Editor’s Note: The following is mostly fake news. For now. Stay tuned.
News Anchor: In other news, following the toppling of two Junipero Serra statues in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the state of California has approved the demolition of California’s oldest surviving structure, the Serra Chapel, on the grounds of Mission San Juan Capistrano, founded by Serra and his Franciscans in 1776. This act followed new legislation approved by the state, called the Clean Slate Bill, in which anyone who wishes may destroy symbols of California’s heritage free of charge and without fear of prosecution.
We go to our field correspondent, Chester Cromwell, for more on these fast-moving events. Chester, while many Californians are sympathetic to bringing down the monument to Junipero Serra, why the growing concerns about other heritage landmarks?
Field Correspondent Cromwell: Good evening, Peter. I am told by sources that it is simply the next step in freeing the state of California from oppressive and insulting images, and that this removal of statues is both liberating and cathartic. Of course, care must be taken. As one art historian recently noted in the New York Times, some protesters “have already been severely injured tearing down statues,” and that’s of some concern. We don’t want to see anyone hurt as these people take out their frustrations on statues and other monuments. But, overall, this appears to be a healthy, communal activity.
As you can see, there are large groups of chanting protestors behind me; I am standing on the former site of Mission San Juan Capistrano, one of twenty-one Franciscan missions that defined for so long California’s history, architecture, and religious roots. Today, all those missions—ranging from San Diego in the south to Sonoma in the north—were pulverized due to their association of the Euro-centric oppression wrought by Franciscan missionaries.
News Anchor [listening to producer in his ear]: Ummm…Chester, to clarify, you said the Spanish-style buildings and chapels, some of them from the eighteenth century, were destroyed?
Cromwell: That’s right. A generous donor donated twenty-one wrecking balls for this project, each spray-painted with various signs and symbols. These buildings include other famous missions such as Santa Barbara, San Carlos Borromeo in Carmel, and San Juan Bautista, the latter featured in Alfred Hitchock’s Vertigo. All mission-related references are to be banished from the state as per the new mandate.
News Anchor: Chester, I also understand the Franciscan missionaries were only a subsidiary of a larger Spanish colonization of Alta California in the late eighteenth century, is that correct?
Cromwell: I do not know. Military members of that expedition, such as Juan de Anza and Gaspar de Portola, have not been mentioned by protestors and rioters, and monuments to these individuals — many stone placards that populate obscure trails — have so far apparently remained ignored and unread.
News Anchor: I understand. Very interesting. We turn now to Blaise Bixby outside the National Shrine of St. Francis in San Francisco. Blaise, Chester just mentioned the razing of several major California landmarks. What is the situation outside the National Shrine?
Blaise Bixby: The situation outside the National Shrine of St. Francis is that it is no longer a shrine, but now the Peoples’ Museum of Social Wokeness, here in the former city of San Francisco—
News Anchor: What was that?! I’m sorry, Blaise, your connection was fuzzy; you said former city of San Francisco?
Bixby: Indeed. An emergency order was passed just moments ago redefining the name San Francisco, which was named of course after St. Francis of Assisi, over objections that the 13th-century saint tried to convert an Egyptian sultan, imposing his white privilege on the man’s own customs.
News Anchor: That is big news, indeed! Has a new name been chosen, Blaise?
Bixby: Yes, apparently so. I’ve just been told that the new name for the city and bay, as I understand it, is now Zorin, named after the villain from the James Bond movie filmed largely in, um, San Francisco and portrayed by Christopher Walken.
News Anchor: Such interesting times! Well, I suspect this is just the domino effect we see with these sort of trends. Have other names changed, Blaise, from Catholic-rooted names to carefree, new names, perhaps after the whales in Star Trek IV, also set in San Francisco?
Bixby: Yes, in fact. All of California’s Catholic-themed names are being changed so as not to appear religiously bent, thus, according to a statement from California’s governor, “liberating this great state from the specter of racism, white supremacy, religious oppression, xenophobia, use of Latin, and Romanist propaganda.” This includes the state capital, Sacramento, since its association with the sacraments of the Catholic Church is offensive. Here in the Bay Area other city managers have reversed the names and seals of such cities as Santa Clara, San Leandro, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Mateo, and San Benito since all evoke the patronage of a Catholic saint.
News Anchor: I gather that this includes dozens of other cities as well as mountain ranges and valleys, such as San Gabriel, Santa Ynez, Santa Anita?
One moment. Out in Los Angeles for an update is, uh, Chester Cromwell. Weren’t you just down at Capistrano, Chester?
Cromwell: Well, I’m actually reporting in front of a green screen next to you, Peter, given the prospect of falling statues, fires, assaults, and other activities. But at any rate, as of today “Los Angeles” is no more. The city council, after discovering the original name of the nation’s most populous region was actually El Pueblo de la Reina de los Angeles—
Peter: “The Town of the Queen of the Angels”, correct?
Cromwell: That’s right, Peter.
Peter: Oh, that’s just — so L.A. was essentially named in honor of the Mother of God?
Cromwell: Apparently, if you say so. But the council is voting on a new name. I’m told that “JusticeLand” and “CopFreeZone” are the two leading candidates.
Peter: Keep us posted on that. Now, one more time, back to Blaise Bixby, outside the Museum of Woke in San Fran—or, rather, Zorin—Blaise, where are all of California’s Catholics during this transition?
Bixby: Peter, I hear from an anonymous source that many Catholics have moved underground in designated zones below the San Andreas Fault — named after the apostle Andrew — and a portion of the San Onofre nuclear site, named after desert hermit Saint Onophrius.
Peter: Fascinating! Thank you. Finally, tonight, inter-league play begins down at Petco Park in San Diego with two California teams facing off. (Turns to someone off camera.) Is it still called that? Somewhat ironic. (Faces camera again.) Anyway, Chester Cromwell is in front of a green screen shot of the baseball field. Chester, what can you tell us about the match-up between the, ummm, the Padres and the Angels?
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