Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sockin' It To Tyranny

This morning I read an online article written by a "momtrepeneur" who was upset that the new Entrepreneur Barbie isn't wearing yoga pants and a pony tail, and that her plastic eyes didn't exude the passion of a working mom.

I then read an article about a pregnant woman in Sudan that has been sentenced to death (after receiving 100 lashes) for apostasy.

Troubling times indeed.

I reflected on both women and their plights, and came to the conclusion that the world was becoming a discouraging cesspool. The thought came to mind that I had been better off back in the days when I read nothing but books and avoided the news altogether. Feeling that something must be done to set the world back on a happy course, I wondered what I alone could do to help this poor woman to escape her woeful situation. My purpose of thought was singular: I needed to call justice down upon the godless animals that call themselves human beings while oppressing, subjugating, and misguiding their own kind.

I started to write an angry letter, unsure of where it could be sent that would make a difference. The resulting flurry of words felt too light and empty for such devils; I needed something that packed more punch. But how could I, a single individual with limited resources, conquer such ruthless dictators? How could I get the nation, the continent, the world even, to stand up and stare down these brutes?

As I pondered the injustice that exists in the world and what I could possibly do to right such a terrible wrong, a memory from childhood came to mind. Years ago at the age of eight, I bought a Luke Skywalker X-Wing pilot action figure. He was dressed in a bright orange flight suit, wore a white helmet decorated with the red emblem of the Rebel Alliance, and his right sock was pulled up above the top of his shiny black flight boot. I still have that action figure, tucked away in a box somewhere in my office at home.

Wait, what?

It’s true, my Luke Skywalker looked as though he had gotten dressed in a hurry before that unforgettable attack on the Death Star. When donning his socks, he must have pulled the right one up higher than he had the left one, leaving it to stick out above the top of his boot. It also appeared as though he had tucked the cuff of his flight suit inside the sock.

The image of that disheveled action figure from more than thirty years ago was inspirational. Luke had been a young and inexperienced pilot, but when the moment came calling he had found an incredible, course-of-history-altering amount of courage, and with it he had beaten back a dark overlord that threatened the future of a galaxy far, far away and a long time ago.

And if my toy Luke was to be believed, he did it with one sock sticking out of his boot, the cuff of his flight suit tucked inside, like a bicycle courier in deep space.

And so my one man campaign against tyranny began anew, this time with a letter much more focused, a letter with harsh words for strong-arm despots.

Dear Tyrants (past and present),

How dare you manipulate the forward progress of humankind with your programs of hate, misinformation, and mind control! You should be dragged from your luxurious homes, calfskin office chairs, and exotic cars, out into the streets, where you can be held accountable to the people for your crimes against humanity!

You play with the future of your own people, and then count your money behind closed doors, rinsing your hands clean in the ill-gotten gains of your evil agendas that you hide in plain sight. Would that I alone could try you for your crimes, but so great is your tyrannical hold on the world, that it will take nations to drive you back to the dust from whence you came.

I refuse to sit back and allow you to win. This is a warning shot across the bow of your black-sailed dreadnought; if you do not cease from oppressing the good and honest people of this world at once, I will be forced into greater, more violent and terrible action.


Matthew Deane (a citizen of this good world)

P.S. I don’t have my receipt, but would you please send me a replacement Luke Skywalker X-Wing fighter pilot action figure that doesn’t have mismatched feet? The one I bought in 1978 must have been part of a bad batch, because it looks like Luke got dressed for the Death Star battle in a hurry. I just don’t think it is a true representation of a good X-Wing pilot; a good X-Wing pilot would be sheveled (rather than disheveled), because the people of the Rebel Alliance were looking to the pilots for the security of their future, and I don’t think a pilot with one sock pulled up above his boot and over his flight suit cuff inspires such security.

Oh, and your Entrepreneur Barbie needs some yoga pants and more passionate eyes.


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