Written during the first Gulf War, and through a pro-censorship administration, when NEA funding and the “Dredd” Scott Tyler exhibit was causing an uproar.
At the Helm
by Mike Ortlieb
WARNING: The following is only a scenario of what could happen if social and political events run their present course without being changed or altered by the masses. Some situations could be considered pornographic, maybe even obscene. This paper was rated X, but due to its hidden, so-called “intelligent” eroticism, it was changed to NC-17. [roll credits]
Neil was happy today. Due to the present situation in the Persian Gulf, his required six years of military service would not be spent on target practice at civilians. Instead, he would happily blow away Iraqis upon command of the President Supreme. His thoughts wandered in victorious battle scenes as he putted along the expressway.
Exiting the Dan Ryan at Wabash in his Chrysler TrabantAmerica, Neil soon came upon the familiar surroundings that were his unit. The complex, owned by Citicorp Savings and Loan, had been his residence since he left home at age 16. The complex used to be independently owned until the February 17, 1992, stock market crash, in which most real estate, then owned by the Japanese, was lost by nuclear catastrophe. Americans again owned the land, but their once rational state of mind had been altered to madness, perhaps due to a mixing of nuclear fallout and New Kids on the Block cereal, known to have toxic pollutants as it once warped the minds of several million impressionable twelve-year-old girls.
Neil walked in the to complex through several cement walkways, soullessly lit by bright neon lights. He entered his unit, a brown 14′ x 14′ cubicle centrally lit by a light blue fluorescent light which cast an eerie glow over the light brown flower-print furniture and the red shag carpeting. Neil switched on the television and then reclined in the love seat. “Hey,” he thought to himself. “It’s the government news channel.” No big laugh. It was the only channel.
A red, white and blue flag emanated from the reflection of Neil’s eyes as he stared into the cathode ray tube. The distant echo of “Hail to the Chief” could be heard. The flag faded into the White House Press Room, and a monotonic voice exclaimed, “Please rise for the President Supreme.” A standing ovation with roaring applause followed.
An elderly man, probably in his mid- to late 70s, feebly strolled to the podium and began his speech:
“We have risen to the occasion, and the occasion is us!”
Loud applause. No one knew what he meant, but they applauded anyway.
“When I took this job seven years ago, our country was in turmoil. The government was out of money. The environment was deteriorating rapidly, and public morale for any of these causes was at an all-time low in the history of this great nation of ours. And then the great war came. Loss here was great, but for the price of democracy, it was a small price to pay.”
“Still a small price to pay,” Neil agreed, as tomorrow he would begin his mandatory six-year term with the military.
“Many small groups opposed the legislation that was passed through Congress. These special interest groups thought that our great nation, these United States of America, would surely be on the road to totalitarianism and ruin. How wrong could they be!”
Applause. Neil applauded.
“For it is in these days, these years since my occupation of this office, that our great country has experienced prosperity unequalled by that from any other time in this country.”
Applause. A standing ovation.
Neil yelled and shrieked with joy. “What a glorious day we live in!” he replied, sort of in a Jehovah Witness tone of voice.
“I have weeded out these special interest groups, these UNDERMINERS OF DEMOCRACY and the AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE, and have expelled them from this Great Society in which we live. Because of my dedication in office, we have liquidated these… these so-called ‘artists.’ They… THEY! who have inflicted their pornographic way of thinking into our society, trying to unravel our Anglo-Saxon Christian morals. These monsters! These ATHEISTS! We have rid them from our planet to cleanse our society and to make us, as a nation, more pure and clean and free from this sinful influence!”
More applause. Applause greater than before.
“Because of my terms in office, I have cleansed our race! In order to purify the filth, we have liquidated those who are different from us… these SUBHUMANS who believe in another God! We have kept these people away from us, doing menial labor as their punishment for not realizing the one true God! These people who do not believe in the State or the President Supreme. They wish to alter the common good, practicing their ATHEIST, HOMOSEXUAL, LUSTFUL desires. Away… AWAY! to the labor camps we sent them, these and those whose color and upbringing differs from ours.”
“Some think we are wrong. Some think we are crazy. That is not true, my citizens. Our path is RIGHTEOUS!”
More applause. The feeble man walked off the stage, a rhythmic cheer echoing throughout the Press Room and throughout Neil’s cubicle unit.
“President Helms! President Helms!” cheered Neil soullessly, as the reflection of the American flag appeared waving in his eyes.