The World Has Already Ended and YOU MAY DIE!!!
“The ‘we can stop this from happening' part of the story is over. It’s already happened."
I imagine they held hands before they fell to their deaths.
Maybe there was a quiet moment shared between two lovers, an acknowledgement of all they'd been through. Perhaps there was a single tear and a calm squeeze of the hand. It'd all be okay, he says, we'll be together and we won't have to worry.
A pained smile, a small, almost depressing laugh. Yes, together. I love you.
I love you too, he says.
And then they step forward.
It was a small fall, all things considered, but certainly enough to do the job. I don't know if you've ever heard what a falling body sounds like, but you can go into your kitchens right now, wet a rag, and throw it against the ground. In the pockets of their crumpled corpses were found two notes, both in plastic bags so they wouldn't be soaked in blood. One had the title “WE HAD A WONDERFUL LIFE.’’
“We can not live with the financial reality," the note said according to the Post,“We both have medical issues, we just can’t afford the health care." This happened in NYC, a place where according to a 2016 GOBankingRates study, the No. 1 cause of financial stress is paying down debt, with the average balance per person hitting around $50,000; the same city is home to Wall Street and the largest amount of billionaires in the world.
In some places such pointless death might start a revolution, or at least a call for revenge against the wealthy. Normal human reactions like disgust funneling into rage. Such an event is an omen, a sign that all is not right with the world.
For Americans it's business as usual. We're the greatest country in the world. Splat. Highest life expectancy. Splat. Truly free and prosperous. Splat.
“Sweet god!" a voice cries out, “my arm!" Looks like a jumper survived, groans of pain reaching a piercing shriek. “My arm is fucking bent backwards! Oh god I can't feel my legs. SWEET JESUS HELP ME! AAAAAAAAH! OH MY GAAAAAAHD! PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME!"
Walk away, nothing to see here. Just some crazy. Hey, what's the news look like today?
There appears to be a fog over the United States and its people, a weird haze that drips into every interaction. People drive and carry on like everything is normal, everything is fine, in a country where everything will be like it always has been, no matter who's in office or how things change.
Something is happening though, and as much as the American people may deny it my wizard-sense is ablaze with the feelings of danger. Run Devil Run oil covers the doorframe and I'm quietly communicating with comrades that we have crossed a precipice. I am telling people to buy a little extra food and a little extra water, watching eyes explode with fear as I tell them the details I have pieced together. The fog is lifting and people are suddenly becoming terrified of the times we live in.
What was that? That sound? Probably more bodies hitting the pavement. Nothing to worry about, that's always happened....right?
Just like the United States has always threatened to jail journalists who print government leaks. Right?
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a dramatic escalation in the U.S. government’s crackdown on leaks on Friday, threatening to subpoena news organizations for information about their sources even more frequently than the Obama administration... Sessions said that the Justice Department was reviewing Obama-era policies that set limits on its ability to subpoena journalists."
Let me explain to you what this means: If a journalist or media company publishes a leak and the government subpoenas them, they have to testify in court. They will be asked who the leaker was. If the journalist or representative refuses to say they will be found in contempt of court and thrown in jail by the same Justice Department currently seeking to give protesters up to 75 years behind bars for "rioting."
That sound like any particular political ideology to you?
Of course this isn't new. Obama used the World War I-era Espionage Act to prosecute leakers more than all of his predecessors combined, and dramatically built up the Justice Department’s infrastructure for going after people who shared information with the press. But Trump has taken the ball and run with it, Sessions stating that the Justice Department has nearly tripled the number of active leak investigations it was conducting since the new administration took over in January.
But it doesn't end there.
Who could forget the recent speech President Trump gave to an entire crowd of police officers? Apparently everybody has. Oh sure, you may have heard capitalist reporters mention a soundbite or two, but have you actually bothered to read it? The entire thing sounds like a speech Hitler might have given the Gestapo:
“Together, we’re going to restore safety to our streets and peace to our communities, and we’re going to destroy the vile criminal cartel, MS-13, and many other gangs..... I was reading — one of these animals was caught — in explaining, they like to knife them and cut them, and let them die slowly because that way it’s more painful, and they enjoy watching that much more. These are animals."
