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Summer of Enlightenment [SEWC]

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posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 04:49 PM
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It was the summer of 1989. Nelson Mandela had just died, George H. W. Bush's historic appeal to Mikhail Gorbachev (who's wine colored birthmark looked amazingly like New Zealand off the west coast of Australia) to 'tear down that fence' was fresh in everyone's minds and we were all Fighting the Power with Vanilla Ice and the rest of the boys from Public Enemy.

The world was still a somewhat simpler place. Donald Trump was busy ruling over his Taco Bell/Chipotle empire instead of trying to claw his way into a second term as President versus a tough adversary in Debbie Wasserman Schultz who's brilliant campaign strategy was to capitalize on her Native American heritage and pledge to turn the United States 'into one big reservation with cheap ciggies and gambling for everyone!'. We were still a few years off from the O.J. trial and his subsequent journey into California's gas chamber as punishment for the heinous murder of Joan Benet Ramsey.

Iraq, and their world-respected leader Saddam Hussein, had yet to stave off a surprise invasion by the Saudis. Called the 'Step Mother of All Battles' it was only the assistance of the United States a month later which enabled him to press the attack on the invaders and flip the tables. Riyadh fell in two weeks and the chants of 'we only went there for the sand!' were still years off. But I digress.

I recall that spectacular summer in vivid detail as I prepared for high school, where you really could get high since marijuana was legal for over 10 years at that point. The days were pleasant and mild and would be one of the few good summers left before Global Cooling really kicked in and Canada froze solid. We took in many refugees when that happened, they were hard to understand ('aboot?') but very polite and thrilled we did not have mosquitos the size of 747's. I was enjoying reruns of one of my favorite shows, Cheers, and laughing at the crazy patrons at a bar where 'everybody knows where your child is because it's 10 o'clock'.

I would spend lazy afternoons with my friends Jimmy and Andy riding bikes, chasing girls (it was still legal to chase and tackle them) and playing our Nintendo Game Guys, our favorite game being Super Mario Brothers where they get to shoot Harambe Kong. It was one of those afternoons, biking a local path, when the three of us, out doing what boys do when they are not horse collar-tackling girls or shooting viscious, infant-mauling gorillas, when we pedaled up to Doug, a boy a year older to us and already in high school.

"Hey, you three Clintons!", he called, using a popular insult at the time as President Bush's opponent, Hillary Clinton, had the 'cigar incident' when one forgotten stogie embarrassingly fell out on stage in the middle of a debate, "Come over here".

"What's up, Picard?", I retorted using an even more vile insult because nobody liked that big sissy-lala since he did not ever fire his phasers or get it on with sexy green alien chicks in Star Trek the Next Iteration. Although people, particularly the ladies, came to like him a bit more when he starred as Professor X-Rated in the Se-X Men franchise films.

"Did you guys see the new movie Weekend at Bernie's?" he inquired referring to the over the top political comedy where this guy from Vermont invites people over to his house for fun weekend getaways but instead takes all their stuff and gives it to his neighbors using the catch phrase, 'Did you feel the Bern?'. That one would almost rival 'Where's the Beef Wellington?' in getting ingrained into the social consciousness that summer.

"It was funny", I chimed in, "I liked how all the guests thought he was gonna give them stuff but he spiked the Tom and Jerry's ice cream and robbed 'em blind. Bunch of Clintons."

"Yeah," Doug replied chuckling, "that was great".

"My dad doesn't let me watch movies about Commies," opined Andy, the de facto dweeb of our group.

"He ain't no Commie, you dingus, he's a revolutionary!", cried Doug, gripping the handle bars of his bike tightly and glowering at Andy.

"You're talkin' about him like he's real or something," chided Jimmy.

"Yeah, you're right, maybe in some alternate universe or something." he lamented, "But some of the things he talked about in the movie could happen, I bet one day all the banks will go broke and everyone's gonna have to give 'em money to stay in business."

"Okay, right," mocked Jimmy, his scorn obvious, "maybe General Motors 'ill go broke too."

"No way, man. No way." I added, "That'll never happen because in the movie the banks failed because the housing market collapsed and for that to happen the Federal Reserve would have to lower rates dramatically while banks began comingling funds from investment and commercial accounts and loaning that money out in subprime credit default swap tranches which would then become toxic securities in the event of a housing market glut but that ain't gonna happen because you would have to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act first and which bunch of Picards is dumb enough to do that?"

"Yeah." nodded Jimmy and Doug while Andy dug around for a booger.

Lest you think this was conversation far outside the scope of your average about-to-be-in-high-school teenager I would be remiss if I did not mention that the United States at that time was near the tops in the world for education due to the No Child's Behind Left Unburned program instituted under Reagan. Corporal punishment was a great motivator, no one liked a Zippo to the ass cheek.

