in a Bunker thirty feet below ground,

 100 years in the future

By Gracjan Kraszewski

Trends in Consumerism, Capitalism, and Need-Creation in the Affluent Peoples of the Euro-American West


October 9th of Hans’ Year IV at ESSNWNAU-AL became a day he would never forget. He was introduced to Plato’s Republic, a work that he lists as his “favorite book of all time,”[1] and, that very same day, he attempted to live out the exact example from said book in class and ended up vomiting, in front of everyone, the one and only time he had ever thrown-up, period, in his life. And it was the day that he first sought psychiatric help, rather had it imposed upon him from above, for the many unhealed scars and unseen wounds of his feral childhood; or so goes the official word. It was the day that he first met Little Orange Bottle, his steadfast in-pocket companion.

            CCCP Year IV is tedious in comparison to the first three segments of the course. Everyone likes Toddlers Fighting Over Toys and You’re dating Him? No, He’s Mine, Girl. Hans especially liked the films, all the different movies and visual stimulation of Years I and II. He, in addition to job coaching[2], took on a film minor of sorts with subminors in Silent Film, Film Theory, and the Theory of Film Direction. The Year III Fandom course can get monotonous and Hans isn’t really a big sports guy. But compared to Year IV, it’s still fairly exciting.

            Year IV is either too boring or too sophisticated to appreciate. Year IV is black coffee or Trappist beer. If you’re used to drinking coffee that is probably only 10 percent that, with the remaining 90 percentile consisting of sugar, artificial sweetener, flavored syrup, steamed milk, and if you’re used to drinking beer that is <1.4% ABV because it’s mainly water, tepidly flavored water that tastes left out in the sun flat even when’s it’s ice cold, then Year IV CCCP is that first designation. Year IV, unlike Years I-III CCCP, is dedicated almost exclusively to books and is therefore this bridge from the visually stimulating entertainment laden triumvirate preceding to the Year V/VI exhilarating light at the end of the tunnel (now I get to focus on my work, my work!) finale before readying the final product for the great American free market. Some ESSNWNAU-AL faculty and staff have drawn comparison between Year IV-CCCP and the formative first year S.T. as both are painful, yet necessary, opportunities for growth and maturity.

            The classroom for Year IV-CCCP does not help the larger dichotomous issues—general alertness v. propensity to drift and daydream, mental acuity v. mental insipidity, care v. not care, live-wired eyes thrown open attention abundance syndrome v. attention hyperactive deficit disorder—stalking the class. One gets the impression that Year IV-CCCP is like a blind date gone wrong but the double-misfires have already confirmed to one another that they are, in fact, Joey G. and Sally T., and have already sat down at table, and all either can do is grin and bear it and get through it unto not again, never again. That’s the majority opinion, anyways. In the minority: avid readers, casual readers, those who like books even superficially, high school debate team veterans, compulsive social gabbers, deep thinkers even if pretentiously so, and those inclined to philosophical/intellectual/and or jurisprudential arguments, all of whom find the class nothing short of a day at the beach; meaning the second of the above options—too sophisticated—can be reworked for them as just sophisticated enough.

            The classroom is unique to ESSNWNAU-AL. Everywhere else on campus the classrooms are state of the art and up to date with all the latest technology and pedagogical instrumentation. Those (the other) classrooms have beautiful, nearly floor to ceiling windows that import sunlight and export views of the surrounding environment; the green campus dotted with water, water everywhere, the neo-classical eleven-story Schliemann Library at the center of campus, overlooking Flathead Lake-Southwest, the many different styles of architecture including adobe (student housing) and industrial (General Sciences buildings). The Introspective Arts building is modeled on Picasso’s Blue period[3] while the Student Union, which houses the Commons Eating Area, is inspired by an Old West animal feeding trough.

            The Year-IV CCCP classroom seats one-hundred and seventeen. It’s in the basement of the school’s fallout shelter. The fallout shelter’s main space is twenty feet below ground beyond thirty foot steel doors. The classroom, which is the basement, so not really in the basement as it is the basement, is twenty or thirty feet below that past another set of thirty foot steel doors. These doors have been spray painted with all types of graffiti and it’s about the only thing interesting, visually speaking, to speak of here.

            The classroom has all the antiseptic squeamishness of an early S.C.E. 2000s Eastern-European medical horror movie. There are, of course, no windows on the walls. Green-tiled walls. A pukish type of light green, a pastel-like green, that makes one feel queasy just looking at it. Pastel green tiled walls from the floor to the ceiling. The ceiling is also done in this exact same style and pattern giving the room an insane asylum padded cell type feel only green not white. The room is very cold. This adds to the feeling of medical terror. It’s as if this is the on the QT clandestine cryogenics experimentation laboratory; look, that’s really the crux of the matter, it’s more of a lab than a room and you feel like you’re next to get conked in the back of the head, drenched in formaldehyde like a dissection pig or frog, and poked by scrubbed-in (scrubs are usually this same puckish pastel green), blue latex gloved, probe wielding doctors with much too eager amphetamine-laced anesthesiologists right there over their shoulders in case you wake up when you’re not supposed to. The lights are dim and yellow and tend to flicker on and off now and then. The floor is black. The chalkboard is black. There is white chalk, but even the chairs are green. There are one-hundred and seventeen green chairs, and therefore available seats at times aplenty, in the room.

