For the first time, the dead are outnumbered by the living. If they could reflect, Charlemagne, Columbus, General Custer, and the rest of them, might understand what a mess they’ve made. The dead at least have learned humility, albeit too late for amendment.
Learned scholars mourn the end of Homer, Dante, and Shakespeare, lost forever and too early. Yes, these classics would eventually disappear with the implosion of our star, five billion years from now. But damn it, this is too soon.
Probability experts say that life on other worlds is a certainty. Small consolation to us that the Zoozongs are enjoying Glickgluck on the planet Klang. Who knows if they even have poetry or if all they read are cheap Kag VaWamach stories. It could be very boring there.
Time was, we could tend our little garden with Candide, and let the maniacs have at it. Out of sight, out of mind. But then they muscled into the gardening business and we got frozen food. Then came frozen sex. Before long, Walt Disney was frozen solid, for our own protection, and in the hopes of resurrection, when Walt would wake to the shattered pestilent landscape and horrified, seek means of ending it, this time for good. A scream is a wish your heart makes.
Most of us just wanted to be left alone, to enjoy what there was. Most of us cared not for structured asset-backed securities, nor did we fondly dream of multi-mission mobile processors. What little ambition we had, for home and hearth, children playing on the lawn, was usurped by ravenous, conniving, global grab-ass grandiosity-mongers who had had a few too many drinks at the club.
No, I’m not in the mood for fireworks. No, I will not sign the cooperative spectatorship agreement. No, I don’t think it was all worth it. I do not accept coupons.
The Nietzschean Uberman, I am sorry to report, got lost on the Cross-Bronx Expressway. He ain’t comin’. The meek have inherited the earth, and being meek, we don’t know what to do. It’s just us left here alone, the faint-hearted, the knock-kneed, barely able to raise our arms in salute—hail shepherd, lead us back to the pen! We’ve had all the history we can stand.
The dead do not laugh any more. They do not look upon us. We outnumber them now, and there’s no telling what could happen. Here is what I say. Mr. Chairman, my proposal is as follows. We must settle. All hostages must be released immediately, and the weather report submitted for arbitration. There is no shame in surrender. You may return home with your swords, uniforms, and the remainder of whatever pay is owed you. Put your little medals on the mantle and brag all you want to your grandchildren, if you still have any. Just go. Stop everything. Let silence be our treaty.