Doug, focusing his gaze on some distant but non-existent object got a determined look in his eyes and said, while nodding his head in agreement with himself, "Okay. Okay. But let's say that some group of ying-yangs do end up ditching this law, where does that leave everyone?"

"Screwed," Jimmy blurted, his head popping up from where he was contemplating his new Nike Air Abdul-Jabbar's.

"Right," I replied, "You're retirement account would be shot while your home value would take a decade or more to recover. And the taxpayer would be footing the bill for those idiots who did it."

"Just like a bunch of Commies!" exclaimed Andy in a moment of lucidity.

Cries of 'shut up' and 'idiot' simultaneously flew form Doug and Jimmy's lips.

"He's kinda got a point guys. Maybe not communism but it's wealth redistribution on a huge scale. You're taking money from people who had no implications in the scam and giving it the ones who created the whole issue. Hell, we'll probably end up seeing the Fonz hocking reverse mortgages if this happens."

"Oh, come on, dude, that's silly," said Jimmy with a touch of disgust, "then he'd be jumping the alligator twice!" and we all laughed at the reference from that great show of our youth, Happy Gays, about the exploits of a bunch of high school kids working after class in a gakery.

"Yeah, you gotta better chance of seeing a black President before Henry Winkler starts trying to scam old people out of their homes." Doug added in a most succinct and declarative matter, the implication making his statement not open for debate.

"I hope it's Bill Cosby! He's nice." stated Andy to who we all gave a cross look.

"I thought I saw Bill Cosby with your mother!" taunted Jimmy and we all howled at that one but none of us knew how true this would turn out to be one day. Which in retrospect would make it even funnier.

 





edit on 5-9-2016 by AugustusMasonicus because: Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn




posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 04:49 PM
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Doug mulled my comments over for a bit and then queried, "Alright, so maybe the bank thing is a little far fetched but what about all our jobs going bye-bye to other countries like China (which he pronounced choy-nah)?" referencing the films message of manufacturing jobs being exported to save on labor.

Jimmy jumped in on this one and offered his calculated opinion, "Not really sure how that would happen unless we got some really crappy trade deals that were assembled by lobbyists and then spoon fed to our politicians who would then pass them without telling us what they contained but honestly, fellas, who's got big enough balls to actually do something like that?"

"Besides Andy's mother?" Doug quipped which set us all off again.

I contemplated this one for a bit, trying to make sense of how it could actually happen, before replying. "Well, what if there is a plan in place by a group of people who operate outside of national governments but actually get those governments, in the name of promoting unity, to enact their plans and one of those plans was to try to and shift wealth and industry around on an international level?"

Jimmy's eyes grew wide and he said almost breathlessly, "They would have to be powerful with people operating everywhere..."

"Like the Bilderbergs?" Andy said meekly.

"No, jackass, the Bilderbergs are a humanitarian organization, this would have to be an evil group. Jesus, you're stupid, what the hell do you want to be when you grow up, dumb?"

"I want to be like my hero, Bruce Jenner. All man!" cried Andy.

I ignored Jimmy and Andy's little sidebar and continued, "It would have to be people who did not care about the rest of us and only about furthering their own agenda."

"Like, ah, like....ah," Doug struggled for a moment before the light bulb went off and he pointed directly at me for effect, "Like a world order!" drawing out the last two words for good measure.

"Yeah," added Jimmy, "but it would have to be a new one since, like, you know, we're kind of already in a world order now. But this sounds so ridiculous that I don't even believe it's possible. Who would actually think something like that could happen?"

We all stood around on the path mulling that one over as the summer sun climbed higher in a sky laced with sinuous anti-Zika chemtrails and cicadas hummed noisily in the trees around us, but not a one of us could think of a acceptable scenarios where something so outlandish and preposterous could occur. I honestly thought it was more probable to see someone paint themselves orange and run for President than to have this nightmare scenario unfold in some undetermined future.

Doug finally broke the silence, which startled Andy, when he threw out another plot device from the film. "What about the part where the political parties rigged their elections to make it so that their establishment picks all got the edge over the populist candidates? You guys think that could happen? I mean, I know the Democratic and Republican Parties don't operate that way but do you think that if they had to protect their gravy train they would engineer an election?"

"You mean like messing up counting some ballots because they weren't punched right?" Jimmy questioned.

"No, not like that, that's silly, you either voted for someone or not, I mean like working behind the scenes and making sure that your party's strategy hindered the person that was going to try and put the brakes on companies and special interests basically buying favors and getting preferential laws passed which allowed them to in essence make their own rules. That's what I mean."

I was stupefied. "How could you possibly do that? Democracy is the bedrock of what our nation was founded on. You're saying they would somehow try to take that away form us by pushing one candidate internally over another?"

"Yeah, that's exactly what I'm saying."