Dr. Emily Williams-Davis-Fontenot Stevenson teaches Year-IV CCCP. That was also part of the McStarkVegas scandal settlement: automatic granting of Doctor of Philosophy in Magyar Semiotics and likewise/matching automatic appointment to Full Professor in the Consumerism branch of ESSNWNAU-AL’s Department of Economics. Starting salary: $137,099.01/annum. Dr. EW DFS is, indeed, a bombshell of step 1 level A, highly classified while hiding in plain sight type, American beauty. It’s not hard to see why McStarkVegas acted as he did or why he said it was worth it: kissing her while (she was) unconscious, his lips intended as the most pungent smelling salts available yet it all went wrong even if in such a banal and ridiculously dumb-like-dumbo way.

 Dr. EW DFS is a womondofemy plus. She is an uber-womondofemy, someone who believes that subterraneans are to blame for all the world’s ills—fair enough, maybe? Maybe not? Probably not definitely inconclusive?—and someone who paradoxically rails, I mean endlessly drones on, on how the last thing in the world a womondofemy should do is seek approval from subterraneans, especially romantic approval based on/in physical appearance, and that a self-respecting womondofemy should seek to be valued for:

1. Her intellect.

2. Her social and political opinions.

3. Her business/educational/leadership skills.

4. Her sense of humor.

5. Her wit.

6. Her toughness in negotiations, i.e. negotiation skills, aka boardroom NYC grit.

7. Her technological savvy (and),

8. Her refusal, an obstinacy even approaching outright intransigence, to ever let a subterranean compliment her, open a door for her, or help her with a too heavy package she’s carrying, among other things. “It would be better for you to fall backwards down the stairs, all the contents of your many packages spilling out and breaking into countless pieces down those stairs while you end up with quite a lower back bruise, than to ever, EVER, allow the unmanned ones to lend a hand. Because soldiers: once you let them lend a hand it’s not long before you’re the handmaiden,” so goes the saying/motto/mantra some (okay, really only the most committed) womondofemys are fond of repeating daily before, during, and after brushing their teeth.

Dr. EW DFS says that a womondofemy should never “pander to subterraneans’ eyes” nor should she care the slightest bit about fashion (the highest level of patriarchal oppression: womondofemys as dolls, dressed to the nines simply for subterranean pleasure), nor should she know anything about cooking lest she get to know the kitchen and then get told by a “Neanderthal” to get back in there.[4]

Dr. EW DFS tells the class all these things, incessantly and each week, right at the start of class, and at the end too, and yet each week she brings homemade brownies to class and wears the latest Italian short shorts with extremely revealing tank tops that can only be bought with a virtual foreign currency. Her outfits aren’t befitting a professor, to say the scraping the bottom of the barrel multiple times least. She looks ready for some boardwalk to sand to everyone get in their swimming suits California August beach volleyball but hey, I’m already there, in my swimsuit. And, it’s like ridiculously freezing in this green bomb shelter classroom, so what’s up with that? some people in the class wonder. Hans thinks this all the time: that, basically, Dr. EW DFS’s life is one giant, loud and obnoxious, though superficially gorgeous—superficial as “on the surface,” meaning literally her bomb-looks, not as meaning to indicate a lack of intellectual depth because there is no question she is verifiably (an IQ test, for example) smart—non sequitur.

 She does make delicious brownies.

Dr. EW DFS, dressed in a shirt that looks like a silk bathrobe, and hot pink spandex, on this October 9th afternoon, flips her perfectly curled blonde hair back and forth across her well-featured face, a fine face, a hale girl no doubt, as she awaits an answer to the class-wide question she just posed concerning Robinson’s The Libertarian Don’t Tread on Me I’m a Good Person even Though I Don’t Care about the Poor and if you Do You’re a Cuckservative Socialist Manual.

Robinson’s book followed a string of socio-economic treatises from the past six weeks including Marx’s Das Kapital, Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum (with a concurrent reading of Centisimus Annus, this nicely following a very heated and at times impossibly disagreeable discussion on Quadragesimo Anno[5]), some essays by Hillarie Belloc, and a packet of short pieces—not all of them from economists, Dr. EW DFS explained— from S.C.E. 20/21st century people Hans hadn’t heard of until that point: Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, S.E. Cupp, Paul Krugman, Paul Joseph Watson, Rudi Dornbusch, and Robert Mundell. There was a long, sixty page feature article the class had to read, too, printed on bright orange paper, authored by Robert Schuman.

“What’s a cuckservative?” a guy in the class asks, breaking the silence.

Dr. EW DFS raises her eyebrows. “Anyone?”

No one says a word. “Well,” she says, “you tell me. And not just you, Robert,  anyone. All of you read the book. How does the author define it?”

“It was kind of confusing,” Robert says.

“Why so?” Dr. EW DFS asks. “Read the definition out loud. It’s on,” thumbing through her copy of the book, sitting casually on the front of her desk, on the right corner of the front, pink spandexed legs crossed over one another, biting her bottom lip as she skims through the pages, “page six. Here it is.”

There is a collective shuffle of pages in the classroom as the students open their own texts to page six. Some are slower than others making the sound longer and louder than it has to be.

“Robert,” she says, “can you read the definition?”

He obliges the request.

