Thank god for all things virtual.
If it weren’t for the miracle of the Internet, I confess that I would never have stumbled upon a site — no, a sight! — that inspires and enlightens in equal measure. Their motto is “Prepare to believe,” and I can tell you that I am now ready for anything.
I am referring to the Creation Museum at 2800 Bullittsburg Church Road in Petersburg, Kentucky, 41080, USA. But you need not fly to Cincinnati, Ohio, and drive the 11 km to the museum itself, for you can visit it online at creationmuseum.org and marvel at this state-of-the-faith citadel of truth that “takes visitors on a fantastic quest to find the real purpose and meaning of life.”
It was the god’s honest truth of the Creation Museum’s terse comment on evolution that struck me like a bolt out of the black: “Evolution is bad science, but makes good magic!”
As a result of the revelation, I have created the Museum of American Democracy (MAD), so that all those people misfortunate enough to be living outside of the United States of America can see what they are missing. Please follow me, you PMNs (Poor Misfortunate Non-Americans), on a virtual tour of the MAD and, if you and the people in your country are not converted, “Prepare to be overcome.”
At the MAD we naturally first encounter The Election Room, for free elections are the sine qua non of American democracy. The Election Room is equipped with real voting booths. Practice voting for your favorite candidate! Participate in democracy as it exists in the freest country in the history of the world! To vote, however, you will need to have a photo ID, a $20 contribution to one of America’s great two parties — the Republican Party and the Tea Party — and three references from reputable American citizens born in a state that voted for Ronald Reagan.
The ultra-modern Soapbox Theater features performances by mock candidates who tell great jokes and announce concrete policies, neither of which you will be able to tell apart. Candidate badges, colorful banners and all kinds of stupid hats are available for purchase so that you can make your voice heard.
But back to The Election Room, which also boasts two special smoke-free cubicles for the Republican and Democratic parties with identical exhibits on foreign policy, defense, homeland security and other important issues of the day. Only the rhetoric coming from the speakers in the cubicles tells you which one you are in.
But enough of that; moving on to the Press Room, you can read, in real time, press releases from the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon to get all the information you need to know about democracy.
Computers are provided to allow you to post these press releases verbatim on your blog or Facebook page, thereby experiencing what it’s like to be a journalist in today’s America.
As you leave the Press Room, you enter into the Taxation Room. Now, many people might wish to avoid this space. But rest assured, not everyone has to enter. If your annual income, including interest on deposits in offshore banks and laundry expenses, exceeds $150,000, you can take the Taxation Room Bypass and proceed directly to the War Room.
For those of you who qualify for this bypass, the MAD provides a “Get Out of Jail Free” card and a framed photograph of Henry Kissinger being embraced by Augusto Pinochet in a polo shirt.
All of the previous rooms lead to the most awesome area of the Museum of American Democracy. The War Room takes up more than 60 percent of the MAD’s space and nearly all of its budget.
The War Room provides all the fun an American family could ever want to have. It’s chock full of games that children of all ages will enjoy. Fly your own drone to any part of the world! Pinpoint a group of suspected militants and zap them to kingdom come!
You don’t have to worry about murdering so-called innocent people, because the War Room provides a constant stream of updates directly from the White House as to who today’s real enemies are. But as the entire list of enemies changes every week, you can visit the War Room again and experience all the fun of decimation that comes with the territory of American democracy. And don’t worry about so-called collateral damage. The guiding principle of the War Room’s amusements is: “The only collateral is good collateral.”
Adjacent to the War Room is the MAD’s Hospital. This is a real hospital with real doctors and nurses and real patients. Visitors will be asked to don white smocks and put on face masks.
However, a visitor without private medical insurance will not be admitted into this part of the museum; and you are advised to bring a copy of your previous five years’ tax statements, as admission to the hospital, even for visitors, is strictly means tested.
As you leave the Hospital, you come to the Shooting Gallery — after all, not every space in the MAD is strictly educational. At the Shooting Gallery, you can use one of the weapons provided, or you can purchase a real weapon at the Shooting Gallery Shop. Be warned, however, that to purchase a gun, rifle, grenade or bazooka, you will be required to show a membership card for a bone fide video shop or a valid frequent-flyer card from a U.S.-owned airline.
Targets in the Shooting Gallery are customized. People who work at post offices can shoot postal workers; investors can pump bullets into the suited bodies of stockbrokers. If you e-mail the museum in advance your profession and the type of individual you wish to shoot, the Shooting Gallery will have your personalized target up and running for your visit.
As you are about to leave the Museum of American Democracy, be sure you don’t miss a room that provides your tour’s bit of balanced horror. This is the TC. (Initials-only are used for Torture Chamber in order to protect the sensibilities of American children; and no child under 6 is allowed entrance.)
Here you will be able to witness and participate in all the harmless fun of waterboarding, just like in real life. Retired interrogators from government agencies act as unpaid tour guides, and the occasional bloodcurdling scream lends a realistic touch to the overall ambience. Overnight stays can be arranged for intrepid visitors who want to experience sleep deprivation.
To some, these features and exhibits may seem “extreme.” But it must be remembered that freedom comes at a price. If that price happens to be your own freedom, it’s surely still worth paying.
To prove this, here are just two comments I have already received from visitors.
“Your Museum of American Democracy makes me proud to be an American” — Mitt Romney.
And … “Your Museum of American Democracy makes me proud to be an American” — Barack Obama.
If both sides of an argument agree, the case is closed, isn’t it?
American democracy is now a museum. And you don’t even have to be in the United States to go there. It will be coming to your country, or a country near you, sure as shootin’ … if it isn’t there already.
So, lay back, roll over, enjoy — and, as god is my witness, prepare to believe!