you love The X-Files . . .
If you love true literature . . .
If you love quality writing . . .
Then, boy, will you hate this . . .
Jon Meets World
The epic saga of
how Jon Stewart will achieve
world domination . . . and why it will be good.
this after Miss Rebecca, the president of the Jon Stewart Estrogen Brigade
(JSEB), asked me to write an article for the Thanksgiving edition of their
newsletter. It was inspired by an e-mail I sent to Miss Rebecca in which I
suggested that if I had more time the SSS would take over the world and the
JSEB would be the ruling unit, sort of like NSA, the CIA, the Green Berets,
the FBI, the freemasons, and the Secret Service combined. Can you tell I watch
too much X-Files?
story isn't true, and I actually have a life. How about that?
Chapter 1: Prophet
September 20, 1996.
The night is cool
and calm. A gentle melodic hum fills a small apartment in Champaign, Illinois.
A sweet young Annie dusts her television. It is dirty; grime coats the screen.
She sprays an acrid blue liquid onto the glass. It streams quickly, carrying
its gray dirt with it. She wipes it carefully with a white paper towel. As
the last bit of dirt disappears, a light glows behind the glass. Annie frowns.
The television is not on. She leans in closer, peering at the screen. Her
hum fades away. It is silent. Then, as if from a great distance, a voice speaks.
It is deep and rich, ringing with an authoritative timbre. It cries out two
Annie staggers, clutching
the ammonia soaked paper towels to her chest. She falls back upon the couch
in time to see a well-dressed man with dark hair and sparkling green eyes
fill the screen. He smiles a devastating smile, he paces with a smoldering
dark energy, he speaks with a piercing voice that enters Annie's ears, fills
her head, and overflows into the rest of her body. She laughs, nearly screaming,
unable to breathe. She sees nothing else until an hour later. Then the screen
flickers once. The uproarious cheers of the audience die away. She finds herself
alone, in complete blackness, empty of all but one thing.
Annie clenches her
fists as the tears stream down her face. She sees a road ahead of her, and
she understands that down that road . . . lies madness. This is the last moment
of life. She is teetering on the brink of sanity and insanity. First, she
sees the future before her. Jon Stewart, standing before an audience not of
500, but of five billion. They cry out his name and yearn for his eternal
life. Second, she sees the past behind her: a dark, Stewartless void. She
teeters a few seconds more. Third, she takes a deep breath. She unclenches
her fists. From her hot palms vapors wisp into a ghostly light. The light
commands her. The light consumes her. Annie as we knew her dies.
And the SSS is born.
Chapter Two: Flood
November 25, 1999,
Annie, no longer
so sweet, no longer so young, worked frantically at her computer, carefully
encoding subliminal flashes into her intricately manipulative web site. She
rocked back and forth, muttering to herself the phrases that would change
the world. "You will worship Jon Stewart. Jon Stewart is your master.
Join the SSS. Our forces will flood the earth and rise up to drown the infidels.
Jon . . . Jon . . . Jon . . . ." The Dark Converter, as she was known
to many, muttered deep into the night, the visions of Jon's glory flashing
before her eyes in an endless maddening prophecy of things to come.
of miles away, at JSEB headquarters deep underground, the subtle Miss Rebecca
looked upon the JSEB roster of Stewart Soldiers with satisfaction. Her power
was growing, and each new member of the JSEB came faster, more eagerly, drooling
at the sheer volume and breath of her site. She sighed, and allowed herself
an all-too-brief moment of contentment. They would have to resume their mission
tomorrow. For now, she turned to her plate and filled it with turkey and potatoes
from the steaming feast on the table. "It's almost too easy," she
mused, poking at her white meat and temporarily setting aside the assertive
leadership style that had served her so well thus far. "Our work has
been almost flawless." She spoke with a confidence that emanated from
her fundamental belief in Jon Stewart's majesty. Her faith had buoyed her
through some trying times, but her recruiting success coupled with the prophesies
she had gleaned from the prophet Annie gave her much to be thankful for.
