LOS ANGELES – The city of Burlington, Vermont took home an Oscar last night at the 90th Academy Awards for its role as “Progressive, Forward-Thinking City.” The city drew on real-life experiences from its past to portray the role, which many called “a masterpiece.”
“It was incredible,” gushed one audience member after the award was handed out. “I’ve just never seen such a conservative city convince so many people that it was progressive. If you talk to anyone there, what do they want? They want things to stay the same. No progress, no new buildings, no new businesses, and they don’t only want to keep things from changing, they want to go back to some sort of imagined good old days period back when Bernie was mayor and everything was perfect. It’s insane how conservative it all is! And yet somehow they’ve got everyone believing they’re liberal and progressive. It’s brilliant.”
Burlington residents say the hardest thing about the role is trying to justify their reactionary views via progressive talking points.
“Take City Hall Park, for example,” said one resident. “It smells like piss, it’s full of trash, the place is a dump and literally no one wants to be there. So how can I justify anger and outrage at plans for fixing it up? Well, one thing I like to do is to put myself in the shoes of a progressive person. What would motivate them? Could I blame it on capitalism somehow? Could I claim that making a public park into a clean, safe space for people to enjoy would somehow be bad for the environment? Could I claim some sort of discrimination? And suddenly I’m no longer a conservative stick-in-the-mud, fighting against any and all changes to my city and way of life. No, now I am a progressive and compassionate liberal person who cares about the underdog. And if progress is blocked in the process? Well, that’s nothing to do with me.”
Most outsiders agree that the performance is extremely believable, and that Burlington deserves the award for maintaining the illusion for so long. Almost every day someone will come to Burlington and confuse it with its character, but the city says it doesn’t mind. It likes being known as progressive, even if it’s just a fantasy wrapped in a little movie magic.