Month: December 2016

The Alex Publius Keaton Papers II: Shashka Zulu


It’s me again.

Alex P. Keaton.

I embody ageless Republican youth, kept forever fresh thanks to reruns, my sex appeal frozen in the Reaganite amber of air time unencumbered by the Fairness Doctrine.

My party was the party of the original orange man. Reagan. (Google him right now. He definitely had a bit of the tinge.)

My party was the party of trickle-down economics, erotomaniacs (see John Hinkley, Jr.), and telling Mr. Gorbachev what to do.

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Reagan commanded.

Some, however, believe that he said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this fire wall!”

He could not have said this unless he had co-starred with me in Back to the Future. And remember: The 80s IS the future.

In the future, there are DeLoreans but no exploding Chinese hoverboards.

In the future, there is Nancy’s bobble head but not Michelle’s gun show.

In the future, Roy Cohn lives, breathes, and eats, and Milo Yiannopoulos is just a thumb-sucking gayby.

In the future, which is now the past, we worry about Russia. We do this alone under Star Wars sheets at night. We do this while scarfing Hungry-Man dinners with our nuclear families. We do this as a national pastime. We worry about communists and their communism and we know that things are terrible in the Soviet Union because Robin Williams showed us. We have seen Moscow on the Hudson. We ponder the meaning of Gorbachev’s cranial Rorschach. Some of us sweat through nightmares. In these, mushroom clouds billow along the California horizon while human skin grows as glow-in-the dark as a dinky cereal box prize. We clutch these prizes, worrying them, talismans of capitalism.

My TV mom, Elyse, happens to be a lesbo IRL.

I once argued with her about something she’s not too familiar with: missiles.

Mom said, “The question you kids should be asking is why we continue to make hydrogen bombs when we already have enough to kill the Russians 40 times over.”

I told her to quit being melodramatic. I rolled my eyes. I added, “From the beginning of time, there’s been weapons, and there’s always been a fringe element who’ve overreacted. I’m sure that even in the early days, there were bleeding-heart cavemen running around with signs that said, ‘Make love, not clubs.’”

In the decades since I tossed this quip at my low-key gay mom, weaponry has evolved. Weapons of mass destruction are still terrifying but we now face WWTF. Weapons of WTF. (And WWF is closing in on us, too.)

Intelligence, in every sense of the term, has become the scimitar of choice. A shashka, if you will, and do not confuse this with Shaka, whose miniseries ran contemporaneously with my family’s white saga.

This shashka slices through the internet. It hacks reality, grinding it into a powder that you can then blow into anybody’s face.

We’ve all got a bunch of internet in our eyes, scratching our corneas, making them water.

Once I finish crying out today’s dust, I’m going to go watch a story of unrequited gay love: Ruskies.

Alex Publius Keaton