Scene from "A Taste of Armageddon" - I see where SNL got the Cone Heads.

Topics: Commentary, Existentialism, Politics, Star Trek

From "A Taste of Armageddon," Teaser and excerpt of Act I:

On a diplomatic mission, the crew visit a planet that is waging a destructive war fought solely by computer simulation, but the casualties, including the crew of the USS Enterprise, are supposed to be real.

Anan reveals that Eminiar has been fighting a war with the third planet of the system, Vendikar, for almost 500 years. But despite a hit, right in the city, Kirk and his landing party can find no evidence of war. No explosions, no radiation, nothing that would suggest the damage he is assured is occurring.

Spock finally deduces the truth: the war is fought with computers. Casualties are calculated, and the victims have twenty-four hours to report to a disintegration station so their deaths may be recorded. This tidy solution preserves the civilization, despite the cost in lives. Kirk is incredulous that people would simply walk into disintegration machines and never come out; Anan assures him that his people have a high sense of duty. And then Anan tells Kirk that when the Enterprise entered orbit, it became a legitimate target, and it has been destroyed by a tricobalt satellite explosion. Like the victims on the surface, Kirk's crew has twenty-four hours to report for disintegration. Kirk and his party are imprisoned to ensure compliance.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: "Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan." Good Reads

George W. Bush: "Good evening. Today our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices: secretaries, business men and women, military and Federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror." The American Presidency Project

S-hole president*: “He said he didn’t meddle — I asked him again,” Mr. Trump told reporters traveling with him aboard Air Force One as he flew to Hanoi for more meetings. “You can only ask so many times. I just asked him again. He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did.” NY Times

That has been proven a lie in a sequence of colossal, Olympic-level lies with the thirteen indictments last Friday and the thirty-two additional yesterday. It is not a lie; not a hoax. It is the deluge of 2,000 plus lies that have pummeled us; stymied ethics specialists and statisticians tabulating political fact from fiction, alike from our faux chief executive* that has insulted "truth, justice the American way" and everyone BUT Vlad the Impaler of democratic republics.

We
were
ATTACKED!

It didn't result in deaths or casualties, at least not immediately. It didn't result in 3,000+ souls lost and twin towers crashing. It didn't result in the heart wrenching sight of people who decided between fires hot enough to turn human bodies into ash...and gravity as they fell to their certain deaths. Our deaths now are serial: to which we will naval-gaze and pontificate until we grow numb...until the next shooting.

No...what we're witnessing is the death of democracy. It's happening with every school shooting the NRA uses the silent treatment for us to forget (and likely channeled money to a certain campaign from Russian oligarchs). The colossal gun deaths that make it 25 times more likely to die of gun violence in the US only benefits our enemies. We slowly lose hope in the collective responsibility of governance with every march after every shooting, every call to our so-called representatives* that only answer to the whisper of bills from the gun lobby. It doesn't matter to the Russians who they choose for public office. A Florida mayor (a democrat) was indicted for laundering money from Russian benefactors. They could select a democrat in 2020. Holy HELL would break out on the right, and we'd officially have to admit we have no clear way to choose our own leaders without the interference of a hostile foreign power, that are NOT our friends! We'd question every result from city, county, state and national. We could see a Civil War in the 21st Century on American soil that would make dystopian science fiction writers blush. The educated, upper middle class, skilled and well-to-do would depart for Canada, Europe and parts unknown. Universities would lose talented professors that frankly don't want to deal with a country that produces violent citizens - they want to return home to their families too. Innovation would naturally start migrating overseas. The economy would limp along until it collapsed and the world market switches like lightning from the dollar to the Euro as the foundation of world currency. We'd be John Donne's island; isolated by our own hubris, prejudices and shortsightedness. The rest of us, still here would be left in a cesspool formerly known as the "United States" (a historical byword and oxymoron) with a Cheetos puppet emperor in a bad toupee, that's WAY beyond the normal narcissism of the presidency: it's obvious he wants to be worshiped, like a god. Some places online, he is called that.

Armageddon - even a taste of it - may not be with a flash, "but a whimper*."

I've quoted T.S. Elliot before. It's still apropos:

I

We are the hollow men

We are the stuffed men

Leaning together

Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!

Our dried voices, when

We whisper together

Are quiet and meaningless

As wind in dry grass

Or rats' feet over broken glass

In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,

Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed

With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom

Remember us-if at all-not as lost

Violent souls, but only

As the hollow men

The stuffed men.

III

This is the dead land

This is cactus land

Here the stone images

Are raised, here they receive

The supplication of a dead man's hand

Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this

In death's other kingdom

Waking alone

At the hour when we are

Trembling with tenderness

Lips that would kiss

Form prayers to broken stone.

(Elliot's last, most quoted stanza)

V

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper*.

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