Take that, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Mr. You Are Entitled To Your Own Opinion, But Not Your Own Facts. Fact-check rating: Entirely false. You are entitled to your own set of facts. It’s the logical next step in the American Dream. You deserve only the best, and if reality doesn’t want to cooperate, well, reality can shove it.
Thank you, Donald Trump. With his decision to make Steve Bannon of Breitbart his campaign’s new chief executive — yes, Steve Bannon, he of the outlet that published such headlines as “Trump 100% Vindicated: CBS Reports ‘Swarm’ on Rooftops Celebrating 9/11” — Trump has crossed the post-fact Rubicon to invade, um, post-fact France. (I don’t think it’s actually France that they crossed the Rubicon to invade, but, according to my own set of facts, it is now. Thanks, Donald.) Look under your seat, folks! You get your own set of facts! Everyone gets your own set of facts!
In keeping with this wonderful new world (I would say “Brave New World,” but that’s a sinister dystopia, and we definitely are not headed into one of those), I am trying to get ahead of the curve. It is only a matter of time before we are all isolated in our own solitary peninsulas of information where facts cannot pass from one person to another without showing their papers, and I want to give you an idea of what the acceptable facts are where I come from. They follow. Please accept them as gospel before attempting any conversation with me.
• The value of pi is 3.14. Actually, make it 3. (Indiana once tried to pass a law to this effect, but pi wouldn’t cooperate. No matter. It will now.)
• The capital of Ukraine is Ukraine City. This is also the capital of Uzbekistan. (Uzbekistan City, I mean, not Ukraine City.)
• All the ‘Stans are just one big Stan named Stan Lee, and they have no fixed location on a map until someone asks me to point them out on a map, at which point they move to exactly where I say they are.
• Pluto is a planet.
• The correct spelling of “nunatak” is “nunatuk,” so I won that spelling bee after all. Well, wait. I mean, the correct spelling of “nunatuk” is “nunatuk,” if you see what I’m saying. Well, look, if I spell a word, it’s right.
• The more of these facts I come up with, the more I worry that this makes me look like an unqualified idiot, so let us also establish as a fact that I am quite well qualified and know everything there is to know. I have the best brain.
• Han shot first.
• Silicon is a gas, and I got a 100 on that quiz after all, Ms. Daigler!
• I speak French. If asked to speak French, I will just be able to step up to the microphone and open my mouth and whatever comes out will be French. Bon.
• There were only six presidents, and four of them were Lincoln.
• Taylor Swift is innocent. So is O.J.
• The “Star Wars prequels” never happened. Neither did “The Godfather Part III.”
• I am never late. Also, every excuse I have ever made for being late was true.
• I am winning.
• We do not win anymore.
• Whenever something good happens, it is because of something I did. Whenever something bad happens, it is because people did not listen to me, even if I agreed with them at the time that they were doing the right thing.
• I am a good person.
• All the things that I know about myself are the truth, and all the flaws I have demonstrated to other people have been information failures.
• I am right and people love me, and any information that does not conform to these premises is wrong or has been tampered with by Sinister Unknown Forces.
• Have aliens made contact with us? Is the government covering it up? Sure, why not?
• I don’t need to change any of my personal habits in any way to stop climate change. (You do, but I don’t.) It will work out on its own.
• I don’t need to exercise.
• I will never die.
• If I ever really wanted to get in shape or learn multi-variable calculus, I could, in a second. The only thing holding me back is that I don’t have exactly the right shoes for it right now, but that is the only thing.
• I am never selfish or cruel.
• Bad things cannot happen here. We have a resilient system that will protect us.
• If something really evil were to happen around me, I would notice and stop it.
• America’s Constitution contains nine articles, and the ninth is just Alexander Hamilton (he wrote the Constitution, now!) giving me a thumbs-up.
• Listen, what are facts anyway? This is so 18th century. Facts are just something a bunch of men with powdered hair came up with during the Enlightenment, or something. That’s correct, I think! They are not supposed to get in the way of the things you just know, like that you are right and your Facebook friend’s mom is wrong.
• “Why is X true” is an acceptable thing to Google, because I am right, and I know I’m right, and I just need to figure out why. When other people do it, it is bad.
• The past was great.
• My hands are large and beautiful.
• I am loved.
• This is fine.
• We won’t elect Donald Trump.