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Life in the Empire

So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late
-- RZ Dylan


This is only a story, and it is not meant to suggest anything in the real world. This is an imaginary story about how imaginary characters dealt with the wicked few who ruled their world... or so they thought. Neither this story nor this writer is advocating anything at all, and any references to what may seem to be real historical events are only to aid the reader’s imagination. In this imaginary parallel world, the few rich got richer and the many poor were prey. For every one who joined the ranks of the rich, one thousand fell into the ranks of the poor. Of the thousand new poor, perhaps one hundred still had some income, property and a few small voices.

It only took a few neighbors and the lawn-and-garden tools most of them already had: shovels, garden forks, and the ubiquitous “tiki torches.” The remaining prop was simple to make: a large banner with a message on each side. On one side, great bold letters spelled, “NUREMBERG!” The other side of the banner had a network address: housewarmingparty-dot-org. Mirror sites sprung up as fast as the originals were hacked and sabotaged, although all the sites carried nothing but home-gardening information and a system to contact selected readers of each address. The Gatto Gorda, known as Gorgats- the rich- were convinced the House-Warming Party actually existed.

In a way, it did. At first, when disposed families were thrown out of their homes because it was in “foreclosure,” the last thing they left was a Molotov cocktail. Soon, petrol was guarded and all evicted families were escorted away from the property, but it made no difference. Nuremberg Garden Clubs were planting memorial flower-patches in front of local TV stations, and every night vacated houses burned. Soon, the suburbs were on fire. The low-level hirelings who tried to maintain “order” were drawn away form the fire and either persuaded or dispatched… whichever was appropriate. No kind of “organization” was necessary.

The Gorgats simply couldn’t pay enough… because if a left-over libertarian nylon-bedded Remington 700 BDL did not serve to discourage the sausage-necked sycophants, a sharpened screwdriver would. The Gorgats realized they created many people who were dangerous because they had nothing to lose. They thought their hirelings could suppress them easily with their stable pay and war-toys… just like the plate-armored vassals in the Middle Ages. They were wrong. People who feel they were doomed anyway will resort to longbows, sleeping screwdrivers and suicide bombs to exit this world with dignity if they have no other choice.

There were not enough cops, firefighters or prisons. There were too many desperate, homeless and hungry. NUREMBERG! Banners appeared everywhere, and beneath them people were peacefully planting gardens… vegetables and flowers. In places where the peaceful planters were attacked, there were more fires and murders. Where the gardens were allowed to grow there were more flowers and food. The Gordats had seen the torches and forks… and they knew the meaning of the banner well enough. The Gordat war criminals must be put on trial… sacrificed to preserve order. It was not enough, and the fires spread from vacant houses to businesses and government buildings.

Rapidly-closing big-box stores refused to sell garden forks. They usually burned a short time later. The fingers at the end of the Gordat’s long arm… the Gorditos, “little fatties,” the bullying cops, the autocratic “managers,” the corrupt officials, the snitches and finks were sometimes found with the tell-tale four holes in them. Graffiti appeared on buildings: “your tine is coming.” Bumper-stickers were slapped on the fat vehicles of the rich and ostentatious: “Fork Me.” Each individual community adjusted differently, as did each individual. Folks just naturally went to where there were more flowers and food. There are millions of stories, and it’s impossible to tell them all right now.

You look like you have a few stories yourself. Where have you been? This is all ancient history by now. Guess you didn’t get much news out there. It was probably hard enough just keeping body and soul together. And, no offense, but you look like something the dog dragged in. Never mind. You are welcome here. There’s a wash-tub out back right next to the pump if you want to clean up a bit. We got everything you need right here. Not much, mind you, everybody around here is poor. Nobody needs more than two sets of clothes anyway. We have plenty to eat and we stay warm in winter. You can pitch in if you want… right after you get to know everybody in the neighborhood.

Oh, it was an inside job alright. The Gords even juiced a few of their own… but it didn’t do them much good. By then, nobody cared much about that kind of stuff. Say, you won’t need that rifle around here. You can stash it here for the time being. Oh, you can carry it if you want… but some folks might think you’re showing off. That’s not a good thing for strangers to do, you know. Best let ‘em get to know you first. You’ll like most of ‘em. Everybody that needed killing around here is long gone by now—and good riddance to their nasty asses. Shot some of them, forked most of them. It’s still going on some places, I hear. We’re too busy to keep track of that stuff.

Whew. No offense, partner, but you smell kind of ripe. You might want to think about that wash-tub. Rinse off your duds and let ‘em dry by the stove. I’m going down the road about half-a-click that way. Meet up with me there, and I’ll stand you some of the best grub you’ve tasted in a long time… and some good home-brewed beer if you like. That’s right, real beer. I knew that would put a grin on ye. Good to see that smile again. Smiles were in short supply for a while, weren’t they? Well, there’s plenty more where that came from. You’ll find the girls around here right friendly as long as you leave that smoke-pole of yours stashed away. And take off that pig-sticker too.

