Do It Yourself

Image by the author

The Strong Man was no longer feeling so strong. He held a Beretta in his hand. Fully loaded. He repeated the words in his head: “do it yourself.” Then he spoke them out loud. Quietly. The viewers waited. Impatiently.

This started months ago. Inexplicably. How did it happen?

People, millions of people, had learned to defy their bosses during Covid, with a phenomenon known as The Great Resignation. This was a moment of personal insight. People discovered self-respect and dignity. They discovered that the essence of life is time and they were unwilling to give their lives away — or sell it cheaply. In fact, they were unwilling to sell their lives at all.

The Rulers, the people who owned everything including the government, were not pleased. So they brought back the Strong Man, to restore order and to crush the independence of those who would not obey.

He did not disappoint. He unleashed the noise machine, the accusations, seizing and brutalizing the Disobedient ones, making them disappear. He used every tool at His disposal to reduce the People to their normal level of acquiescence.

No. The Strong Man demanded more than that. He wanted to be worshiped.

Statues were built. His tubby body, skillfully altered by the chosen artists to display a powerful heroic figure, appeared everywhere. Especially in the former strongholds of the Disobedients. The plan seemed to work as everyone, even the victims themselves, had expected.

But a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Ordered to type up the dismissal notices for 100 employees, an unknown woman working in Human Resources of Gigantic Faceless Corp stood up at her desk and said “No. Do it yourself.” And walked out, never to return. She was quickly and easily replaced.

The Justice asked for the carefully worded legal argument to be used to limit workers rights against their employers. Two clerks — a man and a woman — stood up and said “No. Do it yourself.” And left the Supreme Court building, with two excited Harvard Law graduates quickly taking their places.

Nothing changed. Except it continued. And expanded.

A group of “peace keeper” soldiers, ordered by the Commander to capture a sanctuary where local insurgents were hiding, put down their guns and said “No. Do it yourself.” And went into town to get coffee. They never returned, just disappeared into any of a thousand forgettable villages in the occupied country.

Suddenly, people everywhere routinely refused to do what they were told. The Managers ordered them back to work — or else. And the punishments came. In every imaginable form. From fines, to imprisonment, to torture, to murder.

But people kept saying “No. Do it yourself.” And refused to obey.

Media railed against the movement — which was no movement at all because there was no coordination and no leaders. Still, the Strong Man railed against the traitors and vowed to return the country to Law and Order.

Most of the White House staff, too, had said “No. Do it yourself.” And disappeared. The White House had no staff capable of doing anything. Yes, some loyal high level officials remained — managers who only knew how to give orders. They were, of course, incapable of actually doing anything themselves. Much like the Strong Man Himself.

The same thing was going on in zillions of corporations and state governments and entities down to the most humble local organization. This included churches.

People didn’t like be talked at, instructed. They didn’t like being used. They were fed up. And they were not scared. They were fearless. Nearly everyone throughout the country. It seemed incredible. In the same way the fall of the Soviet Union seemed incredible. Or the courage of the people who tore down the Berlin Wall.

Many had forgotten that the incredible was happening all the time. The destruction of the Twin Towers. The Pandemic. The Insurrection.

Heck, the incredible had been gaining momentum for decades. Both the Rulers and the Disobedients had suffered a failure of imagination. They didn’t see it coming. After the unimaginable actually happened, “experts” explained it and even claimed to have foreseen it. This is what experts do.

Regardless, the Disobedients had decided it was time for the Strong Man to go away. A few watched in the gallery, while millions followed the live feed. Hundreds of millions ignored the news. They were already done with the Strong Man. They had better things to do. But the rest were waiting for Him to raise his trembling hand, point the Beretta at his ugly head and pull the trigger. And watch his flabby body hit the floor of the concrete cell hard.

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Internet pioneer and space flight history buff. But I’m most interested in stabilizing the Earth’s climate and promoting our common humanity.

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Ray Katz

Ray Katz

Internet pioneer and space flight history buff. But I’m most interested in stabilizing the Earth’s climate and promoting our common humanity.

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