to My Future Self
Dear Quasit of 2011:
Greetings from October 19, 2001! A momentous time in history,
I'm afraid. I see a lot of horrible things beginning now,
and I just wanted to remind you of a few things that America
used to have in 2001:
1. You used to have a right to some privacy. For example,
I can write my political opinions as "Quasit" without too
much chance of being tracked by the government. It seems likely
that you won't have that freedom. I only hope you're not in
jail now for lèse majesté.
2. We used to have years, sometimes decades of peace between
wars! But of course right at this moment we're marching towards
the start of the Never-ending War at a breakneck pace. Speaking
of which, I hope that you and your family are well. In your
day, I fear, every Moslem boy and girl is raised with One
Big Dream: to die taking out as many Devil Americans as possible.
3. Speaking of the war: I'm sure the media has forgotten
all about this, but it wasn't necessary. There were many nonmilitary
approaches that could have been tried first, but Bush Jr.
and the cadre of right-wing puppetmasters and religious whackos
who control him went straight to a massive military operation
as their first choice. Of course they screwed it up by bombing
innocent civilians and got us into a war with the entire Muslim
faith, sparking the Great Jihad which no doubt still rages
in your day. Or WAS it a screw-up? It certainly worked out
well for them!
4. You may not remember, but the Bill of Right used to be
the Bill of RightS -- there used to be a First Amendment,
as well as a Third through Tenth!
5. And there wasn't always a Secret Police. The Department
of the "Homeland" was not set up by the Founding Fathers,
no matter what the history books now say. The Internal Security
Office (or whatever it's called in your day) was created by
Bush, Inc., using their war on Islam as an excuse. In 2001
you didn't have to worry about Internal Security officers
kicking in your door in the middle of the night and "disappearing"
6. Along the same lines, it used to be permitted to criticize
corporations - no lie! You could put up a "McDonald's Sucks!"
site, for example, and although you might be threatened, you
technically had the legal right to complain. That was before
the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the many other bills
which followed it, of course.
7. You know, the web used to be fairly free of censorship.
And it was reasonably priced. Big buildings called "Public
Libraries" even used to offer free Internet access to the
poor. Crazy days, huh?
8. It used to be that there wasn't a draft. I know you must
be worried; your son is now almost 10 years old, and in a
few years (how few, I don't know) you'll have to worry about
getting that letter from your friendly local draft board.
I'm assuming that you're not fantastically wealthy, and have
no strong ties to the Republican Party apparatus, of course.
Maybe you should think about developing one or the other,
hmm? But it's probably too late.
9. Did you know that there was a time when the media was
honest, and tried to live up to a true standard of journalistic
integrity? You probably don't even remember that phrase, I
bet. It has been quite a while since there was much of a free
media, but I do remember a time when they weren't all whores.
Of course, that was back when they weren't all owned by the
same megacorporation, too.
10. There used to be other computer companies than Microsoft.
11. You used to be able to walk around and breathe the air
and drink the water from your tap without doing much (if any)
damage to health. Ah, the sacrifices we made for Infinite
12. There was once a man named Bill Clinton who was President
of the United States (and no, "Bill Clinton" is not just an
alternate spelling of "the Devil", no matter what the dictionary
says). And back then we had a strong and healthy national
economy! Really. There was still some suffering, but unemployment
was below 5%. The deficit was falling, and there was even
a surplus! Hard to believe, I know...
13. I'm sure that the media and history books no longer record
this in your world of 2011, and you had better not repeat
this to anyone else, but George W. Bush was not elected by
the first totally unanimous vote in the history of the United
States. In fact, he didn't even receive MOST of the votes
cast. In fact, the election was stolen for him by a gang of
GOP thugs and a corrupt Supreme Court! Of course, the recount
which would have proved this was dropped a decade ago by our
comically-named "free press".
14. "Senior Citizen" was not always synonymous with "desperate
poverty". You see, we had a couple of programs called Social
Security and Medicare. But the pResident assured us that the
money for those programs was critically needed by the military...
15. You didn't always have to carry your National Identication
Card. In fact, they don't even exist as of 2001 -- yet. I
only hope your "card" isn't surgically implanted in your rump
right now, allowing IntSec to monitor you day and night.
16. You used to be able to travel and even fly in airplanes
without much fear, except maybe of heights. And you were allowed
to travel pretty much as you wished -- you didn't have to
get permission from local Republican Party apparatchiks.
17. Finally, you didn't have to fear your government. Speaking
of which, you'd better burn this and forget it all, quick!
Quasit of 2001