – but this huge interactive virtual reality project, which will unfold on TV, in the press, and on Twitter over the next four years, sets out to build an ongoing alternative present. The story begins in a nightmarish version of 2017 in which huge sections of the US electorate have somehow been duped into voting to make Donald Trump president. It sounds far-fetched, and it is, but as it goes on it becomes more and more chillingly plausible. Today’s feature-length opener concentrates on the gaudy inauguration of President Trump, and the stirrings of protest and despair surrounding the ceremony, while pundits speculate gravely on what lies ahead. It’s a flawed piece, but a disturbing glimpse of the horrors we could stumble into, if we’re not careful.
Back in the days when The Twilight Zone was in its original run, this little gag would have simply disappeared into the ether forever after making a few people innocently grin. But in the age of viral media, this tongue in cheek dab of “fake news” ended up becoming a real bit of news after several notable online personalities like George Takei shared a photo of the column, which quickly went viral, topping the forums on user-driven sites like Reddit.
The Herald even had to write its own follow-up, acknowledging that the humorous bit had created a “world reaction.” And it’s not like Scotland hasn’t had its own bad taste of Trump in recent times. During the 2016 election, Trump took a break from campaigning to attend a event at one of his golf courses in Scotland. Along the way, he managed to offend many in the country by falsely claiming Scots endorsed Brexit (they didn’t). And more recently, after promising to end any foreign dealings with his Trump organization, it was announced by The Donald himself that he’s planning an expansion of that very same Scottish course. It appears we truly are entering uncharted territory. If only we still had Rod Serling to gently guide us back to the safer confines of the reality we once took for granted.