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“Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you all. Please be seated.
“Today, I stand before you at a date that is perhaps not the same as the one you see on your calendar. Perhaps not the one you see on your Google glass, monitor screen, or the one on your television. My fellow Americans, and peoples of the world as well, I stand before you on a date that can only be described as late.
“The date is late, the situation—one of our own making—is dire, and time to act is short. And yet as I come here tonight, there is no sense of urgency. No sense of teamwork. No sense that our difficult situation is even one of reality.
“We stand as a nation, mired in the muck of dogmatic posturing, applauding at the wounds of our young soldiers, willing to accept the deaths of our people for dubious reasons. For example, we find it acceptable for soldiers to die that we may pump more CO2 into the already-dying atmosphere. Some call us a nation of heroes. I call us a nation still practicing human sacrifice.
“As was long ago predicted in the science fiction novels of dark geniuses, drones controlled by unknown men holding a joystick in Middle America wipe out children at wedding parties in the Middle East. Videos of our military cutting down journalists is exposed by heroes who are tortured in prison for their bravery. Exiled to far-flung shadows are those who expose mass spying on our friends, citizens’ neighbors, and heads of state of our allies.
“And yet, as we career blindly into a future devoid of forests, fish, and friends, the conversation begins and ends with how straight we stand when saluting a flag, how many pairs of camouflage pants our children wear to school, how many babies we save from abortion so they can be sacrificed in some future military aggression. Art is shunned, and starves in the streets of a neighborhood that recently closed its only emergency room. We harken back to the ill fate of the Library of Alexandria, where the world’s first woman scholar was flayed alive with abalone shells as the library burned to the ground.
“My fellow Americans and citizens of the world, time is short and the hour is late. But all is not lost so long as the newly awakened youth are ready to rise up against the failed policies of the past and ring in the new paradigm, where real men adore the colorful wings of a butterfly rather than the best MMA knockouts show, and where women lead their adoring men on paths toward peace and altruism rather than the new car dealership.
“Most of all it will take courage—the courage to reject two-party politics that have us at the brink of self-destruction. Courage to see military as a force for ecology rather than extraction. Courage to resist. Courage to speak up and speak out. And for the elders, the courage to heed the call of the youth.”
(Stunned silence, wild applause, then sirens in the distance)
Joey Racano lives in Los Osos, Calif. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org