Hi, y’all! Sorry I’ve been out of commission so long. Boring story; let me just shoot the microphone and tease my novel, The System Was Blinking Red, with the following paragraph.
And now these scenes are gone. Let us leave behind for the moment the politics of Congress and understand as best we can the politics of fear and bureaucracy, the way in which, since that day in 2001 on which so much changed, our red-blinking system has turned against us, because we — each and every one of us — could, in theory, be the enemy: they melted down the rubble of the Twin Towers and forged the rubble into a battleship that they sailed into the harbor below Manhattan, asking, Are you not safer this way?; they stymied our goodbyes and made us remove our shoes, though they knew — though we all now know — that it makes not a whit of difference, that those machines cannot see the bombs we all undoubtedly carry in the soles of those shoes, and even if they could, the mind-fucked and bored factota who peer at their creepy luminsecent screens have entered a mental state so stultified that they miss a huge percentage of all potential contraband anyway; and now, in the New Kafkaism, our toiletries might be weapons; in the New Kafkaism our President is given each morning a sheath of undifferentiated horror, all almost certain never to come true, to terrify him into keeping us at bay; the system blinks red, it blinks, but now it blinks differently: to protect our freedoms from those who would have us lose them, we have given them away; and piled upon this all has come to be a digital apparatus, a world of websites and dead-end phone calls, search engines that search nothing, 800 numbers to receive our fears of the Other, blank-faced kid-cops better trained in counterterrorism than in walking a beat — and to them, we are told, we should Say Something, if we See Something, and what that Something Might Be is left conveniently, inconveniently, confusingly, terrifyingly dark: oh yes, I’m not the first to notice that we have come to live in a deeply political nightmare brought forth by the dastardly acts of nineteen damaged and dangerous men many of whom were not much older than children, and by the dark sickness of a security apparatus that terrified us all into saying, Okay, you do this, we are safer this way, unconscious then of the tradeoff and incapable now of taking it back, but I’m reminding you because it’s important, because when they say Never Forget, you must recall, it is your job to recall, that we have a system that should never have let us.