Democratic Underground

Letter to My Future Self
October 19, 2001
by Quasit

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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" you.

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 Justice!

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