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Welcome to the Occupation
by Johnny Red

Welcome to the Occupation

"I wish I was there," I said to Casey, pointing at the TV piping the Inauguration into our home in real time.

"Why? Ice is falling from the sky!" he exclaimed.

"This is history, man — the first time we've elected a golden retriever puppy President!" Pleased with my cleverness, I sat down on the couch to roll a joint. Casey sat down too, and together we watched this spectacle unfold with growing disbelief. A nameless authority was droning on about the security measures in place."The President's limousine can withstand nearly every kind of violence known to man, including traditional explosives, radioactive fallout, and chemical and biological threats by its self contained atmosphere within," the TV said. "You'll notice that the windows have a slight greenish cast to them- that is not from any kind of tint, but is simply due to the fact that the glass is nearly one foot thick."

"My god, that's a luxury tank!" Casey said. "I wonder how much it cost the country," said I, putting the finishing touches on the J. The announcer went on, "Over twenty four hundred military and civilian security personnel are here to protect the President from any conceivable threat. This includes an elite force of 70 FBI agents in full SWAT gear, affectionately referred to as 'our big hammer' by Jim Rice, the head Federal Agent on the scene."

"That's utter bullshit!" I cried at the flickering screen. "Those pigs are there to prevent any of these protest groups from getting on the parade route and attracting more media attention to their causes. There is no threat to the president here! They just said I could basically wrap myself in TNT and stand on the hood of that car and all I would do is make a mess — the President wouldn't be in any danger! He isn't in any danger! This is just a show of force, plain and simple!" Casey said "Hell yeah, this looks like those old films of you see of Nazi parades, you know, like in Contact."

"Or those gigantic Soviet May Day extravaganzas, just without the missiles," I replied, hitting the joint. "Fascists are fascists, regardless of the politics they hide behind," Casey quipped. "That's true. A fascist society is one where power is concentrated to the elite, the individual takes a subordinate position to the interests of the state, and there are centralized, pervasive controls on thought and behavior," said I, proud of my recall of Western Civ.

"Well, with three percent of our population controlling ninety percent of the wealth, power is definitely concentrated, and with our legal system telling both men and women what they are allowed to do with their own bodies, individual choice definitely takes a sideline to societal norms, but I don't think that we have centralized control of thought and behavior. There is no Ministry of Information or anything like that in America," retorted Casey in defense of his homeland.

"Look around at the media," I replied, roaching the end of the joint into the ashtray. "All I see is huge amounts of unsolicited advice about how we should band together as a nation in support of this dubiously elected nitwit. While I appreciate the call for unity, that is most certainly not good journalism. I have yet to hear one dissenting voice in the mainstream media about Bush's legitimacy. The bottom line is that more Americans voted for Gore! Their should be public outcry at this obvious failure of democracy."

"So why isn't there?" asked Casey. "Because we've been told that our betters and wisers have made a decision for us, and we should back that, we should be happily led and mind our own business. We've been told this repeatedly and pervasively by most, if not all of our news outlets. Fascism!" I cried at the flickering spectacle on my TV. "I wish I was there throwing eggs." Casey laughed, then switched the station to Comedy Central.

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