The Essays of The Man From the North by Rivera Sun
Writer, Dandelion Salad
November 17, 2013
The Man From the North is a fictional writer in Rivera Sun’s novel, The Dandelion Insurrection. The novel takes place in the near future, in “a time that looms around the corner of today”, when a rising police state controlled by the corporate-political elite have plunged the nation into the grip of a hidden dictatorship. In spite of severe surveillance and repression, the Man From the North’s banned articles circulate through the American populace, reporting on resistance and fomenting nonviolent revolution. This article is one of a series written by The Man From the North, which are not included in the novel, but can be read here.
In the political arena of double-speak, outright lies, serpents’ tongues, appalling misnomers, and sins of omission, time alone stands up to champion truth. Time will tell, they say … so listen close to this report:
“The War On Terror” is a typo.
“The War Of Terror” is what they mean.
Paint the White House black with shame, or red with the murdered blood of innocents. Paint it silver for the lying tongues that sent the War of Terror around the world. Paint it dull gray for the drones that kill civilians by remote control, or ash-gray for the million civilians who died in Iraq and Afghanistan alone. Dump sack clothes over the silk suits in Congress. For shame, America! For shame!
Let every citizen know: they did this in our name.
Time tells every truth but the silence of complicity. History won’t remember sentiments never spoken; it will forget idle comments and half-hearted complaints. Only action is remembered. Opposition is the only option for those who object to murderers and crooks. In silence, your name is lumped with all the others in a package of our politicians. The nation’s powerful don America’s mask and flash the identification of the United States. In your name, they wage illegal, unjust, unnecessary wars. In the name of your security and prosperity, they drum up sales for the military-industrial complex. Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iran, and Syria: door-to-door, they knock with their deathly wares. Sometimes they make a sale; sometimes they have to wait. It’s a regular circuit for America the Salesman, the Capitalist with Guns.
Back at home, he kisses babies, cuts the roast, regales the family with stories from the road … how he helped a customer ‘get rid’ of vermin; how he fixes women’s ‘plumbing’ and eats their pies for payment; how he teaches kids to shoot a gun – just like his little Johnny.
One day, he calls back home … little Johnny’s all grown up. Time to join the family business … so Johnny got his gun and proudly joined his Pop, enlisted, drafted, and put to work for America the Salesman, the Capitalist with Guns. Strong-armed, well-built, ready to help, Johnny looked around for the goods his Pop delivered: democracy, equality, prosperity, justice, security, safety, and freedom.
“Never mind those,” his old man said. “Just remember the sales pitch, The War On Terror Must Be Fought!”
“But Pop,” young Johnny said as he was reading up one night, “that’s not what it says. There’s a typo. Look here, the plan was for The War Of Terror!”
“Never mind that, son,” his old man said. “We can’t sell that. It’s the War On Terror, now … just you remember that!”
Johnny remembered alright. He remembered the terror in the children’s eyes, the terror on the women’s faces, the terror as he pulled the trigger, the terror of the fleeing villagers, the terror of the drones, the bombs, the kicking in of doors, the terrible disfiguring as white phosphorus fell on people, the terrifying insanity of the orders from his Pop, the senselessness, the outright lies, the burnt-out towns, the desperate men-turned-terrorists to stop America the Salesman, the hatred in their eyes, the guilt in Johnny’s chest, the despair that ate his heart – the lies from his Pop! – the gun in his hand, the barrel on his head, the trigger being pulled.
Here lies Johnny, son of America, killed by … the coroner pauses in his report. Terrorists didn’t kill him. He didn’t die in combat. Can’t report another soldier suicide, not with the rates skyrocketing like they are. Cause of death? Lies, the coroner snorts bitterly, but you can’t write that.
Cause of Death, Unknown.
Paint the White House black with shame; drape it deep in mourning. Stamp a drone across our flag of freedom. Replace the stars with surveillance eyes … but leave the stripes of red. Let them bleed across the white. Let the people weep to see the truth. The War On Terror was packaged up and sold, and only time will tell the truth of typos unless we confront our politicians’ lies.
Author/Actress Rivera Sun sings the anthem of our times and rallies us to meet adversity with gusto. In addition to The Dandelion Insurrection, she is the author of nine plays, a book of poetry, and her debut novel, Steam Drills, Treadmills, and Shooting Stars, which celebrates everyday heroes who meet the challenges of climate change with compassion, spirit, and strength. Website: http://www.riverasun.com
From the archives:
Empire Under Obama, Part 2: Barack Obama’s Global Terror Campaign by Andrew Gavin Marshall
The War on Terrorism … or whatever. by William Blum
“Astoundingly Disturbing”: Obama Administration Claims Power to Wage Endless War Across the Globe
The Man From the North: The Government Ain’t Your Daddy by Rivera Sun
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One of my heroes,Tangerine Bolen, wrote this inspirational piece this morning. Tangerine is a journalist working from the heart. She is one of the Freedom 7, which includes Noam Chomsky and Chris Hedges, that is suing the US government to outlaw indefinite detention. As you will see here she is also a fiercely loving warrior of the spirit. Her post follows:
I read this excerpt from Rivera Sun’s book The Dandelion Insurrection, this morning:
And from me Thank you to everyone that is helping to change the world…We are many.
Wow this is heavy. Rivera is so into this character that it’s hard to believe she’s writing this, although I know she is. In my mind the Man from the North really seems like a guy, and someone who would be older, likely a veteran. I remember that in the book people at first had a hard time believing that the young small town newspaper writer Charlie Ryder was the Man from the North.
That’s quite a compliment, Rick. Writing from Charlie, The Man From The North’s, perspective is a fascinating and powerful process. It leads me to reflect on many aspects of gender, voice, and courage.