review by Henrry Nicolle - November 2008
EACH TIME WE CALL IT A DAY AND GO TO OUR SLEEP, we presume that tomorrow will come again to us as it will to the rest of the universe. For about 153,000 of us, it just ain't going to be. It's those troubling false presumptions again. Look around. On the world average, 1 of 113 people you might know today will not be here in a year. Beauty Queen or Moron, Pirate or President, we all fall down.
One of the false presumptions we have is that since we are here (and as far as any of us know by personal experience we have always been here) the world will continue tomorrow dragging us, well, "here". Hum a few bars from Porgy and Bess here "...it ain't necessarily so..."
My essays are not journalism at all, but simply the transcription of a few moments of one or more contemporaneous internal conversations. As with all free-flow, some is pure garbage, some can stand the light of day and the rest is just random synapse firing, inspired by the information stream which flows constantly through my senses. I also have senses which inspire thoughts without mentioning to me that the stimulus is external and not very original. One such thought relates to the uncertainty of "Civilization" as we know and love it.
With the Election following on the heels of The Seattle Sinner's sixth birthday (congratulations to all you wonderful sinners!), our world as we know and love changes. If I were really on the fringe, I would point out the synchronicity of this impending moment, the numerological six of The Sinner anniversary, the six of the term of U.S. Senators, the four of the U.S. President's term, the two of the U.S. Representatives' terms and the four plus two and how many sixes does that make? Did your presumption (false) lead you to the dreadful "666"? (Funny! You must be a real Fringer.)
What looks like our tomorrow, between the election this month and whenever the dust settles, looks an awful lot like our worst social nightmare to a Free Man, but perhaps it won't seem so radical to a Civilized man. Feel free to apply the politically incorrect rule "man" means and include all humans, men, women, children and indeterminate.
It appears that we have entered that period of change which comes to all "democracies". It is a time when the greed of the plurality yields self-determination to an elite, including allowing the unattenuated power to decide who may and who may not, including life itself. Many of us will applaud our new wars abroad and at home. Most of us will accept whatever will be our new financial system. On the other hand, we may just come through this mess poorer in pocket, but wiser at least for our own living generations. That reminds me of another archaic lyric, "Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me…"
If you've been reading The Sinner, you will have noted that our government and our society have not been exactly advocating Liberty and Individual, Inherent Rights. If you have not, shame, tch tch. You're missing a lot of timely observation and comment. Nor have many offered any acknowledgment or protection of same. We're only talking about simple "theoretical" respect, not at all asking, for permitting the actual practice of liberty by the common folk. God forbid that any individual should act without the moral and legal consent of his or her betters.
But, what if? What if some of us quietly say, "No." when we are told to give it up, whether it is our property or our self? Somebody could get killed. Yes, and nothing would be resolved, except that a few problematic trouble-makers would be removed from the larger equation. How many "No" and removals would it take for our society to divide into the correct and the incorrect? How many of us would care?
The courts tell us our vote and voice are not relevant in the processes of government. We "lack standing" to challenge. Our opinions are "frivolous" and damage to individual Rights and Liberty by the crimes of our leaders is "diluted to insignificance".
I think we must consider these questions and form our answers to them more quickly than later. Do we care if our inner-city populations are reduced or relocated? Do we care if our voice is allowed to resonate in our institutional policies? Does anyone really care who forges our chains, so long as they do not cause much inconvenience?
Does anyone see our false presumptions as we approach our ballot? Do we even care?