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The Mass Media

Flickering Beacon exposed! God up to his old tricks

God+sits+in+a+bubble+in+the+middle+of+a+galaxy+in+front+of+multiple+monitors.+Illustration+by+Bianca+Oppedisano+%2F+Mass+Media+Staff.
Bianca Oppedisano
God sits in a bubble in the middle of a galaxy in front of multiple monitors. Illustration by Bianca Oppedisano / Mass Media Staff.

Like me, you may have stumbled upon a bathroom flier. You may have heard whispers through the grapevine. You may have even—and this would be an especially rare one—have visited their webpage. Most likely, if you’re lucky, none of these things apply when you hear the term “Flickering Beacon,” and the first thing that comes to mind is Bobby Beacon when he forgets to refill his Viagra prescription. 

Providing a warning to “the elderly, the pregnant, and people with severe wokeness” to avoid the site, The Flickering Beacon is an over-glorified, alt-right blog presenting its political narrative through the guise of supposed “satire.” While I don’t agree with their politics, ultimately, their existence doesn’t bother me. What does bother me is the fact that everything they post is anonymous.      

Look, I’m an advocate for free speech, but when you take jabs at the administration, faculty members, campus organizations and political ideas behind the veil of a two-faced Janus cat, the integrity of your words diminishes. When I wrote that Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco is a dark lord of the Sith who shoots bidet water out of his fingertips in a conquest to become the Grand Chum Master of the Seven Seas, I put my name on it. If that isn’t integrity, I don’t know what is. 

To omit their names is downright cowardly, a fact The Flickering Beacon even jokingly admits to on their site; however, just because you’re self-aware of your cowardice, doesn’t mean you’re not a coward. They even claim they’re somehow brave for writing—anonymously—about what they do. It’s a statement that’s about as contradictory as “Courage the Cowardly Dog.”    

After my initial discovery, I’ve tried my best to ignore The Flickering Beacon, but the anonymity of their writing haunted me to no end. I had to find out who was behind it. But how? This I did not know. Then I received an email. It was from a mysterious source claiming to be the site’s “Editor in Mischief,” the infamous Frank and Louie. The contents of the message were cryptic. The body of the email read as follows: 

“If you truly seek to find the truth through the looking glass, follow the white rabbit out to the dock, tie a cinder block to your leg and go for a dip.” 

Having no way of knowing whether or not the message was legitimate, I decided to do the smart thing and follow the directions to a T. There wasn’t any looking glass or a white rabbit, but the conveniently placed cinder block and rope gave me a sense of reassurance. It was a sense that quickly faded as dirty harbor water poured into my lungs.

This is where the story begins.   

The darkness enveloped me. My mind was a murky void blinking intermittently between states of feeling like shi— and wishing I were dead and states of REALLY feeling like shi— and wishing I were dead. Memories swirled around my head like a vicious whirlpool of embarrassment and regret, replaying my life like a cheaply produced independent film that probably would have scored sub 10 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, had any critic cared enough to actually watch it. 

Scraps of pink metal…rotten zucchinis…the incident with the snake…copious amounts of Doritos and Mountain Dew…wait a minute…aggressive keyboard typing and crude profanities centered around something your mother didn’t say last night…these weren’t my memories! What the…   

My eyes snapped open as my entire body jolted upright. Around me, an endless array of galaxies spiraled in an abyss so vast my eyes could barely comprehend what they were seeing. I seemed to be protected by a bubble of some sort, sitting smack dab in the middle of complete universal chaos. For the Scentologists out there who have long pondered what such a place smells like, imagine the musty aroma of your average teenage boy’s bedroom and multiply it by the number of hydrogen sulfide particles currently bouncing around in the atmosphere of Uranus. 

Here at the center of time and space, an area known as the Mother’s Basement of the Cosmos, resides the one behind this foul stench. He’s the man responsible for The Flickering Beacon and, well, everything that ever was and will ever be. 