"The video captures
almost killed them," said a gleeful Miss Manda, the technical and artistic
genius behind the massive site. "The forty pictures from Conan alone
rendered most of them whimpering and helpless. The Dark Converter wrote me
and confided to me her own near breakdown. It is a great success when even
the allies among us can barely withstand the onslaught." Miss Manda dug
into her mashed potatoes, relishing the thought of so many web surfers drowning
in her collection of pictures and articles. Day after day, the Internet surfers
sometimes on purpose, sometimes accidentally, fell into her carefully woven
web of Stewart, wandering and clicking desperately until their eyes crossed
and their brains sizzled its synapses, permanently rendering them slaves of
the Stewart Supremacy.
is futile," replied a smiling Miss Allison, the most visible leader of
the JSEB. Her friendliness beguiled even the most cynical. She threw wonderful
parties and joined every board and committee in town. During the course of
these meetings and parties, she invited individual guests into her parlor.
They always went willingly. The men went because of her charm. The women went
because of her humor. But instead of a parlor, they would find themselves
in a dark stone hallway with nothing but an iron chair and a devoted Stewart
loyalist. Before they could even understand their danger, Miss Allison locked
them into the chair and chained a laptop to their lap, forcing them to watch
helplessly as she pulled up more and more articles about Jon Stewart. In a
matter of minutes, the laptop permanently ensnared them inside Miss Manda's
web of Jon. Often, they would cry. And Miss Allison would smile down upon
them. "It will be better this way," she would say quietly. "You
will see. It will be better this way. Do not resist, dear. Do not resist."
Her gentle hands tapped on the laptop and pulled up picture after picture
until the enslaved guest gave in. None escaped.
continuously reminds them of their duties," Miss Allison reported cheerfully,
"and it reminds them of where their loyalties truly lie. When the time
comes, they will willingly give their lives for Jon . . . and love every moment
of it. The revolution will be glorious."
They laughed then,
enjoying the growing power they felt ebb from the Great One, the massive deity
that they were helping to feed. The JSEB, with its immense and growing popularity
created loyal and eager servants, ready to serve Jon's every need. The SSS,
with its psychological manipulation, planted its subliminal messages into
every surfer that happened by, so that even those who resisted Jon would eventually
break down and yield. One day, carried on the backs of Stewart Soldiers, Jon
Stewart would rise up as Annie foretold and clutch the nations of the world
in his hands until they yielded to his great leadership and collapsed in tears
at his feet.
Chapter 3: Ascension
December 31, 2000,
It was a nervous
time at Mission Control. Heavy clouds hung low over the converted Pentagon
as the elite members of the JSEB peered pensively at the twenty-foot high
monitor. Around them, on the other three walls of the great meeting room were
hundreds of monitors, some revealing the secrets of their enemies, some showing
their friends. One camera focused on a cheerful Teevie, the first Stewart
loyalist, holding a champagne glass and wearing a broad smile. Teevie had
been waiting for this moment a long time. Another screen showed the vanquished
Craig Kilborn supremacist in deep hiding in Spain, unaware that the Jon Stewart
Estrogen Brigade, the elite military spy force and cabinet for the now all-powerful
Stewart Supremacy Soldiers knew where he was all along.
"We could activate
the microchip we implanted in his brain," suggested Miss Manda. "It
would take only a few minutes to poison him."
"Not a good
idea," objected Miss Allison. "At least we know he is our enemy.
If we destroy him, he will become a martyr. It is best we know who are enemies
are. Then we can know what they do."
him for now," murmured Miss Rebecca. "He will pay for his blasphemy
in other ways. We have his entire lifetime to torment him as we see fit. Whatever
quantity of life we choose to let him have, that is."
The three leaders
of the JSEB turned to look at the Dark Converter. She had refused to emerge
from her lair since she first hid herself underground in 1996. Now, for the
first time, the prophet sat above ground, among the JSEB. Her hair long and
tangled, her eyes wild and darting, Annie clutched her arms to herself and
whispered one word over and over.
. . ascension . . . ascension . . . ."
