Gordon Southern’s 2017 Fringe hit That’s a Fun Fact was a dark, nay, black comic reflection on the past 30 years or so, and ought to have been a work of fiction.
But no, every fact was true. Twelve months on, with fake news the order of the day, he re-examines his thesis to see if he can make some sense – if that is in any way possible – of quite how these things came to pass.
Take, for instance, Francis Fukuyama’s 1992 predicted global triumph of political and economic liberalism.
Or an abortive 2000 run for the White House by one Donald Trump (“hair behaving bigly”) in a campaign that promised fair trade and universal health care. Or Brexit – everything about it. If Southern is driven to conclude that things are beyond recovery, well, laughter is, as they say, the best medicine.
Recounting 60 years of US foreign policy in the style of Gilbert and Sullivan just about sums it up.