“Where is all you angels ,
Now the figureheads have fell.”
-Wild Boys, Duran Duran.
I wander the land, lost and alone, there are still times that I can’t believe this is real. Each morning I open my eyes expecting to find out that it was all some crazy dream, just a twisted nightmare, and that I’m back in my old bed, in my old world, where everything made sense. Instead I find myself huddled in some godforsaken corner of this wasteland, strewn with the detritus of this fallen civilisation.
We all knew it could happen, one day. Heck, we all grew up with the threat of mutually assured destruction, in the shadow of the mushroom cloud, but we thought we’d moved past that. We’d stopped threatening each other over ideologies and started fighting each other over oil. It may have been more brutal and bloody, but there was a certain purity to it. There was an inherent need for people to remain alive at the end of it all so you could keep selling them things.
Then everything went to hell. Somehow the world went bankrupt. I guess I was too busy watching reality TV to really understand it, but the way they tell it now, the rich got greedy and decided to keep all the money. I guess they got wind of what was coming and decided to create their own little shelters of luxury, we’ve all heard about their little decadent oases in this hellish desert.
Taking the money away from the people, though, that was stupid. Removing any social safety net, that was foolish too. Why? Because it left a vacuum for ideology to come flooding back in. Charismatic leaders rose, promising power to the people, or blaming anyone who was different for the suffering we were enduring. And once in power, waiting for them, were stockpiles and stockpiles of nuclear weapons. The “deterrent” that was safe in the hands of reasonable men, was now in the hands of madmen and lunatics.
They were all gone now, of course, they’d all fallen in the first wave, they’d all been primary targets. Now all that was left was this wasteland, the scraps, the garbage and shrapnel left by a fallen civilisation. Still, it was life, and life carried on.