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  • Writer's pictureDoug Weiss


One of my favorite Saturday afternoon Television shows back in the early 90’s was a Science Fiction comedy that lampooned truly horrible B movies with snarky one liners delivered by a live host and three robot companions.  Known as Mystery Science Theater (3000), or MST3K to its fans, it is a cult classic that has endured for nearly four decades.


The concept behind MST3K, if one can call it that, was that the movies it skewered were so bad, so improbable, and the dialog so predictable and wooden that merely calling it to the audience’s attention was funny.  This past week as I read article after article about various trials of a former US President, read tweets from high recognition politicians, celebrities and pundits, and scanned some social media it felt as if I was in the midst of an MST3K episode—when in fact it was appallingly true.


In the words of the late Rod Serling of Twilight Zone fame, here submitted for your consideration are just a few tidbits from this past week.


The state of Tennessee is trying to ban a book about seahorses, claiming that it “normalizes gender fluidity & the idea that males can get pregnant.”


A Florida school district has removed dictionaries from its libraries citing a law championed by its governor.  The state’s Attorney General argued that the school board could remove any book because the purpose of public-school libraries is to “convey the government’s message”, and that can be accomplished through “the removal of speech that the government disapproves.”


Then I ran across this explanation of Electricity from a 4th grade textbook in a fundamentalist Christian school:  “ Electricity is a mystery.  No one has ever observed it or heard it or felt it.  We can see and hear and feel only what electricity does. We know it makes light bulbs shine and irons heat up and telephones ring. But we cannot say what electricity itself is like.We cannot even say where electricity comes from.  Some scientists think that the sun may be the source of most electricity.  Others think that the movement of the earth produces some of it.  All anyone knows is that electricity seems to be everywhere and that there are many ways to bring it forth.”


The social media formerly known as Twitter is always a good source of interesting tidbits.  Here are a few favorites from this past week:


From Laura Loomer, a far right and anti-muslim commentator “ Is the Deep State activating HAARP to disrupt the Iowa Caucus?  We all know that @NikkiHaley has a lot of friends in the defense industry and Military industrial complex.  She’s losing in Iowa, and now Iowa is set to get hit with a ONCE IN A DECADE blizzard as Donald Trump is set to dominate the Iowa Caucus.  Is the Deep State activating HAARP to disrupt the Iowa Caucus?  Looks like weather manipulation to me. Take a look at the weather radar and how the incoming snow storm accelerated out of nowhere.”


And, finally this, from Donald Trump, thanking Sammy The Bull, former underboss of the Gambino crime family and confessed murderer, kidnapper and burglar. “Thank you Sammy The Bull.  I hope Judges Engoron & Kaplan see this.  We need fairness, strength and honesty in our New York Courts.  We don’t have it now.”  Sammy the Bull was quoted as saying that Trump was incorruptible –and that he knew it because: "I tried to get to him but he just wouldn't bite."


I could go on, but I imagine you can see where I’m going with this. If I had read these pieces just a few years ago I would have guessed they were taken from an SNL skit, parodies exploiting the absurdity of modern life.  But sadly, they aren’t, they are the real world circa 2024 and we have entered the Twilight Zone.


The fact that a significant percentage of the public wouldn’t find any of this absurd, bizarre, or even mildly funny is all the more disturbing.  When real life becomes a bad B movie that even MST3K couldn’t parody I just want to pull up the covers and hope that when I wake up it will all have been a bad case of indigestion.

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