“ ‘By the term ‘cuckservative’ I am speaking about a type of ex-conservative deficient in the necessary fortitude to seize upon the opportunity provided by the circumstances of the late political situation in which two choices alone could be made: to advance in the natural evolution of conservative values and save our country, as I and my fellow Patriots have done, or, to winnow away downstream, along with the rest of the societal defectives, floating downstream dead and limp into the abyss of national destruction. The second option is simultaneously the chosen path and naturally selected destiny of Democrats, liberals, progressives, socialists, communists, social justice warriors, non-King James Bible believing Christians, environmentalists, hippies and hipsters; more than this indeed, without question, but the list is too long to sufficiently name here. You know who you are. Suffice to say, our path is the righteous one. And while the aforementioned group of degenerates will reap what they sow, the cuckservatives are to be singled out for special mention. They are the nadir of the entire left-leaning spectrum. They know the truth, the proper path that we have trodden and set out upon and yet, for reasons unknown, most likely chronic bouts of cowardice, they have chosen to cast their lot with those on the false way. They are ‘cucks’ in the fullest sense of the word, even the sound of the word fits them well. They are fake conservatives, fake Americans, betrayers and traitors all.[6]’ ”

“Thank you, Robert.”

“I still don’t get it. What’s a Democrat, a social justice warrior, a hipster? The liberals and progressives are the libgressives, right?”

Dr. EW DFS nods. “Yes, but can you identify the book’s thesis?”

“To show people how not to be a cuckservative,” another student says.

“No,” Dr. EW DFS says. “Of course the book is highly critical of those grouped under this term, but look back to the title, what does that tell you?”

“I don’t understand who Captain Cuck is,” a girl named Anouk says, “or El Capitan Cucko and The Right Honorable RINO, Cuckison McCuckcircus…is he talking about rhinoceroses here-

“Rhinoceri,” a student named Jacob says, with his usual self-pleasing affected pretension. Jacob could be a complete idiot for all anyone knows. He never contributes a productive comment to any class discussion save to correct people on ridiculous points of speech, as above (and he’s probably wrong, anyways; and if he’s not wrong then whoever decided on the ‘plural i’ stuff is a wolfmandumbclawassclown). Otherwise, he says nothing. Perhaps he is a devotee of Twain’s maxim concerning silence and the removal of doubt? No, no chance. His self-appointed classroom corrections officer role removes literally acres of doubt in singular swoops, scoops even, an ice cream shop named I.I.I., as in Idiot Identifier Ice-treats, scooping up scoop after scoop of the same flavor of self-assured righteousness with cotton mouthed gagging pretention sprinkled on top and represented, in nice congruence, by actual sprinkles.

“No,” Dr. EW DFS says. “It has nothing to do with animals.”

Hans has been having a hard time paying attention today. He zones out and doesn’t hear the full answer to Anouk’s question. Hans is holding a yellow pencil and it’s yellow the yellow pencil it’s yellow it’s colored yellow yellow the pencil is yellow and he can’t yellow stop thinking about the yellow color of the colored yellow yellow colored school buses galore pencil in his hand it’s yellow and the yellow they are really moving now one after the other in rapid succession pencil-buses on their way to yellow-yellow. He breaks free, even if momentarily, to raise his hand.

“Yes, Hans,” Dr. EW DFS says.

“The book comes from the Time of Troubles in America, which I think should in comparison lead to an immediately pre-Romanov reevaluation, you know what I mean?” Hans says. “Like that, similar to the way a bunch of historians I read claimed that the Hapsburg era was, and I quote, ‘bathed in golden light’ compared to what came next following the Great War. Then, I’m now back on topic, then, then in America, in the American Time of Troubles, there were only two parties, Republicans and Democrats, and the mass of people had lost faith in both. The presidential candidates that ran during the 2016 election highlighted this fracturing, this distaste, even hatred, all the more. We all know what followed, ten or fifteen or even twenty years later, depending on one’s parameters, but this book captured, perhaps as well as any author of the time, the very spirit driving all this discontent. Not because the argument was convincing, rather the exact opposite. This man, John Birch Robinson, is certifiably crazy, as batshitcrazy-guano as all of his many supporters or people of like mind who thought being ‘anti-establishment swamp drainer suckers,’ whatever that actually passed for in terms of meaning, was synonymous with the singular so-called ‘good idea.’ It wasn’t. And this book, nearly all of its six-hundred pages, is one incoherent rant after another, the construction of polemical boogeymen who are stuffed with straw, the evisceration of the left and the right, a self-swallowing type of vitriol because when Robinson had finished his polemic the reader was left to conclude that, according to him, the only solution to save America, if taken literally, his prescription, was for every American, every last one of them, to build themselves a concrete fortified bunker thirty feet down in their backyard, I suppose not much different from where we are sitting this very moment, and stock shelves with non-perishables for the next twenty years or so, put firearms down in that hole in every last available space, especially beneath pillows at nighttime, I mean there’s that one scene where he is literally recommending that one designated person of the family be the ‘dropper-offer,’ right? That that person be responsible for standing outside the bunker and physically dropping as many guns and bullets down into the bunker as possible with the knowledge that once it was all stuffed full it would be he that would have to wade downward through this mess to reach his fellow family now all of them, including he, buried beneath an avalanche of weaponry.  And then, this being completed, basically, everyone would proceed to curl up in a ball and wait for, for what? The big bomb? The end of the world? Like, Bright Light 2? I know it hadn’t yet happened then—Bright Light—not during his lifetime and I apologize for the anachronism, but, is that what he’s getting at, is that what what he wants? Is that what he’d want even if it was his and his design alone to do, I mean either to initiate or bring to fruition or even, like I mean, like be the guy in an open fertile field representing geopolitics and the spider-silk thin balance between war and peace, like he’s standing there even reading War and Peace, and it’s his call on whether or not to plant the seeds, grow the trees and harvest the fruit that comes later on?; bring to fruition, see, yeah, just like I said so there you go. His thesis, maybe not even that but how he arrives at this solution, what I said above, is that social programs have caused the political ruin seen all about and all around the country. That’s why the country should disband all type of assistance for people and, this is where he goes even further, people should no longer give any type of charity from their personal stores; hence his implication in the title that if you do care about the poor you’re a cuckservative. There’s nothing worse than being a cuckservative, how often does he drive this point home, at least a thousand times across those six-hundred pages? No, just kidding. I actually counted the times the word ‘cuckerservative’ appears in the text and it was 814 times. The poor, according to him, are a libgressive, I mean, liberal or Democratic, ploy, a plot, right? The welfare programs instituted by the left fund the “pseudohomeless” as he calls them, those people who are basically actors, pretending to be homeless and setting up shop in affluent areas for the purpose of bleeding dry the true Patriots, capital P, who can save the country; a bleeding the beast type philosophy. Once more, the great irony here is the prescription of saving the country by descending into an underground bomb shelter and never seeing the light of day. It’s a tall order to save a country if you’re no longer in it but beneath it, and for good. Seems like all the real Patriots who would take his words to heart, and do as he said, again, literally, would end up being more like sitting ducks harmlessly trapped beneath ground waiting to be blown sky-higher than Old Faithful by some foreign or domestic adversary instead of his idealized RWBB forces: ‘Red, White, and Blue Badass companies number kick ass take names, baby!’[7] If I may critique the book, it sucks. It’s, as I said, an unconnected rant from a semi-partially half-taught hillbilly from Nevada, or Florida, which one is it? Absolute trash, and yet we read him because he really did capture the spirit of everything that led to what happened later.”