Come on down the road when you’re ready. It’s a long shack with a great big garden out back. It’s our regular gathering place long about sundown. There’s a bicycle shop and a bake-oven… and, yep, a brewery right next door. Just follow that fresh-bread smell until you hear the music. Didn’t you pick a few strings back in the old days? I thought so. Welcome home, sister. There’s plenty of work to be done, and there’s a laundry too. Like I said, you could use it. The fight’s gone out of this place, I hope for good. I heard you were quite a scrapper for a girl… oh alright, I hear you, for anybody. I hope those days are over. Oh yeah-- there’s a sign out in front… you can’t miss it:

It says, “Nuremberg Garden Club.”

Views: 6

Comment by BO on June 30, 2009 at 12:07am
housewarmingparty.org is available. Should we get the party started?

Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in jail, today. Great. A small bit o' justice was done. But the government knew about Madoff's scamming for at least ten years--and did nothing. They could have easily ended it before it got out of hand.

So, let the lawsuits fly. But don't expect reform. The government only exists to enable crooks, murders and thieves. Always has...always will. Maybe the best government is no government at all. I say, let's revert to our tribal roots and administer our own justice. I'd rather place my trust in Odin.

Let's burn it down.
Comment by waldopaper on July 1, 2009 at 3:34pm
Now THAT sounds like fun. How much does a "domain" cost to maintain?

Odin da door an throw it in!
Comment by BO on July 1, 2009 at 4:27pm
$14/yr to register the domain. Adding a web host can be as cheap as $5/month.

Just checked on pitchforksandtorches.com--it's already taken. But if one were to come up with a similar moniker, you could sell items related to your subject matter (say, smith/hawkens tools, or kerosine oil) with simple click through ads in order to pay for the site and more.

It'd be fun to create a site like that just for the hell of it. Probably couldn't promote revolution, but you certainly could give advice on preparing for it.
Comment by Michael Collins on July 5, 2009 at 3:15am
I've wanted to read this for several days. It was well worth bookmarking in my mind.

You noted well that, "People who feel they were doomed anyway will resort to longbows, sleeping screwdrivers and suicide bombs to exit this world with dignity if they have no other choice." That's true in the case of the Iranian people. In the case of the Mexican who protested the 2006 stolen election, it may or may not be true. But both movements demanded that they be treated with dignity and respect on the fundamentals - the right to speak freely, the right to have their votes counted, etc.

I'd add this, when the people realize that they have nothing to lose, they will rise up and show remarkable courage. They may win in part or full and they may well lose and have the dead bodies and injuries to show for it.

If they survive, they may be able to see how others saw their efforts. They'll see that those who should have noticed, those advocates for the people, diminished their goals, analysis, and personal agency. They'll see that any great moment on the part of the people, rising together, is ignored or mocked for any number of reasons by the elite, their representatives, and just plain folks having a bad day: "They can't do that, they're controlled by British intel" etc." Those at a distance who have no risk by supporting the resistances by the masses elsewhere, often insulate themselves further with convoluted arguments against any group of people demanding their dignity and some for of democracy, let's call it the
worldwide dignity and democracy. movement. A true rising up by the people, without the ever present "power engineers" having any influence to speak of, is a movement already underway. I think it's one way to avoid "Ground Hod Day" (in the Bill Murray sense) at The Nuremberg Garden Club.

You said that your narrative had no relationship with any named characters. But I allowed myself to think that your title did have some symbolic meaning. It seems the judgment of our "rulers" for their actions earns us a place at the end of the road in a shack growing vegetables and drinking beer.

The act of resistance to tyranny is the first victory. Nothing is the same after that.
Comment by Mouse on July 5, 2009 at 10:24am
Cough splutter cough splutter cough cough cough.

Funny what a difference death makes, no more feet up in the evening, no more smiles. And your descendants have to manage without your kindness and friendship for years and years, and carry all the heavy loads themselves, if they survive.

While the bastards who provided the wherewithal and bought the opinions and paid the misinformers shovel your worthless reputation into the muck and lift themselves contentedly back into the driving seat with a sigh and a chuckle.

Pass the salt.
Comment by waldopaper on October 29, 2009 at 8:44pm
mercy i shouldn't think it worth crossing the lake for my sake. but yer always welcome. should like to get me own frame outta here and to a civilized place. im cross the state right now... foothills of the Alleghenies-- and xcept for the college kidz here... the place is busted.
Comment by Mouse on October 30, 2009 at 7:11pm
I think they're coming to see me Waldo, because I'm over here too, and quite close.
Christmas is ages away. If you fancy a visit anytime before then give me a shout and I'll put the kettle on.
Otherwise Christmas is fine.

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