The insufferable downy-cheeked technocrats in my employ at the Onion News Net-Work have informed me that, due to some folderol about worm-holes aboard fantastical ships that ply the very oceans of the sky, my news organization can now see the future! Naturally I had them flogged for attempting to "shine me on," but my accountants tell me that they were speaking the truth. To which I said piffle—why would any-one in their right mind need to know the future?
As my 142nd year of life approaches, I am once again astounded by the human tendency to assume that things will inevitably improve with the passage of time. Why, when I was born, women could not yet vote; smallpox claimed the life of most children under five years of age; and heroic American visionary General George Armstrong Custer was still alive. As none of these things are true today, we can conclude that the world is diminishing and becoming altogether less worthwhile. Knowing the details of its continual, and accelerating, slide into wrack and ruin is much like rearranging the deck-chairs on the Titanic.
Then again, I was forced to pay extra wages to the man who re-arranged the deck chairs on the Titanic, so I suppose knowing some details would have saved me a dollar and forty cents, which I could have invested in the Onion news-paper, and which would be worth over seventeen million dollars today; so I suppose knowing a few details is an advantage. However, without looking through this sky-moored worm-hole, I can tell you that little will have changed: The rich will be richer, the poor will be poorer, and Indiana will be a scorched and barren waste-land where no living thing may flourish, just as it has always been.
Still, there are some things people must learn for them-selves, as my father once observed concerning President Lincoln. So gaze into your worm's hole, dear readers, and learn the hellish future that awaits you, for all the damned good it will do.
Then get back to work! The hellish future is not going to make it-self!
Future: News From The Year 2137 is available for purchase now in the iTunes store.
T. Herman Zweibel, the great grandson of Onion founder Friedrich Siegfried Zweibel, was born in 1868, became editor of The Onion at age 20, and persisted in various editorial posts until his launching into space in 2001. Zweibel's name became synonymous with American business success in the 20th century. Many consider him the “Father Of American Journalism,” also the title of his well-known 1943 biography, written by Norman Rombauer.