Dr. EW DFS’s mouth is slightly open. Her lips had been pursed, no more. If one was closer to her, really close, one could see that her pupils are dilated. Her big blue eyes are a tad watery. It is here, at this moment, no, actually the moment immediately preceding this very moment, sometime during Hans’ late speech, that Emily Williams-Davis-Fontenot Stevenson felt it happen. For the first time in her still young life, she felt it. Womondofemyism be damned, that’s what it felt like. (Although, not really, not really “be damned” because she was likely going to be a 10+ womondofemy for the duration of her life no matter how many times it might hit her square between the eyes, even if the repeated hits were from the one now simply to be henceforth—yes in the full flower of desormais [no other sound could or would do]called ‘him’). It was like this: she knew, she had known for quite some time now, that she was an impenetrable fortress of solitary progressiveness. She did not nor would not ever need a man. It really was that simple. But then Hans started speaking—this being the it, the full moment of the ongoing assault still crashing like waves against her inner self and little did she suspect that his words were cannon balls, more accurately intercontinental ballistic missiles, aimed bullseye at each and every one of her (up to this very point) assumed to be myriad defenses against all angles considered runs at the heart. Yes, because of it, she felt it. She felt—

with each pronounced word, with each lowering and raising of his impossibly masculine voice, with each rise and fall of his chest as he physically produced the foundation for his words—the utter and complete devastation of each one of her defenses within that so thought impenetrable fortress of feminine independence. Boom, boom, boom, the cannons wouldn’t stop and neither would her rapidly escalating heartbeat nor the deluge of sweat excreting out from her palms (sweaty palms! Who am I?). It had happened, and just like that, and so she was left with nothing but the plain truth: she would forever and for all times be his or be nothing at all. To imagine life without him was to contemplate the uncomtemplatable: pure non-existence. And by that not just the humanely incomprehensible task of wrapping one’s mind around the immediate pre-Big Bang supposed reality of nothing but deeper into the foundations for even this, meaning The Nothingness genuflected before the Unmoved Mover. Life without him, Hans, would be an illogical fallacy, for her, a contraction of the simplest reason, a contraction of sense into nonsense into an explosion of inverted silence: just pure Nothingness. And as that was not nor could not ever be by the virtue of the very Be being causing all else to contingently be, so too could she not imagine any further thoughts without him at the center. Drenched in, and frantically trying to recover from, this dual part thunderstorm and swamp that had just besieged her (very much in the fashion of a duck swimming, all calm above the surface while a tempest of kicking feet rages underwater) Dr. EW DFS takes her left hand and flips her hair back and across her face a few times.

Womondofemy that she is there is still something about the way a ma—, a subterranean, can put together an intellectual argument and lay it out for her, as if she was a late teenage girl soon to be twenty yet still so young, 19.98 years old, still very much coming into the wisdom of the world, sitting at his feet sipping a coke held by puerile fingers on a hot summer day in rural Georgia, that just drives her absolutely bat-wild. But this? This has caught her completely off-guard. It is bat-wildness skimmed of all its anhydrous milk fat, reduced to its purest form and then set on fire, gasoline dumped onto that fire, and then an endless supply of dry twigs and such tossed carelessly on top until the flames are licking the sky.

“Yes, that’s,” she says before pausing to exhale. She exhales. She clears her throat. “That’s perfect. That’s it.” She gets off the desk and sits down. “Okay, next question. Why are we reading this book? Not just because of the way the author, like Hans said, captured the zeitgeist of that time. Why here, in the class?”

“Because of what happened later,” Robert says, “just what Hans said.”

“That’s why the book’s important,” Dr. EW DFS says, in a perfectly non-condescending tone directed at a useless answer. “Why are you reading it here, in Year Four CCCP?”

No one says anything. Yellow pencil back to the yellow the yellow pencil the school buses covered in mushed up bananas pencil is yellow.

“Because of page two-hundred and ten,” Hans blurts out

“Yes, Hans…,” she says, her voice soft and enceinte with expectation.

