Short story: “The Golden Age”

by look i have opinions

“The Golden Age,” by Mark Doten

Appeared in n+1, September 16th, 2016 (!)

3990 words

“I really need to thank the generals—can I take a moment to thank the generals? These generals we’ve got, they are amazing, and they’ve said to me, we’re so glad it’s you. In every single branch of the military we have, we have these generals, and what a job they are doing. What an amazing job. And what they’re saying to me is that this is a very small little bomb that’s being used over there, a small nuclear device, and what we’ve got, it’s so much bigger. You run down the line with what’s happening in these places around the world. These are almost all very small little bombs, and even the ones that are a little more serious, even those, ours are much, much bigger, so people can understand that we are in control of the situation, and we are going to have a very, very successful number of days.”

Towards the end, the familiar voice of the president starts to wear down and uncharacteristic eloquence shines through—perhaps because the alternative is ever-increasing incoherence.