Sunday, January 29, 2017

Interruption: On the Land of Alternative Facts

          On the Land of Alternative Facts

          Kellyanne Conway recently stood up for “alternative facts”, and her boss, Donald Trump, stands with her and doubles down. So what do I make of alternative facts? Well...

As an amateur fantasy writer, I like to imagine perfect places for things. Now let’s imagine the perfect place for alternative facts, and their tellers. The place is perfect for alternative facts because it too is an alternative fact. It’s a myth, a fable, an imaginary realm honored in story and song. Legend calls it the home of many remarkable individuals. Conway and Trump would fit right in. It’s a fiction, it’s metaphor, it’s a lie, but sincere. I don’t take it literally, but I do take it seriously. It’s impolite to utter the place’s name, so for now let’s call it the Land of Alternative Facts.

In the Land of Alternative Facts, alternative facts rule because facts are stupid things. Gaslighting makes sense there because the whole place is gas-lit. It’s a fantasy world where exaggeration is accurate, hyperbole is truthful, inconvenient truths are inoperative, the ruling class creates reality, and up is down upon command. In that legendary realm, everything is negotiable. Folly is wisdom, war is peace, poverty is wealth, slavery is freedom, and above all, lies are truth.

By now you’ve probably figured out some other names for the Land of Alternative Facts. Kellyanne Conway and Donald Trump belong there; they deserve it; for although it doesn’t really exist, still if it did exist then they’d happier there than they are here. It’s their kind of place. And many would be happy if they went there.

So they should go there. They should go straight there. And they should take their alternative facts with them.

Postscript: On Alt

“Alternative facts” shortens to “alt-facts”; this, with alt-right, suggests “alt” as a new prefix.

I propose that it means ‘fraudulent’ or ‘bogus’. Thus the alt-right tells alt-facts about Trump’s alt-majority, and cites alt-statistics for his alt-promises and alt-policies.

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