“Hans…,” she repeats, now looking at him with the anticipation of a schoolgirl at the junior high Fall Harvest dance about to be asked to slow dance by the Harvest King, a gangly boy with a lot of potential to be downright strapping in the future who is presently the Junior High starting QB. JHQB is the butt of a lot of jokes, presently. Girls find him awkward and even ugly; yes, ugly, the objective handsomeness of his facial features totally obscured by his pathetic full face blushing when speaking to girls; and his awful wardrobe choices (tank tops worn over the top of T-shirts) Guys rib him in ways too quotidian to even mention. But they hate him because he can throw a football fifty yards (and as a spiral, not some kind of flailing, thrown to the wind duck even lame-duck candidate faux-imitation of a real pass) already. Schoolgirl Emily is the only one onto the treasure before her eyes. She needs to lock him down, and now. Fast. Before JHQB becomes the no longer awkward in anyway HSQB onto the college ranks with perfect jawline (and now really cool clothes) and soon to be strawberry fields of potential suitors. She needs to brand that boy now. (I saw him first!). It is precisely with this regard, conveying precisely these things, that Dr. EW DFS looks at Hans and says,

“Could, you, um, explain, please?” now all but begging, waiting, just for one word of his to put her out of her misery.

“Robinson,” Hans begins, (Dr. EW DFS lets out a soft sigh, then starts whistling something to herself in a very low voice near inaudibility), “lays out his plan for getting people to overthrow the government. Overthrow the government and you bring down the whole system. No more psuedohomeless people to steal the Patriots’ money, that kind of thing. His plan is economics based, fits into our reading list nicely that way, this class nicely in that way, and of course the whole point of our school, the final project, in that way.”

“Yes,” she says, unable to hide her smile. “Go on.”

“His plan calls for a reversal of the passion management in Plato’s Republic. He specifically mentions Plato and that book, The Republic. Set the appetite free and there will be social chaos. In his mind the appetites must be focused on the accumulation of as much hard currency as possible and, crucially, by whatever means necessary with the end goal being complete bank failure, a huge crash and depression, and then his lot riding in to save the day by picking up the pieces and reconstructing society along the ‘proper lines’ .”

“And how does it fit into our larger, university-wide goals?” she says, now back on the desk, pink spandex crossed over pink spandex.

“It fits into our class in an analogous fashion. We should try to implement Robinson’s techniques in the sale of our final project. Try to attune the disordered appetites of our potential clients not onto hard currency-depression, but onto our work. Instill in them, by whatever means as he says, an uncontrollable desire to purchase our product. If it can sell, it’ll do well, you know; that.”

Dr. EW DFS starts clapping. She stands up and keeps doing so. Half-hearted applause from the students follows. A few of the brownnosers up front look mad, even enraged, with jealousy; a very interesting color coordination of the brown from their noses and a deep green (envy, but that should be obvious) in the surrounding room palate and, especially, the arrangement of the tiles-plafond relativeto the plancher.

Dr. EW DFS takes a piece of chalk to the blackboard. “Let’s get this down pat, guys. Plato’s Republic. Many of you are familiar with it, some not, but Hans is right, it’s integral to Robinson’s argument and especially pertinent to what we do here.”

“I’m not familiar with it myself,” Hans says, “it’s just what he, the author, talked about it and so that’s why I mentioned it.”

“Good. Perfect time for us to cover it then. Shall we?”

She sketches a diagram on the board—Intellect-Will-Appetite in descending order beneath a heading entitled Soul and, next to it, Guardians-Policing Force-the Masses in descending order beneath Society—and then tosses the chalk back onto the tray. She sits down cross-legged on the right corner of the desk once more.

“Anyone want to take a shot at explaining this?”

A student named Leonard speaks up. “Plato believed that the human soul was tripartite. If there was order in the soul there would be order in society, in the republic. Order in the soul would come from the intellect, the highest part, ruling the will that in turn would rule the appetites, or the passions, the lowest and most unruly parts. The comparison to society is exact: order comes from the leaders on top, the guardians, directing the laws of the state which are enforced by the police or policing force, i.e. something like or even just simply: an Army, who then control the largest segment of society, which also happens to be the most uncouth and prone to chaos: the masses.”

“Excellent,” Dr. EW DFS says. “Very good. That’s exactly it. I’ll give you a quick example. Your appetite, your passions, might desire a particular object,” she unconsciously looks at Hans, stares at him a bit too long, although no one, especially Hans, notices (but she is staring so much so intently that it might just cross-over into ‘fixating’ on him), “and if these go unchecked the passions will lead to ruin. Set seven pizzas in front of a dog and see what happens. The dog is driven by instinct alone. No reason, no discernment. Yes, he may eat a few slices and feel full and obey this particular instinct, fine. But there is no thought process: I may get sick if I eat too much, this may make me gain unhealthy weight. And so it’s possible that the dog will eat as much pizza as he can before blacking out or vomiting uncontrollably, there’s no restraint. Imagine a person with an ice cream addiction. How is this properly ordered? It’s the intellect that says one cup per day is plenty, or stop! That’s enough! You’ll feel sick to the will which then in turn, police force that it is, brings the muscle to bear on the uncontrollable appetite: STOP, and so it does. This will is neither positive nor negative. It simply is, it does. It does the bidding of the intellect, that’s it. And so you see everything depends upon the first chain in the link. Healthy intellect, strong will, passions controlled, good life. But an error in the intellect? An error in the beginning is an error indeed.”

