Through the Darkest of Nights

Every Friday over the next several months I will be posting installments of a novel I’ve written about life, death, war and politics in America since 9/11.  This first post is the Prologue of Through the Darkest of Nights.  It is an intensely personal story of hope, reflection, determination, and redemption, and contrasts the protagonist’s idealism with the apathy and moral decline of a nation that has lost its way.  

Self-righteousness and self-delusion are so entrenched in conservative America’s collective consciousness that half the nation is literally insane.  Facts mean nothing to them.  The self-delusion and propaganda of these people and their leaders dominate political discourse.  They are a lethal threat to the survival of America and the world, their leaders are as dangerous as they’ve ever been, and despite indications that their power and influence are declining, they have already inflicted so much damage to our political system, our economy, and our media that America’s journey out of the darkness is going to be a long one . . .    

 

Through the Darkest of Nights

Book I


Exile

Naked and alone we came into exile.  In her dark womb, we did not know our mother’s face; from the prison of her flesh have we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth.  Which of us has known his brother?  Which of us has looked into his father’s heart?  Which of us has not remained prison-pent?  Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone?    ~Thomas Wolfe

Prologue

I am no one.

I am everyone.

I am the lover you never met.   I am the child you never had.  I am your past and your future.  I am your life and your death.  I am nothing, but I am everything.  Urgency burns within me like an unquenchable fire, the anguish of betrayal sears what’s left of my soul.  Yet I still hear the timeless whisper of hope.  Remembrance of freedom in a not so distant past sustains me.  Hope of freedom in a not so distant future summons me.  It compels me to journey across America, to bear witness to what I have seen, and to condemn what must be condemned.

What will become of you, if you join me on this journey?  I cannot say, that is for you to determine. You are the one who will either accept what you see, or condemn it.  It is your experiences, your thoughts, your memories, your shame, your fury that you must either act upon, or turn away from, in the false belief that turning away will deliver you of your pain.

I am reaching out to you.    

I am challenging you.

Can wisdom yet be found, or is there no wisdom left in this world?

We need to find some wisdom, and we need to find it soon.  There is no time to lose.   Each minute vanishes into the past as quickly as it came, bringing you and I and everyone we know another minute closer to death.  The relentless passing of time is my enemy, it is your enemy, it is the enemy of us all.  Time cannot be conquered.  It never has been.  It never will be.   It can be used wisely, or it can be squandered, thrown away minute by minute until there are no minutes left.  

We are being deceived.  Every day.  With impunity.  Deceit.  So pervasive, so intrusive there is no escape from it. It is called marketing, it is called profit, it is called politics.  It is called everything but what it is.  It is unleashing unspeakable evil throughout this suffering land and across this dying world. Deceit.  Never acknowledged by the deceivers, never exposed by the packagers of news as they look down upon America from their towers of glass, and decree what will be told and what will not be told.

Across America, people are asking for justice, but no one hears them.  Shattered soldiers are weeping, but no one sees them.  Millions are suffering, but no one comforts them.  Politicians announce their crimes from podiums, but no one confronts them.  Corruption.  Degradation. Hypocrisy.   Off the charts.  Coast to coast.

Heed this warning.  Heed it well.  If you join me on this journey across this broken land of shame and pain, what you see will disturb you.  It will shock you.  It will haunt you.   But if you are an American, you will walk beside me. If you feel betrayed, you will walk beside me.  If you are a seeker of truth, you will walk beside me, and together, we will make it through this darkest of nights and see the light of truth shine upon America once again.

       

40 comments

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  1. this collection of words.

    Obama is right, words matter.

    • kj on March 14, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    hasn’t burned off this morning, in fact, it seems to be growing thicker.  perfect morning to read this.  thanks, Rusty.

  2. Wait………….is this a trick?

    Let me guess, in revenge for not putting the Bismarck roadsign in the banner…..the bad guy is just coincidentally going to be named buhdydharma, huh???

