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2345 Gordon Street

Philadelphia, PA

"Fishtown Pride" 19125

cicatrixpub@gmail.com

life in the 2020's

Written by Timothy N. Stelly, Sr.

Photography by Brian Michael Barbeito

August 20, 2016

 

“Welcome folks, 2 the information age. I am Dax and I will be your tour guide. I take it you all received your paranoia packets? Good. The more fearful you are the less you’re gonna wanna know, and you know what they say—a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. So you would be wise to wallow in ignorance, question nothing, and believe everything we tell you.

“If there is anyone here who hasn’t burned their books yet, I suggest you do so before tomorrow. Speaking of which, that strip on the back of your Universal ID card? It’s a history book. We have your medical, driving, voting, internet search, banking, military, criminal, telephone and past library history at our fingertips. So is your social security number, mother’s maiden name, FICO score, high school and college grade-point-averages, penis size, sexual preference, and your genetic code. Remember, you voted away your right to privacy for the sake of remaining safe and free.

“If you’ve ever committed a crime, we want to know—and we will know. For instance, if you’ve been convicted of a disagreeable attempt to inseminate—or as you once called it, “rape”—we will know. The same for if you’ve ever had a communicable disease or are genetically predisposed to mental or physical health problems.  We’ll know if you ever visited the Al Jazeera website—and if you did, boy are you in deep shit! Have you ever received a ticket? Ever read the Bible? Were you dishonorably discharged from military service?” If you are in debt, for whatever reason, you will be waterboarded and afterward sent to prison! And God forbid you ever voted for Obama!

“If you are ready for to begin your reality readjustment, then step forward and receive your ID number. Each number will consist of 13 numbers, the first three of which will be 6, 6, 6, followed by six numbers that will indicate your race, income level and political affiliation, and finally the last four numbers of your social security number. You will speak into the microphone slowly and clearly. There will be no need to identify yourself as we have voice recognition technology. Tell Uncle Sam what was the last thing you read and why. Tell Uncle Sam who you last phoned and why.

“Once you go back outside, you must remember that cameras will watch your every move. Your phones are wiretapped. You will earn twenty dollars a day and your housing will be subsidized. Any attempt at unionizing or radical expression of thought, and you will be scourged publicly. For your job description go to Double-u, Double-u, Double-u, dot-got-my-bony-finger-on-the-button-dot.bus.

“You are all now star-spangled, wrangled and entangled in the American Dream, and we will tell you what to dream. And you will obey, you will obey, you will obey, you will obey. You may think we are sick, and maybe we are. Just remember, ‘A diseased mind is a terrible thing to face.’ And for all you religious zealots, didn’t you hear? We have pie, but it’s not in the sky, and hell is right here on earth!

“As for other countries, we now wage wars using toy airplanes and the new age version of crank calling—a, k, a—internet espionage or magnetic pulse technology. Yes, Armageddon is nigh.”

“Armageddon’s where? I think Armageddon outta here!”