“Oh,” Robert says, the light bulb flickering on. “Okay, I see. So the whole point of Robinson’s book was to make the people he doesn’t like live a reverse version of this, have the appetites control both the will and intellect, to be governed from the usually disastrous bottom-up perspective, and then in turn have a society governed from the same bottom-up perspective, a society gone crazy, a society soon destroyed, and by itself, and then his guys come in for the New World Order. Right? And we’re supposed to take this small lesson about appetites and get our potential customers to desire our product in this same deranged way, even if it brings them to ruin. To get them to be like the Fandom people we learned about last year.”

“Perfect,” Dr. EW DFS, genuinely happy. The class has gotten the day’s message, understood the book in question and what was supposed to be learned. She is truly happy. “I know it’s twenty minutes early, but you are free to go. Make sure you check the syll—

“Like this?” Hans says, from the back of the room. “Appetites gone haywire like this? Dogs and seven pizzas? Mindmelting idiocy, up from the rabble rises even but a puffed flume of the insatiable desire burning within, it rises high and silent like thunderheads on the horizon; gathering; planning; conspiring and calculating. Yeah? Like that, yeah? Like this?”

Hans is standing at the back of the room near a tiny refrigerator. His hand is on the handle. Inside is high-density[8] mint-chocolate chip ice cream, kept in this room for the simple fact of color congruity. High-density, experimental ice cream to be used only in cases of extreme weight gain necessity.[9] And then only under strict medical supervision. Hans unlocks the refrigerator door and removes a large, silver spoon from its case. The class gasps. Dr. EW DFS makes a start for him but stops. Hans pulls out the ice cream container and places it on top of the refrigerator. More gasps.

“Hans,” Dr. EW DFS says. “Please. Put down the spoon.”

“Don’t do it, Hans!” a girl in the class yells.

Hans winks at the girl and blows a kiss off his fingertips in her direction. It’s a direct hit to the heart. She faints and falls to the floor.

“Hans, please,” another student says.

“Like this?” Hans says, one more time, unscrewing the ice cream container and plunging the spoon to the bottom. He starts attacking the ice cream, heaving in mouthful after mouthful. Since nobody can do anything now, they watch. It’s too much for Dr. EW DFS. She turns her head from the scene and begins to weep. It’s too beautiful for her to watch, such courage, such impossible self-awareness and the willingness to go where other men tremble to even place testing toes into the water. Finally, out of the vast desert of post-postmodernity (I mean, who’s counting now…‘posts,’ and, by the way, when does it reset to zero, anyways? a la Florentine Histories), a man. Hans Mikloff is not nor has ever been, even for a day in his life, a subterranean, she thinks. He is a man, she silently, internally, declares through muffled cries and tears mysteriously joyful and sorrowful yet luminously glorious all the same. Hans: an ubermensch straight out of Nietzsche’s wildest delirium and early Autumnal nightmares. She now bawls dueling tears of joy and sorrow, tears of pure gratitude that perhaps she could finally drop this whole charade and just be his in toto while, simultaneously, shot through with an existential dread ripped from the pages of The Sickness Unto Death because, but how could he want her? It wasn’t a question of worthiness. She knew she was not. What womondofemy could ever be, worthy? She wasn’t even sure that any woman, any woman full stop no further qualification(s) needed,could ever be worthy of that rare specimen.

But so what actually happened?

Five bites in, Hans’ eyes blink rapidly and he passes out. Not a slumping down slowly to the floor. Eyes twitch, shoulders droop, and he hits the ground with a thud. The spoon clatters to the floor milliseconds later.