Other gangs... who decides what a gang is? Note that New Jersey, the same place this speech took place, has officially designated Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization. Didn't mean to interrupt, just wanted to make clear this is YOU he's talking about. Go on, keep reading. Grab a drink while you're at it. You'll need it.
“...we have your backs 100 percent. Not like the old days. Not like the old days. (Applause.) You know, when you wanted to take over and you used military equipment — and they were saying you couldn’t do it — you know what I said? That was my first day: You can do it."
“I especially want to thank ICE Director Tom Homan, who has done an incredible job in just a short period of time... he looks very nasty, he looks very mean. I said, that’s what I’m looking for."
“I said, hey, Tom, let me ask you a question — how tough are these guys, MS-13? He said, they’re nothing compared to my guys. Nothing. And that’s what you need. Sometimes that’s what you need, right?"
“But from now on, we’re going to enforce our laws, protect our borders, and support our police like our police have never been supported before. We’re going to support you like you’ve never been supported before."
“They have transformed peaceful parks and beautiful, quiet neighborhoods into bloodstained killing fields. They’re animals... You’re not going to allow it to happen, and we’re backing you up 100 percent. Remember that — 100 percent."
“One by one, we’re liberating our American towns. Can you believe that I’m saying that? I’m talking about liberating our towns. This is like I’d see in a movie: They’re liberating the town, like in the old Wild West, right? We’re liberating our towns."
“And when you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon — you just see them thrown in, rough — I said, please don’t be too nice."
“..the laws are so horrendously stacked against us, because for years and years they’ve been made to protect the criminal. Totally made to protect the criminal, not the officers. If you do something wrong, you’re in more jeopardy than they are. These laws are stacked against you. We’re changing those laws. But in the meantime, we need judges for the simplest thing — things that you should be able to do without a judge. But we have to have those judges quickly. In the meantime, we’re trying to change the laws."
After the press went into a small uproar official police communiques stated they would never, ever willingly rough up anyone, a baldfaced lie every black person in this country can attest to. The Capitalist media nodded and went back to sleep.
Yet what happened only a few days later?
Ho ho ho, I'm sure that officer will be reprimanded. Probably not, and god help that poor boy when his local copshop puts him on the enemy list. That was in a crowd of people, imagine what awaits him when the cameras aren't rolling and the bodycams go off...
Nobody bats an eye, nobody notices the pot slowly boiling. Human beings are being referred to as animals, police are being told laws are being changed so they can do anything, and journalists are being threatened with jail. We are beyond the “ha ha Trump's a fascist" jokes to a full blown shift in our reality, a point where we have to admit something drastic, historic, and absolutely fucking terrible is going on. This isn't “just another President." This is the American State finally becoming what we have all feared.
“Oh come off it Bonesy," you say, “he's a little authoritarian, sure, but he's not a fascist. I mean yes, he literally advocates the melding of corporate and state economic interests into a war-like brand of protectionism, that's straight out of Mussolini. And, true, the whole cop thing sure seems to be heading the way of the brownshirts in an almost literal fashion. But, while it almost totally fits the bill, I refuse to believe we are in any danger till it's something out of a comic book.."
How much more dystopian do you want it to get? At what point do we as radicals realize the game has changed, that we are long past the point of "activism?" We're sitting here pretending that this is all normal, that everything is okay and after Trump gets impeached life will go back to the way it was.
Do you not remember when ICE agents disobeyed a court order and followed the personal edicts of the President? Did you miss the leaked memo where they have stated they will arrest any "alien" they encounter, regardless of what laws are on the books? Do you think the millions of cops currently being showered with praise, money, and protection by this administration are going to lift a finger to stop him? Have you not seen the videos of three-percenter militias arresting protesters or watched the Republican Party hire them as official security? Are you so naive you honestly believe the military would rise up if Trump declared martial law tomorrow, the same forces that have been caught breaking military law just to show how much they love him?