As he closed out of Minecraft—revealing a background of some scantily clad anime girl on his duel display—he spun around in his leather gaming chair, burped with the ferocity of a wild boar who got into Aunt Betty’s onion patch and asked with all sincerity, “You wanna play a game of penis?” 

Face-to-face with the being over which wars have been fought, blood spilled, land stolen, people divided and all I could manage to mumble out was a confused, “What?”

“You know,” spoke the man while scratching his scraggly beard and tightening the drawstring of his suspiciously stained sweatpants. “We take turns saying the word ‘penis’ progressively louder each time to see which one of us chickens out first.” 

“No, God. I don’t want to play ‘penis’ with you.” I couldn’t believe these words were coming out of my mouth. The good Lord seemed a tad angered by my refusal.

“Alright, we’ll cut the crap. You wanna know why I’m doing that Flickering Beacon bullshi—, right?” he said.

I nodded. 

“Short answer, I don’t know.” God shrugged apathetically and turned back to his computer. He grabbed a mouse with so many buttons and toggles on it that it should’ve been called a rat. In a few moments, he opened up The Flickering Beacon’s webpage. 

“Watch this,” he said. 

Waggling an orange, Cheeto dust-encrusted finger in the air for a few moments, God appeared to have an epiphany. He began typing, “Blue-haired college kids.” He paused to think hard about where he wanted this to go. Continuing the headline, he then wrote, “incite woke mob riot due to…” Again, he stopped to gather his thoughts. A mischievous glint sparkled in his eyes. He put the cherry on top with, “critical-race theory.”  

“When it comes to human politics, I know diddly squat,” said God while spinning back to face me. “I’m an agent of chaos, the kind of guy who just kind of does things. When you’re infinitely powerful and infinitely all-knowing, things can get pretty infinitely dull. I post something like this at a school like yours and someone like you gets all bent out of shape over it. It’s hilarious! The jokes on you for giving a shi—, kiddo.” 

A Few Quick Notes Regarding The Existence of a God:

  1. I’m cool with what anyone wants to believe.
  2. Personally, I’m cool with not believing anything. 
  3. It’s not logical for fu—ed up shi— to be happening in the world if God’s infinitely powerful and infinitely all-knowing, unless…
  4. God’s infinitely a di—.     

“Look, is there anyone else I can talk to?” I asked hopefully. “Is Jesus around anywhere? And please don’t tell me he’s as abysmal as you.” 

Mr. Manifest Destiny sprang from his chair in a fury, his man boobs jiggling with the might of a one-thousand-year-long crusade: “Jesus Christ! How many times do I have to say it? I’m not his father! I don’t know if it was Peter, Paul or Mary, but these rumors need to stop! Son of God? Please! The guy was a children’s novelist—and a damn good one at that—but when it comes to this divine worshiping stuff, it’s got nothing to do with me.” 

From the left side of the bubble that protected us from the sweltering inferno of existence, our conversation was interrupted by the opening of a medium-sized green portal from which stepped three medium-sized green aliens. The middle alien, dressed in a long elegant tin-foil-looking robe, kneeled before God. His two companions followed suit.  

“For many millennia our civilization has toiled tirelessly to reach you,” spoke the tinman with a surprising amount of heart. “Oh, great Gomlifarbliblarb, tell us the answer. Tell us why we toil so.”    

God laughed and looked back at me. “Different people call me by different names. There’s a planet out in the Pleiades that calls me ‘Smokejack Underbum.’ I thought you’d like to know that before I flush you back to that Marxist indoctrination camp you call a university. Oh, and I should probably warn you: Watch that a—!” 

Did he say… flushed? 

Before I could react, God pulled a rope dangling from the ceiling causing the bubble beneath me to ripple wildly like a puddle that had a mountain thrown into it. I started spinning, sinking slowly into the nether, flushed back to the nothing from whence I came. The last thing I remember before disappearing was God turning to the aliens and asking…“Any of you guys up for a quick game of penis?” 

About the Contributors
Joe DiPersio, Humor Editor
Bianca Oppedisano, Illustrator