Time-released Euthanasia

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They knew the jig was nearly up about the time that Doonesbury began to lose it’s relevance. These restless souls marked their last days of the twentieth century still evaluating the efficacy of the Ma Bell breakup, belatedly purchasing compact disc players and updating their collections. They survived the Y2K hysteria with the false optimism that, for at least one time in their lives, actually served them well. In the dawn of a new century they sat at keyboards and monitors, a new television screen to dull the senses. In another age they might have been mute apes puzzling over sticks and jagged rocks, possessed of the intuition that all the pieces were there, but what to do with them?

 

Many simply wandered off from this edgy frontier, scoffing at Huxley as they went. They donned their robes and eventually formed single file in the long, slow march down to the riverside where redemption awaits. Pastors of the new church rode upon the backs of bloated water buffaloes, herding their flock along, dispensing credit cards and pain killers; drink the wine, chew the wafer. This is the new communion, they were told, along with a host of other sacraments to be observed. They were mean little men, dressed in hair shirts and lace panties, squinting down over the massive horns of the beasts. In dulcet tones they seduced their congregants, assuring that they need confess nothing, instead only increase their credit limits.

 

Heading for a promised land, seeking some reward at the proverbial rainbow’s end, this flock’s faith begins to waver now, plagued with suspicions and self recrimination. Just as those old testament tales of bygone Sunday school classes, back when television was still free and in black and white, they realize that they too have been led aimlessly in a desert. They ponder: is it too late to turn back, or shall we begin to fashion our own golden calf? Their years are waning, their options diminished, yet there are still those who persevere. In a narcotic trance they stumble on, convinced they hear the flowing waters. They close their eyes and let the sun warm their faces as they drift into their daydream. There at the water’s edge those nice young orderlies in their crisp white uniforms stand, waiting with stainless steel trays, latex gloves and loaded syringes. They’re ready for you now, to administer that final dose. In a matter of minutes those few milligrams find their way through the bloodstream and they are freed of their earthly bonds, convinced finally, that in the end it was all worth it.

 

Along this reverent procession there were detractors, roving bands of guerrilla ministries proselytizing for their own version of salvation. There were sci-fi prophets and wunderkinds, new age messiahs to soothe every discomfort, boldly going where every dead socialist before them had already tread. In the end they were all forging their existence on the ability to persuade others to surrender their currency, whatever form that might take. Gold, silver, oil, dignity; every one of these mined out of the ground to which they all, ultimately return.

 

The meek do not inherit the earth. That mantle shall rest with the Jesters, the clowns, the underachievers. Slackers of the world unite. Or not. Inheriting this rock is not a prize. It comes with a certain degree of commitment attached to it; something the slacker may have missed on the first pass. Still, don’t underestimate them. After all they made it this far. They are like the mental patient who stands at the fence, in a pouring rainstorm, and stares out at the world laughing hysterically. He laughs because he knows that he is on the outside of the fence looking in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 2:53am
The Burghal Hidage,
That is a horrible(but splendidly done) vision of a dystopia that I prefer to avoid. I am only on the soma until I can craft an exit.
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 18, 2018 - 8:59am
It is the dystopia that has unfolded before us and winds to its conclusion. Seen through the lens of gonzo-vision... Thompson chronicled this long death march at it's beginning, but checked out before the final act. I think he knew how it would end. The slow suicide could never sate a man of such appetites
Doug Plumb Added Mar 18, 2018 - 12:16pm
The people that ultimately run it all are probably still laughing. I can sometimes hear a distant disembowelled laughter whenever I go by a public building, as if they were connected by sound carrying tunnels to the deep basement of the Fed, where our rulers have never left, unable to stop laughing since they started the whole program.
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 18, 2018 - 1:52pm
Not to go all metaphysical on you Doug, but it does put me in the mind of a song lyric reflecting upon the nature of the relationship between man and god. Depeche Mode's Blasphemous Rumours....
 
.....I think that god's got a sick sense of humour, and when I die I expect to find him laughing.........
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 18, 2018 - 1:52pm
Well, if your god is the fed then I suppose theres the just reward. Right?
Neil Lock Added Mar 18, 2018 - 2:22pm
TBH my friend: Maybe you understate your case. Big Crunch precedes the next Big Bang. The secret is how to span the two.
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 18, 2018 - 2:30pm
Can't I just stay in my room dad? :)
 
High praise coming from you, sir. I am astride centuries and generations; my only shortcomings with spans resides with my attention :)
Pardero Added Mar 18, 2018 - 2:50pm
Depeche Mode, eh? My lowbrow and slightly poppy sensibilities did not find them as accessible as some creations by Robert Smith and Siouxsie and company.
Interesting lyrics. When I contemplate God, I necessarily figure a good sense of humor.
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 18, 2018 - 2:59pm
Ah yes, Siouxsie Sioux :) The Godmother of Goth....started life as a Sex Pistols groupie. A lotta shit got stirred up out of that one '76 performance at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester...
opher goodwin Added Mar 18, 2018 - 3:49pm
I think we need some of those wunderkinds!!
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 19, 2018 - 11:09am
Whose a wunderkind?!
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 19, 2018 - 11:10am
Are we still allowed to make those?
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 19, 2018 - 11:10am
rather " Who's a", sorry