I usually blog on Sundays. All this week, I had no clue what I’d write about this Sunday, but then, it turned out I didn’t have to think about it. I received an email from myself. It is dated 2025, and I have no reason or inclination to doubt its veracity. So, take it away, future me:
Dear World of 2017,
I remember being a (now much younger) man and feeling the overwhelming sense of relief when Barack Obama took the oath to become the 44th President in 2009. It came after a long period of nonsense that we never thought would end. It seemed like Aretha Franklin’s hat was telling us that the good times would be here to stay.
I don’t need to tell you that the good times eventually went away. If my calculations are correct, you’re going to receive this note only a few hours before things are going to get much, much worse*. It stings, it’s scary, and it feels like things are only going to get even worse from here on in.
They will get worse, but like all things—including the radiation from the plutonium-powered MacBook I used to write this missive—it will eventually wear off.
Things are going to get weirder, too. Think the whole Russian hooker thing felt like a trip into an alternate dimension**? Just wait until you get to the mongoose incident in 2020. It’s… No, I won’t ruin the surprise.
But the day is coming—and maybe sooner than you think—when some dazed and weary reporter will type the words “Donald Trump entered the lame duck phase of his presidency today…” I hope it feels as good to read those words as it will in a few short years, and as it still feels to type them now.
It feels terrible right now, but to paraphrase Ed Harris in Apollo 13 (1995)*** this won’t be the worst disaster we’ve ever experienced, it will be one of our finest hours. We’ve survived worse than bad Presidents. If we survived the giant snake monster from Alpha Epsilon V, we can survive anything.
Wait, has the snake monster thing not happened yet? I’m getting my dates confused…
Anyway, things will be harder than they were before, but harder isn’t impossible. The challenge is to make the ascension of Donald Trump nothing more than a sad footnote, and not the irrefutable turning point he so desperately wants it to be.
Need some non-paradox-creating prescriptions for the next several years?
Take care of each other.
Don’t buy into the crap the currently-powerful are flinging.
When the time comes***, fight for what you know is right.
Above all else, prize your critical thinking skills more than Rey prized her eight-bladed light saber in Episode IX: Balance of the Whills.
I know we can do it; I’ve seen it. Until we see each other again: I’ll see you soon*****.
*On the off-chance I miss the mark, and this message somehow reaches the Hillary Clinton campaign anytime before October, 2016: MICHIGAN! Dear sweet, jeebus, keep your eye on Michigan… Why am I not sending the message then and there anyway? The Cubs winning the pennant disrupted the Space-Time Continuum too much. I’d explain it more, but I’d have to draw a diagram, and who has that kind of time?
**Am I creating an alternate timeline with this letter? After the 2016 you guys have had, aren’t you a little hungry for a little alternate history? I know I would be.
***And to paraphrase Justin Bieber in the remake of Apollo 13 (2019). Like I said, things get weird.
****Spoiler alert: that time is now. That is, the “now” of 2017, not my “now.” If you’re waiting until 2025 to make a stand, you’re too late. The giant snake monster of Alpha Epsilon V wore most of us out.
*****What’s that? You really want me to tell you about the mongoose? That would violate my sworn oath as a time traveller. I couldn’t possibly…
Okay, I’ll give you the transcript of one joke that was on The Tonight Show starring Seth Meyers around the time that was pretty terrific:
MEYERS: President Trump is in the news again…
MEYERS: I haven’t even gotten to the punchline!
MEYERS: President Trump now says he wasn’t aware it was a mongoose…
MEYERS: He instead thought it was Mike Pence’s cybernetic arm!
Oh, man… Maybe you guys aren’t ready for that joke, but your kids are gonna love it.