Friday, 4 September 2015
Weekend Monster Chiller Horror Theatre
It's called "critical thought" and it blows me away - the number of supposedly rational adults that aren't capable of it. I learned how to think critically on the wrong end of the licken stick. Actions had consequences. You can choose your actions but you can't always choose your consequences - so watch out!
It also used to be that a goodly part of science fiction was about making people think about social issues today - and extrapolating their possible consequences and outcomes far into the future. One of the first SF yarns of this type was written by H.G. Wells - he of the "War Of The Worlds" fame. One of his lesser known works was a 'Rip Van Winkle' novel entitled "The Sleeper Wakes" and was written in 1898. The book postulated villains that used 'the negro police' to subdue the white population and enforce the order of the plutocracy. You can just imagine how that might have been chilling to a titled Victorian gentleman of wealth and means in a rigidly structured class society.
SF went off the rails in the late 1990's; the faggots, feminists, socialists and liberals hijacked the genre, it went for a shit...and sales dived. It was literally taken away from people that DID think - and given to mouth breathing cretins that didn't. Today it consists mostly of a bunch of sexually disturbed flinks writing degenerate fiction for other sexually disturbed flinks. Well...there's that, and the endless sequels to Star Wars and Star Trek, none of which is fit to read for a rational adult with a triple digit IQ.
May I submit, for your delectation, ladies and gentlemen - the chilling story of post-social-justice America...a dystopian future where racial tensions are finally solved...once and for all! Four words for this brief yarn: BEST. SHORT STORY. EVER. (Or at least...in a long, long time)...
The day had worn him down. His prior case, the fifty-seventh of the day, had just been dragged weeping from the office, but he could not rest. He was behind his quota. The ships were already behind their sailing schedules. He had to plow onward.
He pressed the button on his phone console that signaled to the pen outside that he was ready for his next case. The indicator light beside it went from dark to bright green. Barely a minute had passed when the door across from his desk opened and two husky guards brought him number fifty-eight. This one was female. She looked aged beyond her natural count of years, though the stress of the upheavals could do that to anyone. The guards sat her none too gently in the restraint chair, secured her shackles to the chair’s hard points, and laid her paperwork on his desk before stepping back to line his office doorway. He reviewed the short description of her status and noted the contents of the check box. He’d seen it checked fifty-three times that day. This made fifty-four. She’ll have two options. No others. He steeled himself and faced her squarely. She seemed unable to meet his gaze. “Have you been informed about what happens here...” He glanced at her form again. Her given name was one of the trendy sort that he found too challenging to pronounce. “...Miss?” She shook her head, but remained mute. “I’m your routing officer. You and I have the responsibility for determining the next stage of your life. I’m constrained by the law, but you will have a choice, though your choices are rather limited. The person who limited them was you.” He picked up the form and waved it at her. “Do you know what this paper says about you?” She sniffed and shook her head. “Were you given a chance to read it?” “Can’t read,” she said. “Then I’ll read it to you. ‘Miss Jones is 34 years old and a single mother of two sons. Son Tyrell was killed at age 18 during a police raid of a crack den. Son James was serving a life sentence for a gang-related murder when the Sterilization Orders came down. He was 16 at the time of his execution. Miss Jones has never been self-supporting. She tests positive for cocaine, syphilis, and hepatitis B.’” He looked directly into her eyes. “Do you deny any of that?” She would not answer. “Miss Jones, if I go by what’s on this paper, your future will not be a happy one. And I have to go by it unless you can convince me that what it says is not true.” “Can’t,” she said at last. “It’s right. Never got married. Got by on the welfare. My boys was bad asses. Baddest in the hood.” Her eyes rose to meet his at long last. They flashed in challenge. “Ain’t gonna cry over it. Any of it.” She thinks she’s hard. Maybe she is. She should hope so. “Miss Jones, if all this is true, then under the Separation Edicts, there are only two places you can go when you leave this room.” He rose and pointed toward his eastward window. Her gaze followed his gesture and lit on the giant ship that stood waiting in the harbor. “That,” he said, “is an exile ship. It’s one of your choices. If you choose it, it will take you to another continent, a place where you’ll be set free to live out your life as best you can. There are no whites there, no courts or prisons, and no welfare, either. And very little that you’d recognize from your life here in America.” She looked out at the giant vessel, plainly uncomprehending. Before the upheaval it had been a cargo carrier. On every trip it had ferried two hundred thousand tons of cargo in steel containers, each one filled with some item the residents of other lands valued, across the breadth of the Atlantic Ocean. Its holds had been refitted as row upon row of barred cells. Its next journey would convey ten thousand exiles to their new homeland. They would next see sunlight, if they saw it at all, when they debarked on the west coast of Africa, in the land that had once been called Liberia. Most of those exiles had been personally guilty of nothing. They’d merely abetted a race war. Some had promoted hatred of whites. Others, by their promiscuity and negligent parenting, had produced generation upon generation of layabouts and violent predators. Still others had done nothing but subsist on the handouts of a too-generous society, indolently declining to add to its riches. Many of them had declined to board the ship. Far too many of them. “Are you willing to board that ship, Miss Jones?” She glowered at him sullenly. “Ain’t gettin’ on no ship.” “I see. Well, you do have another choice, but I can’t recommend it.” He nodded toward the door to the right of his desk. “It goes through that door.” He started to describe what took place on the other side of the door, stopped himself. It might be better if she didn’t know. “Would you like me to tell you about that second choice, Miss Jones?” She sneered and looked away. “Ain’t gettin’ on no ship.” “I need an answer, Miss Jones. Will you board, yes or no?” She shook her head. I suppose that’s good enough. He nodded to the guards. They released her shackles from the restraint chair and stepped back. “Then whenever you’re ready, just step through that door and close it behind you. You’ll be given instructions about what to do next.” She gave him one more contemptuous sneer and shuffled to the side door. The three men watched in silence as she stepped through it and closed it behind her. The yellow phase indicator lit on his phone console. A moment later it changed to red. It glowed red for perhaps a minute before going out. “Sir?” one of the guards said. “Why didn’t you tell her?” He grimaced. “I thought it might be kinder this way.” The guard frowned. “Maybe.” He glanced out at the exile ship. “It sure as hell ain’t gonna be kind for them.” They stepped out the door through which they had entered. He lowered his face into his hands. I volunteered. I understood the necessity. I still do. But it’s harder than anything I’ve ever done. Colonel John MacKenzie had led troops into battle. His battalion had been the first into Monrovia, and had led its pacification. He’d killed men who’d been trying their best to kill him. He’d weathered it all and had come home to a wife who’d loved him unreservedly despite it all. She’d refused to let him doubt himself. But they were armed, at least. They went to war knowing the risks. Miss Jones wasn’t armed with anything worse than her attitude. He felt his tears rising again and sternly shoved them down. Those are for the men I led who died in honorable combat. Not for the Miss Joneses of the world. They brought this upon themselves even if they were too dull to know it. He pressed the button that would bring him number fifty-nine.
This short story, an old school masterpiece, is also accompanied by some stellar social commentary at the blog I stole it from:
And the post from which this is excerpted is here:
Be cautious with the Curmudgeon Emeritus - the old bastard bites and doesn't suffer fools well.
Do not ask how I know this.