The speaker at the Lions Club meeting was a major in the Marines. He said that Americans had no choice but to keep fighting in Vietnam until they achieved victory or until the Communists realized that they could not force their way of life on weak countries. The major had been there on two separate tours of duty. He told of many terrible and many wonderful things he had seen. He was in favor of increased bombings, of bombing North Vietnam back into the Stone Age, if it refused to see reason.
"Americans had no choice." That's a phrase that sounds pretty familiar these days in the United States. Along with "make America great again." Of course, back in the 1970s, Americans proved that they actually DID have a choice. The Vietnam War ended, and Richard Nixon resigned from the Presidency. And making America great again implies that America WASN'T great to begin with. The problem with that statement is that it involves overlooking the fact that millions of Americans have health insurance who didn't have health insurance a few years ago, and the fact that America has seen the longest stretch of job growth in its history. Plus, there was the whole first African American President of the United States thing to be proud of, as well.
Well, it seems like a lot of people are choosing fantasy over reality. Alternative facts over real facts. I am not going to devolve into a diatribe or rant. I read way too many Facebook posts like that every day. No, tonight I am simply going to write a blog post based upon alternative facts. I want to see if, by doing this little exercise, it will somehow alter my world view in any way.
So, ever since winning the Nobel Prize in Literature last October, I have been inundated with job offers and speaking engagements. While flattering, these opportunities have interfered with my writing, and I find that I now must retreat from public view to focus on my next opus--a Dantesque, three-volume poem written in terza rima about the rise of Hillary Clinton to the Presidency of the United States.
Next, I have been appointed Poet Laureate of the United Nations. Over the summer, I will be traveling to each continent of the world, delivering readings to indigenous peoples everywhere. Tickets to these events are being scalped for prices that rival ticket prices for Hamilton.
Pope Francis has invited me to celebrate Easter Sunday with him at the Vatican. I will attend a private Mass with the pontiff, and then we will have dinner together. Placido Domingo and Celine Dion will serenade us as we eat, after which Frank, as the pope insists I call him, will canonize me, making me the first living saint.
In the fall, I will win the Nobel Peace Prize for my tour as Poet Laureate of the United Nations. In the citation, I will be lauded for "promoting, though poetry, peace and understanding between all races and religions and peoples of the planet." At the award ceremony in December, I will be mobbed by hundreds of thousands of adoring fans.
In December, I will choose to celebrate Christmas in the Holy Land, where I will deliver a moving poem at the Church of the Nativity. The world will declare 2018, the Year of Saint Marty.
Saint Marty is thankful this evening for alternative facts.