The Most Throughly "Sanitized" City in America

By L. Neil Smith
[email protected]
Sat, 27 Jul 1996 11:39:52 -0600

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

         Well, the American mass media finally got what they wanted.
         After weeks of begging, whining, screaming, and pleading -- exactly the same way B'rer Rabbit begged, whined, screamed, and pleaded not to be thrown into the briar patch -- the American mass media finally got their Olympic tragedy. Somebody set off a pipe bomb at a concert in Atlanta's Centennial Park.
         And nobody will remember to mention that when it happened, Atlanta was the most thoroughly "sanitized" city in America, in the world, maybe even in world world history.
         Now the media can lick their lips bravely and pretend not to be perfectly delighted to be reporting on a phenomenon that they can all understand and identify with much better -- brutal, murderous destruction for its own sake -- than what they were stuck with before: endless hard work, dedication, sense of purpose, courage, and raw talent of a kind they're totally incapable of comprehending.
         And nobody will remember to mention that when it happened, Atlanta was the most thoroughly "sanitized" city in America, in the world, maybe even in world history.
         Now all those lucky old dogs way back in '72 in Munich will have nothing on them, anymore. They can set years of jealousy aside and focus their itty bitty intellects on the thorny difficulties of distorting the inconvenient fact of a pipe bombing into something they can blame on gun owners and the internet.
         And nobody will remember to mention that when it happened, Atlanta was the most thoroughly "sanitized" city in America, in the world, maybe even in world history.
         They will, of course, not lack for help from the government. That's what government is for, after all. Waco Willie Clinton and his baby-murdering stormtroopers will be there, in Washington, in Atlanta, and above all, on national TV, taking "serious measures" to transform the Land of the Formerly Free into something resembling Berlin at the very height of the Thousand Year Reich. (Republicans will argue forcefully that they can do it cheaper.) But this time, in true Olympic spirit and consistent with the American tradition of equality, regardless of race, creed, or color, we'll all get to be the Jews.
         And nobody will remember to mention that when it happened, Atlanta was the most thoroughly "sanitized" city in America, in the world, maybe even in world history.
         What a windfall!
         What a coincidence!
         Were Clinton's actual numbers beginning to fall off a little? Was Bob Dole, Republican poster-boy for rigor mortis, beginning to catch up with him? Did Bill need another crisis to manage, the way he managed the Reichstag -- I mean, the Oklahoma City bombing? Or am I simply failing to see the Big Picture?
         Here the Cold War went and rudely took the coward's way out without giving anybody decent notice, leaving our leftover World War II fascist government (not to mention adoring hordes of tame journalists) with nothing to justify its existence, when all of a sudden -- "for no particular reason" as Forrest Gump (or was it Al Gore) put it -- the whole world went conveniently crazy and had to be put back sternly in its place. At the expense of the trillions upon trillions of dollars we all foolishly thought we were going to get back as our "peace dividend". At the expense of a few decades of progress uninterrupted by the mindless regimentation and destruction of war. At the expense of the tattered remnants of the liberties our Founding Fathers proudly bequeathed to us.
         But hey, who's counting?
         There can be no doubt that these are dangerous times. They've carefully been made dangerous by our "protectors". Thanks to no fewer than seven generations of voracious blunderers in government, virtually everyone in the world now hates America badly enough to kill Americans anonymously, by the hundreds.
         Thanks to the relentless obliteration of the Bill of Rights by the same voracious blunderers, enough Americans now hate America to do exactly the same thing. Thanks to the voracious blunderers who manage elections, these people have been completely shut out of a political system that might provide a safe outlet. And thanks to the voracious blunderers in public education, they're no more able than Clinton to distinguish between the nation and its government.
         Maybe no one in the round-heeled American mass media will ever remember to mention that when this happened, Atlanta was the most thoroughly "sanitized" city in America, in the world, maybe even in world history. There's certainly nothing in it for them, not even pocket change for hairspray. But the fact that it did happen, under those circumstances, proves that America can never be made safer by piling on more voracious blunderers or by giving them more power.
         In case you haven't noticed, the more we do that, the worse things always get.
         No, America can only be made safer by making it more free.

L. Neil Smith's award-winning first novel, The Probability Broach, which has long been out of print, will be republished by TOR Books this October. Permission to redistribute this article is herewith granted by the author, provided that it is reproduced unedited, in its entirety, and appropriate credit given.


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