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Friday, November 16, 2007

FAR Future, Episode 15 (or 14b if you prefer)

In the FAR Future-verse, this episode & the last one are only a day apart, so I thought it would be proper to post them a day apart…

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Words fail me, but I’ll try. I’m still way too worked up about what happened. I’m sure footage will get to YouTube or VideoNation soon — if you didn’t see it, you really have to. I’ll try to describe it here, but you have to see the video. You just have to.

Mrs. Fetched had the TV on — didn’t matter what channel; all the Atlanta stations were carrying this. The “militia” were camped out around the Capitol building itself, and up and down the streets — except on MLK Blvd, which tells you pretty much everything you need to know — and spilled into the parking deck. The National Guard blocked through traffic and let the militia camp in the middle of the street — one of the officers said they had consulted with the city government, and they agreed that it would be the best way to avoid disrupting a wider area. The reprehensibles weren’t bothering to come in; they teleconference most of the time like everyone else anyway, but some said they were “hearing the message.”

On the evening news last night, they interviewed street vendors who were selling food, drinks, sweaters, caps, even socks and underwear, to the campers. It doesn’t matter what happens, someone will find a way to turn a buck off it, right? A lot of the vendors are black, and they think the campers are bleep bleep and bleeeep, but the money is still green. I guess. The campers didn’t seem to care either way; they were just glad someone was making it easier on them.

Again, I digress. The counter-demonstrators convened at the Georgia State campus, just up the road, and planned to march down Courtland, around the square, then back up Piedmont to the campus. Some of the TV crews (including the news personalities) set up on the roofs of the Capitol Museum and the State Supreme Court building, but some camera crews put themselves right down in the action. One of the newsies said, “we’re hearing the counter-demonstrators are on their way now,” and everyone started standing up. The Capitol Police had cleared the middle of the streets to make room for the marchers, and the militia types were thronging the edges, trying to get a look.

Then they came, in their hundreds and tens of hundreds. Carrying luminaries and singing, “God Bless America.” Go find the video — it was just stunning. Not the marchers themselves, but the effect it had on the militia. You have to remember, these guys were brought up on God and Country — and whatever beef they had with the latter, they hadn’t been completely de-programmed. Some of them stood at attention, others sang along… and they all put down their guns. I hope you get to see the clip where one red-faced yahoo started chanting whatever they’d planned on, and everyone around him turned and stared him down until he just left. There’s another clip where you can see some of the guys shouldering their arms and… well, changing sides, joining the marchers. Mrs. Fetched and I both teared up, and so did a lot of the militia guys. The leaders were camped in front of the Capitol, across from the Supreme Court building, and the crew across the street got a “priceless” shot — those guys looked like they were watching their best friends wearing pink tutus and practicing ballet. The newscasters were somehow imbued with a clue, and just let the cameras roll. Or maybe they were choked up too.

It was over in 15 minutes. The marchers went through, crossed MLK again, and headed back toward the campus — still singing. The militia guys started packing their stuff. The reporter found his voice and said (I taped it & am transcribing): “This is surely a historic moment. I — I don’t have words to describe what just happened here today, and I’m not sure I could add anything to what we’ve just seen. It appears that the ‘Citizen Militia’ is dispersing — most of them are packing their things and some of them are following the marchers up Capitol Avenue, possibly to the Georgia State MARTA station.

“Wait… we take you now to the militia’s Field Headquarters, in front of the Capitol building.”

They cut over to a young black woman (pretty in that way that transcends race, a must for urban TV news) interviewing one of the leaders. He was already talking: “—a success, overall. I have to admit I was surprised at the tactics of the counter-demonstrators, but the Assembly has received our message and I expect we’ll prevail when it comes to a vote.”

And just like that, the magic faded back into the banality of a typical live newscast.

Unfortunately, the Secession Question doesn’t appear to have been answered — or maybe now it’s less answered than before. The evening news opened with it tonight. A lot of closed-door discussions have been going on over the last week, in violation of who knows how many sunshine laws, and (being run by goplets) probably off the transcripts entirely. Debates are going on across the Old South, at least from South Carolina to Louisiana, and in parts of the mountain west. More rumors, some online, others officially denied: Congress is negotiating with various state reps about home rule; the Guard in certain states are being put under national command; the Navy is stationing task groups out to sea but close to certain seaports; the pipelines could get nationalized or shut down. Despite what happened today, we’re not much closer to holding hands and singing Kumbayah than we were before.



