I had a random thought today. I hope no one had to wake up from a coma in 2017. Because I don’t know how the hell we could explain this past year to someone who’d essentially slept through it. Sometimes, I don’t know how to explain it to myself, and I’m perfectly woke. I can already see someone in a library somewhere furiously writing the textbook that will one day describe the last couple of years. I’m sure it will get a healthy chapter in Abnormal Psychology, Social Psychology, and in U.S. History as well.
I can say that last part with almost absolute certainty, as my undergraduate and graduate degrees are in Psychology. If I didn’t know better, I would think the last year’s news was a grand social experiment. After all, there was once the Milgram experiments where volunteers were told they were delivering shocks to participants. Researchers studied just how far people would go to obey authority figures. They found that a majority of participants would deliver fatal shocks to participants just because they were requested to do so. I wonder what future researchers will make of a year of outrageous political headlines.
As Trump continues to tweet, many people are pointing to what seems like a decline in mental function while others still insist that his methods are simply to distract from his real agenda. Still others insist that all these tweets demonstrate is narcissism and massive incompetence paired with a short temper. Regardless of what we attribute them to, there’s a whole future generation of students who will look back on the last year and wonder what the hell we were all doing while this went on.
There will likely be three groups we fell into over the last year:
1. the group that actively resisted the insanity,
2. the group that went along with it, and
3. the group that pretended it wasn’t happening and were, therefore, complicit by their silence and denial.
There will be questions about what we were doing and what we thought about this and how the events of the year impacted future generations. Of course, there will be more political and social implications as this administration continues. I’ve been trying to process how I’ve come to be living in a dystopian novel with a plot like a B-list movie, and all I can think about today is some poor patient waking up from a coma and wondering how this could actually be the world we’re living in.
I guess we’re all hoping we just got Punk’d, right? Tell us Ashton Kutcher is behind this whole prank and let Madam President come out and share a good laugh with us that we fell for it. Please?