As a high school english teacher, I am often reminded of a Shakespearean tragedy when thinking about this election cycle. But as a regular American citizen, I can only think… What. The. Fuck.
After the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, there are a lot of thoughts that come to mind. Did Trump just comment again on “Hillary’s physical appearance?” Yes. When asked about cybersecurity, did Trump actually manage to work in “fat shaming?” Yes. Did he really unload a Twitter storm about a former a Miss Universe winner and Hillary at 2 a.m. last Saturday morning? Yes. Did Hillary say “words matter when you run for president?” Yes, and she got eviscerated online online. Did she call Trump supporters “a basket of deplorables?” Yes. Did I hear that during the Clinton’s three decades of political service, 46 people who were close to them died? Mayyyybe. Was Lester Holt illegally wearing an ear piece during the debate? Yes, but no rules were broken.
Regardless of what cray cray statement from your politically-minded friend/family member outraged you on social media AND regardless of how it is IMPOSSIBLE to escape election coverage (seriously, ESPN actually has a policy for its presidential coverage), we should all take a step back and ask a VERY serious question:
Is this real life?
This presidential election brings up two plausible scenarios that could shake up your concept of reality. OR they can help you temporarily escape from a reality where these two people are the “best” options from thousands of people who are technically qualified to be America’s next President.
Scenario 1: South Park Reality – Earth is Actually a TV Show for Aliens
In this classic episode, the boys meet an alien and learn that earth is actually a reality show that aliens across the galaxy watch every week. All of earth’s species are filmed (Asians, bears, ducks, Jews, deer and more)!
This premise isn’t too far from the scope of reality given how things have gone with election coverage thus far. Think about it like TMZ headlines written for an alien audience…
- Tone-deaf Trump threatens to nuke China
- Hillary has pneumonia, could die and be America’s first “Weekend at Bernie’s” style president
- Colin Powell says Bill Clinton is still dicking bimbos, calls Trump an “international pariah“
It feels like this could be the crescendo leading to a monumental moment in HUMAN history!!!!
Let’s be honest, if you were an alien hanging with your friends or significant others after sucking each others’ jagons, the US presidential election would be perfect entertainment. Intellectually speaking, it would be a show that nestles snugly between The Bachelor and CNN Tonight with Don Lemon. You feel guilty but you are learning something… sometimes.
Scenario 2: Simulation Reality – We’re Living in the Matrix
We all enjoyed the first installment of The Matrix Trilogy and then casually walked out of the theater or changed the channel while watching The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. The premise is captivating and it also begs the question… could this actually happen? Is everything we know and love just a simulation?
If you think this could be our reality, then you are just as smart as Elon Musk and Neil deGrasse Tyson! Just kidding, they are two of the world’s most brilliant minds and you can barely spell oppertunity. Wait… opportunity.
Anyway, this past April the topic was addressed by deGrasse Tyson during the Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate at the American Museum of Natural History. In the discussion, deGrasse Tyson puts the “odds at 50-50 that our entire existence is a program on someone else’s hard drive.” He said there could be a being out there with vastly greater intelligence than our own and our existence could be a source of entertainment.
Elon Musk broached the theory of simulation during an interview at Recode’s Code Conference in June. Musk stated, “there’s a billion to one chance we’re living in a base reality.” This means Musk believes it is almost certain there is a more advanced entity or civilization that is playing us like a game.
His argument is based on the advancement of video game technology and is detailed in a piece by The Verge. “In 40 years, Musk explained, we’ve gone from Pong to massively multiplayer online games with millions of simultaneous players, games with photo-realistic graphics, and stand now on the cusp of a new wave of virtual and augmented reality experiences.”
Let’s frame this theory in the context of the presidential election. In every massive multiplayer online game there are small groups of experts or super players capable of screwing everyone else playing the game.
If this is true, is Trump the Leroy Jenkins of our existence? What do you think?
– Your Pothead English Teacher