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Rise, Rather, Repeat
by E.W. Wilder

Written in the aftermath of the first Gulf War, “Only the Finest Heads” represents not just how quickly History can repeat herself, but the ways in which this repetition are actually products of our very systems of power and domination.

It would be easy to call the piece cynical, but that belies the essential genuineness of it: Bean wouldn’t complain if he didn’t care.

 

Only the Finest Heads Are Worth Rolling. Is Yours?
by Bean Newton

1. We like to kill people.

2. We really do seem to enjoy it a great deal. We like movies about it. We like TV shows about it.

3. When our leaders get bored or don’t make as much money for their friends as their friends would like them to, they start wars. That way they can kill people by proxy and enjoy themselves while at the same time admiring their own efficiency.

4. Industry has allowed us to kill each other with greater ease. Like washing dishes with a dish washer, now thousands can be killed with the touch of a button.

5. This makes us very happy indeed.

6. We enjoy, for instance, seeing a widow in a burka amidst a sea of rubble, her dead son stretched out before her, his skin a pale blue.

7. That’s called “spreading freedom and democracy.”

8. Here is how it works: that woman is now free of her son; her country is free of its government; our nation is now free to buy more bombs to replace the ones it has dropped on her house.

9. To buy the new bombs, the government doles out billions of dollars to businesses in districts where powerful congressmen live.

10. That is what we call “democracy.”

11. “Democracy” built the airplane plant near where I live. It’s got lots of big, tan buildings. Thousands of people go to work there manufacturing large, expensive airplanes.

12. Many of these people are in unions.

13. When they want more money or a less debilitating workplace, or the ability to retire someday, they go on strike.

14. This is called “being ignorant of the realities of the marketplace.”

15. Everybody would be much happier if we could find more people to kill.

16. Then we could build even more large, expensive airplanes.

17. Then the company could hire more people so that they could lay them off again when “the realities of the marketplace” make men in suits have to make choices.

18. Men in suits do not like to make choices.

19. That is not true. Men in suits like to make choices between which putter to use.

20. Men in suits do not like to choose to make less money, though. They are incapable of making that choice.

21. This is called “capitalism.”

22. It is what makes America great.

23. Ideals do not make anyone great. But they do give people an excuse to fight.

24. When people fight, that increases the chance that some of them will die.

25. Thus, a life of the mind can lead to happiness, but only in a roundabout sort of way.

26. Best to avoid a step or two.

27. But we love our ideals anyhow. Especially “freedom” and “democracy.”

28. But most of all, we love our flag.

29. It is red, white, and blue.

30. Burning a flag is a sacrilege. It is offensive and disgusting.

31. Especially when you mean it.

32. People who burn flags should go to jail. They should go to jail for meaning it.

33. The proper way to dispose of an old a flag is to burn it.

34. A worn, old, and tattered flag is a disgrace.

35. Disposing of a disgrace is called “patriotism.”

36. Anyone who is not a patriot is a terrorist.

37. Most terrorists are Muslims.

38. Therefore, most Muslims are terrorists.

39. Terrorists are evil.

40. Evil is the opposite of “freedom” and “democracy.”

41. Evil comes from The Devil. It must be stamped out by killing evil men.

42. Killing evil men makes us happy.

43. Especially when they die by the use of high-tech weapons.

44. That is called “being effective.”

45. Contributing to the good of the company is also called “being effective.”

46. That makes the men in suits very happy.

47. “Effective” companies contribute to the party of their choice.

48. That gets people elected.

49. Getting people elected gets more money spent on your company.

50. In other places, this is called “bribery.”

51. Here, it is called “the system.”

52. Otherwise known as “democracy.”

53. More money means more efficiency.

54. More efficiency means high tech.

55. High tech means better bombs.

56. Better bombs kill more people.

57. More bombs mean more “freedom.”

58. See 1.