Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Requiem for a Hero: Part II

A politician is a fickle thing, it changes allegiances as quickly as a wind blown $5 bill changes hands. Ownership means nothing to it. The crime bosses liked the systems of prohibition on certain common street drugs, it allowed their prices and profits to reach almost limitless heights. It fed the machinery that really ruled the world. The machinery, however, still has not found a solution to the problem it finds most troublesome. In spite of all it's efforts it still relies on the fickle voter to vote against their own best interest as they have done since they where given the gift of voting. Thankfully most the time the voter seems to have a deep-seated need to self sabotage, and only in very rare circumstances will they vote against the machinery that really runs the world. So it was a very rare case with the legalization of a certain common street drug. Enough voters had grown tired of the oppression and crime the drug's prohibition brought on the world and voted for the legalization. In response to the change in voter sentiment , and because a politician can change their allegiances in response to anything, the politicians all had very important meetings and collectively came to the conclusion it would be in everyone's best interest, mostly their own, to not fight the law. The result was a lot of temporarily unhappy criminals and a lot of tax revenue. The wind of popular opinion had blown the politicians into their own dark alley and on top of their own trash pile and they always did their best work in these types of situations.

The tax revenue from the now legal common street drug was, as decided by the voters, allotted to be used for the city's underfunded schools. This, of course, did not happen. The machinery that really ran the world hated schools. Schools teach people to vote in their own best interest. This is something that the machinery would never let happen. So the politicians found clever ways to divert the money to the recently upset criminals as a way to make up for having not prevented the voters from voting in their own best interest and so everyone, who mattered to the machinery, was happy.

Who wasn't happy where the future voters and current children at the local underfunded school. One of whom was the daughter of a recently deceased local hero that had been killed, unbeknownst to her, by a local crime boss. The daughter didn't even know her father was a hero. To her he was just another parent, preoccupied with the machinery that really ran the world and not very interested in the day to day dealings of his family's operation.

The daughter of the recently deceased local hero did well in her underfunded school. She always tried her hardest in everything she did. She was a good student, athlete, friend and daughter. She ate healthy, and in contrast to the other future voters and current children at the local underfunded school, she didn't drink sugary soda made from the chemically processed byproducts of inedible corn. She in every way lived up to the impeccable moral code of her recently deceased local hero father. She worried about the environment, and because of this she didn't  use disposable water bottles. She had written a report for a class at her underfunded school that the plastic from the disposable water bottles would pollute the local waterways of the city and that as an alternative everyone, like her, should carry a reusable water bottle with them. She took her ecologically friendly water bottle with her every where and filled it during the short period of time between classes at the water fountains in her underfunded school.

Unfortunately for the daughter of the recently deceased local hero, and the city, it was too late for the local waterways. They had all ready been polluted by the toxic and unfortunate side effect of a local business. The CEO of the company responsible for the dumping of the toxic and unfortunate side effect had recently been arrested and convicted of violating EPA regulations by illegally dumping substance and thus polluting city's local waterways. The representatives for the machinery that really ran the world asked him nicely to step down as CEO, pay a fine and spend 3 months in a local minimum security prison. The minimum security prison was much nicer than the other prison in the city that was mostly filled with the users of a formerly illegal common street drug. Most of whom suffered from formerly treatable chemical imbalances in their brain that had, at one time, been easily treated with prescription medication.

Little did the daughter of the recently deceased local hero know that her body didn't seem able to deal with the  toxic and unfortunate byproduct of a local business that had been dumped, illegally, into the local water ways and was now present in the drinking fountains of the underfunded school with which she filled the ecologically friendly water bottle she always had with her. Her young and athletic body was rapidly turning weak and frail like that of an old woman. She now possessed the kind of body that $5 worth of calories would make the difference between another week of living and escaping into the dark abyss of non-existence.

When the chief of police had told the daughter of the recently deceased local hero that her father was missing and presumed dead the daughter cried her toxic laden tears, fainted and crumpled out of her chair onto the floor. It was all too much for her frail body to take. The chief didn't even have time to give his well rehearsed speech about how they didn't have any solid leads in the case but that he would personally see to solving the matter and bring peace and justice to her and her family. Instead an ambulance took the daughter to a local hospital where she was placed on life support in a room next to a homeless man being treated for a variety of afflictions related to his homelessness.

The homeless man had an imbalance of brain chemicals that he self medicated with a now legal common street drug. While it was now legal to buy and use the common street drug it was not legal to use it in the street where the homeless man lived. So he had been arrested by the local police. He was being cleaned up and treated for his medical conditions, except of course the brain chemical imbalance, and would soon be transferred to a holding cell while he awaited conviction and sentencing to a local prison. He had no chance of going to the prison where the former CEO was serving his 3 month sentence for the illegally dumping of a toxic and unfortunate side effect of his former company's business.

The imbalanced chemicals in the homeless man's brain told him he would never make it in prison and that he would be better off in the dark abyss of non-existence. So when the nurse turned out the light and left him alone in his room to sleep he used a cord from the lamp in his hospital room to make his transition. So too did the girl in the the next room who was the daughter of the now deceased local hero and who's  frail body could no longer stand the strains of the toxic and unfortunate substance it had running through it. She joined the homeless man and her hero father in the dark abyss of non-existence.

A journalist, in contrast to a politician, doesn't simply change allegiances. They simply try to make the best of a bad situation. They are the hapless victims of changing times and a dying industry. The machinery that really runs the world was working hard on solving another problem that had caused voters to vote in their own best interest, newspapers. The machinery had invent all sorts of new devices and systems to distract voters and keep them from voting in their own self interest or reading pesky newspapers. In spite of the machinery's efforts, journalists have become reasonably good at doing their job with the bad hand the machinery ensured they where dealt.

In this specific case and with this specific journalist, the best that could be made of the situation was printing the story that would make his career. It had been handed to him by a local hero who had disappeared without a trace or police lead. The journalist knew nothing of the hero. Just that a package that contained all the information he'd been trying to coax out of the machinery about a local crime boss and all the proof of the illegal activity.

The story the journalist produced with this information could not have been better written. The case against the local crime boss could not have been better presented. The story however was not the most important to the editor of the newspaper that day. The most important story was that of a beautiful and smart young girl who had died of an unknown condition right after hearing the news that her father was missing and presumed dead. The story of the crime boss was pushed further back into the newspaper where no one read it, except frail old women, heroes and villains.

After being released from minimum security prison the former CEO was hired as a consultant by a former crime boss who was in the process of turning his criminal operation into a legal enterprise specializing in the sale of a now legal and formerly common street drug. The former CEO helped the former crime boss turn the former criminal enterprise into a highly profitable and publicly traded company. A local stock broker made a prudent investment in the now legal company shortly after the company's initial public offering and made a sizeable fortune when he later sold the stock to other representatives of the machinery that really ran the world. The three men, all fine representatives of the machinery that really ran the world in their own right, met regularly at a local pub a few doors down from a successful local company, to discuss the now legal business of selling a formerly common street drug and to eat ham sandwiches. They really loved those ham sandwiches.
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