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writing for godot

Living America New

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Written by Peter Edler   
Saturday, 17 March 2012 19:03


July 4, 2025

A year has passed since Dissolution, contours of the new America are emerging. Who could have imagined that dissolving the US would release such enormous energy! Most people are poorer than they’ve ever been, natural disasters abound, yet Americans seem happier.

Actually, it’s not all that hard to explain. Americans have been thrown into a situation where they need all their energy, all their ingenuity, simply to survive. Now they are reclaiming frontier pride. The frontier is everywhere, needs to be conquered everywhere.

In the agrarian states survival has been relatively simple. Staples – bread, milk, butter, eggs, corn, potatoes, chicken – are available locally. This has produced a barter economy that sidesteps high prices on finished products. Except for foodstuffs, not much new is being bought. Demand for new cars has dropped dramatically. The credit-card market has collapsed. While the dollar still buys gas, its true purchase value is deteriorating as a result of sharply diminished usage. On a farm a diamond ring is more likely than cash to get you a trunk full of foodstuffs.

While tremendous food shortages continue in the urban areas, looting and rioting has abated or is being handled effectively by local authorities. Driven by a new sort of civic pride people are actually policing themselves. Groupings of states are falling naturally into place, even if California seems determined to go it alone, boosted by a movie industry that is literally bursting at the seams. At least a dozen big Dissolution pictures are in the works, a couple already out. Ongoing history has become a very saleable product in Hollywood, the demand for Dissolution movies skyrocketing worldwide. All might be well indeed if it weren’t for nature having gone bonkers.

The great temblor of 2019 killed more than seven thousand people, dumping huge chunks of southern California coastline into the Pacific. Hurricanes and tornados of unprecedented strength regularly devastate large areas. Flooding of low-lying coastal areas, especially along the eastern seaboard, has forced an estimated twenty million people to scramble for higher ground. Miami, New Orleans, Wilmington, Baltimore, New York and Boston are especially hard hit. Nor does it look as if the waters will be receding any time soon. Favored by its hilly topography San Francisco has escaped relatively unharmed but large coastal areas of the East Bay are still under water as I write this. Fighting the elements is as fierce a challenge as the struggle for food and shelter. There are more than five hundred camps for ‘floodies’ nationwide - some, like the ones near New York and Baltimore, with populations in the hundred thousands.

Americans have rolled up their sleeves, turning from bogus news, from politics and election shenanigans, to the hands-on struggle for survival. Of necessity, the mood has changed from disgust and indifference to commitment. The former National Guard (renamed State Guard) and the police are developing a fresh image. Recently, in Baltimore, an entire battalion of State Guard troops simply refused to participate in a raid on a suburban refugee camp with people from flooded low-income neighborhoods. In Portsmouth and Portland the police refuses to wear uniforms, in order to avoid provoking the public.

For quite a while now increased solar activity has had noticeable effects on our planet, but never anything like what has been happening for three months ago. Solar flares of enormous power and size lash out into space toward earth. In volume these gigantic flares are many times the mass of earth, causing geomagnetic storming, upsetting earth’s magnetic field and disrupting high frequency radio communication and power grids. The truth is America has never been worse off. Nor apparently ever better. Along with the rest of the world we’re down to the nitty-gritty and we’re coping!

Europe is a mess but the lessons learned from hundreds of years of war and killing over there now come in handy. Europeans have buckled down. Maybe not with the same enthusiasm as Americans – after all, there never was a European Dream – but quite effectively nevertheless. Germany, France and Italy are combating unemployment rates of up to forty percent by paying so-called citizens wages, guaranteeing everybody a basic income. Apparently the cafés in Paris are crowded as usual. Russia is suffering badly, true, but when has Russia ever not suffered badly! As for China and India, their great pool of people and poverty provide a firm cushion against natural and man-made disaster, guaranteeing the continuation of these countries as nation entities, at least for now.

Apocalyptic Christian sects have gone from rhetoric to action. Members of The First Church of Resurrection and Divine Forgiveness, out of Corpus Christi, Texas, armed to the teeth, entered high school buildings where they shot and killed ninety seven children. They announced the purpose of the killing spree was to expedite the kids to the Kingdom of God ahead of the impending apocalypse. The entire gang of killers then committed suicide. Another Christian group traveled to Lebanon, bound for the plains of Armageddon, there to await the imminent apocalypse. Trying to cross the border into Israel they were stopped, a firefight ensued, most of the Christian group were killed. The survivors later committed suicide.

For a couple of hundred years the functioning of the American republic has been our primary public concern. That is no longer true. Our principal concern now is not the Dissolution aftermath but our struggle for survival against unstoppable forces of nature. Those insurance companies that still operate do so largely thanks to their Act of God provisions. God bless America used to be a routine invocation by public speakers. Those who still dare speak at public gatherings today have taken to concluding with: May God have mercy on us!
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©Peter Edler 2012



 

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