I imagine they held hands before they fell to their deaths.
Maybe there was a quiet moment shared between two lovers, an acknowledgement of all they’d been through. Perhaps there was a single tear and a calm squeeze of the hand. It’d all be okay, he says, we’ll be together and we won’t have to worry.
A pained smile, a small, almost depressing laugh. Yes, together. I love you.
I love you too, he says.
And then they step forward.
It was a small fall, all things considered, but certainly enough to do the job. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard what a falling body sounds like, but you can go into your kitchens right now, wet a rag, and throw it against the ground. In the pockets of their crumpled corpses were found two notes, both in plastic bags so they wouldn’t be soaked in blood. One had the title “WE HAD A WONDERFUL LIFE.’’
“We can not live with the financial reality,” the note said according to the Post, “We both have medical issues, we just can’t afford the health care.” This happened in NYC, a place where according to a 2016 GOBankingRates study, the No. 1 cause of financial stress is paying down debt, with the average balance per person hitting around $50,000; the same city is home to Wall Street and the largest amount of billionaires in the world.
In some places such pointless death might start a revolution, or at least a call for revenge against the wealthy. Normal human reactions like disgust funneling into rage. Such an event is an omen, a sign that all is not right with the world.
For Americans it’s business as usual. We’re the greatest country in the world. Splat. Highest life expectancy. Splat. Truly free and prosperous. Splat.
“Sweet god!” a voice cries out, “my arm!” Looks like a jumper survived, groans of pain reaching a piercing shriek. “My arm is fucking bent backwards! Oh god I can’t feel my legs. SWEET JESUS HELP ME! AAAAAAAAH! OH MY GAAAAAAHD! PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME!”
Walk away, nothing to see here. Just some crazy. Hey, what’s the news look like today?
There appears to be a fog over the United States and its people, a weird haze that drips into every interaction. People drive and carry on like everything is normal, everything is fine, in a country where everything will be like it always has been, no matter who’s in office or how things change.
Something is happening though, and as much as the American people may deny it my wizard-sense is ablaze with the feelings of danger. Run Devil Run oil covers the doorframe and I’m quietly communicating with comrades that we have crossed a precipice. I am telling people to buy a little extra food and a little extra water, watching eyes explode with fear as I tell them the details I have pieced together. The fog is lifting and people are suddenly becoming terrified of the times we live in.
What was that? That sound? Probably more bodies hitting the pavement. Nothing to worry about, that’s always happened….right?
Just like the United States has always threatened to jail journalists who print government leaks. Right?
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a dramatic escalation in the U.S. government’s crackdown on leaks on Friday, threatening to subpoena news organizations for information about their sources even more frequently than the Obama administration… Sessions said that the Justice Department was reviewing Obama-era policies that set limits on its ability to subpoena journalists.”
Let me explain to you what this means: If a journalist or media company publishes a leak and the government subpoenas them, they have to testify in court. They will be asked who the leaker was. If the journalist or representative refuses to say they will be found in contempt of court and thrown in jail by the same Justice Department currently seeking to give protesters up to 75 years behind bars for “rioting.”
That sound like any particular political ideology to you?
Of course this isn’t new. Obama used the World War I-era Espionage Act to prosecute leakers more than all of his predecessors combined, and dramatically built up the Justice Department’s infrastructure for going after people who shared information with the press. But Trump has taken the ball and run with it, Sessions stating that the Justice Department has nearly tripled the number of active leak investigations it was conducting since the new administration took over in January.
But it doesn’t end there.
Who could forget the recent speech President Trump gave to an entire crowd of police officers? Apparently everybody has. Oh sure, you may have heard capitalist reporters mention a soundbite or two, but have you actually bothered to read it? The entire thing sounds like a speech Hitler might have given the Gestapo….