[1] The only possible second was St/Sir Thomas More’s Utopia. When explaining his attachment to it Hans always began outside the work, with the form and style. “Book One” and “Book Two,” neatly connected in one slim volume, economically written though by no means to the detriment of necessary content. Never before, or since, had Hans read anything that made communism, if not that then something like communism, “communitarianism?,” no that would imply division, small separate entities working in tandem, not exactly like the seamless organic whole of the Island, seem so appealing and, more importantly, so possible, so maybe this time it could work (?). More’s explanations of daily life in Utopia were, to Hans, as entertaining and they were imitable; even if only to really be imitated, to be actually put into practice, in Nowhere. Nothing so grab-throttled his attention as the Utopians views on jewelry and ostentatious wealth—what sublime brilliance! What insight! The Utopians cared little for external appearances and, perhaps in keeping with some maxim concerning money and masters, taught their populace to despise anything pertaining to it by two primary methods: 1. Allowing children to play with the finest and shiniest, most ‘priceless’ jewels with the understanding that they were nothing more than worthless toys and to be given up upon entrance into adulthood. 2. Fitting prisoners with chains made of these priceless gems, forever tainting their sparkle with associations of transgression, bondage and punitive hopefully reformative and dissuasive humiliation. Utopians vision of wealth as inherently childish and imprisoning (literally…and in this did More solve the problem, once and for all, of financial slavery?) enabled them to not only focus on more important things but to use this optic to great societal advantage. Perhaps the most obvious example being its use in war. Wealth—which More notes the Utopians had a near-bottomless amount of—could be used to bribe opposing nations (i.e. you [citizens of opposing nations] will receive blank cheque amount if you capture these leaders, even your King, the war-mongers leading you into potential war, and turn them over to us) and end conflicts before they even began (Lao-Tzu would surely approve) or, should it come to war, the Utopians could pay a band of bloodthirsty savages, true monsters of war, liking to kill and pillage and little else, to be their mercenary avant-garde confident that these savages would always be on their side because the only thing else these savages cared about besides war was money; they were lust-monsters, for blood, for the fight, for the loot and no one, not even close, could pay what the Utopians could pay, the double-blessed Utopians with the deepest pockets but the least regard for them, the (over)stuffed haversacks kept so squeakily clean in check, so to speak. While at ESSNWNAU-AL, Hans had ruminated on this particular concept—the learned despising of money, more accurately the first method of making the coveted and shiny childish and a sign of stunted development—quite a bit, but especially in tandem with his notes from the CCCP class concerning the mental disease that afflicted Americans in particular, and reached its apex between the years SCE 2011-2028. The epidemic came with the viralization of the Internet; the growth of online communities on platforms such as Facebook, WeBe, YouTube, FamilyFlockDock and InstaView, others too, but these the most famous, the most “defining” of that era, where people for who knows why decided almost as if en masse to publicize for mass consumption even the most trivial aspects of their daily lives. Hans believes the meeting point of this mental disease with the SCE 2011-2028 American culture’s failure to live the Utopian attitude towards money and the childish—this culture’s exact opposite approach as demonstrated in adults’ infatuation with things like superhero movies, superhero figurines and toys (Ben’s brother Steve, see Col. Star Spangled Banner and Red Glare Rocket Boy, suffers somewhat from this disease and that he is a “successful” “adult” does not mitigate but rather exacerbates the problem all the more), even wearing superhero costumes at different times of the year, adult-themed theme parks, and most egregious the roughly 93.7% favoritism for consuming animated movies obviously intended for children instead of anything even remotely intellectually stimulating, and never, 0.02% did chose the following, some kind of foreign film that would require employment of a skill learned during actual childhood in order to follow along along the bottom of the subtitled screen—was best encapsulated in a YouTube program, circa SCE 2019-2022/23?, entitled Little Loveheart Johnny’s Luvtastic Playtime Show. The premise? Johnny, a toddler from anywhere, USA, opens toys in front of a camera, his parents behind the camera filming, for episodes lasting anywhere from 5-9 minutes. That’s it. Johnny sitting on the ground of his palatial bedroom (because the family got bonkers-$$$$€€££$$$ off the monetized advertising of this “show,” pulling in a reported annual income exceeding eight figures) in his McMansion of a new home opening toys and, because he’s a toddler, having nothing new to say, ever, no new insight or anything relatively useful, really making more sounds (alternating grunts of excitement or disappointment; the latter more plentiful to at least a 7-1 ratio because the house, this huge house, is veritably deluged with toys, toys, toys, toys, toys, toys, toys, toys, toys, toys toys, toys, toys, toys, toys toys, toys, toys, toys, toys toys, toys, toys, toys, toys toys, toys, toys, toys, toys toys, toys, toys, toys, toys toys, toys, toys, toys, toys toys, toys, toys, toys, toys toys, toys, toys, toys, toys toys, toys, toys, toys, toys toys, toys, toys, toys, toys toys, toys, toys, toys, toys toys, toys, toys, toys, toys toys, toys, toys, toys, toys toys, toys, toys, toys, toys toys, toys, toys, toys, toys toys, toys, toys, toys, toys toys, toys, toys, toys, toys toys, toys, toys, toys, toys) than words and the whole while the mother, who usually films, is saying stuff behind the camera that were this to be done for the private consumption of the family home movie genre, circa SCE 1987, would be endearing and cute (“I just hate hearing my voice on camera, Dave.” Husbands squeezes wife’s shoulder. “I love it, honey. I love you”) but because it’s done for 34.5m “subscribers” and a total viewership palate exceeding 3B and is backed by corporate sponsors and is the very epicenter of Old America’s materialistic hedonism and, especially, is done under the false premise that Johnny (who still goes ‘dia-d-eye-T’ in his pants) actually likes doing this—“we only do it because he likes it,” “look, the day he tells us he’s not having fun anymore is the day the cameras go off,” “it’s all for him…isn’t that what all parents do? In their own way, put their kids’ first, have their best interests at heart?”—is something very near or even right on the etymological nose of “sad.”

[2] Hans decided on job coaching as a final project near end of Year III after taking an introductory class in the subject with Dr. Auggie Orville Studdrill Auckenboller. Hans then asked Auckenboller to be his advisor.

[3] And what a resplendent sweep (sweep: the In. Arts interior murals) it was. The trajectory began with the Portrait of Suzanne Bloch melding into, as it were, Femme aux Bras Croisés and the Death of Casagemas leading into, if it can be said to do so, La Vie, The Old Guitarist, and Les Noces de Pierrette. The whole vision finished, and even centered upon The Blue Room, but before arriving there there is this magnificent criticism of art (wordless; meaning painted on, literally, and having nothing to do with either Picasso or his Blue Period yet, somehow, all seamlessly integrated into this beautiful whole) from basically the end of the Renaissance into Picasso and modernity. It was a penetrating analysis, so said those who understood and could appreciate it; (some highlights being) the difference between the open sky of Rubens’ Martyrdom of St. Livinus and the very closed, shale black, sky of Goya in his The Third of May 1808, a product, so said those who knew, of the abandonment of supernatural faith—in the former literally a sky flooded with angels, a thin veil, if any, between this world and the next—in favor of cold reason, as cold and black and walled off as that painting, Goya’s; spotted impressionism held up against the expressionists, in particular Gaugin who is seen making his green colors the greenest green possible and his red and blues the same and then from this into Kandinsky. A long time is spent on Composition VIII.

[4] Question: Why don’t womondofemys need to own wristwatches or any other time-telling device? Answer: Because there’s a clock on the stove. (A male student once told this joke in Dr. EW DFS’ presence and the scuttlebutt is that he’s somewhere on an ice shelf in Antarctica, in exile, and no one knows for how long).

