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Au79 - 1

Not a year ago, I had freedom and happiness. Adorned in khakis, a nice
light blue button-up, and a blunt in my lips, peeking through a second-story
window at the moon, I was thankful. Thankful for the brick walls, the smoke, and
the light I inherited. Thankful for the relative ease at which I had bore out of
Ranchview High School the previous Thursday, out of the punitive purgatory of
absence makeup.
The world was not kind, no, never kind to my kind, the cis white sixteenyear-old who inherited that moon. But I had made it somehow, isolated in that
smokey room, divided from my peers. Floating through life is easy when you are
born and bred a consumer.
But my aspirations were beyond what I knew then, beyond the carefully
claustrophobic brick walls that kept the space where my clearest thoughts could
be heard by me alone. I did not know my aspirations yet, or of the complacency I
would have to fight to reveal the true, deadly dangers of idealism. At this point,
still a boy, still a child, my pockets were fat with the wad of twenty dollar bills I had
procured from the ATM to purchase that blunt. Ignorance was bliss, and that bliss
was enforced by the six hours I had indulged the 42-inch LCD and the copy of the
latest Call of Duty.
In that six hours, there were ten or so settings I phased through. The gold
mines in Africa, a small village in Morocco, the scenes one might see scrolling
through 24-hour news stations. I shot rockets into that town, I took down the
poppy farmers, all forty of them. I liked it, it made me feel powerful. The power I
lacked as a consumer, I made up for in the destruction of the enemy. And who
was my enemy? Was it the militia man running around with a purple rifle, firing
full-auto indiscriminately? No, it was the virtual manifestation of other
suburbanites, firing indiscriminately, other consumers, just like me, fighting for
that same power. I spent six hours that day killing different versions of myself,
getting a break after 75 virtual lives had been taken, only to restart five minutes


TURN CORNER! KILLED! by cocksuxxer1738!!!!!! RESPAWN!!!!!!!!!
Six hours a day, 365 times a year - thats a lot of time spent in that cycle.
From age eight to eighteen, it seems like a quarter of my life has been spent in
that place. And Im good at it, too! I can take twelve lives in a high-density combat
zone before I lose my own. I am fantastic at pointing and pulling a trigger.
And this is a normal hobby. I enjoy these games, and I enjoy the virtual
commendations. I play for every team, indiscriminately pulling the trigger at any
red name-tag. And I have hundreds of virtual friends who enjoy it just as much as
I do. Its purely a simulation of war, of no consequence and little conscience.
At the end of that day, I sat, looking out the window at my inherited moon,
inhaling deeply the mix of tobacco and THC. I am fat with satisfaction, but the
moon is different tonight. It seems to be asking me something. Where else could
the voice be coming from? All I can hear it ask is this:
When your family is bombed, who will you pull the trigger for? Will you pull the
Without hesitation, its easy for me to answer my family, and Yes. The
trigger is my voice, and if someone thinks they can take the lives of my family and
survive to talk about it, Im going to speak as loud and as often as I can. But as
the blunt shrinks and I get closer to the moon, the moons question becomes
louder. And I can hear everyone in the world answering the moons question. All
the people who I had seen on those 24-hour news channels. And they are
answering the same. The trigger is their voice, the only way they can be heard
under the hail fire of missiles and the victim-blaming of the media.

Stand at Attention, America. Wake up, or Bend Over.

We Are Here Now. We Are Not Divided.
Do Not Let Them Divide You.
Perception is Key
Perceive Evil
Perceive Good

and Know where each starts and ends.

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