The giant monitor
flickered. Annie fell silent. The three JSEB leaders stood and waited. The
great hall of the United Nations appeared. The world's leaders sat quietly
as President Clinton of the United States of America slowly ascended the platform.
He reached the podium and turned to the lectern. Every television, radio,
and live Internet feed across the world was turned on to this moment. Clinton
began to speak.
"As you know,
the President-elect will take my place within a matter of weeks," said
the President slowly, solemnly. "But he and I both have an announcement
to make. It should come as no surprise to any of you." The audience rustled
as some of them shifted nervously in their seats.
"I have only
one thing to say. I have been yearning to say this ever since the Dark Converter
came to me in a dream . . ." Clinton choked, overcome. The audience murmered
again, in empathy. The Dark Converter had tormented them in their dreams as
well, using her new long-range program, Dream Invader Deluxe 1.7. Clinton
composed himself and spoke again. "The rest of you have yielded. Only
the United States has managed to fight the SSS for so long. Ironic, I think,
since most of them operate within our very borders. But their words have moved
me, and my own heart is now telling me that perhaps the SSS is the best way.
Perhaps Jon Stewart is the leader we need. Already, he has cured hunger in
Ethiopia and homelessness in India. I see now that Jon is the way to the future,
that he is the one." Clinton clenched his fists, much as Annie did several
years before when she comprehended the sacrifice she would have to make, when
she first understood the sanity she would lose in order to create a better
Clinton stood still.
He bowed his head, as if a great weight anchored it to his heart. The clock
read 11:59:40. Ten seconds passed. Five seconds passed. Two seconds passed.
The clock read 11:59:57. The President's shoulders firmed. He lifted his head.
At precisely 12:00:00, January 1, 2001, on the dawn of the new millennium,
the President of the United States spoke one word that forever terminated
his country and ended the modern world as all knew it. He acquiesced and opened
the door to the reign of joy to follow. He spread wide his arms and called
forth the new century of awesome beauty first glimpsed in 1996 by a young,
sweet Annie. One word rattled the rooftop of every home in every country.
A cry arose like
a sunset over the ocean. It grew louder and louder until each human voice
cried the great word heralding the ascension. "SMAPDI! SMAPDI! SMAPDI!"
The human voices screamed. The animals roared and chattered. The stars burned
fiercely as meteorites blazed in rainbow colors in the sky. The leaves rustled
in unison and the oceans rippled in time to the breathing, swelling cries
of the new earth. "SMAPDI!" screamed the women, "SMAPDI!"
screamed the men, "SMAPDI!" screamed the children, "SMAPDI!"
cried the world.
At Mission Control,
Miss Rebecca, Miss Allison, and Miss Manda cried and hugged. Their billions
of minions cried with them across the world, crying at the magnificent ascension.
Amid the noise and the tears and the vibrations of a unified planet Annie
stopped rocking, straightened herself, and looked around her with sane eyes
for the first time since 1996.
She pushed a giant
button in the center of the giant table, and the screen flickered again. The
world fell silent as the image of Jon Stewart filled the screen. His hair
was a little grayer, the salt and pepper of his temples glinting in the lamplight
of his home. He smiled his beautiful smile and winked his green eyes at Annie,
Miss Rebecca, Miss Allison, Miss Manda, and every other person who believed
that he was talking and looking directly at them.
he said, waving a little. "You were just great. Now if you'll excuse
me, I have to go mop up dog vomit. Leader of the entire world, and I still
can't teach my dog that you're not supposed to eat your own poop. Thanks again."
The cheers resumed,
as each person heard Jon's final whispers on his inauguration day. Everyone
heard something different. This is what Annie heard: "Thanks, Annie.
You can have your brain back now. Sing a little song for me." So Annie
sang one song for Jon:
If I had words
to make a day for you,
I'd sing you a morning, golden and new.
I would make this day last for all time,
And fill your nights deep in moonshine.
And they lived happily
How could they not?
November 25, 1999
(Lyrics stolen from the movie Babe)