Stranger than fiction

And the Oscar goes to…

I’ve begun to wonder at what point this dream is going to end. When, groggy, confused and needing a wee, I will pull myself out of bed and back into the land of the living. A land of order and structure, of process and procedure. A land of checks and balances. An imperfect land — but one that nevertheless strives for progress, equality and peace. Only — I’m not dreaming and I don’t need a wee. I’m waking up, morning after morning, in a topsy-turvy world, where up seems like down, left like right and the future bares almost no reflection of the past.

Trump’s daily dominion of the world’s press continues unswervingly and shows no sign of stopping — at least not for the next four years! Add to that the episodic reminder of Britain’s decision to leave the EU, the Philippines despot Duterte allowing the extra judicial killing of his people and the Turkish and Venezuelan leaders stripping their country’s systems of governance, favouring autocracy over democracy as their leadership style of choice.

Am I the only one who feels like I’m wrapped up in the narrative of a 1980’s movie, and not a very good one. In fact, if this was showing late night on ITV4, I think I would of switched off by now, unengaged by the unbelievable plotline.

Can we describe this as the ugly side of democracy or just an unexpected and temporary mutation?

It seems in this new world, ‘democracy’ has chosen a TV personality as King. A Monarch, who declares his drawbridge raised, rules by decree and orders his opposition hung, drawn and quartered.

In this strange reality, I’m beginning to wonder where to look for a hero. If this indeed were a movie, which characters are going to step forward and save the day? And whose definition of ‘hero’ are we going by? Which makes me think of Stallone’s ruthless yet moralistic killer John Rambo, galloping the Afghan plains, side by side with the Mujahidin (today’s Taliban) allied in their hatred of the evil Soviet baddies. I wonder what Sly is thinking of all this? We certainly know how De Niro and Arnie feel!

I also wonder where in the script we’ve actually got to? I can only imagine somewhere between the beginning and the end. I hold onto the hope that the end, whenever it comes, will be a happy one. I can’t stand sad endings, or worse, those strange ambiguous ones, which make you question the entire film and leave you frustratingly unquenched and confused.

In the circumstance that I was handed this screenplay by a stressed-out producer, with half the budget spent and the task of bringing it to conclusion — I would still endeavour to search for that happy-ever-after.

Perhaps we’re all responsible for grabbing a pen and writing the next chapter. Perhaps by waiting passively for the heroes to emerge we’re missing the point entirely. If today’s times have taught us anything, democracy may not be as predictable as we once thought. Let’s not forget that Gambia’s new president used to work as the security guard at Argos — no joke.

As nothing more than an amateur commentator, I have no political, diplomatic or economic knowledge to draw from in order to craft my utopian finale. As chief scriptwriter however, I intend to use this shake-up of international politics for good. I will create new characters of honesty, integrity and credibility. I will introduce vulnerability as one of my hero’s greatest strengths. I will write an ending where difference and diversity is celebrated and not hated. Where interdependence is used and not abused. Where the polar extremes of wealth are closed and the distribution of the world’s resources is responsible and fair. Where justice is enjoyed by all and not just those who can afford it….but now I really am dreaming, aren’t I!?