  1. That's pretty vivid writing, Far. It will be interesting to see where this leads.

  2. Thanks, Boran. I have a sort of overall story arc — it’s going to cover about 30-40 years — but I’m filling in details as I go. I’m thinking it will take maybe two years to complete.

  3. Hi FAR, With all the news of the Georgia water-shortages, your stories feel more-and-more like actual diaries.

    And with this one, I kept reaching for my mouse to go over to YouTube & watch the Video!

    My only request (can a reader make requests?) is that you add some romance. I want to know how life-goes-on through all this.

  4. Hello Far! Hope your Dad is managing ok. I'll bet, this Thanksgiving will have special meaning for him...

    I'm with katiebird here, the Georgia water shortage seems like it's getting equal coverage to Michigan's job shortage...now up to 7.7%... I believe it's ALOT more dire than that...

    Sure like your thoughts of people being programmed on God and Country. Better yet, just being programmed, in all facets of our lives, to behave a certain way.

    Perhaps, "The Boy" is rebelling against this process, now. By the time he reaches our age, think he'll turn out to be the working horses, that we are? Is'nt this kinda like jamming a bit down the wild stallion's throat?

    No, and quite sadly, I don't believe for a second, your son will turn out like us. It's very likely he'll march off to war, under the same disquise of being programmed. I'm also quite certain, that it's much more probable that you and Mrs. Fetched will be crying for other reasons than what you're suggesting here.

    We are all programmed to consume...at whatever the costs...

    Thanks, yooper

  5. Hey all!

    KB, of course you can make requests. Blogs are supposed to be interactive, right? Nancy triggered a post about the library, early on, and Beth became thousands of US-loyal Idahoans in the streets! Actually, some romances is planned a little farther down the line. Stay tuned. So to speak.

    Yooper, I got a intimation of Michigan's employment problem earlier this year when visiting Dad. (He's doing OK, BTW.) Things had gotten better for a while, what with Haworth hiring up a bunch of people, but there's been a reversal as of late. The downtown businesses aren't boarded up like they were in the 70s, but there's a sense of going through the motions.

    Actually, I don't think The Boy will go to war in the literal sense. One, he's diabetic. Two, even if he got drafted, he'd be more likely to get shot or put in the brig for insubordination. However, he's fighting his own war, against his nature as much as anything, and I do fear he'll become a casualty eventually.

  6. Hey Far, first things first, I'm sorry to hear about The Boy's struggles, and I hope the wiser aspect of his nature prevails.

    Now, to the fiction. I've just spent my coffee time this morning catching up on Far Future and wanted to let you know how much it made me feel hopeful and optimistic that some folks could respond to future crisis situations better than I fear, and at the same time, freaked me right the hell out in regard to said future crisis situations. Well done, Sir. :) To me it read as though you were blogging like you were there; less like channeling the future than like being immersed in it. I kept waiting for my power to go out. Also, started dreaming about buying a motorcycle again...anyhoo, really looking forward to future installments.

    Some other quickie reactions:

    “Dixie Shall Rise” stickers I’ve been seeing on road signs and gas pumps lately.

    Actually gave me chills, especially when followed up with the further development of that part of the storyline.

    (Funny tangential sidenote: in your 8/23/12 entry you said you couldn't imagine what it would be like to live in Florida w/o AC -- I grew up in Miami and none of my schools were fully air conditioned until high school; in grade school & jr high it was just the offices and a small handful of classrooms.)

    and Lordy was it fun to watch Lieberman whine when he got stripped of his appointments

    Heh, from your keyboard to the noodly tentacles of FSM!

    Lastly, just wondering: did you pick 2012 for any Mayan calendar related reasons, for a different reason, or chosen at random?

  7. Hi Jen, I'm glad you're enjoying it. Interesting tidbit about Florida — I know people lived there before A/C was even invented, but even natives aren't thrilled with the idea. The guy who runs the coffee shop in town was telling me he had an exterminator company in Florida & he would have to change his shirts four times in a day!

    2012… I picked it because it was five years from now. The Mayan connection didn't consciously occur to me until later.

    Oh, and early on I was working on an episode, or had just finished one up, when the power went out (fortunately only for a minute or so). I still had my head partially in the story, and you can imagine my reaction.


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