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A Moment of Silence

November 11, 2011

2011/11/11/11:00AM – Remembrance Day

There is a plane flying overhead, and it seems appropriate for this day, when those of us in good conscience stop to consider what out lives would be like if the allied forces of the western world hadn’t united to win the second world war. Those planes overhead might have been firing on insurgent air vehicles, or an illegal movement of rebel troops. They might have been taking surveillance photos to determine if rebel buildings were being hidden by camouflage netting. Or, to be quite frank, they may have been flying for the same reasons our own planes fly overhead today, but they wouldn’t be our planes, and we would not be who we are today, and who we might be, even here in 2011, might not be such a fantastic people.

I sometimes think that modern writers who write of a present day or futuristic Reich are dabbling in a lot of sensationalism. Perhaps they are. Perhaps I shouldn’t judge. There was a great alternate history novel I read called Fatherland, which I loaned to a cousin who never returned it. Good book, I think. And that’s just it. We live in a world veering toward totalitarianism of a different stripe, and it’s been happening right under our noses. The fact that we still have protest and public debate on the issue is merely a sign of the times, but it can’t be impossible to manipulate the media enough to shape the public discourse if you were to buy up a significant portion of the paper and broadcast news outlets. Thankfully, no one would ever be able to commit such chicanery in this day and age.


Maybe one day I’ll have to turn my hand to writing a story about a seemingly benign totalitarian state that maintains all of the outward signs of being a proper democratic republic, constitutional monarchy or social democracy, but a mere scratch of the flimsy surface reveals a highly recalcitrant incumbent tyranny that will not be removed from office, or if so, will essentially engineer an upsurge for liberal opposition that the Tyrant will allow into office, only to carefully geld it and render it impotent using a majority of tyrant supporters in the cabinet, to pave the way for the Tyrant’s triumphant return.

Nah, no one would believe it. Nothing like that happens these days, after all. How could they?

Well, what we DO have on my writing agenda is a short story or two for Author Unknown, a project I’m not told may not see the light of day until spring or early summer, due to schedules of various writers who have tentatively signed on to contribute. I think the editor is planning on writing several stories to fill in any gaps that may arise, but is hoping to have enough writers to carry at least half off the season for him. Looks like he’s dragged a couple of old has-beens like myself out of retirement to contribute, which could be interesting or could be a death knell. We’ll see if any of us old carriage horses has it in us to wear warhorse armour again.

Hmmn. Distinct military bent to this article. Probably time to stop, before I start thinking about enlisting again for the revolution or something. Thanks for reading, and remember,this isn’t the worst of all possible worlds, and it’s in no small part because men and women gave their lives to win freedom for all of us. Wherever there is a lack of freedom, their sacrifice is being held in contempt. Remember that if nothing else, when you wonder why you should care about North Africa or Occupy Wall Street. As Mr. Franklin once said, ‘They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.’

Have a good day, kids. Now get out of here, I’m trying to work.


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