    Seriously though folks, Badumpdup….this is neat Rus! And your opening has definitely piqued my interest!

    • Alma on March 14, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    REALLY looking forward to this Rusty.  Seems really apt, as I listen to Bush puke out nonsense on tv at the Economic Club.

    I’d love to walk beside you.

    • pfiore8 on March 14, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    I am no one.

    I am everyone.

    I am the lover you never met.   I am the child you never had.  I am your past and your future.  I am your life and your death.  I am nothing, but I am everything.  

    got me hooked from the get-go.

    • OPOL on March 14, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    and straight down the center of everything that is important to our moment in history.  I hope that, if you haven’t already, you find a worthy publisher and that it gets the attention it deserves.  I can’t wait to read the rest.

    Well done my friend.

  3. Last night I was watching the ‘news’ and channel surfing. Yesterday  – a day it became abundantly clear we are in for some very hard years – economically speaking.No there was not ONE report on this.It was either Wright, or Spitzer’s call girl.I started thinking I AM LIVING IN THE MATRIX.

    Great writing.

  4. I have come to think of capitalism itself as such a morally bankrupt system that is working overtime against us now.

    There are solutions everywhere in front of our eyes that can be applied toward immense gain for humanity but are instead held back for profit by just a few people.

    Basic, smart things can be done that will not break the free market system while at the same time provide huge dividends for the people.

    One thing would be to stop allowing drugs to be patented. The government already foots 48% of the development costs  for new drugs. Why not go the additional 52%?

    In a way, there is already precedent for it. There are weapons systems that companies bid to design, but the government retains overall ownership of the design. Companies bid to manufacture subs and battleships from known designs.

    If the government put up a Chinese wall between drug R&D and drug manufacturing think of the benefits.

    First, a company who only designs drugs will not be vested in any way with regard to how well the drug sells. They will only want to design as many drugs as they can. Help for unprofitable illnesses would become much more viable.

    Second, any drug manufacturer could bid on obtaining a license from the government to manufacture any drug they wish. If they think they can build a pill cheaper than the next guy, then by all means, let the free market apply downward pricing pressure on the items.

    Currently, $3 dollars are spent on branding a drug patent for every $1 dollar on R&D. Eliminating branding could save 300% off the cost of putting a prescription in you hands. Add to that the competitive pricing pressure that would happen in manufacturing, and we are looking at ??? 400% cheaper, maybe?

    The basis for this model is in the absurd notion that a company can own a cure. We can pick and choose a brand of car, but that is not always possible with a drug.

    Article 16 of the constitution contains in it one of our unalienable rights – the right to life. There is no clause that says the right to life if you can afford it.

    It would be a bold move, and it would shock industry, but you know what? Who cares? We are talking about something fundamental that the government is already helping to make possible. Why should we fund 48% of the burden in developing a life-enhancing product only to hand it to a company for ownership and branding? The companies are still free to do business either in R&D or manufacturing, or even both, but they cannot own the product. It will instantly be subjected to market pressure.

    I am rooting for your book with everything I have. Somehow, we have to crawl out from under the rubble we have made for ourselves.

  5. …after coasting through the “What I’m Saying” piece. I think I missed much of your fiction due to #^&*$#@ video projects and general apathy, so my apologies for that and again my thanks for your comments on my work in spite of my non-reciprocity.

    Anyway, I’ll have to read it several times to sink in, you know? Right now, it’s easy to project myself into this, myself as being part of the problem. Because in many ways, I am. I am worse than the selfish ignorant deluded half of this country because I know better.

    It’s a personality defect. I am still relatively cavalier with my own health & fitness, for example. I place the blame where it lies, with myself, and then go on to the next thing that amuses me.

    I’ve said before that I’ve long since been neutralized by the siren song of suburbia. It’s going to take some massive effort to put the beeswax in the ears and get the crew to lash me to the mast, but your work will help, I think.

    Thanks again Rusty.

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