The following document was discovered in a floating bottle by a tribe of former humanities majors kayaking down Raleigh's West Jones Street Canal while scavenging for bartering goods amid the toxic flood of the Greater Carolina Atlantic Basin.
Ever since sea levels rose and tsunamis of hog slop, fracking fluid, pesticides, coal ash, and Krispy Kreme glaze swept away almost everything, historical evidence has been hard to come by. We now suffer collective amnesia: Who are we? How did we get here?
This invaluable diary entry offers disturbing but necessary answers to these difficult questions. We present it here in samizdat. The public has a right to know.
• • •
No one will ever read this. But I must unburden myself, anyway.
I began consulting on Governor Pat McCrory's "Swipe Right!" voting initiative around the time the liberal media discovered that North Carolina's 11th Congressional District looked exactly like [a certain general assemblyman's] penis. The brood of mocking Mensheviks pissed into the wind as usual, but it was old news to our proud Republican establishment.
Months before [a certain general assemblyman's] penile contours were superimposed on Western North Carolina for strategic gerrymandering purposes, Dick Burr had seen [a certain general assemblyman's] dinky on Art Pope's Blackberry and thought it funny. During a postcoital embrace, he showed it to Maggie Spellings, who already knew about it from the time she pegged Renee Ellmers, who had spilled the beans during a feral Snapchat blitz with Kevin McCarthy, who grabbed a screenshot and back-channeled it to Don Yelton. The numbnard accidentally messaged it to Jon Stewart, who forwarded it to Thom Tillis, who had actually taken the original dick pic in the General Assembly's men's room and shown it to McCrory, who dispatched it to Pope. This is the end of our ugly circle.
And this is the beginning: As Tillis stood at the sink one day, agonizing over whether or not to wash his hands after an especially disheartening bowel movement, something in the mirror caught his eye. It was [a certain general assemblyman] laboring to restore the unprecedented girth of his meat-splotch to his britches.
"Lol wut?" Thom thought.
He felt something vibrate in his head—an idea. He discreetly snapped a pic while pretending to wash his hands, which he never actually did, and then ran to the governor's office.
"This shlong is going to save our candy asses out west, Pat," I heard him say. "It's exactly the shape we've been looking for. Look there, where it swipes right—that's where Asheville would be at."
McCrory panted. "I have to show this to Art," he gushed.
They noticed I was watching and closed the door so they could play a celebratory game of Silent Sam.
I had just been appointed the governor's social media consultant. My flair for peddling craven conservative garbage on Twitter had propelled me to the front ranks of gubernatorial trolls. The government needed a new shake-up for the old voter-suppression regime. The idea was not to keep voters away from the polls but to attract as many as possible. In the booth, a rigged touch-screen voting pad would force them to vote for conservatives forever. With shame, I must confess this was my idea: "Swipe Right!"
But the time seemed ripe. President Trump had been safely re-elected. Gender studies and the distinction between fetuses and babies had been dissolved by federal fiat. Poverty centers had been abolished. Scientists were on the run. Teachers were on the ropes. No one could stop us, we assumed.
But for me, it all soured at Art Pope's third-annual Jesse Helms Memorial Symposium of Plutocratic Pride, to which I'd been invited for live-tweeting purposes. I was entrusted with the sacrosanct @civitas handle. To calm my nerves, I guzzled vodka Cheerwines. There was a certain buzz in the air, an optimism as of birdsong or Reagonomics.
I hemorrhaged tweets.
Did Civitas main man Frank DeLuca just offer to give me "Dean Dome"? #wow #starstruck
.@realMSpellings just did an epic bong rip of 600x salvia and gave impromptu speech abt "privatizing from the heart" #grateful
.@KochBros told @ThTillis they'd <3 to see him bw the sheets; T left then returned in full White Knight regalia (maybe wasn't him?) #baller
Feeling #blessed to hear Art Pope recite his stirring ode to western civ: "Of corporate personhood/and the monoculture I sing..." #morepopelessart
OMG McCrory is doing the worm—#Icanteven #squadgoals
Properly snockered on Cheervodka, I was sating my munchies with canapés and feminist cookies when things started to get weird. The doors flew open, and the asslessly bechapped bulks of Phil Berger and Tom Apodaca walked in, leather-clad and bearing a palanquin on which sat the great sibyl herself, Ann Coulter. A bauble of Gore-Bush ballots adorned her neck, dimpled chads glistering in the chandelier light. In her left hand, she held a yonic orb of deathless flame and, in her right, a brazen dildo. The neocon succubus levitated from her seat in full lotus position.
"Esse cum videri," she muttered on repeat, quietly at first. "ESSE CUM VIDERI, YOU ANIMALS! ESSE CUM VIDERI! ESSE CUM VIDERI!!!"
Like that scene in Indiana Jones where God melts the faces of the Nazis, an erotic lightning bolt ejaculated from the dildo and forked through the bodies of the GOP luminaries. They fell at once upon each other, hump-hungry, maws a-slobber. Naughty bits stiffened and moistened, parts clawing for holes in helpless psychosexual obeisance to the Coulter yoni that pulsed with the heat of a thousand Duke Energy plants. It was a veritable buffet of booty, an orgy of fleshly gorging inspired by a heady cocktail of amyl nitrate, vinegar-based lube, and supermajority.
Perhaps it was just the vodka and Red Dye No. 40 talking, but I had to get out of there. As I recoiled, something strange crept across me—a white-sheeted phantasm, pulling down my pants and attempting to insert its conical hat into my anus. It was Thom Fucking Tillis.
It was at this point that I realized voters should choose their leaders, not the other way around. I swiped hard left across the specter's cloaked head and managed to dislodge myself from his shit-caked hands. I ran and ran and ran.
Now I sit here in this oaken dinghy with my corncob pipe and elaborate water-purification equipment, casting my lot with the sea, leaving this message in a bottle for a Moral Monday of the future that will be, rather than seem, first in freedom.
This article appeared in print with the headline "Political Hardball"