Friday, August 19, 2011 7:45 pm EST.
(The day before the first day of TarSands Action , two weeks of civil disobedience in which over 1500 people were arrested for illegally sitting on the sidewalk in front of the White House to pressure President Barack Obama to oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline.)
The Truman Balcony. The White House. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Washington, D.C.
Cigars had burned low* as the President and his close buddy, David Axelrod, silently sip Glenlivet in the tawny bronze twilight of the Truman Balcony. It’s the evening before the Stop the Pipeline sit in (1), and thousands of protestors are already gathered on the sidewalk outside the White House. Obama is waiting for Energy Secretary Chu to return from Another Earth.** Chu is uncharacteristically late and Obama glances behind him where a huge screen tv is streaming Fox Live: Breaking News Coverage which shows the President and his family ordering double-scoop M&M Cream cones from Mad Martha’s (2) on the Vineyard.
Ax chuckles. “Don’t ever let anybody say you can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.”
Obama laughs. “What pisses me off is the fact that Bill Sammon thinks his family deserves a slot in one of the Lorentzian wormholes. (3) Can you believe it? It’s still about power and money to that asshole.”
“Don’t kid yourself, Barack. McKibben told me yesterday he ran into David Koch on the Einstein Rosen Bridge (4) early Monday morning. That frigging chump actually believes Chu’ll take a few billion for that cosmic ray motor.” (5)
Obama is fidgeting, impatient, in his chair. “That Tessla (6) engine? My god. That’s been duplicated a hundred times at least!”
The two men instinctively startle as Chu recomposes instantaneously before them.
“Sorry, Mr. President. Didn’t mean to startle you.” Chu, radiating in an almost angelic afterglow — always a dead giveaway of a recent time hop — holds up his hands to free several hundred violet moths. He grins. “Agruis purpurea martinets. (7) They survived transport!”
The President jumps up and grabs his Hart Schaffner Marx double vented navy suit jacket from the back of his chair. “Brief me later. Are we ready, gentlemen? Jay, call security and have them open all the gates. Tell Keith and Rachel we’re ready to go live. Let’s do it.”
Obama and Bo rush inside and lope down the stairs, almost completely swallowed in an exponentially expanding halo of effervescent violet.
“Tell Michelle to get the girls,” Obama calls over his shoulder. “Five minutes.”
Ax, although slightly tipsy drains the half finger of Scotch remaining in his glass. His face is ruddy and beaming. “God, I miss this place! To think, they actually thought he’d sign the XL deal (8). We are about to witness stereoscopic chess!”
Chu, following him inside the building, uncharacteristically giggles as he watches hundreds of imaginal cells morph into marinets. “This is gonna be one helluva show!” He takes a deep breath. “Wow, doesn’t that air just feel so damn pure in your lungs? Those moths have already ingested at least 10 ppm by now.”
“350 here we come!”(9)</em Ax picks up his pink-hued red-wine-stained Tom Ford necktie from the ground.
8:15 PM EST
The White House Lawn. The Presidential Podium. An enormous blackboard and several huge supertron screens. Assembled guests include Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, the James Hansen family, and Astronaut Mike Kelly with Congressperson Gabrielle Giffords. Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow sit side by side at an anchor desk with the initials FOKM. Several thousand Stop The Tar Sands demonstrators have already convened on the lawn and large lines of protestors continue to stream in through the gates.
The door to the Oval swings open and the President emerges with his family. They are followed by Energy Secretary Chu, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the entire cabinet, and former presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Bush 41 and W, and Vice President Al Gore.
The gasp from the assembled crowd is blusterous as a live FOKM feed shows the President and his entourage walking towards the stage as the FOX screen simultaneously flashes images of the first family chowing down on ice cream in Bermuda shorts, cut off jeans and fishing hats hundreds of miles away.
McKibben maintains a poker face.
“Good evening, everyone.” Obama signals over his left shoulder to the Fox screen. “Yup. You can believe your eyes. That is indeed Michelle and I with Sasha and Malia vacationing on the Vineyard. They’re not jiving you, this time.”
He leans over and looks down the stage where his family is standing “But then neither are Keith and Rachel, who have exclusive coverage tonight as my family hosts the first ‘Friday Night At the Movies’ on the White House lawn.”
PAUSE. DRAMATIC EFFECT
“We are visiting you from another Earth. (10) A parallel universe. And yes, I am President there as well. I even have the birth certificate to prove it.
“But the planet I help governing in that world is a remarkably different place. No wars. No political corruption. No corporate lobbyists. Freedom of the Press. No Patriot Act. No Global Warming. Free energy. Clean air and water. Fabulous public education. Universal health care. Permaculture. Bamboo housing.”
The president looks out over the crowd where young people have shimmied up trees, scaled the White House fence, or are standing on top of cars pulled up onto the sidewalk on Pennsylvania Avenue.
