[Author's Note: This installment (written 12/29/07) in the series is written in the form of a blog post by the character John Frachetti. Previously, he used the den of activism fostered by the employees of the FW Diner as protection from the authorities. But because his presence became known, he went back underground, and left this blog entry.]
Let me tell you a story.
I was on the road the other day, looking for signs that the bankers' hold over the big events that we allow to shape our world might be slipping. You know, little things, like people stopping to question the stories getting all the face-time on the news. It's not an easy thing to do, either.
We're like Plato's cave-dwellers, trying to understand the world, but all we can see are the shadows cast on the wall we're staring at, shadows cast by things that may or may not be going on behind our backs. Kind of like being chained to the seat in a movie theater, where you're told, by the corporate suck-ups who bring you an endless supply of empty calories, that the newsreels that say they're from the front of some distant war are the only things worth concerning yourself with. They tell you it's all real, but from where you sit, there's no way to know for sure.
And for a while, you sit there, like Alex in "A Clockwork Orange", with your eyes propped open, telling yourself that none of it's real, that it's just an elaborate play of light and shadow. You tell yourself that the convenient flow of events is simply the connivance of some hack scriptwriter, and focus on recognizing the stunt doubles, bad special effects, and the occasional glimpse of the microphone boom or a reflection of the script girl in a mirror.
But while you're busy watching, the film-makers art improves, and soon you stop seeing the tell-tale hints of faux reality on the screen. And then you start to doubt yourself. You start to wonder whether those glitches you remember seeing weren't all in your mind. You wonder whether you only imagined that the all-too-real action thriller pounding in your eyes and ears was only a story, something conceived in the dead of night by a crazed wordsmith on too much caffeine.
So, there you are, wholly engrossed in the contrived reality enfolding you, and you quietly slip into a daze of acceptance. If anything's amiss, it's yourself. The story on that screen is real, every inane bit of it, and always has been. And if someone should question your faith in that reality, you'll even go so far as to defend it, and to ridicule the twerp who dared to suggest that, although each scene was perfectly rendered, there were still continuity errors. But the only way to know for sure would be to have a copy of the film to compare against, and that just would not be possible, for as we all know, the spectacle up there isn't just some movie, it's real.
As I said, I was looking for signs that The Great and Powerful Oz's curtain of deception might be slipping, that the dogged determination of some unflagging few might have finally caught enough of his fabric of unreality to yank it aside. And I think I might have found it.
If you've heard about the spooks who stepped out of the shadows long enough to threaten me at one of the redecorated FW Diners, you know why I've chosen to keep a low profile. Seeing that flashcrowd of yellow-jumpsuited servers and energized patrons materialize in my defense made it clear that there was an archipelago of safe havens for those, who like me, were brazen enough to take that step past speaking truth to power and suggest ways to short-circuit it.
I caught a ride with some folks who'd come from out of town, people who'd sought out FW's safe havens on their trip. I won't mention names, but you might see their handiwork in the news pretty soon, 'cause they're laying up a body of evidence against the defense contractor that one of them works for. A lot of us are keeping our fingers crossed, because if things work out, that company will follow Fremont-Wayfarer into corporate sentencehood for crimes that will make FW's theft of employee insurance funds look like something the neighborhood watch could have dealt with. And none of this could have happened if Judge Clary hadn't made that first ruling giving corporations full rights as citizens. None of it could have happened if they weren't liable to the same punishments we flesh and blood types face for violations that we commit.
You see, just getting some corporate convictions like Fremont-Wayfarer's isn't enough. Shattering Big Brother's screen of deception is just the first step, but like opening the door in our moviehouse prison, it lets in the glare of truth, which kills the illusion of reality we've been suckered into believing, and illuminates the projection booth, where old Oz is busy toying with the levers of power.
As big as those mega-corporations might be, as powerful as they seem, they are still just pawns in the thrall of the folks who create the money they got fat on. Think of them as the bankers' bouncers, the brawn guarding the doors to their inner sanctum, where the real power brokers live. They're just part of the movie, too, and once you realize that the corporate actors tearing up the scenery for the military-industrial-congressional complex are just playing the roles scripted for them, you understand that the true power behind it all is sitting in that folding Director's chair, just waiting to strike the set and move on to the next bit of scripted mayhem.
That's our target. Bank on it.
--- The Bank Shot Blogger
(This is the 12th story in a series that started with "Logical Conclusion/Full Circle".)