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I have decided that what claims to be “news” is in fact a figment—not Real at all.

My suspicions in this area have been growing for some time. But the events of the past ten days or so, culminating in the utter nonsense that was Monday—well, now there can be no doubt.

About a week ago I was confronted with the following headlines: (1) “Docs Reveal Hitler Farted, Received Sex Injections, Craved Cocaine”; (2) “Man Exposes Himself At Association For The Blind”; and (3) “Missing Parakeet Returned Home After Telling Police His Address.”

These weirdsmobiles were several hours later crowned by this wonderment: “Why It Matters That Obama Dated A Composite And Ate A Dog.”

If you click the above links, you will find four different “news” outfits purporting that the information contained therein is Real. Not something from the Onion. Not something from Mad magazine. Not something from the Weekly World News. No. “Real.”

Sorry. I’m not buying it.

Monday they screwed up—whoever “they” are—and saturated the “news” with something so preposterous that it became clear beyond doubt that we are simply being mucked with.

For every time I turned on the radio, or looked into a tube, I beheld an alleged high government official soberly intoning that the United States is menaced by underpants.

They are massing out there, these underpants, nefariously bent on exploding airplanes, pouring innocent Americans out into the way up in the middle of the air.

But fortunately, these supposed officials further droned, America is prepared to meet and defeat the underpants.

Where once America fought to “make the world safe for democracy,” today, we are told, America fights like twelve three-fisted bastards to cleanse the globe of the scourge of terrorist underpants.

No. That America is under assault by underpants—this is not something that is Real. This is something out of one of Kurt Vonnegut’s sillier Kilgore Trout fantasies.

Who is doing this? I have no idea. It is possible that some clever geek boots, down in some Cheetos-stained basement, has, through the power of the tubes, seized control of the “news,” and is busily churning out, as Real, whatever complete and total balderdash gives him, or her, the giggles.

I suspect a juvenile. Because it is not enough, that this person concocts a nonsense involving demonic volatile underpants flying in waves through the once-friendly skies, to rain Terror and Horror down upon All Decent Americans. No. For previously, this same entity, chortling childishly, concocted a Reality in which the Republican Party selected as its 2012 nominee for president a person known as Captain Underpants.

Coincidence? I think not.

About 20 years ago I obsessively collected all of the 50-some science-fiction novels written by the late Philip K. Dick.

Dick was a quantum person. Both a uniquely creative writer, and a drug-gobbling wackadoodle clean out of his gourd.

Dick’s works featured such beings as a man who unknowingly created large swaths of Reality by completing a crossword puzzle in the daily newspaper. People, at the same time both alive and dead, who discovered their money no longer bore pictures of old dead white men, but instead images of living family and friends. A sadsack loping through an increasingly disintegrating world, in which those charged with maintaining Reality had become too enervated to manifest actual objects, reduced to producing, say, pieces of paper reading “soda pop stand” or “dog,” in place of the Real things.

I read all of these works, back in those years. And tomorrow I am going to go down to the basement, and unearth these tomes, so that I might read them all again.

Because it is clear to me now that these books are not “science fiction” at all. They are instead startlingly accurate and precise works of prophecy. They are Real. They are Today. Today, we live in a Dick world. Underpants and all.

(This piece, illustrated, originally available in red.)

Originally posted to blueness on Fri May 11, 2012 at 12:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by J Town.

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