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writing for godot

The Memory Hole Begins to Back Up

Written by Carl Peterson   
Sunday, 08 September 2019 12:45


How much history can America surreptitiously, slyly, almost unobservably slip down the Memory Hole?  Or furtively, yet frantically stuff down the Memory Hole when there is a lot to get rid of all at once?  Or, getting out of bed at three in the morning, sleepwalk to the Memory Hole and unconsciously, yet expeditiously shove it all in--the memories of hundreds of thousands, even millions of lives: children, women, men--gone without reason, and we did it, but we have the Memory Hole...and still asleep but upright with the great tamping rod in our hands, with a single thrust we send it on its way.  That memory is gone and it should never come back...or should it?

Could we, say, send down the Hole the memory of an entire aircraft carrier?  Say, the USS Abraham Lincoln, and a president (in a flight suit onesie, used once, to sit in the back seat) exaggeratedly swaggering across the flight deck?  Behind him, for the cameras, a great red, white and blue banner strung across the flight control tower--Mission Accomplished.  Could we fit all that, flight control tower and all, down the Memory Hole?

Why of course we could!  And we did!  That carrier went down deeper than the Titanic!

Even if the only thing accomplished at that moment was the inexorability of disaster, the mounting of the Four Horsemen?

Why of course!  Let me ask you something.  Wouldn't you like to have a beer with that man in the onesie?  You see!  Fifteen years later and he's more popular than ever!

But, can this be a good thing?  This forgetting important things all the time?  Isn't that called dementia?  I seem to remember, I'm not sure, but didn't we have a president once, who by the way I think was in the grip of dementia, who said, "Click your ruby slippers together three times and it will be Morning in America!"?  Didn't that require a lot of forgetting to suddenly believe that all the dark things troubling us were just a bad dream and now the sun was up and the coffee steaming?  I mean, how do we solve our problems if we just forget they ever existed?

Are you sure they ever existed?  Why should you be troubled by them if they never really existed?

Why do we need to shove them down the Memory Hole if they never existed?

Maybe it's just a little exercise we need to go through to lead us to the truth.  Like training wheels for reality, we see ourselves enacting the ritual of forgetting, and so we believe that we have forgotten, but maybe there was never anything to remember in the first place.  Maybe that's what we need to realize.



[Five years later]

Hey boss, what are those assholes doing up there?  I been down here for how long?  Couple centuries at least, but I never saw this before.


Just do your work.

I mean I don't think we were set up for this.  I mean I thought we were doing pretty good.  Weren't we?

We were, I seem to remember.

After they couldn't get over Vietnam, they upgraded the system, and pretty soon they were pushing whole wars down here.  They haven't remembered a war since.  Amazing!  Amazing what we did boss.

Keep yakking it's not going to be amazing is it?  You see what's gathering around your ankles.

I do see that boss.  This ain't the way it used to be boss. You and I both know that.  Remember when we used to do nothin but play cards for months straight?  They even used to let us drink down here, remember the Big Boss came down here one Christmas, caught us all at the table, everyone with his own bottle, but the Big Boss didn't see nothin, just smiled a little and said "Merry Christmas!"

What's that you're stepping on?

Damn it boss!  This is part of a leg I think.  And there's some teeth!  And there's a goddamn saw!  And some bloody hair!  See what I mean!  This just ain't right.  It's every day now.  Every damn day!  I think something happened to the system up there.  They used to package things up before they sent em down.  Anyway they agreed they would.  Wars would be, "properly advertised and packaged prior to commencement of hostilities," that's the wording in the memorandum of agreement, I remember that boss, and when the wars went wrong, they were to come down still in the package.  Didn't have to open it, didn't have to know what was in it, just look at the label "WAR" and send it on its way.  You know boss, it was good when they didn't send the wars down here all the time, wasn't it?  Remember how our morale used to be?  Used to be I guess the wars weren't so embarrassing, they could handle it all up there, lie about em when necessary, handle it the old-fashioned way, huh?

Now they're sending down everything.

That's right boss.  Seems like every goddamn thing they do they're sending down here.  What don't they send down here?  I'm beginning to wonder.


Homegrown, "Homeland"-based, American-staffed drug cartel comprising pill-pushing American pill-makers, pill-pushing American doctors, an addiction-enabling-and-promoting Drug Enforcement Agency setting opiate pill production quotas high enough to allow production in 2016 of "14 billion opioid pills--enough for every adult American to have a bottle of pills."  With less than 5% of the world population, Americans consume 80% of prescription opiates.  In the last 10 years two hundred thousand Americans dead from opiate overdose.

Boss, I think I found the reason for all these young bodies coming down here unpackaged for the last 10 years.  Remember at first we thought they must be having a civil war up there using nerve gas or something.  I found this wad of letters from some Democrats in the Senate to the Drug Enforcement Agency, every year for the last three or four years begging the DEA to lower prescription opiate production quotas.  Looks like the DEA sent the letters down a corner over there under some bodies.


Another pile of bodies boss.  The crew is sorting them out for processing now.  These are the ones with the huge holes in them, not the other kind, with the tiny holes.  The guys are starting to say it's just a shame that all these bodies are coming down here, and not staying up there so the people will have to think about them.  I know, I know, boss.  That's heresy boss, or something like that.  We do work in the Memory Hole.  Nobody made us come down here.


I think they must have set up some kind of a conveyor system for him so that everything he does is set to come down here after a day or so when the thing he does right after that knocks it down here.

I was thinking something like that myself, boss.  It's sick genius.  You ever wonder boss if after he's gone they're going to say he never existed? your social media marketing partner
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