“Tonight’s a very special occasion. Folks, on this earth, politics are broken. Climate change IS real. Corporations are people. Rupert Murdoch is a criminal. Fox News is NOT fair and balanced.
“But I have great news for you tonight. Because of amazing progress in the fields of psychics and cosmology, I can tell you all tonight that the XL Pipeline will not become a reality! Not on this earth. Not on any earth. (11) Not while I’m President.
“On the other earth, which is just one of our parallel universes, things progressed quite differently over the past 200 years. And today I am here to announce we have found a way to implement the technologies they have developed there on this planet. Clean zero point gravity energy will replace fossil fuels. Pollution and destruction of ecosystems will cease from this point forward . We now have the ability to repopulate this world with species which our misguided actions drove into extinction. Species which still thrive in our other multiverses.”
McKibben begins to laugh uncontrollably as hundreds of violet wings begin to fan out over the crowd.
“Don’t mind those moths,” Obama says. “Secretary Chu is going to tell you all about them later. Right now, all I can tell you is that these unique martinets arrived today with Secretary Chu and they’re already busy digesting our excess CO2 and converting it into antimatter ZPE for quantum fissure conversion to Multiverse 7. (12) Seems the CO2 levels out there are desperately low.”
Suddenly, Obama is at the blackboard, his back to the crowd, rushing his sketches with a piece of chalk … “You see this is an example of a Lorentzian wormhole. If we move back to the …” He starts sketching out …
“Daddy, you said you weren’t going to …”
The President suddenly realizes he’s off message. He drops the chalk and returns to the podium.
“Dr. Chu will begin explaining all of this later on. Tonight, the Obama family is hosting a double feature here and we’re serving Mad Martha’s ice cream straight from the Vineyard. Dr. Chu will explain how we managed that as well. But before the movie, let me turn this over to Bill McKibben, the real hero of the evening. Bill?”
A huge roar rises from the crowd as McKibben takes the microphone.
“Thank you, Mr. President. It’s an honor to be here. And I have to say first of all, Sir, that after tonight, I forgive you for not accepting President Carter’s solar panels back. Obviously, you had a much grander solution to the problem.”
McKibben looks over to James Hansen who winks at him, his hands resting gently on the shoulders of his grandchildren. (13)
“There are so many people to thank for this evening. I would be here forever. So I’m just going to issue two thank yous. Thank you to the world of Science. For your patience with us. And to the world of Art, which in just a few moments is going to begin sharing this story with all of you. So we can all begin to fathom exactly what ‘s happening on this historic night, a night which will forever change our world and the world we pass on to our children. A night which is truly a miracle.”
McKibben turns to his right. “I just want to tell everyone who is here for the sit ins and for training. We’re working closely with Dr. Chu and his team, and beginning tomorrow morning we’ll all be sitting down with them for debriefing. We have a lot to move through. Each one of you will be returning home to set up training sessions in your communities. Secretary Chu? I believe you have a few comments.”
Chu fairly dances to the podium.
“Thank you, Bill. I’ll make this short. THE DOE produced tonight’s second feature. It’s probably somewhat obtuse for those of you who aren’t familiar with science. We’re going to to be talking about ZPE (14) and the Casimir Effect (15) and wormholes merging into black holes (16) and yes, yes, those Lorentzsian wormholes and the Einstein Rosen Bridge. But please, don’t worry about it if you don’t get it at first. For the next two weeks, we’ll all be participating in the largest ‘teach in’ in the history of America. We’ll see many of you first thing in the morning. 9 sharp. EOB.”(17)
ZOOM IN ON FOKM ANCHOR DESK
As the crowd settles down on the lawn to watch Another Earth, Olbermann and Maddow wrap up their special coverage.
Keith turns to Rachel.
“Well, Rachel. Any candidate for worst person of the world?”
Rachel wads up one of her papers and tosses it into the crowd. “That’d be you, Keith. For keeping this whole thing a secret for the past year.”
Rachel’s eyes are fairly dancing out of her head as she softly brushes a handful of light purple wings off her shoulders.
“Well, I knew I had to have something exceptional under my hat to lure you away from my competition,” Keith chuckles.
“God, I frigging love politics,”says Rachel. “How in the name of heaven is Perry gonna beat this?”
The Camera pans back onto Olbermann.
“Reporting live from the White House for FOKM News. This is Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. Good night. And good luck.”
* Lost Horizon, James Hilton
1. Stop The Pipeline
2. Mad Martha’s
3. Lorentzian wormhole.
4. Einstein Rosen Bridge
5. cosmic ray motor
7. Agruis purpurea martinets
8. XL Pipeline
10. Another Earth
11 Parallel Worlds
12. quantum fissure conversion
13. James Hansen
15. Casimir Effect
16. wormholes merging into black holes
17. training sessions all across the country