"But how would that person not know?"

And this is were Doug dropped his bombshell. "They would know. They would know the whole time they were getting hosed and they wouldn't be able to do a friggin' thing about it, you know why?"

"No," I asked plaintively, "why?"

"Because no one would believe them! That's why. They would all be so busy smelling their own farts (which Andy frequently did so I got the analogy) that they would not pay attention. They would think the other person was just whining and didn't have a shot anyway. They would just vote for the jackass that they think they should vote for because they have been sucked into the whole left/right paradigm."

"Holy crap, Doug." I said in amazement of this monstrous plan he seemingly concocted out of thin air, "You really are one cynical bastard to think of something so against everything we stand for as a Republic. How the hell did you end up so out in leftfield? Does high school do this to you?"

"Yeah, man," Jimmy added, "what gives? This is a really frightening future you just put together, I don't think I want to be in it."

Doug held our gaze for what seemed like minutes (well, except Andy who was busy digging in his ear now), letting us marinate in our own fear of this terrible unknown future. One were the little guy is crushed and a global oligarchy plays by rules they wrote in some boardroom a million miles away from humanity. A place were politics was just a game with rigged elections where your vote was as worthless as the promises of the candidates. A sad, pathetic reality where even if you worked hard and tried to play by these very same rigged rules the government could come and take your blood-spent spoils and hand them off to a faceless entity who literally laughed all the way to the bank. We stood there on the dusty path in the summer of 1989 and trembled at the horror of this macabre world Doug had envisioned and longed for the memory of it to be erased from our minds.

A small grin began to turn the corners of Doug's mouth and then he broke into a full out smile that he punctuated with a satisfied chuckle. "Gotcha!" he exclaimed. "You incoming freshman sure are easy to fool. That movie was just make believe and none of the stuff is ever going to happen! Boy, I got you good. Bunch of suckers, total Picards." He was now rocking back and forth on his bike and cracking himself up with the deviousness of his trap.

"Man, that was scary," I said with unbelievable relief, "you really did get me. I thought that stuff could happen."

"No, dude, it wont and just imagine the poor losers who would have to live in a s*** hole like that? Might as well try to move to another reality at that point."

Jimmy was as equally relieved, "Wow. What a depressing thought..." he trailed off and then suddenly brightened, "Hey, I just remembered, I got the Pokémon cartridge for my Game Guy. We can sit by the pool and drink some New New Cokes and play it."

"Cool!" we all yelled in unison as we hopped on our bikes.

"I think it's so cool that we can play Pokémon outside." Doug shouted as we pedaled back home in that summer of enlightenment.

"Yeah," I replied, "Who needs the future when we can do that!"

 


Non-writer

Summer's End Writing Contest [SEWC]




edit on 5-9-2016 by AugustusMasonicus because: Iä! Shub-Niggurath! The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young!



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 04:59 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

That was amazing!!!



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 05:13 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

So much el oh el.

And yet so dark.

I love you.



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 05:24 PM
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a reply to: Quantum12

Thank you.



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 05:25 PM
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originally posted by: geezlouise
So much el oh el.

And yet so dark.

I love you.


Glad you liked it Ms. Close.

How's my pet rabbit?



edit on 5-9-2016 by AugustusMasonicus because: networkdude has no beer



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 05:28 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Wow, that was amazing! Great job!

Peace

KD



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 05:33 PM
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a reply to: Darkinsider

Thank you.



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 05:39 PM
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Great Stuff



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 05:40 PM
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a reply to: tothetenthpower

Thank you, much appreciated.



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 05:45 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Very well done!



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 05:47 PM
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a reply to: Kali74

Thanks Kali. Much appreciated.



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 05:52 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Boiling.



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 05:53 PM
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originally posted by: geezlouise
Boiling.


I never liked that thing anyway.



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 05:57 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Nice! Sucked me right in!






"No, dude, it wont and just imagine the poor losers who would have to live in a s*** hole like that? Might as well try to move to another reality at that point."





posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 05:59 PM
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originally posted by: JinMI
Nice! Sucked me right in!


Glad you liked it. Satire is one of my favorite styles of conveying a message.



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 06:02 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Bravo!

Much fun.



Thanks for that!



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 06:10 PM
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*golf clap*

Excellent!

Wish you could have squeezed some Venezuelan beaver cheese in there somewhere.



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 06:13 PM
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originally posted by: TNMockingbird
Bravo!

Much fun.



Thanks for that!


Thanks for reading, you know how much I appreciate your feedback.



posted on Sep, 5 2016 @ 06:14 PM
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originally posted by: In4ormant

*golf clap*

Excellent!

Wish you could have squeezed some Venezuelan beaver cheese in there somewhere.


Perhaps our intrepid young men will encounter it as some future date.




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