Skip to main content

Abe

No matter what, everyone has a level of pride they must keep. This is needed to care not just about themselves, but about anything, or anyone. Abe knew this. It’s that same sting that makes a dancer cover herself while picking up the currency hurled her way when she was stark naked only moments before. Without it, we wouldn’t even get out of bed. We wouldn’t even clean ourselves. What’s the point?

Some days Abe had to remind himself he still cared. It was strange. And a bit grandiose. Most people don’t have to sit and wonder if they care. Not about any particular issue, but about anything and everything. This worried him. As I suppose it should.

Just like you and I, Abe was born somewhere. And it was somewhere to a tee. It wasn’t anywhere that needs anymore description than that. To make things even more familiar, Abe didn’t much like his father. We’ve heard this story before. Abe set out on his own. Not so groundbreaking. And not with high ambitions, but with a humming timidity that had a lingering danger in its lull; like a revolver had been fired right next to his head not too long ago. This humming noise would never leave him. Not even as Abe lay dying. Actually, that’s when it was the loudest.

What do average people do when they want to be greater than average? Or, perhaps more accurately, perceived as greater than average? On good days, Abe would fancy himself average. He entertained the idea of joining the armed forces. Nothing says “I care” like a distinguished career shoving the butt of a gun in someone’s face. But then, as is today, only the worst of the worst scoundrel would dare make a career out of being a bully. Abe decided to hit the books. Information is powerful. And, as it turns out, there is a lot of information out there available to someone who simply takes the time to sit down and look it up. The entire judicial system is a vast network of precedents and interpretations that allows someone from somewhere to have a say in the fate of everything and anything from a piece of jewelry to whether or not another someone should live or die. This is good. Abe was thinking.

Sometimes Abe would dream about replacing every mirror in the entire world with one of those distorted fun house mirrors. How long, Abe wondered more than once, would it take for everyone to consider a long warped chin and an indented nose the height of beauty? Or would that become too normal? Who decides who is ugly? Is it our bathroom mirror or our neighbor? Would we convince ourselves we looked like our false reflection, even if others saw us differently? If only such power was available. Abe would take it. There is nothing wrong with using power, Abe thought. In fact, without using it, or at least maintaining the threat of its usage, power would, by definition, cease to exist. The only people who want that are liars.

A lawyer and a politician walk into a bar. Every everyman has a short temper for such careers. That, of course, is until one or the other is needed. Problems are easy to solve when they aren’t your responsibility. Monday morning quarterbacks only throw touchdowns. Back seat drivers never get into accidents. Nobody’s hindsight needs bifocals. Abe loved the high. The debate team is often more competitive than any sports team. The power made people forget. And forgetfulness makes life possible.

“The ambassador is here to see you Mr. President.”

Abe heard a familiar voice wrap around the door.

“Send him in please.”

Abe ran his fingers through his soon to be iconic beard and wiped away an embarrassing amount of liquid from just under his eyes.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

  I voted for Joe Biden and hope he wins. I’m also alarmed at the increasingly transparent alliance between the Democratic Party and influential sectors of corporate America, namely media conglomerates and the technology industry. (Their relationship reminds me of the Republican Party and the energy industry.) It’s true there are conservative media outlets that are not friendly to Democrats, but it’s far less certain how objective the “paper of record” and other “serious” media would be to a post-Trump and post-COVID Biden administration that is politically and ascetically their peer. (I would say we are at a point of competing Pravdas, but that would be a slander against the Soviet newspaper’s pre-Stalinist period when it was a battleground of ideas.) Perhaps even more damning is the Democratic Party’s relationship to the technology industry, particularly when companies like Twitter and Facebook have shown they are prepared to unilaterally decide what’s true and what’s false. Not many
I’m somewhat familiar with the story, but haven’t seen the tv series “the plot against America.” Is it any good? I’ll admit I have doubts that will be difficult to overcome. My guess is it’s a well stylized but historically simplified attempt to frame international liberalism, particularly the US dominated post war order, as something deeper than what it has become- a value championed almost exclusively by the cosmopolitan elite and global corporations. I also predict that the entire post WW1 context (three months involvement and almost 120,000 Americans dead, split evenly between fighting and the flu pandemic) is lost to Lindbergh and his anti-Semitism. Is this accurate? “The man in the high castle,” another alternative history book made into a tv series that I actually did watch, missed an opportunity to dig into American militarism by not really explaining why so many high level American military members joined the Nazis. (We were supposed to believe it’s just because the Germans wo

Drones are pretty much the perfect weapon

There is no anti-war movement to speak of. There is, however, a small core of activists that like to think of themselves as the movement. Understandably, they have focused their attention on drones. This will continue to isolate them. Put bluntly, your average American doesn't give a shit about drones. Most people, myself included, aren't terribly interested in the abstract legal justification or condemnation of U.S. drone use. (Domestic law almost always takes a backseat to perceived national security threats and many Americans scoff at the very notion of international law to begin with. How dare the rest of the world tell us what to do!) Morally speaking, Americans continue to support "the troops" when they shoot kids in person so it's highly unlikely they're going to be too bothered when some nameless, faceless Pakistani boy gets blown up via a command center in Nevada. Sure, drone attacks create more "terrorists," but so does smashing down door