friggin parallel universe
(Originally posted 4/13/2013. Since then the U.S. has become much more like the shithole I so carefully avoided calling Mexico almost 10 years ago. Now I need to carefully avoid lumping in many of the Central and South American countries, I’m looking at you El Salvador and Guatemala, adding to our border crisis. After all, I don’t want to offend anyone. Much easier to sit back with the other hippy dippy, virtue-signaling douchebag writers and pretend the ship isn’t sinking.)
I like the idea of parallel universes because it allows me to write a story with a moral that won’t offend anyone. You see, I have this great metaphor about a sinking ship and immigration but if I use it to describe what is going on in the United States these days I will piss off all sort of people, but if I can use some science fiction premise then nobody can argue that I’m a horrible human being. Perhaps a horrible science fiction writer, but not a horrible human being. Maybe even a horrible writer in general, but not… well, you get the idea.
Let’s say that despite all the scientific evidence to the contrary a wormhole opens up between our reality and another universe. Well, a different universe but one that is strikingly similar to ours with only a few small differences. These differences are all economic. The people themselves look and act the same, culturally there are few differences and even most of the government officials and celebrities are the same.
Again, unlike most science fiction where people are not allowed to interact with themselves in another universe otherwise there will be dire consequences, in my story people can walk back and forth through the wormhole and do whatever they want and the space/time continuum doesn’t seem to give a rat’s red ass.
Now here is the real meat of the story. In one universe unemployment is like 50% and crime is rampant and in the other reality it’s not. I could give you an exact statistics but I’m obviously just winging it so there is no reason to insult your intelligence and come up with some arbitrary number like 4.5% unemployment. I will be insulting your intelligence a little later on and I don’t want to push it. Knowing the boundaries of your reader is one of the ways you know you’re a top-notch writer, science fiction or otherwise. How much insulting will they take in stride? You might want to write that down if you ever aspire to write.
Anyway (also avoid starting sentences with “Anyway”, very amateurish), because of this unique set of circumstances where these is no reason for someone in a shitty universe not to jump though a wormhole to a cooler universe, the people in the shitty universe do just that. Soon the people in the formerly-cooler-but-now-not-as-cool universe start to worry. Although their robust economy can afford to take in some new citizenry, eventually there is going to be a problem if they don’t slow down the number of people streaming through the wormhole. Don’t get me wrong, they are compassionate and all, but let’s say there is a sinking ship and a compassionate ship decides to start taking people aboard. At a certain point the compassionate ship is going to sink under the weight of all the rescued people. Then they all drown. The path to hell being paved with good intentions and all. Do you get that subtle point about how by doing something that appears good everybody suffers?
Here is the part where I start to insult your intelligence by making the wormhole sound exactly like the border between the US and Mexico without actually coming right out and saying it. We both know what I’m getting at but I don’t want to insult anyone so I can’t point out what a shithole Mexico has become. Or how everybody in the US, except for those who have already snuck into the country from Mexico, wishes we could somehow build a wormhole that takes all the illegal aliens crossing our border and hurls them into a parallel country on the bad side of the universe or, barring that, the center of an active volcano. You can imagine the backlash if I were dumb enough to come out and write something like that.
That’s why the whole parallel universe idea is such gold. I can say things without saying them. I can even use the term “aliens” and have it make sense. Some sense anyway. Let me just point out again how compassionate the people in the low-unemployment universe are, lest you think they are bad people for ‘accidently’ blowing up the wormhole. In my story I swear it was just a crazy accident.
It goes without saying that the story ends happily ever after for the one universe and the other universe ends up like friggin’ Mexico. See what I did there? You can’t claim that I’m anti-Mexico because I didn’t actually say what happened to the other universe. I simply stated it ended up “like Mexico” so if you are pro-Mexico then the story must have a happy ending, right?
I do agree the “friggin” was unnecessary.