Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Christmas Tale

One Christmas morning Americans woke up to find their swords beaten into ploughshares. The mighty nuclear carriers and submarines had been transformed into power stations, bombers and fighters into windmills and the vast armada of tanks and troop carriers into hydrogen-fueled trucks and buses. The huge Army barracks stood as sparkling universities and the Pentagon shone as a state-of-the-art solar array. The dumps of shells, bullets and grenades had become fertilizer. The menacing silos of intercontinental missiles were gone, replaced with plants producing ethanol from the grasslands of the Plains.

The people were frightened at first. How could they protect themselves from all they dreaded? What stood between their homes and the enemies that menaced their land? A cry went up to quickly convert everything back into weapons and munitions, and many an opportunist asserted they would do it, if only the pay was right. "Security requires sacrifice", they proclaimed. "Why, look at all our wealth! - if we do not protect it, surely it will be plundered by those evil and greedy, waiting just outside our shores. Nay! - they may already be inside, working to weaken and destroy our mighty fighting spirit. To arms, to arms!!"

Yet, even as these ugly words arose, the people looked around carefully and found the land more prosperous than ever; and though they searched diligently, they could not discover foes within or without. Everyone was busy learning how to put the new machines to better use, how to transform their lives to better fit the new era. Foreigners did come, but instead of menacing with arms they proffered goods to trade in exchange, for all this technology was new to them and valuable.

And the people soon realized that the only enemies were those few of their own who called them to fear and battle. So they did what all sensible people do with such ilk: they scorned and laughed at them, and made them perform their ludicrous tirades at every school and theater in town. Oh, how the children giggled! The ridicule was so great that soon no one thought of swords again without guffaws and hoots.

And the land became happy.

29 comments:

Andrew McP said...

A wonderful Yuletide tale. We can but dream!

Thanks for your excellent thoughts and insight throughout this year. I hope you have a calm and relaxing Christmas in order to recharge your blogging batteries. I think they're going to be used even more extensively during the next 12 months of financial 'entertainment'.

Edwardo said...

Bravo. As Pogo says, "I have seen the enemy and it is us."

Anonymous said...

If only it were so. But heartwarming to this old geezer on Christmas morn.

sami said...

thank you for every and each post.
may all your days be merry.

Carl said...

Darn! I just woke up, thanks for the nice dream. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

That's cool!! Merry Christmas!!

Santa

Satchel said...

Hellasious,

Thanks you for all the wonderful posts this year, and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

But about your idea that the world would be wonderful is only we stopped fearing each other, IMHO it's a wonderful fantasy but it's just that. 5,000 years of recorded human history argue strongly against the idea that somehow we've suddenly slipped the strictures that history and human nature have placed upon us.....

JC said...

It is the way that the masses are held sway and order is maintained.

Some notable quotes.

We need a common enemy to unite us.
Condoleezza Rice

Princes and governments are far more dangerous than other elements within society.
Niccolo Machiavelli

I am sure that there are lots more out there indicative of the present state of humanity.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tale of peace and hope. You have a good heart, Hellasious.

Jason B

Hellasious said...

Thanks all, for your wishes and kind words. Christmas celebrates the birth of Hope so for one day at least, perhaps we can put aside The Prince and think what could be, instead of what can be.

All The Best,

H.

chad said...

the reality is, we have both, and should be thankful that we do.

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