The nation awoke last Thursday to realize that the calendar years 2000-2012 had all been some sort of communal, anxiety-induced fantasy. From the Supreme Court’s landmark Bush v. Gore decision to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, every moment of the hellish decade melted away into the dream-ether as Americans the country over woke up to sounding alarm clocks and shook off the horrible nightmare.
The events of Sept. 11 and subsequent War on Terror, the 2008 Financial Crisis and such environmental disasters as Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian earthquake were all recounted and laughed at over breakfast with loved ones.
“Of course nothing so terrible could have ever happened in real life,” said Karen Collins, mother of two. “More than anything, I feel silly to have fallen for it the first time around.”
As the nation stretched and yawned, all were relieved to realize that the Patriot Act never passed, the Dot-Com Bubble never collapsed and neither the avian bird flu nor H1N1 was an actual thing. The Arab Spring, the advent of social networking and the construction of the CERN Large Hadron Collider alike were exposed as nothing more than the musings of some slumbering collective consciousness.
“The representation in the form of dream-object of America’s biggest fears was determined by a number of contributing factors,” said Brown University psychologist Martin Edwards. “Stated shortly: the events of the years 2000-2012 are a sort of worst-case-possible scenario. Climate change, terrorism, the increasingly high costs of modernity. The important thing to remember is that none of these is real.”
Edwards recounts waking with a start and logging on to his PC to make sure Enron, Napster, Netscape and the VCR are all still relevant. He was relieved to find they were.
“Michael Jackson, Pope John Paul II, Andy Rooney — these men are alive and well,” he continued. “To believe otherwise is to admit the possibility of a non-beneficent God, of an unfair universe, of a cosmos that cares little for the success of the human experiment. This is not and cannot be the case.”
At press time, the only remaining evidence of the years 2003 through 2007 were a displaced sense of foreboding and the dream-journal of a Boston-area grandmother.