Announcing a Stream Series: Earth 2: Planet Hillary
One of the most gripping TV shows out there is Counterpart, on Starz and Amazon Prime. In Counterpart, the earth “replicated” itself in 1987, creating a perfect copy down to every last inhabitant. So each one of us has a “counterpart” on the “other side,” who went his own way with the same DNA and history. It’s almost as if God had set up a “control” for the experiment of human history. There is just one portal, heavily guarded, between the worlds. Fittingly, it’s in Berlin.
Nice set-up, no? It’s unfortunate that the filmmakers felt the need to throw in gratuitous sex scenes. That prevents me from wholeheartedly recommending Counterpart. But the show’s premise is intriguing, and it gave me an idea.
Exasperated liberals and sputtering NeverTrumpers periodically take to Twitter to highlight some goofy thing that the President or one of his staffers has said. Or done. To show how achingly clever they are, these people will write something like, “Meanwhile, on Earth 2, President Clinton …” or even “President Rubio. …” Then they fill in some wise and prudent policy that jumps the president through all the flaming dachshund hoops set up by social justice warriors.
Challenge accepted. Here begins a weekly series of reports from that “Earth 2,” which split off from our reality on Election Day 2016. The time is ten years in the future, 2028. Here again, there is just one portal between the worlds. But it’s not in Berlin. Instead it’s a tunnel under the East River that separates New York’s Upper East Side from Donald Trump’s native Queens. As part of an exchange program, each year Earth 2.0 accepts a family of visitors from our earth.
On January 1, 2028, members of the Baker family from Euless, Texas, appear at the inter-world checkpoint in Long Island City, Queens to redeem their “golden ticket” to Earth 2. They get to stay for up to a week. Let’s see if they last that long.
SATURDAY, Jan. 1, 2028, Earth Two
EXT. EAST RIVER, NY – DAY
JASON BAKER, 43, and SUSAN BAKER, 37, lead three of their children out of the old trolley station on the Manhattan side of the 59th Street Bridge. BETHANY is 14, MATTHEW is 11, and JOHN is 7. By the entrance stand FOUR HEAVILY ARMED SOLDIERS.
Waiting to greet the family is EVE PAYNE-WHITNEY, 39, a polished professional woman whose Prada outfit is offset by a single ring through her septum, like a bull’s. But it’s 22-karat gold.
Are you the Bakers? It’s so lovely to meet you. I’m delighted you could make this journey together.
Well, not quite all of us. Flannery’s only 4, and Rachel’s 2. Their grandma’s taking good care of them though. She’s thrilled, isn’t she?
Susan elbows Jason, who smiles.
My mom can’t get enough of the little ones.
Eve’s eyes go wide for an instant, and her lips purse in a momentary, quickly stifled “Ew!”
Wow. You sure do go in for making those widdle carbon footprints on the Other Side, now don’t you?
Jason and Susan just look puzzled, but each shrugs and smiles, deciding this must be a compliment of some foreign sort.
Susan notices that Matthew is staring, fixedly, at the ring in Eve’s nose. She waits for Eve to look away, then bats him lightly on the ear. She mouths “Don’t stare! Rude!”, then pulls him close to her.
Then she stares for a second or two at the nose ring, suppressing a cringe.
Eve is back on her game. She makes a sweeping motion, indicating the Manhattan skyline.
You say you’re from Texas — the other Texas. I imagine that New York City, our New York City, will be quite a new experience. Have you toured your own New York? Do you still have one?
Jason and Susan stare at her, confused.
Well, of course we do. You still have a Texas here, don’t you?
Why yes, how silly of me. Of course it has changed. A lot. Much more diverse. …
Jason gets a mischievous look. He winks at Susan, and leans forward to Eve, with a confidential stage whisper.
We do still technically have a New York City, because some problems take a lot longer than 10 years to fix. President Cruz keeps saying that he’ll get around to it, but … promises, promises!
Eve stares at him in barely disguised horror. Susan steps in.
Our New Yorkers keep trying to work out some kind of secession and join what’s left of the European Union. But they can’t get their act together. …
Adios, hombres, that’s what I say. But so far, no such luck.
Eve collects herself and gets back on message.
Many of our Texans expressed similar opinions. But within a few years after the Vote they found themselves outnumbered. Most of them moved to … Oklahoma.
She says “Oklahoma” the way many Manhattanites on our world might say “West Virginia.”
There’s a silence.
Our Oklahoma is booming. The fracking …
Eve blanches as if Susan had used the OTHER F-word. A silence falls.
Bethany steps up to fix the situation. She beams at Eve.
I’m always telling mama that we ought to be willing to learn from other points of view. I can’t wait to see your New York City.
I want to see the Zoo. The Central Park Zoo. My old books say it was one of the best in the world. Dad says we can’t afford to go see ours.
I said that it’s too expensive, and isn’t safe. Not anymore. But since we’re here. …
I think that would be a perfect destination for your first day on Our Side. Let me make arrangements.
Eve tilts her head down for a moment, gives her nose ring a tug. A single LED light appears momentarily on her forehead.
Okay, I’ve got Wi-Fi. It can be buggy, but at least it’s free and universal.
She taps her forehead a few times as we might a keyboard.
Summon SmileCar. Authorization 733-452-Alpha-Lambda.
Jason, Susan, and the boys all stare, amazed/appalled. Bethany looks thrilled.
Is that … I read about this. You have the Google Chip?
Eve smiles, a little proud of her Side’s technological mastery.
A bright lime green HOVERCRAFT slides up alongside them on 1st Avenue, and lowers itself to the sidewalk, SQUELCHING in a wet pile of uncollected trash.
Most of our vehicles are driverless, and community-owned and operated. Give us ten more years, and say goodbye to auto fatalities.
At this little John pipes up for the first time.
So the Government has all the cars.
And it decides where you go and when?
Don’t be silly. We have complete freedom of movement. Within sane limits of course. Some trips get higher priority than others. It’s decided by a highly sophisticated algorithm. I won’t bore you with the details.
Susan rolls her eyes. Bethany looks thrilled.
What matters today is that you as visitors are priority Alpha One. We think of this as a diplomatic trip, and you will see our world at its very best. You’ll see what y’all have been missing.
At her awkward use of “y’all” even Bethany winces. John whispers to his father.
I think this is all one great, big zoo.