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That Guy With the Book!
Intellectual Speed Bump For The Next Revolution?
© 2013 James LaFond
This past weekend I found myself in a mixed-age rap sessions. Six young men and three of us older guys were engaged in a wide ranging conversation about music, guns, civilization, the government as techno mom, and censorship. I kept quiet, letting one of the other old men answer most of the youthful queries. I was surprised at how many of these youths and twenty-somethings were deeply concerned about the latest revelations of Federale spying on U.S. citizens. Only one of them had read Orwell’s 1984, so there were not a lot of literary reference points to be dredged up. There was though, a creeping sense that the government was coming for them, to take away whatever freedom they might have.
I stayed in the shadows of the conversation, but was continually drawn in as a fact verifier and sounding board. I did describe what precautions I had taken in wording my articles in such a way as to minimize search engine results that might bring me to light as a literary dissident. I don’t think my sword and shield will do much to save me from a squad of Homeland Security goons, and I certainly do not want to be Commander Booty Master’s cellmate. [See Black Gorilla Family News #1 on the Harm City page.] I did nod in agreement to most of my military friend’s assertions about Federale intentions and the fragile and transitory nature of personal and local autonomy.
I see a corporate police state in the making; a Rollerball [the 1970s James Conn movie] type of future where a handful of fat-cats milk us like cows to pad their luxurious life. My quest is little enough; just the pursuit of a free opinion and the ability to walk to and from my destination free of physical attack and law enforcement harassment.
But the minds present were both old and defiant and young and idealistic. Eventually, as one of the youths admitted to his plans to form an armed gang to combat Federale storm troopers when they rolled into his neighborhood to impose martial law, another asked the military man, how long they had to prepare; what would be the tripwire sign that the Federale Hounds of War were being loosed on him and his?
As the most passive participant in this conversation, the one that insisted on not picking sides for or against the evil Federales, I was shocked at the former paratrooper’s verdict, “You want to know when they’re coming to get you, to take your guns, to requisition your vehicle?”
He then stepped behind me and put his hands lovingly on my shoulders, “Keep an eye on this man. He is an intellectual—a self-educated and published author; a dissident—when they drag him out of his house and throw a jacket over his head, you will never see him or any other independent voice again. He will be silenced, and you’re next, without him and his kind there to tell you it is coming.”
I feigned insult, and said, “Why me?”
He then pointed to the other retired military man for verification, the elder one, who saw combat in Indochina when I was a baby. The old veteran made a pistol out of his thumb and finger, pointed it at me, and said, “Back in Cambodia—you know, that country we were never in, fighting the Chinese that were never there—my CO would have pointed at him and said, ‘Shoot his ass!’ and pop, I would have done it.”
Thanks guys. I better hurry up and finish writing that history book. My getting snuffed would be a cool postscript.
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Akshat Jiwan Sharma     Aug 26, 2013

James is it so bad that they can harass you for wording your thoughts on the internet?
James     Aug 26, 2013

Yes Sir, Let me state how it works. Unless we are talking about a government employee the harassment is limited to horizontal 'peer' pressure, like my brother trying to talk me out of writing something that would get me in serious trouble.

Economically it works like this: I retired from retail food management to write. If I decide I want to get back into the economy and make some money in that trade, the fact that I wrote Retail Food Horror Stories would bar me from any management position with chain operations. My only hope would be to work for a small local outfit.

As far as government employees go it is more sinister. I have lost friends and readers over my opinions on this site. I have had three old fashioned paper letters mailed to me by readers informing me that they were afraid to make purchases from, or of commenting on, my site for fear of coming up on a government watch list. I try to avoid getting caught up in our government crackdown by using comic terms. I call our current president O'Sauron, and his predecessor King Shrub the Younger, for instance.

By the way Akshat, I really liked your blog about how your mother and you conserve water in India.

Thank you for taking an interest in the site. It began as just an outlet for my fiction and combat sport writing. But my readers have pointed me in a lot of directions, triggering my politically incorrect responses concerning culturally and politically sensitive issues. I can say that I am actually afraid of my government and have elected not to write on certain subjects to avoid persecution.
Akshat Jiwan Sharma     Aug 27, 2013

Thanks for taking time to read my blog.

Using comical guise is definitely a good idea. In my country Harishankar Parsai and permchand were masters of doing that. An advantage to that I feel is readers are entertained as well and keeps the reading light.

I have seen many comedians saying nasty things about government in a comical way on stage. But I understand that it can be tough.

The good thing about internet though is that you have a more wider reach than just your country. So while you natives might be afraid in making a purchase or making comments others like myself have no such fear.
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