Satire is fascinating stuff. It’s deadly serious,
and when politics begin to break down,
there is a drift towards satire, because
it’s the only thing that makes any sense.
– Ben Nicholson
It was a long time ago, at least in my mind, so I do not remember every detail, but I remember enough. The summer’s burning rays had started to subside and a chill would overtake the night. My mother sent me upstairs, into the attic, on a mission to retrieve our winter stuff. I did not wish to walk away, but my mother must have thought I had heard enough. My father was mesmerized by the ongoing chaos, and no longer pictured me as his son, but as either a comrade or a enemy, he was unsure since I remained undecided, not wanting to isolate either of them. I was – we all were – transfixed to the radio, since my father had thrown out the television, and the internet did not yet exist. I was home schooled, which made the sociologist later wonder, how in the world I kept my wits about me, at such a young, impressionable age. My mother was always praying for a miracle, wishing it would all just stop. But community after community had drawn lines in the sand, and according to the radio voice, the streets had become war zones, no longer safe to stroll about. I would listen to the rhetoric, then look toward my father and long for the man of reason he had once been. But his vacant eyes told the story: he was blinded by a riddler, bamboozled by a man who had only himself in mind.
The Twilight Zone Theme
CALLING SEAN HANNITY
written & edited by Kendall F. Person
originally published October 2, 2016
The President was much loved, a strong yet compassionate man. But his views, we were told, on church and state had become a part of the government, that were pushing down into our private lives. For better or for worse, no one really knew, mainly because it was untrue and in actuality, nothing in our lives had changed. But once the theories were invented and interjected into the conversation as rumors, they would soon be confirmed as fact, by people we had never heard of. Few would stop to ponder, they just shouted at one another, unintentionally, walking inline of a plan conceived by the opposition’s charismatic leader, who to my mother, sounded more like a nut. He carefully weaved an outrageous tale of deceit, about the President, a good man. As his story picked up steam, he became more confident and empowered, as he would no longer deliver his message, but shove it down our throats, turning fans into fanatics. Something about the President’s religion, being born of science fiction, is all I can remember. But whatever it was, it was enough to convince my father.
When I reached the top of the stairs, I could hear my mother scream, followed by a rebel yell of a man who was once my father. “Did you hear him! Grab the gun! It’s time to fight for our neighborhood!” And just like that, our once prosperous God-fearing and peaceful home, had plunged into a civil war.
When the leader of the opposition, gained control of a fringe radio station, the listening audience would skyrocket and all day long, until my father left, doom and gloom about the safety of our neighborhoods and that he was the only one that could save us, was all we heard. Until the radio voice fell silent, I could hear his destructive message clearly. “It’s time for us to seize the moment, and take back what is ours. And anyone who disagrees, do not hesitate to invoke the Second Amendment, for it is the only way to save their soul.”
My mother backed the President, but the constant onslaught of bizarre stories about him, left her trusting no one. But she had to believe in something, and while the opposition spoke of a return to glory, she was terrified at what a return to glory would mean for us. My father would leave the home, each and every night.The disagreements – like clockwork – arrived over dinner, where both would lose their temper, allowing volcanoes to erupt. Married for over twenty-years, sweethearts since high school, but even now, I cannot comprehend how our house of love, became so divided.
I had not yet turned on the attic light and had no intention to do so. The shouting between my parents, I was use to, but the intensity was more raw and so violent in nature, that I did not notice, the radio voice had disappeared, vanished from the airwaves. I sat down on the floor, in the cold pitch black room. My mind went numb, all emotions abandoned. And still none would come, even when I heard my mother yell, “What are you doing?!” or my father return “Saving your soul!”
Seven shots were fired, although the thud of my mother’s lifeless body hitting the ground, I heard after the third round. Seething with rage, he had emptied the chamber, then opened the door and shouted for our neighbor, who he thought would be on his side.
The neighbor was already en route, as the sounds of gunfire appeared to come from somewhere near our house. When he arrived, the murderer proudly brandished his gun, pointed toward his wife and said, “I got one.” I was not in the room when it all took place, but I can image the look of confused terror upon my father’s face, when our neighbor announced “Oh my God! What have you done? Don’t you understand? His station has been shut down. His inner circle has confessed. It was all a figment of his mind”.
My father stumbled backwards and a dense fog would fill his head. More neighbors arrived on the doorstep and gawked as they looked inside. A full minute would pass before he spoke, but that minute would equate to a lifetime, for during that brief moment of silence, sanity would at last take flight. “No it’s not a lie. The President has you all fooled. Just call Sean Hannity and he’ll tell you too.”
When no one backed him up or made a move toward the phone, my father, exasperated but full of resolve, would drop his gun, pick up the telephone – after stepping over my mom – and stated with self-righteous indignation, “For the love of God, I’m calling Sean Hannity right now.”
Happy Memorial Day Weekend.