“THE GROUND ZERO OF FREE SPEECH”

by OPOVV, ©2017

(Feb. 3, 2017) — As the lights dim and the curtain rises, the music of Saint-Saens’s Symphony 3 in C minor, Op. 78 begins. There are two soldiers in fatigues leaning against a pile of sandbags in front of a large tent. It is night and the only light is that of a bright moon, represented by a spotlight from above.

“We’re downhill now.”

“So what is it, 1:59 to go?”

“Right-on. What was it you were talking about?”

“Right. I was saying if you were to take over a country, the first to go would have to be the freedom of speech. I mean, you would want to shut up your opponents, wouldn’t you?”

“And get their guns, right?”

“Goes without saying, but once you control the information river, you’re as close to total control as you’re ever going to get. You’ve got to stifle independent thought.”

“How in the heck can you do that?”

“Give them what they want: television.”

“Television?”

“Program after mindless program of ‘entertainment,’ and the one that’s been on the bottom of the barrel for years is ‘The View.’ Anything but reality.”

“What else?”

“Sports, for one. Keep their minds off anything and everything of importance. You ever listen to one of those morning call-in sports radio programs? I mean, those guys will dissect if any Podunk Midwest basketball team has any depth, and they’ll talk it to death: ‘Folks, we’ll get right back to the backup of the second string point guard position after these messages, and then we’ll tackle whether the Assistant Coach should be allowed at courtside while on parole.’ And they’re good; really knowledgeable. But it’s another wasted couple of hours off-subject.”

“What do you mean, ‘off-subject?’”

“They call it Creeping Sharia, those little unreported, or under-reported, inroads into our liberties. And before you interrupt: been to any airports lately and had your 4th Amendment rights violated? Prayer rooms for the believers in ‘The Sharia’ that are paid for by you, the taxpayer. Here’s a question for you: how much have you contributed to the Muslims?”

“Nothing; not one red cent.”

“Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you, Corporal Nichols, have contributed real dollars to the promotion of our downfall, just as I have and all our fellow Americans have.”

“No lie? How can that be?”

“Unfortunately, most of our elected representatives are not those who we would invite over for Sunday brunch, truth be told. Why, how do you think we’ve managed to be saddled with such a huge national debt? Not by electing the cream of the crop, that’s for sure. Decades of ‘What’s in it for me’s,’ and we still have them; why, just look at Paul Ryan.”

“You going to retire from this man’s army?”

“I wasn’t, but since Trump, as long as he keeps women out of any combat squad I’m in, I’m seriously considering it.”

“What about that riot at Berkeley last night?”

“Leave it; don’t clean it up. Leave the carnage as a ‘Tribute to Stupidity,’ as a daily reminder that it was the library, ground zero of free speech, that was attacked. The promotion of Sharia on prime-time TV for all Americans to see, but none – or a few of us – recognize and understood.”

“You were stationed in Japan, weren’t you? For how long?”

“Long enough to know that, when I retire, it’s on my list.”

“No kidding? Nice place? Nice people?”

“The greatest.”

“Here come our replacements; by the way, what were we supposed to be guarding?”

“We were guarding the church.”

“What church? It’s a lousy tent.”

“That may be, but it’s a non-Muslim lousy tent. Understand?”

“Oh, right-on, I get it. Well, see you in the chow line.”

“You, too. Hip-hip for Trump.”

“You better believe it.”

“Wait: why Japan?”

“Figure half of America hates anyone who took the Oath to uphold the Constitution, okay? So I retire to a little town in northern Wisconsin, population 16,000: that means 8,000 of them hate my guts. No way will I want to have half my neighbors hate me, maybe plot against me, which will require me to wear camouflage and have trip wires all over the place. No way. See you in the chow line.”

Curtain lowers; music ends.

Fini

OPOVV

 

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