[5] A French student in the class named Elodie Louise Camilla Rochebloine provoked   feverish into a tizzy near beehive buzzing responses that, when taken together, were like a cyclone slash tornado when she mounted the class podium and, in filibuster style, read aloud selected sections of the French translation of QA four times in a row, taking advantage of Dr. EW DFS’s rule that any discourse in a non-English language was to be given a full, uninterrupted hearing the length of which was solely up to the presenter’s discretion.

The following is what she read:

“Au déclin du XIXesiècle, l’évolution économique et les développements nouveaux de l’industrie tendaient, en presque toutes les nations, à diviser toujours davantage la société en deux classes : d’un côté, une minoritéde riches jouissant à peu près de toutes les commodités qu’offrent en si grande abondance les inventions modernes ; de l’autre, une multitude immense de travailleurs réduits à une angoissante misère et s’efforçant en vain d’en sortir…. Alors, le 15 mai 1891, retentit la voix si longtemps attendue, voix que ni les difficultés n’avaient effrayée, ni l’âge affaiblie, mais qui, avec une vigoureuse hardiesse, orientait sur le terrain social l’humanité dans les voies nouvelles…. vous connaissez fort bien l’admirable doctrine qui fait de l’encyclique Rerum novarum un document inoubliable. Le grand Pape y déplore qu’un si grand nombre d’hommes “se trouvent dans une situation d’infortune et de misère imméritée” il y prend luimême courageusement en main la défense “des travailleurs que le malheur des temps avait livrés, isolés et sans défense, à des maîtres inhumains et à la cupidité d’une concurrence effrénée” Il ne demande rien au libéralisme, rien non plus au socialisme, le premier s’étant révélé totalement impuissant à bien résoudre la question sociale, et le second proposant un remède pire que le mal, qui eût fait courir la société humaine de plus grands dangers…. Les idées et les directives de Léon XIII ont été réalisées de diverses manières, selon les lieux et les circonstances. En certaines régions, une seule et même association se proposa d’atteindre tous les buts assignés par le Pontife. Ailleurs, on préféra recourir, selon qu’y invitait la situation, en quelque sorte à une division du travail, laissant à des groupements spéciaux le soin de défendre sur le marché du travail les droits et les justes intérêts des associés, à d’autres la mission d’organiser l’entraide dans les questions économiques, tandis que d’autres enfin se consacraient tout entiers aux seuls besoins religieux et moraux de leurs membres ou à d’autres tâches du même ordre….Aussi, comptant uniquement sur le tout-puissant concours de Celui qui a voulu ouvrir à tous les hommes les voies du salut,[77] efforçons-nous d’aider autant que nous pouvons les pauvres âmes éloignées de Dieu, de les dégager des soins temporels qui les absorbent à l’excès, et enseignons-leur à tendre avec confiance vers les biens éternels.On peut espérer obtenir ce résultat plus aisément qu’il ne semblerait de prime abord. Car si les hommes les plus déchus gardent au fond d’eux-mêmes, comme un feu couvant sous la cendre, d’admirables ressources spirituelles qui sont le témoignage non équivoque d’âmes naturellement chrétiennes, combien plus n’en doit-il pas rester dans les cœurs de ceux, si nombreux, qui ont erré plutôt par ignorance ou par l’effet des circonstances extérieures !…D’ailleurs, des signes pleins de promesses d’une rénovation sociale apparaissent dans les organisations ouvrières, parmi lesquelles Nous apercevons, à la grande joie de Notre âme, des phalanges serrées de jeunes travailleurs chrétiens qui se lèvent à l’appel de la grâce divine et nourrissent la noble ambition de reconquérir au Christ l’âme de leurs frères. Nous voyons avec un égal plaisir les dirigeants des organisations ouvrières qui, oublieux de leurs intérêts et soucieux d’abord du bien de leurs compagnons, s’efforcent d’accorder leurs justes revendications avec la prospérité de la profession, et ne se laissent détourner de ce généreux dessein par aucun obstacle, par aucune défiance. Et parmi les jeunes gens que leur talent ou leur fortune appelle à prendre bientôt une place distinguée dans les classes supérieures de la société, on en voit un grand nombre qui étudient avec un plus vif intérêt les problèmes sociaux et donnent la joyeuse espérance qu’ils se voueront tout entiers à la rénovation sociale….(then she repeated) tout entiers à la rénovation sociale…. tout entiers à la rénovation sociale….. tout entiers à la rénovation sociale…. tout entiers à la rénovation sociale.”

(extraits fortement abrégés):  Lettre Encyclique du Souverain Pontife Pie XI (15 mai 1931) QUADRAGESIMO ANNO;


[6] John Birch Robinson, The Libertarian Don’t Tread on Me I’m a Good Person even Though I Don’t Care about the Poor and if you Do You’re a Cuckservative Socialist Manual (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2019), 6.

[7] Robinson, The Libertarian Don’t Tread on Me…, ix, 1, 565, 598.

[8] Nutrition facts for one serving size of ESSNWNAU-AL Alpine Green Mint Chocolate chip ice cream.

ss. ½ cup (2.3 oz): 2,400 cal/1,770 cal. from fat.

Total fat               196g

Sat. fat                   147g

Cholesterol            2g

Sodium                3g

Sugars                 300g

Protein                112g

[9] An ESSNWNAU-AL BPA who had professional tennis talent but was extremely thin—126 lbs. on a 6’2 frame—used ESSNWNAU-AL Alpine Green Mint Chocolate chip to gain 59 lbs. in three months.