I used to be a novelist, which is my way of saying I wrote a bunch of terrible novels that were never published. One was a fantasy Narnia ripoff. One was a thriller about a family of telepaths. Another was a funny mystery about a reporter in a small Canadian city. One was the story of the survivors of an epic storm. Another was the tale of the secret bloodline of Christ and the small Vermont town that protected it by hiding it behind a series of cryptic clues. Seriously. I finished it a month before The Da Vinci Code was published. I’m still bitter.
In the early 90s, I had a pitch accepted by one of those companies that publishes hardboiled men’s adventure fiction. You may know the kind of thing I’m talking about. You see them in used bookstores, stacks of thin paperbacks with lurid covers, girls in bikinis, tough guys with guns, etc. My series pitch, and the subsequent first novel in the series, explored the shattered North America of the early 21st century. The economies of the U.S., Canada and Mexico had imploded, and the continent had broken down into isolated city-states and new, smaller countries. War was constant and life was cheap. Into this chaos walks a lone wanderer, a man of peace forced to fight to survive … etc. etc. etc. It didn’t sell; the publisher told me I just didn’t have the right voice for men’s fiction, which makes sense, I guess.
Anyway. I was reminded of this today while reading about this Russian professor who has been predicting, for a decade, that the U.S. will fall in 2010. As things have gotten worse, Igor Panarin has been getting louder, pointing out that his theories are being proven right.
- The U.S. dollar will soon fail.
- Massive unemployment, unchecked immigration and widespread poverty will trigger anger and uprisings.
- Civil war will break out.
- The U.S. will cease to exist, becoming instead a land of fractured, isolated city-states and anarchic wastelands in between.
Now, I’ve never met Prof. Panarin, and had never heard of him until today. But his theory sounds a lot like the plot of a bad, failed science fiction adventure novel … mine. So I have some doubts about all of this.
If, though, the U.S. does collapse, I have a few requests (on behalf of the people of Canada)
- Can we have Vermont and Maine? Those are nice states, and would make nice provinces. Hey, face it: they were pretty much already Canada anyway.
- We would also like Washington and Oregon. Washington because of the coffee (we are officially sick of Tim Hortons) and Oregon because we need another NBA team.
- We’ll take one Disney park. You can give the other one to Mexico.
- The major film studios can move to Vancouver and Toronto, but Jack Black can stay in California, especially if it’s overrun by gangs and lots of people are getting killed.
- You can give Alaska back to the Russians. Maybe Sarah Palin will finally, really, be able to see Russia from her house …
If the U.S. does fall, I’ll let the Obamas know they can come stay at my place until things settle down. I have lots of old comics.