An Insurrection Fable

Alan Zendell, May 21, 2021

The following is fiction. Any similarity between what is written below and actual events is entirely intentional. No names have been changed to protect the innocent because every one of these miscreants is as guilty as sin.

The producers think long and hard about the leading role. They need someone who’s tough as nails and virtually emotionless, a stone-faced actor who never smiles, who speaks in a monotone, like Jack Webb as Sergeant Friday – someone like Keanu Reeves. But it isn’t that easy. Keanu is known for taking his roles seriously.

After his first reading of the script he calls the Executive Producer: “Now I know why Damon and Krasinski turned this down. You thought I wouldn’t find out? This is crap. The audience will never buy it.” The EP reminds Keanu that truth is often stranger than fiction, to which Keanu replies, recalling his role as the alien Klaaatu, sent to Earth to decide if it deserves to be destroyed, “These characters are depraved degenerates, a textbook case of natural selection failing to improve the species. I can only accept this role if I get to blow them all up at the end.”

Alas, after not being able to work during the pandemic, his feelings are assuaged by the addition of another few pieces of silver. The movie begins with thousands of ignorant, racist losers armed with everything from fireplace pokers to AR-47s demonstrating outside the White House. The scene evokes cliches about tinderboxes and smoking volcanos. The audience can actually feel the Earth tremble and Keanu is in his element, feeling like he is embarking on another Excellent Adventure. Surely, some of the thirty plus police agencies in Washington are about to swoop in to protect the president, whom the Secret Service must have locked down in the nuclear-proof bunker beneath the White House by now.

But no, here comes the president, approaching a podium with a microphone, accompanied by his personal lawyer, a once prominent mayor and prosecutor who has sadly lost his mind. They’re flanked by a few people from the House and Senate who are egging the mob on to violence. Then, with the entire country and much of the world watching, the president ratchets the volume even higher, suggesting that the mob march to the Capitol and lynch the Vice President.

I know what you’re thinking – no wonder Keanu wanted to toss the script in the trash, but the scene has actually energized him. As people in Congress and the Cabinet demand a bipartisan investigation into the ransacking of the Capitol, the deaths of five police officers, the injuries to hundreds more, and the obvious connections between certain members of Congress and the insurrectionists, the role of hard-nosed, no-compromise chief investigator has him psyched. The majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate are all furious with the president, the first time they’ve acted in unison since John McCain was laid to rest – well, almost, as the president took that opportunity to remind Americans that Prisoners of War aren’t heroes.

Truth be told, Keanu had never finished reading the script. He’d stopped when it became obvious that he was going to have a great time beating the heads of White Supremacists and disaffected survivalists. His crowning moment would be testifying in Federal Court about the actions of everyone in the government who was complicit in the insurrection, as a grateful nation tearfully watched. It was time to read the final act.

At first he’s confused. He must have picked up the wrong script. What had been a unanimous commitment to get to the bottom of what happened on January sixth has become another partisan football. Suddenly, the two minority leaders, who had been only too happy to throw off the yoke of a narcissistic madman realize that they and their colleagues lack the courage and integrity to stand up to the former president. They have all resumed the roles of sycophants, despite the transparency of their changes of heart. Did not the entire world see and hear them on January seventh and eighth?

It is at this point that Keanu finally says No. “I’m sorry guys, but no one will ever believe that the Congress of the United States of America could be that craven and impotent. Maybe in Paraguay or Myanmar, but not here. I won’t destroy my reputation by being a part of this.”

So there you have it. Thanks to Keanu Reeves, who isn’t even an American, being willing to tear up his paycheck to do the right thing, the country and the world will never have to bear witness to the world’s best hope for democracy degenerating into a pathetic parody of a nation.

Thanks, Keanu. (And please accept my sincere apology.)

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