A few years from now …
Greetings, Earth person. Thank you for picking up this holographic edition of your local paper. We can now download news directly into your cerebral cortex. However, for us to deliver the version of reality most preferable to you, we ask that you take this brief calibration survey. Please choose the answer that most closely reflects your beliefs.
Question 1: Would you be willing to pay $2 to help us continue bringing you local news and commentary?
A. Yes. I understand that the people who work at newspapers have rent, and the First Amendment only guarantees the freedom of the press, not free news.
B. No. I don’t pay for pornography, so why the hell should I pay for my news? And although I would never pay money for your rag, I want my free news now, and I mean right now. The First Amendment guarantees me free news.
C. I don’t read the news. I’m a spiritual person and news is bad for the soul.
Question 2: Upon learning that President Donald Trump wasn’t human but a colony of hypervirulent bacteria holding hands that announced via Twitter, television, radio, print news and smoke signal that it was, in fact, said bacteria but 20 minutes later said it wasn’t, your response was:
A. I knew it! No person is that shade of orange.
B. I believe anything the president says even when he contradicts what he just said. Anyone who says otherwise is fake news.
C. Holy shit! I shook hands with that in Phoenix! Urge to leave racist comments on news stories … growing.
Question 3: The catastrophic flooding of coastlines that displaced most of the world’s population was caused by:
A. Climate change
B. Jesus, because he was mad about gay people getting wedding cake.
C. That’s not true. I was at a demonstration in front of a bakery that wouldn’t make a gay couple a cake, and Jesus was there. He was plenty pissed off at that baker.
Question 4: When Alex Jones and Rush Limbaugh were placed in a hermetically sealed space pod and banished to the Phantom Zone in an orbit around Betelgeuse, your initial reaction was:
A. The world has lost two great truth sayers, and now nothing can stop the fake news media from spreading filthy lies!
B. Good riddance. Especially you, Rush. You stole my grandmother’s pain medicine.
C. The frogs on Betelgeuse are gay because the Deep State put hormones in the water! (Note: If you answered C, you are Alex Jones and you need to get back into the Phantom Zone.)
Question 5: When the Space Nazis invaded the Earth, you:
A. Joined the resistance because no dirty, stinking Space Nazis are coming to my planet and giving me what fer.
B. Reposted an InfoWars article about Space Nazis being a liberal plant to discredit the glorious neofascist conservative movement. (Damn it, how does Alex Jones keep escaping the Phantom Zone?)
C. Wrote an 8,000-word think piece for Atlantic Monthly criticizing Jerry Seinfeld for making a fairly milquetoast joke about effeminate Space Nazis.