MICHAEL: COME FREAKING ON, Alison Stewart. If you ask me for money before the pledge drive allegedly starts under the guise of making the pledge drive shorter, then YOU’VE ALREADY STARTED THE PLEDGE DRIVE. Independent journalism, my ass. Were you with me when they were talking about the Super Bowl being 100 years old? Roman numerals and sports game history have always given me trouble, but that just doesn’t sound right. Maybe I’m remembering it wrong. Or maybe I dreamed it? I haven’t been sleeping well. CBD oil is bullshit.
ALEXANDRA: Who has the anger management issues today? If your memory of this alleged radio segment has you listening live in the studio with Terry Gross dressed as Daenerys, then it was probably a dream.
MICHAEL: Now you’re mocking me? What happened to being a safe space to share fantasies? Now I have trust issues with you AND Alison Stewart.
ALEXANDRA: That CBD oil is making you paranoid. Maybe you’re misremembering a piece on Stonewall? Next month’s Pride marks 50 years! To celebrate, we get to watch LGBTQ rights roll back in the name of religious freedom. Not that those rules are great for women, either. Nor is living in Ohio. Or Alabama. Or Georgia. It’s a good thing Janelle Monáe and Lupita Nyong’o have each other, because they sure as shit don’t have the support of their government. On the plus side, even Alyssa Milano wouldn’t suggest those two should go on a sex strike.
MICHAEL: None of it matters. Not LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, reparations. Not Mueller Reports, tax returns, blatant racism. Not even Trump rallies where crowds cheer at how great it would be if we could just shoot immigrants at the border.
ALEXANDRA: Who gets this worked up from CBD oil? Oh wait, you read the UN’s climate report, didn’t you?
MICHAEL: OF COURSE, I READ THE REPORT. And I wept tears the size of Greta Thunberg. But now I am resolved.
ALEXANDRA: You know, we were up really late reading those policy pages on the Giffords Law Center’s site, compiling stats about the correlation between stronger gun laws and lower gun deaths. I love that you want to be better informed, unlike your brother-in-law who threw that “Don’t act like you care about the safety of children when send money to Planned Parenthood,” shit at me and then raised a toast to heartbeat bills.
MICHAEL: Everything Mother’s Day-related takes a pretty dark turn when motherhood ceases to be a decision.
ALEXANDRA: Thank you, my chivalrous-but-without-infantilizing-tendencies hero. Yesterday was emotional. Shit, the last two years have been pretty emotional. But today you’re over-tired, too. Why don’t we knock off of work and go see a matinee of Endgame?
MICHAEL: Didn’t you see the news alert about the woman infected with measles who went to the midnight opening in California and potentially infected the whole theater? We need to avoid crowds, rethink our go-bags. Maybe it’s because I just reread Station Eleven, but what if the virus that does us all in IS ALREADY HERE?
ALEXANDRA: Babe, we promised each other we wouldn’t read any post-apocalyptic books set in the future, only things set in the present or past. With an exemption for anything steampunk, of course.
MICHAEL: DON’T YOU SEE, ALEX? NOTHING. MATTERS. After Trump disputes the results of next year’s election then refuses to abdicate the throne, he’ll make it illegal to even mutter the phrase “climate change.” I figure we have about five years before most of the East and West Coasts are completely underwater. Those of us who manage to survive the hyper-virulent strain of measles developing as we debate religious freedoms will have to plead for admittance into the various sovereign compounds on the high grounds of the Midwest. How many of those do you think will preach inclusion of the less-thans and the marginalized? When you just want a place above sea-level with structures strong enough to withstand tornados and a handful of food sources that were luckily far enough away from the reach of North Korea’s missiles to not become radioactive, are you going to stop to ask, “Where do you stand on covering medical treatments for trans individuals?” or “What is the mandatory wait time in your community before an individual can purchase a gun?” NO ONE IS GOING TO FUCKING CARE ABOUT GENDER SWAP FILTERS, INAPPROPRIATE STARBUCKS CUPS IN TV SHOWS, OR TONY FUCKING STARK THEN, ALEX.
ALEXANDRA: We will still care.
MICHAEL: WILL WE, ALEX?
ALEXANDRA: We will. Like the Paradoxical Commandments.
MICHAEL: The what?
ALEXANDRA: That poem that is often attributed to Mother Theresa but was actually, and somewhat disappointingly, written by a straight white dude. “People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.”
MICHAEL: Not all straight white men are bad. I’m going to be apologizing for my kind for the rest of time, aren’t I? Well, I guess there’s the upside to the world ending — it won’t be for much longer.
ALEXANDRA: I know there are good straight white guys, Michael. I know you are one of them. “The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.” It’s not fair you get lumped in with the assholes. But historically…
MICHAEL: I know. Oppressors. The kinds that build fiefdoms, declare themselves supreme rulers, and exploit the meek. Might as well embrace my calling, buy some land in Illinois, and start stockpiling cinderblocks.
ALEXANDRA: There are enough people who care about the rights of the marginalized to form at least one tolerant compound, don’t you think? Once upon a time, a group of religiously-persecuted people climbed into boats to create a better, more-tolerant community—
MICHAEL: And then slaughtered the indigenous people and imposed their religious beliefs on others, but I see where you’re going with this. I suppose revisionist history does have its time and place.
ALEXANDRA: There’s something we can do today to prevent that future, you know.
MICHAEL: I tried giving up plastics, babe. But it’s been an eternity since I had a strawberry that didn’t taste like Barr’s self-respect. Now they’re finally in season and even the guy at the farmers market had them in those clamshells. I DON’T KNOW IF I CAN LIVE IN A WORLD WITHOUT FRESH STRAWBERRIES, ALEX. I bought a watermelon last week and it didn’t suck. WATERMELON IN MAY! If that isn’t proof of global warming, I don’t know what is.
ALEXANDRA: Fun fact: a lot of the people we know might not be fully vaccinated against measles. People born between 1963 and 1967 need a booster. As well as a colonoscopy, most likely, but that doesn’t seem relevant. My point is we can cull the herd of people competing for non-radiated food sources and the fossil fuels we need to make our way to the highlands by only telling people we like to get another shot.
MICHAEL: Wait, aren’t you supposed to tell me I’m overreacting and none of that is possible?
ALEXANDRA: “Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.”
MICHAEL: Did you seriously memorize the entire poem?
ALEXANDRA: “What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.” I’m further hedging our bets for making it past the metaphorical velvet ropes of post-apocalyptic North America. Don’t you think that our future dystopian tolerance-driven compound is going to need a librarian and historian?
MICHAEL: I’m going to need you to start working harder on your Terry Gross impression. Just skip the pledge drive parts.