Today, a weary nation struggled to recover, its foundations shaken an unprecedented event.
“No one could have seen this coming. No one,” said cable news anchor Jonathan R. Wrightly. “Who would have expected that an event caught on video, in public, during daylight hours, and seen by millions would be officially acknowledged to have happened?”
Wrightly was referring to a viral video that swept across social media last week. After careful review, endless analysis and a long journey through the black box of courtroom battle, a representative of the court — and therefore the government at large — issued a verdict that decided, in effect, that the thing everyone saw did actually happen.
“You can feel it in the air,” said Dr. Simone K. Torrens. “People are dazed. Disoriented. I’ve never prescribed so many emergency mood stabilizers in my twenty-year career. We’ve been here so many times before: Police murder someone on camera and receive no punishment. Homegrown terrorists attack the capitol, and politicians claim it wasn’t real. Wall Street tanks the economy, and the messaging from the powerful blames it on immigrants. But today…”
Dr. Torrens braced herself against a door frame. “It’s making me woozy just thinking about it. Today, instead of being told we can’t believe what we’re seeing… the powerful are telling us what we already know: that what we saw with our own eyes is exactly what we saw with our own eyes.”
Not everyone was overjoyed. Culture Warriors across the media landscape chimed in.
“What’s next? Are we all going to watch the same unedited video and then agree that it occurred?” said Shane D. Kyuk, a popular conservative blogger. “Are we all going to see the exact same footage and come away with the conclusion that what we all saw is in fact, what happened? I, for one, maintain my right to think independently. Just because you and I see the exact same footage doesn’t mean that we’re agreeing on anything.”
Another popular blogger, Liz M. Brewster, who writes about cultural affairs, took a more pensive approach.
“It’s frightening. Something fundamental has shifted. If things go on like this, people are going to have to learn that there are occasionally consequences for their actions. And I’m not sure that’s a world any of us are ready for.”