Curtain Raiser

Dawn of New Spooks, Colltalers

As far as fear is concerned, fiction is having a hard time topping reality these days. Take Halloween, for instance, a peculiar holiday when fun dresses up as fright, and horror is played up for laughs. But apart kids and the skittish inclined, no one is really scared by its old tricks.
One class of individuals, though, has no apparent reason to fear, other than fear itself, or paranoia, perhaps: billionaires. And not the kind of glorified, albeit, decent ones, those sponsoring charitable causes around the world. The parasitical type, who, well, we’ll get to that shortly.
Otherwise, daily life does seem more interchangeable with tragedy now, and deep terror feels uncomfortably closer. Even those trying a bit too hard to feel good, can flip to dread in a second. Most of the living have lost count of the horsemen of doom assaulting their nightmares.
Among the usual suspects – war, climate change, an unpredictable turn of events that could crush someone out of whack – there’s an entire new set of disturbing realities way more frightening than the unlike dawn of zombies, or a planetary invasion of intergalactic green monsters.
It’s not just minorities that are feeling an impending threat to their existence, coming from other races, faiths, ethnicity, or sexual direction. Groups who traditionally had the first pick at everything – whites, Christians, and others – now fear that years of privilege may be seized from them overnight. And began to act up on these mostly imaginary feelings, increasing even more the real threat to the safety of everyone else.
There are fears, and disasters, that may be unavoidable, though, and those we could indeed do something about to prevent them, even as we hardly do. Yes, dead, and taxes, accidents, and mishaps, can scare but not intimidate reasonable people, as unsettling as they may always be.
But even complex, gargantuan issues, such as climate change and world peace, to start, can and need to be dealt with, specially because they involve the interests of every person on this planet. The fact that they may require everyone to be involved too is just part of the equation.
Some horrors are intrinsic to being alive and actually, necessary for making existence a meaningful adventure. But

others, mostly manmade, we could live without and, in fact, must face headfirst or be killed by them, whether they’re rooted on the very core of the species or not. Even when they have stood there, as remnants from time immemorial, to ignore what poisons and divides us should never even be an option.
Let’s review these walking deaths that claim by the thousand the dignified and the spurious alike, often with no lessons left to be learned. We mentioned war and it’s never too much repeating the $1.6 trillion we spent killing each other in 2015. News flash: it’s likely much more now.
Of this total, 37% was spent by the good old, and pre-Trump, U.S. of A.’s armed forces, but not to be topped, our current Bragger-in-Chief has already plans to increase our nuclear arsenal. Never mind we already spend the same as the seven largest military budgets of the world.
Speaking of preventable sins that still scare the crap out of every (sane) person, childhood extreme poverty, or overall world hunger, could be handily eliminated with such kind of dough. Instead, to fund that murderous bacchanalia, social programs for the poor are being slashed.
It’s easy guessing what’ll come from such astonishingly misguided pursuit: despair fueling hate and a violent outlook for shattering revolt. Did we mention that education is also being crushed by this ‘new’ U.S. order? So, along growing hordes of the famished and dispossessed, there won’t be the healing power of education to give social unrest a progressive bent. No wrong can be righted on an empty stomach.
Then there are the other zombies we’ve lacked the will to extinguish: the global explosion of refugee camps; of gun possession by Americans with flawed ideas of what it means to be free; and of course, the staggering amount of carbon dioxide we’re all throwing into the atmosphere, plus all the plastics and pesticides dumped daily into the oceans. Close to that, Michael Meyers or Freddy Krueger have really no chance.
Still, faced with such challenges, which make us all one, rather than doing something about it, some would insist that it’s race, not genetic diversity, what will secure our survival, while others would visit hell to curb a stranger’s sexual choices, or a neighbor’s bedroom habits.
Thus, amid an age of snoopers, and political leaders who strive sowing division, along comes a growing group of privileged people who could join in the fight to better the world, but doesn’t. They’re not saviors but their accumulated power could indeed help saving the race.
But all most of these 1,542 and counting billionaires really want is to enjoy their rarefied lives, and own even more than what they already control. In fact, it’d take 2738 years to spend just a million a day, and eight of them own more than what half the world’s population does.
If they’d even try, though, there’d be plenty of decent causes to put that cash on. And that doesn’t mean handing people currency; paying for college education for an entire country would help. Or funding healthy food to a continent for, say, 100 years, would also come handy.
No doubt, there are better ways to help people, and by Jupiter, if anyone is trained to use money wisely, is them. But is acquiring prime estate in Manhattan and other expensive neighbors really smart, when they, like anyone else, may die and never step on even a few of the penthouses under their name? Wouldn’t it be better having a grandkid of someone they’ve never met be thankful for their existence instead?
Whatever, one can’t really tell what goes on in the heart of the powerful and the fabulous wealthy, and frankly, my dear, etc, etc. But the point is, don’t dare to attempt preaching austerity to others, when despite your deep pockets, you can’t even control your own junk. Specially when all this preaching leads young, poor children to war and desperation, while your own kin spends the year partying all over the world.
There, we said it, and that may brand us as hopeless fools. Just don’t expect us to dress up as clowns, for reasons that have nothing to do with creepiness, or billionaires, as that’d be a signal for you to put us down on the spot, if possibly before we throw up. We didn’t mean to be mean to wealthy people; it’s them that shouldn’t be mean to mankind, but we’re not expecting anything from them, just so you know that too.
Instead, and most definitely without donning a custom, we’ll try to enjoy watching with humor kids dressed up as archaic Eastern European counts, and have plenty of candy for their lifetime of visits to the dentist. That’s indeed a grim prospect but nothing compared to new ghouls bent on sucking dry the lifesaving of elderly people, or just the life of the already witless and the homeless, already on their way to either.
Be afraid of these spooks, be very afraid. But fear not that those of us still caring enough to raise children are completely out of commission.
We’ll rise just as people rebelled against the obscenely rich during the Gilded Age. Their greed led most to losing everything, but another, contrary and way more powerful force of social reform came out of that. At midnight, let’s reset the century to a new dawn of justice. Boo! WC


2 thoughts on “Curtain Raiser

  1. Colltales says:

    Indeed. Thank you Micheline.


  2. The Statue of Liberty would delight Lafayette. Welcome deportees.

    Liked by 1 person

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