WILSON: Malcolm and the opinionator general

Malcolm James Thornwhistle (of the Downhampton Thornwhistles) was a world-renowned adventurer and former Chippendales dance instructor.

He was best known for his exploration of the upper St. Joseph River, and the unfortunate discovery of Political Correctness (previously, kept well-hidden under a rock near Mottville). Had it not been for Malcolm stumbling upon this phenomenon, people would still be able to say questionably funny things — and other people would still be allowed to laugh at those questionably funny things (but that is another story for another day).

After the governor dug her feet into the shifting sand and decided motorized water travel was no longer a criminal act, prison gates were flung open and multitudes of pleasure boaters fled their shackles — albeit, with their permanent records permanently stained by bad attitudes (caused by the arbitrary decisions of the upwardly-motivated political class). Malcolm celebrated the return of his inalienable rights by maneuvering his flat-bottom Jon boat up the mighty St. Joe (powered by a 75 horsepower Evinrude E-TEC outboard motor). He was in search of the official measurement of a “social distance” (turns out it was “about as far as I can throw you”).

Two hours into his expedition, Malcolm encountered a man sitting behind a tall desk, occupying a dock along the riverbank. The man was wearing a black robe, holding a gavel made of ash, and mumbling to himself. Other than that, the scene appeared as “normal” as anything else Malcolm had experienced in the previous couple of months.

“Ahoy,” he called out (because that is the official greeting of boat people). “What’s this, then?” Malcolm inquired as politely as he could muster — Political Correctness made it a crime (punishable by public shaming) to use unfiltered speech. “What kind of stupidity is going on here?” was what he really wanted to ask, but he wasn’t sure if insulting people was still legal. Running afoul of the CPBA-20 (Corona Pleasure Boating Act of 2020) made him uncertain about the legality of common sense.

“What’s what?” asked the man in the robe, behind the desk, on the dock.

“What kind of stupidity is going on here?” asked Malcolm — turns out, saying what he really wanted to say was the best course of action, after all. “Who are you and why are you wearing a black robe, sitting behind a tall desk, and mumbling to yourself?”

“I am Woden Thorsdad,” answered the black robed man. “I am the Faisbuk Opinionator General. I am in charge of reviewing all social media posts, monitoring public and (what was thought to be) private communications, and passing judgment on the whole of humankind — at least, the part of humankind that has internet capabilities.”

“What are doing way out here?” asked Malcolm. “Shouldn’t you be in Menlo Park, California?”

“The rules changed, and I had to shelter-in-place at home,” mumbled the Opinionator General. “After the third week of working from home, stuck in the house all day with my wife, I had to get out of there. I left California and headed for the Pure Michigan woods, where the shelter was far more comforting, and the distance was far less social.”

Malcolm took umbrage with knowing the Faisbuk Opinionator General, along with the family of the governor of Illinois, were allowed to shelter in place anywhere that gave them comfort — while good folks like Malcolm were being penalized for enjoying the pleasures of a little consensual motorboating. However, he masked his politically incorrect attitude and politely asked, “How’s business?”

“It sucks! I can’t get anything done,” complained Thorsdad. “There is no internet or cell phone service out here in these woods. Social media must be going to hell in a twitter basket. I am completely out of communication with the civilized world.” He took a moment to regain his composure. “You are the first human contact I’ve had in weeks. I finally have someone to judge.” A smile came to the face of the black robed man.

“Not today, you don’t,” laughed Malcolm, as he throttled up the Evinrude and nosed his Jon boat upstream. “I passed judgment on you the moment you said you were a Faisbukian.”

Malcolm flashed a satisfied grin and pulled away. “By the way,” he added, “Take a good look around — this is the civilized world. Pass a little judgment on that.”