by Jim Harris
In keeping with the ever-shrinking attention span of the modern American consumer, I have reduced my intake of news to just reading the headlines. Thus, I am able to extrapolate the full story by assuming whatever fabricated facts I choose to believe.
For instance, a recent online headline spoke of “Richard Branson’s dream of sending rich people into space.” Okay, so Branson, the milti-billionaire founder of Virgin Airlines, is sending all the rich people into space. Will he include himself? Probably, but certain questions arise: would they be coming back? If not, who would run the banks and oil companies here on earth? And what would the rich people go to? One with robot butlers and complicated food?
I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with Branson’s dream. It makes much more sense to send all the POOR people into space. After all, people are always saying that instead of spending money on space, we should spend it on the poor right here on earth. But if there were no poor people here on earth, then we’d be free to spend the money on space. Right?
Oh, I know that the Bible says we will always have the poor, but it doesn’t say what planet they have to be on. Besides, poor people are the hardest workers. They built this country, and they could build new civilizations in outer space. If you send rich people there, they’ll disappear as soon as their supplies of caviar and foie gras run out.
And as long as we’re sending people into space, why not send religious fanatics. Better to rule on Mars than annoy us on earth; eh? And let’s send Doctor Phil along with them. Maybe he can straighten them out. And, of course, politicians. How’d you like to be on Chris Christie’s rocket? For the entire four-year journey, he’d be telling everyone to “Sit down and shut up!”
Speaking of politicians, another headline that caught my eye said, “Four Philadelphia Democratic legislators breeze to reelection in spite of involvement with sting.” I, of course, took this to mean that the aforementioned legislators had somehow been in cahoots with the former pop icon, “Sting,” who has angered many by shaving his head, wearing knitted scarves and singing sea chanties.
Of course, when I tried to explain this story to my old-fashioned friends who still read entire newspaper articles, they informed me that this was not the case. Apparently, these four State Representatives had been caught on videotape accepting money for political favors, but still got reelected.
Three of them were so assured of victory that they ran unopposed, and the fourth faced only a candidate from the Green Party (who, I’m guessing, was probably a Chia Pet, or some other equally bland life-form). It’s too bad, because I think my version of the Sting story was much more palatable. Reality is so harsh these days, it’s much more fun (and less time-consuming) to come to your own conclusions based solely on the headlines.
For instance, I took the headline, “Organic farms on the rise” to mean that farms are now somehow growing new human organs for transplants. Unfortunately, the reality there was just something about growing more expensive vegetables.
When I saw the caption, “Three Colorado teenage girls try to run away to Join ISIS,” I figured that, when the heavily-accented guy on the ISIS recruitment video said to come to Syria for “purification,” the girls probably thought he said, “pure vacation.” I mean, why else would any well-informed person leave Colorado to go join ISIS? Obviously, they have great beaches and bikinis in Syria.
Or for that matter, why would anyone knowingly vote for crooked politicians? Or pay MORE for vegetables without the added chemicals? Maybe it’s because we’re NOT well-informed. Maybe it’s because no one reads beyond the headlines anymore. Maybe we should ALL be sent into space.