Offering a glimpse into how the international community perceives the pending inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, a Scottish newspaper's satirical take on the event, which it casts as a return episode of the "The Twilight Zone," has gone viral in recent days.
Amid the weekly television listings published Sunday, The Herald writer Damien Love described the Trump presidency as an "ambitious, expensive...interactive virtual reality project, which will unfold on TV, in the press, and on Twitter over the next four years."
"The story begins in a nightmarish version of 2017 in which huge sections of the US electorate have somehow been duped into voting to make Donald Trump president," Love writes, noting that the production offers "a disturbing glimpse of the horrors we could stumble into, if we're not careful."
It reads in full:
After a long absence, The Twilight Zone returns with one of the most ambitious, expensive and controversial productions in broadcast history. Sci-fi writers have dabbled often with alternative history stories—among the most common is the "What If The Nazis Had Won The Second World War" setting—but this huge interactive virtual reality project, which will unfold on TV, in the press, and on Twitter over the next four years, sets out to build an ongoing alternative present. The story begins in a nightmarish version of 2017 in which huge sections of the U.S. electorate have somehow been duped into voting to make Donald Trump president. It sounds far-fetched, and it is, but as it goes on it becomes more and more chillingly plausible. Today's feature-length opener concentrates on the gaudy inauguration of President Trump, and the stirrings of protest and despair surrounding the ceremony, while pundits speculate gravely on what lies ahead. It's a flawed piece, but a disturbing glimpse of the horrors we could stumble into, if we're not careful.
That take on Friday's U.S. presidential inauguration had readers worldwide "in stitches," the newspaper later observed, as the listing won scores of accolades and appeared on the list of items trending on Twitter in the United States that following day.
Singer and activist Billy Bragg described the listing as "brilliant," while Twitter user Scott Wryn wrote: "The award for trolliest TV Guide listing ever goes to Scotland's Sunday Herald....brilliant!!! Unfortunately now Trump will invade Scotland."
For many progressives and organizers concerned about the impact of the incoming administration, the note provided some much-needed comic relief for times "when truth is stranger than fiction," as one put it.
— Clive Stafford Smith (@CliveSSmith) January 17, 2017
— Change Fort Worth (@CHNGFortWorth) January 17, 2017
— Mohamed El Dahshan (@eldahshan) January 15, 2017
The Sunday Herald TV Section wins today. pic.twitter.com/OanCZdznGJ
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 15, 2017
— KindredSpiritNY (@KindredSpiritNY) January 15, 2017