Questions of Empire

What to you do if you’re a minority and “everyone” hates you? What if you realize that lots of people like or even love you, actually, but none of them are ever on TV? And the TV was the one that told you that you were a minority and everyone hated you in the first place?

What if your country were not the land of opportunity, merely of opportunists?

What if you had not an enemy in the world capable of harming you, and a trillion dollars to spend on housing, schools, hospitals, transportation, and most important of all, preventing as best as possible the dire consequences of a compromised environment?

What if “The Environment” were just the green fields and mountains and stuff you know from postcards, ads, and TV, but have never actually experienced with your other four senses?

What if someone lied to you in order to prevent you from spending the trillion dollars on the aforementioned public necessities so they could spend it on a war against a foreign country which had neither ability nor intention of ever attacking you, but who did harbor a great supply of the oil that is destroying your planet?

What if someone told you that the war was of immediate necessity because the Enemy harbored weapons of mass destruction (just like your country and its “allies”)?

What if thousands of your “countrymen” were wounded, dying, or dead?

What if hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of The Enemy’s children had been killed by bullet or embargo, thousands killed daily or dying in barren hospitals since your daughter, now in college, was born?

How come the number of offenses by Corporate/Military/Political elites against the people outside the Nation and the Nation’s own people cannot be counted by mere men in time, but like the fractal, must undergo millions of iterations by computer, to reach completion?

Why are people dying of cancer in the street, or if not on the street in hospitals or homes and why is everyone always dying of cancer?

Why won’t the Nation treat its cancerized citizens who don’t have health insurance? Why do sick people have no homes? Why does anyone have no home?

Why is the “National Institute of Health” (NIH) taking government money to do research to create drugs that will be sold back to the taxpayer at exorbitant prices? Is there a “National Free Clinic?” Is there a “National Free Aspirin?”

Why is my friend dying because he doesn’t have health insurance? Why am I dying because I don’t have health insurance?

Is that why the “Indians” died, because they didn’t have health insurance? Is that how Lincoln died?

If we’re the “good guys,” why does everyone want to kill us? Are we lone cowboys like Gary Cooper and John Wayne?

What if all these questions were asked of a ten-year-old, the age at which, it seems, the Modern American Mind closes, shutting down all alternatives to racism, corporatism, imperialism, and savage, restless violence?

How many questions about America are there? Enough to fill every database on the Internet?

Adam Engel lived for your sins -- and he lived well! -- in Fear-and-Trembling, Brooklyn, one of the last gangrenous toes of NYC not yet severed and replaced with a prosthetic gentrification device. Engel has traveled the farthest regions of cyberspace, where Dark-matter meets Doesn't-matter; and Anti-matter, despite its negative connotation and dour point-of-view, excercises rights of expression protected by Richard Stallman's GNU/Free Software Foundation and CopyLeft agreement, if nobody and nothing else. Having spent many years studying Boobus Americanus (Summum Ignoramus), allegedly the most intelligent mammal on earth -- after its distant relative, Homo Sapiens -- in various natural habitats (couch, cubicle, bar-stool, ball-game -- televised or 'real-time') -- Engel has thus far related his observations of and experiences with this most dangerous of predators in three books -- Topiary, Cella Fantastik, and I Hope My Corpse Gives You the Plague (the combined international sales of which have reached literally dozens, perhaps as many as seventy, with projected revenue to top three digits by decade's end! Truly a publishing phenomenon). Engel is Associate Editor of Time Capsule Books, a division of Oliver Arts & Open Press, published in limited editions for a tiny, highly specified, though eclectic, target-audience: people who actually read books. He can be reached at Read other articles by Adam, or visit Adam's website.

2 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Josh Driscoll said on July 16th, 2007 at 2:50pm #

    A very nice article, thanks for writing it. Would you be so kind as to provide a reference for the NIH using taxpayer money to develop drugs that will then be sold back to them?

  2. Adam Engel said on July 17th, 2007 at 7:46pm #

    I don’t have a reference, which is why I phrased it as a question, though it’s obvious that we have a “National Institute of Health, which uses taxpayer money to do research on various diseases, but we have no “national” medicines or clinics. Hence the rhetorical question, “Is there a national aspirin?” I DO know that many, if not all major Universities are funded by Corporate donations — military and pharmaceutical — as well as tax-payer funded grants to research medicines which are “marketed” by Big Pharma. What is done with all the research provided by the NIH? Is it just tossed in the trash? I don’t know. But why is there a “National” health institute, but no national benefits? Not to mention no national health care.

    Adam Engel