That wasn't some yahoo national guardsman with a hard-on for electoral victories, that was a fucking navy seal team. Are you getting nervous yet?
The game is up folks, and all the protesting has accomplished jack shit. YOU LOST. The”"we can stop this from happening" part of the story is over. It's already happened. You quickly need to shift focus from punching AltKnights and grapple with the fact that you could very well be facing violence, imprisonment, or even death at the hands of an authoritarian state. Everything Hitler did was legal, and I imagine it looked much the same: small, little changes in everyday life nobody seemed to notice or saw as "isolated incidents."
“Ha ha," said one German over dinner, “I mean that Hitler guy is whacked out. He referred to Jews as animals the other day, can you believe that? Pity the Communists are outlawed, I might have voted for them next time around. Come election season I'll be sure to vote the bastard out of office."
“I'm getting a little scared," his wife says helping herself to another serving of saeurkraut. “The Goldbergs had their store closed down the other day, and Herschel even got beat up!"
“Well that was just the Sturmabteilung. You know how crazy they are. Hitler is right in the sense this country is running wild. If we had a stronger police force they wouldn't be able to do such things."
“But why was their store closed down? They hadn't done anything!"
“Honey," he says now behind a paper, “I'm sure there was a good reason for it. I mean, the police aren't just going to round people up for no reason. Maybe he was hoarding money or something, you know Hitler even said-"
“But what about the others? The violence, the parades, the masked men. My sister and her husband moved away!"
“The same one that had a nervous breakdown after the election? She worries too much! Honestly sometimes I think-"
She slams her fist on the table. His eyes now move from the paper, shocked at the mild woman now brimming with fury. Who was this, and what had become of the fraulein he'd met picking daises only 2 years ago?
“Heinrich," she says, arms practically shaking, “I am scared. Something is not right, I know it. I've had dreams Heinrich, terrible dreams of war and death and fire. Fire, Heinrich! And gas! And I keep looking around and nothing is like it was, everything's become so different. People who have lived here for generations are leaving! Doesn't that seem odd to you? This isn't our Germany any more Heinrich, this isn't right. This isn't normal!"
Heinrich puts his paper down, moves to her, holds her tightly. He's had the same fears, the same worries. He's dreamed of fire too. But he has to be strong, he can't show her he's afraid. He could never tell her about the man that questioned him about his party affiliation, or that Johan at the auto garage had been arrested. He needed to keep calm and not let her get afraid, get paranoid. He needed to be strong.
“There there my love, there is nothing to worry about." He looks ahead and tries not to meet her eyes. “Everything is fine, everything is going to be alright. I'm sure times are just a little weird, that's all. Politicians just like to whip people up, and they never do what they say anyway. When the National Socialists lose the next election you'll see everything go back to the way it was. Too many men died in the trenches of the Great War to be led by a madman again, too many perished to fight and kill like that. Let Hitler say what he wants. Everything is going to turn out fine."
The same conversation surely happened in Rwanda, in Yugoslavia, and even in Syria before the bullet-riddled bodies started to be left in the street. Life was normal, catastrophe something that happened to other people. Everything was going to turn out juuuuust fine.
And so it goes, the human mind and its unlimited capacity to rationalize anything. The American people have watched video after video of police executing person after person, and still we do nothing. We watch each and every one get off scot-free and we shrug our shoulders, believing next time will be different. It'll be the same when the first journalist goes to jail, when the prisons get filled with Antifa, or when the first crowd of people gets gunned down by militia members protecting government officials from “rioters."
We're going to assume that everything is going to be okay, that everything is normal, and above all we'll casually ignore the sound of body after body hitting the pavement.
Because this is America, and things like that don't happen here. Life goes on, business as usual.
Dr. Bones is a Hoodoo-slingin’ Florida native and Egoist-Communist spitting pure vitriol and sorcerous wisdom at a world gone mad. He lives with his loving wife, a herd of cats, and a house full of spirits.
His poltergasmic politics and gonzo journalism can be found at Gods & Radicals and The Conjure House. He can be reached by email, twitter, or facebook. Want to do him a favor? Help keep him alive for as little as $4.99 a month.