September 22, 2023

Dear Grandfather, up there in Heaven:

The last time I saw you was in 1993 and, seeing as we liked to write to each other, I have decided to send some words your way today. You survived the Spanish Civil War and lived through two world wars. I assure you that all of that is nothing compared to trying to make a phone call when you have forgotten your cell phone password. Nowadays the world has no world wars, but only because nobody believes in anything enough to go to war over, or maybe because the television audience of the 21st century doesn’t want to see blood anymore; don’t think it’s because we have gotten any better.

Our fight now is against something called global warming and in your time it was called “the Ice Age is coming.” The difference between then and now is that in the 20th century scientific predictions still had prestige and now nobody pays much attention to them except politicians, for the same reason we don’t pay much attention to Nostradamus. Between you and me, I trust Mayan prophecies more than the opinions of John Kerry, who is a Democrat who predicts the apocalypse by looking at ketchup dregs.

Do you remember those remote-controlled cars you gave me as a child? It’s amazing, Grandpa, now everybody rides in them, and we’re only a few years away from a ban on petrol-powered ones. If this devolution continues, I wouldn’t be surprised if I had to search among your childhood belongings for a donkey driver’s license for the next time I want to go on vacation with the family.

And you won’t believe this: we went through a pandemic! I promise you that we were forced to live with a mask on at all hours, we could not walk in groups in the streets, and in modern Europe a ten o’clock curfew at night was applied as if it were the most natural thing, with jail for anyone who skipped it. Then they invented a vaccine in record time, and without your jab you were not allowed into pubs and restaurants, and leaders would insult anyone who did not want to get the vaccine, or any of us who believed that muzzles were for dogs, not for men. It was a damned nightmare that obliterated two years of our lives and confirmed that the CCP’s ties are tangled up with corruption in all the major Western governments. The virus came out of a Chinese experimental laboratory and even today talking about it is still forbidden: of course, any investigation is out of the question. Let’s see grandpa, to sum up what 2022 means: everything is forbidden except what is not forbidden, which is prohibited.

God is almost outlawed, Christians are persecuted more than ever, and there are a lot of guys who profess faith in Mother Nature, which is like worshiping a poplar tree, praying to a cauliflower, or begging a lizard to help you pass an exam. On the other hand, technologically we have come a long way. There is a digital network that is, as P.J. O’Rourke said, “a device by which bad ideas travel around the globe at the speed of light,” we are connected to each other all day long thanks to social networks, which is why we no longer have friends, and now household appliances are intelligent, which means they are the masters of the house: the automatic vacuum cleaner starts cleaning when it feels like it, the lights dim by themselves when they think it’s time to save the planet, and only traffic fines arrive by regular mail, but anyone can interrupt you in the shower with a video call that, if you’re not careful, can end with you doing a full frontal in for your biggest client.

What you will certainly be most astonished to learn is that there are no more boys and girls. When a baby is born and the mother asks “is it a boy or a girl?” the doctor is quick to answer: “I don’t know ma’am, find him a neutral name until he learns to speak and can decide what he wants to be.” And in any case, you can change your mind and sex every day: the latest trend among young people is to castrate themselves, but not to go into opera singing.

Fascism has disappeared, except in the minds of the left, which claims to see it everywhere. People instead of saying “lie” say “post-truth,” almost nobody reads books, and newspapers devote themselves to something called clickbait, which is what you used to do with sea bass during your vacations in the village.

Humor can land you in jail, just like barbecuing in a forest, we spend hours contemplating our own image with different filters on Instagram, and kids lounge on the couch sending texts on their cellphones to daddy, who is on the couch next to them, saying “daddy, get me a glass of water.” Anything you say in private can be turned into a TT on Twitter (which is like a bar but worse: thousands of idiots talking at the same time and no one to serve you a damn drink), feminism has harmed women, being a man is about to become a crime, and in fast food restaurants straws are made of cardboard, because they say that plastic contaminates too much except when it covers cardboard straws that do not contaminate.

I think that’s enough for today. Maybe all this will help you understand why a huge portion of the planet is taking antidepressants and anxiolytics by the fistful.

Your grandson, who loves you.